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CHAPTER XXII. WASH-DAY AND HOUSE-CLEANING IN A MAN-OF-WAR.

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With regard to those greater and more conspicuous economical frauds, or malpractices equivalent to frauds, of which so many deplorable cases have become notorious¡ªcommitted by merchants and bankers between [81]themselves or between them and those who have trusted them with money, such a remedy as above described is not available, and the only resources which the present constitution of society affords against them are a sterner reprobation by opinion, and a more efficient repression by the law. Neither of these remedies has had any approach to an effectual trial. It is on the occurrence of insolvencies that these dishonest practices usually come to light; the perpetrators take their place, not in the class of malefactors, but in that of insolvent debtors; and the laws of this and other countries were formerly so savage against simple insolvency, that by one of those reactions to which the opinions of mankind are liable, insolvents came to be regarded mainly as objects of compassion, and it seemed to be thought that the hand both of law and of public opinion could hardly press too lightly upon them. By an error in a contrary direction to the ordinary one of our law, which in the punishment of offences in general wholly neglects the question of reparation to the sufferer, [82]our bankruptcy laws have for some time treated the recovery for creditors of what is left of their property as almost the sole object, scarcely any importance being attached to the punishment of the bankrupt for any misconduct which does not directly interfere with that primary purpose. For three or four years past there has been a slight counter-reaction, and more than one bankruptcy act has been passed, somewhat less indulgent to the bankrupt; but the primary object regarded has still been the pecuniary interest of the creditors, and criminality in the bankrupt himself, with the exception of a small number of well-marked offences, gets off almost with impunity. It may be confidently affirmed, therefore, that, at least in this country, society has not exerted the power it possesses of making mercantile dishonesty dangerous to the perpetrator. On the contrary, it is a gambling trick in which all the advantage is on the side of the trickster: if the trick succeeds it makes his fortune, or preserves it; if it fails, he is at most reduced to poverty, which was perhaps [83]already impending when he determined to run the chance, and he is classed by those who have not looked closely into the matter, and even by many who have, not among the infamous but among the unfortunate. Until a more moral and rational mode of dealing with culpable insolvency has been tried and failed, commercial dishonesty cannot be ranked among evils the prevalence of which is inseparable from commercial competition.

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scr888 free credit rm5£¬An old gunner's mate of the mess¡ªPriming, the man with the hare-lip, who, true to his tribe, was charged to the muzzle with bile, and, moreover, rammed home on top of it a wad of sailor superstition¡ªthis gunner's mate indulged in some gloomy and savage remarks¡ªstrangely tinged with genuine feeling and grief¡ªat the announcement of the sick-ness of Shenly, coming as it did not long after the almost fatal accident befalling poor Baldy, captain of the mizzen-top, another mess-mate of ours, and the dreadful fate of the amputated fore-top-man whom we buried in Rio, also our mess-mate.BOOK IV. RETROSPECTIVE.But since what human nature is, and what it must for ever continue to be, is well enough understood for most practical purposes, it needs no special example to prove that, where the merest boys, indiscriminately snatched from the human family, are given such authority over mature men, the results must be proportionable in monstrousness to the custom that authorises this worse than cruel absurdity.It remains to be related, that these barbers of ours had their labours considerably abridged by a fashion prevailing among many of the crew, of wearing very large whiskers; so that, in most cases, the only parts needing a shave were the upper lip and suburbs of the chin. This had been more or less the custom during the whole three years' cruise; but for some time previous to our weathering Cape Horn, very many of the seamen had redoubled their assiduity in cultivating their beards preparatory to their return to America. There they anticipated creating no small impression by their immense and magnificent homeward-bounders¡ªso they called the long fly-brushes at their chins. In particular, the more aged sailors, embracing the Old Guard of sea grenadiers on the forecastle, and the begrimed gunner's mates and quarter-gunners, sported most venerable beards of an exceeding length and hoariness, like long, trailing moss hanging from the bough of some aged oak. Above all, the Captain of the Forecastle, old Ushant¡ªa fine specimen of a sea sexagenarian¡ªwore a wide, spreading beard, gizzled and grey, that flowed over his breast and often became tangled and knotted with tar. This Ushant, in all weathers, was ever alert at his duty; intrepidly mounting the fore-yard in a gale, his long beard streaming like Neptune's. Off Cape Horn it looked like a miller's, being all over powdered with frost; sometimes it glittered with minute icicles in the pale, cold, moonlit Patagonian nights. But though he was so active in time of tempest, yet when his duty did not call for exertion, he was a remarkably staid, reserved, silent, and majestic old man, holding himself aloof from noisy revelry, and never participating in the boisterous sports of the crew. He resolutely set his beard against their boyish frolickings, and often held forth like an oracle concerning the vanity thereof. Indeed, at times he was wont to talk philosophy to his ancient companions¡ªthe old sheet-anchor-men around him¡ªas well as to the hare-brained tenants of the fore-top, and the giddy lads in the mizzen.

