網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

me

you are well able to fight your own it to him, saying, with a bow, that battles, and your friend's too. Are “I hoped our quarrel had fairly been you willing to give me satisfaction settled, and that we should now be now at once for the insult conveyed friends." The young men around us in your speech ?"

cheered this act of mine, clapping their I replied, “I certainly was quite hands; he seemed greatly pleased, ready at all times to draw my sword and we shook hands and parted. I in so good a cause as defending help- went over, at Ellersly's desire, to see lessness against violence and wrong !" Von Klein, whose pale face lightened

So we all proceeded to adjourn to up at seeing me, and who repeatedly a meadow which lay behind a little kissed my hand in a transport of Inn on the opposite bank of the boyish gratitude. I have reason to Neckar. I forget the name of the believe that he never afterwards met Hof, but it was a famous spot for the with any annoyance during his sojourn decision of these matters.

at the University. All this hapAs we

were going out we met pened, I recollect, on a Monday. I Ellersly, who reported that his young was greatly depressed all the week. friend had suffered considerable hurt I was thoroughly angry with Miss from lighting, in his fall, on his hip, Cardonald. Her silence was hard to which was the poor boy's peccant part, be borne; and when she did write, Ellersly wanted to withdraw me and the few and frigid lines too plainly take up the quarrel himself, I never betrayed the indifference of the writer saw his gentle temper flame so high ; to her correspondent ; and I felt that but I would only permit him to any regard she might have had for accompany me as a second.

was becoming gradually extinWe fougl. for nearly ten minutes. guished; while in my own breast My adversary had more strength and pride and resentment were assuming weight, but I felt I was his superior the place where love had been. in activity and in temper, and cer- spent all this week taking long walks tainly his equal in skill; he was, through the neighbourhood, chewnevertheless, very cool, and fenced ing the cud of sweet and bitter fanwarily, and more on the defensive, as cies ;" but the gall prevailed. Yet if hiding his time ; till I chanced amidst the fermentations of my mind, with my sword to inflict a small reason was working itself into clear. wound just above his left eye, which ness, and resuming its throne. But appeared to distress him from the on Thursday came a few lines from blood flowing down and obstructing M'Clintock, bearing an old date, and his sight; his temper, too, was fast saying that my uncle had been ill failing, while I was becoming cooler now for a fortnight, and advising my every moment. He now lunged at immediate return (I had received no me furiously; when--making use of a Darragh letters for three weeks). trick of fence, taught to me by the Dreadfully shocked, grieved, and old corporal years ago–I struck his alarmed, I prepared every thing to sworddownwards, traversing my start for home next day. But on my blade with his towards the hilt, and going to the Post-office the following then with a strong and sudden jerk, morning, I saw my cousin Gilbert's I made his weapon to fly from his handwriting on a letter to me, sealed hand several yards to one side. He with black wax.

I broke it openstood before me looking pale and a mist rose, as if from its pages, troubled, with his head down, and his before my swimming eyes. I gave a arms crossed on his breast. I imme- cry; and staggering against a shop diately sheathed my own sword, and door, I fell on the street--for I had walking over to where his lay on the seen in the letter that my uncle mas ground, I picked it up, and presented dead!

THE PROGRESS OF THE BRITISHI XAVY.

[ocr errors]

seas,

Of the half million of spectators as our late colossal enemy is bitterly
of the recent magnificent and un- cognizant !
paralleled Naval Review, not one, And now we propose to have a
probably, beheld the close of the pa- little Naval Review of our own, by
geant with any feeling of doubt as to the aid of sundry old books, and
whether Britannia yet rules the divers private manuscript notes and
waves, nor whether the old lady has memoranda. We shall not seize you
any, the remotest, intention of relin- by the button, and, like Coleridge's
quishing her trident for a distaff. Ancient Mariner, compel you to un-
The spectator's pride in the wooden willingly listen to our narrative-
walls of Britannia, and his confidence you are free to go or stay, to hearken
that she requires no other bulwark, in a genial mood, or to imitate the
inasmuch as “ her march is o'er the deaf adder, as you list. But we really
mountain wave, her home is on the think that the subject of our gossip
deep," must have been a thousand-fold is such that, albeit you may already
confirmed, and he might apostrophise be partially familiar with the details, ,
his country in the words of Cowper :- you can hardly fail to be interested if

you are a true-born Briton ; for it is Mistress, at least while Providence shall of the rise and progress of our gloplease,

rious navy that we shall succinctly And trident-bearing Queen of the wido seas ! discourse.

