• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 I
 II
 III
 IV
 V
 VI
 VII
 VIII
 IX
 X
 XI
 XII
 XIII
 XIV
 XV
 XVI
 XVII
 XVIII
 XIX
 XX
 XXI
 XXII
 XXIII
 XXIV
 XXV
 XXVI
 XXVII
 XXVIII
 XXIX
 XXX
 XXXI
 XXXII
 XXXIII
 XXXIV
 XXXV
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Peter the whaler : his early life, and adventures in the Arctic regions and other parts of the world
Title: Peter the whaler
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
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STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002017/00001
 Material Information
Title: Peter the whaler his early life and adventures in the Arctic regions and other parts of the world
Physical Description: 389 p., <5> leaves of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Francis, Joseph H ( Publisher )
Orr, John William, 1815-1887 ( Engraver )
C.S. Francis & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: C. S. Francis & Co.
J.H. Francis
Place of Publication: New York
Boston
Publication Date: 1852
 Subjects
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sailors -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sailing -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Whaling -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcshac )
Castaways -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Mutiny -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pirates -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1852   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
General Note: Contains: Dedicatory preface to Harry Paul Burrard, the author's cousin.
General Note: Added title page, engraved by Richardson, N.Y.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Illustrations engraved by J.W. Orr.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
Statement of Responsibility: by William H. G. Kingston.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002017
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002392124
oclc - 39193333
notis - ALZ7020
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover 1
    Frontispiece
        Front cover 2
    Half Title
        Front cover 3
        Front cover 4
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Preface
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    I
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    II
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    III
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    IV
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    V
        Page 45
        Page 46
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        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    VI
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    VII
        Page 59
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        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    VIII
        Page 67
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        Page 73
        Page 74
    IX
        Page 75
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        Page 78
        Page 79
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        Page 81A
        Page 81B
        Page 81
        Page 82
    X
        Page 83
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        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    XI
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    XII
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    XIII
        Page 100
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    XIV
        Page 110
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        Page 116
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        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    XV
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
    XVI
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
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        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
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        Page 146
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    XVII
        Page 148
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        Page 150
        Page 151
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        Page 159
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    XVIII
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
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        Page 167
        Page 168
    XIX
        Page 169
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        Page 182
    XX
        Page 183
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        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
    XXI
        Page 193
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        Page 203
        Page 204
    XXII
        Page 205
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        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
    XXIII
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
    XXIV
        Page 225
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        Page 237B
        Page 237
    XXV
        Page 238
        Page 239
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    XXVI
        Page 251
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        Page 263
    XXVII
        Page 264
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        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
    XXVIII
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
    XXIX
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
    XXX
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
    XXXI
        Page 313
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    XXXII
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329A
        Page 330
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    XXXIII
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    XXXIV
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    XXXV
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        Page 389
        Page 390
    Advertising
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
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    Back Cover
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    Spine
        Page 399
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IN







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VL


.9 V










PETER THE WHALER;


HIS EARLY LIFE,


AND


ADVENTURES IN THE ARCTIC REGIONS

AND OTHER PARTS OF

THE WORLD.




BY


WILLIAM H. G. KINGSTON.



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.






NEW YORK:
C. S. FRANCIS & CO., 252 BROADWAY.
BOSTON:
J. H. FRANCIS, 128 WASHINGTON ST.
1852.















A

DEDICATORY PREFACE.


TO

HARRY PAUL BURRARD,
(THE AUTHOR'S COUSIN.)
MY DEAR HARRY-I understand that you are intended
for that noble service, to which our great uncle, Admiral
Sir Harry Burrard Neale; was so bright an ornament.
The navy is a profession in which, perhaps, more than
in any other, energy, perseverance, courage, self-reliance
and endurance are required; and I may add (though that
is, indeed, necessary in every walk of life), a firm trust
in God's good providence. I have, therefore, in the
following history, endeavored to show the importance
of those qualities; and I shall be amply repaid for my
labor, if it in any way contributes to prepare you for
encountering the difficulties and dangers to which, in
your course through life, whatever may be your calling,
you must inevitably be exposed. The incidents were
narrated to me by a young gentleman, the original of
Peter Lefroy, who is, in every respect, a real character ;
and although many years have passed since he told me
the story, his extraordinary adventures made so deep an





DEDICATION.


impression on me, that they were still fresh on my mem-
ory when I commenced the work.
1 was particularly struck with the account of the
wreck of the American man-of-war on the iceberg;
which, wonderful as it may appear, I have told exactly
as he described it; indeed, as far as circumstances would
allow, I have rigidly adhered to the truth, and I hope
that this will not detract from the interest of the tale,
but will serve as another proof to those already existing,
that reality is often stranger than fiction.
I cannot better conclude, than by urging you to study
the character, and to endeavor to imitate the example
of that great and good man, of whom I have spoken.
Beloved and respected by all who knew him, he was
especially honored and esteemed by his Sovereign,
while by those he commanded, he was ever looked upon
as a father and a friend.* As a proof of this, I may tell
you, that at the unhappy mutiny at the Nore, his crew
alone of all the fleet remained faithful to their duty, and
while they willingly went to their guns, ready, if neces-
sary, to fight their way, he carried his ship out from
among the rest in triumph.
It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of such a
man; and that you, my dear young cousin, may be
ever truly worthy of him, and of the name you bear, is
the earnest wish of yours most sincerely,
THE AUTHOR.

He would not allow abusive language to be used towards
any of his crew, and, I believe, in the whole course of h's life,
an oath never escaped his lips.


IV








CONTENTS.

PAGB
CHAP. I.-An Account of my Family and Early Life.-I neg-
lect the Precepts of my Father, and listen to an Evil
Counsellor ............ .... ..................... 9
CHAP. II.-Why I went to Sea. I suffer in consequence of
acting upon the Advice of an Evil Counsellor. I visit
Lord Fetherston's Property, and find that it is easier to
make a False Step than to retrace it ............... 17
CHAP. III.-f visit Liverpool, and gain some insight into the
Ways of the World.-Am introduced to the Master of
the Black Swan.. ... ........................ 27
CHAP. IV.-I go on board the Black Swan, and offer to make
myself useful; but my Services are not appreciated.-
I meet Silas Flint, and make the Acquaintance of some
British Emigrants.-I discover that there are others
worse off than myself ............................ 33
CHAP. V.-My first experience of a Sea Life.-The embar-
cation of Emigrants for North America.-The First
Mate reminds me that I offered to make myself useful.,.
-Description of a North American Emigrant Ship.-
We sail. and I go aloft for the first time.-Dick Der-
rick's advice and instruction....................... 4
CHAP. VI.-Flint shows he has not forgotten me.-My first
introduction to Ice, of which I am destined to see much
more.-A Foundering Ship......................... 5
CHAP. VII.-I claim my Rights, but do not get them ac-
knowledged.-Am treated as a Mutineer.-A Friend in
Need.-I discover that there are other things to be
guarded against besides Rocks, and Shoals, and Ice-
bergs.-A Ship on Fire.................. ........ 59
CHAP. VIII.-Consequences of the Want of Discipline.-
Our Captain deserts us.-Rafts are built, and many
trust themselves on them.-Courage and Coolness of
our Second Mate................................. 67
CHAP. IX.-I obtain a Proof that the Gentle and Humane
are generally brave in the Hour of Danger.-A true
Sailor will not desert his Ship till the last.-Silas tempts
me to go away on the Raft.-Aid comes when Hope has
almost departed.-A few are saved, but a bitter Disap-
pointment awaits the rest.-A Storm comes on, and we
lose sight of the Mary's Light.................: .... 7
CHAP. X.-We once more see the Mary.-Our Hopes of
Preservation are again disappointed.-The Fire is ex-
tinguished by its more powerful Rival............... 8






vi


CONTENTS.


PAOa
CHAP. XI.-Captain Dean and his Daughter a contrast to
Captain Swales and Mr. Stovin.-I am taken ill, and
gently nursed.-We reach a Port at last.-A Descrip-
tion of Quebec.-A Conversation between Mary Dean
and me ....................................... 88
CHAP. XII.-I agree to sail with Captain Dean.-An old
Friend re-appears.-He persuades me to accompany
him up the Country.-I visit the Lakes.............. 94
CHAP. XIII.-Return to Quebec.-A bitter Disappointment.
-Search in vain for my Friends.-Journey through the
Western States.-New Orleans.-Captain Hawk of the
Foam.-A Slaver.-Captain Searl of the Susannah.... 100
CHAP. XIV.-Sail for the Havana.-Captain Hawk keeps
his Promise.-A Surprise.-I find that a Romantic Pi-
rate and a Real Pirate are very different Persons.-Am
taken Prisoner.-And lose sight of the Susannah.......110
CHAP. XV.-Life on board the Rover.-Indulge in the pleas-
ing reflection that I may possibly hang as a Pirate.-
I try to escape.-We chase.-We catch a Tartar.-Mark
Anthony tries to induce me to turn Pirate.-We are
chased.-A considerable difference in the sensation.....124
CHAP. XVI.-The Pirates' Retreat.-I still hope to escape.
-The Pirates make another Prize.-I meet old Friends.
-Mark Anthony watches me.-The Mary at anchor off
the Pirates' Island.-I take the oath of the Pirates.... 134
CHAP. XVII.-I am left in charge of the Prisoners.-Spirits
aid me to help my Friends.-The Tables are turned.-
My Oath compels me to remain with the Pirates.-We
are left in an open Boat.-Find ourselves suddenly trans-
ferred to the Deck of a Brig of War.-An Expedition
against the Pirates..... ... .... ................ 148
CHAP. XVIII.-The Pirates attacked in their Strong-hold.-
The end of the Foam.-The Pirates recognize us.-I
narrate my Adventures but am not believed.-Arrive in
Port.-The Trial.-Am found Guilty, and Condemned.
-As is expected by all Readers, Friends arrive just
in time to prove me Innocent.-I enter on board an
American Man-of-war................. ............ 161
CHAP. XIX.-Sail in the Pocahontas for the North Seas.-
An account of an American Man-of-war.-I become ac-
quainted with Andrew Thompson.-He describes La-
brador to me.-The History of Princess Pocahontas.-A
Man overboard.-Ilow to behave in the Water........ 169
CHAP. XX.-Again Terence falls from aloft, and is saved.-
We reach the North Sea.-A Description of some of the
Birds of those Regions.-I am at the Helm.-The Ship
strikes an Iceberg.-Goes down.-The Marines firing
on the Crew.-A few almon Escape................. 18"






CONTENTS.


vii


PAGB
CHAP. XXI.-A night on an Iceberg.-Andrew bids us
trust in Providence.-Morning dawns.-Beautiful ap-
pearance of the Iceberg.-We find Food.-A Signal
fixed on the top of the Berg.-Lose our Flint and
Steel.-A novel Burning-glass.-A Raft formed.-
Some Treasures collected.-No Help arrives.... .... 193
CHAP. XXII.-Introduces a Second Day.-I dream of
Home.-A Sail in sight-which disappears.-An Ice-
berg in motion.-We try our Raft.-We are not seen.
-A Breeze springs up.-The Iceberg capsizes. ...... 205
CHAP. XXIII.-The Whale Ship.-I join her.-A Descrip-
tion of a Whaler.-Her Boats, Harpoons, and other
Gear.-The Crow's-Nest.-All ready for Fishing.-
Reach a Field of Ice.-Narrow Escape.............. 216
CHAP. XXIV.-A Visit from Father Neptune.-I am made
Free of the Arctic Regions.-" A Fall, a Fall !"-Our
First Fish.-Tom thinks the Ship is sinking.--Tow our
Prize alongside ................................... 225
CHAP. XXV.-We secure our Fish.--How to carve a Whale.
-A Greenland Shark.-Arctic Birds.-Making off.-A
Description of a South-Sea Whaler.-A Bear in a Boat. 238
CHAP. XXVI.-Joined by other Ships.-Land seen.-Cape
Flyaway.-Danish Colonies.-Visited by Esquimaux.-
We land.-Begin to struggle with the Ice.-Fishing on the
Ice.-Tumble in.-Made fast to an Iceberg.-Cut through
a Field of Ice.-Preparations for a Nip.-The Nip comes. 251
CHAP. XXVII.-The Nip come.-A Ship nipped.-Go to her
Aid.-Rescue our Countrymen.-Forecastle Yarns about
Shipwrecks and Whale-catching.-The Nip takes off and
we are free.-A Beautiful Scene................. 264
CHAP. XXVIII.-Pond's Bay.-A run of Whales.-More
Fishing.-Sea Unicorns.-Lose a Fish.-A fast Fish.-
Leave the Bay.-An Account of some Arctic Expedi-
tions, sent in search of Sir John Franklin and his
brave Companions. .......................... .. 274
CHAP. XXIX.-Summer drawing to an end.-Homeward
Voyage.-A Calm.-Ominous Signs.-Left on the Ice.-
Our Ship disappears.-A sudden Blast.-A Snow
Storm.-The Gale commences.-The Whale and Boat
lost.-We retreat from the Sea.-Build a Hut.-A
Visitor, who proves in the end a welcome one.-We
keep Watch.-We are in a bad Plight. ............. 284
CHAP. XXX.-I try to encourage my Companions.-We
cook our Breakfast.-Set up a Signal.-One of the
two Ships heaves in sight.-The Floe separates.-The
last Ship appears, but to the southward.-We cross the
Channel.-Erect another Hut.-Catch two Unicorns.-
We travel on. ................................... 299






Viii CONTENTS.
PAGN
CHAP. XXXI.-Our Journey continued.-A Wreck dis-
covered.-We find Treasures on board.-Look out for
a Spot to land.-Find a Bay.-Fix on a Spot, and
build a Hut.-Go back to the Ship, to fetch more
Stores.-Find Visitors on board the Ship.-More
Bear's Flesh.-Return to the Bay .................. 313
CHAP. XXXII.-Visited by the Esquimaux.--We become
very friendly.-Terence acts as Master of the Ceremo-
nies.-We begin our Winter House.-The Esquimaux
come with Sledges to assist us.-Transport our Goods
from the Ship.-Honesty of the Esquimaux ......... 327
CHAP. XXXIII.-We visit the Esquimaux at their Tents.-
The Interior, and their Mode of Life.-Cookery.-Danc-
ing.-They rush out to chase the Sea-horse.-Suc-
cessful Sport.-Esquimaux Lamp and Fireplace.-
Description of Sledges and Dogs.-Return to our
House.-Tom Stokes sees a Merman. ............... 336
CHAP. XXXIV.-Find our Wooden Hut very cold.-The
Esquimaux show us how to build a Winter Hut.-We
follow their Example.-A Snow Hut.-Esquimaux
Children's Toys.-Accompany Ickmallick on a Hunt-
ing Expedition.-A quickly-built Hut.-Musk Oxen.-
Desperate Encounter.-Kill a Stag.-Buried in the
Snow .................................. ....... 348
CHAP. XXXV.-What Cold is.-An Arctic Night.-An
Aurora Borealis.-Esquimaux hunting the Walrus on
the Ice.-Seal Catching.-How we employed our Time.
-Propose to build a Vessel.-Andrew instructs us.-
Daylight returns..... .......................... 362
CHAP. XXXVI.-We begin our Vessel.-The Esquimaux
regret to lose us.-Andrew urges us not to work on a
Sunday.-Capability of the Esquimaux for receiving
the Truths of Christianity.-We complete our Vessel.-
Provision and store her.-Our vessel destroyed.-A
Ship in the Clouds.-Doubts.-A Ship appears.-Fare-
well to the Esquimaux.-Voyage.-Wreck.-Reach my
Father's Home a Beggar.-No one at Home.-Meet
Captain Dean.-Return once more to my Family. .... 369










PETER THE WHALER,

HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES.


