20 SEPTEMBER 1834, Page 16


Ix one of his most pleasing passages, MILTON has marked the delight which the freshness of the c mittry affords to a person who has been "long in populous city pent." The critic is excited by a somewhat kindred feeling, when he turns from the " weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable " tomes a hick every mouth pours be- fore him (and which demand to be examined, if not to be read), to a production of Maaavafs; for of one thing he is pretty confident —that however it may differ from his other works in the degree of merit, it may . t least be read from the first leaf to the last, with pleasure or profit, or both. In the pages of the Naval Officer, he will find something beyond a mere copy of representa- tions or thoughts generated from observing another age, or what is perhaps even worse than the reflection of a reflection — pure invention, a pseudo-likeness of what is not and never has been. His notions, goad or bad, have been gathered fresh from reality ; he has looked on life with an observing eye and a sympathizing spirit. The conduct of his story rarely shocks proliability ; and 'the termination, though more lucky than life, is coherent with the previous course, and dependent upon it. His characters have an air of truth which satisfies us of the likeness, though we may be ignorant of the originals. A similar observation may be extended to the manners. His style is solid, yet buoyant; plain, with just sufficient point to please; and though effective and forcible when needed, rarely rising to eloquence. lie is a prose CRABBE, with- out his austerity and gloom, but with all his air of reality. There is this qualification, however : we feel that the scenes of the poet bare occurred, arc occurring, and will occur, although not quite of such unredeemed darkness as lie has painted them. The scenes a MARRYAT are not of so general a nature, but he gives us the whole truth. If they ever happened, or whenever they happen again, the whole will take place as he has described them. It is this power of reflecting, as in a mirror, Neither more nor less than the reality, which seems to us his distinguishing characteristic. To the higher qualities of chivalric or poetical power, he makes no pretension. In force and vigour of delineation, he has been far surpassed by SCOTT; in eloquence and brilliancy, he is excelled by BULWER; in the unaffected sympathy with which he enters into the passions and feelings of the most vulgar and the most ignorant, he may find a parellel in Miss MARTI NE AU : but in the power of presenting life as it is—cooking nothing, exaggerating nothing, blackening nothing — he seems to us to stand alone amongst the writers of his century. The avowed object of Jacob Faithful, is to illustrate the im- portance of a good education and good principles, as well as the fully of pride under the guise of independence, and the unhappi- mess which it may induce. He has also given a sharp example of the misery which flirting, especially when favoured by circum- stances, may create; and exhibited—unconseiously, we may "believe—the practical effects of the present mode of manning the Army and Navy. The machinery by which he develops his in- tentions, is a supposed autobiography of his hero : the work may be described us Life on the River and at Sea, in a lighter, a wherry, and a King's ship. Jacob is born in a lighter, Anglia a barge. His parents might literally be said to have their home upon the waters, for they never quitted the vessel ; at least Mr. 'Faithful only "went on shore once a month, to purchase gin, to- bacco, red herrings, and decayed ship-biscuit," for family use. Of Jacob's parents, his father was addicted to his pipe, his mother to

the gin-bottle; but in latter times, "the woman prevailed upon the man," and Mr. Faithful became as devout a worshipper of Juni- per as his spouse. When Jacob was about eleven years old, his another was carried off' one night by spontaneous combustion; and his father threw himself overboard, in a parokysm of terror and intoxication. Jacob is patronized by his employer, and sent to a grammar-school. When he quits it, be is bound apprentice to his patron; sent on board a lighter, where he distinguishes himself by his honesty and his courage. After the detection and punish- ment of the smugglers and receivers by whom she is manned, Jacob is associated with Old and Young Tom—conspicuous cha- racters in the story ; whence he is shortly removed to the count- ing-house. Here his education is of use to him: he gets intro- duced into society, makes friends, and his worldly prospects are fair. But he is misrepresented to Mr. Drummond : a quarrel ensues; and though his master discovers his mistake, Jacob is too proud to receive what he calls favours—he insists upon " inde- pendently" earning his own livelihood; and by the interference of his friend Mr. Turnbull, a retired captain of a Greenlander, he is placed with a waterman. His adventures in this capacity are

many • but after the novelty of his calling wears off as years roll on, and his mind becomes expanded by reading and observation,

he begins to feel and to find the folly of his choice. Before, how- ever, discontent can sink or exertion advance him, he is pressed, or rather kidnapped, on board a King's ship, with his friend Tom. After a few 'maths' service, the career of Jacob may be said to

end. Mr. Turnbull dies, leaving him a sufficient fortune, with. an ample one in reversion : his discharge is procured: lie returns home, and sits down, like the Industrious Apprentice, with hap.

