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3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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narrates the destruction of 160 Dutch merchantmen in their own harbours by Sir Robert Holmes on the eight and ninth-of August, 1666 (p. 79).
The same tone of ferocious exultation marks them all; the populace liked to hear that, after one battle, the Dutch vessels ' looked more like shambles than ships,' that in another, six thousand Dutchmen were sent to feed their cousins the fish, and that in a third, thanks to the effect of the British fireships, you ' might have had Dutchmen boiled or roast.' A Dutch captain might be praised as a gallant fighter, but ' he that caught fishes now fishes catch him' was the sort of epitaph which pleased the man in the street. ' Why should my nature or con­science repine at taking his life that fain would take mine?' asks one writer. If one motive for the war was hatred for the ' Butter-boxes' and the ' Hogan-Mogans,' as the sailors call the Dutch, another was the desire for plunder. ' We mean to have some of your dollars before that our fleets do part' declares one writer, while a second rejoices over the store of plate taken on board the Dutch merchantmen, which makes the cabins of the English captains look ' like goldsmiths' shops.'
On the British reverses the ballads are silent, but the poets of the period fill the gap. They, too, began by celebrating the successes of the British arms. Waller led off with a long poem of a new kind, Instructions to a Painter for the drawing of the posture and progress of his Majesties forces at sea under the command of his Highness-Royal; together with the battle and victory obtained over the Dutch, June 3, 1665 {Works, ed. Drury, p. 176). He described, one after another, ostensibly for the artist's guidance, the early scenes of the war—the capture of the Dutch Bordeaux fleet, Allin's attack on their Smyrna fleet, and finally the sea-fight off