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And now having, in this chapter, brought up iny history to the commencement of the year 1805, I shal] again enter into a more detailed narrative.




It was in the month of March, 1805, when the easterly winds prevailed, and vessels were detained in the Chops of the Channel, that I agreed with Bramble that we would return together and halve the pilotage. About eight leagues from the Lizard Point, we boarded a small ship which had hoisted the signal; the weather at that time being fine, and the wind variable. When we went on board, it was but just daylight, and the captain was not yet on deck ; but the mate received us: we were surprised to find that she mounted twelve brass guns remarkably well fitted, and that everything was apparently ready for action; rammers and sponges, shot and wedding, being all up and at hand.

“A prime morning, shipmate," said Bramble ;--then casting his eye ever the deck, “ A letter of marque, I presume."

“ Yes," replied the mate, “we have the papers, but still she has never run without convoy since I have been in Ler; we lost our convoy three days back, and the captain has been rather uneasy ever since.”

“ Uneasy! why, I should think that you could beat off a good stout privateer with those guns of yours.”

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“Well, I don't know but what we might; but our cargo is valuable, and we might be overpowered."

“Very true; and the captain must be anxious. Where are you from?”


your cargo ?” Why, we have raw silk and drysalter's goods chiefly. D'ye think we shall have a fair wind ? I don't care how soon, for we've at least twenty passengers on board, and our provisions and water are running rather short. Here's the skipper.” The captain who now made his appearance, was a tall

, good-looking young man, about thirty, dressed ratha fantastically, as I thought; having a laced cap on his head, and a party-coloured silk sash round his waist, such as they wear in the Mediterranean.

“ Well, pilot, what do you think of the wind ?"

"Well, sir, I except we'll have a slant which will enable us to fetch well to windward of the Lizard, at all events; and then, when the tide turns in shor, we must stand out again."

“Mr. Stubbs! turn the hands up to make sail.' “Ay, ay, sir !” replied the mate.

The men came on deck, but the captain roared out for the idlers; these were the passengers who had agreed to work during the passage : at last they came up, a queer-looking set; and the captain sending down for his speaking-trumpet, sail was made on the ship.

“Why, captain," said Bramble, “you do it is man-ofwar fashion.”

“Well, I've not served the king for seven years for nothing," replied he ; " and I hope, sir, not heard the

bullets whistling about my head like hail in a hailstorm, without knowing how to take care of my ship. I like everything man-of-war fashion, and then one's always prepared. Where's the boatswain? Pipe to breakfast.”

“ You've plenty of hands on board, mate," said Bramble.

“Yes, plenty of them, such as they are; we've plenty of the ship's company, and twenty-five passengers from Malta.”

After breakfast, the captain ordered up the smallarm men ; five seamen and fifteen of the passengers made their

appearance with their muskets, which were examined, and they were dismissed. At eleven o'clock, as we neared the land, the men were ordered to quarters ; the

guns cast loose, and they were exercised as on board of a man-of-war; the captain giving his orders with his speaking-trumpet. “Double-shot your guns! Run out! Point your guns! Fire! Repel boarders on the bow! Repel boarders on the quarter!" &c. This continued for more than two hours, when the guns were again secured.

Well, pilot," said the captain to Bramble, “ what do you think ? do you fancy a privateer could take us in a hurry?"

“Why, captain, if the men fight, I should say not; but, you see, these guns, handsome as they are, won't fight of themselves.

“I'll answer for the men fighting; they'll have but their choice, — fight, or the contents of my pistol through the first man's head who quits his gun. l’l} nail the colours to the mast, and see who will be tho man who will haul them down. Why, pilot, this vessel is insured at 30,0001.”

“Then she'll be a famous prize, if they should coutrive to take her, that's all,” said Bramble. " Halloo! what veseel's that coming down? Tom, hand your glass here."

“I hav'n't got it with me.”

· Well, give me that one on the skylight. I can't make her out—but I don't much like the looks of her."

“Eh! what's that ?" said the captain. “Let me look :-oh, she's a square-rigged vessel, a’n't she ?"

“ Can't tell," said Bramble.

The mate, who had fetched his glass from below, looked at her, and said it was a coasting schooner.

“ Are you sure of that?" said the captain. “Let me see :-well, I don't know what to say-she does look rakish–I'll go forward and make her out."

“Why, it's a coaster, Bramble," said I, as the captain walked forward.

“I know that,” replied Bramble, with a wink.

The captain returned, probably satisfied that it was only a coaster, but he did not choose to say so. “Well, I don't know what to make of her ; but at all events there's nothing like being ready. She's coming down fast upon us; Ifr. Stubbs, we'll beat to quarters."

Again the people were called up and the guns cast loose; the powder was handed up, and all was preparation. I did not think, however, that the passengers appeared at all zealous; but that I was not surprised at: the captain harangued them, calling them Britons, &c., and, hoping that they would show what stuff they were made of, talked about the honour of Old England, and a great deal more, and then examined the vessel again with his glass. “We'll give her the starboard broadside, and then wear round his stern and give her the other. Hoist the colours !"

As soon as we hoisted the colours, the schooner hoisted English colours also.

“English colours, sir!" said the mate, grinning.

“English colours, eh! Very well; but that may be a feint-keep to your guns, my lads.”

The vessel now ran by us; she was deeply laden, and as broad as she was long.

“ No privateer this time, captain,” said Bramble, laughing

“No, all's right: secure the guns, my lads. We'd have given her a nice peppering if she'd been a French privateer."

The captain then went down below to put away his sword and pistols, which the cabin-boy had brought on deck.

“ It's my opinion, Tom," said Bramble, “that this skipper a'n't quite so fond of fighting as he pretends to be. I'll see if I can't frighten him a little.”

As soon as the captain came on deck again, Bramble said, “We'll go about, if you please.”

“What! about already? why, we're good threr leagues from the shore.”

“ Yes, sir, but the tide has made, and we must now make a long stretch-out towards the French coast. Wo won't tack again till about dark.”

“Not tack till dark, pilot? surely we will do better keeping on the English coast."

“No no, sir; if we were not so well manned and so

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