The limit of a single article will Or he might exclaim, with Shak

oblige us to greatly condense our speare-

stores of information, and to be brief

even when we would willingly linger Let us be back'd with God, and with the

and amplify. We, therefore, shall

only lightly glance at the rise of our Which He hath giren for fence impregnable,

navy, down to the time of Henry And with their helps alone defend our

VII., in whose reign it first became selres; In them, and in ourselves, our safety lies.

an established royal institution and

service. We may very fittingly preGrand and truthful lines are these !

face our discourse, by referring to

instructive Av, and whoever has a spark of true

the entertaining and British patriotism in his boson pages of quaint old Purchas, from must proudly endorse the old re

whose “commendations of navigamark, that the Sovereign of these

tion, as an art worthy the care of the favoured Isles should receive the most worthy ; the Necessitie, Commoambassadors of foreign powers-on

ditie, Dignitie thereof," we extract the quarter-deck of a first-rater !

the following sagacious and pertinent Yes, Britain's strength and defence

sayings :-_“The sea covereth one in the past was, in the present is,

halfe of this patrimony of manand in the future must and will be,

thus should man at oace loose halfe her oak leviathans. They are her

his inheritance, if the art of naviga

tion did not enable him to manage shield and her impregnable bulwark ; they are her pride and her glory ;

this untamed beast, and with the they are her ministers of vengeance

bridle of the winds, and saddle of wherever oceans and seas upheave

his shipping, to make him serviceatheir waters; they are

ble. Now for the services of the sea,

they are innumerable : it hath on it The armainents which thunder-strike the tempests and calmes, to affect and walls

stupefie the subtilest philosopher ; of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,

Eustaineth moveable fortresses for And monarels tremble in their capitals the souldier, mayntayneth, as in our

Island, a wall of defence, and a waterie garrison to guard the State; entertaines the sunne with vapours, the moone with obsequiousnesse, the starres also with a natural looking glasse." Elsewhere, he remarks "How little had we knowne of the world, and the wonders of God in the world, had not the sea opened us a passage into all lands. Pegasus, the winged horse, which (the poets fained) with the stroke of his foot first made Helicon, the muses' well, to spring, was the issue of Neptune, and that snaky-headed monster, Medusa. The mariner seems roughhewen and rude, according to the ocean that breeds him; but he that can play with those dangers which would transforme others into stones, and dares dwell within so few inches of death; that calls the most tempestuous elements his parents; he, I say, is the true Pegasus, that with his wing-like sailes flies over the world; which hath helped to deliver Andromeda (geography) before chained to the rocks, and ready to be devoured of that monster, Ignorance.'

19

Old chronicles tell us that Alfred the Great had a number of unusually large and powerful galleys constructed expressly to resist the Danes, and to serve only as vessels of war, and thus he certainly formed the nucleus of a navy; but his successors were not so far-sighted, for all our early monarchs, from before the era of the Norman conquest until the time of Henry VII., were accustomed to purchase, hire, or impress merchant vessels whenever they wished to gather together a fleet for warlike purposes. The mariners engaged attended almost solely to the management of the ships, the soldiers on board doing the fighting. Various ports were, indeed, compelled by their charters to keep or provide a certain number of suitable vessels for the national use, whenever required. Thus, the Cinque Ports had to supply fifty-seven ships, each with a crew of twentytwo seamen-from which we may form some idea of their size. When Richard Coeur de Lion went forth as a crusader, he was accompanied by the largest and best appointed fleet ever seen up to that period-numbering in all some three hundred vessels, including about a dozen emphatically called "tall shippes." The size and

rig of the vessels at this period were very various, and their names are singular enough, as "dromonds," "busses," " galliones," vissiers," "schuyts," &c. We happen to have in our note-book a copy of the "Laws and Ordinances" appointed by this king for his navy, which is not only intrinsically curious, but also valuable as being, we believe, the earliest "articles of war," relative to the naval service, extant. We therefore here insert it verbatim :

66

1. That whoso killed any person on shipboard should be tied with him that was slain, and throwen into the sea.

2. And if he killed him on the land, he should, in like manner, be tied with the partie slaine, and be buried with him in the earth.

