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David D. (David Dixon) Porter.

The adventures of Harry Marline; or, Notes from an American midshipman's lucky bag online

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CHILDREN'S BOOK
COLLECTION



LIBRARY OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



J Y



THE ADVENTURES



HAEEY MAELINE;



OK,



NOTES FROM AN
AMERICAN MIDSHIPMAN'S LUCKY BAG.



BY



ADMIEAL POKTEK,

ACTUOB OP "ALLAH DAJJE AND BOBEBT LS DIABLE," ETC.



NEW YORK:
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,

1, 8, AND 5 BOND STEEET.

1885.



COPTBIGHT, 1885,

BrD. APPLETON AND COMPACT.



All rights reserved.



PEEFAOE.



THE following " adventures" were written thirty years ago for
the amusement of my boys.

They were loaned about in the navy, in manuscript, with ac-
companying illustrations, which latter were very well executed,
and I am sorry they are lost.

The manuscript disappeared for some twenty years, and, about
ten years ago, was returned to me in a bundle, minus the illustra-
tions. I don't know how many cruises they have made in the
mean time.

One day Mr. D. R. Hamersly, editor of the "United Service
Magazine," asked me to write something for his monthly, and I
told him he might have the bundle of manuscript, hardly recollect-
ing what it was all about.

Mr. Hamersly published it, people were amused over Harry
Marline's adventures, and, as I think it better for people to laugh
than to cry, I thought I would have the adventures published in
book-form. They will amuse the middies of the present day, as
showing the life of midshipmen in the olden times.

As the book was written for young people, I shall not be disap-
pointed if elderly ones fail to be amused.

THE AUTHOR.



894441



CONTENTS.



PAGE

-!N WHICH THE HERO is INTRODUCED TO THE READER AS A VERY

BAD BOY 7

II. IN WHICH MARLINE is INTRODUCED TO NAVAL LIFE, AND PROVES

TO BE A HARD BARGAIN 16

III. MARLINE REPORTS FOR DUTY, AND is MUCH ASTONISHED AT THE

PROCEEDINGS OF A MAN WITH A WART ON HIS NOSE . . 25
IV. AN IRISH SCHOOL-MASTER, AND HIS DIFFICULTIES ON FIRST EN-
TERING SERVICE A MIDSHIPMEN'S SUPPER AND A GOOSE WITH-
OUT LEGS OR WINGS A CATERER'S APPEAL TO THE MESS, AND

THE DISCOMFITURE OF A SCHOOL-MASTER 41

V. VERY SNAKY 51

VI. SCENES IN A BREAD-LOCKER; AND HOW TAILORS SOMETIMES GET

PAID OFF 58

VII. AWAY, AWAY, WE BOUND O'ER THE SEA 70

VIII. A MERMAN HUNTSMAN 73

IX. THE CAPTAIN MAKES AN ADDRESS, AND ALL HANDS ARE CALLED

TO WITNESS PUNISHMENT. WITNESSES GET INTO TROUBLE . 79
X. ARRIVAL IN PORT. A NEW METHOD OF BENDING A BUOY-ROPE.

PRACTICAL HINTS TO SAILING-MASTERS 94

XI. VERY STRANGE AND WONDERFUL, IF TRUE 102

XII. MARLINE VISITS THE SHORE, MAKES A NEW ACQUAINTANCE, FINDS

ALL IS NOT GOLD THAT GLITTERS A DUEL AN EXQUISITE

BROTHER JONATHAN AND JOHN BULL TOWING A DISABLED

FRENCHMAN INTO PORT 153

XIII. ARRIVAL OF THE GINGERBREAD INTRODUCTION TO THE COMMO-
DORE AND HIS COOK, TO SAY NOTHING OF A LITTLE BLACK PlG

DISMAY AND CONFUSION ON BOARD 172

XIV. INVITED OUT TO DINNER SIXTEEN KINDS OF DISHES MADE OUT

OF A LITTLE BLACK PlG 179

XV. A DESCRIPTION OF SOME OF MARLINE'S SHIPMATES, AND A VERY

LONG SONG FROM OLD SHACKLEBAGS 185



CONTENTS.



