Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/291

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In the sea there are three kinds of things,—those at the bottom, lagan; those which float, flotsam; those which the sea casts up on the shore, jetsam."

"And then?"

"These three things—lagan, flotsam, and jetsam—belong to the Lord High Admiral."

"And then?"

"Your Grace understands."


"All that is in the sea, all that sinks, all that floats, all that is cast ashore,—all belongs to the Admiral of England."

"Everything! Really? And then?"

"Except the sturgeon, which belongs to the king."

"I should have thought," said Josiana, "that everything would have belonged to Neptune."

"Neptune is a fool. He has given up everything. He has allowed the English to take everything."

"Finish what thou wert saying."

"'Prizes of the sea' is the name given to such treasure trove."

"Be it so."

"It is boundless. There is always something floating, something being cast up. It is the contribution of the sea,—the tax which the ocean pays to England."

"With all my heart. But pray conclude."

"Your Grace understands that in this way the ocean creates a department."


"At the Admiralty."

"What department?"

"The Sea-Prize Department."


"The department is subdivided into three offices, —Lagan, Flotsam, and Jetsam; and there is an officer in each."