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by his side, Stick at his elbow, and a glass of grog within reach. " When do you think that your father will be back ?!said Ratline. “Oh, I'm sure I don't know,” replied his sister; “ I dare say they will stay until late if they cannot find her." your
mother will return to supper, won't she, Susan ?". “Supper!" replied the little girl, “ we have not had much of that since father broke his arm, and was obliged to give up fishing." “ Broke his arm! and give up fishing !" replied Jack, “ why, how does he live now ?” “ I'm sure,'
“ I'm sure," replied the little girl," very poorly." “ Well,” said he, giving Susan a kiss and half-acroin,
do you tell them that the wind will change yet, and that we'll keep a better mess for the future.” Susan peeped at her brother with a little bashful astonishment-kept looking over the half-crown piece, which she turned on one side and then the other; and when she raised
the stranger was just stepping out of the door, and in a moment disappeared.
When Ratline was in the street again, he began, like a good sailor, to ponder over the calamities of his parents. A father with an arm broken, and unable to continue his exertions to procure food for his family,-a mother, broken down by age and sickness, and now deprived of her only stay in her decline of life, by the disobedience of her favourite child, who was arrived at that age to be able to support or assist them. " Ay, ay,” said Jack, as he lifted his straw hat, and run his fingers through his long front hair,-“ if, instead of caterwauling with the baker's daughter, I had gone, as a son ought to have done, to my parents, and got a blessing from them, Sarah would never have got away; and now, who knows but to-morrow, I may meet her left at the back of the Point, to live how she can—and to sell herself to any waterman who will pull her alongside a frigate-perhaps I should not know her if I saw her ; she could not tell it was me, for my purser's name would blink all suspicion ; she never would fancy it was John Tackle, under the hail of Jack Ratline-blow me if I think I knows my. self sometimes--but no matters—what arguefies sniveling and piping one's eye,' as the song says; we must take the rough and the smooth as it comes; and I'll call again and leave the old man something more to boil the kettle with—and as for mother, if she's sick I'll get the doctor's mate to see her.”
Hereupon he turned back, and got to his father's hovel again ; there was no light to be seen, and a neighbour who saw him looking into the window, cried out (she being one of those ladies blessed with a suffi. ciency of tongue),—"There's nobody there, you vagabond you; maybe you're one of those chaps that run away with Sarah Tackle ?-for shame on you to ruin a virtuous girl like that; as if there be’ant enough of poor substitutes already in the town;" upon which she called out for half a dozen men by name, to come and seize Ratline; and he, like a capital seaman, seeing the squall coming on, bore up, and scudded away as hard as he could.
This trifling circumstance quite drove the virtuous intentions of Ratline out of his mind; and recollecting that the time had nearly arrived when Mary Brown was to open the door and admit him, he bore away for her house, and shortened sail and hove-to before the door. There was no light visible, and no one in the vicinity of the house ; so Jack, with a bold face, and bolder intention, rapped gently at the door,it was useless-he tried again with no better success; he then began to hem aloud, but with no better reward. Hereupon, a little puzzled as how to awake the slumbers of Miss Brown, he got into the middle of the street, and begun with slight variations, the old song
“ Young Jack he was a frigate's-man,
A fisherman by trade,
Who was a waiting maid." Scarcely had he finished his first verse, and had fixed his eye upon the window just over the large painted letters of “ Brown, Fancy Bread Baker," and stepping backwards as he edged from the middle of the street on tiptoe, to see better into the chamber of the love of a sailor, when he found himself arrested in his backward progress, by coming stern-foremost against a human being. Jack hove about immediately, and axed pardon, taking off his hat, and smoothing his hair down, according to immemorial usage with all seamen when they stand before a gentleman or an officer-not that I mean to say the two are not in one,
,-but sometimes they vary: thus, we see gentlemen who are no officers, and I have seen officers who are no gentlemen ;-“ Axes your pardon, sir," said Jack, “ I hope I did not hurt you ?" The gentleman ihus accosted, turned the whites of his eyes to heaven, and merely answered, “ What a sin—and sober too !” Jack said " That was a sin which, in all probability, he should not be guilty of much longer, for he was going over to the Jolly Waterman, and please God," said he, “ I'll be as drunk as a methodist parson before twelve o'clock.” The wondering stranger resumed his steady conversation—"For shame, young man, for shame; had you been drunk, then one might have pardoned the sin of singing lewd songs in the streets of a Sunday evening; -but to be sober and err, is to confess a natural bias to do that which we ought not to do; and as for drunkenness, is it not written, · Be not drunk with wine, wherein there is excess:' therefore I say unto you, ‘sing unto him a new song,' and drink no longer to surfeit.” it is a new song with an old varsion,” said Ratline; and as for wine, I don't like it, I prefers grog, your worship; and if so be you can sing us a stave or two, blow me but I'll find some jolly chaps to join in the chorus.” “Go, sinner, go, Satan," said the tall, thin, sober gentleman“go, and tempt me not." “Good night to your honour," said Jack : “ much obliged for your advice.” “Go, I say," said the methodist, hitting Jack a rather unfriendly tap, “go, I say, and sin no more.” “ Go to the devil,” replied Ratline, " and let's have no more of your psalm-singing : but if you wants a new one, only listen to this:
" Oh Molly Brown, oh Molly Brown,
How can you use me so;
But never such a blow." The last word hardly escaped from the lips of Ratline before the door gently opened. The long gentleman strided down the street, and Jack across it: he stepped lightly up the steps, and in two minutes he was seated by the side of Mary Brown,-his whole family quite forgotten,
“Why, the methodist's quotations evanished from his memory, and the hand of Mary, like the magician's wand, to govern his present and future destiny.
