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the widows or orphans, or other persons
subsisting justly on the earnings of any of their
seamen killed by ship accident in the
performance of their duty. Life at sea is held
too cheaply, and the amount of misery and
vice created yearly among people left destitute
by sailors' deaths is very great indeed. A
charge for their benefit upon shipowners
would produce more stringent precautions than
are now used for the safety of our seamen;
and such a charge would not be heavy in
itself, since it would be covered by marine
insurance, and deduct but a very slight
percentage from the gains produced by maritime
adventure. Such drawback would, in the
end, itself be gain; for it would encourage
sensible and careful men to join a service in
which they are much needed, and from which
they are now repelled by its forbidding aspects.

Finally, though it be natural and right that
we should feel much pity for the distress of
mind suffered by a captain, who, though
tender-hearted, has by a foolhardy or thoughtless
course, caused the drowning of a number of
his fellow-creatures, yet the sorrows of the
thousand must overweigh the sorrows of the
one. An imprudent captain who forfeits
human life, an inefficient captain who forfeits
human life, must answer for it and suffer for
it. Our sentiment shall be, in such case with
the dead and not with the living. Special
verdicts, in howsoever many words, shall not
in the least satisfy us. A very excellent
captain, a very amiable mananything you
please, gentleman of the law and gentleman
of the jurybut we demand Punishment and



Ringting! I wish I were a Primrose,
A bright yellow Primrose blowing in the Spring!
The stooping boughs above me,
The wandering bee to love me,
The fern and moss to creep across,
And the Elm-tree for our king!

Naystay! I wish I were an Elm-tree,
A great lofty Elm-tree, with green leaves gay!
The winds would set them dancing,
The sun and moonshine glance in,
And Birds would house among the boughs,
And sweetly sing!

Ono! I wish I were a Robin,
A Robin or a little Wren, everywhere to go!
Through forest, field, or garden,
And ask no leave or pardon,
Till Winter comes with icy thumbs,
To ruffle up our wing!

Welltell! where should I fly to,
Where go to sleep in the dark wood or dell?
Before a day was over,
Home must come the rover,
For Mother's kiss; sweeter this
Than any other thing!


It had often occurred to me to speculate
on the reason which could have induced my
uncle to remain unmarried. He was of such
a kindly temper, so chivalrous towards
women, so keenly alive to domestic enjoyments,
and withal such an earnest promoter of
marriage in all his relations and dependants, that
it seemed to me perfectly inexplicable. But
for his kind offices, I am sure it would have
been impossible for me to have induced my
father to consent to my marriage with Maria;
the cottage in which we live, furnished as it
is, with its well-stocked garden and
coachhouse, was the wedding-present he made us;
my sister Kate, too, what unhappiness he
saved her by his kindness to Charlie Evans,
who every one knows was something of a
scapegrace! But my uncle saw the good in
him which nobody else but Kate could
discover, and had him down at his parsonage,
and by his sweet and pious wisdom won him
over to a steady and earnest pursuit of his
profession. And now people talk of his
brilliant talents and say how much good Kate
has done him; but we all know who it was
that gave him help and countenance just at
the right moment, and we all love my uncle
the more dearly for his good work.

When I was still a lad, and Maria's blue
eyes had first turned my thoughts towards
matrimony, it occurred to me to ask my
mother in the course of one of our pleasant
evenings alone together, why my uncle had never
been married?

A grave sadness came over my mother's
face, and she softly shook her head, as she
replied in a suppressed tone, "Your uncle
had a great sorrow in his youth, my dear;
we must respect it. What it was, I do not
know; he has never told me, and I have never
asked him."

It was no matter of surprise to me to hear
my mother speak thus; for, in spite of the
gentleness of my uncle's manners and his
warm affection, there was a dignity about
him which rendered it impossible to intrude
upon a confidence he did not offer. I felt
that his sorrows were sacred, and never
again made any attempt to gain information
respecting them; although I could not refrain
from a tender speculation as to the character
of that grief which had deprived him of a
happiness he was eminently calculated to

In the summer of eighteen hundred and
forty-eight, my uncle, according to his custom,
came to spend a week with us. He was in fine
health and spirits, and we and our children
enjoyed the festival even more than usual.
On the Friday evening, my uncle had been
into town, and it was growing dusk when he
returned. He came as usual into my study.
I looked up on his entrance to welcome him;
but was struck by the pallor of his countenance,
and by the traces of emotion which