Page:A Tour Through the Batavian Republic.djvu/20

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8
TOUR THROUGH

gale of wind, with a rough dangerous sea. The terms which I should use, were I describing our situation to a naval person, would be unintelligible to you; nor indeed can I boast of much facility in displaying my nautical knowledge. I shall therefore shorten my detail by simply observing, that for thirty hours the vessel was in the last degree of danger, merely through the unskilfulness and ignorance of the Frenchman. We were within two leagues of the coast of Holland, and in six fathoms of water, before they thought of heaving the lead, nor would it then have occurred to them as a thing that was necessary, had I not succeeded in persuading them they were not far from land. Such an instance of stupidity rarely occurs, on a shore so proverbially dangerous as the coast of Holland where innumerable shoals, lurking under water, long before the land is visible, threaten with destruction the incautious mariner.

Cleanliness, I believe, is not a virtue for which the sailors of any nation are to be commended, there is generally something