77. Ship’s Names.


We have just taken possession of the little island of Marigalante. Columbus gave it this name after his own ship, which in English we should call Pretty Poll.

The propria quæ navibus of the Spaniards at the present day cannot so readily be rendered into sailor’s English. The Santissima Trinidad, the St. Juan Nepomuceno, the St. Francisco, and the Nuestra-Senora, under her thousand and one 147different invocations, are curious proofs of that baneful superstition which, like a dry rot, has spread through the whole fabric of society in Spain. Our sailors, upon taking the Salvador del Mundo, and the St. Joseph in the same action, made irreverent jests, to which the catholics should not have exposed the first of these names. That ship ought to be named anew — To a thorough Papist nothing is too profane: I could adduce such instances of this from the writings of monks, nuns, doctors, and inquisitors, as can scarcely be parallelled from the abominations of Voltaire and his execrable school. But there is a decency in the reformed churches, and especially in our own, which should prevent us from thus using such a name as that of the Saviour of the World.

In old times we had the Paul of Plymouth. Have ship-builders retained the old name, and spelt it according to their own acceptation of the sound?


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