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and run down again to Cowes for the sake of more secure riding, where we came to an anchor again in a very little time; and the pudding which our mess made and put into the pot at Yarmouth we dined upon at Cowes.
Monday, August 1.
This morning all the vessels in the harbour put out their colours in honour of the day, and it made a very pretty appearance. The wind continuing to blow hard westerly, our mess resolved to go on shore, though all our loose corks were gone already. We took with us some goods to dispose of, and walked to Newport to make our market, where we sold for three shillings in the pound less than the prime cost in London; and having dined at Newport, we returned in the evening to Cowes, and concluded to lodge on shore.
Tuesday, August 2nd.
This day we passed on shore, diverting ourselves as well as we could; and the wind continuing still westerly, we stayed on shore this night also.
Wednesday, August 3rd. This morning we were hurried on board, having scarce time to dine, weighed anchor, and stood away for Yarmouth again, though the wind is still westerly; but meeting with a hoy when we were near half way there that had some goods on board for us to take in, we tacked about for Cowes, and came to anchor there a third time, about four in the afternoon.
Thursday, August 4."
Stayed on board till about five in the afternoon, and then went on shore and stopped all
Friday, August 5.
Called up this morning and hurried aboard, the wind being North-West. About noon we weighed and left Cowes a third time, and sailing by Yarmouth we came into the channel through the Needles; which passage is guarded by Hurst Castle, standing on a spit of land which runs out from the main land of England within a mile of the Isle of Wight. Towards night the wind veered to the Westward, which put us under apprehensions of being forced into port again: but presently after it fell a flat calm, and then we had a small breeze that was fair for half an hour, when it was succeeded by a calm again.
Saturday, August 6.
This morning we had a fair breeze for some hours, and then a calm that lasted all day. In the afternoon I leaped overboard and swam round the ship to wash myself. Saw several Porpoises this day. About eight o'clock we came to an anchor in forty fathom water against the tide of flood, somewhere below Portland, and weighed again about eleven, having a small
Sunday, August 7.
Gentle breezes all this day. Spoke with a ship, the Ruby, bound for London from Nevis, off the Start of Plymouth. This afternoon spoke with Captain Homans in a ship bound for Boston, who came out of the River when we did, and had been beating about in the Channel all the time we lay at Cowes in the Wight.
Monday, August 8. Fine weather, but no wind worth mentioning, all this day; in the afternoon saw the Lizard.
Tuesday, August 9. Took our leave of the land this morning. Calms the fore part of the day. In the afternoon a small gale, fair. Saw a grampus.
Wednesday, August 10. Wind N. W. Course S. W. about four knots. By observation in latitude 48° 50'. Nothing remarkable happened.
Thursday, August 11. Nothing remarkable. Fresh gale all day.
f Friday, August 12.
Calms and fair breezes alternately. < Saturday, 13.
(. Sunday, . 14.
r Monday, 15.
No contrary winds, but calms and fair breezes alternately. 3 Tuesday 16.
C Wednesday, 17.
Thursday, August 18. Four dolphins followed the ship for some hours: we struck at them with the fizgig, but took none.
Friday, August 19.
This day we have had a pleasant breeze at East. In the morning we spied a sail upon our larboard bow, about two leagues distance. About noon she put out English colours, and we answered with our ensign, and in the afternoon we spoke with her. She was a ship of New York, Walter Kippen Master, bound from Rochelle in France to Boston with salt. Our captain and Mr. D. went on board and stayed till evening, it being fine weather. Yesterday
complaints being made that a Mr. G n one of the passengers had with a fraudulent
design marked the cards, a Court of Justice was called immediately, and he was brought to his trial in form. A Dutchman who could speak no English deposed by his interpreter, that when our mess was on shore at Cowes, the prisoner at the bar marked all the court cards on the back with a pen. <
I have sometimes observed that we are apt to fancy the person that cannot speak intelligibly to us, proportionably stupid in understanding, and when we speak two or three words of English to a foreigner, it is louder than ordinary, as if we thought him deaf, and that he had lost the use of his ears as well as his tongue. Something like this I imagine might be the case of
Mr. G n; he fancied the Dutchman could not see what he was about because he could
not understand English, and therefore boldly did it before his face.
