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P R E F A C E.
This book is simply what its title indicates, the mind of the author pretending to be only the camera obscura through which the rays from Nature and Nature's living scenes have passed uncolored to the canvass. It may be that some who were with the writer, and others too, experienced and old in whaling life, may like to glance through this gallery of Daguerreotypes, and by their help recall to mind scenes of which, if they can not say, like many in this vocation, Quæque ipse miserrima vidi, yet with equal truth, Quorum pars magna fui.
To them, the author is sure it will be pleasurable to review life-passages that were fraught with no ordinary interest in passing, and to compare the glimpses and sun-paintings found here with their more subtle images in the brain, which memory loves to be retracing in the downhill of life.
And if it be true, what the philosophic Latin poet Lucretius touches so beautifully,
Suave mari magno, turbantibus æquora ventis,
E terra, magnum alterius spectare laboremIt is a view of delight to stand or walk upon the shore side, and to see a ship tossed upon the sea; or to be in a fortified tower, and to see two battles join upon a plain; or it is sweet, from a post of safety, to review the labors of other men beyond the seas—if there be truth in this, the writer may hope his book will not be barren of interest to many, who, having never experienced the reality of the life which is here delineated, may now behold it safely from afar off.
Hoping also that there are moral hints and lessons herewith interwoven, that will catch the eye
and touch the heart of the casual read. er, like sober threads of green in tapestry of gold, this book is honestly commended to the purchase and perusal of all classes, by the
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
A Whaleman's Autobiography in Rhyme-Different kinds of
Whale in the Nomenclature of Whalers-Razor-back and