Page images

taken into account in the disquisi- nature, are greatly vanquished. Thus tions of ethical writers.

in the struggle of the soul, when Between these two different powers strong passion pulls against the sense the human will must make election, of duty and against the nobler affecdetermining itself to good. To en- tions, but these triumph, this is one lighten the mind to choose, and to of the cases, where we emphatically strengthen it in its adherence to rigbt apply the name of virtue to that mochoice, has been the great object of ral power in the mind which has all moralists. It is the most import- maintained it from falling. But at ant object, undoubtedly, for it is the same time it never occurs to us when man wavers, or when he has to qualify our approbation from confallen, that he needs aid; and those sidering that the sense of duty was affections which are right from the not the sole principle on its own side, beginning, rather seem to dispense and that it had to divide with high with such succour. To this situation, and generous feelings the honour of then, of man tempted and struggling, the victory. So, too, when the natuthe attention of speculative and prac- ral prompting of the higher feelings tical moralists has been principally is withstood by the weakness of the directed, and to this the greater part inferior nature, and rises above it, of their technical language bears re. we then willingly give the name of ference. The most marked term, virtue; as to those who, on great especially, of their whole language, occasions, under a lofty passion, “ moral obligation,” refers to this have gone voluntarily to death, exstate solely, and to this the answer amples such as that of Decius, who, ing word of ordinary language, con- agreeably to a superstition of his science, seems in like manner to people, when the fortune of a great apply.

battle was going against them, rode The consideration of the differ- unarmed into the ranks of the enemy, ence between the spontaneous virtue devoting himself for his country. On of right affections, and that virtue the other hand, cases may be cited which arises in the struggles of dif- where the allurement to weakness is ficult duty, appears to explain the from feelings good and right in themdefective and partial view which selves, but which interfere with a some writers have taken of the whole higher claim, and which are sacrificed of morality.

simply to the austere and inflexible Virtue appears for the most part sentiment of duty, examples which to be, in ethical language, a term of also belong to high virtue. very undefined application. It is of On the whole, it would appear, very comprehensive significance, but that the great extent to which the is sometimes used with a tendency virtues of men bear the marks of this to one meaning in preference, and our mixed nature, has led ethical sometimes to another, so as to pro- writers to consider them solely with duce seeming contradictions among respect to it, as the most illustrious different writers, using the word not examples of virtue do arise from it, in the same sense. Thus some speak and as, in the greater number of manof virtue as equivalent with the exact kind, virtue cannot have place except discharge of all moral obligation. by deliberate resistance to evil proBut our natural sentiment prompts pensities. But it appears, at the us to use it in a more extended sense. same time, that there is no reason Surely such affections as those of whatever, for that exclusion of the which we have spoken are called affections from the place of virtue. by us virtuous. But we are apt to On the contrary, a more accurate apply this name especially to de- examination shews that virtuous afscribe with force and warmth the fections may exist, and receive high highest exertions of our moral na- moral approbation, withoutany regard ture. These highest exertions occur to the struggle with evil or inferior when some opposition is overcome. propensities ; that they have the And it appears to us that generally character of virtue when they aid we apply this highest description of the sense of duty in resisting a moral superiority to those cases crime; and that they have the same where the temptations of evil are character, when, in their pure native overcome, or where weaknesses, strength, they triumph over the weakknown or presumed, of our inferior Desses of mortal nature.




« O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,
Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,
Far as the breeze can bear the billow's foam,
Survey our empire, and behold our home.
These are our realms, no limits to their sway-
Our flag the sceptre all who meet obey."

The Corsair.

Ar three o'clock next morning, yards fastened to rings, one at the about an hour and a half before day- head, and the other at the foot; from dawn, I was roused from my cot by which radiate a number of smaller the gruff roice of the boatswain on cords, which are fastened to the deck-“ All hands up anchor.” canvass of the cot; while a small strip

The next moment the gunroom of canvass runs from head to foot steward entered with a lantern, on each side, so as to prevent the which he placed on the table sleeper from rolling out. The di“ Gentlemen, all hands up anchor, if mensions of the gunroom are, as will you please.”

be seen, very much circumscribed “ Botheration !" grumbled one. by the side berths; and when you « Oh dear!” yawned another. take into account, that the centre is

