« ZurückWeiter »
them from the expence of supporting moving forwards, nor the hope of reachme. They returned indistinct and re- ing port, nor the delights arising from pulsive answers to all the questions I favourable breezes and genial weather. asked, and appeared anxious to avoid When a billow drove us to one side, having the least communication with we were tossed back again by another; me. During the greater part of the our imprisonment had no variety or forenoon, they employed themselves in definite termination; and the calm and trimming the lamps, and cleaning the the tempest were alike uninteresting to reflectors, but never conversed any. I us. I felt as if my fate had already beeasily perceived that a mutual animos- come linked with that of those who ity existed between them, but was una were on board the vessel. My hopes ble to discover the cause of it. Mor- of being again permitted to mingle with valden seemed to fear Angerstoff, and, mankind died away, and I anticipated at the same time, to feel a deep resent- long years of gloom and despair in the ment towards him, which he did not company of these repulsive persons indare to express. Angerstoff apparent- to whose hands fate had unexpectedly ly was aware of this, for he behaved to consigned me. his companion with the undisguised
Angerstoff and Morvalden tended fierceness of determined hate, and open- the beacon alternately during the night. ly thwarted him in every thing. The latter had the watch while I re
Marietta, the female on board, was mained upon deck. His appearance the wife of Morvalden. She remained and manner indicated much perturbachiefly below decks, and attended to tion of mind, and he paced hurriedly the domestic concerns of the vessel. She from side to side, sometimes muttering was rather good-looking, but so reserv- to himself, and sometimes stopping suded and forbidding in her manners, that denly to look through the sky-light, as she formed no desirable acquisition to if anxious to discover what was going our party, already so heartless and un
on below. He would then gaze intentsociable in its character.
ly upon the beavens, and next moment When night approached, after the take out his watch, and contemplate lapse of a wearisome and monotonous the motions of its hands. I did not of day, I went on deck to see the beacon fer to disturb these reveries, and thought lighted, and continued walking back- myself altogether umobserved by him, wards and forwards till a late hour. I till he suddenly advanced to the spot watched the lantern, as it swung from where I stood, and said, in a loud whisside to side, and flashed upon different per,-" There's a villain below-a portions of the sea alternately, and desperate villain—this is true-he is sometimes fancied I saw men strug- capable of any thing and the woman gling among the billows that tumbled is as bad as him."-I asked what proof around, and at other times imagined I he had of all this. “Oh, I know it," could discern the white sail of an ap- returned he; “ that wretch Angerstoff, proaching vessel. Human voices seem- whom I once thought my friend, has ed to mingle with the noise of the burst- gained my wife's affections. She has ing waves, and I often listened intently, been faithless to me-yes, she has. almost in the expectation of hearing ar- They both wish I were cut of the way. ticulate sounds. My mind grewr som- Perhaps they are now planning my debre as the scene itself, and strange and struction. What can I do? It is very fearful ideas obtruded themselves in terrible to be shut up in such narrow rapid succession. It was dreadful to limits with those who hate me, and in be chained in the middle of the ep- have no means of escaping, or defend to be the continual sport of the quietless ing myself from their infernal machinabillows—to be shunned as a fatal thing tions.”—“ Why do you not leaves the by those who traversed the solitary beacon,” inquired I,“ and abaron ocean. Though within sight of the your companion and guilty wise shore, our situa'on was more dreary" Ah, that is impossible," answe than if we had been sailing a thousand Morvalden; “if I went on shore miles from it. We felt not the pleasure of would forfeit my liberty. I live be
that I may escape the vengeance of the this beacon, while watching on deck, I law, which I once outraged for the sake fell into a profouud sleep ; I know of her who has now withdrawn her love not how long it continued, but I was
What ingratitude! Mine is awakened by horrible shouts and cries indeed a terrible fate, but I must bear I started up, and instantly perceivit. And shall I never again wandered that all the lamps in the lantern through the green fields, and climb the were extinguished. It was very dark, rocks that encircle my native place? and the sea raged furiously; but notAre the weary dashings of the sea, and withstanding all this, I observed a ship the moanings of the wind, to fill my a-ground on the bank, a little way from ears continually, all the while telling me me, her sails fluttering in the wind, and that I am an exile ?—a hopeless de- the waves breaking over her with viospairing exile. But it won't last long," lence. Half frantic with horror, I ran cried he, catching hold of my arm; down to the cabin for a taper, and light“ they will murder me !—I am sure of ed the lamps as fast as possible. The it, I never go to sleep without dream- lantern, when hoisted to the top of the ing that Angerstoff has pushed me over- mast, threw a vivid glare on the surboard."