CHAPTER I.
An Account of my Family and Early Life.-I neglect the Pre-
cepts of my Father, and listen to an Evil Counsellor.
PETER," said my father with a stern look,
though the tone of his voice had more of sorrow in
it than anger, this conduct, if you persist in it,
will bring ruin on you, and grief and shame on my
head and to your mother's heart. Look there, boy,
and answer me: Are not those presumptive evi-
dences of your guilt ? Where did they come from ?"
He pointed, as he spoke, to several head of game,
pheasants, partridges and hares, which lay on the
ground, while I stood before him leaning on my
gun, my eyes not daring to meet his, which I knew
were fixed on me. My two dogs crouched at my
feet, looking as if they also were culprits, and fully
comprehended the tenor of his words.
My father was a clergyman, the vicar of a large
parish in the south of Ireland, where the events, I
am now narrating, took place. He was a tall man
with silvery locks and well-formed features. I
think his hair was prematurely grey. The ex-
pression of his countenance was grave, and betok-
ened firmness and decision, though his general
character was mild in the extreme. He was a
kind parent, in some respects too kind; and he
was very indulgent towards the faults and emors





PETER THE WHALER,


of those not immediately connected with him. He
was on good terms with the Roman Catholics of
the neighborhood, of which faith were the large
majority of the population, and even with the
priests; so that our family had few enemies, and
were never in any way molested by the peasantry.
That, however, we had some foes, I shall have
occasion presently to show; but I must return to
the scene I was describing. I may be pardoned
for first giving a slight sketch of myself. I hope
that I may escape being accused of vanity, as I
shall not dwell on my personal appearance. I be-
lieve, that I inherited some of my parents' good
looks; but the hardships I have endured have era-
dicated all traces of them. I was well grown for
my age (I was barely fifteen), but, dressed in my
loose shooting-costume, my countenance ruddy with
fresh air and exercise, I looked much older.
"What do you suppose would be the lot of a
poor man's son, if he were to be discovered acting
as you are constantly doing in spite of my warn-
ings and commands?" continued my father, his
voice growing more serious and his look more
grave. I tell you, boy, that the consequences
may and will be lamentable; and do not believe,
that because you are the son of a gentleman, you
can escape the punishment due to the guilty.
You are a poacher. You deserve the name;
and on some occasion, when engaged in that law-
less occupation, you will probably encounter the
game-keepers of the persons on whose estates you
are trespassing, and whose property you are rob-
bing. Now hear me out. They, as in duty bound,
will attempt to capture you. You and your com-
panions may resist; your weapons may be dis-
charged, and life may be sacrificed. If you escape
the fate of a murderer, you may be transported to


10





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 11


distant lands, away from friends, home, and coun-
try, to work for long years; perhaps in chains
among the outcasts of our race, fed on the coarsest
food, subject to the tyranny of brutalised overseers,
often themselves convicts, your ears forced to lien
to the foulest language, your eyes to witness the
grossest debauchery, till you yourself become as
bad as those with whom you are compelled to
herd; so that, when the time of your punishment
is expired, you will be unfit for freedom; and if
you venture to return home, you will find yourself,
wherever you appear, branded with dishonor and
pointed at as the convict.
Think, Peter, of the grief and anguish it would,
cause your poor mother and me, to see you suffer
so dreadful a disgrace-to feel that you merited it.
Think of the shame it would bring on the name
of our family. People would point at your sisters,
and say, Their brother is a convict !' they would
shake their heads as I appeared in the pulpit, and
whisper, 'The vicar whose son was transported !'
But more than all (for man's censure matters not
if we are guiltless), think how God will judge you,
who have had opportunities of knowing better, who
have been repeatedly warned that you are doing
wrong, who are well aware that you are doing
wrong; think how He will judge and condemn
you.
"Human laws, of necessity, are framed only to
punish all alike, the rich and educated man as well
as the poor and ignorant; but God, who sees what
is in the heart of man, and his means of knowing
right from wrong, will more severely punish those
who sin, as you do, with their eyes open. I am
unwilling to employ threats; I would rather ap-
peal to your better feelings, my boy; but I must,
in the first place, take away your means of follow-





PETER THE WHALER,


ing your favorite pursuit; and s^"-ld you persist
in leading your present wild and idle life, I must
adopt such measures as will effectually prevent you.
Give me your gun."
I listened to all that was said in dogged silence.
I could not refuse to give up my dearly-beloved
weapon; but I did so with a very bad grace: and
I am sorry to say that my father's words had, at
the time, little or no effect on my heart. I say at
the time, for afterwards, when it was too late, I
thought of them over and over again, and deeply
repented of my wilful obstinacy and folly.
Alas! from how much suffering and grief I
should have been saved, had I attended to the pre-
cepts and warnings of my kind parent--how much
of bitter self-reproach. And I must warn my
young friends, that although the adventures I went
through may be found very interesting to read
about, they would discover the reality to be very
full of pain and wretchedness were they subjected
to it; and yet I may tell them, that the physical
suffering I endured was as nothing when com-
pared to the anguish of mind I felt, when, left for
hours and days to my own bitter thoughts, I re-
membered that through my own perverseness I
had brought it all upon myself.
Often have I envied the light hearts of my fel-
low-sufferers, whose consciences did not blame
them. Let me urge you, then, in your course
through life, on all occasions to act rightly, and to
take counsel and advice from those on whose judg-
ment you should rely; and then not only in the
next world will you have your reward; but in this,
through the severest trials and bodily suffering,
you will enjoy a peace of mind and a happiness of
which no man can deprive you.
My parents had four sons and five daughters.


12





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 13

My eldest brother was studying for the Bar in
Dublin; and as the family fortune was limited, we
were somewhat cramped to afford him the requisite
means for his education. I was consequently kept
at home, picking up, when I felt disposed, any
crumbs of knowledge which came in my way, but
seldom going out of my way to find them; n had
I, unfortunately, any plan fixed on for mature
career.
My mother was constantly employed with my
sisters, and my father with his clerical duties or
his literary pursuits; so that I was forgotten, and
allowed to look after myself. I am unable to ac-
count for the neglect to which I was subjected, but
such was the case; and consequently I ran wild,
and contrived to become acquainted with some
scampish youths in the neighborhood, in every way
my inferiors except in age; and they gave me les-
sons which I was, I own, too willing to learn, in all
that was bad.
Sporting was my greatest amusement; and for
my age, I was perhaps one of the best shots in all
the country round. While I confined myself to my
father's glebe, and to the grounds of two or three
friends who had given me leave to shoot, he did not
object to my indulging my propensity; but not con-
tent with so narrow a sphere of action, I used fre-
quently, in company of some of the youths I speak
of, to wander over property where I not only had
no right to kill game, but where I had positively
been forbidden to trespass, and where I even knew
people were on the look out to detect me.
I had just returned from one of these lawless
expeditions, when I was encountered by my father,
laden with game, and the scene I have described
took place. As I before said, and I repeat it with
shame, I felt the loss of my gun more than I cared





PETER THE WHALER,


for, the lecture, or the grief my conduct caused my
father. I can scarcely now account for the obsti-
nacy and hardness of heart which made me shut
my ears to all remonstrances. I have since then
grown wiser, and I hope, better; and I feel that I
ought at once to have asked my father's forgive-
ness and to have cheerfully set to work on some
occu ion of which he approved. With me, as it
will be with every one, idleness was the mother of
all mischief.
For two days I sulked, and would speak to no
one. On the third, I set off to take a walk by my-
self, across the bogs, and over the hills in the far
distance. I had got into a better spirit from the
fresh air and exercise; and I truly believe that I
was beginning to see my error, and was resolving
to do my best to make amends for it, and to give
up my bad habits, when who should I encounter
but Pat Doolan, one of the wildest of my wild ac-
quaintances.
Before a word of salutation had passed, he asked
me why I had not got my gun with me; and after
a weak and vain endeavor to avoid answering the
question, I confessed all that had occurred. He
sneered at my fears and my father's warnings, and
laughed away all my half-formed good resolutions;
telling me that I might just as well go and borrow
one of my sister's petticoats at once, for to that I
should come at last, if I was going to give up all
manly pursuits. Unhappy, indeed, it was for me,
that I listened to the voice of the tempter, instead
of keeping my good resolutions safely locked up in
my own breast, and instantly hurrying away from
him as I ought to have done. Or, perhaps, I might
have answered him, No; I must not, and will not
listen to you. I know that what I have resolved to
do is right, and that which you want to persuade me


14






HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 15

to do is wicked-an instigation of the evil one ;o
go away and leave me." And if he persisted in re-
maining near me, I should have set off, and run
from him as hard as I could go. This is the only
way to treat temptation in whatever form it ap-
pears. Fly from it as you would from the slippery
edge of a precipice.
Instead of acting thus, I sat down on the h er
by his side, and, looking foolish and humbled, I be-
gan plucking off the crisp flowers and leaves, and
throwing them to the winds. He asked me if I
knew where the gun was locked up. When I told
him that it was not locked up at all, but merely
placed on the mantel-piece in my father's dressing
room, he laughed at me for a fool, because I had
not before re-possessed myself of it. Fool I was,
in truth; but it was to yield to the bad advice my
false and false-hearted friend tendered. I own that
I at first was rather shocked at what he said; but
still I sat and listened, and made only weak objec-
tions, so that he very speedily overcame all my
scruples; and I undertook to get back my gun at all
cost, and to join him on the following morning on
a shooting expedition on the property of a noble-
man, some part of which was seen from the hill
where we had posted ourselves.
Doolan could make himself very entertaining by
narrating a variety of.wild adventures in which he
or his companions had been engaged; or I may, say,
in some of which he pretended to have beeranen-
gaged, for I since have had reason to believe that
he drew considerably more on his imagination than
on truth for the subjects of his tales, for the pur-
.pose of raising himself in my estimation, thereby
hoping to gain a greater influence over me.
I have often since met such characters, who are
very boastful and bold in the company of lads





PETER THE WHALER,


younger than themselves, or of persons whom they
think will believe them, but cautious and silent in
the presence of those whom they have sufficient
discernment to perceive at once take them at their
true value. Observe one of those fellows, the in-
stant an educated gentleman appears in the circle
of which he is the attraction; how his eye will quail
and his voice sink, and he will endeavor to sneak
away before his true character is exposed. I need
scarcely advise my readers not to be misled by
such pretenders.
The property on which we had resolved to poach
was owned by Lord Fetherston. We knew that he
maintained but few keepers, and that those were
not very vigilant. He also, we believed, was away
from the country, so that we had no fears of being
detected.
I said that my father had few enemies. For
some reason or other, however, Lord Fetherston
was one. I did not know why, and this fact, Doolan,
who was well aware of it, took care to bring forward
in justification of the attack we purposed to make
on his property. I should have known that it was
no justification whatever; but when people want
reasons for committing a bad act, they are obliged
to make very bad ones serve their purpose.
Pat Doolan was my senior by three years. He
was the son of a man who was, nominally, a small
farmer, but in reality a smuggler, and the owner
of an illicit distillery; indeed, do not know what
other lawless avocations he carried on.
Very inferior, therefore, as he was in position in
life, though Pat Doolan was well supplied with
money, he considered it of consequence to be inti-
mate with me, and to gain an ascendency over my
mind, which he might turn to account some time
or other. He kept me sitting on the heather and


16





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 17

listening to his good stories and laughing at them
for upwards of two hours, till he felt sure that Ay
good resolutions would not come back. During this
time he produced some bread and meat and whiskey,
of which latter he made me drink no small quantity,
and he then accompanied me towards my home in
sight of which he left me, with a promise to meet
him on the same spot at daybreak on the following
morning.
Even that very evening, as I sat with a book in
my hand pretending to read, in the room the family
occupied, and listened to the cheerful voices of my
light-hearted innocent sisters, I began to repent of
my engagement to Doolan; but the fear of his
laughing at me, and talking again about my sisters'
petticoats, made me resolve to adhere to it.



CHAPTER II.
Why I went to sea.-I suffer in consequence of acting upon the
Advice of an Evil Counsellor.-I visit Lord Fetherston's
Property, and find that it is easier to make a False Step than
to retrace it.
THAT night was far from a happy one ; for I
knew all the time that I was doing what was very
wrong. I waited till I thought that my father
and all the household were asleep; and then, with
the sensations I should think a thief experiences
when about to commit a robbery, I crept along the
dark passage towards his dressing-room. I trem-
bled very much, for I was afraid that something
would awake him, and that he would discover what
I was about. I was aware that he would learn
what I had done the first thing in the morning;
2





PETER THE WHALER,


but then I should be far off, enjoying my sport,
and I thought not of the consequences. I felt my
way along the passage, for it was quite dark. I
heard a noise-I trembled more and more-I ex-
pected every instant to be discovered, and I should
have retreated to my room, but that the thought
of Pat Doolan's laughter and sneers urged me on.
I held my breath while I stopped to listen. There
was again a dead silence, and I once more advanced.
Presently something brushed against me. I was
almost driven to cry out through terror, though I
believe it was only the cat, whom I had disturbed
from her slumbers on a rug at the door of the room
occupied by my sisters. I was, I may say, con-
stitutionally brave, almost to fool-hardiness, and
yet on this occasion I felt the veriest coward in
existence. Again I went on-the door of the
dressing-room was ajar-I was afraid to push it
lest it should creak on its hinges-I moved it a
little slowly, and crept in. The moonlight was
streaming through an opening in the upper part of
the shutter on the coveted weapon. I grasped it
eagerly, and slinging the shot-belt and powder-horn,
which was by it, over my shoulder, I silently beat
my retreat.
Now that I had won my prize I felt much bolder,
and without accident I reached my room. Sleep
I could not; so carefully closing the door, I spent
the remainder of the night in cleaning my gun and
getting ready for my excursion. I got out of the
house without being perceived, and closing the door
behind me, even before the time agreed on, I
reached the spot where I was to meet Doolan. A
hoar frost.lay on the grass-the air was pure and
bracing-my gun was in my hand and plenty of
powder and shot in my belt, and this with the ex-
ercise and excitement enabled me to cast away all


18





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 19


regrets for my conduct, and all fear for the re-
suit.
I anxiously watched for my companion as I
walked up and down the road to keep myself warm,
till at last I began to fancy that some accident
must have happened to prevent his coming. It
never occurred to me that he could play me false.
I had not learned to be suspicious of any one. At
last I saw him trudging across a field towards me,
and whistling as he came.
I could not have whistled if I had tried; but
then, bad as he was, he was not, like me, disobey-
ing a kind parent. When I remember the sort of
person Doolan was, for his appearance was coarse
and vulgar in the extreme, I wonder he could have
gained such an influence over me. I believe that
it was the boastful way in which he talked made me
fancy him so important. I was very innocent and
confiding in spite of the bad company into which I
had fallen; and I used to believe all the accounts
he gave me of his own adventures, and those of his
own particular friends. I have, fortunately, sel-
dom met a man who could tell a falsehood with
such a bold, unblushing front. I had a great hor-
ror of a falsehood, notwithstanding my numerous
faults: I despised it as a mean cowardly way of
getting out of a difficulty, or of gaining some sup-
posed advantage. I did not believe that a person
older than myself could possibly be guilty of tell-
ing one. I fancied that only very little miserable
children, or mean, contemptible people, told stories;
and I, therefore, could not fancy that such a per-
son as Doolan would even condescend to say what
was not true. I honestly say, that r Always ad-
hered to the truth myself; and to this'circumstance
I ascribe my not having irretrievably sufdkjo
the grade of society to which my too frequent





PETER THE WHALER,


companions belonged. I have mentioned Doolan,
whose faults I would rather have forgotten ; but I
naturally wish to excuse myself as much as I can,
and to account for the influence he had gained over
me-an influence he never would have obtained,
had I known him to be what I now know he was.
It would, indeed, be happy for the young if they
always could learn the true characters of their com-
panions; and it is in this point that the advice of
their older friends is so valuable. They, by their
experience of others, are generally able to judge
pretty correctly of persons, and often discern very
dangerous qualities, which young people cannot
perceive. Therefore, I say to my young friends-
Avoid the acquaintance of those against whom your
relations, or those who take an interest in your
welfare, warn you; although you may think them,
in your blindness, very fine fellows, or even per-
fect heroes. I wish that I, Peter-your friend, if
you will so let me call myself-had thus followed
the oft-repeated warnings of my kind father, and
kept clear of Pat Doolan.
Doolan's loud cheer, as we met, raised my spirits
still more, and away we trudged gaily enough to-
wards the scene of our intended sport. He laughed
and talked incessantly without giving me a mo-
ment for thought, so that when we reached the
ground, I was ready for anything. A hare crossed
my path. It belonged, I knew, to Lord Fetherston.
I fired, knocked it over, and bagged it; and while
Doolan was applauding me,.a pheasant was put up,
and in like manner transferred to my game bag.
Never before had we enjoyed such capital sport,
till weary with our exercise we sat down to par-
take of the provisions, not forgetting a whiskey
bottle, which my companion had brought with him.
WhIle we were eating, he amused me with an ac-


20





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 21

count of an intended run of smuggled goods, which
was to be made on the coast two nights thence;
and, without much difficulty, I agreed to join the
party who were to assist in landing the things and
in carrying them up the country to the places
where they were to be concealed.
On these occasions, conflicts between the coast-
guard officers and the smugglers often take place,
and lives are frequently lost. This I well knew,
though, perhaps, I did not think about it. I was
pleased with the idea of the danger, and flattered
by having so much confidence placed in me. I
thought it was a very manly thing to assist the
smugglers, while Doolan all the time wished to
implicate me, to be able, should we be discovered, to
shield himself by means of me. After breakfast
we resumed our sport. Our game bags were full
and very heavy, and even we were content. My
companion at last proposed to return home.
" Home," I remarked unconsciously. How can
I return home ? How can I face my father after
having thus disobeyed him ?" I thought. This
feeling had not before occurred to me. I already
repented what I had done. "I can't go home now,
said I to Doolan aloud.
"Why not ?" said he; you've a mighty fine
faste to place before your dad: and, faith, if he's a
sinsible man, he'll ax no questions how you came
by it." Such were my companion's notions of mo-
rality; and in this instance he spoke what he
thought was the truth, for he had been taught no
better, and he knew that thus his own father would
have acted.
It won't do; I cannot look my father i the
face and must go to your house now and I o ij
creep home at night, when there's ino one to se&
me."





