go to market almost every day; but you know there are no shops at sea.

MRS. HARCOURT. Consequently, the ship's crew cannot live on fresh meat; neither can they procure fresh vegetables, which, with the want of fresh water, are the principal causes of that dreadful disease, called the seascurvy, to which persons in long voyages are very subject. Beef and pork, well salted down, with hard biscuit, form the usual food of a sailor.


I cannot eat either salt meat or hard biscuit. What would become of me, were I obliged to go to a very distant country?

SOPHIA. Necessity, my dear Augusta, has taught many to submit to great hardships. Suppose your father were obliged to go to the West Indies, would you prefer being separated from him, or attending him thither, and suffering some inconveniences for a few weeks: surely you would not hesitate which to choose.

AUGUSTA. My father frequently tells me that it is not unlikely that his affairs will re

quire his presence in Jamaica. I have entreated him to let me go with him; but I never considered the difficulties of the voyage. Accustomed as I have been to a variety of dishes every day at table, and a dessert of fruit and preserves afterwards, I should find it hard fare to dine on salt beef and biscuit, and to exchange my soft bed for a hammock.

MR. HARCOURT. This confession shows the great inconvenience of an habitual indulgence in our mode of living. Had you been used to eat only of one dish, and sleep upon a mattress, you might easily have accommodated yourself to an alteration for the worse for a little time. Temperance is not only a virtue, but a great advantage to health, and on many occasions diminishes the difficulties we are liable to meet with. One reflection ought to be sufficient to reconcile us to any temporary hardship: that thousands of our fellow-creatures suffer daily, what we think so painful to undergo for a few hours. The consideration of these things will teach us to transfer a little of that solicitude for our own VOL. II.


personal enjoyment, to a tender care for the wants and sufferings of others.

CHARLES. The captains and officers have their tables supplied with fresh provisions: sheep, pigs, and poultry, are kept on board ships for that purpose. I have also seen a cow, which afforded milk and cream for the captain's table. Minced meat and sweetmeats are generally among his stores, and any other delicacy that will keep; therefore, Augusta, you may lay aside your apprehensions; for although you could not enjoy all the luxuries you do at home, you may make a tolerable shift for a month or two.

CECILIA. The comparison of my condition, and that of the poor sailors, would prevent my enjoyment of the indulgencies that my superior rank procured me.

MRS. HARCOURT. Bring that principle home to your own heart. You constantly enjoy many gratifications, that our poor neighbour, Mary Benson, has not even an idea of.

CECILIA. That very thought reconciles me to the difference; but were she a spectator of

my daily meals, and obliged to rest contented with her present scanty fare, I should be induced to go shares with her.

MR. HARCOURT. Our wants vary according to our habits and education. Let us be careful not to increase them, by pampering a false taste for unnecessary indulgence. A life of hardship is not confined to sailors: many other employments subject those who are engaged in them to endure it. Miners are deprived of light and the society of the rest of mankind. Those who work in the quicksilver mines are said not only to lose their health, but generally die in a few years. Extremes of heat and cold, hard labour, and scanty fare, are the portion of the greater part of mankind. But happiness does not depend upon the enjoyment of luxury. These people possess as large a share of it as their richer and envied neighbours. Each condition has its advantages. We are the children of one common Parent, who has deemed it wise to distribute mankind into different ranks and orders in society, and to render the poor and the rich dependent on

each other, that they may be united by the powerful tie of reciprocal benevolence and affection.

SOPHIA. I believe I should suffer most from want of fresh water. What contrivance do they use as a substitute for this necessary comfort.

MR. HARCOURT. Many ingenious philosophers have bestowed much time and attention to remedy this defect. The simplest and best method of distilling sea-water, and rendering it fresh, is the invention of Dr. Irving. In order to have a clear idea of his method of accomplishing this desirable purpose, suppose a tea-kettle to be made without a spout, and a hole in the lid in the place of the knob: let this kettle be filled with sea-water: the fresh vapour which arises from the sea-water, as it boils, will issue through the hole in the lid: fix the mouth of a tube in that hole, and the vapour of fresh water will pass through the tube, and may be collected, by fitting a proper vessel to receive it at the end of the tube. Dr. Irving, in a similar manner, has adapted a tin, iron, or copper tube, of suitable dimen

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