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gree of intelligence, keen alertness, and rendered her latter days comfortable, and a thorough practical knowledge of by allotting her one-half of his pay. the rogueries practised afloat, are es- Ere he was twenty, he bade adieu to sential requisites in a master-at-arms. the merchant-service, and entered the Whatever this official's personal cha- navy, which he never afterwards quit. racter may be, the nature of his duties ted. He has always borne a good chaare such that he is pretty sure to be racter, and for above a dozen years has hated and dreaded by those of the crew held a boatswain's warrant. He is whose reckless propensities render them married, and is the father of a large liable to arrest and punishment, and he grown-up family. No less than five is generally disliked, even by the sober, of his sons are now serving in different steady men, who, although they well men-o'-war, and often does be exclaim know, and are ready to acknowledge, -"If I had twenty sons, erery che that a master-at-arms is a personage should enter the navy!" We once per. really necessary in a man-o'-war, yet sonally knew an old retired sergeant
, they cannot regard the man himself who had two or more sons soldiers, and with any friendly feeling.
he uttered a precisely similar patrioti Mr. Blowhard—for he has a “ban- expression in favour of the army, which dle" to his name, and every sailor must he held in enthusiastic esteem. address him as “sir"_the boatswain Mr. Blow hard is a fine-looking of our liner, is a marked character in cimen of the boatswain genus his way, and sufficiently a "represen, burly fellow, with a richly-mottle tative-man” to merit a brief sketch face, a particularly thick, red Barde. here. We need hardly say that, when phian nose, and a voice that can out. his naval career commenced, he came roar a hurricane or a twenty-four on board through the hawse-holes, and pounder, if necessary. He prides him. bravely worked his way up to his pre- self on his capability of using his gent respectable and responsible rating. “ call,” or silver whistle, so as to He was literally born at sea, his father produce a longer-drawn and shrille being a petty officer in a frigate at a pipe” than any other boatswain period when the wives of such men afloat; and he can follow up his pipwere permitted to accompany their ing, by sending a "cry," or summons
, husbands on a cruise. His father was down the batchway, that penetrates to killed in battle shortly afterwards, and the remotest cranny of the ship, and the officers of the ship kindly made up reverberates like muttering thunder
. a subscription that enabled the poor Nature, doubtless, gifted him with widow to settle down at Portsmouth, lungs of great capacity and power; and earn a decent livelihood by keep- but their capabilities have been woning a little shop. She never married derfully enlarged by the practice of again, and creditably exerted herself piping” and “crying ” down the to give a good education to her ocean- hatchways of divers of her Majesty's born, her only child, intending to ap- “ships and vessels of war." It is not prentice him to some respectable trade every stout seaman who can whistle on shore, for the fate of his father had and cry as a boatswain ought, and inspired her with a perfect horror of must, if he would do credit to his the sea, and she fondly, but weakly, rating. Mr. Blowhard is now quite thought to instil an equal distaste for a an elderly man, yet the tough old tar • life on the ocean wave" in the mind evinces not the least sign of any failure of her boy, by continually narrating to in his physical powers. He is, wa him dismal stories of the dangers and doubt not, a happy and contented man hardships of a seaman's life. Mistaken on the whole, for he has long reached mother i--and how many parents err the summit of his professional ambilike her ?-she could not possibly have tion; he has brought up his sons to pursued a line of conduct more certain tread worthily in his footsteps, he is to send her son to sea. And, accord. respected by his officers, and he bas ingly, to sea he did go, when in his the certainty of receiving a very good fourteenth year-running away from retiring pension, should he live to need his comfortable home, and shipping as it. Like most boatswains, his characa cabin-boy in a West Indiaman. It ter is extremely dogmatic; and in his was years ere his almost heart-broken
mess (which comprises his brother warmother saw him again; but he proved, rant-officers, the gunner, carpenter, in the long-run, a good son, for he and sailmaker) he almost daily gets
involved in temporary controversy on ing that his virtues are his own, and professional or political subjects--for his faults and his failings are salthe is a red-hot Tory of the old school, water ones, common to his profession. and so intensely conservative, that he If we turn to the lowest class of growls savagely, and bellows his indig. men in our liner--the ignoble Waisters nation at the mere allusion to any pro- --we shall discover among them not a jected innovation, professional, social, few living examples of that “ romance or national. His chief antagonist is of reality" abounding, in a man-o'Mr. Wadding, the gunner, a little, war's crew. These waisters are a set wizened, gunpowder-smoked-and-dried of fellows who are worthless in a proNorthumbrian, who is a crabbed, ill. fessional sense, comprising men who, tempered, morose carle-and, we may. from ignorance, stupidity, or physical add, we are assured that it is a singu- disability, are fit for little or nothing lar and suggestive fact, that nearly
all but to perform the most paltry duties, gunners are of a similarly unpleasant Almost the only thing they do at staand unamiable disposition, owing, it is tion-for-working-ship, is to haul at presumed, to their peculiar duties on certain of the sheets, and their chief board.
