Son was very bald, and very red, and though of course an undeniably fine infant, somewhat crushed and spotty in his general effect, as yet. On the brow of Dombey, Time and his brother Care had set some marks, as on a tree that was to come down in good time-remorseless twins they are for striding through their human forests, notching as they go-while the countenance of Son was crossed and recrossed with a thousand little creases, which the same deceitful Time would take delight in smoothing out and wearing away with the flat part of his scythe, as a preparation of the surface for his deeper operations.
Dombey, exulting in the long-looked-for event, jingled and jingled the heavy gold watch-chain that depended from below his trim blue coat, whereof the buttons sparkled phosphorescently in the feeble rays of the distant fire. Son, with his little fists curled up and clenched, seemed, in his feeble way, to be squaring at existence for having come upon him so unexpectedly. The words had such a softening influence, that he appended a term of endearment to Mrs. Dombey's name though not without some hesitation, as being a man but little used to that form of address: A transient flush of faint surprise overspread the sick lady's face as she raised her eyes towards him.
Dombey, and his grandfather's! I wish his grandfather were alive this day! Those three words conveyed the one idea of Mr. The earth was made for Dombey and Son to trade in, and the sun and moon were made to give them light. Rivers and seas were formed to float their ships; rainbows gave them promise of fair weather; winds blew for or against their enterprises; stars and planets circled in their orbits, to preserve inviolate a system of which they were the centre. Common abbreviations took new meanings in his eyes, and had sole reference to them: He had risen, as his father had before him, in the course of life and death, from Son to Dombey, and for nearly twenty years had been the sole representative of the firm.
Of those years he had been married, ten-married, as some said, to a lady with no heart to give him; whose happiness was in the past, and who was content to bind her broken spirit to the dutiful and meek endurance of the present. Such idle talk was little likely to reach the ears of Mr. Dombey, whom it nearly concerned; and probably no one in the world would have received it with such utter incredulity as he, if it had reached him.
Dombey and Son had often dealt in hides, but never in hearts. They left that fancy ware to boys and girls, and boarding-schools and books. Dombey would have reasoned: That a matrimonial alliance with himself must , in the nature of things, be gratifying and honourable to any woman of common sense. That the hope of giving birth to a new partner in such a house, could not fail to awaken a glorious and stirring ambition in the breast of the least ambitious of her sex. Dombey had entered on that social contract of matrimony: Dombey had had daily practical knowledge of his position in society.
Dombey had always sat at the head of his table, and done the honours of his house in a remarkably lady-like and becoming manner. Dombey must have been happy. That she couldn't help it. Or, at all events, with one drawback. That he would have allowed. With only one; but that one certainly involving much. They had been married ten years, and until this present day on which Mr. Dombey sat jingling and jingling his heavy gold watch-chain in the great arm-chair by the side of the bed, had had no issue.
There had been a girl some six years before, and the child, who had stolen into the chamber unobserved, was now crouching timidly, in a corner whence she could see her mother's face. But what was a girl to Dombey and Son! In the capital of the House's name and dignity, such a child was merely a piece of base coin that couldn't be invested-a bad Boy-nothing more.
Dombey's cup of satisfaction was so full at this moment, however, that he felt he could afford a drop or two of its contents, even to sprinkle on the dust in the by-path of his little daughter. The child glanced keenly at the blue coat and stiff white cravat, which, with a pair of creaking boots and a very loud ticking watch, embodied her idea of a father; but her eyes returned to her mother's face immediately, and she neither moved nor answered.
Next moment, the lady had opened her eyes and seen the child; and the child had run towards her; and, standing on tip-toe, the better to hide her face in her embrace, had clung about her with a desperate affection very much at variance with her years. I had better ask Doctor Peps if he'll have the goodness to step up stairs again perhaps. I remember when Miss Florence was born-'. Dombey, bending over the basket bedstead, and slightly bending his brows at the same time.
This young gentleman has to accomplish a destiny. A destiny, little fellow! Doctor Parker Peps, one of the Court Physicians, and a man of immense reputation for assisting at the increase of great families, was walking up and down the drawing-room with his hands behind him, to the unspeakable admiration of the family Surgeon, who had regularly puffed the case for the last six weeks, among all his patients, friends, and acquaintances, as one to which he was in hourly expectation day and night of being summoned, in conjunction with Doctor Parker Peps.
Dombey was quite discomfited by the question. He had thought so little of the patient, that he was not in a condition to answer it. He said that it would be a satisfaction to him, if Doctor Parker Peps would walk up stairs again. That there is a certain degree of languor, and a general absence of elasticity, which we would rather-not-'. It would appear that the system of Lady Cankaby-excuse me: I should say of Mrs.
I confuse the names of cases-'. It would appear, I was observing, that the system of our patient has sustained a shock, from which it can only hope to rally by a great and strong-'. Pilkins here, who from his position of medical adviser in this family-no one better qualified to fill that position, I am sure. Pilkins who, from his position, is best acquainted with the patient's constitution in its normal state an acquaintance very valuable to us in forming our opinions on these occasions , is of opinion, with me, that Nature must be called upon to make a vigorous effort in this instance; and that if our interesting friend the Countess of Dombey-I beg your pardon; Mrs.
With that, they stood for a few seconds looking at the ground. Then, on the motion-made in dumb show-of Doctor Parker Peps, they went up stairs; the family practitioner opening the room door for that distinguished professional, and following him out, with most obsequious politeness. To record of Mr. Dombey that he was not in his way affected by this intelligence, would be to do him an injustice.
He was not a man of whom it could properly be said that he was ever startled or shocked; but he certainly had a sense within him, that if his wife should sicken and decay, he would be very sorry, and that he would find a something gone from among his plate and furniture, and other household possessions, which was well worth the having, and could not be lost without sincere regret. Though it would be a cool, business-like, gentlemanly, self-possessed regret, no doubt.
His meditations on the subject were soon interrupted, first by the rustling of garments on the staircase, and then by the sudden whisking into the room of a lady rather past the middle age than otherwise, but dressed in a very juvenile manner, particularly as to the tightness of her bodice, who, running up to him with a kind of screw in her face and carriage, expressive of suppressed emotion, flung her arms round his neck, and said in a choking voice,.
Don't agitate yourself, Louisa. I never saw anything like it in my life! Take my word, it's nothing whatever. There is exhaustion, certainly, but nothing like what I underwent myself, either with George or Frederick. An effort is necessary. If dear Fanny were a Dombey! Knowing it to be required of her, as a duty, of course she'll make it.
My dear Paul, it's very weak and silly of me, I know, to be so trembly and shaky from head to foot; but I am so very queer that I must ask you for a glass of wine and a morsel of that cake. I thought I should have fallen out of the staircase window as I came down from seeing dear Fanny, and that tiddy ickle sing. I never could have got here without her!
Miss Tox, my brother Mr. Paul, my dear, my very particular friend Miss Tox.
