« AnteriorContinuar »
the street, and there were others enjoying the sight; a more abhorrent circumstance, because the drunkards may be only infirm of mind, the others are grievously corrupt. To this Sunday morning in St. Giles, may be compared the morning which succeeds this festal night in the paid ship. But it by no means closes the gaieties of the season. Morning is grey, indeed, and its aspect rather saturnine than jovial; but ere noon the fogs clear away, rum is poured down like rain-water, and nature is very naturally invigorated and refreshed. This night resembles the last, only that a few steady old quarter-masters and boatswain's-mates, now perhaps condescend to be only half-seas-over, and having procured, by a sort of spiritual influence over the master-at-arms, the indulgence of keeping in their light after eight bells, they smoak and soak with great gravity in a retired corner, whence their candle may not cast a ray up any hatchway, so as to be perceived by the officer of the watch-on-deck; and when he goes his rounds, it is concealed, without being extinguished, by the superinduction of a large tub which held the mess allowance of peas-soup. The comfortable composure of these veterans is as undisturbed by the yells and furious brawls without, as by the fluid which gradually percolates through every pore within. A shipmate falls down a hatchway, and is carried past to the surgeon's mate to have his leg set, or his shoulder wrenched back into joint; they never take the pipes from their lips: a refractory woman, by the help of a rope made fast round her waist and rove through a block at the end of the main-yard, is hoisted up from deck to deck, pushed over the bulwark, and let down into a boat along-side;-they curse her for making more noise than a marine in a gale of wind, and take up their yarn where they dropped it. It is generally three or four days before any attempt is made to restore the ship to its ordinary state of discipline, and few of the women leave her whilst she remains in harbour.
These are times of extraordinary licence, but the ordinary circumstances are scarcely less adapted to the objects of a good education. In the first place, the corporeal hard
ships are great, and such as a child is better not exposed to where it can be avoided, though we see that hardy boys are not the worse for them. For they seem to draw the constitu tion into a hard knot; and the form is condensed to make the vital principle serve. It is owing, no doubt, to early bodily suffering and deprivation, that sailors are commonly observed to be stunted dwarfs. Each boy is compelled to keep a four hours' watch on deck in the day, and an equally long one in the night, as his ordinary duty at all times and in all weathers, and is besides subject to perpetual calls, and, when in harbour, to the hardships and starvation of boat duty. As to his food, if he were of my taste, he might envy an Irish peasant; and would not regret that half of it is taken from him by his older messmates who have acquired a hardier stomach as well as superior strength. I never had appetite in a midshipman's birth for more food than would serve a sickly child, and I could seldom get enough. But in this respect, I believe, there are many births better off than those I have belonged to. In short, constant exposure to the weather, want of sleep, and want and badness of food are the physical hardships. In the next place, there is a graduated system of grinding tyranny which the child must constantly witness and suffer, and presently take his part in. The moral mischief of this tyranny is not less than the mental and bodily infliction. There is an approach to it in the public schools, and, I will say, an evidence of its effects in theirs. But there are circumstances peculiar to a boy's situation on board ship which tend much to exacerbate moral evils of this nature. His own perpetration begins earlier too, and in a more unnatural way, because his tyranny is exercised over the oldest men within his reach, provided only they are before the mast. The consequence of thus fostering the passion for power is, that those who have had any natural propension towards cruelty, as their power increases with their years and rank, become absolute villains. A few years ago, a Captain in the navy, connected with a noble family, commanded a ship in the East Indies with notorious severity. Punishment by flog
ging, which in the army needs the authority of a Court Martial, in the navy is inflicted as often as may seem expedient to the Captain, whose order is sufficient. A dozen lashes in the naval way of flogging is reckoned equivalent to 100 in the military. I have seen eight dozen given. The first lash produces nine blue lines across the back, at the second generally the blood starts, and in a short time the whole back is excoriated. The man of whom I speak used this punishment so frequently, that it was supposed he sought occasions through wantonness. Starting," a more informal mode of punishment, is merely beating a man round the decks with a rope's end. At this time, many of the crew of this ship under his command, were afflicted with a contagious disease, common in the inter-tropical latitudes; but there was one on the sick list whom the Captain supposed to be affecting sickness in order to indulge idleness; and he had this reason to believe it; (for let us not suppress any extenuating circumstance) that, having inquired of the surgeon, that officer reported his own belief that it was the case. He ordered the man aft to the quarter-deck, where, when he came, he was seized with a fit of the disease, which then exhibited symptoms impossible to be mistaken; the Captain was angry at this occurring before his eyes, and ordered the boatswain's mate to start him forward; which was done. The disease was exasperated, and the sufferer died next morning. Even to this extremity of wickedness may a human heart, perhaps not naturally prone to it, be brought by the early privilege of tyrannizing. Some years after this a riot took place amongst the sailors of a sea-port town in the north of England, and Captain rode
on to the pier to address them, but before he had spoken many words, an old sailor stept from the crowd, and, touching his hat, told him that there were many there who had served under him, and they remembered him quite well, and advised him not to stay there any longer.
