Charles Dickens.

Captain Boldheart and the Latin-grammar master : a holiday romance from the pen of Lieut-Col. Robin Redforth aged 9 online

. (page 1 of 1)
Online LibraryCharles DickensCaptain Boldheart and the Latin-grammar master : a holiday romance from the pen of Lieut-Col. Robin Redforth aged 9 → online text (page 1 of 1)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


If

i



SRRK







NY PUBLIC



L,BRARY .THE BRANCH^. BRAR.ES



3333 08119 6400



\ y



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART
BY CHARLES DICKENS

ILLUSTRATED BY
BEATRICE PEARSE



9T=>-




(v



Invited them to Breakfast



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART
&THE LATIN-GRAMMAK

MASTER

A HOLIDAY ROMANCE FROM
THE PETxl OF LIEUT-COL-
ROBIN RED FORTH
AGED O-



* BY

CHAKLESDICKFNS



LONDON: CONSTABLE AND CO. LTD.



FOREWORD

story contained herein was
written by Charles Dickens in
i 8 6 7 . It is the third of four stories
entitled "Holiday Romance" and was pub-
lished originally in a children's magazine
in America. It purports to be written by a
child aged nhie. It was republished in
England in "All the Year Round" in
1868. For this and four other Christmas
pieces Dickens received ^1,000.

"Holiday Romance" was published in
book form by Messrs Chapman & Hall
in 1874, with " Edwin Drood " and other
stories.

For this reprint the text of the story as
it appeared in " All the Year Round" has
been followed.



, ,' ' : ' :



...... t ,. I , .... .

, ' , . . , . .
',,....



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART AND
THE LATIN-GRAMMAR

MASTER



subject of our present narrative would
appear to have devoted himself to the Pirate
profession at a comparatively early age. We
find him in command of a splendid schooner of one
hundred guns, loaded to the muzzle, 'ere yet he had
had a party in honour of his tenth birthday.

It seems that our hero, considering himself spited
by a Latin-Grammar-Master, demanded the satisfac-
tion due from one man of honour to another. Not
getting it, he privately withdrew his haughty spirit
from such low company, bought a second-hand
pocket-pistol, folded up some sandwiches in a paper
bag, made a bottle of Spanish liquorice-water, and
entered on a career of valour.

It were tedious to follow Boldheart (for such was his
name) through the commencing stages of his history.
Suffice it that we find him bearing the rank of Cap-
tain Boldheart, reclining in full uniform on a crimson



: 1 I , 15)

,

* > a



-> 1 *>
,
I -> > *



6 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

hearth-rug spread out upon the quarter-deck of his
schooner the Beauty, in the China Seas. It was a
lovely evening, and as his crew lay grouped about
him, he favoured them with the following melody:

O landsmen are folly!
O Pirates are jolly!
O Diddleum Dolly,

Di!

(Chorus) Heave yo.

The soothing effect of these animated sounds float-
ing over the waters, as the common sailors united
their rough voices to take up the rich tones of Bold-
heart, may be more easily conceived than described.
It was under these circumstances that the lookout
at the masthead gave the word, "Whales!"
All was now activity.

"Where away ?"cried Captain Boldheart,startingup.
" On the larboard bow, sir," replied the fellow at
the masthead, touching his hat. For such was the
height of discipline on board of the Beauty, that even
at that height he was obliged to mind it or be shot
through the head.






'8
'




\i



I



His crew lay grouped around him



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART 7

c This adventure belongs to me," said Boldheart.
" Boy, my harpoon. Let no man follow;" and leaping
alone into his boat, the captain rowed with admirable
dexterity in the direction of the monster.

All was now excitement.

" He nears him!" said an elderly seaman, following
the captain through his spy-glass.

" He strikes him!" said another seaman, a mere strip-
ling, but also with a spy-glass.

" He tows him towards us!" said another seaman, a
man in the full vigour of life, but also with a spy-glass.

In fact the captain was seen approaching, with the
huge bulk following. We will not dwell on the deafen-
ing cries of "Boldheart! Boldheart!" with which he
was received, when, carelessly leaping on the quarter-
deck, he presented his prize to his men. They after-
wards made two thousand four hundred and seventeen
pound ten and sixpence by it.

Ordering the sails to be braced up, the captain now
stood W.N.W. The Beauty flew rather than floated
over the dark blue waters. Nothing particular occurred
for a fortnight, except taking, with considerable



8 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

slaughter, four Spanish galleons, and a Snow from
South America, all richly laden. Inaction began to
tell upon the spirits of the men. Captain Boldheart
called all hands aft, and said :

" My lads, I hear there are discontented ones among
ye. Let any such stand forth."