Much I grieve to break off here for a month : but my time is come, and the devils, who follow the methodist indecently close, warn me that I am not to monopolize the whole of the Journal. This story, began apparently at random, will be found hereafter, to be true in its details; and if I myself, or my ghost, ever was on board the Undaunted, or if the circumstances occurred on board of that ship or not, the reader need not inquire. Certain it is, that the principal points are true; and that I myself was an intimate acquaintance of Mary Brown. Throw not away the Loves of a Sailor, because they begin in low life; the moral shall be good; and if I fail, hereafter, to move the feelings of the public, the head, and not the heart, shall be to blame.
THE MISERIES OF A NEW MEMBER OF THE YACHT CLUB.
« Oh, if you
love me, furl your sails,
SOMEBODY has somewhere very sensibly remarked, “that men are never ridiculous for not possessing any particular accomplishment. It is the endeavour to seem that which they are not, which justly exposes them to ridicule."
No man ever learnt from experience the truth of this axiom more thoroughly than myself; and I am about to expose my own weaknesses, and the miseries that resulted from them for the benefit of mankind.
My father was a respectable professional gentleman, who resided in an inland county, and being a younger son, my allowance was small, and my expectations were not very great. It so happened, however, that I was fortunate enough to win the affections of a young lady of very large property; and after all the usual impediments offered by the relatives of a rich young lady who has set her heart upon marrying a poor young gentleman had been surmounted or set at defiance, (for she was of age and under no control,) we were married by one of my brothers at the church of my native parish, and after an elegant déjeûné à la fourchette, we set off in a travelling carriage and four to spend our honeymoon at Brighton.
My young wife had been educated at a fashionable boarding-school near the metropolis, and she had acquired notions of fashion and style that were perfectly astonishing to her less sophisticated husband.
I can't imagine what made her first think of marrying me; I had led so quiet a life in my somewhat retired country town in the inland county before alluded to, that her accomplishments and fascinations dazzled and bewildered me, and had she not smiled in a most encouraging manner, I never should have thought of popping the question. I believe she thought, and still thinks me remarkably good-looking, and ladies being the best judges on such subjects, I am by no means inclined to affirm that she is mistaken.
When the residents of an inland county first look upon
" the sea, the sea, the open sea,” the event becomes an era in their existence. Never shall I forget the day of our arrival in Brighton; the vast deep lay before us, exceedingly blue, radiant with sunbeams, and so calm, that the pretty little pleasure-boats seemed to slumber on its bosom.
We drove to * The Ship; none of your York and Brunswick hotels for us; such places may be found in inland towns, and we were determined that, for the time being, we would be exclusively maritime. We therefere took a house on the Marine Parade, walked before breakfast on the chain-pier, and, neglecting our own carriage and horses, we took daily drives in a fly, yclept “ the Mermaid.”
Said Mrs. Cockle to me one morning—(I forget whether I have already informed the reader that my name is Cockle,) said Mrs. Cockle to me," my dear, I am quite delighted with the sea, let us take a marine mansion.”
“With all my heart,” said I. “And," added
fair bride, as our wealth will enable us to move in the first circles of fashion, you must become a member of the Royal Yacht Club. There is nothing so stylish as a yacht; the club' is entirely composed of noblemen and members of Parliament, and Cockle, my love, you must become a member.”
