Infomotions, Inc.A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam' / Brassey, Annie Allnut



Author: Brassey, Annie Allnut
Title: A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam'
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Title: A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam'

Author: Annie Allnut Brassey

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Language: English

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Transcriber's Notes:

   1. The first page of Chapter VIII: the last line of text was
      partially missing, and a best guess was made on a few words.

   2. Page 72: Typograpical error, 'nndertaking' changed to
      'undertaking'.

   3. Page 55, paragraph starting "Santa Anna", corrected 'past'
      to 'part'.





A VOYAGE IN THE 'SUNBEAM'

Our Home on fhe Ocean for Eleven Months

by

MRS. BRASSEY

Illustrated

Chicago:
Belford, Clarke & Co.

1881







[Illustration: CAPE BRASSEY: SMYTHS SOUND]




DEDICATION

To the friends in many climes and countries, of the white and coloured
races, and of every grade in society, who have made our year of travel
a year of happiness, these pages are dedicated by the ever grateful
Author

[Illustration: Portrait of the Author]




PREFACE.


This volume needs no elaborate preface. A general sketch of the voyage
which it describes was published in the 'Times' immediately after our
return to England. That letter is reprinted here as a convenient
summary of the 'Sunbeam's' performances. But these prefatory lines
would indeed be incomplete if they did not contain a well-deserved
tribute to the industry and accuracy of the author. The voyage would
not have been undertaken, and assuredly it would never have been
completed, without the impulse derived from her perseverance and
determination. Still less would any sufficient record of the scenes
and experiences of the long voyage have been preserved had it not been
for her painstaking desire not only to see everything thoroughly, but
to record her impressions faithfully and accurately. The practised
skill of a professional writer cannot reasonably be expected in these
simple pages, but their object will have been attained if they are the
means of enabling more home-keeping friends to share in the keen
enjoyment of the scenes and adventures they describe.

THOMAS BRASSEY

[Illustration]




CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

     I. FAREWELL TO OLD ENGLAND

    II. MADEIRA, TENERIFFE, AND CAPE DE VERDE ISLANDS

   III. PALMA TO RIO DE JANEIRO

    IV. RIO DE JANEIRO

     V. THE RIVER PLATE

    VI. LIFE ON THE PAMPAS

   VII. MORE ABOUT THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC

  VIII. RIVER PLATE TO SANDY POINT, STRAITS OF MAGELLAN

    IX. SANDY POINT TO LOTA BAY

     X. CHILI

    XI. SANTIAGO AND VALPARAISO

   XII. VALPARAISO TO TAHITI

  XIII. THE SOUTH SEA ISLANDS

   XIV. AT TAHITI

    XV. TAHITI TO SANDWICH ISLANDS--KILAUEA BY DAY AND BY NIGHT

   XVI. HAWAIIAN SPORTS

  XVII. HONOLULU--DEPARTURE FOR JAPAN

 XVIII. HONOLULU TO YOKOHAMA

   XIX. YOKOHAMA

    XX. KIOTO, LATE MIACO

   XXI. THE INLAND SEA

  XXII. TO CANTON UP THE PEARL RIVER

 XXIII. FROM MACAO TO SINGAPORE

  XXIV. SINGAPORE

   XXV. CEYLON

  XXVI. TO ADEN

 XXVII. VIA SUEZ CANAL

XXVIII. 'HOME'

APPENDIX




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

WOODCUTS IN TEXT.

CAPE BRASSEY: SMYTH'S SOUND

PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR

SUNSET ON SOUTHAMPTON WATER

NEARLY OVERBOARD

THE DERELICT 'CAROLINA' LADEN WITH PORT WINE

OUR FIRST VIEW OF MADEIRA

MADEIRA FISH-CARRIER

A COZY CORNER

A PALM-TREE IN A GARDEN, OROTAVA, TENERIFFE

TARAFAL BAY, ST. ANTONIO

FATHER NEPTUNE

HIS DOCTOR (CROSSING THE LINE)

