Punch,  42 (1862), 170.

A Farewell to the Old Fleet

An Old Salt


Poetry, Drollery


Military Technology, Steamships, War, Technology, Progress, Government, Cultural Geography

    Implicitly responding to the government's recent proposals to replace the wooden ships of the Royal Navy with ironclad vessels, he bids his farewell to his 'trim three-decker' on the grounds that 'Iron's proved of wood a wrecker'. Compares what sailors were in the days of Horatio Nelson to the present, when they are 'half soldiers and half stokers', and laments the passing of the days of 'Good seamanship' and knowledge of sails. Describes the latest ships as 'floating forts with iron cased' and equipped with Armstrong guns. Following 'them Yankee swabs' who fought under water, anticipates that the Navy will soon become 'a fleet of diving bells'.

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