“How merrily we live that sailors occupied by a long table, running be!" sung another in a most doleful the whole length of the room, flanked strain, and in all the bitterness of by a wooden bencb, with a high back heart consequent on being roused to it on each side, and a large clumsy out of a warm nest so unceremo- chair at the head, and another at the niously. But no help for it; so up foot, not forgetting the sideboard at we all got, and opening the door of the head of the table, (full of knives, my berth, I got out, and sat me forks, spoons, tumblers, glasses, &c. down on the bench that ran along &c. &c., stuck into mahogany sockthe starboard side of the table. ets,) all of which are made fast to the

For the benefit of the uninitiated, deck by strong cleats and staples, let me describe a gunroom on board and bands of spunyarn, so as to preof a sloop of war. Every body knows vent them fetching way, or moving, that the captain's cabin occupies the when the vessel pitches or rolls, you after part of the ship; next to it, on will understand that there is no great the same deck, is the gunroom. In scope to expatiate upon, free of the a corvette, such as the Firebrand, it table, benches, and bulkheads of the is a room, as near as may be, twenty cabins. While I sat monopolizing feet long by twelve wide, and lighted the dull light of the lantern, and acby a long scuttle, or skylight, in the coutring myself as decently as the deck above. On each side of this burry would admit of, I noticed the room runs a row of small chambers, officers, in their night-gowns and seven feet long by six feet wide, night-caps, as they extricated themboarded off from the main saloon, or, selves from their coops; and pictuin nautical phrase, separated from it resque-looking subjects enough there by bulkheads, each with a door and were amongst them, in all conscience. small window opening into the same, At length, that is in about ten miand, generally speaking, with a small nutes from the time we were called, scuttle in the side of the ship towards we were all at stations-a gun was the sea. These are the officers' sleep- fired, and we weighed, and then ing apartments, in which they have stood out to sea, running along about each a chest of drawers and basin- four knots, with the land-wind right stand; while overhead is suspended aft. Having made an offing of three a cot, or hammock, kept asunder by a miles or so, we outran the Terral, wooden frame, six feet long by about and got becalmed in the belt of two broad, slung from cleats nailed smooth water between it and the to the beams above by two lan- sea-breeze. It was striking to see fast ?”

the three merchant-ships gradually The little vessel approached.draw out from the land, until we “ Shorten sail, Mr Yerk, and heave were all clustered together in a the ship to," said the captain to the bunch, with half a gale of wind curl. first lieutenant. ing the blue waves within musket “Ay, ay, sir.” shot, while all was long swell and “ All hands, Mr Catwell.” smooth water with us. At length Presently the boatswain's whistle the breeze reached us, and we made rung sharp and clear, while his gruff sail with our convoy to the south- voice, to which bis mates bore any ward and eastward, the lumbering thing but mellow burdens, echoed merchantmen crowding every inch through the ship—"All hands shorten of canvass, while we could hardly sail-fore and mainsails haul upkeep astern, under close-reefed top. haul down the jib-in topgallant sails sails, jib, and spanker.

now back the main topsail.” “ Pipe to breakfast,” said the cap. By heaving to, we brought the tain to Mr Yerk.

Wave on our weather bow. She was “A sail abeam of us to windward!" now within a cable's length of the

“ What is she?" sung out the skip- corvette; the captain was standing per to the man at the mast-head on the second foremost gun, on the who had hailed.

larboard side. “ Mafame,”--to his “A small schooner, sir; she has steward,—“hand me up my trumpet." fired a gun, and hoisted an ensign He hailed the little vessel. “ Ho, the and pennant.”

Wave, ahoy!” “ How is she steering "

Presently the responding “hillo" “ She has edged away for us, sir.” came down the wind to us from the

“ Very well.—Mr Yerk, make the officer in command of her, like an signal for the convoy to stand on.” echo" Run under our stern and Then to the boatswain—" Mr Cat- heave to, to leeward.” well, have the men gone to break “ Ay, ay, sir.”

As the little vessel came to the “ No, sir, but they are just going.” wind, she lowered down her boat,

“ Then pipe belay with breakfast and Mr Jigmaree, the boatswain of for a minute, will you? All bands the dockyard in Jamaica, came on make sail! Crack on, Mr Yerk, and board, and touching his hat, presentlet us overhaul this small swagger- ed his dispatches to the captain.

