A System That Breeds Contempt In Its Children

SpringBreakRiotWe see in the Spring Break riot in CA what happens when a school system that teaches children from their inception to despise the nation of their birth. When a school system teaches children to so despise the nation of their birth, it not only breeds contempt for the nation, it also breeds contempt for the law, and the very system and people who taught them that contempt. Just wait until they learn how they have been so completely lied to about the history of their country, then we will see that system pulled down around those who forced that contempt upon them, around the ears of those responsible.

You are hereby forewarned politicians, courts, and national education system, including the Government bureaucracy, the NEA, Department of education and so called liberal progressives, who are nothing but leftist tyrannical malcontents who have such disgust for themselves, they can see no good in the nation that has blessed them with its existence.

The Majesty of the Ocean; by Peregrinus Proteus


The Majesty of the Ocean; by Peregrinus Proteus

There is society where none intrude!
By the deep sea, and music in its roar.

I Know of nothing, in the whole compass of Byron’s varied productions, which equals, in sublimity of conception and vividness of coloring, his portraitures of the ocean. Though, for the most part, the bold and masterly touches of genius are displayed in everything which came from his hand, yet, when his imagination fixes upon the “dark-blue sea,” he appears to surpass all other poets. As you muse over his immortal sketches, in the hush of midnight and by the waning lamp, the wild note of the sea-bird and the low murmur of whispering waters and their silvery light—or the death-shriek of the drowning mariner, and the roar of billows, together with the lurid and appalling wave-flash of the reflected lightning, break in upon the silence and dimness of your chamber. Time and space are annihilated by the magic of his numbers, and you feel yourself snatched away to the far-off sea, and regaled by its fresh, cool breezes as you go bounding over its glorious expanse. He was emphatically the poet of the ocean, for the proudest march of his genius was upon its “mountain waves.” He appears to have possessed a delight in its wild scenes, amounting almost to a passionate fondness. In his boyhood, seated on some retired crag, he hung over it, hour after hour of the still summer evenings, and felt, in the excitement of his glowing fancy, a yearning towards it; and when in after years the ties which held him to his country were severed, he flew to its trackless solitudes as to a refuge and a home. Like a proud vessel, which, after having been becalmed and ingloriously confined in some narrow bay, has gained the broad deep and the rushing gale, the indignant bard swept forth in the buoyancy of freedom, rejoicing as the breeze freshened, and exulting in the rudest commotion of the elements. At that stirring hour he could “laugh to flee away” even from the land of his fathers, for in the thrill of his emotions there was less of sadness than of joy. I can see him in imagination, as he strode the deck, now soothing the sorrows of his little page, and now sweeping his deep-toned lyre as he poured his farewell to the receding shores, and a welcome to the waves that came dashing onward from the far stretch of the seaward horizon. The void in his heart, which no father’s love and no mother’s endearing tenderness had preoccupied with images of parental affection, and which had been widening from his boyhood by the death or estrangement of early associates, was now filled with the beauty and stirring majesty of the great deep. The loneliness that brooded like a dark spirit over his melancholy bosom was dispelled for a season by the strange grandeur of the prospects around him; and in the romance of poetical enthusiasm, he regarded the ocean as a living and intelligent existence. As he bent over the prow in the gentle moonlight, he discoursed with it as with a friend, and, in its billowy commotions, he gazed upon it with mingled reverence and joy. And who has not experienced such sensations, even when far away from the ocean, while his thoughts were hovering over its azure domains? I remember what a novel and indescribable feeling used to steal upon me when a boy, whenever I fell in with Virgil’s description of the sea. 1 Lad never been beyond the mountain boundaries of my native valley— never enjoyed even a remote prospect of the sublime object of his inspiration, and, therefore, my young fancy was introduced in those passages, to a fairy world, and left free to expatiate, amid the glorious imagery of the Mantuan bard. After reading of Palinurus or the sweet-voiced Sirens, I have gazed at the little lake, which lies embosomed in the green hills near my father’s cottage, till my eyes grew dim, and its rippling surface seemed to stretch away to a misty and limitless expanse, whilst the sweep of the winds, among the rough crags and pine-forests of the neighboring mountains, uttered to my imagination the voice of the sounding deep. But how far short of reality, both in grandeur and beauty, did I find the conceptions of fancy, when I beheld the object itself, some years after. My first view of it was on a clear, but gusty afternoon of autumn. The winds had been abroad for many hours; and as I looked seaward from the high promontory, and beheld the long rough surges rushing towards me, and listened to their wild roar as they were flung back from the caverned battlements at my feet, I felt as if the pillars of the universe were shaken around me, and stood awed and abased before the majesty of excited nature. Since then, I have been on lofty precipices, while the thunder-cloud was bursting below me—have leaned over the trembling brink of Niagara, and walked within its awful chambers, but the thrill of that moment has never returned. The feeling of awe, however, gradually gave place to an intense but pleasing emotion, and I longed to spring away from the tame and trodden earth, to that wild, mysterious world, whose strange scenes broke so magnificently upon my vision. No wonder that our first roving impulses are towards the ocean. No wonder that the romance and adventurous spirit of youth deems lightly of hardship and peril, when aroused by its stirring presentations. There is something so winning in the multiplied superstitions of its hardy wanderers—something so fascinating in its calm beauty, and so animating in its stormy recklessness, that the ties of country and kindred sit looser at our hearts, as curiosity whispers of its unseen wonders. In after years, when the bloom of existence has lost much of its brightness, when curiosity has become enervated, and the powers of the imagination palsied, where do we sooner return to renew their former pleasing excitement, than to our remembered haunts by the ocean? We leave behind us all the splendor and magnificence of art, all the voluptuous gratifications of society—we break from the banquet and the dance, and fly away to the solitary cliffs, where the sea-bird hides her nest. There the cares, perplexities, and rude jostlings of opposing interests are for a while forgotten. There the turmoil of human intercourse disquiets no longer. There the sweat and dust of the crowded city are dispelled as the cool sea-breeze comes gently athwart our feverish brow. In the exhilaration of the scene, the blood gathers purer at the heart— its pulse-beat is softer, and we feel once more a newness of life, amounting almost to a transport. Delightful remembrances, that lie buried up under the dross of the past, are reanimated, and the charm, the peace, and the freshness of life’s morning innocence again finds in our bosom a welcome and a home. The elastic spring of boyhood is in our step as we chase the receding wave along the white beach, or leap wildly into its glassy depths. In the low, billowy murmur that steals out upon the air, our ear catches the pleasant, but long unheard music of other years, like the remembered voice of a departed companion; and while leaning over some beetling crag, glorious visions pass thronging before our eyes, as, in fancy, we rove through the coral groves, where the mermaids have their emerald bower, or gaze at the hidden beauties, the uncoveted gems, and the glittering argosies that repose amid the stilly waters. The soul goes forth, as it were, to the hallowed and undefiled temples of nature, to be purified of its earthly contaminations. She takes to herself wings, and flies away to the “uttermost parts of the sea,” and even there she hears the voice of the Divinity, witnesses the manifestations of his power, experiences the kind guardianship of his presence, and returns cheered and invigorated to renew her weary pilgrimage.

The ocean is a world by itself, presenting few analogies, either in form or scenery, with the continents it embraces. It seems to stand aloof from the dusty and beaten paths of human ambition in the dignity of conscious independence. Man may bring desolation upon the green earth, or dwarf its gigantic pinnacles to the stature of his groveling conceptions, but over the beauty and majesty of the ocean he has no power. He may mine the solid mountains, dig up buried cities upon which the lava has moldered for centuries, and fix his habitation in their silent courts, but he cannot fathom the abysses of the deep, or walk the lonely streets of St. Ubes or Euphaemia. He may visit the sepulchers of the first patriarchs, he may lift the cerements from the queens of the Ptolomies, but he cannot go down to the ocean-grave of his yesterday’s friend to close his eyes or cast the wild-flower upon his uncoffined bosom. I do not know whether we are capable of forming a true Platonic attachment for an inanimate object, but I sometimes believe that we may. The shrine in which friendship has treasured up its cherished keepsakes, the ring that sparkled on the finger, and the ringlet that once shaded the brow of the departed—whatever, indeed, serves as a remembrance of the absent, or a memento of the dead, speaks eloquently of the existence of such a passion. The home of our childhood has a spell of gladness for our hearts, long after the beloved ones who formed its endearments have passed for ever from its portal. In the devotion of the idolater, also, there seems too much of reality to be the calculation of hypocrisy. The rivers, the hills, and the deep forests have their worshippers; the sun and moon listen to the hymn of the Gheber who regards them with the expression of affection and reverence. With feeling akin to these, the astrologer gazes at the star, whose benignant influence, like an invisible guardian, has, in his belief, wrought out whatever there has been of happiness or prosperity in the unfolding of his destiny. Nor has the ocean lacked its admiring votaries. Byron, as I have before remarked, loved it with a poet’s fondness. He rejoiced in the “[Apparent terras,] coelum undique, et undique pontus;[Land is no longer seen,] heaven on all sides and on all sides the sea]” a striking image of his far-reaching mind. The imaginative Shelley passed his brightest hours upon its waters, and at last found a welcome grave in their hidden bosom. I once heard a romantic story of a seaman whose attachment for the ocean was peculiarly striking. He became acquainted with it when young, and, after having spent many years amidst its scenes, he ceased from his wanderings and returned to his native village. The remaining companions of his early days kindly welcomed him back, while his old, fond mother clung tenderly and with tears, to her rough, but warm-hearted son. For a while he forgot the delights of his wild rovings, in the pleasing associations which filled his mind, and in narrating to the listening villagers the wonders of the deep and his own perilous, yet congenial adventures. At length he grew silent and evidently discontented, and the expression of delight passed from his bronzed and weather-beaten countenance. All perceived the change, and all strove to dispel his hidden despondency; yet still he continued melancholy and ill at ease. At last, his mother, on entering his chamber one morning, found an affectionate farewell written on an old chart and directed to herself, with the collected earnings of his years of peril. But the endeared inmate had gone. He took his way back to the ocean, and wandered from port to port, but, broken down by age and hardship, he could find no employ among its adventurers. With a heart aching from the dull monotony, the tame, listless quietude of the land, he retired to a small hamlet on the coast, and, with the assistance of some kind fishermen, built him a little bark. Once more he committed himself to the guidance of the rough elements, and once more the look of gladness settled on the hard features of the old sailor. Alone, but not solitary, he went forth upon the deep, and for many years after, the floating home of the ocean hermit was seen at all seasons in the Caribbean Archipelago. No one, not even the ruthless pirate, molested him in his quiet wanderings, but all greeted him with a hearty salutation, and all received a warm Godspeed in return. During the day, he sailed gently along the luxuriant islands of the tropics, singing some wild old ballad of the sea, as he cast his fishing-lines into its sparkling depths; and at night, after having filled his can from the fresh spring, and laid in a supply of fruits, he moored his little vessel in some calm bay, and slept as soundly as under the roof-tree of his mother’s cottage. Time passed on, and severer infirmities began to steal upon his once vigorous frame, so that it was with difficulty he could now provide the common necessaries of life. At length, some soldiers, seeing his boat in the vicinity of their fort, went down to the beach to welcome their old acquaintance. Slowly and regularly it drifted ashore, when they found its debilitated possessor stretched insensible, in his narrow cabin. They conveyed the famished man to their quarters, and used the best means in their power for his recovery. He was restored to reason, seemed grateful for their kind attentions, and for a while appeared convalescent. One evening, however, after one of those tremendous hurricanes so common in those latitudes, the roar of the sea swelled up into his silent apartment and fell upon his ear. In the absence of the attendants, he crept languidly from his couch and crawled to the terrace, which overlooked a wide extent of ocean. The winds had died away, not a cloud dotted the bright azure of the horizon, and the moon and stars were looking peacefully down upon the troubled deep. Far as the eye could reach, all was one wide, awful commotion. The old mariner bent forward upon the parapet, as if to spring away toward the scenes he loved so well. Before him, on the strand, lay the wreck of his little shallop, and a groan escaped him as he recognized its shattered form; but he knew that his wanderings were ended, and he sent his swimming glance far out upon the waters. And there they found him, his gray head resting on his shoulder, his withered arms thrown forth upon the wall, and his eyes fixed intently upon the deep; but his spirit had passed away in the transport of that fond, lingering, farewell gaze.

Prophetic: Necessity of a Pure National Morality by Lyman Beecher


Prophetic Sermon by Lyman Beecher; the father of Henry Ward Beecher

Necessity of a Pure National Morality; by Lyman Beecher (1775 – 1863) Presbyterian minister.

Ezekiel, xxxiii. 10.

Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; thus ye speak, saying, if our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

At the time this direction was given to the prophet, the nation of Israel had become very wicked, and were suffering in captivity the punishment of their sins; and yet they did not reform. They affected to doubt whether, if they did reform, the Most High would pardon them; and if he would, it would afford them no consolation, for reformation, they insisted, had become hopeless. “Our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?” The burden has increased, until we are crushed beneath it—the disease has progressed, until it has become incurable.

They were correct in the inference that if they did not reform they must die; but they erred lamentably in the conclusion that reformation was hopeless.

To wipe off such an aspersion from his character, and to banish from the minds of his people such desponding apprehensions, the Most High condescends to expostulate with them. Have I any pleasure in the death of him that dieth? Is it my fault, that nations are wicked? Do I constrain them to sin, or prevent their reformation? As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: “turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

We are brought, therefore, by the text and its connections, to the doctrine,

That A Work Of Reformation, In A Time Of Great Moral Declension, Is A Difficult, But By No Means An Impracticable Work.

In the illustration of this doctrine, it is proposed to consider,

I. Some of the difficulties, which may be expected to impede a work of reformation.

II. Show that such a work is, notwithstanding, entirely practicable.

III. Consider some of the ways, in which it may be successfully attempted. And

IV. The motives to immediate exertion.

With respect to the difficulties which may be expected to attend a work of reformation, one obvious impediment will be found in the number and character of those who must be immediately affected by such a work.

The sons of Belial, in a time of declension, are numerous and daring. Emboldened by impunity, they have declared themselves independent both of God and man, and are leagued by a common interest and a common feeling, to defend their usurped immunities. They are watchful and zealous; and the moment an effort is made to execute the laws, every mouth is open against the work; and their clamors, and sneers, and threatenings, and lies, like the croakings of Egypt, fill the land.

This direct opposition, may be expected to receive from various sources collateral aid. In this wicked world, where the love of money is the root of evil, there are not a few who traffic in the souls and bodies of men. Not immoral always, in their own conduct, they thrive by the vices of other men; and may be tempted to resist a reformation which would dry up these impure sources of revenue. They would not justify intemperance, nor the means of promoting it; but pretexts are never wanting to conceal the real motives of men, and justify opposition to whatever they deem inconsistent with their interest. Though reformation, therefore, might be admitted to be desirable, either the motives of those who make the attempt, or the means by which they make it, will always be wrong; and it will be impossible ever to devise a right way, till their interest is on the other side. In many cases, it is to be hoped, that integrity would get the victory over cupidity; but in many more, it is to be feared, that avarice, secretly or openly, would send recruits to the standard of opposition.

This phalanx may receive some augmentation from those, whose pride may be wounded through the medium of their unhappy relatives. They could endure to see them live in infamy, and die in despair, while they shrink from the imagined disgrace of applying a remedy which may rescue the victim, or limit the influence of his pestilent example. How long shall it be, ere men will learn that sin is infamy, and that reformation is glory and honor!

To the preceding, must be added the opposition of all the timid, falsely called, peace makers.

They lament bitterly the prevailing evils of the day, and multiply predictions of divine judgments and speedy ruin; but if a voice be raised, or a finger be lifted to attempt a reformation, they are in a tremor lest the peace of society be invaded. Their maxim would seem to be, ‘better to die in sin, if we may but die quietly, than to purchase life and honor by contending for them.’ If men will be wicked, let them be wicked, if they will but be peaceable. But the mischief is, men freed from restraint will be wicked, and will not be peaceable. No method can be devised more effectual to destroy the peace of society, than tamely to give up the laws to conciliate the favor of the flagitious. Like the tribute paid by the degenerate Romans to purchase peace of the northern barbarians, every concession will increase the demand, and render resistance more hopeless.

Another class of men will encamp very near the enemy, through mere love of ease.

They would have no objection that vice should be suppressed and good morals promoted, if these events would come to pass of their own accord; but, when the question is asked, ‘What must be done?’ this talk of action is a terrific thing; and if, in their panic, they go not over to the enemy, it is only because the enemy also demands courage and enterprise. In this dilemma, it is judged expedient to put in requisition the resources of wisdom, and gravely to caution against rashness, and innovation, and zeal without knowledge, until all about them are persuaded that the safest, and wisest, and easiest way, is to do nothing.

There is another class of men, not too indolent, but too exclusively occupied with schemes of personal enterprise, to bestow their time or labor upon plans which regard only the general good.

If their fields bring forth abundantly, if their profession be lucrative, if they can buy, and sell, and get gain, it is enough. Society must take care of itself. Distant consequences are not regarded, and generations to come must provide for their own safety. The stream of business hurries them on without the leisure of a moment, or an anxious thought concerning the general welfare.

Another impediment to be apprehended when the work of reformation is attempted, is found in the large territory of neutral ground, which, on such occasions, is often very populous.

Many would engage in the enterprise cheerfully, were they quite certain it could be done with perfect safety. But perhaps it may injure their interest, or affect their popularity. They take their stand therefore, on this safe middle ground—they will not oppose the work, for perhaps it may be popular; and they will not help the work, for perhaps it may be unpopular. They wait therefore, till they perceive whether Israel or Amalek prevail, and then, with much self complacency, fall in on the popular side. This neutral territory is especially large in a republican government, where so much emolument and the gratification of so much ambition depend upon the suffrages of the people. It requires no deep investigation to make it manifest to the candidate for suffrage, that if he lend his influence to prevent travelling on the sabbath, the sabbath-breaker will not vote for him; if he lay his hand upon tippling shops and drunkards, the whole suffrage of those who are implicated will be turned against him. Hence, many who should be a terror to evil doers, will bear the sword in vain. They will persuade themselves that theirs is a peculiar case; and that it is not best for them to volunteer in the work of reformation.

To reduce the power of this, temptation, it may be laid down as a maxim, that when the toleration of crimes becomes the price of public suffrage, when the people will not endure the restraint of righteous laws, but will reward magistrates who violate their oath and suffer them to sin with impunity, and when magistrates will sell their consciences and the public good for a little brief authority,’ then the public suffrage is of but little value, for the day of liberty is drawing to a close, and the night of despotism is at hand. The people are prepared to become slaves; and the flagitious to usurp the government, and rule them with a rod of iron. No compact formed by man is more unhallowed or pernicious, than this tacit compact between rulers and the people to dispense with the laws, and tolerate crimes.

In the midst of these difficulties, there are not a few who greatly magnify them by despondency. Like the captive Israelites, they sit down, and fold their hands, and sigh, and weep, and wish that something might be done, but inculcate unceasingly the disheartening prediction, that nothing can be done. “It is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants; and we were in our oivn sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Because the work cannot be done at once, they conclude that it can never be done. Because all that might be desirable cannot, perhaps ever, be obtained, they conclude that nothing can be obtained. Talk of reformation, and the whole nation with all its crimes rises up before them, and fills them with dismay and despair. It seems never to have occurred to them, that if we cannot do great good, it is best to do a little; and that, by accomplishing with persevering industry all that is practicable, the ultimate amount may be great, surpassing expectation.

There is yet another class of people who by no means despair of deliverance, but they have no conception that human exertion will be of much avail. ‘If we are delivered, God must deliver us, and we must pray and wait, till it shall please him to come and save us.’ But, upon this principle we may pray and wait forever, and the Lord will not come. The kingdom of God is a kingdom of means, and though the excellency of the power belongs to him exclusively, human instrumentality is indispensable.

It is by no means improbable that some may be aroused to oppose any special efforts at reformation, merely from their novelty. It is lamentable that such efforts should be a novelty in a world, where they are always so necessary to keep back the encroachments of vice—but so it is. If the exertions, however good and proper, have not been made before, it seems to be with some a valid reason why they never should be made.—’ What new thing is this? Did our fathers ever do so?’ They had not the same occasion. But because they did not make special efforts to repel an enemy which did not assail them, shall we neglect to resist an enemy which is pouring in like a flood, and threatening to sweep us away? There are some who look with cold philosophic eye upon the progress of crimes, as a part of that great course of events which will roll on resistless in spite of human endeavor. And we know, that the genius of the government, the progress of science, and the refinement of wealth and luxury, will draw after them a train of consequences which no human efforts can prevent. But are these consequences evil only? Are not certain vices left behind in the rude age, and certain virtues produced by the age of refinement? If there be greater facilities of committing crimes, are there not also increased facilities of preventing them? And if the balance be, on the whole, against us, is this an argument that we can do nothing; or only that we should double our diligence as dangers increase? Because nations have not resisted this tide of human events, does it follow that it cannot be resisted? May not the deleterious causes be modified and counteracted, and their results delayed, if not averted? Will the christian religion and its institutions exert no saving influence in our favor? Because Greece and Rome who had not this precious system, perished by their vices, is it certain that nations must perish now, who experience its preserving influence? We have seen what idols can do, and we have before us the results of atheism. Let us now, with double diligence water the tree whose leaves are for the healing of the nations; and not despair of its restoring influence, till the experiment has been faithfully made and has failed.

But not a few, after all, it may be feared, will stand aloof from the work of reformation, from the persuasion that we are in no danger. ‘The world is no worse than it always has been, and this pretence of growing wickedness, is only a song of alarm sung by superstition, from age to age.’ Surely then, if we may credit testimony, the world has been uniformly bad enough to make reformation desirable; and if, without special efforts, it has been stationary, the prospect of improvement by exertion is bright, and we are utterly inexcusable if we do not make the attempt.

But is it true that nations do not decline? Whence then the punishment of the Israelites for this sin, and whence the maxim we have just combated, that they must and will decline? Were the morals of the Roman empire as good when it was sold at auction, as at any antecedent period? Was the age of Charles the Second in England as favorable to virtue, as any preceding age? Did the late war produce in our own land, no change for the worse? Are the morals of New England as pure now, as they ever have been? Is the God of heaven as universally worshipped in the family? Are children as much accustomed to subordination, and as faithfully instructed in religion? Are the laws against immorality as faithfully executed, and the occasions for their interference as few, as at any former period? Has there been no increase of slander, falsehood, and perjury? Is the sabbath day remembered and kept holy, with its ancient strictness? Did our fathers journey, and labor in the field, and visit, and ride out for amusement on that holy day, and do these things with impunity? Has there been no increase of intemperance? Was there consumed, in the days of our fathers, the proportion of five gallons of ardent spirits for every man, woman, and child in the land; and at an expense, more than sufficient to support the Gospel, the civil government, and every school and literary institution? Did our fathers tolerate tippling-shops all over the land, and enrich merchants and beggar their families, by mortgaging their estates to pay the expenses of intemperance? Did the ardent spirits consumed by laborers amount, not unfrequently, to almost half the price of their labor; and did they faint often ere the day was past, and fail before the summer was ended, and die of intemperance in the midst of their days? It is capable of demonstration, that the vigor of our countrymen, the amount of productive labor and their morals, are declining together under the influence of this destructive sin.

We are to show

II. That notwithstanding all these impediments, a reformation is entirely practicable.

If it were not practicable, why should it be commanded, and disobedience be followed with fearful punishment? Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? Are not all his requisitions according to what a man hath, and not according to what he hath not? The commands of God are the measure and the evidence of human ability. He is not an hard master, reaping where he has not sowed, and gathering where he has not strawed. The way of the Lord is not unequal—he never demands of men the performance of impossibilities. We conclude therefore, that reformation is practicable, because it is the unceasing demand of heaven, that nations, as well as individuals, do turn from their evil ways.

But facts corroborate theory. Reformations great and difficult, have been achieved. Such was the reformation from Popery begun by Luther. Who, before the event, would have conceived it possible, that an individual could awake half of Europe from the slumber of ages, and shed upon the nations that light, which is shining more and more to the perfect day.

The abolition of the slave trade in England, and in our own country, is a memorable exhibition of what may be done by well directed, persevering efforts. The inhuman traffic was sanctioned by custom, defended by argument, and, still more powerfully, by a vast monied capital embarked in the trade. It is not yet fifty years since this first effort was made, and-now the victory is won. Who produced this mighty revolution? A few men at first lifted up their voice, and were reinforced by others, till the immortal work was done.

A thousandth part of the study, and exertion, and expense, and suffering, endured to achieve our independence, would be sufficient with the divine blessing, to preserve our morals and perpetuate our liberties forever. Should a foreign foe invade us, there would be no despondency; every pulse would beat high, and every arm would be strong. It is only when criminals demand the surrender of our laws and institutions, that all faces gather paleness and all hearts are faint. Men, who would fly to the field of battle to rescue their country from shame, tremble at the song of the drunkard, and flee, panic struck, before the army of the aliens.

But we have facts to produce, facts, more decisive than a thousand arguments, to prove that such reformation as we need is practicable.

Desperate as the state of the Jews was in their own estimation, they were reformed, and did not at that time, pine away and die in their sins. And never, perhaps, was such a work attended with circumstances of greater difficulty. The whole order of God’s worship had been superseded by the captivity, and was again to be restored. Many of the people had contracted unlawful marriages; and husbands and wives were to be separated, and parents and children. Some had been in the habit of treading the wine press on the sabbath day, and bringing in sheaves, and wine, and grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens. The people held also constant intercourse with Syrian merchants, who came into their city on the sabbath and traded with them. But great as were the difficulties, Nehemiah and Ezra and the elders of the land undertook, and by the help of God accomplished the work of reformation.

Other efforts of the same kind have been crowned with similar success. A society was established in London about the year 1697, to suppress vice by promoting the execution of the laws. The moral state of the city and nation at that time, and the success of their association, are thus described by a respectable historian:

“It is well known, to our shame, that profane swearing and cursing, drunkenness, and open lewdness and profanation of the Lord’s day have been committed with great impunity, and without control, without either shame, or fear of laws, so that they were seen and heard at noon day, and in the open streets. Debauchery had diffused itself through the whole body of the nation, till, at last, our morals were so corrupted, that virtue and vice had with too many changed their names. It is was reckoned breeding, to swear—gallantry, to be lewd—good humor, to be drunk—and wit, to despise serious things. In this state of things, reformation was indeed talked of as an excellent thing, but vice was looked upon as too formidable an enemy to be provoked; and public reformation was thought to be so difficult a thing, that those who gave it very good words, thought it not safe to set about it. When things were in this dismal, and almost desperate state, it came into the hearts of five or six private gentlemen to engage in this hazardous enterprise. This was such an undertaking, as might well be expected soon to alarm the enemy, and which the patrons of vice would attempt to defeat, before any progress could be made—and so it proved. The champions of debauchery put themselves in array to defend their infamous liberties, to ridicule, to defame, and to oppose this design. And others, whom in charity we could not look upon as enemies, were forward to censure these attempts as the fruit of an imprudent zeal. But notwithstanding a furious opposition from adversaries, and the unkind neutrality of friends, these gentlemen not only held their ground, but made advances into the territory of the enemy. The society, commencing with five or six, soon embraced numbers and persons of eminence in every station. In imitation of this society and for the same purpose, other societies were formed in every part of the city, and among the sober of almost every profession and occupation. Beside these, there were about thirty-nine religious societies in and about London, who, among other objects, made that of reformation a prominent one.

“The effects of these combinations were favorable beyond the most sanguine expectation. From their vigilance and promptitude the growing vices of the day were checked, insomuch, that it was soon found difficult to detect a single criminal in the streets and markets, where, a little before, horrid oaths, curses, and imprecations might be heard, day and night. Multitudes of drunkards, profaners of the Lord’s day, besides hundreds of disorderly houses, were brought to justice, and such open vices suppressed. Nor were the good effects of these associations limited to the city. They soon extended to most of the principal towns and cities of the nation, to Scotland and Ireland; so that a great part of the kingdom have been awakened in some measure to a sense of duty, and thereby a very hopeful progress is made towards a general reformation.”

Similar societies have been formed in England, at different times, ever since. In 1802, a very respectable society of the above description was established in London. It experienced, at first, most virulent opposition, but has completely surmounted every obstacle, and now commands fear, and respect, and gratitude. Such has been its influence in preventing crimes, that at one annual meeting the number of convictions reported was an hundred and seventy-eight, at the next, only seventy. As it respects the observation of the sabbath particularly, the whole city of London exhibits, to a considerable degree, a new face. A vast number of shops which used to be open on that day, are closed. The butchers of several markets have thanked the society for compelling them to an act which they find productive of so much comfort to themselves; and have even associated to secure that triumph, which the labors of the society had won.

Their useful and disinterested labors have received the commendation and thanks of the Lord Chief Justice, of more than one of the judges, and of a variety of magistrates. We desire also to bring our gift to their altar, (says the Christian Observer, from which work we have taken this account,) and to add the feeble testimony of our opinion, that this society deserves well of its country.

In this country, about the year 1760, a society was formed in the State of Maryland, to aid the civil magistrate in the execution of the laws. And so well, it is said, did the society succeed, as to induce numbers in different States to imitate their example. From that time to the present similar associations have been formed in various places, as exigencies have demanded, and with good effect, whenever their exertions have been made with prudence and decision.

We consider the fact, therefore, as now established, that reformation in a season of prevailing moral declension, is entirely practicable. And if it be so, it is a glorious fact, shedding light upon the darkness of the present day.

We are to consider

III. Some of the ways, in which this great work may be successfully attempted.

And doubtless, in the first place, the public attention must be called to this subject, and the public mind must be impressed with a proper sense of danger, and of the necessity of reformation.

From various causes,nations are prone to sleep over the dangers of moral depravation till their destruction comes upon them. A small portion only of the whole mass of crimes is seen at any one point. A few tippling shops are observed in a particular place, impoverishing families, and rearing up drunkards, but it is not considered that thousands, with like pestilential influence, are at work all over the land, training up recruits to hunt down law and order. A few instances are witnessed of needless travelling, or labor, or amusement on the sabbath, which excite a momentary alarm. But it is not considered that a vast army, probably three millions of people, are assailing at the same time this great bulwark of christian lands.

The progress of declension is also so gradual, as to attract from day to day but little notice, or excite but little alarm. Now this slow but certain approximation of the community to destruction must be made manifest. The whole army of conspirators against law and order, and the shame, and the bondage, and the woe, which they are preparing for us, must be brought out and arrayed before the public eye.

This exposition of public guilt and danger is the appropriate work of Gospel ministers. They are watchmen set upon the walls of Zion to descry and announce the approach of danger. And if, through sloth, or worldly avocations, or fear of man, they blow not the trumpet at the approach of the enemy, and the people perish, the blood of the slain will the Lord require at their hands. Civil magistrates are also ministers of God, attending continually upon this very thing. It is their exclusive work, “to see to it, that the commonwealth receives no detriment.” Indeed, every man is bound to be vigilant, and firm, and unceasing, in this great work. And by sermons, and conversation, and tracts, and newspapers, and magazines, and legislative aid, the point may be gained. The public attention may be called up to the subject, and just apprehensions of danger may be excited; and when this is done, the greatest danger is past—the work is half accomplished.

The next thing to be attempted, is the reformation of the better part of the community.

In a time of general declension, some who are comparatively virtuous, perhaps professedly pious, yield insensibly to the influence of bad example. Habits are formed, and practices are allowed, which none would, indulge in better days but the openly vicious. Each says of his own indulgence, “Is it not a little one?” But the aggregate guilt is great; and the aggregate demoralizing influence of such license in such persons, is dreadful. It annihilates the influence of their good example; tempts the inexperienced to enter, and the hardened to go on, in the downward road; and renders all efforts to save them unavailing. If we would attempt therefore^ successfully, the work of reformation, we must make the experiment first upon ourselves. We must cease to do evil, and learn to do well, that with pure hands and clear vision, we may be qualified to reclaim others. If our liberty, even in things lawful, should become a stumbling block to the weak or the wicked, it may be no superfluous benevolence to forego gratifications innocent in themselves, that we may avoid the appearance of evil, and cut off occasion of reproach from all whom our exertions may provoke to desire occasion.

The next thing demanding attention, is the religious education of the rising generation.

When the subject of reformation is proposed, multitudes turn their eyes to places of the greatest depravation, and to criminals of the most abandoned character, and because these strong holds cannot be carried, and these sons of Belial reformed, they conclude that nothing can be done. But reformation is not the work of a day, and, if the strong holds of vice cannot be stormed, there is still a silent, certain way of reformation. Immoral men do not live forever; and if good heed be taken that they draw no new recruits from our families, death will achieve for us a speedy victory. We may stand still, and see the salvation of God. Death will lay low the sons of Anak, and a generation of another spirit will occupy without resistance their fortified places.

From various causes the ancient discipline of the family has been extensively neglected. Children have neither been governed nor instructed in religion, as they were in the days of our fathers. The imported discovery that human nature is too good to be made better by discipline, . that children are enticed from the right way by religious instruction, and driven from it by the rod, and kept in thraldom [the state of being a thrall; bondage; slavery; servitude] by the conspiracy of priests and legislators, has united not a few in the noble experiment of emancipating the world by the help of an irreligious, ungoverned progeny. The indolent have rejoiced in the discovery that our fathers were fools and bigots, and have cheerfully let loose their children to help on the glorious work, while thousands of families, having heard from their teachers, or believing in spite of them, that morality will suffice both for earth and heaven, and not doubting that morality will nourish without religion, have either not reared the family altar, or have put out the sacred fire, and laid aside together the rod and the Bible as superfluous auxiliaries in the education of children. From the school too, with pious regard for its sacred honors, the Bible has been withdrawn, lest, by a too familiar knowledge of its contents, children should learn to despise it; as if ignorance were the mother of devotion, and the efficacy of laws depended upon their not being understood. With similar benign wisdom has not only the rod, but government, and catechetical instruction, and a regard to the moral conduct of children been exiled from the school. These sagacious counsels emerging from beneath, were heedlessly adopted by many as the wisdom from above, until their result began to disclose their different origin. For it came to pass in many places, that the school, instead of a nursery of piety, became often a place of temptation, where children, forgetting the scanty instruction of the family, learned insubordination by indulgence and impiety, and immorality, by the example of those who were permitted to sin with impunity. The consequence has been, that on all sides our ancient institutions are assailed, and our venerable habits and usages are passing away.

To retrieve these mischiefs of negligence and folly, a general effort must be made to restore our ancient system of education. There must be concert, new zeal, and special exertion; and let no man predict that the holy enterprise cannot succeed. Because we have listened to the siren song of vain philosophy, and floated listlessly down the stream till the precipice appears, shall we despair to row back when danger inspires courage, and calls aloud for a common effort?

Our fathers were not fools; they were as far from it as modern philosophers are from wisdom. Their fundamental maxim was, that man is desperately wicked, and cannot be qualified for good membership in society, without the influence of moral restraint. With great diligence therefore, they availed themselves of the laws and institutions of revelation, as embodying the most correct instruction and the most powerful moral restraint. The word of God was daily read, and his worship celebrated in the family and in the school, and children were trained up under the eye ol Jehovah. In this great work, pastors and churches and magistrates co-operated. And what moral restraint could not accomplish, was secured by parental authority and the coercion of the law. The success of these efforts corresponded with the wisdom of the system adopted, and the fidelity with which it was reduced to practice. Our fathers established and, for a great while preserved the most perfect state of society, probably, that has ever existed in this fallen world.

The same causes will still produce the same effects, and no other causes will produce them. New England can only retain her pre-eminence, by upholding those institutions and habits which produced it. Divested of these, like Samson shorn of his locks, she will become as weak and as contemptible as any other land. But let the family and the school be organized and ordered according to the ancient pattern; let parents, and schoolmasters, and pastors, and churches, and magistrates, do their duty, and all will be well. The crown of glory will return, and the most fine gold will shine again in all its ancient luster.

But we must here state more particularly, the indispensable necessity of executing promptly the laws-against immorality.

Much may be done in the way of prevention; but, in a free government, moral suasion and coercion must be united. If children be not religiously educated, and accustomed in early life to subordination, the laws will fail in the unequal contest of subduing tigers to their yoke. But if the influence of education and habit be not confirmed and guarded by the supervening influence of law, this salutary restraint will be swept away by the overpowering force of human depravity. To retrieve therefore our declension, it is indispensable, not only that new fidelity pervade the family, the school, and the church of God, but that the laws against immorality be restored to their ancient vigor. Laws unexecuted are worse than nothing; mere phantoms, which excite increased audacity, when the vain fears subside which they have inspired. If the stream must have its course, it is better not to oppose obstructions which will only increase its fury, and extend the desolation when they are swept away.

But in a season of great moral declension, how shall we raise from the dust neglected laws, and give to them life and vigor? The multiplication of new prohibitions and penalties will not avail, for the evil to be redressed is the non-execution of laws already competent, if executed, to our protection., Shall the government itself stand forth the watchful guardian of its own laws? Too often it may lack the inclination, and it will always be too much occupied by other concerns, to exercise the minute agency that is requisite.

Shall the work then be delegated to a subordinate magistracy? The neglect of official duty is the very evil for which we now seek a remedy. Shall individuals then, volunteer their assistance? It is possible, that they may sometimes experience a rebuke from the magistrate to whose aid they come. The workers of iniquity also, will conspire constantly to hunt them down; while thousands of prudent well wishers to the public morals will look on and see them sacrificed, pitying their rashness, and blessing themselves, that they were wise enough to stand aloof from enterprises of so much danger.

Direct evils compel men to execute the law, while crimes full of deadly consequences are suffered to prevail with impunity. With relentless zeal the sword pursues the fugitive thief and murderer, and no city of refuge affords them a sanctuary; while thousands devote themselves to the work of training up thieves and murderers, and in open day cut the moral ties which bind them, and let them loose upon society. And yet the sword sleeps; and judgment is turned away backward; and justice standeth afar off; while truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

To secure then, the execution of the laws against immorality in a time of prevailing moral declension, an influence is needed distinct from that of the government, independent of popular suffrage, superior in potency to individual efforts, and competent to enlist and preserve the public opinion on the side of law and order.

This most desirable influence as we have before observed, has been found in local voluntary associations of the wise and the good, to aid the civil magistrate in the execution of the laws. These associations are eminently adapted to answer their intended purpose. They awaken the public attention, and by the sermons, the reports, and the conversation they occasion, diffuse much moral instruction; they combine the wisdom and influence of all who desire to prevent crimes, and uphold peace and good order in society; they have great influence to form correctly the public opinion, and to render the violation of the law disgraceful, as well as dangerous; they teach the virtuous part of the community their strength, and accustom them to act, as well as to wish and to pray; they constitute a sort of disciplined moral militia, prepared to act upon every emergency, and repel every encroachment upon the liberties and morals of the State. By their numbers, they embolden the timid, and intimidate the enemy; and in every conflict, the responsibility being divided among many, is not feared. By this auxiliary band the hands of the magistrate are strengthened, the laws are rescued from contempt, the land is purified, the anger of the Lord is turned away, and his blessing and protection restored.

If, beside these local associations, a more extended concert of wise and good men could be formed, to devise ways and means of suppressing vice and guarding the public morals, to collect facts and extend information, and, in a thousand nameless ways, to exert a salutary general influence, it would seem to complete a system of exertion, which, we might hope, would retrieve what we have lost, and perpetuate forever civil and religious institutions. Associations of this general nature for the promotion of the arts and sciences, have exerted a powerful influence with great success; and no reason, it is presumed, can be given, why the cause of morals may not be equally benefitted by similar associations.

Finally; To counteract the prevalent declension, and raise the standard of public morals, it is peculiarly necessary to preserve indissoluble the connection between sin and shame.

A sense of shame will deter multitudes from the commission of crimes, whom conscience alone would not deter. Happily, in New England, immorality of every description has from the beginning been associated with disgrace. But the prevalence of wickedness in high places, and the growing frequency of crimes have at length paralyzed the public sensibility, and lightened the tax of shame. Hence, criminals whom our fathers would have abhorred, have been first “endured, then pitied, then embraced.” This compromise with crimes if persisted in, will undo us. Let the profligate be received with complacency into virtuous society, and enjoy without impediment the suffrage of the community, and the public conscience will be seared as with a hot iron; the distinctions between right and wrong will disappear; the wicked, openmouthed, will walk on every side, and tread down with impunity the remnants of law and order. If we would reform the land we must return therefore to the stern virtue of our ancestors, and lay the whole tax of shame upon the dissolute and immoral.

Let this circumspection concerning moral character attend us in the selection of schoolmasters to instruct our children; of subordinate magistrates to manage the concerns of the town, and to execute the laws of the State; and in selecting the members of our State and National Legislatures; and we shall soon experience the good effects of our caution. But disregard this single consideration, and clothe with power irreligious and immoral men, and we cannot stop the prevalence of crimes. From the bad eminence to which we exalt the wicked, the flood of iniquity will roll down upon us, and the judgments of God will follow and sweep us away.

IV. We are to consider some of the motives which should animate the wise and the good to make immediate and vigorous exertion for the reformation of morals, and the preservation of our laws and institutions.

And certainly, the importance of the interest in jeopardy demands our first and most serious regard.

If we consider only the temporal prosperity of the nation, the interest is the most important earthly interest that ever called forth the enterprise of man. No other portion of the human race ever commenced a national existence as we – commenced ours. Our very beginning was civilized, learned, and pious. The sagacious eye of our ancestors looked far down the vale of time. Their benevolence laid foundations, and reared superstructures, for the accommodation of distant generations. Through peril, and tears, and blood, they procured the inheritance, which, with many prayers, they bequeathed unto us. It has descended in an unbroken line. It is now in our possession impaired indeed by our folly, perverted and abused, but still the richest inheritance which the mercy of God continues to the troubled earth. Nowhere beside, if you search the world over, will you find so much real liberty; so much equality; so much personal safety, and temporal prosperity; so general an extension of useful knowledge; so much religious instruction; so much moral restraint; and so much divine mercy, to make these blessings the power of God, and the wisdom of God unto salvation. Shall we throw away this precious bequest? Shall we surrender our laws and liberties, our religion and morals, our social and domestic blessings, to the first invader? Shall we despair and die of fear, without an effort to avert our doom? What folly! What infatuation! What madness to do so! With what indignation, could indignation be in heaven, would our fathers look down upon the deed? With what lamentation, could tears be in heaven, would they weep over it? With what loud voices, could they speak to us from heaven, would they beseech their degenerate children to put their trust in God, and contend earnestly for those precious institutions and laws for which they toiled and bled.

2. If we do not awake and engage vigorously in the work of reformation, it will soon be too late.

Though reformation be always practicable if a people are disposed to reform, there is a point of degradation from which neither individuals nor nations are disposed to arise, and from which the Most High is seldom disposed to raise them. When irreligion and vice shall have contaminated the mass of the people, when the majority, emancipated from civil and moral restraint shall be disposed to set aside the laws and institutions and habits of their fathers, then indeed it may be feared that our transgressions and our sins will be upon us, and that we shall pine away and die in them. The means of preservation passing into other hands, will become tiie means of destruction. Talents, and official influence, and the power of legislation, and all the resources of the State may be perverted to demolish our institutions, laws and usages, until every vestige of ancient wisdom and prosperity is gone.

To this state of things we are hastening, and, if no effort be made to stop our progress, the sun in his course is not more resistless than our doom. Our vices are digging the grave of our liberties, and preparing to entomb our glory. We may sleep, but the work goes on. We may despise admonition, but our destruction slumbereth not. Travelling, and worldly labor, and visiting, and amusement on the sabbath, will neither produce nor preserve such a state of society, as the conscientious observance of the sabbath has helped to produce and preserve; the enormous consumption of ardent spirits in our land will produce neither bodies nor minds like those which were the offspring of temperance and virtue. The neglect of family government, and family prayer, and the religious education of children, will not produce such freemen as were formed by early habits of subordination, and the constant influence of the fear of God; the neglect of official duty in magistrates to execute the laws, will not produce the same effects, which were produced by the vigilance and fidelity of our fathers, to restrain and punish crimes.

Our institutions, civil and religious, have out-lived that domestic discipline and official vigilance in magistrates to execute the laws which rendered obedience easy and habitual. The laws now are beginning to operate extensively upon necks unaccustomed to the yoke, and when they shall become irksome to the majority, their execution will become impracticable. To this situation we are already reduced in some districts of the land. Drunkards reel through the streets, day after day, and year after year, with entire impunity. Profane swearing is heard, and even by magistrates, as though they heard it not. Efforts to stop travelling on the sabbath, have in all places become feeble, and in many places, they have wholly ceased. Informing officers complain that magistrates will not regard their informations, and that the public sentiment will not bear them out in executing the laws; and conscientious men who dare not violate an oath, have begun to refuse the office. The only proper characters to sustain it, the only men who can retrieve our declining state, are driven into the back ground, and their places filled with men of easy conscience, who will either do nothing, or by their own example help on the ruin. The public conscience is becoming callous by the frequency and impunity of crimes. The sin of violating the sabbath is becoming in the public estimation a little sin, and the shame of it, nothing. The disgrace is divided among so many, that none regard it. The sabbath is trodden down by a host of men, whom shame alone, in better days, would have deterred entirely from this sin. In the mean time, many, who lament these evils are augmenting them by predicting that all is lost, encouraging the enemy, and weakening the hands of the wise and good. But truly, we do stand on the confines of destruction. The mass is changing. We are becoming another people. Our habits have held us, long after those moral causes which formed them have in a great degree ceased to operate. These habits, at length, are giving way. So many hands have so long been employed to pull away foundations, and so few to repair the breaches, that the building totters. So much enterprise has been displayed in removing obstructions from the current of human depravity, and so little to restore them, that the stream at length is beginning to run. It may be stopped now, but it will soon become deep, and broad, and rapid, and irresistible.

The crisis then has come. By the people of this generation, by ourselves probably, the amazing question is to be decided, whether the inheritance of our fathers shall be preserved, or thrown away—whether our sabbaths shall be a delight, or a loathing—whether the taverns on that holy day, shall be crowded with drunkards, or the sanctuary of God with humble worshippers—whether riot and profanity shall fill our streets, and poverty our dwellings, and convicts our jails, and violence our land; or whether industry, and temperance, and righteousness, shall be the stability of our times— whether mild laws shall receive the cheerful submission of freemen, or the iron rod of a tyrant compel the trembling homage of slaves. Be not deceived. Human nature in this nation is like human nature everywhere. All actual difference in our favor is adventitious, and the result of our laws, institutions, and habits. It is a moral influence which, with the blessing of God, has formed a state of society so eminently desirable. The same influence which has formed it, is indispensable to its preservation. The rocks and hills of New England will remain till the last conflagration; but, let the sabbath be profaned with impunity, the worship of God be abandoned, the government and religious instruction of children be neglected, and the streams of intemperance be permitted to flow, and her glory will depart. The wall of fire will no more surround her, and the munition of rocks will no longer be her defense. But,

3. If we do neglect our duty, and suffer our laws and institutions to go down, we give them up forever. It is easy to relax, easy to retreat, but impossible, when the abomination of desolation has once passed over, to rear again the prostrate altars, and gather again the fragments, and build up the ruins of demolished institutions. Neither we nor our children shall ever see another New England, if this be destroyed. All is lost irretrievably when the landmarks are once removed, and the bands which now hold us are once broken. Such institutions, and such a state of society, can be established only by such men as our fathers were, and in such circumstances as they were. They could not have made a New England in Holland. They made the attempt but failed. Nowhere could they have succeeded, but in a wilderness; where they gave the precepts, and set the example, and made, and executed the laws. By vigilance, and prayer, and exertion, we may defend these institutions, retrieve much of what we have lost, and perpetuate a better state of society than can elsewhere be made by the art of man. But, let the enemy come in like a flood, and overturn, and overturn, and no place will be found for repentance, though it be sought carefully with tears.

4. If we give up our laws and institutions, our guilt and misery will be very great.

We shall become slaves, and slaves to the worst of masters. The profane and the profligate, men of corrupt minds, and to every good work reprobate, will be exalted to pollute us by their example, to distract us by their folly, and impoverish us by fraud and rapine. Let loose from wholesome restraint, and taught to sin by the example of the great, a scene most horrid to be conceived, but more dreadful to be experienced, will ensue. No people are more fitted to destruction, if they go to destruction, than we ourselves. All the daring enterprise of our countrymen emancipated from moral restraint, will become the desperate daring of unrestrained sin. Should we break the bands of Christ, and cast his cords from us, and begin the work of self-destruction, it will be urged on with a malignant enterprise which has no parallel in the annals of time; and be attended with miseries, such as the sun has never looked upon.

The hand that overturns our laws and altars is the hand of death unbarring the gate of Pandemonium, and letting loose upon our land the crimes and the miseries of hell. Even if the Most High should stand aloof, and cast not a single ingredient into our cup of trembling, it would seem to be full of superlative woe. But he will not stand aloof. As we shall have begun an open controversy with him, he will contend openly with us; and never, since the earth stood, has it been so fearful a thing for nations to fall into the hands of the living God. The day of vengeance is in his heart— the day of judgment has come—the great earthquake which is to sink Babylon is shaking the nations, and the waves of the mighty commotion are dashing upon every shore. Is this, then, a time to remove foundations, when the earth itself is shaken? Is this a time to forfeit the protection of God, when the hearts of men are failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth? Is this a time to run upon his neck, and the thick bosses of his buckler, when the nations are drinking blood, and fainting, and passing away in his wrath? Is this a time to throw away the shield of faith, when his arrows are drunk with the blood of the slain; to cut from the anchor of hope, when the clouds are collecting, and the sea and the waves are roaring, and thunders are uttering their voices, and lightning’s blazing in the heavens, and the great hail is falling from heaven upon men, and every mountain, sea, and island is fleeing in dismay from the face of an incensed God?

5. The judgments of God which we feel, and those which impend, call for immediate repentance and reformation. Our country has never seen such a day as this.[1812] By our sins we are fitted to destruction. God has begun in earnest, his work, his strange work, of national desolation. For many years the ordinary gains of industry have, to a great extent, been cut off. The counsels of the nation have by one part of it been deemed infatuation, and by the other part oracular wisdom; while the action and reaction of parties have shaken our institutions to their foundations, debased our morals, and awakened animosities which expose us to dismemberment and all the horrors of civil war. But for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. On our seaboard, are the alarms and the plagues of war. On our frontiers is heard the trumpet of alarm mingling with the war-whoop of the savage, and the cries and dying groans of murdered families. In the south, a volcano whose raging fires and murmuring thunders have long been suppressed, is now with loud admonition threatening an eruption. In the midst of these calamities the angel of God has received commission to unsheath his sword, and extend far and wide the work of death. The little child and the blooming youth, the husband and the wife, men of talents and usefulness, the ministers of the sanctuary and the members of the church of God, bow before the stroke, and sink to the grave. That dreadful tempest, the sound of which, till late, was heard only from afar as it was borne across the Atlantic, has at length begun to beat upon us, and those mighty burnings, the smoke of which we have hitherto beheld from afar, have begun in our nation their devouring course. Nothing can avert the tempest, and nothing can extinguish our burning, but repentance and reformation; for it is the tempest of the wrath of God, and the fire of his indignation.

6. Our advantages to achieve a reformation of morals are great, and will render our guilt and punishment proportionally aggravated, if we neglect to avail ourselves of them.

We are not yet undone. The harvest is not past; the summer is not ended. There is yet remaining much health and strength, in many parts of our land. This State especially, is by its laws thoroughly furnished to every good-.work. Let our laws be executed, and we may live for ever. Nor is their execution to be despaired of. In every town in the State the majority of the population are decidedly opposed, it is believed, to those immoral practices which our laws condemn. And in most towns, and societies, it is a small minority who corrupt with impunity the public morals. Let the friends of virtue, then, express their opinions, and unite their influence, and the laws can be executed. Crimes will become disgraceful, and the non-execution of the laws more hazardous to popularity than their faithful execution. The friends of good morals and good government, have it yet in their power to create a public opinion which nothing can resist.(1) The wicked are bold in appearance but they are cowards at heart; their threats and boasting are loud, but they are “vox et preterea nihil.” [“Mere noise and nothing else.”] God is against them— their own consciences are against them—the laws are against them—and let only the public opinion be arrayed against them, and five shall chase a thousand, and an hundred shall put ten thousand to flight.

It is not as if we were called upon to make new laws, and establish usages unknown before. We make no innovation. We embark in no novel experiment. We set up no new standard of morals. We encroach upon no man’s liberty. We lord it over no man’s conscience. We stand upon the defensive merely. We contend for our altars and our firesides. We rally around the standard which our fathers reared, and our motto is, ‘The Inheritance Which They BEQUEATHED, NO MAN SHALL TAKE FROM US.’ The executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the government are in the hands of men, who, w:e doubt not, will lend to the work of reformation their example, their prayers, their weight of character, official influence, and their active cooperation. And will not the clergy, and christian churches of all denominations array themselves on the side of good morals and the laws? Will they not like a band of brothers, and terrible to the wicked as an army with banners, contend earnestly for the precepts of the Gospel ?’ If with such means of self preservation, we pine away and die in our sins, we shall deserve to die; and our death will be dreadful.

7. But, were our advantages fewer than they are, the Lord will be on our side and will bless us, if we repent and endeavor to do our duty.

He commands us to repent and reform, and what he commands his people to do, he will help them to accomplish if they make the attempt. He has promised to help them.

He always has given efficacy, more or less, to the faithful exertions of men to do good. At the present time, in a peculiar manner does he smile upon every essay to do good. Not a finger is lifted in vain in any righteous cause, the result of every enterprise surpasses expectation, the grain of mustard becomes a tree, the little leaven, leavens the lump. The voice of providence now is, “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand, for this and that shall both prosper.” The God in whose help we confide is also our fathers’ God, who remembers mercy to the thousandth generation of them that fear him, and keep his commandments. Within the broad circumference of this covenant we stand, and neither few nor obscure are the indications of his mercy in the midst of wrath.

8. The work of reformation is already, it may be hoped, auspiciously begun.

Though in some things there is a fearful declension of morals, which, if not arrested, will inevitably destroy us; yet, it ought to be gratefully acknowledged, that, in some respects, our moral state has for a considerable period been growing better. The progress of civilization and religion has softened the manners of the people, and banished to a great extent, that violence of passion which ended in broils and lawsuits. Those indecencies also, which too often polluted the intercourse of the sexes, and warred upon the best interests of society, have, to a great extent, given place to habits of refinement and virtue. Though at this time there be heresies, that they which are approved may be manifest; there has never been in this State, perhaps never in the nation, a more extensive prevalence of evangelical doctrine. Great efforts have been made also, and with signal success, to raise up a learned and pious ministry for the churches, from which, in time, a great reforming influence may be expected: for the morals of a nation will ever hold a close alliance with the talents and learning, the piety and orthodoxy, of its clergy. The number of pious persons has, in the course of fifteen years, been greatly increased, and has been attended with a more than correspondent increase of prayer. Those local weekly associations for prayer which are now spread over our land, are, most of them, of comparatively recent origin.

In perfect accordance with this increased spirit of prayer, has been the effusion of the Holy Spirit in the revival of religion. These revivals have been numerous, great, and glorious; and, blessed be God, they still prevail. Their reforming influence has been salutary beyond expression. Wherever they have existed, they have raised up the foundations of many generations. They have done more than all other -causes to arrest our general decline, and are this moment turning back the captivity of our land. The churches under their renovating influence, are beginning to maintain a more efficient discipline, and to superintend with more fidelity the religious education of their baptized children. The principles of infidel philosophy with respect to civil government, and the government and religious education of children, have it is hoped had their day, and are retiring to their own place, succeeded happily, by the maxims of revelation and common sense.

The missionary spirit which is beginning to pervade our land, promises also, an auspicious reforming influence. It teaches us to appreciate more justly our own religious privileges, and calls off the hearts of thousands from political and sectarian bickerings, to unite them in one glorious enterprise of love. Who, but the Lord our God, has created that extensive and simultaneous predisposition in the public mind, to favor a work of reformation? Who, in this day of clouds and tempest, has opened the eyes of the people to recognize their dependence upon God, and his avenging hand in the judgments which they feel, and turned their hearts to seek him to an unusual extent, by fasting, and humiliation, and prayer? Who, indeed, has poured out upon our land, a spirit of reformation as real, if not yet as universal, as the spirit of missions? The fact is manifest from the zeal of individuals, the reviving fidelity of magistrates in various places, the addresses of ecclesiastical bodies, and the formation of general and local associations to suppress crimes, and support the laws and institutions of our land.(2)

The Most High, then, has begun to help us. While his judgments are abroad, the nation is beginning to learn righteousness. These favorable circumstances do by no means supersede the necessity of special exertion; but they are joyful pledges that our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord. They are his providential voice, announcing that he is waiting to be gracious; and that, if we “hearken to him, he will soon subdue our enemies, and turn his hand against our adversaries; that the haters of the Lord shall submit themselves unto him, but that our time shall endure forever.” Therefore,

9. If we endure a little longer, the resources of the millennial day will come to our aid.

Many are the prophetic signs which declare the rapid approach of that day. Babylon the great is fallen. The false Prophet is hastening to perdition. That wicked one hath appeared, whom the Lord will destroy by the breath of his mouth and the brightness of his coming. The day of his vengeance is wasting the earth. The last vial of the wrath of God is running. The angel having the everlasting Gospel to preach to men, has begun his flight; and, with trumpet sounding long, and waxing loud, is calling to the nations to look unto Jesus and be saved. Soon will the responsive song be heard from every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, as the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying; hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

On the confines of such a day, shall we despair? While its blessed light is beginning to shine, shall we give up our laws and institutions, and sink down to the darkness and torments of the bottomless pit?

10. But considerations, before which the kingdoms of this, world fade and are forgotten, call us to instant exertion in the work of reformation.

Every one of us must stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Every one of us, as a friend, or an enemy, shall live under his government forever. We shall drink of the river of pleasure, or of the cup of trembling. We shall sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, or lift up our cries with the smoke of our torment. The institutions in danger, are the institutions of heaven, provided to aid us in fleeing from the wrath to come. The laws to be preserved, are laws which have lent their congenial influence to the immortal work of saving sinners. The welfare of millions through eternity, depends, under God, upon their preservation.

Ye parents—which of your children can you give up to the miseries of a profligate life, and the pangs of an impenitent death? Which, undone by your example, or negligence and folly, are you prepared to meet on the left hand of your Judge? Which, if by a miracle of mercy you should ascend to heaven, can you leave behind, to go away into everlasting punishment? Call around you the dear children whom God has given you, and look them o’er and o’er, and, if among them all you cannot find a victim to sacrifice, awake, and with all diligence uphold those institutions which the good shepherd has provided to protect and save them.

My fathers and brethren, who minister at the altar—the time is short. We mast soon meet our people at the bar of God; should we meet any of them undone by our example, or sloth, or unbelief, dreadful will be the interview! Shall we not lift up our voice as a trumpet, and do quickly, and with all our might, what our hands find to do?

Ye magistrates of a christian land, ye ministers of God for good—the people of this land, alarmed by the prevalence of crimes and by the judgments of God, look up to you for protection. By the glories and terrors of the judgment day, by the joys of heaven and the miseries of hell they beseech you, as the ministers of God, to save them and their children from the dangers of this untoward generation.

Ye men of wealth and influence—will ye not help in this great attempt to reform and save our land? Are not these distinctions, talents, for the employment of which you must give an account to God; and can you employ them better, than to consecrate them to the service of your generation by the will of God?

Let me entreat those unhappy men who haste to be rich by unlawful means, who thrive by the vices and ruin of their fellow men, to consider their end. How dreadful to you will be the day of death! How intolerable, the day of judgment! How many broken hearted widows, and fatherless children, will then lift up their voices to testify against you. How many of the lost spirits will ascend from the world of woe, to cry out against you, as the wretches who ministered to their lusts, and fitted them for destruction. In vain will you plead that if you had not done the murderous deed, other men would have done it; or that, if you had not destroyed them, they had still destroyed themselves. If other men had done the deed, they, and not you, would answer for it; if they had destroyed themselves without your agency, their blood would be upon their own heads. But as you contributed voluntarily to their destruction, you will be beholden as partakers in their sin, and their blood will be required at your hands. Why, then, will you” traffic in the souls and bodies of men, and barter away your souls for the gains of a momentary life?

To conclude; Let me entreat the unhappy men who are the special objects of legal restraint, to cease from their evil ways, and, by voluntary reformation, supersede the necessity of coercion and punishment. Why will you die? What fearful thing is there in heaven, which makes you flee from that world? What fascinating object in hell, that excites such frenzied exertion to burst every band, and overleap every mound, and force your way downward to the chambers of death? Stop, I beseech you, and repent, and Jesus Christ shall blot out your sins, and remember your transgressions no more. Stop, and the host who follow your steps shall turn, and take hold on the path of life. Stop, and the wide waste of sin shall cease, and the song of angels shall be heard again; “Glory to God in the highest; on earth peace, good will to men.” Stop, and instead of wailing with the lost, you shall join the multitudes which no man can number, in the ascription of blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, to him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.


(1) The writer has lived to see that a new moral power must be applied by sabbath schools, revivals of religion, and bible, tract, and missionary societies, before immoralities in a popular government can be suppressed by law.

(2) A society was formed in Boston, on the 5tb of February, 1813, entitled “The Massachusetts Society for the Suppression of Intemperance.” The object of the society is stated to be, ” to discountenance and suppress the too frequent use of ardent spirits, and its kindred vices, profaneness, and gaming; and to encourage and promote temperance, and general morality. With a view to this object, the society will recommend the institution of auxiliary societies in different parts of the commonwealth; and hold correspondence with other societies which may be instituted for the same general object.

