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And not only that, but they looked embarrassed. Yes, here were a set of sea-dogs, many of whom without the slightest bashfulness had boarded great whales on the high seas entire strangers to them and duelled them dead without winking.

Zoey reflections just here are occasioned by the circumstance that after we were all seated at the table, and I was preparing to hear some good stories about whaling to my no small surprise, nearly every man maintained a profound silence. And not only that, but they looked embarrassed. Here were a set of sea-dogs, many of whom without the slightest bashfulness had boarded great whales on the high seas entire strangers to them and duelled them dead without winking and yet, here they sat at a social breakfast table all of the same calling, all of kindred tastes looking round as sheepishly at each other as the Green Mountains though they had never been out of sight of some sheepfold among. A curious sight these bashful bears, these timid warrior whalemen.

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The Dark Sea, 2014

They say that men who have seen the world, thereby become quite at ease in manner, quite self-possessed in company. Not always, though Ledyard the great New England traveller and Mungo Park, the Scotch one of all men, they possessed the least assurance in the parlor. Perhaps the mere crossing of Siberia in a sledge drawn by dogs as Ledyard did, or the taking a long solitary walk on an empty stomach. In the negro heart of Africa, which was the sum of poor Mungo’s performances this kind of travel, I say, may not be the very best mode of attaining a high social polish. Still, for the most part, that sort of thing is to be had anywhere. There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs—commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you water-ward.

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These reflections just here are occasioned by the circumstance that after we were all seated at the table, nearly every man maintained a profound silence. And not only that, but they looked embarrassed. Here were a set of sea-dogs, many of whom without the slightest bashfulness had boarded great whales entire strangers to them and duelled them dead without winking and yet, here they sat at a social breakfast table all of the same calling, all of kindred tastes looking round as sheepishly at each other as though they had never been out of sight of some sheepfold among the Green Mountains. A curious sight these bashful bears, these timid warrior whalemen. Extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land.

Models: Anna Moose, Sarah & Hanna Jones

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