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by the first arrivals. At one time, indeed, the tuck-barrow was withdrawn for a considerable period, on account of the way in which it was assailed and its contents forcibly demolished by crowds of hungry cadets. The proprietor, too, evidently discovering that although his stock was entirely cleared out, the corresponding returns were by no means such as his imagination might love to picture.
About the beginning of October the weather began to get cold, and we were allowed fires in our rooms, wbicb, in consequence, assumed a much more cheerful appearance of an evening. It was then, indeed, very pleasant, for large quantities of chestnuts, which abound in the woods round the College, would be gathered, and potatoes badly cooked for dinner, pocketed and brought upstairs, and both articles being subjected to the action of the fire -the former ranged along the bars, the latter reposing in the ashes under the grate—an addition was made to our tea-table. Cadets of the period were, on the whole, addicted to dabbling in amateur cookery, and many fellows gained glorious, though rather short-lived, reputation for their skill in the manufacture of toffy and other precious compounds of a similar description. The older cadets always pretended to view such proceedings with the most unmitigated contempt, and to sneer at them as Johnnish, nevertheless they did not object to take their share of whatever happened to be the result of their juniors' culinary propensities. Just as in the case of Throgwell, who, whenever he saw or heard that Mingleby had assumed for the evening his post of “head cook and bottle-washer,” took care to pay us a visit at the very moment of the latter's final success in his adopted art, and would then, although an under-officer, be graciously pleased to accept anything offered him, and compliment Mingleby on his ability. But unfortunately fellows were not content with merely boiling eggs, frying bloaters, or making toffy. A rage seized the company for greater triumphs in the art, and utensils of more capacious and complicated construction than the small saucepans and gridirons at first used, were obtained, which at length resulted in numerous complaints of dirty rooms, and this, coupled with the disappearance from the lakes of a number of ducks, which were supposed (not altogether wrongfully, perhaps), to have furnished suppers to certain rooms, was the cause of an order being given to have the rooms cleared of pots, pans, and all other such paraphernalia, wbich was soon effected, to the great enrichment of the orderly servants, each of whom became the proud possessor of a very respectable kitchen outfit. Old Bendy, especially, was particularly fortunate in this respect, and, being of a thankful disposition, brought us up, the Sunday evening following, an immense dish of very fine honey, in the comb, which, as he placed on the table, he stated he had been desired by “his missus” to present us with, “ as a sort of a slight acknowledgment of them ere sasspans and kittles,” which it appeared the old lady bad been quite overjoyed to receive. Being thus deprived of our modus operandi, we were thrown back on our old friends the potatoes and chestnuts which needed the aid of no apparatus in their simple preparation, and roasting the latter of which often made a long winter evening pass more quickly than it might otherwise bave done.
We had by this time drifted almost imperceptibly into the latter end of the half-year, and with the three previous months' training, had been pretty well worked into the routine of the College, everyone had settled down into his proper place, the days rolled smoothly on, and our life had become, to tell the truth, rather monotonous, when I heard mention made for the first time of the Blackwater Fair, accompanied by many mysterious remarks and rumours regarding it; but at the tail of a chapter I am necessarily compelled to reserve my observations on so important an event until space enables me to tell
you all about it. (To be continued.)
REWARDS TO LIFE-BOATS' CREWS.
With “revolving years ” the seasons of storm again and again occur, and each season brings more and more proininently into view the“ Life-boat and its Work,” whilst each seems to demand for that work a greater and greater amount of public sympathy and support. All honour to those brave fellows who imperil their lives in its performance! All honour to those whose philanthropy and liberality provide them with the means and the encouragement that enable them to execute this good work !
That the bold spirits of our hardy sea-coast men will always be ready to undertake their share of this noble service, and that the warm blood of English men and women will ever stir their hearts to aid and encourage those generous men, are now settled points. As, however, the proudest and strongest barque may drift into danger if not controlled and navigated with consummate skill, so the best and bravest of human undertakings may fail to successfully effect its aim, unless guided with judgment and care, as well as directed with energy and zeal.
We therefore, in these few remarks on the treatment of our life-boat men, propose to indicate two dangers which "lie ahead,” or rather, to use perhaps a more correct metaphor, which bound, on either side, the Channel through which our noble barque must steer.
The one of these dangers is palpable enough; but the other, lying beneath the surface, like the sunken rock, calls all the more for the watchful pilot's care. Each danger is of a double kind; but, emerging from our metaphor, we will at once plainly state the actual dangers to which we allude. They have sole reference to the degrees of pecuniary rein uneration, and of credit or blame, that are bestowed on the crews of life-boats in retnrn for the important services which, frequently at imminent risk to their own lives, they perform in the interest of their fellow-creatures.
Now, at first thought, it may not unnaturally be felt that the danger can only here lie on one side, and that it would be impossible to over-estimate or over-remunerate such services, for what higher act can a man perforin than to risk his life to save that of another ? It is, however, precisely because we estinate at their highest value the splendid, the heroic services of many of our lifeboats' crews, that we desire to eliminate from them, so far as pos. sible, the dross of mercenary motive, and to hold forth to the men, as far as possible, the pure, unalloyed gold of disinterestedness and sel!devotion, that we include amongst ihe dangers to be avoided, the bestowal of an indiscriminate or exaggerated amount of award, either of a pecuniary or laudatory nature. The subject, however, requires delicate handling.
We will first consider the question of pecuniary payments. Before the National Life-boat Institution seriously undertook the work surrounding the coasts of our country with life-boats, and superintending their future management, it was a common complaint amongst the sea-coast boatmen, that they met with no encouragement froin other classes to induce then to risk their lives in endeavouring to save those of shipwrecked sailors. A uniform scale of payment, was, however, then established by the Institution for its life-boats' crews, viz., 10s. per man for each occasion of proceeding to the aid of a wrecked crew in the daytime, and £l each by night; double, and even fourfold, payments being given for extraordinary services.