rounding ocean, and shewed me the * Your lonely situation, and inactive vessel disappearing among the billows. life, dispose you to give way to these Hundreds of people lay gasping in the chimeras," said I ; "you must endeav- water near her. "Men, women, and our to resist them. Perhaps things children, writhed together in agonizing aren't so bad as you suppose." _“ This struggles, and uttered soul-harrowing is not a lonely situation,” replied Mor- cries; and their countenances, as they valden, in a solemn tone. "Perhaps gradually stiffened under the hand of you will have proof of what I say be- death, were all turned towards me with fore you leave us. Many vessels used glassy stare, while the lurid expression to be lost here, and a few are wrecked of their glistening eyes upbraided me still ; and the skeletons and corpses of with having been the cause of their unthose who have perished lie all over the timely end. Never shall I forget these sand-bank. Sometimes, at midnight, looks. They haunt me wherever I am I have seen crowds of human figures asleep and awake-night and day. I moving backwards and forwards upon have kept this tale of horror secret till the surface of the ocean, almost as far now, and do not know if I shall have as the eye could reach. I neither knew ever courage to relate it again. The who they were, nor what they did there. masts of the vessel projected above the When watching the lantern alone, I of- surface of the sea for several months ten hear a number of voices talking to- after she was lost, as if to keep me in gether, as it were, under the waves; and recollection of the night on which so I twice caught the very words they ut- many human creatures perished, in contered, but I cannot repeat them—they sequence of my neglect and carelessdwell incessantly in my memory, but ness. Would to God I had no memomy tongue refuses to pronounce them, ry! I sometimes think I am getting or to explain to others what they meant.” mad. The past and present are equal
6 Do not let your senses be imposed ly dreadful to me; and I dare not anupon by a distempered imagination,” ticipate the future.”' said I; “there is no reality in the I felt a sort of superstitious dread things you have told me.”
Perhaps steal over me, while Morvalden related my mind occasionally wanders a little, his story, and we continued walking the for it has a heavy burden upon it,” re- deck in silence, till the period of his turned Morvalden. “I have been guil- watch expired. I then went below, ty of a dreadful crime. Many that now and took refuge in my birth, though I lie in the deep be ow us, might start up, I was but little inclined for sleep. The and accuse me of what I am just going gloomy ideas, and dark forebodings, to reveal to you. One stormy night, expressed by Morvalden, weighed heavsherily after I began to take charge of ily upon my mind, without my know
2P ATHENEUM VOL. 10.
ing why; and my situation, which had some relation to her injured husband, at first seemed only dreary and de- whose manner evinced much alarm and pressing, began to have something in- anxiety, although he endeavoured to definitely terrible in its aspect. look calm and cheerful. He did not
Next day, when Morvalden proceed- make his appearance at meals, but ed as usual to put the beacon in order, spent all his time upon deck. Whenhe called upon Angerstoff to come and ever Angerstoff accidentally passed him, assist him, which the latter peremptori- he shrunk back with an expression of ly refused. Morvalden then went dread, and intuitively, as it were, caught down to the cabin, where his compan- hold of a rope, or any other object to ion was, and requested to know why which he could cling. The day proved his orders were not obeyed. “Because a wretched and fearful one to me, for I I hate trouble,” replied Angerstoff.— momentarily expected that some terri6 I am master here,” said Morvalden, ble affray would occur on board, and 6 and have been entrusted with the di- that I would be implicated in it
. I rection of every thing. Do not at- gazed upon the surrounding sea almost tempt to trifle with me.”—“ Trifle with without intermission, ardently hoping you!” exclaimed Angerstoff, looking that some boat might approach near contemptuously. “No, no; I am no enough to afford me an opportunity of trifler; and I advise you to walk up quitting the horrid and dangerous abode stairs again, lest I prove this to your to which I was imprisoned. cost.”_" Why, husband,” cried Ma. It was Angerstoff's watch on deck till rietta, “ I believe there are no bounds midnight ; and as I did not wish to to your laziness. You make this young have any communications with him, I man toil from morning to night, and remained below. At twelve o'clock, take advantage of his good-nature in Morvalden got up and relieved him, and the most shameful manner.”—“ Peace, he came down to the cabin, and soon infamous woman!” said Morvalden; after retired to his birth. Believing, “I know very well why you stand up from this arrangement, that they had in his defence; but I'll put a stop to no hostile intentions, I lay down in the intimacy that exists between you. bed with composure, and fell asleep. Go to your room instantly! You are It was not long before a noise overhead my wife, and shall obey me.”