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soil with you; and I don't think that would pay freight."
The brig was under weigh at eleven o'clock, and we ran down to Port Royal, a distance of eight or nine miles, in little more than an hour. With the same fine breeze, we stood out to sea, and shaped our course to the southward, to keep clear of the Pedro shoals; which, by the way, was not our proper route: we should have kept between those shoals and the island of Jamaica; but it was the captain's obstinacy, or fate, not to do so. In the evening we were becalmed, Portland Point being just discoverable from deck; and during the night we made little or no way through the water. About three o'clock in the morning (Monday 24th), the wind off the land reached us, which carried the brig a few leagues farther to the southward. Early in the forenoon the trade-wind set in, very fresh, from the E.N.E., when the captain, considering himself clear of the Pedro shoals, edged away a little to the westward; and finding, by observation at noon, that he was well to the southward, the brig was kept away west, the trade-wind continuing to blow steadily from the eastward, but sometimes freshening almost into a gale. We found by our reckoning on Tuesday at noon, that we must have run nearly two hundred miles during the last twenty-four hours.
The gale began now to slacken, and the wind veered to the N.E. and N.N.E. in squalls, looking sometimes very black to windward, so that from time to time we were under the necessity of taking in sail. But the sea had got up, and the motion of
the vessel had become very uneasy; therefore it was necessary to lash and secure the hen-coops on deck, and every thing in the cabin and state rooms, as safely as possible. Towards evening the weather became still more unsettled; sometimes perfectly calm, yet the sea much agitated; sometimes blowing a fine steady breeze from the eastward, which induced the captain again to set the topgallant sails; then suddenly chopping round with a heavy squall from the N.W., obliged us to clew up all sail. I requested the captain, as night was coming on, to hand the mainsail and topgallant sails, and closereef the topsails, and, being made snug, to lay to under easy sail till daylight; as we were now approaching the main land, where the shoals and rocks were numerous, and not accurately laid down on the chart; but he would not consent to heave the vessel to, although he made her snug: he would keep his course, to get in under the island of Rattan in the morning, if possible; and I was obliged to yield to his determination. One of the men said we should have a hurricane: "The hurricane months are over, you blackguard," replied the captain angrily. The man, however, appeared to know what he was talking about, and I, for one, believed him; but the captain laughed at him, after his choler had subsided. I then thought it quite time to insist on the dead lights being put in, to secure the cabin windows against the violence of the sea, if it should break up against them and well it was that. I had been firm to have it done; for the windows were scarcely secured by their wooden outside shutters, when it began to thunder and rain in torrents; it was one cascade of
water from the heavens. My poor dear wife had gone below into the cabin, a little before the storm came on; she had been induced to descend by the awful blackness that totally overspread the sky, which until then had been cheeringly bright in some one quarter or other; and although I did not remain five minutes after her, I was thoroughly wetted to the skin, before I could get off deck and run down the ladder. I had scarcely entered the cabin, when the wind arose suddenly, and with such violence, that the brig in an instant seemed on her beam ends. At this moment I thought I heard some one fall down the companion ladder. The hurricane had blown the sails to ribbons, but the crew had succeeded in getting her before the wind. The vessel being a little steady, I went to see who or what it was that had made the unlucky tumble, and found my two goats, which, in the bustle and confusion, had probably attempted to take refuge in the companion, or some one had thrown them there purposely out of the way, as the door was immediately closed down after them, to keep the sea from rolling from the deck into the steerage-passage and cabin. This circumstance, which at the time did not appear worthy of much notice, was nevertheless important, the hand of Providence having directed it.
I now endeavoured to console my wife, whose strength of mind and kindness of heart bestowed reciprocal consolations on myself. "God will preserve us, my honoured love!" said she; "I feel that we are safe, notwithstanding this dreadful hurricane: but," added she, pressing my hand and
moving it to her lips," if we should be drowned, we shall die together, and we shall not be separated: we shall meet, where we can part no more." Her feelings now overpowered her, and she fell on my neck and wept. I kissed away the tears from her eyes, saying, "We will trust in the Almighty."
I wanted to go on deck, but was not able to effect it; the companion door would not move, and the sea was dashing over the quarter deck. I, however, got the people there to open one of the side doors a little, and I peeped out. The wind howled horribly, and the sea was all in a foam the brig was running before the wind, sometimes on one point of the compass, sometimes on another, just as the gale happened to chop round, which it sometimes did, and then the sea broke over the brig while she was veering to the wind. Two of the hands and the yawl had been washed overboard. We continued to be driven by the storm for eight or ten hours, I cannot tell in what direction; but about two or three o'clock in the morning they called out, "Breakers, breakers! land! breakers!" I was below with my wife in the cabin. Being no seaman, I could do no good on deck; but, hearing this, I got up the ladder to the companion door. All was again fast down, and they could not open it; in fact, all hands were too much absorbed by the awfulness of their situation. In a few minutes the vessel struck, and we, who were below, were thrown violently on the cabin floor. The poor dog, our faithful Fidele, howled mournfully as he was driven to the further end of the cabin: this, at such a moment, had a powerful effect on us. "We are indeed lost!" said
my wife, as she recovered a little from the fall she had just received. I did not now wait to console her by my words; I renewed my efforts to force the companion door, and get upon deck; but it was perfect darkness where we were, and I could not find any thing to add to my own ineffectual strength, nor could I make any one on deck attend to me; they could not hear me for the noise made by the howling of the wind and the breaking of the sea ; yet I sometimes heard them, and could discover that they were cutting away the wreck of the mainmast, which lay over the side- making ready to get the long boat over the gunwale, to escape, if possible, from the perishing vessel. I now became frantic; I knocked with my hands, and hallooed with all my power, but to no purpose. By accident I stumbled over an empty stone bottle at the foot of the ladder, with the bottom of which I struck the companion door so violently that I succeeded in arresting the attention of the captain. He unbolted it, telling me at the same time, "We are all lost!" but that the men were trying to launch the long boat, our only chance; for, although it was likely she would swamp in the breakers, it was quite certain the brig would go to pieces in a few minutes; and if Mrs. Seaward and I chose to go, we must be up in a second, for "look there!" said he; crying out at the same time, "another shove, lads, and she's all our own!" the long boat was launched; and I returned down the ladder, with all speed. The brig was lying on her starboard side, the sea breaking over her bow and fore-chains; but, from the position of a rocky island to windward, she