Charlotte Mary Yonge.

A storehouse of stories : storehouse the first online

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and which, by their jumping and playing before him often
dispersed melancholy thoughts, notwithstanding all these
endearing qualifications, thus hauled away ; he weeps, and
on his knees begs they may be left ; and though they
understood not his words, his actions were so expressive
and moving, that had they had the humanity of cannibals,
who eat one another, they would have yielded to so melting
an object as the poor broken-hearted Quarll was ; but the
inflexible boors went on, cruelly hauling and dragging the
poor creatures, which, as if sensible of the barbarity of the
act, looked back to their afilicted master, as craving his
assistance ; which, at last, so exaspernted him, that he was
several times tempted to lay on the ravishers with his long
staff" ; as often was stopped by the following consideration :
' Shall I,' said he, ' be the destruction of my fellow-creatures,
to rescue out of their.hands animals of which T have an


improving store left, and deprive them of their healths, and
perhaps of their lives, to recover what cost me nought %
Let them go with what they have, and the merit of their
deed be their reward.' Thus he walks about melancholy,
bemoaning his poor antelopes' fate, and his own misfortune.
' They were used to liberty,' said he, ' which they now are
deprived of, and for which they will pine and die, which, for
their sake, I cannot but wish ; for life without liberty is a
continual death.'

As he was walking, thinking (as it is usual after the loss
of anything one loves) of the pleasure he had during the
enjoyment, the ruffians having secured the poor animals,
came back with ropes in their hands. ' What do they want
next ? ' said he; ' have they not all they desire ? would they
carry away my habitation also % Sure they have no design
on my person ; if so, they will not take it so easily as they
did my dear antelopes.' Thus he resolved to exercise his
quarter-staff, if they offered to lay hands on him. The
villains, whose design was to bind him, and so carry him
away, seeing him armed and resolute, did not judge it safe
for them to advance within the reach of his weapon, but
keep at some distance, divining how to seize him.

Quarll. who, by their consulting, guessed at their design,
not thinking proper to let them come to a resolution, makes
at the nearest, who immediately takes to his heels, and
then to the next, who immediately does the same. Thus
he follows them about for a considerable time : but they
divided, in order to tire him with running, till the night
approaching, and the wind rising, macie them fear their
retreat might be dangerous, if they deferred it; so that they
went clear away : which being all he desired, he returned as
soon as he saw them in the long boat, which they rowed
to their ship, that lay at anchor some distance from the

These -wTetches being gone, he returns Heaven thanks for
his deliverance ; and as his bridge had favoured their
coming, he pulls it off, and only laid it over when he had
a mind to view the sea, and goes home to eat a bit, having
not, as yet, broken his fast. Having, therefore, eaten some


of his roots and cheese, and being wearied with hunting
these boors, he consults how to He, his bed and bedding
being gone, as also his winter gown, and the nights being
as yet cold : however, after a small consideration, he con-
cludes to lie in the lodge, which was left vacant by the
stolen antelopes' absence ; whose litter being made of the
same grass as his mats were, he lay both soft and warm.

Next morning, having paid his usual devotion, he goes
into the kitchen, in order to breakfast, and afterwards to
take his customary walk. Whilst he was eating, there arose
a noise in the air, as proceeding from a quantity of rooks,
jackdaws, crows, and such like birds, whose common notes
he was acquainted with ; and as the noise approached, he
had the curiosity to go and see what was the matter, but
was prevented by the coming of a large fowl, which flew
over his head, as he was going out ; he turned back to gaze
at the bird, whose beauty seized him with admiration ; the
pleasure of seeing so charming a creature quite put out of his
mind the curiosity of looking from whence proceeded the
disagreeable noise without ; which ceasing as soon as the
bird was sheltered, made him imagine those carrion birds
had been chasing that beautiful fowl, which, seeing itself
out of danger, stood still, very calm and composed ; which
gave him the opportunity of making a discussion of every
individual beauty which composed so delightful an object ;
it was about the bigness and form of a swan, almost headed
like it, only the bill was not so long nor so broad, and red
like coral ; his eyes like those of a hawk, his head of a
mazarine blue, and on the top of it a tuft of shining gold-
coloured feathers, which spread over it, hanging near three
inches beyond, all around ; its breast, face, and part of its
neck, milk white, curiously speckled with small black spots,
a gold-coloured circle about it ; its back and neck behind of
a fine crimson, speckled with purple ; its legs and feet the
same colour as its bill ; its tail long and round, spreading
like that of a peacock, composed of six rows of feathers, all
of different colours, which made a most delightful mixture.

