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Sea Stories"strange Sail! Right Ahead!"
The strange sail was reported to Captain Dodd, then d...
Fate Of The Mutineers--colony Of Pitcairn's Island
The intelligence of the mutiny, and the sufferings of B...
Toilers Of The Sea
Victor Hugo's "Toilers of the Sea" is a story of the Ch...
The Loss Of The Ramillies In The Atlantic Ocean
Admiral (afterwards Lord) Graves having requested lea...
It was a famous dinner party that Captain William Bai...
A Storm And A Rescue
All that night it blew terribly hard, and raised ...
Vessels Of Large Size
We now come to speak of ships of large size, which s...
Early American Heroism
During one of the former wars, between France and England, in which
the then Colonies bore an active part, a respectable individual, a
member of the society of Friends, of the name of ----, commanded a fine
ship which sailed from an Eastern port, to a port in England. This
vessel had a strong and effective crew, but was totally unarmed. When
near her destined port, she was chased, and ultimately overhauled, by
a French vessel of war. Her commander used every endeavor to escape,
but seeing from the superior sailing of the Frenchman, that his
capture was inevitable, he quietly retired below: he was followed into
the cabin by his cabin boy, a youth of activity and enterprise, named
Charles Wager: he asked his commander if nothing more could be done to
save the ship--his commander replied that it was impossible, that
every thing had been done that was practicable, there was no escape
for them, and they must submit to be captured. Charles then returned
upon deck and summoned the crew around him--he stated in a few words
what was their captain's conclusion--then, with an elevation of mind,
dictated by a soul formed for enterprise and noble daring, he
observed, "if you will place yourselves under my command, and stand by
me, I have conceived a plan by which the ship may be rescued, and we
in turn become the conquerors." The sailors no doubt feeling the
ardor, and inspired by the courage of their youthful and gallant
leader, agreed to place themselves under his command. His plan was
communicated to them, and they awaited with firmness, the moment to
carry their enterprise into effect. The suspense was of short
duration, for the Frenchman was quickly alongside, and grappled to the
merchant ship. As Charles had anticipated, the exhilarated conquerors,
elated beyond measure, with the acquisition of so fine a prize, poured
into his vessel cheering and huzzaing; and not foreseeing any danger,
they left but few men on board their ship. Now was the moment for
Charles, who, giving his men the signal, sprang at their head on board
the opposing vessel, while some seized the arms which had been left in
profusion on her deck, and with which they soon overpowered the few
men left on board; the others, by a simultaneous movement, relieved
her from the grapplings which united the two vessels. Our hero now
having the command of the French vessel, seized the helm, and placing
her out of boarding distance, hailed, with the voice of a conqueror,
the discomfited crowd of Frenchmen who were left on board of the
peaceful bark he had just quitted, and summoned them to follow close
in his wake, or he would blow them out of water, (a threat they well
knew he was very capable of executing, as their guns were loaded
during the chase.) They sorrowfully acquiesced with his commands,
while gallant Charles steered into port, followed by his prize. The
exploit excited universal applause--the former master of the merchant
vessel was examined by the Admiralty, when he stated the whole of the
enterprise as it occurred, and declared that Charles Wager had planned
and effected the gallant exploit, and that to him alone belonged the
honor and credit of the achievement. Charles was immediately
transferred to the British navy, appointed a midshipman, and his
education carefully superintended. He soon after distinguished himself
in action, and underwent a rapid promotion, until at length he was
created an Admiral, and known as Sir Charles Wager. It is said that he
always held in veneration and esteem, that respectable and
conscientious Friend, whose cabin boy he had been, and transmitted
yearly to his OLD MASTER, as he termed him, a handsome present of
Madeira, to cheer his declining days.
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