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agony at being dunned, has paid the midable catastrophe that had ever same debt over and over. The more threatened England. The Whigs eximpudent demand was, as might be ulting in the prospect of the fall of expected, the first paid ; and impu- Ministers, even though they fell with dence was so no griously effective with the national ruin. Fox, like another this very sensitive man, that it habi- leading spirit of evil, lifting his crest, tually swept away his means of dis- and triumphing in the success of his charging the true creditor.
temptation! Then came forward SheIt is allowed, that he was unfit for ridan; in the face of his party, in deall business that required punctuality, fiance of his party, in the full cxpoaccuracy, or economy; in short, that sure to sneers and cries of dereliction he was what so many men are, a bad and tergiversation, he declared, that man of business, and this even went in such a time the old bonds and prina so far, that he is said to have never ciples of parliamentary, opposition kept a receipt nor a key! Yet, to what should not lie on the mind of any ho. did the debts of this proverb of waste- nourable man; he stood forth" among fulness and dishonesty amount at last ? the faithless, faithful only found; Why, to the inordinate sum of five avowed that, notwithstanding his thousand pounds! There are five thou- continued and full recognition of all sand very honest and well-charactered his old friendships and pledges, he gentlemen in the realm, who would could for the time see no difference think themselves the luckiest fellows between the sides of the House, no alive to find their debts cleared down party but the country; and offered his to five thousand pounds.*
services to any man who would save As to his personal liberality, which it. These were not things done in a you seem to doubt, the question is not corner. They are public documents, easily answered. The most liberal to be found in the records of the time, are seldom those whose bounty is the and at that period they were acknowmost easily traced. It even becomes ledged by the unanimous gratitude of a maxim, that the most public givers the empire. They make no figure in are the least liberal. But so far as I the pages of his biographer. But they can ascertain, Sheridan was charitable, have an honour that will be as permaand frequently destitute as he was of nent, in the hearts of his countrymen. money from his struggling theatre, he The independence, spirit, and disdid his best to relieve those who came dain of all hypocritical party clamour in his way. Theatrical life is miser- in the very crisis of the country, unably fertile in such applications, and doubtedly gave the turn to the time. we should have heard heavier com- I will not say, that the empire must plaints of the hardness of his heart, if have perished without him; nor even he had rejected the tenth part of his that the Ministry might not have felt applicants.
themselves strong enough in public But his public life is more tangible. confidence, to have taken every meaYou altogether doubt his
capability of sure that subsequently extinguished any political nobleness. The man who the mutiny. But I limit myself to the has seen what public life is made of, plainest and simplest facts, that there may well be inclined to doubt the ex- was infinite public consternation at istence of any one generous, manly, or the sight of this novel hazard ; that independent feeling in that school. the Ministry were perplexed by the When every man isstruggling for him- fear that the evil was not confined to self, selfishness becomes, from a prin- the fleet, but might be but the first ciple of policy, a principle of nature. explosion of a series of revolutionary It must have been a powerful, original convulsions; that they looked to unarepulsion to bowing the neck, that nimity in the House, to strengthen makes any man stand straight under the executive; and that in the House the heavy harness of party.
they found scorn, exultation, and reBut can we forget the MUTINY AT sistance on the part of the Whigs ; THE NORE? The nation in anxiety till Sheridan, in what I will persist in and terror, the Ministry appalled and believing the nobleness of his nature, wavering in the sight of the most for- and the spirit of native fearlessness and
* What! worse than nothing ?-C. N.
patriotism, walked forth from their as they were the hour they came ranks, to offer himself to the public sparkling from his pen. Can 'this be service, and shamed his colleagues said of any of his contemporaries ? into following him.
competitors he had none. His wit is more easily disputed. His great political crime was, that Yet, in an age when every man was he flung the Whigs out of the saddle, emulous of conversational brilliancy, into which they have never been able what manequalled him? How infinitely to clamber since. There are many, meagre are the relics of the Selwyns, however, who will not look upon this Walpoles, Hares, Tookes, and Towns- as an inexpiable sin. He threw into hends, to the heap of negligent and contempt á little cabal of aristocratic unassorted splendours that Sheridan insolence, that in their moderation has left behind him! His published would not have left the King the apbon-mots are the least of this careless pointment of a turnspit in his own treasure, which lies scattered among kitchen. With the nation before their the memories of his perishing compa- eyes, they instituted a degraded traffic nions. His day, too, was remarkable for pension and place in the Housefor theatrical rivalry, by a higher class hold; they were detected, scorned, than have since attempted to sustain driven out, and this was done by Shethe falling honours of the stage. Bur- ridan! This was his crime. But a goyne, Andrews, Topham, Cumber- crime like this ought to be inscribed land, and others of fortune, fashion, on his grave, and the panegyric will and scholarship, yet which of them outlast the fleeting and prejudiced came within bow-shot of this humbly opinions of any man who attempts to born, unfashionably bred, and indigent strike his pen through the memory of man, even in his youth?
