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THE

CRUISE OF THE MIDGE.

BY THE AUTHOR OF · TOM CRINGLE'S LOG."

« On Life's vast Ocean diversely we sail,
Reason the Card, but Passion is the Gale."

ESSAY ON Max.

PARIS,
PUBLISHED BY A. AND W. GALIGNANI AND Co.,

RUE VIVIENNE, No 18,

1836.

- 9 MAY 1964

THE

CRUISE OF THE MIDGE.

CHAPTER 1.

Gazelles and Midges-The Midge's Wings are singed.

Born an Irishman, the son of an Irishwoman; educated in Scotland, the country of my father, an ancient mariner, who, as master and supercargo, had sailed his own ship for many years in the Virginia trade; removed to England at the age of seventeen, in consequence of his death ; I had, by the time I arrived at majority, passed four years of my mercantile apprenticeship in my paternal uncle's counting-house, an extensive merchant in that modern Tyre, the enterprising town of Liverpool ; during which period, young as I was, I had already made four voyages in different vessels of his to foreign parts—to the West Indies, the Brazils, the Costa Firme, and the United States of America.

Being naturally a rambling, harumscarum sort of a young chap, this sort of life jumped better with my disposition than being perched on the top of a tall mahogany tripod, poring over invoices, daybooks, journals, and ledgers, with the shining ebony-coloured desk jammed into the pit of my stomach below, and its arbour of bright brass rods constantly perverting the integrity of my curls above; so at the period when the scene opens, I had with much ado prevailed on my uncle to let me proceed once more on a cruise, instead of a senior clerk, in charge of two of his ships, bound to the African coast, to trade for ivory and gold dust, and to fill up with palm oil and hardwood timbers.

I had no small difficulty in carrying this point, as the extreme insalubrity of the climate, the chance of being plundered by the semi-piratical foreign slavers, to say nothing of the danger of a treacherous attack on the part of the natives themselves, weighed heavily against my going in my worthy uncle's mind; but I had set my heart on it, and where there's a will, there's a way,"

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