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The Merry Men

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(1887)


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‘Na, na,’ he said, ‘no as bad as that. I had been drinking, though. And to tell ye the God’s truth, it’s a thing I cannae mend. There’s nae soberer man than me in my ordnar; but when I hear the wind blaw in my lug, it’s my belief that I gang gyte.’ ‘You are a religious man,’ I replied, ‘and this is sin’. ‘Ou,’ he returned, ‘if it wasnae sin, I dinnae ken that I would care for’t. Ye see, man, it’s defiance. There’s a sair spang o’ the auld sin o’ the warld in you sea; it’s an unchristian business at the best o’t; an’ whiles when it gets up, an’ the wind skreights — the wind an’ her are a kind of sib, I’m thinkin’ — an’ thae Merry Men, the daft callants, blawin’ and lauchin’, and puir souls in the deid thraws warstlin’ the leelang nicht wi’ their bit ships — weel, it comes ower me like a glamour. I’m a deil, I ken’t. But I think naething o’ the puir sailor lads; I’m wi’ the sea, I’m just like ane o’ her ain Merry Men.’ 1-What is the meaning of "There’s a sair spang o’ the auld sin o’ the warld in you sea; it’s an unchristian business at the best o’t; an’ whiles when it gets up, an’ the wind skreights "? 2-What is the meaning of "I’m thinkin’ — an’ thae Merry Men, the daft callants, blawin’ and lauchin’, and puir souls in the deid thraws warstlin’ the leelang nicht wi’ their bit ships — weel, it comes ower me like a glamour."? 3-What is the old sin? What is the relation between "the old isn" and "the sea"?

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