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BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Our journal in the Pacific. With a map and numerous illustrations Wilmot, Sydney Marow Eardley, 1847- 1873

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 BY    THE
'Some  strange  devise I  know  each  youthful  wight
Would here  expect,  of lofty  brave  assay:
But  I'll the  simple  truth in  simple wise  convey.'
Henry More.
' You  need  not fear  a  surfeit;  here is   but   little,  and that
light of  digestion.' Quarles.
All   rights   reserved.  DEDICATED
The Journal of a ship's commission in these times must
necessarily be somewhat dry reading, except, perhaps,
to people personally interested by having taken a part
in the scenes which it describes, and to their friends
and relatives.
Therefore, in presenting this book, with great diffidence, to the public, we wish to state that it is published with a further object,—namely, to be useful to
any who may happen to visit the same parts of the world
either at the call of duty, as in our case, or to those
simply following the dictates of free-will and pleasure.
So, by entering into the historical, social, and descriptive vein, when speaking of the various countries
visited, and also by appending a few remarks concerning winds, currents, harbours, channels, and other facts
useful to the navigator, we have striven, as far as in us
lay, to combine a little of all qualities, and suit anyone
who may have curiosity enough—ay, even courage in
these days—to read anything not highly flavoured with
the marvellous.     Having explained the reason why it Till
is thus made public property, it is necessary also to
explain what are the materials of its composition.
Anyone on reading this book will at once perceive that
it is the work not of one, but of many. This is in
accordance with the original idea on starting, that one
would not be able to see as much as all combined,
and much interesting matter might therefore be lost.
It claims, therefore, to be simply a matter-of-fact
narrative of our sojourn in the Pacific, with impressions
of countries and localities gleaned from a certain
experience, and reflected by the minds of the several
This plurality of authorship also accounts for certain
incongruities which the reader may perceive in the
work. But it has been a matter of no small difficulty
to connect articles contributed with the main story, so
that all may fit in intelligibly, and as much confusion
as possible be prevented when personal anecdotes are.
mingled with general movements. For any shortcomings in the  execution  of this  task,  the  Editor
asks indulgence.
July 1873.
Leave England in the 'Revenge'—Arrive at Madeira—Arrive at
Jamaica A Dignity Ball—Leave Jamaica—Arrive at Aspinwall—
Cross the Isthmus of Panama        . . . .       page 1
Leave Panama—Put in at the Galapagos Islands—Account of Charles
Island—Proceed on our Journey—Amusements at sea,—Arrive at
San Francisco—Description of that city    . . . .16
Arrive at Vancouver Island—Arrival of the Flying Squadron—Festivities on the Queen's Birthday: Races, Regatta, and Ball at
Government House—A Visit to San Juan, Nanaimo, and the Fraser
River—New Westminster—Burrard's Inlet—Sport in Vancouver
Island . . . . . . . .34
Leave Vancouver and arrive at San Francisco—"War in Europe—Its
Effect on San Francisco—Dance on hoard—Cricket—The Theatres,
&c.—The Loss of the ' Captain'—Events in Europe—Hospitalities on
shore—Social Life in San Francisco . , , .53
Sail from San Francisco for Panama—Amusements on hoard at sea—
Arrive at Panama,—Riot at Tahoga—Ball to Sir Charles Bright^-
Christening on hoard—Leave Panama, and arrive at Payta—A Trip
to the River Chira after Alligators—Sail from Payta, and arrive at
.   66
Arrive at Tome"—Trip to Concepcion—Earthquakes—Go to Juan Fernandez Island—Selkirk's Look-out—Arrive at Valparaiso; description
of the town—Theatricals on hoard—Affairs in Europe—A Visit to
Santiago—Leave Valparaiso     ... .      page 106
Arrive at Coquimbo—Smelting Works of Guayacan—Land small-arm
men for drill—A Visit to La Serena—Leave Coquimbo, and arrive at
Arica—Effects of the Earthquake and Tidal Wave—The ' Wateree '
and ' America' left high and dry—Description of the scene by an eyewitness—Leave Arica, and arrive at Islay—A Trip to Arequipa—A
four-winged bird .......    133
Leave Islay, and arrive at Callao—Peculiarities in the Bay—Destruction of the city in 1787—Lima visited and described—The remains of
Pizarro—A parallel between Cuba and Peru—Baths at Lima—The
death of Athualpa, the last Inca—A Trip to Chorillos—Manner of
Architecture, and general description—Leave Callao, and arrive at
Payta—Extraordinary fall of rain in that place—Effects on the town
—Leave South America, and start for the Sandwich Islands     .   148
Passage from Payta to the Sandwich Islands—Amusements on board—
Arrive at Honolulu—News from France—Description of Honolulu
and the natives—Institutions and Laws—Their origin and government—Characteristic loyalty—The < Pali '—Theatrical performance
on shore—Visit of Queen Emma to the ship—Her amiability and
popularity—Leave Hawaii, and go over to Maui—A Trip up the
mountain—Hospitality of Captain McKee—Visit the grand crater of
Haleokla—Start for San Francisco ... 170
The passage from the Sandwich Islands to San Francisco—Amusements
on board—Arrive at San Francisco—Events in Europe—A Trip to
the Yo-Semite Valley and Mariposa grove of big trees—Leave San
Francisco, and arrive at Vancouver Island . . ,    192 CONTENTS
Confederation of British Columbia with the Dominion of Canada—The
relations between England and the Dominion—Defenceless state of
British Columbia—Amateur performance on board—The shooting in
Vancouver Island—Deer Hunting—Account of a week's camping-out
-—Fishing in Vancouver Island—Performance at the Victoria Theatre
—Ball at Government House—Farewell Ball to the Admiral—Leave
Vancouver Island ......      page 215
Vancouver Island to San Francisco—Effects of a gale of wind—Man
overboard—Arrive at San Francisco—Illness of the Prince of Wales—
Dance on board, as described by the i Chronicle'—A Collision—Farewell to San Francisco—Remarks on Agriculture and Mines—Arrive
at Mazatlan—State of Mexico—Requisitions of the Revolutionists—
Dances on shore and on board—Mexican Characteristics—Seining
parties—Leave Mazatlan, and arrive at San Bias—Local Tormentors
—The Indian Chief 240
A Visit to Tepic—Division of the Population and Territory of Mexico—
Backward state of the Country—Description of Tepic—Cotton and
Sugar Factories—Hospitality  of Senor M Leave San Bias—
Touch in at Manzanilla—Farewell to Mexico—Sail for Panama,—
Secure a few Turtle—An attempt to account for tide rips—Arrive at
Panama,—Important news—Leave Panama for Payta—Futile attempt
to stop a Steamer—The real Simon Pure turns up—Arrive at, and
leave Payta—Bad state of the Ship—Passage from Payta to Valparaiso     ... .....   259
Arrive at Valparaiso—Bad state of the Ship—Cricket and Hunting—Go
to Coquimbo—Peculiarities of the Earth's Surface—The parallel
Terraces—The Titan Rocks—Copper Mines—The Works at La Com-
pania—Barrenness of the Country—Athletic Sports—Seining—Dance
at La Serena—Shooting—A Day among the Golden Plover—Theatrical performance on shore—Great Success—Revolution in Peru—The
Brothers Guttierez—Murder of the President—Tragic end of the
Brothers—Fury of the People—Arrival of the \ Dover Castle' on
fire: a total wreck—An Enquiry leads to difficulties—Excitement in
the town—Arrival of the 'Fawn' and' PetereP—Leave Coquimbo 275 Arrive at Talcahuano—Improvements—Railways—An attempt to go to
Malvoa—Stopped by a Landslip—Boat Excursions—Shooting—Go
over to Tome"—Marriage on board—The Diez-i-ocho—High Mass-
Banquet and Speeches—The South of Chile—Its Climate, Soil, and
Advantages for Farming—A Trip to Chilian—Fearful state of the
Roads—Chilian—San Carlos—Fine appearance of the Wheat—Partridge Shooting—Go to Valparaiso—Grand Ball at Santiago—
Account of the Ball—A few Facts about Chile—How Governed—
Characteristics of the Race—Influence of the Priests—A Hideous
Absurdity—Future Prosperity predicted—Arrival of the ' Repulse'—
Bid adieu to Valparaiso   .....      page 302
News of the 'Scylla'—Leave Tome1—Coal at Coronel—The Mines—
Leave Coronel—Anchor off Mocha Island—Enter Smyth's Channel—
Anchor in Connor Cove—An Adventure on the Mountain—A perilous
Descent and narrow Escape—Visited by Terra del Fuegians—Clothe
them—A mighty Glacier—Leave Connor Cove—The English Narrows—Difficulties of the Channel—On a Rock—Anchor in Port
Grappler—Pass through Guia Narrows, and anchor in Puerto Bueno
Harbour—Anchor in Isthmus Bay—Arrive at Sandy Point—Remarks
on this Settlement, Patagonians, and Terra del Fuegians—Leave
Sandy Point—Arrive at St. Helena, Ascension, Madeira, Vigo, and
England   ........   333 APPENDIX^
General Remarks on the Passage from Panama to San Francisco and to
Vancouver Island as to Winds, Weather, Currents, &c.—Remarks on
the Harbours of San Francisco and Esquimalt    . . page i
Remarks on the various Passages between leaving Vancouver Island,
July 12, 1870, and arriving there again, July 19, 1871—Winds, Currents, Harbours, &c. . . . . .      vi
Remarks on the Passage from Vancouver Island to Valparaiso, calling
at San Francisco, Mazatlan, San Bias, Manzanilla, Panama, and
Payta—Winds, Currents, Anchorages, Temperature, &c. .      xi
Remarks on the Passage from Tome- to Connor Cove—Smyth's Channel
—English Narrows—Port Grappler—Puerto Bueno—Isthmus Bay—
Sandy Point—St. Helena—Ascension—St Vincent—Vigo—Plymouth
Sound      ..... ...    xiv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
h.m.s ' zealous ' under sail   .
crossing the isthmus of panama   .
esquimalt harbour
american camp     ....
british marine barracks
Selkirk's cave      ....
juan fernandez    ....
burning of the church of la campania
u. s. s. ships ' wateree ' and ' america ' at
honolulu     ......
twin giants, mariposa grove
the to-semite valley ....
mazatlan      ......
theatrical group of officers
h.m.s. ' zealous ' in connor cove .
to face page 12
1         » 36
. 42
. 43
. 94
. 95
. 104
ARICA           .           .114
to face page 152
. 178
to face page 184
. 232
. 268
to face page 308
.   XXV
DECEMBER 4,   1869,   AND  APEIL   12,   1873. OUR  JOURNAL  IN  THE  PACIFIC
We left Plymouth in H.M.S.' Revenge' on December 4,
1869, for passage to Colon. In addition to our own
crew, there were on board several officers and men for
ships on the West Indian station, to be disembarked at
Jamaica. Madeira was to be touched at on the way.
For the first four days we encountered bad weather—a
necessary accompaniment to leaving England at that
time of the year. Fortunately the wind was fair,
which enabled us to bear with a certain equanimity an
overcrowded ship. No accommodation had been provided ; and, in addition, the ship leaked so much that
the decks were seldom dry. We were not sorry, therefore, to get into milder weather, and find ourselves in
smooth water and under sunny skies. Owing to our
good sailing qualities several vessels were passed, and
on the morning of the 11th Porto Santo was sighted—
a small island about forty miles from Madeira.
Approaching the latter the wind fell altogether, so
steam was got up, and it was 4 p.m. before we anchored
off Funchal. Madeira is an island so well known and
oft described, that it would almost seem superfluous to
pause in our voyage to enlarge upon any of its characteristics. And, truth to say, beyond a natural scenery
and climate unequalled in anyv part of the world, there
is nothing worthy to dilate upon, unless it be vain regrets that such a spot is not an English possession. To
us may be fairly attributed nearly all improvements.
To many is it endeared by being the last resting-place
of friends and relations. What sad tales are recorded
by its tombstones; how many more, nearly ended, greet
you in the streets !
Madeira was taken by us in 1801, and again in 1807.
We retained it in trust for the royal family of Portugal,
who had emigrated to the Brazils, to whom it was restored in 1814. But the Portuguese, like the Spaniards,
seem to have no faculty of progress or self-improvement. Want of cleanliness in their towns, and an
obsolete architecture, find a counterpart in the manners and customs of the inhabitants. Under what other
regime would bullock-carts exist as a mode of conveyance, or how long be rendered a necessity by such
narrow streets and an absurd manner of paving ?
Leaving England and arriving here, you at once
seem to belong to the past—to that primitive time before civilisation had begun to make such giant strides,
though apparently struggling against the encroachments of a later age. With this brief protest, let us
pass on. Ch.I.
Leaving Madeira on the 13th, we shaped our course
for Jamaica, and with a fair wind, at once made good
progress. But the various circumstances under which
we left England now began to bear fruit in sickness,
and on December 27 we had the misfortune to lose one
of our officers from inflammation] of the lungs. This,
the first death in our community, cast a gloom on all,
as poor Goldney, short though his stay with us, had
become universally'liked, and also bade fair to be a
bright ornament to the service.
On January 2, 1870, we arrived off the Island of
Montserrat, so hove to, and sent a boat on shore with
letters, then proceeded on our way. The next morning we passed a French aviso (gunboat), apparently
bound for Martinique, and on Friday, January 7, we
sighted the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, anchoring in
Port Royal harbour a few hours afterwards, where we
found only the ' Cherub ' and | Minstrel' gunboats.
Jamaica, since its discovery in 1494, has undergone
many changes of fortune. Tremendous hurricanes
sweep over the island periodically, occasioning much
loss of life and property, and in 1692 an earthquake
took place, in which the whole town of Port Royal was
swallowed up by the sea. To this day a buoy marks
the spot where the church of the old town lies buried,
and where not long ago the point of the steeple could
be seen protruding by divers at the bottom. At that
time Port Royal was the great rendezvous of the buccaneers, the chief of whom, Morgan, was governor of
the island;   and at the time of this fearful visitation
B "A 4
Ch. T.
immense riches are supposed to have been accumulated there. We are told, in a vague sort of way, that
it was a very wicked place, for which punishment came
upon it in the shape of an earthquake. In that case,
they may expect another shortly. Morality is at a low
standard in Port Royal. Marriages are seldom celebrated, though the children are legion. Ignorance is
at the bottom of this. They have never been taught
better; there is no one to teach them. The way they
live, too, assists in producing this state of affairs. The
houses are the merest hovels, not fit for a dog to live
in, often consisting of only one room, where I have
•seen as many as twelve of a family all huddled together. I must say, the women are far superior to the
men—cleaner, more honest, and most good-tempered;
besides which, they are much better looking in comparison, many having very fine figures—erect as a dart,
with a long, swinging gait. But when they get old, I
know no more repulsive-looking creature. The men
are thievish, cowardly, and dirty, also unconquerably
lazy, so that, seeing the island in its present state, and
comparing it with an island like Cuba, or what Cuba
was before the rebellion broke out (which had nothing
to say to slavery), one is almost inclined to doubt the
wisdom of the Emancipation Act thirty years ago. It
is pitiable to see all these fine plantations going to ruin
from having no one to work them. The natives will
do nothing as long as they can just manage to live, and
the hire of a day's labour once a fortnight will enable
them to do that.    I am not speaking from hearsay, or Ch.I.
an occasional glance, but from the result of several
visits during a period of four years, one of which was
paid shortly after the late rebellion there, since which
I observe a great improvement in the whole island, the
natives being more civil and inclined to work than
formerly—good signs, which lead one to hope there
may be better days in store for this beautiful island;
and, under a firm and wise rule, it may develop all
its natural resources, and become again one of the
most valuable of our island possessions, instead of
being, as it is now, a byword of reproach.
All who have been to Jamaica or any of the West
Indian islands know what a' dignity ball' is. The name
was no doubt given by the whites from the way in
which the black ladies stand on their dignity, going
through all the steps with the utmost precision and
gravity. They are passionately fond of dancing, and
very resentful at any attempt to turn it into a romp.
This, however, is often done, and a general row ensues,
in the course of which ladies take to abusing each
other in the most undignified way, and even coming to
That the old custom is not yet extinct, the following
account will show, of one that took place during our
stay, by the hand of an old Port Royal ranger:—' Invitations had been issued for two dignity balls on Monday evening, and the respective hostesses were our old
friends Josephine Johnston and Betsy Paisley. Let us
look in and see what is going on at the lovely Josephine's.    " Why, I  don't hear any music," said my OUR JOURNAL IN THE PACIFIC Ch. I.
friend W.; § surely they have a fiddle or something."
However, we soon discovered that poor Josephine's
musicians had not arrived, so all " de ladies J who had
come from Kingston were loud in their abuse of | de
nasty black tiefs."'
Let me now introduce my reader to Mrs. Betsy
Paisley. But first we must squeeze our way through
the assembled crowd of Port Royal citizens; so open
your eyes, but shut your nose as well as your mouth if
you can, until you get somewhat accustomed to the
very strong perfume they use here, called ' Bouquet
d'Afrique!' There, we were through at last, thanks
to the one policeman belonging to Port Royal; he is
endeavouring to keep order, and a great deal of talking
is going on between him and another black fellow.
Let us listen to what they are saying. ' You move on
dere, you black nigger you,' says Mr. Policeman..
' Who nigger ?—you nigger yourself,' retorts the other.
I Suppose you know who I am,' says Bobby. ' Yes,
I know who you are, you de constable, but I claim my
right to sell my ice-cream.' But poor Betsy is waiting
all this time, so let us enter. Picture to yourself a
whitey-brown woman, of rather over the middle age.
who must have been at one time a very fair specimen
of the ladies of Port Royal, in a white muslin dress
tres-decolletee, and with a very gay bandana handkerchief round her head, the dress trimmed in the latest
fashion, with a great deal of Grecian bend, and you see
the beautiful Betsy. Dancing was going on at a great
rate, and many of our brother officers might be seen Ch.I.
joining in the giddy waltz with a zeal that any poor
London dandy might well envy.    Just look at F .
Why, he has got C 's long-tailed blue on; 'goit
again, Sarah.' I wonder what his last partner would
say if she could see him now. ] How dare he go
whispering the same flattering words in that thing's ear
as he did into mine at Lady C.'s last winter!' would, I
expect, be the exclamation. Ah, well! we'll hope he
has told all and been forgiven long ere she chances to
read this. Refreshment, dehghtful word, was now the
order of the evening; accordingly we repaired with our
partners to the kitchen, where an elderly damsel was
sitting selling bottled beer, champagne, cakes, and rum.
Having refreshed ourselves, the dance was resumed,
and falls were frequent until midnight, when we thought
it was time to return on board, so dropping a dollar in
the poor box held out at our departure, we bid adieu
to our charming hostess and friends, and the following
morning were soon out of sight of Port Royal.
We left Jamaica for Colon on January 11, taking
with us the ' Minstrel' gunboat, to assist on arrival in
conveying baggage and stores to the shore in case we
could not go alongside the wharf, not knowing the
depth of water there. Just before leaving Jamaica we
managed to engage a young photographer to go with
us for the commission, and take views of whatever place
of interest we might happen to visit, many of which
are to be found in the Pacific, interesting as well as
beautiful, not yet invaded by that modern sign of civilisation.    We performed the passage down to Colon in Krf
the short space of fifty-six hours, a distance of about
530 miles, and on arriving, heard that the 'Zealous'
was on the other side of the Isthmus anxiously awaiting our arrival, and that all arrangements had been
made for our crossing on the 17th ult.
So now about to leave the waters of the Atlantic for
those of the Pacific, and to commence our new life
with light hearts and joyful anticipations, let us hope
they may be realised, and that, at the end of a three
years' commission, we may look back at the interval
without one regret, and should it be our fortune to
return the way we came, may the same faces, undiminished by the common enemy, take their places as
they did on this memorable occasion, when, for the
first time in the annals of naval history, a ship's company of 600 men were to be transported from one
ocean to another by land, and the process limited by
the advance of science to the question of a few hours,
instead of so many months. But the description of our
crossing I must leave for an abler pen, our peculiar
circumstances being, I hope, sufficient apology for doing
what has been done so often and so ably before.
On Friday morning, the 13th, we went alongside
the railway wharf preparatory to crossing. There are
three wharves at Colon, each about 800 feet long and
40 broad ; alongside them is a mean depth of 27 feet,
with a rise and fall of one foot. The piles are from the
forest of Maine (U.S.), and have to be coppered below
high-water to resist the attacks of a boring worm
{Teredo Jimbriata), a great wood destroyer. Ch.I.
The town (as it is called) of Colon, or Aspinwall,
stands on a small island called Manzanilla, cut off from
the main land by a narrow frith. This island is one
square mile in extent, composed of coral, and only a
few feet above the level of high water. This in certain
months of the year, owing to its swampy nature, causes
it to become very unhealthy.
Immediately facing you on landing is a street with
few shops, but many bars; on the left, offices of railway company, having opposite, and on the other side
of a triple line of rails running in the middle of the
street, the freight department, a solid stone structure.
Further on to the left, facing the harbour, stands a
very plainly-constructed English church, and close to
it the English Consul's house. These, together with the
hovels of the negro population, comprise the town of
Colon. Of course it has a market-place, a spot no
one would be disposed to visit a second time if possible
to avoid it. The most conspicuous objects are the
flocks of turkey-buzzards one constantly sees fighting
and scrambling over the filth and dirt of the place,
certainly most useful inspectors of nuisances, but who
do not seem such distant relations to the dirty little
black children of both sexes who, guiltless of garments,
appear to vie with the birds in picking up what" they
can find.
The railway fines run along the street in front of
the houses, having sidings down to the different wharves.
**" O O
No sooner was the ' Revenge' secured than baggage
waggons were immediately run down to  the ship's rn
gangway, and every preparation made by the company's servants to facilitate our 'transit. So on Friday
afternoon the work of clearing out the ship of stores,
&c, commenced, and owing to the hearty way the men
worked nearly every thing was placed in the vans that
evening, leaving us nearly all Saturday to prepare the
ship for our successors.
Sunday truly proved a day of rest, while those who
sought for. amusement in the town had to restrict
themselves to seeing a cockfight, which is about the
only amusement the residents of Colon indulge in.
Game cocks appear to be very plentiful, every house
having one or two chained by the leg to the doorstep.
At the matches heavy betting takes place, considering
the poorness of the population, and putting two or
three hundred dollars on a bird is not considered anything out of the way.
Great excitement is at times afforded to the inhabitants by the appearance of a huge crocodile frequenting
a piece of water in the centre of the town, varying in
size, according to reports, from eighteen to thirty-five
feet in length. As ' cocktails' appeared to be one of
the principal occupations during the day, that no doubt
accounted for the variety of statements as to its size,
though there was no doubt as to its existence, and also
that every attempt to catch the monster had failed,
though the most tempting baits had been offered to it.
It was decided on the Sunday evening that the port
watch should cross the Isthmus on the following forenoon ; consequently there was a tremendous hurry and Ch.I.
bustle completing the preparations, officers' servants
rushing about in all directions for carpenters to nail
up, sewing up, &c, so that luggage might be transported witfras little damage as possible. Half the officers
were to cross with each watch, and altogether the
journey was looked upon more as a pic-nic party on a
large scale.
Monday morning arrived, and with it an overpowering heat, which was not pleasant to look forward to,
considering the journey before us. But there was not
much time to think about that, time only to look
round to see nothing was left behind, and one last
fond look at the old ship that had conveyed us so
many miles in safety, not forgetting the blue Atlantic
that was to separate us for three long years from all
those we held most dear.
But the bugle sounding the assembly soon broke
our ' reverie,' and on the wharf the port watch were
falling in; then, headed by the drum-and-fife band,
marched out to where the train was drawn up just
outside the gate of the wharf. This consisted of a
very powerful engine and a tender stocked with wood,
then a van for the live stock, then following six saloon
carriages, each about forty feet long, fitted up in the
American style, with free communication from one
end to another.
Just before starting a photograph was taken, the
men inside and the officers standing outside. This
being satisfactorily accomplished, the signal was given
—a shrill whistle—and the whole mass moved slowly 12
Ch. L
off amid the acclamations and cheers of the natives,
in which ' Jack,' in the excitement of so novel a situation, could not refrain from joining. Once fairly off,
and having entered the tropical wilderness, one had
time to look round and form some idea of the wild
scenery that we were so rapidly passing through.
The line on leaving Colon winds its way through a
deep cutting, across an unwholesome looking morass,
and along the right bank of the river Chagres, of which
occasional glimpses are caught from amidst the tangled
and twisted foliage that shuts it in on either side like
dense walls; where one can recognise the cocoa-nut
tree, mango, plantain, and almost every description of
tropical fruit strangling themselves with vines and
creepers. Roses and streamers of every coloured
blossom crowded with singing birds and butterflies
of all description and colour, but all signs of civilisation ceased; nothing appeared on either side except
jungle. The luxuriance of the vegetation was most
remarkable, ferns growing to a great height; everything appearing to grow to the utmost extent and
ripeness, which shows how good the soil must be,
and to what uses it might be put if it was not for
that great obstruction to cultivating the land in these
regions, viz., the deadliness of the climate, especially
in this one spot, where it would be almost impossible
to five, so fatal are the swamp fevers. By this time
we began to think a little lunch would be acceptable,
as the heat was most oppressive, so the word was
passed from carriage to carriage, and very soon all X
C/3  —u,  *>
Ch. I.
were assembled in the end saloon, where a large
basket was produced containing blocks of ice and
bottles of beer, the appreciation of which defies description, but may be understood, perhaps, by those
who have attended ' a Goodwood Cup ' on a hot July
The'blue-jackets' meanwhile were singing: some
playing concertinas, others penny-whistles, and all apparently enjoying themselves. We crossed the river
on a very fine girder iron bridge; the river appeared
much swollen and very muddy. Having a special
train was rather unfortunate in some ways, as we
were unable to stop anywhere, and therefore could not
visit any of the numerous wigwams whose inhabitants
seemed to live in the most primitive style, sleeping
outside under shady trees in their grass hammocks,
with little children, as black and naked as on the day
of their birth, running all about the place. When
■ about two-thirds of the way across, and after ascending rather a steep incline, we came to a siding where
we drew up, evidently with the intention of letting
the old (' Zealous') crew pass, as the fine is single with
this exception. Here all the officers got out whilst
we were waiting in anxious expectation to catch a
glimpse of our friends, and give them a cheer as they
passed. Suddenly there was a rush for the carriages
as a whistle was heard foretelling their approach, and
in a minute or two the two trains were (as Jack would
say) alongside each other, and the cheering that ensued
was  overpowering.     The  train stopped;   everybody 14
.Oh. I.
poured out; old friends, old shipmates meeting, not
having seen each other for years, and in the middle of
the Isthmus of Panama. It was a strange scene this
meeting—in a wild spot, away from any civilised
abode; each had been looking forward to it for some
time, and then it came: a hurried grasp of the hand,
a few words in haste, and then the two trains moved
slowly off in opposite directions, one party homeward
and the other outward bound.
Fortunately we had not many more miles to travel,
as after so much excitement the novelty of the situation had nearly worn off. Already the summit of
Mount Ancon was in sight on our right hand, whose
southern base is bathed by the blue waters of the
Pacific; and on the left one could plainly see the
' cerro de los buccaneros,' or the ' hill of the buccaneers,' from the summit of which the terrible Morgan
first looked on Panama in the year 1670.
We rattle on, anxious to catch a glimpse of the
Pacific, scream through one or two stations, sweep
round the base of Mount Ancon, and at last the cry
of ' Panama in sight.' Before us are the tall spires of
the cathedral, the long metal roofing of the ' terminus,'
and the quiet waters of the Pacific. Shortly afterwards we drew up in the station, and were greeted on
the platform by our Consul, who informed us a steamer
was waiting at the end of the wharf to convey us to
our future home, H.M.S. 'Zealous,' and that all
arrangements had been made with regard to the conveyance of the baggage on board that evening.    So Oh. I.
when all were on board the steamer, we steamed out to
the Bay of Panama, and soon the ' Zealous' was seen
lying a long way off, nearly four miles in the direction
of the Island of Taboga. In the bay the principal
objects that catch the eye are large flocks of pelicans.
The brown pelican is a permanent resident on the
southern coasts of America, frequenting Panama Bay,
the Gulfs of California and Mexico, and other places.
At last we were alongside the ' Zealous,' and heartily
glad to get on board after the fatigues of the day. We
were kindly welcomed by Admiral and Mrs. Hastings
and all the remaining officers. They crossed over the
next day, and that evening likewise arrived the remainder of our officers and men. The transposition
was now complete ; we hoisted the flag the following
day, and saluted it with thirteen guns. Our cruise in
the Pacific was begun; this shall end the first chapter
of' Our Journal.' 16
Oh. IX
We left Panama in the ' Zealous ' on January 25, and
went over to the island of Taboga to coal. Our final
start for the Sandwich Islands was made on the 27th.
Weather fine, but hot. Passed great quantities of
turtle, and on one or two occasions tried to harpoon
some, but unsuccessfully. It can only be done when
they are floating asleep on the surface. Crossed the
' Line ' for the first time in the ' Zealous' on February 2,
but Neptune did not come on board, and the usual
festivities were dispensed with. It is a custom dying
out to a great extent, being without rhyme or reason,
and often causing ill-feeling or accidents.
Passing close to the Galapagos Islands, the Admiral
determined to put in and try if we could not obtain
some fresh meat and vegetables, of which we were
greatly in need. So, accordingly, we anchored off
Charles Island on February 4. A ' sportsman' gives
us a very good account of this interesting island:—
' Hearing a fabulous account of the wild cattle, wild
pigs, goats, and ducks to be found on the plain in the
interior of the island, a party of sportsmen (of which
the writer was one) started from the ship in the gig at Ch. II.
daylight on the 5th, under the guidance of a native, of
rather, inhabitant, armed with rifle and gun. To obtain a landing-place at the nearest point to the plain,
we had to pull rather more than two miles along a
rugged shore. On our way we encountered immense
shoals of fish, playing lazily on the surface of the
water, occasionally disturbed by the swoop of a pelican
or gannet, or by the more stealthy attack of a seal,
numbers of which we saw; also many turtle, the latter
too wide awake to be caught; but with a small boat
and a turtle-peg they could easily have been taken.
Owing to immunity from the persecution of man, the
sea birds were wonderfully tame, watching our approach with the utmost unconcern. Having landed,
and hauled our boat up on a shelving beach of sand
and powdered scorise, we entered a pathway leading
through scrubby mimosa, and leafless, parched-up
shrubs, nourished on a soil of basaltic lava and scorias.
' After a walk of two miles we reached the settlement,
consisting of about forty people—Spaniards and half-
castes—living under rude tents, or rather awnings,
whose occupation is to collect orchilla weed, which
possesses valuable dyeing qualities. There was but
one woman in the community,probably "washerwoman-
general "—if they indulged in such a luxury, which their
general appearance did not lead one to suppose—or
" maid-of-all-work." A rather fine-looking man approached, whom they informed me was the "Governor,"
and had the air of a well-to-do Spaniard. He received
us courteously, and by means of a very small stock of
c 18
Spanish and a little French, I was able to gather from
him that he rents three of the Galapagos group from
the Ecuador Government, at a rent of 1,200 dollars
(about 240£.) per annum, the produce of which wholly
belongs to him ; but the orchilla, already alluded to,
is the only article exported.
'Having been joined by another party from the ship,
also in pursuit of game, accompanied by " His Excellency," we proceeded on our way to the plain. As we
wound along by a tortuous path towards the centre
of the island, the brushwood improved in size and
appearance, relieved by flowering shrubs, and here
and there a large tree reared its head. Innumerable small birds, some of bright plumage, twittered
among the branches, and several good specimens
were obtained by our indefatigable naturalist, the
' After a laborious walk of three miles in an oppressively close, hot atmosphere, without a breath of wind,
we topped the head of the gorge, lying between a high
volcanic cone on one side, and a wooded hill on the
other, and entered the plain, which may be from eight
to ten miles long, and four broad. The soil seemed to
be decomposed lava and clay, on which was a thick
covering of Guinea grass, offering excellent pasture
for the wild cattle, &c. In some places the plain
is open and park-like; in others, wooded, with
trees of considerable size, principally a species of
acacia, but interspersed with fruit and other trees,
amongst which ihe fig-tree was conspicuous for spread Oh. II.
of branch and rich foliage. There are also lime,
orange, cherimoya, and others, no doubt, in this
fertile plain.
' Pushing across the plain we came to a small muddy
piece of water, on which reposed a flock of unwary
teal, which allowed us to approach within easy shot,
when, having taken wing, a volley brought down
twelve, which were all secured through the energy of
our good retriever " Dash." The teal I found slightly
different from the English bird; it was in vain I looked
for the beautiful barred feather so dear to anglers. I
thought I had obtained a prize in shooting them, but
their value was diminished in my estimation when my
favourite feather " was not." In the vicinity of the
pond I observed a splendid white bull and a cow, but
failed to get a shot. I might, indeed, have wounded
the noble animal, but this I should have regretted.
These were the only wild cattle I fell in with. This
pond, being the only piece of water in the plain, is
resorted to by all the wild animals for drinking; it was,
however, too muddy and foul for our use, so we were
fain to make for a spring about a mile off, en route to
which we encountered the other party, which had
separated from us on entering the plain. They had
seen a large herd of cattle, but had failed to bring any
down. The spring, which we duly arrived at, trickles
over a perpendicular rock, shaded by trees, and in the
slope below, watered by the rill, is a grove of plantains,
banana, and orange trees ; none of these were ripe, but
the spot was cool, and we enjoyed our lunch and pipe,
I 20
which we  considered   had been  well  earned,
though our sport had been.
' In the neighbourhood we observed a number of
small caves hollowed out of the tapa rock, and
used evidently for the purpose of shelter; some also
for ovens wherein to bake meat, as the ashes of fires
testified, and the whitening bones of many animals
indicated the shambles close at hand. Charles Island
was at one time a penal settlement of Ecuador, and
this plain is said to have been once well cultivated and
to have produced abundance of maize, vegetables, and
fruit, of which there are ample indications. At an
earlier period the buccaneers resorted here for refreshments, and to refit their vessels. Whalers also made
it a place of call. Several thousand head of wild
cattle, besides pigs and goats, roam on its plains, no
doubt brought originally from the continent. There
used also to be immense numbers of terrafin (a land
tortoise), which reached an immense size—frequently
several hundredweight; but these have almost disappeared from Charles Island (albeit they abound in
some of the other islands). Their flesh is excellent and
well esteemed ; the whalers took them on board as
fresh provisions. There are also large iguanos and
lizards ; the former inhabit the sea shore, and are web-
footed, which enables them to search in the water for
a sea-weed they are fond of.
'The climate of Charles Island is very temperate
considering its position close to the Equator. There
is no. regular rainy season, but the showers are more Oh. II.
frequent and heavier in October, November, and De j
cember than at other periods. The immunity of the
Galapagos from great heat may be accounted for by
the stream of cool water (Humboldt's Current) which
encircles their shores, at a temperature of 62° to 72°.
The group is entirely volcanic, and their origin of not a
very remote date. Each island has one or more craters,
all extinct but one, which occasionally gives signs of life.
The slumbering fires may, however, again burst forth
with terrific grandeur during one of those convulsions
of nature so frequent along the coast of Peru.
' But it was now time to return on board, so, accompanied by the Governor, we embarked and reached
the ship at 4 p.m., our bag being twelve teal and two
iguanos ; the other party had, perhaps what was even
more acceptable—two pigs. We were rather startled
on our way back to the ship by the appearance of a
shoal of very large porpoises all round the boat, which
gave good sport to a rifle, and several were hit, but
time would not permit us to stop and make an addition
to our bag. The Governor generously gave us 200 lbs.
of meat, and in« return we presented him with ale,
porter, and biscuit. I now conclude this short account
of a not very successful day's sport, hoping at some
future day to renew my acquaintance with the wild
cattle on Charles Island.'
We left Charles Island on the afternoon of the 5 th,
and were immediately beset by calms, but not having
much coal on board were chary of getting up steam.
But steaming to the south-west on the 10th, we 22
picked up a fair wind the next day and made sail,
though the breeze was very light. Looking forward
to a long passage, of which this was only the forerunner of others in the future quite as tedious, to vary
the monotony and to create amusement \we determined
to institute a debating club on board, Vhich should
hold its meetings once a week. The subject to be
introduced in the form of a lecture on any topic bar
three: religion, discipline, and politics of the present
day—discussions on which subjects had better be
On February 23, being becalmed, we had recourse
to steam. Things began to look serious ; our stock of
provisions getting low, our coal diminishing rapidly,
and still more than two thousand miles from San Francisco, as by this time we had. given up all idea of going
to the Sandwich Islands this cruise. This ship, though
good in accommodation and ventilation, is hardly fitted
for a station like the Pacific, where you are necessitated
to be so much at sea, and must therefore depend chiefly
on your sail power, and ought to be able to take advantage of every fight breeze, in which this ship does
On February 24 we came across a very light breeze,
which continued with occasional calms up to March 1,
when we at last fell in with the long-looked and wished-
for trade-wind, and began fairly to move. On March 3
we had our first meeting of the debating club, when
a lecture was given by the Chaplain ' On the Laws of
Nature as regulating the conduct of Man, independent Oh. II.
of Religion,' which was delivered with an eloquence
equally his characteristic in the pulpit. There was
not much debating, the subject perhaps being too
deep. The following week the Admiral gave a very
interesting lecture on the atmosphere, explaining the
cause of the trade-winds and the production of
moisture. We continued to run up with the northeast trade till March 18, when it began to fail us, and
the next day we arrived at the ' Variables,' being now
470 miles from San Francisco, with very little coal
and a scarcity of provisions. For the next week we
were unable to make much headway owing to calms
and baffling winds, so had to exercise our patience
as best we could. We heard a very interesting lecture on Warren Hastings from F , also one from
the Captain on mesmerism and spiritualism, which we
were all advised to have nothing to do with, 'they
being agents of the devil,' who has apparently a great
deal to answer for. On March 17 we got a strong
fair wind, and being only 100 miles off the day before,
expected to get in that morning. But when we
arrived within thirty miles of our port the wind increased to a gale from the northward, and having
only about twenty tons of coal left, we found ourselves making very little headway, and expending
that valuable article to no purpose. So we were in
rather a fix, if blown away from our port with
such a small stock of provisions, not knowing when
we might get in, with scurvy appearing on board.
There was no help for it, however, but to make sail
111 24
and beat about till we coidd get closer or the wind
went down.
That afternoon a sad accident occurred to add to the
ills of our position ; a man fell down from aloft, fracturing his skull, and died shortly afterwards. Most
fortunately the wind subsided durm^the night, and
the following morning it was quite calm, so we got
steam up, being thirty miles off, with about twelve
tons of coal left. But even then it was very close
work, because when we neared the harbour we found
a strong tide running against us, but by dint of assist-
ing our coal with wood just managed to steam through
the Golden Gate, and anchored off the town of San
Francisco. The following account of our stay there
will give the reader some idea of the place and its
We arrived at San Francisco on March 28, after
having been sixty days out at sea from Panama ; during which time we had not been living on the fat of
the land, so the sight of a town, with visions of beef
and mutton floating before the imagination, was very
pleasant to us. San Francisco is a very fine-looking
town, and reminds me much of Quebec, having the
same shape of river and description of steamer plying
on it. It is most wonderful to observe the progress this
town has made in an incredibly short time. To understand this fully it is necessary to look at the history of
the State of which, though Sacramento is the capital, it
is the largest and most important town.
California was discovered in 1537 by Cortez, and Oh. II.
many surmises have since been put forth concerning
whence this name was derived. As the discoverers
were Spaniards, many favour the supposition that it
came from two words, ' caliente,' hot, and ' fornalla,' a
furnace, an allusion probably to its climate. That
certainly is unlike almost every other country, but not
so much on account of its heat as that changes are less
frequent, and not so strongly marked. Thus, on an
average, it has been computed there are over two
hundred clear days in a year without a cloud, and sixty
of rain. Few countries can boast that. About half as
much rain falls in San Francisco during the year as in
the eastern States, and nearly all the rain falls between
November and June. Seldom indeed does it fall in
any of the other months.
We know little of California for 300 years after
its discovery, and few records of those times have
been preserved. We know the aborigines of California
were very numerous at that time, and for many years
it was a puzzle where they originally came from.
Time has elucidated the mystery. Speaking on this
subject, Mr. Cronise, in his admirable work on the
' Wealth of California,' says, ' The Hindoo, Chinese,
and Japanese annals all correspond in recording the
fact that about the year 1280, Genghis Khan, a great
Mongul chief, whose name was a terror in Europe, at
the same time invaded China with hordes of barbarians
from Tartary, whom his descendants hold in subjection
at the present time. Having accomplished this object,
he fitted out an expedition consisting of 240,000 men 26
in 400 ships, under command of Kublai Khan, one of
his sons, for the purpose of conquering Japan. While
this expedition was on the passage between the two
countries a violent storm arose, which destroyed a great
part of the fleet, and drove many of the vessels on the
coast of America.'
Grotius says, ' The Peruvians were a Chinese colony,
and the Spaniards found at the entry of the Pacific
Ocean, on coming through the Straits of Magellan, the
wrecks of Chinese vessels.'
' There are proofs clear and certain that Mango
Capac, founder of the Peruvian race, was the son of
Kublai Khan, the commander of this expedition, and
that the ancestors of Montezuma, who were from
Assam, arrived about the same time. Every custom
described by their Spanish conquerors proves their
Asiatic origin.'
According to the same writer (Cronise) the aborigines
of California have decreased in forty years—1823 to
1863—from lOO^OO to 20,000. Of course it is perfectly open to question these surmises. The obscurity
attached to the history of California continues till about
the year 1823, when it falls into the clutches of Mexico.
This country retained possession for thirteen years, when
it became independent. The United States took possession of California in 1846, and it was just at this time
that gold was discovered there in abundance. Owing to
this all nations flocked here in great numbers, so that
in 1850 San Francisco rose up out of nothing and
speedily became the fine town it is now. Oh. II.
But from 1853 to I860 there prevailed social and
political disorganisation. Unscrupulous adventurers,
or more correctly, rowdies, held for some time undisputed sway, while universal suffrage enabled them
to use their power in a most corrupt and detrimental
manner to the public welfare. Crimes were committed
daily, and no life or property was secure. This state
of affairs brought about that extraordinary combination
known as the Vigilance Committee. This was first instituted in 1851, but only existed for a short time. In
1856, after a bad state had prevailed for some time, it.
was brought to a climax by the shooting in open day
of a popular newspaper editor who had been prominent in exposing abuses. The crime was committed
by a well-known ruffian and malefactor, but who
attained some position in San Francisco by a glib-
ness of tongue and plenty of audacity. But when
this event took place the whole population rose in
indignation. The Vigilance Committee was re-or-
ganised, and out of 12,000 white inhabitants 9,000
became members. They set the law at defiance; took
the murderer out of gaol and hung him ; then proceeded to arrest a large number of persons who had
committed crimes ; executed two more, and banished
others. For eight months they remained masters of
the city; neither the militia nor legislature could do
> anything.
The effect was most beneficial. No punishments
were inflicted without a trial that was conducted deliberately, and there was no haste to execute sentences. 28
No judicial process could release a man whom they had
sentenced. This Vigilance Committee conducted all its
business secretly, and no record of its transactions has
yet been published. It is universally believed that
entire control was vestedHs^an executive board of
thirty-three, chosen at one of the first meetings. But
their names never appeared, though they really had
an absolute power. Whom they ordered to be hung
were hung, to be imprisoned were imprisoned ;
yet there never has been any accusation of injustice
or partiality, for all who were punished richly deserved it.
After this committee was disbanded the members
allowed the usual procedure of law to take its place.
Certainly it was an organisation without its like in
history, and many now speak of it almost as if desirous of its revival. Sure it is, that rather than
submit to the sway of such ruffians as then existed,
the slumbering energies of this committee will again
be roused.
During the last few years the Pacific railroad has
been built, and- San Francisco, as the terminus, received a great impetus from that undertaking. But
it brought a great number of adventurers from the
eastern States, so that the labour market is overstocked. Besides, there is a large colony of Chinamen who monopolise nearly all the labour. They
are not so quick as white men, but very steady, and
work at half the price. But this latter fact causes
them to be viewed with great disfavour by a large Oh. II.
sect, chiefly Irish, so that many predict a grand row
between them before long.
There is a very good cricket ground at San Francisco, and a challenge came from the club directly we
arrived. The day appointed, however, proved wet, so
that after playing a short time we were compelled to
adjourn. We experienced while in the field the shock
of an earthquake. They are of frequent occurrence in
San Francisco, though varying in severity. It is, they
say, a curious time when a severe earthquake takes
place. All business is suspended, and everybody
rushes into the streets, where they wait till all danger
is over. Women have a great dread of earthquakes,
from the peculiar sensation of helplessness attached to
these visitations.
Our adjourned match took place a few days later,
but after a close game concluded in favour of our
adversaries, who won by fourteen runs. Our short
stay at San Francisco was also signalised by various
dances and pic-nics, and all will remember with pleasure our trips to Oaklands. But before saying goodbye to San Francisco, I must say a few words about
the town and its inhabitants, though it needs a longer
stay than ours proved to give anything like a just
description. Considering its age as a city, one can-
not help remarking the size and solidity of some of
its buildings, and also the business-like appearance
of its inhabitants, all apparently bent on one object,
the making of money. I should think it must be the
most cosmopolitan town in the world.    Here you see 30
all nations. Scotch and Irish abound in great numbers,
but do not seem to five in harmony together, the orderly
habits and persevering thrift of the one not being agreeable to the Bohemian tastes of the other. In fact, the
Irish here, who, to speak the truth, are the lowest of
their class, are a source of annoyance to everybody.
To the Americans, because they are the continual
cause of rows, and muster a large force of Fenian
supporters, which movement certainly finds no countenance with the respectable portion of the American
community ; to the Scotch, because a certain amount
of the odium their conduct elicits is reflected on them;
and lastly, to the poor Chinese, whom they are always
threatening to exterminate, because they find no difficulty in getting work. Talking of the Chinese, it is
very curious to see the portion of the town which they
inhabit, and which is devoted exclusively to them.
Here they carry on their trades, and practise all professions, adapting themselves to a strange country with
wonderful facility. Nay, I am even told that Chinese
doctors are in great request among the white people,
especially among the women, though it is difficult to
believe credulity would counteract the feeling of re-
pugnance at such an innovation of the domestic hearth.
A great love of the old country exists in this migratory
race. You see them everywhere on this side of North
and South America, and you will always find a half-
expressed hope and desire to return at some period to
their native land, as soon as they shall have amassed
money enough.    With that end in view they plod on Oh. II.
patiently and perseveringly, unmoved by scorn and
contumely, till they are enabled to return to their
native country, live there quietly the rest of their days,
and be buried in their own village. Now, it is a con-
stant habit, if a Chinaman dies in San Francisco, for his
friends to subscribe and send his body across in a
steamer for burial; which, if they knew it, would
cause no small disgust to the passengers. I should
have liked to have learnt more of the manners and
customs of this extraordinary people, who date their
existence back so many thousand years, but I hope to
do so on some future visit, convinced that further examination would be amply repaid in interest and
The Americans are essentially speculators. Luck is
the goddess at whose shrine they worship ; its narrow
path has more charms than the broad road of time, and
hard work ; to make fortunes by a single cast of the die,
rather than accumulate riches by a life's perseverance.
Hence in America the prevalence of gambling, which
infests all classes, and is probably the cause of more
crimes than anything else. San Francisco may vie, no
doubt, with any of its eastern brethren in this respect,
though, from the secrecy in which these proceedings
are carried out, it is difficult for a stranger to find out
such an evil exists. He will not, however, long remain
in ignorance. The intimation generally comes about in
this way, and I speak from personal experience. A
well-dressed man comes up to you in the street, or a
shop, and requests you will take a glass of wine.with 32
him at his club. Either you are a novice, or curiosity
prompts. In any other country but America you would
at once refuse. Here you accept. He leads the way,
turns in at a door, up a few steps, another door with a
small trap hatch, a knock, a face peers through, it is
opened; you enter, and find yourself in a gambling
saloon. Not a large room full of people, but a small
web with about six spiders. Your conductor presses
you to play. You refuse, now seeing the dodge. To
give inspiration, he places down a gold piece and
speedily wins twenty. This should convince you the
whole is a plant, so back out as speedily as possible.
In my case I am convinced this was simply a den of
thieves, and my conductor depended on what came out
of my purse for a percentage. When I persisted in
going without risking a cent, he seemed in a great state
of mind. Social life in California, and especially San
Francisco, has many peculiarities, but our stay was
so short that any account could only be superficial.
So therefore that topic must be reserved until further
experience can allow any opinion worthy of consideration to be expressed. For the same reason many other
interesting subjects connected with the country, such as
its mineral and agricultural prospects, cannot now be
entered upon. That of attempting to grapple with
such important details is a too common error in this
travelling age. Countries have suffered grievously from
a too prolific pen.
This must be my excuse for presenting such a meagre
outline of such an interesting locality.    We are now Oh. II.
going north, but will return in a few months, when I
hope a more lengthy stay will enable me to say my
conclusions were not too hastily arrived at, and that
our regret at leaving will be felt as much if not more
than it is now.
We left San Francisco on April 14, and arrived in
Esquimalt harbour on the 23rd. After steaming
northward along the land for two days, a north wind
forced us out to the westward, and for three days we
went further away from our destination. But a shift
of wind made our position an advantageous one, and
allowed us to make the entrance of the straits, when
we steamed slowly through.
These straits were named after a Greek, called Juan
de Fuca, who reported their existence in 1592, though
then universally disbelieved. It was more than two
hundred years later before it was entered by an Englishman, named Meares, who called it Fuca Straits.
In 1792 Vancouver visited the coast of Washington,
and gave the first clear and accurate account of the
Straits of Fuca and Puget Sound.
The distance to Esquimalt harbour is about sixty
miles, with magnificent scenery on both. sides; but it
is exceedingly desolate, not a habitation to be seen.
It would be difficult to find a snugger harbour than r
Ch. III.
Esquimalt; completely land-locked, surrounded on
all sides by dense forests. There are few houses outside of a diminutive dockyard, but through the trees
appears a larger building than usual, which serves as a
naval hospital. At the head of a shaky pier is another
building, designated the Naval Club. Though on a
small scale, it supplies a want which was long felt.
Altogether, there is a charming abandon about this
spot; a short plunge into the dense forest, and all
signs of civilisation cease—birds and insects are your
sole companions.
Victoria, the capital, is some three miles off, but has
little imposing about it. It bade fair to become a
thriving colony in 1858, when there was such a rush
there in consequence of the gold discoveries. But it
rapidly subsided, and the reaction was most injurious.
Nearly all left who could ; and since that time Vancouver Island has had to struggle onwards unassisted
from without, having to contend against gigantic
obstacles in the natural features of its country. An
immense quantity of land is uncleared and uncultivated.
Labour is most expensive. The only remedy appears
to be a good Government scheme of immigration, that
the resources of the country may be opened up. The
immigrants themselves should be assisted with grants of
land, and immunity for some time from taxation.
The great difficulty is in clearing the land, so dense is
the timber and undergrowth.
The 'Flying Squadron' had been expected some
time, and arrived  on May 15, from Japan.    There
D 2 w
were six ships, 'Liverpool' (flagship of Admiral
Hornby), ' Phoebe,' ' Liffey,' ' Endymion,' ' Scylla,' and
'Pearl.' All were under sail, the 'Scylla' leading.
They arrived in time to assist in the festivities on the
Queen's birthday—a great day in all our colonies.
Here it is the occasion of a general holiday and horse-
The racecourse at Beacon Hill, near Victoria, overlooks the straits, the snow-capped mountains showing
out clear and distinct on the other side. To this spot,
on May 24, could be seen all descriptions of persons and
vehicles wending their way. Colonists of all descriptions, farmers from distant secluded spots; the swarthy
Indian, wrapped in his red blanket, not a few already
reeling from the effects of fire-water; and last, though
not least,' Jack,' with shoes in his hand and pipe in his
mouth. Besides all these, a fair sprinkling of equestrians, of both sexes, all cheerful and bent on merriment; no cries of' five to two bar one.' This is a
holiday to all, where business enters not.
The chief event of the day to the naval world was
the navy flat race, for which seven entered ; our ship
being represented by two. The jockeys' costumes:
caused some amusement, but, on the whole, they were
very creditable. The signal was given, and all got off
well together. As they approached the winning-post
the excitement equalled a Derby Day, and we had the
gratification of seeing our two representatives come in
first and second, the remainder nowhere.
There way  a navy hurdle race over six flights of   Ch. III.
hurdles, which was won by Lieut. W., of the ' Scylla.'
Another race, causing great amusement, was contended
for by blue jackets and marines. A great number
started, but few arrived, as several of the horses bolted
with their riders. One youth, coining into violent contact
with a tree, was picked up insensible. Jack, however,
seemed rather to like it. Who had won was disputed.
It lay between a marine and a boy. There was a
good' deal of hard swearing, and the stewards coming
to the conclusion there was little to choose between
them, whether as regards riding or telling the truth,
divided the stakes.
That evening, according to custom, Governor Mus-
grave gave a ball at Government House—-an event
which is looked forward to for some time. On this
occasion everything went off most successfully and
agreeably. The ' Zealous' band was in attendance,
conspicuous for their martial appearance and manner
of playing. An excellent supper proved only a short
interruption to dancing, which continued until an
early hour, when broad daylight witnessed the ' farewell ' of those who lingered yet, and then assisted them
A naval regatta at Esquimalt took place next day,
to which point there was a migration from Victoria in
steamers and various descriptions of boats. The presence of the Flying Squadron, all dressed with flags,
when combined with other craft, also displaying bunting, gave the harbour, perhaps, a gayer appearance
than it has ever assumed in present memory.     The 38
races were many and varied. Nearly every ship
claimed one, if not more prizes. Ours, however,
claimed first place in number, and gross amount of
money value. Perhaps the most amusing race was
that of copper punts, propelled by shovels; the various
crews apparently had endeavoured to outvie each
other in fantastic garb, with blackened faces. From
greater experience of this species of boat, our punts-
men must have won; but, unfortunately, they allowed
themselves to become a trifle overcome, so received
anything but a prize.
From this regatta arose a match, which created
great interest in the two fleets. It was a race between
our barge and that belonging to the ' Liverpool,' flag- •
ship of the Flying Squadron. The course was about
two miles and a half, and proved a most hollow affair.
Our boat, after the first mile, drew well ahead, and,
increasing her lead at every stroke, finally, won with
Our'first cricket match at Vancouver was played
against the ' Charybdis,' but we were beaten by nine
wickets. Nothing daunted, after a little practice, we
essayed again, and this time were successful, winning
by ten wickets.
These matches were played at Colwood, about half-
an-hour's walk through the woods, on the other side
of the harbour. The ground is small, but pleasantly
situated in an exceedingly picturesque spot.
Two other matches were played against the ' Scylla,'
' Ringdove,' ' Sparrowhawk,' and ' Box
er,"  combined. T
Ch. III.
In the first, we won by four wickets, and played with
nine men ; in the second, we won by twenty-four runs.
Victoria boasts a very good eleven, and our last match
was against them ; but they proved too strong, and
beat us by ten wickets.
The copper of the ' Zealous' having become somewhat foul, it was determined to place her in the
stream of fresh water at the mouth of the-Fraser River,
to see what effect it would have. It was also considered a good opportunity to visit the Island of San
We left Esquimalt on June 20, on a bright and
clear day. On the right were the snowy peaks of the
Washington Territory mountains, standing out distinctly against the deep-blue sky glittering in the sun;
on the left lay Victoria, picturesquely scattered over a
plateau surrounded by the fir-covered hills. A little
further on we opened the Haro Channel, studded with
many wooded islets. In the east rose, in majestic
grandeur, Mount Baker, clothed in brilliant white ;
while, towering over the plains beneath, far distant in
the south-east, might be seen the summit of Mount
Renier, 140 miles off. As we advanced, the white
buildings of the American camp began to show them-
selves, and, on nearing it, the star-spangled banner was
flung out to the breeze.
Rounding the south-east end of San Juan we passed
between it and Lopez Island, anchoring at 5 p.m. in a
capacious bay, opposite the landing-place leading to
the American camp. 40
A few words here about San Juan, and the peculiar
circumstances under which it is inhabited, may, perhaps, interest those who do not comprehend the reason
of its holding two standing garrisons, or on what
grounds it is claimed by both nations.
In 1846 the boundary between the British possessions and the United States west of the Rocky Mountains was determined, and the Island of San Juan was
supposed to belong to Great Britain, the wording of
the treaty being as follows:—' From the point in the
forty-ninth parallel of north latitude where the boundary laid down in existing treaties and conventions
between Great Britain and the United States terminates, the line of boundary shall be continued westward along the said forty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the middle of the channel which separates the
continent from Vancouver Island, and thence southerly
through the middle of the said channel and of Fuca's
Straits to the Pacific Ocean.'
There is not the slightest doubt that the channel
here alluded to was Rosario Channel, the only one
then in use or supposed to be navigable. Subsequently
the American Government claimed the ' Canal de
Haro' as the channel meant, and assumed that San
Juan belonged to the United States. Whilst the disputed point was still under discussion by the two
Governments, a certain General Harney, of the United
States army, in 1859 thought he would ' cut the Gor-
dian knot,' and landed a military force and battery on
the south point of the island, ostensibly to protect Ch. III.
American citizens from the depredations of the Indians,
but in reality to obtain a footing in the island. The
United States Government pretended to disavow the
act, but would not direct the withdrawal of the troops,
determined, if possible, to get possession of the island
in consequence of its strategical importance as commanding our route to the Fraser River and the north.
How it will eventually be settled is most difficult to
say, but I trust our Government will not give* up
San Juan, it being all important to us. All attempts
to settle the question by arbitration, compromise, or
otherwise, have hitherto failed; in the meantime there
is a joint occupation by a company of British marines
and a like number of American troops : the camp of
the former being at the north extremity of the island ;
that of the latter on the south point near the site of
their first encampment, whilst the distance between
the two is not more than ten miles.
Immediately on anchoring an invitation was sent
to the American officers and their families to come on
board. No doubt it was a pleasant change to see new
faces, for, as one of them quaintly observed, ' society
there was rather jerky.' A large party of us from the
ship visited their camp the next day. It is about a
mile from the landing place on a piece of prairie
plateau overlooking the Straits of Fuca. Officers' and
men's quarters are enclosed in a quadrangle by palings.
In the summer they drill regularly, but in winter, on
account of the climate, they are not able to do much.
There   is,   however,  excellent   deer-shooting   on the 42
island, and one of our marines was said to have killed
over one hundred to his own gun in one year.
After returning on board we weighed and proceeded
through the middle channel between San Juan, Lopez,
and Show Islands to the north anchorage. This
channel is narrow in some places, with one or two
dangerous rocks ; the current also is rapid, but the
channel is perfectly safe for a steamer.
The scenery of these islands has much sameness in
extensive forests, with small stretches of prairie land,
and high bluffs overhanging the water.
The English camp is picturesquely situated at the
head of a beautiful little land-locked harbour. The
officers' quarters—neat wooden buildings—are on the Ch. III.
slope of the hill surrounded by gardens. The commandant's house is about two hundred feet higher up: a
well-constructed building, with offices complete and a
well-filled garden, while an extensive forest close to
it is an inexhaustible resource for timber and fuel.
The men appeared perfectly contented and happy
in this secluded spot, and although their quarters are
hardly equal to a good barrack, they are fairly comfortable. Every year improvements are being made.
Already they have a reading-room, library, and recreation hall. Fruit and vegetables they grow there, and
other articles are sent over from Esquimalt once a
In compensation for the banishment they have to 44
undergo both officers and men receive double pay, but
none of the men have their wives with them. There
is easy communication in fine weather between this
island and Vancouver, and the telegraph wire to San
Francisco and Europe passes through the camp.
Leaving San Juan we proceeded in the direction of
Nanaimo. Steaming inside Pinder Island by Swan-
son's Channel and through Active Pass (a narrow,
tortuous strait, two and a half miles long and about
six hundred yards broad) between Mayne and Galiano
Islands, through which the tide runs at times with
great velocity, we entered the Straits of Georgia nearly
opposite the Fraser River. Passing Holder and Ga-
briole Islands we anchored that evening off Nanaimo.
Here is the only coal-field which has hitherto been
discovered, or at all events made available on the
North Pacific coast, and only one pit up to the present time is being worked. The quality of the coal
is good for steaming purposes, but burns quickly, being
soft and bituminous. From the borings made, there
is no question but that far better coal is to be found in
the neighbourhood.
The small town of Nanaimo contains about one
thousand inhabitants, principally miners and their
families. A stipendiary magistrate watches over this
community. This gentleman informed us that the fishing was magnificent, but at this time, owing to snow
water being on the river, the trout were not running.
In fact, this is the only dead season of the year.
Early on the morning of the 26th we weighed for Ch. III.
the Fraser River, which was reached about 11 a.m.,
and anchored near the light vessel at the mouth.
This river is the largest in British Columbia, taking
its rise in the Rocky Mountains, and having-a course
of more than eight hundred miles. It is navigable for
steamers of considerable burden up to Langley, forty-
three miles from its mouth. Above that—to Yale,
forty-two miles beyond—steamers can ply, but of light
draught, with powerful engines, and propelled by a
stern wheel. Beyond Yale the river becomes too rapid
for navigation. The Fraser River is the high road to
the gold mines, and its tributaries are pathways
branching off right and left.
A party of officers, including the writer, embarked
in the gunboat ■ Boxer,' to go to New Westminster,
twenty-eight miles up the river. The navigation of
this part is difficult, on account of numerous shoals
and constantly shifting sands, so that buoys supposed
to mark the channel cannot be relied on. They are
also frequently washed away. H.M.S. ' Tribune' got
aground, here, and was nearly lost, having4*»1 for
several weeks in her tenacious bed.
We were fortunate, and threaded our way in safety
with a rising tide. A large tract of land stretches
along the banks of the river, upon which graze large
herds of cattle. As numerous swamps and creeks intersect these plains, glorious wild-fowl shooting can be
obtained in autumn and winter. The stream of the
Fraser at this season, when swollen by the melting
snow, runs at the rate of four to six knots an hour,, 46
with turbid water. About six miles below New Westminster low pasture land is succeeded by dense pine
woods. Then the town appears in sight. It lies on
the north bank, and has rather an imposing appearance, with its large warehouses, cathedral, and other
places of worship. Until Vancouver Island and British
Columbia were united it was the seat of government,
which was then transferred to Victoria.
Landing, we found but two streets, running parallel
to the river ; but although the town was laid out on a
grand scale when the country gave great promise—
though it boasts a cathedral, public library, offices,
warehouses, and churches of various denominations—
these expectations have not yet been realised, and
grass growing luxuriantly in the streets is a more
truthful index to its prosperity. When the gold tide
ceased to flow, New Westminster, like Victoria, received a serious check, from which it has hardly yet
The Governor's house, which we visited, is about a
mile and a half from the town. It is a capacious, comfortable building, with extensive fruit and flower gardens, and surrounded by magnificent cedar and maple
trees. Preparations were being made for the Governor's
reception, who had gone to San Francisco to be married.
At 3 p.m next day we embarked again, and steamed
down to the ship a good deal faster than we came up.
A good look out is required to be kept for snags,
which, pointing up stream, are dangerous to run
against. —
Ch. III.
The Fraser River is celebrated for its sturgeon and
salmon, and many tribes of Indians obtain their winter
supply of food from this source. There is also a delicious little fish called the ' eulachin,' or ' candle fish,'
caught on this coast. It is about the size of a smelt,
and so fat as hardly to bear frying. The Indians use
them. for candles (from whence its name) by simply
running a wick through. From them oil of a very fine
quality is obtained, said to be superior to cod-liver oil.
