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Page) the ground for yards around. Reaching the spot from whence came
the noise, I found a number of the 'braves' tossing into the air big pieces of
shell —to drop, if possible, upon the rebels—of the half-buried torpedoes.
" Now and then one would strike
the mark, and the roars of laughter that greeted the explosion told of the
manner in which it was appreciated by the boys."
page 628 we
reproduce a sketch, by Surgeon Robinson, of the One Hundred and Fourth
Pennsylvania Volunteers, representing a:
PIECE OF THE CHAIN
used by the rebels to obstruct
the entrance to
Charleston Harbor. A few links got broken
somehow, the other day, and came ashore on one of the islands, where it was
found by our men. It consists of bars of railroad iron, connected by shorter
links about eighteen inches in length. Around each bar of iron are fastened
heavy pine logs, squared, and bound together with heavy straps of iron. This
chain the navy has yet to overcome.
THERE was never a day so sad and
But it wore at length to
There was never a life so full of
But death came at last to its
There was never a soul so wholly
But it found some moment to be
There was never a heart so full
But it had one hope to cheat
There was never a winter dark and
But changed to spring in the
There was never a summer,
But it sloped through autumn to
WAITING FOR THE TIDE.
EVER so many years ago, when the
few people who wrote letters were still hardly used to dating their compositions
with "18—" instead of "17—," there lived, at the flourishing sea-port town of
Filby, in Yorkshire, one Jonathan Gale. Mr. Gale was employed in one of the
seven dock-yards that Filby then maintained, or that then maintained Filby, and
was eminently well-to-do and respectable. At the time of this narrative Mr. Gale
must be supposed to have prospered in this life for some forty years, and to
have been married somewhere about half that time. Such a hypothesis is necessary
in order that there may be no difficulties in the way of introducing Miss
Patience Gale, Jonathan's daughter, as a bright, lovable, English girl of
Of the many ships "of Filby" one
good brig was the property of Master Henry Harborough, a kindly and prudent
seaman. The skipper of the Camilla brig could not have been more than ten years
younger than Mr. Jonathan Gale; but for all that he had won the heart, and a
promise of the hand, of Patience. Patience was one of those natures who love to
cling to something stoutly set. The quiet earnestness and unobtrusive
self-reliance of her friend outweighed the more boisterous attractions of a
score of younger wooers. Besides, certain whaling adventures in the South Seas
had made Harborough somewhat of a hero. A hero with a frank fearless face,
strong and tender, and withal steady and sober, is no bad match for any girl,
though he be forty instead of thirty. We have high authority for believing that
in the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. It can not
be unreasonable to hold that the same phenomenon may be observed in a young
Let none, therefore, deem it an
exaggerated impossibility that the afore-mentioned Henry and Patience should be
described as meeting in the ruins of the old abbey of Filby, on an evening in
the May of 18—, to discuss their matrimonial prospects. Let none, however,
imagine, from the mention of a meeting in a ruin, that the alliance under
consideration was in the least degree clandestine. Henry and Patience had walked
boldly forth from the parlor of Mr. and Mrs. Gale, with the full consent and
approbation of that worthy couple. So far from Jonathan's being a too stern
parent, he was possibly too lax. Nevertheless in one matter he was stern, or
firm, or obstinate. Patience Gale should never be Patience Harborough, with his
willing blessing, until Henry, the bridegroom, should be able to show fifteen
hundred guineas side by side with the dowry he intended for his daughter.
These fifteen hundred guineas
formed one subject of the lovers' talk in the ruined abbey. As yet their
existence was only a possibility. Henry did not despair of acquiring them; but
he was of opinion that their acquisition would be easier if he were cheered in
his work by the smiles of a wife. Patience by no means disagreed with him. But
her father was immovable. Harborough must make more than one other voyage en
garcon; and this was the eve of his departure. The moon, and the ruin, and the
far sea make up a fine set scene for a parting lovers' dialogue. The reader may
fill it up at his or her pleasure, only remembering that Henry and Patience
really and honestly cared a great deal for one another.
"Patience," said her lover,
pointing over the rippling sea, marked with a long tapering stripe of moonshine,
"it looks very bright and kind. It will bring me back to you."
At last it was time to part. The
suitor led the lady to her father's door.
"God bless you, my girl."
A close quick embrace and a
smothered sob, and
Captain Harborough was off to his boat. The Camilla was bound for the South
Seas again. With
Patience at home the days and the nights went
slowly by. Her thoughts were in
the Pacific. When the wind howled over Filby, she trembled for the Camilla. When
the sun shone down on a calm sea, she remembered that there were storms
elsewhere. Still she did her duties without complaint. And she was not without
consolation. Her father fell ill, and grew peevish and fretful. But an old uncle
of Harborough's died, and left the captain two thousand pounds. At first old
Gale declared that this should make no difference in the sum to be earned; but
he was induced at last to say that, as far as he was concerned, the wedding
might take place on the day after Harborough's return.
