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east, at the rate of eight and a half stranger a point on the lee bow. If knots, and with the exception of the he hauls his wind let me know.” officer of the deck, and the midship
Ay, ay, sir." man on watch, there was nothing to “All ready for’ard, sir." indicate that the Thunderer contain- Rig out and hoist away. ed aught else of life. There is, how- The frigate was now cracking along ever, one sound on board of a well re- at a great rate. The newly spread gulated man-of-war which makes the canvas had imparted additionalimpetus lazy lively, and the sleepers awake- to the moving mass, and she dashed and so it was in this case. No sooner through it as if disdaining the repelling had the boatswain's call rung its echo force of water. through the ship, accompanied by the We had sailed from merry old Enghoarse stentorian words of “All hands land with light hearts and gay anticipaon deck, make sail!” than life leaped tions; and though, perhaps, some sighs into every thing. Up tumbled the were wafted shoreward on the lightlong-faced waister, the laughing fo'- footed breeze, and some more subcastle-man, the growling afterguard, stantial transfers of feeling were made and even
the very inmates of the in the shape of well-folded epistles, chicken-coops seemed to participate consigned to the rough mercies of the in the joy of relief from monotony. weather-beaten pilot, with careful inCackle, cackle, qua-a-ck, qua-ack, junctions not to sully the fair reprequack, went the chickens and ducks, sentative of speech, and not to spoil and squeal, squeal, squeal, went a so- the volume-speaking seal; yet putting litary, slab-sided, half-starved, uneaten aside these soft places in humanity, representative of the stye-who, un- which will even creep beneath the willing that all should appear pleased, jackets of Neptune's rough sons, we and he be singular, lent his dulcet were, perhaps, as gay and merry a crew tones to add to the harmony of the as ever bid farewell to the cliffs of miscellaneous strain.
Dover. Our destination was the “Curse that pig,” vociferated the American coast, and our avowed design officer of the deck, and inwardly chuck- the capture or destruction of a celeling at the thought of making the brated lawless rover of the ocean. midshipmen kill their last fresh, and be But it was well known that the little compelled to solace themselves on old Speedy Keel, after having repeatedly mahogany.“ Curse that pig. Here Mr. baffled our best cruisers, was not to Jigger, tell the caterer of your mess be taken without some small matter to have that pig killed immediately. of skill and exertion. Still, in the
• Ay, ay, sir ;” and away skipped buoyancy of never-failing hope there the roguish mid, laughing in his sleeve, were many fancied trophies, which, till stopped on the ladder by a mess- after a long and wearisome cruise, mate.
were to be laid at the feet of beauty, “Ha, ha, John ; I say, there's old and cause the bright eye to beam with Splinter has got mad with the grunter an additional lustre, and the glowing that his mess has been saving for three cheek to mantle with a deeper tint. weeks to give a blow-out to the cap- The only really wo-begone countetain, and they've invited him to-morrow nances on board the vessel, were those to taste a little fresh; so the old fel- of certain scarce unpetticoated younglow, dash his top-lights, thinking to sters, flitting about the decks in desdo us a bad turn, has weathered him- pair, at the cruel separation from a self; and thanks to him, we'll have flame of three weeks. a blow-out on ward-room pork to-mor- The pilot-boat was about shoving
Mind. Mum's the word.” off, laden with the last tokens of fond “Mr. Jigger, have that pig killed remembrance, when one poor, heartimmediately.
broken little fellow crawled up the lee “ It is our last, sir."
side of a belaying pin, to impress it “ Have it killed immediately, sir.” upon the pilot's memory, not to forAy, ay, sir."
