By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Jacob Faithful
Author: Marryat, Frederick, 1792-1848
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Jacob Faithful" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Jacob Faithful, by Captain Marryat.


Captain Frederick Marryat was born July 10 1792, and died August 8 1848.
He retired from the British navy in 1828 in order to devote himself to
writing.  In the following 20 years he wrote 26 books, many of which are
among the very best of English literature, and some of which are still
in print.

Marryat had an extraordinary gift for the invention of episodes in his
stories.  He says somewhere that when he sat down for the day's work, he
never knew what he was going to write.  He certainly was a literary

"Jacob Faithful" was published in 1834, the fifth book to flow from
Marryat's pen.  The story tells the life and adventures of a boy who was
born and brought up on a lighter (small river-barge) on the River
Thames as it flows through London.  It gives an extremely interesting
contemporary picture of life in London and on the river in the early
part of the nineteenth century.

This e-text was transcribed in 1998 by Nick Hodson, and was reformatted
in 2003, and again in 2005.





Gentle reader, I was born upon the water--not upon the salt and angry
ocean, but upon the fresh and rapid-flowing river.  It was in a floating
sort of box, called a lighter, and upon the river Thames, at low water,
when I first smelt the mud.  This lighter was manned (an expression
amounting to bullism, if not construed _kind_-ly) by my father, my
mother, and your humble servant.  My father had the sole charge--he was
monarch of the deck: my mother, of course, was queen, and I was the

Before I say one word about myself, allow me dutifully to describe my
parents.  First, then, I will portray my queen mother.  Report says,
that when she first came on board of the lighter, a lighter figure and a
lighter step never pressed a plank; but as far as I can tax my
recollection, she was always a fat, unwieldy woman.  Locomotion was not
to her taste--gin was.  She seldom quitted the cabin--never quitted the
lighter: a pair of shoes may have lasted her for five years for the wear
and tear she took out of them.  Being of this domestic habit, as all
married women ought to be, she was always to be found when wanted; but
although always at hand, she was not always on her feet.  Towards the
close of the day, she lay down upon her bed--a wise precaution when a
person can no longer stand.  The fact was, that my honoured mother,
although her virtue was unimpeachable, was frequently seduced by liquor;
and although constant to my father, was debauched and to be found in bed
with that insidious assailer of female uprightness--_gin_.  The lighter,
which might have been compared to another garden of Eden, of which my
mother was the Eve, and my father the Adam to consort with, was entered
by this serpent who tempted her; and if she did not eat, she drank,
which was even worse.  At first, indeed--and I may mention it to prove
how the enemy always gains admittance under a specious form--she drank
it only to keep the cold out of her stomach, which the humid atmosphere
from the surrounding water appeared to warrant.  My father took his pipe
for the same reason; but, at the time that I was born, he smoked and she
drank from morning to night, because habit had rendered it almost
necessary to their existence.  The pipe was always to his lip, the glass
incessantly to hers.  I would have defied any cold ever to have
penetrated into their stomachs;--but I have said enough of my mother for
the present; I will now pass on to my father.

My father was a puffy, round-bellied, long-armed, little man, admirably
calculated for his station in, or rather out of, society.  He could
manage a lighter as well as anybody; but he could do no more.  He had
been brought up to it from his infancy.  He went on shore for my mother,
and came on board again--the only remarkable event in his life.  His
whole amusement was his pipe; and, as there is a certain indefinable
link between smoking and philosophy, my father, by dint of smoking, had
become a perfect philosopher.  It is no less strange than true, that we
can puff away our cares with tobacco, when, without it, they remain a
burden to existence.  There is no composing draught like the draught
through the tube of a pipe.  The savage warriors of North America
enjoyed the blessing before we did; and to the pipe is to be ascribed
the wisdom of their councils and the laconic delivery of their
sentiments.  It would be well introduced into our own legislative
assembly.  Ladies, indeed, would no longer peep down through the
ventilator; but we should have more sense and fewer words.  It is also
to tobacco that is to be ascribed the stoical firmness of those American
warriors, who, satisfied with the pipes in their mouths, submitted with
perfect indifference to the torture of their enemies.  From the
well-known virtues of this weed arose that peculiar expression when you
irritate another, that you "put his pipe out."

My father's pipe, literally and metaphorically, was never put out.  He
had a few apophthegms which brought every disaster to a happy
conclusion; and as he seldom or never indulged in words, these sayings
were deeply impressed upon my infant memory.  One was, "_It's no use
crying; what's done can't be helped_."  When once these words escaped
his lips, the subject was never renewed.  Nothing appeared to move him:
the abjurations of those employed in the other lighters, barges,
vessels, and boats of every description, who were contending with us for
the extra foot of water, as we drifted up or down with the tide,
affected him not, further than an extra column or two of smoke rising
from the bowl of his pipe.  To my mother he used but one expression,
"_Take it coolly_;" but it always had the contrary effect with my
mother, as it put her more in a passion.  It was like pouring oil upon
flame; nevertheless, the advice was good, had it ever been followed.
Another favourite expression of my father's when anything went wrong,
and which was of the same pattern as the rest of his philosophy, was,
"_Better luck next time_."  These aphorisms were deeply impressed upon
my memory; I continually recalled them to mind, and thus I became a
philosopher long before my wise teeth were in embryo, or I had even shed
the first set with which kind Nature presents us, that in the petticoat
age we may fearlessly indulge in lollipop.

My father's education had been neglected.  He could neither write nor
read; but although he did not exactly, like Cadmus, invent letters, he
had accustomed himself to certain hieroglyphics, generally speaking
sufficient for his purposes, and which might be considered as an
artificial memory.  "I can't write nor read, Jacob," he would say; "I
wish I could; but look, boy, I means this mark for three quarters of a
bushel.  Mind you recollects it when I axes you, or I'll be blowed if I
don't wallop you."  But it was only a case of peculiar difficulty which
would require a new hieroglyphic, or extract such a long speech from my
father.  I was well acquainted with his usual scratches and dots, and
having a good memory, could put him right when he was puzzled with some
misshapen _x_ or _z_, representing some unknown quantity, like the same
letters in algebra.

I have said that I was heir-apparent, but I did not say that I was the
only child born to my father in his wedlock.  My honoured mother had had
two more children; but the first, who was a girl, had been provided for
by a fit of the measles; and the second, my elder brother, by stumbling
over the stern of the lighter when he was three years old.  At the time
of the accident my mother had retired to her bed, a little the worse for
liquor; my father was on deck forward, leaning against the windlass,
soberly smoking his evening pipe.  "What was that?" exclaimed my father,
taking his pipe out of his mouth, and listening; "I shouldn't wonder if
that wasn't Joe."  And my father put in his pipe again, and smoked away
as before.

My father was correct in his surmises.  It _was_ Joe who had made the
splash which roused him from his meditations, for the next morning Joe
was nowhere to be found.  He was, however, found some days afterwards;
but, as the newspapers say, and as may well be imagined, the vital spark
was extinct; and, moreover, the eels and chubs had eaten off his nose
and a portion of his chubby face, so that, as my father said, "he was of
no use to nobody."  The morning after the accident my father was up
early, and had missed poor little Joe.  He went into the cabin, smoked
his pipe, and said nothing.  As my brother did not appear as usual for
his breakfast, my mother called out for him in a harsh voice; but Joe
was out of hearing, and as mute as a fish.  Joe opened not his mouth in
reply, neither did my father.  My mother then quitted the cabin, and
walked round the lighter, looked into the dog-kennel to ascertain if he
was asleep with the great mastiff--but Joe was nowhere to be found.

"Why, what can have become of Joe?" cried my mother, with maternal alarm
in her countenance, appealing to my father, as she hastened back to the
cabin.  My father spoke not, but taking the pipe out of his mouth,
dropped the bowl of it in a perpendicular direction till it landed
softly on the deck, then put it into his mouth again, and puffed
mournfully.  "Why, you don't mean to say he is overboard?" screamed my

My father nodded his head, and puffed away at an accumulated rate.  A
torrent of tears, exclamations, and revilings succeeded to this
characteristic announcement.  My father allowed my mother to exhaust
herself.  By the time when she had finished, so was his pipe; he then
knocked out the ashes, and quietly observed, "It's no use crying; what's
done can't be helped," and proceeded to refill the bowl.

"Can't be helped!" cried my mother; "but it might have been helped."

"Take it coolly," replied my father.

"Take it coolly!" replied my mother in a rage--"take it coolly!  Yes,
you're for taking everything coolly: I presume, if I fell overboard you
would be taking it coolly."

"You would be taking it coolly, at all events," replied my imperturbable

"O dear!  O dear!" cried my poor mother; "two poor children, and lost
them both!"

"Better luck next time," rejoined my father; "so, Sall, say no more
about it."

My father continued for some time to smoke his pipe, and my mother to
pipe her eye, until at last my father, who was really a kind-hearted
man, rose from the chest upon which he was seated, went to the cupboard,
poured out a teacupful of _gin_, and handed it to my mother.  It was
kindly done of him, and my mother was to be won by kindness.  It was a
pure offering in the spirit, and taken in the spirit in which it was
offered.  After a few repetitions, which were rendered necessary from
its potency being diluted with her tears, grief and recollection were
drowned together, and disappeared like two lovers who sink down entwined
in each other's arms.

With this beautiful metaphor, I shall wind up the episode of my
unfortunate brother Joe.

It was about a year after the loss of my brother that I was ushered into
the world, without any other assistants or spectators than my father and
Dame Nature, who I believe to be a very clever midwife if not interfered
with.  My father, who had some faint ideas of Christianity, performed
the baptismal rites by crossing me on the forehead with the end of his
pipe, and calling me Jacob: as for my mother being churched, she had
never been but once to church in her life.  In fact, my father and
mother never quitted the lighter, unless when the former was called out
by the superintendent or proprietor, at the delivery or shipment of a
cargo, or was once a month for a few minutes on shore to purchase
necessaries.  I cannot recall much of my infancy; but I recollect that
the lighter was often very brilliant with blue and red paint, and that
my mother used to point it out to me as "so pretty," to keep me quiet.
I shall therefore pass it over, and commence at the age of five years,
at which early period I was of some little use to my father.  Indeed I
was almost as forward as some boys at ten.  This may appear strange; but
the fact is, that my ideas although bounded, were concentrated.  The
lighter, its equipments, and its destination were the microcosm of my
infant imagination; and my ideas and thoughts being directed to so few
objects, these objects were deeply impressed, and their value fully
understood.  Up to the time that I quitted the lighter, at eleven years
old, the banks of the river were the boundaries of my speculations.  I
certainly comprehended something of the nature of trees and houses; but
I do not think that I was aware that the former _grew_.  From the time
that I could recollect them on the banks of the river, they appeared to
be exactly of the same size as they were when first I saw them, and I
asked no questions.  But by the time that I was ten years old, I knew
the name of the reach of the river, and every point--the depth of water,
and the shallows, the drift of the current, and the ebb and flow of the
tide itself.  I was able to manage the lighter as it floated down with
the tide; for what I lacked in strength I made up with dexterity arising
from constant practice.

It was at the age of eleven years that a catastrophe took place which
changed my prospects in life, and I must, therefore, say a little more
about my father and mother, bringing up their history to that period.
The propensity of my mother to ardent spirits had, as always is the
case, greatly increased upon her, and her corpulence had increased in
the same ratio.  She was now a most unwieldy, bloated mountain of flesh,
such a form as I have never since beheld, although, at the time, she did
not appear to me to be disgusting, accustomed to witness imperceptibly
her increase, and not seeing any other females, except at a distance.
For the last two years she had seldom quitted her bed--certainly she did
not crawl out of the cabin more than five minutes during the week--
indeed, her obesity and habitual intoxication rendered her incapable.
My father went on shore for a quarter of an hour once a month, to
purchase gin, tobacco, red herrings, and decayed ship-biscuits;--the
latter was my principal fare, except when I could catch a fish over the
sides, as we lay at anchor.  I was, therefore, a great water-drinker,
not altogether from choice, but from the salt nature of my food, and
because my mother had still sense enough left to discern that "Gin
wasn't good for little boys."  But a great change had taken place in my
father.  I was now left almost altogether in charge of the deck, my
father seldom coming up except to assist me in shooting the bridges, or
when it required more than my exertions to steer clear of the crowds of
vessels which we encountered when between them.  In fact, as I grew more
capable, my father became more incapable, and passed most of his time in
the cabin, assisting my mother in emptying the great stone bottle.  The
woman had prevailed upon the man, and now both were guilty in partaking
of the forbidden fruit of the Juniper Tree.  Such was the state of
affairs in our little kingdom when the catastrophe occurred which I am
now about to relate.

One fine summer's evening we were floating up with the tide, deeply
laden with coals, to be delivered at the proprietor's wharf, some
distance above Putney Bridge; a strong breeze sprang up and checked our
progress, and we could not, as we expected, gain the wharf that night.
We were about a mile and a half above the bridge when the tide turned
against us, and we dropped our anchor.  My father who, expecting to
arrive that evening, had very unwillingly remained sober, waiting until
the lighter had swung to the stream, and then saying to me, "Remember,
Jacob, we must be at the wharf early tomorrow morning, so keep alive,"
went into the cabin to indulge in his potations, leaving me in
possession of the deck, and also of my supper, which I never ate below,
the little cabin being so unpleasantly close.  Indeed, I took all my
meals _al fresco_, and, unless the nights were intensely cold, slept on
deck, in the capacious dog-kennel abaft, which had once been tenanted by
the large mastiff; but he had been dead some years, was thrown
overboard, and, in all probability, had been converted into savoury
sausages at 1 shilling per pound weight.  Some time after his decease, I
had taken possession of his apartment and had performed his duty.  I had
finished my supper, which was washed down with a considerable portion of
Thames water, for I always drank more when above the bridges, having an
idea that it tasted more pure and fresh.  I had walked forward and
looked at the cable to see if all was right, and then, having nothing
more to do, I lay down on the deck, and indulged in the profound
speculations of a boy of eleven years old.  I was watching the stars
above me, which twinkled faintly, and appeared to me ever and anon to be
extinguished and then relighted.  I was wondering what they could be
made of, and how they came there, when of a sudden I was interrupted in
my reveries by a loud shriek, and perceived a strong smell of something
burning.  The shrieks were renewed again and again, and I had hardly
time to get upon my legs when my father burst up from the cabin, rushed
over the side of the lighter, and disappeared under the water.  I caught
a glimpse of his features as he passed me, and observed fright and
intoxication blended together.  I ran to the side where he had
disappeared, but could see nothing but a few eddying circles as the tide
rushed quickly past.  For a few seconds I remained staggered and
stupefied at his sudden disappearance and evident death, but I was
recalled to recollection by the smoke which encompassed me, and the
shrieks of my mother, which were now fainter and fainter, and I hastened
to her assistance.

A strong, empyreumatic, thick smoke ascended from the hatchway of the
cabin, and, as it had now fallen calm, it mounted straight up the air in
a dense column.  I attempted to go in, but so soon as I encountered the
smoke I found that it was impossible; it would have suffocated me in
half a minute.  I did what most children would have done in such a
situation of excitement and distress--I sat down and cried bitterly.  In
about ten minutes I moved my hands, with which I had covered up my face,
and looked at the cabin hatch.  The smoke had disappeared, and all was
silent.  I went to the hatchway, and although the smell was still
overpowering, I found that I could bear it.  I descended the little
ladder of three steps, and called "Mother!" but there was no answer.
The lamp fixed against the after bulk-head, with a glass before it, was
still alight, and I could see plainly to every corner of the cabin.
Nothing was burning--not even the curtains to my mother's bed appeared
to be singed.  I was astonished--breathless with fear, with a trembling
voice, I again called out "Mother!"  I remained more than a minute
panting for breath, and then ventured to draw back the curtains of the
bed--my mother was not there! but there appeared to be a black mass in
the centre of the bed.  I put my hand fearfully upon it--it was a sort
of unctuous, pitchy cinder.  I screamed with horror--my little senses
reeled--I staggered from the cabin and fell down on the deck in a state
amounting almost to insanity: it was followed by a sort of stupor, which
lasted for many hours.

As the reader may be in some doubt as to the occasion of my mother's
death, I must inform him that she perished in that very peculiar and
dreadful manner, which does sometimes, although rarely, occur, to those
who indulge in an immoderate use of spirituous liquors.  Cases of this
kind do, indeed, present themselves but once in a century, but the
occurrence of them is too well authenticated.  She perished from what is
termed _spontaneous combustion_, an inflammation of the gases generated
from the spirits absorbed into the system.  It is to be presumed that
the flames issuing from my mother's body completely frightened out of
his senses my father, who had been drinking freely; and thus did I lose
both my parents, one by fire and the other by water, at one and the same



It was broad daylight when I awoke from my state of bodily and mental
imbecility.  For some time I could not recall to my mind all that had
happened: the weight which pressed upon my feelings told me that it was
something dreadful.  At length, the cabin hatch, still open, caught my
eye; I recalled all the horrors of the preceding evening, and
recollected that I was left alone in the lighter.  I got up and stood on
my feet in mute despair.  I looked around me--the mist of the morning
was hanging over the river, and the objects on shore were with
difficulty to be distinguished.  I was chilled from lying all night in
the heavy dew, and, perhaps, still more from previous and extraordinary
excitement.  Venture to go down into the cabin I dare not.  I had an
indescribable awe, a degree of horror at what I had seen, that made it
impossible; still I was unsatisfied, and would have given worlds, if I
had had them, to explain the mystery.  I turned my eyes from the cabin
hatch to the water, thought of my father, and then, for more than half
an hour, watched the tide as it ran up--my mind in a state of vacancy.
As the sun rose, the mist gradually cleared away; trees, houses, and
green fields, other barges coming up with the tide, boats passing and
repassing, the barking of dogs, the smoke issuing from the various
chimneys, all broke upon me by degrees; and I was recalled to the sense
that I was in a busy world, and had my own task to perform.  The last
words of my father--and his injunctions had ever been a law to me--were,
"Mind, Jacob, we must be up at the wharf early to-morrow morning."  I
prepared to obey him.  Purchase the anchor I could not; I therefore
slipped the cable, lashing a broken sweep to the end of it, as a
buoy-rope, and once more the lighter was at the mercy of the stream,
guided by a boy of eleven years old.  In about two hours I was within a
hundred yards of the wharf, and well in-shore, I hailed for assistance,
and two men, who were on board of the lighters moored at the wharf,
pushed off in a skiff to know what it was that I wanted.  I told them
that I was alone in the lighter, without anchor or cable, and requested
them to secure her.  They came on board, and in a few minutes the
lighter was safe alongside of the others.  As soon as the lashings were
passed, they interrogated me as to what had happened, but although the
fulfilling of my father's last injunctions had borne up my spirits, now
that they were obeyed a reaction took place.  I could not answer them; I
threw myself down on the deck in a paroxysm of grief, and cried as if my
heart would break.

The men, who were astonished, not only at my conduct but at finding me
alone in the lighter, went on shore to the clerk, and stated the
circumstances.  He returned with them, and would have interrogated me,
but my paroxysm was not yet over, and my replies, broken my sobs, were
unintelligible.  The clerk and the two men went down into the cabin,
returned hastily, and quitted the lighter.  In about a quarter of an
hour I was sent for, and conducted to the house of the proprietor--the
first time in my life that I had ever put my foot on _terra firma_.  I
was led into the parlour, where I found the proprietor at breakfast with
his wife and his daughter, a little girl nine years old.  By this time I
had recovered myself, and on being interrogated, told my story clearly
and succinctly, while the big tears coursed each other down my dirty

"How strange and how horrible!" said the lady to her husband; "I cannot
understand it even now."

"Nor can I; but still it is true, from what Johnson the clerk has

In the meantime my eyes were directed to every part of the room, which
appeared to my ignorance as a Golcondo of wealth and luxury.  There were
few things which I had seen before, but I had an innate idea that they
were of value.  The silver tea-pot, the hissing urn, the spoons, the
pictures in their frames, every article of furniture caught my wondering
eye, and for a short time I had forgotten my father and my mother; but I
was recalled from my musing speculations by the proprietor inquiring how
far I had brought the lighter without assistance.

"Have you any friends, my poor boy?" inquired the lady.


"What! no relations onshore?"

"I never was on shore before in my life."

"Do you know that you are a destitute orphan?"

"What's that?"

"That you have no father or mother," said the little girl.

"Well," replied I, in my father's words, having no answer more
appropriate, "it's no use crying; what's done can't be helped."

"But what do you intend to do now?" inquired the proprietor, looking
hard at me after my previous answer.

"Don't know, I'm sure.  Take, it coolly," replied I, whimpering.

"What a very odd child!" observed the lady.  "Is he aware of the extent
of his misfortune?"

"Better luck next time, missus," repled I, wiping my eyes with the back
of my hand.

"What strange answers from a child who has shown so much feeling,"
observed the proprietor to his wife.  "What is your name."

"Jacob Faithful."

"Can you write or read?"

"No," replied I, again using my father's words: "No, I can't--I wish I

"Very well, my poor boy, we'll see what's to be done," said the

"I know what's to be done," rejoined I; "you must send a couple of hands
to get the anchor and cable, afore they cut the buoy adrift."

"You are right, my lad, that must be done immediately," said the
proprietor; "but now you had better go down with Sarah into the kitchen;
cook will take care of you.  Sarah, my love, take him down to cook."

The little girl beckoned me to follow her.  I was astonished at the
length and variety of the _companion-ladders_, for such I considered the
stairs, and was at last landed below, when little Sarah, giving cook the
injunction to take care of me, again tripped lightly up to her mother.

I found the signification of "take care of any one" very different on
shore from what it was on the river, where taking care of you means
getting out of your way, and giving you a wide berth; and I found the
shore reading much more agreeable.  Cook did take care of me; she was a
kind-hearted, fat woman who melted at a tale of woe, although the fire
made no impression on her.  I not only beheld, but I devoured, such
things as never before entered into my mouth or my imagination.  Grief
had not taken away my appetite.  I stopped occasionally to cry a little,
wiped my eyes, and sat down again.  It was more than two hours before I
laid down my knife, and not until strong symptoms of suffocation played
round the regions of my trachea did I cry out, "Hold, enough."  Somebody
has made an epigram about the vast ideas which a miser's horse must have
had of corn.  I doubt, if such ideas were existent, whether they were at
all equal to my astonishment at a leg of mutton.  I never had seen such
a piece of meat before, and wondered if it were fresh or otherwise.
After such reflection I naturally felt inclined to sleep; in a few
minutes I was snoring upon two chairs, cook having covered me up with
her apron to keep away the flies.  Thus was I fairly embarked upon a new
element to me--my mother earth; and it may be just as well to examine
now into the capital I possessed for my novel enterprise.  In person I
was well-looking; I was well-made, strong, and active.  Of my
habiliments the less said the better; I had a pair of trousers with no
seat to them; but this defect, when I stood up, was hid by my jacket,
composed of an old waistcoat of my father's, which reached down as low
as the morning frocks worn in those days.  A shirt of coarse duck, and a
fur cap, which was as rough and ragged as if it had been the hide of a
cat pulled to pieces by dogs, completed my attire.  Shoes and stockings
I had none; these supernumerary appendages had never confined the action
of my feet.  My mental acquisitions were not much more valuable; they
consisted of a tolerable knowledge of the depth of water, names of
points and reaches in the River Thames, all of which was not very
available on dry land--of a few hieroglyphics of my father's, which, as
the crier says sometimes, winding up his oration, were of "no use to
nobody but the owner."  Add to the above the three favourite maxims of
my taciturn father, which were indelibly imprinted upon my memory, and
you have the whole inventory of my stock-in-trade.  These three maxims
were, I may say, incorporated into my very system, so continually had
they been quoted to me during my life; and before I went to sleep that
night they were again conned over.  "What's done can't be helped,"
consoled me for the mishaps of my life; "Better luck next time," made me
look forward with hope and, "Take it coolly," was a subject of great
reflection, until I feel into a deep sleep; for I had sufficient
penetration to observe that my father had lost his life by not adhering
to his own principles; and this perception only rendered my belief in
the infallibility of these maxims to be even still more steadfast.

I have stated what was my father's legacy, and the reader will suppose
that from the maternal side the acquisition was _nil_.  Directly such
was the case, but indirectly she proved a very good mother to me, and
that was by the very extraordinary way in which she had quitted the
world.  Had she met with a common death, she would have been worth
nothing.  Burke himself would not have been able to dispose of her; but
dying as she did, her ashes were the source of wealth.  The bed, with
her remains lying in the centre, even the curtains of the bed, were all
brought on shore, and locked up in an outhouse.  The coroner came down
in a post-chaise and four, charged to the country; the jury was
empanelled, my evidence was taken, surgeons and apothecaries attended
from far and near to give their opinions, and after much examination,
much arguing, and much disagreement, the verdict was brought in that she
died through "the visitation of God."  As this, in other phraseology,
implies that "God only knows how she died," it was agreed to _nemine
contradicente_, and gave universal satisfaction.  But the extraordinary
circumstance was spread everywhere, with all due amplifications, and
thousands flocked to the wharfinger's yard to witness the effects of
spontaneous combustion.  The proprietor immediately perceived that he
could avail himself of the public curiosity to my advantage.  A plate,
with some silver and gold, was placed at the foot of my poor mother's
flock mattress, with, "For the benefit of the orphan," in capital text,
placarded above it; and many were the shillings, half-crowns, and even
larger sums which were dropped into it by the spectators, who shuddered
as they turned away from this awful specimen of the effects of habitual
intoxication.  For many days did the exhibition continue, during which
time I was domiciled with the cook, who employed me in scouring her
saucepans, and any other employment in which my slender services might
be useful, little thinking at the time that my poor mother was holding
her levee for my advantage.  On the eleventh day the exhibition was
closed, and I was summoned upstairs by the proprietor, whom I found in
company with a little gentleman in black.  This was a surgeon who had
offered a sum of money for my mother's remains, bed and curtains, in a
lot.  The proprietor was willing to get rid of them in so advantageous a
manner, but did not conceive that he was justified in taking this step,
although for my benefit, without first consulting me, as heir-at-law.

"Jacob," said he, "this gentleman offers 20 pounds, which is a great
deal of money, for the ashes of your poor mother.  Have you any
objection to let him have them?"

"What do you want 'em for?" inquired I.

"I wish to keep them, and take great care of them," answered he.

"Well," replied I, after a little consideration, "if you'll take care of
the old woman, you may have her,"--and the bargain was concluded.
Singular that the first bargain I ever made in my life should be that of
selling my own mother.  The proceeds of the exhibition and sale amounted
to 47 pounds odd, which the worthy proprietor of the lighter, after
deducting for a suit of clothes, laid up for my use.  Thus ends the
history of my mother's remains, which proved more valuable to me than
ever she did when living.  In her career she somewhat reversed the case
of Semele, who was first visited in a shower of gold, and eventually
perished in the fiery embraces of the god: whereas my poor mother
perished first by the same element, and the shower of gold descended to
her only son.  But this is easily explained.  Semele was very lovely and
did not drink gin--my mother was her complete antithesis.

When I was summoned to my master's presence to arrange the contract with
the surgeon, I had taken off the waistcoat which I wore as a garment
over all, that I might be more at my ease in chopping some wood for the
cook, and the servant led me up at once, without giving me time to put
it on.  After I had given my consent, I turned away to go downstairs
again, when having, as I before observed, no seat to my trousers, the
solution of continuity was observed by a little spaniel, who jumped from
the sofa, and arriving at a certain distance, stood at bay, and barked
most furiously at the exposure.  He had been bred among respectable
people, and had never seen such an expose.  Mr Drummond, the
proprietor, observed the defect pointed out by the dog, and forthwith I
was ordered to be suited with a new suit--certainly not before they were
required.  In twenty-four hours I was thrust into a new garment by a
bandy-legged tailor, assisted by my friend the cook, and turn or twist
whichever way I pleased, decency was never violated.  A new suit of
clothes is generally an object of ambition, and flatters the vanity of
young and old; but with me it was far otherwise.  Encumbered with my
novel apparel, I experienced at once feelings of restraint and sorrow.
My shoes hurt me, my worsted stockings irritated the skin, and as I had
been accustomed to hereditarily succeed to my father's cast-off skins,
which were a world too wide for my shanks, having but few ideas, it
appeared to me as if I had swelled out to the size of the clothes which
I had been accustomed to wear, not that they had been reduced to my
dimensions.  I fancied myself a man, but was very much embarrassed with
my manhood.  Every step that I took I felt as if I was checked back by
strings.  I could not swing my arms as I was wont to do, and tottered in
my shoes like a rickety child.  My old apparel had been consigned to the
dust-hole by cook, and often during the day would I pass, casting a
longing eye at it, wishing that I dare recover it, and exchange it for
that which I wore.  I knew the value of it, and, like the magician in
Aladdin's tale, would have offered new lamps for old ones, cheerfully
submitting to ridicule, that I might have repossessed my treasure.

With the kitchen and its apparatus I was now quite at home: but at every
other part of the house and furniture I was completely puzzled.
Everything appeared to me foreign, strange, and unnatural, and Prince Le
Boo, or any other savage, never stared or wondered more than I did.  Of
most things I knew not the use, of many not even the names.  I was
literally a savage, but still a kind and docile one.  The day after my
new clothes had been put on, I was summoned into the parlour.  Mr
Drummond and his wife surveyed me in my altered habiliments, and amused
themselves at my awkwardness, at the same time that they admired my
well-knit, compact, and straight figure, set off by a fit, in my opinion
much too straight.  Their little daughter Sarah, who often spoke to me,
went up and whispered to her mother.  "You must ask papa," was the
reply.  Another whisper, and a kiss, and Mr Drummond told me I should
dine with them.  In a few minutes I followed them into the dining-room
and for the first time I was seated to a repast which could boast of
some of the supernumerary comforts of civilised life.  There I sat,
perched on a chair with my feet swinging close to the carpet, glowing
with heat from the compression of my clothes and the novelty of my
situation, and all that was around me.  Mr Drummond helped me to some
scalding soup, a silver spoon was put into my hand, which I twisted
round and round, looking at my face reflected in miniature on its

"Now, Jacob, you must eat the soup with the spoon," said little Sarah,
laughing; "we shall all be done.  Be quick."

"Take it coolly," replied I, digging my spoon into the burning
preparation, and tossing it into my mouth.  It burst forth from my
tortured throat in a diverging shower, accompanied with a howl of pain.

"The poor boy has scalded his mouth," cried the lady, pouring out a
tumbler of water.

"It's no use crying," replied I, blubbering with all my might; "what's
done can't be helped."

"Better that you had not been helped," observed Mr Drummond, wiping off
his share of my liberal spargification from his coat and waistcoat.

"The poor boy has been shamefully neglected," observed the good-natured
Mrs Drummond.  "Come, Jacob, sit down and try it again; it will not
burn you now."

"Better luck next time," said I, shoving in a portion of it, with a
great deal of tremulous hesitation, and spilling one-half of it in its
transit.  It was now cool, but I did not get on very fast; I held my
spoon awry, and soiled my clothes.

Mrs Drummond interfered, and kindly showed me how to proceed; when Mr
Drummond said, "Let the boy eat it after his own fashion, my dear--only
be quick, Jacob, for we are waiting."

"Then I see no good losing so much of it, taking it in tale," observed
I, "when I can ship it all in bulk in a minute."  I laid down my spoon,
and stooping my head, applied my mouth to the edge of the plate, and
sucked the remainder down my throat without spilling a drop.  I looked
up for approbation, and was very much astonished to hear Mrs Drummond
quietly observe, "That is not the way to eat soup."

I made so many blunders during the meal that little Sarah was in a
continued roar of laughter; and I felt so miserable, that I heartily
wished myself again in my dog-kennel on board of the lighter, gnawing
biscuit in all the happiness of content and dignity of simplicity.  For
the first time I felt the pangs of humiliation.  Ignorance is not always
debasing.  On board of the lighter, I was sufficient for myself, my
company, and my duties.  I felt an elasticity of mind, a respect for
myself, and a consciousness of power, as the immense mass was guided
through the waters by my single arm.  There, without being able to
analyse my feelings, I was a spirit guiding a little world; and now, at
this table, and in company with rational and well-informed beings, I
felt humiliated and degraded; my heart was overflowing with shame, and
at one unusual loud laugh of the little Sarah, the heaped up measure of
my anguish overflowed, and I burst into a passion of tears.  As I lay
with my head upon the table-cloth, regardless of those decencies I had
so much feared, and awake only to a deep sense of wounded pride, each
sob coming from the very core of my heart, I felt a soft breathing warm
upon my cheek, that caused me to look up timidly, and I beheld the
glowing and beautiful face of little Sarah, her eyes filled with tears,
looking so softly and beseechingly at me, that I felt at once I was of
some value, and panted to be of more.

"I won't laugh at you any more," said she; "so don't cry, Jacob."

"No more I will," replied I, cheering up.  She remained standing by me,
and I felt grateful.  "The first time I get a piece of wood," whispered
I, "I'll cut you out a barge."

"That boy has a heart," said Mr Drummond to his wife.

"But will it swim, Jacob?" inquired the little girl.

"Yes, and if it's _lopsided_, call me a lubber."

"What's lopsided, and what's a lubber?" replied Sarah.

"Why, don't you know?" cried I; and I felt my confidence return when I
found that in this little instance I knew more than she did.



Before I quitted the room, Sarah and I were in deep converse at the
window, and Mr and Mrs Drummond employed likewise at the table.  The
result of the conversation between Sarah and me was the intimacy of
children; that of Mr and Mrs Drummond, that the sooner I was disposed
of, the more it would be for my own advantage.  Having some interest
with the governors of a charity school near Brentford, Mr Drummond lost
no time in procuring me admission; and before I had quite spoiled my new
clothes, having worn them nearly three weeks, I was suited afresh in a
formal attire--a long coat of pepper and salt, yellow leather breeches
tied at the knees, a worsted cap with a tuft on the top of it, stockings
and shoes to match, and a large pewter plate upon my breast, marked with
Number 63, which, as I was the last entered boy, indicated the sum total
of the school.  It was with regret that I left the abode of the
Drummonds, who did not think it advisable to wait for the completion of
the barge, much to the annoyance of Miss Drummond, and before we arrived
met them all out walking.  I was put into the ranks, received a little
good advice from my worthy patron, who then walked away one way, while
we walked another, looking like a regiment of yellow-thighed field-fares
straightened in human perpendiculars.  Behold, then, the last scion of
the Faithfuls, peppered, salted, and plated, that all the world might
know that he was a charity-boy, and that there was charity in this
world.  But if heroes, kings, great and grave men, must yield to
destiny, lighter-boys cannot be expected to escape; and I was doomed to
receive an education, board, lodging, raiment, etcetera, free, gratis,
and for nothing.

Every society has it chief; and I was about to observe that every circle
has it centre, which certainly would have been true enough, but the
comparison is of no use to me, as our circle had two centres, or, to
follow up the first idea, had two chiefs--the chief schoolmaster and the
chief domestic--the chief masculine and the chief feminine--the chief
with the ferula, and the chief with the brimstone and treacle--the
master and the matron, each of whom had their appendages--the one in the
usher, the other in the assistant housemaid.  But of this quartette, the
master was not only the most important, but the most worthy of
description; and as he will often appear in the pages of my narrative,
long after my education was complete, I shall be very particular in my
description of Dominie Dobiensis, as he delighted to be called, or
Dreary Dobs, as his dutiful scholars delighted to call him.  As in our
school it was necessary that we should be instructed in reading,
writing, and ciphering, the governors had selected the Dominie as the
most fitting person that had offered for the employment, because he had,
in the first place, written a work that nobody could understand upon the
Greek particles; secondly, he had proved himself a great mathematician,
having, it is said, squared the circle by algebraical false quantities,
but would never show the operation for fear of losing the honour by
treachery.  He had also discovered as many errors in the demonstrations
of Euclid as ever did Joey Hume in army and navy estimates, and with as
much benefit to the country at large.  He was a man who breathed
certainly in the present age, but the half of his life was spent in
antiquity or algebra.  Once carried away by a problem, or a Greek
reminiscence, he passed away, as it were, from his present existence,
and everything was unheeded.  His body remained, and breathed on his
desk, but his soul was absent.  This peculiarity was well known to the
boys, who used to say, "Dominie is in his dreams, and talks in his

Dominie Dobiensis left reading and writing to the usher, contrary to the
regulations of the school, putting the boys, if possible, into
mathematics, Latin, and Greek.  The usher was not over competent to
teach the two first; the boys not over willing to learn the latter.  The
master was too clever, the usher too ignorant; hence the scholars
profited little.  The Dominie was grave and irascible, but he possessed
a fund of drollery and the kindest heart.  His features could not laugh,
but his trachea did.  The chuckle rose no higher than the rings of the
wind-pipe, and then it was vigorously thrust back again by the impulse
of gravity into the region of his heart, and gladdened it with hidden
mirth in its dark centre.  The Dominie loved a pun; whether it was let
off in English, Greek, or Latin.  The last two were made by nobody but
himself, and not being understood, were, of course, relished by himself
alone.  But his love of a pun was a serious attachment: he loved it with
a solemn affection--with him it was no laughing matter.

In person Dominie Dobiensis was above six feet, all bone and sinews.
His face was long and his lineaments large; but his predominant feature
was his nose, which, large as were the others, bore them down into
insignificance.  It was a prodigy--a ridicule; but he consoled himself--
Ovid was called Naso.  It was not an aquiline nose, nor was it an
aquiline nose reversed.  It was not a nose snubbed at the extremity,
gross, heavy, or carbuncled, or fluting.  In all its magnitude of
proportions, it was an intellectual nose.  It was thin, horny,
transparent, and sonorous.  Its snuffle was consequential and its sneeze
oracular.  The very sight of it was impressive; its sound, when blown in
school hours, was ominous.  But the scholars loved the nose for the
warning which it gave: like the rattle of the dreaded snake, which
announces its presence, so did the nose indicate to the scholars that
they were to be on their guard.  The Dominie would attend to this world
and its duties for an hour or two, and then forget his scholars and his
school-room, while he took a journey into the world of Greek or algebra.
Then, when he marked _x_, _y_, and _z_, in his calculations, the boys
knew that he was safe, and their studies were neglected.

Reader, did you ever witness the magic effects of a drum in a small
village, when the recruiting party, with many-coloured ribbons, rouse it
up with a spirit-stirring tattoo?  Matrons leave their domestic cares,
and run to the cottage door: peeping over their shoulders, the maidens
admire and fear.  The shuffling clowns raise up their heads gradually,
until they stand erect and proud; the slouch in the back is taken out,
their heavy walk is changed to a firm yet elastic tread, every muscle
appears more braced, every nerve, by degrees, new strung; the blood
circulates rapidly: pulses quicken, hearts throb, eyes brighten, and as
the martial sound pervades their rustic frames, the Cimons of the plough
are converted, as if by magic, into incipient heroes for the field;--and
all this is produced by beating the skin of the most gentle, most
harmless animal of creation.

Not having at hand the simile synthetical, we have resorted to the
antithetical.  The blowing of the Dominie's nose produced the very
contrary effects.  It was a signal that he had returned from his
intellectual journal, and was once more in his school-room--that the
master had finished with his _x_, _y_, _z_'s, and it was time for
scholars to mind their _p_'s and _q_'s.  At this note of warning, like
the minute-roll among the troops, every one fell into his place;
half-munched apples were thrust into the first pocket--popguns
disappeared--battles were left to be decided elsewhere--books were
opened, and eyes directed to them--forms that were fidgeting and
twisting in all directions, now took one regimental inclined position
over the desk--silence was restored, order resumed her reign, and Mr
Knapps, the usher, who always availed himself of these interregnums, as
well as the scholars, by deserting to the matron's room, warned by the
well-known sound, hastened to the desk of toil; such were the
astonishing effects of a blow from Dominie Dobiensis' sonorous and
peace-restoring nose.

"Jacob Faithful, draw near," were the first words which struck upon my
tympanum the next morning, when I had taken my seat at the further end
of the school-room.  I rose and threaded my way through two lines of
boys, who put out their legs to trip me up in my passage through their
ranks; and surmounting all difficulties, found myself within three feet
of the master's high desk, or pulpit, from which he looked down upon me
like the Olympian Jupiter upon mortals, in ancient time.

"Jacob Faithful, canst thou read?"

"No, I can't," replied I; "I wish I could."

"A well-disposed answer, Jacob; thy wishes shall be gratified.  Knowest
thou thine alphabet?"

"I don't know what that is."

"Then thou knowest it not.  Mr Knapps shall forthwith instruct thee.
Thou shall forthwith go to Mr Knapps, who inculcateth the rudiments.
_Levior Puer_, lighter-boy, thou hast a _crafty_ look."  And then I
heard a noise in his throat that resembled the "cluck, cluck" when my
poor mother poured the gin out of the great stone bottle.

"My little navilculator," continued he, "thou art a weed washed on
shore, one of Father Thames' cast-up wrecks.  `_Fluviorum rex
Eridanus_,' [Chuck, cluck.] To thy studies; be thyself--that is, be
Faithful.  Mr Knapps, let the Cadmean art proceed forthwith."  So
saying, Dominie Dobiensis thrust his large hand into his right coat
pocket, in which he kept his snuff loose, and taking a large pinch (the
major part of which, the stock being low, was composed of hair and
cotton abrasions which had collected in the corners of his pocket), he
called up the first class, while Mr Knapps called me to my first

Mr Knapps was a thin, hectic-looking young man, apparently nineteen or
twenty years of age, very small in all his proportions, red ferret eyes,
and without the least sign of incipient manhood; but he was very savage,
nevertheless.  Not being permitted to pummel the boys when the Dominie
was in the school-room, he played the tyrant most effectually when he
was left commanding officer.  The noise and hubbub certainly warranted
his interference--the respect paid to him was positively _nil_.  His
practice was to select the most glaring delinquent, and let fly his
ruler at him, with immediate orders to bring it back.  These orders were
complied with for more than one reason; in the first place, was the
offender hit, he was glad that another should have his turn; in the
second, Mr Knapps being a very bad shot (never having drove a
Kamschatdale team of dogs), he generally missed the one he aimed at, and
hit some other, who, if he did not exactly deserve it at that moment,
certainly did for previous, or would for subsequent, delinquencies.  In
the latter case, the ruler was brought back to him because there was no
injury inflicted, although intended.  However, be it as it may, the
ruler was always returned to him; and thus did Mr Knapps pelt the boys
as if they were cocks on Shrove Tuesday, to the great risk of their
heads and limbs.  I have little further to say of Mr Knapps, except
that he wore a black shalloon loose coat; on the left sleeve of which he
wiped his pen, and upon the right, but too often, his ever-snivelling

"What is that, boy?" said Mr Knapps, pointing to the letter A.

I looked attentively, and recognising, as I thought, one of my father's
hieroglyphics, replied, "That's half-a-bushel;" and I was certainly
warranted in my supposition.

"Half-a-bushel!  You're more than half a fool.  That's the letter _A_."

"No; it's half-a-bushel; father told me so."

"Then your father was as big a fool as yourself."

"Father knew what half-a-bushel was, and so do I: that's half-a-bushel."

"I tell you it's the letter A," cried Mr Knapps, in a rage.

"It's half-a-bushel," replied I, doggedly.  I persisted in my assertion:
and Mr Knapps, who dared not punish me while the Dominie was present,
descended his throne of one step, and led me up to the master.

"I can do nothing with this boy, sir," said he, red as fire; "he denies
the first letter in the alphabet, and insists upon it that the letter A
is not A, but half-a-bushel."

"Dost thou, in thine ignorance, pretend to teach when thou comest here
to learn, Jacob Faithful?"

"Father always told me that that thing there meant half-a-bushel."

"Thy father might, perhaps, have used that letter to signify the measure
which thou speakest of, in the same way as I, in my mathematics, use
divers letters for known and unknown quantities; but thou must forget
that which thy father taught thee, and commence _de novo_.  Dost thou

"No, I don't."

"Then, little Jacob, that represents the letter A, and whatever else Mr
Knapps may tell thee, thou wilt believe.  Return, Jacob, and be docile."



I did not quit Mr Knapps until I had run through the alphabet, and then
returned to my place, that I might con it over at my leisure, puzzling
myself with the strange complexity of forms of which the alphabet was
composed.  I felt heated and annoyed by the constraint of my shoes,
always an object of aversion from the time I had put them on.  I drew my
foot out of one, then out of the other, and thought no more of them for
some time.  In the meanwhile the boys next me had passed them on with
their feet to the others, and thus were they shuffled along until they
were right up to the master's desk.  I missed them, and perceiving that
there was mirth at my expense, I narrowly and quietly watched up and
down till I perceived one of the head boys of the school, who sat
nearest the Dominie, catch up one of my shoes, and the Dominie being
then in an absent fit, drop it into his coat-pocket.  A short time
afterwards he got up, went to Mr Knapps, put a question to him, and
while it was being answered, he dropped the other into the pocket of the
usher, and tittering to the other boys, returned to his seat.  I said
nothing; but when the hours of school were over, the Dominie looked at
his watch, blew his nose, which made the whole of the boys pop up their
heads, like the clansmen of Roderick Dhu, when summoned by his horn,
folded up his large pocket-hankerchief slowly and reverently, as if it
were a banner, put it into his pocket, and uttered in a solemn tone,
"_Tempus est ludendi_."  As this Latin phrase was used every day at the
same hour, every boy in the school understood so much Latin.  A rush
from all the desks ensured, and amidst shouting, yelling, and leaping
every soul disappeared except myself, who remained fixed to my form.
The Dominie rose from his pulpit and descended, the usher did the same,
and both approached me on their way to their respective apartments.

"Jacob Faithful, why still porest thou over thy book--didst thou not
understand that the hours of recreation had arrived?  Why risest thou
not upon thy feet like the others?"

"'Cause I've got no shoes."

"And where are thy shoes, Jacob?"

"One's in your pocket," replied I "and t'other's in his'n."

Each party placed their hands behind, and felt the truth of the

"Expound, Jacob," said the Dominie, "who hath done this?"

"The big boy with the red hair, and a face picked all over with holes
like the strainers in master's kitchen," replied I.

"Mr Knapps, it would be _infra dig_ on my part, and also on yours, to
suffer this disrespect to pass unnoticed.  Ring in the boys."

The boys were rung in, and I was desired to point out the offender,
which I immediately did, and who as stoutly denied the offence; but he
had abstracted my shoe-strings, and put them into his own shoes.  I
recognised them and it was sufficient.

"Barnaby Bracegirdle," said the Dominie, "thou art convicted, not only
of disrespect towards me and Mr Knapps, but further of the grievous sin
of lying.  Simon Swapps, let him be hoisted."

He was hoisted: his nether garments descended, and then the birch
descend with all the vigour of the Dominie's muscular arm.  Barnaby
Bracegirdle showed every symptom of his disapproval of the measures
taken; but Simon Swapps held fast, and the Dominie flogged fast.  After
a minute's flagellation, Barnaby was let down, his yellow tights pulled
up, and the boys dismissed.  Barnaby's face was red, but the antipodes
were redder.  The Dominie departed, leaving us together,--he adjusting
his inexpressibles, I putting in my shoe-strings.  By the time Barnaby
had buttoned up and wiped his eyes, I had succeeded in standing in my
shoes.  There we were _tete-a-tete_.

"Now, then," said Barnaby, holding one fist to my face, while, with the
other open hand he rubbed behind, "come out in the play-ground, Mr
_Cinderella_, and see if I won't drub you within an inch of your life."

"It's no use crying," said I, soothingly: for I had not wished him to be
flogged.  "What's done can't be helped.  Did it hurt you much?"

This intended consolation was taken for sarcasm.  Barnaby stormed.

"Take it coolly," observed I.

Barnaby waxed even more wroth.

"Better luck next time," continued I, trying to soothe him.

Barnaby was outrageous--he shook his fist and ran into the play-ground,
daring me to follow him.  His threats had no weight with me; not wishing
to remain indoors, I followed him in a minute or two, when I found him
surrounded by the other boys, to whom he was in loud and vehement

"Cinderella, where's your glass slippers?" cried the boys, as I made my

"Come out, you water-rat," cried Barnaby, "you son of a cinder!"

"Come out and fight him, or else you're a coward!" exclaimed the whole
host, from Number 1 to Number 62, inclusive.

"He has had beating enough already to my mind," replied I; "but he had
better not touch me--I can use my arms."

A ring was formed, in the centre of which I found Barnaby and myself.
He took off his clothes, and I did the same.  He was much older and
stronger than I, and knew something about fighting.  One boy came
forward as my second.  Barnaby advanced and held out his hand, which I
shook heartily, thinking it was all over: but immediately received a
right and left on the face, which sent me reeling backwards.  This was a
complete mystery, but it raised my bile, and I returned it with
interest.  I was very strong in my arms, as may be supposed; and I threw
them about like sails of a windmill, never hitting straight out, but
with semicircular blows, which descended on or about his ears.  On the
contrary, his blows were all received straightforward, and my nose and
face were soon covered with blood.  As I warmed with pain and rage I
flung out my arms at random, and Barnaby gave me a knock-down blow.  I
was picked up and sat upon my second's knee, who whispered to me as I
spat the blood out of my mouth, "Take it coolly, and make sure when you

My own--my father's maxim--coming from another, it struck with double
force, and I never forgot it during the remainder of the fight.  Again
we were standing up face to face; again I received it right and left,
and returned it upon his right and left ears.  Barnaby rushed in--I was
down again.

"Better luck next time," said I to my second, as cool as a cucumber.

A third and a fourth round succeeded, all apparently in Barnaby's
favour, but really in mine.  My face was beat to a mummy, but he was
what is termed groggy, from the constant return of blows on the side of
the head.  Again we stood up panting and exhausted.  Barnaby rushed at
me, and I avoided him: before he could return to the attack I had again
planted two severe blows upon his ears, and he reeled.  He shook his
head, and with his fists in the attitude of defence, asked me whether I
had had enough.

"_He_ has," said my second; "stick to him now, Jacob, and you'll beat

I did stick to him; three or four more blows applied to the same part
finished him, and he fell senseless on the ground.

"You've settled him," cried my second.

"What's done can't be helped," replied I.  "Is he dead?"

"What's all this?" cried Mr Knapps, pressing his way through the crowd,
followed by the matron.

"Barnaby and Cinderella having it out, sir," said one of the elder boys.

The matron, who had already taken a liking for me, because I was
good-looking, and because I had been recommended to her care by Mrs
Drummond, ran to me.

"Well," says she, "if the Dominie don't punish that big brute for this,
I'll see whether I'm anybody or not;" and taking me by the hand, she led
me away.  In the meantime Mr Knapps surveyed Barnaby, who was still
senseless; and desired the other boys to bring him in and lay him on his
bed.  He breathed hard, but still remained senseless, and a surgeon was
sent for, who found it necessary to bleed him copiously.  He then, at
the request of the matron, came to me; my features were
indistinguishable, but elsewhere I was all right.  As I stripped he
examined my arms.

"It seemed strange," observed he, "that the bigger boy should be so
severely punished; but this boy's arms are like little _sledge-hammers_.
I recommend you," said he to the other boys, "not to fight with him,
for some day or other he'll kill one of you."

This piece of advice was not forgotten by the other boys, and from that
day I was the cock of the school.  The name of Cinderella, given me by
Barnaby, in ridicule of my mother's death, was immediately abandoned,
and I suffered no more persecution.  It was the custom of the Dominie,
whenever two boys fought, to flog them both; but in this instance it was
not followed up, because I was not the aggressor, and my adversary
narrowly escaped with his life.  I was under the matron's care for a
week, and Barnaby under the surgeon's hands for about the same time.

Neither was I less successful in my studies.  I learnt rapidly, after I
had conquered the first rudiments; but I had another difficulty to
conquer, which was my habit of construing everything according to my
refined ideas; the force of association had become so strong that I
could not overcome it for a considerable length of time.  Mr Knapps
continually complained of my being obstinate, when, in fact, I was
anxious to please as well as to learn.  For instance, in spelling, the
first syllable always produced the association with something connected
with my former way of life.  I recollect the Dominie once, and only
once, gave me a caning, about a fortnight after I went to the school.

I had been brought up by Mr Knapps as contumelious.

"Jacob Faithful, how is this? thine head is good yet wilt thou refuse
learning.  Tell me now, what does _c-a-t_ spell?"

It was the pitch-pipe to _cat-head_, and answered I accordingly.

"Nay, Jacob, it spells _cat_; take care of thy head on the next reply.
Understand me, head is not understood.  Jacob, thy head is in jeopardy.
Now, Jacob, what does _m-a-t_ spell?"

"_Chafing-mat_," replied I.

"It spells mat only, silly boy; the chafing will be on my part directly.
Now, Jacob, what does _d-o-g_ spell?"


"Dog, Jacob, without the kennel.  Thou art very contumelious, and
deservest to be rolled in the kennel.  Now, Jacob, this is the last time
that thou triflest with me; what does _h-a-t_ spell?"

"Fur cap," replied I, after some hesitation.

"Jacob, I feel the wrath rising within me, yet would I fain spare thee;
if _h-a-t_ spell fur-cap, pray advise me, what doth _c-a-p_ spell,


"Indeed, Jacob, thy stern as well as thy head are in danger; and I
suppose, then, _w-i-n-d_ spells windlass, does it not?"

"Yes, sir," replied I, pleased to find that he agreed with me.

"Upon the same principle, what does _r-a-t_ spell?"

"_Rat_, sir," replied I.

"Nay, Jacob, _r-a-t_ must spell _rattan_, and as thou hast missed thine
own mode of spelling, thou shalt not miss the cane."  The Dominie then
applied it to my shoulders with considerable unction, much to the
delight of Mr Knapps, who thought the punishment was much too small for
the offence.  But I soon extricated myself from these associations as my
ideas extended, and was considered by the Dominie as the cleverest boy
in the school.  Whether it were from natural intellect, or from my brain
having lain fallow, as it were, for so many years, or probably from the
two causes combined, I certainly learned almost by instinct.  I read my
lessons once over and laid my book aside, for I knew it all.  I had not
been six months at the school before I discovered that, in a thousand
instances, the affection of a father appeared towards me under the rough
crust of the Dominie.  I think it was on the third day of the seventh
month that I afforded him a day of triumph and warming of his heart,
when he took me for the first time into his little study, and put the
Latin Accidence into my hands.  I learnt my first lesson in a quarter of
an hour; and I remember well how that unsmiling, grave man looked into
my smiling eyes, parting the chestnut curls, which the matron would not
cut off, from my brows, and saying, "_Bene fecisti, Jacobe_."  Many
times afterwards, when the lesson was over, he would fix his eyes upon
me, fall back on his chair, and make me recount all I could remember of
my former life, which was really nothing but a record of perceptions and
feelings.  He _could_ attend to _me_, and as I related some early and
singular impression, some conjecture of what I saw, yet could not
comprehend, on the shore which I had never touched, he would rub his
hands with enthusiasm, and exclaim, "I have found a new book--an album,
whereon I may write the deeds of heroes and the words of sages.
_Carissime Jacobe_! how happy shall we be when we get into Virgil!"  I
hardly need say that I loved him--I did so from my heart, and learned
with avidity to please him.  I felt that I was of consequence--my
confidence in myself was unbounded.  I walked proudly, yet I was not
vain.  My school-fellows hated me, but they feared me as much for my own
prowess as my interest with the master; but still many were the bitter
gibes and innuendoes which I was obliged to hear as I sat down with them
to our meals.  At other times I held communion with the Dominie, the
worthy old matron, and my books.  We walked out every day, at first
attended by Mr Knapps the usher.  The boys would not walk with me
without they were ordered, and if ordered, most unwillingly.  Yet I had
given no cause of offence.  The matron found it out, told the Dominie,
and after that the Dominie attended the boys and led me by the hand.

This was of the greatest advantage to me, as he answered all my
questions, which were not few, and each day I advanced in every variety
of knowledge.  Before I had been eighteen months at school, the Dominie
was unhappy without my company, and I was equally anxious for his
presence.  He was a father to me, and I loved him as a son should love a
father, and as it will hereafter prove, he was my guide through life.

But although the victory over Barnaby Bracegirdle, and the idea of my
prowess procured me an enforced respect, still the Dominie's goodwill
towards me was the occasion of a settled hostility.  Affront me, or
attack me openly, they dare not; but supported as the boys were by Mr
Knapps the usher, who was equally jealous of my favour, and equally mean
in spirit, they caballed to ruin me, if possible, in the good opinion of
my master.  Barnaby Bracegirdle had a talent for caricature, which was
well-known to all but the Dominie.  His first attempt against me was a
caricature of my mother's death, in which she was represented as a lamp
supplied from a gin-bottle, and giving flame out of her mouth.  This was
told to me, but I did not see it.  It was given by Barnaby to Mr
Knapps, who highly commended it, and put it into his desk.  After which,
Barnaby made an oft-repeated caricature of the Dominie, with a vast
nose, which he shewed to the usher as _my_ performance.  The usher
understood what Barnaby was at, and put it into his desk without
comment.  Several other ludicrous caricatures were made of the Dominie
and of the matron, all of which were consigned to Mr Knapps by the boys
as being the productions of my pencil; but this was not sufficient--it
was necessary I should be more clearly identified.  It so happened that
one evening, when sitting with the Dominie at my Latin, the matron and
Mr Knapps being in the adjoining room, the light, which had burned
close down, fell in the socket and went out.  The Dominie rose to get
another; the matron also got up to fetch away the candlestick with the
same intent.  They met in the dark, and ran their heads together pretty
hard.  As this event was only known to Mr Knapps and myself, he
communicated it to Barnaby, wondering whether I should not make it a
subject of one of my caricatures.  Barnaby took the hint; in the course
of a few hours this caricature was added to the others.  Mr Knapps, to
further his views, took an opportunity to mention with encomium my
talent for drawing, added that he had seen several of my performances.
"The boy hath talent," replied the Dominie; "he is a rich mine, from
which much precious metal is to be obtained."

"I hear that thou hast the talent for drawing, Jacob," said he to me, a
day or two afterwards.

"I never had in my life, sir," replied I.

"Nay, Jacob; I like modesty but modesty should never lead to a denial of
the truth.  Remember, Jacob, that thou do not repeat the fault."

I made no answer, as I felt convinced that I was not in fault; but that
evening I requested the Dominie to lend me a pencil, as I wished to try
and draw.  For some days, various scraps of my performances were
produced, and received commendation.  "The boy draweth well," observed
the Dominie to Mr Knapps, as he examined my performance through his

"Why should he have denied his being able to draw?" observed the usher.

"It was a fault arising from modesty or want of confidence--even a
virtue, carried to excess, may lead us into error."

The next attempt of Barnaby was to obtain the Cornelius Nepos which I
then studied.  This was effected by Mr Knapps, who took it out of the
Dominie's study, and put it into Barnaby's possession, who drew on the
fly-leaf, on which was my name, a caricature head of the Dominie; and
under my own name, which I had written on the leaf, added, in my hand,
_fecit_, so that it appeared, Jacob Faithful _fecit_.  Having done this,
the leaf was torn out of the book, and consigned to the usher with the
rest.  The plot was now ripe; and the explosion soon ensued.  Mr Knapps
told the Dominie that I drew caricatures of my school-fellows.  The
Dominie taxed me, and I denied it.  "So you denied drawing," observed
the usher.

A few days passed away, when Mr Knapps informed the Dominie that I had
been caricaturing him and Mrs Bately, the matron, and that he had
proofs of it.  I had then gone to bed; the Dominie was much surprised,
and thought it impossible that I could be so ungrateful.  Mr Knapps
said that should make the charge openly, and prove it the next morning
in the school-room; and wound up the wrong by describing me in several
points, as a cunning, good-for-nothing, although clever boy.



Ignorant of what had passed, I slept soundly; and the next morning found
the matron very grave with me, which I did not comprehend.  The Dominie
also took no notice of my morning salute: but supposing him to be wrapt
in Euclid at the time, I thought little of it.  The breakfast passed
over, and the bell rang for school.  We were all assembled; the Dominie
walked in with a very magisterial air, followed by Mr Knapps, who,
instead of parting company when he arrived at his own desk, continued
his course with the Dominie to his pulpit.  We all knew that there was
something in the wind; but of all, perhaps, I was the least alarmed.
The Dominie unfolded his large handkerchief, waved it, and blew his
nose, and the school was into profound silence.  "Jacob Faithful, draw
near," said he, in a tone which proved that the affair was serious.  I
drew near, wondering.  "Thou hast been accused by Mr Knapps of
caricaturing, and holding up to the ridicule of the school, me--thy
master.  Upon any other boy such disrespect should be visited severely;
but from thee, Jacob, I must add in the words of Caesar, `_Et tu
Brute_,' I expected, I had a right to expect, otherwise.  _In se animi
ingrati crimen vitia omnia condit_.  Thou understandest me, Jacob--
guilty or not guilty?"

"Not guilty, sir," replied I, firmly.

"He pleadeth net guilty, Mr Knapps; proceed, then, to prove thy

Mr Knapps then went to his desk, and brought out the drawings with
which he had been supplied by Barnaby Bracegirdle and the other boys.
"These drawings, sir, which you will please to look over, have all been
given up to me as the performance of Jacob Faithful.  At first I could
not believe it to be true; but you will perceive, at once, that they are
all by the same hand."

"That I acknowledge," said the Dominie; "and all reflect upon my nose.
It is true that my nose is of large dimensions, but it was the will of
Heaven that I should be so endowed; yet are the noses of these figures
even larger than mine own could warrant, if the limner were correct, and
not malicious.  Still have they merit," continued the Dominie, looking
at some of them; and I heard a gentle _cluck, cluck_, in his throat, as
he laughed at his own mis-representations.  "_Artis adumbratae meruit
cum sedula laudem_, as Prudentius hath it.  I have no time to finish the

"Here is one drawing, sir," continued Mr Knapps, "which proves to me
that Jacob Faithful is the party; in which you and Mrs Bately are shown
up to ridicule.  Who would have been aware that the candle went out in
your study, except Jacob Faithful?"

"I perceive," replied the Dominie, looking at it through his spectacles,
when put into his hand, "the arcana of the study have been violated."

"But, sir," continued Mr Knapps, "here is a more convincing proof.  You
observe this caricature of yourself, with his own name put to it--his
own handwriting.  I recognised it immediately; and happening to turn
over his Cornelius Nepos, observed the first blank leaf torn out.  Here
it is, sir, and you will observe that it fits on to the remainder of the
leaf in the book exactly."

"I perceive that it doth; and am grieved to find that such is the case.
Jacob Faithful, thou are convicted of disrespect and of falsehood.
Where is Simon Swapps?"

"If you please, sir, may I not defend myself?" replied I.  "Am I to be
flogged unheard?"

"Nay, that were an injustice," replied the Dominie; "but what defence
canst thou offer?  _O puer infelix et sceleratus_!"

"May I look at those caricatures, sir?" said I.

The Dominie handed them to me in silence.  I looked them all over, and
immediately knew them to be drawn by Barnaby Bracegirdle.  The last
particularly struck me.  I had felt confounded and frightened with the
strong evidence brought against me; but this re-assured me, and I spoke
boldly.  "These drawings are by Barnaby Bracegirdle, sir, and not by me.
I never drew a caricature in my life."

"So didst thou assert that thou couldst not draw, and afterwards
provedst by thy pencil to the contrary, Jacob Faithful."

"I knew not that I was able to draw when I said so; but I wished to draw
when you supposed I was able--I did not like that you should give me
credit for what I could not do.  It was to please you, sir, that I asked
for the pencil."

"I wish it were as thou statest, Jacob--I wish from my inmost soul that
thou wert not guilty."

"Will you ask Mr Knapps from whom he had these drawings, and at what
time?  There are a great many of them."

"Answer, Mr Knapps, to the questions of Jacob Faithful."

"They have been given to me by the boys at different times during this
last month."

"Well, Mr Knapps, point out the boys who gave them."

Mr Knapps called out eight or ten boys, who came forward.  "Did Barnaby
Bracegirdle give you none of them, Mr Knapps?" said I, perceiving that
Barnaby was not summoned.

"No," replied Mr Knapps.

"If you please, sir," said I to the Dominie, "with respect to the leaf
out of my Nepos, the Jacob Faithful was written on it by me on the day
that you gave it to me; but the _fecit_, and the caricature of yourself,
is not mine.  How it came there I don't know."

"Thou hast disproved nothing, Jacob," replied the Dominie.

"But I have proved something, sir.  On what day was it that I asked you
for the pencil to draw with?  Was it not on a Saturday?"

"Last Saturday week, I think it was."

"Well, then, sir, Mr Knapps told you the day before that I could draw?"

"He did; and thou deniedst it."

"How, then, does Mr Knapps account for not producing those caricatures
of mine, which he says he has collected for a whole month?  Why didn't
he give them to you before?"

"Thou puttest it shrewdly," replied the Dominie.  "Answer, Mr Knapps,
why didst thou, for a fortnight at the least, conceal thy knowledge of
his offence?"

"I wished to have more proofs," replied the usher.

"Thou hearest, Jacob Faithful."

"Pray, sir, did you ever hear me speak of my poor mother but with

"Never, Jacob, thou hast ever appeared dutiful."

"Please, sir, to call up John Williams."

"John, Number 37, draw near."

"Williams," said I, "did you not tell me that Barnaby Bracegirdle had
drawn my mother flaming at the mouth?"

"Yes, I did."

My indignation now found vent in a torrent of tears.  "Now, sir," cried
I, "if you believe that I drew the caricatures of you and Mrs Bately--
did I draw this, which is by the same person?"  And I handed up to the
Dominie the caricature of my mother, which Mr Knapps had inadvertently
produced at the bottom of the rest.  Mr Knapps turned white as a sheet.

The Dominie looked at the caricature, and was silent for some time.  At
last he turned to the usher.

"From whom didst thou obtain this, Mr Knapps?"

Mr Knapps replied in his confusion, "From Barnaby Bracegirdle."

"It was but this moment thou didst state that thou hadst received none
from Barnaby Bracegirdle.  Thou hast contradicted thyself, Mr Knapps.
Jacob did not draw his mother; and the pencil is the same as that which
drew the rest--ergo, he did not, I really believe, draw one of them.
_Ite procul fraudes_.  God, I thank thee, that the innocent have been
protected.  Narrowly hast thou escaped these toils, O Jacob--_Cum populo
et duce fraudulento_.  And now for punishment.  Barnaby Bracegirdle,
thou gavest this caricature to Mr Knapps; from whence hadst thou it?
Lie not."

Barnaby turned red and white, and then acknowledged that the drawing was
his own.

"You boys," cried the Dominie, waving his rod which he had seized, "you
gave these drawings to Mr Knapps; tell me from whom they came."

The boys, frightened at the Dominie's looks, immediately replied in a
breath, "From Barnaby Bracegirdle."

"Then, Barnaby Bracegirdle, from whom didst thou receive them?" inquired
the Dominie.  Barnaby was dumbfounded.

"Tell the truth; didst thou not draw them thyself, since thou didst not
receive them from other people?"

Barnaby fell upon his knees, and related the whole circumstances,
particularly the way in which the Cornelius Nepos had been obtained
through the medium of Mr Knapps.  The indignation of the Dominie was
now beyond all bounds.  I never had seen him so moved before.  He
appeared to rise at least a foot more in stature, his eyes sparkled, his
great nose turned red, his nostrils dilated, and his mouth was more than
half open, to give vent to the ponderous breathing from his chest.  His
whole appearance was withering to the culprits.

"For thee, thou base, degraded, empty-headed, and venomous little
abortion of a man, I have no words to signify my contempt.  By the
governors of this charity I leave thy conduct to be judged; but until
they meet, thou shalt not pollute and contaminate the air of this school
by thy presence.  If thou hast one spark of good feeling in thy petty
frame, beg pardon of this poor boy, whom thou wouldst have ruined by thy
treachery.  If not, hasten to depart, lest in my wrath I apply to the
teacher the punishment intended for the scholar, but of which thou art
more deserving than even Barnaby Bracegirdle."

Mr Knapps said nothing, hastened out of the school, and that evening
quitted his domicile.  When the governors met he was expelled with
ignominy.  "Simon Swapps, hoist up Barnaby Bracegirdle."  Most
strenuously and most indefatigably was the birch applied to Barnaby, a
second time, through me.  Barnaby howled and kicked, howled and kicked,
and kicked again.  At last the Dominie was tired.  "_Consonat omne nemus
strepitu_" (for _nemus_ read schoolroom), exclaimed the Dominie, laying
down the rod, and pulling out his handkerchief to wipe his face.
"_Calcitrat, ardescunt germani coede bimembres_, that last quotation is
happy."  [cluck, cluck.] He then blew his nose, addressed the boys in a
long oration--paid me a handsome compliment upon my able defence--proved
to all those who chose to listen to him that innocence would always
confound guilt--intimated to Barnaby that he must leave the school, and
then finding himself worn out with exhaustion, gave the boys a holiday,
that they might reflect upon what had passed, and which they duly
profited by in playing at marbles and peg in the ring.  He then
dismissed the school, took me by the hand, and led me into his study,
where he gave vent to his strong and affectionate feelings towards me,
until the matron came to tell us that dinner was ready.

After this everything went on well.  The Dominie's kindness and
attention were unremitting, and no one ever thought of caballing against
me.  My progress became most rapid; I had conquered Virgil, taken
Tacitus by storm, and was reading the Odes of Horace.  I had passed
triumphantly through decimals, and was busily employed in mensuration of
solids, when one evening I was seized with a giddiness in my head.  I
complained to the matron; she felt my hands, pronounced me feverish, and
ordered me to bed.  I passed a restless night the next morning I
attempted to rise, but a heavy burning ball rolled as it were in my
head, and I fell back on my pillow.  The matron came, was alarmed at my
state, and sent for the surgeon, who pronounced that I had caught the
typhus fever, then raging through the vicinity.  This was the first time
in my life that I had known a day's sickness--it was a lesson I had yet
to learn.  The surgeon bled me, and giving directions to the matron,
promised to call again.  In a few hours I was quite delirious--my senses
ran wild.  One moment I thought I was with little Sarah Drummond,
walking in green fields, holding her by the hand.  I turned round, and
she was no longer there, but I was in the lighter, and my hand grasped
the cinders of my mother; my father stood before me, again jumped
overboard and disappeared; again the dark black column ascended from the
cabin, and I was prostrate on the deck.  Then I was once more alone on
the placid and noble Thames, the moon shining bright, and the sweep in
my hand, tiding up the reach, and admiring the foliage which hung in
dark shadows over the banks.  I saw the slopes of green, so pure and so
fresh by that sweet light, and in the distance counted the numerous
spires of the great monster city, and beheld the various bridges
spanning over the water.  The faint ripple of the tide was harmony, the
reflection of the moon, beauty; I felt happiness in my heart; I was no
longer the charity-boy, but the pilot of the barge.  Then, as I would
survey the scene, there was something that invariably presented itself
between my eyes and the object of my scrutiny; whichever way I looked,
it stood in my way, and I could not remove it.  It was like a cloud, yet
transparent, and with a certain undefined shape.  I tried for some time,
but in vain, to decipher it, but could not.  At last it appeared to
cohere into a form--it was the Dominie's great nose, magnified into that
of the Scripture, "As the tower which looketh towards Damascus."  My
temples throbbed with agony--I burned all over.  I had no exact notions
of death in bed, except that of my poor mother, and I thought that I was
to die like her; the horrible fear seized me that all this burning was
but prefatory to bursting out into flame and consuming into ashes.  The
dread hung about my young heart and turned that to ice, while the rest
of my body was on fire.  This was my last recollection, and then all was
blank.  For many days I lay unconscious of either pain or existence:
when I awoke from my stupor, my wandering senses gradually returning, I
opened my eyes, and dimly perceived something before me that cut across
my vision in a diagonal line.  As the mist cleared away, and I recovered
myself, I made out that it was the nose of Dominie Dobiensis, who was
kneeling at the bed-side, his nose adumbrating the coverlid of my bed,
his spectacles dimmed with tears, and his long grey locks falling on
each side, and shadowing his eyes.  I was not frightened, but I was too
weak to stir or speak.  His prayer-book was in his hand, and he still
remained on his knees.  He had been praying for me.  Supposing me still
insensible, he broke out in the following soliloquy:--

"_Naviculator larvus pallidus_--how beautiful even in death!  My poor
lighter-boy, that hath mastered the rudiments, and triumphed over the
Accidence--but to die!  _Levior puer_, a puerile conceit, yet I love it,
as I do thee.  How my heart bleeds for thee!  The icy breath of death
hath whitened thee, as the hoar-frost whitens the autumnal rose.  Why
wert thou transplanted from thine own element?  Young prince of the
stream--lord of the lighter--`_Ratis rex et magister_'--heir apparent to
the tiller--betrothed to the sweep--wedded to the deck--how art thou
laid low!  Where is the blooming cheek, ruddy with the browning air?
where the bright and swimming eye?  Alas where?  `_Tum breviter dirae
mortis aperta via est_,' as sweet Tibullus hath it;" and the Dominie
sobbed anew.  "Had this stroke fallen upon me, the aged, the ridiculed,
the little regarded, the ripe one for the sickle, it would have been
well--yet fain would I have instructed thee still more before I quitted
the scene--fain have left thee the mantle of learning.  Thou knowest,
Lord, that I walk wearily, as in the desert, that I am heavily burdened,
and that my infirmities are many.  Must I then mourn over thee, thou
promising one--must I say with the epigrammatist--

  "`Hoc jacet in tumulo, raptus puerilibus annis,
  Jacob Faithful domini cura, doloroque sui?'

"True, most true.  Thou hast quitted the element thou so joyously
controlledst, thou hast come upon the terra firma for thy grave?

  "`Sis licet inde sibi tellus placata, levisque,
  Artifices levior non potes esse manu.'

"Earth, lay light upon the lighter-boy--the lotus, the water-lily, that
hath been cast on shore to die.  Hadst thou lived, Jacob, I would have
taught thee the Humanities; we would have conferred pleasantly together.
I would have poured out my learning to thee, my Absalom, my son!"

He rose and stood over me; the tears coursed down his long nose from
both his eyes, and from the point of it poured out like a little
rain-gutter upon the coverlid.  I understood not all his words, but I
understood the spirit of them--it was love.  I feebly stretched forth my
arms, and articulated "Dominie!"

The old man clasped his hands, looked upwards, and said, "O God, I thank
thee--he will live.  Hush, hush, my sweet one, thou must not prate;" and
he retired on tiptoe, and I heard him mutter triumphantly, as he walked
away, "He called me `Dominie!'"

From that hour I rapidly recovered, and in three weeks was again at my
duties.  I was now within six months of being fourteen years old, and
Mr Drummond, who had occasionally called to ascertain my progress, came
to confer with the Dominie upon my future prospects.  "All that I can do
for him, Mr Dobbs," said my former master, "is to bind him apprentice
to serve his time on the River Thames, and that cannot be done until he
is fourteen.  Will the rules of the school permit his remaining?"

"The regulations do not exactly, but I will," replied the Dominie.  "I
have asked nothing for my long services, and the governors will not
refuse me such a slight favour; should they, I will charge myself with
him, that he may not lose his precious time.  What sayest thou, Jacob,
dost thou feel inclined to return to thy father Thames?"

I replied in the affirmative, for the recollections of my former life
were those of independence and activity.

"Thou hast decided well, Jacob--the tailor at his needle, the shoemaker
at his last, the serving boy to an exacting mistress, and all those
apprenticed to the various trades, have no time for improvement; but
afloat there are moments of quiet and peace--the still night for
reflection, the watch for meditation; and even the adverse wind or tide
leaves moments of leisure which may be employed to advantage.  Then wilt
thou call to mind the stores of learning which I have laid up in thy
garner, and wilt add to them by perseverance and industry.  Thou hast
yet six months to profit by, and, with the blessing of God, those six
months shall not be thrown away."

Mr Drummond having received my consent to be bound apprentice, wished
me farewell, and departed.  During the six months the Dominie pressed me
hard, almost too hard, but I worked for _love_, and to please him I was
most diligent.  At last the time had flown away, the six months had more
than expired, and Mr Drummond made his appearance, with a servant
carrying a bundle under his arm.  I slipped off my pepper-and-salt, my
yellows and badge, dressed myself in a neat blue jacket and trousers,
and with many exhortations from the Dominie, and kind wishes from the
matron, I bade farewell to them and to the charity-school, and in an
hour was once more under the roof of the kind Mrs Drummond.

But how different were my sensations to those which oppressed me when I
had before entered.  I was no longer a little savage, uneducated and
confused in my ideas.  On the contrary, I was full of imagination,
confident in myself, and in my own powers, cultivated in mind, and proud
of my success.  The finer feelings of my nature had been called into
play.  I felt gratitude, humility, and love, at the same time that I was
aware of my own capabilities.  In person I had much improved, as well as
much increased in stature.  I walked confident and elastic, joying in
the world, hoping, anticipating, and kindly disposed towards my
fellow-creatures.  I knew, I felt my improvement, my total change of
character, and it was with sparkling eyes that I looked up at the
window, where I saw Mrs Drummond and little Sarah watching my return
and reappearance after an absence of three years.

Mrs Drummond had been prepared by her husband to find a great change;
but still she looked for a second or two with wonder as I entered the
door, with my hat in my hand, and paid my obeisance.  She extended her
hand to me, which I took respectfully.

"I should not have known you, Jacob; you have grown quite a man," said
she, smiling.  Sarah held back, looking at me with pleased astonishment;
but I went up to her, and she timidly accepted my hand.  I had left her
as my superior--I returned, and she soon perceived that I had a
legitimate right to the command.  It was some time before she would
converse, and much longer before she would become intimate; but when she
did so, it was no longer the little girl encouraging the untutored boy
by kindness, or laughing at his absurdities, but looking up to him with
respect and affection, and taking his opinion as a guide for her own.  I
had gained the _power of knowledge_.

By the regulations of the Waterman's Company, it is necessary that every
one who wishes to ply on the river on his own account should serve as an
apprentice from the age of fourteen to twenty-one; at all events, he
must serve an apprenticeship for seven years, and be fourteen years old
before he signs the articles.  This apprenticeship may be served in any
description of vessel which sails or works on the river, whether it be
barge, lighter, fishing smack, or a boat of larger dimensions, and it is
not until that apprenticeship is served that he can work on his own
account, either in a wherry or any other craft.  Mr Drummond offered to
article me on board of one of his own lighters free of all expense,
leaving me at liberty to change into any other vessel that I might think
proper.  I gratefully accepted the proposal, went with him to Watermen's
Hall, signed the papers, and thus was, at the age of fourteen, "_Bound
'prentice to a Waterman_."



"Jacob, this is Marables, who has charge of the Polly barge," said Mr
Drummond, who had sent for me into his office, a few days after my
arrival at his house.  "Marables," continued my protector, addressing
the man, "I have told you that this lad is bound 'prentice to the Polly;
I expect you will look after him, and treat him kindly.  No blows or ill
treatment.  If he does not conduct himself well (but well I'm sure he
will), let me know when you come back from your trip."

During this speech I was scrutinising the outward man of my future
controller.  He was stout and well-built, inclining to corpulence, his
features remarkably good, although his eyes were not large.  His mouth
was very small, and there was a good-natured smile on his lips as he
answered, "I never treated a cat ill, master."

"I believe not," replied Mr Drummond; "but I am anxious that Jacob
should do well in the world, and therefore let you know that he will
always have my protection, so long as he conducts himself properly."

"We shall be very good friends, sir, I'll answer for it, if I may judge
from the cut of his jib," replied Marables, extending to me an immense
hand, as broad as it was long.

After this introduction, Mr Drummond gave him some directions, and left
us together.

"Come and see the craft, boy," said Marables and I followed him to the
barge, which was one of those fitted with a mast which lowered down and
hauled up again, as required.  She plied up and down the river as far as
the Nore, sometimes extending her voyage still farther: but that was
only in the summer months.  She had a large cabin abaft, and a cuddy
forward.  The cabin was locked, and I could not examine it.

"This will be your berth," said Marables, pointing to the cuddy-hatch
forward; "you will have it all to yourself.  The other man and I sleep

"Have you another man, then?"

"Yes, I have, Jacob," replied he; and then muttering to himself, "I wish
I had not--I wish the barge was only between us, Jacob, or that you had
not been sent on board," continued he, gravely.  "It would have been
better--much better."  And he walked aft, whistling in a low tone,
looking down sadly on the deck.

"Is your cabin large?" inquired I, as he came forward.

"Yes, large enough; but I cannot show it to you now--he has the key."

"What, the other man under you?"

"Yes," replied Marables, hastily.  "I've been thinking, Jacob, that you
may as well remain on shore till we start.  You can be of no use here."

To this I had no objection; but I often went on board during the
fortnight that the barge remained, and soon became very partial to
Marables.  There was a kindness about him that won me, and I was
distressed to perceive that he was often very melancholy.  What
surprised me most was to find that during the first week the cabin was
constantly locked, and that Marables had not the key; it appeared so
strange that he, as master of the barge, should be locked out of his own
cabin by his inferior.

One day I went early on board, and found not only the cabin doors open,
but the other man belonging to her walking up and down the deck with
Marables.  He was a well-looking, tall, active young man, apparently not
thirty, with a general boldness of countenance strongly contrasted with
a furtive glance of the eye.  He had a sort of blue smock-frock
over-all, and the trousers which appeared below were of a finer texture
than those usually worn by people of his condition.

"This is the lad who is bound to the barge," said Marables.  "Jacob,
this is Fleming."

"So, younker," said Fleming, after casting an inquiring eye upon me,
"you are to sail with us, are you?  It's my opinion that your room would
be better than your company.  However, if you keep your eyes open, I'd
advise you to keep your mouth shut.  When I don't like people's company,
I sometimes give them a hoist into the stream--so keep a sharp look out,
my joker."

Not very well pleased with this address, I answered, "I thought Marables
had charge of the craft, and that I was to look to him for orders."

"Did you, indeed!" replied Fleming, with a sneer.  "I say, my lad, can
you swim?"

"No, I can't," replied I--"I wish I could."

"Well, then, take my advice--learn to swim as fast as you can for I have
a strong notion that one day or other I shall take you by the scruff of
the neck, and send you to look after your father."

"Fleming!  Fleming! pray be quiet!" said Marables, who had several times
pulled him by the sleeve.  "He's only joking, Jacob," continued Marables
to me, as, indignant at the mention of my father's death, I was walking
away to the shore, over the other lighters.

"Well," replied I, turning round, "if I am to be tossed overboard, it's
just as well to let Mr Drummond know, that if I'm missing he may guess
what's become of me."

"Pooh! nonsense!" said Fleming, immediately altering his manner, and
coming to me where I stood in the barge next to them.  "Give us your
hand, my boy; I was only trying what stuff you were made of.  Come,
shake hands; I wasn't in earnest."

I took the proffered hand, and went on shore.  "Nevertheless," thought
I, "I'll learn to swim; for I rather think he was in earnest."  And I
took my first lesson that day; and by dint of practice soon acquired
that very necessary art.  Had it not been for the threat of Fleming, I
probably should not have thought of it; but it occurred to me that I
might tumble, even if I were not thrown overboard, and that a knowledge
of swimming would do no harm.

The day before the barge was to proceed down the river to Sheerness,
with a cargo of bricks, I called upon my worthy old master, Dominie

"_Salve puer_!" cried the old man, who was sitting in his study.
"Verily, Jacob, thou art come in good time.  I am at leisure, and will
give thee a lesson.  Sit down, my child."

The Dominie opened the Aeneid of Virgil, and commenced forthwith.  I was
fortunate enough to please him with my off-hand translation; and as he
closed the book, I told him that I had called to bid him farewell, as we
started at daylight the next morning.

"Jacob," said he, "thou hast profited well by the lessons which I have
bestowed upon thee: now take heed of that advice which I am now about to
offer to thee.  There are many who will tell thee that thy knowledge is
of no use, for what avail can the Latin tongue be to a boy on board of a
lighter.  Others may think that I have done wrong thus to instruct thee,
as thy knowledge may render thee vain--_nil exactius eruditiusque est_--
or discontented with thy situation in life.  Such is too often the case,
I grant; but it is because education is not as general as it ought to
be.  Were all educated, the superiority acquired or presumed upon by
education would be lost, and the nation would not only be wiser but
happier.  It would judge more rightly, would not condemn the measures of
its rulers, which at present it cannot understand, and would not be led
away by the clamour and misrepresentation of the disaffected.  But I
must not digress, as time is short.  Jacob, I feel that thou wilt not be
spoilt by the knowledge instilled into thee; but mark me, parade it not,
for it will be vanity, and make thee enemies.  Cultivate thyself as much
as thou canst, but in due season--thy duties to thy employer must be
first attended to--but treasure up what thou hast, and lay up more when
thou canst.  Consider it as hidden wealth, which may hereafter be
advantageously employed.  Thou art now but an apprentice in a barge; but
what mayest thou not be, Jacob, if thou art diligent--if thou fear God,
and be honest?  I will now call to my mind some examples to stimulate
thee in thy career."

Here the Dominie brought forward about forty or fifty instances from
history, in which people from nothing had risen to the highest rank and
consideration; but although I listened to them very attentively, the
reader will probably not regret the omission of the Dominie's catalogue.
Having concluded, the Dominie gave me a Latin Testament, the Whole Duty
of Man, and his blessing.  The matron added to them a large slice of
seed-cake and by the time that I had returned to Mr Drummond's, both
the Dominie's precepts and the matron's considerate addition had been
well digested.