LULU AND HER PUPPIES

VESPERS

BOTAFOGO BAY

THE SLAVE VILLAGE, FAZENDA, SANTA ANNA

THE THREE NAVIGATORS

PRAIRIE DOGS AND OWLS

DEVIL'S HORNS

LA CALERA

INDIANS AT AZUL

LASSOING HORSES

'MONKSHAVEN' ON FIRE

SHIPWRECKED CREW COMING ON BOARD

FUEGIAN WEAPONS

FUEGIAN BOW AND ARROWS

PIN FOR FASTENING CLOAK, MADE FROM A DOLLAR BEATEN OUT

FUEGIAN BOAT AND OARS

BARTERING WITH FUEGIANS

THORNTON PEAKS

GLACIERS, SNOWY SOUND

UNFIT BAY

TWO-PEAKED MOUNTAIN

INDIAN REACH

CATCHING CAPE-PIGEONS IN THE GULF OF PENAS

CHILIANS WAITING FOR THE TRAIN

A FELLOW PASSENGER

BATHS OF CAUQUENES

UP THE VALLEY TOWARDS THE ANDES

CACTI OF THE CORDILLERA

HUASSO HUTS

HUASSO OF CHILI

MORNING MASS AT SANTIAGO

WHAT MAKES HORSES GO IN CHILI

JUVENILE SCRUBBERS

CONVERSATION AT SEA

INSCRIPTION FROM EASTER ISLAND

TATAKOTOROA OR CLARKE ISLAND

GOING UP THE MAST IN A CHAIR

CHILDREN LOOKING UP

OUR FIRST LANDING IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC, HAO OR BOW ISLAND

MAITEA

MAITEAN BOATMAN

QUARANTINE ISLAND, PAPEETE

UNDER THE TREES, PAPEETE

CHAETODON TRICOLOR

CHAETODON PLAGMANCE

WATERFALL AT FAATAUA

A TAHITIAN LADY

TROPIC FEATHERS

CHAETODON BESANTII

TATTOO IN THE TROPICS

FEATHER NECKLACE

WAR NECKLACE

ANCIENT WAR MASKS AND COSTUMES FROM THE MUSEUM AT HONOLULU

CHALCEDON IMPERATOR

FEATHERED CLOAK AND HELMETS

THE PALI-OAHU

ZEUS CILIARIS

AMATEUR NAVIGATION

LITTLE REDCAP

JAPANESE BOATS

FUJIYAMA, JAPAN

A DRAG ACROSS THE SAND IN A JINRIKISHA

INOSHIMA BY A JAPANESE ARTIST

JAPANESE BOATMAN

FACSIMILE OF OUR LUNCHEON BILL

A FAMILY GROUP

WAYSIDE TRAVELLERS

ARRIMA. THE VILLAGE OF BAMBOO BASKET WORK

YOKEN SAN OR SACRED MOUNTAIN, INLAND SEA

HURUSIMA, INLAND SEA

HOW WE WERE BOARDED BY CHINESE AND DISPERSED THEM

CHINESE VISITING CARDS

PEARL RIVER

BOGUE FORTS

CHINESE PAGODA AND BOATS

THE FRENCH CONSULATE, CANTON

CHINESE FOOT AND BOOT

MAHARAJAH OF JOHORE'S HOUSE

THE PET MANIS

MALACCA

HOW THE JOURNAL WAS WRITTEN

PEACOCK MOUNTAIN, CEYLON

SOUMALI INDIAN, ADEN

STRAITS OF BAB-EL-MANDEB

BEATING UP THE RED SEA

HOMEWARD BOUND

FALDETTA, MALTA

ARMOURY IN THE GOVERNOR'S PALACE, VALETTA

TANGIER

VASCO DA GAMA

BELEM CLOISTER GARDENS

OUR WELCOME BACK OFF HASTINGS

HOME AT LAST




NOTE.

I have to thank Mr. W. Simpson, author of 'Meeting the Sun,' for the
passages given on pages 341 to 343 referring to the Japanese temples
and their priesthood.

The vessel which has carried us so rapidly and safely round the globe
claims a brief description. She was designed by Mr. St. Clare Byrne,
of Liverpool and may be technically defined as a screw composite
three-masted topsail-yard schooner. The engines, by Messrs. Laird, are
of 70 nominal or 350 indicated horse-power, and developed a speed of
10.13 knots at the measured mile. The bunkers contain 80 tons of coal.
The average daily consumption is 4 tons, and the speed 8 knots in fine
weather. The principal dimensions of the hull are--length for tonnage,
157 ft.; beam extreme, 27 ft. 6 in.; displacement tonnage, 531 tons;
area of midship section, 202 sq. ft.