Sturgeon are most numerous both on the coast and
in the river.    They ascend to an incredible distance,
overcoming difficulties which will baffle salmon.
Their habits are little known, as they seem to live
equally wrell in fresh and salt water. Their roe furnishes the delicious caviare -so celebrated in Russia;
the quantity of roe in the female fish is almost fabulous. Indians kill the sturgeon principally with spears,
and we observed several canoes at the entrance pursuing this mode of fishing. A spear seven or eight
feet long is used, with a barbed bone head. A long
line is attached and coiled down carefully in the canoe.
One Indian paddles, while the other drags the point of
his spear upright along the surface of the mud. By
practice he knows the touch of a sturgeon, and immediately strikes. Then great skill is required to prevent
the frail canoe being upset by a large fish. Canoes
hunt in couples, and assist each other in the event of
a heavy fish being struck. An excellent description
of  sturgeon-fishing is given in Ind's work on  ' The
o *-***** o
Natural History of British Columbi?.' 48
The Admiral being anxious to see Burrard's Inlet,
which is a few miles to the north-west, a party of officers proceeded there in the ' Boxer.' The entrance is
through a narrow passage, at low water not above a
cable wide, but with a depth sufficient for any sized
vessel. Passing this narrow, the inlet expands into a
fine harbour, where are two fine saw-mills, which export a great quantity of timber. Passing a second
narrow four miles higher up, the inlet is divided into
two branches. The northern one runs for about ten
miles, with an average width of one mile, into the very
heart of the mountains. Its scenery is grand, but it is
useless as a harbour, having a too deep and irregular
bottom. The other fork runs about three miles to the
south-east, rather more than half a mile broad, and
forms a fine harbour called Port Moody, with an
average depth of six to seven fathoms. Magnificent
timber abounds in the vicinity.
Some day the stillness of the scene will be broken
by the bustle of commerce. For here, in all proba- ■
bility, will be the terminus of the great projected railway
from Canada. It has all the capacity and convenience
necessary for a commercial port—space, depth of
water, a considerable rise and fall of tide for forming
docks and basins, with proximity to the coal mines of
The following morning, in company with the
' Boxer,' we returned to Esquimalt, where, shortly
after, the ' Chanticleer' arrived from Callao.
Before leaving Vancouver, I will attempt to give Ch. III.
some description of the shooting and fishing that can
be obtained without difficulty; but as it was April,
and consequently not the shooting season, more detailed remarks on that subject must be left for another
visit. Deer of more than one kind abound in Vancouver Island. The noble Wapiti, or Elk, far surpassing in size the monarch of our Scotch glens, and
others classed under the head of black-tailed deer.
The former has retreated before civilisation, but the
latter are to be found in the neighbourhood of Esquimalt. Both are in best condition late in autumn.
' There are also bears, panthers, and wolves, for those
who despise more ignoble game.
The feathered game consists of the blue, willow or
ruffled grouse, and quail. The blue grouse is about
the size and resembles in appearance the grey hen.
The ruffled grouse is smaller, and a bird of beautiful
plumage. These inhabit the woods, and when flushed,
perch on the branches of trees, affording but poor
sport. The male ruffled grouse gives out a peculiar
drumming sound, which may be heard at a great distance. But it is most difficult to find out on which
particular tree they are perched, of such a perplexing
nature is the sound, while a charge of shot does not
dislodge them unless hit. The Californian quail was
introduced a short time back, and is increasing rapidly.
Besides these purely game birds there are, in winter,
swans, geese, and numerous kinds of ducks, teal, and
widgeon : also common and jack snipe.
Leaving this subject for the present, let us turn to
the fishing, and commence with
This king of fish abounds on the coasts and rivers of
Vancouver. Their numbers are almost incredible, and
they form the staple food of many Indian tribes, with
whom a bad salmon season means simply starvation.
There are*'several distinct species of salmon, as many
as seven, at least, so it is said, though I doubt there
being more than four or five.
They ascend the rivers, and immense numbers, after
spawning, never get back to the sea, particularly where
they ascend to a great distance in large rivers, fighting
their way over almost insurmountable obstacles.
The Indians say only the old fish die, but that would
not account for such a large number that perish. I
infer, therefore, that they get thoroughly exhausted by
travel and spawning, as they are believed to take no
food after entering the river.
The great Indian fishing season is autumn time, when
rivers literally swarm with fish, pushing their way up
every small tributary. Wading across shallows at this
season a person is liable to be upset by them (this is no
fable). The Fraser River salmon which I saw were
large, probably 30 lbs., short and thick, with a bull
head.    Spring fish are the best in flavour and quality.
In May, June, and July, when bays and harbours
along the coasts abound with shoals of small fish resembling herring fry, salmon follow in pursuit.   At this mmmm
Ch. III.
period I enjoyed good sport in Esquimalt, trolling with
a spoon bait. In two or three hours I have caught as
many as eight or nine fish, averaging from four to nine
pounds (some of twenty pounds). These fish are not
our English salmon, but have spotted tails, and in my
opinion are a species of sea-trout. Salmon of Vancouver Island, or British Columbia, will take neither bait
nor fly.
In the neighbourhood of Esquimalt are a number of
small lakes abounding with trout from a quarter of a
pound to three pounds. Almost every lake has a trout
peculiar to itself, perhaps only differing slightly, but
still differing. In some they will eagerly rise to the
fly; in others they will only be tempted by worm,
minnow, or spoon bait. They also differ in colour,
flavour, and condition.
The best lakes within a distance of nine miles from
Esquimalt are Prospect Lake, nine miles, Swan Lake,
four miles, and Pike Lake, three miles. There are
also many other small lakes in the vicinity. Of those
mentioned above, Prospect Lake has the finest trout,
averaging from three-quarters of a pound to two pounds
weight. They resemble the sea-trout, with delicate
pink flesh ; on a balmy day, with a ripple on the water,
as many as eight or nine dozen may be killed with the
fly. This lake has certainly the prettiest scenery: its
banks overhung with heavy timber, with rocky promontories here and there projecting into the dark, deep
water, from whence a cast may be had.    But the fish-
E 2 52
ing is principally from a boat, as it is at all the lakes. If
wishing to make a stay of two or three days in this
locality, comfortable quarters may be had at Steven's
Inn, two miles from the lake ; or you may construct a
rude hut on the banks and live there very pleasantly
with a companion. Flies, about the size of the sea-
trout fly and of varied hue—the brighter the better—
succeed best. When these fail bait must be used to
lure the fish from his weedy bed. Swan Lake is much
smaller, fringed all round with tall reeds, and of gloomy
appearance. The trout are as large if not larger than
those in Prospect Lake, but not so fine in quality. The
fish in this lake are very uncertain, some days taking
the fly readily, and even rising sometimes when there
is not a ripple on the surface. Another day the whole
afternoon will be spent throwing the fly without the
slightest response. For this reason it is not so much
fished upon as others.
Pike Lake is a pretty little piece of water, abounding
with trout, but mostly of a smaller size. The characteristics of Beaver Lake, not far from Prospect, are
similar to those of Swan Lake.
For these lakes April, May, and June are the best
months, though on genial days fishing may be had
nearly throughout the year. In a long salt-water creek
called ' the Gorge,' running up from Victoria, fine sea-
trout may be caught at times, but they are fickle.
On a future occasion I hope to supplement these remarks with new matter concerning Vancouver Island,
and give a further insight into all that now has been so
imperfectly sketched. mmmmmmmmmmm
Ch. IV.
War news always has been and always will be accompanied by uncertainty and excitement, arising from the
mere possibility of war with its likely results, and from
the probability or otherwise of your own country being
drawn into the fray. Thus it Was that these two ingredients had taken possession of the minds of us all on board
the ' Zealous' when we left Vancouver Island in July
1870. The war cloud even then could not be said to
be larger than a man's hand, considering that the fact
of two civilised nations like France and Prussia about
to wage war upon so slight a pretext seemed highly
improbable. However, the cloud, which had in the
meantime been rapidly increasing in density and assuming darker hues, had actually burst by the time
we reached San Francisco, making uncertainty certain,
but increasing, not allaying, the excitement. ' War in
Europe' was the cry that greeted us from some shore
boat as we steamed through the Golden Gate on
July 20, six days after we left Vancouver, and the
cry re-echoed through the ship from one end to the 54
other with amazing rapidity. Still more startling was
the postscript, ' England likely to be drawn into it;'
though by this time we should know that no war can
take place in any part of the world without its being
said, with or without foundation, that England would
certainly, either through her feelings or her necessities,
have to join one of the two contending parties. But
the brain of man when disordered by excitement is
apt at once to believe what in his calmer moments he
would put aside as impossible; which inclination to
belief is increased if there is any desire in the heart
that such a thing should be. And it was not till the
papers which were handed on board had been greedily
devoured that we were certain of being in a state of
benevolent neutrality.
The effect of this news was to give rise to a variety
of feelings. Amongst them I a"m sure was regret at
being so far from, if not the actual din of war, at any
rate the stormy rattle of hourly as well as daily newspaper correspondents. The tone of the American
papers on our arrival, and for some days after, seemed
to be a prophetic one, as in every paper this sentence
appeared under the war column : ' A great battle
imminent.' At last the affair of Saarbruck broke the
spell, and the armies of the great military power in
Europe seemed once more to have started on a glorious
career, so that opinion in San Francisco as to the ultimate result was very equally divided; being formed
more by personal sympathy with either nation, rather
than by a knowledge of the capabilities and resources of Ch. IV.
each. So also to some the now celebrated telegram
concerning ' Louis' had a ridiculous and even childish
sound; while others saw in it simply a characteristic
trait of the national failing, which would attribute so
much influence to a few bombastic phrases loosely
strung together. In the commercial city of San Francisco war news was turned into a means of filling the
pockets of newspaper authorities generally, between
the French and Prussian sympathisers. It was quite a
common occurrence to see a placard posted up announcing a great Prussian victory, whilst a few yards
farther on was a complete French victory and annihilation of the Prussian army. But every now and then
came such undoubtedly reliable news—even through
the dense cloud gathered round it by the French—of a
great victory, but acknowledged only by the latter in
so far that they did not lay claim to any great success,
that there was no use denying it to the Prussian arms,
and those who sided with France were, as time moved
on, and Prussian armies moved towards Paris, reduced
to saying like the rest of the world, i Who would have
thought it,' and to admiring and wondering at the
masterly way the Prussian armies rolled steadily across
France. The consequence of all this mass of contradiction was that between the interval of our English
papers a general feeling of disbelief in everything
seemed to settle down on all on board. Not so those
on shore. The intensity of feeling increased as the
news on both sides rose and fell with the tide of war,
and as nearly half of the population are Germans, Irish II
forming a large portion of the remainder, which latter
universally sided with the French, arguments were
often enforced by blows, leading occasionally to street
rows. But considering all things, the city was wonderfully quiet, a mutual feeling of sympathy and consideration for the feelings of the other doing what no
number of policemen and only an army could do in
the event of a riot between opposition factions numbering so many followers.
Having telegraphed our arrival to the Admiralty,
we received orders to remain at San Francisco until
further notice, so that, whilst affairs remained in a state
of uncertainty, should anything take place which directly
concerned us, we were in telegraphic communication
with England. Accordingly our minds began to re-
assume their natural calm, and we gradually settled
down to a contented waiting for events, determined as
far as possible to pluck the golden apple while within
reach. Therefore not many days elapsed before a
dance, long anticipated and organised, took place on
board. That the result should be worthy of the occasion, we had invoked the aid of all our friends, by
whose liberal kindness we were enabled to turn our
ship into a garden of Eden, and prepare a surprise
to the many Adams and Eves who were to revel midst
its Arcadian bowers. But to descend from poetry to
plain matter-of-fact prose. Everybody, to the number
of some three hundred and fifty, having arrived on
board, conveyed alongside in a large steamer, the word
was passed that lunch was ready, when, quickly de- Ch. IV.
scending to the deck below, we found everything that
an exhausted nature and a thirsty soul could desire laid
out upon two long tables constructed for the occasion.
Louis XIV. used to say, ! He who eats well works
well:' if he was right—and he was a good judge—
these tables soon bore ample tribute to the industry of
their surroundings. But as papers say when reviewing
great public efforts : ' Where all strove with success to
shine it would be invidious to pick out any more deserving of praise than the rest.' Dancing went on with
great spirit until 7 p.m., when the steamer came alongside again, and farewell had to be said, fain though
we were to prolong the scene unto a later hour. But
chaperones, not seeing it in the same light, asserted
their rights, and shortly afterwards the steamer, with
her precious freight, steamed slowly- on shore, not
before showers of bouquets and the long-kept-up
cheering showed how mutual was the pleased sensation
and good-will between guests and hosts.
Our old adversaries, the California Cricket Club,-
soon found out our arrival, and at once challenged us
to again try conclusions, which challenge we accepted,
putting confidence in our powers after the practice we
had had at Vancouver. The result proved we were
right in that confidence, though it proved an exceeding
close game. The first innings they made eighty-seven,
and we followed with eighty-six; then they again went
in, and made fifty-nine, leaving us sixty-one to beat.
When the five best men were out for thirty runs, the
game seemed hopeless ; but the tail proved trustworthy, OUR JOURNAL IN THE PACIFIC      Ch. IV.
so that when the last man went in only one more run
was required. This was obtained, and the match won.
In the return match we again won, this time by
two wickets.
Our time at San Francisco now began to draw to a
close, as affairs in Europe daily took a more decided
turn. We had seen the sharp engagement at Weis-
sembourg, followed by the victories of Worth and
Gravelotte; then the investment of Metz and Stras-
burgh, culminating in the final disaster of Sedan. Then,
also, we heard of that fearful event which sent such a
thrill of horror throughout England. For some time we
could not credit such an occurrence as the loss of the
f Captain.' Alas! it proved but too true ; while it was
only slight consolation to learn that a boat had been
picked up with eighteen men, whilst the remainder—
some five hundred—had found their graves between
the decks of the ill-fated ship. Such a catastrophe
is without parallel in modern naval history,, and all
must hope it will not be allowed to sink into oblivion
without a searching investigation.
Whilst these stupendous affairs were taking place in
Europe we, forced to remain passive spectators, but
not the less ready for any emergency, had been making
the most of the opportunities afforded by a prolonged
stay in a port possessing' so many advantages denied to
other places, and contrasting so pleasantly with the
monotony of long sea cruises. Courtesies between
ship and shore had been freely interchanged, and a
feeling of genial cordiality sprung up, undisturbed by Ch. IV.
the diatribes of demagogues or abusive leading articles
on the other side of the Continent.
There is no doubt that the pleasure of our stay at
San Francisco was much enhanced by the kindness of
the members of the Union Club, who, making us
honorary members, and placing the benefits of their
commodious building at our disposal, supplied a want
which it would be difficult to estimate too highly ; for
which privilege we were indebted, in a great measure,
to our worthy representative and consul, Mr. Booker,
who we found ever ready, by word or deed, to give us
his good offices, especially when, as strangers, we first
arrived ; as was also his coadjutor and vice, C. Mason,
to whom we are so much indebted for numerous acts
of kindness.
Our hospitable friends, Mr. and Mrs. W., still continued at Oaklands their charming afternoon dances,
which were numerously attended. A large ball was
given by Mr. Ralston at his country-house in San
Mateo, where General Sherman was the guest of the
evening. This entertainment was conducted on a
scale of great magnificence, and pronounced to be, by
all who attended, most successful.
But by this time we received an intimation from
home that we might proceed on our way south. Accordingly a day was fixed for our departure, which
fact necessarily becoming known to the good people on
shore, many of the prominent citizens, principally
members of the Pacific Club, determined to give us a
farewell ball, in order that we might carry away a 60
pleasing recollection of San Francisco. This ball
accordingly came off the evening before our departure, at the Pacific Hall, a spacious building, well
adapted for the purpose. All the arrangements were
made with that completeness and, when anything is
taken in hand, that indifference to expense peculiarly
a characteristic of the American nation. We had
supplied a number of flags for decorating, which, when
well arranged, have always a very handsome effect.
The band was almost hidden in a beautiful arbour,
formed with lofty plants and shrubs, covered with
blossoms of every hue and fragrance. Another band
was in a gallery above to discuss choice selections in
the interval of the dances. Alas! now, how can I
describe the many fairy forms that keep flitting across
my view ?   Am I to take a page out of the ' Chronicle,'
and tell you how that Mrs.  was dressed in a
magnificent blue-silk dress, with sweeping train, low
neck, and hair d la grecque; or, how that the graceful
figure of Miss was shown to great advantage in a
white moire antique, panier overskirt, cut in points,
trimmed with roses, hair tastefully arranged d la
Pompadour—and so on to the end of the column?
No, let us draw a veil over the sacred precincts of the
toilette chamber, and admit that art had but assisted
Nature in producing so much beauty as was here assembled to bid us farewell.
The worthy gentlemen who had invoked this gorgeous pageantry meanwhile vied with each other in
seeing that none were left unprovided for, and soon all Ch. IV.
feet were busy; the variegated uniforms, naval and
military—for many officers of the American flagship
' Saranac' were present, as well as several of the
military—augmenting the gayness of the scene; and
when supper, which was of the most sumptuous description, commenced there could be no two opinions
as to the entire success of the evening.
Fain would I finger over this page and prolong the
scene, but farewell has to be said. Before proceeding,
however, on our way south I will say a few words
descriptive of society in California generally, and San
Francisco especially. Perhaps in no part of the world
is there less restraint, less formality, less stiffness; all
may do nearly as they like. life is very public. The
majority five in hotels and large boarding-houses. This
way of living has its advantages and disadvantages.
The great charm of a home is lost; there is not the
sacred attachment to one spot, like in England, and
girls by going into society so young as they do often
become prematurely old. At fifteen and sixteen they
commence to receive at home. You can become very
intimate with a young lady without ever seeing her
parents. It is not thought anything out of the way for
a young man, if well known, to go with a young lady
to the theatre without a chaperone. There is no doubt
such a privilege may be carried too far, and discrimination in permission by parents is required. But this
system has several good points to recommend it. It
tends to make all more natural, and that in a girl
should be nearly, if not, the first consideration.   Again, 62
in placing fewer social barriers between the young of
both sexes a way is opened to many friendships, which
may, or may not, lead to a closer tie. But fencing a
young girl in on all sides with restrictions, obliging
her on every occasion to be cold and reserved, making
it evident that all men are wolves in sheep's clothing,
and curtailing liberty of mind and body, often has the
effect of making the former dwell inwardly upon many
things which in a freer mode of treatment would never
find ingress.
The fine of demarkation between the various strata
of society in California is not clearly defined, and yet
there is something more than a money qualification
required for admittance, which everyone recognises.
In a democratic country it cannot well be name, or
family; it is, perhaps, more correctly education and
position, though nowhere in America are all other
considerations scorned.
Many of the men of California, who came there at
one time poor and friendless, now hardly know how
rich they are. It is essentially a money-making country, whilst for reckless speculation Californians are
pre-eminent, whether it be in mines, lands, or stock.
They seem to live in an atmosphere of excitement,
ever engrossed in business; one day poor, another day
rich—losing everything, or making a fortune; but
equally ready to stand drinks all round.
For generosity they have no equals. The last half
dollar will be expended on a passing acquaintance, in
whom it would be considered a great insult to refuse a ■BMW.
Ch. IV.
drink, or even to hint at paying. But rarely is a man
reduced to such a low ebb. Money is plentiful in San
Francisco. Even the conductor of a street car receives
ten shillings a day; likewise he who keeps the streets
clean. Wages are high ; but living, and all articles of
necessity, are proportionately expensive. A strong
spirit of independence rules throughout the community.
A shopman will when his work is over meet you on
perfectly equal terms, though never offensive like the
British ' Arry.' That type is never met with in America. His shop demeanour, too, is very different; no
bowing and scraping, washing with invisible soap,
which is carried to such a painful extreme in England.
In America the extreme of independence is perhaps
run into, but of the two I prefer it. Always respectful,
it is simply an air of indifference whether you buy anything or not, and a fixed price which cannot be
altered. Their manner always appeared to me to be
that of men engaged in an occupation uncongenial
to them, but forced into it by circumstances. They
carried an air of expostulation in .their faces against
being forced into civility.
Lower down, this independence is more amusing. I
remember the first time of landing in San Francisco a
party of us took a carriage to go a short distance. On
asking the fare we were told it was five dollars. Remonstrating against this extortion, Cabby replied,
'Well, gentlemen, guess we won't bustle about five
dollars; come and take a drink with me all round.'
And so it is, drinks all round all day.    No man thinks 64
of taking one by himself, but always asks his neighbour to join.
To lead this life of excitement stimulants are re-
. quired. As a rule, I should not think Ca'lifornians are
' long-lived ; old men are seldom seen. 'Tis the pace
that kills, but it has great fascinations, and few care
about leaving the country for good ; while many who
left have returned, unable to live without that excitement which pervades the atmosphere and impregnates
the whole vital framework.
California has been celebrated for its street duels,
and though now nothing like the number they used to
be, they are not uncommon. Whatever was the cause
then, now I think they are simply the effects of ruffianism and rowdyism. This part necessarily is a
refuge for many criminals who might advantageously
be hung, but here they flourish undisturbed. No law
prevents a man from carrying a revolver; in fact,
everyone does in self-defence, consequently there are
a great number of homicides. Two men are drinking
together, and have some words. They immediately
draw their weapons and exchange shots. One probably is killed. If without pistols, they agree to go
home and get them, then shoot directly they see each
other. This is called ' shooting on sight.' During our
stay one noted character came to grief that way. He
quarrelled with a man who had no pistol, so generously
told him to get it, and he would shoot him the first
1 time he saw him* again. The other man took his advice and got his pistol.    Then he thought the best —.
Ch. IV.
thing he could do was to shoot the other man before
he saw him. Accordingly he stationed himself in a
doorway. As his friend passed he shot him dead. He
was tried for murder and acquitted.
It is curious to see the streets when these things
take place. Two or three shots are heard in rapid
succession. Immediately everybody in the streets get
in the doorways, as if a shower of rain had just come
on. Not a soul is to be seen. After waiting a few
minutes, and all is quiet, they emerge, and walk on as
if nothing had happened.
Such are a few of the phases of life in San Francisco.
At a future time I may add a few agricultural details
about California ; so for the present will bid adieu to
San Francisco, the pain of parting tempered by the
thought that perchance we shall meet again.
September 28.—It would be difficult to find a more
uninteresting passage, or more tedious, than that between San Francisco and Panama. Well may this be
called the ' deserted ocean.' To see a ship is as much
a novelty «as it is to see land. Weeks even often pass
by without a bird appearing, such seems to be the inequality between space and life in this sea, while our
knowledge of the fishes in it does not go much beyond
sharks and porpoises. In this direction there is a fine
field for exploration, to reveal some of the mysteries of
the deep, and settle many undecided points concerning
the numerous islands which dot its vast surface. Talking of islands, there are several spots in this ocean (as
indeed there are in the others) marked thus ? meaning
that it is doubtful whether they exist pr not, though
reported at some time or other by a vessel as an island
or rock. It would be an excellent mission for any
ship to visit all these in succession, and determine once
for all whether they exist or not. Last night we
passed over one of these spots marked doubtful on the Ch. V.
chart, but saw nothing of it. It is generally considered
safest to steer straight for these spots, as ships have
searched for them in the position assigned without having been able to find anything ; so, if they exist, save in
the imagination, will most probably be anywhere but
on the spot marked. There are many ways of accounting for these, such as ships being out of their reckoning, and reporting other islands as new discoveries, &c.
Since leaving San Francisco a fortnight ago we have
had very light winds, and made little progress. To
relieve the monotony, we recommenced our lectures by
hearing an excellent one from C on Life Assur-
ance. By it we were led to conclude that Assurance
Companies are charitable institutions formed solely (?)
for the purpose of befriending the poor man who with
a wife and large family looks forward to his own decease. Another evening saw the opening of the Negro
Minstrels, an ever favourite amusement on board ship
amongst the sailors. Our troupe made a very creditable beginning, possessing originality, if not wit. All
these little amusements on long cruises are very beneficial, passing away time, and being some variation to
daily sea routine.
This morning we sighted Clarion Island, one of the
Revilla Gigedo group off the entrance of the Californian
Gulf. It has a reputation for an abundance of sharks
and sea-birds. From its appearance and peculiarity of
formation it is evidently volcanic, presenting a series of
rugged peaks, without a tree to be seen.
October 18.—After passing Clarion Island we began
F 2 68
to approach that region where calms are said always
to exist, and we were to pass through about the broadest part. To add to the winter of our discontent, it was
the rainy season. The showers are so heavy, every
aperture must be closed, and all gasp for breath.
Nevertheless, there was a good attendance to hear a
lecture on Charles I. from W ; and the following
week one from the Admiral on the Franco-German war,
up to the capitulation at Sedan. Sighted land yesterday—two small islands a short distance from the mainland of Central America ; and this morning passed
Point Mariata, so that we shall arrive at Panama tomorrow.
October 24.—Arrived at Panama on the 19th, which
place we found roused out of its .normal state of lassitude by the coming of Sir Charles Bright to lay a
telegraph-wire between Aspinwall and Jamaica. To
celebrate this event, a ball had been planned, so our
arrival was opportune. Went over to the Island of
Taboga on the 22nd in order to coal. Yesterday this spot
was the scene of a combat a Voutrance between about
fifty of our men on liberty and the inhabitants. As in
all like cases, it is difficult to find out who initiated the
movement. Both parties were probably to blame.
They, for selling such a villanous compound which
they call liquor,but which is really poison; and Jack
for being somewhat inclined to domineer over and despise all those who are not as white in colour as himself. Anyhow, a row took place, sticks and stones were
freely used, and several of our men came on board Ch. V.
badly hurt. But the unfortunate part, and what put a
serious aspect on what was otherwise rather a ludicrous
affair, was that the 'Alcalde,' or head man of the
island, came to stop the fighting, but getting between
the parties, was struck on the head by a stone, and
died from concussion of the brain a few hours afterwards. Being an official, there was, of course, some
noise about it; and the Governor of Panama came over,
and with the Admiral and our Consul proceeded to
investigate the matter. There was a good deal of hard
swearing, and the end was that they demanded 1,000£.
for his widow, and bOl. for damage done to property.
This was of course absurd, for many reasons; but we
made a subscription amongst the officers and men, and
presented the widow (?) with 50/., which apparently
satisfied all parties.
The inauguration of laying the shore-end of the
cable came off at Aspinwall, when a statue of Columbus was unveiled. The ball came off the same evening,
of which the following account is given by an eyewitness :—
'In consideration of the services rendered by Sir
Charles Bright in superintending the laying^of a telegraph-cable between Central America and Jamaica, the
leading inhabitants of Panama determined to ask him
over and give a ball in his honour, as also to commemorate the auspicious event. The "Zealous" arriving
opportunely, invitations were sent to her officers, with
a request for the use of our band on the occasion, which
was readily gram t
d. 70
j So, on the evening, a large party proceeded on shore,
and made their way to the Assembly Rooms, which we
found brilliantly decorated and illuminated. At half-
past ten, headed by the Admiral, we entered the ballroom, and after paying our respects to the President,
had time to look about and survey the scene. The
room was large and well-fit, with seats all round, whilst
the band played outside on the verandah. The generality of the ladies were not, indeed, remarkable for
beauty; but nevertheless there were several pretty
girls, perhaps true descendants of Andalusian ancestresses. These belles were surrounded by a numerous
circle of admirers, some with the strongly marked
features peculiar to the chosen Caucasian race, others
fully attired in military costume, showing them to be
officers of the great Republic!
' The dancing went on with great spirit until an early
hour, broken only by an excellent supper. Our band,
with their worthy master, exerted themselves beyond
praise to respond to the call made upon their powers.
This they did unto the end of the ball, when many of
these talented musicians were found to be overcome by
their exertions and the heat of the weather. But Professor H , with great foresight, provided suitable
accommodation by consigning them to the care of the
Republic, which snugly incarcerated them in the-" Calaboose," or town prison, where it is to be hoped soothing slumber effected their recovery on the morrow.'
The only "other event of importance, if I may dignify
it by that name, which took place at Panama, was a Ch. V.
christening on board, followed after the ceremony by a
dance—the reason of the former being that there was
no Protestant minister then at Panama.
A steamer brought the party, consisting of about
fifty ladies and gentlemen, from Panama; and at 2 p.m.
the ceremony was performed, being thus described in
the Panama Mail of the 27th inst.
' The religious ceremony was performed on the
quarter-deck of the splendid flag-ship, in the presence
of the Admiral, his officers, and all the guests, with a
solemnity not to be surpassed in any church in the
world. In sight of the great Armstrongs of war, the
anxious parents devoutly bent before the baptismal
font, and saw their first-born initiated into that religion,
the divine essence of which breathes peace. It was an
interesting scene, one that had not before been witnessed on board the " Zealous;" but the gallant Admiral expressed his willingness always to make the ship
available on such occasions, and intimated that the
worthy chaplain would be ever ready to lend his services, gracefully insinuating that marriages were not
forbidden on board.'
November 9.—Left Panama on October 30, and
steamed down the coast without incident of much
interest. One day we were beset by sharks, so amused
ourselves by trying the effect of rifle bullets. But they
have such tenacity of life as to receive several bullets
without seeming to feel them. One was caught and
hauled on board. It measured about ten feet, and life
was extinct only on the body being cut  to  pieces. 72
For the last week we have been steaming slowly
along the land, having a good view of the coast of
Ecuador. The scenery here is certainly fine, from the
dense masses of foliage and plants of all descriptions
growing most luxuriously in a wild state. We also
passed the Esmeralda River, considered at one time a
great field for emeralds and diamonds, but which idea
has long since been given up. Not that, probably, precious stones are not here, for we find in this continent,
wherever civilisation has penetrated, hidden treasures
are revealed, but because the climate and desolation are
such that it would daunt the greatest energy. Only
one settlement did we pass the whole way down, and
that was a Dutch village. Yesterday afternoon we
arrived at Payta, a small town in the northern part of
Peru, but deriving some importance from being a calling place for mail-steamers, and the seaport town of
Piura, about forty miles inland. There is nothing picturesque about the appearance of Payta ; sand only is
to be seen on approaching, and its sole recommendation
is a good harbour.
We observed, on entering, two or three large merchant ships, full of coolies from Macao, who were being
landed on rafts. They will be taken down to Callao,
and there most likely sold. This civilised slave-trade
is very paying, but, to our ideas, worse than what we
have expended so many valuable lives to put down on
the coast of Africa. These unfortunate people, if not
forcibly kidnapped, are morally so j entrapped by fair
but false promises—generally when under the influence Ch. V.
of opium—and believe, though they don't know where
they are going to, that it is gold-digging, or some
other self-enriching process, but from which celestial
dream they are speedily awakened. Paying a visit to
the shore, I passed by the temporary quarters of these
deluded wretches. From such a number having been
crowded on board ship, many had lost the use of their
limbs, while others appeared in a dying state from
insufficient nourishment. At the distribution of a few
cigars amongst the worst cases, great surprise and
gratitude were manifested by signs, lifting their hands
to heaven in a most significant and pitiful manner.
Payta, like most Peruvian towns, is dirty. The
houses are built chiefly of bamboo and mud, the streets
narrow, and the whole appearance of the town uninteresting in the extreme. Such was not the case in
time gone by; for it is but 130 years ago since Lord
Anson, when on his famous voyage round the world,
hearing of the riches stored up in Payta, landed a
party of men, sacked and burnt the place, sparing
only two churches, the remains of which stand now—
at least, the outer walls. Inside can be seen traces of
the conflagration in the blackened remnants of ornament, but which are enough to show that the tale of
riches is not untrue.
There is a small river, about twenty miles from
here, abounding with alligators, and having other kind
of shooting round about. I subjoin a narrative of the
adventures of three, who were ambitious of obtaining
a skin of that scaly monster of tropical rivers. ■■
Alligators !    By Jove, the very idea of seeing some,
to   say   nothing   of  having  a   shot  at   them,  was,
indeed, a treat, after having been penned up on board
ship for several weeks ;  so, hearing of the good sport
to be had at the River Chira, twenty miles from Payta,
a worthy trio determined to pay it a visit, in defiance
of the  many  discomforts  said  to   accompany  such
undertakings.    Accordingly, having procured the necessary leave, we went on shore, with only rugs, guns,
and ammunition, taking no thought for the morrow,
as is generally the case with sailors on a cruise.   However, fortune  favoured us—that sweet little cherub,
who sits up aloft, did not on this occasion forget to
look  after  the  wants  of ' poor Jack.'     With some
difficulty we procured three horses, and, once fairly
mounted, were not long in getting well clear of the
town, following the direction given us, to keep along
the beach for about ten miles, till we came to an Indian
village.    The ride was not an unpleasant one—along
a narrow path, overhung by lofty perpendicular cliffs
of sandstone, with here and there  a large boulder
ready to free itself from mother earth, showing unmistakable signs of frequent landslips.   By letting our
little steeds choose their own pace—a quick, shuffling
kind of amble—we reached the village in less than two
hours.    Dismounting at the house of the Alcalde to
refresh both man and beast, we enquired the way to
the establishment of a certain Senor Cap-i-tan Gale, an
Englishman who had  settled  on   the  banks of the
river, and to whom we had been recommended to go. Ch. V.
Understanding   our   Anglo-Spanish,  in   less  than  a
quarter-of-an-hour we were again in the saddle, accompanied   by  a   'nigger'  for  a  guide,  who rode
' pillion ' on the strongest beast.    Having heard that
the person to whose quarters we were now bound had
settled in these parts, we expected to find a large farmhouse—forgetting  for  the moment that we were in
Peru; and, indeed,  when,   after  riding over dreary
miles of sand, passing occasionally the carcase of a
dead horse or donkey—the latter a sight as rarely
seen as ' a dead drummer'—we came to some fertile
land, thickly wooded in many places, in the middle of
which was a little shrubbery, having a gated entrance,
we were rash enough to entertain ideas of there being
some Miss G.'s, music, &c, after dinner.    However,
we were soon aroused from our reverie by sighting an
ugly-looking   house,  built  of bamboo,  and  by the
yelping of dogs, followed by the appearance of a tall,
well-built individual, who immediately welcomed us,
and desired us ' to accept the poor hospitality at his
disposal.'    And very thankful we were, too, after our
long, dusty ride, rough though our quarters might be;
but our host, being a worthy type of the rough-and-
ready old whaling captain, did  all in his power to
make us comfortable; and soon afterwards his wife (a
native of Peru) prepared a goodly repast for us, in the
shape of a stew of some kind, but of which we were
too hungry to inquire the ingredients.    Our bed consisted of dried Indian corn-shucks, spread on the floor,
a great deal more comfortable than may appear, as we n
were only awakened at dawn of day by the chattering
and squabbling of some thousands of parrots and
paroquets. The hut was only a stone's throw from
the river; the ground all round, therefore, was very
fertile, without requiring irrigation, consequently
Indian corn and grain were plentiful, as also birds of
all description. Further sleep being out of the question, we rose, and, shouldering our guns, strolled
forth to see what we could find for breakfast. We
had not to go far before our bag was well filled with
wild doves, pigeons, grey squirrels, parrots, and a
species of iguano, common to Peru, called a ' capaz,'
all of which we knew would make a good stew; so,
returning to our abode, we turned over the spoil to
the old lady, who, with great alacrity, soon produced
an excellent meal. Arrangements had been made for
our visit to the mouth of the river the following day
in search of alligators, in a large canoe, and, as it was
our last day, we sent the horses on to meet us there, in
order to ride home, as it would have taken two days
to paddle back up-stream to the hut, whereas it only
took four or five hours to come down. The latter
part of the day we spent in preparing our guns and
chattels. In the evenings the old skipperx and his
friend ' Joe' would entertain us with most wonderful
stories of their whaling career, and hair-breadth
escapes. However, he really was a splendid shot, and
had been known to pierce an orange resting on the
palm of his friend Joe's hand, at fifty yards, in the
main street of Payta, before an astonished crowTd of Ch. V.
spectators. The British Consul is able to vouch for
the truth of this, having been an eye-witness. His
periodical visits to Payta used to cause his old wife no
small amount of alarm as to his safety, as he generally
returned under a ' heavy crowd of canvas.' Whilst
we were there—in fact, the day before our trip down
the river—our friend made one of these visits, and
returned in a very amusing frame of mind, causing us
much laughter the whole evening at his extraordinary
The next morning ■ we started in the canoe down
the river, with the old ' skipper' and ' Joe,' and had
not proceeded very far before we saw several alligators
slip into the water at our approach, but, being so much
the colour of the muddy bank, made it to the inexperienced eye very difficult to discern them. Presently we discovered, in the distance, a spit of land, on
which were four or five young alligators basking in the
sun. We at once made for them, but, to our disappointment, they all slipped into the water, except
one. He was fired at, when about forty yards distant,
and hit just behind the fore-shoulder, but it required
another bullet to prevent him from wriggling off the
bank and to put an end to his struggles. We at once
landed, and one of the men from the canoe proceeded
to get him ready for embarkation, by cleansing, &c.
Whilst this was going on, we were all, with -one exception, standing in the mud, looking at the prize,
when, to our astonishment, three of the alligators were
seen returning to land not many yards off, and one, mwmm
bolder than the rest, advanced about ten feet out of
water, when a well-directed ball laid him on his
'beam-ends,' breaking his fore-shoulder, and passing
clean through the body. This being number two, we
thought ourselves very lucky, and were quite prepared
to return. Several others were hit on the way downstream, but they managed to roll into the water, and,
of course, sunk. It was a grand sight, when at the
mouth of the river, to see some hundreds of these big
beasts swimming along, with only their eyes and nose
above water. Landing, we found our horses ready for
us, so, securing our alligators for the journey, with a
bag of smaller game, said farewell to our worthy old
host, and started for Payta, with many regrets that our
short but pleasant cruise had come to an end.
It was very late before we got on board that day, as,
during the ride back, one of the horses broke down,
and positively refused to carry its rider, who had to
dismount and share one of the others ; then, by dint of
blows, we managed to drive the poor tired-out animal
on before us till we reached Payta.
November 15.—Left Payta yesterday for Concepcion.
The mail came in on the 13th, but brought little news,
except as regards the war—a telegram to say that
Metz had capitulated, and Bazaine surrendered with
150,000 men. This disaster, no doubt, will alter the
whole complexion of affairs, and go far towards
strangling the slight hope the French had of shaking
off the grip of their enemy. It is difficult to imagine
a man surrendering such a large army without a battle, Ch. V.
especially when the Prussian army outside the walls-
could not have outnumbered them by much, if at all;
only time can show whether the scarcity of food was
such as to palliate a step which deprived France of a
large body of men at a most critical time.
Concepcion, though not more than two thousand
miles in a direct line from Payta, is considerably
more so by the route that ships under sail must necessarily take in order to reach it, and the passage varies
at different times of the year, according to the southeast trade-wind being more or less to the eastward,
enabling you either to lay well to the southward, or
else forcing you out from land a long distance before
you are far enough-south to pick up a westerly wind.
So there are a good many opinions as to when we shall
arrive; December 20 being considered about the day.
November 23.—For the last week we have had
nothing but light winds, so made slow progress, but now
are beginning to feel the trade-wind much stronger.
This ocean is so vast that even now it can hardly be
said that the winds in different localities are as well
known as those of the Atlantic, more especially since
our knowledge is based upon the experience of a certain
number of vessels following more or less in the same
path. That experience in this quarter has not, for
several reasons, such a wide field as in the Atlantic.
Consequently, peculiarities of wind and weather are
often found here apparently opposed to all previous
experience, and preventing any certainty of prophecy
as to what may be encountered, but in reality only OUR JOURNAL IN THE PACIFIC        Ch. V.
another link which, if gathered like the rest, will
complete our chain of knowledge of the vagaries of
winds and currents.
In the way of amusement last Wednesday was a
lecture from A on Charles I.—a defence of him,
which led to some debate afterwards. The Minstrels
gave a performance last night, and, under the able
presidency of ' Massa Johnson,' kept up the reputation
they had earned on a previous occasion, ' Bones,' as
usual, being the chief contributor.
November 26.—Yesterday we had a very interesting
incident to vary the monotony of our sea-cruise. For
the last three days we have been startled by the unusual
sight of a ship, apparently a whalef. In fact we knew
she must be a whaler by the look-out men at her
masthead; so, knowing we were now approaching the
whale country, kept an observing eye upon her.
Yesterday forenoon we observed her send away three
boats; she was then several miles to windward, so we
were not able to make out much, except that we could
see the white spray thrown up by the whales when
blowing, therefore concluded they had got in amongst
a ' school.' This proved correct, as in the chase they
gradually closed on us till we could see everything
distinctly. It was quite exciting. We saw the boat
approach to where some six or eight whales were
sporting, and, after a few fruitless efforts in throwing
the harpoon, one was at last transfixed. Away he
went, and away flew the boat, now one way, now
another.     They had  gradually been approaching us Ch. V.
all this time, and were now quite close, so we took
in sail in order to observe their movements better.
Another boat had harpooned a whale, but lost it after
a short chase. In the meantime, the first boat held on
manfully, the whale evidently getting sluggish and exhausted, blowing up great quantities of blood and
water, which tinged the water all round when he
came to the surface. They were sperm whales of an
enormous size—I should think quite forty or fifty feet
long, and of great bulk. We were now right in the
middle of them, and one boat was so close to the ship
that they had to pull out of the way to prevent being
run down, no doubt wishing us anywhere else. The
first whale was now nearly killed, but as they were
gradually getting further away from us to leeward, we
felt obliged to waste no more time, but proceed on
our way with every wish for their success. Whaling is
hard and dangerous work, requiring great caution in approaching a ' school' such as we have just passed; then
skill and presence of mind to guide the boat after
striking—a sweep of the tail would, if it struck the
boat, send it fifty feet into the air. Fortunately, like
other large animals, they do not know their own power.
December 9.—For the last fortnight we have been
making good progress, so that by the 4th we had run
out of the influence of the trade-winds into the region
of ' calms.' But two days' steaming brought us into
contact with a fine, westerly wind, which we were not
slow to take advantage of, and which is now carrying
us along towards the coast of Chile.
Lectures, free and easy entertainments, and minstrelsy
still continue to afford some relaxation at a time when
one day differeth from another only in being somewhat
nearer your destination. Were it otherwise, were these
days replete with interesting incidents, such a journey
as that from San Francisco to Concepcion would require
a volume, instead of being without difficulty comprised
in a chapter. It is this dearth of matter which renders
it so difficult to make a journal interesting when it has
to deal with the sea portion of our life.
December 15.—Anchored off Tome in the Bay of
Concepcion to-day after a fairly good passage of thirty-
one days from Payta. Thus comes to an end the first
part of our cruise in southern waters. This is our most
southern point at present, and we shall proceed to work
up the coast of this continent, until finally striking away
to the far west, resting only from our labours for any
period when snugly anchored in Esquimalt Harbour.
Then after resting a few months, we shall go forth for
the last time to visit fresh scenes, and follow a new
track, until the time comes for the most welcome one
of all, viz., to old England. Ch. XI.
We arrived in Concepcion Bay, and anchored off Tome
on December 16, where we found the ' Cameleon'
awaiting us, having brought our mails down from
Valparaiso, besides some officers come out from England to join the ' Zealous.'
It is only of late years that Tome has risen into
notice as likely to become the chief seaport town in
the south of Chili. Its local advantages are beginning
to be recognised, situated as it is at the entrance of the
bay, possessing a good anchorage and all the requisites
for carrying on the exportation of merchandise, far
superior to Talcahuano, the now most generally used
anchorage, from its being nearer to Concepcion, the
base of operations and.depot for supplies. But when a
railway—at present under contemplation—is completed
to Tome, it will speedily develop into a prosperous commercial seaport town—that is, in comparison with its
present state, and according to the resources of the
country. At present it is in its infancy and about as
uninteresting* a town as can be imagined, but the
country round is very pretty and productive.  This was
G 2 84
summer, and it was not uncommon during a ramble to
come across large fields of strawberries.
Concepcion is distant from Tome about twenty
miles, and the only now existing public means of locomotion is a coach which runs between the two places
twice a week; so desiring to see Concepcion, and
hearing, though it was summer, snipe could be found
in the vicinity, we made up u party to go for a couple
of days. Accordingly on Saturday morning, after an
early breakfast, we went on shore to where the coach
started, the sight of which nearly caused us to repent
our determination, knowing We had to travel so many
miles in this most ancient and extraordinary-looking
conveyance, innocent of springs, a box on wheels, many
feet from the ground, with just room for the party
inside and out. It is supposed to have been taken from
the Incas, and no doubt something of the kind may be
seen in the wilds of Ireland to this day. It was drawn
by five horses all abreast of each other, and in attendance was a picturesque-looking individual called a
' guacho,' habited in a dirty ' poncho,' big spurs, and
' sombrero,' who rode by the side of the coach, and
on coming to any steep place, or when fording a river,
hooked his horse in front of the others, and making
a fiendish noise, urged them over the obstacle. The
' poncho ' is a sort of blanket, many-coloured, and in
the middle is a slit for the head to come through: it
then lays over the shoulders, making a most comfortable paletot.
We started at 8 a.m., and after proceeding about a Ch. VI.
mile along the sea shore, ascended by a winding road
up a steep hill. But the beautiful scene which met
the eye on arriving at the top amply repaid us, for we
found it overlooked one of those charming little valleys
seldom seen save in South America, and generally far
inland. Here on each side were the rugged and
barren cliffs, and then down at your feet, miniatured
by distance, the green plain partly devoted to cattle
and partly to grain, whilst by the side of a small river
almost hid by a grove of trees was the farm or ranche.
Such a peaceful, quiet spot; lucky the man who owned
such an oasis. The road was in some places very
rough, and we were much jolted, but whenever we
came to a good level piece of ground the horses were
put to racing speed, and though five abreast may seem
an awkward mode of driving, our coachman managed
his team with great dexterity.
The country we passed through appeared to possess
good qualities for cultivation, though from the aridmess
of the soil at that height, vegetation was 'of stunted
growth. Many plants common to England thrive in
this region. Especially to be noticed was the ' calceolaria,' growing in great profusion by the roadside, but
for the cause I have mentioned not attaining that richness in its wild state, to which it can be- brought by
careful training. We passed through the village of
Penko—the site of old Concepcion before it was destroyed by an earthquake—and arriving at the halfway
house, descended to ease our jolted limbs whilst the
horses were changed ; after which, proceeding on our 86
way, we were not sorry when Concepcion came in
sight, having been buffeted about for two hours and
a half, beside which the dust and heat were as nothing.
The town from outside has a most insignificant
appearance. This is caused by the lowness of the
houses, nearly all of which have but one storey, from
the prevalence of earthquakes ; for they know not the
day or the hour when one of those fearful visitations
may take place, and bury the town in ruins. It is a
common belief there that Concepcion is destroyed
every forty years, and as it is now about that number
of years since its last total destruction took place they
are beginning to look forward to building a new town,
which accounts for the present dwellings being nearly
all single storied, and chiefly constructed of a species
of clay. I have felt the shocks of two or three earthquakes, but I had never experienced one strong
enough to enable me to realise the peculiar feeling of
dread attached to them—that overwhelming fear which
renders men childish and fills women with the frenzy
of madness at the sight of universal destruction worked
by unseen hands—until the morning following our
arrival, when suddenly, whilst still in bed, the whole
house began to shake violently as if heavily-laden
waggons were passing rapidly through the street. But
the absence of noise disposed of that idea, and the
shaking continuing and increasing, I rightly concluded
it was an earthquake, and was on the point of rushino-
into the street, the proper course to pursue, unmindful
ofthe scantiness of my attire, when fortunately for the Ch. VI.
modest (?) susceptibilities of the natives, it subsided,
and I went no further than the threshold. The inhabitants, however, are so accustomed to these shocks
that they do not suspend their daily avocations until
the houses begin to fall, when their terror is in proportion to their former indifference.
The earthquake I have alluded to, which took place
in 1835, and proved so ruinous to Concepcion, is well
described by Mr. Darwin, as follows :—
' At ten in the morning of the 20 th of February, very-
large flights of sea-fowl were noticed passing over the
city of Concepcion from the sea coast towards the
interior. At forty minutes past eleven a shock of an
earthquake was felt, slightly at first, but increasing-
rapidly. During the first half minute many persons
remained in their houses, but then the convulsive
movements were so strong that the alarm became
general, and they all rushed into open places for
safety. The horrid motion increased; people could
hardly stand; buildings wavered and tottered; suddenly an awful overpowering shock caused universal
destruction ; and in less than six seconds the city was
in ruins. The stunning noise of falling houses; the
horrible cracking of the earth, which opened and
shut rapidly and repeatedly in numerous places; the
desperate, heartrending outcries of the people; the
blinding, smothering clouds of dust; the utter helplessness and confusion; and the extreme horror and alarm
can neither be described or fully imagined. About:
half an hour after the shock, the sea having retired 88
so much that vessels laying in seven fathoms water
were aground, and every rock and shoal in the bay
was visible, an enormous wave was seen forcing its way
through the western passage, which separates Quiri-
quina Island from the mainland. This terrific swell
swept the steep shores of everything moveable within
thirty feet (vertically) from high water mark, and then
rushed back again in a torrent which carried every-
thing within its reach out to sea. A second wave, and
then a third, apparently larger than the preceding ones,
completed the ruin. Earth and water trembled, and
exhaustion appeared to follow their mighty efforts.'
This account, from occurrences of a similar nature
which have taken place since, we know to be no exaggeration, and there is nothing to warrant a belief that
it may not take place again at any moment. I cannot
but think that even Mark Tapley, if he had come here,
would have taken some credit to himself for being
jolly under such circumstances.
But to return from this little digression about earthquakes to a less interesting topic, our own selves. The
town, as we drove through, bore no signs of an impending fate; all was clean and cheerful, and if the
houses had not imposing exteriors, an occasional glance
at the insides gave evidence of that taste in and love of
sumptuous furniture, eminently a characteristic of the
Chilians. Our driver pulled ■ up at the principal hotel
(Del Commercio), I should think the largest house in
the town, kept by an Englishman ; and whilst discussing
a hearty lunch, we made inquiries about the shooting
y Ch. VI.
The answers were vague, but at last, by the assistance
of our landlord, we found we should have to go six miles
out of the town, so, in preference to walking, bargained
for a little further acquaintance with the vehicle that
had already brought us so far. The last state was
worse than the first, for we had to pass through some
gateways, always impassable to five horses abreast, and
often so to the vehicle itself. But the two- outsiders
being disengaged, the gates were charged ; victory to
the wheels was the consequence, and we alighted in
safety on some level marsh ground, though, as it was
now summer, nearly dry, and we found partridge
instead of snipe. The latter, here as everywhere else,
migrate during the summer months, though a stray
bird may be picked up occasionally. Not far from
this spot we came upon a large wood, easy to be
traversed from one end to. the other, in which we found
a great number of wild pigeon—large, dark-plumaged
birds, and excellent eating—which gave us good sport,
being assisted thereto by numbers of big hawks, who
kept ending over the trees, then suddenly swooping
down, would dislodge a covey of pigeons. The curious
thing was that these hawks seemed to know exactly
what we were about. They had no fear of us, but
would come close to the gun when fired, collecting all
round as if ready to pick up any wounded bird that
fell. By this time it was dark, and though our sport
had been mild, we returned to the hotel in a very
contented frame of mind, which anyone can understand who has landed after a long voyage. OUR JOURNAL IN THE PACIFIC       Ch. VI.
Early the next morning we drove out in two light
traps to another place not so far; to reach which wTe had
to pass through a level, park-like plain, studded with
shrubs, but hardly a tree to be seen, that appeared
peculiarly well adapted for a racecourse from its
smoothness. We got cut by the side of a marsh, in
the middle of which was a small lake, but almost unapproachable from high reeds and deep mud. But
we managed to kill a few ducks as they flew across,
which were brought out by the dog. After^this we
came across some snipe and wild swans, one of which
latter we managed to obtain, with several of the former.
Having now secured a very good bag, we returned to
the town. Passing through the Plaza we found a large
assemblage listening to a good military band, and many
looks of astonishment were turned on the strangers.
No wonder! an Englishman's shooting costume is to
these languid people, who hate to walk five yards, the
embodiment of mystery. They cannot understand how
we like it for walking's sake, or upon the mere chance
of getting a few birds. But though greatly wanting in
energy, the Chilians have many good qualities. I think
there is no doubt of their being the foremost race on
the South American continent, and they show visible-
signs of improvement year by year. For, unlike many-
other of these countries, acknowledging the benefits to
be derived from foreign energies and development, they
encourage their presence amongst them, and to Englishmen are ever hospitable.
It was with great reluctance next morning that we Ch. VI.
exchanged our comfortable quarters at the hotel for
our old friend the coach, and drove back to Tome
without further incident. That afternoon there was
a dance on board, and all the residents about Tome
came off to the ship. We then had an opportunity of
seeing performed the ' sama-cueca,' the dance of the
country ; music, a guitar, accompanied by singing of a
monotonous character. It is somewhat after the style
of the Spanish fandango, and is easily learnt. Indeed,
one of our officers on this occasion showed such proficiency, that we were led to conclude that it was not
the first time he had figured in the same performance.
We left Tome on December 21, and arrived at the
island of Juan Fernandez early in the morning of the
24th. It is difficult to imagine a more impressive bit
of scenery than that which greets the eye on coming
on deck, and seeing it for the first time after anchoring. We lay close to the shore, which went up almost
perpendicular to a height in some places of 3,000 feet,
towering above us like a huge giant. These heights
faced us in the shape of a semi-circle, and to all
appearance we lay in the middle of an extinct crater,
of which the other half of the circle had been thrown
into the sea, and now formed our anchorage. Every
appearance justified this idea. No doubt a vast eruption took place many years ago, which produced this
wonderful formation. At night, particularly, it looks
very grand, and from its closeness and height appears
to be rhdit over your head, standing out clear and
distinct against the sky. 92
The island belongs to Chili, and there are now resident on it five families, possessing nineteen children,
three cows, four sheep, several horses, and goats innumerable, which latter abound on the other side of the
island. The principal personage in this little community spoke English remarkably well. He told us
they were perfectly happy; never were ill; and had
no desire to leave the island : a state of bliss comprised
in those three statements difficult to be understood:
but though only attributable to a lowered state of the
intellectual faculties, a state which it would be good
to meet with more frequently amongst cultivated nations.
Juan Fernandez was discovered in 1567, but from that
time I should imagine no advantage was taken of its
discovery—except occasional visits from buccaneers—
till the year 1705, when Alexander Selkirk was placed
on shore here for mutiny towards his captain. For more
than four years he lived alone on this island, when at last
he was discovered and taken off by a Captain Rogers,
amongst whose crew was a man who had been on
board Selkirk's ship when he was put on shore. From
Selkirk's narrative Defoe is said to have derived and
written his wonderful book,' Robinson Crusoe.' Whether
he did so or not has been the subject of much controversy. I will not attempt to lay down a dictum, for I
do not think it matters now in the slightest either way.
But in the memory of Defoe, who, as a writer, has had
few equals before or since, and for the benefit of any
interested in the question, I must say that having been
led in the imagination to picture this island somewhat Ch. VI.
according to the book, there is nothing in Juan Fernandez to give rise to the belief that Defoe could have
received from Selkirk anything but the idea from which
he constructed his famous romance; moreover, it was
not published till the year 1719, ten years after the
return of Selkirk. That Defoe took the greater part—
as he has been accused—of his story from Selkirk's
journal, it is impossible for any one who has seen the
island of Juan Fernandez to believe, and, seeing, form
some idea of what the life of Selkirk must have been
with the materials at his command, the vegetable and
animal life upon the island. His cave can be seen
now, cut in a sand cliff, with the shelves in it, used
for cooking utensils, &c, so that unless we concede
the almost impossible theory that when it was visited
by a fearful earthquake in 1760 the whole island
changed its nature and appearance, we must acquit
Defoe of plagiarism. If he did read Selkirk's journal,
it. had the effect simply of making him strive in every
way to show there was no connection or similitude the
one with the other.
About 2,000 feet high is a small gap in the ridge
to which it is said Selkirk clambered every day to look
out for passing vessels. The day after our arrival being
Christmas-day, we determined to celebrate it by a visit
to this spot.
The first thing you see on landing is a
row of caves, cut in a small sand cliff. In the beginning of this' century the island was used by the Chilians as a convict establishment for the worst of their
criminals, and they did a great deal in making it ac- 94 OUR JOURNAL IN THE PACIFIC       Ch. VI.
essible to man in many parts.    These caves are the
jells where they were placed for punishment, and one
had evidently been used as a chapel. Now they were
full of ferns, &c, which gave the interiors an artificial
beauty otherwise of a painful sombreness. These
convicts were withdrawn somewhere about the year
The highest part of the island is called the ' Anvil,'
from its shape, and rises up nearly perpendicular about
3,000 feet. In order to find some way of getting to' the
top, any convict who should do so was offered a free
pardon. Whether this was an attempted solution of the
)roblem, 'What to do with our criminals,' or it was
really desired for some reason to make it accessible, is
not known.   Probably it answered its purpose, for many Ch. VI.
were killed in the attempt, and I do not think any
human being has surmounted that particular part.
After passing through the small cluster of houses
J. o o
built of mud, the difficulty of our undertaking commenced. The path we followed had evidently been
made by the convicts, and must have been a laborious
task. Passing through fig, peach, and cherry trees,
all growing luxuriantly, through myrtle, juniper, and
lemon trees, the ascent now appeared nearly perpendicular, compelling us to rest every twenty or thirty
yards, till we came to the more thickly wooded part,
where the ferns grew abundantly, and in variety,
many species growing here not to be found elsewhere.
A joyful shout proclaimed us at the summit, and 96
reading the tablet placed here by H.M.S. ' Topaze,' to
the memory of Selkirk, in 1868. From our position
the view was magnificent, for it embraced the whole
island, and the sea for miles round. We stood on a
narrow ridge not two yards broad, each side of which
went down nearly perpendicular. It seemed as if
there had been two craters side by side, and our ridge
was the division between them, for it continued at an
irregular height the length of the island. Sitting there,
musing upon this freak of nature rising up in the
middle of the ocean, and wondering what new phase
it would assume at the next token of those hidden
laws which produce such wondrous results, the mind
naturally reverted back to that solitary figure gazing
from this spot day after day, in hope each time that
the eye might rest upon some welcome speck in the
distance, till darkness coming on compels him to return
to his gloomy cave, and try in sleep to forget that
existence to him was but in name, and barely worth
sustaining if it were not for that slight glimmerino- of
hope which in man's most desperate situations is
always granted by a merciful Creator. Starting up
from this reverie, and giving an involuntary glance
dowu as if to make sure that the good ship was still
where we had left her snugly at anchor, by the approach of the sun to the" horizon we saw it was time
to return. Not forgetting that ancient custom and
privilege of an Englishman to cut his name in the
uttermost parts of the earth, we commenced the descent, and found it comparatively easy, goino- on board Ch. VI.
with an excellent appetite for our Christmas dinner^
when absent friends were not forgotten; and it was
voted unanimously that there are many worse places to
spend Christmas-day in than Juan Fernandez Island.
We arrived at Valparaiso on December 28, and
saluted the flag of Chili, as customary. Here we found
H.M. ships ' Charybdis ' and ' Cameleon'. in the bay ;
two Chilian men-of-war, the 'Esmeralda' and ' General
O'Higgins,' with the French and our own storeship,
besides a large number of merchant ships and steamers.
Valparaiso is situated at the foot and on the slope of
a hill, or rather of many hills, whose crests are joined
in one long ridge. The side of the hill to seaward of
the town is now strongly fortified, but the guns are all
I en barbette.' They are of all sorts and sizes, consisting mostly of American rifled guns, with Chilian
bronze and some French, all rifled, besides English
6 8-pounder smooth bores. The bay, on the other side
of the town, is also protected by a few batteries, where
chiefly Rodman and a few other American rifled guns
are mounted. All these batteries have been completed
since the bombardment of Valparaiso by the Spaniards
in 1866.
The Bay of Valparaiso is open to the northward;
but a good anchorage is obtained at this season of the
year, as southerly winds prevail. We anchored close
to the French storeship, hi about thirty fathoms of
water, for the bay is deep. One great disadvantage
here is the strong breeze that blows nearly every afternoon, bringing off with it clouds of dust from the foot
H '98
Oh. VI.
of the hills, though it does not generally last during
the summer more than five or six hours. In the winter
the ' northers' cause great damage to ships and property, and all efforts to build a substantial landing-
place to withstand the force of these gales have hitherto
proved unavailing. Now in course of construction is
a sea-wall, the stone for which is detached by blasting
from the side of the hills.
The town proper consists of a couple of streets, between two or three miles long, running parallel at the
foot of the hills. The street tramway, or as it is called,
the ' Ferro Carril' system, is here in use, and answers
well, except that as the streets are in some places very
narrow, the lines are placed much too close to the
small footpath, in order to give room for other vehicles
in the road. There does not appear to be the attention
paid to cleanliness here which might be expected from
experience of other Chilian towns. This, to a great
extent, may be attributed to and excused in the fact of
its being a large commercial seaport town whose traffic
is yearly increasing, but possessed of no adequate
means of loading or unloading vessels, which is done
by the means of large barges. But there is no excuse
for the absolute squalidness and dirt of the upper part,
where vice is allowed to revel with impunity, and
danger lurks to the unwary stranger even in the day
time. Here sewers are unknown, or not considered
requisite, and as there is in addition an almost total
absence of water, it is mainly owing to the strong
southerly winds which prevail during the hot season Ch. VI.
that epidemics. are not common. Several large fires
have occurred of recent years at Valparaiso, and the
new buildings in the lower streets are handsome modern
structures, much superior to the ones destroyed by
fire. English merchants, who have had a large share
in producing the increased prosperity and wealth of
Valparaiso, generally reside above the town on the
crest of one of the lower ridges of lulls, where also is
the English church. Other ridges are occupied by
Germans, &c, and by all who can afford to live out of
the town; but many ' well-to-do' Chilian families have
residences in the town below. Higher up lie scattered
the dwellings of the poorer set of Chilians and dregs
of society. These houses are built on the very edge
of hills, and one over another, more like a pack
of cards than dwelling-places, with dirty narrow passages leading up amongst them, so that one is inclined
to regret that earthquakes are not violent here, or else
these wretched houses would soon come down.
It is a well-known fact that English naval officers
have not been received so well at Valparaiso of late
years as formerly. This feeling of coldness, which at
times has amounted to incivility, dates back to the
bombardment of Valparaiso by the Spaniards in 1866,
and is due to the supposition that the British Squadron,
then present in combination with the American, would
prevent it. Whether there were grounds or not for
such a supposition, positive instructions from our
Government left no alternative but to preserve a strict
neutrality.    Little damage was done by the bombard-
h 2 100
Ch. VI.
nient, the Spaniards contenting themselves with destroying a few warehouses, and then departed, but for
a long time there was a very bitter feeling against the
English fleet, difficult to be understood when coming
from their own countrymen. Time, however, has
worn this away, and we found ourselves very hospitably treated, deriving much personal comfort by being
made honorary members of the club—a handsome
building, and well fitted' up—while amongst our
friends were some of the best ' Santiago families,' now
down at Valparaiso for the bathing season, who were
only satisfied when we treated their houses as our
homes, whose kindness it would be difficult to forget,
and where young ladies, whose eyes sparkled with
vivacity, tried all they could to instil a little of the
Spanish language on our willing memories. It was not
long before the usual afternoon dance took place on
board, and, one or two thus pleasantly spent, showed
it was a retaliation all approved of. But the entertainment of all was due to the theatrical talent dis-.
played by our dramatic company, which had been in
the process of organisation for some time. Everything
being at last complete, they announced a performance
on board, which was attended by a select party of
friends from the shore, and proved a great success for
a first attempt.    The dignity of Lieut. F , and his
well-acted indignation as Major Rattan in quest of his
wife, in the farce ' Ici on parle Franqais,' cannot easily
be forgotten, or the acting of Mr. B , whose natural
suavity of manner, and knowledge of the French Ian- Ch. VI.
guage, enabled him to take the part of the I Young
Frenchman' with great credit, whilst the deportment
of the young ladies, Messrs. F , A , and M .,
showed what a narrow escape they must have had of
belonging to the other sex, and last, but not least,
Mr. 0 , as the little fussy Mr. Spriggins, was inimitable.    In  the  second piece, ' Turn him out,' the
ease and nonchalance with which Lieut. W did
the part of disturber of domestic happiness pleased his
audience vastly, while Mr. C fairly brought down
the house when he appeared as Nicodemus Nobbs,
and showed in that difficult character for an amateur
an aptitude for impersonation not often met. The
curtain fell amid great applause, and immediately the
deck was cleared for a dance. In a few minutes an
entirely new scene was being enacted, which was kept
up with great spirit until a late hour.
