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A cruise in the Pacific. From the log of a naval officer. In two volumes. Vol. I 1860

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f§    jgjj        1860. m
The right of Translation is reserved.  A  TEAR'S   CRUISE
I How beautiful it is ! fresh fields of wheat,
Vineyard, and town, and tower with fluttering flag,
The consecrated chapel on the crag,
And the white hamlet gathered round its base."
Upon approaching the Island of Madeira,
the first striking thing you notice is an unusually luminous appearance in the water,
which seems to flash as the ship moves on.
This phenomenon is caused by innumerable
little animals, named  (according to learned
VOL.   I.
B 2
men) zoophytes, which float upon the surface of
the water. When brought up in a bucket,
the little lightning-mockers are discovered to
belong to two families, one resembling a shrimp
in size, tiny rays of light emanating from each
ring; these rejoice in the name of Cancer
Fulgens. The second a Medusa, measuring
about six inches in diameter, the centre being
the thickest part. Humboldt calls these
pretty creatures " torch-bearers," a name they
well deserve, as they light you on your approach to and departure from this lovely green
island; an island which Moore might have
hailed as the realization of his sweet song.
" Oh, had we some bright little isle of our
The ship, whose voyage is to form the
groundwork of our travels, reached the Bay of
Funchal in the evening; and when the first
dawn of day stole over the mountains, many a
heart beat high as the glorious green hills
burst upon our view.
Funchal itself is such a sunny, clean town, FTJNCHAL.
lying so snug and white along the shore, and
dotting the face of the hill, that one cannot
help wondering where the dirty, half-naked,
squalid-looking wretches come from, who, immediately it is practicable, flock round the
vessel, offering fruit and flowers for sale; and
when, on landing, crowds of sick and diseased
beggars rush down, clamouring, rather than
whining for charity, you are almost tempted
to think you are in a certain green isle, not so
far from home. A few years ago, the beggars
became such a crying nuisance, that the Government erected an | Asilo da Mendicidade,"
where good food and work are provided.
The rides round Funchal are many, and all
equally beautiful. Every one goes first to the
Curral das Freiras; so, of course, we went, as
merry a party as could be, consisting of the
first and third lieutenants, three midshipmen,
a couple of cadets, and myself.
The animals we bestrode comprised numerous varieties of the equine race. There were
two veritable donkeys,  three indescribables,
which might be anything except, perhaps,
cows, and the remaining specimens were the
queerest-looking horses I ever saw. Off we
went, a crowd of horse-drivers or burroqueras
running alongside, uttering wild yells, never
for a moment deserting their property; up hill
or down dale—all the same—on they run without any apparent inconvenience to their lungs;
and even when the beast you ride stops
dead short, the burroqueras will pull up, clear
of wind, and ready for a laugh or joke. The
exercise seems to agree with them, as they are
the finest men on the island, and, from what I
could hear, the longest-lived. At first I felt
a little disgusted at the idea of a man running
alongside, ready to pick me up if I fell; but
the novelty soon wore off. We were much
amusved at the ascent of the first .hill, as
each man seized a horse's tail, and holding
on like grim death, was thus towed to the
On we galloped, mile after mile, the road
growing rougher and narrower as  we pro- THE   CURRAL DAS   FREIRAS.
ceeded; and no wonder, for our first regular
halt was made at a point three thousand feet
above the level of the sea.
The last stage to the Curral is made on
foot, and a regular scramble it is, hands and
knees being both at work. At last you come
to a stand-still, and panting with fatigue, lie
down to gaze on what must appear to all one
of the loveliest scenes in nature. I thought of
fairy cars which bear you far away into worlds
beyond the clouds, a simile by no means so
unreasonable, as we had actually passed
through a belt of clouds, and lost sight of the
southern side of the island, before we attained
the height of the Curral.
At first, all is wonderful, and on so grand a
scale, but at the same time so confusedly
heaped/ as it were, together, that you gaze as
at a vision in dreamland. You look over a
perpendicular wall of rock two thousand feet
down into a valley of the most indescribable
green, from which rise sharp, jagged peaks of
rock, five or six thousand feet high, while be- 6
neath you, like a little toy, lies the church of
As one by one my messmates reached the
height, many and various were the exclamations of wonder and admiration. After resting awhile, and refreshing our throats with
very bad wine, we determined to make use of
the daylight, and get as far as Rio Grande, an
unprecedented trip for midshipmen. Then
followed a little wrangling with the burroqueras, who, thinking they would make more
by a second day's journey, while expatiating
on the beauty of the view, assured us the
horses were dead beat, that the best way lay
in quite another direction, and finally, that a
mist was sure to come on, and we should be
all lost. To all these objections we turned
deaf ears (in fact, 1 believe I was the only one
who understood anything of Portuguese); and,
jumping on our Rosinantes, we started off,
and, like the Scotch lover, made them fain to
follow us.
Our former perils sank into nothing in com- ROMANTIC   SCENERY.
parison with those now surrounding us, but
at the same time, the wonderful aspect of the
scenery, changing at almost every step, made
all other thoughts vanish; and as we wound
on in single file, I almost forgot the presence
of my companions, and imagined I was alone
amongst the finest works of Nature I had as
yet visited. Thoughts of the ages gone by
filled my mind, and as I gazed upon the
rugged masses piled indiscriminately about, I
pictured to myself their mighty birth, when,
from the trackless ocean, the island rose into
being, swelling up until the hot lava burst
through every seam and crack, forming a
higher crust over the already gigantic mountains.
What ages must have passed since those
wondrous days, ages in which no human foot
trod the green sod, ages in which the lava decayed, and passing into fertile dust, gave birth
to plants and flowers, which, nourished by a
genial sun, and watered by the hand of Providence, grew and died, adding their mite to I
the rapidly improving soil, so that when the
Island of Madeira was discovered by Juba,
about the time of Pliny (who makes particular
mention of the Purple Islands, supposed from
the position to be Madeira), the whole Roman
nation were in ecstasies of wonder and delight
at the glowing descriptions given by the fortunate mariners who visited it. After a few
years of prosperity came the fall of Carthage,
and consequent cessation of all Roman communication with the islands of the Atlantic.
In 1420, some Portuguese, who, a few years
before, had discovered Porto Santo, and were, by
the orders of King John, returning to plant a
colony there, sighted what was supposed to be
a new island, and landing, called it Madeira,
from the number of trees.
There is another story of the rediscovery
of the island, which is so romantic and delightful that I cannot help believing it the
true one.   It is this \
In the reign of Edward the Third, Anna
d'Arfet, daughter of a powerful Baron, fell ROMANTIC    STORY.
in love with a poor squire, named Robert
Machim. He was imprisoned, and she was
married to  an equal in station.
However, it happened that a civil war
broke out, and the bridegroom was obliged
to leave his ladye love and attend his liege
Lord and King. Robert's term of imprison-,
ment ending at the same time, he immediately
set off for the castle of his true love, gained
admittance, and finally carried her off, intending to seek service in France. The little
boat in which they embarked, after being
tossed about and almost lost, broke her helm
and ran helplessly before the wind, until she
was cast upon the flowery shores of the
Island of Madeira. Here, in spite of sunny
skies and devoted affection, poor Anna
pined and died, and it is said her lover
followed her in a few months, brokenhearted.
Robert and his faithful wife were both
buried in the same grave, in a chapel at
Machino, where the priests still show a small 10
piece of the cedar cross supposed to have been
erected over the tomb by the survivors of the
crew, and inscribed with a petition that the
first Christians who landed on the island
would make that spot the site of their
While my thoughts have been running
over the history of the first days of Madeira,
the reader must imagine us resting at the
Rio Grande, listening to the wild songs of
the burroqueras, smoking a pipe of peace,
and gazing over the crags and peaks which
are verily "fragments of an earlier world,"
and look like Brobdingnagian jewels set in the
purest green enamel. The grass, shrubs, and
often the fairest trees, forming a fringe to the
grey rocks, while, here and there, the masses
of flowers in the valleys actually colour large
portions, and many a little white-washed
cottage gleams through the dark green foliage,
and now and then the note of a horn, or
the shrill piping cry of the herdsman, rings
through the clear air.
On the north, you look down upon a
valley or basin clothed with every description of tree, their tops presenting a varied
carpet, changing from the most delicate green
of the young beech to the dark, sombre hue
of the pine, only broken by the gleam of
a waterfall. Far away is the everlasting blue
sea, here bluer than usual, but scarcely so
blue as the sky above, in which the eye,
gathering awe as it gazes, begins to realize
the wonders of eternal space.
People told me, afterwards, I should have
made a two days' trip and run directly across
the island, as the view of the north coast,
bound in by enormous black rocks, is the
finest to be found. "Unfortunately, like many
other pieces of good advice, it came too late
for this visit, although some of us may profit
by it another time.
Our return from Rio Grande to Funchal
was accomplished in a short time comparatively, and most gladly did we turn in and
enjoy what  a sailor  considers  one   of  the 12
luxuries of life, | a feather bed." I once
ventured upon this remark before a very nice
little girl; her blue eyes opened a great deal
more than I could have thought possible,
and she said,
" Good gracious! Arthur, do sailors never
go to bed ?"
I Oh yes, but they sleep tied up in bags,"
volunteered her brother.
"Poor fellows, how shockingly hot and
uncomfortable it must be," sighed mv inter-
rogator, and her blue eyes looked so pitiful
I had not the heart to undeceive her. On
the whole she was right; hammocks are horrible things, and, as every cadet knows, liable
to numberless accidents.
The remaining days of our stay were devoted
to journeys about the town, and lastly to a visit
to the English burial ground. This is truly a
sweet, solemn spot, hallowed by the many names
which peep out, upon the marble pages, through
wreaths of evergreens and flowers, while
the weeping willow, cypress, and yew stand
sentinels round the resting place of the dead.
I think if many a poor heart in our own
land, sorrowing for the dear one lying in
that distant island, could but see the spot
•where they have laid him, they would regret
his departure from his own country no more.
I could not help comparing the happy,
patient, and sometimes almost angelic faces
of the invalids I encountered on the island
with those I had seen at home, confined
to a close, hot room, muffled with shawls,
and dreading as a tormenting demon every
breath of air.
I love Old England dearly, but depend
upon it the present fashions of men and
manners are not the most suitable to our
changeable climate; and when I look at poor
little bare, blue-legged two and three-year-
olds paraded in the parks by warm petticoated
mammas, or maids, I cannot wonder at the
increase of deaths from colds, consumption,
and diphtheria.
The suite of a certain Eastern ambassador 14
found out the inutility of such a light and silken
costume; and many will remember the strange
figure they cut in Piccadilly and Bond Street
a couple of years ago, their saucer-looking
faces appearing over the collar of a pea-
jacket, their legs clad in red or blue silk
inexpressibles, looped up at the knee, and
there met by grey or purple worsted stockings, and finished off with great nailed shoes.
On they clattered, the cruel wind blowing through their silk pants, and freezing
them to the bone, in spite of what they considered English preventives against cold. And
yet they never thought of changing their
silken garments, for what reason I cannot say.
At the time of my visit to Madeira there
were a great many English there, and pic-nics,
rides, and parties going on every day, to many
of which our officers received invitations, some,
of course, meeting with acquaintances, one
only with relations. The story connected with
the latter is sad, but I think interesting.
Charley Vernon's last visit, before leaving
i iii mm
Plymouth, had been to the mother and sister of
his greatest friend, who had died at Madeira
about a year before, and the poor mother's last
request was, i Write and tell me what they have
done to my boy's grave." Charley's first visit
was therefore to the Cemetery, where he found
the marble cross sent out by the mother after
her return to England. Gay flowers clustered
round its base, and violets grew all over the
little mound.
Charley had loved his friend dearly, and
as he plucked a handful of the violets to
send home, the tears fell fast. He raised
his head at last and looked round. A newly
made grave lay next, a large white pillar
at the head, and on it, with a thrill of horror,
he read his own name; he started and looked
away—then, thinking it must be imagination,
he turned back—but no, there it was, | In
memory of Charles Vernon, aged twenty."
What could it mean ? Was it a warning to
him to prepare ? A cold feeling of superstitious longing to know more was stealing over 16
him, when a step behind made him turn
round. A girl stood near him, with a basket
of flowers in her hand and a small spade.
Her quick eyes saw the horror and tears still
on the stranger's face. It could only mean
one thing in her opinion. He had known
him who lay buried there. So, with a slight
colour mounting to her face, she said,
|f Did you know my brother, Sir p
I Your brother! What do you mean ? It
is my name!" said Charley, still frightened at
A deeper flush succeeded the first, and tears
sprung to the girl's eyes.
"Your name, did you say? Then you
must be my cousin Charley. Papa saw yonr
ship had arrived, but was too ill to visit
Charley's superstitions were dispelled, but
he often remarked to me afterwards, when
what we sailors call I down in the mouth,"
that if he had not found out it was his
cousin's grave, he would have been sure it THE   UNFINISHED   INSCRIPTION.
was a spiritual appearance meant only for him.
It turned out the poor father was dying, and
had left the inscription unfinished, until his
own name could be added, which took place
soon after.
VOL.   I. 18
| And now the storm blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong ;
He struck with his o'ertaking wings
And chased us south along."
There is a great deal of monotony in a
long voyage; the slightest incident becomes
of interest, and when I look over my log-book,
and read the chronicles of each day, I cannot
but smile at the events I then deemed worthy
of note. We had a good library on board, it
is true, but somehow, sailors, at least young
ones, do not take much to books, and would
rather chaff away an hour or two, than read
the most amusing work going.
A copy of | Frank Eairleigh " had the great- AMUSEMENTS   AT  SEA.
est run of any book I ever saw, and many an
hour, when trying to make up my log or accounts, I have been obliged to shut up shop
and take part for the twenty-fifth time in some
of Lawless's escapades, or Freddy Coleman's
puns. It brought some of us laughing even
out of the harbour of Plymouth, and I verily
believe it was the last book thrown aside on
sighting Rio.
Dancing, single-stick, and boxing were kept
up pretty regularly. Our band was getting
into some sort of order, and could stumble
through one or two old polkas and waltzes
without breaking down altogether, so that
by practising in company, and dancing on
till the band recovered the lead, we managed
to have some rattling good fun. I assure you
it is no joke, hauling a great heavy fellow
round, who thinks he can do the lady in elegant style, but forgetting which foot to begin
with, generally ends by taking you round the
waist with the wrong arm, and off you go
like two tops, until, hitting some other equally
.   ■ c 2 «*
ill-matched couple, you canon off, and try the
strength of the deck, by no means pleasant if
you fall lowest. The sailors, A.B's., enjoy
dancing amazingly, and come up in clean
shirts, their faces and hair shining with a
plentiful allowance of soap, their shoes like
ebony, and broad bows elaborately tied; this
last being one of their dandyisms.
When the fiddler strikes up, it is great fun
to watch the attempts made at genteel life,
and the low bows with which the tars invite
the ladies to take a hop. Then, as jigs are
the favourites, and two or four stand up at
once, it is worth any money to see the gravity
and care they display in their steps, going
through the cut and shuffle, heel and toe,
Highland fling and cover the buckle, with
the most laborious exertion, every now and
then stopping a second to mop their faces,
amidst the cheers and approbation of their
Of course every change in the weather is a
matter of interest, and the advent of a thunder CHANGE   OE   WEATHER.
storm brings with it its own share of excite-
ment.    During the voyage of the	
Rio, there was but one regular storm, and
that certainly was a rattler. It came on
about six. o'clock in the morning, with a
low belt of lurid clouds in the west, while a
rumbling like the roll of guns in the distance
thrilled over the waters, which lay smooth
as a mill-pond; we were within five days
sail of the line, and from the signs afloat
might expect rough weather. Although, from
the slow progress made by the storm, which
for six hours continued muttering afar off,
without any perceptible approach, it was just
possible it might pass off to the northward,
or exhaust its fury before reaching us. Meanwhile we were perfectly helpless, not a breath of
wind stirred, and the air was so hot and thick
that, as one of the sailors expressed himself,
"it rubbed against you."
At one o'clock, the bank of thunder cloud
began to move with a heaving, billowy motion,
a few smoky-looking detachments rising and
Till I
scudding about like skirmishers; then the
whole mass was in motion, slowly enough,
but still perceptibly rising to the zenith, while
the roll became more distinct every few
minutes. I We are in for it now!" was the
general exclamation, and all hands were piped
to make all secure against the squalls which
usually accompany such a storm. Buckets
were kept ready in case of the lightning
striking, a probable enough accident, and as
our rigging had been drying under a hot
sun ever since our departure from Madeira,
lightning was pretty sure to end in fire.
While these preparations were making, the
storm-fiend was riding on, great flocks of
birds whizzed past the ship, some of a small
grey kind, not unlike swallows, clustering
about the rigging, but rushing off again at
the nearer approach of their pursuer.
The air grew hot and sulphurous, making
our breath come quick, and cheeks burn like
the blast from a furnace; up the blue vault
stole   the terrible cloud, glowing red   with A  THUNDER-STORM   AT   SEA.
anger, and bellowing forth its rage I and now
too the lightning became visible, not, as in
England, a sudden streak of red out of one
cloud, but twenty forks at once springing into
momentary life from different points of the
horizon, some blue, some green, some red,
while in the reflection the stagnant water
| burnt green, and blue, and white."
I never, before or since (and I have seen
storms in most portions of the world), have
witnessed anything like the flashes of lightning that were soon chequering the whole
sky. I could scarcely believe them flashes,
but rather the rending asunder of the clouds,
shewing the dazzling light before which, we
are told, I angels veil their faces."
There is something truly awe-inspiring in
a thunder-storm, and I think more so at
sea than elsewhere, particularly when it is
attended bv that fearful stillness of the ocean
itself, which lies as if trembling and afraid
beneath its power. The most careless heart
must feel the omnipotence of Him who ruleth If!
the storm and the air, and prayer will rise to
the lips, however unused to it.
I noticed a singular example of this among
the men that evening. Two of the forecastle
men were standing near me; the storm was at its
height, the air cracking and rattling with thunder, and electric fire running about the masthead, every flash threatening us with destruction.
"I wonder if the last day'11 come like
this," said one of the men in an awe-stricken
"Perhaps it's a-coming now," answered
another, who by his voice I recognized as
a man we had picked up, just before leaving
port, under suspicious circumstances, and who
had alreadv been in irons twice for insubordi-
nate conduct, and half a dozen times lectured
for bad language and blaspheming. ec Perhaps
it's a-coming now, old boy, so you'll stand a
chance to see the show."
I suppose the first speaker was too indignant to mind order, and struck him, for I
heard a slight scuffle, and  the man's voice A   MAN   OVERBOARD.
roaring forth some of the most blood-curdling
oaths I ever heard, then a loud splash, and
an instant cry of " man overboard.
I rushed round; there stood the swearer,
an immense powerful fellow, his face as white
as a sheet. I seized him by the collar, exclaiming, " You infernal rascal, you have thrown
the man over." He looked at me for a
moment, then sank trembling on his knees.
Just then the most vivid flash which had
yet come struck the ship, passing along the
mainmast down to the bulwarks, and within
a few feet of where I stood. I was myself
stunned for the instant, and when I gained
my half blinded sight, the man was lying
flat on his face, I thought dead.
There was no time to attend to him; the
rigging was on fire, and the boat lowering
to pick up the man, who was holding on
to a life-buoy, and singing out lustily for help.
Both dangers being safely over, I went back
to the man I supposed dead, and kneeling 11
Sag    rfUk
!•'* S
-.   1
down, half afraid to turn him over, put my
ear down to listen.
What I heard then I shall never forget.
I have read of death and sudden conversions,
of the instantaneous conviction of a sinner as to
the misery of his ways, and lately of the
wonderful scenes at the Revivals % but never in
the whole course of my life have I read or
heard such wild, agonized prayers for mercy,
as those which actually seemed to break from
the poor fellow's heart.
I listened for a moment or two, spell-bound,
then, conscious of the sin of which I was
guilty, in thus, as it were, stealing words
meant only for a pitying God and Saviour,
I rose and stole away. A great noise was
going on around the old fellow who had been
overboard, everyone trying to find out how
it happened. What were my admiration and
astonishment to hear him resolutely refuse
to answer a question, saying quietly, it was
an accident. GENEROSITY   OF  A SAILOR.
When I could get at him, I took hold of
his hand and whispered, | Come along."
He saw at a glance that I knew all, and
said, I For God's sake, Sir, don't tell on the
poor sinner."
| Heaven forgive me if I do," I answered ;
and then I told him of the scene I had witnessed.
Tears rolled down the good old tar's hard
cheeks as he bent his head, and I know
thanked God for what had nearly been his
death. He was still standing when I was
called away; and, to end the story, I may here
add, we never had another fault to find with
the altered man, and I soon found him reading the Bible to his messmates, much to their
amazement. This episode of the storm riveted
it firmly upon my mind, and was remembered
long after the last peal had died away.
At twelve o'clock at night the noise began
to lull, and then came to us the worst of it, in
the shape of a regular gale, or rather, I should
say, irregular, as the gusts came short and !M
Hi "'"I
§3w .»■ J
1   1
it J
sharp, as if from a gigantic pair of bellows, sending the spray over the mast-head, and dousing
us at every blast. This went on until the rain
came, and then the wind settled, drowned out
by a torrent more like a waterspout than
steady, respectable rain. Down it came all
next day, almost flooding the vessel, the only
comfort being that it filled our tubs, which, to
the sailor, is a great luxury. So, you see,
there is truth in the old proverb, that 1 it's an
ill wind that blows nobody good."
After this clearing of the atmosphere, we
had a spell of fine weather, and bowled
along at a splendid pace for the line.
Most of the fun in crossing the line is done
away with now, not according with the discipline of a man-of-war. A few days previous
to our crossing, a deputation of the sailors
came aft, seeking permission to introduce the
I green hands" to King Neptune. The Captain
gave them leave to have it as much as they
liked among themselves; this, however, was
not  what they wanted,   so it was   doubtful THE   SOUTHERN   CROSS.
whether there would be any fun; and to
speak for myself, I felt ready to go through
the ceremony a dozen times, only to see some
of the jolly marines get dipped. In the
meantime, it was arranged that we of the
gun-room should give a dinner.
The Captain declined, but all the wardroom officers accepted ; so we had enough to
do to prepare the repast, which we determined
should be the most luxurious we could provide. Great and manifold were the discussions
as to the routine, &c, of the feast, and I, for
one, had a regular blow-up with one of the
mates, which ended in his getting his temper
a little heated, and retiring on deck to cool;
after a time he came down again, we shook
hands, and all went right.
Two days before this great dinner or supper
came off, we saw the Southern Cross for the
first time. I had been looking anxiously out
for some nights, and am glad to think, after
all, I was the first to see it.
The sight of it set me thinking on many 11
things, and I did not much wonder at the
superstitious terror of the early Portuguese
mariners, who, in 1499, under the command
of Vincent Yanez, were driven out of their
reckoning, and losing sight of the Polar Star,
imagined themselves totally lost, and upon
sighting the beautiful cross, considered it was a
sign of displeasure from heaven. I cannot
say I was disappointed, yet it was not so striking as my imagination had led me^to suppose,
and by no means a perfect cross.
Wednesday the 7th at last dawned, and
the tables were all laid; wonderful heaps of
pastry began to appear, towers of cake, tartlets and sweet sandwiches that set our teeth
watering, while large water-pails stood full of
claret and champagne, ready to be drawn at
a moment's notice. Every man was busy,
some at their wit's ends, rushing here, there,
and every where, tumbling over everything,
and in everybody's way; some again, mostly
very young ones, kept on deck, not willing to
place themselves in the way of such terrible A  JOLLY  ENTERTAINMENT.
temptation; and when I went up I found
three little cadets astonishing each other with
descriptions of birth-day feasts at home, and
many other equally festive occasions recalled
by the display below. Well, I shall say no
more | at seven we sat down, took our napkins, and for four hours were the jolliest
fellows in the world; laughs, jokes, and lastly
songs went round, noisy chorusses followed,
and it was not till eleven o'clock we could
give up the fun, and turn in for a sleep.
Sailors always sleep sound somehow, so there
is no good calling their sleep sound at any
particular time. The only thing is that, after
such a feast as the one I have been writing
of, it is more than likely that some one with
eyes larger than his stomach (as we used to say
in the nursery) will be troubled with nightmare, and give the alarm by unearthly yells
and struggles, waking some of his neighbours,
who generally bestow on him on a good kick,
the best thing indeed they can do, as it either
rouses up the dreamer, or alters the current ,m
of his thoughts sufficiently to let them and
him have peace.
On the night in question I was roused
from a delightful dream of the housekeeper's
closet at home, by something seizing my foot.
I tried to draw it up, but in vain—my large
toe was fast in a vice. I shouted murder, fire,
anything in fact. I tried to sit up, a matter at
all times difficult in a hammock, and in the
present instance impossible; faster and faster
grew the strain, and I began to be conscious
of considerable pain; at last, much to my
happiness, a man came in with a lantern, and
then the cause of discomforture came out.
It appeared that one of the middies, who
slept next me, had dreamt that a man was
murdering him, and that, his hands being
filled with something else (tartlets, I believe)
he had seized the murderer with his teeth; so it
was he who had my toe fast in his mouth, my
struggles only increasing his delusion. In
fact it was some time before he would consent
to believe that I had not tried to kill him. CROSSING  THE  LINE.
I ought to have mentioned before this incident of the night, that while sitting at
supper we were apprized of the arrival of King
Neptune, and all made a rush to have a sight
of the fun. Of course the first of us, I
among the lot, got a good dousing by accident.
This was, however, soon stopped, as contrary
to orders, and we stood round looking on at
the shaving. There were two razors, a big and
a little one, the first for the obstreperous, the
second for the easy goers. Every man was
armed with a bucket, and it was very absurd
to see them rushing at each other, the expert ones managing to send both buckets
over their unlucky antagonist, thus often half
drowning him.
Next day at half past ten we crossed the
line, but there was no jollity. If the wind
only continued as fair, we should be in
Rio in a week; unluckily it soon changed,
squalls came on, sometimes even blowing
great guns, coming on with scarcely a moment's notice, and invariably accompanied by
VOL.   I. D 34
dark clouds floating across the sun. Indeed,
so regularly did the wind follow this accumulation of clouds, that we became quite
accustomed to look out for the squall when
the clouds began to gather. The weather
was now growing oppressively hot, so hot,
indeed, that our usual exercise of dancing and
single-stick was rather exhausting. I took
to having a snatch sleep on deck, wrapped
in a big coat, but I should not advise others
to follow my example. The dews fall heavy,
and the frame is naturally very susceptible
of the sudden variation of temperature which
takes place at midnight, and again at dawn ;
nothing keeps out the chill, it creeps like an
ague into your bones, and lingers there in
an unpleasant way, shewing its effects for
months, or even years afterwards.
Upon the 16th, we were within about three
hundred miles of Cape Prio, and now began
all the preparations to appear in tip-top order
in harbour, long drill and no end of bother,
so  that we were very glad we should soon APPROACH   TO   LAND.
be in, and quit of this nuisance. As we neared
land, the colour of the water varied very
much, first from the dark blue of the deep
Atlantic to a bright green, which again faded
into a sandy colour, which lasted until we
sighted the high lands, when I got my first
glimpse of South America, and could scarcely
have desired a more enchanting one. The
blue mountain peaks rising above the white
clouds, which, as we sailed on gradually,
assumed tints of gold, crimson, and purple,
until the sun set, and the veil of night hid
all from our view. Stars peered out, the
crescent moon rose, and the bright waves
danced in her beams, as we slid on with a
fair wind, making about nine knots an hour,
During the morning watch, we sighted Cape
Erio, and in a few hours were off the lovely
bay of Rio de Janeiro. 36
I Breathe fragrance, breathe! enrich the air,
Though wasted on its wing unknown.
Blow, now'rets, blow ! though vainly fair,
Neglected and alone/'
We passed Cape Erio, and ran into the
far famed bay of Rio de Janeiro next morning,  just  rounding   the  point,   and   getting
our first glimpse of the land-locked harbour,
as the sun began to gild the wondrous pile
of mountains forming the inland bulwarks
of the bay.
To attempt to describe the harbour would,
I think, be great presumption, and one might
write glowing accounts for a month, and still
find he had not said what he wanted, while
it would have puzzled even Claude to paint
(he lovely  ocean,  unfolding itself as, borne BAY  OE  RIO   DE   JANEIRO.
along by the "doctor" (a sea breeze from
the south-east, coming at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
according to the season), you sweep round
the foot of the Sugar Loaf, between a natural
gateway of high rocks on either side, one of
the wonders of the world. Every one was
on deck, most of us, being new to this part
of the world, stood looking first on one hand,
then on the other, sometimes asking a messmate
who had been there before, the name of some
object more striking than another, even in
this land of wonders. Above all spread the
loveliest sky I had ever seen, across which
floated crimson and purple clouds, coloured
by the rising sun, which, as we glided on,
mounted higher in the heavens, bathing the
rich green hills, blue bay, and white line
of breakers in a dazzling glory.
As we moved on, the panoramic view
gradually unfolded itself, the Sugar Loaf and
Hood's Nose give place, on the left, to the
Bay of Botafogo (a miniature Naples) with its
cool-looking line of houses, above which loom 38
the heights of Gavia and Hermanos; on the
right hand of the bay a range of hills extend
to the mouth, terminating in a cape, which
separates the bay of St. Erancis Xavier from
the principal harbour, and which made some
of our Scotchmen begin talking of Arthur's Seat, and the Lion Couchant. Looking back to the left as we approach our
anchorage, we see a valley—and such a
valley! gleaming with the vivid green of
Brazil! Elowers of every dye, from the purple
quaresma tree to the better known cactus,
while acres of myrtle, heliotrope, and jasmine
perfume the breath of the valley of Laran-
geiras, above which towers the crown of the
Carcovada, giving place to a pretty little bay,
called Flamingo. Another range of hills, and
then the capital itself bursts upon us, reaching
miles and miles along the bay, and extending
as far back as the line of the Tijnea mountains.
It is quite impossible to express the  ecstasy I felt as I gazed round me, perfectly WONDER-GAZING.
bewildered what to look at longest. Presently
attention was called, by a trumpeted order,
to let go the anchor, and then, every
man to his duty, until the health boat and
Custom-House officers have said good morning, smoked a cigar, given us the papers,
and taken their departure.
Then the idle hands are wonder-gazing
again, eyes are watering with the long looks
through telescopes, and the difficult attempt
to bear the dazzling refulgence of the glare
of light, mingled with the vain effort to see
to the head of the bay, the extent of which
may be imagined, when I assure the readier
that I have seen a squadron of H.M. ships
get under way, and go through the different
evolutions of a fleet, as at sea.
The first thing a sailor thinks of is to get
leave, and have what is called a run ashore.
I was one of those sent for the letters, and
a more extraordinary post office I never saw.
You pass a large entrance, with a stone floor,
where there is always a  guard  of soldiers. 40
Entering the front door, leading from the
entrance hall into an immense room, you see
a counter, where the newspapers and letters
are piled in promiscuous heaps, each lot being
ticketed as to where it came from; along the
sides of the room are lists of the names upon
the letters, often, however, a greater puzzle
than the usual method of searching over the
letters yourself, and picking out those for
yourself and friends. Oh! Rowland Hill,
how could you bear to see such confusion
in your department ? What agony would
penetrate your system! Why cannot the
Brazilian government appoint some of those
admirable clerks of the Post Office, such as
we have in London, and give their young
aristocrats a sinecure, or at least something
better to do than flirting and wearing jewellery.
It appears that the Brazilian government
do not like foreign advice, and think they
have no need of changing what " their fathers
have done before 'em."    So it was when an HOME LETTERS.
American Consul (if I remember the story
right, a Mr. Gordon) proposed to put the
Rio Post Office on the same principle
as that of the United States, he was quietly,
but firmly, put down, and politely reminded
that the Portuguese were the cleverest, as well
as the most patriarchal, nation in the world.
