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Euryalus; tales of the sea, a few leaves from the diary of a midshipman Chimmo, William, d. 1891 1860

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s- *
ffetti; v,we:'
J.    D.    POTTER,    3 1,    POULTRY,
TALES    OF    THE    SEA,
In placing before immediate friends the incidents of a
Midshipman's life, the author feels that he has much
forgiveness to ask for so great an intrusion on patience
and leisure hoars.
Having, however, two very unselfish motives for so
doing, it gives him some encouragement, and even boldness, in launching forth his little volume.
He has only to observe that, should any "nautical
terms" here made use of appear inelegant to the reader,
they must be kindly passed over—never being intended
to offend.
He hopes he may also be excused for occasionally
giving way to his feelings (and, perhaps, he may unintentionally get credit for an excess of gallantry). He
can assure his readers it is done only to illustrate the
sensitive heart a sailor naturally possesses at all times,
and not introduced for the sake of being thought
romantic. As they happened to him when a boy, so
they were then recorded in his Diary, and so they are
now transferred here.
1. Introduction to the Service
2. Madeira
3. Cape of Good Hope         ...       	
4. India and China
5. China in War       	
6. Nankin
.      43
7. Homeward Bound...
8. Sick Quarters       ...               ...       	
9. Outward Bound
10. Cape of Good Hope         ...                 	
11. China in Peace      	
.      90
.    100
12. Penang       	
13. Saturday Night at Sea            ...       	
14. Homeward Bound
1. Jack on Shore
2. Outward Bound
3. The Galapagos
4. San Francisco       ...       ...       ...       ...       ...
5. Mazatlan    ...
6. Lima
7. Guayaquil ...
PART in.
1. First Voyage North
          ...    219
2. Petropavlovskoi
..    231
3. Second Voyage North
...        ...        •
..    241
A Chapter by itself
...        ...        •
..    248
4. Guaymas
..    262
5. The Casa Fuerte   ...
...        ...
...    273
6. Sandwich Isles
. .«•        ...
...    285
7. The Arctic Ocean ...
...        ...
...    291
A Chapter on Private Theatricals
...    299
8. Homeward Bound...
...        ...
...    312
Last.—St. Helena
...    323
Page 8 line 5, for   studdings   read  studding-sails.
„  60 „ 21, „     washing        „      washings.
|   96  „    2,     „    toggery „     joggery-
„ 138  „ 28, after   I   insert  to.
,,148 „ 17, for   form.   We   read   form, we
„155  „ 12
Spates torn % parg if & ItMjipim.   f§
. j§§ INTRODUCTION.     |||;   YJ|||
It was the most pressing portion of my father's advice
to me, on being first " launched on the wide world of
waters," to "keep a journal"—if the day of the month
only, " to note it," and " never to let it fall into arrears/'
I have often, very often, heard him say " he would give
worlds," anything he possessed, if he had written a
diary when young, which would have afforded him many
a pleasant hour of a wintry evening to have retraced
"byegone   scenes," and  "fought   his old  battles  o'er
| My boy," says he (a few hours before our first
parting), " I'll give you a five pound note* if you keep a
journal while you're at sea/' I have done so, but need
I inform my readers that I have not yet the (c five
pounds" ! but I have a far greater reward, the satisfaction of having by my side, while I am endeavouring to
place before my readers the passing incidents of ten
years in a midshipman's berth (which embrace a voyage
* An inducement to one on £13 a year*
round the world, and in nearly all parts of the world)
Three Volumes, measuring four and a half inches in
thickness, of closely written pages—scenes as they daily
occurred; and more, after the noisy bulkheads of a
mid's berth and a hammock were forsaken for a gunroom and cabin. I have a still larger volume more
closely written, from which I hope to gather some instructive notes, if these " leaves" on finishing my
midshipman's career have not been found tedious or
It was a very long time before I could be persuaded
to place my notes in print; but as I saw that two objects
may be gained (neither of them selfish ones), I was induced to give wav. The first is to illustrate to mv young
readers the many changes, uncertainties, and vicissitudes
there are in the life of a sailor; how it is chequered by
storm and by calm, by gladness and by sorrow; and
how he is watched and cared for in the many hairbreadth escapes he has from death by a merciful and
overruling Providence! and how truly it is said that
If Those who go down to the sea in ships and occupy
their business in great waters, these see the works of the
Lord and his wonders in the deep."
The second object is, an inducement to keep a diary,.
The gratification every one of my young nautical readers
must have in keeping a journal for reference years and
years afterwards; if written daily it is no trouble, but
if allowed to get into arrears then is the trial! a great
deal is then left to the imagination, and a great deal
lost. I always wrote my diary before " turning in," if
only the day of the month, it was noted ; if a long yarn,
I had " half an hour's lights ;" if my first watch, then I
wrote it in pencil on a spare leaf of my watch bill, until
my "watch below/' I never trusted to memory.
% Memory I found a fickle guardian," and the. moment
something interesting takes place, all gone before is lost.
If every one at sea wrote a diary, or kept a journal,
what a store of useful and interesting matter we should
collect! Although nothing f but the blue sky" and
"green sea" to behold, I know no place or time more
fit for imagination and reflective thought, if those
thoughts were then committed to paper; and nowhere
does man appear so alone with his Maker as on the wide
and trackless ocean; and here is the spot for man to
contemplate the evidences of design of the great
If it were possible to describe the pleasure and gratification it affords me during leisure hours to open any
page of my "three volumes," and read over byegone
scenes and hours, recalling to memory events that could
never otherwise be thought of, I am convinced there
are many who would the moment these "leaves" are
unfolded to them, say, " I'm going to keep a journal,"
and go forthwith and note down the day of the month
as a beginning.
I never seriously thought of pulling " leaves" from
my journal (although requested so to do) until long,
dreary, wintry evenings in a far north latitude became
wearisome; it was then I did think it selfish to keep
hidden f scenes and incidents," which, if put in somewhat readable order, may while away an hour, at all
events on the water.
With this prelude, therefore, I do not perceive that it
is necessary to offer any apology for these "leaves."
Truth needs none, and truth I intend to be the type of
my book. It is not my intention to make a novel of it.
Novels are easily written, easily concocted, and as easily
sought after. These " leaves" contain nothing of the
imagination, the incidents are noted daily, and truthfully
extracted; and now, having cleared the "ways" with
these few plain words, I knock away the " dog shores"
from under my little volume, and " launch" it on the
world, having truth for its guiding star.
On opening my MS. journal to extract the first " leaf,"
I find the introduction says :—
" Dedicated solely to fond and attached parents.
" An imperfect and scattered diary of a midshipman
(their dutiful son), during a miserable existence of ten
years within the dreary bulkheads of a cockpit."
The object of the writer will be fully gratified should
the scenes and events of boyish days herein narrated
wdiile away an occasional lone and dreary hour of a
wintry night.
"While pots and tiles and chimney tops are flying round,
Thank Providence, Bill, that you and I are sailors !"
Cease, rude Boreas, blustering railer!
List ye landsmen all to me ;
Messmates, hear a brother sailor
Tell the dangers of the sea."
The first extract from my Journal contains an
incident connected with " Sam Scott" the diver, who, it
will be recollected, afterwards accidentally suspended
himself while endeavouring to imitate (too nearly) the
struggles of a dying wretch on the gallows, during the
loud and continued applause of the multitude. When
they were exhausted they beheld to their horror that
he had imitated it too truly, not to life, but death! he
was a corpse!
On the afternoon of the eventful day that I had been
to admire the " wooden wall of Old England " that was
in a short time to carry me from the land of my birth,
Sam Scott was to make a descent from the maintop-
gallant yard of a celebrated old Spanish line of battle
ship, and he was to fire two pistols and turn a somersault
while in the air.    Thousands of persons assembled to
witness this  extraordinary feat;  the  working-men  of
Her Majesty's Dockyard obtained either a half-holiday,
or were permitted to retire from work earlier than usual;
the tide was low, but flowing fast; and the patches of
mud held numbers endeavouring to get as near to Sam
as possible; many were wet, myself among the number.
Sam appeared at the yard-arm; all was intense anxiety,
silence, and suspense, for Sam had kept us two hours
later than was expected.    Close by my side stood some
dockyard mateys; some with a plane under their arms,
some  saws, and some with adzes on their shoulders.
One of the latter who had been standing near me (over
our boots  in water) was considerate  enough to look
behind, to see his adze did not touch any one.    While
so doing, Sam leaped : the dockyard matey saw nothing.
I never beheld a countenance so blank!
By-the-bye, I forgot to introduce myself to my
readers, and this must be done to atone for the boyish
scenes and tricks that will occasionally be brought to
light, especially during the younger portion of my life.
You can imagine a youth (an Irish youth) just let
free from school, thirteen or fourteen years of age, longing to go to sea, and expecting every post to bring the
acceptable letter. Sharp, cute, and thoughtful; his
outfit already packed in his chest; the gold band, dirk,
and brass buttons on top; and in hourly expectation of
being shipped; rayther inclined to mischief (not unlike
every other boy destined for the salt sea) ; and there is
but one thing in his favour—he already keeps a Journal,
and Mr. Samuel Scott has the honour of occupying the
Yerjjirst leaf. You now see in imagination the author
of these leaves.
About the middle of April, many years since, at 9*30
A.M., local mean time exactly, found me on board one of
Her Majesty's ships, fitting out for the war in China.
At that eventful hour I paced the quarter-deck with
no small inward pride. On my walk forward I looked
up at the pendant that floated o'er me: on my return
aft I unconsciously found myself looking in the glass of
the poop windows, which reflected my gold band and
buttons. I there stood still and looked at myself, and
exclaimed, ™ Is it possible that I am at last a sailor W
I could have cried with joy. After being weeks, months,
and years, I may say, longing to be on board a <e man-
of-war," now duly and regularly installed, the very first
thing I do is to ask permission u to go on shore."
I find nothing of any very great interest noted,
although all was new and exciting to me, until my
"first night" on board a ship. This I cannot pass
without an attempt at description, although mine will
give but a faint outline of the reality of the scene.
I happened to be passing the evening on shore, indeed,
as well as all the rest, of my messmates who had no
watch to keep continually did in the hospitable seaport
where we had the good fortune to fit out. Leaving the
scenes of gaiety early (eleven o'clock), on purpose that
I should enjoy the pleasures and prospects of my first
ill       3
night on board, I hurried down to the boat, and I well
recollect, and I say it to my shame, (we could get plenty
of boats, but no one to pull them), we took one without
oars, and, although the tide was running out strong, we
managed to paddle her alongside with the wash-boards,
shall I confess"it? after we got out, we let her go adrift.
Of course, next morning there was a row, but no person
knew who did it.    We were too wicked to confess; but
we were not asked the question directly, or we should
have done so.    On my way to the starboard gun-room
(we were then in a " hulk," and the port gun-room was
our mess place), I had to pass the port gun-room, and
on the dresser, or buffet, 1 saw laid out, comfortably
snoring, one of our young officers on his back, with a
tallow candle burning in his mouth, the wick about
three inches from his teeth.    This, I was told afterwards,
was a  " preventive for snoring."    I gave it an extra
screw to steady it as I passed, and on I went to my
hammock.    The cockpit was all quietness and slumbers;
the sentry  was walking faithfully at his post.    I disrobed myself, and walked to my hammock, placed one
foot on the handle of the amputation-table drawers, my
left arm on my hammock, gave a spring, and jumped,
and, oh, horror of horrors! I found myself in bed with
two muskets, (the bayonets fixed), a frying-pan, a saucepan, gridiron, skewers—in short, all the cook's | present-
use-traps," which had been lent (not particularly new or
clean) to fit out the mid's mess of H.M.S. .   This
is what is termed an "apple-pie bed," and this was my
first night on board a man-of-war.
We were allowed an hour for our ablutions in the
morning; not that we spent all that time in scrubbing
ourselves. I well recollect our great delight was to sit
in the ports after we had washed, with our basins in
hand, ready to capsize on the first unhappy dockyard
matey who came alongside. The mornings were rather
chilly (April), and I believe many of us washed and
used more soap, merely for the pleasure of lathering
these quiet and inoffensive men. I do not know why it
was, but we had a great " down on them;" we also used
to collect potatos from the steward's dinner stock, and
pelt these men most unmercifully. Once I recollect
hitting the coxswain on the thumb of the hand he was
steering the boat with; he reported the circumstance ;
there was an investigation; but, as usual, we were not
found guilty 1
I now read, until the day of our final departure,
almost every page of my Journal remarking on the
hospitality, kindness, and attention of those by whom
we  were    surrounded   during   the   three  months  we
were preparing and fitting for our long cruise. I would
wish to mention the names of several who would be at
once recognised by my naval friends; but this I cannot
do, as it would do away with my original intention of
naming none, then, none can be offended.
It was my good fortune, as well as those around me,
to have for a Captain one of the strictest: and at the
same time one of the most just officers in Her Majesty's
navy. We all knew how we had to go 'c straight." (I
think there were fifteen youngsters on board.) We
well knew that if we turned to the right or to the left
from that straight path, we should  " put our foot in it,"
and we soon found it more easy and more pleasant to
go that direct road, than by an indirect one.
We had one of the kindest and most gentle commanders j in spirit a lion, in heart a lamb ; amiable and
officer-like, but strict on dut}\ Our First Lieutenant a
pattern of a sailor. My young readers will therefore
conclude that our schooling was good, and I do not
believe one of those fifteen ever regretted it.
Our ship was ready for sea, and we were taken to a
far off anchorage, to make our final arrangements for
starting and wean us from the shore; and while here,
our good-natured commander allowed us a boat every
evening to pull round the harbour, and learn our first
duties in " managing boats, under oars and sails."
By this time I was fast learning the " ins and outs,"
and the " ups and downs " of a ship in all her mystery,
and indeed there is a great deal to be learned; moments
of thoughtlessness, however, sometimes occur, and in one
of these I subjected myself to a severe (as I felt it)
During a fine evening some of my young schoolfellows had come on board to say * Adieu,' and in my
anxiety and hurry to welcome them, I had forgotten my
cap, on coming up our good commander was pacing the
quarter-deck, and gathering himself up with a degree of
astonishment, placing his thumbs in the armholes of his
waistcoat, and throwing back his coat, says, "you'll
catch cold sir/' H Oh no sir ! {j I replied. " I think you'll
take cold," says he. " Oh no sir!" I answered, " I'm accustomed to knock about without a hat." jf Then/' he
remarked, " if you won't take a hint sir, go below and
put your cap on, and never let me see you on the
quarter-deck again without one," the hint was to me then,
unmistakeable enough.
A few evenings after this, I was again in grief, and
convinced me how many things I had yet to learn respecting the etiquette of a vessel of war, and how
ignorant I still was. I was comfortably and leisurely
leaning with both arms on the hammock netting, contemplating my future state, what I should do in tliis
world, and if ever it would be possible for me to be a
Captain, when I was suddenly aroused by a voice I well
knew, asking " if he (the Captain) should send his
steward up with a pillow for me to lean on ;" that was
quite sufficient, I paced the deck without venturing a
O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,
Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,
Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam,
Survey our empire, and behold our home !
These are our realms, no limits to their sway,
Our flag the sceptre, all who meet obey;
Ours the wild life, in tumults still to range,
From toil to rest, and joy in every change.
The day arrived for oar sailing, and on a lovely
summer morning we beat out against a sea breeze, in
company with another vessel of war, oui* own size, but
having left her far behind, a land wind took the place of
the sea breeze, and all studdings were set, and we bade
adieu to Old England for the first time, many of our
hearts sad indeed, until sea sickness compelled us to take
refuge in some secluded corner, where all else was forgotten, glad only to find a place to rest our heads.
The trip to Madeira, was one of real pleasure, a fair
wind and a smooth sea, and in reality nothing to do, as
the old saying is, but(i sit down and let the wind blow you
We entered Funchal Roads, Madeira, early on a
Sunday morning, and it certainly was sufficient to make
any one declare they could be nothing else but a sailor,
the scene was most enchanting; we had been transported in a short week from a cold and chilly clime to all
the warmth and luxuriance of the tropics.
It is not my intention to enter into a description of
this or any other place, where so many more able pens
have already traced its beauties, but there are one or
two Cllittle" incidents which occurred to me on shore,
which I consider would be a lost leaf in my Diary if I
allowed them to pass unnoticed.
Several young fellows, including myself, visited the
shore, of course the first foreign ground we had seen,
and, midshipman like, | jumped over a rivulet" and
"threw a stone," which every midshipman does on landing,
or used to do—I trust they are more refined now. We
had walked over all the town, peeped into the chapels
and the convents, looked at the Padres with surprise,
and purchased some feather flowers from the nuns through
the bars, had taken some country strolls, and drank
cheap wine at several huts and vineyards, and were on
our return to the ship, when we were met by a fashionably dressed, and far too polite Portuguese, who handed
us a card, having on it:—
Don Feittos,
No. Rua de	
and pressed us all to a visit at his dwelling, to which he
conducted   us,   and  to which,   being young midshipmen, we said ''yea/' rather than "nay," that is, much
pressing was not necessary    We entered an exceedingly
nice house, cool, and surrounded by clusters of grapes,
hanging even   inside the windows; we thought it uncommonly kind, and more than once said to each other,
* well, this is enjoyment, this is worth coming to sea for."
We had spread before us deliciously cool melons, grapes
of many sorts, varieties of other fruits, and varieties of
cooled wines, and to complete, one daughter entered the
room,  was  introduced,  and immediately went to the
piano; a second entered, went through the same ceremony, and took up her guitar; both commenced charming
us : the time passed too quickly, and although we were
1 mids./ we had a little innate modesty, and the same
feeling occurred to each more than once, this is so kind,
we  won't eat or drink much, although the fruit was
tempting, and the cool wine more so ; our time had
passed, and we rose to depart.    Each cast a glance at
the other, a glance not to be misunderstood, are we to
pay for this % and who is to propose the question ? a very
delicate question indeed.    Our host left the room while
we were deliberating, but soon again entered, and allayed
all our fears and anxieties, by placing before us:—
To Don Frittos, Rua de , Madeira,
Fruit and "Wines for seven    .    .    18 pistreens*
Paid, D. Frittos.
I Adios f| said he, " happy to see you all again soon/'
Many of my young messmates, should this ever fall
* A pistreen is tenpence.
into their hands, will well recollect the circumstance.
The music, I must add, was gratis.
The next day many of us dined at the most liberal and
hospitable table in Madeira, it is well known to whom I
allude, by all who visit that lovely Island. I don't forget what surprise I felt at seeing a huge pinnacle of
" iced strawberries," brought on the table after dinner;
I could not then have thought it possible that such a
dish could have been raised in so warm a temperature.
But I do not either forget my surprise and astonishment
when we went to walk on the house after dinner, to see
my ship with all sail set, leaving the land as fast as the
light evening breeze would allow her; I snatched up my
cap, forget if I said adieu, rushed to a boat, and after
pulling some time, picked up my vessel nine miles from
the land; in my haste, 1 forget if I was reprimanded, no
doubt I was, but in the excitement forgot it all.
I shall have many more pleasant reminiscences to
narrate about Madeira; I have been there three times
since, under more favourable circumstances—have not
accepted Mr. Frittos' pressing invitations any more, but
have always received the same pressing hospitality from
those whose names it is unnecessary to mention, but
whom all sailors know so well.
It was my duty to witness, for the first time, punishment in the navy: three men had been found guilty of
drunkenness, and sentenced to receive three dozen lashes
each, with a cat'o-nine tails, on the bare back.
The day is fixed for punishment according to circumstances and  convenience.    At  six bells,   11 a.m., the
boatswain is ordered to pipe 1 clear up decksy' (this is
half an hour sooner than usual) ; the officer of the
watch is informed there is to be | punishment fi he
directs the mate of the watch to inform the ward-room
officers, and the mid. of the watch to inform the gunroom officers. The master-at-arms and corporals are
directed to see the prisoners dressed properly and placed
under a guard; the carpenters are ordered to rig the
gratings, to which the culprits are to be seized up; the boatswain and his mates to see the U cats | and the "seizings"
ready. The officers all dress in undress coats and epaulettes, cocked hats, and swords; at seven bells (half-
past eleven), the mate of the watch reports the time to
the commander, the commander to the Captain, who says,
" strike it," and H pipe hands to punishment;" the commander sends for the boatswain, and orders him to '$ pipe
hands to punishment," to which his mates respond, and
at the same time the sentry is desired to " strike the bell;"
a few minutes previous to this, the marine officer sees the
guard on deck, and reports it so.
At the time that the hoarse and gruff voices of the
boatswain and his mates call "hands to punishment,"
all the officers and men in the ship appear on the quarterdeck, the prisoners are brought before the Captain who
reads to them (every one with his hat off) the warrant
for punishing, which contains every particular of the
offence noted and signed by the officers who make the
complaint and the witnesses; hats are all put on again
and the Captain says Cc strip," this order obeyed, is followed by § seize him up" which is instantly done by the
quarter-masters; when this is finished the man's shirt is
thrown over his back by the master-at-arms, when all
hats being again taken off, the Captain reads the Article
of war which the prisoner has broken and for which he
must be punished; all hats are again placed, the shirt is
withdrawn from the back and the boatswain who always
gives the first 'dozen is ordered by the Captain to u do his
duty." If the man is to be punished for theft, a 'thief's cat',
which is knotted at the end of each tail, is used; if otherwise, plain tails. After the tails are placed out, in order
that they may be the same length and no twists in them,
the boatswain lifts the cat and inflicts the first lash, when
the master-at-arms counts f. one" aloud, the surgeon and
assistants stand close to the prisoner in order to report to
the Captain if the man can bear his punishment; after the
first dozen lashes, the Captain says, | boatswain's-mate"
who also gives his dozen, and then a third, when the Captain says <( cast him off." The others then take their
punishment in the same order; after it is all over, the
Captain ordersthe ft pipe down ;" the prisoners are taken
to the sick berth where the doctor administers to their
sores, they are then placed under charge of a guard until
evening, when they are dismissed.
I have seen some men take their three and four dozen
lashes without a murmur, others I have heard cry and
scream, and swear in a most awful manner; some put
a bullet in their mouths, and after punishment is over
it is bruised to atoms: they fancy it alleviates the
The fall of the cat with the heavy arm of the boatswain
makes a truly horrible sound on the bare back, which
when over is crossed and cut in all ways, and the back
then resembles raw beef, more than the back of a human
I never can forget the deep impression that witnessing
the first punishment had upon me, I thought it so outrageous, so inhuman, so cruel, so unnecessary. I have
since learned human nature ! and it has convinced me
how impossible to command or govern hundreds of men
(the ship I was then in had upwards of 700) of all
tempers, of all dispositions, from all places, of all callings
and characters, brought together indiscriminately into
the small space of a ship, without something that they
will fear, and if laid aside no officer is safe on board his
own vessel; it may be used as a last resource, but never
altogether done away with.
I have not before seen in any book the detail of
% punishment" on board a man-of-war, and I have here
endeavoured, as well as I can recollect, to illustrate to
those who may be ignorant on this point, that there is a
regular system to be observed, and forms gone through,
before punishment takes place; and that it is not, as
many suppose and believe, inflicted in a moment at the
caprice and temper of the Captain or Commanding
Officer, but with deliberate care, for the benefit, discipline, and good order of England's glory—her Navy!
Of all the exciting appalling cries at sea to which the ear
is compelled to listen, that of a man overboard claims the
most energetic and immediate action; none strikes the heart
with more sudden awe, and none know but those who
have heard that dismal cry what a thrill of excitement it
causes; it has been my sad lot to witness this very often,
and to imagine the voice of Him who watches over all,
call on them at a moment when they least expected,
" Now is thy soul required of thee."
The first time I witnessed % fatal scene of this description was on a fine day within the tropics; we were
" running down the N. E. Trades," between the Cape
Verd and Canary Isles, all sail on, the vessel going
thro' the water about four or five knots; every one was at
their daily occupation and a party scrubbing the ship's
side as it was Saturday, when tfie cry went through the
ship a % Man overboard V
It is fortunate that throughout the service even during a trying scene of this description that all is regularity, order and discipline, instead of every one (700) rushing to the ship's-side and boats to see what they may do.
All at this moment go to their stations, where they have
been long before appointed, some to shorten and trim
sails, some to man the boats, one to the life-buoy, which
is at once let go, others to the helm, and some aloft to
keep their eye on the man; the ship is now ready for
any evolution, and it is now that the nerve and decision
of the officer of the watch is required; before an instant
had elapsed, the ship was rounded to, sail shortened, two
boats lowered, one dashing fellow (who I regret to say is
now no more) had jumped off the poop, and another
gallant fellow had jumped out of a port, risking
their lives to save that of a fellow creature.
They were all late ! for the unfortunate boy had sunk at
once, and was never seen again. Thus in latitude 2Q
north, and in longitude 16Q west, is the grave of a youth
who, though only a first-class boy, was married, and left
a wife and two children to mourn their loss; and thus he
was " called" without a moment's warning, to meet his
Maker face to face, and give an account of his past life.
After an hour's vain search, the boats were hoisted
up, sail made, and the ship again running on her course.
All were now busily employing themselves for crossing
the line ; some making wigs, rigging out * Neptune's
carriage', preparing pills and smelling bottles, sharpening razors, and the barbers trimming off the " Bond
Street locks " of the boys, &c.
The evening before crossing the line, Neptune paid
his children a visit at eight o'clock. We, the uniniti-
ated, were called up on deck. The ship was hailed by
Neptune, " Ship ahoy 1" to which the officer of the
watch replied, and immediately shortened sail and hove
to. Other questions were asked by the god of the sea,
such as, " Where are you from 1 " " How many days
out ? "and " Where are you bound ? "to all of which replies
were given. He then came on board, surrounded by
attendants, and with torches lighted. The instant he
put his foot on deck, (all of course endeavouring to
get as near as possible,) down came showers of water
from the tops, which were full of men with buckets, engine
hoses, &c, playing away on us, until every one was
drenched, squirting water in our eyes and faces till we
could not see where we were, or where to go. This
continued about half-an-hour, when Neptune, after informing us that to-morrow- he would " pay his respects,"
left the ship in a blazing tar barrel, which was not lost
sight of for some time. The ship then made all sail and
resumed her course.
It is not my intention now to occupy pages with a
description of | crossing the hue," which has so often
and so vividly appeared before, but one or two incidents
which happened to myself may be noted here.
We were all busily and anxiously looking out next
morning with our spy-glasses for the "line."
| Neptune arrived at ten.    The pendant was hauled
down, and the ship handed over to his tender mercies.
It came to my turn. I was brought up by four " police
from the lower deck, where 370 of us had been secured
who had not before passed through the ordeal.    Before
coming on deck, a wet swab, tarry and greasy, not very
clean, was placed over my mouth, and around my neck,
to prevent my " getting cold."    On arriving on deck, I
was asked my name, and on opening my mouth to
immediate obedience, a tar brush was put into it, not of
tar alone, but all manner of indescribable mixtures.    I
was led to  the platform, where  I was  seated before
Neptune, who asked u how 1 felt 1 "    In attempting to
reply, the tar brush was insinuated again.    The lather
commenced, of the same mixture, grease, tar, &c, put
on with something very harsh; the razor, an iron hoop
jagged, was applied; the doctor observed, I was rather
faint, and the smelling bottle, (a cork with several sail-
needles,) recommended, which revived me.    I was asked
several questions during the  operation,  but had now
learnt to keep my mouth  shut.     After I had been
shaved, I felt a gentle pressure on my breast, and an
elevation of my heels; I was thrown back into a sail
full of water, six feet deep, where four " bears" were in
attendance, growling, roaring, pawing, and hugging me
about under water, until I could scarcely breathe, indeed
several times I took in both air and water, which was
anything but pleasant; about this time too, the bears
began to get somewhat merry and careless, merry, on
the collections they had made from several who were
assured a few days previously, that if they came with a
" straight arm," that is, with a bottle of rum in it, they
were sure to be u eased off" most gently; need I assure
my young readers that those did meet with the greatest
attention, and were heartily well scraped and soused for
being i( so green."    After having passed through my
ducking, I was permitted to join those who had the
privilege of shaving, and I now beheld Neptune and his
wife in all their glory, seated on a carriage, leaning on
his   trident   in   solemn   dignity.    Upwards    of   370
passed through their ordeal that day.    The ensign was
again hoisted before sunset, and Her Majesty's ship once
more on her voyage.    There are many most amusing
occurrences connected with " shaving," but they are all,
I have no doubt, well known.    All I can vouch for is,
that some who were rather " rusty" were served out
most   unmercifully;   others were    " eased off."     The
logs and journals of those who said they | had crossed
before,"  were most minutely examined and enquired
into, and I am sure not one escaped; and as I have
said before, upwards of 370 were that day shaved on
crossing the Equator.
Between this and the Cape of Good Hope, where we
arrived exactly one month afterwards, nothing worthy of
note occurred; and we dropped anchor in Simon's Bay,
which appears to us during this season the most desolate, wild, and dreary spot imaginable.
Here every midshipman drives his " tandem." A long
sandy road on the water's edge of 25 miles nearly
carries you to Cape Town, the capital of the Colony.
The greater part of the road being sand on the left, and
water on the right, enables the unsteady mid. to guide
his u tandem " without fear. I never heard of any fatal
accident except the inconvenience of getting horses and
trap into the quicksands, which are in almost every
gully, and then having to walk back some miles.
This road takes you, after, passing the noted halfway-house of " Farmer Peck," through the attractive
and Englified villages of Wineberg and Constantia,
the latter famous for its delicious wines and grapes, the
c 2
former for being the country residence of several wealthy
people of Cape Town, who are most kind and attentive
to strangers, if they are fortunate enough to know them,
or to obtain an introductory letter to their houses.
I shall have reasons to speak of these places, by-and-
bye, from experience, having had already five or six visits
to the Cape of Good Hope.
Here on our arrival, we had China news informing
us of its still unsettled state, and which urged us to
hasten our departure so as to enjoy some of the rewards
and benefits of the war. The moment the weather,
which was a continuous S.E. gale, lulled, we put to sea,
and we had not departed many days before " Sail ho!"
was descried direct from China, not only confirming our
former news, but giving us much more recent.
" When o'er the silent seas alone,
For days and nights we've cheerless gone,
0 they who've felt it, know how sweet,
Some snnny morn a sail to meet."
So eager were we all to be let loose like the " dogs of
war," that most of our spare hours were passed in sharpening and brightening our swords and dirks with holystones and brickdust, and oiling the locks of our pocket-
pistols. Alas ! there is seldom a pleasure without a
sorrow! and we were now unwilling spectators of another
awful instance of sudden death, another appeal to one
who had not an instant for preparation.
We were all pacing the deck a few days after leaving
Cape Town, talking over our young and gay, but
thoughtless scenes, while they were yet fresh in our
memories; our impressions and our feelings passing from
one to the other, the evening fine and not a stir but the
flapping of the sails against the masts, waiting for a
breeze; when one of our smartest and best sailors fell
from the main-top, his head striking on the bits, dashing his brains out; his death was instantaneous :
of the sudden visitations from Him who holds our lives
within his grasp. Here was no warning, no preparation,
no anticipation of such an event. Does not this teach
us a lesson ?    In an instant—Eternity !
The next evening at sunset, when everything was
calm and silent, and all around seemed hushed in stillness,
as if prepared for the melancholy moment, the bell
tolled, the lifeless remains of our lamented shipmate were
brought to the gangway, the funeral service read over
his body, and when the words were repeated, "we therefore commit his body to the deep," he was launched into
the fathomless waters; a chilling thrill of horror ran thro'
every frame, not a trace was to be seen, but a few
bubbles, which arose from the seaman's grave. I cannot
resist quoting the following lines, they so well describe
the awful solemnity of a sailor's funeral.
The moon rode high in the cloudless sky,
The ship o'er the billows rolled,
When silent and slow we bore from below
The corpse of our shipmate Jack.
On the grating placed, in his hammock laced,
The ensign floated o'er him,
We thought of his worth, but no words found birth
To tell the love we bore him.
We weighted him well with shot and shell
That far beneath the wave,
His sleep might be secure and free,
In the deep, deep coral cave!
Awhile we stood in musing mood,
Then launched him o'er the side,
And we mournfully took a parting look
As he sunk in the dark blue tide.
Some bubbles arose from his place of repose,'
And as quickly for ever fled,
We shed but one tear, yet that was sincere,
One sigh for the honored dead.
Let the sea-bird wail, and the stormy rail,
And the roar of the ocean's wave,
Sung deep and long a funeral song
O'er the seaman's trackless grave.
This melancholy event took place on the anniversary
These lines are, if I remember right, from Dibdin's Sea Sons
of the battle of Navarino, and the funeral on that of the
battle of Trafalgar.
The sooner these melancholy events are forgotten on
board a ship the better; a sailor leading so peculiarly
isolated and solitary a life, it is part of a captain's duty
to keep their spirits up, and not to allow them to despond. This is generally done I believe, and it is astonishing, tho' through no want of love or respect for the departed, how soon everything is forgotten, and an hour
afterwards Jack is passing his joke, as if life were all
births and no deaths.
Our good commander, always anxious that our time
should pass pleasantly, has allowed us the band every
fine evening to have our dances on deck; it passes an
hour or two agreeably, it affords us exercise, and
temporal enjoyment, and between the Cape and China
we have had many a jolly evening, although deprived of
almost the only source of enjoyment, the "fair;" as it is
said, "none but the brave deserve the fair," I am
sure if they could only see us whetting our swords all
hours of the day, and preparing for action it would be
sufficient to command their smile of approbation.
The first gale at sea after a ship's commission puts all
to rights, and puts everything in its place; "all settles
down," but we would rather dispense with the gale, for
besides putting everything in its place, many things are
displaced, and we all personally suffer in broken
glass and broken crockery, and sometimes broken
bones. I shall not forget our first gale, scudding under
a reefed fore-sail and a storm-staysail, about 50 or 60
miles north of St. Paul's and Amsterdam, in the South
Seas, all ports barred in, and all hatches battened down,
every coming sea threatening to overwhelm us, hammock nettings washed away, sashes stove in, and nothing but a wind-sail giving ventilation to hundreds of
unhappy beings, sea-sick between decks. A body had
been passed and several casks and portions of wreck,
telling how some had suffered. It is in the midst of
these scenes that a sailor looks back to home, regrets he
ever was so rash as to leave it, would give all he possessed to be landed even on a rock where he would feel
steady. 'Tis now that "men see the works of the Lord
and His Wonders in the deep ;" it is now they are convinced of the existence, (if they doubted it before,) of a
Being everywhere present; it is now they " fly to Him for
refuge." "They stagger too and fro like drunken men
and are at their wits' ends." "They call unto the Lord
in their trouble, and He delivers them out of their distress." "They are carried up to the heavens and down
again to the earth, their souls melt within them!"
It is now that the mighty hand of Providence may be
seen following us, and protecting our frail bark from
every threatening wave, until we are brought safely to a
"haven where we would be," or left in such tranquility
that we forget we were ever in a storm.
The ship is now approaching the Straits of Malacca,
and we know it because of the frequent thunder and
lightning with heavy rains and squalls for which these
Straits are so proverbial; we are visited during these
gusts, when off the land, by handsome king-fishers,
white and black, (spotted,) grey on the back, and much
larger than the common English bird, but similar in
form and habits : these are welcome visitors after being so
long at sea, and it affords us amusement catching them
for one of our officers, who prides himself on taxidermy.
We had entered the Straits, the "Piratical Straits," and
were compelled to anchor for the night, it being dangerous to move about during such heavy squalls, and during such vivid thunder and lightning, to which all sail
had to be shortened frequently, therefore we lay snug
for the night, and I forgot to say in company with one
of Her Majesty's Ships from China.
During the night rather a strange occurrence took
place, which nearly proved fatal to one of our warrant
officers: perhaps he had been drinking Her Majesty's
health, perhaps not; however, he was walking along the
forecastle, as he thought, and intended to go into the
head, when instead of being on the forecastle, he was on
the main-deck, and went out of the bow port, and
brought up on the "cat hook," which was overhauled
for "catting the anchor," next morning; had he not
fortunately hooked on to this, nothing could have saved
him, he would have descended quietly into the stream
and no person would ever have been able to have narrated the final act of this deluded warrant officer!
Orang Malaya t' ada jadi baik lagi, bagitu bagitn jnga sa-lalu.
Arrived safely at Singapore, an island only a few
miles north of the Equator. The ship had a thorough
refit preparatory for the trial we were to have of beating
up the China Sea against a fierce N.E. Monsoon.
This delay gave us many opportunities of walking
round the place and seeing the customs and manners of
the two countries, which makes the island half Indian
and half Chinese, with a dash of Malay, and gives one
a very good idea of both the former. Many a dollar
was here squandered in " Buggies," neat four-wheeled
cars, drawn by smart Timor ponies. The midshipmen
could not walk: they must ride. Certainly, the sun
was oppressively hot.
I could hardly reconcile myself to the fact that we
were at war with those people by whom we were then
surrounded.   The first merchant in Singapore is a China-
man; and a fine round-faced, laughing, hospitable, and
honest fellow he is. He is well known to all sailors
who have been here; if you wish to taste curried
prawns and cool claret to perfection take a walk to his
country house.
Sailed from Singapore with at first a fresh and favourable wind, but to which we gradually shortened and
reefed sails as we approached the limits of the Monsoon.
It was an intricate and dangerous passage to attempt,
especially the Pallawan passage, so little known. Here
the boiling "Rob Roy" shoal, and the "Royal Captain;"
there the " Sovereign," with the sea beating and roaring
over it in all its fury; but we still felt we had a "Watchful Pilot," our " Guide," who had already brought us
eut of many dangers into safety.
I have said before we were kept strict and straight at
our duties on deck. I must also add we were kept in
right and tight order in our mess, the gun-room. We
had a senior Mate whose look was sufficient to strike
terror into every one of us, and a caterer who would
scarcely allow us the fumes of wine, and certainly not
even the look of spirits, and who made us each assist
him in a portion of the work which devolved on him
as caterer. Punctually at one-bell (half-past eight) the
" fork was stuck in the beam," and we all (youngsters
who had not been four years at sea) closed our books
and retreated to our hammocks, without even a look of
disappointment—we knew what we should catch if we
did. After dinner, on any particular occasion (and, I
think, Sundays), we were allowed to drink Her Most
Gracious Majesty's health, and then privileged, like the
ladies, to retire.    Our schooling was perfect, and we
profited by it afterwards.
My first punishment was for " whistling on the lower
deck." I had been keeping the morning watch (a cold
one, too) from four until eight, and had gone to the
cockpit to wash and dress myself, to be ready for breakfast at one-bell, to which I was looking forward, hungry
after  four hours' washing decks.     While
scrubbing my face, &c, I was whistling some quick
tune, to assist me in my movements (whistling or
humming a tune does often assist, if time is kept to it),
and, unfortunately for me, at that moment the commanding officer was going his rounds. He said nothing
then, but, on arrival on deck, called the Quartermaster,
and desired him to tell me he wanted me on deck. As
quick as I could arrange my dress, I was before him on the
quarter-deck. "You were whistling below, sir." Well,
now I did not know whether I had been whistling, or
not, but considered it the safest plan to venture " Yes,"
not knowing what was in store for me. " Yes, sir!"
" Then go on the maintop-gallant-yard, and look out for
land, and when you see it, come down and report it to
me." We were then two thousand miles from any land.
Up I went, and there I gazed patiently and anxiously
until four p.m., when, on his coming up from dinner,
I suppose in a better humour, I heard him call out,
I Maintop - gallant - yard there." " Sir," I replied.
I Come down." Down I came, and touched my hat.
I Do you see land, sir." | No, sir," I replied. " Then
never let me hear you whistling on board a man-of-war
again."    This was a trial for me; not the punishment,
but because I was naturally very fond of music. The
trial of going without anything to eat from four in the
morning until four in the evening, after being sharpened
up by the morning watch, was also a severe test of
patience ; and woe be to the unfortunate individual who
was found conveying me victuals under such circumstances.
^This would have been thought sufficient by some to
make me
" Curse the fatal day,
When I from borne was led astray,
In this dark bole to dwell.
Had I bnt at sweet Ireland stayed,
I might have learnt some honest trade,
And shunned the white lapelle ! "
But, no; on me the effect was different.    I looked on it
as a philosopher, and made a most hearty supper.
While working up between the islands and shoals
with which this passage is strewn, the jolly-boat was
lowered, to sound what appeared to us a shoal; but it
turned out to be a baulk of timber, forty feet in length,
and surrounded by hungry sharks, two of which followed
the ship all day, until a hook was thrown overboard,
with a small pig on it, and one of them was caught.
On opening it there were found in its stomach a man's
shoe (having the heel of the foot still in it), a pig's leg,
&c. Some of the shark was broiled for supper, and
many partook of it. It is astonishing to see. with what
avidity and pleasure sailors cut up and tear to pieces a
shark. It appears to be their only enemy, and they
torture it in every manner possible; cut off its tail and
fins, put broad arrows* all over him, and send him adrift;
it lives for some time in this state, struggling on the
surface of the water.
On crossing over to Hong Kong from Luzon, we met
one of the Hon. Company's steam vessels in distress,
having no provisions, no water, and having burned all
her bulkheads, &c, for fuel. We had the pleasure of supplying her with all she required, except coals. She had
been three months from Bombay, and had undergone
all the vicissitudes and trials of a distressed vessel. They
must soon have perished if this relief had not so timely
Arrived safely at Hong Kong Island, which consists
only of a few fishing huts. Our first duty was to keep
up a Christmas Day, the first we had passed together;
and it was " kept up," if noise, confusion, eating, and
drinking constitute the meaning of keeping up Christmas Day. We visited some of the prize junks which
had been taken during the war, and were now in charge
of prize crews; then went on shore, and found the
town consisting of pigs, ducks, rats and filth; Next day
sailed for Chusan, to meet the Commander-in-chief.
Again we had to go through all the toil of working
up against the Monsoon. Sometimes it blew very hard,
and would only allow us to carry a close reef main-topsail on the cap and a main-stay-sail. However, we
succeeded, and, after one-and-twenty days, were in
company with the Admiral and squadron at Chusan
* The Queen's Mark.
Ai a ! kom to man ngau.
Having arrived at China in safety after being nearly
seven months on our voyage, found war was still progressing, from the indecision and cunning of the Hig-h
Commissioners, on the part of the Chinese; all the ships
were ready for immediate action, and we were ready to
join them, and should have been very sorry if it had been
all over without our gaining any of the laurels, after so
long and tedious a voyage.
The description of the " War in China " having appeared in so many forms before the public, by skilful and
professed writers, I do not intend trespassing with
anything like a repetition, it would occupy more space
and leaves than I am disposed to devote to it, and it
would be but telling the same story o'er again ; but there
are many interesting and amusing incidents in connection with this war, which I am sure cannot have been
described, and one or two of these before I have done
with China I must narrate, even at the risk of being
thought tedious.
The 11th of February is the Chinese New Year's day,
all shops are closed for nine days, and every one we meet
is comfortably drunk with opium and samshoe; fireworks,
torches, and lanterns are burning, and Chinamen rolling
about all night in the streets, constitute the enjoyment of
the New Year. We find that the authorities are kind
enough to offer ten thousand dollars for the admiral's
head, one thousand for any British officer's, and one
hundred for a barbarian's. This is a pleasant notice to
greet you on taking your walks on shore, and shows our
respective values in their estimation.
During a short stay here of ten days, eight men have
been kidnapped, in some instances they have been attracted into houses of ill repute, others into drinking
houses, and in one place, a lascar was found with a bamboo thrust down his throat, for convenience in carrying
him, with a bag by his side ready to put him into, for
conveyance to the city walls; the Chinese behaved with
frightful cruelty to some of our men.
One Sunday afternoon, two of my messmates with myself, were taking a walk through the Chinese burying
ground, between the north and west gates of Chusan,
where we narrowly escaped being shot. There are
ridges about two feet high, running through a causeway,
and on one of these we were walking lt single file/' when
we heard the report of a gun close by; we took no notice
of it except turning round; presently il ping" came
a bullet, and struck the ridge we were walking on,
and now all thought it high time to quicken our paces.
We were unarmed, very thoughtlessly, and the fire
came from behind one of the graves. We had a most
narrow escape.
A very ingenious trap was laid for our Interpreter, who
had been on shore, and which very nearly proved fatal to
him. He was accosted by an old woman, who, weeping
bitterly, told him her husband had been dreadfully ill-
using her. In the goodness of his heart he said he would
inquire into it, and she led him to a house, and showed
him into a room, begging him to be seated, and she would
bring her " wretched husband " before him. Very few
minutes had elapsed, when up blew the room, with the
poor old fellow and his orderly; flooring, furniture, everything went to pieces. He was much burned and bruised,
as well as his domestic, and they considered themselves
very fortunate to escape with their lives. This is an instance of their cunning treachery, and there are many
The Island of Pootoo, or ff Worshippers," was visited
by some of our people, in the % Nemesis " steamer. . The
devotees voluntarily give themselves up to all manner
of privations, tortures, and self-persecutions, for their
Joss' sake. One victim was sitting in a recess in
the temple, existing on one grain of rice daily. It
could not be ascertained how long he had been there,
or   how long that  morsel  would   support life.    One
of the visitors put his finger to the cheek and pressed
it, and it was some time before the flesh resumed its
form again; I was told it was like touching putty, or
dough, apparently lifeless. I never could get an
opportunity of going to this strange place, but often
wished it.
