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nance, in its ordinary state of rest; or more spirited, laugh
ing, buoyant or pitying than it became, as the different
passions or feelings were excited in her young bosom. As
Mark was often st;nt to see his sister home, in her frequent
visits to the madam's house, where the two girls held most
of their intercourse, he was naturally enough admitted into
their association. The connection commenced by Mark's
agreeing to be Bridget's brother, as well as Anne's. This
was generous, at least ; for Bridget was an only child, and
it was no more than right to repair the wrongs of fortune
in this particular. The charming young thing declared
that she would " rather have Mark Woolston for her brother
than any other boy in Bristol ; and that it was delightful to
have the same person for a brother as Anne !" Notwith
standing this flight in the romantic, Bridget Yardley was
as natural as it was possible for a female in a reasonably
civilized condition of society to be. There was a vast
deal of excellent, feminine self-devotion in her tempera
ment, but not a particle of the exaggerated, in either sen
timent or foelfng. True as steel in all her impulses and
opinions, in adopting Mark for a brother she merely yielded
to a strong natural sympathy, without understanding its
tendency or its origin. She would talk by the hour, with
Anne, touching their brother, and what they must make
him do, and where he must go with them, and in what
they could oblige him most. The real sister was less active
than her fiiend, in mind and body, and she listened to all
these schemes and notions with a quiet submission that
was not entirely free from wonder.

The result of all this intercourse was to awaken a feeling
between Mark and Bridget, that was far more profound
than might have been thought in breasts so young, and
which coloured their future lives. Mark first became
conscious of the strength of this feeling when he lost sight



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 17

of the Capes, and fancied the dear little Bucks county girl
he had left behind him, talking with his sister of his own
absence and risks. But Mark had too much of the true
spirit of a sailor in him, to pine, or neglect his duty ; and,
long ere the ship had doubled the Cape of Good Hope, he
had become an active and handy lad aloft. When the ship
reached the China seas, he actually took his trick at the
helm.

As was usual in that day, the voyage of the Rancocus
lasted about a twelvemonth. If John Chinaman were only
one-half as active as Jonathan Restless, it might be dis
posed of in about one-fourth less time ; but teas are not
transported along the canals of the Celestial Empire with
anything like the rapidity with which wheat was sent to
market over the rough roads of the Great Republic, in the
age of which we are writing.

When Mark Woolston re-appeared in Bristol, after the
arrival of the Rancocus below had been known there
about twenty-four hours, he was the envy of all the lads in
the place, and the admiration of most of the girls. There
he was, a tall, straight, active, well-made, well-grown and
decidedly handsome lad of seventeen, who had doubled
the Cape of Good Hope, seen foreign parts, and had a real
India handkerchief hanging out of each pocket of a blue
round-about of superfine cloth, besides one around his half-
open well-formed throat, that was carelessly tied in a true
sailor knot! The questions he had to answer, and did
answer, about whales, Chinese feet, and " mountain waves !"
Although Bristol lies on a navigable river, up and down
which frigates had actually been seen to pass in the revo
lution, it was but little that its people knew of the ocean.
Most of the worthy inhabitants of the place actually fancied
that the waves of the sea were as high as mountains, though
their notions of the last were not very precise, there being
no elevations in that part of the country fit even for a wind
mill.

But Mark cared little for these interrogatories. He was
happy ; happy enough, at being the object of so much at
tention ; happier still in the bosom of a family of which he
had always been the favourite and was now the pride ; and
happiest of all when he half ravished a kiss from the blush-
2*



18 THE CRATER;

ing cheek of Bridget Yardley. Twelve months had dona
a great deal for each of the young couple. If they had not
quite made a man of Mark, they had made him manly, and
his soi-disant sister wondered that any one could be so
much improved by a sea-faring life. As for Bridget, her
self, she was just bursting into young womanhood, resem
bling the bud as its leaves of green are opening to permit
those of the deepest rose-coloured tint to be seen, before
they expand into the full-blown flower. Mark was more
than delighted, he was fascinated ; and young as they were,
the month he passed at home sufficed to enable him to tell
his passion, and to obtain a half-ready, half-timid accept
ance of the offer of his hand. All this time, the parents
of these very youthful lovers were as profoundly ignorant
of what was going on, as their children were unobservant
of the height to which professional competition had carried
hostilities between their respective parents. Doctors
Woolston and Yardley no longer met even in consultations;
or, if they did meet in the house of some patient whose
patronage was of too much value to be slighted, it was only
to dispute, and sometimes absolutely to quarrel.

