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stop him till I came?" "Stop him?” said the other; "I hailed him several times, but he was too far on his way, and the enemy had got possession of his close quarters; so that he did not mind me.” “Well, well,” said he, "we all owe Heaven a tithe. Go your ways, you ragamuffin, and take an example, and a warning, look you, and repent of your misteets." So saying, he pushed the seaman out of the berth.
While he entertained us with reflections suitable to this event, we heard the boatswain pipe to dinner, and immediately the boy belonging to our mess ran to the locker, from whence he carried off a large wooden platter, and in a few minutes returned with it full of boiled peas, crying, "Scaldings," all the way as he came. The cloth, consisting of a piece of an old sail, was instantly laid, covered with three plates, which, by the colour, I could with difficulty discern to be metal, and as many spoons of the same composition, two of which were curtailed in the handles, and the other abridged in the lip. Mr. Morgan himself enriched this mess with a lump of salt butter, scooped from an old gallipot, and a handful of onions shorn, with some pounded pepper. I was not very much tempted with the appearance of this dish, of which, nevertheless, my messmates ate heartily, advising me to follow their example, as it was banyanday, and we could have no meat till next noon.
But I had already laid in sufficient for the occasion; and therefore desired to be excused, expressing a curiosity to know the meaning of banyan-day. They told me that on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the ship's company had no allowance of meat, and that these meagre days were called banyan-days, the reason of which they did not know; but I have since learned they take their denomination from a sect of devotees in some part of the East Indies, who never taste flesh.
After dinner, Thomson led me round the ship, showed me the different parts, described their uses, and, as far as he could, made me acquainted with the particulars of the discipline and economy practised on board. He then demanded of the boatswain an hammock for me, which was slung in a very neat manner by my friend Jack Rattlin; and as I had no bedclothes, procured credit for me with the purser, for a mattress and two blankets. At seven o'clock in the evening, Morgan visited the sick, and having ordered what was proper for each, I assisted Thomson in making up his prescriptions; but when I followed him with the medicines into the sick berth or hospital, and observed the situations of the patients, I was much less surprised that people should die on board, than that any sick person should recover.
Here I saw about fifty miserable distempered wretches, suspended in rows, so huddled one upon another, that not more than fourteen inches space was allotted for each with his bed and bedding; and deprived of the light of the day, as well as of fresh air; breathing nothing but a noisome atmosphere of the morbid steams exhaling from their own excrements and diseased bodies, devoured with vermin hatched in the filth that surrounded them, and destitute of every convenience necessary for people in that helpless condition.
Our tyrant having left the ship, and carried his favourite Mackshame along with him, to my inexpressible satisfaction, our new commander came on board in a tenoared barge, overshadowed with a vast umbrella, and appeared in everything the reverse of Oakum, being a tall, thin, young man, dressed in this manner: a white hat, garnished with a red feather, adorned his head, from whence his hair flowed upon his shoulders, in ringlets, tied behind with a ribbon. His coat, consisting of pinkcoloured silk lined with white, by the elegance of the cut retired backward, as it were to discover a white satin waistcoat embroidered with gold, unbuttoned at the upper part to display a brooch set with garnets, that glittered in the breast of his shirt, which was of the finest cambric, edged with right Mechlin. The knees of his crimson velvet breeches scarcely descended so low as to meet his silk stockings, which rose without spot or wrinkle on his meagre legs, from shoes of blue Meroquin, studded with diamond buckles, that flamed forth rivals to the sun! A steel-hilted sword, inlaid with gold, and decked with a knot of ribbon which fell down in a rich tassel, equipped his side; and an amber-headed cane hung dangling from his wrist. But the most remarkable parts of his furniture were, a mask on his face, and white gloves on his hands, which did not seem to be put on with an intention to be pulled off occasionally, but were fixed with a curious ring on the little finger of each hand. In this garb Captain Whiffle, for that was his name, took possession of the ship, surrounded with a crowd of attendants, all of whom, in their different degrees, seemed to be of their patron's disposition; and the air was so impregnated with perfumes, that one may venture to affirm the clime of Arabia Felix was not half so sweet-scented. My fellow-mate, observing no surgeon among his train, thought he had found an occasion too favourable for himself to be neglected; and remembering the old proverb, “Spare to speak, and spare to speed,” resolved to solicit the new captain's interest immediately, before any other surgeon could be appointed for the ship.
With this view he repaired to the cabin in his ordinary dress, consisting of a check shirt and trousers, a brown linen waistcoat, and a nightcap of the same (neither of them very clean), which, for his future misfortune, happened to smell strong of tobacco. Entering without any ceremony into this sacred place, he found Captain Whiffle reposing on a couch, with a wrapper of fine chintz about his body, and a muslin cap bordered with lace about his head; and, after several low congees, began in this
“Sir, I hope you will forgive, and excuse, and pardon the presumption of one who has not the honour of being known unto you, but who is, nevertheless, a shentleman porn and pred, and moreover has had misfortunes, Cot help me, in the world." Here he was interrupted by the captain, who, on seeing him, had started up with great amazement at the novelty of the apparition; and having recollected himself, pronounced, with a look and tone signifying disdain, curiosity, and surprise, “Zauns! who art thou?" "I am surgeon's first mate on board of this ship,” replied Morgan, “and I most vehemently desire and beseech you, with all submission, to be pleased to condescend, and vouchsafe to inquire into my character, and my pehaviour, and my deserts, which, under Cot, I hope will entitle me to the vacancy of surgeon.” As he proceeded in his speech, he continued advancing toward the captain, whose nostrils were no sooner saluted with the aromatic flavour that exhaled from him, than he cried, with great emotion, “Heaven preserve me! I am suffocated! Fellow, fellow, away with thee. Curse thee, fellow! get thee gone. I shall be stunk to death !" At the noise of his outcries, his servants ran into his apartment, and he accosted them thus: “Villains! cutthroats! traitors! I am betrayed! I am sacrificed !-Will you not carry that monster away? or must I be stified with the stench of him! oh! oh!" With these interjections he sunk down upon his settee in a fit; his valet de chambre plied him with a smelling bottle, one footman chafed his temples with Hungary water, another sprinkled the floor with spirits of lavender, a third pushed Morgan out of the cabin; who, coming to the place where I was, sat down with a demure countenance, and, according to his custom, when he received an indignity which he durst not revenge, began to sing a Welsh ditty. I guessed he was under some agitation of spirits, and desired to know the cause; but, instead of answering me directly, he asked, with great emotion, if I thought him a monster and a stinkard? "A monster and a stinkard." said I, with some surprise, "did anybody call you so ?” "Cot is my judge,” replied he, “Captain Fifle did call me both; aye, and all the water in the Tawy will not wash it out of my remembrance. I do affirm, and vouch, and maintain, with my soul, and my pody, and my plood, look you, that I have no smells about me, but such as a Christian ought to have, except the effluvia of tobacco, which is a cephalic, odoriferous, aromatic herb, and he is a son of a mountain goat who says otherwise. As for my being a monster, let that be as it is: I am as Cot was pleased to create me, which, peradventure, is more than I shall aver of him who gave me that title; for I will proclaim it before the world, that he is disguised, and transfigured, and transmographied with affectation and whimsies, and