It is a great thing getting a bundle of
home letters, • some from anxious, patient
papas, with directions how much money you
can draw, a terrible account of an outfitting
bill he knew nothing of, winding up with a
capital run with Lord j 's hounds, or a glorious day's fishing. The dear old lady's, too,
-with tender advice to keep your feet warm, take
care of the dews, be sure to have the cholera
mixture always at hand, and a postscript
with some more advice, which sets your eyes
watering, and makes you say, | Dear old
mother," to yourself. Then come more letters
from college and school, such fun to read and
recount to your messmates. Of course your
budget lasts a week, every one has something 42
to tell, and every one listens, laughs, and
rejoices as warmly as if they knew each
member of your family.
There is another sort of letter I have not
yet mentioned, partly because it is private
property, and partly because it is kept quietly
buttoned up in your pocket book, and read
whenever you can steal a quiet moment.
Sometimes the letter is from agister, detailing
as tenderly and lovingly as only a sister can,
the thoughts, actions, and general conduct of
some one with whom you spent most of your
last leave, and who, after joking and laughing
the months away, suddenly got very grave
when you said, " good-bye," and left a photograph of trembling lips and dewy eyes deeply
engraven on your heart. | Of course you cannot
write to her, her mamma or aunt make disagreeable inuendoes about sailors, and call midshipmen boys; so your dear sister, who knows
all about it, comforts your heart and somebody
else's. Heigh ho ! Is not this often the way,
messmates ? Few of us are sure of getting the mm
honest letter from the darling, franked by the
jovial old squire, or a tender message added by
the favouring mother; such is a rare blessing,
and perhaps it is better, after all, that a sailor
should sail fancy free, leave his tenderest affections with those nearest by right, and
never change nor mistake, and wait for the
bliss of a wife and wife's love until he need
not be torn away for long years of restlessness
and suspense.
My first morning at Rio was spent on
duty ; towards evening I went on shore to
leave a couple of letters of introduction, one
to a clergyman, the other to a merchant's
wife. Both were absent, so I strolled about
the town, met an old friend from a frigate
lying near us, and with him went to the shop
part, the Regent Street of Rio.
Great and gorgeous was the show of plate
glass, feather-flowers of the most brilliant
colours, and piles of jewellery, all most tempting to a man with a few pounds in his pocket,
and lots of friends at home.    Eortunately my 44
companion had been at Rio six weeks, and
resisted my tenderest appeals to let me buy
just one wreath or a bracelet, something or
anything. It was all in vain, he led me to the
window, pointed out, and dwelt on the
various beauties of the tempters, and having
worked me up to a pitch bordering on frenzy,
hurried me off to the Botanical Gardens. I
having innocently observed that I believed
they were the most beautiful in the world,
he replied,
| You had better see them first, in case you
change your mind."
On our way, my eyes became completely perplexed with the different costumes jostling us
at every step, now a fair lady looking as if she
had come out of a drawing-room to taste the
cool breeze, and by accident wandered into the
public streets, her glossy head and white
shoulders dazzling the European eye. Then
again, people of every shade of complexion and
every variety of robe and colour, the greatest
contrasts seemingly most  admired, Brazilian Hwi
exquisites with perfumed hair, immaculate
moustaches, clothes, the very beau-ideal of
dandyism, and a great display of jewellery—
such pins and studs, chains before which a
cable would blush,  and bunches of charms
even Lord — could not have found a place
for. Priests, free servants, slaves, water-carriers, coffee-carriers, quintadeiras (the taffy
women of Rio, and delight of the juveniles),
pedlars, merchants, soldiers, and sailors,
troops of these hurrv on like the changes of a
kaleidoscope, and I should require the breath
and eloquence of Albert Smith* to enumerate
the varied passengers along the funny, ill-
paved, gutter-middled streets of Rio. Many of
the streets are so narrow that a stringent rule
has been instituted and rigorously observed by
the police, by which certain streets are kept for
carriages coming from, others for those going
to the large thoroughfares; and when, happening to be in a great hurry, you attempt to per-
* Since writing this, the hero of Mont Blanc has been called
from us, and left the memory of many a jolly hour behind him. 46
suade your coachee to make a bold rush down a
wrong one, you only get a shake of the head,
and the invariable answer to every question
of haste, " Esperao hum pouco, senhor," a reply
from which you soon know enough of the
language to understand that you must wait.
A long voyage is not the best thing in the
world to put a man in walking condition; so,
long before we reached the Gardens, I was
puffing like a grampus, and thankful to take
refuge in what appeared to me a nondescript
sort of omnibus, but which, to my amusement,
I heard called a gondola—shades of Venice,
how ye would have stared ! Imagine an overgrown, lumbering omnibus dragged along at
a floundering gallop by four demons of mules,
who every now and then take it all their own
way, and dash down a narrow street at full
speed, then stand stock still at the foot of a
hill, only replying to the whips, oaths, and
suasion of the driver an
angry squeels, bites at each other and wicked
kicks—pleasant, is it not ?—particularly, if you THE   CASUARINA.
are, as I was, crammed half way up the side
with a fat priest (very hot and not melliferous)
on one side; and an old woman in a terrible fright, and giving vent to her feelings by
pinching me and saying her prayers, on the
other; while the rest* of the passengers, my
friend among the number, sat perfectly indifferent  as to whether we proceeded or were
turned over, no one appearing to dream of
such a thing as lightening the bus. There we
remained till the driver bribed some slaves into
giving us a long and strong push, when, with
a proportionate number of shouts and lashes,
off we went, and finally were deposited at our
I certainly agree with the advice I got, that
the stranger should see the Botanic Garden
the first thing, otherwise I am afraid he will
scarcely remember it, excepting always the
avenue of palms, or I believe, more correctly
speaking, the Casuarina, which is really beautiful. In this, however, consists the great and
only wonder of the. place.    There are pretty 48
walks certainly, and the climate of Brazil
would make any garden a place of resort, but
I saw few of the finest native plants and the
foreign ones were badly attended to. There
are a few bread-fruit trees, some cinnamon and
clove, and in the centra some fine bamboos,
rising like sentinels above the lesser bushes.
In a country like that surrounding Rio,
where every valley is a garden, where our
loveliest and sweetest exotics paint the mountain steeps, and every gem of nature flourishes
in the genial air, I could not understand how
artificial forms were selected ; and fancied, in
my heart, that if the garden were filled with
the natural beauties of their country, the
Brazilians would have the finest botanical
collection in the world.
Evening was closing in as we started for
the town; and as the first hour after dark is
not the pleasantest at Rio, we hurried on to
the hotel where we had ordered dinner.
The Hotel of the Navy is in the Plaza, a
large open place close to the water, with the REVELS   0E  MIDDIES.
Cathedral and Palace on two sides; in this
establishment is everything to make the sailor
forget his voyage, sea fare, and gun-room
wines. What luxurious dogs middies are
when they get on shore, and revel on fresh
meat, game, vegetables, and fruit, not to speak
of iced punch in various forms, one of the
best of them rejoicing in the name of " flannel." How they talk, and eat, and laugh, and
grow merry; what jokes they tell, what awful
puns they make, and last, not least, what songs
they sing—songs that make your sides ache,
and beget choruses from the jolly-looking
niggers congregated outside, looking on with
broad grins and watering lips in admiring
envy of the gastronomic powers* of the
strangers. Time goes on, some one forgets
himself, and sings a sentimental appeal to
the moon, or his sweetheart. This is the signal
for a break up; when sentiment steals into
such a party, it is time to pay the bill and
get a little fresh air before going on board.
So   we leave the one   appointed  to  settle
VOL.  I sr^T
for us, and take to the balcony, where the
full glory of a tropical night bursts upon our
Before us glows the Southern Cross, while
Orion, familiar with old home scenes, just
peeps over the horizon to remind us of other
lands. Thousands of new and bright constellations gem the marvellous blue sky, which
here, even in the deepest night, is blue.
While on sails Diana in her halo of light,
paving silvery roads over the heaving bay,
the long booming dash and ripple of whose
waves steal over the listener's senses like
the voice of song, while now and then
the sound of the harp or piano is mingled
with the air, or the distant peal of evening service in some of the numerous
A fresh earthy perfume pervades the air,
with now and then the sweet breath of jasmine or roses. You stand enchanted; suddenly a cry of " tigers" is uttered; new comers
are thunderstruck. Tigers in Rio!—impossible RIO   "TIGERS.
—no one will believe it. | Then stay and look
out," shouts an old hand, as he closes th(
windows, and leaves you eagerly watching,
half fancying they are hoaxing you. A moment more, and you too rush frantically at
the window, hammering with one hand for
admittance, while the other is busily grasping
your nasal organ, lucky if you can escape
without parting with your dinner. Then
amidst roars of laughter, as you inhale Eau
de Cologne, cigars, anything one is used to,
you are informed you have smelt the Rio
I tigers," finding, on examination, that this is
the local name for the slaves employed in conveying the contents of what would in other
places be confined in a sewer to the beach,
where the sea carries all away. Strange to say,
there is no such thing as a drainage company in
Rio, although some people are planning a
large work of the kind.
I confess to being afraid of roaming after
dark in Rio, subsequent to this adventure,
and could often distinguish the never to be
forgotten exhalations mingled with the spicy
So ended my first day in South America, a
pretty full one too, you will say—but the first
generally is; and I have described it as fully,
intending to tell my readers as much as I
can of each place I visited, as I feel unsatisfied
myself with an account that only gives the
writer's own impressions (every man naturally noting down different). I like to read
and give a little knowledge of those attributes
which ushered in the birth of a colony, and
still influence its progress. 53
The groves of Eden, vanished now so long,
Live in description, and look green in song.
These, were my breast inspired with equal flame,
Like them in beauty, should be like in fame."
Both Spain and Portugal lay claim to the
discovery of the rich coast of South America,
for although Vincent Yanez Pinzon took
possession of it on the 25th of January, 1500,
before the world heard of his success, Pedro
Alvares Cabral had claimed it for the King of
Portugal. The honour of the discovery being
attributed to Pinzon, does not obtain favour
with the ^Brazilians, who assert that he knew
nothing of Brazil, a fact so far true that
he had not mentioned the harbour of Rio, 54
which appears to have been penetrated first
by De Solis in 1515, and a few years after by
Eernando de Magellan. He, delighted with
its security, remained there some weeks, and
gave it the name of the patron Saint of the
day upon which he entered it, viz., Bahia de
Santa Luzia.
In 15311 De Sousa visited the harbour, and
imagining it to be the mouth of a great river,
christened it Rio de Janeiro, or river of
January, it being the first day of the year.
Strange to say, he did not choose this as the
seat of the first European Colony, but, turning
away, proceeded to an exposed headland, and
laid the first stone of the settlement of St.
Vincent; a settlement of which all that remains are a few ruins and broken fountains.
Accounts of the richness of the Portuguese
acquisitions in South America now began to be
openly talked of, particularly in France, which
at that era was the theatre of much secret
and public agitation,  and discontent.    The VILLEGAGNON.
great and good Coligni, awake to every opening
for the disciples of the Reformed religion,
eagerly sought after those who would and
could take personal charge of such emigrants
as were inclined to prefer the privations and
exile of a new country to the terrible persecutions the good man felt were hanging like a
pall over his nation.
Adventurers are ever at hand to take advantage of the eager and credulous; and in
the present instance a knight of Malta, named
Villegagnon, who was, we are told, | a brave
soldier, and of good address,'5 and further
more had been honoured by having the custody
of the ship which carried the Queen of Scots,
the unfortunate Mary, from the land of happiness to that of misery and shame. This
same knight had considerable weight at the
Erench Court. He gained Coligni's good
will by proposing to take none out but
"Huguenot settlers.
Henry the Second did not think so much of
the   settlers  as   the  settlement; but  seeing 56
they would be more likely to gain a permanent
footing if belonging to such a united brotherhood, he gladly gave three ships and placed
the little squadron under the command of
Villegagnon, who, having his own ends in
view, so managed that his officers and men
should be Romanists, and creatures of his
The squadron reached Rio in 1555, and
at once began fortifying the Island of Lagi,
in the centre of the entrance. The roll of the
waves was, however, too powerful, the wood
bastions could not resist it, and another
island, first named Coligni, but now Villegagnon, was chosen, from whose rocky breast
rose the Huguenot's hymn of praise.
For a time all went on well. Great reports
of the wondrous New World were sent home
by the returning ships, and hundreds more
than the ships could carry begged to be
permitted to proceed to the colony.
Now, the true character of their leader
began to display itself; the accounts brought ST.   SEBASTIAN.
from France roused his evil spirit, there was
a revolution brewing, and to such an adventurer as he was, what was impossible ?
A handful of the persecuted race were in
his power—he might show his zeal for his
faith here, and carry home his sword reeking
with the blood of maids and matrons.
One after another the unfortunate colonists
found their rights abridged; and at last abuse
and robbery reigned hand in hand. Driven desperate, one shipload of the unhappy beings
escaped; many more fled to the mainland,
where they either joined the Portuguese,, or
fell by the hands of the natives.
Villegagnon, with his men, remained for
some years ; but upon St. Sebastian's day,
the 20th of January, 1567, their stronghold
was stormed, and, it is said, every soul
Then was it that the present city was
planned, under the name of St. Sebastian,
and although usually known by that of Rio,
it is correctly St. Sebastian de Rio Janeiro.
.   l!j 58
"For one hundred and forty years after
its formation," says the historian, " St. Sebastian enjoyed tranquillity. Its population and
commerce increased yearly, and in the
eighteenth century was much enhanced by
the discovery of the gold mines"; but this
roused the cupidity of France, and was
followed by a succession of fighting, plundering, and negotiating, which went on until
the end of the eighteenth century, when a
new era commenced for Brazil, and the Royal
Family of her mother country found an asylum
on her shores.
Great was the enthusiasm and excitement,
when it became known that a fleet was bearing over the Prince Regent and his family,
and that the sails might be in sight any
The whole city was in a ferment, workmen
of all kinds laboured day and night to put
the half tumbling down palace in order. The
roof was propped up, and the face plentifully
bedaubed with bright paint; while the mer- THEIR  ARRIVAL   IN BRAZIL.
chants possessing houses near, voluntarily gave
them up to the Court suite.
The town was festooned with silks and
flowers; and as soon as the squadron hove
in sight, a fleet of gaily ornamented boats
set sail to meet and pilot in the exiled
monarch. For days and weeks the gaieties
were continued; and nothing could exceed
the happiness of the people.
The arrival of the Royal Family made a
great change in the history of the country.
European manners and fashions usurped the
old rules; a library was founded and thrown
open to the public; a printing house established, academies, schools, and charitable
institutions founded; in fact, everything began
to assume a European type, and at this day
the beautiful bay is the seat of one of the
richest cities in the world.
The Roman Catholic religion is, of course,
that of the nation ; but it strikes me as being
very lightly thought of, and though a few of
their own saints, with Jose de Anchieta and 60
John Marten at their head, are held in great
reverence, still the numberless shows and
festas of their church tire them, and I have
often seen the Host passed by without even
an inclination of the head.
There is a prodigious number of churches,
I believe nearly fifty, some of them fine, others
abominable. The Candelaria Church is that
usually first visited, partly owing to the glitter
of-a pair of tall turrets, surmounted by gilt
domes. It was founded nearly eighty years
ago, as a cathedral for the diocese of Rio, and
has not yet been completely finished, while,
like nearly all the ecclesiastical edifices, it is
falling into decay; still, it is the best for a
stranger to go to, as there is always the
attraction of fine singing, the staff being
composed, at the time I was there, of two
prim a-donnas, the elite of their supporters,
and the mass, set to the prettiest parts of
Norma, on purpose, I believe, to please the
A festa generally ends in an elaborate dis- PRIESTS.
play of fire-works, and, absurd as it may
seem, the latter as often in broad day-light
as after dark, the effect being peculiar, the
works ending in fantastic jets of white
smoke. Collections of money are made beforehand for these displays, and I the righteous are requested to attend the festival, which
will be held with the greatest pomp possible,
and end in a magnificent display of fireworks," or sometimes horse-racing.
There is no mistaking a priest in Rio; hot
and cold, wet and dry, they stalk on with
their big flat hats and sweltering gowns,
making you perspire to look at them. They
are generally jovial, well-fed looking men,
having little or nothing to do, unless sitting
for a given time on their heels in church is
called work. There is hardly even the ordinary duty of the confessional, very few
of the Brazilian fair" ones caring to open their
breasts, particularly to men whose characters
are well known; so, except when as children
they figure off as 1 anjinhos," dressed out like
l-V; 62
fairies in a pantomime, they seldom come
in close contact with their spiritual fathers.
The "intrudo," or carnival, is the great festival
of the year, and usually lasts the first three
days in Lent. I heard wonderful accounts
of it in bygone days, but was a good deal
disappointed with the reality, the great fun
consisting in hitting each other with bonbons
and flowers; being able to laugh and
joke without an introduction, and flirt as
much as you like without fear of being asked
what you mean. At night, masquerades keep
up the fun; and certainly it was very jolly,
the ladies looking so bright-eyed through their
pink and black masks, and making such sharp
replies to your blundering civilities, cutting
you up without mercy, and then running off
you know not where, changing masks and
head-dresses, anything to deceive you and
enjoy their own joke.
Many of the Roman Catholic Priests are
very tolerant to the Protestant faith, and
make no objection to the admission of any THE   MISERICORDIA.
of that profession into hospitals under their
charge. The liberal philanthropy displayed
in the hospitals at Rio makes one forget the
vanity and absurdity of the church forms. Of
,these, the largest is the Misericordia, founded
by their great saint, Anchieta, in 1582. This
establishment is situated upon the shore,
under the Castello Hill, and is always open
day and night to receive the sick and destitute. The best proof of its liberality that I
can give, is to state that there is no distinction
of persons; Moor or Christian, White or Black,
all find a welcome, and none are asked why
or wherefore—such, I take it, is the true spirit
of charity, and one we should do well to
From the annual report of the Misericordia, it appears no less than seven thousand
patients have been received yearly, of whom
the average proportion who die is one thousand. Numbers of English seamen are received into this hospital, and rapidly improve under
the admirable care  and attention they meet
.   " '] 64
with, and the wards are perfectly open to
visitors; the friends of the sick may add to
their comfort by their occasional society and
advice, while many good and charitable women devote their mornings to this praiseworthy task.
When yellow fever appeared in 1854-55-56,
it was found impossible to accommodate the
vast number of cases ; but the Brazilians did
not shut the doors and say, | We have
no room." They subscribed liberally, and
new hospitals were hastily erected, the most
successful of which is that of Jurujuba under
the directions of an eminent doctor. My friend,
the Chaplain, who frequently visited this
hospital, told me he had never met any order
of priests there except Italian Capuchins;
an order who, at Rio, do more good than all
the other Priests put together, and spare
neither labour nor pains to do a charitable
action, either to a brother in the faith or in
the flesh. The Misericordia is not confined
to a hospital only.    Outdoor relief is liber- WSgmmmmm
ally bestowed even to the inmates of the prisons,
and two admirable asylums are in immediate
connection with it. One the Recolhimento, or
Asylum for Female Orphans, and the Foundling
Hospital, or Casa de Roda. This last is on the
old plan, a covered wheel with padded compartments projecting into the streets, in one of
which the mother places her infant, a slight
push sending the little creature to its new home
—poor thing ! often its last; it being calculated
that more than two thirds of those infants die,
and that too in spite of the most stringent attention—Government, for obvious reasons, taking a great interest in the treatment of those
thus placed in their care, and likely to be
formed into useful men and women.
Charitable as is the intention of this institution, I believe it is a mistake, as from
the accounts I have seen, it appears the
slaves take advantage of the hospital to
save themselves trouble, or insure freedom for their offspring; and often the
slave-owners   themselves,    rather   than   lose
VOL.   I. E
" off
if 66
the time of a slave, leave the child to the
There are many other hospitals belonging
to the different orders, some of which I shall
only have time to name, such as that of
S. Francisco de Paulo; the hospital of Dos
Lazaros, in which the poor wretches suffering
from I elephantiasis" find refuge, and the Hospital de Pedro, or as more usually named, the
Lunatic Asylum, where the scale of building
rivals the Misericordia, and is attended by
the Sisters of Charity.
The Government of Brazil is a constitutional monarchy, much like that of Great
Britain in its general organization. Three
members form the council of state, the ministers manage the departments of the Empire,
Justice, Foreign Affairs, Marine, War, and
Finance. The Senate and House of Deputies
form the Legislature, and are publicly elected;
the Senators are fifty-five in number and hold
the office for life; the deputies number about
a hundred, and hold office a given time.    The \
discussions of the legislature are perfectly free
and open to all listeners.
Almost all the leading men belong " to the
learned professions," and among them there
is no prejudice against colour ; the highest
position in the state being equally open to
the Black or Mulatto, as to the untainted
scion of the earliest nobles. The salaries given
by Government are small, but upon the retirement of a member, the Imperial Treasury
gives him a sum equal to the entire salary he
has hitherto received.
Justice appears much more easy to comprehend, and more simple to administer here
than in our law-ridden realm, though the magistrates and judges are the same. There is the
Justice of the Peace, always a consequential man
in his own opinion; the Judge of Common
Pleas; the Judge of Probate; the Judge of
the Supreme Court; three district supreme
judges, and one presiding over all the supreme
courts. Twelve respectable merchants form
the jury | forty-eight may be summoned for a
e 2 Is
term, what is technically called the | panel"
being selected for each trial by lot.
The soldiers are gay, rattling fellows, fond of
dress, and much addicted to flirting; hated, but
secretly envied by the priests, who find their
gay dresses sometimes of greater value in the
fair devotee's eyes than their own fine linen
and flowing garments. In my private opinion,
it would be well for the Brazilian ladies if
they saw less of their spiritual advisers, as,
without exception,, they are, as a body, the
most corrupt, immoral, and openly licentious
men I ever heard of.
I was much amused at seeing the officers'
wives riding with their regiments, looking
remarkably piquante in a sort of vivandiere
dress, and managing their fiery chargers
with a grace and skill which charmed and
surprised me.
Next to the soldiers come the police, a
body officered by men who have served in
the regular army, and placed much on the
same footing as the Irish Constabulary, having (HOT
to study and pass sharp examinations before
entering the service; they are well armed,
handsomely dressed, and altogether superior
to the privates of the army, who, as I was told
by one of themselves, do not enlist at all, but
are made prisoners and serve for life.
The last class of which I shall speak in
this chapter are the slaves; and Brazil, until
very lately, was one of the head quarters of
slavery. It was the old story; the planters
were sure the white men would not do their
work, so to make it surer they left no opening
for the attempt. Again, they did not ill-
treat their slaves;—then what meant the fearful
number of suicides, every day's paper presenting columns of such deaths, while at every
turn you encountered poor creatures with
cruel iron collars, chains, or even large logs
fastened to their wrists or legs ?
Slavery in Brazil is in a strange state, and
when it became illegal to import slaves, the
empire was on the eve of a revolution. In
this country  everything  favours  the  manu- I
mission of the slaves, and every appointment is open for their acceptance. Thus if a
man has freedom, talents, and industry, no
place in the realm is refused to him. In the
National Library, which is open to him, he
can prosecute his studies, and fit himself for a
higher position in society.
The Mina tribe from Benin are the strongest, as well as most superior men, and have a
peculiar custom, by which they club together
and purchase the freedom of the one most respected. They are Mahomedans in religion,
and sometimes express themselves very well
in Arabic, at all times speaking a language
distinct from both Portuguese and African.
A clever writer speaking on the subject,
says, 1 Slavery is doomed."
It is a striking fact, that emigrants did not
begin to arrive 1 from Europe in thousands
until 1852. In 1850, and 1851, the African
slave trade was annihilated," and in the
succeeding year commenced the present
ce comparatively vigorous colonization." n
In this, we find Providence giving a practical answer to the vexed question triumphantly put by the planters, when the abolition of
slavery was urged, "If you take away the
slaves, who will do our work ?"
The question is at last answered, and
the day must come when there shall not be
one slave upon whom the good sun shines.
I Over their heads the toweling and tenebrous boughs of the
Met in dusky arch, and trailing mosses in mid air
Waved like banners that hang on the walls of ancient cathedrals,
Death-like the silence seemed."
The climate of Rio is by no means so bad as
many people are inclined to suppose ; there is
certainly a hot season, but nature does her
best to temper the evil. Sea breezes come at
regular intervals, heavy rains cool and refresh
the earth, bathing the luxuriant vegetation,
while among the mountains, and within a few
hours' journey, are several pretty sanatory
retreats.   One of the nicest is Petropolis, and,
as a family to whom I had an introduction (a
very useful thing in Brazil) were residing there
for the summer, I often found my footsteps
turned thither. The journey is partly by sea, a
steamer bearing you to the upper end of the
bay; here you find a railway as far as the
foot of the Organ mountains, and from the
terminus you are for ten miles at the mercy
of mules, four of which are harnessed to a
little vehicle peculiar to Rio.
Constancia is another favourite summer
retreat, but, in my opinion, the most picturesque of all is St. Alexio; though, in such a
country as that surrounding Rio, it would be
impossible to find a valley that was not pretty;
and after we had seen them all, I do not
think one of us could agree as to the
superiority of any one in particular.
One of the pleasantest excursions I joined
in was to the Corcavado, which, often as it
has been described, always presents new features, and coquettishly gives a new smile to each
admirer. I have always thought that there are
If I
THE corcovado.
only two ways of really enjoying an excursion
to a famed spot; and these are—either to go
quite alone, or, if you can manage it, to get a
pleasant congenial party made up. If you
want to write a description, I believe the first
to be the best; but if (which is generally the
case) the place has been described fifty times
by much cleverer people than yourself, then I
would say, take the second plan, and content
yourself by telling things just as they remain
upon your memory next morning; depend
upon it, xjuite enough will be left to please
any moderate enquirer, while one who has
read a fuller description will be very glad
you have not bored him by a repetition, but
feel all the pleasure a traveller does in glancing over a sketch which recalls familiar
scenes, without forcing another view of them.
The party which I joined to see the wondrous Corcovado was composed of people I had
been seeing every day or night since our
arrival—kind-hearted, hospitable ladies or
gentlemen,  who  knowing   from   their  own MAY DA AGUA.
experience what a fellow feels far away from
house and all house pleasures, try to make up
by their friendly kindness in any way they
The way to the Corcovado is along the side
of the aqueduct, one of the Brazilian wonders,
down which flows the water which is so
priceless a luxury in Rio; it is beautifully
built, and the channel inside high enough
to allow a man to walk upright in it.
The spot from which the water is conveyed,
is called the. " May da Agua," mother of
waters ; and here we made our first halt, dipping our hands in the little streams.
As you gaze upwards, the trees meet over
your head, and only here and there a slanting
gleam of sunshine sparkles through, playing
over the moss-covered roots, and revealing new
beauties among the clustering plants which
are heaped round in wondrous profusion.
I wish I had been an artist, that I might
have brought away a sketch of the scene
round the May da Agua.    The groups of fair Hill
B1 i ;|i
girls with their gay dresses and hats, wreathed
with bright feathers or natural flowers; one
or two Brazilian officers, all gold lace and
green velvet, a few others almost as gay in
coloured flannel shirts and white trowsers, and
last, not least, certain blue jackets acting very
nicely as a foil to the more brihiant costumes,
while round us rose the primeval forest, and
on our left a frightful precipice, the bottom
of which lay in almost total darkness. It
is over this the surplus water finds its way
when the rains make every little rivulet a
roaring torrent, the aqueduct being arranged
to admit only a certain quantity.
Humming birds were fluttering round us,
gay parrots shrieking among the trees, while
now and then a toucan would flap down,
chased by a monkey, who, seeing our party,
immediately darted off and brought back his
family, who all gathered in the thick branches,
peeping out with eager curiosity. The scene
was so new to me that I could have remained
for hours, content to see nothing more; but PERPENDICULAR  PATH.
time was pressing, we had refreshed our
limbs, and polished off several bottles of
champagne, so to proceed was now the word,
and in a few minutes we emerged into light
and sunshine again.
The pathway now grew almost perpendicular, up one bank, down another, now with
your shoulders touching your horse's tail, now
holding on by his ears; I tried for a time,
but at last slipping off going up a hill, I
wisely kept my feet and led the horse, gazing
with intense wonder at the pertinacity with
which the fair sex, as Lawless would say,
| stick to their saddles." On we scrambled,
more like cats than anything else. The path
began to mend a little. We passed a coffee
garden; then again up and down worse th an
ever; but last, oh! blessed relief, we reach
a level platform. A moment to breathe, then
off again: the same old story, and I am fain
to try my horse's back once more, and, leaving
him at his own discretion, make the best use
I can of my arms and legs, thereby causing 78
infinite amusement to the fair sex behind;
but now we reach the Painciras, a level and
partly artificial platform, connecting the Corcovado with the Painciras mountains. Here,
amidst groves of orange, coffee, and the trees
from which the mountains take their name,
we find a dwelling-house, and are hailed by
an English voice; finding, to our surprise, the
doctor belonging to one of our frigates located
at this elevation, with the engineer in charge
of the water-works.
He had made a beautiful collection of
botanical curiosities, and had a case of the
finest butterflies I ever beheld.
Prom this place the ascent was continued
on foot, much to my delight. The trees began
to look stunted as we clambered on, and
scrubby bushes clustered round, looking thirsty
and dried up. At last the base of the peak
was gained, and a temporary hut erected to
keep off the terrible force of the sun, now
shining down injfull power, without a
tree or bush to shelter one. ASCENT  OF THE   CORCOVADO,
|§c'Who is for the top?" shouted one of
the restless spirits, and I was constrained to
answer, "I am." Several others joined us,
and leaving the ladies and lazy ones to
prepare lunch, we stripped off our jackets,
pocketed a bottle of seltzer water, and set off.
The heat was perfectly dreadful.   I thought
of a description I once read of mid-day,
" The sun's perpendicular rays illumined the depths of the
And the fishes beginning to sweat, cried,  ' Criky,  how
hot we shall be.5"
Myriads of ants, too, began to torment us,
and flies of stinging propensities feasted
greedily; then came a fine old eagle, or
something like one, soaring above us, and
disappearing in the blue firmament.
At the top of the Corcovado, rails are
placed to prevent accident, but I would not
advise any unwary traveller to lean against
them ; I did not try them certainly, but they
did not look well. The level portion of the
crest is  a  curious  mixture  of  spar,  white
mm 80
pebbles, and a dark-coloured mud, and looks
almost like rough mosaic. The whole bay
of Rio lay before me, with its numberless
little bays, and our glorious men-of-war looking like specks on the ocean, while the hazy
hills in the distance, as well as those nearer
to us, appeared robed in emerald green, the
beauty of which was heightened by a brilliant
Brazilian sunshine.
We stayed as long as we dared, unwilling
to leave a scene we should most probably
never see again; but the sun was too strong
for us, and a certain swimming sensation
about the head warned us it was time to
seek the shade. So down we went, reaching
the tent in time to escape a coup de soleil, and
to save what, I believe, we looked upon as
equally important, our dinner.
There is no use dwelling upon the homeward route from the Corcovado—all pic-nics
end much the same. You have learnt the
way in going, so consider yourself competent
to give all sorts of advice on the way back,; DESCENT  0E  THE   CORCOVADO.
while, strange to say, the ladies, who almost
helped you in the morning, have suddenly
become delightfully timid, and require so
many little attentions, that it is marvellous
we ever reached home at all, particularly when
one thinks of the consumption of champagne,
and the array of dead men left on the field of
battle. Well! well! we won't tell all that
happened on the way down. I dare say
some who read this will have seen enough
to awaken memories of the past; all I can
say is, that if they enjoyed their pic-nic as
much as I did mine, they'll agree with me
that the ride to and from the Corcovado is
the prettiest thing in the world.