occupation is to perform menial duties. One other trait of our boatswain's If ever a man, who has any claim to character may be noted. He never in be rated a seaman, is ordered to join his life was intoxicated—that is to say, the gang of waisters, it is as a punishunequivocally drunk; but he has ever ment-a degradation certain to be sebeen a steady-going imbiber of gene- verely felt. Even the “holders,” the rous fluids, amber rum being the fa- sturdy, dirty fellows habitually em. vourite. He drinks at regularly-re- ployed in the depths of the ship, lacurring hours, as though it were his bouring among the different storebounden duty to do so, the omission of rooms, &c., look down on the luckperforming which duty would be highly less waisters as an inferior class, criminal and unprofessional; but the Some of these pariahs of a man-o'instant he has had just enough, he, in war have, doubtless, been miserable his own impressive, figurative language, creatures, buffeted about the world “knocks off, and cries tally!" We from their infancy, and have sought think it must have been our worthy old refuge in the navy by a not unwise friend who, when once asked by a lady instinct; for, however hard and mean whether he would prefer to take wine
their lot may there prove, they at or grog, gravely and in perfect since- least have ample food, and a floating rity replied—"I thank you, ma'am, home. Others, however, are outcasts I'll just drink the wine whilst the grog of a very different grade-men who is a-mixing, if you please!" and have reduced themselves to their predoubtless he did so. In his social hours sent wretched lot by their own reckof relaxation, he appears to the great- less misconduct, or who have been est advantage when singing that gra- driven to it by relentless destiny. In phic, albeit, coarse old sea-ditty, the a large ship, it is truly astonishing « Old Commodore” (a song that only what a variety of social classes contriboatswains and “Fighting Charlie bute their generally unworthy represhould attempt to sing), for there is sentatives to the body of waisters. not a warrant-officer afloat who can so Take half-a-dozen of them hap-hazard, admirably troll
and it is at least possible that one " Hearts ! what a time for a seaman to skulk
proves to be a raw countryman, who
has had a serious misunderstanding Under gingerbread hatches ashore ! What a d-d bad job that this batter'd old hulk with the legal authorities of his native Can't be rigg'd out for sea once more!
village ; a second was originally an The puppies as they pass, Cocking up a squinting-glasa,
artisan, a clever workman, but a Thus run down the Old Commodore : worthless scamp; a third was a mer
"That's the rum Old Commodore,
chant's clerk, who lost his character The fighting Old Commodore, he !