At the end of one short month, however, Mark was once
more summoned to his post on beard the Rancocus, tem
porarily putting an end to his delightful interviews with
Bridget. The lovers had made Anne their confidant, and
she, well-meaning girl, seeing no sufficient reason why the
son of one respectable physician should not be a suitable
match for the daughter of another respectable physician,
encouraged them in their vows of constancy, and pledges
to become man and wife at a future, but an early day.
To some persons all this may seem exceedingly improper,
as well as extremely precocious; but the truth compels us
to say, that its impropriety was by no means as obvious as
its precocity. The latter it certainly was, though Mark
had shot up early, and was a man at a time of life when
lads, in less genial climates, scarcely get tails to their coats ;
but its impropriety must evidently be measured by the
habits of the state of society in which the parties were
brought up, and by the duties that had been inculcated.
In America, then, as now, but little heed was taken by
parents, more especially in what may be called the middle



on, VULCAN'S PEAK. 19

classes, concerning the connections thus formed by their
children. So long as the parties were moral, bore good
characters, had nothing particular against them, and were
of something near the same social station, little else was
asked for; or, if more were actually required, it was usu
ally when it was too late, and after the young people had
got themselves too deeply in love to allow ordinary pru
dential reasons to have their due force.

Mark went to sea this time, dragging after him a
"lengthening chain," but, nevertheless, filled with hope.
His years forbade much despondency, and, while he re
mained as constant as if he had been a next- door neigh
bour, he WHS buoyant, and the life of the whole crew, after
the first week out. This voyage was not direct to Canton,
like the first; but the ship took a cargo of sugar to Am
sterdam, and thence went to London, where she got a
freight for Cadiz. The war of the French Revolution
was now blazing in all the heat of its first fires, and Ame
rican bottoms were obtaining a large portion nf the carry
ing trade of the world. Captain Crutchely h \d orders to
keep the ship in Europe, making the most o. her, until a
certain sum in Spanish dollars could be collected, when
he was to fill up with provisions and water, and again
make the best of his way to Canton. In obeying these
instructions, he went from port to port; and, as a sort of
consequence of having Quaker owners, turning his peace
ful character to great profit, thus giving Mark many op
portunities of seeing as much of what is called the world,
as can be found in sea-ports. Great, indeed, is the differ
ence between places that are merely the marts of commerce,
and those that are really political capitals of large coun
tries ! No one can be aware of, or can fully appreciate
the many points of difference that, in reality, exist between
such places, who has not seen each, and that sufficiently
near to be familiar with both. Some places, of which
London is the most remarkable example, enjoy both cha
racters; and, when this occurs, the town gets to possess a
tone that is even less provincial and narrow, if possible,
than that which is to be found in a place that merely re-
joi ies in a court. This it is which renders Naples, insig
nificant as its commerce comparatively is, superior to V*



30 THE CRATER;

enna, and Genoa to Florence. While it would be folly to
pretend that Mark, in his situation, obtained the most ac
curate notions imaginable of all he saw and heard, in his
visits to Amsterdam, London, Cadiz, Bordeaux, Marseilles,
Leghorn, Gibraltar, and two or three other ports that might
be mentioned and to which he went, he did glean a good
deal, some of which was useful to him in after-life. He
lost no small portion of the provincial rust of home, more
over, and began to understand the vast difference between
" seeing the world" and " going to meeting and going to
mill."* In addition to these advantages, Mark was trans
ferred from the forecastle to the cabin before the ship
sailed for Canton. The practice of near two years had
made him a very tolerable sailor, and his previous educa
tion made the study of navigation easy to him. In that
day there was a scarcity of officers in America, and a young
man of Mark's advantages, physical and moral, was certain
to get on rapidly, provided he only behaved well. It is
not at all surprising, therefore, that our young sailor got to
be the second-mate of the Rancocus before he had quite
completed his eighteenth year.