So Patience worked and waited.
She was gentle to her cross-grained father. She was the kindly friend of scores
of the poor. She prayed at church. And she sat a great many more hours than was
necessary with a black profile portrait of her absent friend, which hardly did
him justice. Icebergs, French cruisers, whales, South-Sea Islanders, filled her
heart with a thousand terrors. So nine months went by. Then came a letter.
Harborough had prospered, and was unscathed. So far from the French having been
a cause of loss to him, they had been a gain. He had encountered a privateer,
and encountered her successfully. He should sail homeward within three months of
the date of his letter. "And being sure of your true love, I hope and pray you
will be safe when I come to you. The very day after we are home again, Patience,
I shall claim you as my wife. Good-by, dearest. Mark Elling, of the City of
York, carries this for me. So no more from yours till death. H. HARBOROUGH."
These precious lines of great round-hand writing shared the attentions of Miss
Gale with the black profile and several other letters from the same writer.
The paper grew worn with
perpetual fingering. But Patience had now an occupation immediately connected
with her hero. If she was going to be married to him in three months she must be
properly supplied with raiment and household linen. So mother and daughter
toiled diligently at the fashioning of garments which, were they worn nowadays,
would at once mark the owners as candidates for Colney Hatch. And when Patience
was busy neither with her outfit nor with her poor pensioners, she would wander
forth with the escort of her diminutive maid, and indulge in fond retrospect and
anticipation under the suggestive shadow of the abbey ruin. The light that
streamed through the narrow openings of the long lancet windows seemed to figure
to her the hope that lit her own dull life. And as she gazed over the far sea
she thought again and again of her lover's words uttered on that very spot: "It
will bring me back to you."
She had perfect faith that these
words would be fulfilled.
At last the time arrived when the
Camilla might be daily expected home. Every thing was ready for the wedding.
Patience was of opinion that it would be unnecessary for her Henry to go to sea
again. His little property would go far to maintain them; and he could no doubt
obtain occupation in the dock-yards. There was a very charming little house just
vacated that she was confident would exactly suit such a couple as that of which
she hoped soon to constitute the better half. Of course Captain Harry would
agree with her. On that point she never felt any doubt. Of course the statement
of that person that he should claim his "wife" on the day of his arrival was an
amatory exaggeration. Sundry forms, as well ecclesiastical as civil, must be
complied with. But the day was to be postponed for as short a time as possible.
So Patience had every hope that before the lapse of a month, at most, she would
be a happy bride.
Her visits to her point of
observation at the abbey now became more frequent. Every speck that broke the
line of the horizon was watched with the intensest interest. At last the long
watch was rewarded. On a sunny afternoon in June a brig was descried making for
Filby, which knowing ones declared to be the Camilla. Patience watched it—I beg
pardon—watched her growing and growing, her white sails scarcely bowed by the
gentle summer breeze. Patience did not wish to exhibit before the loungers of
the hill-top the excitement which she could not repress. From the roof of her
father's house she could see the advancing brig. Thither she repaired in company
with an old telescope of her father's, and glued her eyes on the sea. The
Camilla sailed on till she was within some mile and a half of the shore. The
sheets of canvas suddenly rose in thick folds. The brig hove-to under—but
perhaps Patience was not learned in the terminology of rigging; it is her
emotions which are being described; there is therefore no obligation that the
technical details of the heave-to should be given. But let none think this
omission is the result of the author's ignorance. Of course not. Well, the
Camilla hove-to. There was great signaling between the brig and the shore. Dates
were given. The state of the tide was told. It may be presumed that Harborough
should have known that on such a day he could not enter Filby harbor at such an
hour. But it may also be presumed that he was anxious to hear news of folks at
home as soon as possible. The peace of Patience's mind did not depend only on
the signal of "All Well." By the help of the big telescope she could distinctly
see her Henry commanding on his deck. His tall stalwart figure was easily
distinguished among the rest; and if only Miss Gale had been as severely
educated as are many of the young ladies of the present day, she might have
Not that it would have added to
her happiness. That was now supreme. There was Henry, safe and sound. The good
girl thanked God for this mercy vouchsafed to her, and a joyful tear impeded the
use of the glass. But what was this? The canvas curtains were dropping again,
and filling with the lazy wind. The tide would not
allow of the Camilla's coming
into Filby till the next morning. Patience liked her friend all the better
because he would not leave his ship and his men, even for her. Still, she had
half-expected to see a boat put off from the brig; she had thought that she
might hold her treasure in her arms that very day. It would be more tantalizing
to wait those eight or ten hours than it had been to wait long months. To see
him, and see him sail out of her sight! For the Camilla was moving seaward. It
was evident that she was going to stand off for the night. Smaller and smaller
grew the moving figures on the deck. Then there was nothing to be seen but hull
and sail. The sun set behind the hills. The Camilla was nothing but a darker
shadow against the dark bank of eastern clouds.
