Page images
[ocr errors]

ficient number to agree to keep it along of complete insensibility. They were with him.

both taken below; a fever was the con: Accordingly, Captain Oram, accom- sequence: and before they recovered, panied by Madame Morelle, kept the the Benjamin arrived at her port, and deck the whole of the first watch, Oliver was one of the first to leave during which everything was quiet her. and orderly. Eight bells were struck “ Now, my lads, pray what d'ye and gone, and he was just standing think of my old ship-mate's story? before her, at the top of the com- wouldn't it convince any fellow of any panion, advising her to go below, as sense at all, that murder will not hide the dew was beginning to be cold and on ship-board, and that the ghost will chilly, when the whole deck again re- never cease to haunt and flipper round sounded with the usual cry of Ön deck, the body, until it has got Christian there! which, whether it were the burial ? —What say you, Davis, eh? sound of that wild voice, or the sud- --for I see you are smuggling a laugh, den shock, seemed completely to pa, and be d-d to you." ralyze all the powers of Madame Mo- Nothing was ever more true; for Edrelle, who immediately gave a loud ward having hitherto succeeded with shriek, and fell back into the arms of great difficulty in restraining his risia female negress, her attendant, in a ble faculties, no sooner received this faint. As for Oram, he seemed to get half good - humoured interrogation, rank raving mad on the instant; for than his mirth overleaped all bounds, leaving his wench to look after herself, and he now laughed away so heartily he sprung forward, and with eyes flash- and so highly to the satisfaction of the ing fury on the top, he sung out, Hil- mirth-loving Mahony, that he instantloah!

ly joined in the chorus, to the infinite “By the Lord, lads, he hadn't to wait astonishment of the chagrined storyfor an answer.

teller. “Stand from under! was the terrible “ There it is, now-dang it, I were response.

sartain of it !”-exclaimed the angry “Let fall and be dmd! cried the in- Lyson, his eyes fixed furiously on the trepid Oram, and immediately a Bread merry muscles of the laughing pair; Bag was precipitated to the deck, “ I'll warrant me, they don't believe streaming in blood, the mouth of a single word on all I've said, mates, which bursting open, a human head thof I've told them I were told it by rolled out, and lay at his feet, which ould Oliver, and have both heard it all the watch could recognize as that read it in a printed book, and sung in of the unfortunate Morelle. Oram


a ballad, such as we gets from the zed at the mangled remains for an in- shora at Portsmouth and the Nore, stant, with a countenance in which you know.--As for you, Denny, I'd horror, desperation, and madness, were have thought better on you, than to strongly depicted, then cried, “ Hell have sneered so lustily at what I've and the devil ! are you there again ? - heard you say a hundred times, you Away, away,

blast away, and be firmly believed ; but as for Davis, food to the first shark that meets you ! there, I an't surprised at him in the In saying which, he first made the least; for it's always the way with ghastly head spin from his kick like a your dd saucy landlubber pen-andfoot-ball, then clutched like a fury on ink swabs, that they are so cursedly the Bloody Bread-Bag, and, with a conceited, they're for ever thinking strength almost supernatural, made it the ne'er a one is up to anything but fly over the lee gangway. He now ran themselves. But avast there, my aft to where the doctor and some hearts! Master Davis may comecheery others were assisting the recovery of to Bill Lyson for the next story he Madame Morelle, roaring out, “ A12- tells him, that's all.” bell, my dear wench, I have given him Both Edward and Dennis, perfectly a passage again, and he'll bother us no aware that they had gone rather too more-What! is she dead—fairly stone far, were now at some pains to mollify dead? Have I done all for this-Have and sooth down the irritated feelings I committed murder, and thrown my of the credulous old man ; in which hopes of Heaven at my heels fornoughť! task, Mahony, by a dexterous applica-then die, Jerry, die, and be'-and he tion of the real native blarney, succeedinstantly fell fiat on the deck, in a state ed so wonderfully, that it was not long


before a smile began to curl his thin heard of Planter's daughter being cheek, and he heard Edward's praises hung for murder in the West Indies, or of his story with some seeming satis- a slave Captain either. Why, you silly faction.

