Thus before the English could prevent them, a considerable number had managed to escape from the ship, taking their way to a point up the harbour where they could land without being molested. The men-of-war's boats had been left with their boatkeepers in the bay.
This outburst on the part of my noble friend Jack made me shake all over, spite of my padded surtout; and caused me to offer up devout thanksgivings, that in no evil hour had I divulged the fact of having myself served in a whaler; for having previously marked the prevailing prejudice of men-of-war's men to that much-maligned class of mariners, I had wisely held my peace concerning stove boats on the coast of Japan.
The truth was, that La Motte had got the notion entertained by most merchant seamen, and encouraged by shipowners as well as masters and mates, that men-of-war were all alike, little better than hells afloat; that all naval officers were tyrants, and all men-of-war's men miserable, spiritless slaves.
She has a very large crew, fine, lithe-looking fellows, the very picture of English men-of-war's men. The second officer told us that it was the Sea Bride they had captured, and pointed out her captain, who stood aft conversing with a number of people who had gathered round him.
Higson, of course, did not think it necessary to say that they had been up the river burning the Russian granaries and vessels, and he merely therefore explained that they had landed from some men-of-war's boats, and, having come away without provisions, would be very much obliged if they could be informed where they could obtain food for themselves and their men.
LITTLE, indeed, beside Tartarin of Tarascon, arming himself capa-pie to go to his club at nine, an hour after the retreat had sounded on the bugle, was the Templar Knight preparing for a sortie upon the infidel, the Chinese tiger equipping himself for combat, or the Comanche warrior painting up for going on the war-path. "All hands make ready for action!" as the men-of-war's men say.
And you will see ships building and ships in ordinary; and ships repairing and ships fitting; and hulks and convict ships, and the guardship; ships ready to sail and ships under sail; besides lighters, men-of-war's boats, dockyard-boats, bumboats, and shore-boats.
It was the officer in command, who spoke English. He paused at the sight of the other man falling overboard and my uplifted handspike; and I said to him, "It's of no use look at the English men-of-war close to you: if you do not go back to the cabin, and keep your men quiet, when the men-of-war's men come on board we will show you no quarter."
The French, having only their own infantry to embark, most of whom were taken on board their men-of-war, got through the process more rapidly than the English. Men-of-war's boats were pulling backwards and forwards, some carrying messages, others towing-off the rafts; while smaller craft of all sorts were moving about in every direction, bringing stores and provisions.
When the young man had retired, he turned to the mate, and said "After all, these men-of-war's men are a little beyond us in the science of attack and defence, though I think I could give him a hint in the science of signs. I have had two or three touches at privateering in my time, but no regular occupation in your broadside work. Did you see how Mr. Blunt handled his boat yesterday?