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mind to go, well and good; if not, I must look out for some one else : but you are the man I should prefer, if it be agreeable to you. Here is a sketch of your orders, and there is the chart; look them over at leisure, and make your decision."
As Lord Nelson spoke these words he went on deck, leaving the poor man bewildered at the prospect of the very employment he most desired, and not a little ashamed of himself for having betrayed that he had anticipated so different a reception.
The rest of the story is equally characteristic. The captain most gratefully accepted the admiral's offer, sailed on the appointed service, which he executed with such diligence and zeal, that he actually returned to the blockading fleet long within the period he was authorised to bestow on the cruise ; and there he remained, ever afterwards performing all the drudgery of the blockading service, not only with zeal, but with the heartiest good humour, springing out of an anxious desire to manifest at once his respect and his affectionate devotion to the matchless officer who bad so judiciously taught him the true path to honour.
I should hardly have thought it necessary to point out what is the moral of this story, had I not been asked for it by a most judicious and reflecting person to whom I once related the anecdote, and who remarked that the sulky man got all he asked for. True: he did so; but what did Nelson, and, through Nelson, the country, get in return? In the first place, the particular service at the outset was well and speedily performed; and, in the next, the tedious and harassing duty of blockading was executed with spirit by an officer who, had he not been thus judiciously humoured in a trifle, might, possibly, have imparted a tinge of discontent not only to his own crew, but even to the other ships of the fleet. There is but one way of making men exert themselves fully: and that is, by making it not only their duty but their pleasure to do their work, as the saying is, “con amore." This, at least, appears to have been the moral of all Nelson's rules.-vol. iii. pp. 73–78.
One of the latest events in the process of fitting out a ship is the embarkation of the pilot; then follows the putting of the powder on board ; and just before the sailing day the period of payment comes. This latter is a sort of festival; for the ship is surrounded by venders of all sorts in boats, who, by the exhibition of their various articles, constitute a scene of lively animation, which is calculated to excite unmixed pleasure in the beholder, if he did not know that the occasion gives rise to many disgusting scenes. Captain Hall alludes, evidently, to these dark transactions, when he declares, that right happy is that hour when the ship is fairly cleared of all these annoyances, sweethearts and wives included, and when the sound (joyful under such circumstances) is heard throughout the ship of “ Up anchor !" Then, says the Captain, the capstan is manned, the messenger brought to, round fly the bars, and, as the anchor spins buoyantly up to the bows, the jib is hoisted, the topsails sheeted home, and off she goes merrily before the breeze !
Naval gunnery forms the subject of an excellent chapter in this
volume-excellent, from the sound and practical views taken by the author of the best means of educating persons for a naval life. He very properly observes, that the true art of teaching a science, is to make the pupils early acquainted with the precise difficulties to be overcome. Gunnery of any kind, he states, is hard ; but in naval gunnery, the obstacles to the progress of a beginner are very seriously multiplied; and even this addition is still further increased by this fact, that the student who has to overcome them, being a person in possession already of erroneous information on the subject, has to commence his researches by forgetting every false impression which had been previously acquired. Although many people ridicule the idea of establishing a system of naval great-gun practice, and although the author himself was, up to a recent period, a firm opponent of such a system, still a little more consideration and experience have taught him better. For the purpose of showing how necessary, how useful, a little instruction in the art of firing on board is, the gallant Captain presents to us a highly interesting picture of the disasters which must of necessity attend ignorance, or rather inexperience, in the day of battle. In truth, the regular operations implied in the adequate employment of the great guns, are so essentially subjected to a law of order and relation, that unless that law is accurately obeyed, a great deal of time, trouble, and expense may be thrown away. Now it is laid down as a principle, (which indeed is perfectly obvious to all) that the great end of gunnery is to hit the enemy with the missile sent off in the most vulnerable of his exposed points. This is the end and aim of the whole artillery of a ship of war, as of all other depots of artillery ; and if the education of the executive body, to whose care this department is entrusted, be not sufficient to enable them to develope its natural efficiency in an adequate manner, then must necessarily follow a great many blunders, the like of those which Captain Hall points out. In describing these untoward results of ignorance, he says, that after a few minutes firing, the lower deck becomes completely filled with smoke, so as that no