What a cheering prospect the first letters from home
bring over the feelings ; relatives, friends, long since left
behind, we have not heard anything of. It is now nine
months, the mail is announced, and no one can possibly entertain the feeling, but those who have experienced it,
what excitement it causes everywhere, and in every one.
The mail bag is taken on board the Admiral's ship
(every moment appears now an hour), the letters are
sorted, and the signal made, " Send for letters." The
boats return, and the letters are again sorted; every eye
is glancing at letter after letter, as it is passed over; every
one with a black edge or seal causes a cold shiver; at
last the fortunate get letters, the less fortunate none, and
console themselves that 1 no news is good news;" the
unfortunate, a letter with black border—a parent, a relative, a friend, is dead. Nine months have caused sad
changes; but oh ! to see the blank, disappointed, unhappy faces, almost amounting to grief, in those without
letters or news, who had buoyed up all their hopes for a
letter; no one knows it, no one can feel it but those
only. However, it soon passes over, and good news and
jokes are interchanged. 'iCheer up, my boy," one says to
another; | I'll sell you my letter for a penny when I've
read it." Letters from home are read over and over
again, and replaced in the pocket each time, until their
worn-out state renders it impossible to keep them any
longer together.
On the 18th May, the ships were in position before the
Forts of Chapoo, and commenced the action at nine
in the morning; the guns had been shotted, the boats
hoisted out, and the ship cleared for action the night
previous. A " Chop " was sent to the inhabitants asking
them, "to surrender;" if they would not, to take all women and children out of the town immediately.
This was the first time we were under fire. There was
no feeling of dread, but rather revenge, at seeing our
men fall around us.   In the heat of the engagement with
n   eo
a glass might be seen, wherever the eye traced, Chinese
rolling dead over the hills: others rushing frantically into
the sea and drowning themselves: while some were
actually cutting their own throats, and blowing themselves up with powder.
The result of this battle is well known. The lamented
remains of the Colonel of the 55th, who was killed
during the action, were committed to the deep next day
with military honours.*
A Captain of the 55th also died soon after of his
The women are remarkable for their small feet; they
are compressed during infancy with bandages of linen,
which stops the circulation of the blood; by this the toes
are pressed under the ball of the foot, and it ceases to
grow. Some say this is done to prevent them running
away from their husbands; others for beauty; but it is
* In passing round Chapoo next day I picked up the " Queen
x>f Heaven " in the streets.
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painful to see a female waddling like a duck through the
streets, endeavouring to balance herself by keeping her
arms extended. Neither the Tartars, nor those millions
living on the water, subject their children to such
The shoes are from two and a half to three inches long,
and I was some time doubtful whether these were really
worn by the ladies, until an instance occurred which
made me no longer doubt it. After the battle of Chapoo
we passed through the town, and in one house, a very
respectable one, we were induced to go upstairs. On the
top step I found a pair of neatly embroidered shoes, two
and a half inches long, and quite warm ; they had just
been kicked off by the frightened wearer, who thought
of nothing but her escape when she heard our entry
into the house.
On our arrival off Woosung, a few days after the
attack on Chapoo, much to our astonishment, nineteen of
the men who had been kidnapped at Chusan and
other places were sent to us under an escort of two
Mandarins and sixteen soldiers. Many of these we had
given up for ever, without the most   distant hope  of
again seeing them.
The excitement now begins to get very great; all the
small vessels and steamers are chasing and taking junks,
firing through their matting sails, in the neighbourhood
of the Rugged Islands, where we also very nearly lost
one of our small steamers, by striking on an unknown
We find the river crowded with junks, and the forts
well manned and armed, to all appearance well prepared
for us. There are also several steamer junks with four
wheels, worked by manual labour, and mounting four
guns each; at the head of the river are many war junks.
On the 16th June, the vessels of war were towed before the Forts of Woosung, and at seven the action commenced. Only 200 yards from the shore, the frigate of
the senior Captain had the post of honour, and on board
her one of the lieutenants peeping over the hammock nettings to see how things were progressing, had his head
taken completely off by a round shot. Our guns at so short
a distance appeared to do awful execution; all their shot
passed over our hull, having their guns trained and secured by sand-bags, for the buoys outside us, to whicli
they imagined we were going to make fast. Our rigging,
masts, and sails suffered most; and it was curious to see
the sails where they had been hit by a shot on the folds
completely perforated when they were let fall. After
two hours and fifteen minutes' constant firing the forts
were silenced. We had only five men killed and ten
Shanghai, the great emporium for silks, was also taken
without much loss of life on our side.
After a refit and a short delay, the squadron and
convoy ascended the Yang-tze-Kiang river, sixty-two
sail of vessels, a sight never before witnessed by the
astonished Chinese. We passed Harvey Point, where
a young mid. of the Conway, some time previous, met
an untimely end, having been murdered by the Chinese
while he was on a shooting excursion.
Nearly all the vessels, including also the line-of-battle
ships, shared the fate of getting on shore on a mud flat
at a sudden bend of the river, near Soo-choo-foo, with
the dirty and troublesome duty of hauling off again.
Next day the Forts of Seshan were taken, after a feeble
and ineffectual resistance.
We now began to feel the serious effects of indifferent
water, and a burning sun of one hundred degrees in the
The scenery of this noble river already assumes a grand
and luxuriant aspect. On suddenly opening the city of
Chin-keang-foo, which stands at the entrance to the Grand
Canal, you pass Silver Island, with Golden Island not far
in the distance, both towering with fantastic pagodas of
many stories in height among trees and evergreens;
shrubs of the most exquisite tint and verdure, the blue
and purple mountains in the- distance, backed by a cloudless sky of azure blue —blue in reality from the clear and
rarified state of the atmosphere ; it is as impossible to describe the splendour of the scenery so as to do it justice,
as it would be for an artist to paint it; hundreds of vessels'
masts showing above the land, and the sea population in
the greatest excitement in their junks and sampans at
our approach. On anchoring off Chin-keang-foo, we
did not allow even a boat to move ; bang! whiz ! went a
shot ahead of them, if they persisted, then into them;
The tides here are very strong, and require much tact
to manage your vessel.
Our old, but not much esteemed friend, Corporal
White, a nick-name given him by the sailors, pays us
another visit (our first was at Chapoo), from % Elepoo,"
and he now comes with the same old story, i 'Spose you
put no plum in your gun, then Chinaman put no plum,
make great bobbery, and send Chop to Emperor." We
had by this time begun to know Mr. Corporal White, and
it required much tact to evade his cunning proposals.
At each mouth of the Grand Canal, and at every
estuary, creek, and inlet, a vessel of war has been
stationed, to prevent the possibility of an enemy's vessel
escaping. The Union Jack was planted on the highest
story of the Pagoda on Golden Island, by a favourite
and gallant officer of the Admiral's ship, amid the shouts
and cheers of the squadron.
A capital and funny story is told of this zealous officer.
While at Chusan the boats constantly exercised with
their guns and rockets. It is a general order, and -well
understood, that | if a rocket hangs fire all hands are to
jump overboard until the rocket explodes." They were
not on this occasion firing rockets, but merely exercising,
in the course of which, the order, | Rocket hangs fire,"
was given. This officer and his well-disciplined crew
immediately go overboard; and soon after return to the
ship, wet through of course. I did not see this, but I
heard it told frequently, in a very humorous and
amusing manner.
The Chinese being still stubborn, although nearly
seventy vessels were at the entrance of their Grand
Canal, the near approach to their capital Pekin, and
within a short distance of their ancient capital Nankin,
threatening immediate destruction; it had no effect, and
on the 21st July, the city of Chin-keang-foo was taken by
assault. A breach in the wall, and a gateway blown in,
soon made an entrance for our troops, which was, however, hotly contested by the enemy.   In the streets the
^hinese troops were very numerous, and on many occasions were only four or five yards apart from ours, when
of course the slaughter was very great. We had about
59 killed and 104 wounded, and many who suffered from
the heat of the sun; 39 fell dead on the field from a
ooup-de-soleil. The Chinese actually brought our
wounded men down to the boats. The second person
who escaladed the walls, (the first having been shot dead)
was an officer now high in rank in the service, very
dashing and much esteemed. He was saved by his brace
button, a bullet having struck it, cut it off, causing a very
slight wound. One of the boats suffered much, having
been cut off in a canal, and surrounded by the
enemy, who wounded 3 officers and 14 men ; one brave
young fellow, who had command of the boat when his two
superior officers fell wounded, but who, while I am
putting together these leaves, I read has finished his
mortal career covered with wounds. The men who were
not killed were about to desert, when he stood on the
stern sheets, cocked his pistol, and threatened to shoot
the first man who left the boat. Their relief soon
arrived; he was then quite a little fellow, still wearing
the " white patch."
Here also the Major of Marines fell a victim to the
excessive heat of the sun. He was brought on board
the ship, the temple artery opened, but he died in a few
minutes. Golden Island became his grave! Several
prisoners have been taken, some of importance, at least
their dress and button would say so, and the only way
We can secure them is in threes, by their tails, fastened
to the breechings of the guns.    They will not sacrifice
their tail, it is the greatest disgrace to be without a tail,
but if they can manage to slip, which they have done on
some occasions, they go overboard, sink, and rise no more.
They prefer this end to an uncertain fate.
During the engagement the scenes that were enacted
in the streets and houses baffle all description. Whole
families threw themselves into wells; in many houses
were seen families hanging to the beams with a stool
kicked down which had formed a drop ; in others were
persons—men, women, and children—with the ropes and
strings actually round their necks, waiting for a last moment to push the stool from under them on which they
were standing. On several occasions women were dragged
out of rivers, canals, and gutters by our men, but returned at once when released and completed the suicide
they were so determined on committing. This was all done
fearing they would fall into our hands, where they fancied
a worse fate awaited them. The scene the day after, when
I walked round the town, was horrifying. Strict orders
were given that no "looting" was to take place, but now
and then might be seen a pious mid., with a Chinaman
carrying a box before him, his tail twisted round his wrist,
and a pistol cocked at his head, walking quietly down to
the boat, perhaps carrying his own property from his
own house!
Several of our men have of late accidentally fallen
overboard, and it is strange, are never seen again; the
under set is so strong they are carried beneath and rise no
more. Many have been the instances of persons falling
overboard, and I have never known one to have been
One day, I well recollect, they were
seen to rise
scrubbing the ship's side, and a boy was going over the
gangway with a bucket of sand; he slipped, fell into the
water, I watched with the greatest attention and anxiety
to see him rise, but no! he never rose again.
In the bow of every junk of 700 or 800 tons, down to
the smallest sampan, are seen very large painted eyes.
I was curious enough one day to ask a Chinaman, who
could speak English pretty well, what they were for ? He
replied without hesitation, "'Spose no got eye how can
see?"   I was silent.
We received a very polite message from New-Keen,
General commanding Nankin, to ask our demands;
"that they wished for peace, but he was determined to
defend the rights of his Emperor to the last."
The squadron anchor off the ancient capital, Nankin,
in 25 fathoms, about one and a half mile off an angle of
the outer walls, but not more than twenty yards from the
shore. The embrasures and heights are swarming with
troops, some on horses, waving their banners in defiance,
the brilliant Porcelain Tower topping far above the
hills, and sparkling its shining exterior in the sunbeams.
One of the boats intercepted a despatch from Te-chu-pu,
commanding the Tartar garrison of Nankin, to the Em-
peror, and its quaintness and originality induce me to present it translated, as follows:—"The troops that escaped
from Chin-keang took shelter in Knang-Kin and Tan-
yang, nearest district towns S.E. from Chin-keang.    The
Lieut.-Gen. Hailing died shortly after the loss of the city,
leaving a son and daughter, who were concealed by one
of his domestics, named Hwang. The soldiers of the
Tsing-chow Brigade aiding in the defence of Chin-keang,
also retired to Nankin." He says, e( as soon as the barbarian invasion is a little over-past, arrangements shall
be made for the refugees to come to Nankin, who are
now some at Soo-choo, and some at Chang-chow;" they
also say, "that when the rebellious barbarians attacked
the city they resisted them with all their strength and
courage, and killed many of the foreigners, and that
had the reinforcements from other provinces (at that
time outside the walls), come up to their aid they would
certainly have inflicted a very severe chastisement on
them. All the best and fresh troops are with the terror-
spreading general, Ye-King, who has his head quarters
at Chang-chow, 500 le from Nankin." This, I think,
will be perused with interest, and not without a smile :
the "dying" of Hailing, the "retiring" of the troops,
and the severe lesson we were to be taught if the "aid"
had only appeared.
A proclamation was now issued to the inhabitants of
Nankin, and an offer made to New, Governor and
Chief Magistrate of Keang-Nan and Se, offering to
accept the sum of three million dollars as a ransom, and
not enter the city. An interview was requested by
New, but rejected on our part.
The cholera is beginning to make a sad inroad among
our numbers. Several have already fallen victims to it,
living only a few hours after the attack. This, with the
disorders occasioned by the heat of the sun, bad water,
and a most virulent fever and ague, is sorely felt, and
droops the spirits of all.
Again we had a visit from two white-button
Mandarins attended by several brass buttons, with
Chops, &c, to say that "the venerable Elepoo had
arrived from Pekin, with authority to treat on our
terms." This we mids. christened "humbug," a very
comprehensive term it will be allowed. In reply to
our proclamation, these two white-button "chaps," whose
names were " Ching" and " Chang," were bearers of a
"Chop" from New, Governor-General of Nankin, the
three provinces, and Secretary-at-War. He said, " The
money in the treasury was for the payment of the
soldiers, and that he could not think of taking that
for the purpose of what we termed a e ransom.'" Then
came a long yarn about " good faith and sincerity, on
which he plumed himself;" and then a rigmarole story
about "peace ;" he then offers to pay us " 100 dollars
for each mile, each ship would withdraw down the
river," at the same time bringing presents, baskets of
fruit, Imperial tea, silks, &c, I forget where these
presents went to.
A notation is now made in my journal to this effect :
"It is truly awful that scarcely a page of my diary
opens without a black margin, denoting that death,
the a King of Terrors," daily seizes on his prey ; that one
or more during the night or day pass to their long and
last homes, a visitation of Divine Providence on those
called to obey His summons. If we had time but to
reflect, how thankful ought those to be who are spared ;
and what a lesson to us to  " watch and pray," to   pray
alway that we may be among those on His right when we
are called, to have said to them—" Come, ye blessed
of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from before the foundation of the world."
The ships had taken up their final positions for the
assault of Nankin, the troops were landed, the plan of
the attack matured; the walls off which the Flag-ship
lay at a distance of 1400 yards were actually measured
with a bamboo 33 feet high. Joss Hill was formally
taken possession of, which commanded the Tartar portion
of the city; and a council of war held on board the
Elepoo arrives, and is the cause of breaking up a
grand dinner-party, but is politely informed "if he does
not produce documents to prove his authority before
day-light next morning he will be handed over to the
tender mercies of the Commander-in-Chief W
Sunday intervened, but early on Monday, before daybreak, "chops" came off, stating that Elepoo and Keying,
High Imperial Commissoners, were duly authorized by
the Emperor to come to our terms; and the fact was,
they really were; the documents were formally perused,
taken to the Emperor for approval and we shall soon
see " Peace with China !"
Hostilities having been now suspended (and I
must say some of us were disappointed, for we fully
made up our minds to see the interior of Nankin), the
High Imperial Commissioners visited the authorities on
board the Flag-ship. Having been one of the favoured
few youngsters who were allowed to be eye-witnesses, I
must say it was a novel spectacle; every one appeared
in full dress : Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, the Admiral
and General, and all Commanding Officers, &c. A small
steamer and barges were sent for the Commissioners,
and at noon precisely they arrived, and were saluted
with a Chinese salute of three guns. Up the accommodation ladder came Elepoo and Keying, the High
Imperial Comissioners, New-keen, Governor General of
Nankin, the Emperor's uncle, and a numerous train of
red, white, and blue-button attaches; the Tartar General
and his train arrived soon afterwards. The venerable
Elepoo had from feebleness and age to lean on two
of his attendants. They were introduced individually
to the heads of each department by the Interpreter.
After they got in a good humour in the Admiral's cabin,
ward-room and gun-room, for each had a portion to
look after and " stuff," they were shown round the
ship, but expressed not the least surprise, and hurried
by the guns very fast. They were asked if they would
like to see one exercised, but they would not hear of
such a thing; " they would not give us the trouble for
the world." It was five in the evening before they
were all gone. The cherry-brandy in the mids.' berth
appeared to open their hearts and brighten their
intellects, and with those who were of course only
the lacqueys of the train, there was some good fun.
The Chinese prisoners after the visit were all set
free, with five dollars in each pocket, and they chin-
chinned, bowed heads, and knocked foreheads on the
decks for a long time after in grateful acknowledgment.   (See 2 Chron. vii. 3).
I was now appointed to  another vessel going home,
i tit
a smaller one, and as it makes you a " big officer" going
to a small ship, I did not much regret leaving old and
some very esteemed messmates; and the feeling of joy
that I was going to a ship, the first for England, made
me forget almost the novel scenes and old friends of
my first happy days at sea. Moreover, I must add that
my removal to another vessel bound for England was
in consequence of my health having much suffered from
a long illness. I was the first to take fever after leaving
Singapore, from a boyish and thoughtless indulgence in
that delicious fruit for which Singapore is so famous,
the pine-apple; and for which you only give one dollar
and a half for a boat-load. Many ships scrub their decks
with them, the acid whitening the planks. They can be
eaten to any amount before breakfast, but in the sun
during noon-day I have learned a lesson !
The Treaty of Peace arrived, approved and signed,
and a Royal salute proclaimed that joyful event from the
I have now led my young and patient readers to
Nankin. I have detained them there for some time,
longer indeed than I ought to have done, but I am sure
that many of the scenes I have endeavoured to describe
never before appeared in print, therefore I may be
excused for so doing ; and as sickness now is raging to
a fearful and fatal amount, and I am among the sufferers,
I must take leave of the ancient capital. First I will
show the number of sufferers in each vessel, and then
before I finally start I will take my young readers to the
top of the Porcelain Tower of Nankin.
The signal was made every morning from the Flag
fchip, " numbers of sick;" on the 26th September it was
.as follows :—
The flag-ship  230.
A steamer 75 and both doctors.
A steam-frigate  114.
A frigate 130.
A corvette    52 and 8 officers.
The remainder of the shipping in proportion. It was
time indeed to leave; one ship had to borrow men from
•another to weigh her anchors. A great deal of sickness
was caused by being compelled to drink the water from
alongside, which, passing through swamps and decayed
vegetable matter, was most injurious. The wells on shore
were poisoned, at least we were informed so frequently,
and although the truth of it was never practically tested,
it would have been a dangerous experiment to have
drunk from them ; the Chinese were well up to all these
cunning devices.
Now for a trip to the " Porcelain Tower." A party
was formed of seven from my ship, which was afterwards
increased to nine by our having called alongside a far-
famed steamer in this expedition; and while there, her
gallant Captain had added to our stock a half-dozen
basket of champagne. Before day-dawn we started, and
had to pull 14 miles up a canal to the right of the city,
where in the suburbs we found " The Tower." We
had to pass the city walls within ten yards, which were
here about 40 feet high; on the ramparts of which were
hundreds of astonished troops, wondering at our presumption in approaching so near the celestial paths. This,
however, did not interrupt our progress.   On the right
bank forming the canal were pretty cottages surrounded
by evergreens, interspersed here and there by tall rushes*
About seven miles up this canal, the heat of the sun
compelled us to "heave to" under the arches of a
handsome and substantial stone bridge, leading to one
of the city gates; and here we demolished a light tiffin.
Three miles further was another bridge, equally good,
composed of five arches, and here we first beheld the
lofty Porcelain Tower. Here we disembarked and
walked up to the city gate, which was immediately
closed on our approach, and we returned to our boat.
A third bridge was passed about a mile above the last,
and here we landed on the suburban side of the canal,
and walked about one mile through the streets, which
were thronged to suffocation by curious multitudes,
trying to get a peep at us. Traffic was going on at a
brisk rate, and this was the first time we had seen an
uninterrupted town.*
The compound or square was entered, and we
soon found the entrance gate. Several steps led
to the doors, and the floor of the first story was occupied
by huge corpulent josses, 20 to 40 feet in height (from
estimation by our own heights, but we had no means of
measuring them.) A narrow winding stair led us to the
balcony of the ninth story, which took us all the forenoon to ascend. The view from this was charming, and
quite exceeded all we could have anticipated; it was
* The gardens and preserves of the late Emperor are on the
opposite side of the river to Nankin, enclosed by walls and bastions, 18 miles in extent. We walked to them one fine evening.
"Wild boars are hunted and speared here,"
■no r^TST*"* ESp¥
Stimdufyc <£ CJhtho, Olds JavryJZ.C.
South/ Tacc.
worth coming 22,000 miles, as we all had done, to see
this alone.
Before we stirred one inch we sat down, drew forth
the "half-dozen basket" our kind and well-known
friend had presented to us—cut the strings, and, amid
three true hearty cheers, drank Her Most Glorious
and Gracious Majesty's health. Long may she live !
and may we all be promoted! (you see we did not
forget ourselves).    We had to drink one more toast—
that of our esteemed Captain  , (I was just going
to mention his name, but that would not do), the generous donor of the champagne.
We walked round the balcony. The exterior of the
tower is entirely porcelain, covered with all manner of
curious devices, elephants, lions, tigers, dragons, and
figures much like " Punch," and other indescribable
antediluvian monsters. From this we had a most extensive view of the city of Nankin, surrounded by three
walls; the outer, 32 miles in circumference, the city
enclosed in the inner one. The houses are thickly packed,
with the exception of one or two of a very superior sort,
perhaps Government offices, which have a small garden
in the centre; the "joss-houses" very conspicuous.
We descended, and having laid out our dinner on marble
and porcelain slabs, made a hearty meal, and again
drank health to our beloved Queen ; we did not appear
to care how often it was.
Englishmen, in particular, have all the bump of
destruction very prominent; they never visit an ancient
building but they must have a piece, a small bit for a
relic, and a bit to give away if asked for, and a bit in
case they should lose the other bit; and so it is small
bits each, and bits every one. After a place has become
visited frequently it is perfectly destroyed. Some
even take pickaxes, geological hammers ; arm themselves
before starting with the full intention of being destructive.
This ancient, picturesque, and beautiful building was not
exempt: visitors had taken, some an elephant's face or
dragon's tail; another, a lion's paw; another, a whole slab
of porcelain; until the facings of the upper story had
been quite disfigured. The tower had lately undergone
a thorough repair, and I forget the almost fabulous sum
we were told it cost to do it, something enormous. Of
course a complaint was soon made, but too late, and
visitors afterwards had to obtain passports before they
would be admitted to view this celebrated tower.
We returned very late, very fatigued, but very much
pleased with xmr tour.
There was a strict and positive order in my late ship,
that " no person should sleep about the decks, or in the
open air." This was little attended to, from the extreme
and oppressive heat at night, and the myriads of mosquitoes, which precluded all rest. Many chose rather to
undergo the punishment for disobedience of orders, than
be suffocated below, and the blood taken from them drop
by drop, by these constant and attentive persecutors.
All manner of " dodges" were resorted to for a " cool
billet," and after the commanding officer had gone his
last rounds for the night, every mid., and every one who
could not stay below, might be seen with his straw mat
and pillow rushing   for   some bearable  spot   for the
night.     It
was  during
x>ne   of  these nights that a
most melancholy accident occurred to a fine and promising young officer. He, like some of the rest, had
chosen the main chains for a resting-place; and, during
the night, he fell overboard and sank immediately; of
course his body was never found. It quite cast a gloom
over us all. Another suddenly " called " in the youth of
his years to stand before his Maker, and give an account
of himself, tried and condemned by his own works;
" Those that do well shall inherit everlasting life; those
that do wicked, everlasting misery." Another solemn
warning to us to prepare.
The Treaty of Peace arrives from Pekin, fully and
finally ratified; the squadron dress and fire a royal
salute ; the Lieut.-General is invested with the ensignia
of a G.C.B., at which all attended; as well as our old
friend, Te-chu-pu, the Tartar General. He got rather
inquisitive after his lunch, and asked the Admiral how
old he was ? "^Sixty-one," replied the Admiral, " fifty of
which I have been a sailor." He said, " What a brave
man you must be to continue so long in such misery."
In one of the " chops" accompanying the Treaty
was the following quaint and Oriental communication
from one of the Commissioners :—
" Good faith is what is held in the highest esteem by
" the honourable country (speaking of China) ; sincerity
"is that on which the Governor-General most plumes
" himself. In his communications there was not a word
" other than right feeling and reason, that might not
" stand before the bright light of heaven's sun; or be.
" brought forth into the presence of gods and spirits !'''
The Flag-ship makes the signal to us, " Prepare for
Sea." Never was there a signal so joyfully received, or
so quickly answered as that; a thrill of delight ran
through every one of us 1 for our numbers were fast de*
creasing by sickness and death. We dreaded the former
always much more than the enemy. We were glad of
the chance of risking our lives in battle, but sickness
and death made our spirits droop to think of it; daily
staring at us, going one after the other, not knowing
who may be the next.
The anchor was weighed! the sick actually leaving
their hammocks to assist at the capstan; the fiddler
playing the appropriate quick step—
M Don't you hear the bells are ringing ?
It's time for us to go!
Don't you hear the girls are singing ?
It's time for us to go! "
Chorus, &c.
Old Song.
Many a silent, fervent, and inward prayer was muttered
on that day; with individual thanks to Him who had
watched over those who had escaped from the perils of
so much sickness, the dangers of the sea, and the
I have now brought my patient followers out of the
Yang-tze-Keang, again passing the picturesque Golden
and Silver Islands, and arriving safe at Chusan ; and I
hope I have not incurred censure by detaining them too
long, where all things were so attractive, so new, and so
interesting to us all.
"Ask of the sailor youth, when far
His light bark bounds o'er ocean's foam,
"What charms him most, when evening's star
Smiles o'er the wave ?   To dream of home."
After some refit, for we came into Chusan without an
anchor, and receiving on board many invalids, some of
whom we were but taking to sea for burial, we one morning actually found ourselves running, with a favoured gale,
"Homeward bound/' It is impossible to convey the
feelings experienced at such a moment as this, to any but
those who have already felt them. Although our ship was
22,000 miles from England, running with only a close
reefed main-topsail on the cap; battened down " fore
and aft;" every sea threatening instant destruction ; our
thoughts were all towards "home." The happy, pleasing
prospects of home! Sometimes, while pacing the deck, we
would stand still for an instant and ask ourselves the question—"Is it a reality? Can we really be going home?*
There are thoughts and pleasures about home, that rivet
us to it, that we can never forget; and although we are
delighted to get to sea, yet almost the first wish is to be
O CD *   v
back again. I shall never forget my impressions at first
being homeward bound; I presume they are the same
with all; they are most enviable.
We called at Hong-Kong * after a quick passage. I
Was sent away early in the morning with despatches to
the Post-Office, and to West Point; as our Naval Establishment had been erected there since my last visit. I did
not know exactly where it was; but on reaching the
shore, a respectable-looking, elderly man, in' a snug
shooting-coat, and a stout walking stick in hia hand, was
on the pier, leisurely, but attentively, looking at my
boat's crew, who were not very strictly attired. I jumped
on the pier, and said, " Old chap, will you tell me where
the Dockyard is, if you please ?" " Oh yes," says he,
" over there." " Thank you." A minute afterwards, I
met some person I knew, and asked him who that was
still standing on the pier. " That," he says, in a low
voice,  for fear  of  attracting  attention,   " That's   the
* And here we had the gratification to learn that the thanks of
both Houses of Parliament were voted us for the successful termination of the war, and that we were to receive medals.
Admiral!" I said not another word. This "chap,"
as I had familiarly termed him, was the strictest Admiral
in Her Majesty's service; had been taking his morning
walk before the sun rose, and was then waiting for his
galley to take him on board the Flag-Ship.
We called, also, at the Portuguese settlement of
Macao, and I was very sorry that sickness still deprived
me of the opportunity of visiting it.
The Chinese are beautiful artists in either likenesses
or landscapes, but in the latter have no idea of perspective ; they will copy a steel engraving perfectly. Many
had their likenesses taken at Hong-Kong; particularly
the Commanders-in-Chief, and other notable persons;
among whom was a dashing Captain, a tall, fine, good-
looking man, but deeply indented with the small-pox.
His picture was finished, an admirable likeness! and
having called at the painter's one evening, intending to
give final directions about it, he found the artist, with
a small brush in his hand, having on it a light brown
colour, sitting intently over the picture. " Hollo," says
the Captain (who thought it had been completed some
days), " what are you about now?" "I go," says the
inimitable Chinaman, " I go makee dot;" at the same
time placing the brush on the cheek to imitate the pits
of the small-pox; of course the picture was at once
These fellows imitate anything; the best and most
perfect imitists I suppose in the world ; sometimes they
are absurdly so; and many of us lost considerably by their
imitating too nearly. Once my tailor came off, and
measured   me  for   a   camlet  jacket,   and    directions
given to make it exactly like an old uniform jacket
which he took with him for the purpose. In a week the
tailor returned the jacket very neatly and very nicely
finished; but on looking over it, I found to my horror
that he had made it exactly like the pattern, and had
copied, to a stitch, an old patch that had been put on
the elbows some months previously. This, I thought,
was carrying the joke further than the picture.
" Wash clothes " is a great event on going into harbour
after a long cruise; your kit is nearly exhausted, as may
be supposed (that is, a midshipman's kit), and his last
clean shirt is on him, which he has kept on purpose for
coming into harbour; and is therefore anxious as to whom
he trusts nearly all his " worldly goods," and when they
will be brought to him. No sooner is the anchor dropped,
than on board rush men, women, boys, girls, holding out
handfuls of certificates for you to read, from officers for
whom they have washed; and taking care to have on
them linen done up to starch and perfection. Cries of
I Wash clothes, sir ?" " Yes, sir, I wash your clothes ;"
*' I wash for you before, sir;" " I know your face, sir;"
81 no put chunam, sir ;" " Ah! Sahib know me ;" " I
mend clothes, sir;" " This your certificate, sir ;" 11 sew
on button, sir; " until you are really compelled to let
them exhaust themselves, and then quietly choose one.
You then prove their honesty by their papers; some
are bad, some are good. Not knowing how to read,
they treasure certificates that condemn them at once;
some run thus:—
" I hereby certify that Alib Aram Jeejeeboy is not to
be trusted; washes badly, and pounds your linen between
11 two stones to shreds.
(Signed) "J. S.,
# "H. M. S. "
" This is to certify that Rumsetjee   Cowasjee is  a
" rascal.
" w. s.,
"H. M. S. "
" We can confidently recommend Mrs. Cur settee as a
" good, honest, and punctual washerwoman"
Signed by all the Officers, H. M. S.
When you are satisfied, then comes a job to count
linen and make out lists. You would rather do anything
than that, but you are compelled. Going over all your
dirty clothes again, seven, eight, or nine dozen pieces
of a hot scorching day, on a lower deck, only a few
miles from the equator; wetting through your only hope,
your last clean shirt on your back, with perspiration. You
know not what ordeal some of your clothes have to go
through before you again see them; perhaps your handsome dress shirts will be worn over and over again by
some greasy nigger fellows ; your under garments also
pay a heavy toll for landing. But a capital story is told
of a "dubash" who brought off the washing on one
occasion, and on counting them over, the owner, who was
a young midshipman,   remarked, that a pair of  his
stockings, which were always white, were now a brown
colour. " Ah, Sahib," said the washer-man, slapping his
forehead, " please, Sahib, massa strain him coffee
through them." " Confound it," said the young fellow,
much annoyed; but the washer-man endeavoured to
compromise the matter by saying, " Oh, don't be angry,
Sahib, massa only strain him through dirty stocking."
N.B.—Always know where your washer-man lives, so
that you may take him by storm, if your ship is
ordered suddenly to sea.
We arrived safe at Singapore, and all this was gone
through. Our stay was very short, no clothes appeared,
and we were setting studding-sails. Fortunately the wind
was light, and when eight miles off the anchorage, on
board pulled a boat with our clothes, I mean our
rags! wet, muddy, and saturated with yellow-ochre. We
had a four months'1 sea voyage before us, and this
our kit.    " Patience is a virtue."
In most of the Indian ports the washer-men and
women have brothers and cousins who are tailors and
linen-drapers. After one or two washing your clothes
are beaten to pieces between two large stones in a
running stream; when they can be no longer worn,
you are strongly recommended to the brother or cousin
for new linen.
At Anger Point, Straits of Sunda, boats came off and
we got a sea stock of fruit and turtle, and also had
the honour of a visit from the post-master in his full
dress, "langooty and cocked hat." A light and airy dress,
Well adapted for the climate, except that the paper cocked-
hat may collapse in  a heavy shower,  but the same
shower would be of benefit to the rag. I thought we
should all have split on his first coming on deck, it was
irresistibly ludicrous. On our passage to the Cape of
Good Hope, passed within the influence of a hurricane
on the meridian of Mauritius, The sky suddenly
became cloudy, the clouds were rent by heavy peals of
thunder, accompanied by vivid lightning. The rain
fell in torrents; the barometer also fell, and all sail was
shortened. It had passed near without our suffering
from its effects, beyond this, at night we had a most
violent squall; but by the warning were well  prepared.
Christmas-day we passed Table Mountain, but
being all anxious for home did not delay by going in
there. I should, however, like to have gone once through
Wine-berg and Constantia for many reasons; but
"rolling down to St. Helena" was perhaps the better
of the two.
Anchored at St. Helena, on a small spot of ground off
St. James's Valley; coming in under double reefs, as by
Port-orders vessels are not allowed, or are requested
not to carry much sail, on account of the sudden gusts
of wind which come down the valleys and ravines.
St. Helena offered great attractions for us—Napoleon's
prison, his dwelling, his tomb. As our stay was very
short, a small party were off at once. The landing here is
difficult, and indeed at times dangerous, from the rolling
swell which fetches round the points, brought up by a
constant S.E. trade wind. On the landing-place (the
only one on the island) a crane is fixed with a rope attached ; this is swung out to you, and when you lay hold of it,
you swing yourself in as the boat rises with the waves,
and must be well attended by the crew, wdio keep her
from getting under the overhanging rocks.
We were, however, unfortunate, or somebody in the
boat was stupid, for on our approaching the rock the
wave raised the boat several feet; she then fell; and on
rising again her stern got under the rock, her bows
rising with the swell, and of course leaving half of her
where it was. As a matter of course all were in the
water, but those on shore rescued us one by one. It was
a narrow escape.
We were not, however, to be foiled in our walk to the
tomb; to have returned on board to put on dry clothes
would have cost too much time, as the ship was to sail
in the evening. A kind friend on shore (a very fat one
too, fat people are always kind!) lent me a pair of trousers,
immensely large, and tapering down to the feet. I am
sure I was mistaken for a Frenchman, and received much
attention; they were preferable to wet ones, and
off we started all on horse-back.
We were politely shown over the residence of the late
Napoleon (now a stable), and also the hollow and much
dilapidated sepulchre in which his remains laid. We
were presented with a small piece of the pall which
covered his coffin, as well as a sprig of the drooping-
willow; and permitted as a great favour (for the payment of half a dollar), to drink from the same well
that Napoleon did, or perhaps never did.
This is another sad illustration of the destructive
curiosity of our countrymen ; here iron bars have been
removed, and many have their tops broken and carried
off as relics.
We returned, and I must add, not much gratified. It is
difficult to find the tomb, from weeds and long grass ;
but there is no difficulty in finding people ready to receive
gratuities for telling you most improbable stories.
We were hospitably regaled at the Consul's on our
return, and I had an opportunity of returning with
thanks my borrowed habiliments. Called at the sunburnt Isle of Ascension ; taking on board some unfortunate officers and men who had been invalided from the
coast of Africa.
We had hitherto made a good passage, but now were
met by a stubborn and hard-hearted N.E. gale, in which
we were compelled to lie-to under storm sails; the sea
breaking completely over us. Our devoted ship gave
one or two heavy lurches, which carried everything
away between decks; mess-tables, bags, including all
crockery and glass; these troubles were completed by
our being put on half allowance of water and provisions.
In this dilemma we exchanged numbers with the ship that
left Nankin fourteen days before us, having on board the
despatches announcing " Peace with China." This gale
lasted for nineteen days; to us who had been anticipating
our arrival so soon, this was very provoking; and day after
day passed, and we at last thought it would never end.
However, like most things it had an ending, and on the
twentieth day, at eight in the morning, the long-looked-for
land appeared. A pilot boarded us; it did one's heart good
to see a fresh and healthy face once more: we did not require his services, but I put in his hand half-a-crown, and a
letter containing the only words—"all's safe and well," to
drop in the first post-office he met.    The next boat which
boarded us was full of "potatoes and mackerel." To us who
had been nineteen days on half allowance of provisions,
and now sharpened up by a cold easterly wind, I need
not say what was done with this acceptable relief; frying,
boiling; boiling, frying, the whole day; the hissing of the
frying-pan never ceased. A heavy gale again coming on
from the eastward compelled us to bear up for Plymouth,
where we anchored in safety. Our feelings of ioy
at this moment can neither be imagined, nor well
described. On looking round, and convincing ourselves
of the reality, all exclaimed—" Thank God, here we are
once more."
We would indeed have been ungrateful, unthankful
mortals, if we did not feel our real position, after being
carried upwards of forty-four thousand miles over the
sea; through all climates, through sickness, and through
war; through storm and tempest; and now brought back
to " the haven where we would be" in safety, by an ever-
guiding and overruling Providence. Myself in particular,
who had had three relapses of fever, during the last of
which so far gone was I that my doctor asked me if " I
was prepared." Who had been rescued from drowning
on more than one occasion ; who had escaped the enemy
both by treachery and war; now found myself safely
returned to my native land after an absence of years,
to offer up heartfelt and fervent thanks to Him who
alone could have brought me out of all these dangers.
On landing I gave a cabby (No 377) double fare to
drive doubly fast, and in less than an hour after the ship
was anchored, I was quite unexpected among all those
near and dear to me.
The gale, which continued for two days, enabled me to
make many flying visits; and so unexpected was my
arrival, that it was some time before I could make myself
believed. The first abatement of the storm we were off
to Portsmouth; and, having one instalment of the Sycee
silver, amounting to one million of dollars, part indemnity
for the Chinese war, we had to go into the harbour to
discharge it.
I never can forget the lovely spring morning that
shone on us as we were towed quickly by the Victoria
pier at Portsmouth. Crowds had assembled to welcome
our arrival; the bands played, " See the conquering hero
comes;" "Where have you been roaming?" and "After
very many roving years." This, together with the cambric
handkerchiefs waved by the ladies in acknowledgment
of their approval, made one not regret going so far and
through so much for even the momentary satisfaction
of being considered a " hero."
We were lashed alongside the dock-yard, and commenced hoisting out the silver (one million dollars in
Sycee). Of course this attracted many, who came to see it
as well as the shot-holes in the ship's side and rigging,
and the Chinese trophies collected on the field of
Now, I am not going to be romantic; nor am I
going to deviate from my first intention of writing
simply and plainly. I cannot omit remarking that,
during the busy occupation of getting out our treasure,
my eyes accidentally rested on a face, a form, a figure
that I cannot easily forget. I felt myself then and
there a prisoner!-    It was my first impression!   But I
was    still a   boy,   and   had  not  even   mounted   the
" white patch,"
That evening was the most agreeable I had ever yet
spent. It passed provokingly fast; the hour for our
parting arrived. I said adieu with a bursting heart, and
promised faithfully to return the instant duty would
release me. The ship was ordered to the eastward to be
paid off, and in the short space of three days and a half
the pendant was hauled down.
Next day I was appointed to another ship.
The latter part of the past chapter cost me many an
hour's reflection. I could not, for the life of me, imagine
why so young and so fascinating a girl should have
ventured a smile on me. I am sure my outward
appearance was not the most attractive; all our clothes
had been hove to the winds to make room in our chests
for Chinese dresses and curiosities. The remaining part of
our clothing has been accounted for at Singapore. We
frequently used to boast of our slack and disreputable
rig, and we used to glory in it, for we knew that we were
again near our tailors. We all looked withered, sickly,
and dispirited, after our trying cruise ; we had not yet our
medals on our breasts; and this circumstance was,
therefore, to me most unaccountable.  And what was still
F 2
more marvellous, after all my prize-money had been
spent in another fit-out, of the most approved and styljsh.
fashion, and another ship obtained for me, I set out at
once, with the intention of a dutiful and affectionate son,
to visit li home." But, after travelling many hours, I found
myself actually within a few yards of the self-same spot
where we had discharged our treasure a few days since,
and the poor young sailor was again more deeply and
irretrievably in love than ever!
Two days was the utmost I allowed myself; but these
two, short as they were, have afforded me many of my
most pleasing reminiscences, andj often look back to them
with the pride and pleasure of a young sailor, and the
sincerest hopes that these recollections may soon again
be renewed.
I had to travel the remainder of my journey on the
outside of a "coach," in company with many other
sailors who had been paid off from their vessels, and
were about to squander their time, prize-money, and pay,
like myself. The jokes and fun we had on that coach
amused many land lubbers around us, who had not
been accustomed to the society of sailors. " How many
knots do you think she's going Bill?" u Seventeen off the
reel." " Just hove the log." " Jack, give us a pull at your
pistol; mine has got the watch below/5 " Jack, I looks
toward you." | Bill" replies the other, "I has your eye."
" I expect we shall have to reef topsails and spread the
rain-awning before we sight this here land." On our
arrival at Exeter hot coffee was ordered for eight, but
the people took care not to bring it to us until we were
about to <( shove off/' as Jack said ; however, Jack was
not to be done; he unshipped the coach lanthornr
wiped it out, carefully poured the coffee, scorching hot,
into it; the coach "shoved off," and the boiling coffee
was drunk leisurely as we went along the road. The
same evening myself and bag arrived safely at home in
the west of^England; and, before turning in, I hove the
window up, and looked around. Ah! thought I, with
an inward satisfaction to myself, no middle watch to keep
to-night—no topsails to reef! Pipe down; the ship is
well moored, head and stern.
I must pass over a short interval at home—very short,
for I was no sooner on shore than I was anxious to be
afloat again; and one fine morning found me a passenger
in an Irish steamer, with 350 pigs, countrymen of mine,
on my way to join my new ship to the eastward.
In the identical spot where we are informed by undoubted authority that Black-eyed Susan paid the fleet a
visit when in search of her | beloved William"-—in the
Downs—we were compelled to anchor in a dense fog,
which lasted twenty seven hours; and I paced the deck
humming to myself these lines of that well known song:
i( 0 Susan, Susan, lovely dear!
My vows sball ever true remain;
Let me kiss off that falling tear—
We only part to meet again.
Change as ye list, ye winds, my heart shall be
The faithful compass that still points to thee !"
Next day I joined my ship.
All the troubles and inconveniences of | fitting out"
at an eastern port were over; the ship inspected, highly
approved, and we again sailed, but were ignorant of our
final destination.    It was not very difficult to get under
weigh from the " last place created/' I slipped my
moorings easily; although I fear, and at the same time
I must confess, that in a few more days I should have
had a "foul anchor,"and it would perhaps have been
difficult to | clear hawse/' Parting, however, was not
so heart-rending. On arrival at the first port, I was sent
to answer a signal from the guard-ship, and I found
myself again not one hundred miles from the very spot
where not only had the treasure been first landed, but
discovered. After "duty" of course thoughts of pleasure
revived, and I was once more in the presence of the first
one who—
•jp* 9(e *|r gp
"South-Sea" rooms and their attractions are well known
to every midshipman as being the rendezvous, once a
week, of the most agreeable Tertulias.    It was my good
luck to arrive here on a Thursday, and I enjoyed the
most pleasant evening imaginable.    All  the  elite and
fashionable of Portsmouth were present; and with the
happy mixture of blue coats and red jackets to enliven
the scene, I do not know where can be found more
select and attractable rooms.   I was too much absorbed
to see anything that was going on around me, but I can
never forget—nothing can ever erase from my memory
—the evening of the 18th of May.  Fair ringlets (I always
had a weakness for ringlets), and a still fairer face, had
made sad havoc in my heart.   She was the most evanescent of beings; her winning eyes, her flowing hair, the
beautiful transparency of her face !   she looked " as if she
had been made out of a rainbow, all beauty and peace."
The  struggle  of   parting  was  soon   over,  but   not
forgotten, and in a few hours afterwards we were in the
west of England. A signal having been made for a
mid., I was sent; and for the first time I learned
that we were destined for the coast of Africa or
West Indies.
While on board the guard-ship I heard a witty reply
given by a boat's crew alongside, to the mid. or mate of
the watch. He hailed one of the many boats which had
arrived to copy orders, and said, " Are you the So-and-
so's boat ? " " No sir," says the bowman, " we're Roses !"
" Aye sir," says the coxswain, lifting up a huge beard—
" Aye sir, Moss-Roses." This was one of the gigs of the
"Rose" in which the crew cultivated profuse beards, and
christening themselves | Moss-Roses." Of course we all
My health was not yet re-established from the severe
shock I had in China, and I often felt the effects of that
cruise; and, fearing the additional bad effects of an
African or West Indian clime, I am sent to the hospital;
where, after six weeks, I was pronounced by a medical
board ready for " any service."