Is it better to be here or there, and then I pointed to the Sea? After I got to Shore and had escap'd drowning, instead of being thankful to God for my Deliverance, having first vomited with the great Quantity of salt Water which was gotten into my Stomach, and recovering my self a little, I ran about the Shore, wringing my Hands and beat ing my Head and Face, exclaiming at my Misery, and crying out, I was undone, undone, till tyr'd and faint I was forc'd to lye down on the Ground to repose, but durst not sleep for fear of being de vour'd. Dombey by his sister, was little Paul now borne by Fate and Richards. Having the power of nominating a child on the foundation of an ancient establishment, called from a worshipful company the Charitable Grinders; where not only is a wholesome education bestowed upon the scholars, but where a dress and badge is likewise provided for them; I have first communicating, through Mrs. Having got my second cargo on shore—though I was fain to open the barrels of powder, and bring them by parcels, for they were too heavy, being large casks—I went to work to make me a little tent with the sail and some poles which I cut for that purpose: In spite of the double disappointment, it was impossible to regard in the light of a failure a visit which was greeted with such a reception; so the sisters talked hopefully about family matters, and about Biler, and about all his brothers and sisters: I was born in the year , in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull.
But for this she might have been described as the very pink of general propitiation and politeness. From a long habit of listening admirably to everything that was said in her presence, and looking at the speakers as if she were mentally engaged in taking off impressions of their images upon her soul, never to part with the same but with life, her head had quite settled on one side. Her hands had contracted a spasmodic habit of raising themselves of their own accord as in involuntary admiration. Her eyes were liable to a similar affection. She had the softest voice that ever was heard; and her nose, stupendously aquiline, had a little knob in the very centre or key-stone of the bridge, whence it tended downwards towards her face, as in an invincible determination never to turn up at anything.
Miss Tox's dress, though perfectly genteel and good, had a certain character of angularity and scantiness. She was accustomed to wear odd weedy little flowers in her bonnets and caps. Strange grasses were sometimes perceived in her hair; and it was observed by the curious, of all her collars, frills, tuckers, wristbands, and other gossamer articles-indeed of everything she wore which had two ends to it intended to unite-that the two ends were never on good terms, and wouldn't quite meet without a struggle.
She had furry articles for winter wear, as tippets, boas, and muffs, which stood up on end in a rampant manner, and were not at all sleek. She was much given to the carrying about of small bags with snaps to them, that went off like little pistols when they were shut up; and when full-dressed, she wore round her neck the barrenest of lockets, representing a fishy old eye, with no approach to speculation in it. These and other appearances of a similar nature, had served to propagate the opinion, that Miss Tox was a lady of what is called a limited independence, which she turned to the best account.
Possibly her mincing gait encouraged the belief, and suggested that her clipping a step of ordinary compass into two or three, originated in her habit of making the most of everything. Dombey is a distinction which I have long sought, but very little expected at the present moment. Chick-may I say Louisa! You have been almost as anxious as I have been, and must want it, I am sure.
It is only a pin-cushion for the toilette table, Paul, but I do say, and will say, and must say, that Miss Tox has very prettily adapted the sentiment to the occasion. But the uncertainty attendant on angelic strangers, will, I hope, excuse what must otherwise appear an unwarrantable familiarity. Dombey, which that gentleman graciously acknowledged. Even the sort of recognition of Dombey and Son, conveyed in the foregoing conversation, was so palatable to him, that his sister, Mrs. Chick-though he affected to consider her a weak good-natured person-had perhaps more influence over him than anybody else.
It was a declaration in a Christian spirit, and Mrs. Chick felt that it did her good. Not that she had anything particular to forgive in her sister-in-law, nor indeed anything at all, except her having married her brother-in itself a species of audacity-and her having, in the course of events, given birth to a girl instead of a boy: Chick had frequently observed, was not quite what she had expected of her, and was not a pleasant return for all the attention and distinction she had met with. Dombey being hastily summoned out of the room at this moment, the two ladies were left alone together.
Miss Tox immediately became spasmodic. I told you so before-hand, my dear,' said Louisa. No portrait that I have ever seen of any one has been half so replete with those qualities. Something so stately, you know: A pecuniary Duke of York, my love, and nothing short of it! There's nothing the matter? If you have any reliance on my experience, Paul, you may rest assured that there is nothing wanting but an effort on Fanny's part. Now, my dear Paul, come up stairs with me. Dombey, who, besides being generally influenced by his sister for the reason already mentioned, had really faith in her as an experienced and bustling matron, acquiesced: The lady lay upon her bed as he had left her, clasping her little daughter to her breast.
The child clung close about her, with the same intensity as before, and never raised her head, or moved her soft cheek from her mother's face, or looked on those who stood around, or spoke, or moved, or shed a tear. There was such a solemn stillness round the bed; and the two medical attendants seemed to look on the impassive form with so much compassion and so little hope, that Mrs. Chick was for the moment diverted from her purpose. But presently summoning courage, and what she called presence of mind, she sat down by the bedside, and said in the low precise tone of one who endeavours to awaken a sleeper:.
There was no sound in answer but the loud ticking of Mr. Dombey's watch and Doctor Parker Peps's watch, which seemed in the silence to be running a race. Dombey come to see you. Won't you speak to him? They want to lay your little boy-the baby, Fanny, you know; you have hardly seen him yet, I think-in bed; but they can't till you rouse yourself a little.
Don't you think it's time you roused yourself a little? She bent her ear to the bed, and listened: I didn't hear you. No word or sound in answer.
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Dombey's watch and Dr. Parker Peps's watch seemed to be racing faster. It's necessary for you to make an effort, and perhaps a very great and painful effort which you are not disposed to make; but this is a world of effort you know, Fanny, and we must never yield, when so much depends upon us. I must really scold you if you don't! The race in the ensuing pause was fierce and furious. The watches seemed to jostle, and to trip each other up. Only open your eyes to show me that you hear and understand me; will you? Good Heaven, gentlemen, what is to be done! The two medical attendants exchanged a look across the bed; and the Physician, stooping down, whispered in the child's ear.
Not having understood the purport of his whisper, the little creature turned her perfectly colourless face, and deep dark eyes towards him; but without loosening her hold in the least. The little voice, familiar and dearly loved, awakened some show of consciousness, even at that ebb. For a moment, the closed eye-lids trembled, and the nostril quivered, and the faintest shadow of a smile was seen. The Doctor gently brushed the scattered ringlets of the child, aside from the face and mouth of the mother.
Alas how calm they lay there; how little breath there was to stir them! Thus, clinging fast to that slight spar within her arms, the mother drifted out upon the dark and unknown sea that rolls round all the world. Whatever happens, that must always be a comfort to me! Chick made this impressive observation in the drawing-room, after having descended thither from the inspection of the Mantua-Makers up stairs, who were busy on the family mourning. She delivered it for the behoof of Mr. Chick, who was a stout bald gentleman, with a very large face, and his hands continually in his pockets, and who had a tendency in his nature to whistle and hum tunes, which, sensible of the indecorum of such sounds in a house of grief, he was at some pains to repress at present.
Right tol loor rul! Bless my soul, I forgot! We're here one day and gone the next! Chick contented herself with a glance of reproof, and then proceeded with the thread of her discourse. There's a moral in everything, if we would only avail ourselves of it. It will be our own faults if we lose sight of this one. Chick had indeed indulged in under his breath, and which Mrs. Chick repeated in a tone of withering scorn. If I was to get a habit as you call it of walking on the ceiling, like the flies, I should hear enough of it, I dare say.
It appeared so probable that such a habit might be attended with some degree of notoriety, that Mr. Chick didn't venture to dispute the position. Chick, staring with an alarmed expression about him. I hope you are suited, my dear. Meanwhile, of course, the child is-'. Admonished, however, that he had committed himself, by the indignation expressed in Mrs. Chick's countenance at the idea of a Dombey going there; and thinking to atone for his misconduct by a bright suggestion, he added:. If he had meant to bring the subject prematurely to a close, he could not have done it more effectually.