The voyage from London to Canton, and thence home to
Philadelphia, consumed about ten months. The Rancocus
was a fast vessel, but she could not impart her speed to the
Chinamen. It followed that Mark wanted but a few weeks
of being nineteen years old the day his ship passed Cape
May, and, what was more, he had the promise of Captain
Crutchely, of sailing with him, as his first officer, in the next
voyage. With that promise in his mind, Mark hastened
up the river to Bristol, as soon as he was clear of the vessel.

* This last phrase has often caused the writer to smile, when
he has hear.l a countryman say, with a satisfied air, as is so often
the case in this good republic, that "such or such a thing here is
good enough for me ;" meaning that he questions if there be any
thing of the sort that is better anywhere else. It was uttered
many years since, by a shrewd Quaker, in West-Chester, who was
contending with a neighbour on a subject that the other endea
voured to defend ly alluding to the extent of his own observation.
"Oh, yes, Josy," answered the Friend, " thee 's been to meeting
and thee 's lieen to mill, and thee knows all about it!" America
is full of travellers who have been to meeting and who have been
to mill. This it is which makes it unnecessarily provincial.



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 21

Bridget Yardley had now fairly budded, to pursue the
figure with which we commenced the description of this
blooming flower, and, if not actually expanded into perfect
womanhood, was so near it as to show beyond all question
that the promises of her childhood were to be very amply
redeemed. Mark found her in black, however; or, in
mourning for her mother. An only child, this serious loss
had thrown her more than ever in the way of Anne, the
parents on both sides winking at an association that could
do no harm, and which might prove so useful. It was
very different, however, with the young sailor. He had
not been a fortnight at home, and getting to be intimate
with the roof-tree of Doctor Yardley, before that person
saw fit to pick a quarrel with him, and to forbid him his
house. As the dispute was wholly gratuitous on the part
of the Doctor, Mark behaving with perfect propiiety on the
occasion, it may be well to explain its real cause. The
fact was, that Bridget was an heiress ; if not on a very
large scale, still an heiress, and, what was more, unalter
ably so in right of her mother ; and the thought that a son
of his competitor, Doctor Woolston, should profit by this
fact, was utterly insupportable to him. Accordingly he
quarrelled with Mark, the instant he was apprised of the
"character of his attentions, and forbade him the house.
To do Mark justice, he knew nothing of Bridget's worldly
possessions. That she was beautiful, and warm-hearted,
and frank, and sweet-tempered, and feminine, and affec
tionate, he both saw and felt; but beyond this he neither
saw anything, nor cared about seeing anything. The
young sailor was as profoundly ignorant that Bridget was
the actual owner of certain three per cents, that brought
twelve hundred a year, as if she did not own a ' copper,'
as it was the fashion of that period to say, ' cents' being then
very little, if at all, used. Nor did he know anything of
the farm she had inherited from her mother, or of the store
in town, that brought three hundred and fifty more in rent.
It is true that some allusions were made to these matters
by Doctor Yardley, in his angry comments on the Wool
ston family generally, Anne always excepted, ami in whose
lavour he made a salvo, even in the height of his denun
ciations. Still, Mark thought so much of that which was



22 THE CRATER;

really estimable and admirable in Bridget, and so little of
anything mercenary, that even after these revelations he
could not comprehend the causes of Doctor Yardley's harsh
treatment of him. During the whole scene, which was
purposely enacted in the presence of his wondering and
trembling daughter, Mark behaved perfectly well. He had
a respect for the Doctor's years, as well as for Bridget's
father, and would not retort. After waiting as long as he
conceived waiting could be of any use, he seized his hat,
and left the room with an air of resentment that Bridget
construed into the expression of an intention never to speak
to any of 1 1 em again. But Mark Woolston was governed
by no such design, as the sequel will show.



CHAPTER II.

She 'snot fourteen."

" I '11 lay fourteen of my teeth,

And yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four,
She is not fourteen."

Romeo and Juliet.