During my numerous walks, I frequently
came upon traces of what I imagined was
the work of a tropical mole, consequently
accounting for what must be its size.
One day, a very hot one, I had strolled
farther than usual, having landed at the head
of the bay in the hope of getting a shot at
the wild ducks said to  be there.    Coming
VOL.   I.
G 82
to a piece of ground literally ploughed up by
these supposed moles, I determined to watch
their operations, and lay down under some
Presently a mound near me betrayed symptoms of an inmate. I lay closer and watched
intently. A nose worked itself up; it was
very like a pig's in miniature, and I began
to think it was only a young porker; when,
pop out, came a wonderful animal, not like
anything I had ever seen, and enveloped
in a complete coat of mail. He looked about
him, trotted on, stopped again, then grunted,
or squeaked, for it was something like either,
or both, and again moved on. He went very
slow, so slow, indeed, that I was sure I could
catch him, and sprang up to do so. In my
hurry I tripped and fell; but speedily recovering myself I looked about for my friend.
The little creature had vanished, and I was
turning away, scolding myself for my stupidity,
when a curious ball attracted my attention.
Picking it up, I examined it minutely.    It THE   ARMADILLO.
was something like a double shell, but in
substance bore a closer resemblance to the
cocoa nut; after puzzling my brains with
it for a time, I put it into my pocket, and
continued my walk. On going on board
three hours after, I displayed my prize, and
found I had actually brought home the little
creature, whose mining propensities I had
watched, and that having frightened him by
the noise I made in attempting to get up
quickly, he had curled himself up in his
natural defence, and that, in fact, this new
prize was an armadillo, one of the most
harmless creatures in the world; but unfortunately for themselves possessing edible
qualities prized equally by man and beast.
An ascent of the Organ Mountains was
now my great ambition, and having obtained
four days' leave, and the companionship of
the chaplain, we set off upon our by no
means easy undertaking. Passing the first
night at the house of a well-known merchant
here, we procured  guides and good advice.
g 2 84
The trees that clothe the sides of these mountains are of enormous size, and often entwined
by creepers almost as thick in the stem as
the parent tree. Many of the trees were of
kinds perfectly new to me, and it was not
until I read Dr. Gardner's account of the
mountains that I was enlightened. Some of
them were in flower, covered with pink, scarlet,
white, and violet blossoms: others bending
with ripe or nnripe fruit, while others again,
exhausted by the close embrace of the creepers,
had dried and spread afar their leafless, melancholy arms, as if in silent appeal for pity.
The air becomes perceptibly cool as you
ascend, and many English vegetables are here
cultivated, and sent down to supplv the town.
The whole of the Organ range is granite,
and a rich deposit of soil is found in the
valleys, the accumulated vegetation of cen-
turies. These are filled with lars^e trees, and
a rank growth of the indigenous plants, and
often infested by monkeys, wild cats, bar-
bados, and tapirs, with occasionally the jaguar BEASTS   AND   BIRDS.
and sloth, both of which have become scarce
of late years.
The tapir is, I believe, peculiar to South
America, and 1 imagine is a link between
an elephant and a pig, having several of the
properties of both oddly mingled; they stay
in damp places, come out to feed at night,
and are usually considered very harmless.
. Among the birds that hopped about,
scarcely deigning to fly away from us, were
numberless parrots, paroquets, owls, hawks,
jacutinga, quail, partridges, and lastly toucans.
The latter 1 had seen for the first time alive
on our excursion up the Corcovado—now they
were round me in numbers, and sat blinking
their eyes and nodding their long bills as
if rather pleased with my admiration. The
colour of the breast is a mingled rose, orange,
and chrome, while the great unwieldly-looking
bill is in reality light, and of a honey-comb
texture. The guides affirm that if you
knocked it with a stick it paralyzed the
bird. 86
Waterton, whose book kept me awake
many a night long ago, says there is a
toucan in the north of Brazil which seems
to suppose that its beauty can be increased
by trimming its tail, which undergoes the
same operation as our hair in a barber's shop,
only with this difference, that it uses its own
beak (which is serrated) in lieu of a pair of
scissors. | As soon as his tail is full grown,
he begins about an inch from the extremity
of the two longest feathers in it, and cuts
away the web on both sides of the shaft,
making a gap about an inch long."
I shot two large specimens, but, both being
male birds, I had to beg a female from our
host at Constancia, who further added to
my collection by giving me some specimens
of snakes, all peculiar to these mountains.
There was a valley near, called the
•| Happy Valley," a spot in which one might
find it bliss merely to breathe and live.
Talking of the Happy Valley, in a book
I read while at Rio, I found a passage which, THE   HAPPY  VALLEY.
being in connection with what I am writing
of, and relating to a phenomenon I was not
fortunate enough to see myself, I must
transcribe. The writer says, "One evening'
I walked from Heath's to the |Happy Valley/
but not prolonging my promenade long in
that direction, I entered a forest and pursued
my way to the edge of a precipice, or rather
a crater-like hollow. The centre was a
thousand feet below me, and the sides
were covered with trees; the night was dark,
and had fallen so suddenly after a brief
twilight, that, so far as anticipation was concerned, I was unprepared for it. Before
retracing my steps, I stood for a few minutes
looking down into the Cimmerian blackness
of the gulf beneath rne, and, while thus
gazing, a luminous mass seemed to start
from the centre. I watched it as it floated
up, revealing, in its slow flight, the long leaves
of the Enterpe edulis, and the minuter foliage
of other trees. It came directly towards me,
lighting up  the gloom around me with its 88
three luminosities, which I could now distinctly see. This was the Pyrophorus noc-
telucens, so well known to every traveller in
the Antilles, and in Tropical America. It
is of an obscure blackish brown, and the body
is everywhere covered with a short, light
brown pudescence. When it walks, or is at
rest, the principal light issues from the two
yellow tubercles; but when the wings are
expanded in the act of flight, another luminous
spot is disclosed in the under part of the
throat. These luminosities, supposed to be
phosphoric in their composition, are so considerable, that the fire-fly is often employed
in countries where it prevails as a substitute
for artificial light.
" In the mountains of Tejuca, I have read
the smallest print by one of these natural
lamps. The Indians formerly used them instead of flambeaus in their hunting expeditions."
The ascent of the mountains is long and
arduous, occupying three, or sometimes four MY ZOOLOGICAL COLLECTION.
days, according to the route of the travellers.
Not being a botanist, and being in a hurry,
I persuaded my companion to push ahead,
and made the journey in three days, returning with a bag of 'birds' skins large enough to
stock a modern collection, the tusks of a
tapir, and the skin of a wild cat. All these
we deposited in the hands of a bird-stuffer
at Rio, leaving directions to have them packed
in readiness for our departure.
I have not given any description of the
views we met with, partly because I have
been expatiating upon the Corcovado, and
partly because I really could not give the
reader any idea of the difference which exists
among objects which are in reality the same.
I should appear only repeating the same
panoramic view I saw from the Corcovado,
and yet to the eye it is totally different, and
new, as if seen for the first time.
The weather at the time of our sojourn in
Rio was settled, and on the whole fine, though
occasionally thunder-showers came down with 90
such good will that I heard an old sailor say,
when asked if it rained, f No, Sir, it's stopped
raining, and coming down any how." In the
midst of these deluges you see troops of
washerwomen running down to the bay;
then such a scene begins. The first time I saw
it, I gave up all hope of finding a single
button on my shirts, thankful if they everr
came home with sleeves, the violent beating,
pulling, and tossing they are subjected to
making you shudder for your wardrobe.
The night before our ship left Rio, I was sent
up the country a few miles to see if the wash was
ready, and four of us hired two carriages about
ten p.m. Well, after a rough voyage through
dark lanes, every few minutes having to pull
up and right ourselves, we came to a small
hill, up which the horses absolutely refused
to proceed. In vain we coaxed and thrashed
them, all to no purpose. Our yells made the
night hideous, and were enough to waken
the dead—the sleeping I know they did rouse,
fex we saw sundry heads pop out of upper BLACK  WASHERWOMEN.
windows, and occasionally a timid old lady
would begin to shriek, or an irate old householder express himself in a very rude manner,
wishing us somewhere else.
Well, after shouting for ten minutes without eliciting the least acknowledgment from
our horses, we tackled them all to one carriage, and setting our shoulders to the wheels,
after sundry parts of the gear had given way, we
managed to reach the top, and after a short
gallop arrived at the washing-house.
Here we found the black women, with a
very scanty supply of clothing, hopping round
large stone tanks, dashing our linen about
frantically. There did not appear much hope
of their being ready <by daybreak, the time
at which we were to sail; so our only chance
was to find out the proprietor and row him
well. This we did to no end, and then went
and had a bath in a tank next to the one in
use, which having a constant flow of water
through it, and the hour being midnight,
was delightfully cool.   After this we returned 92
to the washerman's mansion, where we
found a capital supper waiting; to this we
did ample justice, voting him the best fellow
in Brazil, to which he seemed to agree with
great complacency. But the hours were
stealing away, our clothes were bundled together, wet and dry, the horses harnessed,
one cheer for the supper, and off we went; we
picked up the other trap at the foot of the
hill, divided our forces, and bowled along.
We had only one mishap to speak of; one
of the bags of clothes tumbled off the first
trap. I was driving the second, and had only
time to get my horses well in hand, when they
rose at it like steeple-chasers. One cleared it,
but the other came down on the starboard
broadside, and smashed the steering pole;
for a minute all was confusion, then the
fallen beast scrambled up, and feeling some of
the broken harness tickling her, set off at a
gallop. There was no chance of stopping them.
Indeed, we could not if we would, for the
pole was trailing on the ground, and the road A  NEW   CALAMITY.
being a slight declivity most of the way, the
carriage rattled along at their heels, giving
them a push if they slackened speed. Our
friends in front had the best of it, as seeing
what had happened, they permitted us to steer
past,.and then came up in our wake, letting
us pilot them on.
After a tearing gallop we reached the
town, ran the carriage up an embankment,
were soon safe on board, and in half an
hour more were getting towed out of harbour.
I soon became alive to the fact that I was
shirtless, for, as misfortune would have it, the
bag we were wrecked on contained my wash.
My calamity getting public, subscriptions
of shirts, socks, &c, &c, poured in, and I began to think it not such a bad move to get a
new rig.
But here we are at sea again, the sugar-
loaf making a parting bow, the first gleam of
sunshine stealing over the lovely green mountains, and bright eyes, black, brown, or blue,
just opening—shall we ever see their like
again ? 94
ec Hurrah! for the sea, the glorious sea,
A sailor's life is the life for me ;
I never could stand the dull, dark land—
Then hurrah! for my home on the boundless sea."
T.  D. JElffTOIT.
We were all very sorry to leave Rio, one
or two of the more snsceptible ones looking
very sentimental for a day or two, and cherish-
inff bunches of flowers, which, however, soon
withered, and somehow ffot thrown away. I
heard one man threaten to put his servant in
irons for committing this same wickedness,
but the report that we were going to put in
at Buenos Ayres, for a supply of fresh provisions, soon dispelled all melancholy. Marvellous were the tales told by a few who had
visited it before; one fellow outstripped them ROMANCE-WEAVING.
all. He had been there during the years of
the revolution, and made our blood creep
with vivid descriptions of the murders, &c,
daily committed, assuring us he had often seen
a dozen men torn to pieces by wild horses,
and that General Rosas and his beautiful
daughter, Donna Manuelita, fought side by
side in the last great battle. The little bovs
crowded up, listening with horrible curiosity,
•and the gentleman was in full swing, when
one of the Lieutenants, who had been lying
half asleep close by, got up, yawned, and
looking hard at the romance-weaver, said,
"I didn't know you had such a lively imagination, Croft—where the deuce have you been
hiding it all away, my boy pi The other coloured up; he and the speaker were not the closest
allies in the ship.
" Perhaps you can tell the story better,"
was the answer.
"Well, perhaps I ought to be able to tell
something of it, seeing that I was on board
Henderson's flag-ship when the General and 96
his daughter took refuge from the allied
"Oh! were you? Do tell us all about it,
Why didn't you shut up Croft before ?—he
always tells busters !" exclaimed a cadet cousin
of the before-mentioned Croft, who answered
by telling him he was an impudent young
jackanapes, and that he knew as well as any
man what had happened in the Plata, but
that Webb might tell his story for their edification. The Lieutenant laughed, and began
giving us a wonderful account of the state of
the country, the heroic conduct of the Donna,
and her final escape in*sailor's clothes to the
flag-ship, where her beauty and amiability
seem to have made a lasting impression.
The story took two days to tell, that is to say
the cross-examinations occupied that space,
and so interested the young hands, that the
captain, wondering at the quiet, came twice
to ask if any one was ill.
Our run down to the Rio de la Plata was enlivened by a series of shoals of fish, one of PORPOISES.
which covered the sea for miles, tossing about
in wonderful attitudes, whisking, diving,
whirling and throwing somersaults, or going,
according to the Authoress of ' Mary Powell,'
" top side t'other way." Tehse were all
porpoises, and as they generally accompany
one or more of the great leviathans of the
deep, we were in a state of prodigious excitement, few of us ever having seen one alive,
though I must here confess to having been
tempted to get inside the skeleton of one in
the Isle of Wight, that I might follow the
showman's advice and | flabbergast my acquaintances by telling them of it." Most of
us got into the rigging, and glass in hand
kept a bright look out, but excepting a suspicion of one at a great distance, we saw
nothing, and a clear moonlight night set in I
the shoal still following us, gleaming in the
silver rays. Presently an alarm was given, we
rushed to the side, and there within four
hundred yards was a whale, his back standing
up out of the bright water as he sailed along
VOL.   I. H 98
He was going at a great rate, and gaining
upon us every moment, passing within eighty
yards of us. Just as he did so, he dived
and came up a good length ahead, sending up
a jet of water that would have made the biggest
fountain at Sydenham blush; the monster then
continued his course, and was soon out of
sight, leaving us watching for his partner—as
it is said they seldom travel alone. In this case,
however, either the lady was modest, or the
gentleman preferred single blessedness, for we
watched and watched in vain, the hours of the
night slipped by, and the porpoises disappeared.
In the grey dawn of morning we sighted
the Island of Lobos, about seventy miles
from Monte Video. The name of the island
is taken from the enormous quantities of
seals which infest it. Numbers of these were
lying on the rocks, and as the breeze passed
over us, a strong and by no means agreeable
perfume was wafted from the island, which,
I believe, yields a good round sum in skins
and oil. MONTE  VIDEO.
The northern shore, of the river alone is visible, and is low and sandy, varied here and there
with a patch of green, and with the steeples
and towers in the town of Maldonado. About
midway between the island and Monte Video
you see the mountainous district of Monte
Negro, then we sighted a conical hill, and
lastly the town and harbour of Monte Video.
All I can say is, that I, for one, was terribly
disappointed with the appearance of the
country, which, after Rio de Janeiro, looked
flat and uninteresting; while the only thing
to be seen inland, were herds of wild cattle
and horses feeding. The navigation up the
Plata is most dangerous and tedious, from the
numbers of shifting sandbanks and shallows ;
the distance is one hundred miles, but the
anchorage for a man-of-war not much more
than half that distance. Ours being a frigate
got a good deal farther up, and cast anchor
just at sunset, so there was no chance of
shore until morning; and as the light faded
away, and the banks of the river became more
& 100
indistinct, I gazed with a good deal of longing
at the lights ashore. Just as my discontent
was at its height, a boat which we had remarked cruising round as if on the look out,
came close up, and stood off and on, while
the business of furling sails, clearing up, and
calling watches was got over. No sooner had
the pipe | call the watch" gone, than " side
boys" was piped; then up walked one of the
gentlemen we had seen in the boat. I was
standing near, #nd one glance was sufficient.
"Hollo! Pranks!" "By Jove, Fitzgerald!"
were our joint exclamations, as we rushed up
and greeted each other, as only Englishmen
can ; none of your kissing and slobbering, but
such an honest hearty gripe of two hands as
I've seen a Frenchman wince under.
I Where did you spring from, Pranks, my
boy ? Why, last time we parted was when the
dear old D— was paid off, and you were going
in for your examination; what brought you
out here ?"
My friend made a face, partly in disgust— AN   INTRODUCTION.
"The examiners thought I didn't know enough;
then want of money makes folks sad, I had
none, and the old gentleman got rusty; so I, remembering the jolly days out here, cut the
service and emigrated. Still, Pitzgerald, I can't
help liking a look at a frigate; I often take a
cruise down just for the chance of finding an
old messmate, and by Jove I'd rather have met
you than a dozen."
Then followed a heap of questions, in the
middle of which I remembered I had not
spoken to Prank's friend. 11 have forgotten
your friends, please introduce me." So we bowed ; and seeing we looked respectable, shook
hands—then, § Come along, old fellow! Justin
time for a taste of the old fare, tell your friends
I'll expect them."
We dined below, I taking charge of Pranks,
while the rest were given to the tender
mercies of my messmates. "Ah, how well I
know these cockroach houses !" says Pranks,
looking round; " but how is it, you've got
none? Ah! you didn't stay long enough at 102
Rio | I see, fresh from dear old England. I
sometimes wish I was back with your fellows
again, but then we have such a jolly wild
life here, it just suits me—I am sure it
would do for you, too. You must come up
the country with us and see how you like it;
get some of the jolly ones to come, and I'll
show you land will set you going if you like
to give up ploughing the salt water."
1 Very kind of you, Pranks, but I could
not think of it yet, everything has been going
on swimmingly; when a check comes we'll
think of it, so keep a spare bed for me." Then
twang went the Bugler, with the " Roast Beef
of Old England," the call for dinner. Pranks
cuts a caper, and we pop (only a few steps) into
our seats, then there is a pause; then "a glass
of wine, Franks," and off goes the clatter again.
This continues till two bells (seven o'clock),
when those, who smoke (I don't) adjourned
to the main deck, and turned themselves into
chimney pots. At half past eight we had a
glorious bowl of punch, both  soup-tureens TWO  DAYS    LEAVE.
full, after which we had great fun. Every one
found out he knew friends or relations of
Pranks, who told us tremendous stories of
tigers, wild cattle, Indians, and horses. Then
came half past ten, and the imperative order to
lower lights. Reluctantly we packed up, and
then followed the foreboding words, " Boy,
tell the quarter-master to get that boat alongside."
1 and a couple of friends rushed off to the
Captain, who gave us leave for a couple of days.
We didn't require much packing, and were
speedily, very much to our own astonishment,
on the wav to shore. After a long row we
reached the right bank of the river ; there we
found fifteen or twenty horses in waiting, and
were soon on their backs, galloping along like
the wind, Pranks and his friends leading.
It was a lovely night, the crescent moon
had just risen, numberless stars danced in
the bright blue sky, and beneath us our
sprightly horses bounded like the wind. It
was a miracle none of us had a tumble ; the I
ground was rough, and sailors are not the
best jockeys in the woild, still we got
on, puffing it is true, but sticking to our
After a reasonable, or as it seemed to me
unreasonable time, the horses showed symptoms of being blown, but whip and spur kept
them up to a wayside establishment, something like an inn ; here Pranks called a halt, we
proceeded to change horses, and were off again
in a quarter less than no time. At last, much
to my relief, we halted at a very nice looking
station, and Pranks announced we had reached
our destination. To say I was thankful that
such was the case was little; the fact is, I was
thinking of giving in; sailors are not accustomed to such hard riding every day; so it
was with a sense of immense relief I felt my-
self ushered into a bed-room, and found my
equilibrium on a deliciously soft couch. I did
not ask any question, but curling myself up
fell fast asleep, leaving every one to look out
for himself. MOUNT  ROSA.
I was roused about four hours after, shook,
and taken to one of the coolest and freshest
streams I ever had the luck to meet with,
in which I became fairly awake, and conscious
I was in the enjoyment of two days' leave, and.
the chance of no end of fun.
My friend's place, which he called Mount
Rosa, was a lovely spot, standing in a grove
of myrtle and geranium trees, and surrounded
by numbers of huts belonging to the Guachos
(cattle herds), who lounged about in picturesque dresses, not unlike the Zouaves, but
wearing their hair nature's length, and having
embroidered frills where their trowsers, or,
as may be more intelligible, their knickerbockers join their boots.
We had a capital breakfast, cooked in the
country style—namely, cut out of the animal
the instant he is killed, and before he is really
quite dead. This is not done every day, only
on special occasions, as of course it destroys
the hide, a great piece of this being cut out
with the flesh.    The hide forms a sort of bag, 106
■ rl
which, by keeping in the juice as the meat
roasts, renders it the most delicious morsel
lever tasted; indeed, so good that I could
not bring myself to desert it, and try the
numerous other dishes that graced the
After breakfast, we set off to an Indian
encampment, to which Pranks had sent on
our arrival, requesting we might see their
troops. We found nearly two hundred horse
drawn up, and had scarcely approached within
five hundred yards, when off they dashed as
hard as their legs could carry them. Of
course we pulled up, as they really looked
as if coming right into us. All at once not
a rider was to be seen, they had slung themselves down at their horses' sides; the latter
turned sharp, and a flight of arrows whistled
past us like a covey of partridges f in a second,
the horses were again mounted and bounding
on. They performed the same manoeuvre, disappearing a second and third time like a gust
of wind, all the while the arrows flying past INDIAN  EXERCISE.
by scores; then, changing their tactics, they
kept up a retreating movement, ''their horses
going slowly.
Next came the lassoing, and this was great
fun, as they tumbled each other over as if
they had no bones in their bodies; then they
were sent into a rancho or inn to refresh
themselves, and the chief returned with us
to the settlement, where, after something to
eat and drink, we set off to try and get a
shot at a lama or ostrich. After a few miles
gallop, we came upon a herd of the former,
and succeeded in bringing down three, but
though we saw many others, we could not
get near enough to have a shot.
Our day was finished off by a sight of
lassoing wild cattle, and very wild, exciting
work it is—the herds often getting very wicked,
and showing fight.
As we galloped about watching the sport,
Pranks expatiated largely on the delights of
his free life, telling me that he was now his
own master; and that he  would advise me m
to make up my mind and settle down. Certainly such a life had many temptations, yet
it had its hardships, too; and, after all, when
one comes to think of it, there are clouds and
sunshine in every life.
That night I saw the mode of slaughtering
the tame cattle, or ganado de rodeo.    A body
of men,   Guachos of course,  sally out after
dark, armed with a long sharp knife, and a
cow's hide wrapped round the left arm \ they
creep through the  close thickets where the
half-tamed animals are sleeping, and stealing
up to them, plunge the knife into their necks.
Sometimes,  if   they  miss  their  stroke,   the
wounded beast springs up and charges \ then
the purpose of the hide shield appears, the
tough surface turns off the horns, while the
Guacho, springing aside, deals the death blow.
The animal  staggers  and falls dead  at  his
feet.    Sometimes an accident occurs, the bull j
changes his   course, and,   unprepared  for  a
sidelong shock, the  butcher  is  overthrown,
and if so, generally gored.    I saw one man THE   GUACHOS.
who had been twice tossed, and once left
transfixed on the bull's horns. How he escaped seemed to have puzzled himself, and
from what I could gather slightly disordered
his intellect, though Franks assured me he
was his best hand, and had more knowledge,
mingled with daring, than all the rest put
It did not strike me that the Guachos
were naturally brave men. I should have
rather said that, from being brought up in
the midst of death and blood from their childhood, they had become accustomed to a certain degree of danger—the sight of death made
habitual, and the excitement of such scenes,
part of life itself. Trained from their boyhood
to the use of the knife, they are unable to move
without it; and all disputes are thus settled,
and of such quarrels the law takes no notice.
Eights, and consequently deaths, are so frequent, that even the lookers-on appear unconcerned; and a man drinking in the far
end of the room,  will pass over the body 110
of the murdered man without even taking his
cigar from his lips.
At day break, next morning, Pranks came
to me with the intelligence that a tiger had
been seen within eight or nine miles, and
that he considered it our bounden duty to
start immediately in his track. We were
accompanied by three of the regular tiger-
hunters, men who follow this daring warfare
for the sake of the skins. They very seldom
carry fire-arms, on account of injuring the
hide, but attack the animal armed with a
long knife and shield, such as the Guachos
use. They generally take well trained dogs
with them, which are taught to worry the
beast, and attract his attention, so as to enable
the hunter to make an attack.
Our route lay across the Pampas, where
enormous herds of cattle and horses were
quietly feeding; the grass is short and fine,
while every little valley has its silvery stream
embedded in trees and flowers. The sun rose
as we galloped on, and, as usual, our horses THE  PAMPAS.
welcomed him with a series of loud sneezes.
Gradually his rays cleared away the mist
which had been lying like dew over the
distant country, and from the high ground,
upon which we now were, we looked back
upon miles and miles of bright green undulating prairie, or, as it is here called, Pampas,
putting me in mind of a gigantic English
park. Par off, the Parana flowed majestically
along, emptying itself into the Rio de la Plata,
where it becomes an inland sea.
But on we went—there was no time to turn
and admire the view—I could only catch a
glimpse of it over my shoulder as we tore
along. Presently we stopped, and were joined
by a mob j of Guachos, wild, fierce-looking
fellows, with their long, matted, black hair
hanging like manes round their dark sun-burnt
faces, the lower portion of which is perfectly
concealed by mustachios and beard.
I Where is the tiger ?" demanded Pranks.
"There, senhor; he is a very devil, and
has killed two men and a hundred cows." 112
^" Well, we'll kill him—lead the way."
The tiger-hunters, having meantime made
their own inquiries, took the front rank, each
holding a couple of hunting dogs in a leash.
We Englishmen, rifle in hand, rode after,
while the Guachos followed. Down into the
valley we scrambled, where, among the rank
reeds forming the bed of a half-dry stream,
the tiger was lying. Just as we reached the
thicket, the dogs were unloosed, and dashed
in with a chorus of yells. And I, grasping
my rifle, felt half afraid, and began imagining
what my friends would think if I was slain
bv a tiger.
I had not much time for reflection; a
roar, that thrilled through every pulse of
my body, drowned the voice of men and
dogs. My horse wheeled like lightning,
unseating me, and down 1 came head fore-
most, my rifle going off as I fell. I had
one glance of the tiger close beside me, and
the reader may believe I was soon on my
legs again,   expecting  every  moment to be A   PERILOUS   POSITION.
in his grip, to my intense relief he was
Pranks hailed me with a cheer, I Well
done, Fitz, you've done what you can boast
of—jumped a tiger in his spring; but follow
up, here's my rifle, you will get a shot at
him yet, I'll take yours and load."
I did not stay to ask questions then, my
blood was up, my proximity to the brute had
banished fear, he was evidently running away
too, so my courage rose in proportion.
The hunters were close together at one side
of a very thick bush, waiting the breaking of
the tiger, a proceeding both the Guachos and
dogs were endeavouring to effect; but whether
he considered it wiser to charge the mob than
the little party of trained men, or whether it was
accidental, 1 cannot say, however, he suddenly
bounded out in the opposite direction to
where we stood, dashed straight through the
mob, and, seizing a man in his teeth, got into
the next thicket before he could be stopped.
Quick as light a couple of hunters and dogs
VOL.   I. I 114
COOLNESS and courage.
stationed at that side were at his heels, and
encumbered as he was, almost immediately
closed with him; one of the men dashing
up and burying his long knife in his side.
The tiger turned round like a shot, dropping
the body as he did so, and then followed
the most wonderful feat I ever saw or heard of.
The man carried off was, though much hurt,
and with a broken leg, perfectly conscious;
he had never let go his knife, and as the beast
let him fall and turned away, the long blade
gleamed in the air, and sunk quivering into
the very heart of the tiger. Without a
struggle he rolled heavily over, the blood
gushing from his mouth and nostrils, while
the gallant fellow who had given the death
blow, rose on one arm, and then fell fainting
upon the body.
We soon gathered round the spot, and, fortunately, one of the party being the ship's
doctor, the wounded man's hurts were bound
up, and every care taken of him, while every
man, even the hunters themselves, were loud
-!_?--•— v..*;.-_■:»:_: MEMENTO   OF  THE   HUNT.
in praise of his courage and coolness. He
soon recovered consciousness, and finding he
was not mortally hurt, did not seem to care
for the agony he must have endured, but lay
watching the others skinning the tiger, telling
stories of what he had seen.
The tiger was a large one for the country,
and must, from the shape and appearance
of his teeth, have been a very old fellow.
Pranks made me a present of his skin, as a
remembrance of my share in the exploit, which,
after all, was a novel one. It seemed that
when the tiger bounded out of the thicket
with the terrible roar I have spoken of, my
horse sprung round, pitching me head foremost over the animal, who, the lookers-on
assured me, seemed actually afraid of me as
I flew over him, the flash of my rifle giving
speed to his flight.
Our ride home was a very pleasant one;
Pranks telling me of many curious and exciting adventures both among the Indians,
Guachos, and wild  animals.    One of these
i 2 i I lit I
I shall repeat, hoping it may be new to some
of my readers. The hunt I am going to
speak of is called Corridas de yequas chucaras,
or in English, wild mare hunts.
The herds of wild horses are in some parts
so enormous that they   are  slaughtered for
their hides.    Most of these scenes take place
above Corrientes, which  town was the first
settlement of the Spaniards in the province,
and is some distance above  Buenos  Ayres.
When a hunt is arranged, great numbers of
Guachos and  Chocareros assemble;   an immense  circular  enclosure  is  formed  at   the
edge of a wood;   the  fence round the  enclosure is made of thick stakes, firmly lashed
together with ropes and twined branches ; and
a large opening is left at the verge of the wood,
with  a  great  number  of gates or hurdles,
ready to fill up the entrance when required.
When these arrangements are completed, the
Guachos  divide  and scour the plains  in  a
semicircle, gradually narrowing until they close
in the herd of wild horses. EATAL   ACCIDENTS.
Uttering loud shouts, they keep lessening
the space, the frightened horses rushing in
a dense mass, while the hunters gather in, and
finally the herd is driven into the corral, and
the gateway closed up.
Then the work of slaughter begins, the
animals being lassoed, killed, and dragged out
to be skinned. Such scenes are of course often
attended with many and fatal accidents ; some-
times the fence proves too weak for the
enormous pressure, and the whole herd escapes. At other times, they will make a simultaneous rush at the hunters, and bear them
down with irresistible impetus, trampling
both horses and riders to death. I also heard
that tigers are frequently trodden down at
these forays, as, roused from their lair by
the mad rush of horses, they, are surrounded
and overwhelmed before they can escape.
Pranks told me of one instance where a tiger
was seen borne into the corral clinging to
the back of a mare, and was shot while in
that position. 118
Another story of tigers, and I must have
done with them—the tiger slayer told it, so
I am bound to believe him. It seemed that;
when he was a boy, the whole neighbourhood
was kept in dread by a ferocious tiger, whose
deeds became the subject of tradition, and
served as conversation for the entire country.
Many hunters went out against this animal,
but all failed, he seldom shewing himself, and
when he did, behaving in such a strange
manner, perfectly invulnerable to knives or
balls, that he was at last supposed by the
superstitious to be possessed by an evil spirit,
and called the " devil's tiger."
At last, one bright, moonlight night, the
Estancia, near to which his latest depredations
had taken place, was alarmed by the sounds
of combat; the well-known thundering voice
of the I devil's tiger," mingling with the bellowing and shrieks of a bull. The people
listened in fear; and in the morning a party
of them going into the valley, found the earth
torn up and covered with blood, whilst in ><fti£y^i
the thicket lay the bleeding and mangled
body of a tremendous bull, upon whose horns
the corpse of the " devil's tiger" was transfixed.    Both were dead.
I have read a similar story—so I suppose it
is all true. I should like to believe it, at all
Before leaving Buenos Ayres it might be
as well to say something of it as a town and
residence. The territory of Rio de la Plata was
founded in 1778 ; it reaches from the 16th
to the 45th degree of south latitude. It
stretches over twenty-nine degrees of latitude,
comprehending almost every variety of climate,
consequently an infinity of produce. The
name Plata, which signifies silver, was given to
it by De Solis in 1515.
