MS Am 188 (363) (follows 97 red ) 100 77 88 ——//—— Of the The lieutenants, and marine officers of
marines and other off commissioned ^ gentlemen officers forming
the Captain Vere 's ^ staff it is not necessary here parti
to particularize, not nor not specially to mention
needs it to specialize the warr make special any
mention of any of the warrant-officers. But
among the petty -officers ^ was one who whom can not
be passed it as well who having much to do
with the story, claim attention may as well
be forthwith introduced. His portrait
I we essay, without presuming but shall never hit it. to hit it. This was
was John

John Claggart, the Master-at-arms. But
the titl that ^ sea- tittle may to some
most landsman seem somewhat
equivocal. Originally, doubtless
53 18 5 101 78 89 the ^ this that petty-officer's function of the officer so entitled
was the instruction of the men in the
use of arms , . sword and or cutlas . But
very long ago, oweing to the advance
in gunnery making hand-to-hand
encounters nev less frequent and giving
to nitre and sulpher the preeminence
over steel, that function ceased; the
master-at-arms of a great war-ship
becoming a sort of Chief of Police
charged ^ among other matters with the duty of preserving
order on among other matters the populous lower gun-decks.
Claggat Clagga^ r t was a man about
forty years of age. five and thirty,
54 his eyes 18 6 102 79 90 somewhat spare and tallish tall , yet of no
ill figure upon the whole. His hand was
too small and shapely to have been
accustomed to hard toil. The face ^ His contenance was
a notable one; the features ^ all except the chin cleanly cut
as those on a fine Greek medallion;

yet the chin, beardless as Tecumsah's, had
something ^ of strange protuberant broadness in its make that ^ strangely recalled the
prints of ^ the Revd Dr. Titus Oates, the historic ^ veracious
clergyman and ^ historic deponant and drawling historic deponant with the drawl, clerical drawl deponant witness ^ ^in the time

of Charles II and the ^ infamous fraud of the alleged Popish
Plot. It served Claggart in his function office
that his eye could cast a tutoring glance.
His brow was of the sort phrenologically
associated with more than average
intellect; ^ thinish silken fla jet curls partly
55 19 1 103 80 91 falling ^ clustering over it, making a foil to the
palor pallor below, a palor pallor tinged with a
faint shade of amber akin to the
hue of some time-tinted ^ white marbles . of old.
of antiquity. This complexion, one so
in a marked way singularly ^ contrasting with
the red or deeply d red the ^ tanned ^ bronzed visages of the sailors, and
in part the result of his official
seclusion from the sunlight, tho it
was not exactly displeasing, nevertheless
seemd to hint of something defective or
or unwholesome in the blood. His abnormal in the constitution and blood. These abnormal in the constitution and blood.
For his general aspect But his general aspect ^ and manner , these were so suggestive
of an education and career incongruous
with his position naval ^ function position that when
56 19 2 2 104 81 92 not actively engaged in it he looked
to be some person of like a man He was an Englishman
of high quality, ^ social and moral, who for reasons of his
own was ^ keeping going incog. Tho ^ or made up for a disguise. Nothing
was known of his former life. But

It might be that he was an Englishman;
and yet there was lurked a bit of accent
in his speech suggesting that possibly
he was not such by birth, but through
naturalization in ^ early childhood.
57 19 3 82 93 among Among certain grizzled sea-gossips
of the ^ gun-decks and forecastle went a rumor perdue 105
that ^ the this gentlemanly master-at-arms
was a chevalier who had volunteered
into His Magesty's service the King's navy ^ by way
of compounding for some sort of
a mysterious polite swindle whereof
not long previous ^ he had been ^ arraigned convicted in London.
at the King's Bench. The fact Though That that ^nobody, King's Bench
of course, could substantiate this , report
58 20 1 1 106 83 ^ vague report, was , ^ of course, nothing against its secret currency.
^ Such a New Chapter rumor once started on the
gun-decks agan in reference to almost
anyone below the rank of a commissioned

officer would, during the period era assigned to
this narrative, have seemed not altogether
defi wanting in ^ credibility plausability plausibility ^ at least to the tarry
old wiseacres of a man-of-war crew.
And indeed a man of Claggart's
accomplishments, without any prior nautical
experience entering the navy at mature
life, as he did, and neccessarily alloted
to at the start to a true? the lowest ^ no xx his noble grade in it . ;
a man who never alluded to
his prior life ashore; these
circumstances &c
^ This was something which in the
dearth of all exact knowledge as to his real
anticedents antecedents , opened ^ to the invidious a somewhat wide
mysterious field for invidious
doubt and surmise / a wide field,
however vague, for unfavorable invidious doubt
and surmise.
——//——





a man ^ too who never made allusion to his
previous life ashore; these were circumstances
which in the dearth of exact knowledge as to his
true anticedents opened to the invidious a
vague field for unfavorable surmise. 94
59 107 84 95 But the sailors'^ dog-watch gossip concerning him
derived a vague plausability from the fact / that

In reference to the privy
gossip as to Claggart's prior previous career as
a landsman ashore, and as tending
to show that it was not so verry absurd
after all, it should be remembered that

