The captain resigned the helm, and walked aft to look at the point, which was now broad on the weather-quarter. In a minute or two, he desired Mr. Falcon to get new sails up and bend them, and then went below to his cabin. I am sure it was to thank God for our deliverance: I did most fervently, not only then, but when I went to my hammock at night. We were now comparatively safe—in a few hours completely so; for, strange to say, immediately after we had weathered the rocks, the gale abated, and before morning we had a reef out of the topsails.
THE CRUISE OF THE TORCH
From “Tom Cringle’s Log,” BY MICHAEL SCOTT
Heligoland light—north and by west—so many leagues—wind baffling—weather hazy—Lady Passengers on deck for the first time.
Arrived in the Downs—ordered by signal from the guardship to proceed to Portsmouth. Arrived at Spithead—ordered to fit to receive a general officer, and six pieces of field artillery, and a Spanish Ecclesiastic, the Canon of ------. Plenty of great guns, at any rate—a regular park of artillery.
Received General ------ and his wife, and aide-de-camp, and two poodle-dogs, one white man-servant, one black ditto, and the Canon of ------, and the six nine-pound field-pieces, and sailed for the Cove of Cork.
It was blowing hard as we stood in for the Old Head of Kinsale—pilot boat breasting the foaming surge like a sea gull—Carrol Cove in her tiny mainsail—pilot jumped into the main channel—bottle of rum swung by the lead line into the boat—all very clever.
Ran in, and anchored under Spike Island. A line-of-battle ship, three frigates, and a number of merchantmen at anchor—men-of-war lovely craft—bands playing—a good deal of the pomp and circumstances of war. Next forenoon, Mr. Treenail, the second lieutenant, sent for me.
“Mr. Cringle,” said he, “you have an uncle in Cork, I believe?”
I said I had.