After some murmuring, in which the expressions,
"Aye, aye, sir!" "Union Jack!" "Avast," "Star-
board," "Port," "Bowsprit," and similar indications
of a mutinous undercurrent, though subdued, were
audible, Bill Boozey, captain of the foretop, came out
from the rest. His form was that of a giant, but he
quailed under the captain's eye.

"What are your wrongs?" said the captain.

"Why, d'ye see, Captain Boldheart," replied the
towering mariner, "I've sailed man and boy for many
a year, but I never yet know'd the milk served out
for the ship's company's teas to be so sour as 'tis
aboard this craft."

At this moment the thrilling cry, "Man overboard !"
announced to the astonished crew that Boozey, in
stepping back, as the captain (in mere thoughtfulness)




THE RESCUE OF WIL-
LIAM BOOZEY.



io CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

laid his hand upon the faithful pocket-pistol which
he wore in his belt, had lost his balance, and was
struggling with the foaming tide.

All was now stupefaction.

But, with Captain Boldheart, to throw off his uni-
form coat regardless of the various rich orders with
which it was decorated, and to plunge into the sea
after the drowning giant, was the work of a moment.
Maddening was the excitement when boats were
lowered; intense the joy when the captain was seen
holding up the drowning man with his teeth; deafen-
ing the cheering when both were restored to the
main deck of the Beauty. And from the instant of his
changing his wet clothes for dry ones, Captain Bold-
heart had no such devoted though humble friend as
William Boozey.

Boldheart now pointed to the horizon, and called
the attention of his crew to the taper spars of a ship
lying snug in harbour under the guns of a fort.

"She shall be ours at sunrise," said he. "Serve out
a double allowance of grog, and prepare for adtion."

All was now preparation.



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART 1 1

When morning dawned after a sleepless night, it was
seen that the stranger was crowding on all sail to come
out of the harbour and offer battle. As the two ships
came nearer to each other, the stranger fired a gun
and hoisted Roman colours. Boldheart then perceived
her to be the Latin-Grammar-Master's bark. Such in-
deed she was, and had been tacking about the world
in unavailing pursuit, from the time of his first taking
to a roving life.

Boldheart now addressed his men, promising to
blow them up if he should feel convinced that their
reputation required it, and giving orders that the
Latin-Grammar-Master should be taken alive. He
then dismissed them to their quarters, and the fight
began with a broadside from The Beauty. She then
veered round, and poured in another. The Scorpion
(so was the bark of the Latin-Grammar-Master appro-
priately called) was not slow to return her fire, and
a terrific cannonading ensued, in which the guns of
The Beauty did tremendous execution.

The Latin-Grammar-Master was seen upon the
poop, in the midst of the smoke and fire, encouraging



12 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

his men. To do him justice, he was no Craven, though
his white hat, his short grey trousers, and his long
snuff-coloured surtout reaching to his heels the self-
same coat in which he had spited Boldheart con-
trasted most unfavourably with the brilliant uniform
of the latter. At this moment Boldheart, seizing a
pike and putting himself at the head of his men, gave
the word to board.

A desperate conflict ensued in the hammock net-
tings or somewhere in about that direction until
the Latin-Grammar-Master, having all his masts
gone, his hull and rigging shot through and through,
and seeing Boldheart slashing a path towards him,
hauled down his flag himself, gave up his sword to
Boldheart, and asked for quarter. Scarce had he been
put into the captain's boat, 'ere The Scorpion went
down with all on board.

On Captain Boldheart's now assembling his men, a
circumstance occurred. He found it necessary with
one blow of his cutlass to kill the Cook, who, having
lost his brother in the late action, was making at the
Latin-Grammar-Master in an infuriated state, intent
on his destruction with a carving-knife.



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART 13

Captain Boldheart then turned to the Latin-Gram-
mar-Master, severely reproaching him with his per-
fidy, and put it to his crew what they considered
that a master who spited a boy deserved ?

They answered with one voice, " Death."

" It may be so," said the Captain; " but it shall never
be said that Boldheart stained his hour of triumph
with the blood of his enemy. Prepare the cutter."

The cutter was immediately prepared.

"Without taking your life," said the Captain, "I
must yet for ever deprive you of the power of spiting
other boys. I shall turn you adrift in this boat. You
will find in her two oars, a compass, a bottle of rum,
a small cask of water, a piece of pork, a bag of biscuit,
and my Latin grammar. Go! and spite the natives, if
you can find any."

Deeply conscious of this bitter sarcasm, the unhappy
wretch was put into the cutter, and was soon left far
behind. He made no effort to row, but was seen lying
on his back with his legs up, when last made out by
the ship's telescopes.