Having spent several minutes in admiring the bird, he
lays peas and crumbled roots, both roasted and boiled,


before it, as also water in a shell, withdrawing, to give it
liberty to eat and drink, and stood peeping to see what it
would do : which, being alone, having looked about, picks
a few peas, and drinks heartily ; then walks towards the
door in a composed easy manner, much like that of a cock.

Quarll, being at the outside, was dubious whether he
should detain him, or let him go \ his affection for that ad-
mirable creature equally prompts him to both : he cannot bear
the thoughts of parting with so lovely an object, nor harbour
that of depriving it of liberty, which it so implicitly entrusted
him withal. Thus, after a small pause, generosity prevails
over self-pleasure ; ' Why should I,' said he, ' make the
place of its refuge its prison % ' He therefore makes room
for it to go, which, with a slow pace, walks out ; and having
looked about a small time, mounts up a considerable height;
and then takes its course north-west.

There happening nothing the remainder of the year
worthy of record, he employs it in his customary occu-
pations ; as pruning and watering his lodge and dairy,
making his mats to lie on, as also his winter garb ; every
day milking his antelopes and goats ; making now and then
butter and cheese, attending his nets, and such hke neces-
sary employments.

The mean time, the French mariners, who probably got
money by what they had taken from him the year before,
returned, it being much about the same season ; and being
resolved to take him away, and all they could make any-
thing of, out of the island, were provided with hands and
implements to accomplish their design ; as ropes to bind
what they could get alive, and guns to shoot what they
could not come at, saws and hatchets to cut down log-wood
and brazil, pick-axes and shovels to dig up orris roots, and
others of worth, which they imagined the island produced \
likewise flat-bottomed boats to tow in shallow water, where
others could not come ; and thus by degrees to load their
ship with booty : but ever-watchful Providence blasted their
evil projects, and confounded their devices, at the very
instant they thought themselves sure of success : imple-
ments in a flat-bottomed boat were towed to the very foot


of the rock, by a young fellow, who being lighter than a
man, was thought fittest to go with the tools, which prctly
well loaded the boat.

Their materials being landed, to their great satisfaction,
the men on board embarked in two more of the same sort
of boats ; but were no sooner in them, but a storm arose,
which dashed their slender bottom to pieces, and washed
them into the sea, in which they perished, oversetting also
the flat-bottomed boat on shore, with the load, and the lad
underneath it.

The storm being over, which lasted from about eight in
the morning till almost twelve at noon, Quarll, according to
his custom, went to see if he could perceive any damage
done by the late tempest, and if any, distressed by it, stood
in want of help.

Being at that side of the rock he used to visit, he could
see nothing but a few fishes and shells the sea had left in
the clifts . ' If this,' said he, ' be all the damage that has
been done, make me thankful ; it will recruit me with fresh
fish and utensils.' Going to the north-west part, where he
sees a battered boat, floating with the keel upwards, ' This,'
said he, ' bodes some mischief ; ' but thought it not to be
of any consequence. Having gone about fifty yards further,
he espies a small barrel at the foot of the rock, with several
planks and fragments of a ship, floating with the tide :
вАҐ'Alas!' said he, 'these are too evident proofs of a ship-
wreck, to hope otherwise.' As he was looking about, he
hears a voice cry out, much like that of a man, at some
distance, behind a part of the rock, being advanced a small
matter beyond where he was. ' Heaven be praised ! '
said he, ' there is somebody, whom I am luckily come to
save, and he is most fortunately come to be my companion:
I cannot but rejoice at the event, though I heartily grieve
for the accident' Hastening to the place where he thought
the cries came from, which, as he advanced, he could dis-
cern to be too shrill for a man's voice, ' Certainly,' said he,
' this must be some woman by the noise.'

