Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

rica. It is therefore, I think, a very in their consequences of the highest imgreat chance, whether the ships we have portance : so important, that, in all hutaken, or may hereafter take, shall ever man appearance, now or never is the be condemned or no. And this uncer- time for our establishing the trade, the tainty will prevent every seaman's lifting naval power, the independency of this in the government's service, who thinks kingdom, upon a firm basis. If we only of the advantage he may reap by should now, by an unsuccessful war, be it. ' Nay, were the chance of advantage forced to submit to an ignominious much more certain than it is, yet as it is peace ; for, I am sure, our present for a future advantage, and the high wages vereign will never otherwise submit to a seaman may have in the merchant-ler. it: I say, if we should now, by an unvice is a present advantage, I believe, successful war, be forced to subinit to an were the bill now paffed into a law, very ignominious peace, we shall never herefew of our feamen, at least of the mer. after, in all probability, be able to concenary part of them, would incline to tradiâ or disobey the dictates of the court prefer the former to the latter : and as of Versailles. This, I shall grant, Sir, to such of them as are governed by ho- is our present situation. But in such a nour, and a regard for the interest and critical, such an important, such a danglory of their country, which I hope gerous situation, ought we to proceed most of them are, we shall have them, with precipitancy? ought we in any without our passing any such bill, as soon thing to be swayed by the voice of the as they respectively return from the voy. petulant, the unthinking vulgar without ages in which they are now engaged. doors ? If by the obstinacy of the court

From this, Sir, which is the plain of France our present disputes with that and the true state of the case, I think I nation should terminate in a declared have the strongest reason to conclude, war, we have, thank God! no great that our agreeing to this motion, or even reason to dread the issue, provided we palling the bill proposed, would not of can prevent their being allifted by any itself induce any one seaman to lift him. other of the chief powers in Europe. self in the government's service, were This, Sir, is what we are with the we even to continue, for a twelvemonth utmost circumspection to guard against; to come, in our present state of uncer. and to do this requires a thorough knowtainty : but as it is certain, that three or ledge of the present circumstances of four months will determine our fate as Europe, and a clear insight into the preto peace or war; and as, by the law fent sentiments of all the chief courts now in being, the property of all prizes thereof. Have we in this house, can taken after a declaration of war, is veft. we have such a knowledge, or such an ed in the captors ; even fupposing, that insight? Why then should we, without such a bill would, in time, have some any intimation from his Majesty, rashly effe&t, yet we cannot suppose, that it resolve, for so I must call it, upon any could have any considerable effect in so measure relating to peace or war; espeshort a time as three or four months ; cially a measure which in itself virtually and for such a criding advantage, were contains a sort of declaration of war? we sure of it, we ought not in common Have we any reason to distrust his Maprudence to risk exposing our country to jesty's wisdom, or his attention to the all the disadvantages with which our honour and interest of this kingdom? or bringing in such a bill at this time may can we suppose, that he would not, be attended. Which leads me to con. either by message, or some other way, sider those disadvantages.

have intimated his desire to have such a Upon this subject, Sir, I shall begin bill passed, had he thought it necessary, with acknowledging, that our present and consistent with prudence in our presituation is extremely critical. Our pre- fent critical situation? Sir, there is a fent disputes with France, though in punctilio of honour, which nations, as themselves but trifling, are nevertheless well as private men, must upon all oc

D d ?

casions

[ocr errors]

casions have a regard to; and as our or. maps and historians in support of their dering such a bill to be brought in, cer- pretensions in America. tainly implies fome sort of menace, fome And a third disadvantage attending sort of defiance to the French nation, such a bill as this, Sir, is, that it will how do we know but that other courts tend to alienate the affections of our seaof Europe might think the honour of men, both officers and common men, that nation so much affected thereby, as from his Majesty. If war should be deto render it impossible for them, consist. clared, or if his Majesty should think ently with their honour, to submit to fit to order his courts of admiralty to try any further negociation or mediation, and condemn all the ships that may

then with regard to the disputes now fubfift- have been taken; which he may, do ing between us ? And if any court in without a declaration of war, as was done Europe should think so, might not they in the first Dutch war in K. Charles II.'s be thereby provoked to join

with France time, and in the long Spanish war in the against us, in order to pull down what reign of Q. Elisabeth, which indeed con. they would of course call the pride and tinued with very little interruption until the haughtiness of this nation? the year 1597 : I say, if his Majesty

