d when a number of officers went on board to survey her pitiable plight, they could find neither leak nor strain, and very sensibly concluded she was one of the staunchest and best corvettes in the navy, as indeed she was. John Bull took back his mails and declared he would never take advantage again of a crack Yankee sloop-of-war to forward important dispatches by.
Our pleasures were now limited, no one raised his nose above the taffrail if not compelled; our chief resource was reading, and after absorbing heaps of ephemeral trash drifting about the decks, we sought the library and poured over ponderous tomes of physics, history or travels. Books find their true value a shipboard--cut off from all amusement of the land, we derive the full benefit by reading, for more than reading's sake, or for the purpose of killing time in silly abstraction, and many a stupid author is thoroughly digested, and many labored narrations of voyages are carefully studied, whose narrators have "compiled very dull books from very interesting materials," and they should be grateful to governments for purchasing, and thankful for indifferent persons to peruse them.
On the advent of Saturday nights, when the wind was blowing cold and dreary, we sought the lowest depths of the frigate. Facilis decensus averni, in other words, "'tis easy to dive into the cock-pit"--there in a cozy state-room, we made a jovial little party, conducted on strictly private principles, for the purpose of seeking medical advice. We consulted a pot-bellied gentleman, with a small copper kettle on his head, illumined by a spirit lamp, whilom, termed Doctor Faustus--unlike the Sangrado practitioners, the Doctor cons