Imatges de pÓgina


says he.

my absent mistress; but he warns me that with tropical plants and kitchen stuff, a there are many difficulties in the way of thickly veiled nun approaches us. The doing so.

lady seems to be on familiar terms with “ The nuns,” he says, “who accompany the dentist, whom she addresses in a my patient, stand like a couple of sentinels mild, soothing tone, as if she were admion each side of her, and no word or ges- nistering words of comfort to a sick perture escapes their attentive ears and son. We follow her through a narrow watchful gaze. He must have more than corridor, where I observe numerous doors, a conjurer's hand who can perform any which I am told give access to the apartepistolary feat and escape their keen ob- ments or cells occupied by the convent servation."

inmates. We pass a chamber where chil. The allusion to conjuring reminds me of dren's voices are heard. There is a school my scheme.

attached to the convent for the benefit Will the friendly dentist recommend to of those who desire their offspring to his patient a box of his registered tooth- receive religious instruction from the powder ?

Music and fancy needlework are He will be delighted to have that oppor- also taught, and some of the distressed tunity.

damsels, who, like Cachita, are undergoing One of my assistants who accompanies a term of conventual imprisonment for me in my convent rounds shall include similar offences, impose upon themselves a such a box in my dentist's bag.”

mild form of hard labour by assisting to Don Ignacio sees through my “little improve the infant mind. Cachita, who is a powder plot,” as he calls it, and hands me good musician, takes an active part in this a box of his patented tooth-powder, beneath branch of education. which I afterwards carefully deposit a At last we are ushered into a gloomy, billet-doux.

whitewashed apartment (everything in the But Don Ignacio can improve upon my convent appears to be of wood and whitescheme, and staggers me with his new wash), where our guide takes leave of us. idea.

While the dentist, assisted by his pracYou shall deliver the box yourself!" ticante, is arranging his implements for

tooth-stopping on a deal table, which, The convent rules, he explains, allow together with a couple of wooden chairs, him to introduce an assistant, or practi- constitute the furniture of this cheerless cante," as he is called. The same practi- chamber, an inner door is thrown open, cante does not always accompany him in and a couple of nuns, attired in sombre his semi-weekly visits to the convent. bleek, enter with Don Ignacio's fair

“On this occasion only,” says the con- patient. Cachita is dressed in spotless siderate dentist, “ you shall be my practi- white, a knotted rope suspended from her cante."

girdle, and a yellowish veil affixed in such Early next morning we on the a manner to her brow as completely conthreshold of the sacred ground. Don ceals her hair, which, simple practicante Ignacio boldly enters the stone ante- though I be, I know is dark, soft, and chamber, which I have so often timidly frizzled at the top. Her pretty face is approached, and taps with a firm knuckle pale, and already wears (or seems to wear) on the torno.

the approved expression of monastic re“Ave Maria Purisima !” murmurs the signation. door-keeper from behind.

Following Don Ignacio's suggestion, I " Pecador de mi!” replies the practised carefully conceal my face while Cachita

seats herself between the sentinel nuns. “Que se ofrece usted ?” (what is your The dentist, with a presence of mind in pleasure ?) inquires the voice. And when which I participate but little, commences the dentist has satisfied the door-keeper's his business of tooth-stopping, pausing in numerous demands, a spring door flies his work to exchange a few friendly words open and we step into a narrow passage. with his patient and the amicable nuns. Here we remain for some moments, while Hitherto my services have not been in reour persons are carefully identified through quisition ; but anon the subject of the a perforated disc. Then another door tooth-powder is introduced. opens, the mysterious door-keeper appears Will La Cachita allow the dentist to reand conducts us into the very core of commend her a tooth-powder of his own the convent. As we look over the con- preparation ? vent garden, which is tastefully laid out Cachita is in no immediate need of such



an article, but the dentist is persuasive, Julietta! Julietta! and the young lady is prevailed upon to

'Tis Alphonso speaks, my dear!

Canst thou slumber on so soundly give the powder a trial.