XVI. VERY SNAKY INDEED, AND SHARP PRACTICE WITH SHELLS

THE DEVIL ON THE HORSE-BLOCK, AND SHIP GOING TEN

KNOTS UNDER BOLT-ROPESSTRANGE IF TRUE . . .197

XVII. CODFISH AND ONIONS BAD FOR SEA-SERPENTS SEA-SERPENT IN

CABLE-TIER PATENT ANCHOR AND CABLE DEATH OF OLD

CRAB, ETC 211

XVIII. MUCH GEOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE DISPLAYED, AND A LONG TAIL 219
XIX. VERY FISHY AND STUPID THE STORY OF A WHALE-SHIP. . 235
XX. SAIL FOR NAPLES FIRST GALE NOTHING IN PARTICULAR

FAMILIAR POETRY 239

XXI. A CALL ON THE KING OF NAPLES MR. BLUFF'S ADVENTURE

WITH A COUNTESS 252

XXII. THE COMMODORE VISITS KING BOMBA A WIG ADVENTURE
THE COMMODORE'S EXTRAORDINARY ADDRESS TO THE KING
CAT AND DOG SALUTES WHAT BEFELL us AT THE BAN-
QUET TO THE KING 271

XXIII. A DEMAND FOR THE ABDUCTED CATS AND DOGS A COURT OF
INQUIRY A TRANSFORMATION A DUEL BETWEEN TEASER

AND BLUFF 290

XXIV. ABOUT MATTERS AND THINGS IN GENERAL AN IRRUPTION OF
TERMITES MR. SHACKLEBAGS GETS SOMETHING IN HIS EYES
AND A BLOWING UP CAN'T GO ON SHORE TILL THE MAIN-
MAST GOES THE CAPTAIN GETS OUTWITTED BY TWENTY-FOUR

MIDSHIPMEN 306

XXV. WHICH CONTAINS AN ACCOUNT OF A WONDERFUL MIRACLE, AND

DESCRIBES A VERY IMPOSING CEREMONY 317

XXVI. A TEDIOUS DOG-WATCH, AND A TOUGH YARN FROM A QUARTER-
MASTER 322

XXVII. AND LAST 359



THE ADVENTURES
OF HARRY MARLINE.



CHAPTER I.

IN WHICH THE HERO IS INTRODUCED TO THE READER AS A
VERY BAD BOY.

I WAS a very small boy when I first made acquaintance with the
sea in the year 18 as a midshipman, and could easily have been
stowed away in the pocket of a pea-jacket without any one's know-
ing I was there. But I was acknowledged by every one to be
knowing far beyond my years, and my friends always guaranteed
my growth, as we had never known a runt on either side of the
family. There were various surmises about my future end ; some
old fogies about and in the old town of Babel, Pennsylvania, where
I was born, shook their heads sorrowfully as they passed me in the
street, and predicted that I would end my days on a gallows, while
the more charitable said that I would sow my wild oats, and turn
out in the long run a clever fellow.

I remember that I was the terror of all the inhabitants of Babel,
each of whom in turn had suffered from the effects of my mischiev-
ous pranks. No mischief was committed in or out of the town but
I was sure to be named as the author of it, and I often had the
credit of doing things of which I was entirely innocent. Be that
as it may, the elders of the town came to the conclusion that I was
a perfect nuisance*, and must be got rid of by some means or other.
The worst offense I committed was tying the queues of Deacon



8 THE ADVENTURES OF HARRY MARLINE.

Kirk and Farmer Brown together while they were asleep in the
church, and sticking a pin in the calf of the deacon's leg, for which
I was banished from the church. I had a kind old grandfather
who took care of me in childhood, and spoilt me with his indul-
gence as I grew up. Now all the old fellows determined to wait
upon him in turn with a list of their grievances and demand my
immediate banishment. They insisted that I should be sent away
to some strict school, or else placed before the mast under the
charge of a tyrannical captain, who would never permit me to say
my soul was my own. My old guardian looked sad when he heard
in detail the accounts of my follies, and though he knew I was full
of mischief, and sometimes indeed played off my practical jokes on
him, his kind heart would not permit him to believe that I was
guilty of half the pranks laid to my charge. He was a good and
amiable old man, and remembered that he was once a boy himself,
though I am sure that the boys of his day were not half so bad as
the boys of the present time, for now Young America takes the
wind out of Old America's sails altogether.

He was urged very hard, particularly by old Ephraim Shaker,
to send me to sea. "For," said he, " Friend Job, if thee does not
get the urchin out of these parts, he will verily go to the Evil One,
and thy conscience will smite thee if he does not turn out well."
A tear stood in the good man's eye as he promised to think over
the matter, and he arranged to meet them all that night at the
Quaker's house and give his final answer over an oyster supper.

My grandfather could never resist an oyster supper, and I felt
that in accepting the invitation he had sealed my fate, for I knew
that the enemy would carry the day. Consequently I determined
in my own mind to have my revenge that night out of those who
were plotting my downfall. I had overheard all that was said
through a window looking out on to the back porch, where I was
busily engaged shaving our Thomas cat's tail with one of grand-
father's best razors. I formed my plans even while the conversation
was going on, and I looked forward impatiently for the night to
come that I might serve up the trimmings for that oyster supper.

It was a cold November evening with a light drizzly rain ; just
such a night as a thief would select to rob a hen-roost, or a mis-
chievous fellow prefer to play his pranks in. I looked into the
back parlor window of old Shaker's house, and there sat the solemn
conclave assembled around a warm fire, and urging my grandfather
with all their eloquence to get rid of me. Said I to myself, "My



MY LOVE FOR MISCHIEF. 9

old fellows, I will make that room too hot to hold you before I have
done with you." And I went to work to make my preparations for
attack.

I heard my grandfather say in a quavering tone of voice, " Only
convince me, friends, that he is guilty of any one act laid to his
charge, and I shall hesitate no longer to send him to sea."

The idea of going to sea was not distasteful to me, and, although
I knew the pain I was going to inflict on my grandfather, I deter-
mined to put an end at once to all his doubts, and at the same time
have a fine lark before I was banished from the delights of Babel.

But I will not relate this adventure, not wishing to revive
reminiscences that might call forth the criticisms of the Babel
newspapers, which are still run by the descendants of the ancient
proprietors, with ideas as limited as those of their illustrious prede-
cessors.

Suffice it to say I committed a very reprehensible action toward
my presumed enemies, serving them out to my satisfaction, if not
to their own, and I am willing to say that I would not do it again
under like circumstances.

My mischief led to a denouement of which I little dreamed, and
never intended. I went in for a lark, and was the cause of a great
fire, which created immense confusion in that quiet town.

I little anticipated such an adventure when I set out so gleefully
from home. The town was badly supplied with water, and the fire
department not having been called out for some years, everything
went wrong. The hose got a dozen "cable-tier pinches" in it, and,
in the anxiety of the firemen to put on the water, it burst in sev-
eral places. There were no fire-buckets to be had at the moment,
and the result was the entire destruction of a carpenter-shop with
all its contents.

I was on the point of making my escape, to go I cared not
whither, for the matter was looking much more serious than I had
intended it should, and I had already turned up the main street lead-
ing out to the country, determined to rid the town of my presence,
and escape the punishment I felt I most justly deserved, when I was
suddenly seized from behind by a nervous grasp, while the tremu-
lous tones of my grandfather addressed me for the first time in his
life with ill-con cealecf anger.

"You young villain ! " he exclaimed, "see what mischief you
have done with your foolish mad prank ! Home, home with you,
sir, at once, before you are detected by others ; and I promise you



10 THE ADVENTURES OF HARRY MARLINE.

you will never see the town of Babel again while I live. Go get
your clothes ready to start for Washington in half an hour ! " And
grasping me roughly by the collar, he strode along at a rate I could
with difficulty follow, and which I had not the least idea his age
was capable of. He never spoke a word until we reached the house,
and, flinging me inside the door as if I was an old meal-bag, said,
" Get up-stairs at once, sir, and pack your trunk ; and mind, I give
you but twenty minutes to do it in."

I ascended the stairs rapidly, and in less than the required time
was ready. On going down, I found my grandfather sitting on the
sofa, pale as death, with his hands clasped tightly over his eyes, and
tears of anguish streaming through his fingers. My heart severely
reproached me for the unhappiness I knew he was suffering. I burst
into tears myself, and, throwing my arms about his neck, besought
his forgiveness, and promised that I would never during my whole
life do an act of mischief again.

Taking his hands from his face and looking at me sorrowfully,
"Ah, Harry, Harry ! " he said, "you will bring my gray hairs in
sorrow to the grave by your misconduct ; but it is my own fault,
my child, for not doing my duty more strictly toward you, and I
have no one to blame but myself. Who can tell what the conse-
quences of this night may bring forth ? Be your future career ever
so bright, you will always feel that you left your native town with
your name scorned by all who knew you, and there will always re-
main this blot on your escutcheon, which you will find it difficult
to wipe out."

" At all events, grandpapa, you shall never have cause to blush
for me again," I said ; "and, believe me, I feel deep, deep sorrow
for the pain I have inflicted on you to-night. Do forgive me, dear
grandpapa, for dear mother's sake, who is dead and gone, for I
shall never be happy until you call me your own Harry once
more."

It was not in the old man's nature to remain angry for any
length of time with me, no matter what I might do, and his heart,
I truly believe, was more pained at parting with me, perhaps for-
ever, than by the cruel trick I had practiced on his friends. He
took me by the hand, kindly saying, " I shall forget to-night, my
boy ; only promise me that the predictions made by your enemies
shall not be fulfilled. Disappoint them all, and I shall be satisfied."

The clock was just striking nine when the sound of the stage-
horn was faintly heard in the distance, and, bidding me to hurry



I AM SENT AWAY. H

down with my trunk, he called to old Abram to come and take it
to the stage-office.

"Why, whar you gwoin, Massa Harry, wid you eyes a-lookin' as
if you jus' done a-crying ? I trus' de Lord you ain't been a-wexin'
old massa ; 'cause if you have, honey, you won't come to no good
nohow. I hope, child, you ain't been a-spilin' massa's bes' raser,
'cause I seed you wid it mysef shaving dat foolish tomcat's tail."

"No, Abram," I replied, "I have not spoilt grandpa's razor, but
I have done worse than that. I have made him ashamed of me, and
he is going to send me away because I tied fire-crackers to the tom-
cat's tail and shoved him into Mr. Shaker's window. He jumped
on to his shoulders, scorched his hair and eyebrows off, and burnt
his best shad -belly coat off his back."

"Pshaw ! " said Abram, "he ain't gwoin to sen' you 'way for
dat, sure. Bress de Lord ! I thought you been spilin' old massa's
raser, and dat I know wexes him for sartin. Why, old Shaker's
nuffin. He ain't nobody, for sure ; an' no matter if dat dare cat
done eat him up, dare's better men lef in de town. What's I gwoin
to do for backer when you'se gone 'way ? I wonder if old massa
tink of dat circumstance ? Whar you gwoin to, Massa Harry, and
what massa done gwoin to do wid you ? "

"I am going to sea, Abram," I said, "and may never return ;
but I shan't forget you, you may be sure. I will send you your
tobacco every chance I get."

" Well, dat's some constellation anyhow ; but who gwoin to gin
my quarter dollar ebery Saturday aternoon ? I wonder if old Sha-
ker's gwoin to suply de necesties ob natur in dem ar premises ? May
de Lord drat him for a good-for-nuffin feller ! I never like him
much no how, no fashen. He once tell me he done sell me long
time ago if I was his nigger, which I tank de Lord I ain't. I only
wish him one ting, and dat is I had him on a strait line wid a skunk,
and I could shute at de skunk wid massa's duck-gun, dat's enuff
for me."

" Don't make yourself unhappy, Abe, about the quarter every
Saturday afternoon. I will make grandpa promise to give it to you
regular as long as he lives."