There is at Valparaiso an excellent cricket club,
sustained by the English residents, and they, being
numerous, can bring a formidable eleven into the field.
Among them, are some university and many public-
schoolmen, who find in cricket a pleasing relaxation
from business when the hunting season is over. They
labour under some disadvantage, as the ground is
on the top of an exceeding high hill, which makes
practice an arduous undertaking, unless a horse is
called into requisition. During our stay we played
two matches with the V.C.C., but had to succumb in
Valparaiso has not much to boast of in the way of 10£
Ch. VI.
amusements, though possessing two theatres, but the
want of a public promenade is much felt.
Just before leaving Concepcion we heard by telegram
that war was likely between England and Russia.
This probability was strengthened by the news which
we heard on our arrival here, namely, that Russia
demanded the revision of the treaty of 1856, the
result of the Crimean war. To this demand it would
appear as if England, through the mouth of her Foreign
Minister, sent a polite refusal, and hence the difficulty.
Since then, however, a new face has been put on the
situation by the proposal of Prussia that a conference
should be held in London to settle the dispute, which
has been agreed to, and all immediate apprehensions
are dissipated. In France the long forbearance of the
Prussians before Paris has given way under the
lengthened resistance of the inhabitants, coupled with
the feeling in Germany that the process of starvation,
being slow, should be assisted. - Paris, accordingly, is
being bombarded, and the reply from the forts is
stultified by the admirable disposition of the besiegers'
Santiago, the capital of Chili, is distant only five
hours by rail, and the line is, in many parts, through
extremely pretty country. Some of the plains are
extensive and well cultivated, the chief being Limache,
Quillota, and Santiago, in all of which a perfect system
of irrigation is carried on. and flowers and fruit, as well
as grain, are most abundant. Of the capital a very
short stay prevents my giving anything like a perfect Ch. VI.
description ; but even the casual visitor cannot help
being struck with the beauty of the houses—many of
which are built entirely of marble—and with their
cool-looking courtyards, full of flowers, and, in several
instances, with fountains playing, look most inviting,
especially in the summer, when the heat is great. The
interiors are no less striking, the first houses in London
and Paris being required to supply the most costly
articles of furniture and objects of vertu, not to be
obtained in this country.
Churches are numerous, but lack that beauty of
architecture and internal ornament which one would
be led to expect in a country where priestly power
exercises such influence upon the imaginations of the
inhabitants, and where religion is attended by all the
bigoted observances more appertaining unto the
Middle Ages. This influence was considerably diminished by the catastrophe which occurred at Santiago
in December, 1863, when the 'Church of the Campania ' brilliantly illuminated for evening celebration,
and having within its walls about two thousand people,
chiefly women, caught fire. The means of egress were
so small, and the conflagration was so rapid, that very
few escaped, while great indignation was felt at the
conduct of the priests, who, on this occasion,- were
the first to consult their' own safety, when a little
presence of mind might have stopped the panic, and
prevented such a fearful sacrifice of life. The victims
were all buried (or what was left of them) in the
cemetery, which is full of many beautiful monuments, 104 OUR JOURNAL   IK THE PACIFIC Ch. VI.
but their grave was most simple, consisting of a plot
of ground, about  twenty-five yards square, planted
with flowers and shrubs, enclosed by an iron railing,
while on two small white marble slabs is the following
inscription :—
8   DE  DICIEMBRE  DE  18(33.
2,C00 MAS  6  MENOS.
8TH  OF  DECEMBER. 1863.
2.000 MORE  OR  LESS. Ch. VI.
There seems to lurk under the two last lines a pithy
irony, but a felicity of expression more affecting in its
vivid reality than the costliest tomb.
We visited the site of this church, but nothing now
remains; in fact, it was razed to the ground by the
Government a fortnight after, and we were told it
would never be rebuilt, as this was the third" time of
its being burnt.
The theatre of Santiago had also been burnt iust
previous to our arrival; and as of other public amusements there were none, we were not sorry to say
farewell, and return to the ship, hoping that a future
visit of greater length will enable me to examine
somewhat into the working of the government and
constitution of Chili, with other social questions of
By the time we had to leave Valparaiso many of us
felt quite sorry to part with the pleasant acquaintances
we had made, consoling ourselves, however, with the
hope of meeting again in the course of a year or so,
and when we left the bay on February 6, for Coquimbo,
the waving of handkerchiefs from many windows
showed that  our  friends  on shore wished us ' good
r 106
Cn. VII.
' Voyages detain the mind by a perpetual occurrence
and expectation of something new,' says an old writer,
and therein he was to a great extent right, though he
should have gone on to say that these expectations
often are not realised, and that travelling dispels many
illusions which we have fondly cherished. Who that
has been to Persia brings away any of the ideas with
which his romantic brain once teemed. Can we find
aught in the Arabs noble and picturesque: we now
■know them for thieving, dirty rascals, and their country
a sandhill. Does the noble red man under the light of
personal inspection retain any of those attributes with
which, through the medium of Cooper and Mayne
Reid, we have always invested him: now it is imbecility
instead of silent dignity ; cunning instead of sagacity;
treachery instead of courage. But in truth all things
must suffer by comparison with the imagination, and in
solitary cases only is the adage borne out that ' truth
is stranger than fiction.' This has been brought home
to us with great force since we came south, for it would ■PR
Ch. VII.
require to be of a very imaginative turn of mind were
one to assert as a firm conviction that there is anything
particularly inviting in the general aspect of the ports
on the coast of Chili and Peru, or that the inhabitants
were gifted with any qualities calling for much admiration. This feeling predominated during our visit to
Coquimbo, where we arrived on February 9, having
had a calm all the way from Valparaiso.
The town is situated on the south-west side of Coquimbo Bay, and is well protected from the prevailing
winds. The peculiar appearance of the surrounding
soil tells you that mines should not be far off. Nor
are they; for thirty miles inland are the coppermines
of Pauncillo, which afford ample employment, both at
the mines themselves, and at Coquimbo and Guayacan,
tb several hundreds of men. About one mile to the
south-west of Coquimbo is the harbour of Port Herra-
dura, on the north side of which is situated the small
village of Guayacan. All the copper from the mines
of Pauncillo, conveyed by train, is smelted either at
the latter place, where there are very extensive works,
or at Coquimbo ; but the largest are at Guayacan.
The latter place is inhabited almost entirely by the
people employed in the smelting works, nearly all of
whom are English ; and a very happy community they
seem to be. The manager, Mr. Francis, has taken great
trouble in improving the dwellings of the workmen,
and in providing comfort for their wives and families.
Through his exertions a school-house and chapel have
been built: there is also a library on a small scale 108
Ch. VII.
established in. the village. The works at Coquimbo
are, as I mentioned before, not so large as those at
Guayacan ; nevertheless they offer employment to a
great number of poor people who would perhaps otherwise have no means of earning a livelihood. All the
copper when ready is sent over to Guayacan, as the
mail steamers call there to ship it, Port Herradura
offering much greater advantages as regards depth of
water, wharfage, &c.
Coquimbo possesses no public buildings of any
importance, and, although only a small trading port,
is a clean, well-built place. The houses are low—
the same as at all other Chilian and Peruvian ports—
on account of the constant fear of earthquakes,
which are so prevalent on the coast. Our main object
in going to Coquimbo was to give our men an opportunity of landing and going through some of those
important military manoeuvres which form part of a
sailor's duties, and make him, when proficient, almost
as good a soldier as he is a sailor. Coquimbo has outside the precincts of the town a good exercising ground,
which the authorities have always granted permission
for our ships to use ; so at six o'clock on the morning
after our arrival the whole army disembarked, and then,
preceded by the band, marched through the town up
to the ground, where they were soon initiated into all
the mysteries of wheeling, marching, and countermarching. It is discipline which enables sailors so
quickly to assume the military exterior, and without
apparent  difficulty be invested with   those   necessary ■H
characteristics usually considered foreign to their nature. It is the possession of this quality when combined with a high standard of intelligence which have
proved their value in India, China, and the Crimea.
This was a curious scene, something new to the natives,
who flocked here in great numbers, bringing fruit and
liquor, for the sun was intensely hot. Beer was permitted, but spirits prohibited, so the discovery of a
native with the latter article led to its being made to
refresh mother earth instead of ' Jack.' Such a despotic
act in a Republic caused indignation, and the executor
was arrested, but strenuous efforts on the part of our
Consul procured his release.
Nine miles from Coquimbo is the town of La Serena,
with a railway between them, so as we were going to
sea the following day another officer and myself paid
it a short visit. On the way, the country we passed
through appeared fertile and well cultivated, though
suffering from a scarcity of water. This day was the
anniversary of a battle between the Chilians and
Spaniards, where the former gained a victory, and now
make a great deal of it. At four in the morning bands
were playing and bells ringing, accompanied by a
salute of twenty-one guns. Here at Serena we found
a copious display of Chilian flags : every house seemed
to possess one. This is often spoken of as the model
town of Chili. It certainly appeared very clean, and
the houses, what one could see of them from the
outside, though low, well constructed. Being a holiday
everybody had gone into the country, and the streets 110
were deserted, so, finding an hotel kept by a Frenchman, who had table d'hdte at five, we entered, and partook of an indifferent dinner, but to which a bottle of
Burgundy and a good cigar reconciled us, after which,
strolling down to the Alameda, a fine promenade about
a mile long, we found a goodly assemblage collected,
a band playing, and a regiment of volunteers firing
feu de pies. They were small men, and appeared
decrepid. Their shoes were apparently too small for
them, so anxious are they to keep their feet within the
smallest possible bounds. We were eyed with some
curiosity, being evidently known as strangers and
1 gringros.' In Chili, but especially at Valparaiso,
Englishmen are known by the name of ' gringos.'
Amongst the lower orders this is so common that if
you talk about Englishmen they don't understand, but
mention ' gringo,' they know at once what you mean".
The literal meaning of the word is [ unintelligible gibberish,' but whether there is a deeper signification
attached, and they use it in contempt, or otherwise, I
was never able to find out.
There being no train back that night we were forced
to return on foot, which we did along the line, and got
back to Coquimbo about ten o'clock. We sailed the
following morning for Arica, where we arrived on
the 19th.
There could not be found a better exemplification
of the great drawback to the advancement of Chili and
Peru resulting from the frequency of earthquakes, than
in Arica, the scene only three years back of one of ■■i
those convulsions, accompanied by a tidal wave of unprecedented dimensions, causing the destruction of the
whole town. The recentness of this event, and the
peculiar circumstances by which it was attended, surround the spot with an interest not to be equalled
anywhere on this side of the continent; so I was glad
to have an opportunity of satisfying a curiosity which
accounts at the time called up.
The site of a seaport town is naturally chosen according to the capacities afforded to the sheltering and
anchorage of vessels, or Arica would never have been
selected for human habitation, lying as it does on very
low ground, encompassed by hills which shut out the
pirrifying breeze, and are destitute of vegetation in the
ST J       O O
slightest degree, but apparently all sand. That, however, is not a peculiarity here, being common to the
whole coast of Boh via and Peru, and it is easy to see
that in mining, not agriculture, must these countries
chiefly exert their energies, for I am convinced that
but a small portion of the riches of Peru have yet been
brought to fight. •
Owing to the unfavourable reasons before mentioned, Arica has at all times been subject to epidemics
of disease—chiefly fever and ague—which are assisted
by other local causes, such as entire disregard to cleanliness, and overcrowding of the miserable dwelling-
places of the lower classes ; seeing which, if one did
not know that exactly the same thing is the case in the
East-end of our own enlightened capital, where can be
found, in spite of philanthropic benefactors and heavy ■H
Ch. VII.
taxation, as much squalidness and vice as anywhere in
the world, we might not be inclined to descend from
our lofty pedestal of neighbourly condemnation, to find
many excuses for these semi-savages which could not
apply to our own, and so withhold perhaps an unjust
In leaving Chili you leave behind all signs of vegetation and cultivation, and the shores of Bolivia and
Peru assume a barren appearance, with that peculiar
coloured soil denoting a dearth of water ajad volcanic
tufa, which extends to the Equator. Just before
arriving at Arica the cliffs overhanging the water were
covered with white like a hoar frost, giving them a
picturesque appearance, which does not require much
examination to tell you is guano, the principal source-
of revenue to Peru; and though some say the stock of
it is beginning to fail, I have no doubt it will last till
some other article as easily procured is discovered possessing as valuable qualities. The ' Salsola weed,'
abounding on the coasts of Vancouver Island and
Sitka, from which kelp is procured, is found to have,
after undergoing a, slight process, a wonderful effect
upon a poor soil, as also the bones of all marine animals.
We anchored in the Bay of Arica, where on the rocks—
in fact all over the Bay—seal and every description of
fish appeared to abound. The former, if time permitted, might have been shot with ease, but an eagerness to get on shore prevented their being disturbed.
Truly on landing it seemed as if the  tragedy of
Pompeii had been enacted  over  again,   and greater ■MMH
Ch. VII.
chaos produced. Could this be the town which all
speak of three years ago as highly prosperous and increasing, with many fine buildings, at one time thought
of as the capital of Bolivia. How different the scene
now j not a vestige remains save a few stones where
these houses had been, and, scattered here and there,
iron pillars and other ornaments of architecture strong
enough even to resist such a combination. The few
houses there worthy to be designated by that name
appear to belong to the different Consuls, while the
natives, deprived of house and home, lucky to have
escaped with life, are obliged to content themselves
with huts, composed of bamboo and matting, much the
same as is used by the Indians of the north.
But the great object of interest to us was to go some
two miles outside the town, where are two ships which
were thrown up inland several hundred yards. There
is, or was, railway communication between Arica and
Tacna, about 36 miles off, so we proceeded along the
line, which runs parallel to the beach. The heat was
great, but as we had heard an adventurous spirit
had established a bar in one of these vessels, we struggled on manfully, with the prospect of quenching our
thirst ere long. We found one ship lying perfectly
upright in a field nearly half a mile from the water's
edge, with but little external injury, except that the
after part of the framework of the paddle-wheel was
bent, just as if here the first force of the wave had
come, before imparting the forward movement. She
was the ' Wateree,' an American man-of-war, about
240 feet long, with powerful engines. The crew were,
I believe, all saved ; in fact she was simply carried up,
deposited ashore some 700 yards, and there left by
the receding wave. At that distance from the water,
with so much soft sand to traverse, and owing to the
shallowness for some distance out, to get her off with
no appliances at hand was  almost an impossibility.
She was therefore sold as she was for 2,000^., the
buyer, I heard, disposing of the guns for more than
double that sum ; and after taking all that was really
valuable out, considered the transaction so profitable
as to warrant his leaving the remainder to gratify the
curiosity or cupidity of travellers.
We scrambled up the paddle-wheel  and on deck. Ch. VII.
All was deserted; no bar, as we had fondly anticipated,
so our thirst remained unslaked. A greater part of the
engines still remained, and what seemed more odd, a
large quantity of spherical shot and shell, apparently
nine-inch Rodman, in perfect condition, otherwise there
was nothing valuable left. The other vessel, the ' America,' also a man-of-war, and sister vessel to a Peruvian
corvette now at Arica, lays about 100 yards from the
edge of the water, and, therefore, though thrown up at
the same time is not such an object of interest as the
other. Another American man-of-war, the 'Fridonier,'
was laying there with anchors down, when she was.
overtaken by the wave. What induced them to lay in
that position when indications of the occurrence had
been given no one can tell, but this huge wave, rapidly
advancing, came upon them. The anchors held, so the
ship, kept down by an invincible force, instead of rising
and being carried onward by the wave, was passed over
by it, swamped, and all on board perished.
The earthquake took place at 5 p.m., and gave a
slight notice of its approach, so that people were able
to clear out of their houses, which were speedily
shaken to the ground, while the earth cracked in many
places. At the same time the sea began to recede,
giving the first warning of the wave. In the meantime
the people, partially recovering from their fright, came
back to their houses in order to try and save some of
their most valuable property, for in addition to other
horrors, lawless bands had begun to pillage, taking
advantage of the confusion that reigned.    Whilst thus
i a 116
variously employed, without heed the wave came upon
them an hour after the earthquake, and submerged
the town. An eyewitness described the scene to us
as something fearful. The people were beside themselves with fright, standing shaking in every limb, not
knowing when they might be destroyed, though a great
number fled out of the town to the neighbouring
heights, and so were saved. During the hour that
intervened between the two calamities, the sea had
receded some distance, then, gathering itself up into a
huge wave several feet high, came on with overwhelming force, not broken, but as a compact mass impelled
by an invisible power. First seizing on the ships I
have mentioned, carrying them on nolens volens, it
then swept over the town, bringing death and destruction to all in its path. The describer of this
wonderful sight stated how, with his wife and children,
he managed to get into a large boat. Thrice did the
waters recede, taking them in the reflux, and thrice
return to sweep over the town, he escaping by a
miracle. Then the raging was succeeded by a calm,
though such was the chaos produced as rendered it
impossible for the survivors to find where their houses
had been.
Though the effects of it were so plainly visible all
round, it was more palpably manifested and vividly
brought before the imagination by visiting the old
cemetery. Many of the graves had been washed away,
and there were several coffins exposed, some of which
were broken up, exposing the hideous contents-.    On*3 Ch. VII.
more ghastly visible than the rest attracted our attention, having the arm and hand projecting up in the air,
with the flesh dried on the bones. Several skulls also
were lying about, and human bones even about the
town. All this, a proof that after a lapse of three
years the place has hardly recovered equanimity
enough to rebury its dead, though a new cemetery is
now building.
Such was this terrible visitation, killing about 300
people, and destroying an immense quantity of property of all descriptions. Whether Arica will regain
the ground it has lost as a seaport town remains to be
seen. Perhaps time, that healer of all things, may
remove the shock occasioned by this event, and fear
of repetition which caused such an exodus. We have
seen cities destroyed and new towns built up on the
same site —ay! even using the same stones—in different parts of South America ; earthquakes looked
upon as an evil to be borne, not fled from—for it is
impossible to say where the next may take place—and
warnings treated with indifference till the evil day
arrives. Perhaps a town disappears, perhaps only a
few houses; neither one nor the other will avail to
prevent after an interval the counterpart appearing
ready to undergo a similar fate. Such a disease must
therefore retard to an enormous extent the advancement of the country. Like parallel diseases of the
body there is as yet no remedy ; the cause even is most
uncertain. Electricity is generally, and I believe most
truly, ascribed as the effecting cause, but what, as in the 118
case at Arica, are the laws regulating this extraordinary
alliance of earth and water it is impossible to say.
It is a curious fact that the following year came
another earthquake upon Arica, more severe than the
preceding, but not doing much damage, there being
nothing left for it to destroy; the water, however, was
not in the least moved. During the afternoon our photographic artist had, under energetic supervision, been
taking views of the ruins and castaway vessels, executed with his usual skill—valuable mementoes of such
an interesting spot, and better descriptive of the scene
than the pen of the most ready writer. All being on
board at 8 p.m., the anchor was got up and we steamed
away slowly to the northward, bound for Islay, 130
miles up the coast, hoping at that place to find as much
to interest, if not to amuse, as we had amongst the
ruins of Arica.
We arrived at Islay on February 21, and the mail
came in a few hours afterwards, bringing most im-
porfant news from Europe. Paris, which had latterly
shown signs of the approaching end, from the few vain
struggles made to break the iron cordon which encircled it, deprived of all hope from the provinces, and
threatened by starvation, has capitulated, and a three
weeks' armistice is proclaimed, to arrange the terms of
peace. Further struggle is now evidently even to
them hopeless, and they must swallow the bitter pill
with a good grace. Thus comes to an end one of the
most extraordinary wars the world has ever seen. Six
months have sufficed to effect a most complete change Ch. VII.
in nearly every part of Europe. A great nation,
hitherto believed to possess unlimited military power,
has had to succumb to its old rival, and now lies at the
mercy of the conquerors. That army believed to be
invincible is annihilated, the whole country overrun by
the invader, the dynasty overthrown, and the Emperor
a prisoner. Before facts of such importance, an accomplishment like the loss of temporal power to the
Pope created but little excitement in the civilised
world, while the union of Prussia with the South
German States, and the revival of the old Empire of
Germany, with the King of Prussia for its head, increases that belief, so common in Germany, that in
course of time the Teutonic race will predominate
throughout Europe, and the Latin race disappear.
The characteristics latterly displayed by the French go
far to confirm this idea, for even their best friends
cannot say that under misfortune they have shown any
great qualities. A lukewarm patriotism and absence
of self-abnegation are serious defects to find in a nation when overtaken by calamitous reverses. Divided
into numerous factions, they could not cast aside their
internal differences in the face of that momentous
struggle, when all should have stood as one man.
When the history of this war comes to be reviewed,
and the French nation placed on their trial, the verdict of the world must be given against them ; and the
heavy damages they will now have to pay will be a
trifling matter compared to the loss of moral prestige
incurred. 120
The arrival of the mail at a place like Islay, with its
welcome accompaniment of letters and papers, was a
most pleasant assistant in rendering agreeable our stay
in a port which even the most enthusiastic traveller
would own to be a trifle uninteresting; but it can be
made less oppressive by a trip to Arequipa, an opportunity of which I was not slow to avail myself; and of
its result I now subscribe an account.
Islay, on the coast of Peru, in latitude 17° south, is
the proper sea-port of Arequipa. The town, a collection of poor unattractive buildings, containing about
eight hundred inhabitants, is situated on the slope of a
bluff, which runs out a considerable distance, terminating in a cluster of rocks, which, together with a chain
of rocky islets, form the bay, and affords sufficient
shelter from any wind that blows on this coast, though
not against the swell which generally rolls in. There
is ample anchoring ground for shipping, and a depth
of water varying from sixteen to thirty fathoms. An
excellent port might be made by filling up the spaces
between the islands, but until the Arequipa railway is
brought on from Mollendo to Islay, nothing will be
done to improve it. Mollendo, a wretched little cove
(about six miles south), has, in the meantime, been
declared the shipping port; but it will be found utterly
inadequate when trade becomes more extensively developed, on account of its confined space, dangerous
entrance, and exposed anchorage outside. Nothing
can be more dreary than the aspect of the country
about Islay ; a chain of bare hills running parallel with Ch. VII.
the coast, slope up from the shore to an elevation of
3,500 feet, and may be considered the coast range of
the Andes. A white ash covered the surface of the
ground, without a blade of grass or shrub to relieve
the eye.
Directly after anchoring, our Consul, one of the
jovial sort, came on board to pay his respects to the
Admiral, and then a party of us accompanied him on
shore. The town does not improve on closer inspection. It, however, has a square and fountain—the
latter decidedly in keeping with the primitive style of
architecture prevailing. Besides the Custom House- —
a tolerable-looking building, but about to be closed—
the only other decent-looking dwelling was the house
of Mr. Gibson, who was absent in Arequipa; but
we were received most hospitably by Mr, Todd, a
Scotchman, at one time connected with the former's
The following morning, a party of six officers, including the Admiral and the Consul, started at an
early hour in the steam launch for Mollendo. Several
vessels were at anchor off the cove, taking in or discharging cargo. At first sight, the entrance, covered
with foam dashed back from the rocks, looked very
uninviting, but there is a deep though narrow channel
close to the south rocks. Inside it was tolerably
smooth. Mollendo has already been described as a
wretched little cove, frequently impracticable when
a heavy swell sets in: it, however, answers the purpose of landing the railway  plant.     A   few  houses 122
belonging to railway officials and an hotel are built on
a plateau overlooking the cove.
Mr. Meiggs, who obtained the concession for this
OO   7
railway, is one of the most enterprising men of his
day. An American by birth, he seems to have tried
his fortune in California and the Brazils, and failing,
turned his attention to railways in Chili and Peru.
Fortune here smiled on him, and he now holds concessions from Peru for the construction of five or six
other railways, amounting to eighty-three millions of
The line from Mollendo to Arequipa is 107 miles in
length, and was finished a month ago, when Mr. Meiggs
gave an entertainment to the President, ministers, &c,
which cost 125,000 dollars, nearly thirty thousand
pounds—quite a fortune in itself—but he toys with
millions. This railway is being carried on from Arequipa to Puno, and it will hereafter be extended to
Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas. The most
remarkable railway in course of formation is that from
Lima to Aroya, a distance of 135 miles, which will
cross the highest range of the Cordilleras at an elevation of 15,000 feet, and is intended ultimately to bring
Western Peru into communication with the tributaries
of the Amazon, on the bosom of whose mighty waters
the rich treasures of Peru will be borne to the Atlantic. The advantages of these railways cannot be
over-estimated ; and Peru is indebted to guano for the
means to carry out these great and wholesome schemes. Ch. VII.
Having a letter from Mr. Meiggs to the manager of
the railway we received every attention, and had not
a body of soldiers been going to Arequipa should have
had a carriage to ourselves; we, however, made ourselves exceedingly comfortable in a nicely fitted-up
car of the American description, which is better suited
to the climate than the English carriages.
Starting at a quarter before eight, the first fifteen
miles of the route ran parallel to the coast, along a
sandy flat, except where it crossed a small plain artificially irrigated by water brought from the Tambo.
Turning inland we began to ascend a gentle incline,
which, however, shortly after passing the station of
Tambo, about five miles from the coast, became much
steeper, and assumed frequently the proportions of 1 in
25.    The line runs zig-zag along the face of the hill,
o        o o *
following its sinuosities, frequently scarped out of the
solid rock, and crossing the head of the gorges on
great embankments. The cuttings are very heavy in
some places, but there are no tunnels.
Having crossed the sea range at an elevation of
3,500 feet, we entered on the arid pampa, or plain, of
Islay, here about forty miles wide. In character it
exactly resembles the Egyptian desert, even to the
mirage: not a drop of water over the whole extent
of this desolate region. A survey is now being held
with a view to irrigating the plain by means of water
brought from one of the mountain streams. The soil
a little below the surface teems with the germs of 124
vegetable life, only waiting for moisture to render
the wilderness a verdant plain.
In the midst of this desert is a tambo or hut kept by
a queer little Devonshire man known as ' Jimmy,' who
established himself here fourteen years ago, hoisted the
British flag, and eked out a livelihood by selling refreshments to travellers and persons going to and fro
on the coast. Here his Arequipan wife has borne him
ten children. Things now begin to look up with
Jimmy. The railway has brought grist to the mill, and
he is likely to die a wealthy man. Already he has
commenced to enlarge his establishment, and, I believe,
has invested money in houses in Arequipa. Our
countrymen, forsooth, find strange resting-places !
After crossing the pampas we again ascended a rocky
ridge, crossing at an elevation of 8,200 feet. From the
crest we looked over a sea of tumbled mountains and
a desert plain, with innumerable small cones thrown-
up during one of earth's convulsions. A little beyond
the ridge we found ourselves on the edge of a deep
abyss, at the bottom of which, 1,000 feet below, rushed
impetuously a turbid current, forcing its way through the
narrow gorge. Frequently the cars literally overhung
the yawning gulf, and the slightest accident would have
thrown the train with its living freight into the abyss
below. It requires careful driving, which was accorded
by the steady Scotch engineer. During the rainy
season, when landslips are frequent, the risk of catastrophe must be greatly increased. As we advance
the gorge expands, and a narrow but smiling valley Ch. VII.
hugs the stream in its soft embrace, gradually widening
until it culminates in the rich and fertile plain of Quilea,
on which stands Arequipa.
The distant mountains were enveloped in cloud, and
rain began to descend before we entered the plain. At
4.30 we arrived at an open space in the suburbs of the
city, where the terminus is to be built. Walking to the
house of Messrs. Fletcher and Co., we were hospitably
received by Mr. A in the absence of Mr. R ,
the head of the house in Arequipa, but whose pretty
Peruvian wife gracefully did the honours.    Mr. G ,
of Islay, with his daughter, were also guests. The
houses of Fletcher and Gibbs are, I believe, the only
English two in Arequipa. Their exports are principally the fine wool of the Vicuna and Alpaca: their
imports being various English manufactures, especially
a peculiar cloth of softest wool and bright colour, which
has an immense sale, and resembles, I am told, a native
cloth made in the time of the Incas.    Mr. F , the
head of the house, lives in England, and is reputed a
millionaire. We sat down a large party to dinner, as
it is the custom in the English houses for all the clerks
of the establishment to live in the house.
The following morning I was up betimes, and, sallying forth, had a splendid view of the magnificent
volcanic cone of Misti, which rises 12,000 feet above
the level of the plain at a distance of about fifteen
miles. Its snowy summit, sharp and clear against the
blue sky, glistened in the sun. On either side, but
with wide valleys between, rose other snowy peaks, 126
and far away in the north-west more distant ranges of
the Cordilleras were visible through the transparent
atmosphere. The air here is so rarified that distant
objects seem close at hand; respiration is also affected
in some people to such an extent as to cause bleeding
at the ears and nose, and great oppression in the head.
I confess to having experienced none of these unpleasant sensations, although some of the party did so in a
slight degree. Visiting the market, I found it well
supplied with vegetables, but meat, poultry, eggs, and
butter were dear, and not abundant: a variety of
household goods and wearing apparel were also exposed for sale. But the most curious article is the
frozen potato, looking exactly like a round pumice-
stone : it is, however, good when cooked.
Arequipa, which derives its name from an Indian
word meaning ' place of rest,' was a town of the Incas,
where they rested on their way from Cusco, or Puno,
to the coast. It is situated in the corner of a fertile
plain of considerable extent, watered by the river
Chile, which divides the city into two unequal parts,
but connected by a handsome old stone bridge. It
contains about 40,000 inhabitants, and has a striking
and oriental appearance, from the whiteness of the
houses, built of stone, and principally flat-roofed, with
vaulted ceilings, wood being very scarce. It boasts a
fine cathedral, several old churches tawdrily decorated,
various monasteries and convents, a college, and a
hospital. The earthquake of 1868 left hardly a building entire, and the  city is still ruinous, although the Ch. VII.
restoration of both public and private buildings has
commenced. The body of the cathedral was left
standing, but the towers were thrown down; and a
handsome square was wrecked. The streets are tolerably wide, with pavement; an open drain runs down
the centre of each, generally in a filthy condition.
The shops make but little display : they are stocked
principally with foreign goods, there being few native
manufactures. The better houses are built in the
Spanish style : you enter by a gateway into a quadrangle, the sides of which constitute the house, one-
storied on account of earthquakes. The city is extremely healthy, epidemics being almost unknown.
People from Islay have died of yellow fever caught
there, but the conditions of the atmosphere are happily
unfavourable for its propagation.
The inhabitants are a mixed race, and the lower
classes not prepossessing in appearance. The dress of
the women consists of a gaudy-coloured petticoat of a
soft woollen cloth, before alluded to, a shawl, and hat.
The men wear the poncho, with knee breeches, bare
legs, and sandals.
