An Odd Shot
An English frigate was obliged to strike to a French vessel
of superior force. The English captain, on resigning his sword, was
reproached by the French commander for having, contrary to the usages of
war, shot pieces of glass from his guns. The English officer, conscious
that no such thing had been done, made inquiry into the matter among his
men, and found the fact to be this. An Irish seaman, just before the vessel
struck, took a parcel of shillings out of his pocket, and swearing the
French should have none of them, wrapped them in a piece of rag, and thrust
them into his gun, exclaiming, "Let us see what a _bribe_ can do!" These
shillings, flying about the vessel, were mistaken by the French for glass.
The above explanation not only satisfied them, but put them in great good
humour with their captives.