" Well, den, dat's what I calls talkin* to de pint,- Massa Harry,
and I doesn't know but's bes' for you to go to sea, and, bress de
Lor'! T shall be proud when you comes back a kurnel. Won't dis
here nigger crow den ? He will for sarten ; 'cause I know you're
gwoin to be a great man, prowiden you awoids splittin' on de rocks



12 THE ADVENTURES OF HARRY MARLINE.

of temtashun, and don't run de wessel on de quicksands ob J ni-
quity."

The stage had arrived, and my trunk was getting lashed on
while old Abe was holding forth so learnedly ; and bidding the old
negro good-by, I followed my grandfather inside and took my seat.
No one had seen us get in, or knew that I was going to give the
town the benefit of my absence. Crack went the whip, away went
the horses at the rate of ten knots an hour, and the town and lights
soon disappeared from view.

My heart rejoiced when I felt that I was well clear of the town
of Babel, and my grandfather looked more at his ease also. A
crowd of people were gathered about the porch of the old inn, and
were animadverting in most unmeasured terms on the conduct of
the perpetrator of the fire, for as yet no one knew who the culprit
was. One said that the old Quaker would surely die, and that his
wife had gone crazy ; another said whoever did the deed would be
tried for murder and arson ; while a third recommended lynching
as the course most likely to meet the public approbation.

I almost felt that the officers of justice were on my track like a
pack of bloodhounds. My fears on that score were soon dissipated,
however, when I reflected that the town of Babel could only boast
of one police officer, or constable, a decrepit old fellow, seventy
years of age, who held his sinecure office owing to his good luck in
being wounded at the battle of Brandywine. I knew that the old
fellow was confined to his bed with rheumatism, and there was no
danger of his being stowed away anywhere in the stage. Besides,
there were no witnesses against me except my grandfather, who was
hurrying me away from the place as fast as four post-horses could
travel. Those were not the days of railroads, and our journey was
slow in comparison to what it would be now, and it was not until
forty-eight hours after we started from home that we brought up
at a good hotel in Washington City.

Next day my grandfather called with me on the Secretary of the
Navy, the Honorable Mr. Pinebranch, of North Carolina, a re-
markable old gentleman who held the destiny of the service in his
hands. I knew very little about the navy then, although I have
learned a good deal since, and the number of funny stories that I
have heard of this old fellow have hardly indicated the wisdom of
taking a gentleman farmer from the old Tar State to put at the
head of the Department.

Fortunately, the navy was virtually governed by three old com-



THE NAVY AT THAT TIME. 13

modores, constituting the Board of Navy Commissioners, who had
spent many years at sea and understood the wants of the service,
and the Secretary was the financial and political head of the De-
partment, paying all the bills, and recommending all appointments
to the President.

This seemed on the whole to be a good organization, and at that
time the United States navy had no superior in proportion to its
size. Our vessels were few in number, but they were looked upon
as models by foreign officers, and our guns were the heaviest and
best in the world.

The funds then appropriated, about six million dollars annually,
were expended with scrupulous care, and nothing was wasted to
help elect members to Congress. Indeed, the people of those days
were ignorant of our modern improvements in the way of buying
votes, and candidates depended for election upon their own indi-
vidual merits.

Still, there were defects in the system, for the professional heads
of the Department frequently had their opinions overruled by the
civilian Secretary. For instance, Mr. Pinebranch, at the solicita-
tion of his friends, directed that the naval ships should call at old
Topsail Inlet, near Cape Lookout, and lay in their sea-stores. The
Honorable Secretary was from Morehead City, and wanted his na-
tive town to derive all possible advantage from his appointment.
He was quite astonished when told that the ships could not enter
old Topsail Inlet for want of water, and accordingly applied to
Congress in his next report to have the place dredged out, expatiat-
ing on the many advantages to be derived from such an undertak-
ing.