The sound of an "hospital" is not very cheering, but
during these six weeks I found it, next to one's own home,
the most comfortable. You have almost every thing you
wish for, plenty of plain but nourishing diet, a comfortable
sleeping place in a large clean and airy ward, plenty of exercise, kind nurse attendants, luxuries if in need of them;
but the " small" beer—wholesome, but " very small "-
you must shut your teeth and strain the beer, leaving the
hops outside; a pleasant prospect around on every side,
if you are possessed of a good telescope, and frequently
inside also; many coming in to walk during the day.
Leave twice a week; do not exceed it; and do not pick
the flowers.
I must plead guilty to having twice (in a good cause,
however) robbed the gardens.  The " Riot Act" was read
in our ward, but I was never found out, for I was wise
enough to choose a time when all was stillness (10 P.M.)
to cull my bouquet—when no one would have fancied
invalids so mad as to be out in the night air.    It may of
course be readily concluded that these flowers were not
for myself, or I would not perhaps have run such a risk;
but we were surrounded by kind and attentive friends,
friends sympathising with you in your illness, and often
sending  presents  (which, I must add, are prohibited,
except they are "innocent and harmless'').   We were
surrounded, I say, by kind and affectionate inquiries (the
west of England is proverbial for attention, hospitality,
and kindness) ; and it will hardly be thought that these
attentions made no impressions; hence robbing the flower-
It is often remarked, that a sailor has in every port a
home, in every home a wife. Sailors are undoubtedly a
most susceptible race ; but the fact is this, they are
frequently at sea weeks, months, and sometimes years;
the first port they enter, the first pretty face they see, they
are gone. Their hearts then are so susceptible from being
unattacked, and from long absence, that very little makes
an impression, and, as I have said before, the first smile
JS they are gone." It is, however, going a little beyond
the real case to say " in every port a wife." This term has
no doubt been used to rhyme with the line before or
•after; "sweetheart" would perhaps be giving him credit
for all he deserves.
Weil, these attentions from without did, I must confess,
(for I am very candid), produce impressions within,
although we had not been at sea many years ; codes of
signals were interchanged by very simple means, and
very easily understood, and many a pleasant and agreeable walk and talk around the grounds the signals
obtained for us.
* * * #
I would strongly recommend, therefore, my young
friends, not to allow the term § hospital | to deter you
from going there if necessary. You will find all I have
said; you will, next to your own home, find it the most
comfortable and consoling in sickness and in sorrow.
You will not, perhaps, be surrounded by those to whom I
am much indebted, and for whom I, have great esteem;
others may have taken their places.
Many of our wet days were passed in playing the
most delectable and intellectual game, 1 pitch and toss,"
for "rhubarb tarts" and cream—they were allowed, being
"wholesome diet; and I must not forget the few days we
had " hay-making " within the walls. Of course only the
sick and those belonging to the hospital were permitted
to partake of this healthy and innocent enjoyment.
There was also a | little scene" with the " primrose
boots," which I dare not say anything of, beyond merely
showing that my memory is still fresh. A Dollond
detected for me that it required two servant girls to haul
these boots off after being wet through. What a tell-tale
a spy-glass is, to be sure! how unconscious your victims
are that they are in the " field !" I would recommend all
young persons who inhabit front rooms to keep their
curtains  down.    Curiositv  is ever on the wing,  and
idleness leads to it.
I have been long enough now at the hospital; I
begin to feel the good effects of my native climate, and
as I am pronounced by the faculty "ready for sea,"
I must be afloat again, particularly as "loss of time"
is severely felt by a young officer. Every minute is of the
utmost importance and consequence, and not a day
should be lost.
I applied for a ship, and whilst waiting a reply I
felt  that I must take a trip  to where  does  my
reader suppose ? The spot where the treasure wa*s landed,
he will immediately conclude. The old " Brunswick "
steamer had the honour of conveying me. I can scarcely
believe that I am again en route for a place I had
only a few days since bade adieu to for ever ! The bare
idea is delight itself. At Torquay we picked up a very
interesting family—"five girls out of six squinted," or
had a "cast," as it is termed by some more charitably
disposed. You could not tell for the life of you whether
they were looking at you or not, or whether all were
looking, or whether none at all were looking. I am not
saying this from any unkind motive, or from one of
mimicry; but really it attracted attention. A sailor who
had been twenty years at sea needs no apprehension
of an impression in this instance.  Perfectly safe, I think!
The time appeared without an end. However, it came
at last; and I could scarcely believe that the very hand I
had pressed only a short time before, and said farewell
to for ever, was at this moment leaning on my arm.
My heart was gradually, yet imperceptibly, lessening ;
altogether going. I could not control it; it was impossible to help it; no remedy that I could think of was an
antidote. However, next morning at breakfast I received
a partial cure, and the following was the prescription, for
any who may be suffering in a like manner:
"Admiralty, 20th July.
I My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having
appointed you to H.M.'s ship, the 'Blaze-away,' in China, it
is their Lordships' direction that you repair IMMEDIATELY
to join the * Fuzee' for a passage.
" I am, Sir,
" Your humble Servant," &e.
I gazed on the word IMMEDIATELY, with three
Tough and unmistakeable dashes made under it. A cold
chill came over me. "Go immediately to the 'Fuzee' to
join the 'Blaze-away' in China, a place I had nearly died
in only a short time since," thought I. Can it be true %
Oh, yes, too true. I ASKED for it the day before yesterday, and it was now granted. My portmanteau was
packed, and I took an affectionate farewell; and I could
only console myself by the idea, that "the pangs of
parting were soon to be healed by the prospect of
r i
outward bound—slashing frigate—pasting—cove]—pic-nic
■—nearly left behind—agreeable passengers—a favo-
bite—madeira — mi horse bolts—places visited—'the
circus—a tea party—concert—the parting visit—
the jolly boat—the line—"who mangled the marine —
midshipman's pleasure—bio janeiro—bombardment—
places of besort—the pious mid—your washerwoman's address—farewell bio—the wager—tbistan
" She walked the waters like a thing of life,
Daring the elements as if to strife! "
I was now on board a " slashing frigate," commanded
by a gallant and kind-hearted captain, good officers,
and a smart crew. I had now been about two years a
sailor, and I was proud of saying, "I belong to that
smart frigate in the Sound." I began to look aloft with
the air and consequence of an experienced " salt," and
I really was proud of my profession. I would not have
changed it for any other—a sailor's life was the life
for me. Parting has always been to me very painful, and
I this time avoided it by endeavouring to attribute the
accident to the vessel being ordered to sea immediately.
Cork— " Cove of Cork "—was our destination first.
*6 Cove" was my native place, the eye of Erin's green
isle, and I gazed on it with mixed feelings of joy and
sorrow. It gave me enough to do, in the short space of
time allotted, to see all my friends—at least, relations,
friends I had not many—and although but two days to
remain here, a pic-nic*was immediately formed for the
second day. The Cove girls can get up a pic-nic as quick
and complete as any people I know; and we were all on
the Carigoline river early next forenoon. I was quite
at home; the cloth was spread, the substantials laid out,
and a pigeon-pie placed before me. 1 put my knife into
it, cut out a Y, and looking up to ask who would
partake of any, to my horror I saw my 8 crack frigate"
with the blue-peter flying and sails already loosed,
accompanied by a gun, which thundered its echoes
around us. Did I say good-bye? I forget. I rushed
down to a boat, made them pull their strongest, and
while the ship was in "stays/' making the very last
tack, I jumped on board. il Adieu, old IrelandI" said I,
"you nearly had me for a short time.*'
" Adieu! adieu! my native shore
Fades o'er the waters hlue;
The night winds sigh, the breakers roar,
And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
Yon sun that set upon the sea
"We follow in his flight;
Farewell awhile to him and thee,
My native land—good night! "
We were again fairly at sea, with the pleasure of
having the  Governor of Hong-kong and his  family
passengers to that place. It is always agreeable to have
persons of note on board, for it not only gives an
opportunity of talking to them, but talking of them;
and it is particularly pleasant for the midshipmen,
for they get a good breakfast every morning-watch
they keep, and a champagne dinner once or twice
T was fortunate in being a special favourite, not
from any merit of my own, but from the simple
reason that I was last from Hong-kong, and knew
all about it; and the all I did know was the position
of the few fishing huts, the post office, and the
place the Admiral, or "old chap," was kind enough
to show me, " West Point, | when I met him on the
pier of a cold morning.*
This was somewhat later in the season than we
made our passage two years since, but equally fine;
and a short and pleasant run brought us to that
lovely isle, Madeira.
I began now to know Madeira a little better, and
since my last visit, my pay had increased from £16
a-year to £31—a considerable addition. I was, therefore,
able to ride instead of walk; and all the raids, on
this occasion, were mounted. Mine was a large cream-
coloured, powerful American circus-horse, that had
finished his work in that amusing line, and was now
earning a dollar a-day by carrying about midshipmen.
I was no sooner on his back than he bolted, fortunately
up a hill; a poor old woman was kicked over (I never
* This admiral was afterwards my final passing officer at
heard afterwards if she was killed). The horse was
unmanageable; I was unprepared for such an event,
but held on, and he soon became exhausted. These horses
are very often taught these tricks. They throw their
riders, return to their stables, and are then re-let, at the
same price, by their owners. The chaps who are hired to
attend these horses are great rascals, and impose on
a stranger in every possible manner. With the smaller
island horses they hold on to the tails all day, and
never leave you, and are helped up and down the
hills in this manner, and are constantly imploring
and annoying you for a small piece of money to
buy wine.
Nos Senora de Monte and the Pasenora Gardens
were visited by us all. The former, like all Spanish and
Portuguese chapels, full of mimicry, mummery, and
hypocrisy. The latter gardens are very tastefully
and prettily laid out, having a large circular fishpond in its centre. As I was on a circus-horse it
occurred to me that he might do a little "circus,"
and round this pond I started. When about half way
a forked branch of a tree took me by the neck off
my long-legged animal. He passed on, and down I
came, flat, every part of me striking at the same
time, from my heels to the back of my head. I was
a little stunned, my clothes (a mid. always goes ashore
at Madeira in his best clothes), particularly about the
elbows, were rather abused, and altogether smeared
with a red mud of which the banks are composed.
I rose, andc ongratulating myself 'twas nothing worse,
shook  myself, and mounted my faithful charger, now
by my side.  The evening was finished at our former
hospitable acquaintances.
Next evening, after visiting some of the best vineyards, I was invited to a ladies' tea-party, and, by
some unaccountable means, I found myself the only
male, in the presence of nine ladies. I was asked
to be kind enough to "cut bread and butter." I
could not refuse. I had never committed myself so far
before, except in a mid.'s berth cutting off the best
crust, or c{ coasting/' as we knowingly term it.    The
was   very   warm,   the loaf   quite   new,   the
butter in ice, myself in a fever; and I commenced, and
a pretty delicate cut I made of it. I thought I
should have melted; all eyes were on me, and they
were all strangers except one. This one had no doubt
taken me for her protector on her return home. The
bread and butter was finished (that is the cutting
of it), and by attempting to apologize I of course made
it ten times worse. But they all unanimously and kindly
assured me that it was "just the thing, | as | they
had all come from the country and were rather hungry."
We all went to the concert in the evening and
Rubeno highly delighted and astonished us by his
wonderful performance on the violin. His imitations
of a canary, a cat, and a donkey—three animals
very unlike each other—were inimitable!
We again leave Madeira—not without some regret!
but before starting we were favoured by a visit from
several ladies. The midshipmen's berth, which is always
very small in a frigate, was of course peeped into.
The sun, fortunately for us, was at that moment shining
through the scuttles, oh ! said they, | what a nice snug
place you have got, when the sun shines on you."
This last was happily added, for I do not recollect
the whole time I was in the ship a similar occurrence
taking place, therefore their impressions of our " comfort " was unfortunate for us; we got no sympathy.
The ladies departed, and so did we; and had soon
again nothing but sky and water to gaze upon.
The jolly-boat,  which  was hoisted up  astern, was
covered over,  having a small scuttle with a padlock
on it to protect vegetables, fruit, &c, from longing eyes.
This was the  "fruit  garden/'  and  a good  sea-stock
was laid in there, but it always disappeared quicker
than   could be  accounted for;   it was impossible to
keep   the   longing eyes  of  a   hungry  middle-watch
midshipman from  them,  and he found an ingenious
contrivance for   extracting   the   ripest   bananas,   the
choicest orange, and the best grapes, without opening
the lock or destroying the cover !   We were all guilty;
it was too tempting, we could not resist; a midshipman
is  an  animal that requires  feeding   with   something
hourly;  the fresh air he inhales incites the digestive
powers, and they must be satisfied.   We were nearly
found out many times,  but always  escaped by some
good management.    One night in particular a number
of fine  Spanish onions  were  gone,  and the peculiar
odour they left after them nearly condemned us.
We crossed the line again, but on this occasion
having important passengers on board the arrangements
were, that the men may shave among themselves,
but the officers and passengers must not be interfered
 II 1
1 1
with. At this the men got the sulks, and would not
shave at all; Neptune neither visited nor acknowledged
us on arriving in his dominion. Instead of shaving,
however, directly after breakfast the boatswain piped
"hands shift sails." The day was spent in shifting
sails, up and down top-gallant yards &c, and a
hot day's work it was; instead of the water running
into them, it was running freely off them; this cured
the sulks!
I had a very large sea chest, far beyond the
regulation size (every mid. must have a chest according
to size and pattern for uniformity and convenience
in stowage), and many a time mine was threatened
to be " docked/' but always fortunately escaped. Midshipmen are generally allowed a marine on board a
ship to attend on them as a domestic to polish boots,
brush clothes, fetch water, &c. Hammocks are scrubbed
once a week or fortnight, according to circumstances,
and when dried, are, previous to being inspected, folded
up and pressed. Those servants who boast of masters
generally place their hammocks under the chests for
pressure. My marine was always envied at having
a huge chest, but one evening after the hammocks
had been f>piped" down, and we were all sitting at
supper (quietly of course), we heard a smothered groan
in the steerage. All rushed to the rescue, and beheld
my immense chest turned over, and leaving nothing
to be seen under it but the fingers of two hands
and some human hair. We rescued my marine! He
had lifted up my " waggon " to put his hammock under,
the ship gave a roll, and mangled him and his hammock
at the same time. From that moment my chest was
christened the "mangle," and it was a standing joke
against me, " WTio mangled the marine ? | All inside
was of course broken, bason, tumbler, scent-bottles, &c,
and it made me unamiable for some time afterwards.
|Midshipman's pleasure" consists in putting his chest
to rights, or more correctly speaking, "putting it all
wrong;" if he has an hour to spare, and is fortunate
enough to get a small bit of candle to stick in the
corner of the lid, to enable him to reach and to
see the bottom, then he makes up his mind for a
little "mid.'s pleasure." The tills are taken out and
the chest emptied piece by piece. The great object
is to ascertain correctly how many clean shirts, trowsers,
stockings, &c, remain for the rest of the voyage, and
this becomes a source of anxiety when the voyage is
prolonged by unavoidable causes. The chest is emptied
and dusted out, the things returned in order, the
shirts by themselves, the handkerchiefs here, the
waistcoats there, the cloth clothes in that corner, the
boots and blacking in this, the bason and soap
and night watch-coats on top of all. By this time the
domestic marine arrives: "Hollo, sir, what's up now V9
" You might have sent for me, sir, before you capsized
your chest/' Servants do not like to see the chest
overhauled without their knowledge; the next time
he comes to the chest he knows not where a single
thing is. Perhaps his master will five minutes before
send for him, "hurrah, Cheeks, I'm going to dine with
the Captain, get me out a clean shirt, clean handkerchief,  waistcoat,  stockings,  trowsers,   and   I'll  put
G 1
on a clean flannel to-day as to-morrow will be Saturday,
and get me some water to wash, and my boots clean,
they're a little wet, but never mind." All this in
five minutes; the chest has to be completely routed
out to find these things. It is truly said of a midshipman's chest, that "all is on top and nothing
at hand/' After this hour or two hours' | pleasure "
he rushes into the berth and announces his good fortune.
" Hurrah my boys, seven clean shirts, besides this one
on, and five pair of trowsers." "Oh! lend us one, old
fellow, as I have but two, and you shall have one
of my best ones when we get into port." | Don't you
wish you may get it, old fellow I" " Lend/' as the
black fellow says, " bery much like gib."
Arrived at the spacious harbour of Rio Janeiro,
which we find crowded with vessels of war, of all
nations, consequent on the eventful circumstance of
the arrival and marriage of a Neapolitan princess with
the Emperor; a large Neapolitan squadron being
present. Scarcely a day passed without a salute of
some sort. First we had to salute the Brazilian flag;
then the American Commodore; and at noon fired
a royal salute to commemorate the birth-day of the
King of Denmark. At eight next morning, being the
birth-day of the Princess Januarias, fired a royal
salute, and at noon another royal salute to celebrate
the Emperor's accession to the throne. The next day
the British Minister was saluted; at noon, a royal
salute to commemorate the coronation day of the
Princess Januarias; next the Emperor ajloat, and a
royal salute was fired,  and this bombardment finished
with all vessels topping their yards, hoisting colours
half-mast, and firing minute guns the whole day, for
Don Pedro, who died nineteen years since. This firing
daily from twenty-four vessels of war will give some
idea of the noise and uproar caused in the calm and
tranquil harbour of Rio de Janeiro I
The Spanish Opera and the French Theatre were
open; the streets were illuminated and decorated with
fireworks and triumphal arches. Each of these were
visited by us, but were very tame indeed. We
had stalls, and the most agreeable part was standing
up between the acts and gazing around the dress
circles, where many pretty, yet delicate looking faces
appeared. " Soap Street," the Regent Street of Rio, has
the most attractions. This is the evening promenade;
and it is most enlivening to pass up and down, and
admire the many excellent shops, with their numerous
fair occupants, making the most exquisite feather flowers.
It is in one of these a purse will soon get light, but
the artificial flowers are the most beautiful in the
One of our pious midshipmen, not gifted with the
most steady or thoughtful disposition, having had
to spend an evening on board another vessel, from
Which he could not obtain a boat to return, rashly
swam from the vessel, came up the chain cable dressed
in boy's clothes, and astonished us all in the berth
by narrating his mad exploit. (Rio harbour swarms
with sharks.) This is the same quiet midshipman who
was one day dared by a soldier to jump off the poop
of a line of battle ship, the  ship going eight knots at
! ;i «■
the time. He took a chair in his hand, on which the
soldier had been sitting, and over he went. The ship
had to be hove to, and a boat lowered for him. Having
left the service, or the service left him, I forget which,
he is now a Reverend Divine of the Church of England.
I think I have before said, "get the address and
whereabouts of your washerwoman." It was ten at night,
and we wrere to sail at daylight next morning, and no
clothes appeared. Three or four of us obtained leave and
went, determined to redeem our valuable kits. Unfortunately this time Mrs. Baker lived in a barracks, and we
had to storm the sentries; with our horses and guides we
dashed past every body, sentries, muskets, and bayonets,
not heeding the challenge. Brazilian sentries are not
prepared for immediate or unexpected action; they have
to think a good deal! But now all the barracks were
disturbed, not before we had rescued our clothes and
escaped; after they had rubbed their eyes, and lit their
cigarettos, we were gone. But I am sure if they had
eaught us, we should have had no mercy shown for our
We passed out of Rio Harbour, all the vessels
dipping their ensigns to say "good bye." At that
hour the Corco-vado, several thousand feet high,
and the Sugar-loaf, stood out in purple tints and
imposing grandeur. The forts hailed us; not that
they expect, or ever get an answer, for they mutter
something most unintelligible. The land breeze took
us out early in the morning, and between ten and
eleven the sea breeze met us.
Mids., when they have nothing to  do (which for-
tunately for them is not often), are always meditating
some tricks or some mischief. The quieter a mid. appears,
the more deep is to be the design; and when he is
apparently thinking quietly to himself—then look out!
We had on this occasion nothing to do; we had a
spare half hour, and we bet one of our messmates
that he would not drink a tumbler of beer with a
tea-spoon. He accepted and commenced, and won after
a severe struggle. He assured us he would not do
the same again for any consideration; it was the most
nauseous dose that can be imagined; it, however, amused
us for an hour, and we were satisfied.
The solitary, but interesting island of Tristan
iyAcunha was passed about twenty miles distant, its
summit, which is 800 feet high, covered in clouds.
Here we caught a cape pigeon, having a piece of
canvas round his neck, but the inscription had washed
off; he had no doubt been taken by some other vessel,
and was so well treated that he came again to us.
Many of these pretty birds were caught, as well as
an albatross, but set at liberty again when they had
received Her Majesty's mark.
Tristan D'Acunha is a vast barren rock in the
South Atlantic, of which very little appears to be
known. After it had been determined by the British
Government that St. Helena should be the future
abode of Napoleon, it was deemed advisable to
occupy it, where, in case of any attempt to rescue
the imperial prisoner, he might be placed in still
greater security. A eompany of artillerymen was sent
out to this desolate isle, distant at least 1,500 miles
from the nearest continental shore.   It was a place
hitherto visited only by ships which had been driven out
of their course, for the purpose of obtaining a fresh
supply of water, or to repair any damage produced
by stress of weather.   When Buonaparte died, Tristan
D'Acunha was evacuated by the company, who were
glad enough to return to their native country,  after
a sojourn of some years upon this inhospitable shore.
They were recalled by order of the British Government,
who   had no longer any motive  for  continuing the
expense of a garrison in a remote region, where the
active services of troops would, in all probability, never
be  required.    Having demolished  the   garrison,  they
took their departure, after a day of general festivity.
There was, however, one among them named "Glass/'
who requested that he might be permitted to remain
with his wife, to take their chance  on  this  solitary
spot.    It  was looked upon as a mad freak,  but no
objection being made, his comrades left him in charge
of an uninhabited island, with only his wife to relieve
his  solitude, and enliven the dull monotony of a life
that promised no future enjoyment.   Nevertheless, he
was content to brave all chances that might befalhim,
and when he showed that his request was sincere, it
was at once acceded to, amid the banters of his comrades,
who called him the "ragged king," but heartily bade
him  God speed.     Glass   was  consequently left with
a stock of provisions, a small crop of wheat, biscuits,
fishing-tackle, &c.; he had a number of goats, sheep,
and other necessaries.    It  fortunately happened, that
he and his wife had always lived contentedly together.
r r<
It was toward the domain of " Governor Glass"
that a boat lately and S so unhappily swamped
had been steering; which threw a gloom over the little
community. A vessel was wrecked near this spot;
a few had been saved; among them, one who would
not be comforted, he had lost his dearest friend—his
brother. For hours he did not utter a word; he clunsr
to the body of his deceased relative; the bodies of
the drowned were cast into one grave; the bereaved
brother was not to be consoled. At night he stealthily
quitted his couch and pursued his way to the sad
spot where the remains of his brother lay. A discovery was now made; this person turned out to be
a woman; she unconsciously betrayed her sex during
her paroxysms of fever; underneath her jacket she
wore a loose pair of stays, and within these carefully
sewn was a marriage certificate, by which it was
seen the supposed brothers were man and wife. The
youth met his beloved on a Sunday eve (near London),
bore her to the house of a female friend ; next morning,
by pawning his watch, a license was obtained, they
were married, the young couple were deserted by their
friends, they engaged in the vessel that had been
wrecked, and the late happy wife had already become
a bereaved widow.
On a future occasion I shall have much to say
and many novel events to narrate concerning this very
interesting spot, if, as I have before said, my leaves
do not get too bulky during my midshipman's career.
At the Cape of Good Hope there is a peculiar flat-topped
mount, called " Table Mountain." When this is capped
with mist the cloth is said "to be spread," and this is a
sure indication of a coming gale.
Again we found ourselves at anchor in Simon's Bay,
the marks being "Noah's Ark and Cape Hanglip in
one." The anchor was scarcely seated in the mud, when
the following invitation was received to a farewell ball
given by the Governor, before his departure from the
" Government House, Cape Town.
" His Excellency the Governor and Lady  , request the
pleasure of the company of the young gentlemen of the Mid.'s
berth of H.M.S. to a ball at 9.30 p.m.
" The aide-de-camp awaits an answer."
Invitations had been issued a fortnight previous, and
the ball was to take place this evening. We had twenty-
five miles to go; it was already six p.m., and no time was
to be lost.
This is why a sailor enjoys the sea so much, the contrast is so great; four or five weeks baffling and buffeting
the storms, tossed here, tossed there, nowhere at ease,
then, the moment he arrives in port made everything
of, asked here, invited there, and sometimes literally
spoiled. Last night we could scarcely stand on the deck,
the winds blew and the waves were mountains high (all
sailors know the awful sea off Cape L'Agulhas) ; so
strong was the former that the fore-topsail was blown to
atoms, the sea so high that the ship nearly rolled her
masts over the side, and we were in momentary fear of
the guns breaking loose. To-night we were to be in a
ball-room, surrounded by welcomes and happy smiles!
I have said before, S no time was to be lost." On our
arrival on shore, to our mortification, found all conveyances already gone. Nothing in the shape of a horse,
donkey, or vehicle could be had for love or money ; there
were none, and it was impossible to walk twenty-five
miles over quicksands and through rivers.
We were not to be done. At half past six an idea
occurred, ideas are ever ready with a mid. when in
In the small, neat, but scattered town of Simon's Bay,
there lived a " baker/' who had of course a baker's cart,
this was then the idea, and to the baker's shop we went,
with our carpet bags on our shoulders, containing our
pumps and kid gloves. After a great deal of persuasion,
a great loss of time, and a handsome reward, we were
promised the pony and " pea-green cart" which must
be back again by daylight (fifty miles) to carry round
the daily bread. We did not care much what it had to
do next day, but as quick as possible we got into it,
placed the backboard across for a seat, and the proprietor of the vehicle took the reins, over a rough, sandy
beach, every now and then rolling over a boulder, and
of a dark night it may be concluded the ride was not a
steady or comfortable one, and we prayed for the finish.
It did finish, and without an accident; and the unhappy
owner returned to take out his morning's bread, after
leaving us at the hotel.
" None but the brave deserve the fair,"—
and thus concluded that we had but to aspin this yarn"
of our perseverance, and we should not want a partner
that evening.
After rigging ourselves in our new uniforms, we set
out for Government House (it was then eleven at night),
but had not gone ten minutes before we were washed
down by rain. There was no retreat, all houses shut, and
we had to wade through it. On arriving at our destina-
tion, before being presented, we dried ourselves before a
large fire in the waiting-room.
" Misfortunes they never come single 'tis true."
We could hardly have supposed it possible, on entering the ball-room, that Cape Town contained so many
so pretty and so fascinating a number as were here
collected to say adieu to one of the most popular,
beloved, and esteemed of governors.
Although midnight, we were not a bit late, and were
soon sweeping round the room with the rest It was
the first time we had met any Dutch people, and the
ladies were the most animated " lumps of life," plump
little creatures, we had ever seen; all smiles and habit-
shirts. There was much spirit among the dancers, and
all was life itself. The supper was splendid, and the
champagne went flying about in all directions, a miniature cannonade. All attempt at conversation was useless from the cries of 1 John, more champagne," and the
popping of corks.
The belle of the room was a lovely girl, daughter of a
colonel, whose name I forget; she was dressed in lace
over white satin ; her hair was black, with black piercing
eyes, a face of perfect form and whiteness, and a most
symmetrical figure. Many an eye was fixed on her
that evening. In one of the quadrilles I was vis-a-vis
to a very young and pretty Dutch. girl, and asked my
partner who that was ;  she replied,   " Mrs. ,   she
has been a bride some months/' At twelve and thirteen
they sometimes marry here! It is considered a passable age. She appeared to me to be almost too young
for a ball-room.
It is unnecessary to say we enjoyed ourselves, when I
state that it was not until five o'clock, until the daylight
had fairly driven us out of the ball-room, that we made
our salaam.
We saw all that was to be seen of Cape Town,
namely, the library, the promenade, and the clouds of
red dust, and it was then found almost as difficult to
return as to get up here, all traps having been hired;
at an exorbitant fare, however, we got a horse and gig.
The trip down was going on very quietly, for we were
both very sleepy and tired, indeed, the horse had it much
his own way, when suddenly I found myself with my
arms round the horse's neck, in the most affectionate
manner, and the horse on his knees, having brought up
against a boulder in the sand, and nearly smashed the
gig. A severe cut on my right leg, a tolerable good
shake, and no further injury—we were off again.
Again passed through that lovely spot, Wineberg; it
brings to your recollection at once scenes of home, of
byegone days. In the approach to it the trees meet
overhead, and form au avenue often to be seen in
England. You cannot help fancying that you have
been suddenly brought back to your native home once
more, until the white sands, and the arid, barren, sea-
worn coast, again undeceive you. Were I at all inclined to be romantic, I might fill a | leaf or two" with
the attractions that this place affords a visitor; but as
my young readers know that it is far from my original
intention to be so, I must leave to them the privilege of
imagination and fiction, for they may know that even in
the events of our " last ball" there was ample material
for a novel, if I was so inclined, and many a novel has
been filled having a less foundation.
The Cape was sailed from, and fresh westerly gales,
after we cleared the L'Agulhas bank, wafted us along at
a merry rate, studding-sail,—booms, small sails, and
sometimes large sails, carrying away and splitting, until
one evening late, when rolling along before a brisk gale,
the ship and all on board were! nearly lost.
About nine o'clock, the night dark, dreary and stormv,
and a heavy sea rolling after us, the hands were suddenly turned up, land was close under the bows, it was
St. Paul's Island, all sail was at once shortened and the
helm put down, and the swell off the land was such,
when our broadside got into it, that I thought the noble
frigate, with all her valuable freight, would have rolled
over on her beam ends. We had not time to trim the
yards and sails, every one expecting the ship to strike;
fortunately she drew off it, and sail was again made !
We supposed ourselves to be about twenty-five miles
off, but the current and set of the westerly gales had
sent us ahead of our reckoning. If we had struck not
one could have hoped to be saved, as the sea was lashing furiously against a steep and craggy coast, and the
ship must have gone to pieces in an instant. Here then
let us pause for a moment. This is, I think, the first
instance of an escape from shipwreck; a storm, sickness,
the enemy, and from drowning, have I been rescued by
a merciful and ever-guiding Providence. Now I cannot
help seeing the same finger of mercy guiding us from
shipwreck, pointing out to us our danger, dragging us
from a yawning and watery grave, and placing us in
safety. Surely the Lord is with us, the God of Jacob is
our refuge. Ought not this example to induce us to fly to
Him for refuge, for He says unto us, " If ye come unto
me I will in no wise cast you out."
We entered the straits of Sunda, after making the
fastest passage from the Cape to Java Head on record.
I I  i!
On passing Anger, where we obtained a supply of turtle,
toggery, and fruit, vivid recollections of the Postmaster-
General's visit came before me; we did not see him
again, fortunately for the feelings of our aristocratic
Going through Macclesfield Straits, passed the " Al-
ceste Rock," where the frigate of that name became a
wreck. On her return from the embassy to China with
Lord Amherst she struck and was soon in pieces ; part
of the crew went to Batavia in the boats, and the Dutch
Government sent and released the remainder.
Heavy squalls of wind and rain, with vivid thunder
and lightning, will always be found in these straits.
When passing the " Rob Roy" shoal, off Borneo, I
was one fine evening leaning on the hammock-netting
contemplating, " building castles in the air," when I saw
what appeared to me a boat, with four hands, and a fifth
standing up waving his hat. I was so sure of it that lat
once reported the circumstance to the officer of the
watch, and he to the Captain. The helm was put up
and a course steered for it, but at the same time all
argued against me, and -thought it could be nothing else
than one of the many logs of wood we had been passing
all day, with birds on it; however, to clear consciences, it
was run for, but the night closing in fast, all still fancying it a log of timber, again hauled to the wind ; I was
positive my eyes did not deceive me.
That night I dreamt of the selfsame raft; I fancied
we bore up for it, and came alongside a long, low,
Spanish galliot. The first object that attracted my
attention was a lovely Spanish female sitting  on the
taffrail, stowing away some things in the lockers near
which she sat, as if to conceal them. We came alongside, chains to chains, and went on board, but as I was
stepping from one ship to the other, a small poodle dog
snapped at me, missed, and fell into the sea; we inspected the ship throughout and then returned, hoisted
the jib, and bore away. I could describe every particle
of dress this Spanish girl had on, and every minute particular of the vessel, it made such an impression on me;
but it would occupy space unnecessarily. I think there
was also a female companion with the Spanish girl.
On our passage across from Luzon to Hong-Kong
in the monsoon, I was nearly getting into trouble for
doing really what I did not do, and thus it may be seen
that poor, harmless, innocent midshipmen, may sometimes get credit and get punished for an act which, if
the truth were known, never occurred to them. The
first lieutenant, or commander of a large ship, goes the
rounds every night at nine o'clock, to see that everything
is secure, and particularly | all lights out;" following him are generally a large train of attendants; the
mate of the deck, the petty officer of the deck, the
marine officer, master at arms, corporal, Serjeants, and
many others, which there is no occasion to mention, and
every deck and store-room, magazine, and tiers, all inspected minutely. When all over, it is reported to the
Captain, U Fire and lights out, Sir, and all's correct."
Well now, it is not pleasant when an officer is zealously performing an onerous, and indeed laborious,
duty of this sort, and accompanied by so many beholders,
to be suddenly and unexpectedly "hung" in the steer-
age on his passage along the decks; the moment he
brought up, of course all bis retinue brought up against
him, and pushed him further into this very awkward
On this unlucky night I had turned in, I think, for
the purpose of seeing Hong-Kong early in the morning,
and many others had also turned in preparatory for
their night watches, but not at this moment asleep. I
had left the noose of my hammock-lashing hanging
down (the running noose which goes over the end); into
this the first luff, had placed his head accidentally, and
the motion of the ship rolling, combined with the motion
of the body in progression, tightened the noose, and left
the officer hanging. It caused an immense sensation,
and we in our hammocks endeavoured to suppress a
burst of laughter, but it was no use, we relieved ourselves. Now it was difficult, under these circumstances,
to persuade my chief officer that this was unintentional,
and that I knew nothing whatever of it, and for the
whole of the next day I was in bodily fear of being
reported to the Captain; but no doubt he concluded
what really was the case.
The N.E. monsoon came on with all its fury off Cape
Bolina of Luzon ; we were rather unprepared, and many
ropes parted before it. I was on the poop at the time
of its freshening, having an hour's chat with our lady
passenger about the pleasures of Hong-Kong, its picturesque but unhealthy valleys, our unfortunate selection of it for a depot, and the mild and unassuming
appearance of it to me in 1841; for, as I have before
said, I often was asked to " come and talk about Hong
Kong." This evening we were sitting on the same cot
on the poop, looking at the crested waves as they came
towards us, and inhaling the first of the monsoon, which
was refreshing after the calm and toilsome hours, which
were slowly passed while coming up the coast near
Manilla. The moment the breeze swelled our sails and
tautened the ropes, I heard a crash overhead; on getting up suddenly the cot topped over with the opposite
weight, and threw the lady over on the lee side of the
skylight; the peak hauliards had carried away, and the
peak fell between us; the cot overturning saved the
lady's life! She did not, perhaps, feel her real danger,
but if we had both sat still, nothing could have saved
either of us. Soon after a man fell overboard, but
swimming well, and the life-buoy and boats down in an
instant, he was rescued from a watery grave.
We anchored at Hong-Kong, and had not been long
here when the " Cornwall" transport arrived, having on
board the boat and unfortunate crew that we saw near
the Pallawan Passage, at least that I saw, but no one
else would see. The unfortunate men said they be'
longed to a New Zealand ship (for they were all New
Zealanders), and were wrecked on some unknown shoals.
They acknowledged " having seen a vessel which ran
towards them, but coming on dark ran away again."
What must have been their feelings ? It will be seen,
that at the time I observed this boat, it made such an
impression on me, that the same night I had it before
me in my dreams.
H 2
Again we were at Hong-Kong, close off the pier, where
I had seen my kind old guide in a shooting jacket and
big stick; I never landed there without thinking of it,
and him.
I was immediately sent to the flag-ship, to wait a
passage to my old vessel the " Blazeaway." Here I had
again the happiness to meet an old and much-esteemed
messmate; time, however, had parted us, he was in the
ward-room, and I in the gun-room, but this did not part
friendship on his side; he is now at the top of the tree,
one of the most distinguished and gallant officers in the
British navy^ and the brightest ornament to his profession.
This was the first time I had witnessed this mode of
punishment—I hope it may be the last.
Two men had been tried by a court martial for desertion, found guilty, and sentenced to be flogged round
the fleet, receiving 100 lashes each. One was the son
of a rich merchant of Liverpool, a youth seventeen years
of age; the other also a young, good-looking fellow. In
the launch of the vessel to which the men belonged a
triangle was rigged of three capstan bars, to which was
seized a grating, and to which was seized the sufferer.
The boats of the squadron attended, all officers and crews
in proper dress, alongside of their own (the prisoners')
ship; after the hands being turned up to punishment,
the warrant read,] and the article of war repeated, | Any
one in or belonging to the fleet, who shall desert, or
entice others to do so, shall suffer death, or such other
punishment as a court martial shall impose."
Each offender received twenty lashes by the boatswain's mates of his own ship; the launch was next
towed to the Flag-ship, followed by all the boats,
having a guard of marines in each, the hands turned up,
the warrant and articles of war again read, and twenty
lashes administered to each culprit; then towed to the
next senior officer's ship, the same ceremony gone
through, and so on to the other ships, until 100 lashes
each had been inflicted. The launch, with the unfortunate fellows, towed to their own ship, and all boats
returned to their respective vessels, ended a scene to me
very revolting.   Fortunately, it is not of frequent occur-
 1 I j j i    ft
li \
111 I I
till      1
10z THE PIC-N1C.
rence; our service is so improving, that there will be
no necessity for this. Again, this was a mitigation of
the punishment, which was, by the articles of war,
"death* [:-m
Hong-Kong had most astonishingly improved in
appearance since my last visit, with many substantial
additions. We had now a theatre, hotels, a site for a
church, a governor, and one or two streets forming—
Queen Street, Cat Street, &c. Still there was " Happy
Valley," the untimely grave of many an unfortunate.
The place was still sickly, and many deaths, notwithstanding every precaution; the town, during the S.E.
monsoon of six months, was in a perpetual calm, the
miasma and malaria arising and taken up by the intolerable heat of the sun during the day, fell again as
dew during the night; every one was spiritless and
A grand pic-nic was given to-day, to which I, as a
stranger, was invited. It was an ebullition of good
feeling from the mids. to the Admiral, Captain, and
ward-room officers, of the ship I now belonged to.
All went in Chinese boats, but on shoving off from
the ship, a wild and careless midshipman fired a pistol
by accident, and blew away all the lower jaw and collar
bone of an intelligent little Chinese boy who was attending on us (as he spoke English). He was hoisted in and
his wounds dressed; he was terribly disfigured. Away
we went to Cowloon, the mainland of China, over rocks
and hills, firing our guns at stray pigs, cocks, dogs, and
poultry. A pig was shot by one of our young fellows,
for which he had to pay five dollars.   Arrived at a clean
joss-house, where our dinner was spread, and while
drinking our afteivdinner wine, off went my gun, which
somebody was looking at, and two more Chinese
suffered. The shot being small, and some distance off,
and their skulls rather thick, they were not killed, and
they were led howling to their homes : how they got on
we never afterwards learned. We did not return till
nine p.m.; some more wild and wicked than the rest, did
not then consider the day finished, went on shore,
and concocted a bowl of punch, which made us ready
for anything. Every Chinaman carries a neat and
light paper lanthorn; we thought we could carry them
instead, and therefore relieved every one met with, until
we could not carry any more, when we went down to
our boat, decorated her with all the fanciful and gaudy
lanthorns imaginable, and returned then to our ship,
quite satisfied with our day's adventures, as well as misadventures.
While waiting here to rejoin my ship, I thought it a
good opportunity for seeing Canton and the river, and
for which I obtained leave of absence.
The vessel that I was to proceed in (having very
kindly had a passage granted me), unfortunately not
only got on shore, but carried away one of her spars,
which detained us some time, firing minute guns of
distress, and preparing a new spar.
The celebrated Bogue Forts and §f Bocca Tigris" were
passed. If these forts were armed and manned by the
English, no vessels could possibly pass them. They are
built on huge masses of rock, of three tiers, and each tier
pierced for seventy-nine guns.
i    !
A pilot was obtained here, a well-known one, who is
bribed for a few dollars; but these are closely watched
by the " fast boats," who, when the pilot is discharged
with his dollars, is at once « squeezed " We had to disguise our chap with an old Chesterfield hat and Taglioni
coat, and he was not known; we also kept the fast boats
at a respectful distance with blank cartridge. The pilot
conducted us safely to Whampoa, where we anchored,
and got him clear during the dusk of evening, his
fifty dollars safe in his pocket.
We were off at once for Canton in a hired junk,
making some short cuts, which obliged us to warp the
boat occasionally over the falls; at each of these " Falls"
there is a small joss-house, in which sits a joss with a
small oil-lamp burning, and on passing he is | chin-
chin'd," and given a pice.* The difficulty of getting
over the fall is overcome by frequently dropping pice
before joss, when "joss" deigns to behold you, and you
pass on safely. Most absurd superstition ! We had now
arrived at such scenery as I have described at Chin-
keang-foo ; golden and silver islands. The forts appeared
well finished, no doubt the work of foreign engineers,
complete, and well situated. The "flower-boats" exceeded in gaudiness and size the Lord Mayor's barge,
and were superbly fitted up ; inside was a grand saloon,
huno* all over with lamps, and flowers, and looking-
glasses ; filled with elegant sofas and curtains; outside, a
balcony framed in with rails as if of gold.
Next in beauty are the Mandarin boats, fleet in the
Pioe, value about one-eighth of a penny.
extreme. Then the ships, or junks in ordinary, of an
immense size, 800 or 900 tons, some more; huge and
ill-shaped, with the eye in the bows, and manned by
Cochin Chinese.
I cannot, however, continue a description of the river,
which no doubt has been done before, and by abler pens;
the magnificence of the scenery can only be judged from
the rice-paper paintings, which can be purchased in a
folio at one and a half dollars each; these give an idea
of the country, the city, the river, and the millions
living on it.
A few purchases made in Hog Lane, Old and New
China Streets, and an attempt to see the inside of the
city, which was prevented by closing the gates, finished
aiat day. The next was Sunday, of which there is none
in China; prayers are read once a year, after which they
all get very drunk!
After you purchase an article of curiosity in a China
shop, you always ask for a "cumshaw" (present), and
you often get one of more value really than the actual
article purchased.
The remainder of my stay off Whampoa was agreeably spent in visiting the town and pagoda of Whampoa, the forts in Blenheim Reach, Dane's Island (our
burial-ground), and other objects of interest; not forgetting, however, | Long Jimmy" and his brother, two of
the best, most hospitable, and good-hearted Chinese on
the banks of the river. Their beefsteaks and onions,
potatoes and champagne, after a long walk or a day's
snipe-shooting, are well known to all who have anchored
off Whampoa.
We were but fourteen hours from Whampoa to Hong-
Kong, when on going on board my ship to report myself,
it occurred to me that I had asked for three days' leave
and took twenty-one. However, my good-natured commander said, " He was glad to see me back, and hoped
I enjoyed myself;" to which, of course, I replied in the
affirmative, and walked off..   The delay was an accident.
One of the squadron was now ordered to India, and
on board her I had to proceed to join my ship, which I
had been so many months in chase of; and as the logbook says, we $ weighed and made sail," anchoring at
Macao next day. I had been here before, but had not
an opportunity of seeing it, and now found it a miserable, dirty hole, half Portuguese half Chinese; not a
building worthy of a name, a few small shops, the landing-place crowded with Tanka-boats, and the streets and
houses a scene of immorality, mud, and filth. Sailed,
and in passing the outer roads saluted a French commodore, setting all studding-sails in the smoke which
followed after us, in a light and favourable breeze.
After an eight days' passage, under sky-sails, and royal
studding-sails, anchored only for a few moments at
Singapore for the mails, &c, when we again started.
Penang, the garden of India, the most lovely island
imaginable, in the straits of Malacca, was reached, and
here I found my old ship to which I had been appointed
immediately, and now joined her after a seven months'
chase !
I TRUST that a leaf or two devoted to a mere passing
remark, and acknowledgment of the hospitality and
attentions of the residents of this little-known island, of
the many happy and pleasant days spent here, of
the most agreeable fortnight ever passed by naval
officers, will not be considered either tedious or uninteresting to the patient reader. I fear I have long
before this, and on many occasions tested his patience,
but I consider it would be both ungrateful and unfriendly to pass unnoticed an island whose happy
residents had afforded us so generous a welcome, and
so delightful a sojourn.
During the few days we were here, it was a constant
source  of  daily   pic-nics   and   evening   parties,  each
I Hi
person endeavouring to out-do the other in giving us the
most hearty welcome, and on some occasions our days had
to be divided, in order that our pic-nic or dinner-party
should be with one, on the express condition that our
evening was to be with another; and, indeed, our
most difficult task was to accept all without offending
any; we must go to all, or we must not go to any.
