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Charles Waterton in Andalucia, Spain. Page 3 - My Honest Tar
Spain Pages
• 1  Introduction • 2 The Black Vomit • 3 My Honest Tar

Forty years after he first set sail for Spain on board the brig Industry, Waterton was travelling to Italy via the port of Hull (full name Kingston-upon-Hull) in Yorkshire when he had cause to remember his earlier adventure on that boat.

"I had a little adventure at Hull scarcely worth recounting, saving for its singularity. As I was standing at the window of the hotel, I saw an old and weather-beaten tar, ruminating on the quay which flanks the Humber; and as I had nothing to do at the time, I thought I would go and have a little chat with him; and so, I took my hat and went to the place where he was standing

My honest tar.

''This is nearly the spot, my honest tar,' said I to him, 'where I first embarked for Spain in the brig Industry of this port. It is just 40 years ago, and a rough passage we had of it to Cadiz; we were all but ashore, one dark night at Cape St. Vincent.

The captain's name was Lettus; but he must be dead and buried long ago, for he was then apparently quite at his best; and what with so long a war, and with so many perils of the sea, no doubt he is safely stowed away in Davy's locker.'

'I saw him, Sir,' said the tar, 'no later than yesterday morning.'
'And where is he?' said I . 'He is safely moored in the house for poor decayed sea-captains, and he is as well and as happy as is possible for a man of his years to be.' I bade my informer good-bye, and having stepped into the inn for my umbrella; as the weather threatened rain, I went down the street in quest of my old commander. I found him sitting on a bench facing the south, with a pipe in his mouth, and I recognised him at first sight, although disappointment, time, and poverty, had made deep furrows in his face.

On asking him if he remembered affair he had with a brig bound to Vigo, about forty years ago; his eye brightened up, and he went through the whole story with wonderful minuteness.

I then gave him a brief account of the many gales I had weathered since I bade him farewell at the sally-port in Cadiz; and he, on his part, told me that our mate, Mr Davis, had got drowned in the Baltic; and that he himself had continued to buffet the waves for a mere livelihood till at last, old age and poverty had dismasted him; but that he was now safe in dock, thanks to the generous people of Hull; and that he would be comfortable there, in a good snug berth, with plenty of excellent food, till death should break his crazy vessel into pieces. [1]

Victoria Hotel, Kingston-upon-HullFollowing this little echo from the past, the Squire settled his account at Seahorse, and steamed for Rotterdam.

The Victoria Hotel, Kingston-upon-Hull. It was established in the early 1800s.

1."Some Account of the Writer of the Following Essays", by himself. Charles Waterton writing in the Second Series of his Essays on Natural History, Chiefly Ornithology, 1844.

Victoria Dock area, Kingston-Upon-Hull.

Victoria Hotel, Hull.
Victoria Dock., River Hull.

Victoria Dock Basin.
Victoria Dock Basin.

Victoria Dock Tavern.
Victoria Dock Tavern.

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