On another occasion Mr. Pinebranch directed the commissioners
to send a load of North Carolina lumber, tar, pitch, and turpentine
to the Mediterranean, as he noticed in the squadron account some
bills for Norway pine which he thought should not be purchased.
Most of the midshipmen and all the pursers and doctors were ap-
pointed from the " Old North State," and the Honorable Secretary
made arrangements for constructing a dry-dock off Cape Hatteras,
with a breakwater around it to make a harbor for ships to drop
into, when informed that our vessels could not enter Pamlico
Sound.

The old navy commissioners were sometimes astonished at the
extent of the Honorable Secretary's geographical knowledge. On
one occasion he directed a ship to sail for the Bight of Benin, and



14 THE ADVENTURES OF HARRY MARLINE.

thence directly along the coast to the Cape of Good Hope, not hav-
ing any idea of the existence of trade- winds.

Mr. Pinebranch had been two years at the head of the navy
before he discovered that a ship was hollow, and once he kicked up
"hob" because he found that petty officers were being appointed
without their names going to the Senate for confirmation.

But, after all, these were comparatively trifles, for the Secretary
was a jolly old gentleman, who let everybody do pretty much as
they pleased. If an officer disliked going to sea, he let him
stay on shore as long as he wished, unless the commissioners
interfered on the ground that the efficiency of the service was
being impaired, when the Secretary would reluctantly yield to
their opinion.

On one occasion Mr. Pinebranch took passage in a frigate from
Norfolk to New York, and when, at sunset on a mild summer's
evening, all hands were called to reef topsails, the Honorable Secre-
tary was appalled with the perils to which the men were exposed
in going aloft. He said that in future he should always think of
the dangers of the sea when he signed an officer's orders.

This old gentleman was very kind to me. He regretted exceed-
ingly that I was not from North Carolina, but took into consider-
ation the fact that I was unfit for anything but a midshipman, and
that he had appointed twenty-four boys from his native State that
very week.

So after two or three days' sojourn in the capital city my grand-
father obtained for me the desired appointment as midshipman,
and the Secretary promised to give me orders to the frigate Thun-
derbum, then lying at Norfolk, ready to sail for the Mediterranean.
The orders came ; my grandfather bade me adieu at the steamboat
landing, having liberally supplied me with money to purchase my
outfit, and I found myself afloat the first time in my life, my own
master, to do (I thought) just as I pleased.

I shall never forget the feeling of pride with which I stepped up
to the clerk's office to pay my passage. "Harry Marline, midship-
man in the United States navy," I replied (as I hauled out my
pocket-book) in answer to the clerk's question demanding my name,
and I was quite surprised that the crowd did not fall back in awe
at the announcement of my rank, of which I had formed a very
exaggerated idea. Someone in the crowd cried out, "Does your
mother know you're out ? " and another fellow asked me very po-
litely if I had lost my " cheese-toaster," and I recollect, at the time,



I AM APPOINTED MIDSHIPMAN. 15

feeling very grateful for the interest they seemed to take in my
affairs.

I was up at early dawn of day, determined to have the first
glimpse of my future home. The vessels of war loomed up in the
distance like great castles as we neared Hampton Roads, and my
heart beat with pleasure when some one, in answer to my inquiries,
pointed out the frigate Thunderbum lying among them, "all
ataunto," and ready to sail at a moment's notice.

I could scarcely resist my desire to ask the captain to stop along-
side and put me out, but then I recollected that I had not yet ob-
tained my uniform, and I was determined to make an impression
when I did go on board. So I bottled up my impatience for a day
or two, and took up my lodgings at Glen's Hotel, which was the
rendezvous of all navy officers.

I found here, crowded together, all classes of officers in their
gay uniforms, and was somewhat pleased (though not astonished)
at the respect paid me by the book-keeper, who immediately gave
me Room No. 1, and also ordered the best supper in the house to
be got ready for me. I found Room No. 1 at the top of the house,
with ten beds in it, and the best supper consisted of oysters and
sausages, which only had the effect of reminding me of old Shaker's



Online LibraryDavid D. (David Dixon) PorterThe adventures of Harry Marline; or, Notes from an American midshipman's lucky bag → online text (page 1 of 38)