fool, doesn't know that they could do in “ But after all, Lyson, I must say, that there quarter what they pleased ?" concluded our hero, “ that I think “ So it would appear,” rejoined a your story rather incomplete, pray third, shrugging up his shoulders, what became of Madame Morelle, as " and the more is the pity, I say-for you call her? for, as for the Captain, they both, to my mind, richly deseryou know, you already told us he died ved it; particularly that petticoated raving mad?

she-hyæna, who was the 'casion of all. Ay, my lad, mad as a March hare, D-n me, but I'd shut her up with a as they say a-shore. But, in faith, deck load of monkeys, who'd have what became of his fancy-wench, is fondled her to death." more than I ever heard say; thof I'd The discourse was here most disanaturally, suppose as how her father greeably interrupted by the bell tollwould take her home again.'

ing eight, backed with the boatswain's “ I'd as naturally supposed, Lyson,” mate's pipe, and lusty call of All the cried a listener, “as how they'd both larboard watch, a-hoy? who immedibeen hung."

ately hurrying below, and bawling out “Pshaw, pshaw, Master Simpleton, in gruff and bitter accents, "D'ye you fly, wide of the mark. Hung, hear there, larbolians, up on deck, up quotha! For sartain, my lad, you're on deck, all of you" --speedily disperthinking of Old England, when you sed these visionaries and their crowdbundle in your Jack of the Halter so ed assemblies. readily ; since, in those days, who ever

Say, shall I sing of a war-ship’s humbugging,
Railing and rubbing, and washing and tugging ?
Touch me the word, mates, and you shall have it readily.”-

“ Glory! give it mouth, Jack, 'twill make a merry medley !" The watch was no sooner on deck, whispered forth in every corner, were and the usual process of muster over, in no fit humour to be trifled with. than Edward, with a curiosity pecu- In this dilemma, he resolved to conliar to his character, would have im- sult with his new friend and instructor mediately proceeded to obtain a view Dennis Mahony, who heard him to an of the corpse of the unfortunate Zam- end in unusual silence, and then reba, had he not met with an opposition plied, with great seriousness, “ I'll tell which both mortified and surprised you what it is, Ned, and I hope you'll him. He had no difficulty in discover- think your Dennis the devil an inch ing that it was deposited under the the bigger coward for it, I wouldn't boats on the booms, for there two go for to raise that there tarpauling, large and well-blacked tarpaulins ha- and so be after disturbing the dead, ving been thrown right across, the d'ye see, no! not for a mount of moends hung down in sombre sadness on ney, as big, by the hokey, as the ould the deck, and as effectually precluded Hill of Howth. No, no, Davis, my the smallest glimpse of the little body, darling! I like you well enough, sure as if it had already reached the bottom now, and I own it; but, thanks to of the ocean. To raise these substan- good ould Father Daniel, who, Lord tial hangings, so far as to be able to love him, larnt me my letters before I gratify his curiosity, was matter of could spake, I like ould Mother Church no trifling consequence, as it would a trifle or so better, my dear. Bubbainfallibly have given great offence to a boo! will you belay now,” continued body of men, who, it was impossible he, clapping his bulky hand coaxingly for him not to see, both by their ge- on Edward's mouth, “ for the devil a neral gloom and evident repugnance word more will I hear on the subject. to approach a spot so carefully enclo- What ! you wouldn't, sure, have Densed throughout the whole watch, as nis guilty of that terrible thing-what well as by the many frightful and ri- d’ye call it again ?-sacrilege?--Mardiculous stories, which were liberally der and wounds! but your Scotch religion must be a curious one, if it's any infinite decorum, Captain Switchem at all, at all, that allows you to be after had shut the Prayer-book, had handgoing so coolly and needlessly about ed it to his bowing secretary, and had disturbing the dead, sure.”

