“EXPLANATION.– In the fore-ground are three Seamen playing at cards, one of whom, by the archness of his countenance, appears to have an advantage, and seems desirous of betting with his Antagonist, who, by his clenched fist, is evidently losing: the third, from his gravity, seems to be doubtful of the result.
The Group to the right consists of two, apparently, Messmates, the one reading a letter with much satisfaction; while a Female is slily looking over the gun, listening to the contents, and seems, by her smiling, to enter into the full enjoyment of it. In the middle Group are represented two Seamen and their Girls dancing a reel; the Fiddler, supposed to be the Ship’s Cook by his wooden leg, is evidently groggy, from his having one eye closed, while the other is significantly employed: the principal Male Figure, who set to his Partner, has had more than his usual allowance of grog, being in the act of snapping his fingers, and literally reeling towards her: the younger Female and her Partner are no less interesting from their attitude.
On the left is a Sailor-Boy with a can of grog in his hand; his attention being wholly taken up with the Group dancing, occasions him to spill the liquor, which a Seaman underneath is eagerly catching. Near these figures, to the right, is seen a fair Damsel descending the ladders, and is received into the arms of her Admirer. Next to them appears a Sailor handing down a box, supposed to contain the wares of an Israelite, brought on board for sale, who, from his attitude and countenance, appears most anxious for their safety. The two figures behind the Jew are seemingly a Brother and Sister joyously meeting.
The Group near the quarter-deck-ladder represents an affray between two Females, who are jealous of each other, to the no small delight of the surrounding Seamen. On the quarter-deck-ladder is seen the flowing robe of a Female descending.”