1 2 Billy Budd
( An inside narrative. )
Friday Nov. 16, 1888.
1 Revise - began
[pointer] March 2d 1889
In the time before steamships,
and ^ or then or then more frequently than now , a stroller
along the docks of any considerable
sea-port would occasionally have his
attention arrested by a group of
bronzed mariners, man-of-war's men
or merchant-sailors in holiday attire
ashore on liberty. In certain instances Sometimes a???pts
they would flank, or, like a body-guard
quite surround some one ^ ^ a superior superior signal
figure of their own class but signalized
2 1 2 2 3 luminousness by its ^ bright superiorty preeminence , moving along
with them like ^ signalized Aldebaran ^ superior among
the lesser twinkling lights of his constellation.
That signal ^ shining object signal figure ^ was the "Handsome
Sailor" of the picturesque less prosaic era time ^ alike of
the military and merchant marine. navies .
With no perceptable perceptible trace of vanity the
the vainglorious or vainglory vainglorious ^ about him, rather with the off-hand
unaffectedness of natural innate
regality, he seemed to accept the
spontanious spontaneous homage of his shipmates. ^ insert

[See next leaf for transcription of text on this mount.]
to know that one at least of his

A somewhat remarkable instance
recurs to me. In Liverpool, now
half a century ago I saw under
the shadow of the A somewhat remarkable instance great dingy
street-wall recurs to me of Prince's Dock
3 4 (an obstruction long since removed) a
common sailor, a son of Ham so
intensely black that he must needs
have been a native born African . ^ of the ^ unadulterate best blood of Ham.
A symmetric barbaric figure much above the
average height. The two ends of a
gay silk handerchief thrown loose
about the neck danced upon the
displayed ebony of his chest; in his
ears were big hoops of gold, and
a Highland Scotch bonnet ^ with a tartan band set off his shapely
It was a rather hot noon in July; and
his handsome face, lustrius with
perspiration, beamed with ^ barbaric good humor.
3 2 5 In jovial sallies right and left ^ his white teeth flashing into view
he rollicked along, the centre
of a company of his shipmates.
These were made up of such an
assortment of tribes and complexions
as would have well
fitted them to be marched up by the
eccentric Anacharsis Cloots before
the bar of the first French Assembly
as Representatives of the Ma Human Race.

In the At each spontanious spontaneous tribute rendered by
nearly every any the wayfarer wayfarers at to this black
pagod of a jolly fellow—the tribute
of a pause and stare, and less
frequent an exclamation, the
motley retinue showed that
they took that
4 6 sort of pride in their mighty ^ black sailor
^ which the evoker of it the Assryian priests doubtless
showed for their grand ^ carved and sculptured deified Bull
when the faithful prostrated themselves.
2 4 5 7 To return.
If in some cases a bit of a
nautical Murat in setting forth
his person ashore, the white handsome sailor
forecastle-magnate of the period in
question evinced nothing of that the
spurious sea-fop dandified ^ Billy-be-Dam,
an amusing character still all but
extinct now, but occasionally to be
encountered, ^ in form yet more amusing and in a form yet more
amusing than the original,
at the tiller of the boats
on the tempestuous Erie Canal or,
more likely, vaporing in the groggeries
along the tow-path.
3 6 8 in this forecastle hero. magnate Invariably
a proficient in his perilous calling,
he was also more or less of a
mighty boxer or wrestler. ^ It was strength and beauty. Tales of his
prowess were recited.
he was the champion; afloat the
spokesman; whatever on every suitable occasion ^ always foremost.
Close-reefing topsails in a gale,
there he was, astride the weather
yard-arm-end, foot ^ the Flemish horse as in "stirrup,"
both ^ brown hands tugging at the "ear-ring"
as at a bridle, ^ in verry much an xxxxx the attitude of the
young Alexander curbing the
fiery steed Bucephalus . A supurb superb
figure , outline ^ a figure tossed up as by the horns
of Taurus against the thunderous
4 7 9 ^ black sky, cheerily hallooing to the
strenuous file along the spar.
The moral nature was
seldom out of keeping with the
physical make. Indeed, except
as toned by the former, the comeliness
and power, always attractive in
masculine conjunction, could
hardly ^ could have drawn the sort of
honest admiration homage the Handsome
Sailor in some examples
received from his less gifted
5 8 10 Such a cynosure, at least in
aspect, and something such too in
his nature, though with very important
variations ^ made to become apparent that will evolve themselves
as the story proceds, was welkin-eyed
Billy Budd,^ or Baby Budd as yet more
familiarly ^ under circumstances
hereafter to be given
he ^ at last came to be calld
at last
aged twenty- one two , a
tar foretopman of the British fleet toward
the close of the last decade of
the eighteenth century. Not ^ It was not very
long prior to the time of the
narration that follows he had
that he had entered the King's service fleet , having
been impressed on the Narrow Seas
6 9 11 from a homeward-bound English
merchantman into a seventy-four
outward-bound, H.M.S. Indomitable ;
that king's- which ship, as was not unusual
in those hurried days having been
obliged to put to sea short of her
proper complement of men. Plump
upon Billy at first sight ^ in the gangway the
boarding officer Lieutenant ^ Ratcliffe pounced,
even before the merchantman's
crew was formally ^ mustered on the
quarter-deck for his ^ more deliberate inspection.
And Him only he elected. For whether
it was because the other men
when ranged before him showed to
7 10 12 ill advantage after Billy, or whether
he had some scruples in view of the
merchantman being rather short-handed,
however it might be, the officer
contented himself with his first
spontanious spontaneous choice. To the surprize
of the ship's company, though much
to the Lieutenant's satisfaction
Billy made no demur . to his
capture. But, indeed, any demur
would have been ^ as idle as the
protest of a goldfinch popped into
a wire cage.
8 1 Saturday Nov 17 11 13 Noting this uncomplaining
acquiesence, all but cheerful one might
say, the shipmaster cast ^ turned a surprized
glance of now silent reproach at the sailor.