one can see two yards beyond him : the result, according to this experienced authority is, that the men unaccustomed to such scenes, become confounded, and in the dilemma in which they are placed, necessarily throw away their most precious fire. These men think, that the best thing they can do is to blaze away, and that the haste and frequency of their shots will carry the day. In short, it is quite certain, that many abuses may arise from the working of the guns by merely inexperienced hands. The necessity of instructing the men in the practice of firing the guns has been recognised in many orders promulgated by the Admiralty ; but the expedients so authorised have been attended with failure, and so obvious has been this failure, that many of the practical officers of the navy have come forward with their written testimony in proof of the necessity of some improvement. Captain, now Sir John Pechell,
wrote an able pamphlet on this subject in 1812; a considerable number of competent authors, since that year, have thrown fresh light upon the subject; but no one has created so much interest in favour of naval gunnery as Sir Howard Douglas, himself not a navy man, but gallant and devoted soldier. The proposals of Sir Howard in respect of this great branch of navy discipline, the present Ministers were the only ones to adopt, and the new establishment at Portsmouth, for the instruction of seamen-gunners, may be regarded as a monument of enduring eulogy to the disinterested patriotism alike of Sir Howard Douglas and the Cabinet which patronised his useful designs. We regret that we cannot follow up our author in his account of this new establishment, the results of which must be important in their effects in improving the general character of our navy.
In the next chapter, on the subject of manning the navy in time of war, Captain Hall, with that philosophy which native sound sense, innate benevolence, and long experience, alone could supply, stares the very delicate question of “ impressment” boldly in the face. The way in which the author treats this very complicated point may be held up as a model of that sort of firmness and discretion which, without infringing the laws of virtue and honour, hold on the even tenour of a course proved, by experience, to be, though an evil, still a necessary one, at least for a time. According to the Captain, whilst the present state of things remains, the abolition of impressment is impossible. Suppose a war to suddenly break out, says he, which involves the very safety of the country : it may occur under circumstances which would make the only hope of safety to consist in the instant equipping and manning of a large fleet of line-of-battle ships. No bounty, no attraction, no stimulus that a government has it in its power to propose, will be adequate to induce a sufficiency of merchant-seamen to repair to the ships of war at the hour of need; and, therefore, a compulsory process, an insignificant evil comparatively, is to be preferred to a far greater one. However, the sixth chapter in this volume details the steps which have been taken to effect an improvement in the general system of our navy; and he is persuaded that one of the immediate benefits which must arise from this amelioration, will be the gradual disuse of the revolting, but, as it would appear, indispensable, practice of impressment. The remarks in the chapter just noticed, naturally lead to another important branch of the system of discipline- viz., the custom of giving men leave to go ashore. We regret that our space does not permit us to follow our able guide through the valuable details which he supplies upon the branches of discipline connected with this theme: for we have still remaining some topics of superior interest, which it would be unpardonable to exclude.
Having traced the progress of a ship from the native period of her commission, through all the successive stages of her rigging,
vol. II. (1833) no. 11.
storing, manning, and arming, the Captain then proceeds to show in what manner she may be most safely and expeditiously carried over the watery elements on which she is destined to live. After a few remarks, tending to show the benefits which a pilot, and, indeed, every person on board a vessel, derives from an unclouded moon at night, Captain Hall goes on to explain his own particular obligations to that benevolent luminary, as incurred particularly on the occasion of his first visit to the mighty river of La Plata. He then dwells, for a few pages, on the mysterious connexion which exists between the moon and the tides, and he states, that the intimate knowledge of the influence of the planet on the waters possessed by Lord Cochrane, enabled that distinguished officer so to take advantage of the high surf on the coast of Peru, as to ensure success to his most daring enterprises in that quarter. In truth, the instances are very numerous in which the indirect influence of the moon, or the direct benefit of her light, modifies the operations of seamanship in all climates. It is, however, between the tropics that the full splendour of the moon is exhibited. Thus, to sail on a moonlight night, amid such scenery as the Straits of Sunda, or Sincapore, or Malacca, constitutes, according to Captain Hall, the beau ideal of navigation ; and he is astonished, that whilst such exquisite pleasures are accessible to the members of the Yacht Clubs, these wealthy persons should be content with their accustomed tiny, minnow-like voyages.
