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and I knew you'd be mine,' says he: we shall go to sea in the morning, so you'd better get your traps aboard as soon as possible.' Well, messmates, I bids him good morning; but, thinks I to myself, I'll just take a bit of a overhaul of the craft afore I brings my duds aboard; and so, jumping into a punt, a black fellow pulls me alongside, and away I goes on to the deck, and there the first person I seed was the skipper. How he came there was a puzzler, for d— the boat had left the key but our own since we parted a few minutes afore. And now, Bob,' says he, 'I suppose you are ready to sign.'-' All in good time, your honour,' says I. You 're aboard afore me, but I'm blessed if I seed you come.'-' It warn't necessary you should,' says he; my boat travels quick, my man, and makes short miles.'-'All's the same for that, your honour,' says I, 'whether you man your barge or float off on the anchor-stock-it's all as one to Bob.'-' You're a 'cute lad,' says he, twinkling his eye, and must rise in the sarvice. Go below and visit your future shipmates.' Thanky, your honour,' says I, and down the hatchway I goes; and there were the messes, with fids o' roast beef and boiled yams in shining silver platters, with silver spoons, and bottles o' wine, all in grand style, as quite comflogisticate me; and What cheer-what cheer, shipmate?' says they; and then they axed me to take some grub with 'em, which in course I did. She'd a noble 'tween decks,-broad in the beam, with plenty o' room to swing hammocks; but, instead of finding ounly twenty hands, I'm blowed if there warn't more nor a hundred. So arter I'd had a good tuck-out, I goes on deck again and looks about me. She was a corvette, flush fore and aft, with a tier of port-holes, but ounly six guns mounted; and never even in a man-o'-war did I see everything so snug and neat. Well, your honour, I'm ready to sign articles,' says I.'Very good,' says he; and down we goes into the cabin; and, my eyes! but there was a set-out,-gold candlesticks and lamps, and large silver figures, like young himps, and clear looking-glasses, and silk curtains, and handsome sofas; and there upon one on 'em sat a beautiful young creatur, with such a pair of large full eyes as blue as the sky, and white flaxen hair that hung like fleecy clouds about her forehead, it made a fellow think of heaven and the angels: but she never smiled, shipmates,-there was a moloncholy about the lower part of her face as showed she warn't by no manner o' means happy; and whilst the skipper was getting the articles out of the locker, she motioned to me, but I couldn't make out what she meant. The skipper did, though; for he turned round in a fury, and stamped on the cabin deck as he lifted up the black patch, and a stream of light for all the world like the glow of a furnace through a chink in a dark night fell upon her. He had his back to me, so I couldn't make out where the light came from; but the poor young lady gave a skreek and fell backard on the sofa. Now, messmates, I'd obsarved that when he stamped with his foot that it warn't at all like a natʼral human stamp, for it came down more like the hoof of a horse or a hox; and thinks I to myself, 'I'm d—, Bob, but you're in for it now; the skipper must be a devil of a fellow to use such a lovely creatur arter that fashion.'- You're right, my man,' says he, grinning like one o' them faces on the cat-head, he is a devil of a fellow.'-'I never spoke not never a word, your honour,' says I, thrown all aback by the concussion. No, but you thought it,' says he; don't trouble yourself to deny it: tell lies to everybody else, if you pleases, but