It was six o'clock the next morning that we cast off our fastenings and
pulled into the stream.  The day was lovely, the sun had risen above the
trees, which feathered their boughs down on the sloping lawns in front
of the many beautiful retreats of the nobility and gentry which border
the river; and the lamp of day poured a flood of light upon the smooth
and rapidly ebbing river.  The heavy dew which had fallen during the
night studded the sides of the barge, and glittered like necklaces of
diamonds; the mist and the fog had ascended, except here and there,
where it partially concealed the landscape; boats laden with the produce
of the market-gardens in the vicinity were hastening down with the tide
to supply the metropolis; the watermen were in their wherries, cleaning
and mopping them out, ready for their fares; the smoke of the chimneys
ascended in a straight line to heaven; and the distant chirping of the
birds in the trees added to the hilarity and lightness of heart with
which I now commenced my career as an apprentice.

I was forward, looking down the river, when Marables called me to take
the helm, while they went to breakfast.  He commenced giving me
instructions; but I cut them short by proving to him that I knew the
river as well as he did.  Pleased at the information, he joined Fleming,
who was preparing the breakfast in the cabin, and I was left on the deck
by myself.  There, as we glided by every object which for years I had
not seen, but which was immediately recognised and welcomed as an old
friend, with what rapidity did former scenes connected with them flash
into my memory!  There was the inn at the water-side, where my father
used to replenish the stone bottle; it was just where the barge now was
that I had hooked and pulled up the largest chub I had ever caught.  Now
I arrived at the spot where we had ran foul of another craft; and my
father, with his pipe in his mouth and his "Take it coolly," which so
exasperated the other parties, stood as alive before me.  Here--yes, it
was here--exactly here--where we anchored on that fatal night when I was
left an orphan--it was here that my father disappeared; and as I looked
down at the water, I almost thought I could perceive it again close over
him, as it eddied by: and it was here that the black smoke--The whole
scene came fresh to my memory, my eyes filled with tears, and, for a
little while, I could not see to steer.  But I soon recovered myself;
the freshness of the air, the bright sky overhead, the busy scene before
me, and the necessity of attending to my duty, chased away my painful
remembrances; and when I had passed the spot I was again cheerful and

In half-an-hour I had shot Putney Bridge, and was sweeping clear of the
shallows on the reach below, when Marables and Fleming came up.  "How!"
exclaimed Marables; "have we passed the bridge?  Why did you not call

"I have shot it without help many and many a time," replied I, "when I
was but ten years old.  Why should I call you from your breakfast?  But
the tides are high now, and the stream rapid; you had better get a sweep
out on the bow, or we may tail on the bank."

"Well!" replied Fleming, with astonishment; "I had no idea that he would
have been any help to us; but so much the better."  He then spoke in a
low tone to Marables.

Marables shook his head.  "Don't try it Fleming, it will never do."

"So you said once about yourself," replied Fleming, laughing.

"I did--I did!" replied Marables, clenching both his hands, which at the
time were crossed on his breast, with a look of painful emotion; "but I
say again, don't try it; nay, I say more, you _shall_ not."

"Shall not?" replied Fleming, haughtily.

"Yes," replied Marables, coolly; "I say shall not, and I'll stand by my
words.  Now, Jacob, give me the helm, and get your breakfast."

I gave up the helm to Marables, and was about to enter the cabin, when
Fleming caught me by the arm, and _slewed_ me round.  "I say, my joker,
we may just as well begin as we leave off.  Understand me, that into
that cabin you never enter; and understand further, that if ever I find
you in that cabin, by day or night, I'll break every bone in your body.
Your berth is forward; and as for your meals, you may either take them
down there or you may eat them on deck."

From what I had already witnessed, I knew that for some reason or other,
Fleming had the control over Marables; nevertheless I replied, "If Mr
Marables says it is to be so, well and good; but he has charge of this
barge."  Marables made no reply; he coloured up, seemed very much
annoyed, and then looked up to the sky.

"You'll find," continued Fleming, addressing me in a low voice, "that I
command here--so be wise.  Perhaps the day may come when you may walk in
and out the cabin as you please, but that depends upon yourself.
By-and-by, when we know more of each other--"

"Never, Fleming, never!" interrupted Marables, in a firm and loud tone.
"It _shall_ not be."

Fleming muttered what I could not hear, and going into the cabin,
brought me out my breakfast which I despatched with good appetite; and
soon afterwards I offered to take the helm; which offer was accepted by
Marables, who retired to the cabin with Fleming, where I heard them
converse for a long while in a low tone.

The tide was about three-quarters ebb when the barge arrived abreast of
Millbank.  Marables came on deck, and taking the helm, desired me to go
forward and see the anchor clear for letting go.

"Anchor clear!" said I.  "Why, we have a good hour more before we meet
the flood."

"I know that, Jacob, as well as you do; but we shall not go farther
to-night.  Be smart, and see all clear."

Whether Fleming thought that it was necessary to blind me, or whether it
was true that they were only obeying their orders, he said to Marables
in my hearing, "Will you go on shore and give the letters to Mr
Drummond's correspondent, or shall I go for you?"

"You had better go," replied Marables, carelessly; and shortly after
they went to dinner in the cabin, Fleming bringing me mine out on deck.

The flood tide now made, and we rode to the stream.  Having nothing to
do, and Marables as well as Fleming appearing to avoid me, I brought the
Dominie's Latin Testament, and amused myself with reading it.  About a
quarter of an hour before dusk, Fleming made his appearance to go on
shore.  He was genteelly, I may say fashionably, dressed in a suit of
black, with a white neckcloth.  At first I did not recognise him, so
surprised was I at his alteration; and my thoughts, as soon as my
surprise was over, naturally turned upon the singularity of a man who
worked in a barge under another now assuming the dress and appearance of
a gentleman.  Marables hauled up the little skiff which lay astern.
Fleming jumped in and shoved off.  I watched him till I perceived him
land at the stairs, and then turned round to Marables: "I can't
understand all this," observed I.

"I don't suppose you can," replied Marables: "but still I could explain
it if you will promise me faithfully not to say a word about it."

"I will make that promise if you satisfy me that all is right," answered

"As to all being right, Jacob, that's as may be; but if I prove to you
that there is no harm done to our master, I suppose you will keep the
secret.  However, I must not allow you to think worse of it than it
really is; no, I'll trust to your good nature.  You wouldn't harm me,
Jacob?"  Marables then told me that Fleming had once been well-to-do in
the world, and during the long illness and subsequent death of Marables'
wife, had lent him money; that Fleming had been very imprudent, and had
run up a great many debts, and that the bailiffs were after him.  On
this emergency he had applied to Marables to help him, and that, in
consequence, he had received him on board of the barge, where they never
would think of looking for him; that Fleming had friends, and contrived
to go on shore at night to see them, and get what assistance he could
from them in money: in the meantime his relations were trying what they
could do to arrange with his creditors.  "Now," said Marables, after
this narration, "how could I help assisting one who has been so kind to
me?  And what harm does it do Mr Drummond?  If Fleming can't do his
work, or won't, when we unload, he pays another man himself; so Mr
Drummond is not hurt by it."

"That may be all true," replied I; "but I cannot imagine why I am not to
enter the cabin, and why he orders about here as master."

"Why, you see, Jacob, I owe him money, and he allows me so much per week
for the cabin, by which means I pay it off.  Do you understand now?"

"Yes, I understand what you have said," replied I.

"Well, then, Jacob, I hope you'll say nothing about it.  It would only
harm me, and do no good."

"That depends upon Fleming's behaviour towards me," replied I.  "I will
not be bullied and made uncomfortable by him, depend upon it; he has no
business on board the barge, that's clear, and I am bound 'prentice to
her.  I don't wish to hurt you; and as I suppose Fleming won't be long
on board, I shall say nothing unless he treats me ill."

Marables then left me, and I reflected upon what he had said.  It
appeared all very probable; but still I was not satisfied.  I resolved
to watch narrowly, and if anything occurred which excited more
suspicions, to inform Mr Drummond upon our return.  Shortly afterwards
Marables came out again, and told me I might go to bed, and he would
keep the deck till Fleming's return.  I assented, and went down to the
cuddy; but I did not much like this permission.  It appeared to me as if
he wanted to get rid of me, and I laid awake, turning over in my mind
all that I had heard and seen.  About two o'clock in the morning I heard
the sound of oars, and the skiff strike the side of the barge.  I did
not go up, but I put my head up the scuttle to see what was going on.
It was broad moonlight, and almost as clear as day.  Fleming threw up
the painter of the skiff to Marables, and, as he held it, lifted out of
the boat a blue bag, apparently well filled.  The contents jingled as it
was landed on the deck.  He then put out a yellow silk handkerchief full
of something else, and having gained the deck, Marables walked aft with
the painter in his hand until the skiff had dropped astern, where he
made it fast, and returned to Fleming, who stood close to the blue bag.
I heard Fleming ask Marables, in a low voice, if I were in bed, and an
answer given in the affirmative.  I dropped my head immediately, that I
might not be discovered, and turned into my bed-place.  I was restless
for a long while; thought upon thought, surmise upon surmise, conjecture
upon conjecture, and doubt upon doubt, occupied my brain, until at last
I went fast asleep--so fast, that I did not wake until summoned by
Fleming.  I rose, and when I came on deck found that the anchor had been
weighed more than two hours, and that we were past all the bridges.
"Why, Jacob, my man, you've had a famous nap," said Fleming, with
apparent good humour; "now go aft, and get your breakfast, it has been
waiting for you this half-hour."  By the manner of Fleming I took it for
granted that Marables had acquainted him with our conversation, and,
indeed, from that time, during our whole trip, Fleming treated me with
kindness and familiarity.  The veto had not, however, been taken off the
cabin, which I never attempted to enter.



On our arrival off the Medway, I had just gone down to bed and was
undressing, when I heard Fleming come on deck and haul up the boat.  I
looked up the hatchway; it was very dark, but I could perceive Marables
hand him the bag and handkerchief, with which he pulled on shore.  He
did not return until the next morning at daylight, when I met him as he
came up the side.  "Well, Jacob," said he, "you've caught me, I've been
on shore to see my sweetheart; but you boys ought to know nothing about
these things.  Make the boat fast, there's a good lad."

When we were one night discharging our cargo, which was for government,
I heard voices alongside.  From habit, the least noise now awoke me: a
boat striking the side was certain so to do.  It was then about twelve
o'clock.  I looked up the hatchway, perceived two men come on board and
enter the cabin with packages.  They remained there about ten minutes,
and then, escorted to the side by Fleming, left the barge.  When the
barge was cleared, we hauled off to return, and in three days were again
alongside of Mr Drummond's wharf.  The kindness both of Marables and of
Fleming had been very great.  They lived in a style very superior to
what they could be expected to do, and I fared well in consequence.

On our arrival at the wharf, Marables came up to me, and said, "Now,
Jacob, as I have honestly told you the secret, I hope you won't ruin me
by saying a word to Mr Drummond."  I had before made up my mind to say
nothing to my master until my suspicions were confirmed, and I therefore
gave my promise; but I had also resolved to impart my suspicions, as
well as what I had seen, to the old Dominie.  On the third day after our
arrival I walked out to the school, and acquainted him with all that had
passed, and asked him for his advice.

"Jacob," said he, "thou hast done well, but thou mightest have done
better; hadst thou not given thy promise, which is sacred, I would have
taken thee to Mr Drummond, that thou mightest impart the whole,
instanter.  I like it not.  Evil deeds are done in darkness.  _Noctem
peccatis et fraudibus objice nubem_.  Still, as thou sayest, nought is
yet proved.  Watch, therefore, Jacob--watch carefully over thy master's
interests, and the interests of society at large.  It is thy duty, I may
say, _Vigilare noctesque diesque_.  It may be as Marables hath said--and
all may be accounted for; still, I say, be careful, and be honest."

I followed the suggestions of the Dominie: we were soon laden with
another cargo of bricks, to be delivered at the same place, and
proceeded on our voyage.  Marables and Fleming, finding that I had not
said a word to Mr Drummond, treated me with every kindness.  Fleming
once offered me money, which I refused, saying that I had no use for it.
I was on the best terms with them, at the same time that I took notice
of all that passed, without offering a remark to excite their
suspicions.  But not to be too prolix, it will suffice to say that we
made many trips during several months, and that during that time I made
the following observations:--that Fleming went on shore at night at
certain places, taking with him bags and bundles; that he generally
returned with others, which were taken into the cabin; that sometimes
people came off at night, and remained some time in the cabin with him;
and that all this took place when it was supposed that I was asleep.
The cabin was invariably locked when the barge was lying at the wharfs,
if Fleming was on shore, and at no time was I permitted to enter it.
Marables was a complete cipher in Fleming's hands, who ordered
everything as he pleased; and in the conversations which took place
before me, with much less restraint than at first, there appeared to be
no idea of Fleming's leaving us.  As I felt convinced that there was no
chance of discovery without further efforts on my part, and my
suspicions increasing daily, I resolved upon running some hazard.  My
chief wish was to get into the cabin and examine its contents; but this
was not easy, and would, in all probability, be a dangerous attempt.
One night I came on deck in my shirt.  We were at anchor off
Rotherhithe: it was a dark night, with a drizzling rain.  I was
hastening below, when I perceived a light still burning in the cabin,
and heard the voices of Marables and Fleming.  I thought this a good
opportunity, and having no shoes, walked softly on the wet deck to the
cabin-door, which opened forward, and peeped through the crevices.
Marables and Fleming were sitting opposite each other at the little
table.  There were some papers before them, and they were dividing some
money.  Marables expostulated at his share not being sufficient, and
Fleming laughed and told him he had earned no more.  Fearful of being
discovered, I made a silent retreat, and gained my bed.  It was well
that I had made the resolution; for just as I was putting my head below
the hatch, and drawing it over the scuttle, the door was thrown open and
Fleming came out, I pondered over this circumstance, and the remark of
Fleming that Marables had not earned any more, and I felt convinced that
the story told me by Marables relative to Fleming was all false.  This
conviction stimulated me more than ever to discover the secret, and many
and many a night did I watch, with a hope of being able to examine the
cabin; but it was to no purpose, either Fleming or Marables was always
on board.  I continued to report to the Dominie all I had discovered,
and he agreed at last that it was better that I should not say anything
to Mr Drummond until there was the fullest proof of the nature of their

The cabin was now the sole object of my thoughts, and many were the
schemes resolved in my mind to obtain an entrance.  Fatima never coveted
admission to the dreadful chamber of Bluebeard as I did to ascertain the
secrets of this hidden receptacle.  One night Fleming had quitted the
barge, and I ascended from my dormitory.  Marables was on deck, sitting
upon the water-cask, with his elbow resting on the gunwale, his hand
supporting his head, as if in deep thought.  The cabin-doors were
closed, but the light still remained in it.  I watched for some time,
and perceiving that Marables did not move, walked gently up to him.  He
was fast asleep; I waited for some little time alongside of him.  At
last he snored.  It was an opportunity not to be lost.  I crept to the
cabin-door; it was not locked.  Although I did not fear the wrath of
Marables, in case of discovery, as I did that of Fleming, it was still
with a beating heart and a tremulous hand that I gently opened the door,
pausing before I entered, to ascertain if Marables were disturbed.  He
moved not, and I entered, closing the door after me.  I caught up the
light, and held it in my hand as I hung over the table.  On each side
were the two bed-places of Marables and Fleming, which I had before then
had many a partial glimpse of.  In front of the two bed-places were two
lockers to sit down upon.  I tried them--they were not fast--they
contained their clothes.  At the after part of the cabin were three
cupboards; I opened the centre one; it contained crockery, glass, and
knives and forks.  I tried the one on the starboard side; it was locked,
but the key was in it.  I turned it gently, but being a good lock, it
snapped loud.  I paused in fear--but Marables still slept.  The cupboard
had three shelves, and every shelf was loaded with silver spoons, forks,
and every variety of plate, mixed with watches, bracelets, and ornaments
of every description.  There was, I perceived, a label on each, with a
peculiar mark.  Wishing to have an accurate survey, and encouraged by my
discovery, I turned to the cupboard opposite, on the larboard side, and
I opened it.  It contained silk handkerchiefs in every variety, lace
veils, and various other articles of value; on the lower shelf were laid
three pairs of pistols.  I was now satisfied, and closing the last
cupboard, which had not been locked, was about to retreat, when I
recollected that I had not re-locked the first cupboard, and that they
might not, by finding it open, suspect my visit, I turned the key.  It
made a louder snap than before.  I heard Marables start from his slumber
on deck; in a moment I blew out the lamp, and remained quiet.  Marables
got up, took a turn or two, looked at the cabin doors, which were shut,
and opened them a little.  Perceiving that the lamp had, as he thought,
gone out, he shut them again, and, to my consternation, turned the key.
There I was, locked up, until the arrival of Fleming--then to be left to
his mercy.  I hardly knew how to act: at last I resolved upon calling to
Marables, as I dreaded his anger less than Fleming's.  Then it occurred
to me that Marables might come in, feel for the lamp to re-light it, and
that, as he came in on one side of the cabin, I might, in the dark,
escape by the other.  This all but forlorn hope prevented me for some
time from applying to him.  At last I made up my mind that I would, and
ran from the locker to call through the door, when I heard the sound of
oars.  I paused again--loitered--the boat was alongside, and I heard
Fleming jump upon the deck.

"Quick," said he to Marables, as he came to the cabin-door, and tried to
open it; "We've no time to lose--we must get up the sacks and sink
everything.  Two of them have 'peached, and the fence will be

He took the keys from Marables and opened the door; I had replaced the
lamp upon the table.  Fleming entered, took a seat on the locker on the
larboard side, and felt for the lamp.  Marables followed him, and sat
down on the starboard locker;--escape was impossible.  With a throbbing
heart I sat in silence, watching my fate.  In the meantime, Fleming had
taken out of his pocket his phosphorus match box.  I heard the tin top
pulled open--even the slight rustling of the one match selected was
perceived.  Another second it was withdrawn from the bottle, and a wild
flame of light illumined the deck cabin, and discovered me to their
view.  Staggered at my appearance, the match fell from Fleming's hand,
and all was dark as before; but there was no more to be gained by
darkness--I had been discovered.

"Jacob!" cried Marables.

"Will not live to tell the tale," added Fleming, with a firm voice, as
he put another match into the bottle, and then relighted the lamp.
"Come," said Fleming, fiercely; "out of the cabin immediately."

I prepared to obey him.  Fleming went out, and I was following him round
his side of the table, when Marables interposed.

"Stop: Fleming, what is that you mean to do?"

"Silence him!" retorted Fleming.

"But not murder him, surely?" cried Marables, trembling from head to
foot.  "You will not, dare not, do that."

"What is it that I dare not do, Marables? but it is useless to talk; it
is now his life or mine.  One must be sacrificed, and I will not die yet
to please him."

"You shall not--by God, Fleming, you shall not!" cried Marables, seizing
hold of my other arm, and holding me tight.

I added my resistance to that of Marables; when Fleming, perceiving that
we should be masters, took a pistol from his pocket, and struck Marables
a blow on the head, which rendered him senseless.  Throwing away the
pistol, he dragged me out of the cabin.  I was strong, but he was very
powerful; my resistance availed me nothing: by degrees he forced me to
the side of the barge, and lifting me in his arms, dashed me into the
dark and rapidly flowing water.  It was fortunate for me that the threat
of Fleming, upon our first meeting, had induced me to practise swimming,
and still more fortunate that I was not encumbered with any other
clothes than my shirt, in which I had come on deck.  As it was, I was
carried away by the tide for some time before I could rise, and at such
a distance that Fleming, who probably watched, did not perceive that I
came up again.  Still, I had but little hopes of saving myself in a dark
night, and at nearly a quarter of a mile from shore.  I struggled to
keep myself afloat, when I heard the sound of oars; a second or two more
and I saw them over my head.  I grasped at and seized the last, as the
others passed me, crying "Help!"

"What the devil!  Oars, my men; here's somebody overboard," cried the
man, whose oar I had seized.

They stopped pulling; he dragged in his oar till he could lay hold of
me, and then they hauled me into the boat.  I was exhausted with cold
and my energetic struggles in the water; and it was not until they had
wrapped me up in a great-coat, and poured some spirits down my throat;
that I could speak.  They inquired to which of the craft I belonged.

"The Folly barge."

"The very one we are searching for.  Where about is she, my lad?"

I directed them: the boat was a large wherry, pulling six oars,
belonging to the river police.  The officer in the stern sheets, who
steered her, then said, "How came you overboard?"

"I was thrown overboard," replied I, "by a man called Fleming."

"The name he goes by," cried the officer.  "Give way, my lads.  There's
murder, it appears, as well as other charges."

In a quarter of an hour we were alongside--the officer and four men
sprang out of the boat, leaving the other two with directions for me to
remain in the boat.  Cold and miserable as I was, I was too much
interested in the scene not to rise up from the stern sheets, and pay
attention to what passed.  When the officer and his men gained the deck,
they were met by Fleming in the advance, and Marables about a yard or
two behind.

"What's all this?" cried Fleming, boldly.  "Are you river pirates, come
to plunder us?"

"Not exactly," replied the officer; "but we are just come to overhaul
you.  Deliver up the key of your cabin," continued he, after trying the
door and finding it locked.

"With all my heart, if you prove yourselves authorised to search,"
replied Fleming; "but you'll find no smuggled spirits here, I can tell
you.  Marables, hand them the key; I see that they belong to the river

Marables, who had never spoken, handed the key to the officer, who,
opening a dark lanthorn, went down into the cabin and proceeded in his
search, leaving two of the men to take charge of Fleming and Marables.
But his search was in vain; he could find nothing, and he came out on

"Well," said Fleming, sarcastically, "have you made a seizure?"

"Wait a little," said the officer; "how many men have you in this

"You see them," replied Fleming.

"Yes; but you have a boy; where is he?"

"We have no boy," replied Fleming; "two men are quite enough for this

"Still I ask you, what has become of the boy? for a boy was on your
decks this afternoon."

"If there was one, I presume he has gone on shore again."

"Answer me another question; which of you threw him overboard?"

At this query of the officer, Fleming started, while Marables cried out,
"It was not I; I would have saved him.  O that the boy were here to
prove it!"

"I am here, Marables," said I, coming on deck, "and I am witness that
you tried to save me, until you were struck senseless by that ruffian,
Fleming, who threw me overboard, that I might not give evidence as to
the silver and gold which I found in the cabin; and which I overheard
him tell you must be put into sacks and sunk, as two of the men had

Fleming, when he saw me, turned round, as if not to look at me.  His
face I could not see; but after remaining a few seconds in that
position, he held out his hands in silence for the handcuffs, which the
officer had already taken out of his pocket.  Marables, on the contrary,
sprang forward as soon as I had finished speaking, and caught me in his

"My fine, honest boy!  I thank God--I thank God!  All that he has said
is true, sir.  You will find the goods sunk astern, and the buoy-rope to
them fastened to the lower pintle of the rudder.  Jacob, thank God, you
are safe!  I little thought to see you again.  There, sir," continued he
to the officer, holding out his hands, "I deserve it all.  I had not
strength of mind enough to be honest."

The handcuffs were put on Marables as well as on Fleming, and the
officer, allowing me time to go down and put on my clothes, hauled up
the sacks containing the valuables, and leaving two hands in charge of
the barge, rowed ashore with us all in the boat.  It was then about
three o'clock in the morning, and I was very glad when we arrived at the
receiving-house, and I was permitted to warm myself before the fire.  As
soon as I was comfortable, I laid down on the bench and fell fast



I did not awake the next morning till roused by the police, who brought
us up before the magistrates.  The crowd that followed appeared to make
no distinction between the prisoners and the witness, and remarks not
very complimentary, and to me very annoying, were liberally made.  "He's
a young hand for such work," cried one.  "There's gallows marked in his
face," observed another, to whom, when I turned round to look at him, I
certainly could have returned the compliment.  The station was not far
from the magistrates' office, and we soon arrived.  The principal
officer went into the inner room, and communicated with the magistrates
before they came out and took their seats on the bench.

"Where is Jacob Faithful?  My lad, do you know the nature of an oath?"

I answered in the affirmative; the oath was administered, and my
evidence taken down.  It was then read over to the prisoners, who were
asked if they had anything to say in their defence.  Fleming, who had
sent for his lawyer, was advised to make no answer.  Marables quietly
replied, that all the boy had said was quite true.

"Recollect," said the magistrate, "we cannot accept you as king's
evidence; that of the boy is considered sufficient."

"I did not intend that you should," replied Marables.  "I only want to
ease my conscience, not to try for my pardon."

They were then committed for trial, and led away to prison.  I could not
help going up to Marables and shaking his hand, before he was led away.
He lifted up his two arms, for he was still handcuffed, and wiped his
eyes, saying, "Let this be a warning to you, Jacob--not that I think you
need it; but still I once was honest as yourself--and look at me now."
And he cast his eyes down sorrowfully upon his fettered wrists.  They
quitted the room, Fleming giving me a look which was very significant of
what my chance would be if ever I fell into his clutches.

"We must detain you, my lad," observed one of the magistrates, "without
you can procure a sufficient bail for your appearance as witness on the

I replied that I knew of no one except my master, Mr Drummond, and my
schoolmaster; and had no means of letting them know of my situation.

The magistrate then directed the officer to go down by the first
Brentford coach, acquaint Mr Drummond with what had passed, and that
the lighter would remain in charge of the river police until he could
send hands on board of her; and I was allowed to sit down on the bench
behind the bar.  It was not until past noon that Mr Drummond,
accompanied by the Dominie, made his appearance.  To save time, the
magistrates gave them my deposition to read; they put in bail, and I was
permitted to leave the court.  We went down by the coach, but as they
went inside and I was out, I had not many questions asked until my
arrival at Mr Drummond's house, when I gave them a detailed account of
all that had happened.

"Proh!  Deus!" exclaimed the Dominie, when I had finished my story.
"What an escape!  How narrowly, as Propertius hath it femininely,
`_Eripitur nobis jumpridem carus puer_.'  Well was it that thou hadst
learnt to swim--verily thou must have struggled lustily. _`Pugnat in
adversas ire natator aquas_,' yea, lustily for thy life, child.  Now,
God be praised!"

But Mr Drummond was anxious that the lighter should be brought back to
the wharf; he therefore gave me my dinner, for I had eaten nothing that
day, and then despatched me in a boat with two men, to bring her up the
river.  The next morning we arrived; and Mr Drummond, not having yet
selected any other person to take her in charge, I was again some days
on shore, dividing my time between the Dominie and Mr Drummond's, where
I was always kindly treated, not only by him, but also by his wife and
his little daughter Sarah.

A master for the lighter was soon found; and as I passed a considerable
time under his orders, I must describe him particularly.  He had served
the best part of his life on board a man-of-war, had been in many
general and single actions, and, at the battle of Trafalgar, had wound
up his servitude with the loss of both his legs and an out-pension from
the Greenwich Hospital, which he preferred to being received upon the
establishment, as he had a wife and child.  Since that time he had
worked on the river.  He was very active, and broad-shouldered, and had
probably, before he lost his legs, been a man of at least five feet
eleven or six feet high; but as he found that he could keep his balance
better upon short stumps than long ones, he had reduced his wooden legs
to about eight inches in length, which, with his square body, gave him
the appearance of a huge dwarf.  He bore, and I will say most
deservedly, an excellent character.  His temper was always cheerful, and
he was a little inclined to drink: but the principal feature in him was
lightness of heart; he was always singing.  His voice was very fine and
powerful.  When in the service he used to be summoned to sing to the
captain and officers, and was the delight of the forecastle.  His memory
was retentive, and his stock of songs incredible, at the same time, he
seldom or ever sang more than one or two stanzas of a song in the way of
quotation, or if apt to what was going on, often altering the words to
suit the occasion.  He was accompanied by his son Tom, a lad of my own
age, as merry as his father, and who had a good treble voice and a good
deal of humour; he would often take the song up from his father, with
words of his own putting in, with ready wit and good tune.  We three
composed the crew of the lighter; and, as there had already been
considerable loss from demurrage, were embarked as soon as they arrived.
The name of the father was Tom Beazeley, but he was always known on the
river as "old Tom" or, as some more learned wag had christened him, "the
_Merman on two sticks_."  As soon as we had put our traps on board, as
old Tom called them, he received his orders, and we cast off from the
wharf.  The wind was favourable.  Young Tom was as active as a monkey,
and as full of tricks.  His father took the helm, while we two, assisted
by a dog of the small Newfoundland breed, which Tom had taught to take a
rope in his teeth, and be of no small service to two boys in bowsing on
a tackle, made sail upon the lighter, and away we went, while old Tom's
strain might be heard from either shore.

  "Loose, loose every sail to the breeze,
  The course of the vessel improve,
  I've done with the toil of the seas,
  Ye sailors, I'm bound to my love.

"Tom, you beggar, is the bundle ready for your mother?  We must drop the
skiff, Jacob, at Battersea reach, and send the clothes on shore for the
old woman to wash, or there'll be no clean shirts for Sunday.  Shove in
your shirts, Jacob; the old woman won't mind that.  She used to wash for
the mess.  Clap on, both of you, and get another pull at those
haulyards.  That'll do, my bantams.

  "Hoist, hoist, every sail to the breeze,
  Come, shipmates, and join in the song,
  Let's drink while the barge cuts the seas,
  To the gale that may drive her along.

"Tom, where's my pot of tea?  Come, my boy, we must pipe to breakfast.
Jacob, there's a rope towing overboard.  Now, Tom, hand me my tea, and
I'll steer her with one hand, drink with the other, and as for the legs,
the less we say about them the better.

  "No glory I covet, no riches I want,
  Ambition is nothing to me.
  But one thing I beg of kind Heaven to grant--"

Tom's treble chimed in, handing him the pot--

  "For _breakfast a good cup of tea_.

"Silence, you sea-cook! how dare you shove in your penny whistle!  How's
tide, Tom?"

"Three quarters ebb."

"No, it a'n't, you thief; how is it Jacob?"

"About half, I think."

"And you're right."

"What water have we down here on the side?"

"You must give the point a wide berth," replied I; "the shoals runs

"Thanky, boy, so I thought, but wasn't sure:" and then old Tom burst out
in a beautiful air:

  "Trust not too much your own opinion,
  When your vessel's under weigh,
  Let good advice still bear dominion;
  That's a compass will not stray."

"Old Tom, is that you?" hallooed a man from another barge.

"Yes; what's left of me, my hearty."

"You'll not fetch the bridges this tide--there's a strong breeze right
up the reaches below."

"Never mind, we'll do all we can.

  "If unassailed by squall or shower,
  Wafted by the gentle gales
  Let's not lose the favouring hour,
  While success attends our sails."

"Bravo, old Tom! why don't the boys get the lines out, for all the
fishes are listening for you," cried the man, as the barges were parted
by the wind and tide.

"I did once belong to a small craft called the Anon," observed old Tom,
"and they say as how the story was, that that chap could make the fish
follow him just when he pleased.  I know that when we were in the North
Sea the shoals of seals would follow the ship if you whistled; but these
brutes have ears--now fish hav'n't got none.

  "Oh well do I remember that cold dreary land,
  here the northern light,
  In the winter's night,
  Shone bright on its snowy strand.

"Jacob, have you finished your breakfast?  Here, take the helm, while I
and Tom put the craft a little into apple-pie order."

Old Tom then stumped forward, followed by his son and the Newfoundland
dog, who appeared to consider himself as one of the most useful
personages on board.  After coiling down the ropes, and sweeping the
decks, they went into the cabin to make their little arrangements.

"A good lock that, Tom," cried the father, turning the key of the
cupboard.  (I recollected it, and that its snapping so loud was the
occasion of my being tossed overboard.)  Old Tom continued: "I say, Tom,
you won't be able to open that cupboard, so I'll put the sugar and the
grog into it, you scamp.  It goes too fast when you're purser's steward.

  "For grog is our larboard and starboard,
  Our main-mast, our mizzen, our log,
  On shore, or at sea, or when harbour'd,
  The mariner's compass is grog."

"But it arn't a compass to steer steady by, father," replied Tom.

"Then don't you have nothing to do with it, Tom."

"I only takes a little, father, because you mayn't take too much."

"Thanky for nothing; when do I ever take too much, you scamp?"

"Not too much for a man standing on his own pins, but too much for a man
on two broomsticks."

"Stop your jaw, Mr Tom, or I'll unscrew one of the broomsticks, and lay
it over your shoulders."

"Before it's out of the socket, I'll give you _leg-bail_.  What will you
do then, father?"

"Catch you when I can, Tom, as the spider takes the fly."

"What's the good o' that, when you can't bear malice for ten minutes?"

"Very true, Tom? then thank your stars that you have two good legs, and
that your poor father has none."

"I very often do thank my stars, and that's the truth of it; but what's
the use of being angry about a drop of rum, or a handful of sugar?"

"Because you takes more than your allowance."

"Well, do you take less, then all will be right."

"And why should I take less, pray?"

"Because you're only half a man; you haven't any legs to provide for, as
I have."

"Now, I tell you, Tom, that's the very reason why I should have more to
comfort my old body for the loss of them."

"When you lost your legs you lost your ballast, father, and, therefore,
you mustn't carry too much sail, or you'll topple overboard some dark
night.  If I drink the grog, it's all for your good, you see."

"You're a dutiful son in that way, at all events; and a sweet child, as
far as sugar goes; but Jacob is to sleep in the cabin with me, and
you'll shake your blanket forward."

"Now that I consider quite unnatural; why part father and son?"

"It's not that exactly, it's only parting son and the grog bottle."

"That's just as cruel; why part two such good friends?"

"'Cause, Tom, he's too strong for you, and floors you sometimes."

"Well, but I forgives him; it's all done in good humour."

"Tom, you're a wag; but you wag your tongue to no purpose.  Liquor ain't
good for a boy like you, and it grows upon you."

"Well, don't I grow too? we grow together."

"You'll grow faster without it."

"I've no wish to be a tall man cut short, like you."

"If I hadn't been a tall man, my breath would have been cut short for
ever; the ball which took my legs would have cut you right in half."

"And the ball that would take your head off, would whistle over mine; so
there we are equal again."

"And there's the grog fast," replied old Tom, turning the key, and
putting it into his pocket.  "That's a stopper over all; so now we'll go
on deck."

I have narrated this conversation, as it will give the reader a better
idea of Tom, and his way of treating his father.  Tom was fond of his
father, and although mischievous, and too fond of drinking when he could
obtain liquor, was not disobedient or vicious.  We had nearly reached
Battersea Fields when they returned on deck.

"Do you know, Jacob, how the parish of Battersea came into the
possession of those fields?"

"No, I do not."

"Well, then, I'll tell you; it was because the Battersea people were
more humane and charitable than their neighbours.  There was a time when
those fields were of no value; now they're worth a mint of money, they
say.  The body of a poor devil, who was drowned in the river, was washed
on shore on those banks, and none of the parishes would be at the
expense of burying it.  The Battersea people, though they had least
right to be called upon, would not allow the poor fellow's corpse to be
lying on the mud, and they went to the expense.  Now, when the fields
became of value, the other parishes were ready enough to claim them; but
the case was tried, and as it was proved that Battersea had buried the
body, the fields were decided to belong to that parish.  So they were
well paid for their humanity, and they deserved it.  Mr Drummond says
you know the river well, Jacob."

"I was born on it."

"Yes, so I heard, and all about your father and mother's death.  I was
telling Tom of it, because he's too fond of _bowsing up his jib_."

"Well, father, there's no occasion to remind Jacob; the tear is in his
eye already," replied Tom, with consideration.

"I wish you never had any other _drop_ in your _eye_,--but never mind,
Jacob, I didn't think of what I was saying.  Look ye, d'ye see that
little house with the two chimneys--that's mine, and there's my old
woman.--I wonder what she's about just now."  Old Tom paused for a
while, with his eyes fixed on the object, and then burst out:--

  "I've crossed the wide waters, I've trod the lone strand,
  I've triumphed in battle, I've lighted the brand,
  I've borne the loud thunder of death o'er the foam;
  Fame, riches, ne'er found them,--yet still found a home.

"Tom, boy, haul up the skiff and paddle on shore with the bundle; ask
the old woman how she is, and tell her I'm hearty."  Tom was in the boat
in a moment, and pulling lustily for the shore.  "That makes me
recollect when I returned to my mother, a'ter the first three years of
my sea service.  I borrowed the skiff from the skipper.--I was in a
Greenland-man, my first ship, and pulled ashore to my mother's cottage
under the cliff.  I thought the old soul would have died with joy."
Here old Tom was silent, brushed a tear from his eye, and, as usual,
commenced a strain, _sotto voce_:--

  "Why, what's that to you if my eyes I'm a wiping?
  A tear is a pleasure, d'ye see, in its way.

"How, miserable," continued he, after another pause, "the poor thing was
when I would go to sea--how she begged and prayed--boys have no feeling,
that's sartin."

  "O bairn, dinna leave me, to gang far away,
  O bairn, dinna leave me, ye're a' that I hae,
  Think on a mither, the wind and the wave,
  A mither set on ye, her feet in the grave.

"However, she got used to it at last, as the woman said when she skinned
the ells.  Tom's a good boy, Jacob, but not steady, as they say you are.
His mother spoils him, and I can't bear to be cross to him neither; for
his heart's in the right place, after all.  There's the old woman
shaking her dish-clout at us as a signal.  I wish I had gone on shore
myself, but I can't step into these paper-built little boats without my
timber toes going through at the bottom."



Tom then shoved off the skiff.  When half-way between the lighter and
the shore, while his mother stood watching us, he lay on his oars.
"Tom, Tom!" cried his mother, shaking her fist at him, as he stooped
down his head; "if you do, Tom!"

"Tom, Tom!" cried his father, shaking his fist also; "if you dare, Tom!"

But Tom was not within reach of either party; and he dragged a bottle
out of the basket which his mother had entrusted to him, and putting it
to his mouth, took a long swig.

"That's enough, Tom!" screamed his mother, from the shore.

"That's too much, you rascal!" cried his father, from the barge.

Neither admonition was, however, minded by Tom, who took what he
considered his allowance, and then very coolly pulled alongside, and
handed up the basket and bundle of clean clothes on deck.  Tom then gave
the boat's painter to his father, who, I perceived, intended to salute
him with the end of it as soon as he came up; but Tom was too knowing--
he surged the boat ahead, and was on deck and forward before his father
could stump up to him.  The main hatch was open, and Tom put that
obstacle between his father and himself before he commenced his parley.

"What's the matter, father?" said Tom, smiling, and looking at me.

"Matter, you scamp!  How dare you touch the bottle?"

"The bottle--the bottle's there, as good as ever."

"The grog is what I mean--how dare you drink it?"

"I was half-way between my mother and you, and so I drank success and
long life to you both.  Ain't that being a very dutiful son?"

"I wish I had my legs back again, you rascal!"

"You wish you had the grog back again, you mean, father."

"You have to choose between--for if you had the grog you'd keep your

"For the matter of drinking the grog, you scamp, you seem determined to
stand in my shoes."

"Well, shoes are of no use to you now, father--why shouldn't I?  Why
don't you trust me?  If you hadn't locked the cupboard, I wouldn't have
helped myself."  And Tom, whose bootlace was loose, stooped down to make
it fast.

Old Tom, who was still in wrath, thought this a good opportunity, as his
son's head was turned the other way, to step over the bricks, with
which, as I before said, the lighter had been laden level with the main
hatchway, and take his son by surprise.  Tom, who had no idea of this
manoeuvre, would certainly have been captured, but, fortunately for him,
one of the upper bricks turned over, and let his father's wooden leg
down between two of the piles, where it was jammed fast.  Old Tom
attempted to extricate himself, but could not.  "Tom, Tom, come here,"
cried he, "and pull me out."

"Not I," replied Tom.

"Jacob, Jacob, come here; Tom, run and take the helm."

"Not I," replied Tom.

"Jacob, never mind the helm, she'll drift all right for a minute," cried
old Tom; "come and help me."

But I had been so amused with the scene, and having a sort of feeling
for young Tom, that I declared it impossible to leave the helm without
her going on the banks.  I therefore remained, wishing to see in what
way the two Toms would get out of their respective scrapes.

"Confound these--!  Tom, you scoundrel, am I to stick here all day?"

"No, father, I don't suppose you will.  I shall help you directly."

"Well, then, why don't you do it?"

"Because I must come to terms.  You don't think I'd help myself to a
thrashing, do you?"

"I won't thrash you, Tom.  Shiver my timbers if I do."

"They're in a fair way of being shivered as it is, I think.  Now,
father, we're both even."

"How's that?"

"Why you clapped a stopper over all on me this morning, and now you've
got one on yourself."

"Well, then, take off mine, and I'll take off yours."

"If I unlock your leg, you'll unlock the cupboard?"


"And you promise me a _stiff one_ after dinner?"

"Yes, yes, as stiff as I stand here."

"No, that will be too much, for it would _set me fast_.  I only like it
about half-and-half, as I took it just now."

Tom, who was aware that his father would adhere to his agreement,
immediately went to his assistance, and throwing out some of the upper
bricks, released him from his confinement.  When old Tom was once more
on deck and on his legs, he observed, "It's an ill wind that blows
nobody good.  The _loss_ of my leg has been the _saving_ of you many a
time, Mr Tom."

It was now time to anchor, as we were meeting the flood.  Tom, who
officiated as cook, served up the dinner, which was ready; and we were
all very pleasant; Tom treating his father with perfect confidence.  As
we had not to weigh again for some hours, our repast was prolonged, and
old Tom, having fulfilled his promise to his son of a _stiff one_, took
one or two himself, and became very garrulous.

"Come, spin us a good yarn, father; we've nothing to do, and Jacob will
like to hear you."

"Well, then, so I will," answered he; "what shall it be about?"

"Fire and water, of course," replied Tom.

"Well, then, I'll tell you something about both, since you wish it; how
I came into his Majesty's sarvice, through _fire_, and how the officer
who pressed me went out of it through _water_.  I was still 'prentice,
and wanted about three months to sarve my time, when, of course, I
should no longer be protected from sarving the king, when the ship I was
in sailed up the Baltic with a cargo of bullocks.  We had at least two
hundred on board, tied up on platforms on every deck, with their heads
close to the sides, and all their sterns looking in-board.  They were
fat enough when they were shipped, but soon dwindled away: the weather
was very bad, and the poor creatures rolled against each other, and
slipped about in a way that it pitied you to see them.  However, they
were stowed so thick, that they held one another up, which proved of
service to them in the heavy gales which tossed the ship about like a
pea in a rattle.  We had joined a large convoy, and were entering the
Sound, when, as usual, it fell calm, and out came the Danish gunboats to
attack us.  The men-of-war who had charge of the convoy behaved nobly;
but still they were becalmed, and many of us were a long way astern.
Our ship was pretty well up; but she was too far in-shore; and the Danes
made a dash at us with the hope of making a capture.  The men-of-war,
seeing what the enemy were about, sent boats to beat them off; but it
was too late to prevent them boarding, which they did.  Not wishing to
peep through the bars of the gaol at Copenhagen, we left the ship in our
boats on one side, just as the Danes boarded on the other, and pulled
towards the men-of-war's armed boats coming to our assistance.  The
men-of-war's boats pulled right for the ship to retake her, which they
did, certainly, but not before the enemy had set fire to the vessel, and
had then pulled off towards another.  Seeing this, the men-of-war's
boats again gave chase to the Danes, leaving us to extinguish the
flames, which were now bursting out fore and aft, and climbing like
fiery serpents up to the main catharprings.  We soon found that it was
impossible; we remained as long as the heat and smoke would permit us,
and then we were obliged to be off, but I shall never forget the roaring
and moaning of the poor animals who were then roasting alive.  It was a
cruel thing of the Danes to fire a vessel full of these poor creatures.
Some had broken loose, and were darting up and down the decks goring
others, and tumbling down the hatchways; others remained trembling, or
trying to snuff up a mouthful of fresh air amongst the smoke; but the
struggling and bellowing, as the fire caught the vessel fore and aft,
and was grilling two hundred poor creatures at once, was at last
shocking, and might have been heard for a mile.  We did all we could.  I
cut the throats of a dozen, but they kicked and struggled so much,
falling down [upon], and treading you under their feet; and one lay upon
me, and I expected to be burnt with them, for it was not until I was
helped that I got clear of the poor animal.  So we stayed as long as we
could, and then left them to their fate; and the smell of burnt meat, as
we shoved off, was as horrible as the cries and wailings of the poor
beasts themselves.  The men-of-war's boats returned, having chased away
the Danes, and very kindly offered us all a ship, as we had lost our
own, so that you see that by _fire_ I was forced into his Majesty's
sarvice.  Now, the boat that took us belonged to one of the frigates who
had charge of the convoy, and the lieutenant who commanded the boat was
a swearing, tearing sort of a chap, who lived as if his life was to last
for ever.

"After I was taken on board, the captain asked me if I would enter, and
I thought that I might as well sarve the king handsomely, so I
volunteered.  It's always the best thing to do, when you're taken, and
can't help yourself, for you are more trusted than a pressed man who is
obstinate.  I liked the sarvice from the first--the captain was not a
particular man; according to some people's ideas of the sarvice, she
wasn't in quite man-of-war fashion, but she was a happy ship, and the
men would have followed and fought for the captain to the last drop of
their blood.  That's the sort of ship for me.  I've seen cleaner decks,
but I never saw merrier hearts.  The only one of the officers disliked
by the men was the lieutenant who pressed me; he had a foul mouth and no
discretion; and as for swearing, it was really terrible to hear the
words which came out of his mouth.  I don't mind an oath rapped out in
the heat of the moment, but he invented his oaths when he was cool, and
let them out in his rage.  We were returning home, after having seen the
convoy safe, when we met with a gale of wind in our teeth, one of the
very worst I ever fell in with.  It had been blowing hard from the South
West, and then shifted to the North West, and made a cross sea, which
was tremendous.  Now, the frigate was a very old vessel, and although
they had often had her into dock and repaired her below, they had taken
no notice of her upper works, which were as rotten as a medlar.  I think
it was about three bells in the middle watch, when the wind was howling
through the rigging, for we had no canvas on her 'cept a staysail and
trysail, when the stay-sail sheet went, and she broached-to afore they
could prevent her.  The lieutenant I spoke of had the watch, and his
voice was heard through the roaring of the wind swearing at the men to
haul down the staysail, that we might bend on the sheet, and set it
right again; when, she having, I said, broached-to, a wave--ay, a wave
as high as the maintop almost, took the frigate right on her broadside,
and the bulwarks of the quarter-deck being, as I said, quite rotten, cut
them off clean level with the main chains, sweeping them, and guns, and
men, all overboard together.  The mizzenmast went, but the mainmast held
on, and I was under its lee at the time, and was saved by clinging on
like a nigger, while for a minute I was under the water, which carried
almost all away with it to leeward.  As soon as the water passed over
me, I looked up and around me--it was quite awful; the quarter-deck was
cut off as with a knife--not a soul left there, that I could see; no man
at the wheel--mizzen-mast gone--skylights washed away--waves making a
clear breach, and no defence; boats washed away from the quarters--all
silent on deck, but plenty of noise below and on the main-deck, for the
ship was nearly full of water, and all below were hurrying up in their
shirts, thinking that we were going down.  At last the captain crawled
up, and clung by the stancheons, followed by the first lieutenant and
the officers, and by degrees all was quiet, the ship was cleared, and
the hands were turned up to muster under the half-deck.  There were
forty-seven men who did not answer to their names--they had been
summoned to answer for their lives, poor fellows! and there was also the
swearing lieutenant not to be found.  Well, at last we got the hands on
deck, and put her before the wind, scudding under bare poles.  As we
went aft to the taffrail, the bulwark of which still remained, with
about six feet of the quarter-deck bulwark on each side, we observed
something clinging to the stern-ladder, dipping every now and then into
the sea, as it rose under her counter, and assisted the wind in driving
her before the gale.  We soon made it out to be a man, and I went down,
slipped a bowling knot over the poor fellow, and with some difficulty we
were both hauled up again.  It proved to be the lieutenant, who had been
washed under the counter, and clung to the stern-ladder, and had thus
miraculously been preserved.  It was a long while before he came to, and
he never did any duty the whole week we were out, till we got into
Yarmouth Roads; indeed, he hardly ever spoke a word to any one, but
seemed to be always in serious thought.  When we arrived, he gave his
commission to the captain, and went on shore; went to school again, they
say, _bore up for a parson_, and, for all I know, he'll preach somewhere
next Sunday.  So you see, _water_ drove him out of the sarvice, and
_fire_ forced me in.  There's a yarn for you, Jacob."

"I like it very much," replied I.

"And now, father, give us a whole song, and none of your little bits."
Old Tom broke out with the "Death of Nelson," in a style that made the
tune and words ring in my ears for the whole evening.

The moon was up before the tide served, and we weighed our anchor; old
Tom steering, while his son was preparing supper, and I remaining
forward, keeping a sharp look-out that we did not run foul of anything.
It was a beautiful night; and as we passed through the several bridges,
the city appeared as if it were illuminated, from the quantity of gas
throwing a sort of halo of light over the tops of the buildings which
occasionally marked out the main streets from the general dark mass--old
Tom's voice was still occasionally heard, as the scene brought to his
remembrance his variety of song.

  "For the murmur of thy lip, love,
  Comes sweetly unto me,
  As the sound of oars that dip, love,
  At moonlight on the sea."

I never was more delighted than when I heard these snatches of different
songs poured forth in such melody from old Tom's lips, the notes
floating along the water during the silence of the night.  I turned aft
to look at him; his face was directed upwards, looking on the moon,
which glided majestically through the heavens, silvering the whole of
the landscape.  The water was smooth as glass, and the rapid tide had
swept us clear of the ranges of ships in the pool; both banks of the
river were clear, when old Tom again commenced:--

  "The moon is up, her silver beam
  Shines bower, and grove, and mountain over;
  A flood of radiance heaven doth seem
  To light thee, maiden, to thy lover."

"Jacob, how does the bluff-nob bear? on the starboard bow?"

"Yes--broad on the bow; you'd better keep up half a point, the tide
sweeps us fast."

"Very true, Jacob; look out, and say when steady it is, boy.

  "If o'er her orb a cloud should rest,
  'Tis but thy cheek's soft blush to cover.
  He waits to clasp thee to his breast;
  The moon is up--go, meet thy lover.

"Tom, what have you got for supper, boy?  What is that frizzing in your
frying-pan?  Smells good, anyhow."

"Yes, and I expect will taste good too.  However, you look after the
moon, father, and leave me and the frying-pan to play our parts."

"While I sing mine, I suppose, boy.

  "The moon is up, round beauty's shine,
  Love's pilgrims bend at vesper hour,
  Earth breathes to heaven, and looks divine,
  And lovers' hearts confess her power."

Old Tom stopped and the frying-pan frizzled on, sending forth an odour
which, if not grateful to Heaven, was peculiarly so to us mortals,
hungry with the fresh air.

"How do we go now, Jacob?"

"Steady, and all's right; but we shall be met with the wind next reach,
and had better brail up the mainsail."

"Go, then, Tom, and help Jacob."

"I can't leave the _ingons_, [onions] father, not if the lighter tumbled
overboard; it would bring more tears in my eyes to spoil them, now that
they are frying so merrily, than they did when I was cutting them up.
Besides, the liver would be as black as the bends."

"Clap the frying-pan down on deck, Tom, and brail the sail up with
Jacob, there's a good boy.  You can give it another shake or two

  "Guide on, my bark, how sweet to rove,
  With such a beaming eye above!

"That's right, my boys, belay all that; now to our stations; Jacob on
the look-out, Tom to his frying-pan, and I to the helm--

  "No sound is heard to break the spell,
  Except the water's gentle swell;
  While midnight, like a mimic day,
  Shines on to guide our moonlight way.

"Well, the moon's a beautiful creature--God bless her!  How often have
we longed for her in the dark winter, channel-cruising, when the waves
were flying over the Eddystone, and trying in their malice to put out
the light.  I don't wonder at people making songs to the moon, nor at my
singing them.  We'll anchor when we get down the next reach."

We swept the next reach with the tide which was now slacking fast.  Our
anchor was dropped and we all went to supper, and to bed.  I have been
particular in describing the first day of my being on board with my new
shipmates, as it may be taken as a sample of our every day life; Tom and
his father fighting and making friends, cooking, singing, and spinning
yarns.  Still, I shall have more scenes to describe.  Our voyage was
made, we took in a return cargo, and arrived at the proprietor's wharf,
when I found that I could not proceed with them the next voyage, as the
trial of Fleming and Marables was expected to come on in a few days.
The lighter, therefore, took in another cargo, and sailed without me;
Mr Drummond, as usual, giving me the run of his house.



It was on the 7th of November, if I recollect rightly, that Fleming and
Marables were called up to trial at the Old Bailey, and I was in the
court, with Mr Drummond and the Dominie, soon after ten o'clock.  After
the judge had taken his seat, as their trial was first on the list, they
were ushered in.  They were both clean and well dressed.  In Fleming I
could perceive little difference; he was pale, but resolute; but when I
looked at Marables I was astonished.  Mr Drummond did not at first
recognise him--he had fallen away from seventeen stone to, at the most,
thirteen--his clothes hung loosely about him--his ruddy cheeks had
vanished--his nose was becoming sharp, and his full round face had been
changed to an oblong.  Still there remained that natural good-humoured
expression in his countenance, and the sweet smile played upon his lips.
His eyes glanced fearfully round the court--he felt his disgraceful
situation--the colour mounted to his temples and forehead, and he then
became again pale as a sheet, casting down his eyes as if desirous to
see no more.

After the indictment had been read over, the prisoners were asked by the
clerk whether they pleaded guilty or not guilty.

"Not guilty," replied Fleming, in a bold voice.

"John Marables--guilty or not guilty?"

"Guilty," replied Marables--"guilty, my lord;" and he covered his face
with his hands.

Fleming was indicted on three counts;--an assault, with intent to
murder; having stolen goods in his possession; and for a burglary in a
dwelling-house, on such a date; but I understand that they had nearly
twenty more charges against him, had these failed.  Marables was
indicted for having been an accessary to the last charge, as receiver of
stolen goods.  The counsel for the crown, who opened the trial, stated
that Fleming, _alias_ Barkett, _alias_ Wenn, with many more _aliases_,
had for a long while been at the head of the most notorious gang of
thieves which had infested the metropolis for many years; that justice
had long been in search of him, but that he had disappeared, and it had
been supposed that he had quitted the kingdom to avoid the penalties of
the law, to which he had subjected himself by his enormities.  It
appeared however, that he had taken a step which not only blinded the
officers of the police, but at the same time had enabled the gang to
carry on their depredations with more impunity than ever.  He had
concealed himself in a lighter on the river, and appearing in her as one
diligently performing his duty, and earning his livelihood as an honest
man had by such means been enabled to extend his influence, the number
of his associates, and his audacious schemes.  The principal means of
detection in cases of burglary was by advertising the goods, and the
great difficulty on the part of such miscreants was to obtain a ready
sale for them--the receivers of stolen goods being aware that the
thieves were at their mercy, and must accept what was offered.  Now, to
obviate these difficulties, Fleming had, as we before observed,
concealed himself from justice on board of a river barge, which was made
the receptacle for stolen goods: those which had been nefariously
obtained at one place being by him and his associates carried up and
down the river in the craft, and disposed of at a great distance, by
which means the goods were never brought to light, so as to enable the
police to recognise or trace them.  This system had now been carried on
with great success for upwards of twelve months, and would, in all
probability, have not been discovered even now, had it not been that a
quarrel as to profits had taken place, which had induced two of his
associates to give information to the officers; and these two associates
had also been permitted to turn king's evidence, in a case of burglary,
in which Fleming was a principal, provided that it was considered
necessary.  But there was a more serious charge against the prisoner,--
that of having attempted the life of a boy, named Jacob Faithful,
belonging to the lighter, and who, it appeared, had suspicions of what
was going on, and, in duty to his master, had carefully watched the
proceedings, and given notice to others of what he had discovered from
time to time.  The lad was the chief evidence against the prisoner
Fleming, and also against Marables, the other prisoner, of whom he could
only observe, that circumstances would transpire, during the trial, in
his favour, which he had no doubt would be well considered by his
lordship.  He would not detain the gentlemen of the jury any longer, but
at once call on his witnesses.

I was then summoned, again asked the same questions as to the nature of
an oath, and the judge being satisfied with my replies, I gave my
evidence as before; the judge as I perceived, carefully examining my
previous disposition, to ascertain if anything I now said was at
variance with my former assertions.  I was then cross-examined by the
counsel for Fleming, but he could not make me vary in my evidence, I
did, however, take the opportunity, whenever I was able, of saying all I
could in favour of Marables.  At last the counsel said he would ask me
no more questions.  I was dismissed; and the police-officer who had
picked me up, and other parties who identified the various property as
their own, and the manner in which they had been robbed of it, were
examined.  The evidence was too clear to admit of doubt.  The jury
immediately returned a verdict of guilty against Fleming and Marables,
but strongly recommended Marables to the mercy of the crown.  The judge
rose, put on his black cap, and addressed the prisoners as follows.  The
court was so still, that a pin falling might have been heard:--

"You, William Fleming, have been tried by a jury of your countrymen,
upon the charge of receiving stolen goods, to which you have added the
most atrocious crime of intended murder.  You have had a fair and
impartial trial, and have been found guilty; and it appears that, even
had you escaped in this instance, other charges, equally heavy, and
which would equally consign you to condign punishment, were in readiness
to be preferred against you.  Your life has been one of guilt, not only
in your own person, but also in abetting and stimulating others to
crime; and you have wound up your shameful career by attempting the life
of a fellow-creature.  To hold out to you any hope of mercy is
impossible.  Your life is justly forfeited to the offended laws of your
country; and your sentence is that you be removed from this court to the
place from whence you came, and from thence to the place of execution,
there to be hanged by the neck till you are dead; and may God, in his
infinite goodness, have mercy on your soul!

"You, John Marables, have pleaded guilty to the charges brought against
you; and it has appeared, during the evidence brought out on the trial,
that, although you have been a party to these nefarious transactions,
you are far from being hardened in your guilt."  ["No, no!" exclaimed
Marables.] "I believe sincerely that you are not, and much regret that
one who, from the evidence brought forward, appears to have been,
previously to this unfortunate connection, an honest man, should now
appear in so disgraceful a situation.  A severe punishment is, however,
demanded by the voice of justice, and by that sentence of the law you
must now be condemned: at the same time I trust that an appeal to the
mercy of your sovereign will not be made in vain."

The judge then passed the sentence upon Marables, the prisoners were led
out of court, and a new trial commenced; while Mr Drummond and the
Dominie conducted me home.  About a week after the trial, Fleming
suffered the penalty of the law; while Marables was sentenced to
transportation for life, which, however, previous to his sailing, was
commuted to seven years.

In a few days the lighter returned.  Her arrival was announced to me one
fine sunny morning as I lay in bed, by a voice whose well-known notes
poured into my ear as I was half dozing on my pillow:--

  "Bright are the beams of the morning sky,
  And sweet the dew the red blossoms sip,
  But brighter the glances of dear woman's eye--

"Tom, you monkey, belay the warp, and throw the fenders over the side.
Be smart, or old Fuzzle will be growling about his red paint.

  "And sweet is the dew on her lip."

I jumped out of my little crib, threw open the window, the panes of
which were crystallised with the frost in the form of little trees, and
beheld the lighter just made fast to the wharf, the sun shining
brightly, old Tom's face as cheerful as the morn, and young Tom
laughing, jumping about, and blowing his fingers.  I was soon dressed,
and shaking hands with my barge-mates.

"Well, Jacob, how do you like the Old Bailey?  Never was in it but once
in my life, and never mean to go again if I can help it; that was when
Sam Bowles was tried for his life, but my evidence saved him.  I'll tell
you how it was.  Tom, look a'ter the breakfast; a bowl of tea this cold
morning will be worth having.  Come, jump about."

"But I never heard the story of Sam Bowles," answered Tom.

"What's that to you?  I'm telling it to Jacob."

"But I want to hear it--so go on, father.  I'll start you.  Well, d'ye
see, Sam Bowles--"

"Master Tom, them as play with _bowls_ may meet with _rubbers_.  Take
care I don't _rub_ down your hide.  Off, you thief, and get breakfast."

"No, I won't: if I don't have your _Bowles_ you shall have no _bowls_ of
tea.  I've made my mind up to that."

"I tell you what, Tom; I shall never get any good out of you until I
have both your legs ampitated.  I've a great mind to send for the

"Thanky, father; but I find them very useful."

"Well," said I, "suppose we put off the story till breakfast time; and
I'll go and help Tom to get it ready."

"Be it so, Jacob.  I suppose Tom must have his way, as I spoiled him
myself.  I made him so fond of yarns, so I was a fool to be vexed.

  "Oh, life is a river, and man is the boat
  That over its surface is destined to float;
  And joy is a cargo so easily stored,
  That he is a fool who takes sorrow on board.

"Now I'll go on shore to master, and find out what's to be done next.
Give me my stick, boy, and I shall crawl over the planks a little safer.
A safe stool must have three legs, you know."

Old Tom then stumped away on shore.  In about a quarter of an hour he
returned, bringing half-a-dozen red herrings.

"Here, Tom, grill these sodgers.  Jacob, who is that tall old chap, with
such a devil of a cutwater, which I met just now with master?  We are
bound for Sheerness this trip, and I'm to land him at Greenwich."

"What, the Dominie?" replied I, from old Tom's description.

"His name did begin with a D, but that wasn't it."


"Yes, that's nearer; he's to be a passenger on board of us, going down
to see a friend who's very ill.  Now, Tom, my hearty, bring out the
crockery, for I want a little inside lining."

We all sat down to our breakfast, and as soon as old Tom had finished,
his son called for the history of Sam Bowles.

"Well, now you shall have it.  Sam Bowles was a shipmate of mine on
board of the Greenlandman; he was one of our best harpooners, and a
good, quiet, honest messmate as ever slung a hammock.  He was spliced to
as pretty a piece of flesh as ever was seen, but she wasn't as good as
she was pretty.  We were fitting out for another voyage, and his wife
had been living on board with him some weeks, for Sam was devilish
spoony on her, and couldn't bear her to be out of his sight.  As we
'spected to sail in a few days, we were filling up our complement of
men, and fresh hands came on board every day.

"One morning, a fine tall fellow, with a tail as thick as a hawser, came
on board and offered himself; he was taken by the skipper, and went on
shore again to get his traps.  While he was still on deck I went below,
and seeing Sam with his little wife on his knee playing with his
love-locks, I said that there was a famous stout and good-looking fellow
that we should have as a shipmate.  Sam's wife, who, like all women, was
a little curious, put her head up the hatchway to look at him.  She put
it down again very quick, as I thought, and made some excuse to go
forward in the eyes of her, where she remained some time, and then, when
she came aft, told Sam that she would go on shore.  Now, as it had been
agreed that she should remain on board till we were clear of the river,
Sam couldn't think what the matter was; but she was positive, and go
away she did, very much to Sam's astonishment and anger.  In the
evening, Sam went on shore and found her out, and what d'ye think the
little Jezebel told him?--why, that one of the men had been rude to her
when she went forward, and that's why she wouldn't stay on board.  Sam
was in a devil of a passion at this, and wanted to know which was the
man; but she fondled him, and wouldn't tell him, because she was afraid
that he'd be hurt.  At last she bamboozled him, and sent him on board
again quite content.  Well, we remained three days longer, and then
dropped down the river to Greenwich, where the captain was to come on
board, and we were to sail as soon as the wind was fair.  Now, this fine
tall fellow was with us when we dropped down the river, and as Sam was
sitting down on his chest eating a basin o' soup, the other man takes
out a 'baccy pouch of seal-skin;--it was a very curious one, made out of
the white and spotted part of a young seal's belly.  `I say, shipmate,'
cries Sam, `hand me over my 'baccy pouch.  Where did you pick it up?'

"`Your pouch!' says he to him; `I killed the seal, and my fancy girl
made the pouch for me.'

"`Well, if that ain't cool! you'd swear a man out of his life, mate.
Tom,' says he to me, `ain't that my pouch which my wife gave me when I
came back last trip?'

"I looked at it, and knew it again, and said it was.  The tall fellow
denied it, and there was a devil of a bobbery.  Sam called him a thief,
and he pitched Sam right down the main hatchway among the casks.  After
that there was a regular set-to, and Sam was knocked all to shivers, and
obliged to give in.  When the fight was over, I took up Sam's shirt for
him to put on.  `That's my shirt,' cried the tall fellow.

"`That's Sam's shirt,' replied I; `I know it's his.'

"`I tell you it's mine,' replied the man; `my lass gave it to me to put
on when I got up this morning.  The other is his shirt.'

"We looked at the other, and they both were Sam's shirts.  Now when Sam
heard this, he put two and two together, and became very jealous and
uneasy: he thought it odd that his wife was so anxious to leave the ship
when this tall fellow came on board; and what with the pouch and the
shirt he was puzzled.  His wife had promised to come down to Greenwich
and see him off.  When we anchored, some of the men went on shore--among
others the tall fellow.  Sam, whose head was swelled up like a pumpkin,
told one of his shipmates to say to his wife that he could not come on
shore, and that she must come off to him.  Well, it was about nine
o'clock, dark, and all the stars were twinkling, when Sam says to me,
`Tom, let's go on shore; my black eyes can't be seen in the dark.'  As
we hauled up the boat, the second mate told Sam to take his harpoon-iron
on shore for him, to have the hole for the becket punched larger.  Away
we went, and the first place, of course, that Sam went to, was the house
where he knew that his wife put up at, as before.  He went upstairs to
her room, and I followed him.  The door was not made fast, and in we
went.  There was his little devil of a wife, fast asleep in the arms of
the tall fellow.  Sam couldn't command his rage, and having the
harpoon-iron in his hand, he drove it right through the tall fellow's
body before I could prevent him.  It was a dreadful sight: the man
groaned, and his head fell over the side of the bed.  Sam's wife
screamed, and made Sam more wroth by throwing herself on the man's body,
and weeping over it.  Sam would have pulled out the iron to run her
through with, but that was impossible.  The noise brought up the people
of the house, and it was soon known that murder had been committed.  The
constable came, Sam was thrown into prison, and I went on board and told
the whole story.  Well, we were just about to heave up, for we had
shipped two more men in place of Sam, who was to be tried for his life,
and the poor fellow he had killed, when a lawyer chap came on board with
what they call a _suppeny_ for me; all I know is, that the lawyer
pressed me into his service, and I lost my voyage.  I was taken on
shore, and well fed till the trial came on.  Poor Sam was at the bar for
murder.  The gentleman in his gown and wig began his yarn, stating that
how the late fellow, whose name was Will Errol, was with his own wife
when Sam harpooned him.

"`That's a lie!' cried Sam; `he was with my wife.  False papers!  Here
are mine;' and he pulled out his tin case, and handed them to the court.

"The judge said that this was not the way to try people and that Sam
must hold his tongue; so the trial went on, and at first they had it all
their own way.  Then our turn came, and I was called up to prove what
had passed, and I stated how the man was with Sam's wife, and how he,
having the harpoon-iron in his hand, had run it through his body.  Then
they compared the certificates, and it was proved that the little
Jezebel had married them both; but she had married Sam first, so he had
the most right to her; but fancying the other man afterwards, she
thought she might as well have two strings to her bow.  So the judge
declared that she was Sam's wife, and that any man, even without the
harpoon in his hand, would be justified in killing a man whom he found
in bed with his own wife.  So Sam went scot-free; but the judge wouldn't
let off Sam's wife, as she had caused murder by her wicked conduct; he
tried her a'terwards for _biggery_, as they call it, and sent her over
the water for life.  Sam never held up his head a'terwards; what with
having killed an innocent man, and the 'haviour of his wife, he was
always down.  He went out to the fishery, and a whale cut the boat in
two with her tail; Sam was stunned, and went down like a stone.  So you
see the mischief brought about by this little Jezebel, who must have two
husbands, and be damned to her."

"Well, that's a good yarn, father," said Tom, as soon as it was
finished.  "I was right in saying I would hear it.  Wasn't I?"

"No," replied old Tom, putting out his large hand, and seizing his son
by the collar; "and now you've put me in mind of it, I'll pay you off
for old scores."

"Lord love you, father, you don't owe me anything," said Tom.

"Yes, I do; and now I'll give you a receipt in full."

"O Lord! they'll be drowned," screamed Tom, holding up both his hands
with every symptom of terror.

Old Tom turned short round to look in the direction, letting go his
hold.  Tom made his escape, and burst out a-laughing.  I laughed also,
and so at last did his father.

I went on shore, and found that old Tom's report was correct--the
Dominie was at breakfast with Mr Drummond.  The new usher had charge of
the boys, and the governors had allowed him a fortnight's holiday to
visit an old friend at Greenwich.  To save expense, as well as to
indulge his curiosity, the old man had obtained a passage down in the
lighter.  "Never yet, Jacob, have I put my feet into that which floateth
on the watery element," observed he to me; "nor would I now, but that it
saveth money, which thou knowest well is with me not plentiful.  Many
dangers I expect, many perils shall I encounter; such have I read of in
books; and well might Horace exclaim--`_Ille robur et aes triplex_,'
with reference to the first man who ventured afloat.  Still doth Mr
Drummond assure me that the lighter is of that strength as to be able to
resist the force of the winds and waves; and, confiding in Providence, I
intend to venture, Jacob, `_te duce_.'"

"Nay, sir," replied I, laughing at the idea which the Dominie appeared
to have formed of the dangers of river navigation, "old Tom is the

"Old Tom; where have I seen that name?  Now I do recall to mind that I
have seen the name painted in large letters upon a cask at the tavern
bar of the inn at Brentford; but what it did intend to signify I did not
inquire.  What connection is there?"

"None," replied I; "but I rather think they are very good friends.  The
tide turns in half-an-hour, sir; are you ready to go on board?"

"Truly am I, and well prepared, having my habiliments in a bundle, my
umbrella and my great-coat, as well as my spencer for general wear.  But
where I am to sleep hath not yet been made known to me.  Peradventure
one sleepeth not--`_tanto in periculo_.'"

"Yes, sir, we do.  You shall have my berth, and I'll turn in with young

"Hast thou, then, a young Tom as well as an old Tom on board?"

"Yes, sir; and a dog, also, of the name of Tommy."

"Well, then, we will embark, and thou shalt make me known to this triad
of Thomases.  `_Inde_ Tomos _dictus locus est_.'  (_Cluck, cluck_.)
Ovid, I thank thee."



The old Dominie's bundle and other paraphernalia being sent on board, he
took farewell of Mr Drummond and his family in so serious a manner,
that I was convinced that he considered he was about to enter upon a
dangerous adventure, and then I led him down to the wharf where the
lighter lay alongside.  It was with some trepidation that he crossed the
plank, and got on board, when he recovered himself and looked round.

"My sarvice to you, old gentleman," said a voice behind the Dominie.  It
was that of old Tom, who had just come from the cabin.  The Dominie
turned round, and perceived old Tom.

"This is old Tom, sir," said I to the Dominie, who stared with

"Art thou, indeed?  Jacob, thou didst not tell me that he had been
curtailed of his fair proportions, and I was surprised.  Art thou then
Dux?" continued the Dominie, addressing old Tom.

"Yes," interrupted young Tom, who had come from forward, "he is _ducks_,
because he waddles on his short stumps; and I won't say who be goose.
Eh, father?"

"Take care you don't _buy goose_, for your imperance, sir," cried old

"A forward boy," exclaimed the Dominie.

"Yes," replied Tom "I'm generally forward."

"Art thou forward in thy learning?  Canst thou tell me Latin for goose?"

"To be sure," replied Tom; "Brandy."

"Brandy!" exclaimed the Dominie.  "Nay, child, it is _anser_."

"Then I was right," replied Tom.  "You had your _answer_!"

"The boy is apt."  _Cluck cluck_.

"He is apt to be devilish saucy, old gentleman; but never mind that,
there's no harm in him."

"This, then, is young Tom, I presume, Jacob?" said the Dominie,
referring to me.

"Yes, sir," replied I.  "You have seen old Tom, and young Tom, and you
have only to see Tommy."

"Want to see Tommy, sir?" cried Tom.  "Here, Tommy, Tommy!"

But Tommy, who was rather busy with a bone forward, did not immediately
answer to his call, and the Dominie turned round to survey the river.
The scene was busy, barges and boats passing in every direction, others
lying on shore, with waggons taking out the coals and other cargoes, men
at work, shouting or laughing with each other. "`_Populus in fluviis_,'
as Virgil hath it.  Grand indeed is the vast river, `_Labitur et labetur
in omne volubilis aevum_,' as the generations of men are swept into
eternity," said the Dominie, musing aloud.  But Tommy had now made his
appearance, and Tom, in his mischief, had laid hold of the tail of the
Dominie's coat, and shown it to the dog.  The dog, accustomed to seize a
rope when it was shown to him, immediately seized the Dominie's coat,
making three desperate tugs at it.  The Dominie, who was in one of his
reveries, and probably thought it was I who wished to direct his
attention elsewhere, each time waved his hand, without turning round, as
much as to say, "I am busy now."

"Haul and hold," cried Tom to the dog, splitting his sides, and the
tears running down his cheeks with laughing.  Tommy made one more
desperate tug, carrying away one tail of the Dominie's coat; but the
Dominie perceived it not, he was still "_nubibus_," while the dog
galloped forward with the fragment, and Tom chased him to recover it.
The Dominie continued in his reverie, when old Tom burst out--

  "O, England, dear England, bright gem of the ocean,
  Thy valleys and fields look fertile and gay,
  The heart clings to thee with a sacred devotion,
  And memory adores when in far lands away."

The song gradually called the Dominie to his recollection; indeed, the
strain was so beautiful that it would have vibrated in the ears of a
dying man.  The Dominie gradually turned round, and when old Tom had
finished, exclaimed, "Truly it did delight mine ear, and from such--
and," continued the Dominie, looking down upon old Tom--"without legs

"Why, old gentleman, I don't sing with my _legs_," answered old Tom.

"Nay, good _Dux_, I am not so deficient as not to be aware that a man
singeth from the mouth; yet is thy voice mellifluous, sweet as the honey
of Hybla, strong--"

"As the Latin for goose," finished Tom.  "Come, father, old _Dictionary_
is in the doldrums; rouse him up with another stave."

"I'll rouse you up with the stave of a cask over your shoulders, Mr
Tom.  What have you done with the old gentleman's swallow-tail?"

"Leave me to settle that affair, father: I know how to get out of a

"So you ought, you scamp, considering how many you get into; but the
craft are swinging and heaving up.  Forward there, Jacob, and sway up
the mast; there's Tom and Tommy to help you."

The mast was hoisted up, the sail set, and the lighter in the stream
before the Dominie was out of his reverie.

"Are there whirlpools here?" said the Dominie, talking more to himself
than to those about him.

"Whirlpools!" replied young Tom, who was watching and mocking him; "yes,
that there are, under the bridges.  I've watched a dozen _chips_ go
down, one after the other."

"A dozen _ships_!" exclaimed the Dominie, turning to Tom; "and every
soul lost?"

"Never saw them afterwards," replied Tom, in a mournful voice.

"How little did I dream of the dangers of those so near me," said the
Dominie, turning away, and communing with himself.  "`Those who go down
to the sea in ships, and occupy their business in great waters;'--`_Et
vastas aperit Syrtes_;'--`These men see the works of the Lord, and his
wonders in the deep.'--`_Alternante vorans vasta Charybdis aqua_.'--`For
at his word the stormy wind ariseth, which lifteth up the waves
thereof.'--`_Surgens a puppi ventus.--Ubi tempestas et caeli mobilis
humor_.'--`They are carried up to the heavens, and down again to the
deep.'--`_Gurgitibus miris et lactis vertice torrens_.'--`Their soul
melteth away because of their troubles.'--`_Stant pavidi.  Omnibus
ignoiae mortis timor, omnibus hostem_.'--`They reel to and fro, and
stagger like a drunken man.'"

"So they do, father, don't they, sometimes?" observed Tom, leering his
eye at his father.  "That's all I've understood of his speech."

"They are at their wit's end," continued the Dominie.

"Mind the end of your wit, master Tom," answered his father, wroth at
the insinuation.

"`So when they call upon the Lord in their trouble'--`_Cujus jurare
timent et fallere nomen_'--`He delivereth them out of their distress,
for he makest the storm to cease, so that the waves thereof are still;'
yea, still and smooth as the peaceful water which now floweth rapidly by
our anchored vessel--yet it appeareth to me that the scene hath changed.
These fields met not mine eyes before.  `_Riparumque toros et prata
recentia rivis_.'  Surely we have moved from the wharf?"--and the
Dominie turned round, and discovered, for the first time, that we were
more than a mile from the place at which we had embarked.

"Pray, sir, what's the use of speech, sir?" interrogated Tom, who had
been listening to the whole of the Dominie's long soliloquy.

"Thou asketh a foolish question, boy.  We are endowed with the power of
speech to enable us to communicate our ideas."

"That's exactly what I thought, sir.  Then pray what's the use of your
talking all that gibberish, that none of us could understand?"

"I crave thy pardon, child; I spoke, I presume, in the dead languages."

"If they're dead, why not let them rest in their graves?"

"Good; thou hast wit."  (_Cluck, cluck_.) "Yet, child, know that it is
pleasant to commune with the dead."

"Is it? then we'll put you on shore at Battersea churchyard."

"Silence, Tom.  He's full of his sauce, sir--you must forgive it."

"Nay, it pleaseth me to hear him talk; but it would please me more to
hear thee sing."

"Then here goes, sir, to drown Tom's impudence:--

  "Glide on my bark, the morning tide
  Is gently floating by thy side;
  Around thy prow the waters bright,
  In circling rounds of broken light,
  Are glittering, as if ocean gave
  Her countless gems unto the wave.

"That's a pretty air, and I first heard it sung by a pretty woman; but
that's all I know of the song.  She sang another--

  "I'd be a butterfly, born in a bower."

"You'd be a butterfly!" said the Dominie, taking old Tom literally, and
looking at his person.

Young Tom roared, "Yes, sir, he'd be a butterfly, and I don't see why he
shouldn't very soon.  His legs are gone, and his wings aren't come: so
he's a grub now, and that, you know, is the next thing to it.  What a
funny old beggar it is, father--aren't it?"

"Tom, Tom, go forward, sir; we must shoot the bridge."

"Shoot!" exclaimed the Dominie; "shoot what?"

"You aren't afraid of fire-arms, are ye, sir?" inquired Tom.

"Nay, I said not that I was afraid of fire-arms; but why should you

"We never could get on without it, sir; we shall have plenty of
shooting, by-and-by.  You don't know this river."

"Indeed, I thought not of such doings; or that there were other dangers
besides that of the deep waters."

"Go forward, Tom, and don't be playing with your betters," cried old
Tom.  "Never mind him, sir, he's only humbugging you."

"Explain, Jacob.  The language of both old Tom and young Tom are to me
as incomprehensible as would be that of the dog Tommy."

"Or as your Latin is to them, sir."

"True, Jacob, true.  I have no right to complain; nay, I do not
complain, for I am amused, although at times much puzzled."

We now shot Putney Bridge, and as a wherry passed us, old Tom carolled

  "Did you ever hear tell of a jolly young waterman?"

"No, I never did," said the Dominie, observing old Tom's eyes directed
towards him.  Tom, amused by this _naivete_ on the part of the Dominie,
touched him by the sleeve, on the other side, and commenced with his

  "Did you ne'er hear a tale
  Of a maid in the vale?"

"Not that I can recollect, my child," replied the Dominie.

"Then, where have you been all your life?"

"My life has been employed, my lad, in teaching the young idea how to

"So, you're an old soldier, after all, and afraid of fire-arms.  Why
don't you hold yourself up?  I suppose it's that enormous jib of yours
that brings you down by the head."

"Tom, Tom, I'll cut you into pork pieces if you go on that gait.  Go and
get dinner under weigh, you scamp, and leave the gentleman alone.
Here's more wind coming.

  "A wet sheet and a flowing sea,
  A wind that follows fast,
  And fills the white and rustling sail,
  And bends the gallant mast.
  And bends the gallant mast, my boys,
  While, like the eagle free,
  Away the good ship flies, and leaves
  Old England on the lee."

"Jacob," said the Dominie, "I have heard by the mouth of Rumour, with
her hundred tongues, how careless and indifferent are sailors unto
danger; but I never could have believed that such lightness of heart
could have been shown.  Yon man, although certainly not old in years,
yet, what is he?--a remnant of a man resting upon unnatural and
ill-proportioned support.  Yon lad, who is yet but a child, appears as
blythe and merry as if he were in possession of all the world can
afford.  I have an affection for that bold child, and would fain teach
him the rudiments, at least, of the Latin tongue."

"I doubt if Tom would ever learn them, sir.  He hath a will of his own."

"It grieveth me to hear thee say so, for he lacketh not talent, but
instruction; and the Dux, he pleaseth me mightily--a second Palinurus.
Yet how that a man could venture to embark upon an element, to struggle
through the horrors of which must occasionally demand the utmost
exertion of every limb, with the want of the two most necessary for his
safety, is to me quite incomprehensible."

"He can keep his legs, sir."

"Nay, Jacob; how can he _keep_ what are _already gone_?  Even thou
speakest strangely upon the water.  I see the dangers that surround us,
Jacob, yet I am calm: I feel that I have not lived a wicked
life--`_Integer vitae, scelerisque purus_,' as Horace truly saith, may
venture, even as I have done, upon the broad expanse of water.  What is
it that the boy is providing for us?  It hath an inviting smell."

"Lobscouse, master," replied old Tom, "and not bad lining either."

"I recollect no such word--_unde derivatur_, friend?"

"What's that, master?" inquired old Tom.

"It's Latin for lobscouse, depend upon it, father," cried Tom, who was
stirring up the savoury mess with a large wooden spoon.  "He be a
_deadly_ lively old gentleman, with his dead language.  Dinner's all
ready.  Are we to let go the anchor, or pipe to dinner first?"

"We may as well anchor, boys.  We have not a quarter of an hour's more
ebb, and the wind is heading us."

Tom and I went forward, brailed up the mainsail, cleared away, and let
go the anchor.  The lighter swung round rapidly to the stream.  The
Dominie, who had been in a fit of musing, with his eyes cast upon the
forests of masts which we had passed below London Bridge, and which were
now some way astern of us, of a sudden exclaimed, in a loud voice,
"_Parce precor!  Periculosum est_!"

The lighter, swinging short round to her anchor, had surprised the
Dominie with the rapid motion of the panorama, and he thought we had
fallen in with one of the whirlpools mentioned by Tom.  "What has
happened, good Dux? tell me," cried the Dominie to old Tom, with alarm
in his countenance.

"Why, master, I'll tell you after my own fashion," replied old Tom,
smiling; and then singing, as he held the Dominie by the button of his

  "Now to her berth the craft draws nigh,
  With slacken'd sail, she feels the tide;
  `Stand clear the cable!' is the cry--
  The anchor's gone, we safely ride.

"And now, master, we'll bail out the lobscouse.  We sha'n't weigh anchor
again until to-morrow morning; the wind's right in our teeth, and it
will blow fresh, I'm sartain.  Look how the scud's flying; so now we'll
have a jolly time of it, and you shall have your allowance of grog on
board before you turn in."

"I have before heard of that potation," replied the Dominie, sitting
down on the coaming of the hatchway, "and fain would taste it."



We now took our seats on the deck, round the saucepan, for we did not
trouble ourselves with dishes, and the Dominie appeared to enjoy the
lobscouse very much.  In the course of half-an-hour all was over; that
is to say, we had eaten as much as we wished; and the Newfoundland dog,
who, during our repast, lay close by young Tom, flapping the deck with
his tail, and sniffing the savoury smell of the compound, had just
licked all our plates quite clean, and was now finishing with his head
in the saucepan; while Tom was busy carrying the crockery into the
cabin, and bringing out the bottle and tin pannikins, ready for the
promised carouse.

"There, now, master, there's a glass o' grog for you that would float a
marline-spike.  See if that don't warm the _cockles_ of your old heart."

"Ay," added Tom, "and set all your _muscles_ as taut as weather

"Master Tom, with your leave, I'll mix your grog for you myself.  Hand
me back that bottle, you rascal."

"Just as you please, father," replied Tom, handing the bottle; "but
recollect, none of your _water bewitched_.  Only help me as you love

Old Tom mixed a pannikin of grog for Tom, and another for himself.  I
hardly need say which was the _stiffer_ of the two.

"Well, father, I suppose you think the grog will run short.  To be sure,
one bottle aren't too much 'mong four of us."

"One bottle, you scamp! there's another in the cupboard."

"Then you must see double already, father."

Old Tom, who was startled at this news, and who imagined that Tom must
have gained possession of the other bottle, jumped up and made for the
cupboard, to ascertain whether what Tom asserted was correct.  This was
what Tom wished; he immediately changed pannikins of grog with his
father, and remained quiet.

"There _is_ another bottle, Tom," said his father, coming out and taking
his seat again.  "I knew there was.  You young rascal, you don't know
how you frightened me!"  And old Tom put the pannikin to his lips.
"Drowned the miller, by heavens!" said he, "What could I have been
about?" ejaculated he, adding more spirit to his mixture.

"I suppose, upon the strength of another bottle in the locker, you are
doubling the strength of your grog.  Come, father," and Tom held out his
pannikin, "do put a little drop in mine--it's seven-water grog, and I'm
not on the black-list."

"No, no, Tom; your next shall be stronger.  Well, master, how do you
like your liquor?"

"Verily," replied the Dominie, "it is a pleasant and seducing liquor.
Lo and behold!  I am at the bottom of my utensil."

"Stop till I fill it up again, old gentleman.  I see you are one of the
right sort.  You know what the song says--

  "A plague on those musty old lubbers,
  Who tell us to fast and to think,
  And patient fall in with life's rubbers,
  With nothing but _water_ to _drink_!

