Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/380

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The souls of the jolly, jolly mariners in Kipling's "Last Chantey," plucking at their harps and they plucked unhandily, listened with professional approval when the stout Apostle Paul lifted his voice in turn and sang to them:


Once we frapped a ship, and she labored woundily,
There were fourteen score of these.
And they blessed Thee on their knees,
When they learned Thy Grace and Glory under
Malta by the sea!


And so the Ramillies was frapped, or under-girdled by passing hempen hawsers under her keel and around the straining hull to hold her timbers together before she literally fell apart. It was a fine feat of seamanship, but unavailing. The admiral had nothing more to say about the crime of tossing overboard his Majesty's valuable guns, munitions, and stores, and the crew fairly gutted the ship of everything weighty, including both bower anchors. As the day wore on toward nightfall, about twenty other ships were still visible, and the officers urged the admiral to shift his pennant to one of them and so save himself; but

this he positively refused to do, deeming it, as he declared, unpardonable of a commander-in-chief to desert his garrison in distress; that his living a few years longer was of very little consequence, but that, by leaving his ship at