An Account of the Island of Mauritius: And Its Dependencies

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The author, 1842 - Mauritius - 182 pages
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Page 37 - ... was in. The head, which is an enormous mass of rock, about thirty-five feet in height, overhangs its base many feet on every side. A ledge of tolerably level rock runs round three sides of the base, about six feet in width, bounded everywhere by the abrupt edge of the precipice, except in the spot where it is joined by the ridge up which we climbed. In one spot the head, though overhanging its base several feet, reaches only perpendicularly over the edge of the precipice ; and, most fortunately,...
Page 37 - ... ran to an edge, not a foot broad ; and I could, as I held on, half sitting, half kneeling, across the ridge, have kicked my right shoe down to the plain on one side, and my left into the bottom of the ravine on the other. The only thing which surprised me was my own steadiness and freedom from all giddiness.
Page 34 - All our preparations being made, we started, and a more picturesque line of march I have seldom seen. Our van was composed of about fifteen or twenty Sepoys in every variety of costume, together with a few negroes carrying our food, dry clothes, &c. Our path lay up a very steep ravine, formed by the rains in the wet season, which having loosened all the stones, made it anything but pleasant; those below were obliged to keep a bright look-out for tumbling rocks, and one of these missed Keppel and...
Page 37 - Lloyd had prepared some iron arrows, with thongs, to fire over ; and having got up a gun, he made a line fast round his body, which we all held on, and going over the edge of the precipice on the opposite side, he leaned back against the line, and fired over the least projecting part. Had the line broken, he would have fallen eighteen hundred feet.
Page 103 - Granville, one of Her Majesty's principal secretaries of state, is to give the necessary directions herein accordingly.
Page 39 - All right, now hoist away !' and up went the ladder, till the foot came to the edge of our ledge, where it was lashed in firmly to the neck. We then hauled away on the guy to steady it, and made it fast ; a line was passed over by the lead-line to hold on, and up went Lloyd, screeching and hallooing, and we all three scrambled after him.
Page 41 - Here and there we could see a light twinkling in the plains, or the fire of some sugar manufactory; but not a sound of any sort reached us except an occasional shout from the party down on the shoulder (we four being the only ones above). At length, in the direction of Port Louis, a bright flash was seen, and after a long interval the sullen boom of the evening-gun.
Page 38 - Twice this failed, and then he had recourse to a large stone with a lead-line, which swung diagonally, and seemed to be a feasible plan. Several times he made beautiful heaves, but the provoking line would not catch, and away went the stone far down below ; till at length...
Page 40 - ... and each of us lighted a cigar as we seated ourselves to wait for the appointed hour for our signal of success. It was a glorious sight to look down from that giddy pinnacle over the whole island, lying so calm and beautiful in the moonlight, except where the broad black shadows of the other mountains intercepted the light. Here and there we could see a light twinkling in the plains, or...
Page 80 - ... as if it were swallowed up by the surges. In this position, driven by the winds and waves towards the shore, it was equally impossible for her to return by the passage through which she had made her way ; or, by cutting her cables, to strand herself upon the beach, from which she was separated by sandbanks and reefs of rocks.

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