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The sailors of the present day, possibly,
in this respect, in no ways different from
their predecessors in the days of the
Charleses and the Georges, do not always
sing the songs that are made for them;
and it is greatly to be doubted whether the
lyrics of the sea in the later half of the
nineteenth century differ very greatly from
the lyrics of the land. Annie Laurie
pleases the sentimental at sea as well as on
shore; and the detestable Champagne
Charlie and the Chickaleary Cove find
their way from the slums and the music
saloons on shore to the ship in mid-ocean.

Thomas Hood, who wrote the Song of
the Shirt, sang but one song, and that a
sea song, which he used to affirm was far
more popular, both in the merchant and
the naval service, than any of the more
pretentious songs that were written
expressly for sailors. He learned it from an
eccentric old lieutenant on half-pay. The
humour of the compositionif humour it
can be calledconsists in a description,
that may be as lengthened as the singer
pleases, given by all the fish in the sea, of
the state of the weather:

        Up jumped the mackerel,
        With his striped back.
Says he, "Reef in the mainsail, and haul on the tack,
        For it's windy weather, and it's stormy weather,
And when the wind blows, pipe all hands together;
Upon my word it is stormy weather."

The "fun" of the song consists in the
impromptus that may be made in the same
style by the sprat, the herring, the whale,
or any other fish the singer fancies. Thus
we may say of the sailor, that we may
make songs for him, but we cannot make
him sing them, any more than we can
compel a horse to drink by bringing him
to the water.

Song in our day, as far as the male sex
is concerned, is almost wholly left to
professional singers, and the ladies seldom
attempt the vernacular. As for sea songs,
in the strict acceptation of the two words,
they are all but defunct. But their past
literature remains, a very jaunty feather in
the cap of English poetry.


FOR some three or four years of his life,
the writer served the Sultan as a
Superintendent of police. The duties and appointment
of the office were a long way from
the capital of the Ottoman Empire, being
in Mount Lebanon and the districts
immediately adjacent thereto. The chief served
under was Daoud Pasha, who was the first
Christian ever named by the Porte to the
governorship of a province; and the period
when his excellency took office, being
immediately after the terrible civil war
commonly known as the Syrian Massacres, was
a very difficult time in which to administer
justice. The great object the pasha had in
view was to make Christians and Druses
live together in harmony: but this seemed
to be simply impossible. The former had
still such a dread of the latter, and there
were still so many of the latter who had
taken an active part in the massacres at
large, that the villagers in the mixed
districts of Lebanon were completely
abandoned by their Christian population. And
to other embarrassments there was added
that which has always been a source of
trouble in the East, namely, the interference
of the Christian powers. The Druses of
Lebanon were under the protection of
England, the Maronites under that of France,
the members of the Greek Church under
that of Russia. Whenever a Druse believed
that the Turkish authorities had been
unjust towards him (and in the East justice
means simply having your own way), he
went to the English consul-general at
Beyrout with a complaint, and from that
cause was pretty sure to arise an official
correspondence, which had often to be
referred to the English embassy at Constantinople.
This state of things, which had
continued from 1840 (when we helped
Turkey to drive the Egyptians out of Syria)
until 1860, when the civil war broke out,
Daoud Pasha was determined to put an
end to. He declared that he would rule
Lebanon to the best of his abilities, and
would be just to all parties and all sects;
but would be responsible to one authority,
and to one onlythat of his master, the
Sultan. But the people of Lebanon had
been so long accustomed to European
interference in their affairs, that the pasha
thought it wise to have under him a couple
of European officers, who would act as his
executives in the police, and see that justice
was done without partiality, favour, or
affection. It was with this view that a French
officer and the writer were selected.

One of the first duties ever imposed upon
the English Superintendent by the pasha,
was to track out, and if possible capture, a
certain Druse sheik, who had been
connected with the massacres, and who was
still hiding somewhere in the mountain.
The Superintendent's orders were on no
account whatever to shed blood, or even to