After looking at him for some moments in silent resignation, Mrs. Chick walked majestically to the window and peeped through the blind, attracted by the sound of wheels. Chick, finding that his destiny was, for the time, against him, said no more, and walked off. But it was not always thus with Mr. He was often in the ascendant himself, and at those times punished Louisa roundly. In their matrimonial bickerings they were, upon the whole, a well- matched, fairly-balanced, give-and-take couple. It would have been, generally speaking, very difficult to have betted on the winner.
Chick seemed beaten, he would suddenly make a start, turn the tables, clatter them about the ears of Mrs. Chick, and carry all before him. Being liable himself to similar unlookedfor checks from Mrs. Chick, their little contests usually possessed a character of uncertainty that was very animating. Miss Tox had arrived on the wheels just now alluded to, and came running into the room in a breathless condition. Running down stairs again as fast as she had run up, Miss Tox got the party out of the hackney-coach, and soon returned with it under convoy.
It then appeared that she had used the word, not in its legal or business acceptation, when it merely expresses an individual, but as a noun of multitude, or signifying many: No, they said there was not. When they gave me that answer, I do assure you, my dear, I was almost driven to despair on your account. But it did so happen, that one of the Royal Married Females, hearing the inquiry, reminded the matron of another who had gone to her own home, and who, she said, would in all likelihood be most satisfactory.
The moment I heard this, and had it corroborated by the matron-excellent references and unimpeachable character-I got the address, my dear, and posted off again. Arriving at the house the cleanest place, my dear! You might eat your dinner off the floor , I found the whole family sitting at table; and feeling that no account of them could be half so comfortable to you and Mr. Dombey as the sight of them all together, I brought them all away.
Will you have the goodness to come a little forward, Sir? The apple-faced man having sheepishly complied with this request, stood chuckling and grinning in a front row. By way of bringing her out dexterously, Miss Tox had made the inquiry as in condescension to an old acquaintance whom she hadn't seen for a fortnight or so. How do you do, Jemima? The fine little boy with the blister on his nose is the eldest. The little creature, in his mother's absence, smelt a warm flat iron. You're quite right, Sir. You were going to have the goodness to inform me, when we arrived at the door that you were by trade, a-'.
The ashes sometimes gets in here;' touching his chest: But it is ashes, Mum, not crustiness. Miss Tox seemed to be so little enlightened by this reply, as to find a difficulty in pursuing the subject. Chick relieved her, by entering into a close private examination of Polly, her children, her marriage certificate, testimonials, and so forth.
Polly coming out unscathed from this ordeal, Mrs. Chick withdrew with her report to her brother's room, and as an emphatic comment on it, and corroboration of it, carried the two rosiest little Toodles with her, Toodle being the family name of the apple-faced family. Dombey had remained in his own apartment since the death of his wife, absorbed in visions of the youth, education, and destination of his baby son.
Something lay at the bottom of his cool heart, colder and heavier than its ordinary load; but it was more a sense of the child's loss than his own, awakening within him an almost angry sorrow. That the life and progress on which he built such hopes, should be endangered in the outset by so mean a want; that Dombey and Son should be tottering for a nurse, was a sore humiliation.
And yet in his pride and jealousy, he viewed with so much bitterness the thought of being dependent for the very first step towards the accomplishment of his soul's desire, on a hired serving-woman who would be to the child, for the time, all that even his alliance could have made his own wife, that in every new rejection of a candidate he felt a secret pleasure.
The time had now come, however, when he could no longer be divided between these two sets of feelings. The less so, as there seemed to be no flaw in the title of Polly Toodle after his sister had set it forth, with many commendations on the indefatigable friendship of Miss Tox. Take them away, Louisa! Let me see this woman and her husband. Chick bore off the tender pair of Toodles, and presently returned with that tougher couple whose presence her brother had commanded.
I have no objection to your adding to the comforts of your family by that means. So far as I can tell, you seem to be a deserving object. But I must impose one or two conditions on you, before you enter my house in that capacity. Have you any objection to be known as Richards? You had better consult your husband. As the husband did nothing but chuckle and grin, and continually draw his right hand across his mouth, moistening the palm, Mrs.
Now, Richards, if you nurse my bereaved child, I wish you to remember this always. You will receive a liberal stipend in return for the discharge of certain duties, in the performance of which, I wish you to see as little of your family as possible. When those duties cease to be required and rendered, and the stipend ceases to be paid, there is an end of all relations between us.
Do you understand me? Toodle seemed doubtful about it; and as to Toodle himself, he had evidently no doubt whatever, that he was all abroad. I don't expect or desire anything of the kind. When you go away from here, you will have concluded what is a mere matter of bargain and sale, hiring and letting: The child will cease to remember you; and you will cease, if you please, to remember the child.
Indeed it is so plain and obvious that it could hardly be otherwise. Louisa, my dear, arrange with Richards about money, and let her have it when and how she pleases. Thus arrested on the threshold as he was following his wife out of the room, Toodle returned and confronted Mr. He was a strong, loose, round-shouldered, shuffling, shaggy fellow, on whom his clothes sat negligently: A thorough contrast in all respects to Mr. Dombey, who was one of those close-shaved close-cut moneyed gentlemen who are glossy and crisp like new bank-notes, and who seem to be artificially braced and tightened as by the stimulating action of golden shower-baths.
One of my little boys is a going to learn me, when he's old enough, and been to school himself. Dombey, after looking at him attentively, and with no great favour, as he stood gazing round the room principally round the ceiling and still drawing his hand across and across his mouth. I come to the level then. I'm a going on one of these here railroads when they comes into full play. As the last straw breaks the laden camel's back, this piece of underground information crushed the sinking spirits of Mr.
He motioned his child's foster-father to the door, who departed by no means unwillingly: It may have been characteristic of Mr. Dombey's pride, that he pitied himself through the child. Those words being on his lips, it occurred to him-and it is an instance of the strong attraction with which his hopes and fears and all his thoughts were tending to one centre-that a great temptation was being placed in this woman's way. Her infant was a boy too. Now, would it be possible for her to change them? Though he was soon satisfied that he had dismissed the idea as romantic and unlikely-though possible, there was no denying-he could not help pursuing it so far as to entertain within himself a picture of what his condition would be, if he should discover such an imposture when he was grown old.
Whether a man so situated, would be able to pluck away the result of so many years of usage, confidence, and belief, from the impostor, and endow a stranger with it? As his unusual emotion subsided, these misgivings gradually melted away, though so much of their shadow remained behind, that he was constant in his resolution to look closely after Richards himself, without appearing to do so. Being now in an easier frame of mind, he regarded the woman's station as rather an advantageous circumstance than otherwise, by placing, in itself, a broad distance between her and the child, and rendering their separation easy and natural.
Meanwhile terms were ratified and agreed upon between Mrs. Chick and Richards, with the assistance of Miss Tox; and Richards being with much ceremony invested with the Dombey baby, as if it were an Order, resigned her own, with many tears and kisses, to Jemima. Glasses of wine were then produced, to sustain the drooping spirits of the family. Polly cried more than ever at this. You have been already measured for your mourning, haven't you, Richards? I know,' said Mrs. The very best materials, too! You will order your little dinner every day; and anything you take a fancy to, I'm sure will be as readily provided as if you were a Lady.