once more begun to descant, with his Dennis was evidently too serious in usual acrimony, on the excessive careall this, for Edward any farther to lessness, and slovenly, bustling manpress the subject ; and he therefore ner in which the work was gone amused himself in listening in silence through by all hands-to which causes to the various marvels with which he very adroitlyimputed the boy's death every obscure corner abounded. In -and the total want of that steady defiance, however, of the most dismal coolness, order, and dexterity, which presages, the night proved one of un- he had ever been accustomed to, and common beauty ;-the silver moon which he was still determined to enshone with peculiar brilliancy on the force, when the swelling current of his gentle ripple of the dark blue ocean; caustic elocution was rudely interruptand such a resplendent galaxy of glory ed by the look-out vociferating from twinkled all o'er the face of the clear the mast-head" On deck, there !" and unclouded heavens, as had the “ Hilloah !" returned the Captain. happiest effects in composing the mind " Land a-head !” bawled the lookto the most delightful serenity; and out. the period of the watch thus pleasing- “ Point to it, my lad !” cried the ly stole away without any of those su- Captain, leaping to the capstan, and pernatural appearances, or dire mis- burrying with his glass to the forehaps, so confidently predicted, and so castle. minutely described

The look-out held out his arm, at Next' morning, immediately after the same time bawling down, “ About divisions, had been appointed for the two points on the weather bow!" funeral—which proved to be a matter This intelligence seemed to produce of infinite brevity and great simplicity, a sensation in the mind of Captain Captain Switchem appeared on deck Switchem, quite discordant to farther in a mourning scarf and sword, fole discussion; and, of course, sermoni. lowed by his officers and Mr Fudge zing immediately gave way to more forit, who carried a splendidly bound active · and unpremeditative duty. Prayer-book under his arm : and all “ Mr Marlin,” cried the Captain, hands being summoned to the lee hurrying aft;" Where is the Boatgangway, he immediately commenced swain ? -Call me Mr Marlin directly operations, by prefacing the service of -d'ye hear there, young gentlemen ? the dead with a few pithy and rather This was unnecessary, however, for sarcastic observations on the heedless- the Boatswain, shouting “ Here I ness, stupidity, and other bright qua- come, sir !” immediately stood before lities of the living. Meanwhile, four him. boys having slowly advanced with a “Pipe, Make sail ! directly, Marlin, grating, on which the corpse lay ex- there's a good fellow,” cried the Captended, firmly sewed up in its ham- tain-then turning to his first Lieumock, (the operating needles being tenant, he continued, “And harkye, thrust transversely through its nose) – Fyke, shake out every reef, and clap and having taken up a position, with it every inch of canvass on her you can. at their feet, on each side of an open I'd like to have a surveillance of the port-hole, which had been cleared for coast ere night fall.-Mr Fudgeforit, the purpose, he immediately doffed his lay hold of these things and follow hat, followed by all hands, opened the e-I'll be with you again in a miPrayer-book, and began the Church- nute, Fyke." service in a tone of voice at once grave “ It shall be done, sir,” replied his and dignified, until, coming to the first Lieutenant, as he disappeared words expressive of committing the from the deck, and immediately walkbody to the deep, the four boys im- ed forward to put the people in momediately gradually elevated one end tion. Meantime, the Boatswain had of the grating, when the weight of the executed his orders, the topmen were shots enclosed under the feet of the aloft—the reefs were shaken out-the corpse, hurried it off into the ocean, topsails hoisted—the fore and main where it disappeared in a twinkling tacks hauled close on board-top-galHaving thus finished the service with lant sails and flying gear followed


