Among the petty officers on the ship is John Claggart

Among the petty officers on the ship is John Claggart -...

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Unformatted text preview: Among the petty officers on the ship is John Claggart, the master-at-arms, about whom rumors fly concerning his mysterious background, trace of a foreign accent, and reasons for seeking sanctuary in the King's Navy. On the day following his impressment, Billy Budd observes the flogging of a young sailor who caused problems with the ship's maneuvers by being away from his post. Billy resolves to perform his duties well and give no cause for even verbal reprimand. Nevertheless, he finds himself getting into occasional, small difficulties over his bag and hammock. Perplexed, he tells his troubles to the Dansker, a veteran sailor who obviously likes him. The old man tersely replies that Jemmy Legs (meaning the master-at-arms) is "down on him." Astonished, Billy protests that Claggart always addresses him pleasantly. To this, the old man replies that Claggart is really masking his dislike for addresses him pleasantly....
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