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Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick), 1804-1877 [1839], The adventures of Harry Franco. Volume 1 (F. Saunders, New York) [word count] [eaf025v1].
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CHAPTER XXVII [sic]. Is devoted to a slight sketch of Lieutenant Wallop, and being not at all essential to a proper development of my adventures, may be read or not, as the reader pleases.

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Mr. Wallop was by courtesy gallant, as all
officers of the navy and army are; he had seen
service on board of a revenue cutter, which
might have been seen during the time of his command,
at least eleven months and some odd days
out of the year, lying quietly at anchor in the
neighborhood of that famous strait known to the
dwellers about Gowannus Bay by the name of
Buttermilk Channel. It was not a service in
which much renown was to be gained, but in
which a good deal of comfort could be taken, and
that with some is quite as desirable as fame.

Mr. Wallop was tall and thin; his face was
pale, and his eyes were fishy in their aspect. He
was troubled with a cough which should have
admonished him that his body was made of perishable
materials, the thought of which, one would
suppose, should have softened his temper and
humanized his feelings: but the effect of it was
the reverse; he seemed to feel a spite towards

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every one who enjoyed better health than himself,
and yet he never showed the slightest compassionate
feeling for those who were sick and feeble,
but on the contrary, he did all in his power to
make them miserable. Some people, I doubt not,
considered Mr. Wallop the very nicest person in
the whole world; for there are those who estimate
a man's virtues by the complexion of his garments,
and Mr. Wallop's vest was as spotless as snow,
and his buttons were innocent of rust. He was
cleanly to a degree passing credulity. If others
reckoned cleanliness among the half virtues, he
considered slovenliness as a whole vice, and he
punished all dirty offenders accordingly. If a man
by accident spit upon deck, he flogged him; and if
in his walks about the ship's decks, he discovered
a hat or a jacket, or any other article, no matter
how valuable, out of its proper place, he would
throw it overboard, without asking to whom it
belonged, or moving a muscle in his face. Once,
he threw a jacket overboard, which belonged to
an old sailor who had lost an eye in one of the
engagements of the Constitution, in the last war,
which so enraged the old veteran, that he caught
up his bag, which contained all his earthly store,
and in a paroxysm of rage, threw it out of a port
hole, to keep his jacket company. Mr. Wallop

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smiled, but said nothing; and when the old man
appeared at quarters without his jacket, the gallant
lieutenant stopped his grog for a fortnight.

But Mr. Wallop was pious; he read prayers
every Sunday morning on the drum head of the
capstern, for there was no Chaplain on board, and
in the afternoon, he read a chapter or two from
the Bible. His readings, however, were never of
gentleness and mercy, but always of wrath and
indignation. He would smack his lips over the
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, with as
much apparent satisfaction as though he had been
personally aggrieved by the abominations of those
wicked cities; and a smile of delight would steal
over his cadaverous features, while he read of the
terrible feat of Samuel, in hewing down the captive
Agag, in Gilgal. It is but justice, however,
to say, that Mr. Wallop never allowed himself to
get into a passion; he always had the most perfect
mastery of his passions, and he would give
the harshest commands in the meekest and most
lamb-like voice.

One morning, while we lay at anchor in Rio,
he came out of his state-room, just as the hammocks
were piped up, in his dressing gown and
slippers, and ordered the gratings to be rigged,
and told the boatswain to send Jack Hanson to

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him. It was in the gray of the morning, and the
night mists still hung about the ship. Jack Hanson
came aft to the lieutenant; he was a weather
beaten old sailor, who had been petted by all the
officers in the ship, except Mr. Wallop, who never
petted any body but himself. Jack was in some
sort a privileged character, and he had been allowed
to do, and to say, any thing he pleased; but he
had, unfortunately, the night before, drank a glass
of whiskey, which one of the boys had contrived
to smuggle out of the ward room, to pay for a
hammock lashing, which Jack had grafted for
him; and his old head being weak, and his blood
thin, the fumes of the liquor had warmed his feelings,
and he had had the audacity to sing “The
Guerriere so bold,” in a louder tone than exactly
harmonized with Mr. Wallop's ear.

Hanson had not the slightest suspicion that the
preparation for flogging were intended for him;
and when Mr. Wallop told him to take off his
shirt, the old man turned pale with fright.

“I hope you are not going to flog me, sir,”
said Hanson, his lips trembling as he spoke.

“I am,” replied Mr. Wallop, calmly.

“For what, sir?” said Hanson.

“For being drunk,” replied the lieutenant.

“When, sir?”

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“Last night.”

“Heaven bless you,” said Hanson, “I was
no more drunk than the sheet anchor is at this
moment. I was only a little swipey.”

“Silence,” said Mr. Wallop. “I say you
were drunk. Tie him up, quarter master.”

“I am an old man, sir,” said Hanson, looking
imploringly up into the lieutenant's face.

“I know you are,” replied Mr. Wallop, in his
mild and gentle voice, “and I would flog you, if
you were my grandfather.”

Hanson was too much of a sailor to bandy
words with his officer, so he took off his shirt, and
the quarter master tied his ancles to the grating,
and his wrists to two eye-bolts in the gangway
above his head. The boatswain's mate, a stout,
active man, with an arm so muscular, as to be
unable to strike a light blow, if he had wished to,
took his station, and leisurely disentangled the
cords of his cat.

“Begin,” said Mr. Wallop.

Hanson groaned as he heard the command
given, and when the first blow fell upon his bare
back, he gave a terrific shriek which went to my
very heart. I had never seen a man flogged before,
and I had no idea that one human being
could inflict such a punishment upon another. I

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shuddered at the thought of unwittingly incurring
it myself, and, dreadful as it appeared, the disgrace
appeared to me greater than the suffering.

The master at arms, a gray headed old sailor,
counted the strokes, as they fell upon poor Hanson's
back, with a tremulous voice, and when he
had counted twenty-four, Mr. Wallop motioned
the boatswain's mate to stop, and wrapping his
gown about his lank person, he retired to his
state-room, probably to engage in his morning's

Hanson was cut down, and he went below to
his berth; his back was purple with gore. He
wanted for neither torts of grog, nor sympathising
friends, but the old tar's spirit was broken, and
he never again could be prevailed upon to sing
his favorite song of

“The Guerriere so bold,
On the foaming ocean rolled.”

It was not my intention when I commenced
writing my adventures, to make an omnibus of
them; but I find that when a man makes up his
mind to go down to posterity, he must of necessity
drag others along with him, whether their company
be agreeable or not. Mr. Wallop is one of those
that I am thus compelled to take with me, but to,

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render his company as little obnoxious as possible,
I have, as it were, given him an outside seat, all
alone by himself.

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Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick), 1804-1877 [1839], The adventures of Harry Franco. Volume 1 (F. Saunders, New York) [word count] [eaf025v1].
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