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it's no use telling 'em to me.'-' God forbid, your' I was going to say 'honour,' but he stopped me with another stamp, and Never speak that name in my presence again,' says he; if you do, it ull be the worse for you. Come and sign the articles.' My eyes! shipmates, but I was in a pretty conflobergasticationment; there stood the skipper, with a bright steel pen in his hand as looked like a doctor's lanchet, and there close by his side, upon her beam-ends, laid that lovely young creatur, the sparkling jewels in her dress mocking the wretchedness of her countenance. Are you ready?' says he; and his onkivered eye rolled round and round, and seemed to send out sparks through the friction. Not exactly, your honour,' says I, ' for I carn't write, in regard o' my having sprained both ankles, and got a twist in my knee-joint when I warn't much higher than a quart pot. That's a lie, Bob,' says he; and so it was, messmates, for I thought I must make some excuse to save time. 'Howsomever,' says he, 'you can make your mark.'-Thinks I to myself, I would pretty soon, my tight un, if I had you ashore.'-'I know it,' says he; but you're aboard now, and so you may either sign or not, just as it suits your fancy, my man; ounly understand this-if you don't sign, you shall be clapped in irons, and fed upon iron hoops and scupper-nails for the next six months, and I wish you a good disgestion.' -Thanky, your honour,' says I; and what if I do sign? Why then,' says he, you shall live like a fighting-cock, and have as much suction as the Prince of Whales.' Well, shipmates, I was just like the Yankee's schooner when she got jammed atwixt two winds, and so I thought there could be no very great damage in making a scratch or two upon a bit o' parchment; and All right, your honour,' says I; 'hand us over the pen: but your honour hasn't got not never an inkstand.'-' That's none o' your business,' says he; if you are resolved to sign, I'll find materials.'-'Very good,' says I; 'I'll just make my mark.'-' Hould up!' says he to the young lady; and she scringed all together in a heap, and shut her large blue eyes as she held up a beautiful white round arm, bare up to the shoulder: it looked as solid and as firm as a piece of marble stationery."


"Statuary, you mean," said Sam Slick, interrupting the narrative. "But I say, Bob, do you expect us to believe all this?"

"I believes every word on it," asserted Jemmy Ducks, who had been attentively listening, with his mouth wide open to catch all that was uttered: "what can you find onnat'ral or dubersome about it? The skipper was no doubt a black-hearted nigger."

"Nigger yousef, Massa Jemmy Ducks," exclaimed Mungo Pearl; "d- you black heart for twist 'em poultry neck."

"Silence there in amidships," said Mr. Parallel: "you make so much noise that I can't keep my glass steady. Spin your yarns, Mr. Pearl, with your mouth shut, like an oyster;" and then, addressing the captain, "We rise her fast, my lord, and the breeze freshens: the ould beauty knows she's got some work cut out for her; she begins to smell garlic, and walks along like an ostrich on the stretch-legs and wings, and all in full play."

"What distance are we from Toulon ?" inquired Lord Eustace, as he carefully and anxiously scanned the stranger through his glass.

"About nine leagues," promptly answered Mr. Parallel; "and if the breeze houlds on, or comes stronger, another three hours will carry us alongside of the enemy."

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"We shall soon have her within reach of the bow-guns," said the first lieutenant, "and a shot well thrown may take in some of her canvass."

"That's a good deal of it chance-work," responded the master; "it mought and it moughtn't; but firing is sure to frighten the

"Spirits of the wind," added Nugent, who stood close beside him; "they become alarmed and take to flight, and so we lose the flapping of their airy wings."

"Hairy grandmother," grumbled old Parallel, "hairy wings indeed; why, who ever seed such a thing? Spirits of wind, too,rum spirits, mayhap, to cure flatulency. Stick to natur, Mr. Nugent, or she 'll be giving us another squall, just out o' revenge for being ridiculed."

"Get on with your yarn, Bobbo," said Joe Nighthead in an under tone;" and just you take a reef in your bellows, Mister Mungo, and don't speak so loud again."


