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say. Now, it's a curious thing"— on these
reflective occasions Coxen always stopped rowing,
tucked one oar under his knee, took off his cap
wiped the "prespiration" from his forehead, and
leant forward with appropriate gesture, laying
the chopped fore-finger of one hand in the
woody palm of the other— "now, it's a curious
thing, sir, that a man in a boat always thinks
that the boat he see is going faster than he is
Many's the time as we've been going like glory,
and tire gentleman I've been a rowing of seen
another boat not half as fast as we was, and, say;
he, 'Lord, Coxen, how that boat is walking
along! what a lively boat!' says he, 'Coxen;
but it ain't my place, you know, to say anything;
so, on I pulls.

"There," said he, " that's the Belly View
(Belle Vue) Tavern, and now we steer straight
across for the buoy there, at the mouth of the
river out by Shellness; but to return," said he,
"about that there crinkle on the water. People
often says to me, 'Why, dear me, Coxen, how
could you tell the wind was coining?' Ignorant
them Londoners as the dirt you tread on, and
worse too. Pull home, sir; keep time, not too
quick; capital stroke, sir; keep your oar a little
more in. I've been out once before to the
Goodwin Sands this morning, with a young
gentleman and lady. I think as they was a courting
I think they was."

Coxen here rambled on to a long and intricate
statement of his ill-luck during the last year.
This was an inexhaustible subject with him. He
had a little house to let just up by the Subscription
Billiard-room on the South Parade; he had
not let it yetsuch a thing had never happened
before for twenty years. As for his old woman,
she never went out for fear of anybody coming,
but "yesterday a young fellar in the town who
had been in the Lanceers, came back from India,
and was brought in from the pier with a band,
and in comes Mrs. Jones from next door, and
says, 'Come along, Mrs. Coxen, put on your
bonnet,' says she, ' and come down and hear the
band.' Away went my wife. Why, will you
believe it, sir, in that very hour comes a lady and
gentleman to see the house, drat it! Then there
was him and the boats, when he ought to have
been painting and doing 'em up for the season,
he was out in a lugger off the Goodwin Sands,
looking out for salvage— (pull left-hand tiller,
rope, sir; leave that buoy to the right)— and
now, when he ought to be looking ont for
gentlemen and sailing parties, he had to snatch a
moment or two to paint and do up the Smiling
Sally and the Friend in Need."

Coxen' s notions about the morality of salvage
were peculiar, and would not, perhaps, be thought
orthodox out of Dippington, as you will see. I
asked him about the wrecks in general, and he
again tucked his oar under his leg, and
volunteered a yarn.

"It's hard life, sir, out there by them sands,
when a heavy sou'-sou'-west is blowing, and
there's no rum or baccy aboard. Hard work
beating round the nine miles of Goodwin Sands,
and the sea washing over you, so that you can't
look to windward, and it pours off your back in
bucketfuls. Sooner be off the Knock Sand, or
the Galloper, or plain out in the Gull Way than
that. There we lay four nights, running, maybe,
half asleep in the roads; no room for beds in a
hoveller; half on watch, ten of us altogether,
and maybe rousted out twice a night, and
frightened out of your wits."

I asked if they gave warning to vessels that
they saw likely to get on that burial-pit of

"No," said Coxen, with a sarcastic shake of
the head, "not we; we don't rough it for that.
Captains wouldn't give us anything for giving
them notice. We are there to get 'em off, not
to prevent 'em getting on. It was only last
week we were there getting up pig-iron, with the
nipping tongs as we use, from a wreck, and we
were rousted out by the watch, because a French
brig was going between us and the sand. Another
moment, by the Lord, and she'd have been safe
on, when one of our mates cries out, ' Helm a
starboard!' and she was off it. We asked him
afterwards, but he couldn't tell why he cried out
he couldn't help it."

I thought to myself of the old story of tho
dumb boy speaking, and of the natural outcry of
the heart; but I said nothing.

"When the Goodwin lighthouse sends up a
rocket we know it is time to go off, for some
ship is in distress, and off we bundles. Often
and often the men in the Goodwin light-ship,
who mayn't, whatever happens, leave to help any
wreck, hear the drownding men a singing out,
though they are two miles off. Sometimes when
we get out we finds the ship a bumping and
bumping, and driving and tearing, and the sand
all in a boil round them, and the waves ripping
oif their copper."

"Great moment," says Parkins, leaning
forward with the strained tiller-ropes in his hands,
his nautical straw hat and blue ribbon on one
side, his spectacles in a glass stare of expectation,
his cigar going out in his hand; " the joy of
saving a human life, the transport and tears of

"Not they," says Coxen, winking at a passing
gull; " not a bit of it. Last December twelvemonth
as ever was, will you believe me, gentlemen,
a vessel had gone down, and we was
patrolling, as you or I might do, round the
Goodwin, looking ont for stray casks or an
anker of brandy, or sumrnut of that sort. Well,
ve heard a scream, and went up and found a
man clinging to a spar. We went up and picked
up a young Frenchman, who had been clinging
there nine hours, till his hands would scarcely
come straight again. He had washed off once,
and made his way to it again. Well, we got
him up, and then we picked up the captain. We
nursed them up, and rubbed them, and gave 'em
clothes and some rum, and I'll be hanged, next day
vhen we met, them in High-street, if they would
even speak to us; but, then, there is one thing,
they was parley voos."

"Do you find them on their knees," asked
Parkins, timidly.