Page:A Tour Through the Batavian Republic.djvu/14

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2
Tour Through

French corsair, in the act of capturing an English vessel. The sight, you may believe, alarmed us, who were unfurnished with any means of defence, and could not hope to escape by flight from a vessel built for purposes of swiftness and fight. At this time there were perhaps thirty ships in sight, any of, which it was in the corsair's power to capture; and I indulged the hope that in his selection of a prize, we might have the good fortune not to be the object of his choice. Appearances for some time flattered this hope: there was a brig near us, which carried more external marks of opulence about her than we bore, and it was this vessel, rather than ours, which the Frenchman chased. There was something in this state of suspense and uncertainty peculiarly distressing: as we might hope to escape, every one, I believe, thought himself privileged to represent the evils of capture in the worst possible light; whereas, the moment it became inevitable we should be taken, with such facility does the human mind accommodate itself to circumstances, every person