Two Years Before The Mast A Personal Narrative Of Life At Sea By Richard Henry Dana, Jr.





























































































































 -   We were in every respect unfortunately situated.  Captain,
officers, and crew, entirely unfitted for one another; and every
circumstance and - Page 140
Two Years Before The Mast A Personal Narrative Of Life At Sea By Richard Henry Dana, Jr. - Page 140 of 618 - First - Home

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We Were In Every Respect Unfortunately Situated.

Captain, officers, and crew, entirely unfitted for one another; and every circumstance and event was like a two-edged sword, and cut both ways.

The length of the voyage, which made us dissatisfied, made the captain, at the same time, feel the necessity of order and strict discipline; and the nature of the country, which caused us to feel that we had nowhere to go for redress, but were entirely at the mercy of a hard master, made the captain feel, on the other hand, that he must depend entirely upon his own resources. Severity created discontent, and signs of discontent provoked severity. Then, too, ill-treatment and dissatisfaction are no "linimenta laborum;" and many a time have I heard the sailors say that they should not mind the length of the voyage, and the hardships, if they were only kindly treated, and if they could feel that something was done to make things lighter and easier. We felt as though our situation was a call upon our superiors to give us occasional relaxations, and to make our yoke easier. But the contrary policy was pursued. We were kept at work all day when in port; which, together with a watch at night, made us glad to turn-in as soon as we got below. Thus we got no time for reading, or - which was of more importance to us - for washing and mending our clothes. And then, when we were at sea, sailing from port to port, instead of giving us "watch and watch," as was the custom on board every other vessel on the coast, we were all kept on deck and at work, rain or shine, making spun-yarn and rope, and at other work in good weather, and picking oakum, when it was too wet for anything else.

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