Marco Paul's Voyages & Travels: Vermont By Jacob Abbott


Are you afraid that we shall upset? asked Marco.

Yes, said the sailor, over some of these precipices and mountains - Page 8
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"Are You Afraid That We Shall Upset?" Asked Marco.

"Yes," said the sailor, "over some of these precipices and mountains; and then there'll be an end of us."

The sailor said this in an easy and careless manner, as if, after all, he was not much concerned about the danger. Still, Marco was surprised that he should fear it at all. He was not aware how much the fears which people feel, are occasioned by the mere novelty of the danger which they incur. A stage-driver, who is calm and composed on his box, in a dark night, and upon dangerous roads, will be alarmed by the careening of a ship under a gentle breeze at sea, - while the sailor who laughs at a gale of wind on the ocean, is afraid to ride in a carriage on land.

"An't you a sailor?" asked Marco.

"Yes," replied his companion.

"I shouldn't think that a man that had been used to the sea, would be afraid of upsetting in a coach."

"I'm not a _man_" said the sailor.

"What are you?" said Marco.

"I'm a boy. I'm only nineteen years old; though I'm going to be rated seaman next voyage."

"Have you just got back from a voyage?" asked Marco.

"Yes," said the sailor. "I've been round the Horn in a whaler, from old Nantuck. And now I'm going home to see my mother."

"How long since you've seen her?" asked Marco.

"O, it's four years since I ran away."

Here the sailor began to speak in rather a lower tone than he had done before, so that Marco only could hear.

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