Would not this be a misfortune to us, should think fit to do so, I am persuaded, Sir? is it not a disadvantage that may no one doubts but that he will then ose probably attend our ordering such a bill der the produce, or the greatest part of to be brought in ? and is it not to be the produce of the condemned prizes, to the more cautiously guarded against, as be divided amongst the captors, and the there is no nation in Europe from whence captors will then impute the advantage we could expect any aslistance; at least they from bence receive wholly to his no nation whose assistance would not be Majesty's goodness and generosity. But rather a burden than an advantage to us, if such a bill as this should be passed inas we should thereby be involved in a to a law, our seamen will be apt to supland-war upon the continent of Europe, pose, that some of the leading men in the burden whereof we now know by fac parliament had discovered, that his Matal experience? Another disadvantage, jetty had resolved to appropriate to himSir, which will attend such a bill as this, self alone the whole produce of all the is, that it will give the French a title to prizes that should be taken; and conse-, demand the restitution of all the ships we quently they will be so far from impuhave taken, or fhall take before a decla- ting any thing to his Majesty's goodness ration of war; for ships taken merely by or generosity, that they will harbour in way of reprital, are to be restored upon their breasts a secret grudge or resentsatisfaction's being made for the damage ment against their sovereign : which on account of which they were taken. may be of such a dangerous conseTherefore it is not our business to sup- quence, that I wish no motion for such pose that we are not now at actual war: a bill had ever been made in this house; and indeed it is certain that we are now because the very motion will derogate in in a state of war, though no folemn de. some degree from the merit of that bounclaration of war has as yet been made ty which his Majesty always was, and on either side, but mutual hostilities have still is resolved to beitow upon his brave been committed, which is a declaration feamen, as soon as he can do so confift. in fact, though not in words. In any ently with the safety and happiness of future treaty with France we must infiit his people in general; and otherwise, or upon its being now a state of war be. till then, I am sure, no brave and honest tween the two nations, but the French seamen would or will expect it. will certainly deny that it was so; and Now, Sir, let us conlider what we are if such a bill as this should be passed in- to do by agreeing to this motion. We to a law, they will produce our own act are to expose ourselves to the danger of of parliament in support of that denial, provoking some of the chief powers of as they now produce our own ridiculous Europe to join with France against us ;

we

we are to render any future treaty of pany, whose all was at stake: and some peace much more intricate than it would of our best and wifest men had fpirit eotherwise be; and we are to run a great nough to remonftrate against their prorisk of alienating the affections of all our ceedings, and to point out the properest seamen from his present Majesty: and course and steerage to save the vessel and all this for the sake of, what? for the themselves. . But the men intrusted with fake of inducing half a dozen mercena. the helm, having secured the purser, sy seamen to lift themselves into the go- gunner, boatswain, and carpenter, to vernment's service; for this, I am con- their interest, despised our remonstran. vinced, is the highest number that could ces and instructions ; and that they in three or four months be induced, might for the future prevent all opposimerely by such a bill, to enter volunta. tion to their carrying on an illicit trade, rily into the government's service, and by hovering about the enemy's shore, even that number we are far from being instead of bending their course to the fure of.

deltined rendezvous, they artfully conLet gentlemen, then, Sir, consider trived (under pretence of their peculiar the motion in this, which is the true regard for his person and interest) to light, and then let theṁ determine whe- confine our Captain to his cabin, and ther they will not join with me in gi. then by snubbing and brow-beating the ving their negative to the previous que. braveft, moft skilful, and honest part stion.

of the crew, they fo managed, as, by [This Journal to be continued.] a guard of swabbers, to keep them under

hatches. The MONITOR, April 9.

