Idylls of the Sea: And Other Marine Sketches

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G. Richards, 1904 - Marine animals - 266 pages
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Page 101 - And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink. " The very deep did rot: O Christ! That ever this should be I Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea.
Page 174 - hoveller ' is a boatman who follows none of the steady orthodox lines of boatmanship—such as fishing, plying for passengers, &c.—but hovers around the Channel, a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, a pilot, a wrecker, or, if a ghost of a chance presents itself, a smuggler.
Page 173 - ... the hovellers are certainly more often occupied in hovering than in doing anything more satisfactory to themselves. However strange the word may sound in a landsman's ears, it is one of the most familiar to British seamen, especially among our coasters, although the particular form of bread-winning that it is used to designate is practically confined to the Kent and Sussex shores of the English Channel, having its headquarters at Deal. Briefly, a
Page 115 - ... Oppian, having seen the body of a huge shark in the museum at Naples, voices in his fifth Halieutic the general feeling in his day by the following remarkable outburst : " May the earth which I now feel under me, and which has hitherto supplied my daily wants, receive, when I yield it, my latest breath. Preserve me, O Jupiter ! from such perils as this, and be pleased to accept my offerings to thee from dry land. May no thin plank interpose an uncertain protection between me and the boisterous...
Page 116 - I not, as the sorge dashes over the deck, be ever cast out amidst the unseen peals that people the abyss ; 'twere punishment enough for a mortal to be tossed about unsepulchred on the waves, but to become the pasture of a fish, and to fill the foul maw of such a ravenous monster as I now behold, would add tenfold horror to such a lot !'* We participate entirely with this landsman in...
Page 183 - NW, she was drifting helplessly along the edge of the sand. Two hovellers saw her plight at the same time, and each strained every nerve to get up to her first, for she was a prize well worth the winning. At last they drew so near to her that it was anybody's race. But the head man of the foremost lugger tore off his oilskins, sea-boots, and fearnought jacket, and, plunging into the boiling sea, actually battled his way to her side, climbing on board triumphantly and so making good his claim. It...
Page 96 - With its delicate glossy black -and -brown plumage just flecked with white on the open wings, and its long slender legs reaching out first on one side and then on the other as if to feel the sea, it nestles under the very curl of the most mighty billows or skims the sides of their reverberating green abysses content as hovers the lark over a lush meadow. Howling hurricane or searching snow-blasts pass unheeded over that velvety black head. The brave bright eye...
Page 137 - ... see to a great depth. Presently sundry black specks appear far down ; they grow larger and more numerous, and the motionless black man hanging over the gunwale scarcely breathes. As soon as a sufficient number are gathered he gently sweeps the net downward and toward the boat withal, bringing it up to the surface by drawing it up against the side. Often it will contain as many fish as a man can lift; but so quietly and swiftly is the operation performed that the school is not startled, and it...
Page 137 - ... against the side. Often it will contain as many fish as a man can lift; but so quietly and swiftly is the operation performed that the school is not startled, and it very often happens that a boat is filled (that is, 7,000 or 8,000 fish) from one school. More frequently, however, the slightest noise, a passing shadow, will alarm the school; there is a flash of silvery light, and the water is clear, not a speck to be seen. Sometimes the fleet will return with not 1,000 fish among them, when prices...
Page 62 - ... unresting surface of the ocean reveals to the voyager no inkling of what is going on below its mobile mask, and even when furrowed deepest by the mighty but invisible ploughshare of the storm, how slight is the effect felt twenty feet deep. Yet in those soundless abysses of shade beneath the waves a war is being incessantly waged which knows no truce, ruthless, unending, and universal.

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