If fear is cultivated it will become stronger, if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery.
The common class of mankind are actuated by no nobler principle than that of self-interest; this and this alone determines all adventurers in privateers: the owners, as well as those whom they employ.
For me, if I have done my duty, the continued approbation of Congress and the Marine Committee will make me rich indeed, and far more than reward me for a life of service devoted from principles of philanthropy, to support the dignity of human nature.
I must repeat what I asserted formerly, that unless some happy expedient can be fallen upon to induce the seamen to enter into the service for a longer term than twelve months, it will never be possible to bring them under proper subordination; and subordination is as necessary, nay, far more so in the fleet than in the army.
I profess myself a citizen of the world, totally unfettered by the little, mean distinctions of climate or of country, which diminish the benevolence of the heart and set bounds to philanthropy.
Heaven can never countenance the barbarous and unmanly practice of the Britons in America, which savages would blush at, and which, if not discontinued, will soon be retaliated on Britain by a justly enraged people.
I have sacrificed not only my favorite scheme of life, but the softer affections of the heart, and my prospects of domestic happiness, and I am ready to sacrifice my life also, with cheerfulness, if that forfeiture could restore peace and good will among mankind.
I could heartily wish that every commission officer was to be previously examined; for, to my certain knowledge, there are persons who have already crept into commission without abilities or fit qualification: I am myself far from desiring to be excused.
It is to the last degree distressing to contemplate the state and establishment of our navy... unless the private emolument of individuals in our navy is made superior to that in privateers, it never can become respectable; it never will become formidable. And without a respectable navy - alas, America!
It is certainly for the interest of the service that a cordial interchange of civilities should subsist between superior and inferior officers, and therefore, it is bad policy in superiors to behave towards their inferiors indiscriminately, as though they were of a lower species.
America has been the country of my fond election from the age of thirteen, when I first saw it. I had the honour to hoist with my own hands the flag of freedom, the first time it was displayed, on the Delaware; and I have attended it with veneration ever since on the ocean.
When the enemies' land force is once conquered and expelled from the continent, our Marine will rise as if by enchantment and become, within the memory of persons now living, the wonder and envy of the world.
I propose not our enemies as an example for our general imitation, yet, as their navy is the best regulated of any in the world, we must, in some degree, imitate them and aim at such farther improvement as may one day make ours vie with - and exceed - theirs.
A captain of the Navy ought to be a man of strong and well connected sense, with a tolerable good education, a gentleman, as well as a seaman both in theory and practice.
Was it proof of madness in the first corps of sea officers to have, at so critical a period, launched out on the ocean with only two armed merchant ships, two armed brigantines, and one armed sloop, to make war against such a power as Great Britain?
It is with great pleasure that I see the political system of almost every power in Europe changing in our favor since the news of our late successes.
The situation of America is new in the annals of mankind; her affairs cry haste, and speed must answer them.
Since human wisdom cannot secure us from accidents, it is the greatest effort of reason to bear them well.
It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win.
I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way.