Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / ''The Glorious Fourth'' at Sea >> Page 245

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription CHAPTER, XIII.
"THE GLORIOUS FOURTH" AT SEA.
LET us skip over the small hours which were consumed by
our little community´┐Żwe may suppose after a very common
fashion on shore. There was silence in the ship for a space.
But a good strong corps was ready, at the peep of day, to
respond, with a general shout, to that salutation to the morn
which our worthy captain had assigned to the throats of his pet
brass pieces. We were not missing at the moment of uproar ;
and, as the bellowing voices roared along the deep, we echoed
the clamor with a hurrah scarcely less audible in the courts of
Neptune.
I need not dwell upon the exhibition of (Zes/iabilles, as we sev-
erally appeared on deck in nightgown and wrapper, with other-
wise scant costume. But, as our few lady-passengers made no
appearance at this hour, there was no need for much precaution.
We took the opportunity afforded by their absence to procure
a good sousing from the sea, administered, through capacious
buckets, by the hands of a courteous coalheaver, who received
his shilling a-head for our ablutions. By the way, why should
not these admirable vessels, so distinguished by their various
comforts, be provided with half -a-dozen bathing-rooms ? We
commend the suggestion to future builders. A bath is even
more necessary at sea than on shore, and, lacking his bath, there
is many a pretty fellow who resorts to his bottle. Frequent
ablution is no small agent of a proper morality.
Outraging no propriety by our garden-like innocence of cos-
tume, we began the day merrily, and contrived to continue it
cheerily. At the hour of twelve, the awning spread above us,
a smooth sea below, a fine breeze streaming around us, we were
all assembled upon the quarter-deck, a small but select congre-
gation, to hear the man in a saffron skin and green spectacles.