« ZurückWeiter »
acknowledge in the sight of God and man. But oh! dear Sir, let the most rigidly virtuous consider a poor unin. structed young girl, without any principles almost but those of vanity, attacked by every thing that can allure, youth, wealth, personal graces ; solemn vows, and the most awful protestations and promises of marriage from a faithless heart; her own, sick with love; and let pardon at least be granted for one fault. For the rest, treachery, perfidy, cruelty, pecessity, will speak. My sufferings have been very severe : and oh! that I had known those dictates of virtue and religion, in which I have been instructed at the Magdalen, and which found a properly humbled mind to receive them! Oh! that in early youth I had known them; that my parents had early taught me the ways of piety; for, I am persuaded, I should then never have taken the first false step. I should then have preserved my innocence, and have escaped those sorrows, which I am satisfied, are the never-failing attendants of Vice.
I am, Sir,
: : A GRATEFUL MAGDALEN:
Struggles for Life ;:,.
OR AN INSTANCE OF THE MOST UNCOMMON INTREPIDITY AND : PERSEVERANCE CROWNED WITH SUCCESS, its Deing a Narrative of the PROVIDENTIAL DELIVER
ANCE of CHARLES STURT, Esq. M. P. for Bridport, who was upset and repeatedly washed from his boat, 'in attempting to make the land from his Yacht, in which he accompanied
their Majesties in a pleasure voyage of Weymouth. . 1.1... ';. :
Weymouth, Sept. 2oth, 1800. His Majesty, with the Queen and Royal Family, went on board the Cambrian Frigate ; the St Fiorenzo and Syren saluted. At ten, the three frigates slipped, and stood to sea on the larboard tack; about a quarter after, I got under sail, and stood for the Cambrian, the standard Aying on board her; kept on her quarter, and Bailed at times round her. Half after ten, saw Me Weld's yacht to leeward beating to windward, and bore away towards her : on coming on her weather quarter,
hauled my wind, and sailed in company with her; obo seryed she fore reached me, but I joined to windward.
At a little before eleven, passed under the stern of the "Cambrian. Mi Weld's cuiter under ny lec bow ; bis boat being in, and top-mast struck, she felt no im. , pediment whatever ; my boat astern, I observed, impeded my sailing considerably : the sea running too bigby was afraid to hoist her in; however, struck my top mast and made all snug. - . .
Both cutters standing to sea, about eleven, two leagues from land, the King's frigates had worn and stood to Weymouth Bay. Feeling anxious to beat Me Weld's cutter, which I saw I should do, could I get rid of my
boat, I proposed to one of my sailors to jump in and carry her to Weymouth : at this he hesitated, and refused. I observed, " You, my lads, have known me long e. nough to be satisfied, that I would not order you to do a thing I would not readily do myself; therefore, reef the sail, slip the mast ;-I will go myself,”—This was soon done : . I took my pocket compass. On jumping into the boat, Ben asked me If I would have another coat on ?-“Oh! no-no-never mind, Ben. "I can swim in this as well as any i have."
Got into the boat ; left my yacht ; ordered my master to attend and do his best to beat Mr Weld's; hoisted: my sail, and steered N.N.E. to get clear of the Sham. bles : found a considerable sea running, but nothing but what the boat could weather with ease (for she never shipped a thimble-full of water till I came to the Shambles.) A very strong ebb-tide carried me to the Westward, and on for the Shambles, which I wished to avoid : put before the wind, but being under a very low sail, could not stem the tide ; dared not quit the helm to let the reefs out of the sail, for féar of broaching-to; the : tide hauling me dead on the Shambles, where the sea , was running tremendously high, and breaking horribly: 21 no time to be lost.
Sensible of my danger; and convinced that Izould nei ther get to the eastward nor to the westward of them, I! prepared to meet the danger"; and, to make my boat as. Kvely as possible, threw overboard may ballast; which, likewise, would prevent her from sinking to the bottom : the dismal sound of the breakers I began to hear, and soon saw them right a-head: Aware of the danger, and . convinced that my boat could not exist many-minutes, klesajib * :*: *az
and nothing but the interposition of Providence save me, to divert my thoughts from the horrid idea of death. I began singing, the sea song-"Cease, rude Boreas," at the same time keeping the boat's quarter to the surf: as I was singing the second verse; a dreadful sea, all foaming, took my boat on her larboard quarter, sheered a-weather my helm, she lost her shorage, way, broached. to, upset, and overwhelmed, the sea rolling over and over. Recovering from my alarm, without the smallest hope of escaping, I swam to my boat, which was, lying on her broadside ;; with difficulty I got into her, and held her fast. I immediately pulled off my coat, waistcoat, shirt, and cravats, this I accomplished with much difficulty, being wet.
After this, I began to consider what could be done:no, sail near me; above fifteen miles from the nearest land ;, a dreadful hollow-broken sea running in every direction, and frequently overwhelming, me, gave me 99 hopes of saving my life. To surrender without a strug. gle I considered weak : the thoughts of my, wife and children, which at that periodo struck my mind very forcibly. (I thought I saw them); recollecting the diffic culties which I surmounted, two years before, in saving some men from a wreck off my house, and knowing that
they were saved from a situation as dreadful as my own, · by the assistance of Divine Providence this gave me
resolution and fortitude to exert myself. I began to clear away the boat's masts and sails, which I. accom plished at last, after being repeatedly washed off the boat. When I had cleared the wreck, I got on her gunu ale, and by my weight browght her to right: I got into her ; but the violence of the seas, and their coming on' so repeatedly, overwhelmed me. The difficulty
of regaining my boat against such seas quite exhausted Den and the salt water affected my sight so, that it was some time before I could recover my boat. .
Looking found for a sail, and perceiving none, and in. creasing my distance from land, I began to think it a, fol. ly, to struggle any, longer for a miserable existence of, a few hours; however, the love of life, and hopes of some vassel heaving in sight, got the better, and I resolved to use every possible means of preserving it, to continue in the boat... Repeatedly washed off, and buried in the wages, I knew, that could not be; much longer supported :-I must give way. I then recollected that, fishermen, when caught in. a.gale, frequently, let, a, spar or a, mast, fastened to their boat's painter, go a head, and the spar broke the force of the waves before they came to the boat. Having been, bythis time, above two hours in the water (for I upset, at twelve,) I felt myself much fac } tigued, and that it was absolutely necessary. I should try some scheme to relieve myself. I accordingly took my boat's painter, and passed it over and under the after-short, or seat of the boat: in accomplishing this, I was frequently buried under the waves for many seconds, and, following cach other so repeatedly, my breath was nearly gone.
At this period, several gurnets (a large species of seagull) hovered close to me, and were so bold as to come
within two feet of my head. I suppose that they antici. | patod a good meal on me; however, by hollaing pretty
loud, i convinced them that I was not yet dead: they took fight, and I saw no more of them. After they were gone, I tried how my scheme answered: when a heavy sea came, I got out of the boats and swam to lece'
ward, holding by the boat's painter, which I had fastened 1 to her braadside ; being to the sea, and bottom upwards,