"Water, indeed!  The only use of water I know is to mix your grog with,
and float vessels up and down the world.  Why was the sea made salt, but
to prevent our drinking too much water.  Water, indeed!

  "A can of good grog, had they swigg'd it,
  T'would have set them for pleasure agog,
  And in spite of the rules
  Of the schools,
  The old fools
  Would have all of them swigg'd it,
  And swore there was nothing like grog."

"I'm exactly of your opinion, father," said Tom, holding out his empty

"Always ready for two things, Master Tom--grog and mischief; but,
however, you shall have one more _dose_."

"It hath, then, medicinal virtues?" inquired the Dominie.

"Ay, that it has, master--more than all the quacking medicines in the
world.  It cures grief and melancholy, and prevents spirits from getting

"I doubt that, father," cried Tom, holding up the bottle "for the more
grog we drink, the more the _spirits become low_."

_Cluck, cluck_, came from the thorax of the Dominie.  "Verily, friend
Tom, it appeareth, among other virtues, to sharpen the wits.  Proceed,
friend Dux, in the medicinal virtues of grog."

"Well, master, it cures love when it's not returned, and adds to it when
it is.  I've heard say it will cure jealousy; but that I've my doubts
of.  Now I think on it, I will tell you a yarn about a jealous match
between a couple of fools.  Jacob, aren't your pannikin empty, my boy?"

"Yes," replied I, handing it up to be filled.  It was empty, for, not
being very fond of it myself, Tom, with my permission, had drunk it as
well as his own.

"There, Jacob, is a good dose for you; you aren't always craving after
it, like Tom."

"He isn't troubled with low spirits, as I am, father."

"How long has that been your complaint, Tom?" inquired I.

"Ever since I heard how to cure it.  Come, father, give us the yarn."

"Well, then, you must mind that an old shipmate o' mine, Ben Leader, had
a wife named Poll, a pretty sort of craft in her way--neat in her
rigging, swelling-bows, taking sort of figure-head, and devilish well
rounded in the counter; altogether, she was a very fancy girl, and all
the men were after her.  She'd a roguish eye, and liked to be stared at,
as most pretty women do, because it flatters their vanities.  Now,
although she liked to be noticed so far by the other chaps, yet Ben was
the only one she ever wished to be handled by; it was `Paws off,
Pompey!' with all the rest.  Ben Leader was a good-looking, active,
smart chap, and could foot it in a reel, or take a bout at single-stick
with the very best o' them; and she was mortal fond of him, and mortal
jealous if he talked to any other woman, for the women liked Ben as much
as the men liked she.  Well, as they returned love for love, so did they
return jealousy for jealousy; and the lads and lasses, seeing that, had
a pleasure in making them come to a misunderstanding.  So every day it
became worse and worse between them.  Now, I always says that it's a
stupid thing to be jealous, _'cause_ if there be _cause_, there be no
_cause_ for love and if there be no _cause_, there be no _cause_ for

"You're like a row in a rookery, father--nothing but _caws_,"
interrupted Tom.

"Well, I suppose I am; but that's what I call chop logic--aren't it,

"It was a syllogism," replied the Dominie, taking the pannikin from his

"I don't know what that is, nor do I want to know," replied old Tom; "so
I'll just go on with my story.  Well, at last they came to downright
fighting.  Ben licks Poll 'cause she talked and laughed with other men,
and Poll cries and whines all day 'cause he won't sit on her knee,
instead of going on board and 'tending to his duty.  Well, one night,
a'ter work was over, Ben goes on shore to the house where he and Poll
used to sleep; and when he sees the girl in the bar, he says, `Where is
Poll?'  Now, the girl at the bar was a fresh-comer, and answers, `What
girl?'  So Ben describes her, and the bar-girl answers, `She be just
gone to bed with her husband, I suppose;' for, you see, there was a
woman like her who had gone up to her bed, sure enough.  When Ben heard
that, he gave his trousers one hitch, and calls for a quartern, drinks
it off with a sigh, and leaves the house, believing it all to be true.
A'ter Ben was gone, Poll makes her appearance, and when she finds Ben
wasn't in the tap, says, `Young woman, did a man go upstairs just now?'
`Yes,' replied the bar-girl, `with his wife, I suppose; they be turned
in this quarter of an hour.'  When she almost turned mad with rage, and
then as white as a sheet, and then she burst into tears, and runs out of
the house, crying out, `Poor misfortunate creature that I am!' knocking
everything down undersized, and running into the arms of every man who
came athwart her hawse."

"I understood him, but just now, that she was running on foot; yet doth
he talk about her _horse_.  Expound, Jacob."

"It was a nautical figure of speech, sir."

"Exactly," rejoined Tom; "it meant her figure-head, old gentleman; but
my yarn won't cut a figure if I'm brought up all standing in this way.
Suppose, master, you hear the story first, and understand it

"I will endeavour to comprehend by the context," replied the Dominie.

"That is, I suppose, that you'll allow me to stick to my text.  Well,
then, here's coil away again.  Ben, you see, what with his jealousy and
what with a whole quartern at a draught, became _somehow nohow_, and he
walked down to the jetty with the intention of getting rid of himself,
and his wife and all his trouble by giving his soul back to his Creator,
and his body to the fishes."

"Bad philosophy," quoth the Dominie.

"I agree with you, master," replied old Tom.

"Pray what sort of a thing is philosophy?" inquired Tom.

"Philosophy," replied old Tom, "is either hanging, drowning, shooting
yourself, or, in short, getting out of the world without help."

"Nay," replied the Dominie, "that is _felo de se_."

"Well, I pronounce it quicker than you, master; but it's one and the
same thing: but to go on.  While Ben was standing on the jetty, thinking
whether he should take one more quid of 'baccy afore he dived, who
should come down but Poll, with her hair all adrift, streaming and
coach-whipping astern of her, with the same intention as Ben--to commit
_philo-zoffy_.  Ben, who was standing at the edge of the jetty, his eyes
fixed upon the water, as it eddied among the piles, looking as dismal as
if he had swallowed a hearse and six, with the funeral feathers hanging
out of his mouth--"

"A bold comparison," murmured the Dominie.

"Never sees her; and she was so busy with herself, that, although close
to him, she never sees he--always remembering that the night was dark.
So Poll turned her eyes up, for all the world like a dying jackdaw."

"Tell me, friend Dux," interrupted the Dominie, "doth a jackdaw die in
any peculiar way?"

"Yes," replied young Tom; "he always dies black, master."

"Then doth he die as he liveth.  (_Cluck, cluck_.)  Proceed, good Dux."

"And don't you break the thread of my yarn any more, master, if you wish
to hear the end of it.  So Poll begins to bludder about Ben.  `O Ben,
Ben,' cried she; `cruel, cruel man; for to come--for to go;--for to go--
for to come!'

"`Who's there?' shouted Ben.

"`For to come--for to go,' cried Poll.

"`Ship ahoy!' hailed Ben, again.

"`For to go--for to come,' blubbered Poll; and then she couldn't bring
out anything more for sobbing.  With that, Ben, who thought he knew the
voice, walks up to her, and says, `Be that you, Poll?'

"`Be that you, Ben?' replied Poll, taking her hands from her face, and
looking at him.

"`I thought you were in bed with--with--oh!  Poll!' said Ben.

"`And I thought you were in bed with--oh!  Ben!' replied Poll.

"`But I wasn't, Poll?'

"`Nor more wasn't I, Ben.'

"`And what brought you here, Poll?'

"`I wanted for to die, Ben.  And what brought you here, Ben?'

"`I didn't want for to live, Poll, when I thought you false.'

"Then Polly might have answered in the words of the old song, master;
but her poor heart was too full, I suppose."  And Tom sang--

  "Your Polly has never been false, she declares,
  Since last time we parted at Wapping Old Stairs.

"Howsomever, in the next minute they were both hugging and kissing,
sobbing, shivering and shaking in each other's arms; and as soon as they
had settled themselves a little, back they went, arm-in-arm, to the
house, and had a good stiff glass to prevent their taking the
rheumatism, went to bed, and were cured of their jealously ever
a'terwards--which in my opinion, was a much better _philo-zoffy_ than
the one they had both been bound on.  There, I've wound it all off at
last, master, and now we'll fill up our pannikins."

"Before I consent, friend Dux, pr'ythee inform me how much of this
pleasant liquor may be taken without inebriating, _vulgo_, getting

"Father can drink enough to float a jolly-boat, master," replied Tom;
"so you needn't fear.  I'll drink pan for pan with you all night long."

"Indeed you won't, mister Tom," replied the father.

"But I will, master."

I perceived that the liquor had already had some effect upon my worthy
pedagogue, and was not willing that he should be persuaded into excess.
I therefore pulled him by the coat as a hint; but he was again deep in
thought, and he did not heed me.  Tired of sitting so long, I got up,
and walked forward to look at the cable.

"Strange," muttered the Dominie, "that Jacob should thus pull me by the
garment.  What could he mean?"

"Did he pull you, sir?" inquired Tom.

"Yes, many times; and then he walked away."

"It appears that you have been pulled too much, sir," replied Tom,
appearing to pick up the tail of his coat, which had been torn off by
the dog, and handing it to him.

"_Eheu!  Jacobe--fili dilectissime--quid fecisti_?" cried the Dominie,
holding up the fragment of his coat with a look of despair.

"`A long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether,'" sang out old Tom:
and then looking at Tom, "Now, ain't you a pretty rascal, master Tom?"

"It is done," exclaimed the Dominie, with a sigh, putting the fragment
into the remaining pocket; "and it cannot be undone."

"Now, I think it is undone, and can be done, master," replied Tom.  "A
needle and thread will soon join the pieces of your old coat again--in
_holy_ matrimony, I may safely say--"

"True.  (_Cluck, cluck_.)  My housekeeper will restore it; yet will she
be wroth, `_Feminae curaeque iraeque_;' but let us think no more about
it," cried the Dominie, drinking deeply from his pannikin, and each
minute verging fast to intoxication. "`_Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede
libero pulsanda tellus_.'  I feel as if I were lifted up, and could
dance, yea, and could exalt my voice and sing."

"Could you, my jolly old master? then we will both dance and sing--

  "Come, let us dance and sing,
  While all Barbadoes bells shall ring,
  Mars scrapes the fiddle string
  While Venus plays the lute.
  Hymen gay, trips away,
  Jocund at the wedding day.

"Now for chorus--

  "Come, let us dance and sing."



I heard Tom's treble, and a creaking noise, which I recognised to
proceed from the Dominie, who had joined the chorus; and I went aft, if
possible to prevent further excess; but I found that the grog had
mounted into the Dominie's head, and all my hints were disregarded.  Tom
was despatched for the other bottle, and the Dominie's pannikin was
replenished, old Tom roaring out--

  "Come, sling the flowing bowl;
  Fond hopes arise,
  The girls we prize
  Shall bless each jovial soul;
  The can, boys, bring,
  We'll dance and sing,
  While foaming billows roll.

"Now for the chorus again--

  "Come, sling the flowing bowl, etcetera.

"Jacob, why don't you join?"  The chorus was given by the whole of us.
The Dominie's voice was even louder, though not quite so musical, as old

"_Evoe_!" cried the Dominie; "_evoe! cantemus_.

  "_Amo, amas_--I loved a lass,
  For she was tall and slender;
  _Amas, amat_--she laid me flat,
  Though of the feminine gender.

"Truly do I not forget the songs of my youth, and of my hilarious days:
yet doth the potent spirit work upon me like the god in the Cumean
sybil; and I shall soon prophecy that which shall come to pass."

"So can I," said Tom, giving me a nudge, and laughing.

"Do thine office of Ganymede, and fill up the pannikin; put not in too
much of the element.  Once more exalt thy voice, good Dux."

"Always ready, master," cried Tom, who sang out again in praise of his
favourite liquor--

  "Smiling grog is the sailor's best hope, his sheet anchor,
  His compass, his cable, his log,
  That gives him a heart which life's cares cannot canker.
  Though dangers around him,
  Unite to confound him,
  He braves them, and tips off his grog.
  'Tis grog, only grog,
  Is his rudder, his compass, his cable, his log,
  The sailor's sheet anchor is grog."

"Verily, thou art an Apollo--or, rather, referring to thy want of legs,
half an Apollo--that is, a _demi_-god.  (_Cluck, cluck_.)  Sweet is thy
lyre, friend Dux."

"Fair words, master; I'm no liar," cried Tom.  "Clap a stopper on your
tongue, or you'll get into disgrace."

"_Ubi lapsus quid feci_," said the Dominie; "I spoke of thy musical
tongue; and, furthermore, I spoke alle-gori-cal-ly."

"I know a man lies with his tongue as well as you do, old chap; but as
for telling a _hell of a_ (something) _lie_, as you states, I say I
never did," rejoined old Tom, who was getting cross in his cups.

I now interfered, as there was every appearance of a fray; and in spite
of young Tom, who wished, as he termed it, to _kick up a shindy_,
prevailed upon them to make friends, which they did, shaking hands for
nearly five minutes.  When this was ended, I again entreated the Dominie
not to drink any more, but to go to bed.

"_Amice, Jacobe_," replied the Dominie; "the liquor hath mounted into
thy brain, and thou wouldst rebuke thy master and thy preceptor.  Betake
thee to thy couch, and sleep off the effects of thy drink.  Verily,
Jacob, thou art _plenus Veteris Bacchi_; or, in plain English, thou art
drunk.  Canst thou conjugate, Jacob?  I fear not.  Canst thou decline,
Jacob?  I fear not.  Canst thou scan, Jacob?  I fear not.  Nay, Jacob,
methinks that thou art unsteady in thy gait, and not over clear in thy
vision.  Canst thou hear, Jacob? if so, I will give thee an oration
against inebriety, with which thou mayest down on thy pillow.  Wilt thou
have it in Latin or in Greek?"

"O, damn your Greek and Latin!" cried old Tom; "keep that for to-morrow.
Sing us a song, my old hearty; or shall I sing you one?  Here goes--

  "For while the grog goes round,
  All sense of danger's drown'd,
  We despise it to a man;
  We sing a little--"

"Sing a little," bawled the Dominie.

  "And laugh a little--"

"Laugh a little," chorused young Tom.

  "And work a little--"

"Work a little," cried the Dominie.

  "And swear a little--"

"Swear _not_ a little," echoed Tom.

  "And fiddle a little--"

"Fiddle a little," hiccuped the Dominie.

  "And foot it a little--"

"Foot it a little," repeated Tom.

  "And swig the flowing can,
  And fiddle a little,
  And foot it a little,
  And swig the flowing can--"

roared old Tom, emptying his pannikin.

  "And swig the flowing can--"

followed the Dominie, tossing off his.

  "And swig the flowing can--"

cried young Tom turning up his pannikin empty.

"Hurrah! that's what I calls glorious.  Let's have it over again, and
then we'll have another dose.  Come, now, all together."  Again was the
song repeated; and when they came to "foot it a little," old Tom jumped
on his stumps, seizing hold of the Dominie, who immediately rose, and
the three danced round and round for a minute or two, singing the song
and chorus, till old Tom, who was very far gone, tripped against the
coamings of the hatchway, pitching his head into the Dominie's stomach,
who fell backwards, clinging to young Tom's hand; so that they all
rolled on the deck together--my worthy preceptor underneath the other

"Foot it _rather too much_ that time, father," said young Tom, getting
up the first, and laughing.  "Come, Jacob, let's put father on his pins
again; he can't rise without a purchase."  With some difficulty, we
succeeded.  As soon as he was on his legs again, old Tom put a hand upon
each of our shoulders, and commenced, with a drunken leer--

  "What though his timbers they are gone,
  And he's a slave to tipple,
  No better sailor e'er was born
  Than Tom, the jovial cripple.

"Thanky, my boys, thanky; now rouse up the old gentleman.  I suspect we
knocked the wind out of him.  Hollo, there, are you hard and fast?"

"The bricks are hard, and verily my senses are fast departing," quoth
the Dominie, rousing himself, and sitting up, staring around him.

"Senses going, do you say, master?" cried old Tom.  "Don't throw them
overboard till we have made a finish.  One more pannikin apiece, one
more song, and then to bed.  Tom, where's the bottle?"

"Drink no more, sir, I beg; you'll be ill to-morrow," said I to the

"_Deprome quadrimum_," hiccuped the Dominie.  "_Carpe diem--quam
minimum--creula postero._--Sing, friend Dux--_Quem virum--sumes
celebrare--music amicus_.--Where's my pattypan?--We are not
Thracians--_Natis in usum--laetitae scyphis pugnare_--(hiccup)--_Thracum
est_--therefore we--will not fight--but we will drink--_recepto dulce
mihi furere est amico_--Jacob, thou art drunk--sing, friend Dux, or
shall I sing?

  "_Propria quae maribus_ had a little dog,
  _Quae genus_ was his name--

"My memory faileth me--what was the tune?"

"That tune was the one the old cow died of, I'm sure," replied Tom.
"Come, old Nosey, strike up again."

"Nosey, from _nasus_--truly, it is a fair epithet; and it remindeth me
that my nose--suffered in the fall which I received just now.  Yet I
cannot sing--having no words--"

"Nor tune, either, master," replied old Tom; "so here goes for you--

  "Young Susan had lovers, so many that she
  Hardly knew upon which to decide;
  They all spoke sincerely, and promised to be
  All worthy of such a sweet bride.
  In the morning she'd gossip with William, and then
  The noon will be spent with young Harry,
  The evening with Tom; so, amongst all the men,
  She never could tell which to marry.
  Heigho!  I am afraid
  Too many lovers will puzzle a maid.

"It pleaseth me--it ringeth in mine ears--yea, most pleasantly.
Proceed,--the girl was as the Pyrrha of Horace--

  "Quis multa gracillis--te puer in rosa--
  Perfusis liquidis urgit odoribus.
  Grate, Pyrrha--sub antro?"

"That's all high Dutch to me, master; but I'll go on if I can.  My
memory box be a little out of order.  Let me see--oh!

  "Now William grew jealous, and so went away;
  Harry got tired of wooing;
  And Tom having teased her to fix on the day,
  Received but a frown for so doing;
  So, 'mongst all her lovers, quite left in the lurch,
  She pined every night on her pillow;
  And meeting one day a pair going to church,
  Turned away, and died under a willow.
  Heigho!  I am afraid
  Too many lovers will puzzle a maid.

"Now, then, old gentleman, tip off your grog.  You've got your
allowance, as I promised you."

"Come, master, you're a cup too low," said Tom, who, although in high
spirits, was not at all intoxicated; indeed, as I afterwards found, he
could carry more than his father.  "Come, shall I give you a song?"

"That's right, Tom; a volunteer's worth two pressed men.  Open your
mouth wide, an' let your whistle fly away with the gale.  You whistles
in tune, at all events."

Tom then struck up, the Dominie see-sawing as he sat, and getting very

  "Luck in life, or good or bad,
  Ne'er could make me melancholy;
  Seldom rich, yet never sad,
  Sometimes poor, yet always jolly.
  Fortune's in my scale, that's poz,
  Of mischance put more than half in;
  Yet I don't know how it was,
  I could never cry for laughing--
  Ha! ha! ha!  Ha! ha! ha!
  I could never cry for laughing.

"Now for chorus, father--

  "Ha! ha! ha!  Ha! ha! ha!
  I could never cry for laughing.

"That's all I know; and that's enough, for it won't wake up the old

But it did.  "Ha, ha, ha--ha, ha, ha!  I could never die for laughing,"
bawled out the Dominie, feeling for his pannikin; but this was his last
effort.  He stared round him.  "Verily, verily, we are in a whirlpool--
how everything turneth round and round!  Who cares?  Am I not an ancient
mariner--`_Qui videt mare turgidum--et infames scopulos_.'  Friend Dux,
listen to me--_favet linguis_."

"Well," hiccuped old Tom, "so I will--but speak--plain English--as I

"That I'll be hanged if he does," said Tom to me.  "In half an hour more
I shall understand old Nosey's Latin just as well as his--plain English,
as he calls it."

"I will discuss in any language--that is--in any tongue--be it in the
Greek or the Latin--nay, even--(hiccups)--friend Dux--hast thou not
partaken too freely--of--dear me!  _Quo me, Bacche, rapis tui--plenum_--
truly I shall be tipsy--and will but finish my pattypan--_dulce
periculum est_--Jacob--can there be two Jacobs?--and two old Toms?--
nay--_mirabile dictu_--there are two young Toms, and two dog Tommies--
each with--two tails.  _Bacche, parce--precor--precor_--Jacob, where art
thou?--_Ego sum tu es_--thou art--_sumus_, we are--where am I?
_Procumbit humi bos_--for Bos--read Dobbs--_amo, amas_--I loved a lass.
_Tityre, tu patulae sub teg-mine_--nay--I quote wrong--then must I be--I
do believe that--I'm drunk."

"And I'm cock sure of it," cried Tom, laughing, as the Dominie fell back
in a state of insensibility.

"And I'm cock sure of it," said old Tom, rolling himself along the deck
to the cabin hatch "that I've as much--as I can stagger--under, at all
events--so I'll sing myself to sleep--'cause why--I'm happy.  Jacob--
mind you keep all the watches to-night--and Tom may keep the rest."  Old
Tom then sat up, leaning his back against the cabin hatch, and commenced
one of those doleful ditties which are sometimes heard on the forecastle
of a man-of-war; he had one or two of the songs that he always reserved
for such occasions.  While Tom and I dragged the Dominie to bed, old Tom
drawled out his ditty--

  "Oh! we sailed to Virgi-ni-a, and thence to Fy-al,
  Where we water'd our shipping, and so then weigh-ed all,
  Full in view, on the seas--boys--seven sail we did es-py,
  O! we man-ned our capstern, and weighed spee-di-ly.

"That's right, my boys, haul and hold--stow the old Dictionary away--for
he can't command the parts of speech.

  "The very next morning--the engagement proved--hot,
  And brave Admiral Benbow received a chain-shot.
  O when he was wounded to his merry men--he--did--say,
  Take me up in your arms, boys, and car-ry me a-way.

"Now, boys, come and help me--Tom--none of your foolery--for your poor
old father is--drunk--."

We assisted old Tom into the other "bed-place" in the cabin.  "Thanky,
lads--one little bit more, and then I'm done--as the auctioneer says--

  "O the guns they did rattle, and the bul-lets--did--fly,
  When brave Benbow--for help loud--did cry,
  Carry me down to the cock-pit--there is ease for my smarts,
  If my merry men should see me--'twill sure--break--their--hearts.

"Going,--old swan-hopper--as I am--going--gone."

Tom and I were left on deck.

"Now, Jacob, if you have a mind to turn in.  I'm not sleepy--you shall
keep the morning watch."

"No, Tom, you'd better sleep first.  I'll call you at four o'clock.  We
can't weigh till tide serves; and I shall have plenty of sleep before

Tom went to bed, and I walked the deck till the morning, thinking over
the events of the day, and wondering what the Dominie would say when he
came to his senses.  At four o'clock, as agreed, I roused Tom out, and
turned into his bed, and was soon as fast asleep as old Tom and the
Dominie, whose responsive snores had rung in my ears during the whole
time that I had walked the deck.



About half-past eight the next morning, I was called up by Tom to assist
in getting the lighter under weigh.  When on deck I found old Tom as
fresh as if he had not drunk a drop the night before, very busily
stumping about the windlass, with which we hove up first the anchor, and
then the mast.  "Well, Jacob, my boy, had sleep enough?  Not too much, I
dare say; but a bout like last night don't come often, Jacob--only once
in a way; now, and then I do believe it's good for my health.  It's a
great comfort to me, my lad, to have you on board with me, because as
you never drinks, I may now indulge a _little_ oftener.  As for Tom, I
can't trust him--too much like his father--had nobody to trust to for
the look-out, except the dog Tommy, till you came with us.  I can trust
Tommy as far as keeping off the river sharks; he'll never let them take
a rope-yarn off the deck, night or day; but a dog's but a dog, after
all.  Now we're brought to; so clap on, my boy, and let's heave up with
a will."

"How's the old gentleman, father?" said Tom, as we paused a moment from
our labour at the windlass.

"Oh! he's got a good deal more to sleep off yet.  There he lies, flat on
his back, blowing as hard as a grampus.  Better leave him as long as we
can.  We'll rouse him as soon as we turn Greenwich reach.  Tom, didn't
you think his nose loomed devilish large yesterday?"

"Never seed such a devil of a cutwater in my life, father."

"Well, then, you'll see a larger when he gets up, for it's swelled
bigger than the brandy bottle.  Heave and haul!  Now bring to the fall,
and up with the mast, boys, while I goes aft and takes the helm."

Old Tom went aft.  During the night the wind had veered to the north,
and the frost had set in sharp, the rime covered the deck of the barge,
and here and there floating ice was to be seen coming down with the
tide.  The banks of the river and fields adjacent were white with hoar
frost, and would have presented but a cheerless aspect, had not the sun
shone out clear and bright.  Tom went aft to light the fire, while I
coiled away and made all snug forward.  Old Tom as usual carolled

  "Oh! for a soft and gentle wind,
  I heard a fair one cry
  But give to me the roaring breeze,
  And white waves beating high,
  And white waves beating high, my boys,
  The good ship tight and free,
  The world of waters is our own,
  And merry men are we."

"A nice morning this for cooling a hot head, that's sartain.  Tommy, you
rascal, you're like a court lady, with her velvet _gownd_, covered all
over with diamonds," continued old Tom, looking at the Newfoundland dog,
whose glossy black hair was besprinkled with little icicles, which
glittered in the sun.

"You and Jacob were the only sensible ones of the party last night, for
you both were sober."

"So was I, father.  I was as sober as a judge," observed Tom, who was
blowing up the fire.

"May be, Tom, as a judge a'ter dinner; but a judge on the bench be one
thing, and a judge over a bottle be another, and not bad judges in that
way either.  At all events, if you warn't _sewed up_, it wasn't your

"And I suppose," replied Tom, "it was only your misfortune that you

"No, I don't say that; but still, when I look at the dog, who's but a
beast by nature, and thinks of myself, who wasn't meant to be a beast,
why, I blushes, that's all."

"Jacob, look at father--now, does he blush?" cried Tom.

"I can't say that I perceive it," replied I, smiling.

"Well, then, if I don't it's the fault of my having no legs.  I'm sure
when they were knocked off I lost half the blood in my body, and that's
the reason, I suppose.  At all events, I meant to blush, so we'll take
the will for the deed."

"But do you mean to keep sober in future, father?" said Tom.

"Never do you mind that--mind your own business, Mr Tom.  At all
events, I sha'n't get tipsy till next time, and that's all I can say
with safety, 'cause, d'ye see, I knows my failing.  Jacob, did you ever
see that old gentleman sail too close to the wind before?"

"I never did--I do not think that he was ever tipsy before last night."

"Then I pities him--his headache, and his repentance.  Moreover, there
be his nose and the swallow-tail of his coat to make him unhappy.  We
shall be down abreast of the Hospital in half-an-hour.  Suppose you go
and give him a shake, Jacob.  Not you, Tom; I won't trust you--you'll be
doing him a mischief; you haven't got no fellow-feeling, not even for
dumb brutes."

"I'll thank you not to take away my character that way, father," replied
Tom.  "Didn't I put you to bed last night when you were speechless?"

"Suppose you did--what then?"

"Why, then, I had a feeling for a dumb brute.  I only say that, father,
for the joke of it, you know," continued Tom, going up to his father and
patting his rough cheek.

"I know that, my boy; you never were unkind, that's sartain; but you
must have your joke--

  "Merry thoughts are link'd with laughter,
  Why should we bury them?
  Sighs and tears may come hereafter,
  No need to hurry them.
  They who through a spying-glass,
  View the minutes as they pass,
  Make the sun a gloomy mass,
  But the fault's their own, Tom."

In the meantime I was vainly attempting to rouse the Dominie.  After
many fruitless attempts, I put a large quantity off snuff on his upper
lip, and then blew it up his nose.  But, merciful powers! what a nose it
had become--larger than the largest pear that I ever saw in my life.
The whole weight of old Tom had fallen on it, and instead of being
crushed by the blow, it appeared as if, on the contrary, it had swelled
up, indignant at the injury and affront which it had received.  The skin
was as tight as the parchment of a drum, and shining as if it had been
oiled, while the colour was a bright purple.  Verily, it was the
Dominie's nose in a rage.

The snuff had the effect of partially awakening him from his lethargy.
"Six o'clock--did you say, Mrs Bately?  Are the boys washed--and in the
schoolroom?  I will rise speedily--yet I am overcome with much
heaviness.  _Delapsus somnus_ ab--" and the Dominie snored again.  I
renewed my attempts, and gradually succeeded.  The Dominie opened his
eyes, stared at the deck and carlines above him, then at the cupboard by
his side; lastly, he looked at and recognised me.

"_Eheu, Jacobe_!--where am I?  And what is that which presses upon my
brain?  What is it so loadeth my cerebellum, even as if it were lead?
My memory--where is it?  Let me recall my scattered senses."  Here the
Dominie was silent for some time.  "Ah me! yea, and verily, I do
recollect--with pain of head and more pain of heart--that which I would
fain forget, which is, that I did forget myself; and indeed have
forgotten all that passed the latter portion of the night.  Friend Dux
hath proved no friend, but hath led me into the wrong path: and as or
the potation called _Grog--Eheu, Jacobe_! how have I fallen--fallen in
my own opinion--fallen in thine--how can I look thee in the face!  O,
Jacob! what must thou think of him who hath hitherto been thy preceptor
and thy guide!"  Here the Dominie fell back on the pillow, and turned
away his head.

"It is not your fault, sir," replied I, to comfort him; "you were not
aware of what you were drinking--you did not know that the liquor was so
strong.  Old Tom deceived you."

"Nay, Jacob, I cannot lay that flattering unction to my wounded heart.
I ought to have known, nay, now I recall to mind, that thou wouldst have
warned me--even to the pulling off of the tail of my coat--yet I heeded
thee not, and I am humbled--even I, the master over seventy boys!"

"Nay, sir, it was not I who pulled off the tail of your coat; it was the

"Jacob, I have heard of the wonderful sagacity of the canine species,
yet could not I ever have believed that a dumb brute would have
perceived my folly, and warned me from intoxication.  _Mirabile dictu_!
Tell me, Jacob, thou who hast profited by these lessons which thy master
could give--although he could not follow up his precept by example--tell
me, what did take place?  Let me know the full extent of my

"You fell asleep, sir, and we put you to bed."

"Who did me that office, Jacob?"

"Young Tom and I, sir; as for old Tom, he was not in a state to help

"I am humbled, Jacob--"

"Nonsense, old gentleman; why make a fuss about nothing?" said old Tom,
who, overhearing our conversation came into the cabin.  "You had a
_drop_ too much, that's all, and what o' that?  It's a poor heart that
never rejoiceth.  Rouse a bit, wash your face with old Thames water, and
in half-an-hour you'll be as fresh as a daisy."

"My head acheth!" exclaimed the Dominie, "even as if there were a ball
of lead rolling from one temple to the other; but my punishment is

"That is the punishment of making too free with the bottle, for sartain;
but if it is an offence, then it carries its own punishment and that's
quite sufficient.  Every man knows that when the heart's over light at
night, that the head's over heavy in the morning.  I have known and
proved it a thousand times.  Well, what then?  I puts the good against
the bad, and I takes my punishment like a man."

"Friend Dux, for so I will still call thee, thou lookest not at the
offence in a moral point of vision."

"What's moral?" replied old Tom.

"I would point out that intoxication is sinful."

"Intoxication sinful!  I suppose that means that it's a sin to get
drunk.  Now, master, it's my opinion that as God Almighty has given us
good liquor, it was for no other purpose than to drink it; and therefore
it would be ungrateful to him, and a sin, not to get drunk--that is,
with discretion."

"How canst thou reconcile getting drunk with discretion, good Dux?"

"I mean, master, when there's work to be done, the work should be done;
but when there's plenty of time, and everything is safe, and all ready
for a start the next morning, I can see no possible objection to a
jollification.  Come, master, rouse out; the lighter's abreast of the
Hospital almost by this time, and we must put you on shore."

The Dominie, whose clothes were all on, turned out of his bed-place and
went with us on deck.  Young Tom, who was at the helm, as soon as we
made our appearance, wished him a good-morning very respectfully.
Indeed, I always observed that Tom, with all his impudence and waggery,
had a great deal of consideration and kindness.  He had overheard the
Dominie's conversation with me, and would not further wound his feelings
with a jest.  Old Tom resumed his place at the helm, while his son
prepared the breakfast, and I drew a bucket of water for the Dominie to
wash his face and hands.  Of his nose not a word was said; and the
Dominie made no remarks to me on the subject, although I am persuaded it
must have been very painful, from the comfort he appeared to derive in
bathing it with the freezing water.  A bowl of tea was a great solace to
him, and he had hardly finished it when the lighter was abreast the
Hospital stairs.  Tom jumped into the boat and hauled it alongside.  I
took the other oar, and the Dominie, shaking hands with old Tom, said,
"Thou didst mean kindly, and therefore I wish thee a kind farewell, good

"God be with you, master," replied old Tom; "shall we call for you as we
come back?"

"Nay, nay," replied the Dominie, "the travelling by land is more
expensive, but less dangerous.  I thank thee for thy songs, and--for all
thy kindness, good Dux.  Are my paraphernalia in the boat, Jacob?"

I replied in the affirmative.  The Dominie stepped in, and we pulled him
on shore.  He landed, took his bundle and umbrella under his arm, shook
hands with Tom and then with me, without speaking, and I perceived the
tears start in his eyes as he turned and walked away.

"Well, now," said Tom, looking after the Dominie, "I wish I had been
drunk instead of he.  He does so take it to heart, poor old gentleman!"

"He has lost his self-esteem, Tom," replied I.  "It should be a warning
to you.  Come, get your oar to pass."

"Well, some people he fashioned one way and some another.  I've been
tipsy more than once, and I never lost anything but my reason, and that
came back as soon as the grog left my head.  I can't understand that
fretting about having had a glass too much.  I only frets when I can't
get enough.  Well, of all the noses I ever saw, his bests them by
chalks; I did so want to laugh at it, but I knew it would pain him."

"It is very kind of you, Tom, to hold your tongue, and I thank you very

"And yet that old dad of mine swears I've got no fellow-feeling, which I
consider a very undutiful thing for him to say.  What's the reason,
Jacob, that sons be always cleverer than their fathers?"

"I didn't know that was the case, Tom."

"But it is so _now_, if it wasn't in _olden time_.  The proverb says,
`Young people _think_ old people to be fools, but old people _know_
young people to be fools.'  We must alter that, for I says, `Old people
_think_ young people to be fools, but young people _know_ old people to
be fools.'"

"Have it your own way, Tom, that will do, rowed of all."

We tossed in our oars, made the boat fast, and gained the deck, where
old Tom still remained at the helm.  "Well," said he, "Jacob, I never
thought I should be glad to see the old gentleman clear of the lighter,
but I was--devilish glad; he was like a load on my conscience this
morning; he was trusted to my charge by Mr Drummond, and I had no right
to persuade him to make a fool of himself.  But, however, what's done
can't be helped, as you say sometimes; and it's no use crying; still it
was a pity, for he be, for all the world, like a child.  There's a fancy
kind of lass in that wherry, crossing _our_ bows; look at the streamers
from her top-gallant.

  "Come o'er the sea,
  Maiden, to me,
  Mine through sunshine, storm, and snows,
  Seasons may roll,
  But the true soul
  Burns the same wherever it goes
  Then come o'er the sea,
  Maiden, with me."

"See you hanged first, you underpinned old hulk!" replied the female in
the boat, which was then close under our bows.

"Well, that be civil, for certain," said old Tom, laughing.



We arrived at Sheerness the next morning, landed the bricks, which were
for the Government buildings, and returned in ballast to the wharf.  My
first inquiry was for the Dominie; but he had not yet returned; and Mr
Drummond further informed me that he had been obliged to send away his
under-clerk and wished me to simply take his place until he could
procure another.  The lighter therefore took in her cargo, and sailed
without me, which was of consequence, as my apprenticeship still went
on.  I now lived with Mr Drummond as one of his own family, and wanted
for nothing.  His continual kindness to me made me strive all I could to
please him by diligence and attention, and I soon became very expert at
accounts, and, as he said, very useful.  The advantages to me, I hardly
need observe were considerable, and I gained information every day.
Still, although I was glad to be of any use to Mr Drummond, the
confinement at the desk was irksome, and I anxiously looked for the
arrival of the new clerk to take my place and leave me free to join the
lighter.  Mr Drummond did not appear to me to be in any hurry; indeed,
I believe that he would have retained me altogether, had he not
perceived that I still wished to be on the river.

"At all events, Jacob, I shall keep you here until you are master of
your work; it will be useful to you hereafter," he said to me one day;
"and you do not gain much by sailing up and down the river."

This was true; and I also derived much advantage from the evenings spent
with Mrs Drummond, who was a very sensible good woman, and would make
me read aloud to her and little Sarah as they sat at their needle.  I
had no idea, until I was employed posting up the book, that Mr
Drummond's concern was so extensive, or that there was so much capital
employed in the business.  The Dominie returned a few days after my
arrival.  When we met his nose had resumed its former appearance, and he
never brought up the subject of the evening on board of the lighter.  I
saw him frequently, mostly on Sundays after I had been to church with
the family; and half-an-hour, at least, was certain to be dedicated to
our reading together one of the classics.

As I was on shore several months, I became acquainted with many
families, one or two of which were worth noticing.  Among the foremost
was Captain Turnbull, at least such was his appellation until within the
last two months previous to my making his acquaintance, when Mr
Turnbull sent out his cards, _George Turnbull, Esquire_.  The history of
Captain Turnbull was as follows:--He had, with his twin brother, been
hung up at the knocker, and afterwards had been educated at the
Foundling Hospital; they had both been apprenticed to the sea; grown up
thorough-bred, capital, seamen in the Greenland fishery; rose to be
mates then captains; had been very successful, owned part, then the
whole of the ship, afterwards two or three ships; and had wound up with
handsome fortunes.  Captain Turnbull was a married man without a family;
his wife, fine in person, vulgar in speech, a would-be fashionable lady,
against which fashion Captain T had for years pleaded poverty; but his
brother, who had remained a bachelor, died, leaving him forty thousand
pounds--a fact which could not be concealed.  Captain Turnbull had not
allowed his wife to be aware of the extent of his own fortune, more from
a wish to live quietly and happily than from any motive of parsimony,
for he was liberal to excess; but now he had no further excuse to plead,
and Mrs Turnbull insisted upon _fashion_.  The house they had lived in
was given up, and a marine villa on the borders of the Thames to a
certain degree met the views of both parties; Mrs Turnbull anticipating
dinners and fetes, and the captain content to watch what was going on in
the river, and amuse himself in a wherry.  They had long been
acquaintances of Mr and Mrs Drummond; and Captain Turnbull's character
was such as always to command the respect of Mr Drummond, as he was an
honest, friendly man.  Mrs Turnbull had now set up her carriage, and
she was, in her own opinion, a very great personage.  She would have cut
all her former acquaintance; but on that point the captain was
inflexible, particularly as regarded the Drummonds.  As far as they were
concerned, Mrs Turnbull gave way, Mrs Drummond being a lady-like
woman, and Mr Drummond universally respected as a man of talent and
information.  Captain, or rather, Mr Turnbull, was a constant visitor
at our house, and very partial to me.  He used to scold Mr Drummond for
keeping me so close to my desk, and would often persuade him to give me
a couple of hours' run.  When this was obtained, he would call a
waterman, throw him a crown, and tell him to get out of his wherry as
fast as he could.  We then embarked, and amused ourselves pulling up and
down the river, while Mrs Turnbull, dressed in the extremity of the
fashion, rode out in the carriage and left her cards in every direction.

One day Mr Turnbull called upon the Drummonds, and asked them to dine
with him on the following Saturday; they accepted the invitation.
"By-the-by," said he, "I got what my wife calls a _remind_ in my
pocket;" and he pulled out of his coat-pocket a large card, "with Mr
and Mrs Turnbull's compliments," etcetera, which card he had doubled in
two by his sitting down upon it, shortly after he came in.  Mr Turnbull
straightened it again as well as he could, and laid it on the table.
"And Jacob," said he, "you'll come too.  You don't want a remind; but if
you do, my wife will send you one."

I replied, "that I wanted no remind for a good dinner."

"No, I dare say not, my boy; but recollect that you come an hour or two
before the dinner-hour, to help me; there's so much fuss with one thing
or another, that I'm left in the lurch; and as for trusting the keys of
the spirit-room to that long-togged rascal of a butler, I'll see him
harpoon'd first; so do you come and help me, Jacob."

This having been promised, he asked Mr Drummond to lend me for an hour
or so, as he wished to take a row up the river.  This was also consented
to; we embarked and pulled away for Kew Bridge.  Mr Turnbull was as
good a hand at a yarn as old Tom, and many were the adventures he
narrated to me of what had taken place during the vicissitudes of his
life, more especially when he was employed in the Greenland fishery.  He
related an accident that morning, which particularly bore upon the
marvellous, although I do not believe that he was at all guilty of
indulging in a traveller's licence.

"Jacob," said he, "I recollect once when I was very near eaten alive by
foxes, and that in a very singular manner.  I was then mate of a
Greenland ship.  We had been on the fishing ground for three months, and
had twelve fish on board.  Finding we were doing well, we fixed our
ice-anchors upon a very large iceberg, drifting up and down with it, and
taking fish as we fell in with them.  One morning we had just cast loose
the carcass of a fish which we had cut up, when the man in the crow's
nest, on the look-out for another `fall,' cried out that a large polar
bear and her cub were swimming over to the iceberg, against the side of
which, and about half-a-mile from us, the carcass of a whale was
beating.  As we had nothing to do, seven of us immediately started in
chase we had intended to have gone after the foxes, which had gathered
there also in hundreds, to prey upon the dead whale.  It was then quite
calm: we soon came up with the bear, who at first was for making off;
but as the cub could not get on over the rough ice as well as the old
one, she at last turned round to bay.  We shot the cub to make sure of
her, and it did make sure of the dam not leaving us till either she or
we perished in the conflict.  I never shall forget her moaning over the
cub, as it lay bleeding on the ice, while we fired bullet after bullet
into her.  At last she turned round, gave a roar and a gnashing snarl,
which you might have heard a mile, and, with her eyes flashing fire,
darted upon us.  We received her in a body, all close together, with our
lances to her breast; but she was so large and strong, that she beat us
all back, and two of us fell; fortunately the others held their ground,
and as she was then on end, three bullets were put into her chest, which
brought her down.  I never saw so large a beast in my life.  I don't
wish to make her out larger than she really was, but I have seen many a
bullock at Smithfield which would not weigh two-thirds of her.  After
that, we had some trouble in despatching her; and while we were so
employed, the wind blew up in gusts from the northward, and the snow
fell heavy.  The men were for returning to the ship immediately, which
certainly was the wisest thing for us all to do; but I thought that the
snowstorm would blow over in a short time, and not wishing to lose so
fine a skin, resolved to remain and flay the beast; for I knew that if
left there a few hours, as the foxes could not get hold of the carcass
of the whale, which had not grounded, they would soon finish the bear
and the cub, and the skins be worth nothing.  Well, the other men went
back to the ship, and as it was, the snow-storm came on so thick that
they lost their way, and would never have found her, if it was not that
the bell was kept tolling for a guide to them.  I soon found that I had
done a very foolish thing; instead of the storm blowing over, the snow
came down thicker and thicker; and before I had taken a quarter of the
skin off, I was becoming cold and numbed, and then I was unable to
regain the ship, and with every prospect of being frozen to death before
the storm was over.  At last, I knew what was my only chance.  I had
flayed all the belly of the bear, but had not cut her open.  I ripped
her up, tore out all her inside, and then contrived to get into her
body, where I lay, and, having closed up the entrance hole, was warm and
comfortable, for the animal heat had not yet been extinguished.  This
manoeuvre, no doubt, saved my life: and I have heard that the French
soldiers did the same in their unfortunate Russian campaign, killing
their horses and getting inside to protect themselves from the dreadful
weather.  Well, Jacob, I had not lain more than half-an-hour, when I
knew by sundry jerks and tugs at my newly invented hurricane-house that
the foxes were busy--and so they were sure, enough.  There must have
been hundreds of them, for they were at work in all directions, and some
pushed their sharp noses into the opening where I had crept in; but I
contrived to get out my knife and saw their noses across whenever they
touched me, otherwise I should have been eaten up in a very short time.
There were so many of them, and they were so ravenous, that they soon
got through the bear's thick skin, and were tearing away at the flesh.
Now I was not so much afraid of their eating me, as I thought that if I
jumped up and discovered myself they would have all fled.  No saying,
though; two or three hundred ravenous devils take courage when together;
but I was afraid that they would devour my covering from the weather,
and then I should perish with the cold; and I was also afraid of having
pieces nipped out of me, which would of course oblige me to quit my
retreat.  At last daylight was made through the upper part of the
carcass, and I was only protected by the ribs of the animal, between
which every now and then their noses dived and nipped my sealskin
jacket.  I was just thinking of shouting to frighten them away, when I
heard the report of half-a-dozen muskets, and some of the bullets struck
the carcass, but fortunately did not hit me.  I immediately halloed as
loud as I could, and the men, hearing me, ceased firing.  They had fired
at the foxes, little thinking that I was inside of the bear.  I crawled
out; the storm was over, and the men of the ship had come back to look
for me.  My brother, who was also a mate on board of the vessel, who had
not been with the first party, had joined them in the search, but with
little hopes of finding me alive.  He hugged me in his arms, covered as
I was with blood, as soon as he saw me.  He's dead now, poor fellow--
That's the story, Jacob."

"Thank you, sir," replied I; but perceiving that the memory of his
brother affected him, I did not speak again for a few minutes.  We then
resumed our conversation, and pulling back with the tide, landed at the

On the day of the dinner party I went up to Mr Turnbull's at three
o'clock as he had proposed.  I found the house in a bustle; Mr and Mrs
Turnbull, with the butler and footman, in the dining-room, debating as
to the propriety of _this_ and _that_ being placed _here_ and _there_,
both servants giving their opinion, and arguing on a footing of
equality, contradicting and insisting, Mr Turnbull occasionally
throwing in a word, and each time snubbed by his wife, although the
servants dare not take any liberty with him.  "Do, pray, Mr Turnbull,
leave _h_us to settle these matters.  Get _h_up your wine; that is your
department.  Leave the room, Mr Turnbull, _h_if you please.  Mortimer
and I know what we are about, without your _h_interference."

"Oh! by the Lord, I don't wish to interfere; but I wish you and your
servants not to be squabbling, that's all.  If they gave me half the

"Do, pray, Mr Turnbull, leave the room, and allow me to regulate my own

"Come, Jacob, we'll go down into the cellar," said Mr Turnbull; and
accordingly we went.

I assisted Mr Turnbull in his department as much as I could, but he
grumbled very much.  "I can't bear all this nonsense, all this finery
and foolery.  Everything comes up cold, everything is out of reach.  The
table's so long, and so covered with uneatables, that my wife is hardly
within hail and, by jingo, with her the servants are masters.  Not with
me, at all events; for if they spoke to me as they do to Mrs Turnbull,
I would kick them out of the house.  However, Jacob, there's no help for
it.  All one asks for is quiet; and I must put up with all this
sometimes, or I should have no quiet from one year's end to another.
When a woman will have her way, there's no stopping her: you know the
old verse--

  "A man's a fool who strives by force or skill
  To stem the torrent of a woman's will;
  For if she will, she will, you may depend on't,
  And if she won't, she won't--and there's an end on't.

"Now let's go up into my room, and we will chat while I wash my hands."

As soon as Mr Turnbull was dressed, we went down into the drawing-room,
which was crowded with tables loaded with every variety of ornamental
articles.  "Now this is what my wife calls fashionable.  One might as
well be steering through an ice-floe as try to come to an anchor here
without running foul of something.  It's _hard-a-port_ or
_hard-a-starboard_ every minute; and if your coat-tail _jibes_, away
goes something, and whatever it is that smashes, Mrs T always swears it
was the _most valuable_ thing in the room.  I'm like a bull in a
china-shop.  One comfort is, that I never come in here except when
there's company.  Indeed, I'm not allowed, thank God.  Sit on a chair,
Jacob, one of those spider-like French things, for my wife won't allow
_blacks_, as she calls them, to come to an anchor upon her sky-blue silk
sofas.  How stupid to have furniture that one's not to make use of!
Give me comfort but it appears that's not to be bought for money."



Six o'clock was now near at hand, and Mrs Turnbull entered the
drawing-room in full dress.  She certainly was a very handsome woman,
and had every appearance of being fashionable; but it was her language
which exposed her.  She was like the peacock.  As long as she was silent
you could but admire the plumage, but her voice spoilt all.  "Now, Mr
Turnbull," said she, "I wish to _h_explain to you that there are certain
_h_improprieties in your behaviour which I cannot put _h_up with,
particularly that _h_of talking about when you were before the mast."

"Well, my dear, is that anything to be ashamed of?"

"Yes, Mr Turnbull, that _h_is--one _h_always sinks them ere particulars
in fashionable society.  To wirtuperate in company a'n't pleasant, and
_H_i've thought of a plan which may _h_act as an _h_impediment to your
vulgarity.  Recollect, Mr T, when_h_ever I say that _H_i've an
'eadache, it's to be a sign for you to 'old your tongue; and, Mr T,
_h_oblige me by wearing kid gloves all the evening."

"What! at dinner time, my dear?"

"Yes, Mr T, at dinner time; your 'ands are not fit to be touched."

"Well, I recollect when you thought otherwise."

"When, Mr T? 'ave I not often told you so?"

"Yes, lately; but I referred to the time when one Poll Bacon of Wapping
took my hand for better or for worse."

"Really, Mr T, you quite shock me.  My name was Mary, and the Bacons
are a good old _H_inglish name.  You 'ave their _h_arms quartered on the
carriage in right o' me.  That's something, I can tell you."

"Something I had to pay for pretty smartly, at all events."

"The payment, Mr T, was on account of granting _h_arms to you, who
never _'ad_ any."

"And never wished for them.  What do I care for such stuff?"

"And when you did choose, Mr Turnbull, you might have consulted me,
instead of making yourself the laughing-stock of Sir George Naylor and
all the 'eralds.  Who but a madman would have chosen three harpoons
_saluims_, and three barrels _couchants_, with a spouting whale for a
crest?  Just to point out to everybody what should _h_ever be buried in
_h_oblivion; and then your beastly motto--which I _would have_
changed--_`Blubber for ever_!'  Blubber indeed! _h_enough to make _h_any
one _blubber_ for ever."

"Well, the heralds told me they were just what I ought to have chosen,
and very apposite, as they termed it."

"They took your money and laughed at you.  Two pair of griffins, a lion,
half-a-dozen leopards, and a hand with a dagger, wouldn't 'ave cost a
farthing more.  But what can you _h_expect from an _'og_?"

"But if I was _cured_, I should be what you _were--Bacon_."

"I won't _demean_ myself, Mr Turnbull."

"That's right, my dear, don't; there's no curing you.  Recollect the
motto you chose in preference to mine."

"Well, and a very proper one--`_Too much familiarity breeds contempt_'--
is it not so, Master Faithful?"

"Yes, madam, it was one of our copies at school."

"I beg your pardon, sir, it was my _h_own _h_invention."

Rap, tap, rap, tap, tap, tap, tap.

"Mr and Mrs Peters, of Petercumb Hall," announced the butler.  Enter
Mrs Peters first, a very diminutive lady, and followed by Mr Peters,
six feet four inches without his shoes, deduct for stooping and curved
shoulders seven inches.  Mr Peters had retired from the Stock Exchange
with a competence, bought a place, named it Petercumb Hall, and set up
his carriage.  Another knock, and Mr and Mrs Drummond were announced.
Compliments exchanged, and a pastile lighted by Mrs Turnbull.

"Well, Drummond," said Mr Turnbull, "what are coals worth now?"

"Mr Turnbull, I've got such an _'eadache_."

This was of course a matter of condolence from all present, and a
stopper upon Mr Turnbull's tongue.

Another sounding rap, and a pause.  "Monsieur and Madame de Tagliabue
coming up."  Enter Monsieur and Madame de Tagliabue.  The former, a
dapper little Frenchman, with a neat pair of legs, and stomach as round
as a pea.  Madame sailing in like an outward-bound East Indiaman, with
studding sails below and aloft; so large in her dimensions, that her
husband might be compared to the pilot-boat plying about her stern.

"Charmee de vous voir, Madame Tom-bulle.  Vous vous portez bien;
n'est-ce pas?"

"_Ve_," replied Mrs Turnbull, who thus exhausted her knowledge of the
French language while the Monsieur tried in vain, first on one side, and
then on the other, to get from under the lee of his wife and make his
bow.  This was not accomplished until the lady had taken possession of a
sofa, which she filled most comfortably.

Who these people were, and how they lived, I never could find out: they
came in a fly from Brentford.

Another announcement.  "My Lord Babbleton and Mr Smith coming up."

"Mr T, pray go down and receive his lordship.  (There are two wax
candles for you to light on the hall table, and you must walk up with
them before his lordship," said the lady aside.)

"I'll be hanged if I do," replied Mr Turnbull; "let the servants light

"O, Mr T, I've such an 'eadache?"

"So you may have," replied Mr T, sitting down doggedly.

In the meantime Mr Smith entered, leading Lord Babbleton, a boy of
twelve or thirteen years old, shy, awkward, red-haired, and ugly, to
whom Mr Smith was tutor.  Mrs T had found out Mr Smith, who was
residing near Brentford with his charge, and made his acquaintance on
purpose to have a lord on her visiting list, and, to her delight, the
leader had not forgotten to bring his bear with him.  Mrs Turnbull
sprang to the door to receive them, making a prepared courtesy to the
aristocratical cub, and then shaking him respectfully by the hand.
"Won't your lordship walk to the fire?  Isn't your lordship cold?  I
hope your lordship's sty is better in your lordship's eye.  Allow me to
introduce to your lordship's notice Mr and Mrs Peters--Madame and
Mounsheer Tagleebue--Mr and Mrs Drummond, the Right Honourable Lord
Viscount Babbleton."  As for Mr Turnbull and myself, we were left out
as unworthy of introduction.  "We are ready for dinner, Mr Turnbull."

"Snobbs, get dinner dressed up," said Mr T to the butler.

"O, Mr T, I've such an 'eadache."

This last headache was produced by Mr T forgetting himself, and calling
the butler by his real name, which was Snobbs; but Mrs Turnbull had
resolved that it should be changed to _Mortimer_--or rather, to Mr
Mortimer, as the household were directed to call him, on pain of

Dinner was announced.  Madame Tagliabue, upon what pretence I know not,
was considered the first lady in the room, and Lord Babbleton was
requested by Mrs Turnbull to hand her down.  Madame rose, took his
lordship's hand, and led him away.  Before they were out of the room,
his lordship had disappeared among the ample folds of Madame's gown, and
was seen no more until she pulled him out, on their arrival at the
dinner-table.  At last we were all arranged according to Mrs Turnbull's
wishes, although there were several chops and changes about, until the
order of precedence could be correctly observed.  A French cook had been
sent for by Mrs Turnbull; and not being mistress of the language, she
had a card with the names of the dishes to refresh her memory, Mr
Mortimer having informed her that such was always the custom among great
people, who, not ordering their own dinners, of course they could not
tell what there was to eat.

"Mrs Turnbull, what soup have you there?"

"_Consummy_ soup, my lord.  Will your lordship _make use_ of that or of
this here, which is _o'juss_."

His lordship stared, made no answer; looked foolish; and Mr Mortimer
placed some soup before him.

"Lord Babbleton takes soup," said Mr Smith, pompously; and the little
right honourable supped soup, much to Mrs Turnbull's satisfaction.

"Madame, do you soup? or do you fish?"

"Merci, no soup--_poisson_."

"Don't be afraid, madame; we've a French cook: you won't be _poisoned_
here," replied Mrs Turnbull, rather annoyed.

"Comment, my chere madame, I meant to say dat I prefer de cod."

"Mr T, some soup for Madame.  John, a _clean_ plate for Lord Babbleton.
What will your lordship condescend to _make use_ of now?"  (Mrs
Turnbull thought the phrase, _make use_, excessively refined and

"Ah, madame, votre cuisine est superbe," exclaimed Monsieur Tagliabue,
tucking the corner of his napkin into his button-hole, and making
preparations for well filling his little rotundity.

"_Ve_," replied Mrs Turnbull.  "Mrs Peters, will you try the dish next
Mr Turnbull?  What is it?"  (_looking at her card_)--"_Agno roty_.
Will you, my lord?  If your lordship has not yet got into your French--
it means roast quarter of lamb."

"His lordship is very partial to lamb," said Mr Smith, with emphasis.

"Mr Turnbull, some lamb for Lord Babbleton, and for Mr Peters."

"Directly, my dear.--Well, Jacob, you see, when I was first mate--"

"Dear!  Mr Turnbull--I've such an 'eadache.  Do, pray, cut the lamb.
(_Aside_.)  Mr Mortimer, do go and whisper to Mr Turnbull that I beg
he will put on his gloves."

"Mrs Peters, you're doing nothing.  Mr Mortimer, 'and round the side
dishes, and let John serve out the champagne."

"Mrs Peters, there's a _wolley went o' weaters_.  Will you make use of
some?  Mrs Drummond, will you try the dish coming round?  It is--let me
see--_chew farsy_.  My Lord Babbleton, I 'ope the lamb's _to your
liking_?  Monshere Tagliabue--William, give Monshere a clean plate.
What will you take next?"

"Vraiment, madame, tout est excellent, superbe!  Je voudrais embrasser
votre cuisinier--c'est un artiste comme il n'y a pas?"

"_Ve_," replied Mrs Turnbull.

The first course was removed; and the second, after some delay, made its
appearance.  In the interim, Mr Mortimer handed round one or two
varieties of wine.

"Drummond, will you take a glass of wine with me?" said Mr Turnbull.
"I hate your sour French wines.  Will you take Madeira?  I was on shore
at Madeira once for a few hours, when I was before the mast, in the--"

"Mr Turnbull, I've such an 'eadache," cried his lady, in an angry tone.
"My lord, will you take some of this?--it is _ding dong o' turf_--a
turkey, my lord."

"His lordship is fond of turkey," said Mr Smith, dictatorially.

Monsieur Tagliabue, who sat on the other side of Mrs T, found that the
turkey was in request--it was some time before he could help himself.

"C'est superbe?" said Monsieur, thrusting a truffle into his mouth.
"Apparemment, madame, n'aime pas la cuisine Anglaise?"

"_Ve_," replied Mrs Turnbull.  "Madame, what will you be _h_assisted
to?" continued Mrs T.

"Tout de bon, madame."

"_Ve_; what are those by you, Mr Peters?" inquired the lady in

"I really cannot exactly say; but they are fritters of some sort."

"Let me see--hoh! bidet du poms.  Madame, will you eat some _bidet du

"Comment, madame, je ne vous comprends pas--"


"Monsieur Tagliabue, expliquez donc;" said the foreign lady, red as a
quarter of beef.

"Permettez," said Monsieur, looking at the card.  "Ah, c'est impossible,
ma chere," continued he, laughing.  "Madame Turnbull se trompait; elle
voudrait dire _Beignets de pommes_."

"Vous trouvez notre langue fort difficile, n'est-ce pas?" continued
madame, who recovered her good humour, and smiled graciously at Mrs T.

"_Ve_," replied Mrs Turnbull, who perceived that she had made some
mistake, and was anxiously awaiting the issue of the dialogue.  It had,
however, the effect of checking Mrs T, who said little more during the
dinner and dessert.

At last the ladies rose from the dessert, and left the gentlemen at the
table; but we were not permitted to remain long before coffee was
announced, and we went up stairs.  A variety of French liqueurs were
handed about, and praised by most of the company.  Mr Turnbull,
however, ordered a glass of brandy as a _settler_.

"Oh!  Mr Turnbull, I've such an 'eadache!"

After that the party became very dull.  Lord Babbleton fell asleep on
the sofa.  Mr Peters walked round the room, admiring the pictures, and
asking the names of the masters.

"I really quite forget; but, Mr Drummond, you are a judge of paintings
I hear.  Who do you think this is painted by?" said the lady, pointing
to a very inferior performance.  "I am not quite sure; but I think it is
Van--Van _Daub_."

"I should think so too," replied Mr Drummond, drily; "we have a great
many pictures in England by the same hand."

The French gentleman proposed _ecarte_, but no one knew how to play it
except his wife; who sat down with him to pass away the time.  The
ladies sauntered about the room, looking at the contents of the tables,
Mrs Peters occasionally talking of Petercumb Hall; Mr Smith played at
patience in one corner; while Mr Turnbull and Mr Drummond sat in
another in close conversation; and the lady of the house divided her
attentions, running from one to the other, and requesting them not to
talk so loud as to awake the Right Honourable Lord Viscount Babbleton.
At last the vehicles were announced, and the fashionable party broke up,
much to the satisfaction of everybody, and to none more than myself.

I ought to observe that all the peculiar absurdities I have narrated did
not strike me so much at the time; but it was an event to me to dine
out, and the scene was well impressed upon my memory.  After what
occurred to me in my after life, and when I became better able to judge
of fashionable pretensions, the whole was vividly brought back to my



I remained with Mr Drummond about eight months, when at last the new
clerk made his appearance--a little fat fellow, about twenty, with a
face as round as a full moon, thick lips, and red cheeks.  During this
time I frequently had the pleasure of meeting with old and young Tom,
who appeared very anxious that I should rejoin them; and I must say that
I was equally willing to return to the lighter.  Still Mr Drummond put
his veto on it, and Mrs Drummond was also constantly pointing out the
very desirable situation I might have on shore as a clerk in the office;
but I could not bear it--seated nearly the whole day--perched up on a
high stool--turning over Debtors, contra Creditors, and only
occasionally interrupted by the head clerk, with his attempt to make
rhymes.  The new clerk came, I expected my release, but I was
disappointed.  Mr Drummond discovered him to be so awkward, and the
head clerk declared that the time was so busy, that he could not spare
me.  This was true; Mr Drummond had just come to a final arrangement,
which had been some time pending, by which he purchased a wharf and
large warehouses, with a house adjoining, in Lower Thames Street--a very
large concern, for which he had paid a considerable sum of money.  What
with the valuations, winding up of the Brentford concern on the old
account, etcetera, there was much to do, and I toiled at the desk until
the removal took place; and when the family were removed, I was still
detained, as there was no warehouseman to superintend the unloading and
hoisting up of goods.  Mr Tomkins, the head clerk, who had been many
years a faithful servant to Mr Drummond, was admitted a partner, and
had charge of the Brentford wharf, a species of promotion which he and
his wife resolved to celebrate with a party.  After a long debate, it
was resolved that they should give a ball, and Mrs Tomkins exerted all
her taste and ingenuity on the occasion.  My friend Tomkins lived at a
short distance from the premises, in a small house, surrounded with half
an acre of garden, chiefly filled with gooseberry-bushes, and
perambulated by means of four straight gravel walks.  Mr and Mrs
Drummond were invited, and accepted the invitation, which was considered
by the Tomkinses as a great mark of condescension.  As a specimen of Mr
Tomkins's poetical talents, I shall give his invitation to Mr Drummond,
written in the very best German text:--

  "Mr and Mrs T---
  Sincerely hope to see
  Mr and Mrs Drum-
  Mond, to a very hum-
  Ble party that they in-
  Tend to ask their kin
  To, on the Saturday
  Of the week ensuing:
  When fiddles they will play,
  And other things be doing."

  _Belle Vue House_.

To which _jeu d'esprit_ Mr Drummond answered with a pencil on a card--

  "Mr and Mrs Drum-
  Mond intend to come."

"Here, give Tomkins that, Jacob; it will please him better than any
formal acceptation."  Mr and Mrs Turnbull were also asked; the former
accepted, but the latter indignantly refused.

When I arrived with Mr and Mrs Drummond many of the company were
there; the garden was what they called illuminated, that is, every
gooseberry-bush had one variegated lamp suspended above the centre; and,
as Mr Tomkins told me afterwards, the lamps were red and yellow,
according to the fruit they bore.  It was a cold, frosty, clear night,
and the lamps twinkled as brightly among the bare boughs of the
gooseberry trees as the stars did in the heavens.  The company in
general were quite charmed with the novelty.  "Quite a _minor
Wauxhall_," cried one lady, whose exuberance of fat kept her warm enough
to allow her to stare about in the open air.  The entrance porch had a
dozen little lamps, backed with laurel twigs, and looked very imposing.
Mrs Tomkins received her company upon the steps outside, that she might
have the pleasure of hearing their praises of her external arrangements;
still it was freezing, and she shivered not a little.  The drawing-room,
fourteen feet by ten, was fitted up as a ballroom, with two fiddlers and
a fifer sitting in a corner and a country-dance was performing when we
arrived.  Over the mantle-piece was a square of laurel twigs, inclosing
as a frame this couplet from the poetical brain of the master of the
house, cut out in red paper, and bespangled with blue and yellow

  "Here we are to dance so gay,
  While the fiddlers play away."

Other appropriate distichs, which I have now forgotten, were framed in
the same way on each of the other compartments.  But the dining-room was
the _chef d'oeuvre_.  It was formed into a bower, with evergreens, and
on the evergreen boughs were stuck real apples and oranges in all
directions, so that you could help yourself.

"Vell, I do declare, this is a paradise!" exclaimed the fat lady who
entered with me.

"In all but one thing, ma'am," replied Mr Turnbull, who, with his coat
off, was squeezing lemons for the punch--"there's no _forbidden_ fruit.
You may help yourself."

The bon-mot was repeated by Mr Tomkins to the end of his existence, not
only for its own sake, but because it gave him an opportunity of
entering into a detail of the whole _fete_--the first he had ever given
in his life.  "Ah, Jacob, my boy, glad to see you--come and help here--
they'll soon be thirsty, I'll warrant," said Mr Turnbull, who was in
his glory.  The company, although not so very select, were very happy;
they danced, drank punch, laughed, and danced again; and it was not till
a late hour, long after Mr and Mrs Drummond had gone home, that I
quitted the "festive scene;" Mr Turnbull, who walked away with me,
declaring that it was worth a dozen of his party, although they had not
such grand people as Mrs Tagliabue, or the Right Honourable Lord
Viscount Babbleton.  I thought so too; every one was happy, and every
one at their ease; and I do believe they would have stayed much longer,
but the musicians took so much punch that one fiddler broke his fiddle,
the other broke his head in going down the steps into the garden, and
the fifer swore he could blow no longer; so, as there was an end to the
music, clogs, pattens, and lanterns were called for, the shawls were
brought out of the kitchen, and every one went away.  Nothing could _go
off better_.  Mrs Tomkins had a cold and rheumatism the next day; but
that was not surprising, a _minor Wauxhall_ not being seasonable in the
month of December.

A week after this party we removed to Thames Street, and I performed the
duty of warehouseman.  Our quantity of lighters was now much increased,
and employed in carrying dry goods, etcetera.  One morning old Tom came
under the crane to discharge his lighter, and wishing to see me, when
the fall had been overhauled down to heave up the casks with which the
lighter was laden, instead of hooking on a cask, held on by his hands,
crying, "Hoist away," intending to be hoisting himself up to the door of
the warehouse where I was presiding.  Now, there was nothing unusual in
this whim of old Tom's, but still he ran a very narrow chance, in
consequence of an extra whim of young Tom's, who, as soon as his father
was suspended in the air, caught hold of his two wooden stumps, to be
hoisted up also; and as he caught hold of them, standing on tiptoe, they
both swung clear of the lighter, which could not approach to within five
feet of the buildings.  The crane was on the third story of the
warehouse, and very high up.  "Tom, Tom, you rascal, what the devil are
you about?" cried the old man, when he felt the weight of his son's body
hanging to him.

"Going up along with you, father--hope we shall go to heaven the same

"More likely to go to the devil together, you little fool; I never can
bear your weight.  Hoist away, there, quick."

Hearing the voices, I looked out of the door, and perceiving their
situation, ordered the men to hoist as fast as they could, before old
Tom's strength should be exhausted; but it was a compound moving crane,
and we could not hoist very fast, although we could hoist very great
weights.  At last, as they were wound up higher and higher, old Tom's
strength was going fast.  "O Tom, Tom, what must be done?  I can't--I
can't hold on but a little longer, and we shall be both dashed to
pieces.  My poor boy?"

"Well, then, I'll let go, father; it was all my folly, and I'll be the

"Let go!" cried old Tom; "no, no, Tom--don't let go, my boy; I'll try a
little longer.  Don't let go, my dear boy--don't let go!"

"Well, father, how much longer can you hold on?"

"A little--very little longer," replied the old man, struggling.  "Well,
hold fast now," cried young Tom, who, raising his head above his arms,
with great exertion shifted one of his hands to his father's thigh, then
the other; raising himself as before, he then caught at the seat of his
father's trousers with his teeth; old Tom groaned, for his son had taken
hold of more than the garments; he then shifted his hands round his
father's body--from thence he gained the collar of his jacket--from the
collar he climbed on his father's shoulders, from thence he seized hold
of the fall above, and relieved his father of the weight.  "Now, father,
are you all right?" cried Tom, panting as he clung to the fall above

"I can't hold on ten seconds more, Tom--no longer--my clutch is going

"Hang on by your eyelids, father, if you love me," cried young Tom, in

It was indeed an awful moment; they were now at least sixty feet above
the lighter, suspended in the air; the men whirled round the wheel, and
I had at last the pleasure of hauling them both in on the floor of the
warehouse; the old man so exhausted that he could not speak for more
than a minute.  Young Tom, as soon as all was safe, laughed
immoderately.  Old Tom sat upright.  "It might have been no laughing
matter, Mr Tom," said he, looking at his son.

"What's done can't be helped, father, as Jacob says.  After all, you're
more frightened than hurt."

"I don't know that, you young scamp," replied the old man, putting his
hand behind him, and rubbing softly; "you've bit a piece clean out of my
_starn_.  Now, let this be a warning to you, Tom.  Jacob, my boy,
couldn't you say that I've met with an _accident_, and get a drop of
something from Mr Drummond?"

I thought, after his last observation, I might honestly say that he had
met with an accident, and I soon returned with a glass of brandy, which
old Tom was drinking off when his son interrupted him for a share.

"You know, father, I shared the danger."

"Yes, Tom, I know you did," replied the father; "but this was sent to me
on account of my _accident_, and as I had that all to myself, I shall
have all this too."

"But, father, you ought to give me a drop, if it were only to _take the
taste out of my mouth_."

"Your own flesh and blood, Tom," replied his father, emptying his glass.

"Well, I always heard it was quite unnatural not to like your own flesh
and blood," replied Tom; "but I see now that there may be reasons for

"Be content, Tom," replied his father, putting down the glass; "we're
now just square.  You've had your _raw nip_, and I've had mine."

Mr Drummond now came up, and asked what had been the matter.  "Nothing,
sir--only an accident.  Tom and I had a bit of a _hoist_."

As this last word had a double meaning, Mr Drummond thought that a cask
had surged, when coming out of the lighter, and struck them down.  He
desired old Tom to be more careful, and walked away, while we proceeded
to unload the lighter.  The new clerk was a very heavy, simple young
man, plodding and attentive certainly, but he had no other merit; he was
sent into the lighter to rake the marks and numbers of the casks as they
were hoisted up, and soon became a butt to young Tom, who gave him the
wrong marks and numbers of all the casks, to his interrogations.

"What's that, boy?" cried the pudding-faced fellow, with his pencil in
one hand and his book in the other.

"Pea soup, 13," replied Tom; "ladies' bonnets, 24.  Now, then, master,
chalk again, pipe-clay for sodgers, 3; red herrings, 26."  All of which
were carefully noted down by Mr Grubbins who, when the lighter was
cleared, took the memoranda to Mr Drummond.

Fortunately, we had checked the number of the casks as they were
received above--their contents were flour.  Mr Drummond sent for young
Tom, and asked him how he dared play such a trick.  Tom replied very
boldly, "that it was meant as a good lesson to the young man, that in
future he did his own work, and did not trust to others."  To this Mr
Drummond agreed, and Master Tom was dismissed without punishment.

As the men had all gone to dinner, I went down into the lighter to have
a little chat with my old shipmates.  "Well, Jacob," said old Tom,
"Tom's not a bit wiser than he was before--two scrapes to-day, already."

"Well, father, if I prove my folly by getting into scrapes, I prove my
wit by getting out of them."

"Yes, that may be true, Tom; but suppose we had both come down with a
run, what would you have thought then?"

"I suspect, father, that I should have been past thinking."

"I once did see a thing of that kind happen," said old Tom, calling to
mind former scenes in his life; "and I'll tell you a yarn about it,
boys, because they say danger makes friends."

We sat down by old Tom, who narrated as follows "When I was captain of
the main-top in the _La Minerve_, forty-four gun frigate, we were the
smartest ship up the Mediterranean; and many's the exercise we were the
means of giving to other ship's companies, because they could not beat
us--no, not even hold a candle to us.  In both fore and main-top we had
eight-and-twenty as smart chaps as ever put their foot to a rattling, or
slid down by an a'ter backstay.  Now, the two captains of the foretop
were both prime young men, active as monkeys, and bold as lions.  One
was named Tom Herbert, from North Shields, a dark, good-looking chap,
with teeth as white as a nigger's, and a merry chap he was, always
a-showing them.  The other was a cockney chap.  Your Lunnuners arn't
often good seamen; but when they are seamen, there's no better; they
never allow any one to show them the way, that's for sartin, being
naturally spunky sort of chaps, and full of tricks and fun.  This
fellow's name was Bill Wiggins, and between him and Herbert there was
always a jealousy who should be the smartest man.  I've seen both of
them run out on the yard, in fine weather, without holding on nothing,
seize the lift, and down to their station, haul up the earing, in no
time; up by the lift again, and down on deck, by the backstay, before
half the men had time to get clear of the top.  In fact, they often
risked their lives in bad weather, when there was no occasion for it,
that one might outdo the other.  Now, this was all very well, and a good
example to the other men: the captain and officers appeared to like
these contests for superiority, but it ended in their hating each other,
and not being even on speaking terms, which, as the two captains of the
top, was bad.  They had quarrelled often, and fought five times, neither
proving the better man; either both done up, or parted by the
master-at-arms, and reported to the first lieutenant, so that at last
they were not so much countenanced by the officers, and were out of
favour with the captain, who threatened to disrate them both if ever
they fought again.  We were cruising off the Gulf of Lyons, where
sometimes it blows hard enought to blew the devil's horns off, though
the gales never last very long.  We were under close reefed fore- and
main-top sails, storm stay-sail and trysail, when there was a fresh hand
at the bellows, and the captain desired the officers of the watch, just
before dinner to take in the fore-top sail.  Not to disturb the watch
below, the main-top men were ordered up forward to help the fore-top men
of the watch; and I was of course aloft, ready to lie out on the lee
yard-arm--when Wiggins, who had the watch below, came up in the top, not
liking that Herbert should be at work in such weather without he being
there too.

"`Tom,' says to me, `I'll take the yard-arm.'

"`Very well,' say I, `with all my heart; then I'll look to the bunt.'

"Just at that time there came on a squall with rain, which almost
blinded us; the sail was taken in very neatly, the clew-lines,
chock-a-block, bunt-lines and leech-lines well up, reef-tackles
overhauled, rolling-tackles taut, and all as it should be.  The men lied
out on the yard, the squall wore worse and worse, but they were handing
in the leech of the sail, when snap went one bunt-line, then the other;
the sail flapped and flagged, till away went the leech-lines, and the
men clung to the yards for their lives; for the sail mastered them, and
they could do nothing.  At last it split like thunder, buffeting the men
on the yard-arms till they were almost senseless, until to windward it
wore away into long coach whips, and the whole of the canvas left was at
the lee yard-arm.  The men laid in at last with great difficulty, quite
worn out by fatigue and clinging for their existence; all but Wiggins,
who was barred by the sail to leeward from making his footing good on
the horse, and there he was, poor fellow, completely in irons, and so
beaten by the canvas that he could hardly be said to be sensible.  It
takes a long while to tell all this, but it wasn't the work of a minute.
At last he made an attempt to get up by the lift, but was struck down,
and would have been hurled overboard if it hadn't been that his leg fell
over the horse, and there he was, head downwards, hanging over a raging
sea, ready to swallow him up as soon as he dropt into it.  As every one
expected he would be beat off before any assistance could be given, you
may guess that it was an awful moment to those below who were looking up
at him, watching for his fall and the roll of the ship, to see if he
fell clear into the sea, or was dashed to pieces in the fore-chains.

"I couldn't bear to see a fellow-creature, and good seaman in the
bargain, in that state, and although the captain dare not _order_ any
one to help him, yet there were one or two midshipmen hastening up the
fore-rigging, with the intent, I have no doubt, of trying to save him
(for midshipmen don't value their lives at a quid of tobacco), so I
seizes the studding sail halyards, and runs up the topmast rigging,
intending to go down by the lift, and pass a bowling knot round him
before he fell, when who should I meet at the cross-trees but Tom
Herbert, who snatched the rope out of my hand, bawling to me through the
gale, `This is my business, Tom.'

"Down he goes by the lift, the remainder of the canvas flapped over him,
and I seed no more until I heard a cry from all below, and away went
Herbert and Wiggins, both together, flying to leeward just as the ship
was taking her recovery to windward.  Fortunately they both fell clear
of the ship about two feet, not more, and as their fall was expected,
they had prepared below.  A master's mate, of the name of Simmonds, and
the captain of the forecastle, both went overboard in bowling knots,
with another in their hands, and in a minute or two they were all four
on board again; but Herbert and were both senseless, and a long while
coming to again.  Well, now, what do you think was the upshot of it?
Why, they were the best friends in the world ever afterwards, and would
have died for one another; and if one had a glass of grog from the
officers for any little job, instead of touching his forelock and
drinking it off to the officer's health, he always took it out of the
gun-room, that he might give half of it to the other.  So, d'ye see my
boys, as I said before I began my yarn, that danger makes friends.

  "'Tis said we vent'rous die hard,
  When we leave the shore,
  Our friends may mourn, lest we return
  To bless their sight no more.
  But this is all a notion
  Bold Jack can't understand;
  Some die upon the ocean.
  And some die upon dry land."

"And if we had tumbled, father, we should have just died betwixt and
between, not water enough to float us.  It would have been _woolez wous
parlez wous_, plump in the mud, as you say sometimes."

"Why, yes, Tom.  I've a notion that I should have been planted too deep
ever to have struck," replied the old man, looking at his wooden stumps.

"Why, yes, father, _legs_ are _legs_, when you tumble into six foot of
mud.  How you would have _dibbled_ down, if your _daddles_ hadn't held

"Well then, Tom, recollect that you never _sell_ your father for a
_lark_ again."

Tom laughed, and catching at the word, although used in a different
sense, sung--

  "Just like the _lark_ high poised in air.

"And so were you, father, only you didn't sing as he does, and you
didn't leave your young one below in the nest."

"Ay, it is the young uns which prevent the old ones from rising in the
world--that's very true, Tom.  Holla, who have we got here?  My service
to you, at all events."



It was the captain of the American schooner, from out of which we were
then taking the casks of flour.

"We've no _sarvice_ in our country, I've a notion, my old bobtail
roarer," said he.  "When do you come alongside of my schooner, for
tother lading with this raft of yours?  Not to-night, I guess."

"Well, you've guessed right this time," replied old Tom; "we shall lie
on the mud till to-morrow morning, with your permission."

"Yes, for all the world like a Louisiana alligator.  You take things
coolly, I've a notion, in the old country.  I don't want to be hanging
head and starn in this little bit of a river of your'n.  I must be back
to New York afore fever time."

"She be a pretty craft, that little thing of yours," observed old Tom;
"how long may she take to make the run?"

"How long?  I expect in just no time; and she'd go as fast again, only
she won't wait for the breeze to come up with her."

"Why don't you heave-to for it?" said young Tom.

"Lose too much time, I guess.  I have been chased by an easterly wind
all the way from your Land's End to our Narrows, and it never could
overhaul me."

"And I presume the porpoises give it up in despair, don't they?" replied
old Tom, with a leer; "and yet I've seen the creatures playing across
the bows of an English frigate at her speed, and laughing at her."

"They never play their tricks with me, old snapper; if they do, I cuts
them in halves, and a-starn they go, head part floating on one side, and
tail part on the other."

"But don't they join together again when they meet in your wake?"
inquired Tom.

"Shouldn't wonder," replied the American captain.

"Pray, captain, what may be that vessel they talk so much about at New
York?"  Old Tom referred to the first steam vessel, whose qualities at
that time had been tried, and an exaggerated report of which had been
copied from the American papers.  "That ship, or whatever she may be,
that sails without masts, yards, or canvas; it is quite above my

"Old country heads can't take it in.  I'll tell you what--she goes slick
through the water, a-head or a-starn, broadside on, or up or down, or
any way; and all you have to do is to poke the fire and warm your
fingers; and the more you poke, the faster she goes 'gainst wind and

"Well, I must see that to believe it, though," replied old Tom.

"No fear of a capsize, I calculate.  My little craft did upset with me
one night, in a pretty comfortable heavy _gal_; but she's _smart_, and
came up again on the other side in a moment, all right as before.  Never
should have known anything about it, if the man at the wheel had not
found his jacket wet, and the men below had a round turn in all the
clews of their hammocks."

"After that round turn, you may belay," cried young Tom, laughing.

"Yes, but don't let's have a stopper over all, Tom," replied his father.
"I consider all this excessively _divarting_.  Pray, captain, does
everything else go fast in the new country."

"Everything with us _clean slick_, I guess."

"What sort of horses have you in America?" inquired I.

"Our Kentucky horses, I've a notion, would surprise you.  They're
almighty goers; at a trot, beat a _North West gal_ of wind.  I once took
an Englishman with me in a gig up Allibama country, and he says, `What's
this great churchyard we are passing through?'  `And stranger,' says I,
`I calculate it's nothing but the milestones we are passing so _slick_.'
But I once had a horse, who, I expect, was a deal quicker than that.  I
once seed a flash of lightning chase him for half-an-hour round the
clearance, and I guess it couldn't catch him.  But I can't wait no
longer.  I expect you'll come alongside to-morrow afore meridian."

"Ay, ay, master," replied old Tom, tuning up--

  "'Twas post meridian, half-past four,
  By signal I from Nancy parted,
  At five she lingered on the shore,
  With uplift eyes and broken-hearted."

"I calculate you are no fool of a screamer," said the American, shoving
off his boat from the barge, and pulling to his vessel.

"And I calculate you're no fool of a liar," said young Tom.

"Well, so he is; but I do like a good lie, Jacob, there's some fun in
it.  But what the devil does the fellow mean by calling a gale of
wind--_a gal_?"

"I don't know," replied Tom, "unless for the same reason that we call a
girl _a blowing_."

Our conversation was here interrupted by Mr Hodgson, the new head
clerk, of whom I have hitherto said nothing.  He came into the
establishment in the place of Mr Tomkins, when we quitted the Battersea
wharf, and had taken an evident dislike to me, which appeared to
increase every day, as Mr Drummond gave me fresh marks of his
approbation.  "You, Faithful, come out of that barge directly, and go to
your desk.  I will have no eye-servers under me.  Come out, sir,

"I say, Mr Quilldriver," cried old Tom, "do you mean for to say that
Jacob is an eye-sarver?"

"Yes, I do; and want none of your impertinence, or I'll unship you, you
old blackguard."

"Well, then, for the first part of your story, my sarvice to you and you
_lies_; and as for the second, that remains to be proved."

Mr Hodgson's temper was not softened by this reply of old Tom.  My
blood was also up, for I had borne much already; and young Tom was
bursting with impatience to take my part.  He walked carelessly by the
head clerk, saying to me as he passed by, "Why, I thought, Jacob, you
were 'prentice to the river; but it seems that you're bound to the
counting-house.  How long do you mean to sarve?"

"I don't know," replied I, as I walked away sulkily; "but I wish I was
out of my time."

"Very well, sir, I shall report your behaviour to Mr Drummond.  I'll
make him know your tricks."

"Tricks! you won't let him know his tricks.  His duty is to take his
trick at the wheel," replied old Tom; "not to be brought up at your
cheating tricks at the desk."

"Cheating tricks, you old scoundrel, what do you mean by that?" replied
Mr Hodgson, in a rage.

"My father means _ledger_demain, I suppose," replied young Tom.

This repartee from a quarter so little expected sent off the head clerk
more wroth than ever.

"You seemed to hit him hard there, Tom," said his father; "but I can't
say that I understand how."

"You've had me taught to read and write, father," replied young Tom;
"and a'ter that, a lad may teach himself everything.  I pick up every
day, here and there; and I never see a thing or a word that I don't
understand but I find out the meaning when I can.  I picked up that hard
word at Bartlemy fair."

"And very hard you hit him with it."

"Who wouldn't to serve a friend?  But mark my words, father, this won't
last long.  There's a squall blowing up, and Jacob, quiet as he seems to
be, will show his teeth ere long."

Tom was correct in his surmise.  I had not taken my seat at my desk more
than a minute, when Mr Hodgson entered, and commenced a tirade of
abuse, which my pride could no longer allow me to submit to.  An
invoice, perfectly correct and well-written, which I had nearly
completed, he snatched from before me, tore into fragments, and ordered
me to write it over again.  Indignant at this treatment, I refused, and
throwing down my pen, looked at him determinedly in the face.  Irritated
at this defiance, he caught up a directory, and threw it at my head.  No
longer able to command myself, I seized a ruler and returned the salute.
It was whizzing through the air as Mr Drummond entered the room; and
he was just in time to witness Mr Hodgson struck on the forehead and
felled to the ground, while I remained with my arm raised, standing upon
the cross-bar of my high stool, my face glowing with passion.