"Where was I?" inquired Bob thoughtfully: "oh, now I recollect; -down in the cabin, going to sign the articles. Are you quite ready?' says the skipper to me as he raised the pen. All ready,' says I. Then hould up,' says he to the young lady, and she raised her fair arm. Come here, my man,' says he again to me, and I clapped him close alongside at the table; be ready to grab hould o' the pen in a moment, and make your mark there,' and he pointed to a spot on the parchment, with a brimstone seal stamped again it-you might have smelt it, messmates, for half a league—and, I 'm blessed if I didn't have a fit o' the doldrums; but, nevertheless, I put a bould face upon it, and, Happy go lucky,' says I, all's one to Bob!' and then there was another rustling noise down the leg of his trousers, and his eye-that's his onkivered one-flashed again, and took to rolling out sparks like a flint-mill; 'Listen, my man,' says he, to what I'm going to say, and pay strict attention to it.'-' I wool, your honour,' says I; but hadn't the lady better put down her arm ?' says I; 'it ull make it ache, keeping it up so long. Mind your own business, Bob Martingal,' says he, quite cantankerously; she's houlding the inkstand. Who's cracking now, your honour?' says I laughing; 'the lady arn't got not nothing whatsomever in her hand. I'm blowed if I don't think you all carries out the name o' the craft In-fun-oh.'— Right,' says he; and now attend. If, after I have dipt this here pen in the ink, you refuse to sign the articles-you have heard o' this?' and he touched the black patch. I gave a devil-may-care sort of a nod. Well, then, if you refuses to sign, I'll nillyate you.''Never fear,' says I, making out to be as bould as a lion, for there was ounly he and I men-folk in the cabin; and, thinks I to myself, 'I'm a match for him singly at any rate.'-' You 're mistaken,' says he, and you'll find it out to your cost, if you don't mind your behaviour, Bob Martingal.'-'I never opened my lips, your honour," says I. Take care you don't,' says he, and be sure to obey orders.' He turned to the lady. Are you prepared, Marian?' axes he; but she never spoke. She's faint, your honour,' says I, God bless her!' The spiteful wretch gave me a red-hot look, and his d― oncivil cloven foot-for I'd swear to the mark it made-came crushing on my toes, and made me sing out blue blazes. 'Is that obeying orders?' says he didn't I command you never to use that name afore me?' —'You did, your honour,' says I; but you might have kept your





hoof off my toes, seeing as I haven't yet signed articles.'-'It was an accident,' says he, and here's something to buy a plaster; and he throws down a couple of doubloons, which I claps into my pocket. You enter woluntarily into my sarvice, then?' says he.-To be sure I do,' says I, though I'm blessed if I wouldn't have given a treble pork-piece to have been on shore again. And you'll make your mark to that?' says he, and ax no further questions?' To be sure I will,' says I; and I'll just tell you what it is, messmates, I'm blowed if ever I was more harder up in my life than when I seed him raise the pen, as looked like a sharp lanchet, in his infernal thieving-hooks, and job it right into that beautiful arm, and the blood spun out, and the lady gave a skreek; and 'Sign-sign!' says he; quick, my man -your mark !'-' No, I'm d— if I do,' says I; 'let blood be on them as sheds it. You won't?' says he.- Never, you spawn o' Bellzebub!' says I; for I'd found him out, shipmates. Then take the consequences,' says he; and up went the black patch, and, by the Lord Harry! he sported an eye that nobody never seed the like on in their lives it looked as big and as glaring as one o' them red glass bottles of a night-time as stands in the potecarry's windows with a lamp behind 'em; but it was ten thousand times more brilliant than the fiercest furnace that ever blazed,-you couldn't look upon it for a moment; and I felt a burning heat in my heart and in my stomach, as if I'd swallowed a pint of vitriol; and my strength was going away and I was withering to a hatomy, when all at once I recollects a charm as my ould mother hung round my neck when I was a babby, and I snatches it off and houlds it out at arm's length right in his very face. My precious eyes and limbs! how he did but caper about the cabin, till his hat fell off, and there was his two fore-tack bumkins reg'larly shipped over his bows and standing up with a bit of a twist outwards just like the head-gear of a billy-goat. Keep off, you bitch's babby!' says I, for he tried onknown schemes and manœuvres to get at me; till suddenly I hears a loud ripping of stitches, and away went the casings of his lower stancheons, and out came a tail as long



"Almost as long as your'n, I suppose," said old Jack Sheavehole; "a precious yarn you 've been spinning us, Mister Bob !"

"But what became of the lady?" inquired Sam Slick; "and what a lubber of a tailor he must have been to have performed his work so badly!"

