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The Rescue

The Rescue image
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It was in tlio month of February, 1831, a ] bright moonlight night and intensely cold, thal i the little brig I commanded, lay quietly at her i anchors inside of the Hook. We had had a hard time of it, beating about br eleven days offthis coast with cutting i easters blowing; and snow and sleet falling for lie most of that time. Forward, the vessel was thickly coated wilh ce, and it was hard work to handie her, as the rigging and saus were stiff, and yielded only whon the strength of the men were exerted to the utmost. When at length we made the port. all hands were worn down and exhausted. - We would not have held out two days longer without relief. " A bitter cold night, Mr Larkin," I said to my mate, as I tarried for a moment on deck, to finish my cigar. The worthy down-easter buttoned his coat more closely around him, looked up to the moon, and feit of his red nose, before he replied - " It's a whistler, Captain, as we used to say on the Kennebec. Nothing lives comfortable out of blankets, in such a night ns this." " The tide is running out. swift and strong ; it will be well to keep a sharp looking for this floating ice, Mr. Larkin." "Ayc, aye, sir," responded tlie mate, and I went below. Tvvo liours aftevwards I was aroused from a snund sleep by the vigilant ofllcer. " Excuse me for disturbing you, Captain," said he, as he delectud an expression of vexation in my face ; " but I wish you would turn out and come on deck as soon as possible." " Why, what's the matter, Mr. Larkin 1" " Why, air, I have been watching a large cake of cc that swept by a littlc distanco a moment ago ; I saw something black on it ; somethii g that I thought moved - (lie moon's under a cloud and I could not see distinctly, but so lielp me God, I believe there's a child flnating out to sea, in the freezing rjight, on that cake of ice." We were on deck beforc cithcr spoke another word. The mate pointed out with no little difficulty, the cake of ice, Hoating off to the leeward ; and its white, glittering surfaco broken by a black spot ; more I could rot make out. " Get the glasfi, Mr. Lurkin," [ said, the moon will be out of that cloud in a moment, and then we can see distinctly. I kept my eye on the receding mass of ice, which the muon wa slowly working her way throngh a heavy bank of clouds. The mate stood by with tíie glasn. Wlien the full light feil at last upou the water, with a brilhancy only known in our Noi-thern latitudes, I put the glass to my eye. One glance was enough. " Forward, there !" I hailed at the top of my voice, and with one bound I reached the main hatch, and began to clear away the Hule cutter which was stowed away in the ship's yawl. Mr. Larkin recoived the glass from iny hand to take H look for himtelf. " My God," hn saiu in a whisner, as he set tb workto aid me in gettingoutthe boat - " my God.there is two children on that cake of ice !" Two men answered my cali, and walked lazily aft. In an incredible ehort space of time we launched thë cutter, into which Mr. Larkin and myself jumped, followed by two men who look the oars. I rigged the tiller, and tho mate sat beside me in the stern sheet. " Don't you see that cake of ice wilh something black upon it, lads 1" I cried - " put me alongside of that, and I will give you a good suppor to-night, and a month's extra wages when you are paid off." The men bent to their oars, but their stroke3 were uneven and feeble. They were i:sed up by thé hard duty of the prer.eding fortnight, and though they did their best, the boat made little morevfny than the tide. Tfiis was a losing chase, and Mr. Larkin, who was suftering torture as he saw hdw little we gained, cried out- " Pull, lads, Pil doublé ttie Captain's prize - pull lads, the love of God, pull." A convulsive effort at the oars told how willing the men were to obey, but the strength of the strong man was gone. One of the poor fellows washed us twice in endeavoring to recover his oar, and then gave out, the other was nearly as far gone. Mr. Larkin sprang forward and seized the deserted oar. " Lay down in the bottom of the boat," said he to the man, "and, Captain, lake the other oar, we must row for ourselves." I took the second man's place ; Larkin had stripped to his Guernsey shirt, and as he pulled the bow, I waited for tbe sigoal stroke. - It carne gently, bat firm ; and the next moment we were pulling along, steady stroke, gradually inci-easing