Appearances were certainly against me.  Assistance was summoned, and the
head clerk removed to his chamber, during all which time I remained
seated on my stool before the desk, my breast heaving with tumultuous
feelings.  How long I remained there I cannot say, it might have been
two hours; feelings long dormant had been aroused, and whirled round and
round in a continual cycle in my feverish brains.  I should have
remained probably much longer in this state of absorption, had I not
been summoned to attend Mr Drummond.  It appeared that in the meantime
Mr Hodgson had come to his own senses, and had given his own version of
the fracas, which had been, to an unjustifiable degree, corroborated by
the stupid young clerk, who was no friend of mine, and who sought favour
with his principal.  I walked up to the drawing-room, where I found Mr
and Mrs Drummond, and little Sarah, whose eyes were red with crying.  I
entered without any feeling of alarm, my breast was too full of
indignation.  Mrs Drummond looked grave and mournful, Mr Drummond

"Jacob Faithful, I have sent for you to tell you that in consequence of
your disgraceful conduct to my senior clerk, you can no longer remain
under my roof.  It appears that what I have been a witness to this day
has been but a sequel to behaviour equally improper and impertinent;
that so far from having, as I thought, done your duty, you have
constantly neglected it; and that the association you have formed with
that drunken old man and his insolent son has led you into this folly.
You may say that it was not your wish to remain on shore, and that you
preferred being on the river.  At your age it is too often the case that
young people consult their wishes rather than their interests; and it is
well for them if they find those who are older, and wished them well, to
decide for them.  I had hoped to have been able to place you in a more
respectable situation in society than was my original intention when you
were thrown upon me, a destitute orphan; but I now perceive my error.
You have proved yourself not only deceitful but ungrateful."

"I have not," interrupted I, calmly.

"You have.  I have been a witness myself to your impropriety of conduct,
which, it appears, has long been concealed from me; but no more of that.
I bound you apprentice to the river, and you must now follow up your
apprenticeship; but expect nothing farther from me.  You must now work
your own way up in the world, and I trust that you will reform and do
well.  You may return to the lighter until I can procure you a situation
in another craft, for I consider it my duty to remove you from the
influence of those who have led you astray, and with the old man and his
son you will not remain.  I have one thing more to say.  You have been
in my counting-house for some months, and you are now about to be thrown
upon the world.  There are ten pounds for your services," (and Mr
Drummond laid the money on the table).  "You may also recollect that I
have some money belonging to you, which has been laid by until you shall
be out of your apprenticeship.  I consider it my duty still to retain
that money for you; as soon as your apprenticeship is expired you may
demand it, and it shall be made over to you.  I trust, sincerely trust,
Jacob, that the severe lesson you are now about to receive will bring
you to a sense of what is right, and that you will forget the evil
counsel you have received from your late companions.  Do not attempt to
justify yourself; it is useless."  Mr Drummond then rose and left the

I should have replied, had it not been for this last sentence of Mr
Drummond's, which again roused the feeling of indignation, which, in
their presence, had been gradually giving way to softer emotions.  I
therefore stood still, and firmly met the glance of Mr Drummond as he
passed me.  My looks were construed into hardness of heart.

It appeared that Mr Drummond had left the room by previous arrangement,
that he might not be supposed to be moved from this purpose, and that
Mrs Drummond was then to have talked to me, and to have ascertained how
far there was a chance of my pleading guilty, and begging for a
mitigation of my sentence; but the firm composure of innocence was
mistaken for defiance; and the blood mounting to my forehead from a
feeling of injustice--of injustice from those I loved and venerated--
perhaps the most poignant feeling in existence to a sensitive and
generous mind--was falsely estimated as proceeding from impetuous and
disgraceful sources.  Mrs Drummond looked upon me with a mournful face,
sighed, and said nothing; little Sarah watching me with her large black
eyes, as if she would read my inmost soul.

"Have you nothing to say, Jacob," at last observed Mrs Drummond, "that
I can tell Mr Drummond when his anger is not so great?"

"Nothing, madam," replied I, "except that I'll try to forgive him."

This reply was offensive even to the mild Mrs Drummond.  She rose from
her chair.  "Come, Sarah," said she: and she walked out of the room,
wishing me, in a kind, soft voice, a "good-bye, Jacob," as she passed

My eyes swam with tears.  I tried to return the salutation, but I was
too much choked by my feelings; I could not speak, and my silence was
again looked upon as contumacy and ingratitude.  Little Sarah still
remained--she had not obeyed her mother's injunctions to follow her.
She was now nearly fourteen years old, and I had known her as a
companion and a friend for five years.  During the last six months that
I had resided in the house we had become more intimately acquainted.  I
joined her in the evening in all her pursuits, and Mr and Mrs Drummond
appeared to take a pleasure in our intimacy.  I loved her as a dear
sister; my love was based on gratitude.  I had never forgotten her
kindness to me when I first came under her father's roof, and a long
acquaintance with the sweetness of her disposition had rendered the
attachment so firm, that I felt I could have died for her.  But I never
knew the full extent of the feeling until now that I was about to leave
her, perhaps for ever.  My heart sank when Mr Drummond left the room--a
bitter pang passed through it as the form of Mrs Drummond vanished from
my sight; but now was to be the bitterest of all.  I felt it, and I
remained with the handle of the door in my hand, gasping for breath--
blinded with the tears that coursed each other rapidly down my cheeks.
I remained a minute in this state, when I felt that Sarah touched my
other listless hand.

"Jacob!" she would have said, but before half my name was out she burst
into tears, and sobbed on my shoulder.  My heart was too much surcharged
not to take the infection--my grief found vent, and I mingled my sobs
with those of the affectionate girl.  When we were more composed, I
recounted to her all that had passed, and one, at least, in the world
acknowledged that I had been treated unjustly.  I had but just finished,
when the servant interrupted us with a message to Sarah, that her mother
desired her presence.  She threw herself into my arms, and bade me
farewell.  I released her, she hastened to obey her mother, but
perceiving the money still upon the table, she pointed to it.  "Your
money, Jacob!"

"No Sarah, I will not accept it.  I would accept of anything from those
who treat me kindly, and feel more and more grateful to them; but that I
will not accept--I cannot, and you must not let it be left here.  Say
that I could not take it."

Sarah would have remonstrated, but perceiving that I was firm, and at
the same time, perhaps, entering into my feelings, she again bade me
farewell, and hastened away.

The reader may easy imagine that I did not put off my departure.  I
hastened to pack up my clothes, and in less than ten minutes after Sarah
had quitted me, I was on board the lighter, with old Tom and his son,
who were then going to supper.  They knew a part of what had happened,
and I narrated the rest.

"Well," replied old Tom, after I had finished my story, "I didn't know
that I have done you any harm, Jacob, and I'm sorry that Mr Drummond
should suppose so.  I'm fond of a drop, that's true; but I appeals to
you, whether I ever force it on you--and whether I don't check that boy
as much as I can; but then, d'ye see, although I preach, I don't
practise, that's the worst of it; and I know I've to answer for making
Tom so fond of grog; and though I never says anything about it, I often
think to myself, that if Tom should chance to be pressed some of these
days, and be punished for being in liquor, he'll think of his old
father, and curse him in his heart, when he eyes the cat flourishing
round before it strikes."

"I'll curse the cat, father, or the boatswain's mate, or the officer who
complained of me, or the captain who flogs me, or my own folly, but I'll
be hanged if ever I curse you, who have been so kind to me," replied
Tom, taking his father's hand.

"Well, we must hope for the best, my dear boy," replied old Tom; "but,
Jacob, you've not had fair play, that sartain.  It's very true that
master did take you as an orphan, and help you to an education; but
that's no reason why he should take away your free will, and after
binding you 'prentice to the river, perch you up on a high stool, and
grind your nose down to the desk.  If so be he was so kind to you only
to make you a slave, why, then, there was no kindness at all, in my
opinion: and as for punishment without hearing what a man has to say in
his own defence--there's ne'er a Tartar in the sarvice but would allow a
man to speak before he orders him to strip.  I recollect a story about
that in the sarvice, but I'm in no humour to spin a yarn now.  Now, you
see, Jacob, Master Drummond has done a great deal for you, and now he
has undone a great deal!  I can't pretend to balance the account, but it
does appear to me that you don't owe him much; for what thanks is there
if you take a vessel in tow, and then cast her off, half-way, when she
most needs your assistance?  But what hurts me most is his saying that
you sha'n't stay in the lighter with us; if you had, you shouldn't have
wanted, as long as pay and pension are forthcoming.  Never mind--Tom, my
boy, bring out the bottle--hang care: it killed the cat."

The grog did not, however, bring back old Tom's spirits; the evening
passed heavily, and we retired to our beds at a seasonable hour, as we
were to drop down to the schooner early the next morning.  That night I
did not close my eyes.  I ran over, in my mind, all that had occurred,
and indignation took full possession of my soul.  My whole life passed
in review before me.  I travelled back to my former days--to the time
which had been almost obliterated from my memory, when I had navigated
the barge with my father.  Again was the scene of his and my mother's
death presented to my view; again I saw him disappear, and the column of
black smoke ascend to the sky.  The Dominie, the matron, Marables, and
Fleming, the scene in the cabin--all passed in rapid succession.  I felt
that I had done my duty, and that I had been unjustly treated; my head
ached with tumultuous and long suppressed feelings.  Reader, I stated
that when I was first taken in hand by Mr Drummond I was a savage,
although a docile one, to be reclaimed by kindness, and kindness only.
You may have been surprised at the rapid change which took place in a
few years; that change was produced by kindness.  The conduct of Mr
Drummond, of his amiable wife and daughter, had been all kindness; the
Dominie and the worthy old matron had proved equally beneficent.
Marables had been kind; and, although now and then, as in the case of
the usher at the school, and Fleming on board the lighter, I had
received injuries, still, these were but trifling checks to the
uninterrupted series of kindness with which I had been treated by
everybody.  Thus was my nature rapidly formed by a system of kindness
assisted by education; and had this been followed up, in a few years my
new character would have been firmly established.  But the blow was now
struck, injustice roused up the latent feelings of my nature, and when I
rose the next morning I was changed.  I do not mean to say that all that
precept and education had done for me was overthrown; but if not
overthrown, it was so shaken to the base, so rent from the summit to the
foundation, that, at the slightest impulse in a wrong direction, it
would have fallen in and left nothing but a mixed chaos of ruined
prospects.  If anything could hold it together it was the kindness and
affection of Sarah, to which I would again and again return in my
revolving thoughts, as the only bright star to be discovered in my
clouded horizon.

How dangerous, how foolish, how presumptuous it is in adults to suppose
that they can read the thoughts and the feelings of those of a tender
age!  How often has this presumption on their part been the ruin of a
young mind, which, if truly estimated and duly fostered, would have
blossomed and produced good fruit!  The blush of honest indignation is
as dark as the blush of guilt, and the paleness of concentrated courage
as marked as that of fear, the firmness of conscious innocence is but
too often mistaken as the effrontery of hardened vice, and the tears
springing from a source of injury, the tongue tied from the oppression
of a wounded heart, the trembling and agitation of the little frame
convulsed with emotion have often and often been ascribed by prejudging
and self-opinionated witnesses to the very opposite passions to those
which have produced them.  Youth should never be judged harshly, and
even when judged correctly, should it be in an evil course, may always
be reclaimed;--those who decide otherwise, and leave it to drift about
the world, have to answer for the _cast-away_.



"Hollo! in the lighter there--I say, you _lighter boy_!" were words I
heard, as I was pacing the deck of the vessel in deep cogitation Tom and
his father were both in the cabin; there could be no doubt but that they
were addressed to me.  I looked up, and perceived the grinning, stupid,
sneering face of the young clerk, Gubbins.  "Why don't you answer when
you're called to, heh?" continued the numbskull.  "You're wanted up
here!  Come up directly."

"Who wants me?" replied I, reddening with anger.

"What's that to you?  Do you mean to obey _my_ order or not?"

"No, I do not," replied I; "I'm not under the orders of such a fool,
thank God; and if you come within my reach, I'll try if I can't break
your head, thick as it is, as well as your master's."

The lout disappeared, and I continued to pace up and down.

As I afterwards discovered, the message was from Mrs Drummond, who
requested to speak to me.  Sarah had communicated the real facts of my
case, and Mrs Drummond had been convinced that what I had said was
correct.  She had talked with her husband; she pointed out to him that
my conduct under Mr Tomkins had been so exemplary that there must have
been some reason for so sudden a change.  Sarah had gone down into the
counting-house, and obtained the invoice which the senior clerk had torn
up.  The correctness of it established the fact of one part of my
assertions, and that nothing but malice could have warranted its having
been destroyed.  Mr Drummond felt more than he chose to acknowledge; he
was now aware that he had been too precipitate; even my having refused
the money assumed a different appearance; he _was_ puzzled and
mortified.  Few people like to acknowledge that they have been in error.
Mr Drummond, therefore, left his wife to examine further into the
matter, and gave her permission to send for me.  The message given, and
the results of it have been stated.  The answer returned was that I
would not come, and that I had threatened to break the clerk's head as
well as that of Mr Drummond; for although the scoundrel knew very well
that in making use of the word "master," I referred to the senior clerk,
he thought it proper to substitute that of Mr Drummond.  The effect of
this reply may easily be imagined.  Sarah was astonished, Mrs Drummond
shocked, and Mr Drummond was almost pleased to find that he could not
have been in the wrong.  Thus was the breach made even wider than
before, and all communication broken off.  Much depends in this world
upon messages being correctly given.

In half-an-hour we had hauled out of the tier and dropped down to the
American schooner, to take out a cargo of flour, which old Tom had
directions to land at the Battersea wharf; so that I was, for the time,
removed from the site of my misfortune.  I cannot say that I felt happy,
but I certainly felt glad that I was away.  I was reckless to a degree
that was insupportable.  I had a heavy load on my mind which I could not
shake off--a prey upon my spirits--a disgust at almost everything.  How
well do I recollect with what different feelings I looked upon the few
books which Mr Drummond and the Dominie had given me to amuse my
leisure hours.  I turned from them with contempt, and thought I would
never open them again.  I felt as if all ties were now cut off, and that
I was again wedded to the Thames; my ideas, my wishes, extended no
farther, and I surveyed the river and its busy scene as I did before I
had been taken away from it, as if all my energies, all my prospects
were in future to be bounded by its shores.  In the course of
four-and-twenty hours a revulsion had taken place, which again put me on
the confines of barbarism.

My bargemates were equally dull as I was; they were too partial to me,
and had too much kindness of heart, not to feel my situation, and anger
at the injustice with which I had been treated.  Employment, however,
for a time relieved our melancholy thoughts.  Our cargo was on board of
the lighter, and we were again tiding it through the bridges.

We dropped our anchor above Putney Bridge a little after twelve o'clock,
and young Tom, with the wish of amusing me, proposed that we should go
on shore and walk.  "Ah! do my lads, do--it will do you good, Jacob; no
use moping here a whole tide.  I'll take care of the 'barkey.  Mind you
make the boat well fast, and take the sculls into the public-house
there.  I'll have the supper under weigh when you come back, and then
we'll have a night on't.  It's a poor heart that never rejoices; and,
Tom, take a bottle on shore, get it filled, and bring it off with you.
Here's the money.  But I say, Tom, honour bright."

"Honour bright, father;" and to do Tom justice, he always kept his
promise, especially after the word had passed of "honour bright."  Had
there been gallons of spirits under his charge he would not have tasted
a drop after that pledge.

"Haul up the boat, Jacob, quick," said Tom, as his father went into the
cabin to fetch an empty bottle.  Tom hastened down below forward and
brought up an old gun, which he put under the stern sheets before his
father came out on the deck.  We then received the bottle from him, and
Tom called out for the dog Tommy.

"Why, you're not going to take the dog.  What's the use of that?  I want
him here to keep watch with me," said old Tom.

"Pooh! father; why can't you let the poor devil have a run on shore?  He
wants to eat grass, I am sure, for I watched him this day or two.  We
shall be back before dark."

"Well, well, just as you please, Tom."  Tommy jumped into the boat, and
away we went.

"And now, Tom, what are you after?" said I, as soon as we were ten yards
from the lighter.

"A'ter, Jacob, going to have a little shooting on Wimbledon Common; but
father can't bear to see a gun in my hand, because I once shot my old
mother.  I did pepper her, sure enough; her old flannel petticoat was
full of shot, but it was so thick that it saved her.  Are you anything
of a shot?"

"Never fired a gun in my life."

"Well, then, we'll fire in turns, and toss up, if you like, for first

We landed, carried the sculls up to the public-house, and left the
bottle to be filled, and then, with Tommy bounding before us, and
throwing about his bushy tail with delight, ascended Putney Hill, and
arrived at the Green Man public-house, at the corner of Wimbledon
Common.  "I wonder where green men are to be found?" observed Tom,
laughing; "I suppose they live in the same country with the _blue_ dogs
my father speaks about sometimes.  Now, then, its time to load."

The bowl of a tobacco pipe, full of powder, was then inserted, with an
equal dose of shot, and all being ready we were soon among the furze.  A
half penny decided it was my first shot, and fate further decided that a
water-wagtail should be the mark.  I took good aim, as I thought, at
least I took sufficient time, for I followed him with the muzzle of the
gun for three or four minutes at least, as he ran to and fro; at last I
fired.  Tommy barked with delight, and the bird flew away.  "I think I
must have hit it," said I; "I saw it wag its tail."

"More proof of a miss than a hit," replied Tom.  "Had you hit it he'd
never have wagged his tail again."

"Never mind," said I, "better luck next time."

Tom then knocked a blackbird off a furze bush, and loading the gun,
handed it to me.  I was more successful than before; a cock sparrow,
three yards distant, yielded to the prowess of my arm, and I never felt
more happy in my life than in this first successful attempt at murder.

Gaily did we trudge over the common, sometimes falling in with
gravel-pits half full of water, at others bogs and swampy plains, which
obliged us to make a circuit.  The gun was fired again and again; but
our game-bag did not fill very fast.  However, if we were not quite so
well pleased when we missed as when we hit, Tommy was, every shot being
followed up with a dozen bounds, and half a minute's barking.  At last
we began to feel tired, and agreed to repose a while in a cluster of
furze bushes.  We sat down, pulled out our game, and spread it in a row
before us.  It consisted of two sparrows, one greenfinch, one blackbird,
and three tomtits.  All of a sudden we heard a rustling in the furze,
and then a loud squeal.  It was the dog, who, scenting something, had
forced its way into the bush, and had caught a hare, which having been
wounded in the loins by some other sportsman, had dragged itself there
to die.  In a minute we had taken possession of it, much to the
annoyance of Tommy, who seemed to consider that there was no
co-partnership in the concern, and would not surrender his prize until
after sundry admonitory kicks.  When we had fairly beaten him off we
were in an ecstasy of delight.  We laid the animal out between us, and
were admiring it from the ear to the tip of his tail, when we were
suddenly saluted with a voice close to us.  "Oh, you blam'd young
poachers, so I've caught you, have I?"  We looked up, and beheld the
common-keeper.  "Come--come along with me; we've a nice clink at
Wandsworth to lock you up in.  I've been looking a'rter you some time.
Hand your gun here."

"I should rather think not," replied I.  "The gun belongs to us, and not
to you;" and I caught up the gun, and presented the muzzle at him.

"What! do you mean to commit murder?  Why, you young villains!"

"Do you want to commit a robbery?" retorted I, fiercely; "because if you
do, I mean to commit murder.  Then I shoot him.  Tom."

"No, Jacob, no; you mustn't shoot men," replied Tom, who perceived that
I was in a humour to keep my word with the common-keeper.  "Indeed, you
can't," continued he, whispering to me; "the gun's not loaded."

"Do you mean to refuse to give me up your gun?" repeated the man.

"Yes I do," replied I, cocking the lock; "so keep off."

"Oh! you young reprobates--you'll come to the gallows before long,
that's certain.  Do you refuse to come with me?"

"I should rather think we do," replied I.

"You refuse, do you?  Recollect I've caught you in the fact, poaching,
with a dead hare in your possession."

"Well, it's no use crying about it.  What's done can't be helped,"
replied I.

"Don't you know that all the game, and all the turf, and all the bog,
and all the gravel, and all the furze on this common belong to the Right
Honourable Earl Spencer?"

"And all the blackbirds, and all the greenfinches, and all the sparrows,
and all the tomtits too, I suppose?" replied I.

"To be sure they do--and I'm common-keeper.  Now you'll give me up that
hare immediately."

"Look you," replied Tom, "we didn't kill that hare, the dog caught it,
and it is his property.  We sha'n't interfere in the matter.  If Tommy
chooses to let you have it, well and good.  Here, Tommy, this here
gentleman says," (and Tom pointed to the keeper) "that this hare," (and
Tom pointed to the hare) "is not yours; now will you `watch it,' or let
him have it?"

At the word `watch it,' Tommy laid down with his fore-paws over the
hare, and showing a formidable set of ivories, looked fiercely at the
man, and growled.

"You see what he says; now you may do as you please," continued Tom,
addressing the man.

"Yes--very well--you'll come to the gallows, I see that; but I'll just
go and fetch half-a-dozen men to help me, and then we'll have you both
in gaol."

"Then, be smart," replied I, jumping up and levelling the gun.  Tommy
jumped up also to fly at the man, but Tom caught him by the neck and
restrained him.  The common-keeper took to his heels, and as soon as he
was out of gun-shot, turned round, shook his fist, and then hastened
away to obtain the reinforcement he desired.

"I wish the gun had been loaded," said I.

"Why, Jacob, what's come over you?  Would you have fired at him?  The
man is only doing his duty--we have no business here."

"I think otherwise," replied I.  "A hare on a common is as much mine as
Lord Spencer's.  A common belongs to everybody."

"That's my opinion, too; but, nevertheless, if he gets hold of us, he'll
have us in gaol; and therefore I propose we make off as fast as we can
in the opposite way to which he is gone."

We started accordingly, and as the keeper proceeded in the direction of
Wandsworth, we took the other direction; but it so happened that on
turning round, after a quarter of an hour's walk, we perceived the man
coming back with three or four others.  "We must run for it," cried Tom,
"and then hide ourselves."  After ten minutes' hard run we descended
into a hollow and swampy place, looking round to see if they could
perceive us, and finding that they were not in sight, we plunged into a
thick cluster of furze bushes, which completely concealed us.  Tommy
followed us, and there we lay.  "Now they never will find us," said Tom,
"if I can only keep the dog quiet.  Lie down, Tommy.  Watch, and lie
down."  The dog appeared to understand what was required; he lay between
us perfectly still.

We had remained there about half-an-hour when we heard voices.  I
motioned to Tom to give me the powder to load the gun, but he refused.
The voices came nearer; Tommy gave a low growl.  Tom held his mouth with
his hands.  At last they were close to the bushes, and we heard the
common-keeper say, "They never went over the hill, that's for certain,
the little wagrants; they can't be far off--they must be down in the
hollow.  Come along."

"But I'm blessed if I'm not up to my knees in the bog," cried one of the
men; "I'll go no further down, dang me!"

"Well, then let's try the side of the bog," replied the keeper, "I'll
show you the way."  And the voices retreated, fortunately for us, for
there had been a continual struggle between us and the dog for the last
minute, I holding his forepaws, and Tom jamming up his mouth.  We were
now all quiet again, but dare not leave our hiding-place.

We remained there for half-an-hour, when it became nearly dark, and the
sky, which had been quite clear when we set out, clouded over.  Tom put
up his head, looked all round, and perceiving nobody, proposed that we
should return as fast as we could; to which I agreed.  But we were
scarcely clear of the furze in which we had been concealed when a heavy
fall of snow commenced, which, with the darkness, prevented us from
distinguishing our way.  Every minute the snow-storm increased, the wind
rose, and hurled the flakes into our faces until we were blinded.  Still
we made good way against it, and expected every minute to be on the
road, after which our task would be easy.  On we walked in silence, I
carrying the gun, Tom with the hare over his shoulder, and Tommy at our
heels.  For upwards of an hour did we tread our way through the furze,
but could find no road.  Above us all was dark as pitch; the wind
howled; our clothes were loaded with snow; and we began to feel no
inconsiderable degree of fatigue.

At last, quite tired out, we stopped.  "Tom," said I, "I'm sure we've
not kept a straight course.  The wind was on our starboard side, and our
clothes were flaked with snow on that side, and now you see we've got it
in our quarter.  What the devil shall we do?"

"We must go on till we fall in with something, at all events," replied

"And I expect that will be a gravel-pit," replied I; "but never mind,
`better luck next time.'  I only wish I had that rascal of a
common-keeper here.  Suppose we turn back again, and keep the wind on
the starboard side of us as before; we must pitch upon something at

We did so, but our difficulties increased every moment; we floundered in
the bogs, we tumbled over the stumps of the cut furze, and had I not
caught bold of Tom as he was sliding down he would have been at the
bottom of a gravel-pit.  This obliged us to alter our course, and we
proceeded for a quarter of an hour, in another direction, until, worn
out with cold and fatigue, we began to despair.

"This will never do, Tom," said I, as the wind rose and roared with
double fury.  "I think we had better get into the furze, and wait till
the storm is over."

Tom's teeth chattered with the cold; but before he could reply, they
chattered with fear.  We heard a loud scream _overhead_.  "What was
that?" cried he.  I confess that I was as much alarmed as Tom.  The
scream was repeated, and it had an unearthly sound.  It was no human
voice--it was between a scream and a creak.  Again it was repeated, and
carried along with the gale.  I mustered up courage sufficient to look
up to where the sound proceeded from; but the darkness was so intense,
and the snow blinded me so completely, that I could see nothing.  Again
and again did the dreadful sound ring in our ears, and we remained fixed
and motionless with horror; even the dog crouched at our feet trembling.
We spoke not a word--neither of us moved; the gun had fallen from my
hand; the hare lay at Tom's feet; we held each other's hand in silence,
and there we remained for more than a quarter of an hour, every moment
more and more sinking under the effects of cold, fatigue, and horror.
Fortunately for us the storm, in which had it continued much longer we
should, in all probability, have perished, was by that time over; the
snow ceased to fall; the clouds were rolled away to leeward; and a clear
sky, bespangled with a thousand twinkling lights, roused us from our
state of bodily and mental suffering.  The first object which caught my
eye was a post within two yards of us.  I looked at it, followed it up
with my eyes, and, to my horror, beheld a body suspended and swinging in
chains over our heads.

As soon as I recovered from the shock which the first view occasioned, I
pointed it out to Tom, who had not yet moved.  He looked up, started
back, and fell over the dog--jumped up again, and burst out into as loud
a laugh as his frozen jaws would permit.  "It's old Jerry Abershaw,"
said he, "I know him well, and now I know where we are."  This was the
case; Abershaw had, about three years before, been hung in chains on
Wimbledon Common; and the unearthly sound we had heard was the creaking
of the rusty iron as the body was swung to-and-fro by the gale.  "All's
right, Jacob," said Tom, looking up at the brilliant sky, and then
taking up the hare, "we'll be on the road in five minutes."  I
shouldered the gun, and off we set.  "By the Lord, that rascally
common-keeper was right," continued Tom, as we renewed our steps; "he
prophesied we should come to the gallows before long, and so we have.
Well, this has been a pretty turn out.  Father will be in a precious

"Better luck next time, Tom," replied I; "it's all owing to that
turf-and-bog rascal.  I wish we had him here."

"Why, what would you do with him?"

"Take down old Abershaw, and hang him up in his place, as sure as my
name's Jacob."



We soon recovered the road, and in half-an-hour we were at Putney
Bridge; cold, wet, and tired, but not so bad as when we were stationary
under the gallows; the quick walking restored the circulation.  Tom went
in for the bottle of spirits, while I went for the sculls and carried
them down to the boat, which was high and dry, and nearly up to the
thwarts with snow.  When Tom joined me, he appeared with two bottles
under his arms.  "I have taken another upon tick, Jacob," said he, "for
I'm sure we want it, and so will father say, when he hears our story."
We launched our boat, and in a couple of minutes were close to the
lighter, on the deck of which stood old Tom.

"Boat ahoy! is that you, lads?" cried he.

"Yes, father, all's right," replied Tom, as we laid in our oars.

"Thank God!" replied the old man.  "Boys, boys, how you frightened me?
where have you been?  I thought you had met with some disaster.  How
have I been peeping through the snow-storm these last two hours,
watching for the boat, and I'm as wet as a shag and as cold as charity.
What has been the matter?  Did you bring the bottle, Tom?"

"Yes, father; brought two, for we shall want them to-night if we go
without for a week; but we must all get on dry rigging as fast as
possible, and then you shall have the story of our cruise."

In a few minutes we had changed our wet clothes and were seated at the
cabin-table, eating our supper, and narrating our adventures to the old
man.  Tommy, poor fellow, had his share, and now lay snoring at our
feet, as the bottles and pannikins were placed upon the little table.

"Come, Jacob, a drop will do you good," said old Tom, filling me one of
the pannikins.  "A'ter all, it's much better being snug here in this
little cabin than shivering with fear and cold under old Abershaw's
gallows; and Tom, you scamp, if ever you go gunning again I'll
disinherit you."

"What have you got to leave, father, except your wooden legs?" replied
Tom.  "Your's would be but a _wooden-leg_-acy."

"How do you know but what I can `_post the coal_?'"

"So you will, if I boil a pot o' 'tatoes with your legacy--but it will
only be char-coal."

"Well, I believe you are about right, Tom; still, somehow or other, the
old woman always picks out a piece or two of gold when I'm rather
puzzled how to raise the wind.  I never keeps no 'count with her.  If I
follow my legs before she, I hope the old soul will have saved
something; for you know when a man goes to kingdom come, his pension
goes with him.  However, let me only hold on another five years, and
then you'll not see her want; will you, Tom?"

"No, father; I'll sell myself to the king, and stand to be shot at, at a
shilling a day, and give the old woman half."

"Well, Tom, 'tis but natural for a man to wish to serve his country; so
here's to you, my lad, and may you never do worse!  Jacob, do you think
of going on board of a man-of-war?"

"I'd like to serve my apprenticeship first, and then I don't care how

"Well, my boy, you'll meet more fair play on board of a king's ship than
you have from those on shore."

"I should hope so," replied I, bitterly.

"I hope to see you a man before I die, yet, Jacob.  I shall very soon be
laid up in ordinary--my toes pain me a good deal lately!"

"Your toes!" cried Tom and I both at once.

"Yes, boys; you may think it odd, but sometimes I feel them just as
plain as if they were now on, instead of being long ago in some shark's
maw.  At nights I has the cramp in them till it almost makes me halloo
out with pain.  It's a hard thing, when one has lost the sarvice of his
legs, that all the feelings should remain.  The doctor says as how it's
narvous.  Come, Jacob, shove in your pannikin.  You seem to take it more
kindly than you did."

"Yes," replied I, "I begin to like grog now."  The _now_, however, might
be comprehended within the space of the last twenty-four hours.  My
depressed spirits were raised with the stimulus, and for a time I got
rid of the eternal current of thought which pressed upon my brain.

"I wonder what your old gentleman, the Dominie, as you call him,
thought, after he got on shore again," said old Tom.  "He seemed to be
mighty cut up.  I suppose you'll give him a hail, Jacob?"

"No," replied I, "I shall not go near him, nor any one else, if I can
help it.  Mr Drummond may think I wish to make it up again.  I've done
with the shore.  I only wish I knew what is to become of me; for you
know I am not to serve in the lighter with you."

"Suppose Tom and I look out for another craft, Jacob?  I care nothing
for Mr Drummond.  He said t'other day I was a drunken old swab--for
which, with my sarvice to him, he lies.  A drunken fellow is one who
can't, for the soul of him, keep from liquor when he can get it, and
who's overtaken before he is aware of it.  Now that's not the case with
me; I keep sober when there's work to be done; and when I knows that
everything is safe under hatches, and no fear of nothing, why then I
gets drunk like a rational being, with my eyes open--'cause why?--'cause
I chooses."

"That's exactly my notion of the thing," observed Tom, draining his
pannikin, and handing it over to his father for a fresh supply.

"Mind you keep to that notion, Tom, when you gets in the king's sarvice,
that's all; or you'll be sure to have your back scratched, which I
understand is no joke after all.  Yet I do remember once, in a ship I
was in, when half-a-dozen fellows were all fighting who should be

"Pray give us that yarn, father; but before you begin just fill my
pannikin.  I shoved it over half-an-hour ago, just by way of a hint."

"Well then," said old Tom, pouring out some spirits into Tom's pannikin,
"it was just as follows.  It was when the ship was lying at anchor in
Bermuda harbour, that the purser sent a breaker of spirits on shore to
be taken up to some lady's house whom he was very anxious to splice, and
I suppose that he found a glass of grog helped the matter.  Now, there
were about twenty of the men who had liberty to go on shore, to stretch
their limbs--little else could they do, poor fellows for the first
lieutenant looked sharp after their kits to see that they did not sell
any of their rigging; and as for money, we had been five years without
touching a farthing of pay, and I don't suppose there was a matter of
threepence among the men before the mast.  However, liberty's liberty
after all; and if they couldn't go ashore and get glorious, rather than
not go on shore at all, they went ashore and kept sober perforce.  I do
think, myself, it's a very bad thing to keep the seamen without a
farthing for so long--for you see a man who will be very honest with a
few shillings in his pocket is often tempted to help himself, just for
the sake of getting a glass or two of grog, and the temptation's very
great, that's sartain, 'ticularly in a hot climate, when the sun
scorches you, and the very ground itself is so heated that you can
hardly bear the naked foot to it.  [_This has been corrected; the men
have for some time received a portion of their pay on foreign stations,
and this portion has been greatly increased during Sir James Graham's
administration_.] But to go on.  The yawl was ordered on shore for the
liberty men, and the purser gives this breaker, which was at least half
full, and I dare say there might be three gallons in it, under my charge
as coxswain, to deliver to madam at the house.  Well, as soon as we
landed, I shoulders the breaker, and starts with it up the hill.

"`What have you there, Tom?' said Bill Short.

"`What I wish I could share with you, Bill,' says I; `it's some of old
Nipcheese's _eights_, that he has sent on shore to bowse his jib up
with, with his sweetheart.'

"`I've seen the madam,' said Holmes to me--for you see all the liberty
men were walking up the hill at the same time--`and I'd rather make love
to the breaker than to her.  She's as fat as an ox, as broad as she's
long, built like a Dutch schuyt, and as yellow as a nabob.'

"`But old Tummings knows what he's about,' said a Scotch lad of the name
of M'Alpine; `they say she has lots of gold dust, more ducks and ingons,
and more inches of water in her tank than any on the island.'

"You see, boys, Bermuda be a queer sort of place, and water very scarce;
all they get there is a Godsend, as it comes from Heaven; and they look
sharp for the rain, which is collected in large tanks, and an inch or
two more of water in the tank is considered a great catch.  I've often
heard the ladies there talking for a shower:--

"`Good morning, marm.  How do you do this fine morning?'

"`Pretty well, I tank you, marm.  Charming shower hab last night.'

"`Yes, so all say; but me not very lucky.  Cloud not come over my tank.
How many inches of water you get last night, marm?'

"`I get good seven inches, and I tink a little bit more, which make me
very happy.'

"`Me no so lucky, marm; so help me God, me only get four inches of water
in my tank; and dat nothing.'

"Well, but I've been yawing again, so now to keep my course.  As soon as
I came to the house I knocked at the door, and a little black girl opens
the jalousies, and put her finger to her thick lips.

"`No make noise; missy sleep.'

"`Where am I to put this?'

"`Put down there; by-and-by I come fetch it;' and then she closed the
jalousies, for fear her mistress should be woke up, and she get a
hiding, poor devil.  So I puts the breaker down at the door, and walks
back to the boat again.  Now, you see, these liberty men were all by
when I spoke to the girl, and seeing the liquor left with no one to
guard it, the temptation was too strong for them.  So they looked all
about them, and then at one another, and caught one another's meaning by
the eye; but they said nothing.  `I'll have no hand in it,' at last says
one, and walked away.  `Nor I,' said another, and walked away too.  At
last all of them walked away except eight, and then Bill Short walks up
to the breaker and says--

"`I won't have no _hand_ in it, either;' but he gave the breaker a kick,
which rolls it away two or three yards from the door.

"`Nor more will I,' said Holmes, giving the breaker another kick, which
rolled it out in the road.  So they all went on, without having a _hand_
in it, sure enough, till they had kicked the breaker down the hill to
the beach.  Then they were at a dead stand, as no one would spile the
breaker.  At last a black carpenter came by, and they offered him a
glass if he would bore a hole with his gimlet, for they were determined
to be able to swear, every one of them; that they had _no hand in it_.
Well, as soon as the hole was bored, one of them borrowed a couple of
little mugs from a black woman, who sold beer, and then they let it run,
the black carpenter shoving one mug under as soon as the other was full,
and they drinking as fast as they could.  Before they had half finished,
more of the liberty men came down; I suppose they scented the good stuff
from above as a shark does anything in the water, and they soon made a
finish of it; and when it was all finished, they were all drunk, and
made sail for a cruise, that they might not be found too near the empty
breaker.  Well, a little before sunset I was sent on shore with the boat
to fetch off the liberty men, and the purser takes this opportunity of
getting ashore to see his madam, and the first thing he falls athwart of
is his own empty breaker.

"`How's this?' says he; `didn't you take this breaker up as I ordered

"`Yes, sir,' replied I, `I did, and gave it in charge to the little back
thing; but madam was asleep, and the girl did not allow me to put it
inside the door.'  At that he began to storm, and swore that he'd find
out the malefactors, as he termed the liberty men, who had emptied his
breaker; and away he went to the house.  As soon as he was gone we got
hold of the breaker, and made a _bull_ of it."

"How did you manage that?" inquired I.

"Why, Jacob, a _bull_ means putting a quart or two of water into a cask
which has had spirits in it; and what with the little that may be left,
and what has soaked in the wood, if you roll it and shake it well, it
generally turns out pretty fair grog.  At all events its always better
than nothing.  Well, to go on--but suppose we fill up again and take a
fresh departure, as this is a tolerably long yarn, and I must wet the
threads, or they may chance to break."

Our pannikins, which had been empty, were all replenished, and then old
Tom proceeded.

"It was a long while before we could pick up the liberty men, who were
reeling about every corner of the town, and quite dark before I came on
board.  The first lieutenant was on deck, and had no occasion to ask me
why I waited so long, when he found they were all lying in the stern
sheets.  `Where the devil could they have picked up the liquor?' said
he, and then he ordered the master-at-arms to keep them under the
half-deck till they were sober.  The next morning the purser comes off,
and makes his complaint on the quarter-deck as how somebody had stolen
his liquor.  The first lieutenant reports to the captain, and the
captain orders up all the men who came off tipsy.

"`Which of you took the liquor?' said he.  They all swore that they had
no hand in it.  `Then how did you get tipsy?  Come now, Mr Short,
answer me; you came off beastly drunk--who gave you the liquor?'

"`A black fellow, sir,' replied Short; which was true enough, as the
mugs were filled by the black carpenter, and handed by him.

"Well, they all swore the same, and then the captain got into a rage,
and ordered them all to be put down on the report.  The next day the
hands were turned up for punishment, and the captain said, `Now, my
lads, if you won't tell who stole the purser's grog, I will flog you all
round.  I only want to flog those who committed the theft, for it is too
much to expect of seamen that they would refuse a glass of grog when
offered to them.'

"Now, Short and the others had a parley together, and they had agreed
how to act.  They knew that the captain could not bear flogging, and was
a very kind-hearted man.  So Bill Short steps out, and says, touching
his forelock to the captain, `If you please, sir, if all must be flogged
if nobody will peach, I think it better to tell the truth at once.  It
was I who took the liquor.'

"`Very well, then,' said the captain; `strip, sir.'  So Bill Short pulls
off his shirt, and is seized up.  `Boatswain's mate,' said the captain,
`give him a dozen.'

"`Beg your honour's pardon,' said Jack Holmes, stepping out of the row
of men brought out for punishment; `but I can't bear to see an innocent
man punished, and since one must be flogged, it must be the right one.
It warn't Bill Short that took the liquor; it was I.'

"`Why, how's this?' said the captain; `didn't you own that you took the
liquor, Mr Short?'

"`Why, yes, I did say so, 'cause I didn't wish to see _everybody_
flogged--but the truth's the truth, and I had no hand in it.'

"`Cast him loose--Holmes, you'll strip, sir.'  Holmes stripped and was
tied up.  `Give him a dozen,' said the captain; when out steps M'Alpine,
and swore it was him, and not Holmes; and ax'd leave to be flogged in
his stead.  At which the captain bit his lips to prevent laughing, and
then they knew all was right.  So another came forward, and says it was
him, and not M'Alpine; and another contradicts him again, and so on.  At
last the captain says, `One would think flogging was a very pleasant
affair; you are all so eager to be tied up; but, however, I shan't flog,
to please you.  I shall find out who the real culprit is, and then
punish him severely.  In the meantime, you keep them all on the report,
Mr P---,' speaking to the first lieutenant.  `Depend upon it, I'll not
let you off, although I do not choose to flog innocent men.'  So they
piped down, and the first lieutenant, who knew that the captain never
meant to take any more notice of it, never made no inquiries, and the
thing blew over.  One day, a month or two after, I told the officers how
it was managed, and they laughed heartily."

We continued our carouse till a late hour, old Tom constantly amusing us
with his long yarns; and that night, for the first time, I went to bed
intoxicated.  Old Tom and his son assisted me into my bed-place, old Tom
observing, "Poor Jacob; it will do him good; his heart was heavy, and
now he'll forget it all, for a little time, at all events."

"Well but, father, I don't like to see Jacob drunk," replied young Tom.
"It's not like him--it's not worthy of him; as for you or me, it's
nothing at all; but I feel Jacob was never meant to be a toper.  I never
saw a lad so altered in a short time, and I expect bad will come of it
when he leaves us."

I awoke, as might be supposed, after my first debauch, with a violent
headache, but I had also a fever, brought on by my previous anxiety of
mind.  I rose, dressed, and went on deck, where the snow was nearly a
foot deep.  It now froze hard, and the river was covered with small
pieces of floating ice.  I rubbed my burning forehead with the snow, and
felt relief.  For some time I assisted Tom to heave it overboard, but
the fever pressed upon me, and in less than half-an-hour I could no
longer stand the exertion.  I sat down on the water cask, and pressed my
hands to my throbbing temples.

"You are not well, Jacob?" inquired Tom, coming up to me with the shovel
in his hand, and glowing with health and exercise.

"I am not, indeed, Tom," replied I; "feel how hot I am."

Tom went to his father, who was in the cabin, padding, with extra
flannel, his stumps, to defend them from the cold, which always made him
suffer much, and then led me into the cabin.  It was with much
difficulty I could walk; my knees trembled, and my eyesight was
defective.  Old Tom took my hand as I sank on the locker.

"Do you think that it was taking too much last night?" inquired Tom of
his father.

"There's more here than a gallon of liquor would have brought about,"
replied old Tom.  "No, no--I see it all.  Go to bed again, Jacob."

They put me into bed, and I was soon in a state of stupor, in which I
remained until the lighter had arrived at the Brentford Wharf, and for
many days afterwards.



When I recovered my senses, I found myself in bed, and Captain Turnbull
sitting by my side.  I had been removed to his house when the lighter
had arrived at the wharf.  Captain Turnbull was then talking with Mr
Tomkins, the former head clerk, now in charge.  Old Tom came on shore
and stated the condition I was in, and Mr Tomkins having no spare bed
in his house, Captain Turnbull immediately ordered me to be taken to his
residence, and sent for medical advice.  During the time I had remained
in this state old Tom had informed Captain Turnbull, the Dominie, and
Mr Tomkins of the circumstances which had occurred, and how much I had
been misrepresented to Mr Drummond; and not saying a word about the
affair of Wimbledon Common, or my subsequent intemperance, had given it
as his opinion that ill-treatment had produced the fever.  In this, I
believe, he was nearly correct, although my disease might certainly have
been aggravated and hastened by those two unmentioned causes.  They all
of them took my part, and Mr Turnbull went to London to state my
condition to Mr Drummond, and also to remonstrate at his injustice.
Circumstances had since occurred which induced Mr Drummond to lend a
ready ear to my justification; but the message I had sent was still an
obstacle.  This, however, was partly removed by the equivocating
testimony of the young clerk, when he was interrogated by Captain
Turnbull and Mr Drummond; and wholly so by the evidence of young and
old Tom, who, although in the cabin, had overheard the whole of the
conversation; and Mr Drummond desired Captain Turnbull to inform me, as
soon as I recovered, that all was forgotten and forgiven.  It might have
been on his part, but not on mine; and when Captain Turnbull told me so,
with the view of raising my spirits, I shook my head as I lay on the
pillow.  As the reader will have observed, the feeling roused in me by
the ill-usage I had received was a _vindictive_ one--one that must have
been deeply implanted in my heart, although, till then, it had never
been roused into action, and now, once roused, was not to be suppressed.
That it was based on pride was evident, and with it my pride was raised
in proportion.  To the intimation of Captain Turnbull, I, therefore,
gave a decided dissent.  "No, sir, I cannot return to Mr Drummond: that
he was kind to me, and that I owe much to his kindness, I readily admit;
and now that he has acknowledged his error in supposing me capable of
such ingratitude, I heartily forgive him; but I cannot, and will not,
receive any more favours from him.  I cannot put myself in a situation
to be again mortified as I have been.  I feel I should no longer have
the same pleasure in doing my duty as I once had, and I never could live
under the same roof with those who at present serve him.  Tell him all
this, and pray tell little Sarah how grateful I feel no her for all her
kindness to me, and that I shall always think of her with regret, at
being obliged to leave her."  And at the remembrance of little Sarah I
burst into tears, and sobbed on my pillow.  Captain Turnbull, whether he
rightly estimated my character, or fell convinced that I had made up my
mind, did not renew the subject.

"Well, Jacob," replied he, "we'll not talk of that any more.  I'll give
your messages just in your own words.  Now, take your draught, and try
to get a little sleep."

I complied with this request, and nothing but weakness now remaining, I
rapidly regained my strength, and with my strength, my feelings of
resentment increased in proportion.  Nothing but the very weak state
that I was in when Captain Turnbull spoke to me would have softened me
down to give the kind message that I did; but my vindictive mind was
subdued by disease, and better feelings predominated.  The only effect
this had was to increase my animosity against the other parties who were
the cause of my ill-treatment, and I vowed that they, at least, should
one day repent their conduct.

The Dominie called upon me the following Sunday.  I was dressed and
looking through the window when he arrived.  The frost was now intense,
and the river was covered with large masses of ice, and my greatest
pleasure was to watch them as they floated down with the tide; "Thou
hast had a second narrow escape, my Jacob," said he, after some
preliminary observations.  "Once again did death (_pallida mors_) hover
over thy couch; but thou hast arisen, and thy fair fame is again
established.  When wilt thou be able to visit Mr Drummond, and be able
to thank him for his kindness?"

"Never, sir," replied I; "I will never again enter Mr Drummond's

"Nay, Jacob, this savoureth of enmity.  Are not we all likely to be
deceived--all likely to do wrong?  Did not I, even I, in thy presence,
backslide into intemperance and folly?  Did not I disgrace myself before
my pupil--and shalt thou, in thy tender years, harbour ill-will against
one who had cherished thee when thou wert destitute, and who was
deceived with regard to thee by the base and evil-speaking?"

"I am obliged to Mr Drummond for all his kindness, sir," replied I;
"but I never wish to enter his house.  I was turned out of it, and never
will again go into it."

"_Eheu!  Jacobe_, thou art in error; it is our duty to forgive as we
hope to be forgiven."

"I do forgive, sir, if that is what is requested: but I cannot, and will
not, accept of further favours."

The Dominie urged in vain, and left me.  Mr Tomkins also came, and
argued the point without success.  I was resolved.  I was determined to
be independent; and I looked to the river as my father, mother, home,
and everything.  As soon as my health was reinstated, Captain Turnbull
one day came to me.  "Jacob," said he, "the lighter has returned: and I
wish to know if you intend to go on board again, and afterwards go into
the vessel into which Mr Drummond proposes to send you."

"I will go into no vessel through Mr Drummond's means or interest,"
replied I.

"What will you do then?" replied he.

"I can always enter on board a man-of-war," replied I, "if the worst
comes to the worst; but if I can serve out my apprenticeship on the
river, I should prefer it."

"I rather expected this answer, Jacob, from what you have said to me
already; and I have been trying if I cannot help you to something which
may suit you.  You don't mind being obliged to me?"

"O, no; but promise you will never doubt me--never accuse me."  My voice
faltered, and I could say no more.

"No, my lad, that I will not; I know you, as I think, pretty well; and
the heart that feels a false accusation as yours does is sure to guard
against committing what you are so angry at being accused of.  Now,
Jacob, listen to me.  You know old deaf Stapleton, whose wherry we have
so often pulled up and down the river?  I have spoken to him to take you
as his help, and he has consented.  Will you like to go?  He has served
his time, and has a right to take a 'prentice."

"Yes," replied I, "with pleasure; and with more pleasure, from expecting
to see you often."

"O, I promise you all my custom, Jacob," replied he, laughing.  "We'll
often turn old Stapleton out, and have a row together.  Is it agreed?"

"It is," replied I; "and many thanks to you."

"Well, then, consider it settled.  Stapleton has a very good room, and
all that's requisite on shore, at Fulham.  I have seen his place, and I
think you will be comfortable."

I did not know at the time how much Captain Turnbull had been my
friend--that he had made Stapleton take better lodgings, and had made up
the difference to him, besides allowing him a trifle per week, and
promising him a gratuity occasionally, if I were content with my
situation.  In a few days I had removed all my clothes to Stapleton's,
had taken my leave of Mr Turnbull, and was established as an apprentice
to a waterman on the Thames.  The lighter was still at the wharf when I
left, and my parting with old Tom and his son was equally and sincerely
felt on both sides.

"Jacob," said old Tom, "I likes your pride after all, 'cause why, I
think you have some right to be proud; and the man who only asks fair
play, and no favour always will rise in this world.  But look you,
Jacob, there's sometimes a current 'gainst a man that no one can make
head against; and if so be that should be your case for a time,
recollect the old house, the old woman, and old Tom, and there you'll
always find a hearty welcome, and a hearty old couple who'll share with
you what they have, be it good, bad, or indifferent.  Here's luck to
you, my boy; and recollect, I means to go to the expense of painting the
sides of my craft blue, and then you'll always know her as she creeps up
and down the river."

"And Jacob," said young Tom;--"I may be a wild one, but I'm a true one;
if ever you want me in fair weather and in foul--good or bad--for fun or
for mischief--for a help, or for a friend in need, through thick or
thin, I'm yours, even to the gallows; and here's my hand upon it."

"Just like you, Tom," observed his father; "but I know what you mean,
and all's right."

I shook hands with them both, and we parted.

Thus did I remove from the lighter, and at once take up the profession
of a waterman; I walked down to the Fulham side, where I found Stapleton
at the door of the public-house, standing with two or three others,
smoking his pipe.  "Well, lad, so you're chained to my wherry for two or
three years; and I'm to initiate you into all the rules and regulations
of the company.  Now, I'll tell you one thing, which is, d'ye see, when
the river's covered with ice, as it is just now, haul your wherry up
high and dry, and smoke your pipe till the river is clear, as I do now."

"I might have guessed that," replied I, bawling in his ear, "without you
telling me."

"Very true; but don't bawl in my ear quite so loud, I hears none the
better for it; my ears require coaxing, that's all."

"Why, I thought you were as deaf as a post."

"Yes, so I be with strangers, 'cause I don't know the pitch of their
voice; but with those about me I hear better when they speak quietly--
that's human nature.  Come, let's go home, my pipe is finished, and as
there's nothing to be done on the river, we may just as well make all
tidy there."

Stapleton had lost his wife; but he had a daughter, fifteen years old,
who kept his lodgings, and _did for him_, as he termed it.  He lived in
part of some buildings leased by a boat-builder; his windows looked out
on the river; and, on the first floor, a bay-window was thrown out, so
that at high water the river ran under it.  As for the rooms, consisting
of five, I can only say that they could not be spoken of as large and
small, but as small and smaller.  The sitting-room was eight feet
square, the two bed-rooms at the back, for himself and his daughter,
just held a small bed each, and the kitchen and my room below were to
match; neither were the tenements in the very best repair, the parlour
especially, hanging over the river, being lop-sided, and giving you the
uncomfortable idea that it would every minute fall into the stream
below.  Still, the builder declared that it would last many years
without sinking further, and that was sufficient.  At all events, they
were very respectable accommodations for a waterman, and Stapleton paid
for them 10 pounds per annum.  Stapleton's daughter was certainly a very
well-favoured girl.  She had rather a large mouth; but her teeth were
very fine, and beautifully white.  Her hair was auburn--her complexion
very fair, her eyes were large, and of a deep blue, and from her figure,
which was very good, I should have supposed her to have been eighteen,
although she was not past fifteen, as I found out afterwards.  There was
a frankness and honesty of countenance about her, and an intellectual
smile, which was very agreeable.

"Well, Mary, how do you get on?" said Stapleton, as we ascended to the
sitting-room.  "Here's young Faithful come to take up with us."

"Well, father, his bed's all ready; and I have taken so much dirt from
the room that I expect we shall be indicted for filling up the river.  I
wonder what nasty people lived in this house before us."

"Very nice rooms, nevertheless; ain't they, boy?"

"O yes, very nice for idle people; you may amuse yourself looking out on
the river, or watching what floats past, or fishing with a pin at high
water," replied Mary, looking at me.

"I like the river," replied I, gravely; "I was born on it, and hope to
get my bread on it."

"And I like this sitting-room," rejoined Stapleton; "how mighty
comfortable it will be to sit at the open window, and smoke in the
summer time, with one's jacket off!"

"At all events you'll have no excuse for dirtying the room, father; and
as for the lad, I suppose his smoking days have not come yet."

"No," replied I; "but my days for taking off my jacket are, I suspect."

"O yes," replied she, "never fear that; father will let you do all the
work you please, and look on--won't you, father?"

"Don't let your tongue run quite so fast, Mary; you're not over fond of
work yourself."

"No; there's only one thing I dislike more," replied she, "and that's
holding my tongue."

"Well, I shall leave you and Jacob to make it out together; I am going
back to the Feathers."  And old Stapleton walked down stairs, and went
back to the inn, saying, as he went out, that he should be back to his

Mary continued her employment of wiping the furniture of the room with a
duster for some minutes, during which I did not speak, but watched the
floating ice on the river.  "Well," said Mary, "do you always talk as
you do now? if so, you'll be a very nice companion.  Mr Turnbull who
came to my father, told me that you was a sharp fellow, could read,
write, and do everything, and that I should like you very much; but if
you mean to keep it all to yourself, you might as well not have had it."

"I am ready to talk when I have anything to talk about," replied I.

"That's not enough.  I'm ready to talk about nothing, and you must do
the same."

"Very well," replied I.  "How old are you?"

"How old am I!  O, then you consider me nothing.  I'll try hard but you
shall alter your opinion, my fine fellow.  However, to answer your
question, I believe I'm about fifteen."

"Not more? well, there's an old proverb, which I will not repeat."

"I know it, so you may save yourself the trouble, you saucy boy; but
now, for your age?"

"Mine! let me see; well, I believe that I am nearly seventeen."

"Are you really so old? well, now, I should have thought you no more
than fourteen."

This answer at first surprised me, as I was very stout and tall for my
age; but a moment's reflection told me that it was given to annoy me.  A
lad is as much vexed at being supposed younger than he really is as a
man of a certain age is annoyed at being taken for so much older.
"Pooh!" replied I; "that shows how little you know about men."

"I wasn't talking about men, that I know of; but still, I do know
something about them.  I've had two sweethearts already."

"Indeed! and what have you done with them?"

"Done with them!  I jilted the first for the second, because the second
was better looking; and when Mr Turnbull told me so much about you, I
jilted the second to make room for you: but now I mean to try if I can't
get him back again."

"With all my heart," replied I laughing.  "I shall prove but a sorry
sweetheart, for I have never made love in my life."

"Have you ever had anybody to make love to?"


"That's the reason, Mr Jacob, depend upon it.  All you have to do is to
swear that I'm the prettiest girl in the world, that you like me better
than anybody else in the world; do anything in the world that I wish you
to do--spend all the money you have in the world in buying me ribbons
and fairings, and then--"

"And then, what?"

"Why, then, I shall hear all you have to say, take all you have to give,
and laugh at you in the bargain."

"But I shouldn't stand that long."

"O, yes, you would.  I'd put you out of humour, and coax you in again;
the fact is, Jacob Faithful, I made my mind up, before I saw you, that
you should be my sweetheart, and when I will have a thing, I will, so
you may as well submit to it at once.  If you don't, as I keep the key
of the cupboard, I'll half starve you; that's the way to tame any brute,
they say.  And I tell you why, Jacob, I mean that you shall be my
sweetheart; it's because Mr Turnbull told me that you knew Latin; now,
tell me, what is Latin?"

"Latin is a language which people spoke in former times, but now they do

"Well, then, you shall make love to me in Latin, that's agreed."

"And how do you mean to answer me?"

"O, in plain English, to be sure."

"But how are you to understand me?" replied I, much amused with the

"O, if you make love properly, I shall soon understand you; I shall read
the English of it in your eyes."

"Very well, I have no objection; when am I to begin?"

"Why, directly, you stupid fellow, to be sure.  What a question!"

I went close up to Mary, and repeated a few words of Latin.  "Now," says
I, "look into my eyes, and see if you can translate them."

"Something impudent, I'm sure," replied she, fixing her blue eyes on

"Not at all," replied I, "I only asked for this," and I snatched a kiss,
in return for which I received a box on the ear, which made it tingle
for five minutes.  "Nay," replied I, "that's not fair; I did as you
desired--I made love in Latin."

"And I answered you, as I said I would, in plain English," replied Mary,
reddening up to the forehead, but directly after bursting out into a
loud laugh.  "Now, Mr Jacob, I plainly see that you know nothing about
making love.  Bless me, a year's dangling, and a year's pocket-money
should not have given you what you have had the impudence to take in so
many minutes.  But it was my own fault, that's certain, and I have no
one to thank but myself.  I hope I didn't hurt you--I'm very sorry if I
did; but no more making love in Latin.  I've had quite enough of that."

"Well, then, suppose we make friends," replied I, holding out my hand.

"That's what I really wished to do, although I've been talking so much
nonsense," replied Mary.  "I know we shall like one another, and be very
good friends.  You can't help feeling kind towards a girl you've kissed;
and I shall try by kindness to make up to you for the box on the ear; so
now, sit down, and let's have a long talk.  Mr Turnbull told us that he
wished you to serve out your apprenticeship on the river with my father,
so that, if you agree, we shall be a long while together.  I take Mr
Turnbull's word, not that I can find it out yet, that you are a very
good-tempered, good-looking, clever, modest lad; and as an apprentice
who remains with my father must live with us, of course I had rather it
should be one of that sort than some ugly, awkward brute who--"

"Is not fit to make love to you," replied I.

"Who is not fit company for me," replied Mary.  "I want no more love
from you at present.  The fact is that father spends all the time he can
spare from the wherry at the ale-house, smoking; and it's very dull for
me, and having nothing to do, I look out of the window, and make faces
at the young men as they pass by, just to amuse myself.  Now, there was
no great harm in that a year or two ago; but now, you know, Jacob--"

"Well now, what then?"

"O, I'm bigger, that's all? and what might be called sauciness in a girl
may be thought something more of in a young woman.  So I've been obliged
to leave it off; but being obliged to remain home, with nobody to talk
to, I never was so glad as when I heard that you were to come; so you
see, Jacob, we must be friends.  I daren't quarrel with you long,
although I shall sometimes, just for variety, and to have the pleasure
of making it up again.  Do you hear me--or what are you thinking of?"

"I'm thinking that you're a very odd girl."

"I dare say that I am, but how can I help that?  Mother died when I was
five years old, and father couldn't afford to put me out, so he used to
lock me in all day till he came home from the river; and it was not till
I was seven years old, and of some use, that the door was left open.  I
never shall forget the day when he told me that in future he should
trust me, and leave the door open.  I thought I was quite a woman, and
have thought so ever since.  I recollect that I often peeped out, and
longed to run about the world; but I went two or three yards from the
door, and felt so frightened, that I ran back as fast as I could.  Since
that I have seldom quitted the house for an hour, and never have been
out of Fulham."

"Then you have never been at school?"

"O, no--never.  I often wish that I had.  I used to see the little girls
coming home, as they passed our door, so merrily, with their bags from
the school-house; and I'm sure, if it were only to have the pleasure of
going there and back again for the sake of the run, I'd have worked
hard, if for nothing else."

"Would you like to learn to read and write?"

"Will you teach me?" replied Mary, taking me by the arm, and looking me
earnestly in the face.

"Yes, I will, with pleasure," replied I, laughing.  "We will pass the
evening better than making love, after all, especially if you hit so
hard.  How came you so knowing in those matters?"

"I don't know," replied Mary, smiling; "I suppose, as father says, it's
human nature, for I never learnt anything; but you will teach me to read
and write?"

"I will teach you all I know myself, Mary, if you wish to learn.
Everything but Latin--we've had enough of that."

"Oh!  I shall be so much obliged to you.  I shall love you so!"

"There you are again."

"No, no, I didn't mean that," replied Mary, earnestly.  "I meant that--
after all, I don't know what else to say.  I mean that I shall love you
for your kindness, without your loving me again, that's it."

"I understand you; but now, Mary, as we are to be such good friends, it
is necessary that your father and I should be good friends; so I must
ask you what sort of a person he is, for I know but little of him, and,
of course, wish to oblige him."

"Well then, to prove to you that I'm sincere, I will tell you something;
My father, in the first place, is a very good tempered sort of man.  He
works pretty well, but might gain more, but he likes to smoke at the
public-house.  All he requires of me is his dinner ready, his linen
clean, and the house tidy.  He never drinks too much, and is always
civil spoken; but he leaves me too much alone, and talks too much about
human nature, that's all."

"But he's so deaf--he can't talk to you."

"Give me your hand--now promise--for I'm going to do a very foolish
thing, which is to trust a man--promise you'll never tell it again."

"Well, I promise," replied I, supposing her secret of no consequence.

"Well, then--mind--you've promised.  Father is no more deaf than you or

"Indeed!" replied I; "why, he goes by the name of Deaf Stapleton?"

"I know he does, and makes everybody believe that he is so; but it is to
make money."

"How can he make money by that?"

"There's many people in business who go down the river, and they wish to
talk of their affairs without being overheard as they go down.  They
always call for Deaf Stapleton: and there's many a gentleman and lady,
who have much to say to each other, without wishing people to listen--
you understand me?"

"O yes, I understand--Latin!"

"Exactly--and they call for Deaf Stapleton; and by this means he gets
more good fares than any other waterman, and does less work."

"But how will he manage now that I am with him?"

"O, I suppose it will depend upon his customers; if a single person
wants to go down, you will take the sculls; if they call for oars, you
will both go; if he considers Deaf Stapleton only is wanted, you will
remain on shore; or, perhaps, he will insist upon your being deaf too."

"But I do not like deceit."

"No, it's not right; although it appears to me that there is a great
deal of it.  Still I should like you to sham deaf, and then tell me all
that people say.  It would be so funny.  Father never will tell a word."

"So far, your father, to a certain degree, excuses himself."

"Well, I think he will soon tell you what I have now told you, but till
then you must keep your promise; and now you must do as you please, as I
must go down in the kitchen, and get dinner on the fire."

"I have nothing to do," replied I; "can I help you?"

"To be sure you can, and talk to me, which is better still.  Come down
and wash the potatoes for me, and then I'll find you some more work.
Well, I do think we shall be very happy."

I followed Mary Stapleton down into the kitchen, and we were soon very
busy, and very noisy, laughing, talking, blowing the fire, and preparing
the dinner.  By the time that her father came home we were sworn



I was rather curious, after the secret confided to me by Mary Stapleton,
to see how her father would behave; but when we had sat and talked some
time, as he appeared to have no difficulty in answering to any
observation in a common pitch of the voice, I observed to him that he
was not so deaf as I thought he was.

"No, no," replied he; "in the house I hear very well, but in the open
air I can't hear at all, if a person speaks to me two yards off.  Always
speak to me close to my ear in the open air, but not loud, and then I
shall hear you very well."  I caught a bright glance from Mary's blue
eye, and made no answer.  "This frost will hold, I'm afraid," continued
Stapleton, "and we shall have nothing to do for some days but to blow
our fingers and spend our earnings; but there's never much doing at this
time of the year.  The winter cuts us watermen up terribly.  As for me,
I smokes my pipe and thinks on human natur'; but what you are to do
Jacob, I can't tell."

"Oh, he will teach me to read and write," replied Mary.

"I don't know that he shall," replied Stapleton.  "What's the use of
reading and writing to you?  We've too many senses already, in my
opinion, and if so be we have learning to boot, why then all the worse
for us."

"How many senses are there, father?"

"How many!  I'm sure I can't tell, but more than enough to puzzle us."

"There are only five, I believe," said I; "first, there's _hearing_."

"Well," replied Stapleton "hearing may be useful at times; but not
hearing at times is much more convenient.  I make twice as much money
since I lost the better part of my hearing."

"Well, then, there's seeing," continued I.

"Seeing is useful at times, I acknowledge; but I knows this, that if a
man could pull a young couple about the river, and not be able to see
now and then, it would be many a half-crown in his pocket."

"Well, then, now we come to _tasting_."

"No use at all--only a vexation.  If there was no tasting we should not
care whether we ate brown bread or roast beef, drank water or XX ale;
and in these hard times that would be no small saving."

"Well, then, let me see, there's _smelling_."

"Smelling's no use whatever.  For one good smell by the river's side
there be ten nasty ones; and there is everywhere, to my conviction."

"Which is the next, Jacob?" said Mary, smiling archly.


"Feeling! that's the worst of the whole.  Always feel too cold in
winter, too hot in summer--feel a blow too; feeling only gives pain;
that's a very bad sense."

"Well, then, I suppose you think we should get on better without our

"No, not without all of them.  A little hearing and a little seeing be
all very well; but there are other senses which you have forgot, Jacob.
Now, one I takes to be the very best of the bunch is _smoking_."

"I never heard that was a sense," replied I, laughing.

"Then you haven't half finished your education, Jacob."

"Are reading and writing _senses_, father?" inquired Mary.

"To be sure they be, girl; for without sense you can't read and write;
and _rowing_ be a sense just as well; and there be many other senses;
but, in my opinion, most of the senses be nonsense, and only lead to

"Jacob," said Mary, whispering to my ear, "isn't _loving_ a sense?"

"No, that's nonsense," replied I.

"Well, then," replied she, "I agree with my father that nonsense is
better than sense; but still I don't see why I should not learn to read
and write, father."

"I've lived all my life without it, and never felt the want of it--why
can't you?"

"Because I do feel the want of it."

"So you may, but they leads no no good.  Look at those fellows at the
Feathers; all were happy enough before Jim Holder, who is a scholar,
came among them, and now since he reads to them they do nothing but
grumble, and growl, and talk about I don't know what--corn laws, and
taxes, and liberty, and all other nonsense.  Now, what could you do more
than you do now, if you larnt to read and write?"

"I could amuse myself when I've nothing to do, father, when you and
Jacob are away.  I often sit down, after I've done all my work, and
think what I shall do next, and at last I look out of the window and
make faces at people, because I've nothing better to do.  Now, father,
you must let him learn me to read and write."

"Well, Mary, if you will, you will; but recollect, don't blame me for
it--it must be all on your own head, and not on my conscience.  I've
lived some forty or fifty years in this world, and all my bad luck has
been owing to having too much senses, and all my good luck to getting
rid of them."

"I wish you would tell me how that came to pass," said I; "I should like
to hear it very much, and it will be a lesson to Mary."

"Well, I don't care if I do, Jacob, only I must light my pipe first;
and, Mary, do you go for a pot o' beer."

"Let Jacob go, father.  I mean him to run on all my errands now."

"You mustn't order Jacob, Mary."

"No, no--I wouldn't think of ordering him, but I know he will do it--
won't you, Jacob?"

"Yes, with pleasure," replied I.

"Well, with all my heart, provided it be all for love," said Stapleton.

"Of course, all for love," replied Mary, looking at me, "or Latin--
which, Jacob?"

"What's Latin?" said her father.

"Oh! that's a new sense Jacob has been showing me something of, which,
like many others, proved to be nonsense."

I went for the beer, and when I returned found the fire burning
brightly, and a strong _sense_ of smoking from old Stapleton's pipe.  He
puffed once or twice more, and then commenced his history as follows:

"I can't exactly say when I were born, nor where," said old Stapleton,
taking his pipe out of his mouth, "because I never axed either father or
mother, and they never told me, because why, I never did ax, and that be
all agreeable to human natur'."  Here Stapleton paused, and took three
whiffs of his pipe.  "I recollects when I was a little brat about two
foot nothing, mother used to whack me all day long, and I used to cry in
proportion.  Father used to cry shame, and then mother would fly at him;
he would whack she; she would up with her apron in one corner and cry,
while I did the same with my pinbefore in another; all that was nothing
but human natur'."  [A pause, and six or seven whiffs of the pipe.]

"I was sent to school at a penny a week, to keep me out of the way, and
out of mischief.  I larnt nothing but to sit still on the form and hold
my tongue, and so I used to amuse myself twiddling my thumbs, and
looking at the flies as they buzzed about the room in the summer time;
and in the winter, cause there was no flies of no sort, I used to watch
the old missus a-knitting of stockings, and think how soon the time
would come when I should go home and have my supper, which, in a child
was nothing but human natur'."  [Puff, puff, puff.] "Father and mother
lived in a cellar; mother sold coals and 'tatoes, and father used to go
out to work in the barges on the river.  As soon as I was old enough,
the schoolmissus sent word that I ought to learn to read and write, and
that she must be paid threepence a week; so father took me away from
school, because he thought I had had education enough; and mother
perched me on a basket upside down, and made me watch that nobody took
the goods while she was busy down below; and then I used to sit all day
long watching the coals and 'tatoes, and never hardly speaking to
nobody; so having nothing better to do, I used to think about this, and
that, and everything, and when dinner would be ready, and when I might
get off the basket; for you see _thinking_ be another of the senses, and
when one has nothing to do, and nothing to say, to think be nothing more
than human natur'."  [Puff, puff, and a pause for a drink out of the
pot.] "At last, I grew a big stout boy, and mother said that I ate too
much, and must earn my livelihood somehow or other, and father for once
agreed with her; but there was a little difficulty how that was to be
done; so until that was got over I did nothing at all but watch the
coals and 'tatoes as before.  One day mother wouldn't give me wituals
enough, so I helped myself; so she whacked me, so I, being strong,
whacked she; so father, coming home, whacked me, so I takes to my heels
and runs away a good mile before I thought at all about how I was to
live; and there I was, very sore, very unhappy, and very hungry."
[Puff, puff, puff, and a spit.] "I walks on, and on, and then I gets
behind a coach, and then the fellow whips me, and I gets down again in a
great hurry, and tumbles into the road, and before I could get up again,
a gemman, in a gig drives right over me, and breaks my leg.  I screams
with pain, which if I hadn't had the sense of _feeling_, of course I
shouldn't have minded.  He pulls up and gets out, and tells me he's very
sorry.  I tells him so am I.  His servant calls some people, and they
takes me into a public-house, and lays me on the table all among the
pots of beer, sends for a doctor, who puts me into bed, and puts my leg
right again; and then I was provided for, for at least six weeks, during
which the gemman calls and axes how I feel myself; and I says, `Pretty
well, I thanky.'" [Puff, puff--knock the ashes out, pipe refilled,
relighted, a drink of beer, and go on.] "So when I was well, and on my
pins again, the gentleman says, `What can I do for you?' and the
landlord cuts him short by saying that he wanted a pot-boy, if I liked
the profession.  Now, if I didn't like the pots I did the porter, which
I had no share of at home, so I agrees.  The gemman pays the score,
gives me half a guinea, and tells me not to be lying in the middle of
the road another time.  I tells him I won't, so he jumps into his gig,
and I never cast eyes upon him since.  I stayed three years with my
master, taking out beer to his customers, and always taking a little out
of each pot for myself, for that's nothing but human natur' when you
likes a thing; but I never got into trouble until one day I sees my
missus a-kissing in the back parlour with a fellow who travels for
orders.  I never said nothing at first; but at last I sees too much, and
then I tells master, who gets into a rage, and goes into his wife, stays
with her half-an-hour, and then comes out and kicks me out of the door,
calling me a liar, and telling me never to show my face again.  I shies
a pot at his head, and showed him anything but my face, for I took to my
heels, and ran for it as fast as I could.  So much for seeing; if I
hadn't seen, that wouldn't have happened.  So there I was adrift, and
good-bye to porter."  [Puff, puff; "Mary, where's my 'baccy stopper?"
Poke down, puff, puff, spit, and proceed.] "Well, I walks towards
Lunnen, thinking on husbands and wives, porter and human natur', until I
finds myself there, and then I looks at all the lighted lamps, and
recollects that I haven't no lodging for the night, and then all of a
sudden I thinks of my father and mother, and wonders how they be going
on.  So I thought I'd go and see, and away I went, comes to the cellar,
and goes down.  There was my mother with a quartern of gin before her,
walking to and fro, and whimpering to herself; so says I, `Mother,
what's the matter now?' at which she jumps up and hugs me, and tells me
I'm her only comfort left.  I looked at the quartern and thinks
otherwise; so down I sits by her side, and then she pours me out a
glass, and pours out all her grief, telling me how my father had left
her for another woman, who kept another cellar in another street, and
how she was very unhappy, and how she had taken to gin--which was
nothing but human natur', you see, and how she meant to make away with
herself; and then she sent for more quarterns, and we finished them.
What with the joy of finding me, and the grief at losing my father, and
the quarterns of gin, she went to bed crying drunk and fell fast asleep.
So did I, and thought home was home after all.  Next morning I takes up
the business, and finds trade not so bad after all; so I takes the
command of all, keeps all the money, and keeps mother in order; and
don't allow drinking nor disorderly conduct in the house; but goes to
the public-house every night for a pipe and a pot.

"Well, everything goes on very well for a month, when who should come
home but father, which I didn't approve of, because I liked being
master.  So I, being a strong chap, then says, `If you be come to
ill-treat my mother, I'll put you in the kennel, father.  Be off to your
new woman.  Ar'n't you ashamed of yourself?' says I.  So father looks me
in the face, and tells me to stand out of the way, or he'll make cat's
meat of me; and then he goes to my mother, and after a quarter of an
hour of sobbing on her part, and coaxing on his, they kiss and make
friends; and then they both turns to me, and orders me to leave the
cellar, and never to show my face again.  I refuses: father flies at me,
and mother helps him; and between the two I was hustled out to find my
bread how and where I could.  I've never taken a woman's part since."
[Puff, puff, puff, and a deep sigh.] "I walks down to the water-side,
and having one or two shillings in my pocket, goes into a public-house
to get a drop of drink and a bed.  And when I comes in, I sees a man
hand a note for change to the landlady, and she gives him change.  `That
won't do,' says he, and he was half tipsy: `I gave you a ten-pound note,
and this here lad be witness.'  `It was only a _one_,' says the woman.
`You're a damned old cheat,' says he, `and if you don't give me the
change, I'll set your house on fire, and burn you alive.'  With that
there was a great row, and he goes out for the constable and gives her
in charge, and gives me in charge as a witness, and then she gives him
in charge, and so we all went to the watchhouse together, and slept on
the benches.  The next morning we all appeared before the magistrate,
and the man tells his story and calls me as a witness; but recollecting
how much I had suffered from _seeing_, I wouldn't see anything this
time.  It might have been a ten-pound note, for it certainly didn't look
like a one; but my evidence went rather for than against the woman, for
I only proved the man to be drunk; and she was let off, and I walked
home with her.  So says she, `You're a fine boy, and I'll do you a good
turn for what you have done for me.  My husband is a waterman, and I'll
make you free of the river; for he hasn't no 'prentice, and you can come
on shore and stay at the public-house when you ar'n't wanted.'  I jumped
at the offer, and so, by not _seeing_, I gets into a regular livelihood.
Well, Jacob, how do you like it?"

"Very much," replied I.

"And you, Mary?"

"O!  I like it very much; but I want father to go on, and to know how he
fell in love, and married my mother."

"Well, you shall have it all by-and-by; but now I must take a spell."



Old Stapleton finished his pipe, took another swig at the porter,
filled, relighted, puffed to try it, cleared his mouth, and then

"Now, you see, Bartley, her husband, was the greatest rogue on the
river; he was up to everything, and stood at nothing.  He fleeced as
much on the water as she did on the land; for I often seed her give
wrong change afterwards when people were tipsy, but I made it a rule
always to walk away.  As for Bartley, his was always night-work, and
many's the coil of rope I have brought on shore, what, although he might
have paid for, he didn't buy it of the lawful owner, but I never _seed_
or _heard_, that was my maxim; and I fared well till I served my time,
and then they gave me their old wherry, and built a new one for
themselves.  So I set up on my own account, and then I seed, and heard,
and had all my senses, just as they were before--more's the pity, for no
good came of it."  [Puff, puff, puff, puff.] "The Bartleys wanted me to
join them, but that wouldn't do; for though I never meddled with other
people's concerns, yet I didn't choose to go wrong myself.  I've seed
all the world cheating each other for fifty years or more, but that's no
concern of mine; I can't make the world better; so all I thinks about it
is to keep honest myself: and if every one was to look after his own
soul, and not trouble themselves about their neighbours, why, then, it
would be all the better for human natur'.  I plied at the Swan Stairs,
gained my livelihood, and spent it as I got it; for I was then too young
to look out a'ter a rainy day.

"One night a young woman in a cloak comes down to the stairs with a
bundle in her arms, and seems in a very great taking, and asks me for a
boat.  I hauls out of the row alongside of the yard, and hands her in.
She trips as she steps in, and I catches to save her from falling, and
in catching her I puts my hand upon the bundle in her arms, and feels
the warm face of a baby.  `Where am I to go, ma'am?' says I.  `O! pull
across, and land me on the other side,' says she; and then I hears her
sobbing to herself, as if her heart would break.  When we were in the
middle o' the stream, she lifts up her head, and then first she looks at
the bundle and kisses it, and then she looks up at the stars which were
glittering above in the sky.  She kisses the child once more, jumps up,
and afore I could be aware of what she was about, she tosses me her
purse, throws her child into the water, and leaps in herself.  I pulls
sharp round immediately, and seeing her again, I made one or two good
strokes, comes alongside of her, and gets hold of her clothes.  A'ter
much ado I gets her into the wherry, and as soon as I seed she was come
to again, I pulls her back to the stairs where she had taken me from.
As soon as I lands I hears a noise and talking, and several people
standing about; it seems it were her relatives, who had missed her, and
were axing whether she had taken a boat; and while they were describing
her, and the other watermen were telling them how I had taken a fare of
that description, I brings her back.  Well, they takes charge of her,
and leads her home; and then for the first time I thinks of the purse at
the bottom of the boat, which I picks up, and sure enough there were
four golden guineas in it, beside some silver.  Well, the men who plied
at the stairs axed me all about it; but I keeps my counsel, and only
tells them how the poor girl threw herself into the water, and how I
pulled her out again; and in a week I had almost forgot all about it,
when up comes an officer, and says to me, `You be Stapleton the
waterman?' and I says, `Yes, I be.'  `Then you must come along with me;'
and he takes me to the police-office, where I finds the poor young woman
in custody for being accused of having murdered her infant.  So they
begins to tax me upon my Bible oath, and I was forced to tell the whole
story; for though you may loose all your senses when convenient, yet
somehow or another, an oath on the Bible brings them all back again.
`Did you see the child?' said the magistrate.  `I seed a bundle,' said
I.  `Did you hear the child cry?' said he.  `No,' says I, `I didn't;'
and then I thought I had got the young woman off; but the magistrate was
an old fox, and had all the senses at his fingers' ends.  So says he,
`When the young woman stepped into the boat did she give you the
bundle?'  `No,' says I again.  `Then you never touched it?'  `Yes, I
did, when her foot slipped.'  `And what did it feel like?'  `It felt
like a piece of human natur'.' says I, `and quite warm like.'  `How do
you mean?' says he.  `Why, I took it by the feel for a baby.'  `And it
was quite warm, was it?'  `Yes,' replied I, `it was.'  `Well then, what
else took place?'  `Why, when we were in the middle of the stream she
and her child went overboard; I pulled her in again, but could not see
the child.'  Fortunately for the poor girl, they didn't ask me which
went overboard first, and that saved her from hanging.  She was confined
six months in prison, and then let out again; but you see, if it hadn't
been for my unfortunately feeling the child, and feeling it was warm,
which proved its being alive, the poor young woman would have got off
altogether, perhaps.  So much for the sense of feeling, which I say is
of no use to nobody, but only a vexation."  [Puff--the pipe out,
relighted--puff, puff.]

"But, father," said Mary, "did you ever hear the history of the poor

"Yes, I heard as how it was a hard case, how she had been seduced by
some fellow who had left her and her baby, upon which she determined to
drown herself, poor thing; and her baby too.  Had she only tried to
drown her baby I should have said it was quite unnatural; but as she
wished to drown herself at the same time, I considers that drowning the
baby to take it to heaven with her was quite natural, and all agreeable
to human natur'.  Love's a sense which young women should keep down as
much as possible, Mary; no good comes of that sense."

"And yet, father, it appears to me to be human nature," replied Mary.

"So it is, but there's mischief in it, girl, so do you never have
anything to do with it."

"Was there mischief when you fell in love with my mother and married

"You shall hear, Mary," replied old Stapleton, who recommenced.

"It was 'bout two months after the poor girl threw herself into the
river that I first seed your mother.  She was then mayhap two years
older than you may be, and much such a same sort of person in her looks.
There was a young man who plied from our stairs, named Ben Jones; he
and I were great friends, and used for to help each other, and when a
fare called for oars, used to ply together.  One night he says to me,
`Will, come up, and I'll show you a devilish fine piece of stuff.'  So I
walks with him, and he takes me to a shop where they dealed in marine
stores, and we goes and finds your mother in the back parlour.  Ben
sends for pipes and beer, and we sat down and made ourselves
comfortable.  Now, Mary, your mother was a very jilting kind of girl,
who would put one fellow off to take another, just as her whim and fancy
took her."  [I looked at Mary, who cast down her eyes.] "Now these women
do a mint of mischief among men, and it seldom ends well; and I'd sooner
see you in your coffin to-morrow, Mary, than think you should be one of
this flaunting sort.  Ben Jones was quite in for it, and wanted for to
marry her, and she had turned off a fine young chap for him, and he used
to come there every night, and it was supposed that they would be
spliced in the course of a month; but when I goes there she cuts him
almost altogether, and takes to me, making such eyes at me, and drinking
beer out of my pot, and refusing his'n, till poor Jones was quite mad
and beside himself.  Well, it wasn't in human natur' to stand those
large blue eyes (just like yours, Mary), darting fire at a poor fellow;
and when Jones got up in a surly humour, and said it was time to go
away, instead of walking home arm in arm, we went side by side, like two
big dogs with their tails as stiff up as a crowbar, and ready for a
fight; neither he nor I saying a word, and we parted without saying
good-night.  Well, I dreamed of your mother all that night, and the next
day went to see her, and felt worser and worser each time, and she
snubbed Jones, and at last told him to go about his business.  This was
'bout a month after I had first seen her; and then one day Jones, who
was a prize-fighter, says to me, `Be you a man?' and slaps me on the
ear.  So, I knowing what he'd been a'ter, pulls off my duds, and we sets
to.  We fights for ten minutes or so, and then I hits him a round blow
on the ear, and he falls down on the _hard_, and couldn't come to time.
No wonder, poor fellow! for he had gone to eternity."  [Here old
Stapleton paused for half a minute, and passed his hand across his
eyes.] "I was tried for manslaughter; but it being proved that he came
up and struck me first, I was acquitted, after lying two months in gaol,
for I couldn't get no bail; but it was because I had been two months in
gaol that I was let off.  At first, when I came out, I determined never
to see your mother again; but she came to me, and wound round me, and I
loved her so much that I couldn't shake her off.  As soon as she found
that I was fairly hooked, she began to play with others; but I wouldn't
stand that, and every fellow that came near her was certain to have a
turn out with me, and so I became a great fighter; and she, seeing that
I was the best man, and that no one else would come to her, one fine
morning agreed to marry me.  Well, we were spliced, and the very first
night I thought I saw poor Ben Jones standing by my bedside, and, for a
week or so, I was not comfortable; but, howsomever, it wore off, I plied
at the stairs, and gained my money.  But my pipe's out, and I'm dry with
talking.  Suppose I take a spell for a few minutes."

Stapleton relighted his pipe, and for nearly half-an-hour smoked in
silence.  What Mary's thoughts were I cannot positively assert; but I
imagined that, like myself, she was thinking about her mother's conduct
and her own.  I certainly was making the comparison, and we neither of
us spoke a word.