through some mysterious error of But the bullets and the gout Have so knock'd his hull about,
figures in the ledger; a fourth was That he'll never more be fit for sea l'" from his youth upwards a low Lon
don blackguard, who lived by his In fine, we would sum up the cha- wits as a " picker up of unconsiderracter of honest old Tom Blow hard, ed trifles;" a fifth was once a respectboatswain of H.M.S. Terrific, by say able tradesman, who eventually fell into habits of incorrigible dissipation; render the most reticent of them unthe sixth, by birth and education, was reserved and truthful_but that is a quite a gentleman, but gambling and secret we will not here divulge! vice reduced him, years ago, to the The reader will bear in mind that, condition of a despicable outcast. in the above personal sketches, we Yes, and unless we are misinformed, have confined ourselves to individuals disgraced members of the legal and whom we deemed fair representatives medical professions, ay, and of the of their respective classes in the navy, pulpit even, occasionally recruit the and that we have not attempted to waisters of the navy! Of course, it give an impersonation of the British must be understood that the majority man-o'-war's-man-our glorious Jack! of the waisters are men who have al- Everybody knows the traditional repoways been members of the lower tation of Our Jack-everybody takes classes of town and country; but there a certain interest in his doings. His is really a considerable sprinkling of character is a solidly-established one ruined men, who have once flourished -the growth of centuries, it may be in higher ranks of life. Some of them said, for he is the legitimate descend bave, at least, sufficient discretion and ant of the race of gallant Jacks free self-respect left to maintain a guarded the time of Drake to Napier: he is silence as to their former condition herits their accumulated fame, there and prospects ; but others are so lost valour, their skill, their daring, their to all manly feeling, so insensible to hardihood, their endurance, and their shame, so reckless and hopeless of the peculiar characteristics. We are future, that they boast of the posi- tempted to conclude this article by tions they once filled, and recount, briefly reviewing Our Jack's conduet without a blush, the follies and the in the Black Sea and Crimea, in orcrimes which, step by step, reduced der that we may judge whether be them to their present wretched lot. shows any symptoms of degeneracy Such men lead a dog's life, and will or otherwise. Scores of intelligent die a dog's death, and we regard eye-witnesses supply us with superthem with more contempt and disgust abundant materials. than pity.
When that magnificent, that un We would willingly sketch many paralleled fleet of transports and others of the prominent characters of ships-of-war, conveyed the allied army the crew of our liner-men whose lives from Varna to Eupatoria, and the dis have been so strange and romantic as embarkation of the troops took place, to forcibly illustrate the saying, that Our Jack, according to an observant truth is stranger than fiction-were it spectator, helped each soldier tenderly not that we fear to weary the reader down into the boats, and then stowed by devoting further space to the sub- away bis musket and knapsack, patject. In fact, so many men in the ted him on the back, bidding him no crew of a man-o'-war are original to fear the water, and “ treated the characters, whose life-histories are full sojer,' in fact, in a very kind and of striking events, that a large vo- tender way, as though he were a large lume - and we make bold to say, a -but not very sagacious—pet, who very interesting one-might be filled was not to be frightened, or lost sight with brief sketches of them and their of, on any account; and did it all so past careers. Would that some lite- quickly, that the large paddle-box rary Hogarth, familiar enough with boats, containing one hundred met, men-oʻ-war and their crews, to qua- were filled in five minutes.” And lify him to do justice to this peculiar when the boats reached the beach
, and by no means very easy task, would Our Jack stood up to his arm-pits in undertake it con amore! In some few the surf, and handed the soldiers down cases he would, it is true, have little the long plank from the bows to the more to do than to note down and shore, as carefully as though they were throw into form the seamen's viva ladies landing for a pleasant pic-nic vocè reminiscences; but, in most in. excursion! Yet more valuable were stances, he would find men-o'-war's. the services of Our Jack in landing men by no means disposed to be over- the horses, artillery, &c., and but for communicative as to their past lives him they could scarcely have been and actions. We know, indeed, one landed at all. Our Jack, on this motolerably sure and effectual way to mentous occasion, underwent, in the
6 bear a
boats, and on shore, four-and-twenty Next, we find Our Jack at Balak. hours of herculean labour, almost lava, where he laboured again most without respite, and he never manfully at landing heavy guns and heard to grumble a bit our own no- mortars, and dragging them towards ble Jack!
