Wreck of the Golden Mary by Charles Dickens

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Wreck of the Golden Mary, by Charles

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Title: The Wreck of the Golden Mary

Author: Charles Dickens

Release Date: April 4, 2005 [eBook #1465]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1894 Chapman and Hall edition of "Christmas Stories"
by David Price, email ccx074@coventry.ac.uk



I was apprenticed to the Sea when I was twelve years old, and I have
encountered a great deal of rough weather, both literal and metaphorical.
It has always been my opinion since I first possessed such a thing as an
opinion, that the man who knows only one subject is next tiresome to the
man who knows no subject. Therefore, in the course of my life I have
taught myself whatever I could, and although I am not an educated man, I
am able, I am thankful to say, to have an intelligent interest in most

A person might suppose, from reading the above, that I am in the habit of
holding forth about number one. That is not the case. Just as if I was
to come into a room among strangers, and must either be introduced or
introduce myself, so I have taken the liberty of passing these few
remarks, simply and plainly that it may be known who and what I am. I
will add no more of the sort than that my name is William George
Ravender, that I was born at Penrith half a year after my own father was
drowned, and that I am on the second day of this present blessed
Christmas week of one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six, fifty-six
years of age.

When the rumour first went flying up and down that there was gold in
California--which, as most people know, was before it was discovered in
the British colony of Australia--I was in the West Indies, trading among
the Islands. Being in command and likewise part-owner of a smart
schooner, I had my work cut out for me, and I was doing it. Consequently,
gold in California was no business of mine.

But, by the time when I came home to England again, the thing was as
clear as your hand held up before you at noon-day. There was Californian
gold in the museums and in the goldsmiths' shops, and the very first time
I went upon 'Change, I met a friend of mine (a seafaring man like
myself), with a Californian nugget hanging to his watch-chain. I handled
it. It was as like a peeled walnut with bits unevenly broken off here
and there, and then electrotyped all over, as ever I saw anything in my

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Wed 3rd Jun 2020, 1:34