A. B.

[Illustration: Sunset on Southampton Water.]




A VOYAGE IN THE 'SUNBEAM'.




CHAPTER I.

FAREWELL TO OLD ENGLAND.


    _Masts, spires, and strand receding on the right,_
    _The glorious main expanding on the bow._

At noon on July 1st, 1876, we said good-bye to the friends who had
come to Chatham to see us off, and began the first stage of our voyage
by steaming down to Sheerness, saluting our old friend the 'Duncan,'
Admiral Chads's flagship, and passing through a perfect fleet of craft
of all kinds. There was a fresh contrary wind, and the Channel was as
disagreeable as usual under the circumstances. Next afternoon we were
off Hastings, where we had intended to stop and dine and meet some
friends; but, unfortunately the weather was not sufficiently
favourable for us to land; so we made a long tack out to sea, and, in
the evening, found ourselves once more near the land, off Beachy Head.
While becalmed off Brighton, we all--children included--availed
ourselves of the opportunity to go overboard and have our first swim,
which we thoroughly enjoyed. We had steam up before ten, and again
proceeded on our course. It was very hot, and sitting under the awning
turned out to be the pleasantest occupation. The contrast between the
weather of the two following days was very great, and afforded a
forcible illustration of the uncertainties, perhaps the fascinations,
of yachting. We steamed quietly on, past the 'Owers' lightship, and
the crowds of yachts at Ryde, and dropped anchor off Cowes at six
o'clock.

On the morning of the 6th a light breeze sprang up, and enabled us to
go through the Needles with sails up and funnel down, a performance of
which all on board felt very proud, as many yachtsmen had pronounced
it to be an impossibility for our vessel to beat out in so light a
breeze.

We were forty-three on board, all told, as will be seen by reference
to the list I have given. We had with us, besides, two dogs, three
birds, and a charming Persian kitten belonging to the baby. The kitten
soon disappeared, and it was feared she must have gone overboard down
the hawse pipe. There was a faint hope, however, that she might have
been packed away with the new sails, which had been stowed in a great
hurry the day before. Unhappily she was never found again, and the
children were inconsolable until they discovered, at Torquay, an
effective substitute for 'Lily.'

The Channel was tolerably smooth outside the Isle of Wight, and during
the afternoon we were able to hold on our course direct for Ushant.
After midnight, however, the wind worked gradually round to the
W.S.W., and blew directly in our teeth. A terribly heavy sea got up;
and, as we were making little or no progress, it was decided to put
in to Torquay or Dartmouth, and there await a change. We anchored in
Torbay, about half a mile from the pier, at 8.30 a.m., and soon
afterwards went ashore to bathe. We found, however, that the high
rocks which surround the snug little bathing cove made the water as
cold as ice.

Nothing more having been heard of our poor little kitten, we can only
conclude that she has gone overboard. Just as we were leaving the
railway-station, however, we saw a small white kitten with a blue
ribbon round its neck; and all the children at once exclaimed,
'There's our Lily!' We made inquiries, and found that it belonged to
the young woman at the refreshment room, who, after some demur,
allowed us to take it away with us, in compliance with Muriel's
anxious wish, expressed on her face.

About ten o'clock we got under way, but lay-to for breakfast. We then
had a regular beat of it down Channel--everybody being ill. We formed
a melancholy-looking little row down the lee side of the ship, though
I must say that we were quite as cheery as might have been expected
under the circumstances. It was bright and sunny overhead, which made
things more bearable.

_Sunday, July 9th_.--A calm at 2 a.m. Orders were given to get up
steam; but the new coals from Chatham were slow to light, though good
to keep up steam when once fairly kindled. For four long hours,
therefore, we lolloped about in the trough of a heavy sea, the sails
flapping as the vessel rolled. By the time the steam was up so was the
breeze--a contrary one, of course. We accordingly steamed and sailed
all day, taking more water on board, though not really in any great
quantity, than I had ever seen the good ship do before. She carries a
larger supply of coal and other stores than usual, and no doubt the
square yards on the foremast make her pitch more heavily. We were all
very sorry for ourselves, and 'church,' postponed from eleven until
four o'clock, brought together but a small congregation.

