315 325 ——//—— The silence accompanying at the moment of
the ascension ^ execution and for a ^ brief space moment or two
continuing after it thereafter, a silence
broken only but emphasized by the ^ regular wash of the sea
87 against the hull or the slatting flutter
of a sail doubtless caused by the
slatting of a sail, possibly caused
by the helmsman's eyes being tempted
astray, ^ this emphasizedemphasizedEL emphasedS silence anon was gradually was presently disturbed
by a sound not easeily to be
verbally rendered. Whoever
standing by foot-hills, has caught heard
the first audible murmur of the
the freshet-wave of a torrent suddenly
316 326 swelled by pouring rains showers in
tropical mountains, rains showers not
shared by the foot plain; whoever
has heard the first audible ^ muffled murmer
of its sloping advance ing descending descent through
^ precipitous woods forrests , may form some conception
of the sound now heard . ^ The seeming remoteness of its source
was because of its peculiar murmerous indistinctness
not without
88 Its seem concern by the officers assembled
about Captain Vere. Yet ^ since it came
from close-by, even from the men
throng massed on the de ship's spar- open deck.
Being That inarticulate Inarticulate , murmer was
it was dubious in significance ^ save that further than
it seemed to indicate some
capricious revulsion of thought
or feeling such as shore- mobs
317 327 ashore ^ ar are subject liable to ; , in the present
instance possibly implying the a sullen
revocation on the men's part of
their involuntary echoing of Billy's
benediction. But ere ^ the murmer it had ^ time to wax
wax into aught of clamor it was
met by a stragetic command, the
89 more telling that the the men
it came with abrupt unexpectedness:
"Pipe down the starboard watch
Boatswain, and see that they promptly
^ Shrill as the shriek of the sea-hawk The shrill ^ silver whistles of
that warrant-officer the Boatswain and his Mates mates
shrill pierced that ominous low
sound, like the dissipating it; and
318 328 yeilding to the mechanism of
disp disipline the throng was thinned
by one half. For the remainder
most of them were set to those
temporary employments readily to be
connected with trimming the yards and
& so forth, ^ business readily to be got up ^ to serve occasion by
any officer-of-the-deck.
90 Now Each proceeding that follows
a mortal sentence pronounced at sea
by a drum-head court are ^ is characterized
by promptitude not perceptably merging
attended by into hurry . , tho bordering that. The shotted
hammock, ^ the one which had been Billy's bed when alive,
having already been prepared ballasted
with shot and otherwise prepared
319 329 to serve for his ^ canvas coffin, the last
office of the sea-undertakers, the
Sail-Maker's Mates, were now
speedily completed. When
everything was in readiness the a
second call for all x hands ^ made necessary by the unusual
stragetic movement before mentioned

was sounded and now to
91 witness burial.
The details of this closing
formality it needs not to give.
But when the tilted plank let slide
its freight into the sea, a second
strange inarticulate human
murmer was heard, blended
now with another inarticulate sound
proceeding from certain gaunt larger sea-fowl
whose attention having been
320 330 attracted by the ^ peculiar commotion in the
water resulting from the ^ slant plump heavy
sloped dive of the pale heavy ^ shotted hammock into
the sea flew screaming to the spot. So near
the hull did they come, that the
stridor or bony creak of their gaunt
92 double-jointed pinions was audible.
As the ship under light airs sa
passed in on , leaving the burial-spot
astern, they still kept circling it
low down with the moving shadow
of their outstretched wings and
the croaked requiem of their cries.
Upon sailors as superstitious
as those of the age preceeding ours,
men-of-war's men ^ too who had just
321 331 beheld the prodigy of repose in the ^ form suspended in air, the same ^ hanging
from the yard-end; and now foundering in the deeps; to such mariners
the action of the sea-fowl tho' dictated
by an mere animal appet greed for
prey, was big with imaginative
import of bale. no prosaic significance. A dubious strange
An uncertain movement began among them, in which
some encroachment was made. It
93 was tolerated but for a moment. For
suddenly the drum beat to quarters,
which familiar sound happening at least twice
every day, had upon the present
occasion a p sh ringing signal peremptoriness
in it. True martial discipline long continued breeds
^ superinduces in average man an instinct ^ a sort of an impulse of docility whose
p instinct operation ^ under at the official word of command much resembles ^ in its promptitude
the effect that of a an instinct natural one cause .
322 332 Instantly the The drum-beat
dissolved the multitude, distributing
most of them along the batteris of the two covered
gun- decks. There, as wont, the guns' crews
stood by their respective cannon erect
and silent. In due course the First
Officer Lieutenant Officer, sword
under arm and standing in his place
94 on the quarter-deck ^ formally recieved the
successive reports of the sworded
Lieutenants commanding the sections
of batteries below; the last of which
reports being made the summed report
he delivered with the customary salute
to the Commander. All this occupied
time, which in the present case, was
the object of in beating to quarters at an
323 333 hour prior to the customary one. when the band plays & when prayers are said .
That such variance from usage was
authorized by an officer like Captain
Vere, a martinet as some deemed
him, was evidence of the necessity for
for it ^ unusual action implyed in what he deemed
to be temporarily the mood of his
95 men. "With mankind" he would say
"forms , ^ measured forms are everything; and that is
the moral import couched in the story
of Orpheus ^ taming the beasts with his lyre spell-binding the wild denizens of the wood. "^ And this he once applied to the disruption
of forms going on across the Channel
and the consequces thereof.

At this unwonted call to muster
at quarters, all proceeded as at the
regular hour. The band on the
quarter-deck played a sacred air.
After which the Chaplain went thro'
324 334 the customary morning service. That
done, the drum beat the retreat ; and
toned by ^ music and religious rites subserving
the discipline ^ & purposes of war, the men in their
wonted orderly manner, dispersed
to their the places allotted them when
not at the guns.
96 And now it was full
day. The fleece of low-hanging vapor
had vanished, licked up by the sun
that late had so glorified ^ it. them.
And the circumambient air in the
clearness of its serenity was ^ like smooth
white marble in the polished
block not yet removed from the
marble-dealer's yard. ——//——