the lines for bombarding Sebastopol. The battle of Alma quickly follow- “ Never," says one witness, speaking ed. Our Jack, close along shore, had of this duty as performed by Our a capital view of it, and we may be Jack, “ were seen men doing the work sure he dearly longed to
more merrily. It reminded one of hand" in aid of his friends, the red- school-boys during play-time. They coated “sojers.” In fact, he did help appeared to be elated by the idea that them appreciably by " shelling " the they would have something to do with Russians. And when the battle was the taking of Sebastopol.” Our Own won by his gallant pipeclayed pets, Jack, every inch! The Times corhe immediately landed, and all night respondent, under date, Oct. 13th, through, and far into the next morn- 1854, gives us a further description of ing, did he labour in carrying down the sayings, and doings, and behaviour the wounded from the gory field to of Our Jack, when performing a simithe beach. His services were such as
It would seem that he to elicit the warm thanks of the Com- proved only too powerful, too willing, mander-in-Chief of the British army, and too merry a fellow. He broke who, in his official despatch, declared tow-ropes like rotten yarns, and he that Our Jack rendered - invaluable treated baggage and ammunition carts assistance ”-and so we implicitly be- as though they were children's toyslieve. Our Jack's favourite maxim and broke them as easily; for, after is, that a little help is worth a deal of hauling them to the top of a hill, he pity, and well did he practically ex- sent them down full speed, and slyly emplify it on this occasion. When he enjoyed, we have not the slightest had thus done his duty towards the doubt, the inevitable smash that ensuffering heroes of Alma, Our Jack sued. “ It is most cheering,” says the had a little time to look about him on correspondent, “to meet a set of these the field, and attend to his own private jolly fellows working up a gun to interests, which he is said to have done the camp.' From a distance you hear in a very cool business-like fashion — some rough, hearty English chorus, and “ what for no ?” as Meg Dods borne on the breeze over the hillsaid. The slain Russians wore long side. As you approach, the strains boots of excellent leather, and Our of an unmistakable Gosport fiddle, Jack is reported to have sate down, mingled with the squeaks of a marine and placing the soles of his feet against fife, rise up through the unaccustomed those of a dead Russian, he quickly de- vales of the Crimea. A cloud of dust cided if the boots of the latter would on the ascent marks their coming and suit him as to size; in which case he tugging up the monster gun in its forthwith unbooted the Muscovite, cradle, with a stamp and go,' and and appropriated the prize to his own strange cries, and oaths sworn by some especial use. Such is the uncontra- thirty tars, all flushed with honest exdicted story; but we really have some ercise; while the officer in charge tries hesitation in giving credence to it, for to moderate their excessive energies, two reasons :—firstly, men-o'-war's- and to induce the two or three hairy men never wear boots (on shipboard), Herculeses who are sitting astride on and even if they did, Russian leather the gun, or on the few horses in front, will not “ stand” salt-water; and se- with vine-leaves in their hats, or flowers condly, well do we know that Our in their hair, to dismount and leave Jack has ever had a special abhorrence off the music. The astonishment of of wearing “ dead men's shoes,” or the stupid, fur-capped Crim Tartars, apparel — at any rate those of his as they stare at this wondrous apparimessmates or shipmates; but, possibly, tion on its way, is ludicrous to a dehe has no superstitious objection to gree; but Turk, Crim, Russian, or wear those of a dead enemy, fairly Greek, are all the same to Jack, and killed in open fight. The Russian he is certain to salute every foreigner boots, too, would undoubtedly be use- who goes by, while in this state, with ful to him on shore, so that, after all, the universal shibboleth of Bono ! the story may be true.