Such restraints upon liberty have

sometimes raised a clamour amongst us, Extrakt of a letter from on board the OLD when the keel raked upon a shoal, or ENGLAND man of war at sea. the current threatened to run us upon a UR ship always bore the character rock, that has alarmed our Captain,

of a prime sailor, and was once and obliged the pilots to permit a few reputed to be the best manned and the to come upon deck, and pass their mubest officered. No ship was better die ster: but to prevent their coming to an sciplined, nor fo well provided against explanation of their hard fate, and his an enemy. But by the credulity of our

own danger, with the Captain, the ca. Captain, and the flattery of a few up- bin-door, on all such occasions, starts, who had neither abilities, hone. double-guarded by their tools ; while fty, nor courage, this brave ship has they themselves were perpetually instil. been permitted, for upwards of thirty ling into the Captain's head all the jea. years, to run to decay. We have now louties they could invent of the fidelity kept the sea with the utmost difficulty e- and abilities of those few, whom neither ver since the year 1742: for though it oppression nor confinement could force was at that time in as foul and unfit con- into their measures. They represented dition for failing as any vessel ever was, them to be of a restless and intriguing yet it was neither careened nor docked; fpirit, and for ever hatching some scheme and, during this long cruise, we have, by to poison the affections of his crew athe ignorance and knavishness of the up- gainst him, only waiting an opportunity start pilots, been exposed to such a vam of throwing off their obedience to his siety of distress, and for their private authority, and of raising another capviews and selfish ends kept in such rocky tain to the command of the OLD ENG. and tempestuous seas, that the most skil. LAND; with whom, they pretended to ful mariners amongst us have daily ex. know, these experienced navigators were peeted nothing less than certain Mip- in secret league. wreck.

By these ineans the Captain was deThis naturally produced great discon- ceived and prejudiced against his beft tent and murmurings in the ship’s com- navigators, and they were forcibly kept

from

[ocr errors]

was

from his presence. As to the reft, they to their usurpations upon the Captain who carried about them any favourable and ship's company. For in all ships symptoms of baseness, were admitted to there have been found some sneakthare the spoils of their iniquity. ing liquorish fellows, who, tired of li

These pimps and underlings did all ving upon beef and pork, and mouldy i the bufiness for their masters. For, ex. biscuit, give up their liberty, and turn

cept when a flag of trace came on board informers, for the sake of indulging from the enemy in regard to their pri- their palate with the offals of an upper vale traffick, which always happened table. Bat certainly it was never so viwhenever it was convenient to the sible as in the OLD ENGLAND. For we schemes of our enemies, that our ship have lost more of our crew by the poishould not cruise in the latitude where soned politics of the cook-soom than by their business was carried on, they spent any other means. The very favoury their whole time in playing at chefs and and high-flavoured fauces, with which hazard with such of the midshipmen as our pilots entertain the unwary and unwere seeking for promotion at the ex. experienced, operate more effectually pence of honour and honesty: for he stood to weaken our union, than either threats the faireft chance of recommending him. or restraints : for when once a man has self, who could cheat the cleaneft; and got a snack of their trenchers, he too these midshipmen, being endowed with often retains a hankering after the homore sense by half than their patrons, sa. ney-pot; and cannot tell how to relish ved their own allowance, and pushed a husky and insipid biscuit. And by themselves into their masters mess; who these extravagancies they themselves at kept a much better table than the Captain last found,

that they had brought us to himfelf: for they never wanted good beggary. The ship was very near drain. chear, smuggled from the enemy's more. ed of all its provisions: and the money Befides, as they were in with the purser, had been all fent ashore to fupport their they regarded no expence: and at last luxury. This discovery increafed the were fo barefaced to stop as much as they clamours of the crew: even some of thought proper out of the pay of the their own creatures, who saw that all ship's company, when other funds could was soon like to be over with them, not answer their extravagancies. This joined the loudest in the cry, and vowed however was attended with some difficul- they would never lick another spit bety in regard to the Captain, whose con- longing to them. fent was necessary to carry such refolo Every body, in short, began to grow tions into execution. But this was al. ferious; for the men had all got a nofo obtained, by tickling his ears with tion, that the private traffick carried on declarations of their entire obedience, by those at the helm, had treacherously and terrifying him with the neceffity of consigned to the enemy a great part of those oppressive measures for his service our most valuable territories, from and the support of his authority. whence our ship had all her mafts ; and

