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"Perhaps you are," I said. "Perhaps he
was only woundedperhaps he ran away
with the intended bride of his rival
perhaps you had taken too much brandy and

But Belton was overcome with astonishment.
On arriving in town we looked at one
of the biographical compilations of the day;
we found he had served in all quarters of the
globe, and that he had married Miss
Florimond, daughter of Alfred Hope, Esquire, of
the Hall.

Belton was disappointed and displeased to
find that his ghostly visitation had faded in
the light of common day. But there are
some people who turn everything to profit.
Charlie Belton was shortly afterwards
ordered on foreign service within the limits
of his Excellency's command. A letter
from Belton, with an account of his share
in certain transactions long ago, produced
a friendship which it is probable will never
decrease. Charlie is aide-de-camp to the
Governor, and has outstripped all his
contemporaries in the rapidity of his rise. And
Belton himself thinks that duels are
sometimes excellent things, and is no believer in



There have drifted ashore to us a chip
or two sent over ships' sides. One is a letter
from a master mariner at the Antipodes,
evoked by two former articles in this journal.*
The master mariner not only confirms
the account that has been given in these
pages of the Sailors' Homes Afloat, but
even reveals to us, below the lowest deep
depicted there, a lower deep. Worse than
the top-gallant, he says, is the lower

* See page 529, vol. vi., and page 286, vol. vli.

The main thing to be seen to by any man
who desires to advocate the cause of the
seaman is, says our friend, "better house-
room, that when they are off duty, they
may have a place somewhat fit for a human
being to live in. Act of Parliament says
they are to have nine feet of deck space;
now, any one that knows anything of
shipboard, must be aware that this is not
enough when it is measured, as it is in a
ship's forecastle, with the round of the bow
and chaincables going through it. Any
respectable sailor-man always has a chest
to hold his clothes, &c., and I have frequently
been obliged to allow some of them to put
their chests below, away from the place they
live in, to make room for the others. Only
give the British seaman better accommodation
on board his vessel, be a little more
liberal in his dietary scale, and there would
not, I venture to say, be one complaint for
every hundred there is at the present

We think there would not.

Another chip comes from an Englishman
who has picked up experience on
board vessels belonging to the United States
navy, and speaks of such a visit as it
is in the power of every courteous
Englishman visiting America to pay to any
fire-spitter that sails under the stars and
stripes. "I found the officers much more
civil and good-natured than our own.
Captain Fitz-premier would think that a mere
traveller in search of information ought to
go to blue books, and he would resent the
intrusion of a strange man with a card upon
the quarter-deck. Captain Cheke, however,
of New York, was ready to give information
to the full extent of his own knowledge.

"A regulation in America forbids the navy
to employ seamen not subjects of the United
States. Immense numbers of Her Majesty's
lieges, and of those she may one day be ill
able to spare, continue to evade this regulation,
and obtain employment as Americans.
The United States Government pays able-
bodied seamen about two pounds a month,
and allows to them such superabundant
rations that ten men usually live upon the food
of eight: they mess together and receive the
difference in money. Their pay is, however,
generally kept in arrear to prevent desertion;
advances are never made. The Americans
are in one point quite as weak as we;
they fire a great many useless salutes, and
every time a gun is discharged four-fifths of a
dollar fly away in smoke out of the American

We are to be tempted into no remarks
of our own upon the British Admiralty,
and the perfection at which by long practice
its workmen have arrived in the art of
sawing ships asunder. We have produced
our chips wet from the sea, and will not
let them become dry over the heat of
what might prove a tedious discussion.


Literaturethough I do not say it as
a lazy manis full of sleep. Sancho Panza
blessed the man who invented it. For
Shakespeare's opinion see Henry Fourth, Macbeth,
and other of his well-known writings. Bishop
Hall, too, is not the only author of prose who
has delighted us with beautiful reflections on
that Great Restorer. To go no farther, there
is myself. I prosed upon it in the first volume
of Household Words, page three hundred and
thirty-three. But what is sleep, taken by
itself? What is sleep on a chair? and, with
deference to Shakespeare, I may ask, perhaps,
what is the comfort of sleep on the top of a
ship's mast? Blessings on bed! It is but a
sorry matter to most people among us to be