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This preeminence was due partly to freedom from a close blockade and partly to a seafaring population which was born and bred to its trade and knew no other. Besides the crews of Salem merchantmen, privateering enlisted the idle fishermen of ports nearby and the mariners of Boston whose commerce had been snuffed out by the British occupation.

It is much to be deplored that we have not that plan of discovery which the great Christopher Columbus sent over thither by his brother Bartholomew to King Henry VII., for if we had we should certainly find abundance of very curious observations, which might still be useful to mariners: for it appears clearly, from many little circumstances, that he was a person of universal genius, and, until bad usage obliged him to take many precautions, very communicative.

To the credulous mariners it seemed the same silent spout they had so long ago beheld in the moonlit Atlantic and Indian Oceans. "And did none of ye see it before?" cried Ahab, hailing the perched men all around him. "I saw him almost that same instant, sir, that Captain Ahab did, and I cried out," said Tashtego.

Alonzo Sanchez de Carvajal says that all the voyages of discovery which were made to the Terra Firma, were made by persons who had sailed with the admiral, or been benefited by his instructions and directions, following the course he had laid down; and the same is testified by many other pilots and mariners of reputation and experience.

The Romans who were to sail the next day had collected their back pay and were determined to leave their sestertii in the port of Saguntum; the Carthaginians boasted of their Republic, the richest in the world, and other mariners praised their masters, ever generous when they touched that port where business was excellent.

We could make no sail, but were impelled along by the oars of five or six stout mariners, who sang all the while Gallegan ditties. Suddenly the sea appeared to have become quite smooth, and my sickness at once deserted me. I rose upon my feet and looked around. We were in one of the strangest places imaginable.

Even so it was, and presently she was bearing on us, and was ere long so close aboard that we could see her every spar and rope, and her folk all gathered to the windward, knights, sergeants, archers, and mariners, to gaze at us and mock us; and huge and devilish laughter arose from amongst them as she ploughed the water so close beside us, that one might well-nigh have cast a morsel of bread aboard her; for clear it was presently that she had no mind to run us down.

We now discerned through the fog the hull and tackling of a large vessel; and notwithstanding the noise of the waves, we were near enough to hear the whistle of the boatswain at the helm, and the shouts of the mariners. As soon as the Saint Geran perceived that we were enough to give her succour, she continued to fire guns regularly at the interval of three minutes.

After I was brought into the shallop some of the Mariners took their clothes from their backs to lend them me, and would haue caried me presently to their ships to giue me a little Aqua vitae. Howbeit I would not goe thither, vntill I had first gone with the boat along the reeds, to seeke out the poore soules which were scattered abroad, where we gathered vp 18 or 20 of them.

For him now, as then, music played while he sat at table in the great cabin, alone, or with his rude lieutenants, in a silence seldom broken. Now, as he stepped upon deck, there was a flourish of trumpets, together with the usual salute from mariners and soldiers drawn up to receive him.

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