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Birth Of A Volcanic Island

Birth Of A Volcanic Island image
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The íollowing. narrativo by D. C. Wright, publisbed in the Western Zlirmian Advocate, is assertod to be nttrely truo by its author : It was a night oí' pitcliy darkness. At four bclls in the first watch not a )Pöath of air was stirring, and the [renchcd snils, wet by the ufternnon nd evening raios, hung heavily irom he yards or flnpped againsf the masts nd riggiüg, as the ship rolled lazily on he long lëaden swelb of the Pacific Ocean. A numbcr of days had passcd vithout an observation of the sun or tars and they had torunby"doad echoniug," and were not,therelbre, sure í their latitude or lougitude. They rnight bo nearer danger than they :iought. The captain had gone below t eight, but foeling troubled about the )ortentous appearance of the weather, vas unable to sleep and was on deck gain, walking nervously fore and aft, ow looking on this sido and then on ie other sido of the quarter deck, ooking anxiously out in the darkness, jen alt, then at the compast, and then c the barometer which hung in the ubin gahgway. Round and round vent the shp, heedless of her helm, nd the mercury told tHe same tale it iad told for hours before. In vain did ho eyes of anxious men peer into tho arkoesa ; ocly inky blackness met lieir straininggaze everywhere. Tbus matters stood till eix bells, whon ths lercury began to fall rapidly. Tho uick, jerking voiee of the captain was aeu heard : " Mr. Smalloy, you may take in the ight saiis." " Ay, ay, sir;" and stopping to tho raain mast he cali out: "For'ard, here," and was immediately answored For'ard, sir." '"Stand by tho top gallant and the ilyinggib halliards." In a moment he heard tho report, ready, air." " Let go tho halliards andclcw down, et go the sheets and clew up ; that'll do; belayall,' now jiimp up and furl them ; be lively, lads." While this was going on tho captain took another look at the barometer, and found the mercury still g.iingdown last, Thoroughly aroused now, he caught his speaking trumpot from tho brackets and sung out, " Hold on there ; down from aloft, every man of you, cali all hands." Down camc the men again. "All hands ahoy," was called with great strength of voice at both tho cabin aud forocastlc gangwave, and then followcd one of those scènes which defiessuoli description as would mako it intelligibíe to a landsinan, but which any sailor roadily understands. Tho top sails wcre closely raefed, a reef taken in the mainsail, tho gib, tho living gib, and all the hght sails were iurled, and the ship made ready lor the es pee tod gale. 13ut yet no breath ol air had been lolt rnoving, while nn unnatural stillness and heaviness of the atmosphero was obsorved by all. tSeveral oí tho seamen eaw a dim purplo streak suddenly appoar right abead of the ship, and called out, " Hero it com'es, sir." " Where V' said tho captain, "lliaht ahead, uit." " Hard aport your belm#" " Hard aport, it is air." "Braca around tho yards." '( Ay, ay, sir." Tho yarda were braced around and tho ship was ready to receive the expected blast on the larboard tack. - That dreadful streak of cloud gre.v at most crimson ; and there was heard what they thougbt was the heavy roar of tho coiiiiiig gále, and everv man seeroed to ho_ld 'nis breath awaiting the coming hoek, Good men and courageous eailore wcre on that ship'a deck, and then shrunk from the terrible onelaught like frighteaed ehildrcn. - When Gro.d apcaks in these Btorrna llis voice is awful to the car, and many a strorig man hns quailed bofore it. And theatonri i'sulf is scarcely more trymg to ono's ñervos than tho moment bei'i re it etrikos, while men waii. in dreadfu Ruspense. Thns tboee men waited lili the minutes lengtbéned into hours, and the only chango perceptiblo wns n the deepeti■ ulor of the lowering cloud of criniíon light. At length eight bells told that 4 o'olock had arrived and daylight was looked ftir as those men in tho ebip with Paul looked ior it when tbey " wished for day." But tho strnggling light of the day seemed only to revea! tna tbicknesa of the darkness to the wandering visión. Just ;it dnylight tbeir eara wefe stunned with sncve, quiok coports, louder than tho whole broadsideé ÍVom a hundred guns, the whole hcavens were lighted up with a fiery red light; tho ocean was stirrcd from her profoui great waves, without any visible cause ran in the most awiul conraotion, now striking togetber and throwing the white foam and spray high in tho air and parting to meet again in fearful embrace ; a school of sperm wbales ran at the ship'a bows making everv exertion to escape from the strungely troubled water; within a few cable lengths of the ship an immense column of water was thrown mast head high, and lell back again witli a roarlike Niagara ; a deep mournful noise, like the echo of thunder arnong mountain caverns!, was constantly hcard, and none could teil whenoe itsame; tho noble ehip was tossed and shaken like a plaything. "Groat God, have inercy upon up 1" cried officers and men. " What is this ? What is coming next ? It is the day of judgment!" The royal L'salmist described them accurately. ' Tbey reel too and iro and stagger ike a drunken man, and are at their vvits end." Soon the mystery was solved, when light before their cyes, ibout one league from them arose the rough sido ot a mountain out of the vielding water, and rearad its head ligh in the air; then irom its summit lames burst forti), and inelted lava ran ike ariverdown the declivity, and feil ike a cascade of ñame into the seeth ng ocean. It was a birth throe of nature, and an island ttv born whicti vas miles in circumference. Two years afterwards I sailed right vkv that placo, but tho placid waters 2:ivo no intimation that an itland had icon there ; vet no man has paid that io saw tho death andburialof that and whose birth I have thus chroniled. " They go down to sea in ships, bat do business in the groat waters ; bese seo the works of the Lord, and is wonders ín the deep."


Old News
Michigan Argus