A stiff breeze now beginning to blow, Captain Bold-



1 4 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

heart gave orders to keep her S.S.W., easing her a
little during the night by falling off a point or two
W. by W., or even byW.S., if she complained much.
He then retired for the night, having in truth much
need of repose. In addition to the fatigues he had un-
dergone, this brave officer had received sixteen
wounds in the engagement, but had not mentioned it.

In the morning a white squall came on, and was
succeeded by other squalls of various colours. It
thundered and lightened heavily for six weeks. Hurri-
canes then set in for two months. Waterspouts and
tornadoes followed. The oldest sailor on board and
he was a very old one had never seen such weather.
The Beauty lost all idea where she was, and the
carpenter reported six feet two of water in the hold.
Everybody fell senseless at the pumps every day.

Provisions now ran very low. Our hero put the crew
on short allowance, and put himself on shorter allow-
ance than any man in the ship. But his spirit kept
him fat. In this extremity, the gratitude of Boozey,
the captain of the foretop whom our readers may re-
member, was truly affecting. The loving though lowly



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART 15

William repeatedly requested to be killed, and pre-
served for the captain's table.
We now approach a change in affairs.
One day during a gleam of sunshine and when the
weather had moderated, the man at the mast-head
too weak now to touch his hat, besides its having been
blown away called out,
"Savages!"

All was now expectation.

Presently fifteen hundred canoes, each paddled by
twenty savages, were seen advancing in excellent
order. They were a light green colour (the Savages
were), and sang, with great energy, the following
strain:

Choo a choo a choo tooth.
Muntch, muntch. Nycey!
Choo a choo a choo tooth.
Muntch, muntch. Nyce!

As the shades of night were by this time closing in,
these expressions were supposed toembodythissimple
people's views of the Evening Hymn. But it too soon



1 6 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

appeared that the song was a translation of " For
what we are going to receive," &c.

The chief, imposingly decorated with feathers of
lively colours, and having the majestic appearance of
a fighting Parrot, no sooner understood (he under-
stood English perfectly) that the ship was The
Beauty, Captain Boldheart, than he fell upon his face
on the deck, and could not be persuaded to rise until
the captain had lifted him up, & told him he wouldn't
hurt him. All the rest of the savages also fell on their
faces with marks of terror, and had also to be lifted up
one by one. Thus the fame of the great Boldheart had
gone before him , even among these children of Nature.

Turtles and oysters were now produced in astonish-
ing numbers, and on these and yams the people made
a hearty meal. After dinner the Chief told Captain
Boldheart that there was better feeding up at the
village, and that he would be glad to take him and his
officers there. Apprehensive of treachery, Boldheart
ordered his boat's crew to attend him completely
armed. And well were it for other commanders if
their precautions but let us not anticipate.




Arm-in-arm with the Chief



>3



-\



"TWO SAVAGES FLOURED HIM
BEFORE PUTTING HIM TO THE
FIRE."




1 8 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

When the canoes arrived at the beach, the darkness
of the night was illumined by the light of an immense
fire. Ordering his boat's crew (with the intrepid though
illiterate William at their head) to keep close and be
upon their guard, Boldheart bravely went on, arm-in-
arm with the Chief.

But how to depict the captain's surprise when he
found a ring of Savages singing in chorus that bar-
barous translation of " For what we are going to re-
ceive, &c.," which has been given above, and dancing
hand-in-hand round the Latin-Grammar-Master,ina
hamper with his head shaved, while two savages flour-
ed him, before putting him to the fire to be cooked!

Boldheart now took counsel with his officers on the
course to be adopted. In the mean time, the miserable
captive never ceased begging pardon and imploring to
be delivered. On the generous Boldheart's proposal, it
was at length resolved that he should not be cooked,
but should be allowed to remain raw, on two condi-
tions. Namely,

i . That he should never under any circumstances
presume to teach any boy any thing any more.



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART 19

2. That, if taken back to England, he should pass
his life in travelling to find out boys who wanted
their exercises done, and should do their exercises for
those boys for nothing, and never say a word about
it.

Drawing his sword from its sheath, Boldheart swore
him to these conditions on its shining blade. The
prisoner wept bitterly, and appeared acutely to feel
the errors of his past career.

The captain then ordered his boat's crew to make
ready for a volley, and after firing to re-load quickly.
" And expert a score or two on ye to go head over
heels," murmured William Boozey; "for I'm a look-
ing at ye." With those words the derisive though
deadly William took a good aim.

" Fire!"

The ringing voice of Boldheart was lost in the report
of the guns and the screeching of the savages. Volley
after volley awakened the numerous echoes. Hundreds
of savages were killed, hundreds wounded, and thou-
sands ran howling into the woods. The Latin-Gram-
mar-Master had a spare night-cap lent him, and a




"THE LATIN-GRAMMAR-
MASTER HAD A SPARE
NIGHTCAP LENT HIM
AND A LONGTAILCOAT
WHICH HE WORE HIND
SIDE BEFORE."




"ERE THE SUN WENT
DOWN FULL MANY A
HORNPIPE HAD BEEN
DANCED ... BY THE
UNCOUTH THOUGH
AGILE WILLIAM."



22 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

longtail coat which he wore hind side before. He pre-
sented a ludicrous though pitiable appearance, and
serve him right.

We now find Captain Boldheart, with this rescued
wretch on board, standing off for other islands. At
one of these, not a cannibal island, but a pork and
vegetable one, he married (only in fun on his part)
the King's daughter. Here he rested some time, receiv-
ing from the natives great quantities of precious stones,
gold dust, elephants' teeth, and sandal wood, and
getting very rich. This, too, though he almost every
day made presents of enormous value to his men.

The ship being at length as full as she could hold
of all sorts of valuable things, Boldheart gave orders
to weigh the anchor, and turn the Beauty's head
towards England. These orders were obeyed with
three cheers, and ere the sun went down full many
a hornpipe had been danced on deck by the uncouth
though agile William.

We next find Captain Boldheart about three leagues
off Madeira, surveying through his spy-glass a stranger
of suspicious appearance making sail towards him.



Of).




" Married the Chief's daughter



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

On his firing a gun ahead of her to bring her to, she
ran up a flag, which he instantly recognized as the
flag from the mast in the back-garden at home.

Inferring from this, that his father had put to sea to
seek his long-lost son, the captain sent his own boat
on board the stranger, to inquire if this was so, and
if so, whether his father's intentions were strictly
honourable. The boat came back with a present of
greens and fresh meat, and reported that the stranger
was The Family of twelve hundred tons, and had
not only the captain's father on board, but also his
mother, with the majority of his aunts and uncles,
and all his cousins. It was further reported to Bold-
heart that the whole of these relations had expressed
themselves in a becoming manner, and were anxious
to embrace him and thank him for the glorious credit
he had done them. Boldheart at once invited them
to breakfast next morning on board the Beauty, and
gave orders for a brilliant ball that should last all day.

It was in the course of the night that the captain
discovered the hopelessness of reclaiming the Latin-
Grammar-Master. That thankless traitor was found



24 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

out, as the two ships lay near each other, commu-
nicating with The Family by signals, and offering
to give up Boldheart. He was hanged at the yard-
arm the first thing in the morning, after having it
impressively pointed out to him by Boldheart that
this was what spiters came to.

The meeting between the captain and his parents
was attended with tears. His uncles and aunts would
have attended their meeting with tears too, but he
wasn't going to stand that. His cousins were very much
astonished by the size of his ship and the discipline
of his men, and were greatly overcome by the
splendour of his uniform. He kindly conducted them
round the vessel, and pointed out every thing worthy
of notice. He also fired his hundred guns, and found
it amusing to witness their alarm.

The entertainment surpassed everything ever seen
on board ship, and lasted from ten in the morning
until seven the next morning. Only one disagreeable
incident occurred. Captain Boldheart found himself
obliged to put his cousin Tom in irons, for being dis-
respectful. On the boy's promising amendment, how-



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART 25

ever, he was humanely released after a few hours' close
confinement.

Boldheart now took his mother down into the great
cabin, and asked after the young lady with whom, it
was well known to the world, he was in love. His
mother replied that the object of his affedions was
then at school at Margate, for the benefit of sea-bath-
ing (it was the month of September), but that she
feared the young lady's friends were still opposed to
the union. Boldheart at once resolved, if necessary, to
bombard the town.

Taking the command of his ship with this intention,
and putting all but fighting men on board The
Family, with orders to that vessel to keep in com-
pany, Boldheart soon anchored in Margate Roads.
Here he went ashore well-armed, and attended by
his boat's crew (at their head the faithful though fero-
cious William), and demanded to see the May or, who
came out of his office.

" Dost know the name of yon ship, Mayor?" asked
Boldheart fiercely.

" No," said the Mayor, rubbing his eyes, which he




"DOST KNOW THE NAME OF YON SHIP, MAYOR?




STANDING SENTRY OVER HIM



28 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

could scarce believe when he saw the goodly vessel
riding at anchor.

" She is named the Beauty," said the captain.

"Hah!" exclaimed the Mayor, with a start. "And
you, then, are Captain Boldheart?"

"The same."

A pause ensued. The Mayor trembled.

" Now, Mayor," said the captain, " choose. Help me
to my Bride, or be bombarded."

The Mayor begged for two hours' grace, in which
to make inquiries respecting the young lady. Bold-
heart accorded him but one; and during that one
placed William Boozey sentry over him, with a drawn
sword and instructions to accompany him wherever
he went, and to run him through the body if he
showed a sign of playing false.

At the end of the hour, the Mayor re-appeared more
dead than alive, closely waited on by Boozey more
alive than dead.

" Captain," said the Mayor, " I have ascertained that
the young lady is going to bathe. Even now she waits
her turn for a machine. The tide is low, though rising.




His lovely Bride came forth



P\



CAPTAIN BOLDHEART 29

I, in one of our town-boats, shall not be suspe&ed.
When she comes forth in her bathing-dress into the
shallow water from behind the hood of the machine,
my boat shall intercept her and prevent her return.
Do you the rest."

"Mayor," returned Capt. Boldheart, u thou hast
saved thy town."

The captain then signalled his boat to take him off,
and steering her himself ordered her crew to row
towards the bathing-ground, and there to rest upon
their oars. All happened as had been arranged. His
lovely bride came forth, the Mayor glided in behind
her, she became confused and had floated out of her
depth, when, with one skilful touch of the rudder
and one quivering stroke from the boat's crew, her
adoring Boldheart held her in his strong arms. There
her shrieks of terror were changed to cries of joy.

Before the Beauty could get under weigh, the
hoisting of all the flags in the town and harbour, and
the ringing of all the bells, announced to the brave
Boldheart that he had nothing to fear. He therefore
determined to be married on the spot, and signalled



I j'' 3 '' ''

J 3 J J J 3 > , ', ,' ' ',



3 o CAPTAIN BOLDHEART

for a clergyman and clerk, who came off promptly
in a sailing-boat named the Skylark. Another great
entertainment was then given on board the Beauty,
in the midst of which the Mayor was called out by a
messenger. He returned with the news that Govern-
ment had sent down to know whether Captain Bold-
heart, in acknowledgment of the great services he
had done his country by being a Pirate, would con-
sent to be made a Lieutenant-Colonel. For himself
he would have spurned the worthless boon, but his
Bride wished it and he consented.

Only one thing further happened before the good
ship Family was dismissed, with rich presents to all
on board. It is painful to record (but such is human
nature in some cousins) that Captain Boldheart's un-
mannerly cousin Tom was actually tied up to receive
three dozen with a rope's end u for cheekyness and
making games," when Captain Boldheart's lady beg-
ged for him and he was spared. The Beauty then re-
fitted, and the Captain and his Bride departed for the
Indian Ocean to enjoy themselves for evermore.

THE END.



.



"CAPTAIN BOLD-
HEART'S LADY BEGGED
FOR HIM AND HE WAS
SPARED."




THE ORANGE TREE SERIES

OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS

FULLY ILLUSTRATED IN COLOUR, is. net. Foolscap 410, boards

1 THE STORY OF RICHARD DOUBLEDICK. By Charles

Dickens. With illustrations by W. B. Wollen, R.I., R.O.I.

2 THE MAGIC FISHBONE. By Charles Dickens. With illus-

trations by S. Beatrice Pearse.

3 THE TRIALOF WILLIAM TINKLING. By Charles Dickens.

With illustrations by S. Beatrice Pearse.

4 CAPTAIN BOLDHEART AND THE LATIN GRAMMAR

MASTER. By Charles Dickens. With illustrations by S.
Beatrice Pearse.

THE WONDER BOOK

By Nathaniel Hawthorne. With Coloured Illustrations by Patten Wilson.

5 THE GORGON'S HEAD 6 THE GOLDEN TOUCH

The above are ready. The following are in active preparation.

7 THE PARADISE OF 9 THE MIRACULOUS

CHILDREN PITCHER

8 THE THREE GOLDEN

APPLES I0 THE CHIMAERA

TANGLEWOOD TALES

By Nathaniel Hawthorne. With Coloured Illustrations by Patten Wilson.

11 THE MINOTAUR 14 CIRCE'S PALACE

12 THE PYGMIES '5 THE POMEGRANATE

13 THEDRAGON'STEETH l6 TH GOLDEN FLEECE
LONDON : CONSTABLE & COMPANY, LIMITED





1

Online LibraryCharles DickensCaptain Boldheart and the Latin-grammar master : a holiday romance from the pen of Lieut-Col. Robin Redforth aged 9 → online text (page 1 of 1)