Navy Blunders: Admiral Benbow

When Admiral Benbow was a common sailor, his messmate, who was stationed with him at the same gun, lost his leg by a cannon shot. The poor fellow instantly called out to his friend, who immediately took him up on his shoulder, and began with great care to descend with him into the cockpit; but it happened that just as the poor fellow's head came upon a level with the deck, another ball carried that off also.Benbow, however, knew nothing of the matter, but carried the body down to the surgeon, and when he came to the bottom of the ladder, called out that he had brought him a patient, desiring some one to bear a hand, and help him easily down. The surgeon turned about, but instead of giving any assistance, exclaimed, "You blockhead, what do you do here with a man that has lost his head?" "Lost his head!" says Benbow; "the lying fellow, why he told me it was his leg; but I never in my life believed what he said without being sorry for it afterwards." more...


Sergeant and a philosopher

Dr. Gregory, professor of the practice of physic at Edinburgh, was one of the first to enroll himself in the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, when that corps was raised. So anxious was he to make himself master of military tactics, that he not only paid the most punctual attendance on all the regimental field-days, but studied at home for several hours a day, under the sergeant-major of the regiment. On one of these occasions the sergeant, out of all temper at the awkwardness of his learned pupil, exclaimed in a rage, "Why, sir, I would rather teach ten fools than one philosopher." more...


Navy Chaplains

When the Earl of Clancarty was captain of a man-of-war, and was cruising on the coast of Guinea, he happened to lose his chaplain by a fever, on which the lieutenant, who was a Scotchman, gave him notice of it, saying, at the same time, "that he was sorry to inform him that he died in the Roman Catholic religion." "Well, so much the better," said his lordship. "Oot, oot, my lord, how can you say so of a British clergyman?" "Why," said his lordship, "because I believe I am the first captain of a man-of-war that could boast of having a chaplain who had any religion at all." more...