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- noun Plural form of
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The Gun Captain, assisted by the 2d Captain, hauls the breeching through the jaws of the cascabel to the left side of the gun, forming with the bight a turn over the breech and cylinder, taking care to keep the breeching well clear of the elevating screw to prevent chafe, and securing the parts on each side with selvagees and heavers; or, if this should interfere with the breech-sight, by crossing the breeching at the side and securing it with selvagee straps and toggles.
Thus one part was taut under the strain of the capstan; and to this the cable of the anchor, as it was hove in, was made fast by a succession of selvagees, for which I will borrow the elaborate description of White Jacket, who tells us the name was applied by the seamen of his ship to one of the lieutenants: "It is a slender, tapering, unstranded piece of rope, prepared with much solicitude; peculiarly flexible; which wreathes and serpentines round the cable and messenger like an elegantly modelled garter-snake round the stalks of a vine."