H The situation of Buenos Ayres is low and
insignificant, part of it being built on a reclaimed swamp; and although the city, from
the peculiar formation of the houses (which
are built round square courts), occupies an
immense space, it does not shew itself.   The Ill
streets intersect each other at right angles,
and this uniformity is only interrupted in one
or two instances by large public squares.
The foundation is of comparatively recent
date, having been laid in 1588, by Juan de
Garey, who took possession in the name of
Spain. It has increased wonderfully in importance, and was long the principal emporium in
the world for hides and tallow; the whole
country being, as I before said, overrun with
cattle in a wild state ; and yet it was Garey introduced the first horned cattle seen in the Pampas, and in 1535 the first horses were taken
over. The immense increase seems almost impossible, and yet within a few centuries we
read of the wild cattle covering the Pampas.
Buenos Ayres has been stained by many a
scene of blood and horror, but it is to be hoped
a brighter day is coming.
I will not say more of the place, and the
reader must take this as a soliloquy, on our
way down to join the ship.
We were eagerly greeted, and our trophies DEPARTURE EROM BUENOS AYRES  121
handed up; the tiger skin attracting universal
admiration, though some of them pretended
to curl up their noses, and said it was no
tiger at all. Pranks left us at half past ten,
and at daylight we were on our way down
the river, and Buenos Ayres fading in the
distance. 123
I The startled waves leap over it, the storm
Smites it with the scourges of the rain,
And steadily against its solid form
Press the great shoulders of the hurricane."
m i!
We are again at sea, and in the midst of
as stormy a water as you could desire, the
morning generally beginning calm, and sunny
clouds falling in the afternoon, and a regular
hurricane often blowing all night. I was particularly unlucky, in as much as from catching
a severe cold on the second day by getting
wet at the commencement of my middle
watch, and having to remain in that state all
the while, I was confined below for several tew*
days; and as the ports were obliged to be kept
closed, I hadn't much comfort.
We were all busy making ready rifles, guns,
and ammunition for a crusade against the
rabbits and geese in the Palklands. Then we
mids all came in for a disagreeable reproof,
being put into watch and watch, and all because we forgot to send in our logs on Sunday;
some of us however got out next day.
The nights are getting delightfully cool,
and croakers are already talking of the severity
of the weather round the Horn ; but as I was
beginning to doubt every thing I had ever
read about these regions, I did not give much
attention, thinking there would be time
enough to shiver when the cold came. Squalls
were becoming quite familiar things, and on
the first day I was able to do duty again we
had a regular clipper.
The ship had been at lower deck quarters,
until she took in so much sea that we had to
stop ; and that being over I went on deck for
my watch. I had not been there many minutes g^f
^^jajH   '
K?yy^S          s tt|
§PjjS   Kp
6?3§   'i 51
H     :
when the wind freshened; the pipe went,
I Shorten sails." Things looking black and
threatening squally weather, we shortened sails
to top sails, sent the hands aloft, took in two
reefs, and just as that was over, the squall
came; looking to windward, it was very wild
and pretty, the lightning seeming to chase
the clouds of spray, while above the sky was
as black as midnight; a few moments of
this, then down poured the rain in perfect
sheets of water.
The wind continued all night; then came
a dead calm, and a bright sun, as if to dry us
again % great numbers of albatrosses and Cape
pigeons were now round us—the former floating in the air as if buoyed up by some invisible power, actually appearing like magic. A
brother sailor of mine, who has given his experience to the world, makes a good enough
remark on these strange birds. He says, | It
seems odd, but really I am half inclined to
think they return to land every night; they
always fly that way at sun-set, and even on THE  ALBATROSS.
the clearest nights I never saw one in the
morning. Also they always join the ship a
short period after daylight, when you mark
the incredibly short time they take to reach
you from the verge of the horizon; this seems
more probable than at the first mention of
it."      I^-:   llpr-     ■ .   -
We had great fun fishing for these birds,
which is done by large hooks baited with
pork; this they greedily devour, and are
easily pulled on deck, where they waddle and
tumble about in the most absurd way, trying
to snap at every one, so that you have to keep
at a good distance. This is always better on
another account, as their feathers are an
admirable harbour for myriads of lice.
The high land on the coast of Patagonia
was occasionally visible; and, en passant, I
may as well say a few words of the natives,
gleaned from the personal experience of
friends who have visited the country.
The first accounts brought by the early
navigators made the  world   stare—and no 126
wonder; they told of a race of men, none of
whom were under eight feet, that lived
upon human flesh, and devoured their food
still quivering with life. Years passed on,
their character being still kept up, though to
any reasonable observer the cause of their
seeming cruelty is apparent enough, and entirely the consequence of the conduct of the
very men who have thus stigmatized them;
who (when the amazed savages flocked round
them, too much astonished to know fear)
treated them with insult and harshness;
mocking their simple rites, and taking by
force whatever their evil passions prompted
them to covet.
Later travellers, some of whom have spent
years in the country, speak very differently of
the inhabitants f and though, upon some parts
of the coast, they may deserve a character for
cruelty and treachery, they have as a people
many noble qualities—are brave, generous,
and truthful, faithful in their attachments, and
perfectly trustworthy.    Whether  they  have THE  NATIVES.
degenerated in size, or their proportions have
been exaggerated by those who gave the first
reports, I cannot say, but according to all accounts they are of no prodigious dimensions
now, though certainly a fine tall race. They
^seem to lead a wandering life, roving about
their strange, wild country; living generally
on the backs of their horses, which they
manage with singular skill and courage. A
great part of their diet consists of seal's
blubber and dried fish, which they store
during a certain portion of the year.
There is a belief that an undue number of
shipwrecks take place upon this coast; but
I scarcely think it is the case, when you
take into consideration the violent changes
of weather, the bleak and wild coast, and
the enormous number of vessels passing.
I had a great desire to visit Patagonia, but
of course was unable to do so, as we never
put in, but kept right steadily on to the
Palklands. If ever I am lucky enough to have
a cruise among the giants, I shall hope to r I
find a hearing, and be able to tell some wonderful stories.
The first land we sighted was Cape Bougainville and Port Salvador. Every one was on
deck in a state of great excitement, glasses
sweeping the island, upon which we saw immense herds of cattle feeding, while numbers
of sea-lions were basking on the rocks. As
we got near them we heard them bellowing
like bulls, and great hopes of seal-shooting
gleamed upon us, while in imagination I
grasped my rifle, and my thoughts went
back to old days. Midsummer holidays spent
at Holy Island; days before life's cares began, when my greatest grief was saying goodbye to go to school. Alas ! and alas! what
changes have happened since then! I have
learnt the hard side of life; but please God,
with it have learnt, too, that even as life is
but a drop in the ocean of eternity, so our
griefs are as a drop in the ocean of joy everlasting.
At last we cast anchor in Yorke Bav.    Here STANLEY.
we were intended to stay three days; quite
a delightful prospect, though the weather
was so much colder that we had to pile on all
the warm things we could get at. The islands
are not by any means prepossessing in appearance, and the town of Stanley is, I think, a
wretched place, with scarcely one inhabitant
who would not give his ears to get away from
it. There seems to be no energy or enterprise among the people, who will not even take
the trouble to cultivate the commonest English vegetables in a general way, although I
saw very fine ones in the market, brought from
one or two gardens.
I do not know what the people do with
themselves, except eat, sleep, and talk scandal,
and soon found we were great attractions,
merely from the fact of being strangers.
We did not, however, trouble the town
much, although we found a few pleasant,
friendly people. Geese, ducks, snipe, and
rabbits were so plentiful that we had enough
to do laying in a stock for our longer voyage,
VOL.   I. K
111 i i! *
not intending to touch until we reached
Valparaiso; a good long spell of the salt
The day after our anchoring, we had great
sport, finding multitudes of rabbits  on the
banks.    These rabbits are of two kinds, some
so rank and fishy as to be uneatable; others
first rate.   We, having received instructions
which  to  bag,  soon  filled  our boat.    One
rather amusing incident occurred, which one
of us will remember a long time. One of the
midshipmen, never having seen, nor heard of
the peculiar nest made by the penguins, and
seeing a curious hole, poked his hand in to
feel what was there ; the owner was at home,
and very soon resented the indignity, by seizing the intruding hand in his bill, which (as
the king penguins are much larger and stronger
than a swan) is no slight pressure, at least
H did not seem to relish it, for he yelled
and shouted in the most terrific manner,
bringing the whole of our party to his rescue.   In spite of our commiseration, it was 1
impossible to help laughing, as there he was,
up to the shoulder in a hole; bellowing and
writhing with pain. A settler who was with us
soon solved the mystery, and by inserting
ram-rods into the hole, and regularly boring out
the old bird, we managed to rescue our friend.
Having purchased a number of live cattle,
we set off next day with the Guachos to
see them perform their duty. These men are
much the same in habits as those bearing the
name at Buenos Ayres; their trade being
to slaughter the cattle running wild upon the
hills. Some of us tried to shoot the beasts, but
found it dull work, and far more exciting to
watch the dexterity of the Guachos in lassoing
them. We had capital horses for a dollar a
day; but many were the misadventures and
accidents. One fellow rode slap up against a
fine bull; the horse came down, while the unfortunate rider, being shot off, accompanied the
bull a short way in his flight; then ploughed
up the ground with his nasal organ for a
yard or two.    We all gathered round to pick
■  k 2        " I
him up, and enquire if any bones were
"Nothing wrong, old fellow, only an inch
of skin lost, eh ?"
I Why, don't know," was the answer in a
very quiet way, | I've been doing what we
aie told the steam ram is to do with a hook
to it, only I was the mast which came over
the bows; and by Jove, if that's the way, I'll
not volunteer for a steam ram."
Of course we all laughed, and seeing there
was nothing wrong, went off to follow our
game, leaving our messmate to get into the
saddle again.
The Guachos are very sharp with their
work. Galloping up within a few yards of the
beast they have fixed on, whizz goes the
lasso, which by practice they throw so as to
twist round any part of the body they please.
The first usually encircles the horns; then a
partner throws the second, which goes roundthe
legs, and both draw at once; the horses trained to their work, stopping and throwing out PURCHASE   OE  PROVISIONS.
their fore feet instantly, so as to give them
a purchase; then twang goes the string, and
the animal arrested in his headlong flight falls
helplessly to the ground. Up dash the
Guachos, one plunge of the long ready knife,
all is over, and the noble animal is merely
butcher meat, to be gobbled by a set of
hungry sailors.
Having seen as much as we wanted of this
Work, we rode off to the store to procure a
small stock of fresh provisions—though I'm
afraid I should come under the head of making
a bull for saying fresh provisions, when the fact
is we wanted preserves, potted meats, or something like that for suppers. Well, as luck would
have it, we found the stores full, and things
going for an incredibly low figure. Kid
gloves a quarter of a dollar a pair, preserved
meats, four pound tins, quarter of a dollar each;
only fancy our luck—we immediately bought
up mess and private stock, and looked forward to live like fighting cocks.
The solution of the mystery was that the SB
I 1
storekeeper had bought a Prench ship which
had been blown on shore, and condemned for
a few thousand dollars as she stood, and
having cleared some hundreds per cent by
the rigging, spars, &c, which ships are always
calling in for, he was glad to get what he
could for the other things.
The third day we were again busy looking
for a sea-stock, and getting eggs, which, although in my private opinion I thought very
nasty, tough, and fishy, some of the fellows
professed to like very much, and ate accord-
Upon the fourth day we set sail and were
once more on the blue ocean; but not, as we
had expected, to round the Horn. Taking
advantage of the fine weather, and feeling the
importance of the time we would gain, it
was determined to run through the Straits
of Magellan; at all times a hazardous undertaking, but still one perfectly feasible in fine
weather and with enough hands.
Of course we were charmed  to  think of THE   STRAITS   OE   MAGELLAN.
escaping the weary passage round the Horn,
and cheered the determination in our hearts.
Well, on the secondijfday we were in the
Straits with a favourable wind, the sea as quiet
as a mill pond, and all going well. At night
we put into a Patagonian harbour, and soon
found the beach lined with natives. Great
strong fellows bearing loads of lama and
ostrich flesh, some too with chinchilla skins |
these were all readily bought up, but unluckily the moths got at them, and except
what we had used as lining for night jackets,
all were soon useless. The natives seemed
inchned to give us everything for rum; a
taste much encouraged by the whalers, who
provision their ships at the cost of a few
bottles of villanous stuff they call rum. The
Straits are so narrow that you require (if a
sailing vessel) to be towed through. We made
good way with the screw, and anchored at
night, by fastening the ship by long ropes to
trees on the opposite side of the passage,
.which, in some parts, seems actually to close ■ 9'»gEi.yi-ca*Jy BQ way. *w
over your head, leaving scarcely, as an Irishman on board said, | a taste of the firmament." The high banks and rocks were completely clothed with trees, which droop and
twist about in a beautifully fantastic manner:
t/ *
all, however, bearing evidence of the prevailing
wind, which, calm as it was when we passed,
was only the day after our exit in such a state
of excitement, that one of Her Majesty's ships,
coming round with mails after making an
attempt to get through, was forced to put
back and round the Horn. A friend of mine
on board of her gave me an account of their
voyage, which, taking place identically with
my own, I shall introduce, in order to show
the difference between the two passages.
|f After dodging about at the entrance to the
strait, waiting for a change of breeze, the Commander determined to take the long passage,
on the principle that the furthest way round,
is the nearest way home; so we turned the
ship's head, and made up our minds for a
tossing match.     There was a smart breeze STRAIT LE  MAIRE.
blowing, with an ugly sea chopping up all
round us. The coast of Terra del Puego is
not interesting, so we kept out considerably,
sighting the Cape de Diego at twelve o'clock,
noon; we had now the Island of Staten rising
on our left hand, the highest mountains all
capped with snow, which sparkled and gleamed
in the bright sunlight. The great beauty of
the hills consists in their peculiar shapes and
irregularity, jutting up in every form in the
most unexpected manner; not a single tree
was to be seen, and I believe there are none
on the island.
I In the strait here, called the Strait Le
Maire, there is a terrible current, which, at
times, actually makes a top of a small ship,
spinning her round in spite of helm or sail.
A lull took place just as we turned the Cape,
then puff, puff, came a couple of blasts that
almost lifted us out of the water, sending a
couple of our sails all to ribbons, and giviSg
the men sharp work for the next few minutes
to put all straight again.  Night set in clear and 138
calm, just enough wind blowing to waft us
along, and with the most beautiful moonlight
effect one could imagine. The broad disk
rising from a belt of dark purple clouds, just
lingering for a minute or two, as if to caress
them, shedding a silvery shower along their
foreheads; then starting up into the clear blue
sky, where her handmaids, the stars, have long
been waiting to welcome her. The crest of
every wave becoming alive with gladness as
she smiles down upon them, bounding, rolling
and palpitating in their mirth. Oh! what
would I not have given to have the power to
paint and bear away with me a lasting trophy
of a moonlight night off the Horn !
I But fair weather in these parts is not to
be depended upon; before sunrise we were
obliged to alter our head ways, and at daybreak we were running in quite an opposite
direction to that wished, the poor ship pitching and groaning in the most pitiable way.
The peculiar double seas that run round the
Horn gave us  no rest;   up and  down we DIEGO  RAMIREZ.
went like a cork on a boiling pot; neither lull
nor rest day or night. On the fourth day we
got a glimpse of Diego Ramirez, the clouds
lifting for a second or two, just as if it were to
warn us off. That night we were all roused
up by a new alarm, ' Icebergs ahead.'
| Up I went on deck, and soon had ocular
proof of the danger, for the sky being clear,
though the wind still continued, we could
distinctly see a large floating mass to windward, apparently rapidly making towards us.
All was now bustle on board—all hands were
piped up ; with such an evening threatening
us, our full strength was requisite enough.
On we went, and on too came the glittering
destruction, the moon's rays glancing on its
shining sides, from which rays of light
appeared to dart forth.
"It was an hour of intense anxiety, but
fortunately we had the ship well in hand, and
the wind acting as a friend, gave us a lift, so
that we ran out before the ice, which passed
on our bow only about two hundred yards off;
si* I If
rather a close shave. If we had been five, or
even three minutes later, it would have carried
right over us, and not a soul would have
lived to tell the tale. Oh! how many a sad
heart still mourns the loss of the fine old
Madagascar, which it now seems certain must
have perished something in this way. I had
a dear cousin on board of her, and shall
never forget the months of agony and
sickening suspense that his poor parents were
doomed to pass, or the sad letters their fellow
sufferers wrote. When first I saw an iceberg,
his merry face and well known voice came
before me, and the cold gleaming island
haunted me for many a night."
Such was my friend's account, and now t&
return to my own story. We were in the
Pacific, and on the billows that were to be
the home of many of us for three years. 1 expected only a short spell of it, as I would
come in for my promotion in the course of six
months, and my friends at home were already
&t the Admiralty to secure my appointment to
the flagship in the Mediterranean. With such
a prospect as this, I looked forward very pleasantly to a cruise in the Pacific.
The wind held fair, and all went well with
us until off Chiloe, when heavy clouds began
to blow up, and presently, without the least
warning, there came a regular squall. In a
second, the mizzen top-mast (we were carrying
full press of sail) came down with a crash, and
getting entangled with the sheets, caused a
scene of confusion, doubly confused by the
tremendous power of the gale. Smash went
the rigging, the wind screaming and tearing
away all the time, while the water boiled
round like a caldron, every now and then
sending a shower of foam over the masthead,
which, however, scarcely reached the deck,
being carried away by the blast. The squall
only lasted about a quarter of an hour, but
was followed by a heavy gale, during which
orders were given to run up to the Bay of
Don Carlos, to breathe for a day or two, and
mend the rigging. il IE
I !
Away! nor let me loiter in my song,
Eor we have many a mountain path, to tread,
And many a varied shore to sail along.
Chiloe is by no means a cheerful place,
being subject to a cold, damp climate, which has
given good excuse to the saying, that | it rains
six days, and is cloudy on the seventh." Of
course, one result is a luxuriant vegetation,
though, from its very rankness, not a productive one; cereals very seldom prove worth the
expense of cultivation, while potatoes, which are
indigenous to the soil, never attain any' size,
and present a wonderful quantity of fine
healthy tops.
The day we arrived was wet and gloomy, so CHILOE.
that, when we landed, we were soon looking
out for hotels, and found none, unless perhaps
you might dignify a great, rambling old shed
with such a name.   Here the only comfort was a
splendid log fire, rather a treat after a row of
two miles from the anchorage, in a cold Scotch
mist; round this we congregated, and round
us congregated the inhabitants, some to try
and sell their fruits, others to sell us in any
way they thought  practicable.    Among the
last, I have always found those possessed of
horses the most successful; they have all the
same insinuating way  of dwelling on  their
respective merits—hands, legs, and tongues
are all at work, and gesticulation appears a
great part of their trade.    In the present case,
we having determined to see the island, and
get ourselves into riding trim  for the anticipated hunting at Valparaiso,  were soon in
the clutches of about a dozen livery stable
keepers, all shouting in broken Pnglish the
merits of their studs.    Presently a new voice
rose above the din, and a tongue there was no Mm'i
i 1
mistaking sung out, | Och, ye divils, let the
boys alone, it's their own countryman they'll
take, bad luck to the whole lot o' ye, and
hurrah for ould Ireland."
The speaker was a little wizened old fellow,
with a regular Conn aught face, and was soon
bowing, and pulling a forelock in the middle
of our party, perfectly frantic with delight,
when one of the cadets pushed up, and told
him he too was an Irishman.
1 Are ye now, or is it joking ye are ? Is
yer dada in the ould country ?"
I True for ye," answered Dick, with an unmistakable brogue.
1 Then he'll be a great gentleman entirely';
and what part will he come from ?"
| Connaught, to be sure."
The old fellow's eyes glistened as he said,
I The gem of the whole country; and his
name, yer honour ?"
Dick had hardly got it out, when, with a
screetch like a wild Indian, the old fellow
seized him in his arms, and began capering HIS   STORY.
about with little Dicky kicking and red in the
face with astonishment and shame at (he an
officer too) being so treated. Suddenly the old
fellow set him down, and began blubbering.
In the midst of all, we gathered that he had
been bred, born, and reared on Dicky's paternal estate, but that, having been touched with
the gold fever, he and his family managed to
get a passage in an emigrant ship, thinking, if
once over the water, they would easily walk to
" Californy"—an undertaking which ended in
the death of the old woman and only daughter ; then the capture of the narrator and his
two boys by the Indians, their escape and
arrival at a port where they got on board a
whaler, short of hands, and were finally
wrecked near Chiloe, on which island they
found employment in the native stables. Of
course we all patronized the old chap's master,
and I must say got good horses, though sometimes, when we were too many for him,
he had to get extra beasts. We had startling
adventures, particularly as, the custom being
VOL.   I. 1 146
to turn out the horses for alternate years;
they are brought in from the plains almost as
unmanageable as wild ones—Cruiser was a joke
to some of them, and I wish I could let Mr.
Karey have a day among them.
i The saddles on which you are obliged to get
are the most abominable things I ever beheld,
while you are regularly weighed down by a
tremendous pair of spurs at each side,  with
rowels the size of a cheese-plate.    Of course
you are continually pricking the horse, sailors
more than any one, from not knowing exactly
how to handle their legs ; the consequence is,
that  when you have,   after  infinite   labour,
succeeded in establishing a nice easy canter,
and are congratulating yourself upon your successful subjection of your hot-tempered, hard-
mouthed Rosinante, you forget your legs, and
before you know where you are, you are either
flying over his head from a back jump, finished
off by a kick, or are spinning along the road,
holding on, John Gilpin fashion, with your armed
heels digging into the infuriated animal.   Thus
you go, until (if you can ride at all) you regain
your perch, not seat, and turn your toes well in,
or the steed stops, unable to proceed further,
and finishes you up by kicking and rearing.
I tried spurs two days, but found I got on
better without them, and should advise all
strangers, sailors particularly, to follow my
example. One other thing, too, I would mention here, and that is, let every man who can
| ' to
afford it, and find room, take out a racing
saddle; I say racing, on account of its lightness, and taking up less room. Wherever
you go on the coast of South America, you
can get good horses, but it is misery to be
obliged to sit on the great wooden things
they call saddles. I have often wondered
the naval officers did not oftener provide little
comforts of this kind for themselves, or, if more
practicable, by a small subscription from the
mess. Three or four saddles and bridles would
take up but little room, and any man who has
been bumped about on those of native manufacture will agree to my suggestion. Ill it;
The island is one of the largest in this
strange Archipelago which runs up the west
coast of South America. It is about thirty
miles long and fifteen broad, is rather hilly,
and completely clothed with luxuriant forests,
in which, when an open space occurs, there
springs up a good covering of grass, shewing
how productive the soil might be if it
were only cultivated, which, as the whole
surface, excepting only such few spots as I
spoke of, is covered with enormous forest trees,
is of course impossible; and as burning the
forest is rendered equally impracticable by
the continual rain, there does not seem
much prospect of improvement in this
The cattle in Chiloe are small and miserable-looking, and all appear half starved,
as I believe they are ; they are certainly neglected, being left in the damp wood, without the slightest protection, in all kinds of
weather. The other animals, reared for use
and supplying ships, are sheep and pigs, both INHABITANTS.
bearing a strong family likeness to the cattle,
excepting that all the rams have three, four,
or five horns, giving them a very peculiar and
top-heavy appearance—particularly as some
of the old rams have very large ones, and seem
very proud of them. I got one head, as a
trophy, with five fine curling horns, which I
found took a beautiful polish.
The Indian inhabitants are fast diminishing,
and appear to be a race between the P&rnpa
Indians and those now in Terra del Puego.
The cause of their decrease is similar to that
in any trading Puropean settlement, the mixture of blood and introduction of firewater,
the latter propagating every crime and disease
imaginable, and carrying off hundreds of
Indians. The mixed race at Chiloe are by
no means prepossessing, and are met with
of every shade of colour, from the white
Spaniard or Chilian to the darkest native.
The bay is bad and shallow, perfectly
blocked up in some parts by a sea-weed or
moss which covers it so completely, and to m
HI ' 111 nil
H 11
Sggrlj                 III In
w 111
such a depth, that traditions are extant of
boats having been so firmly imbedded in it that
it was almost impossible to move them. This
moss is often eaten, being boiled by the natives, but as I could not taste it, I have no idea
of its properties. It put me in mind of the
horrible dark-green slimy stuff I have seen
in fishmongers' shops in Dublin, the name
of which I either never heard, or have forgotten. I believe the best use of the Chiloe
moss is to make a similar covering to that
known by surgeons under the name of a paste
. Poverty and dirt go hand in hand, and, as
is generally the case where the latter exists,
the moral character is proportionately low.
The women are a bad lot, indulging in every
vice they can, and holding virtue in thorough
contempt; in fact it is but a name, which I
do not believe one out of ten knows the
meaning of. This I attribute to the licence
so long allowed to sailors, when in port, after
a long   cruise.    The captains, tiring of the MISSIONARIES   AND  MORALS.
constant succession of trials, and the complaints
of the officers, took the easier plan of giving
so much liberty, in fact letting the men loose
in gangs.
I am happy to say this is seldom, I may
almost say never, done now in Her Majesty's
service; but that it is resorted to by many
ships, both English and foreign, I have been
an unwilling and disgusted witness. No
wonder the Missionaries find it difficult to teach
the islanders virtue and purity. If one white
man says they cannot go to Heaven if they
do such things, why is it that all the other
white men do the very things themselves?
Such is the native philosophy, and certainly
the reasoning is clear.
Mate, or Paraguay tea, is the favourite drink
of both men and women. It is made or infused
in one large cup, into which a tube, with a round
strainer across the end, is placed; through this
the tea is sucked—the cup and tube passing to
each in turn.
We did not stay long at Chiloe, being too
it-1 I
glad to get away, and all in great anxiety for
the letters which must be waiting at Valparaiso ; so it was with no small delight we
steamed out of the harbour, and saw the
cloud-capped mountains fading away, while
we all agreed that Chiloe was a horrid place.
Nothing particular happened during our
short voyage, and when the peaks of the
Aconcaque and Tapungato became visible,
an involuntary cheer broke from me. No
wonder, dear reader! I had been led to suppose Valparaiso a very paradise, and anticipated staying at least six weeks, part of which
I reasonably hoped might be at my own disposal ; but, V man proposes, God disposes,"
and how my hopes were realized remains to
be seen.
The harbour is invariably entered with a
strong south-westerly wind, and to guard a-
gainst the sudden gusts which come sweeping
over from the Cordilleras, there is a sort of
standing order to reef topsails before rounding the point; in fact the point itself has now VALPARAISO.
got the name of Reef Top-sail Point. Upon this
spot, which is, I should imagine, about eight
hundred feet high, is perched a rickety old
wooden light-house, from the top of which I
have seen many a cap and hat go dashing away.
The cricket ground, of which I shall have
occasion to speak, is just behind the lighthouse. But on glides the good old ship, and,
amid sundry expressions of disappointment
at the aspect of the country, we cast anchor
in Valparaiso harbour.
The town, which appears a medley of red-
topped houses, thrown about here, there, and
every where, lies along the side of the bay, in
some places overhanging the water, while behind rise ranges of round clay hills, only tinged
here and there with green. They say it is
always either wind or rain in Valparaiso ; the
first chokes you with fine dust, the last makes
every street like a mill-stream, but clothes the
country in flowers and grass.
How this place became chosen as a refuge
and   capital   has   often   puzzled   me.    The Ml'?
harbour is exceedingly unsafe, completely unsheltered from the north ; when a gale blows
thence, the water of the bay rises in the
wildest way, and many an unlucky ship that
has weathered Cape Horn goes down on the
rock which is here known as the Little Horn.
Two Quebradas, or gulfs, separate the city
into three portions, known among sailors as
the fore, main, and mizen top. In the centre,
the houses come so close to the edge of the
cliffs, that there is merely a narrow pathway ;
and so economical are the Chilians in the
way of ground, that they actually make sites
by levelling a ledge of rock, and propping it up
with stakes, which look so terribly unsteady
that I often felt afraid to trust myself on
them. There are two parishes, Los Santos
Apostoles, and St. Salvador; lots of churches,
with rather pretty wooden towers ; two principal streets, which are very wide, well kept, and
resemble a perpetual fair % numbers of shops,
generally belonging to French people, and
two thirds of them milliners and dressmakers, PUBLIC   BUILDINGS.
but all frightfully expensive; in fact you pay
higher at Valparaiso for things made there,
than you do at distant ports supplied from it.
There are very few good public buildings ;
there are the two clubs, the Opera, the Exchange
and the Post Office, the last wretched affair,,
worse conducted than that at Rio.
A few years ago, a regular system of Police
began I but there are still many robberies and
murders, nor is it at all safe to walk about
alone or unarmed. I did it very often, but was
more careful after one or two. adventures,
which I shall relate, to give some idea of the
real state of things.
The worst part of the town is the narrow
road to the cricket ground. One Sunday
afternoon a party of us were walking there,
when a German came up and asked leave to
join us, explaining that as he came along in
the morning he was stopped, and relieved of
the trouble of carrying his watch and purse.
As we passed the spot he pointed out where
the man had come from, and told us. several I
1 \
|jfl  . :    :
1 1
stories of what had happened here. Presently,
as we were taking a short cut through a
Quadrada, the German, who kept a very bright
look-out on every side, halloed out, | What's
this ?" and pointed to what appeared a portion
of a petticoat sticking out below a very large
stone. After some labour, we rolled off the
rock, and to our horror saw the body of an
unfortunate girl, dressed as for a ball; she
had been stabbed and robbed, then the rock
rolled over her. Poor creature ! it was a shocking sight, and made a sad impression upon us.
We went immediately to give information to
the police officer, but nothing further was
said about it; I believe the occurrence is too
common to cause much excitement beyond
the family of the sufferer.
After this, I took my revolver with me, and
had good cause to be thankful I did so,
as one day, when by myself, I caught sight of
a man hiding in a ditch, armed with a large
stone, ready to throw at me as soon as I had
passed; this, if not effectual, is followed by RIDING.
the knife. Thinking I had better take it
coolly, I walked straight up to him with my
revolver ready; not a pleasant thing, I assure
you, to look down six barrels well charged.
Holding this ready, I gave him a bit of my
mind in the best Spanish I could muster,
until, looking very small and sulky, he
sneaked off, and I continued my walk, blessing my little pistol.
The great amusement here is riding, and
as they have good horses, one can get pleasantly along. The best horse is a cross between the Pampa horse and the English,
which, though a mere pony in height, averaging fourteen and a half hands, has speed,
strength and bottom fit for anything in the
riding line. Por a good one, you pay three or
four ounces, but unless you look wide awake,
they will jockey you out of double the real
value, always asking twice as much as you
should give.
On the occasion of my first visit, the fashionables were mostly in  the  country,  though, 158
luckily, two or three jolly families were near
enough to visit daily; and every Saturday we
gave a riding pic-nic, providing the grub, &c,
my share being established as lobster, bread,
and a due proportion of liquid.
The most frequent excursion was in the direction of Santiago; the place of refreshment
here is at Diggles's, a post-house. We riders
took care of ourselves; I'm sorry to say the
horses got nothing, having an idea that we
were to take it out of them, and not put anything in. After this we galloped on about a
quarter of a mile, and turning to the left, got
down to a pretty stream that skirts the west
side of the valley. The country being full of
wild dogs, we generally found capital sport
hunting them; practising with a lasso, much
to the amusement of the natives, who
begin from their infancy, and get very
expert, doing with it just as they please,
and laughing heartily at our lame attempts to
throw it.   i
Of course, most of us kissed mother earth A  PIC-NIC
during the day, some being continually
sprawling, but getting no pity. When we
had enough of this fun we adjourned
to the brook-side, and picking out a snug
spot, displayed our varied contributions,
to which, in spite of its being said that
Spaniards and Chilians don't eat, our guests
did great justice, often astonishing our weak
nerves by the quantity they managed to stow
The great game used to be, just as the feast
was over, to send one of the young ones off to
untie one of the old fellows' horses. Instantly the alarm spread, we, who were all
ready, were on our legs, and the next instant on
horseback, some without saddles, some without head-gear, and so on ; all the greater fun
for us. Then there was such a scene of
shouting, tumbling, laughing, and scolding as
is seldom witnessed, usually ending in losing
one or two of the horses, and riding home
Coming home from one of these jolly affairs it-
Si HI  <   ! i
III \>   i'
1 f! i
i   IrEl    i
i if
we were waylaid by about a dozen ruffians,
armed with knives, pitchforks, clubs, &c.