Without wishing these payments to be looked on as equivalents to serious risk of life, it was considered, due regard being had to the safe qualities of the life-boats, that they were sufficient to act as an encouragement, without being enough to establish a mercenary motive, in lieu of the more honourable and more noble one, of a desire to save the life of a fellow-creature.
As a general rule, therefore, we consider that this scale of payment should be adhered to, and that it is only in cases of a very extraordinary character that it should be departed from. We will illustrate our view by a case. Some years ago, a very creditable and daring service was performed by the crew of a life-boat on the English coast in rescuing the crew of an American ship. A gentleman, who liappened to be on a visit to the place at the time, wrote an enthusiastic letter to a leading journal, appealing to the public to subscribe for the reward of the life-boats' crew, which appeal was so liberally responded to that a considerable a nount was contributed. The matter was then taken up by the then American consul, who, thinking his own countrymen were bound in honour to contribute as much as the English public, appealed to them in the same cause, and the result was that the iwo appeals produced a very large sum, amounting to several hundred pounds, and this money was divided amongst the few men who manned the boat.
Now, we should be sorry to grudge any poor hard-working man such a “windfall;" but that there are important interests involved in the issue. In the first place, as will be evident to most persons, so magnificent a reward would in similar cases, as it was in this one, be dependent on the accident of there being an enthusiastic correspondent on the spot, ready to plead in behalf of the life-boat's crew, and therefore other life-boat men, at other places, might at about the same time, as happened in this instance, perform equally meritorious services, yet receive only the ordinary scale of payment as above described. The result might therefore be to cause discontent, or at least disappointment and a sense of neglect, amongst the less fortunate boatmen elsewhere, whilst it would probably also induce them to depreciate the payments inade them on other occasions. But the worst result of all would perhaps in most cases be to increase the mercenary feeling.
On the other hand, however, there are cases of so extraordinary a character that some special mark of approbation or admiration is called for, in addition to that rewarded by the Institution on its usual scale, and in such cases a local contribution may be appropriately and beneficially resorted to. We will also illustrate this view with a case.
At daylight on the morning of the 20th October, 1865, the wind blowing strong from N.N.E., with a heavy ground sea, a vessel was observed on shore on the western spit of Hayle Bar, froin three to four miles distant froin St. Ives. The sea was making a clean breach over her, and the crew were supposed to be in the rigging. The St. Ives life-boat of the Royal National Life-boat Institution was at once launched. In crossing the bar, with the drogue or drag-bag in tow, which carried her safely over two heavy surfs, a tremendous sea broke over the stern, and the drogue-rope breaking, from the immense strain on it, she flew before the crest of the surf in almost a perpendicular position, and running her bow under water, broached to and upset ; she soon however righted, and all managed to get on board. Two oars, grapnel, anchor, and rope, were lost, and tho crutches broken. Although rowing four oars only, the crew contrived to get her under the lee of the vessel, which was the French brig Providence, of Granville, 98 tons register, Captain Challit, from Cardiff for Dieppe, 138 tons of coal. With a heavy sea and strong under-current, however, they found it impossible to get alongside. Nearly an hour passed in signalling to the French crew to send a rope by means of a spar or raft; when this at last was done, the coxswain signalled to haul on board the life-buoy, intending to take the men off through the water, but he could not make himself understood. Two of the crew now endea
voured to reach the life-boat by means of the connection rope; one was being dragged on board, and the other was within four or five yards, when a fearful sea broke on the broadside of the boat and upset her a second time. She righted instantly, but the poor fellow wlio was on the rope lost his hold, and was never seen again. The other held fast to the boat, and the crew once more got into her without accident. The communication with the vessel had not been broken, and the life-boat again hauled up as near as possible to her. The captain and remaining two men then took to their boat, when the second wave capsized them. Through a fearful sea the life-boat was hastily hauled ahead, and the three men were most fortunately picked up. The crew of the life-boat landed at Hayle thoroughly exhausted. A more heroic service has perhaps never been rendered by any boat.
In admiration of it, a local contribution was raised to present a suitable acknowledgment of their bravery and endurance to the life-boat's crew, in addition to the awards of the Life-boat Institution. The amount collected exceeded £100, giving to each man between £12 and £13, and we feel sure none will be found to say that it was not weli deserved.
Apart, bowever, from the pecuniary question is the ideal onethat of praise or blame, and unless they possess the most sordid mind, in whose eyes gold is the embodiment of all good, who is there amongst us that is uninfluenced by, or indifferent to, the good opinion of his fellow-men? But to be really valued, praise must not be exaggerated, or it will run risk of being despised, even by those who are the recipients of it, yet who know it to be more than they are entitled to. Excessive praise and admiration, therefore, and the honorary awards of medals and votes of thanks, should also be reserved for cases of a reserved and exceptional character, when great courage, determination, or endurance have been displayed.
On the cther hand, however, great mischief may be done and much pain inflicted, by hastily attaching blame to men who may have exerted themselves to the utmost of their power to save the lives of their fellow.creatures, yet who have been unsuccessful. For what can be more galling, or more likely to induce a man to decline engaging in so hazardous a work as the going to a wreck throughi a raging surf, than the upbraiding him with cowardice or inefficiency, when he may know himself to have done all that it was possible to do. When his services are again craved by the drowning men in the stranded or foundering ship, while the weeping wife and little ones are perhaps likewise appealing to him to remain at home-if he be then reminded of the bitterness of spirit with which he heard his last brave but unsuccessful efforts depreciated, and himself reviled by those who had safely watched them from the shore, can we, or ought we, to feel surprised if that reflection should throw its weighit into the scale, and he should