get the three-pence worth of candy “Mr. Splinter,” said the captain, for his poor Mary, and then climbed "keep her away a point, and keep the down again from his soaring elevation,
as if “ the last string were parted, and could scarcely be defined against the its music fled.” With a few similar opposite horizon. Every line was exceptions of the “pangs of cruel hauled taught and belayed ; no fag ends separation," everything went on well. flying out here and there ; no stu'n'To give us every possible advantage, sailgear stopped down on theyard-arms, the admiralty had selected one of the but every thing in apple-pie order ; swiftest ships in our service, and a and the delicate fabric was grace. ship’s company of picked men, and to fully yielding to the undulating mo. take the rover was the heart-felt wish, tion of the seas, with seemingly no of all. We had been out about five apparent advancing way, so steadily weeks, knocking about here and there and swiftly did the frigate overhaul
- sometimes skimming along with her, everything clear alow and aloft, and “ Ha, ha, he, he!" chuckled old sometimes boxing about on that con- Splicetack, as we gradually rose her founded Yankee coast, with every from rail to streak and streak to waterthing as clear as a bell overhead, while line:“knew she couldn't hold way with it piped three gales of wind at once, the Thunderer, wind two points abaft and kicked up a sea under-foot-oh, the beam. No, no; Thunderer's too such a sea! I have beat about the clean, for'ard and aft. 'Twill take a Bay of Biscay, and across the Gulf of wider clew of canvass than that fellow's Lyons, and smelt a small puff or two got;' and he looked up with a satisin the shape of a Levanter, when factory leer at the delicate tracery of every line was as taught as a harp- the swift frigate, when suddenly he string, and the anchor-stocks were raised his hand to his mouth and blown into kinks; but that was a hailed, “ On the main royal-yard small affair. Here it would roll a there; what's that bit of an Irish man's dinner out of him faster than pennant peeping over the jack-stay. he could roll it in, especially if he was Bring it down here, sir, and send me at all green ; and a close-reefed bit of the captain of the top." a main-topsail stood no more chance One of the main-royal rovins had than a leg of bacon before hungry parted, and the fag end was sticking men. There is an old yarn about a out over the cleat. terrible gale of wind once, which oblig- “ Where's the captain of the top ?" ed the captain of a vessel to employ Here, sir,” said a tall, longthree men to hold his hair on. My waisted, shut-up jack-knife sort of a grandfather's second uncle's third tar, who was quietly employed under cousin, who is a bit of an antiquary the lee of a gun, surveying the bounties in his way, traced out this story, and which nature had dispensed to him in had the satisfaction to learn that it the shape of a pair of huge red whiskactually occurred on this very same ers, and soft, languishing eyes, which Yankee coast, just about where we disdained to look at the same object met with such a tremendous tumbling at once. Here, sir." And have about. But this was all past, and we ing replaced his tarpaulin on one side had been suffering under the monotony of his nob, and adjusted his quid of a series of fair weather watches and on the other, by way of trimming
no sail in sight," when the cry of ship, he gradually uncoiled himself “ sail-ho !" roused all hands from and walked aft. below.
“Well, sir, you're the captain of We had now risen the stranger's that top, are you?” upper sails, and as the lower masts “Yes, sir." were gradually developed, they dis- “ And how long have you been to played no common symmetry of form. The lower rigging was neatly set up * Why, sir, I've been off and on and rattled down, and the masts, with for these last fifteen years, though I've a beautifully roguish rake, gracefully seen no great matter of advancement bent to every motion of the hull, and yet ; and as for double allowance, I've tapered away through top-mast, top- had plenty of that, but always got my gallant-mast, royal, and sky-sail pole, sarvin' in the gangway, and it always till their slight but beautiful outlines hurts my feelings.'
sea ? "
“It does, does it? So you've been 'ere lean schooners, seein' as how I to sea these fifteen years, and can't got my bring up among 'em. Why tell when a yarn is stranded, eb? there in Baltimore they have to get all Have you been relieved to dinner ? " hands hold of the monkey-rail some“ No, sir.”
times, when they're goin' alongside, “Well, take this yarn then, you to keep the darned crafts from running scoundrel, and get your grinders under clear through the docks. You call way.
Here, Mr. Garboard, see that her a water-bruiser, eh? I tell you this fellow chews this up into oakum. she's just playing about with a slack And the next time, sir, that your sheet, and that's what she luffed for. vision becomes too poor to take in Awater-bruiser, indeed! You'll see that bits of shakings about the rigging, she's got a straight keel, steers small, I'll set one of the boys to work with goes into it pretty, comes out cleaner, a holy-stone, and get it in trim for and 'll lay up within four and a half. you.
