Inscrit le: 18 Avr 2016
|Posté le: Lun 3 Juil - 23:18 (2017) Sujet du message: A Sailor Of King George THE JOURNALS OF CAPTAIN FREDERICK
One morning sitting with my mother in the drawing room and entreating her to comply with my wish to enter the Navy, she was so intent on listening to my importunities and her patchwork that she did not observe that the cat was running away with her favourite goldfinch; the cat, with the poor bird in its mouth, was near the door, waiting to escape. Seeing what had happened, I immediately ran to the poor little bird’s assistance, but, alas! too late, as the cruel animal had torn off one of its wings.
Whilst my mother was feelingly lamenting her favourite’s untimely death, and deliberating whether the cat should be given away, the door opened, [pg 2]the culprit escaped, and Captain Elphinstone entered. On his observing my mother’s paleness, he requested to know if anything of a serious nature had occurred in the family. “No,” replied she, “except the loss of a favourite bird, which I certainly regret, as it was killed by the cat in a most distressing manner, and,” added she, “my spirits are not at this moment very good in consequence of my son’s wishing to enter the Navy.” “The first,” said he, “I lament, as it has deprived you of a pet; the latter may in the end be a matter of rejoicing. Who knows but that your son, if he enters that noble service, may turn out a second Hawke.” My ears thrilled at his remark.
“Do you really think, Captain Elphinstone,” said my mother, with a half-sorrowful countenance, “that it would be to his advantage?” “Most assuredly,” replied he, “as I think it very likely war will shortly be declared against that unhappy and distracted France, and he will have a very fair chance of making prize money, and in time will gain his promotion.”
“Quit the room a short time, my love,” said my mother to me. In about a quarter of an hour, which I thought an hour, I was sent for. Captain Elphinstone had taken his leave. I found my mother still very pale. “I am afraid, dear boy,” she began, “that Captain Elphinstone has almost persuaded me against my will. He has spoken of the prospects of the Naval Service in so favourable a manner that I am nearly tempted to let you [pg 3]enter it, and should war unhappily be declared against our unfortunate neighbours, the French, and my friend Captain Markham be appointed to a ship, I believe I must make up my mind to be quite persuaded and let you have your wish.” “Thank you, my dear mother,” replied I, overjoyed at what I knew nothing about. A short time after this conversation, war was declared against France, or rather France provoked it, and Captain Markham was appointed to the Blonde frigate. My mother instantly wrote to him; his answer was favourable, and he requested her to let me join him as soon as possible. All now was bustle and preparation. My brothers were sent for home, and begged to be allowed to go with me. Poor fellows! they little knew what they asked. In a few days I was fully equipped. I mounted my uniform, and I thought my brothers and the young friends who came to take leave of me appeared to envy me my finery, particularly my dirk, which they examined so often that I began to think they would wear it out. At length the evening arrived for me to quit my dear, happy home. My mother was sensibly affected, my sister looked serious, but my brothers, who were younger than myself—little rogues!—only looked disappointed that they could not go with me. I am sorry to say that my spirits were so buoyant that sorrow did not enter my head.
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