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Title: Under the mizzen mast: A voyage round the world

Author: Nehemiah Adams

Release date: October 21, 2022 [eBook #69192]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: Henry Hoyt, 1873

Credits: Richard Hulse, Charlie Howard, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber’s Note

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Cover image created by Transcriber, using an illustration from the original book, and placed into the Public Domain.

original cover

Under the Mizzen Mast;



No. 9 Cornhill.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

To my youngest son,
Robert Chamblet Adams,
of Ship
by whose
filial love
this voyage
a source
of benefit
and will
be the occasion
This volume is inscribed as a Memorial, with his Father’s love.

Preface to the First Edition.

A narrative of this voyage was prepared for the ‘Congregationalist’ at the request of the editors, and appeared in successive numbers of that paper. On application of the present publisher for leave to issue it in a volume, it has assumed the form in which it now appears, revised and enlarged. The manner in which it originated explains its miscellaneous and somewhat desultory character.

Preface to the Second Edition.

So much interest in this narrative has been expressed that the author has been led to insert in a new edition things which it would have contained in the first, had the design been to give more than a brief sketch of the voyage.



Outward Bound, 9–80
Cape Horn, 81–154
California—The Sandwich Islands—Hong Kong, 155–195
Canton—Shanghai—Singapore—Macao, 196–259
Manilla—Homeward Bound, 260–345



He travels, and I too; I tread his deck,
Ascend his topmast; through his peering eyes
Discover countries; with a kindred heart
Suffer his woes, and share in his escapes;
While Fancy, like the finger of a clock,
Runs the great circuit, and is still at home.

There are so many running to and fro, and knowledge is thereby so increased, that I doubted, at first, if my friends did well to ask me to write for publication an account of my voyage. But I considered that impressions made on every10 new observer add something to the already large information of intelligent readers, besides reviving agreeable recollections. The thought that I may suggest to some friend in need of long rest one means of finding it, or encourage him to adopt it, leads me to give, as requested, the following narrative.

The writer, having been ill in the early part of 1869, was advised by physicians and friends to try the effect of foreign travel; but in what direction it was difficult to decide. With every suggestion of experienced friends there would arise some association of fatigue in sight-seeing, of monotony in resting long in one place. Pleasant as it would be to nestle in some quiet nook in Switzerland, or to take up an abode in one of the Channel Islands,—Alderney, for example, where there would be much to gratify curiosity, and where the distance from the11 centres of information would not be great,—the thought of being confined to one place or even district of country, or of being tempted to visit interesting scenes, and especially to make the acquaintance of interesting men, awakened such anticipations of labor as to forbid any hope of restoration from that source.

A son of the writer was compelled in youth, by ill-health, to leave his studies and go to sea. In the fall of 1869 he received command of a commodious ship, the “Golden Fleece,” which sailed in October of that year for San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Manila. By the kindness of Messrs. William F. Weld & Co., the writer and two members of his family accompanied him as passengers.

Many were the questions to which these passengers required answers previous to their embarkation on so long a voyage. The gale12 of September, 1869, which levelled our Boston Coliseum, and damaged so many steeples, and made such havoc among poplars and other trees whose roots run near the surface, led to the inquiry, What were the ordinary chances of such gales at sea? This question was answered by producing the log-book of a recent voyage from Mexico, in which it appeared that the weather, day after day, was so free from any cause for fear that the impression was allowed to gain strength that storms were an exception in sea-faring life. As to the gale just mentioned, it seemed safer to be at sea at such a time, with sea-room, than under roofs and chimneys, or in streets.

October 28, 1869, the ship Golden Fleece left Pier No. 12, East River, New York, in charge of a tug, and dropped anchor in the stream until the next morning. Members of our family circle went with us13 till we came to anchor, when they went over the side into the tug, where one of them took a sketch of us with her pencil, completing a sketch already taken of our cabin and staterooms for friends at home. We finally saw them reach the wharf, when we ceased waving our adieus and repaired to the cabin to put ourselves in sea trim.

The sailors were in good condition. The Shipping Master who brought them on board, had told them that the Golden Fleece was a religious ship; no swearing or fighting is allowed; a minister is among the passengers; the captain is kind and would treat them well. He had collected a good set of men; and when they stood on the lower deck and the shipping master called their names and checked them on the capstan, it seemed to me that I had never seen so many good faces among so many sailors. None came on board intoxicated, but this14 was not strange seeing it was but the third hour of the day.

We weighed anchor at six o’clock the next morning. The pilot had charge and took us down to Sandy Hook. We heard bells on shore at Staten Island and supposed that they were ringing for church.

We saw the pilot boat coming for the pilot at noon. It took him from us, and we began our voyage. The hills of Neversink alone remained to remind us for a short time of home and country. Twenty or thirty sail started with us, but our good ship took the lead and kept it.

After dinner the two mates gathered the men on the main deck to divide them into watches. They were unknown to the mates by name, but as each chose a man he pointed to him. Being divided, they repaired to their bunks and changed from one side of the forecastle to the other according as they15 found themselves in either watch. It was touching to see them, each with all his worldly goods in his arms passing each other to their respective berths.

In two days after leaving New York we were in the Gulf Stream. We sailed through leagues of herbage which was borne from the shores by the Stream, and like us was going to sea. The ship rolled; and soon the wind freshened and we were in a gale. We had our first sight of “mountain waves,” so called; but they needed some imagination and a little fear to make them mountainous. They were enough however to make us uncomfortable. The gale lasted two days. We took the impression that such was to be the ordinary experience in the voyage,—discomfort and tediousness. But we were happy to find that it was not so; for, during the whole voyage, there were very few such experiences,—so infrequent, indeed, as to16 excite surprise when they came. The morning after the gale the weather was fine. Going on deck, we found that we had exchanged the sharp air of the latter part of October in New England for the temperature of the early part of June.

Soon we were in the Tropic of Cancer. It seemed like a new world. Never before had we looked upon such a sky. There was no stratification in the clouds, and nothing of the cumulus formation; but the surface of the sky was composed of innumerable fleecy things moving in the gentlest manner, as though they feared to disturb slumber. The gentle motion was just the thing to induce sleep. As we thought of the turbulent state of the elements the day before, the sky now looked like an army which had been dismissed. It seemed as though there was not wind enough to form a large cloud. The hammock was made fast, one end of it17 to an iron belaying-pin in the saddle of the mizzen mast, in the shade of the spanker, and the other end to the rail. A hammock meets you at every point with the needed support. It brought strange sensations of rest to lie and listen to the plashing of the water against the sides of the ship. The measured roll of the vessel now was pleasurable. There was an easy swing to the hammock, as though a considerate hand were keeping it moving. How much better this rest and peace than travelling in Switzerland, or being pent up in the Azores, or wandering through Italy, if one needs rest and at the same time change of place! To an overworked brain here is seclusion indeed. There is here no post-office, with its delivery three times a day, so welcome on shore; no newspapers; no door bell; no agents soliciting attention to new works, and begging you to put your name down and accept a copy, as18 though you had subscribed; no succession of engagements;

“No cares to break the long repose;”

no crowd of passengers, nor daily calculation as to the day of arrival; nor jar of machinery, as in a steamboat, making you feel, day and night, that somebody is laboriously at work; and, to crown all, seemingly no end to your vacation.

But those clouds in the tropics! You had thought, perhaps, heretofore, that only at night the heavens declare the glory of God. Perhaps you find that the book which you brought on deck to read, but which you have no desire to open, may have in it a fly-leaf, on which, as you lie in the hammock, with one knee raised for a writing-table, you may indite these dreamy lines:—



Did we not think o’er ocean’s restless plain
To see embattled hosts, and feel the affray?
But lo! a truce is here, and gala-day;
Nor lines of march, nor rank and file remain.
The fleecy clouds move o’er the tranquil plain,
And fling their trade-wind signals to the breeze,
To Capricorn from Cancer, realm of peace!
They seek no martial order to regain,
But take some fancied likeness, one by one,
Or shape themselves in wizard groups of things;
No haste, nor deep designs, no jostling crowds.
The hosts are going home, their service done.
What sense of power the wide-spread quiet brings!
In calms or storms “His strength is in the clouds.”

The meteorology in the latter part of the Book of Job stood in no need of modern science to captivate the hearts of the worshippers of the true God. “Dost thou know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of Him which is perfect in knowledge?”

The charm of sea-life in a sailing-vessel I20 found to be constant occupation of the mind without wearying it. At first it seemed a duty to read the periodicals which we brought with us, the new books reserved for the voyage, the choice articles in the quarterlies which had been commended to us. But for these we found no time. What charm could there be in Dante when a school of porpoises was in sight, each of them leaping out of water just for the pleasure of the dive back? If the mate called down the companion-way, “A sail on the lee-bow!” the paper-folder must keep the place in the uncut volume till you know all about her. It would be tedious waiting at a corner of a street ten minutes for a horse-car; but it was pleasant to wait an hour and forty minutes to come up with the stranger ahead, gaining upon her all the time, meanwhile watching the flying-fish which the ship started on the wing, or going forward into the bows and21 looking over to see the ship dash through the waves, with “a bone in her mouth,” till suddenly the main topgallant-sail splits, and so fulfills the expectation expressed for the last five days that it could not long survive; and now, as it is the change of watch, and all hands are on deck, what could be more interesting than to see twenty-eight of them take in the old sail and bend the new one, then line the side of the ship with their curious faces to inspect the bark which we have now overtaken. She is the “Doon of Ayr,” one hundred and six days from Japan for New York, and as she was tacking we came so near that one might throw a biscuit on board. The captains of the bark and the ship had time for a few words of inquiry and information; then the two wanderers on the deep parted company, and watched each other for half an hour, and sighted each other, no doubt, occasionally, for an hour22 and a half, till each became to the other a speck. You have long ago forgotten your book, your journal, and magazine. This event, and its many interludes, are more interesting to you than a battle in Lord Derby’s Homer; it is practical life; you begin to feel that everything which you enjoy will be without the intrusion of periodical engagements, and you feel surprised that no such engagements now demand your thoughts.

Among the incidents at sea which give a charm to life, one is, Speaking a vessel. This is a metaphorical expression, retained from the former days before signals were used in conversation, and when vessels had to come near enough to each other for the speaking to act its part. We had been out five or six days, when a sail was descried on the starboard bow. It proved to be a bark; and we were as glad to see her as though23 we had met an old friend in a foreign land. The bark soon hoisted her ensign, which was the same as raising your hat in passing. We hoisted ours, which was a signal of recognition. The bark ran up four flags, which we recognized by the spyglass as 6 9 5 7, showing her number in the book to be 6957. Turning to it, we read “Sachem.” We ran up 4 5 9 1, our number in the book. The bark displayed 5 6 2 8, which we found to be “Salem.” We showed 4 7 8 2,—“New York.” The bark gave 6 8 7 4,—“Zanzibar.” We returned 2 1 8 0,—“California.” The bark showed 6,—“six days out.” We did the same. The bark showed numeral pendant,—this meaning “longitude,” and with it 54 38. We replied with 54 30,—our calculation. The bark then dipped her ensign, hauling it down half way, then raising it again. This was done three times. We did the same, which was24 equivalent to “good-bye” on either side, and lifting the hat; we added 6 3 8 9, meaning, “Wish you a pleasant voyage.” The answer was, 5 7 8 3, “Many thanks.”

These courtesies at sea are pleasant. Coming up with the vessel, or she and you drawing near in passing, reading the numbers by the spyglass, and arranging all the signals, is an agreeable occupation for the larger part of two hours, including the departure of the vessels from each other, as though friends were parting, leaving the ocean more a solitude than before.

Meeting vessels, or passing them at a distance, exchanging signals, making out their numbers, bring remote parts of the earth suddenly to mind. Thus new trains of thought succeed each other entirely disconnected. I always enjoyed exercise on horseback for one principal reason,—that on horseback you cannot long pursue one train25 of thought. Your conjunctions are disjunctive. If you purpose to make out your evening lecture on horseback, your attention is so frequently taken by something in the road, or by the action of the horse, that you probably come home without any connected plan. So at sea. The occasional sight of a sail is an illustration of the charm of sea-life as having complete possession of your thoughts without leaving you long at liberty to pore over a subject. If you meet a Norwegian bark, and the captain tells you he is twenty-four days from Buenos Ayres, there is Norway and Buenos Ayres for your meditation, and perhaps for your statistical or geographical inquiry. If the “Queen of the Pacific,” eighty-seven days from Macao for London, comes in sight, there is another chapter in the world’s great miscellany. That sail yonder proves to be the “Hungarian,” from Saguenay, twenty-one days out, bound to Melbourne, with lumber. You26 have another illustration of commerce binding together the ends of the earth. You soon excuse those friends of yours at home who commiserated you on the prospect of a long, monotonous sea-voyage. Where is the monotony? Not in the ship’s clock, which enumerates every hour and half-hour by a system of horology altogether different from shore time-pieces; not in the boatswain’s “Pumpship” at evening, when twelve or fifteen men entertain you with a song. Every tune at the pumps must have a chorus. The sentiment in the song is the least important feature of it; the celebration of some portion of the earth or seas, other than here and now: “I wish I was in Mobile Bay,” “I’m bound for the Rio Grande,” with the astounding chorus from twenty-eight men, part of whom the fine moonlight and the song tempt from their bunks, is an antidote to monotony.

The sailors were a merry set. Though27 only half of the crew—that is, one watch—were required each night at the pumps, all hands at first generally turned out because it was the time for a song. It was a nightly pleasure to be on the poop deck when the pumps were manned, and to hear twenty men sing. When making sail after a gale, the crew are ready for the loudest singing, unless it be at the pumps. For example, when hauling on the topsail halyards, they may have this song, the shanty man, as they call him, solo singer, beginning with a wailing strain:

Solo: O poor Reuben Ranzo! (twice)
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Solo: Ranzo was no sailor! (twice)
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Solo: He shipped on board a whaler! (twice)
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Solo: The captain was a bad man! (twice)
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Solo: He put him in the rigging! (twice)
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Solo: He gave him six-and-thirty— (twice)


by which time the topsail is mast-headed, and the mate cries, “Belay!”

When the mainsail is to be set, and they are hauling down the main tack, this, perhaps, is the song:—

Solo: “’Way! haul away! haul away! my ro-sey;
Chorus: ’Way! haul away! haul away! Joe!

the long pull, the strong pull, the pull altogether being given at the word “Joe;” then no more pulling till the same word recurs.

When hauling on the main sheet, this is often the song, sung responsively:

Shanty man: “Haul the bowline; Kitty is my darling.
Crew: Haul the bowline, the bowline haul!”

That no one may think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me, let me say that I find, on inquiry, that the “main tack” is the line which hauls down that corner of the main sail which is toward the wind; called, therefore, the “weather clew.” The “main sheet” hauls29 the other corner of the main sail; called, therefore, “the lee clew.” Why a rope should be called a sheet is a piece of nautical metonymy which it would be difficult to explain. “Larboard” and “starboard” were formerly used to designate respectively the left and the right side of the ship, standing aft and looking forward; but the two words, so much alike, were not always readily apprehended, and so were changed to “port and starboard.” Why the word “port” is used, does not appear; nor can any one tell why “Reuben Ranzo” is associated with one of the long pulls; if there be any philosophy in it, or historic association, it is as deep as the sea, or hopelessly lost.

After singing at the pumps in good weather when there was not much work, the men would have some amusement. Sometimes it was “Hunt the Slipper.” Then, again, two men sat down opposite30 each other, their hands and feet tied, and a capstan bar was run through each of the two men’s arms, behind him. The two would push each other with their feet till one would lose his balance, and fall over; then, being helpless, he was at the mercy of his comrade’s feet till he begged for quarter. These games were interspersed with declamations. We had some of Macauley’s “Lays of Ancient Rome,” “Spartacus,” “My name is Norval.” The merry laugh and the clapping of hands at the declaimers, and, now and then, the youthful voice of a boy reciting his piece from Henry Clay, or a story from the “Reader,” beguiled many an evening in the tropics.

On crossing the line, one evening when we were on the poop deck, we were startled by a voice on the lower deck, “What ship’s that?” The captain replied. The voice answered, “I shall call upon you to-morrow;31 I have an engagement this evening.” At 3, P. M., the next day, being Saturday, we were summoned on deck by one of the sailors, who announced that Neptune was coming on board. All at once we saw a grotesque figure swinging in the air over the water, half-way up to the main yard, two of the sailors pulling him in. He came on board, wet from his waist; and there came also over the sides a female figure and a young man. They came to the front cabin door, and saluted the captain, who stood ready to receive them. Neptune had on spectacles made of a tin can, epaulets of the same, buskins made of duck, long hair of rope-yarns, a duck tunic, and a girdle of twisted ropes. Mrs. Neptune had on a long duck mantle, her face blackened with burnt cork, and a large fan made of wood, and covered with sail-cloth; she used it gracefully. The son bore his father’s trident, which was a32 four pronged iron, called “the grains,” used for spearing sharks. He, also, was fantastically dressed. They made obeisance to the captain, who welcomed them on board in a short speech. They then repaired to a booth fitted up as a sort of marquee, flung up the sides, and called a young man from the crew. They asked him if he ever crossed the line before; then set him in a barrel, with his feet out, inquired his name, where from and whither bound, and as he opened his mouth to answer, they inserted the paint brush filled with soap and lime, with which the son was lathering him, who then produced an old saw fixed in a piece of wood for a sheath and handle and shaved him. Neptune then ordered him to be washed; when four men took him and dipped him into a barrel of water. This they did to three young men. They then came up to our deck and saluted us. The captain informed them that we33 were all liege subjects of Neptune and needed not to be sworn. They then wished us a pleasant voyage,—Mrs. N. taking her husband’s arm, fanning herself gracefully,—and they withdrew. While it was a successful masquerade, well sustained in all the parts,—the boys consenting to be hazed conscious that they were contributing something to the dramatic poetry of sea-life,—it was easy to see that it was capable of abuse. The officers saw that they should be careful how they allowed this liberty. To an invalid at sea these things are medicine; and, as I am writing in the interest of some who may betake themselves for the first time to sea in a sailing-ship for health, I would say that they must wait till they are in circumstances to find how “dulce est desipere in loco,” how pleasant it is at sea to be even gamesome upon occasions.

One day as I lay in the hammock I found34 myself in a revery; my eye being fixed on a bright, new rope which appeared among the running rigging. I mention it as an illustration of the frames of mind which steal upon an invalid passenger, especially in a sailing-ship, because undisturbed there by a crowd, or by the noise of steam and its machinery. Would any one think that a single halyard among five or six others could bring to mind Burke’s treatise on the “Sublime and Beautiful”? But it was even so. I found my eye going up the new rope in admiration at the perfect regularity in the twist of the strands. An artist cannot always combine the hempen yarns with the exactness which the ropemaker’s wheel gives them. My eye went from the new rope to the old ones; all had the same perfect twist throughout the ship. The ropes, from belaying-pin to truck, the signal halyard and the hawser, seemed instinct with “the35 beauty of fitness,” to borrow a term from the above-mentioned writer,—a common window-sash, with its parallelograms of panes, serving that great genius for an illustration.

“Thus pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts, to be claimed by whoever shall find.
Thus a rich loving-kindness, redundantly kind,
Moves all nature to gladness and mirth.”

I cannot forget the simple pleasure which this meditation on a rope gave me, carrying me back to youthful days in my native place, and to the ropewalks there, the swift spindles, the horse in the cellar turning the wheel, the spinners, each with a bunch of hemp around him hitching it to the spindle, then walking backwards, paying out the hemp through his hands with judicious care, the rope all the time growing lengthwise, down the walk. It used to be a wonder to me how the horse in the cellar, going about on the tan, could twist the twine at the end36 of the bridge as accurately as it was twisted at the spindle. Unconscious influence, remote causations, continents, oceans, years, intervening between the agent and the effect of his example and words, were illustrated by the horse in the ropewalk; and the revery would have been protracted, had not a vessel ahead caught my eye. Coming to my senses I thought of Dean Swift’s satire on Robert Boyle’s pious and sentimental writings, which the Dean had to read in the hearing of Lady Berkeley, whose simplicity and enthusiasm he was pleased to ridicule, in revenge for the task imposed on him, under the guise of mimicking Mr. Boyle, in the famous piece, “Meditations on a Broomstick.”

But few things have so pleasing an effect in solving the kinks in one’s brain as to lie in a hammock on deck at sea far away from care, and let the fancy like the poet’s river “wander at its own sweet will.” This wandering37 would have continued, had I not been startled by descrying as aforesaid a vessel ahead, hove to, directly across our course, under short sail, her jib-boom gone, all looking as if she was in distress and trying to intercept us for relief. We began to consider how many we could accommodate in case she proved to be in a sinking condition; how our provisions would hold out; and other prudential questionings; which were soon dissipated by finding that she was a whaler with a whale alongside, a man standing on him cutting in, and the rest of the crew, some of them, hoisting up the pieces, and others trying them out. This episode in practical life contrasted well with the revery with which the forenoon begun, making with it a good illustration of the variety in sea-life.

It had rained in torrents one night, and it kept on till nine o’clock the next day. The sailors stopped the lee scuppers, and soon the38 deck had several inches of water on the lee side. The ducks were released and thought their paradise regained. The sailors could not resist the opportunity to do a little washing; so flannel shirts and other articles of apparel came forth into the common tub, the main deck; being trampled on by bare feet instead of the more laborious process of the washing-board. The sturdy limbs bared up to the knees showed fine sets of muscles, enough to excite the admiration of an artist pursuing anatomical studies. After the sailors had finished, they turned their attention to the pigs, which were severally walked into the water on two legs by the men, when they were chased and knocked about and scrubbed, till, by their looks, they made you believe the saying of the market-men that ship-fed pork has no superior. There was no monotony here.

But there was monotony soon in the doldrums.39 These are a region near the equator, between the north-east and south-east trades, where calms and rains abound, puffs of wind varying in direction every half-hour, trying to the sailors, disappointing the captain’s hopes. He yearns for steam; even an old captain will resolve, for the hundredth time in his life, that he will never go to sea again; he jumps on his hat and whistles for the wind. Then a breeze springs up, and he rubs his hands, and thinks that, after all, his ship is better than a steamer, till, in half an hour, she is almost motionless.

Then is the time for the sharks to appear. They are slow creatures and cannot keep up with a good sailor; so in calms they come and lie alongside. The little pilot-fishes, the curious attendants of the shark, directing his attention to food, are with him. The grains are thrust at the shark; and, if they fasten in him, a bend of a rope around his tail40 brings him on board. Sailors have great spite against sharks; they may show tenderness to other creatures, but for sharks they have no mercy. They will use their sheath-knives about his nose, and disfigure him in all conceivable ways. Their theory is that a shark never dies till sunset. Sharks are hard to kill. You may cut off their heads and tails, and disembowel them, and even then the trunk will thrash the deck at so lively a rate that his executioners will have need to jump about for safety. In contrast with the shark, the dolphin seemed to me for beauty to verify all that poets have said of him. It is my belief that a dolphin’s mouth is as perfect a curve as nature ever produces. His tints, when dying, are no fiction. Two sword-fish were caught one day, and the rapidity with which they were stripped of their flesh, and their back-bones hung up to dry, rivalled the skill and speed of young surgical practitioners.



Few if any need to be informed that the mizzen mast is the hindmost of the three masts of a ship. The mizzen mast of the Golden Fleece is a solid stick, but the foremast and mainmast are built. In this section of the country it is not always easy to find trees large, tall, straight enough for the foremast and mainmast of a large ship. A smaller one will answer for a mizzen mast. The foremast and mainmast are specimens of ingenious mechanical work, eight or nine pieces in each of them making a circumference of sixty-two inches. Iron bands gird these heavy staves, which are grooved and jointed together. There are five hoops of broad iron, five feet apart. The mainmast being in the centre of the ship is continually scraped, oiled, and varnished. The iron hoops are painted vermilion, which sets off the color of the spruce wood. It is pleasant42 to look on the manufactured masts which show what human skill can do; for example, a mainmast that can support those immense yards which when lowered to the deck you can scarcely believe are each of them itself less than a mast, for it supports a huge weight of canvas stretched upon it.

The mainmast holds up a top mast also with its yards and sails, a top-gallant mast with yards and sails, the royal, and sometimes a sky sail. Then the foremast also, which bears the same burden and is also a manufactured thing; as you think of it, a hundred feet ahead of you, pioneering your way and taking the first brunt of the sea, you cannot help regarding it as the most heroic of the three masts. Inspiring as the sight of these always is, I cannot withhold from the mizzen mast peculiar attachment. As already stated, one end of the hammock is fastened to it, the other end to the rail; on one side or the43 other there is almost always a shade from the spanker, a principal fore and aft sail which swings from it.

Lying here about Thanksgiving time I was musing on the mizzen mast, when I fell asleep, but my musing continued. The mizzen mast, once a live tree, seemed now to be a living person; it appeared to be soliloquizing, though now and then it seemed to be addressing an audience, and again it was whispering to me. I fancied it saying thus:—

“I was once a shoot which a fox could tread down; then a sapling. I grew on the side of a hill in the Aroostook region. The Indian names of my native lakes and rivers have been for so long a time disused that I cannot now distinguish between the Chern-quas-a-ban-to-cook, the Ah-mo-gen-ga-mook and “the far-winding Skoo-doo-wab-skook-sis.” Once these names were44 familiar to me. Now I wander with you who sail with us in the wilderness of ocean. You sympathize with me, perhaps, in my exile from the stillness of nature. You are tempted to fancy me contrasting my rough life with the silence in which I grew. Years passed over me and my kindred in the untrodden forest; what ornithology I might describe; what songs I might recite; tell what eagles visited my top; what rare plumage is remembered as having showed itself in my foliage. Squirrels gambolled on my limbs, woodpeckers ransacked my sides for their prey. Many a woodbine has climbed into me, lived its short life, and turned crimson under the first touch of frost.

One day men came beneath me with axes, measured my girth, looked up to my top. Great was my fall. I lay on the ground, my top was brought to a level with my root. I became a mere trunk, was borne to the45 shipyard, my foot set in the hold of this ship then new, and soon I was made ready for my vesture of canvas in place of buds and blossoms; I began a new life among the winds on the seas. Now I am sailing about the world; I have been many times round Cape Horn, am familiar with the lightnings off the River Plate, have compared the gales around the Cape of Good Hope with those of the Horn; know the latitudes where the trade winds begin and where they cease. I am a favorite resort of passengers in a sailing ship. I stand aloof from the main deck where work is all the time going on and there is much passing to and fro. The house,” (here it seemed to be addressing an audience) “which is the raised covering of the cabin, is there, extending perhaps one third the whole length of the ship, affording on its top a place for promenading. From me swings the spanker, a large fore and aft46 sail, helping the wind to balance the ship and much of the time throwing a shade; and there is almost always a current of air stirring beneath it. Under me and in the spanker’s shade the passengers spend a large part of every pleasant day reading, writing, conversing, enjoying the ocean scenes. Every pleasant evening is sure to gather them under me. My length runs down through the forward cabin where I am cased in. There the preacher or reader stands, with a congregation of about thirty. I am therefore a witness of a large part of a passenger’s experience at sea. His impressions and reflections, his reading, his writing, his conversation, his journal, may properly be dated under me.

It might be supposed” (here it seemed to relapse into soliloquy,) “that the shipbuilder had ideality playing about him when he placed me, a tree of the wood, in the most interesting47 position, to be a centre of social life, a shelter to meditative hours, identifying myself with the choicest moments of sea life, retaining a magnetism which memory is destined to feel in coming years. Such is my origin and early history, and such the associations, in memory, with the mast under which most of the impressions to be recorded here, no doubt, by one of our passengers will be received. If his readers (should he have any) shall be so happy as to find themselves under a mizzen mast at sea, let it shed the healing, healthful influence on them which seem to be descending on the sleeper under my shade.”

This last remark, seeming to be such a personal allusion to myself, had the effect to startle me, and I roused myself, surprised at having been asleep, and I looked up to the mizzen mast to see who was speaking. It was the mate who that moment was saying,48 “Set the crojick;”1 whereupon four sailors came to the belaying-pins where my hammock swung and began to loosen the buntlines. I went below to prepare myself for the Thanksgiving dinner.


We kept Thanksgiving, it having been appointed before we sailed, so that we knew the day. We dined at four, instead of our usual hour (half past twelve), and so we were at table part of the time with those at home. Our dinner was:—1. Oyster soup; 2. Boiled salmon and scalloped oysters; 8. Roast fowl; 4. Huckleberry pudding; 5. Apple pies of dried apple. Now, should any one envy us, or should his mouth water at such a bill of fare, let him know that oysters49 and salmon from tin cans are not the same as those fresh from Faneuil-Hall Market.