Some on'em 'll sail two points t'other The poor fellow crawled down by side of the breeze, and think nothin' the fife-rail and prepared to commence then of luffin' a leetle. Ha, ha! She's operations on the yarn, and old playin' with the Thunderer, Johnny, Splicetack walked aft.
I know." “ Harkee, Bill," said one of the This long harangue came from the men, “you must be mighty hungry mouth of a Jonathan, who had been and no grub in the chest."
pressed into his majesty's service on “ Confound your grub," muttered the other side of the water. Having the disconsolate Bill.
thus vented his spleen, and spit out “Never mind, never mind, 'twill his indignation, with the help of some be a savin' in the tobacco line, and of the old Virginia, the patriotic keep you off old Gripepenny's books." Yankee settled himself again to his
* Here, Mr. Jigger, let the captain occupation of rubbing down know that the stranger has come up hammock knittles. three points. Luff there, luff. Man The schooner now began to take the braces."
in sail, and we were near enough to The schooner had actually brought hear the creaking of her blocks. the wind for’ard of the beam, and 6. What under heaven,'' said Lovett, seemed manoeuvring to cross our our fourth lieutenant-a very handbow and go to windward ; and though some fellow—"is that thing shortenwe had hauled up at the same time, ing sail for? I fancy that fellow is she still continued her course, grace- somewhat of a wit.” fully gliding over the water.
“Mr. Splicetack, hail that vessel," "Them's one of the crafts, I s'pose," said the captain. drawled out an old Jack, “what the “ Trumpet, there, boy. Schooner old 'oman talked about, that goes ahoy!” thundered out old Splicetack. wing and wing, both booms on the “Halloo !" same side, bound to South Carolina ; 6. What schooner's that?" south-east there, and the same course The fellow had got no trumpet, but back again.”
had by this time stuck a joint of an “She looks like a water-bruiser,' old stove pipe at us, through which he grunted another.
drawled, “The Foiyer-Floiy," and “You call her a water-bruiser, which we construed into the Fire-Fly. Jack Stay? You're a thunderin' “Where are you from?" pretty fellow to talk about a vessel. “ Bostin." I say she's as pretty a bunch of tim- “Where are you bound ?" bers as ever was stuck together ; and " To Havanny. as to being a bruiser, you'll have to “ Captain Bunt, the fellow says lay aloft, I guess, and loose that rag he's bound to Havanna, and is head. of a main-skysail of your'n, and the ing just the opposite course." big jib on the old barkey, before she " Tell him so, sir.” tips the go-by to that same bit of a “ You're out of your course.
Наschooner coaxing about yonder. I vanna lies just the other way.” guess I know somethin' about them “ Be I?- does it?" said the Yan
kee skipper; and he turned and gave sea. The hurrying to and fro, the
“Schooner ahoy!" sung out Cap- somethin' on't, I let him have the tain Bunt; “hard a-starboard, and creetur, calkeelatin' that bein' pretty haul over your jib-sheet to windward, considerable acquainted along here, or you'll be afoul of us."
I could guess pretty nigh right, and The fellow did as he was ordered, I'm considerable cute at thumb." and hove-to in a lubberly sort of a “ Ha, ha, ha!” And in spite of all way, which set all hands to laughing discipline, a good round hearty burst and cracking their jokes on Jonathan's of really genuine Johnny Bull laughter seamanship, while in a masterly style cut off the residue of Jonathan's barthe noble frigate came up to the wind, gain. The boat 'now shoved off and main-yard aback, and lay like a mon- pulled for the schooner, and all conster slumbering on the ocean. All versation being “knocked off,” we hands were now on deck; the officers stood regarding the beautiful fabric grouped aft, and the men huddled to. as she was gradually surging to leegether in the gangway and on the ward, through the awkwardly-manabooms, to get a sight of the Yankee. ged manoeuvre of heaving her to. There is nothing which sends life and “ That,” said Captain Bunt, “is motion through a ship's decks more the prettiest hull that I ever saw on effectually than the sight of a sail at the water; and if she had a competent
person on board of her, I think she through it, buried in foam, till the might nearly equal the Thunderer." water smoked again.
