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passed the morning agreeably. I must wash my hands and change my boots, my love ; I am not fit to sit down to table with you in this pickle. Well, Polly, how are you?"
I'm glad you're hungry, my dear, I've such a nice dinner for you,' replied the wife, all smiles. “Jemima, be quick and dish up— Mr. Handycock is so hungry.'
Yes, marm,' replied the cook; and Mrs. Handycock followed her husband into his bed-room on the same floor, to assist him at his toilet.
• By Jove, Nancy, the bulls have been nicely taken in,' said Mr. Handycock, as we set down to dinner.
0 I am so glad!' replied his wife, giggling; and so I believe she was, but why I did not understand.
"Mr. Simple,' said he, 'will you allow me to offer you a little fish? * If you do not want it all yourself, sir,' replied I politely.
Mrs. Handycock frowned and shook her head at me, while her husband helped me. My dove, a bit of fish?"
We both had our share to-day, and I never saw a man more polite than Mr. Handycock. He joked with his wife, asked me to drink wine with him two or three times, talked about my grandfather; and, in short, we had a very pleasant evening.
The next morning all my clothes came home, but Mr. lIandycock, who still continued in good humor, said that he would not allow me to travel by night that I should sleep there and set off the next morning, which I did at six o'clock, and before eight I had arrived at the Elephant and Castle, where we stopped for a quarter of an hour. I was looking at the painting representing this animal with a castle on its back; and assuming that of Alnwick, which I had seen, as a fair estimate of the size and weight of that which he carried, was attempting to enlarge my ideas so as to comprehend the stupendous bulk of the elephant, when I observed a crowd assembled at the corner, and asking a gentleman who sat by me in a plaid cloak, whether there was not something very uncommon to attract so many people; he replied, “Not very, for it was only a drunken sailor.'
I rose from my seat, which was on the hinder part of the coach, that I might see him, for it was a new sight to me, and excited my curiosity; when to my astonishment he staggered from the crowd, and swore that he'd go to Portsmouth. He climbed up by the wheel of the coach, and sat down by me. I believe that I stared at him very much, for he said to me,' What are you gaping at, you young sculpin? Do you want to catch flies? or did you never see a chap half seas over before?"
I replied, that I had never been at sea in my life, but that I was going.'
Well, then, you're like a young bear, all your sorrows to comethat's all my hearty,' replied he. When you get on board, you'll find monkey's allowance-more kicks than half-pence. I say, you pewter carrier, bring us another pint of ale.'
The waiter of the inn, who was attending the coach, brought out the ale, half of which the sailor drank, and the other half threw into the waiter's face, telling him that was bis' allowance ; and now,' said he,
what's to pay?' The waiter, who looked very angry, but appeared too much afraid of the sailor to say anything, answered fourpence; and the sailor pulled out a handful of bank notes, mixed up with gold, silver,
and coppers, and was picking out the money to pay for bis beer, when the coachman, who was impatient, drove ott.
• There's cut and run,' cried the sailor, thrusting all the money back into his breeches pocket. "That's what you'll larn to do, my joker before you have been two cruizes to sea.'
In the meantime, the gentleman in the plaid cloak, who was seated by me, smoked his cigar without saying a word. I commenced a conversation with him relative to iny profession, and asked him whether it was not very dimricult to learn. 'Larn,' cried the sailor, interrupting us, no ; it may be difficult for such chaps as me before the mast to ları, but you, I presume, is a reefer, and they an't got much to larn, 'cause why? they pipeclays their weekly accounts, and walks up and down with their hands in their pockets. You must larn to chaw baccy, drink groz, and call the cat a beggar, and then you knows all a midshipman's expected to know now-a-days. Ar’n't I right, sir?' said the sailor, appealing to the gentleinan in a plaid cloak. Iaxes you, because I see you're a sailor by the cut of your jib. Beg pardon, sir, continued he, touching his hat, hope no offence.'
"I am afraid that you have nearly hit the mark, my good fellow,' replied the gentleman.
The drunken fellow then entered into conversation with bim, stating that he had been paid off from the Audacious, at Portsmouth, and had corne up to London to spend his money with his messmates ; but that yesterday he had discovered that a Jew at Portsmouth had sold him a seal as a gold seal, for fifteen shillings, which proved to be copper, and that he was going back to Portsmouth to give the Jew a couple of black eyes for his rascality, and that when he had done that, he was to return to his messmates, who had promised to drink success to the expedition at the Cock and Bottle, St. Martin's Lane, until he should return.
The gentleman in the plaid cloak commended him very much for his resolution ; for he said that although the journey to and from Portsmouth would cost twice the value of a gold seal, yet, that in the end, it might be worth a Jew's eye. What he meant I did not comprehend.