Brinsley Sheridan. His plays are as vivid this moment
NAVAL SKETCH-BOOK." LANDLUBBERS like us have no busie away every stick. In all probability, ness to write Naval Sketches; but per- the few nautical terms we have now haps it may be in our power to review ventured on are all misplaced and misNaval Sketches tolerably well, nay, bet- applied ; yet how expressive! Let a ter than any seaman in the fleet. The coxswain criticise, and he will curse us British critic-tar would astound and down to the lowest depths of the breadperplex the reader by his profusion of room ; but “ all the ladies now on nautical terminology, and set him com- land” will admire our genius, and own pletely adrift. We, in our comparative that no subject comes amiss to the ignorance of Neptune's mother-tongue, Editor of Ebony. must make use of our own land-lingo, There, now, is the writer of our more or less generally understood Man-of-War's-Man-as able-bodied ashore. Besides, seaman's wit, ex- and able-minded a seaman as ever cept in original composition, is apt to' furled a top-gallant-sail ; yet could he take aback the sails of a landsman's write a critical article about his own imagination. Authors, in general, re- Memoirs ? Not he indeed. He would view their own books very ably ; wit- forthwith begin“ spinning a long ness our periodical literature. Yet we yarn,” and then clap such a load of could bet a trifle, that the clever Cap. canvass on Maga, that he would run tain now before us could no more keep her down, head-foremost, in deep wahis book in the mind's eye, without ter, till the St Andrew's cross, at the making lee-way, than we could wear main, would disappear like a flying his ship in a gale, without carrying fish in the foam. But set him on
Naval Sketch-Book; or, the Service Afloat and Ashore. With Characteristic Reminiscences, Fragments, and Opinions on Professional, Colonial, and Political Subjects ; interspersed with Copious Notes, Biographical, Historical, Critical, and Illustrative. By an Officer of Rank. In 2 vols. London: H. Colburn; Geo. B. Whittaker; and Simpkin and Marshall. 1826. VOL. XIX.
board the Tottumfog, and he keeps not a wooden leg--but if he has, may her“ large” before the gale of popular he dot and go on for half a century. favour.
He seems a man worthy of having Smollett described sea-lifegloriously, sailed with Decatur. for Smollett was a seaman. He was
But, Allan Cunninghame, Allan up to the whole thing, and Bowling, Cunninghame, why must you have the Crawley, Pipes, and Trunnion, are tars ambition to meddle with the history, from pig-tail to pumps. You forget real or fictitious, of Paul Jones? You when you go on board with the sur- may have occasionally braved the dangeon, that there is any land. You gers of the Solway Frith ; in smack or feel as if you had been afloat all your smuggler, sailed from Dumfries to days, and you have only to put out Skimburness, or even served for a day your tongue to catch the lingo. His on board a herring-man, in the navy of very boxing bouts on board ship are the Isle of Man. But what will beentirely different from those on shore; come of you when you have to fight as you will see, by comparing Ran- on paper the duel of the Serapis and dom's set-to with Crawley (not young the Bon-homme Richard ? Why, you Rump-Steak of the London ring, write at the best like a Horse-mawith Strap's turn-up in town. Smola rine. In that beautiful song of yours, lett, no doubt, was up to the rigging "A wet sheet and a flowing sea,”—you in all its cordage; but it is with the absolutely know no more than a tailor crew rather than the vessel that he the meaning of the word “sheet.” You eals; and the delusion is complete. think
a sail, an so do all land-lubYou forgive the press-gang that haul- ber bards ; but it is no such thing, as ed you away from the hop, and swing you may learn from the skipper of any yourself asleep in your hammock, for- dirt-gabbert; an:1,-nay, Allan, how getful of wife and children. But Smol- could
your eyes open, mainlett wrote in a bitter spirit, and even tain, that when a ship sails from an in the intense truth of his picture, you English port, “and the billow follows desiderate that simple heroism that you free,” that she can « leave England unwillingly believe can ever be absent on the lee?” The thing is impossible. from a British man-of-war. The whole To have done that, in any sense, your is a satire-yet even in a satire we cane ship should have been on a wind. Bea not but love the sons of the ocean. sides, to “ leave England on the lee,”