The lady?" repeated Bob; "why, I gets her in tow under my arm, and shins away up the companion-ladder, the ould fellow chasing me along the deck with a boarding-pike, his tail sticking straight out abaft, just like a spanker-boom over his starn; but the charm kept him off, and away I runs to the gangway, where the shore-boat and the nigger were waiting, and you may guess, shipmates, I warn't long afore we were hard at work at the paddles; for I laid the lady down in the bottom o' the punt, and Give way, you bit of ebony,' says I, ' or Jumbee 'ull have you stock and fluke.' Well, if there warn't a bobbery aboard the In-fun-oh, there never was a bobbery kicked up in the world; and 'Get ready that gun there!' shouted the skipper."


At this moment the heavy booming of a piece of ordnance was heard sounding across the water. Up jumped Jemmy Ducks, and roared out, "Oh Lord! oh dear!-there's the devil again!-what shall I do!" and a general laugh followed.

"The chase is trying his range, my lord," exclaimed Mr. Seymour; "but the shot must have fallen very short, as we couldn't hear it.”

"Keep less noise on the fokesel," said old Parallel. "What ails that lubberly wet-nurse to all the geese in the ship? Ay, ay, he l have hould on you by-and-by! Get a pull of that topmast-stud'nsel tack."

The men immediately obeyed; and, as they were coming up fast with the enemy, excitement and impatience put an end to long yarns. But Bob just squeezed out time to tell them that he got safe ashore with the lady; and the "In-fun-oh" tripped her anchor that same tide, dropped down the river, and put to sea, nor was she ever heard of again afterwards. The lady was the daughter of a rich merchant in Baltimore, who had been decoyed away from her family, but by the worthy tar's instrumentality was happily restored again. Bob got a glorious tuck-out aboard, the two doubloons were safe in his pocket, and the father of Marian treated him like a prince.

Half an hour elapsed from the first discharge of the enemy's sternchaser, when he again tried his range; and, to prove how rapidly they were nearing each other, the shot this time passed over the British frigate. There was something exhilarating to the ears of the seamen in the whiz of its flight. Two or three taps on the drum aroused every man to his quarters; the guns were cast loose, and the bowchasers cleared away for the officers to practise. Heavy bets were made relative to hitting the target, the iron was well thrown, and every moment increased the eagerness of the tars to get fairly alongside. The land was rising higher and higher out of the water,-the French port was in view, the enemy began to exult in the prospect of escape, when an eighteen-pounder, pointed by the hands of the old master, brought down her maintop-gallant-mast; and the Frenchman, finding it was utterly impossible to get away without fighting, shortened sail, and cleared for action. Three cheers hailed this manœuvre. The British tars now made certain of their prize; and, when within half pistol-shot, in came the Spankaway's flying-kites, and in five minutes he was not only under snug commanding canvass, but the moment they returned to their quarters they passed close under the French frigate's stern, and steadily poured in a raking broadside, every shot doing its own proper duty, and crashing and tearing the enemy's stern-frame to pieces, ploughing up the decks as they ranged fore and aft, and diminishing the strength of their opponents by no less than twenty-seven killed and wounded. Still the Frenchman fought bravely, and handled his vessel in admirable style. Six of the Spankaway's lay dead, and thirteen wounded. Amongst the latter was our worthy old friend Will Parallel, the master: a splinter had struck him on the breast, and he was carried below insensible. Seafights have so often been described, that they have now but little novelty; let it therefore suffice, that, in fifty-six minutes from the first broadside, the tricoloured flag came down, and the national frigate Hippolito, mounting forty-four guns, struck to his Britannic Majesty's ship the Spankaway, whose first lieutenant, Mr. Seymour, was sent aboard to take possession, as a prelude to that step which he was now certain of obtaining. Thus two nights of labour passed away, and the triumph of the second made ample amendment for the misfortunes of the first; besides enabling the warrant-officers to expend their stores, and not a word about the white squall.

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