and no long period elapsed ere all you say? by the powers ! as well might hands beheld their fancy vessel sno- you ask me, am I sure if myselfs ring through it, with the land right Dennis Mahony, dear. Oho, shipmate a-head, at a rate little short of twelve of mine! the ould chopper of cask knots an hour. At this rate she stood staves is by much too like a hop-pole on for some time, when Captain for me to mistake him so azily. But Switchem deeming her to be as close the devil another squeak will I make in shore as he thought it prudent, or- on the subject at all at all, honey; for dered her on the other tack, and she may I never knock my beautiful fist now ran along the bleak and dark, through a biscuit again, if there isn't wooded coast of Norway, with a fine Tom Bird himself coming down the steady breeze from the land. She thus ladder, and he'll soon be after telling continued making way steadily, while you all about it, darling.” Captain Switchem, and most of his It was sure enough the huge fellow, officers, were busily employed with who, taking his stance on the foretheir glasses in a strict reconnoitre of gratings, and bending down his enorthe numerous groups of dark black mous carcase to get his head on a line clustering rocks, small islands, and in- with the beams of the upper deck, numerable creeks and openings of that growled out in a thundering voice, strangely shattered coast, when no- D'ye hear below there, fore and aft, thing appearing, and the day beginning it is the Captain's orders, that you all to close, the Tottumfog was finally turn to, man and mother's son of you, put about, and once more stood to sea and get ready, without loss of time or under shortened sail.

hinderance of business, for a good jolly “ Well, my mates, here we have hard spell at washing and scrubbing. had the devil's own day of it, after all, The cooper has orders to supply all now that it's done,” cried Bill Lyson, the messes with a gallon of fresh water sitting down at the mess table ; “ but a-man, which the ship's cook will boil indeed I never saw it otherwise with for you in a jiffy; and that will serve a dead body, in company-always a for your shirts, embroidered trowsers, gale of wind, a mast going by the silk frocks, gold-laced jackets, and board, a chase, or some one ugly cus- other such shore and church-going tomer or t'other to bother a fellow."

gear. If any on you wants soap, they “ Phew! my lovely bright boy of must keep the Boatswain in their eye. the mountain !” cried Dennis, just ar: The idlers, fancy men, and other lobrived from the deck, as the ould lollys, not forgetting Jack in the Dust, Goody of Gillingham says to her eels, may either wash in the first or middle when, you know, she's after skinning watches, just as their honours please. them alive, “Why can't you be azy, The clothes-lines to be hoisted as honies, sure it is nothing at all, at all, soon as the morning watch is turned when once you are used to it. Devil up—but them only, mind me. Bags a haypurth!'—and Mahony agrees with and hammocks to be scrubbed in the her to a tittle. Troth does he--and morning-watch, and nothing but clean the devil a skirrach's worth of bother hammocks to be stowed in the netit shall cost him, though he knows, tings. And, last of all, the whole shipmate—ay, that he does—that if clothes, bags, and hammocks of the you have had the devil's own day hooker, will be mustered on Sunday on't, gragh, you are likely to be blessed after divisions, when the fellow who with his mother's own night of it, by is dirty will of course be found lazy, way of good company, that's all. Och, and either get a cat or a broomstick to by my soul, are you ;-so keep your fondle.—So mark me, fore and aft, as beautiful tongue lying azy ;-for I you've all got fair warning, you may heard Mr Fyke speaking with that take your own minds on't-it's all one long ill-spun cooper of ours about to Bird.--D'ye hear there, you captains water-and I'm sure you knows very of the tops, you'll see and have your well what follows that, dear.” clothes-lines properly marked and rove

A devilish sight too well, in faith, in good time, or else, by the Lord Denny,” replied Lyson ;-“ but are Harry, you'll catch it." you certain it was the cooper? for you After this brilliant declaration, a know it's a little darkish on deck at scene ensued that completely beggars present.”