Arequipa has always been the focus of revolution,
and its neighbourhood the scene of more than one
battle. A year or two ago General Prado, in revolution for the presidency, bombarded it for three months,
from the west side of the river, where he established
his batteries. But it was resolutely defended, and in
the assault Prado's men, getting their ammunition wet,
were driven back, when he withdrew, and had ulti- 128
mately to fly the country. Revolution in Peru means
a struggle for the presidency. The temptation to fight
for the prize is very strong, as the president has de
facto the control of the money bags, and manages not
only to enrich himself but provide also for those supporters wdio placed him in power. Since guano became a source of wealth, money has been lavished
broadcast by the government, and there are probably
more wealthy men in Peru, considering its population,
than in any other country of the world. I am bound,
however, to say that the present president has inaugurated, many valuable works, but little can be shown for
the 450,000,000^. sterling derived from guano.
The prefect or civil governor, being a person of
importance, the Admiral called on him. He is, I
believe, upright and able. Our quarters still bore
traces of the Carnival, coloured egg-shells lay thickly
about, and the walls were bespattered with flour, &c.
The great amusement of young ladies and gentlemen
during this festive season is to drench each other with
Water, and to pelt one another with eggshells containing scent or coloured fluids : the encounters are fierce,
and the destruction of dress serious. During our stay
at Arequipa we made one or two excursions on horseback, but beyond fields rich in Indian corn and pasture
the country presents nothing remarkable. The grape
will not ripen, owing to the keenness of the air at
night, but from the maize the natives make and consume largely a species of beer : it is, however, to our
taste unpalatable.    Of native dishes the best I have Ch. VII.
tasted, which appears at-breakfast and dinner, is a sort
of soup made of vegetables and fowl, called ' achi/
very similar to the ' casuela ' of Chile.
The Llama is used in this country as a beast of
burden : it resembles a miniature camel, with a long
neck, soft eye, and spongy hoof, but without the hump
on its back. It has a coating of fine soft wool and
hair; its load is limited to 100 pounds down-hill,
and fifty up. Against the imposition of a heavier
weight it rebels, and will not move. There are four
species of this ' sheep of the Cordilleras,' viz. the
Vicuna, Alpaca, Llama, and Huanaco, or Guanaco.
The wool of the first named is the finest in the
World, and brings a very high price in the English
market. The Vicuna, unlike the Llama or Guanaco,
cannot be domesticated; it roams over the rugged
sides of the mountains, seeking for a rough grass called
' yehu.'
A few ladies assembled in the house the second
evening of our visit; when carnival on a small scale
was" enacted, and the dancing (although Lent) went
merrily on. The ' sama-cueca' was performed admirably ; some of the officers rendering themselves
willing and apt pupils. Mr. T  made rapid progress, going in for it con amore under the auspices of
one or two very pretty girls, so as apparently to cause
a pang to more than one looker-on unaccustomed to
see their usual partners thus engrossed and appropriated.
The  Consul proved a ' most remarkable man,'' a 130
regular peep-o'-day boy,' ready for everything, from a
cocktail at 5 a.m. to B. and S. at two the following
morning, always good-natured and in the best of spirits,
with a fund of anecdote. On the morning of the 25th,
bidding farewell to our kind entertainers, we started to
return to the ship, accompanied by Mr. and Miss
S , and two other young ladies.
I cannot, however, take leave of Arequipa without
expressing our deep sense of the cordial reception we
met with from the English community. From one
and all it was courteous, hospitable, and kind, so that
we shall long remember our agreeable trip.
En route to Mollendo, stopping at the Tambo de
Joya, Jimmy, in honour of the event, insisted on treating the party to champagne, which all found grateful
after the dusty journey. I was amply repaid for rather
an uncomfortable seat on the engine descending the
incline, by the grandeur of the scenery and also in
witnessing the  careful driving.    Steam was shut off
immediately the incline became at all steep, and the
speed entirely regulated by the brakes. At 4.30 we
arrived at Mollendo, where we found the steam-launch ;
and two hours afterwards, having landed our friends at
Islay, were on board the ship.
We found during our absence opportunity had been
taken to exercise the big guns against one of the small
rocky islands a short distance off the ship ; and on
visiting the spot after a heavy day's pounding it was
extraordinary to see the small amount of damage done
to the solid rock.    The debris of solid shot and shell Oh. VII.
were picked up in various shapes, but alteration in the
aspect of the rock was scarcely discernible.
It was on this island that a curious fact in ornithology was brought to light and verified, namely, the
existence of a species of bird having four wings; long
a disputed point whether such a phenomenon had not
its origin in an optical illusion such as, in certain conditions of the human race, multiplies an object. But
the circumstances under which this specimen was
observed leaves no doubt that one of these rare birds
was seen, being remarked and reported by two people
whose veracity is unimpeachable, but who, unfortunately, had no fire-arms to obtain this rara avis in
terram. They describe it as of the size of an English
thrush, with similar plumage, having two separate
wings on each side, but working spontaneously. It
was seen to settle and get up once or twice when so
near that a stone was thrown, and eventually it flew
away. Thus is settled the fact of their existence;
though whether this was a solitary instance, a freak
of nature, or a wanderer from his tribe, must remain
a sealed book till further research has been made into
the subject. At any rate, there is no doubt that, midst
the snowy peaks of the Andes, remains a fund of unexplored nature which may yet bring to light many
more extraordinary truths than a four-winged bird.
The following day a small party came on board to
witness and assist in a ceremony no longer novel
to us—a christening, when the infant of Mrs. S— was
baptised by our pastor with his usual impressiveness.
K 2 132
Let Us hope at some future day the worthy gentleman
may be a more interested actor in this ordinance, and
find useful the experience of youthful progeny, gained
when christening in the Pacific. Lunch and a dance
brought round the time when the anchor had to be
lifted, so at 5 p.m. we waved an adieu to our friends,
and the gallant ship was soon on her way to Callao. Ch. VIII.
Although the distance of Callao from Islay is only
354 miles, it was March 2 before we arrived at the
former. This was mainly owing to the very fight
breezes we experienced all the way up the coast, when
we expected the reverse ; thus in a measure justifying
the now oft-repeated saying, that the luck is not with
us, and that wherever we go and whatever may have
been the previous generality, our experiences are
different to those recorded for our benefit. This state
of affairs is synonymous with arriving at any place in
the wrong season, which seems peculiarly to have been.
Our fate during the past year : a misfortune, not a fault,
which has promise of rectification next year, when, by
selecting the most advantageous time of visiting this
interesting chain of ports, the most may be made of the
slight difference which winter makes in them, both as
regards climate and amusement.
But to go back to Callao.    It was half-past one in 134
the morning when we arrived, so it is difficult to
translate the uppermost impressions in one's mind regarding its appearance—unfortunately, as first impressions are generally truest and remain longest in the
memory—so it was not till daylight came that we were
able to see into what sort of quarters we had fallen.
Here we found the ' Chanticleer,' several Peruvian men-
of-war, and one American. Close to was the famous
iron-clad which did such good service when Callao
was bombarded by the Spaniards six years ago. Built
here during the war, such another in shape as the old
' Merrimac,' they had no iron plates to cover her with,
so in lieu took the iron rails from the line which runs
between Callao and lima, and covered her all over with
them ; proving a most efficient protection, for she lay
between the Spaniards and the shore firing away, while
the shots from her adversaries glanced off from her
sides, doing but little damage *, so that the Spaniards
were beaten off mainly through her agency. One frigate
having a shell burst in her engine-room had to be
towed out of action.
The entrance to Callao is peculiar. Before arriving
in the Bay you pass Cape Lorenzo, an island of great
height, on the north-east extremity of which is placed
the lighthouse, 980 feet above the sea. This height,
which at first sight would seem to be an advantage as
enabling the light to be seen at a great distance, is
often otherwise, because at certain times fogs or mists
prevail, enveloping the top of the Cape and lighthouse,
for which reason we preferred to come in the time we Ch. VIII.
did when clear, instead of later in the morning, when
it is generally thus obscured. Beyond this island, and
separated from it by a narrow channel, is another of
equal altitude, but less magnitude, at once striking the
eye as having a resemblance to the Rock of Gibraltar;
whilst here and there small rocks show that the whole
range has evidently been the result of an earthquake
thrown up by the sea, or some extraordinary convulsion
of nature. In 1787 there was an earthquake, followed
by an invasion of the sea, in some respects similar to
that at Arica, when the old town of Callao was destroyed, and where it was is now part of the bay. This
place is separated from us only by a long, narrow spit
of land, which has all the appearance, from its regularity
of outline, of a breakwater made by human hands,
whereas it is, and I believe also the islands, attributable
solely to that event. We have seen in our own fife-
time localities erased and the appearance of others'"
wholly changed; why then should not these peculiarities have come about in the same way ? The soil
of these islands is of the same barren and sandy nature
which is common all along the coast; in fact, you have
to go inland some miles before arriving at any signs of
fertility. Another peculiarity is, that the people say
that they are daily rising in height. They mean probably that the sea is receding instead, which would
have the same effect upon the land and be more in
accordance with the known order of things. The
town of Callao has been so often described by abler
pens, and has so little in it to create interest, that I 136
shall not enlarge upon its beauties, and make no
apology for at once proceeding to lima. Besides, to
tell the truth, I am as tired of trying to emulate
Murray as I suspect my readers are of my feeble
attempts. So to try another strain. Truly they were
giants in those days! might not be the unapt exclamation when standing over the skeleton of the once great
Pizarro; for know that his remains are to be seen to
this day in the cathedral at Lima. Shades of Homer!
ye keep the whitened bones, but what avail these, save
as an ever present reproach to a country that founded
empires beyond the sea unto a pitch known neither
before or since. Where are they now ? Where is all
that glory which made Spain at one time the most
powerful nation in the world? Her riches, foreign
possessions, &c, j gone, all gone; and why ? I remember some years ago dining with a young Cuban
of position at Havana. There were no signs of rebellion then, though the seeds were germinating; and in
talking over the position of the island, I was surprised
to hear this exclamation—' Ah! amigo mio, if we
were only under the English or American rule; but
these Spaniards, caramba!' ' What!' said I, * you
would rather be under the English rule than Spain,
your mother country, speaking the same language,
having the same religion, from whom you are all
descended.' ' Yes,' said he; ' even with all that, a
thousand times yes, and so would every Cuban in the
island ; before long there will be a tremendous struggle
between Cubans and Spaniards, which will only end in Ch. VIII.
the extermination of the former or their independence.'
How the first part has come to pass all know, and how
the Cubans have struggled on against repeated reinforcements from Spain. It is not a rising in any
one portion, but a revolution throughout the whole
island, and the end will be, as in Chile and Peru—
independence! How then can we account for this
extraordinary characteristic of Spaniards, that they
cannot retain their colonies ? It is in one word—intolerance ! I am not speaking simply in the narrow
sense of religion, but of everything : forcing imposts on
these conquered countries till they become too heavy
to bear; treating them with suspicion and injustice
in not allowing them any voice in their own government—for it is one of the chief causes of the revolution
there that no Cuban may hold a government appointment ; they are all filled by Spaniards sent out for the
purpose—till at last tired of waiting for better times,
they throw off the yoke and declare their independence.
Unwarned Spain has gone on losing colony after colony
till of all her vast possessions but little is left. Fortunately, England was warned in time by the revolt of
her American colonies, and has since inaugurated a
new policy towards them—one of justice and conciliation ; so that since then, instead of losing any of her
possessions, they have gone on increasing in strength,
and will ere long, like a man's shadow on the pavement, surpass that from which they derived their
being. It is easy to imagine the chagrin felt by Spain
in losing these fine countries, and the folly of past 138
misgovernment. They are lost for ever, and she can
never regain the position once held among nations; but
may better the present state of affairs in her own
country, and to that, if wise, she will turn her attention in earnest.
Meanwhile Peru flourishes, though more from European than native assistance ; and in Lima is largely
found the cosmopolitan element which draws her on in
spite of herself—railways constructed, docks built at
Callao, new mines being opened, and an impetus given
to trade not known before. The capital has about its
appearance all the peculiarity of architecture so attractive to the eye in old Spanish towns. Founded by
Pizarro during his march through Peru in 1534, it has
since undergone many vicissitudes of fortune, from
earthquakes, internal revolutions, &c.; but retains in
the cathedral and other public buildings enough to
show that once it deserved the title given it by the
conqueror, ' City of the Kings,' for I have seldom seen
surpassed in design or execution the carving on the
exterior of some of the churches 340 years old. Especially marked is this in the cathedral, so that it is
disappointing not to find in the interior a corresponding beauty. But it is flat and tawdry; dirt reigns
supreme, and of ornament but little—a strong contrast
to Western churches. When Pizarro died, his body
was embalmed, and placed in one of the vaults. Of
late they have been rather chary of admitting strangers
to this place, who, from a morbid taste for repulsive
curiosities, were in the habit of abstracting bits of bone ■Mi
or his winding sheet. But, by producing a piece of
silver, my companion and I had no difficulty in persuading the guide that our intentions were not felonious.
So we descended down into a dark vault, where drawing aside a rag of a curtain in a niche of the wall, lay
the skeleton almost perfect, with what once may have
been a sheet thrown lightly over it. Such is the most
honoured burial they can give thee, oh! man of undaunted courage! who, with three ships and two hundred men, set out to invade South America, and founded
that vast empire! Could you but see your unhappy
country, methinks those bones would receive a new
spirit and come forth to reproach the degeneracy of
thy descendants! It was with minds chastened by
these reflections that we turned our steps to another
part of the town where rumour had localised a most
desirable luxury, viz., a swimming bath, the fame of
which we found on reaching the place was not confined
to us alone, but had extended to many of our brother
officers, who, clad in the minimum of clothing, were
revelling in the manner most congenial to the Anglo-
Saxon race; for if there is a subject upon which
Englishmen—according to foreigners—are a little mo-
nomaniacal, or upon which they themselves might be
led out of their natural modesty to say, ' I am not as
other men,' it is in their predilection for cold water ;
adding in the nineteenth century a new verb to our
language,' to tub,' said now to be used often in the
interrogative'mood when matrimony is contemplated,
as a necessary qualification : to such an extent has the "■
mania become general. Whether this characteristic is
a weakness or a virtue I am not here to discuss \ those
social questions are best left to the ' Saturday Review.'
I was merely desirous to correct any false impressions
of levity of conduct on our part in stepping out of a
cathedral into a swimming bath, before entering into
any further description.
There was something certainly very inviting in the
construction of this, establishment, and the ornamental
had been combined here with the useful in the- most
felicitous manner. Supplied by an ever-changing stock
of fresh water continually passing in and out by the
means of small fountains placed all round, half hid by
beautiful tropical plants, which ascended by pillars
to the roof, apd hung over the water in graceful festoons, you felt here was the prototype of the luxury as
enjoyed by the ancient Romans, and described by the
authors of that period. Adjoining was a ladies' bath,
separated only by a low wall, which did not debar
conversation or impede the sight; but, as I said before,
all were arrayed in sumptuous attire, without which
there was not anyone there that was there. It being
lunch time, the market was next visited, proving most
unattractive in its dirtiness, though large and well supplied ; so we turned into the Public Library, to see the
celebrated picture representing the death of Athualpa,
last of the Incas, who was executed in a most unjust
manner. Here he is just dead, and the priests are
hanging over him, for he was converted shortly before,
while Pizarro is standing in the foreground.    In the Ch. VIII.
background are several beautiful women, wives of the
chief, trying to get to the body, but kept back by
Spanish soldiers. It is beautifully painted; the expression of the faces so vivid! In the conqueror stern
resolve ; in the priests triumph ;. in the women grief;
in the soldiers brutality; whilst in the chief figure a
deep calm contrasts with the storm of passions which
surround it. It was, I believe, painted at Florence
four years ago, but I do not know the name of the
Lima is distant from Callao eight miles; and, to all
appearance, the interval between them is perfectly flat,
but this is one of those visional deceptions justified by
such a gradual incline as 1 in 88, so how Humboldt and
other travellers could see on this point anything extraordinary, it is difficult to imagine, unless to gain in
narratives of strange countries a fictitious interest by
surrounding common-place peculiarities with a mysterious halo. Callao, as the present outlet of commerce,
has little but what is unpleasant, being dirty and uninteresting, so that it is fortunate a railway soon places
one in the more agreeable capital, where bright eyes
and richly furnished warehouses, displaying the best
wares from all nations, are a relief after the desert
towns on the coast. The women of Lima have long
been noted for their beauty, and though you do not
find it so general as in some parts, individual cases
showed that often a little Indian blood assists to give a
rare beauty to the face. Any sketch of Lima and its
environs would be most imperfect without some account 142
of the famous bathing place, Chorillas ; but unable, by
circumstances over which I had no control, to pay it a
visit, I take the liberty to transcribe the following
account by one who was more fortunate :—' C. and I
having heard a great deal of the fashionable watering-
place Chorillas, started one afternoon from Lima with
the intention of proceeding thither by the train which
left Lima about 5*30 p.m. Chorillas is about twelve
miles from Lima, and on the coast, about eight miles
to the southward of Callao. It is a favourite place
with the Limenians, being, in fact, their only watering-
place. We caught our train, and after a journey of
forty minutes' duration arrived at our destination.
Built on a low cliff, which runs round the bay and
whose descent is steep, I never saw a place where more
advantage had been taken of every spot available for
building. The houses are very close together, and the
streets narrow, but the houses are nearly all villas,
nicely built and pleasing to the eye. The first thing
which struck us on leaving the station was the number
of pretty faces to be seen in nearly all the houses,
curious to inspect the arrivals by train: doors and
windows were thrown wide open. But as we got further into the town and were threading our way through
the narrow streets towards the sea, we were perfectly
and agreeably surprised to find on each side of us houses
with one room, as it were, entirely open, being separated
from the street only by a few iron bars. These rooms,
or sort of balconies, were full of fair Limenians, some
lying in grass hammocks; others lolling in easy chairs, r
Ch. Vin.
or standing chatting and criticising the fresh arrivals.
The whole reminded us in a ludicrous manner of the
Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park, with the difference
that here pretty girls were caged instead of wild animals.
It was the most pleasant time of the day, about half-
past six, when we sauntered down to the sea. On
arriving at the edge of the cliff, we found a regular and
well-made promenade running along the top, houses
larger and of a better description looking over it, all
with open windows and doors. The esplanade is made
of stone, with smooth well-laid gravel walks. The
bathing establishment, some eighty feet below? consists
of a long wooden house, part for the use of gentlemen
and part for the ladies, from whence all issue forth clad
in a sort of bathing dress and shoes ; these meet in the
water on quite easy terms. Nearly every one carried
his or her own fife buoy, as there is rather a heavy
swell. It was tempting, but late, so after looking on a
short time we trudged up the hill again, and made our
way to a small hotel in order to get something in the
way of dinner. Fortunately we came in time for table
d'hote, and found two vacant places, but the room being
full and waiters scarce, we were at considerable disadvantage in our limited knowledge of the language,
which only enabled us to hurl occasional phrases after
the waiters as they hurried by, but to which for a long
time they paid no notice. At last, when our patience
was well nigh exhausted, as our Spanish had been long
ago, we managed to get something, and then strolled
down to the Esplanade, to listen to a band which had 144
come from Lima for the purpose. It began to play
about eight o'clock, by which time the Esplanade
was thronged with ladies and gentlemen. We certainly had a good glimpse of Lima society. The ladies
were attired in evening dress, as the climate is delicious,
and the effect of their bright coloured dresses was ex-
ceedmgly picturesque, for they are all fond of bright
' After walking about a short time, and meeting a
few brother officers, who appeared not to be strangers
like ourselves, we left in good time to get to the train
before the general rush; and passing up the street were
amused to see that the servants of the different houses
were now occupying the sofa and lounge in the front
rooms whilst mistresses were out. Our train was very
full of visitors from Lima, nevertheless we managed to
arrive in good time to catch our train to Callao, which
we reached at 11 p.m., having thoroughly enjoyed a
few hours at Chorillas.'
The pleasure of our stay at Callao was much
diminished by the great heat, for which a naval costume is not well adapted. Weather that was said to
be quite "exceptional, especially when compared with
former years, for whereas at this season the thermometer generally ranged from 58° to 60° Fahrenheit, it now
seldom shows less than 80°, whilst the temperature of
the sea ranges as high as 85°. It is this change, both
as regards the increase of heat and difference between
the sea and atmosphere, which has given rise to a belief
that Callao at ho distant date will be visited by another ■.iiimniMUiimi
earthquake. One sign that came under our own
notice was, where we lay at anchor in the Bay continually were coming up from the bottom large bubbles
of gaseous matter, which burst on arriving at the sur-
face, scattering and spreading all round a dark earthy
mixture, and impregnating the water most unpleasantly.
This I attribute to volcanic action going on below.
On March 7 there was a dance on board the ' Chanticleer ;' and on the 11th, the day of our departure, a
luncheon party of about twenty ladies and gentlemen
terminated likewise. The same day we had the misfortune to lose one who, having come out from England
? o o
with us, had, by his amiable disposition and sterling
worth of nature, endeared himself to all; but forced to
return to his native country in a few months, he took
advantage to join the ' Chanticleer,' which ship would
shortly proceed home. The last day at Callao will
always be remembered with regret as the day on which
we said good-bye to Axel Proet, of the Norwegian
Navy. Payta was reached without incident on the 16th,
and the mail steamer came in the same day. We had
heard at Callao that Payta had been subjected to an
almost unprecedented downfall of rain;, flooding the
whole place, rendering the houses untenable, and
obliging the inhabitants to navigate the streets in canoes,
so were somewhat curious to see the present effects.
We ourselves had experienced heavy showers nearly
the whole way from Callao, but when within forty
miles of Payta, it became quite fine and continued so.
As we had only put into Payta to catch the mail, and
h 14b
would sail the same evening, all who could made their
way on shore to inspect the town after such an unlooked-for visitation. The rain began on February 25,
and continued without intermission until March 8, by
which time all parts were flooded, and the story of
canoes was no fable. We arrived more than a week
afterwards, and even then Water was running through
drains, which were constantly being emptied. The
principal was about six feet wide and three deep,
besides in all the other streets smaller ones of about
three feet by two. The doors of all the houses were
blockaded up by boards two feet high, and it was necessary to have planks on the footpaths. On inquiring
from some of the old inhabitants the interval of time
between different rains, we heard that they remembered
rain in 1828 and again in 1843. There was some slight
difference of opinion, but all said it was twenty-five
years since they had had any rain. Being, therefore,
almost as great a stranger to them as ice would be,
houses are built with a total disregard to a contingency
of this sort, and composed chiefly of bamboo and mud.
The latter condiment not being able to withstand the
steady downpour, houses soon became untenable, while
dwellings of less primitive description suffered con-
-siderable damage in roof and ceiling. The Chira river,
of alligator fame, overflowed, causing great damage to
stock and land, also apparently to the alligators, for
we observed several bodies that had been washed up
on the beach by the floods, though the river is fifteen
miles off.     In the one short space of-100 yards we Ch. VIII.
noticed four; but time did not allow us to make
further observation, having to return on board.
The mail brought no news of importance. All
doubt about the Russian question seems to be at an
end, though the result of the conference is not known.
The telegraph informs us that peace between France
and Prussia is a certainty. There being nothing therefore to prevent our proceeding on our journey, that
same evening we got the anchor up, and started for the
Sandwich Islands in the Far West.
So we bring to a close our first visit to the South
American Continent; and though it cannot with truth
be said, that in some ways disappointment did not come
upon us, yet, on the whole, pleasure largely predominated, as where will it not when all is novel, and their
ways not our ways. For under those conditions, in
the apparently most uninteresting spot on this earth
there really exists a mine of interest; and, if in describing these places, we have been led in some
instances to give too gaudy a colouring, or incline
to prolixity, let the excuse be in those most appropriate words of Old Burton : ' For he took great content, exceeding delight in that his voyage. As who
doth not that shall attempt the like ? For peregrination
charms the sense with such unspeakable and sweet
variety, that some count him unhappy that never
travelled, a kind of prisoner, and pity his case that
from his cradle to his old "age he beholds the same
still; still, still, the same, the same!'
L 'Z 148
The journal of a ship's commission on the Pacific
station would certainly be incomplete without some
record of the sea cruises which claim such a large
portion of time, especially in a,n iron-clad, in whose
construction speed under sail was not a serious consideration. And yet these journeys, though of great
extent, present such a slight degree of variety, that
one account might almost do for all. Day after day
passes on, and is a counterpart of the preceding ; everything remains the same; nothing to be seen but a vast
expanse of water, shut out from the world by a not-
to-be-realised gulf, measured by thousands of miles.
Therefore, though the voyage to Honolulu is in distance about four thousand eight hundred miles from
Payta, and took us forty-one days to accomplish, a
brief review of the principal features will suffice for
the connection of our story.
For a little more than a fortnight we proceeded to Ch. IX,
the westward, a short distance south of the equator,
visited by perpetual showers of rain, and keeping the
south-east trade wind, with occasional interruptions of
regularity. Commencing again our evening amusements, we were much instructed by a lecture from
Mr.  T ,  on Torpedoes, explaining the  different
descriptions, and how they are exploded by electricity.
An illustration to fire one of our guns by electricity
was attempted, but waiting a few moments in suspense,
the fuze—one of Professor Abel's—was found, owing
to having been on board the ship a long time, to have
lost its properties, and was able to sustain the shock
without effect. The next lecture was on the War from
Sedan up to the present time, which was placed before
the audience with clearness by. the Admiral; it especially finding favour with our worthy chaplain of Teutonic
•extraction, who proposed the vote of thanks; but in
the discussion that followed appeared a general disinclination to believe in the angelic nature of Bismarck
or his countrymen.
On April 2 we bore up for the equator, and during
the next week experienced most unpleasant weather,
nothing but rain and calms, in fact, the doldrums,
which we arrived at sooner than anticipated. Previous
.experience tells you that the south-east trade will carry
you across the line to 3° north, when come the calms.
We found them in 1° south, and had four days' steaming before and after crossing the line. On April 7,
when in latitude 2° 50' north, whilst under steam and
sail,, with light south-west wind, a tremendous shower 150
of rain came upon us, in the middle of which the wind
increased and quickly drew to the northward, obliging
us to tack. It then shifted to north-east and decreased.
This is the usual manner that you go from one trade
into another, and our losing the south-east so soon will
probably account for finding the north-east at a lower
latitude. The weather was most oppressive, for the
rain necessitated the covering in of everything to the
exclusion of the slight air, which just makes it bearable.
This continued till the 11th, when fine weather set -ih,
and the trade gave indications of increasing strength,
so that a month after leaving Payta we were within
two thousand miles of Honolulu. On April 19 we
made a day's run of 171 miles, and on the 21st 175
miles : this, to us, is unusual.
A lecture on the loss of the ' Captain,' from Mr.
C , proved interesting in its practical nature; for
an excellent model of that ship had been constructed,
and one of those receptacles of water supplied as a
bath was called into requisition to test the stability.
Unfortunately, in the laudable desire not to err on the
side of danger, she was made too safe, and would not
capsize ; but the conditions which brought about the
sad incident were most clearly explained. The more
we think over that frightful catastrophe, the horrors
of which we can only hope were but of a few moments'
duration, then imperfect though such a realisation and
picture must be for the mind to conceive, so much the
more are we impressed that as far as human power and
skill can avail, such an event under those circumstances Ch. IX.
must never occur again. On the 24th, aided by a
favourable breeze, the day's run showed 184 miles, the
most we have yet made under sail; and, retaining the
wind, anchored, on April 26, off Honolulu. This did not
take place till 8 p.m., so it was the following day before
we received the mail bag, which a long absence from
land had rendered bulky. Then we found that the
rapidity with which important events have succeeded
each other during the past nine months had not decreased ; for though anticipating confirmation of peace,
the terms under wdiich it is concluded—not severer,
however, than the rest of the world anticipated—must,
in a nation like the French, foster such a bitter feeling
of mortification and hatred as to render certain the
renewal of the struggle the moment they feel at all
able to cope with their old antagonist. As in July
1870, Napoleon III. felt powerless to avert or resist
the shout for war which  echoed throughout France,
O '
so also will that man, whoever he may be, who shall
be at the head of the nation when, after an interval of
time, reorganisation shall have taken away the distrust
of success, but left the desire for vengeance. Knowing
the focus of revolution that Paris has always been, and
the fearful spirits nurtured there, it was not difficult
to foresee that the first opportunity would be seized
by the extreme and restless faction, that will stop at
nothing to attain their own ends, and who have now
taken upon themselves to plunge the country into
civil war, commencing operations by shooting two
unfortunate generals, who had fallen under their dis- 152
pleasure. Reviving the old name of La Commune,
they think to impose on their countrymen by lofty
axioms, under cover of which they commit the basest
crimes. Such a cause cannot hope for success. Here
we heard of the Washington Treaty to enquire into
a manner for settling the Alabama claims and other
questions. Though composed of the most able men,
it is difficult to see how any conclusion can be arrived
at considering the diametrically opposite view, which
each country takes of the Alabama question alone, Mid
with great pertinacity now for some years. But as involving the question of settlement by arbitration, it is
a great advance; and if these conflicting matters can
be settled without receding one inch from the position
we have taken up, or in any other way wounding the
national pride, wonders will have been accomplished.
We await the end with curiosity. We anchored about
one mile and a half from the town; the view of which
and the surrounding country from the sea is very
pretty, for everything was green, and though by the
hills there are evidences of volcanic influence, it appears
to have outlived the disease, and earthquakes are almost
unknown. The bay is beset with reefs, and though
there is a passage to an inner harbour, it is only
practicable for vessels under twenty feet draught.
Therefore we had to lay outside, where the swell sets
in, causing considerable motion: doubly unpleasant
when at anchor, being not bargained for. We have
our fill at sea. The surf breaks in a succession of
long   rollers  along   the  reefs  on   each  side   of   the lili
111 ill
I fill ii 1
HI Willi
I   IIf ! I|l I" 'ill I if i       ''l    Ilil11 if t-'l
ii; Iin
III 111 !W If ill'v «
Hi, J
illllililililillliiilll!       IIIIKl!
ill  Ch. IX.
entrance to the inner anchorage. When once arrived
inside these reefs the harbour, though sihall, is well
Honolulu is the principal town of Oahu. The island
of Oahu is forty-six miles long by twenty-three broad,
being one of the Hawaiian group discovered by Captain
Cook in 1778, and named by him the Sandwich Islands.
It was at Hawaii, the largest of the group, that the
celebrated navigator met his untimely end, to the
infinite loss of his country ; for among the many
brilliant names which adorn the naval history of
Great Britain, few shine with greater brilliancy than
that of Cook. It must appear almost miraculous to
us who know the slender knowledge of the science
of navigation possessed in those days, to see what
Cook performed, and the accuracy of his observations. The position of this group, which consists of
ten islands, is very central, as they serve as a halfway house on the way to China, Japan, and Australia,
to steamers which run to and from San Francisco once
a month. They have also always been greatly resorted
to by whalers when in want of supplies. For sailing
ships they are easily attained, lying as they do under
the constant influence of the trade wind, which blows
for nine months in the year with great regularity.
Population has decreased very much since the period
of their discovery, for several reasons, the principal one
being that infanticide has extensively prevailed until
very lately. The natives are supposed to be- of Malay
origin.   Their language is in some respects similar ; and 154
they subsist even now to a great extent on the root of
the ' Taro,' baked, pounded, and mixed with water,
then allowed to ferment. This preparation is called
' Poi,' and has very nourishing qualities. They are a
fine race of men, vastly superior physically to the
various South American races we have hitherto met in
the small republics, and appear to have a high sense of
their moral obligations, for crime is an exception, not
the rule, and the little community is governed by an
excellent code of laws, many of whose provisions we
might copy without disadvantage. Their punishments
are severe; but you do not there often see an offender
have at conviction several previous charges proved
against him, or in prison twice for the same offence.
No doubt the system of government pursued has a
tendency to elevate the minds of a race like this,
whereas in the South A.inerican republics there is
nothing to help any good instincts that may be latent.