The very evening I joined the old "Blaze-away,"
every one on board was preparing the ship for a return
ball. Few on shore know how a vessel, with only her
own means, can be transformed into a "ball, supper,
and ante-rooms," with a little ingenuity, manoeuvring
and patience. On this occasion, the mids. gave the
ball; the gun-room was the supper-room, and the
quarter-deck the ball-room, the officers'* cabins fitted
up for the ladies' bonnets and shawls. The ball-room
was closed in with curtains, and flags of all nations
inside them, the rain-awning sloped overhead, and a
chandelier hung from the centre with one hundred
bayonets, each having a candle in it, ropes coiled
up, guns cleared away, ottomans and sofas sprinkled
around. Our band was always a good one, although
we had-some losses from sickness in China; the master of
the band had also been lost from a most melancholy
accident, and excuse my digressing by an allusion to it
here, in the midst of a ball.
In a tropical climate, all hands after supper are
permitted to bathe overboard; for this purpose the
lower studding-sail is spread in the sea from booms,
yards, &c, and makes a sort of basin or bath; in
this,  all  those  who cannot  swim plunge and  splash
about, and where sharks (a sailor's only enemy), are
suspected to be, the word is passed previous to
going overboard, "no person outside the sail." This
is strictly attended to, and as the boatswain pipes
|j hands to bathe" you see chaps going overboard from
all parts of the ship; jib-boom, yard-arms, hammock-
nettings, out of ports, and where there are 600 or 700
to bathe, this is an amusing sight. The mids. and
other officers are allowed the sail a quarter of an hour
before the men. On this unfortunate occasion, however,
the master of the band went outside the sail, although
ordered not to do so. He paid the penalty for his
rashness, a scream was heard—a violent struggle seen—
he disappeared! and nothing but a small curl of blood
came to the surface; he had been seized by a shark,—
gone for ever! His body was never recovered—demolished at once, no doubt, by voracious sharks, which
swarm the bay of Manilla.
Our friends arrived an hour before we expected them; they could not resist the temptation
of coming early, and this was attended by a little
mishap that it would be impossible to forget. The
mid. of the watch, a young gallant ladies'-man, and
ever ready to be attentive, fancied this hour could
be wiled away by showing them round the ship
while it was yet daylight. He collected a party and
took them round, forgetting that we were all at that
moment dressing in the cock-pit for the evening. He
was polite enough to allow them to go down the
ladder first, and their astonishment and our surprise
at this moment  cannot be described!   We rushed as
we were into wing's, into cabins, and behind posts;
our visitors of course saw the mistake, and turned
their heads. Many know what a queer scene a cock-pit
presents, when brilliantly illuminated, and about twenty
or thirty mids. are scrubbing and dressing themselves;
if a picture of it could but be drawn, I think it would
cause many a hearty smile. 'Twas soon over, and we
hoped we should not be recognised during the evening,
for midshipmen do boast of a little bashfulness sometimes !
A quadrille commenced the evening as an introduction, and it was not until three in the morning
that a Spanish country dance concluded. I think
the manner in which an evening has been passed
may generally be concluded by the hour at which
it breaks up; from six until three, nine hours, was
not a short evening. I observed the ladies did not
waltz ! Now at the same time that I am about to
pay a compliment, I sincerely hope I shall not offend;
I would not do so for the world. The ladies of Prince
of Wales island (as it is sometimes called) that is,
those who are not altogether English, half Indian,
half other countries, have figures perfect. Even in
the lower orders among the Indians, with only a
long calico wrapper wound round them, their figures
may be seen without an irregularity, all symmetry
and proportion; from the perfectness therefore of the
figure, it is unnecessary to distort the bodies by artificial means, as, I am sorry to add, many of my
country-women do. As midshipmen are sometimes
apt accidentally, in  their  eagerness  to   save from a
fall or concussion, to pinch or squeeze their partner^
I presume this to be the reasxm of their not waltzing.
This is an assumption of my own, and if wrong,
I shall be glad to find it out; some waltzed, and very
gracefully too. I trust I shall be excused this little
bit of criticism on ladies'* dress (which I should know
nothing about), but I do so fearing a more illiberal
remark may be made on this subject.
I sat next to an old and respected nutmeg-merchant
at supper. He noticed my demolishing (after the ladies
retired) a leg and wing of a goose, and many slices
of ham. "My gracious," says he, "how you boys
do live." "Yes," I assured him, "we required feeding
very often, hourly on occasions."
We had a belle, as in most cases of a large party,
but she was entirely monopolized by one of our mids.
We really thought it was a case J she was an exceedingly
pretty, yet delicate girl, dressed all in pink, fair,
graceful, a little pensive, and she well deserved the
laurel she had won.
The next evening we found our " pumps" again
doing their duty to the enlivening music of a piano
and fiddle—a " regular turn-out," to which ten of
the favourites had been invited. Some person fortunately
found out at one o'clock that it was Sunday morning.
I must here remark that the residents are in three
societies, upper, lower, and middle circles; first, second,
and third class; the ones, are soldiers and tip-top
people, and sailors, if we were ambitious ; second circle,
merchants, medical men, farmers, &c. We had therefore occasionally a difficult part to  act;  if we went
to No. 1 party, we offended No. 2; if we went to No. 2
house, dignity was offended; and we therefore did
our very best to please all, and offend none. But I
have seen the feeling carried so far, that at a public
ball, my amiable partner No. 1, would not dance
vis-a-vis to No. 2.
This was an elegant turn-out/given in the banquetting-
room, to the Admiral, and Lord S on their return
from the war in China, the bands playing, " See the
conquering heroes come," as they entered the ball-room.
This compliment I had before paid to me it will be
recollected from the Portsmouth jetty, near the sacred
spot where the citreasure" was first landed. I was
going to say, in the midst of all our enjoyment, I
had nearly forgotten this occasion, but the old tune
brought it vividly to my recollection. I am not going to
occupy space and time, or weary patience, in endeavouring to describe the most agreeable of evenings,
but one little event which occurred to me (as usual),
cannot be passed over, as it is a midshipman's adventure.
We were dancing a spirited finale, a Spanish country-
dance. My partner was an exceedingly agreeable, chatty,
animated, good-humoured Dutch girl, consequently
rather stout (most good-tempered people are stout);
it was a " tearing1 dance, and as it was the last,
we were all endeavouring to out-do the musicians.
We had just completed "hands across," and I had
placed my arm round my partner's waist to commence
I down the middle," when lo! and behold to my horror,
and to the delight, I believe, and amusement of every
one else, my partner fainted in my arms ! I never
was in such a state of perplexity in my life; I had
been under the fire of cannon, in storm and tempest,
near to shipwreck, near to drowning: I would have
preferred either, or all to this. My presence of mind
however did not forsake me now; I had already one
arm supporting her waist, the other I passed carefully
around her, and carried her (no small weight) to
the ladies' room, where one glass and a half of champagne-punch quite revived her. We were " down the
middle " and " up again" before many minutes, and this
ended one of the pleasantest evenings (and indeed mornings, for it was now daylight), that we had ever passed.
We " turned in" that morning at six,- and we were
1 turned out" at half-past six—a healthy night's rest!
On the very evening destined for our departure
from this delightful place (of course all leave was
stopped, as we were to be off at daylight), we received a pressing message to say that Mrs. H— &c.
were waiting for us on the pier in their palanquins;
for "all to come and have a farewell dance." Some
were persuaded to go; others could not. The thoughts
of going so soon made our spirits rather desponding. In
addition to our former acquaintances, we had the
pleasure of meeting several from two very amiable
boarding-schools, a little distance in the country; indeed,
we found that we were only beginning to know all.
This, however, is quite a f sailor's life," and one he
must reconcile himself to, You visit a place, you
make   the   most  agreeable  associates,  and  the   most
attached friends; your hearts are just on the eve of
being revealed to each other, when you are ordered
to sea, and you part for ever.
At daylight the ship was unmoored and sail made,
but it was a dead calm, even the vessel herself was
unwilling to leave these friendly shores. The calm
continued all day, and in the cool of the evening a
boat filled with our friends came off to say adieu once
more. Unfortunately the accommodation ladder was unshipped, and they would not be " hoisted in," so it
occupied about one hour to bid a final, a last farewell I
"The less'ning boat imwilling rows to land;
Adieu! she cried, and waved her lily hand."
Day-dawn we were off! and sighed fareweU to this
speck on the ocean; indeed, we could not help thinking
that our happiest days had fleeted by; this day with US'
was one of gloom and melancholy. Night closed over
Penang, and veiled from our view the island where we
had passed so many happy hours, perhaps never to see
The day after leaving the " garden of India " was the
29th of February, "leap year." Some began to reflect
and think perhaps it was fortunate they had left. I
must say if I may be permitted to judge, and midshipmen are pretty penetrating, in such matters they can see
as far as most people, that some of our messmates were
very far gone. I might here give many amusing illustrations to corroborate these views of mine, but perhaps
they would be found too touching, and instead of
making friends, or amusing the careless gleaner, they
might make enemies.
We called at Amherst, the seaport of Moulmein,
where our teak timber comes from, on the Rangoon
river; and anchored after a long and tedious voyage at
Kedgeree, situated on the banks of the rapid and muddy
A government steamer was immediately sent for the
Admiral and his retinue, and I was fortunate enough to
be able to get away by her, and visit Calcutta, "the
city of palaces." It was the Governor-General's particular and pressing request that half the officers should
come to town and occupy a wing of his palace, for half
the period the ship was to remain in port; after that
time, the remaining half were to relieve those. It was a
" city of palaces," in the widest sense of the term;
a second cousin of mine was accidentally turned up, and
he made me take up my quarters with him. The city
surpassed all I had ever read or heard of it; you were
scarcely allowed to put your feet to the ground, you
were gently handed from your boat to a palanquin fitted
up in the most luxurious and gaudy style, carried
by four bearers, your " servant || by your side fanning
you, and doing all shopping and other laborious work for
you. The evening passed on the esplanade, where all
meet in the cool of twilight, on the banks of the
Ganges, to inhale the refreshing sea-breeze. That
night I luxuriated in a feather-bed and mosquito
curtains. Early in the morning my servant came with
a cup of coffee (your domestic always follows you
wherever you go, stands at the back of your chair
at dinner &c, and never leaves you; sleeps on the doormat at night like a faithful dog.)   | Coffee, Sahib," says
he, followed by a black fellow to shave, another to
cut the hair and pare the nails, and another to shampoo
me. Now I had not a morsel of beard on my chin, and
never had shaved, but I could not resist allowing the
fellow the satisfaction of lathering and scraping, at
which he appeared delighted, as the razor met with
no resistance. Then a bath, then a cup of tea,
and until the sun began to peep above the houses,
amused ourselves firing from the house-top at jackdaws,
vultures, and ravens (the scavengers of Calcutta, for
which you are fined fifteen dollars if seen destroying
them), and delighted at seeing them fall into a neighbour's verandah, or among his grapes, with rather a
heavy crash.
I was taken to a number of interesting places, the
Mint, Museum, Fort William, and the Bazaars. During
the drive, my friend suddenly pulled up at the corner of
Tank Square, and looking round at me, asked "if
I knew where I was?" "This," says he, "is the exact
spot where once stood the famous, or rather infamous
Black Hole of Calcutta." I shuddered, and well recollected having read that horrible story, where so many
unfortunates were smothered. It is in the middle
of the road, but not a vestige remains by which it may
be recognised!
Here, as indeed at all other places we had touched at,
every one appeared determined to show us that the successful manner in which the war in China had been
concluded was not forgotten, and the public acknowledgments, as well as private attentions, fully convinced
us of  these   facts.     The Governor-General gave us
a superb ball; the residents gave another at Barracpore;
the soldiers also came forward, and the private entertainments would rob me of all my " leaves" in enumerating
them. The good feeling towards us all was universal,
and will never be forgotten.
After a stay of three weeks we left Calcutta and
Kedgeree, and found ourselves once more rolling in the
heavy swell of the Indian Ocean.
" 'Twas Saturday nigbt, the twinkling stars
Shone on the rippling sea;
No duty called the jovial tars,
The helm was lashed a-lee.
The ample can adorned the board
Prepared to see it out,
Each gave the girl that he adored,
And pushed the grog about."
This is a night seldom or ever forgotten at sea; a bowl
of punch is brewed. I have the following recipe from
an old messmate, well able to give an opinion on punch;
ingredients as follows :—two port, one brandy, half pint
cherry-brandy, four wine-glasses lime-juice or lemons,
nutmegs, sugar, cloves to taste, ALL water spoils, screeching hot in small tumblers. I can assure my readers that
after a few " small tumblers" of this insinuating and
exciting beverage, all secrets are revealed.    The glasses
 SWEETHEAKTS and wives.
are filled by order of the president, and the toast,
" sweethearts and wives," drank with loud and enthu-
siastic applause. This is an evening at sea, handed
down from time, immemorial; Jack says, " Before Adam
was an oakum boy in Chatham Dockyard." When all
meet to drink to the health of those nearest and dearest
to them, they come together with one universal feeling
to bring before them, in spirit, those with whom their
lives appear to be linked together, and with whom their
happiest days have been spent. The evening is commenced by the " toast;" a song then from the first,
after .which the initials ONLY of his object and her health
is drunk by all; the next in turn, and so on. Woe to
the one who cannot sing, the sooner he learns the better;
he has to pay for the " punch," and it is astonishing
how soon he learns. One may, if he pleases, give a sentiment, or an anecdote, but it must relate to the § one,"
whose health every one in duty bound has to drink.
This soon passes away an evening, until 9.30, when the
master-at-arms arrives. " Three bells, gentlemen, out
lights." " Oh, if you please, master-at-arms/' says the
president, " ask for half-an-hour's lights." The master-
at-arms does as he is ordered. " Half-an-hour's lights
granted, Sir." Then songs ad libitum, as long as the
punch lasts; perhaps " another brew." We have found
out a " birthday" by some extraordinary means. As I
have before said, a few tumblers of " this," the heart
melts, all is told in confidence, in strictest confidence!
and, I honour among thieves," it never goes beyond that
evening. We are now getting noisy ; choruses by all
hands have commenced; a rap at the door, | Please,
gentlemen, the first lieutenant's compliments, if there is
so much noise the lights must be put out." " Oh, all right,
master-at-arms, all right!" Singing commences again;
another message; no use. Four bells! rap at the door,
" Four bells, gentlemen." " Oh, let us finish this song,
master-at-arms; shut the door." The song finishes;
"Past four bells, gentlemen." "All right, all right,
what sort of a night is it || Another glass; " She was a
lovely girl, she looked to me you know like wax."
I Nearly five bells, sirs." | Fair hair, ringlets, in the
second circle, her mother—" " Come, gentlemen, out
lights, I must report it to the officer of the watch, .Sir."
Five bells strikes, we all decamp. "Lights out some
time, master-at-arms."
Ditto, repeated every Saturday night, blow high,
or blow low!
Arrive and anchor in Madras Roads, after a very
tedious, sultry, and disagreeable passage.
We are visited by Commodore Cockle, the commander-in-chief of the catamarans in the roadstead. The
catamarans are plain double or single logs of wood, on
which the natives paddle through the surf, being only
sufficient to keep them afloat. They are sometimes
washed off them, and have frequently to pass right
through the wave; and it is wonderful how dry and
clean they will bring off a letter or a parcel to you.
They have a piece of water-tight oilskin, in which it is
carefully wrapped, and tied round the head.
The Commodore is a "funny old fish;" he holds a
parchment commission from some old admiral (I think),
for saving a life, or boat's crew, but I am not certain
which. Before crossing the surf, he has nothing on but
a paper hat and langooty, a facsimile of our old friend
the Postmaster-General at Anger. When outside the
surf he commences dressing, puts on a secretary's undress uniform coat, with epaulettes, cocked hat, &c. &c,
NO trowsers, and he comes up the side as dry (except his
legs, which must in a catamaran dangle overboard) as if
he was in an admiral's barge, and makes his respectful
salaam! He supplies all ships with oysters and
" cockles I—hence his name.
A card arrives—
1 Tbe Society of Madras request the honour of the mid.s' mess
to a ball at the Banqueting Room, on Friday next."
" The soldiers request our company at dinner, and to consider
ourselves honorary members of their mess and club."
Here, again, it was evident we were to be regaled by
a similar attention which has followed us round India.
I am lucky enough here to find another cousin; they
are remarkably convenient relatives, when the lightness
of your purse will not permit of your going to an hotel.
To-day found me crossing the surf, the | Great
Madras Surf;9' the danger-flag had only just been
hauled down. This is displayed on shore when the
surf is considered dangerous for boats to cross. None
but Masoulah boats can cross; these are built of light
material (bark), sewn together with strips of the same,
pulled by ten or twelve natives, and an accident seldom
occurs.    The commander of a vessel of war attempted
1 li I 1
the surf, in his gig, some years since, was capsized, and
all perished!
At first the prospect when you near the rollers is not
pleasant; the stem, or bow of the boat, is kept exactly
on the crest of the wave ; you are over the first (there
are generally three great rollers), you are now in a
valley beneath two rollers; there is nothing to be seen
but a dark green curtain of sea on either side, under
the crest of the waves far above you * you rise on the
second wave, there is now the danger of the boat coming
broadside on, if she does, nothing will save you ; you will
be hurled over like a cork. The two after oars are
quickly laid in, and the pullers fall on their knees by
you to extort money I am sure. They slap their foreheads and offer up a prayer (I suppose), the others pull
lustily and make a fearful noise, the boat is pointed to
the third roller, rises on it majestically, and you are
thrown, boat and all, high and dry on the sands; all
jump out and haul her away from the effect of the next
roller. The sea is alive with sharks between the rollers;
you can see their dorsal fin ploughing the wave, and
looking out eagerly for you if you should capsize.
Really the first time I was somewhat timid; I could
not understand their praying beside me: but after I had
crossed it fourteen times, it was to me similar to landing
on the breakwater at Plymouth.
On one occasion of crossing the surf, the boat turned
completely round between the rollers, making her stern
her bows, for which they are adapted. And on another
going off, the crew were all drunk, and nothing but the
still-watching hand of Providence could have rescued
<us. It is no use swimming on these occasions, the
moment you are out of the }>oat you are into a shark's
jaws, always hungry and ready for you.
This was our evening for the ball; there was no room
in my cousin's carriage, but I was driven to the Banqueting Room in the handsomest " turn-out" and pair
of greys in Madras ! Here I met relatives of two very,
very old and esteemed messmates of mine (about two
years since), and the evening was numbered among our
best. I chose to remain long after all my friends had
left, and then I found myself without a conveyance, and
it was too far to walk. I was soon " picked up" by a
worthy friend," who assisting a known friend in view, to
the utmost in his power," took me to his home, gave me
a bed and breakfast, and drove me to " Nun cum Bau-
cum," my temporary abode, next day.
It was the Nabob's birthday! he was saluted with
a royal salute; and glories in having 100 wives!
For the first time in my life I heard a " singing fish;"
they adhere to the outside of the ship, and the noise
exactly resembles a rush of water through a small
aperture. I did not see it, therefore cannot describe it;
nor could I find out any one who had seen one.
We sailed from, or rather were blown out of the roads,
by a violent squall with rain, thunder and lightning; aU
sail had to be shortened, the ports barred in, and the
ship allowed to blow before the squall.
All vessels in India suffer from those detestable vermin,
cockroaches; it is impossible to keep them away; they
not only come on board in your provisions, but "fly" off
to the ship. The second class boys have each to produce
twelve   every   morning,   when they are " mustered" to
 I I J"
see they are clean. They get a " fanam" for each one
short of the dozen; and they may be seen at night
vigorously poking out the corners and crevices to
obtain their number. A rat will count as twelve, and a
mouse as six, for these industrious small boys.
Frequently have I been "attacked" when sleeping
on deck in the cool air by these desperadoes, regularly
attacked, aye, and beaten below too, and had to return
when I thought all was quiet to rescue my straw mat
and pillow on which I had been trying to sleep. At
night, when you are unconscious, they trim your nails;
they are very fond of nails, parchment, book-covers, &c,
and books are completely disfigured by them. We have
but one punishment that I know of. When unoccupied, or a tedious hour happens before dinner, two fine
cockroaches are obtained; those about one inch and
three quarters long, having white necklaces, and barbed
feet, are preferred; you back yours against your opponents, to run the length of the mess-table in the shortest
space of time. Two small slices of wax candle with
wicks are obtained, they are securely fixed by melted
drops of the same material on the backs of the racers.
You select your umpire, "prepare to start," you light
your tapers, the word "off" is given, away go your
animals, slowly at first (the battens prevent them
running off the sides of the table), they now begin
to feel "warm"—move quicker—now they are at the
top of their speed—burning—they kick, plunge, as the
wax begins to dissolve around them—roasted. After a
few convulsive struggles, death follows, and they turn up;
this is the last evolution. The one which has gained
the greatest distance is declared the winner.    Midship-
man's folly; " steward, a bottle of wine, put it down to
me;" "boy, here are two cockroaches for to-morrow
morning." I must add, however, for credit sake, that it
is only when driven, to desperation by ennui that
these cruel amusements are had recourse to.
Trincomalee Harbour, Ceylon, is a snug and complete
port for a vessel's refit, having a dock-yard, with all
conveniences, anchor wharf, gun wharf, &c. There is
also an island called " Sober Island," from the fact
that men can be allowed any amount of liberty without
the possibility of getting drunk, and it is also a good
bathing-place, being free from sharks.
The very first evening our men had liberty there
many came off drunk. Four were flogged; " they kicked
bottles of rum out of the bushes, they said."
By the vivid flashes of lightning which almost every
evening prevailed, I took a tour round " Dungaree
Green," the aristocratic nucleus of the residents of
Trincomalee. Nothing was to be seen but cocoa-nut
trees, black fellows, long grass, and lightning! But as the
evening grew late I " fell on my legs," and was taken
where a most agreeable evening was passed, but had
nearly lost us the number of our mess, for early in the
morning we were challenged by the sentry while scaling
the garrison walls to obtain a bathe in the sea. On the
two or three occasions of my again visiting the house
(for there were attractions there), it always so happened
that no sooner had I sat down to a game of chess, with
one not much unlike the object of my early impressions,
on the treasure wharf, "fair hair and ringlets," than
instantly down came rain, thunder, and lightning, utterly
preventing my escape ! nor would my kind and thoughtful friends think of allowing me to depart on so fearful
a night to go upon the water—" 'Twas out of the question." I had therefore the extreme happiness of passing
a long evening with one who was fast making an inroad
on my still young and susceptible heart.
Trincomalee being of so small extent, and the number
of midshipmen very large, our fame soon spread abroad;
and we latterly (for we had been here six weeks) became
the terror of the peaceful inhabitants. Some lost their
favourite dogs, which were shot during midnight; others
had their peace of mind destroyed by anonymous visits
and letters to their young and innocent families; and
altogether we were looked upon as the scourge and
dread of the community, from the fact of our having no
rational enjoyment. It was impossible to go out during
the day from the unbearable heat of the sun, and therefore our wanderings were confined to twilight, or perhaps
We were afterwards informed that no sooner had the
"terror of the peaceable inhabitants" departed, so
great was the joy that one more thankful and more
pious than the rest invited his friends to surround him;
while he congratulated them in a short, spirited, but
pointed harangue, having for his text. "The plague
has gone out of Egypt."  This we were told as a fact!
" 'Tis sweet to know
There is an eye will mark our coming."
AGAIN we had that pleasing and never-to-be-forgotten
prospect before us, we were rolling our hammock-
nettings in the ever-undulating swell of the Indian
Ocean. We are all getting mad with joy at the bare
idea of again so soon seeing Old England; it puts a
new life into us, the very thoughts of it, and some
of us in our elated moments do "strange things. Our
dinners are what may be termed " banyan," and very
often "low diet," but the prospects of the bum-boats
with "legs of mutton and trimmings" repay us for this.
On one occasion there was a leg of mutton for dinner, a
rare occasion, and one of our messmates was late at
table. On his arrival, nothing but the bone was left;
he requested the bone, but the person carving the joint
refused, as it was already " well polished; " however, the
hungry boy insisted on having it, and " declared he
would eat it." This led to an amusing feud, when
the carver of the joint made a somewhat rash and
extravagant bet that " he would not eat it," which bet
was accepted. The hungry boy took the huge bone
in his hand, flourished it in delight, repaired to the
sick-bay, where he obtained a pestle and mortar, broke
the bone in small pieces, pounded it up into a pulp, and
actually demolished every morsel, winning his wager.
It had no bad effect! but I forget if he ever obtained
his well-earned bet.
We had now been some time at sea, it seemed to
us longer than usual, I suppose as we were anxious,
anxious for home, and anxious for our arrival at the
Cape as a half-way house. We were running with all
sail, studding-sails alow and aloft, every stitch the vessel
could cram on her, within a few miles of the land, and
had hoped to be at anchor that self-same evening.
" Nothing could prevent it," we thought. Alas! how
vain is hope, suddenly down came a "north-wester"
in all its fury, and all sail was reduced to a storm main
stay-sail. The sea rose in mountains, as it always
does on the L'Agulha's Bank, and the ship rolled and
strained in an awful manner; we were in dangerous
proximity to the land, runners were got over the mastheads for getting top-masts and lower-yards on deck,
and all preparations made for the worst events. We were
on a lee-shore.   The weather got thick and hazy, and
that night was passed in most intense anxiety, our only
consolation and hope in our distress was, that while we
were | rocking to and fro, and staggering like drunken
men at our wits' ends," | He who walks on the waters,
and rides upon the storm," was guiding our helpless bark.
It moderated towards noon, the sky broke and the sea
abated ; and the next day we anchored in safety.
This, and many amusing incidents connected with
this portion of the passage, which, however unwilling, I
may be to pass without a remark, I cannot risk the
chance of being considered personal. Indeed, scarcely a
day or evening passed without what I would term
a " midshipman's event;" and although they remain
fresh in my memory, and in my original "leaves," 1
cannot now commit them to paper. Those alone of
the big gun, the court martial, rose cottage, the
economical dinner, would fill a volume of themselves if
properly and carefully brought forth; and I must regret
not feeling"at liberty or safe in producing them.
The only news we heard on our arrival was, that the
Captain of the Slasher had died—Dan O'Connell was a
prisoner—and that Mrs K sends off her card to say,
"she does up linen in the English style on most
moderate terms." On going on shore, I was rejoiced to
find " all alive," though not all happy. Those at the
"Crown Inn" (country people of mine) progressing.
The "small tea-party house" near the turnpike well,
but a mishap in the family. Those at "the wax-candle
shop," thriving; and poor Margaret the chamber-maid
at the hotel in | Chokey."
We had now the pleasure of showing a few of our
friends (on former occasions) round the ship on their
arrival from Wineberg, chatting and recalling former
events in our younger days.
It is a great amusement to a wicked midshipman
to show round a party of people who know nothing of
a vessel, in fact, who perhaps never were before on board
a ship of war.   With them it is really no use calling
the various and many articles by their nautical terms, they
would not understand you;  and it is your duty to
simplify them as much as possible.   For instance, what
would it  avail, if they asked you "how you let the
anchor go," or " how you fastened it?" If you talked to
them of the " shank painter | and cat head stopper,
they would imagine you to be talking of a lean long-
legged artist, or giving chase to the cat, and calling out
" stop her."    Or, how much would they be enlightened
by your telling them how the ship was tacked; if you
mentioned   stays,  braces,  and  buntlines,  they would
immediately imagine themselves in  a milliner's shop.
Therefore it is always better to simplify these terms as
much as possible; and in doing so, the happy mid. takes
to himself the credit of making the visitor believe all, and
swallow all he is cramming them with.   Yet many a
laugh  and joke have I had while going the rounds,
and many an amusing scene enjoyed.   Strange stories
we have told of the wings, the cable tiers, the amputation   table;   all credited by the  kind,   smiling, and
amiable disposition of the visitor.
We are again " rolling down to St. Helena;" and
while so doing I must repeat a painfully melancholy, yet
romantic story, told me after I had  recollected that
1  had  been  staring fixedly  and intently on one of
the most exquisite figures in South  Africa.    "Come,
my dear fellow, what's the matter with you, why do you
look so thoughtful?" says an old and worthy messmate of
mine, who happened to pass by, placing his hand on
my shoulder just after I had lost sight of her.    "Oh!"
said I, " that lovely figure !   Did you not notice her, as
she passed quietly along a minute or two since, dressed
in deep mourning, her eyes cast down to the ground,
her pace slow and trembling, as if suffering from mental
anguish;   her form  true  and faultless,  which would
attract a far less admirer than myself; the beauty of a
face "—I stopped myself, and said, "Do you know her?"
"Oh ! perfectly well," says my "old ship;" "if you will
stroll with me along the road I'll tell you all about her."
I eagerly seized the chance, and placing my arm within his,
exclaimed, " Allons done mon ami."   He commenced:—
"The steam vessel Heartless, which was at that time
attached to the squadron under a Rear-Admiral's orders,
and noted for being  such  a successful   slave-catcher
(having one or two constantly in tow), was lying at
anchor in the bay, prepared for a long voyage to the
sickly Zambezi river.    One of her unfortunate officers,
whose name I cannot at present recollect, was a constant
guest at the gallant Admiral's house, and could not resist
admiring a frequent   visitor   to    the   Commander-in-
Chief's daughters, who with her were alike conspicuous
for their beauty, their elegance, as well as for their
accomplishments.   In  short, he found himself in that
vortex—Love, to which we are all more or less weak.
He solicited her hand (for her heart had long been his),
which she after short deliberation gave. They were engaged, for they were strongly attached, thinking every
moment nought in which they did not enjoy each other's
society, and breathe each other's sighs. A house was procured and furnished, which was to contain the happy couple ; dresses for the occasion were ordered and fitted ; the
bride cake, which was to come from a distance of twenty-
five miles, was on the road; and every thing prepared for
the apparently happy wedding, when the steamer was
ordered to intercept a slaver that had been seen in that
"In the mean while his fair object leaves all, and
retires to her new house to prepare it for him, on whom
all her thoughts were bent, and the forthcoming eventful
| Three weeks elapse, and the steamer returns; and she,
who had buoyed her hopes to the very highest pitch,
of being that very week wedded to one whom she adored,
now beheld him fallen a victim to the fever, which
had made rapid and dreadful havoc on his constitution,
and in fact scarcely allowed him to be recognised. But
the features were too deeply engraven on her memory to
forget them; she swooned, or fainted. He was hoisted
out of the vessel in his cot, and sent to the hospital,
where she again attended with her usual affection to his
"But the 'king of terrors' had marked him for his
prey; and in a few hours he, who was to have been
married on that very day, was no more.
" Many, many, were the tears (I was told) she shed
over his lifeless remains (which she daily visited), after
they were consigned to their resting-place. He, in
the goodness of his heart, and in his last words, left
her all he possessed.
"This was some months before my arrival there;
and now she was about to bestow her hand on an
old messmate of mine, whom she had met in theroom in
which her late intended breathed his last."
After he had concluded his painful narrative, I could
hardly prevent a tear falling, but which I endeavoured
to hide. The only sight I had obtained of her, for an
instant, had already made me sympathize with her
sad bereavement.
At St. Helena our stay was very limited. And for
the short time allotted to us for a ramble, I took another
direction to that on a former occasion, not forgetting the
poor impression that "the tomb," and all connected
with it, made on me. I visited the Forts and Ladder Hill
of 680 steps, which, after once ascending and descending,
you are ready to return fagged on board. I was more
fortunate in landing than on a former visit.
We sailed on a Friday, that unfortunate day. Sailors
are very superstitious in this respect; the majority of
them will never sail on a Friday—will do nothing on
a Friday. To counteract this, something must now
be done. We must make a sacrifice. We had brought
a lady from the East Indies, who was left at one of
the ports passed by. She had brought a cat with her;
but we concluded, after duly considering the matter,
there was not that love for the creature usually evinced
between a mistress  and her pet,   as it was forgotten
on board. This tabby caused us (mids.) many a sleepless
night, by bewailing the loss of its kind mistress. Now
was our time for revenge. The tabby was sought for
and found; placed struggling into a boot, after much
scratching and mowrowing; and in this manner silently,
and in the dead of night, committed to the waters. We
never could find who committed the last act.
At Ascension we have the usual unfortunate cargo
of sick and invalids—they are very numerous. The
coast is particularly unhealthy this season, and our
decks are crammed with unhappy fellows, in the last stages
of sickness and fever, hoping that their native climate
will again restore them. One dies shortly after we
sail, and his remains are consigned to a watery grave.
At five bells (half-past six) every morning, the
young gentlemen's hammocks are piped up; the steerage
or cockpit hammocks, as they are called. Each mid.
has a "hammock man," whom he pays five shillings
a month for scrubbing and keeping his hammock, &c,
in order. The one who is last up, or who delays the
stowing of the hammocks, is punished. Some midshipmen can sleep more, and are happier in their
consciences than others; these require more " rousing "
and more persuading. Five bells strikes ! " up all steerage hammocks," cries the boatswain and his mates.
Down they all rush—give you a shake, "five bells, sir;"
you pretend not to hear it. "Come, sir, five bells;"
you go on the other tack, and haul the blanket over
your head. Another violent shake— " five bells, sir, the
hammocks are piped up this some time;" you turn
round and growl, "what sort of a morning is it, Jinks ?"
" Oh I fine morning, sir" (pouring rain perhaps). " Come,
sir, show a leg." "Do you see my traps there ready
for washing, Jinks ?" " YesJ*sij, all ready" (never looking
at all.) " Come, sir, out or down." " How is it my bed
is all on one side, Jinks ? you see I'm all over to port."
"I'm sure I don't know, sir, I slung it fair enough
on Saturday night." Master at arms and corporals
arrive. " Come, sir, come. Hammocks are piped up
this half hour. They're waiting to stow yours. I must
report it to the commander." " Oh! all right, do
you see my hammock man there?" "Yes, sir, he says
here I am this half hour and it's no use." Perhaps
you are now over some one's chest who wants to
wash, he comes and rattles at your hammock, knocking
your head against the beams, and throwing all
your clothes out on the deck. Still you are loathe to
leave your " two yards of canvas ;" and after a stretch,
and a yawn, and an " oh dear!" out you come. This
is an every morning occurrence with some, who, perhaps,
have had the middle watch, or who have had their
rest disturbed by unfair means.
A S.W. gale brought us into the English Channel,
where we sighted the land of " strawberries and cream;"
but a S.E. gale then met us, and for some days kept
us in the Channel under storm stay sails in a heavy
sea.    We were not many miles now from all those
near and dear to us, but a hard-hearted gale made
every moment appear to us an age. At last the gale
abates,—takes compassion on us,—and allows us to make
sail; and we plough our way proudly and majestically
into Spithead, with our hearts alive with joy, gratitude,
and thankfulness, that we had again been saved
from storm and tempest, and from the perils and
dangers of the sea.
The spire of St. Thomas' Church pointed out again
the spot which I was longing to behold. I obtained
leave the moment the ship was secured. I rushed
on shore in the quickest waterman's wherry-boat alongside. And it was not many minutes before I was again
clasping in my embrace the loveliest creature on earth.
"So you have arrived at last! What an age it appears
since you last said to me, I adieu for ever!' Do you
remember those words, Charles dear ? " " Yes, Emile,
I have arrived, and moreover I am safe; and it is to
an ever present and ever bountiful Providence that
both you and I owe our safety at this moment. I
in particular have much to be thankful for. I have
been more than once saved from storm, from fire
and sword, shipwreck and the enemy. I do recollect
saying 'for ever,* and it would have been so, if I
had not been guided by Him who is always watching us,
but we are not grateful enough to acknowledge it. You,
jnj charming Emile, are looking more young and more
beautiful, if possible, than ever." "Yes, my sailor boy,
it is the prospect of seeing you that makes me appear
young; it recalls to me my younger days, and the
first moment when I saw you. But your latter remark
flatters me, my Charles." " Not so, my dear Emile, I do
not flatter, 'tis true; but listen, don't you hear the
bells of our old church chiming? They remind me
of the sweet song you sang the last time we parted;
perhaps   you will not think   me  tiresome in  asking
1 Q*7
you to repeat it Emile smiled assent; and I led
her to the piano. She commenced that simple, yet
beautiful song of Moore's, " Those Evening Bells."
"Those evening bells, those evening hells,
How many a tale their music tells
Of youth and hope, and that sweet time,
When last I heard their soothing chime.
"Those joyous hours are passed "away,
And many a heart that then was gay
Within the tomb now darkly dwells,
And hears no more those evening bells."
" And so 'twill be when I am gone." " When I am
gone !" "By the bye," said I, interrupting Emile, "have
I not told you, dearest Emile, that I have only come
to ask how you are, and to say 'good bye,' and
to be off again |" Emile hung down her head, and
those soft, silky ringlets, were hiding a tear. " Cheer
up, my Emile," said I. " You know it is quite a sailor's
life—here to-day, and gone to-morrow. You must
reconcile yourself to these short and sudden visits
in a sailor's wanderings." Emile could not speak,—
her heart had burst,—and her eyes overflowed with
tears. I led her back to the sofa,—pressed her hand
to my lips.—And I was sitting in a boat, going off
to my ship, before many seconds had passed away.
That evening was nearly my last. The night was
very dark indeed, much in unison with my feelings
at the moment; and we could scarcely see a cable's
length a-head.   A man and his young son were pulling,
and had arrived as far as Spithead, and I was looking
about for my ship, when the Havre Steam Packet
came in through the Needles at full speed; and she
was close upon us. Nothing could be seen or heard
but her paddle-box lights, and the loud splashing of
her wheels. The more we pulled away, the more
we appeared to be getting under her stem. We
imagined she was going up the harbour. All stood
up in the boat—she was close on us. We screamed,
but our cries were lost in the noise of the paddle
wheels, and the steam blowing off. I had my bag
in my hand, and was just on the point of jumping
overboard, when, by a providential turn, she kept
away, and went to sea on her voyage.
At dawn of day we sailed, and a slashing wind soon
brought us in sight of the " Sweet land of the West,"
where we anchored; but not before we had a deluge of
rain, natural to the West of England, and a smart
S.W. gale. The ship was soon paid off; and we were
once more at liberty, free as the lark.
I am now safely moored on shore. I am not going to
tire the patience of my young readers, who have so
kindly followed on the voyages to India and China,
by taking them to sea again for a short time. I have
given positive orders to the servant "to call me if
it blows hard," which she does. I put my hand out
of the window, but I don't see it. " All right to-night/'
think I myself. "No reefing top-sails," although the
wind is howling about your house. No beef boat at
half-past four in the morning. I press my nose into
my pillow, and haul the sheets, as Jack says, "flat
aft again."
I am now about to pass my examination for a
midshipman; and, therefore,51 shall find employment
sufficient for a few days/ And this is fortunate, for
I should not like to press immediately on my young
readers, what may appear to some of them "tedious"
yarns." The few incidents which I have narrated must
be considered as appertaining only to a mid. in his
young, and, I may say, thoughtless days; next will follow
his boyhood,—then his youth; in each of which I hope
a perceptibly progressive improvement will be noticed.
Each little incident, however, is narrated exactly as
it happened; " true | without embellishment, without
imagination, without fiction. If any should, however,
incur the censure of the reader for inelegance, or
impropriety, they will always have the satisfaction
of knowing, that "fact" is their motto and basis;
and that they only wanted a little colouring, or a
little refining, to make them acceptable. This the
mid. of | two years' standing" does not pretend to do.
I must here call to mind the fact, and I have
no doubt it has been noticed before, that among the
very many anecdotes and tricks to which midshipmen
are naturally prone from their lightness of heart and
flighty disposition, none are malicious, or bad, or done
with an evil motive; all for mere fun, fancy, and
pastime. And, therefore, I think we may hope for
forgiveness from those who no doubt consider some
of these tricks, that I have related, " shocking " !!!
"Lor' bow I pity
Unhappy folk on shore, sirs," &c.
Old Song.
It may not be generally known, and may be better
to confess before it is so, that a midshipman is quite
as alive to " tricks" on shore, as he is at sea; and
domestic girls suffer sometimes. The sheets, or tablecloths, are reefed when hung out to dry (that is,
made up in hard balls which no one can open); the
clothes lines are " sheepshanked," or tied in true
lover's knots; and the cat frequently suffers. But one
good natured trick makes amends for one dozen of
these mischievous ones. And I recollect on one
occasion  after I   had   come   on  shore  with   a little
prize-money in my pocket,—for you must know that
it is an old and true saying, " a sailor and his money
soon part,"—I had to take a trip in an omnibus (the
Green Atlas, if I recollect right) from the Elephant and
Castle, in London, to Charing Cross, fare threepence.
Now I did not know much of London, as it may
be very soon seen. The Buss was "full inside," and
a mighty agreeable collection of passengers they appeared to be, all chatting, and so polite. Would insist
on your taking the upper and most comfortable seat
away from the door, out of the draft, every one moving
to the doorway when a new arrival appeared. Well,
we started full (but lost two on the passage), ten
remaining for Charing Cross, our destination. As I
was the first in, and sat near the door to be attentive in
handing ladies in, I was of course the first out. I
counted heads, and found ten ; ten times three, thought
I to myself, thirty; thirty pence are two and sixpence.
I'll pay for all hands. The Buss stopped, "Charing
Cross, sir." " Cross, Ma'am," touching the rim of his
hat so polite. Before I alighted, I announced to them
inside my intention of paying for "all hands." They
said nothing, looked at me, and looked at each other, as
much as to say, " Poor fellow, he's a little gone."
Again I assured them of my determination to pay
for all, placing "half-a-crown" in the conductor's hand,
and telling them that if they paid again, they would
be paying twice over. Well, they looked harder still
at me; never said "I'm obliged to you." So I was
walking away, when the polite conductor placed his
finger gently upon my arm, put the half-crown between
his teeth with a knowing twitch of the eye, bit it
to see if it was good. Thank you, sir, says he, touching his
hat smartly, and off I walked.
On another occasion, I was attracted by a very
new and pretty waltz (I was always fond of music),
that was playing by a very enlivening band in an
enclosed place. My curiosity and love for music
induced me to enter. It was then a little past " quarter
day ;" and I had a few shillings, which were fast burning
a hole in my pocket. I entered the enclosure, beautifully decorated (not myself, but the enclosure) with
flags and evergreens, around which were numerous
stalls, presided over by the "Fairest of the Fair;"
and that was the name of " the waltz" that attracted
me. It was a fancy bazaar in aid of some charitable
institute. I paid my shilling, like every one else I
suppose, and walked in. I was at once assailed by
an irresistible appeal from several smiling faces. "Oh,
do put in for this, sir; we only want one more member
for this wax doll; see it will open and shut its eyes."
" How wonderful," said I; " they must have taken me for
a (happy' man." "What am I to do with the wax
doll," I asked, " if I should win it ?" "Oh, we'll send it
for you, sir." " Oh, I am sure you will rafne for this
watch guard." "How much?" said I. "Half-a-crown."
" Here's a beautiful chair, worked by the prettiest girl in
the town; you cannot refuse to put in for that." " That is
yourself, of course," said I, taking a ten shilling ticket.
And, she added, "here are a pair of baby's shoes for
the second prize." " Oh! charming," thought I. " What
name, sir? " " Oh, any thing yeu like, ma'mselle. Please
yourself, and I cannot but be pleased." I had now reached
the top of the apartment, and £3 17s. 6d. had been
devoted to tickets. I had one shilling left; and
announced the fact to those around me in a touching
and affecting speech, which they did not believe one
word of. I reached the end of the building where
I at first entered, and pulling out my last shilling,
handed it to the young ladies, with a hope that
they would now allow me to pay my way out. I
never hear that waltz, but I think of my £3 17s. 6d.,
and the black eyes and ringlets by which I was
imperceptibly drawn in.
I must now inform my young readers—that I am
a midshipman of four years standing—that I have
mounted a clean white patch—that I intend to keep
it clean and untarnished from any of the boyish
"tricks" confessed in my former "leaves." I have
to thank you, however, for perusing them; and for
following me so perseveringly and so patiently through
storm and calm, through tempest and war—during
two long, tedious, and uninteresting voyages, over
a period of four years—to China, the East Indies,
and elswhere.
I suppose you will now expect something more
than mere "tricks.'' Well, I must confess I do feel
a little above those now ; although I can still join
in what is termed a " sky-lark " with all my heart.
I am now going to promise you (as a reward for
patience) an outline, or a mere cursory view  of one of
the most delightful, interesting, profitable and successful,
yet protracted voyages round the world, ever I believe
performed by one of Her Majesty's ships. Delightful,
because led and commanded by a good-natured Irish
heart. Interesting, because it extended over the " world
of waters;" from the Arctic Sea to the South Seas,
from the East Indies and China, to Africa, America, and
Siberia Profitable and successful for numerous reasons,
particularly for enlightening the world to many places
before unknown. Protracted, from unforeseen events,
and from zeal and determination to conclude it
effectually and creditably.
To give, in detail, all events connected with this
pleasing cruise would fill volumes, and, perhaps, tire
the reader before he waded through half of them.
My intention is, however, to pass over political and
historical events, and profound reading; and to lay before
the young reader all that I think likely to amuse and
instruct, as briefly as I am able. And in doing so, I
shall be compelled to pass over many occurrences,
for if I entered into all, my leaves, which were only
intended as a "pocket-book," would swell into a
a mass scarcely portable. I shall, therefore, confine myself
almost exclusively to my own midshipman's ideas.
