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OCEAN AND HER RULERS;
A NARRATIVE OF THE NATIONS
FROM THE EARLIEST AGES HELD DOMINION
OVER THE SEA,
A BRIEF HISTORY OF NAVIGATION FROM THE REMOTEST
PERIODS TO THE PRESENT TIME.
By ALFRED ELWES,
AUTHOR OF “PAUL BLAKE,” “FRANK AND ANDREA," "SWIFT AND
SURE,” ETC., ETC.
SUCCESSORS TO NEWBERY AND HARRIS,
IN the Preface to the former Edition of this work I mentioned that the idea of composing it first suggested itself to me during a sojourn in the venerable city of Pisa. The inscriptions on the Façade of the Duomo and on the walls of the Campo Santo brought vividly to my recollection the figure once made by the Pisans on the Mediterranean, and that thought naturally led to the consideration of the other peoples who had distinguished themselves on the same sea; the view thence enlarging with the subject, extended to the great Ocean, and finally settled on my own favoured land.
The theme was a vast one, and the data for its composition were to be gleaned from many sources. It has been my endeavour in condensing the materials, to produce a work which could be read by the young with profit, and which might not be deemed unworthy by the elders of a place on the shelves of their Library; and to increase its utility as a book of reference I have added a complete Index of its contents.
Occupying the position we do, as a maritime power, it
appears to me essentially necessary that British youth should be acquainted with the various nations that have distinguished themselves at sea ; and that they should not, in repeating Campbell's stirring lines of England's flag having
“ braved a thousand years
The battle and the breeze," take up the notion that, as a natural consequence, the English Lion has always been a great Sailor.
It will be observed, in the course of the work, that I have made free use of the language of previous writers, both English and foreign, in describing certain events and drawing various conclusions. Whenever I have found an important deduction expressed in fewer and better words than I could hope to render it in myself, I have not hesitated to adopt the passage, as I have been more anxious to make this little book complete than to adorn it with mere rhetorical display.