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the advantage of making quick voyages with small cargoes, and of consequently obtaining quick returns. Why do not the English imitate them?
A great advantage in the mode of building vessels sharp and long, is, that in the event of a war they may be armed, and can act as privateers; and even if they are not used for this purpose, the war insurance upon them would be much lighter, as many of them sail as fast as any fighting vessel.
The American ships always start at the very hour appointed, without considering whether the cargo is completed. Again, the Captains of American vessels are for the most part men of a certain degree of scientific education.
In the good old times, when it took three or four months to cross the Atlantic, the Dutch plan was followed of taking in sail at night-fall, heaving to the ship, and lashing the helm ; after which important manouvre, all hands but one turned in.
The Americans laugh at the English practice of commonly shortening sail at night. they, “it blow fresh, we do indeed shorten sail ; if it abate, we hoist more ; without any regard to whether it be light or dark.” Some English captains have attempted to undervalue this seamanlike practice, as dangerous and fool-hardy; but the best answer is, that even fewer accidents happen to the American vessels, than to the English. Indeed the ships of our trans-atlantic cousins being much sharper built, do not run so great a risk of
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being lost on a lea-shore ; for they can sail much nearer the wind and do not make near so much lea-way. I will conclude my account of the American vessels, by saying a few words about the Packet ships, that sail from New York to Liverpool and Havre de Grace.
They are fitted up in a style of the greatest magnificence. Indeed every thing is lavished upon them that luxury can devise, or comfort require. Handsome carpets, ornamented lamps, silk curtains, a profusion of gilding, glass, and mahogany; a piano-forte and sofas in the ladies' cabin ; baths, &c. &c.
“ The Paris," a packet-ship trading to Havre, had a cabin fitted up in the most splendid style I ever saw in any vessel, except perhaps in the Royal Yachts of the King of England. The curtains of the births were of rich straw-coloured silk, and the sides of the cabins were of rosewood, mahogany, and curled maple. Moreover, the intervals between the doors of the different state rooms, were panelled with mirrors, and would have reminded me of the appearance of the “ Café des Milles Colonnes,” if that glory of the Palais Royal had not been far inferior in cleanliness.
THE HUDSON-THE MILITARY COLLEGE.
LEAVING New York, I went on board the steamboat, and began to ascend that magnificent river the Hudson.
On the Jersey shore I was pointed out the situation of Hoboken, a place to which so many persons resort for the purpose of fighting duels, that it may
be called the “ Chalk Farm” of the United States. In the event of an accident, the survivors cross the Hudson to the State of New York, and thus avoid the possibility of an arrest ; for one State does not take cognizance of a breach of the laws committed in another, except in particular
Much has been said in America upon the subject of duelling, and many laws and regulations have been made with the view of putting a stop to it, but like all similar laws in France, England, &c. they are perfectly nugatory.
In the United States as in England, a Jury would never find a man guilty of murder provided the affair has been honourably conducted. For my own part indeed I hope no act of legislation will be devised, capable of putting a stop to duelling; for I consider it one of the greatest safeguards of polished society, and the surest pledge of courtesy and decorum.