Billeder på siden

racter of a seaman, that makes him superior to the ordinary difficulties of life. He can sleep in any place, because he can sling his hammock any where; is glad to eat any thing, because he considers eating as only necessary to hunger, and the plainest morsel is to him a luxury; care has very little to do with him, because his honestly stubborn breast never yields to its attacks, except it comes with an appeal to his humanity,

[ocr errors]

The superiority of a sailor's mind over circumstances that would affect a landsman was exemplified not long ago, where a sailor was involved in debt, Jack was taken in by a Jew agent, at Portsmouth, to a considerable amount, and after the receipt

by the Jew of the pay under his power of attorney, Moses still brought him in a debtor. Jack grumbled, pleaded his want of power and his intentions in yain; the Jew was inflexible, and at last, with great harshness told him, that as he was discharged, unless the money should be immediately paid, he would send him to prison. Jack looked grave, turned the quid of to: bacco two or three times in his mouth, and looking the usurer full in the face made his exit; but in half an hour afterwards returned with a bundle in his hand, to the great joy of the Jew, who thought that he had brought the money, or some clothes as a pledge. Jack stood still, looking at the Jew, who asked him, “ Vel, vat d'ye vants, Mister Jack?"--« Want! why I'm waiting for sailing orders, to be sure; you said as how I was to go to limbo, and here I am ready to get under-way as soon as you please."

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The astonished Jew had not a syllable to reply; but found that it was certainly no use to send Jack to prison. Thus, what would have been a serious misfortune to a landsman, was only the inconvenience of an hour to Jack, in the preparation for his trip to jail

. These are the minds opposed to an enemy, who must ever be unsuccessful against the valour and intrepidity of men whose fortitude rises in proportion to the danger they meet.



The following is the letter received from the MAN AT THE MAST HEAD:


« Fleet Street, London, or elsewhere.

« On board the Dreadnought, Channel, Nov. 24th, 1803.

HONOURED SIR, “You must know as how that I have had a good spell every day for the last week at the mast head, keeping a sharp look out for Mr. Bonyparte; who hasn't yet hove into sight. As you are the Man in the Moon, and for that reason always up aloft, you could tell us, as if you would, what tack he is upon, starboard or larboard: Sam Swab, one of our afterguard, who was a conjurer's clerk, in the Old Bailey, says as how you can cast a nativity as easy as I can heave the lead, and that you can tell what's to be put into the log-book for a month to come. You must know that I does’nt much believe Sam, because he's a lubber, and one of the king's hard bargains, ,

[ocr errors]

as we call it, and don't know a crow from a handspike,
or the main tack from the top-gallant haulyards; but
if you will only tell us now when this said Mr.
Buonaparte is to stand in for the shore of Old England,
I shall take it kind, as it will save me many a dog-watch
upon the crosstrees; and if you come down some night
through the wind-sail, or through any other channel
you please, we shall be glad to see you in our mess, on
the starboard side of the main hatchway. Bob Crank,
Bill Splice-um, and Dick Mizen, are my messmates,
three as good fellows as ever broke a sea biscuit, we wil
give some grub out of the locker; that is, a bowl of
lobscouse, pork, and pease soup to put into your hold,
and some grog.


know that I often take a peep at your ugly phiz, when I'm on the yard-arm, hauling out the weather-earing of the foretop sail, to take in a reef; but perhaps you don't know Bob Binnacle. I shall hand ye over in my next an account as long as the maintop bowline of our station in the Channel, with the bearings and distances of the enemy, and the latitude and longitude of what they can do. I can only tell ye, for the present, that if they get to the windward of our cruizers, it must be with a Hammond's nip*. Our purser, who is a droll dog, and apt to crack jokes, såys, that he thinks Mister Bonyparte will look very foolish when he is near Scilly; and as for the Western coast, it is all my eye Betty Martin, for there he will have an iron-bound

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

* A Hammond's nip is a fine perfection in steering, by which it is possible to weather a point, or a vessel, not practicable to do by any other means.

shore, and the Taffies to talk to; so you see that he will stand no more chance than a cat without claws. Steady boys, that's all ; Juff, no near, as ye go now, get by us if you can; every man to his station, and the cook to the foresheet. You understand me.

“ Yours, until death,


[ocr errors]


In addition to the above I have just received the following:

MOST POTENT POTENTATE OF THE MOON, “ It is long since that I have refreshed myself under the influence of thy planet, and basked in its beams; I have watched the New Moon, and felt its approach with delight; it is then that I feel my dignities resumed, and that I am a prince. The Prince of Plaistow is my name, and love, with its soft seducing syren sweets, has preyed upon me; but what of that, I am no longer a victim. Softly she came across the lawn attired like a Roman virgin ; her bosom rich and tempting as Mantuan grapes ; her eyes beaming with the fulness of the delights of love, but me she saw not; her form was perfect, her steps were measured to the soft movements of harmony, and she never tripped. Oh! let me contemplate those actions that first enwrapt me in delight; my dominions are at her service, my crown is laid at her feet, my sceptre is hers; but she is false, is faithless, is frivolous; no, no, never more; yet thou art adorable, the universe is at thy feet, and the Prince of Plaistow bends to thee lovely Pharonida. Use thy soft influence, beauteous Cynthia, to make tender the heart of Pharonida, for it is as hard as the rock against which the ocean beats in vain. A black heavy cloud has just hid thee from my sight, and I am in despair ; confusion, horror, rage, fury, love, war, thunder, music, and distraction.

“ Farewell,

THE PRINCE OF PLAISTOW." The Incurable Ward, Bedlam,

Full Moon.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

Such are the effects of love, and the Prince seems to have taken the inoculatiòn very completely; there seems to be little fear that he will ever have the complaint again, even in an epidemic.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »