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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140                Music of the Waters.
scripts, who had never before even seen the sea, and of niggers who had exhausted it in every sense. . . . We learnt at length to manage affairs with this mode of recruit­ing, but not without infinite care, and if we have succeeded in modifying the evils of a system which our inadequate mari­time population imposed upon us, it is above all on board ships where the importance of the individual is sunk in the effort of the many who have to be kept going. It is thus not difficult to see that steam has in a most a-propos fashion come to take the place of these too numerous super­numeraries."
We hear a great deal in England at the present time about Foreign Seamen, and their superiority over the British Tar. Lord Brassey, whose very comprehensive work on our seamen I have just quoted, referring to this, attributes a great part of the unpopularity of our sailors to the masters that are set over them. He says, quoting Consul Crowe's remarks, " With the school­master abroad, and competition rife on every side, it is not sufficient that the master is conversant with navigation and seamanship; his education must extend a little further, his intellectual and religious character must be raised. If you ask why the character of the Norwegian and Swedish commercial marine has been rising, commune with masters of their merchant-ships, and the mystery will be revealed. Just in proportion to their education, their real moral worth, and their general knowledge of the world, will they be found to rank in the merchants' good books ; and just as they rank there will they be found to rank everywhere, at home and abroad." How can you expect men to do right who spend eleven months cut off from all sources of enjoy­ment, and the twelfth surrounded by the strongest tempta­tions to sin ? Our sailors are the pioneers of civilization. It is from their character and conduct that semi-barbarous peoples form their first impressions of our nation. The officers on whom such great responsibilities devolve deserve the best education it is in our power to bestow. France,

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