Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/381

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such a time, he should discourage and slacken the exertions of the people by setting them a very bad example.

When evening came, the spirits of the people began to fail, and they openly expressed the utmost despair, together with the most earnest desire of quitting the ship lest they should founder in her. The admiral hereupon advanced and told them that he and their officers had an equal regard for their own lives, that the officers had no intention of deserting either them or the ship, that, for his part, he was determined to try one more night in her; he therefore hoped and intreated they would do so too, for there was still room to imagine that one fair day, with a moderate sea, might enable them by united exertion to clear and secure the well against the incroaching ballast which washed into it; that if this could be done they might be able to restore the chains to the pumps and use them; and that then hands enough might be spared to raise jury-masts with which they might carry the ship to Ireland; that her appearance alone, while she could swim, would be sufficient to protect the remaining part of her convoy; above all, that as everything that could be thought of had now been done for her relief, it would be but reasonable to wait the effect.

This temperate speech had the desired result. The firmness and confidence with which he spoke, and their reliance on his seamanship and judgment, as well as his constant presence and attention to every accident, had a wonderful effect upon them. Since the first disaster, the admiral had, in fact, scarcely ever quitted the deck. This they had all observed, together with his diligence in personally inspecting every circumstance of distress.

This simple picture of him portrays a fine figure