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know. They haven't no rank as officers, nor so much pay as a petty officer, and yet they give themselves moro airs than a licutenant."
"I'll tell you why,” replied Anderson. “A licutenant takes care what he is about. Ho is an officer, and has something to lose; but a midshipman has nothing to losc; and therefore he cares about nothing. You can't break a midshipman, as the saying is, unless you break his neck. And they have necks which arn't casily brokcu, that's sartain.”
“They do sccm to have more lives than a cat,” observed my father; who after a pause continued,
“Well, I was saying how hard it was to get an apology out of a midshipman; I'll just tell you what took place on board of one ship I served in. There was a young midshipman on board who was mighty free with his tongue: he didn't care what he said to anybody, from the captain downward. He'd have his joke, come what would, and he'd set everybody a-laughing : punish him as much as you please, it was all the same. One day, when we were off Halifax barbour, the master, who was a good-tempered fellow enough, but not over bright, was angry with this young chap for something that he had not done, and called him a 'confounded young bear. Upon which the youngster runs to the jacob ladder of the main rigging, climbs up, and as soon as he had gained the main rattlings, he cries out, · Well, if I'm a bear, you ar'n't fit to carry guts to a bear.' What, sir ?' cried the master. Mutiny, by heavens! Up to the mast-head, sir, directly.' 'Don't you see that I was going of my own accord ? replied the midshipman; for, you soe, lo knew that he would be sent there, so he went up thio rigging on purpose. Well, this was rather a serious affair ; and so the master reports it to the first lieutenant, who reports it to the captain, who sends for the youngster on the quarter-deck at the time that the ship’s company were at quarters. “Mr. - (I forget his name), said the captain (drawing himself up to his full height, and perhaps an inch or two above it, as they say), “you have been guilty of disrespect to your superior officer, in telling him that he was not fit to carry guts to a bear' (the captain could hardly help laughing); ‘now, sir,' continued he, recovering himself, 'I give you your choice ; either you will make an apology to Mr. Owen, on this quarter-deck, or you must quit my ship immediately. “Sir,' replied the midshipman, 'I don't think it quite fair that the master should first punish me himself, and then complain to you afterwards. He has taken the law into his own hands alrcady, by mast-heading me for eight hours, and now he makes a complaint to you; but I am always ready to do as you wish; and to please you, I will make an apology. There is some truth in your observation,' replied the captain, and I have pointed the saine out to the master; but still this is a breach of discipline which cannot be passed over, and requires a public retraction before the wholo ship's company. I therefore insist upon your retracting what you have said.' Certainly, sir,' replied the youngster. Mr. Owen,' continued he, turning to the master, “I said that you were not fit to carry guts to a bear: I was in the wrong, and I retract with pleasure, for I am perfectly satisfied that you are fit to carry them.' 'Sir!' cried the captain. 'O, Captain G--- ! interrupted the master, who did not take the joke, “I'm perfectly satisfied. The young gentleman sces his error, and has retracted; I ask no more.' "If you are satisfied, sir,' replied the captain, biting his lips, of course I have nothing more to say. Youngster, you may go to your duty, and recollect that you never again use such expressions to your superior officer;' and, said he, in a low tone, ‘I may add, never venture in my presence to make such an apology as that again.""
I never saw old Anderson laugh so much as he did at this story of my father's. They continued to talk and smoke their pipes till about nine o'clock, when my father and he went to the Hospital, and Bramble took possession of a bed which had been prepared for him in my mother's house.
IN WHICH I LEARN THE HISTORY OF OLD NANNY.
The next day, as soon as I had finished a letter to Bessy, in which I gave her a detail of what had passed, I went to old Nanny's, to persuade her, if possible, to tell me her history. She was not at home, the door of her house was locked, and the shutters of the shop fastened. I was about to return to Fisher's Alley, when I perceived her hobbling down the street. I thought it better to make it appear as if I met her by accident; so I crossed over the way, and walked towards her. “Well, mother,” said I, "are you out so early ?"
“Ah, Jack ! is it you? yes: it is through you that I have had to take so long a walk.”
“Yes; those presents you brought me. I'm almost dead. Why do you bring such things? But I did not do badly, that's the truth.”
I knew from this admission that old Nanny had sold them for more than she expected ; indeed she proved it, by saying, as she arrived at her house, “Well, Jack, it's very troublesome to have to walk so
but as you cannot get me bottles or those kind of things, you must bring me what you can, and I must make the best of them. I don't mind trouble for your sake, Jack. Now take the key, unlock the door, and then take down the shutters; and mind how you walk about, Jack, or you'll break half the things in my shop.” I did as she requested, and then we sat down together at the door as usual.
* I think I shall go away to-morrow, or early the next morning, mother,” said I; " for Bramble is here, and he never stays long from his work.”
“ That's all right; he sets a good example; and, Jack, if you do go, see if you can't beg a few more shells for me: I like shells."
· Yes, mother, I will not forget; but, as this is the last day I shall see you for some time, will
not keep your promise to me, and tell me your history?"
“ Jack, Jack, you are the most persevering creature I ever did see. I'm sure I shall be worried out of my life until I tell you, and so I may as well tell you at once, and there'll be an end of it; but I wish you had not asked me, Jack, I do indeed. I thought of it last
night when I was in bed, and at one time I made up my mind that I would not tell you, and then I thought again that I would; for, Jack, as I said yesterday, there's a lesson in every life, and a warning in too many, and maybe mine will prove a warning to you, so far as to make you prevent a mother being so foolish as I have been.
“Now, Jack, listen to me; mine is an old story; but in most cases the consequences have not been so fatal. I shall not tell you my name; it was once a fair one, but now tarnished. I was the only daughter of a merchant and shipowner, a rich man, and the first person in consequence in the seaport town where I was born and brought up. I never knew my mother, who died a year after I was born. I was brought up as most girls are who have no mother or brothers; in short, I was much indulged by my father, and flattered by other people. I was well educated, as you may suppose ; and, moreover, what you may not credit quite so easily, I was very handsome. In short, I was a beauty and a fortune, at the head of the society of the place, caressed, indulged, and flattered by all. This, if it did not spoil me, at least made me wilful. I had many offers, and many intended offers, which I nipped in the bud; and I was twenty-three before I saw any one who pleased me. At last, a vessel came in consigned to the house, and the captain was invited to dinner,
a handsome, careless young man, constantly talking about the qualities of his ship; and, to my surprise, paying me little or none of that attention which I now considered as my due. This piqued me, and in the end I set my affections on him : either ho