Grace, full of pity and anxiety for the wretched people on the wreck, forgot all toil and danger, and urged her father to launch the boat; she took one oar and her father the other; but Grace had never assisted in the boat before, and it was only by extreme exertion and the most determined courage that they succeeded in bringing the boat up to the rock, and rescuing nine of their fellow creatures from a watery grave, and with the help of the crew in returning, landed all safe at the light-house.
Happy Grace Darling! she needed no other reward than the joy of her own heart and the warm thanks of those she had helped to deliver; but the news of the heroic deed soon spread, and wondering and admiring strangers came from far and near to see Grace and that lonely light-house. Nay more, they showered gifts upon her, and a public subscription was raised with a view of rewarding her bravery, to the amount of seven hundred pounds. She continued to live with her parents on their barren isles, finding happiness in her simple duties and in administering to their comfort, until her death, which took place little more than three years after the wreck of the Forfarshire steamer.
These wonderful appearances are caused by the action of currents of wind meeting in the atmosphere from different quarters. They are sometimes seen on land, but much more frequently at sea, where they are very dangerous visitors. I will try to give you some idea of what they are, and perhaps the picture may help you a little. I dare say you have often noticed little eddies of wind whirling up dust and leaves, or any light substances which happened to be in the way; when these occur on a larger scale they are called whirlwinds.
Now if a cloud happens to be exactly in the point where two such furious currents of wind meet, it is turned round and round by them with great speed and is condensed into the form of a cone; this whirling motion drives from the centre of the cloud all the particles contained in it, producing what is called a vacuum, or empty space, into which the water or any thing else lying beneath it has an irresistible tendency to rush. Underneath the dense impending cloud, the sea becomes violently agitated, and the waves dart rapidly towards the centre of the troubled mass of water: on reaching it they disperse in vapor, and rise, whirling in a spiral direction towards the cloud. The descending and ascending columns unite, the whole presenting the appearance of a hollow cylinder, or tube of glass, empty within. This, Maltebrun tells us, and he further adds, “it glides over the sea without any wind being felt; indeed several have been seen at once, pursuing different directions. When the cloud and the marine base of the waterspout move with equal velocity, the lower cone is often seen to incline sideways, or even to bend, and finally to burst in pieces. A noise is then heard like the noise of a cataract falling in a deep valley. Lightning frequently issues from the very bosom of the waterspout, particularly when it breaks; but no thunder is ever heard.”