It will be necessary to account for the reappearance of Jackson. The reader may recollect that he made sail in the boat, leaving Newton on the island which they had gained after the brig had been run on shore and wrecked. When the boat came floating down with the tide, bottom up, Newton made sure that Jackson had been upset and drowned; instead of which, he had been picked up by a Providence schooner; and the boat having been allowed to go adrift with the main-sheet belayed to the pin, had been upset by a squall, and had floated down with the current to the sand-bank where Newton was standing in the water. Jackson did not return to England, but had entered on board of a Portuguese slave-vessel, and continued some time employed in this notorious traffic, which tends so much to demoralise and harden the heart. After several voyages, he headed a mutiny, murdered the captain and those who were not a party to the scheme, and commenced a career of piracy, which had been very successful, from the superior sailing of the vessel, and the courage of the hardened villains he had collected under his command.
“Hopes, of all passions, most befriend
Joy has her tears, and Transport has her death:
Hope, like a cordial, innocent, tho’ strong,
Man’s heart at once inspirits and serenes;
Nor makes him pay his wisdom for his joys,
’Tis all our present state can safely bear:
Health to the frame and vigour to the mind,
And to the modest eye, chastised delight,
Like the fair summer evening, mild and sweet,
’Tis man’s full cup—his paradise below.”
With what feelings of delight did Newton Forster walk the deck of the Windsor Castle, as she scudded before a fine breeze across the Bay of Biscay! His happiness in anticipation was so great, that at times he trembled lest the cup should be dashed from his lips; and at the same time that he thanked God for blessings received, he offered up his prayer that his prospects might not be blighted by disappointment. How happy did he feel when he escorted Isabel on deck, and walked with her during the fine summer evenings, communicating those hopes and fears, recurring to the past, or anticipating the future, till midnight warned them of the rapidity with which time had flown away! The pirate vessel, which had been manned by the crew of the neutral and part of the ship’s company of the Windsor Castle, under charge of the fourth mate, sailed round and round them, until at last the Channel was entered, and favoured with a westerly breeze, the Windsor Castle and her prize anchored in the Downs. Here Mrs Enderby and Isabel quitted the ship, and Newton received orders to proceed round to the river. Before the Windsor Castle had anchored, the newspapers were put into his hands containing a report of the two actions, and he had the gratification of acknowledging that his countrymen were not niggardly in the encomiums upon his meritorious conduct.