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A Struggle With A Devil-fish
When he awakened he was hungry. The sea was growin...

Rounding Cape Horn
Through drizzling fogs and vapors, and under damp, do...

The Earliest Days Of Water-travelling

Once upon a time there were no ships. Men did not kn...

Fate Of The Castaways
My first determination was to seek a supply of breadfru...

Preservation Of Nine Men In A Small Boat Surrounded By Islands Of Ice
We sailed from Plymouth under convoy of H. B. Majesty...

The Loss Of The Royal George
I am not likely to forget that next morning, the 28th...

Shipwreck Of The French Frigate Medusa
On the Western Coast of Africa. By MADAME DARD, one of ...

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Mr Midshipman Easy






Jack Easy, the hero of Captain Marryat's story, was "no fool, but a
bit of a philosopher." He had been spoiled by an indulgent mother and
a foolish father, who was continually prosing about "equality and the
rights of man." Indeed, Jack could even out-talk his father upon this
subject. "There was no end to Jack's arguing the point, though there
seldom was point to his argument." At sixteen he resolved to leave
school and go to sea; and though Mr. Easy was unwilling, Jack insisted
on his "rights" as his father's "equal," and the old man yielded. He
was to sail as midshipman on the sloop-of-war Harpy, with Captain
Wilson, a relative of his father's. He set out for Portsmouth with
plenty of money in his pockets, and squandering this he loitered three
weeks in the town without reporting to his ship. When Captain Wilson
heard of this he sent Mr. Sawbridge, his lieutenant, to summon the
boy. Mr. Sawbridge peremptorily ordered Jack on board; but the officer
was not in uniform, and Jack did not understand naval etiquette. He
pertly refused to go until he should be ready, arguing his "equality"
with any officer. Lieutenant Sawbridge departed, threatening that if
Jack did not appear that night a file of marines should arrest him in
the morning. He reported Jack's disobedience to the Captain, but the
latter, hoping to undo the father's foolish lessons, resolved to
discipline the boy gradually and gently. He sent a note inviting him
to breakfast at nine on the following morning, which invitation Jack
politely accepted. The next few pages give Jack's first experience of
"equality" at sea.





Next: Equality At Sea

Previous: Sailors Yarns



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