The masts of the old Victory are kept here, the same she carried at Trafalgar. Not far off is the boat-house, where boats from a large launch down to the smallest gig are kept ready for use. We looked into the Naval College, where officers go to study a variety of professional subjects. When papa was a boy the Naval College was used as the Britannia now is as a training-school for naval cadets.
There was a superb silver cocoa-nut tree, whereof the leaves were dexterously arranged for holding candle and pickles; under the cocoa-nut was an Indian prince on a camel, giving his hand to a cavalry officer on horseback a howitzer, a plough, a loom, a bale of cotton, on which were the East India Company's arms, a Brahmin, Britannia, and Commerce with a cornucopia were grouped round the principal figures: and if you would see a noble account of this chaste and elegant specimen of British art, you are referred to the pages of the Pall Mall Gazette of that year, as well as to Fred Bayham's noble speech in the course of the evening, when it was exhibited.
But his intemperate habits caused him to lose his command, and he had had to ship on the Britannia as chief mate. He was, however, a great favourite with the men, who now urged him to lead them on and avenge the loss of the captain; so the moment the boat returned from landing Mrs. Rossiter he slipped his cable, and stood out to meet the enemy.
There was nothing in ancient times to be compared with that daring, ingenious, and stupendous monument of engineering skill the Britannia Tubular Bridge, across the Menai straits projected, designed, and built by Robert Stephenson, the famous English engineer. He had previously built a similar but smaller structure the Conway Tubular Bridge.
Presently Anna began to laugh. "Do let us go in and see what it means," she whispered. "Somebody a man, I think is singing 'Rule Britannia' and 'Hark, hark, my soul' by turns, and there is a woman talking or scolding at the same time." "I believe you are right," was Malcolm's answer. "Take care of that last step, child, it is quite worn away."
They believed that foreigners had no independent spirit, as never being escorted to the poll in droves by Lord Decimus Tite Barnacle, with colours flying and the tune of Rule Britannia playing. Not to be tedious, they had many other beliefs of a similar kind.
Lady S being short and stout, Oscar replied, smiling: "Go through this room, my dear fellow, and the next and so on till you come to someone looking like a public monument, say the effigy of Britannia or Victoria that's Lady S ." Though he used to pretend that all this self-advertisement was premeditated and planned, I could hardly believe him.
The people who would suffer most from the collapse of this high-sounding enterprise could not reach the scene of calamity at half an hour's notice; they were dwellers in many parts of the British Isles, strangers most of them to London city, with but a vague mental picture of the local habitation of the Britannia Loan, Assurance, Investment, and Banking Company, Limited.
Our party then formed a large circle by joining hands; and sang the national anthem, accompanied by the Goderich band, which was composed of two fiddles and a tambourine. "Rule Britannia" for our sailor-king was also played and sung I was going to say in good style, but at all events with great loyalty and enthusiasm.
This is not wholly true, for in "The Masque of Alfred" in which "Rule, Britannia" is enshrined, Thomson displays as keen and exact a sense of the lines of England's destiny as Seeley acquired by painful historic excogitation.