piness and his master's (laughter. But the episode of Young Tom, which begins when the interest of Jacob's autobiography claies, is a powerful and striking illustration of flogging, impress.

menu, and inlistment. It is, however, quietly done—developed rather than displayed. We see how, in the most active and

zealous mind, the original violence or craft which brought its owner into the service, constantly rankles, ready to burst out at the slightest provocation, and showing itself', according to cll.- eumtances, in desertion or insubordination. We also perceive how, upon this point, the highest and noblest minds are reduced to " sneak and to shuffle," and to act harshly, trickily, or tyran- nically, when " men are wanted." And we catch glimpses of

the fearful power which is lodged in mean, subordinate, and tut worthy persons, and too often perhaps abused for some private end. But to return. A bad work gains by -compression—a good one suffia-s; especially a production like the present, which depends

more upon its execution than its plan. In the mere skeleton, the double death of both parents, and in such a manner, seems forced, if not farcical ; yet in the volume it reads like a real event. Here it is.

One fine summer's evening, we were floating up with the tide, deeply lades with coals, to be delivered at the proprietor's wharf, some distance above Putney Bridge: a strong breezy sprang up and checked our progress, and we could not, as we expected, gain the wharf that night. We were about a mile and a half above the bridge when the tide turned against us, and we dropped our anchor. My father, who, expecting to arrive that evening, hail very unwillingly re- mained sober, waited until the lighter had swung to the stream ; and then saying to me, " Remember, Jacob, we must be at the wharf early to-morrow morn-

ing, so keep alive," he went into the cabin to indulge in his potations ; leaving nie in possession Of the deck, and also of my supper, which I never ate below,

the little cabin being no unpleasantly close. Indeed I took all my meals al

fresco ; and, unless-the nights were intensely cold, slept on deck, is the capa- cious dog kennel abaft, which had once keen tenanted by the large mastiff; but he had been dead some years, was thrown overboard' and, in all probabi- lity, had been converted into Epping sausages, at Is. per lb. Some time after his decease, I had taken possession of his apartment, and had performed his duty. I had finished my slipper, which 1 washed down with a considerable portion of Thames water ; for I always drank more when above the bridges, having an idea that it tasted more pure and fowl. I had walked forward and looked at the cable to sec if all was right ; and then, having nothing more todo,I lay down on thedeck, and indulged in the profound speculations of aliny of eleven years old. I was watching the stars above MC', which twinkled faintly, and appeared to me ever and anon to be extinguished, and then relighted. I was wondering what they could be made of, and how they came there, when of a sudden 1 was interrupted in my reveries by a loud shriek, and perceived a strong smell of something burning. The shrieks were renewed again and again, and I had hardly time to get upon my legs when my father burst up from the cabin, rushed over the side of the lighter, and disappeared under the water. I caught a glimpse of his features as he passed me, and observed fright and intoxication blended together. I ran to the side where he ha I disappeared, but could see nothing but a few eddying circles as the tide rushed quickly past. For a few seconds I remained staggered and sttipified at his sudden disappear- ance and evident death ; but I was recalled to recollection by the smoke which encompassed me, and the shrieks of my mother, which were now fainter and fainter, and I hastened to her assistance.

A strong empyreuniatic thick smoke ascended from the hatchway of the cabin ; and, as it hail now fallen calm, it mounted straight up the air in a dense column. I attempted to go in ; but so soon as I encountered the smoke, I found that it was impossible : it would have suffocated me in half a minute. I did what most children would have done in such a s'tuation of excitement and distress—I sat down and cried bitterly. In about ten minutes, I removal my hands, with which I had covered up my face, and looked at the cabin-hatch. The smoke had disappeared, and all was silent. I went to the hatchway, and, although the smell was still overpowering, I found that I could bear it. I descended the little ladder of three steps, and called " Mother !" but there was no answer. The lamp fil;ed against the after bulk-head, with a glass before it, was still alight, and I could see plainly to every corner of the cabin. Nothing was burning—not even the curtains to my mother's lad appeared to be singed. I was astonished : breathless with feaf, with a trembling voice, I again called out " Mother !" I remained more than a minute panting for breath, and they ventured to draw back the curtains of the bed : my mother was not there! but there appeared to be a black mass in the centre of the bed. I put my hand fearfully upon it : it was a sort of unctuous, pitchy cinder. I screamed with horror, my little senses reeled : I staggered from the cabin and fell down on the deck, in a state amounting to almost insanity: it was followed by a sort of