He then, with his staff, endeavoured to break that which
he took to be the lid of the chest, but proved the bottom ;


and as he was striking, the boy underneath, calHng to him
to turn it up, thrust his hand under the side, which he per-
ceiving, though he understood him not, stood still. Finding
his mistake, ' This,' said he, ' is a flat-bottomed boat, such
as the Frenchmen used the year before, when they came
and plundered me. Now, am I safe if I turn it up ? Douljt-
less they are come in great numbers.' Pausing awhile, and
tlie lad (whom he took to be a woman) still continuing his
moan, he was moved to compassion; and, having considered
the boat could not hold any great number, he ventures :
' Let what will come on it, or who will be under, for the
poor woman's sake I will reheve them ; there cannot be
many men. However I will let but one out at a time ; if
he be mischievous, I am able to deal with him.' At this,
he puts the end of his staff where he had seen the hand,
and lifts it up about a foot from the ground. Out of the
opening immediately creeps the boy, who, on his knees,
falls a begging and weeping, expecting death ever)' moment,
as being the merited punishment for the evil purpose he
came about.

Being affected with his supplications, though the sight
of the preparations made for his intended ruin had moved
him to anger against that mercenary nation, he helps the
young fellow up by the hand ; and the night coming on
apace, he takes one of the hatchets that lay by, and gave
another to the boy, then falls a knocking the boat to pieces,
and directed him to do the same, which he accordingly did.

The boat being demolished, they carried the boards up
higher on the rock, as also the rest of the things ; lest, in
the night, some storm should rise, which might wash them
back into the sea ; it being then too late to bring them
away. Having done, they each of them took up what they
could cany, and so went home. The young Frenchman,
finding a kinder treatment than either he deserved or ex-
pected, was extraordinarily submissive and tractable ; which
made Quarll the more kind and mild ; and instead of con-
demning his evil attempt, he commiserated his misfortune,
and in room of resentment showed him kindness. Thus
having given him of what he had to eat, he puts him to bed


in his lodge wherein he lay, till he had got his mats made
up ; then went to bed himself.

The next morning he rose and walked about till he
thought it time for the boy to rise ; he then calls him up,
and takes him to the place that he usually went to every
morning and evening to sing psalms ; where the youth
being come, and hearing so many different voices, and
seeing nobody, was scared out of his wits, and took to his
heels, making towards the rock as fast as he could ; but as
he was not acquainted with the easiest and most practicable
parts thereof, Quarll had made an end of his psalm, and
overtook him before he could get to the sea side, into which
he certainly would have cast himself at the fright ; but
Quarll, who, by the boy's staring, guessed his disorder, not
having the benefit of the language, endeavoured to calm
him by his pleasing countenance, and prevented his drown-
ing himself; but could not keep off a violent fit the fright
had occasioned, whicli held him several minutes.

The fit being over, he and the boy took away at divers
times the remains of the boat, and what was in it, which
they could not carry home the day before : then taking up
two guns, ' Now,' said he, ' these unlucky instruments, which
were intended for destruction, shall be employed for the
preservation of that they were to destroy ; ' and taking them
to his lodge, sets them at each side of the door ; then being
dinner-time, he strikes a light and sets the boy to make a
fire, whilst he made some of the fish fit to fry, Avhich he
picked up upon the rock the evening before ; then takes
dripping he saved, when he roasted any flesh, to fry them
with. The boy, who had lived some time in Holland, where
they used much butter, seeing dripping employed in room
thereof, thought to please his master in making some; and
as he had seen milk and cream in the dairy arbour, wanting
a churn only, there being a small rundlet lying empty, he
takes out one of the ends of it, in which, the next day, he
beat butter.

Quarll, seeing this youth industrious, begins to fancy him,
notwithstanding the aversion he had conceived for his nation,
ever since the ill-treatment he had received from his coun-


trymen ; and as speech is one of the most necessary facul-
ties to breed and maintain fellowship, he took pains to teach
him Enghsh.

