Author: Marmaduke Park
Release Date: October 6, 2004 [EBook #13604]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK thrilling stories of the ocean ***
Produced by Josephine Paolucci, Juliet Sutherland. The scans made available through the generosity of the Internet Archive Children’s Library.
[Illustration: The white shark.]
Stories of the ocean.
FROM AUTHENTIC ACCOUNTS OF MODERN
Voyagers and travellers;
DESIGNED FOR THE
ENTERTAINMENT AND INSTRUCTION
BY MARMADUKE PARK.
With Numerous Illustrations.
C.G. Henderson & Co.,
No. 164 Chestnut Street.
[Illustration: The white shark]
STORIES OF THE OCEAN.
The white sharks are the dread of sailors in all hot climates, for they constantly attend vessels in expectation of anything which may be thrown overboard. A shark will thus sometimes traverse the ocean in company with a ship for several hundred leagues. Woe to the poor mariner who may chance to fall overboard while this sea-monster is present.
Some species of sharks grow to an enormous size, often weighing from one to four thousand pounds each. The skin of the shark is rough, and is used for polishing wood, ivory, &c.; that of one species is manufactured into an article called agreen: spectacle-cases are made of it. The white shark is the sailor’s worst enemy: he has five rows of wedge-shaped teeth, which are notched like a saw: when the animal is at rest they are flat in his mouth, but when about to seize his prey they are erected by a set of muscles which join them to the jaw. His mouth is so situated under the head that he is obliged to turn himself on one side before he can grasp any thing with those enormous jaws.
I will now give you an account of the death of a very brave little boy, who was killed by a shark. He was an Irish boy; his name was Volney Beckner, the son of a poor fisherman. His father, having always intended Volney for a seafaring life, took great pains to teach him such things as it is useful for a sailor to know, and tried to make him brave and hardy; he taught him to swim when a mere baby.