_" Is awakened me. I started up, and listhis usage to borne ?” exclaimed Ma- tened intently. The sound appeared rietta. “Will no one step forward to to be that of two persons scuffling toprotect me from his violence ?”—“In- gether, for a succession of irregular footsolent fellow !” cried Angerstoff,“ don't steps beat the deck, and I could hear presume to insulto my mistress.”— violent blows given at intervals. I got * Mistress !!! repeated Morvalden. out of my birth, and entered the cabin, “ This to my face !" and struck him a where I found Marietta standing alone, severe blow !" Angerstoff sprung for- with a lamp in her hand. “Do you ward, with the intention of returning it, hear that ?" cried I.—“ Hear what?” but I got between, and prevented him. returned she; “ I have had a dreadful Marietta then began to shed tears, and dream—I am all trembling.”—“ Is Anapplauded the generosity her paramour gerstoff below?” demanded 1.– No had evinced in sparing her husband, - Yes, I mean," said Marietta,“ Why who immediately went upon deck, with“ do you ask that? He went up stairs.>> out speaking a word, and hurriedly re _• Your husband and he are fighting. sumed the work that bad engaged his We must part them instantly.”—“ How attention previous to the quarrel. can that be ?” answered Marietta;
Neither of the two men seemed at all“ Angerstoff is asleep.”—“ Asleep! disposed for reconciliation, and they Didn't you say he went up stairs ?". had no intercourse during the whole “I don't know," returned she; “ I am day, except angry and revengeful looks. hardly awake yet—Let us listen a moI frequently observed Marietta in deep ment." consultation with Angerstoff, and easily Every thing was still for a few secperceived that the subject of debate had onds; then a voice shrieked out," Ah!
that knife! You are murdering me! murderer. The sea, the beacon, and Draw it out! No help! Are you done? the sky, appeared of a sanguine hue ; Now-now-now!"-A heavy body and I thought I heard the dying exclafell suddenly along the deck, and some mations of Morvalden sounding a hunwords. were spoken in a faint tone, but dred fathom below me, and echoing the roaring of the sea prevented me through the caverns of the deep. I adfrom hearing what they were.
vanced to the cabin door, intending to I rushed up the cabin stairs, and tried descend the stairs, but found that some to push open the folding doors at the one had fastened it firmly on the inside. head of them, but they resisted my ut. I felt convinced that I was intentionally most efforts. I knocked violently and shut out, and a cold shuddering pervadrepeatedly, to no purpose. “ Some one ed my frame. I covered my face with is killed," cried I. “ The person who my hands, not daring to look around; barred these doors on the outside is for it seemed as if I was excluded from guilty.”—“I know nothing of that,” the company of the living, and doomed returned Marietta. “ We can't be of to be the associate of the spirits of drownany use now.—Come here again ! ed and murdered men. After a little How dreadfully quiet it is.--My God! time I began to walk hastily backwards -A drop of blood has fallen through and forwards; but the light of the lanthe sky-light.-What faces are, yon tern happened to flash on a stream of looking down upon us ?-But this lamp blood that ran along the deck, and I is going out.-We must be going could not summon up resolution to pass through the water at a terrible rate. the spot where it was a second time. How it rushes past us !—I am getting The sky looked black and threatening dizzy.—Do you hear these bells ring- —the sea had a fierceness in its sound ing and strange voices
and motions—and the wind swept over The cabin doors were suddenly burst its bosom with melancholy sighs: : open, and Angerstoff next moment ap- ry thing was sombre and ominous ; and peared before us, crying out, “ Morval. I looked in vain for some object laut den has fallen overboard. Throw a would, by its soothing aspect, remove rope to him! He will be drowned.” the dark impressions which crowded His hands and dress were marked with upon my mind. blood, and he had a frightful look of While standing near the bows of the horror and confusion! “ You are a vessel, I saw a hand and arm rise slowmurderer !” exclaimed I, almost invol- ly behind the stern, and wave from untarily." How do you know that ? side to side. I started back as far as I said he, staggering back ; " I'm sure could go in horrible affright, and lookyou never saw “ Hush, hush,” ed again, expecting to behold the entire cried Marietta to him; " are you mad? spectral figure of which I supposed --Speak again !--What frightens you? they formed a part. But nothing more
Why don't you run and help Mor- was visible. I struck my eyes till the valden ?”—“ Has any thing happen- light flashed from them, in hopes that ed to him ?” inquired Angerstoff, with my senses had been imposed upon by a gaze of consternation.—“ You told distempered vision-however it was in us he had fallen overboard,” return- vain, for the hand still motioned me to ed Marietta. “Must my husband advance, and I rushed forwards with perish :"_“Give me some water to wild desperation, and caught hold of wash my hands," said Angerstoff, grow- it. I was pulled along a little way ing deadly pale, ane catching hold of notwithstanding the resistance I made, the table for support.