DIVINE wisdom has commanded us to " Honour your
father and your mother." Observant travellers affirm that
less respect is paid to parents in America, than is usual in
Christian nations we say Christian nations; for many of
the heathen, the Chinese for instance, worship them, though
probably with an allegorical connection that we do not
understand. That the parental tie is more loose in this
country than in most others we believe, and there is a rea
son to be found for it in the migratory habits of the people,
and in the general looseness in all the ties that connect
men with the past. The laws on the subject of matrimony,
moreover, are so very lax, intercourse is so simple and has
BO many facilities, and the young of the two sexes are left
BO much to themselves, that it is no wonder children form
that connection so often without reflection and contrary to



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 523

the wishes of their friends. Still, the law of God is there,
and we are among those who believe that a neglect of its
mandates is very apt to bring its punishment, even in this
world, and we are inclined to think that much of that
which Mark and Bridget subsequently suffered, was in
consequence of acting directly in the face of the wishes
and injunctions of their parents.

The scene which had taken place under the roof of
Doctor Yardley was soon known under that of Doctor
Woolstou. Although the last individual was fully aware
that Bridget was what was then esteemed rich, at Bristol,
he cared not for her money. The girl he liked well enough,
and in secret even admired her as much as he could find
it in his heart to admire anything of Doctor Yardley's ; but
the indignity was one he was by no means inclined to over
look, and, in his turn, he forbade all intercourse between
the girls. These two bitter pills, thus administered by the
village doctors to their respective patients, made the young
people very miserable. Bridget loved Anne almost as
much as she loved Mark, and she began to pine and alter
in her appearance, in a way to alarm her father. In order
to divert her mind, he sent her to town, to the care of an
aunt, altogether forgetting that Mark's ship lay at the
wharves of Philadelphia, and that he could not have sent
his daughter to any place, out of Bristol, where the young
man would be so likely to find her. This danger the good
doctor entirely overlooked, or, if he thought of it at all, he
must have fancied that his sister would keep a sharp eye
on the movements of the young sailor, and forbid him her
house, too.

Everything turned out as the Doctor ought to have ex
pected. When Mark joined his ship, of which he was now
the first officer, he sought Bridget and found her. The
aunt, however, administered to him the second potion of
the same dose that her brother had originally dealt out,
and gave him to understand that his presence in Front
street was not desired. This irritated both the young
people, Bridget being far less disposed to submit to her
aunt than to her father, and they met clandestinely in the
streets. A week or two of this intercourse brought mat
ters to a crisis, and Bridget consented to a private mar-



24 THE CRATER;

riage. The idea of again going to sea, leaving his be
trothed entirely in the hands of those who disliked him for
his father's sake, was intolerable to Mark, and it made him
BO miserable, that the tenderness of the deeply enamoured
girl could not withstand his appeals. They agreed to get
married, but to keep their union a secret until Mark should
become of age, when it was hoped he would be in a con
dition, in every point of view, openly to claim his wife.

A thing of this sort, once decided on, is easily enough
put in execution in America. Among Mark's college
friends was one who was a few years older than himself,
and who had entered the ministry. This young man was
then acting as a sort of missionary among the seamen of
the port, and he had fallen in the way of the young lover
the very first day of his return to his ship. It was an easy
matter to work on the good nature of this easy-minded
man, who, on hearing of the ill treatment offered to his
friend, was willing enough to perform the ceremony.
Everything being previously arranged, Mark and Bridget
were married, early one morning, during the time the latter
was out, in company with a female friend of about her own
age, to take what her aunt believed was her customary
walk before breakfast. Philadelphia, in 1796, was not the
town it is to-day. It then lay, almost entirely, on the
shores of the Delaware, those of the Schuylkill being com
pletely in the country. What was more, the best quarters
were still near the river, and the distance between the
Rancocus meaning Mark's ship, and not the creek of
that name and the house of Bridget's aunt, was but tri
fling. The ceremony took place in the cabin of the vessel
just named, which, now that the captain was ashore in his
own house, Mark had all to himself, no second-mate having
been shipped, and which was by no means an inappropriate
place for the nuptials of a pair like that which our young
people turned out to be, in the end.