“Besides the usual officers of a society, there is a board of counsel consisting of eight persons, which is to act as the executive of the society, to make communications to the auxiliary societies, and to receive communications from them; to collect, combine, and digest facts, and general information, relating to the purposes of the society; to devise ways and means for the furtherance of these purposes; to apply the society’s funds according to direction; and, at each annual meeting, to report to the society their doings, a digest of the facts, and general information which they may have collected, and such measures as they may judge suitable for the society to adopt and pursue. They shall hold stated quarterly meetings.” —Panoptic for February, 1813. pp. 418, 419, 42

National Recollections the Foundation of National Character by Edward Everett


National Recollections the Foundation of National Character by Edward Everett (1794 – 1865) was an American politician, pastor, educator, diplomat, and orator from Massachusetts.

How is the spirit of a free people to be formed, and animated, and cheered, but out of the store-house of its historic recollections? Are we to be eternally ringing the changes upon Marathon and Thermopylae; and going back to read in obscure texts of Greek and Latin of the exemplars of patriotic virtue? I thank God that we can find them nearer home, in our own country, on our own soil; — that strains of the noblest sentiment that ever swelled in the breast of man, are breathing to us out of every page of our country’s history, in the native eloquence of our mother tongue;—that the colonial and provincial councils of America exhibit to us models of the spirit and character, which gave Greece and Rome their name and their praise among the nations. Here we ought to go for our instruction;—the lesson is plain, it is clear, it is applicable. When we go to ancient history, we are bewildered with the difference of manners and institutions. We are willing to pay our tribute of applause to the memory of Leonidas, who fell nobly for his country in the face of his foe. But when we trace him to his home, we are confounded at the reflection, that the same Spartan heroism, to which he sacrificed himself at Thermopylae, would have led him to tear his own child, if it had happened to be a sickly babe,-—the very object for which all that is kind and good in man rises up to plead,—from the bosom of its mother, and carry it out to be eaten by the wolves of Taygetus. We feel a glow of admiration at the heroism displayed at Marathon, by the ten thousand champions of invaded Greece; but we cannot forget that the tenth part of the number were slaves, unchained from the work-shops and door-posts of their masters, to go and fight the battles of freedom. I do not mean that these examples are to destroy the interest with which we read the history of ancient times; they possibly increase that interest by the very contrasts they exhibit. But they do warn us, if we need the warning, to seek our great practical lessons of patriotism at home; out of the exploits and sacrifices of which our own country is the theatre; out of the characters of our own fathers. Them we know,—the high-souled, natural, unaffected, the citizen heroes. We know what happy firesides they left for the cheerless camp. We know with what pacific habits they dared the perils of the field. There is no mystery, no romance, no madness, under the name of chivalry, about them. It is all resolute, manly resistance for conscience’ and liberty’s sake, not merely of an overwhelming power, but of all the force of long-rooted habits and native love of order and peace.

Above all, their blood calls to us from the soil which we tread; it beats in our veins; it cries to us not merely in the thrilling words of one of the first victims in this cause,— “My sons, scorn to be slaves!”—but it cries with a still more moving eloquence—” My sons, forget not your father’s.”

Industry Necessary to the Attainment of Eloquence by Henry Ware Jr.

Henry_Ware_JrIndustry Necessary to the Attainment of Eloquence by Henry Ware Jr. (1794 – 1843) Minister, early member of the faculty of Harvard Divinity School, and first president of the Harvard Musical Association. He was a mentor of Ralph Waldo Emerson when Emerson studied for the ministry in the 1820s.

The history of the world is full of testimony to prove how much depends upon industry; not an eminent orator has lived but is an example of it. Yet, in contradiction to all this, the almost universal feeling appears to be, that industry can effect nothing, that eminence is the result of accident, and that everyone must be content to remain just what he may happen to be. Thus multitudes, who come forward as teachers and guides, suffer themselves to be satisfied with the most indifferent attainments, and a miserable mediocrity, without so much as inquiring how they may rise higher, much less making any attempt to rise. For any other art they would have served an apprenticeship, and would be ashamed to practice it in public before they had learned it. If anyone would sing, he attends a master, and is drilled in the very elementary principles; and only after the most laborious process dares to exercise his voice in public. This he does, though he has scarce anything to learn but the mechanical execution of what lies in sensible forms before the eye. But the extempore speaker, who is to invent as well as to utter, to carry on an operation of the mind as well as to produce sound, enters upon the work without preparatory discipline, and then wonders that he foils! If he were learning to play on the flute for public exhibition, what hours and days would he spend in giving facility to his fingers, and attaining the power of the sweetest and most expressive execution! If he were devoting himself to the organ, what months and years would he labor, that he might know its compass, and be master of its keys, and be able to draw out, at will, all its various combinations of harmonious sound, and its full richness and delicacy of expression! And yet he will fancy that the grandest, the most various and most expressive of all instruments, which the infinite Creator has fashioned by the union of an intellectual soul with the powers of speech, may b played upon without study or practice; he comes to it a mere uninstructed tyro, and thinks to manage all its stops, arid command the whole compass of its varied and comprehensive power! He finds himself a bungler in the attempt, is mortified at his failure, and settles it in his mind forever, that the attempt is vain.

Success in every art, whatever may be the natural talent, is always the reward of industry and pains. But the instances are many, of men of the finest natural genius, whose beginning has promised much, but who have degenerated wretchedly as they advanced, because they trusted to their gifts, and made no efforts to improve. That there have never been other men of equal endowments with Demosthenes and Cicero, none would venture to suppose; but who have so devoted themselves to their art, or become equal in excellence? If those great men had been content, like others, to continue as they began, and had never made their persevering efforts for improvement, what would their countries have benefited from their genius, or the world have known of their fame? They would have been lost in the undistinguished crowd that sunk to oblivion around them. Of how many more will the same remark prove true! What encouragement is thus given to the industrious! With such encouragement, how inexcusable is the negligence, which suffers the most interesting and important truths to seem heavy and dull, and fall ineffectual to the ground, through mere sluggishness in their delivery! How unworthy of one, who performs the high functions of a religious instructor, upon whom depend, in a great measure, the religious knowledge, and devotional sentiments, and final character, of many fellow-beings,— to imagine, that he can worthily discharge this great concern, by occasionally talking for an hour, he knows not how, and in a manner which he has taken no pains to render correct, impressive, and attractive; and which, simply through want of that command over himself, which study would give, is immethodical, verbose, inaccurate, feeble, trifling. It has been said of the good preacher, that” truths divine come mended from his tongue.” Alas! they come ruined and worthless from such a man as this. They lose that holy energy, by which they are to convert the soul and purify man for heaven, and sink, in interest and efficacy, below the level of those principles, which govern the ordinary affairs of this lower world.


The Moral and intellectual Efficacy of the Sacred Scriptures by Francis Wayland


Moral and intellectual Efficacy of the Sacred Scriptures:

As to the powerful, I had almost said miraculous, effect of the Sacred Scriptures, there can no longer be a doubt in the mind of any one on whom fact can make an impression. That the truths of the Bible have the power of awakening an intense moral feeling in man under every variety of character, learned or ignorant, civilized or savage; that they make bad men good, and send a pulse of healthful feeling through all the domestic, civil, and social relations; that they teach men to love right, to hate wrong, and to seek each other’s welfare, as the children of one common parent; that they control the baleful passions of the human heart, and thus make men proficient in the science of self-government; and, finally, that they teach him to aspire after a conformity to a Being of infinite holiness, and fill him with hopes infinitely more purifying, more exalting, more suited to his nature, than any other, which this world has ever known,—are facts incontrovertible as the laws of philosophy, or the demonstrations of mathematics. Evidence in support of all this can be brought from every age, in the history of man, since there has been a revelation from God on earth. We see the proof of it everywhere around ns. There is scarcely a neighbourhood in our country, where the Bible is circulated, in which we cannot point you to a very considerable portion of its population, whom its truth have reclaimed from the practice of vice, and taught the practice of whatsoever things are pure, and honest, and just, and of good report.

That this distinctive and peculiar effect is produced upon every man to whom the Gospel is announced, we pretend not to affirm. But we do affirm, that, besides producing this special renovation, to which we have alluded, upon a part, it, in a most remarkable degree, elevates the tone of moral feeling throughout the whole community. Wherever the Bible is freely circulated, and its doctrines carried home to the understandings of men, the aspect of society is altered; the frequency of crime is diminished; men begin to love justice, and to administer it by law ; and a virtuous public opinion, that strongest safeguard of right, spreads over a nation the shield of its invisible protection. Wherever it has faithfully been brought to bear upon the human heart, even under most unpromising circumstances, it has, within a single generation, revolutionized the whole structure of society; and thus, within a few years, done more for man than all other means have for ages accomplished without it. For proof of all this, I need only refer you to the effects of the Gospel in Greenland, or in South Africa, in the Society Islands, or even among the aborigines of our own country.

But, before we leave this part of the subject, it may be well to pause for a moment, and inquire whether, in addition to its moral efficacy, the Bible may not exert a powerful influence upon the intellectual character of man.

And here it is scarcely necessary that I should remark, that, of all the books with which, since the invention of writing, this world has been deluged, the number of those is very small which have produced any perceptible effect on the mass of human character. By far the greater part have been, even by their contemporaries, unnoticed and unknown. Not many a one has made its little mark upon the generation that produced it, though it sunk with that generation to utter forgetfulness. But, after the ceaseless toil of six thousand years, how few have been the works, the adamantine basis of whose reputation has stood unhurt amid the fluctuations of time, and whose impression can be traced through successive centuries, on the history of our species.

When, however, such a work appears, its effects are absolutely incalculable; and such a work, you are aware, is the Iliad Of Homer. Who can estimate the results produced by the incomparable efforts of a single mind; Who can tell what Greece owes to this first-born of song? Her breathing marbles, her solemn temples, her unrivalled eloquence, and her matchless verse, all point us to that transcendent genius, who, by the very splendour of his own effulgence, woke the human intellect from the slumber of ages. It was Homer who gave laws to the artist; it was Homer who inspired the poet; it was Homer who thundered in the senate; and, more than all, it was Homer who was sung by the people; and hence a nation was cast into the mould of one mighty mind, and the land of the Iliad became the region of taste, the birth-place of the arts.

Nor was this influence confined within the limits of Greece. Long after the sceptre of empire had passed westward, Genius still held her court on the banks of the Ilyssus, and from the country of Homer gave laws to the world. The light, which the blind old man of Scio had kindled in Greece, shed its radiance over Italy; and thus did he awaken a second nation into intellectual existence. And we may form some idea of the power which this one work has to the present day exerted over the mind of man, by remarking, mat ” nation after nation, and century after century, has been able to do little more than transpose his incidents, new-name his characters, and paraphrase his sentiments.”

But, considered simply as an intellectual production, who will compare the poems of Homer with the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament? Where in the Iliad shall we find simplicity and pathos which shall vie with the narrative of Moses, or maxims of conduct to equal in wisdom the Proverbs of Solomon, or sublimity which does not fade away before the conceptions of Job or David, of Isaiah or St. John? But I cannot pursue this comparison. I feel that it is doing wrong to the mind which dictated the Iliad, and to those other mighty intellects on whom the light of the holy oracles never shined. Who that has read his poem has not observed how he strove in vain to give dignity to the mythology of his time? Who has not seen how the religion of his country, unable to support the flight of his imagination, sunk powerless beneath him? It is the unseen world, where the master spirits of our race breathe freely, and are at home; and it is mournful to behold the intellect of Homer striving to free itself from the conceptions of materialism, and then sinking down in hopeless despair, to weave idle tales about Jupiter and Juno, Apollo and Diana. But the difficulties under which he laboured are abundantly illustrated by the fact, that the light, which he poured upon the human intellect, taught other ages how unworthy was the religion of his day of the man who was compelled to use it. “It seems to me,” says Longinus, ” that Homer, when he describes dissensions, jealousies, tears, imprisonments, and other afflictions to his deities, hath, as much as was in his power, made the men of the Iliad gods, and the gods men. To man, when afflicted, death is the termination of evils; but he hath made not only the nature, but the miseries, of the gods eternal,”

If, then, so great results have flowed from this one effort of a single mind, what may we not expect from the combined efforts of several, at least his equals in power over the human heart? If that one genius, though groping in the thick darkness of absurd idolatry, wrought so glorious a transformation in the character of his countrymen, what may we not look for from the universal dissemination of those writings, on whose authors was poured the full splendour of eternal truth? If unassisted human nature, spellbound by a childish mythology, have done so much, what may we not hope for from the supernatural efforts of preeminent genius, which spake as it was moved by the Holy Ghost.


The Powers of Congress; House of Representatives and the Senate: Constitution Article I


First let me also tell you the original duties of the House and Senate. The powers of Congress are spelt out in Article One of the Constitution, Notice they spelt out the powers of Congress before they spelt out the powers of the executive branch, i.e. the President.

There are two houses of Congress, (House of Representatives and Senate) the Founding Fathers spelt out the Powers of the Congress before they spelt out the powers of the executive because they knew Congress would be closer to the will of the American people and therefore would do more to protect the peoples interests, rights and freedoms than the executive would. The executive throughout history has always tended to gather power unto themselves and disregard the rights of the people.

Notice also they spelt out the powers of the House of Representatives before they did the powers of the Senate, this they did for the very same reason and why it is called “The Peoples House” the House is the most important arm of government to the peoples interests. Wake up America!

The House of Representatives is the “People’s House” i.e. the House of Congress that was meant to represent the peoples interests, this is the reason the number of representatives fluctuates, grows or decreases due to the number of people in the districts of the states they represent.

The Senate that was originally made up of State Senators chosen by the elected body of each of the respective states they represent. Originally the people elected the senators of their state but they did not choose the two who were sent to Washington DC to represent the state. The United States Senate is made of of two senators from each of the states, these senators are supposed to represent the interests of their respective state in federal matters.

Our Founding Fathers were greatly influenced by the symbology of things, this is due to their history and the day and age in which they lived. They were also greatly influenced by the Bible which is a story within itself, I’m simply pointing it out here because there is a lot of symbology in the Bible if you understand it which they did. This is why they laid out the Constitution in the order of importance to liberty.

See also: The Powers of the Executive Branch i.e. the President: Constitution Article II

Now onto the Constitution; Article One:

Article I

Section 1

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2

1:  The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

2:  No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

3:  Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.2   The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.  The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

4:  When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

5:  The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 3

1:  The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof,3  for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

2:  Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes.  The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.4

3:  No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

4:  The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

5:  The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

6:  The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.  When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation.  When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside:  And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

7:  Judgment in Cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States:  but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section 4

1:  The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

2:  The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December,5  unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5

1:  Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

2:  Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

3:  Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

4:  Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6

1:  The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.6   They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

2:  No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 7

1:  All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

2:  Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it.  If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law.  But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively.  If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

3:  Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section 8

1:  The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

2:  To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

3:  To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

4:  To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

5:  To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

6:  To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

7:  To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

8:  To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

9:  To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

10:  To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

11:  To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

12:  To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

13:  To provide and maintain a Navy;

14:  To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

15:  To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

16:  To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

17:  To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And

18:  To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section 9

1:  The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

2:  The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

3:  No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

4:  No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.7

5:  No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

6:  No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another:  nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

7:  No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

8:  No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States:  And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section 10

1:  No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

2:  No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws:  and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

3:  No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

The Powers of the Executive Branch i.e. the President: Constitution Article II

article2Refer to my article “The Powers of Congress The People’s House of Representatives and the Senate Constitution Article I”

The powers of Congress are spelt out in Article One of the Constitution, Notice the Founders spelt out the powers of Congress before they spelt out the powers of the executive branch, i.e. the President. Our Founding Fathers were greatly influenced by the symbology of things, this is due to their history and the day and age in which they lived. They were also greatly influenced by the Bible which is a story within itself, I’m simply pointing it out here because there is a lot of symbology in the Bible if you understand it which they did.

The Founding Fathers spelt out the Powers of the Congress before they spelt out the powers of the executive because they knew Congress was closer to the people, and therefore would do more to protect the peoples interests, rights and freedoms than the executive would. The executive has always throughout history has always tended to gather power unto themselves and disregarded the rights of the people. We see this happening in America today.

Now onto The Powers of the Executive Branch; Constitution:

Article II

Section 1

1:  The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.  He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

2:  Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress:  but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

3:  The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves.  And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each;  which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.  The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.  The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President.  But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice.  In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President.  But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.8

4:  The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

5:  No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

6:  In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office,9  the Same shall devolve on the VicePresident, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

7:  The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

8:  Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Section 2

1:  The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

2:  He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law:  but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

3:  The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Hungarian President Louis Kossuth Concerning the Centralization of Power

LouisKossuthLajos Kossuth, [aka Louis] the Hungarian political reformer and leader of the 1848-1849 revolution for Hungarian independence, was one of the greatest statesmen and orators of the mid 19th century. He was a prominent figure, well known in the United States and Europe for his leadership of the democratic forces who sought Hungarian independence from Austrian domination. During his exile, [See the rest of his bio below speech] he toured the United States in 1851-1852, American journalist Horace Greeley said of Kossuth: “Among the orators, patriots, statesmen, exiles, he has, living or dead, no superior.”

Speech at a Washington Banquet, Jan. 6th, 1852, The Banquet given by a large number of the Members of the two Houses of Congress to Kossuth took place at the National Hotel, in Washington City. The number present was about two hundred and fifty. The Hon. Wm. R. King, of Alabama, president of the Senate, presided. On his right sat Louis Kossuth, and on his left the Hon. Daniel Webster, Secretary of State. On the right of Kossuth1 at the same table, sat the Hon. Linn Boyd, speaker” of the House of Representatives. Besides other distinguished guests who responded to toasts, are named Hon. Thomas Corwin, Secretary of the Treasury, and Hon. Alex. H. H. Stuart, Secretary of the Interior. Also in attendance were Judge Wayne, of the Supreme Court of the United States; Mr. Stanton, of Tennessee; General Shields, Senator for Illinois, Chairman of the Committee of Military Affairs in the Senate; and many other dignitaries of the United States.


Sir, though I have a noble pride in my principles, and the inspiration of a just cause, still I have also the consciousness of my personal insignificance. Never will I forget what is due from me to the Sovereign Source [referring to the Hungarian people] of my public capacity. This I owe to my nation’s dignity; and therefore, respectfully thanking this highly distinguished assembly in my country’s name, I have the boldness to say that Hungary well deserves your sympathy; that Hungary has a claim to protection, because it has a claim to justice. But as to myself, I am well aware that in all these honours I have no personal share. Nay, I know that even that which might seem to be personal in your toast, is only an acknowledgment of a historical fact, very instructively connected with a principle valuable and dear to every republican heart in the United States of America. As to ambition, I indeed never was able to understand how anybody can love ambition more than liberty. But I am glad to state a historical fact, as a principal demonstration of that influence which institutions exercise upon the character of nations.

We Hungarians are very fond of the principle of municipal self-government, and we have a natural horror against centralization. That fond attachment to municipal self-government, without which there is no provincial freedom possible, is a fundamental feature of our national character. We brought it with us from far Asia a “thousand years ago, and we preserved it throughout the vicissitudes of ten centuries. No nation has perhaps so much struggled and suffered for the civilized Christian world as we. We do not complain of this lot. It may be heavy, but it is not inglorious. Where the cradle of our Saviour stood, and where His divine doctrine was founded, there now another faith rules: the whole of Europe’s armed pilgrimage could not avert this fate from that sacred spot, nor stop the rushing waves of Islamism from absorbing the Christian empire of Constantine. We stopped those rushing waves. The breast of my nation proved a breakwater to them. We guarded Christendom, that Luthers and Calvins might reform it. It was a dangerous time, and its dangers often placed the confidence of all my nation into one man’s hand. But there was not a single instance in our history where a man honoured by his people’s confidence deceived them for his own ambition. The man out of whom Russian diplomacy succeeded in making a murderer of his nation’s hopes, gained some victories when victories were the chief necessity of the moment, and at the head of an army, circumstances gave him the ability to ruin his country; but he never had the people’s confidence. So even he is no contradiction to the historical truth, that no Hungarian whom his nation honoured with its confidence was ever seduced by ambition to become dangerous to his country’s liberty. That is a remarkable fact, and yet it is not accidental; it springs from the proper influence of institutions upon the national character. Our nation, through all its history, was educated in the school of local self-government; and in such a country, grasping ambition having no field, has no place in man’s character.

The truth of this doctrine becomes yet more illustrated by a quite contrary historical fact in France. Whatever have been the changes of government in that great country—and many they have been, to be sure—we have seen a Convention, a Directorate, Consuls, and one Consul, and an Emperor, and the Restoration, and the Citizen King, and the Republic; through all these different experiments centralization was the keynote of the institutions of France—power always centralized; omnipotence always vested somewhere. And, remarkable indeed, France has never yet raised one single man to the seat of power, who has not sacrificed his country’s freedom to his personal ambition!

It is sorrowful indeed, but it is natural. It is in the garden of centralization that the venomous plant of ambition thrives. I dare confidently affirm, that in your great country there exists not a single man through whose brains has ever passed the thought, that he would wish to raise the seat of his ambition upon the ruins of your country’s liberty, if he could. Such a wish is impossible in the United States. Institutions react upon the character of nations. He who sows wind will reap storm. History is the revelation of Providence. The Almighty rules by eternal laws not only the material but also the moral world; and as every law is a principle, so every principle is a law. Men as well as nations are endowed with free-will to choose a principle, but, that once chosen, the consequences must be accepted. , With self-government is freedom, and with freedom is justice and patriotism. With centralization is ambition, and with ambition dwells despotism. Happy your great country, sir, for being so warmly attached to that great principle of self-government. Upon this foundation your fathers raised a home to freedom more glorious than the world has ever seen. Upon this foundation you have developed it to a living wonder of the world. Happy your great country, sir! that it was selected by the blessing of the Lord to prove the glorious practicability of a federative union of many sovereign States, all preserving their State-rights and their self-government, and yet united in one—every star beaming with its own lustre, but altogether one constellation on mankind’s canopy.

Upon this foundation your free country has grown to a prodigious power in a surprisingly brief period, a power which attracts by its fundamental principle. You have conquered by it more in seventy-five years than Rome by arms in centuries. Your principles will conquer the world. By the glorious example of your freedom, welfare, and security, mankind is about to become conscious of its aim. The lesson you give to humanity will not be lost. The respect for State-rights in the Federal Government of America, and in its several States, will become an instructive example for universal toleration, forbearance, and justice to the future States, and Republics of Europe. Upon this basis those mischievous questions of language-nationalities will be got rid of, which cunning despotism has raised in Europe to murder liberty. Smaller States will find security in the principle of federative union, while they will preserve their national freedom by the principle of sovereign self-government; and while larger States, abdicating the principle of centralization, will cease to be a blood-field to unscrupulous usurpation and a tool to the ambition of wicked men, municipal institutions will ensure the development of local elements; freedom, formerly an abstract political theory, will be brought to every municipal hearth; and out of the welfare and contentment of all parts will flow happiness, peace, and security for the whole.

That is my confident hope. Then will the fluctuations of Germany’s fate at once subside. It will become the heart of Europe, not by melting North Germany into a Southern frame, or the South into a Northern; not by absorbing historical peculiarities into a centralized omnipotence; not by mixing all in one State, but by federating several sovereign States into a Union like yours.

Upon a similar basis will take place, the national regeneration of Slavonic States, and not upon the sacrilegious idea of Panslavism [a political and cultural movement originally emphasizing the cultural ties between the Slavic peoples but later associated with Russian expansionism], which means the omnipotence of the Czar. Upon a similar basis shall we see fair Italy independent and free. Not unity, but union will and must become the watchword of national members, hitherto torn rudely asunder by provincial rivalries, out of which a crowd of despots and common servitude arose. In truth it will be a noble joy to your great Republic to feel that the moral influence of your glorious example has worked this happy development in mankind’s destiny; nor have I the slightest doubt of the efficacy of that example.

But there is one thing indispensable to it, without which there is no hope for this happy issue. It is, that the oppressed nations of Europe become the masters of their future, free to regulate their own domestic concerns. And to this nothing is wanted but to have that “fair play” to all, for all, which you, sir, in your toast, were pleased to pronounce as a right of my nation, alike sanctioned by the law of nations as by the dictates of eternal justice. Without this “fair play” there is no hope for Europe—no hope of seeing your principles spread.

Yours is a happy country, gentlemen. You had more than fair play. You had active and effectual aid from Europe in your struggle for independence, which, once achieved, you used so wisely as to become a prodigy of freedom and welfare, and a lesson of life to nations.

But we in Europe—we, unhappily, have no such fair play. With us, against every pulsation of liberty all despots are united in a common league; and you may be sure that despots will never yield to the moral influence of your great example. They hate the very existence of this example. It is the sorrow of their thoughts, and the incubus of their dreams. To stop its moral influence abroad, and to check its spread at home, is what they wish, instead of yielding to its influence.

We shall have no fair play. The Cossack already rules, by Louis Napoleon’s usurpation, to the very borders of the Atlantic Ocean. One of your great statesmen—now, to my deep sorrow, bound to the sick bed of far advanced age [Henry Clay]— (alas! that I am deprived of the advice which his wisdom could have imparted to me)—your great statesman told the world thirty years ago that Paris was transferred to St. Petersburg. What would he now say, when St. Petersburg is transferred to Paris, and Europe is but an appendage to Russia?

Alas! Europe can no longer secure to Europe fair play. England only remains; but even England casts a sorrowful glance over the waves. Still, we will stand our ground, “sink or swim, live or die.” You know the word; it is your own. We will follow it; it will be a bloody path to tread. Despots have conspired against the world. Terror spreads over Europe, and persecutes by way of anticipation. From Paris to Pesth [Pesth; Budapest The capital and largest city of Hungary] there is a gloomy silence, like the silence of nature before the terrors of a hurricane. It is a sensible silence, disturbed only by the thousandfold rattling of muskets by which Napoleon prepares to crush the people who gave him a home when he was an exile, and by the groans of new martyrs in Sicily, Milan, Vienna, and Pesth. The very sympathy which I met in England, and was expected to meet here, throws my sisters into the dungeons of Austria. Well, God’s will be done! The heart may break, but duty will be done. We will stand our place, though to us in Europe there be no “fair play.” But so much I hope, that no just man on earth can charge me with unbecoming arrogance, when here, on this soil of freedom, I kneel down and raise my prayer to God: “Almighty Father of Humanity, will thy merciful arm not raise up a power on earth to protect the law of nations when there are so many to violate it?” It is a prayer and nothing else. What would remain to the oppressed if they were not even permitted to pray? The rest is in the hand of God.

Sir, I most fervently thank you for the acknowledgment that my country has proved worthy to be free. Yes, gentlemen, I feel proud at my nation’s character, heroism, love of freedom and vitality; and I bow with reverential awe before the decree of Providence which has placed my country into a position such that, without its restoration to independence, there is no possibility for freedom and independence of nations on the European continent. Even what now in France is coming to pass proves the truth of this. Every disappointed hope with which Europe looked towards France is a decree more added to the importance of Hungary to the world. Upon our plains were fought the decisive battles for Christendom; there will be fought the decisive battle for the independence of nations, for State rights, for international law, and for democratic liberty. We will live free, or die like men; but should my people be doomed to die, it will be the first whose death will not be recorded as suicide, but as a martyrdom for the world, and future ages will mourn over the sad fate of the Magyar race, doomed to perish, not because we deserved it, but because in the nineteenth century there was nobody to protect ” the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”

But I look to the future with confidence and with hope. Manifold adversities could not fail to impress some mark of sorrow upon my heart, which is at least a guard against sanguine illusions. But I have a steady faith in principles. Once in my life indeed I was deplorably deceived in my anticipations, from supposing principle to exist in quarters where it did not. I did not count on generosity or chivalrous goodness from the governments of England and France, but I gave them credit for selfish and instinctive prudence. I supposed them to value Parliamentary Government, and to have foresight enough to know the alarming dangers to which they would be exposed, if they allowed the armed interference of Russia to overturn historical, limited, representative institutions. But France and England both proved to be blind, and deceived me. It was a horrible mistake, and has issued in a horrible result. The present condition of Europe, which ought to have been foreseen by those governments, exculpates me for having erred through expecting them to see their own interests. Well, there is a providence in every fact. Without this mistake the principles of American republicanism would for a long time yet not have found a fertile soil on that continent, where it was considered wisdom to belong to the French school. Now matters stand thus: that either the continent of Europe has no future at all, or this future is American republicanism. And who can believe that two hundred millions of that continent, which is the mother of such a civilization, are not to have any future at all? Such a doubt would be almost blasphemy against Providence. But there is a Providence indeed—a just, a bountiful Providence, and in it I trust, with all the piety of my religion. I dare to say my very self was an instrument of it. Even my being here, when four months ago I was yet a prisoner of the league of European despots in far Asia, and the sympathy which your glorious people honours me with, and the high benefit of the welcome of your Congress, and the honour to be your guest, to be the guest of your great Republic — I, a poor exile — is there not a very intelligible manifestation of Providence in it ? — the more, when I remember that the name of your guest is by the furious rage of the Austrian tyrant, nailed to the gallows.

I confidently trust that the nations of Europe have a future. I am aware that this future is vehemently resisted by the bayonets of absolutism; but I know that though bayonets may give a defence, they afford no seat to a prince. I trust in the future of my native land, because I know that it is worthy to have one, and that it is necessary to the destinies of humanity. I trust to the principles of republicanism; and, whatever may be my personal fate, so much I know, that my country will preserve to you and your glorious land an everlasting gratitude.

Continuation of Kossuth biography:

In 1832 he was designated a substitute to represent a local noble in the Hungarian Diet (national parliament). Kossuth, a prolific writer and editor, produced a record of the Diet’s proceeding as well as other newspapers and journals. In 1837, his advocacy of political reform and national independence led to his imprisonment for three years by the Austrian government. During his confinement, he taught himself English by studying the Bible and Shakespeare.

After his release from prison in 1840, Kossuth became the editor of the “Pesti Hirlap,” or Pest Journal. The Pest Journal advocated political reform and an independent legislature for Hungary. In 1847 Kossuth was elected to the Diet as a representative of the county of Pest. Kossuth continued to spread his ideas of independence, and individual liberty and made brilliant speeches demanding a constitution for Hungary. In 1848, Kossuth’s campaigns and demands earned Hungary its own separate constitution from Austria. After the new government was formed, Kossuth was named the Minister of Finance. Shortly thereafter, revolution broke out across Europe. On September 28, 1848, after five months of serving as the minister of Finance, he assumed full control of the revolution in Hungary. He gathered, strengthened, and armed his “revolutionary army.” Not satisfied with their autonomous constitution, he demanded his county’s independence from Austrian rule. In the spring of 1849, Kossuth rallied against the Habsburg monarchy. On April 14, 1849, the Hungarian Diet, inspired by Kossuth, proclaimed the complete independence of Hungary from Austria and deposed the Habsburg Dynasty. The Hungarian declaration of independence was influenced by the American document. At the same time the Diet elected Kossuth “governor-president” and charged him to render an account of his actions to the parliament. Hungary was the last bastion of the democratic revolutions of 1848 to remain standing against the forces of absolutism, and Hungarian developments were carefully followed with considerable sympathy by the governments and people of Europe and the United States.

The inability of the Austrian government to reestablish its authority was a great concern to the autocratic government of Russia. Czar Nicholas I offered to aid the Austrians in suppressing the Hungarian revolution and that offer was accepted by the Austrians. As a result the Russian imperial forces, allies to the Austrians, declared war on the Hungarian Republic. The Russian armies brought the revolution to a quick and bloody end.

After his defeat, Kossuth fled to Turkey where he spent two years in exile. The governments of Great Britain, The United States, and other West European nations successfully pressured the Turkish Sultan to refuse Austrian and Russian demands for Kossuth’s extradition. They were able to arrange for his departure from Turkey, and on September 10, 1851, he steamed from the Turkish port of Smyrna (now Izmir) aboard the U. S. Navy’s frigate Mississippi. After brief stops in France and Britain, he arrived in New York City on December 5, 1851, to great public acclaim. His triumphant six-month tour throughout the United States was an unprecedented popular success.

Although Kossuth did not achieve his goal of winning official United States government support and recognition for continuing his struggle for Hungarian independence, his visit did leave a permanent legacy in America. He gave several hundred speeches in all parts of the United States, including separate addresses to both Houses of Congress. During this tour 250 poems, dozens of books, hundreds of pamphlets, and thousands of editorials were written about him and his democratic ideals.

He left the United States after six months, returning to Europe in July 1852 to rally support for the Hungarian cause. He lived for a period of time in London, and eventually settled in Turin, Italy. In exile he continued his efforts for Hungarian independence, but he did not return to Hungary.

Following his death in Turin on March 20, 1894, his body was returned to Hungary, where he was buried amid nationwide mourning. After his death, Kossuth continued as the popular symbol of the aspiration of the Hungarian people for independence.

Today there are many reminders of Kossuth’s impact on the Unites States of America. There are towns with his name in Indiana, Ohio and Mississippi, and a settlement with a Post office in Pennsylvania. Previous to today there were two other full figure Kossuth statues in the United States, in New York City, New York and Cleveland, Ohio.

And, of course, there is Kossuth County, Iowa where the impact of Kossuth is noted throughout the county with the name Kossuth appearing on buildings and streets in all parts of the county. Kossuth County now has the third full figure statue of Lajos Kossuth in the United States. The statue of Lajos Kossuth, being dedicated today, is not only a reminder of the Hungarian struggle for independence but it is also a reminder of our own United States democracy that Lajos Kossuth idealized so much.

Biography source: Kossuth County Iowa; http://www.kossuth-edc.com/community/kossuthbio.htm
Speech Source: Select Speeches of Kossuth; by Lajos Kossuth, Francis William Newman: published 1855

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers Letter “B”

oldenglishB“He That Lays Down Precepts For Governing Our Lives, And Moderating Our Passions, Obliges Humanity Not Only In The Present, But In All Future Generations.” ~ Seneca

“If You Would Be Pungent, Be Brief; For It Is With Words As With Sunbeams —The More They Are Condensed, The Deeper They Burn.” ~Southey.

“The superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity and many deeds of the past, in order to strengthen his character thereby.” ~ John Milton

BURNING WORDS OF BRILLIANT WRITERS; A Cyclopedia Of Quotations From The Literature Of All Ages designed for the use of the Senate, the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Orator. For the complete book of quotes go here.



I never yet have heard of a good man having fallen when he was trying to do Christ’s will and trusting on Christ’s help. Every fall without one exception came from venturing upon sinful ground or from venturing upon self-support.

— T. L. Cuyler.

When we read or hear how some professed Christian has turned defaulter, or lapsed into drunkenness, or slipped from the communion table into open disgrace, it simply means that a human arm has broken. The man has forsaken the everlasting arms.

— T. L. Cuyler.

The master will not keep His hand under our arms when we go on forbidden ground. Presumptuous Peter needed a sharp lesson, and he got it. That bitter cry at the foot of the stairs bespoke an awful fall. How many such are rising daily into God’s listening ears.

— T. L. Cuyler.


Only what coronation is in an earthly way, baptism is in a heavenly way; God’s authoritative declaration in material form of a spiritual reality.

— F. W. Robertson.

Oh! for this baptism of fire! when every spoken word for Jesus shall be a thunderbolt, and every prayer shall bring forth a mighty flood.



Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the infinite.

 — George Bancroft.

The gospel allies itself with all that is beautiful in the universe, as truly as with all that is noble and pure.

— Samuel Wolcott.

Eyes raised toward heaven are always beautiful, whatever they be.

— Joseph Joubert.

He hath a daily beauty in his life.

— Shakspeare.

I pray the prayer of Plato old,—
“God make thee beautiful within.”

— J. G. Whittier.


What is meant by believing in Christ but just going with trusting and loving hearts, and committing to His love and power ourselves, our souls, and all that concerns us for time and eternity?

— A. H. Boyd.

Begin by regarding everything from a moral point of view, and you will end by believing in God.

— Dr. Arnold.

To believe is to be happy; to doubt is to be wretched. To believe is to be strong. Doubt cramps energy. Belief is power. Only so far as a man believes strongly, mightily, can he act cheerfully, or do any thing that is worth the doing.

— F. W. Robertson,

If you wish to be assured of the truth of Christianity, try it. Believe, and if thy belief be right, that insight which gradually transmutes faith into knowledge will be the reward of thy belief.

— S. T. Coleridge.

He that will believe only what he can fully comprehend, must have a very long head, or a very short creed.


The man who goes through life with an uncertain doctrine not knowing what he believes, what a poor, powerless creature he is! He goes around through the world as a man goes down through the street with a poor, wounded arm, forever dodging people he meets on the street for fear they may touch him.

— Phillips Brooks.

If that impression does not remain on this intrepid and powerful people, into whose veins all nations pour their mingling blood, it will be our immense calamity. Public action, without it, will lose the dignity of consecration. Eloquence, without it, will miss what is loftiest, will give place to a careless and pulseless disquisition, or fall to the flatness of political slang. Life, without it, will lose its sacred and mystic charm. Society, without it, will fail of inspirations, and be drowned in an animalism whose rising tides will keep pace with its wealth.

— R. S. Storrs.

Now God be praised, that to believing souls,
Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!

— Shakspeare.

BENEFICENCE. There cannot be a more glorious object in creation than a human being replete with benevolence, meditating in what manner he might render himself most acceptable to his Creator by doing most good to His creatures.

— Fielding.

Great minds, like heaven, are pleased in doing good.

— Rowe.

Never try to save out of God’s cause; such money will canker the rest. Giving to God is no loss; it is putting your substance in the best bank. Giving is true having, as the old gravestone said of the dead man: “What I spent I had, what I saved I lost, what I gave I have.”

— C. H. Spurgeon.

Learn the luxury of doing good.

— Goldsmith.

By doing good with his money, a man, as it were, stamps the image of God upon it, and makes it pass current for the merchandise of heaven.

— Rutledge.

Wealth tends to materialize the soul. Every contribution to spiritual objects counteracts the tendency. It is another step up the ladder, whose foot is deep down in materialism, but whose top reaches to the holy heavens of spirit and love.

Liberality consists not so much in giving a great deal as in giving seasonably.

— Bruyere.

Proportion thy charity to the strength of thy estate, lest God proportion thy estate to the weakness of thy charity. Let the lips of the poor be the trumpet of thy gift, lest in seeking applause thou lose thy reward. Nothing is more pleasing to God than an open hand and a close mouth.

— Francis Quarles.

Give with a heart glowing with generous sentiments; give as the fountain gives out its waters from its own swelling depths; give as the air gives its vital breezes, unrestrained and free; give as the sun gives out its light, from the infinite abysses of its own nature.

Poverty is the load of some, and wealth is the load of others, perhaps the greater load of the two. It may weigh them to perdition. Bear the load of thy neighbor’s poverty, and let him bear with thee the load of thy wealth. Thou lightenest thy load by lightening his.

— St. Augustine.

He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do any thing.

— Samuel Johnson.

Open your hands, ye whose hands are full! The world is waiting for you! The whole machinery of the Divine beneficence is clogged by your hard hearts and rigid fingers. Give and spend, and be sure that God will send; for only in giving and spending do you fulfill the object of His sending.

— J. G. Holland.

Be charitable before wealth makes thee covetous.

— Sir Thomas Browne.

Honor the Lord with thy substance.

“Not for ourselves, but for others,” is the grand law inscribed on every part of creation.

— Edward Payson.

Every day should be distinguished by at least one particular act of love.

— Lavater.

My brethren, surely the time has come for us to return to the Lord’s plan. Among us there are children to be clothed, widows to be aided, and afflicted ones to be cared for. As you draw near to the poor, the Saviour will come nearer to you.

— George C. Lorimer.

I have heard of a monk who in his cell, had a glorious vision of Jesus revealed to him. Just then, a bell rang, which called him away to distribute loaves of bread among the poor beggars at the gate. He was sorely tried as to whether he should lose a scene so inspiring. He went to his act of mercy; and when he came back, the vision remained more glorious than ever.

— T. L. Cuylek.

Every man who becomes heartily and understanding^ a channel of the Divine beneficence, is enriched through every league of his life. Perennial satisfaction springs around and within him with perennial verdure. Flowers of gratitude and gladness bloom all along his pathway, and the melodious gurgle of the blessings he bears is echoed back by the melodious waves of the recipient stream.

— J. G. Holland.

So quickly sometimes has the wheel turned round, that many a man has lived to enjoy the benefit of that charity which his own piety projected.

— Laurence Sterne.

What do you think God gave you more wealth than is requisite to satisfy your rational wants for, when you look around and see how many are in absolute need of that which you do not need? Can you not take the hint?

— J. G. Holland.


A genuine faith lifts us above the bitterness of grief; a sense of Christ’s living presence takes away all unbearable loneliness even when we are most alone. In our darkest hours, to know that our lost friend is still living, still loving us, still ours, in the highest and best sense, must be unspeakably consoling.

— A. H. K.

Is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.

— Bible.

Believe me, it is no time for words when the wounds are; fresh and bleeding; no time for homilies when the lightning’s shaft has smitten, and the man lies stunned and stricken. Then let the comforter be silent; let him sustain by his presence, not by his preaching; by his sympathetic silence, not by his speech.

— George C. Lorimer.

The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has pressed
In their bloom;
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
On the tomb.

— O. W. Holmes.

Over the river they beckon to me,
Loved ones who’ve crossed to the farther side,
The gleam of their snowy robes I see,
But their voices are lost in the dashing tide.

— N. A. W. Priest.

Yes, we all live to God!
Father, Thy chastening rod,
So help us, Thine afflicted ones, to bear,
That in the spirit land,
Meeting at Thy right hand,
‘Twill be our heaven to find that He is there!

— John Pierpont.


We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.

— Baptist Church Manual.

The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars.

— H. W. Beecher.

The Bible, as a revelation from God, was not designed to give us all the information we might desire, nor to solve all the questions about which the human soul is perplexed, but to impart enough to be a safe guide to the haven of eternal rest.

— Albert Barnes.

It is not simply a theological treatise, a code of laws, a religious homily, but the Bible — the book — while the only book for the soul, the best book for the mind.

— Herrick Johnson.

The Bible is a window in this prison-world, through which we may look into eternity.

—Timothy Dwight.

The Bible abounds in plain truth, expressed in plain language; in this it surpasses all other books.

— Whelpley.

The Bible alone of all the books in the world, instead of uttering the opinions of the successive ages that produced it, has been the antagonist of these opinions.

— Stuart Robinson.

The Bible has been my guide in perplexity, and my comfort in trouble. It has roused me when declining, and animated me in languor. Other writings may be good, but they want certainty and force. The Bible carries its own credentials along with it, and proves spirit and life to the soul. In other writings I hear the words of a stranger or a servant. In the Bible I hear the language of my Father and my friend. Other books contain only the picture of bread. The Bible presents me with real manna, and feeds me with the bread of life.

You will want a book which contains not man’s thoughts, but God’s — not a book that may amuse you, but a book that can save you — not even a book that can instruct you, but a book on which you can venture an eternity — not only a book which can give relief to your spirit, but redemption to your soul — a book which contains salvation, and conveys it to you, one which shall at once be the Saviour’s book and the sinner’s.

— John Selden.

The life-boat may have a tasteful bend and beautiful decoration, but these are not the qualities for which I prize it; it was my salvation from the howling sea! So the interest which a regenerate soul takes in the Bible, is founded on a personal application to the heart of the saving truth which it contains.

— J. W. Alexander.

The Bible is the treasure of the poor, the solace of the sick, and the support of the dying; and while other books may amuse and instruct in a leisure hour, it is the peculiar triumph of that book to create light in the midst of darkness, to alleviate the sorrow which admits of no other alleviation, to direct a beam of hope to the heart which no other topic of consolation can reach; while guilt, despair, and death vanish at the touch of its holy inspiration.

— Robert Hall.

The Bible is a treasure. It contains enough to make us rich for time and eternity. It contains the secret of happy living. It contains the key of heaven. It contains the title deeds of an inheritance incorruptible, and that fadeth not away. It contains the pearl of great price. Nay, in so far as it reveals them as the portion of us sinful worms, it contains the Saviour and the living God Himself.

— James Hamilton.

The Bible is a warm letter of affection from a parent to a child; and yet there are many who see chiefly the severer passages. As there may be fifty or sixty nights of gentle dews in one summer, that will not cause as much remark as one hailstorm of half an hour, so there are those who are more struck by those passages of the Bible that announce the indignation of God than by those that announce His affection.

— T. Dewitt Talmage.

The Bible is not only the revealer of the unknown God to man, but His grand interpreter as the God of nature. In revealing God, it has given us the key that unlocks the profoundest mysteries of creation, the clew by which to thread .the labyrinth of the universe, the glass through which to look from Nature up to Nature’s God.

— L. J. Halsey.

I cannot look around me without being struck with the analogy observable in the works of God. I find the Bible written in the style of His other books of Creation and Providence. The pen seems in the same hand. I see it, indeed, write at times mysteriously in each of these books; thus I know that mystery in the works of God is only another name for my ignorance. The moment, therefore, that I become humble, all becomes right.

— Richard Cecil.

The Bible is the most thought-suggesting book in the world. No other deals with such grand themes.

— Herrick Johnson.

Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law,

— Psalms.

One gem from that ocean is worth all the pebbles from earthly streams.

— Robert Mccheyne.

I have carefully and regularly perused the Holy Scriptures, and am of opinion that the volume contains more sublimity, purer morality, more important history, and finer strains of eloquence, than can be collected from all other books, in whatever language they may have been written.

— Sir William Jones.

It is impossible to look into the Bible with the most ordinary attention without feeling that we have got into a moral atmosphere quite different from that which we breathe in the world, and in the world’s literature.

— Thomas Erskine.

This Bible, then, has a mission, grander than any mere creation of God; for in this volume are infinite wisdom, and infinite love. Between its covers are the mind and heart of God; and they are for man’s good, for his salvation, his guidance, his spiritual nourishment. If now I neglect my Bible, I do my soul a wrong; for the fact of this Divine message is evidence that I need it.


The Old and New Testaments contain but one scheme of religion. Neither part of this scheme can be understood without the other.

— Richard Cecil.

The Saviour who flitted before the patriarchs through the fog of the old dispensation, and who spake in time past to the fathers by the prophets, articulate but unseen, is the same Saviour who, on the open heights of the gospel, and in the abundant daylight of this New Testament, speaks to us. Still all along it is the same Jesus, and that Bible is from beginning to end, all of it, the word of Christ.

— James Hamilton.

Throw away the Old Testament! What part of it will you throw away? That which I do not understand? Take down then yonder blood-stained cross; for there is a love there “which passeth knowledge,” and a Divine hatred of sin which shook the solid earth.


he Psalms are an everlasting manual to the soul; the book of its immortal wishes, its troubles, its aspirations, and its hopes; sung in every tongue, and in every age; destined to endure while the universe of God has light, harmony, or grandeur, while man has religion or sensibility, while language has sublimity or sweetness.

— Henry Giles.

Let your daughter have first of all the book of Psalms for holiness of heart, and be instructed in the Proverbs of Solomon for her godly life.

— St. Jerome.

High above all earthly lower happiness, the blessedness of the eight Beatitudes towers into the heaven itself. They are white with the snows of eternity; they give a space, a meaning, a dignity to all the rest of the earth over which they brood.

— Dean Stanley.

I am heartily glad to witness your veneration for a Book which to say nothing of its holiness or authority, contains more specimens of genius and taste than any other volume in existence.

— W. S. Landor.

Intense study of the Bible will keep any man from being vulgar in point of style.

— S. T. Coleridge.

If there be any thing in my style or thought to be commended, the credit is due to my kind parents in instilling into my mind an early love of the Scriptures.

— Daniel Webster.

The word of the Lord is tried.

The English Bible — a book which, if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power.

— T. B. Macaulay.

Wherever God’s word is circulated, it stirs the hearts of the people, it prepares for public morals. Circulate that word, and you find the tone of morals immediately changed. It is God speaking to man.

— Bishop Simpson.

Wherever public worship has been established and regularly maintained, idolatry has vanished from the face of the earth. There is not now a temple to a heathen god where the word of God is read.

— Bishop Simpson.

The increasing influence of the Bible is marvelously great, penetrating everywhere. It carries with it a tremendous power of freedom and justice guided by a combined force of wisdom and goodness.

— Mori.

We may persuade men that are infidels to receive the Scriptures as the word of God by rational arguments drawn from their antiquity; the heavenliness of the matter; the majesty of the style; the harmony of all the parts though written in different ages; the exact accomplishment of prophecies; the sublimity of the mysteries and matters contained in the word; the efficacy and power of it, in the conviction and conversion of multitudes; the scope of the whole,— to guide men to attain their chief end,— the glory of God in their own salvation; and the many miracles wrought for the confirmation of the truth of the doctrines contained in them.

— Fisher’s Catechism.

What other book besides the Bible could be heard in public assemblies from year to year, with an attention that never tires, and an interest that never cloys?

— Robert Hall.

The grand old Book of God still stands; and this old earth, the more its leaves are turned over and pondered, the more it will sustain and illustrate the Sacred word.

— James D. Dana.

The books of men have their day and grow obsolete. God’s word is like Himself, “the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.”

— R. Payne Smith.

Christianity claims that the supernatural is as reasonable as the natural, that man himself is supernatural as truly as he is natural, and that the Bible is so clearly the word of God by proofs that are unanswerable, that it is unreasonable to disbelieve its divine truths.


Eighteen centuries have passed since the Bible was finished. They have been centuries of great changes. In their course the world has been wrought over into newness at almost every point. But, to-day, the text of the Scriptures, after copyings almost innumerable and after having been tossed about through ages of ignorance and tumult, is found by exhaustive criticism to be unaltered in every important particular — there being not a single doctrine, nor duty, nor fact of any grade, that is brought into question by variations of readings — a fact that stands alone in the history of such ancient literature.

— E. F. Burr.

The best evidence of the Bible’s being the word of God is to be found between its covers. It proves itself.

— Charles Hodge.

We glory most in the fact, that Scripture so commends itself to the conscience, and experience so bears out the Bible, that the gospel can go the round of the world, and carry with it, in all its travel, its own mighty credentials.

— Henry Melvill.

All that has been done to weaken the foundation of an implicit faith in the Bible, as a whole, has been at the expense of the sense of religious obligation, and at the cost of human happiness.

— J. G. Holland.

Do not mathematics and all sciences seem full of contradictions and impossibilities to the ignorant, which are all resolved and cleared to those that understand them?

— Richard Baxter.

The piecemeal criticism which, like the fly, scans only the edge of a plinth in the great edifice upon which it crawls, disappears under a criticism that is all-comprehending and all surveying.

— Prof. Shedd.

The word of God is solid; it will stand a thousand readings; and the man who has gone over it the most frequently and the most carefully is the surest of finding new wonders there.

— James Hamilton.

The Scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture.

— Richard Watson.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.

— Bible.

The main condition is that the spiritual ear should be open to overhear and patiently take in, and the will ready to obey that testimony which, I believe, God bears in every human heart, however dull, to those great truths which the Bible reveals. This, and not logic, is the way to grow in religious knowledge, to know that the truths of religion are not shadows, but deep realities.

— J. C. Shairp.

Many books in my library are now behind and beneath me. They were good in their way once, and so were the clothes I wore when I was ten years old; but I have outgrown them. Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.

— C. H. Spurgeon.

If thou desire to profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faithfulness; nor even desire the repute of learning.

-thomas A Kempis.

If the Bible is God’s word, and we believe it, let us handle it with reverence.

— John B. Gough.

I believe that the want of our age is not more “free” handling of the Bible, but more “reverent” handling, wore humility, more patient study, and more prayer.

— J. C. Ryle.

If you are ever tempted to speak lightly or think lightly of it, just sit down and imagine what this world would be without it. No Bible! A wound and no cure, a storm and no covert, a condemnation and no shrift, a lost eternity and no ransom! Alas for us if this were all; alas for us if the ladder of science were the only stair to lead us up to God!

— R. R. Meredith.

If God is a reality, and the soul is a reality, and you are an immortal being, what are you doing with your Bible shut?

— Herrick Johnson.

Other books we may read and criticise. To the Scriptures we must bow the entire soul, with all its faculties.

— E. N. Kirk.

Let the oracles of inspiration be cited continually, both as authority and illustration, in a manner that shall make the mind instantly refer each expression that is introduced to the venerable book whence it is taken; but let our part of religious language be simply ours, and let those oracles retain their characteristic form of expression unimitated, unparodied to the end of time.

— John Foster.

There are many persons of combative tendencies, who read for ammunition, and dig out of the Bible iron for balls. They read, and they find nitre and charcoal and sulphur for powder. They read, and they find cannon. They read, and they make portholes and embrasures. And if a man does not believe as they do, they look upon him as an enemy, and let fly the Bible at him to demolish him. So men turn the word of God into a vast arsenal, filled with all manner of weapons, offensive and defensive.

— H. W. Beecher.

A loving trust in the Author of the Bible is the best preparation for a wise study of the Bible.

— H. Clay Trumbull.

The reason why we find so many dark places in the Bible is, for the most part, because there are so many dark places in our hearts.

— A. Tholuck.

When you are reading a book in a dark room, and come to a difficult part, you take it to a window to get more light. So take your Bibles to Christ.

— Robert Mccheyne.

My own experience is that the Bible is dull when I am dull. When I am really alive, and set in upon the text with a tidal pressure of living affinities, it opens, it multiplies discoveries, and reveals depths even faster than I can note them. The worldly spirit shuts the Bible; the Spirit of God makes it a fire, flaming out all meanings and glorious truths.

— Horace Bushnell.

Parents, I urge you to make the Bible the sweetest, the dearest book to your children; not by compelling them to read so many chapters each day, which will have the effect of making them hate the Bible, but by reading its pages with them, and by your tender parental love, so showing them the beauty of its wondrous incidents, from the story of Adam and Eve to the story of Bethlehem and Calvary, that no book in the home will be so dear to your children as the Bible; and thus you will be strengthening their minds with the sublimest truths, storing their hearts with the purest love, and sinking deep in their souls solid principles of righteousness, whose divine stones no waves of temptation can ever move.


Give the Bible the place in your families to which it is justly entitled, and then, through the unsearchable riches of Christ, many a household among you may hereafter realize that most blessed consummation, and appear a whole family in heaven.

— H. A. Boardman.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.

Merely reading the Bible is no use at all without we study it thoroughly, and hunt it through, as it were, for some great truth.

— D. L. Moody.

I never saw a useful Christian who was not a student of the Bible. If a man neglects his Bible, he may pray and ask God to use him in His work; but God cannot make much use of him, for there is not much for the Holy Ghost to work upon.

— D. L. Moody.

Study the Bible topically. If you will study assurance for a week, you will soon find it is your privilege to know that you are a child of God.

— D. L. Moody.

Go through John’s Gospel, and study the “believes,” the verily,” the ” I ams; “and go through the Bible in that way, and it becomes a new book to you.

— 1). L. Moody.

Do you know a book that you are willing to put under your head for a pillow when you lie dying? Very well; that is the book you want to study while you are living. There is but one such book in the world.

— Joseph Cook.

When you read the sacred Scriptures, or any other book, never think how you read, but what you read.

— John Kemble.

The duty which God requireth of man is obedience to His revealed will.

— Westminster Catechism.

I delight to do Thy will, O my God; yea, Thy law is within my heart.

— Psalms.


Enough of good there is in the lowest estate to sweeten life; enough of evil in the highest to check presumption; enough there is of both in all estates, to bind us in compassionate brotherhood, to teach us impressively that we are of one dying and one immortal family.

— Henry Giles.

My friends, let us try to follow the Saviour’s steps; let us remember all day long what it is to be men; that it is to have every one whom we meet for our brother in the sight of God; that it is this, never to meet any one, however bad he may be, for whom we cannot say, ” Christ died for that man, and Christ cares for him still. He is precious in God’s eyes, and he shall be precious in mine also.”

— Charles Kingsley.

God has taught in the Scriptures the lesson of a universal brotherhood, and man must not gainsay the teaching. Shivering in the ice-bound or scorching in the tropical regions; in the lap of luxury or in the wild hardihood of the primeval forest; belting the globe in a tired search for rest, or quieting through life in the heart of ancestral woods; gathering all the decencies around him like a garment, or battling in fierce raid of crime against a world which has disowned him, there is an inner humanness which binds me to that man by a primitive and indissoluble bond. He is my brother, and I cannot dissever the relationship. He is my brother, and I cannot release myself from the obligation to do him good.

—Wm. M. Punshon.

Kings and their subjects, masters and slaves, find a common level in two places — at the foot of the cross, and in the grave

— C. C. Colton.

I stand by my kind; and I thank God for the temptations that have brought me into sympathy with them, as I do for the love that urges me to efforts for their good. I hail the great brotherhood of trial and temptation in the name of humanity, and give them assurance that from the Divine Man, and some, at least, of His disciples, there goes out to them a flood of sympathy that would fain sweep them up to the firm footing of the rock of safety.

— J. G. Holland.

Jesus throws down the dividing prejudices of nationality, and teaches universal love without distinction of race, merit, or rank. A man’s neighbor, henceforth, was every one who needed help, even an enemy. All men, from the slave to the highest, were sons of one Father in heaven, and should feel and act toward each other, as brethren. No human standard of virtue would suffice; no imitations of the loftiest examples among men. Moral perfection had been recognized alike by heathen and Jews, as found only in likeness to the Divine, and that Jesus proclaims as, henceforth, the one ideal for all humanity. With a sublime enthusiasm and brotherly love for the race, He rises above His age, and announces a common Father of all mankind, and one grand spiritual ideal in resemblance to Him.

— J. C. Geikie

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers: Letter “A”

oldenglishA“He That Lays Down Precepts For Governing Our Lives, And Moderating Our Passions, Obliges Humanity Not Only In The Present, But In All Future Generations.” ~ Seneca

“If You Would Be Pungent, Be Brief; For It Is With Words As With Sunbeams —The More They Are Condensed, The Deeper They Burn.” ~Southey.

The superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity and many deeds of the past, in order to strengthen his character thereby. ~ John Milton

BURNING WORDS OF BRILLIANT WRITERS; A Cyclopedia Of Quotations From The Literature Of All Ages designed for the use of the Senate, the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Orator. For the complete book of quotes go here.



Ability involves responsibility. Power to its last particle is duty. — Alexander Maclaren.

Man is not altogether an imbecile. True, “circumstances do make the man.” But they make him only in the sense and degree that he permits them to make him. — G. D. Boardman.

What we do upon a great occasion will probably depend upon what we already are; what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline, under the grace of Christ or the absence of it. — H. P. LiDDON.


Moral conduct includes everything in which men are active and for which they are accountable. They are active in their desires, their affections, their designs, their intentions, and in everything they say and do of choice; and for all these things they are accountable to God. — Emmons.

When illusions are over, when the distractions of sense, the vagaries of fancy, and the tumults of passion have dissolved even before the body is cold, which once they so thronged and agitated, the soul merges into intellect, intellect into conscience, conscience into the unbroken, awful solitude of its own personal accountability; and though the inhabitants of the universe were within the spirit’s ken, this personal accountability is as strictly alone and unshared, as if no being were throughout immensity but the spirit and its God. — Henry Giles.


The end of man is an action, and not a thought, though it were the noblest. — Thomas Carlyle.

Existence was given us for action, rather than indolent and aimless contemplation; our worth is determined by the good deeds we do, rather than by the fine emotions we feel. They greatly mistake, who suppose that God cares for no other pursuit than devotion. — E. L. Magoon.

Christian life is action: not a speculating, not a debating, but a doing. One thing, and only one, in this world has eternity stamped upon it. Feelings pass; resolves and thoughts pass; opinions change. What you have done lasts — lasts in you. Through ages, through eternity, what you have done for Christ, that, and only that, you are. — F. W. Robertson.

It is well to think well; it is divine to act well. — Horace Mann.

Man, being essentially active, must find in activity his joy, as well as his beauty and glory; and labor, like every thing else that is good, is its own reward. — Bishop Whipple.

Tempests may shake our dwellings and dissipate our commerce, but they scourge before them the lazy elements, which otherwise would stagnate into pestilence.

Be thy best thoughts to work divine addressed;
Do something,— do it soon — with all thy might;
An angel’s wing would droop if long at rest,
And God Himself inactive were no longer blessed.  — Carlos Wilcox.

When I read the life of such a man as Paul, how I blush to think how sickly and dwarfed Christianity is at the present time, and how many hundreds there are who never think of working for the Son of God and honoring Christ.  — D. L. Moody.

I have lived to know that the secret of happiness is never to allow your energies to stagnate. — Adam Clarke.

I have never heard anything about the resolutions of the disciples, but a great deal about the Acts of the Apostles. — Horace Mann.

The life of man is made up of action and endurance; and life is fruitful in the ratio in which it is laid out in noble action or in patient perseverance. — H. P. Liddon.

Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action to all eternity. — Lavater.

Look around you, and you will behold the universe full of active powers. Action is, so to speak, the genius of nature. By motion and exertion, the system of being is preserved in vigor. By its different parts always acting in subordination one to another, the perfection of the whole is carried on. The heavenly bodies perpetually revolve. Day and night incessantly repeat their appointed course. Continual operations are going on in the earth and in the waters. Nothing stands still. All is alive and stirring throughout the universe. In the midst of this animated and busy scene, is man alone to remain idle in his place? Belongs it to him to be the sole inactive and slothful being in the creation, when in so many various ways he might improve his own nature; might advance the glory of the God who made him; and contribute his part in the general good? — Blair.

Activity in the kingdom of God augments the power of spiritual life, and deepens the consciousness of religious realities. — William Adams.

The history of the Church of Christ from the days of the Apostles has been a history of spiritual movements. — H. P. Liddon.

It is much easier to settle a point than to act on it. — Richard Cecil.

Unselfish and noble acts are the most radiant epochs in the biography of souls. — David Thomas.

Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith and winged by prayer,
Heaven’s eternal day’s before thee;
God’s own hand shall guide thee there. — H. F. Lyte.

I do not say the mind gets informed by action,— bodily action; but it does get earnestness and strength by it, and that nameless something that gives a man the mastership of his faculties. — Wm. Mountford.

The essential elements of giving are power and love — activity and affection — and the consciousness of the race testifies that in the high and appropriate exercise of these is a blessedness greater than any other. — Mark Hopkins.

All mental discipline and symmetrical growth are from activity of the mind under the yoke of the will or personal power. — Mark Hopkins.

Napoleon was the most effective man in modern times — some will say of all times. The secret of his character was, that while his plans were more vast, more various, and, of course, more difficult than those of other men, he had the talent at the same time, to fill them up with perfect promptness and precision, in every particular of execution. — Horace Bushnell.

Time is short, your obligations are infinite. Are your houses regulated, your children instructed, the afflicted relieved, the poor visited, the work of piety accomplished? — Massillon.

Let us remember that Elijah’s God was with him only while he was occupied in noble and effectual services. When thus engaged, he exulted in the conscious majesty of a life which had upon it the stamp and signature of Divine power. — Richard Fuller.

It is no use for one to stand in the shade and complain that the sun does not shine upon him. He must come out resolutely on the hot and dusty field where all are compelled to antagonize with stubborn difficulties, and pertinaciously strive until he conquers, if he would deserve to be crowned. — E. L. Magoon.

The fact is that in order to do any thing in this world worth doing, we must not stand shivering on the bank thinking of the cold and the danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can. — Sydney Smith.

What is done is done; has already blended itself with the boundless, ever living, ever working universe, and will also work there for good or evil, openly or secretly, throughout all time. — Thomas Carlyle.

Consider and act with reference to the true ends of existence. This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. — E. H. Chapin.

Our actions must clothe us with an immortality loathsome or glorious. —C. C. Colton.

Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part; do thou but thine. — Milton.


Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God. — Westminster Catechism.

We need a spirit of adoption to take us out of the foundling hospital of the world, and to put us into the celestial family. — G. D. Boardman.

Faith unites us to Christ, and acquiesces in the redemption purchased by Him as the meritorious cause of our adoption. — Fisher’s Catechism.


God kills thy comforts from no other design but to kill thy corruptions; wants are ordained to kill wantonness, poverty is appointed to kill pride, reproaches are permitted to destroy ambition. — John Flavel.

Adversity borrows its sharpest sting from impatience. — Bishop Horne.

In the day of prosperity we have many refuges to resort to; in the day of adversity, only one. — Horatius Bonar.

How full of briers is this working-day world! — Shakspeare.

For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity. — Thomas Carlyle.


Afflictions are but the shadow of God’s wings. — Geo. Macdonald.

Human character is never found “to enter into its glory,” except through the ordeal of affliction. Its force cannot come forth without the offer of resistance, nor can the grandeur of its free will declare itself, except in the battle of fierce temptation. — James Martineau.

Affliction is the school in which great virtues are acquired, in which great characters are formed. — Hannah More.

The damps of autumn sink into the leaves and prepare them for the necessity of their fall; and thus insensibly are we, as years close around us, detached from our tenacity of life by the gentle pressure of recorded sorrow. — W. S. Landor.

God sometimes washes the eyes of His children with tears in order that they may read aright His providence and His commandments. — T. L. Cuyler.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining,
Behind the clouds the sun is shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all;
Into each life some rain must fall,—
Some days must be dark and dreary.
— Longfellow.

Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. — Matthew Henry.

Affliction of itself does not sanctify any body, but the reverse. I believe in sanctified afflictions, but not in sanctifying afflictions. — C. H. Spurgeon.

Heaven gives us friends to bless the present scene;
Resumes them, to prepare us for the next.  —Young.

Afflictions are but as a dark entry into our Father’s house. — Thomas Brooks.

Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us by the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them. —C. H. Spurgeon.

What seem to us but dim funereal tapers may be heaven’s distant lamps. — Longfellow.

Every man will have his own criterion in forming his judgment of others. I depend very much on the effect of affliction. I consider how a man comes out of the furnace; gold will lie for a month in the furnace without losing a grain. — Richard Cecil.

The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction. — C. H. Spurgeon.

Night brings out stars as sorrow shows us truths. — P. J. Bailey.

If you would not have affliction visit you twice, listen at once, and attentively, to what it teaches. — Burgh.

Grace will ever speak for itself and be fruitful in well-doing; the sanctified cross is a fruitful tree. — Rutherford.

We should be more anxious that our afflictions should benefit us than that they should be speedly removed from us. — Robert Hall.

Seek holiness rather than consolation. — John Owen.

It is the best thing for a stricken heart to be helping others. . — A. H. K.

The cup which my Saviour giveth me, can it be anything but a cup of salvation? — Alexander Maclaren.

The truly great and good, in affliction, bear a countenance more princely than they are wont; for it is the temper of the highest hearts, like the palm tree, to strive most upward when they are most burdened. — Sir Philip Sidney.

What He tells thee in the darkness,
Weary watcher for the day,
Grateful lip and heart should utter
When the shadows flee away.
— F. R. Havergal.

As sure as God ever puts His children into the furnace, He will be in the furnace with them. — C. H. Spurgeon.

The truest help we can render an afflicted man is not to take his burden from him, but to call out his best strength, that he may be able to bear the burden. — Phillips Brooks.

Oh, when we are journeying through the murky night and the dark woods of affliction and sorrow, it is something to find here and there a spray broken, or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of His foot and the brush of His hand as He passed; and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and thus to find lingering fragrance and hidden strength in the remembrance of Him as “in all points tempted like as we are,” bearing grief for us, bearing grief with us, bearing grief like us. — Alexander Maclaren.

Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than He went through before.  — Richard Baxter.

However bitter the cup we have to drink, we are sure it contains nothing unnecessary or unkind; and we should take it from His hand with as much meekness as we accept of eternal life with thankfulness. — William Goodell.

In the dark and cloudy day,
When earth’s riches flee away,
And the last hope will not stay,
Saviour, comfort me.


Ambition is the way in which a vulgar man aspires. — H. W. Beecher.

Virtue is choked with foul ambition. — Shakspeare.

Ambition is a gilded misery, a secret poison, a hidden plague, the engineer of deceit, the mother of hypocrisy, the parent of envy, the original of vices, the moth of holiness, the blinder of hearts, turning medicines into maladies, and remedies into diseases. — Thomas Brooks.

Ambition is but avarice on stilts. – W. S. Landor.


Amusements are to religion like breezes of air to the flame; gentle ones will fan it, but strong ones will put it out. — David Thomas.

Any pleasure which takes and keeps the heart from God is sinful, and unless forsaken, will be fatal to the soul. — Richard Fuller.

People should be guarded against temptation to unlawful pleasures by furnishing them the means of innocent ones. In every community there must be pleasures, relaxations, and means of agreeable excitement; and if innocent are not furnished, resort will be had to criminal. Man was made to enjoy as well as labor; and the state of society should be adapted to this principle of human nature. — W. E. Channing.

Recreation is not the highest kind of enjoyment; but in its time and place it is quite as proper as prayer. — S. Irenjeus Prime

Whatever we do to please ourselves, and only for the sake of the pleasure, not for an ultimate object, is “play,” the “pleasing thing,” not the useful thing. The first of all English games is making money. That is an all-absorbing game; and we knock each other down oftener in playing at that than at football, or any other rougher sport; and it is absolutely without purpose; no one who engages heartily in that game ever knows why. Ask a great money-maker what he wants to do with his money — he never knows. He doesn’t make it to do any thing with it. He gets it only that he may get it. “What will you make of what you have got’ ” you ask, “Well, I’ll get more,” he says. Just as at cricket you get more runs. There is no use in the runs; but to get more of them than other people is the game. And there is no use in the money; but to have more of it than other people is the game. —C. H. Spurgeon.


An unsanctified temper is a fruitful source of error, and a mighty impediment to truth. — E. L. Magoon.

He submits himself to be seen through a microscope, who suffers himself to be caught in a fit of passion. — Lavater.

Our passions are like convulsion fits, which make us stronger for the time, but leave us weaker forever after. — Dean Swift.

If anger proceeds from a great cause, it turns to fury; if from a small cause, it is peevishness; and so is always either terrible or ridiculous. — Jeremy Taylor.

The proud man hath no God; the envious man hath no neighbor; the angry man hath not himself. — Bishop Hall.

There was a man here last night — you needn’t be afraid that I shall mention his name — who said that his will was given up to God, and who got mad because the omnibus was full, and he had to walk a mile to his lodgings. — D. L. Moody.

When I had twice or thrice made a resolute resistance to anger, the like befell me that did the Thebans; who, having once foiled the Lacedemonians, never after lost so much as one battle which they fought against them. — Plutarch.

The sun should not set upon our anger, neither should he rise upon our confidence. — C. C. COLTON.


The kiss of the apostate was the most bitter earthly ingredient in the agonies which Christ endured. — E. L. Magoon.

Still in the garden shadows art Thou pleading,
Staining the night dews with Thine agony;
But one is there Thy woe and prayer unheeding,
And to their guileless prey Thy murderers leading,
Lord, is it I?  — George Huntingdon.

O God, the Father, of heaven, have mercy upon us miserable sinners.


“Lord, is it I?” Thou knowest my temptations,
My spirit willing, though my flesh is weak;
My earnest striving, and my often failing;
Sinning, repenting, still Thy grace I seek.

O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee; my soul thirsteth for Thee; my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. — Psalms.

There is not a heart but has its moments of longing,— yearning for something better, nobler, holier than it knows now. — H. W. Beecher.

Aspiration, worthy ambition, desires for higher good for good ends — all these indicate a soul that recognizes the beckoning hand of the good Father who would call us homeward towards Himself — all these are the ground and justification for a Christian discontent; but a murmuring, questioning, fault-finding spirit has direct and sympathetic alliance with nothing but the infernal. — J. G. Holland.

In truth, there is no religion, no worship in our prosperity and ease. So far as we are happy, we are in a state of satisfied desire; so far as we are religious, we are in a state of aspiration and unsatisfied desire. — James Martineau.

Father! forgive the heart that clings
Thus trembling to the things of time,
And bid my soul, on angel’s wings
Ascend into a purer clime.
— Jane Roscoe.


Assurance of hope is more than life. It is health, strength, power, vigor, activity, energy, manliness, beauty. — J. C. Ryle.

True assurance makes a man more humble and self-denied but presumptuous confidence puffs up with spiritual pride and self-conceit; the one excites to the practice of every commanded duty, but the other encourages sloth and indolence. — Fisher’s Catechism.

You have a valuable house or farm. It is suggested that the title is not good. You employ counsel. You have the deeds examined. You search the records for mortgages, judgments and liens. You are not satisfied until you have a certificate, signed by the great seal of the State, assuring you that the title is good. Yet how many leave their title to heaven an undecided matter! Why do you not go to the records and find it? Give yourself no rest day or night until you can read your title clear to mansions in the skies.” —T. Dewitt Talmage.

The more the soul is conformed to Christ, the more confident it will be of its interest in Christ. — Thomas Brooks.

The best assurance any one can have of his interest in God, is doubtless the conformity of his soul to Him. When our heart is once turned into a conformity with the mind of God, when we feel our will conformed to His will, we shall then presently perceive a spirit of adoption within ourselves, teaching us to say, “Abba, Father.” — Cudworth.

If you would have clear and irrefragable for a perpetual joy, a glory and a defense, the unwavering confidence, “I am Thy child,” go to God’s throne, and lie down at the foot of it, and let the first thought be, ” My Father in heaven; ” and that will brighten, that will establish, that will make omnipotent in your life, the witness of the Spirit that you are the child of God. — Alexander Maclaren.

One of those poor fellows that had become a Christian was badgered by his companions; and one of them said, “How do you know that Jesus Christ has forgiven your sins?” The man turned at once and said, ” How do you know when you have got sugar in your tea?” — John B. Gough.

Every one of us may know what is the ruling purpose of his life; and he who knows that his ruling purpose is to trust and follow Christ knows that he is a Christian. — W. Gladden.

“Compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.” let us with firm and cheerful trust endure all trials, discharge all duties, accept all sacrifices, fulfill the law of universal and impartial love, and adopt as our own that cause of truth, righteousness, humanity, liberty, and holiness,— which being the cause of the All-Good, cannot but triumph over all powers of evil. Let us rise into blest assurance that everywhere and forever we are enfolded, penetrated, guarded, guided, kept by the power of the Father and Friend, who can never forsake us; and that all spirits who have begun to seek, know, love, and serve the All-Perfect One on earth shall be reunited in a celestial home, and be welcomed together into the freedom of the universe, and the perpetual light of His presence.  —W. E. Channing.

There are believers who by God’s grace, have climbed the mountains of full assurance and near communion, their place is with the eagle in his eyrie, high aloft; they are like the strong mountaineer, who has trodden the virgin snow, who has breathed the fresh, free air of the Alpine regions, and therefore his sinews are braced, and his limbs are vigorous; these are they who do great exploits, being mighty men, men of renown. — C. H. Spurgeon.

If you have not the faith of assurance, practice at least the faith of adherence. That,at least, is in your power. Cleave to God exactly as if you were certain of being accepted of Him at last; and thus fulfilling His own conditions, you will be accepted of Him, whether you are assured of it beforehand or not.  — Jacques Bonneval.


The thing formed says that nothing formed it; and that which is made is, while that which made it is not! The folly is infinite. — Jeremy Taylor.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy. — Dean Swift.

A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. — Francis Bacon.

Atheism is rather in the life than in the heart of man. — Francis Bacon.

Atheism can benefit no class of people; neither the unfortunate, whom it bereaves of hope, nor the prosperous, whose joys it renders insipid, nor the soldier, of whom it makes a coward, nor the woman whose beauty and sensibility it mars, nor the mother,who has a son to lose, nor the rulers of men, who have no surer pledge of the fidelity of their subjects than religion. —François-René de Chateaubriand.

Ingersoll’s atheism can never become an institution; it can never be more than a destitution. — Robert Collyer.

They that deny a God destroy man’s nobility, for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. — Francis Bacon.

No one is so much alone in the universe as a denier of God. With an orphaned heart, which has lost the greatest of fathers, he stands mourning by the immeasurable corpse of nature, no longer moved and sustained by the Spirit of the universe. — Jean Paul Richter.

Religion assures us that our afflictions shall have an end; she comforts us, she dries our tears, she promises us another life. On the contrary, in the abominable worship of atheism, human woes are the incense, death is the priest, a coffin the altar, and annihilation the Deity. — François-René de Chateaubriand.

Nothing enlarges the gulf of atheism more than the wide passage that lies between the faith and lives of men pretending to teach Christianity. — Stillingfleet.

I want you to have courage to declare yourself to be an atheist, or to serve your god with all your might and power in perfect consecration, whatever or whoever that god may be — whether it be the crocodile of the Nile or our Jehovah, “God over all blessed for evermore.” — Charles F. Deems.

Practically every man is an atheist, who lives without God in the world. — Guesses At Truth.


It is impossible to conceive any contrast more entire and absolute than that which exists between a heart glowing with love to God, and a heart in which the love of money has cashiered all sense of God — His love, His presence, His glory; and which is no sooner relieved from the mockery of a tedious round of religious formalism, than it reverts to the sanctuaries where its wealth is invested, with an intenseness of homage surpassing that of the most devout Israelite who ever, from a foreign land, turned his longing eyes toward Jerusalem. — Richard Fuller.

Avarice is to the intellect what sensuality is to the morals. — Mrs. Jameson.

Objects close to the eye shut out much larger objects on the horizon; and splendors born only of the earth eclipse the stars. So a man sometimes covers up the entire disk of eternity with a dollar, and quenches transcendent glories with a little shining dust. — E. H. Chapin.

Poverty is want of much, but avarice of everything. — Publius Syrius.

Jesus, save me from the infatuation of avarice! I, too, will lay up a treasure, but Thou shalt have the keeping of it. — Christian Scriver.

Thomas Jefferson Concerning Jesus and Plato


“Education is chiefly in the hands of persons who, from their profession, have an interest in the reputation and dreams of Plato. They give the tone while at school, and few in their after years have occasion to revise their college opinions. But fashion and authority apart, and bringing Plato to the test of reason, take from him his sophisms, futilities and incomprehensibilities, and what remains? In truth, he is one of the race of genuine sophists, who has escaped the oblivion of his brethren, first, by the elegance of his diction, but chiefly, by the adoption and incorporation of his whimsies into the body of artificial Christianity. His foggy mind is forever presenting the semblances of objects which, half seen through a mist, can be defined neither in form nor dimensions. Yet this, which should have consigned him to early oblivion, really procured him immortality of fame and reverence. The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding, and too plain to need explanation, saw in the mysticism of Plato materials with which they might build up an artificial system, which might, from its indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power and pre-eminence. The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them; and for this obvious reason, that nonsense cannot be explained. Their purposes, however, are answered. Plato is canonized; and it is now deemed as impious to question his merits as those of an Apostle of Jesus. He is peculiarly appealed to as an advocate of the immortality of the soul; and yet I will venture to say, that were there no better arguments than his in proof of it, not a man in the world would believe it. It is fortunate for us, that Platonic Republicanism has not obtained the same favor as Platonic Christianity; or we should now have been all living, men, women and children, pell mell together, like beasts of the field or forest. Yet “Plato is a great philosopher,” said La Fontaine. But, says Fontenelle, “Do you find his ideas very clear?” “Oh no! he is of an obscurity impenetrable.” “Do you not find him full of contradictions?” “Certainly,” replied La Fontaine, “he is but a sophist.” Yet, immediately after, he exclaims again, “Oh, Plato was a great philosopher.” Socrates had reason, indeed, to complain of the misrepresentations of Plato; for in truth, his dialogues are libels on Socrates.” (To John Adams, 1814. C. VI., 354.)

See also: MORALITY OF GOVERNMENT by Thomas Jefferson 1810
Thomas Jefferson Concerning the Political Party Divisions of the Nation

Thomas Jefferson Concerning the Political Party Divisions of the Nation

Jefferson explains Nations are divided into two parties
1. Want’s all power in the hands of a government elite.
2. Trusts power only in the hands of the people.

Political Parties.—”Parties seem to have taken a very well defined form in this quarter. The old Tories, joined by our merchants who trade in British capital, paper dealers, stock-brokers and the idle rich of the great commercial towns are with the kings. All other descriptions with the French. The war (between France and England) has kindled and brought forward the two parties with an ardour which our own interests merely could never excite. The war between France and England has brought forward the Republicans and Monocrats in every State so openly that their relative numbers are perfectly visible; it appears that the latter are as nothing.” (To James Madison, 1793. F. VI., 326.)

Two parties then do exist in the United States. They embrace respectively the following description of persons:

The anti-Republicans consisted of

  1. The old refugees and Tories.
  2. The British merchants residing among us, and comprising the main body of our merchants.
  3. American merchants trading in British capital. Another great portion.
  4. Speculators and holders in the banks and public funds.
  5. Officers of the Federal Government, with some exceptions.
  6. Office hunters willing to give up principles for places. A numerous and noisy tribe.
  7. Nervous persons, whose languid fibres have more analogy with a passive than an active state of things.

The Republican party of the Union consisted of:

  1. The entire body of land-holders throughout the United States.
  2. The body of labourers not being land-holders, whether in husbanding or the arts. [i.e. The citizenry as a whole] (From notes on Professor Ebelling’s letter, 1795. F. VII., 47.)

“Were parties here divided merely by a greediness for office, as in England, to take a part with either would be unworthy of a reasonable or moral man, but where the principle of difference is as substantial and as strongly pronounced as between the Republicans and the Monocrats of our country, I hold it as honorable to take a firm and decided part, and as immoral to pursue a middle line as between the parties of honest men and rogues into which every country is divided.” (To William Giles, 1795. F. VII., 43.)

“When a Constitution like ours wears a mixed aspect of monarchy and Republicanism its citizens will naturally divide into two classes of sentiment, according as their tone of body or mind, their habits, connections and callings induce them to wish to strengthen either the monarchial or Republican features of the Constitution. Some will consider it as an elective monarchy, which had better be made hereditary, and therefore endeavor to lead towards that all the forms and principles of its administration. Others will view it as an energetic republic, turning in all its points on the pivot of free and frequent elections. The great body of our native citizens are unquestionably of the Republican sentiment.” (To James Sullivan, 1797. F. VII., 117.)

“But, my dear friend, if we do not learn to sacrifice small differences of opinion, we can never act together. Every man cannot have his way in all things. If his own opinion prevails at some times, he should acquiesce on seeing that of others preponderate at others. Without this mutual disposition we are disjointed individuals, but not a society. My position is painful enough between Federalists who cry out on the first touch of their monopoly, and Republicans who clamor for universal removal. A subdivision of the latter will increase the perplexity. I am proceeding with deliberation and inquiry to do what I think just to both descriptions and conciliatory to both. The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people. I do not speak of their leaders who are incurable, but of the honest and well-intentioned body of the people. I consider the pure Federalist as a Republican who would prefer a somewhat stronger executive; and the Republican as one more willing to trust the legislature as a broader representation of the people, and a safer deposit of power for many reasons. But both sects are Republican, entitled to the confidence of their fellow citizens. Not so their quondam leaders covering under the mask of Federalism hearts devoted to monarchy. The Hamiltonians, the Essex-men, the revolutionary Tories, etc. They have a right to tolerance, but neither to confidence nor power. It is very important that the pure Federalist and Republican should see in the opinion of each other but a shade of his own, which by a union of action will be lessened by one-half; that they should see and fear the monarchist as their common enemy, on whom they should keep their eyes, but keep off their hands.” (To John Dickinson, 1801. F. VIII., 76.)

“We shall now be so strong that we shall certainly split again; for freemen thinking differently and speaking and acting as they think, will form into classes of sentiment, but it must be under another name; that of Federalism is to become so scanted that no party can rise under it. As the division between Whig and Tory is founded in the nature of men, the weakly and nerveless, the rich and the corrupt, seeing more safety and accessibility in a strong executive; the healthy, firm and virtuous feeling confidence in their physical and moral resources, and willing to part with only so much power as is necessary for their good government, and therefore to retain the rest in the hands of the many, the division will substantially be into Whig and Tory, as in England, formerly.” (To Joel Barlow, 1802. F. VIII., 150.)

“I tolerate with the utmost latitude the right of others to differ from me in opinion without imputing to them criminality. I know too well the weakness and uncertainty of human reason to wonder at its different results. Both of our political parties, at least the honest portion of them, agree conscientiously in the same object—the public good; but they differ essentially in what they deem the means of promoting that good. One side believes it best done by one composition of the governing powers; the others, by a different one. One fears most the ignorance of the people; the other, the selfishness of rulers independent of them. Which is right, time and experience will prove. We think that one side of this experiment has been long enough tried, and proved not to promote the good of the many; and that the other has not been fairly and sufficiently tried. Our opponents think the reverse. With whichever opinion the body of the nation concurs, that must prevail. My anxieties on the subject will never carry me beyond the use of fair and honorable means, of truth and reason; nor have they ever lessened the esteem for moral worth, nor alienated my affections from a single friend, who did not just withdraw himself.” (To Mrs. John Adams, 1804. F. VIII., 312.)

“Men have differed in opinion, and been divided into parties by these opinions, from the first origin of societies, and in all governments where they have been permitted freely to think and to speak. The same political parties which now agitate the United States have existed through all time. Whether the power of the people or that of the tyrant (?) should prevail, were questions which kept the States of Greece and Rome in eternal convulsions, as they now schismatize every people whose minds and mouths are not shut up by the gag of a despot. And, in fact, the terms of Whig and Tory belong to natural as well as to civil history. They denote the temper and constitution of the mind of different individuals. To come to our own country and to the time when you and I became first acquainted, we will remember the violent parties which agitated the old Congress, and their bitter contents. There you and I were together, and the Jays, and the Dickinsons, and other anti-independents, were arrayed against us. They cherished the monarchy of England, and we the rights of our countrymen. When our present government was in the mew, passing from Confederation to Union, how bitter was the schism between the Feds and the Antis. Here you and I were together again. For, although for a moment separated by the Atlantic from the scene of action, I favored the opinion that nine States should confirm the Constitution, in order to secure it, and the others hold off until certain amendment, deemed favorable to freedom should be made, I rallied in the first instant to the wiser proposition of Massachusetts, that all should confirm, and then all instruct their delegates to urge those amendments. The amendments were made, and all were reconciled to the government. But as soon as it was put into motion, the line of division was again drawn. We broke into two parties, each wishing to give the government a different direction; the one to strengthen the most popular branch, the other the more permanent branches, and to extend their permanence. * * * There have been differences of opinion and party differences, from the first establishment of governments to the present day, and on the same question which now divides our own country; that these will continue through all future time; that everyone takes his side in favor of the many, or of the few, according to his constitution, and the circumstances in which he is placed; that opinions, which are equally honest on both sides, should not effect personal esteem or social intercourse; that as we judge between the Claudii and the Gracchi, the Wentworths and the Hampdens of past age, so of those among us whose names may happen to be remembered for awhile, the next generations will judge, favorably or unfavorably, according to the complexion of individual minds, and side they shall themselves have taken; that nothing new can be added by you or me to what has been said by others, and will be said in every age in support of the conflicting opinions on government; and that wisdom and duty dictate an humble resignation to the verdict of our future peers.” (To John Adams, 1813. C. VI., 143-146.)

“I am not a Federalist, because I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.” (To Francis Hopkinson, 1789. F. V., 76.)

Founder Samuel Adams: The Duty of Citizens in Electing Their Representatives


Powerful, stirring, inspirational wisdom from the Founders.

The Duty of Citizens in Electing Their Representatives by Samuel Adams published in in the Boston Gazette, April 16, 1781

Extract of a Letter from the Southward.

“As we have a Constitution which is admired for its genuine Principles, I have been sollicitous to know, whether our Countrymen at large partook of the Spirit of those who formed it. I have conceived strong Hopes, that in organizing their Government and electing Persons to fill the important Places of Trust, no Consideration would avail, to govern their Suffrages [i.e. Votes] in Favour of any Candidate, unless he was possessed of those Qualities which are necessary, to enable him to perform the Duties of the Office to be filled, to the Advantage of the Publick. I have flattered myself, that both the Governors and the Governed would have lain aside the gawdy Trappings of Monarchy,[gawdy Trappings of Monarchy; i.e. Riches, beauty, extravagance, flowery speeches] and put on that Simplicity which is the Ornament and Strength of a free Republick. How far it has been done, I am not able to judge at this Distance. It is a great Satisfaction to me to be informed, that some of the best Men in the Commonwealth have been elected into the Principal Departments of Government. Men, who will dignify the Character of our Country—who will revive and disseminate those Principles, moral and political, to propagate which, our Ancestors transplanted themselves into this new World—Men who by the Wisdom of their Councils and their exemplary Manners, will establish the public Liberty on the Foundation of a Rock.—These Men will secure to themselves more of the Esteem of their virtuous, and even of their vicious Fellow-Citizens, than they could by a thousand courtly Addresses [i.e. speeches] which are commonly the Breath of Vanity and Adulation.—There is a charm in Virtue to force Esteem.—If Men of a different Character have by any Means been advanced to those hallow’d Seats, who have even sollicited public Employments to give a Scope to Views of Ambition and Avarice, [avarice; i.e. greed, desire for wealth, power] Passions which have in all Ages been the Bane [bane; i.e. ruin, downfall] of human Society; or, to gratify the raging Thirst for popular Applause, a Disease with which little minds are usually tormented, it is our Happiness that the Constitution requires annual Elections, and such Mistakes may be corrected at the next.

“I was sorry to hear, that the Number of Votes returned, the last Time, did not amount to a Quarter of the Number of qualified Electors in the Commonwealth. The Choice of Legislators, Magistrates and Governors, is surely a Business of the greatest Moment, and claims the Attention of every Citizen. The Framers of our Constitution, while they gave due Attention to Political were not forgetful of Civil Liberty—that personal Freedom and those Rights of Property, which the meanest Citizen is intitled to, and the Security of which is the great End of political Society. It was not indeed their Province to make particular Laws for these Purposes. To do this, and to provide for the equal and impartial Execution of such Laws, agreeable to the Constitution, is the Duty of the Legislature. Hence every Citizen will see, and I hope will be deeply impressed with a Sense of it, how exceedingly important it is to himself, and how intimately the welfare of his Children is connected with it, that those who are to have a Share in making as well as in judging and executing the Laws should be Men of singular Wisdom and Integrity. Such as are conscious that they are deficient in either of these Qualities, should even tremble at being named as Candidates! I hope the great Business of Elections will never be left by the Many, to be done by the Few; for before we are aware of it, that few may become the Engine of Corruption—the Tool of a Junto [Junto; i.e political group]—Heaven forbid! that our Countrymen should ever be byass’d in their Choice, by unreasonable Predilections [i.e. bias, favoritism] for any man, or that an Attachment to the Constitution, as has been the Case in other Countries, should be lost in Devotion to Persons. [Devotion to persons; i.e. devotion because of who the person is] The Effect of this would soon be, to change the Love of Liberty into the Spirit of Faction. Let each Citizen remember, at the Moment he is offering his Vote, that he is not making a Present or a Compliment to please an Individual, or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn Trusts in human Society, for which he is accountable to God and his Country.

“When the great Body of the People are determined not to be imposed upon by a false Glare of Virtues held before their Eyes,[i.e. soundbites, speeches, false fronts] but, making up their own Minds, shall impartially give in their Suffrages, after their best Enquiries into the Characters of Candidates, for those whom they judge to be the fittest Persons, there will be no Danger that the generous Enthusiasm of Freedom, so characteristic of the People of Massachusetts, will ever sink into the Violence and Rage of Party, which has often proved fatal to free Republicks.’

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

Philadephia, April 3 1781

ANCIENT SEA TERMS (Comprehensive List)


After working on this for a week in Word, when bringing into wordpress it messed up. Will get back to, to better format, thank you for your patience. Will also be adding pics of old ships.

“In short, what with dead-eyes and shrouds, cats and cat-blocks, dolphins and dolphin-strikers, whips and puddings, I was so puzzled with what I heard that I was about to leave the deck in absolute despair. And, Mr. Chucks, recollect this afternoon that you bleed all the buoys,'”—Peter Simple.

The Virginia 1st Ship built in America @ the Popham Colony Coast of Maine

The Virginia 1st Ship built in America @ the Popham Colony Coast of Maine

There is a well-known passage in “Peter Simple,” in which Mr. Chucks, the boatswain, receives certain orders from the first lieutenant respecting mousings, turk’s-heads, and goosenecks. “In short,” says Peter, “what with dead-eyes and shrouds, cat and cat-blocks, dolphins and dolphin-strikers, whips and puddings, I was so puzzled with what I heard that I was about to leave the deck in absolute despair.” He lingered long enough, however, to hear the lieutenant order Mr. Chucks to bleed all the buoys during the afternoon, a remark that drove the midshipman in terror into the cockpit. Others besides Peter Simple have been puzzled by sailors’ language. Of all the various features of the procedure in marine courts of inquiry nothing is so curious as the* bewilderment excited in the legal breast by the statements of the nautical witnesses. “We was going along all fluking when the wind drawed ahead. We trimmed sail, and in fore and mizzen-tor’garns’l, when a bit of a sea makin’ her yaw, ‘Mind yar luff, you soger/ sings out th’ ole man, an’ as he says this one of the jib-guys parted and sprung the boom, for ours wor spritsail gaffs, and the jib-guy and afterguy wor fitted in one, with a half-crown round the gaff end— are yar a followin’ of me, sir?” If one could imagine a statement of this kind delivered to a lawyer, it might not be hard to figure the expression of face with which it would be received. What is a legal gentleman, whose knowledge of the sea is limited to a run from Dover to Calais when the Long Vacation gives him a spell of liberty, to make of such expressions as “boot-topping,” “pazaree,” “timenoguy,” “Scotchman,” “rombowline,” “puddening,” “leefange,” and a hundred other words more bewildering still? And yet it is certain that if a sailor has to talk about his calling, he must use the language of the sea. There are no synonyms for “sister-blocks,” “kevels,” “sennit,” “girt-line,” “French-fake,” and the rest of the vocabulary. If a lawyer cannot understand how the bight of a rope can be whipped into a snatch-block without passing the end through the sheave, there is nothing in language outside the terms of the marine statement of the process to enable him to master the sailor’s meaning.


Indeed, sailors’ talk is a dialect as distinct from ordinary English as Hindustanee is, or Chinese. English words are used, but their signification is utterly remote from the meaning they have in shore parlance. A yard ashore means a bit of ground at the back of a house; at sea it is a spar. Every cabman knows what a whip is; but at sea it is a tackle formed by a single rope rove through a block. A traveller ashore is a well-known individual; but at sea he becomes an iron ring fitted so as to slip up and down a rope. A lizard is not a reptile, but a bit of rope with an iron thimble spliced into it, just as a bull is a small keg, and bees pieces of plank at the outer end of the bowsprit. Beating is not striking, but sailing by tacks; a bonnet is not for ladies’ wear, but a piece of canvas laced to the foot of a jib; whilst a cat’s-paw has as little to do with the feline animal as fiddles and harpings have with music.

India Company Ship

East India Company Ship 1825

Sailors’ language, however, is by no means wholly compounded of the terms referring to the various parts of ships. Hardships and perils, cruel treatment, bad food, and the like, have imported a mass of rough sayings into the forecastle, many of which are sanctified by touches of rude poetry. Jack’s ditties, too, are frequently vehicles of his emotions. When he does not know how to “growl” fairly, he will put his feelings into a topsail-halyard song, and often has the anchor come up to a fierce chorus compounded of improvised abuse of the ship and the skipper, to which expression could not be given in a quieter method. A ship’s carpenter once told me that he was clapped in irons and lay manacled for six weeks in a voyage to China for writing the words of a song which the sailors sang on every possible occasion when the captain was on deck. He gave me a copy of the words, which I found to be a rude enumeration of Jack’s troubles, every stanza winding up with a shout of “Board of Trade, ahoy!” Some of the verses are quite to the point. The first runs

“I’m only a sailor man—tradesman would I were,
For I’ve ever rued the day I became a tar;
Rued the rambling notion, ever the decoy
Unto such an awful life. Board of Trade, ahoy!”

An East Indiaman

An East Indiaman

One can imagine the skipper pricking up his ear at this shout, and looking very hard at the men who were chorusing it The song goes on :—

“I snubb’d skipper for bad grub, rotten flour to eat,
Hard tack full of weevils ; how demon chandlers cheat!
Salt junk like mahogany, scurvying man and boy.
Says he, ‘Where’s your remedy?’ Board of Trade, ahoy!”
But worse follows:—

“Can ye wonder mutiny, lubber-like, will work,
In our mercantile marine, cramm’d with measly pork?
Is it wonderful that men lose their native joy,
With provisions maggoty? Board of Trade, ahoy!”

East India Company Steamer 1835

East India Company Steamer 1835

By this time, we may take it, the skipper was feeling about for a loose belaying-pin. But the exasperating touch was yet to come:—

“Oh had we a crew to stand by when we’re ashore,
Show this horrid stuff that pigs even would abhor!
Sue the swindling dealer who’d our health destroy.
What say ye, oh sailor friends? Board of Trade, ahoy 1
“Dutchmen here before the mast, and behind it too!
Dutchmen mate and carpenter, Dutchmen most the crew!
Foreigners to man our ships, horrible employ!
What’s old England coming to? Board of Trade, ahoy!”

Early Screw Steamer

Early Screw Steamer

I quote these verses at length, as a fair sample of the sort of “growling” Jack puts into his songs. Unfortunately he is somewhat limited in melodies. Some of them are very plaintive, such as “The Plains of Mexico” and “Across the Western Ocean,” and others have a merry, light-hearted go, such as “Run, let the bulline run!” “Whisky, Johnny!” “Time for us to go,” ” I served my time in the Blackwall Line.”

But the lack of variety is no obstruction to the sailor’s poetical inspiration when he wants the “old man” to know his private opinions without expressing them to his face, and so the same “chantey,” as the windlass or halyard chorus is called, furnishes the music to as many various indignant remonstrance’s as Jack can find injuries to sing about. The provisions have for years been a sore subject with the sailor.

USS United States 1797

USS United States 1797

His beef and pork have earned more abuse from him than any other thing he goes to sea with. “What’s for dinner to-day, Bill?” I remember hearing a sailor ask another. “Measles,” was the answer, that being the man’s name for the pork aboard his vessel. “Old horse,” is the sailor’s term for his salt beef; and some old rhymes perhaps explain the reason :—

“Between the main-mast and the pumps
There stands a cask of Irish junks;
And if you won’t believe it true,
Look, and you’ll see the hoof and shoe.
Salt horse, salt horse, what brought you here,
After carrying turf for so many a year,
From Bantry Bay to Ballyack,
Where you fell down and broke your back?
With kicks, and thumps, and sore abuse,
You’re salted down for sailor’s use.
They eat your flesh and pick your bones,
Then throw you over to Davy Jones.”

US vs Macedonian

US vs Macedonian War of 1812

Out of his sea fare, however, such as it is, Jack nevertheless manages to manufacture several dishes, of which the names are worthy of the contents and flavor. “Lobscouse,” “dandyfunk,” “dogsbody,” “seapie,” “choke-dog,” “twice-laid,” “hishee-hashee” are among some of the delectable entries which the sailor contrives to get out of his kids. Whatever is at hand is popped into these messes; nothing comes amiss, “from a potato-paring to the heel of an old boot.” Soup-and bouillon is another standing sea-dish, and, taking it all round, is the most disgusting of the provisions served out to the merchant sailor. I have known many a strong stomach, made food-proof by years of pork eaten with molasses, and biscuit alive with worms, to be utterly capsized by the mere smell of soup-and-bouillon. Jack calls it “soap and bullion, one onion to a gallon of water,” and this fairly expresses the character of the nauseous compound. Sea-puddings, as there is scarcely any variety that I know of among them, have not many names. “Duff” means a large lump of flour and grease boiled in a bag; “doughboys”—pronounced “doboys,” the o broad—are the same flour and grease in small lumps. Dough jehovahs are a Yankee pudding, and worthy of the people who first taught the British sailor to eat pork with treacle. Bread in sailors’ language means biscuits; the bread that landsmen eat is called by Jack “tommy ” and “soft tack.” Tea is “water bewitched,” and no better title could be found for the pale yellow liquor thick with stalk-ends, which fills the sailor’s hookpot when he goes to breakfast or supper.

Old Portaguese Ship in a Gale

It may be that the resentment kindled in the sailor’s soul by the nature of the ship’s stores induced him to extend his poetical imagination to all who had anything to do with the provisions, for assuredly the cook has not escaped. He is variously designated ; sometimes he is “Drainings,” sometimes “Slushy,” and sometimes “Doctor,” while the steward is called “Flunkey,” and the steward’s mate “Jack in the Dust.” The carpenter is more politely termed “Chips,” and “Sails” does duty for the sailmaker. Many an old prejudice survives in sea-language; as, for instance, the word “soger” (soldier), which is as strong a term of contempt as one sailor can fling at another, whilst “sogering” means to loaf, to skulk; as if in Jack’s opinion loafing and skulking were characteristics of the soldier. “Lobster ” is another of his terms for the military man, suggested, of course, by the red coat. The marine used to be Peter Pipeclay in the Navy; I am ignorant whether the name is preserved; but another old term is to this day current among merchantmen, who will speak of a Navy sailor as “Johnny Haultaut,” in reference to the well-braced yards, the taut running rigging and the snug bunts of the man-of-war. The merchant seaman, however, has not escaped his own fertile invention, and does not apparently blush to figure as “Jack Muck” and “Shellback.”

Captain Cooks Ship

It is peculiar to the sailor to call all foreigners “Dutchmen.” No matter whether a man be a Dane, a German, a Norwegian, a Swede, in Jack’s estimation he is a “Dutchman.” I once asked a sailor what he meant by a Dutchman. “Why,” said he, “any man who says yaw for yes.” This love of generic titles, no doubt, induces sailors to make the word “growl” stand for complaining, abusing, &c. If a man murmurs at the pea soup, he is “growling.” If he mutters at being roused out in his watch below, he is “growling.” Whether he grumbles under his breath or shouts at the skipper in a white fury, he is “growling.” It is one of the most elastic words in the seaman’s language. Many curious terms and expressions have found their way into the sea dialect. “Dowse the glim ” is to put out the light; and ” Dowse that, now,” is a sailor’s way of saying ” Hold your tongue.” To “tumble up” is to come out of the forecastle or any other part of the ship, and ” lay down” is to descend from aloft. “All hands, tumble up! men, tumble up !” bawls the boatswain, thumping on the scuttle; and “Fore-topsail yard, there! lay down, d’ye hear?” are orders which do not seem to correspond with a landsman’s notions of the things required to be done. Seamen are fond also of odd ejaculations, such as “Bully for you!” and “^There she goes, boys! put another bit of beef in soak!” when the wind freshens up and the ship swings through it with a sharper plunge.


Another ejaculation on a like occasion is, “There she blows! whilst she creaks she holds !” “More beef!” is a cry often raised when men hauling on a rope find they want help. It means, “.Tail on here more hands.” Equally suggestive is the expression “A hurrah’s nest, everything at top and nothing at bottom, like a midshipman’s chest,” intended to express the utmost state of disorder, when nothing wanted can be found. “Working Tom Cox’s traverse—three times round the long boat and a pull at the scuttlebutt,” signifies the behavior of a man who is as slow in his work as he can be, out of spite for having been ill-treated, or from any other motive of resentment. Unpopular captains have suffered much from “Tom Cox’s traverse;” when men sent aloft are always dropping their jobs, and coming down on pretence of having forgotten something; when the anchor is sluggishly raised and without a chorus; and when nothing is done with a will.

Other favorite expressions are “Handsomely over the bricks,” that is, walk carefully, mind where you are going; “There are no half-laughs or purser’s grins about me, mate—I’m right up and down like a yard of pump-water,” used when a man wants *o let the others know he is in downright earnest; “I’d weather him out, if he was the Devil himself,” one meaning of which is, “I’ll stick to the ship, let the skipper do his worst;” “It’s a good dog nowadays that’ll come when he’s called, let alone coming before it,” a sailor’s excuse for not showing himself forward in stopping a mischief, for not choosing to act until he was ordered; “I didn’t come through the cabin windows,” that is, “I’m a sailor: I worked my way aft from forwards; I know my duty and am not going to be taught it;” “The girls have hold of the tow rope, and can’t haul the slack in fast enough,” when the ship is homeward-bound and sailing fast—an image full of rude poetry it always seemed to me; “He hasn’t got the hayseed out of his hair,” applied to a greenhorn from the country; though such is Jack’s love of the country that “to sell a farm and go to sea” is a favorite expression of his to denote the very height of imbecility. “As independent as a wood sawyer’s clerk” is a phrase, apparently of American origin; one may often hear it used among sailors. “I’ve been through the mill, ground, and bolted,” is to assert immense experience, and the uselessness of anybody attempting to ” try it on.” To “know the ropes ” is the same assertion qualified. “Every hair like a rope yarn,” “Every finger a fishhook,” “He hasn’t a lazy bone in him,” are all high compliments. Then there are scores of such phrases as “working their old iron up,” “long togs,” for shore-going clothes; “ride a man down like the maintack,” to go on punishing him with plenty of hard work; “up keeleg,” “paying a debt with the fore-top til,” namely, sailing away without paying; “cracking on,” piling on canvas or keeping a ship under a heavy press in a strong wind; “an Irishman’s hurricane—right up and down,” a calm; “Davy putting on the coppers for the parson,” the noise a tempest makes in approaching; “keep your weather-eye lifting,” &c.


Of many sea-phrases the meaning is really so subtle as utterly to defy translation, whilst many fit the vocational conditions so accurately that any divergence from the exact expression will puzzle a seaman as much as if he was being ordered about in French. There are shades of signification in the terms which a man must go to sea as a sailor to understand. No books will give them. They are not to be mastered by listening to seamen talking. There would seem to a landsman no particular appropriateness in such a phrase for instance as ” sleep in,” though it somehow happens that at sea no other term would do. And the same thing may be said of such expressions as “to turn in all standing,” meaning without removing your clothes. Any way, it is quite certain that to stop a sailor from telling his story in his own fashion is, to use his phrase, “to bring him up with a round turn ;” and to expect him to find other words than those which occur naturally to him in relating incidents of a profession crowded with expressions to be heard nowhere except on board ship, is to put him upon a labor of definitions which even a Samuel Johnson would, I suspect, very promptly decline.


Sailor’s Language & Sea Terms—Numerous words and expressions in common use, originated in sailors’ language, applicable to the conduct of a ship, or employed with reference to its rigging or other parts.


A. B.—The letters signifying able-bodied seaman or able seaman.
Aback.—A ship is said to be aback when the wind presses her sails backwards against the masts, so as to force her sternways or drive her bodily to leeward.
Abaft.—Anything behind another thing is called abaft it; as the wind is abaft the beam, the galley is abaft the foremast.
Able-bodied.—Healthy, strong, fit for duty.
Able seaman.—The rating of the best or head sailors of a crew, to distinguish them from ordinary seamen and boys.
Able-whackets.—A game of cards that used to be popular in the forecastle: when a man lost he was beaten over the hands.
Aboard.—On a ship. On board. It is the sailor’s word for on board. Keep the land aboard is to keep it close.
About.—Newly tacked. “She has gone about” means that a vessel has gone round, head to wind, so as to bring the wind on the other bow.
Above-board.—Honest, fair, honorable in speaking or dealing. “I’ll be above-board with you ” means I’ll be frank and tell you the truth.
Abox.—To brace the yards abox is to lay the fore-yards aback, or so brace them that they shall be against the wind.
Abrase.—To smooth down a plank.
Abreast.—Opposite to. Alongside of. “We brought up abreast of the lightship,” that is, We dropped anchor so as to bring the lightship on a line with our beam.
Abrid.—A pintle-plate. The pin on which a rudder turns.
Abroach.—A barrel is abroach after it has been tapped for use.
Abstract log.—A copy of all the more important entries in the logbook.
Aburton.—The position of casks stowed athwartships; that is; from side to side across the. hold.
Acast.—An old term for being cast away or shipwrecked on an island or a desolate shore. Yards are braced acast in weighing anchor, so as to cause the vessel to cant in a given direction.
Acater.—An old term for a ship-chandler, or rather one who furnished a ship with provisions.
Accommodation-ladder.—Steps at the gangway, over the side, to enable people to enter or leave a vessel. The ordinary name is gangway ladder. There are no stairs at sea; everything is steps or a ladder.
Ackman.—A person who commits piracies on fresh water.
A-cockbill.—When the yards are topped up at an angle with the deck. The anchor is said to be cock-billed when it hangs at the cat-head.


Early Ocean Steamer

Accommodation Ladder—A temporary stairs at the sides of vessels, for the accommodation of officers and visitors.
Acon.—A flat-bottomed boat used in the Mediterranean.
Acting commission.—A commission for filling the vacancy caused by the death of a naval officer on a station.
Acting order.—An order for filling up the vacancy caused by the invaliding of a naval officer.
Active service.—Serving against an enemy, whether in his presence or in his neighborhood; serving on full pay.
Act of God.—A term indicating perils of the deep beyond human power to control or oppose, as when a ship is struck by lightning or founders in a storm, being tight and sea-worthy at the time and ably commanded.
Adjustment— is the term for the settlement by an average-adjuster of the indemnity to be paid by the person who takes the risk to the person insured after the loss of the vessel.
Adjustment of the compass.—The term for noting the errors of a ship’s compass by swinging a ship so as to test the compass by various bearings.
Admiral.—The chief commander of a fleet.
Admiral of the Fleet is an honorary distinction, but it nevertheless renders the bearer of it the highest officer in the British Navy.
Adrift.—Broken loose. “She went adrift from her moorings” means the ropes or chains that held her parted and let her go loose.
Advance-note.—A note formerly given to merchant seamen in part payment of their wages. It differed from the Allotment Note (which see) in that it was made payable to the holder unless the seaman failed to proceed in his ship.
Advance-squadron.—Ships of war on the look-out.
Advice-boat.—A vessel employed in war-time for the transmission of intelligence.
Adze.—A kind of axe, having an arching blade set at right angle to the handle, and used by carpenters, coopers, &c.
Affair.—A word indicating an engagement, a fight at sea without decisive results.
Affreightment.—A contract of affreightment is the letting of the whole or part of a ship for cargo.
Afore.—The forward part of a ship. Sometimes used for before, as afore the mast.
Aft.—The hinder part of a ship; as, “The captain was aft,” meaning he was on the quarter-deck or poop at the hinder end.
Aft-castle.—In olden times this was a kind of small round house or wooden structure on the hinder part of a fighting-ship.
After-body.—The name given to the form or shape of a ship from the middle or amidship part of her to the stern.
After-cloths.—The hindmost portions of fore and aft sails in which they are furled and which bring the seams up and down.
After-guard.—The hands stationed aft to work the sails there.
Afternoon watch.—The watch from noon until four p.m.
After-peak.—A portion of the hold in the after-part of a ship, corresponding with the fore-peak.
After-sails.—All the canvas on the main and mizzen-masts of a fullrigged ship and barque, and on the main-mast of a brig.
After-timbers.—All the timbers abaft the midship part of a ship.
After-yards.—The main and mizzen-yards of a full-rigged ship. The main-yards of a barque or brig.
Aground.—A vessel is said to be aground when she is ashore or held fast upon a shoal.
Ahead.—The forward part of a ship. Also in advance of a ship. The opposite of abaft.
Ahold.—An old word, signifying lying close to the wind, as we now say close-hauled.
Ahoy.—A call for attention from a person at a distance. As “Brig ahoy! where are you coming to?” ” Ship ahoy!” “Hallo.” “What ship is that?” &c.


The Mother of P and O Steamers 1834

A I.—A character used in the classification of ships, and denoting vessels which have been built in accordance with certain rules. There are several of these characters, such as 1oo A I 90 A I, 80 A 1, A 1 in red, AE, E,  &c.
Air-cone.—A place in the marine engine for the reception of the gases from the hot well.
Air-ports.—Holes in a ship’s bow for ventilating her.
Air-pump.—A part of a marine engine to take away the air and gases which come from the water in the boiler and which cannot be condensed.
Air-pump bucket valves.—Valves in the air-pump bucket opening upwards on the descent of the piston, and closing on the upward stroke, lifting water, &c, into the hot well.
A-lee.—Said of the helm when it is put down. “Helm’s a-lee!” the warning in tacking a ship that the rudder is turned so as to bring the ship’s head into the wind. ” Hard a-lee !” means hard over, put the rudder as far as it will go to windward.
Alert.—Smartly alive and on the look-out. Alertness is a sure sign of a good seaman.
All aback!—A cry to denote that the wind is pressing the sails against the mast and stopping the progress of the vessel.
All ataunto!—Said of a ship when all her masts are aloft.
Allege.—A boat used in some French rivers and harbors for ballasting vessels.
All fluking.—Said of a ship that goes along sailing with the wind well abaft the beam, and the weather clew of the main-sail hauled up.
All gone!—A seaman’s answer to the order “Let go !” when the order is obeyed.
All hands.—The whole of the crew of a vessel. When the watch below are summoned to help the watch on deck, the cry is always “All hands reef top-sails,” “All hands shorten sail,” or whatever may be the reason for which they are required.
All hands, Hoy!— the word given to assemble the ship’s company.
All-hands work.—Work that requires the whole ship’s company to perform it. Tacking, reefing top-sails, shortening sail in a sudden heavy squall, bringing up, getting under weigh, would be called all-hands work.
All in the wind. — Said when the sails are shaking through bad-steering, or by a sudden swing and come-to of the ship that brings her head into the wind.
Allotment-note.—A note given to a merchant seaman in part payment of his wages, and made payable only to one of certain relations or a savings’-bank.
Allowance.—The quantity of provisions, water, rum, &c., served out to each man at sea.
All-standing.—Fully dressed. To turn in all-standing, is to go to bed with one’s clothes on. Brought up all-standing, means to be taken unawares, to be brought to a stand suddenly.
Aloft.—On high. Any part of the masts is called aloft. To go aloft is to climb the rigging. It is also the sailor’s word for heaven, as “His soul is gone aloft.”
Alow.—A term sometimes, but very rarely used for below, and then perhaps only for the sake of alliteration, as ” She had studding-sails aloft and alow.”
Altitude.—An arch of a vertical circle intercepted between the centre of the object and the horizon.

Fulton's Steamboat 1807

Fulton’s Steamboat 1807

Amain.—An old word signifying smartly, bear a hand.
Amidships.—The middle part of a vessel. Also a sea term for the middle part of anything.
Amplitude.—An arch of the horizon contained between the centre of the object when rising or setting, and the east or west points of the horizon.
Anchor.—The well-known iron implement which when dropped overboard with a chain or rope attached to it holds a ship. It consists of several parts, i.e. the ring, the beam or shank, the arms and flukes, and the stock.
Anchorage-dues.—A charge upon vessels entering or using a river, dock, creek, basin, &c.
Anchor-ball.—An explosive that was formerly attached to a grapnel, and exploded when the grapnel was thrown on to the enemy’s side.
Anchor-buoy.—See Buoys. Anchor-chocks are pieces of wood in which an anchor rests when stowed on deck.
Anchor-hoops.—Circular irons for connecting the stock to the end of the shank of an anchor.
Anchor-light.—A single bright light shown by a ship when at anchor.
Anchor-lining.—A protection on the side of a ship to prevent it from being injured by the bill of the anchor when hove up.
Anchor-stocking.—A term in ship-building expressive of a mode of working in planks with tapered ends.
Anchor-watch.—The name given to the look-out that is kept aboard a ship when she is anchored.
Ancient.—The old name for an ensign.
Anemometer.—An instrument for registering the pressure of wind.
Aneroid.—A metallic barometer that indicates by a hand the height at which mercury will stand in the barometer.
Angel’s footstool.—An imaginary sail jokingly assumed to be carried by Yankee vessels. It is pretended to be a square sail and to top the sky-sails, moon-sails, cloud-cleaners, &c.
Angle-irons.—Bars of iron whose sections form two sides of a triangle, used for the ribs or frames of an iron ship.
Annular-piston.—A piston made in the form of a ring that encircles an inner cylinder enclosed by another. By this means the connecting-rod is lengthened.
Answer.—A ship answers her helm when she obeys the movement of her rudder.
Answering-pennant.—A flag that is hoisted when it is necessary to show that a signal is understood.
Any port in a storm.—This term signifies contentment with whatever may happen.

Bell's Steamboat 1812

Bell’s Steamboat 1812

Apeak.—The term to indicate when a ship’s cable is nearly up and down with her bows and the anchor on the ground.
Apron.— A timber within the stem of a wooden ship for the reception of the plank of the bottom and the heels of the foremost timbers.
Arched squalls.—Bursts of wind so called because they rise with a black cloudy arch. They are encountered in the eastern seas.
Arm-chest.—A movable case or chest for holding a ship’s small arms.
Arming.—The name given to tallow or soap that is placed in the hollow of a deep-sea lead so that the nature of the ground may be shown by the particles which adhere.
Armor-bolts.—Nut and screw bolts used in securing the armour plates on ironclads.
Armor-clad.—The designation of a man-of-war that is rendered shot-proof by immensely thick steel or iron plates.
Armorer.—One whose duty it was to look after and keep in repair the ironwork about a ship.
Arm-rack.—A frame for receiving fire-arms.
Arms.—A term for any kind of weapon. Also, the projections at the bottom of the shank of an anchor.
Articles.—A ship’s articles are the document in which are recorded the names and signatures of the crew, their wages, the food to be given, &c.
Artificial or spindle eye.—An eye in the end of a rope formed by hitching the yarns of the rope round a piece of wood and then scraping, marling, parceling, and serving them.
Ascensional difference.—An arch of the equinoctial intercepted between the sun or a star’s meridian and the point of the equinoctial that rises with the object.
Ashore.—A ship is said to be ashore when she takes the ground and sticks fast. To go ashore is to quit a ship or boat for the shore.
Ash-pit.—A portion of the furnace of a steamer below the fire-grate surface to allow air to get to the fire through the spaces between the iron bars, and also for receiving the ashes.
Asleep.—This word is applied to sails when sufficiently steadied by the wind to be prevented from flapping.
Aspic.—A twelve-pound gun used in olden times.
Astern.—Behind. Over a ship’s stern and at a distance, as ” The vessel was a league astern.” Also in the direction of the stern. “Go astern,” an order to the engine-room to reverse the engines.

US Yankee Clipper

US Yankee Clipper

Athwart.—Across. “Athwart our hawse” said of a ship crossing another’s bows.
Athwart hawse.—Across a vessel’s head.
Athwartships.—Across the ship. Also across anything.
Athwart the forefoot.—A cannon-ball fired athwart or across a vessel’s forefoot was a peremptory signal for her to bring to.
Atrip.—An anchor is said to be atrip when, after heaving at the windlass, the crew have raised the anchor off the ground, and it hangs by the cable up and down.
Avast.—An order to stop hauling or heaving; pronounced ‘vast. A word going out of fashion as used among seamen, who would formerly say ” ‘Vast there !” meaning, Stop that talking. It is now confined to ship’s work.
Average.—A term to express all losses and accidents to ships and cargoes which arise from perils of the sea, and for which underwriters have to pay.
Average-bond.—An agreement among consignees or owners of a cargo to pay any proportion of average.
Away aloft!—An order in the navy to the men to mount the rigging. In the merchant service it is customary to say ” Jump aloft.”
Away with it!—An order to lay hold of a tackle fall or any rope, and instead of hauling, walk away with it.
Awash.—Anything level with the water so that it is sometimes covered and sometimes left exposed is said to be awash.
Aweather.—The situation of the helm when put in the direction whence the wind blows, supposing that you are steering with a tiller.
Aweigh.—The anchor is said to be aweigh or away when it is lifted off the ground.
Awkward squad—A company of men backward in learning their ship duties
Awning.—A canvas shelter stretched over a deck or a boat.
Awning-decked.—This expression is not of old standing. It is meant to signify an iron vessel, the upper portion of whose sheer-strake plate is in line with the main deck beams, and that has a deck above the main deck.
Auxiliary screw.—The name given to a vessel fitted with a propeller that can be raised for sailing when not required; or lowered and connected for steaming.
Axial oscillation.—A term to indicate a pendulum-like movement of the central part of a storm.
Ay, ay, sir.—The orthodox reply to any order signifying that it will be obeyed.
Azimuth.—An arch of a vertical circle intercepted between the meridian of the place and the azimuth or vertical circles passing through the centre of any object.
Azimuth circles.—Great circles passing through the zenith and nadir. Azimuth compass.—An instrument for finding the magnetic azimuth or amplitude of a heavenly object.

Great Easterner 1859

Great Easterner 1859

Babbing.—A name given to a method of luring crabs by bait, and them netting them.
Bac.—The name of a French ferry-boat.
Back.—This term is applied to the shifting of the wind when it changes by a movement against the sun, i.e. from left to right.
Back.—To back a sail is to brace a yard against the wind so as to press the canvas against the mast. Back and fill is to alternately brace the yards against the wind and then forward to fill the sails. This is done in maneuvering to get out of a narrow passage, &c.
Back-balance of eccentric—is placed at the back of the eccentric pulley of a marine engine to balance it on the shaft.
Back-balance of slide-valves.—A weight at the end of the valve lever of a marine engine for balancing the slides.
Back-board.—A board in the stern sheets of a boat to support the back.
Back her!—An order to the engineer to drive a steamer backwards by reversing the action of the propeller or paddlewheels.
Backing.—The woodwork behind armour-plates.
Back-lash.—The term applied to the shock or jar caused by two pieces of machinery, one of which gives motion to the other, coming together with a sudden blow
Back-ropes.—Small leading-lines, grafted or hitched to the back of the cat and fish-hooks and long enough to reach from the rail to the water.
Back-staff.—A sea quadrant invented by Davis, the navigator, in the sixteenth century. It is usually called the cross-staff.
Backstay.—A rope to support a mast and leading down abaft it to the side of the vessel.
Back-sweep.—The hollow of the top timber of a frame. Back water!—An order to drive a boat sternways by the oars.
Baffling.—The wind is said to be baffling when it keeps constantly shifting from one adverse quarter to another.
Balanced-rudder.—A rudder pivoted on an extension of the keel instead of hanging to the stern-post.
Balance-reef.—A reef in a fore-and-aft sail. When the points of this reef are tied it makes the sail’s shape nearly triangular.
Bale.—To throw out water from a boat. Also to wind up, as to bale up yarns. Also a large bundle of wool or cotton.
Bale-goods.—Bundles, such as wool, Manchester bales, &c, in contradistinction to cased goods.
Bale-slings.—Slings formed of a circle of rope passed round the object to be slung, one end of the bight of the circle being passed through the other.
Balk.—Straight young trees when cut down and squared.
Ballahoo.—A name for a West Indian clipper schooner. Apparently she may also be a brig, to judge from “The Cruise of the ‘Midge.'”
Ballastage— is the levying of a charge for supplying ships with ballast.
Ballast-tank.—A tank or compartment in the bottom of iron steamships, or sometimes in the fore and after parts of the vessel, for the storage of water to serve as ballast.
Ballast-irons—are fitted to the bottom and sides of a ship when required, to reeve the ballast-boards through to prevent shifting.
Balloon jib.—A large jib made of light canvas and used by yachts in gentle winds.

