After several days of seeking for a situation on board a
vessel , I at length found one in the service of Capt. Joseph Manchester,
who was in the employ of Nathaniel Angier. I shipped in the capacity of
cabin boy, for a compensation of twenty-one shillings per month, to go
to Cape Francois on the island of St. Domingo. The wages of the sailors
were forty-two shillings per month.
This being the first time I ever was at sea, I experienced a
considerable amount of that mental and bodily prostration called
sea-sickness; but in a few days I became accustomed to the motion
of the vessel, and recovered my usual health and spirits.
Being what is termed a "green hand," I had every thing to learn that
belonged to my duties; and of course made some blunders for which I
received more curses than thanks.
Among other misfortunes, I unluckily placed a large pot of butter in
the larboard locker, without the precaution to fasten it in its place.
It rolled out in the course of the night, and the fragments of the pot
together with the contents were scattered about near the foot of the
cabin steps. At the time of the accident the captain was upon deck,
and having occasion to go below, he stepped into the midst of the
greasy particles and measured his length upon the floor. The butter
received a stamp of considerable magnitude in the form of a head,
which, although it served to protect the captain's from any lamentable
damage, did not shield mine from a volley of oaths and threats arising
from the irritation of the moment at the awkward predicament in which
he found himself placed.
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