/ now for some period the British
Navy could so little afford to
be squeamish in the matter of
keeping up as far as possible its
the muster-role muster-rolls , that not only were
the press-gangs notoriously abroad
both afloat and ashore, but there was
little or no secret about the fact
another matter, namely ^ that the London police were
encouraged at liberty to capture
60 107 85 96 any able-bodied suspect suspect , and any
questionable fellows fellow at large and s
summarily ship them ^ him to the dock-yard
or fleet. Furthermore, even among
voluntary enlistments there were
instances where the motive to it
thereto partook neither of patriotic
impulse nor yet of a random
desire to experice a bit of sea-life
and martial adventure. Insolvent
debtors of the minor grade, together
with the promiscuous lame ducks
of morality found in the Navy
a convenient and secure refuge.
Secure, because once enlisted
aboard a King's-Ship, they were as
much were in sanctuary, as it were.
the transgressor of the Middle Ages harboring himself
under the shadow of the altar.
61 1 108 86
These facts ^ Such sanctioned irregularities which for obvious
reasons the Government would
hardly think to parade at the time
and which consequently, and as
affecting the least influential
class of mankind, have all but
dropped into oblivion, would seem
to lend color to strange a a ^ thing which
I heard in my youth from an
old American negro who had
years before ^ served in the British Navy: namely
It was ^ to this^ effect : In the case of a ship
or squadron short of hands and
whose speedy despatch was
sailing was imperative, the
deficient quota would sometimes
be made up eked out by draughts culled
direct from the jails.
lends color to something for the truth whereof
I do not vouch, and hence have some scruple
in stateing; something I remember having
seen in print though the book I can not recall;
but the same thing was personally communicated
to me now more than forty years ago by an
old pensioner in a cocked hat with I whom
I had a most interesting talk on the
terrace at Greenwich, a Baltimore negro,
a Trafalgar man. 97
109 87 98 it It was to this effect: in In the case of a ^ war- ship
short of hands and whose speedy sailing
was imperative, the deficient quota ^ in lack of any other way of
making it good,
would
be eked out by draughts culled direct from
the jails.

For reasons previously suggested it would not
perhaps be easy at the present day directly
to prove or disprove the allegation. But
allowed as a verity, how significant would
it be of England's straits at the time
confronted by those momentous terrible ^ horrible wars
which like a flight of harpies rose ^ shrieking from the
din and dust of the fallen Bastile./
110 88 99 That era, now long past, appears measurably
clear to us who wh look back at it, and
but read of it. But to our the grandfathers of us graybeards ,
the more thoughful of them,^ the genius of it presented
an aspect like that of Camoen's Spirit
of the Cape, an eclipsing menace mysterious
and prodigious. Not America was
exempt from apprehension. After ^ At the height of Napoleon's
unexampled conquests, when he bowled
down kings and states like ninepins, there
were ^ some Americans who had fought at Bunker Hill
who looked forward to the possibility
that the Atlantic might prove no effectual
barrier against the ultimate ^ world-wide schemes of the upstart
Corsican. So I had it from venerable
men know to me in my youth. this french ^ portentous upstart from the revolutionary chaos
who seemed——//—— the in act of
fulfilling the direful judgment proclaim
prefigured in the Apocalypse.
111 89 100 ——//—— But the less credence was
to be given to the gun-deck talk
touching Claggart, seeing that no man
holding his office in a man-of-war
can ever hope to be popular with the
crew. Besides, in derogatory comments
upon anybody anyone against whom they have
a grudge, or for any reason or no reason
mislike, sailors in some degree are ^ much like
landsmen, they are apt to exaggerate or
romance . it. about him
About as much was really
known to the Indomitable 's tars of the
master-at-arms' career before entering
the service as an astronomer knows
112 89 101 about a comet's travels previous prior ^ to
its first observable appearance in the sky.
The verdict babble ^ of the sea quid-nuncs has been cited only by way of
showing what sort of moral
impression the man made upon rude
uncultivated natures whose conceptions
of human wickedness were necessarily
of the narrowest, limited to ideas of
vulgar rascality , a thief among the
swinging hammocks during a night-watch,
or the man-brokers and land-sharks
of the sea-ports.
64 27 113 90 102 It was no gossip, however, but fact,
that tho though , as before hinted, Claggart upon
his entrance into the navy was, as a novice,
assigned to the least honorable section of
a man-of-war's crew, embracing ^ the waisters drudges drudgery , he did
not long remain there.
The superior capacity xxx xxxx he immediatly
evinced, his constitutional sobriety,
flatte ingratiating deference to superiors,
together with a peculiar ferreting
genius manifested on a singular
occasion, all this capped by a
certain austere patriotism which he evinced
developed had ^ ^ rapidly abruptly abruptly advanced him
rapidly to the influential position /
he now occupied in the seventy-four.
of master-at-arms of master-at-arms.
114 91 103 Of this maratime Chief of
Police the ship's-corporals, so called,
were the immediate subordinates, and
compliant ones; and this, as is to be noted
in some business departments ashore,
all almost in to a degree inconsistent
with entire moral volition. His place
put various converging wires of underground
influence influence under action into the Chief's control, capable
when astutely worked thro' his understrappers
of operating to the mysterious discomfort
if nothing worse, of any of the
sea-commonalty.
——//——