Elizabethan Sea Dogs eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 190 pages of information about Elizabethan Sea Dogs.

‘What cheer, Mates, is all Well?’

‘All’s well!’

‘Then make ready to bear up with him again!’

’With all your great and small shot charge him, board him thwart the hawse, on the bow, midships, or, rather than fail, on his quarter; or make fast your grapplings to his close-fights and sheer off’ [which would tear his cover down].

‘Captain, we are foul of each other and the ship is on fire!’

‘Cut anything to get clear and smother the fire with wet cloths!’

In such a case they will bee presentlie such friends as to help one the other all they can to get clear, lest they should both burn together and so sink:  and, if they be generous, and the fire be quenched, they will drink kindly one to the other, heave their canns over-board, and begin again as before....

’Chirurgeon, look to the wounded, and wind up the slain, and give them three guns for their funerals!  Swabber, make clean the ship!  Purser, record their names!  Watch, be vigilant to keep your berth to windward, that we lose him not, in the night!  Gunners, spunge your ordnance!  Souldiers, scour your pieces!  Carpenters, about your leaks!  Boatswain and the rest, repair sails and shrouds!  Cook, see you observe your directions against the morning watch!’ ...

‘Boy, hallo! is the kettle boiled?’

‘Ay, ay, Sir!’

‘Boatswain, call up the men to prayer and breakfast!’ ...

Always have as much care to their wounded as to your own; and if there be either young women or aged men, use them nobly ...

‘Sound drums and trumpets:  SAINT GEORGE FOR MERRIE ENGLAND!’



Elizabethan England is the motherland, the true historic home, of all the different peoples who speak the sea-borne English tongue.  In the reign of Elizabeth there was only one English-speaking nation.  This nation consisted of a bare five million people, fewer than there are to-day in London or New York.  But hardly had the Great Queen died before Englishmen began that colonizing movement which has carried their language the whole world round and established their civilization in every quarter of the globe.  Within three centuries after Elizabeth’s day the use of English as a native speech had grown quite thirtyfold.  Within the same three centuries the number of those living under laws and institutions derived from England had grown a hundredfold.

The England of Elizabeth was an England of great deeds, but of greater dreams.  Elizabethan literature, take it for all in all, has never been surpassed; myriad-minded Shakespeare remains unequalled still.  Elizabethan England was indeed ‘a nest of singing birds.’  Prose was often far too pedestrian for the exultant life of such a mighty generation.  As new worlds came into their expectant ken, the glowing Elizabethans wished to fly there on the soaring wings of verse.  To them the tide of fortune was no ordinary stream but the ’white-maned, proud, neck-arching tide’ that bore adventurers to sea ’with pomp of waters unwithstood.’

Project Gutenberg
Elizabethan Sea Dogs from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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