PETER THE WHALER,


... Well, Pater, you must do as you like," he said,
4V,'aughing; "you're mighty welcome to come to our
house and to stay there as long as you plase; at the
same time that I see no reason at all, at all, why
your dad shouldn't be glad to see such an illigant
stock of game for his dinner."
"I know my father better than you do, Pat,"
said I; for the first time in my life asserting a
little determination with him. Home I will not
go this day."
So it was settled; and we were bending our
steps in the direction of Doolan's house through
Lord Fetherston's property, when another pheasant
got up before me. My gun was loaded, and I
c6uld not resist the temptation to fire. The bird
fell, and I was running forward to pick it up, when
three persons appeared suddenly from a path
through a copse close to me. Doolan, who was a
little in advance, ran off as fast as his legs could
carry him, throwing away his game bag in his
fright, and leaving me to take care of myself as
I best could. Two of the strangers, whom I
guessed to be keepers by their dress, indeed one
I knew by sight, rushed forward and seized me
roughly by the collar.
What are you doing here, you young scamp ?"
exclaimed one of them. "Killing our lord's game,
and caught in the fact," he added, picking up the
still fluttering bird. Come along, and we'll see
what he has to say to you."
The other immediately made chase after my
companion; but Doolan ran very fast and was in
ood wind, which the keeper was not, so that the
former soon distanced him. The keeper gave up
the chase, calculating that having caught one of
us, he should be able to lay hands on the other
whenever he chose.


22





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 28

On his return, with many a cuff he dragged me
along towards the third person I spoke of, and
whom I at once recognized as Lord Fetherston
himself. He did not remember me ; but the keepers
did, I suspect, from the first.
"What is your name, youngster?" said his lord-
ship in a severe tone.
I told him, with the shame I felt strongly de-
picted on my countenance.
"I am sorry to hear it," he replied. "And that
of your companion ?"
Pat Doolan, my lord." I said this with no
vindictive feeling, or with any idea of excusing
myself; but I was asked a question, and without
considering what might be the result, I answer-
ed it.
"A pretty companion for the son of the vicar of
Take away his gun, O'Rourke," he said
to the keeper. And the game, to that he has no
right. And, now, young gentleman, I shall see
your father on this matter shortly. If he chooses
to let his son commit depredations on my property,
he must take the consequences."
I came out without my father's knowledge, and
he is in no way to blame," I answered quickly; for
I could not bear to have any reflection cast on my
father through my fault.
Lord Fetherston looked at me attentively, and I
think I heard him muttering something like He
is a brave lad, and must be rescued from such com-
panionship;" but I am not quite certain.
Well, sir, you, at all events, must not escape
punishment," he replied loud; for the present I
leave you in the custody of my keepers. You see .
the condition to which you have redu W9purself."
He then gave some orders to one of 'keepers
which I did not hear; and, without fthr notic-





PETER THE WHALERS


ing me, he walked on, while they led me away to-
wards Fetherston Abbey, his lordship's residence.
I need scarcely say, that my feelings were very
wretched, and full of shame; and yet, perhaps, I
would rather it should thus have happened, than
that I should have been compelled to go back to
my father. It was, perhaps, somewhat of a conso-
lation to feel that I was being justly punished, and
yet not by my father's hand. I don't know that
I thought this at the time, but I know that I did
afterwards. And, then, when days had passed,
and many other events had occurred, I felt very
grateful that Providence had thus disposed of me,
and had preserved me from a fate, which, in all
human probability, would have been mine, had I
this time escaped with impunity.
Lord Fetherston was a magistrate, and conse-
quently, in the abbey there was a strong room. in
which, on occasion, prisoners were locked up before
they were carried off to gaol. Into this room I was
led, and, with a heavy heart, I heard the key turned
in the lock, and found myself alone. If I had wished
to escape I could not; and there were no books, or
other means of amusement, so that I was left to
my own reflections. A servant, who would not an-
swer any questions, brought me in some dinner,
which I could scarcely taste; and at night, a small
bed, ready-made, was brought in, and I was again
left to myself. Two days thus passed away; my
obstinate spirit was completely broken, and I must
say, that I truly had repented of all my folly and
idleness. On the third day the door opened, and
my father appeared. He looked very sad, but not
angry. He took a chair and sat down, while I
stood before him. For more than a minute he could
not speak.
"Peter," he at length said, "I do not come to


24





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 25

reproach you; the grief I and your mother feel,
and what you will have to endure henceforth, will
be, I trust, sufficient punishment. We must part
with you, my son-we have no choice. You must
go to foreign lands, and there retrieve your name,
and, I trust, improve and strengthen your charac-
ter. You have placed yourself and me in Lord
Fetherston's power. He insists on it, that you
shall forthwith be sent to sea; and, on that condi-
tion, he promises to overlook all that has occurred.
He did not even speak harshly of you; and I am
fain to believe that what he has decided is for the
best. At my earnest solicitation, he consented that
you should take only a short voyage first to North
America, provided that you sail without delay.
Accordingly, I have agreed to set off to-morrow
with you for Liverpool, whence many ships sail for
that part of the world; and, I dare say, that I shall
find some captain to take charge of you. Do you
consent to abide by this arrangement ?"
"I think Lord Fetherston is right," I replied;
"the life of a sailor, if what I know of it is correct
(little in truth did I know of it), will just suit me;
and though I regret to go as I am going, and grieve
to wound my mother's heart, yet I consider that I
am very leniently dealt with, and will gladly accept
the conditions." So it was settled; and my father
led me out of my prison. Lord Fetherston met us
as we left the mansion.
"My son gratefully accepts your conditions, my
lord," said my father, coloring; his pride, I fear,
was humbled to the dust (alas! through nie) when
he said so. I shall fulfil to the letter your lord-
ship's commands."
I am glad to hear it, Mr. Lefroy; depend on it,
you act wisely," said Lord Fetherston. And I
trust that we part without malice, young man," ad-
3c





PETER THE WHALER,


dressing me, You have my well-wishes, I can as-
sure you." He held out his hand, and I shook it,
I believe gratefully, though I said nothing; and,
without another word, I jumped into the car which
had brought my father; and we drove home.
There was much grief and sorrow when we got
there, and many a tear in the eyes of my mother
and my sweet, ever kind sisters, as they packed
up my little kit; but not a word of reproach. Thus
passed the last day for many a long year that I
spent at home.
Let me tell those who wish to quit their homes,
to go roaming round the world in search of what
they know not, that though they chance to bring
back ship-loads of riches, they will find no jewels
comparable in price to a mother's fond love, a
father's protecting affection, the sweet forbearing
regard of tender sisters, a brother's hearty inter-
est, or the calm tranquillity of the family roof.
I write for the large and happy majority of my
readers; some few are less fortunate, and they in
truth deserve the sympathy of the rest. Cherish,
I say, while you can, the affections of your home;
and depend on it, when far away, the recollection
alone will be like a refreshing spot, in the weary
desert through which your path in life may lead
you: for, be assured, that there is no place like
home.


26





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 27


CHAPTER III.

I visit Liverpool, and gain some insight into the Ways of the
World.-Am introduced to the Master of the Black Swan.
I REMEMBER very little of my journey to Dub-
lin, except that it was performed on the top of the
mail. My father went outside also, which was not
his usual custom; but he did not like to expose me
to the inclemency of the weather while he was com-
fortably ensconced within (another proof of his love),
and he could not spare money to pay for my fare
inside.
We saw my eldest brother for an instant, just for
me to wish him good-bye; and the same afternoon
we went on board a steamer bound for Liverpool.
She was very different to the superb vessels
which now run twice a day from one place to the
other, making the two capitals, for all intents and
purposes, not so far off as London and Winchester
were not a hundred years ago. She was in every
respect inferior; but I thought her, as she was in-
deed, a very wonderful vessel. I was never tired
of examining her machinery, and in wandering
through every part of her.
I had never before been on board a steamer;
and as I was naturally of an inquiring disposition,
I had numberless questions to ask, to learn how it
was the steam made the engines work, and the
engines made the large paddle-wheels go round.
This occupation prevented me from thinking of
what had occurred, and kept me in good spirits.
Arrived at Liverpool, we went to an inn, and my
father immediately set out with me to inquire





PETER THE WHALER,


among the ship-brokers what ships were sailing
for British North America.
You shall go to an English colony, Peter," said
my father. Wherever you wander, my son, re-
member you are a Briton, and cease not to love
your native land."
Liverpool was then, I thought, a very fine city.
I was particularly struck by the fine public build-
ings; the broad streets, full of richly-stocked
shops; and more than all, by the docks, crowded
with shipping. Since then, several of the streets
have been widened, the docks have been increased,
and many fine buildings have been added; and as
the wealth of Liverpool continues to increase, many
more will be added, till it vies with some of the
proudest cities in the world. Such is the result of
commerce when guided by a wise and liberal
policy.
Had my father known more of the world, I am
inclined to think that he would have waited till he
could procure an introduction to some respectable
ship-owner, who would have selected a good honest
captain with whom to place me. Instead of so doing,
he walked into several offices by chance, over which
he saw written Shipping Agent and Broker."
Some had no ships going to the British North
American ports ; others did not know of any cap-
tains who would take charge of a raw youngster
like me. One said, if I liked to go to the coast of
Africa he could accommodate me; but that he could
not say that I might not have to spend two or three
months up some of the rivers, waiting for a return
cargo of ivory and gold dust. Another said he could
secure me a trip to China if I would pay a pre-
mium; and three others offered me cruises to the
West Indies and North America. The fact was,
that the navigation of the mighty river St. Law-


28





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 29

rence was scarcely open, and consequently few ships
were ready to sail for Quebec. At last, a broker
into whose office we entered, informed us that he
was agent for one of the first emigrant ships which
would sail that year; that her captain was a very
superior man, a great friend of his, and that he
doubted not for a small premium he would take
charge of me. Mr. John Cruden, our new friend,
insurance broker and general shipping-agent, was
a very polite man and extremely soft-spoken; but
he was of an extremely inquisitive disposition, I
thought, for he asked my father numberless ques-
tions about himself and me, to all of which he re-
turned the short monosyllable, Hum," which did
not inform us whether he was satisfied or not. I
found all the time that he was merely trying to dis-
cover what amount of premium my father was likely
to be able to pay, that he might ask accordingly.
The office, in which we stood, was very small for
the large amount of business Mr. Cruden inform-
ed us he transacted in it, and very dark; and so
dirty that I thought it could never have been clean-
ed out since he commenced his avocations there.
There were sea-chests, and cases, and small casks
of all sorts piled up in all the odd corners. There
were also coils of rope, and bottles, and rusty iron
implements, the form of which I could not discern
and bundles of old clothes and canvas bags, andi
compass boxes in and about the cases, and hangia'
from the ceiling, while a tarry, fishy, strong shily
odor pervaded the room. I was particularly struck
with the model of a ship fully rigged on a shelf
over the mantle-piece; but she also was as much
covered with dust as the ship, in which the ancient
mariner went to sea, would have been, after he had
shot the albatross, could any dust have reached





80 PETER THE WHALER,

her. I observed all these things while our new q
friend was talking to my father.
"You will doubtless like to make the acquaint- 2
ance of Captain Elihu Swales, Mr. Lefroy," said
Mr. Cruden. "I expect him here every instant,
and I shall then have the pleasure of introducing
him to you, and we can arrange matters forthwith.
You will find him, sir, a very amiable, excellent
man-indeed you will, sir-a very proper guardian
for a young man."
Whether this description was correct or not I
had then no means of judging. The subject of
this eulogium appeared, while it was being uttered:
indeed, I suspect he heard a portion of it; for sud-
denly turning my head, after growing weary of
looking at the dusty ship, I saw a man, whom I in-
stinctively suspected to be the captain, standing
outside the little paddock, in which we were en-
closed, called by Mr. Cruden his counting-house,
with a very peculiar smile on his countenance.
Had I not turned, I think he would have burst
forth outright into laughter. I must remark, that
my father's back was towards him, and that Mr.
Cruden, unless he was very near-sighted, could
scarcely have helped seeing when he came in.
Ah, there is at last my excellent friend," ob-
served the agent when he perceived that I had dis-
covered the captain. Mr. Lefroy, allow me to in-
troduce Captain Swales to you. Captain Swales,
this gentleman has a son, whom he wishes to send
to sea. You will take charge of the lad. You will
be a second father to him. I can depend on you.
Say the word, and all parties will come to terms."
Day, sir," said Captain Swales, making as if
he would take off his hat, which he did not. He
was a very respectable man, as far as dress went
-that is to say, he was clothed in a suit of black





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 81

cloth, with a black silk handkerchief, nothing very
remarkable certainly; most masters and mates of
merchantmen wear such on shore. His figure was
short and square, there was nothing rounded about
him: his features were all angular, and though
there was a good deal of him, it was all bone and
sinew. His countenance was brown, with a deep
tinge of red superadded; and as for his features,
they were so battered and seamed with winds and
weather, that it was difficult to discern their ex-
pression. I remember, however, that the first
glance I caught of his eye as it looked inquiringly
towards Mr. Cruden, I did not like, even though at
the time he was smiling.
You wish to send your son to sea, sir," he con-
tinued to my father. As Mr. Cruden says, I'll
look after him as if he was my own boy, sir. I'll
keep him from mischief, sir. Lads always get into
mischief if they can, but with me, sir, they can't-
I don't let 'em. I look after them, sir; and when
they knows my eye is on them, they behaves them-
selves. That's my principle, sir; and now you
know me." 1
He said this in an off-hand, bluff, hearty wa-
which made my father fully believe that he had
fallen in with a prize; indeed, that he was su-
premely fortunate in having secured so kind a pro-
tector for me. It was finally arranged, that he
was to pay Captain Elihu Swales the sum of fifteen
pounds; in consideration of which, in additioli'to
any service I could be of, I was to mess at his
table, and to learn what I could of a seaman's duty,
till the ship returned to Liverpool.
"The Black Swan," the name of Captain Elihu
Swales' ship, would not be ready for sea for s6me
days, he informed my father; and till she was so,
as he was compelled to return home immediately,





PETER THE WHALER,


Mr. Cruden kindly undertook to board and lodge
at the rate of twelve shillings a week. I was to go
on board "The Black Swan," every day, to see if I
was wanted; and I was to return to Mr. Cruden's
in the afternoon, or when I was not wanted. My
father considered this a very admirable arrange-
ment; and was perfectly confident that he had
done the best circumstances would allow, and that
he had left me in safe and honorable hands.
On our way to our inn, we met one of the brok-
ers to whom we had spoken in the morning. He
asked if we had found what we wanted. 0 yes,"
replied my father, "an excellent man, Captain
Swales, a friend of Mr. Cruden's-very superior
-very superior indeed." The broker I thought
looked odd at this, and was at first apparently
going to speak; but on second thoughts he seemed
to consider that it was no business of his, and he
passed on with a cold 0 really-good day, sir."
It was afterwards only, perhaps, that his manner
struck me; at the time I supposed that it was
usual to him.
We spent most of the afternoon in purchasing a
sea-chest, and an outfit for me, according to a list
furnished by Mr. Cruden, to whose office my traps
were transferred forthwith. We did not go down
to see The Black Swan," because Captain Swales
said she was a long way off, and was not fit to re-
ceive visitors, but that she would be in a few days.
He then remarked that she was one of the finest
and fastest craft out of Liverpool. Nothing could
beat The Black Swan,' when she had a mind to
put her best foot foremost." I was wondering whe-
ther ships really had feet. I afterwards found,
that this was a figurative way of expressing that
she sailed fast. These observations were made
when we returned with my chest to Mr. Cruden's,


32





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 33


where we again met my future captain; and when
the sum agreed on for my voyage was paid into
the hands of the first-named person, my father's
heart was softened towards me; and after he had
exhausted all the good advice he could think of, and
had given me several useful books, and many little
articles of his own property, he made me a pre-
sent of six pounds as pocket-money, and to pur-
chase anything I might wish to bring back from
America. He took his watch out of his fob, and
would have given me that also, but I persuaded him
to keep it, assuring him that I did not require it,
and that I should certainly break it, or lose it
overboard, as would have been the case probably
the first time I went aloft.
The next morning my poor father returned by
the steamer to Dublin. He felt very much, I am
sure, at parting from me, more than he would have
done under other circumstances, though by a con-
siderable effort he mastered himself, so as not pub-
licly to betray his emotions. He was gone; and I
was left alone in the big world to look after my-
self, with little more experience of its ways than
a child


CHAPTER IV.
I go on board The Black Swan," and offer to make myself
useful; but my Services are not appreciated.-I meet Silas
Flint, and make the Acquaintance of some British Emigrants.
-I discover that there are others worse off than myself.
WHEN my father was gone, I went back to Mr,
Cruden's office, and asked him to tell me where I
could find his house, at which, I understood, I was
to lodge.
? y





PETER THE WHALER,


He looked up from the book in which he was
writing with an air of surprise, and replied, You
are mistaken, my lad, if you suppose that I am
about to introduce into the bosom of my family one
of whom I know nothing. Your father is a very
respectable man, I dare say. And you may be a
very estimable youth, for what I know; but it is
generally a different sort who are sent to sea as
you are being sent; and therefore it is just possi-
ble you may be a wild young scamp, whose face his
friends may never wish to behold again-hark you."
I blushed as he said this, and looked confused;
for my conscience told me that he spoke the truth.
Ah! I guessed I was right," he continued.
"Now to answer your question. While you remain
on shore, which won't be for long, you may swing
your hammock in the loft over this office; and for
cooking, you won't require much of that. This will
break you in by degrees for the life you've to lead,
and will do you good, my lad; so I hope you will be
grateful."
From the determined manner he had about him
I supposed that all was right; and had it been
otherwise, my spirits at that time were too low to
allow me to remonstrate. I asked him next if I
could go on board the Black Swan," to make my-
self useful.
He gave a peculiar smile, the meaning of which
I did not comprehend at the time, as he replied,
" By all means. You will probably find Captain
Swales on board-at all events his first mate-and
you may offer your valuable services to them.
When they have done with you, you may come
back here. By keeping along the quays, to the
right, you cannot miss the ship if you ask for her.'
I had scarcely fancied that there were so many
ships in the world as I saw crowded together in the