The ship had completed her fitting at one of the'
worst of seaport towns. All the trouble, inconvenience,
and bother of preparing for sea, from a mere hulk
to an effective vessel of war, was over. And although
it occupied months, we congratulated ourselves on
the ship being in every respect perfect; perhaps not
perfectly   symmetrical   in   her   lines   outwardly,   but
inwardly comfortable and happy in ourselves, we had one
of the best, gallant, and most good-natured of captains,
our first lieutenant a type of a sailor; the other officers
specially chosen for their amiability of disposition,
and their philosophy of temper to meet many of the
trying scenes which we had to encounter: therefore
it all depended on ourselves whether We were to
be a " happy ship " or not.
The only object of particular notice when fitting out,
was our being the last vessel of war to wave our caps to
the ill-fated Terror and Erebus, Franklin's expedition.
I had many true, warm-hearted and brave messmates
amongst them, and I can answer for myself, on that
day wishing health and God speed with all my heart.
It was the same day that we were inspected by the
Port Admiral, and manning yards answered the double
purpose, of respect to one, success to the other.
The day of our final sailing from the west of England
was rendered melancholy by a sad accident: several
of the men's wives and families had been on board
to take a last farewell, and when on their return
from final parting (and they in reality said "adieu
for ever "), the boat was caught in a squall, four women
and two children met a watery grave; the crew
were saved by clinging to the boat; thus our departure
had a sad gloom cast over it. However, off we started,
and this accident, added to the fact that we were leaving
all near and dear to us for many years, made us
both desponding and gloomy; many a tear was shed,
and many a heart sank within, as the white cliffs
of old England faded from our view.
" While flew tbe vessel on her snowy wing,
And fleeting shores receded from our sight."
"Adieu then to old England, and farewell to all
those who think of us," said we, turning our backs
on the land we might never see again. It was my
first watch, every moment appeared an hour, the
night closed slowly and drearily over us, and the
land had entirely disappeared; I leaned on the nettings
and gazed on the spot where land was last seen,
hoping to get one more glimpse of it; but no, it had
gone! Then we exclaimed, " There! that spot contains
all we own near and dear to us, and we are to part
for years, perhaps for ever." With these feelings we
endeavoured to obtain rest; our thoughts first wandered
towards home, then on the next sea that was about
to strike us, for a gale from S.W. had now raised
the waves to a considerable height—we were in a storm.
"As slow our ship her foamy track
Against the wind was cleaving,
Her trembling pennant still look'd back
To that dear isle 'twas leaving.
So loath we part from all we love,
From all the links that bind us;
So turn our hearts, as on we rove,
To those we've left behind us."
Tom Moore.
On passing u Porto Santo," it was decided we were
not to go to " Madeira." With what effect that decision
struck me may be concluded, for I had looked forward
to meeting old friends, particularly those at whose
house I had performed so well on the ei bread and
butter"; and it also would have afforded me an opportunity   of  enquiring   after   the poor   old   woman
L 2
who had suffered by the bolting of my American steed.
I consoled myself, however, with making a sketch
of Porto Santo and those dismal | Desertas."
I was almost glad, on dropping anchor at Teneriffe,
that we had passed Madeira, for it afforded me an
opportunity of seeing a spot not before visited and
which I may not see again; and as there are many
interesting events connected with it and the immortal
Nelson, I must devote a leaf to it.
The town itself is miserable enough, most Spanish
towns are; the ancient forts are curious, and the
bum boats supply you abundantly with fruit, bread,
and pets.
The first spot landed on was the memorable fort
where Nelson met a partial defeat and lost his arm.
On reaching the church on which stands "Nelson's
Tower," in sexagonal form. We could not help being
struck with the peculiarly fascinating figures and the
piercing eyes of the Spanish ladies, which made it
quite dangerous to encounter them. In Nelson's
Church the figure of the Virgin Mary appeared life
itself; it was impossible to gaze on the melancholy
face and form without feeling a gloomy chill at the
countenance of utter despair, it was a perfect representation. . We passed the glass case containing the
lost British colours, placed in the most conspicuous
part of the building ; and in doing so I longed to
be one of a few who may have a chance of cutting
them out and rescuing them, which might be accomplished in a "jolly boat." Here one of our young
mids.  had  a  misadventure  with  a  "lance corporal,"
and finished off with No. 52 watch-house. The correct
version of the story we could never properly ascertain,
therefore I must not imagine it; he however escaped
with nothing more than stiff joints and a headache,
but for which release he was indebted in some manner
to an individual about to be hanged that very day,
but which was postponed, as a hangman could not
be found; a Spaniard, however, volunteered to "stick
him" publicly for a dollar. The unfortunate wretch
had been in prison seventeen years, and had been
condemned to death as a pirate.
A day or two after leaving Teneriffe we had the
pleasure to relieve from starvation a small Spanish
schooner with thirty-five men, they had been blown off
the land, and knew not their whereabouts; they were
without food, and but two pints of water remaining.
If we had not met them they must have fallen a
sacrifice to hunger and thirst. Biscuit and water was
sent sufficient to carry them to Teneriffe.
Again the line was crossed, and again Neptune, the
god of the sea, visited us. On this occasion, his wife
looked charming, dressed in some female attire brought
from the seaport where we fitted out, by one of our
" mild tars "; the carriage drawn by six horses (second-
class boys), and the footman the u black cook," really
all went off amusingly, and amazingly well
The sea was so transparent that a dinner plate was
seen at the depth of seventy-eight feet from the surface.
"Fernando Noronha" was seen, the peak of which is
very peculiar, with its northern face beyond the perpendicular ; the fort was plainly visible, which is guarded
 I I
by Brazilian troops.    This is the place of banishment
for Brazilian convicts, the vilest wretches in the world.
Rio was reached in safety, but the harbour appeared
deserted in comparison to my last visit    An evening
promenade in Soap Street was all we had to amuse
us during   our   stay here,  indeed we were too busy
to attend to anything, preparing for sea occupied all
our attentions;   but   one day I recollect being sent
on what afterwards turned out  an  unpleasant  duty,
and it had to  be  performed in  the  "rickety skiff."
The armourer and blacksmith having some work to
perform  on shore, did as most sailors do at Rio,   go
and get very drunk; I found them after much trouble,
buried in  mud   behind  a pothouse,  and   with   great
difficulty,  not  unattended by danger, got them into
the  skiff.    "Well,"  says? the  armourer to his  chum,
"well dusty (hie),  didn't I  say (hie)   (hie)  that  I'd
stick to you like a brick (hie) now, aye f and haven't I
done  it, (hie)" (exhausted).    I  could   hardly repress
a smile, the only excuse they had was " their inclination
led them astray;"  they were,, as a matter of course,
" led into irons."
We had scarcely got clear of the harbour of Rio
when the cry of " a man overboard" was heard;
as quick as thought the ship was rounded to, life-buoy
let go, sail shortened, a boat lowered; the man had
scarcely time to get wet, he was saved. .
We anchored in Port William, Falkland Isles, after a
tedious and stormy passage; long before we saw land
large patches of kelp-rweed and flocks of penguins
were passed through,  and it frequently appeared  to
 THE HORN. 151
us as if we were running on shore ; some of the patches
were very extensive, the* branches as large as a five-
inch hawser, and the leaves of this marine plant
{la/minaria) spread on the surface. I was in a vessel
once which was moored in eleven fathoms by bringing
several parts, of this weed through the hawse pipes,
and securing them to the windlass.
Only a small coasting schooner lay in the bay,
and it was but yesterday she lost four hands while
coming off to this vessel in a squall The settlement
is misery itself^ shooting is indeed the only pastime,
and there are abundance of rabbits, geese, ducks, teal,
and snipe in all parts- of the island; we frequently
went out, and had to return early with all we could
Everything was now prepared to round the much-
dreaded Horn, and during a season anything but
tempting; all booms and small sails got down, stump
top-gallant masts rigged, ports caulked in, boats and
everything secured for a boisterous passage, which we
Our anticipations unfortunately proved too correct,
we were for one month in bad weather, and eight
successive gales as quick as they could follow each
other, only having an interval of "lull" between,
merely to gam renewed effort; to describe one of
these gales, therefore, will be to describe all, except
that we had. to go through all; the reader will but
have the trouble of reading ©ne.
We had passed an immense iceberg calculated to
be about two miles in length, and were compelled
to "wear ship " to avoid it, and it made the atmosphere
and water around it bitter cold; it was a grand sight
when the sun shone on it at intervals, and we could
tell for several hours before seeing it that we were
in the vicinity of one, the air and water having partaken
of its coldness.
The gale commenced, and all sail shortened to storm
stay-sails; it was my middle watch, | all hands"
were " turned up," a sea struck the ship on the quarter,
and threw the man at the helm over the wheel; his arm
was broken, but it was a miracle he was not killed.
The next sea stove in a main deck port, floating
every deck and cabin before a new one could be shipped;
the sea now rose as high as the necklace on the
main-mast. The wind was still increasing, the barometer had fallen to 2»° 69', thermometer at freezing
point, forming icicles on the rigging, and rendering
it slippery, harsh, and painful to handle; the quarter-
boat was lifted by a sea, the ship was battened down
fore and aft, the wind whistled through the rigging,
and made the ship tremble again, the oldest sailors
say "they never saw it blow so hard." There was
a pinkish hue all over the sky, and the sea was
a milk white foam, which lent to the scene a very
awful appearance; another sea washed away the weather
gangway, every moment we expected our storm sails
would blow to atoms, but they were new and held
on well; every sea was now breaking over us, and
threatening our destruction, the decks were all afloat,
1 KO
and several sick men were washed out of their
hammocks. The heaviest * sea struck us at midnight,
staving in the forecastle nettings, starting the fore-
channels, springing the fore-mast, and striking the officer
of the watch, who was some time insensible. We could
now do no more! The ship and all in her were at
the mercy of the gale, our trust was in Him " Who
walks upon the waters and rides upon the storm,"
and who has but to say to the winds and the waves
" Peace be unto you, and instantly there will be a calm."
It soon moderated, it could not get worse; and as we
were about to prepare to make sail, that cry, which
strikes the heart with horror and dismay, ran through
the ship—
'' Now the dreadful thunder rolling,
Peal on peal, contending flash;
On our heads fierce rain falls pouring,
In our eyes blue lightnings flash.
One wide water all around us,
All above us one black sky;
Different deaths at once surround us,
Hark!—what means that dreadful cry ? "
"A man overboard I" The life buoy was let go (though
very imprudently before the man has passed astern),
and a boat lowered ; and it will not be believed, except
by those who witnessed it, that one sea washed the man
out of the ship at the fore-chains, the next washed him
into the ship at the main-chains! The boat was saved
with much difficulty. Preparations for leaving the
gale now  commenced, and jokes began to be passed.
 I Hi
One day while on the forecastle I overheard a strange
andf| long-winded yarn " by one of our oldest tars, who
was considered a character. "Those," he says, "those
were nothing to the waves we had when I was coming
round here in the old Temerarie, we had a sneezer
once that laid her on her extremities, and blew the
buttons off my pee jacket; one moment I was on
the lower deck enjoying my du-deen, when all at
once I was taken off my legs, and in less than a minute
I was sitting on the nether edge of a cloud." "And
how did you come down, Jerry ? " " Why, I waited
for a rainbow, and got upon it, greased it well, and
slid down." " But was it long enough, Jerry 1" " No ;
so I held fast for a shower, and then came down
with the stream." This was a yarn, but one day
the same old salt made a very witty remark, I was
within hearing; a sea broke over the forecastle where he
was at work and washed him down, which made
him growl a little. " Never mind," says one of his
condoling messmates, " never mind, old Jerry, Britannia
rules the waves." I Hang it," says he, "I wish she'd
rule them straight."
A commodore at Rio told us | there was nothing
certain but one thing in this world," that was " a
gale of wind rounding the Horn;" we found that
saying fully verified.
Just after escaping the troubles of the last gale,
we found it necessary to go on two thirds allowance
of provisions, and barely sufficient fuel to cook that
small quantity; this was hard indeed, constant work
in a cold latitude made us all very hungry.
We arrive at Valparaiso, at the foot of Mount
Aconcagua, the giant of the Andes, twenty-three thousand feet above the level of the sea, after many perils
by water, calling on our passage at Yaldivia and Conception Bays; the former famous for Fort St. Carlos
and neat gardens, the latter for being swarmed with
"quebrante" huetsos" (bone breakers), a black sea-bird
which lay in myriads in the harbour, and appear at
first sight like shoals.
The first unpleasant sight I was compelled to see
at Valparaiso was an execution (a Spanish one),
while walking through the Almendral, where thousands of persons had assembled to witness it—more
women than men. The culprit, a fine stout Spaniard,
was led out on the Plaza, seated on a wooden stool
fixed to the ground by a stake, and to this he was
secured ; four soldiers came forward and fired, but only
one shot appeared to take effect, and produced but
a slight quiver in the prisoner; five more then pointed
their bayonets to the spots they intended to fire at;
on firing, one passed through his temple, another
through his heart; his head dropped, and the rascal
who confessed to seven murders was a lifeless corpse.
His body was dragged through the town by two mules
decorated with flowers and evergreens, and after every
one had an opportunity of seeing the body, the head
was carried to the spot of the last murder, where it
is to be placed on a pole for public gaze. Not a
single authority appeared to be present at the execution,
not even an officer to command the guard, who were
a dusty, reckless set of fellows, in much spirits.    These
executions do not appear to have the effect of example,
for the very same night a man was murdered while
playing Mont£, at that horrid part of Valparaiso called
" Almandral."
"Travellers'" they say "see strange things," and
so they do. We were taking a stroll around the
town, on a very beautiful evening, and the sounds
of music attracted our attention; there was a Spanish
wake in the house, as extraordinary a scene as I ever
witnessed; an Irish wake, which is absurd enough,
has no chance near it; we came to the door and
were welcomed, and hot liquors passed round.
The child (which was of course dead) was laid out
on a table in the centre of the room, decorated in a
profuse manner with flowers, papers, and paints; polkas,
Spanish dances, and Zamba Cuecas were danced with
much apparent joy round the corpse, and to conclude
the scene, each person present was compelled, according
to custom, to take the child by the heels and swing
it three times round their head; now whether this
was a mad freak incited by drink I cannot say, for
I never had a chance of attending another "wake,"
but I much regretted not knowing the language
sufficiently to hear what their several speeches alluded to.
Two shocks of earthquake were felt here. It will
be recollected that in 1832 the town was destroyed
by an earthquake, and every three years slight shocks
recur; the houses are built purposely low, and of light
material, to avoid the consequences.1
Papudo Bay next finds us at anchor in its waters,
the long and continued line of surf reminds me much
(on a small scale) of the Madras rollers; a few small
houses, about 100 inhabitants, who are very hospitable,
and are delighted to see a man-of-war in their bay.
The morning was calm and beautiful, not an air
of wind disturbed the peaceful bay of Papudo; sail
was made, and "we hove in short" to tempt "rude
Boreas" to waft us to Callao. When the sea breeze
set in we started; and our young friends, who have
been so persevering in their attempts the last two
evenings to teach us the steps of the Zamba Cueca
and Refeliofsa, were soon lost in the haze.
On my first walk round Callao, the seaport of Lima,
it presented to me one or two dusty and sunburnt
irregular streets; with mad dogs, bare chicken, animals
between a monkey and cat (the natives call them
"pig-dogs," the most repulsive animals imaginable),
howling and chuckling about the gutters. I hope on
a future visit to have reasons for giving a more pleasing
account of this place.
We passed San Lorenzo, and anchored in Callao
Roads. This extraordinary rock, covered at times with
sea lions, and where many a hunt is enjoyed, thus came
to light. In J 746 a dreadful earthquake overwhelmed
the cities of Lima and Callao, and they disappeared
in six fathoms of water; " breakers" now exist where
Callao was, and Lorenzo takes its name from a man
who happened to be out fishing at the time, and
suddenly found himself (with his son and daughter),
on the top of this island rock, uplifted at the same
instant that Lima and Callao disappeared; it is 6 miles
long, and 400 feet in height.    Ancestors of the Lorenzos
are chaired and carried round the city in procession,
decorated with flowers, &c, on each anniversary of
that melancholy yet eventful day of their extraordinary
preservation. Callao, from my flattering account, did
not hold out much inducement for another visit, and
it was therefore proposed to go to "Lima."
The "omnibus" (I hope to be forgiven for calling
it by that name) was to start at 2 P.M.;  we dressed
in clothes which most resembled "dust," pepper and
salt coat, white hat, and veil, &c, and got into a "cart"
(they call it "'bus") drawn by six mules;  "smack"
went a powerful whip, and off we went.    The ladies
lit their cigarettos, the gentlemen shortly after asking the
ladies for a light, when they took their cigars to smoke,
and presented their new ones in return; it was preferable
being smothered with tobacco smoke, even bad, than
dust, which now gathered  around us in  clouds   (the
trip from Suez to Cairo by van is far preferable, were
it not so long).    We came to the remains of Bonavista,
a town which was some time since entirely destroyed by
an  earthquake; the roads about here  are very bad,
and  the  dust in  such quantities, that the nostrils of
all the mules are cut, some three or four inches,  to
allow them to respire.   The " half-way-house" stopped
us ; you might as well think of passing " Farmer Peck,"
at Cape of Good Hope,  as passing this house, where
the best Pisco in the world is to be had; I think it
tastes   better   because   you are   parched and choked
by sun, dust, and stale cigar smoke.
Crossed the "grove of the banditti," and really
one's blood chills at the tales of horror told of robberies
and murders, of frequent occurrence here.
We were now approaching the capital of South America,
and the change of scene improved; trees, a sort of
willow, watered by a rivulet from the Eimac, formed
an avenue to the city gates ; and here it appears
strange, to one not accustomed to it, seeing the women
riding across the mules—they say they have a very
good reason for doing so.
Horses were now put into the 'bus for the city part of
the voyage, and we entered the gates, but I was much
disappointed at the miserable appearance of the houses;
the cathedrals are fine, but all filagree work, chalk
and paint, and tinselled paper, the shops are neat, and
some good; but the most hazardous of all scenes
is to risk a bewitching glance from that one eye,
which from the careful and graceful folds of the mantilla
is allowed to escape and pierce your very heart; and
oh, my young reader, or perchance friend, let me advise
you never even to hazard such a glance; I have often
thought if but one eye can do so much mischief, what
would both do if allowed their liberty, perhaps it is
on this account that one is kept a prisoner. If I were to
commence a description of the figures of these fascinating
brunettes, I am sure that I should fail in doing them
credit, so will leave it to a more skilful pen. There
is a portion of the city called the "Almada," that
reminds me very much of the Dyke at Cork; it is
a promenade for the evening, and there may be seen
the mantilla to perfection. There are sixty-five churches
in Lima, and it is beautiful of a Sunday, early and
late, to see these attractive creatures going and coming
from their devotions ; they give their mantilla a flourish
as they come out of the doorway, as much as to say,
" Ah! did you see."
The " Ball of Gold," and the French, are the two
principal hotels, and if I have called those at Valparaiso
" land-sharks" for their exorbitance, I can only com-
promise the matter by calling these "robbers" ; you
are stunned night and day, Sunday particularly, by
fellows bawling at the top of their voices, at almost
every doorway, " quatre-mille-pesos," which means that
a lottery is in progress where you may win your
100 or even 1000 dollars, or more if you please; or
perhaps lose it.
All Lima assembled to-day to witness a bull fight,
it was the tamest affair imaginable, although fourteen
bulls and one horse were killed; the unfortunate
animals were led one by one into the arena perfectly
quiet and harmless, until goaded to madness by darts
and fireworks, when the animal makes a rush at the
Matador, who lanced him, and down fell the beast,
when the cries and applause of the senioritas were
deafening, shouting "viva el matador," and throwing
dollars and other monies into the ring. Should the
animal however evade the lance, and at all appear
to have the advantage, he is immediately hamstrung
by some barbarous and cruel fellow, and is thus put
an end to, fighting on his stumps; thus fourteen were
destroyed. | Bull-baiting," which may be seen in
Ireland, is far better sport, and more fair play for
the beast. As we passed through the city gates on
our return, we bade adieu to Lima, hoping soon to
see it again.
Off the town of Payta, the seaport of Pura, and the
first city built by the famous Pizarro, we next anchored.
This place has every appearance of an arid, barren, sunburnt spot, and there is not a drop of fresh water within
three leagues of the town. There is some difficulty in
landing, as the rollers set in all around the bay, and we
had to wait twenty minutes before we could place the
boat alongside the mole. The church was first visited;
and the greatest object of curiosity seemed to be " the
Saint," saved from the convent which was burnt to the
ground by Lord Anson. The bloody marks are still on
the throat, where it is told you 1 she attempted to cut
her head off, rather than die by fire." This was the
only relic saved from the burning mass, and is much
revered. On lifting what I thought to be the Spanish
colours off the altar, but which was afterwards found to
be the Padre's dressing-gown, or preaching-gown, out
fell, unfortunately, a bottle of pisco, for which I had to
pay two reals. Our guide told us, in confidence, this
was for the Padre, for which I expressed real sorrow!
Payta consists of five streets, running parallel to each
other, and tapering off into a " main top"—which, in this
country, is a pot and dancing-house for tars on liberty
(at Valparaiso, there are a fore, main, and mizen top)—
very few shops, the principal one carried on by a man
from " Galway"; there is an apology for an hotel, and a
worn-out billiard table. These are all the attractions of
The island of Santa Clara, or Amortajada (the
shrouded corpse), is seen near the Guayaquil river,
which latter we would ascend, but the rain and heat are
intolerable, so we go across to the Galapagos.
Post-office Bay, Charles Island, where we are now at
anchor, is so called from the fact of the buccaneers
under Dampier, <&c, having always placed their letters
under a large stone in one part of this bay for transmission. The bay abounds in fish, seal, turtle, and sharks;
in one haul of the seine, there were landed three to four
tons of fish, loading the pinnace and whale-boat, half of
which had afterwards to be thrown overboard.
James' Island was found the best in the group
for shelter. Terrapin (land turtle) abound on the
islands, and make excellent soup. The inhabitants
have dwindled from four hundred in number to forty,
since the revolution at Guayaquil; and only one Eng-
lish resident is to be found here, who has married
the Governor's sister, and commands a small trading
After traversing the Equator for several days, among
the Galapagos, which islands are directly on it, we
crossed over to the mainland, and had an opportunity of
seeing (at a distance) Quito, which city is famous for
standing higher above the level of the sea than any in
the world.    I think it is 9,000 feet.
It seldom or ever happens that, throughout a long and
arduous cruise in unknown places, and along unexplored
shores, that it will conclude without some misfortune to
damp and depress the spirits of all those connected with
it, and throw a gloom and melancholy around which
time and change of scene can alone efface; and now it
was our sad lot to experience this.
All the boats had been away in this new, interesting,
and inviting country, taking many of the officers, here
shooting, there fishing, some collecting specimens of
geology, botany, and conchology, others reaping richer
productions. The day had been fine, but it was now
threatening; clouds and lightning were to be seen seaward, and a surf had already risen on the beach.
Towards evening, all had assembled on the shores, to
return to the ship, and there was difficulty in rushing
into the boats without getting wet; during this, the
report of a gun was heard, a rush to one boat followed,
all pulled hastily on board, and our feelings may be
a little imagined when our most amiable, most beloved,
admired, and accomplished shipmate was handed up the
side a lifeless corpse!    He was laid out on a grating, his
j   :
body still warm, and the union jack thrown gently over
He was already in the boat, on the point of shoving
off; the fowling-pieces were laid below; when some
one, rushing through the surf to avoid getting wet, and
jumping into the boat, placed his foot on the lock of the
gun, and it exploded.
The ball passing through his temple, he fell over the
side without a groan ! Death was instantaneous. His
brains were literally strewn about the boat, and over
those few in her; the. sea was turned red with his blood.
Many near him escaped by a miracle.
This 'sudden and deplorable accident struck us all
with horror. Thus died a most amiable and beloved
messmate, a kind and willing shipmate, a young and
intelligent man, who was an ornament to his profession 1
Such is life!
How little did he or any of us imagine that i that day
his soul would be required of him;" and what a lesson
it was to us to ee watch," " for we know not at what hour
the king of terrors cometh."
That was a mournful and dismal night. It was my
middle watch; the rain poured down in torrents, the
thunder pealed forth its deafening sounds, the lightning
flashed its vivid and terrifying streaks all around, lighting
up the heavens at short intervals, and displaying to us a
scene at once terrible, awful, and truly melancholy!
His remains were carried next day to their final place
of rest, an isolated spot, where we paid the last token of
respect to his departed soul; leaving nothing to mark
the spot but a small sheet of copper nailed on a board,
bearing an inscription both short, touching, and simple.
We offered up a short prayer for the departed soul that
had not one instant's warning to meet its Maker!
It did not require much consideration to depart from
a place that had so suddenly robbed us of a talented and
much esteemed friend. Passing some small and unim-
portant villages we were off Gallo Island, where Pizarro
(the Great) first retreated (in America), after an unsuccessful attempt against " Quito." Landing at first in
"Tecames" Bay, which we have just left, he remained
here some time with his troops; but his associate returned to Panama, in hopes of sending a reinforcement
to enable them to take possession of the opulent territories, whose existence seemed to be no longer doubtful.
He soon after despatched a vessel to bring home Pizarro
and his companions from this island, which is mfamous
for being the most unhealthy in America.
Anchored in Panama Bay, having gone through many
tedious and dreary days, while coming through Choco
Bay in light adverse winds, strong adverse currents,
heavy rains, thunder and lightning, passing some small
and. dirty Spanish-Indian towns on the sea coast, with
long names, such as Buenaventura, Esmeralda, Escon-
dido, &c, &c. The contrast was great in steering
through the Pearl Islands in the Bay of Panama; thickly
wooded with lofty, dark green trees, having bold faces of
massive purple rock, the sea dashing against them from
the broad Pacific, lead you into a scene both charming
and enchanting.
We had now " letters from home," the first for nine
long months; and oh, what changes take place in so short
a time. Many had wished they had never received
them. In our own small community, one loses a father;
two their mothers; one his wife and child; two others
their wives; some their sisters! Others have been
robbed of their brightest hopes ; others rejected. Some
old messmates promoted, and many dismissed the service.
We were all prepared to condole with each other, but
passed that evening in solitude and misery : many
consoled themselves that | no news was good news."
The once famous City of Panama is almost in ruins 1
As there is a day to spare, we travel over it, though
hardly able to, from the extreme heat of the sun and the
attentive mosquitoes. It being the season of Lent,
which is very strictly observed, every one is "quiet."
We met the captain of the port, who had just succeeded
to the vacancy caused by a rascal murdering the two
sisters of his " Compromise," and now lies in prison condemned to be shot.
The prison, over which is the military hospital, has
about thirty prisoners; one, who calls himself a "Britisher,"
commanded a small trading vessel, and is condemned
for life, for taking away from Panama (innocently, he
says) two men who were sentenced to death. Another
prisoner to be shot for stabbing his steward. Many
were busy making very neat straw hats and other ornaments. The cathedral, the only one of ten remaining,
is a fine building, still hanging together, but will soon
fall; the other nine are converted into stables, barracks,
a college, &c, and show how this once famed city has
declined, both in wealth and population.
On the ramparts were six brass guns, an iron one, and
a mortar, remaining to defend the town, which was at
one period strongly fortified—that day has fled ! The
streets are filthy—the poor, lame, and diseased innumerable, and flock round you every time you stop, to
solicit " Un real, por el amor de Dios."
After completing provisions and water at the pretty
little island of " Taboga," of which I shall have much
to relate by-and-bye, we sailed on a long sea voyage up
the coast of North America, towards the Straits of Juan
de Fuca, where the celebrated Spanish pilot of that
name imagined he had discovered a passage through
the continent.*
The voyage occupied seventy days, during which time
we did not even see land; four of our crew died from
the many privations and hardships encountered on that
long voyage. The monotony, the dreariness, the scarceness of fresh water, with bad provisions, along the burning shores of Western America, were severely felt, and
we only found ourselves reviving when the fresh and
chilling breezes met us off Vancouver Island.
Several pieces of broken timber,, rugged trees, drift
wood, and kelp-weed, told us we were fast approaching
the land; and the joy of all at seeing it was beyond
* Cook, who passed
lieved in the existence
says, "In this lat., 48°
Strait of San Juan de
itself to our view, nor
isted." This, I think,
cumnavigator being in
here some years after its discovery, disbe-
of these straits. To use his own words, he
N., geographers have placed the pretended
Fuca, hut nothing of that kind presented
is it probable that any such thing ever ex-
is the only instance of that celebrated cir-
description. The sea abounded in whales, lashing and
spouting in every direction. Shoals of porpoises, followed by birds, are close after our wake, and the land
appears covered with a dense forest of pine-trees. The
moment the wind fell light, we were visited by a handsome canoe, having eight natives, with a chief, bringing
fish, bear-skins, squid, &c, all of which they readily
bartered for knives, tobacco, and paint, &c. I quite
gained the friendship of the chief by daubing his face all
over with colours of redy white, and black, giving him
(to us) a most hideous appearance; but when shown his
face in a looking-glass, he was delighted, frantic with
joy. They all wished to be painted the same way. His
arms and body were covered with "friendly marks,"
Which are lumps of flesh bitten out or cut with sharp
shells* by his friends; there were seven or eight such
marks on him. We very much feared they would be
performing their friendly actions on us, so we prepared
to repel them. We found they were very loose and
filthy in their manner—no pride at all about them-—
and wear a plain rug thrown over their shoulders, which
is cast off altogether at intervals. They existed, while
alongside, on long strips of squid, which they " bolted,"
after chewing a short time, without a wink or struggle.
Later in the day, a smaller canoe came off with dried
salmon and' berries, rather sour and unpalatable.
After getting fairly inside the Straits of Juan  de
Fuca, and anchoring among a fleet of thirty-eight canoes,
* Kings, xviii. 28.
each having two, three, or four salmon on board, we
were visited by a personage calling himself § Flattery
Jack," who had been spoken of by former voyagers.
He said, " Man' war ship cloosh" (good); H No cock-
shittle man war," that is, they would not break or hafnt
us. This "Flattery Jack" drew a smile from everyone, from some roars ! He had on his body a long red
Yankee coat, a very taut pair of trousers, a black satin
waistcoat strained in by one well-fingered button and
hole, and covering all (and most objectionable things
too) was a very much abused " four-and-nine" hat. He
gave us a little information about a frigate and steamer
in Puget Sound, and while doing so, unfortunately for
him, the "Flattery Jack" arrived, with his retinue.
This " Jack" was a merry, good-humoured, round-
faced little fellow, full of fun, and spoke very good English ; his rig was I made to order/' but the trousers were
a little short, and the hat had seen its best days. The
first Jack brought his squaw with him, the first female
we had seen; they are fairer than the men, but equally
careless of person, and loose in dress and manner.* A
native here purchases his squaw (or wife) for a blanket
or a shirt, and is allowed to have as many as he pleases;
and they lend them one to another in the most friendly
and accommodating manner.
The canoes with the salmon, &c, came alongside,
after cheering and shouting while the anchor and cable
was let go, and the sails furling.    For an old pocket-
* It would be impossible to tell the original colour of these
people, as they are always smeared with oil and dirt, but I should
assume it to be that of a dirty copper kettle.
handkerchief, an old knife, or a few brass buttons, you
could get a salmon " all alive," weighing on an average
twenty-six pounds. A salmon that you would pay £1
for in London, you can get here for a few strips of
tobacco or an old razor that would never cut again.
Nothing now but salmon boiled, salmon fried, salmon
soused, is heard and eaten all day long. If we starved
during our long and tiresome sea cruise, we are now certainly making up for it. We passed up to Victoria, the
Hudson Bay settlement on Vancouver Island, and lay in
a calm and peaceful bay, surrounded by a dense forest,
with shrubs and evergreens down to the water's edge, at
the feet of the lofty mounts Baker and Olympus, perpetually covered with snow.
If Here we had visits from whole families; and these
tribes are called | Flat-heads," from the fact of their
heads being squeezed into a conical form when young,
in the. following manner:—When the child is four or
five weeks old a case is made of the bark of a tree in
the shape intended, or most preferred, for the head; in
this it is placed; the child is then put into a cradle made
of wood, exactly resembling a butcher-boy's tray, and
laced down with strips of bark to prevent its moving or
shuffling off this "night-cap""; on the head are then
placed weights, bags of sand, on the parts which require
compression most, to bring it into the required and approved form. This operation is kept up for years, and
then the head assumes the enviable form of a " Life
Guardsman's hat." It is curious to see the mothers,
when the children cry, jig t*hem about in these trays.
In many, this compression produces squint,which is con-
sidered beautiful! And many children are made idiots
from the distortion and 5 compression of the brain.
When I first saw the Chinese children undergoing the
painful and tormenting " operation for small feet,"* and
the Javanese infant, having all hands clapped on its
nose to flatten it, immediately when born, I thought it
cruel, but this far exceeded anything I have witnessed.
The children never look healthy; and tears are constantly running from their eyes, which are painfully
There is an old saying, of a " dog's tail curling so
tight that he cannot put his hind legs to the ground ;"
and of a young lady screwing her hair so tight in papers,
that she could not shut her eyes to sleep ; but I can
really say, that I have seen these children's heads so
tightly compressed, that a squint is thereby produced.
One morning we heard, to our surprise, that our good-
tempered 6( Jack Flattery " was no more ! He had been
basely murdered for the sake of a blanket, on his passage
across the straits, after bartering his other skins. He
was attacked and stabbed in the back, in presence of all
his family and several wives. The natives are permitted
to kill one another for any individual crime (by their
chiefs); but, should the person miss his aim, and the
other escape, the former tribe rush on him and murder
him on the spot; on the contrary, should he kill him,
he is considered a great warrior. Such is the state of
barbarism around us.
* The smaller the feet of the Chinese, the natter the nose of
the Javanese, and the more conical the head of the Cowitchins,
the more attractive and beautiful the possessor. Truly, " travellers see strange things!"
Squirrel-hunting, pufBn-shooting, as well as snipe
and duck, &c, were our principal amusements; and in
passing through the wood of Vancouver and the smaller
islands, we could not but be struck at the lofty and magnificent cedar, pine, oak, and cypress trees, and the
blossoms of the yellow laburnum scenting the air; every
slope and undulation was a lawn and natural garden,
studded. with the wild plum, gooseberry, currant, strawberry, and wild onion. Long grass and clover intermingled the soil, rich in the extreme, and would grow
anything and everything.
On one of these occasions, when we had been shooting,
and venturing farther than perhaps it was prudent to do,
I was one day overcome with exhaustion, and had nearly
been compelled to give up. But before I narrate this
adventure, it will be proper to describe one that preceded, and from which there was very little hope of a
One of the young officers had been out alone, and his
not returning caused great anxiety; for we already
knew that the tribes were treacherous, particularly the
Sokes, Tsclallums, and Cowitchins. All, of course, set
out in search. Boats were sent along the coast, firing
great guns, which was also continued on board the
vessel. All day passed, and our search was vain ; but
we did not yet despair. Another twenty-four hours was
also passed unsuccessfully, and now serious hopes were
entertained for his safety. A party of Indians were sent
out, and about nine at night they found him, in a weak
and helpless state, under a tree, on the top of a snowy
mount.    The Indians had given up their search about
eight in the evening; but the chief or leading man said
" he would go a little further," and, after proceeding for
a few minutes, he found him.- On coming on board, it
appeared to us as if he had risen from the dead. He
said he had lost his way, and for the first night and day
took refuge in a tree, where many wild animals came
and " yelled " at him. Not being able to support himself any longer, and the beasts having departed, he came
down and laid on the fern quite exhausted, and gave up
all his hopes, until seen by the Indians, who deserve
much praise for their instinct and perseverance. The
last eighteen hours he lived on a bird that he had shot,
eating it raw, but could obtain no water. Another hour,
and he must have perished; certainly that night, if not
found. My misadventure was nearly the same—hardly
so serious. I had got into a swamp among rushes, duck
shooting, and in my anxiety had got too far, without
thinking how I was to return. The mud and water was
above my knees, which rendered it tiresome to walk, and
the. rushes far above my bead. When I began to get
tired, I then thought of returning, but on looking round
I could see no opening—nothing but sky over my head,
nothing to guide me I After wandering about for some
time in search of an opening, I became quite exhausted.
The evening was fast closing in. My lips were parched
with thirst. I was compelled to keep my feet going in
new places, to avoid sinking so far that I could not
recover myself. I could see no place of retreat. I was
on the point of laying my shot-belt and gun on one side
and giving up all, when I made one more effort, and
struggled to a more firm footing, where I rested, and
from thence escaped. Oh! I shall never forget the feeling
of that moment, when spiritless, and all hope seemed
gone, and I was fast sinking. When I looked up, and
saw nothing but the blue sky overhead, and the rushes
obstructing everything like a guide, the dreadful thought
of starvation flashed across me; in an instant all I ever
knew, all who were near and dear to me, were before
me; every passage and every circumstance in my life
fled before me like a dream. The feelings are almost
indescribable. None can know them but those who
have experienced them !
To-day I was agreeably astonished at receiving a note
from a very old and much-esteemed schoolfellow, who
was then about seventy miles distant from me. He says,
"I send this scratch in the boat that takes you unfbr-*
tunate fellows your 'grub' (sheep and potatoes). I
intended at first coming down, but having been so long
in harbour, am afraid to undertake so long and dangerous
a sea voyage. Moreover, having recently escaped the
perils, by land and sea of a two months' cruise through
the Oregon, I do not like tempting a merciful Providence too much." He says, <CI have turned into a complete savage, and have not an idea above a blanket."
He also adds, | You should have been at ' our races'
yesterday; everything complete, even to the Punch and
Judy show;" and he ends with saying, | Give my love to
that sweet girj at Victoria :" and then a P.S., in which,
in a truly Irish way, he says, " I have a picture of your
ship in a gale of wind, and it is the principal ornament
in my cabin. I've just got room for another in a corresponding first chop rosewood frame. Another would
look so well! 1
There is a small island at the entrance of Victoria
Harbour, on which.all the surrounding tribes bury their
dead in this manner:—When a man dies, he is taken to
this island, with his canoe and all/belonging to him. The
canoe is hauled up on the island, the body laid in it, and
all his goods and chattels, such as his musket, salmon
spear, bow and arrows, fishing lines, pots, kettles, and
even the square wooden bowl he drank out of, are laid
by his side, covered over with mats, pieces of timber,
and large stones. Several canoes, with their late owners,
were mouldering away on this island. Several we saw,
also, on the forked branches of trees, at almost every
bend of the river.*
A deformity is never seen, the parents destroy them the
moment of birth, but we frequently meet natives with
several joints of their fingers gone; on inquiring, it was
ascertained that it is customary to express grief for the
death of a relative by some corporeal suffering, and that
the usual mode was to lose two or more joints of each
We had now passed round the straits, having anchored
in those beautiful harbours, Port Discovery, Dungeness,
and Port Townshend, either capable of holding the
British fleet, with some of less capabilities on Vancouver
Island, Esquimault, Port Albert, Victoria, San Juan,
Becher Bay, Soke Inlet, and now anchor where first
we stayed on entering the straits.    Many canoes again
* The natives consider it an ill omen ever to mention the names
of those departed, and never do so; they will never touch anything
belonging to the dead, and they fancy the spirit departs into
animals, such as deer, bears, &c.
come alongside, and we find Flattery Jack, or King
George's tribe (who was murdered), preparing to go to
war with the | Tsclallums," to avenge the death of their
chief. They say " they intend stealing on them during
the night, first shooting them and then cutting their
heads off." . . . They must use some strange stratagem
to effect this, as the Tsclallums exceed them far in
numbers. In a bay, near this anchorage, the seine
was hauled, and as one of the men observed, it was a
" miraculous draft." Turbot, cod, and soles in abundance ; it was not the season for herrings, nor place for
There was but one game that I saw the natives amuse
themselves with, but they are very fond of gambling.
As I was passing in a great hurry at the moment, I
cannot tell the process, but it is with seven pieces of
stick and two deer's teeth. I was told it was their only
game of amusement or pastime; they play at % pitch
and toss" also, for blankets, furs, and even their wives,
merely at the chance of turning up one side or the
other—head or tail.
We were about to leave the straits, but I had one
more duty to perform for an old schoolfellow; and it
will be remembered, that he particularly requested in
his note that I would, the first opportunity, I give his
love to that sweet creature at Victoria." Now, this was
a very pleasing duty, I had no doubt, but at the same
time one that I was not prepared for, nor did I know to
whom I was to deliver so affecting and tender a message.
However, do it I must, as I had promised. We were
at anchor off the very place. I devoted a forenoon to this
duty. I dressed in my best (which was not at any
time very attractive), and I polished up my hair, teeth,
and boots, with a little more than usual care, for, it must
be added, I intended to put in one word for my schoolfellow, and two for myself, when—withering under the
gaze of this lovely object—I set out with the very best
possible intentions, not knowing, however, the exact
residence. I went to the rendezvous, where I knew I
should meet some person who spoke English. I was
right. I commenced gently, to prevent suspicion, remarking on the weather first, which mostly all people
do on meeting, then the briskness of trade (of which I
knew very little), and finally, coming to the point,
asking if he knew where the object of my search
resided? He quickly answered in the affirmative, and
at the same time pointed to the house. How I should
know her ? was my next question, how she $ rigged,"
and her style 1 (so that I may recognise her if I passed
her) with many other very inquisitive and impertinent
inquiries. A final query finished the conversation, and
nearly finished me, for, to my utter amazement, he
said, "She is my sister." I thought I would have
shrunk into my boots; my feelings may be imagined,
but impossible to describe. I hurried from the scene,
declaring, within myself, never again to enter that
stockade. Constant visions of the big brother were
before me. Rifles, bullets, scalps, all passed within
my imagined gaze, and it was some time before I was
able to shake off the surprise that I at that moment felt.
 I broke my word! A few days afterwards found me in
the presence of her for whom I had so nearly suffered
(in mind if not in body). All those, however, were more
than repaid by one glance from the light blue eyes of
Mary, who dresses also in light blue, dances the polka,
is not at all vain, and far from being proud, as I on one
occasion found her very dexterously passing a warm flat-
iron over a neat and well-bleached chemisette. A few
pleasant evenings were passed at that house, and I
must acknowledge forgetting all about my schoolfellow's
kind and tender message !
Before finally saying adieu to the straits, in which we
have passed a most glorious three months, I must con-
elude with an incident that occurred which must have
astonished the numbers of natives who had come alongside to say good-bye before our final departure. We
were all assembled in the gangways, ports, nettings,
and chains, during the dinner-hour, which was generally
appropriated for bartering. Sail made, and ready to
start the moment a breeze sprung up, we were chatting,
joking, and exchanging goods with the natives. Two
of ours, who were in the gangway port, attracted most
attention, as their goods were R in the market" (beads
and fish-hooks). During their eagerness to obtain an
article they had purchased, one slipped his foot, and
accidentally passing his arm across the other's head, to
save himself, knocked his cap off into the canoe—his wig
was in it J Such a roar, such a scream, never was
heard; they all concluded he was <cscalped"; and it was
•some time before they were composed, and settled alongside again, when they saw the | scalp" replaced.    They
understand *' scalping," and it is practised at no great
distance from them > but never having seen a wig, con-
eluded we were as expert as themselves; it caused much
amusement and astonishment. This was ourfi/nalS; and
having sailed for San Francisco, arrived safe, passing
over the bar with a slashing breeze, without dipping our
% quarter-boats in the water," as we were led to suppose
we should do. Two vessels of war were lying here,
Russian and American.
During the period that the ship remained in the
straits of Juan de Fuca, a boat expedition started for the
Oregon coast, and as many interesting occurrences took
place during this cruise, I must devote a leaf or two to
The day the boats started was beautiful—beautiful
almost beyond description; no fog clouded the atmosphere; no winds agitated this lovely branch of the
Pacific; the sun peeped occasionally between small
patches of cloud, lending a shade here and there, both to
the waters and to the rich foliage, quite charming.
The ship lay still and motionless; a more than usual
number of canoes visited from various parts; in one,
the largest, measuring forty-nine feet seven inches, could
be seen a "Taihe" (chief) of Neah bartering a quantity
of shells for a Callum female, who was no doubt to become one of his wives (he had already two with him);
in another, a mother, carefully wandering over her
children's heads, pulling many very objectionable things
out of them, an amusement they delight in when they
N 2
have nothing else to occupy their time. While calmly
gazing on such unintellectual scenes, the shrill pipe and
hoarse cry of the boatswain was suddenly heard,
" Away all boats' crews."
I was walking the deck in the zealous performance
of my forenoon watch, when the captain came up, to
whom I lifted my cap : % Young fellow," he said, ic get
ready to go away; I intend giving you a bit of a twist
this time."
At eleven a.m., precisely, five boats started, having
previously ascertained that provisions and corresponding
liquids were in abundance for twice that period, consisting of salmon, potatoes, and mutton, &c.
We were off! but could not for some time imagine
where the two fine legs of mutton, which were hanging
in our mizen rigging, had come from, until one more
shrewd than the rest informed us that it was our poor
"old pet, Tom," who had been mercilessly slain! "Tom"
had got so fat that he "had to be killed to save his
<( Tom" had been with us since leaving England; he
had become quite a pet (sailors always have some pet or
other on board ship), and followed the men about the
deck like a dog. " Tom" had been taught to smoke a
pipe, to drink grog, to chew tobacco, to eat shavings
and old quids of tobacco (an economical sheep), and
many a dull hour during an evening did Tom pass away
for his shipmates. He had now grown so fat that he
could with difficulty breathe; the butcher's knife put an
end to "Tom," and his sorrowing shipmates had to
deplore the loss of their amusing pet.