and soon discovered a man stretched I now hastened upon deck, but Mor- along the stern-cable, and clinging to valden was not there. I then went to it in a convulsive manner. the side of the vessel, and put my hands Morvalden. Ile raised his head feebly, on the gunwale, while I leaned over, and said something, but I could only and looked downwards. On taking distinguish the words murdered -them off, I found them marked with overboard--reached this rope--terriblood. Í grew sick at heart, and began ble death.'-I stretched out my arms to to identify myself with Angerstoff the support him, but at that moment the
vessel plunged violently, and he was it, that she might efface all vestige of shaken off the cable, and dropped the transactions of the preceding night. among the waves. He floated for an Angerstoff did not make his appearinstant, and then disappeared under the ance till noon, and his looks were keel.
ghastly “and agonized. He seemed I seized the first rope I could find, stupified with horror, and sometimes and threw one end of it over the stern, entirely lost all perception of the things and likewise flung some planks into the around him for a considerable time. sea, thinking that the unfortunate Mor- He suddenly came close up to me, and valden might still retain strength demanded, with a bold air, but quiverenough to catch hold of them if they ing voice, what I had meant by calling came within his reach. I continued him a murderer ? — Why, that you on the watch for a considerable time, are one,' replied I, after a pause.but at last abandoned all hopes of savo • Beware what you say,' returned he ing him, and made another attempt to fiercely,— you cannot escape my pow. get down to the cabin—the doors were er now-I tell you, sir, Morvalden fell now unfastened, and I opened them overboard.'— Whence,then,came that without any difficulty. The first thing blood that covered the deck' inquirI saw on going below, was Angerstoff ed I.-He grew pale, and then cried, stretched along the floor, and fast “You lie—you lie infernally—there asleep. His torpid look, flushed coun was none !—I saw it,' said II tenance, and uneasy respiration, con- saw Morvalden himself-long after vinced me that he had taken a large midnight. He was clinging to the quantity of ardent spirits. Marietta stern-cable, and said — Ha, ha, hawas in her own apartment. Even the devils !_curses !'-exclaimed Angerpresence of a murderer appeared less stoff— Did you hear me dreaming ? terrible than the frightful solitariness of -I was mad last night—Come, come, the deck, and I lay down upon a bench, come !–We shall tend the beacon to determining to spend the remainder of gether-Let us make friends, and don't the night there. The lamp that hung be afraid, for you'll find me a good from the roof soon went out, and left fellow in the end. He now forcibly me in total darkness. Imagination be- shook hands with me, and then hurried gan to conjure up a thousand appalling down to the cabin. forms, and the voice of Angerstoff, In the afternoon, while sitting on speaking in his sleep, filled my ears at deck, I discerned a boat far off, but I intervals Hoist up the beacon ! determined to conceal this from Angerthe lamps · won't burn--horrible ! stoff and Marietta, lest they should they contain blood instead of oil.-Is use some means to prevent its apthat a boat coming ?-Yes, yes, I hear proach. I walked carelessly about, the oars.—Damnation !-why is that casting a glance upon the sea occasioncorpse so long of sinking ?- If it ally, and meditating how I could best does'nt go down soon they'll find me take advantage of the means of deliv. out-How terribly the wind blows - erance which I had in prospect. After We are driving ashore-See ! see! the lapse of an hour, the boat was not Morvalden is swimming after us--How more than half a mile distant from us, he writhes in the water !'-Marietta but she suddenly changed her course, now rushed fronther room, with a and bore away towards the shore. I light in her hand, and seizing Anger- immediately shouted, and waved a stoff by the arm, tried to awake him. handkerchief over my bead, as signals He soon rose up with chattering teeth for lier to return. Angerstof rushed and shivering limbs, and was on the from the cabin, and seized my arm, point of speaking, but she prevented threatening at the same time to peh him, and he staggered away to his me overboard if I aitempted to hail birth, and lay down in it.
her again. I disengaged myself from Next morning, when I went upon his grasp, and dashed him violently deck, after a short and perturbed sleep, from me. The noise brought Marietta I found Marietta dashing water over upon deck, who immediately perceived