"Well," continued Stapleton, at last, "I married your mother, Mary, and
I only hope that any man who may take a fancy to you, will not have so
much trouble with his wife as I had.  I thought that a'ter she were
settled she would give up all her nonsense, and behave herself--but I
suppose it was in her natur' and she couldn't help it.  She made eyes
and gave encouragement to the men, until they became saucy and I became
jealous, and I had to fight one, and then the other, until I became a
noted pugilist.  I will say that your mother seemed always very happy
when I beat my man, which latterly I always did; but still she liked to
be _fit_ for, and I had hardly time to earn my bread.  At last, some one
backed me against another man in the ring for fifty pound aside, and I
was to have half if I won.  I was very short of blunt at the time, and I
agreed; so, a'ter a little training the battle was fought, and I won
easy: and the knowing ones liked my way of hitting so much that they
made up another match with a better man, for two hundred pounds; and a
lord and other great people came to me, and I was introduced to them at
the public-house, and all was settled.  So I became a regular
prize-fighter, all through your mother, Mary.  Nay, don't cry, child, I
don't mean to say that your mother, with all her love of being stared at
and talked to, would have gone wrong; but still it was almost as bad in
my opinion.  Well, I was put into training, and after five weeks we met
at Mousley Hurst, and a hard fight it was--but I've got the whole of it
somewhere, Mary; look in the drawer there, and you'll see a newspaper."

Mary brought out the newspaper, which was rolled up and tied with a bit
of string, and Stapleton handed it over to me, telling me to read it
aloud.  I did so, but I shall not enter into the details.

"Yes, that's all right enough," said Stapleton, who had taken advantage
of my reading to smoke furiously, to make up for lost time; "but no good
came of it, for one of the gemmen took a fancy to your mother, Mary, and
tried to win her away from me.  I found him attempting to kiss her, and
she refusing him--but laughing, and, as I thought, more than
half-willing; so I floored him, and put him out of the house, and after
that I never would have anything more to say with lords and gemmen, nor
with fighting either.  I built a new wherry, and stuck to the river, and
I shifted my lodgings that I mightn't mix any more with those who knew
me as a boxer.  Your mother was then brought to bed with you, and I
hoped for a good deal of happiness, as I thought she would only think of
her husband and child; and so she did until you were weaned, and then
she went on just as afore.  There was a captain of a vessel lying in the
river, who used now and then to stop and talk with her; but I thought
little about that, seeing how every one talked with her and she with
everybody; and besides, she knew the captain's wife, who was a very
pretty woman, and used very often to ask Mary to go and see her, which I
permitted.  But one morning, when I was going off to the boat--for he
had come down to me to take him to his vessel--just as I was walking
away with the sculls over my shoulder, I recollects my 'baccy box, which
I had left, and I goes back and hears him say before I came into the
door--`Recollect, I shall be here again by two o'clock, and then you
promised to come on board my ship, and see--.'  I didn't hear the rest,
but she laughed and said yes, she would.  I didn't show myself, but
walked away and went to the boat.  He followed me, and I rowed him up
the river and took my fare--and then I determined to watch them, for I
felt mighty jealous.  So I lays off on my oars in the middle of the
stream, and sure enough I see the captain and your mother get into a
small skiff belonging to his ship, and pull away; the captain had one
oar and one of his men another.  I pulled a'ter them as fast as I could,
and at last they seed me; and not wishing me to find her out, she begged
them to pull away as fast as they could, for she knew how savage I would
be.  Still I gained upon them, every now and then looking round and
vowing vengeance in my heart, when all of a sudden I heard a scream, and
perceived their boat to capsize, and all hands in the water.  They had
not seen a warp of a vessel getting into the row, and had run over it,
and, as it tautened, they capsized.  Your mother went down like a stone,
Mary, and was not found for three days a'terward; and when I seed her
sink I fell down in a fit."  Here old Stapleton stopped, laid down his
pipe, and rested his face in his hands.  Mary burst into tears.  After a
few minutes he resumed: "When I came to, I found myself on board of the
ship in the captain's cabin, with the captain and his wife watching over
me--and then I came to understand that it was she who had sent for your
mother, and that she was living on board, and that your mother had at
first refused, because she knew that I did not like her to be on the
river, but wishing to see a ship had consented.  So it was not so bad
a'ter all, only that a woman shouldn't act without her husband--but you
see, Mary, all this would not have happened if it hadn't been that I
overheard part of what was said; and you might now have had a mother,
and I a wife to comfort us, if it had not been for my unfortunate
_hearing_--so, as I said before, there's more harm than good that comes
from these senses--at least so it has proved to me.  And now you have
heard my story, and how your mother died, Mary; so take care you don't
fall into the same fault, and be too fond of being looked at, which it
does somehow or another appear to me you have a bit of a hankering
a'ter--but like mother, like child, they say, and that's _human

When Stapleton had concluded his narrative, he smoked his pipe in
silence.  Mary sat at the table, with her hands pressed to her temples,
apparently in deep thought; and I felt anything but communicative.  In
half-an-hour the pot of beer was finished, and Stapleton rose.

"Come, Mary, don't be thinking so much; let's all go to bed.  Show Jacob
his room, and then come up."

"Jacob can find his own room, father," replied Mary, "without my showing
him; he knows the kitchen, and there is but one other below."

I took my candle, wished them good night, and went to my bed, which,
although very homely, was at all events comfortable.



For many days the frost continued, until at last the river was frozen
over, and all communication by it was stopped.  Stapleton's money ran
short, our fare became very indifferent, and Mary declared that we must
all go begging with the market gardeners if it lasted much longer.

"I must go and call upon Mr Turnbull, and ax him to help us," said
Stapleton, one day, pulling his last shilling out and laying it on the
table.  "I'm cleaned out; but he's a good gentleman, and will lend me a
trifle."  In the afternoon Stapleton returned, and I saw by his looks
that he had been successful.  "Jacob," said he, "Mr Turnbull desires
that you will breakfast with him to-morrow morning, as he wishes to see

I set off accordingly at daylight the next morning, and was in good time
for breakfast.  Mr Turnbull was as kind as ever, and began telling me
long stories about the ice in the northern regions.

"By-the-by, I hear there is an ox to be roasted whole, Jacob, a little
above London Bridge; suppose we go and see the fun."

I consented, and we took the Brentford coach, and were put down at the
corner of Queen Street, from thence we walked to the river.  The scene
was very amusing and exciting.  Booths were erected on the ice, in every
direction, with flags flying, people walking, and some skating, although
the ice was too rough for that pastime.  The whole river was crowded
with people, who now walked in security over where they, a month before,
would have met with death.  Here and there smoke ascended from various
fires, on which sausages and other eatables were cooking; but the great
attraction was the ox roasting whole, close to the centre pier of the
bridge.  Although the ice appeared to have fallen at the spot where so
many hundreds were assembled, yet as it was now four or five feet thick,
there was no danger.  Here and there, indeed, were what were called
rotten places, where the ice was not sound; but these were intimated by
placards, warning people not to approach too near; and close to them
were ropes and poles for succour, if required.  We amused ourselves for
some time with the gaiety of the scene, for the sun shone out brightly,
and the sky was clear.  The wind was fresh from the northward, and
piercing cold in the shade, the thermometer being then, it was said,
twenty-eight degrees below the freezing point.  We had been on the ice
about three hours, amusing ourselves, when Mr Turnbull proposed our
going home, and we walked up the river towards Blackfriars Bridge, where
we proposed to land, and take the coach at Charing Cross.

"I wonder how the tide is now," observed Mr Turnbull to me; "it would
be rather puzzling to find out."

"Not if I can find a hole," replied I, looking for one.  "Stop, here is
one."  I threw in a piece of ice, and found that it was strong ebb.  We
continued our walk over the ice, which was now very rough, when Mr
Turnbull's hat fell off, and the wind catching it, it blew away,
skimming across the ice at a rapid rate.  Mr Turnbull and I gave chase,
but could scarcely keep up with it, and, at all events, could not
overtake it.  Many people on the river laughed as we passed, and watched
us in our chase.  Mr Turnbull was the foremost, and, heedless in the
pursuit, did not observe a large surface of rotten ice before him;
neither did I, until all at once I heard it break and saw Mr Turnbull
fall in and disappear.  Many people were close to us, and a rope was
laid across the spot to designate the danger.  I did not hesitate--I
loved Mr Turnbull, and my love and my feelings of resentment were
equally potent.  I seized the bight of the rope, twisted it round my
arm, and plunged in after, recollecting it was ebb tide: fortunate for
Mr Turnbull it was that he had accidentally put the question.  I sank
under the ice, and pushed down the stream, and in a few seconds felt
myself grappled by him I sought, and at almost the same time, the rope
hauling in from above.  As soon as they found there was resistance, they
knew that I, at least, was attached to it, and they hauled in quicker,
not, however, until I had lost my recollection.  Still I clung to the
rope with the force of a drowning man, and Mr Turnbull did the same to
me, and we shortly made our appearance at the hole in which we had been
plunged.  A ladder was thrown across, and two of the men of the Humane
Society came to our assistance, pulled us out, and laid us upon it.
They then drew back and hauled us on the ladder to a more secure
situation.  We were both still senseless; but having been taken to a
public-house on the river-side, were put to bed, and medical advice
having been procured, were soon restored.  The next morning we were able
to return in a chaise to Brentford, where our absence had created the
greatest alarm.  Mr Turnbull spoke but little the whole time; but he
often pressed my hand, and when I requested him to drop me at Fulham,
that I might let Stapleton and his daughter know that I was safe, he
consented, saying, "God bless you, my fine boy; I will see you soon."

When I went up the stairs of Stapleton's lodgings, I found Mary by
herself; she started up as soon as she saw me.

"Where _have_ you been?" said she, half crying, half smiling.

"Under the ice," I replied, "and only thawed again this morning."

"Are you in earnest, Jacob?" said she; "now don't plague and frighten
me, I've been too frightened already; I never slept a wink last night;"
I then told her the circumstances which had occurred.  "I was sure
something had happened," she replied.  "I told my father so, but he
wouldn't believe it.  You promised to be at home to give me my lesson,
and I know you never break your word; but my father smoked away, and
said, that when boys are amused, they forget their promises, and that it
was nothing but human natur'.  Oh, Jacob, I'm so glad you're back again,
and after what has happened, I don't mind your kissing me for once."
And Mary held her face towards me, and returned my kiss.

"There, that must last you a long while, recollect," said she, laughing;
"you must not think of another until you're under the ice again."

"Then I trust it will be the last," replied I, laughing.

"You are not in love with me, Jacob, that's clear, or you would not have
made that answer," replied Mary.

I had seen a great deal of Mary, and though she certainly was a great
flirt, yet she had many excellent and amiable qualities.  For the first
week after her father had given us the history of his life, his remarks
upon her mother appeared to have made a decided impression upon her, and
her conduct was much more staid and demure; but as the remembrance wore
off, so did her conduct become coquettish and flirting as before; still,
it was impossible not to be fond of her, and even with all her caprice
there was such a fund of real good feeling and amiableness, which, when
called forth, was certain to appear, that I often thought how dangerous
and captivating a girl she would be when she grew up.  I had again
produced the books, which I had thrown aside with disgust, to teach her
to read and write.  Her improvement was rapid, and would have been still
more so if she had not been just as busy in trying to make me fond of
her as she was in surmounting the difficulties of her lessons.  But she
was very young; and although, as her father declared, it was her
_natur'_ to run after the men, there was every reason to hope that a
year or two would render her less volatile, and add to those sterling
good qualities which she really possessed.  In heart and feeling she was
a modest girl, although the buoyancy of her spirits often carried her
beyond the bounds prescribed by decorum, and often called forth a blush
upon her own animated countenance, when her good sense, or the remarks
of others, reminded her of her having committed herself.  It was
impossible to know Mary and not like her, although, at a casual meeting,
a rigid person might go away with an impression by no means favourable.
As for myself, I must say, that the more I was in her company the more I
was attached to her, and the more I respected her.

Old Stapleton came home in the evening.  He had, as usual, been smoking,
and thinking of human natur', at the Feathers public-house.  I told him
what had happened, and upon the strength of it he sent for an extra pot
of beer for Mary and me, which he insisted upon our drinking between
us--a greater proof of good-will on his part could not have been given.
Although Captain Turnbull appeared to have recovered from the effects of
the accident, yet it seemed that such was not the case, as the morning
after his arrival he was taken ill with shivering and pains in his
loins, which ended in ague and fever, and he did not quit his bed for
three or four weeks.  I, on the contrary, felt no ill effects; but the
constitution of a youth is better able to meet such violent shocks than
that of a man of sixty years old, already sapped by exposure and
fatigue.  As the frost still continued, I complied with Captain
Turnbull's request to come up and stay with him, and for many days,
until he was able to leave his bed, I was his constant nurse.  The
general theme of his conversation was on my future prospects, and a wish
that I would embark in some pursuit or profession more likely to raise
me in the world; but on this head I was positive, and also another
point, which was, that I would in future put myself under an obligation
to no one.  I could not erase from my memory the injuries I had
received, and my vindictive spirit continually brooded over them.  I was
resolved to be independent and free.  I felt that in the company I was
in I was with my equals, or, if there were any superiority, it was on my
part, arising from education, and I never would submit to be again in
the society of those above me, in which I was admitted as a favour, and
by the major part looked down upon, and at the same time liable, as I
had once been, to be turned out with contumely on the first moment of
caprice.  Still, I was very fond of Captain Turnbull.  He had always
been kind to me, spoke to me on terms of equality, and had behaved with
consistency, and my feelings towards him since the accident had
consequently strengthened; but we always feel an increased regard
towards those to whom we have been of service, and my pride was softened
by the reflection that, whatever might be Mr Turnbull's good-will
towards me, he never could, even if I would permit it, repay me for the
life which I had preserved.  Towards him I felt unbounded regard;
towards those who had ill-treated me, unlimited hatred; towards the
world in general a mixture of feeling which I could hardly analyse; and,
as far as regarded myself, a love of liberty and independence, which
nothing would ever have induced me to compromise.  As I did not wish to
hurt Captain Turnbull's feelings by a direct refusal to all his proffers
of service, and remarks upon the advantages which might arise, I
generally made an evasive answer; but when, on the day proposed for my
departure, he at once came to the point, offering me everything, and
observing that he was childless, and, therefore, my acceptance of his
offer would be injurious to nobody; when he took me by the hand, and
drawing me near to him, passed his arm round me, and spoke to me in the
kind accents of a father, almost entreating me to consent--the tears of
gratitude coursed each other rapidly down my cheeks, but my resolution
was no less firm--although it was with a faltering, voice that I
replied, "You have been very kind to me, sir--very kind--and I shall
never forget it; and I hope I shall deserve it--but--Mr Drummond, and
Mrs Drummond, and Sarah, were also kind to me--very kind to me--you
know the rest.  I will remain as I am, if you please; and if you wish to
do me a kindness; if you wish me to love you, as I really do, let me be
as I am--free and independent.  I beg it of you as the greatest favour
that you can possibly confer on me--the only favour which I can accept,
or shall be truly thankful for."

Captain Turnbull was some minutes before he could reply.  He then
said--"I see it is useless, and I will not tease you any more; but,
Jacob, do not let the fire of injustice which you have received from
your fellow-creatures prey so much upon your mind, or induce you to form
the mistaken idea that the world is bad.  As you live on, you will find
much good; and recollect, that those who injured you, from the
misrepresentation of others, have been willing, and have offered, to
repair their fault.  They can do no more, and I wish you could get over
this vindictive feeling.  Recollect, we must forgive, as we hope to be

"I do sometimes," said I, "for Sarah's sake--I can't always."

"But you ought to forgive, for other reasons, Jacob."

"I know I ought--but if I cannot, I cannot."

"Nay, my boy, I never heard you talk so--I was going to say--wickedly.
Do you not perceive that you are now in error?  You will not abandon a
feeling which your own good sense and religion tell you to be wrong--you
cling to it--and yet you will admit of no excuse for the errors of

"I feel what you say--and the truth of it, sir," replied I "but I cannot
combat the feeling.  I will, therefore, admit every excuse you please
for the faults of others; but at the same time, I am surely not to be
blamed if I refuse to put myself in a situation where I am again liable
to meet with mortification.  Surely I am not to be censured, if I prefer
to work for my bread after my own fashion, and prefer the river to dry

"No, that I acknowledge; but what I dislike in the choice is, that it is
dictated by feelings of resentment."

"_What's done can't be helped_," replied I, quickly, wishing to break
off the conversation.

"Very true, Jacob; but I follow that up with another of your remarks,
which is, `Better luck next time.'  God bless you, my boy; take care of
yourself, and don't get under the ice again!"

"For you I would to-morrow," replied I, taking the proffered hand: "but
if I could only see that Hodgson near a hole--"

"You'd not push him in?"

"Indeed I would," replied I, bitterly.

"Jacob, you would not, I tell you--you think so now, but if you saw him
in distress you would assist him as you did me.  I know you, my boy,
better than you know yourself."

Whether Captain Turnbull or I were right remains to be proved in the
sequel.  We then shook hands, and I hastened away to see Mary, whom I
had often thought of during my absence.

"Who do you think has been here?" said Mary, after our first greeting.

"I cannot guess," replied I.  "Not old Tom and his son?"

"No; I don't think it was old Tom, but it was such an old quiz--with
such a nose--O heavens!  I thought I should have died with laughing as
soon as he went downstairs.  Do you know, Jacob, that I made love to
him, just to see how he'd take it.  You know who it is now?"

"O yes! you mean the Dominie, my schoolmaster."

"Yes, he told me so; and I talked so much about you, and about your
teaching me to read and write, and how fond I was of learning, and how I
should like to be married to an elderly man who was a great scholar, who
would teach me Latin and Greek, that the old gentleman became quite
chatty, and sat for two hours talking to me.  He desired me to say that
he should call here to-morrow afternoon, and I begged him to stay the
evening, as you are to have two more of your friends here.  Now, who do
you think are those?"

"I have no others, except old Tom Beazeley and his son."

"Well, it is your old Tom after all, and a nice old fellow he is,
although I would not like him for a husband; but as for his son--he's a
lad after my own heart--I'm quite in love with him."

"Your love will do you no harm, Mary; but, recollect, what may be a joke
to you may not be so to other people.  As for the Dominie meeting old
Beazeley and his son, I don't exactly know how that will suit, for I
doubt if he will like to see them."

"Why not?" inquired Mary.

Upon a promise never to hint at them, I briefly stated the circumstances
attending the worthy man's voyage on board of the lighter.  Mary paused,
and then said, "Jacob, did we not read the last time that the most
dangerous rocks to men were _wine_ and _women_?"

"Yes, we did, if I recollect right."

"Humph," said she; "the old gentleman has given plenty of lessons in his
time, and it appears that he has received _one_."

"We may do so to the last day of our existence, Mary."

"Well, he is a very clever, learned man, I've no doubt, and looks down
upon all of us (not you, Jacob) as silly people.  I'll try if _I_ can't
give him a lesson."

"You, Mary, what can you teach him?"

"Never mind, we shall see;" and Mary turned the discourse on her father.
"You know, I suppose, that father is gone up to Mr Turnbull's."

"No, I did not."

"Yes, he has; he was desired to go there this morning, and hasn't been
back since.  Jacob, I hope you won't be so foolish again, for I don't
want to lose my master."

"Oh, never fear; I shall teach you all you want to know before I die," I

"Don't be too sure of that," replied Mary; "how do you know how much I
may wish to have of your company?"

"Well, if I walk off in a hurry, I'll make you over to young Tom
Beazeley.  You're half in love with him already, you know," replied I,

"Well, he is a nice fellow," replied she; "he laughs more than you do,

"He has suffered less," replied I, gloomily, calling to mind what had
occurred; "but, Mary, he is a fine young man, and a good-hearted, clever
fellow to boot; and when you do know him, you will like him very much."
As I said this, I heard her father coming up stairs; he came in high
good-humour with his interview with Captain Turnbull, called for his
pipe and pot, and was excessively fluent upon "_human natur'_."



The afternoon of the next day I heard a well-known voice, which carolled
forth, as Mary huddled up her books, and put them out of the way; for at
that time I was, as usual, giving her a lesson:--

  "And many strange sights I've seen,
  And long I've been a rover,
  And everywhere I've been,
  But now the wars are over.
  I've been across the line,
  Where the sun will burn your nose off;
  And I've been in northern climes,
  Where the frost would bite your toes off.
  Fal de ral, fal de ral, fal de ral de liddy."

"Heave a-head, Tom, and let me stump up at my leisure.  It's like
warping 'gainst wind and tide with me--and I gets up about as fast as
lawyers go to heaven."

I thought when Tom came up first that he had been at unusual trouble in
setting off his person, and certainly a better-looking, frank, open,
merry countenance was seldom to be seen.  In person he was about an inch
taller than I, athletic, and well formed.  He made up to Mary, who,
perceiving his impatience, and either to check him before me, or else
from her usual feeling of coquetry, received him rather distantly, and
went up to old Tom, with whom she shook hands warmly.

"Whew! what's in the wind now, Jacob?  Why, we parted the best friends
in the world," said Tom, looking at Mary.

"Sheer off yourself, Tom," replied I, laughing; "and you'll see that
she'll come to again."

"Oh, oh! so the wind's in that quarter, is it?" replied Tom.  "With all
my heart--I can show false colours as well as she can.  But I say,
Jacob, before I begin my manoeuvres, tell me if you wish me to hoist the
neutral flag--for I won't interfere with you."

"Here's my hand upon it, Tom, that the coast is clear as far as I'm
concerned; but take care--she's a clipper, and not unlikely to slip
through your fingers, even when you have her under your lee, within

"Let me alone, Jacob, for that."

"And more, Tom, when you're in possession of her, she will require a
good man at the helm."

"Then she's just the craft after my fancy.  I hate your steady,
slow-sailing craft, that will steer themselves, almost; give me one that
requires to be managed by a man and a seaman."

"If well manned, she will do anything, depend upon it, Tom, for she's as
sound below as possible; and although she is down to her bearings on the
puff of the moment, yet she'd not careen further."

"Well, then, Jacob, all's right; and now you've told me what tack she's
on, see if I don't shape a course to cut her off."

"Well, Jacob, my good boy, so you've been under the water again; I
thought you had enough of it when Fleming gave you such a twist; but,
however, this time you went to sarve a friend, which was all right.  My
sarvice to you Mr Stapleton," continued old Tom, as Stapleton made his
appearance.  "I was talking to Jacob about his last dive."

"Nothing but human natur'," replied Stapleton.

"Well, now," replied old Tom, "I consider that going plump into the
river, when covered with ice, to be quite contrary to human natur'."

"But not to save a friend, father?"

"No--because, that be Jacob's nature; so you see one nature conquered
the other, and that's the whole long and short of it."

"Well, now, suppose we sit down and make ourselves comfortable,"
observed Stapleton; "but here be somebody else coming up--who can it

"I say, old codger, considering you be as deaf as a post, you hears
pretty well," said old Tom.

"Yes, I hear very well in the house, provided people don't speak loud."

"Well, that's a queer sort of deafness; I think we are all troubled with
the same complaint," cried Tom, laughing.

During this remark, the Dominie made his appearance.  "_Salve Domine_,"
said I upon his entering, taking my worthy pedagogue by the hand.

"_Et tu quoque, fili mi, Jacobe_!  But whom have we here? the deaf man,
the maiden, and--ehu!--the old man called old Tom, and likewise the
young Tom;" and the Dominie looked very grave.

"Nay, sir," said young Tom, going up to the Dominie; "I know you are
angry with us, because we both drank too much when we were last in your
company; but we promise--don't we father?--not to do so again."

This judicious reply of young Tom's put the Dominie more at his ease;
what he most feared was raillery and exposure on their parts.

"Very true, old gentleman; Tom and I did bowse our jibs up a little too
taut when we last met--but what then?--there was the grog, and there was
nothing to do."

"All human natur'," observed Stapleton.

"Come, sir, you have not said one word to me," said Mary, going up to
the Dominie.  "Now you must sit down by me, and take care of me, and see
that they all behave themselves and keep sober."

The Dominie cast a look at Mary, which was intended for her alone, but
which was not unperceived by young Tom or me.  "We shall have some fun,
Jacob," said he, aside, as we all sat down to the table, which just
admitted six, with close stowage.  The Dominie on one side of Mary, Tom
on the other, Stapleton next to Tom, then I and old Tom, who closed in
on the other side of the Dominie, putting one of his timber toes on the
old gentleman's corns, which induced him to lift up his leg in a hurry,
and draw his chair still closer to Mary, to avoid a repetition of the
accident; while old Tom was axing pardon, and Stapleton demonstrating
that, on the part of old Tom, not to _feel_ with a wooden leg, and on
the part of the Dominie, to _feel_ with a bad corn, was all nothing but
"_human natur'_."  At last we were all seated, and Mary, who had
provided for the evening, produced two or three pots of beer, a bottle
of spirits, pipes, and tobacco.

"Liberty Hall--I smokes," said Stapleton, lighting his pipe, and falling
back on his chair.

"I'll put a bit of clay in my mouth too," followed up old Tom; "it makes
one thirsty, and enjoy one's liquor."

"Well, I malts," said Tom, reaching a pot of porter, and taking a long
pull.  "What do you do, Jacob?"

"I shall wait a little, Tom."

"And what do you do, sir?" said Mary to the Dominie.  The Dominie shook
his head.  "Nay but you must--or I shall think you do not like my
company.  Come, let me fill a pipe for you."  Mary filled a pipe, and
handed it to the Dominie, who hesitated, looked at her, and was
overcome.  He lighted it, and smoked furiously.

"The ice is breaking up--we shall have a change of weather--the moon
quarters to-morrow," observed old Tom, puffing between every
observation; "and then honest men may earn their bread again.  Bad times
for you, old codger, heh!" continued he, addressing Stapleton.
Stapleton nodded an assent through the smoke, which was first perceived
by old Tom.  "Well, he ar'nt deaf, a'ter all; I thought he was only
shamming a bit.  I say, Jacob, this is the weather to blow your fingers,
and make your eyes bright."

"Rather to blow a cloud and make your eyes water," replied Tom, taking
up the pot: "I'm just as thirsty with swallowing smoke, as if I had a
pipe myself--at all events, I pipe my eye.  Jacob," continued Tom, to me
apart, "do look how the old gentleman is _funking_ Mary, and casting
sheeps' eyes at her through the smoke."

"He appears as if he were inclined to board her in the smoke," replied

"Yes, and she to make no fight of it, but surrender immediately," said

"Don't you believe it, Tom; I know her better; she wants to laugh at
him--nothing more; she winked her eye at me just now, but I would not
laugh, as I did not choose that the old gentleman should be trifled
with.  I will tax her severely to-morrow."

During all this time old Tom and Stapleton smoked in silence: the
Dominie made use of his eyes in dumb parlance to Mary, who answered him
with her own bright glances, and Tom and I began to find it rather dull;
when at last old Tom's pipe was exhausted, and he laid it down; "There,
I'll smoke no more--the worst of a pipe is that one can't smoke and talk
at the same time.  Mary, my girl, take your eyes off the Dominie's nose,
and hand me that bottle of stuff.  What, glass to mix it in; that's more
genteel than we are on board, Tom."  Tom filled a rummer of grog, took
half off at a huge sip, and put it down on the table.  "Will you do as
we do, sir?" said he, addressing the Dominie.

"Nay, friend Dux, nay--pr'ythee persuade me not--avaunt!" and the
Dominie, with an appearance of horror, turned away from the bottle
handed towards him by old Tom.

"Not drink anything?" said Mary to the Dominie, looking at him with
surprise, "but indeed you must, or I shall think you despise us, and do
not think us fit to be in your company."

"Nay, maiden, entreat me not.  Ask anything of me but this," replied the

"Ask anything but this--that's just the way people have of refusing,"
replied Mary; "were I to ask anything else, it would be the same
answer--`ask anything but this.'  Now, if you will not drink to please
me, I shall quarrel with you.  You shall drink a glass, and I'll mix it
for you."  The Dominie shook his head.  Mary made a glass of grog, and
then put it to her lips.  "Now, if you refuse to drink it, after I have
tasted it, I'll never speak to you again."  So saying, she handed the
glass to the Dominie.

"Verily, maiden, I must needs refuse, for I did make a mental vow."

"What vow was that? was it sworn on the Bible?"

"Nay, not on the sacred book, but in my thoughts most solemnly."

"Oh!  I make those vows every day, and never keep one of them; so that
won't do.  Now, observe, I give you one more chance.  I shall drink a
little more, and if you do not immediately put your lips to the same
part of the tumbler, I'll never drink to you again;" Mary put the
tumbler again to her lips, drank a little, with her eyes fixed upon the
Dominie, who watched her with distended nostrils and muscular agitation
of countenance.  With her sweetest smile, she handed him the tumbler;
the Dominie half held out his hand, withdrew it, put it down again, and
by degrees took the tumbler.  Mary conquered, and I watched the malice
of her look as the liquor trickled down the Dominie's throat.  Tom and I
exchanged glances.  The Dominie put down the tumbler, and then, looking
round, like a guilty person, coloured up to the eyes; but Mary, who
perceived that her victory was but half achieved, put her hand upon his
shoulder, and asked him to let her taste the grog again.  I also, to
make him feel more at ease, helped myself to a glass.  Tom did the same,
and old Tom with more regard to the feelings of the Dominie than in his
own bluntness of character I would have given him credit for, said in a
quiet tone, "The old gentleman is afraid of grog, because he seed me
take a drop too much, but that's no reason why grog ar'n't a good thing,
and wholesome in moderation.  A glass or two is very well, and better
still when sweetened by the lips of a pretty girl; and, even if the
Dominie does not like it, he's too much of a gentleman not to give up
his dislikes to please a lady.  More's the merit; for, if he did like
it, it would be no sacrifice, that's sartain.  Don't you think so, my
old boozer?" continued he, addressing Stapleton, who smoked in silence.

"Human natur'," replied Stapleton, taking the pipe out of his mouth, and
spitting under the table.

"Very true, master; and so here's to your health, Mr Dominie, and may
you never want a pretty girl to talk to, or a glass of grog to drink her
health with."

"Oh, but the Dominie don't care about pretty girls, father," replied
Tom; "he's too learned and clever; he thinks about nothing but the moon,
and Latin and Greek, and all that."

"Who can say what's under the skin, Tom?  There's no knowing what is,
and what isn't--Sall's shoe for that."

"Never heard of Sall's shoe, father; that's new to me."

"Didn't I ever tell you that, Tom?--Well, then, you shall have it now--
that is, if all the company be agreeable."

"Oh, yes," cried Mary; "pray tell us."

"Would you like to hear it, sir?"

"I never heard of Sall Sue in my life, and would fain hear her history,"
replied the Dominie; "proceed, friend Dux."

"Well, then, you must know when I was a-board of the Terp-sy-chore,
there was a fore-topman, of the name of Bill Harness, a good sort of
chap enough, but rather soft in the upper-works.  Now, we'd been on the
Jamaica station for some years, and had come home, and merry enough, and
happy enough we were (those that were left of us), and we were spending
our money like the devil.  Bill Harness had a wife, who was very fond of
he, and he was very fond of she, but she was a slatternly sort of a
body, never tidy in her rigging, all adrift at all times, and what's
more, she never had a shoe up at heel, so she went by the name of
Slatternly Sall, and the first lieutenant, who was a 'ticular sort of a
chap, never liked to see her on deck, for you see she put her hair in
paper on New Year's day, and never changed it or took it out till the
year came round again.  However, be it as it may be, she loved Bill, and
Bill loved she, and they were very happy together.  A'ter all, it ain't
whether a woman's tidy without that makes a man's happiness; it depends
upon whether she be right within; that is, if she be good-tempered, and
obliging, and civil, and 'commodating, and so forth.  A'ter the first
day or two, person's nothing--eyes get palled, like the cap-stern when
the anchor's up to the bows; but what a man likes is, not to be
disturbed by vagaries, or gusts of temper.  Well, Bill was happy--but
one day he was devilish unhappy, because Sall had lost one of her shoes,
which wasn't to be wondered at, considering as how she was always
slipshod.  `Who has seen my wife's shoe?' says he.  `Hang your wife's
shoe,' said one, `it warn't worth casting an eye upon;' Still he cried
out, `Who has seen my wife's shoe?'  `I seed it,' says another.
`Where?' says Bill.  `I seed it down at heel,' says the fellow.  But
Bill still hallooed out about his wife's shoe, which it appeared she had
dropped off her foot as she was going up the forecastle ladder to take
the air a bit, just as it was dark.  At last Bill made so much fuss
about it that the ship's company laughed, and all called out to each
other, `Who has seen Sall's shoe?--Have you got Sall's shoe?' and they
passed the word fore and aft the whole evening, till they went to their
hammocks.  Notwithstanding, as Sall's shoe was not forthcoming, the next
morning Bill goes on the quarter-deck, and complains to the first
lieutenant, as how he had lost Sall's shoe.  `Damn Sall's shoe,' said
he, `haven't I enough to look after without your wife's confounded
shoes, which can't be worth twopence?'  Well, Bill argues that his wife
had only one shoe left, and that won't keep two feet dry, and begs the
first lieutenant to order a search for it; but the first lieutenant
turns away, and tells him to go to the devil, and all the men grin at
Bill's making such a fuss about nothing.  So Bill at last goes up to the
first lieutenant, and whispers something, and the first lieutenant booms
him off with his speaking trumpet, as if he were making too free, in
whispering to his commanding officer, and then sends for the
master-at-arms.  `Collier,' says he, `this man has lost his wife's shoe:
let a search be made for it immediately--take all the ship's boys, and
look everywhere for it; if you find it bring it up to me.'  So away goes
the master-at-arms with his cane, and collects all the boys to look for
Sall's shoe--and they go peeping about the maindeck, under the guns, and
under the hen-coops, and in the sheep-pen, and everywhere; now and then
getting a smart slap with the cane behind, upon the taut part of their
trowsers, to make them look sharp, until they all wished Sall's shoe at
Old Nick, and her too, and Bill in the bargain.  At last one of the boys
picks it out of the manger, where it had lain all the night, poked up
and down by the noses of the pigs, who didn't think it eatable, although
it might have smelt human-like; the fact was, it was the same boy who
had picked up Sall's shoe when she dropped it, and had shied it forward.
It sartainly did not seem to be worth all the trouble, but howsomever
it was taken aft by the master-at-arms, and laid on the capstern head.
Then Bill steps out and takes the shoe before the first lieutenant, and
cuts it open, and from between the lining pulls out four ten pound
notes, which Sall had sewn up there by way of security; and the first
lieutenant tells Bill he was a great fool to trust his money in the shoe
of a woman who always went slipshod, and tells him to go about his
business, and stow his money away in a safer place next time.  A'ter, if
any thing was better than it looked to be, the ship's company used
always to say it was like _Sall's shoe_.  There you have it all."

"Well," says Stapleton, taking the pipe out of his mouth, "I know a
fact, much of a muchness with that, which happened to me when I was
below the river, tending a ship at Sheerness--for at one time, d'ye see,
I used to ply there.  She was an old fifty-gun ship, called the Adamant,
if I recollect right.  One day the first lieutenant, who, like yourn,
was a mighty particular sort of chap, was going round the maindeck, and
he sees an old pair of canvas trowsers stowed in under the trunnion of
one of the guns.  So says he, `Whose be these?'  Now, no man would
answer, because they knowed very well that it would be as good as a
fortnight in the black list.  With that, the first lieutenant bundles
them out of the port, and away they floats astern with the tide.  It was
about half-an-hour after that, that I comes off with the milk for the
wardroom mess, and a man named Will Heaviside says to me, `Stapleton,'
says he, `the first lieutenant has thrown my canvas trowsers overboard,
and be damned to him; now I must have them back.'  `But where be they?'
says I: `I suppose down at the bottom by this time, and the flat-fish
dubbing their noses into them.'  `No, no,' says he, `they wo'n't never
sink, but float till eternity; they be gone down with the tide, and they
will come back again; only you keep a sharp look-out for them, and I'll
give you five shillings if you bring them.'  Well, I seed little chance
of ever seeing them again, or of my seeing five shillings, but as it so
happened next tide, the very 'denticle pair of trowsers comes up staring
me in the face.  I pulls them in, and takes them to Will Heaviside, who
appears to be mightily pleased, and gives me the money.  `I wouldn't
have lost them for ten, no, not fur twenty pounds,' says he.  `At all
events you've paid me more than they are worth,' says I.  `Have I?' says
he; `stop a bit;' and he outs with his knife, and rips open the
waistband, and pulls out a piece of linen, and out of the piece of linen
he pulls out a _child's caul_.  `There,' says he, `now you knows why the
trowsers wouldn't sink, and I'll leave you to judge whether they ar'n't
worth five shillings.'  That's my story."

"Well, I can't understand how it is, that a caul should keep people up,"
observed old Tom.

"At all events, a _call_ makes people come up fast enough on board a
man-of-war, father."

"That's true enough, but I'm talking of a child's caul, not of a
boatswain's, Tom."

"I'll just tell you how it is," replied Stapleton, who had recommenced
smoking; "it's _human natur'_."

"What is your opinion, sir?" said Mary to the Dominie.

"Maiden," replied the Dominie, taking his pipe out of his mouth, "I
opine that it's a vulgar error.  Sir Thomas Brown, I think it is, hath
the same idea; many and strange were the superstitions which have been
handed down by our less enlightened ancestors--all of which mists have
been cleared away by the powerful rays of truth."

"Well, but, master, if a vulgar error saves a man from Davy Jones's
locker, ar'n't it just as well to sew it up in the waistband of your

"Granted, good Dux; if it would save a man; but how is it possible? it
is contrary to the first elements of science."

"What matter does that make, provided it holds a man up?"

"Friend Dux, thou art obtuse."

"Well, perhaps I am, as I don't know what that is."

"But, father, don't you recollect," interrupted Tom, "what the parson
said last Sunday, that faith saved men?  Now, Master Dominie, may it not
be faith that a man has in the _caul_ which may save him?"

"Young Tom, thou art astute."

"Well, perhaps I am, as father said, for I don't know what that is.  You
knock us all down with your dictionary."

"Well I do love to hear people make use of such hard words," said Mary,
looking at the Dominie.  "How very clever you must be, sir!  I wonder
whether I shall ever understand them?"

"Nay, if thou wilt, I will initiate--sweet maiden, wilt steal an hour or
so to impregnate thy mind with the seeds of learning, which, in so fair
a soil, must needs bring forth good fruit!"

"That's a fine word, that _impregnate_--will you give us the English of
it, sir?" said young Tom to the Dominie.

"It is English, Tom, only the old gentleman _razeed_ it a little.  The
third ship in the lee line of the Channel fleet was a eighty, called the
_Impregnable_, but the old gentleman knows more about books than sea

"A marvellous misconception," quoth the Dominie.

"There's another," cried Tom, laughing; "that must be a three-decker.
Come, father, here's the bottle, you must take another glass to wash
that down."

"Pray what was the meaning of that last long word, sir," said Mary,
taking the Dominie by the arm, "mis--something."

"The word," replied the Dominie, "is a compound from conception,
borrowed from the Latin tongue implying conceiving; and the _mis_
prefixed, which negatives or reverses the meaning; misconception,
therefore, implies not to conceive.  I can make you acquainted with many
others of a similar tendency as _mis_-conception; videlicet, _mis_-
apprehension, _mis_-understanding, _mis_-contriving _mis_-applying,

"Dear me, what a many _misses_," cried Mary, "and do you know them all?"

"Indeed do I," replied the Dominie, "and many, many more are treasured
in my memory, _quod nunc describere tongum est_."

"I'd no idea that the old gentleman was given to running after the girls
in that way," said old Tom to Stapleton.

"Human natur'," replied the other.

"No more did I," continued Mary; "I shall have nothing to say to him;"
and she drew off her chair a few inches from that of the Dominie.

"Maiden," quoth the Dominie, "thou art under a mistake."

"Another miss, I declare," cried Tom, laughing.

"What an old Turk!" continued Mary, getting further off.

"Nay, then, I will not reply," said the Dominie indignantly, putting
down his pipe, leaning back on his chair, and pulling out his great red
handkerchief, which he applied to his nose, and produced a sound that
made the windows of the little parlour vibrate for some seconds.

"I say, master Tom, don't you make too free with your betters," said old
Tom, when he saw the Dominie affronted.

"Nay," replied the Dominie, "there's an old adage which saith, `As the
old cock crows, so doth the young.'  Wherefore didst thou set him the

"Very true, old gentleman, and I axes your pardon, and here's my hand
upon it."

"And so do I, sir, and here's my hand upon it," said young Tom,
extending his hand on the Dominie's other side.

"Friend Dux, and thou, young Tom, I do willingly accept thy proffered
reconciliation; knowing, as I well do, that there may be much mischief
in thy composition, but naught of malice."  The Dominie extended his
hands, and shook both those offered to him warmly.

"There," said old Tom, "now my mind's at ease, as old Pigtown said."

"I know not the author whom thou quotest from, good Dux."

"Author!--I never said he was an author; he was only captain of a
schooner, trading between the islands, that I sailed with a few weeks in
the West Indies."

"Perhaps, then, you will relate to the company present the circumstances
which took place to put old Pegtop's--(I may not be correct in the
name)--but whoever it may be--"

"Pigtown, master."

"Well, then--that put old Pigtown's mind at ease--for I am marvellously
amused with thy narrations, which do pass away the time most agreeably,
good Dux."

"With all my heart, old gentleman; but first let us fill up our
tumblers.  I don't know how it is, but it does appear to me that grog
drinks better out of a glass than out of metal and if it wasn't that Tom
is so careless--and the dog has no respect for crockery any more than
persons--I would have one or two on board for particular service; but
I'll think about that, and hear what the old woman has to say on the
subject.  Now to my yarn.  D'ye see, old Pigtown commanded a little
schooner, which plied between the isles, and he had been in her for a
matter of forty years, and was as well-known as Port Royal Tom."

"Who might Port Royal Tom be?" inquired the Dominie; "a relation of

"I hope not, master, for I wanted none of his acquaintance; he was a
shark about twenty feet long who rode guard in the harbour, to prevent
the men-of-war's men from deserting, and was pensioned by government."

"Pensioned by government! nay, but that soundeth strangely.  I have
heard that pensions have been most lavishly bestowed, but not that it
extended so far.  Truly it must have been a _sinecure_."

"I don't know what that last may be," replied old Tom, "but I heard our
boatswain, in the _Minerve_, who talked politics a bit, say, `as how
half the pensions were held by a pack of damned sharks;' but in this
here shark's case, it wasn't in money, master; but he'd regular rations
of bullock's liver to persuade him to remain in the harbour, and no one
dare swim on shore when he was cruising round and round the ships.
Well, old Pigtown, with his white trousers and straw hat, red nose and
big belly, was as well-known as could be, and was a capital old fellow
for remembering and executing commissions, provided you gave him the
money first; if not, he always took care to forget them.  Old Pigtown
had a son, a little dark or so, which proved that his mother wasn't
quite as fair as a lily, and this son was employed in a drogher, that
is, a small craft which goes round to the bays of the island, and takes
off the sugars to the West India traders.  One fine day the drogher was
driven out to sea, and never heard of a'terwards.  Now, old Pigtown was
very anxious about what had come of his son, and day after day expected
he would come back again; but he never did, for very good reasons, as
you shall hear by-and-by; and every one knowing old Pigtown, and he
knowing everybody, it was at least fifty times a day that the question
was put to him, `Well, Pigtown, have you heard anything of your son?'
And fifty times a day he would reply, `No; and _my mind's but ill at
ease_.'  Well, it was two or three months afterwards, that when I was in
the schooner with him, as we lay becalmed between the islands, with the
sun frizzing our wigs, and the planks so hot that you couldn't walk
without your shoes, that we hooked a large shark which came bowling
under our counter, got him on board and cut him up.  When we opened his
inside, what should I see but something shining.  I took it out, and
sure enough it was a silver watch.  So I hands it to old Pigtown.  He
looks at it very 'tentively, opens the outside case, reads the maker's
name, and then shuts it up again.  `This here watch,' says he, `belonged
to my son Jack.  I bought it of a chap in a South whaler for three
dollars and a roll of pigtail, and a very good watch it was, though I
perceive it to be stopped now.  Now, d'ye see, it's all clear--the
drogher must have gone down in a squall--the shark must have picked up
my son Jack, and must have _digested_ his body, but has not been able to
_digest_ his watch.  Now I knows what's become of him, and so--_my
mind's at ease_.'"

"Well," observed old Stapleton, "I agrees with old Poptown, or whatever
his name might be, that it were better to know the worst at once than to
be kept on the worry all your days; I consider it's nothing but human
natur'.  Why, if one has a bad tooth, which is the best plan, to have it
out with one good wrench, or to be eternally tormented, night and day."

"Thou speakest wisely, friend Stapleton, and like a man of resolve--the
anticipation is often, if not always, more painful than the reality.
Thou knowest, Jacob, how often I have allowed a boy to remain unbuttoned
in the centre of the room for an hour previous to the application of the
birch--and it was with the consideration that the impression would be
greater upon his mind than even upon his nether parts.  All of the
feelings in the human breast, that of suspense is--"

"Worse than _hanging_," interrupted young Tom.

"Even so, boy [_cluck, cluck_], an apt comparison, seeing that in
suspense you are hanging, as it were, in the very region of doubt,
without being able to obtain a footing even upon conjecture.  Nay, we
may further add another simile, although not so well borne out, which
is, that the agony of suspense doth stop the breath of a man for the
time, as hanging doth stop it altogether, so that it may be truly said,
that suspense is put an end to by suspending."  [_cluck, cluck_.]

"And now that you've got rid of all that, master, suppose you fill up
your pipe," observed old Tom.

"And I will fill up your tumbler, sir," said Mary; "for you must be dry
with talking such hard words."

The Dominie this time made no objection, and again enveloped Mary and
himself in a cloud of smoke, through which his nose loomed like an
Indiaman in a Channel fog.



"I say, Master Stapleton, suppose we were to knock out half a port,"
observed old Tom, after a silence of two minutes; "for the old gentleman
blows a devil of a cloud: that is, if no one has an objection."
Stapleton gave a nod of assent, and I rose and put the upper window down
a few inches.  "Ay, that's right, Jacob; now we shall see what Miss Mary
and he are about.  You've been enjoying the lady all to yourself,
master," continued Tom, addressing the Dominie.

"Verily and truly," replied the Dominie, "even as a second Jupiter."

"Never heard of him."

"I presume not; still, Jacob will tell thee that the history is to be
found in Ovid's Metamorphoses."

"Never heard of the country, master."

"Nay, friend Dux, it is a book, not a country, in which thou may'st read
how Jupiter at first descended unto Semele in a cloud."

"And pray, where did he come from, master?"

"He came from heaven."

"The devil he did.  Well, if ever I gets there, I mean to stay."

"It was love, all-powerful love, which induced him, maiden," replied the
Dominie, turning, with a smiling eye, to Mary.

"'Bove my comprehension altogether," replied old Tom.

"Human natur'," muttered Stapleton, with the pipe still between his

"Not the first vessels that have run foul in a fog," observed young Tom.

"No, boy; but generally there ar'n't much love between them at those
times.  But, come, now that we can breathe again, suppose I give you a
song.  What shall it be, young woman, a sea ditty, or something

"Oh, something about love, if you've no objection, sir," said Mary,
appealing to the Dominie.

"Nay, it pleaseth me maiden, and I am of thy mind.  Friend Dux, let it
be Anacreontic."

"What the devil's that?" cried old Tom, lifting up his eyes, and taking
the pipe out of his mouth.

"Nothing of your own, father, that's clear; but something to borrow, for
it's to be _on tick_," replied Tom.

"Nay, boy, I would have been understood that the song should refer to
women or wine."

"Both of which are to his fancy," observed young Tom to me, aside.

"_Human natur'_," quaintly observed Stapleton.

"Well, then, you shall have your wish.  I'll give you one that might be
warbled in a lady's chamber without stirring the silk curtains:--

  "Oh! the days are gone when beauty bright
  My heart's chain wove,
  When my dream of life from morn to night
  Was Love--still Love.
  New hope may bloom, and days may come,
  Of milder, calmer beam,
  But there's nothing half so sweet in life
  As Love's young dream;
  Oh! there's nothing half so sweet in life,
  As Love's young dream."

The melody of the song, added to the spirits he had drunk and Mary's
eyes beaming on him, had a great effect upon the Dominie.  As old Tom
warbled out, so did the pedagogue gradually approach the chair of Mary;
and as gradually entwine her waist with his own arm, his eyes twinkling
brightly on her.  Old Tom, who perceived it, had given me and Tom a
wink, as he repeated the two last lines; and then we saw what was going
on, we burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter.  "Boys! boys!" said
the Dominie, starting up, "thou hast awakened me, by thy boisterous
mirth, from a sweet musing created by the harmony of friend Dux's voice.
Neither do I discover the source of thy cachinnation, seeing that the
song is amatory and not comic.  Still, it may not be supposed, at thy
early age, that thou canst be affected with what thou art too young to
feel.  Pr'ythee continue, friend Dux, and, boys, restrain thy mirth."

  "Though the bard to a purer fame may soar
  When wild youth's past,
  Though he win the wise, who frowned before,
  To smile at last,
  He'll never meet a joy so sweet
  In all his noon of fame,
  As when first he sung to woman's ear
  His soul-felt flame;
  And at every close she blush'd to hear
  The once-lov'd name."

At the commencement of this verse the Dominie appeared to be on his
guard; but gradually moved by the power of song, he dropped his elbow on
the table, and his pipe underneath it; his forehead sank into his broad
palm, and he remained motionless.  The verse ended, and the Dominie,
forgetting all around him, softly ejaculated, without looking up, "Eheu!

"Did you speak to me, sir?" said Mary, who, perceiving us tittering,
addressed the Dominie with a half-serious, half-mocking air.

"Speak, maiden? nay, I spoke not; yet thou mayest give me my pipe, which
apparently hath been abducted while I was listening to the song."

"Abducted! that's a new word; but it means smashed into twenty pieces, I
suppose," observed young Tom.  "At all events, your pipe is, for you let
it fall between your legs."

"Never mind," said Mary, rising from her chair, and going to the
cupboard; "here's another, sir."

"Well, master, am I to finish, or have you had enough of it?"

"Proceed, friend Dux, proceed; and believe that I am all attention."

  "Oh, that hallowed form is ne'er forgot
  Which first love trac'd,
  Still it lingering haunts the greenest spot
  On memory's waste.
  'Twas odour fled as soon as shed,
  'Twas memory's winged dream,
  'Twas a light that ne'er can shine again
  On life's dull stream;
  Oh, 'twas light that ne'er can shine again
  On life's dull stream."

"Nay," said the Dominie, again abstracted, "the metaphor is not just.
`_Life's_ dull stream.' `_Lethe tacitus amnis_,' as Lucan hath it; but
the stream of life flows--ay, flows rapidly--even in my veins.  Doth not
the heart throb and beat--yea, strongly--peradventure too forcibly
against my better judgment?  `_Confiteor misere molle cor esse mihi_,'
as Ovid saith.  Yet must it not prevail!  Shall one girl be victorious
over seventy boys?  Shall I, Dominie Dobbs, desert my post?--Again
succumb to--I will even depart, that I may be at my desk at matutinal

"You don't mean to leave us, sir?" said Mary, taking the Dominie's arm.

"Even so, fair maiden, for it waxeth late, and I have my duties to
perform," said the Dominie, rising from his chair.

"Then you will promise to come again."

"Peradventure I may."

"If you do not promise me that you will, I will not let you go now."

"Verily, maiden--"

"Promise," interrupted Mary.

"Truly, maiden--"

"Promise," cried Mary.

"In good sooth, maiden--"

"Promise," reiterated Mary, pulling the Dominie towards her chair.

"Nay, then, I do promise, since thou wilt have it so," replied the

"And when will you come?"

"I will not tarry," replied the Dominie; "and now good night to all."

The Dominie shook hands with us, and Mary lighted him downstairs.  I was
much pleased with the resolution and sense of his danger thus shown by
my worthy preceptor, and hoped that he would have avoided Mary in
future, who evidently wished to make a conquest of him for her own
amusement and love of admiration; but still I felt that the promise
exacted would be fulfilled, and I was afraid that a second meeting, and
that perhaps not before witnesses, would prove mischievous.  I made up
my mind to speak to Mary on the subject as soon as I had an opportunity,
and insist upon her not making a fool of the worthy old man.  Mary
remained below a much longer time than was necessary, and when she
re-appeared and looked at me, as if for a smile of approval, I turned
from her with a contemptuous air.  She sat down, and looked confused.
Tom was also silent, and paid her no attention.  A quarter of an hour
passed, when he proposed to his father that they should be off, and the
party broke up.  Leaving Mary silent and thoughtful, and old Stapleton
finishing his pipe, I took my candle and went to bed.

The next day the moon changed, the weather changed, and a rapid thaw
took place.  "It's an ill wind that blows nobody good," observed old
Stapleton; "we watermen will have the river to ourselves again, and the
hucksters must carry their gingerbread-nuts to another market."  It was,
however, three or four days before the river was clear of the ice, so as
to permit the navigation to proceed; and during that time, I may as well
observe, that there was dissension between Mary and me.  I showed her
that I resented her conduct, and at first she tried to pacify me; but
finding that I held out longer than she expected, she turned round, and
was affronted in return.  Short words and no lessons were the order of
the day; and as each party seemed determined to hold out, there was
little prospect of a reconciliation.  In this she was the greatest
sufferer, as I quitted the house after breakfast, and did not return
until dinner time.  At first old Stapleton plied very regularly, and
took all the fares; but about a fortnight after we had worked together,
he used to leave me to look after employment, and remain at the
public-house.  The weather was now fine, and, after the severe frost, it
changed so rapidly that most of the trees were in leaf, and the
horse-chestnuts in full blossom.  The wherry was in constant demand, and
every evening I handed from four to six shillings over to old Stapleton.
I was delighted with my life, and should have been perfectly happy if
it had not been for my quarrel with Mary still continuing, she as
resolutely refraining from making advances as I.  How much may life be
embittered by dissension with those you live with, even when there is no
very warm attachment; the constant grating together worries and annoys,
and although you may despise the atoms, the aggregate becomes
insupportable.  I had no pleasure in the house; and the evenings, which
formerly passed so agreeably, were now a source of vexation, from being
forced to sit in company with one with whom I was not on good terms.
Old Stapleton was seldom at home till late, and this made it still
worse.  I was communing with myself one night, as I had my eyes fixed on
my book, whether I should make the first advances, when Mary, who had
been quietly at work, broke the silence by asking me what I was reading.
I replied in a quiet tone.

"Jacob," said she, in continuation, "I think you have used me very ill
to humble me in this manner.  It was your business to make it up first."

"I am not aware that I have been in the wrong," replied I.

"I do not say that you have; but what matter does that make?  You ought
to give way to a woman."

"Why so?"

"Why so! don't the whole world do so?  Do you not offer everything first
to a woman?  Is it not her right?"

"Not when she is in the wrong, Mary."

"Yes, when she's in the wrong, Jacob; there's no merit in doing it when
she's in the right."

"I think otherwise; at all events, it depends on how much she has been
in the wrong, and I consider you have shown a bad heart, Mary."

"A bad heart! in what way, Jacob?"

"In realising the fable of the boys and the frogs with the poor old
Dominie, forgetting that what may be sport to you is death to him."

"You don't mean to say that he'll die of love," replied Mary, laughing.

"I should hope not: but you may contrive, and you have tried all in your
power, to make him very wretched."

"And, pray, how do you know that I do not like the old gentleman, Jacob?
You appear to think that a girl is to fall in love with nobody but
yourself.  Why should I not love an old man with so much learning?  I
have been told that old husbands are much prouder of their wives than
young ones, and pay them more attention, and don't run after other
women.  How do you know that I am not serious?"

"Because I know your character, Mary, and am not to be deceived.  If you
mean to defend yourself in that way, we had better not talk any more."

"Lord, how savage you are! then, suppose I did pay the old gentleman any
attention.  Did the young ones pay me any?  Did either you, or your
precious friend, Mr Tom, even speak to me?"

"No; we saw how you were employed, and we both hate a jilt."

"Oh, you do.  Very well, sir; just as you please.  I may make both your
hearts ache for this some day or another."

"Forewarned, forearmed, Mary; and I shall take care that they are both
forewarned as well as myself.  As I perceive that you are so decided, I
shall say no more.  Only, for your own sake, and your own happiness, I
caution you.  Recollect your mother, Mary, and recollect your mother's

Mary covered her face and burst into tears.  She sobbed for a few
minutes, and then came to me.  "You are right, Jacob; and I am a
foolish--perhaps wicked--girl; but forgive me, and indeed I will try to
behave better.  But, as father says, it is human nature in me, and it's
hard to conquer our natures, Jacob."

"Will you promise me not to continue your advances to the Dominie,

"I will not, if I can help it, Jacob.  I may forget for the moment, but
I'll do all I can.  It's not very easy to look grave when one is merry,
or sour when one is pleased."

"But what can induce you, Mary, to practise upon an old man like him?
If it were young Tom, I could understand it.  There might be some
credit, and your pride might be flattered by the victory; but an old

"Still, Jacob, old or young, it's much the same.  I would like to have
them all at my feet, and that's the truth.  I can't help it.  And I
thought it a great victory to bring there a wise old man, who was so
full of Latin and learning, and who ought to know better.  Tell me
Jacob, if old men a how themselves to be caught, as well as young, where
is the crime of catching them?  Isn't there as much vanity in an old
man, in his supposing that I really could love him, as there is in me,
who am but a young, foolish girl, in trying to make him fond of me?"

"That may be; but still recollect that he is in earnest, and you are
only joking, which makes a great difference; and recollect further, that
in trying at all, we very often lose all."

"That I would take my chance of, Jacob," replied Mary, proudly throwing
her curly ringlets back with her hand from her white forehead; "but what
I now want is to make friends with you.  Come, Jacob, you have my
promise to do my best."

"Yes, Mary, and I believe you, so there's my hand."

"You don't know how miserable I have been, Jacob, since we quarrelled,"
said Mary, wiping the tears away, which again commenced flowing; "and
yet I don't know why, for I'm sure I have almost hated you this last
week--that I have; but the fact is, I like quarrelling very well for the
pleasure of making it up again; but not for the quarrel to last so long
as this has done."

"It has annoyed me too, Mary, for I like you very much in general."

"Well, then, now it's all over; but Jacob, are you sure you are friends
with me?"

"Yes, Mary."

Mary looked archly at me.  "You know the old saw, and I feel the truth
of it."

"What, `kiss and make friends?'" replied I; "with all my heart," and I
kissed her, without any resistance on her part.

"No, I didn't mean that, Jacob."

"What then?"

"Oh! 'twas another."

"Well, then, what was the other?"

"Never mind, I forget it now," said she laughing, and rising from the
chair.  "Now, I must go to my work again, and you must tell me what
you've been doing this last fortnight."

Mary and I entered into a long and amicable conversation till her father
came home, when we retired to bed.  "I think," said old Stapleton, the
next morning, "that I've had work enough; and I've belonged to two
benefit clubs for so long as to 'title me to an allowance.  I think,
Jacob, I shall give up the wherry to you, and you shall in future give
me one-third of your earnings, and keep the rest to yourself.  I don't
see why you're to work hard all day for nothing."  I remonstrated
against this excess of liberality; but old Stapleton was positive, and
the arrangement was made.  I afterwards discovered, what may probably
occur to the reader, that Captain Turnbull was at the bottom of all
this.  He had pensioned old Stapleton that I might become independent by
my own exertions before I had served my apprenticeship; and after
breakfast, old Stapleton walked down with me to the beach, and we
launched the boat.  "Recollect, Jacob," said he, "one-third, and honour
bright;" so saying, he adjourned to his old quarters, the public-house,
to smoke his pipe and think of human natur'.  I do not recollect any day
of my life on which I felt more happy than on this: I was working for
myself, and independent.  I jumped into my wherry, and, without waiting
for a fare, I pushed off, and, gaining the stream, cleaved through the
water with delight as my reward; but after a quarter of an hour I
sobered down with the recollection that, although I might pull about for
nothing for my own amusement, that as Stapleton was entitled to
one-third, I had no right to neglect his interest; and I shot my wherry
into the row, and stood with my hand and fore-finger raised, watching
the eye of every one who came towards the hard.  I was fortunate that
day, and when I returned, was proceeding to give Stapleton his share,
when he stopped me.  "Jacob, it's no use dividing now; once a-week will
be better.  I likes things to come in a lump; cause, d'ye see--it's--
it's--_human natur'_."



I consider that the present was the period from which I might date my
first launching into human life.  I was now nearly eighteen years old,
strong, active, and well-made, full of spirits, and overjoyed at the
independence which I had so much sighed for.  Since the period of my
dismissal from Mr Drummond's my character had much altered.  I had
become grave and silent, brooding over my wrongs, harbouring feelings of
resentment against the parties, and viewing the world in general through
a medium by no means favourable.  I had become in some degree restored
from this unwholesome state of mind from having rendered an important
service to Captain Turnbull, for we love the world better as we feel
that we are more useful in it; but the independence now given to me was
the acme of my hopes and wishes.  I felt so happy, so buoyant in mind,
that I could even think of the two clerks in Mr Drummond's employ
without feelings of revenge.  Let it, however, be remembered that the
world was all before me in anticipation only.

"Boat, sir?"

"No, thanky, my lad.  I want old Stapleton--is he here?"

"No, sir, but this is his boat."

"Humph, can't he take me down?"

"No, sir; but I can, if you please."

"Well, then, be quick."

A sedate-looking gentleman, about forty-five years of age, stepped into
the boat, and in a few seconds I was in the stream, shooting the bridge
with the ebbing tide.

"What's the matter with deaf Stapleton?"

"Nothing, sir; but he's getting old, and has made the boat over to me."

"Are you his son?"

"No, sir, his 'prentice."

"Humph! sorry deaf Stapleton's gone."

"I can be as deaf as he, sir, if you wish it."


The gentleman said no more at the time, and I pulled down the river in
silence; but in a few minutes he began to move his hands up and down,
and his lips, as if he was in conversation.  Gradually his action
increased, and words were uttered.  At last he broke out:--"It is with
this conviction, I may say important conviction, Mr Speaker, that I now
deliver my sentiments to the Commons' house of Parliament, trusting that
no honourable member will decide until he has fully weighed the
importance of the arguments which I have submitted to his judgment."  He
then stopped, as if aware that I was present, and looked at me; but,
prepared as I was, there was nothing in my countenance which exhibited
the least sign of merriment; or, indeed, of having paid any attention to
what he had been saying, for I looked carelessly to the right and left
at the banks of the river.  He again entered into conversation.

"Have you been long on the river?"

"Born on it, sir."

"How do you like the profession of a waterman?"

"Very well, sir; the great point is to have regular customers."

"And how do you gain them?"

"By holding my tongue; keeping their counsel and my own."

"Very good answer, my boy.  People who have much to do cannot afford to
loose even their time on the water.  Just now I was preparing and
thinking over my speech in the House of Commons."

"So I supposed, sir, and I think the river is a very good place for it,
as no one can overhear you except the person whose services you have
hired--and you need not mind him."

"Very true, my lad; but that's why I liked deaf Stapleton: he could not
hear a word."

"But sir, if you've no objection, I like to hear it very much; and you
may be sure that I should never say anything about it, if you will trust

"Do you my lad? well, then I'll just try it over again.  You shall be
the speaker--mind you hold your tongue, and don't interrupt me."

The gentleman then began: "Mr Speaker, I should not have ventured to
address the House at this late hour, did I not consider that the
importance of the question now before it is--so important--no, that
won't do--did I not consider that the question now before it is of that,
I may say, paramount importance as to call forth the best energies of
every man who is a well-wisher to his country.  With this conviction,
Mr Speaker, humble individual as I am, I feel it my duty, I may say, my
bounden duty, to deliver my sentiments upon the subject.  The papers
which I now hold in my hand, Mr Speaker, and to which I shall soon have
to call the attention of the House, will, I trust, fully establish--"

"I say, waterman, be you taking that chap to Bedlam?" cried a shrill
female voice close to us.  The speech was stopped; we looked up, and
perceived a wherry with two females passing close to us.  A shout of
laughter followed the observation, and my fare looked very much

I had often read the papers in the public-house, and remembering what
was usual in the house in case of interruption, called out, "Order,
order!"  This made the gentleman laugh, and as the other wherry was now
far off, he recommenced his oration, with which I shall not trouble my
readers.  It was a very fair speech, I have no doubt, but I forget what
it was about.

I landed him at Westminster Bridge, and received treble my fare.
"Recollect," said he, on paying me, "that I shall look out for you when
I come again, which I do every Monday morning, and sometimes oftener.
What's your name?"

"Jacob, sir."

"Very well; good morning, my lad."

This gentleman became a very regular and excellent customer, and we used
to have a great deal of conversation, independent of debating, in the
wherry; and I must acknowledge that I received from him not only plenty
of money, but a great deal of valuable information.

A few days after this I had an opportunity of ascertaining how far Mary
would keep her promise.  I was plying at the river side as usual, when
old Stapleton came up to me, with his pipe in his mouth, and said,
"Jacob, there be that old gentleman up at our house with Mary.  Now, I
sees a great deal, but I says nothing.  Mary will be her mother over
again, that's sartain.  Suppose you go and see your old teacher, and
leave me to look a'ter a customer.  I begin to feel as if handling the
sculls a little would be of sarvice to me.  We all think idleness be a
very pleasant thing when we're obliged to work but when we are idle,
then we feel that a little work be just as agreeable--that's human

I thought that Mary was very likely to forget all her good resolutions,
from her ardent love of admiration, and I was determined to go and break
up the conference.  I, therefore, left the boat to Stapleton, and
hastened to the house.  I did not like to play the part of an
eavesdropper, and was quite undecided how I should act; whether to go in
at once or not, when, as I passed under the window, which was open, I
heard very plainly the conversation that was going on.  I stopped in the
street, and listened to the Dominie in continuation--"But, fair maiden,
_omnia vincit amor_--here am I, Dominie Dobbs, who have long passed the
grand climacteric, and can already muster three score years--who have
authority over seventy boys, being Magister Princeps et Dux of Brentford
Grammar School--who have affectioned only the sciences, and communed
only with the classics--who have ever turned a deaf ear to the
allurements of thy sex, and ever hardened my heart to thy fascination--
here am I, even I, Dominie Dobbs, suing at the feet of a maiden who had
barely ripened into womanhood, who knoweth not to read or write, and
whose father earns his bread by manual labour.  I feel it all--I feel
that I am too old--that thou art too young--that I am departing from the
ways of wisdom, and am regardless of my worldly prospects.  Still,
_omnia vincit amor_, and I bow to the all-powerful god, doing him homage
through thee, Mary.  Vainly have I resisted--vainly have I, as I have
lain in bed, tried to drive thee from my thoughts, and tear thine image
from my heart.  Have I not felt thy presence everywhere?  Do not I
astonish my worthy coadjutor, Mistress Bately, the matron, by calling
her by the name of Mary, when I had always before addressed her by her
baptismal name of Deborah?  Nay, have not the boys in the classes
discovered my weakness, and do they not shout out Mary in the hours of
play?  _Mare periculosum et turbidum_ hast thou been to me.  I sleep
not--I eat not--and every sign of love which hath been adduced by
Ovidius Naso, whom I have diligently collated, do I find in mine own
person.  Speak, then, maiden.  I have given vent to my feelings, do thou
the same, that I may return, and leave not my flock without their
shepherd.  Speak, maiden."

"I will, sir, if you will get up," replied Mary, who paused, and then
continued.  "I think, sir, that I am young and foolish, and you are old

"Foolish, thou wouldst say."

"I had rather you said it, sir, than I; it is not for me to use such an
expression towards one so learned as you are.  I think, sir, that I am
too young to marry; and that perhaps you are--too old.  I think, sir,
that you are too clever--and that I am very ignorant; that it would not
suit you in your situation to marry; and that it would not suit me to
marry you--equally obliged to you all the same."

"Perhaps thou hast in thy reply proved the wiser of the two," answered
the Dominie; "but why, maiden, didst thou raise those feelings, those
hopes in my breast, only to cause me pain, and make me drink deep of the
cup of disappointment? didst thou appear to cling to me in fondness, if
thou felt not a yearning towards me?"

"But are there no other sorts of love besides the one you would require,
sir?  May I not love you because you are so clever, and so learned in
Latin.  May I not love you as I do my father?"

"True, true, child; it is all my own folly, and I must retrace my steps
in sorrow.  I have been deceived--but I have been deceived only by
myself.  My wishes have clouded my understanding, and have obscured my
reason; have made me forgetful of my advanced years, and of the little
favour I was likely to find in the eyes of a young maiden.  I have
fallen into a pit through blindness, and I must extricate myself, sore
as will be the task.  Bless thee, maiden, bless thee!  May another be
happy in thy love, and never feel the barb of disappointment.  I will
pray for thee, Mary--that Heaven may bless thee."  And the Dominie
turned away and wept.

Mary appeared to be moved by the good old man's affliction, and her
heart probably smote her for her coquettish behaviour.  She attempted to
console the Dominie, and appeared to be more than half crying herself.
"No, sir, do not take on so, you make me feel very uncomfortable.  I
have been wrong--I feel I have--though you have not blamed me, I am a
very foolish girl."

"Bless thee, child--bless thee!" replied the Dominie, in a subdued

"Indeed, sir, I don't deserve it--I feel I do not; but pray do not
grieve, sir; things will go cross in love.  Now, sir, I'll tell you a
secret, to prove it to you.  I love Jacob--love him very much, and he
does not care for me--I am sure he does not; so, you sir, you are not
the only one--who is--very unhappy;" and Mary commenced sobbing with the

"Poor thing!" said the Dominie; "and thou lovest Jacob? truly is he
worthy of thy love.  And, at thy early age, thou knowest what it is to
have thy love unrequited.  Truly is this a vale of tears--yet let us be
thankful.  Guard well thy heart, child, for Jacob may not be for thee;
nay I feel that he will not be."

"And why so, sir?" replied Mary, despondingly.

"Because, maiden--but nay, I must not tell thee; only take my warning,
Mary--fare thee well?  I come not here again."

"Good-bye, sir, and pray forgive me; this will be a warning to me."

"Verily, maiden, it will be a warning to us both.  God bless thee!"

I discovered by the sound that Mary had vouchsafed to the Dominie a
kiss, and heard soon afterwards his steps as he descended the stairs.
Not wishing to meet him I turned round the corner, and went down to the
river, thinking over what had passed.  I felt pleased with Mary, but I
was not in love with her.

The spring was now far advanced, and the weather was delightful.  The
river was beautiful, and parties of pleasure were constantly to be seen
floating up and down with the tide.  The Westminster boys, the Funny
Club, and other amateurs in their fancy dresses, enlivened the scene;
while the races for prize wherries, which occasionally took place,
rendered the water one mass of life and motion.  How I longed for my
apprenticeship to be over, that I might try for a prize!  One of my best
customers was a young man, who was an actor at one of the theatres, who,
like the M.P., used to rehearse the whole time he was in the boat; but
he was a lively, noisy personage, full of humour, and perfectly
indifferent as to appearances.  He had a quiz and a quirk for everybody
that passed in another boat, and would stand up and rant at them until
they considered him insane.  We were on very intimate terms, and I was
never more pleased than when he made his appearance, as it was
invariably the signal for mirth.  The first time I certainly considered
him to be a lunatic, for playhouse phraseology was quite new to me.
"Boat, sir," cried I to him as he came to the hard.

"My affairs do even drag me homeward.  Go on; I'll follow thee," replied
he, leaping into the boat.  "Our fortune lies in this jump."

I shoved off the wherry: "Down, sir?"

"Down," replied he; pointing downwards with his finger, as if pushing at

  "Down, down to hell, and say I sent you there."

"Thanky, sir, I'd rather not, if it's all the same to you."

"Our tongue is rough, coz--and my condition is not smooth."  We shot the
bridge, and went rapidly down with the tide, when he again commenced:--

  "Thus with imagin'd wing our soft scene flies,
  In motion of no less celerity
  Than that of thought."

Then his attention was drawn by a collier's boat, pulled by two men as
black as chimney-sweeps, with three women in the stern-sheets.  They
made for the centre of the river, to get into the strength of the tide,
and were soon abreast and close to the wherry, pulling with us down the

"There's a dandy young man," said one of the women, with an old straw
bonnet and very dirty ribbons, laughing, and pointing to my man.

  "Plead you to me, fair dame?  I know you not;
  At Ephesus I am but two hours old,
  As strange unto your town as to your talk."

"Well, he be a reg'lar rum cove, I've a notion," said another of the
women, when she witnessed the theatrical airs of the speaker, who
immediately recommenced--

  "The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
  Burn'd on the water--the poop was beaten gold,
  Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
  The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
  Which to the tunes of flutes kept stroke, and made
  The water, which they beat, to follow faster,
  As amorous of their strokes.  For her own person,
  It beggar'd all description."

"Come, I'll be blowed but we've had enough of that, so just shut your
pan," said one of the women, angrily.

  "Her gentlewomen, like the Naiades,
  So many mermaids tend her."

"Mind what you're arter, or your mouth will tend to your mischief, young

  "From the barge
  A strange, invisible perfume hits the sense
  Of the adjacent wharfs."

"Jem, just run him alongside, and break his head with your oar."

"I thinks as how I will, if he don't mend his manners."

  "I saw her once
  Hop forty paces through the public streets."

"You lie, you liver-faced rascal.  I never walked the streets in my
life.  I'm a lawful married woman.  Jem, do you call yourself a man, and
stand this here?"

"Well, now, Sal, but he's a nice young man.  Now an't he?" observed one
of the other women.

  Away, you trifler.  Love!  I know thee not,
  I care not for thee, Kate: this is no world
  To play with mammets, and to tilt with lips;
  We must have bloody noses and cracked crowns."

"I've a notion you will, too, my hearty," interrupted one of the
colliers.  "That 'ere long tongue of yours will bring you into disgrace.
Bill, give her a jerk towards the wherry, and we'll duck him."

"My friend," said the actor, addressing me:--

  "Let not his unwholesome corpse come between the wind
  And my nobility.

"Let us exeunt, OP."

Although I could not understand his phrases, I knew very well what he
meant, and pulling smartly, I shoved towards the shore, and ahead.
Perceiving this, the men in the boat, at the intimation of the women,
who stood up waving their bonnets, gave chase to us, and my companion
appeared not a little alarmed.  However, by great exertion on my part,
we gained considerably, and they abandoned the pursuit.

"Now, by two-headed Janus," said my companion, as he looked back upon
the colliers--

  "Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time,
  Some that will evermore peep through their eyes,
  And laugh like parrots at a bagpiper,
  And others of such a vinegar aspect
  That they'll not show their teeth by way of smile,
  Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.

"And now," continued he, addressing me, "what's your name, sir?  Of what
condition are you--and of what place, I pray?"

Amused with what had passed, I replied, "That my name was Jacob--that I
was a waterman, and born on the river."

"I find thee apt; but tell me, art thou perfect that our ship hath
touched upon the deserts of Bohemia?"

"Do you land at Westminster, sir?"

"No: at Blackfriars--there attend my coming.

"Base is the slave who pays; nevertheless, what is your fare, my lad?

  "What money's in my purse?  Seven groats and twopence.

  "By Jove, I am not covetous of gold,
  Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost.


  "I can get no remedy for this consumption of the purse.

"Here my lad--is that enough?"

"Yes, sir, I thank you."

"Remember poor Jack, sir," said the usual attendant at the landing
place, catching his arm as he careened the wherry on getting out.

  "If he fall in, good-night--or sink or swim.

"Jack, there is a penny for you.  Jacob, farewell--we meet again;" and
away he went, taking three of the stone steps at each spring.  This
gentleman's name was, as I afterwards found out, Tinfoil, an actor of
second-rate merit on the London boards.  The Haymarket Theatre was where
he principally performed, and, as we became better acquainted, he
offered to procure me orders to see the play when I should wish to go



One morning he came down to the hard, and, as usual, I expected that he
would go down the river.  I ran to my boat, and hauled in close.

"No, Jacob, no; this day you will not carry Caesar and his fortunes, but
I have an order for you."

"Thank you; sir; what is the play?"

"The play--pooh! no play; but I hope it will prove a farce,
nevertheless, before it's over.  We are to have a pic-nic party upon one
of those little islands up the river by Kew.  All sock and buskin, all
theatricals: if the wherries upset, the Hay-market may shut up, for it
will be `_exeunt omnes_' with all its best performers.  Look you, Jacob,
we shall want three wherries, and I leave you to pick out the other
two--oars in each, of course.  You must be at Whitehall steps exactly at
nine o'clock, and I daresay the ladies won't make you wait more than an
hour or two, which, for them, is tolerably punctual."

Mr Tinfoil then entered into the arrangement for remuneration, and
walked away; and I was conning over in my mind whom I should select from
my brother watermen, and whether I should ask old Stapleton to take the
other oar in my boat, when I heard a voice never to be mistaken by me--

  "Life is like a summer day
  Warmed by a sunny ray.

"Lower away yet, Tom.  That'll do, my trump.

  "Sometimes a dreary cloud,
  Chill blast, or tempest loud.

"Look out for Jacob, Tom," cried the old man, as the head of the
lighter, with her mast lowered down, made its appearance through the
arch of Putney Bridge, with bright blue streaks on her sides.

"Here he is, father," replied Tom, who was standing forward by the
windlass, with the fall in his hand.

I had shoved off, on hearing old Tom's voice, and was alongside almost
as soon as the lighter had passed under the bridge, and discovered old
Tom at the helm.  I sprang on the deck, with the chain-painter of the
wherry in my hand, made it fast, and went aft to old Tom, who seized my

"This is as it should be, my boy, both on the look-out for each other.
The heart warms when we know the feeling is on both sides.  You're
seldom out of our thoughts, boy, and always in our hearts.  Now, jump
forward, for Tom's fretting to greet you, I see, and you may just as
well help him to sway up the mast when you are there."

I went forward, shook hands with Tom, and then clapped on the fall, and
assisted him to hoist the mast.  We then went aft to his father and
communicated everything of interest which had passed since our last
meeting at the house of old Stapleton.

"And how's Mary?" inquired Tom; "she's a very fine lass, and I've
thought of her more than once; but I saw that all you said about her was
true.  How she did flam the poor old Dominie!"

"I have had a few words with her about it, and she has promised to be
wiser," replied I; "but as her father says, `in her it's human natur'.'"

"She's a fine craft," observed old Tom, "and they always be a little
ticklish.  But, Jacob, you've had some inquiries made after you, and by
the women, too."

"Indeed!" replied I.

"Yes; and I have had the honour of being sent for into the parlour.  Do
you guess now?"

"Yes," said I, a gloom coming over my countenance.  "I presume it is
Drummond and Sarah whom you refer to?"


Tom then informed me that Mrs Drummond had sent for him, and asked a
great many questions about me, and desired him to say that they were
very glad to hear that I was well and comfortable, and hoped that I
would call and see her and Sarah when I came that way.  Mrs Drummond
then left the room, and Tom was alone with Sarah, who desired him to
say, that her father had found out that I had not been wrong; that he
had dismissed both the clerks; and that he was very sorry he had been so
deceived--"and then," said Tom, "Miss Sarah told me to say from herself,
that she had been very unhappy since you had left them, but that she
hoped that you would forgive and forget some day or another, and come
back to them; and that I was to give you her love, and call next time we
went up the river for something that she wanted to send to you.  So you
perceive, Jacob, that you are not forgotten, and justice has been done
to you."

"Yes," replied I, "but it has been too late; so let us say no more about
it.  I am quite happy as I am."

I then told them of the pic-nic party of the next day, upon which Tom
volunteered to take the other oar in my boat, as he would not be wanted
while the barge was at the wharf.  Old Tom gave his consent, and it was
agreed he should meet me next morning at daylight.

"I've a notion there'll be some fun, Jacob," said he, "from what you

"I think so, too; but you've towed me two miles, and I must be off
again, or I shall lose my dinner; so good-bye;" I selected two other
wherries in the course of the afternoon, and then returned home.

It was a lovely morning when Tom and I washed out the boat, and, having
dressed ourselves in our neatest clothes, we shoved off in company with
the two other wherries, and dropped leisurely down the river with the
last of the ebb.  When we pulled in to the stairs at Whitehall, we found
two men waiting for us with three or four hampers, some baskets, an iron
saucepan, a frying-pan, and a large tin pail with a cover, full of rough
ice to cool the wines.  We were directed to put all these articles into
one boat; the others to be reserved for the company.

"Jacob," said Tom, "don't let us be kitchen; I'm togged out for the

This point had just been arranged, and the articles put into the wherry,
when the party made their appearance, Mr Tinfoil acting as master of
the ceremonies.

"Fair Titania," said he to the lady who appeared to demand, and
therefore received, the most attention, "allow me to hand you to your

"Many thanks, good Puck," replied the lady; "we are well placed; but
dear me, we haven't brought, or we have lost, our vinaigrette; we
positively cannot go without it.  What can our women have been about?"

"Pease-blossom and Mustard-seed are much to blame," replied Tinfoil;
"but shall I run back for it?"

"Yes," replied the lady, "and be here again ere the leviathan can swim a

"I'll put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes," replied the
gentleman, stepping out of the boat.

"Won't you be a little out of breath before you come back, sir?" said
Tom, joining the conversation.

This remark, far from giving offence, was followed by a general laugh.
Before Mr Tinfoil was out of sight, the lost vinaigrette was dropped
out of the lady's handkerchief; he was therefore recalled; and the whole
of the party being arranged in the two boats, we shoved off; the third
boat, in which the provender had been stowed, followed us, and was
occupied by the two attendants, a call-boy and scene-shifter, who were
addressed by Tinfoil as Caliban and Stephano.

"Is all our company here?" said a pert-looking, little pug-nosed man,
who had taken upon himself the part of Quince the carpenter, in the
Midsummer Night's Dream.  "You, Nick Bottom," continued he, addressing
another, "are set down for Pyramus."

The party addressed did not, however, appear to enter into the humour.
He was a heavy-made, rather corpulent, white-faced personage, dressed in
white jean trousers, white waistcoat, brown coat, and white hat.
Whether anything had put him out of humour I know not, but it is evident
that he was the butt of the ladies and of most of the party.

"I'll just thank you," replied this personage, whose real name was
Winterbottom, "to be quiet, Mr Western, for I shan't stand any of your

"Oh, Mr Winterbottom, surely you are not about to sow the seeds of
discord so early.  Look at the scene before you--hear how the birds are
singing, how merrily the sun shines and how beautifully the water
sparkles!  Who can be cross on such a morning as this?"

"No, miss," replied Mr Winterbottom, "not at all--not at all--only my
name's Winterbottom, and not Bottom.  I don't wear an ass's head to
please anybody--that's all.  I won't be _bottom_--that's _flat_."

"That depends upon circumstances, sir," observed Tom.

"What business have you to shove your oar in, Mr Waterman?"

"I was hired for the purpose," replied Tom, dipping his oar in the
water, and giving a hearty stroke.

"Stick to your own element, then--shove your oar into the water, but not
into our discourse."

"Well, sir, I won't say another word, if you don't like it."

"But you may to me," said Titania, laughing, "whenever you please."

"And to me too," said Tinfoil, who was amused with Tom's replies.

Mr Winterbottom became very wroth, and demanded to be put on shore
directly, but the Fairy Queen ordered us to obey him at our peril, and
Mr Winterbottom was carried up the river very much against his

"Our friend is not himself," said Mr Tinfoil, producing a key bugle;

  "Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,
  To soften rocks, and rend the knotted oak.

"And, therefore, will we try the effect of it upon his senses."  Mr
Tinfoil then played the air in "Midas":--

  "Pray, Goody, please to moderate," etcetera.

During which Mr Winterbottom looked more sulky than ever.  As soon as
the air was finished, another of the party responded with his flute,
from the other boat--while Mr Quince played what he called base, by
snapping his fingers.  The sounds of the instruments floated along the
flowing and smooth water, reaching the ears and attracting the attention
of many who, for a time, rested from their labour, or hung listlessly
over the gunnels of the vessels, watching the boats, and listening to
the harmony.  All was mirth and gaiety--the wherries kept close to each
other, and between the airs the parties kept up a lively and witty
conversation, occasionally venting their admiration upon the verdure of
the sloping lawns and feathering trees with which the banks of the noble
river are so beautifully adorned; even Mr Winterbottom had partially
recovered his serenity, when he was again irritated by a remark of
Quince, who addressed him.

"You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man--a
proper man as one shall see on a summer's day; a most lovely,
gentleman-like man; therefore, you must needs play Pyramus."

"Take care I don't play the devil with your physiognomy, Mr Western,"
retorted Winterbottom.

Here Caliban, in the third boat, began playing the fiddle and singing to

  "Gaffer, Gaffer's son, and his little jackass,
  Were trotting along the road."

The chorus of which ditty was "Ee-aw, Ee-aw!" like the braying of a

"Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee; thou art translated," cried Quince,
looking at Winterbottom.

"Very well--very well, Mr Western.  I don't want to upset the wherry,
and therefore you're safe at present, but the reckoning will come--so I
give you warning."

"Slaves of my lamp, do my bidding.  I will have no quarrelling here.
You, Quince, shut your mouth; you, Winterbottom, draw in your lips, and
I, your queen, will charm you with a song," said Titania, waving her
little hand.  The fiddler ceased playing, and the voice of the fair
actress rivetted all our attention.

  "Wilt thou waken, bride of May,
  While flowers are fresh, and sweet bells chime,
  Listen and learn from my roundelay
  How all life's pilot boats sailed one day
  A match with Time!

  "Love sat on a lotus-leaf aloft,
  And saw old Time in his loaded boat,
  Slowly he crossed Life's narrow tide,
  While Love sat clapping his wings, and cried,
  `Who will pass Time?'

  "Patience came first, but soon was gone,
  With helm and sail to help Time on;
  Care and Grief could not lend an oar,
  And Prudence said (while he staid on shore),
  `I wait for Time.'

