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Life on Board A Training Ship - from Harper's

 

Training-ships, on board which boys are taught to become first-rate seamen, form an important portion of every navy; and in the accompanying sketches our artist has endeavored to convey correct ideas of the daily life of these boys to those of our readers who live far inland, are not familiar with ships and sailors, and who perhaps have never seen the sea.

FURLING SAIL. FURLING SAIL.

The first sketch is one showing the boys undergoing a part of their sail drill, and engaged in furling the mizzen top-gallant-sail and royal. The sails of a man-of-war are furled and stowed with the utmost care and precision, so that the ends of the yard look exactly alike, and sometimes the boys have to do their work over and over again before the critical eye of the officer watching them is satisfied. In storms, when the great ship rolls so that the yard-arms sometimes touch the water, lying out on them and furling sails is very difficult and dangerous work, and it is only on account of the constant drill they have received during fair weather that the boys are able to accomplish the task under these circumstances.

BATH-ROOM. BATH-ROOM.

Above all things, on these training-ships the boys are obliged to keep themselves neat and clean. They are expected to bathe frequently, and are always compelled to do so on Sunday. The bath-room, provided with tubs, basins, and a plentiful supply of water, is located in the bows, in the extreme forward part of the ship.

SCHOOL-ROOM. SCHOOL-ROOM.

Generally amidships, but sometimes in the stern of the ship, is the school-room; for sailor boys have other things to learn besides the practical sailing of a ship. In this school-room the young sailors spend four or five hours of each day, and are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, history, geography, and grammar.

DINNER-TIME: EIGHT BELLS. DINNER-TIME: EIGHT BELLS.

At noon, or eight bells, as they say on shipboard, the bugles sound the dinner call, and from all parts of the ship the boys tumble down the hatchways to the berth-deck, where is a long row of short tables swung from the ceiling, and where the young sailors eat the bountiful dinner provided for them as only healthy, hearty boys can eat.

ORLOP DECK, OR COCKPIT. ORLOP DECK, OR COCKPIT.

The fourth or lowest deck of the ship is called the "orlop deck," and it is here that the boys stow away their muskets and cutlasses after drill. On this deck also the boys receive at four bells, or six o'clock in the evening, the allowance of bread and molasses, or treacle, that composes their regular supper.

SERVING OUT BREAD AND TREACLE. SERVING OUT BREAD AND TREACLE.
GUN PRACTICE. GUN PRACTICE.
GUN-DECK—FIRING A SALUTE. GUN-DECK—FIRING A SALUTE.

Next to the sail drill, perhaps the most important is the gun drill, or practice with the heavy guns. This gun drill is not important merely because the guns are to be used in case of a fight, but because they are also used in the firing of salutes. These salutes must be fired whenever another man-of-war comes into port or a distinguished officer comes on board, on national holidays, and at many other times; therefore it is very important that the boys should be familiar with the great guns. Each gun has its crew, each one of whom has an especial duty to perform. The long cord that the boy in the last picture holds in his hand is called a lanyard; and as he pulls it with a smart jerk, a hammer falls on the breech of the gun, and with a roar that shakes the ship, the great gun is fired.