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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African.
year 1758-9, we got safe to St. Helen’s.  Here the Namur ran aground; and also another large ship astern of us; but, by starting our water, and tossing many things overboard to lighten her, we got the ships off without any damage.  We stayed for a short time at Spithead, and then went into Portsmouth harbour to refit; from whence the admiral went to London; and my master and I soon followed, with a press-gang, as we wanted some hands to complete our complement.


The author is baptized—­Narrowly escapes drowning—­Goes on an expedition to the Mediterranean—­Incidents he met with there—­Is witness to an engagement between some English and French ships—­A particular account of the celebrated engagement between Admiral Boscawen and Mons. Le Clue, off Cape Logas, in August 1759—­Dreadful explosion of a French ship—­The author sails for England—­His master appointed to the command of a fire-ship—­Meets a negro boy, from whom he experiences much benevolence—­Prepares for an expedition against Belle-Isle—­A remarkable story of a disaster which befel his ship—­Arrives at Belle-Isle—­Operations of the landing and siege—­The author’s danger and distress, with his manner of extricating himself—–­ Surrender of Belle-Isle—­Transactions afterwards on the coast of France—­Remarkable instance of kidnapping—­The author returns to England—­Hears a talk of peace, and expects his freedom—­His ship sails for Deptford to be paid off, and when he arrives there he is suddenly seized by his master and carried forcibly on board a West India ship and sold.

It was now between two and three years since I first came to England, a great part of which I had spent at sea; so that I became inured to that service, and began to consider myself as happily situated; for my master treated me always extremely well; and my attachment and gratitude to him were very great.  From the various scenes I had beheld on shipboard, I soon grew a stranger to terror of every kind, and was, in that respect at least, almost an Englishman.  I have often reflected with surprise that I never felt half the alarm at any of the numerous dangers I have been in, that I was filled with at the first sight of the Europeans, and at every act of theirs, even the most trifling, when I first came among them, and for some time afterwards.  That fear, however, which was the effect of my ignorance, wore away as I began to know them.  I could now speak English tolerably well, and I perfectly understood every thing that was said.  I now not only felt myself quite easy with these new countrymen, but relished their society and manners.  I no longer looked upon them as spirits, but as men superior to us; and therefore I had the stronger desire to resemble them; to imbibe their spirit, and imitate their manners; I therefore embraced every occasion of improvement; and every new thing that I observed I treasured up in my memory. 

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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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