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beauty of manner ; " but, to me, it seems very plain that
the instant circumstances lead us beyond the limits of our
means of comprehension, we are to believe in, and not to
reason on, revelation. The whole history of Christianity
teaches this. Its first ministers were uneducated men;
men who were totally ignorant until enlightened by their
faith ; and all the lessons it teaches are to raise faith, and
faith in the Redeemer, high above all other attainments,
as the one great acquisition that includes and colours everjr
other. When such is the fact, the heart does not make a
stumbling-block of every thing that the head cannot under
stand."

" 1 do not know how it is," answered Roswell Gardiner,
influenced, though unconvinced ; " but when I talk with
you on this subject, Mary, I cannot do justice to my opi
nions, or to the manner in which I reason on them with
my male friends and acquaintance. I confess it does ap
pear to me illogical, unreasonable I scarce know how to
designate what I mean but, improbable, that God should
suffer himself, or his Son, to be crucified by beings that
he himself created, or that he should feel a necessity for
any such course, in order to redeem beings he had himself
brought into existence."



THE SEA LIONS. 103

" If there be any argument in the last, Roswell, it is an
argument as much against the crucifixion of a man, as
against the crucifixion of fine of the Trinity itself. I un
derstand you to believe that such a being as Jesus of Na
zareth did exist; that he was crucified for our redemption;
and that the atonement was accepted, and acceptable be
fore God the Father. Now, is it not just as difficult to
understand how, or why, this should be, as to understand
the common creed of Christians?"

" Surely, there is a vast difference between the cruci
fixion of a subordinate being, and the crucifixion of one
who made a part of the Godhead itself, Mary ! I can ima
gine the first, though I may not pretend to understand its
reasons, or why it was necessary it should be so ; but, I
am certain you will not mistake my motive when I say, I
cannot imagine the other."

"Make no apologies to me, Roswell; look rather to
that Dread Being whose teachings, through chosen minis
ters, you disregard. As for what you say, I can fully feel
its truth. I do not pretend to understand why such a sa
crifice should be necessary, but I believe it, fee I it ; and
believing and feeling it, I cannot but adore and worship
the Son, who quitted heaven to come on earth, and suf
fered, that we might possess eternal life. It is all mystery
to me, as is the creation itself, our existence, God himself,
and all else that my mind is too limited to comprehend.
But, Roswell, if I believe a part of the teachings of the
Christian church, I must believe all. The apostles, who
were called by Christ in person, who lived in his very pre
sence, who knew nothing except as the Holy Spirit prompt
ed, worshipped him as the Son of God, as one ' who thought
it not robbery to be equal with God ;' and shall I, ignorant
and uninspired, pretend to set up my feeble means of rea
soning, in opposition to their written instructions!"

" Yet must each of us stand or fall by the means he pos
sesses, and the use he makes of them."

"That is quite true, Roswell ; and ask yourself the use
to which you put your own faculties. I do not deny that
we are to exercise our reason, but it is within the bounds
set for its exercise. We may examine the evidence of
Christianity, and determine for ourselves how far it is sup-



104 THE SEA LIONS.

ported by reasonable and sufficient proofs ; beyond this we
cannot be expected to go, else might we be required to
comprehend the mystery of our own existence, which just
as much exceeds our understanding as any other. We are
told that man was created in the image of his Creator,
which means that there is an immortal and spiritual part
of him that is entirely different from the material creature
One perishes, temporarily at least a limb can be severed
from the body and perish, even while the body survives;
but it is not so with that which has been created in the
image of the deity. That is imperishable, immortal, spi
ritual, though doomed to dwell awhile in a tenement of
clay. Now, why is it more difficult to believe that pure
divinity may have entered into the person of one man, than
to believe, nay to feel, that the image of God has entered
into the persons of so many myriads of men? You not
only overlook all this, Roswell, but you commit the, to me
inexplicable, mistake of believing a part of a mystery, while
you hesitate about believing all. Were you to deny the
merits of the atonement altogether, your position would be
much stronger than it is in believing what you do. But,
Roswell, we will not embitter the moment of separation by
talking more on this subject, now. I have other things to
say to you, and but little time to say them in. The promise
you have asked of me to remain single until your return, T
most freely make. It costs me nothing to give you this
pledge, since there is scarce a possibility of my ever mar
rying another."

