Sailors of Other Times.
SOME CHARACTERISTIC LETTERS. Under the heading of ‘ Our Sailors of To-day,’ the ‘ Daily News ’ recently published an extremely interesting article. After some appropriate allusions to the British tar of the period, and of his conduct ashore and at sea, one or two very amusing stories are related. For instance, when Louis XVIII. of France, who during part of his exile called himself the Comte De Lille, landed at Yarmouth from the Swedish frigate Treya, he was rowed ashore by British sailors belonging to the line-of-battle ship Majestic. The King, grateful for the attention shown him, left a purse of fifteen guineas, with a request that the boat’s crew would drink bis health. On the matter being explained to the men, not one of them would touch a penny of the money. Instead, they concocted a letter on the subject to Admiral Russell, under whose command they were serving. This letter, which is a gem in its way, ran thus“ Majestic, 6th day of November, 1807. Please your honor,— We bolded a talk about that there Lls that was sent us, aod hope no offence, your honor. We don’t like to take it, because as how we knows fast enuff that it was the true King of France that went with your honor in the boat, and that be and onr own noble king, God bless them both, and give everyone his right, is good friends now; and besides that your honor gived a order long ago not to take no money from nobody, and we never did take none, and Mr Leneve that steered your honor and that there king says he won't have no hand in it, and so does Andrew Young, the proper coxen; and wo hopes no offence, so we all, one and all, begs not to take it at all. So no more at present from your honor’s dutiful servants, etc.” A DESCRIPTION OF NELSON. In another letter, dated sth December, 1805, and written from the Victory at Spithead, a sailor, writing to his sister, describes the struggle in which Nelson fell. He says; “Lord Nelson got wounded at twelve minutes past one o’clock, and closed his eyes in the midst of victory. Dear sister, it pleased the Lord to spare my life, and my brother Thomas his, for be was with the same gentleman, . . , My dear, I shall just give you a small description of Lord Nelson. He is a man about sft 7in, very slender, of an affable temper ; but a rare man for his country, and has been in 123 actions and scrimmages, and got wounded with a small ball, but it was mortal. It was his last words, that it was his lot for me to go, but I am going to Heaven, but never haul down your colors to France, for your men will stick to you. These words was to Captain Hardy, and so we did, for we came off victorious, and they have behaved well to us, for they wanted to take Lord Nelson from ns, but we told captain as we brought him out we would bring him home; so it was, and he was put into a cask of spirits.” “don’t FORGET THE PIGTAIL.” The fondness of the sailor for tobacco is amusingly illustrated in the following letter: —“ VVarren Hastings, Est Indy mum, off Gravesend. 24 March, 1813. Dear Brother Tom, —lhis comes hopein to find you in good health, as it leaves me safe ankord here yesterday at 4 p.m. arter a plesant voyage tolerable short and few squalls. Dear Tom ; Hopes to find poor old father stout, am quite out of pigtail. Sights of pigtail at Gravesend, but unfortnitly not fit for a dog to cbor. Dear Tom: Captain’s Boy will bring you this and put pigtail in his pocket when bort. Best in London at the black boy in 7 dials, where go, acka for best pigtail, pound of pigtail will do, and am short of shirts. Dear Tom, as for shirts ony took 2 whereof 1 is quite wored out and tuther most, but don’t forget the pigtail as I ant had nere a quid to cbor never sins Thursday. Dear Tom, as for the shirts your size will do, only longer. I like um long, get one at present, best at Tower Hill and cheap, but be pertickler to goto 7 diles for the pigtail at the black boy, and Dear Tom acks for pound best pigtail apd let it be good. Captain’s boy will put the pigtail in bis pocket, he like pigtail so ty it up. Dear Tom, shall be up about Monday there or thereabouts. Not so pertickler for the shirt, as the present cqn be washed, but don’t forget the pigtail vyithont fail, so am your loving brother T.P. P.S.— Don’t forget pigtail.”
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Sailors of Other Times., Evening Star, Issue 8054, 2 November 1889, Supplement
Sailors of Other Times. Evening Star, Issue 8054, 2 November 1889, Supplement
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