But in the Sandwich Islands there has always been a
strong feeling of loyalty towards the sovereign, and it
is to this feeling—for I would place loyalty next to
religion as an elevator of nature—aided by personal
attachment, that has given them so many characteristics we should not expect to find in a once savage
race. The present sovereign is Kamehameha V.1 He
was away, however, on another island looking after
one of his estates, for he is a great grower of sugar,
and has less of kingly attributes than former ones;
but the Queen Dowager Emma, who is much beloved,
1 Since dead Oh. IX.
and exerts by life and character a most beneficial influence upon the natives, was at Honolulu, and gave to
all who called on her a kindly welcome. She has a
nice house in the country, also one called the ' Palace,'
with pretty gardens attached, in Honolulu, where her
band, consisting of about forty boys, generally plays in
the evening, and play exceedingly well. The native
women have not much pretension to beauty; their
•figures generally are fine, though inclined to embonpoint. They ride remarkably well, sitting the horse
in the same manner as a man, for which they wear a
loose sort of skirt, tied round the waist and coming
down on both sides, whilst for head gear a wreath of
flowers often gives the tout ensemble a very picturesque appearance. Their ordinary dress is best
described as a very long species of night-gown, generally of a bright colour, hanging loosely about the
person, more adapted apparently for comfort than
elegance. Both men and women are of cheerful dis-
position, always anxious to oblige and render any
little civility in their power. We allowed our men to
go on shore, and they were very well treated, amusing
themselves chiefly in riding helter-skelter all over the
country, for nothing ' Jack' delights so much in as^
getting outside a horse, and, though not renowned for
grace in that accomplishment, has at least the faculty
of being  able  to  stick  on under the  most adverse
The road inland from the town leads across a low
part of the mountain range, forming the backbone of
1 O    7 o 156
the island. The view from the summit, looking down
to the north-east, is very grand, and, as you then first
meet the force of the trade wind, most refreshing.
This part is called the ' Pah.' After crossing over the
top the road descends very abruptly, as the mountain
range is precipitous on the east side. You wind down
a stony road—but the horses are sure-footed—and at
the bottom come upon an extensive plain, where
grows the sugar-cane in various plantations. A party
of us took a ride out one morning, having been
invited by the owner of a large plantation to inspect
his sugar-mills. We took guns, for wild duck can be
obtained here in great quantities at a certain season
of the year; but, as usual, this was the wrong time,
and the few we saw were too wild to be approached.
After dinner we had a pleasant moonlight ride back,
though it was late before we got in, for the steep
ascent of the Pali had somewhat taxed the endurance
of even these stout little horses, and necessitated a
slow rate of speed.
Honolulu, though small, is clean, and well stocked
with all the necessaries of life. A brisk trade is carried on, principally with sugar to America ; and there
are merchants from all countries, although Americans
predominate, and hold most of the chief appointments
under the king. There are a great many Protestant
.and Roman Catholic churches and schools, which may
be attributed to the efforts of missionaries who flocked
here at one time. Mark Twain says, speakiner of
Honolulu;   ' If  you   get   into  conversation with  a Ch. IX.
stranger in Honolulu, and experience that natural desire to know what sort of ground you are treading on
by finding out what manner of man your stranger is,
strike out boldly and address him as "Captain." Watch
him narrowly, and if you see by his countenance that
you are on the wrong tack, ask him where he preaches.
It is a safe bet that he is either a missionary or captain
of a whaler. J became personally acquainted with
seventy-two captains and ninety-six missionaries. The
captains and ministers form one half of the population ; the third fourth is composed of common Kanakas,
mercantile foreigners and their families ; while the final
fourth is made up of high officers of the Hawaiian
Government. And there are just about cats enough
for three apiece all round.'
There is, perhaps, a little exaggeration in this sketch
by the humorous traveller, but it expresses in the main
pretty accurately the place as it was a few years ago.
Now increased communication with America, and development of its resources, has added other ingredients
to the population. The introduction of a theatre and
concert-room also shows the progress civilisation has
made. Our officers' Amateur Dramatic Company,
having carefully prepared some pieces whilst on the
passage from Payta, debarred by the rolling of the
ship from having a performance on board, determined
to give an entertainment on shore in aid of those
unfortunately left widows or orphans by the late war
between France and Germany. Accordingly, the theatre
was visited,  also  the   concert-room,  called  Buffum's 158
Ch. IX.
Hall, after a celebrated physician of that name, who at
one time practised in this town till pecuniary difficulties
was the cause of his extending his travels, and taking
those talents to a more appreciative country, leaving
this hall which he built in the hands of an agent. The
theatre being used but seldom, or whenever a company
came across from San Francisco, was found to be,
though a pretty little house, somewhat dingy; whilst
the hall—besides being preferred by Queen Emma,
who had consented to patronise the performance—
having a good stage, also possessed all other requirements in a greater degree, so was accordingly chosen,
and May 3 fixed for the performance. Every assistance
was rendered in the most generous way by people on
shore, in lending appliances, and by Mr. Thrum, the
librarian, in disposing of tickets, so that when the
evening arrived the hall was crowded, and many had
to be turned away for want of space. The following
extract from the 'Hawaiian Gazette' of May 10 is a
good description of the performance. ' The dramatic
entertainment given by the officers of the " Zealous,"
on Wednesday evening last, in aid of the relief fund
for the widows and orphans of the late war, was a
perfect success in every respect. The hall was crowded
long before the hour arrived for the curtain to rise.
The entertainment being under the patronage of Queen
Emma, the performance did not commence until her
arrival. Her Majesty entered the hall at eight o'clock,
and was escorted to her seat by Admiral Farquhar,
the audience rising, and the band playing the national
1 Ch. IX.
air. Previous to the curtain rising, the manager, Lieut.
Wilmot, appeared before the curtain and delivered the
following prologue, of which he is himself the author:
' If for our thoughts there could but speech be found,
And all that speech be uttered in one sound,
So that some power above us would afford
The means to make a language of a word,
It should be Welcome: in that only voice
We greet you all, and at this vision much rejoice,
To see so many friends all moved with pity
For war's sad victims, in this fair city ;
The oiphan, widow, and peasant bereft
Of all that makes life valued ; alas ! what's left,
Save mourning face3 and fields laid waste,
The bitter fruit of war begun in haste ?
So we've invoked your aid and helping hand
To send relief unto that suffering land;
And not in vain, as show these crowded ranks,
For which we express our deepfelt, grateful thanks.
But before presenting our little troupe to you,
Doubtless some few words are justly due.
Five thousand miles we've come 'tis true,
To see the far famed town of Honolulu;
Some little training on the way we've had,
And if not good, we hope not altogether bad.
Of you then, mighty critics, assembled here,
We ask an indulgent eye and ear;
We try to please,—oh take it not amiss—
And if you cannot cheer, pray do not hiss.
Laugh if you can : if you cannot laugh why weep;
When you can keep awake no longer, fall asleep.'
' The prologue elicited numerous flattering comments.
The appearance of the neat little stage, as well as the.
style of the pieces presented, reminded many present
of the old Thespian Club of former years. The opening piece was the capital farce of | Boots at the Swan," mmsm
and was followed by an interval, during which Mr.
Ommanney sang a comic song in character, which received a decided encore. A portion of the band of the
" Zealous" played during the intermission, and performed some delightful music. The comic farce of
" Slasher and Crasher " concluded one of the best entertainments that has been given in this city for some
time. The acting throughout was really excellent, "and
each character was performed in a manner that would
have reflected credit upon regular professionals. The
make-up of the " lady " members of the company was
splendid, and each of them acted their parts to perfection, particularly " Miss Allen," who appeared in both
pieces, and made quite a charming and good-looking
young lady—rather healthy, perhaps. Mr. Corbet, as
"Jacob" ("Boots of the Swan "),Mr. Baring, as " Captain
Friskly," Mr. Ommanney, as " Pippin," and " Miss Allen,"
as " Sally," acquitted themselves admirably in the first
piece. Mr. Brimfield, as "Mr. Blowhard," in the second,
exhibited fine qualities as a comedian, while Lieutenant
Wilmot and Mr. Corbet, as " Slasher " and " Crasher,"
kept the audience in continual good humour through-,
out the piece. From the fact that the company had
not given a performance since leaving Valparaiso, it
was a matter of agreeable surprise that they were able
to acquit themselves with such perfection, especially
before so many ladies. The generous efforts of the
officers in aid of the cause for which the entertainment
was given will long be remembered as a pleasant reminiscence of their first visit to Honolulu.   It was their m
Ch. IX.
intention to have given another performance for the
benefit of a local charity, but the shortness of their stay
prevented them from doing so.'
After paying all expenses, the sum of 281. was transmitted in equal portions to two funds in England having for their object the purpose of this entertainment;
and considering the size of the hall, which can only
accommodate about 180 people, it was looked upon as
a result exceeding the anticipations of the most sanguine. Queen Emma, accompanied by a numerous
suite, came on board the next day to lunch with the
Admiral, and as the ship occasionally rolled considerably, we had prepared a state chair out of a cask cut
into shape, and covered with red baize, which was
slung to a whip all ready to hoist out her Majesty. It
really looked quite royal, and we were not a little
proud of our performance, therefore felt slightly disappointed that a few steady moments enabled the party
to ascend the ladder without its assistance. But on
going away she expressed a wish to go out in the
' tub,' as she called it, so was accordingly hoisted out
with great eclat. She seemed much pleased with the
ship, and expressed herself highly gratified by the previous evening's entertainment. Though no longer
young, Queen Emma is still pretty, dark, with beautiful eyes, and of a most amiable disposition, so that
she is very popular with everybody. Speaking English remarkably well, she might easily be mistaken for
an European; for, having been a good deal in England,
she has copied the manners and style of dress, and in
M 162
complexion only shows her native origin. The next
heir to the throne, King Kamehamaha being unmarried, is a certain Prince Billy, rather addicted to
conviviality, but withal popular for possessing many
good qualities. The sovereign has it in his own power,
I believe, to name his successor, and therefore complications may arise at his death should he have been
influenced by bad advisers. It is the opinion of many
that after the death of the present king these islands
will fall under the dominion of America, for our
influence has nearly all gone there. Such an occurrence would be much to be regretted, insomuch that I
do not think even the superior advantages offered by a
republic, of which America affords such an example,
could tend to more rapid improvement or produce better
results than has been the case under the present system
—a system of government which all nations might not
be ashamed to copy, in that it inculcates the precepts
of morality, law, and order in a higher degree than can
be boasted by many nations civilised by centuries.
It was with great regret at the shortness of our
stay, and a hearty wish for a continuance of prosperity and maintenance of their present relations, that
we found ourselves compelled to bid adieu to the
charming little town of Honolulu, and get under weigh
for Maui on the 6 th, another island, some forty miles
distant, which we intended to visit before finally starting
for San Francisco, i A strong head wind, necessitating
the use of steam, did not permit us to arrive at our
destination till early on the morning of the 8th.    The mmm
Ch. IX.
island of Maui, like the rest of the group, is of great
altitude ; in fact, it might be described as a mountain
island, but divided into innumerable peaks, such as are
always seen where volcanic influences have been at
work. The lower part is barren and covered with tufa,
making it most unpleasant walking, while here and
there are huge boulders several feet high. There were
a great number of pigeons among these rocks, which at
once became the object of several guns, and it was not
until too late that we discovered they had been imported at some expense by a gentleman residing there,
who did not wish them to be exterminated, but to increase and multiply. This gentleman, whose name is
McKee, has a large sugar plantation some distance up
the mountain, and he having most kindly placed his
house and horses at our disposal, a party was made up
to visit the great extinct crater of' Haleokla' (House of
the Sun). Accordingly nearly a score of us landed in
native canoes, for the surf was too high for our own
boats. These canoes are peculiarly constructed, and
admirably adapted to carry several people safely, by a
very simple contrivance, which consists of a long spar
rigged out on one side, resting in the water parallel to
the canoe, and connected with it by a smaller spar at
each end. The effect is that on this side the weight
may be placed without immersing the canoe, while at
the same time there is little loss of speed or increase
of weight. It is astonishing what a difference in stability is thus made to a cranky canoe.
On shore a number of horses awaited us, so we proas 2 164
ceeded up the mountain, and after a pleasant ride, with
the exception of one shower, reached the mansion of
Captain McKee, who received us most kindly, supplying
clothes of his own to those who were wet. The house
consisted of seven or eight detached cottages standing
in the centre of a large garden. At the back the hillside was covered with sugar plantations, in which
hundreds of peacocks were preserved. The cultivation
of sugar is the employment of this gentleman, which
article he exports largely. The climate is peculiarly
favourable to the growth of this plant, though hurricanes occasionally do great damage. On this estate the
cane is grown ; then the mills are at hand where it is
made into sugar, and placed in barrels for exportation.
I should mention that we brought over from Honolulu
two ladies who were going to pay a visit to this family,
and who came up with the advanced guard of the
party. In addition Captain McKee has six daughters,
varying in age from ten to twenty-five, so that we
sat down to dinner a very jovial party. Although in
the tropics, the climate was delicious, so cool and conducive to energy that when the afternoon had been
passed variously—in flirting, billiards, or riding—it was
felt that a dance was necessary ; so whilst we cleared
the drawing-room a messenger was despatched with
three horses down to the ship for some musical performers. In the interval of sending them ashore three
middies, having landed, observed the patient steeds, and,
struck with the coincident number, soon disappeared
up the hill at a gallop, though not without some ques- Ch. IX.
tioning on the part of the messenger as to whether they
were the gents expected, which there was no reason
they might not be. Accordingly, when three accomplished musicians arrived, they had to struggle up the
hill on foot, and, after a long delay, were seen approaching, reminding one forcibly of that ubiquitous
German band which at home always wakes you up at
six in the morning by a feeble attempt at' Trovatore'
under your windows; consisting generally of a big fat
man with a piccolo, a little thin man with a bombardon,
and a boy with a cornet. In this case the boy succumbed, and had to be carried by the thin man, while
the fat man brought up the rear, all in an exhausted
condition. However, liquid restored them to animation, and soon our miniature ball commenced. We
kept it up till nearly two in the morning, when nature
compelled us to retire. As our party was large it was
requisite that each bed should contain two. One,
however, we being an odd number, was fortunate in
having a large sofa to himself, so testified his joy by
smoking the whole night there, and was observed
in exactly the same position when some of the party
got up the following morning at 4 a.m. to start for the
crater: however, then he seized a just vacated couch,
and wasting no time to disrobe, was instantly in a deep
slumber. Of the visit to the crater the following
account has been furnished by one of the party.:—
' The crater of " Haleokla," distant about eighteen
miles from our starting-point, is on the summit of a
mountain in the  south-east portion of Maui, at an 166
our journal in the pacific     Ch lx.
elevation of 10,200 feet above the level of the sea.
Horses and guides having been provided, we started (a
party of seven officers) at four in the morning.
' After passing through fields of sugar-cane for about
a mile, guided by the struggling light of the waning
moon, we left cultivation behind, and entered upon a
virgin soil of decomposed lava, covered with rank
weeds, shrubs, and brushwood. Day dawned about five,
exhibiting a wooded hill on one side, and on the other,
beneath a low stratum of cloud, which hung like a
curtain round the island, we looked across the channel,
with its wdiite-crested waves, to the dark shores of
Hawaii. Turning our eyes towards the mountain,
peak after peak rose to a towering height, and bye-and-
bye the sun began to bathe the lofty ridges in golden
light. As we advanced the soil varied; sometimes our
horses sank to their fetlocks in pulverised lava, at
other times they stumbled over rugged blocks. Anon
we cantered over a rich soil, with a thick bottom of
fine spear-grass; flowering shrubs scented the air, and
berries of various kinds hung in branches from others.
A species of heath also abounded. About half-way to
the summit we rested on a spur of the mountain facing
the north-west, and, the clouds having disappeared, we
had a glorious view of the distant islands of ' Molokai,'
Ranai, and Tachoorowa; on the slopes of the mountains were large sugar plantations ; and beyond the low
neck of land connecting the extremes of the island
rose massive hills, with richly cultivated sides. The
ship, which was visible, looked like a  tiny sea-bird Ch. IX,
floating on the ocean. The air was now becoming
keen, and occasionally a cold mist swept across the
face of the mountain. Vegetation continued until
within two miles of the summit, and probably a thousand feet below it, when we entered on a desolate
region of powdered lava, cinder, and scoriee. Before
reaching the grand crater we passed three smaller ones,
the largest about a mile in circumference and about
three hundred feet deep. From one of the highest
ridges we could see the mountains of Hawaii above
the dense masses of clouds clinging to their sides,
the summits tipped with snow, and one giving forth a
stream of smoke. The highest, Mauna Kea, is 13,953
feet above the level of the sea, an active volcano of the
grandest description. The last eruption, in 1868,
broke out on the side of the mountain, and was most
destructive, being accompanied by an earthquake and
a huge wave which swept with irresistible force over
the low coast, overwhelming several villages. During
the ascent we had not heard the chirp of a bird, nor
seen an animal of any description until near the summit, when we suddenly came upon a flock of wild
sheep, that scampered away at our approach. If deer
were introduced, as they have been into some of the
other islands, they would find abundant pasture.
' I may here note a curious piece of knowledge on
the part of one of the guides, who, on being asked
what time it was, exhibited a crude idea of the sundial by drawing a cross in the dust, and placing a
small stick upright on what he conceived to be the 166
meridian line, observed where- the  shadow fell and
gave the hour pretty correctly.    At 9.30 we reached
the edge of the great crater, which is about twenty-
one miles in circumference, and from its very size is
not striking, being, in fact, a depressed plain, 1,500 to
2,000 feet in depth, studded with small volcanic cones.
The sides are in some places perpendicular, but generally of steep  descent.    There  is no record of this
volcano having been in eruption, and the date must be
remote, as the most recent lava shows signs of vegetation on its surface.    Almost immediately after gaining
the summit the mist  began to  roll in through the
hollows  of the  ridge and  to  fill  the  crater.     Dismounting from our wearied-steeds, we were glad to
seek shelter from the cutting wind under the lee of a
semicircle  of stones, which had been piled up by
former visitors, where we  unpacked our basket and
enjoyed our morning repast, none the less acceptable
for its frugality; nor did we suffer inconvenience from
the rarity of the air owing to the height of our position.    We fell in with a beautiful specimen of the
cryptogamous   ice-plant.    Our  naturalist describes it
as of the  class  Thallogens,   with   spreading  fronds.
We found it growing out from the fissure of a rock,
and gathered a quantity of its silver, velvety leaves,
which retain their beauty and gloss after being pressed.
Half an hour sufficed us to take our fill of the gloomy
scene around us, and then we commenced to descend,
enshrouded in a thick mist, which would have rendered our path dubious but for the presence of guides. w«S
Ch. IX.
Occasionally the sun broke through the mist, and a
sense of drowsiness stealing over us, we took advantage of a grassy spot to dismount and let our horses
crop the herbage, whilst we resigned ourselves to a
comfortable nap, fanned by the mountain breeze.
' When we got back at 3 p.m. we found that the
remainder of the party had gone down to the ship,
taking the young ladies of the house with them; and
we met them returning on our way down. They were
delighted with their visit to the ship, not having seen a
vessel of such magnitude before, besides an opportunity of seeing and hearing the effect of our big guns,
for that day we were practising with shot and shell.
We halted to say good-bye, when mutual expressions
of regret passed between us, for we felt nothing could
have exceeded the hospitality and kindness shown by
Captain and Mrs. McKee and their charming daughters.
With three cheers we then rode down the hill and
embarked for the ship. It was with a sad thought of
the unlikelihood of meeting again that we saw the
lofty hills of Maui recede in the distance and found
ourselves on our way to San Francisco that evening.' 170
Ch. X.
The passage from Maui to San Francisco was characterised by a more than usual degree of tediousness and
disappointment, even to us who ought to have been
by this time well schooled in adversity. Leaving on
May 9, no sooner had we fairly got clear of the land
than the wind failed us in the most unexpected manner, and after being at sea four days had not made
more than three hundred miles. At this early period
of the passage we could not afford coal, having but a
small quantum of that valuable commodity on board,
so this slow rate continued till the 20th ; occasionally
a light breeze coming enabled us to average between
forty and fifty miles a day, and so creep towards our
destination. But on the 20th we at last picked up the
missing trade, and for a few days new life was instilled
into us. On the 24th, however, the wind shifted to
the northward, and the weather became very cold.
For three or four days we were at the mercy of a foul
wind, making but little progress, so that after being
twenty-three days at sea we were not more than halfway, though the worst part was over, being now well mmm
in north latitude. But we had yet to undergo several
days of unfavourable and changeable weather before
we picked up a westerly wind, which brought us in
sight of the Farallones on the evening of June 4.
Approaching the land we were soon enveloped in a
thick fog, and obliged to anchor outside till it cleared
off. It continued till eleven the following forenoon,
when the sun and breeze dispersed the fog, showing us
to be just outside the harbour. Steam was at once
got up, and we went in through the Golden Gate,
anchoring in our old spot. Before this our salute
echoing through the town gave information that the
' Zealous' had arrived. The only important news
awaiting us was the conclusion of the civil war in
Paris, with the end as we had foreseen. After a bombardment of about two months the Government troops
entered Paris, having to fight, bit by bit and street by
street, against the Communists, who fought like wild
cats behind the barricades ; then, finding there was no
hope for them, commenced setting fire to the capital
in several places, causing considerable damage to the
Tuileries, H6tel de Ville, and other fine buildings
before it could be extinguished. Exasperated at this,
the Government troops shot down everyone they met,
even women, many of whom had been discovered
throwing petroleum and other combustible matter into
the houses. Such a tragedy has few parallels in history.
During our present stay at San Francisco, as this
was the most favourable time of the year, two of the 172
Ch. X.
! :
officers determined to take a trip to the far-famed
Yo-Semite Valley and mammoth trees of California,
both being justly ranked amongst the wonders of the
world; the first on account of its unrivalled scenery,
the second on account of their exceeding in size any
other known trees, either in the Old or New World.
Though our stay in port was limited to a fortnight,
such an opportunity would not probably occur again
in the commission, so the plan was put into execution,
and the following account of the trip is from the pen
of one of them :—
'My travelling "companion and I, having fixed on
June 19 to start for the big trees and Yo-Semite Valley,
collected what information we could as to the most
eligible route to and fro, bearing in mind our limited
time. There are three routes to the valley, one vid
Mariposa and the Mariposa grove of big trees, another
by Coulterville, and the third vid Copperopolis and the
Calaveras grove. After due consideration we determined to go by the Mariposa Valley and return by
Coulterville, this embracing with the greatest ease a
sight of one group of the giant trees.
' The Yo-Semite Valley lies nearly due east, about
150 miles as the crow flies, from San Francisco (by the
route 230), in the lap of the Merced group of the great
Sierra Nevada range of mountains; and the Merced
•river first becomes a stream of any size in its bosom,
taking its rise higher up in the mountains. The valley
was first discovered in 1851 by Major Savage, United
States army, when in pursuit of some predatory In- mmiUM
Ch. X.
dians, but only within the last few years has it been
accessible except to a few hardy pioneers. Now the
difficulties are easily overcome, and each year renders
the facilities of travel greater.
' Having obtained through tickets at San Francisco,
on the day appointed we crossed to Oaklands on the
opposite side of the bay, and from thence proceeded
by train to Lathrop, eighty-seven miles on the Pacific
line, whence we branched off to Modesta, twenty miles
farther on, where we got good accommodation in a
newly-built hotel. The railway, on leaving Oaklands,
takes a south-easterly direction for some distance along
the bay, then, turning to the north-east, passes through a
low coast range of wooded hills and across a fine, rich,
wheat-producing plain, now, however, completely burnt
up by two successive years of drought. Near Lathrop
we crossed the San Joaquin River, which in time will
be utilised to irrigate the valley which bears its name.
I On the following morning,  after  a four  o'clock
o *D7
breakfast, we started in a lumbering coach drawn by
eight horses, crammed inside and out. I, being wedged
in between two big, broad-shouldered men, was nearly
smothered; whilst my companion having, with the
British sailor's proverbial gallantry, given up his outer
seat to a lady, was rewarded by her sweetest smiles
and the perfect confidence she soon displayed in resting
her wearied head on his shoulder j of which service
and his agreeable conversation she will ever retain a
lively and grateful remembrance. Subsequently a
change of places gave me the pressure of a fair but 174
Ch. X.
bulky form; but, alas I I was not rewarded, like my
friend, with a public acknowledgement of the comforts
that form experienced.
' A heavy shower of rain during the night (unusual
at this season) had cooled the air and laid the dust, so
that beyond being crammed and jolted over an execrable track we did not experience much inconvenience.
All the plain lying between the low coast range and
the foot of the mountains is a rich soil, and where it
receives a due proportion of rain produces heavy grain
crops ; but no dependence can be placed on the seasons,
and experience begins to teach the farmers that a system
of irrigation alone can ensure crops. This can be easily
effected; in fact, an English gentleman who has had
great experience in India has undertaken the operation
on a grand scale.
' Having lunched at the village of Hornitas, after
a drive of about fifty miles, we travelled over a
picturesque country to Bear Valley, where we had
to mourn the loss of three out of five of our fair
fellow-travellers, who on the coach waved a tender
adieu. In the Bear Valley district several gold mines
are being worked, and the bears, from which it derives
its name, are nearly extirpated. Mariposa, which we
reached at 6 p.m., is the capital of the county, and
situated in a pretty valley, with a stream running
along the foot of the hills. A quartz-crushing mill
was erected here on a large scale by a company, but
the capital having been ' played out,' the mill has
come to  a  standstill.    The  region, however, is rich
_ Ch. X.
in gold, and the bases of the hills are literally honeycombed by the gold-washing huts, but only a few Chinamen now remain of the mining host. The surface has
been well washed, but hydraulic power, when water is
plentiful, might doubtless still be used with success.
A vein of gold quartz also traverses the district.
' From Mariposa we wound our way upwards through
a wooded country, and arrived about nine o'clock at
our night quarters, " White and Hatch's," a pleasant,
clean house standing at an elevation of 3,000 feet
above the level of the sea, where we found the air
pure, keen, and appetising, which enabled us to do
ample justice to the really excellent repast furnished.
As regards the good fare the same may be remarked
of the various inns established along the route to the
Yo-Semite Valley. The keepers are generally intelligent, well informed, and industrious, apparently
superior in most respects to the same class in the
old country.
' Wednesday, 21st.—After an early breakfast we again
started by coach, our route lying entirely through a
forest of magnificent pines and cedars, interspersed
with evergreen oaks and flowering shrubs. The ground
was perfectly enamelled with wild flowers, some of
them very beautiful, especially the snow plant, which
resembles a double hyacinth, but is of a deep red colour
and gives forth no fragrance. It grows at high altitudes, nourished amidst the frosts and snows of winter.
' We crossed the Chowilla Mountain at an elevation
of 7,000 feet, and then descended by an easy grade to ^^2*mlm!/m***m2mWM
Ch. X.
Clark's Rancho, which we reached at eleven. This
rancho is situated in a narrow valley, through which
runs the south fork of the Merced, and is the largest
establishment on the route We found the quarters
most comfortable and fare abundant. Mr. Clark is one
of the oldest pioneers—a fine specimen of the class—and
discoverer of the Mariposa grove of big trees. The
drivers of the coaches ought also to be mentioned as a
singularly fine race of men, possessed of great shrewdness and intelligence, inured to hard work, and formerly
exposed to constant danger from the Indians. We
found them civil, obliging, and communicative: one
amused us exceedingly by his description of a Scotch
naturalist with whom he had roamed through the forests
collecting butterflies and insects. The fancy pleased
him mightily, and he shouted with merriment at the
idea of this strange employment. Mariposa (meaning
butterfly in Spanish) derived its name from these
beautiful insects, which abound and are of brilliant
' By the time we had reached Clark's we had become
pretty well acquainted with our fellow-travellers, and
found some of them very agreeable.  One, a Mr. B ,
a preacher of note in Sacramento, was making the trip
with two lady connections. He had travelled over
Europe, the Holy Land, and other parts of the globe,
so that we found many subjects of mutual interest,
besides being both enthusiastic admirers of fine scenery,
and as their plans suited ours, we arranged to proceed
together.    So after lunch we all set out on horseback Ch. X.
for the Mammoth Trees. Our guide was young, but intelligent and active; constantly on the watch to " hinch"
up the girths when getting slack, to prevent a catastrophe. Our trail lay first along the valley, partly enclosed as farm land attached to the rancho; then we
scrambled up a steep and rugged path to the height of
1,200 feet, occasionally getting glimpses of deep-wooded
hollows, overhung by rocky cliffs. What a glorious
forest we rode through !—composed of yellow, sugar,
and Douglas pine, and great cedars ; many of the
former 10 to 12 feet in diameter, 300 in height,
and without a branch for 200. Such a ride alone
compensated one for the trip. But behold before us
in a swampy hollow a prostrate giant in expiring
gasp, after having dwelt in the solitude of the forest
for upwards of 2,000 years. Before the Star of Bethlehem had risen in the East; before great Ceesar died;
before Old England was discovered by the ancients,
thou didst spread abroad thy branches! These
thoughts filled my imagination almost to the exclusion of astonishment at the gigantic proportions of the
tree. By rough steps we mounted the trunk, and
stood nearly 30 feet from the ground : other great
trees were near, but we had to move on some distance
before arriving at the grizzly giant; a hoary monster,
nearly 100 feet in circumference—albeit fire had
passed over it, and burnt away a portion of its girth
—whilst its first branch is 150 to 180 feet from the
ground, and eight in diameter. I rode round it, gazing
in admiration and astonishment;  its  top had either 178
decayed by age or been blown off by the wind, but
its height still is about 300 feet. Some of the most
perfect trees have attained even to a height.of 400 feet
and upwards.
' We now wandered from tree to tree, lost in amazement. I thought, Why has nature here produced trees
so far exceeding in size any hitherto known in the Old
or New World? The grove consists of about six
hundred trees, more than one over 100 feet in circumference. They are a species of cedar named by
an Englishman WeUingtonia gigantea, the botanical
name being Sequoia gigantea (sempervirens) of the
genus Taxodium.    The largest trees have been named Ch. X.
by travellers; such as The Grizzly Giant, Fallen Monarch,
Forest Queen, Aged Couple, Satan's Spear, &c-
To equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand.
' Three of us were able to ride abreast through one
hollow charred trunk ; and we saw a trunk which indicated a tree had existed 120 feet in circumference.
Unfortunately most of the largest trees have been
touched by fire, the ruthless wTork of the Indians:
Several groups of Sequoia have been discovered; but
this  is  the  most numerous, although the  Calaveras
7 O
grove lays claim to a larger tree than any I have mentioned. Their age has been computed at from 2,500 to
3,000 years, but it is almost impossible even to arrive
at an approximation. It has been calculated that the
trunk alone of one of the largest could be cut into
paling eight feet long and four inches square to enclose
2,200 acres of ground. It was only when the guide
warned us that night would overtake us in the depths
of the forest that we reluctantly quitted a scene fraught
with such interest; and, remounting, rode towards our
place of rest in the waning light, more than ever impressed with the grandeur of these forests. Such scenes
tend to elevate the mind and turn it to the great Creator
of the Universe, whose hand has fashioned with equal
care and wisdom the tiny blade of grass and these giant
trees of the forest. By eight o'clock we got back to
the rancho, where an  excellent  dinner  awaited us;
N V 180
after which we retired to enjoy such a sleep as a long-
day in the pure and bracing air must always ensure.
' Thursday, 22nd.—Up betimes and got off by seven
on horseback (our stage travelling ending here), accompanied by our friends of the previous day.    After
crossing the south fork of the Merced—a clear and
rapid stream—we wound our way along the side of a
precipitous hill overlooking a deep valley, and, after
crossing a  bottom with  open glades, made a great
ascent through the same character of pine forest; now
and then catching glimpses of the distant mountains.
At 11.30 we arrived at Peregoy rancho, situated on
the edge of a swampy plain, having gone about fourteen miles.    This rancho was formerly a cattle ranch,
but has lately been fitted up for the accommodation
of tourists wishing to get the first view of the valley
from the Sentinel Dome and Glacier Point; our object
also.    When preparing to start for these points, after
the midday meal, portentous clouds began to gather
over the mountains, and soon a peal of thunder warned
us the storm was at hand.    It quickly burst upon us
with great violence.    The rain descended in torrents,
the lightning flashed, and the thunder made the earth
tremble as it reverberated from peak to peak.     A
storm amongst the mountains is always grand, but by
four it had subsided.
