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There are yet two things in my destiny--
world to roam o'er, and a home with thee.
At length Eve, wearied by her apprehensions even, fell into a troubled
sleep, in which her frightened faculties, however, kept so much on the
alert, that at no time was the roar of the tempest entirely lost to her
sense of hearing. About midnight the glare of a candle crossed her eyes,
and she was broad awake in an instant. On rising in her berth she found
Nanny Sidley, who had so often and so long watched over her infant and
childish slumbers, standing at her side, and gazing wistfully in her face.
"'Tis a dread night, Miss Eve," half whispered the appalled domestic. "I
have not been able to sleep for thinking of you, and of what might happen
on these wide waters!"
"And why of me particularly, my good Nanny?" returned Eve, smiling in the
face of her old nurse as sweetly as the infant smiles in its moments of
tenderness and recollection. "Why so much of me, my excellent Ann?--are
there not others too, worthy of your care? my beloved father--your own
good self--Mademoiselle Viefville--cousin Jack--and--" the warm colour
deepened on the cheek of the beautiful girl, she scarcely knew why
herself--"and many others in the vessel, that one, kind as you, might
think of, I should hope, when your thoughts become apprehensions, and your
"There are many precious souls in the ship, ma'am, out of all question;
and I'm sure no one wishes them all safe on land again more than myself;
but it seems to me, no one among them all is so much loved as you."
Eve leaned forward playfully, and drawing her old nurse towards her,
kissed her cheek, while her own eyes glistened, and then she laid her
flushed cheek on that bosom which had so frequently been its pillow
before. After remaining a minute in this affectionate attitude, she rose
and inquired if her nurse had been on deck.
"I go every half-hour, Miss Eve; for I feel it as much my duty to watch
over you here, as when I had you all to myself in the cradle. I do not
think your father sleeps a great deal to-night, and several of the
gentlemen in the other cabins remain dressed; they ask me how you spend
the time in this tempest, whenever I pass their state-room doors."
Eve's colour deepened, and Ann Sidley thought she had never seen her child
more beautiful, as the bright luxuriant golden hair, which had strayed
from the confinement of the cap, fell on the warm cheek, and rendered eyes
that were always full of feeling, softer and more brilliant even
"They conceal their uneasiness for themselves under an affected concern
for me, my good Nanny," she said hurriedly; "and your own affection makes
you an easy dupe to the artifice."
"It may be so, ma'am, for I know but little of the ways of the world. It
is fearful, is it not, Miss Eve, to think that we are in a ship, so far
from any land, whirling along over the bottom as fast as a horse
"The danger is not exactly of that nature, perhaps, Nanny."
"There is a bottom to the ocean, is there not? I have heard some maintain
there is no bottom to the sea--and that would make the danger so much
greater. I think, if I felt certain that the bottom was not very deep, and
there was only a rock to be seen now and then, I should not find it so
Eve laughed like a child, and the contrast between the sweet simplicity of
her looks, her manners, and her more cultivated intellect, and the
matronly appearance of the less instructed Ann, made one of those pictures
in which the superiority of mind over all other things becomes
"Your notions of safety, my dear Nanny," she said, "are not precisely
those of a seaman; for I believe there is nothing of which they stand more
in dread than of rocks and the bottom."
"I fear I'm but a poor sailor, ma'am, for in my judgment we could have no
greater consolation in such a tempest than to see them all around us. Do
you think, Miss Eve, that the bottom of the ocean, if there is truly a
bottom, is whitened with the bones of shipwrecked mariners, as
"I doubt not, my excellent Nanny, that the great deep might give up many
awful secrets; but you ought to think less of these things, and more of
that merciful Providence which has protected us through so many dangers
since we have been wanderers. You are in much less danger now than I have
known you to be, and escape unharmed."
"I, Miss Eve!--Do you suppose that I fear for myself? What matters it if a
poor old woman like me die a few years sooner or later or where her frail
old body is laid? I have never been of so much account when living as to
make it of consequence where the little which will remain to decay when
dead moulders into dust. Do not, I implore you, Miss Effingham, suppose
me so selfish as to feel any uneasiness to-night on my own account."
"Is it then, as usual, all for me, my dear, my worthy old nurse, that you
feel this anxiety? Put your heart at ease, for they who know best betray
no alarm; and you may observe that the captain sleeps as tranquilly this
night as on any other."
"But he is a rude man, and accustomed to danger. He has neither wife nor
children, and I'll engage has never given a thought to the horrors of
having a form precious as this floating in the caverns of the ocean,
amidst ravenous fish and sea-monsters."
