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Mariners’ Adventures in the Napoleonic Age

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Mariners’ Adventures in the Napoleonic Age
Leonaur Original
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Author(s): Thomas O’Neill
Date Published: 2012/09
Page Count: 160
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-546-9
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-545-2

Three individual narratives in a single, value for money volume This book contains three remarkable and fascinating true life accounts of naval adventure from the early years of the 19th century, which though short in length, and therefore unlikely to ever see republication individually, are still invaluable primary sources and of essential interest to both students of the history of the age of sail and general readers alike.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.

The sentinel the moment our friend had passed him was to be called toward the prison door, and while we were engaging his attention, our companions was to seize him behind, while we were to rush out in front. But we were not destined to carry this plan into execution; for we began in a few days to droop, and would soon have fallen victims to our confinement. Our mirth, however, we could not abandon; we struggled with our indisposition; but faint is the smile on the face of disease. A surgeon who was sent to us, represented our lives to be in danger; and that we could not possibly long survive in such an unhealthy situation.<br>
The worthy commandant, who always listened to the voice of humanity, and carried the order of his government into execution with reluctance, ordered us to be removed into a room above ground. Here we soon recovered. The room was very strong; but we soon discovered that the one immediately above it had no bars to the windows.<br>
The idea of liberty again recurred to our minds with fresh vigour, and we determined to cut through the roof of our prison, and ascend to the apartment above, from which we thought that we could easily reach the ramparts. In order to provide ourselves with a rope, we petitioned to be allowed bedding. Our petition was granted, and with the sheets and blankets, after a considerable deal of labour, we made the rope. Night was the time for labour, and it may be easily conceived, that as we sat in silence, plying at our task, our train of ideas would often be influenced by our hopes and fears.<br>
Our plan when ripe for execution, was almost disconcerted by a trivial event. The woman who washed our linen unexpectedly made her appearance with clean sheets. We had only a few moments for reflection; but our scheme which proved effectual was soon formed:—We pretended to be drunk, and permitted her to advance to the middle of the floor; but the instant that she approached the bed to lay her rude hand upon the coverlet, which so carefully concealed our rope, we began to shove her about. She repeatedly called out the name of his Satanic majesty, in her own language, and made for the door; but we had not yet done with her. She had the sheets in her lap, and we required some more to complete our rope. I whipped away one pair, a companion seized another, and then the good dame gained the door, and departed blessing herself in her happy escape.<br>
On the twelfth of February, we were again ready for another attempt. The jailer used to visit our prison at six o’clock in the evening, in order to examine it, and he did not return till the next morning. Immediately after his visit we hung up one of our mattresses, to prevent our light being discovered, and then we proceeded to work. With the assistance of a bench we reached the roof, and with a poker knocked down the ceiling which we found was made of oak batons, from beam to beam, about two and a half inches thick. These we had to saw, which occupied us four hours. A plank of three inches thick next opposed our progress; we bored a number of holes in it close to each other, and then converted several into one, to admit the saw. At this part of our labour the saw snapped asunder—the saw is broken, was re-echoed through our dungeon.—What a dreadful disaster!