West asked, when the thing was absolutely inevitable, that at least some sweet and sacred melody, acceptable to church-going ears, might be chosen; but Captain Monk fixed on a sea-song that was a favourite of his own "The Bay of Biscay." At the end of every hour, when the clock had struck, the Bay of Biscay was to burst forth to charm the parish.
I could dance a hornpipe with any man on board; and as for singing a rollicking sea-song, there were few who could match me. I soon learned to hand reef, steer, and heave the lead, as well as any man on board. My mother was proud of me, and so was my father; and they had reason to be, and that's the truth.
I came quickly to my feet, with a half-imprecation at myself; and a verse of a crude sea-song was in my ears: "You can batten down cargo, live and dead, But you can't put memory out of sight; You can paint the full sails overhead, But you can't make a black deed white...."
The passage out of the sea-song, which is heard constantly through the first act, is not a leit-motif, nor are many of the other subjects. They receive symphonic development; but, after all, the opening four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony do not form a leit-motif.
Here we are entirely free of the Weberesque four-bar phrases; the rhythms are subtle and complex, though to the ear they sound clear and simple enough. When the curtain goes up we see a sort of tent arranged on the deck of a ship. From aloft a sailor chants a wild sea-song, unlike any sea-song ever chanted off the stage and yet redolent of the sea and salt winds.
Before him was food and drink fit for a stout and hungry sea-faring man, and there were wines and dainties which would have had fit place upon the table of a gentleman. Blackbeard was in high spirits and tossed off cup after cup and glass after glass of the choicest wine and the most fiery spirits. He clapped his well-mannered host upon the back as he shouted some fragment of a wild sea-song.
And at the half-hour down come the sixth and fifth form boys, and take their places at the tables, which are filled up by the next biggest boys, the rest, for whom there is no room at the table, standing round outside. The glasses and mugs are filled, and then the fugleman strikes up the old sea-song, "A wet sheet and a flowing sea, And a wind that follows fast," etc.,
We care not for those Martial-men that do our states disdain, But we care for those Merchant-men that do our states maintain. A third old sea-song gives voice to the universal complaint that landsmen cheat sailors who come home flush of gold. For Sailors they be honest men, And they do take great pains, But Land-men and ruffling lads Do rob them of their gains.
King turned the direction of the conversation by remarking that these seeming trifles were really of much account in these days, and he took from his pocket a copy of the city newspaper, 'The Summer Sea-Song, and read some of the leading items: "S., our eye is on you." "The Slopers have come to their cottage on Q Street, and come to stay." "Mr. E. P. Borum has painted his front steps." "Mr.
After he had walked quite a distance from the house, he suddenly raised his head and began to whistle a jolly, rollicking sea-song. I could hear him for some minutes. I was glad to think he took it so light-heartedly. It is good to know that he is not jealous of my great fortune. To-night we spared each other the parting words.