The lad being acute and ingenious was soon made to
understand it, and in six months capable to speak it suf-
ficiently, so as to give his master a relation of his late
coming, and to what intent. ' The men,' said he, ' who about
one year since earned away from hence some antelopes, with
extraordinary ducks, and several rarities, which they said be-
longed to a monstrous English Hermit, whose hair and beard
covered his whole body, having got a great deal of money
by showing them, encouraged others to come ; whereupon
several, joining together, hired a ship to fetch away the
Hermit, and what else they could find ; therefore brought
with them tools, and gims to shoot what they could not
take alive.' ' Barbarous wretches ! ' replied he, ' to kill my
dear antelopes and ducks ! Pray, what did they intend to
do with me % ' ' Why,' said the boy, ' to make a show of
you.' ' To make a show of me ! Sordid \vretches ! is a
Christian then such a rarity amongst them 1 Well, and
what were the saws and hatchets fori' ' To cut down your
house, which they intended to make a drinking booth of
' Oh, monstrous ! Avhat time and nature has been fifteen
years a completing, they would have ruined in a moment :
well, thanks to Providence, their evil design is averted.
Pray, what is become of those sacrilegious persons V ' They
are all drowned,' said the boy. ' Then,' replies he, ' the
heavens are satisfied, and I avenged : but how camest thou
to escape 1 for thou wast with them.' ' No,' replied the
youth, ' I was upon the rock when their boat was dashed
against it, and was overset with the same sea, under the
flat-bottomed boat, where you found me.' ' That was a
happy overset for thee. Well, is there no gratitude due to
Providence .for thy escape 1 ' ' Due to Providence! ' said he,
' why, I thought you had saved me : I am sure you let me
out.' ' Yes,' replied Quarll, ' but I was sent by Providence
for that purpose.' ' That was kindly done too,' said the
boy; 'well, when I see him, I will thank him; doth he
live hereabout 1 ' ' Poor ignorant creature,' replied Quarll,


' why Providence is everywhere. What ! did.->t thou never
hear of Providence ? What rehgion art thou of?' 'Reli-
gion ! ' answered the youth : ' I don't know what you mean :
1 am a fisherman by trade, which my father hved by.'
' Well,' said Quarll, ' did he teach thee nothing else % no
prayers?' ' Prayers !' replied the lad; 'why fishermen have
no time to pray ; that is for them who have nothing else to
do : poor folks must work and get money ; that is the way
of our town.' 'Covetous wretches! Well,' said he, 'I
grudge them not what they possess, since it is all the happi-
ness they aspire at ; but thou shalt learn to pray, which will
be of far more advantage to thee than work, both here and
hereafter : ' from which time he begins to teach him the
Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments ; as also the
principles of the Christian religion ; all which instructions
the youth taking readily, won his affection the more : he
likewise taught him to sing psalms, which farther qualified
him to be his companion in spiritual exercises, as well as in
temporal occupations.

Now, having company, he is obliged to enlarge his bed,
the lodge being wanted for his antelopes against breeding
time: he adds, therefore, to his mats. His other provisions
also wanting to be augmented, and he having both tools and
boards, out of the flat boat which he liad taken to pieces,
he and the lad went about making large boxes to salt flesh
and fish in ; then, with the boards tliat were left, they made
a table for his dwelling that he had before, and one for his
kitchen; as also shelves in the room of those that were
made of wicker: then, having recruited his shell utensils
that were stolen the year before, he was completely furnished
with all manner of conveniences ; and Providence supplying
him daily with other necessaries, there was no room left
him for wishes, but for thanksgiving, which they daily most
religiously paid.

In this most happy state they lived in peace and concord
the space of ten years, unanimously doing what was to be
done, as it lay in each of their ways, without relying on one