34





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 35

Liverpool docks, as I passed through them for the
first time in my life. It gave me a great notion of
the wealth and commerce of the place. And these
will all be gone in a few weeks," I thought; scat-
tered far and wide to all parts of the world, and
their places will be filled by others now on their
homeward voyage, which will have again to make
way for a totally fresh set." I inquired for the
" Black Swan," of the seamen and porters loitering
about the quays ; but I did not get very satisfac-
tory answers. Some told me that she was drunk
last night, and had not got up yet. Others said
she had sailed yesterday, for they had seen her
dropping down with the tide. The boatmen invari-
ably wanted me to take a boat to look for her, as the
only chance I had of finding her; but I saw that
they were trying to impose on me, and passed on.
At last, when I had got very near to the west end
of the docks, I asked a man whom I saw standing
in a meditative mood, with his hands in his pockets,
if he would tell me where the Black Swan was
to be found.
Why, I calculate, if you look right before your
nose, young one, you'll see her as big as life," he
answered, pointing to a large ship lying along the
quay, on board which a number of men were em-
ployed about the rigging; while others, with a
peculiar song, were hoisting in the cargo. I found
that the first were riggers, and that the others were
dock-porters, and that neither belonged to the ship:
the regular crew, with the exception of two mates
and the cook, not being engaged till just before the
ship was ready for sea.
I must notice here the very bad system which
has long prevailed with regard to merchant sea-
men. The moment a ship arrives in harbor, the
crew are paid their wages and discharged. On this





86 PETER THE WHALER,

they are immediately set upon by harpies of every
description. I do them no wrong when I say that
they are the very worst of the human race: the
fiercest savages have some virtues-these wretches
have none.
The poor seamen are cajoled by them with every
artful device; nor do the miscreants cease, till
they have plundered them of all their hard-earned
gold. Not content with this, these crimps, for
such is the name by which the persons are known,
encourage the seamen to get into their debt, chiefly
for liquor; and they then go to the masters of
merchantmen looking out for crews, and make any
arrangements they please. Part of the seamen's
wages are paid in advance, and this goes into the
pockets of the crimps. I have known men put on
board in a state of brutal intoxication, without
knowing who were their officers, or where they
were going to. Thus the men were kept in a state
of slavery, without self-respect, or a chance of im-
provement.
I speak of the system as it was till lately. I
trust that a better state of affairs is now being in-
troduced; at the same time, as there is a tendency
in most things to let abuses creep in, I must en-
treat you, my young friends, in your several capa-
cities when you grow up, not to forget the interests
of our brave seamen. On those seamen depend
greatly the prosperity of your country; and, whether
as legislators, or as private gentlemen, I tell you it
is your duty to inquire into their condition, and to
endeavor to improve it by every means in your
power.
But to return to the Black Swan," and the man
who had pointed her out to me. There was some-
thing I remarked very peculiar about the said man,
so I will speak of him first. He wore a straw hat





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 37

with a very broad brim, a nankeen jacket, though
the weather was still cold, Flushing trowsers which
did not near reach to his ankles, and a waistcoat of
fur-of beaver, I believe, or of wild cat. He had
a very long face, and lantern jaws. His nose was
in proportion, and it curled down in a way which
gave it a most facetious expression, while a very
bright small pair of eyes had also a sort of constant
laugh in them, though the rest of his features looked
as if they could never smile. His complexion had
a very leathery look; and his figure was tall and
lank in the extreme. I could not have said whether
he was an old or a young man by his appearance.
Well, there's the ship," he observed, seeing
that I was looking at him instead of going on
board-" Do you know me now? (with an emphasis
on the do) that's kind now to acknowledge an old
friend. We was raised together, I guess, only you
wasn't weaned till last summer, when the grass
was dried up."
I saw that he was laughing at me; but as I felt
that I had been rude in staring at him, and said I
begged his pardon, but that he made a mistake in
supposing we were acquainted, unless he had visited
the south of Ireland, seeing that I had never been
out of that part of the country before. This seemed
to amuse him mightily, for he gave way to a quiet
and very peculiar laugh, which I heard as I passed
on towards the ship.
There was a plank placed from the quay to the
deck of the ship, and by means of it I stepped on
board the Black Swan." No one took any notice
of me, so that I had time to look about me. She
was a ship of some eight hundred tons burthen,
though she was advertised as of twelve hundred.
She had a raised poop aft, which I may describe as
an additional house above the deck, the doors of





PETER THE WHALER,


which opened on to the deck. There was a similar
raised place forward, called the topgallant forecastle.
Under the latter the seamen and mate lived, while
the captain and passengers inhabited the poop.
The space between the decks was open fore and
aft, and fitted up with standing bed-places. This
was for the abode of the poorer class of emigrants.
The hold, the remaining portion of the ship below
the main deck, was filled with cargo and provisions.
All this I discovered afterwards, for at first
everything appeared to my sight an inextricable
mass of confusion and disorder. After watching
for some time, I observed a man whom I concluded
was the first mate by the way he ordered the other
people about, and the air of authority which he as-
sumed; so at last I mustered courage to go up to
him.
"Please, sir," said I, in an unusually humble
tone, are you the first mate of this ship ?"
Well, if I am, and what then ?" was his no very
courteous answer.
"Why, it's settled that I'm to go in this ship to
learn to be a sailor, so I've come on board at once
to make myself useful," I replied.
He eyed me curiously from head to foot, as if I
was some strange animal, and then burst into a
loud laugh. You learn to be a sailor ?-you make
yourself useful ?-you chaw-bacon. Why the hay-
seed is still sticking in your hair, and the dust
aint off your shoes yet. What can you do now?" he
asked.
I confessed that I knew nothing about a ship,
except the machinery of a steamer, which I had
examined in my passage across from Dublin; but
that I would learn as fast as I could.
"And so you are a young gentleman, are you 7"
he continued, without attending to my observations.


38





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 39

"Sent to sea to learn manners: well, we'll soon
knock your gentility out of you, let me tell you.
Howsomdever, we don't want no help here, so be
off on shore again, and when you meet John Smith,
just ask him to take you a walk through the town,
and not to bring you back to make yourself useful
till the ship's ready for sea, d'ye hear, or you'll
wish you'd stayed away, that's all."
I must say, that even at that time, I thought
such a man was not fit to be placed in command of
others, and yet, I am sorry to say, that I met many
others no better fitted to act as officers. I did not
answer him, and though I did not understand what
he meant about John Smith, I comprehended enough
of his observations, to judge that it would be more
advantageous for me to keep out of his way; so I
walked along the plank again to the quay. There
was the man I have described, standing as com-
placently as ever. As smoking is not allowed in
the docks, for fear of fire, he was chewing.
And so, young 'un, you've done your business
on board; and what are you going to do next ?" he
asked, as he saw me sauntering along. I felt that
there was a kind tone in his voice, so I told him
that I had nothing to do, as the mate of the Black
Swan did not require my services.
One question led on to another, and he vey
soon wormed my whole history out of me. "And
your name is Peter Lefroy, is it? Then mine's
Silas Flint, at your service; and now, as neither
of us has anything to do, we'll go and help each
other ; so come along," saying this, he led the way
out of the dock.
I wondered who Mr. Silas Flint could be, and yet
I had no mistrust in him. From his manner, and
thfe tone of his voice, I thought he was honest, and
meant me no harm; and my heart, I must own,





PETER THE WHALER,


yearned for companionship. He did not leave me
long in doubt, for after I had told him everything
I had to tell about my previous life, he began to be
equally communicative about himself. You see,
Peter, I've secured my passage in the Black Swan;
so we shall be fellow-voyagers, and as I've taken a
sort of liking to you, I hope we shall be friends. I
come from 'Merica, over there, though I don't belong
to the parts she's going to; but you see I've got
some business at Quebec, and so I'm going there
first." I cannot pretend to give his peculiar and
quaint phraseology.
I soon learned that he was raised, as he called
it, in the Western States of America, that he had
spent much of his life as a hunter and trapper,
though he was a man of some little substance;
that having accidentally seen an advertisement in
the papers, stating that if the heirs of the late
Josiah Flint, of Barnet, in the county of Hereford-
shire, England, would apply to Messrs. Grub and
Gull, Fleece Court, Chancery Lane, London, they
would hear of something to their advantage; he,
believing himself to be a descendant of the said
Josiah, had come over to hear the welcome news.
He remarked, with his peculiar smile, that he had
heard a great deal which might be very advanta-
geous to him, and which might or might not be
true, but that he had got nothing-that he had es-
tablished his undoubted claim to be one of the heirs
of the said Josiah, but that he had fifty cousins,
who had turned up in all directions, and whom he
would never otherwise have had the happiness of
knowing. The gain in this case did not seem great,
as they none of them showed any cousinly affection,
but did their best to prove that he was an impos-
tor. Thus all his share of his grandfather's pro-
perty went in law expenses; and he was going


40





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 41

back to the land of his father's adoption, consider-
ably poorer than he came, and in no loving humor
with England and his English cousins.
Such is the brief outline Silas Flint gave me of
his history, as we strolled together through the
streets of Liverpool. If, however, I continue de-
scribing all the characters I met, and all the strange
things I saw, I shall never get on with my history.
Silas made a confession which much pleased me;
it was, that although he had lived many years in
the world, he still felt that he had much to learn,
and was constantly doing things he wished to undo
-the last was paying his money for his passage,
before he had made any inquiries about the ship.
He hinted that Mr. Cruden was not as honest as
he might be; that he suspected Captain Swales
was no better, and that the way the poor emigrants
who had come to Liverpool from all parts to go by
the ship were treated, was most shameful.
He told me that in the first place they were at-
tracted there by advertisements long before the
ship was ready for sea, partly that the ship-brok-
ers might make certain of having the ship filled,
and not a little for the benefit of the inns and lodg-
ing-house keepers. As soon as they arrived-
most of them absurdly ignorant of what was to be
done, and of the necessaries required for the voy-
age-they were pounced upon by a set of harpies
who misled them in every possible way, and fleeced
them without mercy. There existed, and I am
sorry to say exist to the present day, a regular
gang of these wretches-by profession lodging-
house keepers, ship-chandlers, outfitters and pro-
vision merchants. So notorious have they become,
that they now go by the name of the forty thieves,
for to that number amount the worthy fraternity.
Silas Flint took me round to a number of our
4





PETER THE WHALER,


intended fellow-voyagers, and we found them loud
in their complaints of the treatment they had re-
ceived, though, when he had discovered them, he
had been able to preserve them from much further
expense by describing the character of the country
to which they were going and the things they would
most require. Among them were a great many
of my countrymen; they were generally the most
forlorn and heart-broken, though they had indeed
little to leave behind; but then the slightest inci-
dent would make them forget their grief and clap
their hands with shouts of laughter.
The sorrow of the English was less loud; but it
took much more, I observed, to make them smile.
They were better dressed, and seemed to have
made more provision for the voyage. They had
also been proportionably more fleeced by the forty
thieves. When so many of our poor countrymen
are leaving our shores annually to lands where they
can procure work and food, we should have a far
better supervision and a more organized system of
emigration than now exists ; and again I say to my
young countrymen, when you grow up, make it
your business to inquire into the subject; inquire
with your own eyes, remember; do not trust to
what is told you, and if you do not find such a sys-
tem established, strive with heart and hand, and
weary not till you have established it; at all events,
correct the abuses which too probably by that time
will have sprung up. You will all have the power
of aiding that or any other good work; if you are
not in influential positions, if you have not wealth
at command, you, at least, have tongues to speak
with, pens to write with : so talk about it in private,
speak in public, write on the subject, and depend
on it, you will ultimately gain your object.
It was very late in the day when I returned to


42





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 43

the office. Mr. Cruden was about to go away. He
told me, that as I had chosen to be absent at the
dinner hour, I must be content with what I could
get, and he pointed to some musty bread and cheese
and a glass of sour, turbid-looking ale which stood
on the desk. I was, however, too hungry to refuse
it, so I eat it as soon as he was gone. An old por-
ter had charge of the premises, and he now beck-
oned me to follow him to a sort of loft or lumber
room over the office, where he had slung a ham-
mock which, he told me, I might sleep in or I
might, if I liked, sleep on the bare boards outside.
" The hammock's more comfortable than it looks,
young un, so I'd advise you to try it," he remarked,
and I found his remark true. As I was very tired,
I was glad to turn in early and forget my sorrows
in sleep. The next day I fared no better than the
first, and all the time I boarded with Mr. Cruden
the only variation in my food from bread and cheese
was hard biscuits and very doubtful-looking pork
and beef. When I told Silas Flint of the treat-
ment I had received, he shrugged his shoulders.
Can you mend it ?" he asked.
I told him, that I could complain.
To whom ?" he said. You've no one to com-
plain to, no friend in the place. Now let me ad-
vise you to do as I do. When you can't cure a
thing grin and bear it; but if you see your way
out of a fix, then go tooth and nail at it, and don't
let anything stop you till you're clear. That's
my maxim, youngster; but there's no use kicking
against the pricks-it wears out one's shoes and
hurts the feet into the bargain. Now, soon after
I took my passage in this here Black Swan,' I
guessed I had made a mistake; but what would have
been the use of my going to law about it. I know-
ed better. I should only have sent my last dollar





PETER THE WHALER,


to look after the many which have gone to prove I
was first cousin to a set of people, who would all
rather have heard my father was drowned years ago
than have set eyes on me. I tell you, Peter, you
must grin and bear it, as you'll have to do many
things as you get through life."
I found that my friend practised what he preach-
ed; for so completely were his finances exhausted
by his law expenses, that he had to husband all
his resources to enable him to return home. In
board and lodging, he was worse off than I was; and,
as he said, he was accustomed to camp out at night,
to save the expense of a bed. He used to amuse
himself in the day by walking about to look out
for a snug place to sleep in at night, either in the
city or its neighborhood; and he seldom occupied
the same spot two nights running. He assured
me, and I believed him, that it was far pleasanter
than sleeping in the close atmosphere of a crowded
room; and it reminded him, faintly, of his beloved
prairies, on which he had spent the greater part
of his life. The chief portion of every day, for a
week before the ship was reported ready for sail-
ing, I passed with my new-found friend; and, as
may be supposed, I did not again offer my valuable
services to the mate of the Black Swan, nor was
any inquiry made after me by her worthy captain


44





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 45


CHAPTER V.

My first experience of a Sea Life.-The embarkation of Emi-
grants for North America.-The First Mate reminds me that I
offered to make myself useful.-Description of a North Ameri-
can Emigrant Ship.-We sail, and I go aloft for the first time.
-Dick Derrick's advice and instruction.
AT last I was informed by Mr. Cruden, that I
might transfer my chest and myself on board the
Black Swan. Accordingly, the old porter wheeled
the former down to the docks, while I walked by
its side. I gave the old porter a shilling for his
trouble; his eye brightened, and he blessed me,
and muttered something about wishing that I had
fallen into better hands; but he was afraid, appa-
rently, of saying more, and, casting another glance
at me, I suspect of commiseration, he tottered off
to his daily avocations. My chest, which was a
very small one, was stowed away by one of the sea-
men under a bunk in the forecastle. I thought
that I was to have a cabin under the poop, and to
mess with the captain; but when I made inquiries,
no one could give me any information, and the cap-
tain was nowhere to be seen. Everything on board
appeared in the wildest confusion; and, I must
own, that I got most unaccountably in everybody's
way, and, accordingly, got kicked out of it without
the slightest ceremony.
Silas had not arrived, so I could not go to him
for information. I, therefore, climbed up, out of
the way, 'to the boat, placed amidships, on the top
of the booms. Soon afterwards, the emigrants'





PETER THE WHALER,


bag and baggage began to arrive. I was amused
by observing the odd and mixed collection of things
the poor people brought with them, some of the
more bulky articles of which were not admitted on
board. The harpies were on the quays ready to
snap them up, giving little or nothing in return.
I thought that it was a great pity that there were
no means to enable these poor people to obtain bet-
ter information before they left home, to have saved
them the expense of dragging so much useless lumber
about with them. I pitied them, not because they
were going to another land where they would get
food and employment, but for their helpless igno-
rance, and the want of any one fit to lead or direct
them, as also for the treatment they were receiv-
ing at the hands of the countrymen they were leav-
ing forever.
Many of them resented bitterly the impositions
practised on them; and I saw some of them, with
significant gestures, take off their shoes and shake
the dust over the ship's side as they stepped on
board, while they gave vent to their feelings in
oaths not lowly muttered. Henceforth, instead of
friends and supporters, they were to be foes to
England and the English-aliens of the country
which should have cherished and protected them,
but did not. Such things were-such things are-
when will they cease to be ? What a strange mix-
ture of people there were, from all parts of the
United Kingdom-aged men and women; young
brides and their husbands; mothers with tribes of
children, some with their infants still unweaned;
talking many different dialects, weeping, laughing,
shrieking, and shouting. At last they got their
berths allotted to them; and they began to stow
away their provisions and baggage between decks.
Some kept going backwards and forwards from the


