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(CANTO II. xxiv-liii)

THE ship, call'd the most holy ‘Trinidada,'
Was steering duly for the port Leghorn ;
For there the Spanish family Moncada

Were settled long ere Juan's sire was born:
They were relations, and for them he had a
Letter of introduction, which the morn
Of his departure had been sent him by
His Spanish friends for those in Italy.

His suite consisted of three servants and
A tutor, the licentiate Pedrillo,
Who several languages did understand,

But now lay sick and speechless on his pillow,
And, rocking in his hammock, long'd for land,
His headache being increased by every billow;
And the waves oozing through the port-hole made
His berth a little damp, and him afraid.

'Twas not without some reason, for the wind
Increased at night, until it blew a gale;
And though 'twas not much to a naval mind,
Some landsmen would have look'd a little pale,

For sailors are, in fact, a different kind:

At sunset they began to take in sail,

For the sky show'd it would come on to blow,
And carry away, perhaps, a mast or so.

At one o'clock the wind with sudden shift

Threw the ship right into the trough of the sea,
Which struck her aft, and made an awkward rift,
Started the stern-post, also shatter'd the
Whole of her stern-frame, and, ere she could lift
Herself from out her present jeopardy,
The rudder tore away: 'twas time to sound
The pumps, and there were four feet water found.




One gang of people instantly was put

Upon the pumps, and the remainder set
To get up part of the cargo, and what not;
But they could not come at the leak as yet;
At last they did get at it really, but

Still their salvation was an even bet:

The water rush'd through in a way quite puzzling, While they thrust sheets, shirts, jackets, bales of muslin,

Into the opening; but all such ingredients


Would have been vain, and they must have gone down,

Despite of all their efforts and expedients,

But for the pumps: I'm glad to make them known
To all the brother tars who may have need hence,
For fifty tons of water were upthrown

By them per hour, and they all had been undone,
But for the maker, Mr. Mann, of London.

As day advanced the weather seem'd to abate,
And then the leak they reckon❜d to reduce,
And keep the ship afloat, though three feet yet
Kept two hand and one chain-pump still in use.
The wind blew fresh again: as it grew late


A squall came on, and while some guns broke loose, A gust-which all descriptive power transcends— Laid with one blast the ship on her beam ends.

There she lay, motionless, and seem'd upset;
The water left the hold, and wash'd the decks,
And made a scene men do not soon forget;

For they remember battles, fires, and wrecks,
Or any other thing that brings regret,


Or breaks their hopes, or hearts, or heads, or necks ; Thus drownings are much talk'd of by the divers, And swimmers, who may chance to be survivors.

Immediately the masts were cut away,

Both main and mizen: first the mizen went, The main-mast follow'd; but the ship still lay Like a mere log, and baffled our intent.

Foremast and bowsprit were cut down, and they
Eased her at last (although we never meant
To part with all till every hope was blighted),
And then with violence the old ship righted.
It may be easily supposed, while this

Was going on, some people were unquiet,
That passengers would find it much amiss
To lose their lives, as well as spoil their diet;
That even the able seaman, deeming his

Days nearly o'er, might be disposed to riot,
As upon such occasions tars will ask


For grog, and sometimes drink rum from the cask. 80
There's nought, no doubt, so much the spirit calms
As rum and true religion: thus it was,

Some plunder'd, some drank spirits, some sung psalms,
The high wind made the treble, and as bass

The hoarse harsh waves kept time; fright cured the qualms

Of all the luckless landsmen's sea-sick maws:
Strange sounds of wailing, blasphemy, devotion,
Clamour'd in chorus to the roaring ocean.

Perhaps more mischief had been done, but for
Our Juan, who, with sense beyond his years,
Got to the spirit-room, and stood before

It with a pair of pistols; and their fears,
As if Death were more dreadful by his door

Of fire than water, spite of oaths and tears, Kept still aloof the crew, who, ere they sunk, Thought it would be becoming to die drunk. 'Give us more grog,' they cried, ' for it will be All one an hour hence.' Juan answer'd, 'No! 'Tis true that death awaits both you and me,



But let us die like men, not sink below
Like brutes: '-and thus his dangerous post kept he,
And none liked to anticipate the blow;

And even Pedrillo, his most reverend tutor,
Was for some rum a disappointed suitor.

The good old gentleman was quite aghast,
And made a loud and pious lamentation;
Repented all his sins, and made a last
Irrevocable vow of reformation;

Nothing should tempt him more (this peril past)
To quit his academic occupation,

In cloisters of the classic Salamanca,

To follow Juan's wake, like Sancho Panca.


But now there came a flash of hope once more;
Day broke, and the wind lull'd: the masts were gone;
The leak increased; shoals round her, but no shore,
The vessel swam, yet still she held her own.
They tried the pumps again, and though before
Their desperate efforts seem'd all useless grown,
A glimpse of sunshine set some hands to bale
The stronger pump'd, the weaker thrumm'd a sail.
Under the vessel's keel the sail was pass'd,
And for the moment it had some effect;
But with a leak, and not a stick of mast,
Nor rag of canvas, what could they expect?
But still 'tis best to struggle to the last,

'Tis never too late to be wholly wreck'd:

And though 'tis true that man can only die once, 'Tis not so pleasant in the Gulf of Lyons.


There winds and waves had hurl'd them, and from thence,

Without their will, they carried them away;
For they were forced with steering to dispense,
And never had as yet a quiet day

On which they might repose, or even commence
A jurymast or rudder, or could say

The ship would swim an hour, which, by good luck,
Still swam-though not exactly like a duck.

The wind, in fact, perhaps, was rather less,
But the ship labour'd so, they scarce could hope

To weather out much longer; the distress
Was also great with which they had to cope



For want of water, and their solid mess

Was scant enough: in vain the telescope
Was used-nor sail nor shore appear'd in sight,
Nought but the heavy sea, and coming night.

Again the weather threaten'd,—again blew
A gale, and in the fore and after hold
Water appear'd; yet, though the people knew
All this, the most were patient, and some bold,
Until the chains and leathers were worn through
Of all our pumps :—a wreck complete she roll'd,
At mercy of the waves, whose mercies aré
Like human beings during civil war.


Then came the carpenter, at last, with tears
In his rough eyes, and told the captain, he
Could do no more: he was a man in years,
And long had voyaged through many a stormy sea,
And if he wept at length, they were not fears
That made his eyelids as a woman's be,
But he, poor fellow, had a wife and children,
Two things for dying people quite bewildering.

The ship was evidently settling now

Fast by the head; and, all distinction gone,
Some went to prayers again, and made a vow

Of candles to their saints-but there were none
То pay them with; and some look'd o'er the bow;
Some hoisted out the boats; and there was one
That begg'd Pedrillo for an absolution,
Who told him to be damn'd-in his confusion.



Some lash'd them in their hammocks; some put on
Their best clothes, as if going to a fair;
Some cursed the day on which they saw the sun,
And gnash'd their teeth, and, howling, tore their hair;

And others went on as they had begun,

Getting the boats out, being well aware That a tight boat will live in a rough sea, Unless with breakers close beneath her lee.

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