Tom Cringle’s Log.

Early maritime fiction, sometimes compared to Marryat’s work. There is a good deal of material, not very respectful, about black sailors. Not much reading amidst the swashbuckling, except for burials. An example:

Volume I, p. 13: The surgeon could do nothing for him, and had left him; but our old Captain—bless him for it—I little expected, from his usual crusty bearing, to find him so employed—had knelt by his side, and, whilst he read from the prayer-book, one of those beautiful petitions in our church service, to Almighty God, for mercy to the passing soul of one so young, and so early cut off, the tears trickled down the old man’s cheeks, and filled the furrows worn in them by the washing salt spray. On the other side of his narrow bed, fomenting the rigid muscles of his neck and chest, sat Mishtress Connolly, one of three women on board—a rough enough creature, heaven knows, in common weather; but her stifled sobs showed that the mournful sight had stirred up all the woman within her. She had opened the bosom of the poor boy’s shirt, and, untying the riband that fastened a small gold crucifix round his neck, she placed it in his cold hand. The young midshipman was of a respectable family in Limerick, her native place, and a Catholic—another strand of the cord that bound her to him. When the Captain finished reading, he bent over the departing youth, and kissed his cheek.