I The wind died away like a sleeping child's breath,
The pavilion of clouds was unfurled,
And the sun, like a spirit triumphant o'er death,
Smiled out on this beautiful world. Ch. X.
' The day being now far gone, the ladies thought a ride
of fourteen miles before dark, too much for them, so
they determined to postpone their first glimpse of the
valley until the following morning. My friend and I,
having but scant time, started with our guide. An
hour and a half s ride, first over swampy plains and
then through the forest, brought us to the Sentinel
Dome, 4,500 feet above the valley, which burst upon
us in all its sublimity and grandeur. The clouds had
rolled off after the storm, and thin vapour crept up
the sides of the mountains in fleecy clouds, which
lingered for a while, but disappeared before the sun's
rays. Far away to the east and south-east rose snowcapped peaks of the Sierra" Nevadas, some of them
13,000 to 14,000 feet above the level of the sea.
To the south Mount Star King; to the west and
north-west densely wooded hills cleft in two by a
tremendous gorge, through which runs the Merced.
Far, far beneath, slept in peaceful beauty the Yo-
Semite Valley, hemmed in on every side by giant
cliffs, its streams like silver threads, its tall trees
dwarfed to the size of shrubs, and its orchards looking like cabbage gardens. At the upper end a lake
shone like a polished mirror; almost in front of us the
South Dome, | Tis-sa-ack" (goddess of the valley)
reared its mighty head 5,000 feet perpendicular; on
the north side of the valley, El Capitan, " Tu-tock-ah-
nu-lak " (great chief of the valley), 3,300 feet, beetling
over the gorge, frowned in majesty ; and adjoining it
the  Three Brothers,  " Pom-pom-pa-sus "   (mountains 182
playing at leap-frog), resting' one upon the other,
ponderous and grand, facing the Three Graces of
softer beauty. The North Dome, " To-cay-oe " (shade
to baby cradle basket), 3,725 feet, supported by
Washington Tower, " Hunto " (watching eye), 2,200
feet, hang over the Mirror Lake. Magnificent water-
falls at various points poured over the wave-worn cliffs
in sheets of dazzling foam. We could hear distinctly the
roar of the Nevada Fall as the Merced threw itself with
one wild bound 700 feet into the gorge below, flashing
and glistening in the rays of the setting sun. At
.another point the Yo-Semite Fall precipitates itself
1,600 feet on to a broad ledge projecting from the
cliff; again it takes a leap of 600; and finally, by
a third bound of 434 feet, reaches the valley, there
to be lost in the waters of the Merced. Other streams,
now full from the recent storm, fell from the dizzy
heights in snowy sheets into the valley. The whole
conjured up some fairy scene as memory recalled many
a tale of childhood where imprisoned princesses and
huge giants had their dwelling in some such impenetrable spot; and imagination found a parallel here in
these Titan rocks and sylvan beauty below.
' From the bald head of the Sentinel Dome we descended obliquely 1,000 feet to Glacier Point, where,
from an overhanging rock, we looked down sheer into
the valley 3,700 feet. Being nearer the South Dome
it looked still grander, and we had also a finer view of
the Nevada and Vernal Falls, with the foaming cataract
below. Ch. X.
' The sun had dipped behind the mountains, and the
valley was beginning to be steeped in gloom, ere we
turned away from the fascinating scene to wend our
way through the darkening forest to our night quarters.
Filled with thoughts on the sublimity and grandeur of
the scene we had left we rode on slowly and in silence,
until suddenly aroused from our reverie by finding
ourselves on the brink of a roaring torrent, which we
had passed but four hours before a limpid stream.
Our guide hesitated to cross; but on the one side was
the prospect of a cold and dreary bivouac; on the
other shelter, warmth, and fuel; so, divested of his
upper garment, and examining well the girths of the
horses, he plunged boldly in. We followed, and all
reached the opposite bank in safety, although at one
time my horse lost his footing, and visions of being
hurled down by the impetuous flood rose before me—
happily not realised. How thankful I felt the ladies
had not accompanied us, as they dared not have
attempted to cross till the flood should subside! It
was quite dark ere we reached our cosy quarters,
where a cheerful wood fire welcomed us, also a good
dinner; and the evening passed most agreeably in the
society of our companions.
' Friday, 22>rd.—Again making an early rise we set
off for the valley, whilst the others went to the points
of attraction we had visited the previous evening. After
a five-mile ride through the same magnificent forest,
with swampy bottoms at intervals, we arrived at the
edge of the deep gorge through which the Merced 184
Oh. X.
flows; and, having tied up our horses, scrambled to a
projecting point commanding a glorious view of the
whole length of the valley, being elevated about 3,000
feet above it. The river, full from the recent rains,
was pouring its floods along—sometimes a torrent of
angry foam; anon placid, tranquil, and mirror-like.
On each side rose giant walls of rock, over which fell
several waterfalls of exquisite beauty. How bold and
grand El Capitan looked—the guardian of the pass!
How soft and graceful the wooded heights of the
Three Graces; and how mighty the South Dome,
towering above all his compeers! The valley is about
eight miles long, with a width of from half a mile to a
mile. It is almost a dead level, and seems to have
been formed by a sudden subsidence of the earth, as
characteristics attending either the glacier formation,
or having been cut out by water, are wanting. Its
elevation is 4,000 feet above the level of the sea.
'After contemplating for some time the exquisite
view from Inspiration Point, we commenced the descent by a steep and rugged trail, and after an hour
and a half of floundering progress reached the valley,
where the trail improved as we rode along under the
shade of lofty pines and spreading oaks; at one time
by the edge of the tumbling river; at another by the
base of stupendous cliffs. By-and-by we approached the
Bridal Veil Fall, called by the Indians " Po-ho-no "—
meaning, spirit of the evil wind—and held by them in
superstitious awe. Diverging slightly we got close to
it.    A perfect cloud of spray enveloped us at times; i w-mm ' 1mm
III fi flwwii
ii Iff
tl is if
W/tif:-.  ■n
but, as the wind drove it aside, we had a fine view of
the fall amidst the roar of waters. It is 900 feet in
height, and, soon after taking its wild leap over the
precipice, it seemed to lose its solidarity, and to
separate into rockets, in turn to burst into sheets of
dazzling spray. Passing on we had the Three Graces
and Cathedral Spires on the one side, and El Capitan
and Three Brothers on the other; all upwards of 3,000
feet in height, and almost perpendicular.
' There are three good hotels in the valley, and it
was our intention to have gone to the oldest established,
" Hutchings's;" but our fellow-travellers had persuaded
us to put up at Liedig's, the first on entering the valley,
where the fare is good, and apartments clean. Immediately behind the hotel the Sentinel Rock rises needle-
shaped 3,043 feet; and nearly opposite, the Yo-Semite
Fall takes its huge leap. I never wearied gazing on
it, and watching the eddying wind bending into wavy
lines the snowy veil.
' Having lunched, obtained fresh horses and a guide,
we started for the Nevada Fall. Riding up the valley
for some distance we passed Blake's and Hutchings's
hotels; a large drinking saloon recently erected,
with baths—hot, cold, and Turkish—attached; also
a laundry, dry goods store, and photographic establishment ; then following the upward course of the
Merced, which takes a sharp turn to the southward,
we passed near the base of the Sentinel Dome, and
close under Glacier Point. Crossing the entrance of
the South Canon we caught sight of the South Fort 186
Ch. X.
Waterfall, 'but did not approach it, the way being
blocked by large boulders cast down from the crags
above: at times the valley is literally shaken by the
shock of falling cliffs, rent off in winter by the swelling
ice, or loosened by the floods. Continuing along the
course of the river—now a foaming cataract—we
wound our way up a giddy path with frequently not
a foot between us and the deep abyss. Occasionally
we stopped to look back on the glories which different
points revealed; then, crossing the shoulder of a large
buttress, we came' in view of the Nevada Fall, and,
descending, crossed the torrent by a wooden bridge,
and rode to a house of refreshment not long built on
a rocky plateau, a short distance from the fall, and
close under the Cap of Liberty, a, cone rising 2,000
feet above the falls, and 4,000 above the plain. Here
we fell in with General S and a large party, including several ladies, who were making the same tour
as ourselves, and just about to start for Clouds Rest, a
peak of the Sierra Nevada, "where they wished us to
accompany them; but time would not permit, so we
' Leaving our horses, and again crossing the stream by
a narrow foot-bridge, we got near to the fall, which,
although not the highest, is certainly the finest in the
valley, as the main body of the Merced descends at one
bound 700 feet. The sun shining on the glittering
spray produced one of the most perfect and brilliant
rainbows I have' ever witnessed, and, being low, appeared to envelope us.    Having gazed at the magnifi- Ch, X.
cent spectacle above and below for a short time, we
returned to the house, mounted, and recrossed the
bridge; then giving our horses to the guide, with
directions to meet us at a point lower down, descended
by a series of ladders to the foot of the fall, which is
350 feet high, named by the Indians " Pi-wy-ack," or
Cataract of Diamonds—which well describes its beauty.
At this point a sad accident occurred the previous week :
a tourist fell from the ladder and was killed on the
spot. Clouds of spray blown across our path rendered
it exceedingly slippery; so that care had to be taken,
as a false step might have been fatal, the foaming torrent being beneath. Rejoining our guide, we hastened
homewards, stopping at the baths and saloon, where we
refreshed the inner and outer man.
' Saturday, 2Aih.—Off at daylight to see the reflections
in the mirror lake before its surface was ruffled by the
breeze. The lake lies near the head of the valley,
between the South Dome on the one side and the
North Dome and Washington Tower on the other. It
is a small piece of water deeply fringed with trees.
Not a ripple disturbed its surface, and each peak, ridge,
tree, crag, and shade was so faithfully reflected that it
was difficult to discover where substance ended and
shadow began. The blending was exquisite: shortly
the sun began to gild the mountain peaks and rugged
crags, whose outline in the water looked like burnished
O   7
gold. A musical echo was heard here, prolonged for
some seconds, and dying away in a most melodious
cadence. 188
Ch. X.
; it   I
' A very small part of the valley is cultivated, the
greater portion being covered with brushwood or large
trees, pines, evergreen oak, maple, &c. In some places
it has quite a park-like appearance ; there are also
many beautiful shrubs and flowers—the white azalea,
with its faint aromatic perfume, scented the morning
air—and many others of varied hues.
' Sunday, 2bth.—Breakfasting early, and saying adieu
to our pleasant fellow travellers, we started on our return
journey by the Coulterville route, young Coulter, son
of the old pioneer, being our guide. Passing down the
valley for about a mile, we crossed to the north side of
the Merced, continuing along its banks close by the base
of El Capitan, and then took a very steep trail up the
mountain side through the woods. Having gained
the ridge, I took a last fond lingering look of the
valley, and can say almost in the words of a great
'" I never left a place with such pleasurable regret. I
have travelled almost the world over, have seen some
of its finest scenery, but have never seen so much of
sublime grandeur, relieved by so much beauty, as that
wilich I have witnessed in the Yosemite Valley."
'After a ride of about sixteen miles, we overtook the
party of General S 1 also homeward bound; and a
short distance further on our equestrian travel ended.
Here we lunched, and, having got a rattletrap and pair
of screws, drove ourselves the greater part of the way
to Coulterville. The drive was beautiful along the
mountain side, as at times we had magnificent views Ch. X.
over the valley of the Merced, and far away to the
' At 6 we reached Coulterville, having brought the
same pair of horses 30 miles, which distance they had
previously done early in the morning. They were
curious specimens of the genus " screw," but did their
work well. One had a peculiarity of going round the
corners on three legs, with the fourth stuck obliquely
and rigidly out, which rendered some of the critical
turnings a trifle unpleasant.
' Monday, 26th.—We got away by the stage* coach at
half-past six, and had one of the hottest, dustiest, and
most jolty rides I ever experienced, arriving at Modesta
at 4 p.m., where we were not sorry to exchange our
uneasy vehicle   for   the smooth-running train.    At
Lathrop we were detained some hours, not getting
away until 1 a.m. ; we, however, arrived at San Francisco in time for a nine o'clock breakfast on the 27th,
having had a most enjoyable trip. But as much depends
in a great measure upon the companion of your travels,
I must say I was fortunate in mine, and the pleasure
was largely increased by that companionship, where
discomfort could not ruffle, or difficulty daunt: only
once did I hear him give vent to anything like wrathful feelings, when being, as he muttered to himself,
I smothered in a bunk" in the railway car.   Add to
these qualities a fellow- admiration for lovely scenery,
and it makes a trip to Yo-Semite Valley well worth
' Although httle more than a fortnight at San Fran- 190
Ch. X.
H   I
cisco this time, we were enabled to keep up our ancient
regime of Thursday afternoons on two occasions, when
the number of people who came off showed they were
not yet weary of these entertainments, and many
were the expressions of regret which we heard at our
early departure. They were mutual, and only mitigated
by the feeling that before many months we should meet
again. Thus, on June 30, we once more bent our
steps towards the north, where our cruise will be
concluded, and a little shooting and fishing is looked
forward to as an agreeable change after the arduous
nature of the past year's employment. We steamed
up the coast without hindrance till July 2, when a
northerly breeze springing up obliged us to stop steam-:
ing, and stretch out from the land under sail. This
wind continued to blow with increasing strength, taking
us daily away from our port instead of towards it, till
the 11th, when it subsided, and with steam we were
enabled to make headway towards our destination,
having by this time run well to the westward. The
next morning we picked up the westerly wind that was
required to take us in before July 20, that being the
day fixed for the annexation of British Columbia to
the Dominion of Canada: no doubt to be celebrated
by some public demonstration, in which we ought to
take a part.
' The usual amusements which assist us to pass the
time on these lengthened cruises that it has been our
fate to sustain had not been forgotten, and a most
appropriate lecture on " War " was delivered by our Ch. X.
talented shipmate F , when the oft-repeated saying
" Si vis pacem para bellum " found in none a denial of
its efficacy. The following week a variation was tried
by substituting readings in lieu of a lecture ; and, two or
three of the officers having volunteered their services,
the way in which the trial from " Pickwick," " Artemus
Ward," and other selections were received fully demonstrated the popularity which always attends these
entertainments. The next week the " Free and Easy "
gave a performance, when a new addition, in the shape
of an Irishman, with the richest of brogues and most
7 O
comical of faces, kept the audience in a roar of laughter. So time sped on, till alternate changes of favourable weather brought us on the evening of the 18th up
to Cape Flattery, and we steamed through the Straits
of Fuca against a strong tide, arriving in Esquimalt
Harbour on the morning of July 19, where we found
the "Fawn" just out from England, besides our old
friends the " Boxer " and " Sparrowhawk."
' Thus comes to an end our cruise. It is a few days
over a year since we left Vancouver Island, and in. the
interval we have gone over many miles of ocean and
visited many places. The time has passed quickly,
though not always agreeably ; for that would be an
impossibility, taking into consideration the conditions
under which we serve. A rest, however, will prove
beneficial to all, and then, let us hope, when we again.
go forth it may be to visit fresh scenes, and bind all yet
more firmly in mutual enjoyment and friendship.' 192
On July 20, 1871, the day following our arrival in
Esquimalt Harbour, British Columbia, which includes
Vancouver Island, was admitted into, and confederated
with, the Dominion of Canada. By this act is forged
another link in the chain that shall hold together all
those vast possessions in the Northern continent. In
consolidation there is wisdom, because with that eagerness for self-government shown by our colonies must
come the conviction that the mother country, when
debarred from much voice in their governance, cannot
retain the same relations as in time past. Though
bound to protect her colonies when in the struggles of
infancy, there is a time, as in human life, when, although
rebelling against home government, they are not and
cannot be for some time strong enough to protect
themselves. It is this which has made the task of the
English Government, in dealing with oUr colonies, one
of great difficulty for some years. We see many things
demanded as a right, and our interference resented; Ch. XI.
while at the same time the least act in recognising the
ability of a colony to take care of itself is immediately
reprobated as deserting our children.
It is difficult for ordinary mortals to comprehend or
define the exact relations in which the Dominion of
Canada stands towards England at the present time.
It apparently is equally difficult for the presiding genius
at the Colonial Department to enlighten .them, or state
the policy determined on in the case of any eventuality.
In withdrawing all our troops we imply either that we
recognise their ability to defend themselves, or our own
inability to assist them. To enter into the correctness
of one or both these assumptions is not my present
purpose, though it would not be difficult, I think, to
show that the first is as absurd—where a population
of four millions is opposed to forty—as the second ; for
what sane man would deny the valuable auxiliary that
5,000 English regulars even would be to the Canadian
7 O O
militia at the first outset in keeping the invaders in
check till, reinforcements were procured. It is difficult
also, seeing that we do not throw up the idea of maintaining the integrity of the Dominion, to understand
how that object is better attained by withdrawing our
troops to a distance than keeping them in the country;
independent of other reasons against it, one of which
is forcibly given by a great writer in an essay on the
spirit of Conservatism. He says, ' A state must, for
durability, conserve its special national character; and
the national character of England will be lost whenever it shall see with apathy large  standing armies
o h
within its own shores. One of the obvious advantages
of military colonies is the facility they afford for maintaining therein such military strength as may be necessary for the protection of the empire, without quartering
large bodies of troops in England, to the danger of
freedom; and therefore it is a very shallow view of imperial policy to ascribe solely to our colonial wants the
military forceg kept in colonies, and exclaim," See what
those colonies cost us!" If we had no troops in
colonies, we must either be without adequate military
force, or we must obtain such adequate military force
at the risk of freedom, by collecting and converging
it into garrisons at home.' Those remarks are peculiarly applicable to the present time, and must commend themselves to men of every shade of political
But it is to British Columbia that I would call attention. At this moment the relations between Great
Britain and America are more amicable than they have
been for many years—all differences about to be
removed, and a glorious future of brotherly love predicted. Under these circumstances one need not be
called an alarmist, or accused of trying to damp a
sentimental enthusiasm, in pointing out that little
occurrence of July 1871, when Earl Granville succeeded Lord Clarendon at the Foreign Office, and was
told by one of his subordinates that never, in his
recollection, had the political state of Europe been so
quiet. Nevertheless, France declared war against
Prussia, and the incident remains as a warning that
jt Ch. XI.
under no imaginative state should these matters be
viewed, for we know not what a day may bring forth,
and should be prepared for any eventuality. Supposing, then, a war to break out between Great Britain and
America, what would be the position of British
Columbia ? Simply its occupation and annexation by
America; a long-cherished dream, which saw part of
its fulfilment in the purchase of Alaska, and is further
shown in their persistent efforts to attain San Juan.
War at any time within ten years would mean the
absorption of that portion of the Dominion, for it is
isolated and unprotected. Isolated, for there is no
communication with the East, except through America;
therefore Canada could not assist them, and the navy
of the latter is as yet unconstructed. Unprotected, for
it has no defences of its own—not a single fortification
or gun mounted; a meagre population, which does not
even boast a militia.
It would be to England, therefore, they would look
for protection ; and how could we do anything with the
small force we have in the Pacific, and that scattered
far and wide ? On the spot a corvette and gunboat
only available to resist any force sent up from San
Francisco—a port four days distant—or troops poured
across the Straits from Washington territory. It is
not pleasant to contemplate such a result; neither to
the inhabitants themselves, to whom something is due,
or to the mother-country, where so much moral prestige is concerned. But for that reason the subject
should not be shrunk from, neither remain with false -*m
notions of security, which a process  of drifting has
brought us to.
Under the terms of Confederation, Canada pledges
herself to build a railway across to the Pacific in ten
years: then communication being effected, there is every
prospect of the Dominion becoming a most powerful
d prosperous State.
It is this interregnum which
must be fraught with anxiety to both them and us. If
that can be tided over, their unity is assured; but,
looking at the situation of this country» the struggling
nature of its existence, and the barrenness of its population, it does almost seem short-sighted policy entering
the Dominion till the countries are connected and could
mutually assist each other. It may be said that Confederation will make that progress more rapidly, as
undoubtedly it will, but it places both in a peculiar
position till attained, and deciding at once against Imperial Government must also weaken the interest England feels in a colony which, from its circumstances, had
such a strong claim to protection and assistance.
But the act is consummated, and a Lieutenant-
Governor has been appointed by the Dominion in the
person of Mr. Trutch, long a resident in this country,
and who possesses, in addition to knowledge of its
resources and requirements, keen administrative ability,
so that to no better hands could the inauguration of the
new system have been entrusted. A week after our
arrival, ex-governor Musgrave left for England, vid San
Francisco, to which port he was conveyed by H.M.S.
' Sparrowhawk,' taking with him the good wishes of Ch. XL        SPORT IN VANCOUVER ISLAND
all classes of the little community he has ruled over
so long and so ably. May he soon find in another and
more extended sphere that field for the exercise of
those talents and social qualities which were conspicuous in British Columbia. Shortly before his departure
he was present on board at a performance given by
our talented amateurs, with a select party of ladies and
gentlemen. The pieces were \ Slasher and Crasher'
and ' Bombastes Furioso.' It is almost needless to say
that the performance was most successful, and at its
termination the band was placed on the stage, a dance
being a fitting finale to the evening's amusement.
Grouse shooting commenced on August 10, and for
some time after in the woods could be heard continual
popping of guns.
As all who come to the Pacific wish to know concerning the sport to be met with in Vancouver, and the
general aspect of the country, a portion of this chapter
shall be devoted to that subject, in continuation of
what was said about the same during our first visit.
It will serve to correct any little inaccuracies that
may have then crept in, for our second visit gave us a
much better opportunity of observing the habits &c.
of all kinds of game, as it was during the shooting
season; and we also visited lakes and streams not previously known or fished in by us.
The principal game birds found in Vancouver Island
are grouse, although ducks of nearly every variety and
a few kinds of geese visit the numerous lakes and
swamps  during  the  winter on their passage south. *r
Snipe are sometimes found, though very uncertain ;
also sand-hill cranes pass over in large flocks during
the fall, but the latter are difficult shooting.
The grouse are of two kinds, blue and willow. Blue
grouse are migratory birds, arriving in the island about
the end of March, and during the spring are found
chiefly in the hilly places, their whereabouts being
discovered on a still day by a peculiar drumming
noise made by the cock birds, which comes from the
throat. This species is about the same size as the
black game of Scotland, but the males are not so dark,
while the females are darker than their European relations. The willow grouse, or, as it is more commonly
called in America, the ' tree partridge,' is about the
size of an English grouse, and is indigenous to Vancouver Island. Their flesh is darker than the blue
grouse, and has a finer and more gamey flavour.
The shooting commences on August 10, and at that
time both kinds are found in great numbers near
.the corn and stubble-fields, morning and evening.
During the heat of the day the blue sleep and bask
on rocks, while the willow take to the swamps. When
disturbed these birds do not fly far, but settle in a tree,
where five or six may be killed in succession without a
single bird moving. In this way the Indians, who
never waste a charge, kill them. About September
the blue grouse go back to the open mountains to feed
on berries, and this is the best sport, as they are
chiefly found in  the ferns, and then strong on the Ch. XL SPORT IN VANCOUVER ISLAND
wing. They leave the country about October, though
stray birds are found much later.
After the corn-fields are picked clean the willow
grouse go back to the thick woods to feed on crab-
apples, arbutus berries, &c. Then all true sport with
them is over, as they keep to such thick places that a
shot is seldom obtained except in a tree.
Black bears are numerous in the more distant forest,
but great care and quiet hunting is necessary to get
a shot. They are not dangerous, and easily killed.
Black and grey wolves are very numerous, and do
great damage to sheep-breeders. An animal called a
panther is occasionally killed, but it is wrongly named,
being probably the cougar of North America. It is
very fierce if driven to bay, and also commits great
havoc among flocks and herds, though pigs are his
great fancy. They sometimes reach the length of ten
feet from nose to tip of tail, and a reward of ten
dollars is paid by the Colonial Government for the
head of a wolf or panther.
Beavers, coons, mink, marten, &c. are also found all
over the island. Deer-shooting commences on August 1,
and frequent hunting excursions soon made it evident
to us that deer are very numerous in Vancouver and
adjoining islands. They are commonly called ' black-
tail,' from the colour of their appendage, but are
small, the general weight being from 110 to 140 lbs.;
180 lbs. was the heaviest buck we ever heard of. In
spring, when the young grass is growing, they feed on aJMJ^-™r>~"
the sides of the small hills in open patches, the
sweetest grass growing between the rocks. They
commence at dawn of day, and after breakfast, if the
morning is bright, frequently lie on the rocks basking
in the sun. Later in the day they go into the dry,
warm bottoms, and sleep till evening. If a farm is
near they soon find out the young wheat or timothy-
grass, and a fence must be very high to keep them
out. The farmers sometimes get into a tree towards
evening, near where the deer are accustomed to enter
the field, and so often get a shot.
As summer advances they go back to the mountainous districts, and after the continued hot weather
has scorched up all the grass on the hill-sides, feed in
the swamps, and spend the day in the deep valleys and
thickets. At this time they are fond of standing in
the pools of mountain streams, and even lying down
in the shallow water. Late in autumn and towards
winter the cold and snow drives them down, and they
are then found close to farms and settlements, sometimes seen feeding with the cattle. In hunting deer
with dogs, as is often done, 'the former frequently take
to the water if any lake is near. It is a curious fact
that a deer shot in the water from September to end
of March floats, while during the rest of the year it
sinks directly you have fired. Why, we never could
discover ; but it is, however, perfectly true. The best
and most sportsmanlike way, however, of killing deer
is ' still hunting,' though it is rather lonely work, for
the hunter ought  to  be  alone, and  cannot go too Ch. XL
quietly. In tolerably open country a rifle is best, but
if thick, rough ground, a smooth bore, buck-shot in
one barrel and a ball in the other. If there has been
a slight fall of snow, the hunter can follow the fresh
tracks, and thus get a shot; if no snow, then he must
depend upon his knowledge of the country and skill in
the craft,.making up his mind for hard work, for he
will often have to walk a long distance before being
rewarded with a shot, and also always being prepared,
as he will frequently ' jump' a deer in the ferns or
scrub. These deer can generally be made to stand by
giving a sharp whistle, and under this process I have
known men fire as many as five shots at one deer, in
the excitement unable to hit till the animal has eventually jumped over the rocks into the nearest thicket
in perfect bodily health.
During our stay at Vancouver, a very favourite way
of spending a week was camping out in the woods,
living in the most simple way, and if a deer was
brought back it was considered sufficient recompense
for any little discomforts experienced. As most of
these expeditions were similar to each other, the
following account of a week's camping out will give a
very good idea of the peculiar nature of Vancouver
forests, and the enjoyment to be derived from one of
these excursions.
It was on a Tuesday morning in the first week of
August, consequently the hottest period of summer,
that B. and I landed, bound on a camping-out expedition, the prosecution of which had been revolving in OUR JOURNAL IN THE PACIFIC      Ch.XL
our minds for some time, and was now about to be put
into execution.
We started with very little provision ; in fact, carrying everything considered necessary on our backs, for
we intended that our guns should obtain our daily
food, and shelter at night be obtained from a tent
improvised on the spot selected.
Slight though were our requirements, we were,
nevertheless, almost stifled by the heat and weight
carried before half a mile had been traversed, though
we had set out to walk twelve miles through the bush,
swamps, and pine forests, that appear to have no ending, to a spot that neither had any knowledge of,
except that it was somewhere in that direction; such
was the exuberance of our spirits at getting rid for a
time of routine and that life on board ship which,
without relaxation, becomes so monotonous. But walking half a mile had a most miraculous effect in reducing
this exultation to the opposite extreme, and we felt in
a fix, besides nearly done up. But that self-same little
cherub that sits up aloft and looks after poor Jack
now came to our aid in the most pleasant and unexpected manner, for just then we chanced to meet a
well-known friend and guide to naval officers when
deerstalking, the son of a farmer in that quarter. He,
seeing our circumstances, told us to wait where we
were, then ran home, brought his horse, packed everything on it, and, constituting himself as guide, took us
under his protection, and we started afresh, lighter in
body and mind. ■1
Ch. XI.
For the first four or five miles we jogged along by a
beaten trail to the foot of Green Mountain, passing
Thetis and Pike Lakes.    A very steep climb up the
side of this hill at length brought us to the summit.
We here had a splendid view of the eastern part of the
island, showing the city of Victoria, straits of Juan-de-
Fuca, and island of San Juan ; while down at the foot
of the mountain we looked upon some of the lovely
lakes which are dotted here and there all over Vancouver Island.    Our way then led us down a very
gradual descent over Glide Mountain, along the crest
of a range of small hills till we arrived at Grasshopper
Hill, which our guide told us overlooked our camping-
ground.    We here had to dispense with the use of our
horse, the descent of the hill being too rough and steep
for him.    Indeed, it had been a wonder to us for some
time how he had got along as he had, climbing up
banks and stepping over places which required great
care on our own part.    Accordingly we unloaded him,
and transferred the various articles to our backs, and,
with a good look all round to get on different bearings
of landmarks, descended to  our proposed camping-
place—one of the loveliest little spots I have  ever
seen, on the banks of a small lake, 200 yards long and
80 wide, fringed with water-lilies.    Having selected a
spot on the shelving bank with easy access to and from
the lake, we dismissed our guide, first exacting a promise that he would make his appearance with the horse
in eight days' time, then set to work to build a' lean-to ' 204
or rough kind of hut, also provide a repast for that
evening and the next morning.
We constructed our rude dwelling after this wise.
First cutting two poles about 5 feet high, we placed
them in the ground 4 feet apart; across the top was
another straight piece of spruce fir; then some half
a dozen more spruce boughs, 7 feet long, were placed
about 5 feet from the foot of the frame, leaning against
the cross pole all on one side, with smaller boughs
intertwined to fill up the space. When finished, we
were delighted with the appearance of our ' lean-to,'
and then proceeded in quest of supper, I taking a gun,
while B., tying a casting-line to a piece of stick, went
down to the lake for fish. In less than an hour we
met again with a brace of grouse and three or four
tolerably-sized trout. It being now late, a fire was at
once lit close to our habitation. B., by virtue of his
past experience, was constituted cook, and proved an
adept, producing an excellent repast, to which, after
the day's labour, both did ample justice. Afterwards
we placed dry spruce-boughs inside to make a bed,
laid out our blankets, lit our pipes, mixed a potation of
hot grog, and then, having placed wood on the fire to
make it last as far into the night as possible, lay down
in our ' lean-to,' our heads inside, and our feet protruding about a foot outside, feeling at peace with all
the world. But our slumbers were summarily disturbed a quarter of an hour afterwards by a loud
bellowing, apparently on the other side of the lake.
B.'s past experience suggested a panther or wolf, whilst
i   HWWT an
Ch. XL
my idea was of deer calling to each other, and we
argued the question till both fell asleep again, while the
noise continued at intervals. At 4 a.m. we rose, and
just before daylight started on our first excursion after
deer. We soon separated, going different sides of the
mountain, with an understanding to meet on the opposite ; but somehow both missed the other, and did not
meet at the camp until about eleven in the forenoon.
B. had seen two or three deer, and said ' if he had had
a rifle could have shot them.' Of course I had the rifle
and had seen nothing, while he had the gun; mais,
n'importe. After a breakfast of grouse and trout, with
a short rest, we again started for deer and our daily
Thus we lived and repeated our routine day after
day, each one distinguished from the other by various
little exciting adventures; entirely by ourselves among
these hills, everything in a wild state, no signs of
human beings within several miles.
It was on the fourth day that we got a deer. B.
and I had started early as usual, and separated, each
going his own way ; but it soon came on to rain ; so,
not being a very ardent sportsman, I returned to camp
to keep blankets dry, &c. Three hours' rain sufficed to
wet everything completely; then the fire went out, the
breakfast spoilt, and no signs of B ; so I began to
feel miserable. At last, however, I heard a ' cooing,'
and shouted lustily in reply, but could not make out
his whe