They came upon us so suddenly at a sharp
turn of the road, seizing our bridles, and trying to knock us off, that, for an instant, we
were at a loss; luckily, being all well provided with good whips, mine a well-leaded
hunting one, we laid about us in good earnest,
and knocked down several, the ladies getting
out of the way as fast as they could. We
were covering their retreat, and had backed
over one of the ditches, unwilling to use our
weapons in reality, when one of the band
threw a stirrup-iron at our first lieutenant,
a great, powerful fellow of six feet. Plesh
and blood could not stand it longer. We
thought no more of self-defence and moderation ; with one shout we charged upon them,
using our stirrups as weapons, and most
deadly ones they soon proved. Pancy a piece
of iron; about twenty pounds weight, flying.
round a six-feet-two-and-a-half man's head,
and catching; a fellow on the cheek \ we soon E0X-H0UNDS.
cleared the field, they went down like corn,
and lay bellowing and praying for mercy on
the ground, letting us bind them hand and
foot without further resistance, where we left
all except one who was badly cut; him we
took with us to the nearest rancho, and left
him in care of the landlord. He was almost
well in ten days, and actually had the impudence to ask us for money when we rode over
to ask about him.
There is a subscription pack of foxhounds
now, which was formerly kept by a capital
fellow, the life and delight of the place; the
kennels are at his place, about two miles from
the house, and are, like everything about him,
in first rate order, and as like Old England
as the climate will permit. There are from fifteen to twenty couple of hounds, all I believe
brought from England or elsewhere, as they
say they cannot rear puppies to do any good,
so must be at a good deal of expense importing them when full grown.
The foxes are long-legged fellows with dark
VOL.  I. m i
backs and go fast, though from their keeping
so much to »the hills you very seldom can
have anything of a gallop. When, however, by
good luck you fall in with what they call a
wanderer, i.e., a fox belonging to some distant part of the country, and who immediately makes for home, you may have a good
burst on the plain and plenty of sport. The
hills are dreadful break-neck affairs, up one
bank, down another, or headlong into a black
gulf yawning before you.
The Chilians don't appear to see the object of our hunting a fox with hounds at all,
and always go provided with a lasso, which,
in their opinion, saves a great deal of trouble,
as they cannot shew off their riding much
more satisfactorily in galloping from cover
to cover, then scattering over the plains. I
myself heard a Mexican Spaniard say, "The
dogs were very badly behaved, as they would
always catch the fox if they could."
As soon as you get to a cover side which
is nearly  always  on  a hill,   and  in   thick LADIES   OE   VALPARAISO.
stumpy underwood from four to five feet
high, the Guachos form round one side,
and as soon as the fox breaks, every lasso is
spinning in the air; if he escapes, which I am
glad to say he often does, you have a chance
of a run, and soon lose sight of the discomfited Guachos.
It is very pretty to see the ladies come out
dressed in white habits and Spanish hats,
with long drooping feathers of every shade
and colour—many of them ride very well,
and manage their horses beautifully, so that,
what with the air, excitement, bright eyes, and
soft Spanish, one very seldom can boast of
coming off heart-whole. And many a lonely
night-watch is brightened by the remembrance
of those we knew at Valparaiso.
M  8 Ill
I ;
Sir—'tis no mistake at all,
That lady is my wife "   .
Among the many rides round Valparaiso, the
prettiest in my opinion is to Quillota, the
paradise, as it is called, of Chili. The longest is
to Santiago, to which place, however, few now
take the trouble of riding; preferring the
short and sharp route by rail which lands you
in less than no time at this fine and quaint
old town situated at the foot of the Cordilleras,
and in a wide plain dotted with country seats,
here known as quintas. These quintas are
often lovely spots, and the nests of lovely
maidens, too, whose bright eyes make sad
havoc among the blue jackets.
One  of the   first   rides  I took   was   to Iv
Quillota, and in company with a messmate
who had been in the station four vears before.
Tender remembrances of certain eyes and
fingers at Quillota acted like a magnet, and
I, being a friend, was the chosen companion of
his search after his beauty, whom he described
as a perfect Houri, warning me repeatedly
not to forget myself and fall in love with her.
I really have little idea how time went on,
as Harry talked incessantly about his past
adventures; and what with laughing at his
rhodomontades and admiring the scenery, the
flight of time did not make much impression.
However, we reached an inn at the Vina del
Mar, and turned in to look for a breakfast.
To our horror, we found they had nothing in
the house; the master having gone to Valparaiso to purchase provisions. If we waited,
however, they would get a fowl from a place
near. We had no time to wait, so gobbling
up a quantity of dry bread, and washing it
down with Chicha (something like bad gooseberry wine, which always gave me a pain in fj
my stomach), we mounted and proceeded, congratulating ourselves upon the repast we
should be entitled to on our arrival.
A pretty stream flows through the Vina del
Mar, and winds down a succession of equally
lovely valleys from the mountains to the sea.
The next valley, that of Cicon, is larger,
and through this and the next we cantered
along, singing for very merriment. Who
could be dull on such a day and amidst such
a scene ? Not I at least, and my friend had
no forebodings as to his expected happiness.
A mountain ridge rose before us, up we
went, pulling short at the top; there below us
lay paradise, a very Garden of Eden, though
minus "Adam and Eve." The vale is quite
fifteen miles across, bounded by hills, enlivened by a broad sparkling stream, looking
like a splendid salmon cast, and putting me
in mind of the bonnie Tweed,
| As its silvery streams
Sparkled in the sunny beams."
Richly cultivated fields, glancing quintas, QUILLOTA.
and a palpable turnpike road kept up the
delusion, while up there, nestling among trees
and verdure, I saw a town—the dear old
Quillota. Harry uttered a whoop, and digging his spurs into his tired steed, scampered
down the hill, perfectly regardless of me or
my entreaties to go quietly; my horse being
so done up that I expected every moment to
find him on his head. I suppose Harry's devotion to his Goddess was propitious for us,
as no accident took place, and at last the iron
hoofs of our horses rang upon the streets of
the city, creating a great sensation, men,
women, and children rushing out in a frantic
way. The last mentioned, yelling as loud as
they could, and kicking about their naked legs
in high glee. The women were nearly all
ugly, and very dirty, with dingy gowns, innocent of soap, tied round their waists, while
a shift was all the attempt at covering from
that upwards, and, as may be expected, did
not protect them much from the vulgar
gaze; not, indeed, that any one would care 1
to look twice. It's all very pretty in marble,
or anything like that, but protect me from
such sights as are forced upon one out
The inn is a good sort of place, and happened to be (a wonder in Chili) under the
same landlord as when Harry paid his memorable visit here before. After a wash, and
first rate dinner, during which we found
out that the family we were in search of were
still at the old spot, further than which we
did not intend to venture. We sallied forth
through the Plaza, along narrow streets,
enlivened by grated windows, behind which
you caught stray glimpses of sparkling eyes.
Harry saw none of them, he was more in love
than ever (since he had left Rio, c'est-a-dire),
and puffed away without looking to the right
or the left. Presently we were out of the
town, and in a lovely green lane perfectly
ernbowered with trees, and gay with flowers.
My companion heaved terrific sighs, and
actually threw away his cigar, swearing he A  MIDSHIPMAN   IN  LOVE.
was going mad, and apostrophizing every tree
and flower. I never had an idea of his
being poetical before, and felt proportionably
astonished, wondering if the tender passion,
when it came, would bring out a similar vein
in my own composition. But here we are at
a pretty gate, with a walk into a lovely garden. In we went, Harry shaking, blushing,
and grinning, I pulling up my collar, and
hoping I'd find a sister at home.
The house was of one story, surrounded by
a vine-covered verandah, into which long
French windows opened, showing bright
rooms within. It was the approved calling
hour, so we might hope to find the ladies. Just
as we got up to the entrance, a child ran
out, a perfect little angel, with its white legs
and feet gleaming below a thin white shift;
rushing up, it looked at us, and then flew
back like a frightened bird, shouting something I did not understand. The effect was,
however, that a servant appeared, and took in
Harry's card.    The ladies were ready to re- 170
ceive us, so in we went, Harry red and white
by turns, and laughing in the most donkeyish
way when the ladies crowded round to welcome him, leaving me quite forgotten in the
background. I made good use of my time,
however, and took notes of them all in my
mind's eye. There were three ladies, all
young, all beautiful. One, whom I at once set
down as Harry's flame, was, I think, the
finest woman I ever saw; rather above the
middle height, with the figure of a Juno, long,
sunny light hair, and just the face I would
paint for an angel if I were an artist. She
looked more the embodiment of a dream than
a living reality. No wonder Harry had raved.
I only wonder he had ever left her. I could
not, had I been the lucky fellow he said he
was. How far his tale was true remains to
be seen. The two ladies who remain to be
described were very pretty ; one, a jolly little
thing, with wicked eyes—the other, a languishing beauty, very fond of making love, and
with an intense horror of flirting. MONSIEUR  MEEDSHIPMAN.
Presently, Harry, remembering my presence, condescended to introduce me.
I Is your leetle friend sailor-boy, too, Monsieur?" enquired the beauty, much to my
horror, for I was not by any means delighted
to be called youthful, and assure you, at that
time, I was five feet seven, and growing still.
| Yes, Donna, he is a midshipman, and my
great friend."
I Ah, so charming ! he shall be my friend
also ; but how you call him ? Monsieur
Feetgarad?" I enlightened her, and after
several pretty attempts, and much laughing, during which I was. forgetting Harry's
precautions, and getting warning glances
from him, she gave up the attempt, and
said she would call me "Monsieur Meed-
I was at once at home, and we were in the
full swing of mirth and merriment, when the
door opened, and two gentlemen entered.
One I at once heard was their brother, the
other was introduced as Don Somebody, I ■    II
could not catch who. It struck me at once
that he was on particularly familiar terms
with the beauty, who, after a whispered conversation with him, in which they both
glanced frequently at Harry, resumed her
seat and flirtation, and the Don began imbibing tea at a great pace, shewing his teeth
occasionally, as he caught some sweet speech
of Master Harry's.
The evening wore away, and all went.merry
as a marriage bell, when in bounded our little
friend with the short shirt again, this time up
to the Don, to whom he bore an unmistakable
likeness. A glance that passed between the
beauty and him at the same moment started
a new conviction in my mind. I stooped
forward and whispered,
I Is this your son ?"
The Don nodded, and kissed the boy.
Ii And your wife ?"
A low laugh and glance across the room
was the answer.
Poor Harry! he was leaning over his in- THE  DONNA.
amorata, thinking heaven knows what. It
was too bad! and yet I could not help laughing ; and as the Don joined me, we were
soon great friends, and retired to smoke a
cigar, leaving the tell-tale in the arms of an
In the smoking-room, the Don opened out.
He seemed immensely proud of his wife,
whom he had carried off in spite of a host
of admirers, and after having fought six
duels, horsewhipped a dozen men, in fact
taking the fortress by storm. I then told
him of my friend's case, and heard a
summary of Harry's early affection, which
gave me great amusement, and put me up
to a few of his tender reminiscences.
When we returned to the drawing-room,
the Don, according to agreement, seated himself next his wife, and began talking of things
Master Harry knew nothing about, gradually
getting closer, until he leant his head over
her chair, and the conversation went on in
whispers. I sat at a distance doing the agree- —~
able to the pensive lady and watching my
friend, who began to look very uncomfortable.
Had he not told me so many lies about the
lady, I should have pitied him enough to save
the denouement which must come; but, as
it was, I felt the sweets of revenge, and was
delighted with his fate. The Don was a
very handsome fellow, and just the sort of
man to make you jealous, which it is evident
one of the party was. Harry got hot, then
cold, looked very fierce, and finally interrupted the conversation by some cutting reproach. . To this the lady replied with a smile,
while the Don pulled his chair forward and apologized, but having something of importance to
communicate, &c, &c. Harry looked daggers,
and tried to regain his ground, but the Don
answered half his questions, taking the lead
in the conversation in what appeared the most
impertinent way.
Suddenly Harry saw an excuse for an outburst, and launched off something like a
broadside;   the Don was ready  for it and THE   DISCOVERY.
merely smiled; the lady shewed a small bit
of pity, and laying her hand upon Harry's
arm, said, | You don't know my husband."
Harry's face made me burst into a roar of
laughter I the rascal was paid off for his flirtations tenfold.
The Don rose, offering his hand with a very
magnificent bow, but poor Harry sat still,
staring at his cruel beauty.
I See my child !" exclaimed she, bringing
up the boy.
Now Harry recovered, and seizing mother
and child in his arms kissed them both, much
to everybody's consternation, such a thing
being considered quite a crime in Chili. Then
getting hold of the husband's hand, he made
him wince with the squeeze he gave, as he
congratulated him on having such a wife. I
was astonished, and no wonder, but even more
so afterwards when Master Harry kept up
the joke by assuring me he knew from the
first that she was the Don's wife—a fact I was
never convinced of. !!i
Harry spoke very little that evening after
we left the quinta, and drank more wine than
I thought altogether good for his promised
riding excursion with the ladies the next day.
Be that as it might I never heard another
syllable about the beauty, and think it cured
my friend of flirting for a while.
Quillota is a great wine country, and one
of the first places I visited was a wine press.
It illustrated some well-known passages of
Scripture wonderfully. The way of proceeding is this: a large vat is placed upon stones,
into this the grapes, great luscious fellows,
like the finest green-house productions, are
emptied from deep baskets, and men, generally without any nether garments, hop up
and down upon these, yelling with the
greatest passion, and actually red with juice.
The liquid finds an escape through a pipe at the
side of the vat, and is put into tubs or crocks
to ferment; I tasted it in the original state,
just as it came from the press, and liked it
very  much,  though   after  the fermentation THE   ABORIGINES.
begins it is atrocious. The Chica I have
alluded to before is made of the white grape,
and is rather like perry, though generally
weaker and more acid. Quillota is considered a very good wine district, but Conception
is the best, and produces the finest grapes
and most valuable wines.
The natives drink terribly, especially during
a journey, when you seldom see them sober.
Aquadienta, a strong, fiery, and very nasty
spirit, is their favourite. A few of the Aborigines are still left, and have districts appropriated to them by the Spanish rule. I paid a
visit to one, and was glad to get away; they
have completely lost caste and have degenerated into dirty, idle, drunken peasants, content
to eke out their existence from month to
month, existing rather than living in wretched
hovels, through which the wind whistles at
will; and though happily requiring no ventilation, this is never thought of, the only light
or chance of air being through the door-way,
which is divided in half, just as you see what
VOL,   I. N 178
in the North of England they call cow
Their quarters are known as Pueblos, and
it was on my return from one of these that I
fell in with a party from another English ship,
bound for the mountains, and talking of nothing but quanacas; this animal is a sort of
lama, about the size of a fallow-deer, and particularly difficult to shoot, being much more
wary than any other game I fell in with. My
experience took place some months later, on
our return to Valparaiso. At present, I bade
a reluctant adieu to my friends and turned my
head shipwards.
We all of us spent the greater portion of
our time on shore, and soon our purses began
to shew symptoms of drying up, so the
more prudent ones resolved to use their own
good understandings in preference to the
more shaky ones of horses. Thus we
began to walk, and got curious names
applied to us by the fair Chilians in consequence. HEAT  AT  VALPARAISO.
The heat at Valparaiso was terrible, and
the wind dreadful; the sand got into your
eyes, ears, mouth, nose, down your neck, up
your sleeves, in fact into every available spot.
I do not know how the ladies bear it at
all; they fought to wear a large veil over
all, and move about content to see without being seen; but when I proposed this,
the fair sex rose in arms, and told me they
had nothing else to live for except to be admired, courted, and petted. What a delectable life to lead! Is it not ? Yet there is a
system of education beginning to steal in;
mothers and elder sisters teach the little ones,
and as no one imagines it a hardship to learn
lessons, the children get on very fast, pursuing their studies in the same room in
which the whole family are assembled.
The inhabitants and settlers vie with each
other in supporting the opera; the company
is sometimes good. Stars, going from England to California, stop a few days en route,
and fill their pockets with Chilian gold.    The
n 2 II
opera is the only great public evening resort
at which ladies of character can be seen; so
it is always crowded, and is a pretty and
exciting scene, every one going in full dress,
and taking care to have their boxes decorated
in the handsomest way. The first night I
went to the opera, I imagined people attended for the sake of the music ; I was soon undeceived, and, from what I saw, feel pretty
sure not two out of twenty of the occupants could tell you next morning what songs
were sung well, sung badly, or not sung at
all. As to the company, at that time, it was
horrible; they attempted three operas while
I was there, and failed in each. There was
always something wrong; either the leader
was bad, or the singers would not be led.
I am tempted to think the latter, as occasionally a solo would come out capitally; but, alas !
it was only a short respite, and one harmony
in a whole long opera scarcely compensated for
three or four hours' purgatory. So I followed my neighbours, and went to the opera to DRAWING-ROOMS.
flirt,  make  eyes,  and  get  an  invitation to
The Valparaiso drawing-rooms are usually
very handsome—large, airy, and beautifully
furnished—some even magnificently; the
rich merchants allowing their wives to hold a
sort of rivalry as to the splendour of this
apartment. Damasks of every hue, embroidered with gold and silver, form the hangings.
Inlaid tables, and chairs much too pretty to
sit upon, are scattered about, and every available place is piled with handsome books, those
with engravings being most popular. There
was one want, and that was paintings. I
hardly saw one, but I believe the drawing-
rooms are now full of photographs.
Evening is the time for paying visits, and
this is done in an elaborate toilet, no expense or trouble being thought too great to
attain the distinction of being the best dressed
woman in a house. After chatting awhile,
cakes, coffee, and ices are brought; then you
either sing, play forfeits, or dance until about ill1!
I' i fl
eleven, when almost every party breaks up,
and you escort some fair partner to her home,
beneath a moonlit sky that would draw
romance from any one. Oh! what indescribably lovely nights we had there! The
full soft moon gliding on her heavenly path;
behind her—far, far away—the countless stars
—and farther yet, in blue eternity, the heavens themselves! Then, the air actually
laden with the scent of flowers, varied as you
passed different gardens by the floral taste of
the owner, but all equally charming; then,
too, the solemn stillness, broken only by the
booming sea and the shrill whistle of the town
watch; and last, not least by any means, the
soft dark eyes gleaming by your side, the
touch of a perfumed cloak, and the gentle laugh
that comes so kindly. In spite of knowing how stupid you are, you begin to think
that if all your friends were as amiable and
polite as those near you, you would not be
quite so much afraid of going to certain balls,
or asking certain fair ladies to put you down EAST  YOUNG LADIES.
for a dance, a request generally ending in a
putting down much practised by the present
style of what are called clever girls. I don't
like clever girls, and am sorry to find most
beauties now pretend to that denomination,
practising their weapons ugon every unfortunate fellow who is not quite as much up
to the thing as themselves. I really often
wonder where they pick up the queer words
they are so apt at, and upon venturing an
enquiry, have once or twice elicited the authority to be a brother at either Oxford or
Cambridge, as the case may be. I once
tried for a whole week to teach a very pretty
girl (at her own request) I the sort of words
sailors used in talking." I got on pretty well
at first, but, to my horror, heard her describing a lady's bustle as her beam-ends, and
got a sharp reminder from her mamma, who, I
believe, never looked at a sail or ship afterwards without a shudder.
But to go back to our travels abroad.    I
have not much more to say of Valparaiso at Mil
present, as we received orders to sail for
the Sandwich Islands to meet the Admiral
there, instead of waiting for him ; and
particularly as I was a much longer time at the
place on my next visit, which was very much
pleasanter, as coming back to friends ready
made, is infinitely better than arriving with a
pocket full of introductory letters, and having
to go through a lot of such formal visits—
visits at which the ladies all sit bolt upright
in a semicircle before you, the mother doing the
conversation, and talking the most commonplace nothings. Once, however, established
as a friend, this extreme caution disappears,
and you are permitted to converse with the
young ladies, who generally do pretty well in
the talking way. They are all very kind to
sailors, and every officer who has been stationed in the Pacific must have a warm and
grateful remembrance of the kindness he has
met with.
The worst feature  in  Chili,  as  in  every
Roman  Catholic government  of  America I IMMORALITY   OE  THE  PRIESTHOOD.      185
visited, is the morals, or rather want of morals,
in the priesthood; and though not quite so
openly immoral as in Brazil, they are quite as
bad in secret, and it is even said that women
consider it an honour to be the mistress of a
priest, and the child born of such a connection is
dedicated to the church as free from sin, and
elect. I scarcely credited such a state of things,
but facts are too plain, and, among the uneducated and bigoted order, what crime may not be
perpetrated, and even licensed ? Intrigues
are numerous, and as the Chilians are no
lovers of gossip, holding it in great aversion,
I felt the more inclined to believe what I did
hear, particularly as things of this kind were
always told by those who would break off the
yoke of such a corrupt church, at least such a
corrupt priesthood—men raised from the dregs
of society, resorting to the gown as a refuge
from the fate their crimes would often entail
upon them, and then using that gown as a
cloak for the worst excesses and sins a man
can be guilty of.   That there may be many a w
good man among the Chili priests, far be it
from me to deny, but I cannot believe such
to be true Romanists. No man, true to his
religion, and with the honour, praise, and
glory of that religion at his heart, could stand
by and see it vilified by such men as these;
and if it were a true faith, the one only faith
whereby we may hope to be saved, surely
if I these were silent, the very stones would
cry out." 187
"How pleasant the songs of Toobonai,
When summer's sun went down the coral bay,
Come let us to the islet's softest shade,
And hear the warbling birds....|g
Well, here we are on the broad swell of
the Pacific again, its never ceasing sobbing
sounding in our ears, the clear blue sky
above gradually becoming hotter and hotter,
until, on recrossing the Line, we are all panting
and wishing for the precious ices we used to devour so many of at Valparaiso. Oh I those ices !
| How many pleasant memories
Those ices bring to me."
What sweet speeches, bright eyes, and fairy
fingers rise before me, until, with a prayer for
our next meeting, I rush on deck, and drown
!MI . IUJ.    —I 1.
,na. k,i i j^jguauie
1                    iif
my memory of the past in whatever is going
on. The great game was at this time ' sling the
monkey,' and jolly good fun it was, rather of the
warmest, though, for such weather; nevertheless, that and dancing served our turn and kept
up our spirits. I amused myself finishing off
my sketches, filling in mj| diary, and looking
after my collection of curios.
We sailed from Valparaiso on the 15th of
April. Every thing was in our favour for the
first day; then a calm came on, and there we
were on the glassy ocean. About four p.m.
the man on the look out reported an extraordinary object near the horizon. Those endowed with curiosity—and who is not on a sea
voyage ?—were soon speculating as to what the
wonder was; but no satisfactory conclusion
being arrived at, and there being no sign of a
breath of air, a boat was lowered, and I,
among others, sent to reconnoitre. We had
a good long pull for it, and then the first
thins: that came upon us was
sant smell; the sailors began whispering their A  DEAD  WHALE.
ideas, all of which were wonderfully wide of
the mark, as we soon saw the object was
neither more nor less than an enormous dead
whale ; his carcass rose out of the water like
an island, and was covered with birds, chiefly
albatrosses. We secured a couple of the last,
by merely taking hold of them and tying
their legs; the brutes had eaten so much
that they did not attempt to fly away ; with
these we turned and rowed back to the ship,
which still lay motionless.
We had one of the finest sunsets that night
I almost ever remember, the sun sending up
pillars of rosy light into a pale yellow sky,
while a broad pathway along the sea appeared
paved with molten gold, never at rest, moving,
flashing and running one bright billow into
another, until the last ray faded, and the grey
leaden hue of night took its wonted place.
Half an hour after sunset the wind came up
from the west, and although just enough to
move us, it was evidently the forerunner of
more ; and ere long we were going gaily before I
it, and were soon greeted by the shout " Land
ahead." I was below at the time, and busily
engaged at something or other; so, hearing a
great noise going on, I asked what it was, and
had a by no means new song bawled into my
ears, by a messmate, relative to Robinson Crusoe, followed up by Gordon asking, " Why
the first discoverer of Juan Pernandez considered the island inhabited ?"—with a great
deal of the same sort of chaff, in the midst
of which I went on deck to have a look at the
far famed island myself.
Nothing was visible as yet except the hazy
blue land fine, but as the breeze freshened,
and we sped along, the pretty outline became
clearly defined.
In a couple of hours we came to anchor in
Cumberland Bay; the view from this is very
picturesque, the land sloping up from the
beach into the mountains, which form the
centre, and rise almost perpendicularly many
hundred feet, bearing a beautiful verdant
dress of green.    The highest hill is almost A  DELIGHTEUL  ISLAND.
two thousand feet, and nearly inaccessible, so
much so that I have read that, during the
period the island was occupied by the Chilian
government as a convict depot, any one of the
prisoners who could reach the table land at
the top of the mountain received his liberty.
Of course we were all anxious to explore, and
there being nothing to do, most of us got on
shore directly, and gun in hand, set off to do
what we could in the sporting line; but as the
only animals were wild goats, dogs, and cats—
the only feathered creatures, pretty hummingbirds, a kind of thrush, and a white bird—we
did not expend much powder, merely taking
a specimen of each back. There was, however, an abundant supply of fruit, heaps of
cherries and small peaches—and oh! how
good they were; we never knew when to stop
eating, and filled our game bags and pockets
with them, to take away with us.
The island is certainly a delightful spot,
and Robinson Crusoe was by no means to be
pitied.    What  a shame it  is  nobody will !
let a man believe in his identity; now, for
my part, I would as soon think of raising a
doubt about the life and adventures of
Dick Whittington, or Blue Beard, as of my
favourite and friend, dear old Crusoe. I
pictured to myself his feelings upon finding
himself alone upon such a rich and lovely
spot, without a care or an anxiety to mar his
peace and enjoyment. The soft warm air
soothing his wearied spirits, the bright flowers,
the streams dancing in the sunshine, food
at his right hand, and free to do whatever his
fancy dictated. Ah! thought I, he was a
lucky fellow—no tardy promotion, no watches,
and above all no examinations. Who would
not be such a man ?
Juan Pernandez lies on the usual track
from Valparaiso to the Society Isles, and is
one hundred and thirteen miles from the
former place. It took its name from a Spanish pilot, who is said to have discovered it in
1563. After its first introduction to the
world, it became a rendezvous for numerous EARTHQUAKES.
pirates who infested the Pacific, and when.
Lord Anson arrived with his invalid crew in
1741, they were at first afraid to land, or
remain on the island, in case of the arrival of
any of these sea robbers.
In 1749, a penal settlement was established,
but ended in a short time, the garrison being
so continually harassed by mutinies and various
other troubles. Again, 1819, the Chilian Government followed the example of their Spanish
brethren, and the settlement again shared a like
fate, so that, since 1835, the island has been
deserted, except by one or two families who
supply the whalers with vegetables and poultry.
The greatest drawback to a settlement is
the violence with which any shock of an
earthquake on the mainland is felt here. In
fact, in the year Conception was destroyed,
the same shocks extended in such a degree to
Juan, causing one of those terrible natural phenomena, a roller in the bay, that half the island
was swamped,, and the governor and his family,
besides nearly'forty other persons, were lost.
VOL.  I.
1 li!
Pire and smoke have, upon similar occasions,
been observed to rush from the bosom of the
ocean. I have often wished I could be an
eye-witness to some such wonderful sight;
yet anxiously as I watched upon this, as well
as a subsequent visit to the island, I saw nothing irnusual, and did not feel the least sensation of an earthquake.
Juan Pernandez being the first of the properly so-called Pacific Islands that I had seen,
I may be excused for the delight with
which I dwell upon the two short days we
spent there. The balmy air, luxuriant foliage,
and cool streams gushing out of the hills and
rocks in every direction, left a picture upon
my mind which I can never forget; and many
a day since my dreams have taken me back
to those green valleys, and I have watched
in fancy the wild goats springing from rock
to rock* What a pity goat flesh is so bad, and
as far as I am concerned, absolutely uneatable.
Some of our fellows had the kids roasted, and
calling  their flesh lamb,   ate it with  mint
ill MINT.
sauce. I could not; and recollecti6ns of a
sojourn at Callander in Scotland began to rise,
when for a whole month we were compelled
to live on veal and fish (both capital things,
but "not constant"), the beef being like horse
flesh, and the mutton atrociously goaty.
The quantity of mint growing wild is
marvellous; whole acres are covered with it,
and as the breeze passes over, the perfume is
wafted miles out to sea. Most of the ships
carry off large quantities to dry, and make
into tea, as an anti-scorbutic; our men tried
it, but owing to the comparative shortness of
the voyage to Pitcairn's, they did not make
much use of it, except to drown the smell of
fish, with which the whole ship was pervaded,
while enormous cray-fish walked about in all
directions, and lasted us until within a couple
oi days of our arrival at our next place of
I have already said, perhaps, more than
enough about sea-voyaging, and except in a
long cruise, when I have something to ramble
o 2 m
on about, I shall leave out those pages touching our daily routine of shifting sails, taking
the latitude and longitude, &c, and convey
my kind reader from place to place.
Pitcairn's is justly celebrated as the island
upon which the mutineers from the Bounty
found an asylum. It is only four and a half
miles in circumference, and one and a half
long. The formation is precipitous and volcanic, like all the others in the vicinity ; large
dark-coloured rocks bind in the green hills,
and jet out in picturesque confusion into the
open sea, rendering the coast somewhat dangerous, though adding materially to its beauty;
these rocks bear the names of the Apostles,
and St. Paul's is the highest point of land
seen on entering Bounty Bay.
It is said that the crew of the Bounty
pulled round the island twice before they discovered a safe place to land. This struck me
as rather curious, as there appeared a good
anchorage, and twenty-five fathoms water,
half a mile off shore.
The look-out ridge is one thousand and eight
feet high, and is the highest point. Prom
this the islanders used to keep a watch for
ships—I say used, for before the time I saw
it, they had voluntarily left it to seek their
fortune elsewhere.
It appears from the history of this settlement that when their numbers began to increase, they found a great deficiency of water,
so much so that they consented to leave the
island and settle in Otaheite; and although
preferring Juan Pernandez, were glad to acquiesce in the government plan.
As might be supposed, these primitive and
religious people did not understand the morals
of their new home. At first they kept aloof,
then some giving way, the others grew
alarmed, and determined to quit the scene of
temptation j they petitioned government to be
taken back to Pitcairn's, and greatly to their
joy their petition was granted. Again they
were on the salt ocean, and soon upon their
native soil;  nothing could exceed their joy 198
and triumph; they ran about the hills like
children, weeping tears of joy, and congratulating each other upon their escape from the
I land of hell." Alas ! their joy was of short
continuance ; one of the worst vices of civilization followed them, and in a short time after
their return home, some of them began distilling rum. In vain did the old and wiser
men remonstrate, they persisted in their design. It was at this moment that an extraordinary adventurer, calling himself Lord Hill,
arrived. He professed to bring government
authority to adjust the affairs of the island,
and, believing him, the islanders obeyed him
During some time he remained in full
possession, until the arrival of a ship of war
commanded by a son of the very man to
whom he represented himself as a near relative. The denouement came, but, having no
authority, Lord Russell very properly represented the case to his admiral, who sent
authority to bring off Mr. Hill, and thus free •fill
the islanders from a cruel and unjust persecution.