  "Hope filled with flowers her cork-tree bark,
  And lighted its helm with a glow-worm's spark;
  Then Love, when he saw his bark fly past,
  Said, `Lingering Time will soon be passed,
  Hope outspeeds time.'

  "Wit went nearest Old Time to pass,
  With his diamond oar and boat of glass
  A feathery dart from his store he drew,
  And shouted, while far and swift it flew,
  `O Mirth kills Time!'

  "But Time sent the feathery arrow back,
  Hope's boat of Amaranthus miss'd its track;
  Then Love bade its butterfly pilots move,
  And laughing, said `They shall see how Love
  Can conquer Time.'"

I need hardly say that the song was rapturously applauded, and most
deservedly so.  Several others were demanded from the ladies and
gentlemen of the party, and given without hesitation; but I cannot now
recall them to my memory.  The bugle and flute played between whiles,
and all was laughter and merriment.

"There's a sweet place," said Tinfoil, pointing to a villa on the
Thames; "Now, with the fair Titania and ten thousand a-year, one could
there live happy."

"I'm afraid the fair Titania must go to market without the latter
encumbrance," replied the lady; "The gentleman must find the ten
thousand a-year, and I must bring as my dowry--"

"Ten thousand charms," interrupted Tinfoil--"that's most true, and pity
'tis 'tis true.  Did your fairyship ever hear my epigram on the subject?

  "Let the lads of the East love the maids of _Cash-meer_,
  Nor affection with interests clash;
  Far other idolatry pleases us here,
  We adore but the maids of _Mere Cash_."

"Excellent, good Puck!  Have you any more?"

"Not of my own, but you have heard what Winterbottom wrote under the
bust of Shakespeare last Jubilee?"

"I knew not that Apollo had ever visited him."

"You shall hear:--

  "In _this here_ place the bones of Shakespeare lie,
  But _that ere_ form of his shall never die;
  A _speedy end and soon_ this world may have,
  But Shakespeare's name shall _bloom_ beyond the grave."

"I'll trouble you, Mr Tinfoil, not to be so very witty at my expense,"
growled out Winterbottom.  "I never wrote a line of poetry in my life."

"No one said you did, Winterbottom; but you won't deny that you wrote
those lines."

Mr Winterbottom disdained a reply.  Gaily did we pass the variegated
banks of the river, swept up with a strong flood-tide, and at last
arrived at a little island agreed upon as the site of the pic-nic.  The
company disembarked, and were busy looking for a convenient spot for
their entertainment, Quince making a rapid escape from Winterbottom, the
latter remaining on the bank.  "Jenkins," said he to the man christened
Caliban, "you did not forget the salad?"

"No, sir, I brought it myself.  It's on the top of the little hamper."

Mr Winterbottom, who, it appears, was extremely partial to salad, was
satisfied with the reply, and walked slowly away.

"Well," said Tom to me, wiping the perspiration from his brow with his
handkerchief, "I wouldn't have missed this for anything.  I only wish
father had been here.  I hope that young lady will sing again before we

"I think it very likely, and that the fun is only begun," replied I.
"But come, let's lend a hand to get the prog out of the boat."

"Pat! pat! and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal.
This green plot shall be our stage," cried Quince, addressing the others
of the party.

The locality was approved of, and now all were busy in preparation.  The
hampers were unpacked, and cold meats, poultry, pies of various kinds,
pastry, etcetera, appeared in abundance.

"This is no manager's feast," said Tinfoil; "the fowls are not made of
wood, nor is small beer substituted for wine.  Don Juan's banquet to the
Commendador is a farce to it."

"All the manager's stage banquets are farces, and very sorry jokes into
the bargain," replied another.

"I wish old Morris had to eat his own suppers."

"He must get a new set of teeth, or they'll prove a _deal_ too tough."

"Hiss! turn him out! he's made a _pun_."

The hampers were now empty; some laid the cloth upon the grass, and
arranged the plates, and knives and forks.  The ladies were as busy as
the gentlemen--some were wiping the glasses, others putting salt into
the salt-cellars.  Titania was preparing the salad.  Mr Winterbottom,
who was doing nothing, accosted her; "May I beg as a favour that you do
not cut the salad too small?  It loses much of its crispness."

"Why, what a Nebuchadnezzar you are!  However, sir, you shall be

"Who can fry fish?" cried Tinfoil.  "Here are two pairs of soles and
some eels.  Where's Caliban?"

"Here I am, sir," replied the man on his knees, blowing up a fire which
he had kindled.  "I have got the soup to mind."

"Where's Stephano?"

"Cooling the wine, sir."

"Who, then, can fry fish, I ask?"

"I can, sir," replied Tom; "but not without butter."

"Butter shalt thou have, thou disturber of the element.  Have we not
_Hiren_ here?"

"I wasn't _hired_ as a cook, at all events," replied Tom: "but I'm
rather a _dab_ at it."

"Then shalt thou have the _place_," replied the actor.

"With all my heart and _soul_," cried Tom, taking out his knife, and
commencing the necessary operation of skinning the fish.

In half-an-hour all was ready: the fair Titania did me the honour to
seat herself upon my jacket, to ward off any damp from the ground.  The
other ladies had also taken their respective seats, as allotted by the
mistress of the revels; the tables were covered by many of the good
things of this life; the soup was ready in a tureen at one end, and Tom
had just placed the fish on the table, while Mr Quince and
Winterbottom, by the commands of Titania, were despatched for the wine
and other varieties of potations.  When they returned, eyeing one
another askance, Winterbottom looking daggers at his opponent, and
Quince not quite easy even under the protection of Titania, Tom had just
removed the frying-pan from the fire with its residuary grease still
bubbling.  Quince having deposited his load, was about to sit down, when
a freak came into Tom's head, which, however, he dared not put into
execution himself; but "a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse,"
says the proverb.  Winterbottom stood before Tom, and Quince with his
back to them.  Tom looked at Winterbottom, pointing slily to the
frying-pan, and then to the hinder parts of Quince.  Winterbottom
snatched the hint and the frying-pan at the same moment.  Quince
squatted himself down with a serge, as they say at sea, quoting at the
time--"Marry, our play is the most lamentable comedy"--but putting his
hands behind him, to soften his fall, they were received into the hot
frying-pan, inserted behind him by Winterbottom.

"Oh, Lord! oh! oh!" shrieked Mr Quince, springing up like lightning,
bounding in the air with the pain, his hands behind him still adhering
to the frying-pan.

At the first scream of Mr Quince, the whole party had been terrified;
the idea was that a snake had bitten him, and the greatest alarm
prevailed; but when they perceived the cause of the disaster, even his
expressions of pain could not prevent their mirth.  It was too
ludicrous.  Still the gentlemen and ladies condoled with him, but Mr
Quince was not to be reasoned with.  He walked away to the river-side,
Mr Winterbottom slily enjoying his revenge, for no one but Tom had an
idea that it was anything but an accident.  Mr Quince's party of
pleasure was spoiled, but the others did not think it necessary that
theirs should be also.  A "really very sorry for poor Western," and a
half-dozen "poor fellows!" intermingled with tittering, was all that his
misfortunes called forth after his departure; and then they set to like
French falconers.  The soup was swallowed, the fish disappeared, joints
were cut up, pies delivered up their hidden treasures, fowls were
dismembered like rotten boroughs, corks were drawn, others flew without
the trouble, and they did eat and were filled.  Mr Winterbottom kept
his eye upon the salad, his favourite condiment, mixed it himself,
offered it to all, and was glad to find that no one would spare time to
eat it; but Mr Winterbottom could eat for everybody, and he did eat.
The fragments were cleared away, and handed over to us.  We were very
busy, doing as ample justice to them as the party had done before us,
when Mr Winterbottom was observed to turn very pale, and appeared very

"What's the matter?" inquired Mr Tinfoil.

"I'm--I'm not very well--I--I'm afraid something has disagreed with me.
I'm very ill," exclaimed Mr Winterbottom, turning as white as a sheet,
and screwing up his mouth.

"It must be the salad," said one of the ladies; "no one has eaten it but
yourself, and we are all well."

"I--rather think--it must be--oh--I do recollect that I thought the oil
had a queer taste."

"Why there was no oil in the castors," replied Tinfoil.  "I desired
Jenkins to get some."

"So did I, particularly," replied Winterbottom.  "Oh!--oh, dear--oh,

"Jenkins," cried Tinfoil, "where did you get the oil for the castors?
What oil did you get?--are you sure it was right?"

"Yes, sir, quite sure," replied Jenkins.  "I brought it here in a
bottle, and put it into the castors before dinner."

"Where did you buy it?"

"At the chemist's, sir.  Here's the bottle;" and Jenkins produced a
bottle with _castor_ oil in large letters labelled on the side.

The murder was out.  Mr Winterbottom groaned, rose from his seat, for
he felt very sick indeed.  The misfortunes of individuals generally add
to the general quota of mirth, and Mr Winterbottom's misfortune had the
same effect as that of Mr Quince.  But where was poor Mr Quince all
this time?  He had sent for the iron kettle in which the soup had been
warmed up, and filling it full of Thames water, had immersed the
afflicted parts in the cooling element.  There he sat with his hands
plunged deep, when Mr Winterbottom made his appearance at the same spot
and Mr Quince was comforted by witnessing the state of his enemy.
Indeed, the sight of Winterbottom's distress did more to soothe Mr
Quince's pain than all the Thames water in the world.  He rose, and
leaving Winterbottom, with his two hands to his head, leaning against a
tree, joined the party, and pledged the ladies in succession, till he
was more than half tipsy.

In the space of half-an-hour Mr Winterbottom returned, trembling and
shivering as if he had been suffering under an ague.  A bumper or two of
brandy restored him, and before the day closed in, both Winterbottom and
Quince, one applying stimulants to his stomach, and the other drowning
his sense of pain in repeated libations, were in a state (to say the
least of it) of incipient intoxication.  But there is a time for all
things, and it was time to return.  The evening had passed freely; song
had followed song.  Tinfoil had tried his bugle, and played not a little
out of tune; the flute also neglected the flats and sharps as of no
consequence; the ladies thought the gentlemen rather too forward, and,
in short, it was time to break up the party.  The hampers were repacked,
and handed half-empty, into the boat.  Of wine there was a little left;
and by the direction of Titania, the plates, dishes, etcetera, only were
to be returned, and the fragments divided among the boatmen.  The
company re-embarked in high spirits, and we had the ebb-tide to return
with.  Just as we were shoving off, it was remembered that the ice-pail
had been left under the tree, besides a basket with sundries.  The other
wherries had shoved off, and they were in consequence brought into our
boat, in which we had the same company as before, with the exception of
Mr Western, _alias_ Quince, who preferred the boat which carried the
hampers, that he might loll over the side, with his hands in the water.
Mr Winterbottom soon showed the effects of the remedy he had taken
against the effects of the castor oil.  He was uproarious, and it was
with difficulty that he could be persuaded to sit still in the boat,
much to the alarm of Titania and the other ladies.  He would make
violent love to the fairy queen; and as he constantly shifted his
position to address her and throw himself at her feet, there was some
danger of the boat being upset.  At last Tom proposed to him to sit on
the pail before her, as then he could address her with safety; and
Winterbottom staggered up to take the seat.  As he was seating himself,
Tom took off the cover, so that he was plunged into the half-liquid ice;
but Mr Winterbottom was too drunk to perceive it.  He continued to rant
and to rave, and protest and vow, and even spout for some time, when
suddenly the quantity of caloric extracted from him produced its effect.

"I--I--really believe that the night is damp--the dew falls--the seat is
damp, fair Titania."

"It's only fancy, Mr Winterbottom," replied Titania who was delighted
with his situation.  "Jean trousers are cool in the evening; it's only
an excuse to get away from me, and I never will speak again to you if
you quit your seat."

"The fair Titania, the mistress of my soul, and body too, if she
pleases--has--but to command--and her slave obeys."

"I rather think it is a little damp," said Tinfoil; "allow me to throw a
little sand upon your seat;" and Tinfoil pulled out a large paper bag
full of salt, which he strewed over the ice.

Winterbottom was satisfied, and remained; but by the time we had reached
Vauxhall Bridge, the refrigeration had become so complete that he was
fixed on the ice, which the application of the salt had made solid.  He
complained of cold, shivered, attempted to rise, but could not extricate
himself; at last his teeth chattered, and he became almost sober; but he
was helpless from the effects of the castor oil, his intermediate
intoxication, and his present state of numbness.  He spoke less and
less; at last he was silent, and when we arrived at Whitehall stairs he
was firmly fixed in the ice.  When released he could not walk, and he
was sent home in a hackney-coach.

"It was cruel to punish him so, Mr Tinfoil," said Titania.

"Cruel punishment!  Why, yes; a sort of _impailment_," replied Mr
Tinfoil, offering his arm.

The remainder of the party landed and walked home, followed by the two
assistants, who took charge of the crockery; and thus ended the pic-nic
party, which, as Tom said, was the very funniest day he had ever spent
in his life.



It was on the Sunday after the picnic party, when, feeling I had
neglected Captain Turnbull, and that he would think it unkind of me not
to go near him, after having accompanied Mary to church, I set off on
foot to his villa near Brentford.  I rang at the porter's lodge, and
asked whether he was at home.

"Yes, sir," replied the old woman at the lodge, who was very
communicative, and very friendly with me; "and missus be at home too."

I walked up the carriage-drive of one hundred yards, which led to the
entrance-door; and when I rang it was opened by a servant I had not seen
before as belonging to the establishment.  "Where is Mr Turnbull?"
inquired I.

"He is in his own room, sir," replied the man; "but you must send up
your name, if you please, as every one is not admitted."

I must observe to the reader that I was not dressed in jacket and
trousers.  The money I earned was more than sufficient to supply all my
expenses, and I had fitted on what are called at sea, and on the river,
_long togs_.  I was dressed as most people are on shore.  The servant
evidently took me for a gentleman; and perhaps, as far as dress went, I
was entitled to that distinction.  Many people are received as such in
this world with less claims than I had.  I gave my name; the man left me
at the door, and soon returned, requesting that I would follow him.  I
must say that I was rather astonished; where were Mr Mortimer and the
two men in flaunting liveries, and long cotton epaulettes with things
like little marline-spikes hanging to the ends of them?  Even the livery
was changed, being a plain brown coat, with light blue collar and cuffs.
I was, however, soon made acquainted with what had taken place on my
entering the apartment of Mr Turnbull--his study, as Mrs T called it,
although Mr Turnbull insisted upon calling it his cabin, a name
certainly more appropriate, as it contained but two small shelves of
books, the remainder of the space being filled up with favourite
harpoons, porpoise skulls, sharks' jaws, corals, several bears' skins,
brown and white, and one or two models of the vessels which had belonged
to his brother and himself, and which had been employed in the Greenland
fishery.  It was, in fact, a sort of museum of all he had collected
during his voyages.  Esquimaux implements, ornaments and dresses, were
lying about in corners; and skins of rare animals, killed by himself,
such as black foxes, etcetera, were scattered about the carpet.  His
sea-chest, full of various articles, was also one of the ornaments of
the room, much to the annoyance of Mrs T, who had frequently exerted
her influence to get rid of it, but in vain.  The only articles of
furniture were two sofas, a large table in the centre, and three or four
heavy chairs.  The only attempt at adornment consisted in a dozen
coloured engravings, framed and glazed, of walrus shooting, etcetera,
taken from the folio works of Captains Cook and Mulgrave; and a sketch
or two by his brother, such as the state of the _William_ pressed by an
iceberg on the morning of the 25th of January, latitude ---, longitude

Captain T was in his morning-gown, evidently not very well, at least he
appeared harassed and pale.  "My dear Jacob, this is very kind of you.
I did mean to scold you for not coming before; but I'm too glad to see
you to find the heart now.  But why have you kept away so long?"

"I have really been very well employed, sir.  Stapleton has given me up
the wherry, and I could not neglect his interests, even if I did my

"Always right, boy; and how are you getting on?"

"I am very happy, sir; very happy, indeed."

"I'm glad to hear it, Jacob; may you always be so.  Now, take the other
sofa, and let us have a long palaver, as the Indians say.  I have
something to tell you.  I suppose you observed a change--heh?"

"Yes, sir; I observed that Mr Mortimer was not visible."

"Exactly.  Mr Mortimer, or John Snobbs, the rascal, is at present in
Newgate for trial: and I mean to send him out on a voyage for the good
of his health.  I caught the scoundrel at last, and I'll show him no
more mercy than I would to a shark that had taken the bait.  But that's
not all.  We have had a regular mutiny and attempt to take the ship from
me; but I have them all in irons, and ordered for punishment.  Jacob,
money is but too often a curse, depend upon it."

"You'll not find many of your opinion, sir," replied I, laughing.

"Perhaps not; because those who have it are content with the importance
which it gives to them, and won't allow the damnable fact; and because
those who have it not are always sighing after it, as if it were the
only thing worth looking after in this world.  But now, I will just tell
you what has happened since I last saw you, and then you shall judge."

As, however, Captain T's narrative ran to a length of nearly three
hours, I shall condense the matter for the information of the reader.
It appeared that Mrs T had continued to increase the lengths of her
drives in her carriage, the number of her acquaintances, and her
manifold expenses, until Mr T had remonstrated in very strong terms.
His remonstrances did not, however, meet with the attention which he had
expected; and he found out by accident, moreover, that the money with
which he had constantly supplied Mrs T, to defray her weekly bills, had
been otherwise appropriated; and that the bills for the two last
quarters had none of them been paid.  This produced an altercation, and
a desire on his part to know in what manner these sums had been
disbursed.  At first the only reply from Mrs T, who considered it
advisable to brazen it out, and, if possible, gain the ascendancy which
was necessary, was a contemptuous toss of her head, which undulated the
three yellow ostrich feathers in her bonnet, as she walked out of the
room and entered her carriage.  This, to Mr T, who was a matter-of-fact
man, was not very satisfactory; he waited perforce until the carriage
returned, and then demanded an explicit answer.  Mrs T assumed the
highest ground, talked about fashionable expenses, her knowledge of what
was due to his character, etcetera.  Mr T rejoined about necessary
expenses, and that it was due to his character to pay his tradesmen's
bills.  Mrs T then talked of good-breeding, best society, and her _many
plaisers_, as she termed them; Mr T did not know what _many pleasures_
meant in French; but he thought she had been indulged in as many as most
women since they had come down to this establishment.  But to the
question: why were not the bills paid, and what had she done with the
money?  Spent it in _pin money.  Pin_ money! thirty pounds a-week in
_pins_! it would have bought harpoons enough for a three years' voyage.
She must tell the truth.  She wouldn't tell anything, but called for her
salts, and called him a _brute_.  At all events, he wouldn't be called a
_fool_.  He gave her till the next morning to consider of it.  The next
morning the bills were all sent in as requested, and amounted to six
hundred pounds.  They were paid and receipted.  "Now, Mrs T, will you
oblige me by letting me know what you have done with this six hundred
pounds?"  Mrs T would not--she was not to be treated in that manner.
Mr T was not on board a whaler now, to bully and frighten as he
pleased.  She would have justice done her.  Have a separation, alimony,
and a divorce.  She might have them all if she pleased, but she should
have no more money; that was certain.  Then she would have a fit of
hysterics.  So she did, and lay the whole of the day on the sofa,
expecting Mr T would pick her up.  But the idea never came into Mr T's
head.  He went to bed; and feeling restless, he rose very early, and saw
from his window a cart drive up to the wall, and the parties who came
with it leap over and enter the house, and return carrying to it two
large hampers.  He snatched up one of his harpoons, walked out the other
way, and arrived at the cart just as the hampers had been put in, and
they were about to drive off; challenged them, and instead of being
answered, the horse was flogged, and he nearly run over.  He then let
fly his harpoon into the horse, which dropped, and pitched out the two
men on their heads insensible; secured them, called to the lodge for
assistance, sent for constables, and gave them in charge.  They proved
to be hampers forwarded by Mr Mortimer, who had been in the habit of so
doing for some time.  These hampers contained his best wine, and various
other articles, which also proved that Mr Mortimer must have had false
keys.  Leaving the culprits and property in charge of two constables,
Mr T returned to the house in company with the third constable; the
door was opened by Mr Mortimer, who followed him into his study, told
him he should leave the house directly, had always lived with
_gentlemen_ before, and requested that he might have what was due to
him.  Mr T thought the request but reasonable, and therefore gave him
in charge of the constable.  Mr Snobbs, rather confounded at such
ungentlemanly behaviour, was, with the others, marched off to Bow
Street.  Mr T sends for the other two servants in livery, and assures
them that he has no longer any occasion for their services, having the
excessive vulgar idea that this peculation must have been known to them.
Pays them their wages, requests they will take off their liveries, and
leave the house.  Both willing.  _They_ also had always lived with
_gentlemen_ before.  Mr T takes the key of the butler's pantry, that
the plate may not consider him too vulgar to remain in the house, and
then walks to the stables.  Horses neigh, as if to say they are all
ready for their breakfasts; but the door locked.  Hails the coachman, no
answer.  Returning from the stables, perceives coachee, rather dusty,
coming in at the lodge gate; requests to know why he did not sleep at
home and take care of his horses.  He was missus's coachman, not
master's, and could satisfy her, but could not satisfy Mr T; who paid
him his wages's and, deducting his liveries, sent him after the others.
Coachee also was very glad to go--had always lived with _gentlemen_
before.  Meets the lady's maid, who tells him Mrs T is much too ill to
come down to breakfast.  Rather fortunate, as there was no breakfast to
be had.  Dresses himself, gets into a pair-horse coach, arrives at the
White Horse Cellar, swallows his breakfast, goes to Bow Street, commits
Mr Mortimer, _alias_ Snobbs, and his confederates for trial.  Hires a
job-man to bring the horses up for sale, and leaves his carriage at the
coachmaker's.  Obtains a temporary footman, and then Mr T returns to
his villa.  A very good morning's work.  Finds Mrs T up in the parlour,
very much surprised and shocked at his conduct--at no Mr Mortimer--at
no servants, and indebted to her own maid for a cup of tea.  More
recriminations--more violence--another threat of alimony, and the
carriage ordered, that she may seek counsel.  No coachman--no carriage--
no horses--no nothing, as her maid declares.  Mrs T locks herself up in
her room, and another day is passed with as little matrimonial comfort
as can be expected.

In the meantime, the news flies in every direction.  Brentford is full
of it.  Mr T had been living too fast--is done up--had been had up at
Bow Street--creditors had poured in with bills--servants discharged--
carriage and horses seized.  Mrs T, poor creature, in hysterics, and
nobody surprised at it; indeed, everybody expected it.  The Peters of
Petercumb Hall heard it, and shook their heads at the many upstarts
there were in the world.  Mr Smith requested the Right Honourable Lord
Viscount Babbleton never to mention to his father the Right Honourable
Marquis of Spring-guns, that he had ever been taken to see the Turnbulls
or that he, Mr Smith, would infallibly lose his situation in _esse_,
and his living in _posse_: and Monsieur and Madame Tagliabue were even
more astounded; but they felt deeply, and resolved to pay a visit the
next morning, at least Monsieur Tagliabue did, and Madame acknowledged
to the propriety of it.

The next morning some little order had been restored; the footman hired
had been given in charge of a sufficient quantity of plate, the rest had
been locked up.  The cook was to stay her month; the housemaid had no
wish to leave; and as for the lady's maid, she would remain as long as
she could to console her poor mistress, and accept what she was inclined
to give her in return, in any way of clothes, dresses, etcetera,
although, of course, she could not hurt her character by remaining too
long in a family where there was no carriage, or gentlemen out of
livery.  Still Mr T did obtain some breakfast, and had just finished
when Monsieur Tagliabue was announced, and was received.

"Ah!  Monsieur T, I hope madame is better.  Madame Tagliabue did nothing
but cry all last night when she heard the very bad news about de debt,
and all dat."

"Very much obliged to Madame," replied Turnbull, gruffly; "and now, pray
sir, what may be your pleasure?"

"Ah!  Monsieur Turnbull, I feel very much for you; but suppose a
gentleman no lose his _honour_, what matter de money?"  (Mr Turnbull
stared.) "You see, Monsieur Turnbull, honour be everything to a
gentleman.  If a gentleman owe money to one rascally tradesfellow, and
not pay him, dat no great matter; but he always pay de debt of honour.
Every gentleman pay dat.  Here, Monsieur Turnbull," (and the little
Frenchman pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket), "be a leetle
note of Madame Turnbull, which she gave to Madame Tagliabue, in which
she acknowledged she owe two hundred pounds for money lost at _ecarte_.
Dat you see, Monsieur Turnbull, be what gentlemen call debt of honour,
which every gentleman pay, or else he lose de character, and be called
one blackguard by all the world.  Madame Tagliabue and I too much fond
of you and Madame Turnbull not to save your character, and so I come by
her wish to beg you to settle this leetle note--this _leetle_ debt of
_honour_;" and Monsieur Tagliabue laid the note on the table, with a
very polite bow.

Mr Turnbull examined the note; it was as described by Monsieur
Tagliabue.  So, thought he, now the whole story's out; she has been
swindled out of her money by this rascally French couple.  "Now,
Monsieur Tagliabue," said he, "allow me to put a question or two before
I pay this money; and if you answer me sincerely, I shall raise no
objection.  I think Mrs T has already lost about six hundred pounds at
_ecarte_ before?"  (Monsieur T, who presumed that Mrs Turnbull had made
him acquainted with the fact, answered in the affirmative.) "And I think
that two months ago she never knew what _ecarte_ was."

"Dat is true; but the ladies are very quick to learn."

"Well, but now, do you think that, as she knew nothing about the game,
and you and your wife are well acquainted with it, it was honourable on
your part to allow her to lose so much money!"

"Ah!  Monsieur, when a lady say she will play _comment faire_, what can
you do?"

"But why did you never play at this house, Monsieur?"

"Ah!  Monsieur Turnbull, it is for de lady of de house to propose de

"Very true," replied Mr Turnbull, writing a cheque for the two hundred
pounds; "there is your money, Mr Tagliabue; and now that you are paid,
allow me to observe that I consider you and your wife a couple of
swindlers; and beg that you will never enter my doors again."

"Vat you say, sir!  _Swind-lare_!  God dam!  Sar, I will have

"You've got your money--is that sufficient, or do you want anything
else?" replied Mr T, rising from his chair.

"Yes, sar, I do want more--I will have more."

"So you shall, then," replied Mr Turnbull, kicking him out of the room
along the passage, and out of the front door.

Monsieur Tagliabue turned round every now and then, and threatened, and
then tried to escape, as he perceived the upraised boot of Mr Turnbull.
When fairly out of the house he turned round, "Monsieur Turnbull, I
will have de satisfaction, de terrible satisfaction, for this.  You
shall pay.  By God, sar, you shall pay--de money for this."

That evening Mr Turnbull was summoned to appear at Bow Street on the
following morning for the assault.  He met Monsieur Tagliabue with his
lawyer, and acknowledged that he had kicked him out of his house for
swindling his wife, refused all accommodation, and was prepared with his
bail.  Monsieur Tagliabue stormed and blustered, talked about his
acquaintance with the nobility; but the magistrate had seen too much of
foreigners to place much reliance on their asseverations.  "Who are you,

"Sar, I am a gentleman."

"What profession are you of, sir?"

"Sar, a gentleman has no profession."

"But how do you live, Monsieur Tagliabue?"

"As a gentleman always does, sar."

"You mentioned Lord Scrope just now as your particular friend, I think?"

"Yes, sar, me very intimate with Lord Scrope; me spend three months at
Scrope Castle with mi Lady Scrope; mi Lady Scrope very fond of Madame

"Very well, Monsieur Tagliabue; we must proceed with another case until
Mr Turnbull's bail arrives.  Sit down for a little while, if you

Another case was then heard, which lasted about half-an-hour; but
previous to hearing it, the magistrate, who knew that Lord Scrope was in
town, had despatched a runner with a note to his lordship, and the
answer was now brought back.  The magistrate read it, and smiled; went
on with the other case, and when it was finished, said, "Now, M.
Tagliabue, you have said that you were intimate with Lord Scrope."

"Yes, sar, very intimate."

"Well, Lord Scrope I have the pleasure of knowing: and, as he is in
town, I wrote a note to him and here is his answer.  I will read it."

M.  Tagliabue turned pale as the magistrate read the following:--

  "DEAR SIR--A fellow of the name you mention came from Russia with me
  as my valet.  I discharged him with dishonesty; after he left, Lady
  Scrope's attendant, who it appeared was, unknown to us, married to
  him, left also, and then I discovered the peculations to have been so
  extensive that had we known where to have laid hold of him, I should
  certainly have brought them before you.  Now the affair is forgotten;
  but a greater scoundrel never existed;--Yours, SCROPE."

"Now, sir, what have you to say for yourself?" continued the magistrate
in a severe tone.  M.  Tagliabue fell on his knees and begged for mercy
from the magistrate, from Lord Scrope, and lastly, from Mr Turnbull, to
whom he proffered the draft for 200 pounds.  The magistrate, seeing that
Mr Turnbull did not take it, said to him, "Make no ceremony of taking
your money back again, Mr Turnbull; the very offer of it proves that he
has gained it dishonestly; and 600 pounds is quite enough to have lost."
Mr Turnbull then took the cheque and tore it in pieces, and the
magistrate ordered M.  Tagliabue to be taken to the alien office, and he
was sent to the other side of the Channel, in company with his wife, to
play _ecarte_ with whomsoever he pleased.  Thus ended the episode of
Monsieur Tagliabue.



"And now you see, Jacob, what a revolution has taken place; not very
pleasant, I grant, but still it was very necessary.  I have since been
paying all my bills, for the report of my being in difficulty has
brought them in fast enough; and I find that in these last five months
my wife has spent a whole year's income; so it was quite time to stop."

"I agree with you, sir; but what does Mrs Turnbull say now--has she
come to her senses?"

"Pretty well, I expect, although she does not quite choose to
acknowledge it.  I have told her that she must dispense with a carriage
in future; and so she shall, till I think she deserves it.  She knows
that she must either have _my company_ in the house, or none at all.
She knows that the Peters of Petercumb Hall have cut her, for they did
not answer a note of hers, sent by the gardener; and Mr Smith has
written a very violent answer to another of her notes, wondering at her
attempting to push herself into the company of the aristocracy.  But
what has brought her to her senses more than all is the affair of
Monsieur Tagliabue.  The magistrate, at my request, gave me the note of
Lord Scrope, and I have taken good care that she could read the police
report as well; but the fact is, she is so much mortified that I say
nothing to her.  She has been following the advice of these French
swindlers, who have led her wrong, to be able to cheat her of her money.
I expect she will ask me to sell this place, and go elsewhere; but at
present we hardly exchange a word during the whole day."

"I feel very sorry for her, sir; for I really believe her to be a very
good kind-hearted person."

"That's like you, Jacob--and so she is.  At present she is in a state to
be pitied.  She would throw a share of the blame upon other people, and
cannot--she feels it is all herself.  All her bubbles of grandeur have
burst, and she finds herself not half so respectable as she was before
her vanity induced her to cut her former acquaintance, and try to get
into the society of those who laughed at her, and at the same time were
not half so creditable.  But it's that cursed money which has proved her
unhappiness--and, I may add, mine."

"Well, sir, I see no chance of its ever adding to my misfortunes, at all

"Perhaps not, Jacob, even if you ever should get any; but, at all
events, you may take a little to-morrow, if you please.  I cannot ask
you to dine here; it would not be pleasant to you, and show a want of
feeling to my wife; but I should like you to come up with the wherry
to-morrow, and we'll take a cruise."

"Very well, I shall be at your orders--at what time?"

"Say ten o'clock if the weather is fine; if not the next day."

"Then, sir, I'll now wish you good-bye, as I must go and see the

Mr Turnbull took my hand, and we parted.  I was soon at Brentford, and
was continuing my course through the long, main street, when I met Mr
and Mrs Tomkins, the former head clerk who had charge of the Brentford
Wharf.  "I was intending to call upon you, sir, after I had paid a visit
to my old master."

"Very well, Jacob; and recollect we dine at half-past three--fillet of
veal and bacon--don't be late for dinner."

I promised that I would not, and in a few minutes more arrived at the
Grammar School.  I looked at its peaked, antiquated front, and called to
mind my feelings when, years back, I had first entered its porch.  What
a difference between the little uncouth, ignorant, savage, tricked out
like a harlequin, and now the tall, athletic, well-dressed youth, happy
in his independence, and conscious, although not vain, of his
acquirements! and I mentally blessed the founders.  But I had to talk to
the Dominie, and to keep my appointment with the veal and bacon at
half-past three, so I could not spare any time for meditation.  I,
therefore, unfolded my arms, and making use of my legs, entered the
wicket, and proceeded to the Dominie's room.  The door was ajar, and I
entered without being perceived.  I have often been reminded, by Flemish
paintings which I have seen since, of the picture which then presented
itself.  The room was not large, but lofty.  It had but one window,
fitted with small diamond-shaped panes in heavy wood-work, through which
poured a broad, but subdued, stream of light.  On one side of the window
was an ancient armoire, containing the Dominie's library, not gilt and
lettered but well thumbed and worn.  On the other his huge chest of
drawers, on which lay, alas! for the benefit of the rising generations,
a new birch rod, of large dimensions.  The table was in the centre of
the room, and the Dominie sat at it, with his back to the window, in a
dressing-gown, once black, having been a cassock, but now brown with
age.  He was on his high and narrow-backed chair, leaning forwards, with
both elbows on the table, his spectacles on his luxuriant nose, and his
hands nearly meeting on the top of his bald crown, earnestly poring over
the contents of a book.  A large Bible, which he constantly made use of,
was also on the table, and had apparently been shoved from him to give
place to the present object of his meditations.  His pipe lay on the
floor in two pieces, having been thrown off without his perceiving it.
On one side of him was a sheet of paper, on which he evidently had been
writing extracts.  I passed by him without his perceiving me, and
gaining the back of his chair, looked over his shoulder.  The work he
was so intent upon was "Ovid's Remedy of Love."

It appeared that he had nearly finished reading through the whole, for
in less than a minute he closed the book, and laying his spectacles
down, threw himself back in his chair.  "Strange," soliloquised the
Dominie; "Yet, verily, is some of his advice important, and I should
imagine commendable, yet I do not find my remedy therein.  `_Avoid
idleness_'--yes, that is sage counsel--and employment to one that hath
not employed himself may drive away thought; but I have never been idle,
and mine hath not been love in idleness; `_Avoid her presence_'--that I
must do; yet doth she still present herself to mine imagination, and I
doubt whether the tangible reality could be more clearly perceptible.
Even now doth she stand before me in all her beauty.  `_Read not
Propertius and Tibullus_'--that is easily refrained from; but read what
I will, in a minute the type passeth from my eyes, and I see but her
face beaming from the page.  Nay, cast my eyes in what direction I may
wist, it is the same.  If I looked at the stained wall, the indistinct
lines gradually form themselves into her profile; if I look at the
clouds, they will assume some of the redundant outlines of her form; if
I cast mine eyes upon the fire in the kitchen-grate, the coals will glow
and cool until I see her face; nay, but yesterday, the shoulder of
mutton upon the spit gyrated until it at last assumed the decapitated
head of Mary.  `_Think of her faults and magnify them_'--nay, that were
unjust and unchristian.  Let me rather correct mine own.  I fear me that
when Ovid wrote his picture he intended it for the use of young men, and
not for an old fool like me.  Behold!  I have again broken my pipe--the
fourth pipe that I have destroyed this week.  What will the dame say?
already hath she declared me demented, and God knows she is not very far
from the truth;" and the Dominie covered up his face in his hands.  I
took this opportunity to step to the door, and appear to enter it,
dropping the latch, and rousing the Dominie by the noise, who extended
to me his hand.  "Welcome, my son--welcome to thine old preceptor; and
to the walls which first received thee, when thou wert cast on shore as
a tangle weed from the river.  Sit, Jacob; I was thinking of thee and

"What, sir? of old Stapleton and his daughter, I suppose."

"Even so; ye were all in my thoughts at the moment that thou madest thy
appearance.  They are well?"

"Yes, sir," replied I.  "I see but little of them; the old man is always
smoking, and as for the girl--why, the less one sees of her the better,
I should say."

"Nay, Jacob, this is new to me; yet is she most pleasant."

I knew the Dominie's character, and that if anything could cure his
unfortunate passion, it would be a supposition on his part that the girl
was not correct.  I determined at all events to depreciate her, as I
knew that what I said would never be mentioned by him, and would
therefore do her no harm.  Still, I felt that I had to play a difficult
game, as I was determined not to state what was not the fact.
"Pleasant, sir; yes, pleasant to everybody; the fact is; I don't like
such girls as she is."

"Indeed, Jacob; what, is she light?"  I smiled and made no answer.  "Yet
I perceived it not," replied the Dominie.

"She is just like her mother," observed I.

"And what was her mother?"

I gave a brief account of her mother, and how she met her death in
trying to escape from her husband.  The Dominie mused.  "Little skilled
am I in women, Jacob, yet what thou sayest not only surpriseth but
grieveth me.  She is fair to look upon."

"Handsome is that handsome does, sir.  She'll make many a man's heart
ache yet, I expect."

"Indeed, Jacob.  I am full of marvel at what thou hast already told me."

"I have seen more of her, sir."

"I pray thee tell me more."

"No, sir, I had rather not.  You may imagine all you please."

"Still she is young, Jacob; when she becometh a wife she might alter."

"Sir, it is my firm opinion (and so it was), that if you were to marry
her to-morrow, she would run away from you in a week."

"Is that thy candid opinion, Jacob?"

"I will stake my life upon her so doing, although not as to the exact

"Jacob, I thank thee--thank thee much; thou hast opened mine eyes--thou
hast done me more good than Ovid.  Yes, boy; even the ancients, whom I
have venerated, have not done me so kind an act as thou, a stripling,
whom I have fostered.  Thou hast repaid me, Jacob--thou hast rewarded
me, Jacob--thou hast protected me, Jacob--thou hast saved me, Jacob--
hast saved me both from myself and from her; for know, Jacob--know--that
mine heart did yearn towards that maiden; and I thought her even to be
perfection.  Jacob, I thank thee!  Now leave me, Jacob, that I may
commune with myself, and search out my own heart, for I am awakened--
awakened as from a dream, and I would fain be quite alone."

I was not sorry to leave the Dominie, for I also felt that I would fain
be in company with the fillet of veal and bacon, so I shook hands, and
thus ended my second morning call.  I was in good time at Mr Tomkins',
who received me with great kindness.  He was well pleased with his new
situation, which was one of respectability and consequence,
independently of profit; and I met at his table one or two people who,
to my knowledge, would have considered it degrading to have visited him
when only head clerk to Mr Drummond.  We talked over old affairs, not
forgetting the ball, and the illuminations, and Mr Turnbull's _bon mot_
about Paradise; and after a very pleasant evening; I took my leave with
the intention of walking back to Fulham, but I found old Tom waiting
outside, on the look-out for me.

"Jacob, my boy, I want you to come down to my old shop one of these
days.  What day will you be able to come?  The lighter will be here for
a fortnight at least, I find from Mr Tomkins, as she waits for a cargo
coming by canal, and there is no other craft expected above bridge, so
tell me what day will you come and see the old woman, and spend the
whole day with us.  I wants to talk a bit with you, and ax your opinion
about a good many little things."

"Indeed!" replied I, smiling.  "What, are you going to build a new

"No, no--not that; but you see, Jacob, as I told you last winter, it was
time for me to give up night work up and down the river.  I'm not so
young as I was about fifty years ago, and there's a time for all things.
I do mean to give up the craft in the autumn, and go on shore for a
_full due_; but, at the same time, I must see how I can make matters
out, so tell me what day you will come."

"Well, then, shall we say Wednesday?"

"Wednesday's as good a day as any other day; come to breakfast, and you
shall go away after supper, if you like; if not, the old woman shall
sling a hammock for you."

"Agreed, then; but where's Tom?"

"Tom, I don't know; but I think he's gone after that daughter of
Stapleton's.  He begins to think of the girls now, Jacob; but, as the
old buffer, her father, says, `it's all human natur'.'  Howsomever, I
never interferes in these matters: they seem to be pretty well matched,
I think."

"How do you mean?"

"Why, as for good looks, they be well enough matched, that's sure; but I
don't mean that, I mean, he is quite as knowing as she is, and will
shift his helm as she shifts hers.  'Twill be a long running fight, and
when one strikes, t'other won't have much to boast of.  Perhaps they may
sheer off after all--perhaps they may sail as consorts; God only knows;
but this I knows, that Tom's sweetheart may be as tricky as she pleases,
but Tom's wife won't be--'cause why?  He'll keep her in order.  Well,
good-night; I have a long walk."

When I returned home I found Mary alone.  "Has Tom been here?" inquired

"What makes you ask that question?" replied Mary.

"To have it answered--if you have no objection."

"Oh, no!  Well, then, Mr Jacob, Tom has been here, and very amusing he
has been."

"So he always is," replied I.

"And where may you have been?"  I told her.  "So you saw old Dominie.
Now, tell me, what did he say about me?"

"That I shall not tell," replied I; "but I will tell you this, that he
will not think about you any more; and you must not expect ever to see
him again."

"But recollect that he promised."

"He kept his promise, Mary."

"Oh, he told you so, did he?  Did he tell you all that passed?"

"No, Mary, he never told me that he had been here, neither did he tell
me what had passed; but I happen to know all."

"I cannot understand that."

"Still, it is true; and I think, on the whole, you behaved pretty well,
although I cannot understand why you gave him a kiss at parting."

"Good heaven! where were you?  You must have been in the room.  And you
heard every word that passed?"

"Every word," replied I.

"Well," said Mary, "I could not have believed that you could have done
so mean a thing."

"Mary, rather accuse your own imprudence; what I heard was to be heard
by everyone in the street as well as by me.  If you choose to have love
scenes in a room not eight feet from the ground, with the window wide
open, you must not be surprised at every passer-by hearing what you

"Well, that's true.  I never thought of the window being open; not that
I would have cared if all the world had heard me, if _you_ had not."

It never occurred to me till then why Mary was annoyed at my having
overheard her, but at once I recollected what she had said about me.  I
made no answer.  Mary sat down, leaned her forehead against her hands,
and was also silent.  I, therefore, took my candle and retired.  It
appeared that Mary's pride was much mortified at my having heard her
confession of being partial to me--a confession which certainly made
very little impression on me, as I considered that she might, a month
afterwards, confess the same relative to Tom, or any other individual
who took her fancy; but in this I did not do her justice.  Her manners
were afterwards much changed towards me; she always appeared to avoid,
rather than to seek, further intimacy.  As for myself, I continued, as
before, very good friends, kind towards her, but nothing more.  The next
morning I was up at Mr Turnbull's by the time agreed upon, but before I
set off rather a singular occurrence took place.  I had just finished
cleaning my boat, and had resumed my jacket, when a dark man, from some
foreign country, came to the hard with a bundle under his arm.

"How much for to go to the other side of the river--how much pence?"

"Twopence," replied I; but not caring to take him, I continued, "but you
only pay one penny to cross the bridge."

"I know very well, but suppose you take me?"

He was a well-looking, not very dark man; his turban was of coloured
cloth--his trousers not very wide; and I could not comprehend whether he
was a Turk or not; I afterwards found out he was a Parsee, from the East
Indies.  He spoke very plain English.  As he decided upon crossing, I
received him, and shoved off; when we were in the middle of the stream,
he requested me to pull a little way up.  "That will do," said he,
opening his bundle, and spreading a carpet on the stern flooring of the
wherry.  He then rose, looking at the sun, which was then rising in all
its majesty, bowed to it, with his hands raised, three times, then knelt
on the carpet, and touched it several times with his forehead, again
rose to his feet, took some common field flowers from his vest, and cast
them into the stream, bowed again, folded up his carpet, and begged me
to pull on shore.

"I say my prayers," said the man, looking at me with his dark, piercing

"Very proper; whom did you say them to?"

"To my God."

"But why don't you say them on shore?"

"Can't see sun in the house; suppose I go out little boys laugh and
throw mud.  Where no am seen, river very proper place."

We landed, and he took out threepence, and offered it to me.  "No, no,"
said I; "I don't want you to pay for saying your prayers."

"No take money?"

"Yes, take money to cross the river, but not take money for saying
prayers.  If you want to say them any other morning, come down, and if I
am here, I'll always pull you into the stream."

"You very good man; I thank you."

The Parsee made me a low salaam, and walked away.  I may here observe
that the man generally came down at sunrise two or three days in the
week, and I invariably gave him a pull off into the stream, that he
might pursue his religious ceremony.  We often conversed and at last
became intimate.

Mr Turnbull was at the bottom of the lawn, which extended from his
house to the banks of the river, looking out for me, when I pulled up.
The basket with our dinner, etcetera, was lying by him on the gravel

"This is a lovely morning, Jacob; but it will be rather a warm day, I
expect," said he; "come, let us be off at once; lay in your sculls, and
let us get the oars to pass."

"How is Mrs Turnbull, sir?"

"Pretty well, Jacob; more like the Molly Brown that I married than she
has been for some years.  Perhaps, after all, this affair may turn out
one of the best things that ever happened.  It may bring her to her
senses--bring happiness back to our hearth; if so, Jacob, the money is
well spent."



We pulled leisurely up the stream, talking, and every now and then
resting on our oars to take breath; for, as the old captain said, "Why
should we make a toil of pleasure?  I like the upper part of the river
best, Jacob, because the water is clear, and I love clear water.  How
many hours have I, when a boy on board ship, hung over the gunwale of a
boat, lowered down in a calm, and watch the little floating objects in
the dark blue unfathomable water beneath me; objects of all sizes, of
all colours, and of all shapes--all of them beautiful and to be admired;
yet of them, perhaps, not one in a hundred millions ever meet the eye of
man.  You know, Jacob, that the North Seas are full of these animals--
you cannot imagine the quantity of them; the sailors call them blubbers,
because they are composed of a sort of transparent jelly but the real
name I am told is Medusae, that is the learned name.  The whale feeds on
them, and that is the reason why the whale is found where they are."

"I should like very much to go a voyage to the whale fishery," replied
I; "I've heard so much about it from you."

"It is a stirring life, and a hard life, Jacob; still it is an exciting
one.  Some voyages will turn out very pleasant, but others are dreadful,
from their anxiety.  If the weather continues fine, it is all very well;
but sometimes when there is a continuance of bad weather, it is
dreadful.  I recollect one voyage which made me show more grey hairs
than all the others, and I think I have been twenty-two in all.  We were
in the drift ice, forcing our way to the northward, when it came on to
blow--the sea rose, and after a week's gale it was tremendous.  We had
little daylight, and when it was daylight, the fog was so thick that we
could see but little; there we were tossing among the large drift ice,
meeting immense icebergs which bore down with all the force of the gale,
and each time we narrowly escaped perishing: the rigging was loaded with
ice; the bows of the ship were cased with it; the men were more than
half frozen, and we could not move a rope through a block without
pouring boiling water through it first, to clear it out.  But then the
long, dreary, dreadful nights, when we were rising on the mountain wave,
and then pitching down into the trough, not knowing but that at each
send we might strike upon the ice below, and go to the bottom
immediately afterwards.  All pitchy dark--the wind howling, and as it
struck you, cutting you to the back-bone with its cold, searching power,
the waves dancing all black around you, and every now and then
perceiving by its white colour and the foam encircling it a huge mass of
ice borne upon you, and hurled against you as if there were a demon, who
was using it as an engine for your destruction.  I never shall forget
the _turning_ of an iceberg during the dreadful gale which lasted for a
month and three days."

"I don't know what that means, sir."

"Why, you must know, Jacob, that the icebergs are all fresh water, and
are supposed to have been detached from the land by the force of the
weather and other causes.  Now, although ice floats, yet it floats deep:
that is, if an iceberg is five hundred feet high above the water, it is
generally six times as deep below the water--do you understand?"

"Perfectly, sir."

"Now, Jacob, the water is much warmer than the air, and in consequence,
the ice under the water melts away much faster; so that if the iceberg
has been some time afloat, at last the part that is below is not so
heavy as that which is above; then it turns, that is, it upsets and
floats in another position."

"I understand you, sir."

"Well, we were close to an iceberg, which was to windward of us, a very
tall one, indeed, and we reckoned that we should get clear of it, for we
were carrying a press of sail to effect it.  Still, all hands were
eagerly watching the iceberg, as it came down very fast before the
storm.  All of a sudden it blew twice as hard as before, and then one of
the men shouted out--`_Turning, turning_!'--and sure enough it was.
There was its towering summit gradually bowing towards us, until it
almost appeared as if the peak was over our heads.  Our fate appeared
inevitable, as the whole mountain of ice was descending on the vessel,
and would, of course, have crushed us into atoms.  We all fell on our
knees, praying mentally, and watching its awful descent; even the man at
the helm did the same, although he did not let go the spokes of the
wheel.  It had nearly half turned over, right for us, when the ice
below, being heavier on one side than on the other, gave it a more
slanting impetus, and shifting the direction of its fall, it plunged
into the sea about a cable's length astern of us, throwing up the water
to the heavens in foam, and blinding us all with the violence with which
it dashed into our faces.  For a minute the run of the waves was
checked, and the sea appeared to boil and dance, throwing up peaked,
pointed masses of water in all directions, one sinking, another rising,
the ship rocked and reeled as if she were drunk; even the current of the
gale was checked for a moment, and the heavy sails flapped and cleared
themselves of their icy varnishing--then all was over.  There was an
iceberg of another shape astern of us, the gale recommenced, the waves
pressed each other on as before, and we felt the return of the gale,
awful as it was, as a reprieve.  That was a dreadful voyage, Jacob, and
turned one-third of my hair grey; and what made it worse was, that we
had only three fish on board on our return.  However, we had reason to
be thankful, for eighteen of our vessels were lost altogether, and it
was the mercy of God that we were not among the number."

"Well, I suppose you told me that story to prevent my going a voyage?"

"Not a bit, Jacob; if it should chance that you find it your interest to
go to the North Pole, or anywhere else, I would say go, by all means;
let neither difficulty nor danger deter you; but do not go merely from
curiosity; that I consider foolish.  It's all very well for those who
come back to have the satisfaction to talk of such things, and it is but
fair that they should have it; but when you consider how many there are
who never come back at all, why, then, it's very foolish to push
yourself into needless danger and privation.  You are amused with my
recollections of Arctic voyages; but just call to mind how many years of
hardship, of danger, cold, and starvation I have undergone to collect
all these anecdotes, and then judge whether it be worth any man's while
to go for the sake of mere curiosity."

I then amused Mr Turnbull with the description of the picnic party,
which lasted until we had pulled far beyond Kew Bridge.  We thrust the
bow of the wherry into a bunch of sedges, and then we sat down to our
meal, surrounded by hundreds of blue dragon-flies, that flitted about as
if to inquire what we meant by intruding upon their domiciles.  We
continued there chatting and amusing ourselves till it was late, and
then shoved off and pulled down with the stream.  The sun had set, and
we had yet six or seven miles to return to Mr Turnbull's house, when we
perceived a slight, handsome young man in a skiff, who pulled towards

"I say, my lads," said he, taking us both for watermen, "have you a mind
to earn a couple of guineas with very little trouble?"

"Oh, yes," replied Mr Turnbull, "if you can show us how.  A fine chance
for you, Jacob," continued he, aside.

"Well, then, I shall want your services, perhaps, for not more than an
hour; it may be a little longer, as there is a lady in question, and we
may have to wait.  All I ask is, that you pull well and do your best.
Are you agreed?"

We consented; and he requested us to follow him, and then pulled for the

"This is to be an adventure, sir," said I.

"So it seems," replied Mr Turnbull; "all the better.  I'm old now, but
I'm fond of a spree."

The gentleman pulled into a little boat-house by the river's side,
belonging to one of the villas on the bank, made fast his boat, and then
stepped into ours.

"Now, we've plenty of time; just pull quietly for the present."  We
continued down the river, and after we had passed Kew Bridge, he
directed us in shore, on the right side, till we came to a garden
sweeping down to the river from a cottage _ornee_, of large dimensions,
about fifty yards from the bank.  The water was up to the brick-wall,
which rose from the river about four or five feet.  "That will do,
st---, st---, not a word," said he, rising in the stern sheets, and
looking over.  After a minute or two reconnoitring, he climbed from the
boat on to the parapet of the wall, and whistled two bars of an air
which I had till then never heard.  All was silent.  He crouched behind
a lilac bush, and in a minute he repeated the same air in a whistle as
before; still there was no appearance of movement at the cottage.  He
continued at intervals to whistle the portion of the air, and at last a
light appeared at an upper window: it was removed, and re-appeared three
times.  "Be ready now, my lads," said he.  In about two minutes
afterwards, a female, in a cloak, appeared, coming down the lawn, with a
box in her hand, panting with excitement.

"Oh, William, I heard your first signal, but I could not get into my
uncle's room for the box; at last he went out, and here it is."

The gentleman seized the box from her, and handed it to us in the boat.

"Take great care of that, my lads," said he; "and now, Cecilia, we have
no time to lose; the sooner you are in the boat the better."

"How am I to get down there, William?" replied she.

"Oh, nothing more easy.  Stop, throw your cloak into the boat, and then
all you have to do is, first to get upon the top of the wall, and then
trust to the watermen below and to me above for helping you."

It was not, however, quite so easy a matter; the wall was four feet high
above the boat, and moreover, there was a trellised work of iron, above
a foot high, which ran along the wall.  Still, she made every effort on
her own part, and we considered that we had arranged so as to conquer
the difficulty, when the young lady gave a scream.  We looked up and
beheld a third party on the wall.  It was a stout, tall, elderly man, as
far as we could perceive in the dark, who immediately seized hold of the
lady by the arm, and was dragging her away.  This was resisted by the
young gentleman, and the lady was relinquished by the other, to defend
himself; at the same time that he called out--"Help, help!  Thieves,

"Shall I go to his assistance?" said I to Mr Turnbull.  "One must stay
in the boat."

"Jump up, then, Jacob, for I never could get up that wall."

I was up in a moment, and gaining my feet, was about to spring to the
help of the young man, when four servants, with lights and with arms in
their hands, made their appearance, hastening down the lawn.  The lady
had fainted on the grass; the elderly gentleman and his antagonist were
down together, but the elderly gentleman had the mastery, for he was
uppermost.  Perceiving the assistance coming, he called out "Look to the
watermen, secure them."  I perceived that not a moment was to be lost.
I could be of no service, and Mr Turnbull might be in an awkward
scrape.  I sprang into the boat, shoved off, and we were in the stream
and at thirty yards' distance before they looked over the wall to see
where we were.

"Stop, in that boat! stop!" they cried.

"Fire, if they don't," cried their master.

We pulled as hard as we could.  A musquetoon was discharged, but the
shot dropped short; the only person who fell was the man who fired it.
To see us he had stood upon the coping bricks of the wall, and the
recoil tumbled him over into the river: we saw him fall, and heard the
splash; but we pulled on as hard as we could, and in a few minutes the
scene of action was far behind us.  We then struck across to the other
side of the river, and when we had gained close to the shore we took

"Well," said Mr Turnbull, "this is a spree I little looked for; to have
a blunderbuss full of shot sent after me."

"No," replied I, laughing, "that's carrying the joke rather too far on
the river Thames."

"Well, but what a pretty mess we are in: here we have property belonging
to God knows whom; and what are we to do with it?"

"I think, sir, the best thing we can do is, for you to land at your own
house with the property, and take care of it until we find out what all
this is about; and I will continue on with the sculls to the hard.  I
shall hear or find out something about it in a day or two; they may
still follow up the pursuit and trace us."

"The advice is good," replied Mr Turnbull, "and the sooner we cut over
again the better, for we are nearly abreast of my place."

We did so.  Mr Turnbull landed in his garden, taking with him the
tin-box (it was what they call a deed-box) and the lady's cloak.  I did
not wait, but boating the oars, took my sculls and pulled down to Fulham
as fast as I could.  I had arrived, and was pulling gently in, not to
injure the other boats, when a man with a lantern came into the wherry.

"Have you anything in your boat, my man?" said he.  "Nothing, sir,"
replied I.  The man examined the boat, and was satisfied.

"Tell me, did you see a boat with two men in it as you came along?"

"No, sir," replied I, "nothing has passed me."

"Where do you come from now?"

"From a gentleman's place near Brentford."

"Brentford?  Oh, then, you were far below them.  They are not down yet."

"Have you a job for me, sir?" said I, not wishing to appear anxious to
go away.

"No, my man, no; nothing to-night.  We are on the lookout, but we have
two boats in the stream, and a man at each landing-place."

I made fast my boat, shouldered my oars and sculls, and departed, not at
all sorry to get away.  It appeared that as soon as it was ascertained
that we were not to be stopped by being fired at, they saddled horses,
and the distance by the road being so much shorter, had, by galloping as
hard as they could, arrived at Fulham some ten minutes before me.  It
was, therefore, most fortunate that the box had been landed, or I should
have been discovered.  That the contents were of value was evident, from
the anxiety to secure them; but the mystery was still to be solved.  I
was quite tired with exertion and excitement when I arrived at
Stapleton's.  Mary was there to give me my supper, which I ate in
silence, complained of a headache, and went to bed.



That night I dreamed of nothing but the scene, over and over again, and
the two bars of music were constantly ringing in my ears.  As soon as I
had breakfasted the next morning I set off to Mr Turnbull's, and told
him what had occurred.

"It was indeed fortunate that the box was landed," said he, "or you
might have now been in prison; I wish I had had nothing to do with it;
but, as you say, `what's done can't be helped;' I will not give up the
box, at all events, until I know which party is entitled to it, and I
cannot help thinking that the lady is.  But, Jacob, you will have to
reconnoitre, and find out what this story is.  Tell me, do you think you
could remember the tune which he whistled so often?"

"It has been running in my head the whole night, and I have been trying
it all the way as I pulled here.  I think I have it exact.  Hear,
sir."--I whistled the two bars.

"Quite correct, Jacob, quite correct; well, take care not to forget
them.  Where are you going to-day?"

"Nowhere, sir."

"Suppose, then, you pull up the river, and find out the place where we
landed, and when you have ascertained that, you can go on and see
whether the young man is with the skiff; at all events you may find out
something--but pray be cautious."

I promised to be very careful, and departed on my errand, which I
undertook with much pleasure, for I was delighted with anything like
adventure.  I pulled up the river, and in about an hour and a-quarter,
came abreast of the spot.  I recognised the cottage _ornee_, the parapet
wall, even the spot where we lay, and perceived that several bricks were
detached and had fallen into the river.  There appeared to be no one
stirring in the house, yet I continued to pull up and down, looking at
the windows; at last one opened, and a young lady looked out, who, I was
persuaded, was the same that we had seen the night before.  There was no
wind, and all was quiet around.  She sat at the window, leaning her head
on her hand.  I whistled the two bars of the air.  At the first bar she
started up, and looked earnestly at me as I completed the second.  I
looked up; she waved her handkerchief once, and then shut the window.
In a few seconds she made her appearance on the lawn, walking down
towards the river.  I immediately pulled in under the wall.  I laid in
my sculls, and held on, standing up in the boat.

"Who are you? and who sent you?" said she, looking down on me, and
discovering one of the most beautiful faces I had ever beheld.

"No one sent me ma'am," replied I, "but I was in the boat last night.  I
am sorry you were so unfortunate, but your box and cloak are quite

"You were one of the men in the boat.  I trust no one was hurt when they
fired at you?"

"No ma'am."

"And where is the box?"

"In the house of the person who was with me."

"Can he be trusted?  For they will offer large rewards for it."

"I should think so, ma'am," replied I, smiling; "the person who was with
me is a gentleman of large fortune, who was amusing himself on the
river.  He desires me to say that he will not give up the box until he
knows to whom the contents legally belong."

"Good heavens, how fortunate!  Am I to believe you?"

"I should hope so, ma'am."

"And what are you, then?  You are not a waterman?"

"Yes, ma'am, I am."

She paused, looked earnestly at me for a little while, and then
continued, "How did you learn the air you whistled?"

"The young gentleman whistled it six or seven times last night before
you came.  I tried it this morning coming up, as I thought it would be
the means of attracting your attention.  Can I be of any service to you,

"Service--yes, if I could be sure you were to be trusted--of the
greatest service.  I am confined here--cannot send a letter--watched as
I move--only allowed the garden, and even watched while I walk here.
They are most of them in quest of the tin box to-day, or I should not be
able to talk to you so long."  She looked round at the house anxiously,
and then said, "Stop here a minute, while I walk a little."  She then
retreated, and paced up and down the garden walk.  I still remained
under the wall, so as not to be perceived from the house.  In about
three or four minutes she returned and said, "It would be very cruel--it
would be more than cruel--it would be very wicked of you to deceive me,
for I am very unfortunate and very unhappy."  The tears started in her
eyes.  "You do not look as if you would.  What is your name?"

"Jacob Faithful, ma'am, and I will be true to my name, if you will put
your trust in me.  I never deceived any one that I can recollect; and
I'm sure I would not you--now that I've seen you."

"Yes, but money will seduce everybody."

"Not me, ma'am.  I've as much as I wish for."

"Well, then, I will trust you, and think you sent from heaven to my aid;
but how am I to see you?  To-morrow my uncle will be back, and then I
shall not be able to speak to you one moment, and if seen to speak to
you, you will be laid in wait for, and perhaps shot."

"Well, ma'am," replied I, after a pause, "if you cannot speak, you can
write.  You see that the bricks on the parapet are loose here.  Put your
letter under this brick--I can take it away even in day-time, without
being noticed, and can put the answer in the same place, so that you can
secure it when you come out."

"How very clever!  Good heavens, what an excellent idea!"

"Was the young gentleman hurt, ma'am, in the scuffle last night?"
inquired I.

"No, I believe not much, but I wish to know where he is, to write to
him; could you find out?"  I told her where we had met him, and what had
passed.  "That was Lady Auburn's," replied she; "he is often there--she
is our cousin but I don't know where he lives, and how to find him I
know not.  His name is William Wharncliffe.  Do you think you could find
him out?"

"Yes, ma'am, with a little trouble it might be done.  They ought to know
where he is at Lady Auburn's."

"Yes, some of the servants might--but how will you get to them?"

"That, ma'am, I must find out.  It may not be done in one day, or two
days, but if you will look every morning under this brick, if there is
anything to communicate you will find it there."

"You can write and read, then?"

"I should hope so, ma'am," replied I, laughing.

"I don't know what to make of you.  Are you really a waterman?"

"Really, and--" She turned her head round at the noise of a window

"You must go--don't forget the brick;" and she disappeared.

I shoved my wherry along by the side of the wall, so as to remain
unperceived until I was clear of the frontage attached to the cottage;
and then, taking my sculls, pulled into the stream; and as I was
resolved to see if I could obtain any information at Lady Auburn's, I
had to pass the garden again, having shoved my boat down the river
instead of up, when I was under the wall.  I perceived the young lady
walking with a tall man by her side; he speaking very energetically, and
using much gesticulation, she holding down her head.  In another minute
they were shut out from my sight.  I was so much stricken with the
beauty and sweetness of expression in the young lady's countenance that
I was resolved to use my best exertions to be of service to her.  In
about an hour-and-a-half I had arrived at the villa, abreast of which we
had met the young gentleman, and which the young lady had told me
belonged to Lady Auburn.  I could see no one in the grounds, nor indeed
in the house.  After watching a few minutes, I landed as near to the
villa as I could, made fast the wherry, and walked round to the
entrance.  There was no lodge, but a servant's door at one side.  I
pulled the bell, having made up my mind how to proceed as I was walking
up.  The bell was answered by an old woman, who, in a snarling tone,
asked me "what did I want?"

"I am waiting below, with my boat, for Mr Wharncliffe; has he come

"Mr Wharncliffe!  No--he's not come; nor did he say that he would come;
when did you see him?"

"Yesterday.  Is Lady Auburn at home?"

"Lady Auburn--no; she went to town this morning; everybody goes to
London now, that they may not see the flowers and green trees, I

"But I suppose Mr Wharncliffe will come," continued I, "so I must wait
for him."

"You can do just as you like," replied the old woman, about to shut the
gate in my face.

"May I request a favour of you, ma'am, before you shut the gate--which
is, to bring me a little water to drink, for the sun is hot, and I have
had a long pull up here;" and I took out my handkerchief and wiped my

"Yes, I'll fetch you some," replied she, shutting the gate and going

"This don't seem to answer very well," thought I to myself.  The old
woman returned, opened the gate, and handed me a mug of water.  I drank
some, thanked her, and returned the mug.

"I am very tired," said I; "I should like to sit down and wait for the

"Don't you sit down when you pull?" inquired the old woman.

"Yes," replied I.

"Then you must be tired of sitting, I should think, not of standing; at
all events, if you want to sit, you can sit in your boat, and mind it at
the same time."  With this observation she shut the door upon me, and
left me without any more comment.

After this decided repulse on the part of the old woman, I had nothing
to do but take her advice--viz., to go and look after my boat.  I pulled
down to Mr Turnbull's, and told him my good and bad fortune.  It being
late, he ordered me some dinner in his study, and we sat there
canvassing over the affair.  "Well," said he, as we finished, "you must
allow me to consider this as my affair, Jacob, as I was the occasion of
our getting mixed up in it.  You must do all that you can to find this
young man, and I shall hire Stapleton's boat by the day until we
succeed; you need not tell him so, or he may be anxious to know why.
To-morrow you go down to old Beazeley's?"

"Yes, sir; you cannot hire me to-morrow."

"Still I shall, as I want to see you to-morrow morning before you go.
Here's Stapleton's money for yesterday and to-day and now good-night."

I was at Mr Turnbull's early the next morning, and found him with the
newspapers before him.  "I expected this, Jacob," said he; "read that
advertisement."  I read as follows:--"Whereas, on Friday night last,
between the hours of nine and ten, a tin box, containing deeds and
papers, was handed into a wherry from the grounds of a villa between
Brentford and Kew, and the parties who owned it were prevented from
accompanying the same.  This is to give notice, that a reward of twenty
pounds will be paid to the watermen, upon their delivering up the same
to Messrs. James and John White, of Number 14 Lincoln's Inn Fields.  As
no other parties are authorised to receive the said tin box of papers,
all other applications for it must be disregarded.  An early attention
to this advertisement will oblige."

"There must be papers of no little consequence in that box, Jacob,
depend upon it," said Mr Turnbull; "however, here they are, and here
they shall remain until I know more about it; that's certain.  I intend
to try what I can do myself with the old woman, for I perceive the villa
is to be let for three months--here is the advertisement in the last
column.  I shall go to town to-day, and obtain a ticket from the agent,
and it is hard but I'll ferret out something.  I shall see you
to-morrow.  Now you may go, Jacob."

I hastened away, as I had promised to be down to old Tom's to breakfast;
an hour's smart pulling brought me to the landing-place, opposite to his



The house of old Tom Beazeley was situated on the verge of Battersea
Fields, about a mile-and-a-half from the bridge bearing the same name;
the river about twenty yards before it--the green grass behind it, and
not a tree within half-a-mile of it.  There was nothing picturesque in
it but its utter loneliness; it was not only lonely, but isolated, for
it was fixed upon a delta of about half-an-acre, between two creeks,
which joined at about forty yards from the river, and ran up through the
fields, so that the house was at high water upon an island, and at low
water was defended by an impassable barrier of mud, so that the advances
to it could be made only from the river, where a small _hard_, edged
with posts worn down to the conformation of decayed double-teeth,
offered the only means of access.  The house itself was one storey high;
dark red bricks, and darker tiles upon the roof; windows very scarce and
very small, although built long before the damnable tax upon light, for
it was probably built in the time of Elizabeth, to judge by the
peculiarity of the style of architecture observable in the chimneys; but
it matters very little at what epoch was built a tenement which was
rented at only ten pounds per annum.  The major part of the said island
was stocked with cabbage plants; but on one side there was half a boat
set upright, with a patch of green before it.  At the time that old
Beazeley hired it there was a bridge rudely constructed of old ship
plank, by which you could gain a path which led across the Battersea
Fields; but as all the communications of old Tom were by water, and Mrs
Beazeley never ventured over the bridge, it was gradually knocked away
for firewood, and when it was low-water, one old post, redolent of mud,
marked the spot where the bridge had been.  The interior was far more
inviting.  Mrs Beazeley was a clean person and frugal housewife, and
every article in the kitchen, which was the first room you entered, was
as clean and as bright as industry could make it.  There was a parlour
also, seldom used; both of the inmates, when they did meet, which was
not above a day or two in three weeks, during the time that old Beazeley
was in charge of the lighter, preferring comfort to grandeur.  In this
isolated house, upon this isolated spot, did Mrs Beazeley pass a life
of most isolation.

And yet, perhaps there never was a more lively or a more happy woman
than Mrs Beazeley, for she was strong and in good health, and always
employed.  She knew that her husband was following up his avocation on
the river, and laying by a provision for their old age, which she
herself was adding considerably to it by her own exertions.  She had
married old Tom long before he had lost his legs, at a time when he was
a prime, active sailor, and the best man of the ship.  She was a
net-maker's daughter, and had been brought up to the business, at which
she was very expert.  The most difficult part of the art is that of
making large _seines_ for taking sea-fish; and when she had no order for
those to complete, the making of casting-nets beguiled away her time as
soon as her household cares had been disposed of.  She made money and
husbanded it, not only for herself and her partner, but for her son,
young Tom, upon whom she doted.  So accustomed was she to work hard and
be alone that it was most difficult to say whether she was most pleased
or most annoyed when her husband and son made their appearance for a day
or two, and the latter was alternately fondled and scolded during the
whole of his sojourn.  Tom, as the reader may suppose from a knowledge
of his character, caring about as much for the one as the other.

I pulled into the _hard_, and made fast my boat.  There was no one
outside the door when I landed; on entering, I found them all seated at
the table, and a grand display of fragments, in the shape of
herring-bones, etcetera.  "Well, Jacob--come at last--thought you had
forgot us; piped to breakfast at eight bells--always do, you know," said
old Tom, on my making my appearance.

"Have you had your breakfast, Jacob?" said Mrs Beazeley.

"No," replied I; "I was obliged to go up to Mr Turnbull's, and that
detained me."

"No more sodgers, Jacob," said Tom; "father and I eat them all."

"Have you?" replied Mrs Beazeley, taking two more red herrings out of
the cupboard, and putting them on the fire to grill; "no, no, master
Tom, there's some for Jacob yet."

"Well, mother, you make nets to some purpose, for you've always a fish
when it's wanted."

I despatched my breakfast, and as soon as all had been cleared away by
his wife, old Tom, crossing his two timber legs, commenced business, for
it appeared, what I was not aware of, that we had met on a sort of

"Jacob, sit down by me; old woman, bring yourself to an anchor in the
high chair.  Tom, sit anywhere, so you sit still."

"And leave my net alone, Tom," cried his mother, in parenthesis.--"You
see, Jacob, the whole long and short of it is this--I feel my toes more
and more, and flannel's no longer warm.  I can't tide it any longer, and
I think it high time to lie up in ordinary and moor abreast of the old
woman.  Now, there's Tom, in the first place, what's to do with he?  I
think that I'll build him a wherry, and as I'm free of the river he can
finish his apprenticeship with my name on the boat; but to build him a
wherry would be rather a heavy pull for me."

"If you mean to build it yourself, I think it will prove a _heavy pull_
for me," replied Tom.

"Silence, Tom; I built you, and God knows you're light enough."

"And, Tom, leave my net alone," cried his mother.

"Father made me light-fingered, mother."

"Ay, and light-hearted too, boy," rejoined the dame, looking fondly at
her son.

"Well," continued old Tom, "supposing that Tom be provided for in that
way; then now I comes to myself.  I've an idea that I can do a good bit
of work in patching up boats; for you see I always was a bit of a
carpenter, and I know how the builders extortionate the poor watermen
when there's a trifle amiss.  Now, if they knew I could do it, they'd
all come to me fast enough; but then there's a puzzle.  I've been
thinking this week how I can make them know it.  I can't put out a board
and say, Beazeley, _Boat-builder_, because I'm no boatbuilder, but still
I want a sign."

"Lord, father, haven't you got one already?" interrupted young Tom;
"you've half a boat stuck up there, and that means that you're half a

"Silence, Tom, with your frippery; what do you think.  Jacob?"

"Could you not say, `Boats repaired here?'"

"Yes, but that won't exactly do; they like to employ a builder--and
there's the puzzle."

"Not half so puzzling as this net," observed Tom, who had taken up the
needle, unseen by his mother, and begun to work; "I've made only ten
stitches, and six of them are long ones."

"Tom, Tom, you good-for-nothing--why don't you let my net alone?" cried
Mrs Beazeley; "now 'twill take me as much time to undo ten stitches as
to have made fifty."

"All right, mother."

"No, Tom, all's wrong; look at these meshes?"

"Well, then, all's fair, mother."

"No, all's foul, boy; look how it's tangled."

"Still, I say, all's fair, mother, for it is but fair to give the fish
one or two chances to get away, and that's just what I've done; and now,
father, I'll settle your affair to your own satisfaction, as I have

"That will be queer satisfaction, Tom, I guess; but let's hear what you
have to say."

"Then, father, it seems that you're no boat-builder, but you want people
to fancy that you are--a'n't that the question?"

"Why, 'tis something like it, Tom, but I do nobody no harm."

"Certainly not; it's only the boats which will suffer.  Now, get a large
board, with `Boats _built to order_, and boats repaired, by Tom
Beazeley.'  You know if any man is fool enough to order a boat, that's
his concern; you didn't say you're a boat-builder, although you have no
objection to try your hand."

"What do you say Jacob?" said old Tom, appealing to me.

"I think that Tom has given very good advice, and I would follow it."

"Ah!  Tom has a head," said Mrs Beazeley, fondly.  "Tom, let go my net
again, will you?  What a boy you are!  Now touch it again if you dare,"
and Mrs Beazeley took up a little poker from the fire-place and shook
it at him.

"Tom has a head, indeed," said young Tom, "but as he has no wish to have
it broken, Jacob, lend me your wherry for half-an-hour, and I'll be

I assented, and Tom, first tossing the cat upon his mother's back, made
his escape, crying:

  "Lord, Molly, what a fish--"

as the animal fixed in its claws to save herself from falling, making
Mrs Beazeley roar out and vow vengeance, while old Tom and I could not
refrain from laughter.

After Tom's departure the conversation was renewed, and everything was
finally arranged between old Tom and his wife, except the building of
the wherry, at which the old woman shook her head.  The debate would be
too long, and not sufficiently interesting to detail; one part, however,
I must make the reader acquainted with.  After entering into all the
arrangements of the house, Mrs Beazeley took me upstairs to show me the
rooms, which were very neat and clean.  I came down with her, and old
Tom said, "Did the old woman show you the room with the white curtains,

"Yes," replied I, "and a very nice one it is."

"Well, Jacob, there's nothing sure in this world.  You're well off at
present, and `leave well alone' is a good motto; but recollect this,
that room is for you when you want it, and everything else we can share
with you.  It's offered freely, and you will accept it the same.  Is it
not, old lady?"

"Yes, that it is, Jacob; but may you do better--if not, I'll be your
mother for want of a better."

I was moved with the kindness of the old couple; the more so as I did
not know what I had done to deserve it.  Old Tom gave me a hearty
squeeze of the hand, and then continued--"But about this wherry--what do
you say, old woman?"

"What will it cost?" replied she, gravely.

"Cost; let me see--a good wherry, with sculls and oars, will be a matter
of thirty pounds."

The old woman screwed up her mouth, shook her head, and then walked away
to prepare for dinner.

"I think she could muster the blunt, Jacob, but she don't like to part
with it.  Tom must coax her.  I wish he hadn't shied the cat at her.
He's too full of fun."

As old Beazeley finished, I perceived a wherry pulling in with some
ladies.  I looked attentively, and recognised my own boat, and Tom
pulling.  In a minute more they were at the _hard_, and who, to my
astonishment, were there seated, but Mrs Drummond and Sarah.  As Tom
got out of the boat and held it steady against the _hard_, he called to
me; I could not do otherwise than go and assist them out; and once more
did I touch the hands of those whom I never thought to meet again.  Mrs
Drummond retained my hand a short time after she landed, saying, "We are
friends, Jacob, are we not!"

"Oh, yes, madam," replied I, much moved, in a faltering voice.

"I shall not ask that question," said Sarah, gaily, "for we parted

And as I recalled to mind her affectionate behaviour, I pressed her
hand, and the tears glistened in my eyes as I looked into her sweet
face.  As I afterwards discovered, this was an arranged plan with old
and young Tom, to bring about a meeting without my knowledge.  Mrs
Beazeley courtesied and stroked her apron--smiled at the ladies, looked
very _cat_-ish at Tom, showed the ladies into the house, where old Tom
assisted to do the honours after his own fashion, by asking Mrs
Drummond if she would like to _whet her whistle_ after her _pull_.  Mrs
Drummond looked round to me for explanation, but young Tom thought
proper to be interpreter.  "Father wants to know, if you please, ma'am,
whether, after your _pull_ in the boat, you wouldn't like to have a
_pull_ at the brandy bottle?"

"No," replied Mrs Drummond, smiling; "but I should be obliged for a
glass of water.  Will you get me one, Jacob?"

I hastened to comply, and Mrs Drummond entered into conversation with
Mrs Beazeley.  Sarah looked at me, and went to the door, turning back
as inviting me to follow.  I did so, and we soon found ourselves seated
on the bench in the old boat.

"Jacob," said she, looking earnestly at me, "you surely will be friends
with _my_ father?"

I think I should have shaken my head, but she laid an emphasis on _my_,
which the little gipsy knew would have its effect.  All my resolutions,
all my pride, all my sense of injury vanished before the mild, beautiful
eyes of Sarah, and I replied hastily, "Yes, Miss Sarah, I can refuse
_you_ nothing."

"Why _Miss_, Jacob?"

"I am a waterman, and you are much above me."

"That is your own fault; but say no more about it."

"I must say something more, which is this: do not attempt to make me
leave my present employment; I am happy, because I am independent; and
that I will, if possible, be for the future."

"Any one can pull an oar, Jacob."

"Very true, Miss Sarah, and is under no obligation to any one by so
earning his livelihood.  He works for all and is paid for all."

"Will you come and see us, Jacob?  Come to-morrow--now do--promise me.
Will you refuse your old playmate, Jacob?"

"I wish you would not ask that."

"How then can you say that you are friends with my father?  I will not
believe you unless you promise to come."

"Sarah," replied I, earnestly, "I will come; and to prove to you that we
are friends, I will ask a favour of him."

"Oh, Jacob, this is kind indeed," cried Sarah, with her eyes swimming
with tears.  "You have made me so--so very happy!"

The meeting with Sarah humanised me, and every feeling of revenge was
chased from my memory.  Mrs Drummond joined us soon after, and proposed
to return.  "And Jacob will pull us back," cried Sarah.  "Come, sir,
look after your _fare_, in both senses.  Since you will be a waterman,
you shall work."  I laughed and handed them to the boat.  Tom took the
other oar, and we were soon at the steps close to their house.

"Mamma, we ought to give these poor fellows something to drink; they've
worked very hard," said Sarah, mocking.  "Come up, my good men."  I
hesitated.  "Nay, Jacob, if tomorrow why not to-day?  The sooner these
things are over the better."

I felt the truth of this observation, and followed her.  In a few
minutes I was again in that parlour in which I had been dismissed, and
in which the affectionate girl burst into tears on my shoulder, as I
held the handle of the door.  I looked at it, and looked at Sarah.  Mrs
Drummond had gone out of the room to let Mr Drummond know that I had
come.  "How kind you were, Sarah!" said I.

"Yes, but kind people are cross sometimes, and so am I--and so was--"

Mr Drummond came in, and stopped her.  "Jacob, I am glad to see you
again in my house; I was deceived by appearances, and did you
injustice."  How true is the observation of the wise man, that a soft
word turneth away wrath; that Mr Drummond should personally acknowledge
that he was wrong to me--that he should confess it--every feeling of
resentment was gone, and others crowded in their place.  I recollected
how he had protected the orphan--how he had provided him with
instruction--how he had made _his_ house a home to me--how he had tried
to bring me forward under his own protection I recollected--which, alas!
I never should have forgotten--that he had treated me for years with
kindness and affection, all of which had been obliterated from my memory
by one single act of injustice.  I felt that I was a culprit, and burst
into tears; and Sarah, as before, cried in sympathy.

"I beg your pardon, Mr Drummond," said I, as soon as I could speak; "I
have been very wrong in being so revengeful after so much kindness from

"We both have been wrong--but say no more on the subject, Jacob; I have
an order to give, and then I will come up to you again;" and Mr
Drummond quitted the room.

"You dear, good boy," said Sarah, coming up to me.  "Now, I really do
love you."

What I might have replied was put a stop to by Mrs Drummond entering
the room.  She made a few inquiries about where I at present resided,
and Sarah was catechising me rather inquisitively about Mary Stapleton,
when Mr Drummond re-entered the room, and shook me by the hand with a
warmth which made me more ashamed of my conduct towards him.  The
conversation became general, but still rather embarrassed, when Sarah
whispered to me "What is the favour you would ask of my father?"  I had
forgotten it at the moment, but I immediately told him that I would be
obliged if he would allow me to have a part of the money belonging to me
which he held in his possession.

"That I will, with pleasure, and without asking what you intend to do
with it, Jacob.  How much do you require?"

"Thirty pounds, if there is so much."

Mr Drummond went down, and in a few minutes returned with the sum in
notes and guineas.  I thanked him, and shortly afterwards took my leave.

"Did not young Beazeley tell you I had something for you, Jacob?" said
Sarah, as I wished her good-bye.

"Yes; what is it?"

"You must come and see," replied Sarah, laughing.  Thus was a finale to
all my revenge brought about by a little girl of fifteen years old, with
large dark eyes.

Tom had taken his glass of grog below, and was waiting for me at the
steps.  We shoved off, and returned to his father's house, where dinner
was just ready.  After dinner old Tom recommenced the argument; "The
only hitch," says he, "is about the wherry.  What do you say, old
woman?"  The old woman shook her head.

"As that is the only hitch," said I, "I can remove it, for here is the
money for the wherry, which I make a present to Tom," and I put the
money into young Tom's hand.  Tom counted it out before his father and
mother, much to their astonishment.

"You are a good fellow, Jacob," said Tom; "but I say, do you recollect
Wimbledon Common?"

"What then?" replied I.

"Only Jerry Abershaw, that's all."

"Do not be afraid, Tom, it is honestly mine."

"But how did you get it, Jacob," said old Tom.

It may appear strange, but, impelled by a wish to serve my friends, I
had asked for the money which I knew belonged to me, but never thought
of the manner in which it had been obtained.  The question of old Tom
recalled everything to my memory, and I shuddered when I recollected the
circumstances attending it.  I was confused, and did not like to reply.
"Be satisfied, the money is mine," replied I.

"Yes, Jacob, but how?" replied Mrs Beazeley; "surely you ought to be
able to tell how you got so large a sum."

"Jacob has some reason for not telling, missus, depend upon it; mayhap
Mr Turnbull, or whoever gave it to him, told him to hold his tongue."
But this answer would not satisfy Mrs Beazeley, who declared she would
not allow a farthing to be taken unless she knew how it was obtained.

"Tom, give back the money directly," said she, looking at me

Tom laid it on the table before me, without saying a word.

"Take it, Tom," said I, colouring up.  "I had it from my mother."

"From your mother, Jacob!" said old Tom.  "Nay, that could not well be,
if my memory sarves me right.  Still it may be."

"Deary me, I don't like this at all," cried Mrs Beazeley, getting up,
and wiping her apron with a quick motion.  "Oh, Jacob, that must be--not
the truth."

I coloured up to the tips of my ears at being suspected of falsehood.  I
looked round, and saw that even Tom and his father had a melancholy
doubt in their countenances; and certainly my confused appearance would
have caused suspicion in anybody.  "I little thought," said I, at last,
"when I hoped to have so much pleasure in giving, and to find that I had
made you happy in receiving the money, that it would have proved a
source of so much annoyance.  I perceive that I am suspected of having
obtained it improperly, and of not having told the truth.  That Mrs
Beazeley may think so, who does not know me, is not to be wondered at;
but that you," continued I, turning to old Tom, "or you," looking at his
son, "should suspect me, is very mortifying; and I did not expect it.  I
tell you that the money is mine, honestly mine, and obtained from my
mother.  I ask you, do you believe me?"

"I, for one, do believe you, Jacob," said young Tom, striking his fist
on the table.  "I can't understand it, but I know you never told a lie,
or did a dishonourable act since I've known you."

"Thank you, Tom," said I, taking his proffered hand.

"And I would swear the same, Jacob," said old Tom; "although I have been
longer in the world than my boy has, and have, therefore, seen more; and
sorry am I to say, many a good man turned bad, from temptation being too
great; but when I looked in your face, and saw the blood up to your
forehead, I did feel a little suspicious, I must own; but I beg your
pardon, Jacob; no one can look in your face now and not see that you are
innocent.  I believe all you say, in spite of the old woman and--the
devil to boot--and there's my hand upon it."

"Why not tell--why not tell?" muttered Mrs Beazeley, shaking her head,
and working at her net faster than ever.

But I had resolved to tell, and did so, narrating distinctly the
circumstances by which the money had been obtained.  I did it, however,
with feelings of mortification which I cannot express.  I felt
humiliation--I felt that, for my own wants, that money I never could
touch.  Still my explanation had the effect of removing the doubts even
of Mrs Beazeley, and harmony was restored.  The money was accepted by
the old couple, and promised to be applied for the purpose intended.