While thy lover stands so near? “You will derive much benefit from its

" Who is that whose hollow accents use," observes Don Ignacio. My assist

Break my first sleep sweet and bright 2 ant" (and here the cunning tooth-stopper,

Who is he beneath my window

Standing ghostlike in the night" being close to his patient's ear, whispers

Julietta! Julietta! my name)” will bring it you presently."

'Tis Alphonso who doth wait; “ What ails La Niña ?” inquires one of Come again and speak unto him the nuns, bending forward; for Cachita has

Here beside thy garden gate. uttered a cry, and swooned away.

“ 'Tis some thief and not Alphonso,

'Tis some robber in disguise. “Nothing, señora," says Don Ignacio, Even if thou wert Alphonso, with the same sang froid already noted.

It is far too cold to rise." “Only a nerve which I have accidentally Julietta ! Julietta ! excited in my operation. She will be

By our parting, by our pain,

Here beneath the stars of heaven, better presently.

Let me kiss thy lips again. The dentist desires me to bring him a

“Hush and go away this midnight, certain bottle, and with the contents of

Come again to-morrow morn; this his patient is soon restored to con

If our prying neighbours heard thee sciousness.

They would hold me up to scorn."

Julietta! Julietta ! “Keep her head firm,” says my artful

If indeed it must be so, friend, addressing me with a faint smile Reach me out thy hand, my dearest, on his countenance, “while I put the finish

Let me kiss it ere I go. ing touches to my work."

“Hush, I hear some one approaching,

Go away, for I am ill, I obey; and though my hands are far

I am very sick and sleepy, from being as steady as an assistant's should

Come to-morrow-if you will." be, I acquit myself creditably.

Ha, thou false one! Now full surely Cachita's mouth is again open to facili

I perceive the news is right; tate the dentist's operations, but also, as it

Seven long years I have been faithful

In the day and in the night. seems to me, in token of surprise at the

Seven long years I have remembered apparition now bending over her.

Since we on this spot did part, 1. You will find much relief in the use of

Yet already to another this tooth-powder,” continues my friend,

Thou hast given away thy heart. in a careless tone, as though nothing had

“ My poor heart I have not given,

And I kept it safe for you; happened. • Very strengthening to the

At last Antonio came and stole it, gums. When

have got to the bottom

And alas! what could I do?"
of the box-just open your mouth a little
wider—when you have got to the bottom OLD STORIES RE-TOLD.
of the box, where” (he whispers) " you will

SIX DAYS IN A CANVAS BOAT. find a note, I will send you another.” Cachita, by this time accustomed to my

In the month of June, 1639, a worthy presence, can now look me fearlessly in the young Puritan trader, named William face with those expressive eyes of hers, Okeley, set sail from Gravesend for the which I can read so well, and before the Island of Providence, in the West Indies, dentist's operations are over, we have con

on board the sloop Mary of London, which trived, unobserved, to squeeze hands on

was laden with linen and cloth, and carried three distinct occasions.

and about sixty seamen and pasAssured by this means of my lover's sengers. constancy, I now take my leave of her, and

The stars from the first looked malignly patiently await the term of her convent on the Mary. After waiting for five weeks captivity, which expires in three weeks' in the Downs for a wind, Mr. Boarder, the time.

master, set sail, but let go the anchor off the Isle of Wight. “ The next Lord's

Day," setting sail again, they ran on the THE RETURN.

sands, but the tide coming in, they luckily JULIETTA! Julietta! All around is still as sleep,

hove off. The land after all would have 'Neath the stars the town lies silent,

been a better friend to them, even though And thy mother slumbers deep.

a sand shoal, than the open sea. There Sad and weary, worn and yearning,

were two other sloops in the good company Back from battle come I now, All the dreadful war is over,

of the Mary, and one of them carried nine And the laurel decks my brow.