Presently he and the skipper retired In a trice we had all sail set, and into the cabin, and all bands were were staggering along on the larboard inspecting the Wave in her new chatack, close upon a wind. We hauled racter of one of his Britannic Majesout from the merchant-ships like ty's cruisers. When I had last seen smoke, and presently the schooner her she was a most beautiful little was seen from the deck." Go to craft, both in hull and rigging, as ever breakfast now.” The crew disap- delighted the eye of a sailor; but the peared, all to the officers and signaldockyard riggers and carpenters had man.

fairly bedeviled her, at least so far The first lieutenant had the book as appearances went. First, they open on the drum of the capstan be- had replaced the light rail on her fore him. “Make our number," said gunwale, by heavy solid bulwarks the captain. It was done. “What four feet high, surmounted by hamdoes she answer ?

mock nettings, at least another foot, The signalman answered from the so that the symmetrical litile vessel, fore rigging, where he had perched that formerly floated on the foam himself with his glass—“ She makes light as a sea-gull, now looked like the signal to telegraph, sir-3, 9, 2, a clumsy dish-shaped Dutch dogger. at the fore, sir”-and so on; which Her long slender wands of masts, translated was simply this—“ The which used to swig about, as if there Wave, with dispatches from the ad- were neither shrouds nor stays to miral.”

support them, were now as taught « Oh, ho," said N- ; “ what is and stiff as church steeples, with she sent for? Whenever the people four heavy shrouds of a side, and have got their breakfast, tack, and stays and back-stays, and the devil stand towards her, Mr Yerk.” knows what all.

« Now," quoth Tailtackle, “ if passage. When you have rejoined them heave'emtaughts at the yard the Wave at Nassau, you are to prohave not taken the speed out of the ceed with her as your tender to little beauty, I am a Dutchman.” Crooked Island, and there to await Timotheus, I may state in the by- instructions from the Vice-Admiral, going, was not a Dutchman; he was which shall be transmitted by the fundamentally any thing but a Dutch- packet to sail on 9th proximo, to the man; but his opinion was sound, and care of the postmaster. I have the soon verified to my cost. Jigmaree honour to be, sir, your obedient now approached.

servant, “ The captain wants you in the

- Sec. cabin, sir," said he. I descended, “To the Hon. Capt. N , and found the skipper' seated at a

« &c. &c. &c." table with his clerk beside him, and several open letters lying before him. To say sooth, I was by no means “ Sit down, Mr Cringle.” I took a amorous of this independent comchair. “ There-read that,” and he mand, as an idea had, at the time threw an open letter across the table I speak of, gone abroad in the navy, to me, which ran as follows:

that lieutenants, commanding small

vessels, seldom rose higher, unless “Sir,

through extraordinary interest, and I “ The Vice-Admiral, commanding took the liberty of stating my reon the Jamaica station, desires me pugnance to my captain. to say, that the bearer, the boatswain He smiled, and threw over another of the dockyard, Mr Luke Jigmaree, letter to me; it was a private one has instructions to cruise for, and if from the Admiral's Secretary, and possible to fall in with you, before was as follows:you weather Cape Maize, and falling

(Confidential.) in with you, to deliver up charge of “My dear Nthe vessel to you, as well as of the “The Vice-Admiral' has got a five negroes, and the pilot, Peter hint from Sir , to kick that Mangrove, who are on board of her. wild splice, young Cringle, about a The Wave having been armed and bit. It seems he is a nephew of Old fitted with every thing considered Blue Blaze's, and as he has taken a necessary, you are to man with thirty- fancy to the lad, he has promised his five of your crew, including officers, mother that he will do his utmost to and to place her under the command give him opportunities of being of Lieut. Thomas Cringle, who is to knocked on the head, for all of which be furnished with a copy of this the old lady has professed herself letter authenticated by your signa- wonderfully indebted. As the puppy ture, and to whom you will give has peculiar notions, hint, directly or written instructions, that he is first indirectly, that he is not to be perof all to cruise in the great Cuba manently bolted down to the little channel, until the 14th proximo, for Wave, and that if half a dozen skipthe prevention of piracy, and the pers (you, my darling, among the suppression of the slave-trade car- rest) were to evaporate during the ried on between the island of Cuba approaching hot months, he may and the coast of Africa, and to de- have some small chance of t’other tain and carry in to Havanna, or swab. Write me, and mind the Nassau, New Providence, all vessels claret and curaçoa. Put no address having slaves on board, which he may on either; and on coming to anchor, have reason to believe have been send notice to old Wiggins, in the shipped beyond the prescribed limits lodge at the Master Attendant's, and on the African coast, as specified in he will relieve you, and the pies de the margin; and after the 14th he is Gallo,* some calm evening, of all to proceed direct to New Providence farther trouble regarding them.if unsuccessful, there to land Mr Don't forget the turtle from Crooked Jigmaree, and the dockyard Negroes, Island, and the cigars. and await your return from the Always, my dear Nnorthward, after having seen the

* Yours sincerely, merchantmen clear, of the Caicos

* Custom-house officers.