Now he the ^ The shipmaster was sea-captain one of those worthy
mortals found in every p vocation
however even the humble humbler ^ ones —the sort of person
whom everybody agrees in calling
"a respectable man." And—nor so
strange to report as ^ it may appear to be—
though a ploughman of the troubled
waters, and a life-long contender contending
with the intractable elements, alike
in ature Nature and man there was
nothing the this honest fellow soul
8 2 12 14 at heart loved better than the simple
peace and quietness quiet . For the rest, he
was fifty or thereabouts, a little inclined
to corpulence perhaps , a preposessing
full face, unwhiskered, and of an agreeable
color , a rather full face, kindly and
humanely intelligent in expression.
On a fair day with a fair wind
and all going well, a certain
musical chime in his voice seemed
to be the veritable unobstructed
outcome of the in ^ inner most man. But
there were t occasions when his extreme
conscientiousness was his torment.
He had much prudence, much
conscientiousness, had so much prudence, xx and there were
occasions xxx xxx xxx xxxxx and those occasions when these virtues were were
the cause when these virtues wer him to cause him torment of overmuch disquietude in him.
we were
8 3 13 15 On a passage, so long as his craft
was in any proximity to land, no
sleep for G Captain Graveling. He took
to heart those serious responsibilities not
so heavily borne by some shipmasters.
Now while Billy Budd
was down in the forecastle getting
his kit together, the Indomitable 's lieutenant,
burly and bluff, nowise disconcerted
by Captain Graveling's omitting to
profer the customary hospitalities
on an occasion so unwelcome to him,
an omission simply the resu caused
by preoccupation of thought, uncerimonously
invited himself into the cabin, and
also to a flask from the spirit-locker,
8 4 14 16 a receptacle which his experiend eye
instantly discovered. In fact he was one
of those sea-dogs in whom all the
hardship and peril of naval life
in the great prolonged wars of his
time never kille impaired the natural
instinct for sensuous enjoyment. His
duty he always faithfully did;
but duty is sometimes a dry obligation,
and he was for irrigating the its aridity
of it whensoever possible, with a
fertilizing decoction of strong waters.
For the cabin's ^ proprietor there was
nothing left but to play the part
of the inforced host with whatever
grace and alacrity good will were practicable.
15 17 As necessary adjuncts to the flask, he
silently placed tumbler and water-jug
before the irrepressable guest. But
excusing himself from partaking
just then, dismally watched the
unembarrased officer deliberatly
diluting his grog a little, then
tossing it off in three swallows, pushing
the empty tumbler away, yet not so
far as to be beyond easy reach, at
the same settling himself in his seat
and smacking his lips with high
satisfaction, looking straight at ^ the his host.
These proceedings over,
the Master spoke broke the silence;
16 18 and there lurked a rueful reproach
in the tone of his voice: "Lieutenant,
you are going to take my best man
from me, the jewel of 'em."
"Yes, I know" rejoined
the other, immediatly drawing back
the tumbler to him
12 17 19 preliminry to ^ a replenishing; the refilling of it; "Yes; pretty soon
I know. Sorry"
"Beg pardon, but you
do'nt understand, Lieutenant.
See here now. Before I shipped that
young fellow, my forecastle was a
very rat-pit of quarrels. It was
black times , ^ I tell you, aboard the " Rights " here.
I It ^ was worried to that degree that my
pipe had no comfort ^ for me. But
Billy came; and it was like a
Catholic priest striking peace in an
Irish shindy. Not that he preached to
them or said or did anything in particular;
but a virtue went out of him, sugaring
the sour ones. They took to him like
hornets to treacle; all but the buffer
13 1 18 1 20 bMSAm188(363) Billy Budd of the gang, the big shaggy chap
with the fire-red whiskers. He
indeed out of envy, perhaps, of the
new-comer, and thinking such a
" sweet and pleasant fellow, " as he
mockingly called him to his face designated him to the others,
could hardly have the spirit of a
game-cock, must needs bestir
himself in trying to get up an ugly
row with him. B
18 2 21 Billy forebore with him and a sort of
reasoned with him in a quiet pleasant way—
" he is something like myself, lieutenant,
to whom aught like a quarrel is hateful "
but nothing served. So, in the second
dog-watch one day the Big Red Whiskers
in prescence of the others, under pretence
of showing Billy ^ just whence a sirloin
steak was cut—for the fellow had
once been a butcher—insultingly
gave him a dig under the ribs. Quick
as lightning Billy let fly his arm . I dare say
he never meant to do quite as much
as he did, but any how he gave
the ?? burly fool a terrible drubbing.
14 19 22 It took about half a minute, I should
say think . And, lord bless you, the lubber
was astonished at the celerity.
And will you believe it, Lieutenant,
the Red Whiskers now really loves
Billy—loves him, or is the biggest
hypocrite that ever I heard of. But
they all love him .
15 7 3 20 23 Some of 'em ^ do his wash washing, and darn his ^ the seat of his old
trowzers for him; the carpenter is at odd
times making a pretty little chest of drawers
for him. Anybody will do any thing for Billy Budd
him ; and it's the happy family here.
But now Now , Lieutenant if that yong fellow goes—
I know how it will be aboard the
" Rights . " here. Not again very soon,
I think, shall I, coming up from
dinner, lean over the capstan capstain smoking
a quiet pipe—no , not very soon again,
I think. Ay, Lieutenant, you are
going to take away the jewel of 'em;
you are going to take away my
peacemaker. peacemaker! " / And with that he ^ good soul had ^ some really ado
to check a ^ sort of sinking? rising sob.
And with that the good
soul had really some ado in checking
a rising sob.
16 21 21 24 "Well," said the officer lieutenant
who had listened with amused
interest to all this, and now
waxing merry with his tipple; "Well,
blessed are the peacemakers , ! especially
the fighting^ peacemakers. ones . ! And such are