46





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 47

ship to the shore, and, no notice being given, many
of them were left behind when the ship hauled out
of dock, and had to come on board in boats at a con-
siderable expense, after being well frightened at
the thoughts that we had sailed without them.
We lay out in the stream for another whole day,
with the Blue Peter flying, to show that we were
ready for sea, and to summon any passengers who
might yet remain on shore. Silas Flint was one
of the last to come on board, before we left the
dock. He appeared following a porter, who wheeled
down his chest, containing all his property. He
did not even give me a look of recognition as he
passed me; but he at once plunged below with his
chest, and he afterwards studiously avoided coming
near me. This I thought odd and unkind, nor
could I comprehend the cause of this behavior.
I was sitting very disconsolate by myself among
the emigrants, and wondering when the captain
would come on board, and when I should begin to
learn to be a seaman, when I felt the no pleasing
sensation of a rope's end laid smartly across my
shoulders. I turned quickly round to resent the
indignity, when I encountered the stern glance of
the first mate, Mr. Stovin, fixed on me, while the
"colt" in his hand showed that he was the aggres-
sor. And so you are the youngster who wanted
to make himself useful, are you ?" he exclaimed in
a sneering voice.
"' I am," I replied, and I'll thank yotin future
not to take such liberties with my back."
He burst into a loud laugh. 0 my young
cock-a-hoop, you show fight, do you?" he exclaimed.
"Well, we'll see what you are made of before long."
I'm ready to do my duty when you show me
the way," I answered, in as calm a voice as I could
command; and I believe this reply, and the having





PETER THE WHALER,


kept my temper, gave him a more favorable opinion
of me than he was before inclined to form, and
somewhat softened his savage nature.
"A willing hand will have no want of masters,"
he observed. "And, mind, what I tell you to do,
you'll do as well as you can, and we shan't fall foul
of each other."
I will now describe the "Black Swan." She
measured nearly eight hundred tons, was ship-
rigged, and had been built many years. She carried
eighteen hands forward, with two cooks and a
steward, besides the captain, four mates, and a
doctor.
There were about four hundred and forty steerage
passengers, who, I may explain, are the poorer
class; and, I think, there were ten cabin passen-
gers, who berthed in the cabin, and messed with
the captain. The steerage passengers brought
their own provisions, but the captain was obliged
to provide them with water and biscuit, just to
keep life in them; indeed, without it many of them
would have died. It was, I felt, like severing the
last link which bound us to our native shores, when
the pilot left us at the mouth of the Mersey, and
with a fair wind we stood down the Irish Channel.
I cannot say that, before I quitted home, I had
any very definite idea of the life of a sailor; but I
had some notion that his chief occupation was sit-
ting with his messmates round a can of grog, and
singing songs about his sweetheart: the reality I
found was very different.
The first time I had any practical experience of
this was, when the pilot having left us, and the
wind having veered round to the north-east, the
captain ordered the ship to be kept away before it.
His eye happened to fall upon me for the first time,


48






HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 49

dressed in my sea toggery, and seated, with my
hands in my pockets, on the booms.
Hillo, Jim-what's-your-name-we'll have none
cf your idling ways here if you belong to this ship,
as I've a notion you do," he exclaimed. "Aloft
there with you then, and help furl the mizen top-
sail. Be smart about it, or I'll freshen your way
with a rope's-end, and we'll see if you give me an
answer."
By this last observation, I guessed that the
mate had told him of the answer I had given him,
and I felt that the wisest thing I could do, was to
obey him without making any reply. What, how-
ever, he meant by "furling the mizen top-sail" I
had not the slightest notion, but as I saw that he
pointed to the mizen-mast, and that several lads
and men were ascending the mizen-rigging, I fol-
lowed them. I was a good climber, so I had no fear
of going aloft; and while I was in the top, luckily
one of my new messmates who was already lying
out on the yard, exclaimed, l Hillo, Peter, lend us
a hand here, my lad." On hearing this, I imme-
diately threw myself on the yard, and following his
directions, I made a very fair furl of it. I got no
praise certainly for this, but I escaped blame; and
I saw by the way the other mizen-top men treated
me, that they considered me a smart lad, and no
flincher.
From that moment I was never idle. I followed
a piece of advice honest Dick Derrick gave me on
this occasion, "Never let go with one hand till
you've got a good gripe with the other; and if you
cannot hold on with your hands, make use of your
teeth and legs; and, mind, clutch fast till you've
picked out a soft spot to fall on." Dick Derrick
taught me to hand, furl, and steer, to knot and
splice, to make sinnet and spun-yarn, and the
5E





PETER THE WHALER,


various other parts of a seaman's business. I was
ambitious to learn; and I found the work when
taught'by him, both easy and pleasant.
I was placed in the second mate's watch, and had
to keep my watch regularly. In this I was fortu-
nate. William Bell was his name. He was a quiet,
gentlemanly young man, who always kept his tem-
per, however roughly spoken to by the captain. It
was through no want of spirit that he did not reply
to the abuse thrown at him, as I afterwards dis-
covered; but because it was the wisest and most
dignified course to pursue. As I said before, I ex-
pected to mess in the cabin, and to be a sort of
midshipman; but when I went up to the captain
and told him so, he laughed at me, and asked me
if I would show him any written agreement on the
subject, for that he knew nothing at all about it.
All that he could say was, that I was entered as a
ship's boy; that as such I must be berthed and
messed, and do duty. If I did not like it, he would
see what Mr. Stovin had to say to me. I saw that
there was no help for me; so following Silas Flint's
advice, I determined to grin and bear it.
We sighted Cape Clear, the south-westernmost
point of Ireland. I longed to be able to swim on
shore, and return home. I did not the less wish to
see the world, but I did not much like the company
with whom I was likely to see it: Mr. Stovin and
his rope's-ending were not agreeable companions.
From Cape Clear we took a fresh departure. A
ship is said to take her departure from a point,
the distance and the bearing of the point being as-
certained when her course is marked off from the
spot where she then is. At four P. M., Cape Clear
bore five miles north-east of us, or rather we were
five miles south-west of the Cape. This spot was
marked on the chart; and the distance run, and the


50





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 51

course by the compass, were each day afterwards
pricked off in like manner on the charts. The dis-
tance run is measured by the log, which is hove
every two hours.
The log is a small triangular piece of wood,
secured to the end of a long line, on which divi-
sions are marked, bearing the same proportion to a
mile which a half-minute bears to an hour. One
man holds a half-minute glass in his hand-ano-
ther a reel, on which the line is rolled-a third,
the mate, takes the log, and heaves it overboard,
drawing off the line with his left hand. Thus, as
the log remains stationary in the water, according
to the number of divisions or knots run off, while
the sand in the glass is running, will be shown the
number of miles the ship is going in the hour. In-
stead of miles, the word knots is used, evidently
from the knots marked on the line.
The mode I have thus briefly described of find-
ing the ship's course, is called "dead reckoning."
This, of course, is liable to errors; as careless
steering, the compasses being out of order, or a
current, may carry her far from her supposed posi-
tion-at the same time, when the sky is obscured,
it is the only mode of finding the way across the
ocean. It can be far more correctly ascertained
by observation of the sun, moon and stars, taken
with a sextant and a chronometer; but I shall be
led to give an epitome of the science of navigation,
if I attempt to explain the mode of using them.
In shallow waters, where the bottom has been
accurately surveyed, a clever pilot will find his way
with the lead. At the end of the lead a cavity is
made, which is filled with grease, and according to
the sort of mud, sand, or shells, which adhere to it,
he tells his position. This, and many other parts
of navigation, Mr. Bell, during our night-watches,





PETER THE WHALER,


took great pains to explain to me; but it was not
till I had been some time at sea that I comprehend-
ed them clearly.
Mr. Bell never spoke to me in the day time, for
if the captain saw him, he was certain to send me
to perform some kind of drudgery or other. I was
set to do all the dirty work in the ship, to black
down the rigging, to grease the masts, &c., &c.,
indeed, my hands were always in the tar bucket;
but it served the useful purpose of teaching me a
seaman's duty, and of accustoming me to work.
The captain and first mate's abusive language,
however, I could not stand; and my feelings re-
sented it even more than the blows they were con-
tinually dealing me.
I have said little about the emigrants. If my
lot was bad, theirs was much worse. They were
looked upon by the officers as so many sheep or
pigs, and treated with no more consideration.
Crowded together below, allowed to accumulate
filth and dirt of every description, their diet bad
and scanty, and never encouraged to take the air
on deck, disease soon broke out and spread among
them. Old and young, married and single of both
sexes, were mingled indiscriminately together, and
the scenes I witnessed when I was obliged to go
below, turned me sick with disgust, as they made
my heart bleed with sorrow.
The surgeon had little more knowledge of his
profession than I had, and had not the slightest
notion of what ought to be done to stop the ravages
of disease. He physicked indiscriminately, or bled
or starved his patients, without paying the slight-
est regard to their ailments. When they died, they
were thrown overboard with scant ceremony; but
the men had the greatest difficulty in tearing the
bodies of the Irish from their friends, or of chil-


52





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 53

dren from their wretched parents ; and it was heart-
rending to listen to the shrieks and howls of grief
as this was attempted to be done.
However, I do not wish to dwell on these scenes,
or to discourage emigration. I fully believe that by
thoroughly cleansing the ship, and by serving out
good provisions, disease might then have been ar-
rested. The object is to prevent the occurrence
of such disorders for the future, by the introduction
of a well-organised system. In spite of all ob-
stacles, emigration will go forward, but it depends
on every one of us, whether it will prove a curse or
a blessing to those who go forth, whether the emi-
grants are to be in future friends or deadly foes to
the country they quit.



CHAPTER VI.
Flint shows he has not forgotten me.-My first introduction to
Ice, of which I am destined to see much more.-A Founder-
ing Ship.
FOR ten days we had fine weather and light
winds, but a southerly gale sprung up, and drove
us to the northward, and I then found out what it
was to be at sea. Of course, I had to do duty, as
before, aloft; and following Derrick's advice was
of service, or, one night while furling topsails, and
when the ship was pitching tremendously, I should
certainly have been killed. On a sudden I found
myself jerked right off the yard ; but I fortunately
had hold of the gasket, which I was passing round
the mizen topsail, and by it hauled myself up again,
and finished the work. After the gale had lasted
a week, the wind came round from the northward,





PETER THE WHALER,


and bitter cold it was. We then stood on rather
further to the north than the usual track, I be-
lieve.
It was night and blowing fresh. The sky was
overcast, and there was no moon, so that darkness
was on the face of the deep-not total darkness it
must be understood, for that is seldom known at
sea. I was in the middle watch from midnight to
four o'clock, and had been on deck about half an
hour when the look-out forward sang out Ship a
head-starboard-hard a starboard !"
These words made the second mate, who had the
watch, jump into the weather rigging. A ship,"
he exclaimed. An iceberg it is rather, and-
All hands wear ship !" he shouted in a tone which
showed there was not a moment to lose.
The watch sprung to the braces and bowlines,
while the rest of the crew tumbled up from below,
and the Captain and other officers rushed out of
their cabins; the helm was kept up, and the yards
swung round, and the ship's head turned towards
the direction whence we had come. The Captain
glanced his eye round and then ordered the courses
to be brailed up, and the main topsail to be backed,
so as to lay the ship to. I soon discovered the
cause of these manoeuvres ; for before the ship had
quite wore round, I perceived close to us a tower-
ing mass with a refulgent appearance, which the
look-out man had taken for the white sails of a
ship, but which proved in reality to be a vast ice-
berg, and attached to it, and extending a consider-
able distance to leeward, was a field or very exten-
sive floe of ice, against which the ship would have
run, had it not been discovered in time, and would
in all probability instantly have gone down with
every one on board.
In consequence of the extreme darkness i# was


54





55


dangerous to sail either way; for it was impossible
to say what other floes or smaller cakes of ice
might be in the neighborhood, and we might pro-
bably be on them, before they could be seen. We,
therefore, remained hove to. As it was, I could
not see the floe till it was pointed out to me by
Derrick.
I was on deck with my eyes trying to pierce the
darkness to leeward, and fancying that I saw ano-
ther iceberg rising close to the ship, and that I
heard strange shrieks and cries, when I felt a hand
placed on my shoulder. Well, lad, what do you
think of it ?" said a voice which I recognized as
that of Silas Flint.
I would rather be in a latitude where icebergs
do not exist," I replied. But how is it, old friend,
you seemed to have forgotten me altogether since
we sailed," I added.
It is because I am your friend, lad, that I do
not pretend to be one," he answered in a low tone.
I guessed from the first the sort of chap you've
got for a skipper, and that you'd very likely want
my aid, so I kept aloof the better to be able to
afford it without being suspected, d'ye see. You
lead but a dog's life on board here, Peter, I'm
afraid."
It is bad enough, I own," I answered; but I
don't forget your advice to grin and bear what can't
be cured, and Mr. Bell and some of my messmates
seem inclined to be good-natured."
May be; but you, the son of a gentleman, and
for what I see a gentleman yourself, should be bet-
ter treated," he observed. "If I was you, I
wouldn't stand it a day longer than I could help."
"I would not, if I could help it, but I cannot
quit the ship," I answered
But you may when you get to Quebec," he re-





PETER THE WHALER,


marked. I wouldn't go back in her on any ac-
count for many a reason. There's ill-luck attends
her, trust to that." What the ill-luck was, my
friend did not say, nor how he had discovered it.
Flint spent the night on deck, and during it he
talked a good deal about America, and the inde-
pendent wild life he led in the back-woods and
prairies. The conversation made a considerable
impression on my mind, and I afterwards was con-
stantly asking myself why I should go back in the
"Black Swan ?"
When daylight broke the next morning, the dan-
gerous position in which the ship was placed was
seen. On every side of us appeared large floes of
ice, with several icebergs floating like mountains
on a plain among them; while the only opening
through which we could escape was a narrow pas-
sage to the north-east through which we must have
come. What made our position the more perilous
was, that the vast masses of ice were approaching
nearer and nearer to each other, so that we had not
a moment to lose, if we would effect our escape.
As the light increased, we saw, at the distance
of three miles to the westward, another ship in a
far worse predicament than we were, inasmuch that
she was completely surrounded by ice, though she
still floated in a sort of basin. The wind held to
the northward, so that we could stand clear out of
the passage, should it remain open long enough.
She by this time had discovered her own perilous
condition, as we perceived that she had hoisted a
signal of distress, and we heard the guns she was
firing to call our attention to her; but regard to
our own safety compelled us to disregard them till
we had ourselves got clear of the ice.
It was very dreadful to watch the stranger, and
to feel that we could render her no assistance. All


56





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 57

hands were at the braces, ready to trim the sails
should the wind head us; for, in that case, we
should have to beat out of the channel, which was
every instant growing narrower and narrower. The
captain stood at the weather gangway, conning the
ship. When he saw the ice closing in on us, he
ordered every stitch of canvass the ship could car-
ry to be set on her, in hopes of carrying her out
before this should occur. It was a chance, whe-
ther or not we should be nipped. However, I was
not so much occupied with our own danger as not
to keep an eye on the stranger, and to feel deep in-
terest in her fate.
I was in the mizen-top, and as I possessed a spy-
glass, I could see clearly all that occurred. The
water on which she floated was nearly smooth,
though covered with foam, caused by the masses of
ice as they approached each other. I looked; she
had but a few fathoms of water on either side of
her. As yet she floated unharmed. The peril was
great; but the direction of the ice might change,
and she might yet be free. Still, on it came with
terrific force; and I fancied that I could hear the
edges grinding and crushing together.
The ice closed on the ill-fated ship. She was
probably as totally unprepared to resist its pres-
sure as we were. At first I thought that it lifted
her bodily up, but it was not so, I suspect. She
was too deep in the water for that. Her sides were
crushed in-her stout timbers were rent into a thou-
sand fragments-her tall masts tottered and fell,
though still attached to the hull. For an instant
I concluded that the ice must have separated, or
perhaps the edges broke with the force of the con-
cussion; for, as I gazed, the wrecked mass of hull,
and spars, and canvass, seemed drawn suddenly
downwards with irresistible force, and a few frag-





PETER THE WHALER,


ments which had been hurled by the force of the
concussion to a distance, were all that remained of
the hapless vessel. Not a soul of her crew could
have had time to escape to the ice.
I looked anxiously; not a speck could be seen
stirring near the spot. Such, thought I, may be
the fate of the four hundred and forty human
beings on board this ship, ere many minutes are
over.
I believe that I was the only person on board
who witnessed the catastrophe. Most of the emi-
grants were below, and the few who were on deck
were with the crew watching our own progress.
Still narrower grew the passage. Some of the
parts we had passed through were already closed.
The wind, fortunately, held fair, and though it con-
tributed to drive the ice faster in on us, it yet fa-
vored our escape. The ship flew through the water
at a great rate, heeling over to her ports, but
though at times it seemed as if the masts would
go over the sides, still the captain held on. A
minute's delay might prove our destruction.
Every one held their breaths, as the width of the
passage decreased, though we had but a short dis-
tance more to make good before we should be free.
I must confess that all the time I did not myself
feel any sense of fear. I thought it was a danger
more to be apprehended for others than for myself.
At length a shout from the deck reached my ears,
and looking round, I saw that we were on the out-
side of the floe. We were just in time, for, the in-
stant after, the ice met, and the passage through
which we had come, was completely closed up. The
order was now given, to keep the helm up, and to
square away the yards, and with a flowing sheet
we ran down the edge of the ice for upwards of
three miles, before we were clear of it.


58





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 59

Only then did people begin to inquire what had
become of the ship we had lately seen. I gave my
account, but few expressed any great commiseration
for the fate of those who were lost. Our captain
had had enough of ice, so he steered a course to
get as fast as possible into more southern latitudes.
This, I may consider, the first adventure I met
with in my nautical career.


CHAPTER VII.
I claim my Rights, but do not get them acknowledged.-Am
treated as a Mutineer.-A Friend in Need.-I discover that
there are other things to be guarded against besides Rocks,
and Shoals, and Icebergs.-A Ship on fire.
I WAS every day improving my knowledge of
seamanship, though my schooling was, it may be
supposed, of the roughest kind.
The feelings Captain Elihu Swales exhibited
towards me did not grow more tender; but hith-
erto I had kept my temper, and had flown to obey
his orders without answering his abuse. At last,
however, one day when the ship was caught in a
heavy squall, we were somewhat slow in reefing the
mizen topsail, and as we descended on deck, he laid
a rope's end across the shoulders of several of us.
I could not stand this; for I and another of the
topmen, generally the smartest, had hurt our hands,
and ought not properly to have gone aloft at all.
"How dare you strike me, Captain Swales I" I ex-
claimed," I paid you a sum for my passage, as also
to learn seamanship, and not to be treated as a
slave."
It was the first time I had replied to him. Per-
haps speaking increased the anger I felt, perhaps





PETER THE WHALER,


it was that I saw his eye quail before mine; but be
that as it may, a handspike lay near, and almost
unconsciously I grasped it, and made as if I would
strike him in return.
"A mutiny," he exclaimed, with an oath.
A mutiny !--knock down the rascally muti-
neer."
"A mutiny !" repeated Mr. Stovin, the first
mate, and suiting the action to the word, he dealt
me a blow on the head with his fist which sent me
sprawling on the deck.
Several of the crew, as well as the emigrants,
who had seen what had occurred, cried out, Shame,
shame !" but they were afraid of interfering, so that
my enemies had it all their own way.
I was forthwith dragged forward by Stovin and
two or three of the men, who made up to him, and
lashed down to the foot of the bowsprit, where I
was most exposed to the spray, which flew over the
ship, and could be watched from every part. You'll
cool your temper and your heels there, my lad, till
I let you go," whispered my old enemy, in a tone
of voice which showed the vindictive triumph he felt.
For the whole of that day I was kept there,
watched by one of the mate's creatures, so that no
one with friendly feelings could come near me.
Some mouldy biscuits, and a piece of hard junk,
were brought to me long after the dinner hour, and
when I was almost too sick with hunger to eat.
When night drew on, I asked my guard if I was to
be released. Maybe not till the end of the voy-
age," was the satisfactory answer; "they hangs
mutineers."
Though I did not for a moment suppose such
would be my fate, I yet bitterly repented having,
by giving way to my temper, allowed my enemies
to get an advantage over me. The wind fell, and


60





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 61

there was less sea; but still the night was a very
dreary one to me, and besides other physical dis-
comforts, I was half-starved. There has been sel-
dom, however, a time when some ray of comfort has
not shone from above, or some human sympathy
has not been shown for my sufferings. It had just
gone two bells in the first watch, when I saw a
figure creeping cautiously upon the forecastle to
where I was sitting. "Hush," he whispered; and
I knew by the voice it was Silas Flint. You've
friends who'll help you when the time comes. I've
been watching an opportunity to bring you some-
thing more fit to eat than the horse-flesh and beans
I hear you've had. Eat it while you can." Saying
this, he put into my hand some potted meat and fine
biscuits, which I found very refreshing. I must ob-
serve, that my hands were only so far at liberty
that I could get them to my mouth, but I could not
move them to cast off my lashings.
The brutality to which I was subject is only a
specimen of what seamen are exposed to from igno-
rant and rude ship-masters. In my time, I have
seen much of such conduct; and though I have
known many excellent and superior men command-
ing merchantmen, I have met as many totally unfit
for the post. This state of things will continue till
higher qualifications are required from them-till
they are better educated-till their social position
is raised; also till the condition of the seamen
under them is improved, and till both parties may
feel that their interests are cared for and protected.
I do not mean to say that I thought thus at the
time. I felt only very angry, and a strong desire
to be in my berth.
After I had eaten the food I became very drowsy,
and should have gone to sleep, had I not continually
been roused up by the showers of spray which came
F





PETER THE WHALER,


flying over me, as the ship, close hauled, ploughed
her way through the waves. The nights were long
in reality, and I thought daylight would never
come. It was just at the end of the middle watch,
and, in spite of the wet and my uncomfortable posi-
tion, I had dropped off asleep, when I was aroused
by loud shrieks and cries, and a rush of people on
deck. The awful words, Fire fire! fire !" re-
sounded through the ship. Several in the first
paroxysm of alarm leaped overboard; and, no one
regarding them or attempting to rescue them, they
were drowned. I was a witness of their fate, but
could make no one attend to me. The watch below
and the officers were instantly on deck; but for
some time nothing was done, and the ship continued
her course in darkness over the deep.
Silence, fore and aft," shouted the captain who
believed that it was a false alarm. Those who
spread this report deserve to be hove overboard.
I'll take care to make inquiries about it-in the
morning. What frightens you all so ?"
"Fire! fire fire !" was the answer of others
rushing up from below.
For some minutes the shrieks and cries and con-
fusion prevented me from hearing anything more;
nor could the exertions of the officers serve to
maintain order. At last the captain, who had been
incredulous or pretended to be so, became convinced
that there was some cause for the alarm, and on
going round the lower deck a strong smell of fire
was perceived, and smoke was found to be issuing
from the fore-hatchway over the hold. No flames
were seen, so it was evident that the fire was
among the cargo in the lower hold. The hatchway
was accordingly opened, and immediately dense
volumes of smoke arose, and almost stifled me,
where I remained lashed.


62





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 63

When it was discovered that the fire was forward,
"he ship was hove to, thus, under the idea that as
re works to windward, to prevent its being driven
so rapidly aft, as it would otherwise have been.
Buckets were now cried for; and the crew and all
the emigrants whose fears had not mastered their
senses, were engaged in filling them with water
and in heaving it down below. A pump was also
rigged and manned which, with a hose attached to
it, played down the hatchway.
After some time this appeared to have effect;
and Mr. Bell who, quiet as he generally seemed,
was now the soul of everything, volunteered to go
down in order to discover the exact position of the
fire. Securing a rope round his body, while some
of the crew, on whom he could depend, held on, he
boldly threw himself into the midst of the smoke.
Not a quarter of a minute had passed before he
sung out to be hauled up again. When he reap-
peared he was insensible, and it was some time
before he recovered. They brought him up to the
forecastle close to me, and the first words I heard,
which he uttered, were: She's all on fire below,
and I doubt, if water will put it out."
This was very dreadful; and I began to consider
whether Iwas fated to be roasted and then drowned,
when I saw my friend Silas Flint creeping cautiously
up to me. Hillo, Peter, my lad, you seem to take
it coolly enough; but you shan't, if I can help it,
be roasted like a lark on a spit, so I've come to give
you a chance for your life. I did not come before,
not because I had forgotten you; but because I
knew, that wicked captain of ours was watching
me, and would have prevented me from setting you
at liberty if he could; however, he's enough else, I
guess, to think of just now."
"Thank you, Flint-thank you, for your kind-





PETER THE WHALER,


ness," I answered, as he was cutting the lanyards
which confined me. "Do you think there is any
danger, though?"
"The ship may burn till she's too hot to hold
us," he replied, laconically; and then it is not
easy to say where five hundred people are to find
standing-room. There is danger, Peter; but a
stout heart may face, and overcome it."
What do you propose to do ?" I asked.
"Get into a boat if I can; or else build a raft,
and float on that. I'll not go down, as long as I
can find something to keep me up."
Flint's calmness gave me courage; and after
that, notwithstanding the dreadful scenes I wit-
nessed, I did not feel any fear. As soon as I was
at liberty, I set to work with Flint to make myself
useful; and though I was close to Captain Swales
while we were working the pump, he did not observe
me. An event of the sort I am describing shows
people in their true colors. While some of the pas-
sengers threw off their jackets, and set to with a
will, several had cast themselves on the deck,
weeping and groaning among the women; and
Flint, and one of the mates, had actually to go and
kick them up before they would attempt to per-
form their duty.
It is difficult to describe the horrors of that
night, or, rather, morning, before the day broke-
the ship rolling and pitching on before a heavy
sea, whither she went no one considered, provided
she kept before the wind-the suffocating smoke
which rose from the depths of the hold-the cries
of despair heard on every side-the scenes of coward-
ly fear and intense selfishness which were exhibited.
Still we floated; but I expected every instant to
see the ship plunge head-foremost down in the
depths of the ocean; for I thought the fire must


64






HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 65

soon burn a hole through her planks. I was not
aware how long fire takes to burn downwards. One
of the greatest cowards of the crew, and a big bully
he was, happened to be at the helm when the fire
was first reported; and as soon as the captain and
mates went forward to attend to rigging the pumps,
his fears overcame him, and he dastardly deserted
his post.
Fortunately, one of the crew was aft, and went
to the helm and kept it up, or the ship would have
broached to, and, before she could have been put on
her course, the sea would have swept over our decks,
and the destruction of all would have been expedited.
At the same time, a number of the passengers made
a rush at the larboard-quarter boat, and, while
some got into her, others lowered her down, intend-
ing to follow. Going fast, as the ship was, through
the water, of course, she was immediately swamped,
and every soul in her perished. Three or four of
those who were about to follow, so great was their
eagerness, before they understood what had occurred,
leaped where they expected to find her, and met the
fate of the rest.
This was reported to the captain, who at once
set a guard over the other boats. Indeed, as yet,
there was no necessity for any one to quit the ship.
The boatswain, however, who had charge of the
boats, followed by the fellow who had quitted the
wheel, the cook, and one or two others, soon after-
wards collecting some provisions, sails, compasses,
tools, and other things they thought necessary,
deliberately lowered her, and, getting into her,
veered her astern, where they remained, careless
of what became of the rest of us. Such was the
state of things when the sun shone forth on the
ocean world.
The decks, covered with women and children and
6





66 PETER THE WHALER,

even many men lying prostrate, looked as if just
swept by the shots of an enemy. Such countenances
too of terror, agony, and despair, as were exhibited,
it is difficult to describe. Many had fainted, and
some had actually died through fear, and lay quiet
enough. Others rushed about the decks like mad-
men, impeding the exertions of the officers and
crew, and crying out that the ship should be steered
to the nearest land, and insisting on being set on
shore immediately. Had the captain been a man
of firmness and moral courage, to whom his officers
and crew had been accustomed to look up, much of
the disorder would have been prevented, and per-
haps the lives of all might have been saved; but
they knew him to be a bully and a coward, and the
first impulse of each was to think of his own indi-
vidual safety, as they knew he would do of his.
Thus not one quarter of the necessary exertions
were made to save the ship; indeed, Mr. Bell and
his watch were the only part of the crew who really
did any good.
Most of the cabin passengers, and some of the
second and steerage passengers of the English at
once came forward and offered their services to
work the pumps, and to hand down the water-
buckets. The poorer Irish, on the other hand,
would do nothing to help themselves; but sat
shrieking and bewailing their cruel fate till they
could shriek and cry no longer.






HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 67


CHAPTER VIII.
Consequences of the Want of Discipline.-Our Captain deserts
us.-Rafts are built, and many trust themselves on them.-
Courage and Coolness of our second Mate.
IT is my belief that, if proper measures had been
taken the moment the fire was discovered, it might
have been extinguished, and if not, its progress might
have been retarded. The ship had a large quanti-
ty of coals among her cargo, and there is no doubt,
it originated in it by spontaneous combustion.
Some said it had been smouldering away ever since
we left Liverpool. What would have been our sen-
sations had we known that we had a volcano on
board? When some of the passengers saw that
the object of our exertions was to fill the hold with
water, they began to cry out that the quickest way
would be to start the water-tanks on deck. The
captain, on hearing this, immediately exclaimed,
that if they did so, they would repent it, for with-
out water they could not live, and that this was
the only fresh water at which they would shortly
be able to get. On learning their mad design he
should instantly have placed some of the crew,
on whom he could depend, with arms in their hands
to guard the tanks, and with orders to cut down
any one who should attempt to touch the bungs.
Instead, he contented himself with pointing out the
folly of the proceeding.
His words were not heeded; and without any at-
tempt to prevent them, several of the madmen
started the water from the tanks. "Hurrah !" they
shouted as they performed this feat. The fire





PETER THE WHALER,


will now be put out and we shall be saved." The
hidden fire laughed at their puny efforts, and the
wreaths of smoke came forth as dense as ever.
A consultation among the officers was now held;
and it was their opinion, that we were in as good
a position as could be for being fallen in with by
ships crossing the Atlantic; and that, therefore,
we should continue as we were, hove to. We all
watched with deep anxiety the progressive increase
of the smouldering furnace below us. Fortunately
the flames did not begin to burst forth.
Dreadful as the day was, it passed more rapidly
than I could have expected. There was nothing to
mark the time; there were no regular meals, no
bells struck, no watches set. The captain, on see-
ing the want of effect produced by the water thrown
on the cargo, abandoned all hopes of saving the ship,
and thought only how he might best secure his own
safety. The stern-boat was, as I have said, tow-
ing astern. I now saw him go aft, and with the
aid of some of the people, to whom he had spoken
privately, he lowered down the starboard quarter
boat having first put into her compasses, provi-
sions, and water. The first mate, meantime, bail-
ed out the other quarter boat, and in like manner
provisioned and stored her. Three hands being
placed in each, they were veered astern. The
captain and mate knew that these men would not
desert them, because without their assistance they
would be unable to find their way to any port.
I took my spell at the pumps; and, on several
occasions, the captain passed me and gave me a
scowl, by which I knew that he recognized me, and
probably contemplated leaving me behind in the
burning ship ; at least, so I thought at the time,
and resolved to frustrate his kind intentions. The
captain next gave orders to the crew to hoist out


68






HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 69

the long-boat, as the sea had gone down sufficiently
to enable this to be done without risk. The long-
boat is stowed on the booms amidships and it re-
quires tackles to the yard-arms, and considerable
exertion, to launch her. It was the first time I
had ever observed Captain Swales and Mr. Stovin
really energetic in their exertions when they were
getting this done; and I very soon found that they
had a reason for it, as they intended to take pos-
session of her for themselves, and those they most
favored. She at length was launched and dropped
astern, and being hauled up under the cabin win-
dows, the ladies and other cabin passengers were
lowered into her. She was likewise provisioned;
and compasses, charts, sails, and oars, were placed
in her.
I thought that the captain, as a precautionary
measure, wished to place the passengers in com-
parative safety; but what was my surprise, to see
him lower himself into the boat, and drop her astern,
virtually abandoning all command of the ship. This
vile example was followed by Mr. Stovin, who took
possession of one of the quarter-boats. The great-
er part of the crew, and all the steerage and second-
class passengers, still remained in the burning ship,
of which Mr. Bell now took the command. When
the people saw the captain deserting them, they
rushed aft, some with piteous cries, exclaiming," O
captain, dear, save us save us !" Others cursed
him as a traitor for leaving them to their fate; and,
I believe, had they known what he was about to do,
they would have torn him in pieces before they
would have let him go.* He shouted to them in

I regret to say that the whole account of the burning ship
is perfectly true. Incredible as it may seem, the fire continued
smouldering for nearly a week, before the flames burst forth.





PETER THE WHALER,


return, that he was not going to desert them; but
that his presence was required in the boat. I have
always held, that the captain should be the last man
to quit the deck of his ship; and every true sea-
man thinks the same and would scorn to do other-
wise.
A pretty job this is," observed Dick Derrick,
who was working away at the pumps, close to me.
We were nearly squeezed to death by the ice, a few
days ago, and now it seems we are to be roasted
with fire. Are you prepared for death, Peter ?"
I replied that I would rather live.
Then the sooner we begin to knock some sort
of rafts together, to float a few of these poor people,
the better," he observed. I'll just hint the same
to Mr. Bell."
I saw him go up to Mr. Bell, and touching his
hat, speak earnestly to him.
"You are right, Derrick," remarked the second
mate, as he passed me. We must keep the pas-
sengers working at the pumps though, to the last,
while the crew build the rafts."
As soon as the plan was conceived, all hands set
to work to collect spars, and to knock away the fit-
tings of the lower deck, the bulk-heads, and the
bulwarks. We thus very soon formed three small
rafts, each capable of supporting thirty or forty
people in calm weather-a very small portion of
the poor wretches on board.
Mr. Bell urged the crew to continue their exer-
tions, and not to launch the rafts till the last mo-
ment. "We do not know where the rafts may
drive to; and as we are now in the usual track of
ships bound to America, our signal of distress may
be seen, and we may be saved without more risk,"
he observed, addressing several who seemed about
to launch one of the rafts. His words, however,


70





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 71

had not much effect; for, a few minutes afterwards,
their fears overpowered their better judgment, and
one of the rafts was launched overboard. It was
with some difficulty that it could be kept alongside.
They fitted it with a mast and sail, and a few casks
of provisions, but no water was to be found, except
in a small keg.
. While some of the people who intended to em-
bark on it were looking for more, a fresh puff of
smoke forced its way up near the mainmast; and
this so frightened the emigrants, that a general
rush was made to get on the raft. About thirty
were already on it, and so alarmed were they, lest
the number crowding on it might capsize it, that,
ill-provisioned as they were, they cut it adrift.
What became of them, I know not, for the night
coming on, they were soon lost sight of, and we
never saw them again. That night was far more
dreadful than the first; for, though the terror of
the people was not so loud, their despair was
more pitiable. The remainder of the crew still
worked, spell and spell, at the pumps, buipthe fire
gained upon us. At length some of the steerage
passengers broke into the cabins, which they rifled
of everything on which they could lay their
hands; and, unfortunately, discovered several
cases of brandy and wine.
Now began the most horrible orgies imaginable.
Men, women, and even children, became speedily
intoxicated, and entirely forgetful of their fears ,
and awful position. They were, in fact, like the
fiercest savages; and, like them, danced, and
shouted, and sang, till some of them fell down in
fits on the deck. In the cabins they found several
muskets, and, taking it into their heads that the
crew had been the cause of the disaster, they set
upon Mr. Bell, and those of us who remained, and,





PETER THE WHALER,


had we not struggled desperately, would have
thrown us overboard. They could, fortunately,
find no powder and shot, or they would certainly
have killed some of the people in the boats. We
retreated before them forward; and then, aided by
Flint, and some of the more reputable English,
who had kept sober, we made a rush at them, andi
wrenched their arms from their grasp. So infuri-
ated had they become, that, while some of us
worked at the pumps and rafts, the rest had to
stand guard, and keep them at bay. Fortunately,
the wind fell, and the sea went down with the sun,
or it would have been still worse for us.
In one respect, the calm was bad, as no ship was
likely to come to our rescue. One might have
passed within a very short distance of us, and
would not have discovered us, as we had no guns
on board, nor any blue-lights or rockets, to make
signals. We had four old rusty muskets, it is
true ; but there was scarcely powder enough found
to fire them a dozen times. For the best part of
the night, we were employed in defending our lives
from the attacks of the drunken emigrants. Af-
ter being defeated, they would return to the cabin
to search for more liquor, and, not finding any,
they would again make a rush upon us, declaring
that we knew where it was hid, and that they
would have it. I must do the crew the justice to say,
that, with few exceptions, they all kept sober ; and
those under Mr. Bell behaved very well. The
second mate's conduct was above all praise; for
though repeatedly invited by those in the larboard-
quarter- boat to come off, and to take command of
her, he refused to quit the ship.
At length, when the maddening effects of the
spirits had worn off, the emigrants sank down ex-
hausted on the deck, and, had the fire then reached


72






HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 73

where they lay, they would have been burnt, un-
conscious of their fate. We were now left to con-
sider what was next to be done. Gradually the
fire continued creeping aft, as we could tell by the
increasing heat of the lower deck; and I can
scarcely describe the feelings I experienced as,
putting my hand down on the planks, I found them
growing hotter and hotter. The hatches over the
hold were, however, wisely kept closed, to prevent
the flames from bursting forth. The ship was
already so full of water, that it would have ex-
posed us to the danger of drowning, if we had
pumped more into her. A second day dawned on
the same scene.
We anxiously scanned the horizon in the hopes
that a ship might appear to rescue us, but not a
sail was in sight to relieve our anxiety. As the
people woke up from their slumbers, the general
cry was for water, but no water was to be pro-
cured. They had uselessly squandered what
might have preserved them. "Water water !"
was repeated by parched mouths, which were fated
never to taste that fluid again. Some stood aft,
and shouted to the captain, who sat comfortably in
the boat astern, and made gestures at him for wa-
ter. Some, in their madness, broke open the sur-
geon's dispensary, and rifled it of its contents,
swallowing the drugs indiscriminately. The ef-
fects on them were various, according to the na-
ture of the drugs. Some overcome with opium,
fell down speedily in a state of stupor; others
were paralysed, and others died in dreadful ago-
nies.
Burning thirst drove some mad, and several
leaped overboard in their delirium. Many died
where they lay, on the deck; women and several
poor children quickly sunk for want of water. No
7c





PETER THE WHALER,


sooner had the breath departed from the body, than
we were obliged to throw them overboard, as the
corpses lay in our way, as we hurried about the
decks. I forgot to mention that there was a Rom-
ish priest on board, Father Slattery by name.
He was a coarse, uneducated man, but the influ-
ence he exercised over the poor people was very
great; and I must do him the justice to say, that
in this instance he exercised it for a good purpose,
in endeavoring to calm the fears of his followers,
and in affording them the offices of their religion.
From the moment the danger became apparent,
he went among them confessing them and absolv-
ing them from their sins, and giving them such
other consolation as he had to offer; but this did
not seem to have any great effect, for the moment
he left them, they began to howl and shriek as loud
as ever. As to attempting to help themselves,
that seemed far from their thoughts. Few of them
could be induced to work at the pumps, or to assist
in building the rafts. Yet, miserable as was their
condition, the love of life appeared stronger in
them than in the English.
When the captain dropped astern in the long-
boat, there was a general rush to follow him; and
I remember seeing two girls lower themselves
down by ropes over the taffrail, where they hung,
their feet in the water, entreating to be taken in.
Oh captain, dear, sure you won't let us be drowned
now!" they exclaimed in piteous accents. For
some time those in the long-boat were deaf to their
entreaties, and I thought the girls would have lost
their hold, and have been drowned; for they had
no strength left to haul themselves on board again.
Feeling that their destruction was inevitable, if
they were not rescued, I slipped a running bow-
line knot over the rope to which one of them was


74






HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 75

hanging, and gliding down, I passed it over her
shoulders. I was up on deck again in a moment,
and hauled her up, though I must own, she did not
like my interference. The other girl let go her
hold, and would have been drowned, had she not
been caught as she floated past the boat, when she
was taken in.
But I could scarcely have believed that human
nature could become so depraved, as an instance I
witnessed with my own eyes convinced me it
might be. I saw two Irishmen, who had their
wives and families on board, slip over the ship's
side, and drop down towards the boat, with ropes
in their hands. Little as they deserved it, they
were not prevented from climbing on board; and
there they remained, in spite of the bitter cries
of those they had so basely deserted.



CHAPTER IX.
I obtain a Proof that the Gentle and Humane are generally brave
in the Hour of Danger.-A true Sailor will not desert his
Ship till the last.-Silas tempts me to go away on the Raft.
Aid comes when Hope has almost departed.-A few are saved,
but a bitter Disappointment awaits the rest.-A storm comes
on, and we lose sight of the Mary's light.
THE unhappy people were more quiet the second
day than during the first; for they were worn out
with fatigue, terror, and hunger. Our ensign, re-
versed, was flying as a signal of distress, but to lit-
tle purpose ; for there was no one who could see it to
help us. Two more rafts were constructed ; and the
carpenters set to work to raise the gunwales of the
boats, and they also nailed canvas round their sides
so as to be able to cover them completely in.





PETER THE WHALER,


Those in the boats appeared very uncomfortable;
and, certainly, they were much worse off than we
were, if it had not been for the uncertainty when
the fire might break forth from beneath our feet.
Every instant I expected that to take place; and
I certainly felt it difficult to say by what means I
should make my escape.
A few jars of fresh water were found in the
cabin; and, among other provisions, a cask of flour,
with which the cook instantly set to work to make
bread, and the whole of the day he was engaged in
making and in baking it in the caboose. This
very seasonable supply of wholesome food kept
many on board from dying.
Mr. Bell took off, in the dingy, a fair proportion
to the boats. The people in them begged him to
remain, telling him that the ship might suddenly
go down, and that he would be lost; but he replied,
that he would not desert her and the people; and
he instantly returned.
The day passed away without a sail appearing
in sight; and darkness, with its attendant horrors,
again drew on. Dreadful, indeed, was that night;
but it was very different to the last. There'was,
then, excitement and activity. Now, there was a
calmness-at times, almost a total silence; but it
would speedily be broken by the groans of the
dying, and the wails of those who mourned for them.
All attempts to stop the progress of the fire
were abandoned as useless. The officers and crew,
who remained faithful to their trust, took such rest,
watch and watch, as the state of the case would
allow; but we were wet through, and our bed was
the hard deck.
Somewhere towards the morning, as I was still
asleep, I felt my shoulder touched, and the voice
of Flint whispered in my ear, "Peter, my lad,


76






HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 7T

rouse up, and come with us. This ship won't much
longer give us any footing; and it's as well to leave
her when we can."
"What do you mean, Flint ?" I asked, in the
same low tone. "You would not have me quit my
shipmates ?"
What I mean is, that some thirty of us, some of
the crew and some emigrants, have resolved to trust
ourselves to a raft, rather than to these burning
planks; and that, if we wait till daylight, so many
will be attempting to get on it, that we shall all be
lost together. I don't ask you to desert your ship-
mates, Peter; but self-preservation, you know, is
the first law of nature."
I considered a moment, before I spoke. "I am
grateful to you, Flint, for your kindness; but I
cannot desert Mr. Bell," I replied. "I don't blame
you, remember, for going; but I am differently
situated. I am in the second mate's watch--under
his command, as it were-and, while he sticks to
the ship, so must I."
While I was speaking, I saw a party of people
cautiously engaged in launching the raft. After no
slight exertions, they succeeded in getting it into
the water, though the noise they made disturbed a
number of the emigrants.
I understand your motive, my lad, and I sup-
pose you are right," replied Flint. I wish you
could come with us; and I am half-inclined to stay
by you-that, I am."
"I should be very unhappy if you were the sufferer,
in consequence of so doing," I answered; so pray
go, if you think the raft affords the greatest safety."
"No, lad, I care little for my own safety; but I
promised these people to go with them, and to act
as their captain. I did so, thinking you would be
certain to go too."






PETER THE WHALER,


I again assured him that nothing would induce
me to desert Mr. Bell. So, expressing his sorrow,
he shook me warmly by the hand, and slid down
the side of the ship on to the raft. I assisted in
casting it off, before the rest of the emigrants, who
were awake, discovered what they were about, or else
they would senselessly, as before, have attempted
to get on it, to the almost certain destruction of
them all. Flint, and his companions, hurriedly
shoved off, and then hoisted their sail. I watched
the raft as long as it could be seen, standing di-
rectly before the wind to the northward; and I
remember, at the time, my heart misgave me, and
I feared that I should never again see my kind,
but eccentric friend. If a sea should get up, I
thought they, in all probability, would be drowned.
I felt very grateful, also, that I had decided to re-
main. However, I was too weary to think much
about any subject, and I was very shortly again
fast asleep on the deck.
As suffering and misery will, after a time, come
to an end, and it would be well if we could always
remember this when we ourselves are in that con-
dition, so did this night of dark horror, and another
morning dawned on the burning wreck. Clouds,
streaked with bright red edges, were gathering in
the eastern horizon, as I went aloft, to look out for
a sail, though with little expectation of seeing one.
I had just reached the maintop-gallant-mast head,
and was sweeping my eyes round the horizon, when
I saw, just under the brightest part of the glow
caused by the rising sun, a dark spot, which I
thought must be the topsail of some square-rigged
craft. I looked again; I felt that I could not be
mistaken. I shouted out the joyful intelligence-
Sail, ho !-ho !-over the larboard quarter."
Instantly the second mate, followed by several


78





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 79

others, who had strength remaining, ran aloft, to
ascertain the fact. They, also, all clearly saw the
ship. The people in the boats understood what we
were pointing at, and a feeble shout, indicative of
their joy, rose from all hands. The question now
was, which way she was steering. If to the west-
ward, we had a good chance of being seen by her;
but, if not, she might pass us by unheeded. This
uncertainty was, perhaps, still more painful to
endure than our previous hopelessness.
While we were watching the stranger, the clouds
gathered thicker in the sky, and the sea began
perceptibly to get up, though, as yet, there was no
increase of wind. I don't, altogether, like the
look of things," observed Derrick to me. The
sea getting up before the wind comes is a pretty
sure sign of a heavy gale; and if it does come on
to blow, Lord help us, my boy."
Amen," said a deep voice near us, which startled
me. It seemed not like that of a mortal; it was,
however, that of Father Slattery, who was at that
instant passing us. And so, my son, you think
there is more danger than before ?" he asked.
If it comes on to blow, and keeps blowing with
a heavy sea, I say, it will be no easy matter to carry
women and children from one ship to another, even
if that sail yonder should come any way nigh us;
that's what I say, your honor," answered Derrick.
I understand you, my son," said the priest;
"we'll be in a worse position with regard to affairs
temporal than we are at present."
"Yes, your honor, it looks brewing up for a
regular tempest, as you say, and no mistake," ob-
served Derrick.
Even while they were talking we heard the wind
whistle in the rigging, and the ship began to surge
heavily through the rising waves.





PETER THE WHALER, .,


The people in the boats at this weae evidently
alarmed, and one of the gigs hauled alongside,
several persons in her preferring to trust them-
selves to the burning ship rather than to her. I
must remark that a feeling almost of security had
come over many of us, and that for my part I could not
help fancying that it was nothing unusual to live on
board a ship full of fire. Of course, I knew that
some time or other the flames must burst forth;
but I looked upon this event as likely to happen
only in some remote period with which I had little
to do. Our sufferings were greatest from want of
water, and on that account we were most anxious
for the coming of the stranger. Mr. Bell, Derrick,
and I, were again aloft looking out for the ship.
The captain hauled up under the stern, and hailed
to know which way we made her out to be still
standing. Right down for us, sir," answered the
mate. She's a barque, and seems to be coming up
V with a strong breeze."
It is difficult to describe how anxiously we
watched for her. On she came for perhaps half an
hour, though to us it seemed much longer, when
suddenly we saw her, to our dismay, haul her wind
and stand away to the north-east. I felt almost
as if I should fall from aloft, as our hopes of being
rescued were thus cruelly blasted. Few of the em-
igrants understood the change, but the seamen did,
and gave way to their feelings in abuse of the
stranger, who could not probably have seen our
signal of distress. With heavy hearts we de-
scended to the smoking deck.
The wretched emigrants, on discovering the
state of the case, gave fresh vent to their despair;
some, who had hitherto held up more manfully than
the rest, lay down without hope, and others actu-
ally yielded up their spirits to the hands of death.


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HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 81

Meantime the sea increased, clouds covered the
sky, and it came on to blow harder and harder. I
*:ad returned aloft, when, to my delight, I saw the
stranger again bear away and stand for us. I
shouted out the joyful information, and once more
the drooping spirits of my companions in misfor-
tune were aroused. The sound of a gun was heard
booming along the waters. It was a sign from her
that she saw our signal of distress. Now she
crowded all the sail she could venture to carry in the
increasing breeze. Her captain was evidently a
humane man anxious to relieve his fellow-creatures,
though he could scarcely have guessed at our
frightful condition. There was no mistake now ; on
she came and proved to be a large barque, as Mr.
Bell had supposed.
We have a good chance of escaping a roasting
this time," I observed to Derrick, as we watched
the stranger.
But not quite of drowning, lad," he answered.
"Before one quarter of the people about us can be
placed on her deck, the gale will be upon us, and
then, as I said before, how are we the better for
her being near us ? Howsomdever, we'll do ouir
best, lad; and if the old ship goes down, mind you
look out for a plank to stick to, and don't let any
one gripe hold of your legs."
I promised to do my best; but I confess I did
not like the prospect he held out.
The barque approached and hove to. A shout
of joy escaped from the lips of most of those on
board, who had still strength to utter it. On this
immediately Captain Swales cast off his boat, his
example being followed by the others, and without
attempting to take any of the people out of the
ship, he pulled on board the stranger. There was





PETER THE WHALER,


little time to lose ; for scarcely had they got along-
side than down came the gale upon us.
In the condition our ship was, the only course
was to run before the wind, so we once again kept
away. The stranger soon followed, and as she car-
ried more sail than we could, we saw she would
soon pass us. Hope once more deserted us ; for it
was possible that the master, finding that there
were so many of us on board, might think himself
justified for the safety of his own people to leave
us to our fate. I confess, that on this I regretted
that I had not gone off with Silas Flint on the raft;
but then I remembered that I had done my duty in
sticking to my ship to the last. It seemed dread-
ful, indeed, to be thus left to perish. However,
just as the stranger was about to pass us, a man
in the rigging held up a board on which was writ-
ten the cheering words: "We will keep near you,
and take you off when the weather moderates."
Suppose, I thought, the weather does not moder-
ate till the flames burst forth, and any moment they
may break through the deck.
Iam afraid of wearying my readers with an ac-
count of our sufferings.
Our greatest want was water. We fancied that,
if we could have had a few drops to cool our lips,
we could have borne everything else. Some drank
salt-water, against the warning of the mate, and in
consequence increased their sufferings.
Worn out with fatigue, the crew every hour grew
weaker, so that there was scarcely a man left with
strength to steer, much more to go aloft. Night
came on to increase our difficulties. The stranger
proved to be the Mary, bound from Bristol also to
Quebec. She at first kept a short distqce ahead
showing a light over her stern by which W might
steer.