On the 8th we were fairly away from Old England, and on the next day
off Ushant, which we rounded at about 4.30 p.m., at the distance of a
mile and a half; the sea was tremendous, the waves breaking in columns
of spray against the sharp needle-like rocks that form the point of
the island. The only excitement during the day was afforded by the
visit of a pilot-boat (without any fish on board), whose owner was
very anxious to take us into Brest, 'safe from the coming storm,'
which he predicted. In addition to our other discomforts, it now
rained hard; and by half-past six I think nearly all our party had
made up their minds that bed would be the most comfortable place.

Two days later we sailed into lovely, bright, warm, sunny weather,
with a strong north-easterly breeze, a following sea, and an
occasional long roll from the westward. But as the sun rose, the wind
increased, and we got rather knocked about by the sea. A good deal of
water came on board, and it was impossible to sit anywhere in comfort,
unless lashed or firmly wedged in. We were, however, going ten knots
through the water, on our course, under our new square head canvas;
and this fact made up for a good deal of discomfort.

The thirty extra tons of spare sails, spars, and provisions, the
fifteen tons of water, and the eighty-four tons of coal, made a great
difference in our buoyancy, and the sea came popping in and out at the
most unexpected places; much to the delight of the children, who, with
bare feet and legs, and armed with mops and sponges, waged mimic war
against the intruder and each other, singing and dancing to their
hearts' content. This amusement was occasionally interrupted by a
heavier roll than usual, sending them all into the lee scuppers,
sousing them from head to foot, and necessitating a thorough change of
clothing, despite their urgent protest that sea-water never hurt
anybody.

After our five o'clock dinner, however, we very nearly met with a
most serious accident. We were all sitting or standing about the stern
of the vessel, admiring the magnificent dark blue billows following
us, with their curling white crests, mountains high. Each wave, as it
approached, appeared as if it must overwhelm us, instead of which, it
rushed grandly by, rolling and shaking us from stem to stern, and
sending fountains of spray on board.

[Illustration: Nearly Overboard.]

Tom was looking at the stern compass, Allnutt being close to him. Mr.
Bingham and Mr. Freer were smoking, half-way between the quarter-deck
and the after-companion, where Captain Brown, Dr. Potter, Muriel, and
I, were standing. Captain Lecky, seated on a large coil of rope,
placed on the box of the rudder, was spinning Mabelle a yarn. A new
hand was steering, and just at the moment when an unusually big wave
overtook us, he unfortunately allowed the vessel to broach-to a
little. In a second the sea came pouring over the stern, above
Allnutt's head. The boy was nearly washed overboard, but he managed to
catch hold of the rail, and, with great presence of mind, stuck his
knees into the bulwarks. Kindred, our boatswain, seeing his danger,
rushed forward to save him, but was knocked down by the return wave,
from which he emerged gasping. The coil of rope, on which Captain
Lecky and Mabelle were seated, was completely floated by the sea.
Providentially, however, he had taken a double turn round his wrist
with a reefing point, and, throwing his other arm round Mabelle, held
on like grim death; otherwise nothing could have saved them. She was
perfectly self-possessed, and only said quietly, 'Hold on, Captain
Lecky, hold on!' to which he replied, 'All right.' I asked her
afterwards if she thought she was going overboard, and she answered,
'I did not _think_ at all, mamma, but felt sure we were gone.' Captain
Lecky, being accustomed to very large ships, had not in the least
realised how near we were to the water in our little vessel, and was
proportionately taken by surprise. All the rest of the party were
drenched, with the exception of Muriel, whom Captain Brown held high
above the water in his arms, and who lost no time in remarking, in the
midst of the general confusion, 'I'm not at all wet, I'm not.'
Happily, the children don't know what fear is. The maids, however,
were very frightened, as some of the sea had got down into the
nursery, and the skylights had to be screwed down. Our studding-sail
boom, too, broke with a loud crack when the ship broached-to, and the
jaws of the fore-boom gave way.