Chick in the same tone. Is it not so, Louisa? Notwithstanding which, however, poor Polly embraced them all round in great distress, and finally ran away to avoid any more particular leave-taking between herself and the children. But the stratagem hardly succeeded as well as it deserved; for the smallest boy but one divining her intent, immediately began swarming up stairs after her-if that word of doubtful etymology be admissible-on his arms and legs; while the eldest known in the family by the name of Biler, in remembrance of the steam engine beat a demoniacal tattoo with his boots, expressive of grief; in which he was joined by the rest of the family.
A quantity of oranges and halfpence thrust indiscriminately on each young Toodle, checked the first violence of their regret, and the family were speedily transported to their own home, by means of the hackney-coach kept in waiting for that purpose. The children, under the guardianship of Jemima, blocked up the window, and dropped out oranges and halfpence all the way along. Toodle himself preferred to ride behind among the spikes, as being the mode of conveyance to which he was best accustomed. Dombey's household subsided into their several places in the domestic system.
That small world, like the great one out of doors, had the capacity of easily forgetting its dead; and when the cook had said she was a quiet-tempered lady, and the house-keeper had said it was the common lot, and the butler had said who'd have thought it, and the housemaid had said she couldn't hardly believe it, and the footman had said it seemed exactly like a dream, they had quite worn the subject out, and began to think their mourning was wearing rusty too.
On Richards, who was established up stairs in a state of honourable captivity, the dawn of her new life seemed to break cold and grey. Dombey's house was a large one, on the shady side of a tall, dark, dreadfully genteel street in the region between Portland Place and Bryanstone Square. It was a corner house, with great wide areas containing cellars frowned upon by barred window, and leered at by crooked-eyed doors leading to dustbins.
It was a house of dismal state, with a circular back to it, containing a whole suit of drawing-rooms looking upon a gravelled yard, where two gaunt trees, with blackened trunks and branches, rattled rather than rustled, their leaves were so smoke-dried. The summer sun was never on the street, but in the morning about breakfast-time, when it came with the water-carts and the old-clothes men, and the people with geraniums, and the umbrella-mender, and the man who trilled the little bell of the Dutch clock as he went along.
It was soon gone again to return no more that day; and the bands of music and the straggling Punch's shows going after it, left it a prey to the most dismal of organs, and white mice; with now and then a porcupine, to vary the entertainments; until the butlers whose families were dining out, began to stand at the house-doors in the twilight, and the lamplighter made his nightly failure in attempting to brighten up the street with gas.
It was as blank a house inside as outside. When the funeral was over, Mr. Dombey ordered the furniture to be covered up-perhaps to preserve it for the son with whom his plans were all associated-and the rooms to be ungarnished, saving such as he retained for himself on the ground floor.
Accordingly, mysterious shapes were made of tables and chairs, heaped together in the middle of rooms, and covered over with great winding-sheets. Bell-handles, window-blinds, and looking-glasses, being papered up in journals, daily and weekly, obtruded fragmentary accounts of deaths and dreadful murders. Every chandelier or lustre, muffled in Holland, looked like a monstrous tear depending from the ceiling's eye. Odours, as from vaults and damp places, came out of the chimneys.
The dead and buried lady was awful in a picture-frame of ghastly bandages. Every gust of wind that rose, brought eddying round the corner from the neighbouring mews, some fragments of the straw that had been strewn before the house when she was ill, mildewed remains of which were still cleaving to the neighbourhood; and these, being always drawn by some invisible attraction to the threshold of the dirty house to let immediately opposite, addressed a dismal eloquence to Mr.
The apartments which Mr. Dombey reserved for his own inhabiting, were attainable from the hall, and consisted of a sitting-room; a library, which was in fact a dressing-room, so that the smell of hot-pressed paper, vellum morocco, and Russia leather, contended in it with the smell of divers pairs of boots; and a kind of conservatory or little glass breakfast-room beyond, commanding a prospect of the trees before mentioned, and, generally speaking, of a few prowling cats.
These three rooms opened upon one another. In the morning, when Mr. Dombey was at his breakfast in one or other of the two first-mentioned of them, as well as in the afternoon when he came home to dinner, a bell was rung for Richards to repair to this glass chamber, and there walk to and fro with her young charge. From the glimpses she caught of Mr.
Dombey at these times, sitting in the dark distance, looking out towards the infant from among the dark heavy furniture-the house had been inhabited for years by his father, and in many of its appointments was old-fashioned and grim-she began to entertain ideas of him in his solitary state, as if he were a lone prisoner in a cell, or a strange apparition that was not to be accosted or understood.
Little Paul Dombey's foster-mother had led this life herself, and had carried little Paul through it for some weeks; and had returned up stairs one day from a melancholy saunter through the dreary rooms of state she never went out without Mrs. Chick, who called on fine mornings, usually accompanied by Miss Tox, to take her and Baby for an airing-or in other words, to march them gravely up and down the pavement; like a walking funeral ; when, as she was sitting in her own room, the door was slowly and quietly opened, and a dark-eyed little girl looked in.
But the child, instead of advancing, looked her earnestly in the face, and said:. Don't be afraid of me. With a quick perception that it was intended to relate to what she had asked, little Florence laid aside the bonnet she had held in her hand until now, and sat down on a stool at the Nurse's feet, looking up into her face. In a word, I told them I would go with all my Heart, if they would undertake to look after my Plantation in my Absence, and would dispose of it to such as I should direct if I miscarry'd.
This they all engag'd to do, and entred into Writings or Cove nants to do so; and I made a formal Will, dispo sing of my Plantation and Effects, in Case of my Death, making the Captain of the Ship that had sav'd my Life as before, my universal Heir, but obliging him to dispose of my Effects as I had di rected in my Will, one half of the Produce being to himself, and the other to be ship'd to England. But I was hurried on, and obey'd blindly the Dictates of my Fancy rather than my Reason; and accordingly the Ship being fitted out, and the Cargo furnished, and all things done as by Agree ment, by my Partners in the Voyage.
The same Day I went on board we set sail, standing away to the Northward upon our own Coast, with Design to stretch over for the Affrican Coast, when they came about 10 or 12 Degrees of Northern Latitude, which it seems was the man ner of their Course in those Days. We had very good Weather, only excessive hot, all the way up on our own Coast, till we came the Height of Cape St. Northern Latitude, when a violent Tournado or Hurricane took us quite out of our Knowledge; it began from the South-East, came about to the North-West, and then settled into the North-East, from whence it blew in such a terrible manner, that for twelve Days together we could do nothing but drive, and scudding away before it, let it carry us whither ever Fate and the Fury of the Winds directed; and during these twelve Days, I need not say, that I expected e very Day to be swallowed up, nor indeed did any in the Ship expect to save their Lives.
In this Distress, we had besides the Terror of the Storm, one of our Men dyed of the Calenture, and one Man and the Boy wash'd over board; a bout the 12th Day the Weather abating a little, the Master made an Observation as well as he could, and found that he was in about 11 Degrees North Latitude, but that he was 22 Degrees of Longitude difference West from Cape St. Augustino ; so that he found he was gotten upon the Coast of Guinea , or the North Part of Brasil , beyond the River Amozones , toward that of the River O ronoque , commonly call'd the Great River , and be gan to consult with me what Course he should take, for the Ship was leaky and very much disa bled, and he was going directly back to the Coast of Brasil.
