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oose, and shook the ship so much, they were obliged to cut ber away also, and make a clear deck. Any one may judge what a condition I must be in at all this, who was but a young sailor, and who had been in such a fright before at but a little. But if I can express at this distance the thoughts that I had about me at that time, I was in tenfold more horror of mind upon account of my former convictions, and the having returned from them to the resolutions I had wickedly taken at first, than I was at death itself: and these, added to the terror of the storm, put me in such condition, that I can by no words describe it. But the worst was not come yet; the storm continued with such fury, that the seamen themselves acknowledged they had never known a worse. We had a good ship, but she was deep laden, and wallowed in the sea, that the seamen every now and then cried out, she would founder. It was my advantage in one respect, that I did not know what they meant by founder, till lin; quired. However, the storm was so violent, that I saw what is not often seen, the master, the boatswain, and some others more sensible than the rest, at their prayers, and expecting every moment when the ship would go to the bottom. In the middle of the night, and under all the rest of our distresses, one of the men that had been down on purpose to see, cried out, we had sprung a leak; another said, there was four foot water in the hold. Then all hands were called to the pump. At that very word, my heart, as I thought, died within me, and I fell backwards upon the side of my bed, where I sat, into the cabin. However, the men roused me, and told me, that I, that was able to do nothing before, was as well able to pump as another; at which I stirred up, and went to the pump, and worked very, heartily. While this was doing, the master, seeing some light colliers, who, not able to ride out the storm, were obliged to slip and run away to sea, and would not come near us, ordered us to fire a gun as a signal of distress. I who knew nothing what that meant, was so surprised, that i thought the ship had broke, or some dreadful thing had hap
pened. In a word, I was so surprised, that I fell down in a swoon. As this was a time when every body had his own life to think of, nobody minded me, or what was become of me; but another man stepped up to the pump, and, thrusting me aside with his foot, let me lie, thinking I had been dead; and it was a great while before I came to myself.
We worked on ; but the water increasing in the hold, it was apparent that the ship would founder; and though the storm began to abate a little, yet as it was not possible she could swim till we might run into a port, so the master continued firing guns for help ; and a light ship, who had rid it out just ahead of us, ventured a boat out to help us. It was with the utmost hazard the boat came near us; but it was impossible for us to get on board, or for the boat to lie near the ship's side, till at last, the men rowing very heartily, and venturing their lives to save ours, our men cast them a rope over the stern with a buoy to it, and then veered it out a great length, which they, after great labor and hazard, took hold of, and we hauled them close under our stern, and got all into their boat. It was to no purpose for them or us, after we were in the boat, to think of reaching to their own ship; so all agreed to let her ‘drive, and only to pull her in towards shore as much as we could ; and our master promised them, that if the boat was staved upon shore, he would make it good to their master; so, partly rowing and partly driving, our boat went away to the northward, io. towards the shore almost as far as Winter. ton Ness.
We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship but we saw her sink, and then I understood for the first time what was meant by a ship foundering in the sea. I must acknowledge I had hardly eyes to look up when the seamen told me she was sinking; for from that moment they rather put me into the boat, than that I might be said to go in : my heart was, as it were, dead within me, partly with fright, partly with horror of mind, and the thoughts of what was yet before me.
While we were in this condition, the men yet loft al the oar to bring the boat near the shore, we could see (when, our boat mounting the waves, we were able to see the shore) a great many people running along the strand to assist us when we should come near; but we made but slow way towards the shore; nor were we able to reach it, till, being past the light-house at Winterton, the shore falls off to the westward, towards Cromer, and so the land broke off a little the violence of the wind. Here we got in, and, though not without much difficulty, got all safe on shore, and walked afterwards on foot to Yarmouth, where, as unfortunate men, we were used with great humanity, as well by the magistrates of the town, who assigned us good quarters, as by particular merchants and owners of ships, and had money given us sufficient to carry us either to London or back to Hå. aS We thought fit.
Had I now had the sense to have gone back to Hull, and have gone home, I had been happy, and my father, an emblem of our blessed Savior's parable § even killed the fatted calf for me; for hearing the ship i went away in was cast away in Yarmouth Roads, it was a great while before he had any asSurance that I was not drowned.
But my ill fate pushed me on now with an obstinacy that nothing could resist; and though I had several times loud calls from my reason, and my more composed judgment, to go home, yet I had no power to do it. H know not what to call this, nor will I urge that it is a secret overruling decree that hurries us on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes, open. Certainly, nothing but some such decreed unavoidable misery attending, and which it was impossible for me to escape, could have pushed me forward against the calm reasonings and persuasions of my most retired thoughts, and Against two such visible instructions as I had met with in my first attempt.
My comro. who had helped to harden me before, and who was the master's son, was now less forward than I. The first time he spoke to me after we were at Yarmouth, which was not till two or three days, for we were separated in the town to several quarters; I say, the first time he saw me, it appeared his tone was altered, and, looking very melancholy, and shaking his head, asked me how I did, and telling his father who I was, and how I had come this voyage only for a trial, in order to go farther abroad: his father turning to me with a very grave and concerned tone, “Young man,” says he, “you ought never to go to sea any more; you ought to take this for a plain and visible token that you are not to be a seafaring man.”—“Why, sir,” said I, “will you go to sea no more ?”—“That is another case,” said he ; “it is my calling, and therefore my duty; but as you made this voyage for a trial, you see what a taste Heaven has given you of what you are to expect if you persist. Perhaps this has all befallen us on your account, like Jonah in the ship of Tarshish. Pray,” continues he, “what are you; and on what account did you go to sea?” . Upon that I told him some of my story; at the end of which he burst out with a strange kind of passion; “What had I done,” says he, “that such an unhappy wretch should come into my ship 7 I would not set my foot in the same ship with thee again for a thousand pounds.” This, indeed, was, as I said, an excursion of his spirits, which were yet agitated by the sense of his loss, and was farther than he could have authority to go. However, he afterwards talked
very gravely to me, exhorting me to i. back to my father, and O
not tempt Providence to my ruin; told me I might see a vis
, ible hand of Heaven against me. “And, young man,” said
he, “depend upon it, ifyou do not go back, wherever you go you will meet with nothing but disasters and disappointments, till your father's words are fulfilled upon you.” We parted soon after; for I made him little answer, and I saw him no more : which way he went, I know not. As for me, having some money in my pocket, is travelled to London by land and there, as well as on the road, had many strug. gles with myself, what course of life I should take, and whether I should go home, or go to Sea. As to going home, shame opposed the best notions that offered to my thoughts; and it immediately occurred to me how I should be laughed at among the neighbors, and should be ashamed to see, not my father and mother only, but even every body else; from whence I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth, to that reason which ought to guide them in such cases, viz. that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; nor ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men. In this state of life, however, I remained some time, uncertain what measures to take, and what course of life to lead. An irresistible reluctance continued to going home; and as I staid awhile, the remembrance of the distress I had been in wore off; and as that abated, the little notion I had in my desires to a return wore off with it, till at last I quite laid aside the thoughts of it, and looked out for a voyage. That evil influence which carried me first away from my father's house, that hurried me into the wild and indigested notion of raising my fortune; and that impressed those conceits so forcibly upon me, as to make me deaf to all good advice, and to the entreaties and even the commands of my father; I say, the same influence, whatever it was, presented the most unfortunate of all enterprises to my view; and I went on board a vessel bound to the coast of Africa; or, as our sailors vulgarly call it, a voyage to Guinea. It was my great misfortune that in all these adventures I did not ship myself as a sailor; whereby, though 1 might indeed have worked a little harder than ordinary, yet at the same time I had learnt the duty and office of a foremast-man; and in time might have qualified myself for a mate or lieuten2 ant, if not for a master. But as it was always my fate to