We may be said to have had a Thanksgiving dinner once a week. But the principal dish was not fowl. Far from it. It was salt fish; but probably no better meal from this article of food is ever served on shore. With every desirable vegetable, and some sparkling champagne cider which a thoughtful friend had placed among our stores, we were rivals with Ruth when she sat beside the reapers of Boaz in the harvest field, and he reached her the parched corn “and she did eat and was sufficed and left.” For dessert we had at that meal “roly-poly,” which is thin flour paste spread with apple sauce, then rolled together and boiled; this with sweet sauce flavored with vanilla made us for the time imagine ourselves on shore.50 We entertained each other at these feasts with the choicest anecdotes, which our repasts disposed us to call to mind and to relish; for example, instances of Mr. Choate’s ingenuity, as, when defending a sea captain charged with cruelty to his crew, he undertook to show that so far from being cruel he was eminently considerate, so much so that instead of searching the law books to find out, as the witnesses alleged, what punishments were allowable and could be inflicted with impunity, he was only guarding himself against the excessive use of legitimate discipline; “he read the books with paternal yearnings; he was a mild but firm parent;” and instead of keeping his crew on vile trash, tasteless, sometime loathsome, “think, gentlemen of the jury, of applying such words to the nutritious lob scouse and the succulent dandy funk!” How could the jury help saying as they presently did, Not guilty?



Perhaps the reader, if he be not already versed in the articles of luxurious food served to sailors, will be willing to have his curiosity gratified as he reads what are the component parts of lob scouse and dandy funk, the mention of which by the eloquent advocate helped him to clear his client, the captain.

“Lob scouse” is salt meat and potatoes cut small and stewed.

“Dandy funk” is hard bread broken up, soaked in water, mixed with molasses, and baked in pans. Why Mr. Choate should call it “succulent,” or lob scouse “nutritious,” it requires legal cunning to detect.

“Sea Pie” is lob scouse with dumplings in it, the meat not cut so fine; perhaps fresh meat. When a pig is killed the sailors the next Sunday generally have sea pie for dinner, made with fresh pork.


“Bread Hash” is hard bread and salt meat minced fine and baked.

“Potato Hash” is potatoes and meat minced fine and baked.

“Manavellings” are remnants from the cabin table, the boy’s treat.


We mourned the disappearance of our apples. They began to decay three weeks after we left New York, and our steward was obliged to employ his ingenuity in finding ways to use them up. We thought with pleasure of the tropical fruits which we hoped one day to taste; but nothing, we felt sure, could take the place of a northern apple. We expected to miss it as much as Sydney Smith did his summer beverage, in a place which he lugubriously describes as being situated “five miles from a lemon.”



The steward was passing from the galley to the cabin table with a plate of hash. A sudden lurch made him lose his balance. His arms went into the air and the hash left the plate and went in a body against the side of the ship where a coil of rope hung; and it remained fast, the coil forming an oval frame for it. We pitied the steward but did not weep for the hash. Some of us thought we could understand the action of a company of boys at a boarding school, who were asked in Lent what luxury they would each propose to forego during the season of fasting and humiliation as a religious offering. Slips of paper were given to them and in a little while were collected. Every one of the forty papers bore the word, Hash. Some of our company were so lost to a sense of propriety as to exult at the steward’s mishap.



We have a stewardess, Annie Cardozo, wife of the steward who is a Cape de Verd, Portuguese, man. She is an Irish woman, very talkative, of good disposition. She was fixing my mattress; I remarked that it was too low on the side next the room. “Well,” said she, pleasantly, “we must think of the Lord, he had no where to lie down.” She may have thought that I was querulous, which in the present instance was not the case; but I accepted the admonition.


One evening in the Gulf Stream just at dark the top-gallant sail was blowing adrift from the “gaskets,” (the ropes with which it was furled;) and the whole sail was likely to get loose. The captain said that it must be secured. The mate doubted if it was safe to send men aloft in such a gale. The captain55 replied that he had been obliged when he was before the mast to go aloft in worse weather. He could not spare the sail. The mate gave the order: “Go aloft, some of you, and make fast that top-gallant sail.” Six or eight men sprang into the rigging and soon the sail was furled.

The captain’s eye is necessarily the most of the time all over the ship. We were sitting on deck when the ship was laboring in a cross sea. He noticed that the main topmast stays quivered. The stays had within a few days all been “set up” for Cape weather, but these were not so taut as they should be. It was only a wakeful eye which would have noticed it. The remedy was applied at once. It is interesting to me as a father to hear the young captain spoken of by the sailors to each other as “the old man.” Had he a wife, though she were only eighteen years of age she would nevertheless be called “the old woman.” This made it less offensive56 to hear myself, though decidedly far from seventy, spoken of as “the old gentleman.”


At night, or from eight P. M. the two mates take turns to be four hours each on deck, with or near the man at the wheel. They direct the steering according to the captain’s orders, oversee the ship, and report to the captain several times during the night as to wind and weather. Two of the crew keep a lookout in the bows two hours at a time watching against collisions and in some latitudes against ice. The law of the road, “When you meet turn to the right,” is the law at sea. The chances of collision are few. You wonder that you so unfrequently meet a sail, especially remembering the long list in every paper of arrivals, departures, vessels spoken. In thick weather, especially while on a coast, the danger increases and a sharp lookout is the rule.



I have seen at least a thousand in the last few weeks. They resemble the smelt, though larger. They start up before or near the ship in small flocks and fly fifty or a hundred feet. By taking wing though for short distances they are able to elude the dolphin, the swiftest of their pursuers, who wondering what has become of them, darts on ahead. Their escape by flying is probably as incredible to the dolphin as the sailors tell us it was to the mother of a sailor who was questioning him as to his experiences at sea. He told her many wonderful things, as, that a wheel of one of Pharaoh’s chariots came up on his anchor; that he saw a whale caught, in whose stomach was found a handkerchief with a Hebrew word on it which a minister on shore declared to be Jonah; that there are now fishes in the sea of Tiberias which have in their gills fluted58 pieces of pearl resembling money, by which name they are now called, and that some give them the name of “Peter’s pence,” supposing the fishes to be descendants of the fish which Peter drew from the sea. But when he described fishes flying in the air, taking wing before his ship, the faith of the listener gave way; the other stories, she said might be true, for they had a foundation in holy writ; but flying fish were too great a tax on her belief.—One was washed on board, whose wings, extended and dried, had a gossamer appearance so delicate that one might readily believe them to be the wings of something more delicate than a fish.


For about a week we have been directly under the sun. When we came under lat. 21° S. we could see nothing of our shadows at noon. Had we been ignorant of the cause we might have been in a frame of mind predisposing59 us to listen to German stories of a man’s selling his shadow to the evil one: for what had become of ours? Had we been of those ‘whose souls proud science never taught to stray far as the solar walk or milky way,’ we imagined what our speculations on this phenomenon would have been. One’s shadow certainly can never be less than in 21° S. Under our feet there was to each of us something like one of the clouds of Magellan.


These we saw in the evening in the south-east, half way up to the zenith. They are two dark spots, one larger than the other, about twenty paces apart, not far from two yards broad. No stars appear in them. The telescope shows them to be openings into a milky way or paths of star dust, groups of heavenly bodies so many and so60 distant that their light is confused. Hence these openings in the bright heavens have the appearance of clouds, though they are not clouds; but the light which is in them is darkness, its excess confusing the irradiation.


You can have sea water brought to your room for sponge baths, or there is easy access to a room in the ship fitted up with all the conveniences for bathing. The men pour water through a hole on deck into a reservoir over head; pure sea water; the quantity making you remember the saying of Horace, ‘Dulce est detrahere acervo’,—It is pleasant to draw from a heap. In the Gulf Stream the water would suit those who must dip their razors into warm water. All who wish for cold baths will have them as they get further North. You have a sense of affluence in drawing on the Atlantic for your morning bath.



It is interesting to meet birds hundreds of miles from land. When the ship is going at her greatest speed, twelve or thirteen miles an hour, these birds fly faster, some of them forty and fifty miles, making you feel how they surpass man in all his means of speed. One is astonished at their quickness of sight. You throw pieces of paper, for example, overboard, and though you have not been able for half an hour to see a bird, straightway they will come one by one around you, but you cannot tell whence. Their sharpness of sight also is marvellous, shown in their discovering fishes beneath the surface of the water, even when the sea is troubled.


A ship’s work is never done. All the time something is giving way and must be repaired;62 the sails are to be patched, ropes replaced, and day and night orders issue for taking in or making sail. None in particular are designated for ordinary work, but the order is given to the watch on deck: “Go aloft, some of you, and do this or that,” when they all spring into the shrouds; and when it is seen that enough are on their way the hindmost fall back.

In good weather, the sails which need mending are spread on the deck and subjected to the needle. The thimble instead of being on a finger is fixed on a leather “palm,” which is drawn over the hand and affords the means of giving a strong push. It is composing to sit by and watch the sewing, or to lie in your hammock soothed by the measured monotony of the stitching and the plashing water. It is doubtful whether anything furnishes an invalid with more complete repose than a life on board a well-appointed sailing ship.



The captain sent a man aloft at six A. M. to look for land. In fifteen minutes he called down, Land ho! It was Roccas Keys, one of the eastern projections of South America, about four miles from us. The white rollers soon showed themselves, with rocks behind the breakers. It was a pleasant sight in the morning sun, a relief after seeing nothing for a long time but the seemingly endless waters. A current had set in, but we were still in fifty fathoms of water. After watching the breakers an hour they disappeared. At four P. M. the captain thinking that we were too near the shore to pass Cape St. Rocque and Cape St. Augustine, tacked for two and a half hours, which made him feel sure of clearing the land in the night.



The twenty-fifth of November was a beautiful day in contrast to the probable state of the climate at home, and calling us all on deck. One of the passengers sat plying her needle on the chief signal flag, another writing, one enjoying the soothing influences of the day in his hammock, the captain fixing his signals with a contrivance for keeping them separate and easily handled. Soft airs were about us. The clouds showed that we were in the trade wind region. Instead of banks of clouds and thunderheads there were innumerable fleecy clouds, mostly small, giving a calm look to the heavens. We seldom see this for a long time on land. We are in all respects the larger part of the time as if we were in a pleasure boat. No doubt other ships would awaken as agreeable sensations, but we are much of the time impressed with the gracefulness of our ship’s motions. We65 are instructed that this is owing in part to the stowage. She is not too much “by the head” nor “by the stern;” yet, after all, there is sometimes an indescribable air of beauty in a craft which the wisest builder will fail to define or to account for, while every one sees and feels it. Wholly ignorant of niceties in the art of steering, I soon learned by the action of the ship that it made a difference in her behavior whether one man or another were at the wheel. Many a time have I been so impressed with the way in which the ship rode the waves that I have left my seat to see who was steering, and have found that Nelson was having his trick at the wheel. Nelson is a tall sailor, about fifty years of age, an American, not always as exemplary on shore for his temperate habits as at sea he is skillful in his profession. He has the eye and hand of a marksman in encountering groundswells,66 running through chop seas; making me think of the gallant manner in which some policemen help ladies cross the thoroughfares.


For nearly a month we have had quiet nights. Sleep is as deep and dreams as natural as on shore. Bed time is at half past nine and breakfast at half past seven. Going to sleep or waking in the night knowing that a mate and fifteen men are up and round about you and will be succeeded once in four hours by others, it is not strange that you should have a feeling of repose. It is useless for you to have an anxious thought. You could not go up to the royals nor out to the jib in an emergency; these men will go for you. How would it do at home to feel that angels who excel in strength are in the dwelling, in the cars, being caused to fly swiftly to keep you in all your ways?



We spent the afternoon on deck watching the waves, they being fairly entitled to the designation of billows. The sea was white with foam, though the day was fine; while round about the ship the eddying water presented numberless forms of beauty. These words by one of the poets are sometimes as true of sea water as of fresh:

“How beautiful the water is!
To me ’tis wondrous fair;
No spot can ever lonely be
If water sparkle there.
It hath a thousand tongues of mirth,
Of grandeur or delight,
And every heart is gladder made
When water greets the sight.”

Every now and then an enormous wave would break astern or about midship, like a mad pursuer compelled suddenly to give up the chase and die with a roar which seemed to tell what it would have been glad to do.68 It was Saturday afternoon, the time devoted by us at home to driving into the country; but the larger part of the afternoon went by unheeded while we were watching these frantic waters spending themselves one after another in their harmless wrath. There is more of pleasurable excitement in such a contemplation in a ship under sail than in driving; the sea air in fine weather giving exhilaration to the system which is in some degree a substitute for exercise. The ceaseless play of the water, never repeating itself in the same shape, interests the mind without fatigue, keeps attention awake by new surprises. We were at the mouth of the River La Plata, or “the River Plate,” as it is familiarly called, between Uragua and Paraguay, a region for disagreeable weather. Squalls, thunder and lightning, rain, everything which can make sea faring people uneasy, abound. But though we are nearly69 opposite the mouth of the river we are enjoying a perfect day. Still we are notified that we are in a region where we must not be surprised at sudden changes. Since a week after leaving New York we have been in exhilarating weather. All through November the thermometer has been at 60 or 70 in the cabin. On deck it has been cool enough, in the shade of a sail or under an awning. It was only the night before last that I felt the need of more than a sheet for a covering, though it was the fifth of December. The mere thought of sitting on a doorstep or piazza at home at this season to watch the stars, brought forcibly to mind the contrast of our respective climates. Home is 43 degrees north of the equator; we are now, Dec. 20th, thirty-seven degrees south of it; hence we are 43 + 37 = 80 degrees from home; and sixty miles being a degree we are 80 × 60 = 4800 miles from home, not reckoning the difference in our longitude.


We went to sleep with everything favoring the expectation of a peaceful night, but at midnight the tramp of feet on deck revealed that all hands had been summoned to take in sail. The noise made by the heavy boots of thirty men was not unlike the noise made by horses on being removed from a burning stable. The scene on deck that night must have been a good specimen of “River Plate weather,” judging from the description given of it by the officers. The captain said in a letter which he sent home:—

“At eleven o’clock a bank of clouds rose in the northern horizon with occasional flashes of lightning. As the clouds crept toward the zenith the flashes grew more frequent until they became incessant, playing over the whole of the north western sky accompanied by constant growls of thunder. Thinking a heavy squall was near I took in the royal and top gallant sails, hauled the courses up snug, had the topsail halyards and71 braces all laid down clear and kept the men standing by. When the clouds reached the zenith sharp flashes of lightning came at short intervals in addition to the constant display of heat lightning which had spread over the whole sky, keeping it in a perpetual blaze which I can compare only to a universal Aurora Borealis. Then it began to thunder in terrific peals with a continuous growl in the way of a running sub bass. I ordered all the cabin shutters to be closed tight that the flashes might not startle the sleepers, for it seemed as though the most brilliant day were alternating moment after moment with the blackest night. Then it began to rain. To use a sailor’s expression, “every drop was a bucketfull.” In the most literal sense, it poured. Every flash seemed the reopening of the sky, while the thunder had a combined sound of rattling and roaring, each of these noises vieing with the other, making me feel72 as though parks of artillery were crashing the reservoirs, bringing down their contents by floods. Withal, there was the phenomenon which landsmen are slow to believe, balls of fire resting on the trucks and yard arms, and called by sailors, “corpasants,” (a corruption of “corpus sancti”) these electric fires appearing to envelope the ship, availing themselves of all its points. All this was a combination of sights and sounds characteristic of the River Plate region. I thought every moment that a hurricane squall would burst upon us. It did blow hard. The wind changed entirely round the compass by spells, catching us aback two or three times, compelling us to brace the yards round, but the gale did not amount to anything serious. In a couple of hours the storm subsided. While it lasted it was appalling. All the powers of the air seemed to be in requisition to work some disaster.”


Some days later upon going on deck in the morning, the scene was a picture of desolation. A heavy gale was blowing and several sails had been stripped off by the winds. The mast and spars made me think of the nut trees in the country after a gale when the leaves are gone; the spars were hardly clothed with canvas enough to keep the ship on her way, the few sails which remained being furled, to save them; only some of the canvas about the bowsprit and foremast being spread, with the mizzen staysail, to prevent the ship from broaching to. Eighteen men were aloft securing the sails, the ship going only two or three knots. Some of the torn sails had been sent down on deck. I never desired more the skill of a draftsman that I might picture the appearance of some of the sails as they came down after the gale had spent its ingenuity in riddling them. The shapes of the rents could74 not have been contrived by human skill; the canvas was not merely torn, it was picked in pieces, mocking any attempt to bring it together and even to divine how its parts were ever related to each other. The way in which the sail cloth was dishevelled by the gale, laid out in shreds, every thread loosened from its neighbor, some parts of the sail mangled, other parts minced as no art of human fingers or mechanical skill could rival, made the sailors despair of any attempt to do mending in the premises. They wound large parts of a topsail together for scouring-rags, some of it for cleaning brass work and other uses, for which the riddling wind had made the duck surprisingly soft like flannel, and some of it like lint.

It seems fearful to lie so far removed from the habitable parts of the globe, a little company of human beings without neighbors, and with no means of help should we need75 it. Yet there are birds flying around us; some of them are resting on these waves. This inspires us with a feeling of safety. The sight of life in these creatures seems to be a connecting link between us and the living God. “From the ends of the earth,” literally, we cry to God when our hearts are overwhelmed by a sense of solitude. I am writing in a large easy chair, in which it requires some effort to preserve an upright position. The chair is made fast with rope yarns tying it to staples driven in to the floor; but for these I should go over. My inkstand is lashed with seizings to the swinging rest in front of me, diverting my attention from writing to the ink in the glass which at every roll of the ship climbs so nearly to an angle of forty-five degrees as to excite apprehension that it will spill. Ink is at best a source of mischief to all of us under the wisest precautions. What should I do76 just now should mine run over the floor? The stream would look as capricious as the wanderings of the children of Israel in the wilderness look on the map. I could not run for help, nor even stand, to call; I will put the cork in after dipping the pen when we are midway between a lee and weather roll. The girls are sewing as composedly as at home, one of them reading aloud from Dickens’ Mutual Friend. When I raise my eyes from my papers and look out of the window and see the water racing by us, white with foam, I need only the jingling of bells to make me fancy that I am in a sleigh. The man at the wheel keeps his post in his oil-cloth coat; I hear the pelting rain when the door is opened by the captain going up to ask “how she heads;” the gale is strengthening; we are nearing Cape Horn.



The ship rolled so incessantly all night that I lay awake till morning. The carpenter has made me a berth board which raises the outer edge of my mattress so that as the ship rolls I am able to preserve an equilibrium. But everything in my room which could get loose was piled up in a promiscuous heap. For the first time for six weeks I did not appear at breakfast, but lay till 11 A. M. hoping to sleep.


The gale lasted all day. In the evening we had religious services with the watch below. The captain read a chapter, made remarks, and called on me to follow. I told them how I had heard one of the boatswains singing, “Jesus sought me when a stranger,” in the hymn “Come thou Fount,” &c., written by Rev. Mr. Robinson, a Baptist minister78 in England, who, as a distinguished hymnologist of Baltimore told me, quoting from an English paper which he has preserved, departed from his early faith, but in after years when driving with a friend he heard singing and stopping to listen these words of his own hymn caught his ear:

“Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God;”

when Mr. Robinson, lifting his hands as in prayer, said, “I would give worlds if I could now feel as I did when I wrote that hymn.” The incident seemed to me a remarkable indicating of divine grace endeavoring to call home a wandering sheep to the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, by causing him to remember so forcibly his former religious hope.


Dec. 14. At eight and a half o’clock, P. M. it is light enough on deck to read small print. The day breaks at two, and there is a79 long morning twilight; the sun rises at four. We have to-day passed 50° S. This is the beginning of the Cape Horn region.

To-day we have been running seven knots with a fair wind, and going in toward the coast, for several nautical reasons. At four P. M. we saw a dense cloud forming and in half an hour there came a heavy rain and fresh breeze, the ship going twelve knots, so fast that we shortened sail lest we should get out of the line of the Straits of Lemaire and run too near the Falkland Islands. The captain’s plan of steering for the coast proved as he expected, for now the southwest wind would have set us too far east.


Dec. 19. Had services in the evening at seven by day light. It was the anniversary of my first sermon as Colleague pastor of the First Church at Cambridge, forty years ago.80 It was my first attempt to preach since February 14th. On account of uneasy motion in the vessel, sat and conducted the exercises. Did not feel the least inconvenience from the effort but slept quietly all night.


All places that the eye of Heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus:
There is no virtue like necessity.
Shakspeare: Richard II.

At six o’clock, A. M., Dec. 20, a man at the mast-head cried, “Land, ho!” We saw the highlands of Tierra del Fuego, about a hundred miles from Cape Horn. We lay on the water motionless. About a mile from us was a brig apparently bound the same way. The captain ordered a boat to be made ready; and the mate, one of the boatswains, and three sailors, rowed to her. She proved to be the brig “Hazard,” Capt. Lewis, of Boston, belonging to Messrs.82 Baker and Morrill, eighty days from Malaga, bound to San Francisco, with raisins and lemons. The visitors received much information, and gave papers,—which, though fifty-seven days old, were gladly received,—some buckwheat, and other things; and received kind tokens in return. The swell would often hide the boat from the ship and the ship from the boat, except the upper sails. In the afternoon the wind sprung up fair; soon we came close to, and the captains had conversation.

Tierra del Fuego lies south of Patagonia, separated by the Straits of Magellan. It has high hills, which, at a distance, look like domes. Many bays indent the coast, causing it to bend frequently. Between this district of country and Staten Land or Island, are the Straits of Le Maire, twelve miles broad. Entering the Straits with a fair wind and a strong current, on the morning of a bright,83 cool day, Dec. 21, we went at the rate of thirteen knots. We came alongside of a great patch of seaweed and kelp on which were eleven large birds. We had tacked or had been becalmed for almost a week, losing nearly five days. We therefore enjoyed our speed the more. The hills were picturesque in the variety of their shapes; their jaggedness and grouping were beyond imagination. One cluster was surmounted by an enormous stone, fluted like a sea-shell, looking as if it were placed there for a memorial purpose. There was another hill which terminated in the appearance of a man’s head, the face upward, the features regular, and so much resembling one of the sailors that it received his name. Flocks of wild ducks, twenty or thirty in each, albatrosses, cape hens, cape pigeons, penguins or divers, were abundant. These penguins float with only the head above water, and dive often; they all made84 the scene most lively. We sat or stood three or four hours enjoying the wild enchantment. It was worth to any one a voyage from New York. We saw no trace of an inhabitant. They are said to be of large stature, almost naked, their skin and flesh toughened by the climate. They do no tillage, but live on shell-fish and game. I shall always remember this region for its wild beauty and seemingly intense barrenness.

We came up with a New-Bedford whaler; the name “Selah” was on her quarter, whaleboats over her side, and men at the mast-head, looking for whales or seals. We also descried a large ship ahead of us which we overtook. She proved to be the “Cambrian,” Liverpool, seventy days out. We enjoyed the sight of her, an iron vessel, with wire rigging, neat and handsome.

CAPE HORN. Page 84.

At length we saw Cape Horn Island, the object of our desire, and at 7, P. M., were abreast of it. Some high rocks stood about like sentinels. We were within a mile of the Cape.

Cape Horn Island is the southernmost extremity of Tierra del Fuego, in south latitude 55° 58´. It is the southern termination of a group of rocky islands surmounted with a dome-like hill, out of which is a projection like a straight horn. But Schouten, the Dutch discoverer, is said to have named Cape Horn from Hoorn, in the Netherlands, his native place. The whole hill is a bare rock; indeed, how could anything, even the lowest forms of vegetable life, find root on a place smitten as this is by the waves? Only the lichens, stealing with seeming compassion over every form in nature doomed to barrenness, succeed in holding on to these rocks. The hill is about eight hundred feet high, its base environed by low, black rocks, with not a sign even of marine vegetation. One line86 of these rocks looks like a fort, the seeming gateway, higher than the rest of the wall, being composed of perpendicular fragments. All along the base of the rough hill, low, irregular piles, like a growth of thorns and brambles around a bowlder in a field, constitute a fringe, as though Nature felt that the place needed some appropriate decoration; and what could be more so than that which she has here given? For a long space toward the termination of the Cape, sharp rocks stand up in groups, and some apart, making a gradual ending of the scene, all in agreement with the wildness which marks the region.

The sight of this spot, one landmark of our continent, can never fade from the memory of the beholder. Like many a distinguished object it is of moderate size, its impressiveness being due not to its bulk or height, but to its position. At first you are disappointed87 in not seeing at such a place something colossal; you would have it mountainous; at least, you would have thought that it would be columnar. Nothing of this; you have the disappointment which you feel on seeing for the first time a distinguished man, whom you find to be of low stature, whereas you would have had him of imposing appearance. But soon, however, you feel that you are at one of the ends of the earth. Here the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans begin, the great deep dividing itself into those two principal features of our globe. Anything monumental, any thing statuesque, or even picturesque, here, you feel would be trifling. Like silence, more expressive at times than speech, the total absence of all display here is sublimity itself; you would not have it otherwise than an infinite solitude, unpretentious, without form, almost chaotic. Around this point it is as though there were a contest88 to which ocean each billow shall divide; here the winds and waters make incessant war; the sea always roars and the fulness thereof. The rocks which finally terminate the Cape stand apart, as you sometimes see corners of blocks of buildings where an extensive fire has raged and the most of the walls have fallen in; but here and there a shoulder of a wall overhangs the ruins.

We stood together as we passed the last landmarks, and sang,

“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.”

It had been a day from beginning to end of constant pleasure, from the moment that we entered the Straits of Le Maire. We had accomplished one great design in our voyage. Would that the pleasant theory that musical sounds leave their vibration in the air might have reality given to it, and praise to God break forth from all of every language who navigate the Cape!


We had reason to feel that we were not a great way from circumpolar regions; for at a quarter before eleven, the night previous, there were lingering streaks of pink light in the west. We never before read out of doors so late in the evening as we did that 21st of December on deck.

We had been steering south, going five degrees below the Cape; then we needed to turn and go northward; but the fierce winds made no account of our plan. You may be several weeks trying in vain, as a ship belonging to our firm was, to double the Cape; but by favoring winds, we were only six days. Once only during this time had we a full view of the Horn; our captain had been here six times, and now for the second time only saw the Cape. Nothing lay between us and the Antarctic Circle and the South Pole. The waves were Cape-Horn swells, peculiar to that region. The sight of the90 ocean there was wild beyond description. Now and then the sun would come out, but his smile seemed sarcastic. Going on deck to view the tempest you are made to feel, as the ship goes down into deep places, that you would be more surprised at her coming up than if she should disappear. It is a good time and place for faith. One of the Latin fathers said, “Qui discat orare, discat navigare;” Let him who would learn to pray go to sea. It is to be doubted whether there are many places on the globe where one feels the power of solitude precisely as here. In the depth of a wilderness, or among mountains, solitude is more like death; but here it seems to have consciousness; you are spell-bound by some awful power; there is an infinitude about these watery realms; it seems like being in eternity. In the ascent of Mont Blanc, while gazing from the Mer de Glace on those needles of granite, inaccessible91 except to the eagle, I once felt that nothing could exceed the sense of desolateness there inspired; but to be at the end of a continent, with two oceans separating and forming a wild race-way where they go asunder, all the winds and storms being summoned to witness the inauguration of two oceans, their frantic uproar seemingly designed for the great occasion, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego with their stupendous solitudes listening to the clamor; and then the feeling that the next place recorded on the map is the Antarctic Circle, with its barriers of cold and ice, you are warranted in the conviction that you are as near the confines of unearthly dimensions as you can be on this planet. You think of home, and the thought of your separation from friends and country and your consignment to these awful wilds, gives you a feeling of littleness, of nothingness, seldom if ever experienced elsewhere.92 And here is the proud ship that stretched her length in the pier at New York so far as to hold her spar over the passing drays, reaching almost to the opposite ware-rooms, now less than an egg-shell in these waters,—a tiny nautilus, a bubble, whose destruction any moment, unseen by any human eye, could not detain any of these proud waters to be so much as a mound over her grave.