The Rancocus, though not a large, was a very fine,
Philadelphia-built ship, then the best vessels of the coun
try. She was of a little less than four hundred tons in
measurement, but she had a very neat and commodious
poop-calin. Captain Crutchely had a thrifty wife, who
had contributed her full share to render her husband com



OR, VULCANSPEAK. ZD

fortable, and Bridget thought that the room in which she
was united to Mark was one of the prettiest she had ever
seen. The reader, however, is not to imagine it a cabin
omamented with marble columns, rose-wood, and the ma
ples, as so often happens now-a-days. No such extrava
gance was dreamed of fifty years ago; but, as far as judi
cious arrangements, neat joiner's work, and appropriate
furniture went, the cabin of the Rancocus was a very re
spectable little room. The circumstance that it was on
deck, contributed largely to its appearance and comfort,
sunken cabins, or those below decks, being necessarily
much circumscribed in small ships, in consequence of
being pjaced in a part of the vessel that is contracted in
its dimensions under water, in order to help their sailing
qualities.

The witnesses of the union of our hero and heroine were
the female friend of Bridget named, the officiating clergy
man, and one seaman who had sailed with the bridegroom
in all his voyages, and who was now retained on board the
vessel as a ship-keeper, intending to go out in her again,
as soon as ahe should be ready for sea. The name of this
mariner was Betts, or Bob Betts as he was commonly
called ; and as he acts a conspicuous part in the events to
be recorded, it may be well to say a word or two more of
his history and character. Bob Betts was a Jerseyman ;
or, as he would have pronounced the word himself, a Jar-
seyman in the American meaning of the word, however,
and not in the English. Bob was born in Cape May
county, and in the State of New Jersey, United States of
America. At the period of which we are now writing, he
must hare been about five-and-thirty, and seemingly a con
firmed bachelor. The windows of Bob's father's house
looked out upon the Atlantic Ocean, and he snuffed sea
air from the hour of his birth. At eight years of age he
was placed, as cabin-boy, on board a coaster ; and from
that time down to the moment when he witnessed the mar
riage ceremony between Mark and Bridget, he had been a
sailor. Throughout the whole war of the revolution Bob
had served in the navy, in some vessel or other, and with
great good luck, never having been made a prisoner of
war. In connection with this circumstance was one of
3



26 THE CRATER,

the besetting weaknesses of his character. As often hap
pens to men of no very great breadth of views, Bob had a
notion that that which he had so successfully escaped; viz.
captivity, other men too might have escaped had they been
equally as clever. Thus it was that he had an ill-concealed,
or only half-concealed contempt for such seamen as suffered
themselves, at any time or under any circumstances, to fall
into the enemies' hands. On all other subjects Bob wai
not only rational, but a very discreet and shrewd fellow,
though on that he was often harsh, and sometimes absurd
But the best men have their weakness, and this was Bot
Betts's.

Captain Crutchely had picked up Bob, just after the
peace of 1783, and had kept him with him ever since. I*
was to Bob that he had committed the instruction of Mark,
when the latter first joined the ship, and from Bob the
youth had got his earliest notions of seamanship. In his
calling Bob was full of resources, and, as often happens
with the American sailor, he was even handy at a great
many other things, and particularly so with whatever re
lated to practical mechanics. Then he was of vast phy
sical force, standing six feet two, in his stockings, and was
round-built and solid. Bob had one sterling quality he
was as fast a friend as ever existed. In this respect he
was a model of fidelity, never seeing a fault in those he
loved, or a good quality in those he disliked. His attach
ment to Mark was signal, and he looked on the promotion
of the young man much as he would have regarded prefer
ment that befel himself. In the last voyage he had told
the people in the forecastle " That young Mark Woolston
would make a thorough sea-dog in time, and now he had
got to be Mr. Woolston, he expected great things of him.
The happiest day of my life will be that on which I can
ship in a craft commanded by Captain Mark Woolston.
I teached him, myself, how to break the first sea-biscuit he
ever tasted, and next day he could do it as well as any on
us ! You see how handy and quick he is about a vessel's
decks, shipmates; a ra'al rouser at a weather earin' well,
when he first come aboard here, and that was little more



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