Patience came down into the
"Mother, dear, I think I shall go
to bed. I must be up very early, you know. They can be in by six o'clock; and I
should like to watch them from the down."
So the happy girl shut herself up
with her thoughts—that night the pleasantest possible companions. The profile
portrait met with little attention. The image suggested by the telescope was far
more satisfactory. The letters were turned over once again, and confided to
their resting-place with a happy kiss. Of course Patience could not sleep. She
lay in a dreamy reverie, her thoughts wandering backward and forward between
that brig at sea and the outlines and the noises of her room and the night. The
rumble of each rare vehicle seemed very loud. The cries of reveling sailors
seemed shriller than on other nights. The sea surely sounded more harshly than
it did an hour ago. The low grating murmur of the calm seemed to have given
place to the quicker, angrier noise of taller breakers. And hark! What was that?
The shutter, too loosely fastened back to the wall, banged suddenly on the
window-post and shook the little panes. The wind was rising. But it was hardly
likely to be much. It was so still at sunset. And perhaps it would bring in the
Camilla all the more quickly. Patience dozed. She was unconscious for an hour
and a half or two hours, and then was roused again. There was more noise now.
The wind was shrieking up the street, and the roar of the sea was deep and loud.
The girl sprung from her bed and looked from the window. The night was very
dark. The roaring of the gale was enough to drown every sound of passers-by. But
the street was deserted; more deserted than the streets of a sea-port usually
are, even in the dead of night. The men of Filby were all down at the port.
Patience grew very white. A
strange terror numbed her limbs. Then she went to the door of her parents' room,
and, as she walked gently in, she said:
"Mother, do you hear the wind?"
"Hush! my child; don't wake your
father. I hear. We must be still and wait, dear. Let us hope the best. Is it
very wild outside?"
"Mother, I am going out; I
"Out, child? you can not! You
"No, mother, I can not wait.
Hark! Peggy can go with me to the port. I must see and hear for myself."
Mrs. Gale rose from her bed and
tried her best to move her daughter's will. But a weird resolution had set the
lines of that gentle face. It was very white, and very sad, but very firm. The
two girls went bravely down to the port; it was dark; a thin rain hissed along
with the gale. Fishermen, sailors, dockyardmen, and many less professional
inhabitants, were grouped along the quays. Nor were women wanting to the crowd;
but their wan and tearful faces told of something more than curiosity as the
motive of their coming. What was the latest news? Two fishing-boats had gone to
pieces on the rocks; one had just got across the bar; it was about three
o'clock; the dawn would soon be breaking. Had any thing been heard of the
Camilla? Nothing. The men looked on Patience with a tender and respectful
interest. More than one knew why she was out on that angry night. The morning
light spread over the east, and the fury of the storm abated. When the sun rose
over the horizon, it seemed to struggle to burst the black bank of clouds. Wider
and wider grew the clefts of blue. At five o'clock the scene was one of the
fairest that is to be beheld any where—a storm dying in sunshine. Great piles of
white clouds, thick, massive, and of ever-shifting shape, rolled over the
heaven. Nearer the horizon the same mighty mountains of vapor rested in darker
groups. The waves that had loomed so threatening in the darkness now seemed the
very personification of strong, joyous life. They swelled up tall and bulky
before the wind, their green summits gladly housing the sunlight. At the top of
their triumphant rise they broke into a thousand columns of foam and spray,
tossing their glittering drops high into the clear air. All over their surface
great circling lines of floating foam marked the commotions that raged below.
And ever and anon it seemed as though the coursing waves lost the order of their
flying march; they jostled one another; and then the crash of force and force,
and the roar with which each water-mountain strove to overtop his neighbor was
glorious to hear and see. On they surged in swift succession to the shore, some
soaking the crags for many yards above the beach; some trying hard to rend the
plank of the jetty from its huge cramps, and force it upward. All nature seem to
shake with boisterous laughter. Of what account in the face of such a scene of
life were the half-dozen corpses from the fishing boats broken in the bay? Or
the dull, stupefying misery of one young girl?
For where was the Camilla? The
Camilla was nowhere to be seen.
Patience had watched the dawn of
day and the sinking of the tempest. She stood on the port stiff and cold, and
watched for four weary hours. Rough men, who knew her father and herself, stood
round her as a little body-guard, kindly and seasonably offering such comfort as
they could. There was danger, no doubt; but there was hope. Harborough
was a skillful seaman. It was by
no means impossible for him to have kept his vessel clear of the shore. The
Camilla was perhaps quite safe. Patience looked up with listless, uninterested
eyes. Something at her heart told her that the Camilla was lost. She did not
know. There was no certainty. But she dared not hope.
