“Then thy ship has put in for repairs?” said Simon Prim, as he entered Granton & Co.’s office, on Wall-street.
“What?” exclaimed Mr. Granton, who had heard nothing of the matter. Simon, pulling a paper from his pocket, read:
“Loss of life at sea.—By a passenger in the ‘Sultan,’ from—, we are informed that the ship ‘Tangus,’ from this port, bound to Sumatra, and owned by Messrs. Granton & Co., of this city, put in at that place in a dismasted condition.
“The ‘Tangus’ had been three weeks out, when, in a gale, four men were washed overboard. The remainder of her crew being insensible, and the whole duty falling upon the captain and cook, they with great difficulty managed the ship. It is rumored that all were intoxicated. This is the seventh case of loss at sea, caused by intemperance, within four months. When will men become wise, and awake to their own interests on this topic?”
The ship-owner rapidly paced his office. “Can it be?” said he to himself. “Can it be?”
“Give thyself no trouble, friend,” said Prim; “what is done is done, and can’t be undone. Thy ship is not lost, and things are not so bad as they might be. Look to the future, and mourn not over the past; and remember that it is very dangerous to have a jug afloat.”
These few words somewhat quieted him, yet not wholly, At this moment the wife of Captain Marlin entered. Having heard of the news, she came to learn all that was known respecting it.
“Madam,” said he, after relating all he knew, “my mind is changed on the question we some time since discussed. Yes, madam, my mind is changed, and from this hour I will do all I can to exterminate the practice of carrying grog to sea for the crew. And I tell thee what,” he continued, turning to friend Prim, who stood near by, “I tell thee what, thee was right in thy predictions; and, though it has been a dear lesson to me, I have learned from it that it is poor policy that puts a jug afloat.”
Would ye who live in palace
With servants round to wait,
Know aught of him who, craving, falls
Before thine outer gate?
Come with me when the piercing blast
Is whistling wild and free,
When muffled forms are hurrying past,
And then his portion see.
Come with me through the narrow lanes
To dwellings dark and damp,
Where poor men strive to ease their pains;
Where, by a feeble lamp,
The wearied, widowed mother long
Doth busy needle ply,
Whilst at her feet her children throng,
And for a morsel cry.
Come with me thou in such an hour,
To such a place, and see
That He who gave thee wealth