guns. · The sixth day, after the chalk cliffs

six guns

and many

had gone down below the horizon, the must go in the new ship. In vain he crew of the Mary were startled at dawn pleaded he was no mariner; in vain he (for at that time the sea swarmed with argued with his own sensitive conscience robbers) by seeing three ships about three whether he could without sin fight against or four leagues to leeward. After some Christians. His court of conscience was consultation the master of the Mary de abruptly broken up by his patron's comcided not to ran, but to stay and speak mand to put to sea at once; but the Moor to them. The three ships soon looming gave Okeley money, clothes, and provisions, larger, proved to be Moorish men-of-war, and he was, by his orders, treated with who quickly bore down on them. The some mercy. In nine weeks up and down master of the Mary resolved at first to the Straits, the corsair only picking up one fight, then too late weakly tried to run, prize, an Hungarian - French man-of-war, which vacillating councils were ended at the Moor called Okeley back to land, and daybreak by the Moors, after a short ordered him to earn him two dollars skirmish, boarding and taking the three every month. It seemed impossiblesloops. In the Mary six men were slain, bricks without straw, interest without

wounded. There were many principle--there was but one conclusion, English prisoners in the Moorish ship, says Okeley, "to commit myself to God, and with these lamenting wretches the who had brought me into this strait, benew comers to purgatory condoled, and, seeching Him to bring me out of it." during the five weeks afloat, learnt from Okeley first applied to an English slave, them scraps of lingua-franca likely to be who kept a tailor's shop, feeling, as he useful in the days to come of slavery in wisely said, “that nothing that was Algiers.

honest could be base, and that necessity Arrived in Algiers, they were locked for would ennoble a far meaner employment. the first night in a filthy cellar, and the next The man readily closed with him, and day were driven to the viceroy's palace, that Okeley's heart grew larger, for he felt that potentate having, by right of office, a claim he could now escape the lash; “but God to every tenth slave captured by the Moorish had not tried him enough,” he adds, for galleys. The next market-day they were the next day the tailor meanly backed out dragged to the market-place. The slaves of his promise. Wandering about forlorn, were led up and down the market, and he scarcely knew or cared whither, Prowhen any one made a bid the owner shouted, vidence directed him to another English, “Arache! arache! there is so much bid, slave sitting in a cheery way in a perfectly who'll bid more ?” Then the cautious pur- bare shop. Okeley disconsolately told him chaser looked at their teeth, felt their limbs, his story, and the good-natured fellow and by their beard and hair tried to at once invited him to become a partner. guess their age, giving more if the slave It appeared that the man was driving a had white and tender hands, since from good but secret trade with unorthodox gentlemen and merchants they expected Moors in strong waters and wine, selling, large sums for ransom. All this time the besides, tobacco, lead, iron, and shot. His man who bid decried the slave, the dealer, new friend lent Okeley some money to on the other hand, praised him; his chest, trade with, and to this the latter added his shoulders, his strength, his growth, his a small sum he had concealed. The intelligence, his skill, or his temper. The world smiled on the two slaves; they sale effected, the slave was driven back to bought a butt of wine, and divided the the viceroy to first see if he cared to take profits of this business every week; but him at the price offered.

prosperity soon turned the head of Okeley's The first market-day Okeley was sold to partner, and he grew drunken and idle. a Tangerine merchant of Moro-Spanish At this juncture it fell out that there one descent, and for half a year was employed day came straggling to the shop John in trudging on errands and carrying bur- Randall

, a brother sailor of Okeley's. He dens. At the end of this time his patron's and his wife and child were slaves, and. man-of-war, yveeping the Mediterranean, had to beg to earn the dollars remorselessly captured an English merchant vessel laden exacted from them by their patron. Okeley's. with plate from Spain, and he resolved to fit good heart warmed to his old comrade: her with more guns, and start her as a cor- "I could not,” he says, “but consider the sair. Okeley was employed to help the car- goodness of God to me that I should now penters and shipwrights engaged on this be in a condition to advise and help work. But now came the sharpest trial. another which so lately wanted both myOne day the stern patron told Okeley he self, and it had this operation on me that I would not suffer a poor distressed Having drawn out mentally a rough countryman — a fellow-captive, a fellow- sketch of it, the brave and resolute man Christian-to stand begging at that door confided it to Mr. Sprat, the minister, who where I had so lately stood myself. Shall gravely pronounced it possible, that was I shut the door of my heart upon him, I all he could say. Then Okeley broke it to thought, when God has opened a door of another fellow-slave, Robert Lake," a wise hope to me in the day of my trouble? and religious person, an old man, who Shall I so requite the Lord's kindness to pronounced his blessing on it, and wished me ?” Okeley, therefore, kindly bade the it “godspeed.” Next he told his firm friend, man in, and set him to make canvas clothes John Randall, still sore from the batoon, for slaves, letting him remain in the shop who approved of it, yet would not run the rent free.

