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ches water. We were now in the utmost perplexity, not knowing what in the world to do; we could not tell whether the tide was rising or falling; but at length we plainly perceived it was ebb, and we could feel no deeper water within the reach of our oar. It was hard to lie in an open boat all night exposed to the wind and weather ; but it was worse to think how foolish we should look in the morning, when the owner of the boat should catch us in that condition, where we must be exposed to the view of all the town. After we had strove and struggled for half an hour and more, we gave all over, and sat down with our hands before us, despairing to get off; for, if the tide had left us, we had been never the nearer; we must have sat in the boat, as the mud was too deep for us to walk ashore through it, being up to our necks. At last we bethought ourselves of some means of escaping, and two of us stripped and got out, and thereby lightening the boat, we drew her upon our knees near fifty yards into deeper water; and then with much ado, having but one oar, we got safe ashore under the fort; and, having dressed ourselves and tied the man's boat, we went with great joy to the Queen's Head, where we left our companions, whom we found waiting for us, though it was very late. Our boat being gone on board, we were obliged to lie ashore all night; and thus ended our walk. Sunday, July 31st.—This morning the wind being moderated, our pilot designed to weigh, and, taking advantage of the tide, get a little further to windward. Upon which the boat came ashore, to hasten us on board. We had no sooner returned and hoisted in our boat, but the wind began again to blow very hard at west, insomuch that, instead of going any further, we were obliged to weigh and run down again to Cowes for the sake of more secure riding, where we came to an anchor again in a very little time; and the pudding, which our mess made and put into the pot at Yarmouth, we dined upon at Cowes. Monday, August 1st.—This morning all the vessels in the harbour put out their colors in honor of the day, and it made a very pretty appearance. The wind continuing to blow hard westerly, our mess resolved to go on shore, though all our loose corks were gone already. We took with us some goods to dispose of, and walked to Newport to make our market, where we sold for three shillings in the pound less than the prime cost in London; and, having dined at Newport, we returned in the evening to Cowes, and concluded to lodge on shore. Tuesday, August 2d. — This day we passed on shore, diverting ourselves as well as we could; and, the wind continuing still westerly, we stayed on shore this night also. Wednesday, August 3d. —This morning we were hurried on board, having scarce time to dine, weighed anchor, and stood away for Yarmouth again, though the wind is still westerly; but, meeting with a hoy when we were near half-way there, that had some goods on board for us to take in, we tacked about for Cowes, and came to anchor there a third time, about four in the asternoon. Thursday, August 4th. — Stayed on board till about five in the afternoon, and then went on shore and stopped all night. Friday, August 5th. — Called up this morning and hurried aboard, the wind being northwest. About noon we weighed and left Cowes a third time, and, sailing by Yarmouth, we came into the channel through the Needles; which passage is guarded by Hurst Castle, standing on a spit of land which runs out from the main land of England within a mile of the Isle of Wight. Towards night the wind veered to the westward, which put us under apprehensions of being forced into port again; but presently after it fell a flat calm, and then we had a small breeze that was fair for half an hour, when it was succeeded by a calm again. Saturday, August 6th. —This morning we had a fair breeze for some hours, and then a calm that lasted all day. In the afternoon I leaped overboard and swam round the ship to wash myself. Saw several porpoises this day. About eight o'clock we came to an anchor in forty fathom water against the tide of flood, somewhere below Portland, and weighed again about eleven, having a small breeze. Sunday, August 7th. — Gentle breezes all this day. Spoke with a ship, the Ruby, bound for London from Nevis, off the Start of Plymouth. This afternoon spoke with Captain Homans in a ship bound for Boston, who came out of the river when we did, and had been beating about in the channel all the time we lay at Cowes in the Wight. Monday, August 8th. — Fine weather, but no wind worth mentioning, all this day; in the afternoon saw the Lizard. Tuesday, August 9th. — Took our leave of the land this morning. Calms the fore part of the day. In the afternoon a small gale; fair. Saw a grampus. Wednesday, August 10th. – Wind N. W. Course S. W. about four knots. By observation in latitude 48° 50'. Nothing remarkable happened. Thursday, August 11th. — Nothing remarkable. Fresh gale all day.
Friday, August 12th; Saturday, 13th; Sunday, 14th. — Calms and fair breezes alternately. Monday, 15th; Tuesday, 16th; Wednesday, 17th. —No contrary winds, but calm and fair breezes alternately. Thursday, August 18th. — Four dolphins followed the ship for some hours; we struck at them with the fizgig, but took none. Friday, August 19th. —This day we have had a pleasant breeze at east. In the morning we spied a sail upon our larboard bow, about two leagues' distance. About noon she put out English colors, and we answered with our ensign, and in the afternoon we spoke with her. She was a ship, of New York, Walter Kippen, master, bound from Rochelle, in France, to Boston, with salt. Our captain and Mr. D went on board, and stayed till evening, it being fine weather. Yesterday, complaints being made that a Mr. G n, one of the passengers, had, with a fraudulent design, marked the cards, a court of justice was called immediately, and he was brought to his trial in form. A Dutchman, who could speak no English, deposed, by his interpreter, that, when our mess was on shore at Cowes, the prisoner at the bar marked all the court cards on the back with a pen. I have sometimes observed, that we are apt to fancy the person that cannot speak intelligibly to us, proportionably stupid in understanding, and, when we speak two or three words of English to a foreigner, it is louder than ordinary, as if we thought him deaf, and that he had lost the use of his ears as well as his tongue. Something like this I imagine might be the case of Mr. G n; he fancied the Dutchman could not see what he was about, because he could not understand English, and therefore boldly did it before his face. The evidence was plain and positive; the prisoner could not deny the fact, but replied in his defence, that the cards he marked were not those we commonly played with, but an imperfect pack, which he afterwards gave to the cabin-boy. The attorney-general observed to the court, that it was not likely he should take the pains to mark the cards without some ill design, or some further intention than just to give them to the boy when he had done, who understood nothing at all of cards. But another evidence, being called. deposed, that he saw the prisoner in the main-top one day, when he thought himself unobserved, marking a pack of cards on the backs, some with the print of a dirty thumb, others with the top of his finger, &c. Now, there being but two packs on board, and the prisoner having just confessed the marking of 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 1 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 1 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.