Thursday, January 12, 2006

Beware Republicans and the French!

We're moving offices at work right now (not changing addresses, just shifting down a floor), and as part of that, I'm packing up and looking carefully at a lot of the things I take for granted each day . . . and one of them is this wonderful reproduction Napoleonic-Era naval recruitment poster that I purchased at the H.M.S. Victory Museum in Portsmouth, which has hung in my office for the last year. I bought it because it reminds me fondly of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, two of the dearest fictional characters ever to trod an imaginary deck; I have it in my office because it inspires me to write vigorous flap copy; and I love it because its energy, outrage, and consequent outrageousness always make me laugh out loud (especially if one reads it aloud with appropriate enthusiasm). For your amusement, here's the text (spelling and capitalization as in the original):
God Save the King.

Let us, who are Englishmen, protect and defend our good KING and COUNTRY against the Attempts of all Republicans and Levellers, and against the Designs of our NATURAL ENEMIES, who intend in this year to invade OLD ENGLAND, our happy Country, to murder our gracious KING as they have done their own; to make WHORES of our Wives and Daughters; to rob us of our Property, and teach us nothing but the damn'd Art of murdering one another.

If you love your COUNTRY, and your LIBERTY, now is the Time to shew your Love.
All who have good Hearts, who love their KING, their COUNTRY, and RELIGION, who hate the FRENCH, and damn the POPE,

to Lieut. W. J. Stephens,
At his Rendezvous, SHOREHAM,
Where they will be allowed to Enter for any SHIP of WAR,
and the following BOUNTIES will be given by his MAJESTY,
in Addition to Two Months Advance.
To Able Seamen . . . Five Pounds.
To Ordinary Seamen . . . Two pounds Ten Shillings.
To Landmen . . Thirty Shillings.
Conduct-Money paid to go by Land, and their Chests and Bedding sent Carriage free.
Those men who have served as PETTY-OFFICERS, and those who are otherwise qualified, will be recommended accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves!
    Britons ne-e-ever will be slaaaaaaves!

    (Was in Portsmouth over Trafalgar Day this of the interesting things about the celebration was all the Yanks loudly singing Rule Britannia while the Brits looked on bemusedly. And how come I didn't find anything that cool at the Victory gift shop? Hmph.)