"As for me, Jacob," said Tom, "when I say I thank you, you know I mean
it.  Had I had the money, and you had wanted it, you will believe me
when I say that I would have given it to you."

"That I'm sure of, Tom."

"Still, Jacob, it is a great deal of money, and I shall lay by my
earnings as fast as I can, that you may have it in case you want it; but
it will take many a heavy pull and many a shirt wet with labour before I
can make up a sum like that."

I did not stay much longer after this little fracas; I was hurt--my
pride was wounded by suspicion, and fortunate it was that the occurrence
had not taken place previous to my meeting with Mrs Drummond and Sarah,
otherwise no reconciliation would have taken place in that quarter.  How
much are we the sport of circumstances, and how insensibly they mark out
our career in this world?  With the best intentions we go wrong;
instigated by unworthy motives, we fall upon our feet, and the chapter
of accidents has more power over the best regulated mind than all the
chapters in the Bible.



I shook hands with Tom, who perceiving that I was vexed, had accompanied
me down to the boat, with his usual sympathy, and had offered to pull
with me to Fulham, and walk back; which offer I declined, as I wished to
be alone.  It was a fine moonlight night, and the broad light and
shadow, with the stillness of all around, were peculiarly adapted to my
feelings.  I continued my way up the river, revolving in my mind the
scenes of the day; the reconciliation with one whom I never intended to
have spoken to again; the little quarrel with those whom I never
expected to have been at variance with, and that at the time when I was
only exerting myself to serve them; and then I thought of Sarah, as an
oasis of real happiness in this contemplated desert, and dwelt upon the
thought of her as the most pleasant and calming to my still agitated
mind.  Thus did I ruminate till I had passed Putney Bridge, forgetting
that I was close to my landing place, and continuing, in my reverie, to
pull up the river, when my cogitations were disturbed by a noise of men
laughing and talking, apparently in a state of intoxication.  They were
in a four-oared wherry, coming down the river, after a party of
pleasure, as it is termed, generally one ending in intoxication, I

"I tell you I can spin an oar with any man in the king's service," said
the man in the bow, "Now look."

He threw his oar out of the rowlocks, spun it in the air, but
unfortunately did not catch it when it fell, and consequently it went
through the bottom, starting two of the planks of the fragile-built
boat, which immediately filled with water.

"Hilloa! waterman!" cried another, perceiving me, "quick, or we shall
sink."  But the boat was nearly up to the thwarts in water before I
could reach her, and just as I was nearly alongside she filled and
turned over.

"Help, waterman; help me first; I'm senior clerk," cried a voice which I
well knew.  I put out my oar to him as he struggled in the water, and
soon had him clinging to the wherry.  I then tried to catch hold of the
man who had sunk the boat by his attempt to toss the oar, but he very
quietly said, "No, damn it, there's too many; we shall swamp the wherry;
I'll swim on shore"--and suiting the action to the word, he made for the
shore with perfect self-possession, swimming in his clothes with great
ease and dexterity.

I picked up two more, and thought that all were saved, when turning
round, and looking towards the bridge, I saw resplendent in the bright
beams of the moon, and "round as its orb," the well-remembered face of
the stupid young clerk who had been so inimical to me, struggling with
all his might.  I pulled to him, and putting out my oar over the bow, he
seized it after rising from his first sink, and was, with the other
three, soon clinging to the side of the wherry.

"Pull me in--pull me in, waterman!" cried the head clerk, whose voice I
had recognised.

"No; you will swamp the boat."

"Well, but pull me in, if not the others.  I'm the senior clerk."

"Can't help that; you must hold on," replied I, "while I pull you on
shore; we shall soon be there."  I must say that I felt a pleasure in
allowing him thus to hang in the water.  I might have taken them all in
certainly, although at some risk, from their want of presence of mind
and hurry, arising from the feeling of self-preservation; but I desired
them to hold on, and pulled for the landing-place; which we soon gained.
The person who had preferred swimming had arrived before us, and was
waiting on the beach.

"Have you got them all, waterman?" said he.

"Yes, sir, I believe so; I have four."

"The tally is right," replied he, "and four greater galloots were never
picked up; but never mind that.  It was my nonsense that nearly drowned
them; and, therefore, I'm very glad you've managed so well.  My jacket
went down in the boat, and I must reward you another time."

"Thank you, sir, no occasion for that, it's not a regular fare."

"Nevertheless, give us your name."

"Oh, you may ask Mr Hodgson, the senior clerk, or that full-moon-faced
fellow--they know my name."

"Waterman, what do you mean?" replied Mr Hodgson, shivering with cold.

"Very impudent fellow," said the junior of the round face.

"If they know your name, they won't tell it," replied the other.  "Now,
I'll first tell you mine, which is Lieutenant Wilson, of the navy; and
now let's have yours, that I may ask for it; and tell me what stairs you
ply from."

"My name is Jacob Faithful, sir," replied I; "and you may ask your
friends whether they know it or not when their teeth don't chatter quite
so much."

At the mention of my name the senior and junior clerk walked off, and
the lieutenant, telling me that I should hear from him again, was about
to leave.  "If you mean to give me money, sir, I tell you candidly I
shall not take it.  I hate these two men for the injuries they have
heaped on me; but I don't know how it is, I feel a degree of pleasure in
having saved them, that I wish for no better revenge.  So farewell,

"Spoken as you ought, my lad--that's glorious revenge.  Well, then, I
will not come; but if ever we meet again I shall never forget this night
and Jacob Faithful."  He held out his hand, shook mine warmly, and
walked away.

When they were gone, I remained for some little time quite stupified at
the events of the day.  The reconciliation--the quarrel--the revenge.  I
was still in thought when I heard the sound of a horse's hoofs.  This
recalled me, and I was hauling up my boat, intending to go home to
Stapleton's; but with no great eagerness.  I felt a sort of dislike to
Mary Stapleton, which I could not account for; but the fact was I had
been in company with Sarah Drummond.  The horse stopped at the foot of
the bridge; and the rider giving it to his servant, who was mounted on
another, to hold, came down to where I was hauling up my boat.  "My lad,
is it too late for you to launch your boat?  I will pay you well."

"Where do you wish to go to, sir?  It is now past ten o'clock."

"I know it is, and I hardly expected to find a waterman here; but I took
the chance.  Will you take me about two miles up the river?"

I looked at the person who addressed me, and was delighted to recognise
in him the young man who had hired Mr Turnbull and me to take him to
the garden, and who had been captured when we escaped with the tin box;
but I did not make myself known.  "Well, sir, if you wish it, I've no
objection," replied I, putting my shoulder to the bow of my wherry, and
launching her again into the water.  At all events, this has been a day
of adventure, thought I, as I threw my sculls again into the water, and
commenced pulling up the stream.  I was some little while in meditation
whether I should make myself known to the young man; but I decided that
I would not.  Let me see, thought I, what sort of a person this is--
whether he is as deserving as the young lady appeared to consider.
"Which side, sir?" inquired I.

"The left," was the reply.

I knew that well enough, and I pulled in silence until nearly up to the
wall of the garden which ran down to the band of the river.  "Now pull
in to that wall, and make no noise," was the injunction; which I obeyed,
securing the boat to the very part where the coping bricks had been
displaced.  He stood up, and whistled the two bars of the tune as
before, waited five minutes, repeated it, and watched the windows of the
house; but there was no reply, or signs of anybody being up or stirring.
"It is too late; she is gone to rest."

"I thought there was a lady in the case, sir," observed I.  "If you wish
to communicate with her, I think I could manage it."

"Could you?" replied he.  "Stop a moment; I'll speak to you by-and-by."
He whistled the tune once more, and after waiting another ten minutes,
dropped himself down on the stern sheets, and told me to pull back
again.  After a minute's silence he said to me, "You think you could
communicate with her, you say.  Pray, how do you propose?"

"If you will write a letter, sir, I'll try to let it come to her hand."


"That, sir, you must leave me to find out, and trust to opportunity; but
you must tell me what sort of a person she is, that I may not give it to
another; and also, who there is in the house that I must be careful does
not see me."

"Very true," replied he.  "I can only say that if you do succeed, I will
reward you handsomely; but she is so strictly watched that I am afraid
it will be impossible.  However, a despairing, like a drowning man, will
catch at a straw; and I will see whether you will be able to assist me."

He then informed me that there was no one in the house except her uncle
and his servants, all of whom were spies upon her; that my only chance
was watching if she were permitted to walk in the garden alone, which
might be the case; and perhaps, by concealing myself from eight o'clock
in the morning till the evening under the parapet wall, I might find an
opportunity.  He directed me to be at the foot of the bridge next
morning at seven o'clock, when he would come with a letter written for
me to deliver, if possible.  We had then arrived at Fulham.  He landed,
and putting a guinea in my hand, mounted his horse, which his servant
[had] walked up and down, waiting for him, and rode off.  I hauled up my
boat and went home, tired with the manifold events of the day.  Mary
Stapleton who had sat up for me, was very inquisitive to know what had
occasioned my coming home so late; but I evaded her questions, and she
left me in anything but good-humour; but about that I never felt so

The next morning the servant made his appearance with the letter,
telling me that he had orders to wait till the evening; and I pulled up
the river.  I placed it under the loose brick, as agreed upon with the
young lady, and then shoved off to the other side of the river, where I
had a full view of the garden, and could notice all that passed.  In
half-an-hour the young lady came out, accompanied by another female, and
sauntered up and down the gravel-walk.  After a while she stopped, and
looked on the river, her companion continuing her promenade.  As if
without hoping to find anything there, she moved the brick aside with
her foot; perceiving the letter, she snatched it up eagerly, and
concealed it in her dress, and then cast her eyes on the river.  It was
calm, and I whistled the bar of music.  She heard it, and turning away,
hastened into the house.  In about half-an-hour she returned, and
watching her opportunity, stooped down to the brick.  I waited a few
minutes, when both she and her companion went into the house.  I then
pulled in under the wall, lifted up the brick, took the letter, and
hastened back to Fulham; when I delivered the letter to the servant, who
rode off with it as fast as he could; and I returned home quite pleased
at the successful issue of my attempt, and not a little curious to learn
the real facts of this extraordinary affair.



The next day being Sunday, as usual I went to see the Dominie and Mr
Turnbull.  I arrived at the school just as all the boys were filing off,
two and two, for church, the advance led by the usher, and the rear
brought up by the Dominie in person, and I accompanied them.  The
Dominie appeared melancholy and out of spirits--hardly exchanging a word
with me during our walk.  When the service was over he ordered the usher
to take the boys home, and remained with me in the churchyard, surveying
the tombstones, and occasionally muttering to himself.  At last the
congregation dispersed, and we were alone.

"Little did I think, Jacob," said he, at last, "that when I bestowed
such care upon thee in thy childhood, I should be rewarded as I have
been!  Little did I think that it would be to the boy who was left
destitute that I should pour out my soul when afflicted, and find in him
that sympathy which I have long lost, by the removal of those who were
once my friends!  Yes, Jacob, those who were known to me in my youth--
those few in whom I confided and leant upon--are now lying here in
crumbling dust, and the generation hath passed away; and I now rest upon
thee, my son, whom I have directed in the right path, and who hast, by
the blessing of God, continued to walk straight in it.  Verily, thou art
a solace to me, Jacob; and though young in years, I feel that in thee I
have received a friend, and one that I may confide in.  Bless thee,
Jacob! bless thee, my boy! and before I am laid with those who have gone
before me, may I see thee prosperous and happy!  Then I will sing the
_Nunc Dimittis_, then will I say, `Now, Lord, let thy servant depart in

"I am happy, sir," replied I, "to hear you say that I am of any comfort
to you, for I feel truly grateful for all your kindness to me; but I
wish that you did not require comfort."

"Jacob, in what part of a man's life does he not require comfort and
consolation; yea, even from the time when, as a child, he buries his
weeping face in his mother's lap till the hour that summons him to his
account?  Not that I consider this world to be, as many have described
it, a `vale of tears'; No, Jacob; it is a beautiful world, a glorious
world, and would be a happy world, if we would only restrain those
senses and those passions with which we have been endowed, that we may
fully enjoy the beauty, the variety, the inexhaustible bounty of a
gracious heaven.  All was made for enjoyment and for happiness; but it
is we ourselves who, by excess, defile that which otherwise were pure.
Thus, the fainting traveller may drink wholesome and refreshing draughts
from the bounteous, overflowing spring; but should he rush heedlessly
into it, he muddies the source, and the waters are those of bitterness.
Thus, Jacob, was wine given to cheer the heart of man; yet, didst not
thou witness me, thy preceptor, debased by intemperance?  Thus, Jacob,
were the affections implanted in us as a source of sweetest happiness,
such as those which now yearn in my breast towards thee; yet hast thou
seen me, thy preceptor, by yielding to the infatuation and imbecility of
threescore years, dote, in my folly, upon a maiden, and turn the sweet
affections into a source of misery and anguish."  I answered not, for
the words of the Dominie made a strong impression upon me, and I was
weighing them in my mind.  "Jacob," continued the Dominie, after a
pause, "next to the book of life, there is no subject of contemplation
more salutary than the book of death, of which each stone now around us
may be considered as a page, and each page contains a lesson.  Read that
which is now before us.  It would appear hard that an only child should
have been torn away from its doting parents, who have thus imperfectly
expressed their anguish on the tomb; it would appear hard that their
delight, their solace, the object of their daily care, of their waking
thoughts, of their last imperfect recollections as they sank into sleep,
of their only dreams, should thus have been taken from them; yet did I
know them, and Heaven was just and merciful.  The child had weaned them
from their God; they lived but in him; they were without God in the
world.  The child alone had their affections, and they had been lost had
not He in His mercy removed it.  Come this way, Jacob."  I followed the
Dominie till he stood before another tombstone in the corner of the
churchyard.  "This stone, Jacob, marks the spot where lies the remains
of one who was my earliest and dearest friend--for in my youth I had
friends, because I had anticipations, and little thought that it would
have pleased God that I should do my duty in that station to which I
have been called.  He had one fault, which proved a source of misery
through life, and was the cause of an untimely death.  He was of a
revengeful disposition.  He never forgave an injury, forgetting, poor,
sinful mortal, for how much he had need to be forgiven.  He quarrelled
with his relations; he was shot in a duel with his friend!  I mention
this, Jacob, as a lesson to thee; not that I feel myself worthy to be
thy preceptor, for I am humbled, but out of kindness and love towards
thee, that I might persuade thee to correct that fault in thy

"I have already made friends with Mr Drummond, sir," answered I; "but
still your admonition shall not be thrown away."

"Hast thou, Jacob? then is my mind much relieved.  I trust thou wilt no
longer stand in thine own light, but accept the offers which, in the
fulness of his heart to make redress, he may make unto thee."

"Nay, sir, I cannot promise that; I wish to be independent and earn my
own livelihood."

"Then hear me, Jacob, for the spirit of prophecy is on me; the time will
come when thou shalt bitterly repent.  Thou hast received an education
by my unworthy endeavours, and hast been blessed by Providence with
talents far above the situation in life to which thou wouldst so
tenaciously adhere; the time will come when thou wilt repent, yea,
bitterly repent.  Look at that marble monument with the arms so lavishly
emblazoned upon it.  That, Jacob, is the tomb of a proud man, whose
career is well known to me.  He was in straitened circumstances, yet of
gentle race--but like the steward in the Scripture, `work he could not,
to beg he was ashamed.'  He might have prospered in the world, but his
pride forbade him.  He might have made friends, but his pride forbade
him.  He might have wedded himself to wealth and beauty, but there was
no escutcheon, and his pride forbade him.  He did marry, and entail upon
his children poverty.  He died, and the little he possessed was taken
from his children's necessities to build this record to his dust.  Do
not suppose that I would check that honest pride which will prove a
safeguard from unworthy actions.  I only wish to check that undue pride
which will mar thy future prospects.  Jacob, that which thou termest
_independence_ is naught but pride."

I could not acknowledge that I agreed with the Dominie, although
something in my breast told me that he was not wrong.  I made no answer.
The Dominie again spoke.

"Yes; it is a beautiful world for the Spirit of God is on it.  At the
separation of chaos it came over the water, and hath since remained with
us, everywhere, but invisible.  We see his hand in the variety and the
beauty of creation, but his Spirit we see not; yet do we feel it in the
still small voice of conscience, which would lead us into the right
path.  Now, Jacob, we must return, for I have the catechism and collects
to attend to."

I took leave of the Dominie, and went to Mr Turnbull's, to whom I gave
an account of what had passed since I last saw him.  He was much pleased
with my reconciliation with the Drummonds, and interested about the
young lady to whom appertained the tin box in his possession.  "I
presume, Jacob, we shall now have that mystery cleared up."

"I have not told the gentleman that we have possession of the box,"
replied I.

"No; but you told the young lady, you silly fellow; and do you think she
will keep it a secret from him?"

"Very true; I had forgotten that."

"Jacob, I wish you to go to Mr Drummond's and see his family again; you
ought to do so."  I hesitated.  "Nay, I shall give you a fair
opportunity without wounding that pride of yours, sir," replied Mr
Turnbull; "I owe him for some wine he purchased for me, and I shall send
the cheque by you."

To this I assented, as I was not sorry of an opportunity of seeing
Sarah.  I dined with Mr Turnbull, who was alone, his wife being on a
visit to a relation in the country.  He again offered me his advice as
to giving up the profession of a waterman; but if I did not hear him
with so much impatience as before, nor use so many arguments against it,
I did not accede to his wishes, and the subject was dropped.  Mr
Turnbull was satisfied that my resistance was weakened, and hoped in
time to have the effect that he desired.  When I went home Mary told me
that Tom Beazeley had been there, that his wherry was building, that his
father had given up the lighter, and was now on shore very busy in
getting up his board to attract customers, and obtain work in his new

I had not launched my wherry the next morning when down came the young
gentleman to whom I had despatched the letter.  "Faithful," said he,
"come to the tavern with me; I must have some conversation with you."  I
followed him, and as soon as we were in a room, he said, "First, let me
pay my debt, for I owe you much;" and he laid five guineas on the table.
"I find from Cecilia that you have possession of the tin case of deeds
which has been so eagerly sought after by both parties.  Why did you not
say so?  And why did you not tell me that it was you whom I hired on the
night when I was so unfortunate?"

"I considered the secret as belonging to the young lady, and having told
her, I left it to her discretion to make you acquainted or not as she

"It was thoughtful and prudent of you, at all events, although there was
no occasion for it.  Nevertheless, I am pleased that you did so, as it
proves you to be trustworthy.  Now, tell me, who is the gentleman who
was with you in the boat, and who has charge of the box?  Observe,
Faithful, I do not intend to demand it.  I shall tell him the facts of
the case in your presence, and then leave him to decide whether he will
surrender up the papers to the other party or to me.  Can you take me
there now?"

"Yes, sir," replied I, "I can, if you please; I will pull you up in half
an hour.  The house is at the river's side."

The young gentleman leaped into my wherry, and we were soon in the
parlour of Mr Turnbull.  I will not repeat the conversation in detail,
but give an outline of the young man's story.



"The gentleman who prevented my taking off the young lady is uncle to
both of us.  We are, therefore, first cousins.  Our family name is
Wharncliffe.  My father was a major in the army.  He died when I was
young, and my mother is still alive, and is sister to Lady Auburn.  The
father and mother of Cecilia are both dead.  He went out to India to
join his brother, another uncle, of whom I shall speak directly.  He has
now been dead three years, and out of the four brothers there is only
one left, my uncle; with whom Cecilia is living, and whose Christian
name is Henry.  He was a lawyer by profession, but he purchased a patent
place, which he still enjoys.  My father, whose name was William, died
in very moderate circumstances; but still he left enough for my mother
to live upon, and to educate me properly.  I was brought up to the law
under my uncle Henry, with whom, for some years, I resided.  Cecilia's
father, whose name was Edward, left nothing; he had ruined himself in
England, and had gone out to India at the request of my uncle there,
whose name was James, and who had amassed a large fortune.  Soon after
the death of Cecilia's father, my uncle James came home on furlough, for
he held a very high and lucrative situation under the Company.  A
bachelor from choice, he was still fond of young people; and having but
one nephew and one niece to leave his money to, as soon as he arrived
with Cecilia, whom he brought with him, he was most anxious to see me.
He therefore took up his quarters with my uncle Henry, and remained with
him during his sojourn in England; but my uncle James was of a very cold
and capricious temper.  He liked me best because I was a boy, and one
day declared I should be his heir.  The next day he would alter his
intention, and declare that Cecilia, of whom he was very fond, should
inherit everything.  If we affronted him, for at the age of sixteen as a
boy, and fourteen as a girl, worldly prospects were little regarded, he
would then declare that we should not be a shilling the better for his
money.  With him money was everything: it was his daily theme of
conversation, his only passion; and he valued and respected people in
proportion to what they were supposed to possess.  With these feelings
he demanded for himself the greatest deference from Cecilia and me, as
his expectant heirs.  This he did not receive; but on the whole he was
pleased with us, and after remaining three years in England, he returned
to the East Indies.  I had heard him mention to my uncle Henry his
intention of making his will, and leaving it with him before he sailed;
but I was not certain whether it had been done or not.  At all events,
my uncle Henry took care that I should not be in the way; for at that
time my uncle carried on his profession as a lawyer, and I was working
in his office.  It was not until after my uncle James returned to India
that he gave up business and purchased the patent place which I
mentioned.  Cecilia was left with my uncle Henry, and as we lived in the
same house, our affections, as we grew up, ripened into love.  We often
used to laugh at the threats of my uncle James, and agreed that whoever
might be the fortunate one to whom he left his property, we would go
halves, and share it equally.

"In the meantime I still followed up my profession in another house, in
which I at present am a partner.  Four years after the return of my
uncle James to India news came home of his death; but it was also stated
that no will could be found, and it was supposed that he died intestate.
Of course my uncle Henry succeeded as heir-at-law to the whole
property, and thus were the expectations and hopes of Cecilia and of
myself dashed to the ground.  But this was not the worst of it: my
uncle, who had witnessed our feelings for each other, and had made no
comment, as soon as he was in possession of the property, intimated to
Cecilia that she should be his heiress, provided that she married
according to his wishes; and pointed out to her that a fortune such as
she might expect would warrant the alliance of the first nobleman in the
kingdom; and he very plainly told me that he thought it advisable that I
should find lodgings for myself, and not be any longer an inmate in the
same house as was my cousin, as no good would result from it.  Thus,
sir, we were not only disappointed in our hopes, but thwarted in our
affections, which had for some time been exchanged.  Maddened at this
intimation, I quitted the house; and at the same time the idea of my
uncle James having made a will still pressed upon me, as I called to
mind what I had heard him say to my uncle Henry previous to his sailing
for India.  There was a box of deeds and papers, the very box now in
your possession, which my uncle invariably kept in his bedroom.  I felt
convinced that the will, if not destroyed (and I did not believe my
uncle would dare to commit an act of felony), was in that box.  Had I
remained in the house I would have found some means to have opened it;
but this was no longer possible.  I communicated my suspicions to
Cecilia, and begged her to make the attempt, which would be more easy as
my uncle would not suspect her of being bold enough to venture it, even
if he had the suspicion.  Cecilia promised, and one day my uncle
fortunately left his keys upon his dressing-table when he came down to
breakfast, and went out without missing them.  Cecilia discovered them,
and opened the box, and amongst other parchments found a document
labelled outside as the will of our uncle James; but women understand
little about these things, and she was in such trepidation for fear that
my uncle should return that she could not examine it very minutely.  As
it was, my uncle did return for his keys just as she had locked the box
and placed the keys upon the table.  He asked her what she was doing
there, and she made some excuse.  He saw the keys on the table, and
whether suspecting her, for she coloured up very much, or afraid that
the attempt might be made at my suggestion, he removed the box and
locked it up in a closet, the key of which, I believe, he left with his
banker in town.  When Cecilia wrote to me an account of what had passed,
I desired her to find the means of opening the closet, that we might
gain possession of the box; and this was easily effected, for the key of
another closet fitted the lock exactly.  I then persuaded her to put
herself under my protection, with the determination that we would marry
immediately; and we had so arranged that the tin box was to have
accompanied us.  You are aware, sir, how unfortunately our plan turned
out--at least, so far unfortunately, that I lost, as I thought, not only
Cecilia, but the tin box, containing, as I expect, the will of my uncle,
of which I am more than ever convinced from the great anxiety shown by
my uncle Henry to recover it.  Since the loss he has been in a state of
agitation, which has worn him to a shadow.  He feels that his only
chance is that the waterman employed might have broken open the box,
expecting to find money in it, and being disappointed, have destroyed
the papers to avoid detection.  If such had been the case, and it might
have been had it not fallen into such good hands, he then would have
obtained his only wish, that of the destruction of the will although not
by his own hands.  Now, sir, I have given you a full and honest account
of the affair, and leave you to decide how to act."

"If you leave me to decide, I shall do it very quickly," replied Mr
Turnbull.  "A box has fallen into my hands, and I do not know who is the
owner.  I shall open it, and take a list of the deeds in contains, and
advertise them in the _Times_ and other newspapers.  If your dead
uncle's will is in it it will, of course, be advertised with the others,
and after such publicity your uncle Henry will not venture, I presume,
to say a word, but be too glad not to be exposed."

Mr Turnbull ordered a locksmith to be summoned, and the tin box was
opened.  It contained the document of the uncle's purchase of the patent
place in the courts, and some other papers, but it also contained the
parchment so much looked after--the last will and testament of James
Wharncliffe, Esquire, dated two months previous to his quitting England.
"I think," observed Mr Turnbull, "that in case of accident, it may be
as well that this will should be read before witnesses.  You observe, it
is witnessed by Henry Wharncliffe, with two others.  Let us take down
their names."

The will was read by young Wharncliffe, at the request of Mr Turnbull.
Strange to say, the deceased bequeathed the whole of his property to his
nephew, William Wharncliffe, and his niece, Cecilia, provided they
married; if they did not, they were left 20,000 pounds each, and the
remainder of the fortune to go to the first male child born after the
marriage of either niece or nephew.  To his brother the sum of 10,000
pounds was bequeathed, with a liberal arrangement, to be paid out of the
estate, so long as his niece lived with him.  The will was read, and
returned to Mr Turnbull, who shook hands with Mr Wharncliffe, and
congratulated him.

"I am so much indebted to you, sir, that I can hardly express my
gratitude, but I am still more indebted to this intelligent lad,
Faithful.  You must no longer be a waterman, Faithful," and Mr
Wharncliffe shook my hand.  I made no answer to the latter observation,
for Mr Turnbull had fixed his eye upon me: I merely said that I was
very happy to have been of use to him.

"You may truly say, Mr Wharncliffe," observed Mr Turnbull, "that your
future prosperity will be through his means; and, as it appears by the
will that you have 9000 pounds per annum safe in the Funds, I think you
ought to give a prize wherry, to be rowed for every year."

"And I will take that," replied I, "for a receipt in full for my share
in the transaction."

"And now," said Mr Turnbull, interrupting Mr Wharncliffe, who was
about to answer me, "it appears to me that it may be as well to avoid
any exposure--the case is too clear.  Call upon your uncle--state in
whose hands the documents are--tell him that he must submit to your
terms, which are, that he proves the will, and permits the marriage to
take place immediately, and that no more will be said on the subject.
He, as a lawyer, knows how severely and disgracefully he might be
punished for what he has done, and will be too happy now to accede to
your terms.  In the meantime I keep possession of the papers, for the
will shall never leave my hands until it is lodged in Doctors' Commons."

Mr Wharncliffe could not but approve of this judicious arrangement, and
we separated; and, not to interfere with my narrative, I may as well
tell the reader at once that Mr Wharncliffe's uncle bowed to
circumstances, pretended to rejoice at the discovery of the will, never
mentioned the loss of his tin box, put the hand of Cecilia into that of
William, and they were married one month after the meeting at Mr
Turnbull's, which I have now related.

The evening was so far advanced before this council-of-war was over,
that I was obliged to defer the delivery of the cheque to Mr Drummond
until the next day.  I left about eleven o'clock, and arrived at noon;
when I knocked at the door the servant did not know me.

"What did you want?"

"I wanted to speak with Mrs or Miss Drummond, and my name is Faithful."

He desired me to sit down in the hall while he went up; "And wipe your
shoes, my lad."  I cannot say that I was pleased at this command, as I
may call it, but he returned, desiring me to walk up, and I followed

I found Sarah alone in the drawing-room.

"Jacob, I'm so glad to see you, and I'm sorry that you were made to wait
below, but--if people who can be otherwise will be watermen, it is not
our fault.  The servants only judge by appearances."

I felt annoyed for a moment, but it was soon over.  I sat down by Sarah,
and talked with her for some time.

"The present I had to make you was a purse of my own knitting, to put
your earnings in;" said she, laughing; and then she held up her finger
in mockery, crying, "Boat, sir; boat, sir.  Well, Jacob, there's nothing
like independence, after all, and you must not mind my laughing at you."

"I do not heed it, Sarah," replied I; (but I did mind it very much)
"there is no disgrace."

"None whatever, I grant; but a want of ambition, which I cannot
understand.  However, let us say no more about it."

Mrs Drummond came into the room and greeted me kindly.  "When can you
come and dine with us, Jacob?  Will you come on Wednesday?"

"Oh, mamma!  He can't come on Wednesday; we have company on that day."

"So we have, my dear; I had forgotten it; but on Thursday we are quite
alone: will you come, then on Thursday, Jacob?"

I hesitated, for I felt that it was because I was a waterman that I was
not admitted to the table where I had been accustomed to dine at one
time, whoever might be invited.

"Yes, Jacob," said Sarah, coming to me, "it must be Thursday, and you
must not deny us; for although we have greater people on Wednesday, the
party that day will not be so agreeable to me as your company on

The last compliment from Sarah decided me, and I accepted the
invitation.  Mr Drummond came in, and I delivered to him Mr Turnbull's
cheque.  He was very kind, but said little further than that he was glad
that I had promised to dine with them on Thursday.  The footman came in
and announced the carriage at the door, and this was a signal for me to
take my leave.  Sarah, as she shook hands with me, laughing, asserted
that it was not considerate in them to detain me any longer, as I must
have lost half-a-dozen good fares already; "So go down to your boat,
pull off your jacket, and make up for lost time," continued she; "one of
these days mamma and I intend to go on the water, just to patronise
you."  I laughed and went away, but I was cruelly mortified.  I could
not be equal to them, because I was a waterman.  The sarcasm of Sarah
was not lost upon me; still there was so much kindness mixed with it
that I could not be angry with her.  On the Thursday I went there, as
agreed; they were quite alone; friendly and attentive; but still there
was a degree of constraint which communicated itself to me.  After
dinner Mr Drummond said very little; there was no renewal of offers to
take me into his employ, nor any inquiry as to how I got on in the
profession which I had chosen.  On the whole, I found myself
uncomfortable, and was glad to leave early, nor did I feel at all
inclined to renew my visit.  I ought to remark that Mr Drummond was now
moving in a very different sphere than when I first knew him.  He was
consignee of several large establishments abroad, and was making a rapid
fortune.  His establishment was also on a very different scale, every
department being appointed with elegance and conducive to luxury.  As I
pulled up the river something within my breast told me that the
Dominie's prophecy would turn out correct, and that I should one day
repent of my having refused the advances of Mr Drummond--nay, I did not
exactly know whether I did not, even at that moment, very much doubt the
wisdom of my asserting my independence.

And now, reader, that I may not surfeit you with an uninteresting
detail, you may allow nearly two years to pass away before I recommence
my narrative.  The events of that time I shall sum up in one or two
pages.  The Dominie continued the even tenor of his way--blew his nose
and handled his rod with as much effect as ever.  I seldom passed a
Sunday without paying him a visit, and benefiting by his counsel.  Mr
Turnbull was always kind and considerate, but gradually declining in
health, having never recovered from the effects of his submersion under
the ice.  Of the Drummonds I saw but little; when we did meet, I was
kindly received, but I never volunteered a call, and it was usually from
a message through Tom that I went to pay my respects.  Sarah had grown a
very beautiful girl, and the well-known fact of Mr Drummond's wealth,
and her being an only daughter, was an introduction to a circle much
higher than they had been formerly accustomed to.  Every day, therefore,
the disparity increased, and I felt less inclined to make my appearance
at their house.

Stapleton, as usual, continued to smoke his pipe and descant upon _human
natur'_.  Mary had grown into a splendid woman, but coquettish as ever.
Poor Tom Beazeley was fairly entrapped by her charms, and was a constant
attendant upon her, but she played him fast and loose--one time
encouraging and smiling on him, at another rejecting and flouting him.
Still Tom persevered, for he was fascinated, and having returned me the
money advanced for his wherry, he expended all his earnings on dressing
himself smartly, and making presents to her.  She had completely grown
out of any control from me, and appeared to have a pleasure in doing
everything she knew I disapproved; still, we were on fair friendly terms
as inmates of the same house.

Old Tom Beazeley's board was up, and he had met with great success; and
all day he might be seen hammering at the bottom of boats of every
description, and heard, at the same time, lightening his labour with his
variety of song.  I often called there on my way up and down the river,
and occasionally passed a few hours listening to his yarns, which, like
his songs, appeared to be inexhaustible.

With respect to myself, it would be more a narrative of feelings than of
action.  My life glided on as did my wherry--silently and rapidly.  One
day was but the forerunner of another, with slight variety of incident
and customers.  My acquaintance, as the reader knows, were but few, and
my visits occasional.  I again turned to my books during the long summer
evenings, in which Mary would walk out, accompanied by Tom and other
admirers.  Mr Turnbull's library was at my service, and I profited
much.  After a time reading became almost a passion, and I was seldom
without a book in my hand.  But although I improved my mind, I did not
render myself happier.  On the contrary, I felt more and more that I had
committed an act of egregious folly in thus asserting my independence.
I felt that I was superior to my station in life, and that I had lived
with those who were not companions--that I had thrown away, by foolish
pride, those prospects of advancement which had offered themselves, and
that I was passing my youth unprofitably.  All this crowded upon me more
and more every day, and I bitterly repented, as the Dominie told me that
I should, my spirit of independence--now that it was too late.  The
offers of Mr Drummond were never renewed, and Mr Turnbull, who had
formed the idea that I was still of the same opinion, and who, at the
same time, in his afflicted state--for he was a martyr to the
rheumatism--naturally thought more of himself and less of others, never
again proposed that I should quit my employment.  I was still too proud
to mention my wishes, and thus did I continue plying on the river,
apathetic almost as to gain, and only happy when, in the pages of
history or among the flowers of poetry, I could dwell upon times that
were past, or revel in imagination.  Thus did reading, like the snake
which is said to contain in its body a remedy for the poison of its
fangs, become, as it enlarged my mind, a source of discontent at my
humble situation; but, at the same time, the only solace in my
unhappiness, by diverting my thoughts from the present.  Pass, then,
nearly two years, reader, taking the above remarks as an outline, and
filling up the picture from the colours of your imagination, with
incidents of no peculiar value, and I again resume my narrative.



"Jacob," said Tom to me, pulling his wherry into the _hard_, alongside
of mine, in which I was sitting with one of Mr Turnbull's books in my
hand; "Jacob, do you recollect that my time is up to-morrow?  I shall
have run off my seven years, and when the sun rises I shall be free of
the river.  How much more have you to serve?"

"About fifteen months, as near as I can recollect, Tom.--Boat, sir?"

"Yes; oars, my lad; be smart, for I am in a hurry.  How's tide?"

"Down, sir, very soon; but it's now slack water.  Tom, see if you can
find Stapleton."

"Pooh! never mind him, Jacob, I'll go with you.  I say, Jones, tell old
`_human natur'_' to look after my boat," continued Tom, addressing a
waterman of our acquaintance.

"I thought you had come up to see _her_," said I to Tom, as we shoved

"See _her_ at Jericho first," replied Tom "she's worse than a dog vane."

"What, are you _two_ again?"

"Two indeed--it's all two--we are two fools.  She is too fanciful; I am
too fond; she behaves too ill, and I put up with too much.  However,
it's all _one_."

"I thought it was all _two_ just now, Tom."

"But two may be made one, Jacob, you know."

"Yes, by the parson: but you are no parson."

"Anyhow, I am something like one just now," replied Tom, who was pulling
the foremost oar; "for you are a good clerk, and I am sitting behind

"That's not so bad," observed the gentleman in the stern-sheets, whom we
had forgotten in the colloquy.

"A waterman would make but a bad parson, sir," replied Tom.

"Why so?"

"He's not likely to practice as he preaches."

"Again, why so?"

"Because all his life he looks one way and pulls another."

"Very good--very good, indeed."

"Nay, sir, good in practice, but still not good _in deed_--there's a

"A puzzle, indeed, to find such a regular chain of repartee in a

"Well, sir, if I'm a regular chain to-day, I shall be like an irregular
watch to-morrow."

"Why so, my lad?"

"Because I shall be _out of my time_."

"Take that, my lad," said the gentleman, tossing half-a-crown to Tom.

"Thanky, sir; when we meet again may you have no more wit than you have

"How do you mean?"

"Not wit enough to keep your money, sir--that's all!"

"I presume you think that I have not got much."

"Which, sir; wit or money?"

"Wit, my lad."

"Nay, sir, I think you have both: the first you purchased just now; and
you would hardly have bought it, if you had not money to spare."

"But I mean wit of my own."

"No man has wit of his own; if he borrows it, it's not his own; if he
has it in himself, it's _mother_ wit, so it's not his."

We pulled into the stairs near London Bridge, and the gentleman paid me
his fare.  "Good-bye, my lad," said he to Tom.

"Fare-you-well, for well you've paid your fare," replied Tom, holding
out his arm to assist him out of the boat.  "Well, Jacob, I've made more
by my head than by my hands this morning.  I wonder, in the long run,
which gains most in the world."

"Head, Tom, depend upon it; but they work best together."

Here we were interrupted--"I say, you watermen, have you a mind for a
good fare?" cried a dark-looking, not over clean, square-built, short
young man, standing on the top of the flight of steps.

"Where to, sir?"

"Gravesend, my jokers, if you ain't afraid of salt water."

"That's a long way, sir," replied Tom; "and for salt water, we must have
salt to our porridge."

"So you shall, my lads, and a glass of grog into the bargain."

"Yes; but the bargain a'n't made yet, sir.  Jacob, will you go?"

"Yes, but not under a guinea."

"Not under two guineas," replied Tom, aside.  "Are you in a great hurry,
sir?" continued he, addressing the young man.

"Yes, in a devil of a hurry; I shall lose my ship.  What will you take
me for?"

"Two guineas, sir."

"Very well.  Just come up to the public-house here, and put in my

We brought down his luggage, put it into the wherry, and started down
the river with the tide.  Our fare was very communicative, and we found
out that he was the master's mate of the _Immortalite_, forty-gun
frigate, lying off Gravesend, which was to drop down next morning and
wait for sailing orders at the Downs.  We carried the tide with us, and
in the afternoon were close to the frigate, whose blue ensign waved
proudly over the taffrail.  There was a considerable sea arising from
the wind meeting the tide, and before we arrived close to her we had
shipped a great deal of water; and when we were alongside, the wherry,
with the chest in her bows, pitched so heavily that we were afraid of
being swamped.  Just as a rope had been made fast to the chest, and they
were weighing it out of the wherry, the ship's launch with water came
alongside, and, whether from accident or wilfully, I know not, although
I suspect the latter, the midshipman who steered her shot her against
the wherry, which was crushed in, and immediately filled, leaving Tom
and me in the water, and in danger of being jammed to death between the
launch and the side of the frigate.  The seamen in the boat, however,
forced her off with their oars, and hauled us in, while our wherry sank
with her gunwale even with the water's edge, and floated away astern.

As soon as we had shaken ourselves a little, we went up the side, and
asked one of the officers to send a boat to pick up our wherry.

"Speak to the first lieutenant--there he is," was the reply.

I went up to the person pointed out to me; "If you please, sir--"

"What the devil do you want?"

"A boat, sir, to--"

"A boat! the devil you do!"

"To pick up our wherry, sir," interrupted Tom.

"Pick it up yourself," said the first lieutenant, passing us, and
hailing the men aloft.  "Maintop, there, hook on your stays.  Be smart.
Lower away the yards.  Marines and after-guard, clear launch.
Boatswain's mate."

"Here, sir."

"Pipe marines and after-guard to clear launch."

"Aye, aye, sir."

"But we shall lose our boat, Jacob," said Tom to me.  "They stove it in,
and they ought to pick it up."  Tom then went up to the master's mate,
which he had brought on board, and explained our difficulty.

"Upon my soul, I dar'n't say a word.  I'm in a scrape for breaking my
leave.  Why the devil didn't you take care of your wherry, and haul
a-head when you saw the launch coming?"

"How could we, when the chest was hoisting out?"

"Very true.  Well, I am very sorry for you, but I must look after my
chest."  So saying, he disappeared down the gangway ladder.

"I'll try it again, anyhow," said Tom, going up to the first lieutenant.
"Hard case to lose our boat and our bread, sir," said Tom touching his

The first lieutenant, now that the marines and after-guard were at a
regular stamp and go, had, unfortunately more leisure to attend to us.
He looked at us earnestly, and walked aft to see if the wherry was yet
in sight.  At that moment up came the master's mate, who had not yet
reported himself to the first lieutenant.

"Tom," said I, "there is a wherry close to, let us get into it, and go
after our boat ourselves."

"Wait one moment to see if they will help us--and get our money, at all
events," replied Tom; and we both walked aft.

"Come on board, sir," said the master's mate, touching his hat with

"You've broke your leave, sir," replied the first lieutenant, "and now
I've to send a boat to pick up the wherry through your carelessness."

"If you please, they are two very fine young men," observed the mate.
"Make capital foretopmen.  Boat's not worth sending for, sir."

This hint, given by the mate to the first lieutenant, to regain his
favour, was not lost.  "Who are you, my lads?" said the first lieutenant
to us.

"Watermen, sir."

"Watermen, heh? was that your own boat?"

"No, sir," replied I; "it belongs to the man that I serve with."

"Oh, not your own boat?  Are you an apprentice, then?"

"Yes, sir, both apprentices."

"Show me your indentures."

"We don't carry them about with us."

"Then how am I to know that you are apprentices?"

"We can prove it, sir, if you wish it."

"I do wish it; at all events, the captain will wish it."

"Will you please to send for the boat, sir? she's almost out of sight."

"No, my lads, I can't find king's boats for such service."

"Then we had better go ourselves, Tom," said I, and we went forward to
call the waterman, who was lying on his oars close to the frigate.

"Stop--stop--not so fast.  Where are you going, my lads?"

"To pick up our boat, sir."

"Without my leave, heh?"

"We don't belong to the frigate, sir."

"No; but I think it very likely that you will, for you have no

"We can send for them, and have them down by to-morrow morning."

"Well, you may do so if you please, my lads; but you can not expect me
to believe everything that is told me.  Now, for instance, how long have
you to serve, my lad?" said he, addressing Tom.

"My time is up to-morrow, sir."

"Up to-morrow.  Why, then, I shall detain you until tomorrow, and then I
shall press you."

"If you detain me now, sir, I am pressed to-day."

"Oh, no! you are only detained until you prove your apprenticeship,
that's all."

"Nay, sir, I certainly am pressed during my apprenticeship."

"Not at all, and I'll prove it to you.  You don't belong to the ship
until you are victualled on her books.  Now I sha'n't _victual_ you
to-day, and therefore you won't be _pressed_."

"I shall be pressed with hunger at all events," replied Tom, who never
could lose a joke.

"No you sha'n't; for I'll send you both a good dinner out of the
gun-room.  So you won't be pressed at all," replied the lieutenant,
laughing at Tom's reply.

"You will allow me to go, sir, at all events," replied I; for I knew
that the only chance of getting Tom and myself clear was my hastening to
Mr Drummond for assistance.

"Pooh! nonsense; you must both row in the same boat as you have done.
The fact is, my lads, I've taken a great fancy to you both, and I can't
make up my mind to part with you."

"It's hard to lose our bread this way," replied I.

"We will find you bread, and hard enough you will find it," replied the
lieutenant, laughing; "it's like a flint."

"So we ask for bread, and you give us a stone," said Tom; "that's
'gainst Scripture."

"Very true, my lad; but the fact is, all the scriptures in the world
won't man the frigate.  Men we must have, and get them how we can, and
where we can, and when we can.  Necessity has no law; at least it
obliges us to break through all laws.  After all, there's no great
hardship in serving the king for a year or two, and filling your pockets
with prize-money.  Suppose you volunteer?"

"Will you allow us to go on shore for half-an-hour to think about it?"
replied I.

"No.  I'm afraid of the crimps dissuading you.  But I'll give you till
to-morrow morning, and then I shall be sure of one at all events."

"Thanky for me," replied Tom.

"You're very welcome," replied the first lieutenant, as, laughing at us,
he went down the companion-ladder to his dinner.

"Well, Jacob, we are in for it," said Tom, as soon as we were alone.
"Depend upon it there's no mistake this time."

"I am afraid not," replied I, "unless we can get a letter to your
father, or Mr Drummond, who, I am sure, would help us.  But that dirty
fellow, who gave the lieutenant the hint, said the frigate sailed
to-morrow morning; there he is, let us speak to him."

"When does the frigate sail!" said Tom to the master's mate, who was
walking the deck.

"My good fellow, it's not the custom on board of a man-of-war for men to
ask officers to answer such impertinent questions.  It's quite
sufficient for you to know that when the frigate sails you will have the
pleasure of sailing in her."

"Well, sir," replied I, nettled at his answer, "at all events you will
have the goodness to pay us our fare.  We have lost our wherry, and our
liberty, perhaps, through you; we may as well have our two guineas."

"Two guineas!  It's two guineas you want, heh."

"Yes, sir, that was the fare we agreed upon."

"Why you must observe, my men," said the master's mate, hooking a thumb
into each armhole of his waistcoat, "there must be a little explanation
as to that affair.  I promised you two guineas as watermen; but now that
you belong to a man-of-war, you are no longer watermen.  I always pay my
debts honourably when I can find the lawful creditors; but where are the

"Here we are sir."

"No, my lads, you are men-of-war's men now, and that quite alters the

"But we are not so yet, sir; even if it did alter the case, we are not
pressed yet."

"Well, then, you'll be to-morrow, perhaps; at all events we shall see.
If you are allowed to go on shore again, I owe you two guineas as
watermen; and if you are detained as men-of-war's men, why then you will
only have done your duty in pulling down one of your officers.  You see,
my lads, I say nothing but what's fair."

"Well, sir, but when you hired us we were watermen," replied Tom.

"Very true, so you were; but recollect the two guineas were not due
until you had completed your task, which was not until you came on
board.  When you came on board you were pressed, and became men-of-war's
men.  You should have asked for your fare before the first lieutenant
got hold of you.  Don't you perceive the justice of my remarks?"

"Can't say I do, sir; but I perceive there's very little chance of our
being paid," said Tom.

"You are a lad of discrimination," replied the master's mate.  "And now
I advise you to drop the subject, or you may induce me to pay you
`man-of-war fashion.'"

"How's that, sir?"

"Over the face and eyes, as the cat paid the monkey," replied the
master's mate, walking leisurely away.

"No go, Tom," said I, smiling at the absurdity of the arguments.

"I'm afraid it's _no go_ in every way, Jacob.  However, I don't care
much about it.  I have had a little hankering after seeing the world,
and perhaps now's as well as an other time; but I'm sorry for you,

"It's all my own fault," replied I; and I fell into one of those
reveries so often indulged in of late, as to the folly of my conduct in
asserting my independence, which had now ended in my losing my liberty.
But we were cold from the ducking we had received, and moreover, very
hungry.  The first lieutenant did not forget his promise: he sent us a
good dinner, and a glass of grog each, which we discussed under the
half-deck, between two of the guns.  We had some money in our pockets,
and we purchased some sheets of paper from the bum-boat people, who were
on the main-deck supplying the seamen, and I wrote to Mr Drummond and
Mr Turnbull, as well as to Mary and old Tom, requesting the two latter
to forward our clothes to Deal, in case of our being detained.  Tom also
wrote to comfort his mother, and the greatest comfort which he could
give was, as he said, to promise to keep sober.  Having entrusted these
letters to the bumboat woman, who promised faithfully to put them into
the post-office, we had then nothing else to do but to look out for some
place to sleep.  Our clothes had dried on us, and we were walking under
the half-deck: but not a soul spoke to, or even took the least notice of
us.  In a newly-manned ship just ready to sail there is a universal
feeling of selfishness prevailing among the ship's company.  Some, if
not most, had, like us, been pressed, and their thoughts were occupied
with their situation and the change in their prospects.  Others were
busy making their little arrangements with their wives or relations;
while the mass of the seamen, not yet organised by discipline or known
to each other, were in a state of disunion and individuality, which
naturally induced every man to look after himself without caring for his
neighbour.  We therefore could not expect, nor did we receive, any
sympathy; we were in a scene of bustle and noise, yet alone.  A spare
topsail, which had been stowed for the present between two of the guns,
was the best accommodation which offered itself.  We took possession of
it, and, tired with exertion of mind and body, were soon fast asleep.



At daylight the next morning we were awakened with a start by the shrill
whistles of the boatswain and his mates piping all hands to unmoor.  The
pilot was on board, and the wind was fair.  As the frigate had no anchor
down, but was hanging to the moorings in the river, we had nothing to do
but to cast off, sheet home, and in less than half-an-hour we were under
all sail, stemming the last quarter of the flood tide.  Tom and I had
remained on the gangway watching the proceedings but not assisting, when
the ship being fairly under sail, the order was given by the first
lieutenant to coil down the ropes.

"I think, Jacob, we may as well help," said Tom laying hold of the main
tack, which was passed aft, and hauling it forward.

"With all my heart," replied I, and I hauled it forward, while he coiled
it away.

While we were thus employed the first lieutenant walked forward and
recognised us.  "That's what I like, my lads," said he; "you don't sulk,
I see, and I sha'n't forget it."

"I hope you won't forget that we are apprentices, sir, and allow us to
go on shore," replied I.

"I've a shocking bad memory in some things," was his reply, as he
continued forward to the forecastle.  He did not, however, forget to
victual us that day, and insert our names, in pencil, upon the ship's
books; but we were not put into any mess, or stationed.

We anchored in the Downs on the following morning.  It came on to blow
hard in the afternoon, and there was no communication with the shore,
except the signal was made, third day, when it moderated, and the signal
was made "Prepare to weigh, and send boat for captain."  In the meantime
several boats came off, and one had a postman on board.  I had letters
from Mr Drummond and Mr Turnbull, telling me that they would
immediately apply to the Admiralty for our being liberated, and one from
Mary, half of which was for me, and the rest to Tom.  Stapleton had
taken Tom's wherry and pulled down to old Tom Beazeley with my clothes,
which, with young Tom's, had been despatched to Deal.  Tom had a letter
from his mother, half indited by his father, and the rest from herself;
but I shall not trouble the reader with the contents, as he may imagine
what was likely to be said upon such an occasion.

Shortly afterwards our clothes, which had been sent to the care of an
old shipmate of Tom's father, were brought on board, and we hardly had
received them when the signalman reported that the captain was coming
off.  There were so many of the men in the frigate who had never seen
the captain that no little anxiety was shown by the ship's company to
ascertain how far, by the "_cut of his jib_," that is, his outward
appearance, they might draw conclusions as to what they might expect
from one who had such unlimited power to make them happy or miserable.
I was looking out of the maindeck port with Tom, when the gig pulled
alongside, and was about to scrutinise the outward and visible signs of
the captain, when I was attracted by the face of a lieutenant sitting by
his side, whom I immediately recognised.  It was Mr Wilson, the officer
who had spun the oar and sunk the wherry, from which, as the reader may
remember, I rescued my friends, the senior and junior clerk.  I was
overjoyed at this, as I hoped that he would interest himself in our
favour.  The pipe of the boatswain re-echoed as the captain ascended the
side.  He appeared on the quarter-deck--every hat descending to do him
honour; the marines presented arms, and the marine officer at their head
lowered the point of his sword.  In return, the omnipotent personage,
taking his cocked hat with two fingers and a thumb, by the highest peak,
lifted it one inch off his head, and replaced it, desiring the marine
officer to dismiss the guard.  I had now an opportunity, as he paced to
and fro with the first lieutenant, to examine his appearance.  He was a
tall, very large-boned, gaunt man, with an enormous breadth of
shoulders, displaying Herculean strength (and this we found he eminently
possessed).  His face was of a size corresponding to his large frame;
his features were harsh, his eye piercing, but his nose, although bold,
was handsome, and his capacious mouth was furnished with the most
splendid row of large teeth that I ever beheld.  The character of his
countenance was determination rather than severity.  When he smiled the
expression was agreeable.  His gestures and his language were emphatic,
and the planks trembled with his elephantine walk.

He had been on board about ten minutes, when he desired the first
lieutenant to turn the hands up, and all the men were ordered on the
larboard side of the quarter-deck.  As soon as they were all gathered
together, looking with as much awe on the captain as a flock of sheep at
a strange, mischief-meaning dog, he thus addressed them--"My lads, as it
so happens that we are all to trust to the same planks, it may be just
as well that we should understand one another.  I _like_ to see my
officers attentive to their duty, and behave themselves as gentlemen.  I
_like_ to see my men well disciplined, active, and sober.  What I _like_
I _will have_--you understand me.  Now," continued he, putting on a
stern look--"now, just look in my face, and see if you think you can
play with me."  The men looked in his face, and saw that there was no
chance of playing with him; and so they expressed by their countenances.
The captain appeared satisfied by their mute acknowledgments, and to
encourage them, smiled, and showed his white teeth, as he desired the
first lieutenant to pipe down.

As soon as the scene was over, I walked up to Mr Wilson, the
lieutenant, who was standing aft, and accosted him.  "Perhaps, sir, you
do not recollect me; but we met one night when you were sinking in a
wherry, and you asked my name."

"And I recollect it, my lad; it was Faithful, was it not?"

"Yes, sir;" and I then entered into an explanation of our circumstances,
and requested his advice and assistance.

He shook his head.  "Our captain," said he, "is a very strange person.
He has commanding interest, and will do more in defiance of the rules of
the Admiralty than any one in the service.  If an Admiralty order came
down to discharge you, he would obey it; but as for regulations, he
cares very little for them.  Besides, we sail in an hour.  However, I
will speak to him, although I shall probably get a rap on the knuckles,
as it is the business of the first lieutenant, and not mine."

"But, sir, if you requested the first lieutenant to speak?"

"If I did, he would not, in all probability; men are too valuable, and
the first lieutenant knows that the captain would not like to discharge
you.  He will, therefore, say nothing until it is too late, and then
throw all the blame upon himself for forgetting it.  Our captain has
such interest that his recommendation would give a commander's rank
to-morrow, and we must all take care of ourselves.  However, I will try,
although I can give you very little hopes."

Mr Wilson went up to the captain, who was still walking with the first
lieutenant, and, touching his hat, introduced the subject, stating, as
an apology, that he was acquainted with me.

"Oh, if the man is an acquaintance of yours, Mr Wilson, we certainly
must decide," replied the captain with mock politeness.  "Where is he?"
I advanced, and Tom followed me.  We stated our case.  "I always like to
put people out of suspense," said the captain, "because it unsettles a
man--so now hear me; if I happened to press one of the blood-royal, and
the king, and the queen, and all the little princesses were to go down
on their knees, I'd keep him, without an Admiralty order for his
discharge.  Now, my lads, do you perceive your chance?"  Then turning
away to Mr Wilson, he said, "You will oblige me by stating upon what
grounds you ventured to interfere in behalf of these men, and I trust
your explanation will be satisfactory.  Mr Knight," continued he, to
the first lieutenant, "send these men down below, watch, and station

We went below by the gangway ladder and watched the conference between
the captain and Mr Wilson, who, we were afraid, had done himself no
good by trying to assist us.  But when it was over the captain appeared
pleased, and Mr Wilson walked away with a satisfied air.  As I
afterwards discovered it did me no little good.  The hands were piped to
dinner, and after dinner we weighed and made sail, and thus were Tom and
I fairly, or rather unfairly, embarked in his majesty's service.

"Well, Tom," said I, "it's no use crying.  What's done can't be helped;
here we are; now let us do all we can to make friends."

"That's just my opinion, Jacob.  Hang care; it killed the cat; I shall
make the best of it, and I don't see why we may not be as happy here as
anywhere else.  Father says we may, if we do our duty, and I don't mean
to shirk mine.  The more the merrier, they say, and I'll be hanged but
there's not enough of us here."

I hardly need say that, for the first three or four days, we were not
very comfortable; we had been put into the seventh mess, and were
stationed in the foretop; for although we had not been regularly bred up
as seaman, the first lieutenant so decided, saying, that he was sure
that, in a few weeks, there would be no smarter men in the ship.

We were soon clear of the Channel, and all hands were anxious to know
our destination, which, in this almost solitary instance, had been
really kept a secret, although surmises were correct.  There is one
point which, by the present arrangements, invariably makes known whether
a ship is "fitting foreign," or for home service, which is, by the
stores and provisions ordered on board; and these stores are so
arranged, according to the station to which the vessel is bound, that it
is generally pretty well known what her destination is to be.  This is
bad, and at the same time easily remedied; for if every ship, whether
for home service or foreign, was ordered to fit foreign, no one would be
able to ascertain where she was about to proceed.  With a very little
trouble strict secrecy might be preserved, now that the Navy Board is
abolished; but during its existence that was impossible.  The
_Immortalite_ was a very fast sailing vessel, and when the captain
(whose name I have forgotten to mention, it was Hector Maclean) opened
his sealed orders, we found that we were to cruise for two months
between the Western Isles and Madeira, in quest of some privateers,
which had captured many of our outward-bound West Indiamen,
notwithstanding they were well protected by convoy, and, after that
period, to join the admiral at Halifax, and relieve a frigate which had
been many years on that station.  In a week we were on our station, the
weather was fine, and the whole of the day was passed in training the
men to the guns, small arms, making and shortening sail, reefing
topsails, and manoeuvring the ship.  The captain would never give up his
point, and sometimes we were obliged to make or shorten sail twenty
times running until he was satisfied.

"My lads," he would say to the ship's company, sending for them aft,
"you have done this pretty well; you have only been two minutes; not bad
for a new ship's company, but I _like_ it done in a minute and a-half.
We'll try again."  And sure enough it was try again, until in a minute
and a-half it was accomplished.  Then the captain would say, "I knew you
could do it, and having once done it, my lads, of course you can do it

Tom and I adhered to our good resolutions.  We were as active and as
forward as we could be; and Mr Knight, the first lieutenant, pointed us
out to the captain.  As soon as the merits of the different men were
ascertained, several alterations were made in the watch and station
bills, as well as in the ratings on the ship's books, and Tom and I were
made _second_ captains, larboard and starboard, of the foretop.  This
was great promotion for so young hands, especially as we were not bred
as regular sailors; but it was for the activity and zeal which we
displayed.  Tom was a great favourite among the men, always joking, and
ready for any lark or nonsense; moreover, he used to mimic the captain,
which few others dared do.  He certainly seldom ventured to do it below;
it was generally in the foretop, where he used to explain to the men
what he _liked_.  One day we both ventured it, but it was on an occasion
which excused it.  Tom and I were aft, sitting in the jolly boat astern,
fitting some of her gear, for we belonged to the boat at that time,
although we were afterwards shifted into the cutter.  The frigate was
going about four knots through the water, and the sea was pretty smooth.
One of the marines fell overboard, out of the forechains.  "Man
overboard," was cried out immediately, and the men [became] very busy
clearing away the starboard cutter, with all the expedition requisite on
such an occasion.  The captain was standing aft on the signal chest when
the marine passed astern; the poor fellow could not swim, and Tom
turning to me said, "Jacob, I should _like_ to save that Jolly," and
immediately dashed overboard.

"And I should _like_ to help you, Tom," cried I, following him.

The captain was close to us, and heard us both.  Between us we easily
held up the marine, and the boat had us all on board in less than a
minute.  When we came on deck the captain was at the gangway.  He showed
his white teeth, and shook the telescope in his hand at us.  "I heard
you both; and I should _like_ to have a good many more impudent fellows
like you."

We continued our cruise, looking sharp out for the privateers, but
without success; we then touched at Madeira for intelligence, and were
informed that they had been seen more to the southward.  The frigate's
head was turned in that direction until we were abreast of the Canary
Isles, and then we traversed east and west, north or south, just as the
wind and weather, or the captain's _like_ thought proper.  We had now
cruised seven weeks out of our time without success, and the captain
promised five guineas to the man who should discover the objects of our
search.  Often did Tom and I climb to the mast-head and scan the
horizon, and so did many others: but those who were stationed at the
look-out were equally on the alert.  The ship's company were now in a
very fair state of discipline, owing to the incessant practice, and
every evening the hands were turned up to skylark--that is, to play and
amuse themselves.  There was one amusement which was the occasion of a
great deal of mirth, and it was a favourite one of the captain's, as it
made the men smart.  It is called, "Follow my leader."  One of the men
leads, and all who choose follow him: sometimes forty or fifty will
join.  Whatever the leader does, the rest must do also; wherever he goes
they must follow.  Tom, who was always the foremost for fun, was one day
the leader, and after having scampered up the rigging, laid out on the
yards, climbed in by the lifts, crossed from mast to mast by the stays,
slid down by the backstays, blacked his face in the funnel, in all which
motions he was followed by about thirty others, hallooing and laughing,
while the officers and other men were looking on and admiring their
agility, a novel idea came into Tom's head; it was then about seven
o'clock in the evening, the ship was lying becalmed, Tom again sprang up
the rigging, laid out to the main yard-arm, followed by me and the rest,
and as soon as he was at the boom iron, he sprang up, holding by the
lift, and crying out, "Follow my leader," leaped from the yard-arm into
the sea.  I was second, and crying out, "Follow my leader" to the rest,
I followed him, and the others, whether they could swim or not, did the
same, it being a point of honour not to refuse.

The captain was just coming up the ladder, when he saw, as he imagined,
a man tumble overboard, which was Tom in his descent; but how much more
was he astonished at seeing twenty or thirty more tumbling off by twos
or threes, until it appeared that half the ship's company were
overboard.  Some of the men who could not swim, but were too proud to
refuse to follow, were nearly drowned.  As it was, the first lieutenant
was obliged to lower the cutter to pick them up, and they were all
brought on board.

"Confound that fellow," said the captain to the first lieutenant; "he is
always at the head of all mischief.  Follow my leader, indeed!  Send Tom
Beazeley here."  We all thought that Tom was about to catch it.  "Hark
ye, my lad," said the captain; "a joke's a joke, but everybody can't
swim as well as you.  I can't afford to lose any of my men by your
pranks, so don't try that again--I don't _like_ it."

Every one thought that Tom got off very cheaply; but he was a favourite
with the captain, although that never appeared but indirectly; "Beg
pardon, sir," replied Tom, with great apparent humility, "but they were
all so dirty--they'd blacked themselves at the funnel, and I thought a
little washing would not do them any harm."

"Be off, sir, and recollect what I have said," replied the captain,
turning away, and showing his white teeth.

I heard the first lieutenant say to the captain, "He's worth any ten men
in the ship, sir.  He keeps them all alive and merry, sets such a good



In the meantime, Tom had gone up to the fore-royal arm, and was looking
round for the five guineas, and just as the conversation was going on,
cried out, "Sail ho!"

"Strange sail reported."

"Where," cried the first lieutenant, going forward.

"Right under the sun."

"Mast-head there--do you make her out?"

"Yes, sir; I think she's a schooner; but I can only see down to her

"That's one of them, depend upon it," said the captain.

"Up there, Mr Wilson, and see what you make of her.  Who is the man who
reported it?"

"Tom Beazeley, sir."

"Confound that fellow, he makes all my ship's company jump overboard,
and now I must give him five guineas.  What do you make of her, Mr

"A low schooner, sir, very rakish indeed, black sides.  I cannot make
out her ports; but I should think she can show a very pretty set of
teeth.  She is becalmed as well as we."

"Well, then, we must whistle for a breeze.  In the meantime, Mr Knight,
we will have the boats all ready."

If you whistle long enough the wind is certain to come.  In about an
hour the breeze did come, and we took it down with us; but it was too
dark to distinguish the schooner, which we had lost sight of as soon as
the sun had set.  About midnight the breeze failed us, and it was again
calm.  The captain and most of the officers were up all night, and the
watch were employed preparing the boats for service.  It was my morning
watch, and at break of day I saw the schooner from the foresail-yard
about four miles to the North West.  I ran down on deck and reported

"Very good, my lad.  I have her, Mr Knight," said the captain, who had
directed his glass to where I pointed; "and I will have her too, one way
or the other.  No signs of wind.  Lower down the cutters.  Get the yards
and stays hooked all ready.  We'll wait a little, and see a little more
of her when it's broad daylight."

At broad daylight the schooner, with her appointments, was distinctly to
be made out.  She was pierced for sixteen guns, and was a formidable
vessel to encounter with the boats.  The calm still continuing, the
launch, yawl, and pinnace were hoisted out, manned, and armed.  The
schooner got out her sweeps, and was evidently preparing for their
reception.  Still the captain appeared unwilling to risk the lives of
his men in such a dangerous conflict, and there we all lay alongside,
each man sitting in his place with his oar raised on end.  Cat's-paws of
wind, as they call them, flew across the water here and there, ruffling
its smooth surface, portending that a breeze would soon spring up, and
the hopes of this chance rendered the captain undecided.  Thus did we
remain alongside, for Tom and I were stationed in the first and second
cutters until twelve o'clock, when we were ordered out to take a hasty
dinner, and the allowance of spirits was served out.  At one it was
still calm.  Had we started when the boats were first hoisted out the
affair would have been long before decided.  At last, the captain,
perceiving that the chance of a breeze was still smaller then than in
the forenoon, ordered the boats to shove off.  We were still about the
same distance from the privateer, from three-and-a-half to four miles.
In less than half-an-hour we were within gun-shot; the privateer swept
her broadside to us, and commenced firing guns with single round shot,
and with great precision.  They _ricochetted_ over the boats, and at
every shot we made sure of our being struck.  At this time a slight
breeze swept along the water.  It reached the schooner, filled her
sails, and she increased her distance.  Again it died away, and we
neared her fast.  She swept round again, and recommenced firing, and one
of her shot passed through the second cutter, in which I was stationed,
ripping open three of her planks, and wounding two men beside me.  The
boat, heavy with the gun, ammunition chests, etcetera, immediately
filled and turned over with us, and it was with difficulty that we could
escape from the weighty hamper that was poured out of her.  One of the
poor fellows, who had not been wounded, remained entangled under the
boat, and never rose again.  The remainder of the crew rose to the
surface and clung to the side of the boat.  The first cutter hauled to
our assistance, for we had separated to render the shot less effectual;
but it was three or four minutes before she was able to render us any
assistance, during which time the other two wounded men, who had been
apparently injured in the legs or body, exhausted with loss of blood,
gradually unloosed their holds and disappeared under the calm, blue
water.  I had received a splinter in my left arm, and held on longer
than the others who had been maimed, but I could not hold on till the
cutter came.  I lost my recollection, and sank.  Tom, who was in the bow
of the cutter, perceiving me go down, dived after me, brought me up
again to the surface, and we were both hauled in.  The other five men
were also saved.  As soon as we were picked up, the cutter followed the
other boats, which continued to advance towards the privateer.  I
recovered my senses, and found that a piece of one of the thwarts of the
boat, broken off by the shot, had been forced through the fleshy part of
my arm below the elbow, where it still remained.  It was a very
dangerous as well as a painful wound.  The officer of the boat, without
asking me, laid hold of the splinter and tore it out; but the pain was
so great, from its jagged form, and the effusion of blood so excessive
after this operation, that I again fainted.  Fortunately no artery was
wounded, or I must have lost my arm.  They bound it up, and laid me at
the bottom of the boat.  The firing from the schooner was now very warm;
and we were within a quarter of a mile of her, when the breeze sprang
up, and she increased her distance a mile.  There was a prospect of wind
from the appearance of the sky, although, for a time, it again died
away.  We were within less than half-a-mile of the privateer, when we
perceived that the frigate was bringing up a smart breeze, and rapidly
approached the scene of conflict.

The breeze swept along the water and caught the sails of the privateer,
and she was again, in spite of all the exertions of our wearied men, out
of gun-shot; and the first lieutenant very properly decided upon making
for the frigate, which was now within a mile of us.  In less than ten
minutes the boats were hoisted in; and the wind now rising fast, we were
under all sail, going at the rate of seven miles an hour; the privateer
having also gained the breeze, and gallantly holding her own.

I was taken down into the cockpit, the only wounded man brought on
board.  The surgeon examined my arm, and at first shook his head, and I
expected immediate amputation; but on re-examination he gave his opinion
that the limb might be saved.  My wound was dressed, and I was put into
my hammock, in a screened bulk under the half-deck, where the cooling
breeze from the ports fanned my feverish cheeks.  But I must return to
the chase.

In less than an hour the wind had increased, so that we could with
difficulty carry our royals; the privateer was holding her own about
three miles right a-head, keeping our three masts in one.  At sunset
they were forced to take in the royals, and the sky gave every prospect
of a rough gale.  Still we carried on every stitch of canvas which the
frigate could bear; keeping the chase in sight with our night-glasses,
and watching all her motions.

The breeze increased; before morning there was a heavy sea, and the
frigate could only carry top-gallant sails over double-reefed top-sails.
At daylight we had neared the schooner, by the sextants, about a
quarter of a mile, and the captain and officers went down to take some
repose and refreshment, not having quitted the deck for twenty-four
hours.  All that day did we chase the privateer, without gaining more
than a mile upon her, and it now blew up a furious gale: the topgallant
sails had been before taken in; the top-sails were close reefed, and we
were running at the speed of nearly twelve miles an hour; still so well
did the privateer sail, that she was barely within gunshot when the sun
went down below the horizon, angry and fiery red.  There was now great
fear that she would escape, from the difficulty of keeping the glasses
upon her during the night, in a heavy sea, and the expectation that she
would furl all sail and allow us to pass her.  It appeared, however,
that this manoeuvre did not enter into the head of the captain of the
privateer; he stood on under a press of sail, which even in day-time
would have been considered alarming; and at daylight, owing to the
steerage during the night never being so correct as during the day, she
had recovered her distance, and was about four miles from us.  The gale,
if anything, had increased, and Captain Maclean determined,
notwithstanding, to shake a reef out of the topsails.

In the morning, as usual, Tom came to my cot, and asked me how I was?  I
told him I was better and in less pain, and that the surgeon had
promised to dress my wound after breakfast, for the bandages had not
been removed since I had first come on board.  "And the privateer, Tom,
I hope we shall take her; it will be some comfort to me that she is

"I think we shall, if the masts stand, Jacob; but we have an enormous
press of sail, as you may guess by the way in which the frigate jumps;
there is no standing on the forecastle, and there is a regular waterfall
down in the waist from forward.  We are nearing her now.  It is
beautiful to see how she behaves: when she heels over, we can perceive
that all her men are lashed on deck, and she takes whole seas into her
fore and aft mainsail, and pours them out again as she rises from the
lurch.  She deserves to escape, at all events."

She did not, however, obtain her deserts, for about twelve o'clock in
the day we were within a mile of her.  At two, the marines were firing
small arms at her, for we would not yaw to fire at her a gun, although
she was right under our bows.  When within a cable's length we shortened
sail, so as to keep at that distance astern, and the chase, after having
lost several men by musketry, the captain of her waved his hat in token
of surrender.  We immediately shortened sail to keep the weather-gage,
pelting her until every sail was lowered down: we then rounded to,
keeping her under our lee, and firing at every man who made his
appearance on deck.  Taking possession of her was a difficult task: a
boat could hardly live in such a sea and when the captain called aloud
for volunteers, and I heard Tom's voice in the cutter as it was lowering
down, my heart misgave me lest he should meet with some accident.  At
last I knew, from the conversation on deck, that the cutter had got safe
on board, and my mind was relieved.  The surgeon came up and dressed my
arm, and I then received comparative bodily as well as mental relief.

It was not until the next day, when we lay to, with the schooner close
to us, that the weather became sufficiently moderate to enable us to
receive the prisoners, and put our own men and officers on board.  The
prize proved to be an American-built schooner, fitted out as a French
privateer.  She was called the _Cerf Agile_, mounting fourteen guns, of
nearly three hundred tons measurement, and with a crew of one hundred
and seventy men, of which forty-eight were away in prizes.  It was
perhaps fortunate that the boats were not able to attack her, as they
would have received a very warm reception.  Thus did we succeed in
capturing this mischievous vessel, after a chase of two hundred and
seventy miles.  As soon as all the arrangements were made, we shaped our
course, with the privateer in company, for Halifax, where we arrived in
about five weeks.  My wound was now nearly healed, but my arm had wasted
away, and I was unable to return to my duty.  It was well known that I
wrote a good hand, and I volunteered, as I could do nothing else, to
assist the purser and the clerk with the ship's books, etcetera.

The admiral was at Bermuda, and the frigate which we were to relieve
had, from the exigence of the service, been despatched down to the
Honduras, and was not expected back for some months.  We sailed from
Halifax to Bermuda, and joined the admiral, and after three weeks we
were ordered on a cruise.  My arm was now perfectly recovered, but I had
become so useful in the clerk's office that I was retained, much against
my own wishes: but the captain _liked_ it, as Tom said and after that
there was no more said about the matter.

America was not the seat of war at that period; and, with the exception
of chasing French runners, there was nothing to be done on the North
American station.  I have, therefore, little to narrate during the
remainder of the time that I was on board the frigate.  Tom did his duty
in the foretop, and never was in any disgrace; on the contrary, he was a
great favourite both with officers and men, and took more liberties with
the captain than any one else dared to have done; but Captain Maclean
knew that Tom was one of his foremost and best men, always active,
zealous, and indifferent as to danger, and Tom knew exactly how far he
could venture to play with him.  I remained in the clerk's office, and
as it was soon discovered that I had received an excellent education,
and always behaved myself respectfully to my superiors, I was kindly
treated, and had no reason to complain of a man-of-war.

Such was the state of affairs when the other frigate arrived from the
Honduras, and we, who had been cruising for the last four months in
Boston Bay, were ordered in by a cutter, to join the admiral at Halifax.
We had now been nearly a year from England without receiving any
letters.  The reader may, therefore, judge of my impatience when, after
the anchor had been let go and the sails furled, the admiral's boat came
on board with several bags of letters for the officers and ship's
company.  They were handed down into the gun-room, and I waited with
impatience for the sorting and distribution.

"Faithful," said the purser, "here are two letters for you."

I thanked him, and hastened into the clerk's office, that I might read
them without interruption.  The first was addressed in a formal hand
quite unknown to me.  I opened it with some degree of wonderment as to
who could possibly write to so humble an individual!  It was from a
lawyer, and the contents were as follows:--

  Sir--We hasten to advise you of the death of your good friend Mr
  Alexander Turnbull.  By his will, which has been opened and read, and
  of which you are the executor, he has made you his sole heir,
  bequeathing you, at the present, the sum of 30,000 pounds, with the
  remainder of his fortune at the demise of his wife.  With the
  exception of 5000 pounds left to Mrs Turnbull for her own disposal,
  the legacies do not amount to more than 800 pounds.  The jointure
  arising from the interest of the money secured to Mrs Turnbull during
  her life is 1080 pounds per annum, upon the three per cent, consols,
  so that at her demise you will come into 36,000 pounds consols, which
  at 76, will be equal to 27,360 pounds sterling.  I beg to congratulate
  you upon your good fortune, and, with Mr Drummond, have made
  application to the Admiralty for your discharge.  This application, I
  am happy to say, has been immediately attended to, and by the same
  mail that conveys this letter is forwarded an order for your discharge
  and a passage home.  Should you think proper to treat our firm as your
  legal advisers, we shall be most happy to enrol you among our clients.

  I am, sir, yours very respectfully, JOHN FLETCHER.

I must leave the reader to judge of this unexpected and welcome
communication.  At first I was so stunned that I appeared as a statue,
with the letter in my hand, and in this condition I remained until
roused by the first lieutenant, who had come to the office to desire me
to pass the word for "letters for England," and to desire the sail-maker
to make a bag.

"Faithful--why what's the matter?  Are you ill, or--?"  I could not
reply, but I put the letter into his hand.  He read the contents,
expressed his astonishment by occasional exclamations.  "I wish you joy,
my lad, and may it be my turn next time.  No wonder you looked like a
stuck pig.  Had I received such news the captain might have hallooed
till he was hoarse, and the ship might have tumbled overboard before I
should have roused myself.  Well, I suppose we shall get no more work
out of you--"

"The captain wants you, Mr Knight," said one of the midshipmen,
touching his hat.

Mr Knight went into the cabin, and in a few minutes returned, holding
the order for my discharge in his hand.

"It's all right, Faithful, here is your discharge, and an order for your
passage home."

He laid it on the table, and then went away, for a first lieutenant in
harbour has no time to lose.  The next person who came was Tom, holding
in his hand a letter from Mary, with a postscript from his mother.

"Well, Jacob," said he, "I have news to tell you.  Mary says that Mr
Turnbull is dead, and has left her father 200 pounds, and that she has
been told that he has left you something handsome."

"He has indeed, Tom," replied I; "read this letter."

While Tom was reading, I perceived the letter from Mr Drummond, which I
had forgotten.  I opened it.  It communicated the same intelligence as
that of the lawyer, in fewer words; recommended my immediate return, and
enclosed a bill upon his house for 100 pounds, to enable me to appear in
a manner corresponding to my present condition.

"Well," said Tom, "this is, indeed, good news, Jacob.  You are a
gentleman at last, as you deserve to be.  It has made me so happy; what
do you mean to do?"

"I have my discharge here," replied I, "and am ordered a passage home."

"Better still.  I am so happy, Jacob; so happy.  But what _is_ to become
of me?"  And Tom passed the back of his hand across his eyes to brush
away a tear.

"You shall soon follow me, Tom, if I can manage it either by money or
any influence."

"I will manage it, if you don't, Jacob.  I won't stay here without you,
that I am determined."

"Do nothing rashly, Tom.  I am sure I can buy your discharge, and on my
arrival in England I will not think of anything else until it is done."

"You must be quick, then, Jacob, for I'm sure I can't stay here long."

"Trust to me, Tom; you'll still find me Jacob Faithful," said I,
extending my hand.  Tom squeezed it earnestly, and with moistened eyes,
turned away, and walked forward.

The news had spread through the ship, and many of the officers, as well
as the men, came to congratulate me.  What would I have given to have
been allowed only one half-hour to myself--one half-hour in which I
might be permitted to compose my excited feelings--to have returned
thanks for such unexpected happiness, and paid a tribute to the memory
of so sincere a friend?  But in a ship this is almost impossible,
unless, as an officer, you can retreat to your own cabin; and those
gushings from the heart, arising from grief or pleasure, the tears so
sweet in solitude, must be prostituted before the crowd, or altogether
repressed.  At last the wished-for opportunity did come.  Mr Wilson,
who had been away on service, came to congratulate me as soon as he
heard the news, and with an instinctive perception of what might be my
feelings, asked me whether I would not like to write my letters in his
cabin, which, for a few hours, was at my service.  I thankfully accepted
the offer; and, when summoned by the captain, had relieved my
overcharged heart, and had composed my excited feelings.

"Jacob Faithful, you are aware there is an order for your discharge,"
said he, kindly.  "You will be discharged this afternoon into the
_Astrea_; she is ordered home, and will sail with despatches in a few
days.  You have conducted yourself well since you have been under my
command; and, although you are now in a situation not to require a good
certificate, still you will have the satisfaction of feeling that you
have done your duty in the station of life to which you have, for a
certain portion of it, been called--I wish you well."

Although Captain Maclean, in what he said, never lost sight of the
relative situations in which we had been placed, there was a kindness of
manner, especially in the last words, "I wish you well," which went to
my heart.  I replied that I had been very happy during the time I had
been under his command, and thanked him for his good wishes.  I then
bowed and left the cabin.  But the captain did not send me on board the
_Astrea_, although I was discharged into her.  He told the first
lieutenant that I had better go on shore, and equip myself in a proper
manner; and as I afterwards found out, spoke of me in very favourable
terms to the captain of the _Astrea_, acknowledging that I had received
the education of a gentleman, and had been illegally impressed; so that,
when I made my appearance on board the _Astrea_, the officers of the
gun-room requested that I would mess with them during the passage home.

I went on shore, obtained the money for my bill, hastened to a tailor,
and with his exertions, and other fitting-out people, procured all that
was requisite for the outward appearance of a gentleman.  I then
returned to the _Immortalite_, and bade farewell to the officers and
seamen with whom I had been most intimate.  My parting with Tom was
painful.  Even the few days which I had been away, I perceived, had made
an alteration in his appearance.

"Jacob," said he, "don't think I envy you; on the contrary, I am as
grateful, even more grateful than if such good fortune had fallen to my
own lot; but I cannot help fretting at the thought of being left here
without you: and I shall fret until I am with you again."

I renewed my promises to procure his discharge, and forcing upon him all
the money I thought that I could spare, I went over the side as much
affected as poor Tom.  Our passage home was rapid.  We had a continuance
of North West winds, and we flew before them, and in less than three
weeks we dropped our anchor at Spithead.  Happy in the change of my
situation, and happier still in anticipation, I shall only say that I
never was in better spirits, or in company with more agreeable young men
than were the officers of the _Astrea_; and although we were so short a
time together, we separated with mutual regret.



My first object on my return was to call upon old Tom, and assure him of
his son's welfare.  My wishes certainly would have led me to Mr
Drummond's but I felt that my duty required that I should delay that
pleasure.  I arrived at the hotel late in the evening, and early next
morning I went down to the steps at Westminster Bridge, and was saluted
with the usual cry of "Boat, sir!"  A crowd of recollections poured into
my mind at the well-known sound; my life appeared to have passed in
review in a few seconds, as I took my seat in the stern of a wherry, and
directed the waterman to pull up the river.  It was a beautiful morning,
and even at that early hour almost too warm--the sun was so powerful; I
watched every object that we passed with an interest I cannot describe;
every tree, every building, every point of land--they were all old
friends, who appeared, as the sun shone brightly on them, to rejoice in
my good fortune.  I remained in a reverie too delightful to be wished to
be disturbed from it, although occasionally there were reminiscences
which were painful; but they were but as light clouds, obscuring for a
moment, as they flew past, the glorious sun of my happiness.  At last
the well-known tenement of old Tom, his large board with "Boats built to
order," and the half of the boat stuck up on end, caught my sight, and I
remembered the object of my embarkation.  I directed the waterman to
pull to the hard, and, paying him well, dismissed him; for I had
perceived that old Tom was at work stumping round a wherry, bottom up;
and his wife was sitting on a bench in the boat-arbour, basking in the
warm sun, and working away at her nets.  I had landed so quietly, and
they both were so occupied with their respective employments, that they
had not perceived me, and I crept round by the house to surprise them.
I had gained a station behind the old boat, where I overheard the

"It's my opinion," said old Tom, who left off hammering for a time,
"that all the nails in Birmingham won't make this boat water-tight.  The
timbers are as rotten as a pear, and the nails fall through them.  I
have put in one piece more than agreed for; and if I don't put in
another here she'll never swim."

"Well, then, put another piece in," replied Mrs Beazeley.

"Yes; so I will; but I've a notion I shall be out of pocket by this job.
Seven-and-sixpence won't pay for labour and all.  However, never mind,"
and Tom carolled forth--

  "Is not the sea
  Made for the free--
  Land for courts and chains alone?
  There we are slaves,
  But on the waves
  Love and liberty's all our own."

"Now, if you do sing, sing truth, Beazeley," said the old woman.  "A'n't
our boy pressed into the service?  And how can you talk of liberty?"

Old Tom answered by continuing his song--

  "No eye to watch, and no tongue to wound us;
  All earth forgot, and all heaven around us."

"Yes, yes," replied the old woman; "no eye to watch, indeed.  He may be
in sickness and in sorrow; he may be wounded, or dying of a fever; and
there's no mother's eye to watch over him.  As to all the earth being
forgot, I won't believe that Tom has forgotten his mother."

Old Tom replied--

  "Seasons may roll,
  But the true soul
  Burns the same wherever it goes."

"So it does, Tom--so it does; and he's thinking this moment of his
father and mother, I do verily believe, and he loves us more than ever."

"So I believe," replied old Tom--"that is, if he hasn't anything better
to do.  But there's a time for all things; and when a man is doing his
duty as a seaman, he mustn't let his thoughts wander.  Never fear, old
woman: he'll be back again.

  "There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft,
  To take care of the life of poor Jack."

"God grant it!  God grant it!" replied the old woman, wiping her eyes
with her apron, and then resuming her netting.

"He seems," continued she, "by his letters, to be over-fond of that
girl, Mary Stapleton--and I sometimes think that she cares not a little
for him; but she's never of one mind long.  I didn't like to see her
flaunting and flirting so with the soldiers, and at the same time Tom
says that she writes that she cares for nobody but him."

"Women are--women! that's sartin," replied old Tom, musing for a time,
and then showing that his thoughts were running on his son, by bursting

  "Mary, when yonder boundless sea
  Shall part us, and perchance for ever,
  Think not my heart can stray from thee,
  Or cease to mourn thine absence--never!
  And when in distant climes I roam,
  Forlorn, unfriended, broken-hearted--"

"Don't say so, Tom--don't say so," interrupted the old woman.

Tom continued--

  "Oft shall I sigh for thee and home,
  And all those joys from which I parted."

"Aye, so he does, poor fellow, I'll be bound to say.  What would I give
to see his dear, smiling face!" said Mrs Beazeley.