They knew, that if the crew were thereby laid us under a necessity to put permitted to have all their pay at their up with such as the enemy would please own disposal, they would have no occa to grant us. Besides, many circumfion to run in debt with the purser, for ftances created a suspicion, that our ports brandy and tobacco; and that by this were all going to the same market, and contrivance he would be able to keep that we very loon should not have a harthe sturdy ones in tolerable submislion; bour to put into. and in cale any of them dared to Upon this rumour never, fure! was winch, it would be in his power to fuch a hubbub heard. And the mid. threaten them with the mutiny-bill, and shipmen became more resolute on the to refuse them a can of flip for a week crew's fide : their courage increased or ten days together. This also'was with the danger of their ship; and we well calculated to weaken the opposition could observe that they looked very bluff

whenever

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

whenever a lick.fpit came in their way, mess; for they knew the crew had a and that they were plaguily out of hu. great opinion of WILL. But Will was mour with the pilots.

not a man for their purpose : for when The foremaftmen thus encouraged, they wanted him to set down with them fpit in their hands, and swore they would to backgammon, or all-fours, he was to a man mount the quarterdeck; and always a-minding which way the wind were, with much difficulty prevented, was; and when they expected him to be by remonstrances, that such a procedure, dipping his fingers in the stew-pans, and how well soever intended, would expose giving his opinion about the seasoning of them to the penalties of the mutiny. bill, their soups, they could not keep his eye and give their officers a more plaufible from off the compass and the log-board: argument to oppress them; and by ad. but he would be every now and then vising them, first to depute some of their bawling out so loud thåt he might be al. most steady and sensible friends to watch most heard in the Captain's cabin, that an opportunity to lay their grievances in we were losing way; at the very time a decent and strong manner before the when the pilots wanted to persuade us, Captain, and to beg his countenance that we were gaining ten or twelve knots and aslistance with their endeavours to in an hour, in the direct course we were fave the ship. In fine, confusion and bound. Besides this, Will had made discontent prevailed so much in every all their creatures and hangers.on his equarter, that it was not poflible to hin- nemies; because he would not suffer der their access to the Captain ; who, them to cheat the common men in their under great surprise to hear such com- pay. For which reasons the whole clan plaints against those who pretended to of them had given Will quite over, be his best friends, gave his word and turned him out of their mess, and given honour that he would do his best for our him to understand, that he had better common preservation.

betake himself down into the hold, and This interview between the Captain set a Fox to bark at him continually. and the representatives of the crew, not Here the Captain's inquiries found only brought on an explanation of the poor Will fick in his hammock. How. cause of our prefent bad fituation, but ever, as soon as he could, he hobbled ftruck the daftardly pilots with such a upon deck; and having made an obserpanic, that, quite dispirited and broke vation, set the Captain right, and told down, they gave greater tokens of fear him the true state of the ship and her than any of us : they were so disheartened bearings. Will directly informed us to see the cabin-door opened to the crew, what latitude we were in, and assured us that they could not look a common man that we were quite out of our course ; in the face; and under the weight of yet we inight get into it again, if we their shame, and the depression of their would but trust the working of the ship fpirits, they quitted the itern, sneaked to the English failors, and order fome away to the forecaftle, and set down to Lascars from the shrouds, whom the clan all-fours.

had taken aboard partly to please the The helm thus deserted, the Captain Captain, and partly to defend them from was convinced of the danger to which the resentment of their own crew, which the ship was exposed, and of the inabi- they had for fome cime foreseen, must lity of the gamefters to conduct her fafe foon unavoidably befal them. into port; and called about him in a So Will took to the helm : the La. great hurry for Will the west-country. scars looked four ; but the whole Eng. man, and ordered him up to his cabin lith gave him a round huzza. He imdirectly ; for he was well known by e. mediately put the ship about ; and the very body on board to be the best failor wind favouring, though the ship was in the ship, and to be a very honest man. plaguy foul and leaky, we soon got into The cabal always knew that, and had the right course. Will sent the Lascars tried every way to bring him into their away directly, and swore he would trust

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

none

« ZurückWeiter »