A few days subsequently, Our Jack swift and certain destruction awaited was overjoyed by the whispered ru- them and their hapless crews-when mour that he was to be indulged in a all this was occurring, Our Jack grim. sea attack on the northern forts of Se- ly battled with the tempest, and never bastopol. All authorities agree that blenched, nor paused, nor faltered in he could hardly contain his grim ex- the desperate emergency; and Provi
. ultation when this intelligence proved dence blessed his heroic efforts, for not authentic. On Oct. 17th the attack a ship-of-war was lost. took place, and warmly was it urged, Our . ack so unmistakably manifestbut that terrible Fort Constantine, ed his intense longing to join in the and its satellites, were rather more than “fun” going on ashore, and to have a a match for the Wooden Walls manned comfortable « slap at them 'ere beg. even by Oar Jack. Gloriously, how- garly tallow-eating Rooshians," for his ever, did he maintain his ancient re- private recreation, that after he hai putation. “ When the first shot," got up the heavy guns for the artillery, says a writer who was present, he was indulged with batteries of his fired from the fort, it was as if an own, and hugely did they delight his electric spark ran through the crews. A camp of his own; batteries of this There was a perfect fury for firing, own; full permission to blaze awas
, and the greatest difficulty was to make ship-shape and man-o'-war fashia! the men cease "-when necessary. And Well might he feel exhilarated. He another observer mentions some inte- mounted his batteries, pitched his tents, resting samples of Our Jack's imper- and inscribed on them such gently-sus. turbable valour when the fire of the gestive names as “ Tiger's Revenge," forts was hottest. “ Eight or nine « Albion's Pets," " Rule Britannis," blue-jackets were swept away at a &c., for Our Jack is incorrigibly faceforecastle gun on board the Sanspareil tious, and will have his joke even in by the explosion of a shell. The two the act of firing a double-shotted broadremaining men coolly went on loading, side, or when the ship is sinking. In with their sponge and rammer, as the same spirit did he treat every allthough nothing had happened.” We noyance and danger. The terrible note no sign of degeneracy here : the thirteen-inch shells of the enemy,
be Hearts of Oakwho fought under Drake, nicknamed " Whistling Dicks,” in alluor Blake, or Howe, or Nelson, could sion to their shrill whistling passage have done no more.
through the air. When he fired at the A month later, Our Jack was call- enemy with effect, he cheered with ed upon to evince his skill and indo- might and main ; and if they hastily mitable bravery in another, and, to dispersed in consequence, he chuckled him, more familiar fashion, and never at the idea, that he had compelled them did he exhibit his noblest qualities in to make sail with the wind right aft. a more consummate degree than on Here is a picture of his life in camp that awful occasion. We of course worth qnoting :allude to the gale which raged in the Black Sea, from the 13th to the 16th
"The native jollity of the tars soon broke of November. Who has not read the
out, and uproarious singing is kept up story of that terrific gale? Who has
their different tents until near midnight
. A not thrilled with awe at the mere de
plain ordnance tent without decorations, to
distinguish it from those of the sojers,' is scription of the tremendous elemental warfare it evoked? And who has not
far too unassuming an abode for thein under
their present altered circumstances. Accordglowed with admiration and proud ingly, the decorative abilities of Jack hare sympathy when he read how Our been called into requisition, and the canvas Jack, all undaunted by the horrors of is covered with rather bold attempts at ornathe scene-when the storm-wind blew mentation, placed round sundry sentences fiercest, when not a star shone through written over the doors, expressive of the the black vault overhead, when the
amiable intentions of the oceupants towards wild waves raged and roared like lions
the Russians in general. hungering for their prey, when the
lower down you come upon 150 hairy, mus. crashing of masts and spars mingled
cular, strapping fellows, who, if you believe with the howling of the hurricane, and
their own inscription, are the "Trafalgar's
Lambs,' or the 'Bellerophon's Doves,' er wretched dismasted transports loomed some other part of the ship's company, past, rolling heavily and helplessly to
these wards the enemy's iron lee-shore, where fellows have got up the ships' guns is per
equally mild and inoffensive. The way