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[2347] within the forecastle, she could not see the beach. She knew, too, that if a life-boat could be sent, Davis was one who would neglect no effort to expedite its coming While she was yet declining all persuasions, word was given from the deck, that the life-boat had finally appeared. For a moment, the news lighted up again the flickering fire of hope. They might yet be saved,—be saved together! Alas! to the experienced eyes of the sailors it too soon became evident that there was no attempt to launch or man her. The last chance of aid from shore, then, was gone utterly. They must rely on their own strength, or perish. And if ever they were to escape, the time had come; for, at noon, the storm had somewhat lulled; but already the tide had turned, and it was plain that the wreck could not hold together through another flood. In this emergency, the commanding officer, who until now had remained at his post, once more appealed to Margaret to try to escape,— urging that the ship would inevitably break up soon; that it was mere suicide to remain longer; that he did not feel free to sacrifice the lives of the crew, or to throw away his own; finally, that he would himself take Angelo, and that sailors should go with Celeste, Ossoli, and herself. But, as before, Margaret decisively declared that she would not be parted from her husband or her child. The order was then given to ‘save themselves,’ and all but four of the crew jumped over, several of whom, together with the commander, reached shore alive, though severely bruised and wounded by the drifting fragments. There is a sad consolation in believing that, if Margaret judged it to be impossible that the three should escape, she in all probability was right. It required a most rare combination of courage, promptness,

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Signore Ossoli (1)
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