“Now let it work: Mischief,
thou art afoot,
Take then what course thou wilt!”—Shakspeare
When the velocity with which the vessel flew before the wind is properly considered, the reader will not be surprised to learn, that, with the change of a week in the time from that with which the foregoing incidents close, we are enabled to open the scene of the present chapter in a very different quarter of the same sea. It is unnecessary to follow the “Rover” in the windings of that devious and apparently often uncertain course, during which his keel furrowed more than a thousand miles of ocean, and during which more than one cruiser of the King was skilfully eluded, and sundry less dangerous encounters avoided, as much from inclination as any other visible cause. It is quite sufficient for our purpose to lift the curtain, which must conceal her movements for a time, to expose the gallant vessel in a milder climate, and, when the season of the year is considered, in a more propitious sea.
Exactly seven days after Gertrude and her governess became the inmates of a ship whose character it is no longer necessary to conceal from the reader, the sun rose upon her flapping sails, symmetrical spars, and dark hull, within sight of a few, low, small and rocky islands. The colour of the element would have told a seaman, had no mound of blue land been seen issuing out of the world of waters, that the bottom of the sea was approaching nigher than common to its surface, and that it was necessary to guard against the well-known and dreaded dangers of the coast. Wind there was none; for she vacillating and uncertain air which, from time to time, distended for an instant the lighter canvas of the vessel, deserved to be merely termed the breathings of a morning, which was breaking upon the main, soft, mild, and seemingly so bland as to impart to the ocean the placid character of a sleeping lake.