"And I'd give no little, missus, myself.  But still, it's the duty for
every man to serve his country; and so ought Tom, as his father did
before him.  I shall be glad to see him back: but I'm not sorry that
he's gone.  Our ships must be manned, old woman; and if they take men by
force, it's only because they won't volunteer--that's all.  When they're
once on board they don't mind it.  You women require pressing just as
much as the men, and it's all much of a muchness."

"How's that Tom?"

"Why, when we make love, and ask you to marry, don't you always pout,
and say, `No!'  You like being kissed, but we must take it by force.  So
it is with manning a ship.  The men all say, `No;' but when they are
once there, they like the service very much--only, you see, like you,
they want pressing.  Don't Tom write and say that he's quite happy, and
don't care where he is so long as he's with Jacob?"

"Yes; that's true; but they say Jacob is to be discharged and come home,
now that he's come to a fortune; and what will Tom say then?"

"Why, that _is_ the worst of it.  I believe that Jacob's heart is in the
right place; but still, riches spoil a man.  But we shall see.  If Jacob
don't prove `true blue,' I'll never put faith in man again.  But there
be changes in this world, that's sartin.

  "We all have our taste of the ups and the downs,
  As Fortune dispenses her smiles and her frowns;
  But may we not hope, if she's frowning to-day,
  That to-morrow she'll lend us the light of her ray.

"I only wish Jacob was here--that's all."

"Then you have your wish, my good old friend," cried I, running up to
Tom and seizing his hand.  But old Tom was so taken by surprise that he
started back and lost his equilibrium, dragging me after him, and we
rolled on the turf together.  Nor was this the only accident, for old
Mrs Beazeley was so alarmed that she also sprang from the bench fixed
in the half of the old boat stuck on end, and threw herself back against
it.  The boat, rotten when first put up, and with the disadvantage of
exposure to the elements for many years, could no longer stand such
pressure.  It gave way to the sudden force applied by the old woman, and
she and the boat went down together, she screaming and scuffling among
the rotten planks, which now, after so many years close intimacy, were
induced to part company.  I was first on my legs, and ran to the
assistance of Mrs Beazeley, who was half smothered with dust and flakes
of dry pitch; and old Tom coming to my assistance, we put the old woman
on her legs again.

"O deary me!" cried the old woman--"O deary me!  I do believe my hip is
out!  Lord, Mr Jacob, how you frightened me!"

"Yes," said old Tom, shaking me warmly by the hand, "we were all taken
aback, old boat and all.  What a shindy you have made, bowling us all
down like ninepins!  Well, my boy, I'm glad to see you, and
notwithstanding your gear, you're Jacob Faithful still."

"I hope so," replied I; and we then adjourned to the house, where I made
them acquainted with all that had passed, and what I intended to do
relative to obtaining Tom's discharge.  I then left them, promising to
return soon, and, hailing a wherry going up the river, proceeded to my
old friend the Dominie, of whose welfare, as well as Stapleton's and
Mary's, I had been already assured.

But as I passed through Putney Bridge I thought I might as well call
first upon old Stapleton; and I desired the waterman to pull in.  I
hastened to Stapleton's lodgings, and went upstairs, where I found Mary
in earnest conversation with a very good-looking young man, in a
sergeant's uniform of the 93rd Regiment.  Mary, who was even handsomer
than when I had left her, starting up, at first did not appear to
recognise me, then coloured up to the forehead, as she welcomed me with
a constraint I had never witnessed before.  The sergeant appeared
inclined to keep his ground; but on my taking her hand and telling her
that I brought a message from a person whom I trusted she had not
forgotten, he gave her a nod and walked downstairs.  Perhaps there was a
severity in my countenance as I said, "Mary, I do not know whether,
after what I have seen, I ought to give the message; and the pleasure I
anticipated in meeting you again is destroyed by what I have now
witnessed.  How disgraceful is it thus to play with a man's feelings--to
write to him, assuring him of your regard and constancy, and at the same
time encouraging another."

Mary hung down her head.  "If I have done wrong, Mr Faithful," said
she, after a pause, "I have not wronged Tom; what I have written I

"If that is the case, why do you wrong another person? why encourage
another young man only to make him unhappy?"

"I have promised him nothing; but why does not Tom come back and look
after me?  I can't mope here by myself; I have no one to keep company
with; my father is always away at the alehouse, and I must have somebody
to talk to.  Besides, Tom is away, and may be away a long while, and
absence cures love in men, although it does not in women."

"It appears then, Mary, that you wish to have two strings to your bow,
in case of accident."

"Should the first string break, a second would be very acceptable,"
replied Mary.  "But it is always this way," continued she, with
increasing warmth; "I never can be in a situation which is not right;
whenever I do anything which may appear improper, so certain do _you_
make your appearance when least expected and least wished for--as if you
were born to be my constant accuser."

"Does not your own conscience accuse you, Mary?"

"Mr Faithful," repeated she, very warmly, "you are not my father
confessor; but do as you please--write to Tom if you please, and tell
him all you have seen, and anything you may think--make him and make me
miserable and unhappy--do it, I pray.  It will be a friendly act; and as
you are now a great man, you may persuade Tom that I am a jilt and a

Here Mary laid her hands on the table and buried her face in them.

"I did not come here to be your censor, Mary; you are certainly at
liberty to act as you please, without my having any right to interfere;
but as Tom is my earliest and best friend, so far as his interests and
happiness are concerned, I shall carefully watch over them.  We have
been so long together, and I am so well acquainted with all his
feelings, that I really believe that if ever there was a young man
sincerely and devotedly attached to a woman, he is so to you; and I will
add, that if ever there was a young man who deserved love in return, it
is Tom.  When I left, not a month back, he desired me to call upon you
as soon as I could, and assure you of his unalterable attachment; and I
am now about to procure his discharge, that he may be able to return.
All his thoughts are upon this point, and he is now waiting with the
utmost impatience the arrival of it, that he may again be in your
company; you can best judge whether his return will or will not be a
source of happiness."

Mary raised her head--her face was wet with tears.

"Then he will soon be back again, and I shall see him.  Indeed, his
return will be no source of unhappiness, if I can make him happy--
indeed, it shall not, Mr Faithful; but pray don't tell him of my
foolish conduct, pray don't--why make him unhappy?--I entreat you not to
do it.  I will not do so again.  Promise me, Jacob, will you?" continued
Mary, taking me by the arm, and looking beseechingly in my face.

"Mary, I will never be a mischief-maker; but recollect I exact the
performance of your promise."

"Oh, and I will keep it, now that I know he will soon be home.  I can, I
think I can--I'm sure I can wait a month or two without flirting.  But I
do wish that I was not left so much alone.  I wish Tom was at home to
take care of me, for there is no one else.  I can't take care of

I saw by Mary's countenance that she was in earnest, and I therefore
made friends with her, and we conversed for two hours, chiefly about
Tom.  When I left her she had recovered her usual spirits, and said at
parting, looking archly at me, "Now, you will see how wise and prudent I
shall be."

I shook my head, and left her that I might find out [my] old friend
Stapleton, who, as usual, was at the door of the public-house, smoking
his pipe.  At first he did not recognise me, for when I accosted him he
put his open hand to his ear as usual, and desired me to speak a little
louder, but I answered, "Nonsense, Stapleton, that won't do with me."
He then took his pipe out of his mouth, and looked me full in the face.

"Jacob, as I'm alive!  Didn't know you in your long togs--thought you
was a gentleman wanting a boat.  Well, I hardly need say how glad I am
to see you after so long; that's no more than human natur'.  And how's
Tom?  Have you seen Mary?"

These two questions enabled me to introduce the subject that I wished.
I told him of the attachment and troth pledged between the two, and how
wrong it was for him to leave her so much alone.  The old man agreed
with me, and said, that as to talking to the men, that was on Mary's
part nothing but "human natur'"; and that as for Tom wishing to be at
home and seeing her again, that also was nothing but "human natur'"; but
that he would smoke his pipe at home in future, and keep the soldiers
out of the house.  Satisfied with this assurance I left him, and taking
another wherry went up to Brentford to see the Dominie.



I found the worthy old Dominie in the school-room, seated at his
elevated desk, the usher not present, and the boys making a din enough
to have awaked a person from a trance.  That he was in one of his deep
reveries, and that the boys had taken advantage of it, was evident.
"Mr Dobbs," said I, walking close up to the desk, but the Dominie
answered not.  I repeated his name in a louder voice.

"Cosine of _X plus AB minus Z minus a half_; such must be the result,"
said the Dominie talking to himself.  "Yet it doth not prove correct.  I
may be in error.  Let me revise my work," and the Dominie lifted up his
desk to take out another piece of paper.  When the desk lid was raised,
I removed his work and held it behind me.

"But how is this?" exclaimed the Dominie, and he looked everywhere for
his previous calculations.  "Nay," continued he, "it must have been the
wind;" and then he cast his eyes about until they fixed upon me laughing
at him.  "Eheu! what do my eyes perceive?--It is--yet it is not--yes,
most truly it is, my son Jacob.  Welcome, most welcome," cried the old
man, descending from his desk, and clasping me in his arms.  "Long is it
since I have seen thee, my son, _Interea magnum sol circumvolvitur
annum_.  Long, yes long, have I yearned for thy return, fearful lest,
_nudus ignota arena_, thou mightest, like another Palinurus, have been
cast away.  Thou art returned, and all is well; as the father said in
the Scripture: I have found my son which I had lost; but no prodigal
thou, though I use the quotation as apt.  Now all is well; thou hast
escaped the danger of the battle, the fire, and the wreck, and now thou
mayest hang up thy wet garment as a votive offering; as Horace hath it,
_Uvida suspendisse potenti vestimenta maris Deo_."

During the apostrophe of the Dominie, the boys perceiving that he was no
longer wrapped up in his algebra, had partly settled to their desks, and
in their apparent attention to their lessons reminded me of the humming
of bees before a hive on a summer's day.

"Boys," cried the Dominie, "_nunc est ludendum_; verily ye shall have a
holiday; put up your books, and depart in peace."

The books were hastily put up, in obedience to the command; the depart
in peace was not so rigidly adhered to--they gave a loud shout, and in a
few seconds the Dominie and I stood alone in the school-room.

"Come, Jacob, let us adjourn to my sanctum; there may we commune without
interruption.  Thou shalt tell me thine adventures, and I will
communicate to thee what hath been made known to me relative to those
with whom thou wert acquainted."

"First let me beg you to give me something to eat, for I am not a little
hungry," interrupted I, as we gained the kitchen.

"Verily shalt thou have all that we possess, Jacob; yet now, I think,
that will not be much, seeing that I and our worthy matron did pick the
bones of a shoulder of mutton, this having been our fourth day of repast
upon it.  She is out, yet I will venture to intrude into the privacy of
her cupboard, for thy sake.  Peradventure she may be wroth, yet will I
risk her displeasure."  So saying, the old Dominie opened the cupboard,
and, one by one, handed to me the dishes with their contents.  "Here
Jacob are two hard dumplings from yesterday.  Canst thou relish cold,
hard, dumplings?--but, stop, here is something more savoury--half of a
cold cabbage, which was left this day.  We will look again.  Here is
meat--yes, it is meat; but now do I perceive it is a piece of lights
reserved for the dinner of the cat to-morrow.  I am fearful that we must
not venture upon that, for the dame will be wroth."

"Pray put it back, sir; I would not interfere with puss on any account."

"Nay, then, Jacob, I see naught else, unless there may be viands on the
upper shelf.  Sir, here is bread, the staff of life, and also a fragment
of cheese; and now, methinks, I discern something dark at the back of
the shelf."  The Dominie extended his hand, and immediately withdrew it,
jumping from his chair, with a loud cry.  He had put his fingers into a
rat gin, set by the old woman for those intruders, and he held up his
arm and stamped as he shouted out with the pain.  I hastened to him, and
pressing down the spring, released his fingers from the teeth, which,
however, had drawn blood, as well as bruised him; fortunately, like most
of the articles of their menage, the trap was a very old one, and he was
not much hurt.  The Dominie thrust his fingers into his capacious mouth,
and held them there some time without speaking.  He began to feel a
little ease, when in came the matron.

"Why, what's all this!" said she, in a querulous tone.  "Jacob here, and
all my cupboard on the table.  Jacob, how dare you go to my cupboard?"

"It was the Dominie, Mrs Bately, who looked there for something for me
to eat, and he has been caught in a rat-trap."

"Serve him right; I have forbade him that cupboard.  Have I not, Mr

"Yea, and verily," quoth the Dominie, "and I do repent me that I took
not thine advice, for look at my fingers;" and the Dominie extended his
lacerated digits.

"Dear me! well I'd no idea that a rat-trap pinched so hard," replied the
old woman, whose wrath was appeased.  "How it must hurt the poor
things--I won't set it again, but leave them all to the cat; he'll kill
them, if he only can get at them."  The old lady went to a drawer,
unlocked it, brought out some fragments of rags, and a bottle of friar's
balsam, which she applied to the Dominie's hand, and then bound it up,
scolding him the whole time.  "How stupid of you, Mr Dobbs; you know
that I was only out for a few minutes.  Why didn't you wait--and why did
you go to the cupboard?  Hav'n't I always told you not to look into it?
and now you see the consequences."

"Verily my hand burneth," replied the Dominie.

"I will go for cold water, and it will ease you.  What a deal of trouble
you do give, Mr Dobbs; you're worse than a charity boy;" and the old
lady departed to the pump.

"Vinegar is a better thing, sir," said I, "and there is a bottle in the
cupboard, which I dare say is vinegar."  I went to the cupboard, and
brought out the bottle, took out the cork and smelt it.  "This is not
vinegar, sir, it is Hollands or gin."

"Then would I like a glass, Jacob, for I feel a sickening faintness upon
me; yet be quick, peradventure the old woman may return."

"Drink out of the bottle, sir," said I, perceiving that the Dominie
looked very pale, "and I will give you notice of her approach."  The
Dominie put the bottle to his mouth, and was taking a sufficient
draught, when the old woman returned by another door which was behind
us; she had gone that way for a wash-basin.  Before we could perceive
her, she came behind the Dominie, snatched the bottle from his mouth
with a jerk that threw a portion of the spirits in his eyes, and blinded

"That's why you went to my cupboard, is it, Mr Dobbs?" cried she, in a
passion.  "That's it, is it?  I thought my bottle went very fast; seeing
that I don't take more than a tea-spoonful every night, for the wind
which vexes me so much.  I'll set the rat-trap again, you may depend
upon it; and now you may get somebody else to bind your fingers."

"It was I who took it out, Mrs Bately; the Dominie would have fainted
with pain.  It was very lucky that he has a housekeeper who is careful
to have something of the kind in the house, or he might have been dead.
You surely don't begrudge a little of your medicine to recover Mr

"Peace, woman, peace," said the Dominie, who had gained courage by his
potation.  "Peace, I say; I knew not that thou hadst in thy cupboard
either a gin for my hand, or gin for my mouth; since I have been taken
in the one, it is but fair that I should take in the other.  In future
both thy gins will not be interfered with by me.  Bring me the basin,
that I may appease my angry wounds, and then hasten to procure some
viands to appease the hunger of my son Jacob; lastly, appease thine own
wrath.  _Pax_.  Peace, I say;" and the old woman, who perceived that the
Dominie had asserted his right of dominion, went to obey his orders,
grumbling till she was out of hearing.  The application of the cold
pump-water soon relieved the pain of the good old Dominie, and with his
hand remaining in the basin, we commenced a long conversation.

At first I narrated to him the events which had occurred during my
service on board of the frigate.  When I told him of my parting with
Tom, he observed, "Verily do I remember that young Tom, a jocund,
pleasant, yet intrusive lad.  Yet do I wish him well, and am grieved
that he should be so taken by that maiden Mary.  Well may we say of her,
as Horace hath of Pyrrha--`_Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa,
perfusis liquidis urgit odoribus, grate, Pyrrha, sub antro.  Cui flavam
religas comam, simplex munditiis_.'  I grieve at it, yea, grieve much.
_Heu, quoties fidem mutatosque Deos flebit_!  Verily, Jacob, I do
prophesy that she will lead him into error, yea, perhaps into

"I trust not, sir," replied I; but the Dominie made no answer.  For
half-an-hour he was in deep and serious thought, during which Mrs
Bately entered, and spreading a cloth, brought in from the other room
some rashers of bacon and eggs, upon which I made a hasty and hearty
meal.  The old matron's temper was now smoothed, and she welcomed me
kindly, and shortly after went out for a fresh basin of cold water for
the Dominie to bathe his hand.  This roused him, and he recommenced the

"Jacob, I have not yet congratulated thee upon thy accession to wealth;
not that I do not sincerely rejoice in it, but because the pleasure of
thy presence has made me unmindful of it.  Still, was it fortunate for
thee that thou hadst raised up such a friend as Mr Turnbull; otherwise
what would have been the result of thy boasted independence?  Thou
wouldst probably have remained many years on board of a man-of-war, and
have been killed, or have returned mutilated, to die unknown."

"You were right, sir," replied I; "my independence was nothing but
pride; and I did bitterly repent, as you said I should do, even before I
was pressed into the king's service--but Mr Drummond never repeated his

"He never did, Jacob; but as I have since been informed by him, although
he was taken by surprise at thy being forced away to serve thy country,
still he was not sure that you would accept them; and he, moreover,
wished you fully to feel thine own folly.  Long before you had made
friends with him, he had attested the will of Mr Turnbull, and was
acquainted with the contents.  Yet, did he watch over thee, and had he
thought that thy way of life had led thee into that which was wrong, he
would have interfered to save thee; but he considered with Shakespeare
that `sweet were the uses of adversity,' and that thou wouldst be more
schooled by remaining some time under her unprepossessing frowns.  He
hath ever been thy friend."

"I can believe it.  I trust he is well, and his family."

"They were well and prosperous, but a little while ago, Jacob; yet I
have seen but little of them since the death of Mr Turnbull.  It will
pain thee to hear that affliction at thy absence hastened his
dissolution.  I was at his death-bed, Jacob; and I verily believe he was
a good man, and will meet the reward of one; yet did he talk most
strangely, and reminded me of that remnant of a man you call old Tom.
`It's no use, old gentleman,' said he, as he lay in his bed supported by
pillows, for he had wasted away till he was but a skeleton, having
broken a blood-vessel with his violent coughing--`It's no use pouring
that doctor's stuff down my throat; my anchor's short stay a-peak, and
in a few minutes I shall trip it, I trust for heaven, where I hope there
are moorings laid down for me.'  `I would fain comprehend thee,' replied
I, `but thou speakest in parables.'  `I mean to say that death has
driven his harpoon in up to the shank, and that I struggle in vain.  I
have run out all my line.  I shall turn up in a few minutes--so give my
love and blessing to Jacob--he saved my life once--but now I'm gone.'
With these last words his spirit took its flight; and thus, Jacob, did
your benefactor breathe his last, invoking a blessing on your head."

I remained silent for a few minutes, for I was much affected by the
Dominie's description; he at length resumed the conversation.

"Thou hast not yet seen the Drummonds, Jacob?"

"I have not," I replied, "but I will call upon them tomorrow; but it is
time that I should go, for I have to return to London."

"Thou needst not, Jacob.  Thine own house is at hand."

"My own house!"

"Yes; by the will of Mr Turnbull, his wife has been left a handsome
jointure, but, for reasons which he did not explain, the house and
furniture are not left to her, but, as residuary legatee, belong to

"Indeed!--then where is Mrs Turnbull?"

"At Bath, where she hath taken up her residence.  Mr Drummond, who hath
acted in thy behalf, permitted her to take away such articles as she
might wish, but they were but few, chiefly those little objects which
filled up rather than adorned the drawing-room.  The house is all ready
for thy reception, and thou mayst take possession this evening."

"But why did not Mr Turnbull leave it to his widow?"

"I cannot exactly say, but I think he did not wish her to remain in this
place.  He, therefore, left her 5000 pounds at her own disposal, to
enable her to purchase and furnish another."

I then took my leave of the Dominie, and it being rather late, I
resolved to walk to the house and sleep there.



On my arrival the front gates were opened by the gardener's wife, who
made me a profound courtesy.  The gardener soon afterwards made his
appearance, hat in hand.  Everything was neat and in good order.  I
entered the house, and as soon as possible rid myself of their
obsequious attentions.  I wished to be alone.  Powerful feelings crowded
on my mind.  I hastened to Mr Turnbull's study, and sat down in the
chair so lately occupied by him.  The proud feeling of possession,
softened into gratitude to heaven, and sorrow at his death, came over
me, and I remained for a long while in a deep reverie.  "And all this,
and more, much more, are mine," I mentally exclaimed; "the sailor before
the mast, the waterman on the river, the charity-boy, the orphan sits
down in quiet possession of luxury and wealth.  What have I done to
deserve all this?"  My heart told me nothing, or if anything, it was
almost valueless, and I poured forth my soul in thanks to heaven.  I
felt more composed after I had performed this duty, and my thoughts then
dwelt upon my benefactor.  I surveyed the room--the drawings, the furs
and skins, the harpoons and other instruments, all remaining in their
respective places, as when I last had an interview with Mr Turnbull.  I
remembered his kindness, his singleness of heart, his honesty, his good
sense, and his real worth; and I shed many tears for his loss.  My
thoughts then passed to Sarah Drummond, and I felt much uneasiness on
that score.  Would she receive me, or would she still remember what I
had been?  I recollected her kindness and good-will towards me.  I
weighed these, and my present condition, against my origin and my former
occupation; and could not ascertain how the scale might turn.  I shall
soon see, thought I.  To-morrow, even, may decide the question.  The
gardener's wife knocked at the door, and announced that my bed was
prepared.  I went to sleep, dreaming of Sarah, young Tom, the Dominie
and Mary Stapleton.

I was up early the next morning, and hastened to the hotel; when, having
arranged my person to the best of my power (but at the same time never
so little to my satisfaction), I proceeded to the house of Mr Drummond.
I knocked; and this time I was not desired to wait in the hall, but was
immediately ushered up into the drawing-room.  Sarah Drummond was
sitting alone at her drawing.  My name was announced as I entered.  She
started from her chair, and blushed deeply as she moved towards me.  We
joined hands in silence.  I was breathless with emotion.  Never had she
appeared so beautiful.  Neither party appeared willing to break silence;
at last I faltered out, "Miss Drummond,"--and then I stopped.

"Mr Faithful," replied she; and then, after a break--"How very silly
this is; I ought to have congratulated you upon your safe return, and
upon your good fortune; and, indeed, Mr Faithful, no one can do so more

"Miss Drummond," replied I, confused, "when I was an orphan, a
charity-boy, and a waterman, you called me Jacob, if the alteration in
my prospects induces you to address me in so formal a manner--if we are
in future to be on such different terms--I can only say that I wish that
I were again--Jacob Faithful, the waterman."

"Nay," replied she, "recollect that it was your own choice to be a
waterman.  You might have been different--very different.  You might at
this time have been a partner with my father, for he said so but last
night, when we were talking about you.  But you refused all; you threw
away your education, your talents, your good qualities, from a foolish
pride, which you considered independence.  My father almost humbled
himself to you--not that it is ever humiliating to acknowledge and
attempt to repair a fault, but still he did more than could be expected
from most people.  Your friends persuaded you, but you rejected their
advice; and what was still more unpardonable, even I had no influence
over you.  As long as you punished yourself I did not upbraid you; but
now that you have been so fortunate, I tell you plainly--"


"That it is more than you deserve, that's all."

"You have said but the truth, Miss Drummond.  I was very proud and very
foolish; but I had repented of my folly long before I was pressed; and I
candidly acknowledge that I do not merit the good fortune I have met
with.  Can I say more?"

"No; I am satisfied with your repentance and acknowledgment.  So, now
you may sit down, and make yourself agreeable."

"Before I do that, allow me to ask, as you address me as Mr Faithful,
how am I to address you?  I should not wish to be considered

"My name is Miss Drummond, but those who feel intimate with me call me

"I may reply that my name is Faithful, but those who feel intimate with
me call me Jacob."

"Very true; but allow me to observe that you show very little tact.  You
should never force a lady into a corner.  If I appear affronted when you
call me Sarah, then you will do wise to fall back upon Miss Drummond.
But why do you fix your eyes upon me so earnestly?"

"I cannot help it, and must beg your pardon; but you are so improved in
appearance since I last saw you.  I thought no one could be more
perfect, but--"

"Well, that's not a bad beginning, Jacob.  I like to hear of my
perfections.  Now follow up your _but_."

"I hardly know what I was going to say, but I think it was that I do not
feel as if I ought or can address you otherwise than as Miss Drummond."

"Oh, you've thought better of it, have you?  Well, I begin to think
myself that you look so well in your present dress, and have become so
very different a person, that I ought not to address you by any other
name than Mr Faithful.  So now we are agreed."

"That's not what I mean to say."

"Well, then, let me know what you did mean to say."

This puzzling question fortunately did not require an answer, for Mr
Drummond came into the room and extended his hand.

"My dear Jacob," said he, in the most friendly manner, "I'm delighted to
see you back again, and to have the pleasure of congratulating you on
your good fortune.  But you have business to transact which will not
admit of any delay.  You must prove the will, and arrange with the
lawyers as soon as possible.  Will you come now?  All the papers are
below, and I have the whole morning to spare.  We will be back to
dinner, Sarah, if Jacob has no other engagement."

"I have none," replied I; "and shall be most happy to avail myself of
your kindness.  Miss Drummond, I wish you a good morning."

"_Au revoir_, Mr Faithful," replied Sarah, courtesying formally, with a
mocking smile.

The behaviour of Mr Drummond towards me was most kind and parental, and
my eyes were often suffused with tears during the occupation of the
morning.  The most urgent business was got through, and an interview
with Mr Turnbull's solicitor put the remainder in progress; still it
was so late when we had accomplished it, that I had no time to dress.
On my return, Mrs Drummond received me with her usual kindness.  I
narrated, during the evening, my adventures since we parted, and took
that opportunity to acknowledge to Mr Drummond how bitterly I had
repented my folly, and I may add ingratitude, towards him.

"Jacob," said he, as we were sitting at the tea-table with Mrs Drummond
and Sarah, "I knew at the time that you were toiling on the river for
shillings that you were the inheritor of thousands; for I not only
witnessed but read the will of Mr Turnbull; but I thought it best that
you should have a lesson which you would never forget in after life.
There is no such thing in this world as independence, unless in a savage
state.  In society we are all mutually dependent upon each other.
Independence of mind we may have, but no more.  As a waterman, you were
dependent upon your customers, as every poor man must be upon those who
have more means; and in refusing my _offers_ you were obliged to apply
for employment to others.  The rich are as entirely dependent upon
others as the poor; they depend upon them for their food, their clothes,
their necessities, and their luxuries.  Such ever will be the case in
society, and the more refined the society may be--the more civilised its
parts--the greater is the mutual dependence.  Still it is an error
originating in itself from high feelings, and therefore must be
considered as an error on the right side; but recollect how much you
might have thrown away had not you, in the first place, secured such a
friend as Mr Turnbull; and secondly, if the death of that friend had
not so soon put you in possession."

I was but too ready to acknowledge the truth of these remarks.  The
evening passed away so rapidly that it was midnight before I rose to
take my leave, and I returned to the hotel as happy in my mind, and as
grateful as ever any mortal could possibly be.  The next day I removed
to the house left me by Mr Turnbull, and the first order I gave was for
a wherry.  Such was the force of habit, I could not do without one; and
half my time was spent upon the river, pulling every day down to Mr
Drummond's, and returning in the evening, or late at night.  Thus passed
away two months, during which I occasionally saw the Dominie, the
Stapletons, and old Tom Beazeley.  I had exerted myself to procure Tom's
discharge, and at last had the pleasure of telling the old people that
it was to go out by the next packet.  By the Drummonds I was received as
a member of the family--there was no hindrance to my being alone with
Sarah for hours; and although I had not ventured to declare my
sentiments, they appeared to be well understood, as well by the parents
as by Sarah herself.

Two days after I had communicated this welcome intelligence to the old
couple, as I was sitting at breakfast, attended by the gardener and his
wife (for I had made no addition to my establishment), what was my
surprise at the appearance of young _Tom_, who entered the room as
usual, laughing as he held out his hand.

"Tom!" exclaimed I, "why, how did you come here?"

"By water, Jacob, as you may suppose."

"But how have you received your discharge?  Is the ship come home?"

"I hope not; the fact is, I discharged myself, Jacob."

"What! did you desert?"

"Even so.  I had three reasons for so doing.  In the first place, I
could not remain without you; in the second, my mother wrote to say Mary
was taken up with a sodger; and the third was, I was put into the report
for punishment, and should have been flogged, as sure as the captain had
a pair of epaulettes."

"Well, but sit down and tell me all about it.  You know your discharge
is obtained."

"Yes, thanks to you, Jacob; all the better, for now they won't look
after me.  All's well that ends well.  After you went away, I presume I
was not in the very best of humours; and that rascal of a master's mate
who had us pressed, thought proper to bully me beyond all bearing.  One
day he called me a lying scoundrel; upon which I forgot that I was on
board of a man-of-war, and replied that he was a confounded cheat, and
that he had better pay me his debt of two guineas for bringing him down
the river.  He reported me on the quarter-deck for calling him a cheat,
and Captain Maclean, who, you know, won't stand any nonsense, heard the
arguments on both sides; upon which he declared that the conduct of the
master's mate was not that of an officer or a gentleman, and therefore
_he_ should leave the ship; and that my language to my superior officer
was subversive to the discipline of the service, and therefore he should
give me a good flogging.  Now, Jacob, you know that if the officers
don't pay their debts, Captain Maclean always does, and with interest
into the bargain; so finding that I was in for it, and no mistake, I
swam ashore the night before Black Monday, and made my way to Miramichi,
without any adventure, except a tussle with a sergeant of marines, whom
I left for dead about three miles out of the town.  At Miramichi I got
on board of a timber ship, and here I am."

"I am sorry that you deserted, nevertheless," replied I; "it may come to

"Never fear; the people on the river know that I have my discharge, and
I'm safe enough."

"Have you seen Mary!"

"Yes, and all's right in that quarter.  I shall build another wherry,
wear my badge and dress, and stick above bridge.  When I'm all settled,
I'll splice, and live along with the old couple."

"But will Mary consent to live there?  It is so quiet and retired that
she won't like it."

"Mary Stapleton has given herself airs enough in all conscience, and has
had her own way quite enough.  Mary Beazeley will do as her husband
wishes, or I will know the reason why."

"We shall see, Tom.  Bachelors' wives are always best managed, they say.
But now you want money to buy your boat."

"Yes, if you'll lend it to me; I don't like to take it away from the old
people; and I'll pay you when I can, Jacob."

"No; you must accept this, Tom; and when you marry you must accept
something more," replied I, handing the notes to him.

"With all my heart, Jacob.  I never can repay you for what you have done
for me, and so I may just as well increase the debt."

"That's good logic, Tom."

"Quite as good as independence; is it not, Jacob?"

"Better, much better, as I know to my cost," replied I, laughing.

Tom finished his breakfast, and then took his leave.  After breakfast,
as usual, I went to the boat-house, and unchaining my wherry, pulled up
the river, which I had not hitherto done; my attendance upon Sarah
having invariably turned the bow of my wherry in the opposite direction.
I swept by the various residences on the banks of the river until I
arrived opposite to that of Mr Wharncliffe, and perceived a lady and
gentleman in the garden.  I knew them at once, and, as they were
standing close to the wall, I pulled in and saluted them.

"Do you recollect me?" said I to them, smiling.

"Yes," replied the lady, "I do recollect your face--surely--it is
Faithful, the waterman!"

"No, I am not a waterman; I am only amusing myself in my own boat."

"Come up," replied Mr Wharncliffe; "we can't shake hands with you at
that distance."

I made fast my wherry and joined them.  They received me most cordially.

"I thought you were not a waterman, Mr Faithful, although you said that
you were," said Mrs Wharncliffe.  "Why did you deceive us in that way?"

"Indeed, at that time I was, from my own choice and my own folly a
waterman; now I am so no longer."

We were soon on the most intimate terms, and I narrated part of my
adventures.  They expressed their obligations to me, and requested that
I would accept their friendship.

"Would you like to have a row on the water?  It is a beautiful day, and
if Mrs Wharncliffe will trust herself--"

"Oh, I should like it above all things.  Will you go.  William?  I will
run for a shawl."

In a few minutes we were all three embarked, and I rowed them to _my
villa_.  They had been admiring the beauty of the various residences on
the banks of the Thames.

"How do you like that one?" inquired I of Mrs Wharncliffe.

"It is very handsome, and I think one of the very best."

"That is mine," replied I.  "Will you allow me to show it to you?"


"Yes, mine; but I have a very small establishment, for I am a bachelor."

We landed, and after walking about the grounds went into the house.

"Do you recollect this room?" said I to Mr Wharncliffe.

"Yes, indeed I do; it was here that the box was opened, and my uncle's--
But we must not say anything about that: he is dead!"


"Yes; he never held his head up after his dishonesty was discovered.  He
pined and died within three months, sincerely repenting what he had

I accepted their invitation to dinner, as I rowed them back to their own
residence; and afterwards had the pleasure of enrolling them among my
sincerest friends.  Through them I was introduced to Lady Auburn and
many others; and I shall not forget the old housekeeper recognising me
one day, when I was invited to Lady Auburn's villa.

"Bless me! what tricks you young gentlemen do play.  Only to think how
you asked me for water, and how I pushed the door in your face, and
wouldn't let you rest yourself.  But if you young gentlemen will
disguise yourselves, it's your own faults, and you must take the

My acquaintances now increased rapidly, and I had the advantage of the
best society.  I hardly need observe that it was a great advantage; for,
although I was not considered awkward, still I wanted that polish which
can only be obtained by an admixture with good company.  The reports
concerning me were various; but it was generally believed that I was a
young man who had received an excellent education, and might have been
brought forward, but that I had taken a passion for the river, and had
chosen to be a waterman in preference to any other employment; that I
had since come into a large fortune, and had resumed my station in
society.  How far the false was blended with the true, those who have
read my adventures will readily perceive.  For my part, I cared little
what they said, and I gave myself no trouble to refute the various
assertions.  I was not ashamed of my birth, because it had no effect
upon the Drummonds; still I knew the world too well to think it
necessary to blazon it.  On the whole, the balance was in my favour;
there was a degree of romance in my history, with all its variations,
which interested, and, joined to the knowledge of my actual wealth, made
me to be well received, and gained me attention wherever I went.  One
thing was much to my advantage--my extensive reading, added to the good
classical education which I had received.  It is not often in society
that an opportunity occurs when any one can prove his acquisitions; and
thus did education turn the scale in my favour, and every one was much
more inclined to believe the false rather than the true versions of my



I had often ruminated in what manner I could render the Dominie more
comfortable.  I felt that to him I was as much indebted as to any living
being, and one day I ventured to open the subject; but his reply was

"I see, Jacob, my son, what thou wouldst wish: but it must not be.  Man
is but a creature of habit; habit becomes to him not only necessity but
luxury.  For five-and-forty years have I toiled, instilling precepts and
forcing knowledge into the brains of those who have never proved so apt
as thou.  Truly, it hath been a painful task, yet can I not relinquish
it.  I might, at one time, that is, during the first ten years, have met
the offer with gratitude; for I felt the humiliation and annoyance of
wearying myself with the rudiments, when I would fain have commented
upon the various peculiarities of style in the ancient Greek and Latin
authors; but now, all that has passed away.  The eternal round of
concord, prosody, and syntax has charms for me from habit: the rule of
three is preferable to the problems of Euclid, and even the Latin
grammar has its delights.  In short, I have a _hujus_ pleasure in _hic,
haec, hoc; [cluck cluck;]_ and even the flourishing of the twigs of that
tree of knowledge, the birch, hath become a pleasurable occupation to
me, if not to those upon whom it is inflicted.  I am like an old horse,
who hath so long gone round and round in a mill, that he cannot walk
straight forward; and, if it pleases the Almighty, I will die in
harness.  Still I thank thee, Jacob; and thank God that thou hast again
proved the goodness of thy heart, and given me one more reason to
rejoice in thee and in thy love; but thine offer, if accepted, would not
add to my happiness; for what feeling can be more consolatory to an old
man near into his grave than the reflection that his life, if not
distinguished, has at least been useful?"

I had not for some time received a visit from Tom; and, surprised at
this, I went down to his father's to make inquiry about him.  I found
the old couple sitting in-doors; the weather was fine, but old Tom was
not at his work; even the old woman's netting was thrown aside.

"Where is Tom?" inquired I, after wishing them good morning.

"Oh deary me!" cried the old woman, putting her apron up to her eyes;
"that wicked good-for-nothing girl!"

"Good heavens! what is the matter?" inquired I of old Tom.

"The matter, Jacob," replied old Tom, stretching out his two wooden
legs, and placing his hands upon his knees, "is, that Tom has 'listed
for a sodger."

"'Listed for a soldier!"

"Yes; that's as sartain as it's true; and what's worse, I'm told the
regiment is ordered to the West Indies.  So, what with fever o' mind and
yellow fever, he's food for the land crabs, that's sartain.  I think
now," continued the old man, brushing a tear from his eye with his
fore-finger, "that I see his bones bleaching under the palisades; for I
know the place well."

"Don't say so, Tom; don't say so!"

"O Jacob! beg pardon if I'm too free now; but can't you help us?"

"I will if I can, depend upon it; but tell me how this happened."

"Why, the long and the short of it is this: that girl, Mary Stapleton,
has been his ruin.  When he first came home he was well received, and
looked forward to being spliced and living with us; but it didn't last
long.  She couldn't leave off her old tricks; and so, that Tom might not
get the upper hand, she plays him off with the sergeant of a recruiting
party, and flies off from one to the other, just like the ticker of the
old clock there does from one side to the other.  One day the sergeant
was the fancy man, and the next day it was Tom.  At last Tom gets out of
patience, and wishes to come to a fair understanding.  So he axes her
whether she chooses to have the sergeant or to have him; she might take
her choice, but he had no notion of being played with in that way, after
all her letters and all her promises.  Upon this she huffs outright, and
tells Tom he may go about his business, for she didn't care if she never
sees him no more.  So Tom's blood was up, and he called her a damned
jilt, and, in my opinion, he was near to the truth; so then they had a
regular breeze, and part company.  Well, this made Tom very miserable,
and the next day he would have begged her pardon, and come to her terms,
for, you see, Jacob, a man in love has no discretion; but she being
still angry, tells him to go about his business, as she means to marry
the sergeant in a week.  Tom turns away again quite mad; and it so
happens that he goes into the public-house where the sergeant hangs out,
hoping to be revenged on him, and meaning to have a regular set-to, and
see who is the best man; but the sergeant wasn't there, and Tom takes
pot after pot to drive away care; and when the sergeant returned, Tom
was not a little in liquor.  Now, the sergeant was a knowing chap, and
when he comes in, and perceives Tom with his face flushed, he guesses
what was to come, so, instead of saying a word, he goes to another
table, and dashes his fist upon it, as if in a passion.  Tom goes up to
him, and says, `Sergeant, I've known that girl long before you, and if
you are a man, you'll stand up for her.'  `Stand up for her; yes,'
replied the sergeant, `and so I would have done yesterday, but the
blasted jilt has turned me to the right about and sent me away.  I won't
fight now, for she won't have me--any more than she will you.'  Now when
Tom hears this, he becomes more pacified with the sergeant, and they set
down like two people under the same misfortune, and take a pot together,
instead of fighting; and then, you see, the sergeant plies Tom with
liquor, swearing that he will go back to the regiment, and leave Mary
altogether, and advises Tom to do the same.  At last, what with the
sergeant's persuasions, and Tom's desire to vex Mary, he succeeds in
'listing him, and giving him the shilling before witnesses; that was all
the rascal wanted.  The next day Tom was sent down to the depot, as they
call it, under a guard; and the sergeant remains here to follow up Mary
without interruption.  This only happened three days ago, and we only
were told of it yesterday by old Stapleton, who threatens to turn his
daughter out of doors."

"Can't you help us, Jacob?" said the old woman, crying.

"I hope I can; and if money can procure his discharge it shall be
obtained.  But did you not say that he was ordered to the West Indies?"

"The regiment is in the Indies, but they are recruiting for it, so many
have been carried off by the yellow fever last sickly season.  A
transport, they say, will sail next week, and the recruits are to march
for embarkation in three or four days."

"And what is the regiment, and where is the depot?"

"It is the 47th Fusiliers, and the depot is at Maidstone."

"I will lose no time, my good friends," replied I; "to-morrow I will go
to Mr Drummond, and consult with him."  I returned the grateful squeeze
of old Tom's hand, and, followed by the blessings of the old woman, I
hastened away.

As I pulled up the river, for that day I was engaged to dine with the
Wharncliffes, I resolved to call upon Mary Stapleton, and ascertain by
her deportment whether she had become that heartless jilt which she was
represented, and if so, to persuade Tom, if I succeeded in obtaining his
discharge, to think no more about her; I felt so vexed and angry with
her, that after I landed, I walked about a few minutes before I went to
the house, that I might recover my temper.  When I walked up the stairs
I found Mary sitting over a sheet of paper, on which she had been
writing.  She looked up as I came in, and I perceived that she had been
crying.  "Mary," said I, "how well you have kept the promise you made to
me when last we met!  See what trouble and sorrow you have brought upon
all parties except yourself."

"Except myself--no, Mr Faithful, don't except myself, I am almost mad--
I believe that I am mad--for surely such folly as mine is madness;" and
Mary wept bitterly.

"There is no excuse for your behaviour, Mary--it is unpardonably wicked.
Tom sacrificed all for your sake--he even deserted, and desertion is
death by the law.  Now what have you done?--taken advantage of his
strong affection to drive him to intemperance, and induce him, in
despair, to enlist for a soldier.  He sails for the West Indies to fill
up the ranks of a regiment thinned by the yellow fever, and will perhaps
never return again--you will then have been the occasion of his death.
Mary, I have come to tell you that I despise you."

"I despise and hate myself," replied Mary, mournfully; "I wish I were in
my grave.  Oh, Mr Faithful, do for God's sake--do get him back.  You
can, I know you can--you have money and everything."

"If I do, it will not be for your benefit, Mary, for you shall trifle
with him no more.  I will not try for his discharge unless he faithfully
promises never to speak to you again."

"You don't say that--you don't mean that!" cried Mary, sweeping the hair
with her hand back from her forehead--and her hand still remaining on
her head--"O God!  O God! what a wretch I am!  Hear me, Jacob, hear me,"
cried she, dropping on her knees, and seizing my hands; "only get him
his discharge--only let me once see him again, and I swear by all that's
sacred, that I will beg his pardon on my knees as I now do yours.  I
will do everything--anything--if he will but forgive me, for I cannot, I
will not live without him."

"If this is true, Mary, what madness could have induced you to have
acted as you have?"

"Yes," replied Mary, rising from her knees, "madness, indeed--more than
madness to treat so cruelly one for whom I only care to live.  You say
Tom loves me; I know he does; but he does not love me as I do him.  O,
my God! my heart will break!"  After a pause, Mary resumed.  "Read what
I have written to him--I have already written as much in another letter.
You will see that if he cannot get away, I have offered to go out with
him as his wife; that is, if he will have such a foolish, wicked girl as
I am."

I read the letter; it was as she said, praying forgiveness, offering to
accompany him, and humiliating herself as much as it was possible.  I
was much affected.  I returned the letter.

"You can't despise me so much as I despise myself," continued Mary; "I
hate, I detest myself for my folly.  I recollect now how you used to
caution me when a girl.  Oh, mother, mother, it was a cruel legacy you
left to your child, when you gave her your disposition.  Yet why should
I blame her?  I must blame myself."

"Well, Mary, I will do all I can, and that as soon as possible.
To-morrow I will go down to the depot."

"God bless you, Jacob; and may you never have the misfortune to be in
love with such a one as myself."



I left Mary, and hastened home to dress for dinner.  I mentioned the
subject of wishing to obtain Tom's discharge to Mr Wharncliffe, who
recommended my immediately applying to the Horse Guards; and, as he was
acquainted with those in office, offered to accompany me.  I gladly
accepted his offer; and the next morning he called for me in his
carriage, and we went there.  Mr Wharncliffe sent up his card to one of
the secretaries, and we were immediately ushered up, when I stated my
wishes.  The reply was:--"If you had time to procure a substitute it
would be easily arranged; but the regiment is so weak, and the aversion
to the West Indies so prevalent after this last very sickly season, that
I doubt if His Royal Highness would permit any man to purchase his
discharge.  However, we will see.  The Duke is one of the
kindest-hearted of men, and I will lay the case before him.  But let us
see if he is still at the depot; I rather think not."  The secretary
rang the bell.

"The detachment of the 47th Fusiliers from the depot--has it marched?
And when does it embark?"

The clerk went out, and in a few minutes returned with some a papers in
his hand.  "It marched the day before yesterday, and was to embark this
morning, and sail as soon as the wind was fair."

My heart sank at this intelligence.

"How is the wind, Mr G---?  Go down and look at the tell-tale."

The clerk returned.  "East North East, sir, and has been steadily so
these two days."

"Then," replied the secretary, "I am afraid you are too late to obtain
your wish.  The orders to the port-admiral are most peremptory to
expedite the sailing of the transports, and a frigate has been now three
weeks waiting to convoy them.  Depend upon it, they have sailed to-day."

"What can be done?" replied I, mournfully.

"You must apply for his discharge, and procure a substitute.  He can
then have an order sent out, and be permitted to return home.  I am very
sorry, as I perceive you are much interested; but I'm afraid it is too
late now.  However, you may call to-morrow.  The weather is clear with
this wind, and the port-admiral will telegraph to the Admiralty the
sailing of the vessels.  Should anything detain them, I will take care
that His Royal Highness shall be acquainted with the circumstances this
afternoon, if possible, and will give you his reply."

We thanked the secretary for his politeness, and took our leave.  Vexed
as I was with the communications I had already received, I was much more
so when one of the porters ran to the carriage to show me, by the
secretary's order, a telegraphic communication from the Admiralty,
containing the certain and unpleasant information, "Convoy to West
Indies sailed this morning."

"Then it is all over for the present," said I, throwing myself back in
the carriage; and I continued in a melancholy humour until Mr
Wharncliffe, who had business in the city, put me down as near as the
carriage went to the house of Mr Drummond.  I found Sarah, who was the
depository of all my thoughts, pains, and pleasures, and I communicated
to her this episode in the history of young Tom.  As most ladies are
severe judges of their own sex, she was very strong in her expressions
against the conduct of Mary, which she would not allow to admit of any
palliation.  Even her penitence had no weight with her.

"And yet, how often is it the case, Sarah, not perhaps to the extent
carried on by this mistaken girl; but still, the disappointment is as
great, although the consequences are not so calamitous.  Among the
higher classes, how often do young men receive encouragement, and yield
themselves up to a passion, to end only in disappointment!  It is not
necessary to plight troth; a young woman may not have virtually
committed herself, and yet, by merely appearing pleased with the
conversation and company of a young man, induce him to venture his
affections in a treacherous sea, and eventually find them wrecked."

"You are very nautically poetical, Jacob," replied Sarah.  "Such things
do happen; but I think that women's affections are, to use your phrase,
oftener wrecked than those of men.  That, however, does not exculpate
either party.  A woman must be blind, indeed, if she cannot perceive, in
a very short time, whether she is trifling with a man's feelings, and
base, indeed, if she continues to practise upon them."

"Sarah," replied I, and I stopped.


"I was," replied I, stammering a little--"I was going to ask you if you
were blind."

"As to what, Jacob?" said Sarah, colouring up.

"As to my feelings towards you."

"No; I believe you like me very well," replied she, smiling.

"Do you think that that is all?"

"Where do you dine to-day, Jacob," replied Sarah.

"That must depend upon you and your answer.  If I dine here to-day, I
trust to dine here often.  If I do not dine here to-day, probably I
never may again.  I wish to know, Sarah, whether you have been blind to
my feelings towards you; for, with the case of Mary and Tom before me, I
feel that I must no longer trust to my own hopes, which may end in
disappointment.  Will you have the kindness to put me out of my misery?"

"If I have been blind to your feelings I have not been blind to your
merit, Jacob.  Perhaps I have not been blind to your feelings, and I am
not of the same disposition as Mary Stapleton.  I think you may venture
to dine here to-day," continued she, colouring and smiling, as she
turned away to the window.

"I can hardly believe that I'm to be so happy, Sarah," replied I,
agitated.  "I have been fortunate, very fortunate; but the hopes you
have now raised are so much beyond my expectations--so much beyond my
deserts--that I dare not indulge in them.  Have pity on me, and be more

"What do you wish me to say?" replied Sarah, looking down upon her work,
as she turned round to me.

"That you will not reject the orphan who was fostered by your father,
and who reminds you of what he was, that you may not forget at this
moment what I trust is the greatest bar to his presumption--his humble

"Jacob, that was said like yourself--it was nobly said; and if you were
not born noble, you have true nobility of mind.  I will imitate your
example.  Have I not often, during our long friendship, told you that I
loved you?"

"Yes, as a child you did, Sarah."

"Then, as a woman, I repeat it.  And now are you satisfied?"

I took Sarah by the hand; she did not withdraw it, but allowed me to
kiss it over and over again.

"But your father and mother, Sarah?"

"Would never have allowed our intimacy if they had not approved of it,
Jacob, depend upon it.  However, you may make yourself easy on that
score by letting them know what has passed; and then, I presume, you
will be out of your misery."

Before the day was over I had spoken to Mrs Drummond, and requested her
to open the business to her husband, as I really felt it more than I
could dare to do.  She smiled as her daughter hung upon her neck; and
when I met Mr Drummond at dinner-time I was "out of my misery," for he
shook me by the hand, and said, "You have made us all very happy, Jacob;
for that girl appears determined either to marry you or not to marry at
all.  Come; dinner is ready."

I will leave the reader to imagine how happy I was, what passed between
Sarah and me in our _tete-a-tete_ of that evening, how unwilling I was
to quit the house, and how I ordered a post-chaise to carry me home,
because I was afraid to trust myself on that water on which the major
part of my life had been safely passed, lest any accident should happen
to me and rob me of my anticipated bliss.  From that day I was as one of
the family, and finding the distance too great, took up my abode at
apartments contiguous to the house of Mr Drummond.  But the course of
other people's love did not run so smooth, and I must now return to Mary
Stapleton and Tom Beazeley.

I had breakfasted, and was just about to take my wherry and go down to
acquaint the old couple with the bad success of my application.  I had
been reflecting with gratitude upon my own happiness in prospect,
indulging in fond anticipations, and then, reverting to the state in
which I had left Mary Stapleton and Tom's father and mother, contrasting
their misery with my joy, arising from the same source, when, who should
rush into the dining-room but young Tom, dressed in nothing but a shirt
and a pair of white trousers, covered with dust, and wan with fatigue
and excitement.

"Good heavens!  Tom! are you back? then you must have deserted."

"Very true," replied Tom, sinking on a chair, "I swam on shore last
night, and have made from Portsmouth to here since eight o'clock.  I
hardly need say that I am done up.  Let me have something to drink,
Jacob, pray."

I went to the cellaret and brought him some wine, of which he drank off
a tumbler eagerly.  During this I was revolving in my mind the
consequences which might arise from this hasty and imprudent step.
"Tom," said I, "do you know the consequences of desertion?"

"Yes," replied he, gloomily, "but I could not help it.  Mary told me in
her letter that she would do all I wished, would accompany me abroad;
she made all the amends she could, poor girl! and, by heavens, I could
not leave her; and when I found myself fairly under weigh, and there was
no chance, I was almost mad; the wind baffled us at the Needles, and we
anchored for the night; I slipped down the cable and swam on shore, and
there's the whole story."

"But, Tom, you will certainly be recognised and taken up for a

"I must think of that," replied Tom; "I know the risk I run; but if you
obtain my discharge, they may let me off."

I thought this was the best plan to proceed upon, and requesting Tom to
keep quiet, I went to consult with Mr Wharncliffe.  He agreed with me
that it was Tom's only chance, and I pulled to his father's, to let them
know what had occurred, and then went on to the Drummonds.  When I
returned home late in the evening the gardener told me that Tom had gone
out and had not returned.  My heart misgave me that he had gone to see
Mary, and that some misfortune had occurred, and I went to bed with most
anxious feelings.  My forebodings were proved to be correct, for the
next morning I was informed that old Stapleton wished to see me.  He was
ushered in, and as soon as he entered, he exclaimed, "All's up, Master
Jacob--Tom's nabbed--Mary fit after fit--_human natur'_."

"Why, what _is_ the matter, Stapleton?"

"Why, it's just this--Tom desarts to come to Mary.  Cause why?--he loves
her--human natur'.  That soldier chap comes in and sees Tom, clutches
hold, and tries to take possession of him.  Tom fights, knocks out
sergeant's starboard eye, and tries to escape--human natur'.  Soldiers
come in, pick up sergeant, seize Tom, and carry him off.  Mary cries,
and screams, and faints--human natur'--poor girl can't keep her head
up--two women with burnt feathers all night.  Sad job, Mister Jacob.  Of
all the senses love's the worst, that's sartain--quite upset me, can't
smoke my pipe this morning--Mary's tears quite put my pipe out,"--and
old Stapleton looked as if he was ready to cry himself.

"This is a sad business, Stapleton," replied I.  "Tom will be tried for
desertion, and God knows how it will end.  I will try all I can; but
they have been very strict lately."

"Hope you will, Mister Jacob.  Mary will die, that's sartain.  I'm more
afraid that Tom will.  If one does, t'other will.  I know the girl--just
like her mother, never could carry her helm amidships, hard a port, or
hard a starboard.  She's mad now to follow him--will go to Maidstone.  I
take her as soon as I go back to her.  Just come up to tell you all
about it."

"This is a gloomy affair, Stapleton."

"Yes, for sartain--wish there never was such a thing as _human natur'_."

After a little conversation, and a supply of money, which I knew would
be acceptable, Stapleton went away, leaving, me in no very happy state
of mind.  My regard for Tom was excessive, and his situation one of
peculiar danger.  Again I repaired to Mr Wharncliffe for advice, and he
readily interested himself most warmly.

"This is, indeed, an awkward business," said he, "and will require more
interest than I am afraid that I command.  If not condemned to death, he
will be sentenced to such a flogging as will break him down in spirit as
well as in body, and sink him into an early grave.  Death were
preferable of the two.  Lose no time, Mr Faithful, in going down to
Maidstone, and seeing the colonel commanding the depot.  I will go to
the Horse Guards, and see what is to be done."

I wrote a hurried note to Sarah to account for my absence, and sent for
post-horses.  Early in the afternoon I arrived at Maidstone, and finding
out the residence of the officer commanding the depot, sent up my card.
In few words I stated to him the reason of my calling upon him.

"It will rest altogether with the Horse Guards, Mr Faithful, and I am
afraid I can give you but little hope.  His Royal Highness has expressed
his determination to punish the next deserter with the utmost severity
of the law.  His leniency on that point has been very injurious to the
service, and he _must do it_.  Besides, there is an aggravation of the
offence in his attack upon the sergeant, who has irrecoverably lost his

"The sergeant first made him drunk, and then persuaded him to enlist."
I then stated the rivalship that subsisted between them, and continued,
"Is it not disgraceful to enlist men in that way--can that be called
voluntary service?"

"All very true," replied the officer, "but still expediency winks at
even more.  I do not attempt to defend the system, but we must have
soldiers.  The seamen are impressed by force, the soldiers are entrapped
by other means, even more discreditable: the only excuse is expediency,
or, if you like it better, necessity.  All I can promise you, sir, is,
to allow the prisoner every comfort which his situation will permit, and
every advantage at his court-martial, which mercy, tempered by justice,
will warrant."

"I thank you, sir; will you allow me and his betrothed to see him?"

"Most certainly; the order shall be given forthwith."

I thanked the officer for his kindness, and took my leave.



I hastened to the black hole where Tom was confined, and the order for
my admission having arrived before me, I was permitted by the sergeant
of the guard to pass the sentry.  I found Tom sitting on a bench
notching a stick with his knife, whistling a slow tune.

"This is kind, Jacob, but not more than I expected of you--I made sure
that I should see you to-night or to-morrow morning.  How's poor Mary?
I care only for her now--I am satisfied--she loves me, and--I knocked
out the sergeant's eye--spoilt his wooing, at all events."

"But, Tom, are you aware of the danger in which you are placed?"

"Yes, Jacob, perfectly; I shall be tried by a court-martial and shot.
I've made up my mind to it--at all events, it's better than being hung
like a dog, or being flogged to death like a nigger.  I shall die like a
gentleman, if I have never been one before, that's some comfort.  Nay, I
shall go out of the world with as much noise as if a battle had been
fought, or a great man had died."

"How do you mean?"

"Why there'll be more than one _bullet-in_."

"This is no time for jesting, Tom."

"Not for you, Jacob, as a sincere friend, I grant; not for poor Mary, as
a devoted girl; not for my poor father and mother--no, no," continued
Tom.  "I feel for them, but for myself I neither fear nor care.  I have
not done wrong--I was pressed against the law and Act of Parliament, and
I deserted.  I was enlisted when I was drunk and mad, and I deserted.
There is no disgrace to me; the disgrace is to the government which
suffers such acts.  If I am to be a victim, well and good--we can only
die once."

"Very true, Tom; but you are young to die, and we must hope for the

"I have given up all hope, Jacob.  I know the law will be put in force.
I shall die and go to another and a better world, as the parson says,
where, at all events, there will be no muskets to clean, no drill, and
none of your confounded pipe-clay, which has almost driven me mad.  I
should like to die in a blue jacket--in a red coat I will not, so I
presume I shall go out of the world in my shirt, and that's more than I
had when I came in."

"Mary and her father are coming down to you, Tom."

"I'm sorry for that, Jacob; it would be cruel not to see her--but she
blames herself so much that I cannot bear to read her letters.  But,
Jacob, I will see her, to try if I can comfort her--but she must not
stay; she must go back again till after the court-martial, and the
sentence, and then--if she wishes to take her farewell, I suppose I must
not refuse."  A few tears dropped from his eyes as he said this.
"Jacob, will you wait and take her back to town?--she must not stay
here--and I will not see my father and mother until the last.  Let us
make one job of it, and then all will be over."

As Tom said this the door of the cell again opened, and Stapleton
supported in his daughter.  Mary tottered to where Tom stood, and fell
into his arms in a fit of convulsions.  It was necessary to remove her,
and she was carried out.  "Let her not come in again, I beseech you,
Jacob; take her back, and I will bless you for your kindness.  Wish me
farewell now, and see that she does not come again."  Tom wrung me by
the hand, and turned away to conceal his distress.  I nodded my head in
assent, for I could not speak for emotion, and followed Stapleton and
the soldiers who had taken Mary out.  As soon as she was recovered
sufficiently to require no further medical aid, I lifted her into the
post-chaise, and ordered the boys to drive back to Brentford.  Mary
continued in a state of stupor during the journey; and when I arrived at
my own house, I gave her into the charge of the gardener's wife, and
despatched her husband for medical assistance.  The application of Mr
Wharncliffe was of little avail, and he returned to me with
disappointment in his countenance.  The whole of the next week was the
most distressing that I ever passed; arising from my anxiety for Tom, my
daily exertions to reason Mary into some degree of submission to the
will of Providence--her accusations of herself and her own folly--her
incoherent ravings, calling herself Tom's murderer, which alarmed me for
her reason; the distress of old Tom and his wife, who, unable to remain
in their solitude, came all to me for intelligence, for comfort, and for
what, alas!  I dare not give them--hope.  All this, added to my
separation from Sarah during my attendance to what I considered my duty,
reduced me to a debility, arising from mental exertion, which changed me
to almost a skeleton.

At last the court-martial was held, and Tom was condemned to death.  The
sentence was approved of, and we were told that all appeals would be
unavailing.  We received the news on the Saturday evening, and Tom was
to suffer on the Tuesday morning.  I could no longer refuse the appeals
of Mary; indeed, I received a letter from Tom, requesting that all of
us, the Dominie included, would come down and bid him farewell.  I hired
a carriage for old Tom, his wife, Stapleton, and Mary, and putting the
Dominie and myself in my own chariot, we set off early on the Sunday
morning for Maidstone.  We arrived about eleven o'clock, and put up at
an inn in close proximity to the barracks.  It was arranged that the
Dominie and I should see Tom first, then his father and mother, and
lastly, Mary Stapleton.

"Verily," said the Dominie, "my heart is heavy, exceeding heavy; my soul
yearneth after the poor lad, who is thus to lose his life for a woman--a
woman from whose toils I did myself escape.  Yet is she exceeding fair
and comely, and now that it is unavailing, appeareth to be penitent."

I made no reply; we had arrived at the gate of the barracks.  I
requested to be admitted to the prisoner, and the doors were unbarred.
Tom was dressed with great care and cleanliness in white trousers and
shirt and waistcoat, but his coat lay on the table; he would not put it
on.  He extended his hand towards me with a faint smile.

"It's all over now, Jacob; and there is no hope that I am aware of, and
I have made up my mind to die; but I wish these last farewells were
over, for they unman me.  I hope you are well, sir," continued Tom to
the Dominie.

"Nay, my poor boy, I am as well as age and infirmity will permit, and
why should I complain when I see youth, health, and strength about to be
sacrificed; and many made miserable, when many might be made so happy?"
And the Dominie blew his nose, the trumpet sound of which re-echoed
through the cell, so as to induce the sentry to look through the bars.

"They are all here, Tom," said I.  "Would you like to see them now?"

"Yes; the sooner it is over the better."

"Will you see your father and mother first?"

"Yes," replied Tom, in a faltering tone.

I went out, and returned with the old woman on my arm, followed by old
Tom, who stumped after me with the assistance of his stick.  Poor old
Mrs Beazeley fell on her son's neck, sobbing convulsively.

"My boy--my boy--my dear, dear boy!" said she at last, and she looked up
steadfastly in his face.  "My God! he'll be dead to-morrow!"

Her head again sank on his shoulder, and her sobs were choking her.  Tom
kissed his mother's forehead as the tears coursed down his cheeks, and
motioned me to take her away.  I placed her down on the floor, where she
remained silent, moving her head up and down with a slow motion, her
face buried in her shawl.  It was but now and then that you heard a
convulsive drawing of her breath.  Old Tom had remained a silent but
agitated spectator of the scene.  Every muscle in his weather-beaten
countenance twitched convulsively, and the tears at last forced their
way through the deep furrows on his cheeks.  Tom, as soon as his mother
was removed, took his father by the hand, and they sat down together.

"You are not angry with me, father, for deserting?"

"No, my boy, no; I was angry with you for 'listing, but not for
deserting.  What business had you with the pipeclay?  But I do think I
have reason to be angry elsewhere, when I reflect that after having lost
my two legs in defending her, my country is now to take from me my boy
in his prime.  It's but a poor reward for long and hard service--poor
encouragement to do your duty; but what do they care? they have had my
sarvices, and they have left me a hulk.  Well, they may take the rest of
me if they please, now that they--Well, it's no use crying; what's done
can't be helped," continued old Tom, as the tears ran down in torrents;
"they may shoot you, Tom; but this I know well, you'll die game, and
shame them by proving to them they have deprived themselves of the
sarvices of a good man when good men are needed.  I would not have so
much cared," continued old Tom, after a pause--"(look to the old woman,
Jacob, she's tumbling over to port)--if you had fallen on board a king's
ship in a good frigate action; some must be killed when there's hard
fighting; but to be drilled through by your own countrymen, to die by
their hands, and, worst of all, to die in a red coat, instead of a true

"Father, I will not die in a red coat--I won't put it on."

"That's some comfort, Tom, anyhow, and comfort's wanted."

"And I'll die like a man, father."

"That you will, Tom, and that's some comfort."

"We shall meet again, father."

"Hope so, Tom, in heaven--that's some comfort."

"And now, father, bless me, and take care of my poor mother."

"Bless you, Tom, bless you!" cried the old man, in a suffocating voice,
extending both his hands towards Tom, as they rose up; but the
equilibrium was no longer to be maintained, and he reeled back in the
arms of me and Tom.  We lowered him gently down by the side of his wife;
the old couple turned to each other, and embracing, remained sobbing in
each other's arms.

"Jacob," said Tom, squeezing me by the hand, with a quivering lip, "by
your regard for me, let now the last scene be got over--let me see Mary,
and let this tortured heart once more be permitted a respite."  I sent
out the Dominie.  Tom leant against the wall, with his arms folded, in
appearance summoning up all his energy for the painful meeting.  Mary
was led in by her father.  I expected she would have swooned away, as
before; but, on the contrary, although she was pale as death, and
gasping for breath, from intensity of feeling, she walked up to Tom
where he was standing, and sat down on the form close to him.  She
looked anxiously round upon the group, and then said, "I know that all I
now say is useless, Tom; but still I must say it--it is I who, by my
folly, have occasioned all this distress and misery--it is I who have
caused you to suffer a--dreadful death--yes, Tom, I am your murderer."

"Not so, Mary, the folly was my own," replied Tom, taking her hand.

"You cannot disguise or palliate to me, dearest Tom," replied Mary; "my
eyes have been opened, too late it is true, but they have been opened;
and although it is kind of you to say so, I feel the horrid conviction
of my own guilt.  See what misery I have brought about.  There is a
father who has sacrificed his youth and his limbs to his country,
sobbing in the arms of a mother whose life is bound up with that of her
only son.  To them," continued Mary, falling down upon her knees, "to
them I must kneel for pardon, and I ask it as they hope to be forgiven.
Answer me--oh! answer me! can you forgive a wretch like me?"

A pause ensued.  I went up to old Tom, and kneeling by his side, begged
him to answer.

"Forgive her, poor thing--yes; who could refuse it, as she kneels there?
Come," continued he, speaking to his wife, "you must forgive her.  Look
up, dame, at her, and think that our poor boy may be asking the same of
heaven to-morrow at noon."

The old woman looked up, and her dimmed eyes caught a sight of Mary's
imploring and beautiful attitude; it was not to be withstood.

"As I hope for mercy to my poor boy, whom you have killed, so do I
forgive you, unhappy young woman."

"May God reward you, when you are summoned before Him," replied Mary.
"It was the hardest task of all.  Of you, Jacob, I have to ask
forgiveness for depriving you of your early and truest friend--yes, and
for much more.  Of you, sir," addressing the Dominie, "for my conduct
towards you, which was cruel and indefensible--will you forgive me?"

"Yes, Mary, from my heart, I do forgive you," replied I.

"Bless thee, maiden, bless thee!" sobbed the Dominie.

"Father, I must ask of you the same--I have been a wilful child--forgive

"Yes, Mary; you could not help it," replied old Stapleton, blubbering;
"it was all human natur'."

"And now," said Mary, turning round on her knees to Tom, with a look
expressive of anguish and love, "to you, Tom, must be my last appeal.  I
know _you_ will forgive me--I know you have--and this knowledge of your
fervent love makes the thought more bitter that I have caused your
death.  But hear me, Tom, and all of you hear me.  I never loved but
you; I have liked others much; I liked Jacob; but you only ever did make
me feel I had a heart; and alas, you only have I sacrificed.  When led
away by my folly to give you pain, I suffered more than you--for you
have had my only, you shall have my eternal and unceasing love.  To your
memory I am hereafter wedded, to join you will be my only wish--and if
there could be a boon granted me from heaven, it would be to die with
you, Tom--yes, in those dear arms."

Mary held out her arms to Tom, who falling down on his knees, embraced
her, and thus they remained with their faces buried in each other's
shoulders.  The whole scene was now at its climax; it was too
oppressive, and I felt faint, when I was aroused by the voice of the
Dominie, who, lifting up both his arms, and extending them forth,
solemnly prayed, "O Lord, look down upon these Thy servants in
affliction; grant to those who are to continue in their pilgrimage
strength to bear Thy chastening--grant to him who is to be summoned to
Thee that happiness which the world cannot give; and O God most mighty,
God most powerful, lay not upon us burdens greater than we can bear.--My
children let us pray."

The Dominie knelt down and repeated the Lord's prayer; all followed his
example, and then there was a pause.

"Stapleton," said I, pointing to Mary.  I beckoned to the Dominie.  We
assisted up old Tom, and then his wife, and led them away; the poor old
woman was in a state of stupefaction, and until she was out in the air
was not aware that she had quitted her son.  Stapleton had attempted to
detach Mary from Tom, but in vain; they were locked together as if in
death.  At last Tom, roused by me, suffered his hold to be loosened, and
Mary was taken out in a happy state of insensibility, and carried to the
inn by her father and the Dominie.

"Are they all gone?" whispered Tom to me, as his head reclined on my

"All, Tom."

"Then the bitterness of death is past; God have mercy on them, and
assuage their anguish; they want His help more than I do."

A passionate flood of tears, which lasted some minutes, relieved the
poor fellow; he raised himself, and drying his eyes, became more

"Jacob, I hardly need tell my dying request, to watch over my poor
father and mother, to comfort poor Mary--God bless you, Jacob! you have
indeed been a faithful friend, and may God reward you.  And now, Jacob,
leave me; I must commune with my God, and pray for forgiveness.  The
space between me and eternity is but short."

Tom threw himself into my arms, where he remained for some minutes; he
then broke gently away, and pointed to the door.  I once more took his
hand and we parted.



I went back to the inn, and ordering the horses to be put to, I
explained to all but Mary the propriety of their now returning home.
Mary was lifted in, and it was a relief to my mind to see them all
depart.  As for myself, I resolved to remain until the last; but I was
in a state of feverish agitation, which made me restless.  As I paced up
and down the room, the newspaper caught my eye.  I laid hold of it
mechanically, and looked at it.  A paragraph rivetted my attention.
"His Majesty's ship _Immortalite_ Chatham, to be paid off."  Then our
ship has come home.  But what was that now?  Yet something whispered to
me that I ought to go and see Captain Maclean, and try if anything could
be done.  I knew his commanding interest, and although it was now too
late, still I had an impulse to go and see him, which I could not
resist.  "After all," said I to myself, "I'm of no use here, and I may
as well go."  This feeling, added to my restlessness, induced me to
order horses, and I went to Chatham, found out that Captain Maclean was
still on board, and took boat off to the frigate.  I was recognised by
the officers, who were glad to see me, and I sent a message to the
captain, who was below, requesting to see him.  I was asked into the
cabin, and stated to him what had occurred, requesting his assistance,
if possible.

"Faithful," replied he, "it appears that Tom Beazeley has deserted
twice; still there is much extenuation; at all events, the punishment of
death is too severe, and I don't _like_ it--I can save him, and I will.
By the rule of the services, a deserter from one service can be claimed
from the other, and must be tried by his officers.  His sentence is,
therefore, not legal.  I shall send a party of marines, and claim him as
a deserter from the Navy, and they must and shall give him up--make
yourself easy, Faithful, his life is as safe as yours."

I could have fallen on my knees and thanked him, though I could hardly
believe that such good news was true.

"There is no time to lose, sir," replied I, respectfully; "he is to be
shot to-morrow at nine o'clock."

"He will be on board here to-morrow at nine o'clock, or I am not Captain
Maclean.  But, as you say, there is no time to lose.  It is now nearly
dark, and the party must be off immediately.  I must write a letter on
service to the commanding officer of the depot.  Call my clerk."

I ran out and called the clerk.  In a few minutes the letter was
written, and a party of marines, with the second lieutenant, despatched
with me on shore.  I ordered post-chaises for the whole party, and
before eleven we were at Maidstone.  The lieutenant and I sat up all
night, and, at daylight, we summoned the marines and went to the
barracks, where we found the awful note of preparation going forward,
and the commanding officer up and attending to the arrangements.  I
introduced the lieutenant, who presented the letter on service.

"Good heavens, how fortunate!  You can establish his identity, I

"Every man here can swear to him."

"'Tis sufficient, Mr Faithful.  I wish you and your friend joy of this
reprieve.  The rules of the service must be obeyed, and you will sign a
receipt for the prisoner."

This was done by the lieutenant, and the provost marshal was ordered to
deliver up the prisoner.  I hastened with the marines into the cell; the
door was unlocked.  Tom, who was reading his Bible, started up, and
perceiving the red jackets, thought that he was to be led out to

"My lads," exclaimed he, "I am ready; the sooner this is over the

"No, Tom," said I, advancing; "I trust for better fortune.  You are
claimed as a deserter from the _Immortalite_."

Tom stared, lifted the hair from his forehead, and threw himself into my
arms; but we had no time for a display of feelings.  We hurried Tom away
from the barracks; again I put the whole party into chaises, and we soon
arrived at Chatham, where we embarked on board of the frigate.  Tom was
given into the charge of the master-at-arms as a deserter, and a letter
was written by Captain Maclean, demanding a court-martial on him.

"What will be the result?" inquired I of the first lieutenant.

"The captain says, little or nothing, as he was pressed as an
apprentice, which is contrary to Act of Parliament."

I went down to cheer Tom with this intelligence, and taking my leave,
set off for London with a light heart.  Still I thought it better not to
communicate this good news until assurance was made doubly sure.  I
hastened to Mr Drummond's, and detailed to them all that had passed.
The next day Mr Wharncliffe went with me to the Admiralty, where I had
the happiness to find that all was legal, and that Tom could only be
tried for his desertion from a man-of-war; and that if he could prove
that he was an apprentice, he would, in all probability, be acquitted.
The court-martial was summoned three days after the letter had been
received by the Admiralty.  I hastened down to Chatham to be present.
It was very short; the desertion was proved, and Tom was called upon for
his defence.  He produced his papers, and proved that he was pressed
before his time had expired.  The court was cleared for a few minutes,
and then re-opened.  Tom was acquitted on the ground of illegal
detention, contrary to Act of Parliament, and he was _free_.  I returned
my thanks to Captain Maclean and his officers for their kindness, and
left the ship with Tom in the cutter, ordered for me by the first
lieutenant.  My heart swelled with gratitude at the happy result.  Tom
was silent, but his feelings I could well analyse.  I gave to the men of
the boat five guineas to drink Tom's health, and, hastening to the inn,
ordered the carriage, and with Tom, who was a precious deposit, for upon
his welfare depended the happiness of so many, I hurried to London as
fast as I could, stopped at the Drummond's to communicate the happy
intelligence, and then proceeded to my own house, where we slept.  The
next morning I dressed Tom in some of my clothes, and we embarked in the

"Now, Tom," said I, "you must keep in the background at first, while I
prepare them.  Where shall we go first?"

"Oh, to my mother," replied Tom.

We passed through Putney Bridge, and Tom's bosom heaved as he looked
towards the residence of Mary.  His heart was there, poor fellow! and he
longed to fly to the poor girl and dry her tears; but his first duty was
to his parents.

We soon arrived abreast of the residence of the old couple, and I
desired Tom to pull in, but not turn his head round, lest they should
see him before I had prepared them; for too much joy will kill as well
as grief.  Old Tom was not at his work, and all was quiet.  I landed and
went to the house, opened the door, and found them both sitting by the
kitchen fire in silence, apparently occupied in watching the smoke as it
ascended up the spacious chimney.

"Good morning to you both," said I; "how do you find yourself, Mrs

"Ah, deary me!" replied the old woman, putting her apron up to her eyes.

"Sit down, Jacob, sit down," said old Tom; "we _can_ talk of him now."

"Yes, now that he's in heaven, poor fellow!" interposed the old woman.

"Tell me, Jacob," said old Tom, with a quivering lip, "did you see the
last of him?  Tell me all about it.  How did he look?  How did he
behave?  Was he soon out of his pain?  And--Jacob--where is he buried!"

"Yes, yes;" sobbed Mrs Beazeley; "tell me where is the body of my poor

"Can you bear to talk about him?" said I.

"Yes, yes; we can't talk too much; it does us good," replied she.  "We
have done nothing but talk about him since we left him."

"And shall, till we sink down into our own graves," said old Tom, "which
won't be long.  I've nothing to wish for now, and I'll never sing again,
that's sartain.  We shan't last long, either of us.  As for me,"
continued the old man with a melancholy smile, looking down at his
stumps.  "I may well say that I've _two_ feet in the grave already.  But
come, Jacob, tell us all about him."

"I will," replied I; "and my dear Mrs Beazeley, you must prepare
yourself for different tidings than what you expect.  Tom is not yet

"Not dead!" shrieked the old woman.

"Not yet, Jacob;" cried old Tom, seizing me by the arm, and squeezing it
with the force of a vice, as he looked me earnestly in the face.

"He lives; and I am in hopes he will be pardoned."

Mrs Beazeley sprang from her chair and seized me by the other arm.

"I see--I see by your face.  Yes, Jacob, he is pardoned; and we shall
have our Tom again."

"You are right, Mrs Beazeley; he is pardoned, and will soon be here."

The old couple sank down on their knees beside me.  I left them, and
beckoned from the door to Tom, who flew up, and in a moment was in their
arms.  I assisted him to put his mother into her chair, and then went
out to recover myself from the agitating scene.  I remained about an
hour outside, and then returned.  The old couple seized me by the hands,
and invoked blessings on my head.

"You must now part with Tom a little while," said I; "there are others
to make happy besides yourselves."

"Very true," replied old Tom; "go, my lad, and comfort her.  Come,
missus, we mustn't forget others."

"Oh, no.  Go, Tom; go and tell her that I don't care how soon she is my

Tom embraced his mother, and followed me to the boat; we pulled up
against the tide, and were soon at Putney.

"Tom, you had better stay in the boat.  I will either come or send for

It was very unwillingly that Tom consented, but I overruled his
entreaties, and he remained.  I walked to Mary's house and entered.  She
was up in the little parlour, dressed in deep mourning; when I entered
she was looking out upon the river; she turned her head, and perceiving
me, rose to meet me.

"You do not come to upbraid me, Jacob, I am sure," said she, in a
melancholy voice; "you are too kind-hearted for that."

"No, no, Mary; I come to comfort you, if possible."

"That is not possible.  Look at me, Jacob.  Is there not a worm--a
canker--that gnaws within?"

The hollow cheek and wild flaring eye, once so beautiful, but too
plainly told the truth.

"Mary," said I, "sit down; you know what the Bible says--`It is good for
us to be afflicted.'"

"Yes, yes," sobbed Mary, "I deserve all I suffer; and I bow in humility.
But am I not too much punished, Jacob?  Not that I would repine; but is
it not too much for me to bear, when I think that I am the destroyer of
one who loved me so?"

"You have not been the destroyer, Mary."

"Yes, yes; my heart tells me that I have."

"But--I tell you that you have not.  Say, Mary, dreadful as the
punishment has been, would you not kiss the rod with thankfulness, if it
cured you of your unfortunate disposition, and prepared you to make a
good wife?"

"That it has cured me, Jacob, I can safely assert; but it has also
killed me as well as him.  But I wish not to live; and I trust, in a few
short months, to repose by his side."

"I hope you will have your wish, Mary, very soon, but not in death."

"Merciful heavens! what do you mean, Jacob?"

"I said you were not the destroyer of poor Tom--you have not been; he
has not _yet_ suffered; there was an informality, which has induced them
to revise the sentence."

"Jacob," replied Mary, "it is cruelty to raise my hopes only to crush
them again.  If not yet dead, he is still to die.  I wish you had not
told me so," continued she, bursting into tears; "what a state of agony
and suspense must he have been in all this time, and I--I have caused
his sufferings!  I trusted he had long been released from this cruel,
heartless world."

The flood of tears which followed assured me that I could safely impart
the glad intelligence.  "Mary, Mary, listen to me."

"Leave me, leave me," sobbed Mary, waving her hand.

"No, Mary, not until I tell you that Tom is not only alive, but--

"Pardoned!" shrieked Mary.

"Yes, pardoned, Mary--free, Mary--and in a few minutes will be in your

Mary dropped on her knees, raised her hands and eyes to heaven, and then
fell into a state of insensibility.  Tom, who had followed me, and
remained near the house, had heard the shriek, and could no longer
retain himself; he flew into the room as Mary fell, and I put her into
his arms.  At the first signs of returning sensibility, I left them
together, and went to find old Stapleton, to whom I was more brief in my
communication.  Stapleton continued to smoke his pipe during my

"Glad of it, glad of it," said he, when I finished.  "I were just
thinking how all these senses brought us into trouble, more than all,
that sense of love; got me into trouble, and made me kill a man--got my
poor wife into trouble, and drowned her--and now almost shot Tom, and
killed Mary.  Had too much of HUMAN NATUR' lately--nothing but moist
eyes and empty pipes.  Met that sergeant yesterday, had a turn up; Tom
settled one eye, and, old as I am, I've settled the other for a time.
He's in bed for a fortnight--couldn't help it--human natur'."

I took leave of Stapleton, and calling in upon Tom and Mary, shaking
hands with the one, and kissing the other, I despatched a letter to the
Dominie, acquainting him with what had passed, and then hastened to the
Drummonds and imparted the happy results of my morning's work to Sarah
and her mother.

"And now, Sarah, having so successfully arranged the affairs of other
people, I should like to plead in my own behalf.  I think that after
having been deprived almost wholly of your dear company for a month, I
deserve to be rewarded."

"You do, indeed, Jacob," said Mrs Drummond, "and I am sure that Sarah
thinks so too, if she will but acknowledge it."

"I do acknowledge it, mamma; but what is this reward to be?"

"That you will allow your father and mother to arrange an early day for
our nuptials, and also allow Tom and Mary to be united at the same

"Mamma, have I not always been a dutiful daughter?"

"Yes, my love, you have."

"Then I shall do as I am bidden by my parents, Jacob; it will be
probably the last command I receive from them, and I shall obey it; will
that please you, dear Jacob?"

That evening the day was fixed, and now I must not weary the reader with
a description of my feelings, or of my happiness in the preparations for
the ceremony.  Sarah and I, Mary and Tom, were united on the same day,
and there was nothing to cloud our happiness.  Tom took up his abode
with his father and mother; and Mary, radiant with happiness, even more
beautiful than ever, has settled down into an excellent, doting wife.
For Sarah, I hardly need say the same; she was my friend from childhood,
she is now all that a man could hope and wish for.  We have been married
several years, and are blessed with a numerous family.

I am now almost at a conclusion.  I have only to acquaint the reader
with a few particulars relative to my early friends.  Stapleton is still
alive, and is wedded to his pipe, which, with him, although the taste
for tobacco has been considered as an acquired one, may truly be
asserted to be human nature.  He has two wherries with apprentices, and
from them gains a good livelihood, without working himself.  He says
that the boys are not as honest as I was, and cheat him not a little;
but he consoles himself by asserting that it is nothing but human
natur'.  Old Tom is also strong and hearty, and says that he don't
intend to follow his legs for some time yet.  His dame, he says, is
peaking, but Mary requires no assistance.  Old Tom has left off mending
boats, his sign is taken down, for he is now comfortable.  When Tom
married, I asked him what he wished to do; he requested me to lend him
money to purchase a lighter; I made him a present of a new one, just
launched by Mr Drummond's firm.  But old Stapleton made over to him the
200 pounds, left to him by Mr Turnbull, and his mother brought out an
equal sum from her hoards.  This enabled Tom to purchase another
lighter, and now he has six or seven, I forget which; at all events he
is well off, and adding to his wealth every year.  They talk of removing
to a better house, but the old couple wish to remain.  Old Tom,
especially, has built an arbour where the old boat stood, and sits there
carolling his songs, and watching the crafts as they go up and down the

Mr and Mrs Wharncliffe still continue my neighbours and dearest
friends.  Mrs Turnbull died a few months back, and I am now in
possession of the whole property.  My father and mother-in-law are well
and happy.  Mr Drummond will retire from business as soon as he can
wind up his multifarious concerns.  I have but one more to speak of--the
old Dominie.  It is now two years since I closed the eyes of this worthy
man.  As he increased in years so did he in his abstractions of mind,
and the governors of the charity thought it necessary to superannuate
him with a pension.  It was a heavy blow to the old man, who asserted
his capabilities to continue to instruct; but people thought otherwise,
and he accepted my offer to take up his future residence with us, upon
the understanding that it was necessary that our children, the eldest of
whom, at that time, was but four years old, should be instructed in
Latin and Greek.  He removed to us with all his books, etcetera, not
forgetting the formidable birch; but as the children would not take to
the Latin of their own accord, and Mrs Faithful would not allow the rod
to be made use of, the Dominie's occupation was gone.  Still, such was
the force of habit, that he never went without the Latin grammar in his
pocket, and I have often watched him sitting down in the poultry-yard,
fancying, I presume, that he was in his school.  There would he decline,
construe, and conjugate aloud, his only witnesses being the poultry, who
would now and then raise a gobble, gobble, gobble, while the ducks with
their _quack, quack, quack_, were still more impertinent in their
replies.  A sketch of him, in this position, has been taken by Sarah,
and now hangs over the mantel-piece of my study, between two of Mr
Turnbull's drawings, one of an iceberg, on the 17th of August '78, and
the other showing the dangerous position of the _Camel_ whaler, jammed
between the floe of ice, in latitude ---, and longitude ---.

Reader, I have now finished my narrative.  There are two morals, I
trust, to be drawn from the events of my life, one of which is, that in
society we naturally depend upon each other for support, and that he who
would assert his independence throws himself out of the current which
bears to advancement; the other is, that with the advantages of good
education, and good principle, although it cannot be expected that
everyone will be so fortunate as I have been, still there is every
reasonable hope, and every right to expect, that we shall do well in
this world.  Thrown up, as the Dominie expressed himself, as a tangled
weed from the river, you have seen the orphan and charity-boy rise to
wealth and consideration; you have seen how he who was friendless
secured to himself the warmest friends; he who required everything from
others became in a situation to protect and assist in return; he who
could not call one individual his relation, united to the object of his
attachment, and blessed with a numerous family; and to amass all these
advantages and this sum of happiness, the only capital with which he
embarked was a good education and good principles.

Reader, farewell!

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Jacob Faithful" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.