Great Sea Stories
...It is one of the curiosities of literature, a fact that old Isaac Disraeli might have delighted to linger over, that there have been no collectors of sea-tales; that no man has ever, as in the present instance, dwelt upon the topic with the purpose of gathering some of the best work into a single volume. And yet men have written of the sea since 2500 B.C. when an unknown author set down on papyrus his account of a struggle with a sea-serpent. This account, now in the British Museum, is the first sea-story on record. Our modern sea-stories begin properly with the chronicles of the early navigators-in many of which there is an unconscious art that none of our modern masters of fiction has greatly surpassed. ...
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clambered into the forecastle , followed close by his swarm of wasps , and set
them so good an example how to use their stings that in three minutes more there
was not a Spaniard on board who was not dead or dying . “ Let the slaves free !
Dead men he could descry through the blinding veil , rolled in heaps , laid flat ;
dead men and dying ; but no man upon his feet . The last volley had swept the
deck clear ; one by one had dropped below to escape that fiery shower : and
... which appeared to have risen up almost by magic , rolled in upon us , setting
the vessel on a dead lee shore . As the night closed in , it blew a dreadful gale ,
and the ship was nearly buried with the press of canvas which she was obliged to
On two low trestles , in the middle of the floor , lay a coffin with the lid on , on the
top of which was stretched the dead body of an old emaciated woman in her
graveclothes , the quality of which was much finer than one could have expected
... and an armed boat , with Mr . Treenail , and myself , and sixteen men , with
cutlasses , were sent on board . We jumped on deck , and at the gangway Mr .
Treenail stumbled and fell over the dead body of a man 48 GREAT SEA