the lowest naval rank at present

字体 -

The ship duties in port not being arduous, the young , through the  of his brother, was permitted to spend the period of the vessel’s stay in America on shore under the roof of his kinsman. There he continued his studies with that zeal for knowledge which was one of his distinguishing characteristics, and which never left him in after life; for it is to be noted that he was always a student; indeed, had he not been so, his subsequent career would have been impossible. It was largely that habit of application, early acquired, that enabled him to advance himself beyond his original station. He especially applied himself to the science of navigation, the intricacies of which he speedily mastered, so that he became subsequently one of the most expert navigators that sailed the sea.

His natural inclination for the sea stood him in good stead, and he finally acquired a complete knowledge of the details of his trying profession. Upon the failure of Mr. Younger, who surrendered the indentures of young Paul to him as the only thing he could do for him in his present circumstances, he was sufficiently capable to receive an appointment as third mate on the slaver King George, of Whitehaven. A few years after, in 1766, being then but nineteen years of age, he was appointed to the most responsible position of chief mate of the slaver Two Friends, a brigantine of Jamaica. The contrast between the old and the new régime is brought vividly before us when we learn that to-day a cadet midshipman—-of the same age has still a year of schooling to undergo before he can even undertake the two years’  cruise at sea required before he can be commissioned in the lowest grade.

Slave trading was a popular and common vocation in that day, not reprehended as it would be at present. Gentlemen of  and station did not scruple to engage in it, either as providing money and receiving profit, or as actually participating as master or supercargo of ships in the traffic. It is interesting to note that young Paul, as he grew in years and acquired character, became intensely dissatisfied with slaving. The sense of the cruelties, iniquities, and injustice of the trade developed in him with coming manhood, and gradually took such possession of him that, as was stated by his relatives and himself, he finally resolved to withdraw from it.

This determination, scarcely to be expected from one of his birth and , was greatly to his credit. The business itself was a most stirring and lucrative one, and for a young man to have attained the rank he enjoyed so early in life was evidence that he need have no fear but that the future would bring him further advancement and corresponding pecuniary reward. In this decision he was certainly in advance of his time as well; but that love of liberty which had been bred in him by the free air of the bold hills of his native land, and which afterward became the master passion of his life, for which he drew his sword, was undoubtedly heightened and intensified by this close personal touch with the horrors of  servitude.

分享博文至:
» 下一篇 life every morning

    目前没有评论

发表评论