I Have Heard Of A Religious Captain
Who Gave His Crew Liberty On Saturdays, After Twelve O'clock.
This Would Be A Good Plan, If Shipmasters Would Bring Themselves To
Give Their Crews So Much Time.
For young sailors especially, many
of whom have been brought up with a regard for the sacredness of
Day, this strong temptation to break it, is exceedingly injurious.
As it is, it can hardly be expected that a crew, on a long and
hard voyage, will refuse a few hours of freedom from toil and the
restraints of a vessel, and an opportunity to tread the ground and
see the sights of society and humanity, because it is on a Sunday.
It is too much like escaping from prison, or being drawn out of a
pit, on the Sabbath day.
I shall never forget the delightful sensation of being in the
open air, with the birds singing around me, and escaped from
the confinement, labor, and strict rule of a vessel - of being
once more in my life, though only for a day, my own master.
A sailor's liberty is but for a day; yet while it lasts it
is perfect. He is under no one's eye, and can do whatever,
and go wherever, he pleases. This day, for the first time,
I may truly say, in my whole life, I felt the meaning of a term
which I had often heard - the sweets of liberty. My friend S - - -
was with me, and turning our backs upon the vessels, we walked
slowly along, talking of the pleasure of being our own masters,
of the times past, and when we were free in the midst of friends,
in America, and of the prospect of our return; and planning where
we would go, and what we would do, when we reached home.
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