I was condoling with a young English cabin-boy on board, upon the loss of these poor fellows, when he said it was their own fault; they would never wear monkey-jackets, but clung to their thin India robes, even in the bitterest weather. He talked about them much as a farmer would about the loss of so many sheep by the murrain.
But most wonderful of all were the sea-gulls, flying and floating all over the East River and the North River and the bay. Where did they come from? It was easy to see where they got their living; they were "snappers-up of unconsidered trifles" from every passing vessel whose cabin-boy threw the rubbish overboard.
One by one the whole crew four men and a cabin-boy were hauled up out of death, borne off to the vicarage, and so pass out of our story. Their fate does not concern us, for this reason men with a narrow horizon and no wings must accept all apparent disproportions between cause and effect.
Huntingdon the preacher was originally a coalheaver, and Bewick, the father of wood-engraving, a coalminer. Dodsley was a footman, and Holcroft a groom. Baffin the navigator began his seafaring career as a man before the mast, and Sir Cloudesley Shovel as a cabin-boy. Herschel played the oboe in a military band.
But he would now mention one or two instances of another sort, and these merely on account of the conclusion, which was to be drawn from them. When Captain Hills was in the river Gambia, he mentioned accidentally to a Black pilot, who was in the boat with him, that he wanted a cabin-boy. It so happened that some youths were then on the shore with vegetables to sell.
He had given his money, £36, to the landlord to keep; had desired him to inquire for a ship where he might be received as cabin-boy; and had entered into a shrewd bargain for his board, stipulating that he should have over and above his ordinary rations a pint of beer with his Sunday dinner.
It is the grief of my life, do you see? I never knew what had become of him since oh, since my poor husband sent him away to sea as a cabin-boy. He was apprenticed to an ironmonger, sir. He robbed his master he, the son of two honest people. As for me, I would have pardoned him. You know what mothers are. But my man, when they came and told him that his son had stolen, he was like a madman.
But in two minutes she would say: "I'm tired of being captain; I'd rather be Indian savages." Indian savages was being performed with great spirit by Nancy, but the change was made, and the game went on, until Ethelwyn cast an envious eye upon Dickie, who, with a small pail and broom, was earnestly scrubbing at the carpet, under the impression that she was a cabin-boy washing the deck of a ship.
There are no mysteries out of ourselves. But let us not give ear to the superstitious, gun-deck gossip about whither we may be gliding, for, as yet, not a soul on board of us knows not even the Commodore himself; assuredly not the Chaplain; even our Professor's scientific surmisings are vain. On that point, the smallest cabin-boy is as wise as the Captain.
She had found one of her sisters, and presently Nastasie Barette, wife of Léroux, made her appearance, holding an infant in her arms, another child by the hand, while on her left was a little cabin-boy with his hands in his pockets and his cap on his ear. At the end of fifteen minutes, Madame Aubain bade her go.
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