Whenever the coach stopped, the sailor called for more ale, and always threw the remainder wbich he could not drink into the face of the man who brought it out for him, just as the coach was starting off, and then tossing the pewter pot on the ground for him to pick up. He became more tipsy every stage, and the last from Portsmouth, when he pulled out his money, he could find no silver, so he handed down a note, and desired the waiter to change it. The waiter crumpled it up and put it in his pocket, and then returned the sailor the change for a one pound note ; but the gentleman in the plaid had observed that it was a five pound note which the sailor had given, and insisted upon the waiter's producing it and giving the proper change. The sailor took his money, which the waiter handed to him, begging pardon for the mistake, although he colored up very much at being detected. I really beg your pardon,' said he again, 'it was quite a mistake;' whereupon the sailor threw the pewter pot at the waiter, saying, 'I really beg your pardon, too,'-and with such force, that it flattened upon the man's head, who fell senseless on the road. The coachman drove off, and I never heard whether the man was killed or not.
After the coach had driven off, the sailor eved the gentleman in tbe plaid cloak for minute or two, and then said, When I first looked at you I took you for some officer in mufti ; but now, that I see that you look
so sharp after the rhino, it's my idea that you're some poor devil of a Scotchman, may hap second mate of a merchant vessel-there's halfa-crown for your sarvices I'd give you more, if I thought you would spend it.'
The gentleman laughed, and took the half-crown, which I afterwards observed that he gave to the grey-headed beggar at the bottom of Port-down Hill. I inquired of him how soon we should be at Portsmouth; he answered that we were passing the lines ; but I saw no lines, and I was ashamed to show my ignorance. He asked me what ship I was going to join. I could not recollect her name, but I told him it was painted on the outside of my chest, which was coming down by the Waggon ; all that I could recollect was that it was a French name.
Have you no letter of introduction to the captain?" said he,
Yes, I have,' replied I ; and I pulled out niy pocket-book in which the letter was. Captain Savage, H. M. ship Diomede,' continued ), reading to him.
To my surprise he very coolly proceeded to open the letter, which, when I perceived what he was doing, occasioned me immediately to snatch the letter from him, stating my opinion at the same time that it was a breach of honor, and that in my opinion he was no gentleman.
Just as you please, youngster,' replied he. “Recollect, you have told me I am no gentleman.'
He wrapped his plaid around him, and said no more ; and I was not a little pleased at having silenced him by my resolute behavior.
When we stopped, I inquired of the coachman which was the best inn. He answered, that it was the Blue Postesses, where the midshipmen leave their chestesses, call for tea and toastesses, and sometimes forget to pay for their breakfastesses. He laughed when he said it, and I thought that he was joking with me; but he pointed out two large blue posts at the door next the coach-oilice, and told me that all the midshipmen resorted to that hotel. He then asked me to remember the coachman, which by this time I had found out implied that I was not to forget to give him a shilling, which I did, and then went into the inn. The coffee-room was full of midshipmen, and as I was anxious about my chest, I inquired of one of them if he knew when the waggon would come in. • Do you expect your mother by it?' replied he.
O no ! but I expect my uniforms-I only wear these bottle-greens until they come.'
And pray what ship are you going to join?' - The Die-a-maid-Captain Thomas Kirkwall Savage.'
- The Diomede-I say, Robinson, a’n’t that the frigate in which the midshipmen har four dozen a piece for not having pipe-clayed their weekly accounts on the Saturday?'.
• To be sure it is,' replied the other ;'why, the captain gave a youngsier five dozen the other day for wearing a scarlet watch-ribbon.'
He's the greatest Tariar in the service,' continued the other ; 'he flogged the whole starboard watch the last time that he was on a cruize, because the ship would only sail nine knots upon a bowling."
() dear!' said I, 'then I'm very sorry that I'm going to join him.' «'Pon my soul I pity you: you'll be fagged to death ; for there's only three midshipmen in che ship now all the rest ran away. Didn't they, Robinson?'
There's only two left now-for poor Matthews dieıl of fatigue. He
was worked all day, and kept watch all night for six weeks, and one morning he was found dead upon his chest.'
God bless my soul!' cried I, ' and yet on shore they say he is such a kind man to his midshipmen.'
Yes,' replied Robinson, he spreads that report everywhere. Now, observe, when you first call upon him, and report your having come to join his ship, he'll tell you that he is very happy to see you, and that he hopes your family are well—then he'll recommend you to go on board and learn your duty. After that, stand clear. Now recollect what I have said, and see if it does not prove true. Come, sit down with us and take a glass of grog, it will keep your spirits up.'
These midshipmen told me so much about my captain, and the horrid cruelties which he had practised, that I had some doubts whether I had not better set off bome again. When I asked their opinion, they said that if I did I should be taken up as a deserter and hanged ; that my best plan was to beg his acceptance of a few gallons of rum, for he was very fond of grog, and that then I might perhaps be in his good graces, as long as the rum might last.'
