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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 overtaught 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 20th. 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 21st. 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, 't is 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 22d.-This morning I saw several flying-fish, but they were small. A favorable wind all day.
Tuesday, August 23d; Wednesday, 24th. - Fair winds, nothing remarkable.
Thursday, August 25th. Our excommunicated shipmate 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 is, 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 of solitude, and I know 't is 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 Bastille, at Paris. He was a man of sense, he was a thinking man; 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 humor 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 afford but little pleasure. I tire myself with playing at drafts, 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 humor; we grow sullen, silent, and reserved, and fret at each other upon every little occasion. 'T is a common opinion among the ladies, that, if a man is ill-natured, he 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 favor. The wind continues fair.
Friday, August 26th. 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 27th.-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.
Sunday, August 28th.-The wind still continues westerly, and blows hard. We are under a reefed mainsail and foresail.
Monday, August 29th. Wind still hard west. Two dolphins followed us this day; we struck at them, but they both escaped. Tuesday, August 30th. — 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 31st.-Wind still west; nothing remark
Thursday, September 1st.- Bad weather, and contrary winds. Friday, September 2d. — 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 color, 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 gray. I observed that cutting off pieces of a just-caught, living dolphin for baits, those pieces did not lose their lustre and fine colors 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.
Saturday, September 3d; Sunday, 4th; Monday, 5th.-Wind still westerly; nothing remarkable.
Tuesday, September 6th.
This afternoon, the wind, still continuing 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, September 7th. 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, September 8th. happened. Contrary wind.
This day nothing remarkable has
Friday, September 9th. This afternoon we took four large dolphins, three with a hook and line, and the fourth we struck with a fizgig. The bait was a candle with two feathers stuck in it, one on each side, in imitation of a flying-fish, which are the common prey of the dolphins. They appeared extremely eager and hungry, and snapped up the hook as soon as ever it touched the water. When we came to open them, we found in the belly of one a small dolphin, half-digested. Certainly they were halffamished, or are naturally very savage, to devour those of their own species.
Saturday, September 10th.—This day we dined upon the dolphins we caught yesterday, three of them sufficing the whole ship, being twenty-one persons.
Sunday, September 11th. We have had a hard gale of wind all this day, accompanied with showers of rain. "T is uncomfortable being upon deck; and, though we have been all together all day below, yet the long continuance of these contrary winds has made us so dull, that scarce three words have passed between us.
Monday, September 12th; Tuesday, 13th.-Nothing remarkable; wind contrary.
Wednesday, September 14th. This afternoon, about two o'clock, it being fair weather and almost calm, as we sat playing drafts upon deck, we were surprised with a sudden and unusual darkness of the sun, which, as we could perceive, was only covered with a small, thin cloud; when that was passed by, we discovered that that glorious luminary labored under a very great eclipse. At least ten parts out of twelve of him were hid from our eyes, and we were apprehensive he would have been totally darkened.
Thursday, September 15th. — For a week past, we have fed ourselves with the hopes, that the change of the moon (which
was yesterday) would bring us a fair wind; but, to our great mortification and disappointment, the wind seems now settled in the westward, and shows as little signs of an alteration as it did a fortnight ago.
Friday, September 16th. Calm all this day. This morning we saw a tropic bird, which flew round our vessel several times. It is a white fowl, with short wings; but one feather appears in his tail, and he does not fly very fast. We reckon ourselves about half our voyage; latitude 38 and odd minutes. These birds are said never to be seen further north than the latitude of 40.
Saturday, September 17th.- All the forenoon the calm continued; the rest of the day some light breezes easterly; and we are in great hopes the wind will settle in that quarter.
Sunday, September 18th. - We have had the finest weather imaginable all this day, accompanied with what is still more agreeable, a fair wind. Every one puts on a clean shirt and a cheerful countenance, and we begin to be very good company. Heaven grant that this favorable gale may continue! for we have had so much of turning to windward, that the word helm-a-lee is become almost as disagreeable to our ears as the sentence of a judge to a convicted malefactor.
Monday, September 19th. The weather looks a little uncertain, and we begin to fear the loss of our fair wind. We see tropic birds every day, sometimes five or six together; they are about as big as pigeons.
Tuesday, September 20th.-The wind is now westerly again, to our great mortification; and we are come to an allowance of bread, two biscuits and a half a day.
Wednesday, September 21st.—This morning our steward was brought to the geers and whipped, for making an extravagant use of flour in the puddings, and for several other misdemeanors. It has been perfectly calm all this day, and very hot. I was determined to wash myself in the sea to-day, and should have done so, had not the appearance of a shark, that mortal enemy to swimmers, deterred me; he seemed to be about five feet long, moves round the ship at some distance, in a slow, majestic manner, attended by near a dozen of those they call pilot-fish, of different sizes; the largest of them is not so big as a small mackerel, and the smallest not bigger than my little finger. Two of these diminutive pilots keep just before his nose, and he seems to govern himself in his motions by their direction; while the rest surround him on every side indifferently. A shark is never seen without 71