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The River-Boat Pilot


The river-boat pilot was a man considered omnipotent by all. Mark Twain once held that high position. He writes that he felt at the zenith of his life at that time. Starting out as a fledgling pilot’s apprentice, he could not abjure dreams of the time he would become, “the only unfettered and entirely independent human being that lived in the earth.” Kings, parliaments, and newspaper editors. Twain comments, are hampered and restricted. The river pilot issued peremptory commands as absolute monarch. The captain was powerless on interfere. Even though the pilot was much younger than the captain, and the steamer seemed to be in imminent danger, the older man was helpless. The captain had to behave impeccably, for any criticism of the pilot would establish a pernicious precedent that would have undermined the pilot’s limitless authority.

  • omnipotent- (of a deity) having unlimited power; able to do anything.
  • zenith- the highest point reached by a celestial or other object.
  • celestial – berhubungan dengan benda langit
  • fledgling- a young bird that has just fledged.
  • fledged – (of a young bird) having wing feathers that are large enough for flight; able to fly.
  • apprentice- a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.
  • abjure- mengharamkan, bersumpah untuk meninggalkan
  • unfettered- release from restraint or inhibition
  • hamper- hinder or impede the movement or progress of; menghambat
  • peremptory- yang harus ditaati
  • imminent- about to happen
  • impeccably – tanpa cela
  • pernicious – having a harmful effect, esp. in a gradual or subtle way.

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