One day, before we entered the Straits and reached Cape Horn, along the neighborhood of Patagonia, the sea was more than usually disturbed, a ground-swell succeeding a gale lifting the waves higher than we had seen them, so that the motion of the ship had no uniformity for any two consecutive moments during the larger part of the day,—a cold, cheerless day, the sun now and then shining faintly, the wind ahead, no chance for a nautical observation, everything to the last degree93 forlorn. A bird came in all this turmoil and lighted in the water near the ship, and swam about us. The sight suggested the following lines:—


The ship lay tossing on the stormy ocean,
A head wind challenging her right of way;
Sail after sail she furled; in exultation
The waves accounted her their yielding prey.
On her lee beam the Patagonia coast line
Keeps ambushed reefs to snare the drifting keel;
We fancied breakers in the dying sunshine,
And questioned what the daybreak would reveal.
No cities, towns, nor quiet rural village
Gladden the heart along this lonely way;
But cannibals may lurk with death and pillage
For all whom winds and currents force astray.
The Falkland Isles, Tierra del Fuego,
Straits of Le Maire, the near Antarctic Zone,
The stormy Horn, whose rocks the tempest echo,
Can faith and courage there maintain their throne?
Watching the swell from out the cabin windows,
The towering waves piled high and steep appear;
But what is riding on those mighty billows?
An albatross. The sight allays my fear.
Her snow-white breast she settles on the water,
Her dark wings fluttering while she trims her form,
Then calmly rides; nor can the great waves daunt her,
Nor will she heed the menace of the storm.
She spreads her wings, flies low across the vessel,
She scans the wake, then sails around the bows,
Not moving either pinion; much I marvel
How like one flying in a dream she goes.
She craves the presence of no other sea-bird;
She revels in the power to go at will;
The ocean solitudes, the wandering seaward,
The distant sail, her daring spirit thrill.
Behold, this fowl hath neither barn nor storehouse;
An unseen Hand assists her search for food;
Storms bring her up deep things of ocean’s produce,
Prized the more highly in the storm pursued.
With joy each day I’ll take the wings of morning,
Dwell in the utmost parts of this lone sea;
E’en there thy hand shall lead me, still adoring,
And thy right hand shall hold who trust in Thee.


It became stormy in the afternoon of December 21st, with rain. We were driven off our course. The sea came over the sides of the main deck. The motion of the ship was95 that of a rocking horse. She was so full of a cantering spirit that I knew it would be useless to expect sleep in my berth, so I lay upon a cabin sofa and had rest. The waves were Cape Horn swells. We are directly at the foot of the American continent inclining upwards toward the North. Should we do as well the rest of the way as the preceding, we shall be a hundred and twelve days only from New York to San Francisco. We were all on deck this afternoon enjoying the Cape Horn scenery. The captain and I talked of an event in our family history when he was eight years old, which made this day memorable. We did not then dream of going round Cape Horn twenty-one years from that day. “O how great is thy goodness which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, which thou hast wrought for them which trust in thee before the sons of men.”



Dec. 24. The gale to-day exceeded anything which we have had. The sight of the ocean was wild beyond description. I went on deck and held on, to see the tempest. The ship went down into deep places, more profound, seemingly, than ever before. But she is a noble sea boat. We have understood how men become enthusiastically attached to the vessel which they are ready to think has consciously borne them around the globe.

You soon are so much used to the wild behavior of the sea that you lose all apprehension of danger. Some experiences in the cabin, in bad weather, make you feel that you are more safe on deck where you seem to have more ‘sea room.’ It is hard to walk in the cabin; the walls are so near you that your eye is more affected with the motion than on deck. You must watch for a windward97 roll, which does not let you down so low or so violently as a lee roll; then you run to your seat or to a side of the cabin, where you grasp something till the lee lurch has spent itself, when you make for the next point, like runners in playing ball. The difficulty of lifting your feet is marvellous. You are as really cumbered as though you had weights on your feet, or wore heavy clothing. It is amusing to see even the captain pause in the middle of the cabin, unable to move, his feet judiciously wide apart, waiting for the back roll to restore the level. He retorts by expressing the wish that the congregation at home could see their pastor in his efforts to get across the cabin.

But it is not all fun. I was sitting about six feet from the stove in the dining-room, in the forward cabin, in the low easy-chair which we brought from home. The back legs were inside a closet, the threshold of98 which it was hoped would serve for a stay against sliding; when the ship gave a lurch, and I went head first into the low wooden box, in which the stove, a very heavy one, stood, my weight pushing the stove out of place, and bringing me down on my knees and wrists, the chair following me on my back. The steward ran and helped me up. After a few moments I was well, but I record this as a merciful preservation. Feeling strong and able-bodied, I have no trouble from such mishaps, but I would not advise a feeble person to go to sea, certainly not round Cape Horn; but if he must go, to be as careful in the cabin as he can see that he must be on deck.


It would have been pleasant to our friends to see stockings on our door handles and to witness the contents. Mine had a colored-letter99 drawing of the words, “The Lord is my Shepherd;” a long shoe-case made of duck, bound with green; a small muslin bag filled with lumps of white sugar, marked, Cape Horn confectionary. The captain had a green necktie, made in a region where neckties are not often devised, the materials, however, unquestionably from “Chandler’s” or “Hovey’s;” also a pen-wiper; the mates had some articles of needle work, and chains made in part of bloom raisins which came the other day from the brig Hazard. Fresh raisins off Cape Horn are a greater curiosity and luxury than friends at home can suppose. The captain’s presents to the donors of these gifts were, a jar of pickles and a bottle of olives; mine were destined to be for some time useless, there being no shops in this region; but the small pieces of gold expressed a good intention. The afternoon was spent by a party, including the captain100 and first mate, around the stove in the forward cabin listening to one of Dickens’ Christmas Carols, they having already enjoyed six volumes of his works in beguiling some dreary afternoons; also, in amusing themselves with the exercise of “bean bags,” on deck. When it was dark we were entertained with narratives of expedients which were used in preparing the presents, the emptying of the rag bag and the search among its contents for materials, the difficulty of standing, of going about and even of sitting at work while the ship was playing her antics of position; the devices by the principal actors in hanging up the presents so as to elude detection, pretending unusual wakefulness in sitting up beyond midnight and trying to persuade the captain that he needed sleep; and especially the attempt to keep awake beyond the hour when the mate would come down to the pantry to refresh101 himself with a bite of salt beef and pie. The amusements of the day ended with putting down the cabin light and standing at the window to see and hear the boatswain perform his Christmas Carol, sitting in his little room, his feet on his bunk level with his head, he singing, “Shall we gather at the river?” his pipe in his hand lifted to his mouth for a few whiffs at the end of each verse, the pipe seemingly performing the part of the customary interlude on the musical instrument at church. So we had our Christmas presents where a year ago we little expected. Last evening we observed our custom of having Milton’s Christmas Hymn read to us, the captain being appointed the reader. It was very dark and stormy at noon, but we had a merry Christmas.

* * * * *

Dec. 26. It rains, and there is the thickest fog which it seems to me I ever saw. I102 groped my way into the bows, to look, as a transcendentalist would say, “into the invisible.” A sailor was in the bows alone, leaning against the forestay, wrapped in his oil-cloth coat, looking out for any vessel which might be passing. His watch was for two hours, a dreary, uninteresting service. He was a young man, full of zeal to go aloft, among the first to venture out to the weather earring, to leap upon the swinging board over the side or stern in painting. None seem so happy as the boys of the crew; but this duty of watching in a fog, of a cold day, has as little excitement in it as any thing in a sailor’s routine.


One who had been several years before the mast and afterwards successively third, second, first mate, lately said to me, “When a young man, standing on the top gallant103 forecastle, leaning against the forestay, in a foggy day or dark night, the ship rushing into the dark unknown beyond, I sometimes thought, What if there should be an end to the sea, a precipice over which we should plunge, an undiscovered continent against which we should run! How did Columbus feel on his first voyage in a fog or in darkness? What a picture of life, its unknown future! so little the sailor knows what may be ahead of the ship; but the captain, confident in his chart, compass and reckoning, knows the way that he takes.”

I have been much affected by what the young sailor told me of his first months before the mast; how he parted with members of his family circle, the ship just taken in tow by the tug, the last line which held them to the shore cast off, he standing with his arm on the rail, his head on his hand, looking at those he loved best on earth, and104 thinking what scenes he should pass through in the sixteen months before he should see them, if ever, again; when he was roused from his reverie by the mate’s calling to him, “Boy, what are you standing there for? go forward and tie up those cabbages.” He saw one of his family waving a handkerchief to him; but he was ashamed to be seen answering it; the hour of sentiment had passed; he must go and tie up the cabbages. The first few nights at sea the profane, vile talk of some of the sailors at night used to keep him awake, astonished and terrified. He used to say to himself, “My God! have I come to this? Did I once have a christian home? Why did I leave it? The physician said that I must go to sea, but he could not have known what life in a forecastle is. An old sailor said to me, ‘Boy, do you know that you stepped into hell afloat, when you came here?’ Soon I managed to stop up105 my ears when I turned in, so as not to hear the dreadful talk.”

I said to him, “How did you help using their language and practising their wicked ways?”

He replied, “So far from corrupting me you will think it strange, perhaps, if I say that it made me more pure. I left off some things which I used to practise without compunction. But the behavior of the men showed me what I should become, if I practised any kind of wickedness. When I heard the men swear and talk ribaldry, I repeated passages of Scripture as fast as I could, said all the hymns I could remember, and I knew a good many. My sister once promised me a half dollar if I would learn the Wesminster Assembly’s Shorter Catechism; I said it to her, and she gave me the money, and I used to say that Catechism over and over in bed; Effectual Calling,106 Justification by faith, and, What is required, and What is forbidden in each of the commandments, used to be to me in that forecastle like a cloth dipped in some aromatic liquid and pressed to my face.”

I told the young man that if he would write and publish his experience he might find, by the good that he would do, why providence led him into that bitter experience in the forecastle.

“I often think,” said he, “of those words: ‘His way is in the sea,’ for I am sure it has been so with me.”

The recollection of this narrative was forced upon me in looking into the fog as I lay in the knightheads and looked over and watched the cutwater breaking the way for the ship. But it grew cold, and I retreated to the stove.

We had a lively time in the middle of the night. The jib could not stand the gale,107 part of it was blown to tatters, much of it was blown away. It is a three-cornered sail, sixty feet in its extreme length. The men said that the noise of the wind among the loose sails was as though the forward part of the ship was breaking up. The watch below had turned in half an hour before, but now all hands were ordered on deck. Twenty-four men were on the main yard taking in the sail. It makes a landsman dizzy to see them standing aloft on a foot rope, the wind filling the sail and keeping it stiffly bent from them; yet they must clutch it, bring it in against the wind, holding on by the little slack which they must contrive to gather, their feet meanwhile with nothing under them but a rope. I could liken the noise of the wind and the roar of the sea only to the noise made by an express train when you are standing on a platform at a railway station. The sound sleep into which I fell was not disturbed108 by this uproar, but it yielded to so slight a cause as the dropping of water upon my bed. The hot weather of previous weeks had made the chinks open, and now the rain had found its way through the deck. There was no more sleep in the premises for that night. An alarm of fire is hardly less effectual in its power to wake you than the slow, measured, dripping water. The captain brought his india rubber coat, spread it over the bed, and made a place for a pool, which in the morning was filled, the tenant having been obliged to beat a retreat for the remainder of the night to a cabin sofa.

Dec. 26. We are almost round the Cape. From Lat. 50° South in the Atlantic to 50° South in the Pacific is called “round the Cape.” We are getting into the longitude of Boston, 71° W., so that time with us will be the same as with those at home, for a while.



Dec. 27. We came within twenty-five miles of Tierra del Fuego again, on its western side, the wind setting us that way, so that we had to tack and run W. instead of S. E. The captain, after he has taken an observation, draws a line on his chart with his pen, showing the distance run and the direction for the last twenty-four hours. It is described for the last three days thus, (the line representing the number of degrees, according to an arbitrary measurement, and each day indicated by a cipher:)

Sometimes the course is deflected by contrary winds; for example, thus:

which is a loss. We have a chart with the tracks of several vessels printed on it. One vessel was sixty days110 in getting round the Cape; the winds let us pass in twelve. The vessel referred to made several squares in her course, with other geometrical figures, sailing a part of the time thus:

You hereby see one cause of long passages. One day we made only eight miles out of one hundred and twenty sailed; a few days before we went two hundred and forty miles. One day while going round the Cape we gained so little that we should be, at that rate, one thousand days in getting to San Francisco.


Dec. 29. Saturday afternoon the captain said, “We shall see land before dark.” At111 sunset our hope was fulfilled. We saw, fifteen miles off, a high hill in New Chili, formerly a part of Patagonia. We tacked and ran S. W. instead of N. W. To-day the head wind beat us within twelve miles of land, and again we had to tack. We must do it once more this evening. The captain evidently has a great strain on his mind, though he says but little. He keeps on deck a large part of the time of late, leaving little or nothing to the mates.


A year ago to-day I should have anticipated being anywhere as here. Never have I had so much cause for wonder and joy at the close of a year. Blessed sickness! which prepared the way into the wilderness of waters. It would not be easy to trace the connection of the following lines which occurred to me about this time, with the meditations112 suggested by the close of the year; but I had been thinking of our Omnipresent Saviour as once living in a house; a humble dwelling, no doubt, in “a city called Nazareth.” It was good to think of Him who has now gone up on high that he might fill all things, as once tabernacled with men. The train of thought will serve for an illustration of the liberty which the mind will sometimes take of being independent of situation and circumstances:


“And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt and abode with him that day; for it was about the tenth hour.” John I. 37, 39.

This roof once covered him who built the sky;
A room inclosed him who now fills all space
With thousand thousands rendering ministry;
He led the way to this His dwelling place,
And two disciples shared his courtesies,
Had friendly talk and brake their privacies,
Nor once withdrew from him their wondering eyes.
Sleep soothed him here whose eyes are flames of fire;
Here waked he at the crowing of the cock;
Hunger and thirst his daily thoughts require
Who now feeds worlds, as one would feed a flock.
Here would he kneel in prayer; dominions own
Him sovereign, bide his orders; round his throne
Prayers ceaseless rise, urged in his name alone.
Not far from this abode the wild gazelle
Cropped the red lilies and would venture near.
The devils knew him, cried, foreboding ill,
Fell down before him with tormenting fear.
Diseases fled; he stayed the expiring breath,
Bade the blind see; he brake the bars of death,
His home, the while, despised Nazareth.
By night upon this housetop oft he sat;
He watched the young moon as the light of day
Grew dim from east to west; he tarrying yet
Her crescent sank; on snow crowned Hermon lay
The lingering twilight, with a roseate hue
Tinging the snow, the small hills lost to view.
He formed that light; he framed the darkness too.
Let me believe that on this humble floor
His mother sought a piece of money lost,
And swept the house; his young eyes counting o’er
The pieces nine, she craved the stray piece most.
He wandering o’er these hills of Galilee
Beheld a flock all shepherdless and free,
The shepherd searching one through brake and lea.
Faith loves the mystery which it cannot read,
How he a child once in a manger lay,
Yet prayed he thus: The glory which I had
With Thee ere time was now repeat in me.
The eastern wise men to his cradle came,
Yet said this child; “Ere Abraham was, I am;”
He made the star which did their zeal inflame.
All which the twelve possessed by faith I have;
I live by faith of thee, thou Son of God!
Yet would I this my tabernacle leave
And look upon my Lord in his abode.
When in the lonesome valley praying thee,
“Master, where dwelleth thou?” do thou on me
Let fall the whisper, saying, ‘Come and see’.


The serious and ludicrous are near akin in emotional relationship, for we often pass without a shock from the one to the other, and it matters not which takes precedence. Some of our company younger than the rest115 yearned for sport. So the captain said that they might have a candy scrape. Accordingly some molasses was sent to the galley to be boiled, while the chief agents in the enterprise shelled some nuts to be put into a part of it, the rest being intended to be pulled and therefore was kept clear. The molasses proved to be old and fermented, therefore it did not boil well and so could not harden. The result was, instead of nut candy, a pan of sour molasses mixed with nuts, which was offered to us as a second course at supper. The other half of the molasses was sentenced to be boiled over again. The steward appeared with it and laid it before the adepts in candy frolics; but it looked like a mass of kelp; he had vainly tried to work it into a state which would tempt the appetite; but it was too stiff to be pulled, so he had chopped it into a likeness to sticks. Though it tasted burnt and sour, it was pronounced as good116 as could be expected.—At sundown one of the mates found some fire crackers which had escaped discovery in some former voyage. The sailors were allowed to celebrate the advent of New Year, so they borrowed of the steward some tin vessels and as soon as eight bells were struck, forward and aft, they set up a fearful din and the crackers were fired, to welcome the incoming year. The noise resembled that with which, as we afterwards observed, the Chinese prelude their fights. In the midst of the tumult the stentorian voice of the boatswain was heard resounding some admonitory strain, ending with his favorite canticle, “On Canaan’s happy shore.”


After beating about the Horn for eight days, going only from forty to eighty miles day after day, a fine breeze sprung up and we117 have for twenty-four hours been going at the rate of ten knots an hour, sometimes faster. To look out of the cabin windows and see the water racing by makes one dizzy, and you hasten on deck to gratify the eye with a longer range of sight.

12 M., we have made two hundred and fifty-nine miles the last twenty-four hours, the best day’s run of the voyage thus far. In the Gulf we made two hundred and fifty miles, and once nearly as much off the River Plate.

One of the tiniest little fishes which we have seen was found on deck. It was washed over the side yesterday when every twenty minutes a sea came over the rail. The little thing shows us what the birds pick up at sea. “The small and the great are there.” We are glad to see the smallest thing in this region of wonders in the deep.

We are now fully round the Horn, having118 passed beyond 50° S., which completed the semicircle. At 12 M. one day lately we had gone beyond 50° to 43°. Patches of blue sky appear. Our spirits are revived. The ship seems to partake of our joy. Toward evening to-day she seemed to the captain to be exerting herself beyond her strength, having on a crowd of canvas. He ordered the royals to be taken down, to our regret; but it relieved her. We are promised another race at daybreak should the weather be fair.


One of the pleasant things about this voyage is, the frequent change of seasons. Leaving New York late in October we were in a few days in the warm region of the Gulf; then came spring and summer in the tropics, then fall and winter with severe blasts round the Horn. To-day, Jan. 6th, spring seems to have dawned. By Jan. 20th,119 we shall have premonitions of summer heat. I took my old seat on the house under the mizzenmast, a mild air about me yet strong enough to bear the ship along at the rate of eight or nine knots, the sky clear, the water smooth, the horizon distinct, everything indicating our approach to the tropics.


If I were asked, “What recurs to you most frequently with pleasure in your experience at sea thus far”, I should say, The hour under the mizzen mast, morning after morning. The solitude there was unrivalled. In the depths of a forest you are not sure of being alone; for you yourself have come thither, and what hinders the approach of others? Half of the ship’s company are asleep; those who are up are busily occupied; before you left your bed you heard the tramp of feet overhead. The dash of buckets120 of water, the noise of brooms, the holy-stone drawn backwards and forwards and athwart ship, and then the perfect quiet, made you feel that everything was ready for any one who wished to be alone on deck. Behind you, but hidden from view by the spanker, is the man at the wheel; the rudder-head jounces monotonously at every turn; a sailor here and there creeps about barefooted; the steward makes his official visits to the galley; these, and the few others who are stirring, only seem to make you feel that you are isolated. The depths are around you; the distant sail tells you that yonder is a company of human beings shut out like you from the world; you understand how solitary you are, by musing on them; you fancy how lonesome you would be sailing away, as they seem to be, from human fellowship, not considering that you are also. I had made an index to the book of Psalms, easily121 drawn up, and had written it on paper the size of a small ‘Testament and Psalms,’ twelve pages, and had pasted it in my small Testament. I did not need De Wette, nor Rosenmuller, nor any other commentator to remind me that a word of David was in Hiphil or Hophal, Piel or Pual; the index, looked over, beginning; A, As the hart panteth, 42. B, Behold, bless ye, 134. D, Deliver me from, 59, would each day suggest a Psalm which seemed to have the same key note with the feelings with which I had awaked. No song of bird, no wheels, nor hum of labor disturbed the exceeding peace which all nature seemed to have concentrated, in this morning hour in the solitude of ocean. I could not refrain from thinking how it would have been wholly broken up by paddle wheels or propeller, and by the sympathy which the jaded mind would have with the incessant walking beam, the alternating pistons;122 and by the column of black smoke, the imprisoned steam. Let trade, and strong nerves, and economy of time, and imperative engagements gratefully avail themselves of machinery in passing from one side of the sea to the other, but let some sailing vessels be spared, with their poetry of motion, and architecture of canvas, mystery of rigging, habits, usages, phraseology, modes of life, the tar and slush, the going aloft instead of down into the furnace room, the laying becalmed instead of driving ahead impetuously, reckless of wind and weather. In our desire for the advancement of mankind, we do not calculate for indisposition. It is out of place. But these clipper ships could not be better contrived for comfort, had they been arranged expressly for invalids.


We are having the first premonition of port. The sailors are employed washing the123 white paint with potash in the way of spring cleaning. Every rope in the standing rigging is to be tarred and the ship is to be painted inside and outside, so that when she enters port she will look as new as when she left home. You may wonder how a vessel can be painted outside at sea. Here in the Pacific there are days when the weather and the swell of the sea allow staging to be lashed to the side, stern, and bows, and men move safely from point to point with brushes.


When first I began to throw writings overboard I was careful to tear them into small pieces, supposing that they might be picked up. I soon learned that this was useless. The captain seeing me do it told me that he would be willing to throw any writing into the sea fearless of its being found and read. In a very little while the water would reduce it to pulp, the incessant motion would destroy124 it, and even if it did not, the chance of its being picked up or washed ashore would be many millions to one of its ever coming into anybody’s hand. Among the countless things which we had seen afloat we never saw at sea a piece of writing. After this I took some old manuscripts on deck and threw them overboard, leaf by leaf. A sermon which one of the children at home had written for me in pencil from dictation I had copied in ink and the original was now useless. Mother Cary’s chickens flew down upon the pages as they one after another settled on the water, and finally a large albatross came, lighted on the water, watched the leaves as they floated along and tried to eat one. We little imagined, that rainy afternoon as we sat on the piazza at Milton, that the leaves which one who may read this held in her hand would pass under the eye of a Cape Horn albatross on the Pacific Ocean.



When the sailors have used up a barrel of tar, they have sport in putting kerosene in the barrel, lighting it, and dropping it to leeward. It blazes, vehemently, and while we sail away from it we cannot persuade ourselves that it is not moving rapidly from us. The swell of the sea causes it to disappear now and then, rising up occasionally very far astern. Some on shore have thought that this might be a false light to vessels. Sailors are too well accustomed to the practice to be deceived by it; but apart from this, in mid ocean there is no danger of mistaking it for a light house.—Having spoken of dropping the barrel to leeward rather than to windward where it might be blown against the ship, I am reminded of a prudential maxim at sea: Never throw anything overboard to windward but 1. Ashes; 2. Hot water.



We have sailed over ten thousand miles, and have five thousand more to sail before we come to “Frisco.” It seems strange to think of arriving there by land in ten days from home, while we have been from Oct. 26th to Jan. 12th, seventy-eight days, on our way. If we were in haste to reach our port this difference of speed would try our patience. As it is we are grateful; it seems painful to be whirled along in ten days, night and day, instead of coming at our leisure unmindful of time, willing to be where we are, indefinitely, except that we sympathize with the captain’s desire to make a short voyage, and feeling willing also to shorten this part of our way knowing that we shall have sufficient experience of the sea by the time that we have belted the globe.


Seeing a sailor go to the galley with his127 tin pan, receive his allowance from the cook, take it out on deck, seat himself on a spar, I was reminded of his limited supply of table cutlery. But in the first place he has no table. He holds his pan in his hand, lays his biscuit on the spar, his drink along side of it, takes his piece of potato, turnip, cabbage with his finger, serves his bone in the same way, and if the piece of meat which has fallen to his lot needs to be divided he feels for his sheath knife which he carries all the time in its sheath behind him, holds the meat with one hand and makes the sheath knife play the part both of knife and fork. He wipes his fingers on his pants. Artificial and useless do many things appear at sea, as, for example, forks, napkins, and, of course, napkin rings, doilies, sugar bowls, slop bowls, saucers, ladles, dessert spoons; in short the things absolutely indispensable at a sailor’s meal could be counted on the fingers of one128 hand, omitting the thumb and little finger. Yet there are frequently young men in a crew who have been used to the numberless luxuries of life. I had a talk yesterday with the son of a minister; early in the voyage his fine face attracted me. He has eleven brothers and sisters at home. He had a desire to see the world; was weary of the shop, of the few associates in a country village. This is his first long voyage. He makes light of privations and dangers; says that almost all the things which he used to have on the table at home would now seem superfluities. He would need experience to make them necessary. He would feel toward some of them, no doubt, as a sailor did in a boarding house who spit on the floor, which the waiter perceiving kept pushing a spittoon nearer to him; till at last the sailor annoyed by it said, “If you keep pushing that thing so near to me I shall be in danger of spitting in it.”



The moon set at half past nine, and left the heavens aglow. Imagine the milky way, without its milky appearance, all the haze gone, the stars in it in crowds. The nebulous light dissolves in brilliant worlds, the Southern Cross at one end,

just above the Southern horizon, Orion at the other end in the zenith, and several of the bright constellations full in view.2


We celebrated a birthday a few days since, (Jan. 8th,) by having the South East Trades130 set in, blowing us on our direct course to San Francisco. Rose at six and sat on deck, the ship going at the rate of eleven knots, the foam flying before us in sheets. These S. E. Trade winds blow from 25° S. to the Equator, both in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The N. E. Trades blow from Lat. 30° N. to lat. 5° N.3


My colleague, the captain, spoke to the crew on the Prodigal Son. We have conversed with several of the men, and have found that there are among them those who make a practice of secret prayer. We concluded to have a meeting in the evening, when we would explain the way to be saved. Twenty-four of the crew were present; indeed all who could be spared from duty. I spoke from the words, “Ho, every one that thirsteth,”131 &c., (Is. 55,) and the captain followed. Some of them showed a tearful interest. I advised them to begin and act as believers in the Saviour of men, to give up the long, wearisome endeavor which some of them had confessed to me they had been pursuing for years, to find if they were christians, or when and how they became such. Several of them are members of christian families, all of them have heard the gospel, understand the way of acceptance with God, are respectful in their attendance on religious service, show at times that they are impressed with the truths which they hear. It is deeply affecting to speak to these men. Soon they will be scattered to the four winds. Few of them shall we meet again in this world. This thought cannot fail to make one affectionate and earnest in preaching to them. It may be stated here that I never felt more deeply the privilege of declaring132 the gospel to men, nor did I in my congregation ever feel more the need of carefulness in my statement of christian truth. These men weighed everything which was spoken, did not care for excellency of speech, nor man’s wisdom; loved simplicity, felt nothing compared with the representations of Christ, his words, his treatment by men, his claims on them, his present and future glory, and his coming to judge the world.