the seventy-four beauties poking their
some the upper tier ^ some of which you
see poking their noses out of the
port-holes of yonder war-ship . ^ lying to for me. pointing her out thro the cabin window lying-to for me" pointing thro' the
cabin window at the Indomitable .

But courage . ! do'nt look so
downhearted, man. I p Why, I
pledge you in advance the ^ King's royal
approbation. Rest assured that
his His Magesty will be delighted
17 22 25 to know learn that in a tim time when ^ his the King's
hard tack is not sought for ^ by sailors with such
avidity alacrity as should be; ^ and some a time also when some
shipmasters ^ privily secretly resent the ^ King's borrowing
of from them of a tar or two for ^ a a the service;
the King short cruise; His Magesty , I say , will
be delighted to know learn ^ that one at least
of one shipmaster at least cheerfully
surrenders to the service King , the very
flower of his flock, in ^ a sailor who with
equal ^ loyalty makes no dissent. glad loyalty cheerfullness cheerfully assents. —But
where's my our beauty? Ah, ' " looking Nov 18
through the cabin's open door
23 26 ' " Here he comes; and, by Jove— look lul lugging along his chest
at him —Apollo with his portmanteau!
—My man," stepping out to him, "You
can't take that lumbering big box chest aboard
a war-ship. The chests boxes there are mostly
shot-boxes. Put your duds in a bag . , lad.
Boot and saddle
saddle for the cavalryman bag and
hammock for the ^ man-of war's-man." blue-jacket. "
The transfe transfer of duds ^ of duds from chest to bag was made.
And, after seeing his man into the
cutter and then following him down,
the lieutenant boarding off boarding officer
24 19 7 5 7 27 pushed off from the in sailor fashion abbreviated by Rights-of-Man . captain & crew in to the "Rights"
That was the merchant-ship's name;^ tho' by her master and crew
abbreviated in sailor fashin fashion
into The Rights .