“ Oh, I forgot. The Admiral begs of the two vessels lay together. This you will spare him some steady old being carried into execution, we set hands to act as gunner, boatswain, about our arrangements; our pre&c.—elderly men, if you please, who cious blockheads at the dock-yard will shorten sail before the squall had fitted a thirty-two pound carstrikes him. If you float him away ronade on the pivot, and stuck two with a crew of boys, the little scamp long sixes one on each side of the little will get bothered, or capsized, in a vessel. I hate carronades, especijiffy. All this for your worship's go- ally small guns. I had, before now, vernment. How do you live with seen thirty-two pound shot thrown your passenger-prime fellow, an't by them, jump off a ship's side with he? My love to him. Lady — is a rebound like a football, when a dying to see him again.”

shot from an eighteen-pounder long

gun went crash at the same range “Well, Mr Cringle, what say you?" through both sides of the ship, whip

“Of course, I must obey, sir;- ping off a leg and arm, or aiblins a highly flattered by Mr Secretary's head or two, in its transit. good opinion, any how." The cap « My dear sir," said I, “ don't tain laughed heartily.

shove me adrift with that old pot " It is nearly calm, I see. We there-do lend me one of your long must set about manning this seventy- brass eighteen-pounders.” four for you, without delay. So, “ Why, Master Cringle, what is come along, Captain Cringle.” When your antipathy to carronades ?” we got on deck, it was, as he said, “ I have no absolute antipathy to nearly calm.

them, sir—they are all very well in “Hail the Wave to close, Mr Yerk," their way. For instance, sir, I wish said N- “Lower away the boat, you would fit me with two twelveand pipe away the yaulers, boat. pound carronades instead of those swain's mate.”

two popgun long sixes. These, with Presently the captain and I were thirty muskets, and thirty-five men on the Wave's deck, where I was or so, would make me very commuch surprised to find no less per- plete.' sonages than Pepperpot Wagtail, and “A modest request,” said Captain Paul Gelid, Esquires. Mr Gelid, Na conch, or native of the Bahamas, “ Now, Tom Cringle, you have was the same yawning, drawling, long- overshot your mark, my fine fellow," legged Creole, as ever. He had been thought I; but it was all right, and ill with fever, and had asked a pass that forenoon the cutter was hoisted age to Nassau, where his brother out with the guns in her, and the was established. At bottom, how others dismounted and sent back in ever, he was an excellent fellow, exchange; and in fine, after three warm-hearted, honourable, and up- days' hard work, I took the comright. As for little Wagtail-oh, he mand of H.B.M. schooner, Wave, was a delight!-a small round man, with Timothy Tailtackle as gunner, with all the Jamaica Creole irritabi- the senior midshipman as master, lity of temper, but also all the Ja- one of the carpenter's crew as carmaica warmth of heart about him— penter, and a boatswain's-mate as straightforward, and scrupulously boatswain, a surgeon's mate as surconscientious in his dealings, but de- geon, the captain's clerk as purser, voted to good cheer in every shape and thirty foremast-men, besides the He had also been ailing, and had blackies, as the crew. But the sailing adventured on the cruise in order to of the little beauty had been regurecruit. I scarcely know how to larly spoiled. We could still in light describe his figure better than by winds weather on the corvette, it is comparing his corpus to an egg, with true, but then she was but a slow his little feet stuck through the bot- top; unless it blew half a gale of tom; but he was amazingly active wind, as for going any thing free, withal.-Both the captain and my- wby a sand barge would have self were rejoiced to see our old beaten us.-We kept company with friends; and it was immediately fixed the Firebrand until we weathered that they should go on board the Cape Maize. It was about five o'. corvette, and sling their cots alonge clock in the afternoon, the corvette side of Bang, so long as the courses was about half a mile on our lee-bow

« PreviousContinue »