Page:Yorkshire Oddities, Incidents and Strange Events.djvu/358

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Yorkshire Oddities and Incidents.

did God put in our hearts to risk our lives, and by that means save our ship's company, six hundred in number, from an awful death."

"Martin," says one of the Greenwich pensioners, "went with a boat's crew to get water. In crossing some buoys he fell in; the accident was not perceived, but we at length missed him; when we got him out he was all but gone. He said we had conspired against him, but God had delivered him. I remember this, for Dobson threatened to thrash him if he repeated it. Martin was punished for drunkenness, and bore it in a very cowardly manner. When he was in the mortar-boat he sang psalms, but when we were afterwards very near wrecked, he was as cool or cooler than any one on board. He fell overboard whilst assisting in hooking a shark, but was picked up almost immediately. He got hurt in falling, and would never assist in the hooking again. We had many sick and dying aboard, and the sharks often followed in our wake: we burnt bricks and covered them with tarpauling, &c., fixing a hook in the brick; this the fish would swallow. Martin was very active in this, until his accident. After that he said, 'The Lord was vexed at the guile.' He hated the Catholics."

Another pensioner, who corroborated a portion of the foregoing, added: "Martin was much noticed by the officers; but he told them many falsehoods, and at last was generally disliked. He was at one time in such favour with his superiors, that two men were punished for cutting the slings of his hammock whilst he was asleep, which is generally passed over as a joke; but he pretended to have been hurt with the fall. When angered, he would swear as much as anyone, and sometimes immediately afterwards would cry and pray. His dreams and stories would have filled a book. I saw him years afterwards at