Baltimore Clipper

Baltimore clippers.—Vessels built at Baltimore, famous for their speed. They were the first to set the example of increasing the length of a vessel to about six times her beam.
Bangles.—The hoops round a spar.
Banking.—Banking up fires is raking the coals to the back of the furnace to impede combustion, whilst at the same time it enables the engineer to be in readiness to get up steam.
Banyan day.—A term meaning a bad day, a disagreeable day. Derived from a custom of withholding meat from crews on certain days.
Barbette.—A ship that mounts guns which fire clear over the side, instead of through embrasures.
Barca-longa.—A Spanish lug-rigged vessel. Also a Spanish gunboat.
Barge.—A vessel rigged with or without a mast and a sprit-sail. Also a boat used by admirals and naval captains.
Bargee.—One of the crew of a barge or canal-boat.
Barge-mate.—The coxswain of a navy barge when the boat is occupied by a person of distinction.
Barge-men.—The crew of a navy barge.
Barget.—A small barge.

HMS Wild Swan

HMS Wild Swan

Bark.—A poetical term signifying any kind of vessel. So Byron.  “My bark is on the sea.” It is never used by sailors.
Bar keel.—An iron keel, made of massive bars united by scarphs.
Barkey.—A sailor’s endearing term for the vessel he likes.
Barometer.—An instrument for showing the weight or pressure of the air.
Barometer chart.—A chart on which the indications of the barometer are shown every day for a month in lines.
Barque.—A three-masted vessel. The two forward masts are ship-rigged. The after or mizzen-mast is rigged with a spanker and gaff top-sail.
Barquentine.—A three-masted vessel rigged like a brig on the fore-mast, and like a schooner on the main and mizzen-mast.
Barratry.—A legal term to express any fraudulent act committed by a seaman to the prejudice of the owners of the vessel.
Barrel-bulk.—The space occupied by casks in a ship’s hold.
Bar-shot.—-Two half-shot united by a bar of iron and formerly used for dismantling a ship.
Base-board.—The name of a board having the numeral feet marked upon it, and used in taking the form of a ship when built.
Bateau.—A Canadian boat. Also a name for a pontoon.
Bathing-machine.—A name given to the old io-gun brigs.
Batten down.—The hatches are said to be battened down when they are covered up with gratings or hatches, and tarpaulins which are secured by battens to prevent them from being washed away.
Battens.—Pieces of wood or iron placed round a hatchway to keep a tarpaulin over it in bad weather. Also pieces of wood fastened to the rigging to prevent it from being chafed.
Battering-ram.—A large piece of timber, armed at each end with iron caps and fitted with ropes. It is used for removing the angular blocks when a docked ship is sitting on them.
Battery.—A man-of-war’s broadside armament.
Battledore.—The name of a movable iron arm in the cable-bitts.
Battle-lanterns.—Lanterns which formerly lighted the decks of a ship at night when in action, to enable the men to see what they were about.

Bawley running up the coast by H S Tuke

Bawley running up the coast by H S Tuke

Bawley.—A Thames shrimping vessel. Beach-comber.—One who hangs about the shore on the look-out for jobs. It was chiefly applied to runaway seamen, deserters from whalers, who lived along the beach in South America, the South Sea Islands, &c. It is a term of contempt.
Beam.—That point of the sea or horizon which bears directly abreast of the midship section of a ship.
Beam-arms— Curved ends of iron beams for joining them with the ship’s side.
Beam-ends.—A ship is said to be on her beam-ends when she is so prostrated on her side by a hurricane or outfly of wind, or by shifting her cargo, as to submerge her lee rail.
Beam-engine.—A marine engine in which the reciprocating motion of the piston-rod is transferred through side rods and side levers to the connecting-rod, which by means of the crank continuously revolves the shaft.
Beams.—Those timbers in a ship which are placed across her to receive the decks.
Bear.—The situation of an object with reference to a ship, as, “How does the land bear?” in what direction is it by compass?
Bear.—An instrument for punching holes with the hand.
Bear a bob!—An expression signifying ” look sharp.”
Bear a hand!—An injunction to be quick, to look alive.
Bear away.—To alter the course so as to bring the wind more aft.
Bearding.—The part of the rudder that lies close to the stern post.
Bear down.—To approach an object from the weather side of it.
Bearers.—Cross bars in marine furnaces for supporting the ends of the fire-bars.
Bearing.—The bearing of anything is its situation with regard to the compass. As in speaking of a wreck, ” Its bearings were E. half N.”
Bearing-binnacle.—A small compass stand used in men-of-war.
Beating—is sailing as nearly as the sails will allow in the direction whence the wind is blowing.
Beating the booby.—Said of a man when he is warming his hands by striking his breast.
Beat to quarters.—A roll on the drum as a signal for the crew to go to stations before an engagement.

Old West Indiaman

Old West Indiaman

Becalm.—To becalm a sail is to intercept the wind from it, as the foretopsail is becalmed, when the wind is aft, by the main-topsail.
Becalmed.—A sailing-vessel is becalmed when the wind fails and leaves her motionless upon the sea.
Becket.—A handle made of rope.
Bed-bolt.—An iron bar on which the foremost end of the stool-bed of a gun-carriage rests.
Bedding.—The seating on which a boiler rests.
Bee.—A hook.
Beef.—” More beef!” an exclamation signifying that more help is wanted in pulling upon a rope, &c.
Beef-kid-—A tub into which the cook puts the men’s meat when cooked, and which is carried into the forecastle.
Bees.—Wooden chocks on the bowsprit to reeve the fore-topmast stays through.
Beetle.—A hammer or mallet used in caulking.
Before the mast.—Living in the forecastle, serving as a “common sailor.”
Behavior. —A ship’s behavior is the quality she exhibits under various conditions of weather.
Belay.—To make a rope fast by taking a turn with it over a belaying pin.
Belaying-pins.—Iron, brass, or wooden bars tapered, placed in holes in rails, hoops, &c.,to make the running gear fast to.
Belfrey.—A frame from which a ship’s bell hangs.
Bell-buoy.—A buoy with a bell inside or outside it, that rings as the buoy sways on the water. It is a fog or night signal.
Bell-rope.—A short rope spliced to a bell for striking the hours.
Bells.—The denoting of time on board ship. Eight bells signify noon or midnight, eight or four o’clock; half-past twelve, one bell; one o’clock, two bells ; half-past one, three bells, and so on to eight bells. See Dog Watch.
Belly.—The full or round part of a sail when distended by the wind. Also the central cloths of a sail.
Belly-bands.—Bands of canvas across a sail to strengthen it for the reef-points.
Belly-guy.—A rope used in supporting the middle part of shears.
Belly-stay.—An extra support for a mast, secured half-way up it.
Bend.—To bend a sail is to attach it to the yard. Also a bend is a knot: to bend the end of a rope to another is to tie it to the other.
Bending-cradles.—Iron vertical frames fitted with transverse beams, and used for bending armor-plates for men-of-war to the required shape.
Benjie.—The name of a straw hat worn by sailors.

Early Cunard Steamer

Early Cunard Steamer

Bentinck.—A triangular-shaped lower sail.
Bentinck-boom.—A spar for stretching the foot of a square fore-sail.
Bentinck shrouds.—Ropes formerly used and extending from the futtock staves to the channels.
Berth.—A vessel’s berth is the place where she lies alongside a wharf, quay, or pier, or at anchor; also, a berth is a sleeping place on board a ship.
Berth decks.—The ‘tween decks.
Berthing-rail.—A rail that formerly went round the head of a ship for the safety of the men when they were out on the head.
Best bower.—The larger of the anchors called the bowers.
Bethel.—A sailor’s meeting-house.
Between decks.—Usually pronounced ‘tween decks. The space between the main or upper, and the second lower decks.
Bezant.—A small Dutch yacht.
Bibbs.—The name given to timbers which are bolted to the hounds of a mast.
Bibles.—Small holy stones, no doubt originally so called because they oblige those who use them to kneel. They are also termed prayer-books for the same reason.
Bid-hook.—An old name for a small boat-hook.
Bight.—A bend or curve in a rope. Bring the two parts of a rope together, and you make a bight. Also a curve in a hawser or any other rope, though the parts be not together, is called a bight.
Bilboes.—Irons for securing a man’s legs. This is an old term.

Bilge.—The largest circumference of a cask. Also the round of a vessel’s bottom near the keel.
Bilged.—A vessel is said to be bilged when her bottom side is broken in by stranding.
Bilge-Keels.—Projections on the edge of a keel and on the bilges.
Bilge-pumps.—Pumps for bringing the injection water from the ship’s bilge instead of from the sea, in case of a leak.
Bilge-shores.—Timbers for supporting the bilge of a ship in a repairing dock.
Bilge-tank.—A tank with one of its lower edges cut off so that it may fit the ship’s side.
Bilge-water.—The water that has collected, from one cause or another, in the bilge. Its unpleasant smell has made its name well known.
Bill.—The point at the extremity of the flukes of an anchor. It was formerly called the pea.
Bill-board.—A ledge of wood over the side to support the fluke of an anchor.
Bill of health.—A document certifying to the healthy condition of the ship and place when she left her last port.
Bill of lading.—An acknowledgment in writing by the master of a ship of the receipt of cargo and freight.
Bill tricing line.—A line secured to the bill of the hook of the block of a yard-tackle for tricing it up to the lower rigging.
Billy boy.—A vessel like a galliot, with two masts, the fore-mast square-rigged. These vessels hail mainly from Goole.
Binding-strakes are deep planks between the hatchways. Extra thickness of planking in ships’ decks.
Binn.—A place for storing articles and rubbish.
Binnacle.—A stand, or box of brass, or wood in which a compass is placed.
Birds-nest.—A contrivance at a masthead from which whalemen keep a look-out.
Birthed.—Covered in with boards.
Bittacle.—The ancient name of binnacle.
Bitt-pins.—Iron bars employed to prevent the cable from slipping off the crosspiece of the bitts.
Bitts.—The ends of timbers which project through the decks. They are meant to fasten anything to.

Black Jack.—A name for the black flag flown by pirates.
Black South-Easter cap.—The name given to a canopy of dark cloud upon Table Mountain.
Blackwall lead.—A Blackwall lead is to take a rope under a belaying-pin and swig back on it. See Swig.
Blade.—The flat part of an oar.
Bleed the bags.—Opening bags of grain for filling up all spaces, to prevent shifting.
Bleed the buoy.—To let the water out of a buoy.
Bleed the monkey.—To steal grog from a mess-tub called the monkey. This term is exclusively naval. I have never heard of monkeys in merchant ships.
Blind.—A term applied to rivet-holes in two ship’s plates whose holes do not lie fair so as to make one clear orifice when placed together.
Blockading.—Preventing vessels from passing in or out of a harbor in war-time.
Block-model.—A miniature of a ship, a model, constructed in accordance with the specification of the ship to be built.
Blood and entrails.—The Yankee name for the British ensign.
Blow-off cock.—A cock at the bottom of a marine boiler for blowing down the boiler and for letting a portion of the water escape into the sea by the pressure of the steam.
Blow the gaff.—To inform against a man. “He has blown the gaff,” he has “split.”
Blow-valve.—A valve used for establishing the vacuum necessary to start an engine.

HMS Shannon

HMS Shannon

Blubber-boiler.—A name for a whaleman.
Blue Charts.—Charts whose backs are blue, sold by private firms: a term to distinguish them from official or Admiralty charts.
Blue Jacket.—A man-of-war’s man. Never applied to merchant seamen.
Blue nose.—A name given to a Nova Scotian.
Blue pigeon.—A name given to the sounding-lead.
Blue Peter.—A blue flag with a white square in the centre, hoisted at the fore to denote that the vessel is about to sail.
Blue shirt at masthead.—A signal to denote that assistance is required.
Bluff.—A term applied to a ship’s bows, and means full and square.
Bluff of the bow—The fullest point of a ship’s bow on either side.
Board.—A stretch by sailing on one tack. To make a long board is to go on sailing a long distance on one tack. A short board is of course the opposite. Also to board a ship is to enter her for a hand-to-hand conflict. Also to go on board of her, as “The pilot boarded us at such and such an hour.”
Boarding-knife.—A long double-edged sword, mounted on a straight handle, used in the operation of “cutting in” in whalers.
Board of Trade.—A department of the State that undertakes, inter alia, the general superintendence of matters relating to merchant ships and seamen, and that is authorized to carry into execution the provisions of the various Merchant Shipping Acts.

Boats.—Ships’ boats are variously named. Until recently in the merchant service those boats which hung by davits abaft the main-mast were called quarter-boats, the boat over the stern was called the gig, and the boat stowed forward was called the long-boat. All this is now altered. Boats are stowed on skids, and called first and second lifeboats, first and second cutters, pinnace, &c.
Boat hook.—A pole furnished with an iron hook and spike for shoving off or holding on to an object when .in a boat.
Boat iron.—A contemptuous term applied to the iron used by shipbuilders on account of its quality.
Boat-steerers.—Men who steer whale-boats when chasing whales. They are a kind of petty officers aboard whalers.
Boatswain.—One of the crew who has charge of the rigging and oversees the men. In the navy he is a warrant officer. In small merchant vessels he used to take the duties of second mate and keep a look-out. When merely boatswain he “sleeps in” all night unless all hands are called. He is a responsible man, a superior seaman, and heads the crew forward.
Bob-line.—A line used for suspending a plummet to point out the centre of certain blocks in a repairing dock.
Bob-stay.—A rope or chain to hold the bowsprit down to its place.
Body-plan.—The name given to a drawing descriptive of the largest vertical athwartship section of a ship.
Body-post.—A piece of timber rising from the keel of a vessel before the stern-post.
Boiler.—The generator and reservoir of the motive power of the steam engine. It is of various forms and construction, according to the place it occupies, the size of the ship, the fuel to be consumed, &c.
Bold.—This word is usually applied to a steep shore or coast that enables a vessel to draw in close.
Bolsters.—Supports for the eyes of the rigging.
Bolt of canvas.—A roll of sail-cloth from thirty-nine to forty yards long.
Bolt rope.—A rope sewed to the sides of a sail to give it strength.
Bolts.—Bars of iron or copper used in the building of wooden ships. Copper-fastened means fastened with copper bolts.
Bomb-lance.—An iron tube provided with wings and fired from a gun at a whale, in which it explodes.
Bomb-skip.—A vessel armed with mortars and howitzers for throwing shells.
Bond-note.—A list of bonded or warehoused goods presented at the Custom House.
Bonnet.—Apiece of canvas attached to the foot of a jib by lacings, and therefore removable.
Booby.—A sea-bird found in the tropics.
Booby-hatch.—A ‘small after-hatch in ships with poops, under the break of the poop, abaft the main hatch. But the name seems now to be given to a hatch in any part of the ship.
Book.—The name given to a number of hides.
Boom-boats.—Boats which are stowed on the spare booms of a ship. Boom-brace.—A tackle consisting of a whip and pendant fitted to the end of a studding-sail boom.
Boom fore-sail.—A square or fore-and-aft fore-sail, the foot of which is extended by a boom. Boom-irons.—Iron rings or hoops fitted at the yard-arms for the support of the studding-sail booms.
Boom-jigger.—A tackle used for rigging top-mast studding sail booms in and out.
Boomkin.—An outrigger at the bows, to which the fore-tack is brought.
Boom main-sail.—A fore-and-aft sail on the main-mast, whose foot is extended by a boom.
Booms.—Spare spars, top-masts, &c., stowed on deck.
Boom-sheets.—Ropes for steadying the spanker-boom and for adjusting it to the angle required by the sail.
Bora.—A furious wind encountered in the Gulf of Venice.
Bore.—The rushing up of water from the rapid rise of a tide when it is very large in proportion to its depth.
Born weak.—Said of a ship feebly built.
Boss.—A large protuberance forged on the inner stern-post of a ship into which the tube of the screw or propeller shaft is secured.
Bottomry is the pledging of a ship, cargo, and freight for money for the purpose of completing a voyage.
Bounty.—A reward offered to merchant seamen to ship in the Royal Navy.
Bout ship!—Namely, about ship ! The order for putting the vessel round on the other tack.
Bow.— TO bow the sea, said of a ship as she pitches or meets the sea when almost head to wind.
Bowers—A working anchor; there are two. See Best Bower.
Bow-grace.—A rope fender or protection used over the bows of a vessel to prevent the ice from injuring them.
Bowline-bridle.—Ropes spliced into cringles on the leech of a sail to which the bowline is toggled.
Bowline-knot.—The end of a rope laid over the standing part in such a way as to form a fixed bight. Other bowline-knots are, a running bowline, a bowline on a bight, and a bowlinebend. These and other knots cannot be taught by written explanations.
Bowlines.—Ropes attached to bridles or loops in the leech or side of a sail for dragging it forward to catch the wind when the yards are braced up.
Bowls.—A kind of small kegs for buoying nets.
Bowman.—The headmost rower in a boat.
Bow-fort.—A hole cut in the bow of a ship for loading and discharging timber.
Bowse.—To pull. Bowse taut! signifies haul taut.
Bowse up the jib.—Said of a man who drinks in order to get drunk.
Bowsprit.—A large spar projecting over the bows. In ships another spar is fixed on the bowsprit, called the jib boom and flying-jib boom. Formerly the flying-jib boom was a separate spar and could be rigged in and out like a studding-sail boom; but it is now of one piece with the jib boom, like a top-gallant and royal-mast.
Bowsprit-shrouds.—Ropes to support the bowsprit sideways, answering to the bowsprit as the shrouds do to the masts.
Box (to).—To put fish into trunks or boxes.
Box-hauling.—Wearing a vessel in a narrow circumference by running her up into the wind and backing the fore-yards.
Boxing.— The name given to a practice among smacks belonging to the N. and N.E. coast, of sending fish in boats to the steam-cutters for conveyance home.
Boring the compass.—Reciting the points of the compass all round.
Boxing-trim.—A term applied to a ship ready to fight.
Box-kelson.—A kelson formed of plates and angle irons across the top of the flooring to which it is fixed.
Box-keys.—Implements for turning the nuts of large bolts.
Box off.—To turn a ship’s head from the wind by backing a headsail.
Box-ventilator system.—A mode of ventilating the hold of a ship by means of tunnels, about eight inches deep, running fore and aft through the cargo, midway between the shifting boards and the sides of the ship; the sides of the tunnels being formed by boards held together by pieces of wood, and the ends terminating in open spaces or in shafts.
Boy.— An apprentice. Lads who formerly made a regular portion of a ship’s company. It is a term of contempt for a green hand. Therefore a” boy ” may be a man.
Braces.—Ropes attached to square yards to haul them round so as to adapt the sails to the direction of the wind. They take their name from the sails or yards which they govern; as the fore-top gallant braces, the main-topsail braces, the crossjack braces, the mizzen-royal braces, &c. Also the eyes by which a rudder hangs. See Gudgeons.
Bracket or longitudinal system.—A method of iron ship building in which the floor-plates are carried to the top of the double-bottom space, making that the floor for tonnage measurement.
Brails.—Ropes attached to the leech of a spanker or try-sail for taking it in. Hence you brail up a gaff-sail, and clew up a square sail.
Brake.—The handle of an old-fashioned ship’s pump.
Brass-bound and copper-fastened.—Said of a lad dressed in a midshipman’s uniform.
Brass-bounder.—A midshipman.
Brass-work.—All the brass on a ship’s decks, such as the rails, binnacle hood, &c.
Breaching.—A whale is said to breach when it rises with such velocity out of the water as to project three-fourths of its length in the air, and then in falling creates a mass of white water.
Bread-barge.—A tray for holding ship’s biscuit for immediate consumption.
Breadth-molded.—The greatest extreme breadth over the frames or ribs of a ship, but inside the plates or planking.
Break. —The forward termination of the poop called “the break of the poop” and the after termination of the forecastle.
Break-beams.—Pieces of timber introduced where planking terminates.
Breaker.—A small water-cask for a boat.
Break off.—A ship is said to break off when the wind draws ahead and forces her out of her course, or from the direction towards which she was heading at the time.
Breaming.—Cleaning a vessel’s bottom by burning.
Breast backstays.—Supports for a mast from the head of it to the chains.
Breast-hooks.—These are arms of timber or iron to unite the two sides of a ship’s bows.
Breast-rope.—The name of a rope over a ship’s side for a man to lean against when using the lead.
Breast-shores.—Timbers used for supporting a ship in a repairing dock.
Breech.—The angle of a knee-timber.
Breeching.—A rope to restrain the recoil of a gun when discharged.
Breeching-rings.—Rings in a ship’s side to make the breechings of a gun fast to.
Breech-sight.—A notch on a cannon to enable the gunner to aim the projectile.
Breeze.—Any kind of wind short of a gale, characterized by adjectives, such as strong breeze, fresh breeze, moderate breeze, light breeze, &c. Sailors usually say “a breeze of wind.”
Breezing up.—Said of wind gradually freshening.
Bricklayer’s clerk.—One of the hundred names given to a lubberly sailor.
Brick-system.— In iron ship building, a method that brings each butt at the middle of those plates which are just above and below it.
Bridge of the furnace.—The brickwork at the back of the furnace in a steamer.
Bridle-port.—A square port in a ship’s bows for guns or mooring bridles.
Bridles.—Fore and after bridles are ropes connected with the trawls used by smacks.
Brig.—A square-rigged vessel with two masts, tops, and cross trees. She is in all respects rigged like two masts of a full-rigged ship.
Brigantine.—A two-masted vessel. Her fore-mast is rigged like a brig’s; her main-mast like a schooner’s. She carries a square top-sail and topgallant sail.
Bright light.—A white or yellowish light, to distinguish it from green or red. “She carried a bright light at the mast-head,” that is, a lantern of uncolored glass.
Brine cock.—A cock attached to marine boilers for blowing off as much salt as is contained in the water that is blown off.
Bring up.—A vessel brings up when she drops her anchor.
Broach.—To open. To break in upon, as broaching cargo.
Broaching cargo.— Stealing from cargo whilst at sea or in harbor.
Broaching to.—When a ship’s head in running is swept round towards the wind.
Broad pennant.—A swallow-tailed flag flown by a commodore.
Broadside.—The whole side of a ship. Also said when the guns on a vessel’s side are discharged simultaneously or very rapidly one after another.
Broken water.—Agitated water among shoals or sunken rocks.
Brought by the lee—This is the situation of a vessel when, whilst running, the wind chops from one quarter to the other of her.
Brought to.—A vessel is brought to when stopped after being chased.
Bucket-rack.—A shelf with holes in it, in which buckets used for washing down the decks are kept.
Bucklar.—The lower part of a port-lid.
Bugle-man.—A person who formerly sounded a horn as a signal for sailors to board a ship.
Bulkhead.—Partitions to divide a cabin or hold, or to keep water from flowing beyond a certain space.
Bull.—A small keg.
Bullies.—A term of encouragement, if not of endearment, as ” Tail on here, bullies!” “We’re the bully lads !” &c.
Bulljine.— Sailor’s name for a locomotive engine; borrowed, like a good deal more, from the Americans.
Bullock-blocks.— Blocks under the trestle-trees, through which the top-sail ties are rove.
Bull-rope.—A hawser rove through a block on the bowsprit and attached to a buoy to keep it clear of the ship.
Bulls eye.—A wooden thimble without a sheave. Also a piece of thick glass let into the deck over a cabin.
Bull’s-eye squall.—A squall that comes in a clear sky and fine weather and shows like a bright white spot at or near the zenith.
Bully for you!—A kind of congratulatory address among sailors of a meaning impossible to define exactly.
Bulwarks.—The protection around a vessel, consisting of solid planking fixed to stanchions.
Bumboat.—A boat that comes off to ships to sell provisions, fruit, &c.
Bumpers.—The name of wooden fenders slung over a ship’s side when among the ice.
Bumpkin.—A small spar or out-rigger in the stern of a yawl. Also a timber on either quarter of a ship for the main-brace blocks.
Bumpkin-shrouds.—Small ropes for supporting a yawl’s bumpkin or out-rigger.
Bundle up!—A cry to sailors to come up! Jump up!
Bunk.—A shelf in a cabin or forecastle on which a sailor or passenger sleeps.
Bunker.—A space near the engine-room in a steamer where coals for consumption in the furnaces are kept.
Bunt.—The middle of a square-sail.
Bunting.—Stuff of which flags are made.
Bunt-jigger.—A tackle used in furling a whole top-sail.
Buntlines.—Ropes secured to the poop of a square-sail to haul that part of it up to the yard.
Buntline spans.—Pieces of rope with a cringle for the buntlines to reeve through.
Buntline-toggles.—Toggles strapped round the foot-rope of a sail for fitting the buntlines.
Bunt-whip.—A rope used in furling a course.
Buoys are of two kinds: one to denote danger and to serve as a guide to keep ships clear of shoals, rocks, wrecks, &c.; the other, styled anchor-buoys, are used to show the position of the anchor, that the cable may be prevented from fouling it when a ship is riding in a tide-way or changeable current. It is also of use to enable a master to recover his anchor when the cable is slipped or broken in a gale of wind.
Burden.—A ship’s burden is the weight in tons she can carry.
Burgee.—A flag with a name or sign upon it, to denote the service, club, &c , the vessel that flies it belongs to.
Burgoo.— Porridge. It is the sailor’s name for it.
Burton-pendants.—Ropes which hang down on each side of a top-mast for setting up the top-mast rigging, &c.
Bush.—A lining of metal to diminish friction.
Busses.—Dutch fishing-vessels.
Butter-box.—A lumpish, uncouth vessel. “She has the run of a butter-box.”
Butterfly.—A barge.
Butter-rig.—A butter-rigged schooner is a top-sail schooner whose top-gallant yard when lowered comes down on the top-sail yard and stows there.
Buttock.—A plank under the lower counter rail on the stern of a ship.
Buttock rules.—Metal fittings beneath the counter of wooden screw-steamers, connecting the two stern-posts.
Butts.—The ends of planks or iron or steel plates where they meet.
Butt-straps.—Iron plates fitted behind the butt-ends of plates on an iron ship.
By the board.—Overboard; over the ship’s side. “Her masts went by the board.”
By the head.—Said of a vessel when she is deeper, when afloat, in the fore than in the after part.
By the wind.—A sailor’s expression when he is “hard up.” Also said of a ship close hauled on a wind.

USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere War of 1812

USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere War of 1812

Cabin.—A room in a ship for sleeping and eating in. Berth is perhaps the correct name for a sleeping-compartment, as by cabin is generally understood the place where the meals are taken.
Cable.—A chain or rope to anchor by, 150 fathoms long. There are 12 lengths in a chain, every length being 12J fathoms.
Cable-laid.—A rope composed of nine strands, and made by forming three ropes of three strands each, laid from right to left, and then laying the three ropes into one from left to right, is called cable-laid.
Cable’s length.—One hundred fathoms.
Cable-tier.—A place in a ship where the cables are stowed.
Caboose.—An old name for the galley of a merchantman.
Cade.—A barrel of herrings.
Caissoon.—A floating gate to close the entrance of a dock.
Calavances.—Small beans used for soup instead of peas.
Caliber.—The capacity of the bore of a gun.
Calling of the sea.—A peculiar moaning sound heard on the coast, and interpreted to signify approaching bad weather.
Cam.—A metal disk, graduated, and used for giving the proper motion to the expansion valve of a marine engine.
Camber.—The name given in ship-building to a rise in a vessel’s deck in the centre of it.
Camel.—The name of a contrivance for helping a ship over a bar or shoal.
Camfer.—To remove the edge of a timber.
Can-hooks.—A chain with hooks for slinging a cask by the chimes.
Cannon-petro.—A piece of ordnance formerly used in ships; it threw about a 24 lb. shot.
Canopy.—An awning used in boats.
Cant purchase.—A tackle for turning a dead whale over, for flensing or flaying it.
Cantle-piece.—A batten, used in the building of certain kinds of smacks, placed above the platform to prevent it from rising.
Cantline.—A girtline. (See this word.)
Cant-timbers.—The timber in the extreme end of a ship, which is rounded off.
Canvas covers.—Covers for enclosing fore-and-aft sail’s when furled, extending from the end of the gaff to the tack-cringle of the spanker and try-sails, and for jibs the length of the foot of those sails.
Cap.—A piece of wood or iron that fits over the head of a mast or bowsprit to support the spar above or beyond, as a top-mast or a jib boom.
Capacity.—A ship’s burden.
Cape Cod-man.—A man who belongs to any part of the coast of Massachusetts south of Boston.
Cap of the block.—The upper piece of the tiers of blocks on which the keel of a wooden ship is laid.
Cap-scuttles.—Apertures in the deck with raised coamings.
Capsize.—To upset.
Capstan.—A barrel of wood or iron revolved by bars.
Capstan-bars.—Long pieces of wood made to fit the holes in the capstan, and used when weighing anchor, transporting ship, &c.
Captain.—A naval officer. Strictly speaking, he is the officer in command of a line-of-battle ship, or a frigate mounting 20 guns. Only naval officers of that rank have the right to style themselves captain, though it is nowadays assumed by even the skipper of a collier.
Caravel.—An old type of vessel with an undecked center, high bow and stern, and a forecastle and cabin for the crew.
Cardinal.—The cardinal points of a compass are North, South, East, and West.
Careen.—To heave a vessel down by tackles at the mast-heads; or she maybe careened by shifting weights to one side: a method of doing it that caused the loss of the ” Royal George.”
Carlings.—Short pieces of timber between the beams of a ship.
Carrick-bend.—A bend for joining two large ropes by loops which jam the ends.
Carronade.—A short gun, so-called because it was invented in 1779 at Carron in Scotland.
Carry.—To carry a ship is to seize her by boarding.
Carry away.—To break. To carry away a mast is to lose it by its breaking off.
Carvel.—A small lateen-rigged vessel.
Carvel-built.—A term signifying the planking of a vessel laid smooth and the seams caulked.
Case.—A whaleman’s term for the upper part of the head of a whale.
Case or Canister.—A shot consisting of a number of small iron balls packed in a tin case that fits the gun from which it is fired.
Cashier.—To dismiss from the Royal Navy by court-martial.
Casing-cover.—A place in the marine engine for the slide-valve rod to pass through.
Castaway.—A mariner shipwrecked on a desert place. Also, to willfully wreck a ship.
Casting.—The moving of the ship’s head away from the anchor after weighing.
Cast of the lead.—Plumbing the water with the lead to sound for the bottom.
Cat.—The tackle used for hoisting the anchor to the cat-head, sometimes called the cat-tackle. Also the cat-o’-nine-tails.
Cataract.—An arrangement, consisting of a brass cylinder filled with oil or water, for checking the fall of the expansion valves of marine engines when made upon the Cornish principle.
Cat-back.—A small line bent on to the cat-hook to turn the hook as required.
Cat-block.—A large block forming a portion of the cat-tackle.
Catch a crab.—To miss striking the water with your oar when rowing, the usual result of which is that you fall heels over head backwards.
Cat-chain.—A length of small chain to enable an anchor to be hove high enough to hook the catfall in vessels built with ram bows.
Catch-ratline.—Every fifth ratline is so called, because it is distinguished from the others by being seized to the after-shroud.
Cat harpens, or cat-harpings, were ropes formerly used under the tops for bracing in the shrouds.
Cat-head.—A large piece of timber that projects over the bows of a ship on each side for the anchor to hang to.
Cat-holes. — Places in a vessel’s quarters for springs or warps to lead through.
Cat-rig.—A fore-and-aft sail set with a gaff and boom that stretches very nearly the whole length of the boat.
Catspaw.—A light passage of air that ruffles the water. Also a knot for slinging by a hook.
Catted.—Cat-headed. Said of the anchor when it has been hoisted to the cat-head.
Cattle-pens.—Stalls or boxes in which horned cattle are carried at sea. The cattle are ranged in two rows, one on each side the ship, each beast having a separate head-rope, which is passed with a bight round one of the horns, and a half-hitch round the other, and then secured.
Caulk.—To drive oakum into the seams of planks.
Caulker.—A heavy dose of rum. Also, a lie.
Caulking.—An iron ship is caulked by a man holding against the edge of a plate a chisel or caulking-tool, which is struck with a hammer, thus filling up the crevices between the plates.
Caulking-irons.—Sharp iron wedges for driving oakum into the seams.
Ceiling.—The inside planking of a vessel.
Central track.—The line upon which the centre of a revolving storm moves.
Centre-burton.—A tackle sometimes used for sending a top-sail aloft.
Certificate of competency.—A certificate granted to persons who have passed the requisite examination for master, chief mate, only mate, or second mate.
Certificate of registry.—A form giving the name of a ship, her construction, measurements, tonnage, &c., signed by a registrar.
Certificate of service.—A certificate to entitle an officer who has served in a British foreign-going ship before January, 1851, or in a home-trade passenger-ship before 1854, to serve in the capacity he formerly filled.
Chafe.—Wear and tear.
Chafing-gear.—Mats, canvas, small stuff, battens, &c., affixed to the foot of sails, to backstays, &c., to prevent them from being rubbed through.
Chain-hooks.—Hooks used for dragging the cable along the deck.
Chain-pipes.—Orifices through which the cables lead out of the chain-lockers on to the deck.
Chain-plates.—Iron bars fitted to the sides to which the lower deadeyes are affixed.
Chain-pump.—A pump formed of buckets working on an endless chain and operated on by a wheel and handle.
Chalk for watches.—A method among crews of settling their turns at the anchor watch by making marks in divisions of a circle and then having them rubbed out.
Channels.—Platforms over the side nearly abreast of each mast, to which shrouds and backstays are set up.
Channel-rail.—A piece of molding for finishing off the front of a channel.
Chantey.—A song, a chorus.
Chapelling.—A name given to a maneuver by which a ship is wore without bracing the head-yards.
Charter-party.—A contract in writing for the letting of the whole or part of a vessel for freight.
Chart-house.—An iron or wooden deck structure on a steamer, for the convenience of consulting the charts.
Chase.—A pursued ship is called the chase.
Chase-guns.—The guns in the chase-ports.
Chase-port.—A port on each side amidships of a vessel to enable a gun to be fired forward.
Chasse-maree.—A French three-masted lugger for protecting the fisheries, &c,
Check.—To check a brace is to slack or ease it off a little.
Check-rope.—A rope made fast to anything stationary, for the purpose of bringing a moving vessel to a stand.
Checkered sides.—Said of a ship with ports painted on a white ground.
Cheeks.—Side pieces on a mast for the trestle-trees to rest on.
Cheeks, the marine.—An imaginary being in a man-of-war.
Chew of tobacco.—A quid. Also called a chaw.
Chilled-shot.—Cast-iron shot tempered to great hardness by being rapidly cooled.
Chimes.—The projected ends of the staves of a cask.
Chinse.— Caulking with a small iron.
Chips.—Sailor’s name for ship’s carpenter.
Chock-ablock.—Said when anything hauled by a rope through a block is brought hard up against the block.
Chocks.—Wooden supports for the bottom of a boat to rest on.
Chock up.—Said of anything hoisted when it is as high as it will go/
Chowder.—A mess of codfish, biscuit, &c.
Chronometer.—A timepiece to indicate Greenwich mean time for the purpose of finding the longitude.
Circles of longitude.—Great circles passing through the poles of the ecliptic and cutting it at right angles.
Circular friction-break.—An excellent suggestion to provide against the breaking of steerage-gear. A notched band of iron encircles the rudder-head at the deck, and the rudder-head is furnished with a tiller or break-handle. If the rudder-gear gives way, a man presses the break-handle down into the notched band of iron, and so stops the rudder at any required position.
Circular stern.—A stern furnished with stern timbers which heel upon the fashion timber, and extend round the stern from side to side.
Civil day.—A day that begins at midnight and ends on the next midnight.
Clack-valve.—A flat valve with a hinge joint.
Clamps.—The inside planking immediately under the shelf of each deck.
Clamp-screw.—A screw in the back of the index of a sextant used for fixing the index to the arc.
Clapper.—The valve of a pump-box.
Clasp-hooks.—Two hooks working on one pivot.
Classification clubs.—Clubs for insuring vessels.
Claw-off.—To ratch off a lee shore.
Clean swept.— A ship with all the ballast out.
Cleanser-boat.—A mud-hopper. See Hopper.
Clearance.—Papers presented by a shipmaster comprising his victualling bill, receipts for light dues, &c. Also the name given to the space between the piston and the cylinder bottom in a marine engine, at the end of a stroke.
Clear side.—The height from the water to the upper side of the plank of the deck from which the depth of the hold is measured.
Cleat.—A piece of wood to make the running gear, sheets, &c., fast to.
Clew.—The corner of a square sail. The after coiner of a fore-and-aft sail.
Clew-garnets.—Ropes attached to the clews of a course for hauling it up.
Clewing down.— Hauling upon the clew-lines without starting the sheets, so as to bring the yard down. Done in reefing.
Clew-jiggers.—Tackles for clewing up a top-sail. They lead over the forward side of a sail.
Clew-lines.—Ropes attached to the lower corners of square sails for hauling them up to the middle of the yard.
Clinch.—A half-hitch stopped to its own part.
Clinker, or clincher-built.—A vessel so built that the bottom edge of every plank overlays the next below it.
Clinker- bar.—A bar fixed across the top of the ash-pit.
Clinkers.—Matter not consumable by fire left on the fire-bars.
Clipper.—A sharp, fine-lined vessel: a fast sailer.
Close-hauled.—Said of a ship when lying close to the wind.
Close-port.—A port up a river.
Cloth.—A strip of canvas. See Bolt.
Cloud-cleaner—An imaginary sail jokingly assumed to be carried by Yankee ships.
Clove-hitch.— The end of a rope passed over anything and brought up under and around behind its standing part and up through its own part.
Clubbing.—Drifting with the anchor over.
Club-haul.—A method of tacking when on a lee shore by getting a spring on the lee anchor and leading the spring to the lee quarter, then putting the helm down, and when the ship loses way, letting go the anchor, hauling round the main-yards and cutting the spring when the sails are full on the other tack.
Clump-block.—A short, thick block of extra strength.
Clumsy-cleet.—A knee-brace in the bow of a whale-boat.
Coach-whip.—The pennant flown by a man-of-war.
Coalman.—A name for a collier.
Coamings.—Pieces of raised wood or iron to prevent water from rolling down the hatchways.
Coaning.—A method of uniting small pieces of timber.
Coaster.—A term applied to a vessel that trades between or among ports situated in the United Kingdom.
Coasting-chart.—A chart constructed on the presumption that small portions of the earth’s surface are planes.
Cob.—To beat a man with a piece of flat wood.
Coble.—A north country fishing or pilot boat.
Cock-bill.—The situation of an anchor when it hangs at the cathead.
Cocket.—A card affixed to a victualling-bill, and serving as a shipmaster’s customs-warrant for sailing.
Cockpit.—A place under the lower gun-deck of a man-of-war, made one of the most familiar of sea names by Captain Marryatt’s novels.
Cod.—To cod a man is to gull him.
Code pennant.—A flag hoisted to denote that the particular code of signals called the Commercial Code is used.
Codline.—An i8-thread line.
Coil.—To bring a rope into a small compass by forming it into rings, one lying on another. Also, to lay a rope over a belaying-pin in fakes.
Coir rope.—A rope made of cocoa-nut fibers.
Cold-chisel.—A chisel tempered for cutting cold iron.
Collar.—An eye in the end of standing rigging to go over the masthead.
Collier.—A vessel that carries coals.
Collier’s purchase.—Hooking the cat-block to a strop on the cable, and clapping on the fish-purchase to the fall.
Colors.—The ensign of the country to which a ship belongs and which she hoists.
Colt.—A piece of knotted rope for beating a man.
Column.—A number of men-of-war in a group.
Column of division.—Divisions of a fleet.
Combers.—Large seas or breakers.
Combing sea.—A large arching wave.
Combustion-chamber.—A place situated at the end of a furnace, through which the gases and flames pass before entering the tubes.
Come home.-—An anchor when it does not hold in warping, is said to come home.
Come to.—To round into the wind.
Come up.—To ease up a rope; to slacken it off.
Commander of a column.—The senior officer of the column.
Commodore.—The senior officer in command of a detached squadron.
Common steam.—Steam in contact with the water that produced Companion.—A wooden hood over a hatch.
Companion-ladder.—Steps leading down the companion-hatch to the cabin.
Compass-card.—A circle of mica or cardboard divided into thirty-two parts, called points of the compass.
Complain.—Masts and spars are said to complain when they creak during the laboring of the ship.
Complement.—The crew of a ship. The number of working hands necessary for the navigation of a vessel.
Composant.—A name given by sailors to the fiery exhalations which are seen burning at yard-arms and boom-ends in calms and gales of wind at night.
Composite great circle sailing. —When the Great Circle track carries the ship into a higher latitude than is proper, a certain latitude is assumed as the highest the ship should attain, and the shortest route under these conditions is called composite great circle sailing.
Composite ship.—A ship whose frame is composed of iron and covered with timber planking.
Compound engine.—An engine with two cylinders, into the smaller of which the steam enters and works the piston, and then passes into the large cylinder, where it is condensed.
Compressor.—A lever for stopping the chain cable when running out.
Con.—To direct the steering of a vessel.
Concluding-line.—A small rope leading down the middle of a Jacob’s ladder.
Condenser gauge.—A tube for indicating the vacuum in the condenser of a marine engine.
Constant of aberration.—Displacement in the sun’s longitude.
Constructive total loss.—The term applied to injuries of which the repairs would exceed the value of the ship damaged.
Contract.—A document embodying all the items contained in the various shipping bills.
Convoy.—One or more merchant-vessels sailing under the protection of a war-ship.
Coolie.—An Indian or Chinese laborer.
Cooper.—A person who repairs casks, &c., on board a ship.
Coopering.—The name given to a fraudulent traffic among north-sea smacksmen, who barter the fish belonging to their owners for tobacco and spirits sold by vessels which hang about those waters and whose people are called “coopers.”
Copper-bottomed.—Said of a ship whose bottom is sheathed with copper.
Copper-fastened.—Said of a wooden ship whose frames are secured to one another by copper bolts.
Coppers.—The boilers in the galley for cooking.
Cordage.—A landsman’s term for the rigging of a ship. Tackling is another shore word for the same thing.
Corner chock.—Removable pieces of wood to enable the wood-ends to be caulked without disturbing the hawse-pipes.
Corvette.—A flush decked ship with one tier of guns. Formerly she was sometimes furnished with a poop or round-house, and a top-gallant forecastle.
Cot.—A swinging bed formed of a frame covered with canvas.
Counter.—The hinder portion of a vessel forming a portion of her stern.
Counter.—An instrument fitted with wheelwork and an index hand, which hand is moved forward a certain distance in correspondence with every stroke of the engine. It is used to show speed, allowance being made for “slip.”
Counter-brace.—Heaving to.
Counter-bracing.—Working the sails so as to make a ship range ahead or stop at will.
Country-wallah.—An East Indian native ship.
Course.—The direction to be steered by a ship.
Courses.—The lowest sails of a square-rigged vessel.
Court-martial.—A court composed of five, but not exceeding nine, members, for trying naval officers and seamen charged with wrong-doing.
Court of Survey.—A court composed of a judge and two assessors for deciding cases of the detention of ships.
Cove-rail.—A molding on the stern of a ship for decoration.
Cowl.—The deck or top part of a ventilator for ventilating holds, engine-rooms, cabins, &c.
Coxswain.—One who steers a boat and has charge of her.
Crab-windlass.—A light windlass.
Cracking on.—To pile on sail in a strong wind.
Crack ship.—A first-class vessel for discipline, sailing, &c.
Cradle.—A fabric set to the bottom of a ship about to be launched.
Craft.—Any kind of vessel.
Cranage.—Payment for the use of cranes.
Crane.—A machine worked by hand or steam for loading and un-loading vessels.
Crane-barge.—A barge fitted with a crane.
Crane-lines.—Small ropes used for keeping the backstays clear of  the yards when braced sharp up.
Crank,—Want of stability. A ship that leans sharply under small canvas. Also, an iron handle for pumps.
Crank-hatches.—Protections on deck for the engine-cranks.
Crank-pin.—The pin to which the connecting-rod of a marine engine is attached.
Crazy.—A crazy ship is an old, rotten ship.
Creeper.—A kind of grapnel.
Crew.—All the officers and men who man a vessel.
Crib.—A small sleeping-berth.
Crimp.—A man who was formerly allowed to collect crews for ships. A plunderer of seamen. A lodging or boarding-house keeper for sailors.
Cringle.—A strand of rope, like an eye, confining an iron ring, worked into the bolt-rope.
Crinkum-crankum whales.—Whales which, according to the whalemen, “can’t be cotched.”
Cripple.—To disable a ship by firing at her.
Croaky.—A curved plank.
Cross.—To cross a yard is to send it aloft, fit the rigging, and leave it square or across.
Cross-bars.—Round bars of iron used as levers.
Cross-jack.—Pronounced cro’-jack. The lowest square-sail on a ship’s mizzen-mast.
Cross-jack yard.—The lowest yard on a ship’s mizzen-mast.
Cross-pauls.—Long pieces of plank marked with the breadth of a ship at various stations, and secured to the timbers to preserve the form of the vessel whilst she remains in frame.
Cross-piece.—A timber connecting two bitts.
Cross-sea.—A confused, heavy sea that follows a circular storm. Waves moving in different directions. “Chopping sea” is perhaps another term for the same thing.
Cross-spales.—Timbers to keep the sides of a vessel together until the knees are bolted.
Cross-staff.—An instrument anciently used for measuring altitudes at sea.
Cross-trees.—Cross-pieces of timber on top of the trestletrees.
Crotch.—A notched stick of a peculiar form, fixed in the starboard gunwale of a whaling-boat near the bow as a rest for the wooden extremity of the harpoon.
Crotch the boom.—To steady the boom of a spanker or gaff mainsail by resting it in the crutch or crotch.
Crowd.—To crowd sail is to set all sail. To crowd a vessel off’ is to claw off the land under a heavy press of canvas.
Crowfoot.—A number of small cords spreading out from a kind of block, and used to suspend an awning.
Crown.—That part of an anchor where the shank and arms meet.
Crown of aberration.—A spurious circle round the true circle of the sun.
Cruise.—Strictly, traversing a given part of the ocean on the lookout for an enemy. But a trip in a yacht or steamer that extends over a few days is now called a cruise.
Cruiser.—A man-of-war employed for the protection of merchantmen in the Channel and around the coast.
Crupper.—A ring-bolt for the train-tackle of a gun-carriage.
Crupper chain.—A chain passed round the bowsprit and the heel of the jib boom.
Crutch.—A fork to steady a boom when the sail is furled. See Crotch the boom.
Crutches.—Plates used in iron ships where the space becomes too narrow for beams and stringers. Also timbers or iron arms to unite the sides of a ship abaft.
Cubbridge heads.—Bulkheads formerly fortified with guns for firing along the decks in order to sweep them.
Cuckold’s neck.—A knot to secure a rope to a spar.
Cuddy.—The saloon under the poop.
Cuddy jig.—The sprawling about of landsmen at sea on a heaving deck. .
Cuddy-legs.— Large herrings.
Culvert.—A large drain to let out the water from a wet dock as the tide falls.
Cuntline.—The space between the bilges of casks stowed side by side.
Curios.—Curiosities. Objects collected by sailors in distant countries.
Current.—A body of water which, being in motion, carries all floating bodies with it.
Current-sailing.—A method of determining the true course and distance of a ship when in a current.
Cushee-piece.—A gun invented by Sir John Leake, in 1677. It was intended as a bow gun, and discharged shells and what were called “carcasses.”
Cut and run.—Literally this was only possible when cables were of hemp and could be cut. It is now meant to slip in a gale of wind.
Cut of his jib.—A man’s appearance. “I don’t like the cut of his jib,” said in reference to the appearance of a surly-looking man.
Cut out.—To cut out a ship is to carry her by boats when under a fort and remove her.
Cut-splice.—This is formed by cutting a rope in two and splicing each to the standing part of the other so as to make an oblong eye.
Cutter.—A ship’s boat. Also, a one-masted vessel fitted with a bowsprit to run in and out and a jib that sets flying.
Cutter-brig.—A square-rigged vessel with a fore-and-aft main-sail. She has two masts, the after one a jigger-mast.
Cutter stay fashion.—This is said of a dead-eye turned in with the end of the shroud down.
Cutting down.—Passing a knife over the lanyards of a hammock so as to let the occupant fall on deck.
Cutting in.—The dissection of a whale alongside a whaler, and the twisting of “the blanket” into the blubber-room fall ‘under this name.
Cyclone.—A revolving tempest of wind.
Cylinder-cover.—A lid through which the piston-rod of a marine engine works.
Cylinder-jacket. A casing to the cylinder of an engine to prevent the outer air from cooling the steam in the cylinder.
Dagger.—A timber that forms a portion of the bilge ways of a wooden ship.
Dahabeyah.—A boat used on the river Nile with an arched keel, and fitted with lateen sails.
Damper.—A contrivance for regulating the furnace of a marine boiler by increasing or diminishing the draught.
Dandy.—A vessel rigged like a yawl (see Yawl), but differing from a yawl by having a jib-headed mizzen and no boom to the main-sail.
Dandy funk.—A mess made of powdered biscuit, molasses, and slush.
Dandy wink.—A sort of winch used in smacks for heaving the trawl alongside.
Davis’s quadrant.—An instrument anciently used for measuring altitudes at sea.
Davits.—Curved iron bars affixed to a ship’s sides, by which her boats are suspended.
Davy Jones.—The sailor’s devil.
Davy Jones’s locker.—The sea, at the bottom of which Davy Jones dwells.
Davy putting on the coppers for the parsons.—Jack’s description of the noise made by an approaching storm.
Day’s work.—A term given to the computation made from the various courses, corrected, and their corresponding distances.
D-block.—A piece of timber at a ship’s side in the channels.
D-thimble.—A thimble lashed to the middle of a yard for attaching the slings.
Dead cargo.—A cargo that makes the ship sluggish or lifeless in a seaway, such as grain.
Dead-doo/s.—Doors outside those of a quarter gallery.
Deaden.—To impede a ship’s progress through the water.
Dead-eyes.—Circular pieces of perforated wood used for the lanyards of shrouds.
Dead-eyes under.—Said when a ship is hove down by the force of the wind or by shifting cargo until the dead-eyes of the shrouds and backstays are under water.
Dead fires.—Fires which burn dully or slowly.
Dead-head.—A lump of timber for buoying an anchor.
Dead in steering.—Said of a vessel very slow in answering her helm, most often in consequence of water being in her.
Dead-lights.—Shutters or coverings in open ports.
Dead-men.—Ends of gaskets or reef-points which are left exposed when the sail is furled.
Dead pay.—A term used in the navy to signify unclaimed money.
Dead-plate.—An iron plate fitted to a furnace, for coking bituminous coal before it is thrown into the fire.
Dead-reckoning.—Computing a ship’s position by the distance run as shown by the log, having regard to the courses steered, the leeway made, &c. A ship’s progress is reckoned in this manner when the weather is thick and no observations can be had.
Dead-rising.—The floor-timbers terminating upon the lower futtock.
Deadsheave.—An aperture in the heel of a top-mast for a second fish-tackle pendant.
Dead slow.—Said of engines revolving at the very slowest pace they can be made to work at.
Dead-wood.—Blocks of timber at each end of the keel.
Dead-works.—A term used to denote all the portion of a loaded ship above water.
Debark.—Landing from a ship.
Deck.—The planked flooring supported by the beams. See Maindeck, Quarter-deck, Forecastle, Poop, &c.
Deck-boy.—A smack apprentice.
Deck-hand.—One of the crew of a fishing-smack.
Deck-house.—A structure on the deck of a ship, in which the crew sleep and live.
Deck-line.—Marks upon a ship’s side to indicate the position of her decks. These marks are required by the law to be kept fixed.
Deck-load.—Goods or live stock stowed on the top deck of a vessel.
Deck-sheet.—A studding-sail sheet leading down on deck.
Deck-tackle.—A tackle to assist in weighing the anchor.
Declination.—The declination of an object is an arch of meridian contained between the equinoctial and the centre of the object. It is north or south according as the object is north or south of the equinoctial.
Deep.—The ocean.
Deepening.—Quitting shallow for deeper water, sounding with the lead as you go.
Deep-sea lead.—A lead of from 28 lbs. to 30 lbs. in weight, used for deep soundings.
Deep-waisted.—Applied to a ship whose deck between the poop and topgallant forecastle is deep.
Delivery valve.—In a marine engine, a valve at the top of the air pump near the hot-well to prevent the return of injected water.
Demand signals.—Flags hoisted as a request for attention.
Demi-cannon.—An old piece of ordnance used in ships. It threw about a 32 lb. shot.
Demijean.—A large bottle containing about five gallons, formerly used for storing rum, &c., on board ship.
Demurrage.—A stipulated sum to be paid by a charterer for delaying a ship after the expiry of the specified lay days.
Departure.—A point from which a ship begins her dead reckoning. Also the east or west distance a ship has made from the meridian of the place she departed from.
Derelict.—A vessel abandoned at sea.
Derrick.—A spar for hoisting weights.
Deviation.—A departure from the ordinary and usual course of a voyage. If without justification, it is taken, should disaster follow, as a discharge of the underwriter’s liability.
Deviation of the compass.—The effect produced on the compass by local causes.
Dhow.—An Arab vessel of about 200 tons, lateen-rigged
Dicky.—A term for a second mate.
Difference of latitude.—An arch of a meridian contained between two parallels.
Difference of longitude.—An arch of the equator intercepted between the meridians of two places.
Dinge.—Said of iron plates bent inwards by external pressure.
Dinghey.—A small Indian boat. Also a ship’s boat.
Dip.—The angle contained between the sensible and apparent horizons, the angular point being the eye of the observer.
Dip of the needle.—The deflection of one end of the compass needle below the horizon as either pole is approached.
Dip of the wheels.—Said of the depth of water over the top of the vertical board of a paddle-wheel.
Dipper.—A long tin cup for dropping through the bunghole of a cask of fresh water to drink from.
Dipping.—Dipping a sail is lowering it on one and then hoisting it on the other side of the mast.
Direct-acting engine.—An engine in which a rotary motion is obtained by a rod from the head of the piston to the crank acting without side levers.
Discharge.—To unload cargo. A certificate of discharge is a document that states the name of the seaman, the ship he has left, and other particulars.
Disengaging apparatus.—An apparatus for lowering boats by means of self-releasing hooks and other arrangements. There are various contrivances of this kind.
Dish.—To dish a sea is to ship a mass of green water over the head or side by a heavy pitch or roll.
Dismantle.—A ship is said to be dismantled when her masts and rigging have been knocked to pieces by shot.
Dismantling shot.—Shot used by the Americans in the war with Great Britain in 1812. It consisted of star shot, doubleheaded shot, chain shot, and other projectiles, which flew open and cut through the rigging.
Displacement.—The amount of water displaced by the immersion of a ship.
Distance.—The number of miles that a ship has sailed on a direct course in a given time.
Distant signals.—Signals consisting of black balls, pennants, and square flags.
Ditty-bag.—A bag used by seamen for holding small things useful to them.
Dockage.— Charges on vessels using floating docks.
Dockyard maties.—Dockyard artificers.
Doctor.—Sailor’s name for a ship’s cook.
Dag.—A cross-bar to secure the door of a man-hole for cleaning out a boiler. Also an iron bar used as a purchase. One end is placed against the thing to be lifted, and a tackle is hooked to a ring at the other end.
Dog-basket.—Used by the steward for the leavings from the cabin table.
Dogger.—A two masted Dutch smack.
Dogsbody.—A mess made of pea-soup, powdered biscuit, and slush.
Dog’s ear or Dog’s lug.—The part of a leech-rope of a top-sail between the head and reef-earing cringles.
Dog-sleep.—Short naps taken when a man should be awake.
Dog-vane.—A small flag or streamer at the mast-head or at the side to indicate the direction of the wind.
Dog-watch.—A subdivision of the usual four hours’ watch, so as to bring about a change of watches among the crew. The dogwatches are from 4 to 6, and from 6 to 8 p.m. They are called the first and second dog-watch.
Doldrums.—A belt of calms and light shifting winds close to the equator on either side.
Dollop.—A lump, a piece : as “a dollop of duff.”
Dolly.—A tool used in riveting the plates of an iron ship.
Donkey.—A sailor’s chest.
Donkey-boiler.—A boiler to work steam-winches, &c.
Donkey-engine.—A supplementary engine for doing work independent of the ship’s engines.
Donkey-frigate.—A ship-sloop of twenty-eight guns.
Double.—To round a headland. “Double the Horn,” to sail round it.
Double altitudes.—A method of finding the latitude by two observed altitudes.
Double-bottom. — Iron plates inside covering the frames and girders of an iron ship; the space between is called the double bottom.
Double capstan.—A capstan that can be worked both on an upper and lower deck at once.
Double strop.—A long single strop doubled.
Double top-sails.—Formerly the top-sails were whole sails. They are now divided by being bent to two yards, so that when the halyards of the upper topsail yard are let go, the lower top-sail represents a close-reefed sail.
Double wheel.—Two wheels one abaft the other, fixed on the same spindle, to enable two sets of men to steer the vessel when power is wanted there.
Double whip.—A tackle composed of two double-blocks, the upper one fixed, the lower one movable.
Doughboy.—Pronounced doboy. A small dumpling made of flour and slush.
Dowel.—A piece of brass inserted in the sheave of a block to save it from injury from the pin on which the sheave revolves. Also a piece of hard wood used in scarphing two timbers.
Dowel-bit.—A tool for cutting the holes for the dowels.
Dowelling.—A method of uniting timbers.
Downhauls.—Ropes used for hauling down a jib or stay-sail.
Dowse.—To extinguish, to put out.
Dowse the glim.—Tut out the light.
Drabler.— Canvas laced to the bonnet of a sail.
Draft of hands.— Men sent from one ship of war to another, to complete the latter’s complement.
Dragging.—A propeller is said to “drag” when the sails urge the vessel faster than the revolutions of the screw can propel her.
Dragging on her.—Said of a man who presses his vessel with canvas in a strong wind.
Draught.—The draught of a ship is the delineation of the various sections of her by line. Also the depth of water she takes to float in.
Drawing the boxes.—Removing the pump-gear in order to drop the sounding-rod to ascertain what water there is in the well.
Dredger.—A boat furnished with a kind of scraper called a dredge for catching oysters, &c. Also a vessel for cleansing harbors and the mouths of rivers.
Dress.—To dress a ship is to decorate her with flags.
Drift.—A tool used in iron ship-building for forcing into rivet holes which do not lie fair, so that the rivets may enter. Also the rate at which a current runs in the hour. Also to move helplessly with the wind and seas.
Drift-ice.—Detached pieces of ice through which a ship can sail.
Drift-net.—A large net with one-inch meshes, used for catching pilchards, herrings, &c.
Drip-pipe.—In a marine engine, a small pipe connected with the waste steam-pipe, and used for carrying off the condensed steam and hot water which have found their way into the “trap” at the top.
Drive.—To scud at the mercy of a gale.
Driver.—Another name for the spanker or mizzen.
Drogher.—A small West Indian vessel that carries passengers and trades among the ports of those islands.
Drogue.—A large bag made of canvas, thrown overboard to keep a ship head to wind or to deaden her way.
Drop.—The depth of a sail in the centre of it.
Druggs.—Two thick squares of wood clinched together and fitted in a whale-boat, to which is attached a line, one end of which is looped for immediately fastening to a harpoon.
Drum.—A frame of canvas hoisted as a storm warning.
Drumhead.—The top of a capstan.
Drum-hogsheads.—Hogsheads of liquor from which a third of the contents have been stolen.
Druxy.—Plank or timber in a decayed or spongy state.
Dry gale.—A storm of wind under a blue sky.
Dry provisions.—The term applied to tea, flour, sugar, peas, &c.
Dubb.—To smooth down wood with an adze.
Duck.—A kind of fine canvas.
Duck-up!—Haul up the clew of a sail.
Duff.—A pudding made of flour and slush, boiled in a canvas bag.
Dug-out.—A large West African canoe.
Dumb-blocks.—Blocks made of metal, used instead of dead-eyes.
Dumb-chalder.—A piece of metal on the stern-post for the rudder-pintle to rest on.
Dumb craft.—A vessel, such as a barge or lump, without sails.
Dummy.—A piece of strong upright wood on the deck of a smack, to which the trawl-warp is attached when fishing.
Dump.—A bolt for fastening planks.
Dungaree.—A light material worn as dress by sailors.
Dunhead.—A kind of barge.
Dunnage.—Pieces of wood upon which cargo is stowed to keep it clear of the wet at the bottom of the hold.
Dustoree.—Custom paid to a crimp in the East Indies.
Dutch caper.—In olden times a Dutch privateer.
Dutchify.—To dutchify a ship is to alter her square stern into a circular or elliptical one.
Dutchman.—A sailor’s name for Scandinavians and Germans as well as Dutchmen.
Earing.—There are two kinds of earing. Head-caring is a rope at the upper corner of a sail to secure it to the yard-arm. Reef-earing is a rope on the leech of a sail to secure it to the yard when reefed.
Ears.—The ears of a boat are outside knee-pieces forward.
Earth compass.—A compass placed in a cask filled with earth, to nullify the local attraction on board iron vessels.
Ease.—To pay out or slacken a rope gently.
Ease her!—A command to reduce the motion of an engine.
Ease the helm!—A command to shift the helm by a spoke or two to “meet the sea,” as it is called.
Ease up!—To slacken a tackle fall. To “come up” with a rope.
Easter.—The wind easters when it veers to the eastwards.
Easting.—The amount of progress made to the eastwards.
Easy!—Gently! not too fast!
Ebb.—The fall of the tide from the height of the flood.
Eccentric gear..—A method of giving motion to the levers of a marine engine by admitting steam alternately into the steam ports of the cylinder.
Ecliptic.—A great circle in the heavens which the sun appears to pass over in the course of a year.
Edge down.—To bear down upon an object by keeping the ship gradually and almost imperceptibly away.
Eduction-pipe.—A pipe in a marine steam-engine that conveys steam from the exhaust-side of the cylinder piston into the condenser.
Eight-man boat.—A Faroese whale-boat.
Eiking.—A piece of wood to make up a length.
Elbow.—Two crosses in a ship’s cables, when she is moored, caused by her swinging.
Elevator.—A contrivance for loading ships with grain.
Elliot’s eye.—A loop in a hemp cable fitted with a thimble and served.
Embargo.—A prohibition on a ship to leave a port.
Embark.—To enter into a ship.
End for end.—When a rope is unrove.
End on.—Said of a ship when only her bows or stern can be seen.
En flute.—A ship is said to be armed en flute when a portion of her guns are taken out and she is used as a transport.
Engine-bearers.— Portions of the seat for supporting the engines and boilers of a steamer. Also called engine-seating.
Engineer-—A person who has charge of the engines and is lord of the engine-room, and very often of the whole ship. There are two grades—first-class and second-class engineers, each of  whom are certificated. Every steamer of over 100-horse power must carry a first and second class engineer: under that power, an only or first engineer, who must be certificated.
Engineer Surveyor.—A person appointed to report upon the efficiency of the machinery of steam-ships.
Enlarge.—Said of the wind when it draws aft.
Equation of lime.—The difference between real and apparent time.
Equinoctial points.—Joints where the ecliptic and the equator intersect each other.
Escape-valves.—Weighted valves to allow of the escape of steam or water in the way of the movement of the piston.
Euvrou.—A kind of block for extending the legs of a crow-foot. See Crow-foot.
Even keel.—Said when neither end of a ship afloat is lower or higher than the other.
Every stitch.—All the canvas that a vessel carries.
Examinations.—In the merchant service officers are examined in seamanship and navigation, to prove their qualifications for the ranks to which they aspire. The qualifications may be briefly condensed as follows for foreign-going service: — SECOND MATE.—He must be seventeen years of age, and have been four years at sea. He must write a legible hand, understand the first five rules of arithmetic, and the use of logarithms; be able to work a day’s work, correct the sun’s declination for longitude, find his latitude by the sun, with other such problems; and understand all about the rigging and unrigging of ships, stowage, the rule of the road, signals, log-line, &c. ONLY MATE.—Must be nineteen years of age, and have been five years at sea. More knowledge is expected in him than in a second mate, for in addition he must be able to calculate the amplitude of the sun, and deduce from it the variation of the compass, find the longitude by chronometer, lay off the place of his ship on the chart, &c., and in seamanship understand all about the ground tackle, keep the ship’s log, know the use and management of the rocket apparatus, and so forth. FIRST MATE.—Must be nineteen years old and have been five years at sea, of which one year must have been either as second or only mate or both. Besides what is required for an only mate, a chief mate must be able to observe azimuths and compute the variation, compare chronometers and keep their rates, work the latitude by single altitude of the sun off the meridian, possess extensive knowledge of seamanship, of the shifting of large spars and sails, of the management of ships in storms, &c. MASTER.—Must be twenty-one years old and have been six years at sea, of which at least one year must have been as first or only mate, and one year as second mate. He will be asked more questions than those put to a mate: on magnetic attraction, tides, sounding, jury rudders and rafts, marine law as regards his crew, entry and discharge: also he is expected to know all about charter parties, Lloyd’s agencies, bottomry, and so forth. EXTRA MASTER.—This examination is voluntary. The certificate confers no privilege, and the only use of it is to show that the possessor has a good memory for what he finds in marine guide-books.
Expansion gear.—A contrivance for economizing steam in a marine engine by cutting off steam at any point of the stroke of the piston.
Expansion joints.— Joints fitted in steam pipes so as to allow for expansion and contraction.
Eye.—A loop at the end of a rope, a hole in an iron bolt.
Eye-bolt.—A bolt of iron with an eye in it, sunk into the deck or side as far as the eye.
Eyelet-holes.—Holes in the tablings and reef-bands of a sail for robands, reef-points, cringles, &c. “Eyes.”—This word is applied to holes opening in a sail owing to the force of the wind. “Eyes now showed in the main-topsail, and shortly after it was blown out of the bolt-rope.”
Eyes of a vessel.—The foremost point of the forecastle, betwixt the knightheads.
Eye-splice.—An eye formed in a rope by passing its strands through its standing part.
Facing.—Setting one piece of timber into another with a rabbet.
Fagged.—This is said of a rope whose end is untwisted.
Fair.—Said of the wind when favorable.
Fair-leader— A block, thimble, or strip of plank for running gear to lead through.
Fairway.—The navigable part of a river or channel.
Fake.—A single ring of a coil of rope.
Fall.—The hauling part of a tackle.
Fall aboard of.—To drop down foul of another ship.
Fall foul.—To fall foul of a man is to abuse or quarrel with him.
Falling glass.—The sinking of the mercury in a barometer.
Falls.—Tackles for hoisting and lowering boats at the davits.
False-keel.—Pieces of timber below the main keel to protect it in case of taking the ground.
Family boats.—The name given to smacks worked by members of one family.
Fancy-line.—A downhaul rove through a block at the jaws of a gaff.
Fang.—The valve of a pump-box.
Fanning.—Widening the after-part of a ship’s top.
Fantod.—A fiddling officer who is always bothering over small things.
Fast.—To make fast is to attach. “All fast!” a cry to denote that the rope is belayed or a turn taken.
Fast-fish.—A whaling-term, signifying that the whale belongs to the boat’s crew that is fast to it.
Fasts.—Wood or stone projections on a quay or pier for mooring vessels to. Also the ropes which hold a vessel.
Favor her!—A call to the helmsman to ease the helm, to let her meet it.
Fay.—To lie close to, as one piece of wood against another.
Fearn.—A small windlass.
Fearnought.—Thick woolen cloth that used to be, and perhaps still is, worn .by North-Sea pilots.
Feathering paddle-wheels.—Paddle-wheels of which the boards or floats enter and leave the water in a perpendicular position.
Feathering-screw.—A propeller whose blades can be placed in a direction parallel with the line of the keel. Meant for auxiliaries only.
Feather-white sea.—Said of the sea when covered with foam.
Feed-cock.—A cock near the bottom of a marine boiler for regulating the supply of water to the boiler.
Feeding-engine.—An engine for supplying tubular boilers with feed-water when the large engines are not working.
Feed pipe.—A pipe for introducing water into the boiler to take the place of the water that has passed off in steam.
Feed-pump.—A pump that supplies the boilers of a steamer with water from the hot-well.
Feed-water.—The water with which the boiler is supplied.
Felucca.—A vessel rigged with a lateen sail.
Fend.—To fend off, to save a boat’s side from collision or being chafed.
Fenders.—Pieces of timber, or cork, or stuffed canvas over a ship’s or boat’s side to prevent it from being chafed or injured.
Fetch.—To reach, to arrive at by sailing or steaming: as “we fetched the harbor.”
Fetch away.—To break loose, to roll or slide to leeward.
Fetching the pump.—Making it act by pouring water into it.
Fetch out.—To get out to sea from a bay, harbor, &c., by beating or sailing close.
Fid.—A bar of wood or iron passed through the fid-hole to support a mast.
Fiddle-block.—A double block with one sheave above larger than the lower one.
Fiddle-figurehead, or Fiddle-head.—The head of a ship that has no figure, but is decorated with a scroll shaped like a fiddle.
Fiddles.—A framework used to secure the dishes on a cabin table, to prevent them from rolling off.
Fiddley-house.—A barbarous term for the engine-house.
Fid-hole.—A hole in the lower part of an upper mast to receive the fid.
Fife-rail.—A rail round the main-mast fitted with belaying pins. Also the upper fence of the bulwarks of a man-of-war’s quarter-deck.
Fighting-lanterns.—See Battle-lanterns.
Fighting-sails.—The canvas on a ship when going into action.
Figure-head.—A bust or figure over a ship’s cutwater.
Figure of eight.—A knot shaped like the figure 8 used for preventing a rope from unreeving.
Filler.—A piece of timber to fill up in a made mast.
Fillibuster.—A pirate.
Filling.—In ship-building, wood introduced to make up for a defect in the molding way.
Filling-room.—Formerly in men-of-war, apartments where powder was filled into cartridges, and furnished with a powder-trough to empty the powder out of the barrels.
Fillings.—Timbers placed between the frames of a ship, fitting close and caulked.
Filling-transom.—A timber above the deck transom for securing the ends of the deck plank, &c.
Fine-weather rolls.—The rolling of a ship under a clear sky in a sea left by a storm.
Finishings.—The name of the quarter-gallery ornamentation.
Finns.— Natives of Finland. These men when members of a ship’s company were formerly regarded with great superstition by their shipmates. They were thought to possess the gift of second sight, to hold the winds in control, to keep a bottle of rum full, in spite of hearty pulls at it, a whole voyage.
Fin out.—A whaling expression used when a whale turns over dead.
Fire and lights.— Sailor’s nickname for the master-at-arms.
Fire-box.— A space in front of the boilers of a steamer over the furnace doors.
Fireman.—A stoker.
Firemen.—Men stationed at the guns of a man-of-war ready for active duty : their business being to extinguish fire, and also to act as boarders, &c.
Firing-up.—Plying the fires so as to obtain as much steam as possible.
First watch.—The watch from 8 p.m. till midnight.
Fish.—To bind spare booms, planks, &c., to an injured spar to support it. Also to hoist the fluke of an anchor by the fish tackle, and secure the inner arm and shank by the shank painter. The anchor is then said to be fished—an operation which follows catting.
Fish-davit.—A piece of timber or iron for hoisting the fluke of an anchor.
Fisherman s bend.—A knot formed by two turns through a ring, a half-hitch and the end stopped.
Fisherman’s walk.—” Three steps and overboard,” in allusion to the small space offered for walking in smacks, and therefore said of any confined space.
Fish-fag.—A disreputable, foul-mouthed woman.
Fish-hook.—A hook with a pennant for the fish-tackle to be hooked to.
Fish-tackle.—The tackle used in hoisting the fluke of an anchor.
Fit out.—To fit out a ship is to furnish her with masts, sails, anchors, provisions, men, &c.
Five-finger.—The star-fish.
Fixed blocks.—Fixed sheaves in a ship’s side.
Flag-officer.—An admiral.
Flag-share.—The admiral’s share in captures from an enemy.
Flagship.—The ship that carries an admiral’s flag.
Flag-staff.—A staff on a vessel’s stern.
Flairing.—When the topside of a ship’s bows falls outward from the perpendicular.
Flare.—A light made by firing a tar-barrel, &c.
Flare-ups.—Flames shown aboard a vessel as signals.
Flashing-light.—A beacon that shows flashes at short intervals, or groups of flashes at regular intervals.
Flashing-signals.—A method of signaling by means of flashes of light, used in the Royal Navy.
Flash-vessel.—A gaudy-looking but undisciplined ship.
Flat.—A sail is flat when the sheet is hauled down close. Also a sort of lighter, with one mast and a sail like a lug.
Flat-aback.—When the sails are pressed against the mast by the wind.
Flat aft.—Said of the sheets of fore-and-aft sails when hauled as taut as they will go.
Flat-plate keel.—A keel formed of iron plates bent dish-shaped.
Flat-seam.—Two edges of canvas laid over each other and sewn.
Flat-seizing.—A light seizing.
Flatten in.—To tauten the head-sheets.
Flaw.—A sudden burst of wind. Also an opening in a bank of fog.
Fleet.—To come up a tackle for another pull when the blocks have been drawn together. The cry is “Fleet ho!”
Fleeting.—Said of smacks which sail out to the fishing-grounds in fleets.
Flemish coil.—To coil up a rope with the end in the centre and the fakes outside of one another, the whole lying flat.
Flemish eye.—An eye formed in a rope by unlaying one strand and placing the remaining ends against the standing part.
Flemish horses.—Foot-ropes at the yard-arms of topsail and lower yards.
Flench-gut.—Whale blubber in long slices.
Flipper.—The hand.
Float.—A large flat-bottomed boat.
Floating coffin.—A rotten vessel.
Floating dock.—A fabric that is made to sink in order to receive a ship, and then to float so as to raise its burden above water. Also a wet dock.
Floating light.—A light-ship.
Floating on cargo.—Said of a vessel full of water, but kept afloat by her cargo, such as timber, cork, oil, &c.
Floating stage.—A platform on the water for painters, caulkers, &c.
Floats.—The boards or paddles fitted to the wheels of paddle steamers.
Flogging the glass.—Said of the old glasses used to denote time, when shaken to make the sand run.
Flood.—High water.
Floor-guide.—A timber between the floor and the keel.
Floor-plans.—Longitudinal sections of the water-lines and ribband-lines.
Floor-plates.—Formerly plates in the bottom of an iron ship corresponding with the floor-timbers in wooden ones.
Floor-ribband.—A timber for the support of the floors of a ship.
Flotsam.—Goods lost by shipwreck and floating on the sea.
Flow.—To let go the sheet of a head-sail.
Flowing sheet.—The sheet well eased off when the wind is abaft the beam.
Flue boiler.—A marine boiler constructed to confine the flame and hot gases generated in the furnace in narrow flues.
Flues.—Passages in a steamer’s boiler for heated air.
Fluke.—The end of each arm of an anchor.
Flunkey.—Sailor’s name for the ship’s steward.
Flurry.—The death-throes of a whale.
Flush.—Level, clear of encumbrance. Also, level with.
Flush-decked.— Having a clear sweep of deck.
Flush-scuttles.—Apertures whose framework is nearly level with the deck.
Flush-up.— Said of cargo that comes up to a level with the hatches.
Fly.—The length of a flag from the point of suspension and the extremity. Also the compass card before it is mounted.
Fly-away.—A mirage or fictitious appearance of land.
Fly-block.—A topsail tie-block.
Fly-boat.—A flat-bottomed Dutch vessel.
Fly-by-night.—A square sail formerly used by sloops when running.
Flying bridge.—An elevated bridge on steamers, forward of the funnel.
Flying-jib.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the foretopgallant mast-head to the flying-jib boom end.
Flying-jib boom.—A continuation of the jib boom for the flying-jib to set on.
Flying kites.—The lofty sails used in light weather, such as skysails, royal and topgallant studding-sails, &c.
Flying moor.—Letting go a weather anchor whilst the ship has way, and then, when the cable range is nearly out, letting go the other anchor.
Flying proa.—A vessel belonging to the Ladrone Islands. She is fitted with a large triangular sail attached to two booms which meet at the vessel’s head, and she is furnished with a long outrigger.
Flying-skysail.—A sky-sail that is stowed with the royal. The yard has neither lifts nor braces, and the clews are secured to the royal yard-arms.
Flying-to.—Coming up into the wind swiftly.
Fly-wheel pumps.—Pumps fitted with wheels, of which the revolutions greatly facilitate the labor of pumping.
Fog-dog.—A break in a fog. See Flaw.
Foggy.—Slightly drunk. Muddled with drink.
Fog-horn.—An instrument that delivers a powerful note as a signal in fogs. Worked by the mouth, bellows, and by steam.
Fo’ksle hand.—The same as fore-mast hand.
Foot.—The bottom of a sail.
Footing.—A fee exacted by sailors from one who goes aloft for the first time.
Foot-rails.— Moldings on a ship’s stern.
Foot-rope.—A rope suspended under a yard or boom for men to stand on. Also the rope at the bottom of a sail.
Foot-sugar.—A mixture of dirt and molasses served out to merchant sailors.
Foot-valve.—In a marine engine, a flat piece of metal in the passage between the condenser and air-pump.
Foot-waling.— Inside planking over the floor timbers.
Fore.—The forward part of a ship, or what is forward, as fore-mast, fore-hatch, fore-sail, &c. At the fore, means at the fore royal mast-head.
Fore and after.—A cocked hat. Also a fore-and-aft rigged vessel.
Fore-and-aft schooner.—A schooner without square yards.
Fore-bowline.—A rope to haul out the weather leech of the fore course.
Fore-braces.—The ropes by which the fore-yard of a ship, barque, or brig is swung.
Forecastle.—A compartment where sailors live, in the bows of a ship. Also the deck over the compartment is called the forecastle. In old marine works this is defined as a place fitted for a close fight on the upper deck forward.
Fore-course.—The fore-sail of a ship.
Forefoot.—The foremost part of the keel.
Fore-ganger.—A piece of rope attached to a harpoon.
Fore-guy.—A rope to steady the lower studding-sail swinging boom.
Fore-hold.—The hold between the main-hold and fore-peak.
Foreign-going.—Ships bound to ports outside the home-trade limits.
Fore-lock.—A piece of iron driven into the end of a bolt.
Fore-mast.—The lower mast nearest the bows of a ship.
Fore-mast hand.—A man serving before the mast.
Forenoon watch.—The watch from 8 a.m. till noon.
Fore-peak.—The hold in the bows.
Fore-rake.—The rake of the stem.
Fore-reach.—To shoot ahead in stays. To pass when close-hauled another vessel close-hauled.
Fore-royal.—The sail above the topgallant sail.
Fore-royal mast.—The mast above the fore-topgallant mast.
Fore-runner.—A small piece of red bunting or cloth on a log-line marking the inboard end of the stray. See Stray.
Fore-sail.—The lowest square sail on the fore-mast of a ship, barque, or brig. In a schooner it is a gaff fore-and-aft sail. In a cutter it is a jib-shaped sail.
Fore-scuttle.—A hatch by which the forecastle is entered.
Fore-sheet.—The ropes by which the lee corner of the fore-sail is hauled aft.
Fore-sheet horse.—An iron bar for the sheet of a sloop’s fore-sail to travel on.
Fore-skysail.—A small square sail above the fore-royal.
Fore-skysail mast.—The mast or pole above the fore-royal mast.
Fore-tack.—-The ropes which keep the weather corner of the fore-sail down.
Fore-topgallant mast.—The mast above the fore-topmast.
Fore-topgallant sail.—The sail above the fore-topsail.
Fore-topgallant studding-sail.—A sail set at the fore-topgallant yard-arm, and extended by a boom on the fore-topsail yard.
Fore-topgallant studding-sail boom.—A boom on the fore-topsail yard which extends the foot of the studding-sail of that name.
Fore-topmast.—The mast above the fore-mast.
Fore-topmast stay-sail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the fore-topmast head to the bowsprit.
Fore-topmast studding-sail.—A sail set at the fore-topsail yard-arm, and the foot extended by a boom on the lower yard.
Fore-topmast studding-sail boom.—A boom on the fore-yard for extending the foot of the studding-sail so called.
Fore-topmen.—Hands stationed in the fore-top of a man-of-war, to attend to the sails and rigging above it.
Fore-topsail.—The sail that sets above the fore-sail in square-rigs.
Fore-yard.—The lowest yard on the fore-mast.
Forge.—To shoot ahead.
Forkers.—Dockyard thieves.
Forward there!—The exclamation when the forecastle is hailed.
Fother.—To stop a leak by drawing a sail filled with oakum, rubbish, &c, under a vessel.
Foul.—Anything twisted, anything that will not run is called foul. To foul a vessel is to collide with her and get locked. In olden times foul was used for storm: as “foul stay-sail,” for “storm stay-sail.”
Foul anchor.—When the cable is twisted round the anchor.
Foul hawse.—When the two cables get crossed.
Founder.—A vessel founders when she sinks.
Four-cant.—A four-stranded rope.
Foxes.—Rope-yarns twisted and rubbed with tarred canvas.
Fox-key.—A key with a wedge of metal fitted into the end to secure it in its place.
Frame.—The portion of a ship that consists of her form or shape.
Frap.—To bind by passing ropes round.
Free.—Sailing with the yards braced in.
Freeboard.—The side a vessel shows out of water.
Free-trader.—A class of vessels built to seek employment wherever there was most to be earned. They came into existence after the East Indian trade had been thrown open.
Fresh breeze.—A strong wind.
Freshen.—To ease out chain ; to shift a rope so as to relieve it; to alter the position of ballast. Also the wind freshens when it increases.
Freshen hawse.—Paying out a short length of cable to save the chafe. This was a custom when rope cables were used with service on them in the hawse-pipes.
Fresh grub or provisions.—Unsalted meat, baker’s bread, &c.
Fresh hand at the bellows.—Said as the wind freshens into a gale.
Fresh water.—Water shipped for drinking, but not always drinkable.
Fresh-water sailor.—A yachtsman. A green hand.
Friction rollers.—Rollers fitted in a block that the sheave may revolve easily.
Friction tube.—A means of firing a gun by ignition through friction of the priming in the tube.
Frigate.—A ship with one whole battery deck.
Frigate-built.—A ship with a waist led to by steps from the quarterdeck and forecastle.
Frigatoon.—A ship-sloop of war.
Fruit-clippers.—Small, fast, handsome schooners which formerly traded between Britain and the Mediterranean, in raisins, figs, currants, &c. Circa 1845.
Full and bye.—Sailing close to the wind, but keeping every sail full.
Full-bottomed.—A vessel with a wide hold.
Full feather.—Same as full fig
Full fig.—Full dress. Same as full puff, full feather.
Full for stays!—Keep her full for going about, that she may round handsomely.
Full man.—A coasting term for able seaman.
Full-powered steamer.—A steamer whose engines are powerful enough to do all the work of driving her in all weathers, as distinguished from an auxiliary, whose steam-power is insufficient in strong adverse winds.
Funnel.—The large upright pipe or cylinder on a steamer through which the furnace smoke is expelled.
Funnel-casing.—A. portion of the funnel of a steamer extending from the smoke-box to some distance upwards.
Funnel hood.—A projected portion of or protection to the funnel, raised some feet above the deck.
Funnel stays.—Wire or other stays to support the funnel.
Funny.—A clinker-built narrow boat for sculling.
Fur.—Deposit in neglected marine boilers.
Furnace.—Places inside the shell of a boiler for containing the fire.
Fusible plugs.—Plugs which melt at a certain temperature, and thus enable the steam to escape should the safety-valve fail.
Futtock-plates.—Iron plates with dead eyes to which the topmast rigging is set up and the futtock shrouds hooked.
Futtocks.—Pieces of timber connected with the floor in the bottom of a ship.
Futtock shrouds.—Iron shrouds leading through the sides of a top and connecting the topmast rigging with the lower mast.
Futtock staff— A piece of wood or iron crossing the upper part of the shrouds, to secure the catharpen less to.
Gab.—A notch for the pin of the gab-lever on the eccentric rod of a marine steam-engine.
Gabarre.—A French store-ship.
Gabert.—A Scotch barge or lump.
Gad-yang.—A Chinese coaster.
Gaff.—An instrument like a boat-hook used in the blubber-room of whalers. Also a spar for setting a fore-and-aft sail on.
Gaff-topsail.—A fore-and-aft sail set over the lower sails of a schooner, the spanker of a barque, &c.
Gaff-topsail downhaul.—A rope attached to the after-clew of the sail for taking it in.
Gaff-topsail outhaul.—A rope hitched to the clew of the sail and rove through a sheave at the gaff end for hauling the sail out.
Gage.—The position of a vessel as to another, weather-gage, lee gage, being to windward of her or to leeward.
Gain.—To gain the wind is to weather a vessel.
Gallees.—A vessel of the sixteenth century, described as long, low, and sharp-built, propelled by oars and sails, and used as a fighting-ship.
Galleries.—Platforms over the stern of ships, with access from the stern windows. Long since disused.
Galley.—A ship’s kitchen, formerly called caboose in merchantmen. Also a six or eight oared boat. Also a man-of-war’s boat used by the captain.
Galley-built.—A vessel was so called when her waist was only one or two steps in descent from the quarter-deck and forecastle. See Frigate-built.
Galley-growlers.—Loafing, mutinous grumblers.
Galley-punt.—An open sailing-boat used by pilots in the Channel off the Forelands.
Gallied.—Frightened. A whaling term.
Galliot.—A Dutch vessel with round sides, two-masted, the foremast square-rigged.
Gallows-bitts.—Cross pieces of timber on which spare booms and spars are stowed.
Game-ship.—Formerly a ship whose captain and mates could be corrupted by bribes to allow the cargo to be stolen.
Gamming.—A whaleman’s term for the visits paid by crews to one another at sea.
Gammoning.— Lashings to secure the bowsprit to the cutwater.
Gammon-knee.—A knee-timber bolted to the stem under the bowsprit.
Gang.—A number of a crew told off for a particular job.
Gangboard.—A platform on a man-of-war that connected the quarter-deck with the forecastle.
Gang-cask.—A 32-gallon cask. A cask for bringing water on board in boats.
Ganger.—Lengths of chain cable shackled to the sheet anchor.
Gangway.—A part of the vessel’s side, nearly amidships, by which people enter and leave a ship.
Gangway ladder.—A ladder over the side by which a ship is entered.
Gantline.—A girtline.
Garlands.—Fastenings formed of small stuff, used in taking in and out a mast.
Garnet.—A purchase for hoisting cargo.
Garters.—The irons in which a man’s legs are confined.
Gaskets.—Pieces of rope or sennit affixed to a yard, to pass round a sail to secure it when rolled up.
Gas-pipes.—The name given to those long, narrow iron steamers, whose length is nine or ten times the breadth of the beam. Formerly the length of ships rarely exceeded four-and-a-half or five times the beam.
Gather.—To haul in; as, gather in the slack, gather aft that sheet.
Gather way.—Said of a ship when she begins to move.
Gauntlet.—A rope to which hammocks are attached to dry after being scrubbed.
General average.—When a portion of a cargo is sacrificed, the remainder that is saved becomes subject to general average.
Geordie.—Nickname for a north-country collier.
Ghaut serang.—A shipping agent or crimp in the East Indies.
Gib.—A fixed iron wedge for tightening the straps and brasses of the different bearings in a marine engine.
Gift-rope.—A fast for a boat at the guess-warp boom.
Gig.—A small boat that used to hang by stern-davits, and called the captain’s gig, because used in harbor by the master of the ship.
Gilguy.—A term applied by seamen to anything they forget the name of.
Gimbal.—A ring that keeps the compass horizontal by moving freely on an axis within which it swings at right angles.
Gimblet.—To turn an anchor on its stock.
Gin.—An iron block, the sheave working in a cross.
Ginger-bread quarters.—Living in luxury—at least from a sailor’s point of view.
Girtline.—A whip purchase used for hoisting up rigging.
Give way!—An order to men who are rowing to pull with more force.
Gland.—A collar in a marine engine for encircling the piston and air-pump rod, &c., used for holding oil for lubricating and for compressing the packing of the stuffing-box it is screwed to.
Glass.—A telescope. Also the sand-glass used in heaving the reel log.
Glass water-gauge.—A glass tube attached to the marine boiler by brass fittings, and furnished with cocks to show the height of the water in the boiler.
Glim.—A light.
Glip.—The oily wake a sperm-whale, when alarmed, leaves behind it.
Glut.—A piece of canvas with an eyelet-hole sewed in a sail near the head.
Go below.—To leave the deck. A term for dismissing the watch below after all hands have been on deck.
Go below the watch.—An order intimating that the division of the crew whose turn it is to be below are no longer wanted on deck.
Gob-line.—A rope leading from the martingale.
Going about.—The act of tacking.
Going free.—Sailing with the wind on or abaft the beam.
Going large.—Sailing with the wind on the quarter.
Gone.—Loosened. “All gone !” means the rope is let go.
Good crop.—Formerly said of a deck that was much arched.
Goose-neck.—An iron outrigger to support a boom.
Goose-wing.—A fore-and-aft vessel running with the gaff fore-sail guyed out on one side and the main-sail on the other.
Goose-winged.—When the weather clew of a course is down and the lee clew and buntlines hauled up.
Gores.—The angles of the cloths which widen or deepen a sail.
Goring-cloths.—Pieces of canvas to widen a sail.
Grab.—An Indian coaster.
Grade.—A degree of rank.
Grafting.—The ornamentation of a rope’s end by making nettles of the strands.
Grain.—To be in the grain of another ship was an old-fashioned way of explaining that you were sailing ahead of her lying the same course.
Grain cargoes.—Any kind of grain: corn, rice, paddy, pulse, seeds, nuts, or nut kernels.
Granny’s bend.—A hitch that slips.
Grape.—Cast-iron shot packed in canisters.
Grappling-irons.—Irons used in fighting to hold ships together.
Grasp.—The handle of an oar.
Grass-comber.—A countryman shipped as a sailor.
Gratings.—A species of thick wooden lattice to cover hatches, or for decoration.
Grave.—To clean.
Graving-dock.—A dock which admits of a vessel being placed in it and grounded.
Great circle sailing.—The sailing by which the direct course to a place is to be shaped.
Greave.—To clean a ship’s bottom by burning.
Green sea.—A mass of water rolling over a ship without breaking.
Grenade.—An explosive ignited by a fuse and thrown by the hand.
Gripe.—A portion of a wooden ship’s forefoot. To gripe is for a ship to show a tendency to come up into the wind.
Gripes.—Supports for securing a quarter-boat as she hangs at the davits.
Grog.—Understood by sailors to mean rum drunk neat or with water.
Grog-blossom.—A nose reddened by drink. Also a pimple due to drink.
Groggy.—Half drunk.
Grommet.—A ring of rope.
Gross tonnage.—The aggregate cubic space in a ship below her uppermost deck, and in permanent closed-in spaces on her uppermost deck, which are used for cargo, stores, accommodation of passengers and crew, &c.
Ground-rope.—A rope on the under part of a trawl that drags along the bottom.
Ground-tackle.—A term that includes the anchoring apparatus.
Ground-tier.—The lowest range of casks in the hold.
Ground-way.—The lower piece of the tiers of blocks on which the keel of a ship is laid.
Grow.—A cable grows according as the ship stretches it from the anchor on one or the other bow.
Growl.—To complain, to grumble.
Guarantee engineer.—The name given to an engineer who is appointed by the engine builder, but paid by the owner of the steamer. The system is most injurious to discipline, as a “guarantee engineer” seldom considers himself under any obligation to obey or even to take notice of the captain’s orders.
Gudgeons.—Braces or eyes fixed to the stern-post, to receive the pintles of a rudder.
Guess-warp.—A rope to secure a boat to a swinging boom.
Guffy.—A soldier.
Guineaman.—A slaver.
Gulletting of rudder.—Spaces allowed between the pintles and the rudder where there are scores or indents to permit of the shipping and unshipping of the rudder.
Gun-fire.—The morning or evening guns.
Gun-gear.—Left-handed rope used for securing cannons on board ship.
Gunner.—A warrant officer who has charge of the ammunition, &c., in a ship of war. In the seventeenth century the post of gunner was very highly valued. He wore his sword on shore, kept company with the commissioned officers, was in receipt of whole pay, though he never went out of harbor, and if in action the commanding officers of a ship fell, the gunner took command.
Gunner’s daughter.—The gun to which boys were lashed for punishment.
Gunner’s mate.—A gunner’s assistant.
Gun-room.—The compartment in a ship of war occupied by the junior officers.
Guns.—An old expression signifying violent blasts of wind. “The guns were at times so violent that the sea appeared like precipices under their stern.” Hence the expression ” Blowing great guns.”
Gun-tackle purchase.—A tackle consisting of two single blocks, each fitted with a hook.
Gunwale.—The place where a ship’s upper deck touches the sides. Also the upper rail of a boat or vessel. Chiefly applied to boats.
Gurnet.—A pendant and tackle used for hoisting guns.
Gurnet-pendant.—A rope used in hoisting the breech of a gun.
Gurry.—A dark glutinous substance found on the back of the Greenland or right whale.
Gutted.—A gutted ship is a vessel whose inside is cleaned out of all fittings, &c., by the sea or by fire.
Guys.—Ropes acting as side supports of a boom.
Gyb.—The old spelling of the word “jib.” Hence, no doubt, the term gybing or jibing, formerly spelt and pronounced jibbing.
Gyver.—An old name for a double block.
Hail.—To call to another, to “sing out.”
Half-breadth plan.—A drawing descriptive of half of the longest and widest level section in a ship.
Half-crown.—The ends of a rope crossed, and seized at the crossing to form an eye.
Half-gunshot.—Said of a ship passing within half the distance that can be covered by the shot of her enemy.
Half-hitch.—The end of a rope taken round the standing part and passed through the bight.
Half-laughs and purser’s grins.—Sneers. Half-and-half meanings.
Half-marrows.—Inferior seamen.
Half-mast.—The situation of a flag lowered in respect.
Half-pike.—A small pike formerly used in boarding a ship.
Half-ports.—Shutters for the upper part of a gun-port.
Half seas over.—Half drunk.
Half-topsail.—A sail that sets with a gaff above the square-sail of a cutter.
Halyards.—Ropes to hoist yards, sails, flags, &c.
Hammock.—A piece of canvas fitted with a number of small ropes at each end, and slung up so as to form a bed.
Hammock-berthing.—The disposition in a man-of-war of the hammocks when stowed, as, for instance, the forecastle men forward, fore-topmen, main-topmen, &c., aft, quartermasters in the tiers.
Hammock-cloth.—Protection for the hammocks against wet when stowed in the nettings.
Hammock-nettings.—Stout nettings on deck in which the hammocks are stowed, and which in an action form a defense against musketry, &c.
Hand.—To furl, to stow sails. Also a sailor, one of a crew.
Hand-grommets.—Loops of rope worked round the jackstay of royal and topgallant yards for men to hold on by.
Handing-rooms.—Rooms in a man-of-war through which gunpowder is conveyed in fearnought shoots, that it may not pass straight on deck from the magazine.
Handle.—To handle a ship is to sail and maneuver her.
Hand-lead.—A lead of from 7 lbs. to 14 lbs. in weight.
Hand-line.—A lead-line.
Hand-masts.—Pieces of wood used in the construction of large sheers.
Hand over hand.—Dragging on a rope quickly with alternate hands.
Hand-pump.—A pump for getting water, beer, &c., out of casks.
Handsomely!—A cry to signify smartly, but carefully.
Handsomely over the bricks!—An exclamation signifying “go cautiously, mind how you walk.”
Hand-spike.—A lever of wood used in heaving round a windlass.
Handy Billy.—A name for the watch-tackle.
Handy ship.—A ship that is easy to work, that steers well, whose running-gear travels easily, &c.
Hanging-blocks.—Blocks through which the topsail-ties reeve.
Hanks.—Rings by which a fore-and-aft sail slides up and down the stay.
Harbor-bunt.—The bunt of a sail neatly stowed and well triced up.
Harbor-dues.—The charges for using a harbor.
Harbor-gaskets.—Short gaskets for giving a furled sail a handsome look.
Harbor-master.—An official who is responsible for the management of a harbor, the berthing of vessels in it, &c.
Harbor-work.—Remarks entered in a log when the ship is in port.
Hard a lee.—When the rudder is brought over to windward as far as it will go.
Hard a port.—When the rudder is brought over to starboard as far as it will go.
Hard a starboard.—The contrary of hard a port.
Hard a weather.—The contrary of hard a lee.
Hard case.—A severe, brutal mate or officer.
Hard gale.—A fierce gale.
Hard up.—When the rudder is brought over to leeward as far as it will go.
Harmattan.—A periodical wind encountered in the Gulf of Guinea, blowing from the north-east.
Harness cask.—A kind of cask on deck, in which the salt meat is kept for the immediate use of the men.
Harpins.—In wooden ships harpins are the ribbands formed of oak or elm plank at the extremities of the vessel. In iron ships they are made of angle-irons furnished with holes for securing the frames.
Harpoon.—A barbed iron instrument used in whaling, &c. A live harpoon is a harpoon in use.
Hatch.—An opening in the deck for admission into the interior of the ship.
Hatch-boat.—A small vessel whose deck consists almost wholly of hatches.
Hat-money.—Payment to a shipmaster for the care of goods.
Haul.—To pull.
Haul-bowline.—A seaman.
Haul out.—To warp out: as haul out of dock.
Haul out to leeward!—A cry in reefing, lo denote that the weather-earing is passed.
Haul the wind.—To turn a ship so as to bring the wind forward.
Hawk’s bill.—A small turtle with a mouth like a hawk’s bill.
Hawse-bags.—Bags for plugging the hawse-pipes.
Hawse-holes.—Holes in the bows through which the cables pass.
Hawse-pipe.—Iron piping in the hawse-holes to save the wood from chafing. “Hawse-pipe sailor.”—A man before the mast. One who starts in the profession from the forecastle.
Hawse-plugs.—Plugs for the hawse-pipes when the cables are unshackled and stowed away, to prevent the water from washing through them.
Hawse-timbers.—The timbers next the knightheads for the reception of the hawse-holes.
Hawser.—A large rope used for towing, &c.
Hawser-laid.—When the strands are laid from left to right.
Haze.—To punish with extra or unnecessary work.
Head.—The upper end of a spar. The bows of a ship. The top of a sail.
Head-clew.—The part of a hammock where the occupant’s head rests.
Head-earing.—A rope for bending the upper corner of a square sail to the yard.
Head-earing strop.—A strop at a yard-arm for bending the sail to.
Head-ledges.—Transverse hatch-coamings.
Head-pump.—A pump in the bows, used for washing down the decks.
Head-sails.—The jibs, fore-topmast stay-sail, &c.
Head-sea.—Waves running against a ship’s course.
Head to wind.—Lying with the bows facing the wind.
Headway.—A vessel’s direct passage through the water.
Head-wind.—Wind that prevents a ship heading her course. Wind directly in the path of a vessel.
Hearty.—My hearty, a stage term applied to a sailor.
Heart-yarns.—The centre yarns of a strand.
Heave and paul!—An exclamation to encourage the men at a capstan or windlass.
Heave and raise the dead!—Said in heaving up the anchor.
Heaver.—A short wooden bar used as a purchase.
Heave the lead.—An order to sound with the hand-lead.
Heave the log.—An order to measure the vessel’s speed with the log-line and glass.
Heaving down.—Heeling a ship by dragging her down with tackles affixed to the mast-heads.
Heavy metal.—Large guns.
Heck-boat.—A one-masted clinker-built boat.
Heel.—The lower end of a spar. To heel is to lie over, as in a breeze.
Heel-brace.—An iron support at the bottom of a rudder.
Heel-chain.—A chain from the bowsprit cap round the heel of the jib boom.
Heeling.—The lower end of a mast where the fid-hole is.
Heeling error.—An error in the compass of an iron ship due to her heeling to starboard or port. With her head to the northward- on the starboard tack easterly deviation is increased, on the port tack westerly deviation is increased. Heading south, westerly deviation is increased on the starboard tack, and easterly deviation on the port tack.
Heel-lashing.—A rope to secure the inboard end of a boom.
Heel-rope.—A rope for securing the inner end of a studding-sail boom to the yard.
Heels.—She has good heels, said of a swift ship.
Hell afloat.—A ship officered by brutal men.
Helm.—A term for all the steering arrangements of a ship.
Helm-port.—The aperture in the counter in which the rudder-head works.
Helm-port transom.—A timber to strengthen the helm-port.
Helm’s a lee!—The cry in tacking to intimate that the helm is down, and that the head- sails are to be flowed.
Hen-frigate.—A ship was so called when the captain’s wife influenced the routine, &c.
Hermaphrodite brig.—A two-masted vessel, brig-rigged forward, and fore-and-aft rigged aft.
Hide-rope.—Made from hide.
High and dry.—Out of water.
High latitudes.— Parallels towards the poles.
High pressure.—A method of disposing of used-up steam by letting it out by an escape valve.
Hitch.—To knot, to fasten. A hitch is a manner of making a rope fast. There are many different kinds, such as a timber-hitch, a rolling hitch, a Blackwall hitch, a marlin-spike hitch, &c. Also to hitch up the breeches, to pull them up.
Hitcher.—A boat-hook.
Ho!—A sailor’s cry for stop.
Hobbler.—A long-shore man of all work.
Hog.—A kind of scrubbing-brush.
Hog-back.—A frame of timbers joined together in the shape of a bow to compensate by strength for the want of depth of side.
Hogged.—A vessel is hogged when the middle part of her bottom is so strained as to curve upwards.
Hold.—The internal lower part of the hull of a ship.
Holding on to the slack.—Idling.
Holding water.—Checking a boat’s way by keeping the blades of the oars stationary in the water.
Holding on with his eyelids.—Said of a man aloft with nothing much to lay hold of.
Holidays.—Places left untarred on shrouds, backstays, &c., during the operation of tarring them.
Hollow sea.—Yawning waters after a gale.
Holophone.—A device for concentrating and directing the waves of sound for fog-signals.
Holy-stone —A stone used for cleaning a ship’s decks.
Home.—To sheet home, to drag the corners of the sails to the yard-arms. To come home, said of the anchor when, on the windlass being manned, it comes to the ship instead of the ship going to it.
Home-trade passenger-ship.—Any ship carrying passengers trading to English ports, and within the limits included between the River Elbe and Brest.
Homeward-bounder.—A ship sailing to the country she belongs to.
Housing.—All that part of the mast that extends from the heel to where it becomes visible on deck.
Housing a mast.—To snug a mast by lowering it without removing the rigging.
Hood.—A covering for a hatch, a binnacle, &c.
Hood-ends.—Ends of the planks which fit into the stem and stern posts.
Hook and butt.—The ends of timbers overlaying one another.
Hook-bolts.—Fitted to fasten lower deck ports.
Hooker.—A little smack that fishes with lines and hooks. Also a term applied by sailors to their vessels.
Hook-pot.—A kind of can with a hook for hanging to the edge of a bunk, &c., in which sailors bring their tea from the galley.
Hoppers.—A species of barge, usually built of iron and sometimes propelled by steam, used for carrying the mud dredged out of harbors, &c., to sea.
Horizon.—The sea-line that bounds the view of the spectator on the ocean.
Horns.—Outer ends of the cross-trees.
Horse.—A foot-rope. A breast-rope for a leadsman. An iron bar for a sheet to slide upon. A jack-stay.
Horse-latitudes.—A space north of the trade-winds in the Atlantic, where the winds are baffling.
Horse-marine.—A lubber.
Horse-power.—33,000 lbs., an expression indicative of the capacity of a steam-engine.
Horses.—The old term for foot-ropes.
Horse-shoe.—A piece of rope spliced into each leg of a pair of shrouds.
Hose.—A length of tubing for washing down the decks and for other purposes.
Hot-coppers.—The parched throat after a night’s debauch.
Hot-press.—The impressing of seamen without regard to their protections.
Hot-well.—A tank in a marine engine to receive the water pumped from the condenser by the air-pump.
Hounding.—All that part of the mast that extends from the deck to where the rigging is placed.
Hounds.—The upper part of the cheeks of a mast.
House-flag.—A flag denoting the firm to which the ship belongs.
Hoveller.—A man who furnishes chains, anchors, &c., to vessels which have lost theirs.
Hove short!—The cry to denote that the cable is up and down.
Hove-to.—The situation of a ship when her way is arrested by backing some of the sails and leaving the others full. A ship is sometimes hove-to in a storm under bare poles, that is, by bracing one set of yards forward and the others aft. Steamers are commonly hove-to head to sea, their engines slowly revolving. There is now a fashion coming in of heaving long steamers to stern on to the sea.
Huddock.—A cabin.
Hug.—To keep close to the wind in sailing.
Hulk.—A condemned hull, though it may be used.
Hull.—The fabric of a ship without her masts.
Hull-down.—Said of a ship when her hull is hidden behind the sea.
Hulled.—A vessel is said to be hulled when a ball strikes or lodges in her side.
Hunk.—To live with, to share with.
Hurrah’s nest.—”A hurrah’s nest—everything at top and nothing at bottom,” signifying the utmost confusion, that nothing wanted is to be found.
Hurricane-house.—A square of canvas in the weather rigging, to protect the officer of the watch when the ship is hove-to in a bitter gale.
Hutch-hooks.—Small cleats used in ship-building.
Hygrometer.—An instrument for showing the degree of moisture or dampness in the air.
Ice-bound.—The situation of a vessel prevented from proceeding on her voyage by being surrounded with ice.
Ice-floe.—Masses of ice, such as pack, stream, or drift ice, broken from the solid surface by the swell of the ocean and sent adrift.
“I didn’t come through the cabin-windows”—Meaning that the speaker learnt his profession in the forecastle.
“I’d weather him out, if he was the devil himself!’—Meaning that the speaker will stick to the ship and draw his wages, let the captain treat him as ill as he chooses.
Immersion.—The eclipse or disappearance of a satellite in the shadow of the planet.
Imp.—A length of twisted hair in a fishing-line.
Impress—To force into the naval service of the State.
In.—”In” means “take in,” as “in main royal,” “in flying-jib.”
In-and-out bolts.—Bolts driven into the hanging and lodging knees through the sides.
In-and-out haulers.—The ropes by which a standing gaff-sail is set or taken in.
Index-error.—Deviation from the coincidence of the reflected and direct images of a heavenly body viewed through a sextant.
Indiaman.—Formerly an East India Company’s ship ; now any large vessel that trades to the East Indies.
Indicator.—An instrument for measuring the pressure of steam in the cylinder.
Indicator-card.—A card divided into parts, upon which a pencil fixed at the top of the piston-rod marks a diagram showing the relation of the power developed to the consumption of fuel.
In draught.—A current running inwards or shorevvards from the sea.
In irons.—A ship is in irons when she is so caught by the wind that in working she will not cast one way or the other.
Injection pipe.—In a marine engine a pipe attached to the condenser for conducting injection water for condensing steam in the cylinder.
Inner and outer turns.—Method of passing the earings in reefing.
Inner jib.—A fore-and-aft sail setting on a stay from the fore-topmast head to the jib boom.
In-rigger.—A boat that has her rowlocks on the gunwale.
In shore.—Close to the land.
Inter-costal kelsons.—Strong additional fore and aft supports placed outside the angle-irons or ribs of a ship.
Internal safety-valve.—A boiler valve for the introduction of air when the inside pressure grows feeble.
International code.—A code of signals representing a uniform system of signaling at sea, and adopted by England, France, America, Denmark, Holland, Sweden and Norway, Russia, Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Belgium.
Invoice.—A document describing goods shipped, together with charges, &c.
Inward charges.—The expenses incurred in entering a port.
Inward desertion.—Desertion of seamen from ships newly arrived in British ports.
Irishman’s hurricane.—”An Irishman’s hurricane—right up and down,” a dead calm. ,
Irishman’s reef.—The head of a sail tied up.
Irish pennants.—Fag-ends of rope, rope-yarns, &c, flying about.
Irish splice.—Turns hove in the lay of a ratlin until shortened in to the required length.
Iron horse.—An iron rod covered with painted canvas affixed to the head boards of a ship.
Issue-room.—A room in a man-of-war where provisions for immediate use are issued.
“It’s a good dog nowadays that 11 come when he’s called; let alone coming before it.” A sailor’s excuse for not showing himself until summoned.
“I’ve been through the mill, ground and bolted.”—Signifying that the speaker has had plenty of experience.
Ivory’s rule.—A method of solving the problem, “Latitude by double altitudes” of the same body, but applicable only to such bodies as do not change their declination in the interval.
Jabble.—”A jabble of a sea,” a confused, nasty sea.
Jack.—A flag composed of the union, i.e. St. George’s and St. Andrew’s cross. Also the name by which sailors are spoken of generally.
Jack Adams.—A fool.
Jackass-barque.—A vessel ship-rigged on the fore-mast, and fore and aft rigged on the main-mast.
Jack-block.—A block used in sending topgallant masts up and down.
Jack-boots.—Fishermen’s sea-boots.
Jack cross trees.—Iron crosstrees to support royal masts—out of date.
Jacket-cocks.—Cocks attached to cylinder jackets to free them from condensed water.
Jackets.—Coverings of cylinders of steam-engines.
Jacketting.—A rope’s-ending.
Jack in the dust.—Sailor’s name for the steward’s mate.
Jack-knife.—A knife slung by a lanyard and worn by sailors. A knife that closes, in contradistinction to a sheath-knife.
Jack-screw.—An appliance for stowing cotton, bales of wool, &c.
Jackson.—To stop tackles from travelling by jamming the blocks.
Jack-staff.—A staff for a flag on the bowsprit.
Jack-stay.—A bar of iron along the top of a yard to bend the sail to.
Jacob’s ladder.—Ropes fitted with wooden rungs from the crosstrees to the topgallant mast head.
Jam.—A ship is jammed in the wind when she is squeezed close up into it so as to lay half her upper canvas aback. A rope is jammed when it will not haul over a sheave.
Jambs.—Cabin doorposts, &c.
Jaw.—The hollowed end of a gaff. “Give us none of your jaw,” no impudence.
Jawing-tackle.—Capacity of talking.
Jawing-lacks.—A speaker is said to have his jawing-tacks aboard when he talks rapidly and at length.
Jaw-rope.—A rope over the jaw of a gaff, to keep it from leaving the mast.
Jaws.—A semicircle at the end of a boom or gaff, to keep it to the mast.
Jeer-block.—A block used in sending a lower yard up or down.
Jeer-capstan.—Formerly the name of a capstan between the fore and main-masts.
Jeers.—Jeers were an assemblage of tackles which, in the days when the lower yards came on deck, were used to hoist and lower them.
Jemmy Ducks.—In a man-of-war the ship’s poulterer.
Jemmy-Jessamy.—Dandified. “A jemmy-jessamy sort of fellow,” one who gives himself fine airs.
Jersey.—A woolen shirt or overall.
Jet-propeller.—A form of marine propulsion for forcing a vessel along by the ejection of columns of water.
