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From  Confessions of a Beachcomber by E. J. Banfield written in 1908

Flotsam and jetsam make another class of Beachcomber by stimulating the gaming instincts. Is there a human being, taking part in the rough and tumble of the world, who can honestly make confession and say that he has completely suffocated those inherent instincts of savagedom—joy and patience in the chase, the longing for excitement and surprise, the crude selfishness, the delight in getting something for nothing? Society journals have informed me that titled dames have been known to sit out long and wearisome evenings that they may obtain some paltry favour in a cotillon. And when the sea casts up its gifts on these radiant shores, I boldly and with glee give way to my beachcombing instincts and pick and choose. Never ever up to the present have I found anything of real value; but am I not buoyed up by pious hopes and sanguine expectations? Is not the game as diverting and as innocent as many others that are played to greater profit? It is a game, too, that cannot be forced, and therefore cannot become demoralising; and having no nice feelings nor fine shades, I rejoice and am glad in it



The beachcomer wants no extensive establishment. His possessions need never be mortgaged. The cost of living is measurable by a standard adjustable to individual taste, wants and perceptions. The expenditure of a little manual labour supplies the omissions of and compensates for the undirected impulses which prevail, and the pursuit—not the profession—leads one to ever-varying scenes, to the contemplation of many of the moods of unaffected, unadvertised Nature. Ashore, one dallies luxuriously with time, free from all the restrictions of streets, every precious moment his very own; afloat in these calm and shallow waters there is a never-ending panorama of entertainment. Coral gardens—gardens of the sea nymphs, wherein fancy feigns cool, shy, chaste faces and pliant forms half-revealed among gently swaying robes; a company of porpoise, a herd of dugong; turtle, queer and familiar fish, occasionally the spouting of a great whale, and always the company of swift and graceful birds. Sometimes the whole expansive ocean is as calm as it can only be in the tropics and bordered by the Barrier Reef—a shield of shimmering silver from which the islands stand out as turquoise bosses. Again, it is of cobalt blue, with changing bands of purple and gleaming pink, or of grey blue—the reflection of a sky pallid and tremulous with excess of light. Or myriad hosts of microscopic creatures—the Red Sea owes to the tribe its name—the multitudinous sea dully incarnadine; or the boat rides buoyantly on the shoulders of Neptune's white horses, while funnel-shaped water spouts sway this way and that. Land is always near, and the flotsam and jetsam, do they not supply that smack of excitement—if not the boisterous hope—bereft of which life might seem "always afternoon?”

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