However, I was glad of any light at all, down in that gloomy hole, where we burrowed like rabbits in a warren; and it was the happiest time I had, when all my messmates were asleep, and I could lie on my back, during a forenoon watch below, and read in comparative quiet and seclusion.You watch the cloud,XX. IN A FOG HE IS SET TO WORK AS A BELL-TOLLERAt its half-bared roots of sadness, Pierre sat down, and marked the mighty bulk and far out-reaching length of one particular root, which, straying down the bank, the storms and rains had years ago exposed.

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free credit no deposit required£ºNow, this grand old Pierre Glendinning was a great lover of horses; but not in the modern sense, for he was no jockey;¡ªone of his most intimate friends of the masculine gender was a huge, proud, gray horse, of a surprising reserve of manner, his saddle-beast; he had his horses' mangers carved like old trenchers, out of solid maple logs; the key of the corn-bin hung in his library; and no one grained his steeds, but himself; unless his absence from home promoted Moyar, an incorruptible and most punctual old black, to that honorable office. He said that no man loved his horses, unless his own hands grained them. Every Christmas he gave them brimming measures.

Or else¡ªgive way for your lives,

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Everywhere you hear the laborer, the artisan, the clerk complain of his position and his occupation, while they long for the time when they can retire from work imposed upon them by necessity. To be repugnant, to have for its motive and pivot nothing but the fear of starvation, is the great, the fatal, characteristic of civilised labor. The civilised workman is condemned to penal servitude. So long as productive labor is so organized that instead of being associated with pleasure it is associated with pain, weariness and dislike, it will always happen that all will avoid it who are able. With few exceptions, those only will consent to work who are compelled to it by want. Hence the most numerous classes, the artificers of social wealth, the active and direct creators of all comfort and luxury, will always be condemned to touch closely on poverty and hunger; they will always be the slaves to ignorance and degradation; they will continue to be always that huge herd of [63]mere beasts of burden whom we see ill-grown, decimated by disease, bowed down in the great workshop of society over the plow or over the counter, that they may prepare the delicate food, and the sumptuous enjoyments of the upper and idle classes.

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But what reasonable objection can you have to speak to me? I feel friendly towards you.£¬Nor was his philosophy to be despised; it abounded in wisdom. For this Ushant was an old man, of strong natural sense, who had seen nearly the whole terraqueous globe, and could reason of civilized and savage, of Gentile and Jew, of Christian and Moslem. The long night-watches of the sailor are eminently adapted to draw out the reflective faculties of any serious-minded man, however humble or uneducated. Judge, then, what half a century of battling out watches on the ocean must have done for this fine old tar. He was a sort of a sea-Socrates, in his old age ¡£But presently I heard a distant, hoarse noise from below; and though I could not make out any thing intelligible, I knew it was the mate hurrying me. So in a nervous, trembling desperation, I went to casting off the gaskets, or lines tying up the sail; and when all was ready, sung out as I had been told, to ¡£

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He believed in all kinds of witch-work and magic; and had some wild Irish words he used to mutter over during a calm for a fair wind.£¬By noon he had selected his boarding-house, a private establishment, where they did not charge much for their board, and where the landlady's butcher's bill was not very large.¡£But since what human nature is, and what it must for ever continue to be, is well enough understood for most practical purposes, it needs no special example to prove that, where the merest boys, indiscriminately snatched from the human family, are given such authority over mature men, the results must be proportionable in monstrousness to the custom that authorises this worse than cruel absurdity.¡£

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Yours very humbly,£¬And long and lingeringly bowing to the two noble officers, Jack backed away from their presence, still shading his eyes with the broad rim of his hat.¡£But without stopping for any reply, he rattled on. ¡£

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But the Professor himself was a noteworthy person. A tall, thin, spectacled man, about forty years old, with a student's stoop in his shoulders, and wearing uncommonly scanty pantaloons, exhibiting an undue proportion of his boots. In early life he had been a cadet in the military academy of West Point; but, becoming very weak-sighted, and thereby in a good manner disqualified for active service in the field, he had declined entering the army, and accepted the office of Professor in the Navy.£¬He would tell of lying in Batavia during a fever, when his ship lost a man every few days, and how they went reeling ashore with the body, and got still more intoxicated by way of precaution against the plague. He would talk of finding a cobra-di-capello, or hooded snake, under his pillow in India, when he slept ashore there. He would talk of sailors being poisoned at Canton with drugged ¡£Never could Pierre look upon his fine military portrait without an infinite and mournful longing to meet his living aspect in actual life. The majestic sweetness of this portrait was truly wonderful in its effects upon any sensitive and generous-minded young observer. For such, that portrait possessed the heavenly persuasiveness of angelic speech; a glorious gospel framed and hung upon the wall, and declaring to all people, as from the Mount, that man is a noble, god-like being, full of choicest juices; made up of strength and beauty.¡£

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