description--both decks being suddenAm I sure it was the cooper, did ly metamorphosed into a complete mass of bustle, hubbub, and confu- “Why, them there here, to be sion. In one place, a noisy mob of sure, as I've got under my arm.”. cooks of the various messes surrounded Exactly, exactly-Let's see them a tall, raw-boned, dirty fellow, dignified - Eh! twa cheeks, a red and a blue with the name of cooper, who, seated flannel-Forgie us, Jacob! four sarks, on the deck, with a measure in his forbye twa comforters, and a Guernhand, loudly vociferated, haggled, sey, for a single pint of grog !—The coaxed, and threatened all and sundry man's undoubtedly in a creel-gae wa' regarding their exact quantum of the wi' you, callant, ye’re daft-ye suld blessed liquid, which rushed and gur- list-na, na, deil a bode o' yours I'll gled from an old tinkling rusty pump hae.-A pint of grog, indeed! seven in unlimpid clearness, and shed an piece, as my mother used to say, for a odour so ineffably gaseous, as to pint of grog !-Ha, ha, ha !-saul, I make every individual nostril around wadna do them under twa days at him cock up in determined hostility, the least." Farther forward, again, another band “ Dennis-Dennis Mahony!" bawls surrounded the boiling coppers, in the a third. midst of whom might be seen the aged Why, that's me, sure enoughone-eyed cook, swearing, sweating, and well and what is't, my darling ?" rebrandishing his tormentors over the plied Dennis, rubbing away. heads of the refractory with infinite Why, man, tip us a morsel of your dexterity, while his filthy assistant, soap, there's a good fellow, for mine is enveloped in steam, doled out the completely done.” scalding element to all around him. “Oho! it's done, isit? by the powers, And every other part of the deck, both boy, that's another way of the music above and below, was crowded by the not so unlike my own, in faith.” crew, selecting their soiled garments “ What! hast got none?" for the wash-tub-slinging or un- Plenty, dear, and royal soap too?" slinging their hammocks--and empty- holding up a lump of pipe-clay.--"By ing their clothes-bags.

the powers, gragh, when Tom Bird I say, Jack, who do you wash sung out first about this here washing with ?” cried one of Edward's mess- affair, the devil a single rub of anymates.

thing like soap was in Dennis MahoWhy, there's Lyson, Mahony, ny's possession ; and so he'd the choice and I, as takes the first spell.” of nothing at all, at all, for claning his

Well, then, I board you, mind linens, to be sure, but a rub and a prome."

mise from his lovely scrub-brush, dear. “Aha, my smart fellow, but we're Well, what to do, to be sure, I couldboarded already.”

n't think; till, at long and last, after “Already, are you—by who, pray?" scratching my beautiful head into hu

Why, by old Shetland Gibbie, mour, I boldly trots aft to the garriLawrie Lawrenson, and young Davis." son, honey, and comes towney over

“ Oho! matey, if that there's the one of them there young lobster-backs case, I must look sharp about me. so genteelly, that out he bundles me However, dang it, I care's not a souse this handsome piece of white Wind- there is plenty of time, and I han't sor, with which I intend to make my much to do---recollect, Jack, I board shirts as beautifully white as if they'd the boarders."

come flying from Chatham barracks to “ Harkye, my old chap, will you me.--Och, bad luck to washing, says touch me off a shirt or two?” cries Dennis; for 'tis something like hanganother fellow, addressing a Shet- ing—best wben it's over.' Then, bulander.

sily wringing a flannel shirt out of “ What wull ye gie me then, Jacob, the suds, he closed his washing, as we lad ?"

shall do our imperfect description, Why, anything reasonable, my with the following cheering scrap, sung hearty ;-say a pint of the stuff to- with all that brilliancy of flourish and morrow at dinner.”

energy of manner, peculiar to the tear“ Aweel, aweel, Jacob, that's fair ing jig of Paddy's land :aneuch, as my hand's in at ony event. But, bide ye there, what d'ye mean by “ O never go to your father's house,” a sark or twa, canny lad ?"

Ould Murphy used to say, VOL. XIV.


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »