[graphic][merged small]





JUNE, 1849.


Our engraving represents the situation of the ship on the fifteenth morning.

She is anchored by the stern in St. Paul's Bay, Malta, in a gale from the E. N. E. with Salmonetta island on the left, and the place “where two seas meet,” (Acts xxvii. 41,) to which the ship must be driven. The illustration represents the situation of the ship at the moment described in versé 40, when the crew are cutting away the anchors, loosing the rudder-bands, and hoisting the artemon or sail.

The ship is a composition from different ancient authorities, and with reference to the peculiar mode of anchoring by the stern, instead of the head as is common at the present day, Mr. Smith says, “The proximate cause of anchoring was, no doubt, that assigned by St. Luke—the fear of falling on the rocks to leeward ; but they had, also, an ulterior object in view, which was to run the ship ashore as soon as daylight enabled them to select a spot where it could be done with a prospect of safety. For this purpose the very best position in which the ship could be, was to be anchored by the stern.-Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, by James Smith, Esq., London, 1848.



FORTUNATELY for me, the general attention was at this moment diverted by Mrs. Selwyn.

“My dear Mrs. Grey, may I not give Charles one bit of orange ?" she asked, in a tone which conveyed the idea that the young gentleman in question was prohibited from partaking of the good things around him. All eyes were immediately directed towards the child, the hero of the picture book, who was standing by his mother's side. Before him lay part of an orange, which he hesitated to accept, yet evidently wished for.

In answer to this appeal, the governess rose and approached Mrs. Selwyn. A conversation followed, which was carried on in tones so low as to escape the general ear, and ended by the little boy being dismissed to the nursery.

As Mrs. Grey resumed her seat, I felt a tiny hand placed in mine. It was that of the little girl, whose acquaintance I had made in the morning. It is so natural to share fruit or sweetmeats with children, that I mechanically offered her a few almonds and raisins which remained on my plate. She colored deeply, and looking at her governess, declined them. I now recollected that although Anna had been most attentive in assisting me, she had taken no dessert herself. My curiosity being fairly roused, I moved my position in order to observe the rest of the children who were an the lady guests at the dining table. Anna's quick eye detected this manæuvre. She appeared to read my thoughts, and whispered, “ You shall know all about it presently.” Mrs. Grey smiled also, and I observed a look of intelligence which was exchanged between her and her young friend. This smile, with its accompanying glance, only heightened my curiosity; nor was I sorry when Mrs. Selwyn rose from the table, and led the way into the drawing


The governess and children now retired, and Anna informed me she was released from her ordinary duties on my account. A glass door, leading from the drawing room to the pleasure grounds, stood temptingly open.

The afternoon was very lovely, and most of the guests strolled out to enjoy the fresh air. “ Will you not accompany us, my dear ?" asked Mrs. Selwyn, address


ing me. Her low sweet voice, and gentle, affectionate manner, reminded me so forcibly of my own mother, that I instantly placed myself by her side. She drew my arm within her's, and soon engaged me in a pleasant conversation. Anna also chatted on indifferent topics ; but neither mother nor daughter alluded to the subject of the dessert.

After spending some time in the garden, we took the path leading to a kind of hermitage, which though surrounded by tall evergreens,

and a good deal secluded, commanded a view of the house and grounds; and whilst here I noticed that Mrs. Selwyn took out her watch, and that Anna glanced repeatedly towards the house, as if in expectation of seeing some person. Presently master Charles emerged from the open door of the drawing room. He was equipped for walking, and held in his hand a light wicker basket.

“ Mamma! mamma! we are ready!” cried he, running towards the hermitage, followed by his sisters and their gover

“Come, mamma, be quick! our dessert,” he added. His eyes were brilliant with excitement, and his manner conveyed the impression that he could ill brook delay, or disappointment.

-“ If you please, dear mamma," interposed Mrs. Grey, gently putting Charles aside, and speaking in a tone of supplication, which drew forth a merry laugh from the children.

Mrs. Selwyn immediately responded to the summons, and proceeded towards the house with the little ones.

“Shall we also follow, Miss Wilmot ?" inquired Mrs. Grey, with an arch smile. “Since you observed that my pupils took no dessert to day, I am anxious you should know the reason of the voluntary privation, for such it was, I assure you, in spite of Master Charlie's relentings, and your own misgivings."

We all repaired to the drawing room, where we found Mrs. Selwyn busily engaged in distributing portions of fruit amongst the children, which they received with every demonstration of delight, and arranged carefully in their little baskets. This business concluded, they were summoned to attend their governess; who desired Anna no longer to delay the promised explanation.

“It is a trifle scarcely worth explaining," said she, as the door closed upon the party. “You must know, Miss Wilmot,

that although we live in a very small village, it is large enough to contain poverty, sickness, and sorrow.”

“You should have added sin, my dear Anna,” observed Mrs. Selwyn, with a deep sigh.

“ Yes, mamma, that is understood as a matter of course, for all are sinners. If there were only a single inhabitant in this pretty village, there would be sin, you know, Miss Wilmot,” she said, fixing her eyes upon me, with an expression which appealed for my sympathy and assent.

Vice, I should have said,” resumed Mrs. Selwyn, thoughtfully, “That must be added to your list Anna; poverty, sickness, sorrow, and vice.” * Dear mamma,

what a picture! you will alarm Miss Wilmot; though,” she added with a smile, “she knows it is a true one, and that, after all, our village is no worse than others; but, thanks to you and papa, perhaps a little better. But, to return to our oranges. We are accustomed to visit the


and we cannot well do this without relieving them.

My father furnishes Mrs. Grey with money; but she says we children cannot be charitable, unless we give what is our own. happens, that at this time a woman who formerly lived with us as nursery maid, is dying of consumption ; and, unhappily, her illness is chiefly owing to the anxiety and privations she has endured since her marriage, for her husband is a confirmed drunkard. He was, at one time, our man servant, but his habits became so dissipated, that papa was compelled to discharge him. This was about two years after his marriage. Since that time his poor wife has worked hard to maintain herself and little one; but her health has at last given way, and she is now beyond the reach of hope. Mamma has been very kind to her, and provided her with many comforts; but we also love her dearly, and Mrs. Grey proposed that we should go without our fruit to day, and carry it to her. She thought the children would feel a pleasure in denying themselves for poor Susan, and I abstained for the sake of example, and so forth," she concluded in a tone of gaiety, but with tears in her eyes.

“My dear, you should mention that Mrs. Grey was not aware there would be so large a party when she made the arrangement," said Mrs. Selwyn.

It so

« ForrigeFortsett »