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Saved from the Sea The Loss of the Viper, and her Crew's Saharan Adventures   By: (1814-1880)

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Saved from the Sea, The Loss of the Viper, and her Crew's Saharan Adventures, by W.H.G. Kingston.

The books starts off with a young Grammar School boy being introduced to the local tailor, who is also a bit of a linguist. Our hero, and his friend Halliday, learn Arabic with the tailor. This turns out later on to have been very fortunate. Our hero and his friend are taken on as midshipmen on a frigate, where they are well trained. They spend three years at sea, and have the chance of visiting various ports in the Eastern Mediterranean, and also of getting to Cairo.

However their next appointment is to the "Viper", a brig which is barely stable. They almost upset on one occasion, and then really do sink when off the coast of Africa. Our friends and a couple of other seamen are lucky enough to have got off on a simple raft, though all the rest of the crew perish. Hungry and thirsty they find themselves on a sandbank at a considerable distance from the mainland. And it is at this point that their adventures really begin.

The book is copiously illustrated with engravings, some of which are very nice when viewed with the pdf version of the book, but which are not always so good in the html version. Although the name of the illustrator is not given on the title page, the word "Riou" appears on most of the engravings, along with a second, longer, name, which most probably is that of the engraver.

This book makes a good audiobook, though indeed not a long one.

SAVED FROM THE SEA, THE LOSS OF THE VIPER, AND HER CREW'S SAHARAN ADVENTURES, BY W.H.G. KINGSTON.

CHAPTER ONE.

THE WONDERFUL LINGUIST I STUDY ARABIC MY FIRST VOYAGE TO SEA WE SAIL FOR THE COAST OF AFRICA THE BRIG CAPSIZED SAVED ON A RAFT.

"Never throw away a piece of string, a screw, or a nail, or neglect an opportunity, when it offers, of gaining knowledge or learning how to do a thing," my father used to say; and as I respected him, I followed his advice, and have, through life, on many occasions had reason to be thankful that I did so.

In the town near which we resided lived a tailor, Andrew Spurling by name. He was a remarkable man, though a mere botcher at his trade; for he could never manage to make his customers' clothes fit their bodies. For fat men he invariably made tight coats, and for thin people loose ones. Few, therefore, except those who were indifferent on that point, went a second time to him for new ones. He repaired clothes, however, to perfection, and never refused to attempt renovating the most threadbare or tattered of garments. He had evidently mistaken his vocation; or rather, his friends had committed a great error when they made him a tailor. Yet perhaps he succeeded as well in it as he would have done at any handicraft. He possessed, in fact, a mind which might have raised him to a respectable, if not a high position, in the walks of literature or science. As it was, however, it was concentrated on one object the acquisition of languages. Andrew had been sent to the grammar school in our town, where he gained the rudiments of education, and a certain amount of Latin and Greek; and where he might, possibly, have become well educated, had he not his father dying insolvent been taken from school, and, much to his grief, apprenticed to the trade he was now following.

Instead of perfecting himself in the languages of which he already knew a little, and without a friend to guide him, having saved up money enough to buy a grammar and dictionary, he commenced the study of another; after mastering the chief difficulties of which he began still another; and so he had gone on through life, with the most determined perseverance, gaining even more than a smattering of the tongues not only of Europe but of the Eastern world, though he could make no practical use of his acquisitions... Continue reading book >>




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