But the genuine triumph of the moon, however useful her dominion over the ocean may be, is that of conducting her votaries round the world, and leading them into remote places, with as much security as though these distant seas and bays were amongst the most familiar with which the pilot was acquainted. The method by which the moon is made available, in this respect, is explained in a very intelligible manner by Captain Hall. In the daily revolution of the earth, each spot will have the sun upon its meridian in succession. The meridian is a plane passing through the zenith of the place and both the poles. Now, the moment when the sun's centre reaches the plane of the place beneath it on the earth, that moment is said to be noon. The circuit of the globe consists of 360 degrees, and these, in familiar language, may be said to be passed over by the sun in the course of twenty-four hours. This calculation, then, shows, that during every hour, fifteen of these degrees exactly are traversed (still speaking in accordance with vulgar notions) by the sun. This being the case, it must be very evident, that the farther we are from the direction in which the sun rises, the later will be our noon, and the amount of the difference will always be exactly measured by the difference in degrees between the places. Thus, then, we say, that if one place is distant from another, in a straight westerly direction, by fifteen de. grees, in the latter it will be noon when it is one o'clock in the former : so that if in travelling we chanced to stop exactly at noon in the more westerly place, and if we had a chronometer which would tell us accurately the time at the other, we should be immediately able, by a comparison, to determine the distance of the two. Suppose, then, it was of consequence for a traveller to find out how far he was from England, what would be his course ? He would bring out an English clock or chronometer, he would keep it going precisely as it was kept at home, and he would take measures for finding out the moment when the sun reached the meridian of the place he was in. He would now see that his noon took place precisely at four by his English clock ; he would then conclude that he was separated from his country by the whole of the distance which it took the sun four hours in passing; and, finally, he would know how much that distance actually was, because the rate of the movement round the circuit of the earth is exactly fifteen degrees in an hour. And this, in fact, is merely a familiar way of putting what is done every day. Ships' captains and land travellers, who proceed to great distances, as to India, South America, New Zealand, the Friendly or South Sea islands, are in the habit of considering themselves as going either westward or eastward from Greenwich, which place is now made the integral point of longitude. They carry out chronometers which will always tell them when it is noon at Greenwich, and by the simple process already described, they can find out their distance from Greenwich in either direction.
But all that we have been now repeating is about the sun, whereas we set out with promising to speak of a triumph of the moon. It is necessary, however, to explain, that of the methods most proper to adopt of working out the problem, that by observing the moon is one of the first. This planet, it is scarcely necessary to say, moves like all planets from the west to the east, and completes the circuit of the heavens once in every month. By calculating exactly the time which she takes to perform this revolution, it will be found that the rate of her course is some little more than half a degree per hour : or, as nautical men express it, her apparent motion amongst the stars, which is most easily observed by instruments in ships at sea, amounts to about one minute of space to two minutes of time. At any given moment, then, the exact situation of the moon, in relation to the sun, or any of the planets or stars, may be determined by actual observation; and when so found, is submitted to the following process :—The observer refers to the nautical almanack, where he will see the situation in which it had been calculated that the moon would appear at that particular moment, according to Greenwich time : so that, as the illustrious Wollaston expressed it, the moon became the hand of a great Greenwich clock, seen all over the world, with which you can compare the chronometer, to see how it differs and how it goes; you then compare it with the sun, as a clock of the place. Thus, the whole object of the inquiries resolves itself into the