These have been a great, I may truly say, constant source of delight: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Jos. I, 9. This was so impressed on my mind before leaving home, that I ventured to take it for my sailing orders. I feel that I have not come to sea of my own motion. I tried every other133 method of recovery, had many other plans of travel; but one after another was frustrated, and I was shut up to this, which, like a certain iron gate before a prisoner and his angel, is beautifully said to have “opened to them of his own accord.” I have no expectation other than that all will be well. Everything has proceeded so much better than I could have expected that there seems to be nothing to do but to receive trustfully every day’s experience. Words of Scripture have had a wonderfully sedative effect. When the sea rises I remember, “The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” Ps. 93. One day in the Gulf Stream, when all around was in confusion, I thought of these words: “The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid; the depths also were troubled.” Ps. 77:10. It was a comfort to know that there is One of134 whom the sea is afraid. If my heart can say, “O God, thou art my God,” why should I fear the sea? I may even say, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come to thee on the water;” I may even come down out of the ship to go to Jesus. I was glad that the sea was afraid; it gave me a feeling of superiority to the sea. Paul says, “And in nothing terrified by your adversaries, which,” that is, your not being terrified, “is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.” One morning, lately, at home, as I was rising, my eye was caught by these words in the “Scripture Promises” which hung in my room: “When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee.” Is. 43:2. This, and the passage above quoted from Joshua, are most frequently in my thoughts. If those at home could look in upon us, they would give thanks. The day before we left New York, a clergyman who135 came on board said, “Probably the history of navigation contains no instance more remarkable than this: A father and daughters going to sea with a son and brother for captain, with everything combining to make them happy.” We said with thankful hearts, “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”


On hearing eight bells last night I supposed it to be twelve o’clock. Having gone to bed at half past eight I felt rested, looked out of my window and thought I saw “The Dipper,” not knowing but that the ship was tacking and going North. Wishing to salute our old friend, the north star, I put on my wrapper and went on deck and was told by the man at the wheel that it was five o’clock. The eight bells were for four o’clock instead of twelve, so soundly had I slept. I staid136 up to see the sunrise, wishing to correct the impression which I had long cherished that there is more to be enjoyed in the idea of sunrise than in its actual beauty. This I was willing to attribute to the want of disposition when drowsy to appreciate the morning. We are prejudiced in favor of a departing day, look kindly on the advancing darkness; we have pleasant associations with the season of repose; it awakens no apprehensions of care, nor of labor; each step of coming night is associated with quiet, while the opening day is the signal for noise; we are not so much disposed to welcome an untried day with its liabilities, as a finished day which can make no new demands upon us. The valedictory of sundown implies less responsibility than the salutatory of a new day. The progressive development of evening with the softening, fading colors, its pathos, finds us more disposed to sympathize with it137 than we are with a day yet to be tested. But morning has it votaries and its poetry. Therefore,

“Now while the Heaven by the sun’s team untrod
Hath took no print of the approaching light,”

let me see once more if the beauty of morning is real or wholly ideal. There are no birds in our tops to herald its coming; no living things to make it appear that they welcome the return of light, the flying fish are no more of them on the wing than when the ship at night breaks in among them, nor do the porpoises gambol more at day break than at noon. There is a touch of pathos in seeing the stars pale in the growing light; but they cannot awaken much sentiment in us; we find it, if at all, in the victories of light over darkness; the imprint of beauty on monotony; the responses of the zenith and then of the west to the first outgoings of the morning in the east, the crimson bars,138 the purpling cloud, the snowy top of a pile whose base is yet black. But do we not yield a ready response to these oft quoted words, or do we pass them over as the desponding language of a decaying race: “Let others hail the rising sun,” and count it as merely an act of resistless sympathy to “bow to him whose course is run?” It must be acknowledged that sitting on deck three quarters of an hour in a dishabille dress in the middle of January to see day break, required the temperature of Pacific latitudes to make the experience pleasant. I could not decide which to choose, abstractly. “The day is Thine, the night also is Thine.”


One cannot but be impressed with the same thing at sea which meets us everywhere on the land, the low pitch of natural tones, in the wind, the thunder, the waves in mid139 ocean. If the thunder made the same indiscreet noises as some of our locomotives, thunder storms would be more appalling than they ever are now. May we not see the benevolence of God in this? As one sits for a long time soothed by the wind blowing through the grass, so in listening to the waves around the ship he is not agitated but composed. Even in a tempest the key note of the wind through the cordage has a low pitch; “strong without rage,” much of the time. So with the roar of the sea. Men’s voices in a multitude met for conversation partake of the same quality. I remember that some years ago several gentlemen were in the Exchange in an English metropolis on some ordinary business day, and on going upstairs they noticed the uniform pitch which the voices below naturally assumed. One or two of these gentlemen were musical men, who, on being appealed to, gave it as their opinion that the pitch was on F, and there140 being no excitement the hum or droning sound continued uniform on that low note. One may catch that note much of the time at sea; yet there is no painful monotone in nature. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification; yet a wonderful harmony prevails, without any artificial arrangement to keep the ruling pitch at F.


Our two guns, nine pounders, have been raised from the hold and painted black. They have been in the hold much of the time, and unless we meet a pirate they will not be needed, except in case of their being required to announce an astounding passage. A hundred and twelve days is the ship’s shortest passage. We are only twenty-five hundred miles from San Francisco, which is small compared to the fifteen thousand five hundred with which we began.



Every thing about the ship, outside as well as inside, is in beautiful order. Even the belaying pins, of which there are about forty, including all on each side of the deck and about the masts, have been scraped and varnished. No house on shore is in a more creditable state of neatness. No idleness is allowed, but we are not so much at a loss to find employment for the sailors as was one captain, who, when everything about his ship was in perfect order, still kept his men occupied by setting them to scrape the anchors.


Jan. 22. We crossed the line to-day. Nov. 22d we crossed it in the Atlantic. By land over the continent where we then were is four thousand miles; but we have sailed thirteen thousand. We are two days behind the ship’s shortest passage, and we watch the142 winds. To sit on deck in a summer suit, listening to the music of the water as the ship glides along, and watching the light and shadows, is perfect enjoyment to an invalid feeling that this medicine is accomplishing a cure.


To-day one of the boatswains caught with a hook two bonitos. They are as large as the largest mackerel; the flesh hard. We are to dine upon them to-morrow; but what shall we do for lettuce? Every now and then we are made to feel that there are some good things on land. But we are as often reminded what a barren region these deep waters are. They evidently were not designed to support human life. Instead of abounding in articles of food, we do not find any, except by accident, till we draw near to rocks, or run upon soundings.



Yet the Creator “opens his hand” even here, and ‘satisfies the desires of every living thing.’ At night we were startled by a bright light around the ship. We were in a patch of whale feed, a kind of skid, myriads of little creatures who give out a phosphorescent light. It seemed like a patch of the milky way. The mate lowered a bucket, hoping to bring some of the animalculæ on deck; but they either eluded us, or were too minute for observation apart.


If sailors are kept in good condition by being furnished with something to do, instead of being suffered to be idle, it is so with all of us. While one of the female passengers is sitting by me on deck, writing, the other has been furnished by the mate with a small paint brush, and is painting blue the brass144 hoops of the twelve deck water buckets. They are to stand in a row, each with a letter of the name of the ship, Golden Fleece, the name furnishing a letter for each of the buckets.


Having been almost becalmed for several days, the doldrum weather ended with a heavy rain last night. Going on deck after breakfast, we found the ship driving ahead nine knots instead of three. It was a merry sight. I betook myself to the hammock, and lay there till twelve, the captain and one of his sisters sitting by, writing home, and the other reciting Virgil to me, and learning, at my request, Hannah’s song (I Sam. II.) It was one of the choice forenoons of the voyage. We gained a half day on the ship’s best passage, and by one o’clock the wind increased, so that we are now only one145 day and a half behind the enviable time. Pleasant as rest is, one cannot suppress the desire to be at work.


Six or eight bosons have flown above and around the ship all day. Unlike the Albatross, they keep their wings in constant motion; the Albatross has none, after rising a little from the surface. They are white. The tail feathers terminate in a long sharp point, in resemblance of a marlinspike, which has led sailors to call the bird after the boatswain.


Feb. 6. This evening the captain invited the sailors to a valedictory religious service. He spoke to them from the words, “God is love,” which he judiciously explained in consistency with the other attributes. He told the men that he never sailed with a crew146 with whom he was more pleased. He would be willing to have them all sail with him again, which he had never before been able to say to a crew. Of the various groups of laboring men with which I have been connected, I have never seen among them a greater proportion of faithful men, of good dispositions, civil behavior, pleasant manners, intelligent, and fully deserving the encomium of the captain. Some of them were from Northern European nations, and proverbially there are no better sailors than they, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians. Some of them were from highly respectable family circles; for all of them I formed a strong personal attachment. It is with sorrow that I think of their leaving us, as of course they will soon after reaching port; for after the manner of these citizens of the world, they will, the most of them, ship at once for sea again. Some of them came with us for the round voyage; these will remain with us; the rest will soon147 be like the gulf weed which falls into the many ocean currents. It was gratifying to think that for nearly four months they have been under christian influences, have listened to the word of salvation, have joined in christian worship, have had abundant opportunities to read the Bible, listen to moral advice and religious instruction. I will record the names of the whole company.4


Feb. 10. The captain called all hands into the forward cabin, and gave them a Temperance address, warning against the evil men who drug sailors, ship them on board a vessel just sailing, securing to themselves the sailor’s advance wages, and thrusting him on board stupefied, leaving him to come to himself at sea, perhaps bound on a long voyage, with but a pittance coming to him at the close. It was a capital lecture, full of anecdotes; it put the sailors in good spirits, affected them with its kindness, while it impressed them with its good sense.5

As I must be much absorbed on arriving at anchorage, and shall wish to get my journal and letters into the mail at once, I will finish the journal now.

In one sense God has kept my eyes from149 tears; but as it regards tears of joy, I have never felt like shedding so many. My principal reading, (I will say again,) for the pleasure to my taste, if I were to mention no other reason, has been in the Old Testament. I know not why I should specify the book of Deuteronomy, only it is noticeable in the account in Matthew of the Saviour’s temptation in the wilderness, it appears that of his four quotations from the Old Testament prefaced by “It is written,” thereby foiling the suggestions of Satan, three of them are in the Book of Deuteronomy. In the Old Testament I have seen and heard God talking with men, which I have felt more at sea than on land. Whenever they prayed, there was sure to be an answer, excepting to the ungrateful, godless Saul. It has deeply moved me to think of God as always at hand when one prays. This has comforted me on the ocean. When I have heard the gale at night, or have seen the ocean lashed to fury, I could150 not resist the feeling: It is God, not nature; God is doing something. This has kept down every feeling of fear, for I knew that the wind could not blow longer nor stronger than he should let it out. Nor was the ocean more than a little water in the hollow of his hand. The voyage has made permanent impressions, I trust, upon me, concerning the personality of God, his intimate knowledge, his personal love, all having their most perfect expression and seal in the life, and, above all, in the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

Of course I have had thoughts of home which but for this would have agitated me. But why should I fear future events, with such experience as this voyage has given me? How little I had to do about this voyage; how manifestly it has been the work of God. Not according to my works, but of his mercy he saves me. Had I done some great service for God, He could not make me feel his goodness more. Now it is all of grace, not earned,151 but for nothing. Far better this than though I felt that it was of works; for his grace is a better foundation than our deserts. If he has done so much for me for nothing, I may confidently ask Him for all that I need. As I told the sailors one Sabbath, God never sells anything; He never lets a man give him an equivalent; He will receive as much grateful love as we will give, but nothing in the light of payment.

Let me never feel on shore that if I were at sea I could have more vivid impressions of God’s presence. The following lines I wrote to rebuke this feeling:


My God, how good to be
In the wilderness with Thee
When Israel’s tribes pursued their desert way.
Leaving the Red Sea strand
To find the Promised Land,
Thou shepherdest thy flock by night and day.
So great a change in that one night!
Pharaoh no more, the God of gods was then their risen light.
Treading the deep sea floor,
Dry shod from shore to shore,
The wall of waters piled on either hand;
Hearing the rushing waves
Fill up the Egyptians’ graves,
The foremost vainly struggling for the land,
Thee would I love with all my soul,
My heart should rove no more; God should possess the whole.
Encamped where Elim spread
Her palm-trees overhead,
With wells of water springing all around,
Not the new-found fruit
Would so my longings suit,
Nor the cold water from the pebbly ground
Could so revive my spirit there,
As when in some still place I sought my God in prayer.
Now moves the ransomed host
Far from the sea-washed coast,
And plunges deep where foot hath seldom trod;
And see that cloud by day
Marking out their way,
Guiding them safe as by a royal road.
My God, I could not see that sign,
And not with rapture cry, My soul, this God is thine!
And when the night came on,
The fading twilight gone,
Or whether storms or stars should fill the sphere,
That pillared cloud grew bright
With more than earthly light;
No need of words to whisper, God is here.
Finding some place beneath the sky,
My God, my very present God! nightly I’d cry.
When manna strews the ground,
And quails the camp surround,
And when the rock breaks forth in living streams,
And cities walled to heaven
To them are freely given,
Wonders of grace, exceeding all their dreams,
My God! each day and hour I’d be,
With heart and soul, a living sacrifice to thee.
To see the words in stone
Graven by God alone,
To hear the voice which from the darkness spake,
To see the man of God
Trail his princely rod,
And cry, “Forbear! my soul doth fear and quake.”
Oh, could I ever sin again!
Would not my soul become thy living temple then?
Behold the priest-borne ark
Resting in Jordan; mark!
It tarries till the host are all passed o’er,
Then slowly leaves the stream;
The friendly waters seem
Listing till every foot has reached the shore.
How sweet to live, how safe to die,
That wondrous ark of God before me passing by!
But pause, my soul! and see
If Israel’s God to thee
Hath not approached in loving-kindness nigher;
What place like Bethlehem!
The Saviour’s footprints deem
Steps leading up to God, ascending higher.
Hast thou forgot Gethsemane?
The world’s four thousand years had not a Calvary.
How hast thou loved and prayed?
How feared, adored, obeyed?
Is God in Christ less than a pillared cloud?
Are words he wrote in stone
More than the Word, his Son?
Is not “the living way” the better road?
Surely, whate’er thine eyes can see
In Israel’s favored lot, falls far this side of thee.
Awake! awake! my powers,
And Israel’s God and ours
Love, serve, and worship with a double flame;
God’s ancient methods learn;
The elder Scripture turn,
Tracing therein the great Immanuel’s name.
So shall thy worship perfect be,
And both the Testaments shall shine full orbed o’er thee.


Long have they voyaged o’er the distant seas;
And what a heart-delight they feel at last,
So many toils, so many dangers past,
To view the port desired, he only knows
Who on the stormy deck for many a day
Hath tossed, a weary of his ocean way,
And watched, all anxious, every wind that blows.

One day at sundown the captain said as he looked at his watch, “At five minutes past nine this evening we shall see Farralone light.” We had altered our course several times that day; the current was strong, the wind was aft, so that only one course of sails drew; therefore we paid little attention to the remark, supposing it to be a guess, or at best a hope, rather than an opinion.

At nine o’clock P. M. Feb. 11, a man was sent aloft to see if there was a lighthouse visible. At twenty minutes after nine he called156 out, “Light, ho! three points on the port bow.” In five or ten minutes we saw it from the deck. We felt that this part of the voyage was over. We had been to 59° S., being five degrees south of Cape Horn, and had sailed back to 37° N. and were also now far west of Boston.

We dropped anchor at San Francisco Feb. 12th, making the voyage in 111 days, one day less than the good ship had logged before. We took pleasure in reading on shore the record which I give below.6



One of the San Francisco papers spoke of there being two of the pastors of Boston in San Francisco, one of whom, a pastor there for thirty-five years, had been a hundred and eleven days in coming from New York to California, while the other, a young man, had been only ten days on his way. This was true, and it showed what progress had been made within a life time in the means of intercourse between distant parts of the country.

It is easy, however, to imagine a state of things in which it would be a privilege to be a hundred and eleven days on the way from Boston to San Francisco. If the opportunity of navigation were wholly cut off and the only way of passing from New York to California should be to be whirled along in ten days from point to point, men would say, “Alas! for modern degeneracy. Time was,158 within the memory of not a few now living, when it was a luxury to travel. You could take passage in one of those clippers whose names and exploits now seem fabulous, and the only memorials of them are paintings and photographs on our parlor walls, and in books of art; and in those palaces you could sail down one side of the continent, reach Cape Horn, go five degrees south of it to make a safe run around the great land mark and pass up on the other side. Think of the privilege of running through the Straits of Lemaire, of coming close by the shores of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, of experiencing those Cape Horn swells, of feeling that you were not far from Antarctic regions. Those were days when life had some romance in it. Now you seem to be fired out of a field piece; the next thing will be to creep into a pneumatic machine, the air will be exhausted and in a state of suspended consciousness159 you will wake from your short delirious dream and will be told that you have been shot eight thousand miles across the continent. Some like this; annihilate time and distance and they ask no more; for our part give us the old ways; steam is good in its place; but we envy those who could be a hundred and eleven days on the water, passing from the east to the west.”


It would be gratifying to indulge in full descriptions of San Francisco and the enjoyment derived from valued friends. In doing this, I could most cordially repeat the enthusiastic words of others. Let me give at once the scale by which I soon learned to measure everything in this wonderful region, indicated by some first impressions:

Before leaving home, an elderly lady told me that she had long watched her calla lily,160 hoping that it would open in time to be presented to me before I left home. It came at last, perfectly beautiful, such as the stem had yielded several times before; the same silvery frost work on its petals, the same odor of lemon balm in the calyx. I told the venerable donor that I believed that the impression made by her rare gift, so long and carefully watched, a beautiful unit, lovely in its oneness, would have a charm for me which I could not suppose would be forgotten in more luxuriant climes. My one calla lily which had made a last impression upon me on leaving home, was brought forcibly to mind the morning after my arrival. I was requested to walk to the window, where I was told some favorites of mine were waiting to see me. There stood in a border to a flower garden, thirty calla lily plants, each plant with its lily in perfect growth. There was no more spirit in me. Is this the scale by161 which you excel your friends at the East? I found it to be so. A pleasurable feeling of being vanquished came over me. Every hour brought its new surprise. I gave up. I was in California.

A day or two after, the seal was set to my conviction that I was there. I had the pleasure of experiencing an earthquake. About ten o’clock one fair day, suddenly a noise came, such as I never before heard, and a motion unlike anything which I had ever felt before. It lasted not more than five seconds. But Cape Horn did not shake after that pattern. No description can convey any idea of the feeling excited by it. I turned involuntarily to my door, and, opening it, found the family in the entry, brought there in the same bewildered state of mind as myself. Apprehension of danger soon subsided; but we wished ourselves at sea, in order to be safe.

The view of the Pacific from the Cliff House seemed to me the most interesting of162 sea views from shore. In itself, it so impressed me; but, added to this, the recollection of the great extent of territory of which it is a boundary, makes it approach near to the sublime. The coast line of California, taking in its curves and indentations, it is said in an able statistical paper in that State, is equal to a straight line drawn from San Francisco to Plymouth, Mass. Those seals, climbing upon the rocks not many feet from you, undisturbed by your presence, giving you a new chapter in natural history, opening animal life to you as you may not have seen it before, remind you that you are in a region of the earth far from your home. One day in driving we came to a hill which, though it was only the fifteenth of March, had began to put forth a combination of colors so numerous and brilliant as to make you believe at first that they were the work of art. A little below, the ground was without any sign of spring. A soil which163 could so quickly feel the sun as to give forth its luxuriance profusely, as it were at a day’s warning, though lifted but a little above the general level, impresses one with its extremely sensitive nature, making you ready to believe anything which is told you of its fruitfulness.

So many friends come around you here that your home circle seems to have stretched its circumference; for those who dwell under these western skies seem to retain their native qualities, which make you identify them at once as those whom you formerly knew and loved. Ties of friendship or valued acquaintance draw many to you, in connection or association with people whom you are glad to recall in the features, the voices, of their descendants. The names of Oakland and Alameda, and of other places, will ever be associated in our minds with names and scenes most precious. I left this164 wonderful region with great love for it, deeply impressed with the many valued friends whom I found or made there.


March 28th. A company of thirty escorted us down the harbor, in the tug. Some of the gentlemen contrived to get on board the Fleece, but to our disappointment the rest of the party remained in the tug. The deck of the ship being high above the tug, our conversation, with reminiscences, compliments, assurances of continual remembrance, messages, could not be so sentimental as if conveyed in whispers. As we went down the harbor, the swell was great, and we were sorry that many of the pleasant faces preferred to turn and look from us overboard; whereby our conversation, difficult though it had been for some time, was wholly cut off. At length the signal was given for parting,165 and the little tug with its company, the most of whom we could not expect to see again, darted ahead of us; a cloud of handkerchiefs gave us their parting salute, which we continued to answer till the tug was lost amid the crowd of vessels in the harbor. Soon the heavy swell outside admonished us that we also were mortal, and we shut ourselves from the sight of each other.


We sailed to the Sandwich Islands at the request of our agents at San Francisco to obtain freight for China. We sailed by the whole group, in fine weather. A sudden bend in our course brought us at once within sight of Honolulu, thirty days from San Francisco. After looking at the volcanic ridges of the group, precipitous, shapeless, barren, the red earth and stones making you feel as though they had not wholly cooled, it166 was a pleasing surprise to have this immediate view of the town, looking as though it had always been there, suggesting no signs of a feeble settlement making effort to live. The church spire, the neat cottages, the signs of husbandry, the cattle, the roads traversed by handsome horses with good carriages, the pendulous waving branches, and the banana, softening the sterner features of nature, made at once an impression which was prepossessing.

We anchored where we were advised by the pilot to do so. But we were too near the reef to feel safe should we have a gale. The wind was blowing so as to make it evidently most uncomfortable if not hazardous to land, at least for ladies or invalids. The captain felt obliged to venture in the native boat, which the Hawaian boatmen declared to be safe, though the great sail was out of proportion to the small craft, judged by our nautical167 measurement. We concluded to allow him to go ashore as an experiment; but we could more unhesitatingly have insured him around Cape Horn in his ship than in that boat going through that surf over the bar. We watched him gaining on the breakers one after another, expecting every moment to see him in the waves, till with the spy glass we could see that the shore was safely reached. He was to send back word whether we might venture to take passage in one of the native boats, and what length of time his business would require him to remain at this port. He sent back word that he found no freight; that nothing seemed to warrant our remaining, that if we came ashore it would be only for one hour, it being then not far from sun down. We had kind messages from Rev. Dr. Judd, who offered to ask Capt. Truxton, of the U. S. vessel “Jamestown,” to send his yawl for us if we would stay. H. M.168 Whitney, Esq., editor of the Honolulu Commercial, politely sent us an invitation to his house during our visit should we come ashore. Rev. Hiram Bingham, and S. B. Dole, Esq., both sons of missionaries, came off to see us, inviting us to a meeting of “Cousins” which was to be held that evening. The temptation was for every reason very great. We had anticipated this visit for a long time; indeed it had seemed a prominent event of the voyage in our anticipation; it would surely be so in our memories. We could not hope to have such an opportunity again to see these islands, to have intercourse with these missionary friends. But had we any right to detain the ship, lying as she must do, close to the reef? We saw that, once on shore, the inducement to make a tour of several days to visit missionary stations, to look upon the faces of some whom we remembered as having gone from our shores, some whose169 faces and forms we should find imprinted with the signs of honorable service; and then to see that world renowned volcano, the scene of that gigantic tidal wave, to observe how it lifted itself up, to take its measurements, to note the way of its fearful retreat, all this would be an expenditure of time and strength which we did not feel at liberty to make.

Messrs. Bingham and Dole remained on board till we weighed anchor. They proposed that we should sing a hymn: “My days are gliding swiftly by;” our cabinet organ joining to leave our notes of worship impressed on those beloved shores. Because our unseen friends “did not detain us” while we were flying from them, we were the more affected by the thoughts of them, and by imagining the interchange which we should have had of profitable conversation. Everything which we bore away with us deepened170 our regret at parting.—The attractive style in which the Honolulu Advertiser was made up and printed, gave me very favorable impressions of the state of the practical arts in Honolulu. For several weeks we were refreshed by the largest and sweetest oranges and the best bananas which I have met with in our whole voyage. There is no part of the world which I have seen which I would sooner revisit, or where I should expect greater enjoyment from very many sources than the Sandwich Islands. In a fine moonlight Saturday evening we sailed away from this most interesting group.

* * * * *

Of all the bright days which have gladdened our way, none have surpassed those which we spent in going from the Sandwich Islands to China. Existence was a charm in that beautiful climate, that trade-wind region. Thirty-three days of perfect weather, one succeeding another with seemingly new171 beauty, made us feel that we had left this world of storms. If I ever need an emblem of perfect peace, the voyage from the Sandwich Islands to China will be sure to revive in my memory.


With new sensations of interest, we reached the China Sea. The Bashee group of Islands marks one entrance to it from the Pacific. We passed close to the island of Belintang. Here I had a first imaginary glimpse of the heathen world in a singular spectacle, which I would have said was an illusion had not all whom I asked to notice it agreed that it was a remarkable object.

About sixty feet from the island, in the water, stands a high rock, in the shape of a flattened ellipse, wholly isolated. Its base looks as though it were stuccoed with large sea-shells, the grooved side of each facing you. One half of the elevation is shapeless, but the other half is as good an image of a monstrous idol god as can be found.


“What seemed a head,
The likeness of a kingly crown had on,”

or, perhaps, a mitre or a fillet. The eyes are like the eyes of a plaster bust, made by two protuberances of the rock, volcanic blisters; and over the whole figure seems to be thrown a rude drapery, which a little fancy converts into a robe. The whole effect is that of a huge idol god. There it stands at the gateway of the China Sea; and, if superstition had employed sculptors and architects to set up an image of Buddha there, no better result could have been achieved. No hand, however, founded this on the seas and established it on the floods. There is a marine picturesqueness about the rock as a whole which is very fine. I am thus minute in the description, hoping that some who read these pages will, on seeing the Bashee image, make a more extended description.



The mind soon tires of tranquil scenes. On the way from the Sandwich Islands to China I had my fill of tranquility. I found myself yearning for a gale; felt great respect for the Gulf Stream, with waves as high as the main yard; longed to see breakers; wondered why the sea would not occasionally come over our rail. There seemed to be talent about the Rio de la Plata; Cape Horn was true genius; the North Atlantic a giant with a progeny in its own image. The halcyon waters of the Pacific impressed me as amiable but weak; their countenance wore a perpetual smile; they looked as though they believed themselves to have reached a sinless state. You long to see their temper tested; you would be willing to see them ruffled, even angry; hear them lift their voice out of its monotony with upbraiding, rather than be so unnaturally gentle. Does174 the sea have waves of mettle which it employs in hazardous enterprises, trusting them, and only them, in daring feats? I came to feel that there were waters which bore a character for hardihood, nurtured by tempests, voiced for symphonious concerts with typhoons, not counting their lives dear unto them but dying on the high places of the field. Let me see them once more! When will this trade wind region come to an end, and the sea utter its voice and lift up its hands on high? I felt that the sea reverenced greatness, honored its waters which stormed impregnable rocks and poured out their lives at the call of duty. These lines came to me, in this connection:


The sea has gallant troops, adventurous waves;
Tell me, intrepid mariner, where are they?
Not where the peaceful isles adorn the bay,
Nor where the tranquil sea a smooth beach laves,
But where huge billows tunnel giant caves,
Forcing through spouting horns in myriad showers
Enormous breakers which the chafed sea pours
On sharpened rocks, finding their several graves.
Or, where a light-house guards the rock-bound coast
The sea will summon up its fierce brigade
To quench the lantern, leaping high in air.
These, not its halcyon waves, it honors most.
Who moved first on the deep, the Spirit, said,
“Whom the Lord loves he chastens, nor will spare.”


The wind did not serve to bring us round Great Lema Island. After tacking several times, and beating about the headland from early in the morning till two o’clock, the prospect of our being kept in a dangerous position till after sunset, induced the captain to venture into Yat Moon Pass, where we should have a direct run into Hong Kong harbor.

The pass between Great Lema and Ya Chou Island was narrow; in some parts not more than two lengths of the vessel in width. A hidden rock in the middle of the narrow passage led the captain to deliberate long before176 he concluded to enter. Finally it seemed best to make the venture, rather than beat around the point day after day. The wind was blowing directly through the pass, the weather was fair, a run of half an hour would bring us into open sea, beyond the reach of danger. Accordingly we entered, keeping close to the starboard side, throwing the lead all the way. The sailors amused themselves with trying to throw pieces of coal ashore, which now and then they succeeded in doing. The captain went aloft with his spy glass; we listened with breathless interest to hear the result of his observation from step to step, the word “steady” every few moments keeping up our courage. Everything depended on our meeting a favorable wind at the other end. Should it be blowing into the pass, or die away and leave us becalmed, we should not prove to have mended our prospect. We gratefully acknowledged the good hand of177 God in causing us to find that the wind which brought us through the narrows blew in the same direction when we reached the open sea.

Five miles out, two pilots hailed us from opposite points, each in his rude sampan, their sails of matting and their oars combining to bring each first to the ship. The wind favored one, who came astern and caught a rope, which he nimbly climbed and came aboard. There was a woman with an oar, sculling and steering, while her husband and one or two boys and girls managed the sails. On her back her infant was strapped, a boy sixteen months old, as we were informed. The little fellow had to endure all the motions of his mother at the oar, peeping over each of her shoulders by turns, and holding her neck with his hands. This, we found, is the common mode of life among infants here, children eight years old being178 harnessed to the employment of thus carrying about their infant brothers and sisters.

Hong Kong, or Sweet Waters, is an island off the coast of China, east of the entrance of the Canton river. It came into the possession of the British by a treaty with China June 25, 1843. Its length from east to west is eight miles; its breadth varies from two to six miles. The surface is mountainous. There are good places of anchorage in its waters. Violent winds are frequent. The population, which is not far from forty thousand, is mostly Chinese. It is a free port. Among the people in the streets are Parsees from Persia, who deal in the productions of their country; and Sepoys from Hindostan, and elsewhere. These are police officers and soldiers, intensely black, so much so that one accustomed to the sight of an African negro with a tinge of yellow in his complexion, looks at these Sepoys with admiration at the179 unqualified blackness of their skin. They are, moreover, tall, straight, well proportioned men. Some of the districts of Hong Kong are Stanley, Pokfalum, Aberdeen, Victoria, of which the latter is the principal, being the seat of government. Victoria Peak, overlooking the harbor and vicinity, is about eighteen hundred feet high.

