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but pushed on presumptuously again and again, be would fascinate them with an enchanted calm, and hold them spell-bound on his sapphire breast, while radiant dolphins mocked them as they frolicked gaily by; or he would raise his brow into terrible furrows, and fling them on to the iron frontiers of his realm, or gulph them into his abyss-throat, never to vex him more. But the steamer changed all that. It beat a tattoo of defiance over the shoulders of the old tyrant, and the long foamy wake it left in its path seemed like an undulating flag of triumph Jack was flinging out behind him. It thundered along, as the old god slumbered in glassy silence, and when he woke raging, it split and shattered the tumbling mountains he uppiled to arrest its amazing flight; it laughingly fled from the winds that roared and plunged about it, answering their dread voices by a hoarse bellow from its funnel, and by flinging in their faces its black and stifling breath-on, on it sped to its appointed haven. The re-action of this wonderful machine upon its human guide and controller was also enormous. The overmastering forces of nature that imperilled him at every hour, and the mocking uncertainty of the phenomena amidst which he laboured, had conspired to keep alive in his breast those ancient superstitions that were dead or expiring on land. Though nominally a Christian, he was practically a Pagan, for he believed that the watery world was the home of impersonated forces, that must be propitiated by acting in consonance with their desires. Thus, Friday was for some mysterious reason, sacred to them. Direct maledictions followed the impious crew who departed into their realm on that day; the titulary “ cherub, who sits up aloft,” fled in horror from the infamous ship, that henceforth was doomed to disease, disaster, and death. But blessed was the craft that sailed on Sunday, for the Fates loved to hear the hearty “ Yo heave ho," and the rattle and clatter of starting on that day ; so, amid the quietude of the port, Jack danced gleefully round the capstan, yet with a groggy tear in his eye, as he saw the blowsy outline of his morganatic spouse melt into the crowd of other women waving rumperfumed blue handkerchiefs. And, when the land was lost, and the routine of ship-life in full swing, and the pure breath of the deep had dissipated the alcoholic fog that had muddled his wits, Jack, purged of all the heresies of the shore, began to think of his duty to Davy Joneshis own particular fetish. For, though called by a so familiar, nay, even a jocular name, Jack believed in him, and feared him, with a reverence few abstractions obtain. The pious Catholic must have some form or similitude of his patron saint to limit and sustain his mind; and Jumbo, in the wilds of negroland, cuts out of a stick his beau-ideal of a good demon; but the sailor has never attempted to put Davy Jones into any form, sculptured or pictorial. The cause for this is to be sought, doubtless, in the vague and shifting appearances that ocean eternally presents.

The vast expanse of sea and sky is too immense for representation, and the protean billows, hurrying by, leave no individual impression behind. And Davy's empire was the bottom of the sea. There he gathered the remains of dead scamen, and when they had undergone a sea change,” he despatched them on portentous messages to surviving messmates. As mystic lights, they would flit about the ship, or, as weird voices, mutter. their terrible communications in the ears of doomed men; occasionally they delivered a general epistle to the whole crew, through the medium of a forecastle seer, who alone could interpret “airy nothings.” Ah! never will spiritual clairroyants on shore be so successful as the credulous, child-hearted old salts, who translated the mystic utterances of wild Nature to the passionate, wayward, reverential men before the mast. The steamer destroyed all this religio. diablerie. It had no respect for Friday, and sported defiance at the Fates as it had done at the Ocean. The messengers of Davy Jones found exceeding difficulty in getting on board the marvellous vessel. And, if they did, they found the conditions required for their sybilline confidences were altogether wanting. Gone was the witching quietude of the night watch ; no longer the moonlight made marvels in the swollen canvas high up in the air, for the funnel poured out its twisted clouds amid the pale sheets in a very commonplace manner. On dark gusty nights the furnace fires shot forth a fiery glamour, that, like a new cult, made the old one tremble. Dead lights went out in that ruddy glow, the wail of the storm through the cordage was overpowered by the furious floats smiting the flying waters, as a minor plaint is drowned in the crash of a military march. Ah ! gone was that stupendous silence, that overpowering majesty of midnight heaven and sea (amid which the mariner felt awed, tamed, frailer than a babe in a giant's arms), for he felt the tremendous pulse of the Titan quivering beneath his feet, and the thunder of his iron tread on the deep. A confidence grew

