Page images
PDF
EPUB

Very true, master; and so here's to your health, Mr. Domine, and may you never want a pretty girl to talk to, or a glass of grog to drink her health with."

[ocr errors]

“O but the Domine don't care about pretty girls, father,” replied Tom; “he's too learned and clever; he thinks about nothing but the moon, and Latin, and Greek, and philosophy, and all that."

“Who can say what's under the skin, Tom? there's no knowing what is, and what isn'tSall's shoe for that."

“ Never heard of Sall's shoe, father; that's

new to me.”

[ocr errors]

“ Didn't I ever tell you that, Tom ?-well, then, you shall have it now-that is, if all the company be agreeable."

“O yes,” cried Mary; "pray tell us.”
5 Would you like to hear it, sir?"
6 I never heard of Sall Sue in my life, and

would fain hear her history,” replied the Domine; “proceed, friend Dux."

“ Well, then, you must know when I was a-board of the Terp-sy-chore, there was a foretopman, of the name of Bill Harness, a good sort of chap enough, but rather soft in the upper-works. Now we'd been on the Jamaica station for some years, and had come home, and merry enough, and happy enough we were, (those that were left of us,) and we were spending our money like the devil. Bill Harness had a wife, who was very fond of he, and

fond of shie, but she was a slatternly sort of a body, never tidy in her rigging, all adrift at all times, and what's more, she never had a shoe

up at heel, so she went by the name of Slatternly Sall, and the first lieutenant, who was a 'ticular sort of a chap, never liked to see her on deck, for you see she put her hair in paper on New Year's day, and never changed

he were very

it or took it out till the year came round again.
However, be it as it may be, she loved Bill, and
Bill loved she, and they were very happy to-
gether. A’ter all, it ar'n't whether a woman's
tidy without, that makes a man's happiness, it
depends upon whether she be right within ; that
is, if she be good-tempered, and obliging, and
civil, and 'commodating, and so forth. A'ter
the first day or two, person's nothing-eyes
get palled, like the capstern when the anchor 's
up to the bows; but what a man likes is not to
be disturbed by vagaries, or gusts of temper.
Well, Bill was happy-but one day he was
devilish unhappy, because Sall had lost one of
her shoes, which wasn't to be wondered at, con-
sidering as how she was always slipshod. “Who
has seen my wife's shoe?' says he.
your wife's shoe,' said one, “it warn't worth
casting an eye upon.' Still he cried out, Who
has seen my wife's shoe?' 'I seed it,' says an-

· Hang

[ocr errors]

other. • Where ?' says Bill. 'I seed it down at heel,' says the fellow. But Bill still hallooed out about his wife's shoe, which it appeared she had dropped off her foot as she was going up the forecastle ladder to take the air a bit, just as it was dark. At last, Bill made so much fuss about it that the ship's company laughed, and all called out to each other, Who has seen Sall's shoe ??—' Have you got Sall's shoe?' and they passed the word fore and aft the whole evening, till they went to their hammocks. Nothwithstanding, as Sall's shoe was not forthcoming, the next morning Bill goes on the quarter deck, and complains to the first lieutenant, as how he had lost Sall's shoe. D-n Sall's shoe,' said he, haven't I enough to look after without your wife's confounded shoes, which can't be worth twopence.' Well, Bill argues that his wife has only one shoe left, and that won't keep two feet dry, and begs the first

lieutenant to order a search for it; but the first

lieutenant turns away, and tells him to go to the devil, and all the men grin at Bill's making such a fuss about nothing. So Bill at last goes up to the first lieutenant, and whispers something, and the first lieutenant booms him off with his speaking trumpet, as if he was making too free, in whispering to his commanding officer, and then sends for the master-at-arms. • Collier,' says he, this man has lost his wife's shoe: let a search be made for it immediatelytake all the ship’s boys, and look every where for it; if you find it bring it up to me.' goes the master-at-arms with his cane, and collects all the boys to look for Sall's shoe--and they go peeping about the maindeck, under the guns, and under the hen-coops, and in the sheep-pen, and every where ; now and then getting a smart slap with the cane behind, upon the taut parts of their trowsers, to make them look sharp, un

So away

« PreviousContinue »