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5. CHAPTER V--POOR MERCANTILE JACK
Is the sweet little cherub who sits smiling aloft and keeps watch on life of poor Jack, commissioned to take charge of Mercantile Jack, as well as Jack of the national navy? If not, who is? What is the cherub about, and what are we all about, when poor
Mercantile Jack is having his brains slowly knocked out by penny-weights, aboard the brig Beelzebub, or the barque Bowie-knife--when he looks his last at that infernal craft, with the first officer's iron boot-heel in his remaining eye, or with his dying body towed overboard in the ship's wake, while the cruel wounds in it do 'the multitudinous seas incarnadine'?
Is it unreasonable to entertain a belief that if, aboard the brig Beelzebub or the barque Bowie-knife, the first officer did half the damage to cotton that he does to men, there would presently arise from both sides of the Atlantic so vociferous an invocation of the sweet little cherub who sits calculating aloft, keeping watch on the markets that pay, that such vigilant cherub would, with a winged sword, have that gallant officer's organ of destructiveness out of his head in the space of a flash of lightning?
If it be unreasonable, then am I the most unreasonable of men, for I believe it with all my soul.
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