In the hurry and excitement we had scarcely dreamed
of its being Sunday, until, suddenly rounding an island,
a native in one of the fishing canoes was heard singing,
"Hias makooke saouche" (plenty salmon, buy), when
one of our witty marines observed, that it resembled
the ninety-eighth Psalm; the truth of its being Sunday
only then flashed across us.
At noon, with a fair wind, the boats were passing
along the Oregon coast, thickly covered with wood, at
the foot of the rocky mountains, which were perpetually
capped with snow; the wind, however, soon failed, and
the paddles (which had long since superseded oars) were
set to work. With these the men could sing and keep
time to their old tune,
"I've got a sixpence, a jolly, jolly, sixpence."
It was very late before the boats reached the first place
of rendezvous, and here we bivouacked for the night, in a
small stony bay, the water very shallow. The rain
awnings were spread, and the coppers lighted; and as
the vivid sparks arose, they reminded me of those true,
yet spiritless lines,
" As the sparks fly upwards to the sky,
So man is born to misery!"
From the shallow and rocky state of the bay the boats
could not land, and they were anchored off for the night
in deep water.
Morning dawned, and, if possible, more beautiful
than yesterday, which enabled us to beach the boats, and
take a refreshing plunge in the cool waters of the straits.
An early breakfast was finished, and dinner already
under weigh, although only eight o'clock. The cook of
the party was far above his elbows in flour and water,
and was relating rather an improbable "yarn," of his
having jf seen weovils fly out from the inside of a pudding after it had been a whole forenoon boiling in the
coppers." I1 Yes," he says, " my word, when I broke the
* duff/ out flew the weovils."
About noon the | Callum" canoes began to surround
us, and when we reminded them of their murdering
King George (Flattery Jack) for the sake of a blanket,
they crossed themselves, and pointing to the sun, exclaimed, | Euklea," looking, at the same time, remarkably innocent, wishing to lead us to suppose they would
not have done it for worlds.
The morning following had scarcely dawned before
the wild caw of the crow and the gurgling notes of the
raven announced it was time to rise; a very short
interval elapsed before all hands were at work, some
preparing breakfast, others gathering fire-wood and
water for the coming day, while a few were performing
their ablutions at some icy stream which trickled from
the lofty Olympus, filtered by the crowded pines,
through which it rushes before reaching the sea.
During this day's progress we were overtaken by a
dense fog, such a fog as comes tumbling on you like a
wall, completely burying you in a mass of vapour.   We
endeavoured to reach an anchorage, but were compelled
at last to drop anchor in a miserably shallow bay, affording no shelter, the rocks numerous, and the swell setting"
in obliged us to anchor some distance from the shore,
and thus had we to pass a night of misery and anxiety.
Rest I cannot call it, for, every moment expecting to feel our boats bump on the rocks, which everywhere surrounded us, a good look out had to be kept
for these, ag well as to avoid a surprise from the native
Callums, who we had now known to be treacherous.
Rain poured on us, but as the day broke, we perceived
our ship in the offing, which had already made out our
flotilla, but received orders to "proceed."
This night, however, we" were fortunate in having a
small vessel to sleep on board, and really enjoyed a
night's slumber on a "soft plank," a luxury we had
not for four nights; our dreams were but once disturbed, by one of our own party (an Irish boy, of course),
who, sleeping in the same apartment, and frequently in
the habit of walking during the hours he should have
been snoring in his two yards of canvas, he has been
seen more than once performing most extraordinary and
really melancholy antics across the spirit-room hatch,
rolling himself up in his blanket, and cruising to some
out-of-the-way place, with other strange performances.
At this time, during a moment of somnambulism, he swept
the table of all on it, among which was a large jug of
water, placed there expressly, by the thoughtfujness of
the steward, for % cooling coppers." This capsized all over
us, drenching some, frightening others, who, at least.
thought the vessel was going down in deep water. Miss
Romer (the actress) was absent, or the scene would have
been complete.
After seven hours of refreshing sleep (barring the cold
water), we were off again on our interesting cruise. The
first part of the day was screened by a dense fog, which
compelled us to put into a small sandy bay, and there
amuse ourselves until it cleared.
Before noon, an hour was passed most loyally in
dressing our small fleet in all their gay colours, in
honour of the Royal Consort, Prince Albert's birthday;
and our little flotilla, surrounded by a dense fog in a
snug bay, formed a scene quite novel and pleasing;
added to which were the blazing coppers, and the jolly
tars busily preparing their noon-day meal of mountains
of salmon, loads of spuds, and heaps of " duff."
After this, at noon-day, innocently yet loyally celebrating the nativity of his Royal Highness, we all
rambled into the dense forest, which was thickly
studded with trees and jungle, down to the water's edge.
The sun partly dissipated the fog, and again our
boats started for false Dungeness, and did not arrive
there till very late.
This evening terminated our week's exploring; all
were sorry it was about to conclude, for we had wished
it to continue another week, aye, a month. We were
kept in constant good humour by the number of meals
we had daily (from five to seven); no sooner had one
finished than it was time to commence the next. We
were no slaves to time, for when hungry, we fed; when
thirsty, drank;   when tired, turned in;   and when re-
freshed, rose. WTiat more could be desired ? The trip
was finished next day by crossing the straits to Victoria.
Provisions were had in abundance from the natives—
salmon, potatoes, and blackberries; and after all the
buttons had been bartered from our jackets, and our
shirts and pocket handkerchiefs were getting scarce,
then we learned to polish Brazilian dumps with brick
dust, and by christening them "Pillison dollars,'
obtained from the natives sufficient provisions for one
dollar to last the boat's crew a week!
* Pillison was the chief Hudson Bay trader; everything bearing his name was good.
The town, consisting of about thirty houses, including
tents, enclosed in stockades, lay on a level plain of a
dark brown sandy appearance, at the foot of a gentle
slope, inhabited by Americans and Mormons. The
latter are a sect whose religion and customs are somewhat strange and remarkable. They are at liberty to
have two spiritual wives and one temporal, and, if the
I spirit should so lead," a man may take another's wife
unto himself. All dreams, by either sex, are to be
realised, upon pain of dismissal should they fail to
do so.
Here we first learned that Mexico had surrendered to
American forces, after killing 5,000 Spaniards; that
war had been declared some time; and that the place we
were now at acknowledged the | stars and stripes,"
making all the Spanish community prisoners.
Anchored the ship in three athoms, muddy ground ;
and I mention this to show what a transition took place
some short period afterwards.
Afterwards went across to Sausalito, to complete with
water, and while doing so our guns were not idle ; quail,
deer, rabbits, and partridges, all fell before them. The
plumage of the Californian crested quail is exquisite.
In this retired and secluded watering-place lives a
farmer, who can boast of having a daughter the most
beautiful girl in San Francisco Bay. Her mother
Spanish, her father English. She was engaged to be
married to a Mexican merchant, but unfortunately he
had been killed in the late affray with the Americans,
and she was now mourning, her hair brought close
over the forehead. In the same dwelling lived a man,
enjoying all the privileges and clime of a Spaniard, who
had actually been a deserter from a vessel of war, in
which one of the officers had been his shipmate some few
years since, and who recognised him immediately, but
permitted him still to enjoy his Spanish retreat.
We were on the eve of starting, when the captains of
a few whale ships in the port informed us that it was
their intention " to give the Britishers a ball" on board
the largest whaler, in return for many services we had
rendered them. Not to have accepted it would have
been rude—poor pride; and having assented, we received
formal invitations; and as this was one of the most original and amusing entertainments I ever beheld, an
attempt at a description of it must find a place here.
The invitations were issued and delivered to the
| Britishers " by a rather weather-beaten third or fourth
mate, who was a little confused on delivery (and could
not have known what they contained). The epistle
(which was very precisely written on half a sheet of
letter paper, when folded, had the corner turned down
and the wafer stamped with a button) ran thus :—
" The committee of management of the U. S. whale
ships request the company of the steerage officers to an
entertainment, at nine P.M. this evening."
At noon, in honour of the occasion, the Cl senior whale
ship " displayed colours of all nations at her masthead,
and fired reduced charges from two small rusty-looking
guns. At this moment the aforesaid third or fourth
mate issued from his vessel, with the despatches carefully
wrapped in a sheet of brown paper, and conveyed in a
two-oared boat, painted a light pea-green, borrowed
from the shore for this express purpose.
In the evening we all assembled at rather a fashionable hour, ten p.m., and were agreeably surprised to find
so many American, Spanish, and Sandwich Island
females, thinly clad in white and other coloured muslins, dancing away with Spanish and Russian officers at
a great rate. The first dance was a quadrille (I hope I
shall be excused for entering into detail, but really all
was so truly original, it would be a pity to pass it over—
it would be a good thing lost). The master of the ceremonies (of course) the chief officer of the ship. The fun
I made a few acquaintances, stood on no ceremony,
and did not wait for an introduction. A delicate, pale-
faced American youth came up to me, and says, " I'm
Montressor ! my governor is chief here. I guess you'll
like to see our ship.    Calculate you'll find her a flamer,
and no flies. She can go twelve and six on a bowline,
and before the wind, she is .* Come on board tomorrow—ask for Montressor; I'm always in the cabin
when the governor's ashore." The moment I could get
him to stop, I assured him it would afford me much pleasure to see so fine a specimen of American architecture !
The master of the ceremonies (whose name I forget) was
very attentive, and repeatedly asked if I wished a partner, to which 1 always assented. li Come with me," he
says ; and, taking me face to face to a very pretty American, says to her, u Here, dance with this chap. This
girl will dance with you," turning to me. I asked if I
might hope to have the felicity, &c. After hesitating
some time, my fair charge drawled out, " What ?" I repeated, if she would dance with me it would make me
the happiest of beings. She then appeared to catch the
word ci dance," and immediately replied, " Yes, sir." I
led my bashful fair one to the quadrille, and demanded
of a young curly-headed fellow, with a very pretty girl for
a partner, if he had a vis-a-vis. p Yes, sir," says he,
ic here she is," taking up his partner's hand. I smiled;
I could not help it; and my charge did the same. I
fancied it all very strange. All my flowery language
was thrown entirely away, and I now began to talk
" plain." The quadrille formed. Oh my right was a tall,
thin messmate of mine, enjoying the company of an exceedingly fat American-Indian female, who was gaudily
dressed in a glazed furniture cotton, and a bright orange
kerchief around her nut-brown neck. Her slippers
were far gone (at the heels), and at every step went flip-
flop. I must not be personal with my worthy and philo-
* It would be impossible to mention this expression.
sophic messmate;   but he and his partner were the
happy gaze of the room, and caused many a smile.
Dancing commenced; music by three fiddlers and a
nigger performer on the tambourine. No regard was
paid to figures, and very little to steps. Away we went,
every one as they thought best; some ballancer, others
chains-des-dames, until the finale, when the wearer of
the white rosette called aloud for "order," when we
instantly obeyed, and were in our places alongside our
fair partners. The tune was 1 Yankee Doodle," but he
exclaimed, | Give us something lively—* Life let us
cherish.'" | Now, sirs," says he, " do what I tell you."
I Now, ladies, stand still." | Gents, go round hand in
hand." | Chase cross-trees." % Go where you like."
"Lead ladies to their seats." "Kiss hands." Thus
ended the most amusing, the most noisy quadrille, I ever
figured in. The latter, "kiss hands," was the most
pleasant figure for some; but others less fortunate
shammed bashful, and "couldn't do such a thing for
the world."
Mrs. Pele was above all others a character; she was a
stout, fair-faced American (truly Yankee), wearing a
curious sort of a nightcap, and two false grey curls dangling at each side of her face. " Sire," says she to one of
ours, as he was gazing round the room, as she thought,
for a partner, | Sire, 'ave you seen my gals ? " | Lucy,"
she continued, | here's Jippers." The introduction was
over; Jippers led Lucy to a cotillon.
I succeeded, after a great deal of persuasion, to gain
Mrs. P.'s hand at a quadrille, during which she gave a
long account of her " domestic happiness," taking care
to frequently introduce the amiability and virtues of
" her gals," and to whom she played the piano hours
before breakfast.
Smily and his wife were a couple I cannot pass over.
She was dressed like a doll, and figured the Zctmba
Cueca to perfection. He an Englishman, a prisoner
on parole, for taking part in the Mexican affair. Every
five minutes or oftener he would exclaim, at the very
top of his voice, " O my leg 1" and, limping as if some
one had stepped on a favourite corn, out he'd go, and
take a if modest quencher."
Supper was announced. The table (or whatever it
was) was laid between the fore and main masts, covered
with a lower studdingsail for a table-cloth, and which
contrasted well with the loads of pork and molasses,
gin and coffee, under which it groaned. The ladies were
seated. Mrs. P. looking out sharp for " her gals,"
divided here and there by a " gent." It fell as usual to
my unfortunate lot to have a " Spanish partner," to
whom I could say nothing; but I requested an apparently respectable-looking chap (who was sharing more,
perhaps, than an equal portion of my fair partner's
glances) to ask her in Spanish if 1 could assist her to
anything on the table. " Oh," says he, | she'll look
out for herself, and when she has eaten enough she'll
stop."    The ladies retired, and the £ents fed.
I was fortunate in getting alongside my early pale-
faced acquaintance, who amused me with some very
original yarns, and the laughing produced assisted much
the digestive organs in the attack on the pork and gin.
He says, after we had touched glasses and nobbed, " You
must know I am the most drunkenest fellow in the ' Ohio,'
but I never gets found out like the other chaps, and I'll
tell you how I do it; when I comes up the side I shakes
myself and looks around, and I don't go up to the commanding officer and report myself, but I waits till he
comes to me. I shakes myself again; and when he
turns his back to go aft, I says, c Come on board, sir,' and
am down the ladder like slick."
The "gents'' fed off huge joints of pork, smeared
with molasses, and washed down with gin or coffee. The
dancing again became exciting, and the people excited—
and Spanish dances were intercepted by jigs and romps,
by the gents only I
There were some pretty faces present, but one (as
is always the case) which attracted most attention.
" Mary" was the belle; that simple and yet sweetest of
names, "Mary." Her face was pale, and innocence
could be traced in every expression of her countenance ;
but she could give a glance with her " light blue eyes "
that ran through you in an instant. She was dressed in
a " clear muslin" (I think the girls call it), and there
were no artificial means used to render the figure perfect.
Her foot, which was neat and small, was encased in a
primrose sandal, which did almost as much credit to the
maker as the wearer. On a head of glossy chestnut
hair, was entwined a wreath of snowdrops, which, during
one part of the dance (I think, f go where you please ")
was disarranged, and it fell to my lot to adjust it to " my
own taste," which she flattered me by saying " coincided
exactly with hers."
My next partner was an interesting young girl—a
mother!—who nursed a fat, noisy, drivelling boy; and
having prevailed on her to allow one of my good-tempered and careful messmates to hold the young thing
while she danced, off we went, but at the fourth figure
the wretch screamed (my impatient friend must have
pinched it), and I lost my partner. Our conversation
was exceedingly interesting—principally on " teething ;"
and when I told her I did not pity her, as I had five,
" Well," says she, " I do pity your missis, for I have but
three." " All boys," says I; " what a happy dispensation !"
After this dance the ladies retired to the captain's-
cabin, to partake of negus and cake ; the remainder had
a song, " Sweet Home," "River Ohio," &c.; but the girls
remaining too long, we began to get impatient, when one,
more gallant than the rest, rushed below, and asked
ff Where the ladies were ?" j They're a feedm', sire," say*
Mrs. P.; "and when they've a-done grubbin' they'll come
up." They soon again appeared, one after another, as
they came into the world, and the dancing became more
and more enlivenhig. Waltzing watt-now carried on in
style. Around the fiddlers, who were seated on the carpenter's tool-chest, at the foot of the post supporting the
awning, the couples gBded along swiffely and gracefully,
until down came heavily the "fat Spanish female."
Not a turn was taken after this. No one went to tKer
rescue. All were convulsed, until exhausted, when some
exclaimed, " No bones broken," and off they went again.
Daylight now peeped in on our enjoyments, and, after
a finale, it was broad daylight.
I retired to   the   supper-room,  where I found nry
pale friend, quite illustrating all he had told me, stretched
out on the middle of the supper table, crying out, " Rise
tacks and sheets!" He fancied he was putting the ship
about.—"Let go the to' gallant bowlines—hie—all
right! " I saw no more of him. We had not sailed many
days from here before we heard that this unfortunate
young officer had been barbarously murdered by his boat's
crew, and the body thrown overboard, on their passage
up the Sacramento River, where the crew deserted.
Boats were constantly on the move, taking the wearied
parties on shore ; not a ripple was on the water; and at the
exact hour of eight I landed the last boat-load safely,
singing, " We won't go home till morning !" and having
refused a pressing invitation from a Yankee, " half seas
over," " to partake of a quencher to confirm our amalgamation, and strengthen the unity of friendship that
existed," I had only time to perform a hurried toilet
and keep the forenoon watch !
On this " entertainment" no remark is necessary. It
was given with the most friendly and hospitable intentions, and the very fact of our not separating untih
eight in the morning is a convincing proof of our having
enjoyed ourselves much!
" Monterrey" was a spot we had looked forward to
visiting from before leaving England. We had constant
visions of those evanescent beings; who come off in
white satin garments to welcome you to their
shores from that " lovely of loving places." On your
arrival on shore you were led to their homes to partake
of coffee, sweetened only by a glance. When they:
untied your mocassins, and laid warm water at your
feet, such were our dreams—alas! they were only dreams,
not to be realized, for we found we had been drifted
some miles to the southward of the port, and it would
have cost too much time to return. We could, however,
see an American frigate whose happy crew were enjoying no doubt these dreams of ours.
We arrived and anchored at Cedros Island,, the most
desolate, barren block of volcanic eruption imaginable,
passing the small and unimportant towns of San Diego
and St. Quintin. At the former the Mexicans had risen
on the Americans, shot a captain, and cut the throats of
forty others. At the latter we had much amusement,
fishing, shooting, &c. A cod fish was caught 194lbs
weight; and hares, quail, and duck, fell before the
At this sunburnt rock two graves were found, in very
secluded spots, one of John Sinclair Brown, aged
twenty-six., who was drowned from the ship " Harriet," of
Liverpool, on the , 1819.     The other of Justin
Finch, aged twenty, who departed this life on board the
ship "Shakespeare," of London, 1819. "They rest in
These head-stones were brought on board and repainted. In the evening we were surprised and delighted to see our old friend who gave us the " entertainment" at San Francisco coming into the anchorage.
We sent all boats to tow him as the wind fell light, and
then had a jovial dinner together, when we talked over
all our pleasant evenings again and again !
Mazatlan was our next point of destination, and
where we anchored in safety, calling, however, at Mag-
dalena Bay, where hare shooting occupied our attention,
some having bagged six during a day's sport. Mazatlan
is as picturesque a bay as nature ever formed, islands
covered with low green shrubs, purple masses of smooth
rock bursting forth, having large snow white rocks be-,
tween, the long ground-swell from the Gulf of California dashing its foam far above their tops; the town at
the head of the bay, composed of neat whitewashed
buildings, relieved by groves of cocoa-nut trees, with
ripe brown nuts under their shade.
The people are all in arms expecting the Americans,
and no person retires to his bed without his gun or
pistol under his pillow. Not ten days since they
had a skirmish with a corvette"^ boats,, which they
completely repelled and drove off; and, from what I can
see of the streets, there will be desperate fighting if they
come to close quarters*
We are at anchor close to the spot where, only, a few
days since, a lieutenant of an English frigate was
drowned in the rollers, deeply and deservedly regretted.
The town is pretty, and rather extensive, superior in
every way to Panama, Callao, &c. But thousands of
residents had already departed consequent on the war, and
it was therefore a little dull. The shops, mostly Parisian
and German, are on an elegant scale, and made one fancy
when he saw " Mons. Beville, Tailor, from Paris," that
he was in New Bond-street. Everything was to be had
here, as Jack says, from a " cambric needle to a bower
anchor." Beds were scarce; and a .good skittle-alley
where, for exeroise and to avoid the heat of the sun, many
an hour was spent.
On sailing from Mazatlan we passed close under the
stern of an old friend, where we backed our main topsail, while the band Juayed " Teddy O'Rooke's the boy,
sirs," from as happy a ship as flies the pendant of her
Majesty!    We filled, and waved adieu!
At San Bias water was completed, and any unfortunate
mid, who has had the ill-luck to be in charge of a watering
party there, will never forget it. The heat is intolerable, or
the rain pours. During the day the almost invisible
sand-flies prey on you, and in the morning and evening
the mosquitoes; when one goes the other comes. " Watch
and watch;" you cannot go into the watef to avoid them,
for in the fresh lagoon are alligators, and in the saltwater sharks, both alike hungry.    In vain do you rub
your  face, hands, and  feet all over with  lime juice,
every trip you make; in vain do you take your neckerchief and tie it over your face, cutting two small holes
to see through; it is all to no purpose, they will penetrate
anything.    Your boots, your blanket-frock, where the
mosquito   cannot  insert   its   proboscis  from  its   size,
the sand-fly will find out.   You rub, you scratch, you
irritate, you make sore every part of your body, although
you have declared a thousand times you will not touch
a bite, but let them ce bite on."   You cannot resist.    I
have on many occasions not known my own boat's crew,
they have been so disfigured, and many temporarily
blind; on one occasion I did not know my watchmate.
It is really pitiable in some, and no severer test can a
person's philosophy of temper be put to than to send him
a "few trips" in the watering boat   The most amiable,
the most patient, the most enduring, will give way under
it.    The newest comer has the most attention paid him,
they follow you off to the ship in myriads each trip,
and heartily do you pray when water is completed.
It will be seen, when perusing my journal, that the
whole coast of Mexico was in a state of terror of the
Americans, who they expected hourly at each and every
port to bombard them. This sometimes caused a question
and delay on our part, for it was difficult for the
Mexicans to tell English from Americans, and on one of
these occasions we were nearly suffering a severe loss.
In a small bay near Acapulco we had occasion to
anchor, and where not a living creature appeared to be
located—no house, or anything that would indicate a
native's residence. Three or four boats landed with men
and officers, on various duties, but no sooner had they
entered the bush than four or five hundred Mexican
soldiers, with loaded muskets and bayonets fixed, rushed
out and took them prisoners, marching them to a shed
inland, and hauling the boats up dry on the beach. They
were mistaken for Americans, and all means failed to
persuade the Governor that we were really English.
This was a most unpleasant predicament to be placed in,
and a despatch was at once sent away to the Governor of
Acapulco, who is the senior officer ;• this, however, would
cause some delay. We were allowed to communicate
with the "prisoners" from the ship once a day, and it
was curious to see the bulletin daily brought on board:
1st day. The Governor is reported " very drunk,"
and it is not known what he may do during his fits of
2nd day. Governor -a little more sober; his family
arrive from Sacatago, and express a wish to see the ship.
P.M. The Governor says, tl that if a favourable answer
does not not come soon from Acapulco, he will be compelled to shoot them all," iC How can I release you?"
says he; | if I do, rhy troops here will say you are
Americans. I shall be marched off to Acapulco, imprisoned, and shot.
3rd day. Things getting very serious. All the
prisoners were marched to-day to a spot where a pit was
dug (intended as a general grave), and overhanging it
the branch of a tree, where the Commandant told them
all they were to be hung, and then buried beneath.
4sth day. The men all came aft to-day to request to
be allowed to U cut out," and rescue their captain and
officers; this was, however, impossible, because it was
declared by the Commandant, " that at the first sign of
an attempt to land, or a boat leaving the ship at night,
all on shore would be sacrificed; " and he meant it too.
5th day. Late in the evening 180 more troops, "The
Regulars," arrive as a reinforcement.
6th day. An order from the Govornor of Acapulco
arrives ordering "the immediate release of all the English
prisoners," a severe reprimand to the Commandant, his
immediate recall to Acapulco, and the sergeant who
saved all their lives to be acting Governor; for I forgot
to mention, on our first landing, the Mexicans presented
their arms, and were going to fire at once on us, but
the sergeant instantly stopped them; he was now
They were all a little disappointed at seeing us embark,
for preparations had been made that we should be hung
on the morrow. Some went so far as to touch the
Captain's jacket, and say in Spanish, "This is mine
to-morrow;" another bespoke his cap, and all had pitched
on some part of the uniform as relics. A Mexican
officer appeared sorely disappointed; he had travelled
three successive days to see them shot. Ladies had also
come a long distance from the interior to witness the
pleasant ceremony of hanging or shooting a jovial Irish
captain and his amiable followers. They all came off
very dirty and very fatigued, having been one week under
a shed.
Again death, gloomy death, visits our expedition, and
we lose one of our most amiable young cadets of disease
of the lungs, brought on by sleeping in the open air at
night He was buried in an untrodden corner of this
bay, 'neath the shade of a bread-fruit tree. How true it
is, that H man hath but a short time to live, and is full
of misery: he cometh up, and is cut down like a flower;
he fleeth as it were a shadow, as a tale that is told."
We then sail for Acapulco; this was the great
rendezvous of the buccaneers in days gone by, and
many a richly-laden galleon had cast anchor where we
now are—a snug land-locked bay, with Fort St. Carlos
frowning over us on our right, the watering-place on the
left, and the once rich and famous town at the head of
the bay. The Governor made " thousands of apologies"
for his brother officer, who "he intended to place in
Fort San Carlos, and eventually making an example of
him by shooting or hanging."
Several visitors of note came on board, as it was a rare
occasion to see an English ship of war at anchor here;
many came more for the curiosity of seeing those men
who were to be shot (for our fame had gone abroad) than
to see the vesseL We had "cavalry officers" and
army officers in tl plain clothes"; short green camlet
jackets, tall white hats, taut trowsers, no stockings,
and Jemima boots, completed the costume of an " army
officer "—in mufty 1
At midnight we were all roused up by screams and
shrieks a short distance from where we lay, and were
just in time to hear, "Oh! Oh! my God!" 6< Lord save
my soul!" A boat was at once lowered and sent to the
spot; nothing could be seen !   An incorrigible character,
lb 1
who had been a prisoner some time on board, lowered
himself down from one of the ports near where he was
secured and endeavoured to swim on shore, but was
taken by a shark, and disappeared directly after we had
heard his last words. All next day his body was dragged
for, but could not be found. The bay is alive with
sharks, and it is to be presumed he was soon torn to
pieces. What an awful manner for a being to be
ushered, in the midst of sin, to the presence of his
A Christmas dinner had been prepared—a substantial
one—and, as it was our first favourable one together,
we intended to do justice to it. It was a lovely morning.
We were enchanted with the pleasing scene presented
by the burning Isalcos mountains, each one forming a
perfect cone of itself, many in active volcanic eruption,
and standing 10,500 feet above us ! The horizon
becomes hazy, the barometer falls, a gale comes on, foresail, fore and main topsails are split, and all have to be
shifted; the sea rose, the boats were hoisted "in-board,"
and we lay to in almost a hurricane under storm staysails, and in this dilemma we eat our Christmas dinner—
a turkey flying here, a round of beef there, marmalade
tarts in the scuppers, a bottle of champagne pitched
into your neighbour's lap, and thus, " happy-go-lucky, |
we went through the form of the day, crossing the Gulf
of " Tehuantepic."
Bodegas, a small town at the foot of the burning
Isalcos, was passed; and here we distinctly felt three
shocks of earthquake. It shook the ship, and all imagined
she had run on shore.    Sounded, and found 38 fathoms.
On new year's day we were off San Salvador, which
city is situated on a ridge between two burning
mountains. Near this spot we saw the old year out and
new year in, with much noise and merriment.
Bealejo, Cardon, and other smaller towns, were in their
turns passed, famous only for sugar and distilleries, and
again the ship anchored in Panama Bay. Ran over to
Taboga for water, visited our friends, embraced Donna
Anna, found my little washing girls had the fever, and
Lady Mulgrave as fat as ever. All these are characters,
but would occupy volumes to bring them forth; what
am I to do ? prudence says, be quiet!
I imagined that a night on shore at Panama would be
a change, a variety, after six hundred nights on board;
however to any one who has slept, or tried to sleep, in a
Spanish town, I wish them joy. I could not do so. I
endeavoured in vain to close my eyes; musicians kept
me uneasy until one or two o'clock in the morning, the
cock then commenced crowing, which was at once taken
up by dogs barking and howling (the howl of a Spanish
half-starved dog is not pleasant), then by donkeys braying, and finally at daylight by the unmusical drums and
fifes of the soldiers next house to us, which continued
until eight o'clock, when I arose; and just as I had commenced a polka round the room with black Chincha, a i
message came to say "the ship was off!"
There is not much harmony to a musical ear in the
combined efforts of a donkey's bray, a soldier's tattoo, a
howling dog, and the chuckling of a quantity of cocks
and hens. One at a time would be preferred, if it
must be so ; but all together I Oh! and to which only
the musquitoes could keep time, which they did! The
hotel I was staying at (indeed, the only one in Panama)
has a table d'hote, at which all meet; and the loud bell
sounded for breakfast at nine a.m. I was repaid for all
my nights' sufferings by only sitting at the table with
one of the most lovely Chilenos that imagination can
picture or the idea fancy; a family on their way to St.
Jago-de- Chili, their native place, having been on a tour
in England and Paris three-rand-a-half years, were now
returning; General B., his wife, and three daughters, the
eldest married, the youngest, a lovely Chileno, black
eyes and hair, and a musical Castilian voice. All I
know is, that I paid six reals for a breakfast, which I
scarcely looked at! and I do not think I was the only
A cruise round the Pearl Islands occupied us some time.
All were visited, in number I think, 125. There is but
one town, if it deserves the name, of any importance, St.
Miguel, on the island of that name. In many places,
the people fled on our approach, fancying we were the
" Flores expedition," of whom they had heard, and whom
they were daily expecting. Here we saw the pearl
divers obtaining the oysters, remaining under water 72
to 75 seconds, when they came up with their baskets
full. Here also are the largest sharks in the world.
The "tiger shark,"—I shall not attempt to estimate its
size, for I would not be credited, even were I within
bounds. Here also may be seen the much-dreaded
" Tintero," or devil fish. It lays on the white sands in
shallow waters with its graspers spread, and when it sees
its prey above it, rises, clasps it in its fins, and descends
It is a horrible-looking fish, more dreaded by the natives
than the shark.
On our return to the pretty village of Taboga, we find
it burned to the ground—-an accident. A few days were
enlivened here by the presence of the Admiral and his
amiable family; the consequence is, some pleasant
parties, pic-nics and dejeuners. At a Spanish party, or
ball, you must not expect the company to be very select;
you must not be surprised or horrified if you meet the
young lady who sold you your kid gloves, or your tailor's
family, or the chap that waited on you at your last table
d'hote dinner, or the young fellow who marked your
game of billiards. These you must expect—any may
be your vis-a-vis in a quadrille or country dance.
Afterwards I witnessed a "grand funcion,"—anew
bishop elected in lieu of the one who died the day of our
arrival. The Cathedral was crowded with the elite of
Panama, beautifully and gaudily attired. The ceremony of kissing hands I thought most absurd; the
majority kissed a diamond ring which his lordship wore,
and which had been handed down from his Holiness the
Pope. Their sins were forgiven for a period of forty
days, after kissing the ring, and the ceremony ended;
his train-bearers handed him carefully out into the
dirty streets of Panama. A " convenient" religion
thought I. After many pleasant evenings in Panama
at the Admiral's, the Governor's, Consul's, &c, we
sailed for Callao, touching at Payta, and passing close to
the melancholy spot where we lost our amiable friend.
All those sad feelings on that occasion were again
revived, and we could not pass it without a sigh.
At Payta, we found our " Galway man ft had been
raised to the high position of a consular agent, and had
now the Union Jack floating proudly over his premises.
We had a queer dance there that evening.
Arriving at Callao, on her Majesty's Coronation-day,
we were able to partake in the loyalty displayed on that
occasion.    Coming down the coast from Payta, several
small towns were seen ; Huanchaco, Truxillo, and Santa
being among those most worthy of note, all surrounded
by extensive ranchas and numerous cattle.    By-the-bye,;
while it occurs to me, I may as well state that, as we
are now on a Spanish coast, I shall have occasion to make
use of many Spanish  terms, so as still to retain the
sentiment they   contain;  therefore,  as they are from
recollection only, many  may be  found misspelt  and
wrongly accentuated, therefore I must ask indulgence
on this point, as I had not time when writing to fly to a
dictionary on every occasion.    One thing I am con->
vinced of, that a Castilian word, or term, will lose none of
its " sweet sentiment" by being either wrongly spelt
or by the omission of a letter.
On my last visit to this place, it will be recollected:
that I was not favourably impressed with my first stroll
il   Illi
on shore; besides the mad dogs, naked chicken, and
monkey cats, which everywhere surrounded me then,
we had now the addition of donkeys, and these latter
were turned to a first-rate account. Our first evening *
here was passed in a most delightful and amusing
manner. There were many "mids" now in harbour,
and all had returned from a long sea cruise; they had,
therefore, some money, which was already "burning
>• holes in their pockets." All who could be spared from
duty assembled on shore, and with two " double-barrelled organs " and a guitar (although on a rough ground),
we passed a very tolerable evening with many whom we
had invited from highways and byeways—Fandangos,
Refelliosas, and Zamba Cuecas—until a very late hour.
Our refreshments were " fisgig and sherry." On
returning to the boat at the mole rather late, we
presented the faithful sentry, who was "walking his
post/' with a new broom, which some of the party found
we had accidentally brought away from a billiard-room
in which we had had our dancing party.
Seventy of the donkeys I have just alluded to were,
to-day, collected by the residents of Callao, and a pic-nic
given to the officers of the squadron. At noon, we were
all mounted, our rendezvous at an Irishman's hOuse,
and made a grand start. When we had overcome the
excitement of mounting, and settling and adjusting riding
habits, &c, and fairly on the read, we looked back on
the scene; it was perfectly ludicrous, and no person,
under the most painful circumstances, could have resisted
a downright laugh. People, of all sorts and sizes, on
donkeys of much the same pattern, smothered in dust,
bringing a cloud after their cavalcade ; donkeys
breaking down with their loads, ladies rolling off in the
dust, sailors riding, some "stern foremost," others
dragging their animals by the bridles, more coaxing
them with pins, was now the scene along the whole
Before starting, three of the very small and good-
looking cadets were dressed in ladies' riding habits, hats,
bonnets and veils, and but one or two of the party knew
of this circumstance; they looked well, and by acting
their part admirably, deceived even their own messmates. As each new comer arrived, he was introduced
formally to Miss Carpenter, Miss Delaney, and Miss
Chambers, who made graceful acknowledgments ; even
one of very high rank was taken in, bowed, and raised
his oocked hat to the young strangers. A remarkable
scene occurred on the road,—these young trio in ladies'
attire made themselves so very agreeable (moreover
being strangers, and keeping their faces protected from
the sun by having down their thick veils), that they
received more than their proper share of attentions, and
all were vieing with each other who should be the
favoured ones. Mies Chambers slipped off her donkey !
all rushed of course, particularly a young doctor ! " She
needed no assistance," but some would persist in lifting
her on again. Several attempts were made, one on this
side, one at the other, to catch her ; 'twas of no use.
We had by this time all assembled about her in roars of
laughter; to have lifted her habit, for the purpose of
placing her foot on a gentleman's hand, would have
revealed the secret.    " Stand on one side," says she, for-
getting her sex, gathered up her habit, and jumped on
the donkey on " all fours/' and settled he'rself. We
thought this very queer.
On arriving at the ground all the donkeys were
secured, the cloth and lunch laid out, and the several
couples—boys and girls—strolled ; Miss Carpenter had
her beau, Miss D. and C. their's; the former " pair"
really attracted attention, they were, what Jack would
call, "quite spooney." However, it was rude to watch
them, and they were allowed to "gain an offing," when
a circumstance occurred, in which Miss C. throwing up
her veil, and dashing her hat off, said to her most particular friend and messmate, " Is it possible you don't
know me ? U All the story was then told where she had
dressed, whose clothing they had on, and so forth, which
afforded much amusement to all. We dined and
danced, danced and dined, on a very liberal scale,—
mountains of eatables and rivers of drinkables ; when we
completed the afternoon with donkey racing, hopping,
chase the goose, and some songs.
The lovely Emily Me Pherson was of our party ! her
melancholy dejected countenance could not be looked on
without sympathy and even pain ; to see her was to
admire her, to admire was to feel yourself irretrievably
in love with her. The cause of her despair is a short
story. She came out from England not a long time
since to meet an only brother, who had advanced so far
in business, as to write for her to come and keep his
house for him. At considerable expense and a dreary
sea voyage overcome, she arrived, and found him dead !
Her grief for some days was excessive, and even danger
apprehended ; this caused a pale innocence to take possession of her cheek, which contrasted well with the
deep mourning she had on. This was the first time I
had seen her, and a more lovely expression of countenance I have seldom witnessed. I would not be
introduced to her. an indescribable dread came over me,
that seemed to say, once to know Emily was never to
leave her ; and once to speak to her, was that instant to
be a prisoner for ever. She danced gracefully, rode
stylishly, and talked of sweet romances !
It was a dark night when we came into town^ fatigued
and smothered in dust; after about an hour's rest we
had a bath in one house, dressed in another, had our
shoes polished in a third; and finished the evening
lounging and chatting, drinking innumerable small
refreshing cups of tea, and sweet cakes, while gazing
in the faces of all our pic-nic party, among whom was
again the lovely, innocent and attractive Emily. The
lovely Emily was shortly afterwards united to one of the
noblest Lieutenants in H. M.'s navy, after only a few
days' courtship.
It may be often heard said, that our punishments in
the navy, such as flogging, &c, * are very severe." It is
not so, it is trifling when compared with other services,
French, American, Russian, &c. To-day We witnessed
the process of keel-hauling, which was inflicted on two
men belonging to a French brig of war. The men
Were " spread eagled," that is stretched out, and a thirty-
two  pound  shot tied  to  their  legs.    The  hands  are
p 2
j. a
turned up and the warrants read, the sufferer is triced
up to the main-yard arm by " all hands;" let fall, and
kept under water fifty seconds (I think) by a watch, he
is then run up again, let fall, and so forth three times.
Two days after one victim died ! Compare this with
our flogging, and which is worse ? One is the natural
consequence of crime, the other barbarous and inhuman.
There is a street in Callao laying at right angles to
the shore, which is named II Jib-boom Street;" this was
the scene of many a noisy evening of dancing and
singing, as well as a | few rows." At Carmasita's house
in particular, two harps, two organs and a guitar, always
met us; and the matting was danced off the room, and
the soles off our shoes, and we frequently remained until
past twelve, when the faithful pilot " Ignacio" steered
us in the guard boat to our respective ships, passing the
three admirals, English, French and Peruvian, whom we
never neglected to serenade. Young gentlemen under
the age of sixteen were strictly prohibited from going
to those evening dances in "Jib-boom Street," and three
having outstepped the law, suffered by being sent from
a truly happy to a very unhappy ship, with a notice
of only ten minutes to prepare their kits, the vessel
under weigh bound on a long sea voyage !
Having bid adieu to Callao, I fear f for ever," started
for Payta, arriving in four days, which occupied us
twenty-four in coming to Callao. We had only time to
give a dinner to the new Consul, "the man for
Gal way," when we sailed for the Gulf of Guayaquil,
and anchored off the city, where dwelt the | Fairest of
the Fair."
We were a little surprised in the morning early, to find
the banks of the river crowded with persons, boys and
girls, ladies and old men, taking their banos, a recreation
they are very fond of; they sit up to their waists in
water, and pour it from calabashes over their heads for
hours together, until the heat of the sun compels them
to retire, and you see no person then until evening.
Spanish hammocks are seldom seen now, except an
occasional one in a verandah. The ■" Fairest of the
Fair" took umbrage at the remark of Basil Hall, who
said, without an intention of offending, "When he
entered the drawing-rooms it was with difficulty he
threaded his way through the many hammocks which
were flitting about with fair occupants," it made him
| quite giddy," and "he almost required a pilot." They
considered this a reflection on their innocent habits and
customs, and now not a hammock is to be seen in any
of their " quartas." I trust they will not consider my
remark on their healthy pastime as reflecting any
The governor paid us an official visit, accompanied by
his aide-de-camp, and in the evening there was a grand
" divercion" and procession, the militia were called out
and exercised, (they were now in bodily fear of " Flores'
expedition'") after which a bullock was roasted, g and
served out with plenty of aguadiente. The procession
was grand, attended by the civil and military bands, the
saints" of the several chapels elevated and carried by
men, the " Virgin Mary" escorted by all the virgins, who
wore long black ribbons, carrying long lighted tallow,
candles, which from the heat of the sun were weeping
much quicker in the hands than at the wick. The
crowds who assembled at the windows and on the balconies, were gaudily and beautifully dressed, and full of
We visited one of the most ancient, wealthy, and most
agreeable of the residents, where we were provided, as
Basil Hall describes, with glasses of fresco, delicious
scents, and fragrant beads, the latter the produce of the
fire fly on the bean of the laburnum (I think). The
three senoritas entered one by one after they had completed their toilet,.sang and played the piano, and guitar
for us. The eldest sang the " Somnambula" to perfection, the others duettos. The amiable mother took
the trouble to toll us more than once the names of her
daughters, who were certainly good specimens of the
$ fairest of the fairjf| the youngest, I thought, the fairest
and most beautiful picture of a Spanish girl I had ever
seen; to escape from the piercing rays of those eyes,
" como estrellos," one does indeed deserve credit.
I must never pass over the extreme hospitality we all
received from the British Consul at Puna. A more worthy,
kind and generous old English gentleman, it would be
difficult to find ; his was always bachelor's hall and open
Puna is the country residence of our friend, an island"
at the entrance of the Guayaquil river, out of which we
quietly and " slyly" kedged very early in the morning,
on our way again to Panama, calling at S'Elena,
Salango, Manta, and Sua; this latter is close to the spot
where the melancholy and never-to-be-forgotten accident
occurred two years since. We visited our departed
friend's grave; it was unchanged! a tree or two were
gradually increasing in size, drooping and weeping over
it. And on Sunday, in a deluge of rain, we anchored at
Panama. It was the day of Panamanian independence,
and a salute of twenty-eight guns was fired from those
pieces of ordnance I have before minutely described !
The town was dull, dull in every sense of the term.
It was the rainy season, thunder, lightning and rain
without ceasing, and the sickly season had carried off
many—the mourners still weeping!
In my first walk on shore I met my friend Mr. Webster.
After introducing himself he said, " he had seen much
of the world—his head was broken, his jaw dislocated,
ribs sticking out, tight thigh broken, hands lacerated,
 I  [
eye gouged • on bis thumbs were still the marks where
he had been strung up to confess to a church robbery,
his ancles wounded, having had seventy pounds of iron
on them to prevent his hauling himself up." All these I
saiv, and it would have made it shorter, if I had at once
said, he was literally mangled. He was anxious to
barter a collection of very beautiful shells for some
drawings of mine, hence our acquaintance I " The
pictures," he told me, jjj were to adorn his house, as he
was about to be married to a very pretty Spanish girl,
with plenty of money and property, whose brother was
to purchase him a vessel which he was to command.
There was only one impediment to his marriage, that
Was, he could get no person to certify that he had not
been previously married in Europe. This was easily
overcome ; three mids arranged it ! and " certified that
James Webster, son of James and Margaret his wife,
was not to the best of their belief previously married.**
This was after dinner ! we reflected (midshipmen, however, seldom do so), and on second thoughts, fearing that
the Bishop of Panama might call on one of us to " give
Webster away," the certificate was cancelled after due
deliberation, and poor weather-beaten Webster left to
pine.    He was a native of Carrickfergus, in Ireland,
I may say the rains washed us away from Panama.
We had already lost some of our best sailors, and many
were now suffering, so we thought " prudence the best
part of valour," and sailed. This gave us an opportunity
of seeing " Cupica Bay," into which it was contemplated
to cut the canal tin ough the Isthmus of Darien, from the
Atrato River—a grand scheme, if ever attempted.    I
ventured up the river in a canoe, about a mile, and saw
that the highest part of land to be cut would be about
300 feet in elevation.
Off the Salano River, another distressing accident had
nearly deprived us of one more shipmate.
I had just sat down to dinner, when I heard the " boats
suddenly called away," and I was ordered to go in one, to
rescue one of our smaller boats, which had capsized in the
surf. Fortunately, no one was drowned, but everything
lost, and the creW had a very narrow escape,
Chirambera is at one of the mouths of the % San Juan,"
which very nearly divides America. The distance to the
head of the river, on which stands the city of Nove'te^,
is not known, but it takes a canoe seven days to pole up,
and a steamer would do it in twenty hours. From the
head of this to the " Atrato," on the other side, is a quarter
of a league, and can be passed in an hour, running into
the Gulf of Darien. There is plenty of water—eight to
twelve fathoms—but the navigation is very intricate.
The woods abound in wild boar, the sloth, black monkey,
and opossum—the latter having a paw much resembling
the human hand—many turkeys (wild), and the river is
alive with fish. The rains are incessant; on an average,
only thirty days during the year are without them. The
'' San Juan" has six mouths. A village stands at the
entrance, having a spirit distillery ; the inhabitants are
Spanish and Indians, and from the Padron of the village
I obtained most of this information.
