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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Amyas leaped into the mizzen rigging and looked through the smoke . 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 ...
Amyas looked up in astonishment and saw what it was . The Spaniard was
heeling fast over to leeward away from him . Her masts were all sloping forward ,
swifter and swifter — the end was come , then ! “ Back ! in God ' s name back ,
And he looked round sadly enough ; while no one needed that he should finish
his sentence , or explain his " but . " The fore - mast was gone , the main - yard
sprung , the rigging hanging in elf - locks , the hull shot through and through in ...
... the beach even at that time was so great , that they were certain to go to pieces
before they could be got afloat again . We were obliged to double - reef the
topsails as soon as we hauled to the wind , and the weather looked very
... and the eagerness with which they looked out for daylight , told us that we had
other dangers to encounter besides the ... his feet against the hammock - rails ,
as if with vexation , and walk away without saying a word , looking very grave .