“Why, he was brought up on the quarter-deck, served his time, was acting-lieutenant for two years, and then, somehow or another, he bore up for the church.”

“Indeed—what were his reasons?”

“No one knows—but they say he has been unhappy ever since.”

“Why so?”

“Because he did a very foolish thing, which cannot now be remedied. He supposed at the time that he would make a good parson, and now that he has long got over his fit, he finds himself wholly unfit for it—he is still the officer in heart, and is always struggling with his natural bent, which is very contrary to what a parson should feel.”

“Why don’t they allow parsons to be broke by a court-martial, and turned out of the service, or to resign their commissions, like other people?”

“It won’t do, Jack—they serve Heaven—there’s a difference between that and serving his majesty.”

“Well, I don’t understand these things. When do we sail?”

“The day after to-morrow.”

“To join the fleet off Toulon?”

“Yes; but I suppose we shall be driven on the Spanish coast going there. I never knew a man-of-war that was not.”

“No; wind always blows from the south, going up the Mediterranean.”

“Perhaps you’ll take another prize, Jack—mind you don’t go away without the articles of war.”

“I won’t go away without Mesty, if I can help it. Oh dear, how abominable a midshipman’s berth is after a long run on shore! I positively must go on deck and look at the shore, if I can do nothing else.”

“Why, ten minutes ago you had had enough of it.”

“Yes, but ten minutes here has made me feel quite sick. I shall go to the first-lieutenant for a dose.”

“I say, Easy, we must both be physicked on the same day.”

“To be sure; but stop till we get to Malta.”

Jack went on deck, made acquaintance with the chaplain and some of the officers whom he had not known, then climbed up into the maintop, where he took a seat on the armolest, and, as he looked at the shore, thought over the events that had passed, until Agnes came to his memory, and he thought only of her. When a mid is in love, he always goes aloft to think of the object of his affection; why, I don’t know, except that his reverie is not so likely to be disturbed by an order from a superior officer.

The Aurora sailed on the second day, and with a fine breeze, stood across, making as much northing as easting; the consequence was, that one fine morning they saw the Spanish coast before they saw the Toulon fleet. Mr. Pottyfar took his hands out of his pockets, because he could not examine the coast through a telescope without so doing; but this, it is said, was the first time that he had done so on the quarter-deck from the day that the ship had sailed from Port Mahon. Captain Wilson was also occupied with his telescope, so were many of the officers and midshipmen, and the men at the mast-heads used

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