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case, however, the men had received advance notes, but in the case of the dreamer this point is not stated.
“ Dislike of ship” is a common excuse, and though it appears to have been looked upon in a general way as an allegation of unseaworthiness, it may possibly have been the first excuse that suggested itself to the men on getting sober, or a simple freak of superstition akin to the ancient objection to sailing on a Friday. It is here worth noting as a fact, before we proceed, that in the majority of cases in which unseaworthiness is urged in any form as a reason for desertion, the men had received advances either in notes or in cash. The fact tells both ways. One side would urge that the seaman was possessed with a desire not to work after having spent his advance, which would be against the seaman; while the other side might regard the fact of having to give an advance note in any case as evidence in favour that the seaman could only be induced to serve in the ship by receiving an advance as an inducement. Those who alleged unseaworthiness in any way, number, however, only one-sixth of the men committed to prison, only one in 3,459 of existing British seamen and only one in about every 23,000 British seamen, including their repeated voyages, who leave a port in the United Kingdom during one year.
There is one fertile cause of desertion which is not properly represented in our table, although we have devoted a separate heading to it. It is drunkenness, which in the case of seamen is generally the outcome of the advance-note system, the stronghold and backbone of that familiar demon, the crimp. Most rightthinking men saw with regret that the last Bill, which would practically have abolished the note and have ruined the crimp, was rendered practically impossible by the inevitable and lengthy discussion which must have followed the retention by the committee of the 4th Clause.
It is well known, though there is no evidence in the return, that the majority of seamen who plead “guilty,” or who “gave no
” for desertion, were the victims of this besetting sin, and we therefore caution our readers against accepting without reserve the figures under the head of drink in our little table. That table
only includes the cases in which drink is “ ufficially" recorded as the cause.
Under the heading of “various " excuses, we find objections to food, beds, &c., undermanning, dislike or brutality of master and mates. Indeed, in one case we find that nine men “refused to go unless mates discharged, which master declined.” It is clear, however, that in most instances these allegations of brutality were unfounded, as the men had not joined work, and could scarcely be in a position to judge of the disposition of their officers. There are also other domestic reasons urged in extenuation that are not so much entitled to sympathy as the one quoted by our correspondent. One man “refused to go, or to do any more work unless he could take his wife with him ;" another said, “I won't go in her; I want to see the old woman :" another“ wanted to see his wife :" another“ could not go because his clothes had been pawned by his wife :" another “had a grievance at home,” &c., &c., &c. “A sailor's wife a sailor's star shall be" is a very pretty sentiment, but to be consistent it ought to be indulged in before a drinking bout, and before an advance note is spent. Ever since Antony followed his frail bewitcher from the sea fight, and bartered the empire of the world for a kiss, we fear that many a sailor has too often allowed the tender feeling to keep him ashore.
We do not for a moment insinuate that Jack should not marry and become a respectable member of society. On the contrary, marriage might improve him, and in many cases would be a safeguard from a thousand snares, and whilst affording him a “star," for which to steer with gladsome heart, might wean him from the debauchery and riot which too often follow a long voyage. But unfortunately Jack has not many opportunities of cultivating a virtuous attachment, and a seaman's wife is, consequently, sometimes a person rather to be dreaded than cultivated. Thrown on the world as a child, brought up in a training-ship without the remotest opportunity of mixing with the opposite sex, having no chance of cultivating the amenities, he comes ashore after his first voyage, and is “taken in tow," and his experience commences. This is followed by “a wife at every port,” and by disease and remorse at sea. This is a phase of the seaman's life which is worthy of the attention of the philanthropist indeed. It is Jack ashore, and not Jack at sea, that any man, whoever he is, who would improve the sailor, must look after. We have more faith in reformation that might be effected by the influence of lads leaving home with the recollection of mothers and sisters fresh in their hearts, and with a love for home and home ties superior to the attractions offered by the feverish debauch so persistently placed before them under the licensing laws, and by the crimp and his coadjutor the harlot, than we have in any movement, however sensational, founded in an attack on British ships and British shipowners. A means of spending time in port, which shall be a happy medium between a barrack home and revival prayer meeting on the one hand, and a drinking shop and brothel on the other hand, would do more to improve the moral condition of our seamen than all the legislation that will ever puzzle members of Parliament, or “ meddle and muddle" with ships. The education of boys for the sea service has not yet obtained the attention it deserves, and save the exceptional cases of one or two eminent shipowners, and of one or two earnest men attached to seamen's missions, the real wants, the shore wants of seamen are neglected for the more fanciful and more notorious agitations respecting seamen afloat.
It is unnecessary to carry our remarks further. The return seems to us to be a record of vice, dissipation, idleness, ignorance, and roguery, even if presented in the most favourable light for the men ; but even then we are happy and proud to say, that so small is the proportion of men included in this return when compared with the great body of seamen, that it leaves a splendid and immense majority whom every Englishman has a right to claim with pride as fellow subjects.
AN INQUIRY REGARDING THE CAUSES OF THE GENERAL
CIRCULATION IN THE ATMOSTHERE.
FEEL much honoured by the notice which Herr Buys Ballot, the distinguished Datch Meteorologist, has taken of my former article on " Gradients and Cur
rents,” and I desire to express my indebtedness to him for the valuable suggestions which he offers for consideration.
In the remarks on circular waves my aim was not to present an exhaustive view of their interactions, but only to indicate and illustrate in a very general manner my conviction that the fundamental element in the varieties of pressure experienced in the atmosphere is the simple wave form with its advancing and receding side, and that it is by the combination of such rotating waves that the resulting depressions or elevations are formed.
Since writing the article the following illustration suggested itself, exhibiting in a simple way the development of a cyclonic movement between two rotating waves.
If A and B, representing two hemispheres impinging upon a central one C, having its flat side uppermost, be made to rotate
with watch hands, the central C partaking of their movement will rotate in the reverse direction.
A depression being a negative quantity and a wave a positive
à priori, one would imagine the latter a more instructive study than the former. However, I quite agree with the opinion that neither should be neglected, and that the greatest advance may be expected to be made by considering both, and their relations to each other. I hope (with the Editor's kind permission), when I come to consider the formation of these local gradients, to offer a few practical remarks in the lines of inquiry marked out by Herr Buys Ballot. Until we can form some notion of the influences to which these waves are subjected, we can hardly reason with accuracy regarding their movement, even with the aid of the most carefully constructod charts, for under a present influence they may be proceeding in a certain direction, and again in a few hours receiving a new impulse, their form and direction may be completely modified. An attempt is made in the Table of Currents to point out the times and nature of these influences, and in treating of local differences of pressure it will be my endeavour to state the principles upon which it is constructed.
Astronomers are well aware of the value of knowing the best times and places for making their observations, and it is hardly necessary to urge on meteorologists the importance of being acquainted, even approximately, with the time and character of an impending change; as by repeated observation its real nature may be ascertained.
With regard to the extension of the Table it should, I think, pretty nearly suffice for any place in the north temperate zone, reckoning the time at such place by the sun, and making a slight allowance for variation of latitude. In the extreme north, east should be substituted for west in the columns headed “General Direction” and “Force."
But as in my opinion the key to the local circulation as distinguished from the general is to be found in the latter, it is necessary in the first place to examine the causes which effect it, eliminating as far as possible the local irregularities with which it is overlaid.
In the former article we saw that to produce the trade winds there must be two great gradients within the tropics, having their lowest parts near the equator, and their highest in the belts of calms