« AnteriorContinuar »
justice as attends the impressing common seamen.
In order to be better understood I would pre-
execute, the first I would press should be a Re-
how much impressing ought to be borne with; for he would certainly find, that though to be reduced to twenty-five shillings a month might be a “ private mischief,” yet that, agreeably to his maxim of law and good policy, it “ ought to be “ borne with patience,” for preventing a national calamity. Then I would press the rest of the Judges; and opening the red book, I would press every civil officer of government from sol. a year salary, up to 50,000l. which would throw an im, mense sum into our treasury: and these gentle, men could not complain, since they would receive twenty-five shillings a month, and their rations; and this without being obliged to fight. Lastly, I think I would impress ***
Works, Essays, Þ: 155 I YESTERDAY expressed my wonder that Jobn Hay, one of our guides, who had been pressed aboard a man of war, did not chuse to continue in it longer than nine months, after which time he got off.- Johnson. “Why, Sir, no man will * be a sailor, who has contrivance enough to get “ himself into a jail ; for, being in a ship is being " in a jail with the chance of being drowned." 25
Boswel's Tour to the Hebrides, p. 151.
kirkt <39577*. *r's Day
15 wordt in 1979 bolnoobi jih
rec, le : 2093 Cara S200 In the evening Morgan [first surgeon's mate] visited the sick, and having ordered what was proper for each, I assisted Thomson [second mate] in making up his prescriptions : but when I followed him with the medicines into the sick birth or hospital, and observed the situation of the patients, I was much less surprised that people should die on board, than that any sick person should recover. Here I saw about fifty miserable diştempered wretches, suspended in rows, so huddled one upon another, that not more than fourteen inches space was allotted for each with his bed and bedding; and deprived of the light of day, as well as of fresh air ; breathing nothing but a noisome atmosphere of the morbid steams exhaling from their own excrements and diseased bodies, devoured with vermin hatched in the filth that surrounded thein, and destitute of
necessary for people in that helpless condition.
About this tine captain Oakhum, having received sailing orders, came on board, and brought 2 A 3
along with him a surgeon of his own country, grossly ignorant, and intolerably assuming, false, vindictive, and unforgiving, a merciless' tyrant to his inferiors, an abject sycophant to those above him. In the morning after the captain 'came on board, our first mate, according to custom, went to wait on him with a sick list, which when this grim commander had perused, he cried with a stern countenance, “ Blood and cons ! sixty-one people sick on board of my ship! Hark'e, you sir, I'll have no sick in my ship, by G-d!” The Welchman replied, he should be very glad to find no sick people on board; but while it was otherwise he did no more than bis duty in presenting him with a list. “ You and your listinày 'be d-n'd,” said the captain, throwing it at him; “ I say there shall be no sick in this ship while I have the command of her.” Mr. Morgan being nettled at this treatment, told him, his indig nation ought to be directed to God Almighty, who visited his people with distempers, and not to him, who contributed all in his power towards their cure.
The bashaw not being used to such, behaviour in any of his officers, was enraged to fury at this satirical insinuation, and stamping with his foot, called him insolent scoundrel, threatening to have him pinioned to the deck, if he should presume to utter another syllable.
Morgan came down to the birth, where he soon receiyed a message from the surgeon, to bring the pos sick list to the quarter-deck, for the captain had
ordered all the patients thither to be reviewed. This inhuman order shocked us extremely, as we knew it would be impossible to carry some of them on the deck, without imminent danger of their lives; but as we likewise knew it would be to no purpose for us to remonstrate, we repaired to the quarter-deck in a body, to see this extraordinary muster; Morgan observing by the way, that the captain was going to send to the other world a. great many evidences to testify against him. When we appeared upon deck, the captain bade the doctor, who stood bowing at his right hand, look at these lazy lubberly sons of bitches, who were good for nothing on board but to eat the king's provision and encourage idleness in the skulkers. The surgeon grinned approbation; and taking the list, began to examine the complaints of each as they could crawl to the place appointed. The first who came under his cognizance was a poor fellow just freed of a fever, which had weakened him so much, that he could hardly stand. Mr. Mackşhane (for that was the doctor's name) having felt his pulse, protested that he was as well as any man in the world; and the captain delivered him over to the boatswain's mate, with orders that he should receive a round dozen at the grangway immediately for counterfeiting himself sick : but before the disci. pline could be executed, the man dropt down on the deck, and had well nigh perished under the hand of the executioner. The next patient to be considered laboured under a quartan ague, and being 5: 3 A4