The its hard-headed Dundee owner being
was a staunch admirer of Thomas Paine
whose book by that title in rejoinder
to Burke's arraignment of the French
Revolution had then been published
for some time and had gone everywhere .

In christening his vessel^ after the
title of
the man of Dundee
was something like his contemporary
shipowner, Stephen Girard of Philadelphia,
whose sympathies, alike witn with his
native land and its liberal philosophers,
were were ^ he evined evinced by nameing naming his ships ^ respectively after
Voltaire , ^ Diderot &c Diderot, and so forth. and the Encyclopedists.
20 follows 7(5) green 7 8 28 25 But But Now now , when the boat swept
under the merchant^ mn's -man's stern, and
officer and oarsmen , ^ were noteing, were noteing noting some bitterly and others
with a grin,
read ^ the name
emblazoned there; just then it was that
21 7 6 9 26 29 the ^ enforced captive ^ new recruit jumped up from the bow
where he had been directed to sit
where the coxswain had directed him
to sit, and waveing waving his tattered
hat to his silent shipmates sorrowfully
looking over at him from a genial the
taffrail, bade the lads ^ a genial good-bye . , ^ particularly Red Whiskers
Then then , making a salutation as to
the ship herself, "and good bye
to you ^ too, old Rights of Man ."
"Down, Sir , ! " roared the
^ kidnapping lieutenant, instantly assuming
all the rigor of his rank, tho though
with difficulty repressing a smile.
22 8 1 27 30 To be sure Billy's action was
a terrible breach of naval decorum discipline .
But in that ^ decorum discipline he had never been
instructed; in consideration of which the
lieutenant would ^ hardly have^ passed it over been so energetic thought nothing more of it
had it not been in reproof but for the concluding
farewell to the ship. This he ^ rather took
as meant to convey a ^ covert sly sally on
Billy the^ captive's new recruit's part , a sly sally slur as to against a sly slur
at impressment in general, and that
of himself in especial. satire And yet,

more likely, if satire it was in effect, it 27
was hardly so by intention, for Billy tho'
happily endowed with the gayty gayety gayety of
high health, & youth , ^ yuth, youth, and a free heart,
was yet by no means of a caustic cau satirical turn.
The will to it and the mental sinister ^ sinister dexterity dexterity
were alike wanting. And to To deal in double
meanings and serpentine insinuations of
any sort ^ was quite foreign were was equally absolutely foreign to his xx nature.
23 7 8 8 2 28 31 insinuations. The will to it and the
dexterity were alike wanting.
As to his impressmeent enforced enlistment, capture ^ that he
seemed to take pretty much as he ^ was wont to take he
had always was wont to taken take any the any vicissitude
of weather. Like the animals, tho' though
no philosopher , he was, yet a f without knowing
it, practically ^ and without knowing it a fatalist. And, indeed it may
be, that he rather liked this this adventurous
turn in his affairs, which promised air an
opening into novel scenes and
martial excitements.
Aboard the intomitable Indomitable
the new recruit our merchant-sailor ^ was forthwith rated
as an able-seaman and assigned to
the starboard watch of the fore-top.
29 32 He was soon at home in the service,
not at all disliked for his ^ unpretentious good looks
and a sort of genial happy-go-lucky
in his air. No merrier man in his
mess: in marked contrast to certain
other individuals included like himself
among among the impressed portion of the
ship's company; for these when not
activly employed were sometimes,
and more particularly in the ^ last dog-watch
when the drawing near of ^ twilight night induced
revery, apt to fall into a saddish mood
which in some partook of sullenness.
But they were not so young young as our
foretopman, and no few of them must
30 33 have known a hearth of some sort, while
others may have had wives and children
left, too probably, in uncertain circumstances,
and hardly any but must have had
acknowledged kith and kin, while
for Billy, as will shortly be seen,
his entire family was practically
confined invested in ^ to himself.