The hours were on, and Patience
was induced to go home. It was now eight o'clock. Not a ship was to be seen at
sea. The Camilla must be either safe, or lost out of the reach of the Filby
While Mrs. Gale was lovingly
tending her poor child—tending her with comfort both physical and mental—three
men passed the parlor window and stopped before the Gales's door.
"Mother, they are come to say
"Nay, child, we don't know that.
Don't think the worst."
The mother went out to speak to
the strangers. One of them was a farmer from a village some four miles from
Filby. The other two were Filby men. Patience was not far wrong. The Camilla had
gone ashore on the rocks close to this neighboring village. The cottagers were
some unwilling and all unable to be of any material service to the crew. The
rocks were far spread and dangerous. The brig went to pieces before any
communication could be established between her and the shore. The old yeoman's
eyes showed two big tears as he narrated the scene of desolation when the
"When a knew 't were t' Camilla,
a coomed to t' Master Gale. A knew t' lass and skipper i'yon—" But here he
fairly broke down; for out of the doorway of the inner room the white face of
Patience glared with a fixed gaze of piteous intensity.
"Mother, I am going to Rilcar.
Master Kirby, will you take me back with you?"
The old man shook his gray head
"Nowt can coom on't noo."
"But I must go. I must see where
he was killed. Perhaps they will find—" She shuddered, and, with little
opposition from her parent, set off for the scene of the wreck.
The little cart rolled roughly
over the road. Patience sat very still, her eyes fixed straight before her. Her
conductor knew better than to trouble her with a word of pity or encouragement.
They traveled in silence.
At last the scene of the wreck
was reached. The tide was high, and the surf curled over the crags almost at the
foot of the steep cliffs. Many yards to seaward the brig had struck and gone to
pieces. Riven timbers were still seen floating on the surface. All that remained
together of the ill-fated vessel was hidden under the waters of the sea.
Little knots of the country folk
and strangers from Filby were gathered here and there on the narrow ledge of
rock below the down, that the sea had not yet covered. They pointed every where,
and then with strange significance to a fisherman's hut hard by. There were laid
the battered remnants of what had once been men. Seven bodies had as yet been
washed on shore. Patience did not even ask if that of her betrothed were there.
She still gazed wistfully out to sea. For, like the plaintive refrain that runs
through some melody in a minor key, one sentence sounded and sounded again in
her ears. "It will bring me back to you." "It will bring me back to you."
Presently all heads were turned
in one direction. A dark something was seen among the coming surf. The something
came nearer and nearer—now rolled high above the waves, now sucked back again
into the hissing water; tossed at last on a shelving stone. They met at last,
after so many months of separation, those two faithful lovers. The sea had not
violated the pledge taken in its name. It brought the bridegroom back to his
mistress. Bruised and bloody, the crisp hair dank and matted over the forehead,
the frank eyes dimmed forever, that face was once more shown to her who loved it
Patience looked upon it very
calmly. She followed the men who bore the body reverently out of the reach of
the "cruel crawling foam." She looked, and that was all. If only she could have
wept! But that was impossible. Old Kirby led her to his cart. He would have
conducted her through the village to his kindly wife to be comforted with loving
sympathy, but the sorrowful girl pointed so steadfastly toward home that he did
not like to offer the smallest opposition.
Patience went home, fell into her
mother's arms, and then at last burst into a long passion of tears.
The story is done. The most
melancholy part of it is that, in substance, it is but a simple record of facts.
The story is done; or rather, we
should say the incident of the story is done. Good orthodox novels always leave
their hero and heroine on the point of setting out on their wedding tour. In
this sad tale there is no such event with the details of which to weave a
peroration. And perhaps the most useful part of this true story is the end come
to by the principal character. It is no end invented to point a moral. It is
what really happened to the real Patience.
She went home. She wept. She did
not die. She did not go mad. She did not become another man's mistress before
the end of six months. She never married; but she did not live a peevish and
useless old maid.
As long as her parents lived she
nursed them patiently and assiduously. When they were laid not far from Henry
Harborough in the grave-yard attached to the old abbey, she was not left all
alone. Certain cousins of her own, and certain nephews and nieces of the dead
sailor, had a tender interest in "Aunt Patience."
Loving and loved by poor and rich
alike; never merry, but always cheerful; Patience Gale was Patience Gale to the
day of her death.
Strangers who saw a grave elderly
woman wandering alone and apparently purposeless and dreaming round the ruins of
Filby Abbey, fancied that