Under these dreadful apprehensions I looked back on the life I had led with the utmost contempt and abhorrence. I blushed, and wondered at myself how I could act thus, how I could divest myself of modesty and honour, and prostitute myself for gain; and I thought, if ever it should please God to spare me this one time from death, it would not be possible that I should be the same creature again.
Amy went farther; she prayed, she resolved, she vowed to lead a new life, if God would spare her but this time. It now began to be daylight, for the storm held all night long, and it was some comfort to see the light of another day, which none of us expected; but the sea went mountains high, and the noise of the water was as frightful to us as the sight of the waves; nor was any land to be seen, nor did the seamen know whereabout they were. At last, to our great joy, they made land, which was in England, and on the coast of Suffolk; and, the ship being in the utmost distress, they ran for the shore at all hazards, and with great difficulty got into Harwich, where they were safe, as to the danger of death; but the ship was so full of water and so much damaged, that, if they had not laid her on shore the same day, she would have sunk before night, according to the opinion of the seamen, and of the workmen on shore too, who were hired to assist them in stopping their leaks.
Amy was revived as soon as she heard they had espied land, and went out upon the deck; but she soon came in again to me. 'Oh, madam I 'says she, 'there's the land, indeed, to be seen. It looks like a ridge of clouds, and may be all a cloud for aught I know; but if it be land, tis a great way off, and the sea is in such a combustion, we shall all perish before we can reach it. 'Tis the dreadfullest sight to look at the waves that ever was seen. Why, they are as high as mountains; we shall certainly be all swallowed up, for all the land is so near.'
I had conceived some hope that, if they saw land, we should be delivered; and I told her she did not understand things of that nature; that she might be sure if they saw land they would go directly towards it, and would make into some harbour; but it was, as Amy said, a frightful distance to it. The land looked like clouds, and the sea went as high as mountains, so that no hope appeared in the seeing the land, but we were in fear of foundering before we could reach it. This made Amy so desponding still; but as the wind, which blew from the east, or that way, drove us furiously towards the land, so when, about half-an-hour after, I stepped to the steerage-door and looked out, I saw the land much nearer than Amy represented it; so I went in and encouraged Amy again, and indeed was encouraged myself.
In about an hour, or something more, we saw, to our infinite satisfaction, the open harbour of Harwich, and the vessel standing directly towards it, and in a few minutes more the ship was in smooth water, to our inexpressible comfort; and thus I had, though against my will and contrary to my true interest, what I wished for, to be driven away to England, though it was by a storm.
Nor did this incident do either Amy or me much service, for, the danger being over, the fears of death vanished with it; ay, and our fear of what was beyond death also. Our sense of the life we had lived went off, and with our return to life our wicked taste of life returned, and we were both the same as before, if not worse. So certain is it, that the repentance which is brought about by the mere apprehensions of death, wears off as