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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesJane Talbot - Letter 66 - To Jane Talbot
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Jane Talbot - Letter 66 - To Jane Talbot Post by :cjv01 Category :Long Stories Author :Charles Brockden Brown Date :May 2012 Read :1623

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Jane Talbot - Letter 66 - To Jane Talbot

Letter LXVI - To Jane Talbot

To Jane Talbot

New York, November 15.

The fear that what I have to communicate may be imparted more abruptly and with false or exaggerated circumstances induces me to write to you.

Yesterday week, a ship arrived in this port from Batavia, in which my husband's brother, Stephen Montford, came passenger.

You will be terrified at these words; but calm your apprehensions. Harry does _not accompany him, it is true, nor are we acquainted with his present situation.

The story of their unfortunate voyage cannot be minutely related now. Suffice it to say that a wicked and turbulent wretch, whom they shipped in the West Indies as mate, the former dying on the voyage thither, gave rise, by his intrigues among the crew, to a mutiny.

After a prosperous navigation and some stay at Nootka, they prepared to cross the ocean to Asia. They pursued the usual route of former traders, and, after touching at the Sandwich Islands, they made the land of Japan.

At this period, the mutiny, which had long been hatching, broke out. The whole crew, including the mate, joined the conspiracy. Montford and my brother were the objects of this conspiracy.

The original design was to murder them both and throw their bodies into the sea; but this cruel proposal was thwarted both, by compassion and by policy, and it was resolved to set my brother ashore on the first inhospitable land they should meet, and retain Montford to assist them in the navigation of the vessel, designing to destroy him when his services should no longer be necessary.

This scheme was executed as soon, as they came in sight of an outlying isle or dry sand-bank on the eastern coast of Japan. Here they seized the two unsuspecting youths, at daybreak, while asleep in their _berths_, and, immediately putting out their boat, landed my brother on the shore, without clothing or provisions of any kind. Montford petitioned to share the fate of his friend, but they would not listen to it.

Six days afterwards, they lighted on a Spanish ship bound to Manilla, which was in want of water. A party of the Spaniards came on board in search of some supply of that necessary article.

On their coming, Montford was driven below and disabled from giving, by his cries, any alarm. The sentinel who guarded him had received orders to keep him in that situation till the visitants had departed. Prom some impulse of humanity, or mistake of orders, the sentinel freed him from restraint a few minutes earlier than had been intended, and he got on deck before the departing strangers had gone to any considerable distance from the ship. He immediately leaped into the sea and made for the boat, to which, being a very vigorous swimmer, he arrived in safety.

The mutineers, finding their victim had escaped, endeavoured to make the best of their way, but were soon overtaken by the Spanish vessel, to whose officers Montford made haste to explain the true state of affairs. They were carried to Manilla, where Montford sold his vessel and cargo on very advantageous terms. From thence, after many delays, he got to Batavia, and from thence returned home.

I have thus given you, my friend, an imperfect account of their misfortunes. I need not add that no tidings has been received, or can reasonably be hoped ever to be received, of my brother.

I could not write on such a subject sooner. For some days I had thoughts of being wholly silent on this news. Indeed, my emotions would not immediately permit me to use the pen; but I have concluded, and it is my husband's earnest advice, to tell you the whole truth.

Be not too much distressed, my sister, my friend. Fain would I give you that consolation which I myself want. I entreat you, let me hear from you soon, and tell me that you are not very much afflicted. Yet I could not believe you if you did. Write to me speedily, however.

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Letter LXVII - To Mrs. TalbotTo Mrs. Talbot New York, November 23. You do not write to me, my dear Jane. Why are you silent? Surely you cannot be indifferent to my happiness. You must know how painful, at a moment like this, your silence must prove. I have waited from day to day in expectation of a letter; but more than a week has passed, and none has come. Let me hear from you immediately, I entreat you. I am afraid you are ill; or perhaps you are displeased with me. Unconsciously I may have given you offence. But, indeed,
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Letter LXV - To G. CartwrightTo G. Cartwright Banks of Delaware, October 5. My brother:-- It would avail me nothing to deny the confessions to which you allude. Neither will I conceal from you that I am much grieved at the discovery. Far am I from deeming your good opinion of little value; but in this case I was more anxious to deserve it than possess it. Little, indeed, did you know me, when you imagined me insensible to your merit and forgetful of the happy days of our childhood,--the recollection of which has a thousand times made my tears flow.
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