fearful risk of its miscarriage, he having So passed four irksome years of slavery, a wife and child. As for Robert Lake, he till Okeley grew almost inured to misery, was too old to be useful, or to bear the yet still, like a good Calvinist, lamenting fatigue, and as for Mr. Sprat, Captain Pack, that there was no one topreach the of London, was already on his way with Word.” At last an English ship was taken ransom to release him without danger. by the corsairs, and among the slaves was Okeley had still, therefore, to choose his a Mr. Devereux Sprat, a sober, grave, re- companions. It was indispensable that ligious “minister of the gospel,” whose they should be trusty, brave, religious, and monthly toll to his patron, Okeley and some strong men. The comrades he chose were, other zealous slaves agreed to provide. John Anthony, a carpenter, who had been Three times a week this “godly faithful a slave fifteen years; William Adams, a servant of Christ” prayed to three or four bricklayer, who had been a captive eleven score Christian slaves in a cellar which years; John Jephs, a seaman, who had Okeley had hired as a store-room. This, been five years among the Moors; John-, he says, strengthened his faith and com- a carpenter, who had served the same term, forted his drooping spirit.

and two others. These, with Okeley himself, One day Randall, not feeling well, he and made a band of seven, and all eager for Okeley took a walk along the sea-shore, liberty, though not all equally resolute, bebeyond the mile-tether allowed to slaves. fore being told the scheme, took a solemn Seized by a spy, and accused of attempting oath never to disclose it, directly or into escape, Okeley was liberated, but poor directly, for fear or flattery, whether they Randall was condemned by his more relent- did or did not finally approve it. Then in the less master to three hundred blows with the morbidly conscientious breast of this Puritan batoon (a tough short truncheon) on the captain arose a thousand casuistic scruples soles of the feet.

as to whether it was justifiable to God and Soon after this, Okeley's padrone, dis- man to attempt an escape from a master abled by losses in privateering, was com- who so dearly loved him, so courteously pelled to sell his slaves, whom he had long treated him, and had so fairly bought him. before mortgaged, to a cap-maker and an First he thought, should he better himself old farmer. The two men cast lots for in England, where the civil war had now Okeley; he trembled lest he should fall broken out; but then he thought of“ Engto the brutish ill-humoured cap-maker;"' land, liberty, and the gospel." Next, as to but Heaven was merciful to the poor the theft of himself; but he soon, like a man Puritan, and he became the property of the of sense, shook off this sickly scruple, defarmer, a good compassionate man, who ciding that a man is too noble a creature to regarded him with confidence, and treated be made the subject of a deed of sale, morehim like his own son. But his new patron's over, his consent had not been asked, nor farm was twelve miles from Algiers, and had he forfeited the rights of man. He Okeley felt sure that the Moor intended to would escape or die; the sweet word liberty make him his bailiff and vicegerent there. already made music in his ears, and his Once there all hope of escape was gone, longing heart danced to the tune of and he would be a slave for life. Fetters of it, as he eloquently tells us in his narrative gold are fetters still, so he resolved, with of the wonderful escape. But now all sorts hope kindling in his heart, once for all to of gloomy difficulties crowded in to dishave a wrestle for freedom. With aching courage the honest conspirators. They head he turned over every means of must build a boat, but how or where could escape; at last, like a beam of sunshine, it be launched ? how could they escape the a plan, desperate but not impossible, sug- cruel Argus eyes watching them by day? gested itself.

how escape by night from a high-walled city, so strongly barred, so closely guarded? body of our infant boat, with earthen pots But Okeley's heart never faltered; he to melt down our materials in, and prefixed would allow of no fears; he laughed and a night wherein we might execute that trod under foot all cowardly suggestions of part of our labour. The two carpenters danger. “Let us be up and doing," he and myself were appointed to this service, cried, with a hearty voice, and in his cheery and the cellar was the place where we met. homely way," and God will be with us. Well Matters had hitherto run on very evenly and begun is half done.” In his own cellar the smoothly, but here we met with some disboat should be built piecemeal, so as to be couraging rubs. For when we had stopped easier of removal. Majorca was the place all the chinks and crannies of the cellar, he thought fittest to land at. In his bright that the steam of the melted materials might hope he already stood on that free rocky not creep out and betray us (there being no island shore, and the weakest nature chimney), we had not been long at our work drew strength and courage from him as before I felt exceedingly sick.' from a deep clear fountain.

Overcome with the pungent steam of We will use his own simple words to the pitch, and forced to go into the streets describe the building of the boat.

for air, Okeley swooned, fell, and cutting “In the cellar,” he says, with his usual his face, there lay till his alarmed comfervid piety," where we had worshipped panions found him, and carried him in God, we began our work, and it was not weak and unserviceable. Presently another the holiness, but the privacy of the place man fell ill, and the work stood stili. Okeley that invited us, and advised us to it. And saw the imminence of the danger, for none first, we provided a piece of timber about of the men had such faith and hope as himtwelve feet long to make the keel ; but self. Did their spirits once get cool they because it was impossible to convey a piece would soon freeze, so again he roused himself of timber of that length out of the city and urged them to the work. He therefore but it must be seen, and that suspicion boldly threw open the cellar door, and as would bring us into examination, and the soon as the steam. was gone and the men rack or batoon might extort a confession recovered their courage, pushed on the work out of the most resolved and obstinate at the canvas till nearly daybreak. The breast, we therefore cut it in two pieces, next night they met again, and throwing and fitted it for jointing just in the middle. open the door, happily finished the work. Our next care was the timbers or ribs of Okeley stood sentinel at the entrance the the boat, which we contrived thus ; every whole time, to signal any approaching one of the timbers was made of three pieces, danger, and while it was still dark helped and jointed in two places, because a whole to carry the prepared canvas to his shop rib, at its full length, would be liable to the a furlong off. In the cellar they next same inconveniences with the keel. Now adapted the framework to the keel, and understand that the joints of the ribs were the canvas to the framework, then fitted not made with mortise and tenon, but the in the seat, and took the whole apart ready flat side of one of the three pieces was laid for removal to some safe place on the seaover the other, and two holes were bored at shore. every joint. All this while there is no William Adams, the bricklayer, who had visible provision made for boards to often worked outside the walls, was chosen clothe the naked ribs of our boat, without to carry the keel. Trowel in hand, and which the keel and timbers looked but girded with dusty apron, Adams carried the like an useless anatomy; but neither had keel in two pieces, and hid it in a hedge. we, nor was it possible we should have, One of the washermen carried the ribany boards in our vessel. For the jointing timbers doubled together in a bag, among of these boards, and the nailing of them, to some dirty clothes, and stowed them away make the boat water-tight, would require in another seaside field not far from the hammering, and therefore from the first keel. The bulky tarpaulin was the most conception of the design I always resolved dangerous of all to carry; but at last upon a canvas. In pursuance of which it was put in a large sack, with a pillow thought, being all satisfied that it was over it, and taken by the washermen practicable, we bought as much strong safely through the gates by day, openly, canvas as would cover our boat twice over, and under the very eyes of the soldiers apon the convex of the carine; we pro- and spies. Oars are the fins of a boat, vided also as much pitch, tar, and tallow and these Okeley and his fellows made as would serve to make it a kind of tar- of the slit staves of a barrel. They then paulin cerecloth, to swaddle the naked | laid in but a small supply of bread, know

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