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Chapter One. My father, Richard Truscott, was boatswain of the Royal George, one of the finest ships in the navy. I lived with mother and several brothers and sisters at Gosport. Father one day said to me, “Ben, you shall come with me, and we’ll make a sailor of you. Maybe you’ll some day walk the quarter-deck as an officer.” I did not want to go to sea, and I did not care about being an officer; indeed I had never... more...

Introductory Remarks. Rome was not built in a day, nor has the glorious British Navy attained its present condition except by slow degrees, by numerous trials and experiments, by improvements gradually and cautiously introduced, and by the employment of a vast amount of thought, energy, and toil. We are apt to forget when we see an elaborate machine, the immense quantity of mental and physical exertion it represents, the efforts of the united... more...

The Old Tower—Captain Askew’s Family—The Smugglers—Why Jack Askew went to Sea. There was an old grey weather-beaten stone tower standing on the top of a high rocky promontory, which formed the western side of a deep bay, on the south coast of England. The promontory was known as the Stormy Mount, which had gradually been abbreviated into Stormount, a very appropriate name, for projecting, as it did, boldly out into the... more...

Chapter One. “What shall we do with ourselves, my dear Stilkin?” exclaimed Count Funnibos, yawning and stretching out his legs and arms, which were of the longest. “Do! why, travel,” answered Baron Stilkin, with a smile on his genial countenance. “Travel! what for?” asked the Count, yawning again. “To see the world, to be sure,” answered the Baron. “The world! why, don’t we see it... more...

The Two Cousins. “And what brought you to France, fair cousin?” The question was put by a beautiful girl scarcely yet verging on womanhood to a fine intelligent youth, two or three years her senior, as they paced slowly on together through the gardens of the Louvre on the banks of the Seine, flowing at that period bright and clear amid fields and groves. Before them rose the stately palace lately increased and adorned by Henry the... more...


The Indiaman. “Well, Thudicumb, I hope by noon we may at last get a glimpse of the sun,” said Captain Davenport to his first officer, as they walked the deck of the Bussorah Merchant, homeward bound from the East Indies, and at that time rolling on over the long heaving seas of the Atlantic. The sky was overcast, but ever and anon a gleam of light burst forth amid the clouds, playing on the foaming crest of a wave. It was blowing... more...

Valuable Booty. A good many years ago, before, indeed, I can remember, His Majesty’s Ship Laurel, a corvette of eighteen guns and a hundred and thirty men, commanded by Captain Blunt, formed one of the West India squadron. She, with another corvette, and a brig in company, came one fine morning off a beautiful island, then in possession of the French, although, as Dick Driver, from whom I got the particulars, said, properly belonged to... more...

Captain Loraine’s farm in the Far West—Hot-headed young men—Our family—Uncle Denis taken sick—We set out to visit him—The corduroy road—A wayside hotel—Rough company—Appearance of the country—Crossing the ford at Green River—Nearly lost—A brave Negro—Gratitude of my parents—At Mr Silas Bracher’s plantation—Diogenes—Mammy Coe—The... more...

My father’s land—Born at sea—My school life—Aunt Bretta—Spoilt by over-indulgence—Enticed to sea—The Kite schooner—Contrast of a vessel in port with a vessel at sea—My shipmates—My name fixed in more ways than one—A gale—Repentance comes too late—Suspicious customers—A narrow escape—Naples and its Bay. My father, Eric Wetherholm, was a Shetlander. He was... more...

The New Colony. Arrival of the families of Mr Pemberton, Farmer Greening and others, in New Zealand.—Inspect Land.—Encamp near the Port till they can settle on the Land they have selected. A fine emigrant ship, her voyage happily terminated, had just entered her destined port in the northern island of New Zealand. Her anchor was dropped, the crew were aloft furling sails, and several boats were alongside ready to convey the passengers to... more...