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glass at a draught. Brave old boatswain
descendant of the sea-kingsif I ever look
with anything but respect on even thy most
trenchant peculiarities,—may I remain as
ignorant of seamanship as are the dandies who
"look down " on blue.

The dinner passed off. Little Pipp, a
youngster, got maudlin, and cried at the sight
of some preserved pears, which reminded him
of home. Several fellows became sentimental,
and wondered whether their relatives in
England were " keeping it up." I also grew
tender as I thought aboutno matter! I
imitated Cleopatra, and dropped a pearl into
my wine!

Then, you know, there was no misletoe.
And if there had been, you couldn't have
embraced old Barbell under it! You couldn't
well salute. We might have saluted the
Admiral, had he been theretenderly, from
the jaws of a nine-pounderso we talked
about England, and each speculated which of
his pretty cousins was being kissed by an
ugly cousin at that moment. The time wore
onthe bell struckand as you turned away
from the circle chatting about home, and
gazed out of the portsyou heard the water
go booming by, wave after wave telling its
watchman's cryand far away shone the
black Asiatic coast, with the light in a
mountaineer's cottage quivering here and there
and not lighted in honour of Christ's day!

At last, Captain Barbell rose, and bowed,
and sailed out in a stately manner. We broke
into groups. The fiddle was heard going on
the lower deck. Singing began on the forecastle,
and we were soon informed how

"The sea looked black and dark all round,"

in the commencement of some naval epic;

"Four jolly sailors, so stout and so strong,"

accomplished some feat in remote times; or
of the adventures of a merchant ship of
Liverpool, which thrashed a pirate, with a
jolly chorus, wishing

"Success to the gallant Liverpool ship,
With all her gallant crew!"

I have not always had so lively a Christmas
Day as that in the " Bustard." I once spent
it in a gale of wind, in the brig " Roarer,"
when we had nothing in the mess but some
woodcocks, which we had shot in Albania,
and which the caterer could not carve, having
got drunk, before dinner began, on ship's rum.
I once spent it in prison, in Spain, for having
made a row, with some other youngsters, at a
bull-fight. Another time, I spent it in a
whaler which had had a bad whale season;
likewise in a galleot, where there were plenty
of Dutchmen and very little " Hollands."

But, I have usually found that one may be
very happy on that occasion, on that merry
element where the moonlight seems to like to
fall so richlyand which buries you, and
thousands of you, and spares men the sight
of their brothers' groans! Yes, indeed. I have
found that one may have a very pleasant
Christmas at Sea.


Mr. Oldknow had been romping with his
children on Christmas Eve. At last they
had gone to bed, with flushed faces and
disordered curls, and the drawing-room was
deserted. Mrs. Oldknow, a careful matron,
looked thoughtful as she saw that the pride of
the sponge-cake was utterly fallen, and that
unquestionably another must be procured for
the next day's festival. Mr. Oldknow, " on
hospitable thoughts intent," half soliloquising,

"My dear, we must have a second pudding

"Indeed! How is it to be made? " replied
the lady.

"How made? Why, of course, with plums
and flour, and plenty of brandy."

"Oh, you are a precious cook! " said Mrs.
Oldknow. " You think a Christmas pudding
can be made as easily as a pancakedo you?
Why, our pudding is made already. Come
into the kitchen. The cook is gone to bed,
and I will show it you."

The kitchen mantel was radiant with the
brightness of brass candlesticks that were
never used, but were duly cleaned; pewter
water-plates, also for ornament, gleamed over
the dresser; an ancient clock, something too
big for the corner in which he stood, stretched
up from the floor to the ceiling, with the
crown of his respectable old head pressed
against its whitewashed surface, and his
vigorous pendulum passing and re-passing
behind its own peculiar little window, like a
sentry always on guard. A walnut-tree
bureau was still smart, in another and larger
recess, under the polislung of half a century.
Mr. Oldknow sighed as he recollected that,
in his father's time, he had often taken his
frugal meals in that kitchen; and now, when
the family home had acknowledged him as
master for twenty years, the refinement of our
days had banished him from a room where his
father used to sit in patriarchal dignity.
There was the identical arm-chair, the fine
old high-backed chair, which, to his boyish
imagination, was a King's throne!

Mrs. Oldknow took out her Family Receipt
Book from the polished bureau, and then read
aloud, for her husband's edification:


"One pound raisins; one pound currants; one
pound suet; one pound bread-crumbs; quarter
pound orange-peel; two ounces citron-peel; two
ounces lemon-peel; one nutmeg; one teaspoonful
powdered ginger; one teaspoonful powdered
cinnamon; one wine-glassful brandy; seven eggs;
one teaspoonful salt; quarter pound raw sugar;
milk enough to liquefy the mass, if the eggs and
brandy be not sufficient for this purpose."

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