** Ah! but look aloft at those spars, It was too late. Crack, crack, went Captain Bunt,” said old Splicetack; the stu'n'-sail booms, away went the “all as straight as a loon's leg; and main-top-gallant yard, and amid the those top-gallant braces are not big splintering of spars, the creaking of enough for seizing stuff, switches, blocks, the stamping of feet, the pato' wands; those upper sticks not big tering of the heavy rain, and the enough for riding whipsmere ominous, mournful Alapping of the tooth-picks. I'd like to see a sail sails, a loud, taunting laugh came set there. I fancy t’would soon walk down on the squall, with a drawling, away with the slack of that top-gal- “ Ye wouldn't want any inyuns there? lant-mast.''
Shall I report ye?”' and there dashed The boat had now got alongside, the schooner dead to windward, with and it was no small matter of amuse- one of his Britannic Majesty's officers ment to see poor Lovett, (the fancy and a boat's crew. man of our ship,) clambering over the “ Good heavens!” exclaimed the schooner's side, by the kindly assist. captain, “have I been so deceived ? ance of a spare stu'n'-sail boom, and Keep her away there. Brail up the a squiljee-handle poked over to him driver, and stand by to wear ship.” by two dirty, but really sailor-looking It was all we could do ; and while
Poor Lovett, the favourite of we were clearing away the wreck aloft, the ladies, the gayest in the ball-room, and wearing round, we had the satisand the wit at the table, thine was a faction to see the schooner's yards hard fate, to be dragged on board of a alive with men ; and immediately little Yankee schooner by a squiljee- after, the shrill sound of a clear, wellhandle !
blown call, accompanied by the stamps The schooner was now on our lar- of the crew, as they walked with the board quarter, on the larboard tack, haulyards of a neatly double-reefed while the frigate was heading the other fore-topsail, came down on the breeze. way, on the starboard tack; and what “Ha, ha !” chuckled a man on the has taken us so long to write was an forecastle, who had just belayed the actual occurrence of perhaps ten mi- main-to'-bowline; “ha, ha, that Lonutes from the time we first spoke her. vett's a fine fellur ; he'll fetch conShe still continued taking in the sail, siderable in Charleston. Ha, ha! A (which had drawn a remark from our water-bruiser, eh?” and he eyed the young lieutenant)—and clumsily, one little schooner to windward, as she after another, the kites came in and dashed through it, “close hauled," were rolled up, till she was under fore with a look of no common satisfaction. and aft sails and a jib. Her fore- It is a well-known fact that the sheet was gradually easing off, which American coast is more subject to brought her a little to windward of great and sudden changes of the weaus, when suddenly Captain Bunt ther, than any other coast in the seized the trumpet and vociferated a world. By an experienced eye, and string of orders, which caused all to one accustomed to this whereabouts, turn in amazement. Right to wind- the indications of these changes can ward of us, which explained the readily be perceived ; but the unwary schooner's movements, lay a dark, mariner who comes into these seas heavy cloud, which had made its ap- even with the greatest care, without pearance, upperceived, while we were some previous knowledge, is apt to engaged looking at the schooner. suffer from his inexperience. Such The cunning Yankee, however, had was our misfortune, and poor Lovett, seen it, and was prepared; and we (fourth lieutenant on board his Bricould hear his orders given out in a tannic majesty's frigate Thunderer,) masterly tone, that had lost all the now discovered to his loss that Jonagenuine drawl. “Ease off the jib- than was not only something of a wit, sheet a little.” “ Stand by the haul- but a bona fide practical joker. But yards.” “Starboard there.'' “ Luff, it was no slight joke. The schooner luff, a little ;" and away she darted had fooled and deceived us, slipped