I am sorry to state that the midshipmen made me very tipsy that evening. I don't recollect being put to bed, but I found myself there the next inorning with a dreadful head-ache, and a very confused recollection of what had passed. I was very much shocked at my having so soon forgotten the injunctions of my parents, and was making vows never to be so foolish again, when in came the midshipman who had been so kind to me the night before. Come, Mr. Bottlegreen,' he bawled out, alluding I suppose to the color of niy clothes, 'rouse and bitt. There's the captain's coxswain waiting for you below. By the powers, you're in a pretty scrape for what you did last night!
• Did last night!' replied I, astonished. Why, does the captain know that I was tipsy?'.
I think you took devilish good care to let him know it when you were at the theatre.'
“At the theatre! Was I at the theatre?'
"To be sure you were. You would go, do all we could to prevent you, though you were as drunk as David's sow. Your captain was there with the admiral's daughters. You called him a tyrant, and snapped your fingers at him. Why, don't you recollect? You told him that you did not care a fig for him.'
O dear! O dear! what shall I do? what shall I do?' cried I. My mother cautioned me so about drinking and bad company.' · Bad company, you whelp—what do you mean by that?' Oh I did not particularly refer to you.'
I should hope not! However, I recommend you as a friend, to yo to the George Inn as fast as you can, and see your captain, for the longer you stay away the worse it will be for you. A1 all events, it will be decided whether he receives you or not. It is fortunate for you that you are not on the ship's books. Come, be quick, the coxswain is gone back. Not on the ship's book,' replied I sorrowfully. Now I recollect there was a letter from the captain to my father, stating that he had put me on the books.'
• Upon my honor, I'm sorry-very sorry indeed,' replied the midshipman-and he quitted the room, looking as grave as if the misforiune had happened to himself. I got up with a heavy head, and heavier heart, and as soon as I was dressed, I asked the way to the George Im.
I took my letter of introduction with me although I was afraid it would be of little service. When I arrivedl, I asked, with a trembling voice, whether captain Thomas Kirkwall Savage, of H. M. ship Diomede, was staying there. The waiter replicd, that he was at breakfast with Captain Courtney, but that he would take up my pame. I gave it to him, and in a minute the waiter returned and desired that I would walk up. O how my heart beat-I never was so frightened-I thought I should have dropped on the stairs. Twice I attempted to walk into the room, and each time my legs failed me: at last I wiped the perspiration from my forehead, and with a desperate effort I went into the room.
Mr. Simple, I am glad to see you,' said a voice. I had held my head down, for I was afraid to look at him, but the voice was so kind, that I mustered up courage ; and when I did look up, there sat with his uniform and epaulets, and his sword by his side, the passenger in the plaid cloak, who wanted to open my letter, and who I had told to his face that he was no gentleman.
I thought I should have died as the other midshipman did upon his chest. I was just sinking down on my knees to beg for mercy, when the captain perceiving my confusion, burst out into a laugh, and said, . So you know me again, Mr. Simple? Well, don't be alarmed, you did your duty in not permitting me to open the letter, supposing me, as you did, to be some other person, and you were perfectly right under that supposition, to tell me that I was not a gentleman. I give you credit for your conduct. Now sit down and take some breakfast.'
Captain Courtney,' said he to the other captain, who was at the table, this is one of my youngsters just entering the service. We were passengers yesterday by the same coach. He then told him the circumstance which had occurred, at which they laughed heartily.
I now recovered my spirits a little-but still there was the affair at the theatre, and I thought that perhaps he did not recognize me. I was, however, soon relieved from my anxiety by the other captain inquiring, - Were you at the theatre last night, Savage !'
No; I dined at the admiral's; there's no getting away from those girls, they are so pleasant.'
I rather think you are a little taken in that quarter.' "No, on my word! I might be if I had time to discover which I liked best ; but my ship is at present my wife, and the only wife I intend to have until I am laid on the shelf.'
Well, thought I, if he was not at the theatre, it could not have been him that I insulted. Now if I can only give him the rum, and make friends with hiin.
· Pray, Mr. Simple, how are your father and mother?' said the captain.
*Very well, I thank you, sir, and desire me to present their compliments.'
I am obliged to them. Now I think the 'sooner you go on board and learn your duty the better.' (Just what the midshipman told methe very words, thought I-then it's all true--and I began to tremble again.)
I have a little advice to offer you,' continued the captain. In the first place, obey your superior officers without hesitation ; it is for me, not you, to decide whether an order is unjust or not. In the next place, never swear or drink spirits. The first is immoral and ungentlemanlike, the second is a vile habit which will grow upon you. I never touch