Our | happy," but, I am sorry to add, " sickly" ship, was
now well nigh losing our beloved and much respected chief;
and this caused our return in haste to Panama.    He
remained ill for many days, and was very nearly despaired
of, when, to the astonishment and wonder of all, we received
orders to proceed to the "North Pole," by Behring's
Strait; to the chilling and refreshing idea alone, I
believe, we were indebted for the recovery of our worthy
captain. We were all, of course, in high spirits at so
unexpected and welcome a change. As for myself, I
was delighted; nothing could be more charming and
novel than a cruise to the Arctic regions, and in so
humane a cause. I was rejoicing within myself at this,
when a letter was handed to me with a deep black margin ! A chill ran through me. I thought I should have
fallen on the deck. I had lost a beloved sister I All
I could say was, " God's will be done !" It was my first
mourning; and, being naturally of a vivacious spirit, I
felt this now the keener. I was compelled to five on
shore for some days, to endeavour to pass away the grief
which this sorrowful intelligence caused me.
" Far as the eye can reach, and all around,
Is one vast icy solitude profound!"
All was now excitement, bustle, and preparation for a
most interesting cruise, in a humane cause; and it was
a strange coincidence that we, who had been the very
last to wave our caps, and wish " God speed," should now
be chosen to aid in searching for the lost Franklin and
his brave associates. We entered on this service with all
our hearts and all our endeavours. Warm clothing was
preparing, extra provisions stowing away, benevolent
boots and soups arriving, presents for natives .collecting;
and all these tended much to revive my drooping spirits,
which had undergone so severe a test.
Such was the anxiety prevailing, and such the necessity for immediate action, that a large and powerful
steamer was sent to tow us through the calms into the
trade winds, as there is always a difficulty in getting
away from this part of the American coast.
Water and fresh provisions had to be completed at
the pretty little island of Taboga, not many miles from
Panama, and our last evening being passed here (which
may, perhaps, be the very last), we gave the inhabitants,
who had often shown much kindness to us, a parting
" Tertulia" (on shore). The white rosette was handed to
my charge, and I, therefore, had a busy as well as a
responsible day ; and not the least anxious part was the
brew, on an extensive scale, of the " Connemara lemonade." We were in number about forty-five (for numbers
are limited in Taboga), besides numerous gazers from
doorways and gallery. The band—three fiddlers, a drum,
and triangle ; it was astonishing to see how well the girls
managed dances, some of which they had never seen
before. One exception, indeed, who was perfect, and at
the same time the belle.
Baphelia was a visitor on the island; she was beautiful ! she was attractive! Her mother, whom we had
before seen, was blind, and the cause was both strange
and melancholy.
Her husband bad been shot a short time since, for
taking an active part in the disturbance' at Ecuador, she
being an eye-witness.    The moment his body fell, she
 SAD thoughts.
rushed to the spot, and covered it with a sheet which she
had prepared, to hide the corpse from a curious and
gazing multitude, who had assembled to witness this
horrible scene. From this circumstance, her eyes weakened, and she eventually lost her sight. Baphelia was
the only child, and she was now sent to Taboga, under
the care of Donna Anna, to prevent a marriage which
was about to take place with one not considered by her
mother suitable. She had money and beauty, and to
this island she was sent to be saved.
She was dressed very tastefully, but some one accidentally stepped on her flounce, and the skirt came down.
The dress was removed, and she appeared in a mere
morning costume. At two o'clock next morning, we conducted them all to their homes, the band playing " Rule,
Britannia," through the quiet streets of Taboga—of
course, all assisting at the chorus—and took an affecting
All the boats had been hoisted up, for an early start,
and small canoes brought us to our ship, one by one—
not, however, before some had already fallen into gutters,
others in love, and not a few into sleep on the beach,
from which it was difficult to rouse them.
Daylight we were of£ and sad thoughts soon filled the
vacancies of pleasure!
Our ship, very deep in the water, was towed along at
a brisk and pleasant rate, through almost a calm, and
the nine hearty cheers we received on parting almost
made us fancy success was certain. We were now alone
—alone on the trackless and dreary ocean, with nothing
but the sky and water to gaze on for many, many days—
and having to pass through the belt of rains ; an idea of
the quantity fallen may be roughly formed, when there
was collected in one day " eleven tons/'
After passing the Sandwich Isles, where the immortal
Cook was killed by the natives, in Karakoa Bay, the
tropics were cleared, in which we had been one year and
nine months. The time hung on us now very heavily,
and we often were compelled to have recourse to the
innocent games of "jump-back," and marbles made of
Three months had now elapsed on our voyage, and we
longed to see land once more. Fogs, puffins, luminries,
gulls, driftwood, and weed now told us land was not far
off, and, true enough, next morning opened to our view a
scene Which none can ever forget. To say it Was " grand,"
would be giving but a very distant idea of its splendour
and magnificence. We found ourselves beneath the
mountains of Koriatskoi and Villenchinskoi, perpetually
covered with snow, at the entrance of the Bay of Awatska,
on the peninsula of Kamstchatka. The same evening,
the anchor was dropped at the entrance of the bay, after
being ninety days at sea. We could hardly reconcile
ourselves to the fact, that we were in a part of the World
so many thousands of miles from England, in a place so
unknown, and so seldom frequented; Petropavlovskoi.
On the port hand going in, was passed the spot where
the packet from Otchosk had lately been wrecked, and
fourteen passengers met a watery grave. The whale-boat,
also, that went to their assistance was lost, and six hands
also perished. Twenty souls from so small a village as
Petropavlovskoi was severely felt.    After anchoring off
tbe cemetery, a boat came off with salmon, and forty
were purchased for one dollar. Header, imagine—three
months on salt provisions and rain water; our benevolent
soups a failure ; our preserved meats Goldner's !—what
an agreeable welcome this was I
My first pleasure on going on shore was to visit the
tombs of former navigators—Clerk (Cook's captain),
Behring, and Pe'rouse To the latter's memory the
Russians have erected a handsome monument, between
the hills on the left of the bay, with an appropriate
inscription. It is neatly railed in, and surrounded with
sweet-briar and wild roses. Another, equally handsome,
was erected to Behring. It stands in the Governor's
garden, fronting the gate ; long tussic grass surrounds it,
and by its side is a small waterfall. There is a long
inscription (in Russian) on this. Nothing remains of
Clerk's, but a notch or two cut in a tree where the' body
was laid, the inscription having been removed to the
church when the gardens were under repair. Of the two
former I made sketches, and could not help feeling with
deep emotion that I was tracing the outlines of such great
and worthy explorers, who had lost their lives in pursuit
of knowledge for their country.
The town is small, but pretty. The houses, which
consist of a Chapel, the Governor's, an engine-room,
guard-house (fronting which is a battery of small brass
guns), and store-houses, are built of logwood. For three
months in the year, the weather is fine; the remaining
nine, the snow is above the windows of the houses, and
the bay entirely frozen over. We were told that last
winter the dogs and sleighs went over the trees in the
gardens, which are as high as the houses. The snow
takes about three months to accumulate. It thaws a
little, then freezes over, and then is the time for the
The people were delighted at having an English man-
of-war in their anchorage—something very new to them—
and they commenced to show us every manner of attention. Visits were interchanged, and dinner-parties enjoyed, and a " soiree dansante " given at the Governor's
hospitable dwelling, to which latter all went, and found
all the ladies (about fifteen) in one room, the gentlemen
in another; the ladies, headed by Madame, looking
beautiful. I cannot say they were all lovely, but they
had most pleasing expressions, and some really pretty.
The little " Green Parrots | (as we called them) danced
with ease, grace, and elegance. The elder of the two was
an adopted child, whose father (a Russian officer) and
mother both* died here, and the little girl wras taken under
Madame's care, who did her benefactress much credit.
The evening commenced with a quick march, each gentleman taking a lady round both rooms, seating her,
then taking another, till all were exhausted; this was
the introduction. Russian country dances and waltzes—
the former, a little of everything—were the only ones. A
tragic scene was performed in the garden by twenty
native Kamstchadales, who sang and acted some bandit
affair remarkably well We imagined the Russians
were rather distant to the ladies, but put a charitable
construction on the circumstance, and concluded it
must have been " making-room for us." A remark
made by a French navigator in his narrative hurt much
the feelings of the ladies. He said. " that the females
in dancing imitated bear hunts, which when over, they
laid down on the ground and perspired so profusely that
the smell between oil and fish was anything but agreeable to the nasal, organs."
All I can add to this now is, that if such was the case,
there is a most wonderful improvement, and "they are all
following the example of their worthy, handsome, and
amiable governess. Another remark was made by the
doctor of a whaling ship, which was published in a small
pamphlet, and gave great offence when read, that " many
of the people (females) bathed in the pond near the
town, adjoining the promenade." This, I was assured
by many, was not the truth, and entire fabrication !
After many pleasant evenings, we were compelled to
say adieu !—the season was fast drawing. to a close, and
we must depart. At the entrance of the bay our ship
was boarded by the master of a whale-ship,- who complimented us by saying he thought us the " whale- ship
Charles," and was quite surprised on coming on deck;
and. he also "calculated we should find it tarnation.cold;
and, if we ventured into Behring's Straits, should not come
out again this season." None were much astonished at
being mistaken for a whaler, for the vessel was very deep,
with grass on the copper, and our small summer spars
on deck, and storm sails bent; but the prospect of not
coming out of the ice again was not agreeable to us who
had been burning within the tropics for three years, and
unprepared for severities, now began to feel the cold intensely. Passed Behring's Island, where the great explorer of that name had been cast away, and whose tomb
 1 ■-'
we had lately seen. With the exception of a gale of
wind off this island, which Washed away our hammock
nettings, made the ship leak throughout, even into the
mid.'s berth and provision rooms, nothing particular
occurred until off Cape Tchoukotskoi, when we were
visited by the Tchutchis, who came off in five baidars,
a new one containing four women, the others manned by
from seven to thirteen natives; and they came alongside
without any hesitation or fear. Their baidars were a
Framework of light wood, covered over with a walrus
skin laced quite tight, and were both transparent and
watertight Bartering commenced immediately—walrus teeth, dresses, and ornaments, for tobacco. The men
had all the crowns of their heads shaved, leaving a circle
of hair around. We could not understand one word of
their language, and therefore could get no information
about the object of our mission. They were very merry
and very fair barterers, were bold and inclined to skylark ; but the women were very timid, and apparently
modest, and when they saw me endeavour to sketch their
faces, turned their heads away (and I was going to say
blushed). They were dressed in skins made from the
intestines of the seal, and trimmed with bird's feathers,
red and black ; their hair was plaited in two plaits, and
they were fine, healthy, fresh-looking girls, and wore
breeches and boots the same as the men. A fog coming
on made them depart quicker than they pleased.
Arrived off the Russian settlement of Fort St. Michael,
in Norton Sound, which we found in command of a sefe-
geant. Here we came to obtain interpreters and dogs.
Of the former we could only get a Russian, who spoke
some Spanish. His wife wished to accompany him
(naturally enough), and the parting scene on the beach
was very affecting; such rubbing of noses and cheeks, we
thought it would never cease !
Passed through the Straits of Behring, the smallest
space between Asia and America, not more than forty-
five miles 1 And here, on the Diomede Isles, our ship
was nearly lost, and Ratmanoff had well nigh been inhabited. In a dense fog, on a Sunday, the land was seen
towering above the mastheads, and the surf roaring
against the cliffs, not a cable's length from the ship. She
was quickly put about, and out of danger; but had it
been during the night nothing could have saved her, for
no one would have thought of looking for land fl up in
the sky."
A short time after, the grandest meteor that I suppose
the firmament ever produced shot from N.E. through the
planet Venus; it lit up the whole heavens for an instant,
burst like a rocket emitting Roman candles, and left a
train of light in its track. A grander thing cannot be
imagined; you can only see it to form an idea of it; to
describe it is impossible.
Arriving, after a four months' voyage, at Chamisso
Island, Kotzebue Sound, the marks left there by the
Blossom twenty-four years since were plainly visible.
A few natives were seen, but after a short interview, in
which the interpreter could not make them understand
him, they deeamped, having still, no doubt, an impression of the last visit of the Blossom, when a native was
killed in an affray with one of her boat's crews.
A post was fixed on the highest part of the island,
Q 2
bearing an inscription for the guidance of any coming
after us. Many carved their names on this post. Mine
was on a Spanish real, and others on copper coins, driven
between the splits of the wood at the head of the mark;
and a bottle was buried ten feet magnetic north. We
knew all these would be interesting introductions to any
who might first examine it after our departure.
Our search was now commenced in right earnest.
The whole of the American coast Was traced, boats sent
into every inlet and creek, and every native communis
cated with, to endeavour to gain some information of our
missing countrymen. Summer was now on the wane.
Snow commenced falling. The natives had left their
tents for their " yourts," or winter quarters under ground,
Winter was fast approaching, and not much time was
left. In one of these inlets, " Spafarief," I was sent to
find, if possible, some natives; after tracing the inlet for
some miles, seven baidars were espied with natives, who,
on seeing us, stood up in their boats, stretched out their
arms, gave a " hee," and rubbed their bellies, in token of
friendship and welcome. They had been seal-fishing;
but when they saw us approaching the village, followed
and accompanied us, racing, throwing their spears and
arrows, picking up the birds shot by us, as the boats progressed ; their spears were shod with flints, and they
threw them with dexterity and "precision, and made their
" kyaks" (which are a light framework with a seal-skin
stretched tight over, having only a hole large enough for
a man to sit in) fly again through the water.
Our Russian interpreter was here informed by an old
man, that he had heard from a person who had just
arrived from the head of the Buckland river, that " he
had seen a party of men dressed like sailors, with an
officer, having a gold band on his cap and brass buttons.
They had come from a main body, who were further
inland, and had bought up all the venison; they could
not speak, nor make themselves understood to any of the
natives; the spot where they are is ten days* journey
from this overland, but a boat could reach it in a very
short time."
It was difficult to know what conclusion to come to
about this strange story, so " waited awhile."
Nearly all the natives seen had sore eyes, and wore
wooden spectacles with a slit in them, to protect the eyes
from sand and snow; they also had the cheek or lip
ornaments of jet black, in the shape of a stud, worn on
each side of the lower lip, and really looked horrible,
especially when the incisions had been newly made.
Returned on board immediately to report our story.
Boats were immediately sent away to gather more information, and to confirm our former report. They could
not find a single native, but they were fortunate in collecting on the Escholtz Cliffs many fossil remains of the
mastadon and Siberian ox—tusks, teeth, parts of skull,
some with the hair on ; one tusk alone weighed 2i3 lbs.
These animals are long since extinct, and, as they were
of Siberia, are supposed to have come to the American
coast in ice-drifts many years since.
The cold was now getting very severe. As the water
was poured on the decks to wash them it froze. We
were all getting benumbed and paralyzed with its intensity.    After being three and a half years in the tropics,
and suddenly transported, unprepared, to within the
Arctic circle, we felt the change most severely, and now
concluded that it was high time to retrace our steps.
After many arrangements had been concluded we
made a final start, and were literally blown out of the
straits in a snow storm, passing close to, but without
seeing, the rock on which we were so nearly leaving our
ribs. East Cape and the mountains of Siberia were very
grand; the former covered with a deep red sorrel: the
latter with snow. The deep fissures and caves in East
Cape, hollowed out by Aretic gales for years pastj made
it appear very imposing.
On our passage to Petropavlovskoi, we had a grand
view of all the lofty mountains, perpetually covered with
snow, forming the south coast of Siberia, and it is, indeed, a scene of extreme grandeur; the evening before
anchoring, we tiad again to perform the sad ceremony of
committing to the deep one of our shipmates. He was
a great loss to us all. Many a dull, cold, and dreary
evening he assisted to pass away. He had many good
qualities, with one only sin, which brought him to an
early grave. He had lived " a rough life and a merry
one." He had now gone to rest—where all must soon
follow—as | life is but a span."
" It seems as if these regions by the will
Of Heaven transfixed, all at once stood still;
And the proud waves, beneath the fatal blow,
Had spread into a field of lifeless snow !"
Anchoeed again in* safety off the town of Petropavlovskoi, at the foot of the snow-capped summits of
Awatska and Villinchinskoi, which were now found
burning and smoking, melting the snow on their summits, and lending to the scene at night an appearance of
awe and grandeur.
The first object that attracted my attention on shore
was a child's funeral. The child was placed in a cigar
box, garnished with coloured papers, the mother carrying
the box, the little brother leading with the lid, the father
bringing up the rear, and going along the road at a very
brisk pace. These three alone comprised the funeral.
Next day the mother died. She had many following
her remains, among whom were three priests; the face
of the corpse was left uncovered in the coffin, so that
her friends might see her. All the town followed her to
the cemetery.
It was now our turn to show the Kamstchadales how
much we appreciated their united efforts on a former
occasion to make our visit agreeable. From the Lieut.-
Governor the largest room in the town was obtained,
and furniture, including three fiddles ; for it was feared
that the motion of the vessel would spoil the evening's
amusement for the ladies. It was our intention to first
perform theatricals, and then make the stage into a ballroom, dancing in character. The room was adorned
with flags, lanthorns, &c, and sixty names were enrolled
on our invitation list. I had endeavoured throughout
the day, which was a stirring one for me, to learn a few
Kamstchadale words, which might be of use during the
evening's amusements; but when I found out that
" pocorum-blodherue' was "thank you," and "devil"
was "nine," I gave   up all idea of studying the lan
Long before the appointed hour our friends commenced dropping in; but at seven precisely, the governor and suite arrived, and were seated in the dress
box. The national anthem was played, which happily
was the same for both nations. The bell rang—prepare!
rang again. The curtain rose; and there were we, in all
shapes, sizes, and dresses, the gaze of a foreign public
The play, selected from Fielding's most attractive,
was commenced. The three first rows of chairs were
occupied by the ladies, the gentlemen behind; and the
windows of the house, which Were low, and purposely
left open, were thronged with persons who had never
witnessed such a thing before, and most probably never
would again. The audience, although not knowing one
word we said, evidently understood the plot, and a continued smile was on their pretty faces. Scene after
scene pleased them more and more, and their compliment
afterwards was very good ; they said, " There was no occasion to know the language, for they could tell by the
action what was going on." A Spanish fandango finished
the piece, when the Doctor made a concluding speech in
French (which many understood), and, 'mid loud cheers
and applause, the curtain dropped. The ladies were
handed into the tea-room, and in five minutes our
theatre was a ball-room.
The quadrille formed, our worthy and smiling chief
leading off with the Governess, when all others followed.
The arrival of the packet from Otchosk added two belles
to the party; and also were present the three priests
and their wives, one of whom was an immense woman.
The Governor, seeing I could waltz a little, says, "Danse
avec la grande dame ?" " O yes," says I, " avec beaucoup
de plaisir." So myself and Grande Dame had about
fifteen round turns. It resembled much walking round
with the capstan!
Supper was announced ! They could not imagine
where such a spread w7as obtained. And it surprised
the gentlemen to see us sit down the ladies first, and
provide for them ; here they are kept at a distance.
This occasion convinced them (if such was necessary)
how high, in our estimation, were those dear objects of
man's happiest existence. I must be vain enough to
say that I think the ladies gave us credit for it too.
I was nearly passing over two of my young and
amiable friends, and I would never have forgiven myself
for so doing. Clarissa and Helena, if they were not the
belles, they were the most graceful and lady-like; it was
the latter who kindly put my hair in curl-papers before
the theatricals (as I had to perform a lady's part, and required "ringlets") ; and it was her affectionate and kind
mamma who made the f bohea," but unfortunately forgot
the milk. The gentlemen were left to their suppers,
and those who preferred a dance, like myself, commenced
again, and were compelled to keep the dances going in
quick succession, for, in the intervals, none could talk
Russian to their partners, nor they English to us. And,
indeed, some often thought it were better-we did not, for
many a heart may have been found wanting a small portion, and many a promise made in haste that could never
be fulfilled. We smiled, and they smiled in return,
which was sufficient to convey the feeling of a perfect
state of happiness on both sides. At three, A.M., after
some quick dances, reels, jigs, &c, all parted—not before,
however, they had drunk our healths in a bumper of
champagne, with an earnest wish for our safe return to
their harbour next season !
The happy ship was soon off again on another long
sea voyage, with a westerly gale after her; nothing
occurred on the passage but a heavy N.W. gale, which
stove our quarter boat, and kept us rolling to such an
extent that neither tea nor cocoa could be boiled for some
days.    We also saw the barren rock of Guadaloupe, and
again arrived at Mazatlan, and found it decidedly improved since last visit, merchants returning, and people
living a little more at ease. A Chinese hotel had been
commenced; Smithe was still himself, his pins and
ginger-beer good, and in constant practice. Warm baths
had been erected; and at almost, every other house
during the evenings the guitar or piano were heard
inviting you to a " tertulia."
The gold diggings had now been discovered close
where we anchored at San Francisco,* and several thou>
sands were going there through California. Ships were
losing their crews in great numbers, and it was with difficulty we could keep ours together. This, hastened our
departure, and we sailed, touching at San Bias, but only
remaining sufficient time to allow our old and attentive
friends the mosquitoes and sand-flies to gather on us and
then take them to sea. . They were always on the lookout. " When you kill one, twenty will attend the
Passing along our old ground, over which we had so
often travelled, we arrived at Cape Blanco, and here all
thought we were never going to leave it. Calms, light
airs, and adverse currents, made us almost stationary^
until one Sunday, when we thought we were going to
get a squall, all hands were sent aloft to furl the small
sails, and, when in the act of rolling up, found it was an
immense school of porpoises coming along the w&ter.
One impudent fellow on the yard says, fl Let us pray,
k * Where the ship anchored in three fathoms, piers were now
Dttil%, and houses^ stores, &c, run out on them. San Francises
is now a city.
May we never be frightened by a shoal of porpoises
again." Another, worse, and anxious to quote the Scripture, observed: " The Scripture moveth us in sundry
places." "That's not correct," replies Jack, alongside
him ; H for last Sunday at the same hour we had divine
service here, and we have not moved from the spot
since.    I see the same peak and the same bluff."
Again drop anchor in Panama Bay! Always very
unfortunate ! We go to one place, and find they are at
war, and all gone into the country; to another, and find
them all bound to the diggings; to a third, and our bills
are at a fearful discount; to a fourth, it is " Lent;" and
now come here, cholera is raging! No communication
with the shore; no fresh meat; no vegetables! Again
we had to anticipate the news of twelve months. Our
last letters were so full of woe, that we now almost
dreaded the arrival of the mail. It will be recollected
what fatal news, after several months' absence, was
brought to us all ; and we now dreaded a repetition.
Shifting over to Taboga (the isle where all had passed
their last evening before sailing for the north), away
from cholera and California gold-seekers. Here we
found that the man who had kept a small aguadiente
shop on our last visit, had just been arrested and carried
off to Panama prison, recognised as one of the boat's
crew who had murdered our friends at San Francisco,.
my young friend the pale youth, Montressor, and other
officers, and then threw them overboard ! He had married, and set up a small dram shop at the quiet little
isle of Taboga.    He now awaits his trial for murder and
Our visit was very short, merely for water, and sailed
again on our tour to the Coast of Chiriqui, in Central
America. Here, again, we came in for the season of the
northers, which blew with much violence for five successive days; then a lull; and then another blow; and
so on.
The town of Pedrigal, at the Port of David, was
visited. It is some distance in the interior, and our
arrival very much surprised them all, for the ship had
come from Panama, where the cholera was raging, and
should have been in quarantine. (A vessel was at that
moment at the mouth of the river with the Lord Bishop
and many ladies on board, doing pratique). When
the Governor heard of our impudent intrusion (without
leave), he was going to imprison us, then to assemble the
militia and eject us by force. And this latter we were
preparing to repel with sticks and shillelaghs, When it
was peaceably and amicably arranged by one of the
party handing in a certificate (properly certified before a
magistrate) that we had not communicated with Panama
last. This was given to the Governor and grand politico,
who were satisfied ! (What will the Bishop say, forty
miles off, we thought to ourselves.)
Pedrigal is . a pretty town, having a charming,
healthy, climate, a temperature of forty-five degrees,
surrounded by ranchas (farms), and cattle innumerable.
The people are very hospitable, and had already commenced making parties for us; but our time was very
short, and could only thank them for their good intentions, and then returned through the same intricate and
tortuous passage.    All mangrove trees;  nothing what-
ever for a guide. Our pilot had already jumped overboard when the boat grounded, not knowing the
navigation of the river, and fearing being shot. Here
we were for once fortunate, and obtained plenty of fresh
meat, of which all were greatly in want. The scurvy
had already appeared, and the effect on some was such,
that on pressing the finger into the flesh of the arms or
legs, the flesh would not return to its proper form, but
leave an indentation. One man in particular used to
amuse himself writing, or rather pressing his name on
his arm, and seeing how long it would take to return
to its natural form.
The prospect of the Sandwich Isles now gladdened
our hearts, and revived our spirits, and adieu is said to
this part of the coast of America, with a real hope of
not again seeing it for some time. Already we were
beginning to feel the effects of Western America; the
sudden change to the Arctic regions, and the lengthened
cruise, all combined, were fast telling on our constitutions : but we dare not murmur \ our search must be
continued, and for any of us to leave it, would be to
desert a cause in which the whole world were, at that
moment, anxiously looking. On leaving this coast, our
devoted ship was twenty days in a calm. Nearly three
weeks all panting for breath, under a burning sun ; and
unless shoals of porpoises, albicore, dolphin, and other
fishes had not afforded daily some little amusement in
catching them, I don't know what we should have done.
The excitement of harpooning these passed away many
an hour.
The moment of our arrival in the heavy rains the ship
leaked throughout; there was not a dry spot in her; her-
decks shrunk from the parching suns, and now the rains
poured through, and our prayers were constantly for the
E.N.E. trades.        >Sfr
The lofty peak of Owhyhee, the island on which the
illustrious navigator, Cook, lost his life, cheered us up,
and soon passed Mowee, where cascades falling from
high precipices, made it even refreshing to behold.
Soon we anchored off the town of Honolulu, on the
Island of Woahoa, and in an instant were surrounded
by Kanakas imploring "wash clothes;" "I first man
speak a you sar;" "that man not mend hole sar;" in
fact, a repetition of the Singapore linen-bleachers and
linen-destroyers 1
The harbour is formed by coral on either side, having
but a narrow passage through. The ships are towed up
to this, and then by lines on shore are warped by
numbers of Kanakas to the inner anchorage.
Our visit here was very short, but, nevertheless, made
the very most of, and had an opportunity of seeing the
"taboo" taken off for a short time, and every girl who
is mistress of a dollar borrows or hires a horse, and
away they all ride astride for miles in the country,
decorated with flowers, and dressed in all gaudy colours.
We all get horses as well, and enjoy the ride also, in
clouds of dust. First going to Wiatitti, much celebrated
for its syllabub, and then to the Pare*, which is a deep
gorge between two hills, having a beautiful waterfall.
It was surprising to see how madly the females rode
through the country, without guardians; they love to
be  on  horseback, and their first  earnings are always
devoted to the purchase of a horse (which are here
cheap), and it becomes the first piece of household
furniture. In the evening the "taboo" again com-
mences, when all is as quiet as death, not even a sound
is heard !
A "lewhow" was given by a celebrated doctor, but
unfortunately all were under sailing orders and could
not attend.    We have heard they are delightful parties.
Again, orders are received for a second voyage north
on a similar errand to our last year's cruise; bidding
farewell to the residents of Honolulu, leaving the best
impressions on us for their open-hearted, generous, and
kind attentions. This second voyage commenced with a
repetition of our many deaths, and the service has to
mourn the loss of a young and promising officer, who
met an early death from fever, caused by exposure to a
tropical sun. He was but sixteen years of age, and a
special favourite. How truly he may be said to have
"faded away like grass," which "in the morning is
green and groweth up, but in the evening is cut down,
dried up, and withered !"
The strong N.E. trade soon took us clear of the Sandwich Isles, and all looked forward to a return there with
much pleasure. A long monotonous voyage was again
passed through, with scarcely anything to amuse but
patching together warm clothing, for another search in
the ice. The approach to land was again indicated by
logs of drift wood, lummies, dovekies, and a land bird
or two, and the morning following the peninsula of
Kamstchatka was seen in all its splendour, covered
with snow. A fresh breeze came off the land, bringing
numbers of birds to visit us. In the evening it increased to a gale, but before morning was again a calm ;
and soon after found ourselves working up the Bay of
Awatska ; anchoring off the cemetery, near the pretty
little town of Petropavlovskoi. Here lay a Thames
Yacht Club schooner, on her way to assist in relieving
the  Polar   Expedition,   and  as  she  is  now  about to
accompany us, I will leave her interesting and strange
history for another period, and repair to the shore to see
all our young and old friends.
They are all alive 1 Jolly as " sand boys," and as
good humoured as ever, but much disappointed at
finding our ship was to be off so soon again.. They
instantly made us delicious cups of tea, from large brass
urns, which are constantly hissing and boiling in the
centre of the room, with a red hot iron heater inside.
We had only now, on our third visit, found out the
Kamstchadale "salute," and were soon apt scholars at it.
The gentleman offers his right cheek to the lady, then his
left, then both lips meet—the salute is complete. In tiptop society the gentleman kisses the lady's hand, and
then offers his right cheek. At this salute, first, being
Irish, I was a little awkward, but it soon grew on me,
and I think I performed it as gracefully and as gallantly
as my friends, after a little practice.
Our stay here was indeed short—How do you do?
Good-bye ! in the same breath—but an accident occurred,
while working out of the bay, which had well-nigh made
us residents for a short period at Petropavlovskoi.
The ship struck on a rock. Anchors were laid out,
but the cables parted; boats hoisted out; fresh water
pumped out; and everything done to start her : but she
was immovable! Imagine, then, the feelings of a captain
under such circumstances; on such a mission, and to
have his ship lost! The vessel now bumped heavily;
the false keel and forefoot came up alongside; every
moment all expected a hole in the ship's bottom. Two
hours of anxiety were thus passed ; and such a two hours
of suspense never can be forgotten. The slightest swell
setting in, we knew the ship must go to pieces that
instant. The tide commenced flowing; the hawsers
were again manned; " Heave, ye devils.1" roared our poor
captain; and, with tears starting in his eyes for joy, he
screeched, "She's off!" We were once more in deep
This ciaBumstance compelled us that night to remain
at anchor, fearing the vessel had sprung a leak. Next
day we were off; and, passing through Behring's Strait,
we had plenty of company—whale ships of every nation
and in every situation, "trying out," "cutting in,"
"harpooning," &c.— and Ratmanoff and Kruzenstern
Islands were passed under more favourable circumstances
than on our last cruise, when we so nearly ran on the
former in a dense fog.
At Chamisso Island once more the ship arrived, and
we were overjoyed at finding one portion of our lost
friends—not, I am sorry to say, a part of the lost " Polar
expedition," but our co-operator in the anxious and
arduous search in the Arctic Sea. It was with much
pleasure we filled our consort with provisions and everything she stood in need of
Our old friends from Spafarief Inlet came to see us,
and to barter their skins and curios for knives and
tobacco. They were very friendly, but had no news this
time; and now we were a little cautious, as their last
report was a complete hoax to gain a reward. After
minutely examining them, no strangers had been seen
this season.
Both ships started for Icy Oape as soon as possible,
R 2
our friend and consort leading, under a tremendous press
of sail, bruising the waters, ploughing the waves up under
her bows, and catching them on her forecastle like a
" cup and ball" And here, joined by our Thames Yacht
Club schooner, all made a fresh start north, and said
within ourselves, " May God preserve us !"
All the boats now departed to search every nook and
inlet along the shores, to endeavour and tracer something
of the lost expedition.
At midnight, all assembled on deck to witness the sun.
Semi-diameter above the horizon, it appeared like a
"golden ball." Very few have an opportunity of seeing
such a sight, and none can imagine the splendour except
those who have. We may safely and truly say, the " sun
never set." We had now reached the farthest north
latitude of any vessel hitherto (Cook, &c), and next night
at midnight obtained the singular fact of a latitude by
the meridian altitude of the sun under the Pole, giving
the latitude 72° 16' North.    Thus:—
O       4       //
Inferior Mer. Alt. 1 56 30   o
3 57 Dip.
   .   THE  BARRIER.
This was so extraordinary and so rare an occurrence, that
I quote it in full:—
" The Arctic sun rose broad above the wave;
The breeze now sank, now whispered from his cave;
As on the JEolian harp, his fitful wings
Now swell'd, now flutter'd, o'er his ocean strings."
The whole week was beautifully fine, and we did not
progress much, but were visited frequently by baidars of
natives, "who embraced and rubbed noses'*—not an.
agreeable process, by any means. They were very friendly,
both males and females. The latter were not bad-looking
at all, but required to be well scraped and scrubbed
before looking passably clean or pleasing. They had no
news whatever for us.
Arrived off the barrier; and here the scene was
lovely in the extreme, sailing through large masses of
ice, disturbing walruses and seals ; eider ducks forming
in long and curious lines in the air—the walruses
grunting and gambolling among the detached pieces of
ice, while the males were fighting and slashing the
water, extremely jealous of each other. Whales also
spouting in every direction.
Arriving as far north as it was prudent to go, here
our boats were sent on a long, dangerous, and hazardous
voyage to the Makenzie River, to search the coast on the
north of America. At midnight they parted (though
quite daylight at the time), and passing under our stern,
they had not only | three cheers," but they were cheered
till all were hoarse, until there was not another screech
left in us.    Just as they shoved off, the zodiacal light
was seen to perfection, casting a purple and greenish
shadow or glare over everything, the brightest perpendicular ray shooting about twenty degrees into the
heavens. A dense fog soon followed, and Ave lost sight
of everything ! We heartily wished our explorers success, for they had to travel 300 miles in open boats.
Our ship was now close against the pack of ice, like a
wall, and through which there appeared no opening
whatever. We were 100 miles north of Point Barrow,
and had sailed out of all published charts. The sun set
this evening both strange and threatening, throwing a
glare all round resembling that of copper leaf.
All the coast of America, and the icy barrier being
searched, stood across to the shores of Asia, passing
many dead whales, on which staffs with flags were
erected, and holes cut in the animals, in which bottles
were inserted, containing notices for the guidance of any
of the lost expedition. In cutting into these animals, the
smell was most sickening, A sailor's stomach is acknowledged to be very strong, and proof against all attacks,
but this completely overpowered them. Soon after a
gale sprung up, which, in this shallow water, agitated
the sea very much, several waves breaking completely
over the vessel, and wetting everything through ; and
now again the effect of cold was severely felt by all; it
penetrated to our very bones.
We were soon repaid for all this suffering 1 there were
evident symptoms of an approach to an unknown land,
flocks of gulls, divers, young puffins, sandelings, and often
land birds like linnets, two of which were so exhausted
that they were easily taken by the hand.    The ice pack
near the American shores was approached, and all our
hardships were now fully repaid by the mast head-man
singing out as loud as he could roar, " LAND O ! on
the lee bow"—a new discovery ! In a few minutes we
were all gratified by the sight of two clusters of islands.
A party landed on the largest, christened the group,
hoisted the Union Jack, and drank her most gracious
Majesty's health on acquiring newly-discovered possessions, 'mid the cheers of every one ! The high land
observed in the distance is that supposed to be seen by
ithe natives of Jekan in clear weather from the coast of
Again the coast of America was reached, passing
another whale which had died " on its eye" eight' or ten
days since; the nose had fallen away, exposing the
tongue, which was about the size of a ship's dinghy;
the carcase was about ninety feet in length, and still
capable of producing twenty barrels of oil. Steps
were cut into it to ascend by, for placing a staff with
flag and bottle with notice. We had to hold our noses
most tightly while doing so; the smell was horrible !
and would capsize the equilibrium of any stomach, however strong ! On reaching the coast natives again
came off. These smoked pipes through the holes (cut
for ornaments) in their cheeks. The women bartered
their furs freely, taking them off their own bodies to
do so, exhibiting not the slightest modesty. After their
boats were emptied for knives, tobacco, &c, they
returned to the shore highly pleased.
Again we had to undergo another gale, in which
three guns were dismounted from the violence  of the
sea, and all the boats had to be hoisted in ; it was very
severe, and the cold and wet almost rendered us powerless. The Carcases of five whales were passed in one
day, convincing us that even for them the severity of
the Arctic regions was too much. Some had died on
their backs, some on their eye, swelling to an immense
size. All the searching squadron were again safely
anchored in Kotzebue Sound. Every spot had been
searched, and no traces or intelligence of our unhappy
All the boats now formed a most interesting flotilla to
explore a river running many miles into the interior.
The weather being moderately fine, and many natives
living on the banks, a few days passed in a most agreeable cruise, but ended in obtaining no information
whatever concerning our missing countrymen.
As this cruise was attended with many interesting
Arctic scenes, it is deserving of a chapter to itself.
The expedition consisted of six boats, well armed and
provisioned for eight days, having with us two native
kyaks for pilots and a Russian interpreter. The day
was cloudy, but every appearance of fine weather; the
wind light in our favour, but soon failed, and the tide
beginning to flow assisted the oars.
Passing through Escholtz bay, and along the curious
ice cliffs which contain the great bones of the mastadon
and Siberian ox—huge animals long since extinct. These
cliffs are dark masses of alternate layers of ice and clay,
containing decomposed animal matter, and emitting an
earthy and sickly effluvia, not at all agreeable; here and
there a huge mass standing apart and erect by itself,
but gradually thawing and trickling down its sides,
forming a mud flat underneath for the only passage
along the foot of these hills, which, from its softness was
both tiresome and unpleasant to wade through.
Anchored for the night off " Elephant Point," where
there were evident signs of the natives having recently
left; the skin and antlers of the deer were still fresh, as
well as the skulls and vertebra of the porpoise off which
they had been feeding.
Having an hour to spare before closing our awnings
for the night, strolled along the ice cliffs up to our knees
in mud, roots, and decomposed matter. They had
undergone much change since our last visit, and were
now visibly crumbling into decay. Two molar teeth and
a few bones were found ; one of the former I could just
carry on my shoulders. (It was intended for the Dublin
Museum, where I believe it now is.) Darkness setting
in quickly obliged us to return to our boats ; the tents
were pitched, and all assembled around a venison pie,
to cut our names in it. A light north wind sprung
up, the moon rose, and a lovely night was the consequence.
Our Esquimaux pilots amused us very much until
near eleven o'clock with singing and dancing. Their
song, as nearly as I can recollect, was, "Haw&—hawy&—
h6y&—hol&—whoop," the latter accompanied by a scream
and jump, the action of the dance imitative no doubt of
a severe struggle with a walrus, or deer; those who
made the loudest " whoop" and the highest leap at the
finale, were considered the best dancers.
The boats hauled off and anchored in deep water,
the rain awnings were spread, and a most comfortable
night passed ; but it was a strange feeling to us all
being out of sight of our vessel, having passed more
than four years and a half in her.
At day-dawn (3*40 A.M.) started with the beginning of
the flood tide, having a pleasant breeze from the eastward, freshening as the sun rose There was much
difficulty in finding a channel over the bar of<rthe river
for the boats, and it occupied all the day in getting them
safely through, after which anchored off the village of
Neitawigmeot, consisting of about eleven erangs and
sixty natives, eight baidars and twenty kyaks; but
before many minutes had elapsed, there were many new
arrivals, and the village increased to seventeen erangs,
natives with their families arriving in the baidars; they
were en their way to the Salmon River, to take their
winter stock, but pitched here for the present, and when
yisited by us on shore they were regaling themselves on
three seals they had lately taken; the intestines were
blown out and spread along the bushes to dry, many
yards in length for holding oil; the blubber was boiling
down to grease their baidars with, the remainder was
cooked for present use; the children had small raw
strips given them by their mothers, at which they were
tugging and sucking with evident pleasure and satisfaction.
Next morning the village had increased to twenty-two
erangs ; the natives numbered about 120. They had an
adze and saw in their possession, which they said had
been obtained from a Russian not a very great distance
from them, who is annually visited by a party from a
Russian fur establishment, with provisions and articles
for barter, which is carried on with these people for
furs, &c.
During the dusk of the evening all went on shore. The
natives commenced dancing, all the singers formed in a
semicircle, the three performers being two men and a
girl. The words of the song were the same as before
described, with the addition of a very musical tambourine, struck occasionally with a light stick, the
children chiming in with their tenor voices, and altogether a most novel and amusing scene. When the
men gave a " whoop" they would spring up and see who
could jump the highest, bringing their toes almost to
their chin, and then, springing across the whole length
of the circle, would come to a dead halt, evidently
fatigued and profusely perspiring ! Many such dances
were good-naturedly performed for our amusement, and
it really was hard work, but I have not the power to
describe them in the way they were exhibited.
Next evening a "jumping match" was arranged. In
the long jumps we were beaten by four feet, and we
had some active fellows amongst oui' crew; but in high
leaps beat them. One native jumped (by measurement)
nineteen feet on a sandy beach; they were active, mus^
cular fellows, full of frolic and fun, having no care,,
nothing to think ofr but the period when they are to
return to their winter " yourts."
During our rambles on shore we witnessed a most
strange occurrence. Under a bush not very far from
the village was a woman evidently in the pains of
labour, or, to express it more feelingly, in an " interesting
condition." She was lying on a deer skin, with no
covering whatever over her head, her husband sitting a
few yards off with a little girl on his knee, apparently
quite unconcerned. Next morning, having occasion to
walk the same road, the poor woman was still. there,
having given birth to a fine child ! She had been out
all that night without a covering (the thermometer at
freezing point), a thick white frost on the ground, and it
was most pitiable to see her. But such is their custom.
When near that interesting period the house or erang is
shut up, and all the family retire to the bush until the
event is over, when they again return to their dwelling.
I do not know what they do in the winter under such
circumstances—it was now summer.
All the boats huddled together for the night, and it
was impossible that a more serene and beautiful one
could be, not a breath of air, scarcely a cloud to be seen,
and the moon just peeping over the hill, at the foot of
which stood the village.
These few people deserve a word of praise. Friendship would hardly convey the manner in which they
mixed with us, as if they had known us for years; all
day they were coming off and on to the boats to smoke
their pipes and have a " bit of fun." As for theft, I do
not think they knew the meaning of the word ; they
were not even inquisitive in their frequent visits, and
often appeared to feel as if intruding.
Not very long after retiring for the night, we were
" roused up" to see the " Aurora Borealis" in all its
splendour. To me who had not before witnessed it, it
was a scene of awful grandeur ; two horizontal waves of
yellow flame rolled over each other, forming an arch
from which shot towards the zenith innumerable coruscations of liquid fire ; it stretched from Ursa Major
to the Pleiades, and underneath the arch was a dark
mass, having in the centre the moon. The sky was
perfectly cloudless.
The measured angle subtended by the arch was 122
degrees, and the elevation of the arch 38 degrees. It
was appropriately likened to the folds of a curtain
thrown over the brass arms at either side. It was the
grandest celestial scene I ever witnessed, and a feeling
of awe came over me when I first beheld it. " How
marvellous are Thy works !" thought I, while contemplating this stupendous scene.
" The heavens indeed declare the glory of God, and
the firmament showeth his handy work," I thought, as
my mind became overwhelmed with admiration.
All again started at daylight, leaving our village
friends behind, passing some storehouses in which the
natives place their winter stock, to protect them from
wolves and foxes, which crowd on the beach during
The river now began to get most interesting, and the
scenery attractive. The tide favouring us, we did all in
our power to ascend quickly; trees were getting thicker
and more lofty. The entrance of the river commenced
with grass and low stunted bushes ; then shrubs about
the size of a gooseberry tree, a species of dwarf beech
and willow, and now trees as lofty as apple-trees were
around us. The river narrow and the water quite fresh;
the same storehouses were now seen in many places, and
on every prominent point was found a " bird trap,"
formed of the branch of a tree, with a whalebone or
running noose of sinew, and many an unfortunate owl
or hawk I rescued from them. Nearly every trap contained a bird, some still alive, caught only by the leg or
wing-feathers. These traps are made of two upright
springs, having a roost across lashed on an elevated pole;
across these two twigs a strong sinew is secured, having
three nooses of whalebone hitched to it; the running
nooses are then overhauled, and the slightest touch
closes them; these are also set on branches of shrubs
that lie in the tracks of hares, wolves, and foxes.
The brushwood was now almost impenetrable, and
the banks composed of dark soil easily washed away
by the river during heavy rains ; in the interior, level
country interspersed with lagoons.
At night the aurora burst forth again in grandeur
about twenty degrees more to the eastward; the coruscations were in the same direction, but shooting at
more distant intervals, more sudden and separated ; two
horizontal beams arched, suddenly dropping as if cut off
by the coruscations at right angles to the beams. As
night approached it changed into all manner of fantastic shapes, moving in beams and masses to the north
and east, giving forth a brilliant light.
The large boats had now reached as far as Was practicable ; any further advance would endanger their being
left behind; so the small boats still advanced, a few
pine trees were seen lying among the long grass,
about eight to twelve feet long, and the timber growing
on the banks were twelve to eighteen inches in diameter. A shooting party was made up, and although
away all night returned disappointed.
The small boats on arriving at the " Falls," met an
old man, a woman and boy, who were watching some
fish houses ; presents were given to them, which reconciled them to so unusual a sight.