Here her imagination overcame poor Nanny Sidley, and she folded her arms
about the beautiful person of Eve, and sobbed violently. Her young
mistress, accustomed to similar exhibitions of affection, soothed her with
blandishments and assurances that soon restored her self-command, when the
dialogue was resumed with a greater appearance of tranquillity on the part
of the nurse. They conversed a few minutes on the subject of their
reliance on God, Eve returning fourfold, or with the advantages of a
cultivated intellect, many of those simple lessons of faith and humility
that she had received from her companion when a child; the latter
listening, as she always did, to these exhortations, which sounded in her
ears, like the echoes of all her own better thoughts, with a love and
reverence no other could awaken. Eve passed her small white hand over the
wrinkled cheek of Nanny in kind fondling, as it had been passed a thousand
times when a child, an act she well knew her nurse delighted in, and
"And now, my good old Nanny, you will set your heart at ease, I know; for
though a little too apt to trouble yourself about one who does not deserve
half your care, you are much too sensible and too humble to feel distrust
out of reason. We will talk of something else a few minutes, and then you
will lie down and rest your weary body."
"Weary! I should never feel weary in watching, when I thought there was a
cause for it."
Although Nanny made no allusion to herself, Eve understood in whose behalf
this watchfulness was meant. She drew the face of the old woman towards
her, and left a kiss on each cheek ere she continued:--
"These ships have other things to talk about, besides their dangers," she
said. "Do you not find it odd, at least, that a vessel of war should be
sent to follow us about the ocean in this extraordinary way?"
"Quite so, ma'am, and I did intend to speak to you about it, some time
when I saw you had nothing better to think of. At first I fancied, but I
believe it was a silly thought, that some of the great English lords and
admirals that used to be so much about us at Paris, and Rome, and Vienna,
had sent this ship to see you safe to America, Miss Eve; for I never
supposed they would make so much fuss concerning a poor runaway couple,
like these steerage-passengers."
Eve did not refrain from laughing again, at this conceit of Nanny's, for
her temperament was gay as childhood, though well restrained by
cultivation and manner, and once more she patted the cheek of her
"Those great lords and admirals are not great enough for that, dear Nanny,
even had they the inclination to do so silly a thing. But has no other
reason suggested itself to you, among the many curious circumstances you
may have had occasion to observe in the ship?"
Nanny looked at Eve, and turned her eyes aside, glanced furtively at the
young lady again, and at last felt compelled to answer.
"I endeavour, ma'am, to think well of everybody, though strange thoughts
will sometimes arise without our wishing it. I suppose I know to what you
allude; but I don't feel quite certain it becomes me to speak."
"With me at least, Nanny, you need have no reserves, and I confess a
desire to learn if we have thought alike about some of our
fellow-passengers. Speak freely, then; for you can have no more
apprehension in communicating all your thoughts to me, than in
communicating them to your own child."
"Not as much, ma'am, not half as much; for you are both child and mistress
to me, and I look quite as much to receiving advice as to giving it. It is
odd, Miss Eve, that gentlemen should not pass under their proper names,
and I have had unpleasant feelings about it, though I did not think it
became me to be the first to speak, while your father was with you, and
mamerzelle," for so Nanny always styled the governess, "and Mr. John, all
of whom love you almost as much as I do, and all of whom are so much
better judges of what is right. But now you encourage me to speak my mind,
Miss Eve, I will say I should like that no one came near you who does not
carry his heart in his open hand, that the youngest child might know his
character and understand his motives."
Eve smiled as her nurse grew warm, but she blushed in spite of an effort
to seem indifferent.
"This would be truly a vain wish, dear Nanny, in the mixed company of a
ship," she said. "It is too much to expect that strangers will throw aside
all their reserves, on first finding themselves in close communion. The
well-bred and prudent will only stand more on their guard under such
"I perceive that you recollect the face of one of our shipmates. Why do
you shake your head?" The tell-tale blood of Eve again mantled over her
lovely countenance. "I suppose I ought to have said _two_ of our
shipmates, though I had doubted whether you retained any recollection of
one of them."
"No gentleman ever speaks to you twice, Miss Eve, that I do not remember
"Thank you, dearest Nanny, for this and a thousand other proofs of your
never-ceasing interest in my welfare; but I had not believed you so
vigilant as to take heed of every face that happens to approach me."
"Ah, Miss Eve! neither of these gentlemen would like to be mentioned by
you in this careless manner, I'm sure. They both did a great deal more
than 'happen to approach you;' for as to--"
"Hist! dear Nanny; we are in a crowded place, and you may be overheard.
You will use no names, therefore, as I believe we understand each other
without going into all these particulars. Now, my dear nurse, would I give
something to know which of these young men has made the most favourable
impression on your upright and conscientious mind I?"