Jetsam.—Goods thrown overboard for preservation of a ship in danger.
Jettison.—The throwing over of goods from a ship for her preservation in a time of danger.
Jewel-block.—A block at the topsail and topgallant yard-arms for the studding-sail halyards to reeve through.
Jib.—A fore-and-aft sail. In large ships there are generally three jibs: the outer and inner jibs, which set on stays on the jib boom; and the outermost jib, called the flying-jib, that sets on a stay on the flying-jib boom.
Jibber the ribber.—A wrecker’s trick of luring a ship to destruction by showing a false light.
Jib boom.—A spar supported by the bowsprit and extending beyond it.
Jib guys.—Ropes which support the jib boom sideways.
Jib-header.—The name for a gaff-topsail, shaped like a jib, used in yachts.
Jibing.—When the wind gets on the lee side of a fore-and-aft sail, and blows it over.
Jib of jibs.—A jib that corresponds with a “star-gazer,” being indeed an impossible jib.
Jib-topsail.—A small jib that is set above the jib of a yacht.
Jib-traveler.—A ring that travels on the jib boom for the tack of the jib.
Jigger.—The watch-tackle, or Handy Billy. Also a small pump formerly used for feloniously abstracting liquor from casks.
Jiggered.—Jiggered up, I’m used up. “Well, I’m jiggered” seems to be an expression of astonishment.
Jigger-mast.—The lower and last square-rigged mast on a four masted vessel.
Jigger-topgallant mast and royal mast.—The masts above the jigger-topmast.
Jigger-topgallant sail and royal.—The sails above the jigger-topsail.
Jigger-topmast.—The mast above the jigger lower mast.
Jigger-topsail.—The sail bent to the jigger-topsail yard.
Jigg up!—A cry raised when a jigger-tackle is ready for hauling upon.
Jimmy Green.—A sail that sets on a jib-boom guy.
Job.—A task; work to be done.
Jobation.—A lecture.
Johnny Haultaut.—Merchant-sailor’s name for a man-of-war’s-man.
Johnny Raw.—A greenhorn.
Jolly.—A marine.
Jolly-boat—A ship’s boat, formerly so called.
Jolly-jumpers.—Light sails set above sky-scrapers, &c.
Jumper.—A frock made of duck or fine canvas.
Jumper-braces.—Ropes for guying down the sprit-sail gaffs to an angle with the horizon when at sea.
Jumping-—A practice on board colliers discharging. It is performed by four men holding whip-lines attached to a rope rove through a block. At the end of the rope is a basket which when filled the men hoist up by jumping backwards off a kind of platform.
Jump-jointed.—Iron plates laid flush or smooth upon a ship’s side.
Junk.—Condemned rope unlaid; also salt beef.
Jury-mast.—A temporary mast to replace one that has been lost.
Jury-rudder.—A temporary contrivance for steering a ship when her rudder is lost.
Kat.—A timber vessel.
Kanakas.—Natives of the South Sea Islands.
Keckling.—Rope wound round the long ends left in splicing the eye in a rope cable, the ends having been wormed into the lays of the cable.
Kedge.—A small anchor.
Kedging.—Using the kedge anchor to warp the ship by.
Keel.—The lowest and principal timber of a wooden vessel. In iron ships there are several kinds of keel, such as flat-plate keel, bar keel, bilge keel, &c. Also the name of a species of barge or lighter on the rivers Tyne and Wear. A keel of coals is twenty-one tons, five cwts.
Keeleg.—”Up keeleg” means up anchor.
Keel-haul.—An ancient punishment that consisted in dragging a man under a vessel’s bottom.
Keelman.—One who works a Newcastle keel.
Keelson.—An internal keel lying fore and aft upon the main keel.
Keel-stroke.—The curvature of the keel forward.
Keep away!—To put the helm up in a squall, so as to run before it. Keep off.—To keep away.
Keep your luff!—An order to the helmsman to keep the ship close to the wind.
Keep the compass afloat.—Twitching a compass-bowl to remedy the sluggishness of the card.
Keep your weather eye lifting!—Keep a bright look-out.
Kenning-glass.—Old name for a telescope.
Kentledge.—Pieces of iron for ballast.
Ketch.—A vessel rigged with a little gaff mizzen, like a yawl.
Kettle-bottom.—A flat-floored ship.
Kettle-net.—A mackerel net.
Kevel.—A strong piece of wood used as a cleat for a heavy strain.
Kevel-heads.—Tops of timbers above the deck, used for belaying ropes to.
Key.—A long wharf.
Key or cay.—A Bermudan or West Indian coral shoal.
Key model.—The model of a proposed ship.
Kick the bucket.—To die.
Kid.—A kind of tub in which the crew’s dinner is placed and taken into the forecastle.
Kid or cod.—To joke, to deceive by joking misrepresentations.
Kingston’s valves.—Conical valves to close the apertures in a ship’s side in case of accident to blow-off cocks, &c.
Kink.—A twist in a rope.
Kippering.—A mode of curing fish.
Kit.—A sailor’s wardrobe.
Knees.—Projections on each side the hounds, for the support of the forepart of the trestle-trees.
Knight-heads.—Timbers next to the stem, the ends of them come up through the deck and form a support for the bowsprit.
Knock off!—Desist, stop; also to give up, as “To knock off the sea.”
Knock-toe.—A galley punt (which see).
Knot.—A sea-mile of 2027 yards.
Knots.—The ends of ropes variously twisted, such as single wall, single wall crowned, double wall, Matthew Walker, diamond knot, stopper knot, shroud knot, Turk’s head, &c.
Knuckle.—An angle in a timber.
L’s—The three L’s are lead, latitude, and look-out. The look-out probably includes the fourth L, which should be lights.
Labor.—A vessel labors when she strains, wallows, rolls heavily.
Lacing.—Line with which a jib or stay-sail is bent to a stay.
Lady’s hole.—Formerly in men-of-war a place where the gunner’s small stores were kept. The man appointed to look after those stores was called a “lady.”
Lady’s ladder.—Said when the ratlins on shrouds are placed too close to one another.
Lagan.—Goods sunk in the sea.
Laid up.—The situation of a vessel when dismantled and not in use.
Lairs.—Dock accommodation for cattle.
Lambusting.—A rope’s-ending.
Land-blink.—A brightness of the atmosphere seen on approaching snow-covered land.
Land-breeze.—An off-shore wind.
Land-fall.—Making land when at sea.
Land ho!—The exclamation when land is first sighted.
Landing.—The edge of a plate, in an iron ship, where it overlaps another.
Land-mark.—A shore sign, such as a windmill or church spire, to direct a navigator in steering his ship.
Land-sharks.— Boarding-house keepers, runners, crimps, and all such people as prey upon sailors.
Landsmen.—The old rating of boys or ordinary seamen on their first voyage.
Land-tacks.—”Take to his land-tacks,” said of a sailor when he goes ashore for a frisk.
Lanyard.—A piece of line to sling or hold anything by. A small rope used to set up rigging with.
Lap.—A term used when the slide valve of a marine engine is at its middle position.
Lap of valve.—The projection of a portion of the slide valve to regulate the admission of steam into the cylinder of an engine.
Larboard.—The term formerly used for the port or left-hand side of a ship.
Larbowlines.—The name formerly given to the port watch.
Lash.—To secure with a line or rope.
Lashing-eye.—A loop for a lashing to reeve through.
Latchings.—The eyes in the head-rope of a bonnet for lacing it. (See Bonnet.)
Lateen.—A triangular sail.
Latitude.—The latitude of a place is its distance from the equator, measured by an arch of meridian.
Latitude in.—The latitude at which a ship arrives.
Latitude left.—The latitude from which a ship has departed.
Launch.—A ship’s boat. To launch is to liberate a vessel into the sea.
Launch-carronade.—A twelve pound gun formerly carried in a man-of-war’s launch.
Launch ho!—Signifying ” no higher.”
Launching-ways.—Beds of timber on which a vessel slides in a cradle when launched.
Lay.—To come or go.
Lay down—lay aft—lay forward—lay aloft. The lay of a rope is the direction in which the strands are twisted.
Lay.—Whalemen are paid “by the lay,” i.e. they have a share in the proceeds of the catches.
Lay along.—”She lay very much along,” an old-fashioned phrase signifying that the ship was pressed heavily over on to her broadside by the force of the wind.
Lay-days.—Days specified in a charter-party for loading and discharging.
Lay in!—An order to men to come off a yard.
Laying top.—A piece of wood used in rope-making.
Lay out!—An order to men to make their way along a yard towards the ends. Also, to lay out a warp is to carry it in a boat to a distance from the ship to which one end is attached.
Lazarette.—A space in the after end of a ship in which provisions, stores, &c., are kept.
Lead.—A term used when the piston of a marine engine is at the end of the stroke.
Lead.—The lead of a rope is the direction it takes, rove or otherwise, said only of running-gear.
Leading-block.—A block for directing a tackle.
Leading column.—The headmost column of the ships of a fleet.
Leading part.—The part of a tackle that is pulled when the tackle wants overhauling.
Lead line.—A line attached to a leaden weight and used for ascertaining the depth of water. The hand-line is from twenty to twenty-five fathoms long; the deep-sea lead-line from 100 to 200 fathoms.
Leak.—A hole, an aperture, a rift in a ship that allows the water to penetrate into her.
Leakage.—Loss of liquid cargo by the leaking of it.
Leave.—Permission to be absent.
Leave-breaking.—Not being back within the time required.
Ledges.—Pieces of timber in the framing of the deck let into the carlings for supports.
Lee-board.—A large board at the side of a flat-bottomed vessel to prevent her driving to leeward when on a wind.
Leech.—Side of a sail.
Leech-line.—A rope to haul up the leech of a sail to the yard.
Leech-rope.—That part of the bolt-rope to which the side of a sail is attached.
Lee fang.—A rope for hauling in a fore-and-aft sail, rove through a cringle.
Leefange.—An iron bar on which the sheets of a fore-and-aft sail travel.
Lee side.—The side opposite that against which the wind blows.
Lee-tide.—A tide that sets the ship to leeward.
Leeward.—Towards the lee side, on the lee side.
Leeward ebb.—When the wind and tide are both setting out.
Leeward flood.—When the wind and tide are both setting in.
Leewardly— Said of a vessel that drifts with the wind.
Lee way.—The drift a ship makes when sailing near the wind.
Lee wheel.—The lee side of the helm, applied to the helmsman who holds the lee spokes.
Leg.—A board or run on a single tack.
Legs.—She has legs, said of a fast ship.
Lend a hand!—A call for help in hauling, &c.
Length between perpendiculars.—The length of a vessel, measured on her main deck, from the fore side of stem to the after side of sternpost.
Let draw!—The order to let the jibs go over to leeward in tacking.
Let fall!—The order to drop a sail when the gaskets are cast adrift.
Let fly!—An order to let go a rope quickly.
Let go and haul!—An order in tacking to swing the fore-yards and brace them up.
Letter of marquee.—A privately-owned vessel furnished with a commission empowering her to make reprisals on enemy’s ships.
Levanter.—A strong Mediterranean wind.
Levelling-blocks.—Massive plates used in iron shipbuilding for bending the frames.
Liberty.—Leave of absence.
Liberty-men.—Those of a crew who have a holiday ashore.
Liberty-pole.—The fore-mast.
Lieutenant.—A commissioned officer next in rank under a commander.
Life-line.—Any line stretched along to prevent men from being washed away.
Lifting propeller.—A propeller that can be raised or lowered to prevent the engines from “racing” (see this word). The absence of a keel-piece between the inner and outer sternposts enables the propeller to be depressed until the lower part of it is beneath the keel.
Lifting sail.—A sail whose tendency is to raise the bows out of water—such as a jib or square fore-sail.
Lifts.—Ropes to support the yard-arms and leading thence to the mast-head.
Light.—To haul over. Light out, haul out, or haul over.
Light.—Said of a ship in ballast.
Light dues.—Dues levied on ships passing and benefiting from lights, beacons, buoys, &c.
Lighter.—A large boat for the conveyance of cargo.
Lighterman.—One who conveys goods in a lighter.
Lighthouses.—The legal definition includes floating and other lights exhibited for the guidance of ships.
Light-port.—An aperture for showing a light through.
Light-room.—A compartment furnished with windows for the safe transmission of light to enable the gunner to handle the ammunition, &c.
Lights.—Lamps, to be carried at night by vessels to indicate their character, &c. A steamer carries a bright light at the fore-mast, a red light on the port side, a green light on the starboard side. A sailing ship carries a red light on the port side and a green light on the starboard side. A steam or sailing ship at anchor shows a single white light. A pilot vessel carries a white light at the mast-head.
Light-ship.—A vessel with a mast-head light or lights, anchored near sands, shoals, &c.
Lightsman.—One of the crew of a light-ship.
Limber boards at plates.—Coverings to the limbers to keep dirt out of them.
Limber-clearer.—A chain passed through the limber-passage for clearing it.
Limbers.—Gutters formed on each side of the keelson to allow the water to pass to the pump-well.
Limber-strakes.—The first band of inside plank from the keelson.
Lime-juicer.—Nickname given by Americans to British ships and sailors on account of the lime-juice served out in our Mercantile Marine.
Limmer.—A side rope for a ladder or steps.
Line.—The sailor’s name for the equator.
Line abreast.—Ships of a column ranged in line abeam of each other.
Line ahead.—A term in fleet maneuvers applied to a column when its ships are in one line ahead of each other.
Line-of-battle ships.—Before the days of ironclads ships of seventy-four guns and upwards.
Liner.—A line-of-battle ship. Also, one of a line of ocean-going ships.
Line-tub.—A tub in a whale-boat to coil up the line used in whaling.
Lingo.—Sailor’s name for a language he does not understand.
Lining.—The inside planking of a ship.
List.—The inclination of a vessel to port or starboard through bad stowage of cargo or other causes.
Live-lumber.—Passengers, cattle, &c.
Lively.—Buoyant in a seaway.
Liverpool button.—The name for a kind of toggle used by sailors when they lose a button off their coats.
Live stock.—The pigs, sheep, poultry, &c., tarried by a ship to kill for provisions during the voyage.
Living gale.—A tremendous gale.
Lizard.—A piece of rope fitted with an iron eye or thimble for ropes to lead through; it has sometimes two legs.
Lloyd’s agents.—Persons appointed at ports for the protection of the interests of insurers of ships.
Lloyd’s Registry.—A community of ship-owners and others who publish a register in which, on payment of fees, they enter particulars of ships. They appoint surveyors to inspect and grant certificates to ships.
Loaded factors.—Calculations expressed in figures for loading ships to ensure a certain height of side or freeboard.
Load-line.—A mark on each side of a merchant vessel to indicate the line of immersion in salt water to which the owner intends to load the ship for the voyage.
Loblolly boy.—Old name for sick-berth attendant.
Lobscouse.—A mess consisting of meat, biscuit, slush, &c., baked.
Local attraction.—The influence of iron or steel in the neighbourhood of the compass upon the needle, called aberration of the needle.
Locker.—A fixed long box used as a seat; a place to stow things away in, such as chain-locker, where the cables are kept.
Log.—A salt water mudworm. Also the apparatus for showing speed
Log-book.—A journal kept by the mate relating to the weather, winds, courses, &c.
Logged.—A man is said to have been logged when his name is entered in the official log-book for insubordination, &c.
Loggerhead.—A sort of post fitted to a whaling-boat’s bottom and rising about two feet above the level of the stern platform.
Log-line.—A line wound on a reel. At the end of the line is a piece of wood with a peg in it called a logship. On the logship being thrown overboard the velocity with which the vessel leaves it astern is measured by a second-glass.
Log-minutes.—Entries in a log-book.
Log-ship.—A piece of wood or canvas bag at the end of a log-line for catching the water whilst the log is being hove.
Log-slate.—A slate on which the officer of the watch writes down particulars to be afterwards copied into the log-book.
Long-balls.—Shot fired from a long distance.
Long-boat.—A ship’s boat usually carried forward of amidships in sailing vessels.
Longers.—The name given to the longest of a freight of casks.
Longitude.—The longitude of a place is an arch of the equator between the first meridian and that which passes through the place.
Longitude in.—The longitude at which a ship arrives.
Longitude left.—The longitude from which a ship has departed.
Long legs.—Long tacks.
Long lizard.—A pendant for carrying the lower boom topping lift out to the fore-yard-arm.
Long shoreman.—Literally, one who lives along the shore, such as boatmen, watermen, &c. It is a term of contempt often applied to a sailor.
Long splice.—A connection formed by unlaying a length of the strands of two ropes, laying up one strand in the room of another, and dividing and knotting.
Long stay.—When the cable forms a small angle with the ground, owing to the anchor being some distance ahead.
Long-togs.—Clothes worn ashore.
Long topgallant mast.—A topgallant mast, royal mast, and skysail mast all in one.
Loof.—A term to indicate the beginning of the curve of the planks as they approach the stern. Also, the old term for the after part of the bows of a ship.
Look-out.—The man stationed to look out for whatever he can see.
Loom.—An enlarged appearance, due to fog or darkness. Also, the part of an oar that is in a boat when the rest of it is out. To loom is to show up large.
Loose-fish.—A whaling term signifying that the whale is fair game for anybody who can catch it.
Louvered boards.—A kind of venetian blinds over a ship’s ports.
Lowdah.—A Chinese sailing-master.
Lower away!—Lower an object down.
Lower cheek.—A knee bolted to the bows of the ship and knee of the head.
Lower counter-rail.—A projected molding on the stern of a ship.
Lower deckers.—Guns on the lower deck.
Lower fore-topgallant sail.—The under portion of a double topgallant sail whose clews are stretched upon the topsail yard.
Lower fore-topsail.—The under portion of the fore-topsail whose clews are stretched upon the fore-yard.
Lower main-topsail.—The under portion of the top-sail, whose clews are stretched upon the main-yard.
Lower missen-topsail.—The under portion of the top-sail whose clews are stretched upon the crossjack yard.
Lower-studding-sail.—A large square sail extended beyond the fore-yard by the fore-topmast studding-sail boom and the swinging boom.
Louver studding-sail tripping-line.—A line leading through a thimble in the middle of the lower studding-sail and bent to the tack for taking it in.
Lower yardmen.—Men whose duty it is to furl or reef the courses.
Low pressure. —A method of disposing of used-up steam by passing it into the condenser through the eduction pipe and converting it into water.
Lubber’s hole.—An aperture in the tops so called because raw hands prefer to creep through it to going over the futtock shrouds.
Lubber’s point.—A mark on the compass bowl in a line with the ship’s head for the helmsman to keep the course to.
Luff.—A naval lieutenant. Also the weather side of a fore-and-aft sail. To luff is to bring a ship closer to the wind.
Luff-tackle.—A tackle consisting of a double and a single block, each fitted with a hook.
Luff upon luff.—A luff-tackle hooked to the fall of another luff-tackle, thus increasing the purchase.
Lugger.—A vessel rigged with a lug-sail. She has two or three masts. Some luggers carry top-sails.
Lugsail.—A sail shaped somewhat square and hoisted by a yard.
Lump.—A lighter.
Lumpers.—Men employed in taking in and discharging cargo.
Lunar day.—The interval between the moon’s departure from, and return to, the same meridian.
Lunar observation.—The measurement of the angular distance between the moon and sun, or between the moon and certain stars or planets.
Lunars.—Lunar observations: a method of obtaining the mean time of the day or night from the observed altitude of a celestial body, and comparing it with the mean solar time at Greenwich as shown by chronometer.
Lurch.—The sudden heavy roll of a ship on one side.
Lying along.—The situation of a ship pressed down by a gale.
Made mast.—A mast made of several pieces.
Magazines.—Powder-rooms in a man-of-war, called the fore and aft magazines.
Magnetic axis.—The direction of the magnetism of the needle.
Magnetic course.—A compass course corrected for deviation and leeway. Or the angle that a ship’s track makes with the magnetic meridian.
Main bowline.—A bowline that hauls out the weather leech of the main-sail.
Main-hatch.—The aperture in the deck through which the main-hold is entered.
Main-hold.—The central portion of the hold.
Main-mast.—The middle lower mast of a ship.
Main-royal backstay.—A support leading from the head of the royal mast.
Main-royal mast.—The mast above the main-topgallant mast.
Main-royal stay.—A support leading forward from the head of the royal mast to the head of the fore-topmast.
Main-royal staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the main-royal mast-head to the head of the fore-topmast.
Main-royal yard.—The yard above the topgallant yard.
Main-sail.—In a ship the sail that is bent to the main-yard. In a schooner the sail that is extended by a gaff and boom on the main-mast. A boom main-sail is a main-sail the foot of which is extended upon a boom. This term is sometimes given to a brig’s try-sail.
Main-sail haul!—The order to swing the main and mizzen yards in tacking.
Main sheet.—The ropes by which the lee lower corner of the mainsail is hauled aft.
Main-skysail mast.—The mast above the main-royal mast.
Main-skysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay between the fore and main masts.
Main-stay.—A support leading from the head of the main-mast to the deck.
Main-tack.—The ropes which keep down the weather lower corner of the main-sail.
Main tackle.—A tackle used in securing the mast, setting up rigging, &c.
Main-top bowline.—The bowline for hauling out the weather leech of the main-topsail.
Main-topgallant.—In former times a flag was always said, when hoisted at the mast-head, to be flown at the main-topgallant, because in those days ships did not carry royal masts.
Main-topgallant backstay.—A support leading from the head of the topgallant mast.
Main-topgallant mast.—The mast above the main-topmast.
Main-topgallant stay.—A support leading forward from the head of the main-topgallant mast to the head of the fore-mast.
Main-topgallant staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the topgallant mast-head to the head of the foremast.
Main-topgallant yard.—The yard above the topsail yards.
Main-topmast.—The mast above the main-mast.
Main-topmast backstay.—A support leading from the head of the top-mast to the side of the ship.
Main-topmast stay.—A support leading forward from the head of the top-mast to the deck.
Main-topmast staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the top-mast head.
Main-topsail yards.—Double yards next above the main-yard.
Mainwales.—Lower wales into which the maindeck knee-bolts come.
Main-yard.—The lowest yard on the main-mast.
Main-yard men.—Men on the sick list.
Make.—To descry, as to make land. Also to approach, as the tide makes.
Make bad weather.—Said of a ship that rolls heavily and takes in water on deck.
Make eight bells!—The order to strike the bell eight times, signifying that it is noon by the sun.
Make headway.—The direct way a ship makes in sailing or steaming
Making bad weather.—Said of a vessel laboring heavily, shipping quantities of water, &c.
Make sail.—To add to the canvas already set.
Make water.—To leak.
Mallet.—A small wooden hammer
Man.—To man is to furnish a ship or boat with a crew.
Managing owner.—One of a firm who superintends or looks after all the business of a ship, and whose name is registered at the custom house of the ship’s port of registry.
Manger.—A kind of shelf in a man-of-war’s bows behind the hawse holes, with a coaming and scupper holes, meant to receive and eject the water when the cables are bent.
Manhandled.—Rudely handled by men. Moved by their force of muscle.
Manhole.—An aperture to enable a man to enter a marine boiler to clean it.
Manifest.—A document containing ship’s name, port of registry, registered tonnage, particulars of cargo, port of loading and discharge, list of passengers, stores, crew, &c., signed by the master.
Maneuvering.—Working a ship by her sails.
Man-of-war fashion.—Said of a merchant-ship in smart order, with a good crew, &c.
Manometer.—A steam-gauge.
Man-ropes.—Lines over the side of a ship to hold by in mounting or descending the steps.
Man the windlass!—The order to get the anchor up.
Mares’ tails.—Feather-like clouds indicative of wind.
Marine.—The Navy or the Merchant Service. Also a man belonging to the troops employed in the Navy.
Marine.—An empty bottle. Sometimes called dead marine or marine officer.
Marine Boards.—Local Marine Boards were appointed to carry out the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts.
Marine glue.—A glutinous, adhesive substance used in shipbuilding.
Mariner.—A sailor.
Mariner’s compass.—An instrument for steering ships. It consists of three principal parts—the card, the needle on its lower surface, and the case.
Marine stores.—The ropes, sails, provisions, &c , of a ship.
Marks.—Depths marked on the hand lead-line; i.e. 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17 and 20 fathoms. The marks between are called deeps. Thus “by the mark 7 ” means seven fathoms, “by the deep 9” means nine fathoms. The fractions are a half and a quarter. 5 1/2 fathoms are called “and a half five,” 5 3/4 fathoms are called “a quarter less six.”
Marl.—To wind rope or small stuff round a rope.
Marline.—Two-stranded small stuff.
Marline-spike.—A bar of tapering iron with an eye at the thick end, used for opening the strands of rope for splicing, &c.
Marling-hitch.—A knot used in the process of marling.
Maroon.—To maroon a man is to set him ashore on a desolate coast or island.
Marooned.—Set ashore alone on a desert island or coast.
Marry.—To join ropes together with a worming.
Martingale.—A spar under the bowsprit end, used for guying down the headstays.
Massoolah boats.—Madras surf-boats.
Mast carlings.—Timbers which frame the partners.
Mast coat.—Canvas fitted round the mast, where it penetrates the upper deck, to prevent water from draining through the aperture.
Master.—The captain of a merchant ship.
Master mariner.—One who holds a certificate from the Board of Trade, showing that he has passed his examination as a master mariner. The master of a merchant-vessel.
Mast-head.—The portion of the mast from the eyes of the rigging to the top of the mast.
Mastheading.—Sending a midshipman aloft as a punishment.
Mast-head men.—Look-out men aloft.
Mast-partners.—A framing of timber between the beams for the support of masts.
Mate.—Signifies chief mate. There are 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and even 5th mates. The chief mate is the officer next in rank to the captain. He heads the port watch. The term also signifies an assistant, such as cook’s mate, boatswain’s mate, carpenter’s mate, &c.
Mats.—Made of old unlaid rope and used as chafing gear.
Maul.—A large iron hammer used by shipwrights.
Meaking iron.—A caulker’s tool for extracting oakum from seams.
Measured mile.—A nautical mile for testing speeds of steamers.
Medical inspector.—An inspector appointed by the Board of Trade or a local Marine Board to inspect, on application, any seaman applying for employment on board a ship.
Medico.—Ship’s doctor.
Meet her when she shakes!—The order to shift the helm when a vessel rounds into the wind.
Mercantile Marine Fund.—A fund created by fees, light-dues, ballastage rates, &c., and chargeable with salaries and expenses in connection with marine boards, lighting the coasts, lifeboats, and other expenses.
Mercator’s chart or projection.—A chart on which the meridians are drawn parallel to one another, the meridional degrees being increased between the parallels, so that the proportion between a degree of latitude and longitude may be everywhere preserved on the chart.
Mercator’s sailing.—The art of finding on a plane chart the progress of a ship along a given course.
Merchantman.—A passenger or cargo vessel.
Mess.—The division of the crew, or the officers who eat together.
Messenger.—A rope or chain for heaving in the cable.
Metacentre.—Sir. E. J. Reed defines this word thus: —”As regards the ‘metacentre,’ I must explain that in former times, when ‘initial stability’ alone was calculated, the word ‘ metacentre’ had a much more limited meaning than it possesses now. It formerly had relation to the upright position of the vessel, in which case the buoyancy acts upwards through the centre line of the ship’s course. After receiving a slight inclination the vessel has, as we have said, a new centre of buoyancy, and the buoyancy itself will act upwards along a fresh line slightly inclined to what was previously the upright line. This point was called the ‘metacentre.’ It is shown that when a ship is much more inclined, the point at which two consecutive lines of the buoyancy’s upward action will intersect may not be and often will not be in the middle line of the ship at all, but this point is nevertheless called the ‘metacentre,’ and the use of the word in this extended sense has recently become general.”
Metacentric height.—A delusive method of calculating a ship’s stability by computations which fix the metacentric height between points based upon the submerged volume of the hull, the weight of the machinery, freight, equipment, &c.
Metage.—Charges for weighing cargo.
Microscope.—A small lens for reading off the divisions on the graduated limb and vernier of a sextant.
Middle latitude sailing.—A method of navigating a ship, compounded of plane and parallel sailing.
Middle timber.—The central timber in the stern.
Middle watch.—The watch from midnight till four in the morning.
“Midge” system.—A system instituted by the Board of Trade for authorized persons to board all ships entering the port of London and induce the sailor to have his money forwarded to whatever part he is going to, in order to anticipate the harpies who prey upon seamen. “Midge” was the name of the steamer employed for the purpose of boarding.
Midshipman.—A naval cadet. In the merchant service a youth who does boy’s work for which privilege his friends pay the owners of the vessel.
Midshipman’s nuts.—Pieces of biscuit.
Mincer.—The name given to the sailor aboard a whaleman, whose duty it is to mince the horse-pieces of blubber for the try-pots.
Minion.—An old piece of ordnance used in ships; it threw a 4 lb. shot.
Minute-guns.—Guns fired every minute at a funeral.
Miss stays.—To fail in tacking.
Mitch board.—A crutch to support a mast when lowered
Mitts.—Rude gloves worn by sailors in very cold weather.
Mizzen.—A large fore-and-aft sail on the mizzen-mast of a ship or barque. Also called spanker.
Mizzen boom.—A small spar at the foot of a yawl’s mizzen.
Mizzen-mast.—The aftermost lower mast.
Mizzen-royal mast.—The mast above the mizzen-topgallant mast.
Mizzen-royal yard.—The yard above the topgallant yard.
Mizzen-topgallant mast.—The mast above the mizzen-topmast.
Mizzen-topgallant staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the topgallant mast-head to the head of the mainmast.
Mizzen-topgallant yard.—The yard above the topsail yards.
Mizzen-topmast.—The mast above the mizzen lower mast.
Mizzen-topmast staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay, from the topmast head to the main-mast.
Mizzen-topsail yards.—The yards above the crossjack yard.
Mocking system.—A term applied to the method of building small vessels by bending battens to the stem, sternpost, and keel without laying off.
Monitor.—Armored steamer, of small draught, with one or more revolving turrets furnished with large guns. An American term.
Monkey.—An iron sliding ram used in driving in armor bolts in ironclads.
Monkey-block.—A small single block stropped with a swivel.
Monkey-poop.—This name has been given to a platform connecting a fore and after cabin in the after part of a vessel. It may also signify a very short poop.
Monkey-pump.—A pipe-stem or straw for sucking the contents of a cask.
Monkey-sparred.—Said of a ship when under-rigged.
Monsoons.—Trade-winds in the Indian Ocean.
Moon-blink.—Blindness caused by sleeping in the moonlight.
Mooney.—Partially intoxicated.
Moon-rakers.—Small sails above the sky-sails.
Moon-sail.—A sail above the sky-sail.
Moon-sheered.—Said of a ship with high upper works.
Moor.—A ship is moored when she has two anchors down in different directions.
Mooring-board.—A device to enable a ship moored and belonging to a fleet to ascertain the bearing and distance of either of her anchors from a given point.
Mooring-pipes.—Apertures in a steamer’s side for leading ropes for mooring purposes.
Moorings.—Buoys to which vessels are fastened.
Mooring-swivel.—A swivel to prevent a ship from getting a foul hawse when moored.
Moorsom’s rule.—A method of ascertaining the internal capacity of a ship by expressing it in cubic feet, and dividing by 100, each 100 feet to be a ton.
Morning gun.—A gun fired to announce daybreak.
Morning watch.—The watch from four a.m. till eight a.m.
Mortar.—A gun to throw life-lines to vessels in distress.
Morticed-block.—A single block of wood hollowed to receive a sheave.
Mortices.—Square holes in the trawl-heads used by smacks for the trawl-beam to fit into.
Molding-book.—A manuscript book containing information relative to the moldings of timbers, &c, used in some shipyards.
Molds.—The patterns of a vessel’s frames.
Mouse-lines.—Lines stretched over a ship in a dock to suspend a plummet to. They are intended to point out the centre of the docking blocks.
Mousing.—Small stuff wound round a hook to prevent it from slipping.
Mowree.—A New Zealander.
Mudhole.—An aperture near the bottom of a marine boiler for removing the deposit of mud and scale.
Mudlarks.—Formerly a name given to river thieves.
Mud pilot.—A pilot who carries a ship between the Docks of London and Gravesend.
Muffle.—To muffle oars is to put mats or canvas round the part that rests in the rowlock or between the thole-pins.
Munions.—The pieces between the lights in the galleries of ships in former times.
Muntz’s metal.—A combination of metals used for sheathing a vessel’s bottom.
Murdering-pieces.—An old name for cannons which were mounted upon the after part of the forecastle, with their muzzles greatly elevated.
Muster.—To muster the watch is to call over their names, each man answering, that it may be known all are on deck. In the same way the crew is mustered.
Nadir.—The nadir of a place is a point in the heavens immediately under it.
Name board.—A board affixed to the bows of a vessel on which her name is written.
National ship.—A state ship, a ship of war, a public ship.
Nautical Almanac.—An important and valuable work, full of calculations, and essential to the navigator.
Nautical Assessor.—A retired shipmaster or naval officer appointed to assist magistrates and justices of the peace in deciding upon marine questions.
Nautical mile.—6080 feet.
Naval armament.—Ships of war fitted out for a particular service.
Naval court.—A court composed of three to five members, consisting of a naval officer not below the rank of lieutenant, a consular officer, a master of a British merchantman, and the others, British merchants, ship-masters or naval officers.
Naval hoods.—Planking above and below the hawse-holes.
Naval lines.—Lines for holding truss-pendants parallel, that they may render more easily.
Naval officer.—One belonging to the royal navy.
Naval Reserve.—Merchant seamen who have volunteered to serve in the royal navy in war time. They are paid a trifling sum per year and are entitled to a pension.
Nave-hole.—A hole in a gun-truck for the axle-tree.
Navigable.—Said of a channel or river capable of being navigated.
Navigation.—The art of conducting a ship through the sea from one place to another. It is divided into two branches, Seamanship, comprehending the knowledge of the sails, rigging, steering, &c., and Navigation Proper, that is, the finding the ship’s latitude and longitude with the sextant, &c.
Navigation laws.—Protective laws framed with the idea of promoting the interests of British shipping and British seamen. Long since repealed.
Navigator.—One who can steer his ship by the art of navigation, but not necessarily a seaman.
Neaped.—Stranded by a spring tide, and having to wait for the next spring tide to float.
Neap tides.—Low tides coincident with the moon’s second and fourth quarters.
Near.—Close to the wind.
Necked.—Said of a treenail when bent or cracked in the timbers of a ship.
Necking.—A molding on the taffrail.
Necklace.—A rope or chain with legs fitted round the mast-head and used for making hanging blocks for the jib, stay-sail and stay, fast to.
Negative slip.—The neutralization of a certain amount of the propulsion of the screw of a steam-ship, due to the water dragged after her in her wake.
Nettings.—Where the hammocks in men-of-war are stowed, fitted round the ship on top of the bulwarks.
Nettles.—The halves of yarns in the unlaid end of a rope twisted up for pointing or grafting.
Net tonnage.—In sailing ships, the deduction from the gross tonnage of the tonnage of space appropriated to the use of crews. In steamers, in addition to the deduction of crew space, the gross tonnage is further reduced by an allowance for spaces occupied by the propelling power.
Neutral bottom.—A ship that in war-time takes no part with the belligerents.
Newcome.—A fresh hand just arrived.
News.—” Do you hear the news?” an exclamation that sometimes follows the call to the watch below to turn out.
Ninepin block.—A block shaped like a ninepin, and used as a fairleader.
Nip.—A short turn in a rope.
Nipcheese.—The old name for the purser’s steward.
Nippering.—Securing nippers by cross turns to jam them.
Nippers.—Marled yarns for binding the messenger to the cable and used for various purposes.
N.M.—New measurement. A method of ascertaining the internal cubical contents of a ship by certain calculations. Enacted in 1854.
Nock.—The upper fore-end of a sail that sets with a boom.
Nog.—A treenail or fastening.
No man’s land.—The old name of a space between the belfry and the bows of a boat stowed on the booms.
Nominal horse-power.—A power assumed to equal 33,000 lbs., raised one foot high in one minute.
Norie’s Epitome.—The best treatise on navigation ever published.
Non-return valve.—A valve in connection with the feed-cock of a marine boiler, to prevent the return of the water from the boiler.
Nous.—Used at sea as a synonym for spunk.
Norman.—A wooden bar or iron pin.
Nose.—The stem of a ship.
Notaries public.—Persons authorized to draw up official statements made by a shipmaster, regarding damage, failure of merchants to furnish cargoes, &c.
Nothing off.—An order to the helmsman to keep the vessel close to the wind.
Notions.—A mixed cargo of small things for sale or barter.
Noting protest.—A protest noted by a shipmaster before a public notary, magistrate, or consul, when sea-perils have occurred. It forms the shipowner’s defense for non-delivery of goods, or for their delivery in a damaged state. It is also an instrument for the recovery of contributions from persons interested in the safety of the voyage. It also supports the shipowner in his claim upon the underwriters.
Number.—The number of a ship’s certificate of registry. Making her number is said of a ship hoisting the flags which indicate her name.
Nun-buoy.—A buoy tapering at each end.
Nurse.—The first lieutenant of a man-of-war commanded by a captain who is there by influence, but who has no capacity.
Oakum.—Yarns picked into hemp.
Oar.—A long piece of wood with a blade at one end.
Oars!—The command to stop rowing by raising the oars from the water and letting them lie horizontally in the rowlocks.
Oblique sailing.—A method of navigation adopted in coasting along shores, surveying coasts, &c.
Observation.—To get an observation is to take the altitude of a heavenly body.
Occulting.—A light visible for less than thirty seconds between eclipses.
Odd backstay.—The foremost one, serving as a breast backstay.
Odd shroud.—The after shroud.
Off and on.—Keeping near the land by heading in and standing out.
Officer of the watch.—The lieutenant or mate in charge of the deck.
Official log-book.—A book for special entries, such as sickness, death, desertion, mutiny, drunkenness, &c.
Offing.—Distance from the shore.
Oilskins.—The waterproof coat, leggings, and sou’-wester worn by sailors.
Old man.—The term applied to the captain by a crew.
Old standing rigging makes bad running gear.—Signifying that old seamen will not do for posts requiring activity, and usually filled by young men.
Oldster.—A midshipman or apprentice who has already made one or more voyages.
O.M.—Old measurement, known as Builder’s Measurement. This measurement was according to an old law of 1773. The length of the keel was multiplied by the breadth of the vessel measured in a prescribed manner, the product multiplied by half the breadth, and the whole divided by 94. The quotient was considered to give the true contents of the tonnage.
On a bowline.—Close to the wind with the bowline hauled out.
On a wind.—Sailing close to the wind.
On deck there /—A call from up aloft or from the hold for attention.
Only mate.—The only mate carried in a ship. For a steamer, he must be nineteen years of age, and must have served five years at sea, in order to qualify him for an examination for a certificate.
On the beam.—Said of an object right abreast.
On the bow.—Said of an object that bears more or less to the right or left of the bowsprit.
On the quarter.— Said of an object that bears abaft the beam on either hand.
Open hawse.—To ride with two anchors down without a cross in the cables.
Open policy.—A policy of marine insurance, that does not name the values of the interests insured, but leaves them to be ascertained, should a loss happen.
Order-book.—A book for entering the orders of an admiral or senior officer.
Ordinary seaman,—The term applied to a sailor who is rated after and next to Able Seaman.
Orlop.—The deck next the hold of a man-of-war.
O.S.—Initials to signify ordinary seaman.
Oscillating engine.—A marine engine in which the cylinder follows the oscillations of the crank.
Outer jib.—A fore-and-aft sail, setting on a stay, from the fore-topmast-head to the end of the jib-boom.
Outfit.—The stores, gear, furniture, &c., of a ship; a term signifying every requisite for a voyage. Also applied to clothes.
Outhaul.—A rope to haul out the spanker or a try-sail.
Out of gear.—A marine engine is said to be thrown out of gear when the eccentric is detached from the slide valve gear.
Outports.—All ports in Great Britain out of London.
Outrigger.—A boat with rowlocks extended by arms. Also a spar on the crosstrees to spread the royal and top-gallant backstays. Also a log of wood at the side of a boat, to prevent it capsizing. Also a spar to extend leading blocks or the foot of a sail.
Outsail.—A ship is said to outsail another when she beats her in sailing.
Outward desertion.—Desertion of ships outward bound, lying in British ports.
Outwards.—A term signifying that a ship is entered at the Custom House to depart from a home port for a foreign place.
Overboard.—Over the side; out of the ship.
Overfalls.—Casts of the lead showing great unevenness of bottom.
Overhand knot.—The end of a rope passed over the standing part and through the bight.
Overhaul.—Variously used. Overhaul a clewline, case it up; overhaul a tackle, pull on the leading parts so as to lengthen the interval between the blocks. Again, to overhaul is to examine. Overhaul the cable.—To ease the bights of the chain cable around the windlass barrel so that it may pay out through the hawsepipe.
Overloading.—Putting more cargo into a ship than she is safely able to carry in any condition of weather. Simple as the definition of this term appears, there are few words whose meaning has been more disputed. Owners have one definition, sailors another, the Board of Trade a third.
Over-rake.—Waves over-rake a ship when they break over her bows as she rides at anchor.
Over-rigged.—Top-hampered with heavy gear.
Over-sea.—Over-sea vessels are vessels from foreign ports.
Owners.—The proprietors of a ship.
Packet.—A mail-boat.
Pack-ice.—Fragments of ice heaped together.
Packing.—Metal rings, hemp, india-rubber, &c.. used to render pistons, slide-valves, &c., steam-tight.
Packing-box.—A steam-tight partition in a marine engine.
Pad.—A piece of timber fixed on a beam for the curve of the deck.
Paddle-box boats.—Boats fitted to the paddle-box bottom up.
Paddle-boxes.—Large semi-circular casings for enclosing the upper part of the wheels of a paddle-steamer.
Paddy.—Rice in the husk.
Painter.—A rope in the bow of a boat.
Palm.—The fluke of an anchor. Also a piece of leather with a shape of iron let into it, fitting around the hand and into the palm, and used by sail-makers in sewing canvas.
Pampero.—A squall encountered in the Rio de la Plata.
Paper-boat.—A boat sheathed with very thin planking.
Parallax.—The difference between the true and apparent place of a celestial body; the apparent place being its situation when viewed from the surface of the earth, and the true place its situation if observed at the same time from the centre of the earth.
Parallel motion.—A name applied to a contrivance in an engine by means of which the piston-rod is made to work in a straight line parallel to the inner surface of the cylinder.
Parallel of latitude.—A circle parallel to the equator.
Parallel sailing.—A method of finding the distance between two places in the same latitude when their difference of longitude is known, or of finding the difference of longitude answering to the meridian distance when a ship sails east or west.
Parbuckle.—A rope round a spar or cask for hoisting or lowering.
Parcelling.—Wrapping narrow strips of tarred canvas round a rope.
Parliament-heel.—The situation of a ship laid over by shifting her ballast in order to get at her bottom side.
Parral—That which confines an upper yard to the mast at the centre.
Part.—To break. “The rope parted,” the rope broke.
Particular average.—Damage or partial loss unavoidably happening to an individual interest through peril insured against.
Partners.—Frames of timber to solidify holes in which masts, capstans, bitts, pumps, &c., are sunk.
Pass.—To take turns with a rope or seizing, &c.
Passing-box.—A case formerly used in which powder was handed up for serving a gun.
Patent log.—An instrument of brass, a portion of which rotates in the water, the number of revolutions being expressed by miles on the indexes.
Patent reefing topsail.—A plan by which a top-sail reefs itself by the yard rolling up the sail as it is lowered.
Patent slip —A slip for hauling up vessels for repairs.
Paul-bitt.—A strong timber fitted with notched iron for checking the reverse action of the windlass by catching the pawls.
Paul-rim.—A notched iron ring let into the deck for the capstan pauls to work in.
Paunch.—A piece of wood formerly affixed to the fore and mainmasts of ships to allow the lower yards, in their descent, to pass clear of the mast hoops.
Paunch-mats.—Used for chafing gear.
Pawl over all!—Heaving the windlass round with one continuous motion.
Pawls.—Movable pieces of iron to prevent a capstan, windlass barrel, or winch from slipping backwards.
Pay.—To pay is to cover oakum in caulked seams with melted pitch.
Paying off.—When a ship’s head falls from the wind.
Paymaster.—The title of the person who fills the post on board a man-of-war formerly occupied by the purser. He has the charge of provisions, pays the crew, &c.
Pay out.—To pass out rope.
Pazaree.—A rope used for guying the clews of the fore-sail out by reeving it through a block on the swinging boom.
Pea.—The bill of an anchor. See Bill.
The Peace Pilot.—Today is the day of Uncle Sam’s peace. Tomorrow we may hear the rumblings of war at our sea gates. Prosperity has made the country rich; sooner or later we shall become the objective prey of a covetous nation. A Navy second to none is our only possible safeguard, but our Navy can never be adequate unless built upon the practical foundations of a Merchant Marine.
Pea-jacket.—A stout pilot-cloth all-round coat.
Peak.—The upper aftermost corner of a spanker or try-sail.
Peak-downhaul.—A rope at the end of the gaff to haul it down by.
Peak-halyards.—A tackle connected with the end of the gaff for hoisting it.
Peak-purchase.—A purchase for tautening standing-peak halyards.
Pennant.—Flown only by ships of war; the English is a long strip of bunting with St. George’s cross in the head. Also a rope to which a purchase is hooked.
Percentage of spare buoyancy.—The proportion borne by the part of a ship that is above water, and which part is for the purpose of floating her, to the portion that is under water.
Persuader.—A rope’s end, stick, belaying pin, anything a man can be struck with.
Petard.—A metal machine filled with gunpowder, and fired by a pole.
Petty officer.—A divisional seaman in the navy of the first class.
Philadelphia catechism.—The following doggerel is so called, Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thou art able, And on the seventh—holystone the decks and scrape the cable.
Philadelphia lawyer.—” Enough to puzzle a “—Jack’s growl over a story he cannot wholly disbelieve nor accept.
Picaroon.—A privateersman. Also a piratical vessel.
Piccary.—Small piracies.
Picking up a wind.—To deviate in search of trade or other constant breeze.
Pickling.—Rubbing brine into a sailor’s back after a flogging; also a mode of preserving naval timber.
Pick up.—To “pick up a sail” is to raise it on to the yard for stowing.
Pierced.—Pierced for guns means the apertures in a ship’s side through which guns can be discharged.
Piercer.—A kind of small marline-spike for making eyelet-holes.
Pierhead jump.—The tumbling of sailors aboard a ship at the last moment from the dock or pierhead.
Pierman.—A man employed by Harbor authorities for making fast or letting go warps, fasts, &c., for vessels, and doing other work about a harbor.
Pigs.—Pieces of iron used as ballast.
Pig-tail.—Tobacco for chewing. Sailors generally chew the plug or square.
Pilchard drivers.—Small Cornish smacks, half-decked luggers.
Pillar buoy.—A buoy having a tall central structure on a broad base.
Pillars.—Iron bars riveted to the beams of iron ships, and secured through the deck-plank to the beam below, to increase structural strength.
Pillow.—A block under the inner end of the bowsprit.
Pill yawl.—A Bristol Channel pilot-boat.
Piloting.—Piloting is divided into two branches. Common Piloting, which means the knowledge of how to coast along shore, and Proper Piloting, which means the knowledge of how to navigate a ship by the heavenly bodies when out of sight of land.
Pilots.—Persons licensed by the Trinity House, and by local authorities to navigate ships in certain waters.
Pilot-signals.—A ship requiring a pilot signals as follows: in the day time she hoists the Jack or other national color worn by merchant ships, at the fore, or a square blue flag, with a white square for a centre, hoisted over a flag composed of three vertical bars colored red white and blue, these flags representing P.T. in the International Code Pilotage Signal. In the night, a blue light every fifteen minutes, or a bright white light shown at intervals above the bulwarks.
Pin.—An iron bolt for the sheave of a block to travel on.
Pinch-gut.—A mean purser.
Pinch-gut pay.—Short allowance money.
Pinch-gut ship—The name that used to be given to ships in which sailors were badly fed.
Pink.—A ship with a very narrow stern. The narrow stern rendered the quarter guns very serviceable.
Pink stern.—A high narrow stern.
Pinnace.—One of the boats of a man-of-war.
Pin-racks.— Hoops fitted with belaying-pins round a mast.
Pintles.—The pins on which a rudder works.
Pipe down!—The order to send such of the men below as are not wanted on deck
Piragua.—A canoe made out of the trunk of a tree. See ” Robinson Crusoe.”
Pirate.—A robber on the high seas.
Pirate’s flag.—Used to be a black field with a skull and battle-axe, sometimes an hour-glass.
Pisco.—A spirituous drink manufactured in Peru, and much drunk by sailors in the South Seas.
Pitch.—A thick black substance obtained by boiling down tar; also the action of a ship alternately heaving and depressing her bows ; also the pitch of a screw propeller is the axial length of a whole turn of the thread.
Pitch-pole.—A sea is said to pitch-pole a boat when it hits her under the bows and throws her right up and down standing on her stern.
Pitch-poling.—A mode of killing whales by launching at them a lance to which is attached a warp to enable the harpooner to bring the lance back to his hand.
Pit-pan.—A flat-bottomed canoe.
Place.—The spot in which a ship is when at sea. Thus “everything relating to her place should be noted in the log;” that is, everything relating to the place she is in at the time of the occurrences,
Plane sailing.—An art of navigation based upon a supposition of the earth being an extended plane.
Plankage.—Charges on vessels in docks for the use of planks, for loading or unloading.
Plank it.—To plank it is to Je on the bare deck.
Planks.—Boards which cover the sides and form the decks of ships.
Plat.—Foxes braided.
Plate.—A sheet of iron or steel fixed to the frames of an iron vessel.
Plate-armor.—Steel or iron plates of great thickness on men-of-  war, to render them shot-proof.
Plate-riders.—Diagonal iron plates fitted on the outside of the frames of fir-built ships of a certain tonnage and length.
Plate-ship.—The name given to the old galleons which were freighted with jewels, plate, and other treasure.
Platform.—A fabric used in smacks for keeping the ballast in its place.
Pledget.—The string of oakum used in caulking.
Plug,—A piece of metal, wood, or cork to fill the hole in the bottom of a boat. Also a piece of cake tobacco.
Plug-hole.—A hole in the bottom of a boat to let the water drain out as she hangs at the davits, or stands on the skids.
Plumb.—Straight up and down, as “to stay the fore-topmast plumb.”
Plumber-blocks.—Blocks in a marine steam-ship in which the bushes are fixed in which the shafts or pinions revolve.
Plunger.—A small fast-sailing cutter with a centre board. Also a liston without valves.
Plunging fire.—Shot discharged from a higher level than that occupied by the object aimed at.
Ply.—To beat, to work to windward.
P.O.—Petty officer.
Pocket-bunker.—A bunker in the space between the cylinder of the engine and the sides of the boiler and upper stringers, and containing coal, usually the last used in a voyage.
Point.—To decorate a rope’s end by working nettles over it.
Point-blank.—Aiming direct at the heart of the object without elevating the gun.
Polaccre.—A two-masted vessel, her lower and top masts in one, without tops : but with top-mast crosstrees and fidded topgallant masts.
Polar distance.—An arch of the meridian contained between the centre of an object and either pole of the equinoctial.
Pole.—A name given to the sky-sail masts. The end of a tall royal mast, from the yard when hoisted, to the truck is sometimes called the pole.
Pole-compass.—An inverted compass fixed on the top of a staff to remove it from local attraction.
Pole mast.—A pole mast is a single mast, such as some steamers are rigged with. Sky-sail pole is the name sometimes given to the sky-sail mast.
Poles.—Timbers for cargo consisting of the trunks of trees.
Pommelion.—The hindmost knob on the breech of a cannon.
Pontoon.—A portable boat used in fixing floating bridges.
Poop.—A raised after-deck.
Poop downhaul.—An imaginary rope, a seaman’s jest, like “clapping the keel athwart-ships,” and other such sayings.
Pooped.—Struck by a sea that washes over the stern.
Poop-house.—A house upon a raised quarter-deck for masters and mates, &c., to live in.
Poop-lantern.—A light shown by the flag-ship.
Poppets.—Timbers to support the bilgeways in launching.
Popple.—A sharp, cross sea, in water not very deep, as near a coast, in a bay, &c.
Port.—The left-hand side looking from the stern towards the bows.
Port bars.—Pieces of wood to secure the ports from flying open inbad weather.
Port-fire.—A signal that when ignited bursts forth into a shower of fire.
Port-flange.—A batten over a port to prevent water from washing- in.
Port-hole.—A window for a cabin. An aperture in a ship’s side to point a gun through.
Port-lids.—Covers for the ports in rough weather.
Port of registry.—The port at which a ship has been registered.
Portoise.—The gunwale.
Port pendants.—Ropes fixed to the outside of a port-lid for working it by a tackle.
Port-ropes.—For hauling up and suspending the ports.
Ports.—Large holes in the sides of a ship.
Port sashes.—Glazed half-ports or windows for the admission of light.
Port tack.—Sailing close to the wind blowing over the left-handbow.
Port the helm!—Shift the helm so as to force the vessel’s head to the right.
Posted.—The old term for signifying the promotion from commander to captain.
Post-ship.—A name originally given to a twenty-gun ship to signify that she was of the lowest class to which a post-captain could be appointed.
Pouches.—Bulkheads for stowing purposes.
Pounders.—Said of a gun according to the weight of the ball it carries. Large guns are described by the diameter of their bore.
Powder-flag.—A red flag hoisted to indicate that the ship has gunpowder in her.
Powder-monkey.—formerly a boy who had charge of the cartridge of the gun to which he belonged.
Pram.—A Norwegian lug-rigged slipper-shaped boat.
Pratique.— License to trade and have communication with a place after quarantine or on the production of a clean bill of health.
Prayer-book.—A small holystone.
Press-gang.—A number of men dispatched from the crew of a man-of-war to seize merchant seamen and force them to serve in the navy.
Pressure.—Expansion or forcing power of steam calculated in pounds-weight upon the square inch of a boiler.
Preventer. —A rope used as an additional support for masts, booms, &c.
Preventer plates.—Additional irons for securing the chains.
Preventer stoppers.—Short ropes for securing the rigging in an engagement.
Preventive service.—The old name for the coastguard service.
Prick.—A mass of tobacco soaked in rum, and rolled up in canvas in a conical shape. Also a quantity of spun yarn laid up close.
Pricker.—A small marline-spike.
Pricking a chart.—Marking off on a chart the course made by a ship.
Pride of the morning.—A shower of rain.
Priming.—The boiling over of water in a boiler, due to muddy water, or to the commingling of different kinds of water, &c.
Prise.—To lift a weight with a handspike. To force anything open.
Prise-bolts.—Projections on a gun-carriage for the handspike to hold by, in raising the breech.
Prismatic compass.—A compass in which the divisions of the card are read by reflection at the same time that the bearing itself is taken.
Privateer.—A vessel furnished with a letter of marquee.
Prize.—A vessel captured from an enemy.
Prize-officer.—An officer in charge of a ship captured from an enemy.
Prong.—A small boat met with in Ireland. It has a high canoe shaped stem, and is used by fishermen for boarding their vessels, or for ferrying, &c.
Protected men.—A term signifying merchant seamen not fit to serve in the Royal Navy.
Protractor.—A small semicircle of brass or horn, for drawing or measuring angles.
Provisional detention.—The detention of a ship by the Board of Trade for survey, either for her final detention or release.
Prow.—The poetical term for the stem or bows. Also the old name for a bumpkin.
Puddening.—Mats, yarns, oakum, &c., used as chafing gear.
Pump-barrel.—The tube in which the pump-rod or piston moves.
Pump-brake.—The handle of the primitive hand-pump.
Pumps.—There are many kinds of ship’s pumps worked by steam or by a windmill or by hand.
Pump-spear.—The rod worked by the handle.
Pumps suck!—An exclamation to indicate that the vessel is free of the water that was to be pumped out.
Pump well.—An enclosure round the main-mast and pumps, where the water that penetrates a vessel collects.
Punt.—A little boat carried by small vessels.
Puoys.—Poles for driving barges or keels, by thrusting them laterally against the bottom of the river.
Purchase.—The power obtained by reeving a line through a block or blocks.
Purser.—Formerly a person on board a ship-of-war, who had charge of the provisions, clothes, &c.
Purser’s dip.—A little dip candle.
Purser’s grins.—”There are no half-laughs or purser’s grins about me. I’m right up and down like a yard of pump water,” meaning that the speaker is in earnest.
Pursers name.—A false name.
Purser’s shirt.—”A purser’s shirt on a handspike” said of ill-fitting clothes.
Putchers.—Contrivances used in the Bristol Channel for catching salmon. They are so fixed that the tide forces the fish into them.
Put off.—To quit a vessel, or the shore, in a boat.
Pyrites.—Gold-like scales in coal, and the cause of spontaneous combustion on board coal-freighted ships.
Q.E.D.—The name of the first iron screw collier built in this country, 1844. She was an auxiliary.
Quadrant.—An instrument for measuring altitudes at sea. It consists of an octant or frame, an arch or limb and an index, and is furnished with a nonius or scale, index and horizon glasses, shades and sight vanes. Also a yoke.
Quadrant tiller.—A yoke shaped in the form of a quadrant, See Yoke.
Quadrate.—To quadrate a gun is to adjust it on its carriage for level firing.
Quakers.—Sham guns, formerly used by merchantmen to frighten the enemy with an exhibition of strength.
Qualified pilot.—A person duly licensed by any pilotage authority to conduct a ship to which he does not belong.
Qualities.—A ship’s capacity for sailing, carrying, and the like.
Quant.—A bargeman’s long pole.
Quarantine.—The detention of a ship with sickness on board for a prescribed time, during which her people are allowed no intercourse with the shore.
Quarter.—The portion of a yard between the slings and the yardarm. Also the after-sides of a ship. Also sparing the life of a conquered enemy. An old sea term. “The crew called for quarter.”
Quarter-badge.—Ornamentation on the quarters of a ship.
Quarter-bill.—A list of the stations for men to take in time of action.
Quarter-blocks.—Blocks for the clew-lines and the sheets of the sail set above them to reeve through.
Quarter-boats.—Boats suspended on davits near the quarters.
Quarter-cask.—Half a hogshead.
Quarter-cloths.—Pieces of painted canvas over the quarter-netting.
Quarter-deck.—The after-deck of a flush-decked ship. When there is a poop, the quarter-deck extends from the break of the poop to a short distance forward.
Quarter-deckers.—The name given to officers who are sticklers for small points of etiquette, but who have little knowledge as seamen.
Quarter-fishes.—Stout pieces of wood hooped on to a mast to strengthen it.
Quarter-gallery.—A balcony that was formerly on the quarter of large ships.
Quarter-line.—Ships of a column ranged in a line, one being abaft another’s beam.
Quarter-man.—A dockyard officer.
Quarter-master.—A person whose duty is to attend to the helm.
Quarter-nettings.—Nettings on the after-part of a ship for the stowage of hammocks.
Quarter-pieces.—Projections beyond the quarters of a ship for adding cabin accommodation there.
Quarter-ports.—Apertures in the after-sides.
Quarters.—The officers’ and crew’s stations in an engagement.
Quarter-slings.— Supports for a yard on either side the centre of it.
Quarter stops.—Fastenings to keep the bunt of a large sail snug in sending it up or down.
Quarter-tackle.—A tackle fitted to the quarter of the main-yard for hoisting or lowering heavy articles.
Quarter-watch.—An arrangement in men-of-war by which only one fourth of the crew have the watch on deck.
Quashee.—A West Indian negro.
Quicken.—To increase a curve.
Quick-work.—Short planks between the ports. All that part of a ship’s side which lies between the chain wales and decks; so called because it was the work the quickest completed in building a ship.
Quid.—A piece of tobacco for chewing.
Quilting.—A coating for a vessel formed of ropes woven together. Also rope’s-ending a man.
Quoin.—A wedge to support the breech of a gun for depressing or elevating it. Also a wedge to steady casks.
R.—An initial signifying “run,” placed against the name of a deserter.
Rabbet.—The part of the stem and stern-post where the hood-ends fit into.
Race.—A strong tide. Also the engines of a steamer race when they work with great rapidity from the loss of resisting power, caused, for instance, by the breaking of the shaft or the dropping off of the propeller, or the raising of the stern of the ship, thereby lifting the screw out of the water.
Rack.—A fair-leader for running rigging.
Rack-bar.—A wooden lever.
Rack-block.—A piece of wood shaped into several blocks and used for fair-leaders.
Racking.—Seizing two ropes together.
Raddle.—To make flat work, such as boat’s gripes, by interlacing.
Raffle.— Odds and ends of gear, a muddle of rigging such as might litter a deck from the fall of a mast, &c.
Raft-port.—A bow-port, sometimes a port under the counter for timber-loading.
Raft-dog.—A piece of flat iron with the ends bent.
Rafting.—To float timber or casks to or from a ship by binding them together.
Raise tacks and sheets!—An order in tacking to let go the fore and main tacks and main sheet.
Rake.—The inclination of a mast from the perpendicular. Also to sweep a ship’s deck by firing along her whole length over her stem or bows.
Rakish.—Having the look of being fast and powerful.
Ram.—A projection at the stem of an iron-clad.
Ram-head.—A halyard-block.
Ram-line.—A line used for finding a straight middle line on a spar.
Ramming.—Driving a ship, furnished with a projection under her bows, stem on into another.
Ramshackle.—Disorderly. Said of a ship in a bad condition of hull and masts.
Randan fashion.—A boat rowed by a bow and stroke man, each pulling one oar, and a midship man pulling a pair of sculls.
Range— Range alongside, to draw abreast. Also an extent of cable ranged along the deck ready for letting go the anchor.
Range-heads.—The windlass bitts.
Rap-full.—Said of a ship on a wind when her sails are clean full.
Rasing iron.—A caulker’s tool for cleaning seams.
Rate.—The rate of a chronometer is the difference of its daily errors. Also the rating of a seaman is his rank or position.
Rational horizon—A circle parallel to the sensible horizon passing through the centre of the earth.
Ratlines.- Small ropes fastened to the shrouds, and forming a ladder.
Rat’s tail.—A rope’s end that tapers.
Rattle down.—To put on ratlines.
Rave-hook.—A tool for extracting oakum from seams.
Razee.—A line-of-battle ship cut down by one deck.
Ready about!—The order for all hands to go to their stations for tacking.
Rear-Admiral.—The admiral in command of the third division of a fleet. He carries his flag at the mizzen.
Rearing.—Said of the sides of a ship which are up and down like a wall.
Rear-ship.—The hindmost vessel of a fleet.
Rebojos.—Severe S.W. squalls encountered off the coast of Brazil.
Recall signals.—Lights or flags hoisted by a vessel to recall her boats.
Receiver of wreck.—A person appointed to take charge of any vessel stranded or in distress, and to receive depositions from mariners who have been in peril, &c.
Reckoning.—A ship’s reckoning is the account of the vessel’s position, by which it can be known at any time, approximately, where she is.
Red flag at masthead.—French privateers used to hoist this color before an engagement, to signify that, if they conquered, they would give no quarter.
Reef.—To diminish the expanse of a sail by knotting the reef points in it upon the yard, or at the foot of a fore-and-aft sail.
Reef a bowsprit.—To reef a bowsprit is to heave it by a heel-rope in board to the required fid-hole, and then set up the gear again.
Reef-bands.—Bands of canvas across a sail to strengthen it for the reef-points.
Reefbecket.—A becket with a toggle for reefing. The end of the becket is passed under the reef-line and then toggled.
Reefer.—A midshipman.
Reefing paddles.—To reef a paddle-wheel is to disconnect the float boards from the paddle-arms and secure them afresh nearer the centre of the wheel.
Reef in stays —Reefing top-sails when in the act of tacking.
Reef knot.—A knot formed of two loops, one enclosing the other.
Reef-line.—A rope affixed across a sail for passing the beckets under in reefing.
Reef-pendant.—A rope in the after leech of a boom main-sail for bowsing down, with a tackle, the after-leech to the boom.
Reef-tackles.—Tackles to haul out the leech of a sail to the yardarms when reefing it.
Reef-tackle spans.—Cringles in the bolt-rope.
Reeming.—Opening seams for the admission of caulking.
Reeming-beetle.—A large mallet.
Reeming-iron.—The tool used in opening the seams.
Reeve.—To pass a rope through a block or any aperture or eye.
Refit.—To repair damages. To put the rigging into proper condition.
Refraction.—The difference between the real and apparent place of a heavenly body.
Register.—A ship’s register is a document giving her name, tonnage, official number, &c.
Registrar-General of Seamen.—An officer appointed to keep a register of all persons who serve in ships which come under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts.
Relieve.—To relieve is to replace a man by another, so that he may rest. “Relieve the wheel,” an order for a man to take the helmsman’s place at the end of two hours.
Relieving tackles.—Tackles hooked on the tiller to help the helm in heavy weather.
Render.—To pass a rope through a place. A rope is also said to render when it surges or slips. Also to yield. A cable is rendered when it is eased.
Respondentia.—Money lent on security of cargo.
Retard.—A term applied to the time that has elapsed between the moon’s transit, at which a tide originated, and the appearance of the tide itself.
Revenue-cutter.—An armed, single-masted vessel for preventing smuggling.
Reverse valve.—A valve fixed on or near the top of a marine boiler, to prevent the straining of the boiler by the outside atmosphere when a vacuum takes place in the boiler.
Rhumb-line.—A track on the earth’s surface that cuts all the meridians at the same angle. Also rhumb-lines are the lines which divide the compass card into thirty-two points.
Ribbands.—Pieces of timber nailed outside the ribs of a wooden ship.
Ribbing-nail.—A large nail used in wooden ship building.
Riders.— Poles used in stowing flax, &c.
Ride.—To ride at anchor, to lie at anchor. “She rode easily,” said of a ship making good weather when hove-to in a storm.
Ride down.—To hang on to halyards, so as to help with one’s weight the men who are hauling. Also to come down a stay for tarring it.
Riders.—Timber from the keelson to the orlop beams for additional strength. Also casks stowed above the ground tier. Also contrivances for strengthening a wooden ship against hogging and sagging strains.
Ridge-ropes.—The ropes to which an awning is stretched. Also life-lines, stretched along in foul weather.
Riding-bills.—The bitts to which a cable is fastened when a ship is at anchor.
Riding-light.—A lantern hoisted or shown on board a vessel at anchor.
Rig.—The rig of a vessel means her character ; as brig-rig, barquerig, ship-rig,&c. Also to fit all the rigging to a ship’s masts.
Rig in.—To draw a boom in.
Rig out.—To run a boom out. Also to dress or outfit a person.
Rig the capstan.—To ship the bars ready for heaving.
Rigger.—A man whose vocation is that of rigging vessels.
Rigging.—Standing rigging consists of all those ropes which are fixed, such as shrouds, backstays, &c. Running rigging of all those ropes which can be pulled upon, such as halyards, clew-lines, &c.
Right ascension.—The right ascension of a celestial body is an arch of the equinoctial contained between the first point of Aries and the point of the equinoctial cut by a meridian passing through the object.
Right-handed.—A rope the strands of which are laid with the sun, i.e. from right to left.
Righting.—Said of a ship that recovers herself after having been thrown on her beam-ends.
Right the helm.—Put it amidships; in a line with the keel.
Right up and down.—Said of a dead calm.
Rim.—The edge of a top.
Ring.—An iron hoop at the upper extremity of the shank of an anchor for attaching the cable to.
Ring-bolt.—A ring fitted to an eye-bolt.
Ring-stopper.—Rope secured to a ring-bolt and attached to the cable through other ring-bolts as a precaution in veering.
Ring-tail.—A small sail, shaped like a jib and set outside the spanker.
Rivet.—A bar of metal used for securing the plates of an iron ship to the frames.
Roach.—The curve in the foot of a sail.
Road.—An anchorage clear of the shore.
Rotund.—A piece of line or sennit at the head of a sail to attach it to the jackstay.
Roband hitch.—A hitch for securing the pieces of rope which secure a sail to the jackstay.
Rocket.—A signal of distress. Also a means of firing a line to a ship in distress.
Rocket-apparatus.—A contrivance for throwing a line to a ship by a rocket; a block and rove line are then conveyed, by means of which a hawser is sent aboard, and the men are brought ashore in a cradle or breeches buoy.
Rode oj all.—An order to throw in the oars of a boat.
Roger.—One of the names of the pirate’s flag.
Rogue’s yarn.—A yarn in a rope for detecting its theft.
Roll.—To sway from side to side in contradistinction to pitch.
Rollers.—A violent swell during a calm ; attributed to the earthquake wave, but the origin is not satisfactorily known.
Rolling hitch.—A hitch for attaching the tail of a jigger. &c., to a rope.
Rolling tackles.—Tackles for steadying the yards in rough weather.
Rombowline.—Old rope, canvas, &c.
Rooming.—Running to leeward.
Rope—A line composed of threads of hemp, coir, manila, steel, or other stuff. The threads are called yarns; the yarns are twisted into strands, and the strands laid up into rope. Also to rope a sail is to affix ropes, called the bolt-ropes, to the sides of it all round, in order to strengthen it, &c.
Rope funnel.—A funnel formerly used, when a better was not to be had, for filling water-casks, and was made by flemishing a length of rope down, stopping the parts at each turn with rope yarns, and then turning it inside out so as to form a cone.
Ropemaker’s eye.—An eye or loop in a hemp cable formed by two strands twisted up on the bight.
Ropes.—”To know the ropes”—to know his business.
Rope’s-ending.—Beating a man or boy with the end of a rope.
Rope yarn—A thread of any stuff of which ropes are made.
Rope yarn knot.—A knot used in tying yarns together, formed by splitting the ends of two yarns, and knotting one of the split parts.
Rose.—A strainer at the heel of a pump to prevent choking.
Rose-lashing:—Lashing used for the eyes of rigging, &c.
Rosier.—A list for routine on any particular duty.
Rough-tree.—An unfinished mast or spar.
Round charter.—A charter on a round of voyages.
Round dozen.—Thirteen lashes when men were flogged.
Round-house.—A cabin built on deck roofed by the poop.
Round in.—To haul, as “round in the weather braces.”
Rounding.—A sort of small junk, unlaid. Also rope round a large rope.
Round shot.—A single solid iron shot of various weights.
Roundup.—To haul upon a tackle.
Rouse.—To haul taut; to pull in or drag forward.
Roving commission.—Liberty to an officer in command of a ship of war to cruise wherever he thinks proper.
Rowle.—A small crane.
Rowlocks.—Brass forks in a boat’s gunwale for rowing. Also holes cut in the gunwale for the oars.
Row-ports.—Apertures in the sides of a vessel near the water for sweeps.
Royal.—A light sail set over the topgallant-sail.
Royal masthead.—The upper end of the topmost mast of a ship, unless skysail masts are carried.
Royal yard.—The yard above the topgallant yard to which the royal is bent.
Rubber.—A contrivance for flattening the seams of a sail in sail-making.
Rudder-bands.—The hinges of the rudder. Also called braces.
Rudder chains.—Affixed to the hinder part of the rudder and worked by tackle when the tiller is damaged.
Rudder-rake.—The hinder part of the rudder.
Rudder-rods.—Rods fitting over sheaves, and used to steer steamers from the bridge.
Rudder-trunk.—A casing of wood fitted into the helm port for the rudder-stock to work in.
Rule of the Road.—Regulations for controlling the navigation of vessels in rivers and seas, for the avoidance of collisions, &c.
Rumbo.—Stolen rope.
Rum-gagger.—A sham sailor who begs.
Run-—The hollow curving in a vessel’s bottom that rises and narrows under the quarters.
Rundle.—The upper part of a capstan.
Rungheads.—Floor timber ends.
Run goods.—Goods which have been smuggled ashore.
Rungs.—Floor timbers.
Runlet.—A measure of eighteen gallons and a half.
Run money.—The money paid to the crew of a coaster for a short trip. Also money paid for apprehending a deserter.
Runner.—A crimp, one who furnishes crews. Also the cant name for a crimp. Also a single rope rove through a movable block. And formerly, a vessel that sailed without a convoy in time of war.
Runner and tackle.—A single block fitted with a lashing; the runner is rove through it and spliced round the double block of a tackle, of which the single block is fitted with a hook.
Running.—Sailing with the wind over the stern.
Running agreement.—An agreement entered into by a crew to make two or more voyages in a foreign-going ship, whose voyages average less than six months in duration.
Running bowline.—A bowline with the standing part running through it, forming a noose.
Running bowsprit.—A bowsprit, such as a cutter’s, that can be slided in and out.
Running rigging.—All the ropes of a ship which lead through blocks, &c., and can be hauled and worked. Also called running gear.
Ryak.—An Esquimaux boat, built of wood, whalebone, &c., and covered with skins. It has a round hole in the centre, in which the occupant sits.
Saddle.—A piece of wood fitted to a yard, hollowed for the upper part of a boom to rest in.
Saddle of jib boom.—A piece of wood affixed to the bowsprit to steady the heel of the jib boom.
Saddle of spanker boom.—A support for the jaws of the spanker boom on the mizzen-trysail mast.
Safety-valve.—A valve affixed to the marine boiler, and so arranged that when the steam in the boiler gets to any given pressure, the valve lifts and allows the steam to escape.
Sag.—To drift bodily.
Sagged.—A ship is said to be sagged when her bottom curves downwards through straining.
Sail-burton.—See Sail-tackle.
Sail-hook.—A hook for holding the seams of a sail whilst sewing it.
Sailing-gig.—An open boat fitted with a battened lug-sail.
Sailor’s blessing.—A curse.
Sailor’s pleasure.—Yarning, smoking, dancing, growling, &c.
Sailor’s waiter.—A term applied to the second mate of small vessels.
Sails are square or fore-and-aft. A square sail is fastened to a yard and hoisted up a mast. A fore-and-aft sail is fastened to a gaff or travels on a stay, or sets “flying,” that is, hoisted taut on its own luff.
“Sails.”—The sailor’s name for a ship’s carpenter.
Sail signals.—A method of signaling by means of setting or furling topgallant sails and royals.
Sail-tackle.—A tackle hooked round the topmast head, used in sending a top-sail aloft for bending.
Saker.—An old piece of ordnance used in ships. It is supposed to have thrown a six-pound shot.
Salinometer.—An instrument for showing the saline density of water in marine engines.
Sally-port.—A large opening on each quarter of a fire-ship through which the people who fired the train escaped. Also the port by which a three-decker was entered.
Salt.—A sailor.
Salvage.—The saving of a vessel or any portion of her cargo from a situation of peril or after shipwreck.
Salvage bond.—A bond signed by the master, binding the owners of the ship and cargo to pay a given sum, to be afterwards proportioned by the High Court of Admiralty, to the persons who have rendered the salvage services admitted to have been performed in the bond.
Salvo.— A discharge of several guns all together.
Sampan.—A small Chinese boat.
Sampson-post.—A timber structure fitted with a bell to sound in a fog.
Sand-glass.—A glass containing sand that runs for fourteen or twenty-eight seconds, used in heaving the log.
Sand-strake.—A name for the garboard strake.
Saucer.—An iron socket in which the foot of a capstan revolves.
Save-all.—A sail under a lower studding-sail to catch the wind under the boom.
Sawed off square.—Said of a ship with an up-and-down stem and stern.
Scalding down.—Blowing hot water over a marine engine for cleansing it.
Scale.—Crust that collects upon the inside of a marine boiler.
Scale pan.—A large shallow pan for receiving the insoluble particles of salt or “scale” from marine boilers.
Scaling hammers.—Hammers for removing the scale.
Scandalizing.—Hauling up the tack of a fore-and-aft sail and lowering the peak.
Scantling.—The strength or thickness of iron or wooden sides. Literally, the sides themselves.
Scarph.—The connection of one piece of timber with the other by the overlapping of the ends.
Schooner.—A two-masted vessel rigged with fore-and-aft sails. A topsail schooner has square yards forward. A two-topsail schooner has square yards on both masts. A three-masted schooner has three masts, all rigged with fore-and-aft canvas.
Schuyt.—A Dutch vessel rigged like a galliot.
Scoffing.—Eating. To scoffs, thing is to eat it.
Scope.—Length, as a long scope of cable.
Score.—The groove cut in the side and bottom of a block to fit the strop to.
Scotch coffee.—Hot water flavored with burnt biscuit.
Scotchman.—A piece of wood fitted to a shroud or any other standing rope to save it from being chafed.
Scotch-prize.—A capture by mistake.
Scow.—A kind of lighter.
Scowbank.—One of the crew of a scow. A term of contempt addressed to a sailor.
Scraper.—A triangular iron instrument for scraping the deck. Also a cocked hat.
Screw-alley.—Also called the tunnel. An avenue direct from the engine-room of a steamer leading as far aft as the stern-tube bulkhead.
Screw-well.—An aperture over the screw of an auxiliary for allowing the propeller to be lifted.
Scribe.—To mark packages in bond with the number and weight.
Scrimp.—Small, faint, as ” a scrimp wind.”
Scrimshandy.—An Americanism signifying the objects in ivory or bone carved by whalemen during their long voyages.
Scrive board.—A number of planks clamped edge to edge together, and painted black. On these boards are marked with a sharp tool the lines of the sections or frames which have been previously drawn upon it. Used in iron ship-building.
Scrowl.—A piece of timber fixed to the knees of the head.
Scud.—To drive before a gale.
Scudders —The name given to fishermen, who, in hauling in the nets, shake the meshes in order to jerk out the fish.
Scuffle-hunters.—Formerly a set of men who offered their services on board a discharging ship ; they wore long aprons, in which to hide whatever they could steal.
Scull.—A small oar. Also to propel a boat by working an oar over the stern.
Scupper-leather.—A flap of leather outside a scupper hole, to prevent water from entering,
Scupper-ports.—Apertures in an iron steamer’s bulwarks for freeing the decks from water.
Scuppers.—The gutter of a ship’s decks, the water-ways.
Scuttle.—To sink a ship by boring holes in her. Also the forescuttle (which see).
Scuttle-butt.—A cask on deck in which fresh water is kept.
Scuttles.—Small holes in the ship’s sides for lighting and ventilating.
Sea-anchor.—Spars lashed together and flung overboard, to prevent a ship hove-to from falling into the trough of the sea.
Sea-board.—Where land and water meet.
Sea-boots.—Tall boots well greased, used in washing down in cold weather, &c.
Sea-cunny.—A term that often occurs in the old marine annals. It means a Lascar quarter-master.
Sea-day.—A day that begins at noon and ends on the following noon. It begins twelve hours earlier than the civil day.
Sea gear.—Running rigging that is used in setting and taking in sail, &c., at sea, but which is unrove in harbor for neatness and to preserve it.
Sea-going.—Fit for the sea. As “in sea-going trim.”
Sea-lawyers.—Scheming sailors, versed in marine law, so far at least as it concerns the forecastle, and capable, like Midshipman Easy, of arguing the point with captains.
Sea-legs.—The capacity of walking the decks of a rolling ship without staggering.
Sea-license.—A special license qualifying the person to whom it is granted to act as pilot for any part of the sea beyond the limits of any pilotage authority.
Seams.—The joints of the external planking. Also the places where the cloths are sewn together in a sail.
Sea-work.—The account of the ship’s way, &c., entered in the log at sea.
Sea-worthiness.—Tight, staunch, strong, and in every way fitted for the voyage.
Second hand.—The man next to the one in charge of a smack.
Second mate.—An officer in the merchant service. He ranks after the first or chief mate, and heads the starboard watch.
Second rate.—A ship of seventy-four guns was so called.
Secret block.—A sheave in a shell with holes in one extremity, large enough to receive the rope.
“See all clear for stays!”—An order preparatory to tacking a ship.
Seizing.—The lanyard, line, or stuff, with which anything is made fast. To seize, is to make a thing fast, by securing it to a place; as to seize a flag in the rigging.
Selvagee.—Rope-yarns worked into a bight and marled with spunyarn. Used as block-strops, &c.
Semaphore.—A signal consisting of arms, whose different postures signify certain meanings.
Send down.—To send down a yard, is to cast off all the rigging, bend the yard-rope to the slings, and stop it to the quarters; sway away, to remove the lifts and braces, and then lower. A mast is sent down by a mast rope.
Send or Scend.—The impulse of a wave by which a ship is carried bodily.
Senior officer.—The officer in command of a ship or squadron for the time being.
Sennit.—Rope-yarns twisted into foxes and plaited.
Sensible horizon.—The line described by sea and water where they meet.
Serang.—An Asiatic boatswain.
Serons.—Bullocks’ hides in which South American indigo is packed.
Serve.—To supply a gun with ammunition and to handle it.
Service.—Small stuff laid tightly round a rope.
Serving-board.—A wooden implement for laying small stuff upon a rope.
Serving-mallet.—A wooden implement used for laying spun-yarn or other small stuff on a large rope.
Serving out.—Giving the allowance of provisions, water, or rum, to the crew.
Set.—The set of a current is the compass direction it moves in.
Set flying.—Said of sails which are set from the deck or tops, such as a studding-sail.
Setting.—To pole a boat or barge along.
Setting-up.—To set up rigging is to bring it taut.
Settle.—To sink slowly; to founder. A whale settles when it sinks bodily in a horizontal position without moving tail or fin. Also to lower slowly, as ” Settle away those halyards!”
Sextant.—An instrument with an arch of 120° for measuring angular distances to determine the longitude. It is constructed on the same principle as a quadrant, but is furnished with more appliances than that instrument, to insure greater accuracy.
Shackle iron.—An iron bar for drawing bolts.
Shade errors.—Errors due to inequality of the glass of the colored shades of a sextant.
Shafting.—The connected shafts or lengths of steel or iron bars to which the propeller of a screw-steamer is attached.
Shaft stool.—The base of the shaft bearings in the tunnel of a screw-steamer.
Shake-out.—To unknot the reef-points in order to expand more of the sail.
Shaking.—Shaking a cask is knocking it into staves which are made into bundles.
Shakings.—Old canvas, rope, &c.
Shallop.—A boat formerly carried by ships.
Shallow-waistcd.—Said of a flush-decked ship where there is no poop nor topgallant forecastle to make a well.
Shank.—The middle piece of an anchor.
Shank-painter.—The rope or chain by which an anchor is secured to a ship’s side.
Shanty.—A small house. Sailor’s name for a bad house.
Shaping course.—”We shaped our course for such-and-such a port,” meaning, “We headed the ship for the port in question, and steered for it.”
Shark’s-mouth.—That part of an awning that fits round a mast.
Sharp up.—When the yards are braced hard against the lee rigging.
Shear-legs.—Appliances used for getting out and landing heavy weights, such as boilers, machinery, engines, &c., also for masting and dismasting vessels.
Shear-pole.—A pole for swifting in the rigging to put the ratlines on.
Shears.—Spars lashed together at angles, and used for taking in masts.
Sheathing.—The metal on a ship’s bottom, usually called yellow metal.
Sheathing-boards.—Boards formerly affixed to the bottom of vessels to protect them from sea-worms, &c.
Sheath-knife.—A knife carried in a sheath fitted to a belt round the waist.
Sheave.—The wheel inside a block which revolves with the rope that is hauled through it.
Shebeen.—A low public-house.
Sheepshank.—Half hitches over the ends of the bight in a rope, to shorten it without cutting.

