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could not weep.
in the confusion of the moment, the kindhearted youth was deprived of utterance. But poor Blanche, now all alive to her bereavement, read in his countenance the disastrous truth. She asked no more. It was enongh-and she slowly returned to her house. At first she wept not--perhaps
But her sorrows found vent in shrieks of agony-which continued until she fainted, and fell insensible, as we have related, into the arms of her son.
The mournful event, as I was informed by the sailor, had occurred on the preceding night. “ The Aurora” was in company with the sloop in which he sailed, when on a sudden a cloud was remarked hurrying with the rapidity of lightning over the summit of one of the highest hills, that gird the lake on the side of Savoy.-Not a moment was to be lost. -Unless the sails were reefed instantaneously, the vessel must inevitably founder. Unfortunately the cordage of the main-sail of the Aurora-we call it so to be understood, the vessels that navigate the lakes of Switzerland being rigged in a manner totally different from any thing we are accustomed to-had become entangled at the top of the mast to which it was attached. At this instant a shout from the steersman warned the captain, poor Blanche's busband, of their imminent danger, and he flew from his cabin to the deck. His quick eye saw the peril of himself and his shipmates, and as soon discerned the
Fearless of death, when in his lawful vocation, and nursed, as it were, amidst the waters, they had almost grown into his element, and the rocking of the waves, and the music of the wind that swept them, as he used to tell his Blanche, when in their younger years he had wandered with her on the banks of the blue lake, and wooed and won her, were pleasant to his soul. In the vessels that navigate the Lake of Geneva, it should be remarked, as they are generally small in size, there are no ladders to the masts, except in very rare instances.
So it was with that in which
Blanche's husband sailed. But it was absolutely necessary that some one should ascend to disengage the rope. The captain disdained to order another to do what he dared not undertake himself; and without pausing, lest a moment's consideration of the imminence of the hazard he was running should deter him, he seized the rope that hung from the mast, and in a few seconds was
at the top.
His companions stood motionless gazing on their intrepid commander, who, to save their lives, had thus doubly risked his own. Now was the crisis. The whirlwind was sweeping along, curling the water as it came, and even already dashing it up in little loose foaming waves,- but it had not yet reached the ship. The captain was exerting his collected strength. He stopped not--if he did they were lost--to look at the cloud that hurried portentously towards hiin.-All below were breathless with suspense.—They beheld—the rope was disengaged, and the undaunted mariner gave a shout of joy.--His comrades echoed it.But-at that moment, and just as he was snatching a rope to descend by, the blast overtook him—the vessel healedhe missed his hold-was precipitated into the water —and, with a faint shriek, sunk, to rise no more !
Such was the melancholy fate of poor Blanche's husband; and many a tear embalmed and blest his memory. But, it was not doubted, mournful as was his end, that he had died in faith ; and his friends and kindred, to whom he had been long and deeply endeared, were comforted in the thought. His Bible was found open upon his table, and it was conjectured that he had been reading the third chapter of Pro-. verbs, as a mark was observed at its commencement, in his own hand and with the iuk still wet, immediately after the distressing event. That Bible was a present from Blanche-she had given it to him on the
day she promised to become his wife. There were many circumstances which indicated that he bad frequently perused it alone in his cabin, for he was a man of retired habits; and his ship-mates, with whom he had sailed for several years, and who loved and revered him as a father, wept afterwards as they related to me little anecdotes of his benevolence and piety. On one occasion, they told me, that the wind had been adverse, and that they were suddenly becalmed in the middle of the lake on the eve of the Sabbath. Next morning -the sun shone sweetly, they said, upon that day of rest—the captain called his little crew together, and observing to them with what regret he had seen himself thus prevented from attending the public ordinances of religion, he took his Bible, read a chapter, spoke a few words of exposition, such as a sailor might, knelt down on the hard deck, and prayed. Nor was this unusual. He seldom was from shore during the hours dedicated to hallowed repose,