“But not in these days of light and knowledge, friend. There have been enough sad examples to warn men not to trifle on such subjects. Twenty years ago I drank. We had our whiskey at our funerals and our weddings. I have seen chief mourners staggering over the grave, and the bridegroom half drunk at the altar; but times are changed now, and thank God for the good that has been effected by this reformation!”
“You speak true, Simon; and I wonder Captain Marlin could, if he considered the evils brought about by intoxicating drink, carry it to sea with him.”
“I told him all as I tell it to thee, friend Jones. He asked my opinion, and I gave it him, yet it seems he thought little of it. Good-day, neighbor; I have business with a friend at the ‘Croton,’ good-day;” and, saying this, Mr. Prim walked up a bye street.
Jones walked on, and thought considerable of the Quaker’s last words. His mind that day continually ran upon the subject. Indeed, he seemed unable to think of anything else but of a jug afloat, and at night spoke of it to his wife.
The wife of Captain Marlin had that day called upon Mrs. Jones, and, although her husband had scarcely got out of sight, looked with pleasure to the day of his return, and already anticipated the joyous occasion. There is as much pleasure in anticipation as in realization, it is often said, and there is much truth in the saying. We enjoy the thought of the near approach of some wished for day, but when it arrives we seem to have enjoyed it all before it came.
Mrs. Jones was far from thinking it wrong in Captain Marlin that he carried liquor with him on his voyage, and gave it as her opinion that the vessel was as safe as it could possibly be without it.
“Remember what I say, that is a doomed ship,” said Mr. Jones, after some conversation on the subject.
“You are no prophet, my dear,” said his wife, “neither am I a prophetess; but I will predict a pleasant voyage and safe return to the Tangus.” With such opposite sentiments expressed, they retired.
Insensible to all that is beautiful in nature, and grand and majestic in the works of creation, must the heart of that man be who can see no beauty, grandeur, or majesty, in the mighty abyss of waters, rolling on in their strength-now towering like some vast mountain, and piling wave upon wave, till, like pyramids dancing on pyramids, their tops seem to reach the sky; then sinking as deep as it had before risen, and again mounting up to heaven. There’s beauty in such a scene, and no less when, calm and unruffled, the setting sun sinks beneath the horizon, and for miles and miles leaves its long, glistening track upon the unmoved waters.
’T was so when the crew of the “Tangus” were assembled upon the deck of that noble ship. The day previous had been one of hard labor; the vessel had bravely withstood the storm, and seemed now to be resting after the contest. Not a ripple was to be seen. Far as the eye could reach, was seen the same beautiful stillness. So with the crew; they were resting, though not in drowsy slumberings.