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Excerpt:-The corvette looked a mighty long distance away from the low elevation of the boat's gunwale almost as far as the horizon, it seemed to my eyes, though from the height of the deck of the Indiaman the sea-line showed something above the bulwarks of the man-of-war. One hardly noticed the movement in the sea on board the Countess Ida, so solemn and steady was the swing of the great fabric, a movement stealing into one's thoughts like a habit, and leaving one unconscious of it ; but the heave was instantly to be felt in the boat, and I own that I could not have believed there was so much swell until I felt the lift of the noiseless polished fold and marked the soft blue volume of the water brimming to the hot and blistered sides and green sheathing of the Indiaman.

A huge lump of a ship she looked as we were swept away from her; her masts soaring in three spires with the flash of a vane above the airy gossamer of the loftiest cloths; groups of passengers watching us from the violet-tinted shadow under the awning, heads of seamen at the rail, or figures of them upon the forecastle near the huge cathead that struck a shadow of its own into the water under it. The great bowsprit went tapering to the delicacy of the flying-jib-boom end marshalling the flight of white jibs; a stream of radiance floated in the water under each large window. Inexpressible is the effect she produced, taken along; with the dwindling of her to the impulse of our oars, with the fining down into thinnest notes of the voices of the people, and with the soft and still softening sounds of her canvas lightly swaying.

  • Author: William Clark Russell
  • Title: My Shipmate Louise: The Romance of a Wreck
  • First Published Format: HC
  • First Published Date: 1890

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