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lighten the ship forward. Slung myself in a bowline, and by means of thrusting 2}-inch rope in the opening, contrived to stop a great portion of the leak.
66 December 16th. — The crew continuing night and day at the pumps, could not keep the ship free ; deemed it prudent for the benefit of those concerned to bear up for the nearest port. On arriving in lat. 48° 45' N., long. 23° W., observed a vessel with a signal of distress flying. Made towards her, when she proved to be the barque Carleton,' water-logged. The captain and crew asked to be taken off. Hove to, and received them on board, consisting of thirteen men: and their ship was abandoned. We then proceeded on our course, the crew of the abandoned vessel assisting all they could to keep my ship afloat.
We arrived at Cork harbor on the 27th ult." Captain Coulson, master of the brig “ Othello," reports that his brig foundered off Portland, December 27 ; — encountering a strong gale, and shipping two heavy seas in succession, which hove the ship on her beam-ends. “Observing no chance of saving the ship, took to the long boat, and within ten minutes of leaving her saw the brig founder. We were picked up the same morning by the French ship · Commerce de Paris,' Captain Tombarel.”
Here, in a single column of a newspaper, what strange, touching pictures do we find of seamen's dangers, vicissitudes, gallantry, generosity! The ship on fire - the captain in the gale slinging himself in a bowline to stop the leak - the Frenchman in the hour of danger coming to his British comrade's rescue — the brigantine almost a wreck, working up to the barque with the signal of distress flying, and taking off her crew of thirteen men. “We then proceeded on our course, the crew of the abandoned vessel assisting all they could to keep my ship afloat.” What noble, simple words ! What courage, devotedness, brotherly love! Do they not cause the heart to beat, and the eyes to fill?
This is what seamen do daily, and for one another. One lights occasionally upon different stories. It happened, not very long since, that the passengers by one of the great ocean steamers were wrecked, and, after undergoing the most severe hardships, were left, destitute and helpless, at a miserable coaling port. Amongst them were old men, ladies, and children. When the next steamer arrived, the passengers by that steamer took alarm at the haggard and miserable appearance of their unfortunate predecessors, and actually remonstrated with their own captain, urging him not to take the poor creatures on board.
There was every excuse, of course. The last-arrived steamer was already dangerously full : the cabins were crowded ; there were sick and delicate people on board sick and delicate people who had paid a large price to the company for room, food, comfort, already not too sufficient. If fourteen of us are in an omnibus, will we see three or four women outside and say, • Come in, because this is the last ’bus, and it rains ?” Of course not: but think of that remonstrance, and of that Samaritan master of the “ Purchase” brigantine !
In the winter of '53, I went from Marseilles to Civita Vecchia, in one of the magnificent P. and O. ships, the “ Valetta,”. the master of which subsequently did distinguished service in the Crimea. This was his first Mediterranean voyage, and he sailed his ship by the charts alone, going into each port as surely as any pilot. I remember walking the deck at night with this most skilful, gallant, well-bred, and well-educated gentleman, and the glow of eager enthusiasm with which he assented, when I asked him whether he did not think a RIBBON or ORDER would be welcome or useful in his service.
Why is there not an ORDER OF BRITANNIA for British seamen? In the Merchant and the Royal Navy alike, occur almost daily instances and occasions for the display of science, skill, bravery, fortitude in trying circumstances, resource in danger. In the first number of the Cornhill Magazine, a friend contributed a most touching story of the M'Clintock expedition, in the dangers and dreadful glories of which he shared ; and the writer was a merchant captain. How many more are there (and, for the honor of England, may there be many like him!) - gallant, accomplished, high-spirited, enterprising masters of their noble profession! Can our fountain of Honor not be brought to such men? It plays upon captains and colonels in seemly profusion. It pours forth not illiberal rewards upon doctors and judges. It sprinkles mayors and aldermen. It bedews a painter now and again. It has spirited a baronetey upon two, and bestowed a coronet upon one noble man of letters. Diplomatists take their Bath in it as of right; and it flings out a profusion of glittering stars upon the nobility of the three kingdoms. Cannot Britannia find a ribbon for her sailors? The Navy, royal or mercantile, is a Service. The command of a ship, or the conduct of her, implies danger, honor, science, skill, subordination, good faith. It may be a victory, such as that of the “ Sarah Sands ;” it may be discovery, such as that of the “ Fox;" it may be heroic disaster, such as that of the “ Birkenhead ; ” and in such events merchant seamen, as well as royal seamen, take their share.
Why is there not, then, an Order of Britannia? One day a young officer of the “ Euryalus”* may win it; and, having just read the memoirs of LORD DUNDONALD, I know who ought to have the first Grand Cross.
ON SOME LATE GREAT VICTORIES.
On the 18th day of April last I went to see a friend in a neighboring Crescent, and on the steps of the next house beheld a group something like that here depicted. A newsboy had stopped in his walk, and was reading aloud the journal which it was his duty to deliver ; a pretty orange-girl, with a heap of blazing fruit, rendered more brilliant by one of those great blue papers in which oranges are now artfully wrapped, leant over the railing and listened ; and opposite the nympham discentem there was a capering and acute-eared young satirist of a crossing-sweeper, who had left his neighboring professional avocation and chance of profit, in order to listen to the tale of the little newsboy.