With this Design we chang'd our Course and steer'd away N. In this Distress, the Wind still blowing very hard, one of our Men early in the Morning, cry'd out, Land ; and we had no sooner run out of the Cabbin to look out in hopes of seeing where abouts in the World we were; but the Ship struck upon a Sand, and in a moment her Motion being so stopp'd, the Sea broke over her in such a manner, that we expected we should all have pe rish'd immediately, and we were immediately dri ven into our close Quarters to shelter us from the very Foam and Sprye of the Sea.
In a word, we sat looking upon one another, and expecting Death every Moment, and every Man acting accordingly, as preparing for another World, for there was little or nothing more for us to do in this; that which was our present Comfort, and all the Comfort we had, was, that contrary to our Expectation the Ship did not break yet, and that the Master said the Wind began to a bate. Now tho' we thought that the Wind did a lit tle abate, yet the Ship having thus struck upon the Sand, and sticking too fast for us to expect her getting off, we were in a dreadful Condition indeed, and had nothing to do but to think of sa ving our Lives as well as we could; we had a Boat at our Stern just before the Storm, but she was first stav'd by dashing against the Ship's Rud der, and in the next Place she broke away, and ei ther sunk or was driven off to Sea, so there was no hope from her; we had another Boat on board, but how to get her off into the Sea, was a doubt ful thing; however there was no room to debate, for we fancy'd the Ship would break in Pieces e very Minute, and some told us she was actually broken already.
In this Distress the Mate of our Vessel lays hold of the Boat, and with the help of the rest of the Men, they got her slung over the Ship's-side, and getting all into her, let go, and committed our selves being Eleven in Number, to God's Mercy, and the wild Sea; for tho' the Storm was abated considerably, yet the Sea went dreadful high up on the Shore, and might well be call'd, Den wild Zee , as the Dutch call the Sea in a Storm.
As to making Sail, we had none, nor, if we had, could we ha' done any thing with it; so we work'd at the Oar towards the Land, tho' with heavy Hearts, like Men going to Execu tion; for we all knew, that when the Boat came nearer the Shore, she would be dash'd in a Thou sand Pieces by the Breach of the Sea. However, we committed our Souls to God in the most earnest Manner, and the Wind driving us towards the Shore, we hasten'd our Destruction with our own Hands, pulling as well as we could towards Land.
What the Shore was, whether Rock or Sand, whether Steep or Shoal, we knew not; the only Hope that could rationally give us the least Shadow of Expectation, was, if we might happen into some Bay or Gulph, or the Mouth of some River, where by great Chance we might have run our Boat in, or got under the Lee of the Land, and perhaps made smooth Water.
But there was nothing of this appeared; but as we made nearer and nearer the Shore, the Land look'd more frightful than the Sea. After we had row'd, or rather driven about a League and a Half, as we reckon'd it, a raging Wave, Mountain-like, came rowling a-stern of us, and plainly bad us expect the Coup de Grace. In a word, it took us with such a Fury, that it overset the Boat at once; and separating us as well from the Boat, as from one another, gave us not time hardly to say, O God!
I had so much Presence of Mind as well as Breath left, that seeing my self nearer the main Land than I expected, I got upon my Feet, and endeavoured to make on towards the Land as fast as I could, before another Wave should return, and take me up again.
But I soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for I saw the Sea come after me as high as a great Hill, and as furious as an Enemy which I had no Means or Strength to contend with; my Business was to hold my Breath, and raise my self upon the Water, if I could; and so by swimming to preserve my Breath ing, and Pilot my self towards the Shore, if possi ble; my greatest Concern now being, that the Sea, as it would carry me a great Way towards the Shore when it came on, might not carry me back again with it when it gave back towards the Sea. The Wave that came upon me again, buried me at once 20 or 30 Foot deep in its own Body; and I could feel my self carried with a mighty Force and Swiftness towards the Shore a very great Way; but I held my Breath, and assisted my self to swim still forward with all my Might.
I was ready to burst with holding my Breath, when, as I felt my self rising up, so to my immediate Relief, I found my Head and Hands shoot out above the Surface of the Water; and tho' it was not two Seconds of Time that I could keep my self so, yet it reliev'd me greatly, gave me Breath and new Courage. I was covered again with Water a good while, but not so long but I held it out; and finding the Water had spent it self, and began to return, I strook for ward against the Return of the Waves, and felt Ground again with my Feet.
But neither would this deliver me from the Fury of the Sea, which came pouring in after me again, and twice more I was lifted up by the Waves, and carried forwards as before, the Shore being very flat. I was now landed, and safe on Shore, and began to look up and thank God that my Life was sav'd in a Case wherein there was some Minutes before scarce any room to hope. That when a Malefactor who has the Halter about his Neck, is tyed up, and just going to be turn'd off, and has a Reprieve brought to him: I say, I do not wonder that they bring a Surgeon with it, to let him Blood that very Mo ment they tell him of it, that the Surprise may not drive the Animal Spirits from the Heart, and over whelm him: For sudden Joys, like Griefs, confound at first.
I walk'd about on the Shore, lifting up my Hands, and my whole Being, as I may say, wrapt up in the Contemplation of my Deliverance, making a Thou sand Gestures and Motions which I cannot describe, reflecting upon all my Comerades that were drown'd, and that there should not be one Soul sav'd but my self; for, as for them, I never saw them afterwards, or any Sign of them, except three of their Hats, one Cap, and two Shoes that were not Fellows.
I cast my Eyes to the stranded Vessel, when the Breach and Froth of the Sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far off, and considered, Lord! After I had solac'd my Mind with the comfortable Part of my Condition, I began to look round me to see what kind of Place I was in, and what was next to be done, and I soon found my Comforts abate, and that in a word I had a dreadful Deliverance: In a Word, I had no thing about me but a Knife, a Tobacco-pipe, and a little Tobacco in a Box, this was all my Provi sion, and this threw me into terrible Agonies of Mind, that for a while I run about like a Mad-man; Night coming upon me, I began with a heavy Heart to consider what would be my Lot if there were any ravenous Beasts in that Country, seeing at Night they always come abroad for their Prey.
All the Remedy that offer'd to my Thoughts at that Time, was, to get up into a thick bushy Tree like a Firr, but thorny, which grew near me, and where I resolv'd to set all Night, and consider the next Day what Dearh I should dye, for as yet I saw no Prospect of Life; I walk'd about a Furlong from the Shore, to see if I could find any fresh Wa ter to drink, which I did, to my great Joy; and having drank and put a little Tobacco in my Mouth to prevent Hunger, I went to the Tree, and getting up into it, endeavour'd to place my self so, as that if I should sleep I might not fall; and having cut me a short Stick, like a Truncheon, for my Defence, I took up my Lodging, and ha ving been excessively fatigu'd, I fell fast asleep, and slept as comfortably as, I believe, few could have done in my Condition, and found my self the most refresh'd with it, that I think I ever was on such an Occasion.
When I wak'd it was broad Day, the Weather clear, and the Storm abated, so that the Sea did not rage and swell as before: When I came down from my Appartment in the Tree, I look'd about me again, and the first thing I found was the Boat, which lay as the Wind and the Sea had toss'd her up upon the Land, a bout two Miles on my right Hand, I walk'd as far as I could upon the Shore to have got to her, but found a Neck or Inlet of Water between me and the Boat, which was about half a Mile broad, so I came back for the present, being more intent upon getting at the Ship, where I hop'd to find something for my present Subsistence.
Now I wanted nothing but a Boat to furnish my self with many things which I foresaw would be very ne cessary to me. My Raft was now strong enough to bear any reasonable Weight; my next Care was what to load it with, and how to preserve what I laid upon it from the Surf of the Sea; But I was not long consi dering this, I first laid all the Plank or Boards upon it that I could get, and having consider'd well what I most wanted, I first got three of the Seamens Chests, which I had broken open and empty'd, and lower'd them down upon my Raft; the first of these I fill'd with Provision, viz.
Bread, Rice, three Dutch Cheeses, five Pieces of dry'd Goat's Flesh, which we liv'd much upon, and a little Re mainder of European Corn which had been laid by for some Fowls which we brought to Sea with us, but the Fowls were kill'd, there had been some Barly and Wheat together, but, to my great Dis appointment, I found afterwards that the Rats had eaten or spoil'd it all; as for Liquors, I found se veral Cases of Bottles belonging to our Skipper, in which were some Cordial Waters, and in all about five or six Gallons of Rack, these I stow'd by themselves, there being no need to put them into the Chest, nor no room for them.
While I was doing this, I found the Tyde began to flow, tho' very calm, and I had the Mortification to see my Coat, Shirt, and Wast-coat which I had left on Shore upon the Sand, swim away; as for my Breeches which were only Linnen and open knee'd, I swam on board in them and my Stockings: My next Care was for some Ammunition and Arms; there were two very good Fowling-pieces in the great Cabbin, and two Pistols, these I se cur'd first, with some Powder-horns, and a small Bag of Shot, and two old rusty Swords; I knew there were three Barrels of Powder in the Ship, but knew not where our Gunner had stow'd them, but with much search I found them, two of them dry and good, the third had taken Water, those two I got to my Raft, with the Arms, and now I thought my self pretty well freighted, and be gan to think how I should get to Shore with them, having neither Sail, Oar, or Rudder, and the least Cap full of Wind would have overset all my Na vigation.
I had three Encouragements, 1. A smooth calm Sea, 2. The Tide rising and setting in to the Shore, 3. What little Wind there was blew me towards the Land; and thus, having found two or three broken Oars belong to the Boat, and be sides the Tools which were in the Chest, I found two Saws, an Axe, and a Hammer, and with this Cargo I put to Sea: As I imagin'd, so it was, there appear'd before me a little opening of the Land, and I found a strong Current of the Tide set into it, so I gui ded my Raft as well as I could to keep in the Mid dle of the Stream: But here I had like to have suffer'd a second Shipwreck, which, if I had, I think verily would have broke my Heart, for know ing nothing of the Coast, my Raft run a-ground at one End of it upon a Shoal, and not being a-ground at the other End, it wanted but a little that all my Cargo had slip'd off towards that End that was a-float, and so fall'n into the Water: I did my utmost by setting my Back against the Chests, to keep them in their Places, but could not thrust off the Raft with all my Strength, nei ther durst I stir from the Posture I was in, but holding up the Chests with all my Might, stood in that Manner near half an Hour, in which time the rising of the Water brought me a little more upon a Level, and a little after, the Water still rising, my Raft floated again, and I thrust her off with the Oar I had, into the Channel, and then driving up higher, I at length found my self in the Mouth of a little River, with Land on both Sides, and a strong Current or Tide running up, I look'd on both Sides for a proper Place to get to Shore, for I was not willing to be driven too high up the River, hoping in time to see some Ship at Sea, and therefore resolv'd to place my self as near the Coast as I could.
All that I could do, was to wait 'till the Tide was at highest, keeping the Raft with my Oar like an Anchor to hold the Side of it fast to the Shore, near a flat Piece of Ground, which I expected the Water would flow over; and so it did: As soon as I found Water enough, for my Raft drew about a Foot Water, I thrust her on upon that flat Piece of Ground, and there fasten'd or mor'd her by sticking my two broken Oars into the Ground; one on one Side near one End, and one on the other Side near the other End; and thus I lay 'till the Water ebb'd away, and left my Raft and all my Cargoe safe on Shore.
My next Work was to view the Country, and seek a proper Place for my Habitation, and where to stow my Goods to secure them from whatever might happen; where I was I yet knew not, whe ther on the Continent or on an Island, whether in habited or not inhabited, whether in Danger of wild Beasts or not: There was a Hill not above a Mile from me, which rose up very steep and high, and which seem'd to over-top some other Hills which lay as in a Ridge from it northward; I took out one of the fowling Pieces, and one of the Pi stols, and an Horn of Powder, and thus arm'd I travell'd for Discovery up to the Top of that Hill, where after I had with great Labour and Difficul ty got to the Top, I saw my Fate to my great Affliction, viz.
I found also that the Island I was in was bar ren, and, as I saw good Reason to believe, un-in habited, except by wild Beasts, of whom however I saw none, yet I saw Abundance of Fowls, but knew not their Kinds, neither when I kill'd them could I tell what was fit for Food, and what not; at my coming back, I shot at a great Bird which I saw sitting upon a Tree on the Side of a great Wood, I believe it was the first Gun that had been fir'd there since the Creation of the World; I had no sooner fir'd, but from all the Parts of the Wood there arose an innumerable Number of Fowls of many Sorts, making a confus'd Screaming, and crying every one according to his usual Note; but not one of them of any Kind that I knew: Contented with this Discovery, I came back to my Raft, and fell to Work to bring my Cargoe on Shore, which took me up the rest of that Day, and what to do with my self at Night I knew not, nor indeed where to rest; for I was afraid to lie down on the Ground, not knowing but some wild Beast might devour me, tho', as I afterwards found, there was really no Need for those Fears.
I now began to consider, that I might yet get a great many Things out of the Ship, which would be useful to me, and particularly some of the Rig ging, and Sails, and such other Things as might come to Land, and I resolv'd to make another Voyage on Board the Vessel, if possible; and as I knew that the first Storm that blew must necessarily break her all in Pieces, I resolv'd to set all other Things apart, 'till I got every Thing out of the Ship that I could get; then I call'd a Council, that is to say, in my Thoughts, whether I should take back the Raft, but this appear'd impracticable; so I resolv'd to go as before, when the Tide was down, and I did so, only that I stripp'd before I went from my Hut, having nothing on but a Che quer'd Shirt, and a Pair of Linnen Drawers, and a Pair of Pumps on my Feet.
I got on Board the Ship, as before, and prepar'd a second Raft, and having had Experience of the first, I neither made this so unweildy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought away several Things very useful to me; as first, in the Carpenter's Stores I found two or three Bags full of Nails and Spikes, a great Skrew-Jack, a Dozen or two of Hatchets, and above all, that most useful Thing call'd a Grindstone; all these I secur'd together, with se veral Things belonging to the Gunner, particular ly two or three Iron Crows, and two Barrels of Musquet Bullets, seven Musquets, and another fowling Piece, with some small Quantity of Pow der more; a large Bag full of small Shot, and a great Roll of Sheet Lead: But this last was so hea vy, I could not hoise it up to get it over the Ship's Side.
