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In part Franklin wrote: "May not the knowledge of this power of points be of use to mankind in preserving houses, churches, ships, etc., from the stroke of lightning by directing us to fix on the highest parts of the edifices upright rods of iron made sharp as a needle, and gilt to prevent rusting, and from the foot of these rods a wire down the outside of the building into the grounds, or down round one of the shrouds of a ship and down her side till it reaches the water?

They eat little besides rice, and are small in frame. We had a curious mode of punishing them, when slack, aloft. Our standing rigging was of grass, and wiry enough to cut even hands that were used to it. The ratlines were not seized to the forward and after shrouds, by means of eyes, as is done in our vessels, but were made fast by a round turn, and stopping back the ends.

Others, descending from on high, take root as soon as their extremity touches the ground, and appear like shrouds and stays supporting the mainmast of a line-of-battle ship; while others, sending out parallel, oblique, horizontal and perpendicular shoots in all directions, put you in mind of what travellers call a matted forest.

'Chirurgeon, look to the wounded, and wind up the slain, and give them three guns for their funerals! Swabber, make clean the ship! Purser, record their names! Watch, be vigilant to keep your berth to windward, that we lose him not, in the night! Gunners, spunge your ordnance! Souldiers, scour your pieces! Carpenters, about your leaks! Boatswain and the rest, repair sails and shrouds!

'Go 'way doon to yon dyke, I heard one say, probably meaning the bulwark. I often had my heart in my mouth, watching them climb into the shrouds or on the rails, while the ship went swinging through the waves; and I admired and envied the courage of their mothers, who sat by in the sun and looked on with composure at these perilous feats.

Few natural objects appeal to the interest and imagination of the student with more force than the fragments of animals and plants released from the rocks where they have been entombed for ages. Our lives are so brief that it is impossible for us to comprehend the full duration of the slow process which constructed the burial shrouds of these creatures of long ago.

It now blew a hurricane. The spray flew over the ship in floods. The gigantic masts seemed about to snap under the world-wide strain of the three entire top-sails. "Clew down! clew down!" shouted Mad Jack, husky with excitement, and in a frenzy, beating his trumpet against one of the shrouds. But, owing to the slant of the ship, the thing could not be done.

Five minutes later she was at the dock gates; these swung open, and the vessel slowly made her way through them, and was soon in the river. As the men ran aloft to loosen the sails, Frank placed himself next to the sailor who had spoken to him at dinner, and followed him up the shrouds, and, imitating his actions, he was soon out on the yard hauling away with the others.

The glass-green river yonder coloured by the wind runs on seaward, there are thin masts of ships visible at its mouth miles away, the wind whistles in their shrouds; beyond the blue by the shore, far, far distant on the level cloud, the dim ship has sailed along the horizon.

This calm, however, like the calm of nature, was not destined to last long. "Daddy," said the cherub suddenly, "I'm a-goin' up the shrouds." "Very good, my lad," said Gaff, "ye'll tumble down likely, but it don't much matter." Billy clambered up the side, and seized the shrouds, but missing his foothold at the first step, he fell down sitting-wise, from a height of three feet.

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