turned the reins of his horse and disappeared in a moment. I conceive the pressing of seamen to be the only matter wherein the liberty of Englishmen is substantially violated. Yet of all the outcries of our liberty-men against oppression, that against the press-gang is the most infrequent and feeble,and this is because our seamen are a body possessed of little political influence. Otherwise the advocates for liberty would be extremely shocked at the outrages they have to endure, and much eloquence would be expended. The life of a sailor is in all circumstances proverbially hard; in a man of war his life is a condition of the most abject slavery, in which he is coerced by horrid and arbitrary corporeal inflictions, in which he is detained upon pain of death, and to which he has been brought by force.
Let us rid ourselves of
the dreadful sin of such oppression before we proceed to disputation upon a thousand inflated trifles. What is the Alien bill to this? What the law of libel and the law of suffrage? They are mere nugæ difficiles, disputable points for exhibiting this whig's undaunted firmness and that whig's uncompromising integrity
They are nothing to it, and the slave-trade question is but on a par with it.*
A remembrance perhaps somewhat acrimonious, and the desire to instruct parents, have induced me to be long upon this subject. If a boy is infatuated upon the matter of going to sea, by all means send him there; and in the first fit of sea-sickness, when he has been cut down in his hammock in the middle-watch, been hustled in the tier, found a wet swab put in the place of his pillow, and when he has discovered that the honour of a life of hardship goes for nothing amongst those who are all enduring it alike, and is only heard of on shore where he never comes-then is your time to aid these persuasive circumstances, and bring back your prodigal són— prodigal, at least, of health, innocence, and liberty.
The only argument I hear of in defence of the press-gang, is necessity ;-the necessity of selling the liberties of a large and professedly esteemed portion of our countryIntroduce martial law (surely severe enough of itself) in the place of individual will to regulate punishment, and out-bid the merchant-service, and the necessity disappears with the abuse.
Prijst vrij de Nachtegael,
PRIZE thou the Nightingale
Who soothes thee with his tale,
And wakes the woods around;
A singing feather he-a wing'd and wandering sound:
Whose tender caroling
Sets all ears listening
Whence flow the airy notes his ecstasies inspire:
Whose shrill capricious song
With many a careless tone,
Music of thousand tongues form'd by one tongue alone.
O charming creature rare,
Can aught with thee compare?
Thrills for one month o' the year-is tranquil all the rest.
Thee wondrous we may call
Most wondrous this of all,
Should wake so wide a sound, and pour so loud a note.
From Bowring and Van Dyk's Batavian Anthology. 12mo. London, 1824.
INTO THE ORIGIN
ROSICRUCIANS AND THE FREE-MASONS.
(Continued from our last Number.)
Of the Circumstances which gave the first Occasion to the Rise of the Rosicrucian Order, and of the earliest authentic Records of History which relate to it.
