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did not observe among them in an offensive
degree in the nineteenth century. Indeed,
I have heard more swearing from two
admirals in a London club than I ever
heard in fishing villages. In the last
century, however, the fishers would use the
most tremendous oaths upon the most trivial
occasions. Anger was not necessary to
provoke them ; the oaths seeming to be as
necessary to the hauling up of a lugger, or
the pushing out of a boat, as the cries of
" Yo-hee O ! " Persons unaccustomed to
hear the strong phrases of swearing, feel
their minds shocked by the ideas conveyed
by them, being ignorant that they have
ceased to convey ideas to the persons who use
them. When a lady rebuked one of them
for using the word deil (devil), he said,

"Eh ! mem, I didna think it meant ony ill.
Does it mean ony ill ? I thocht it was just a
word to dad " (knock) " aboot."

The wrath of these good-natured and
kind-hearted people was notoriously harmless.
Stabs were unknown, and blows
rare among them, but the language of their
vituperation was expressive and opprobrious.
My informant has seen a woman in a passion
take up a handful of burning coals, and lay
them down without seeming to feel pain.
Ladies drilled in the control of their
gestures, if not of their feelings, in boarding-
schools, witnessed, with great astonishment,
the violence with which the women
expressed grief and lamentation. The boats
were frequently in great danger in crossing
the bar, and on these occasions the women
assembled upon the beach would tear their
hair, clap their hands, and utter piercing
cries and shrieks. The simple and natural
principles upon which their marriages were
formed, the chastity and honour in which the
married fishers lived, and the connubial and
family happiness of their homes, may
explain, in part, the violence of the emotions and
the exuberance of the gestures of the wives
when their husbands were in danger. A
fashionable dame of London related
sarcastically that she had known a fisherwoman of
the Scotch east coast who required four men to
keep her from throwing herself over the rocks
when her drowned husband was carried into
her cottage, become calm in a fortnight,
recommence work in a month, and marry
again in a twelvemonth. The poor child of
nature had no sentiment!

The marriages of the fishers were
as natural and simple as the unions of Isaac with
Rebekah and Boaz with Ruth. Perversions
about dowries, pin-money, establishments,
and settlements, did not interfere with the
natural action of mutual interest and honest
preference. They married young. The
young man and young woman had probably
played together in childhood. Running,
leaping, tumbling, paddling, laughing, the
children of the fishers are as joyous as their
fathers are serious; and if their mothers
could not match them against the children of
the Tuileries' Gardens, or of St. James's
Park, in point of pretty costumes, they could
challenge the world for them in regard to
the healthiness of their respiratory organs
and the glee of their animal spirits. The
boys and girls soon became useful, the elder
children being early employed to nurse the
younger. Both boys and girls thus grow up
in systematic training for the performance of
the duties of their lives.

The boy or lad went out to sea with
the men, and worked at the oar until he
got enough of money to buy a share of a
boatand a boat with its nets costs from
a hundred and fifty to two hundred pounds.
When he had a share of a boat, he
required some one to bait his lines and
sell his fish. Among the girls he knew,
and whose tempers he had tested in play, he
naturally selected the girl he liked best, and
asked her first; and then, perhaps, like
Kepler, the great astronomer, he had a list in
his mind, and asked one girl after another
until he was accepted. On the other hand,
it is probable the principles of affinity may
sometimes have been in operation for years,
and the boat may have been a greater difficulty
than the wife. As soon as they were
betrothed by the consent and blessings of the
old folks, the young woman went to live with
her future father and mother-in-law for a
week or two, and in the house with the young
man. No doubt she had been taught by her
own mother to search for bait, to tip and bait
the lines, and do all manner of household
work; but the fisher-people judged wisely
she would be all the better for knowing all
her mother-in-law could teach her; and her
husband would be likely to think all the
more of her for being as clever as his own
mother could make her. A few days prior
to the marriage, she returned to her father's
roof, and the ceremony took place in the
house of her childhood. After the ceremony,
the young couple went to a house of their
own. They went in procession from the
paternal to the connubial home. A fiddler
playing merry strains, headed the procession,
and he was followed by a boat-mate of the
bridegroom, carrying the flag of the boat.
When the bride arrived before the door of
the home of her husband, his boat-mates
rolled their flag around her. The spectators
witnessed the ceremony in silence until she
was enveloped in the folds, and then they
applauded the actors in it with loud and long
cheers. The ceremony seemed to be a public
intimation that the young wife was henceforth
placed within the sanctuary of the
honour of the crew, who engaged themselves
solemnly to protect her from insult and injury,
as brave men defend their flag.

When a young couple had not money
enough to pay for the share of the boat, the
furnishing of the house, and the expenses of
the wedding, they had what was called a

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