"Nay, Miss Eve, what is my judgment in comparison with your own, and that
of Mr. John Effingham, and--"
"--My cousin Jack! In the name of wonder, Nanny, what has he to do with
"Nothing, ma'am; only I can see he has his favourites as well as another,
and I'll venture to say Mr. Dodge is not the greatest he has in
"I think you might add Sir George Templemore; too," returned Eve,
Ann Sidley looked hard at her young mistress, and smiled before she
answered; and then she continued the discourse naturally, as if there had
been no interruption.
"Quite likely, ma'am; and Mr. Monday, and all the rest of that set. But
you see how soon he discovers a real gentleman; for he is quite easy and
friendly with Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt, particularly the last."
Eve was silent, for she did not like the open introduction of these names,
though she scarce knew why herself.
"My cousin is a man of the world," she resumed, on perceiving that Nanny
watched her countenance with solicitude, as if fearful of having gone too
far; "and there is nothing surprising in his discovering men of his own
class. We know both these persons to be not exactly what they seem, though
I think we know no harm of either, unless it be the silly change of names.
It would have been better had they come on board, bearing their proper
appellations; to us, at least, it would have been more respectful, though
both affirm they were ignorant that my father had taken passage in the
Montauk,--a circumstance that may very well be true, as you know we got
the cabin that was first engaged by another party."
"I should be sorry, ma'am, if either failed in respect."
"It is not quite adulatory to make a young woman the involuntary keeper of
the secrets of two unreflecting young men; that is all, my good Nanny. We
cannot well betray them, and we are consequently their confidants _par
force_. The most amusing part of the thing is, that they are masters of
each other's secrets, in part at least, and feel a delightful awkwardness
in a hundred instances. For my own part I pity neither, but think each is
fairly enough punished. They will be fortunate if their servants do not
betray them before we reach New York."
"No fear of that, ma'am, for they are discreet, cautious men, and if
disposed to blab, Mr. Dodge has given both good opportunities already, as
I believe he has put to them as many questions as there are speeches in
"Mr. Dodge is a vulgar man."
"So we all say, ma'am, in the servants' cabin, and everybody is so set
against him there, that there is little chance of his learning much. I
hope, Miss Eve, mamerzelle does not distrust either of the gentlemen?"
"Surely you cannot suspect Mademoiselle Viefville of indiscretion, Nanny;
a better spirit, or a better tone than hers, does not exist."
"No, ma'am, 'tis not that: but I should like to have one more secret with
you, all to myself. I honour and respect mamerzelle, who has done a
thousand times more for you than a poor ignorant woman like me could have
done, with all my zeal; but I do believe, Miss Eve, I love your shoe tie
better than she loves your pure and beautiful spirit."
"Mademoiselle Viefville is an excellent woman, and I believe is sincerely
attached to me."
"She would be a wretch else. I do not deny her attachment, but I only say
it is nothing, it ought to be nothing, it can be nothing, it shall be
nothing, compared to that of the one who first held you in her arms, and
who has always held you in her heart. Mamerzelle can sleep such a night as
this, which I'm sure she could not do were she as much concerned for
you as I am."
Eve knew that jealousy of Mademoiselle Viefville was Nanny's greatest
weakness, and drawing the old woman to her, she entwined her arms around
her neck and complained of drowsiness. Accustomed to watching, and really
unable to sleep, the nurse now passed a perfectly happy hour in holding
her child, who literally dropped asleep on her bosom; after which Nanny
slid into the berth beneath, in her clothes, and finally lost the sense of
her apprehensions in perturbed slumbers.
A cry on dock awoke all in the cabins early on the succeeding morning. It
was scarcely light, but a common excitement seized every passenger, and
ten minutes had not elapsed when Eve and her governess appeared in the
hurricane-house, the last of those who came from below. Few questions had
been asked, but all hurried on deck with their apprehensions awakened by
the gale, increased to the sense of some positive and impending danger.
Nothing, however, was immediately apparent to justify all this sudden
clamour. The gale continued, if anything with increased power; the ocean
was rolling over its cataracts of combing seas, with which the ship was
still racing, driven under the strain of a reefed fore-course, the only
canvas that was set. Even with this little sail the hull was glancing
through the raging seas, or rather in their company, at a rate a little
short of ten miles in the hour.
Captain Truck was in the mizzen-rigging, bare-headed, every lock of hair
he had blowing out like a pennant. Occasionally he signed to the man at
the wheel which way to put the helm; for instead of sleeping, as many had
supposed, he had been conning the ship for hours in the same situation, As
Eve appeared, he was directing the attention of several of the gentlemen
to some object astern, but a very few moments put all on deck in
possession of the facts.