3. He that shall be convicted by lawfull witnes to draw out his knife or weapon, to the intent to strike any man, or that hath striken any to the drawing of blood, shall loose his hand.

4. Also he that striketh any person with his hand without effusion of blood,

shall be plunged three times in the sea.

5. Item, whoso speaketh any oppro brious or contumelious wordes in reviling or cursing one another, for so oftentimes as he hath reviled shall pay so many ounces of

silver.

If he was unable, what would be the alternative punishment?

6. Item, a thiefe or felon that hath stollen, being lawfully convicted, shall havehis head shorne, and boyling (') pitch powred upon his head, and feathers or down strawed upon the same, whereby he may be knownen, and so at the first landing place they shall come to, there to be cast up.

The above laws are tolerably stringent, and some of them are pleasantly suggestive of the humanity of the good old times. It will be seen by the last ordinance that "tarring and feathering" is by no means a modern punishment, but our Lynch-law friends don't boil their tar before applying it to the victim, nor do they shave his poll to increase the torture.

Even before this early period, England stubbornly claimed what was vaguely called the "sovereignty of the seas," and enforced it by compelling friendly foreign ships to lower their flags or topsails as a token of homage and acknowledgment of navalsupremacy. Two centuries ago the

6

a

cannon

learned Selden, in his “Mare Clau- his reign, built what was the very sum,” declared that “ the English first ship of the royal navy, the have a hereditary, uninterrupted “ Great Harry.” She is said to have right to the sovereignty of these seas, cost no less than £14,000; equivalent, conveyed to them from their earliest we presume, to ten times that sum at ancestors, m trust for their latest the present day. She had a very posterity."

long, if not very glorious existence, In 1347, Edward III. blockaded and was finally burnt by accident in Calais with a fleet of seven hundred 1553. Henry VIII. emulated and and thirty-eight vessels, manned by surpassed his predecessor by building, about thirteen thousand seamen- in 1513, the celebrated “Henri Grace little more than a score to each sail a Dieu," of 1000 tons burthen. This on an average ; and although there is was in all respects a remarkable reason to suppose that a few of these ship, being not only the largest ever vessels were of a very respectable built in England up to that period, size, yet the majority were not more but also marking a decided era of than thirty to fifty tons burthen each. progress in the architecture and We may here add that it has not equipment of men-of-war. She was been ascertained precisely when the first ship fitted with four masts,

were first used on board and also the first three-decker, and English ships, but probably about the first known to have her cannon the latter end of the fifteenth, or mounted at port-holes. Judging by early part of the sixteenth century. an engraving of this ship before us, At any rate, it is certain that for a she must have been a most pictucousiderable period after their intro- resque object. Of her eighty guns, duction they were mounted only en which were of all sizes, fifty-four barbette, i.e.,

to fire over the bulwarks. were mounted in two batteries on Port-holes in the sides of ships were her broadsides, and the residue on of later invention. At this period the forecastle, bows, and stern. The the largest ships had two masts, each lower battery was much too near the with a round top, resembling a huge water to be of any service except in basket, to sustain cross-bowmen and a calm sea --a fault of construction javelin-men. Cumbrous erections prevalent to a comparatively recent on the deck forward and aft were date. Her stern rose to a very great called fore-castle and stern-castles-- elevation, and it, and the immense the former name yet being somewhat stern-castle, or poop, were profusely absurdly retained, although the last carved and decorated. At each corvestige of its origin no longer exists ner of the poop, gangways, and foreon shipboard.

castle, were round towers, surmountHenry VII., at the beginning of ed with a species of cupola. From

Apropos of Ireland, In a very curious production, by an anonymous writer, of the date 1433, entitled “The Prologue of the Processe of the Libel of English Policie," &c., occur the following very interesting lines :

