The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 243 pages of information about The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African.
a prospect of success, we made signals for the boats and the remainder of the people.  This seemed to us like a reprieve from death; and happy was the man who could first get on board of any ship, or the first boat he could meet.  We then proceeded in this manner till we got into the open water again, which we accomplished in about thirty hours, to our infinite joy and gladness of heart.  As soon as we were out of danger we came to anchor and refitted; and on the 19th of August we sailed from this uninhabited extremity of the world, where the inhospitable climate affords neither food nor shelter, and not a tree or shrub of any kind grows amongst its barren rocks; but all is one desolate and expanded waste of ice, which even the constant beams of the sun for six months in the year cannot penetrate or dissolve.  The sun now being on the decline the days shortened as we sailed to the southward; and, on the 28th, in latitude 73, it was dark by ten o’clock at night.  September the 10th, in latitude 58-59, we met a very severe gale of wind and high seas, and shipped a great deal of water in the space of ten hours.  This made us work exceedingly hard at all our pumps a whole day; and one sea, which struck the ship with more force than any thing I ever met with of the kind before, laid her under water for some time, so that we thought she would have gone down.  Two boats were washed from the booms, and the long-boat from the chucks:  all other moveable things on the deck were also washed away, among which were many curious things of different kinds which we had brought from Greenland; and we were obliged, in order to lighten the ship, to toss some of our guns overboard.  We saw a ship, at the same time, in very great distress, and her masts were gone; but we were unable to assist her.  We now lost sight of the Carcass till the 26th, when we saw land about Orfordness, off which place she joined us.  From thence we sailed for London, and on the 30th came up to Deptford.  And thus ended our Arctic voyage, to the no small joy of all on board, after having been absent four months; in which time, at the imminent hazard of our lives, we explored nearly as far towards the Pole as 81 degrees north, and 20 degrees east longitude; being much farther, by all accounts, than any navigator had ever ventured before; in which we fully proved the impracticability of finding a passage that way to India.

CHAP.  X.

The author leaves Doctor Irving and engages on board a Turkey ship—­Account of a black man’s being kidnapped on board and sent to the West Indies, and the author’s fruitless endeavours to procure his freedom—­Some account of the manner of the author’s conversion to the faith of Jesus Christ.

Our voyage to the North Pole being ended, I returned to London with Doctor Irving, with whom I continued for some time, during which I began seriously to reflect on the dangers I had escaped, particularly those of

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