When a wife, who has enriched a husband, proposes agreeable ways of spending her own money, where is the man who could refuse her ? I had never yet put my foot in a boat, and therefore could not flatter myself that I was quite fit to undertake the management of a large vessel. But, thought I, “ the sea looks a mighty agreeable, sunshiny place, and the motion of a ship must be quite a lullaby to the nervesas to the names of the ropes and those things, I shall soon learn them; and by the end of the season, I shall be as good and practical a naval commander as any in the club."—At the wane of our honeymoon we left Brighton, proceeded to Portsmouth, embarked in a steam-vessel, and very soon landed at West Cowes, the head-quarters of the association of amateur nautical noblemen and gentlemen. Mrs. Cockle has a cousin, a Mr. Lorimer Lomax, an exquisite of a certain age, who is well known “about town," and piques himself on his dress and personal appearance. He is always to be found at the haunts of fashionable persons, at Melton, at Newmarket, at Brighton during the court season, in London during the spring months; and now it fortunately happened that he was residing at Cowes, and living constantly with the leading members of the club.
He was charmed to hear of my seafaring propensities, readily offered to introduce me to the commodore, and declared that a very excellent first-rate yacht was to be sold, the property of a young gentleman, who had found it convenient to sell off, and retire for a time to the continent.
My arrangements were soon made, I became master and commander of the cutter “Waterwagtail,” of 100 tons burden, and also of her crew, and I made my appearance on the parade in a straw hat, a blue check shirt, large rough blue trowsers, and a sailor's jacket ornamented with the button of the club.
I confess I felt rather like a mountebank, but my dear wife admired me, and indeed kept me in countenance, for she too had cloth trowsers, and upon her head a very unladylike cap.
When I enter on a new pursuit, I like to be given time to settle down calmly and gradually into the habits to which I have been hitherto unaccustomed ; as a new member of the yacht club I should have preferred being left to myself, to feel my way as it were, and like a cat on a wet floor, to put out one paw, and then the other, ere I too rashly ventured from dry land. should have liked to have remained at anchor for the first month or so, and indeed had it been possible to draw up the “ Waterwagtail” high and dry upon the beach, I should have infinitely preferred that arrangement, and should thus have got accustomed to the smell of pitch, before I was called upon to encounter the motion of the vessel.
But friends are always injudicious; and I had now unfortunately en. listed at an inauspicious moment. The whole squadron was on the eve of departure to Cherbourg, and I was congratulated on having joined them when an opportunity offered for at once enjoying a delightful voyage, visiting a French port, and looking at a French king and all the royal family.
I confess that a little qualm came over me as I listened to the enu'meration of these promised joys; but my wife was in an ecstacy, and her cousin, Mr. Lorimer Lomax, kindly offered to accompany us.The next morning we were to put to sea; we were therefore in no small bustle making preparations, and laying in stores for our first voyage.
“ The dawn was overcast, the morning lowered,” and when I looked out of my window, and saw the clouds, and heard the wind whistle, I at once decided that there would be no embarkation that day. But I was no longer my own master. Every body but myself seemed to exult in the fairness of the wind; to me it sounded very foul, and when I looked at the sea, and saw a quantity of what us landsmen call “white horses," I felt as if something had disagreed with me, and said in a supplicating tone to a “brother sailor,” who stood near me, “Of course we shall not sail to-day?” “Not sail!” he replied, “ to be sure we shall, this is just the breeze we wanted.”
It was too late to retreat ; I believe I had got some orders from the commodore about the time and order of our sailing, and the exact place allotted to the “Waterwagtail;" but of all this I knew nothing, my people on board had the management of my vessel, and now came my time for going on board, with my wife and her cousin.
It now really blew hard, I do not mean in my estimation alone, for it had done that all the morning; but all the people about me cast ominous looks at the skies, and seemed to my nervously excited ima. gination to consider us doomed creatures. When we got to the steps in front of the club-house, we found the little boat which was to convey us to our “Waterwagtail,” tossing about like a mad thing, now up, now down, and the water splashing over her. “ It is a tempting of Providence to think of getting into her," said I ; and my wife clinging to my arm, said, “ Had we not better go back ?" But Lorimer Lomax, though no sailor himself, seemed desperately bent on destruction to himself and us, and almost unconsciously he and my boatmen hurried us into the danger, and enveloped us in cloaks.
The boatmen seized their oars and away we went, rolling and tossing in a terrible manner, the shore receded, and the happy people walking on the immoveable parade grew less and less, and I now longed to tread