That intelligent reader, with his hand following the line as he read it out to his audience, was saying : -"And Tom - coming up smiling — after his fall — dee-delivered a rattling clinker upon the Benicia Boy's - potato-trap - but was met by a punisher on the nose - which,” &c. &c.; or words to that effect. Betty at 52 let me in, while the boy was reading his lecture; and, having been some twenty minutes or so in the house and paid my visit, I took leave.
The little lecturer was still at work on the 51 doorstep, and his audience had scarcely changed their position. Having read every word of the battle myself in the morning, I did not stay to listen further ; but if the gentleman who expected his paper at the usual hour that day experienced delay and a little disappointment I shall not be surprised.
I am not going to expatiate on the battle. I have read in the correspondent's letter of a Northern newspaper, that in the midst of the company assembled the reader's humble servant was present, and in a very polite society, too, of “poets, clergymen, men of letters, and members of both Houses of Parliament.” If so, I must have walked to the station in my sleep, paid three guineas in a profound fit of mental abstraction, and returned to bed unconscious, for I certainly woke there about the time when history relates that the fight was over. I do not know whose colors I wore - the Benician's, or those of the Irish champion; nor remember where the fight took place, which, indeed, no somnambulist is bound to recollect. Ought Mr. Sayers to be honored for being brave, or punished for being naughty? By the shade of Brutus the elder, I don't know.
* Prince Alfred was serving on board the frigate“ Euryalus” when this was written.
In George II.'s time, there was a turbulent navy lieutenant (Handsome Smith he was called - his picture is at Greenwich now, in brown velvet, and gold and scarlet; his coat handsome, his waistcoat exceedingly handsome; but his face by no means the beauty) — there was, I say, a turbulent young lieutenant who was broke on a complaint of the French ambassador, for obliging a French ship of war to lower her topsails to his ship at Spithead. But, by the King's orders, Tom was next day made Captain Smith. Well, if I were absolute king, I would send Tom Sayers to the mill for a month, and make him Sir Thomas on coming out of Clerkenwell. You are a naughty boy, Tom! but then, you know, we ought to love our brethren, though ever so naughty. We are moralists, and reprimand you ; and you are hereby reprimanded accordingly. But in case England should ever have need of a few score thousand champions, who laugh at danger; who cope with giants; who, stricken to the ground, jump up and gayly rally, and fall, and rise again, and strike, and die rather than yield - in case the country should need such men, and you should know them, be pleased to send lists of the misguided persons to the principal police stations, where means may some day be found to utilize their wretched powers, and give their deplorable energies a right direction. Suppose, Tom, that you and your friends are pitted against an immense invader
suppose you are bent on holding the ground, and dying there, if need be suppose it is life, freedom, honor, home, you are fighting for, and there is a death-dealing sword or rifle in your hand, with which you are going to resist some tremendous enemy who challenges your championship on your native shore? Then, Sir Thomas, resist him to the death, and it is all right: kill him, and heaven bless you. Drive him into the sea, and there destroy, smash, and drown him ; and let us sing Laudamus. In these national cases, you see, we override the indisputable first laws of morals. Loving your neighbor is very well, but suppose your neighbor comes over from Calais and Boulogne to rob you of your laws, your liberties, your newspapers, your parliament (all of which some dear neighbors of ours have given up in the most selfdenying manner): suppose any neighbor were to cross the water and propose this kind of thing to us? Should we not be justified in humbly trying to pitch him into the water? If it were the King of Belgium himself we must do so. I mean that fighting, of course, is wrong ; but that there are occasions when, &c. — I suppose I mean that that one-handed fight of Sayers is one of the most spirit-stirring little stories ever told : and, with every love and respect for Morality — my spirit says to her, “ Do, for goodness' sake, my dear madam, keep your true, and pure, and womanly, and gentle remarks for another day. Have the great kindness to stand a leetle aside, and just let us see one or two more rounds between the men. That little man with the one hand powerless on his breast facing yonder giant for hours, and felling him, too, every now and then ! It is the little • Java' and the “ Constitution' over again.”
I think it is a most fortunate event for the brave Heenan, who has acted and written since the battle with a true warrior's courtesy, and with a great deal of good logic too, that the battle was a drawn one.
The advantage was all on Mr. Sayers's side. Say a young lad of sixteen insults me in the street, and I try and thrash him, and do it. Well, I have thrashed a young lad. You great, big tyrant, couldn't you hit one of your own size? But say the lad thrashes me? In either case I walk away discomfited: but in the latter, I am positively put to shame. Now, when the ropes were cut from that death-grip, and Sir Thomas released, the gentleman of Benicia was confessedly blind of one eye, and speedily afterwards was blind of both. Could Mr. Sayers have held out for three minutes, for five minutes, for ten minutes more? He says he could. So we say we could have held out, and did, and had beaten off the enemy at Waterloo, even if the Prussians hadn't come up. The opinions differ pretty much according to the nature of the opinants. I say the Duke and Tom could have held out, that they meant to hold out, that they did hold out, and that there has been fistifying enough. That crowd which came in and stopped the fight ought to be considered like one of those divine clouds which the gods send in Homer :
“Apollo shrouds The godlike Trojan in a veil of clouds.” It is the best way of getting the godlike Trojan out of the scrape, don't you see? The nodus is cut: Tom is out of