Putting in Work: From School-Master to Sailor

No, when I got to sea, I go as a simple sailor, right before the mast, plumb down into the forecastle, aloft there to the royal mast-head.  True, they rather order me about some, and make me jump from spar to spar, like a grasshopper in a May meadow.  And at first, this sort of thing is unpleasant enough.  It touches one’s sense of honor, particularly if you come of an old established family in the land, the Van Rensselaers, or Randolphs, or Hardicanutes.  And more than all, if just previous to putting your hand into the tar-pot, you have been lording it as a country school-master, making the tallest boys stand in awe of you.  The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from schoolmaster to sailor requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it.  But even this wears off in time.

“Ishmael” from Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Blister forming on blister from a day with the broadfork

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