that was fatal to Davy's reign ; he soon shared the doom of contemned rulers, he was scorned, defied, chaffed, pelted with Yankee wit, till, to-day, nono is lubber enough to do him reverence. No longer does Jack propitiate him by wearing a child's caul, he prefers a stout life-belt to all the amulets and charms in the world ; instead of reading books of fato, he spends his watch below in studying those sciences that are needed for examination before a Board of Navigators, for he no longer believes in being always poor Jack; the quarter deck is open to all who have brains and pluck to fight their way thither.

The precision of nautical science has greatly affected the sailor ; for the methods of manipulation that suited the slumbering roll of the old “ heart of oak" are unfit for the steamer. The new power is a docile slave to the capable, but a consuming monster to the ignorant and obtuse. The sailor had to be drilled to extreme vigilance day and night to prevent catastrophe. Rigid exactitude took the place of haphazard and guess. The changeful untraceable face of the ocean was cut into “runs” and “ lanes," along which rushed the vessel almost as accurately as its sister, the locomotive, over the rails on land. Little by little new tasks were imposed on the willing machine, and soon propulsion was reckoned as only one of its duties. It filled and emptied the hold, it hoisted the anchor and furled the sails. Jack's muscles had less and less to do, but his brains more. Electricity came on board, too, and offered its services, and instead of the old shouting of hoarse mandates, mixed with oaths, through a speaking trumpet, now silent signals convey to him the wishes of his officers. The winds and storms that had seemed of inscrutable generation, and mere chaotic swirls of air more or less mad, were shorn of all their mystery ; their birth, career, and death clearly laid before him, and guided by his barometer, he could foretell their approach as casily as he knew the run of the trades. The currents and drifts of the ocean were studied, and the puzzling stream of warm water that he met with amid the chill waters of the Atlantic was explained as the rebound of the great rush he had noticed in the Mexican Gulf. These definite statements of cause and effect, the amazing economy displayed in shipbuilding, the endless inventions that beset him on every side forced his mind to pursuo scientific methods, instead of use and wont and venerable rule of thumb. A revolution, less in degree, was going on the while in sailing ships, so that when Jack took “ a spell ” on one of them, he found that the fast clippers, that ran with tea from China, or with passengers to Australia and New Zealand, were almost a match in point of speed with the steamer. They were navigated with a daring velocity that would have seemed mad recklessness to the tars of other days. No longer did they creep under bare poles away from the savage pursuit of the winds. Round the wild gallop of the cyclonc they went, making its frenzy subservient to the commerce it had before harassed and crippled. The terrific gales that raged round the Cape of Good Hope were no longer considered the sailor's special grief; into their midst the clipper was thrust, and went before them bounding like a wolf into the quiet of the Southern Ocean. “Softly sleeping on the billows" was now forbidden by owners and merchants. Produce was worth nothing in a ship's hold; its value existed only in the consumer's hand. The time occupied in transmitting it over the sea was a loss; the more it was abridged, the more gained. Every appliance of science and art was brought in to aid this, and Jack's wits had to be as agile under canvas as under steam.

The social ideas of the epoch have affected the seaman more, perhaps, than any man, save the miner. In little more than an age, he has changed more than he had in centuries before. In no profession is there so sharp a contrast as that which exists between the man who toils the sea to-day and the man who did it a generation ago. The cause is not remote. When the fierce uproar that old Napoleon had made for twenty years was silenced in 1815, a multitude of men were let free from the fleets to carry on the long impeded commerce of Britain. Sea dogs were they, illiterate, and embruted by the trade of war. Discipline and drink were the two conditions under which they had lived—the one on ship, the other on shore. They speedily impressed their rude conservative ideas on the whole service. The sailor was a thing apart from landsmen, a feeble, lubberly race, that were unable to look the sea in the face without shudder and sickness. To distinguish himself from these emasculates, he wore a garb that is said to have been once the fashion of Dutch fishwomen (save in the matter of pantaloons), a tarry round hat, an uncouth pca jacket, and a pair of duck trousers that fluttered like half-reefed topsails round his ancles. Occasionally he sported a glowing yellow silk handkerchief round his coppery throat, which was covered with a manly beard; itself a matter enough to contrast him with the

