Dignity in this case signifies rank. But it is uncertain exactly
how to construe what this rank might be. It could be that Walton was
offered the position of second mate. But, depending on the size of the ship,
it could have been an even more imposing rank than that. In the terms Walton
will employ about his own command in the ensuing letter, the second dignity
would be, after the captain's lieutenant, the master of the ship (Letter 2.3).