Cooper, the American novelist, a would be no easy job in any wind man of unquestionable genius, and that ever blew; for, while part of Enghimself a naval officer, (whether like land was to leeward, part, we presume, our author an officer of rank, we know would be to windward ; and, finally, not,) has given us some spirited, even on the lee” is not a nautical expressplendid, pictures of naval life. His sion at all; nor, if it were changed individual characters are all somewhat into one, would it speak what you
inexaggerated, which is a great pity, for tend to say,—that the shore seemed to they are well conceived and contrast- drop astern. Now, Allan Cunninged ; but his descriptions of all sorts of hame, if you cannot write three lines manoeuvres, in all sorts of weather, of verse about a boat, without perpeand at all hours of day and night, are trating all manner of blunders, what at once truly nautical, and truly poe- is to become of you when America tical. We never were more interested shows “ the little bit of striped buntin our lives than in his account of the ing,” and the meteor-flag of England escape (after a running fight) of the braves the battle and the breeze? American frigate and sloop from one Allan Cunninghame knows our adof his Majesty's squadrons. The bear- miration of his genius, and our affecing down of a ninety-four-gun ship, tion for himself; but the above diatribe though a stormy and clouded night, dribbled from our pen, as we thought is magnificent. Cooper exults, as he of the most absurd contempt with ought to do, in the glory of the Ame- which, in his “ Scottish Songs,” he rican Stars; yet he is rot unjust to the chooses to treat Dibdin. Dibdin knew character of our navy, and there is no- nothing, forsooth, of ships, or sailors' thing about him of the braggadocio. souls, or sailors' slang! Thank you for He has doubtless been both in battle that, Allan- -we owe you one. Why and in wreck, and is a man that would the devil, then, are his thousand and despise a cork-jacket. We hope he has one songs the delight of the whole
British navy, and constantly heard also appear from one stanza, that a below decks, in every man-of-war admirals have been in the practice of afloat? The shepherds of the sea must engaging in great fleet actions on a leebe allowed to understand their own shore ; and when Mr Campbell says, pastoral doric, and Charles Dibdin is that “ Britannia needs no bulwarks, their Allan Ramsay. Both may have no towers along the steep,” he says made mistakes, but confound us if ei- what is not perfectly true; nor does ther of them was a Cockney.
he give a good reason for it when he Having taken a slap, without any adds, “ her march is o'er the mounmalice aforethought, at “ Honest Al- tain wave, her home is on the deep." lan,” let us lay our hand civilly on For harbours should be, and are, proMr Southey's shoulder. His Life of tected by forts; and although it is Lord Nelson is a better Admiral's Ma- allowable to say, that Britannia's nual than his friend Mr Coleridge's march is o'er the mountain wave,Manual is a statesman's; yet we doubt meaning thereby that her fleets walk if either will be much read by people the ocean,--yet it is not allowable to who are employed near the helm. Mr say, in the same sense, that her“ home Squthey manages nautical phrases very is on the deep ;" for her home is on adroitly—but you see the landsman in the land, and London alone contains every page.
He describes a hundred a million and a half of inhabitants. things about a ship or a fleet enga- Depend upon it, these are not hyperging, or in line-of-battle, which no criticisms. We would most willingly seaman would ever allude to; and thus, live a thousand years in purgatory to by keeping somewhat ostentatiously have written that song ; but these are to the letter, loses hold of the spirit. blemishes nevertheless, and the poem This we say on the authority of an is not perfect.—What a discovery ! Admiral, who (then a captain) fought A thought struck us just now, to go a ship at Trafalgar. And nobody in- over all the poets who have poetized deed can read his volumes, and then about the sea, and expose their bluna few pages of the Naval Chronicle, ders; but—we hear the whistle-so without feeling the difference. Nei- all hands on deck. ther is Mr Southey a good hand at de- But what of the Naval Sketches ? scribing a land-battle, or at sketching Why, they are excellent—often exa campaign. Let Sir Walter alone for tremely amusing the author is a gethat he has both the eye and soul of nuine son of a gun, and his volumes a soldier.
