Has it ever fallen in your way to notice the quality of the
greetings that belong to certain occupations?
There is something about these salutations in kind which is
singularly taking and grateful to the ear. They are as much better
than an ordinary "good day" or a flat "how are you?" as a folk-song
of Scotland or the Tyrol is better than the futile love-ditty of the
drawing-room. They have a spicy and rememberable flavour. They
speak to the imagination and point the way to treasure-trove.
There is a touch of dignity in them, too, for all they are so free
and easy--the dignity of independence, the native spirit of one who
takes for granted that his mode of living has a right to make its
own forms of speech. I admire a man who does not hesitate to salute
the world in the dialect of his calling.
How salty and stimulating, for example, is the sailorman's hail of