When I first saw the island (as I said
before), it was uninhabited; the ruins of the
little cottages looked sad and lonely, and I
could not help feeling for the unhappy people
who had been compelled to leave such a
favoured spot—a spot where nature seems to
have lavished her richest and brightest adornments, and where fife might ebb away without
one distracting thought.
Now it was with feelings of disappointment
I strolled up the valleys, coming now and
then upon a broken garden fence, in which
vegetables and fruit ran riot, or, what was
sadder still, a half ruined cottage, evidently
purposely laid waste, with fragments of household gods scattered here and there, and
every where, over the floor. I turned away
with a deep sigh, I dare not stay to look; for
thoughts of what the poor inhabitants must
have suffered before leaving such a spot
rushed upon me.    Sad and weary I returned
■ I
to the ship, nothing loath to hear we were to
sail at daybreak for Ofcaheite.
Otaheite is one of the healthiest and plea-
santest spots in the Pacific; blessed with an
incomparable climate, and with every variety
of fruits and flowers, while few diseases, and
little or no sickness, ever visit its shores. It
is thought by many to be the land discovered
by Quiros in 1606, and sometimes called
George's Island. It consists of two peninsulas, forty-four leagues in circuit; these are
united by a narrow isthmus, three miles
across. The largest peninsula is twenty miles
in diameter, the lesser sixteen; both are surrounded by reefs of coral. The northern extremity is the well-known Point Venus, and
eastern termination of Matava Bay.
The tide rises considerably, and from the
action of the wind is variable; the coast is
prettily intersected by snug bays, down to the
edge of which cluster the woods and flowers,
enlivened by rivulets, up which a boat can
often make its way for some distance, and i n
moor beneath the dark shade of the overhanging foliage, which forms a delicious
retreat for weather-beaten tars.
The woods themselves are perhaps the
most luxuriant in the world, the indigenous
productions consisting of the cocoa-nut, breadfruit, banana, plantain, yam, potato, and
sugar-cane, independent of smaller fruits, and
now of every variety of imported fruits and
vegetables. As it appears, you have but to
carry out a root or seed, and immediately the
plant appears in full luxuriance. It is to
Cook, I believe, this island owes its enormous
growth of guavas, as tradition says he planted
both these and oranges; the guava has grown
so fast that it has choked the natural weeds,
forming one itself, though luckily a pleasant
one, and profitable withal, serving as food for
the enormous herds of pigs used to supply
the vessels calling at the island.
Of course, at the present day, the inhabitants generally profess Christianity, and in
spite of their tropical blood and natural laxity ■a
of morals, would I believe have been good
Christians, were it not for the unlucky clashing of doctrine between the Protestant and
Romanist missionaries. How is it possible
for an ignorant savage to distinguish between
such subtle teachers—one of whom tells him
that all he has hitherto believed and trusted
in is a vain and empty delusion, the work of
devils—while the other gives him a new religion, it is true, but still in a manner resembling that of his forefathers ? Which is it
likely an uneducated man would take ?—that
which is based upon the unseen or the seen ?
The original inhabitants are a fine race;
their colour a clear olive, with beautiful eyes,
teeth, and hair; the latter is taken much care
of, being oiled and plaited several times a
day, and ornamented with wreaths of flowers.
They are all fond of bathing, and no one can
feel astonished at it, as the water is the coldest
place in the midday ; and really a deep pool,
surrounded by trees, and enlivened by the
fair Naiads of the island, is a veritable Elysium. BATHING  IN   TAHITI.
Sometimes, in the midst of a hot scramble
with our guns, the sounds of mirth and gladness would greet our ears. We soon learnt
to know from whence those echoes came, and
invariably made straight for them; the laughter guiding and sustaining our fainting limbs,
to be amply rewarded by a sight rivalling
Diana and her votaries; for in some darkened
and flower-embosomed pool sported a dozen
or so of Tahiti's daughters, some in Eve's own
dress of fig leaves, others in their pretty
chintz dresses, clinging round, and shewing
off the statuistic symmetry of their limbs.
Do not be shocked, fair readers, I would not
tell such tales of Southsea beach, although,
believe me, some of us could. But in that
island, " far, far beyond the sea," many things
are done, said, and seen that would be sacrilege in this dear land. Oh ! cousins and sisters, you need not look down and think in
your dear innocent minds | what wicked men
sailors must be." I have only one answer;
it was the custom of the  country, and to ^1
turn away with mock modesty would have in
reality been only illustrating the old proverb,
I Honi soit qui mal y pense."
The native female dress consists of a loose
robe passed over the head, and fitting tight
round the throat, the sleeves buttoned at the
wrist, and over all a white muslin mantilla is
thrown. This tappa is of home manufacture,
of great delicacy and beauty; it is made from
the bark of the mulberry tree, which is beaten
to gluten with large sticks, and mixed or
smeared with Hibiscus gum to make it stick
well together. The pieces are sometimes as
much as two or three yards wide and five long.
The habit of tattooing once prevailed to a
great extent, but is now almost entirely done
away with. The women still keep up the old
custom of eating separately from the men,
excepting only of course the higher grades,
and those brought more immediately in contact with the Europeans. Their food consists
of bananas, bread-fruit, fish, and pork, the
latter being much nicer than any 1 ever tasted PIG-SLAUGHTERING.
before. In fact, so averse was I at all times to
eat pork, that until really compelled by hunger (during a hunting excursion) one day to
taste, I do not think I could now have given
any personal experience of the Tahitian hogs ;
now I can, and quite agree with my friends
that they much more resembled veal than
pork, a fact we accounted for in our own
minds by their vegetable diet. They are queer
little beasts, with long ears like the Chinese
fellows, and make a glorious row when you
try to catch them.
I had a chance of seeing a native feast, of
which, to my notion, the pig slaughtering was
the most curious part, the way taken being to
secure a fat young grunter, take a very long
piece of bark fibre or sinnet, and wrap this
round and round the poor thing's mouth until
he is completely choked; the next process is
scraping his hair off, and laying him on heated
stones, packing him in with bread fruit, &c,
and covering up all with more stones, sods, or
grass.   When this is cooked enough, they seat
* 1
themselves in a circle and eat it the best way
they can, tearing it up with teeth or fingers,
just as fancy guides; then follows dancing,
neither graceful nor pretty, and consisting of
only one or two movements of the feet and
arms, keeping time to a monotonous sort of
chant made by the orchestra, and partly sustained bv blowing; with one nostril into a fife
rather like a penny trumpet.
The scenery upon the island is truly beautiful, and worthy of a poet's pen ; indeed one
can scarcely avoid tempting the muse in such
a spot, and I believe some few of us pleaded
guilty to sending home what we imagined
Byronic descriptions of our island Paradise.
Mine I never saw again, and have good reason
to believe it was committed to the flames, and
so condemned, because it was supposed to be
indelicate upon the subject of female dress
in the Tropics, with regard to which I
must say, in loyal defence of the afore-mentioned goddesses, that I have seen more
immodesty  and levity displayed in England ZOOLOGY.
than I ever remember to have been annoyed
with in Otaheite.
There are only dogs, hogs, and cats naturally
indigenous to the soil, though bullocks, sheep,
goats, &c, have been introduced, and now
infest the mountains in large herds. Of birds
there are a number, nearly all with brilliant
plumage, and some with a sweet wild song;
the prettiest are the paroquets, one of a lovely
sapphirine blue, another, green, with red spots ;
a kingfisher, dark green and white, throat
bound with a collar; and last in beauty, not
least, numbers and varieties of gentle doves,
whose plaintive love-making seems to infect
the islanders, and teach them to whisper in
the same soft touching tone, choosing the
green boughs as a bower. .   •
-    208 #
" The gentle island and the genial soil,
The friendly hearts, the feasts without a toil,
The courteous manners, but from nature caught,
The wealth unhoarded and the love unbought."
The entrance to the port at Otaheite is
almost hidden by the Island of St. Nicholas,
and protected by a coral reef which runs all
round the island, acting as a breastwork,
against which the waves roar and chafe in
vain. At the .north-west point of the harbour
is the entrance, a mere passage between the
high rocks, very like a gateway in a field enclosed by high stone walls. Ships entering
stand right in for the land ; and when to all
appearance running slap on the beach, they
put the helm hard to starboard, shorten sail, ARRIVAL  OE  A  MAN-OE-WAR.
and coast right up to the anchorage, about a
quarter of a mile off—then down drops the anchor, in water as calm as a mill-pond, and
the spars are reflected like a daguerreotype in
the clear deep mirror round you. Soon, however, the whole shore and bay is alive, and the
scene of a regular race and scuffle; as no
sooner does a man-of-war drop anchor than
the inhabitants swarm out, and hundreds of
boats, every size and shape, glance along to
the ship; their cargoes as various as their
shape—some piled with delicious fruit and lovely flowers, some laden with noisy, screaming
fowl, lying in heaps, tied together by the legs;
some with pigs, ginger-beer, and last, not least,
horse-dealers. Por an hour or two, nothing is
heard but shouts, laughter, and bargaining;
then the purchases being made, they clear
away, and the fellows who have leave go
ashore to ramble about the most enchanting
green lanes in the world, where soft mossy
banks tempt you to lie down and rest at every
vol. i. p ar"
The only portions of the town which boast
any buildings worth looking at are the Prench
settlers', government officers' and missionaries' houses, many of which are, and all
might be, perfect bowers of beauty. The
churches were nearly deserted until lately,
owing to the clashing interest of Roman
Catholicism. Now, however, there is a
good deal of improvement though I fancy
more from the influx of foreigners than any
decline in the Romanist influence.
The climate is the most charming any one
can imagine, and although at mid-day you
are very glad to get under the thick branches
and lie down full length upon the cool
springy grass, and at all times equally glad to
plunge into the nearest pool of water, still
you can never complain of the heat being oppressive. Water seems almost the natural
element of a native, and the settlers soon
learn to look upon it as the one thing needful ; and wherever you wander in the vicinity
of a brook, you are pretty sure to come upon BATHING.
a bathing party; at first, perhaps, feeling a
little bashful when you find you are expected
to plunge in among a group of native Venuses,
for both sexes bathe together here. The missionaries tried to put a stop to this, upon the
grounds of immorality, and strictly prohibited
it; but they forgot to give the natives other,
and wh#t they deemed more innocent amusements, so that, finding their law had only the
effect of making a sin of what, in reality,
was only the old custom of the country, they
wisely abolished the law, greatly to the de-
fight of the people.
Our favourite walk was to the valley of Pata-
wah, at the head of which a large precipice or
natural wall runs across and forms an impassable barricade ; over this a brook falls, making
a waterfall well worth seeing. The walk up is
exceedingly picturesque, running alongside
the brook, which forms a constant friend,
every here and there spreading into a little
deep lake, or contracted in a rocky chasm, at
the bottom of which, twenty feet down, you
p 2 Ill lili
can count every glittering pebble. It is
beyond human nature to pass such delicious
baths, particularly if they are already the
scene of a bathing frolic. You throw off your
jacket, and in you go, diving down, and
coming up to shake the water out of your
hair, and splash about as you watch the Naiads
of the island diving, floating, and romping,
like very mermaids.
On such excursions, I generally had my
fishing-rod with me, and used to amuse the
natives by catching fish while in the water,
a performance they thought a perfect conjuror's feat.
A solitary ramble is quite out of the question ; you are invariably followed or hunted
out by the natives, who walk respectfully
after you, volunteering to carry any thing,
merely for the sake of being near you. Their
greatest delight is accompanying, you out
shooting, and at every shot they hillo, kicking
and capering about like madmen. During our
first walk to the pretty fall, we had a whole A  WATEREALL.
mob of them; but by way of making their
company acceptable, they gathered enormous
quantities of fruit, so that, on uniting our
forces at the rendezvous, we piled the fruit
in pyramids, and such fruit as seldom blesses
an Englishman's eyes.
The fall itself is eight hundred and sixty
feet high, and comes down in an unbroken
stream, the eddy of the wind catching and
carrying the spray in all directions, bathing
the plants and flowers which clustered up
the sides of the precipice in such dazzling
luxuriance that they appeared painted by
even a more prodigal hand than Dame Nature's.
The first part of our entertainment consisted of Cittern beer. This is made from
the ripe fruit, well sweetened and diluted
with water; the cork comes out with an invigorating -" pop," and the liquid flows down
your throat like nectar. After this libation,
came bread, radishes, water-cress, potted fish,
then a dessert of fruit; after this, perhaps a W !
pipe or a bath, or the more energetic ones
scrambled up the rocky boundary.
To reach the top of the fall is no easy
matter; you get into a road or pathway,
about half a mile below the fall; this is rough
and steep, but you must bear with it, and
follow its windings. The first thing you come
to is the Prench post with a sergeant's guard,
this marks the grand pass which the natives
held so long against their Prench foes; so
strong are the natural defences, that I believe
they might have defied a whole army but for
the treachery of a Yankee, who, deserting
from them, gave himself up, buying his life
and liberty by shewing a private path to their
retreat. The sergeant we found in command
of the post was a jolly old fellow, and delighted in relating some of his exploits by
flood and field. Pinding him well inclined
to be friendly, we paid him many a subsequent visit, often taking the trouble to carry,
our lunch up to his post, that he might enliven us with his adventures. THE   CROWN   ROCKS   AND   DIADEM     215
At the head of the fall are several deep
chasms, in which the water is still cooler than
below ; from one of these you can slide with
the stream, some fifteen feet into the other,
and the sensation, though at first rather startling, becomes very pleasant after one or two
trials. The lowest pool shallows off at the head
of the fall, and by descending a few steps,
you can look down eight hundred and forty
feet into the basin below.
Prom the flag-staff, which is a good way
higher up than the guard-house, there is a
magnificent view of the valley; while out to seaward, and behind you, rise the Crown Rocks
and Diadem. These are three curiously peaked
mountains in the centre of the island, deriving
their name from the resemblance they bear to
an ancient crown. Half way from the base,
the hill divides into three distinct peaks, and
from these run on one hand deep valleys to
the sea, while on the other the base forms an
enormous semi-circular precipice. The whole
mountain is clothed to within a very short i
distance of the top with fine trees. It was
in the deep valleys, or rather ravines, round
this mountain, that the islanders so long
resisted every effort of the Prench troops, and
might have held out much longer, having only
to retire step by step, if need be, to reach the
hills themselves, where they could never be
either killed by attack or starved out—their
native food, bananas and wild hogs, covering
the whole mountain. Yet, as in many a similar case, deceit and jealousy proved their conqueror. It is easy to struggle against an open
foe, but, alas ! who can resist a treacherous
friend ?
The view from the flag-staff was, I have
said, magnificent and wild in the extreme; on
one hand, enormous rocks menacing the world
below—on another, valleys and plains of garden-like beauty, gay with flowers, and alive
with the melody of bird and stream. Before
us, we seemed to see two lives, one as God
gives it, the other such as we make it, dark
and often terrible both to ourselves and others. QUEEN   POMARE.
However, I must not bore my readers by moralizing, but learn to restrain my lips, and tell of
what has an interest separate from that of the
humble author, who I well know is only borne
with  as a story-teller,  and  for the  amusement the scenes he has witnessed may afford.
The   natives  of  Otaheite  shew  a strong
dislike to   their   Prench   masters,   and  an
equally strong affection for the English, and
from Queen Pomare down would do any thing
in their power for us.    Pomare, their queen,
is a fine-looking woman, a little too stout if
any thing, but regal and majestic enough in
her demeanour.    The  court  dress is   black
satin, embroidered with coloured silks, made
in  the  same way  I have described before,
namely,  quite   tight  round  the throat  and
wrists, hanging down in heavy folds to the
ankles, while round the shoulders a loose scarf
is thrown.    The hair is all drawn back from the
face, and fastened in a roll behind, and round
the head is twined a wreath of flowers generally made from the arrow-root tree. 218
The king is a mere nonentity, and sits
beside her Majesty dressed in a uniform of
cobalt blue velvet, covered with silver lace,
and invariably wears an enormous cocked hat.
I believe the poor Queen has had many
family troubles, particularly in connection
with her eldest son, who is unfortunately a
confirmed drunkard; the second is her favourite, and quite different, being a gentlemanlike
fellow, and a very good son.
When the Captain went to pay his state
visit to Her Majesty, I had the good fortune
to attend him. We were received at her palace
with little state, but evident kindly feelings,
tears rising in her eyes as she spoke of Queen
Victoria's affection and kindness. Then she
asked hundreds of questions about the English court, and the younger members of the
royal family, and particularly whether it was
true one of the princes was a sailor; on being
assured of this, she said she hoped the Queen
would let him come to Otaheite. I happened
to have a long letter from home, containing a HER MAJESTY'S VISIT TO THE SHIP.    219
very elaborate description of the marriage
of the Princess Royal, and this she expressed
a great wish to hear, begging to have it read
to her when she visited the ship.
Two days afterwards, the great event of
their Majesties coming off to dine with the
Captain occurred. Every thing was ship-shape,
and a royal salute fired in honour, while the
yards were manned, and the band played
I God save the Queen."
Pomare was evidently delighted with her
reception, and said,
1 You English are truly polite."
I suppose meaning another nation in connection with her were not § truly" so.
After watching the men go through some
of their exercises, the dinner was served up
under a temporary awning erected on the
deck. It was certainly a pretty table, being
appointed a la Russe. People in England
can have no idea of the beauty of such a style,
when carried out in the very Eden of fruits ii   I
and flowers, the whole table blooming with
flowers, and actually groaning with fruit.
Dinner over, I was called up to read my
letter; then followed the newspapers, and
next cards were brought out; and being
in favour (thanks to the kind hand that
penned the letter), I was one of the three who
joined her Majesty's table; in fact, in the
second rubber, I had the honour of being the
royal partner.
The Queen played a good game, and won
with evident relish, laughing good-humoured-
ly at some mistakes I made, finishing off by
clapping me, and saying I was a true Englishman, and she hoped 1 would come back
when I was an Admiral; and last, not least,
that I would be very handsome when my
whiskers grew!
Unfortunately, the last speech reached other
ears than mine, and became a standing joke
against me long after the crop did come.
After spending a short time longer at this RAMATARA.
gem of islands, we set sail for the little island
of Ramatara; a name many of my readers will
find new to them. I had heard nothing of it,
and expecting to find either a desert, or a spot
inhabited by savages, was totally unprepared
for what I did see. It lies in 152° west
longitude, and 22° 45' north latitude, is about
seven miles long, and one and a half broad,
It is one of the clearest specimens of coral
formation I ever saw. This same coral formation has served to occupy many a spare
hour, and made me forget the dull moments of a long voyage. The best information I have ever found is that given by Sir David
Brewster, and feeling sure he would allow
me to do so, I shall copy it word for word.
I Our readers," says Sir David, | no doubt
are aware that the coral rocks which form
islands and reefs, hundreds of miles in extent,
are built by small animals called polypi,
that secrete from the lower portion of their
body a large quantity of carbonate of lirne,
which when diffused around the body and
Ml r-ff*f
!   Ill
deposited between the folds of its abdominal
coats, constitutes a cell, or polypidon, or poly-
hary, into the hollow of which the animal can
retire. The solid thus formed is called a coral,
which represents exactly the animal itself.
" These stony cells are sometimes single
and cupped, ramifying like a tree, and sometimes grouped like a cauliflower, or imitating,
the human brain; the calcareous cells which
they build remain fixed to the rock in
which they began their labours. After the
animals themselves are dead, a new set of
workmen take their places, and add a new
story to the rising edifice, the same process
going on from generation to generation, until
the wall reaches the surface of the ocean,
where it necessarily terminates.
I The industrious labourers act as scavengers of the lowest class, perpetually employed
in cleansing the waters of the sea from impurities which escape even the smallest Crustacea, in the same manner as the insect tribes,
in their various stages, are destined to find
their food, by devouring impurities caused by
dead animals and vegetable matter on the
land. Were we* to unite into one mass the
immense coral reefs, three hundred miles long,
and the numberless coral islands, some of
which are forty or fifty miles in diameter, and
if we add to this, all the coraline limestone,
and the other formations, whether calcareous
or silicious, that are the works of insect labour,
we should have an accumulation of solid
matter which would compose a planet or
satellite, at least one of the smaller planets
between Mars and Jupiter; and if such a
planet could be so constructed, may we not
conceive that the solid materials of a whole
system of worlds might have been formed by
the tiny but long continued labours of beings
that are invisible—"
I have here given one of the highest
authorities on the subject; my own experience
was, to say the most, but superficial, and only
consisted in gazing through limpid water
down upon the lovely gardens at the bottom mm
I M-
of the sea—gardens glowing with every hue
of the rainbow, glittering with lights as if
illuminated, and alive with marvellously
formed fishes, which, in flitting in and out of
the wonderful forests, might easily be imagined spirits of the place. I never doubted
the well-remembered stories of mermaids and
their caves again, and often in my dreams
pictured to myself the beauty of their palaces,
Under the waves of the dark blue sea.
Properly speaking, I believe Ramatara ought
to be classed as one of the Society Islands, as
from its formation it distinctly forms one of
them. Nothing could exceed its gem-like beauty as we first caught sight of it, glowing in the
morning light—its white shores bathed by the
blue ocean, and the green hills actually appearing to laugh in the sunlight, the rich
woods in many places bending to touch the
sparkling waves.
No sooner was it evident that we intended
to anchor than a dozen little canoes shot off NATIVE   TEACHERS.
through the surf, and were alongside in an
incredibly short time. The natives were all
decently clothed, quiet and respectful in their
demeanour, and altogether different from
anything I had expected. More than ever
I was surprised to hear many of them answer
in very good English, and invariably use the
word | Sir" in addressing us.
I was one of the first to go on shore, and
was soon seated in a snug cottage, in a rough
but comfortable  arm-chair,   with   three   or
four of the native teachers conversing with
me,  asking a host of questions  about England, and the places we had lately visited :
when they heard we had just  come  from
Otaheite, I saw two of them flush with delight,  and  discovered they were natives of
that place, and had left it some years before to teach the Gospel to their neighbours.
All their relations  were  subjects  of Queen
Pomare,  but they assured me they did not
intend to go back, trusting to meet again in
the world to come.
VOL.   I.
;! is;: wm
There was something indescribably touching in the earnest way in which they spoke
of the | world to  come,"  the  unseen land
beyond the dark valley of death, and I hope
I shall not forget the impression it left upon
me ; and it was not only their conversation,
but the consistency of their whole conduct,
during the few days we lay off the Island,
that  surprised  and  awed   me.    I  attended
their church, looked into their schools, saw
them at their own firesides, bowed with them
in family worship, and in their gratitude for
| our daily bread," and  would to  God   I
could look  back with the  same degree   of
respect   and   gratification   to   our   sojourn
among other Islands in the Great Pacific.
One single example will illustrate the
high degree of civilization they have attained ;
some of us dined every day with the teachers,
and invariably sat down to a table covered
with a white cloth, ate with knives and forks,
off crockery plates, and drank out of cups
and horns. OUR  DEPARTURE.
The King gave several feasts in our honour,
at which we were entertained in the same
way, the only difference from a plain English dinner being the wine, which consisted
of fresh and delicious cocoa-nut milk.
We really felt sorry to bid farewell to the
kindly islanders, and every one gave them
presents of one kind or another, though I
must say that which appeared most acceptable was some packets of writing paper, pens,
and ink, these being luxuries they could
seldom obtain. The whole population were on
shore, or in boats, to see us start, nor did
the latter leave us until we were a good
way out to sea, But soon they, too, turned
homewards, and we were alone upon the
wide ocean, ploughing our way for the far
famed Pijian islands.
It is more than a hundred years since
Abel Jansen-Tasman discovered the Fijee
islands. Cook visited and claimed the honour
years afterwards; after him, in 1789, came
the famous Captain  Bligh,  and  since then
Q | Ii i
they have been gradually stealing into
notice. Since 1806, they have been regularly visited by whalers and various
other trading vessels—Sometimes as a convenient place of refreshment, and sometimes
to obtain sandal wood, or the Chinese delicacy, Biche-de-mar.
The group known as the Pijee comprises
all those islands lying between the latitudes
of 15° 30 and 20° 30' and the longitudes of
177° east, and 178° west; some part of which
are occasionally called Prince William's Islands,
and " Heeniskirks shoals." The number of
islands existing in the entire group is two
hundred and twenty-five \ eighty of which come
regularly under the denomination of inhabited
islands, and at the present day are, to a
certain extent, christianized. Some of these
shew the coralline formation, others tower up
in the well known volcanic form. The different ranges adhere closely to one shape; thus
those on the eastern side of the group are generally small, while those on the west are large
and more diversified in appearance, boasting
of scenery unparelleled, even in the Society
As we sailed through first one and then
another narrow strait or channel, and gazed
hour after hour upon some new landscape of
beauty, I could scarcely imagine myself in
aught else but the realm of dreams.
Although there is no active volcano, there
are several hot water springs, and frequent
shocks of earthquakes. Decomposed volcanic
deposits are acknowledged to form a rich
and fertile soil, particularly when assisted by
decaying vegetation, and in the Pijees you
have an admirable example of what the product of such land really is.
The position of the Pijees in regard to the
equator would lead one to suppose them
excessively hot, and liable to all the penalties
of a burning climate. This, however, is not
the case; refreshing sea breezes temper the
rays of the sun, and cool the heated air.
There are no swamps to create miasma, and. 230
■  m*
a more enjoyable climate or healthier residence could scarcely be found, or one in
which every illness takes a milder form.
In such a climate and so fertile a soil
labour is unknown, the only root upon which
the slightest care is expended being the
taro; and the method of preparing the ground
for this useful plant will be an example of
the primitive way in which the natives exist.
Half a dozen men, each holding a long pole
sharpened at the end, place themselves in a
square or circle, surrounding about two feet of
ground. Into this they push the sharp end of
their poles, press them down about a foot
deep, and then prize up the ground in the
centre. It is certainly a strange way of ploughing or digging, I cannot say which, as it
resembles neither, and is finished off and
made ready for the root by a number of
boys who follow the men, and after pulverizing
the loosened earth with their fingers, pile
it into pyramids, upon the top of which the
taro  plant  is||set;   when  it  spreads   forth THE  TARO.
the branches, and reaches from mound to
mound, forming a famous retreat for wild
ducks, and one of the most difficult covers
to beat I ever saw. as
I And rapid, rapid whoops came o'er the deep
* * * *
And dreadfully their thunders seemed to sweep."
The Pijians appear to shine in the commercial world, and date the origin of their
trade back to a time long antecedent to the
arrival of Europeans, having traded by barter
with their neighbours for centuries. The
principal commerce is in the hands of the
inhabitants of the smallest islands, and when
a great barter, or what we call a fair, is to
come off, they signify the day and place. I
saw one of these gatherings upon Great Pijee,
and a most amusing sight it was.
The way a party of us fell in for it was SHOOTING  EXCURSION.
this. We had set off on a shooting excursion,
and getting out of our bearings, wandered
helplessly about until nightfall. We made
ourselves as comfortable as circumstances
would permit f lighted a fire, cooked our
ducks, and, with the help of cocoa-nuts and
bread-fruit, were not to be pitied. After retiring to our couches, namely, a pile of dry
grass laid under a sheltering rock, for a time
all was silent. Although there was no moon,,
the night was not dark, as the whole Heavens
were glittering with the most marvellous
constellations, reflected a hundred times by
the restless waves; the long glossy leaves of
the plantain trees gleamed like frosted silver,
and waving gently in the cool evening breeze,
made me almost fancy them the silver flags
of some enchanted land.
I had just fallen into a soft sleep, when I
was roused up by the most diabolical yell
ever uttered. What could it mean ? As I lay
wondering, it again thrilled through the air;
this time it was faintly echoed in the distance, 1
1   l-t
Immediately the echo spoke, the nearer
demon uttered a still more terrific screech,
prolonging the last note into a howl something like that of a jackal. This time
two echoes replied, the plot thickened, and
ere long yells rose from every side, growing louder and louder as they appeared to
converge to the point of the first and
My companions had each a different
opinion upon the subject; one that it was
the spirits of those the Pijians had murdered
and digested in days gone by, another that
we were about to witness a cannibal feast, or
some horrible ceremony. We all spoke in
whispers, and agreed it was better to keep
out of sight. The danger was increasing
every moment as time crept past, and the
paling stars warned us of approaching day.
Oh, what a morning watch we had ! Sleep
was impossible—who could sleep with such
yells ringing in his ears, and the possibility,
to  say nothing of the probability, of being NATIVES   ON   THE  BEACH.
devoured I en ragout" next day ? Therefore, as
repose was out of the question, we tried to
cheer each other the best way we could j and
had it not been for a little chap who kept
asking if it were really true that the people
were cannibals, and, on being answered in
the affirmative, making violent efforts to
gulp down a blubber, I dare say we should
have got on pretty well. As it was, we were
uncommonly doleful, and hardly knew whether
to laugh or cry, when daylight ended our
suspense, but, alas, seemed to confirm our
worst fears. The beach close below us was
alive with natives.
We had taken refuge just above a pretty
little landlocked harbour, where a sandy plain
lay environed by rocks and water; and now
groups of Pijees were crowding all over this
beach in inextricable confusion, shouting,
laughing, and running about in what, but for
our fears, would have appeared a most ludicrous manner. ¥
Heaps of curious-looking articles were piled »'iW
it "Tm:!!
about—fantastic earthenware pots, long rolls of
tappas, skins, carved calabashes, spears, oars,
&c.; and round these the crowd gathered,
dancing and vociferating as if in the performance of some ceremony. In vain we asked
each other what it could mean; an hour
passed away, and the same scene continued*
Our fears were now vanishing, and some one
was rash enough to propose a nearer inspection ; this, however, was negatived, as we
thought it more prudent to remain out of
As mid-day approached, the crowd increased ; several canoes ran into the bay, landing
cargoes of human beings, and curious bundles
which might have been either bodies of their
enemies ready swathed for roasting, or bales
of tappas and mats. Presently, to our surprise and great delight, the ship's launch
showed her white sheet round the corner of
the bay, and was soon close to the scene of
action; with three hearty cheers we, poor
frightened beggars, sprang to our feet, and THE  JOKE  AGAINST  US.
rushed down the hill, our courage returning
like magic at the welcome sight.
Through the mob of blackies we rushed,
scattering them here and there, and seeing
now, for the first time, that they were all of the
gentle sex. By Jove ! what a joke the fellows
in the launch had against us; even the sailors
grinned when, after trying to get out of it, we
were obliged to tell the whole story. I daresay my reader has already guessed the cause
of the gathering, which was simply a fair,' or,
as they call them, § selling meetings," which
our first lieutenant, having a taste for curiosities, had come to attend.
Having laughed, and borne the laugh as
well as we could, the real fun began; such
haggling and bargaining, everyone asking
three times as much for a thing (when we
wanted to buy it) as we had heard set upon
it a minute before. At last, having collected
all we wanted, we climbed up the hill, and
sat down to watch the scene below.
The fillip given by us to the market had 5*5
a wonderful effect; the excitement grew
greater and greater, at last became a perfect
medley, and ended (as I have since heard such
meetings often do) by a regular set-to, something of the character of those of Billingsgate,
finishing in a general scramble, during which
everyone seized the goods nearest at hand and
bolted, utterly regardless of the laws of property. Por my part, I wonder much why
such fairs are kept up, the real sufferers being
evidently the merchants, while those who
profit are the idlers of the day. It would
seem justice is little known among them, excepting only by name, and it is a curious fact
that they will talk learnedly enough of laws
and the right of punishment, but seldom carry
either out.
The sort of justice awarded may be imagined from the fact that the injured party or
parties, led by their own chief, form judge
and jury, and decide the punishment of the
offender. Offences seem to lessen in magnitude as the rank of the perpetrator rises; thus a s
a murder committed by a chief is an infinitely
less heinous crime than a theft laid to the
charge of a poor man. Pive crimes only are
ever visited with anything like punishment;
these are, breaking the Tabu, or sacred order
of the priest and chief, witchcraft, adultery,
abduction, and theft.
