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Then I recalled what had befallen me, and cried aloud to God in my anguish, for I well knew I had been carried aboard ship, and was at sea. I had oftentimes heard of the notorious press-gang which supplied the need of the King's navy, and my first thought was that I had fallen in their clutches. But I wondered that they had dared attack a person of my consequence. I had no pain.

So his previous fancies shrank to nothing, rebuked for their improbability, and with them vanished his self-reproach. Yet there were times when the popular attention seemed totally absorbed by the dread of the press-gang; when no other subject was talked about hardly, in fact, thought about.

Thus in reefing topsails, the men were sometimes half an hour on the yard, endeavoring in vain to do a work which his own obstinacy or ignorance rendered impracticable, and he, all the while, cursing and swearing at the crew for their inefficiency, in a style which would have done credit to the leader of a press-gang.

In the meantime Tom had reached the wharf, but finding one side blocked up, had doubled, in the hope of escaping in another direction, when he saw two of the press-gang close to him. Numerous vessels of all sizes lay in the harbour. Dread of having to serve on board of a man-of-war made him desperate.

So while few Monkshaven people passed the low public-house over which the navy blue-flag streamed, as a sign that it was the rendezvous of the press-gang, without spitting towards it in sign of abhorrence, yet, perhaps, the very same persons would give some rough token of respect to Lieutenant Atkinson if they met him in High Street.

As far as he could make out in the darkness, badly illumined by the lanthorns, there was a desperate struggle going on in the shallow water lying between the shingle and the boats. For the first few moments it seemed to Aleck in his excitement that the press-gang was being beaten off by the smugglers.

If he had vanished this winter time, every one would have been convinced that the press-gang had seized upon him. Philip had never heard any one breathe the dreaded name of the Alcestis. Besides, he went on to think, at the farm they are out of hearing of this one great weary subject of talk. But it was not so, as he became convinced one evening.

Barely possible some lighter readers might wish to see, for one moment, an Excellenz that has been seized by a Press-gang? Which perhaps never happened to any other Excellenz; the like of which, I have been told, might merit him a soiree from strong-minded women, in some remoter parts of the world. Not to say that he is the tallest of living Diplomatists; another unique circumstance!

Niver gie a woman t' whip hand o'er yo'! Yo' seen what it brings a man to; but for a' that I'll vote for Cholmley, an' d t' press-gang!

The men, they believed, had been taken on board her, as had, they supposed, the escaped prisoner; and, at all events, she had made off and got out of sight. Followed by a collection of men, women, and boys, still shouting and hurling abuse at them, the press-gang, moving on, at length reached the boats.

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