Byron

Byron

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Byron by John Nichol

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175

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Byron

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Book Excerpt

n in 1723, he at an early age entered the naval service, and till his death in 1786 was tossed from storm to storm. "He had no rest on sea, nor I on shore," writes his illustrious descendant. In 1740 a fleet of five ships was sent out under Commodore Anson to annoy the Spaniards, with whom we were then at war, in the South Seas. Byron took service as a midshipman in one of those ships--all more or less unfortunate--called "The Wager." Being a bad sailor, and heavily laden, she was blown from her company, and wrecked in the Straits of Magellan. The majority of the crew were cast on a bleak rock, which they christened Mount Misery. After encountering all the horrors of mutiny and famine, and being in various ways deserted, five of the survivors, among them Captain Cheap and Mr. Byron, were taken by some Patagonians to the Island of Chiloe, and thence, after some months, to Valparaiso. They were kept for nearly two years as prisoners at St. Iago, the capital of Chili, and in December, 1744, put on board a French

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