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returned only in time to die at home — happy, at the last, to have made that familiar haven. And fortunate beyond many of his fellows. For there was a reverse to the old tales of daring and adventure; and many a man, long before age should cool the ardors of his hot-blooded youth, had died in a foreign port, or on shipboard; and many a memorial stone records that such a one died at Panama or Madras or Bassein, at Sourbaya or Batavia or Truxillo, or at Aden. And there is the longer list of those "lost at sea,” when wives and sweethearts waited through heartsick months and years for the word that never came. Yet those at sea and those ashore found their strength in the old faith: “Ye see when the mariner is entered his ship to saile on the troublous sea, how he is for a while tossed in the billows of the same, but yet in hope that he shall come to the quiet haven, he beareth in better comfort the perils which he feeleth; so am I now toward this sayling: and whatsoever stormes I shall feele, yet shortly after shall my ship be in the haven, as I doubt not thereof by the grace of God, desiring you to helpe me with your prayers to the same effect.”

CHAPTER X
THE COUNTY

I THE “retired” sea-captain, if he had been too freehanded to grow rich, or had missed his chance of success through practising small shrewdnesses rather than large, often earned his living ashore as postmaster, or “deepo-master,” or he ran the tavern, or the village store that supplied the inhabitants with any obtainable commodity. In any case, as gentleman farmer or one of lower social rank, he fitted easily into the life at home which, in comparison with that of an inland town, was cosmopolitan by reason of constant interchange with countries beyond the sea. Men had a wider outlook: though they might never "go to Boston,” which was the minimum adventure of the community, they were familiar with far scenes discussed of an evening among the frequenters of post-office or store. And if all sailors did not become captains, though the contrary may seem to us to have been the fact, it was the exception when an able-bodied male had not gone at least one “voyage to sea.” The normal Cape Cod boy looked upon the ocean as his natural theatre of action. If he could wheedle his mother into consent, he was off at the tender age of ten, or as soon thereafter as might be, to serve as cabin boy with their neighbor the cap’n. It is even said of one child that by the time he had reached his tenth birthday "he was old enough not to be seasick, not to cry during a storm, and to be of some use about a ship.” From the galley he might be promoted to the fo'c's'le; from there, if luck and temper served, to the quarter-deck. A captain's letter to his little daughter tells us something of the relation between captain and crew. Discipline was strict, but “the old man” did not forget that they were all neighbors at home. “We have plenty of music in the forecastle,” he writes, “but I wish I had you all with me and the seraphine and then we could have a good sing. There is a violin-player and one of the best players on the accordion I ever heard, and they go it some evenings, I tell you, and have a regular good dance. They have their balls about twice a week, and I can hear them calling off their cotillion and having a merry time of it. I wish you could see them going it for awhile. Daniel plays the bones and a young man from Barnstable is the musician. I like my crew very much so far and hope they will continue the voyage and improve."

As cabin boy, forem'st hand, able seaman, mate, or captain, on merchant vessel or fisherman, every man Jack in the village was pretty sure to have had his taste of the sea, and thereby was equipped to contribute his story to the common fund of anecdote. With truth he could say “I am a part of all that I have met.” And whether they had followed the sea for one year or forty, or vicariously through the experience of others, each of them had a tang of "the

old salt”; and their home was set in the ocean as surely as if Cape Cod were another Saint Helena breaking the long Atlantic rollers that come sweeping down the world. Many a time, indeed, it must have seemed to swing to their stories like the deck of a ship, and the dry land under foot to be stable only because one was braced to its motion. For most of the men, all the sea ways about the world were as familiar as the village road around the ponds. Daniel Webster once wrote some friends in Dennis of a trial in their district when question arose as to the entrance of the harbor of Owhyhee: “The counsel for the opposite party proposed to call witnesses to give information to the jury. I at once saw a smile which I thought I understood, and suggested to the judge that very probably some of my jury had seen the entrance themselves. Upon which seven out of the twelve arose and said they were quite familiarly acquainted with it, having seen it often.”

Every boy had some grounding in the common branches of study at the schools which his Pilgrim ancestors had been at pains to establish; but given the three R's, his education was expanded in the larger school of personal adventure. Rich gives a quick biography typical of the Truro fisherman: “Till ten in summer - a barefoot boy, tough, wideawake - hoes, clams, fishes, swims, goes to the red schoolhouse taught by the village schoolmarm. After ten, on board a fishing vessel cooking for nine or ten men; at thirteen a hand; goes to the same schoolhouse three months or less every winter till seventeen or eighteen; graduates. At twenty-one marries; goes skipper; twenty-five buys a vessel and builds a house, or has been looking around the world to make a change. Whatever may be the experiences of after life, the early history of Cape Cod boys could be summed substantially as stated.”

This matter of an elementary education, in the early days, was frequently undertaken by men whose work was cut out for them to keep their own knowledge a little in advance of their scholars. There was Mr. Hawes, schoolmaster of Yarmouth in the later years of the eighteenth century, who gloried in the fact that

“The little learning I have gained,
Was most from simple nature drained.”

He had worked on the farm and managed his own schooling when the only textbooks were the Bible and Catechism. “When the Spelling Book was first introduced,” he remarks dryly, “the good old ladies appeared to fear that religion would be banished from the world.” Hawes, however, undertook the pursuit of the higher learning, and once had a sum set him in the “Single Rule of Three” that cost him three days' work in the solving of it. “I went often to the woods and gathered pine knots for candles,” he remembers. “At this time I lived with my aged grandfather, who had a liberal education, but was in low circumstances, and I could learn more in his chimney-corner with my pine candle, in one evening, than I could at school in a week.” Discipline was administered by means of an

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