TOWARDS the end of the sixteenth century,--Cabbalism, Theosophy, and Alchemy, had overspread the whole of Western Europe and especially of Germany. To this mania, which infected all classes-high and low, learned and unlearned,-no writer had contributed so much as
Theophrastus Paracelsus. How ge-
Origin of the Rosicrucians and the Free-masons.
Cabbalistic conceits drawn from the
The first is so far worthy of notice
poses an equal partition of all pos-
In which wish he seems to have anticipated the Miltonic Adam:
Creator wise, that peopled highest Heaven
much hope on the part of the depu tation on account of the desperate condition of the Age' who appears before them in person and describes his own wretched state of health.
The second work gives an account of such a society as already established: this is the celebrated work entitled "Fama Fraternitatis of the meritorious order of the Rosy Cross, addressed to the learned in general and the governors of Europe:" and here we are presented with the following narrative. Christian Rosycross, of noble descent, having upon his travels into the East and into Africa learned great mysteries from Arabians, Chaldeans, &c., upon his return to Germany established, in some place not mentioned, a secret society composed at first of four-afterwards of eight-members, who dwelt together in a building (called the House of the Holy Ghost) erected by him: to these persons, under a vow of fidelity and secrecy, he communicated his mysteries. After they had been instructed, the society dispersed agreeably to their destination, with the exception of two members who remained alternately with the founder. The rules of the order were these: "The members were to cure the sick without fee or reward. No member to wear a peculiar habit, but to dress after the fashion of the country. On a certain day in every year all the members to assemble in the House of the Holy Ghost, or to account for their absence. Every member to appoint some person with the proper qualifications to succeed him at his own decease. The word Rosy-Cross to be their seal, watchword, and characteristic mark. The association to be kept unrevealed for a hundred years.” ~ Christian Rosycross died at the age of 106 years. His death was known to the society, but not his grave: for it was a maxim of the first Rosicrucians to conceal their burial-places even from each other. New masters were continually elected into the House of the Holy Ghost; and the society had now lasted 120 years. At the end of this period a door was discovered in the house, and upon the opening of this door a sepulchral-vault. Upon the door was this inscription: One hundred and twenty years hence I
shall open (Post CXX annos patebo). The vault was a heptagon. Every side was five feet broad and eight feet high. It was illuminated by an artificial sun. In the centre was placed instead of a grave-stone a circular altar with a little plate of brass, whereon these words were inscribed: This grave, an abstract of the whole world, I made for myself whilst yet living (A. C. R. C. Hoc Universi compendium vivus mihi sepulchrum feci). About the margin was-To me Jesus is all in all (Jesus mihi omnia). In the centre were four figures enclosed in a circle by this revolving legend: Nequaquam vacuum legis jugum. Libertas Evangelii. Dei gloria intacta. (The empty yoke of the law is made void. The liberty of the Gospel. The unsullied glory of God.) Each of the seven sides of the vault had a door opening into a chest; which chest, besides the secret books of the order and the Vocabularium of Paracelsus, contained also mirrors-little bells-burning lamps-marvelous mechanisms of music, &c. all so contrived that after the lapse of many centuries, if the whole order should have perished, it might be re-established by means of this vault.-Under the altar, upon raising the brazen tablet, the brothers found the body of Rosycross, without taint or corruption. The right hand held a book written upon vellum with golden letters: this book, which is called T., has since become the most precious jewel of the society next after the Bible: and at the end stand subscribed the names of the eight bre thren, arranged in two separate circles, who were present at the death and burial of Father Rosycross.Immediately after the above narrative follows a declaration of their mysteries addressed by the society to the whole world. They profess themselves to be of the Protestant faith; that they honor the Emperor and the laws of the Empire: and that the art of gold-making is but a slight object with them, and a mere Tapeрyov. The whole work ends with these words: Our House of the Holy Ghost, though a hundred thousand men should have looked upon it, is yet destined to remain untouched, imperturbable, out of