stupor, which lasted for many hours. * * • •

It was broad daylight when I awoke from my state of bodily and mental im- becility. For some time! could not recall to my mind all that had happened : the weight wh;ch pressed upon my feelings told me that it was something dreadful. At length, the cabin-hatch, still open, caught my eye; I recalled all the horrors of the preceding evening, and recollected that I was left alone in the lighter. I got up and stood upon my feet in mute despair. Hooked mound me: the mist of the morning was harming over the river, and the objects on shore were with difficulty to be distinguished. I was chilled from lying all night in the heavy dew, and perhaps still more from previous and extraordinary excitement Venture to go down into the cabin I dared not. I had an indescribable awe, a degree of horror at what I had seen, that made it impossible ; still I was un- satisfied, and would have given worlds, if' I had had them, to explain the mystery. I turnedamy eyes from the cabin-hatch to the water, thought of my father, and then for more than half an hour watched the tide asit ran up, my mind in a state of vacancy. As the sun rose, the mist gradually cleared away; trees, houses, and green fields, other bargee corning up with the tide, boats passing and tepassing, the barking of dogs, the smoke issuing from the various chimnies, all broke upon me by degrees; and I was recalled to the sense that I wag in a busy world, and had my own task to perform. The last words of my father—and his injunctions had ever been a law to me—were, "Mind, Jacob, we must be up at the wharf early to-morrow morning." I prepared to obey him. Purchase the anchor I could not; I therefore slipped the cable, lashing a broken sweep to the end of it, as a buoy-rope, and once more the lighter was at the mercy of the stream, guided by a boy of eleven years old. In about two hours I was within a hundred yards of the wharf, and well in-shore. I hailed for assistance ; and two men who were on board of the lighters moored at the wharf, pushed off in a skiff to know what it was that I wanted. I told them that I was alone in the lighter, without anchor or a cable, and requested them to secure her. They came on !ward, and in a few minutes the lighter was safe alongside of the others. As soon as the lashings were passed, they interrogated one as to what had happened ; but although the fulfilliug of my father's List in- junctions had borne up my spirits, now that they were obeyed a reaction took place. 1 could nut answer them ; I threw myself down on the deck in a paroxysm of grief, and cried as if my heart would break.

The next is in another vein.


My father was a puffy, round bellied, long-armed, little man, admirably cal- culated for his station in or rather out of society. He could manage a lighter As well as anybody ; but he could do no more. lie had been brought up to it from his infancy. Fie sweat on shore fur my mother, and came on board again _the only remarkable event in his life. His whole amusement was his pipe; and, as there is a certain indefinable link between smoking and philosophy, my father, by dint of smoking, had become a perfect philosopher. It is no leas stooge than hue, that we can puff away- our cares with tobacco, when, without it, they remain an trapressive burden to existence. There is no composing- draught like the draught through the tube of a pipe. The savage warriors of Nuith America enjoyed the blessing before we did; and to the pipe is to be ascribed the wisdom of their councils, and the laconic delivery of their senti- ments. It would be well introduced into our own legislative assembly. Ladies, indeed, would no longer peep down through the Ventilator ; but we should have more sense and fewer words. It is also to tobacco that is to be ascribed the stoical firmness of those American warriors, who, satisfied with the pipe in their mouths, submitted with perfect indiffeience to the torture of their enemies. Flom the well-known virtues of this weed arose that peculiar expression, when you irritate another, that you " Put his pipe out." • • •

My father's education had been neglected. He could neither write nor read; but although lie did not exactly, like Cadmus, invent letters, he had accustomed himself to hieroglyphics, generally speaking, sufficient for his purposes, and which might be considered as an artificial memory. " I can't write nor read, Jacob," he would say, " I wish I could ; but look, boy, I means this mark fur three-quarters of a bushel. Mind you recollects it when 1 axes you, or I'll be blowed if I don't wollop you." But it was only a case of peculiar difficulty which would require a new hieroglyphic, or extract such a long speech from my father. I was well acquainted with his usual scratches and dots, and having a good memory, could put him right when he was puzzled with some misshapen z or z, representing seine unknown quantity, like the saute letters in algebra.

