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Oh! it's you,
Hoa! the watch ahoy! Turn out there ! 66 Turn out there ! Must I come down shipmates “ and saw your bedposts?”—Nota bene, they slept in hammocks.
I asked the Captain if he would drink some grog, and eat a few midshipman's nuts before he went to bed ? He gave me the key of his liquor case, and I descended into the cabin.
Who is that? cried the Doctor.—A friend of the baker.—Yes, I suppose so. Sir. Did I not hear some loud talking upon deck ?-We were speaking a ship, Doctor. Really, indeed! And where is she from?--From Hallifax, Sir.-From Hallifax!-And where is she going to ?-To Falmouth.—To Falmouth ! And what is her name ?—The Lady Hobart, Sir. The Lady Hobart! Good heaven! exclaimed both husband and wife. Why we are come up with our letter !-Yes, said I, and you
could not have chosen a worse postman; we outsail her like the wind ; she wants us to take her in tow.How unfortunate ! cried the Doctor. We shall arrive before our letter.
The next morning the Lady Hobart was ,a league or more astern. "The Doctor did nothing but spy at her with the glass. “What a dull “ sailer,” cried hc. “ It is a shame to employ “ such a tub for a packet. The Lady Hobart! a “ jade ! She ought to be sold out of the service.”
We had been at sea about a week, when one of our female passengers, who had come on board
66 Heave you
pregnant, was delivered of three little ones at a birth. I did not mention this lady before. Indeed she belonged to the ship; for this was her second voyage in her. It was the second mate's cat.
“ What, Mr. Adams," said one of the little boys, “will you do with the kittens. Won't you
heave them overboard ?" “overboard more likely,” cried the mate. “ D-n me if I would give my three young cats “ for the whole fry of you !"
Seafaring people are not without their superstitions; but they all promote humanity. A sailor would sooner lose his wages than throw a living animal overboard.
But the greatest superstition that is thought to characterize a son of the ocean, is his nailing an old horse-shoe to the foremast. I never yet sailed in a vessel that was without this flat sernicircular plate of iron nailed to the lower extremity of one of the masts; and I now repose such catholic faith in the power of a horse-shoe , to shield a ship from harm, that I would not trust my
old shoes in a vessel that was without this scrap of crooked iron.
It is by effects only that we can hope to arrive at any knowledge of a cause. From the age of thirteen to twenty, I have sailed on the deep seas; during that interval I have visited every quarter of the globe. Our ship was exposed to imminent dangers. But with this inestimable
jewel for our companion, we traversed the Indian ocean, and doubled the promontory of Africa, without losing a mast, or splitting a sail.
But it is not every common horse-shoe that will shield a ship from mischief. A horse-shoe new from the blacksmith's anvil, would be of no avail against the malevolent powers. It would be contemned by those invisible agents which wing the hurricane, and raise the waves. A horse-shoe to repel the shafts of their vindictive malice, must have travelled many hundred miles nailed to the foot of a horse ; and even be worn to a certain degree of roundness on the outer edge. The open part must be also placed downward ; in which position it represents an arch (a token of strength) and the rotundity of the heavens, which are to last for ever.
My first care on going on board the Olive was to direct my observation to the foremast; and it was with no little satisfaction that I perceived a venerable horse-shoe nailed to its lower extremity. The carpenter watched my motions, and interpreted my thoughts. “ We are safe enough, “Sir,” said he. 6 No witches can come to us." “ Are you sure,” said I, very gravely, “ that the " horse-shoe is an old one?"2" I could take
my “ oath of it,” said the carpenter. “I rode the " horse it belonged to through the wilderness of
We had been at sea about a week, when a flying fish, which was briskly pursued by a dolphin,
fell upon the ship's deck, and was picked up by the steward. “I will keep this flying fish,” cried the steward, “ for Sir Hans Sloane. Sir Hans “ Sloane is a great friend of my father.”—“ Sir “ Hans Devil,' exclaimed Mr. Adams. " waslı your dishes, you dirty rascal !"
This fish brought to my recollection an old story. When a sailor-boy was once relating his travels to his grandmother, the old woman believed every sight he had seen but that of a flying fish. She would believe that abroad there were mountains of sugar, and rivers of rum ; but she reproved her grandson for lying when he told her that he had seen fishes fly.
Soon after the flying fish fell on the deck, there came on a heavy gale of wind, which put the wild walers in a roar. An Oxford scholar would in this place cite either Homer or Virgil; for my part I am sick of such common-place heathenish stuff; my attention retires fatigued from Σιν δ'Eυρός τε, and Incubuere mari ;-I will not send my reader again to school, but transport him on board of the good ship Olive.
Captain.—It blows fresh! The wind whistles through the blocks, as the old fellow said when he had only half a sheave left at his mast-head ! Turn the hands up to reef top-sails! Lower away the top-gallant haliards ! Clue up! Clue up! Away aloft, boys, and roll the sails up.
Mr. Adams.-Fore-top-mast-head there! You Cunningham!
Mr. Adams.—Why don't you lay out upon the yard and roll that sail up ?
Cunningham.--I am laying out, Sir, as fast as I
Mr. Adans.—You lazy son of a b-h!
Captain.-Send the hands aft here to this weather reef tackle.
Mr. Adams.-Come aft here men. More becf here ! more beef! Some inore hands to the standing part. Why you are only holding on the slack. There pull together. Hoa! ho ! yo, hoa ! Out with him hoa yo hoa !
First Officer.—Belay the reef tackle. You are out. Up there and reef the sail. How many reefs, Sir ?
Captain.--Two reefs, Mr. Llewellyn.
Mr. Adams.- Where's the steward ! You Steward! Let me see your handsome face upon deck here.
Steward.—(from the cabin) The large bucket, Sir, has overturned from the rocking of the ship, and the cabin is in a pretty pickle.
Mr. Adams.-And why did not you empty the large bucket before the squall came on? I have a great mind to make you mess on it the remainder of the voyage.
. Steward.-It vas empty, Sir. The passengers have filled it, Sir, within the last five minutes.