Mary repeated these words, or rather this idea in other
words, to Roswell Gardiner's great delight; and again
and again he declared that he could now penetrate the
icy seas with a light heart, confident he should find her,
on his return, disengaged, and, as he hoped, as much dis
posed to regard him with interest as she then was. Never
theless, Gardiner did not deceive himself as to Mary's in
tentions. He knew her and her principles too well, to
fancy that her resolution would be very likely to falter.
Notwithstanding their long and intimate knowledge of each
other, at no time had she ever betrayed a weakness that
promised to undermine her high sense of duty ; and as time
increased her means of judging of what those duties were,



THE SEA LIONS. 105

her submission to them seemed to be stronger and stronger.
Had there been anything stern or repulsive in Mary's man
ner of manifesting the feeling that was uppermost in her
mind, one of Roswell Gardiner's temperament wouid have
been very apt to shake off her influence ; but, so far from
this being the case, she ever met him and parted from him
with a gentle and ingenuous interest in his welfare, and
occasionally with much womanly tenderness. He knew
that she prayed for him daily, as fervently as she prayed for
herself; and even this, he hoped, would serve to keep alive
her interest in him, during his absence. In this respect
our young sailor showed no bad comprehension of human
nature, nothing being more likely to maintain an influence
of this sort, than the conviction that on ourselves depends
the happiness or interests of the person beloved.



CHAPTER VIII.

u And I have loved thee, Ocean ! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy
I wanton'd with thy breakers they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror 'twas a pleasing fear ;
For I was, as it were, a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows, far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane as I do here."

BTBOJT.

IT was past the turn of the day when Roswell Gardiner
reached his vessel, after having carefully and with manly
interest in all that belonged to her, seen Mary to her home,
and taken his final leave of her. Of that parting we shall
say but little. It was touching and warm-hearted, and it
was rendered a little solemn by Mary Pratt's putting into
her lover's hand a pocket-bible, with an earnest request
that he would not forget to consult its pages. She added,
at the same time, that she had carefully marked those



106 THE SEA LIONS.

passages which she wished him most to study and reflect
on. The book was accepted in the spirit in which it wag
offered, and carefully placed in a little case that contained
about a hundred volumes of different works.

As the hour approached for lifting the anchor, the ner
vousness of the deacon became very apparent to the com
mander of his schooner. At each instant the former was
at the latter's elbow, making some querulous suggestion,
or asking a question that betrayed the agitated and unset
tled state of his mind. It really seemed as if the old man,
at the last moment, had not the heart to part with his pro
perty, or to trust it out of his sight. All this annoyed
Roswell Gardiner, disposed as he was, at that instant, to
regard every person and thing that in any manner pertain
ed to Mary Pratt, with indulgence and favour.

"You will be particular about them islands, Captain
Gar'ner, and not get the schooner ashore," said the deacon,
for the tenth time at least. " They tell me the tide runs
like a horse in the high latitudes, and that seamen are
often stranded by them, before they know where they are."

"Ay, ay, sir; I'll try and bear it in mind," answered
Gardiner, vexed at being importuned so often to recollect
that which there was so little likelihood of his forgetting;
" I am an old cruiser in those seas, deacon, and know all
about the tides. Well, Mr. Hazard, what is the news of
the anchor 1"

" We are short, sir, and only wait for orders to go on,
and get clear of the ground."

"Trip, at once, sir; and so farewell to America or to
this end of it, at least."

" Then the keys, they tell me, are dangerous naviga
tion, Gar'ner, and a body needs have all his eyes about
him."

"All places have their dangers to your sleepy navigator,
deacon ; but the man who keeps his eyes open has little to
fear. Had you given us a chronometer, there would not
have been one-half the risk there will be without one."

This had been a bone of contention between the mastei
of the Sea Lion and his owner. Chronometers were not,
by any means, in as general use at the period of our tale
as they are to-day ; and the deacon abhorred the expense to



THE SEA LIONS. 107

which such an article would have put him. Could he have
got one at a fourth of the customary price he might have
been tempted ; but it formed no part of his principles of
saving to anticipate and prevent waste by liberality.