Young men are chosen to inflict all punishments, and as a man is frequently arraigned
for a crime, and sentenced while he is yet
unaware of any proceedings, the executioners
are often despatched some distance to put the
sentence in effect, the unfortunate culprit,
probably, being absent upon a journey.
Such victims once formed the basis of a
feast, their bodies being presented in the first
place to the King, then to his Prime Ministers, and lastly to those who had promulgated
the sentence.
People sometimes escaped punishment by
means of an atonement; this, in the native
tongue, is called a Toro, and may be effected
in several ways, all equally humiliating to the
m ill
1    i;J.
proud spirit of the islanders. They are very
tenacious of rank and dignity, and exact
every mark of respect from the lower orders.
An armed man lowers his arms on the approach of a chief, and in some parts no one
can address a chief, except in a sitting posture ; they have also a curious habit of holding
their beards and looking at the ground when
talking to a superior. They take care to clap
their hands when they present anything.
The funniest of all these marks of respect,
or, as I suppose I should call it, " etiquette" is
the I bale mari," which is, that if the master
makes a false step and tumbles down, the
servants must do so also. I once saw a verv
amusing example of this, and certainly a
strong proof of the tenacity with which these
extraordinary people cling to their ideas of
right and wrong.
The great men were particularly fond of
coming on board and dining with us, and as
many of them could get on pretty well with a
sort of broken English, and moreover were very EFFECT  OE   CHAMPAGNE.
jolly fellows, always giving us something to
laugh at in their queer ways and blunders,
we were seldom a day without one or two.
One old gentleman came pretty often; he
was, I suppose, a great swell among the Fijians,
as he brought a couple of servants with him
on every occasion. It so happened, one day
when he was dining with us, we had champagne ; our friend took to it kindly, imbibing
glass after glass with a gusto it did one's
heart good to see. The result may be imagined ; he got very much excited, volunteered a
dance, &c, and finally, when a party of us who
were going ashore, landed him, he would hear
of nothing but our accompanying him home.
Nothing loath to see the end, three of us
went, and I certainly never regretted it, or
laughed so much in my life. We had not
gone two hundred yards, when his highness
capsized and came down with a run head foremost, What was our astonishment when down
went the two followers also in precisely the same
manner? Then .up staggered the chief—ditto
VOL.   I.
11 f
I ill
his servants. A few steps further on, up went
the old fellow's toes, and this time he lit upon
his beam end. By Jove, it was ditto with the
followers too, and we, after assisting the dignitary to rise, kept half an eye behind, watching
the movements going on, expecting the Jacks
had been plying the servants with rum ; but no,
they rose with the greatest gravity, and marched on as steady as grenadiers, only going down
as often as their master came to grief.
Now I began to see the real state of the
case, and every muscle in my face ached, the
day after, with the constant roar of laughter
we had kept up during our wonderful progress.
After sundry   falls and risings again, the
chief subsided into a  slight hollow,  out of
which he made one or two efforts to rise;
then  quietly  crossing his legs, and smiling
benignly, he began reciting a long story,  containing I have no doubt the narrative of the
mighty  deeds he  had  done.    We  watched
him a short time, and then, tired of laughing,
wished him good night.    The last thing we
saw, on turning back, was the recumbent
forms of master and men.
Such was my personal introduction to the
| bali mari," which is, without exception, the
most curious custom I ever met with.
The productions of the Pijian Isles are
more numerous and of greater value than
any of those I had yet visited; they have
several useful manufactures in pottery, and
mould many tasteful and serviceable articles,
some of which they glaze and vary in colour,
by choosing different kinds of clay. They take
their models from flowers, leaves, and birds;
the bowls used by the priests are formed like
birds, and one I purchased was a ludicrous
imitation of a duck. The women are the
chief manufacturers, work not being adapted
to the martial ideas of the warriors.
The masi, or native garment, is made from
the bark of the malo, which, after being properly softened by immersion in water, is beaten
out, and several strips joined together. After
being  stretched  to  the   desired  size,  these
r 2 ■WCP
are carefully dyed, or, more correctly speaking,
painted.    To attain   the  desired   regularity,
a number of sticks are laid in the proposed
patterns ; upon these the masi is put, and well
rubbed with the dye, the latter in a dry state,
the   raised and hard  portions catching the
colour, and marking out the designs shaped by
the sticks.    The remainder of the  work is
done  partly  with  a  brush,   and  partly  by
cutting out the impression upon a leaf, which
is laid flat upon the cloth, and pressed down
with a pad of the same material dipped in the
colour required |  altogether their plan is so
ingenious and simple that it merits our praise.
The  masi forms  the principal clothing and
covering of the islanders, and is somewhat in
the form of a band round the waist, reaching
almost as far as a Highlander's  kilt;   when
used as a turban the texture of the  masi is
beautifully   fine,   clear  and   transparent   as
silk-gauze, and very pretty.
Mat-making,  too, is a constant source of
wealth and occupation,   as mats,  being used BICHE-DE-MAR.
for so many purposes, such as covering walls
and floors, and as sails, are largely exported
to other islands. There are also nursing and
sleeping mats; those used as floor-covering
are frequently twenty-five and twenty-six feet
square,   and painted in grotesque patterns.
Hand-screens, fans, and ornaments for the
neck, arms, and ears, are also sources of
wealth, besides which a great trade eoes on
with the Tahitians and Sandwich Islanders,
in the wav of scarlet feathers, which in these
islands are a requisite portion of the female
toilet, and in Pijee are abundantly furnished
by the native parrots. Last, not least, as an
article of traffic, is the favourite Chinese
| Biche-de-mar." Perhaps some of my readers
may not have met with a description of this
delicacy, for which it is said the early navigators from the celestial region risked the
hQrrors of an unknown sea in a small boat,
steering solely by the stars and birds. The
Biche-de-mar is neither more nor less than a
mollusca, and very much like a large black 246
snail, with horns or prickles all over it. They
are hard to touch, and get much smaller in
drying, looking very like bits of half-baked
clay, varying from two inches to a foot in
length, and altogether as ugly an object as
you could well imagine. The Chinese are
passionately fond of these, and use them in
making a thick, rich soup, for which they
must be steeped for a long while before they
are cut up. The natives display a great taste
for this luxury, and cheat the traders by
substituting pieces of clay for the real
| Biche-de-mar," relating with great delight
how easily they deceive John Chinaman.
I could dwell much longer upon the
various qualities and capabilities of the Pijees,
but I must not fill my log with one subject,
particularly as a wide ocean field lies before
me—so a few short rambles over the flowery
hills, another swim in the clear blue water,
and, hey, for the ocean again !
Prom the Pijian group, we cruised on to
the Navigators.    These islands are so called THEIR  DISCOVERY.
in commemoration of the knowledge of that
art displayed by their inhabitants when
first discovered. They lie south-east from the
Fijees, and were so named by Bougainville in
1787. La Perouse explored and spent
some time in the most friendly manner,
trading with the natives, when, from some
cause still unexplained, his followers were
attacked, and several men and officers murdered.
Wilkes, in his exploring expedition, surveyed and gives an admirable description of
the islands, but to this day little further is
known, and as we only touched at them, and
continued our voyage for the Marquesas, I can
add but little in a descriptive way.
The only available landing was for boats,
owing to the high coral reef which bars the
mouth of the harbour, and there being no holding ground in the bay, which has a strong
•under-current. The prettiest object in sight was
a waterfall, more than eight hundred feet high,
which came tumbling over a perpendicular
ii GP<5*ii
ipE         If*
ST*?           111*'
11   Hi
cliff bounding the beach, and covered with
creeping plants and rock flowers.
Coming direct from the Pijees, the shore
looked plain and bleak; there was a want of
boldness in the prospect, and the round topped,
well wooded hills, though putting one in
mind of Sussex, looked tame to me after the
volcanic grandeur of the other islands. Even
the green wore a colder and more monotonous
There was one beautv, however, unsur-
passed before or since, and that was the coral
garden far below the waves, glowing with
every imaginable tint as the rays of the sun
altered their position.
I went on shore, and during the short time
I had a hearty laugh at the absurd headdresses worn by the women, in consequence of
the missionaries insisting upon them appearing
in a bonnet at church. And seeing that the
model they had to copy was one of those
immense scuttles indulged in before my time,
when a fashionable lady was known by the WILLIAMS   THE   MISSIONARY.
height of her crown, the reader may imagine what imitations the native milliners
manufacture I and the scene is rendered still
more ridiculous by there being no restriction
as to bodily garments. So the poor women trot
about with their towering head-gear, while their
only garment is a very short petticoat, an
apron, or sometimes a shift.
The church contains a stone in memorv of
Mr. Williams, and the people still speak of
him with the greatest respect.
Of course we could not see all the islands,
and were soon en route for the often told of
Marquesas, verily the land of flowers, fun, and
sunshine. IP
I The white man landed—need the rest be told ?
The New World stretched its dusk hand to the old;
Each was to each a marvel... "
When we arrived off the Marquesas and
dropped anchor in the bay of Nukaheva, I
thought I had found the gem of the Pacific.
I never saw any thing more lovely than the
sea-view. Sunny little strands of white sand,
almost enclosed by black rocks; valleys
stretching, as it seemed, into the very heart of
the stupendous' mountains, and perfectly
dense with vegetation; purling streams stealing down through the thick forests, and above
all the perpetual summer which reigns over
all things in these latitudes.' THE  MARQUESAS,
Nukaheva is the largest island of the group,
Dominica and Santa Christina following in
order. Like the Society Islands, their conical
shape, rising to immense mountains in the
middle, shews their volcanic origin; and though
belted in most places by coral reefs, I, for one,
could never bring myself to believe that such
masses of rock and earth could be at the most
fabulously remote date the work of the coral
The trees which, in the valleys, grow to an
enormous height, gradually diminish in size
as they reach the higher ground, leaving the
summits of the hills barren and unclothed.
It is the rich valleys the natives inhabit, but so
hemmed in are they by rocks and inaccessible
precipices, that the inhabitants of each form a
distinct and often inimical tribe, meeting only to
fight, and, as report affirms, devour each other.
As I said before, we let go our anchor, and
from the depth of the water, were enabled to
do so within little more than a cable's length
of the shore. L
I was one of the lucky ones to be sent on
shore for water; and having obtained leave to
stay a few hours, and try what sport I could
get in the shooting line, three of us set off
armed with guns, and incredulous as to the
unenviable notoriety gained by the islanders,
who were as yet invisible. Having completed
our watering, we, that is to say, two midshipmen and myself, set off at a brisk pace, so
elated with being on terra Jirma again, that I,
for one, am sure I must have given vent to
my feelings by dancing an impromptu pas, had
not the eyes of the boat's crew and an envious
messmate left in charge been fixed upon us.
As it was, no sooner were we out of sight,
than one of the trio, uttering a hollao peculiar
to his own lungs, set off at a break-neck pace
up the valley. Thoughts of school days, of
paper chases, hunt the hare, &c, came over
me, and with a whoop almost equal to his
own, I followed, although not without a suspicion that the savages would perhaps join in
the chase. A  NATIVE   ADONIS.
None of us were in racing condition—a
cruise on the salt water does not improve a
man's wind—so we came to a halt very soon,
and throwing ourselves down, began puffing
like grampuses.    The spot we had come to
was a green bank, deliciously overshadowed
by trees, and close beside a wide brook in
which the water sparkled and laughed as if
inviting us to bathe.    We were debating as
to the propriety of a dip, looking rather anxiously at the same time for any trace of an
inhabitant, when our attention was attracted
by a slight noise in the brook,  and turning
round, we beheld in the middle of the stream
one of the finest men I ever saw.    He was
above six feet, with a form that would have
made a sculptor's pulse thrill.    His clothing,
which only consisted of a girdle, left every
limb displayed, and in spite of the hideous
practice all savage nations have of tattooing,
he was a perfect Adonis.   The ornament upon
his head, composed of plumes, denoted his rank,
and in one hand he held a spear, while the I
other was laid   on his  breast  in token  of
^ Por some minutes we gazed upon each
other. Harry, who, tradition said, had an
uncle devoured by the South Sea Islanders,
though visibly paler, recovered his self-possession first, and made a low bow to the
native. This was received with a readv smile,
and crossing the brook he walked up to us,
telling us he could speak English, though I
must say it was not a very successful attempt.
Catching a glimpse of our guns, he threw
himself beside us, and examined them,
uttering many ejaculations of wonder and
Suddenly a brilliant idea seemed to strike
him; he tried to make us understand, but it
was only after much excitement on his part,
and merriment on ours, that we made it out
—that he wanted us to go pig-shooting with
him. Nothing could have pleased us better;
visions of boar-hunts, such as we had read of,
started before us, and we eagerly accepted PIG-SHOOTING.
him as guide, shouldering our guns, and signifying that he should proceed.
Off he went, and on we followed into the
thickets. Presently he stopped, and held up
his finger to order silence, and then the self-
satisfied grunt a pig utters when rooting met
our ears.
| No shoot—hide !jf muttered our guide.
We ensconced ourselves behind trees, while
he bounded off into the brushwood, through
which we heard him crashing and yelling
like some demon. Then came a wild | halloo,"
and out dashed an old sow with a dozen
porkers helter-skelter after her.
There was no time to lose, the Marquesas
pigs rivalling the famous old Irish ones in
their long legs and speed.
Pop ! pop ! pop ! from our guns, and three
death squeals rang in the air, hastening the
flight of the nimble parent, who seemed to
think only of her own safety.
Before we could reach our game, our guide
was  with us,  laughing  and  displaying  the emu
wildest delight, patting the dead porkers, and
praising Englishmen. Presently, he seized
one of the carcasses, and throwing it over his
shoulder, rushed off without explanation of
any sort, leaving us in a considerable dilemma
as to our next move. After a council, we
decided upon making our way down to the
shore, taking that most acceptable thing, fresh
meat, with us. This proposition was scarcely decided, when it was put a stop to by the sound
of many voices, the very woods seeming alive
and to teem with, natives. On came the
guide, leading a group of laughing, jolly-
looking savages, who were evidently listening
to a good story, which I must say I thought
was at our expense. When they drew near,
curiosity predominated over every other feeling, and they pressed round, gazing with open
mouths and eyes, at first in silence, soon, however, broken by a perfect torrent of exclamations.
The guide now made us understand that
we were expected to eat with them at a great THE  EAIR   SEX.
feast that took place that evening, and that he,
being the chief, invited us.
Such an invitation, or command, backed by
about sixty able-bodied savages, did not
permit of hesitation. There was nothing for
it but to accept, and conduct ourselves in the
most conciliatory manner we could.
Thus we signified how much we appreciated the chiefs kindness, and allowed ourselves to be conducted in triumph to the
The path, though wide and beaten, was so
encumbered by blocks of stone, that in some
places it looked impassable; over these the
natives jumped as quietly as if they were
mere pebbles, while we found we were going
through the same violently-reducing^ system
jockeys undergo before a race. On our way,
we had an opportunity of examining the appearance of the fair sex, many of whom now
crowded round, chattering and laughing as
they criticized our dress. These girls were,
in most cases, really beautiful, and on the
vol. i. s
«< i Ill
Uh i
whole we had a fair chance of judging, as,
excepting a girdle, or extremely short petticoats, the only dress they wore consisted of
garlands of flowers, with which they decorated their heads, necks, and arms. They had
beautifully tapering ankles and fairy-like feet,
long glossy hair falling in natural ringlets
over their shoulders, and complexions such as
Venus might have envied, and which I afterwards found was preserved by the constant
use of a cosmetic compounded from the
tumeric and keata roots.
We soon reached the palace, temple or
club, call it what you will; for it partook of
all three, being alike the habitation of the
chief, the tabooed dwelling of the priests, and
the rendezvous for the men of the tribe, who,
like their civilized brethren, seemed to find
great delight in having a place of resort into
which the gentle sex were not permitted to
The places of abode in Nukaheva are very
curious, the foundation consisting of a sort of
pyramid of huge blocks of cut stone, though how
formed is perfectly unknown to the natives, who
attribute it to the gods, and not, as more enlightened people would be more likely to do, to
some former inhabitants. These stones, generally placed at the side of the valley, form the basis
of the dwelling, which is made of bamboos, interwoven with hibiscus rods in a light, tasteful
trellis-work, leaving free circulation for the
air. The roof rises gradually from the sides,
which are generally about five feet high, to a
height of eleven or twelve. It is thatched
with palm leaves, and has a peculiarly picturesque appearance.
Round the building we now approached, a
low fence of canes was built, and here and
there strange little temples, fluttering with
strips of the sacred white tappa. The women
all fell back, it being a crime punishable by
death for them to set foot within the tabooed
Evident preparations for some grand event
were going briskly forward.    To these, the
s 2 mm
chief pointed with great glee, as he led the
way up the flight of steps conducting to his
palace. Here he sat down upon a pile of
mats which were laid thickly about, covering
the entire floor.
Clapping his hands with the dignity of an
Eastern Prince, the chief ordered refreshments
to be brought. These refreshments consisted
of bread-fruit, prepared in different ways,
one of which was a sort of gruel made of
pounded fruit, mixed with grated cocoa-nut.
For my part, as soon as I learned to roll it
into balls and thus convey it to my mouth, all
went well with .me, and I could afford to
laugh heartily at the attempt my companions
made, daubing their faces over with the sweet
sticky mess.
Whilst reclining after our light repast, we
were much amused by the preparations going
forward for the feast, and particularly by the
cookery. The three porkers had somehow
increased to fully three times their number,
and I began to give the natives credit for THE   SIESTA.
being no mean sportsmen. These carcasses
were passed through the flames, and thus
effectually singed; they were then disembowelled, the interior parts were laid
aside as peculiarly delicate morsels, and the
body was wrapped in a covering of palm
leaves, firmly secured by twigs. The embers
being removed, this was laid upon the hot
earth, a few sods piled over it, and the fire
heaped over all, and thus left to cook at leisure. During the interval that elapsed, the
chief enjoyed a quiet siesta, in which it would
appear all the natives indulged, excepting
only those who were superintending the culinary department.
When we had dozed for about an hour, we
were roused up to eat the "porkers," and
certainly a more delicious mode of cooking
could not have been invented. The steam
having been kept in the meat, it was very
juicy, and flavoured with a nondescript taste
imparted by the green leaves; it was handed
to us laid out in a curiously carved wooden
i ■ i imj.nwn IMI.MMI iun.uu..«^wqiHWg^W—
trough. We found ourselves giving way to
unequivocal sensations of hunger, which
ended in the drawing out of our knives, and
an onslaught upon the braised pork.
Eor some time, the natives let us have it all
our own way, then with much humour tried
to imitate our method of carving, each failure
making them laugh heartily. Finally, they
had recourse to their own primitive mode,
illustrating the old saying peculiar to the
nursery, that | fingers were made before
knives and forks."
When the bare bones of the porkers told
of our appetites, we began to think something to drink would be no bad thing. - This
request was happily forestalled by the chief,
and five or six boys squatted clown round a
large bowl, each supplied with a cocoa-nut
shell full of water to wash their mouths, preparatory to the mastication of the nut from
which the aroo is made, and which they chew
and then spit into the bowl until partly full,
when it is filled up with fresh water, and well MUSIC.
stirred. When the heavy portions have
sunk to the bottom, it is handed round. I was
very thirsty, and tried to drink it, but could
not; though, I am obliged to confess, not from
any highly-wrought delicacy as to the preparation, but simply that in my opinion, at least,
the taste is abominable.
After the chief and his friends had drained
the bowl, we set off in the direction which,
as the loud noise indicated, led to the centre of
merriment. The music, if such it could be
called, consisted of bamboo trees placed upright in the ground, the upper end being
covered with a shark's skin, tightly stretched
and tied down by bands of native cloth.
Behind these drums, a platform was erected;
on this the performers mounted, beating the
head with their open hands, and causing
thereby the most unharmonious din I ever
had the misfortune to be compelled to listen
The crowd that had assembled was much
larger than I had been led to suppose resided
m 264
in the little valley, and presented an appearance at once striking and picturesque, the
natives being all clothed in their gala dresses.
This, in the men, merely consisted of necklaces
of whales' and sharks' teeth, or occasionally
the half of an elaborately carved and polished
drinking cup, suspended like a breast-plate,
the forehead being ornamented with a similar
one, looking like a mitre in miniature.
In addition to the belt we have mentioned
they wore gaily dyed scarfs of tappa, or
native cloth, while many of those who
boasted high rank had a sort of plume of
white hair, instead of feathers. This white
hair had been formerly the beard of an old
man, it being lucrative in the Marquesas
to let the beard grow to a great length, andN
then cut it off to sell for the above-mentioned
The girls, though beautiful before, were
now perfect Bacchantes, all wearing wreaths
of flowers or leaves, with necklaces, ear-rings,
and bracelets of the same.    The hair floating NATIVE   BEAUTIES.
in wild glossy curls almost concealed their
figures, as they joined the dance. Their dark
sparkling eyes and cheeks glowed with mirth
and health; and lastly the robe or shawl of
transparent tappa which they wore, they managed in such a coquettish manner as rather to
heighten than diminish their charms. I had
heard and read of the beauty to be met with
in these favoured isles, but reality far exceeded
my most sanguine expectations; and can it
be wondered if we fell over head and ears in
love with the bewitching creatures, and bitterly regretted the parting hour which came all
too soon, and, long before the mirth of the evening was over, dragged us back to shipboard
and duty ?
Most cordially we promised to return and
enjoy a regular day's shooting, the chief volunteering to be our guide. The whole tribe
accompanied us to the beach, loading the boat
with cocoa-nuts and bread-fruit; and with real
sorrow we bade the kind natives farewell,
having vague hopes  of being permitted to , 11
S E •.   if!
j     ||
j   A    .1
visit them again, should  our  stay admit of
such a pleasure.
The Marquesas are certainly the most gentlemanly savages I ever came across, and
they obtained their evil reputation, as in many
similar cases, solely from the bad conduct
of navigators. A ship anchored off the island, and sent the crew on shore. These men
ifcommitted all sorts of havoc, shooting down
those who resisted, and burning their houses.
That night the poor exasperated creatures
swam out and attached ropes to the ship.
So silently and well was their work done,
that until the ship was drawn close up to the
shore, there was no alarm given. Then it
came too late, and only half a dozen men
escaped to blazon forth to a credulous world
the story of their loss. My own experience
tells me what the nature of the people is, and
the more I see of the natives of these often
maligned islands, I am the more convinced
that, with kindly treatment, we might make
what we please of the inhabitants, who are, I AUVICE   TO   MISSIONARIES.
believe, equal to any nation in ability and intellect.
I wish the missionaries would take a
little more into consideration that a coloured
skin covers a human heart, and that wool may
grow over a brain even of higher reasoning
powers than their own ; for I am quite sure
that, as a body, the men who go out as well
paid teachers, and in their friends' opinion
suffer all the ills and trials 1 that flesh is heir
to," are not the class of men who will make
noble characters of the wild, untamed, and
clear-sighted barbarian. But I must stop
to say farewell to the Marquesas, and hey for
the Sandwich Isles !
■ 268
Droops the heavy blossom'd bower, hangs the heavy fruited
Summer isles of Eden lying in dark purple spheres of sea."
The breeze kept steady for the next six
days, and helped us along handsomely ; then a
calm came, and we had nothing to do but
practise our shooting at a white bird that
kept flying round us in great numbers. After
shooting several, some one proposed to eat
them, and after being skinned and dressed with
port wine sauce, they proved capital food.
Presently we caught the breeze again, and
were soon bowling along at six knots. A  HOT  MIST.
Owing to the long cruise in contemplation, we were heavily laden with stores &c,
and felt the roll very much ; in fact, when the
wind was at all fresh, it was impossible to
keep the lower deck's ports open, consequently
the heat was dreadful, and for many nights
I scarcely went down at all, but slept on
deck. This, however, I had to give up when
the rain began, which it did about the middle
of the month; it was not a good honest rain
(though goodness knows we'd enough of that
and to spare afterwards), but a small drizzling
hot mist that kept you wet continually, just
as if you were in a vapour bath. Some of
the fellows began to croak about rheumatism,
and dream of ague, though barring a few
colds no one suffered.
We were now about 17° 4' south latitude,
and 88° T west longitude, and very dull
work. We had nothing particular to do except
taking the longitude and latitude; sometimes
we danced, but we had been figuring it too
lately with real lady partners to care much ni
for the present state of things. One evening,
when we had danced in the twilight, there
was an alarm of a ship on fire, which, however, turned out to be nothing but the evening star, which shone red and fierce on the
horizon. Even this, trifling as it appears,
was an event on board, and amused us for a
few hours. Every incident is canvassed and
gossiped about, and in looking over my log,'
I find wonderfully small things entered in
full detail, many an anecdote of old friends,
which will always serve as a reminder of
" those days;" but lest the reader should
feel some sort of curiosity to hear what very^
trivial events I allude to, I will give a couple
of extracts as examples.
One night when it was raining hard
(though soft water was coming down), and
we were all putting out our tubs to catch
the refreshing shower, I sent an Irish youngster belonging to my watch for an extra tub ;
back he came, with a large tub on his, head,
and an equally large hole in it.   The officer of THE   SLAUGHTER  OE  BILL.
the watch and I began laughing, and asked
why on earth he brought that.
| Sure it 11 hold more than any other—any
way ye can put more into it/' was his ready
Another incident I deemed worth recording,
was the slaughter of our last English sheep,
known on board by the name of Bill.    Poor
fellow, he was a jolly old gentleman, and I
believe every one felt sorry when his sentence
was   pronounced.    He  formed   part  of  the
gun-room catering, so, in honour of the fresh
mutton,  the   captain,  commander, and lieutenants were invited to share the first day's
feast.    They were all ready enough to come,
and when the cover was lifted off the magnificent saddle, and the delicious aroma steamed
up,  I   am sure they all thought it incense
worthy of offering   to   the   gods;   at  least
it   was  unanimously  declared that a better
dinner never graced a table,   and  to  prove
it they picked  the bones of poor old Bill
pretty bare. OS
The following day, we invited the warrant-
room officers, who enjoyed themselves to all
appearance very much.
But time passed by, and we had been
gliding along, averaging two hundred and
fifty miles in the twenty-four hours, which
was not bad, considering all things; and so
expeditious had our progress been, that on
the 23rd we sighted the heights of the
Sandwich Islands. Hurst Point, in particular,
rising as it does thirteen hundred and sixty-
four feet above the plain of the sea, presented
a capital land-mark. Next day we came
to anchor in the harbour of Honolulu. The
bay is a mere inequality in the coast
line, and though conveniently situated as
regards the prevalent winds, has few,, advantages. There is good anchorage in the roadstead, and ships can bring to, and wait high
water to run through the gut leading by the
coral reef to the harbour.
The prospect from this point is one which
must  always please.    There is the town in BEAUTIEUL   VIEWS.
the foreground, backed by beautiful green
plains sloping up to the foot of gigantic mountains, while, by the help of a telescope, you hunt
out white cottages, huts, and snug little spots
particularly tempting to a seafaring man;
dancing rivulets sparkle in the sunshine, in
their deep calm pools reflecting the overhanging boughs of splendid palm, cocoa-nut
and bread fruit trees, while the verdant
banks are enamelled by flowers of every
I stood for a long time, telescope in hand,
searching out the beauties of the scene, some
of the officers, meanwhile, preparing to land,
a happiness I was obliged (being on duty)
to put off until the morrow.
Getting out an old volume of Cook's Travels, I read over the sad story of his death,
and determined to try and see the spot.
How different must the inhabitants of these
islands be now, I thought; they are now one
of the principal seats of civilization and progress in the mighty Pacific; in the days of
VOL.   I. T
■i BnGS3Q0B
the great navigator's visit, the same race was
utterly brutalized.
On the first appearance of Captain Cook,
he was supposed to be a god, and from the
fact of their favourite deity being Pelee, or
a Fire-god, (whose dwelling was in the everlasting fires of a volcano) they concluded, because the English ships carried fire-arms, that
the great Pelee had himself condescended to
come to them in the form of a white stranger,
and consequently Cook was received as a
god, and named Lono. Priests and servants
were appointed to wait upon him, and so
great was the reverence paid, that, whenever
he walked on shore, the people, chiefs excepted, were compelled to prostrate themselves, and lie with their faces on the earth
until he passed. The adventurers appear to
have been nothing loath to take advantage,
and increase, by every means in their power,
this superstitious feeling, and day after day
deepened the awe of the ignorant islanders.
Fresh wonders were attributed to the strangers WANTON   MISCONDUCT.
and nothing that it was in their power to give
or do was withheld; everything upon the
islands was placed at their disposal. This,
as may be supposed, had a deplorable effect
upon the sailors, and, in spite of all discipline,
acts of violence and cruelty began to occur
daily. Their noble captain, seconded by his
officers, left no means untried to bring about
a better state of order, but finding it avail
nothing, it was decided to leave their pleasant
resting place, and continue their voyage.
The last day of their stay was fated to
see their worst fears realized. A large party
of the sailors being in want of a supply of
firewood, in wanton disregard to the orders
of Captain Cook, and the religion of the
natives, tore up and appropriated the paling
which surrounded one of their sacred places,
and laughing at the menaces of the people,
proceeded to make their fire.
The insult told deeply ; the strangers could
not be gods if they desecrated the temple
of a god; and reasoning thus, a veil seemed
t 2 !     I     ■ ■!■■   II J.1U
to fall from the islanders' eyes. The alarm
spread like magic, and ere many minutes
had elapsed, the beach was crowded by armed
and angry savages. ii
Captain Cook tried in vain to appease
them, promising punishment to the perpetrators ; all, however, was useless, and, at last,
exasperated by some insulting speech, it is
said he struck one of the chiefs. Quick as
lightning, the savage was upon him, and was
thrown off by Captain Cook, who, now convinced their only chance of life lay in retreat,
turned every thought to the consideration of the
best means to get his men off to the ships as
soon as possible, and without bloodshed; all,
perhaps, might have gone well, had not a stone
hit Cook, and roused the passions of his men.
Nothing could restrain them f in an instant
the report of their fire-arms rang in the air,
and many of the savages lay writhing in their
death agony. There was a pause for an
instant \ then, maddened by the sight of blood,
the   natives  crowded  down,  the  sailors  re- DEATH   OE   COOK. Z'il
treating before them, but firing as they went,
while their unarmed captain used, almost
supernatural exertions to stop the bloodshed, and was in the verv act of command-
ing them to desist, when he received his
death-blow bv- a stab in the back, and
fell into the water dead.
There are many different stories as to the
ultimate fate of his body f but, from what I
have read and heard, my own opinion is that
it was very likely eaten, and a portion burnt,
as it is a known fact that the Sandwich
Islanders were cannibals until a very recent
date, and invariably consumed a portion, at
least, of any enemy of note war threw in
their way.
Little did our great navigator think that
in so short a period these islands would
become some of our most important acquisitions.
When the intelligence of Cook's death
reached England, there was a general outcry
of horror, and, for a time, nothing was spoken M-SWWW^F'IW
of but the Sandwich Islands. Ballad singers
travestied upon the subject, and the streets of
London resounded with songs descriptive of
the scene of death. While every print-shop
window exhibited exaggerated pictures.
At last the English nation began to look
upon the savage islands whose discovery had
cost them one of their favourite and brave
leaders rather as a horrible night-mare than
an advantage. Even the government let the
subject of their importance rest, and, deeply
engaged in nearer projects, seemed to forget
even the existence of the islands.
Thus, for a time, they were only spoken of
with a shudder, and only visited by a chance
whaler, obliged to put in from stress of
weather, or in want of fresh provisions.
I think it is to a captain of one of the
whalers we really owe the Sandwich Isles.