We went on shore to church, after our service with the sailors in the morning, and attended worship at Rev. Dr. Legge’s chapel, known as “Union Church.” It is a beautiful building, on an elevated spot, with foliage of the bamboo trees around it. Over the speaker a punka of blue silk was kept in motion by a coolie out of sight, making it comfortable for the preacher. Good Dr. Duff protested against punkas in the church as luxurious and worldly. After being in the East India climate a while, he said, “I must have a punka over me when I preach180 here.” I preached for Dr. Legge the next Sabbath morning, and five or six other times, and went ashore again in the afternoon occasionally to the chapel and once heard the Rev. Mr. Turner, a missionary sustained by a British society, preach to a congregation of Chinese. I was struck with their devout appearance in prayer. All was unintelligible till the doxology, in Old Hundred.

English schools for Chinese youth, maintained here by the government, one of them with over one hundred and fifty young men, taught by Mr. Stuart, I had the pleasure of visiting, and was interested to hear the native youths read well in English, with little Chinese accent.

One of the boys about fifteen years of age was pointed out to me as a Japanese youth. The teacher told me that the custom of Japan obliged a boy of his rank to wear a short sword in public. I saw the sword of181 this youth in his desk, it being laid aside in the school room. One could not help fancying that such an instrument would not generally be a recommendation of the wearer as a playmate.


We found ourselves at once in the centre of communication with all parts of the commercial world on taking our position among the shipping in this English free port. We continued to live on board the ship, being advised by all that we should find it more comfortable than on shore. There were at least two hundred vessels here, from the four quarters of the globe. Their national flags were an interesting study. The first evening of our arrival we manned our boat and were rowed round among the steamers and principal vessels, going close to those whose bands were playing their national airs.



It was only a day or two before the arrival of our large craft had attracted the swarms of the native trades-people. Every forenoon for some time our deck was filled with cases loaded with carved ivory, sandal wood work, jewelry, fans, curious boxes, shawls and scarfs of India work, with articles of wearing apparel, both useful and ornamental. The pilot whom we took at the end of Yat Moon Pass, a native Chinaman, had given us our first lesson in pidgin English; for by noticing his use of our language and copying his forms of expression, we soon found ourselves able to make ourselves understood. We were instructed by friendly visitors to be on our guard against paying anything near the price demanded for an article by these hucksters. Their effrontery in demanding enormous sums for trifles became a constant source of amusement. For example: One of our company would hold up a Japanese183 bamboo watch chain and say, “How muchee pricee?” “Half dollar.” “No; my no can do; that belong too muchee pricee.” “No, no, not too muchee; that very fine; that belong number one thing.” But the purchaser lays it down, and resumes a book or work. The tradesman waits and finally says, “Well, how muchee you pay?” “One quarter.” He gives an expression of contempt, pretends to pack up his things in haste, but keeps an eye on the customer to see some sign of relenting, and at last in despair comes with the chain, saying, “Here, you take; give me one quart;”—which is much nearer the real worth.


It became necessary soon after our arrival for some of our number to employ a dressmaker, and one was recommended who visited ships where there were ladies on board. His features were far from masculine; his prices,184 thirty-five cents a day, was in correspondence; his thimble was on his thumb, his motion in sewing seemed to be that of pushing more than of pulling; his progress slow, all day being spent on something which ordinarily was done at home, it was said, in two or three hours.


We were invited to breakfast at the reasonable hour of nine, on board the Pacific Mail Steamer, to tea on board the “Great Northern,” and to examine her telegraphic apparatus and the arrangements for laying the submarine cable between Hong Kong and Shanghai. We were handsomely entertained on board the “Delaware,” “Colorado,” “Ashuelot,” U. S. vessels, and we became acquainted with the routine of service on board such vessels. The commander and scientific men in these ships contributed greatly to our pleasure.




We formed the acquaintance of interesting families on shore, from whom we received gratifying attentions, enjoyed their hospitality, were entertained at their croquet parties, some of which were held in high places, on the side of the hill which forms the chief eminence of Hong Kong, affording a picturesque view of the shipping in the harbor. It would be difficult to name any place, where friends assemble to enjoy out-of door sports, more animating than the heights of Hong Kong, commanding views of the ocean in every direction, the sea breeze invigorating the spirits which have felt the heat of the town several hundred feet below.


A principal source of enjoyment in this interesting spot is in going up Victoria Peak. You take a sedan chair at the landing, four186 coolies to each chair, two dollars for each chair. The men bear you cheerfully along up hill, three or four miles, stopping to rest two or three times when they come to shady places by the side of a great rock, or with fine sea views in prospect, till you reach the summit, where stands a flag staff, to signalize to the town below the arrival of vessels, a nine pounder being run out to announce a mail steamer, or distinguished vessels. Going up you are an hour and a half, unless you pause frequently to look at geological or mineralogical curiosities. You feel unwilling to quit the enchanted spot, the sea breeze, the newly arrived ship, the wonderful expanse of ocean on every side; till the lengthening shadows admonish you that it will be dark before you reach China town. After that, you take your boat in which your oarsmen from the ship a half a mile off have come for you, and you reach your floating habitation after dark.



Going ashore to do shopping, you encounter a crowd of chair coolies at the landing, calling to you, pushing each other, contending for your custom. “Here, Missy, you come this side; you belong my; my have you last time;” till you select a chair, when the rest subside, or a sepoy comes and silences them with blows from his billy, which are administered freely. If the two men who carry you do not go fast enough, you call out, “Chop chop;” if too fast, “Man man,” till you get to the store.

Some of the answers from the shop-keepers to your questions are, “Have got;” “no can do;” “Melican like man like this;” “no have got;” “him makee Japan;” “he no sandal wood; cedar wood, sandal wood oil.”

Asking for some music paper I was told, “no got; my makee you some.” A sheet of blank paper was spread on the counter, a188 ruler which moved on rollers was laid on it, a plate partly filled with india ink was drawn within reach, a camel’s hair paint brush instead of a pen, drew the lines. Much of the work you could not distinguish from music-paper ruled by machine; the distances of some of the staves from each other were not regular; but the lines of each staff were remarkably even. A half quire was ready the next day. The shop-keepers add up the amount of your purchases on frames, such as we see in our primary schools; but the system of numeration I could not understand, the attempted explanation being in confused pidgin English.


It was a merry sight on the 15th of November 1870, when boats of all descriptions were gathered for a race, and nine yachts. The shipping, with which the harbor was well filled, was ordered to change moorings,189 and make a clear passage for the boats. An Order of Exercise was printed for each of the two days, giving information of the names of the Patrons, Committee, Stewards, Judge, Umpire, Starters. The Band of Her Majesty’s 29th Regiment played, the names of the pieces being duly entered on the handsome programme. Single pair sculling boats, to be competed in by men who have never won a sculling race in China or elsewhere; boats pulled by Non-commissioned officers and men of any Regiment or Corps in Garrison, men of war Gigs, Pair Oars, and two Pair Sculling Boats, House Boats pulled by Chinamen, Gig and Punt Chase, Canoes; all open boats, Chinese excepted; yachts not exceeding fifteen tons measurement; the Chinaman’s Cup, The American Cup, presented by the American Community, The United Service Cup, The Canton Cup, presented by the Canton Regatta Club, made up the attractive190 programme. Some lady recently arrived is chosen to present the prize to one of the winning competitors, with a little speech prepared for her. The honor fell that year to one of our company. The yacht prize was won by the Naiad, belonging to R. F. Hawke, Esq., an honorable citizen of Hong Kong. A sailing match from Hong Kong to Macao was advertised to come off the same season.


As you pass through the apartments of some of the dwellings in Hong Kong, you notice that bedsteads and beds are arranged for comfort in a hot climate. No blankets nor even sheets are visible. The bed is covered with bamboo matting, smooth and cool. Bajous and Pajamas, (loose jackets and pants,) of cotton, linen, silk, or bamboo cloth, are all the covering which is necessary, in the hottest nights. But the greatest luxury is191 the cool pillow. A strip of bamboo cloth tied round a pillow, no sewing necessary except of tapes to fasten it, keeps the head cool.


While we were at Hong Kong, a fine English ship came in and ran directly upon a point of the shore in full sight of the shipping. She sank in the water deep enough to cover all but a few feet of her masts. Some of the cargo was recovered; the vessel was a total loss. No blame was attached to the captain. Had there been a design to throw the vessel away, it could not have been done with greater safety to all on board; but the three masts of the sunken Dunmail, probably standing yet in Hong Kong harbor, are a warning against the least presumption in the very moment of apparent safety.



Some of us called at the American Consulate on the Fourth of July, to pay our respects to the American Consul. One of the young men present mentioned this incident: He saw from his window a Chinaman with a vase of water on his head. He himself showed a reckless disregard of human life, in proposing to try his pistol on the vase. The bullet grazed the Chinaman’s heel. The young man was arrested, but the prosecution was withdrawn, on the plaintiff’s representation that satisfaction had been made. The satisfaction consisted in the proposition of the Chinaman to settle for one dollar, which the young man willingly paid. Whereupon another Chinaman came forward and offered to stand fire for one dollar.—The outrage on the French Catholics at Tientsin, thirteen of whom were murdered, was atoned for in part by the authorities, by putting to193 death thirteen of their countrymen. Thirteen of the assassins were not to be found, so the authorities hired men to take their places, which they did for five hundred dollars each. The papers of the day represented the volunteers as saying that by their death they should earn money for their families, whom otherwise they should leave in poverty. One needs to live among such people, if he would understand the degradation to which heathenism can debase mankind so far as to make them capable of such a deed. Robbery of the dwelling, money from clothing laid aside at night, and articles of jewelry is of constant occurrence.


I spent a fortnight at the house of R. F. Hawke, Esq., whose father-in-law, the Rev. Dr. Legge, the eminent Chinese scholar, was engaged on his five or six large volumes194 of the Chinese classics. The Doctor is not impressed with the intellectual ability of Confucius nor of his followers. His translations are invaluable, as saving missionaries and other students of the Chinese much pains by placing Chinese literature before them in a digested form. One could not help regretting that this laborious scholar cannot have the advantage of an international copyright law to afford protection to his costly fruits of research. American authors suffer the same loss, however, as he, in seeing their valuable works appropriated by foreigners.


It was with a feeling of national pride that we repeatedly saw the Pacific Mail Company’s steamer “China,” Capt. Doane, thirty days from San Francisco, come into the harbor promptly on the day she was due. She is a noble ship of four thousand tons. Capt.195 Doane came on board our ship, and invited us to inspect his vessel. It is one of the principal events of the month with Americans to have the Pacific Mail Steamers appear. All other steamers seem diminutive by the side of them. It seemed strange to find on board these vessels five or six live oxen and the appurtenances of a slaughter-house, bestowed, however, out of sight.

We stayed in Hong Kong six months waiting for hemp to fall in Manila. While the ship lay at anchor we enjoyed the privilege, by the favor of Messrs. Augustine Heard & Co., of visiting several places in China and the East Indies.


This is a traveller, sir; knows men and
Manners, and has ploughed up the sea so far
Till both the poles have knocked; has seen the sun
Take coach, and can distinguish the color
Of his horses and their kind.
Beaumont and Fletcher’sScornful Lady.”

The city of Canton is only eight hours by steamer from Hong Kong. Arriving in the Canton river you find yourself in a floating population in boats, close together, as though ground rents were as dear as in Broadway. When you enter a boat for a passage up the river you marvel that the boat can extricate itself from the snarl; but you are in a few moments on your way, meeting a seemingly endless throng of people, among whom you involuntarily close197 your eyes as if in anticipation of a crash. We were the guests of the Rev. Dr. Happer of the American Presbyterian Mission, who on our arrival at Hong Kong had kindly sent and invited us. We were also entertained by the other members of the Mission, Messrs. Noyes, Marcellus, and McChesney. We visited Dr. Ker’s Hospital. Over a hundred Chinese were sitting in a commodious room listening to a native evangelist, and going out by tens to receive medical treatment. This hospital was formerly sustained by the American Board of Foreign Missions, with Dr. Peter Parker for surgeon and physician.

Being introduced to Archdeacon Gray, he very kindly went with us two afternoons among the temples and many remarkable places. We saw the temple in which are five hundred bronzed images of gods or deified men, each in a posture or holding an emblem representing some action or attribute.198 We saw the water-clock made by tubs of water placed one above another, each dripping into the one below it, and the lowest holding a graduated stick which rose through a hole in the lid, and as each hour-mark on the stick appears through the hole, a man goes up to the roof with a painted sign announcing to the people the time of day. This seems to be an heirloom from past ages when the “Clepsydra” was in use, of which this is a specimen. Adherence to this useless thing is one illustration of the Chinese attachment to antiquity. As you go about the city, you see things which carry you back two thousand years, oxen treading clay, men sifting wheat in sieves fastened on the ends of planks laid on rolling stones, and a man standing on each and keeping up a motion on the planks like “tilting,” or “seesaw,” a laborious process of doing a simple thing. Then you see works of art199 surpassing modern western skill; as, for example, an elephant’s tusk undergoing three years of carving; price, one hundred and fifty dollars. Then you visit an eating-house, which Archdeacon Gray begs you to endure, to know that some things related of the Chinese are not fictions. He goes to a man who is eating, and courteously taking up his plate, says, “What is this?” The man laughs and says, “Rat.” He goes to another, and, taking his plate, says, “What is this?” The man cheerfully replies, “Black cat.” Another man says, “Dog.” Around the room, on hooks, are evident signs that the men were truthful. You make swift retreat, but are constrained by your guide to look into an opium shop, where the customer, as he comes in, mounts a table, lies at full length, with his head on a wicker pillow hollowed in the middle to fit the neck, then is furnished with a pipe and lamp and box of200 opium, which he smokes till he is stupefied. Emerging from such scenes of degradation into the narrow street, ten feet wide, you may see a woman at a door with a child three years old, with whom she is playing “pease porridge hot,” going through the motions as we learned them in childhood; and you wonder whether Mother Goose derived her knowledge from the disciples of Confucius, or whether she did actually live and die, as is now asserted, in Rowe Street, Boston. This Chinese woman and her child playing at “pease porridge hot,” is one of those touches of nature which make “all the world akin.” You next reach a place where intellectual competition throws some of our university feats into the shade.



One is in each of the eighteen provincial cities of China. Though familiar by description, perhaps, to the reader, I venture to repeat201 that it is a large open ground,—the one in Canton measuring 689,250 square feet. On one hand, there are seventy-five lanes containing 4,767 cells; on the other, sixty-eight lanes with 3,886 cells, making a total of 8,653 cells. Once in three years men of every age, from the youth to the aged, assemble to write prize essays for a literary degree. A candidate is fastened into each cell for three days and nights, with rice and water, planks being fixed in grooves in the sides of the cell, serving for a sleeping place, and for a writing-table by day. The strictest search is made to see that no book or paper is secreted in any dress. The essays are received by three officers, who seal up the outside page of each essay on which is written the name, age, residence, ancestors, &c., of the writer. They are passed to another officer who sees that they are copied in red ink, the object of the copying being202 that the original handwriting may not be recognized by the judges. Nearly two thousand writers are employed in copying. They have rooms fitted up for them in the “Hall of Perfect Honesty.” The governor of the province is ex-officio chief superintendent. Imperial commissioners from Pekin assist in the examinations. They meet in the “Hall of Auspicious Stars.” This hall is looked upon with feelings of awe. Success in these examinations is followed by fame, wealth, and honor; and failure, by years of toil and possibly of repeated disappointment. Messengers wait to carry the names of the successful candidates to every part of the province. The governor gives them a feast; after which they go in state dress to worship the tablets of their ancestors. Odes as well as essays are presented. The following are specimens of the themes at the last examination previous to 1870:—


“If the will be set on virtue, there will be no practice of wickedness.”

“It is only the individual possessed of the most entire sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can adjust the great, invariable interests of mankind.”

“There are ministers who seek the tranquillity of the state, and find their pleasure in securing that tranquillity.”

What can be more abstruse? Few among us would attempt to be original on such themes.

This system of competitive literary examinations here described has been maintained more than a thousand years. There are records proving this. On the first day three essays and one piece of poetry are required; each essay must have seven hundred words, the poetry must consist of seven hundred and sixteen lines, with five words in each. The pieces required on the other two days204 vary from this. The successful competitors are immortalized in fame; their triumph goes down to posterity on the family tablets, is noted on their tombs, secures honor to their children.

Though I visited this “Hall” with Archdeacon Gray, and received minute information from him, I am since indebted for helps to my memory to a paper read before a literary society in Canton, by Dr. J. G. Ker.


One morning some of my party were standing by the window of a friend’s house in Canton which overlooks the canal with its brown water and crowd of sampans. As they watched the different phases of domestic life in those habitations, one of the party, familiar with them, remarked that there was probably a wedding, or rather the festivities attendant upon a wedding, in one of the nearest sampans,205 as she had heard a young woman wailing the night before. She said it is a custom with Chinese brides to pass the night before their weddings in bewailing their future troubles; for as they seldom see their intended masters before the wedding, there is great uncertainty in connection with their new mode of life; generally it is going from one form of servitude into one to which they had not grown accustomed. There seems to be no real wedding ceremony, but a feast and a sort of reception for three days. During that time the young couple perform some acts of devotion before the ancestral tablets. After that the bridegroom takes his partner to his father’s boat, where she cooks the rice, scrubs, and helps row for the rest of her life.

The young ladies thought that they would go to the reception. Accordingly, eight of them crowded into the sampan (being told that no cards were used) and sat in Turkish206 fashion on the nice floor. The bride came before them in a red dress, saluted them, then brought in a tray of square cakes, which had been made with peanut oil. She then gave them tea in small cups such as children play with. They considered that as the tea was made with the foul water of the canal occupied by a crowd of sampans, it could not be in the highest degree tasteful. As they went out they were told that the adjoining boat was the home of the bridegroom’s father, where the bride would the next day find her home. A roasted pig with its garniture of herbs was exposed on deck, but it did not awaken any desire.


We were greatly favored, through the influence of Archdeacon Gray, in having the rare privilege of being admitted to the bedchamber of “the god of Walled Cities.” We climbed up antique, decayed stairs, into a207 forlorn room, not so inviting as apartments in some barns at home. There was the huge god, six feet in height; his slippers were at the side of his bed; his garments were on pegs; the wash-stand was there, with its furniture, and the water was poured into the bowl ready for use. His Majesty was of wood, fantastically painted. We were taken into his wife’s apartment, which was the next room. There women resort to make petitions with vows, promising the goddess a new dress, for example, if their prayer is heard.

In several temples we saw men consulting the gods in some affairs of interest to them. Kneeling and touching the ground with the forehead nine times, they would then take a long box of sticks, each with a number inscribed on it, shake it till a stick fell out, which was then handed to the priest, who consulted a book, and told the petitioner the answer to his prayer.


We came in one temple to the “Chamber of Horrors.” There in ten cells were depicted the torments awaiting the wicked in the next world. In the tenth the victims were coming out in the shape of hideous wild animals, the blessed dead on eminences around looking down with various expressions on their faces. We came also to the “Temple of the Five Genii,”—Fire, Earth, Water, Wood, and Metals. These Genii originally came to the city on five rams, which were turned to stone, for perpetuity, and remain there to this day, uncouth, almost shapeless blocks. A tower, said to be six hundred years old, stands in honor of them. The large bell covered with Chinese characters is doomed to silence; for there is a tradition that if struck, some great misfortune would fall upon the city. A visitor inadvertently striking it would excite consternation among the people. During a siege209 of Canton a piece of the bell was knocked out of it by a cannon-ball.

While we were detained in a temple by rain, the Buddhist priests showed us much kindness, setting a table in the courtyard overlooking a sheet of water, and giving us clear tea in little cups, on trays having each compartments filled with dried fruits. It seemed strange to be “sitting at meat in an idol’s temple.” While we were there, the priests descried the sunshades which some of the party had brought with them. Their amusement was not exceeded by any pleasure manifested by children at the sight of new things. They opened them, they shut them, turned them over and over, held them over one another, explaining to each other their use; and one man, pointing to one of our umbrellas, said, “That I can understand; but is this really an umbrella?”

As our party of four emerged from their210 chairs at each temple, crowds of a hundred or more would follow us to the gate, and wait there for us to re-appear. Mothers would lift little children to see the odd foreigners. Not one word, sign, or look of contempt or disrespect, however, did we witness during the four or five days that we spent in the city. The streets being, most of them, only eight or ten feet wide, the people were frequently stopped by our chairs, and had to stand sideways to let us pass, but never did they make us feel that we were intruders. About two months after this, the affair at Tientsin happened, and the people in many parts of the empire were excited to some degree against foreigners. Receiving an invitation to re-visit Canton, I was strongly advised not to go, on the ground that, while mercantile men, obviously on business, might visit the place in safety, the sight of a foreigner, led there by curiosity, might awaken suspicion and lead to violence.



I saw in Canton a large granite building erecting, already two-thirds of its intended height reached and covering a large space, the staging of which was composed wholly of bamboo. It is doubtful if there was a nail used in the whole of it, the parts being securely fastened with osiers of rattan. It brought to mind the provision so beneficently made for the use of man in these countries where timber is seldom found. Few things, if any, serve such a variety of purposes as the bamboo. Bridges are built of it; it is used for water pipes, masts, boxes, cups, baskets, mats, paper, fences, writing instruments; while the long green leaves afford shade. It grows from fifty to eighty feet in a year, and in a second year becomes as hard as ever. One who is curious in botanical formations cannot but have admired the provision made212 for strengthening the stalk of straw by the joints, which occur at a distance of a few inches; an arrangement which must puzzle an atheist. In the joints of the bamboo lie the hiding of its power. The joints being easily made water tight, the canes are adapted to use in many ways. One cannot live in an eastern country without soon forming an attachment to this product of nature so wonderfully supplying many of the necessities of life.


As we were passing along a street in Canton, a gentleman, long a resident there, suddenly stopped and pointed to a large quantity of an herb, spread in the sun. “That,” said he, “is jasmine, which is one of the principal ingredients used to give your teas a flavor.” But I will not venture further on this topic, only observing that one of our213 party who took tea with us in the idol’s temple, (tea without sugar and cream,) testified that there was an aroma about it to which exported teas were strangers.


Archdeacon Gray is well known to all who have visited Canton. He is in the prime of life, an accomplished gentleman, making you love him at once by his beautifully courteous manners, his fine intelligence. He gave me a cordial invitation to occupy his pulpit on Sabbath morning; but there was to be a communion service at the Presbyterian Mission, with some additions to the church, and I declined. But he came in the intermission and insisted on my preaching in the afternoon, which I did. His house and church are on a bend of the Canton River; and perhaps even our Hudson River does not anywhere present a finer view. His house is full of rare Chinese curiosities, which he is happy to show214 to visitors. I preached in the evening to the Presbyterian Mission, at the house of one of their number. This Mission is exerting a decided influence; its supporters may well be encouraged. I found a strong feeling among them in favor of sending out single ladies, in companies, to live together and to labor in conjunction with the Mission. There is a decided approbation in the Canton Mission of ladies thus living together, and working under the direction of a mission.


I spent four or five days at Shanghai, on another excursion from Hong Kong. This I described in a letter to Bishop Eastburn, as several things which I saw there in connection with Episcopal friends made it agreeable to acquaint him with them. The letter was kindly published in “The Christian Witness” of this city, and copied by “the Boston215 Transcript.” I take this opportunity to insert the most of that letter, from one of the papers above mentioned.

Hong Kong, China, October 10, 1870.

My dear Bishop Eastburn,—I shall not soon forget that the first letter which met my eye on reaching San Francisco, after a voyage of one hundred and eleven days, was in your handwriting. I have since then been so pleasantly reminded of you through a good man’s influence here in China that I must tell you of it. Being on a visit to Shanghai, I was invited to attend worship in a Chinese chapel five miles from the city. We went through the fields in chairs borne by coolies, till we came to the village where trade was plying all its arts, and handicraft its implements, unconscious of the Sabbath. A small church-bell notified us that we were near the chapel; and soon we emerged from heathenish sounds and sights into a christian216 temple, neat and orderly in all its appointments. There were about one hundred and fifty Chinese assembled for worship, which was conducted by a very good looking Chinaman, tall, and of pleasing address. Though ignorant of every word he said, my attention was riveted by his agreeable action and manner, eminently becoming a preacher of the gospel and withal eloquent, if his whole appearance and the attention of the people were true indications. I could see that the services were liturgical from the responses, and from the Chinese books used by the people, the little girls around me keeping my attention directed to the place in the service; though very little good did this do me, except that it helped me to keep my book right side up. The service ended with singing, “There is a happy land,” the tune so familiarly known in our Sabbath schools. The preacher came to speak with me before217 service, with his welcome in very good English; and after service he came again and gave me much information. He has been rector there sixteen years, the chapel being built and he being sustained there by the munificence, said he, “of a Mr. William Appleton, of Boston.” This made my heart leap for joy, to come so far into heathenism and find myself in a christian temple erected and maintained by a fellow-citizen of Boston. Mr. Appleton I did not know personally, though I once received a very kind note from him with a pamphlet. But I had long cherished a sincere love for him from many impressions of his truly estimable character. I was led to think, What a memorial of christian zeal has he built in this distant land! What pleasure it must afford his happy spirit in heaven to look down on this place of christian worship in the depths of heathenism! What a noble use of wealth, blessing a multitude218 of people who but for him might have been left in heathenish ignorance! I told the preacher that I should report his chapel and his labors to christian friends at home, and I mentioned your name in speaking of those who would be glad to hear of him. He desired me to give his respects to you; so it is my pleasure to send you the respectful and christian salutation of the Reverend Wong Kwong Chi, of one of the villages of Shanghai.

As we came out of the chapel, our ears were saluted with some musical instruments from a house where people were making a tumult over a dead person. Little knew they of that “happy land, far, far away:” which the people of Appleton Chapel had just been celebrating. I felt a desire to tell good men in Boston that there yet remaineth much land to be possessed here by christian philanthropists; that they can readily find villages of219 sixty thousand waiting each for its chapel, to say nothing of cities with millions in them, where it would be easy to begin a work for the ransomed spirits of good men and women to review with pleasure in heaven. Truly enviable is that rich christian who can employ wealth to do good for him when he is with Christ. The Appleton Chapel at Shanghai seemed to me a cup of cold water, the donor of which is not losing his reward.

From the steamboat-landing at Shanghai, looking across the river, you see a comely church of fair proportions, surrounded in part with banyan and bamboo trees, affording it a perpetually verdant appearance. It is a stone chapel for seamen, built through the efforts of A. A. Hayes, Jr., of the firm of Olyphant & Co., and son of Dr. A. A. Hayes, of Boston. It is under the care of the Rev. Mr. Syle, Presbyterian, a devoted and most useful man. A large churchyard220 has there received the remains of seamen of all nations. It is within the same enclosure with the church, ornamented with plants and trees, and is nearly filled with the dead. It has been opened fourteen years, and there are fourteen hundred interments. The graves are in close and even rows for economy of rooms, so that this large collection of the dead looks like a buried battalion who have lain down by platoons. The orderly disposal of them has a saddening influence. I never before felt that there is a natural appropriateness in having a burial-place, as Job says of the land of the departed, “a land without any order.” We feel that promptitude and exactness are out of place at a funeral; but slowness and delay are congenial. Surely, these ranks of the dead will not rise by roll-call, though they lay down in such good order. They made me think of some lines of an uncle of Sir Walter Scott, a sea-captain,221 on a sunken man-of-war, all her crew on board:—

‘In death’s dark road at anchor fast they stay,
Till Heaven’s loud signal shall in thunder roar;
Then, starting up, all hands shall quick obey;
Sheet home the topsail, and with speed unmoor.’7


One of the most charming places in China, is Macao, three hours distant by steamer from Hong Kong, the people of which place resort to Macao in the hot season, as the fine sea-breezes there greatly mitigate the heat. The drives about the place, commanding in every direction an open sea-view, are beautiful.222 The old church of St. Paul, the most of which remains, though ruined by fire, is a fine specimen of architecture. The most notable thing in Macao is the grotto where Camoens, the Portuguese poet, died in banishment for publishing a satire on the viceroy. The wild botany of the place, and the geological upheavals which give clear signs of glacial action, are remarkable. Bowlders are piled up here in ways which show a hydrodynamic force beyond human skill. Near the grotto is a cemetery for foreigners; and, among the many sainted dead from missionary circles there entombed, the christian traveller lingers with deep interest around the burial-place of Morrison.

