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Domingo and I drew the unfortunate Paul to the shore. He was senseless, and blood was flowing from his mouth and The Governor ordered him to be put into the hands of a surgeon, while we, on our part, wandered along the beach, in hopes that the sea would throw up the corpse of Virginia. But the wind having suddenly changed, as it frequently happens during hurricanes, our search was in vain; and we had the grief of thinking that we should not be able to bestow on this sweet and unfortunate girl the last sad duties. We retired from the spot overwhelmed with dismay, and our minds wholly occupied by one cruel loss, although numbers had perished in the wreck. Some of the spectators seemed tempted, from the fatal destiny of this virtuous girl, to doubt the existence of Providence; for there are in life such terrible, such unmerited evils, that even the hope of the wise is sometimes shaken.
In the mean time, Paul, who began to recover his senses, was taken to a house in the neighborhood, till he was in a fit state to be removed to his own home. Thither I bent my way with Domingo, to discharge the melancholy duty of preparing Virginia's mother and her friend for the disastrous event which had happened. When we had reached the entrance of the valley of the river of Fan-Palms, some negroes informed us that the sea had thrown up many pieces of the wreck in the opposite bay. We descended towards it; and one of the first objects which struck my sight upon the beach was the corpse of Virginia. The body was half covered with sand, and preserved the attitude in which we had seen her perish. Her features were not sensibly changed; her eyes were closed, and her countenance was still serene; but the pale purple hues of death were blended on her cheek with the blush of virgin modesty. One of her hands was placed upon her clothes; and the other, which she held on her heart, was fast closed, and so stiffened that it was with difficulty I took from its grasp a small box. How great was my emotion when I saw it contained the picture of Paul which she had promised him never to part with while she lived!
At the sight of this last mark of the fidelity and tenderness of the unfortunate girl, I wept bitterly. As for Domingo, he beat his breast, and pierced the air with his shrieks. With heavy hearts we then carried the body of Virginia to a fisherman's hut, and gave it in charge to some poor Malabar women, who carefully washed away the sand.
VOL. XIX. 20
BY GEORGE CRABBE.
(From "The Borough.")
[GEORGE CRABBE, English poet, was born at Aldeburgh, on the Suffolk seaboard, December 25, 1754. Having failed to establish himself as a physician in his native town, he went up to London to make a trial of literature. After a hard struggle with poverty he obtained the assistance of Burke, and was introduced to Fox, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Lord Thurlow, and the publisher Dodsley, who brought out "The Library (1781). At Burke's suggestion, Crabbe entered the Church, became domestic chaplain to the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle, and from 1812 until his death, February 3, 1832, was rector of Trowbridge in Wiltshire. His principal works are: "The Village,' "The Parish Register," "The Borough," and "Tales of the Hall."]
DRAWN by the annual call, we now behold
Our Troop Dramatic, heroes known of old,
And those, since last they marched, enlisted and enrolled:
The rest on foot (the humbler brethren) come.
Join to support this company sublime:
Ours for the longer period-see how light
You parties move, their former friends in sight,
Whose claims are all allowed, and friendship glads the night.
Now public rooms shall sound with words divine,
And private lodgings hear how heroes shine;
No talk of pay shall yet on pleasure steal,
Peruse these bills, and see what each can do,