Quarll, who before, thougli alone and deprived of .-society


(the principal comfort of life), thought himself blessed, now
cannot express his happiness, there being none in the world
to be compared to it, heartily praying he might find no
alteration until death : but the young man, not having met
with so many disappointments in the world as he, had not
quite withdrawn his affections from it; his mind sometimes
will run upon his native country, where he has left his rela-
tions, and where he cannot help wishing to be himself:
thus, an opportunity offering itself one day, as he went to
get oysters, to make sauce for some fresh cod-fish which
Quarll was dressing, he saw, at a distance, a ship; at which
his heart fell a panting ; his pulses double their motion ; his
blood grows warmer and warmer, till at last, inflamed with
desire of getting at it, he lays down the bag he brought to
put the oysters in, as also the instrument to dredge them up
with, and takes to swimming. The men on board, having
espied him out, sent their boat to take him up ; so he went
away without taking leave of him he had received so much
good from ; who, having waited a considerable time, fearing
some accident would befall him, leaves his cooking, and
goes to see for him ; and, being come at the place where he
was to get the oysters, he sees the bag and instrument lie,
and nobody with them. Having called several times with-
out being answered, various racking fears tortured his mind;
sometimes he doubts he is fallen in some hole of the rock,
there being many near that place where the oysters were :
he therefore with his staff, which he always carried with
him when he went abroad, at the other side of the rock
grabbled in every one round the place ; and, feeling nothing,
he concludes some sea-monster had stolen him away, and,
weeping, condemns himself as the cause of this fatal acci-
dent; resolving for the future, to punish himself by denying
his appetite; and only eat to support nature, and not to
please his palate.

Having given over hopes of getting him again, he returns
home in the greatest affliction, resolving to fast till that
time the next day ; but, happening to look westward, in
which point the wind stood, he perceives something like a
boat at a great distance : wiping the tears oft" his eyes, and


looking stedfastly, he discovers a sail beyond it, which quite
altered the motive of his former fear: ' No monster,' said he,
' hath devoured him ; it is too plain a case, that he has
villanously left me : but what could I expect of one who
had projected such evil against me ? ' So saying he went
home, and made an end of dressing his dinner; resting
himself contented, being but as he was before, and rather
better, since he had more conveniences, and tools to till his
ground, and dig up his roots with. Having recommended
himself to Providence, he resumes his usual works and
recreations, resolving that no cares shall mar his happiness
for the future, being out of the way of all those irresistible
temptations with which the world abounds, to lay the best
men's hopes in the dust.

Being again alone, the whole business of the house lies
upon his hands ; he must now prune and trim the habitation
that daily harbours him, being made of fine growing plants,
which yearly shoot out young branches : this makes them
grow out of shape. He must also till the ground; set and
gather his peas and beans in their season ; milk and feed
his antelopes daily; make butter and cheese at proper times;
dig up his roots ; fetch in fuel and water when wanted ;
attend his nets; go to destroy eagles' nests; and every day
dress his own victuals : all which necessary occupations,
beside the time dedicated for morning and evening devo-
tions, kept him wholly employed ; which made his renewed
solitude less irksome. And, having walked all that after-
noon to divert his thoughts, admiring all the way the wonder-
ful works of nature, both in the surprising rocks which
surrounded the island, and in the delightful creatures, and
admirable plants that are in it ; being weary with walking
he returns home, thanking kind Providence for settling him
m so blessed a place, and in his way calls at his invisible
choir; where, having sung a thanksgiving psalm, and his
usual evening hymn, he goes to supper, and then to bed,
with a thoroughly contented mind; which occasions pleasant
dreams to entertain his thoughts.

There happening a great noise of squealing, it waked him
out of his dream; and his mind being impressed with


notions of war, it at first seized him with terror: but being
somewhat settled, and the noise still continuing, he per-
ceived it proceeded from the two different kinds of monkeys
in the island, which were fighting for the wild pomegranates
that the high wind had shaken off the trees the preceding
night, which was very boisterous.

Having guessed the occasion of their debate, he rises, in
order to go and quell their difference, by dividing imongst
ihem the cause thereof. Getting up, he opens the door, at
the outside of which, an old monkey of each sort were
quietly waiting his levee, to entice him to come, as he once
before did, and put an end to their bloody war.

He was not a little surprised to see two such inveterate
enemies, who at other times never met without fighting, at
that juncture agree so well.

That most surprising sign of reason in those brutes,
which, knowing his decision would compose their comrades'
difference, came to implore it, put him upon these reflec-
tions : ' Would princes,' said he, ' be but reasonable, as
those which by nature are irrational, how much blood and
money would be saved.' Having admired the uneasiness
of those poor creatures, who still went a few steps forward,

Online LibraryCharlotte Mary YongeA storehouse of stories : storehouse the first → online text (page 6 of 43)