On our passage down the river the boats grounded many
times, and on arriving near the village were met by our
old friends in five kyaks, who on seeing us lifted their
paddles, spread their arms and rubbed their " victualling
offices;" we did the same, and friendship was recognised. They came on board and rubbed noses (not a
pleasant salutation), smoked pipes and danced ; we were
then aground, and a few more kyaks having joined, an
anchor was laid out and the hawser manned, a tin
fiddle was tuned to concert pitch, a lively air struck
up, and the boat gradually came off; for every length
of the warp obtained they had their pipes filled, and
when anchored in deep water, four blue beads each as
a reward, they were highly delighted ! During the
intervals I made one of them sketch the game which
was hanging on the yard, consisting of hares, geese,
duek, ptarmigan, &c., and the following are fac-similes^
but invariably (I could nottell why) upside down.
After arriving about fifty miles above where' the
large boats parted, the fur trees increased in size and
height as they ascended, but  the river diminished in
depth, and the boats had to be hauled over the falls,
on many occasions having only six to eight inches of
water. Here on each side of the river were high
basaltic columns of granite forming a passage for the
river, the tops covered with shrubs and dwarf trees ;
at almost every reach there was a rapid or fall of about
eight inches to two feet.
On arriving off the village, the kyaks parted, and
none of the natives could be persuaded to accompany us
to the ship, even with promises of axes, beads, knives,
and tobacco. Their wives, families, and winter stock,
appeared their first consideration.
On anchoring off the ice-cliffs, several erangs were
seen, and about twenty natives on the spot where remains of deer and porpoises had been met with They
made no approach; and it was too late for us to pay
them a visit, which we regretted extremely.
The weather was now assuming a rapid change, gloomy
on all sides, which hurried our return; indeed, we could
hardly expect more fine weather after the lovely eight
days we had experienced.
Early weighed, and, on passing a sand-spit, saw a few
more erangs. None were yet moving, and we gave them
a passing "He he—he he—he." They were fast asleep.
A few dogs outside the tents scratching themselves.
Anchoring off Elephant Point, where our first evening
was passed, a party prepared for " fossil digging." After
an early breakfast, and preparation for a " mud lark," I
headed a small party. Scarcely a bone was to be found,
although search was made, and the face of the cliff dug
out with  shovels.     Our  successful   collection twelve
 THE. END. 257
months since had left nothing for us now. And this
convinced us that a number of years must elapse to thaw
and decay the ice and soil to enable the bones to collect
on the surface of the mud; and it would occupy no
short period of summer months to melt the huge masses
of ice that existed there The wash of the sea-water
appeared to be the greatest cause of its falling; being
undermined by it in many places to a considerable extent. A few bones, three molar teeth, and the horn of
an ox, were the only rewards we had among us all. A
dead wolf was seen ensnared in one of the traps I have
before described.
The boats assembled together, and all started for the
ship, really regretting that this unusually interesting trip
was at an end. Everything had favoured us for eight days,
the weather delightful, and our boats comfortable; and we
were only sorry that this search was not attended with
the slightest trace that would throw a light on the fate
of our lost countrymen and brother officers.
Our arrival was hardly announced before it commenced blowing and raining, bringing most unpleasant
and boisterous weather, leaving scarcely time to clear
the boats and hoist them out of danger.
We were now flattering ourselves that this, our second
voyage north, was to finish without a mishap, when a
deplorable accident occurred which threw a gloom over
the whole community.
As we wTere on the eve of parting, and it being Sun-
day evening, many of the ships' crews visited each other
to say farewell, perhaps for ever!    But as the last boat
was returning,  by some unfortunate and inexplicable
circumstance, one of the men fell overboard.     He remained above water several minutes, and, by some mysterious mismanagement, those in the boat could not save
him, and he sank in only six feet water.   He was buried
next day, but we could never ascertain the real facts of
this unfortunate occurrence.    It was clouded in mystery.
The severities of winter now again hinted to us to
depart.    The gales blew strong from N.W., with hail
and snow; and it was with some difficulty the ship was
got out of the sound.    The same gale concentrating in
Behring's   Strait, as it were through a funnel, again
fairly blew us out; the land on all sides frequently hid
by snow and hail-storms.    Our backs were turned on the
straits, we had almost hoped for ever!    We had now
passed some months in it, mid gales of wdnd, and ice;
had assisted all in our power those placed under our care;
had also discovered islands, and perhaps a continent;
the barrier of ice had been traced from the shores of
America to those of Asia; we had gained the farthest
north latitude of any ship known, as well as sailed the
farthest west; a shoal had also been found in the Arctic
Sea; our whale boats had gone a distance of three hundred miles to the Mackenzie River; and, finally, the
whole shores of America have been searched, including
rivers running fifty to sixty miles in the interior ; and if
"Sir John Franklin or any of the lost expedition were
there, we would have found them also !    Therefore we
left the straits this season, knowing well all was done
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that possibly could be accomplished, and passed safely
through the Seguam Passage of the Aleoutian Isles,
near Amoutcha and the " Island of the Four Moons." It
was a beautiful sight as the vessel "cut the chain," the
whole being covered with snow.
There was scarcely time to congratulate ourselves on
getting clear of the straits, when the ship was overtaken:
by a furious gale from the north. Sunday night was an
awful one, and the vessel had to lay to. The seas rushed
through the rudder coat and througli the gun-room, and
the order was given to batten down. The main trysail
was even found to be too much.sail for the ship; and such
was the fury of the wind, that it occupied all hands two
hours to take it in and close reef it. Next day it had
not moderated, and the gusts and squalls were terrific.
A sea struck the ship abeam, and washed away all the
waist netting (like paper stuff), both gangways, and four,
upper deck ports; and it was some minutes before we
could recover self-possession after the shock to see if any
further serious damage had been done. Several seas
struck her after this, going completely over all, without
any apparent effect except shaking the chains much.
Once more "bore up," the barometer at 28° 97', and
congratulated ourselves on again escaping the fury of the
storm, and offering our humble thanks to Him who
alone " can still the raging of the sea;" for there were
moments many of us thought our last, in which it appeared impossible that the timbers could resist the fury
of the waves. % We were carried up to heaven, and down
again to the deep ; our souis melted within us."
Two lovely days followed, and then, as if to mock
s 2
them, a corresponding gale to that from the north
followed from the south; we lay to under stormsails
and battened the ship down, trusting in Him who has
but to say, " Peace, be still," and there will immediately
" be a calm."
Passing not far from San Francisco, but which we
were afraid to enter from the disposition of the men
to leave the ship for the gold diggings, came down the
coast of Western America, close to Guadaloupe and
Magdalena bay, anchoring once more in safety in the
pretty harbour of Mazatlan !
Again, as is our usual fortune, find the cholera
raging here, so much so, that fresh supplies of beef
and vegetables are not permitted on board.
Our companion in Behring's Strait, the Thames Yacht
schooner, arrives a day or two before us; and with
grief it will be read that he who had so liberally spent
his time, his money, and hazarded his life in so humane
a cause, should now be snatched from us by cruel
death ! The sudden change from heat to cold, and
then from a thermometer of 27° to 104°, a difference
of seventy-seven degrees, was more than the human
frame could withstand, and he sank under the effects,
universally and deeply regretted and beloved by all.
He was buried at Mazatlan ; all followed his remains
to the grave; they were placed in the Protestant burial-
ground alongside those of the Consul's daughter, who
had lately died of fever.
" Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."
His property, " ten thousand a year," was already
settled on his aunt, and he had only sufficient power
on his death-bed to express a wish "that  the  yacht
may be sent to its builder in England."
Steamers are constantly arriving from all parts of
the world laden with persons " going to the diggings."
Many thousands are also coming overland from America
on mules, bound to San Francisco through California,
incurring great hardships and privations.
As there were no attractions here for us, our stay
was as short as possible. Water was completed on the
opposite side of the Gulf of California, and sail made
for Guaymas, the sea-port of Mexico, leaving at
Mazatlan one of the handsomest razee frigates in her
Majesty*s service, commanded by one of the most open,
good-hearted, generous, and beloved men, extremely
kind to his officers, and adored by his ship's company.
However, there was no occasion for jealousy; on our
part we were fortunate in having one very much of
the same stamp and disposition.
GuAYMAS, in the gulf of California, is the principal
seaport of Mexico ; it is a sort of Brighton or Hastings
to London; it is here many come to inhale the pure
sea breeze after the burning - and dusty city of Mexico.
This, however, a passer-by would not expect; for to us
the town, appeared a desolate, barren, sun-burnt spot,,
without a hope of seeing or meeting any one to whom
we cou'd open our hearts, and chill them with our icy
adventures. Towards the latter part of our visit it will
be seen how this scene was changed, and how wrong it
was to condemn a place by its outward appearance.
This "was the holiday season here, and the Plaza was
nightly the scene of dancing and gambling. A shed on
a large scale was erected over the Plaza, and under this
dancing was carried on until two or three in the
morning; an Indian in one corner dancing alternately
the pascola, the jaraby, and other Indian.dances with the
I caskavales" on his ankles. This shed was surrounded
by  booths   and   monte   tables,  at   which   nearly   all
Guaymas paraded ; it had much the appearance of a
fair, and here we frequently found ourselves promenading until fortunately more natural, more sociable,
and more agreeable amusements attracted us.
Gambling in these booths was carried on to a melancholy extent, and many a life was sacrificed after all the
rest had been lost; some of the monte tables were
actually conducted by females, and it was truly heartrending to see their excited and uncontrollable feelings
when either winning or losing dollars and doubloons in
fives, tens, and twenties.
Robberies and murders were acted nightly by the
Mexican marauders, and it was quite dangerous to pass
through the streets alone or without firearms, after
the mass of persons had retired, although the serenos
were constantly on the watch. These robberies took place
directly under their musquets !
The " nacimientos" were the prettiest and most innocent dances I have seen ; three or four houses, with
large rooms, were each evening decorated and devoted to
these juvenile entertainments. About twenty little
Indian girls, beautifully dressed and adorned in ribbons
and flowers, danced their native dance, having a rattle
in one hand, and a plume of coloured feathers in the
other. These all went together like clockwork ; not one
could have been more than twelve years of age, and
exactly like dolls. Another dance, which I could not ascertain the name of, but which I call the " barber's pole"
dance, was still prettier; each girl took a riband of
different colours suspended from the top of a high pole,
and danced round it in such a manner that the ribands
 El [II (J
laid themselves on the pole in the nicest patterns
imaginable; the dance was then reversed, and the ribands
unlaid ; they sang their own music, and the choruses
were very sweet. These lasted two or three hours each
night, and they were both astonished and glad to see
naval officers occasionally intrude on their juvenile
Society was a little disorganized, as many parties were
forming to start for the diggings through California :
the numbers from Guaymas alone were estimated ai
5,000, fromPetic 5,000,fromLoretto 5,000, from Yackie
5,000 ; all Were to travel on mules, and each having a
spare one to carry his provisions, or in case of a break
down. They intend to pass the Colerado river at the
head of the gulf, and across the sandy plains, which is
indeed a case of life or death. If anything happens to
your mule you are gone to a certainty, and the sands
are already covered with the bleached bones of those
who have left all they possessed for the chance of finding
gold in California.
We could not help witnessing, on many occasions, the
manner in which the government is duped. One or
two illustrations will suffice for this. A brig had arrived
with a cargo of "raw cotton," an article strictly prohibited by the customs. The officers go on board and
seize the ship: the captain says, "Very well, but before
you do so, will you have the goodness to read that ?"
This is a permit to land his cargo, from one of the
principal merchants of the city of Mexico. The cargo is
forthwith landed. About 1,000 dollars has done this.
Vessels have  arrived  off the  port, the clerks of the
houses to whom they are consigned have gone on board,
and actually made out false bills of lading, calling
500 bales 250, half of which is landed on the sly, and
the other paid duty for. Another goes to the adminis-
trador of the customs, and says, " I have a cargo to
land; there are about 500 bales, but with a little trouble
I can have them made up into four in a bale ; now I'll
give you 4,000 dollars (which is the duty on 125
bales)." " Very good," says the administrador, and the
bargain closes. The customs make 2,000 dollars, and
send the other 2,000 to the city, and the merchant
makes, or rather saves, 2,000 more, and thus work into
each other's hands. Half a vessel's cargo had been
landed (in our presence) by her own boats, while the
custom-house officers had been purposely invited to a
ball, and liberally treated. No one knew anything of
the occurrence but a few of ourselves, who could not
avoid seeing it. These are every day occurrences, and
thought nothing of. If the governor is inclined to be
" rusty," a petition is sent to head quarters, and he is
immediately recalled, and a more vjorthy takes his
The climate of Guaymas is healthy, and delightfully
cool, sometimes too much so, at night; the dew very
heavy, sufficiently so to lay the dust completely for the
coming day; the sea breeze sets in regularly between ten
and eleven in the forenoon, dying away again at five, six,
or sun-set; this is the cool and pleasant season (January
and February), but the residents look forward with
dread to the summer months, June, July, August, when
the heat they say is insufferable, and no person, male or
female, old or young, dare venture to sleep under the
roof, but bring their mats and pillows into the verandahs.    The day is passed in bathing !
Nearly a month had passed away in a most idle, tiresome, and unprofitable manner. The scenes at the
Plaza were at an end. The feast-days and nacimientos
of the new year had passed by. We were tired of the
sameness, constantly walking round the booths twenty
or thirty times a night, and many of us now almost
declared we would never go on shore again, when we
reflected and concluded that as our stay here was to be
longer than anticipated, there were still means of passing some really pleasant and agreeable evenings ; for we
did not pass up and down that noisy Plaza without
noticing the light hair and light blue eyes of many a
pretty and attractive face. Many a smile was interchanged, but our innate bashfulness would not permit of
our introducing ourselves; although I must do the
Spanish credit for not requiring such extreme formality,
yet we never could sum up resolution sufficient to say
(in the streets) " a los pieds de usted seiiorita."
We unanimously decided that the only way to commence an acquaintanceship was to give a general ball.
Those then who wished our friendship would come;
those who did not would stay away. Scarcely had
we matured our plans, when invitations from the resident merchants came off to invite us to a ball on shore.
Nothing could have happened more opportunely for us.
We should get an insight into their manners, customs,
habits, &c; what they liked, and what they disliked ;
it was delightful!
The ball was indeed a treat—all went—and all, I need
scarcely add, enjoyed themselves, and it surprised us to
see so many pretty, pleasing faces continually entering;
where they came from, we could not imagine. Surely,
we thought. Guaymas could not contain all.
Besides our daneed of quadrilles, waltzes, polkas, and
country dances, the pascola, the jaraby, and venado
(Indian dances) were gone through, and amused us
much, especially the latter, which was danced in part by
a very fat gentleman ! It is a very curious dance, by a
lady and gentleman, but I do not think it would be
popular in our drawing-rooms; it is illustrative of a
" deer-hunt."
The supper was a grand one,, and champagne without
any limit. Some offended ladies, who imagined they
had not sufficient attention shown them, departed
directly after supper; the little Mexican pride was
plainly visible ! This was acknowledged the fault of the
committee, who, not expecting so many, their numbers
were insufficient; hence the unintentional slights !
Dancing was continued until three in the morning!
The smallness of the room was the only drawback.
Those who did not dance stood in the centre, while the
dancing continued around them. There were many
belles! we could not individualize any;, but those most
justly admired were the Casa Fuerte's (4), the Serpent,
Venados, and the Amber Satins (2); these are names
given them by the mids., for the present, until better
acquainted. They dressed neatly and costly, with
jewelry in great profusion. We parted that evening
with a full realization of all the tales of romance which
we had heard and read for the last five years, concerning
the " fair Mexicans!"
Our ball next followed, but we had so many now to
invite, that instead of having it on board ship, it was
concluded it should be on shore, on, a smooth and
sheltered point, not far from the town, and a convenient
distance for the boats. Sixty families and forty single
persons were invited.
It occupied one week to erect a dancing booth, sixty
feet by thirty, a supper tent, a ladies' tent, and a steward's apartment. All that a ship could afford was
devoted to making these as perfect as possible ; but the
night preceding the ball a gale came on, and threatened
to tear everything from its foundation. Fortunately,
nothing very serious happened ; but all were in bodily
fear that the tents would have ascended like so many
balloons.    Next morning,   however,  all   was   secured
The day was cool, calm, and beautiful. All the
tents were railed in by boarding-pikes, with lines having
a boat's flag flying on each, and an avenue formed from
the landing-place, of orange branches, lined with lamps,
to the entrance of the grand saloon, all protected by
sentries, for many had already walked from the town to
witness this novel scene, and among them many who
required looking sharply after. At noon it was all
right. Flags of every nation present were hoisted over
each tent.
The day was most inviting, lovely in the extreme; and
at one P.M. nine boats were at the pier to bring all Guay-
mas to the gay and festive scene ; it was three, however,
before they arrived, and the trip in the boats was not the
least amusing. At four the ball commenced with a
grand quadrille (two sets of thirty-two each). Our band
was a harp, guitar, fiddle, two flutes, and a tambourine,
which harmonized well together. We danced until
dark, when the supper-room was illuminated, and supper
commenced. Seventy-five ladies sat comfortably at the
table (the flags alone which adorned the cakes cost eight
dollars), while at supper the dancing-room was lit up,
put to rights, and the carpet set up taut; and it was
only now that the evening really commenced. They
danced with all their hearts. Quadrilles, waltzes, polkas,
gallopades, country dances, pascola, jaraby, and venado,
a song between each, not forgetting the quartette of the
Ultimo Adios, and the Figaro fe. Twenty-one dances of
the former alone were got through. At two there was
another supper, and then continued the dancing until
three, when we could no longer stand. We had now
danced eleven hours, leaving only just sufficient effort to
get into the boats, and, when full, a blue light and port
fire was burned from each prominent point. The boats
rowed their precious cargoes slowly along. The night
was cool, calm, and beautiful, all was prosperous, and
at four our valuable freight was safely landed on the
same spot they had departed from twelve hours previously.
Thus ended our first ball. The ladies were
delighted; they said they had | never seen such a display before," and the only thing they regretted was, that
| they never should again." All were | Muy allegria/'
" Muy contento," and " Mucho sala."    The same morn-
I   i
ing knives, hatchets, and marline-spikes were doing their
savage work on our marquees.
Here, again, in the midst of our pleasures, we hear
of the death of a most estimable and kind-hearted man |
and how often we see those who really are too good and
too amiable for this world taken from us to a better one !
This is surely an illustration of the chequered life of a
sailor; one moment amid all the temporal pleasures of
this world—in an instant gone to the next, either to
eternal misery or to everlasting happiness !
How true it is that " in the midst of life we are in
death !" The worthy and kind captain whom I have
before alluded to at Mazatlan, and whom I could not leave
without paying a passing tribute to his worth, "kind in
the extreme to his officers, beloved by his men," was now
no more. A gloom hung all around, both on shore and
afloat; to quote the melancholy words of our informant,
-" all Mazatlan were in tears." A party had been given
to the residents on board this attractive frigate. Next
morning the captain came on deck, was taken suddenly
ill, and in twelve hours he was a corpse ; " he killed himself by kindness to others." He died, beloved by every
one. All we could hope was, that so good a creature
may be one of those select few, who at the last day
shall have said to him, f Come, ye blessed of the Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world/'
The ship was now thoroughly refitted, after all our
buffeting with storms, rocks, and icebergs, and a little
paint made us again proud of our " home on the waters."
- Many of our friends wished to see an " English frigate,"
and, although the day was an unlucky one, their wishes
were gratified, and the boats brought off about thirty
of our newly-formed acquaintances, among them  the
offended parties at the first ball; and we were so glad of
the   opportunity of making our ship conciliation hall
when all was explained, at once accepted, and as quickly
forgotten.    We had an afternoon of real fun, which mid-
shipmen alone can enjoy.    Everything in the ship was
shown to them ; and the mids.' berth appeared to attract
most attention,  not from its apparent incapability of
squeezing seventeen unfortunate   mids.  together,   but
from the fact of the number of relics collected during
our long cruise, which seemed to please amazingly; as
many as could be crammed into the berth were seated
(we all remained outside, and looked through the bars).
Our desks were opened ; the little relics, forget-me-nots,
locks of hair of those long since, I was about to say, forgotten—but forgive me—all underwent a most thorough
investigation.    We had to account for them all, and had
to dress in our theatrical dresses, frocks, and lace caps,
which had been made on board by ourselves.    If we
never laughed before, we certainly made up fully on this
occasion for any lost time ; the screaming and laughing
alternately was deafening, and only ceased when our
kind and liberal captain sent down to say that " Luncheon  was ready, and  waiting;"  and  although  the
temptation was great, it was with much reluctance they
left the dark and dreary berth for the captain's cabin.
All now became serious for a short time.
Darkness only broke up our party, and our friends
were escorted safely on shore, and, being invited to a
house where we had not before visited, could not resist.
In it passed one of our most agreeable evenings;
and it happened to be a house of which I shall have
much to say, and much to speak in favour of; but all
the pens, paper, and genius, could not speak in sufficient
praise of this Casa Fuerte !
" Ah! hour of parting! oh ! what words can tell
The sad last accents of the wild farewell!"
This hospitable mansion was situated in a most central
and convenient part of the town, in the middle of the
Plaza, and close to the landing-place facing the " Gal-
latea," having two entrances, and several windows
guarded fortunately by iron bars, and through these
many a sweet word passed, and many a " Se sale"
A few years since this hospitable rendezvous was well
known to every one who visited Guaymas. Scarcely
had a vessel dropped her anchor when a general invitation arrived for every one to come on shore to dance,
and sup, and enjoy themselves, at the Casa Fuerte.
Death has since visited this happy spot, and robbed it of
its main branch; and not until our arrival had it again
recommenced its byegone scenes. This interesting and
happy family of " light hair and blue eyes" consisted of
the family.
four; the eldest married, the remaining three beautiful
specimens of "fair Mexicans." One was of a thoughtful,
pensive, sweet disposition, being now and then serious ;
the second, young, gay, and thoughtless, exceedingly good-
natured and sweet-tempered ; the youngest, sedate, and
motherly, imparts good advice (gratis), and sweetly disposed. First cousins of these, and frequently at the
casa when we visited, were the two girls I have mentioned before as the "Amber Satins;" fine, tall, quizzical girls, good figures, and sweet-tempered; also two
other second cousins, lively, larkish, pretty girls, and
dance elegantly.
In the almost constant company of such creatures as
I have attempted only briefly to describe, will it be
thought unnatural, or contrary to the general disposition
of sailors, if I acknowledge that we felt our hearts
gradually and perceptibly softening beneath the irresistible glances of their soft bliue, yet piercing, eyes ?
Very pleasant evenings were passed at the " Serpents,"
where we always met the " cousins," and other agreeable
companions; but in the drawing-room of the Casa
Fuerte were the " happiest hours that e'er we spent.*
It was the prettiest movement in the world to see how
the dances were commenced. Of course-we did not
wish to introduce the subject, fearing it might be the cause
of trouble or inconvenience. One would shrug up her
shoulders, and exclaim, " Tan frio;" another woald rub
her hands, and place them on yours to feel how chilled
they were; a couple more would shift the small marble
table into, a comes; and this was, a general signal for us
to assist.    The good-natured " Lola ". would commence a
 the sala.
polka, and who then could resist? Off we went. One
dance of each sort, a song between, an Indian duet,,
and a little chat, passed away four or five hours in a
most delightful manner.
After our ball, with which they were so much pleased,
the people literally spoiled us; quite unfitted us for anything serious; and when we were seen entering " The
Casa," parties from the square soon followed to enjoy
new faces and jokes in bad Spanish.
Such was the delightful manner each evening was
passed; and it was a pleasing sight to those more
elderly to behold us, after our dances, "pairing off,"
some to the sofa, some to the window recesses, to talk
soft "blarney" (or, as they called it, "Se sate"), and to
make apologies for some whose duty prevented their
coming on shore.
To us, secluded as we had been from all that was
civilized for now nearly five yearsy the effect of such a
transition is impossible to describe 1 The female loveliness by which we were surrounded in that never-to-be-
forgotten " Sala " was jquite sufficient to drive much
less sensitive hearts than ours to utter distraction.
The time now arrived for another ball! An attempt
to describe or retrace the every day acts of kindness and
hospitality received from the residents of Guaymas
would utterly fail; but I must trust to my pen to carry
me through a mere outline of our "really last ball."
The very invitations were the prettiest things I have
seen; given expressly for us, couched in sweet terms, and
bordered with wreaths of flowers and loving couples
dancing the polka around the margin,
t 2
THIRD ball.
The room (a larger one on this occasion) was ad-
joining our " Casa Fuerte," and fitted in the most
tasteful manner imaginable, lined throughout with
white glazed calico (twenty-five pieces); pier glasses
hung all round ; the recesses flowered and festooned;
and at the head of the room was a model of our
own ship, working by clockwork, plunging and foaming in the elements (in miniature imagination only this
time), and underneath the name of our "happy vessel"
in large gilded letters, a compliment much appreciated
by us all. The Mexican and English national colours
blended together in graceful harmony over our model
ship. A ladies'1 room, a refreshment room, and next to
the supper-room the " Sala/' where so many happy hours
had passed away ! Mangrove trees, hung with oranges
and variegated lamps, formed a pretty entrance.
The ladies were dressed very tastefully, generally lace
over white and coloured satins, green and yellow silks,
jewellery in great display, white satin shoes and salmon-
coloured stockings, sashes, and one or two rosettes of
artificial flowers.
Supper was announced for half at one time, after some
few dances, and when they were refreshed the other half
commenced.     Then  dancing began  in right earnest.
I Heel and toe," down the middle and up again, with all
their hearts and strength.
" Those now danced who never danced before ;
And they who always danced now danced the more."
I several times looked round the room, and I think
the number of pretty faces exceeded those at our last
ball.    I do not like being personal, but I could not help
remarking that really the "Fuertes"  looked elegant!
irresistibly killing !    Poor pensive, triste E , danced
her last quadrille with me; and, if I recollect right, a
short waltz afterwards. I breathed (in bad Spanish)
vows of eternal remembrance in her ears ; declared that
nothing but my bond and attachment to the service of
my country, to which I was devoted, prevented me from
immediately settling in Guaymas, and making a loving
and amiable couple happy for life! She clasped her
hands tightly around my arm, looked doubtfully in my
face, and I heard murmured the unmistakable words,
" Se sale." " Run," said she, " from your vessel, and
live with us as a dear brother, and we will make you
happy." I endeavoured to explain the everlasting disgrace of such a rash step, with the risk of losing my
head also. When the quadrille finished, I was glad it
did. I led my partner to a sofa; I took a " sortijo" from
my finger, and, placing it on hers, prayed her to accept
and wear it for my sake alone, and, when she gazed on
it, to "pensar di mi."
One young person, who was evidently a little piqued
at not receiving an equal share of attention to my now
unhappy partner^ when I asked her a question, replied,
" She did not know me." " Oh !" said I, " if you don't,
it will break my heart!" I give her credit for her reply:
"Then come to me," she said, "and I will sew it up
Our second supper was at 2.30 A.M. Here our happy,
or now unhappy party again grouped together, and alternately eat and said sweet things, cheered and drank the
health of the Casa FuerteV; the girls to our pleasant
voyage. Before the supper terminated, the ladies most
unexpectedly presented our gallant and worthy captain
with a white satin ensign, the ship's name beautifully
worked on its fly. The "Ultimo Adms" was again sung.
The sentiment is so beautiful, I must here quote it, and
then the reader may conclude how charming must it
have been, sang by four fair-haired, bine-eyed Mexicans:—
" Adios Virgen celestial,
Que en el mundo peregrino,
Errado yu en mi camino
Mee voi a nn mnndo mejor.
Quedate en par en la iierra
Entre tus •suefi.os de oro;
A ! no maldigas mi lloro
Es el postrero de amor.
" Tu fuistes el primer ensueno
De mi ardiente fantasia,
Y tu seras, alma mia
Mi postrimero pensar.
Ayer tu amor fue mi vida
Tu desumor es mi muerte;
A! que amargo es oh f querida
Sin ti a, los cielos volar.
" Adios oh! muger que adoro
El angel vele tus suenos;
Quidate en par oh ! mi dueno
En un mundo de dolor.
Yo te perdono mi muerte
For tus caricias pasadas,
A! en tus horas doradas
Ten compasion de mi amor.*
Our last dance was at 5 AM., but there were many
who would not attempt it, and preferred rather passing
the few moments left them in pouring the last words of
love into their deluded partners' eais.
Some were very much affected at the thoughts of
parting. It would not be proper to commit to paper the
affecting lengths to which some of the "adios" were
carried. Many could not without difficulty be persuaded
to return to their ship and their homes, and in this distracted and heartrending state of affairs, we dragged
ourselves away at half-past five in the morning. Our
ship had sails bent, ready for sea, and before dark that
night all those who had endeared themselves to us by
their excessive kindness were far out of sight! Thus
were we compelled to take an abrupt leave—perhaps for
the best. I can hardly tell what a little coaxing may
not have accomplished.
We had not the least idea we were going to sea so
suddenly, and had hoped that this our last evening would
have permitted our performing the sad duties of a farewell!
One word, then, at parting, and I shall have said adieu
in spirit to them all. Their hospitality, attention, kindness, and good-heartednesshas given us just reasons never
to forget them ; and I am, moreover, certain there is not
one amongst us who is ungrateful enough to do so.
We had scarcely got Well clear of the land when a
gale down the gulf reduced us to close reefs, and, oh !
what a contrast to our last night this was ! I recollect
remarking to one of my partners, that I feared their
next picnic and ball would entirely drive us from their
memories.    I Oh, no/' she replied; " we are not like you
sailors—the first breeze of wind blows all away. Our
hearts are too sensitive; when we entertain a love or a
fondness, it is never to be erased.   Tears'"' (continued the
pensive E ) " may flow about your eyes, but ours
come from our hearts!".
" Sail on, sail on, thou fearless bark;
Wherever blows the welcome "wind,
It cannot lead to scenes more dark,
More sad than those we leave behind.
Sail on, sail on; through endless space,
Through calm, through tempest, stop no more ;
The stormiest sea's a resting-place
To him who leaves such hearts on shore."
On completing our fifth year together, we cannot but
look back and retrace many of the numerous incidents
which have occurred to us, with a mixture somewhat of
sorrow, joy, and pain. Many a hardship had we endured,
but it had been repaid by such scenes as just narrated at
Guaymas; many a long and clismal voyage had been
passed, but all forgotten in our first meeting on shore.
Many of our shipmates,young and old,have been snatched
away by death, shot, drowned, died suddenly or gradually,
from severity of climates; those who remained, who
were still permitted the privilege of enjoying life by a
kind and merciful Providence, had every reason now to
offer a silent and fervent prayer for their many hairbreadth escapes from the jaws of death.
After visiting several of the small islands in the Gulf
of California (not forgetting the town of Loretto, famed
for its female beauties), we returned to Mazatlan.   Seve-
ral of these small islands abound in deer and rabbits, and
the bays in turtle, many of which were taken, but were
rank and fishy, this not being the proper season (March).
We had also an opportunity of seeing the extensive salt
lakes in the centre of the Isle of Montserrate'. It had
the appearance of a lake of milk, the salt, of the most
transparent and best quality, having about one foot water
over it. Its surface covering a plain of immense extent,
the evaporation of 11° which takes place causes the great
deposit of salt, and which is sufficient for the consumption of the universe. A small specimen obtained was
like a lump of crystal.
In passing down the gulf, we had a parting look only
at the mountains whose bases encircled the town where
our never-to-be-forgotten six weeks had been enjoyed.
It fell a dead calm at sunset, and all the familiar outlines
of the "Cerros" surrounding our late scenes of pleasure
were before us, and we stood and gazed on them with
mixed feelings of gladness and sorrow, embracing a vain
hope that we may some day again return ! The moon
was a little past the full, and the night was a heavenly
one; not a ripple on the waters, and the reflected rays of
the moon on the sea appeared like a vast sheet of quicksilver. We pictured to ourselves the joy if we could only
be wafted at that moment near the windows of the Casa
Fuerte. The screams of " Hoy-ga" would not be called
in vain; one whisper of "Tan frio/' and the small
marble table placed in the recess, it would not be many
minutes before we would all be off " like mad," and utter
our " Se sales" o'er again.
. We arrived at Mazatlan just in time to partake of the
melancholy duty of firing minute guns, with drooping
colours, for our universally beloved Queen Dowager, who
had departed this life.
An American frigate lay in the bay, and, although
war had ceased between them and the Mexicans, the
hatred of the latter was still carried to great lengths,
and a most dastardly murder had just been perpetrated.
The band of the frigate had been kindly lent to the
theatre for the evening, and a boat sent, in charge of a
young midshipman, sixteen years of age, to bring them
off. They had (as is always the case) too much to drink,,
and a row ensued on the pier, which ended in this young
officer being stoned to death by the cowardly Mexican
villains! He was buried alongside the late much-
lamented captain as well as the owner of the Thames
yacht, who, it will be recollected, died not long since.
After the tombstone had been placed over the child's
gravej it was found next morning smashed to atoms ! I
visited the tombs of all shortly afterwards.
The cholera had entirely disappeared from Mazatlan,
but it was now the religious season, " Lent," and during
the evening in almost every house may be seen a
" Reunion Eeligiosa." A large recess in the drawing-
room was decorated with flowers, oranges, and coloured
waters, surrounding an image of " Inri;" the piano and
other instruments were permitted, with cliat, but no
dancing or singing allowed, and this was strictly
adhered to.
The Lent season terminated with a grand procession
on Good Friday—every one, high and low, rich and
poor, naval and military, joined, holding long lighted
candles (excepting the naval and military,) to the bearers
of different emblems of the season. Portions of this
ceremony were most absurdly hypocritical; others really
appeared devout; and I could not help noticing the
fact, that from the extreme heat of the day in the
streets, the candles melted quicker in the hands than at
the burning wicks.
Scarcely an evening passed without a Mexican murdering an American, or an American a Mexican. One
of our messmates was engaged late in the evening
binding up the wounds of an old grey-headed man, but
who bled to death during the night; another was shot
with his own pistol while examining it A fine young
American was taken for murdering a man in cold blood
for no reason whatever. (At San Francisco 5,000 dollars
were offered for his apprehension.) Parties of soldiers
were daily in search of persons who had during the
night committed some horrid crime. A pistol was taken
away from a drunken Yankee by one of our shipmates,
who had pointed it at him, and was about to pull the
trigger—a most providential escape he had. This is the
society we are at present surrounded by, and we are
compelled to be very careful where we go, and to go
well armed and prepared.
At one very pleasant " Tertuha" we met a cousin of
our dear friend at Guaymas. She was what may be
termed melancholy beautiful, but the charming Chonita
was a sweet coquettish creature, single, and apparently
without an admirer! From these and others we learnt
many pleasing accounts of our late friends at Guaymas.
They were all about to be married !    The attentions
of the i men-of« war" had caused some jealousy, and
fearing a renewal of our visit (which all had of course
promised), some were already married ! others promised,
and many not far off the happy state.
Before our departure for the Sandwich Isles we were
favoured by the politeness of the residents to a " Baile
de Campo," given in a cocoa-nut-grove a short distance
from town. The place was tastefully and elegantly laid
out, with every appropriate device that ingenuity could
Suggest; monte' tables here and there, and at one alone
150 ounces were lost by one person, the president of the
table,—rather an Unusual occurrence, for the chances are
generally in his favour.
I never saw such an opening of bottles, especially
champagne ; twenty dozen fled in no time. The music
was good and ground bad, but we nevertheless danced
eleven hours, and then concluded with a "Naval
Quadrille/' determined still to keep up the credit of our
This | Baile de Campo" is a good idea of getting out
of the heat and dust of a town. The mosquitos are your
only enemy, but their attentions are generally attracted
by the sweeter blood of the arms and necks of the fairer
and softer sex. So much for the good taste of these
tormentors ! (the mosquitos are meant).
The first portion of the Sandwich Isles seen was the
snow-capped peak of Mauna Roa, nearly fourteen
thousand feet above the sea, presenting a scene truly
grand, towering above the bay where the celebrated
circumnavigator Cook was murdered.
It is impossible to pass the spot of this melancholy
scene without participating in the universal feeling of regret at the sudden loss of so estimable and so renowned
an explorer. Those who have passed over his many tracks
know how truly all positions are placed, with only the
aid of a quadrant and pocket watch ;" and that his
end should have been so untimely and so unexpected,
depriving him of all the honours and rewards he was
about to enjoy when his task was so nearly accomplished, fills the heart of those who know what he had
encountered with despair and anguish on contemplating it.
The wrecks   of "two   ill-fated   vessels   marked the
entrance to the inner harbour of Honolulu; they were
driven on shore about two months since, and now lie a
warning to the mariner.
The Kanakas again laid hold of us, and we were
drawn into the inner harbour, and, as usual, we found
everything seventy-five per cent, dearer, consequent on
the numbers madly and thoughtlessly rushing to California, vessels constantly arriving crowded with deluded
persons in most deplorable conditions, and such scenes
of misery I never beheld ; one vessel, the Harmony
(of all names the most inappropriate) was a floating
nuisance; many had not even room to lay down, and
constantly chose the streets all night while in harbour.
The first levee I was presented at was to his sable
Majesty King Kamehameha, where all appeared in
full dress. A few years since these people were savages,
cannibals ! now a kingdom speaking our own language,
and acknowledging the Christian religion. A queer
feeling overcame us all. We were received at the
palace grounds by a guard of honour, and were presented by the Consul-General to his Majesty, sitting on
his throne, surrounded by his premier, lord chamberlain, minister for foreign relations, and the governors
of the many islands—it really was a novel sight. After
this we visited the palace apartments, and viewed the
several paintings of byegone kings and queens, chiefs,
&c. A Kanaka cannot be more thoroughly offended or
his dignity hurt than by asking him, "Who eat Captain
Cook T* His black face wiU turn pale with rage.
Our last evening was passed in a most pleasant
manner at the Bremen consul's, and we had an oppor-
tunity of witnessing the rapid progress made by the
pretty and interesting " half castes" in manners and
customs. Really they deserve much credit; and they
went through their dances of quadrilles, lanciers, &c,
with all the ease and grace of a Parisienne. After we
had bade adieu to all those who had done their utmost
to make a few evenings pass pleasantly for us, we were
again off.
On her most gracious Majesty's birthday, again
started on our third voyage to the Arctic regions.
There were some hopes that we should have been
recalled from this trying service, but now there were
none; we were out of all reach, and began to feel it
would never end. What added to our misfortunes'was,
being without warm clothing; and the provisions, by
Goldner (the villain), worse, if possible, than the previous
season, being also one year older; and altogether our
prospects were not to be envied, except that we had
another chance of rescuing from destruction our brave
companions !
Our only amusement (or at least pastime) was preparing for the "icy north.* Fogs already surrounded
us, making it cold, damp, and disagreeable.
Again we had to undergo the melancholy trial of the
loss of another shipmate. These severe tests of cjimate
were too much for him, and he gradually sank, and
breathed his last at 6 A.M. To him alone a mother
and family looked for support A few months since his
brother, an acting gunner, was blown off the deck of the
Cerberus, in Hamoaze, and drowned.; and now his spirit
had returned to Him who gave it.
The coast of Kamstchatka was again in sight; but on
this occasion the weather was thick, wet, and cold—a
most gloomy scene—and the land covered with snow.
The season was evidently a backward one, as we had not
yet experienced a fine day. Twelve months since lovely
weather was enjoyed.
On passing Mednoi Island, we could plainly see the
cross erected to Behring, who was cast away on an island
bearing his name, not very far distant, in 1745, with
many of his brave companions, who miserably perished.
Here a ray of sunshine shone on us for the first time.
We had been wet with all our clothes for fourteen days,
and were thankful now to have a chance of drying
Spoke an American whale ship " trying out," who informed us, consequent on the information we had afforded
to whalers, there were now two hundred sail in and
about Behring's Strait. All had been anxiously watching for anything that would lead to the whereabouts of
Sir John Franklin and his brave associates.
On entering Behring's Strait the sea was glassy
smooth, with a current setting us to the north two-thirds
of a mile an hour. The sunset was at half-past ten at
night, and all were turned up to view a scene that had
not before been beheld; and this was the only spot in
the world such a sight could be seen. | The continents
of Asia and America at the same instant!" It was a
grand scene indeed !—the sky a dark purple, the sea a
dead calm, the tops of the mountains white with snow,
whales innumerable spouting and fluking in all directions.    To the westward lay " Orel," the residence of the
much favoured Tippioikoi—-of whom I dare not say a
Off East Cape three baidars came alongside and
freely bartered ivory ornaments, fur shoes, and gloves, for
tobacco. From them we could gain no information
about our lost companions. They remained with us
two hours; and, after giving them some rum, tobacco,
and beads, they paddled off highly delighted.
Kotzebue Sound was full of icebergs, but in a fast state
of dissolution, crushing to pieces under our bows as the ship
pressed among them. Five baidars came out to meet us
with salmon and venison, the latter very high (not in
price). They were most friendly, and recognised us all
as " old friends." One of them held a certificate from a
friend of ours " that he had, during the Winter, been
kindly treated by this man," and we of course loaded
him with presents; but it was very curious to see a certificate presented to you in this out-of-the-way part of
the world.
The sound was so densely packed with ice that we
eould not enter, and therefore stood out again for a few
days. During the night a N.W. wind came on, and we
again bore up for Chamisso Island, and to our astonishment not a particle of ice was to be seen; it bad all disappeared in a night. We dropped anchor, and our contort,
who had passed the winter here, came alongside lis, " all
well." The only news heard was, that "white people
were on Point Barrow building a ship;" and the
natives had traced on paper a correct outline of the
coast, and placed the position of the "white people 1 on it.
After putting ourselves and ship a little to rights,
again sailed on our search along the coast; but, to our
utter surprise, found the solid ice-bank one hundred miles
south of where it last year stood! The zodiacal light
was now seen magnetic south, with its base on the
horizon, and at 11.40 A.M., the sun set brilliantly.
The weather, thick, foggy, and gloomy, with a strong
S.W. wind, obliged us to haul off the pack, which now
had the appearance of land, thirty to forty feet high,
covered with snow. We returned to Cape Lisburne, the
appointed rendezvous, and had not been here many
hours before a vessel in the offing hoisted a white ensign
(and H. union). She was direct from. England, had the
last twelve months news on board, and had come through
the Seguam passage, from the Sandwich Isles, without
sighting land, in the incredible short space of twenty-six
A further search in Baffin's Bay by four vessels was
in contemplation, making in all twelve ships in the
Arctic regions looking for our lost friends.
No promotions had taken place among us. We were
altogether forgotten. " Out of sight out of mind"—
the old saying verified S
We only remained in company sufficient time to pass
compliments. She bore up, hoisting the signal "Farewell!"
to which was at once responded " Success!" At midnight she was out of sight, intending to take the
" pack " at any risks, blowing then half a gale of wind.
"A hapless sailor here I roam,
Far from my dear maternal home;
Oh! shield me from the wintry blast!
The nightly storm is pouring fast."
The 4th of August was a day and night that cannot
easily be forgotten; it was one of the most awful experienced since the ship had been commissioned (now
five years). We had previously a few fine and calm
days; the horizon suddenly darkened all round, but was
bright over head. About one in the morning, after
some vivid flashes of forked and sheet lightning,
accompanied by a strong wind, which shifted to the
S.W., there was chain and fork lightning, flashing
through our rigging. It commenced like a ball of fire on
the horizon (similar to a sunset), and then burst forth
over the whole heavens, followed by loud peals of
thunder and rains.    So close did the lightning pass to
us, that I was about to call the men off the yard, who
were reefing topsails, rather risking the loss of yards and
sails, than the men ; however, a merciful Providence was
watching over us, and no accident occurred.
I was always impressed with the idea that the Straits
of Malacca and Sunda was the nucleus of the most vivid
lightning; but having been through those straits many
times, I had never seen it so awfully grand as on this
occasion, and that night made a deep impression on
The weather soon moderated, and it fell a calm, and
the ship anchored to avoid being set on shore by the
current and swell. Here our old friends, whom we, had
seen before this season, visited us; they were a little
dirtier than usual!
Here again our consort was seen, she had been to
Point Barrow. The story of the white men building
boats there was altogether without any foundation; and
we now began to find the natives, were cunning enough
to make up these stories for the sake of the rewards
promised. This made us somewhat cautious ; however,
a further story was now heard, that " a party of white
men, in two boats, had. been murdered near the Copuk,
and were buried, having whales' bones and jaws marking
the spot"—"some were still alive!" This was heard
from three separate parties, who were at war with the
Copuks. These, of course, we fancied could be none
other than our boat expedition which started twelve
months since; but the story was rather improbable.
It, however, coincided with one we heard at Michae-
louski, Norton Sound, last season, that, "the company
had seen natives with fire-arms," and that " the people
were all buried in a hole." Now the first, " fire-arms,"
the fur company will not permit; and the second is contrary to the usual custom of burying their dead !
However, the subject required altogether most mature
deliberation to decide what was to be done. We all, of
Course, wanted to be off immediately to search the spot,
but those who possessed older and wiser heads said
" wait awhile!"
The probability of the story was a little shaken by a
refusal on the part of our native informant to act as
pilot, with a temptation of a cask of tobacco and two
* * # # #
Before returning from the search of the coast and
packed ice, we landed on Point Hope, to place a mark
and bury a notice, for the guidance of any one following
The natives were friendly, and did not exceed
twenty-four in number. They bartered freely, but
lost no opportunity of stealing! They live in three
summer erangs, all their yourts, or under-ground dwellings, being shut for the season. Some we opened from
curiosity and entered; they were each about eight feet
under ground, si