“Oh yes, I recollect now, it’s zeal; but this zeal appears to me to be the only unpleasant thing in the service. It’s a pity, as you said, that the service cannot do without it.”

Captain Wilson laughed, and walked away; and shortly afterwards, as he turned up and down the deck with the master, he hinted to him that he should not speak so sharply to a lad who had committed such a trifling error through ignorance. Now Mr. Smallsole, the master, who was a surly sort of a personage, and did not like even a hint of disapprobation of his conduct, although very regardless of the feeling of others, determined to pay this off on Jack, the very first convenient opportunity. Jack dined in the cabin, and was very much pleased to find that every one drank wine with him, and that everybody at the captain’s table appeared to be on an equality. Before the dessert had been on the table five minutes, Jack became loquacious on his favourite topic; all the company stared with surprise at such an unheard—of doctrine being broached on board of a man—of—war; the captain argued the point, so as to controvert, without too much offending, Jack’s notions, laughing the whole time that the conversation was carried on.

It will be observed, that this day may be considered as the first in which Jack really made his appearance on board, and it also was on this first day that Jack made known, at the captain’s table, his very peculiar notions. If the company at the captain’s table, which consisted of the second—lieutenant, purser, Mr. Jolliffe, and one of the midshipmen, were astonished at such heterodox opinions being started in the presence of the captain, they were equally astonished at the cool, good-humoured ridicule with which they were received by Captain Wilson. The report of Jack’s boldness, and every word and opinion that he had uttered (of course much magnified) was circulated that evening through the whole ship; it was canvassed in the gun—room by the officers, it was descanted upon by the midshipmen as they walked the deck; the captain’s steward held a levee abreast of the ship’s funnel, in which he narrated this new doctrine. The sergeant of marines gave his opinion in his berth, that it was damnable. The boat-swain talked over the matter with the other warrant officers, till the grog was all gone, and then dismissed it as too dry a subject: and it was the general opinion of the ship’s company, that as soon as they arrived at Gibraltar Bay, our hero would bid adieu to the service, either by being sentenced by a court—martial, or by being dismissed, and towed on shore on a grating. Others, who had more of the wisdom of the serpent, and who had been informed by Mr. Sawbridge that our hero was a lad who would inherit a large property, argued differently, and considered that Captain Wilson had very good reason for being so lenient—and among them was the second—lieutenant. There were but four who were well inclined towards Jack—to wit, the captain, the first—lieutenant, Mr. Jolliffe, the one—eyed master’s mate, and Mephistopheles, the black, who, having heard that Jack had uttered such sentiments, loved him with all his heart and soul.

We have referred to the second—lieutenant, Mr. Asper. This young man had a very high respect for birth, and particularly for money, of which he had very little.

He was the son of an eminent merchant who, during the time that he was a midshipman, had allowed him a much larger sum for his expenses than was necessary or proper; and, during his career, he found that his full pocket procured him consequence, not only among his own messmates, but also with many of the officers of the ships that he sailed in. A man who is able and willing to pay a large tavern bill will always find followers—that is, to the tavern; and lieutenants did not disdain to dine, walk arm—in—arm, and be “hail fellow well met” with a midshipman, at whose expense they lived during the time they were on shore. Mr. Asper had just received his commission and appointment when his father became a bankrupt, and the fountain was dried up from which he had drawn such liberal supplies. Since that, Mr. Asper had felt that his consequence was gone: he could no longer talk about the service being a bore, or that he should give it up; he could no longer obtain that deference paid to his purse, and not to himself; and he had contracted very expensive habits, without having any longer the means of gratifying them. It was therefore no wonder that he imbibed a great respect for money; and, as he could no longer find the means himself, he was glad to pick up anybody else at whose cost he could indulge in that extravagance and expense to which he had been so long accustomed, and still sighed for. Now, Mr. Asper knew that our hero was well supplied with money, as he had obtained from the waiter the amount

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