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

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INTRODUCTION               xlix
(ii. 149-184), and the ballad called The Frighted French, or Russell scouring the Seas, represents the feeling which Tourville's disinclination to come out of Toulon and risk an engagement produced in England (p. 128, post). ' The honour of commanding the sea and of shutting the French within their ports,' says Burnet, 'gave a great reputation to our affairs.' The ballad, written early in 1695, refers also to the intended operations on the coast of France. It threatens the French :
' Now the spring's a-coming, our English will be burning Your towns that be builded near the sea.'
' We had another fleet in our own Channel,' continues Burnet, ' that was ordered to bombard the French coast; they did some execution upon St. Malos, and destroyed Grandville that lay not far from it; they also attempted Dunkirk, but failed in the execution ; some bombs were thrown into Calais, but without any great effect; so that the French did not suffer so much by the bombardment as was expected : the country indeed was much alarmed by it; they had many troops dispersed all along their coast; so that it put their affairs in great disorder and we were every­where masters at sea' (Own Times, iv. 277, ed. 1836).
On the other hand, while the French fleet was confined to its ports, English commerce was poorly protected, and it suffered greatly during this period both from privateers and pirates. The pirate now begins to make a figure in ballad literature. The first quarter of the seventeenth century had been marked by the development of the Barbary corsairs, and its last decade was characterised by the growth of a new form of piracy. It is true the buccaneers whose exploits reached their height when Morgan