Sheer.—The curve of a ship’s deck towards the head and stern. Also called spring.
Sheer-batten.—A piece of wood fixed to the shrouds above the deadeyes to prevent them from turning.
Sheer-drawing.—A drawing of a ship composed of three parts, i.e. the sheer plan, the half-breadth plan, and the body plan.
Sheer hulk.—An old dismasted, useless hull.
Sheering.—The shaping of any ship upwards.
Sheer off.—To shift the helm and get away.
Sheer-plan.—A drawing descriptive of half of the longest and widest and level section in a ship.
Sheer-streak.—The first plank below the covering-board.
Sheet-bend.—A bend for joining two ropes.
Sheet home.—An order to haul by means of the sheets the outer corners or clews of the sails to the yard-arms.
Sheets.—Ropes attached to the lower corners of square sails, and the after lower corners of fore-and-aft sails.
Sheeve ho!—A cry raised when the blocks of a tackle come together.
Shelf.—Internal ribs of wood along the whole length of a vessel to receive the ends of the beams.
Shell.—The outside portion of the case of a boiler. Also a projectile filled with a bursting charge. Also the outside part of a block.
Shelter-deck.—A name given to a deck that extends throughout a ship’s length and breadth. Such terms are quite new and apparently arbitrary, and consequently any attempt to define them must be unsatisfactory.
Shift.—To shift a sail is to unbend it and replace it by another.
Shifting-boards. —Movable boards in the hold of a ship to prevent the cargo from shifting in a sea-way.
Shimal.—A gale encountered in the Persian Gulf.
Shingle-tramper.—A coast-guardsman.
Ship.—A three-masted vessel with square yards, tops and top-mast crosstrees on each mast. Also, in law, any kind of vessel used in navigation, not propelled by oars.
Ship-boy.—An apprentice. A cabin boy. The term is obsolete.
Ship-chandler.—A tradesman who supplies ships with marine stores.
Ship-keeper.—A person who has charge of a ship in harbor when there is no crew aboard.
Shipmate.—Sailor’s word for brother-worker. One of a crew having relation to that crew. Messmate is one of a watch, having relation to that watch, because the members of it take their meals together.
Shipper.—One who embarks goods.
Shipping-bills.—Tapers containing particulars of the cargo to be shipped.
Shipping-master.—A person appointed to superintend the engagement and discharge of seamen, and to perform other duties.
Shipping-office.—An office where crews are engaged by captains, and where they sign articles.
Ship’s cousin.—One who lives aft, yet has to do the work of a foremast hand.
Ship’s husband.—A person to whom the management of a ship is entrusted by or on behalf of the owner.
Shipshape and Bristol fashion.—Spick and span. Everything smart above and below.
Ship-sloop.—Formerly a twenty-four-gun vessel that was rated as a ship when commanded by a captain.
Shipwright surveyor.—A person appointed to report upon the construction, life-saving equipment, water-tight bulkheads, &c., of iron and wooden ships.
Shiver.—To shiver a sail is to shake the wind out of it by luffing or bracing the yards to the wind.
Shoot the sun.—Taking its altitude.
Shop.—A dock term applied to three or more packages of tea arranged for the inspection of the brokers.
Shore.—To prop up a ship or anything with spars called shores.
Shore-anchor.—The anchor, when a ship is moored, that is between the shore and the ship.
Shore-cleats.—Pieces of wood fixed on a vessel’s side to support the shore-head when the ship is shored upright.
Shore-fast.—A rope that secures the vessel to anything on shore.
Short allowance.—A reduction in the quantity of provisions or water served out.
Short-handed.—Said of a ship without enough hands to work her properly.
Short-linked chain.—A chain without studs and consequently short- linked.
Short sea.—A quick jerky sea.
Short service.—Formerly said of chafing gear in a short range of hemp cable.
Short sheet.—A rope attached to the inner corner of a topmast studding-sail and belayed in the top.
Short-splice.—A connection formed by passing the six strands of two ropes over and under one another, and dividing the yarns so as to taper the splice.
Short topgallant mast.—A topgallant mast fitted with crosstrees above which a royal mast may be rigged and secured by a fid. See Slump topgallant mast.
Shot in the locker.—Money possessed by a seaman. “There is still a shot left in the locker,” or “the locker is low.”
Shot-lockers.—Places where the shot is kept in men-of-war, usually on each side of the fire-magazine.
Shot racks.—Iron rods fitted to hold shot.
Shot soup.—A name given to the pea-soup served out to the forecastle on account of the bullet-like hardness of the peas in it.
Shoulder-block.—A block with a projection in the shell to prevent the rope from jamming against the spar to which the block is affixed.
Shout.—A kind of punt used for shooting wild fowl. Also, standing drinks all round.
Shovel.—A term of con tempt applied to an incapable marine engineer.
Show a leg!—” Show a leg, there!” means, ” Show yourself” on the order being given to turn out.
Shrapnel.—Projectiles of shell for long range filled with bursting charge and bullets.
Shroud-laid.—A rope whose strands are laid from right to left.
Shrouds.—Ropes for the support of masts. They were formerly hemp, but are now nearly always of wire.
Shroud trucks.—Pieces of perforated wood seized to the standing rigging as fair-leaders for the running rigging.
Shrub.—An intoxicating drink sold in Calcutta to seamen.
Shuffle-board.—A game of quoits played on board ship.
Sick flag.—A name for the quarantine flag.
Sick mess.—The mess into which the sick men of a man-of-war’s crew are put.
Side ladder.—The gangway ladder (which see).
Side-men.—Men who attend the gangway to hand the side-ropes, &c., when a boat containing an officer or anybody of importance comes alongside.
Side or sister keelsons.—Timbers inside the frame of a ship abreast of the main-mast to strengthen the vessel in that part.
Side-pieces.—The name given to certain parts of a made mast.
Sidereal day.—The interval between the transit of a star over a meridian and its return to the same meridian.
Side-rods.—These are rods on each side the cylinder of a marine engine for producing a simultaneous movement.
Side-steps.—Small pieces of wood fixed to the side of a ship to serve as steps for climbing aboard.
Side-valve casing.—A cover to the nozzles or steam-ports on one side of the cylinder of a marine engine.
Sights.—Taking sights—taking an observation. To sight a mast is to watch it whilst it is being stayed.
Sight the anchor.— This is to heave it up until it shows, that it may be seen clear.
Signal-man.—A first-class petty officer in the navy who has charge of the signals.
Signal-stations.—Stations on the coast of England and abroad with which ships can communicate by means of the International Code of Signals.
Sill.—A piece of timber against which the gates of a dock close.
Silt.—Mud or shingle thrown up by the action of the tide.
Single.—To single a purchase is to unreeve the running part of it.
Single boating system.—Smacks fishing singly instead of in fleets. See Fleeting.
Single top-sail.—A whole top-sail—that is, the sail not divided by a yard. See Double Top-sails.
Single-whip.—A single rope rove through a fixed block.
Sing out.—To call, to hail. “Sing out!” also means, “Shout louder!”
Sing song.—Sailor’s name for a Chinese theatre.
Sinnit.—Grass laid up in plaits and used by sailors for making hats. See Sennit.
Siren —A horn for sounding blasts in foggy weather.
Sir-mark.—A particular mark to guide workmen in shipbuilding.
Sister-block.—Two blocks formed out of one piece of wood.
Six upon four.—Said of six men put upon rations which would be the usual allowance of four men.
Six-water grog.—Rum diluted by six times its quantity of water; reckoned a poor drink by Jack in old days, though in this age he gets nothing stronger than limejuice.
Skeel.—The name of a large kid or tub.
Skeet.—A scoop that was formerly used for wetting sails in light winds to accelerate the pace of the ship.
Skid-beams.—Supports on which booms and boom-boats are stowed.
Skids.—Large fenders over a ship’s side. Also supports on which boats are stowed on deck.
Skiff.—A long slender boat with a hole in the centre fitted with a sliding seat, used in rowing matches. It has nothing to do with sailors.
Skin.—To skin a sail is to roll it up taut and smoothly in the headband. Also the interior sides of a ship’s hold.
Skulls.—Small oars.
Sky-larking.—Horse-play; acting the fool.
Sky-light.—A glazed frame over a cabin, engine-room, &c., for the admission of light and air.
Sky-sail.—A small square sail that sets on a pole above the royalmast.
Sky-sail-pole.—A mast on which the sky-sail yard travels. It is a continuation of the royal mast.
Sky-scraper.—An imaginary sail set along with moon-sails, angel’s foot-stools, and the like, jokingly assumed to be carried by Yankees.
Slab.—The slack part of a sail.
Slab-line.—A rope to haul up the foot or slab of a course.
Slack helm.—Said of a ship that carries a lee helm.
Slack in stays —Slow in tacking; slow when in the act of going about.
Slack water.—The state of water in the pause between the flux and reflux of the tide.
Slatting.—The violent shaking of a fore-and-aft sail when in the wind or when being hauled down.
Sleepers.—Two cross-pieces over the top. Also knees which connect the transoms with the after timbers on a ship’s quarter.
Sleep in.—To remain in bed without being roused up to come on deck. To sleep through your watch on deck or all night.
Slew.—To turn.
Slice.—An instrument used for clearing the air-spaces between the bars of a furnace.
Slide-valve. — A valve that works on a cylinder-face for admitting steam to the upper and lower ports of the cylinder alternately.
Sliding gunters.—Masts fitted abaft a mast, and which may be easily got up and taken down.
Sliding keel.—A keel that may be lowered or raised at will by a winch or other apparatus.
Sling.—Passing a rope round anything to hoist it.
Sling-band.—A stout iron band round the centre of a lower yard with an eyebolt on top to which the slings are attached.
Sling-dogs.—Two iron implements shackled together and used in lifting timber.
Slings.—A chain or rope that suspends the centre of a yard. Hence “in the slings” means in the bunt or middle of a yard.
Slip —The loss of propelling power in the revolution of paddle wheels or a screw, due to the yielding of water; also to let a cable go overboard, to save the time that would be occupied in heaving up the anchor.
Slip-hooks.—Patent hooks for holding a boat at the davits; when the boat is lowered the hooks fly open and release her.
Slippery hitch.—A hitch or knot that gives when a strain is put upon it.
Slip-rope.—A rope bent to the cable and brought to the weather
quarter. Slip-shackle.—A shackle with a lever for letting go suddenly.
Slip-stopper.—A chain for stoppering the cable, for clearing hawse, unbitting, &c.
Slipway.—An inclined plane from which ships are launched.
Slives.—Heavy spars used in stowing hides.
Slobgollion.—Whaleman’s term for an oozy, stringy substance found in sperm oil.
Sloop.—A one-masted vessel with a standing bowsprit and fore-sail that sets on a stay.
Sloop-of-war.—A brig or corvette ship. She sometimes mounted eighteen guns, and, if deep waisted, twenty-six or twenty-eight.
Slops.—Clothes kept on board to sell to the crew.
Slop-shop —A ready-made clothing shop for seamen usually kept by crimps.
Sludge.—Thin spongy ice formed upon the surface of the ocean.
Slush.—Grease from the galley coppers used for greasing down the masts and making puddings for sailors.
Slush-bucket.—A bucket for holding grease, taken aloft for “greasing down.”
Slush-lamp.—A lamp used in some ships’ forecastle; it is fed by the filthy matter skimmed off the surface of the cook’s coppers. It is monstrous that owners’ parsimony should force sailors to use this vile-smelling light.
Smack.—A fishing-vessel, sometimes dandy-rigged, sometimes cutter-rigged with a jib that sets flying.
Smacksmooth.—Flush, as when a mast breaks short off the deck.
Small-arms-men.—The portion of a man-of-war’s crew trained to the use of muskets, pistols, cutlasses and other weapons which are called small arms.
Small stuff.—See Stuff.
Smart-money.—The pension given to wounded men.
Smasher.—A north-country seaman. Also the name by which the carronade used to be called.
Smiting-line.—A line used to loose a sail when confined by rope yarns.
Smoke-box.—A large receptacle for smoke in a steamer. The foot of the funnel is fitted into it through the funnel casing.
Smoke-sail.—A piece of canvas extended before the galley chimney to prevent the smoke from blowing aft when the vessel is head to wind.
Snags.—Stumps of trees which impede river navigation.
Snaking.—Winding small rope round backstays and stays and other large ropes, used in an engagement as a preventer should the rigging be severed. Also to pass small stuff round a seizing with marling hitches at the outer turns.
Snatch-block.—A block into which a ropes can be slipped without passing the end through the sheave-hole. The iron strop has a hinge to enable it to be lifted and closed.
Sneer.— To strain a vessel by carrying a heavy press of canvas.
Sneezer.—A gale of wind.
Sniffing valve.—A valve in a marine steam-engine connected with the condenser by a pipe under the air-pump. When pressed by steam entering the condenser it opens, otherwise it is kept shut by the pressure of the atmosphere.
Snotter.—A rope loop to prevent slipping, as, for instance, a block which is kept in its place at a boom-end by this loop. Also a rope for bending a tripping line to in sending down royal and topgallant yards.
Snow.—A vessel rigged like a brig, the only difference being that she has a try-sail mast for her try-sail.
Snub.—To bring up suddenly with an anchor and short range of cable. Also to check a rope suddenly.
Snug.—A ship is said to be snug when she is prepared to meet bad weather.
Sny.—An upward bend in a piece of timber.
So!—An exclamation to signify, “That will do!” “Enough!” “No higher,” &c.
Socket signal.—A rocket discharged from a socket to a great height where it explodes with much noise. It is fired by a friction tube attached to a lanyard.
Soft-tack. —Bread as distinct from biscuit, which is called ship’s bread.
Soger.—A soldier. A term of contempt applied to a sailor.
Sobering.—Loafing, skulking, idling, making pretend to work.
Solar day.—The interval between the sun’s departure from and return to the same meridian.
Soldier’s wind.—A fair wind either way, outwards or homewards; therefore a beam wind or thereabouts.
Sole piece.—A piece of timber on the heel of the rudder, meant to come easily off, should the ship take the ground.
Sole plate.—A plate that forms the foundation for a marine engine to rest on.
Solid bottomed.—Said of a vessel with close timbers in her bottom, no limbers and no proper water-ways. Any water, therefore, that a ship so built makes, has to find its way to the pump well through the ballast.
Solstitial points.—Two points of the ecliptic 90° distant from the equinoctial points.
Soniwax, or Sonnywax.—A term used by sailors when addressing boys. “Look here, my soniwax, turn to and,” &c. It is probably meant as a marine diminutive of son.
Sound.—To heave the lead. To plumb the bottom. A whale sounds when it throws its flukes aloft and sinks head foremost.
Sounding machine.—A machine dropped overboard and operated on by the water that turns a fan whose motion is communicated to the register wheels by which the depth of the water is shown.
Sounding-rod.—A rod marked with a scale of feet and inches, for dropping into the well to ascertain the depth of water.
Soundings.—In soundings, is being in water whose bottom can be reached by the lead. Soundings is the name given to the entrance of the English Channel between latitude 480 and 490
Soup and bouilli.—Pronounced soup and bully, and nicknamed by Jack, soap and bullion: preserved meat, vegetables, &c., in soup—usually horribly nauseous.
Southerly-buster.—A sudden gale from the southward in Australian latitudes.
Southing.—Distance made good to the south.
Sou’-wester.—A waterproof covering for the head, with a thatch down the back for the water to drain off by.
Space system.—A mode of ventilating a ship’s hold freighted with bags of rice. A tunnel is formed of the bags, placed fore and aft, leaving an empty space about a foot wide which forms the ventilating tunnel. This is also known as Heap’s system.
Span.—A rope made fast at both ends for hooking a block to the bight of it.
Span-blocks.—Blocks at the head of the top-mast and topgallant mast for studding-sail halyards to reeve through.
Span-irons.—Harpoons secured to the sides of a whale-boat above the thwarts.
Spanish burton.—A tackle consisting of two single blocks, one fixed, the other movable.
Spanish foxes.—Single rope-yarns unlaid and then rolled up. See
Spanish reef.—The yards on the cap.
Spanish windlass.—A purchase for bringing two taut ropes together.
Spanker.—The fore-and-aft gaff-sail on the mizzen-mast of a ship or barque. Also called Mizzen and Driver.
Spanking.—Sailing swiftly along with the wind so quartered as to keep the spanker full.
Spanner.—A key for screwing up nuts.
Span of rigging.—Is the length of the shrouds from the dead-eyes to the mast-head and down the other side.
Spar.—The term for any kind of mast, boom, &c.
Spar buoys.—A buoy showing only a mast above water.
Spar deck.—Defined as being the third deck from below. But the term is now used without much attention to the old meaning. It is best, perhaps, to define it as a light deck fitted over the upper deck of a vessel.
Spar-decked.—This term is applied to iron steamers whose sheer strake plate is half above and half below the line of main deck beams.
Spar down.—This is to place spars in the rigging for the men to stand on whilst rattling down.
Sparred.—A vessel is lightly or heavily sparred according as her masts and yards are below or above her dimensions in weight and height.
Speaking.—A vessel is said to speak, when she begins to throw the water from her bows. Also, speaking is to meet and hail a ship at sea or to signal her with flags.
Speaking-trumpet.—A tube for hailing and speaking through, when the ship to be spoken is too far off for the natural voice to make itself heard. It is also used for issuing commands in a storm.
Spectianeer.—The head or chief harpooner in a whaler.
Spell.—An interval of labour or rest. As, to take a spell at the pumps is to be actively employed ; to take a spell below, is to turn in and do nothing.
Spenser.—A try-sail.
Spent shot.—A shot near the end of its journey, but very capable of doing a deal of mischief.
Spewing oakum.—This is said of a vessel when through her laboring she forces the oakum out of her seams.
Spherical buoy.—A buoy showing a domed top above water.
Spider.—An iron outrigger to keep a block clear of the ship’s side.
Spider-hoop.—A hoop round a mast fitted with belaying-pins.
Spilling-line.—A rope for shaking the wind out of a sail by spilling it.
Spinnaker.— A large triangular sail used by racing yachts.
Spinnaker boom.—A boom to extend a spinnaker sideways when the wind is abaft.
Spirketting.—The planking over the water-ways.
Spitfire jib.—A small yacht’s jib made of strong canvas for rough weather.
Splice.—A connection formed by passing the ends of two ropes through their strands.
Splice the main brace.—An expression to denote serving out grog.
“Splice the standing, knot the running rigging.”—The method of temporarily repairing injuries sustained by the rigging after an engagement.
Sponsons.—Platforms or extensions on either side the paddle-box of a steamer.
Spoon-barge.—A barge furnished with an apparatus that lifts mud for dredging or cleansing purposes, and throws it into the bottom of the barge.
Spoon-drift.—A name given to the spray swept in a gale from the tops of seas and that forms a haze.
Spooning.—Running under small canvas. A very old and obsolete word.
Spread-eagle.—The posture of a man seized up to be flogged. To “make a spread-eagle” of a man is to flog him. “Brought to the gangway” means the same thing.
Spring.—A rope led from a ship’s quarter to her cable, to bring her broadside to bear upon a given object. Also a rise or curve in the bow or stem of a ship.
Spring-stay.—A preventer stay for the extra support of a mast.
Springtides.—High tides which occur after new and full moon.
Sprit-—A small sail carried by open boats. Also a sail carried by a barge called a spritsail barge.
Spritsail sheet-knot.—”No larger than a spritsail sheet-knot,” said of a small man or boy.
Spritsail topsail.—A sail that formerly extended above the sprit sail by a yard which hung under the jib boom.
Spritsail-yard.—A yard that formerly crossed the lower part of the bowsprit on which a sail called the spritsail was set. The spritsail was furnished with a large hole at each lower corner to let the water escape. The spritsail-yard was retained long after the sail was disused, but is now almost universally replaced by whiskers (which see).
Spritsail-yard fore and aft.—In former times, when men-of-war were rigged with these spars upon their bowsprits, they would, before boarding an enemy, haul the spritsail yards round on a line, or nearly so, with the bowsprit, so that they might not be in the way. This was called “spritsail-yard fore and aft.”
Spritsail-yarding.—Rigging a shark with a piece of spar through his nose and sending him adrift.
Sprocket wheel.—A wheel in the chain-pump worked by a handle.
Sprung.—A spar is sprung when the fibers of the wood are injured by straining.
Spuds.—Jack’s name for potatoes.
Spume.—Froth blown up by the wind. Very different from spray.
Spun-yarn.—Stuff made by twisting old yarns together with a little winch.
Spurling-line.—This used to be a line that was fitted to the wheel and an indicator to show the direction of the tiller.
Squall.—A sudden burst of wind of short duration; though, to be sure, a gale may sometimes come on in a squall.
Square.—Square-rigged, having yards instead of gaffs.
Square-butted.—This term is applied to a yard-arm sufficiently stout to enable a sheave-hole to be cut in it without weakening the spar.
Square knot.—A reef knot.
Square-rigged.—A ship; but the term is applied to any mast that carries square yards, such, for instance, as a brigantine, which you would describe as being square-rigged forward.
Square sail.—A large sail that is set from the deck upon the foreyard of a schooner.
Square-tucks.—Sterns square below, like boat’s sterns, with a modern stern built up from the counter.
Square yards.—Literally when the yards lie fair upon the masts exactly athwartships: but the term is also applied to very or long yards.
Squaring-marks.—Marks on the lifts and braces for squaring the yards.
Squaring yard signals.—A method of directing the bracing and topping of the yards by exhibiting hand-flags.
Squat.—A vessel is said to squat when she sails on an uneven keel.
Squatter.—To lie broad upon the water.
Squillagee.—A small swab.
Stabber.—A small marline-spike.
Staff.—A flag-pole.
Staff-captain.—A master of the fleet.
Staff-commander.—A master of fifteen years’ seniority.
Stage.—A platform hung over the side for men to stand on whilst painting, carpentering, &c.
Staith.—A structure for shooting coal into a ship’s hold.
Stanchion.—An upright support, such as the bulwark stanchions, the stanchions in a cabin, &c.
Standard.—A knee above the deck.
Standard compass.—A compass from which a ship’s course is given and referred to the steering compass by comparison
Standards.—Iron connections between the stern-post and deck beams of a screw-steamer to resist the vibration caused by the propeller.
Stand by! —An order to make ready. Literally, stand by the ropes, ready to let go.
Stand-by steering gear.—A wheel situated aft, working the rudder by screw-gear, for use in case of the midship steering-gear breaking down.
Standing.—Steering in a certain direction, as ” she was standing to the eastward.” Also, the part of a rope that is fast, that cannot be hauled on is called the standing part.
Standing gaff.—A gaff that does not lower, such as the gaff of a ship’s mizzen which is taken in by being hauled down the gaff and brailed up against the mast.
Standing jib.—A large jib carried by ships or barques, but now replaced by the inner and outer jibs.
Standing rigging.—All the ropes in a ship which are fitted and stationary, such as the shrouds, stays and backstays, martingale, bobstays, &c.
Stands.—The name given to poles placed across rivers to bar entrance.
Starboard.—The right-hand side, looking forward.
Starboard tack.—A ship is on this tack when she is sailing with the wind blowing over the right-hand bow.
Starboard the helm! —An order to shift the wheel so as to force the vessel’s head to the left.
Starbowlines.—An old name for the portion of the crew who form the starboard watch.
Star-gazer.—An imaginary sail, like sky-scraper (which see).
Start.—Any fixed thing forcibly moved without being wholly removed from its place, as from the blow of a sea or a collision, is said to be started. Also a cask is said to be started when it is opened.
Starting gear.—The general name of the levers, wheels, &c., used for starting marine engines.
Station staffs.—Curved battens used in shipbuilding.
Stations for stays!—In a man-of-war this means to make ready for going about.
Staves.—The pieces of wood which form the sides of a cask.
Stay.—A rope that supports a mast by leading forward. The stays take their names from the masts they support, such as the main stay, the fore-topmast stay, the mizzen-topgallant stay.
Stayed forward or aft.—Said of masts inclined towards the bows or the stern by ill-judged tension of the stays or backstays.
Staying.—Tacking. The act of beating or going about.
Stays.—A vessel is in stays when she is in the act of tacking It includes the whole procedure from the time of “helm’s alee!” to “let go and haul!”
Stay-sail.—A fore-and-aft sail that hoists upon a stay. Stay-sails take their names from the stays on which they travel.
Stay-tackles.—Tackles attached to a stay for hoisting weights or lowering them.
Steady!—An order to the helmsman to keep the vessel heading as she goes.
Steadying-lines—Ropes used in a boat for keeping her upright in hoisting.
Stealer.—The name given to a plank in a strake that does not extend right forward or aft.
Steam-chest.—A term that indicates the space above the water surface in the boiler of a marine engine.
Steam-circle.—A circle drawn on the chart round the port to which a steamer is bound, for calculating distance with reference to the amount of coal on board.
Steam-gauge.—An indicator for showing the pressure in pounds of steam upon the square inch in boilers.
Steam-pipe.—A pipe connected with the stop or communication valve of a marine boiler to convey the steam to the super heater or from one boiler to another or to the engines.
Steam-space.—The portion of the boiler, above the water-level, where the steam accumulates.
Steam-steering apparatus.—A helm that is governed by steam. A man revolves the wheel, but the steam-engine turns the rudder. There are many different sorts.
Steeple engine.—The name given to a marine engine whose guide to the connecting-rod works above the crank shaft.
Steep-tub.—A tub in which salt meat is soaked to freshen it.
Steerage.—The after interior of a ship under the saloon, if she has a poop. By some the steerage of a ship is apparently considered to be wherever her steerage passengers are lodged. The term, however, sufficiently indicates the right locality.
Steerage-way.—Said of a vessel that has just movement enough to answer her helm.
Steer-oar.—An oar used in steering a boat.
Steeve.—A bowsprit steeves more or less according to the angle it makes with the horizon. Also to stow freight, from stevedore (which see).
Stemson.—A timber used as a support for the stem.
Step.—A timber on which the heel of a mast rests.
Stern-all!—An order to rowers to back the boat.
Sternboard.—Making a ship go backwards by her sails.
Stern chaser.—A gun in the stern-port of a ship for firing at an enemy in the wake.
Stem-on.—Keeping the stern of a boat at the seas rolling after her. Also said of a ship that rounds and presents her stern as she recedes.
Stern-ports.—Ports between the stern timbers for lights, ventilation, &c. Also for guns.
Stern-sheets.—The after-part of an open boat.
Stem-tube.—A cylinder in the after peak of a steamer in which the propeller shaft works.
Stern-tube bulkhead.—A division at the foremost end of the lazarette, to prevent the water from entering the hold should any accident befall the propeller or shaft.
Stern-walk.—In the days of three-deckers this was a platform or gallery over the stern.
Stern-way.—The movement of a vessel carried or impelled backwards.
Stevedore.—A man who stows cargo in a ship under the captain’s order.
Steward.—A saloon waiter. One who has charge of the stores. Those under him are called under-stewards.
Sticks.—A name given to masts. “She has handsome sticks,” that is, she is handsomely sparred.
Stiff.—A term applied to a ship when she is able to bear a press of sail without heeling over to any great extent.
Stiffening-booms.—Booms used for steadying vessels from which the ballast has been removed, thus enabling them to be moved to their loading berths.
Stink-pot.—A contrivance thrown on an enemy’s deck. It gives forth a horrid smell. It is still used by Chinese pirates.
Stirrups.—Pieces of rope to support the foot-ropes, or rather, on long yards, to prevent the foot-ropes from making so deep a bight as to bring a man too low for working when standing on them.
Stock.—The cross piece on the upper part of the shank of an anchor.
Stockade.—Timbers joined by iron chains and strengthened by a cable twisted round them and mounted at each end with cannons. An old method of fortifying the mouth of a river.
Stocker-bait.—Small fish given by smack-owners to their apprentices to sell for their own profit.
Stocks.—A fabric of shores and blocks shelving towards the water in which ships are built.
Stock tackle and pendent.—A tackle for dragging in the upper arm of the anchor stock.
Stoke-hole.—A place in a steamer occupied by the men who feed the fires.
Stoker.—A trimmer or fireman who attends to a steamer’s furnaces.
Stools.—Small channels for the dead-eyes of the backstays. Also supports for the shaft bearings of a propeller-shaft.
Stop.—A fastening of small stuff. See Stopping.
Stop!—The cry in heaving the log. It is delivered by the person who holds the sand-glass to denote that the sand has run out and that the log-line must be checked.
Stop-cock.—A cock for shutting off communication between boilers.
Stoppage in transit.—A term signifying that an unpaid seller or consigner of goods has a right, on the insolvency of the purchaser or consignee, to stop delivery of those goods.
Stopper.—To pass a stopper is a method of securing a rope whilst it is being made fast.
Stopper-bolts.—Ring-bolts for the deck stoppers.
Stopping.—Fastening two parts of a rope together by binding them side by side.
Stop-valves.—A valve affixed to the upper part of a boiler for confining the steam or letting it into the steam-pipes leading to the engines. Also used for letting steam from one boiler into another.
Stop-water.—A plug driven into the scarph of a keel or the foot of the stem or stern-post to prevent the water from finding its way into the ship.
Storage.—Charges for storing articles of merchandise in dock accommodation.
Store-rooms.—Rooms in a man-of-war where the carpenter’s, gunner’s and boatswain’s stores are kept.
Storm-disk.—The thin whirling stratum of air that constitutes the cyclone.
Storm-finch.—A name for the petrel or Mother Carey’s chickens.
Storm-jib.—A fore-and-aft sail of stout canvas used by ships in heavy weather.
Storm-sails.—Sails of No. I canvas, bent for use in stormy latitudes.
Strand.—A number of yarns twisted and forming a part of a rope.
Stranded.—The situation of a vessel when ashore.
Stranger.—This name is given to a vessel that heaves in sight showing no colors, and of which no particulars can be ascertained.
Stray line.—About sixty or seventy feet of the log-line next the log-ship for paying overboard, so that the log-ship may go clear of the eddy.
Streak or strake.—A range of plates or planks along a ship’s side.
Stream a buoy.—Is to drop it overboard.
Stream anchor.—An anchor in size between the bower and the kedge. It is used for warping and sometimes for mooring.
Streamer.—A pennant.
Stream-ice.—The name given to ice when drifting along in a narrow line.
Stretch.—A board. A long stretch is to sail a long distance on one tack.
Stretchers.—Supports for the feet at the bottom of a boat for rowing. Also supports placed between the sides of a boat when hoisted and griped. Also yarns full of exaggeration or downright lies.
Stretch out!—An order to rowers to bend their backs.
Strike.—To submit to a conqueror by hauling down the colors.
Striking a mast.—Is to send it down on deck. See Housing.
Stringers are of two kinds: hold and deck stringers. The deckstringer is a strake of plating to stiffen the bottom plating, &c.; hold-stringers are connected to the bottom and riveted to alternate frames. They serve as strong internal fastenings in iron and wooden ships.
Stroke.—A single sweep of an oar through the water. Also the person who pulls the stroke or aftermost oar.
Stroke-side.—The side of a boat where the aftermost oar ships.
Strop.—Literally a strap. A ring of rope or iron round a block.
Studding-sails.— Sails extended beyond the usual square sails. They are hoisted by halyards leading through jewel-blocks at the yard-arms, and are extended at the foot by studding-sail booms. On the fore are the lower, topmast, and topgallant studding-sails: on the main, topmast and topgallant studdingsails. Royal studding-sails are sometimes carried.
Studding-sail boom.—A spar that rigs in and out upon a lower topsail or topgallant yard for stretching the foot of a studding-sail upon.
Studding-sail yard.—The spar to which the head of a studding-sail is attached.
Studs.—Pieces of iron across the middle of the links of a chain cable.
Stuff.—A word to denote small lines, yarns, &c., for seizing, serving, and the like.
Stuffing-box.—A means of packing the piston of an engine to keep it steam-tight.
Stump topgallant mast.—Topgallant masts without royal masts above them. They are also called short topgallant masts.
Sturisail.—Sailor’s pronunciation of studding-sail.
Sub-lieutenant. —A midshipman of the Royal Navy who has passed for lieutenant.
Sucking-pump.—A pump that raises water by exhausting the air in the pump barrel.
Suction pipes.—Pipes in a steamer for pumping the vessel out by the engines. They lead from the different compartments to the engine-room, and are, or should be, connected not only to the bilge-pumps on the main engines, but to the donkey pumps.
Sue.—When a ship is ashore, she is said to sue as the water leaves her.
Sugg.—To rock with the action of the sea when stranded.
Suit of canvas.—All the sails required to be bent, but not the spare sails.
Sumatras.—Winds encountered in the Straits of Malacca.
Sumner’s method.—A mode of finding out a ship’s position at sea when the latitude is doubtful or the chronometer inaccurate.
Sun dog.—A mock sun shining near the sun.
Sun-swing.—A term signifying the influence of the sun in its toand-fro motion between the Tropics upon the polar limits of the trade-winds.
Supercargo.—A person in a merchant-ship who manages the sales and superintends the commercial part of a voyage.
Super-heater.—A contrivance, variously constructed, placed in the up-take of a marine steam-engine, to increase the heat of the steam in its passage from the boiler to the engine.
Supper.—Tea is called supper at sea, being the last meal. A sailor never “drinks tea,” but “gets his supper.”
Supporter.—A knee bolted to the side of a ship and the cathead.
Surface-condenser.—A method of condensing steam from the cylinder of a marine engine, whereby the condensed steam returns to the boiler as pure water.
Surge.—A wave. Also to yield, to give, or to pay out, as surge the cable.
Surging.—The slipping of the cable round the windlass barrel, or of a hawser or rope round the barrel of a capstan.
Survey.—Observations, soundings, &c., for the construction of charts.
Surveyors.—Persons employed by the Board of Trade and Lloyd’s. The duty of the officers of the Board of Trade is to see that ships are seaworthy: that of the latter to see that they are built in accordance with Lloyd’s rules for classification. The former are supposed to act in the interests of human life, the others in the interest of property.
Swab.—An epaulette. Also a mop composed of rope-yarns used for drying the decks. Also a term of contempt when applied to a man.
Swallow.—The part of a block through which the rope reeves.
Swatchway.— An opening in a shoal. A narrow, navigable by small vessels, in a sand-bank.
Sway away!—An order to haul aloft, to hoist up.
Swear through a nine-inch plank.—An old sea-term expressive of a man who would swear to any lie. It was a favorite expression of Lord Nelson when referring to American skippers.
Sweating cargo.—A cargo, such as wool, that exudes and produces an atmosphere obnoxious to health, and susceptible of spontaneous ignition.
Sweating the purser.—An old term for wasting ship’s stores.
Sweeps.—Long, heavy oars.
Swell.—The heaving of the sea.
Swifter.—The forward shroud of a lower mast. Also a rope for keeping a capstan bar to its place when inserted in the capstan.
Swifter in.—To tauten slack standing rigging by bringing the opposite shrouds together.
Swig.—To drink. Also to haul taut.
Swing the monkey.—A game that consists in striking with knotted handkerchiefs a man who swings to a rope made fast aloft. The person the “monkey” strikes whilst swinging, takes his place.
Swinging-boom.—A boom at a ship’s side that extends the foot of a lower studding-sail.
Swinging-tray.—A tray in a cabin or saloon depending from the ceiling or deck. These trays are usually placed over the tables, so that glasses, decanters, &c., may be placed upon them. They swing with the roll of the ship, and thus prevent the things they support from capsizing.
Swing off.—To pull upon a taut rope at right angles. Also swig off.
Swipes.—The washings and rinsing of old beer barrels.
Swivel.—A revolving link of a chain cable. Every length of cable is swiveled. See Cable.
Sword mat.—A mat used as chafing gear.
Sympicsometer.—An instrument for measuring the weight of the atmosphere. It is used with the barometer whose indications it forestalls.
Tabernacle.—A wooden box, hollow above the deck and then solid to the bottom of the vessel. The mast steps in it, and is secured by a pin. The back is open, so that the mast can be lowered. When the mast is erect the tabernacle is closed by a clamp.
Table-cloth.—A white cloud that sometimes covers the top of Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope.
Table-money.—An allowance to admirals and senior officers, outside their pay, for purposes of official hospitality.
Tabling.—The double part of a sail close to the bolt-rope.
Taboo.—A custom in the South Sea Islands. A piece of white tappa is fastened to a ship’s jib boom, as a sign that the vessel must not be boarded by the islanders. A ship so decorated is said to be under a taboo.
Tack.—The rope attached to the weather corner of a course. The foremost lower corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
Tack-block.—A block fitted at the outer end of a topgallant and main-topmast studding-sail boom.
Tacking.—Beating against the wind.
Tackle.—A purchase formed of a rope rove through blocks.
Tack-pins. — Also called jack-pins, belaying-pins.
Tack (to).—To beat, to go about, to reach.
Tail.—A rope at the end of a block for attaching it to anything.
Tail-block.—A block with a short length of rope spliced into the end.
Tail-jigger.—A tackle composed of a double and single block.
Tail of a gale.— The close of a gale.
Tail on I—An order to lay hold and pull. More often “tally on.”
Tail tackle.—A watch-tackle.
Taking a departure.— See Departure.
Tallow down.—To coat over the bright work of an engine with a mixture of white lead and tallow.
Tally.—To check freight going over the side in board or out.
Tallyman.—The person who tallies.
Tally on.—An order to catch hold and haul.
Tangent screw.—A screw for perfecting the contact of the index of a sextant.
Tap the admiral.—Said of a man who would drink anything.
Tartar.—A lateen-rigged vessel with one mast.
Tattoo.—Blue or red devices pricked into the flesh of seamen.
Taut hand.—The term for an officer severe in his discipline.
Taut leech.—Said of a sail on a wind when well set.
Tea chop.—A lighter in which tea for freight is brought alongside ships in China.
Tea wagon.—Formerly an East Indiaman.
Tell-tale.—An inverted compass fixed in a cabin.
Tend.—To watch a vessel at anchor as the tide turns, so as to keep her cables clear.
Tender.—A vessel waiting on another or others. A ship is said to be tender when she heels easily under a weight of wind.
Tenon.—The heel of a mast that fits into the step.
Terre Altos.—N.W. squalls encountered in the neighborhood of Rio Janeiro.
Test-cock.—A small cock fitted to the feed-pipe of a marine engine between the valve chest and boiler for drawing off feed water to test temperature.
There she breezes!—An exclamation used when the wind freshens and the ship drives through it at an increased speed.
Thermometer.—An instrument for showing the temperature of the air.
Thick and thin block.— Having one sheave larger than the other.
Thick-stuff.—An old author defines this term as “all plank which is thicker than four inches.”
Thimble.—An iron eye or ring grooved to receive a rope.
Thin waterway.—The deck-plank nearest to the waterway, and that follows the curve of the ship’s side.
Thole-mat.—A mat for muffling the sound of oars in the pins.
Thole-pins.—Pieces of wood fitted into the gunwale of a boat to steady the oars in rowing.
Thorough footing.—Passing the end of a rope through its own coil and then taking it to the capstan for a stretching.
Three-decker.—A ship with three whole battery decks.
Three-flag signals.—Three flags hoisted in alphabetical order and meant to represent questions and replies on general matters.
Throat.—The inner corner of a spanker or stay-sail. Throat halyards.—Halyards to hoist a gaff.
Throat seizing.—A seizing for block strops, &c.
Throttle valve.—A valve in the throat of the steam-pipe next to the cylinder for regulating the supply of steam.
Through the fleet.—An abolished punishment that consisted in towing a culprit through a fleet of vessels at each one of which he received a certain number of lashes.
Thrum.—To make a rough surface on a mat by inserting short strands of yarn.
Thwart.—A seat in an open boat.
Tic-a-tack.—A Chinese boat like a sampan.
Tide.—The regular rising and falling of the waters of the ocean.
Tide-rip.—A disturbance in mid-ocean caused by the meeting of two currents.
Tide-rode.—Swung by the force of the tide.
Tide sail.—”A captain on a tide sail,” that is, a captain ready to leave dock by the next tide.
Tier.—A range of casks. The range of the bights of a cable.
Tierce.—A cask of beef.
Tight.—Said of a vessel free from leaks. Also said of a man intoxicated.
Tiller.—A piece of timber or metal fitted upon the rudder-head fore-and-aft and used for steering.
Tiller-head.—The extremity of the tiller to which the wheel-chains are attached.
Tiller-ropes.—Ropes used before the adoption of wheel-chains, leading from the tiller-head round the barrel of the wheel.
Tilt.—A boat canopy.
Timber.—A term for all large pieces of wood.
Timber-heads.—The tops of the timbers above the decks.
Timber-hitch.—A rope passed round a spar, &c., and the end passed round and under its own part.
Timber-pond.—A space of water in the vicinity of docks for the convenience of storing timber.
Timbers.—The ribs of a wooden ship.
Time-ball.—A ball dropped in accurate correspondence with Greenwich time.
Timenoguy.—A rope to prevent the sheet or tack of a course from fouling in working.
Timoneer.—The helmsman.
Tipping the grampus.— Ducking a man for sleeping in his watch on deck.
Tip the nines.—To founder by being overset from press of canvas.
Toe a line!—Stand in a row.
Togged to the nines.—In full rig and dressed with uncommon care.
Toggle.—A pin through any kind of eye to prevent it from drawing out of its place.
Toggle-bolt.—For holding a small flag-staff by means of a strap.
Tomahawk.—A kind of pole-axe that was formerly used by boarders.
Tom Cox’s traverse.—” Tom Cox’s traverse, three turns round the long boat and a pull at the scuttle butt,” said of a man who shirks work, feigns to be busy in doing nothing, &c.
Tom Pepper.—A liar.
Tompion.—A plug in a cannon’s mouth.
Tonnage-deck .—The upper deck in ships which have less than three decks, and the second deck from below in all other ships.
Top.—A platform on each lower mast, to spread the top-mast rigging and for men to stand on in working aloft.
Top-awnings.—Hammocks in the rigging, stowed there to protect the men in the top.
Top-blocks.—Large single iron-bound blocks used for sending topmasts up or down.
Top-board.—A board formerly affixed to the after-side of tops and variously ornamented.
Top-burton.—A tackle composed of a double block fitted with a hook, and a single block fitted with a hook and thimble, whilst a long strop with a thimble at the end is fitted to the strop of the single block.
Top-castles.— Anciently the tops of ships.
Tope.—A small junk.
Topgallant breeze.—A wind not so strong but that a ship can show her main-topgallant sail to it.
Topgallant forecastle.—A raised structure on the forecastle of a ship, in which the crew sleep.
Topgallant sheets are flown!—Formerly a signal to intimate that an enemy was in sight.
Top-light.—A signal lantern on an admiral’s ship.
Top-lining.—A lining to prevent the after-part of a top-sail from chafing against the rim of the top.
Top-maul.—A large hammer used by riggers.
Top-men.—In a man-of-war hands stationed in the tops for working the upper sails.
Topping.—Boot-topping is cleansing a vessel’s bottom, and then smearing it with grease, &c.
Topping-lift.—A rope used for lifting up the end of a boom.
Top-rail.—A rail across the hinder part of a top.
Top-sail haul!—An order in tacking when the main-sail is furled.
Topsail sheet-block.—A block shackled or stropped into the clew of a top-sail for bending the sheets.
Top-swivel.—A small gun formerly worked in a ship’s tops.
Top the glim.—Snuff a candle.
Top-timbers.—The highest timbers on a vessel’s side.
Top up.—To raise a boom with the topping-lift.
Tormentor.—A fork used in fishing out the salt meat from the coppers.
Tornadoes.—Furious gusts of wind which blow from all parts of the horizon, chiefly encountered off the Guinea coast.
Tosher.—A small fishing-vessel.
Toss.—To throw up an oar and lay it down with its blade forward.
Tot.—A small measure. A tot of grog was the dose served out at the quarter-deck capstan in the days of grog at sea.
Tot of grog.—A gill of rum.
Touch.—A sail touches when it is brought so close to the wind that its weather leech shakes.
Touch her up.—Shake a vessel by luffing.
Touching.—Touching the wind is sailing so close as to keep the upper leeches lifting.
Touching at.—Anchoring or putting into a port during a voyage.
Tow.—To draw, to tug.
Towing bridle.—A chain to attach a hawser to for towing.
Tow-rail.—The arched rail on the after-part of a tug upon which the towing hawser travels or rests.
Town-ho!—An old whaling cry raised by the masthead-man on first sighting a whale.
“To work hard, live hard, die hard, and go to hell after all would be hard indeed!”—Jack’s philosophy.
T-plates.—Irons under a ship’s channels for extra strength.
Trade-room.—A Yankee name for a part of the hold where fancy goods for barter. &c., are kept.
Trade-winds.—Winds which prevail in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, between the limits of about 300 N. and S. latitude. On the N. side of the Equator the winds are called the N.E. Trades, on the S. side the S.E. Trades.
Trail-boards.—Ornamental boards on either side a ship’s stern.
Training-ship.—A ship for the training of boys for the navy and merchant-service.
Train-tackle.—A tackle for running guns in and out.
Trammel.—A net for river and sea work.
Transient ships.—Merchant-vessels which are neither liners nor regular traders; the term signifies that they are at one place to-day and somewhere else to-morrow.
Transoms.—Timbers across a ship’s stern for receiving the ends of deck planks, &c.
Transom stern.—The old-fashioned square stern.
Transport.—A ship that conveys troops.
Trapping-lines.—Lines passed round the hawsers from the quarters of a vessel having another in tow, to prevent the ends from getting foul of the propeller, should the hawsers part.
Traps.—A sailor’s traps are his clothes, bedding, chest, &c. When he talks of going ashore with his traps, these are the things he means.
Traveler.—An iron ring to slip along a rope.
Traverse a yard.—Getting it fore-and-aft.
Traverse-board.—A board for indicating a ship’s course, by pegs inserted in holes.
Traverse-sailing.—A method in navigation of reducing the zigzag track of a ship into a single course and distance.
Traverse tables.—Tables used for a variety of calculations in Navigation and chiefly for working out the dead reckoning.
Trawler.—A smack that fishes by shooting a trawl-net.
Trawl-warp.—A warp about 60 fathoms long, used by smacks in towing the trawl.
Treble-reefed.—Said of a top-sail with three reefs tied in it.
Treenails.—Long wooden pegs for fastening planking to timber, &c.
Trend.—The direction pursued by a coast. Also the lower end of the shank of an anchor.
Trestle-trees.—Fore-and-aft pieces on each side a mast to support the cross-trees and top.
Triatic stay.—A rope at the heads of the fore and main masts, fitted with thimbles to hook the stay-tackles to.
Trice.—To haul up.
Trick.—Two hours at the helm.
Trim.—The condition of a vessel with reference to her posture on the water. To trim a vessel is to adjust her posture afloat by the head or stern.
Trimmer.—A man employed in loading coal.
Trimming.—A beating or jacketing.
Trip.—To raise an anchor off the ground.
Tripping.—Lifting a mast to withdraw the fid.
Tripping-line.—For tripping a royal or topgallant yard in sending it down.
Trip-stopper:—A short chain secured by eyebolts to the side, and used for canting the anchor in letting go.
Tropics.—Are contained within the parallels of latitude 230 28 north and south of the Equator.
Trow.— A kind of barge.
Truck.—A round piece of wood at the head of the highest mast, with two holes, through which the flag-halyards are rove.
Trundle-shot.—A bolt of iron, pointed and furnished with balls of lead.
Trunk engine.—A marine engine furnished with a cylindrical casing fastened to the upper part of the piston, and constructed to slide steam-tight through the cylinder cover.
Trunk hatchway.—A hatchway framed down to a lower deck and presenting the appearance of a shaft.
Trunnions.—Arms of a gun, which serve as an axle for its depression or elevation.
Truss.—An iron crutch to keep a lower yard close to the mast.
Truss-strops.— Chain strops lashed on top of the yard for the truss pendants to shackle to.
Try-sail.—A fore-and-aft sail setting on a gaff.
Try-sail mast.—A small mast abaft a lower mast for hoisting a trysail on.
Try-work.—Large iron pots, used in whalers, built in brick-work and supported by stanchions.
Tub.—Grog-tub, for spirits; halyard-tub, for coiling away topsail halyards; match-tub, formerly for protecting the slow-match in an engagement.
Tubes.—Pipes connected with a steamer’s engines, through which the heat and flames pass, and which heat the water that surrounds them. Sometimes water is in the tubes and the heat outside.
Tubular boiler.—A marine boiler furnished with numerous tubes, surrounded with water, through which the flame and hot gases from the furnaces are led to the up-take at the bottom of the chimney.
Tuck.—The ends of the after-planks under the counter.
Tug.—A steamboat used for towing vessels.
Tumble up!—A cry to the men to bear a hand in coming on deck.
Tumbling home.—The depression inwards of a ship’s sides above the bends.
Tunnel.—A hollow space in screw steamers, extending from under the engine-room to the stern-tube bulkhead, in which the propeller shaft works, and meant to enable it to be inspected.
Turn.—To take a turn is to pass a rope once or twice round a pin or kevel.
Turn and turn about.—Alternate duty, one resting whilst the other works.
Turn in.—To go to bed.
Turn in a dead-eye.—To secure by seizing the end of a shroud or stay round a dead-eye.
Turning out reefs.—Shaking out reefs, unknotting the reef-points to enlarge the sail.
Turn in rigging.—Taking the ends of the shrouds round the deadeyes and securing them by seizings.
Turn out.— To get up out of bed.
Turnpike sailors.—Sham seamen who beg under pretence of having been shipwrecked.
Turn-table.—An apparatus for transferring a gun from one port to another. Also in a dock for transferring timber from ships into sheds.
Turn the hands up.—An order for all hands.
Turn to.—To go to work. To fall to. A favorite expression of sailors: “To turn to and do such and such a thing.”
Turn turtle.—To capsize.
Turn up.—” Turn the hands up,” send or call the men up from below.
Turret.—A massive iron structure on the deck of an ironclad man of-war, rising some feet above the breastwork, and furnished with machinery for working the large guns mounted in it.
Turret-ship.—A vessel furnished with revolving turrets fitted with ordnance of the heaviest class.
Twiddling-line.—A rope for steadying the wheel.
Twigging-line.—A line attached to the bowl of a compass to remedy its sluggishness by twitching.
Twig the fore.—Seeing that all the sails are properly furled and the yards square forward. “Twig the main” is the same thing, referring to the main-mast.
Twine.—Fine small stuff made from hemp, used in sail-making.
Twin-screw.—A vessel fitted with two propellers worked by separate engines.
Twin-ship.—A vessel formed of two hulls. The idea is as old as 1663, in which year Sir William Petty invented a double-bottomed ship that proved a failure.
Two bowlines.—A term in fleet maneuvers, applied when the ships of each column are ranged on each quarter of a single ship.
Two deck.—A ship with two whole battery decks.
Tye or tie.—A chain or rope attached to a yard for hoisting.
Typhoons.—Furious winds encountered in the China and Arabian Seas.
Unbend.—To untie. To remove a sail from a yard or a stay, &c.
Unbitt.—To remove the turns of a cable from the bitts.
Under canvas.—Said of a steamer using her sails only.
Under command.—Said of a ship over which there is control of the helm.
Under-manned.—Insufficiently furnished with men.
Under-masted.—Said of a ship whose spars are too small and short.
Under the lee.—In shelter from the wind by the shore or any other thing.
Under tow.—The back-wash of water in a recoiling breaker.
Under way.—Said of a ship that has just started after getting her anchor.
Underwriter.—One who takes the risk of insurance, and writes his name at the foot of the policy.
Union down.—The English ensign inverted: a distress signal.
Union Jack.—The union used separately.
Unmoor.—To get in one anchor that the vessel may ride by one only.
Unrove his life-line.—Said of a man who has died.
Unship.—To remove.
Up anchor!—The order to man the windlass.
Up and down.—A tackle consisting of a double block with a lashing and a single block with a hook.
Up boats.—The order to hoist the boats to the davits.
Up keeleg.—An expression signifying the act of starting to run away.
Up making.—Pieces of timber for filling up in building.
Upper counter rail.—A projecting molding on the stern of a ship.
Upper deck.—The topmost deck of a three-decked ship.
Upper fore-topgallant sail.—The topmost half of a fore-topgallant sail divided by a yard.
Upper fore-topsail.—The portion of the fore-topsail that is next the topgallant sail.
Upper main-topgallant sail.—The topmost half of a main-topgallant sail divided by a yard.
Upper main-topsail.—The portion of the main-topsail that is next to the topgallant sail.
Upper masts.—The masts above the lower masts.
Upper mizzen-topsail.—The portion of the sail next to the topgallant sail.
Upper works.—The fabric of a ship above water.
Up-take.—A portion of the boiler through which the smoke and heat pass into the funnel after they have left the tubes.
Up with the helm.—Put it so as to bring the rudder to leeward of the stern-post.
Valued policy.—A policy of marine insurance wherein the value insured is named.
Van.—The foremost ships of a fleet.
Vane.— See Dog-vane.
Vane-spindle.—A spindle at the masthead on which the dog-vane works.
Vangee.—An apparatus consisting of a barrel and crank breaks for pumping a ship.
Vangs.—Ropes used for steadying a gaff.
Variation.—Variation of the compass is the deviation of the points of the compass from the corresponding points of the horizon. It is termed east or west variation, according as the north point of the compass is inclined from the true north.
Vast.—Stop, as ‘vast heaving.
Veer.—The wind veers when it shifts from right to left, or with the sun. To slack out cable.
Veer and haul.—Said of a shifting wind. Also a method of pulling on a rope.
Vent.—An aperture near the breech of a gun by which the charge is fired.
Vent-bit.—A tool for clearing the vent of a gun.
Vent-piece. — That which contains the vent in a breech-loading gun.
Vent-plug.—A plug for stopping the vent of a gun against wet, &c.
Veritas.—A register of shipping in Paris.
Vernier.—A small scale for moving up and down a barometer scale.
Vertex.—A term used by Raper, who defines it thus:—” When the course shaped on the great circle (Great Circle Sailing) from each point is less than 900 (reckoning both courses from the nearest pole) the circle passes through a point in a higher latitude than that of either of the places. The point of extreme latitude reached, at which the ship, neither increasing nor diminishing her latitude for a time, steers E. or W. we shall call the Vertex.’t
Vertical fire.—Firing at such an elevation that the projectile drops nearly plumb.
Vessel.—Any kind of ship.
V.G.—An endorsement signifying “very good” on a seaman’s certificate of conduct. . .
Vice-Admiral.—The rank after an admiral, and indicated by a flag at the fore.
Victualling-bill.—A warrant obtained by a shipmaster to ship stores
for the use of the crew and passengers, containing a statement
of the stores.
Victualling yards.—Large repositories for marine stores, near the Royal Dockyards.
Viol.—A messenger used in weighing an anchor by a capstan. Formerly it was a large hawser.
Viol-block.—A large block, formerly used in weighing the anchor.
Virazon.—A S.E. wind veering to N.E. encountered in the neighborhood of the Rio de la Plata.
Visitation and search.—The right of every belligerent cruiser to overhaul a merchantman.
Vitry.—Also Vittory. A light canvas.
Volley.—A simultaneous discharge of fire-arms.
Voluntary stranding.—Running a vessel ashore to escape foundering, or any other danger.
Voyage.—A journey by sea out and home.
Wad.—A plug for keeping a shot in its place when rammed home.
Waggoner.—A famous old atlas used by seamen in past times.
Waist.—The deck between the main deck and the forecastle.
Waist-boards.— Berthing in a vessel’s gangways.
Waist-cloths — Coverings for the hammocks stowed in the waist-nettings.
Waisters.—An old name for seamen or boys of little use.
Waist-nettings.—The hammock-nettings in the waist.
Wake.—The track left by a ship in motion.
Wales.—Planks running the whole length of a vessel’s sides.
Walk back.—To reverse the action of the capstan so as to come  up or ease the rope round it.
Walking the plank.—An old mode of murdering by forcing a man to step overboard from a plank.
Walk up Ladder-lane and down Hemp-street.—Said of a man hanged at a yard-arm.
Wall.—A knot on the end of a rope.
Wall-sided.—A term applied to the top sides of ships whose sides, when she is afloat, look to be up and down like a wall.
Wapp.—A fair-leader. Also a shroud-stopper.
Wardroom.—A cabin in a man-of-war where the commissioned officers mess.
Wardroom-officers.—The commander, lieutenant, master, chaplain, paymaster, surgeon, marine officers, and assistant-surgeons.
Warm-sided.—Said of a ship mounting heavy batteries.
Warp.—The name given to a rope for dragging a ship into any required position.
Warping.—The act of hauling a ship into a required position.
Warrant.—A dock-warrant is a document representing goods warehoused in a dock.
Warrant-officer.—In the navy, the boatswain, gunner, carpenter, &c.
Wash-boards.—Angular pieces of wood placed under the lower cheeks and eikings of a ship.
Wash down.—To clean the decks with water and scrubbing brushes.
Watch.—The term applied to the division of a crew. There are two watches, i.e. the port watch headed by the mate, and the starboard watch by the second mate.
Watch and watch.—The term to signify four hours on deck and four below, alternately, save in the dog-watches, which are two hours each.
Watch, ho, watch!—The cry of men heaving the deep-sea lead as the fakes of the line drop from their hands.
Watch-tackle.—A small handy purchase consisting of a tailed double-block and a single block with a hook.
Water-bailiff.—An officer for the searching of vessels.
Water-ballast.—A method of ballasting a vessel by filling specially constructed compartments or tanks with water.
Water bewitched.—The tea served out to sailors.
Water-borne.—Sustained by the water, lifted by a sea. Said of a boat hanging at the davits that she was water-borne by the heeling of the ship.
Water-gauge cocks.—Small cocks placed in front of a marine boiler, by opening which the height of the water in the boiler is ascertained.
Watering.—Filling a ship’s tanks or casks with fresh water.
Water-line.—The line of flotation when a ship is loaded.
Water-logged.—A vessel full of water and floating on her cargo of timber, cork, or freight of that kind, is called water-logged.
Waterman.—This word is defined as one who gets his livelihood on fresh water; but it is generally used as another term for boatman, who rows for hire either on salt or fresh water.
Water-marks.—The figures on a ship’s stern showing the depth of water she draws.
Water-pads.—Harbor thieves.
Water-ports.—Openings in a ship’s bulwarks to free the deck of water.
Water-sail.—A sail set under the swinging boom when the lower studding-sail is set.
Water-space.—The term applied to the space for holding water, as, for instance, between the side of one furnace and the side of the shell of the boiler, or between the plates of the combustion chamber and the shell of the boiler.
Water-tables.—Sills to a ship’s windows.
Water-tight bulkheads.—Divisions in iron steamships to prevent them from sinking through injury by collision or from springing a leak.
Water-ways.—The planking along the scuppers.
‘Way aloft!—An order to go aloft for reefing, furling, &c.
Ways.—Timbers laid down for rolling weights upon.
Wearing.—To come round on another tack by passing stern to wind.
Weather.—To weather is to pass on the windward side of an object.
Weather-bitt.—That to which the weather-cable is secured when a ship is moored. Also to take an extra turn with a cable round the windlass end.
Weather-boards.—Protections for a ship’s ports when laid up in ordinary.
Weather-bound.—Stopped by adverse winds.
Weather-cloths.—Hammock covers of tarpaulin or painted canvas.
Weather-glass.—The barometer.
Weather-lurch.—A strong roll to windward. Also termed weather roll.
Weatherly.—Said of a ship that looks well up into the wind when on a bowline.
Weatherly ship.—Said of a ship that makes little or no leeway in working to windward.
Weather scuppers.—It is an old joke at sea to advise a greenhorn to get a handspike and hold it down hard in the weather scuppers to steady the ship’s wild motions.
Weather-side.—The side on which the wind blows.
Weather-tide.—A tide that sets the ship to windward.
Weather-wheel.—The side of the wheel on which the wind is blowing.
Wee-gee.—A method of working two pumps by long iron handles and ropes, instead of brakes.
Weevil.—A worm found in bad ship’s-biscuit.
Weigh—To lift.
Weighing.—Lifting the anchor off the ground.
Weight of metal.—The united calibers, in pounds, of all the guns which a ship can place in battery.
Well!—An exclamation, signifying that will do, as “Well the royal yard!” “Well the cross-jack yard!” Also a shaft that goes down to the keelson, used for sounding; and, in small smacks, a place in the hold into which the fish taken are thrown.
Well-cabin.—An after cabin without windows.
Well-deck.—A vessel with a long poop and forecastle, and between, a deck made deep by high bulwarks, is called well-decked.
Well man.—A man who is in good health.
Wester.—To draw to the westwards, said of the sun or wind.
Westing.—The distance made by course to the westwards.
Wet.—A wet ship is a vessel which takes water over her easily.
Wet dock.—An excavation, contiguous to the water, for the accommodation of ships.
Wet provisions.—The term applied to beef, pork, vinegar, rum, lime-juice, and suet.
Wharfinger.—The owner or keeper of a wharf.
What cheer?—A nautical salutation, meaning “What news?” “What luck?”
Wheel.—A wheel with handles for revolving the ropes or chains which move the tiller or yoke in steering.
Wheel-house.—A cover over the wheel for the protection of the helmsman.
Wheel stanchion.—The supporter of the axle on which the wheel revolves.
Where away?—How does the object bear? how is it situated with reference to the ship?
Wherry.—A small open boat. Also a large barge or lighter.
While she creaks she holds!—An exclamation used as a kind of encouragement to persevere in keeping the ship under a press.
Whip-jack.—A sham sailor.
Whipping.—Preserving the end of a rope by binding it with twine.
Whipping baskets.—Baskets used for discharging certain kinds of cargo.
Whip -upon whip.—A whip attached to the fall of another.
Whiskers.—Two booms or irons extending on either side a ship’s head for guying the jib booms.
Whistling-buoy.—A floating-fog signal, consisting of a buoy whose movements operate a whistle.
White-horse.—The name given by whalemen to a wad of muscles and tendons found in the tapering part of the whale and in the thicker portion of its flukes.
White-rope.—Manilla, and the ropes which do not require tarring.
White squall.—Burst of wind encountered off the African coast.
Whole top-sails.—Under whole top-sails; said of a ship sailing under top-sails without any reefs tied in them.
Who shall have this?—When provisions or other things are distributed, a man turns his back and asks ” Who,” &c.
Widows’ men.—Formerly imaginary seamen entered in the books as A.B.’s for wages which were paid to the Widows’ Fund.
Wift or waft.—A flag tied by a yarn in the middle of the fly, and hoisted as a signal.
Wild.— Said of a ship when she steers badly.
Willy-waws.—Whirlwind squalls encountered in the Straits of Magellan.
Winch.—A machine with toothed wheels and pawls, worked by a handle and used in discharging cargo, &c. Many winches are worked by steam.
Wind abeam.—Sailing with the wind blowing at right angles to the ship.
Wind and water.—A ship hit by a ball that penetrates her at the water-line, so as to make an aperture just above and just below the surface of the water, is said to be struck between wind and water.
Wind-bound.—The same as weather-bound.
Wind-gall.—A halo of light on the edge of a cloud, and reckoned a precursor of stormy weather.
Windlass.—A large barrel, revolved by handles, on the forecastle, and used in getting up the anchor. This was the old windlass. Now there are many patent windlasses worked by steam.
Windmill.—The name given to an apparatus that resembles the arms of a small windmill, fitted to the pumps, which are worked by the revolution of the arms. In the absence of steam no better device than this could have been invented for saving the cruel labor of long pumping.
Wind-rode.—The situation of an anchored ship that is swung by the wind instead of the tide.
Winds.—Beaufort’s figures denote the force of the wind thus: 0. Calm. 1. Light air. 2. Light breeze. 3. Gentle breeze. 4. Moderate breeze. 5. Fresh breeze. 6. Strong breeze. 7. Moderate gale. 8. Fresh gale. 9. Strong gale. 10. Whole gale. 11. Storm. 12. Hurricane.
Windward ebb.—When the tide is setting out and the wind blowing in.
Windward flood.—When the tide is setting in and the wind blowing out.
Windward great circle sailing.—The putting of a ship, in a foul wind, on the tack that enables her to lie nearest to her destination when steering upon the track of a great circle.
Wing.—The part of the hold or ‘tween-decks next the sides.
Wing and wing.—Said of a fore-and-aft rigged vessel when .going dead before the wind with her canvas out on both sides of her.
Wingers.— Casks stowed in the wings.
Wing ship.—A ship on the extreme left or right of a column.
Wire-drawn.—Said of steam when the steam-pipe of a marine boiler is so contracted as to diminish the pressure of the steam upon the piston during its stroke in the cylinder.
With a will.—Heartily. To pull with a will is to pull your best.
Withe.—An iron with a ring attached to it for rigging booms through: as, for instance, a short topgallant mast fitted with a withe to enable a royal mast to be rigged up.
Wood-backing.—The planking behind the iron or steel plates of armored ships.
Wooden.—An old name for ship’s carpenter.
Wooden-wings.—A name for lee-boards.
Wood-locks.—Pieces of wood, sheathed with metal, fixed to the stern-post to prevent the rudder unshipping.
Wood-sawyer’s clerk.—A term to denote ease and independence.
Woold.—To wind a piece of rope round anything.
Woolding.—A strong lashing tautened by the insertion of wedges.
Worked.—” I wore ship and worked for such and such a port,” meaning, ” I tacked and beat against the wind in order to reach the port.” Also said of packages of drugs carefully examined in dock for any damage which may have occurred during the voyage.
Working.—A ship is said to be working when her timbers and planking strain so as to let in water.
Work up.—The phrase for punishing a crew by keeping them at work beyond the usual hours. Sometimes “Work their old iron up.”
Worm.—A tool for withdrawing a charge from a gun.
Worming.—To fill up the hollows in the strands of a rope by coiling spun yarn around them.
Wreck bury.—A buoy painted green to denote the whereabouts of a sunken wreck.
Wrecker.—One who lures a ship to destruction for the purpose of plunder. One who steals wrecked goods, &c., which have been washed ashore.
Wring.—To strain.
Wring-bolts.—Bolts which secure the planks to the timbers.
Wring-staves.—Pieces of plank used with the wring-bolts.
Xebeck.—A vessel square-rigged forward and lateen-rigged aft.
Yacht.—A pleasure-vessel.
Yard.—A spar across a mast to fasten a sail to.
Yard-arm.—The end of a yard.
Yard-arm and yard-arm.—Lying side by side in an engagement so close that the yard-arms touch.
Yard-arm cleats.— Pieces of wood on the yard-arms where the lifts and braces are, where the head earrings are secured.
Yard on the cap.—The situation of a yard lowered as far as it will go down the mast.
Yard-rope.—A rope for sending yards up or down.
Yard-tackles.—Tackles attached to the lower yards for hoisting boats, weights, &c., in and out.
Yarn.—Threads of hemp or other stuff. Also a narrative.
Yaw.—When a ship’s head is swung by the send of a sea so as to throw her off her course, she yaws.
Yawl.—A man-of-war’s boat. Also a vessel rigged as a cutter, but carrying in addition a small sail at the stern called a mizzen.
Yaw-sighted.—One who squints.
Yaw-yaw.—Jack’s definition of a Dutchman, “Any man who says yaw-yaw for yes.”
Yellow admiral.—A retired post-captain not entitled to promotion because he has not served his time in the rank he retires from.
Yellow-flag.—Quarantine colors.
Yellow Jack.—The yellow fever.
Yeoman.—The man in charge of a store-room in a man-of-war.
Yoke.—A piece of timber or iron fitted to the head of the rudder athwartships. Used for steering a ship by a wheel placed forwards, or where a tiller cannot be used.
Young gentlemen.—The term by which midshipmen in the merchant-service are addressed.
Youngster.—A youth; a boy.
Yow-yow.—A small Chinese boat.
Yulohs.—Chinese oars.
Zenith.—The zenith of a place is a point in the heavens immediately above that place.
Zenith distance.—An arch of a vertical circle contained between the object and the zenith.
Zodiac.—A space in the heavens extending about 8° on each side the ecliptic.