It appears that, having made an unsuccessful
voyage to the North Pacific, he returned
empty-handed, and put in to refresh at the
islands.    During   his   stay, he   noticed  the ORIGIN   OE  THE  INHABITANTS.
enormous quantities of sandal-wood, and
knowing the estimation in which it was held
in China, he determined to take a cargo, and
try a new speculation. So loading his ship
with the largest trees he could meet with,
his success was complete, and induced him
to   try   it   again   and
For   several
voyages he managed to keep the source of
his supply a secret, but at length becoming
known, other ships began to trade in the
same way; the Chinese sent agents to settle
on the islands, and prepare the wood for
embarkation, and after a time England opened
her eyes to the value of her possessions, and
began to think of asserting her supremacy.
Of the origin of the inhabitants little is
known,||and many wild conjectures have
been formed, some travellers even asserting
them to be one of the lost tribes, basing
this theory principally upon the practice of
rites identical with those of the old Jewish code;
one of these being the religious ceremony of
circumcision, which, until the introduction of 2S0
Christianity, was vigorously carried out j another equally striking one being the purification
of women after child-birth, &c. Still, to my
idea, these are slender foundations upon which
to establish so important an assertion. The
islanders must have some origin, and have
come to their home at some distant period,^
and why may they not still preserve shadows
of old customs prevalent in the world?
It is something of the same character as
the argument upon which people say that
the Flood must have been general, because
we find traditions of it existing among every
nation and people—forgetting that the one
family who were saved and repeopled the
world would transmit the tradition, and
that their descendants would carry their
ancient traditions with them.
The Sandwich Islanders themselves believe
they came from Otaheite, and that in times
gone by their forefathers were great kings
and had many ships.
The inhabitants of all the Pacific  Islands, GOVERNMENT.
including New Zealand, bear a strong resemblance to each other, and exhibit many marked
traits of the Malay race, to which people, I
think, they owe their origin. The early records
of the Islanders are very curious, and will-
amply repay any notice, as well as create
a greater interest in the fate of the inhabitants of these favoured islands.
The. islands, twelve in all, have long
been independent of each other. Each was
governed, in a truly despotic manner,
by a king who had at his right hand a
Court of nobles, warriors who fought, ate,
drank, and tyrannized over their slaves. .All
titles descended through the female side, it
being a difficult matter in a land of such
morals as the Sandwich Islands for a child
to know its own father; thus the wise
counsels of the Islanders decided that the
women should transmit the birthright.
The respect exacted by the chiefs is very
great, and any falling off is invariably punished severely, often by death. BBBS
Justice is distributed in a very uncertain
way, retribution on the offender by the aggrieved party being the usual method; and,
if possible, the revenge takes the same form
as the original offence. Wars are, of course,
continually going on, and most shocking are
the tales of cruelty and murder that are told
of past times. But who can wonder, when
he remembers that not only were the natives
heathens, but that their religion sanctioned, and
even enjoined, the most dreadful crimes as
offerings to their gods, and that every ordinance of it served to degrade and harden,
until it would appear from records, and even
from the present state of the people in remote districts, that they had sunk to the very
level of the beasts of the fields. The very
name of a religion such as theirs makes one
shudder, and when all the horrors of its
ordinances become familiar to us, we may
form a pretty good idea of what hell may be
Some writers insist on blaming the early ISLANDS   OE   THE   PACIEIC 2od
navigators as the original seed-sowers of this
prolific crop of vice and immorality, disease
and death, which marks the inhabitants of the
Pacific Islands j but the assertion is as unjust
as cruel, and its evident untruth is plain
enough to any one who has it in his power
to examine into the early religion of the people
themselves, or who will be unprejudiced
enough to believe those who have an opportunity denied to himself.
As we proceed through the various groups
in the Pacific, all bearing a strong resemblance to each other, the reader will, I trust, be
able to coincide with me in what I have stated;
and although it is impossible to bring forward
every proof upon which I found my belief,
yet, as I continue my narrative, I shall endeavour, in the plainest way I can, to shew
the reason for what I have said.
The peculiar formation of these groups, and
the volcanoes still in existence, tell the tale of
their origin. Great and overpowering is the awe
with which a stranger gazes upon the debris of .
i * '%''  lll'l
1   I
the early eruptions; precipitous mountains
towering to the heavens, crowned with perpetual snow, and wreathed round their base by
garlands of lovely flowers j rugged peaks and
blocks of lava piled in inconceivable confusion, and looking like the ruins of some
former city.
Here and there is the mouth of an extinct
volcano, in which the fiery flood has given
place to flowers and gaily-plumaged birds,
while the once red-hot mountains are clothed
with trees, and whole forests of a beautiful
sweet-scented geranium and scarlet creeper,
which festoon themselves from tree to tree,
weaving gay banners among the dark green
Strange thoughts are awakened, as a picture
of the past rises in the mind, and a vision of
what it may have been steals over us. How
wonderful is the change in the face of nature,
the smouldering lava, by God's providence decaying into rich soil, drifting into the valleys
I and fissures, and in time forming a deep bed for EERTILITY   OE   THE   SOIL.
the growth of shrubs and trees. Then the
advent of man, and the rapid change in the
produce of the land, a land capaible of bearing
tenfold what we are taught to look upon as
an ample return.
How often have I wished, when gazing
upon the teeming soil, with fruits of all
sorts running wild, and literally rotting on the
ground, that I could bring out a ship-load of
my poor, starving, and struggling countrymen,
and set them down in this garden of peace
and plenty.
There is a. rich harvest awaiting the adventurer here, and a kindly welcome from the
friendly islanders, who, when educated and
properly treated, make capital servants, and
are admirably adapted for farm labourers,
both from their natural love of agriculture,
and their knowledge of what the most productive portions of the islands are. 286
1 1
| A garden,
Girdled it round about with a belt of. luxuriant blossoms,
Pilling the air with fragrance."
Honolulu is the capital of the Sandwich
group; its population consists of eleven thousand, four hundred of whom are foreigners, and
the greater proportion of these, Americans.
The city is regularly built, in a European style,
with pretty gardens and good rooms. The suburbs are principally the grass huts of the
natives ; but besides these are the churches, a
Romish chapel, the Palace, the Custom House,
and, lastly, the Fortress ; while, farther off, are NATIVE   MILLINERY.
the villa residences of the merchants and
government representatives. Ships belonging
to the island naval force are stationed in the
harbour, and the native soldiers are continually parading the streets, which are filled by a
motley crowd—black, yellow, and white,
dressed in every style of garment, from the
primitive bare skin of Eden to the last stripe
or check of Bond Street dandyism.
Here, too, the missionary law of wearing
bonnets leads to all sorts of outre sights, and
many a hearty laugh I had at the native millinery. I often had to cover my eyes in
church, and, on more than one occasion, was
obliged to bolt out, in fear of an open reprimand from the preacher, having a remembrance of a story my mother used to tell me
of a Quaker meeting to which a relation of
mine, out of curiosity, went one day, and
where, after a tremendous long silence, her
companion began to smile, when one of the
Friends rose, and, with the greatest gravity,
said :
f ii mmmmmm
I The laughter of fools is as the crackling
of thorns under a pot."
A general hum of approbation followed,
which effectually upset the visitors' gravity,
and, content with their experience of a
Quaker meeting, both rose and departed.
I must say I think the missionaries had better let the poor women appear in their own
pretty wreaths of feathers and natural flowers,
than have the scenes I have witnessed in
a crowded church.
In no part of the world do I remember to
have seen such moonlights as those in this
portion of the Pacific, and our very first night
in the harbour of Honolulu was a fair sample
of those to follow.
The sky was literally flooded with light,
and the bold outline of the mountains, which,
during the day, were generally veiled by
clouds, now rose clearly defined against the
horizon, throwing mysterious-looking shadows
across each other and the plains; the town
lay cradled and at peace, while the throbbing SILENCE   AT  NIGHT,
of the waves was the only thing that broke
the impressive silence. I was forcibly struck
with the intense stillness, and more so, that,
in a few minutes after sundown, every noise
(and they were by no means little or few)
ceased. This is a characteristic of Honolulu,
as, after dark, all noise is strictly prohibited,
and any one who trangresses this law is at
once taken into custody, and severely punished.
There was something very enchanting in
this breathless silence, which soon won my
heart, and many a night I wandered away
from town into the woods, merely to sit down
and drink in the peace around me.
The day following our arrival, the Chaplain
and I joined a party on an excursion to a
famed waterfall; not being able to go with
them, we settled to meet at the spot, and
accordingly landed about ten in the morning,
after running the gauntlet of a mob of boats,
which from the first gleam of daylight surrounded the ship like a shoal of sharks, and
VOL.   I.
u mmmm
filled, too; with equally voracious creatures in
the shape of livery-stable keepers, tailors,
fruit-vendors, &c, &c. The first are by far the
most unmanageable, and directly they catch
a glimpse of an unlucky mid going off in
shore rig, there is a general scramble and
race for him ; they jostle round, utterly regardless of the danger of upsetting or stoving in,
every man shouting the merits of his horses in
the loudest and wildest English he can com-
mand, calling every one " my lord," <e or your
highness," and by way of compliments, using
oaths taught them by the sailors.
Well, we got to land in spite of all this,
and, after some difficulty, managed to shake
the fellows off, by pointing out another boat
just parting from the ship; off they dashed,
leaving us to pursue our way unmolested.
The country, with its cool rich grass and
shady groves, looked very tempting, and the
Chaplain beginning to talk of Devon lanes in a
romantic way, we made up our minds to
walk for a time.    After getting about a mile A  NONDESCRIPT  CARRIAGE.
from the landing place, the heat of the sun
began to tell upon us, and increased to such
a degree that even riding appeared too great
an exertion. The next thing was to get
something we could drive, and this was by
no means an easy matter.
Reaching some stables a little way out of
the town, we entered and made our requirements known; at first the men only stared at
us, but gradually comprehending what we
wanted, they got into a great state of excitement, and pulled out a queer nondescript-
looking machine upon four wheels, something
between a market-cart and dog-cart, pointing
to it with considerable pride. The crowd
increased momentarily, and watched the
process of harnessing (if I may so call it),
the horse, which evidently knew nothing of
the shafts, having to be held by main force
while being fastened.
Neither of us was of a nervous temperament, but I confess to a slight misgiving as
I saw the way in which the animal shook his
u 2 mmmjmm
<    1
head and laid back his ears: luckilv the
tackling was strong, and it- was pretty clear
that, whatever he did, he would have to carry
the trap with him.
Our arrangements being complete, we
ascended the cart, the reins were placed in my
hands (being held by the owner until I had
taken legal possession by entrance), and the
signal to shove off was given. The lookers on
cleared awav to the right and left, leaving a
clear run and no favour before us, but not a
step would our quadruped budge. I began
by coaxing, then tried a slight touch of the
whip, after that a sharper application, still he
was tranquil, and nothing moved except ears
and tail. We then held a council of war, and
remembering the system once adopted with
a horse at home, I made half a dozen men
get to the back of the cart, as many more to
the wheels, and by heaving all together, push
the beast on in spite of himself; and presently
move he did, and at such a pace that we soon
left the yelling mob behind, and got clear of A  SHADY  LANE.
the town. After a gallop of a couple of miles,
accompanied by tremendous efforts to get
clear of the harness, the horse settled down
into a tolerably steady trot, and, excepting an
occasional shy or kick, went on well enough |
the road so far was in our favour, and the
pace kept up a sufficient current to cool us.
The sun was now, however, growing very
hot, and as we trotted along, my back and
head felt on fire; in this our first extremity
of heat, we came to a shady lane leading up
a beautiful valley. It was too tempting to
leave behind, and leaving the well made road,
we turned up the by-lane, and slackened
our pace as much as we could to enjoy the
dim cool shade.
Nothing could be more enchanting. Enormous trees drooped over our heads, and the
perfume of the scarlet geranium filled the
air, refreshing us as such things only do, in
such a climate. We were soon aroused to
other matters by the increasing jolting of the
cart, and saw  the aspect  of the path was mm
rapidly changing. As we were debating as to
whether it was prudent to proceed, we were
nearly capsized by coming in contact with
the projecting root of a trjee. Stopping short
we began to consider our position ; we had got
upon high ground, and must have reached
the top of the valley, though from the surrounding foliage, it was impossible to see on
either hand; so I walked the horse and cart
quietly on, while Mr. got out to reconnoitre ; presently he returned breathless, to
say he could make out nothing but trees
and jungle, and as the road was still before
us, we might as well stick to it, and trust to
its being the short cut to the Ealls—one, by
the way, we had been particularly warned
Every hundred yards now made it more
impracticable ; sticks, roots, and ruts presented
most unpleasant features; and it was with infinite relief we saw a native hut peeping through
the trees, at which we made our difficulty
known; much to our happiness, we were told
1 If
4^^fl    ^^ti^^^^H BROUGHT  TO   A   STAND-STILL.
that we would soon find the road improve.
Determined not to be beaten, we pushed on ;
but it only grew worse, and was more like a
succession of ditches than anything else,
obliging us every few minutes to pull up,
and look for the possible means of getting
over, under, or through a difficulty. Still we
persevered j we knew we were on the right
road, and certain hungry feelings warned us
of the lapse of time, and that our friends must
soon give us up altogether, in which case we
should stand a bad chance of getting anything to eat, every scrap being scrambled
for by the natives who follow you in perfect
crowds, just as in Otaheite, but are not half
so modest, looking out for anything they can
lay hands on in the most barefaced way.
The road, instead of growing better, got
worse and worse, and at last we were brought
to a stand-still by its absolutely ending.
In vain did we search about for any track,
nothing that spoke of a continuance was to
be seen; all was  chaos,   and there was no
i 296
alternative but to get out, leave the cart, and
make our way on foot. This we proceeded to
do. We first tried to unharness the horse, but
this we utterly failed in; and not liking to
cut  the  knots,   which   stood us   such good
service, we contented ourselves with getting
the wheels into a hole, and tying the horse's
head firmly to a branch; having settled this,
we left him to consider what he pleased of us.
Off we ran, scrambling and tumbling up
the hill, fighting our way through a thicket
of undergrowth and flowering  creepers, and
often leaving mementoes behind in the form
of portions of our clothing, even, I believe,
skin; at any rate my face did not recover it
for a few days, and my friend's hands presented a horrible spectacle.
After a short time, we came upon another
and infinitely better pathway—the one, in
fact, we ought to have kept, and which we
must have missed soon after our inquiry at
the hut. Along this we progressed at a rapid
pace, and were soon at the  country palace THE  ROYAL  PALACE.
of His Majesty of the Sandwich Isles, which
is nothing more than a wretched old tumbledown wooden cottage, thatched with grass,
and without the slightest attempt at a garden
or cultivated ground. For the credit of His
Majesty's taste, I hope none of the women
we saw round the doorway composed a portion of his harem; as we passed them with
the usual salutation, I aloha," or | blessing,"
I  thought  I had   never   seen  anything   so
Continuing our walk, we came to a
pretty brook dancing gaily along round
blocks of moss-covered lava, here and there
washing the roots of gigantic trees, or hiding
beneath a screen of flowers, and in other
places forming deep crystal pools, which reflected like a mirror the scene upon either
bank. Every tree and shrub is beautiful, but
of all the most graceful was the tree fern;
only fancy one of our old hill-side friends
extending itself to a fine forest tree, waving
its graceful branches  far and wide  over  a «■
brook or mossy bank, and even in its giant
form preserving all the delicate beauty which
characterises it at home. I could not help
standing under these trees and wondering
at their size, and the change climate had
worked in them, while the chaplain, to whom
the plant was familiar, kept interrupting my
meditations with threats of getting nothing to
recruit our bodily weakness.
At last I tore myself away, and was soon
rewarded by the sight of the much lauded
fall. Here, too, we found the party, evidently in no very good humour at our delay,
amusing themselves by watching the native
girls sporting in the water; jumping from
a height, tailor fashion, as soon as they
reach the water they turn over and dive,
run along the bottom like otters, come
up to the surface throwing back their long
hair glittering with water, and sometimes
twined with bright flowers, and then swim
round and round the pool, laughing and
singins to their hearts' content. THE  WATERFALL.
In the water, the Sandwich Isle girls looked
very pretty, but out of it they are by no
means equal to their sisters in Otaheite. Now
and then you do certainly come across a Hebe,
but, on the whole, I was not favourably impressed, and still less so when I saw more
of their domestic life.
I was disappointed with the magnitude
of the fall, it being scarcely over thirty feet
high; but coming down as it did in a broad
sheet, framed in the richest green, and painted
with a hundred bright-coloured flowers, it
borrowed a beauty not its own, and made
a subject for one of the prettiest sketches
I possess.
After discussing our dinner and bathing,
we set about our homeward journey, scarcely
expecting less than to walk all the way; in
this we were happily not quite correct, as
both cart and horse were safe, and in precisely the same place as we had left them,
the latter busy cropping the grass and leaves
within reach.    It took some trouble to get I
both out of the hole, but by dint of pulling
and pushing we overcame the difficulty, and
started down the hill on our way home. The
descent presented obstacles still greater than
the ascent, and for a short distance, by some
wondrous luck, we managed to get along
without an upset, but at last it was impossible
to go further.
The cart was almost in a horizontal position,
and,   touching  the  horse's   tail,   made   him
kick and plunge in an outrageous  manner—
each   fresh plunge on his* part bringing   it
harder down on him.    A large hole lay  at
one  side of us,  and  a stone at  the  other,
upon which every plunge threatened to wreck
us.   In   vain I  held his  head and tried to
coax him quiet, it was perfectly useless, and,
getting tired of the fun,  I let go his head,
at the same time bestowing a touch of the
whip, thinking he would go ahead;   but the
brute was the most perverse creature I ever
came across in the equine line, and now he
kicked  worse  than ever, positively   refusing A  MISHAP.
to budge a step, growing more energetic
as I applied the whip-cord.. At last the
climax came, he got a leg over the shaft, and
down we all went, heels over head into the
Having a notion of what was coming, the
chaplain and I managed to fall clear, and
were soon on our legs all right, and had a
hearty laugh at the triumphant way in which
the horse kicked himself out of the trappings,
and, bounding up the bank, galloped off, snorting with delight, leaving us with the broken
and capsized cart, a bequest, I fear, we
scarcely appreciated; as, after giving the upper
wheel a twist that sent it spinning like a
windmill, we set off down-hill as fast as
we could, and had the satisfaction of making
our by no means triumphant entry into
Honolulu about sundown, when, on relating
our mishap to the stable-keeper, he insisted
upon demanding payment for all. This we
objected to, particularly as the horse was
safe in the stable, and the cart equally well
B^^na j^^Bj m» ^rr J I *wa
off, though rather in an awkward situation;
so, after a long wrangling dispute, we gave
him his original charge, and threatened him
with the law as a compensation for sending
us out with an untrained horse. On the
whole, I think he was a good sort of fellow,
as we heard he was in a terrible fright
all day lest we should be killed and any
odium fall upon his conduct, it being the
fact that he had given us a beast nobody
would ride, and as for driving, he had
never been within ten yards of a pair of
Adopting the. prevailing idea that sailors
have nine lives, and no necks to break, he
had given us his f Cruiser;' and, by Jove, since
I've seen Rarey astonishing both his patients
and patrons, I've thought it would be  well
for us all to get into his secret, though I
must say I think both Rarey and his secrets
regular humbugs, and true specimens of
how the Yankees | do" us whenever they
can. ON   BOARD   AGAIN*
Having promised to be on board at nine,
we had only time to swallow a mouthful of
dinner, and get off as soon as possible. 304
I And man, tho* he beareth the brand of sin,
And the flesh and the devil have bound him,
Hath a spirit within to old Eden akin.
Only nurture up Eden around him."
A day after our drive, I was again one of a
party to the same place, and this time got
there and back again without any accident,
and certainly thought the waterfall well repaid the journey to it. Generally, on your
returning from such excursions, you have two
or three hours at your disposal before it is
time to go on board, and these are devoted to
calling and dining. Of these my experience
was as follows, beginning with the day of ray
second visit to the Fall. COCKROACHES.
The fashionable calling hours being from
four to seven, those hours soon passed away,
the fair daughters of Honolulu being some of
the most fascinating women I ever met with.
Then came dinner at the hotel, which, having
been ordered with great care, was anticipated
to be worth going in for. We were only an
hour behind; not much to us in ordinary
cases, but a good deal when in the cook's
hands, and running as near as possible to the
1 going on board " hour.
Delighted with our visiting, and very happy
in the prospect of a good dinner we reached
the hotel. Alas! the table was literallv a
black moving mass of cockroaches, the great
black brutes making crusades from beneath
dishes, and lying in ambush under each plate or
dish-cover; they walked over your vegetables,
bathed in your gravy, and pushed thence
selves even into your well-selected spoonful.
It was useless fighting with them, and, in
spite of dinner, we made a simultaneous rush
for the door, and left the untasted viands for !»» —
the victors, much to the servants' astonishment, and I daresay ultimate advan-
Another excursion I made was to the Poli
of Minana.    This was one of my favourites—
an  impromptu  lady  picnic.    I   particularly
mention  lady,   as,   in  general,   we of  the
rougher sex had the day's fun all to ourselves.
The day in question, we were the evening before invited to join a party got up by a resident, and almost every one being strangers to
me, I was, for a short time, rather dull; but
gradually, and, I must say, much sooner than
would   have   happened   in  England, we all
became capital  friends, and began to enjoy
ourselves greatly.
The point of attraction this day, the Poli
of Minana, is an enormous precipice at the
head of a beautiful valley, consecrated by romantic legends, and glowing with the richest
vegetation. The direction of the valley lies
immediately behind the town, and appears as
if the mountains had been torn asunder by ENCHANTING   SCENE.
an earthquake; that portion nearest Honolulu
being open, while the upper part is enclosed
by enormous ridges, and forms a level plain,
with the entrance at one end, and the Poli at
the other. On each side, the rocks rise in
perpendicular masses, fringed here and there
with the tree-fern and creepers, while the
plain is covered by a short, rich grass, broken
by pieces of rock hurled down by storms from
the neighbouring mountains, and stunted trees
and shrubs. In some places, you see a native
hut peeping out.
As we proceeded up the plain, the view
grew more beautiful and wild, the vegetation
richer, the mountain peaks more characteristic, the shadows thrown by the passing
clouds more striking, and, what added still
more, in my opinion, to the enchanting scene,
numberless little cascades of water fell from
the mountain sides, gleaming through the
dark green foliage like silver threads. Hundreds of gaily-plumaged birds fluttered about,
making the air resound with their voices.
x 2        # ' 61
m r
1 i i
But 1 had little time for meditation.
Merry laughter from sweet lips beside me—
and even though one does keep a journal, and
is determined to use his eyes, who can be so
morose as to meditate ? As for me, I confess
I could not, and though I did my best to
imitate Oliver Cromwell, and do two things
at once, I am afraid I did not succeed, my
companion telling me I was the dullest sailor
she ever saw.
Reaching the head of the valley, we entered a narrow gorge, through which a regular hurricane of wind rushed, and which
gave me a pretty good idea of what it might
be when the trade winds blew. Here we
dismounted to approach the brink of the Poli,
creeping cautiously up.
Below us was a sheer wall, eleven hundred
feet in height; one false step and we were
lost. I drew back with an involuntary shudder, and it was some minutes before my head
was steady enough to look down again.
Down at the bottom lay tiny houses and
scarcely perceptible animals; away further,
wide plains, and, bounding all, the bright
blue ocean. I never felt so awed before, and
could scarcely believe I was not dreaming,
until recalled to my senses by the shouts of
the party, whom I found gathered round a
well-covered cloth.
During our ride home, one legend of the
Poli reached my ears—it was this: After a
great battle between opposing native forces,
the conquered army fled up the valley of
Minana, and, pursued by their relentless foe,
were actually driven over the Poli, thus, at
(i one fell swoop," destroying three thousand
Surely, if the plains of Marathon are
haunted periodically by the ghosts of the
fallen great, and the
I Charge of horse—the din of fight,
Break the sweet slumber of the night,"
here the deed must be repeated tenfold.
There is a lake near Honolulu called the II
Salt Lake, which j it is stated, once upon a
time, supplied a great number of the settlements on the Pacific. When I was there I
saw nothing wonderful about it. There is a
little water spread over a marshy piece of
ground, with a thick sediment lying at the
bottom, nothing of the nature of salt. It is
evidently the mouth of an extinct volcano,
and, probably, has at one time had some underground connection with the sea. Now
this is gone, and there is no return of rise or
fall in its tide.
The most remarkable object near the town,
and one which instantly arrests the attention,
is a peculiarly shaped hill, known as Diamond
Head. About a mile from the foot is a native village, surrounded by a grove of cocoa-
nut trees, in the shelter of which the ships
under Vancouver lay during his visit to the
Islands. When I passed this on my way to
the crater, dozens of the villagers were dancing, diving, and swimming in the cool water,
and greeted us with shouts and laughter. PAGAN   TEMPLE.
We saw the bare walls of the King's palace,
the once mighty Kamahameha, but it now
looked dreary and poor, and I was almost
sorry I had seen it. So much did I admire
the warrior-king, that the sight of such a
hovel, in connection with his name, had a
painful effect for long.
After passing the village, we came to the
remains of one of the pagan temples. It was
a large and nearly quadrangular building,
formed of lava stones piled one over the other
without any attempt at lime or mortar, about
eight feet thick, by seven or eight high. I
could not but feel a shudder of horror as I
thought of the terrible scenes enacted in this
temple, and, after looking long enough to
picture what I imagined might have once
happened on this spot, I then rejoined my
impatient companions.
The ascent of Diamond Hill, or Head, as it
is frequently called, is very steep, and exercises one's lungs to some advantage; but it
is rather provoking to find you have expended 1
such a quantity of breath and strength for
nothing, as the only thing to be seen is a
large empty pit, where the fiery element has
been long at rest.
The sides were clothed with shrubs and
flowers, and festooned by the convolvulus,
which twined about in every direction, waving
from rock to rock, and lovingly embracing
the rough limbs of the cactus, which here, in
a native soil and climate, flourishes in great
Pacing the sea, the sides of Diamond Head
are steep and bald, and in every direction
the views are very grand; the colour of the
trees in the Pacific Islands, and here particularly, is of such a rich clear green that
when under the full influence of the sun it becomes perfectly dazzling, and painful to the
gazer. *
A little beyond the Head lies the Punch-
Bowl Hill, with a much more suspicious
crater, and looking so uncertain that I involuntarily asked when the last eruption took
place, and was surprised to hear "not within
anyone's memory."
The hills afford pasturage for large herds
of goats, though why they should be permitted
to run to such numbers, or what use is made
of them, I know not; all are wild, and though
individuals lay claim to herds, they might as
well relinquish their proprietorship for all the
chance they have of catching them. The only
animals originally on the island were dogs and
pigs to which Vancouver on his return visit
added a few cattle and sheep. These, on being
presented to the king, were tabooed for ten
years, so that, increasing rapidly in such
a climate, the country was fairly overrun
before the end of the taboo, and permission
to drive the herds up the hills was obliged to be
Taro is the principal food of the natives,
being cultivated by the women; this root,
requiring a constant supply of water, is
planted in large pits, or, more properly speaking, mud ponds, in which clay is beaten and"
:!    ,1
stamped well down, until hard enough to
resist the action of water to a great extent;
a little earth is then thrown in, and the
enclosure flooded with water. When near
a brook, this is simple enough, but in some
cases every drop is carried in calabashes miles
across the country, rendering the formation
of a taro bed a very laborious undertaking.
It is very funny to see the women jumping
about up to their knees, or even higher, in
the black mud, as they tread down the clay
flooring, shouting and making the most horrible noises, as if they were enduring some
great punishment.
The taro is, in the full grown state, something like a potatoe, and is used in various
ways—sometimes eaten fresh and whole, at
others roasted, and pounded into a paste,
or chewed into | pai," the drink of almost
all uncivilized natives, and which is made
by chewing and spitting out the masticated
mass into a large bowl, to which water being
added,   fermentation begins,   and an   oddly EISH   PONDS.
flavoured watery fluid rises  to  the top,  in
some cases highly intoxicating, and in others
acting as a narcotic. Many of the chiefs
and warriors drink this stuff to great
excess, and the end is very frequently death
or insanity.
Another source of supply lies in the fish
ponds ; these are ingenious contrivances made
by walling off a portion of the sea with blocks
of coral; inside are put numberless fish of
any kind, which are thus kept ready to be
caught and dressed at a few moments' notice,
so that you are never at a loss for provisions,
go to a native's hut at what hour you will.
They rear hogs and chickens for sale, but
do not eat them unless hard pressed by the
failure of their more favourite food. Probably
their fish and taro diet accounts in a small
measure for some of the diseases so prevalent,
and which shock and disgust the stranger
on every side, though they are attributed to
immorality, which, in spite of the labours of
the missionaries and the advance of civilization,
B^BUBB 316
still prevails, and will, I am convinced, remain
until the old race has become extinct.
None but such as have mixed with the
people can have any notion of the state of
their moral degradation, or of the orgies that
take place among themselves, as they are
cunning enough to hide their worst side from
those they consider superior to them; but,
from what I heard from a traveller who had
gone among them disguised as a working
man, I cannot help thinking that no good
can be wrought unless the missionary will
do likewise, and see and judge for himself,
not resting content with the sham religion
so readily professed and kept up in the sight
of the church. The immorality of many of
the Pacific Isles is truly and deplorably great;
but from  what I mvself saw and heard on
the spot from men long resident in the islands, there can be nothing on earth more
terrible than the state into which the Sand-
wichers have fallen. And yet, I should scarcely
say fallen, as, long before the islands were dis- DEPOPULATION OE THE ISLANDS.
covered, the morals of their inhabitants were
equally depraved, and every legend or song
teems with allusions to their favourite vice, while
their games and dances were all organized to
excite their passions. These, however, have
been long strictly prohibited, and are now only
carried on in caves, dark woods, and under
cover of night.
A few more years, and at the present
rate of depopulation, the old race will
be gone, and it is hard to say but that it is
the best thing that can happen. The rising
generation, having been under the eyes and
training of settlers and the church, have
learned to look back with pain and abhorrence
upon their former state, and lax as their
moral conduct still may be, there will be
nothing to make the stranger shudder with
such disgust as he has hitherto done.
The causes of depopulation are manifold,
and I cannot, in such an account as this,
venture to enter into a description; one only
thing I shall mention, and that is the pre- ma
I mi
valence of child-murder, and leaving the aged
and sick to die alone and untended. The
story of the blind preacher, which I shall
presently relate, illustrates both these customs
to their fullest extent.
But it is painful, as well as unnecessary,
to dwell longer upon the character of such
a race, nor would I have said as much, but
in the hope that some one might hit upon
a better method of purifying the country
than has yet been attempted.
After staying a while at Honolulu, we
cruised down the group, and came round
to the other side, coasting along and anchoring here and there to get fresh provisions.
The Island of Molokai is the next in the
line from Honolulu, and, though small, boasts
of as fine scenery as almost any. There is
one valley, that of Halawa, unequalled by
anything in the world; it somewhat resembles
that which I described near Honolulu, but
on a much grander scale, the Poli being
two   thousand   feet   in   height,    while   the THE  POLI   OE  KALOE.
waterfalls and rocks on either side are of proportionate magnitude. On the day I paid a
hurried visit to this spot, I returned just as
the setting sun was gilding the scene, throwing
its warm smile over flowers and trees I and,
as the twilight stole on, the shadows growing
deeper and deeper at every step, I paused
again and again to gaze round and drink in
the beauty of the scene.
On reaching the ship, I found that a party
of messmates had visited another Poli, that
of Kaloe, and heard that I had mistaken
the largest, as this was three thousand feet
perpendicular, and, from their description,
very much the same in general features as
Malokai, which I shall certainly never forget,
or expect to see eclipsed.
END   OF  VOL.   I.
Printed by A. Schulze, 13, Poland Street.     


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