One Sabbath morning I went with a christian friend through a wild district, in the neighborhood of a large city in China, to a mission station. The people were everywhere at work; nothing suggested the Sabbath,223 till we heard the little church-bell, whose notes were in pleasing contrast to the hum of business. We came to the mission compound, where two missionaries and their wives had their abode. The joy with which they welcomed us made us feel most deeply their isolation from christian society. The sight of friends from America seemed to intensify their loneliness. Here were four beloved christian people who were living in these wilds, to teach these heathen tribes the knowledge of God and of his Son. On inquiring what encouragement they found in their work, we were told that two or three women had lately shown a disposition to hear religious conversation, and listen to the Scriptures. Immediately we thought of four hundred millions in China and its dependencies, who were ignorant of the true God. Here were three native women who were persuaded to listen to religious reading. As we224 were preparing to leave, our missionary friends seemed to cling to us with strong affection. We were going back to America, leaving them in the solitudes of heathenism. They were far from unhappy, and their few tears were only the natural expression of awakened memories. One of the missionary brethren, showing us the way to the gate, passed with us through a room where we saw, among gardening tools, some sheets of paper, lying loose. There were so many of them, looking alike, that they attracted our notice. We found that the specks on them were the eggs of silkworms. They were mere dots, as the reader familiar with the sight in books or nature, is aware. It occurred to me what a display of silk fabrics, with their rainbow colors, we had been looking upon! how many ships are freighted with them! how many millions of wealth they represent! what a world of thought and225 feeling is associated with them! On those pieces of paper were the beginnings of silk,—a word, taken in all its connections and associations, of mighty power. In those little specks one might fancy himself reading, “By whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.” We told our missionary brother that, while he raised silkworms and saw their cocoons, he surely would never despise the day of small things,—a lesson, he assured us, which was often repeated to him, and gave him encouragement.

It is well for one who believes in the ultimate prevalence of Christianity to come into China by the way of the Sandwich Islands. He will receive confirmation to his faith, he will be defended against temptations to unbelief when surrounded as he will be in China with one-half the population of the earth ignorant of the true God, by having seen in the Sandwich Islands what the gospel226 has done among a race who were as unlikely to be converted as any portion of the human family. If he comes from his ship and steps ashore on the Sabbath in China, and sees coopers and blockmakers and boatbuilders busily at work, the tailors’ shops filled with men plying their needles, the stationers ruling paper, the coolies instead of horses and mules carrying everything which ever lades a ship, from the quay to the storehouses, the thought will come over him, What progress is the knowledge of the gospel likely to make among this people? Perhaps he spends a Sabbath in the country. Here he may look to see the people withdrawn from the requirements which the business of a seaport makes of the inhabitants; but in the country he will find the people as busy with their handicraft or trade as the people of the city, giving no sign that the idea of the Sabbath and of the God of the227 Sabbath has visited their minds. He will be overwhelmed with the contemplation of four hundred millions of human beings utterly destitute of the knowledge of God. He remembers how at home his heart used to glow on hearing accounts of additions to native churches, and the rehearsal was followed by joyful missionary hymns sung impromptu,—

“Yes, we trust the day is breaking;
Joyful times are near at hand;”

and he asks himself whether he is losing his confidence in the ultimate triumph of christianity, and in the sufficiency of divine power to turn the hearts of nations as the rivers of waters are turned. If he be a firm believer in the Bible, he will say that while he remembers the conquest of Canaan, especially its first great achievement, the capture of Jericho, his faith never can falter. Were not the aborigines of Canaan devoted to destruction by the Almighty, and their228 land apportioned to the tribes, with minute directions how to take possession of it, the very line of march prescribed, the great tribe of Judah in the forefront? And did not our Lord spring out of Judah? Has he not “upon his vesture and upon his thigh a name written,—King of kings and Lord of lords?” While, on returning to his christian ordinances at home a christian traveller in China may be less excited than he used to be there at the report of a few conversions among the heathen, because he will have an enlarged idea of the gross darkness which covers the people, he will only have exchanged his former confidence in man for a more entire confidence in God. The accumulation of difficulties in the way of the gospel he will regard only as those barrels of water which were poured on Elijah’s altar, serving to make the fire from heaven more triumphant.



I was sitting on the steamer at Shanghai conversing with a friend about the productions, natural and artificial, of that region, and I expressed the desire to find something peculiar to the place which I might take to America. In about an hour, happening to look at the people on the wharf my friend clapped his hands and said, “Here is something peculiar to Shanghai; now you can have your wish gratified.” He called a man on board who laid down before us a large basket filled with small teapots. I thought of course that he was indulging in humor at my expense, but he said that people from all parts would buy baskets and barrels of this ware; that they declared that nothing was more popular at home, at fairs, and for presents. He selected twenty-five small teapots and packed them for me in a basket, saying that if I did not appreciate them my230 venerable lady friends would. They were made of a material found in that region, a fine clay, brown, of different shades, some of them highly ornamented with an intermixture of green, all of them furnished with strainers and other conveniences. I brought them to America and when I say that in a few weeks only one of them remained in my possession, nothing need be added to confirm the Rev. Mr. Syle’s judgment in his selection of a representative present from Shanghai. When I add that the twenty-five articles cost a dollar and twenty-five cents, no further inducement will be necessary to persuade visitors to provide themselves with one means of furnishing friends with acceptable presents.


Going into a monastery in China with a clergyman who could converse in Chinese, we saw among the inmates a woman who seemed to be ever praying, as she sat a little231 retired from the rest. The superior told us that she was praying all the time, being overheard frequently in the night upon her bed in supplication. He said that there was some great burden upon her mind, which she would not disclose. She was evidently not insane; and, from all that I could learn about her, I came to the conclusion that she was under conviction of sin; sinfulness, rather than any particular transgression, was the burden upon her heart. That there are many throughout the heathen world thus exercised, we cannot question; the second chapter of Romans speaks of them, among others, “with the work of the law written in their hearts.” They may be few compared with the whole heathen world; yet how interesting to think that such may be in a state of mind fitting them to accept the gospel, should it be made known to them, and that they will not perish merely for not being acquainted with it.232 Thus, where sin abounds, grace may much more abound, choosing its subjects independently of human instructors. ‘Thou canst not tell whither it goeth,’—this superhuman agency. This thought is some little relief to one, as he wanders about in those regions of the shadow of death, impressed by much that he sees with the reflection how true to the letter is the apostle’s description, in the first chapter of Romans, of the heathen world.


The party of young friends who called on the bride, called also at the house of an aristocratic Chinese family, with whom one of their number was acquainted. There were several young daughters and sons in the family, who all spoke some words of English. A missionary’s daughter acted as interpreter. The Chinese young ladies brought out their state dresses, which were heavily embroidered with silver and gold. They put them on233 their visitors, made them walk about the courtyard, following them with shouts of laughter. They then gave them cake and cups of clear tea. One lady belonging to the family smoked a long pipe, and offered another pipe, with opium, to her guests. The Chinese young ladies showed their little feet, apparently with much pride, to the visitors; three inches and a half each was the measure of nearly all the feet.


In a school for girls taught by a missionary lady, the visitors saw pupils from five to fifteen years. The feet of these children were generally swathed, and the girls showed, by their faces, great pain. Mothers came in to listen while the teacher was talking to the children. The girls, when reciting, stood with their backs to the teacher, a mark of respect. They sang several of our familiar Sabbath-school hymns.



The Steamer from Shanghai to Hong Kong put in at Amoy to bring the cargo of a disabled bark to Hong Kong. This gave some of my family who had been making a visit to Shanghai an opportunity to see Amoy. It is situated on a barren, hilly island; its streets are as narrow as lanes. Going through them in chairs, you come out upon a hilly district, with few trees, covered with remarkable rocks, many of them bowlders, not settled so far in the ground as most rocks, but lifted from it, some of them on their smallest ends, and some leaning towards each other, making natural rooms, with mossy floors, and an opening at the top. Some of them are used as temples on a small scale; idols, discolored by age and damp, are perched in them. Some real temples are built of the largest bowlders. In one of them, as one of the party was sitting on the stool in front of the idol, looking at the hideous images with235 which the temple was filled, expressing her wonder that human beings prayed to such things, one of the missionaries present asked an old priest if they really did believe in them. He said he could not tell whether the people did believe in them or not. The images might, or they might not, be gods; but “it was the custom to worship them; and, after all, whether they heard or not, it amounted to about the same thing as the worship by christians of their God.”

The foreigners, merchants, missionaries, and others, do not, as a general thing, live in the city, but on a small island across the harbor, rocky, like the larger island where the city is built, but not quite so dreary and barren. Attempts have been made to fertilize it, not wholly without success. Many of the houses are attractive, commanding a good sea-view.

From a great cave called the “Tiger’s236 Mouth,” formed by two rocks projecting from the side of a hill, a flat one forming the lower jaw, or the floor of the cave, and the upper stone curving over it, making a good resemblance to an animal’s mouth, you look down upon a wild, barren tract of country, where the rocks, my informant said, reminded her of almonds stuck into the top of a Christmas pudding, or as if giants had been having a battle, and their missiles had been left on the field in the reckless position where they fell. One rock, about eighty tons in weight, was balanced on another larger rock so evenly that one man, putting forth all his strength, could make it tilt slightly. They say that a typhoon makes it rock perceptibly. Just below it is a small Chinese cottage. The woman who occupied it was asked if she was not afraid to live there, for if the bowlder should tilt a little too much, one end of it would go through her roof.237 But she said, “No, it is good ‘Fung Shuy,’ and will bring good luck to my dwelling,”

FUNG SHUY. Page 237.


This leads me to speak of “Fung Shuy.” Though the literal meaning of “Fung Shuy” is “wind and water,” this does not give any idea of the thing.

The Chinese regard the south as the source of good influence, inasmuch as vegetable life, with all the genial influences of spring and summer, are from that region. The north, they perceive, is the source of death to the vegetable kingdom. As animals partake of the diverse influences proceeding from these two opposite regions, they infer that men are susceptible to the same. They suppose, therefore, that there is a vital influence moving all the time from south to north. This may be obstructed. To secure its full effect, they prefer to have their dwellings front238 south; for they hold that from the north evil influences are constantly proceeding. Even the dead, they believe, are susceptible to these adverse influences. If graves are placed so as to meet good influences, it is called good Fung Shuy. It is a subject of great study to ascertain the influences which promote good Fung Shuy and hinder the bad. Anything, as a hill, rock, trees, standing due north and not very remote, especially if the region toward the south is unobstructed, and particularly if water is in that direction, is good Fung Shuy. There are men who may be called professors of Fung Shuy, who are experts in the science. The woman in Amoy thought that the bowlder near her house was good Fung Shuy. The term may be defined, the science of positions favoring good, and shielding from bad, influences. This is related to the extensive subject of ancestral worship, which would lead me too far from my narrative.



“Pidgin-English” is a singular form of speech which the Chinese language assumes when the natives are first attempting to use English. Pidgin means business. You are made by it to think of the dialect which we fall into in talking to infants. If any one can explain why infants are supposed to understand us better when we make our words terminate in ee or y, he may proceed and explain the natural philosophy of Pidgin-English. In talking to a Chinaman you find yourself, as it were, addressing an infantile capacity, imitating his own Pidgin way of speaking, even in talking to an adult. I will give one or two specimens of pidgin-English, which I found in print. The first is Norval’s Narrative, taken, as the reader hardly needs to be informed, from the Rev. Dr. Home’s tragedy of “Douglass.”



My name is Norval. On the Grampian hills
My father feeds his flock, a frugal swain,
Whose constant cares were to increase his store
And keep his only son, myself, at home.
For I had heard of battles, and I longed
To follow to the field some warlike lord.
And Heaven soon granted what my sire denied.
This moon which rose last night, round as my shield,
Had not yet filled her horns, when by her light
A band of fierce barbarians from the hills
Rushed like a torrent down upon the vale
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety and for succor. I alone
With bended bow and quiver full of arrows
Hovered about the enemy, and marked
The road he took, then hasted to my friends,
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The pursuit I led
Till we o’ertook the spoil-encumbered foe.
We fought and conquered. Ere a sword was drawn,
An arrow from my bow had pierced their chief,
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I disdained
The shepherd’s slothful life; and having heard
That our good king had summoned his bold peers
To lead their warriors to the Carron side,
I left my father’s house, and took with me
A chosen servant to conduct my steps,
Yon trembling coward, who forsook his master.
Journeying with this intent, I passed these towers,
And, Heaven-directed, came this day to do
The happy deed that gilds my humble name.



My name belong8 Norval. Topside that Grampian hillee
My father makee pay9 chow chow10 he sheep.
He smallee heartee man; too muchee take care that dolla, gallo.
So fashion he wanchee keep my;11 counta one piecie chilo,12 stop he own side.
My no wanchee. Wanchee go long that largee mandoli.13
Little teem,14 Joss pay my what thing my father no likee pay.15
That moon last nightee get up loune, alla same my hat;
No go up full, no got square; that plenty piecie man,16
That lobbel man17 too muchee qui-si,18 alla same that tiger,
Chop chop come down that hillee, catchee that sheep long that cow,
That man custom take care, too muchee quick lun way.
My one piecie owne spie eye,19 see that ladlone man what side he walkee.
Hi-yah! No good chancie findee he catchee my flen.20
Too piecie loon choon lun catchee that lobbel man;21 he
No can walkee welly quick; he pocket too much full up.
So fashion knockee he largee.22 He head man no got shottee far23
My knockee he head. Hi-yah! My number one stlong24 man.
Catchee he jacket, long he trousa, galo.25 You like look see?
My go puttee on just now. My go home, largie heart just now.
My no likee take care that sheep. So fashion my hear you go fightee this side,26
My takee one servant, come you country, come helpie you,
He heart all same cow; too muchee fear; lun away;
Masquie!27 Joss take care pay my come your house.28


* * * * *

The following is a better specimen, there being fewer liberties in the rendering:—


The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,
His brow was sad; his eye beneath
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath;
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue.
In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
“Try not the pass!” the old man said;
“Dark lowers the tempest overhead;
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!”
And loud that clarion voice replied,
“Oh, stay!” the maiden said, “and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!”
A tear stood in his bright blue eye;
But still he answered, with a sigh,
“Beware the pine-tree’s withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!”
This was the peasant’s last Good-night;
A voice replied, far up the height,
At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,
A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,
There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay;
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell like a falling star,



That nightee teem29 he come chop chop,30
One young man walkee, no can stop.
Colo masquie,31 icee masquie,
He got flag chop b’long welly culio see32
Topside Galah.
Hee too muchee solly;33 one piecie34 eye
Lookee sharp so fashion, alla same mi;35
He talkee largee, talkee stlong,36
Too muchee culio,37 alla same gong.
Topside Galah.
Inside any housee he can see light;
Any piecie loom38 got fire all light?
He look see plenty ice more high,
Inside he mouf he plenty cly;39
Topside Galah.
“No can walkee!” ole man speakee he;40
“Bimeby lain41 come; no can see;
Hab got water, welly wide!”
Masquie! mi42 must go topside;
Topside Galah.
“Man-man!”43 one galo44 talkee he;
“What for you go topside? look see.”
“Nother teem,” he makee plenty cly.45
Masquie; alla teem he walkee plenty high.46
Topside Galah.
“Take care that spilum tlee,47 young man!
Take care that icee!” he no man man;48
That coolie chin chin49 he good night;
He talkee, “Mi can go all light.”
Topside Galah.
Joss pidgin50 man chop chop begin,51
Morning teem that Joss chin chin;52
No see any man; he plenty fear,
Cause some man talkee,53 he can hear.
Topside Galah.
Young man makee die;54 one largee dog see;
Too muchee bobbery findee he,55
Hand too muchee colo;56 inside can stop,
Alla same piecee flag, got culio chop,57,58
Topside Galah.



One captain ordered a peacock for dinner. We had a variety of feelings in anticipating the repast, none of them agreeable. On coming to table, no peacock appeared. The steward was summoned. “I told you have a peacock. Why no peacock?” The steward as though afraid, said, “I go ashore to get him peacock; I say, ‘Cap’n want peacock. Policee-man come; he say, What for you come ashore no paper tell you may come get peacock? Then he look all a same mad, say, ‘Go long, get in ship; I see you again I catchee you; I lock you up in ‘go-down.’ Then I frightened; so I get no peacock for dinner.” The explanation was as good as a feast, including the look of terror, the gesticulation, the many ellipses in the narration. But the captain who had had great experience of Chinese human nature, said that he had no doubt the whole story was a fabrication.



I heard a captain of a steamer address his man-servant thus, when sending him from the cabin to his stateroom on deck for a box of writing paper: “Boy, you go topside my room. You see two piecee box belong all same, (look just alike.) One piecee have pens; my no wanchee that. Other piecee have paper. My wanchee. You makee pay my, (bring that to me.) Savez? (do you understand?”) The waiter nodded assent, and brought the right box.

A lady was giving a dinner party to several gentleman and ladies. She told her butler to “set the table for sixteen piecee man.”

A sampan man whom our captain wished to hire, was asked by him how many there were to row his sampan. He replied, “Seven piecee man,” meaning, as it proved,250 himself, several sons, most of them young boys, and the mother who rowed with her infant tied round her neck; making seven hands, not counting the babe.

A gentleman who was joking with one of his sedan bearers, talking nonsense, was answered, “Massa C., you belong too much culio, (too funny.) My never have see one man all same culio.”

The American Eagle, that fierce gray bird with a bending beak, is known even in China by that celebrated feature. A Chinese servant told his master that while he was out a gentleman called. On being asked who it was, the servant said: “My no savee; but my can speakee what fashion he makee look see;” (what his appearance was.) “He belong one smallee man; no too muchee stout; had got one nose all same that Melican chickey.”


The mysteries of human speech are impressively illustrated in the ease with which the children of foreign extraction, brought up from infancy in China, learn and skilfully use the slight tones and the other niceties of the language. An ear accustomed to music of course is a great help in learning this language; but when a person is in the least dull of hearing, it is not easy to distinguish between some of the words, and especially the intonations, which in the Cantonese dialect, for example, so largely determine the meaning. One thought impressed me in thinking of the language as a barrier against the rest of the world: If the Chinese nature is naturally upright, and if sin is owing wholly to contamination by intercourse with depraved people, how happens it that China does not present us with a people of saints? having been kept by their language, as they have been, from mixing with men. That language252 has done more than their great wall in separating them from the rest of mankind.


We had a typhoon at Hong Kong, Sept. 29. I was spending a fortnight at the house of Dr. Legge. On Sabbath evening at sundown there was an appearance of rain, with some unusual disturbances in the air; soon the servants came into the parlor with planks and joists to strengthen the windows, the same precaution being used outside. The wind rapidly increased, till the strength of our gale at Boston, Sept. 8, 1869, had but a faint resemblance to it. Instead of one blast, there were lulls; then a renewed tempest increasing in strength while the typhoon lasted, which in this case was from sundown on Sunday till Tuesday at daybreak. Hundreds of lives were lost in Hong Kong harbor. The ships were almost invisible from253 the shore, the spoon-drift being nearly equal to a thick fog. We were grateful that the typhoon did not find us at sea. We could understand the answers of old sea-captains, who, on some one in our hearing saying that he should like to witness a typhoon, shook their heads, looked grave, and said, “You will never wish to see another.”59



Another excursion by favor of the Messrs. Heard and of Captain Arthur H. Clark of the steamer “Suwo Nada,” plying between254 Hong Kong and Singapore, was made to Singapore. On the way, we stopped at Saigon, a French port in Cochin China, from which the French were then compelling the enemy to retire. Rice is largely exported from this place, and opium is received to an amount which tells a fearful story. Here we saw noble specimens of tigers, which are declared by authors of high repute to have destroyed on an average one man a day through the year, not many years ago, in some parts of the East Indies. They swim over to the islands from the main lands. They approach their victim from behind, felling him with a blow upon the head.

Singapore is about eight days by steamer from Hong Kong, including the visit to Saigon. At Singapore you feel that you are in the East Indies, from the luxuriant foliage, the birds of marvellous plumage. We were politely taken to the country seat of Dr.255 John Little, by his brother, Matthew Little, Esq., where we found ourselves in a forest of cocoanut trees. The fruit is brought in loads to the mill, where a long blade in a frame separates the outer covering, and the nut goes through several processes by which every part of it is turned to use. The saying is that the cocoanut serves ninety-nine purposes. The rough husk being subjected to a powerful pressure is at once reduced to a fibrous state ready to be worked into coir mats or spun into cheap ropes. The natural bend of the husk, adapting it to the human head, it is sometimes carefully prepared, and dyed, then worn. We were entertained in a sumptuous manner with true East Indian bounty. We rode home after nine o’clock in the evening, listening to every sound, the rustling of every tree and brake, prepared to see a tiger spring upon the horses. We were glad to see the lights of the town in exchange256 for the long, solitary road which, however, with all its imaginary or real perils we would not willingly have failed to travel. At the residence of Cyrus Wakefield, Jr., and Temple R. Fay, we were superbly entertained, and from these gentlemen we received very many favors. Among them, a box of corals which had attracted my notice as I passed through the packing room of the counting house of Messrs. Bousteed & Co., and which awakened a hopeless desire to purchase, I afterward found was in preparation for us.—Mr. Vaughan and Mr. Hanna laid us under great obligations by their beautiful hospitality.

A principal road runs close by the sea, is well shaded, and abounds in delicious odors from the gardens. The house and grounds of a rich Chinaman, Mr. Whampoa, are visited by foreigners as objects of interest. Rare East-India plants, ponds filled with the257 pink lotus, vines trained or trimmed in fantastic shapes, such as eagles, deer, lions, and many others, on frames, trees with great variety of foliage, make the place attractive. A six-legged turtle which we examined was an object of much interest to its owner. He is a venerable man, speaks English well, gives free admission to visitors introduced by any one with whom he is acquainted.

It made us feel that we were indeed in Eastern regions to be contiguous, as we were one day, to the residence of a Rajah, the name savoring of Oriental life.


To those who are fond of this condiment, it may be interesting to know that Singapore has the reputation of furnishing the best article in this form of diet. It would require one to be more of a connoisseur than the writer to decide whether Singapore,258 Manila, or Anjer is entitled to the palm in preparing this article of luxury. Those who award it to Singapore say there are ingredients in the mixture at this place which are not to be obtained elsewhere; for they can not be exported and retain their flavor, the excellence of curry depending, we are told, on its being prepared fresh every day. The flavor of the fresh cocoanut is essential. Those who have eaten curry powder on their food in this country, have an agreeable surprise on tasting the article of curry in the East Indies. The servants grind some of the ingredients on stones, and the frequency with which we saw the operation as we passed along the streets in Singapore, made us feel that the preparation of curry root has a reputation which it requires labor to maintain.

To specify all that is to be enjoyed in Singapore through every sense, would fill a259 volume. We went off to the “Suwo Nada” in a boat and steamed away from this garden of luxuries by groves of cocoanut trees, through lines of ships from all quarters of the globe, and, after an enchanting passage, found ourselves once more safe in Hong Kong harbor.


My country, sir, is not a single spot
Of such a mould, or fixed to such a clime;
No! ’tis the social circle of my friends,
The loved community in which I’m linked,
And in whose welfare all my wishes centre.
Miller’s Mahomet.
* * * * *
Whose heart has ne’er within him burned
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand?
W. Scott; Lay of the Last Minstrel.
* * * * *
There blend the ties that strengthen
Our hearts in hours of grief,
The silver links that lengthen
Joy’s visits when most brief.
Then dost thou sigh for pleasure?
Oh! do not widely roam,
But seek that hidden treasure
At home, dear home!
Bernard Barton.

On the 22d of November we left Hong Kong for Manila, our agents concluding to wait no longer for hemp to fall, but to load the ship with sugar. We261 took in three million pounds, enough, we were told, to supply our whole country one day.

We reached Manila Bay Dec. 1, but we would not have wondered had we been weeks, instead of five days, in contest with the current and head winds. One day we tacked fourteen times off Manila. At length we dropped anchor in the spacious roadstead, and waited for the health officers and the custom-house officials to inspect us. No one is allowed to have any communication with a vessel until she is officially visited. Steam-tugs would be an advantage to weary mariners contending against the current in sight of anchorage.

We were the guests of a gentleman and his wife, he a member of the house of Messrs. Peele, Hubbell, & Co.60 We were there seven weeks, and, even if delicacy262 permitted, language would fail in the attempt to express what we enjoyed in that beautiful house. Situated at one end of the city in the parish of Santa Ana we were removed from the noise and tumult of business. The river runs near the house with a current of at least four miles an hour, bringing down, day by day, literally innumerable wild herbage plants washed from the lakes in the country. Few things ever gave me a more vivid idea of infinitude than that ceaseless flow of herbage. Immense plaintain-leaves stood round the house looking like the blades of huge oars; the banana hung in large clusters; the garden was filled with many things to delight the eye. The house covered a large area. You enter it by a spacious driveway, roofed over with the main building. Stone steps lead up to the story on which are all the rooms in the house, high and wide, opening into the large hall. Instead263 of carpets, floors here are polished, by rubbing them with the plaintain-leaf. The house was cool and in all respects most comfortable. The eye is refreshed by constant verdure, the grass in December and January having the brilliant green which our early grass presents in the month of June. It seemed strange to be riding in open carriages at Christmas-time and January, with ladies in muslin dresses, or requiring only light shawls. The atmosphere is clear, and the stars have so peculiar a lustre as to be the subject of remark by foreigners. The river runs about fifteen miles to a lake, by cocoanut groves, and in some places by steep cliffs nearly two hundred and fifty feet on each side, covered with foliage, and having small cascades. In the river there are as many as twenty-eight rapids. Some of our party ascended them in canoes, spending two days on an excursion with a company. One264 evening a party of gentlemen took a small steamer, the private property of a friend, and went with us up to the lake. It was a moonlight night; the East-Indian scenery, the curves in the stream, and at last the scenery of the lake, made the excursion enchanting.

The society in Manila, composed of American, English, Scotch, and Spanish people, was delightful. Their hospitalities, entertainments, and numberless courtesies make deep impressions upon a visitor. There are no unpleasant distinctions among them; they maintain an agreeable freedom in their intercourse. Indeed one cannot spend a few days in Manila without feeling glad if it happens to be at the close of a long tour; for as it will be most likely to be pronounced the climax of his social experience, it will be appropriate to leave it at the close.

I used to drive with Mr. Peirce when he265 visited the sugar mills where his House were obtaining their supply of sugar to load our ship. We saw the crude material just from the cane, drying in the sun. I remember that on our passage home from Manila the cabin table happened to be short of sugar; but having three million pounds on board we ventured to draw on the cargo for a supply. When it came on table from the hold, the sight of it made us feel that sugar refinery was far from being a luxury, for it was hard to believe that the dark, coarse stuff could ever become white powdered sugar. Could we but shut our eyes, as we were inclined to do when we put it into our cups, we could draw from it a power of sweetness, though with a large tare and tret of original fibrous matter.


I visited the great cigar factories and imagined how my friends, lay and clerical,266 would envy me the privilege. But I could not be in the atmosphere of the factory ten minutes without experiencing a feeling akin to vertigo, which made me retreat to the open air. By going out and in several times I succeeded in gratifying my curiosity. The gentlemanly foreman begged me to take some of his products as specimens. I told him I could not appreciate them. He said if I would allow him to give me only one he was sure that he could overcome my repugnance. He went to a private drawer and drew out one on which he duly expatiated, then wrapped it in a paper and gave it to me. It is now in my drawer at home, two years old, well seasoned; waiting for my decision whether it will be safe to give it to some clerical friend who will promise that he will leave off smoking if I will treat his resolution with this very choicest Manila. Or would the gift have a powerful effect in an opposite direction?



