Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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   First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
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And the silver rnoon is gliding
O'er the sky with tranquil splendour,
Where the shining hosts attend her;
Let the brightest visions be
Country, home, and friends, to thee!
When the tempest hovers o'er thee,
Hanger, wreck, and death, before thee,
AVhile the sword of fire is gleaming,
Wild the winds, the torrent streaming,
Then, a pious suppliant bending.
Let thy thoughts, to Heaven ascending,
Reach the mercy seat, to be
Met by prayers that rise for thee!
A press-gang is a body of seamen,
twelve or fourteen in number, commanded
by a lieutenant or mate, and all armed
with bludgeons, cutlasses, and pistols, who
visit the different public houses in sea-port
towns, where seamen resort; and those
who are not willing to join the naval ser-
vice, are carried off by force, and sent to
any ship that may be in need of men.
These are thence called pressed men.
In war time, seamen who do not wish
to join a king's sliip, are obhged to hide
themselves very securely to avoid being
seized by these gangs. When they go to
a public house — which they are generally
obliged to do, in strange towns, to procure
lodgings for the night — they meet in
bodies of ten or twelve, so as to be equal
in strength to the press-gang, that some
of their number may chance to escape, if
the gang should surprise them. This very
frequently happens, and serious fights be-
tween them ensue, in which many on both
sides are wounded. Those who are seized
are sent off to a small vessel, called the
•tender,' lying in the harbour, where they
are closely confined, below in the hold,
until drafted into a ship going to sea. Many
poor fellows, who were not sailors, have
been seized by the press - gangs, because
they appeared strong healthy men, and
likely to be of service on board. Some of
them with wives and families at home hourly
expecting their return. And it sometimes
happened that the poor fellows remained
at sea many-months before their families
could learn what had become of them, and
were left in the greatest distress, at times
wanting the means of subsistence. These
cases did not very often occur. But it is a
sad reflection, that the services of the coun-
try ever required such cruel means to be
adopted to man their ships, as that of de-
priving a poor family of its only support
and protection. But press-gangs were only
used in cases of great emergency in war
time, and it is to be hoped that their ser-
vices may never again be required. It is
a very hard task for the sailors who form
these gangs, to be compelled to force men
from their homes and families, without a
moment's notice; and I have known many,
much to their credit, refuse to join one.
I well remember the case of a poor boy
who was seized by a press-gang, whilst
begging at the gate of a gentleman's house;
and, as it happened happily for him, I will
relate it.
After his seizure, he was sent on board
the tender.
Tenders are vessels of different sizes,
usually cutter rigged, used to attend on the
admirals both at sea and at the different
stations; and in foreign ports for conveying
orders, drafts of men, etc., from one ship
to another, as occasion may require: they
are generally armed vessels.
The poor pressed boy was placed in the
hold, which was crowded with men and
lads, who had either been pressed, or were
sent away by the civil power for misde-
meanors. Some were sober and sorrowful;
others were intoxicated and noisy, and in-
cessantly trying to annoy the rest. It was
a scene of dreadful confusion, and the stench
and heat were scarcely endurable. Every
now and then a quarrel took place, and se-
vere blows were exchanged, so that there
were bruised features and even fractured
limbs; but no one in authority interfered
or took the slightest notice of their pro-
ceedings; they were left entirely to them-
selves; and, as the number of intoxicated
kept increasing, they rolled over or trod
upon the unhappy creatures who did not,
or could not, give way to the indulgence
of drunkenness. Not unfrequontly a lurch
or roll of the vessel would throw some,
who could not preserve their balance, with
violence against the sides of the ship, and
bruises and wounds were the consequence.
Such a spectacle as this could not give
the poor lad, who was called Ned Stokes,
a very favourable opinion of the life of a
sailor; and though he had once earnestly
wished to become one, and had in conse-
quence rather willingly followed the press-
gang; yet, in truth, he was now heartily
disgusted, and as earnestly wished himself
ashore. But if the occurrences of the day
(although only a dim twilight in the hold)
could thus affect him; ho.w much more
were his sufferings increased when night
came on, and all was utter darkness; whilst