[In the year 1834.]
The first day we passed at sea was Sunday. As we were just from port, and there was a great deal to be done on board, we were kept at work all day, and at night the watches were set, and everything was put into sea order. When we were called aft to be divided into watches, I had a good specimen of the manner of a sea-captain. After the division had been made, he gave a short characteristic speech, walking the quarter-deck with a cigar in his mouth, and dropping the words out between the puffs.
``Now, my men, we have begun a long voyage. If we get along well together, we shall have a comfortable time; if we don’t, we shall have hell afloat. All you have got to do is to obey your orders, and do your duty like men,— then you will fare well enough; if you don’t, you will fare hard enough,— I can tell you. If we pull together, you will find me a clever fellow; if we don’t, you will find me a bloody rescal. That’s all I’ve got to say. Go below, the larboard watch!’’
I, being in the starboard or second mate’s watch, had the opportunity of keeping the first watch at sea. Stimson, a young man making, like myself, his first voyage, was in the same watch, and as he was the son of a professional man, and had been in a merchant’s counting-room in Boston, we found that we had some acquaintances and topics in common. We talked these matters over— Boston, what our friends were probably doing, our voyage, &c.— until he went to take his turn at the lookout, and left me to myself. I had now a good opportunity for reflection. I felt for the first time the perfect silence of the sea. The officer was walking the quarter-deck, where I had no right to go, one or two men were talking on the forecastle, whom I had