No sooner was the schooner released from the ground
than her sails were filled, and she went by the low spit of
sand already mentioned, with the light south-west breeze
still blowing in her favour, and an ebb tide. Everything
appeared propitious, and no vessel probably ever left home
under better omens. The deacon remained on board until
Baiting Joe, who was to act as his boatman, reminded him
of the distance and the probability that the breeze would
go down entirely ^ith the sun. As it was, they had to
contend with wind and tide, and it would require all his
own knowledge of the eddies to get the whale-boat up to
Oyster Pond in anything like reasonable time. Thus ad
monished, the owner tore himself away from his beloved
craft, giving "young Gar'ner" as many 'last words' as if
he were about to be executed. Roswell had a last word on
his part, however, in the shape of a message to Mary.

" Tell Mary, deacon," said the young sailor, in an aside,
" that I rely on her promise, and that I shall think of her,
whether it be under the burning sun of the line, or among
the ice of the antarctic."

" Yes, yes ; that 's as it should be," answered the deacon,
heartily. " I like your perseverance, Gar'ner, and hope
the gal will come round yet, and I shall have you for a ne
phew. There 's nothing that takes the women's minds like
money. Fill up the schooner with skins and ile, and bring
back that treasure, and you make as sure of Mary for a
wife as if the parson had said the benediction over you."

Such was Deacon Pratt's notion of his niece, as well as
of the female sex. For months he regarded this speech as
a coup de maitre, while Roswell Gardiner forgot it in half
an hour ; so much better than the uncle did the lover com
prehend the character of the niece.

The Sea Lion, of Oyster Pond, had now cast off the last
ligament which connected her with the land. She had no
pilot, none being necessary, or usual, in those waters; all
that a vessel had to do being to give Long Island a suffi
cient berth in rounding its eastern extremity. The boat
10



108 THE SEA LIONS.

was soon shut in by Gardiner's Island, and thenceforth no
thing remained but the ties of feeling to connect those
bold adventurers with their native country. It is true that
Connecticut, and subsequently Rhode Island, was yet visi
ble on one hand, and a small portion of New York on the
other; but as darkness came to close the scene, even that
means of communication was soon virtually cut off. The
light on Montauk, for hours, was the sole beacon for these
bold mariners, who rounded it about midnight, fairly meet
ing the long, rolling swell of the broad Atlantic. Then the
craft might be said to be at sea for the first time.

The Sea Lion was found to perform well. She had been
constructed with an eye to comfort, w well as to sailing,
and possessed that just proportion in her hull which carried
her over the surface of the waves like a duck. This quality
is of more importance to a small than to a large vessel, for
the want of momentum renders what is termed " burying"
a very deadening process to a light craft. In this very im
portant particular Roswell was soon satisfied that the ship
wright had done his duty.

As the wind still stood at south-west, the schooner was
brought upon an easy bowline, as soon as she had Montauk
light dead to windward. This new course carried her out
to sea, steering south-south-east, a little easterly, under
everything that would draw. The weather appearing set
tled, and there being no signs of a change, Gardiner now
went below and turned in, leaving the care of the vessel
to the proper officer of the watch, with an order to call
him at sunrise. Fatigue soon asserted its power, and the
young man was shortly in as profound a sleep as if he had
not just left a mistress whom he almost worshipped for an
absence of two years, and to go on a voyage that probably
would expose him to more risks and suffering than any
other enterprise then attempted by sea-faring men. Our
young sailor thought not of the last at all, but he fell asleep
dreaming of Mary.

The master of the Sea Lion of Oyster Pond was called
precisely at the hour he had named. Five minutes sufficed
to bring him on deck, where he found everything as he
had left it, with the exception of the schooner itself. In
the six hours he had been below, hie vessel had moved her



THE SEA LIONS. 109

position out to sea nearly forty miles. No land was now to
be seen, the American coast being very tame and unpic-
turesque to the eye, as the purest patriot, if he happen to
know anything of other parts of the world, must be con-
straineJ to admit. A low, monotonous coast, that is scarcely
visible at a distance of five leagues, is certainly not to be
named in the same breath with those glorious shores of the
Mediterranean, for instance, where nature would seem to
have exhausted herself in uniting the magnificent with the
bewitching. On this continent, or on our own portion of
it at least, we must be content with the useful, and lay no
great claims to the beautiful ; the rivers and bays giving
us some compensation in their admirable commercial faci
lities, for the sameness, not to say tameness, of the views.
We mention these things in passing, as a people that does
not understand its relative position in the scale of nations,
s a little apt to fall into errors that do not contribute to its
character or respectability; more especially when they
exhibit a self-love founded altogether on ignorance, and
which has been liberally fed by flattery.