The Irishmen have cause like to ours,

Our land and hers together to defend,
That no enemie should hurt ne offend
Ireland ne us; but as one commontie
Should helpe well to keepe about the sea :
For they have havens great, and goodly bayes,
Sure, wide, and deep, and good assayes [access? ),
At Waterford ; and cores many one:
And as men sayne in England, be there none
Petter barens ships in to ride,
No more sure for enemies to abide.
Why speak I thus so much of Ireland ?
For all so much as I can understand,
It is fertile for things that there doe growe
And multiplien ; loke who lust to knowe!
So large, so good, and so commodious,
That to declare is strange and marvailous."

were

her bows projected an enormous galleys with lead, fastened with beak or prow, above which rose a copper nails. Solomon was rightbowsprit of a single spar. Each of nothing new under the sun ! three of her lower masts supported We now come to the reign of King topmasts and topgallants, but the Hal's illustrious daughter, Queen fourth, or mizzen, had only a light Elizabeth, who, with all her faults topmast. At the head of each mast and weaknesses, was every inch a were deep round tops. Her mast truly great sovereign, and therefore heads, and the yard arms, are all re- we do not marvel at the fact that, in presented as being adorned with the words of Camden,

"she justly emblazoned flags or ensigus, and acquired the glorious title of the streamers.

Restorer of Naval Power, and SoveBluff King Hal appears to have reign of the Northern Seas, insodone much towards the formation of much that foreign nations England's royal navy, and he aided struck with awe at her proceedings, maritime enterprise generally, and and were now willing respectfully to also greatly encouraged merchants court a power which had so lately and mariners in various ways. Above been the object of their contempt." all, he was the founder of Woolwich, From the beginning to the end of her Deptford, and Portsmouth dockyards, long and glorious career, Elizabeth the Trinity House, &c., and he placed never ceased to do her utmost to the navy on a permanent footing, by strengthen and improve her navy, establishing an Admiralty and Navy and with what immense success, the Office, and assigning fixed rates of annals of her reign eloquently testify, pay to officers and men. Seamen She made great and beneficial received five shillings per month. changes in the royal dockyards, and In the last year of his reign the the administration of naval affairs navy numbered more than a hundred generally ; improved the chief ports ; ships, their aggregate tonnage being caused gunpowder and brass cannon 12,455.

to be of home manufacture; invited We need not linger over the two able foreign sea captains to enter her succeeding reigns. It is, however, service ; encouraged maritime enterworthy of remark, that in the reign prise and discovery; and remodelled of Edward VI. the three ships sent the Admiralty, raising the salaries of forth to find a north-east passage to the officers, liberally rewarding merit, Cathay or China (in other words, our and doubling the pay of the seamen, first Arctic expedition) under com- giving them ten shillings per month, mand of the unfortunate Sir Hugh and abundant food. The great event Willoughby, were built expressly for of her reign was the defeat of the that adventurous service in an unpre- Spanish Armada, at which momencedentedly strong manner, and their tous crisis this lion-hearted queen keels and bottoms were sheathed exclaimed-_“I have but the body of with lea I. This was at least a step a weak and feeble woman, but I have in the right direction, yet it was not the heart of a king, and of a king of improved upon for centuries ! It was England, too ; and I think foul scorn not until 1761 that a man-of-war that Parma, or Spain, or any prince (the “ Alarm,” a 32-gun frigate) was of Europe, should dare to invade the tirst coppered, and more than twenty border of my realms ; to which, years then elapsed ere this highly rather than any dishonour should beneficial innovation became general. grow by me, I, myself, will take up How slow were our grandfathers (to mus." Heroic and immortal words, go no further back) to adopt even the those ! and spoken not in a spirit of most obvious improvements !

Even vain boasting, but from the inmost so late as 1833, the often tried but soul. The destinies of the greatest never successful plan of lead sheath- nation on earth were safe in the ing was once more and for the last keeping of such a woman. time used on a man-of-war ; but this About half a century ago, when resuscitation shared the fate of all Napoleon the Great threatened to preceding ones. What is especially invade England, a work was officially worthy of observation, is the fact drawn up from the records in the that the ancient Romans are posi- Tower of London, and printed by tively known to have sheathed their command of George III., under title

« 上一頁繼續 »