We were near the old Church of Santa Ana, whose bells many times a day remind the faithful of their devotions. They were played skilfully, with a loud noise and with a vivacity such as I never before heard from bells. On one bell a man would drum a tune, the military music on a church bell having a decidedly frivolous effect. At six o’clock in the afternoon, the native inhabitants pause wherever they may happen to be at the vesper bell, and perform their devotions. I frequently met the Archbishop and his secretary in an evening walk, who would stop suddenly when the bell struck and, uncovering their heads, would repeat their prayers. I visited most of the churches. Imposture nowhere reigns with more open demands upon the credulity of the people. In one of the churches there are large paintings of the “Holy Girdle,” whose marvellous268 cures, and power over serpents, and the bestowment of blessings in answer to faith in it, are described in large letters. Each of the many parishes has a monthly procession in which the population join. One evening we encountered a procession which blocked the streets for two hours. Four thousand women in black filled each side of the wide street, chanting Scripture and prayers, the men occupying the middle of the street with an imposing show of images of canonized persons surrounded with lighted chandeliers. Each woman in this procession had a lighted wax candle which she had bought of the priests, to be returned to them after the march. This is the source of a large revenue to the Church. These processions keep up a lively enthusiasm among the people.



The manufacture of the Pina articles employs the people at home. These exquisite articles, such as veils, handkerchiefs, &c., are made of the fibre of the pine-apple; at almost every house in some of the poorer parts of the city you see this work on small frames, exposed to the sun.


The men are very many of them occupied in the training of game-cocks; frequently every tenth man you meet will have one of these birds under his arm.


One Sabbath we were told there was a fight between a tiger and a buffalo on exhibition. The buffaloes are meek, docile animals, used instead of oxen. Their horns are wide-spread and very long. The buffalo took the tiger on his horns, threw him high, and the fall indisposed him for further effort.



Some of the most beautiful objects here are the trees filled with fire-flies. Sometimes all along a road the trees will be crowned with the small creatures, their light constantly emitted; so that the tree looks as though it were filled with gems. Few sights are more attractive.


The inhabitants resort in the evening to the Pier, which is a solid structure extending a sixteenth of a mile into the bay, a sea-view on all sides; and once a week there is music by the bands, which draws crowds. Much of this Spanish music is more sentimental than we are accustomed to hear addressed to the populace, exciting a thoughtful attention.


Manila is the capital of Luzon, one of the271 Philippine Islands. The climate in December and January was intensely hot. After nine o’clock in the morning, it was not agreeable to be out of doors, even to drive; but at five in the afternoon, and in the evening, the cool sea-breezes made it pleasant to be abroad.


Religious services are sustained on Sabbath evenings by a few christian friends at the house of one of their number, but there is no public place of Protestant worship there. It was instructive to go from China, from the depths of heathen idolatry, into the depths of formalism under the name of Christianity. You question whether you have advanced at all into the light of truth; for though it is a relief to be where the Scriptures and the names and forms of christianity are heard and seen, you are impressed272 with the bias of the human heart to idolatry. To come from heathenism in China, and Roman Catholic superstition in Manila, into christian temples here at home, makes you wonder that only a certain number of leagues of salt water separate between us and such places as Canton or Manila.


Of all the fruits which I have tasted in any part of the world, nothing has seemed to me preferable to the East Indian Mango. It is about the length of a full grown cucumber, as large as the largest specimens of that vegetable, smaller at one end that at the other. It has a flat stone extending from end to end. The skin is about the thickness of that of the banana. You stand the mango on one end in your plate and slice it on either side of the stone. Two slices then lay before you. With a dessert spoon you273 take out piece after piece of the tender fruit, and when you have eaten both halves to the skin, there yet remains the stone, which has a great deal on it. You take it up in both hands and pass your mouth around it. By this time your hands and face are a spectacle which you can judge of by the predicament which you see your neighbor to be in. You are ready to agree with the East Indian maxim that a mango never should be eaten except in a tub of water. You cannot help beginning with another; but let it be small, or you will be likely to inquire if you may not divide your second with a friend. The fruit is of about the same color inside as the muskmelon, but it is harder, though not tough, not disagreeably sweet; juicy, nutritious. We began to receive them at Hong Kong in May, from Manila, where they are in perfection. We were surprised on seeing them upon the table at Christmas in Manila,274 a forcing process being used there to bring them forward.

Another valuable fruit in the East Indies is the Mangastene. It is of the size of the tomato and looks like it in shape; it is of the deep purple color of the purple grape. The outside shell, which is easily broken by the hand, being removed, a snow white fruit appears, divided like the tomato into as many sections. Its juice is slightly acid,—more correctly, acidulated,—a pleasant sour. There being little or nothing solid in it, the saying is that one may eat of the fruit indefinitely. There are few fruits better adapted to a warm climate.

At Shanghai the Watermelon attains a degree of perfection which I have never known exceeded.

The Pumelo, though a coarse fruit, is valuable. It resembles the West India shadduck; it is a large, fleshy orange, not so juicy as that fruit.


To those who are fond of the banana it must be a delight to spend time where they can fully gratify their taste for it. The Sandwich Islands gave us the best specimens.—I cannot say it would be easy for me to enlarge this description of foreign fruits; indeed it would be painful, for the mention of these fruits is a vivid reminder of lost joys, joys pure, innocent, health-giving, a source of gratitude to the Giver of all good, stimulating the anticipation of future pleasure, which divine revelation does not consider it beneath itself to specify among the promised pleasures of heaven. It used to be a pleasant theme of meditation in those East India regions, that in the fields of the blest there is a species of tree (not, of course, one solitary tree) which bears twelve manner of fruits, and yields fruit every month. It was a harmless fancy of an invalid which twelve of all the fruits known to him he would276 select for that species of tree to bear. His taste would make grave mistakes in putting the watermelon, for example, on the same tree with the plum; which led him to question whether the structural nature of the tree might not be supposed to be as far beyond his present botanical knowledge as the yield of the tree would surpass his present experience. His acquaintance with the almost perpetual banana gave him some idea of the practicability of vegetation reaching to the extent, even, of yielding fruit every month; so that without consulting with the botanical critic he would load his tree with the East Indian mango, mangastenes, apricots, muskmelons, peaches, pears, grapes, apples, quinces, watermelons, banana, figs; and then he would consider how inadequate was a pomological catalogue to express the known objects which stood ready to tempt his appetite. The queen of Sheba, herself from the277 East, perhaps admonished him by seeming to say that a greater than Solomon would hereafter ‘feed him and lead him to living fountains of waters.’


At Manila one object after another would be continually presenting itself to our notice, leading the thoughts into the still remote parts of the eastern world. In the yard of a gentleman stood this singular creature, which you felt obliged to call a bird yet you would prefer that it should be classed as an animal, for it seemed to belong among animals, though it is a biped. Its enormous legs, eighteen inches long, its fleshy protuberance on its head, coarsely imitating the tuft on the head of the peacock, left you in doubt how to assign it a place among the tribes of the animal kingdom, reminding you of the exploit in rhyming which a wit perpetrated278 with its name and its place of nativity, making Cassowary to rhyme with ‘missionary,’ and Timbuctoo with ‘hymn-book too.’


We left Manila Jan. 20th, with great regret. We were taking leave of valued friends, besides bidding adieu to scenes of interest which had not been surpassed in our experience. We had reached the eastern limit of our long voyage; we were to turn and find our way to the western continent. Objects of thrilling interest were yet to be passed. But how could we help feeling the need of special assistance in the great undertaking of going round the other half of the globe? These words came to me, and some lines were suggested by them:


“When the even was come he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.” Mark iv. 25.

They went, and as they sailed
A storm came down upon the lake;
It made the boldest spirits quake;
Their faith forsook them, so their courage failed.
He on a pillow slept;
The stormy waters waked not Him.
But prayer had power to break the dream
Which through the tempest Him asleep had kept.
There on Gadara’s shore
Hell’s sullen legion knew his form;
He and the twelve, escaped the storm,
Enrage their spiteful enemies the more.
He speaks, the gale goes down;
The legion at his bidding flee;
The maniac finds recovery
And spreads abroad the Nazarene’s renown.
We leave what may betide,
Saviour! to thy Almighty power.
So, trusting in thy love each hour,
We will pass over to the other side.


We began our homeward voyage from Manila Jan. 20, and reached Anjer, Feb. 1.280 Anjer is the western point of Java; vessels pass it to and from the China seas. “Passed Anjer,” in the marine reports, signifies that a vessel has left the China seas on her homeward way, or has just entered them on her outward voyage. Anjer supplies vessels with poultry, vegetables, fruits and water. On enquiring for bananas, we were told by a man who came on board that he would get us “a fathom of them for a dollar.” It was a large Oriental statement, with a basis of truth; but six feet of bananas for a dollar seemed too good to be true.

Batavia is about seventy-five miles from Anjer; the road to it is characterized by Dutch solidity and thoroughness. Opposite the hotel at Anjer is a banian-tree, said to be the largest in diameter in that part of the world, composed of shoots which have descended from the top, taken root, and become principal parts of the tree. We saw from281 shore our ship under sail, waiting for us, beating about against a head wind and current. The sight was animating. We rowed off to her four miles, glad to be on board the noble thing which had borne us more than half round the world, and was waiting to complete the great circuit. As often as we now see in the marine record, “Passed Anjer,” we recall the sensations with which we looked off from that lighthouse, which is the first or last object of interest to all who navigate those East-Indian seas.


It was extremely interesting to be approaching this famous point. That great maritime revelation, the opening of a new route to India in 1487, the story of Bartholomew Diaz and Vasco da Gama, and of the first navigators around that point, who used to bury their journals and set up a stone282 pointing to them, that the homeward-bound vessels might, by this primitive mail arrangement, get the latest news of them, made it an object of deep interest. Here the astronomers come from different countries, to observe the signs of the heavens; and certainly no place can be conceived of more favorable for such purposes. The clear atmosphere and the perfect horizon make it a place well fitted for telescopes to try their power. The Indian Ocean opening here, spreads before the observer the scene of some of the most interesting events of history. Being about four thousand miles from north to south, and of equal breadth, and receiving the Red Sea, holding the Persian Gulf and the Bay of Bengal, distinguished by such islands as Madagascar, Mauritius, Ceylon, and by such rivers as the Tigris, Euphrates, Indus, Ganges, and by the great equatorial current which, after it leaves the wide coast of China, crosses283 this ocean to the Mozambique Channel, seeking the east coast of Africa, and making its way by the Cape of Good Hope,—this Indian Ocean does not yield in historic or natural interest to the two greater oceans. Its northern part, divided from the southern by the Tropic of Capricorn, floats the commerce of Europe and this country with China, India, and the Malay Islands. Arabia and Persia, and the opposite India have used its waters for centuries in their local commerce. Points of interest along its seacoast, gulfs, and rivers are, Aden and Mocha in Arabia, Bassorah in Turkey, Bombay, Madras, Calcutta in Hindostan, and Point de Galle in Ceylon. It seemed more like the centre of the world on this ocean than elsewhere. Its astronomical attractions and its sunsets give it a peculiar charm, though after all that has been said of Indian Ocean sunsets, I am constrained to say that in Princeton,284 Massachusetts, I have seen more wonderful sunsets than I saw in the Indian Ocean.


Table Mountain, which makes the most prominent object at the Cape of Good Hope, though not the southernmost point, is 3,816 feet high. It has a flat summit of great extent, and from that peculiarity in its formation it has its name. It is seen in clear weather fifty or sixty miles distant. You would think it a burial-place of kings, having something stately in appearance, as though it were a mausoleum erected by human art, like the pyramids built by successive generations. We sailed away from it in the latter part of an afternoon, reflecting that we had looked upon the last object connected with the continents of the other hemisphere.




We came very near this deeply interesting spot which for several years held the attention of the world. We could appreciate the saying of the notable prisoner there, who spoke of himself as “chained to this rock;” for the island impresses you as a huge rock. Very few isolated places seem to have more connection with the world; for twenty-five vessels on an average each day pass by it, showing their signals, to be reported. To begin and speak of the place, and the thoughts and feelings which it suggested, would not be expected. We could not go ashore without first entering the ship and paying port duties; but we had a full view of “Longwood,” where Napoleon lived, and where he met death.

We resolved to go on board a British man-of-war which we should pass not far off. On lowering the largest boat into the water, the286 seams proved to have opened, and she soon filled. The gig which we used all summer in going ashore at Hong Kong was more seaworthy; so we set off in her for the man-of-war. We took four men to row and one to bail, which he had to do nimbly, the water gaining on him, obliging the stroke-oar to lend him a hand. By keeping our feet on a level with the rail, we managed to reach the “Rattlesnake” without being wet, though we discussed the question whether a handkerchief at half mast on an oar would be likely to be seen, if we were swamped. We went and returned safely, having received from the ship the news of the French and Prussian war, three months old, and having also received of a New Bedford whaler some vegetables, which we tried in vain to pay for. The midshipmen of the “Rattlesnake” said that they were attracted by a noble American vessel which entered the harbor that287 morning, and they asked if we could tell them her name. After listening to their description, we, with becoming diffidence, informed them that it was the Golden Fleece.


The last point on which our eyes rested was the Island of Ascension, always interesting to every one at school as the most solitary-looking spot in the dreary South Atlantic. A whaler tacked and came near us; two of the men stood aloft watching for whales. Feeling that they were the last of our race whom we should behold for some time, and with sincere respect for the hardy men on their ocean hunting-ground, I waved my hat to them, and the two caps aloft made hearty response.


We soon found by the signs above us that we were entering the northern hemisphere.288 One evening we saw, just above the horizon, two stars of “The Dipper.” It was several nights before the North Star came up the watery hill. The poet Spenser probably had never sailed in these latitudes when he wrote of the North Star as never being below the horizon:—

“By this, the Northern wagoner had set
His sevenfold teme behind the stedfast starre
That was in ocean waves yet never wet,
But firme is fixt, and sendeth light from farre
To all that on the wide deepe wandering arre.”61

But at last it came up, dripping wet, and inspired in us the hope of soon watching it from our windows at home.


While it is true that as much was combined as could be wished for to render this voyage agreeable, those who have been at sea will not believe that we were free from289 the ordinary discomforts or annoyances of sea-life. For the satisfaction of those who have suffered in sailing vessels it will be well for me to show our dark side of sea-life in some of its principal annoyances; doing this, however, for the sake of the truth, that the voyage may not appear to have been out of the ordinary experience of those who go down to the sea.

One of the first things which we all suffer at sea is revealed in the inspired account of sea-faring experience, which we are presented with in the contrasted experience of being on shore: “Then are they glad because they be quiet.” There are times at sea when stability seems to be the most enviable state. In weariness the invalid passenger, tossed and not comforted, feels constrained to quote one of the earliest verses of inspiration: “Let the dry land appear.” Yet there is so much that provokes mirth in the midst of290 discomfort that it is not easy to say on which side the balance lies, whether of discomfort or amusement. Behold three men, two of them at least used to the sea, setting out from different parts of the main cabin to make their way to the table in the forward cabin. The ship rolls over on her port side, and the cabin-floor is at once an inclined plane at a grade very much removed from horizontal. They have a steep hill to ascend; and a seven-pound weight on either foot, ashore, would not be more cumbrous than that which seems now to be holding them to the floor. The sensation in trying to move cannot be unlike that which would be felt in an exhausted receiver. If the weight of the atmosphere on the human body, fifteen pounds to the square inch, instead of being equally diffused could be concentrated on the feet, the sensation probably would not be unlike that which one feels in trying291 to get across a ship’s deck when she is thrown over to the side opposite to that whither you are going. So these three gentlemen stand immovably fixed in the middle of the floor, their feet discreetly wide apart to preserve the upright position of the body. Then the ship rolls over on the other side, and the three travellers to the dinner table go involuntarily fast to the side of the cabin and hold on by a door, while the ship rolls once more, and comes back, it may be, with mitigated severity. At last a favorable opportunity is seized and the three slide into their seats in postures more necessary than graceful. Then begins a series of mishaps at table. No careful adjustment of the dishes, nor even the security provided for them by the racks can guard against the accidents which befall cups and saucers indiscreetly filled, or plates of soup not well provided with suitable dunnage of slices of bread underneath292 the lee side. A barrel of apples falls against the door of a locker and empties itself over the floor; and a canister of lamp-oil, whose cork had not been made tight, follows after the apples, and they are no longer eatable. Oh to be quiet! What seems more desirable than a good foundation?

One day when the ship was rolling heavily it was difficult to keep your seat on the settee, and impossible to lie reclined. Every thing which was not lashed to some fixture about the room, or to staples driven into the floor, was sure to adopt a nomadic state and go from side to side. Among other things a “Pilgrim’s Progress,” which had been left on a table, fell from it and went sliding to and fro, exciting lively sensations in me at the thought that Mr. Ready-to-Halt and his friend, Mr. Despondency, were moving at a pace ill suited to the crutches of the old gentleman;293 for the book went like a shuttle back and forth on the floor.

The little stove in the cabin felt the changeable wind, and did not draw well. This required the frequent attention of the steward. He was a Portuguese man, with a dark skin. He sat on the canvas carpet whittling, to make lightwood, to start the fire. The ship went down on one side, and the steward with it, whittling all the while, then sliding back in his upright position, maintained with becoming gravity, till the passengers, no longer able to contain themselves, were made merry at the sight. This made him show his white teeth, silently, without anything so undignified as a laugh; at which the passengers were increasingly merry.

What shall I say of the cockroaches, red ants, tarantulas, and mice? One thing can be said in favor of all of them,—they were294 not musquitoes. This was a nightly consolation; but it was the only good thing which could be said of them all. The ants would cover every vessel in which they could find any thing to drink; fresh water seemed to be their chief delight; if a wet sponge were hung up to dry, on taking it down the little creatures would be there in legions. The white ant is the bane of the Indian climate; their depredations, however, are chiefly on shore. I was going up the front stairs of a gentleman’s dwelling in China, when his foot went through a stair. “Ah,” said he, “the ants have been at work here!” But at sea we found the cockroaches most destructive. It is not pleasant to find several of them on your pillow when you go into your stateroom at night. They are harmless to the person, but the covers of books, and everything which has been pasted or glued, all lacker work, and paper generally, suffer from295 them. Yet there are housekeepers on shore who can inveigh against vermin, as well as people at sea.

There are some people who cannot bear any noise overhead at night. If the gale does not wake them and keep them awake, twenty or thirty sailors hoisting or lowering the spanker, their boots making a noise not so gentle as that of prunello dancing-pumps will do it. If the stillness of the night and the passenger’s sleep are broken by the mate pacing the deck to keep himself awake, the heels of his boots will be chiefly answerable; for these make the principal disturbance; he cannot always comfortably wear India rubbers during his watch; he is to be pitied if he has a nervous passenger, and thanked if he is able to forego his walks on the house for the invalid’s sake.

It would seem as though there should be a special punishment for those who practise296 fraud in ships’ stores. Your appetite is delicate; you have no source of supply but your locker; that is furnished with bottles and jars which profess to hold, for instance, jellies, made and provided expressly for sea-faring appetites. Your hopes of a comfortable supper are vested in a jar of jelly which the steward has placed on table, hoping to provoke an appetite. On opening it, instead of the fruit jelly which the label assures you is within, you find only gelatine, flavored with an extract resembling the fruit. There is nothing on the table for which you feel any desire but the promised jelly; you find yourself secretly invoking a sea-faring experience like this upon the man who has so deceived you, till at last your suffering is so great under your disappointment, which grows intense as the tasteless supper proceeds, that in stern disapprobation of this annoying ship-chandler trick, you feel resolved to make297 it known, promising him that if you ever go to sea again you will pay special attention and see if his name is on the labels of the jellies. He who writes this and they who read it will not fail to remember that invalids are apt to be unreasonable. So small a matter as a jar of preserves disappointing the expectation of a nervous patient, especially at sea, where there are no means of alleviation, may be more than a match for the philosophy and the resolution of the best of men and women.

When I have said these things, very few discomforts or annoyances remain which are not incident to almost any situation on shore. Many things there we are freed from at sea; the noise of cats at night, the barking of dogs, the scream of locomotives, the painfully regular puffing of stationary engines, the roar of wheels, the annoyances of mischievous boys, these you escape at sea; all of298 them in sailing-vessels, for in steamers you have some of them. If one should fairly add up the comparative discomforts of ship and shore, would life at sea prove to have the most of them? I came to the conclusion that a good sailing-ship, with agreeable company, is as near a perfect state of rest and peace as ever falls to our lot.


“Tarring down,” already mentioned, and now repeated because the operation is renewed as the vessel is coming near to port, is to a landsman an animating sight. Every rope in the standing rigging, beginning aloft, feels the smearing process, which is carried on without gloves. The stays, which run between the masts at an angle of forty-five degrees, are reached at every point by the boys, each in what is called a boatswain’s chair, not unlike the seat of a swing; in299 which he is lowered at his call by a boy or the mate on deck, who belays him at each descent a few feet at a time. Often have I watched these boys suspended sixty feet above the deck, wiping the rope with the sopping rags which they dip in the tar-bucket till they reach the deck; and I have thought what a sight one of these boys would be to his mother,—her pet besmeared with tar from head to foot, one suit of his clothes, kept for the occasion, doomed to go overboard after the tarring down near port, the boy feeling an honest pride as he illustrates in his work the dignity of labor. But perhaps the mother’s heart would yearn towards her child more than when she should see him in “the boatswain’s chair,” on seeing him at his meals. I repeat it, he has no table. He goes to the galley with his tin pot; the cook gives him his portion of tea or coffee, sweetened with molasses; the boy cuts a piece300 of beef from out the mess-kid, gets a piece of “hard-tack” from the “bread barge,” sits down on deck, or on a spare spar, lays his tin pan beside him, and with his sheath-knife and fingers despatches his “grub.” Many at their rich mahogany tables loaded with China-ware and silver would give it all for the boy’s appetite and power of digestion.


Our three crews, were, one from New York to San Francisco, the second, from San Francisco to the Sandwich Islands and Hong Kong, the third, from Hong Kong to Manila and thence to New York.

It would be more than could be expected of human nature subjected to the trials of nautical life, to behave with perfect propriety under all the various conditions to which men must be subjected in a long voyage. From New York to San Francisco we were301 favored with a set of men who could not be excelled in their dispositions and behavior. I have already quoted the complimentary remarks of the captain in his last address to them. In San Francisco, although there is not the opportunity to make a good selection which there is in the port of New York, we were also highly favored in our men.


We had three libraries sent on board before we left New York, which did excellent service. It was interesting to see the men after religious services on the Sabbath morning, finding shady places about the ship with their books and tracts from these libraries. This is in contrast to the old system of things among sailors. A familiar picture of a sailor used to be a man with a monkey led by a string in one hand, a parrot cage in the other, a tarpaulin with a quarter of a yard302 of black ribbon flying, no suspenders, his trowsers revealing a zone of blue shirt above his waistbands. The appearance of our crew from New York was far in advance of such a portraiture. It is still seen, though the contrast is very frequent.


On our way from Manila the Captain invited me to go down with him to the knight head, at the foot of the bowsprit, where you may extemporize a good seat protected with ropes. There you have a good view of the ship, and, taking the foremast for a guide, can learn the names of the different sails, see the arrangement of the jibs, and, leaning over, watch the cutwater dividing the billows, throwing up sheets of foam, the spray saluting you as often as the ship buries herself in a huge wave. We indulged ourselves in some mathematical calculations as to the bulk of water displaced by the ship as she303 floated, with several problems adjacent. This ship is two hundred and ten feet long. Malone Block, in Boston, where we formerly lived, has six dwellings, each twenty-three feet long, making the block a hundred and thirty-eight feet, so that the ship is once and a half the length of that block! We did much ciphering on the wood work, which may not have escaped the paint brush, or the constant wear from the weather. If it survives, a reader may find there some curious calculations in the mensuration of solids.


The crew which we shipped in Hong Kong were several of them, as it proved, released from jail to ship; they were, in part, the off-couring of English vessels. They were disposed to take advantage of the officers when possible, doing as little work as would serve to make them appear busy. One of them was sent aloft to slush down the mast, and the304 second mate observed that he was loitering about in the rigging, to kill time. At eight bells he came down on deck, intending to go to breakfast with his watch and let somebody else finish his work; but the mate ordered him aloft to complete his job. This he refused to do, saying he would not work when it was his watch below. The captain heard the dispute and told the man that if he did not obey the orders he would put him in irons. He continuing obstinate, they put irons on his hands and placed him in the poop deck hatch, and gave him hard bread and water for food. He held out forty-eight hours in spite of the captain’s continual conversation with him; when leg irons were brought and were going on; then he humbly consented to obey the order and to behave well. The captain has since told me it was the only time that he ever confined a sailor, and he was inclined afterward to wish that305 he had been still more patient, trying to conquer the man by his usual method of moral suasion. “But,” said he, “it was the only direct refusal of duty which I ever had, and with such a dangerous crew I felt the necessity of showing decision.” I record it with my grateful acknowledgment that though this man was kept manacled in the lazareet, under my stateroom, I did not know when he was put there, nor was I aware of his crime and his punishment till several months after our arrival.—One other incident will complete the criminal record of the ship.


On the voyage from Manila to New York we had the only interruption to our peace. One day we were informed by the steward that some of the men had thrown their beef overboard; that they were excited; and he feared trouble. The captain made inquiry306 into the cause of disaffection, the ringleaders in it, the nature of their threats.

He called them together on the main deck in the afternoon. All were there except the man at the wheel. They were dressed in their Sunday clothes; they stood round as men do when there is a strike. The passengers kept out of sight, but were within hearing. We had heard of mutinies; perhaps we were now to have some practical experience of them.

The captain told them that the steward had informed him that they found fault with their beef. He believed that there may have been some reason for complaint; that a new barrel had been opened that morning; he believed that the first pieces had been exposed to the air, the brine having been absorbed since leaving New York; that the steward happened to give these pieces to them rather than to the cabin table, but there was no307 design in doing so; that had we had one of the pieces for dinner that day, we should no doubt have complained that it was not as fresh after coming round Cape Horn as it was on leaving Fulton Market; but we would not for this have abused the steward. Now as we were getting to the last tier of the beef barrels he should have to shorten their allowance a little, especially if they preferred to throw their beef overboard, which they might do if they pleased, but they would gain nothing by it; we were all in the same boat sharing alike. He had heard of some expressions being used which were not right; he hoped he was misinformed; they would find that so long as they showed themselves to be reasonable men they would have no just ground of complaint. They also knew what the consequences would be to any one who should make trouble.


The men separated peacefully, making no more complaint; for we soon drew from deeper brine and the beef proved to be all right.

Perhaps it was accidental, but the captain said that complaints against the grub had been most frequently made by some Irishmen in his different crews. Whether these offenders had been accustomed to the best of fare on shore, and so were less able to bear discomforts in sea life, or whether they were of a more jealous disposition than others from some natural cause in their temperament, he would not say, but he had found it more difficult to suit a man of this class in the matter of grub than others; the shillaleh was too ready to appear at a fancied attempt to get an advantage over him in his food. For quick witted, daring, nimble, nautical feats, none have surpassed Irish sailors. As quick as any one of his watch, you are sure309 to find an Irishman lying out on the yard arm as far as to the weather earring, in a gale.

It is not right to lay hold of a few cases and impute certain classes of faults to men of one nation, as though these men were all of them specially addicted to that kind of transgression. There is no assignable reason, for example, why an Irishman, rather than a Swede, should be quick to find fault with his grub; if it has so happened that, as a captain told us, he never in a long course of years, had a disturbance in his crew about the grub but an Irishman was sure to be at the bottom of it; that even when in all other respects the Irishman was exemplary in his disposition, grub was sure to be a weak point with him; still we would prefer to hear the experience of others before we drew a conclusion unfavorable to a whole class of men in that particular.



There is a singular superstition among some seamen that where there is a Fin in the crew, you may be sure of bad luck. Had we been superstitious, we might have augured ill for ourselves, because the first entry on our shipping list was of John Reholm, Finland. Now John Reholm was, as to behavior, blameless. He was short and stout, about forty-five years old, always ready to go aloft, good at mending old sails, quiet, always at Sabbath service, often betraying emotion, which was noticeable in his moistened eye, his quivering lip. I do not remember to have heard him speak a word, so that I doubt if he could speak English, except a few indispensable sentences, though he understood the spoken tongue. Yet when all hands were on deck in some exigency, you would be attracted by his readiness to lead off in that part of the work which called for a311 strong arm; he knew where to look for the corner of the sail which the wind had torn then twisted. On receiving at the wheel your salutation as you passed him, though his hands might both be needed to keep the wheel straight he would be sure to lift a hand to his cap, and acknowledge your attention. There was no bad luck about him. He went the round voyage with us. Would that I could hear of his welfare. If any one says a disparaging word about a Fin, the image of a saint among sailors rises to my thoughts in the person of John Reholm.


Now that I am out of all danger of incurring the disapprobation of the mates, I am free to speak thus about a sailor, and I would be glad to say more. One Sabbath I spoke to the crew in terms of commendation. We were lying at anchor in Hong Kong harbor.312 In the night there were signs of a gale. One anchor only was down; the ship drifted, and we were afoul of an English bark. As the wind was still rising and we had lately had a typhoon, we were apprehensive of another. All hands in each vessel were at work, some aloft, clearing the rigging and fending off, and those below anxiously watching the growing snarl, contending with unequal strength against the chafing, and now and then the grinding action, of the vessel. From my window I could see and hear all that was going on, as we lay close to. The crews being strangers one to the other, many of them of different nationality, there was due deference paid to each other, courteous, kind expressions, regrets on the one side at running upon a neighbor, on the other the deprecation or the ready acceptance of apologies, the ‘don’t mention it,’ or, ‘we should have been foul of you, if the wind had been313 the other way.’ After working hard from two o’clock till four, in the dark, we were clear of each other, and the spare anchor went down to hold us fast. No words of impatience met my ear during the whole work of disentangling the snarl. It came in my way to speak of this the next Sabbath. A few days after we were discussing the sailors, when one of the mates said to me, “I was afraid last Sabbath that you were going too far in praising them.” “Yes,” said the other, “I was on tenter hooks, till you got through.” I am ready to defer to the practical judgment of the mates, yet we may be too sparing of kind words, courteous tones, and praise, in our treatment of those whom we would impress with the feeling that they are under authority. It will not hurt any of us to have in mind the injunction of an old poet:


“Praise, above all; for praise prevails;
Heap up the measure, load the scales,
And good to goodness add.
The generous soul her Saviour aids,
While peevish obloquy degrades;
The Lord is great and glad.”


Early in the passage to California the men were at work about the ropes on deck, when one of them was told to loosen a topgallant halyard which was foul. He laid hold of the wrong rope. The voice of upbraiding came from one of the oldest of the crew; “Have you been on board this ship a fortnight and don’t you know the topgallant halyard?” Another sailor answered, “O, Daniel is learning fast; he’ll come all right soon; trust him.” Daniel was evidently touched by this unexpected expression of kindness; he wiped his eyes with the back of his hand; but whether from perspiration or not I could not tell.



In the straits of Lemaire, going round Cape Horn, we overtook and were likely to pass a British ship, wire rigged, a ship of fine style. The sea was rough; we were coming too near. The boy Ben was having his trick at the wheel. He was the youngest on board. The little fellow did his best to keep the ship from broaching to, but the sea was too strong for his young arms. I pitied Ben, for I knew how mortified he would be to have another supplant him; and he was ambitious of making good his standing as a sailor. Just then a kind voice called to him; “Ben, you are a good little steersman; you can steer as well as any of them most of the time; but just now the sea is getting up; we should like to pass that ship and not get too near her; one of the able bodied sailors ought to be at the helm; ring the bell and316 call Nelson to come and take the wheel.” Nelson came, and worked the ship so that she soon shot ahead. Ben left the wheel with the proud satisfaction that his efforts were appreciated and praised; that only Nelson could do better than he; and Nelson was twenty years his senior. The little incident made me also sensitive about the eyes. I would rather do such an act of kindness to a young man than outstrip a British clipper.


As I look back on the dangers of our way, and remember how many times by night and day, aloft and on deck, our men have been exposed to accident, I cannot refrain from recording my gratitude to the Preserver of men. One day all hands were around the mainmast hoisting a yard. I was standing with the captain near the wheel, when we heard a noise unlike anything which we ever317 heard on ship board. It lasted only two or three seconds, but was so peculiar that it was frightful. Was the ship grating over a sunken rock; had she opened a seam, and was the water pouring in? Going forward, the men were found standing silently over one of their number who was lying senseless on deck. One of the chain runners which hoists a yard twenty-five or thirty feet, had given way in one of its upper links, and the chain had come down through the block to the deck. This was the noise which alarmed us. In falling, the chain struck one of the men on the shoulder and he fell senseless. He was soon restored, but he was laid up a fortnight. Had the blow been upon his head, the weight of the chain made it probable that the hurt would have been more serious. This was the only accident which we had to record during the whole voyage.



One afternoon about five o’clock, several weeks after we had “passed Anjer,” a bird as large as a heron came and sat for half an hour on a yard. We were several hundred miles from any land. The bird was not idle, for his frequent change of position, the motions of his head evidently helping his eye-sight, showed that his thoughts were busy about the next stage in his flight. He will go westward, I said to myself, keeping up as long as possible with the sun; but still he will spend the night somewhere on the waves. I watched him till he flew. To my surprise, instead of going toward the sun he flew eastward. I would have dissuaded him from such a decision, at least would have inquired by what train of thought he came to the conclusion that he would fly toward the night. On reflection it occurred319 to me that he took the most direct course toward the morning; by going in that direction he would meet the sun before we should see him. Perhaps instinct had taught him this lesson, and therefore he flew into the darkness as the speediest way to the morning. He “who maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven” has given then an instinct before which ours is as nothing. Experience, the comparison of events, wisdom learned from mistakes, from sorrow, from loss, is ours, to guide us on our heavenward path. Improving by such experience we are “wiser than the fowls;” otherwise their instinct makes our folly more pitiable. As the bird flew from me toward the east, this train of thought arose:




Come! fly with the ship to the westerly ocean;
See how the pathway is flooded with light;
The east is beclouded, the waves in commotion;
Darkness approaches; why tempt you the night?


I fly to the day break; I seek the sun rising;
I brave the short darkness, I covet the day,
And sooner than you I shall welcome the morning;
Fare thee well, passenger! bid me not stay.


See how the driftweed is wandering seaward;
Driven and scattered it soon will be lost;
From billow to billow, benighted, unfriended,
Companionless, weary, thus you will be tost.


I fly o’er the driftweed past Mozambique Channel,
And Aden, and Mocha, Bassora, Bombay;
The Tigris, Euphrates, the Indus, the Ganges,
So please me, I joyfully leave on my way.
You, later o’ertaken by darkness, then midnight,
Will slumber long after the stars shall have paled;
Adieu! to thee, passenger; eastward I travel;
The morning! the morning! I first shall have hailed.
I leave thee a blessing, with kind admonition:
Never fear thou the sundown, and dread not the night;
God can reveal to thee treasures of darkness;
Then welcome the darkness; thrice welcome the light.


There were four young men, and one who was an occasional substitute, who served the six months that we were in Hong Kong harbor, and at other times, in rowing us ashore and in our visits to ships. Sometimes the service took several hours; the distance was now and then great. When we went ashore at Anjer we were rowed four miles; when we went to church we were each time absent from the boat on shore two hours; calls, shopping, business, made large drafts on their patience; for though our visits ashore gave them also opportunity to supply some wants as well as to gratify their curiosity, still there were unavoidable delays on our part which could not have been to the322 young crew always pleasant. In no instance did they manifest that they felt these visits to be irksome. In looking back upon their unwearied, prompt, always cheerful service, I feel that we owe them more than thanks; but I fear to write this lest I incur the disapprobation of some of the officers, who would be moved to tell me that the young men had as easy a time as though they had been tarring down, mending sails, scrubbing brass; that passengers must be careful how they praise sailors. This shall be remembered and duly practised on board ship; but on shore the names of Parslow, Twichell, Coffin, Ryder and Treadwell, will always be associated with happy hours. May the young men be successful master mariners, and while they are mates may they know how to mingle kind words with discipline.



During the whole voyage from first to last, it was always exciting to hear the mate issue this summons. Generally, we knew by it that the ship was going at such a quickened speed that the mate wished to verify it by measurement. When the order was given, two of the boys came aft; one of them took from the locker the reel which had on it a line of several fathoms; the other held the glass. The end of the line which was thrown into the water had on it a wide piece of thin wood, triangular. The line was fastened to it through each of the angles, so that the piece of clapboard stood upright in the water, thus feeling the draft as the ship went on. The reel was held by the boy in both hands over his head to keep the line from running foul. Pieces of tape were tied into the line twenty-two and a half feet apart. The glass ran fourteen seconds.324 When it was empty the boy cried, “up;” and the mate knowing how many knots had passed through his hand in fourteen seconds, easily reckoned how many knots (or miles) an hour the ship was running. We never went over thirteen and a half; sometimes only two; and in a dead calm a reel could not have turned; our rate of motion would have been 0. Perhaps in a short time a breeze would be setting us forward, so that the mate would call out, “Hold the reel.”


It may have been fancy, but the gales at the Cape of Good Hope impressed me differently from those at Cape Horn. The latter place, and the associations with it, make one feel that there is more of a sub base in its winds and waters. There, two oceans form and go apart to either side of a continent; you are near the polar regions, the realms of325 snow and ice. You expect every manifestation of sublimity, but not of caprice; the awful forms of nature, grandeur with stillness; or, when storms are summoned, there is a heavy tread in their battalions. Off the Cape of Good Hope we had the impression that the wind was as fierce, its rate of motion perhaps greater, but we could not tremble before it as we did at Cape Horn. Two gales off the Cape of Good Hope gave us good specimens of the violent weather in that region. The sun was nearly out on each of the two days, but the wind, though not as fitful as in a typhoon, was as violent as in a typhoon gale in the China Seas. A British ship as large as ours was near us the whole of one day, so that we saw by the way in which the gale was serving her, how we probably appeared to our neighbor. At one time she seemed to be moored on a mountain top; in a few moments she was326 lost to sight, but this of course was owing as much to our depression and elevation as to hers. There was so much regularity in our motion that it awakened no fear. My daughters were captivated by the wildness of the scenery, but the roll of the ship was so great that it was not easy to keep upright; so the captain had pillows brought on deck, and by passing ropes around the passengers, and making them fast, the pillows and they were secure against the lee and the weather roll, and for a short time they kept their lookout. That the scene was less terrific than corresponding tempests at Cape Horn was owing in part to our having more experience on reaching the eastern continent, but mostly, as it seemed to me, to the more awful grandeur of the Cape Horn region.


I will begin by relating an incident in the sea-faring experience of Dr. Lyman Beecher,327 who preached in my pulpit one Sabbath soon after returning from England, and related this incident, using it to enforce the text: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He said that while a storm was raging, he heard a lady enter a room adjoining his and address some one in these words: “Mary, how can you be sitting there in your rocking-chair, as though nothing was going to happen? Do you know that we may all be at the bottom of the sea in five minutes? Stir about and do something. Pray do not sit there rocking and singing.”

He recognized the voice as that of an English lady who was on her way to Canada, her husband connected with the government. Mary was her serving maid.

Mary said, “Please, madam, I have done everything which you told me to do; is there anything else which you think of?”


“No,” said the lady, “but I cannot bear to see you so peaceful, humming your tunes when the ship is breaking up.”

“The men have done all they can to save themselves and us,” said Mary, “and I see nothing to do but pray and wait.”

“‘Pray and wait,’” said her mistress, “on the point of going down! I am raving distracted, and you are as calm as a clock. Why don’t you scream, and show some feeling, and not sit there like a statue?”

“What good would it do to scream?” said Mary. “God can hear us whisper; He is looking on the ship and on each of us, and He hears every petition.”

“Oh,” said the lady, “I would give the world to feel so. But it is too late to pray. I cannot think; I shall die crazy.”

Mary said, “When the storm began I was reading in the fifth of Romans: ‘Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with329 God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ I felt calm; my peace is made with God through Christ; that text keeps me from screaming. If I die, I shall go to God, for Christ has made peace for me with Him.”

With such words Mary composed the agitated mind of her mistress; when suddenly the sun broke through the clouds, and though the waves were fearfully tempestuous, the ship rode them safely; Mary’s Saviour had said to them, “Peace, be still.”

If there were hours when we might have been made afraid, it was not in gales, nor in the raging of the sea; but in some peaceful, moonlight night, when everything was beautiful to the eye, we saw that we might have reason to tremble. If the insidious current should take the ship and prevent her from passing a certain headland, we might be stranded on a desolate coast and see the330 ship piled up, a helpless thing, in the sands, and ourselves left to the horrors of want. We would be passing a forlorn place in the China seas, for example, and the current might prove more than the wind could overcome; we might be swept round a point where we heard the surf roar on the beach, and it might depend on a favorable change of wind in a few moments whether we should drift into deep water and go round another point, or whether that spot was to be the graveyard of our noble vessel. At such moments life re-appears to you with its long-forgotten passages, and the future seems filled with pictures of woe, such, perhaps, as you had never seen, even in dreams. At times like these, you have experience of the special care of God, are made to feel the practical value of the doctrine of a particular providence, you receive instruction in the nature of prayer, learn more lessons in faith331 than years of ordinary experience can furnish, and deep convictions of the privilege and duty of childlike confidence in the Almighty, such that you are persuaded a thousand temptations to unbelief cannot overcome.—them. There are paradoxes in one’s feelings in times of imminent danger. It is easy at these moments, strange as it may seem, to forget your own possible loss and sorrow, and lose yourself in thinking of your ship, of which you may have felt so proud, and which, having borne you half round the globe, must, perhaps, now bury her stem or stern ignobly in the sand, all her rich panelwork being made of no account by the waves breaking ruthlessly in through the rent sides, the spars and sails left free to be the sport of the tempest, and soon her freight melting away in the surge. You feel that you would sacrifice anything short of life itself, to prevent such disaster. And when332 suddenly the wind comes round the headland, and you find that you have met a favorable breeze, and the ship goes safely again on her way, you wonder at yourself, perhaps, for rejoicing in her deliverance equally with your own, and you fall to repeating passages of the hundred and seventh Psalm, with thanksgiving.


The rudder affords a constant fund of interest when the ship is at her full speed. The parting and closing water makes incessant forms of beauty; you may hang over the counter and look down into the wake for a long time, and not be weary. The swift rush of the water to close up the furrow made by the keel keeps attention awake: the graceful sinking of the stern in alternation with the bows, bringing you down to a level with the waves, then far above them,333 brings apprehension enough with it to make a novice question why he has never heard people who have seen it describe their pleasure. When night has set in and the phosphoresence happens to be abundant, kaleidoscopes never revealed such wonders to the eye.


We had religious services every Sabbath morning, when the weather allowed, at nine o’clock. Almost all hands would attend, it being left optional with them. On the way from the Sandwich Islands to China, in the trade-wind region, we had the service on deck. No preacher ever enjoyed the sight which met his eye in the objects around his pulpit more than those which were seen from that place of worship. Immediately around the speaker were twenty-five sailors, well dressed, wakeful, well behaved; an awning was over them; their singing was animating;334 the beauty of the ocean scenery, the sight of distant vessels, the sound of the water as the ship went through it, contributed to the enjoyment of the Sabbath stillness, which seemed to have at sea as on land a hush unlike the week-days. While natural scenery cannot inspire the heart with spiritual emotions, yet when these exist they are sometimes assisted in their peaceful, elevating power over us by a contemplation of such a prospect as we had on that deck in those Sabbath hours.—We had in all about seventy men and boys who sailed with us. The most of these placed themselves under religious influences while on board; now they are scattered like the driftweed which went by us; but in the different vessels in which they now sail they may feel the power of some good impressions which they received; for not only on the Sabbath, but in the weekly Bible-class, they were affectionately exhorted335 by their captain, who added to his spiritual efforts for them kind instruction in morals, useful information on subjects relating to their calling, and to the younger portion of them lessons in navigation and practical seamanship. In the libraries there was a good mixture of secular books.

Most of the sailors showed by contrast the value of early education in furnishing the mind with religious ideas as well as the letter of scriptural knowledge. It is doubtful whether “George,” at his time of life, can succeed in solving that great mystery “how an ‘elephant’ can go through the eye of a needle;” though had he begun in youth he might have received instruction which would have at least reduced the elephant to a camel. Some sailors like him awaken affection for them which it is pleasant to cherish. But the sea-birds are hardly more vagrant now than they.



May 16, at 11, A. M., we took a pilot off New York, and at 9, P. M., dropped anchor, having been gone nearly nineteen months, and, including our excursions from Hong Kong, having sailed forty-two thousand miles. All this time no sickness, accident, loss, nor painful delay had occurred to us. Our only regret was that the voyage had come to an end.

* * * * *

In looking back upon it and recalling pleasurable seasons, those which most readily recur to me, (and let not the threefold mention of it seem obtrusive,) are, Morning hours on deck alone with a Bible. I only repeat the experience of every one who loves the Word of God. The mind freed from care sees in the Bible at such times meanings which grammars and lexicons never can impart. Nature might reveal things most wonderful at such a place as Singapore; but in a psalm337 read in the silence of the sea, there would often appear marvellous things in the language of Scripture, in its simple incidents, in the characters portrayed or acting themselves out unconsciously in their trials and joys, which would create an interest never excited by the plumage of East-India birds, or coral branches, or curiously twisted and beautifully enamelled shells, or by the marvellous light on insects and creeping things, or by precious stones, and pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine-wood, and cinamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense. I cannot forget the impressions made upon me by reading connectedly all the experiences and the language of the prophet Jeremiah. They were like the strange constellations which rise to view in low latitudes. I have felt among the wonderful things of God the truth of that inspired declaration, “Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”


On reaching home, it was deeply interesting to find, at sick-beds, in stricken households, and in circles where the goodness of God had filled pious hearts with thankfulness, that one need not travel to be filled with all the fulness of God. “Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” I found that some who had not left home for two years but had toiled in shops, and counting-rooms, and laboratories, and domestic life, had been increased with the increase of God.

It is easier to go round the world than through it. But in going through it we are tempted to think perhaps that in solitude with its retirement, we can have more of God’s presence than in the busy scenes of life. This led me at the close of our voyage, going back with restored health to busy scenes, to resolve that I would endeavor to339 guard against the feeling that there are places or conditions to which God’s presence is confined. Not in the solitudes of ocean, nor in rural scenes, “neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem,” need we be, to enjoy communion with God.


We left the Golden Fleece in a very narrow dock at Brooklyn, N. Y. It seemed humiliating to the noble ship to be warped among sloops and schooners into her berth; she appeared to be submitting to it as a strong man disabled and sick yields passively to nurses. The sailors, all who had not sprung ashore five minutes after the ship was docked, stood looking at us over the rails, some of them leaning on an arm, some resting their chins on the rails, after we had shaken hands with them, with a long farewell.



It was a pleasant morning in spring when we set out in the cars from New York to Boston. Having been a hundred and sixteen days on the water since leaving Manila, we were prepared to appreciate the solid earth. The privilege of walking and not coming to the ship’s rail every few minutes, was vividly felt. I hardly enjoyed anything in detail, when first on land again; every thing was absorbed in the one consciousness of being on the solid earth. “Then are they glad because they be quiet,” says the sacred penman, describing the sailors’ feelings, on reaching shore.

It was a windy day when we reached Boston. Clouds of dust filled the streets. It was not so at sea. It occurred to me, How do these people endure such discomfort? It seemed to me that they must find sufficient comforts on land, notwithstanding the dust,341 to make existence tolerable. I soon found that there are things to be enjoyed on land as well as at sea.

Language fails me in attempting to describe the experience of arriving home and of being at home, after an absence of nineteen months on ship board. We are willing, too willing, perhaps, to fancy resemblances in earthly occurrences to possible scenes of terror hereafter; but let us make our joyful experiences foretokens of heavenly bliss.


It had a powerful effect upon our company to hear that shortly after our safe arrival, laden with such experience of the divine goodness, a singular calamity happened to the ship. She came round to Boston in charge of the first officer, the captain having concluded to retire from the sea. She loaded with ice, and sailed for Bombay. In342 a few days after leaving port, fire was discovered in her lower hold, ascribed to a spark from a cigar or pipe, while loading. She put into Halifax, where fire engines nearly filled her with water. After a long detention at Boston for repairs, she went to sea. We were made to feel that our safety through our long voyage and our happy arrival were not accidents; we recalled moments when a slight change in our affairs would have been followed with disaster; it was sealed afresh upon our hearts that we were under obligation to the providential care of God never to be forgotten, always to be mentioned with humbleness of mind, with thanksgiving and praise.


We were grieved to hear that Nelson, whom I have more than once referred to as an able helmsman, fell from a boat in the343 harbor of New York a short time after we arrived, and was drowned. The report which we received of the event conveyed an intimation that he had been drinking too freely. He certainly had marks of genius, showing itself in the way in which he made the ship toss the waves from the bows. It was a pleasure, when he was steering, to go forward and climb into the knight heads, and lean over and feel by the way in which the ship went through the water that Nelson was driving her. To be there was as pleasurable as it ever can be to any one to sit by the side of Mr. Bonner, with a cigar in one’s mouth, while he is driving “Fashion.” A great swell coming toward you, looking every moment as though it would overflow the deck, Nelson sees, draws in his nigh rein, runs the ship into it as though he would say, Why leap ye, ye high hills? for now he is on the top of one of them and344 not a drop has reached the deck; though they are the mighty waves of the sea he seems to sport with them. He fell by strong drink; the great wave overtook him which has engulphed so many; he died ignobly in smooth water, not in battle, hand to hand with a tempest.


Much as I had enjoyed in different climes among the Creator’s works, I remember that when the first fall of snow came after my arrival, it seemed to me that I had not witnessed anything abroad so beautiful. I had not seen snow for two years. I was in the country, and I walked two hours, enjoying what seemed to me a most charming meteoric phenomenon, a snow-storm. In deference to custom I took an umbrella with me, and I felt it proper to open it, but as it hid the falling snow from my view, I shut it. I345 wondered if people were unhappy from any cause, who lived where they could see the snow crystals forming and alighting around them.

Here let me abruptly close, else I shall more than confirm the general belief to which the preceding narrative may have given confirmation, that there is a fatal power in sea-faring experience to amplify one’s experience beyond due limit. I will only add my thanks to the benevolent reader for his companionship while attending to this narration, wishing him, after a prosperous voyage through life, a safe arrival at his home on high.


1 Crojick, alias crossjack; a large square sail which hangs from the mizzen mast. When the wind is aft the crojick “robs” the main sail and therefore is not in constant use; while in some ships it is rejected.

2 The following is from English “Notes and Queries”. “Feb. 15, lat. 22, 54, long. 55, 28. At 11.50 saw the ‘Southern Cross’ for the first time. This was the only commission you gave to me, and I execute it as a matter of business.” It may not be of any practical use to say that Dec. 6th we first saw it, when it was rising, in lat. 34. 10 S., long. 50. 6 W.

3 In Lieut Maury’s Geography of the Sea, a most useful book, may be found a satisfactory account of the Trade Winds.

4 Crew of the Golden Fleece, from New York to San Francisco, Oct. 26, 1869–Feb. 12, 1870.


Isaiah Bray, Yarmouth, Mass.
Chas. H. Field, Providence, R. I.


John Williams, Baltimore, Md.
James Ryan, New Jersey.


John Reholm, Finland.
Harvey Robson, Norway.
J. H. Erlandf, Norway.
Alvin W. Robbins, Nova Scotia.
G. Parslow, Poughkeepsie.
Tom Fox, Prussia.
A. Fox, Germany.
Charles Smith, New York.
George Andrews, Scotland.
C. T. J. Coombs, Maine.
Niel Thompson, Denmark.
William Divern, Antwerp.
Randolph P. Delancey, N. H.
Charles Johnson, Sweden.
Carl Helen, Sweden.
John Miller, Sweden.
Ferdinand Ryder, N. Y. (City.)
G. G. Marschalk, Brooklyn, N.Y.
W. J. Douglas, Washington.
Willie H. Treadwell, Auburndale, Mass.
James C. Chase, Vermont.
Robert Galloway, San Francisco.


Samuel Adams, St. Johns, N. B.


Pedro Cardozo.


Anna Cardozo.

Summary.—2 mates, 2 boatswains, 23 men and boys, 1 carpenter, 1 steward, 1 stewardess. Total, 29.

N. B. Sometimes the names of seamen are fictitious, for various reasons; one, to prevent pain to friends should their real names be published if the men are lost.

5 It was gratifying that the Sabbath after we arrived at San Francisco, the crew attended public worship together at the Mariner’s Church, filling several contiguous pews. In a week or two the most of them had shipped on voyages to different sections of the globe.

6 Length of passages by merchant vessels from New York to San Francisco since May 1, 1870, to Feb. 12, 1871.

Pactolus. 147
Bridgewater. 149
Thacher Magoun. 166
Galatea. 134
Orion. 215
Imperial. 145
Jeremiah Thompson. 122
Great Admiral. 121
Ellen Austin. 134
Carolus Magnus. 172
Ericson. 137
Arkwright. 165
Kingfisher. 135
Anahuac. 139
St. James. 162
Ontario. 158
Huguenot. 153
Gold Hunter. 167
Chieftain. 160
Eldorado. 148
Fleetford. 161
Alaska. 137
James R. Keeler. 147
Charger. 127
Dexter. 163
Daniel Marcy. 165
Horatio Harris. 165
Hoogly. 150
John Bright. 147
Blue Jacket. 146
S. G. Reed. 137
Asa Eldridge. 134
Freeman Clark. 147
Young America. 122
Emerald Isle. 127
Golden Fleece. 111

7 I may as well give here all the lines of the “old tar,” relating to the shipwreck:—

No more the geese shall cackle o’er the poop;
No more the bagpipe through the orlop sound;
No more the midshipmen, a jovial group,
Shall toast the girls, and push the bottle round.
In death’s dark road at anchor fast they stay,
Till Heaven’s loud signal shall in thunder roar;
Then, starting up, all hands shall quick obey;
Sheet home the topsail, and with speed unmoor.

8 Common word for “is.”

9 Pastures.

10 Pastures.

11 Me.

12 Considering I am his only child.

13 That great mandarin.

14 In a little time.

15 Providence (Joss) provides what my father would not.

16 That band.

17 Robber.

18 Very fierce; chop chop:—quick.

19 My eye alone watched that robber.

20 Could not rally any friends.

21 Two of us soon caught up with him.

22 We beat him, largely.

23 Before he had time to shoot.

24 I am very strong.

25 Took his clothes; (galo: an exclamation.)

26 I hear you have war.

27 “Never mind,” a Portuguese exclamation.

28 Providence led my way hither—N. B. The Chinese do not pronounce the letter r; for “run,” they say “lun.”

29 That night-time drew on fast.

30 That night-time drew on fast.

31 No matter for the cold.

32 He had a flag which was very curious.

33 Sorry.

34 Each of his eyes.

35 The same as “mine.”

36 Strong.

37 Very curious.

38 Every room.

39 Cry.

40 Old man said to him.

41 Rain.

42 I.

43 Stop.

44 A Girl said to him.

45 He earnestly answered.

46 All the time he kept on walking.

47 Withered tree.

48 He would not stop.

49 That peasant bid him good-night.

50 The religious man.

51 Soon.

52 Religious address.

53 He heard a voice.

54 Had to meet death.

55 With difficulty found him.

56 Very cold.

57 The same flag with its curious device.

58 Chop is brand, stamp, quality; e. g. first chop.

59 After my return I was preaching, August 27th, at the Congregational Church in Arlington, Mass., when I used the Typhoon to illustrate the safety of those who trust in God. During intermission I was impressed by the action of the branches of the willow trees in the wind, and said, If we were in China I should judge that we were about to have a typhoon. It was a clear day. The wind was not very strong, but fitful gusts would lift the long boughs of the willows almost to a perpendicular. That night something resembling a typhoon passed over the town, bringing down the steeple of the Congregational Church, with the bell, through the roof, with very serious damage to that building and others. Had the typhoon come upon us during the hours of morning service, the illustration in the sermon might have been superseded by the thing itself. In viewing some of the effects of the wind I was forcibly reminded of its action as a Typhoon in China.

60 George H. Peirce, Esq.

61 The Faery Queene, B. 10, c. 2. 1.

Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a predominant preference was found in the original book; otherwise they were not changed.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; unbalanced quotation marks were remedied when the change was obvious, and otherwise left unbalanced.

“A. M.” and “P. M.” sometimes were printed in small-caps and other times in full-sized uppercase. Here, they always are shown in small-caps, for consistency.

Illustrations in this eBook have been positioned between paragraphs and outside quotations. In versions of this eBook that support hyperlinks, the page references in the List of Illustrations lead to the corresponding illustrations.

In the original book, footnotes appeared at the bottoms of pages; here, they have been collected, renumbered into one ascending sequence, and placed at the end of the book.

Page 27: The original book used ditto marks to indicate repetition of the Solo lines in the poem. Here, “(twice)” is used each time.

Pages 240-247: The English and Pidgin-English versions were printed on facing pages in the original book. Here, they are printed consecutively. In the second specimen, the English version contains nine stanzas, but the Pidgin-English version contains only eight.

Page 331: “unbelief cannot overcome.--them.” was printed that way.

Page 335: “vagrant now than they” is the end of the paragraph, but had no ending period. Transcriber added one, but the missing period suggests the possibility of missing text.