Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Inspiring Novel > The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle > Chapter 35
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
Chapter 35

He embarks for France — Is overtaken by a Storm — Is surprised with the Appearance of Pipes — Lands at Calais, and has an Affray with the Officers at the Custom-house.

Scarce had the vessel proceeded two leagues on the passage, when, the wind shifting, blew directly in her teeth; so that they were obliged to haul upon a wind, and alter their course. The sea running pretty high at the same time, our hero, who was below in his cabin, began to be squeamish, and, in consequence of the skipper’s advice, went upon deck for the comfort of his stomach; while the governor, experienced in these disasters, slipped into bed, where he lay at his ease, amusing himself with a treatise on the cycloid, with algebraical demonstrations, which never failed to engage his imagination in the most agreeable manner.

In the mean time the wind increased to a very hard gale, the vessel pitched with great violence, the sea washed over the deck, the master was alarmed, the crew were confounded, the passengers were overwhelmed with sickness and fear, and universal distraction ensued. In the midst of this uproar, Peregrine holding fast by the taffrail, and looking ruefully ahead, the countenance of Pipes presented itself to his astonished view, rising, as it were, from the hold of the ship. At first he imagined it was a fear-formed shadow of his own brain; though he did not long remain in this error, but plainly perceived that it was no other than the real person of Thomas, who, jumping on the quarter-deck, took charge of the helm, and dictated to the sailors with as much authority as if he had been commander of the ship. The skipper looked upon him as an angel sent to his assistance; and the crew soon discovered him to be a thoroughbred seaman, notwithstanding his livery-frock; obeyed his orders with such alacrity, that, in a little time, the confusion vanished; and every necessary step was taken to weather the gale.

Our young gentleman immediately conceived the meaning of Tom’s appearance on board; and when the tumult was a little subsided, went up, and encouraged him to exert himself for the preservation of the ship, promising to take him again into his service, from which he should never be dismissed, except at his own desire. This assurance had a surprising effect upon Pipes, who, though he made no manner of reply, thrust the helm into the master’s hands, saying, “Here, you old bumboat-woman, take hold of the tiller, and keep her thus, boy, thus;” and skipped about the vessel, trimming the sails, and managing the ropes with such agility and skill, that everybody on deck stood amazed at his dexterity.

Mr. Jolter was far from being unconcerned at the uncommon motion of the vessel, the singing of the wind, and the uproar which he heard about him: he looked towards the cabin-door with the most fearful expectation, in hope of seeing some person who could give some account of the weather, and what was doing upon deck; but not a soul appeared, and he was too well acquainted with the disposition of his own bowels to make the least alteration in his attitude. When he bad lain a good while in all the agony of suspense, the boy tumbled headlong into his apartment, with such noise, that he believed the mast had gone by the board; and starting upright in his bed, asked, with all the symptoms of horror, what was the cause of that disturbance? The boy, half-stunned by his fall, answered in a dolorous tone, “I’m come to put up the dead-lights.” At the mention of dead-lights, the meaning of which he did not understand, the poor governor’s heart died within him: he shivered with despair, his recollection forsaking him, he fell upon his knees in the bed, and, fixing his eyes upon the book which was in his hand, began to pronounce aloud with great fervour, “The time of a complete oscillation in the cycloid, is to the time in which a body would fall through the axis of the cycloid DV, as the circumference of a circle to its diameter.”

He would in all likelihood have proceeded with the demonstration of this proposition, had he not been seized with such a qualm as compelled him to drop the book, and accommodate himself to the emergency of his distemper: he therefore stretched himself at full length, and, putting up ejaculations to Heaven, began to prepare himself for his latter end, when all of a sudden the noise above was intermitted; and as he could not conceive the cause of this tremendous silence, he imagined that either the men were washed overboard, or that, despairing of safety, they had ceased to oppose the tempest. While he was harrowed by this miserable uncertainty, which, however, was not altogether unenlightened by some scattered rays of hope, the master entered the cabin: then he asked, with a voice half-extinguished by fear, how matters went upon deck; and the skipper, with a large bottle of brandy applied to his mouth, answered, in a hollow tone, “All’s over now, master.” Upon which, Mr. Jolter, giving himself over for lost, exclaimed, with the utmost horror, “Lord have mercy upon us! Christ have mercy upon us;” and repeated this supplication, as it were mechanically, until the master undeceived him by explaining the meaning of what he had said, and assuring him that the squall was over.

Such a sudden transition from fear to joy occasioned a violent agitation both in his mind and body; and it was a full quarter of an hour, before he recovered the right use of his organs, By this time the weather cleared up, the wind began to blow again from the right corner, and the spires of Calais appeared at the distance of five leagues; so that the countenances of all on board were lighted up with joyous expectation and Peregrine, venturing to go down into the cabin, comforted his governor with an account of the happy turn of their affairs.

Jolter, transported with the thought of a speedy landing, began to launch out in praise of that country for which they were bound. he observed, that France was the land of politeness and hospitality, which were conspicuous in the behaviour of all ranks and degrees, from the peer to the peasant; that a gentleman and a foreigner, far from being insulted and imposed upon by the lower class of people, as in England, was treated with the utmost reverence, candour, and respect; and their fields were fertile, their climate pure healthy, their farmers rich and industrious, the subjects in general the happiest of men. He would have prosecuted this favourite theme still farther, had not his pupil been obliged to run upon deck, in consequence of certain warnings he received from his stomach.

The skipper seeing his condition, very honestly reminded him of the cold ham and fowls, with a basket of wine which he had ordered to be sent on board, and asked if he would have the cloth laid below. He could not have chosen a more seasonable opportunity of manifesting his own disinterestedness. Peregrine made wry faces at the mention of food, bidding him, for Heaven’s sake, talk no more on that subject. He then descended into the cabin, and put the same question to Mr. Jolter, who, he knew, entertained the same abhorrence for his proposal; and meeting with the like reception from him, went between decks, and repeated his courteous proffer to the valet-de-chambre and lacquey, who lay sprawling in all the pangs of a do............

Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved