the Three Captains"
(by John McGivering)
The more he thought on’t it the madder he grew,[line 70] Chaplain of the Fleet Sir Walter Besant, See the headnote.
Until he vowed by the great horn spoon,
Unless they did the thing that was right,
He’d give them a licking, and that pretty soon.
If blood be the price of admiraltyThis line signifies that the speaker is flying the entrails of his enemy at the mast-head to signify he has command of the sea. This might have been suggested by the legend that the Dutch Admiral Tromp (1597-1653) sported a broom at his masthead to show that he has swept the English from the sea in the First Anglo-Dutch War of 1652-1654. [this seems rather unlikely, since a broom at the masthead used to signify that the vessel was for sale, but facts should not be permitted to get in the way of a good story; Ed. ] See "The Dutch in the Medway".
Lord God, we ha’ paid in full !