Great Sea Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 385 pages of information about Great Sea Stories.

Such is the account of this most singular colony, originating in crime and bloodshed.  Of all the repentant criminals on record, the most interesting, perhaps, is John Adams; nor do we know where to find a more beautiful example of the value of early instruction than in the history of this man, who, having run the full career of nearly all kinds of vice, was checked by an interval of leisurely reflection, and the sense of new duties awakened by the power of natural affections.

[1] One person turns his back on the object that is to be divided; another then points separately to the portions, at each of them asking aloud, “Who shall have this?” to which the first answers by naming somebody.  This impartial method of division gives every man an equal chance of the best share.



Our watchful adventurer captain was not blind to these sinister omens.  No sooner did the peculiar atmosphere by which the mysterious image that he so often examined was suddenly surrounded, catch his eye, than his voice was raised in the clear, powerful, and exciting notes of warning.

“Stand by,” he called aloud, “to in-all-studding-sails!  Down with them!” he added, scarcely giving his former words time to reach the ears of his subordinates.  “Down with every rag of them, fore and aft the ship!  Man the top-gallant clew-lines, Mr. Earing.  Clew up, and clew down!  In with every thing, cheerily, men!—­In!”

This was a language to which the crew of the Caroline were no strangers, and it was doubly welcome, since the meanest seaman amongst them had long thought that his unknown commander had been heedlessly trifling with the safety of the vessel, by the hardy manner in which he disregarded the wild symptoms of the weather.  But they undervalued the keen-eyed vigilance of Wilder.  He had certainly driven the Bristol trader through the water at a rate she had never been known to go before; but, thus far, the facts themselves gave evidence in his favour, since no injury was the consequence of what they deemed temerity.  At the quick sudden order just given, however, the whole ship was in an uproar.  A dozen seamen called to each other, from different parts of the vessel, each striving to lift his voice above the roaring ocean; and there was every appearance of a general and inextricable confusion; but the same authority which had so unexpectedly aroused them into activity, produced order from their ill-directed though vigorous efforts.

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Great Sea Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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