I was under some Apprehensions during my Ab sence from the Land, that at least my Provisions might be devour'd on Shore; but when I came back, I found no Sign of any Visitor, only there sat a Creature like a wild Cat upon one of the Chests, which when I came towards it, ran away a little Distance, and then stood still; she sat very com pos'd, and unconcern'd, and look'd full in my Face, as if she had a Mind to be acquainted with me, I presented my Gun at her, but as she did not un derstand it, she was perfectly unconcern'd at it, nor did she offer to stir away; upon which I toss'd her a Bit of Bisket, tho' by the Way I was not very free of it, for my Store was not great: How ever, I spar'd her a Bit, I say, and she went to it, smell'd of it, and ate it, and look'd as pleas'd for more, but I thank'd her, and could spare no more; so she march'd off.
Having got my second Cargoe on Shore, tho' I was fain to open the Barrels of Powder, and bring them by Parcels, for they were too heavy, being large Casks, I went to work to make me a little Tent with the Sail and some Poles which I cut for that Purpose, and into this Tent I brought every Thing that I knew would spoil, either with Rain or Sun, and I piled all the empty Chests and Casks up in a Circle round the Tent, to fortify it from any sudden Attempt, either from Man or Beast.
I had the biggest Maggazin of all Kinds now that ever were laid up, I believe, for one Man, but I was not satisfy'd still; for while the Ship sat upright in that Posture, I thought I ought to get every Thing out of her that I could; so every Day at low Water I went on Board, and brought away some Thing or other: In a Word, I brought away all the Sails first and last, only that I was fain to cut them in Pieces, and bring as much at a Time as I could; for they were no more use ful to be Sails, but as meer Canvass only. But that which comforted me more still was, that at last of all, after I had made five or six such Voyages as these, and thought I had nothing more to expect from the Ship that was worth my med ling with, I say, after all this, I found a great Hogs head of Bread and three large Runlets of Rum or Spirits, and a Box of Sugar, and a Barrel of fine Flower; this was surprizing to me, because I had given over expecting any more Provisions, except what was spoil'd by the Water: But my good Luck began now to leave me; for this Raft was so unweildy, and so overloaden, that after I was enter'd the little Cove, where I had landed the rest of my Goods, not be ing able to guide it so handily as I did the other, it overset, and threw me and all my Cargoe into the Water; as for my self it was no great Harm, for I was near the Shore; but as to my Cargoe, it was great Part of it lost, especially the Iron, which I expected would have been of great Use to me: However, when the Tide was out, I got most of the Pieces of Cable ashore, and some of the Iron, tho' with infinite Labour; for I was fain to dip for it into the Water, a Work which fatigu'd me very much: After this I went every Day on Board, and brought away what I could get.
I had been now thirteen Days on Shore, and had been eleven Times on Board the Ship; in which Time I had brought away all that one Pair of Hands could well be suppos'd capable to bring, tho' I be lieve verily, had the calm Weather held, I should have brought away the whole Ship Piece by Piece: I smil'd to my self at the Sight of this Money, O Drug! Said I aloud, what art thou good for, Thou art not worth to me, no not the taking off of the Ground, one of those Knives is worth all this Heap, I have no Manner of use for thee, e'en remain where thou art, and go to the Bottom as a Creature whose Life is not worth saving.
How ever, upon Second Thoughts, I took it away, and wrapping all this in a Piece of Canvas, I began to think of making another Raft, but while I was preparing this, I found the Sky over-cast, and the Wind began to rise, and in a Quarter of an Hour it blew a fresh Gale from the Shore; it presently occur'd to me, that it was in vain to pretend to make a Raft with the Wind off Shore, and that it was my Business to be gone before the Tide of Flood began, otherwise I might not be able to reach the Shore at all: Accordingly I let my self down into the Water, and swam cross the Channel, which lay between the Ship and the Sands, and even that with Difficulty enough, partly with the Weight of the Things I had about me, and partly the Roughness of the Water, for the Wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite high Water, it blew a Storm.
But I was gotten home to my little Tent, where I lay with all my Wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that Night, and in the Morning when I look'd out, behold no more Ship was to be seen; I was a little surpriz'd, but recover'd my self with this satisfactory Reflection, viz. I now gave over any more Thoughts of the Ship, or of any thing out of her, except what might drive on Shore from her Wreck, as indeed divers Pieces of her afterwards did; but those things were of small use to me. My Thoughts were now wholly employ'd about securing my self against either Savages, if any should appear, or wild Beasts, if any were in the Island; and I had many Thoughts of the Method how to do this, and what kind of Dwelling to make, whe ther I should make me a Cave in the Earth, or a Tent upon the Earth: And, in short, I resolv'd up on both, the Manner and Discription of which, it may not be improper to give an Account of.
I sooon found the Place I was in was not for my Settlement, particularly because it was upon a low moorish Ground near the Sea, and I believ'd would not be wholsome, and more particularly because there was no fresh Water near it, so I resolv'd to find a more healthy and more convenient Spot of Ground. I consulted several Things in my Situation which I found would be proper for me, 1st. Health, and fresh Water I just now mention'd, 2dly.
Shelter from the Heat of the Sun, 3dly. Security from ra venous Creatures, whether Men or Beasts, 4thly. This Plain was not above an Hundred Yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a Green before my Door, and at the End of it descended irregularly every Way down into the Low-grounds by the Sea-side. It was on the N. Sun, or thereabouts, which in those Countries is near the Setting. The two Rows did not stand above Six Inches from one another.
Then I took the Pieces of Cable which I had cut in the Ship, and I laid them in Rows one upon another, within the Circle, between these two Rows of Stakes, up to the Top, placing other Stakes in the In-side, leaning against them, about two Foot and a half high, like a Spurr to a Post, and this Fence was so strong, that neither Man or Beast could get into it or over it: This cost me a great deal of Time and Labour, especially to cut the Piles in the Woods, bring them to the Place, and drive them into the Earth.
Into this Fence or Fortress, with infinite La bour, I carry'd all my Riches, all my Provisions, Ammunition and Stores, of which you have the Account above, and I made me a large Tent, which, to preserve me from the Rains that in one Part of the Year are very violent there, I made double, viz. One smaller Tent within, and one larger Tent above it, and cover'd the uppermost with a large Tarpaulin which I had sav'd among the Sails. And now I lay no more for a while in the Bed which I had brought on Shore, but in a Ham mock, which was indeed a very good one, and belong'd to the Mate of the Ship.
Into this Tent I brought all my Provisions, and every thing that would spoil by the Wet, and ha ving thus enclos'd all my Goods, I made up the Entrance, which till now I had left open, and so pass'd and re-pass'd, as I said, by a short Ladder. It cost me much Labour, and many Days, be fore all these Things were brought to Perfection, and therefore I must go back to some other Things which took up some of my Thoughts.
My very Heart sunk within me, when I thought, that at one Blast all my Powder might be destroy'd, on which, not my Defence only, but the providing me Food, as I thought, entirely depen ded; I was nothing near so anxious about my own Danger, tho' had the Powder took fire, I had ne ver known who had hurt me. Such Impression did this make upon me, that after the Storm was over, I laid aside all my Works, my Building, and Fortifying, and apply'd my self to make Bags and Boxes to separate the Powder, and keep it a little and a little in a Parcel, in hope, that whatever might come, it might not all take Fire at once, and to keep it so apart that it should not be possible to make one part fire another: I finish'd this Work in about a Fort night, and I think my Powder, which in all was about l.
