Thrilling Stories Of The Ocean eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about Thrilling Stories Of The Ocean.
destined him for the subject of his experiment.  With that view, he landed on the Isle, about noon, with two officers and a few men; but, before they had proceeded far, he learned that his lordship was from home.  Finding his object frustrated, he now wished to return; but his crew were not so easily satisfied.  Their object was plunder; and as they consisted of men in a very imperfect state of discipline, and with whom it would have been dangerous to contend, he allowed them to proceed.  He exacted from them, however, a promise that they should be guilty of no violence; that the men should not enter the house, and that the officers, after having made their demands, should accept what might be put into their hands without scrutiny.  These conditions were punctually obeyed.  The greater part of the Selkirk plate was carried off in triumph by the crew, and Paul Jones was, for a time, stigmatized as a freebooter; but he nobly vindicated his character, by taking the earliest opportunity of purchasing the whole of it, out of his own private funds, and remitting it safe to its original owner, without accepting the smallest remuneration.  National prejudice has misrepresented this transaction; and in order to excite the popular indignation against Jones, it has been common to state, that this attempt on the person, and as it was supposed the property, of Lord Selkirk, was aggravated by ingratitude, his father having eaten of that nobleman’s bread.  Nothing can be more false.  Neither Mr. Paul, nor any of his kindred, ever was in the earl’s employ, or had ever the most distant connection with his lordship or his family; and in a correspondence which took place between our hero and Lady Selkirk, relative to the restitution of the plate, a most honorable testimony was gratefully paid by the latter to the captain’s character.

[Illustration; Nelson saved by his coxswain.]


Nelson lost the sight of one eye at the siege of Calvi, by a shot driving the sand and gravel into it, and he lost his arm by a shot in an expedition against Teneriffe; but the most dangerous of his exploits were, boarding the battery at San Bartolomeo, boarding the San Joseph, the boat action in the Bay of Cadiz, and the famous battles of the Nile and Trafalgar.  Of these, perhaps, the boat action during the blockade of Cadiz was the most severe.  While making an attempt against the Spanish gunboats, he was attacked by D. Miguel Tregayen, in an armed launch, carrying twenty-six men; fearful odds against his ten bargemen, captain, and coxswain.  Eighteen Spaniards were killed, the rest wounded, and the launch captured.

[Illustration:  Admiral Nelson.]

The Spaniards were more than two to one, and yet he beat them; but it was a hard and desperate struggle, hand to hand and blade to blade.  Twice did John Sykes, the coxswain, save Nelson’s life, by parrying off blows that would have destroyed him, and once did he interpose his head to receive the blow of a Spanish sabre; but he would willingly have died for his admiral.

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Thrilling Stories Of The Ocean from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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