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TO BE USED BY THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TÒ
WHEN you intend to take a long voyage, nothing is better than to keep it a secret till the moment of your departure. Without this, you will be continually interrupted and tormented by visits from friends and acquaintances, who not only make you lose your valuable time, but make you forget a thousand things which you wish to remember; so that when you are embarked and fairly at sea, you recollect, with much uneasiness, affairs, which you have not terminated, accounts that you have not settled, and a number of things which you proposed to carry with you, and which you find the want of every moment. Would it not be attended with the best consequences to reform such a custom, and to suffer a traveller, without deranging him, to make his preparations in quietness, to set apart a few days, when these are finished, to take leave of his friends, and to receive their good wishes for his happy return.
It is not always in one's power to choose a captain; though great part of the pleasure and happiness of the passage depends upon this choice, and though one must for a time be confined to his company, and be in some measure under his command. If he is a social sensible man, obliging and of a good disposition, you will be so much the happier. One sometimes meets with people of this description, but they are not common; however, if your's be not of "his number, if he be a good seaman, attentive, care, ul, and active in the management of his vessel, you nust dispense with the rest, for these are the most essential qualities.
Whatever right you may have by your agreement with him to the provisions he has taken on board for the use of the passengers, it is always proper to have some private store, which you may make use of occasionally. You ought therefore to provide good water, that of the ship being often had; but you must
put it into bottles, without which you cannot expect to preserve it sweet. You ought also to carry with you good tea, ground coffee, chocolate, wine of that sort which you like best, cider, dried raisins, almonds, sugar, capilaire, citrons, rum, eggs dipped in oil, portable soup, bread twice baked. With regard to poultry, it is almost useless to carry any with you, unless you resolve to undertake the office of feeding and fattening them yourself. With the little care which is taken of them on board a ship, they are almost all sickly, and their flesh is as tough as leather.
All sailors entertain an opinion, which undoubtedly originated formerly from a want of water, and when it has been found necessary to be sparing of it, that poultry never knew when they had drank enough, and that when water is given them at discretion, they generally kill themselves by drinking beyond measure. In consequence of this opinion, they give them water only once in two days, and even then in small quantities: but as they pour this water into troughs inclining on one side, which occasions it to run to the lower part, it thence happens that they are obliged to mount one upon the back of another in order to reach it; and there are some which cannot even dip their beaks in it. Thus continually tantalized and tormented by thirst, they are unable to digest their food, which is very dry, and they soon fall sick and die. Some of them are found thus every morning, and are thrown into the sea; while those which are killed for the table are scarcely fit to be eaten. To remedy this inconvenience, it will be necessary to divide their troughs into small compartments, in such a manner that each of tliem may be capable of containing water; but this is seldom or never done. On this account, sheep and hogs are to be considered as the best fresh provisions that one can have at sea; mutton there, being in general very good, and pork excellent.
It may happen that some of the provisions and stores, which I have recommended, may become almost useless, by the care which the captain has taken to lay in a proper stock: but in such a case you may dispose of it to relieve the poor passengers,
affronted, as it ought to be, with the conduct of such writers, I would not advise proceeding immediately to these extremities, but that we should in moderation content ourselves with tarring and feathering, and tossing in a blanket.
If, however, it should be thought, that this proposal of mine may disturb the public peace, I would then humbly recommend to our legislators to take up the consideration of both liberties, that of the press, and that of the cudgel; and by an explicit law mark their extent and limits: and at the same time that they secure the person of a citizen from assaults, they would likewise provide for the security of his reputation.
SOME wit of old-such wits of old there wereWhose hints show'd meaning, whose allusions care By one brave stroke to mark all human kind Call'd clear blank paper ev'ry infant mind; When still, as opening sense her dictates wrote, Fair virtue put a seal, or vice a blot.
The thought was happy, pertinent and true;
Various the papers various wants produce, The wants of fashion, elegance, and use. Men are as various; and if right I scan; Each sort of paper represents some man.
Pray note the fop--half powder and half lace-
Mechanics, servants, farmers, and so forth,
Less priz'd, more useful, for your desk decreed,
The wretch whom av'rice bids to pinch and spare, Starve, cheat, and pilfer, to enrich an heir, Is coarse brown-paper; such as pedlers choose To wrap up wares, which better men will use.
Take next the miser's contrast, who destroys Health, fame, and fortune, in a round of joys. Will any paper match him? Yes, throughout, He's a true sinking-paper, past all doubt.
The retail politician's anxious thought Deems this side always right, and that stark nought; He foams with censure; with applause he ravesA dupe to rumours, and a tool of knaves; He'll want no type his weakness to proclaim, While such a thing as fools-cap has a name.
The hasty gentleman, whose blood runs high,
What are our poets, take them as they fall Good, bad, rich, poor, much read, not read at all? Them and their works in the same class you'll find ; They are the mere waste-paper of mankind.
Observe the maiden, innocently sweet,
One instance more, and only one I'll bring; Tis the great man who scorns a little thing, Whose thoughts, whose deeds, whose maxims are
Form'd on the feelings of his heart alone:
who, paying less for their passage, are stowed among the common sailors, and have no right to the captain's provisions, except such part of them as is used for feeding the crew. These passengers are sometimes sick, melancholy, and dejected; and there are often women and children among them, neither of whom have any opportunity of procuring those things which I have mentioned, and of which perhaps they Save the greatest need. By distributing amongst them a part of your superfluity, you may be of the greatest assistance to them. You may restore their health, save their lives, and in short render them happy; which always affords the liveliest sensation to a feeling mind.
The most disagreeable thing at sea is the cookery; for there is not, properly speaking, any professed cook on board. The worst sailor is generally chosen for that purpose, who forthe most part is equally dirty. Hence comes the proverb used among English sailors, that God sends meat, and the devil sends cooks. Those, however, who have a better opinion of Providence, will think otherwise. Knowing that sea air, and the exercise or motion which they receive from the rolling of the ship, have a wonderful effect in whetting the appetite, they will say, that Providence has given sailors bad cooks to prevent them from eating too much; or that, knowing they would have bad cooks, he has given them a good appetite to prevent them from dying with hunger. However, if you have no confidence, in these succours of Providence, you may yourself, with a lamp and a boiler, by the help of a little spirits of wine, prepare some food, such as soup, hash, &c. A small oven made of tin-plate is not bad piece of furniture; your servant may roast in a piece of mutton or pork. If you are ever tempted to eat salt beef, which is often very good, you will find that cider is the best liquor to quench the thirst generally caused by salt meat or salt fish. Sea-biscuit, which is too hard for the teeth of some people, may be softened by steeping it; but bread double baked is best; for being made of good loaf-bread cut into slices, and baked a second time, it readily imbibes water, becomes soft, and is easily digested: it