shavers on shore. He swore his strange oaths in a Plymouth accent; he spoke out his notions with a blunt contempt for all others. He grumbled now and then at the skipper's whims, bùt he respected authority. He was quick to anger, and deemed fighting the manliest way to settle an argument; he detested fluency of speech, save in the matter of yarn-spinning, and his terse dramatic style of narration was the opposite of that which is found in books. Glib talkers he called sea lawyers, despicable fellows, who would rather reason than stand up and have it out like a man. The


fibre of the men was different from most of their contemporaries on land, for the class was recruited from those restless, insubordinate, indocile lads, the recurring savages that reappear in the midst of civilised communities. And the long absences they made from home, the monastic habits of ship life, the lower races they met with in trading, the comfortless ménage of the forecastle with its coarse food and young rum for diet, the iron discipline that forbade the officers to be on kindly familiar terms with the crew, the want of even elementary instruction, all these circumstances and dispositions intensified the distinction between the seamen of the present and those of a few years ago. The steamship was hated by them with all the comprehensiveness of ignorant wrongheadedness. The time was come for old salts to slip their cables, when navigation was to be performed with hot water! They battled with the new idea, and, as they fell, worsted, before its iron might, men of a higher breed stepped into their places. Then

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began that vast drift of humanity to the west and south, which made the domination of the landsman perpetual. Women and children, whom he saw only at long intervals before, now went with him in hundreds every voyage; their presence melted down the rugged callosities about his heart that had grown hard by friction with men ; and that gentleness and refinement he had in him was fully exercised. Then these emigrants were fleeing from “impossible Europe," inspired with ideas of independence, and expressing hatred of tyrannies in a manner that made Jack stare. His lot had always been one of dog-like submission to authority; for, even when he had kicked up a shindy ashore, and found himself in the dock for thrashing the policeman who came between him and his grog, he always took his penalty with reverence and respect for the magistrate that inflicted it. A halo of divinity still hedged King or Queen in his simple mind, and when he heard those sacred names treated with flippant contempt or denounced in vehement tirades, he had no feeling but one of violent indignation. Gradually, however, he became a tolerant and even a sympathising listener, when his personal loyalty was not concerned. The contrast, too, of the condition of the class out of which he sprang—viz., the labouring man and the artisan—on either side of the Atlantic, set him thinking. In Britain the workman was then a poor, dull fellow, untidily, inartistically attired, ill-educated, with no career before him ; but to his simple mind, the American presented a smart and gentlemanly appearance, and, his working dress cast off in the evening, he took his place among his fellow-citizens and enjoyed himself reasonably, talking neatly, if not elegantly, and expressing by word and deportment a man who found the world a pleasant and hopeful abode. The influence of the American seaman upon him increased these impressions. The old differences that had existed between the two, from the time of the American war, were expiring ; the triumph of the Shannon over the Chesapeake was no longer flung in the Yankee's face as if it were his particular ignominy, so the republican ideas of the one were grafted on the loyalty of the other. Books and newspapers of all sorts told their . tale in the forecastle, and kept up continued circulation of advancing notions of all sorts. The spectacle of labour in revolt on both continents finally communicated its contagion to him, and the influence of economic logic completed his subjection to civilisation. He fell under its sway, another “noble savage" constrained by the sweep of that awful force that is steadily outstamping all “ peculiar people" afloat or ashore ; that tremendous power that says to men and sailors,

“ assimilate or perish." Jack is now attired like other men, often wears a long-faced" hat, and is only remarkable for his bronzed visage, and rolling gait. He now disdains the rude provisions offered of old for his


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