There is not much of the sea in the volumes ; but there arc two pieces—the first introduced as a sort of episode by Mr. Turn- bull, the other connected with the tale.


"I should-like very much to go a voyage to the whale fishery," replied 1; "I've heard so much about it from you."

"It is a stirring life, and a hard life. Jacob ; still it is an exciting one. Some voyages will turn out verypleasant, but sometimes when there is continuance of bad weather it is dreadful. I recollect one voyage which made me show more gray hairs than all the others ; and I think I have been twenty-two in all. We were in the drift ice, forcing our way to the Northward, when it came on to blow ; the ten rose, and after a week's gale, it was tremendous. We had little daylight, and when it was daylight, the fog was so thick that we could see but little: there we were tossing among the large drift ice, meeting immense icebergs which bore down with all the force of the gale, and each time we narrowly escaped perish- ing; the rigging was loaded with ice ; the bows of the ship were cased with it; the men were inure than half frozen, and we could not move a rope through a block, without pouring boiling water through it first to clear it out. But then the long, dreary, dreadful nights, when we were rising on the mountain-wave, and then pitching down into the trough, not knowing but that at each send we might strike upon the ice below and go to the bottom immediately afterwards. All pitchy dunk, the wind howling, and as it struck you, cutting you to the backbone with its cold searching power, the waves dancing all black around you, and every now and then perceiving, by its white colour and the foam en- circling it, a huge mass of ice borne upon you, and hurled against you as if there were a daemon, who was using it as an engine for your your destruction. 1 serer shall forget the turning of an iceberg during that dreadful gale, which lasted for a month and three days." "I don't know what that means, Sir."

"Why, you must know, Jacob, that the icebergs are all fresh water, and are supposed to have been detached from the land by the force Gf the weather and ether faUses. Now although ice floats, yet it floats deep ; that is, if an iceberg is five hundred feet high above the water, it is generally six times as deep below the water, do you understand? "

"Perfectly, Sir."

"Now, Jacob, the water is much warmer than the air, and, in consequence, the ice under the water melts away much faster ; so that if an iceberg has been some time afloat, at last the part that is below is not so heavy as that which is above; then it turns, that is it upsets and floats in another position."

"I understand you, Sir."

"Well, we were close to an iceberg, which was to windward of us, a very tall one indeed ; and we reckoned that we should get clear of it, for we were tarrying a press of sail to effect it. Still all hands were eagerly watching the

iceberg, av it came down very fasibefore the storm. All of a sudden it blew twice as hard as before, and then one of the men shouted out, ' Turning, turning P and sure enough it was. There was its towering summit gradually bowing to- wards us, until it almost appeared as if the peak was over our heads. Our fate *Reared inevitable, as the whole mountain of ice was descending on the vessel, sad would, of course, have crushed us into atoms. We all fell on our knees, praying mentally, and watching its awful descent ; even the man at the helm did the same, although lie did not let go the spokes of the wheel. It had nearly half turned over, right for us, when the ice below being heavier on one side than on the other, gave it a more slanting impetus; and shifting the direction of its fall, it plunged Into the sea about a cable's length astern us, throwing up the water to the heavens in foam, and blinding its all with the violence with which it dolled into our faces. For a minute, the run of the waves was checked, and the sea appeared to boil and dance, throwing up peaked pointed masses of water in all directions, one sinking, another rising; the ship rocked and reeled as if she were drunk ; even the current of the gale was checked for a moment, and the heavy sails flapped and cleared themselves of their icy varnishing—then all was over. There was an icabcrg of another shape astern of us : the gale rezom me aced, the waves pressed each other on as before; and we felt the return of the gale, artful as it was, as a reprieve."