The first thing a seaman does on coming on deck, after
a short absence, is to look to windward, in order to see
how the wind stands, and what are the prospects of the
weather. Then he turns his eyes aloft to ascertain what
canvass is spread, and how it draws. Occasionally, the
order of these observations is changed, the first look being
sometimes bestowed on the sails, and the second on the
clouds. Rosvvell Gardiner, however, cast his first glance
this morning towards the southward and westward, and
perceived that the breeze promised to be steady. On look
ing aloft, ha was well satisfied with the manner in which
everything drew; then he turned to the second mate, who
had the watch, whom he addressed cheerfully, and with a
courtesy that is not always observed among sailors.

"A fine morning, sir," said Roswell Gardiner, " and a
good-bye to America. We've a long road to travel, Mr.
Green, but we've a fast boat to do it in. Here is an offing
ready made to our hands. Nothing in sight to the westward;
not so much as a coaster, even ! It 's too early for the out
ward-bound craft of the last ebb, and too late for those that



110 THE SEA LIONS.

sailed the tide before. I never saw this bight of the coast
clearer of canvass."

"Ay, ay, sir; it does seem empty, like. Here's a chap,
however, to leeward, who appears inclined to try his rate
of sailing with us. Here he is, sir, a very little abaft the
beam; and, as near as I can make him out, he's a fore-
tawsail schooner, of about our own dimensions; if you'll
just look at him through this glass, Captain Gar'ner, you '11
see he has not only our rig, but our canvass set."

"You are right enough, Mr. Green," returned Roswell,
after getting his look. " He is a schooner of about our
tonnage, and under precisely our canvass. How long has
the fellow bore as he does now?"

" He came out from under Blok Island a few hours
since, and we made him by moonlight. The question with
me is, where did that chap come from ? A Stunnin'ton
man would have naturally passed to windward of Blok
Island ; and a Newport or Providence fellow would not
have fetched so far to windward without making a stretch
or two on purpose. That schooner has bothered me ever
since it was daylight; for I can't place him where he is
by any traverse my poor 1'arnin' can work !"

" She does seem to be out of her way. Possibly it is a
schooner beating up for the Hook, and finding herself too
close in, she is standing to the southward to get an offing
again."

" Not she, sir. She came out from behind Blok, and a
craft of her size that wanted to go to the westward, and
which found itself so close in, would have taken the first
of the flood and gone through the Race like a shot. No,
no, Captain Gar'ner ; this fellow is bound south as well as
ourselves, and it is quite onaccountable how he should be
just where he is so far to windward, or so far to leeward,
as a body might say. A south-south-east course, from any
place behind Point Judith, would have taken him off near
No Man's Land, and here he is almost in a line with Blok
Island !"

" Perhaps he is out of New London, or some of the ports
on the main, and being bound to the West Indies he has
been a little careless about weathering the island. It 's no
great matter, after all."



THE SCA LIONS. Ill

*'It is some such matter, Captain Gar'ner, as walkin'
round a meetin'-'us' when your ar'n'd is in at the door in
front. But there was no such craft in at Stunnin'tun or
New London, as I know from havin' been at both places
within the last eight-and-forty hours."

" You begin to make me as curious about this fellow as
you seem to be yourself, sir. And now I think the matter
all over, it is somewhat extr'or'nary he should be just where
he is. It is, however, a very easy thing to get a nearer look
at him, and it 's no great matter to us, intending as we do
to make the islands off the Cape de Verde, if we do lose a
littfe of our weatherly position keep the schooner away a
point, and get a small pull on your weather braces give
her a little sheet too, fore and aft, sir. So, that will do
keep her steady at that south-east and by south. In two
hours we shall just about speak this out-of-the-way joker."