About a cable's length, on one of the quarters of the Montauk, was a ship
careering before the gale like themselves, though carrying more canvas,
and consequently driving faster through the water. The sudden appearance
of this vessel in the sombre light of the morning, when objects were seen
distinctly but without the glare of day; the dark hull, relieved by a
single narrow line of white paint, dotted with ports; the glossy
hammock-cloths, and all those other coverings of dark glistening canvas
which give to a cruiser an air of finish and comfort, like that of a
travelling carriage; the symmetry of the spars, and the gracefulness of
all the lines, whether of the hull or hamper, told all who knew anything
of such subjects, that the stranger was a vessel of war. To this
information Captain Truck added that it was their old pursuer the Foam.
"She is corvette-built," said the master of the Montauk, "and is obliged
to carry more canvas than we, in order to keep out of the way of the seas;
for, if one of these big fellows should overtake her, and throw its crest
into her waist, she would become like a man who has taken too much
Saturday-night, and with whom a second dose might settle the purser's
Such in fact was the history of the sudden appearance of this ship. She
had lain-to as long as possible, and on being driven to scud, carried a
close-reefed maintop-sail, a show of canvas that urged her through the
water about two knots to the hour faster than the rate of the-packet.
Necessarily following the same coarse, she overtook the latter just as the
day began to dawn. The cry had arisen on her sudden discovery, and the
moment had now arrived when she was about to come up, quite abreast of her
late chase. The passage of the Foam, under such circumstances, was a grand
but thrilling thing. Her captain, too, was seen in the mizzen-rigging of
his ship, rocked by the gigantic billows over which the fabric was
careering. He held a speaking-trumpet in his hand, as if still bent on his
duty, in the midst of that awful warring of the elements. Captain Truck
called for a trumpet in his turn, and fearful of consequences he waved it
to the other to keep more aloof, The injunction was either misunderstood,
the man-of-war's man was too much bent on his object, or the ocean was too
uncontrollable for such a purpose, the corvette driving up on a sea quite
abeam of the packet, and in fearful proximity. The Englishman applied the
trumpet, and words were heard amid the roaring of the winds. At that time
the white field of old Albion, with the St. George's cross, rose over the
bulwarks, and by the time it had reached the gaff-end, the bunting was
whipping in ribbons.
"Show 'em the gridiron!" growled Captain Truck through his trumpet, with
its mouth turned in board.
As everything was ready this order was instantly obeyed, and the stripes
of America were soon seen fluttering nearly in separate pieces. The two
ships now ran a short distance in parallel lines, rolling from each other
so heavily that the bright copper of the corvette was seen nearly to her
keel. The Englishman, who seemed a portion of his ship, again tried his
trumpet; the detached words of "lie-by,"--"orders,"--"communicate," were
caught by one or two, but the howling of the gale rendered all connexion
in the meaning impossible. The Englishman ceased his efforts to make
himself heard, for the two ships were now rolling-to, and it appeared as
if their spars would interlock. There was an instant when Mr. Leach had
his hand on the main-brace to let it go; but the Foam started away on a
sea, like a horse that feels the spur, and disobeying her helm, shot
forward, as if about to cross the Montauk's forefoot.
A breathless instant followed, for all on board the two ships thought they
must now inevitably come foul of each other, and this the more so, because
the Montauk took the impulse of the sea just as it was lost to the Foam,
and seemed on the point of plunging directly into the stern of the latter.
Even the seamen clenched the ropes around them convulsively, and the
boldest held their breaths for a time. The "p-o-r-t, hard a port, and be
d---d to you!" of Captain Truck; and the "S-t-a-r-b-o-a-r-d, starboard
hard!" of the Englishman, were both distinctly audible to all in the two
ships; for this was a moment in which seamen can speak louder than the
tempest. The affrighted vessels seemed to recede together, and they shot
asunder in diverging lines, the Foam leading. All further attempts at a
communication were instantly useless; the corvette being half a mile ahead
in a quarter of an hour, rolling her yardarms nearly to the water.
Captain Truck said little to his passengers concerning this adventure; but
when he had lighted a cigar, and was discussing the matter with his
chief-mate, he told the latter there was "just one minute when he would
not have given a ship's biscuit for both vessels, nor much more for their
cargoes. A man must have a small regard for human souls, when he puts
them, and their bodies too, in so much jeopardy for a little tobacco."
Throughout the day it blew furiously, for the ship was running into the
gale, a phenomenon that we shall explain, as most of our readers may not
comprehend it. All gates of wind commence to leeward; or, in other words,
the wind is first felt at some particular point, and later, as we recede
from that point, proceeding in the direction from which the wind blows.
It is always severest near the point where it commences, appearing to
diminish in violence as it recedes. This, therefore, is an additional
motive for mariners to lie-to, instead of scudding, since the latter not
only carries them far from their true coarse, but it carries them also
nearer to the scene of the greatest fury of the elements.
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