reader may recollect, we discharged the Ariel
, some weeks before, and the morning's light found us in the passage be tween Jamaica
and St. Domingo
The sun rose brightly, the wind moderated, and the day proved to be very fine.
My first duty, after the usual morning's muster at quarters, was to hold a court of general sessions, for the discharge of my vagabonds, many of whom, the reader will recollect, were still in irons; and a beautiful-looking set of fellows they were, when their irons were removed, and they were brought on deck for this purpose.
They were now all sober, but the effects of their late debauches were visible upon the persons of all of them.
Soiled clothing, blackened eyes, and broken noses, frowsy, uncombed hair, and matted and disordered beard, with reddened eyes that looked as if sleep had long been a stranger to them—these were the principal features.
how much he is to be pitied!
Cut loose early from the gentle restraints of home, and brought into contact with every description of social vice, at an age when it is so difficult to resist temptation, what wonder is it, that we find him a grown — up child of nature, subject to no other restraint than such as the discipline of his ship imposes upon him?
‘When wine is in, wit is out,’ was the proverb I always acted upon, on occasions similar to the present; that is to say, when the ‘wine’ had any business to be ‘in.’
I expected, as a matter of course, when I sent my sailors on shore, ‘on liberty,’ that the result was to be a frolic, and I was always lenient to the mere concomitants of a frolic; but I never permitted them to abuse or maltreat the inhabitants, or perpetrate any malicious mischief.
But if they got drunk on board, in violation of the discipline of the ship, or, in other words, if the wine had no business to be ‘in,’ I considered that the wit had no business to be ‘out.’
And so I listened to their penitential excuses, one by one, and restored them to duty, retaining one or two of the greatest culprits for trial by court-martial, as an example to the rest.
Having disposed of the other cases, I turned to Tom Bowse and Bill Bower
, the heroes of the moonlight-chase, and said to them, ‘And so you are a pretty set of fellows; you not only tried to desert your ship and flag, but you endeavored to commit murder, in your attempt to ’