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(以下英文版)

This letter was no sooner read, than Mackshane, in a transport of rage, snatched it out of the clerk’s hands, and tore it into a thousand pieces, saying, it was a villainous forgery, contrived and executed by myself. The captain and clerk declared themselves of the same opinion, although I insisted of having the remains of it compared with other writings of Thompson, which they had in their possession; and I was ordered to answer the last article of my accusation, namely, the book of ciphers found among my papers. “That is easily done,” said I. “What you are pleased to all ciphers, are no other than the Greek characters, in which, for my amusement, I keep a diary of everything remarkable that has occurred to my observation since the beginning of the voyage, till the day in which I was put in irons; and the same method was practised by Mr. Thompson, who copied mine.” “A very likely story,” cried Mackshane; “what occasion was there for using Greek characters, if you were not afraid of discovering what you had wrote? But what d’ye talk of Greek characters? D’ye think I am so ignorant of the Greek language, as not to distinguish its letters from these, which are no more Greek than Chinese? No, no, I will not give up my knowledge of the Greek for you, nor none that ever came from your country.” So saying, with an unparalleled effrontery, he repeated some gibberish, which by the sound seemed to be Irish, and made it pass for Greek with the captain, who, looking at me with a contemptuous sneer, exclaimed, “Ah, ah! have you caught a tartar?” I could not help smiling at the consummate assurance of this Hibernian, and offered to refer the dispute to anybody on board who understood the Greek alphabet. Upon which Morgan was brought back, and, being made acquainted with the affair, took the book, and read a whole page in English, without hesitation, deciding the controversy in my favour. The doctor was so far from being out of countenance at this detection, that he affirmed Morgan was in the secret, and repeated from his own invention. Oakum said, “Ay, ay, I see they are both in a story;” and dismissed my fellow-mate to his cockloft, although I proposed that he and I should read and translate, separately, any chapter or verse in the Greek Testament in his possession, by which it would appear whether we or the surgeon spoke truth. Not being endued with eloquence enough to convince the captain that there could be no juggle nor confederacy in this expedient, I begged to be examined by some unconcerned person on board, who understood Greek. Accordingly, the whole ship’s company, officers and all, were called upon deck, among whom it was proclaimed that, if anyone of them could speak Greek, he or they so qualified should ascend the quarter-deck immediately. After some pause, two foremast men came up, and professed their skill in that language, which, they said, they acquired during several voyages to the Levant, among the Greeks of the Morea. The captain exulted much in this declaration, and put my journal book into the hands of one of them, who candidly owned he could neither read nor write; the other acknowledged the same degree of ignorance, but pretended to speak the Greek lingo with any man on board; and, addressing himself to me, pronounced some sentences of a barbarous corrupted language, which I did not understand. I asserted that the modern Greek was as different from that spoken and written by the ancients, as the English used now from the old Saxon spoke in the time of Hengist: and, as I had only learned the true original tongue, in which Homer, Pindar, the Evangelists, and other great men of antiquity wrote, it could not be supposed that I should know anything of an imperfect Gothic dialect that rose on the ruins of the former, and scarce retained any traces of the old expression: but, if Doctor Mackshane, who pretended to be master of the Greek language, could maintain a conversation with these seamen, I would retract what I had said, and be content to suffer any punishment be should think proper to inflict. I had no sooner uttered these words than the surgeon, knowing one of the fellows to be his countryman, accosted him in Irish, and was answered in the same brogue; then a dialogue ensued between them, which they affirmed to be in Greek, after having secured the secrecy of the other tar, who had his cue in the language of the Morea, from his companion, before they would venture to assert such an intrepid falsehood. “I thought,” said Oakum, “we should discover the imposture at last. Let the rascal be carried back to his confinement. I find he must dangle.” Having nothing further to urge in my own behalf, before a court so prejudiced with spite, and fortified with ignorance against truth, I suffered myself to be reconducted peaceably to my fellow-prisoner, who, hearing the particulars of my trial, lifted up his hands and eyes to Heaven, and uttered a dreadful groan: and, not daring to disburden his thoughts to me by speech, lest he might be overheard by the sentinel, burst forth into a Welsh song, which he accompanied with a thousand contortions of face and violent gestures of body.

Chapter 31

I discover a subornation against me, by means of a quarrel between two of the evidences; in consequence of which I am set at liberty, and prevail upon Morgan to accept of his freedom on the same terms — Mackshane’s malice — we arrive at Jamaica, from whence in a short time we beat up to Hispaniola, in conjunction with the West India squadron — we take in water, sail again, and arrive at Carthagena — Reflections on our conduct there

Meanwhile, a quarrel happening between the two modern Greeks, the one, to be revenged of the other, came and discovered to us the mystery of Mackshane’s dialogue, as I have explained it above. This detection coming to the ears of the doctor, who was sensible that (now we were in sight of Jamaica) we should have an opportunity of clearing ourselves before a court-martial, and, at the same time, of making his malice and ignorance conspicuous, he interceded for us with the captain so effectually, that in a few hours we were set at liberty, and ordered to return to our duty. This was a happy event for me, my whole body being blistered by the sun, and my limbs benumbed by want of motion: but I could scarce persuade the Welshman to accept of this indulgence, he persisted in his obstinacy to remain in irons, until he should be discharged by a court-martial, which, he believed. would also do him justice on his enemies. At length I represented to him the precarious issue of a trial, the power and interest of his adversaries, and flattered his revenge with the hope of wreaking his resentment with his own hands upon Mackshane after our return to England. This last argument had more weight with him than all the rest, and prevailed upon him to repair with me to the cockpit, which I no sooner entered, than the idea of my departed friend presented itself to my remembrance, and filled my eyes with tears. We discharged from our mess the boy who had acted so perfidiously, notwithstanding his tears, intreaties, and of penitence for what he had done; but not before he had confessed that the surgeon had bribed him to give evidence against us, with a pair of stockings and a couple of old check shirts, of which his servant had since plundered him.

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