As every command was obeyed, the Sea Lion was soon
running off free, her bowlines hanging loose, and all her
canvass a rap full. The change in her line of sailing
drought the sail to leeward, a little forward of her beam ;
but the movement of the vessel that made the freest wind
was consequently the most rapid. In the course of half
an hour the stranger was again a little abaft the beam, and
he was materially nearer than when first seen. No change
was made in the route of the stranger, who now seemed
disposed to stand out to sea, with the wind as it was, on
an easy bowline, without paying any attention to the sail
in sight.

It was noon ere the two schooners came within hail of
each other. Of course, as they drew nearer and nearer,
it was possible for those on board of each to note the ap
pearance, equipments, and other peculiarities of his neigh
bour. In size, there was no apparent difference between
the vessels, and there was a somewhat remarkable resem
blance in the details.

" That fellow is no West India drogger," said Roswell
Gardiner, when less than a mile from the stranger. " He
carries a boat on deck, as we do, and has one on each
quarter, too. Can it be possible that he is bound after
seals, as well as we are ourselves !"

"I believe you're right, sir," answered Hazard, the
10*



112 THE SEA LIONS.

chief-mate, who was now on deck. " There 's a sealing
look about the gentleman, if I know my own complexion.
It's odd enough, Captain Gar'ner, that two of us should
come together, out here in the offing, and both of us bound
to the other end of the 'arth !"

' There is nothing so very remarkable in that, Mr. Ha
zard, when we remember that the start must be properly
timed for those who wish to be off Cape Horn in the sum
mer season. We shall neither of us get there much before
December, and I suppose the master of yon schooner knows
that as well as I do myself. The position of this craft
puzzles me far more than anything else about her. From
what port can a vessel come, that she should be just here,
with the wind at south-west?"

"Ay, sir," put in Green, who was moving about the
decks, coiling ropes and clearing things away, "that's
what I tell the chief-mate. Where can a craft come from,
to be just here, with this wind, if she don't come from
Stunnin'tun. Even from Stunnin'tun she'd be out of her
way ; but no such vessel has been in that port any time
these six weeks. Here, you Stimson, come this way a bit.
Didn't you tell me something of having seen a schooner at
New Bedford, that was about our build and burthen, and
that you understood had been bought for a sealer 1"

"Ay, ay, sir," answered Stimson, as bluff an old sea-
dog as ever flattened in a jib-sheet, " and that's the craft,
as I 'm a thinkin', Mr. Green. She had an animal for a
figure-head, and that craft has an animal, as well as I can
judge, at this distance."

" You are right enough there, Stephen," cried Roswell
Gardiner, " and that animal is a seal. It's the twin-brother
of the sea lion we carry under our own bowsprit. There 's
some proof in that, tastes agree sometimes, even if they do
differ generally. What became of the schooner you saw?"

" I heard, sir, that she was bought up by some Vineyard
men, and was taken across to Hum'ses Hull. They some
times fit out a craft there, as well as on the main. I should
have crossed myself to see what they was at, but I fell in
with Mr. Green, and shipped aboard here."

" An adventure by which, I hope, you will not be a loser,
my hearty," put in the captain. " And you think that is



THE SEA LIONS. 113

the craft which was built at New Bedford, and fitted out
on the Vineyard ?"

" Sartain of it, sir ; for I know the figure-head, and all
about her build."

"Hand me the trumpet, Mr. Green; we shall soon be
near enough for a hail, and it will be easy to learn the
truth."

Rosvvell Gardiner waited a few minutes for the two
schooners to close, and was in the very act of applying the
trumpet to his mouth, when the usual salutation was sent
across the water from the stranger. During the conversa
tion that now took place, the vessels gradually drew nearer
to each other, until both parties laid aside their trumpets,
and carried on the discourse with the unaided voice.

" Schooner, ahoy !" was the greeting of the stranger, and
a simple " Hilloa!" the answer.

" What schooner is that, pray ?"

"The Sea Lion, of Oyster Pond, Long loland ; bound
to the southward, after seal, as I suppose you know by our
outfit."

" When did you leave Oyster Pond and how did you
leave your owner, the good Deacon Pratt?"

" We sailed yesterday afternoon, on the first of the ebb,
and the deacon left us as we weighed anchor. He was



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