The ousting of the splendid full-rigged ships by stumpy, unlovely tramp-steamers in the Hooghly River, to which I have already referred, is only one example of the universal disappearance of the picturesque.
As the sun rose, and its beams lighted up the white canvas of the latter, she was pronounced to be a full-rigged ship, either a man-of-war or privateer, or a large merchantman, but at the distance she was off it was difficult to determine whether she was a frigate or a flush-decked vessel. Captain Martin hoped that she would prove to be a frigate, and an antagonist worthy of engaging.
His father had taken great pains to instruct him in the use of tools, and in draughting and modelling boats and larger craft. He not only studied the art in theory, but he worked with his own hands. In the parlor of the little cottage was a full-rigged brig, made entirely by him. The hull was not a log, shaped and dug out, but regularly constructed, with timbers and planking.
The lips of many men, strange save to common sayings, are loosed to murmurings of deepest yearning before the spectacle of a full-rigged ship; and it matters not if, within memory, they have ever felt the tug of filling cloth in the timber underfoot, or crossed even an inland waterway without steam.
You know well enough if you talk to a sailor about a ship he'd suppose you meant a full-rigged three-masted vessel." "Yes, of course, uncle. And a barque is a three-master with a mizzen fore-and-aft rigged." "That's better, my lad. But what do you mean by fore-and-aft rigged?" "Well, like a schooner, uncle." "Good boy! Go up one, as you used to say at school.
The second day after our arrival, a full-rigged brig came round the point from the northward, sailed leisurely through the bay, and stood off again for the south-east, in the direction of the large island of Catalina. The next day the Avon got under weigh, and stood in the same direction, bound for San Pedro. This might do for marines and Californians, but we knew the ropes too well.
Siemens was more a man of his time than my poor father. It was on the afternoon of May 2, 1870, the day after my tenth birthday, that we sailed from Gravesend for Sydney, in the full-rigged clipper ship Ariadne, of London, with one hundred and forty-seven other emigrants and eighteen first-class passengers.
It was in this present era, when steamers were gaining their now unquestioned victory, and not during previous eras, when steam was completely unknown, that sailing craft reached their highest development. Sails increased to eight on the mainmast of a full-rigged ship, and they were better cut and set than ever before. Yachts and merchantmen cannot be fairly compared in the matter of their sails.
They are bringing a little breeze with them." "What are they like, Mr. Crofts?" "One is a polacre, another a xebec, and the third looks like a full-rigged craft; but as she is end on, I can't say for certain." "All right, Mr. Crofts! I will be up in five minutes. We can do nothing until we get the wind, anyhow." Breakfast was speedily finished, and they went on deck.
The Febrer arms had floated on pennants and flags over more than fifty full-rigged ships, the pride of the Majorcan marine, which, after clearing from Puerto Pi, used to sail away to sell the oil of the island in Alexandria, taking on cargoes of spices, silks, and perfumes of the Orient in the ports of Asia Minor, trading in Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, or, passing the Pillars of Hercules, plunging into the fogs of Northern seas to carry to Flanders and the Hanseatic Republics the pottery of the Valencian Moors called majolica by foreigners because of its Majorcan origin.