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THE DARTMOUTH FRIGATE 93
The council was call'd, and demurely they sate, To manage the business by grave debate: The bald-pated rascals (as if they were full Of politick tricks) did squint and look dull,
Yet knew not what to doe in the case;
They could hardly look us in the face,
Their action was so openly base,
And guilt made 'em conscious of their digrace,
Till the Don cry'd out to the grey-bearded knaves, ' We've now got a parcel of brawny slaves, With provision enough to furnish the town ; For (unless we are fools) the ship is our own :
And since they are in, we'll make 'em sure,
Our harbour's mouth is the prison door.
Take my advice, and I will secure
They never shall goe to sea any more.
' And because that the ship is under command, Nor can they the force of our walls withstand, Wee'U suffer these silly poltroons to go free, For their friggot thereby gets no libertie :
But I'le order them to goe where I
Will maul 'em with more conveniency,
Or where upon the shoals they may ly,
And then they may bid their ship good-by.'
The business they had consulted so well, They sent us away, and sent one to tell That if our commander refus'd to obey, And didn't immediately order to weigh,
And further within the harbour sail,
For certain then that he would not fail
To send some bullets to ferk our t[ail],
And those would be words that should prevail.
' In vain,' said the captain, ' you threaten us, sirs, For I value your guns but as barking of currs; Begin when you please, you shall find us to be As brave English hearts as e're saw the sea.
To-morrow I will certainly weigh,
And brave all your guns in open day;
Maugre whatever you do or say,
Your governour's orders I'le not obey.'