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  ― ix ―

Preface.

THE Author presumes to claim the indulgence of the Public towards the literary faults, which he fears are too numerous in the following pages. He trusts it will be recollected that a sailor's life affords few moments of “learned ease;” and that he is fitted, both by education and habit, more for action than for thought. Connected arrangement, and logical deductions, are the offspring of retired meditation; but meditation, pensive nymph, “shuns the noise of folly,” or flies before the mirth of thoughtlessness: hence it will scarcely be expected to find a correct work produced amidst the interruptions of active


  ― x ―
service, or the continual calls of subordinate duty.

With respect to information, the author hopes some will be found new, and the whole not entirely uninteresting. Some part of it is necessarily derived from the information of others; and for its correctness the Author can only state his own belief, as being received from persons capable of judging, and who could have no interest in misrepresentation. For the paucity of nautical observations, he conceives no apology is necessary. On this head he has confined himself to a few notes upon points which he considered most interesting to navigation. A minute detail of winds, weather, and all the common occurrences of a ship at sea, he suspects would neither


  ― xi ―
amuse nor instruct the majority of his readers; and to those who find entertainment in “ditto weather, employed occasionally,” he recommends the logbook publications of some recent navigators.




  ― xii ―
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