In less than an hour the wind had increased, so that we could with difficulty carry our royals; the privateer was holding her own about three miles right a- head, keeping our three masts in one. At sunset, they were furred to take in the rce als, and the sky gave every prospect of a roue; gale. Still we carried on every stitch of canvass which the frigate could bear; keeping the chase in sight with our night-glasses, and watching all her motions

The breeze increased ; before morning there was a heavy sea, and the frigate could only carry top gallant sails over double-reefed topsails. At daylight we had neared the schooner, by the sextants, about a quarter of a mile ; and the captain and officers went down to take some repose and refreshment, not having quitted lie deck mr twenty-four hours. All that day did we chase the privateer, without gaining more than a mile upon her, and it now blew up a furious gale : the top- gallant sails had been before taken in ; the topsails were closed 'erred, and we were running at the speed of nearly twelve miles an hour ; still, so well did the privateer sail, that she was barely within gun-shot, when the sun went down below the horizon, angry and fiery red. There was now great fear that she would escape, from the difficulty of keeping the glasses upon her during the night, in a heavy sea, and the expectation that she would furl all and allow us to pass her. It appeared, however, that this manoeuvre did not cuter into the head of the captain of the privateer : be stood on under a press of sail, which even in daytime would have been considered alarming ; and at daylight, owing to the steering during the night never being so correct as during the day, she had recovered her distance, and was about four ladles from us. The gale, if any thing, had increased, and Captain Maclean determined, notwithstanding, to shake a reef out of the topsails.

In the morning, as usual, Tom came to may cot, and asked me how I was ? I told [Mu I was better, and in less pain, and that thesurgeon had promised to dress my wound after breakfast ; for the•bandages had not been removed since I had first come on board. " And the privateer, TOW, I hope we shall take her : it will be some comfort to me that she is captured."

" I think we shall, if the masts stand, Jamb; but we have an enormous press of sail. as you may guess, by the way in which the frigate jumps: there Is no standing on the forecastle, and there is a regular waterfall down in the waist from forward. We are nearing her now. It is beautiful to see how she behaves : when she heels over, we can perceive that all her men are lashed on deck, and she takes whole seas into her fore and aft mainsail, and pours them out again as she rises from the lurch. She deserves to escape, at all events." She did not, however, obtain her deserts ; for about twelve o'clock its the day we were within a mile of her. At two, the marines were firing small-arms at

her ; for we would not yaw to fire at her a gun, although she was right under our bows. When within a cable's length, we shortened sail,, so as to keep at that distance astern, and the chase, after having lost several men by musketry, the captain of her waved his hat in token of surrender. We immediately shortened sail to keep the weather-gage, pelting her until every sail was lowered down : we then rounded to, keeping her under our lee, and filing art every man. who made his appearance nn deck."

In speaking of MARRYAT'S genius, we have spoken of it gene- rally, not in relation to any particular work. The read'r who should have no other test than Jacob Faithful, might porhaps in- cline to think that we have overrated it. If compared with other novels of the day, or judged of by its powers of amusement,. there is indeed no complaint to make; but if it be estimated by the author's capabilities, or by his former works, it will add little to his reputation. From the more limited nature of the subject, it must of necessity want the variety of incident, the richness of- description, the spirit-stirring and interesting events, together with the broad humour, which distinguished Peter Simple. But there are traces—faint, yet they seem to us clear traces—of the writer's getting on a wrong tack. However skilfully and natu- rally managed, there is some degree of improbability, not in the conduct of the story, bat in the leading events: the different " yarns" we do not object to, for they are amusing in themselves, and illustrative of nautical matters. But the songs, or snatches of songs, by Old Tom, look amazingly as if they were intended to fill up space; and the pedantic quotations of the Dominic, as though they were intended to display the Captain's reading. What is worse, the two men themselves strongly resemble those dramatis personre which the Quarterly denounced as the " bores " of the Author of Waverley—individuals who may truly be called creations of the brain, who if not lugged in upon all occasions, are made of more prominence in the story than their doings warrant,. and who are more amusing to the author than his readers. We may also add, though it has no relation to the merit of the novel,.. that the author has not very happily develop. d the advantages of education. Jacob's classical learning does him no service : his love of reading could have been nourished from English literature ; his ambition or his dissatisfaction grew from his having mixed in the world. Neither does his Latin assist his advancement. The novel—there is room for one—which should really illustrate the importance of a good education, must do it by showing how learn- ing can be brought to bear upon the arts of life and the practices- of the present day.