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Language, or Symbolism of Flowers; According to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, in speaking of flower language,

“There is no color, no flower, no weed, no fruit, herb, pebble, or feather that has not a verse belonging to it, and you may quarrel, reproach, or send letters of passion, friendship, or civility, or even of news, without even inking your fingers.”

Language of flowers

The following is the language of common things:

Alyssum—Worth beyond beauty.
Araranth—Immortality, unfading love.
Amaranth (cockscomb)—Foppery, affectation.
American Cowslip—Divine beauty.
American Elm—Patriotism.
American Linden—Matrimony.
Anemone—Sickness, expectation, forsaken.
Apple Blossom—Preference.
Apple, thorn—Deceitful charms.
Arbor Vitae—Unchanging friendship, live for me.
Ash Tree—Grandeur.
Aspen Tree—Lamentation, fear.
Asphodel—My regrets follow you to the grave.
Aster, China—Variety, afterthought.
Bachelor’s Buttons—Celibacy.
Balm of Gilead—Cure, relief.
Balsam—Touch me not, impatience.
Bay leaf—I change but in death.
Bay Tree—Glory.
Beech Tree—Prosperity.
Belladonna—Silence, hush.
Bell Flower—Constancy, gratitude.
Black Poplar—Courage.
Bluebell—Sorrowful regret.
Bramble—Lowliness, envy, remorse.
Bridal Rose—Happy love.
Broon—Humility, neatness.
Bulrush—Indiscretion, docility.
Burr—You weary me.
Buttercup.—Ingratitude, childishness.
Calceolaria.—All I have is yours.
Calea—Magnificent beauty.
Camellia, red.—Unpretending excellence.
Camellia, white—Perfected loveliness.
Chamomile—Energy in adversity.
Cardinal Flower—Destruction.
Carnation, deep red—Alas! my poor heart.
Carnation, striped—Refusal.
Carnation, yellow—Disdain.
Cherry-tree, black —Deception.
Cherry-tree, white—Good education.
Chestnut-tree—Do me justice.
China Aster—Variety.
China or Indian Pink—Aversion.
Chinese Primrose—Lasting love.
Chrysanthemum, Chinese—Cheerfulness under adversity.
Chrysanthemum, red—I love.
Chrysanthemum, white—Truth.
Chrysanthemum, yellow— Slighted love.
Clover, red—Industry.
Clover, white—Think of me.
Clover, four-leaved—Be mine.
Cowslip—Pensiveness, winning grace.
Crab, blossom—Ill nature.
Cranberry—Cure for heartache.
Cress—Stability, power.
Crocus—Abuse not, youthful gladness.
Currant—Thy frown will kill me.
Cypress—Death, mourning.
Dandelion—Rustic oracle.
Dead Leaves—Sadness.
Dried Flax—Utility.
Fern—Fascination, magic, sincerity.
Flax—Domestic industry, fate.
Forget-me-not—True love.
Foxtail Grass—Sporting.
French Marigold—Jealousy.
Geranium, dark—Melancholy.
Geranium, Ivy—Bridal favor.
Geranium, Rose— Preference.
Geranium, scarlet—Comforting.
Geranium, silver 1eaved—Recall.
Gillyflower—Bonds of affection.
Gladiolus—Ready armed.
Grape, wild—Charity.
Grape, cultivated—Futility, jollity.
Grass—Submission, utility.
Hollyhock.—Ambition, fecundity.
Honeysuckle—Devoted affection.
Hyacinth—Sport, game, play.
Hydrangea—A boaster.
Iceland Moss—Health.
Ice Plant—Your looks freeze me.
Indian Pink, double—Always lovely.
Ivy—Friendship, fidelity, marriage.I
Jonquil—I desire a return of affection.
Juniper—Succor, protection.
Lady’s Slipper—Capricious beauty, win me and wear me.
Larch—Audacity, boldness.
Larkspur—Lightness, levity.
Laurel—Glory, perseverance, ambition.
Lemon Blossoms—Fidelity in love.
Lichen—Dejection, solitude.
Lilac, purple—First emotions of love.
Lilac, white—Youthful innocence.
Lily, white—Purity, sweetness.
Lily, yellow—Falsehood, gaiety.
Lily of the Valley—Unconscious sweetness, happiness.
Live Oak—Liberty.
Locust—Elegance, affection beyond the grave.
Lotus Flower.——Estranged love.
Lotus Leaf—Recantation.
Love in a Mist—Perplexity.
Love Lies Bleeding—Hopeless.
Magnolia—Love of nature.
Mallow—Mildness, beneficence.
Marigold—Grief, jealousy.
Marigold and Cypress—Despair.
Mignonette.—Your qualities surpass your charms.
Mistletoe—I surmount difficulties.
Morning Glory.——Affectation.
Moss—Maternal love.
Mountain Ash—Prudence.
Mulberry, black—I shall not survive you.
Mulberry, white—Wisdom.
Mushroom—Suspicion, I can’t trust you.
Musk Plant—Weakness.
Mustard Seed—Indifference.
Mustard Flower.—Strength.
Nettle.—Spitefulness, slander.
Night Blooming Cereus.—Transient beauty.
Oak Leaves—Bravery.
Oak Tree—Hospitality.
Oats—The witching soul of music.
Orange Blossoms—Your purity equals your loveliness.
Orange Flowers.—Chastity, bridal.
Orange Tree—Generosity.
Orchis—A belle.
Passion Flower—Religious superstition, when the flower is reversed, or faith if erect.
Pea, Sweet—Departure.
Peach—Unequaled qualities and charms.
Peach Blossom—I am your captive.
Pear Tree—Comfort.
Pennyroyal—Flee away.
Peony—Shame, bashfulness.
Peppermint—Warmth of feeling.
Periwinkle, blue—Early friendship.
Periwinkle, white—Pleasures of memory.
Persimmon—Bury me amid nature’s beauties.
Petunia—Your presence soothes me.
Pineapple—You are perfect.
Pine, pitch—Philosophy.
Pine, spruce—Hope in adversity.
Pink, red, double—Pure and ardent love.
Pink, single—Pure love.
Pink, variegated—Refusal.
Pink, white—Talent.
Pomegranate Flower—Mature elegance.
Poplar, black—Courage.
Poplar, white—Time.
Poppy, red—Consolation.
Poppy, scarlet—Extravagance.
Poppy, white—Sleep, my love.
Prickly Pear—Satire.
Primrose—Early youth and sadness.
Purple Clover—Provident.
Ranunculus—You are radiant with charms.
Reed—Complaisance, music.
Reed, split—Indiscretion.
Rhododendron—Danger, beware.
Rose, full bloom placed over two buds—Secrecy.
Rosebud—Pure and lovely.
Rye Grass—Changeable disposition.
Saffron—Beware of excess.
Sage—Domestic virtue.
Salvia—Wisdom, energy.
Saxifrage, mossy—Affection.
Sensitive Plant—Sensibility.
Snapdragon—Presumption, No.
Sorrel—Affection, joy, ill-timed visit.
Spearmint—Warmth of affection.
Spiderwort—Esteem, not love.
Star of Bethlehem—Purity.
Stephanotis—Go east with me.
Stock—Lasting beauty.
Strawberry Blossoms—Foresight.
Sunflower, dwarf—Adoration.
Sunflower, tall—Haughtiness.
Sweet Basil—Cure for heartache.
Sweet-brier—Simplicity, decrease of love.
Sweet Pea—Delicate pleasures.
Sweet William—Gallantry.
Thistle, Scotch—Retaliation.
Thorn-apple—Deceitful charms.
Thyme—Activity, courage.
Tuberose—Dangerous pleasures.
Tulip, red—Declaration of love.
Tulip, variegated—Beautiful eyes.
Tulip, yellow—Hopeless love.
Valerian—An accommodating disposition.
Venus Fly Trap—Deceit.
Verbena, pink—Family union.
Verbena, white—Pray for me.
Violet, blue—Faithfulness.
Violet, yellow—Rural happiness.
Violet, white—Sanctity.
Virginia Creeper—I cling to thee.
Wallflower—Fidelity in adversity.
Walnut—Intellect, stratagem.
Water Lily—Purity of heart.
Wax Plant—Susceptibility.
Wheat Stalk—Riches.
White Mullein—Good nature.
White Oak—Independence.
White Rose (dried)—Death before dishonor.
Willow—Love forsaken.
Willow, Weeping—Mourning.
Wistaria—Welcome for stranger.
Witch Hazel—A spell.
Woodbine—Fraternal love.
Wood-sorrel—Joy, maternal tenderness.
Xanthium—Rudeness, pertinacity.
Zinnia—Thoughts of absent friends.

FAITH’S FINAL AUTHORITY by Henry W. Frost; published 1920

TheGoodShepherdAlphaOmegaIt’s amazing to me how the Lord works, I can’t tell you how many times this sort of thing has happened to me. I found the following article because I went to look for a quote by Benjamin Harrison to make sure it was real, and to read it in its complete context. The book and only book brought up in the search contained the following article as titled above, and I as I began to read it, because that is what I do, it struck me once again that I had found something from history that could very well have been written for this day and time. It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord leads me unawares to things like this, it is simply astounding to me how often this kind of thing happens. The Lord is always performing small miracles if we only open ourselves up to them, he’s also still doing big miracles if you have faith growing as a mustard seed.

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

BEGIN: FAITH’S FINAL AUTHORITY by Henry W. Frost; published 1920, in Record of Christian Work, Volume 39 By Alexander McConnell, William Revell Moody, Arthur Percy Fitt

It is commonly acknowledged that these are days of intense and immense unsettlement. The foundation of things is being shaken and almost destroyed, and the cry is going up, “What can the righteous do?” The time has come when men’s hearts are failing them for fear, not knowing what the future will bring forth. What yesterday was certain, to-day is doubted and tomorrow will be disbelieved. The question is, What will remain? and, If there is certainty, where may it be found?

Moreover, this unsettlement and consequent disquiet exist amongst all classes of persons and in all the various relationships of life. Secular and religious periodicals indicate that the human mind is in a state of actual ferment, and this in respect to nearly every subject under the sun. Is monarchy or democracy the ideal government? Granting that democracy is the ideal, is it to be limited or unlimited? Is the proposed League of Nations from heaven and a gift from God, or is it from the pit and the work of Satan? Is the world getting better or worse? Is man immortal or only mortal? Is communion with the dead possible, and, if it is, is it lawful? Is Christ’s coming premillennial, postmillennial or nonmillennial? What part is the Christian to play in politics? Is he to abandon himself to them in the hope of saving the world, or is he to stand off from them as from a hopeless and contaminating task, giving himself to prayer and evangelization? What fellowship is a Christian to have with those who are not Christians, or with those who are, but are not true to Christ and His Word? What social pleasures are allowable? How is the Sabbath to be kept? What principles are to govern parents in the bringing up of their children? What is prayer? is it objective or simply subjective? What is the Word? is it inspired in whole, in part or not at all?  What is salvation? Is it to be obtained through service, suffering or sacrifice? And, if by sacrifice, by whose, one’s own or Christ’s? And who is Christ? Is He just Man or is He also God? If He is only Man, what can He do for men, or, if He is also God, what does He require of men?

And so the questions come in like a flood, from paper and magazine, from pew and pulpit, from quibbling minds and also from broken hearts. Some of us had thought that most of these matters had been settled long ago and that the issue of things had resolved itself simply into this: belief or unbelief. But we suddenly find that everything is once more in the melting pot; that serious-minded men and women are questioning realities: and that even Christians are demanding new solutions of old-time problems. We perceive, therefore, that every teacher of men is called upon to exercise infinite patience and to be ready to build again from the bottom upward; and, moreover, probably the teacher has problems of his own, which many years and much prayerful thinking have failed to solve. It is a time of mental and spiritual disorder in every sphere of life and in every part of the world.

And what makes the situation worse to many is that there seems to be no final court of appeal, especially in spiritual affairs, where cases may be argued and where just and final decisions may be obtained. There is a feeling that such a court should and must exist somewhere; but the question is, Where is it? So men conclude that herein is presented the greatest problem of all They declare that there are many voices in the world, each differing from the other, and no one knows which one is most Divine. Confusion is thus turned into what may only be described by Milton’s phrase:

“With ruin upon ruin, rout upon rout, Confusion worse confounded.”

And we have the spectacle thus of men stumbling forward in the dark, with their arms outstretched. They need a guiding hand, but they fail to find it. What, then, shall they do?

In this crisis, some say that we should turn to the pope. But if so, which one? Accepting Peter, for the moment, as the first pope, are we to test all the others by him, and if we are, what will be left of the others? But if we are not, which of the later-day popes are we to reckon as having spoken ex cathedra? This last is most perplexing, for there have been many popes, each one with a different dictum; twice over at the same time there have been two popes, each opposing the other; again and again a later-day pope has contradicted a former-day one, so that the benediction of the one has become the malediction of the other; and even the doctrine of papal infallibility, which one must accept if one turns to the Roman curia, was condemned as heresy by the popes themselves up to the time of Pius the Ninth, and by a large number of the cardinals even then; and to this day the theologians at Rome are not agreed as to what papal infallibility means. Tested by the necessary laws of harmony and unanimity we shall riot find final authority with the popes.

But others say that we should turn to the Church. If so, which Church? Shall it be the Roman, Greek, Armenian, Syrian, Nestorian, or Coptic? For, mark it, it will have to be a choice between these since they do not agree with one another even in things fundamental. Or, if we shall turn away from the historic churches to the reformed, where fundamental agreement is found, which Protestant Church shall it be? Shall it be the Church of England, Church of Scotland, Episcopal, Reformed Episcopal, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian, Congregational, Baptist, Methodist or the Salvation Army? For, mark it, again, while these agree in essentials, they vastly disagree in nonessentials, which with the conscientious man are often tremendously vital. Or shall we make another effort and turn to the apostolic, simple and devoted people, the Plymouth Brethren? But to which party among these shall we go; the close, open or loose; the Darbyites, Newtonites, Cecilites, Ravenites, or Grantites? for we must differentiate even here. Alas I it is manifest that we shall not find union and unanimity even in the Church, historic or reformed; and this is certain, that we shall never get the harmonious note of authority from Scriptural and spiritual discord.

But still others say that we should seek to hear the authoritative word outside of organized ecclesiasticism, in that great consensus of opinion expressed by individuals through the ages and brought into full expression in these last days of grace. But can we place this consensus? Do any two men interpret and formulate it alike? Is it possible from book or sermon to define and express it? Even where it may be partly vocalized, is it clear, comprehensive and final? For instance, was the consensus voice in apostolic days the same as it was in mediaeval? and was it then what it is now, since men have been to war and slain the great dragon? And, in passing, what was the great dragon? Was it Kaiserism or sin in the human heart? And, if it was sin, was this slain and is it dead? If, then, sin is not dead, who knows what the consensus has to say about it, in national, social and personal life?

Moreover, what is this consensus which is so much talked about? is it a person or thing? Is it living or dead? Is it truth or shibboleth? Is it Divine or human? If it proves at last to be just human, then evidently we are back where we were at, the beginning, and in this case we are in the grip of the greatest religious mastodon of the ages, the genus homo, that is, our fallible selves. And, clearly, no one can hope that final spiritual authority will come out of a condition such as this. In short, if we may not go farther than we have gone, we shall find no final authority anywhere, and hence, we shall remain of all men the most miserable.

It is a relief now to turn away from such uncertainties, which are but vagaries, to a nearer, surer and more soul-satisfying consideration. There is a Book [the Holy Bible] which claims to be divinely authoritative, and we may affirm that there are facts about it which substantiate this claim, among which are the following:


First, it is an old Book, all of it old and some of it very old, and no neglect, nor hatred, nor persecution, has ever been able to destroy it; which suggests that God fashioned it and has preserved it.

Second, the Book has proved to be a regenerating, transforming and comforting influence, through thousands of years, with millions of persons and in behalf of individuals of diverse characteristics and needs; which indicates that it has had within itself a power beyond the human.

Third, the Book touches upon history, art, poetry and science, formulates theology and expands experimental religion, and these diverse elements have been presented by men of different times, countries, races, social position, political environment and national and personal aspiration, and all this without a false or conflicting statement within it, and with a perfect harmonization and development of truth: which implies the presence and power of the miraculous.

Fourth, the Book is prophetic in the major portion of it. and its foretellings have often anticipated thousands of years, multitudes of people and a multiplicity of events, including the largest possible national movements and also the smallest possible personal details, and its utterances have never yet failed nor been once discredited: which manifests elements of foreview and predetermination which are nothing less than Divine.

And. finally, it is beyond doubting that whatever measure of infallibility there has been amongst men has come from the Book, and that all past and present confusion has developed, not from it, but only from man’s failure to understand and interpret it aright; which proves beyond controversy that the Book is a light shining in a dark place, a voice which has a divinely certain sound, a sacred dictum, an ultimate dogma, the ex cathedra [with authority] utterance of the living God. Here, then, faith may rest, for here is final authority.

Here, however, the heart falters. For each of us rightly asks: Who am I that I should think myself to be better than other men? And what chance of success in interpreting the Bible may I hope for when men at large have so widely disagreed concerning it? This indeed is searching and solemnizing; it is even discouraging and disheartening, particularly since the very Book whose authority we recognize tells us plainly that to the end we shall see in part and, therefore, prophesy in part.

It is to be remembered, however, that this is not all of the truth and that what remains is most encouraging and enheartening. For these things are also facts. The Master promised that the Spirit through the Book should guide us into truth. We know that whatever of truth has been discovered has been found by searching the Book. It is evident that thousands of persons have been made both wise and godly by meditating on the things contained in the Book. It is true, even if we may not know everything in the Book, that we may know much of it and that this will ever be for our own and others’ profit. And, finally, it is manifest that the apprehension of truth is not so much in proportion to one’s knowledge of the Book as it is to one’s obedience to it. In view of prevailing Scriptural misinterpretation and spiritual confusion, it behooves us to walk through life with humble and contrite hearts. We must keep in mind that others besides ourselves have the fullness of the Spirit, and, instead of ourselves, may have the right interpretation of the revelation. And we are never to forget that finality of knowledge and teaching will never be found with us. since we, too, are only men. At the same time, there is every reason to be assured that it is our sacred privilege to come to the Bible as God’s infallible Word; to regard it is the Divine mandate in respect to human life and conduct; to study it as the one revelation which will illuminate the soul and transform the life; and to hold it as the decisive word in all controversy. By doing these things, in spite of all personal infirmity and even in these confused and confusing times, we shall increasingly discover that God’s truth is ever fixed and final and also that he who does the will of God will certainly know of the doctrine.

But to get the benefit of the Book, we need to deal practically with it When one is sick and goes to a medicine chest for a remedy, he does not take the first medicine which chances to come to hand, nor does he take all of the medicines which the cupboard may contain; he selects his remedy according to his need and for the time being shuts himself up to it. The Bible is a sacred medicine chest,’ and it holds in behalf of those spiritually sick, remedies for every disease.

God expects us, however, to show spiritual discernment, not to speak of common sense, in dealing with it. If we wish to know about earth, we do not want to study about heaven; and if we desire to know about heaven, we do not want to study about earth. Again, if we want to understand about spiritual experiences, we ought not to turn to prophecy; and if we want to understand prophecy, we ought not to study about spiritual experiences. We are called upon, first of all, to discover our spiritual need, and then to deal with that portion of the Word which has to do with this. If one is impure, let him consider the purity of Christ and His ability to displace fleshly sin. If one has a temper, let him consider the gentleness of Christ and His power to give love and patience. If one is uncertain about fundamental truth, let him study what the Word has to say about inspiration, the Deity of Christ, the Atonement, the Resurrection and other like subjects. If one is not interested in foreign missions, let him dwell upon the great commission of Christ, the acts of the Holy Spirit variously recorded and the missionary life of Paul. If one is doubtful about eschatology, let Him take up faithfully and fearlessly the teachings which concern future things and found his convictions on the revelation of the Bible rather than upon the comments of lesser books. In other words, we need to deal sanely with the Book in order that the Book may deal sanely with us. To do this is to become, in the best sense, a Bible Christian. And the man who is this is not shaken by every wind which blows and every wave which beats, but stands unmoved and unmovable through every storm. Mr. Moody made one text, “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever,” the guide of his life; and he became like his text. But he only got to know God’s will by close and prolonged study of God’s Word and this from the standpoint of his personal need.

A last word needs to be spoken. We must be careful not to divorce knowledge and action. It is terribly possible for us to know much and yet to put little into practice. One may approve of clothing and yet go unclothed. One may admire food and yet remain hungry. One may glory in the sun and yet walk in the dark. One may agree with truth and yet abide in falsehood. One may swear by the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible, and yet not know, or else forsake, its plainest precepts. Faith only overcomes the world by turning theory into practice, by first knowing and then doing. The heretics of life are not only those who depart from revealed truth, but also those who search it, understand it, praise it—and then neglect or disobey it. At every turn of life, in every crisis of life, for every purpose of life, we need to come to the Word as to God’s final utterance and faith’s full resting place. But having done this, we need, above all else, to set our hearts to keep that which is written therein. There was once on earth a Man Who was God’s great Dogmatist, [Jesus Christ] and He said: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures”; and, be it remembered, this Holy One added: “If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.”

In “The Monastery,” the White Lady speaks to Glendinning these quaint but most true words:

“Within that awful volume lies
The mystery of mysteries!
Happiest they of human race,
To whom God has granted grace
To read, to fear, to hope, to pray,
To lift the latch and force the way;
And better had they ne’er been born
Who read to doubt or read to scorn!”

Christian Condescension: Reminds Me of the Teachings of My Youth

I believe a visible church to be a congregation of those who make a credible profession of their faith in Christ, and obedience to him, joined by the bond of the covenant #quote Roger Sherman, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution

“I believe a visible church to be a congregation of those who make a credible profession of their faith in Christ, and obedience to him, joined by the bond of the covenant” ~ Roger Sherman, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution

True Story from my life: Never Judge a Book by it’s Cover: In memory of a great man I once knew

 “Truth, indeed, came once into the world with her Divine Master, and was a perfect shape, most glorious to look upon; but when he ascended, and his apostles after him were laid asleep then strait arose a wicked race of Deceivers, who, as that story goes of that wicked Typhon with his conspirators, how they dealt with the good Osiris, took the virgin Truth, hewed her lovely form into a thousand pieces, and scattered them to the four winds. From that time ever since, the sad friends of Truth, such as durst appear imitating the careful search which Isis made for the mangled body of Osiris, went up and down, gathering up every limb still as they could find them. We have not yet found them all, Lords and Commons, nor ever shall do till her Master’s second coming. He shall bring together every joint and member, and shall mould them into an immortal feature of loveliness and perfection.” ~ John Milton in his Areopagitica 1644

NOTE: Condescension in this instance is not speaking of a patronizing, rude tone or behavior; it means voluntary assumption of equality with a person regarded as inferior. In other words, showing charity and humility to those who you think are or are in fact inferior to you, just as Jesus washed the feet of those who were inferior to him.

Originally Titled “Christian Condescension” in The Friend, A Religious and Literary Journal from “The Free Thinker” section dated July 25, 1829 [Friends refers to the original Quakers]

The importance of maintaining brotherly love, and that respect which is due to the sentiments of each other, is impressively inculcated in the subsequent remarks of Stephen Crisp, which contain a beautiful description of a religious society, properly organized under the government and direction of the Head of the church [Jesus Christ]. We have always professed, that the sensible guidance of the holy Spirit was essential to the performance of every act, characterized by the solemn title of religious duty. The Great Shepherd putteth forth his own sheep, and goeth before them. They know his voice, and they follow him, and the voice of a stranger they will not follow. How safe to be thus led by him: and to experience this state of safety, we must not only know, but faithfully obey his voice. Can there be any jar or confusion amongst a people thus disciplined and thus obedient? Every one would keep his rank in righteousness, and being subject to him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, nothing would be lacking to the complete performance of his divine will. Heavenly harmony and unity would naturally subsist amongst these followers of the Prince of Peace. Ephraim would not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim. The strong would cheerfully bear the burdens of the weak, and the younger and inexperienced would treat with due deference the judgment of their elders in the truth. Humility and condescension would be learned in this school, and while we were engaged in doing the Lord’s work, we should be promoting our own advancement in the way of salvation. We cannot but hope, however discouraging the signs of the times may often appear, that the Lord is at work in the hearts of many, to prepare them, like the stones of the temple, to be built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer acceptable sacrifices to him through Jesus Christ. May we all give ourselves up to his divine government, and he will not fail to perfect the work to the praise and glory of his grace, and to the comfort and enlargement of his church. Signed M.

“And all you, dear friends, upon whom the Lord hath laid a care for his honour, and for the prosperity of the truth, and gathered you into the good order of the gospel, to meet together to manage the affairs thereof; take heed that ye have a single eye to the Lord; to do the Lord’s business in the leadings of his spirit, which is but one, and brings all that are given up to be governed by it, to be of one mind and heart, at least, in the general purpose and service of those meetings. Although, through the diversity of exercises, and the several degrees of growth among the brethren, every one may not see or understand alike in every matter, at the first propounding of it; yet this makes no breach of the unity, nor hinders the brotherly kindness, but puts you often upon an exercise and an inward travailing, to feel the pure, peaceable wisdom that is from above, to open among you, and every one’s ear is open to it, in whomsoever it speaks; and thereby a sense of life is given in the meeting, to which all that are of a simple and tender mind, join and agree. But if any among you be contrary minded in the management of some outward affair, relating to the truth, this doth not presently break the unity that ye have in Christ, nor should weaken the brotherly love, so long as he keeps waiting for an understanding from God, to be gathered into the same sense with you, and walks with you according to the law of charity. Such an one ought to be borne with and cherished, and the supplications of your souls will go up to God for him, that God may reveal it to him, if it be his will, that so no difference may be in understanding, so far as is necessary for the good of the church, no more than there is in matters of faith and obedience to God. For, my friends, it is not absolute necessity that every member of the church should have the same measure of understanding in all things; for then where were the duty of the strong bearing with the weak? then where were the brother of low degree? where would be any submitting to them that are set over others in the Lord? which all tend to the preserving unity in the church, notwithstanding the different measures and different growths of the members thereof. For as the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, so are the spirits of all that are kept in a true subjection to the spirit of life in themselves, kept in the same subjection to the sense of life given by the same spirit in the church; and by this means we come to know the one Master, even Christ, and have no room for other masters, in the matter of our obedience to God. And while every one keeps in this true subjection’, the sweet concord is known, and the oil is not only upon Aaron’s head, but it reacheth the skirts of his garment also; and things are kept sweet and savoury, and ye love one another, from the greatest to the least in sincerity, and as the apostle saith without dissimulation. And this love excludes all whisperings of evil things, all backbiting, grudgings and murmurings, and keeps Friends’ minds clear one toward another, waiting for every opportunity to do each other good and to preserve each other’s reputation, and their hearts are comforted at the sight of one another. And in all their affairs, both relating to the church and to the world, they will be watchful over their own spirits, and “keep in the Lord’s power, over that nature and ground in themselves, that would be apt to take an offence, or construe any word or action, to a worse sense than the simplicity thereof, or the intention of the other concerned will allow of.”

 “And whereas it may often fall out, that among a great many, some may have a different apprehension of a matter from the rest of their brethren, especially in outward or temporal things, there ought to .-be a Christian liberty, maintained for such to express their sense, with freedom of mind, or else they will go away burdened; whereas if they speak their minds freely, and a friendly and Christian conference be admitted thereupon, they may be eased, and oftentimes the different apprehension of such a one comes to be wholly removed, and his understanding opened to see as the rest see; for the danger in society doth not lie so much in this, that some few may have a differing apprehension in some things from the general sense, as it doth in this; namely, when such that so differ, do suffer themselves to be led out of the bond of charity, and labour to impose their private sense upon the rest of their brethren, and to be offended and angry if it be not received; this is the seed of sedition and strife that hath grown up in too many to their own hurt.

“And therefore, my dear friends, beware of it, and seek not to drive a matter on in fierceness or in anger, nor to take offence into your minds at any time, because what seems to be clear to you is not presently received; but let all things in the church be propounded with an awful reverence of Him that is the head and life of it, who hath said, ‘where two or three are met in my name, I will be in the midst of them;’ and so he is, and may befelt by all who keep in his spirit.”

NOTE (~CJD): Those who question my religion, I am neither catholic, nor protestant, nor charismatic, Mormon, LDS, Mennonites, Quakers, etc. The group of churches I grew up in you probably, have never heard of. I was raised in a non-denominational group of churches originally called “School of the prophets” by outsiders (not to be confused with the LDS church) The “School of the Prophets” was a designation given by outside ministers who came visiting at the old campground from whence the movement began, if my memory serves me well.. Sometime in the early 1900’s they began to be known simply as “the Body of Christ”.

For those that say forget religion but give me Jesus; Paul said in Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

“If men are so wicked with religion,” said Benjamin Franklin to one who was about publishing an argument against the providence of God, “what would they be without it?” The advice Franklin gave in this instance was characteristic of the man. “He that spits against the wind, spits in his own face.”

I was raised to be skeptical of organized religion, I cannot say I was raised to be against it, for the reason exact reason Paul says here, “notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” for that is the only way a lot of people learn about Jesus. Therefore I will not say I’m against it, nor would I say I hate it. I hate what some have done in Jesus’ name, but you have that even outside of organized religion, besides that there are good people in all religions which is why the Bible says in another passage there are God’s people in all “Come out of her my people”

Revelations 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Jesus has people in organized religion, while I condemn the things some do in organized religion, I do not condemn it all as bad. I grew up in, and was taught among people who are into the Pure Religion of Jesus Christ just as;

James said in chapter 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Therefore I will not condemn religion for there are God’s people in all and (paraphrased here) if you offend the least of these, it is better you had a millstone around your neck and cast into the sea.

Hence I am careful, lest I cause a stumbling block to those who might be saved having been taught by those whom (2 Timothy 3:)5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

I am also careful not to condemn any one group, for Hebrews 13: says 1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

From studying history, I would say they [the Body of Christ] are most likely the descendents of Quakers from way back, I know many in my family at the founding of the United States and before, were Quakers, I’m sure they must have some connection to those once known as “the Jerks” because of the manifestation of the Spirit of God (Holy Ghost) in their services.

This ministry was built on what we refer to as the “threshing floor” [which refers to ministers having discussions and sometimes arguments on the Truth in the Word, separating the Truth from the interpretation of man or wheat from the chaff] and is solely dedicated to the truth in the Word and the True Gospel of Christ, they have never sought fame, notoriety, nor fortune. They have simply tried to live simple Christian lives and do only those things which are pleasing to God and our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.

The ministers are not voted for, nor chosen by anyone other than Jesus, no one signs anything to join, if Jesus adds you, there you are. They are most closely associated with Pentecostal, or at least identified as such by those who do not know them. The churches do not have a program other than following the Spirit of God, many times you will hear them say “watch the spirit and where it leads”. Anyone can speak at any time, sing songs, whatever the spirit of God (Holy Ghost) leads any one to do.

It is orderly however, because the people themselves are orderly, that is unless there is an out pouring of the Holy Ghost, then things can get a little exciting. It’s all good and the people are among the best I have ever known in my life.

We are more into restoring the church like it was in the Early Reign church, and living life without sin, like Jesus taught people to do in the first place. And yes, we believe that you can overcome sin, in this life and grow into the perfect knowledge and image of Christ.

For those who do not agree with my views and those I post quotes of, about Christianity, or who think I have never known anything else. I have investigated it, and I came to my conclusions with reason and the help of the Lord: All the quotes, etc., I share, are things that I agree with because I have seen them in my own life.

Like many in my generation, in my teens I turned from the Lord even though I grew up with, and around the most Christ-like people I have ever known in my life, and as a child, I do not believe, I could have had a greater love for the Lord. However, I had no real understanding of the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord, for all the hours I had set listening to ministers, I never really understood, because one, I was just loving Jesus and two, I was completely naive, what proverbs refers to in one instance “a simple one”

I strayed and due to various things in my life, questioned even the very existence of Jesus, it was by his grace and mercy that I finally began to understand, after he removed the scales from my eyes and heart.

I won’t go into how he did this, but let me say, I was the mule that he had to use the 2×4 between the eyes on to get my attention. After using that 2×4 however, he let me see, and showed me the Greatest Love I have ever felt, or known in my life, and since that time (age mid-late 20’s) I have lived for the sole purpose of loving and serving him, and giving others the understanding and wisdom he has allowed me to see, through looking back at my life.

See, I have a great memory and can go through my life, step by step in detail, and see the numerous and various ways he tried to reach out to me, when I failed miserably to see his hand in my life, which is why I have an affinity for the song “He was there all the time”.

Let me say for all the bad I did, he in his grace and mercy, I believe and hope, has made something he can use to help others along life’s way. If not helpful to others, it is because of my failures and not his.


JohnLockeQuotesCuriousityTRAINING AND EDUCATING CHILDREN; Excerpt from The Works of John Locke by John Locke; Fifth Edition published 1751

[NOTE: I would encourage every parent to get out of doors with their children while they are growing, get away from the city, out in the mountains, woods, the seaside, the lake, river, prairie. Get them out among the other creatures, God’s creation; the Handmaiden of the Lord (i.e. Nature) Let their curiosity and yours never die, for there are always hidden treasures that God only reveals to eyes of those who are diligent in their search.]

Begin excerpt:

115. Children should be trained to be courageous. Keep children from frights of all kinds when they are young. . . . By gentle degrees accustom them to things they are too much afraid of. . . . Inuring children gently to suffer some degrees of pain without shrinking is a way to gain firmness to their minds.]

116. Cruelty.—One thing I have frequently observed in children, that when they have got possession of any poor creature, they are apt to use it ill; they often torment and treat very roughly young birds, butterflies, and such other poor animals which fall into their hands, and that with a seeming kind of pleasure. This, I think, should be watched in them; and if they incline to any such cruelty, they should be taught the contrary usage; for the custom of tormenting and killing of beasts will, by degrees, harden their minds even towards men; and they who delight in the suffering and destruction of inferior creatures, will not be apt to be very compassionate or benign to those of their own kind. Our practice takes notice of this, in the exclusion of butchers from juries of life and death. Children should from the beginning be bred up in an abhorrence of killing or tormenting any living creature, and be taught not to spoil or destroy anything, unless it be for the preservation or advantage of some other that is nobler. And truly, if the preservation of all mankind, as much as in him lies, were every one’s persuasion, as indeed it is every one’s duty, and the true principle to regulate our religion, politics, and morality by, the world would be much quieter and better natured than it is. But to return to our present business; I cannot but commend both the kindness and prudence of a mother I knew, who was want always to indulge her daughters, when any of them desired dogs, squirrels, birds, or any such things, as young girls use[i.e., are accustomed] to be delighted with: but then, when they had them, they must be sure to keep them well, and look diligently after them, that they wanted nothing, or were not ill used; for, if they were negligent in their care of them, it was counted a great fault, which often forfeited their possession; or at least they failed not to be rebuked for it, whereby they were early taught diligence and good-nature. And, indeed, I think people should be accustomed from their cradles to be tender to all sensible creatures, and to spoil or waste nothing at all. This delight they take in doing of mischief, whereby I mean spoiling of anything to no urpose, but more especially the pleasure they take to put any thing in pain that is capable of it, I cannot persuade myself to be any other than a foreign and introduced disposition, a habit borrowed from custom and conversation. People teach children to strike, and laugh when they hurt, or see harm come to others; and they have the examples of most about them to confirm them in it. All the entertainments of talk and history is of nothing almost but fighting and killing; and the honour and renown that is bestowed on conquerors (who for the most part are but the great butchers of mankind), farther mislead growing youths, who by this means come to think slaughter the laudable business of mankind, and the most heroic of virtues. This custom plants unnatural appetites and reconciles us to that which it has laid in the way to honour. Thus, by fashion and opinion, that comes to be a pleasure, which in itself neither is, nor can be any. This ought carefully to be watched, and early remedied, so as to settle and cherish the contrary and more natural temper of benignity and compassion in the room of it; but still by the same gentle methods, which are to be applied to the other two faults before mentioned. But pray remember that the mischiefs or harms that come by play, inadvertency, or ignorance, and were not known to be harms, or designed for mischief’s sake, though they may perhaps be sometimes of considerable damage, yet are not at all, or but very gently, to be taken notice of. For this, I think, I cannot too often inculcate, that whatever miscarriage a child is guilty of, and whatever be the consequence of it, the thing to be regarded in taking notice of it, is only what root it springs from, and what habit it is like to establish; and to that the correction ought to be directed, and the child not to suffer any punishment for any harm which may have come by his play or inadvertency. The faults to be amended lie in the mind; and if they are such as either age will cure, or no ill habits will follow from, the present action, whatever displeasing circumstances it may have, is to be passed by without any animadversion.

[117. Children must treat [others] with civility. Children should not be suffered to lose the consideration of human nature in the shufflings of outward conditions.]

118. Curiosity.—Curiosity in children is but an appetite after knowledge, and therefore ought to be encouraged in them, not only as a good sign, but as the great instrument nature has provided to remove that ignorance they were born with, and which, without this busy inquisitiveness, will make them dull and useless creatures. The ways to encourage it, and keep it active and vigorous, are, I suppose, these following:

1. Not to check or discountenance any inquiries he shall make, nor suffer them to be laughed at; but to answer all his questions, and explain the matters he desires to know, so as to make them as much intelligible to him as suits the capacity of his age and knowledge. But confound not his understanding with explications or notions that are above it, or with the variety or number of things that are not to his present purpose. Mark what ’tis his mind aims at in the question, and not what words he expresses it in: and, when you have informed and satisfied him in that, you shall see how his thoughts will proceed on to other things, and how by fit answers to his inquiries he may be led on farther than perhaps you could imagine. For knowledge to the understanding is acceptable as light to the eyes: [“For knowledge is grateful to the understanding as light to the eyes “—in later editions.] and children are pleased and delighted with it exceedingly, especially if they see that their inquiries are regarded, and that their desire of knowing is encouraged and commended. And I doubt not, but one great reason why many children abandon themselves wholly to silly sports, and trifle away all their time in trifling, is, because they have found their curiosity balked, and their inquiries neglected. But had they been treated with more kindness and respect, and their questions answered, as they should, to their satisfaction, I doubt not but they would have taken more pleasure in learning, and improving their knowledge, wherein there would be still newness and variety, which is what they are delighted with, than in returning over and over to the same play and playthings.

119. 2. To this serious answering their questions, and informing their understandings in what they desire, as if it were a matter that needed it, should be added some peculiar ways of commendation. Let others, whom they esteem, be told before their faces of the knowledge they have in such and such things; and since we are all, even from our cradles, vain and proud creatures, let their vanity be flattered with things that will do them good,1 and let their pride set them on work on something which may turn to their advantage. Upon this ground you shall find, that there cannot be a greater spur to the attaining what you would have the eldest learn and know himself, than to set him upon teaching it his younger brothers and sisters.

120. 3. As children’s inquiries are not to be slighted, so also great care is to be taken that they never receive deceitful and eluding answers. They easily perceive when they are slighted or deceived, and quickly learn the trick of neglect, dissimulation and falsehood, which they observe others to make use of. We are not to entrench upon truth in any conversation, but least of all with children; since, if we play false with them, we not only deceive their expectation, and hinder their knowledge, but corrupt their innocence, and teach them the worst of vices. They are travellers newly arrived in a strange country, of which they know nothing: we should therefore make conscience not to mislead them. And though their questions seem sometimes not very material, yet they should be seriously answered: for however they may appear to us (to whom they are long since known) inquiries not worth the making, they are of moment to those who are wholly ignorant. Children are strangers to all we are acquainted with; and all the things they meet with, are at first unknown to them, as they once were to us: and happy are they who meet with civil people, that will comply with their ignorance, and help them to get out of it. If you or I now should be set down in Japan, with all our prudence and knowledge about us, a conceit whereof makes us perhaps so apt to slight the thoughts and inquiries of children; should we, I say, be set down in Japan, we should, no doubt (if we would inform ourselves of what is there to be known), ask a thousand questions, which, to a supercilious or inconsiderate Japaner[Japanese], would seem very idle and impertinent; and yet to us would be natural; and we should be glad to find a man so kind and humane as to answer them and instruct our ignorance. When any new thing comes in their way, children usually ask the common question of a stranger, What is it? whereby they ordinarily mean nothing but the name; and therefore to tell them how it is called, is usually the proper answer to that demand. The next question usually is, What is it for? And to this it should be answered truly and directly: the use of the thing should be told, and the way explained, how it serves to such a purpose, as far as their capacities can comprehend it; and so of any other circumstances they shall ask about it; not turning them going till you have given them all the satisfaction they are capable of, and so leading them by your answers into farther questions. And perhaps, to a grown man, such conversation will not be altogether so idle and insignificant as we are apt to imagine. The native and untaught suggestions of inquisitive children do often offer things that may set a considering man’s thoughts on work. And I think there is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child, than the discourses of men, who talk in a road. Usually asked at a later stage in the child’s development, according to the notions they have borrowed, and the prejudices of their education.

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See also: John Quincy Adams Speech on the Intent of the Declaration of Independence

Note: Politicians, Monarchs, Power Brokers, Despots and Tyrants; Small men with even smaller minds, suffering from overly inflated egos have never liked long, living without utter control over the people, we see this throughout history and we see this happening in America today. These same political power brokers and ruling class elites have worked for 200+ years trying to break that which became America. They have, up until recent generations been held at bay in America by the natural and religious goodness of her people and most of those in power. Who have had an ever watchful eye on those who would encroach upon our freedoms, liberties, free consciences and individual happiness, however over the last few decades the people have been lulled into a false sense of security by those in the ruling class elite. With all the distractions of the modern age, have come the ever over reaching hand of government, or the ruling class and now America unless her people awaken and rebel against the over reaching hand of the oppressors, we will once again be without a place in the world where people are or once were, truly free.

We must pray now, and pray always that God in his mercy will look down upon us and the world and preserve the freedoms he so graciously gave us at the beginning of time, not only for our benefit, but for the benefit of all mankind. May his hand, be the hand that guides us, protects us, strengthens us, and keeps us through the coming storms.

THE MEANING OF THE REVOLUTION. “On the Controversy about Independence.” by John Witherspoon between 1765-1787

EVERY one knows that when the claims of the British Parliament were openly made, and violently enforced, the most precise and determined resolutions were entered into, and published by every colony, every county, and almost every township or smaller district, that they would not submit to them. This was clearly expressed in the greatest part of them, and ought to be understood as the implied sense of them all, not only that they would not soon or easily, but that they would never on any event, submit to them . For my own part, I confess, I would never have signed these resolves at first, nor taken up arms in consequence of them afterward, if I had not been fully convinced, as I am still, that acquiescence in this usurped power would be followed by the total and absolute ruin of the colonies. They would have been no better than tributary states to a kingdom at a great distance from them. They would have been therefore, as has been the case with all states in a similar situation from the beginning of the world, the servants of servants from generation to generation. For this reason I declare it to have been my meaning, and I know it was the meaning of thousands more, that though we earnestly wished for reconciliation with safety to our liberties, yet we did deliberately prefer, not only the horrors of a civil war, not only the danger of anarchy, and the uncertainty of a new settlement, but even extermination itself, to slavery riveted on us and our posterity.

The most peaceable means were first used; but no relaxation could be obtained: one arbitrary and oppressive act followed after another; they destroyed the property of a whole capital—subverted to its very foundation the constitution and government of a whole colony, and granted the soldiers a liberty of murdering in all the colonies. I express it thus, because they were not to be called to account for it where it was committed, which everybody must allow was a temporary, and undoubtedly in ninety-nine cases of an hundred must have issued in a total impunity. There is one circumstance, however, in my opinion, much more curious than all the rest The reader will say, What can this be? It is the following, which I beg may be particularly attended to:—While all this was a doing, the King in his speeches, the Parliament in their acts, and the people of Great Britain in their addresses, never failed to extol their own lenity [kindness, gentleness]. I do not infer from this, that the King, Parliament and people of Great Britain are all barbarians and savages—the inference is unnecessary and unjust; but I infer the misery of the people of America, if they must submit in all cases whatsoever, to the decisions of a body of the sons of Adam, so distant from them, and who have an interest in oppressing them. It has been my opinion from the beginning, that we did not carry our reasoning fully home, when we complained of an arbitrary prince, or of the insolence, cruelty and obstinacy of Lord North, Lord Bute, or Lord Mansfield. What we have to fear, and what we have now to grapple with, is the ignorance, prejudice, partiality and injustice of human nature. Neither King nor ministry, could have done, nor durst have attempted what we have seen, if they had not had the nation on their side. The friends of America in England are few in number, and contemptible in influence; nor must I omit, that even of these few, not one, till very lately, ever reasoned the American cause upon its proper principles, or viewed it in its proper light

Petitions on petitions have been presented to King and Parliament, and an address sent to the people of Great Britain, which have been not merely fruitless, but treated with the highest degree of disdain. The conduct of the British ministry during the whole of this contest, as has been often observed, has been such, as to irritate the whole people of this continent to the highest degree, and unite them together by the firm bond of necessity and common interest In this respect they have served us in the most essential manner. I am firmly persuaded, that had the wisest heads in America met together to contrive what measures the ministry should follow to strengthen the American opposition and defeat their own designs, they could not have fallen upon a plan so effectual, as that which has been steadily pursued. One instance I cannot help mentioning, because it was both of more importance, and less to be expected than any other. When a majority of the New York Assembly, to their eternal infamy, attempted to break the union of the colonies, by refusing to approve the proceedings of the Congress, and applying to Parliament by separate petition—because they presumed to make mention of the principal grievance of taxation, it was treated with ineffable contempt I desire it may be observed, that all those who are called the friends of America in Parliament, pleaded strongly for receiving the New York petition; which plainly showed, that neither the one nor the other understood the state of affairs in America. Had the ministry been prudent, or the opposition successful, we had been ruined; but with what transport did every friend to American liberty hear, that these traitors to the common cause had met with the reception which they deserved.