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Look at yon smooth-faced blue-eyed lad; his fair locks escaping from beneath his broad-brimmed hat stuck to the back of his head; his blue shirt collar, let in with white, turned over his neck-handkerchief, which is tied with long streaming ends; his loose jacket, his wide trousers. You know the sailor lad at a glance. He is a well cared for apprentice under a kind captain. He wins your regard by his artless frank manners, and you think all sailor boys are like him. Then see that fine specimen of a man rolling along, with his huge beard and whiskers, his love locks, his dark flashing eyes, his well bronzed countenance, his bare throat, his dress, similar to that of the lad, but of good quality and cut to a nicety. He looks the hero of the sea, and so he is, and so he feels himself.
What will he not dare and do? He will board a foeman’s ship by his captain’s side, however few with him or many against him; storm a battery sending forth showers of deadly shot; leap overboard to rescue a shipmate from a watery grave; will lift in his arms a charged shell with the fuzee yet burning, or will carry on his shoulders a wounded comrade from beneath the very guns of the foe. He loves to fight on shore as well as at sea. He will suffer cold, and hunger, and thirst, and face death in a thousand forms without complaint if his officers set him the example. He is the true man-of-war’s-man, proud of his calling and despising all others.
Now watch yonder nicely dressed old gentleman, with his three cornered hat, white neckcloth, long blue coat with gold lace cuffs. He is a Greenwich pensioner. He has done his duty to his country and done it well, with all his heart; and now his country, whom he served in his strength and manhood, cares for him as she should in his old age.