Soon after this adventure we all went to bed, full of thankfulness
that it had ended as well as it did; but, alas, not, so far as I was
concerned, to rest in peace. In about two hours I was awakened by a
tremendous weight of water suddenly descending upon me and flooding
the bed. I immediately sprang out, only to find myself in another pool
on the floor. It was pitch dark, and I could not think what had
happened; so I rushed on deck, and found that, the weather having
moderated a little, some kind sailor, knowing my love of fresh air,
had opened the skylight rather too soon; and one of the angry waves
had popped on board, deluging the cabin.

I got a light, and proceeded to mop up, as best I could, and then
endeavoured to find a dry place to sleep in. This, however, was no
easy task, for my own bed was drenched, and every other berth
occupied. The deck, too, was ankle-deep in water, as I found when I
tried to get across to the deck-house sofa. At last I lay down on the
floor, wrapped up in my ulster, and wedged between the foot stanchion
of our swing bed and the wardrobe athwart-ship; so that as the yacht
rolled heavily, my feet were often higher than my head. Consequently,
what sleep I snatched turned into nightmare, of which the fixed idea
was a broken head from the three hundredweight of lead at the bottom
of our bed, swinging wildly from side to side and up and down, as the
vessel rolled and pitched, suggesting all manner of accidents. When
morning came at last, the weather cleared a good deal, though the
breeze continued. All hands were soon busily employed in repairing
damages; and very picturesque the deck and rigging of the 'Sunbeam'
looked, with the various groups of men, occupied upon the ropes,
spars, and sails. Towards evening the wind fell light, and we had to
get up steam. The night was the first really warm one we had enjoyed,
and the stars shone out brightly. The sea, which had been of a lovely
blue colour during the day, showed a slight phosphorescence after
dark.

_Thursday, July 13th_.--When I went on deck, at half-past six, I found
a grey, steamy, calm morning, promising a very hot day, without wind.

About 10.30 a.m., the cry of 'Sail on the port beam!' caused general
excitement, and in a few minutes every telescope and glass in the ship
had been brought to bear upon the object which attracted our
attention, and which was soon pronounced to be a wreck. Orders were
given to starboard the helm, and to steer direct for the vessel; and
many were the conjectures hazarded, and the questions asked of the
fortunate holders of glasses. 'What is she?' 'Is there any one on
board?' 'Where does she come from?' 'Can you read her name?' 'Does she
look as if she had been long abandoned?' Soon we were near enough to
send a boat's crew on board, whilst we watched their movements
anxiously from the bridge. We could now read her name--the
'Carolina'--surmounted by a gorgeous yellow decoration on her stern.
She was of between two and three hundred tons burden, and was painted
a light blue, with a red streak. Beneath her white bowsprit the gaudy
image of a woman served as a figure-head. The two masts had been
snapped short off about three feet from the deck, and the bulwarks
were gone, only the covering board and stanchions remaining, so that
each wave washed over and through her. The roof and supports of the
deck-house and the companions were still left standing, but the sides
had disappeared, and the ship's deck was burst up in such a manner as
to remind one of a quail's back.

We saw the men on board poking about, apparently very pleased with
what they had found; and soon our boat returned to the yacht for some
breakers,[1] as the 'Carolina' had been laden with port wine and cork,
and the men wished to bring some of the former on board. I changed my
dress, and, putting on my sea boots, started for the wreck.

[Footnote 1: Small casks, used for carrying water in boats, frequently
spelt _barricos_, evidently from the time of the old Spanish
navigators.]

[Illustration: The Derelict 'Carolina' laden with Port Wine]

We found the men rather excited over their discovery. The wine must
have been _very_ new and _very_ strong, for the smell from it, as it
slopped about all over the deck, was almost enough to intoxicate
anybody. One pipe had already been emptied into the breakers and
barrels, and great efforts were made to get some of the casks out
whole; but this was found to be impossible, without devoting more time
to the operation than we chose to spare. The men managed to remove
three half-empty casks with their heads stove in, which they threw
overboard, but the full ones would have required special appliances to
raise them through the hatches. It proved exceedingly difficult to get
at the wine, which was stowed underneath the cork, and there was also
a quantity of cabin bulkheads and fittings floating about, under the
influence of the long swell of the Atlantic. It was a curious sight,
standing on the roof of the deck-house, to look into the hold, full of
floating bales of cork, barrels, and pieces of wood, and to watch the
sea surging up in every direction, through and over the deck, which
was level with the water's edge. I saw an excellent modern iron
cooking-stove washing about from side to side; but almost every other
moveable article, including spars and ropes, had apparently been
removed by previous boarders.

