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which had been at Trafalgar. After being shifted at Gibraltar, it had been for more than half a century laid up in a store at Woolwich, no one guessing what a yarn that old roll of canvas could tell.

We also saw an interesting picture of the "Death of Nelson," and another of the battle itself. We felt almost awe-struck while seeing these things, and thinking of the gallant men who once served on board that noble ship. Not half a dozen officers or men now remain alive. Papa said that he hoped, if the old ship is not wanted for practical purposes, that she may be fitted. up exactly as she was at Trafalgar.

We afterwards called on an old lady—a friend of papa-who told us that she clearly recollected going off from Ryde in a boat with her father and mother, and pulling round the Victory when she arrived from Gibraltar at Spithead, on the 4th of December, 1805, with the body of Nelson on board. In many places the shot were still sticking in her sides, her decks were scarcely freed from blood, and other injuries showed the severity of the action.

After this, the Victory was constantly employed until the year 1812, from which time she was never recommissioned for sea; but from 1825, until within a short time ago, she bore the flags of the port-admirals of Portsmouth.

Late in the evening we crossed the harbour to the dockyard, where papa wanted to pay a visit. A curious steam ferry-boat runs backwards and forwards between Portsmouth and Gosport. We passed a number of large ships coated with thick plates of iron; but even the thickest cannot withstand the shots sent from some of the guns which have been invented, and all might be destroyed by torpedoes. We could hardly believe that some of the ships we saw were fit to go to sea. The most remarkable is the Devastation. Her free-board-that is, the upper part of her sides is only a few feet above the water. Amidships rises a round structure supporting what is called "a hurricane deck."

This is the only spot where the officers and men can stand in a sea way. At either end is a circular revolving turret containing two thirty-five ton guns, constructed to throw shot of seven hundred pounds. These guns are worked by means of steam machinery. We then went on board the Shah, which is built of wood outside, with an iron lining. She is one of the finest craft afloat, and will be able to fight a ship of much greater force with her long guns.

Contrasting with the ironclads, we saw lying alongside the quays several enormous, white-painted, richly-gilt troop ships, also iron built, which run through the Suez Canal to India. The night was calm and still; and as we pulled up the harbour a short distance among the huge ships, I could not help fancying that I heard them talking to each other, and telling of the deeds they had done. Papa laughed at my poetical fancy, which was put to flight when he told me that scarcely any of them, except those which were engaged in the Baltic and Black Sea, had seen any service.

Pulling down the harbour on the Gosport side, to be out of the way of passing vessels, we soon reached the yacht, feeling very tired, for we had been wide awake for the last sixteen hours. As we sat in our little cabin, it was difficult to realize that outside of us were so many objects and scenes of interest connected with the naval history of England. Papa told us a number of curious anecdotes. Not many hundred yards from us, about a century ago, was to be seen a gibbet on Block House Point, at the west entrance of the harbour, on which hung the body of a man called Jack the Painter. Having taken it into his very silly head that he should forward the cause of freedom by burning the dockyard, he set fire to the rope-house, which was filled with hemp, pitch, and tar. Jack, having performed this noble deed, escaped from the yard, and was making his way along the Fareham Road, when, having asked a carter to give

him a lift, he pointed out the cloud of smoke rising in the distance, observing that he "guessed where it came from." The carter went his way; but shortly afterwards, when a hue and cry was raised, he recollected his passenger, who was traced, captured, tried, and executed.

Another story we heard was about the mad pranks played by naval officers in days of yore. At that time, a sentry-box, having a seat within, stood on the Hard, at Portsmouth, so that the sentry could sit down and rest himself. It happened that a party of young captains and commanders, coming down from dinner to embark, found the sentry at his post, but drunk and sound asleep in his box! Punishment was his due. They bethought themselves of a mode of astonishing him. Summoning their crews, box and sentry were carried on board one of their boats and transported to Gosport, and then placed in an upright position facing the water. When the relief came to the spot where the sentry was originally stationed, what was their astonishment and alarm to find neither sentry nor box! The captain of the guard reported the circumstance to the fort-major. "The enemy,” he averred, "must be at hand."

The garrison was aroused, the drawbridges were hauled up. Daylight revealed the box and the position of the sentry, who protested that, although as sober as a judge, he had no idea how he had been conveyed across the harbour.

Numerous "land-sharks" used to be in waiting to tempt those who were generally too ready to be tempted into scenes of debauchery and vice. This state of things continued until a few years ago, when it was put into the heart of a noble lady-Miss Robinson-to found an institute for soldiers and sailors. There they may find a home when coming on shore, and be warned of the dangers awaiting them. After great exertion, and travelling about England to obtain funds, she raised about thirteen thousand pounds, and succeeded in purchasing the Old Fountain

Hotel, in the High Street, which, greatly enlarged, was opened in 1874 as a Soldiers' and Sailors' Institute, by General Sir James Hope Grant.

Dear me, I shall fill up my journal with the yarns we heard at Portsmouth, and have no room for our adventures, if I write on at this rate. After our devotions, we turned in, and were lulled to sleep, as we were last night, by the ripple of the water against the sides of the yacht.

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27

CHAPTER II.

In the Solent.

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EXT morning, soon after breakfast, we went on shore to pay a visit to the dockyard. On entering, papa was desired to put down his name; and the man seeing that he was a captain in the navy, we were allowed to go on without a policeman in attendance, and nearly lost ourselves among the storehouses and docks. As we walked past the lines of lofty sheds, we heard from all directions the ringing clank of iron, instead of, as in days of yore, the dull thud of the shipwright's mallet, and saw the ground under each shed strewed with ribs and sheets of iron ready to be fixed to the vast skeletons within. Papa could not help sighing, and saying that he wished "the days of honest sailing ships could come back again." However, he directly afterwards observed, "I should be sorry to get back, at the same time, the abuses, the wild doings, and the profligacy which then prevailed. Things have undoubtedly greatly improved, though they are bad enough even now."

Tramways and railways, with steam locomotives, run in all directions. Formerly, papa said, the work was done by yellowcoated convicts with chains on their legs. They have happily been removed from the dockyard itself, and free labourers only

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