“The Master of yon ship. I know no other name.”
“Gertrude, we will seek our cabin. When the land is leaving us, Mr Wilder will have the goodness to let us know.”
The latter bowed his assent, and the ladies then left the deck. The “Caroline” had now the prospect of getting speedily to sea. In order to effect this object, Wilder had every thing, that would draw, set to the utmost advantage. One hundred times, at least, however, did he turn his head, to steal a look at the vessel he had left behind. She ever lay as when they passed—a regular, beautiful but motionless object, in the bay. From each of these furtive examinations, our adventurer invariably cast an excited and impatient glance at the sails of his own ship; ordering this to be drawn tighter to the spar beneath, or that to be more distended along its mast.
The effect of so much solicitude, united with so much skill, was to urge the Bristol trader through her element at a rate she had rarely, if ever, surpassed It was not long before the land ceased to be seen on her two beams, and then it was only to be traced in the blue islands in their rear, or in a long, dim horizon, to the north and west, where the limits of the vast Continent stretches for countless leagues. The passengers were now summoned to take their parting look at the land, and the officers were seen noting their departures. Just before the day shut in, and ere the islands were entirely sunk into the waves, Wilder ascended to an upper yard bearing in his hand a glass. His gaze, towards the haven he had left, was long, anxious, and abstracted. But his descent was distinguished by a more quiet eye, and a calmer mien. A smile, like that of success played about his lips; and he gave his orders clearly, in a cheerful, encouraging voice. They were obeyed as briskly. The elder mariners pointed to the seas, as they cut through them, and affirmed that never had the “Caroline” made such progress. The mates cast the log, and nodded their approbation as one announced to the other the unwonted speed of the ship. In short, content and hilarity reigned on board; for it was deemed that their passage was commenced under such auspices as would lead it to a speedy and a prosperous termination. In the midst of these encouraging omens, the sun dipped into the sea, illuming, as it fell, a wide reach of the chill and gloomy element. Then the shades of the hour began to gather over the vast surface of the illimitable waste.
“So foul and fair a day I have not seen.”—Macbeth.