Music Of The Waters - online book

Sailors' Chanties, Songs Of The Sea, Boatmen's, Fishermen's,
Rowing Songs, & Water Legends with lyrics & sheet music

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In France the system of maritime conscription has been brought to almost mechanical perfection, and 172,000 men between the ages of eighteen and fifty are inscribed on the rolls. It would, however, appear from a statement made by the late much-lamented Captain Goodenough, at a re­cent discussion at the United Service Institution, that all the men liable to the maritime conscription in France are not deep-water sailors. The great majority are merely fishermen. They have had no experience in large ships until they enter the navy. It is not intended to imply a doubt of their value as a naval reserve. On the contrary, they possess many admirable qualities. Mr. Cripperton, in a recent consular report, says of the Breton fishermen on the French coast, that" their race forms the admirable sailors of whom France is justly proud. Austere in their faith, full of trust in Providence, dauntless in danger, patient in suffering, bearing deep love, but also profound hate, ever ready to lay down their lives when duty or affection re­quires, they form an admirable light to the shades adverted to in speaking of other classes of the French labouring population." It would appear, nevertheless, that the con­scription does not always furnish the French Navy with men well adapted to the service. This fact cannot be better exemplified than by quoting the following paragraph, which is given in its original language in Lord Brassey's book, " British Seamen "—it is taken from Admiral Jurien de la Graviere's " La marine d'autre fois "—he says, " The crew of the Aurora (man-of-war) was composed of con-

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