The first time I went out I presently discover'd that there were Goats in the Island, which was a great Satisfaction to me; but then it was attended with this Misfortune to me, viz. That they were so shy, so subtile, and so swift of Foot, that it was the difficultest thing in the World to come at them: But I was not discourag'd at this, not doubting but I might now and then shoot one, as it soon hap pen'd, for after I had found their Haunts a little, I laid wait in this Manner for them: I observ'd if they saw me in the Valleys, tho' they were upon the Rocks, they would run away as in a terrible Fright; but if they were feeding in the Valleys, and I was upon the Rocks, they took no Notice of me, from whence I concluded, that by the Position of their Opticks, their Sight was so directed downward, that they did not rea dily see Objects that were above them; so afterward I took this Method, I always clim'd the Rocks first to get above them, and then had frequently a fair Mark.
The first shot I made among these Creatures, I kill'd a She-Goat which had a little Kid by her which she gave Suck to, which griev'd me heartily; but when the Old one fell, the Kid stood stock still by her till I came and took her up, and not only so, but when I carry'd the Old one with me upon my Shoulders, the Kid follow'd me quite to my Enclosure, upon which I laid down the Dam, and took the Kid in my Arms, and carry'd it over my Pale, in hopes to have bred it up tame, but it would not eat, so I was forc'd to kill it and eat it my self; these two supply'd me with Flesh a great while, for I eat sparingly; and sav'd my Provisions my Bread especially as much as possibly I could.
But I must first give some little Account of my self, and of my Thoughts about Living, which it may well be suppos'd were not a few. I had a dismal Prospect of my Condition, for as I was not cast away upon that Island without be ing driven, as is said, by a violent Storm quite out of the Course of our intended Voyage, and a great Way, viz. But something always return'd swift upon me to check these Thoughts, and to reprove me; and particularly one Day walking with my Gun in my Hand by the Sea-side, I was very pensive upon the Subject of my present Condition, when Reason as it were expostulated with me t'other Way, thus: Well, you are in a desolate Condition 'tis true, but pray remember, Where are the rest of you?
Did not you come Eleven of you into the Boat, where are the Ten?
Why were not they sav'd and you lost? Why were you singled out? Is it better to be here or there, and then I pointed to the Sea? Then it occurr'd to me again, how well I was furnish'd for my Subsistence, and what would have been my Case if it had not happen'd, Which was an Hundred Thousand to one , that the Ship floated from the Place where she first struck and was dri ven so near to the Shore that I had time to get all these Things out of her: What would have been my Case, if I had been to have liv'd in the Condition in which I at first came on Shore, with out Necessaries of Life, or Necessaries to supply and procure them?
Particularly said I aloud, tho' to my self what should I ha' done without a Gun, without Ammunition, without any Tools to make any thing, or to work with, without Clothes, Bedding, a Tent, or any man ner of Covering, and that now I had all these to a Sufficient Quantity, and was in a fair way to provide my self in such a manner, as to live with out my Gun when my Ammunition was spent; so that I had a tollerable View of subsisting without any Want as long as I liv'd; for I consider'd from the beginning how I would provide for the Ac cidents that might happen, and for the time that was to come, even not only after my Ammunition should be spent, but even after my Health or Strength should decay.
I confess I had not entertain'd any Notion of my Ammunition being destroy'd at one Blast, I mean my Powder being blown up by Lightning, and this made the Thoughts of it so surprising to me when it lighten'd and thunder'd, as I observ'd just now. It was, by my Account, the 30th. I came on Shore here on the 30 th of Sept. Upon the Sides of this square Post I cut every Day a Notch with my Knife, and every seventh Notch was as long again as the rest, and every first Day of the Month as long again as that long one, and thus I kept my Kalander, or weekly, month ly, and yearly reckoning of Time.
And I must not forget, that we had in the Ship a Dog and two Cats, of whose eminent History I may have occasion to say something in its place; for I carry'd both the Cats with me, and as for the Dog, he jump'd out of the Ship of himself and swam on Shore to me the Day after I went on Shore with my first Cargo, and was a trusty Ser vant to me many Years; I wanted nothing that he could fetch me, nor any Company that he could make up to me, I only wanted to have him talk to me, but that would not do: As I observ'd before, I found Pen, Ink and Paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost, and I shall shew, that while my Ink lasted, I kept things very exact, but after that was gone I could not, for I could not make any Ink by any Means that I could devise.
And this put me in mind that I wanted many things, notwithstanding all that I had amass'd to gether, and of these, this of Ink was one, as also Spade, Pick-Axe, and Shovel to dig or remove the Earth, Needles, Pins, and Thread; as for Linnen, I soon learn'd to want that without much Difficulty. This want of Tools made every Work I did go on heavily, and it was near a whole Year before I had entirely finish'd my little Pale or surrounded Habitation: But what need I ha' been concern'd at the Te diousness of any thing I had to do, seeing I had time enough to do it in, nor had I any other Em ployment if that had been over, at least, that I could foresee, except the ranging the Island to seek for Food, which I did more or less every Day.
I now began to consider seriously my Condition, and the Circumstance I was reduc'd to, and I drew up the State of my Affairs in Writing, not so much to leave them to any that were to come after me, for I was like to have but few Heirs, as to de liver my Thoughts from daily poring upon them, and afflicting my Mind; and as my Reason began now to master my Despondency, I began to com fort my self as well as I could, and to set the good against the Evil, that I might have something to distinguish my Case from worse, and I stated it very impartially, like Debtor and Creditor, the Comforts I enjoy'd, against the Miseries I suf fer'd, Thus, Evil.
I am cast upon a horri ble desolate Island, void of all hope of Recovery. But I am singl'd out too from all the Ship's Crew to be spar'd from Death; and he that miraculously sav'd me from Death, can deli ver me from this Condition. And what if I had been Ship wreck'd there?
But God wonderfully sent the Ship in near enough to the Shore, that I have got ten out so many necessary things as will either supply my Wants, or enable me to supply my self even as long as I live. Upon the whole, here was an undoubted Testi mony, that there was scarce any Condition in the World so miserable, but there was something Nega tiv or something Positiv to be thankful for in it; and let this stand as a Direction from the Experi ence of the most miserable of all Conditions in this World, that we may always find in it something to comfort our selves from, and to set in the De scription of Good and Evil, on the Credit Side of the Accompt.
Having now brought my Mind a little to relish my Condition, and given over looking out to Sea to see if I could spy a Ship, I say, giving over these things, I began to apply my self to accommo date my way of Living, and to make things as ea sy to me as I could. Tom Dolan - Skipper added 4 new photos.
Tom Dolan - Skipper 22 November at Tom Dolan - Skipper added an event. Three days and two nights together at sea. Racing in a cramped 30ft boat. Under 24 hour surveillance. Tom Dolan talks during November in Dublin and Cork Hello all, Tom here, thank you all so much for the messages and continuing support over the last season as well as over the last few years.
Then the talk will finish with the announcement of plans for and beyond. Places are limited and demand is expected to be high. There will be a small entry fee at both events in aid of FocusIreland. Cork, Tuesday 20 November at I will be speaking as part of the monthly Skippers and Members Club Evenings Presentation The attendance to the evening is open to members and their guests. Places for supper are limited so please contact the National Yacht Club For all bookings contact Tim: Tom Dolan - Skipper shared Less Plastic 's post. Yves Le Blevec added 2 new photos. Tom Dolan - Skipper shared a link.
Pas folles, les marques partenaires!
Les sponsors se frottent les mains. Tom Dolan - Skipper added 10 new photos.