The evidence, was plain and positive, the prisoner could not deny the fact, but replied in his defence, that the cards he marked were not those we commonly played with, but an imperfect pack, which he afterwards gave to the cabin-boy. The Attorney-General observed to the court that it was not likely he should take the pains to mark the cards without some in design, or some further intention than just to give them to the boy when he had done, who* uivder stood nothing at all of cards. But another evidence being called, deposed that he saw the prisoner in the main top one day when he thought himself unobserved, marking a pack of cards on the backs, some with the print of a dirty thumb, others with the top of his finger, 8cc. Now there being but two packs on board, and the prisoner having just confessed the marking of one, the court perceived the case was plain. In fine the jury brought him in guilty, and he was condemned to be carried up to the round top, and made fast there in view of all the ship's company during the space of three hours, that being the place where the act was committed, and to pay a fine of two bottles of brandy. But the prisoner resisting authority, and refusing to submit to punishment, one of the sailors stepped up aloft and let down a rope to us, which we with much struggling made fast about his middle and hoisted him up into the air, sprawling, by main force. We let him hang, cursing and swearing, for near a quarter of an hour; but at length he crying out murder! and looking black in the face, the rope being overtort about his middle, we thought proper to let him down again; and our mess have excommunicated him till he pays his fine, refusing either to play, eat, drink, or converse with him.
Saturday, August 20. 'We shortened sail all last night and all this day, to keep company with the other ship. About noon Captain Kippen and one of his passengers came on board and dined with us; they stayed till evening. When they were gone we made sail and left them.
Sunday, August 21. This morning we lost sight of the Yorker, having a brisk gale of wind at East. Towards night a poor little bird came on board us, being almost tired to death, and suffered itself to be taken by the hand. We reckon ourselves near two hundred leagues from land, so that no doubt a little rest was very acceptable to the unfortunate wanderer, who 'tis like was blown off the coast in thick weather, and could not find its way back again. We receive it hospitably and tender it victuals and drink ; but he refuses both, and I suppose will not live long. There was one came on board some days ago in the same circumstances with this, which I think the cat destroyed.
Monday, August 22. This morning I saw several flying-fish, but they were small. A favourable wind all day.
Fair winds, nothing remarkable. £ Tuesday, August 23.
!,..,,•: t Wednesday, 24.,
0 . ..'; Thursday, August 25. .
Our excommunicated ship-mate thinking proper to comply with the sentence the court passed upon him, and expressing himself willing to pay the fine, we have this morning received him into unity again. Man is a sociable being, and it in for aught I know one of the worst of punishments to be excluded from society. I have read abundance of fine things on the subject Vol. L b
of solitude, and I know 'tis a common boast in the mouths of those that affect to be thought wise, that they are never less alone than when alone. I acknowledge solitude an agreeable refreshment to a busy mind; but were these thinking people obliged to be always alone, I am apt to think they would quickly find their very being insupportable to them. I have heard of a gentleman who underwent seven years close confinement, in the Bastile at Paris. He was a man of sense, he was a thinking mail; but being deprived of all conversation, to what purpose should he think ? for he was denied even the instruments of expressing his thoughts in writing. There is no burden so grievous to man as time that he knows not how to dispose of. He was forced at last to have recourse to this invention: he daily scattered pieces of paper about the floor of his little room, and then employed himself in picking them up and sticking them in rows and figures on the arm of his elbow-chair; and he used to tell his friends, after his release, that he verily believed if he had not taken this method he should have lost his senses. One of the philosophers, I think it was Plato, used to say, that he had rather be the veriest stupid block in nature, than the possessor of all knowledge without some intelligent being to communicate it to.
What I have said may in a measure account for some particulars in my present way of living here on board. Our company is in general very unsuitably mixed, to keep up the pleasure and spirit of conversation: and if there are one or two pair of us that can sometimes entertain one another for half an hour agreeably, yet perhaps we are seldom in the humour for it together. I rise in the morning and read for an hour or two perhaps, and then reading grows tiresome. Want of exercise occasions want of appetite, so that eating and drinking affords but little pleasure, I tire myself with playing at draughts, then I go to cards; nay there is no play so trifling or childish, but we fly to it for entertainment. A contrary wind, I know not how, puts us all out of good humour; we grow sullen, silent and reserved, and fret at each other upon every little occasion. Tis a common opinion among the ladies, that if a man is ill-natured be infallibly discovers it when he is in liquor. But I, who have known many instances to the contrary, will teach them a more effectual method to discover the natural temper and disposition of their humble servants. Let the ladies make one long sea voyage with them, and if they have the least spark of ill, nature in them, and conceal it to the end of the voyage, I will forfeit all my pretensions to their Favour. The wind continues fair.
Friday, August 26.
The wind and weather fair till night came on; and then the wind, came about, and we had hard squalls with rain and lightning till morning.
Saturday, August Si ■ Cleared up this morning, and the wind settled westerly. Two dolphins followed us this afternoon: we hooked one and struck the other with the fizgig; but they both escaped us, and we saw them no more. . '.s/P.- :J \ -'. . ,-;
.-. .1 :. v ,'■: .. - ■ , Sunday, August 28.
The wind still continues westerly, and blows hard. We are under a reefed mainsail and
foresail. ■ •, * " ,
Monday, August 29.
Wind still hard West. Two dolphins followed us this day; we struck at them, but they both escaped. ...
Tuesday, August 30.
Contrary wind still. This evening the moon being near full, as she rose, after eight o'clock, .there appeared a rainbow in a western cloud to windward of us. The first time I ever saw a rainbow in the night caused by the moon.
Wednesday, August 31.
Wind still West, nothing remarkable.
''', '■- -:"' Thursday, Sept A.
Bad weather, and contrary winds.
Friday, Sept. 2.
This morning the wind changed, a little fair. We caught a couple of dolphins, and fried them for dinner. They tasted tolerably well. These fish make a glorious appearance in the water: their bodies are of a bright green, mixed with a silver colour, and their tails of a shining golden yellow ; but all this vanishes presently after they are taken out of their element, and they change all over to a light grey. I observed that cutting off pieces of a just-caught living dolphin for baits, those pieces did not lose their lustre and fine colours when the dolphin died, but retained them perfectly. Every one takes notice of that vulgar error of the painters, who always represent this fish monstrously crooked and deformed, when it is in reality as beautiful and well shaped a fish as any that swims.. I cannot think what could be the original of this chimera of theirs, (since there is not a creature in nature that in the least resembles their dolphin) unless it proceeded at first from a false imitation of a fish in the posture of leaping, which they have since improved into a crooked monster with a head and eyes like a bull, a hog's snout, and a tail like a blown tulip. But the sailors give me another reason, though a whimsical one, viz. that as this most beautiful fish is only to be caught at sea, and that very far to the Southward, they say the painters wilfully deform it in their representations, lest pregnant women should long for what it is impossible to procure for them.
Wind still westerly ;nothing remarkable. J Sunday, 4.
Tuesday, Sept. 6. This afternoon the wind continuing still in the same quarter, increased till it blew a storm, and raised the sea to a greater height than I had ever seen it before.
Wednesday, Sept. 7. The wind is somewhat abated, but the sea is very high still. A dolphin kept us company all this afternoon: we struck at him several times, but could not take him.
Thursday, Sept. 8. This day nothing remarkable has happened. Contrary wind.