82





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 83

I ought to have said, that the captain had taken
the sextant, chronometer, and charts with him, and
that in their mad outbreak the emigr nts had de-
stroyed the binnacle and the compa es in it, so
that we had the Mary's" light alone o depend on.
Mr. Bell had divided those who remained of the
crew, and some of the emigrants willing to exert
themselves, into two watches.
I was to keep the middle watch. I lay down on
the deck aft to sleep on one of the only few dry or
clean spots I could find. I was roused up at mid-
night, and just as I had got on my feet, I heard a
voice sing out: Where's the Mary's light ?" 1
ran forward. It was nowhere to be seen.



CHAPTER X.
We once more see the Mary.-Our Hopes of Preservation are
again disappointed.-The Fire is extinguished by its more
powerful Rival.
FORTUNATELY a star had appeared in a break
of the clouds, and by that we continued steering
the same course as before. Once more we were
alone on the world of waters, and in a worse condi-
tion than ever; for we had now no boats, and the
sea was too high to permit us to hope for safety on
a raft. Weary and sad were the hours till dawn
returned. Often did I wish that I had followed my
father's counsels, and could have remained at home.
With aching eyes, as the pale light of the dull grey
morning appeared, we looked out ahead for the
Mary. Not a sail was to be seen from the deck.
The lead-colore.d ocean, heaving with foam-topped
p:ves, was around us bounded by the horizon. On
.lt.iir burning ship before the gale, and we would
,t ii bun- si






PETER THE WHALER,


have set more sail to try and overtake the Mary;
but we had not strength for it. We steered as near
as we could the same course as before.
The ship plunged heavily; and as she tore her
way through the waves, she rolled her yard-arms
almost into the water, so that it was difficult to
keep the deck without holding on. Nearly at
every roll the sea came washing over the deck, and
sweeping everything away into the scuppers. One
might have supposed that the water would have put
out the fire, but it had no effect on it; and it was
evident that the coals in the hold were ignited, and
that they would go on burning till the ship was un-
der the waves. I had sunk into a sort of stupor,
when I heard Mr. Bell from aloft hail the deck. I
looked up and tried to comprehend what he was
saying. It was the joyful intelligence, that the
Mary was ahead, lying-to for us. But I was too
much worn out to care much about the matter. We
again came up with her, but though the wind had
somewhat fallen, the sea was too high to allow a
boat to carry us off the wreck.
We acquitted the kind master of the Mary of any
intention of deserting us. The officer of the watch
had fancied that he saw us following, and had not,
consequently, shortened sail. Oh, that day of hor-
rors, and the still more dreadful night which fol-
lowed! The fire was gaining on us; every part
of the deck was hot, and thick choking smoke is-
sued from numberless crevices. With dismay, too,
we saw the boats on which our safety so much de-
pended, dragged to pieces, as they towed astern of
the Mary, as they could not be hoisted on board,
and their wrecks were cut adrift. Even the crew,
who were more inured to hardships, and kept up
their spirits the best, could but arouse themselves
to take a short trick at the helm. What would wo


84





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 85

have given, I repeat, for a drop of water a thou.
sand guineas would willingly have been exchanged
for it. The value of riches, and all else, for which
men toil and toil on while health and strength re-
main, were becoming as nothing in our sight. One
thing alone called any of us to exertion. It was
when some wretch, happier, perhaps, than we were,
breathed his last; and the shrieks and wails of
his relations or friends summoned us to commit his
body to the ocean-grave, yawning to receive us all,
the living as well as the dead. I must pass over
that night. It was far more full of horrors than
the last, except that the Mary, our only ark of
safety, was still in sight.
Another dawn came. The gale began to lull. I
was near Derrick. I asked him if he thought we
had a chance of escape. He lifted his weary head
above the bulwarks. I scarce know, lad," he re-
plied. "The wind may be falling, or it may be
gathering strength for a harder blow. It matters
little, I guess, to most of us." And he again sunk
down wearily on the deck. How anxiously we lis-
tened to the wind in the rigging. Again it breezed
up. A loud clap was heard. I thought one of the
masts had gone by the board; but it was the fore
top-sail blown to ribbons. What next might fol-
low, we could not tell. The very masts began to
shake; and it was evident that the fire had begun
to burn their heels. Their working loosened the
deck, and allowed more vent for the escape of the
smoke. There was again a lull. The foam no
longer flew from the white-crested waves-gradu-
ally they subsided in height. The motion of the
ship was less violent, though she still rolled heavi-
ly, as if unable to steady herself.
We at length began to hope that the final effort
of the gale was made. The day wore on-more
H





PETER THE WHALER,


persons died-the smoke grew thicker, and was
seen streaming forth from the cabin-windows.
Towards evening there was a decided change for
the better in the weather, and we saw the people in
the Mary making preparations to lower a boat, and
to heave the ship to. Another difficulty arose-to
enable the boat to come on board, we must like-
wise stop the way of our ship, but we had not
strength to heave her to.
We were too far gone to feel even satisfaction as
we saw a boat pulling from the Mary towards us.
We put down the helm as she came near us, and
the ship rounded to. The fresh crew scrambled
on board, and backing our main top-sail, our ship
remained steady, a short distance to leeward of the
Mary. A few of the emigrants were lowered into
the boat; some of the crew remained to take care
of us, and the remainder returned on board in
safety. This experiment having been successful,
another boat was lowered, and more of our people
taken off. They brought us also a keg of water;
and so eager were we for it, that we could scarcely
refrain from snatching it from each other, and spill-
ing the contents. It occupied a long time to
transfer the emigrants from one ship to the other.
They were so utterly unable to help themselves,
that they had to be lowered like bales of goods into
the boats, and even the seamen were scarcely more
active.
It was thus dark before all the emigrants were
rescued; and, what was worse, the wind again got
up, as did the sea, and prevented any communica-
tion between the ships. In one respect during that
night, the condition of those who remained was im-
proved; for we had water to quench our burning
thirst, and food to quell our hunger ; besides which,
a boat's crew of seamen, belonging to the Mary,


86





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 87

gallantly remained by us, and navigated the ship,
so that we were able to take a sounder rest than
we had enjoyed for many days past. Still the
flames did not burst forth, and another night and
day we continued in that floating furnace. To-
wards the evening, the wind suddenly dropped; and
while the remaining emigrants were being taken off
the wreck, it fell a dead calm.
The last man to leave the deck of the Black
Swan was Mr. Bell. He made me and Derrick go
down the ship's side just before him. 1 trust, that
we felt grateful to Heaven for our deliverance.
Scarcely had we left the deck of the Black Swan,
than the flames burst forth from her hold. They
first appeared streaming out of the cabin windows,
curling upwards round the taffrail. By this time
it was quite dark; and the bright light from the
burning wreck cast a ruddy glow on the sails and
hull of the Mary, and topped the far-surrounding
waves with a bright tinge of the same hue. Soon,
the whole poop was on fire; and the triumphant
flames began to climb up the mizen-mast. As the
ship lay head to wind, their progress was slow for-
ward, nor did they ascend very rapidly; conse-
quently the mizen-mast fell before the main-mast
was on fire. That shortly, however, followed with
a loud crash, before they even reached the main
topgallant-yard. Next, down came the fore-mast,
and the whole hull was a mass of flame. I felt
sick at heart, as I saw the noble ship thus for ever
lost to the use of man. The fire was still raging,
when, overcome with fatigue and sickness, I sunk
on the deck. As the Mary sailed away from her,
she was seen like a beacon blazing fiercely in mid-
ocean. Long those on deck gazed, till the speck of
bright light was on a sudden lost to view, and the
glow in the sky overhead disappeared. It was





PETER THE WHALER,


when her charred fragments sihk beneath the
wave.



CHAPTER XI.
Captain Dean and his Daughter a contrast to Captain Swales and
Mr. Stovin-I am taken ill, and gently nursed-We reach a
Port at last-A Description of Quebec-A Conversation be-
tween Mary Dean and me.

WE were kindly welcomed and cared for on
board the Mary, though we subjected her passen-
gers and crew to much inconvenience, and no little
risk of starving should her voyage be prolonged.
There were ladies who attended with gentle care
to the women and children, and aided also in nurs-
ing the men. Many of the passengers and crew
gave up their berths to the sick; but the greater
number of our people were compelled to remain on
deck, sheltered, however, by every means the kind-
ness of our hosts could devise. There was one fair
blue-eyed girl--can I ever forget her ? What a
pure light-hearted young creature she was! I felt
at once, that I could place the same confidence in
her that I could in my own sisters, and that she
was a being superior both to me and to any of those
by whom I had been lately surrounded. Her name
was Mary Dean. She was the daughter of the
master of the Mary, and the ship was named after
her. Mr. Bell told the master of my behavior,
which he was pleased to praise, and of my refusing
to quit the ship till he did; and Mary heard the
tale. The mate also told him that I was the son of
a gentleman, and how I had been treated by Cap-
tain Swales.


88





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 89
Captain Deadwas a very different character to
Captain Swales; with whose conduct he was so
thoroughly disgusted, that he refused to hold any
further communication with him than business ac-
tually required. I had held out till I was in
safety; and a severe attack of illness then came
on. Captain Dean had me removed to a berth in
his own cabin, and Mary became my nurse. Where
there is sickness and misery, there will the minis-
tering hand of gentle woman be found. Mary Dean
watched over me, as the ship which bore us steered
her course for the mouth of the St. Lawrence. To
her gentle care, under Providence, I owed my life.
Several of the emigrants died after they came on
board the Mary, and such would pQbably have
been my fate under less watchful treatment.
I was in a low fever, and unconscious. How long
I remained so, I scarcely know. I awoke one after-
noon, and found Mary Dean sitting by my side,
working with her needle. I fancied that I was
dead, and that she was an angel watching over me.
Although I discovered that the first part of the
notion was a hallucination, I was every day more
convinced of the truth of the second. When I got
rather better, she used to read to me interesting
and instructive works; and every morning she
read some portion of the Bible, and explained it to
me in a manner which made me comprehend it
better than I had ever done before.
Ten days thus passed rapidly away, before I was
'able to go on deck. Captain Dean was very kind
to me, and often came and spoke to me, and gave
me much useful instruction in seamanship, and
also in navigation. I then thought Mary Dean
very beautiful, and I now know that she was so.
She was a child, it must be remembered, or little
mo ,e but though very small she was very
8t





PETER THE WHALER,


graceful. She was beautifully fair, with blue, truth-
ful eyes, in which it was impossible guile could
ever find a dwelling-place. I have no doubt, that
my readers will picture her to themselves as she
sat in the cabin, with a book on her lap, gravely
conning its contents, or skipped along the deck, a
being of light and life, the fair spirit of the sum-
mer sea. Such was Mary Dean, as I first saw her.
Every one loved her. Her father's heart was
wrapped up in her. His crew would, to a man,
have died, rather than that harm should have hap-
pened to her. On sailed the ship. There was much
sickness; for all hands were put on the smallest
allowance of water and provisions it was possible
to subsist on; and we, unfortunately, fell in with
no other ship able to furnish us with a supply.
At length the welcome sound was heard of" Land
ahead !" It was Cape Breton, at the entrance of
the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Rounding the cape, we
stood towards the mouth of the river St. Lawrence,
that vast stream, fed by those inland seas, the
lakes of Upper Canada, and innumerable rivers
and streams. On the north side of the gulf, is the
large island of Newfoundland, celebrated for its
cod-fisheries. A glance at the map will show our
course far better than any description of mine. I
could scarcely believe that we were actually in the
river, when we had already proceeded a hundred
miles up it, so distant were the opposite shores;
and, till told of it, I fancied that we were still in
the open sea. I was much struck with the grand
spectacle which Quebec and its environs presented,
as, the ship emerging from the narrow channel of
the river formed by the island of Orleans, the city
first met my view. It is at this point, that the St.
Lawrence, taking a sudden turn, expands so as to
assume the appearance of a broad la]


90





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 91

The sun had,just risen, and all nature looked
fresh and green, rejoicing in the genial warmth of
a Canadian spring. On the left was the town; the
bright tin steeples and house-tops of which, crown-
ing the summit of Cape Diamond, glittered in the
rays of the glorious luminary. Ships of all rigs
and sizes lay close under the cliffs, and from their
diminutive appearance I calculated the great height
of the promontory. About eight miles off; on the
right, I could see the falls of Montmorency, de-
scending in a sheet of milk-white foam, over a
lofty, precipitous bank, into the stream; which,
winding through a plain interspersed with villages,
and studded with vegetation, finds its way into the
St. Lawrence. Quebec is divided into two distinct
parts.
The lower town occupies a narrow strip of land
between the precipitous heights of Cape Diamond
and the river. It is connected with the upper town
by means of a steep street, built in a ravine, which
is commanded by the guns of a strongly fortified
gateway.
The lower town is principally inhabited by
merchants; and so much straitened are they for
room, that many of their houses are built upon
wharfs, and other artificial ground. The streets
of Quebec are very narrow, and there is a general
appearance of antiquity, not often to be met with
in an American town. The suburbs are situated
on the shores of the St. Charles, without the for-
tifications. But I afterwards found, that the most
magnificent prospect was from the summit of the
Citadel on Cape Diamond, whence one may look
over the celebrated plains of Abraham, on which
the gallant Wolf gained the victory which gave
Canada to England, and where, fighting nobly, he
fell inthe hour of triumph. But my object is





PETER THE WHALER,


rather to describe a few of the events of my early
days than the scenes I visited. It was a happy
moment when we at length dropped our anchor,
and water was brought off, to quench the thirst
from which all had more or less suffered. As
soon as the necessary forms were gone through,
the emigrants went on shore, and, with few excep-
tions, I saw them no more.
I was the only person on board who regretted
that the voyage was over. I wished to see the
country, and the Indians, and the vast lakes, and
boundless prairies; but far rather would I have
remained with Mary and her father. At least I
thought so, as the time for quitting them, probably
for ever, arrived. I regretted much leaving Cap-
tain Dean, for he had been very kind to me; in-
deed, he had treated me almost like a son, and I
felt grateful to him. It was evening. The ship
was to haul in the next morning alongside the
quay to discharge her cargo. The captain was on
shore and all the emigrants. Except the anchor-
watch on deck, the crew were below. Mary and I
were the only persons on the quarter-deck.
Mary," I said, as I took her hand-the words
almost choked me while I spoke-" to-morrow I must
leave you to look out for a berth on board some
homeward-bound ship. You have been very, very
kind to me, Mary; and I am grateful, I am in-
deed, to you and to your father."
But I do not see why you should leave us, Pe-
ter," answered Mary, looking gravely up with a
somewhat surprised air. Has not my father told
you that he thinks of asking you to remain with
him; and then, some day, when you know more of
seamanship, you will become his mate. Think of
that, Peter, how pleasant it will be, so you must
not think of leaving us." ^


92





HIS EARLY LIFE AND ADVENTURES. 95

will comee a perfect seaman unless he diligently
gathers together the information possessed by all
whom he meets, at the same time weighing well
their opinions, and adopting them after duly cotm-
paring them with others."
I have always remembered Captain Dean's ad-
vice, and I advise all young sailors to follow it;
indeed, it strikes me that it is applicable to most
relations in life.
I looked about for a vessel, but could not find one;
meantime, by the captain's kindness, I remained on
board, though he and Mary went to live in lodgings
on shore, as, of course, in the state the ship was in,
she could have no comfort even in her own cabin,:
About three or four days after our arrival, I saw a
ship ascend the river and come to an anchor not far
from where we were lying. Prompted by curi-
osity I was looking at her through a telescope,
when I observed a group of people on the deck
who were gazing apparently with the curiosity of
strangers at the shore. A little apart from them
stood a form I thought I recognized. I pointed my
glass steadily at him. I felt certain that I could
not be mistaken. It was Silas Flint. Then all in
the raft, instead of perishing, as it was supposed
they would, might have been saved, as he had
escaped. I was truly glad, and borrowing the
dingy from the mate I pulled on board the newly
arrived ship.
Silas, for I was right in my conjectures, was
looking over the side as I climbed up it. He almost
wrung my hand off as he took it in his grasp. "I
am glad to see ye, I am, Peter," he exclaimed.
"Why, lad, I thought you had gone to the bottom
with all who remained on board."
I toid him that we had in like manner fancied
thatA the raft had peris! and I was glad





PETER THE WHALER,


to find that with the exception of two, all had been
picked up by the ship on board of which they then
were. He then asked me what my plans were, and
I told him what Captain Dean advised. He next
inquired, if I had seen Captain Swales. I replied,
that I had met him twice in the streets of Quebec,
and that he had eyed me with no very friendly
glance.
"Then depend on it, Peter, he means you some
mischief," he observed. "If he gets another ship
here, which is likely enough he will, he will want
hands, and if he can lay hold of you, he will claim
you as put under his charge by your father; and I
don't know how you are to get off."
By keeping out of his way, I should think," I
replied.
That's just what I was going to advise you to
do, Peter," observed Silas. And I'll tell you what,
lad, instead of your kicking your heels doing no-
thing in this place, yoTi and I will start off up the
country with our guns as soon as I have done my
business here, which won't take long; and we'll see,
if we can't pick up a few skins which will be worth
something."
This proposition, as may be supposed, was much
to my taste; but I did not much like the thoughts
of leaving Captain Dean and Mary, though I did
not tell him so. He, however, very soon discovered
what was running in my mind, and set himself to
work to overcome the wish I had to remain with
them. I had found so few friends of late, that I
had learned to value them properly. But Silas
Flint wanted a companion, and, liking me, was re-
solved that I should accompany him. We went on
shore together; and before the day was over, he
had so worked up my imagination by his scrip-


96




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