are worth purchasing: We shall, Campbell has written the two fin therefore, give two or three extracts, nest sea-songs in the world. Yet mingling off-hand remarks as we jog “ Ye Mariners of England” might, along, and thus manufacturing, by we think, have been all that it is, and our joint wits, a concluding article almore an Ode of the Sea. The language most as entertaining as a Noctes.is too much that of pure poetry, and The author's chief object is to present he dreads the familiarity of nautical the public with a view of the habits, expression. Naval men, except they manners, and peculiarities of the prohave a strong feeling of poetry, rarely fession. That is right; and all manfeel that strain as a landsman might kind will agree with him," that it is expect, and it is utterly unknown be- equally distinguished by the splenlow decks. A very few of the finest dour of its achievements, and the orisea words would have glorified it ex- ginality of its character--at once the ceedingly. “ The meteor flag of Eng- essential protector of our mercantile land” burning in the troubled night of enterprise, the nurse of British indedanger, is a grand image, and we are pendent feeling, and the constitutionsatisfied. But it is not nautical ;- al security of our maritime greatness, and grand as the image is, no British and national prosperity.” But the poet should ever, in our opinion, speak Captain is not willing to confine himof the flag of England but in the self to that one great and glorious substrictest language of the profession. ject,-(had he done so, how infinitely There is the greatest sublimity in the better had been his volumes !)—but very simplest expressions in common he must needs enter at length into use respecting almost everything that such ticklish questions as the reregards the navy, and, above all, in dress of grievances--the remedy of everything regarding the flag. It would evils,--the suggestion of alteration or improvement in the principle or discie be found on the waters after many pline of the service," which, he come days. Her masts are rather taunt plains, have been left almost entirely she is somewhat crank, methinks, and in the hands of public Boards. Now rather too sharp in the bows—but she we cannot help thinking, that the carries a good weather helm notwithCaptain, if determined to write on standing the man at the wheel knows such affairs, should have come out his duty decently well—so may she with a first-rate octavo, full of facts have a prosperous cruise, and when and arguments, blazing away from she must be laid up in ordinary, may every tier, and smashing the Admiral hers never be the disgrace of being ty, just as Lord Exmouth and Sir metamorphosed into a Newgate and David Mylne smashed the batteries of Old Bailey hulk. the Algerines. But, by the frequent Now that we have suggested the subintroduction of such topics, and at ject of grievance and reform, will the times when you are no more looking Captain allow us to give in a list ? for them than for a sudden sermon “ First-day-afloat” by a Middy is not from Dr Stainier Clark, the amiable a very good performance. There is reader is so irritated, that he threatens no keeping in the character of the to desert the “ Barky," and leave the Middy, who, a daredevil at home and “ Skipper” to his own lugubrious and school, is a chicken-hearted blubberer out-of-tempore meditations. He is a in the barge and on board. And, al. capital tongue at a tale or an anecdote; though doubtless there may be, and and by tales and anecdotes might the have been, such rum concerns as the “ habits, manners, and peculiarities lieutenant to whom he is consigned, of the profession" have been illustrated yet such a figure and character is not from stem to stern of his work. But an illustration of anything either preno; he will “ argufy the topic," and valent or peculiar, and we turn away involve you in the war of words. Of. from the ineffectual caricature. Yet ten when you are
the following is goodA board a ship, on some calm day, “ Although a mere boy, never shall I In sunshine sailing far away, Some glittering ship that hath the plain impression made on my mind upon reach
forget the overwhelming and indefinable Of ocean for her own domain,
ing this wonderful and stupendous floatand you are on the best possible terms ing structure. The immensity of the with masts and mariners, and forgetful hull
, height of the masts, and largeness of all the miseries of the mud-world, of the sails, which had been loosened to the author slaps you on the shoulder, dry, so far exceeded every anticipation I and awakens you out of your billowy had formed, that I continued, unmindful panorama, by loud ejaculations about of what was going on in the boat, to gaze dry-rot, club-houses, patronage, levee on her in dumb amazement, until awadays, and the Quarterly Review. On kened from my stupor by the coxswain, one of those occasions, we flung him who now grufily exclaimed, - Come, overboard, and as we were going at
master! come! mount a' reevo, 'less you nine knots, were not without hopes
mean to be boat-keeper.' of the captain's being drowned; but
“ The youngster, who had not opened up he came bobbing, from ten fathoms, his lips on the passage, now turned round cocked hat and epaulettes, and cap
to give vent to a repartee, which, from turing a hen-coop thrown over, by ble him in my estimation.—. Give us
its homeliness, served materially to hum“ one of the young gentlemen,” he was picked up and restored to his Ma
none o' your jaw, Mr Jones,' said this jesty's service. We by no means say
young Triton, scampering up with the
black close at his heels. I now seized that he does not frequently treat the subject of grievance and reform with awkward attempt by the coxswain, who
the side-rope, and was assisted in my great spirit and vivacity ; but it is followed in my waké, no doubt lookingdone in a rambling ineffective way, out for a 'slippery.bend.' and leaves ignorant people like us in “ Being safely landed on the quarter. utter doubt of the truth or falsehood deck of the frigate, I literally shrunk of his serious charges, or jocular cari- back through a feeling of intense admicatures. But he has launched his book; ration, approaching to awe, at the scene and we take her as we find her, be- which presented itself; where nautical lieving, that with all faults, she will neatness, accurate arrangement, intricate
1 " Landed on deck"-a nautical anomaly.