in rapidity, until the wood seemed to smoke in the row-locks. We kept time, each by the long, deep breathing of the other. Such a pull ! We bent forward till our faces almost touched our knees, and ihen, throwing all our strength into the backward movcment, drew on the oar until every inch of the space covered by the svveep had been gained. At every stroke the boat shot ahead ! like an arrow shot from a bow. Thus we workod at the oars for fifteen minutes - t ap peared to me as many hours. The sweat rolled off of me in great drops, and I was oped in a steam generator from my own body. " Are we almost up to it, Mr. Larkins, I gasped out." " Almost, Captain - don't give up ; for the love of our dear litlle ones at home, don't give up, Captain." The oars flashed like a sheen as their blades turned up to the moonlight. 'fh"e men who j plied them, were fathera, and liad fathers hearts ; the strength that nerved at tbat moment, was more tlinn human. -í.uMci.iy Mr. Larkín ceásea puflttr, and my heart for a moment almost stopped its beating, for the terrible thought he had given out crossed my miñd. But I was quickly re-assured by hií voice. " Gently, Captain, gently - a stroke or two more - there, that will do," and the next moment the boat's side carne in contact with something, and Larking sprang from the boat witli his heavy feet upon the ice. I started up calling to the men to make fast the boat to the ice, and follovvee. We ran to the dark spot in the mass and found two little boys, the head of the smaller nestling in the bosom of the larger - both were fast asleep ! The letharpy which would have proved falal to them but for the timely rescue liad overeóme them. Mr. Larkin grasped one af the lads, cut off his shoes, tore off hia jacket and loosening his own garments to tlie skin, i placed the child in contact witli his own warm body, carefully wrapping over him his great coat, which he procured from the boat. I did he same with the other child, and ve then reurned to the boat, and the men now partially ecovered, pulled slowly back. The children we subsequently had the delight of restoring to their parunts. They wore on the ice, and had ventured on the cake vhich had jarnmed into the bent of the river about ten miles above New York. A movement of' the lide had set the ice in motion, and the little fellows were borne away on that cold night and would inevitably have perished but for Mr. Larkin's espying them as the ice was sweeping out to sea. " How do you feel, Mr. Larkin l" I said to the mate the morning after his adventure. " A little stiff in the arms, Captain, the noble fellow replied, while tho big tears of grate"ul happiness gathered in his eyes, "a little stiff in the arms, Captain, but easy here," and iic laid his hand on the rough chest, in which beat a true and manly heart. My brave, quaint down-easter ! He who lashes the eas in fury, and Iets loose the tempests, will care for thee. The storms may rage without, but in thy bosom peaco and sunshine abode always. [New York Univ.rge.] EP" The Hon. E. S. Hamün, of Cleveland, Oliio, formnrly a Whig member of Congreas, and now Editor of the " Truo Dcmocrat," vvho has been spending soine time at Washington City during the present sesslon ofCongress, bears the following testimony relative to a charge often brought by ignorance and meannessagainst the Aboliüonists - viz : That thoy " are tightening the chains and increasing the miseries of the slave." Conditionof the Slaves. - W e h ave often heard it remai'kcd ihat the eflforts of Anti-Slavery men at tho North had rendered the conditionofthfi slaves far me intolerable than it was previously. We nevcr believed this, and of late have taken much puins to learn the truth of the matter. We have conversed with many honest, intelligent slaveholders, and we learn from them that the condition of the slave is itnproving. Their masters are aware that the eyes of the moral and religious world are fixod upon them - tliat the ympathies of christendom are with the slave, and that the permunency of the institution requires that. his condition should be amelioratod. Besides, thare are masler who are beginning to awake to the responsibility whicli rests upon them as guarcJians of the sould and bodies of thcir slaves ; and there are pot a few who regard slavery as doomed - who sce tliat emancipation must soon prevail, and that it is time for them to begin to pregare fer this event. Candid slaveholders snoer at the ifloa that abolition cftorts have made the condition of" the sl4v (yoise.