It would have delayed us too long to tow the vessel into the nearest
port, 375 miles distant, or we might have claimed the salvage money,
estimated by the experts at 1,500_l_. She was too low in the water for
it to be possible for us, with our limited appliances, to blow her up;
so we were obliged to leave her floating about as a derelict, a
fertile source of danger to all ships crossing her track. With her
buoyant cargo, and with the trade winds slowly wafting her to smoother
seas, it may probably be some years before she breaks up. I only hope
that no good ship may run full speed on to her, some dark night, for
the 'Carolina' would prove almost as formidable an obstacle as a
sunken rock.

Tom was now signalling for us to go on board again, and for a few
minutes I was rather afraid we should have had a little trouble in
getting the men off, as their excitement had not decreased; but after
a trifling delay and some rather rough play amongst themselves, they
became steady again, and we returned to the yacht with our various
prizes.

A 'Mother Carey's chicken' hovered round the wreck while we were on
board, and followed us to the 'Sunbeam;' and although a flat calm and
a heavy swell prevailed at the time, we all looked upon our visitor as
the harbinger of a breeze. In this instance, at least, the well-known
sailor's superstition was justified; for, before the evening, the wind
sprang up, and 'fires out and sails up' was the order of the day. We
were soon bowling merrily along at the rate of seven knots an hour,
while a clear starlight night and a heavy dew gave promise of a fine
morrow.

_Friday, July 14th_.--We still have a light wind, right aft,
accompanied by a heavy roll from the westward, which makes it
impossible to sit anywhere with comfort, and difficult even to read.
By 6 a.m. the sun had become very powerful, though its heat was
tempered by the breeze, which gradually increased throughout the day,
until, having set all our fore-and-aft canvas, as well as our square
sails, we glided steadily along, in delightful contrast to the uneasy
motion of the morning, and of the past few days. Under the
awning--with the most heavenly blue sky above, and the still darker
clear blue sea beneath, stretching away in gentle ripples as far as
the eye could reach--it was simply perfect.

Our little party get on extremely well together, though a week ago
they were strangers to each other. We are all so busy that we do not
see much of one another except at meals, and then we have plenty to
talk about. Captain Lecky imparts to us some of his valuable
information about scientific navigation and the law of storms, and he
and Tom and Captain Brown work hard at these subjects. Mr. Freer
follows in the same path; Mr. Bingham draws and reads; Dr. Potter
helps me to teach the children, who, I am happy to say, are as well as
possible. I read and write a great deal, and learn Spanish, so that
the days are all too short for what we have to do. The servants are
settling down well into their places, and the commissariat department
does great credit to the cooks and stewards. The maids get on
satisfactorily, but are a little nervous on rough nights. We hope not
to have many more just at present, for we are now approaching calmer
latitudes.

In the course of the day, whilst Tom and I were sitting in the stern,
the man at the wheel suddenly exclaimed, 'There's land on the port
bow.' We knew, from the distance we had run, that this could not be
the case, and after looking at it through the glasses, Tom pronounced
the supposed land to be a thick wall of fog, advancing towards us
_against_ the wind. Captain Brown and Captain Lecky came from below,
and hastened to get in the studding-sails, in anticipation of the
coming squall. In a few minutes we had lost our fair breeze and
brilliant sunshine, all our sails were taken flat aback, and we found
ourselves enveloped in a dense fog, which made it impossible for us to
see the length of the vessel. It was an extraordinary phenomenon.
Captain Lecky, who, in the course of his many voyages, has passed
within a few miles of this exact spot more than a hundred and fifty
times, had never seen anything in the least like it. As night came on
the fog increased, and the boats were prepared ready for lowering. Two
men went to the wheel, and two to the bows to look out, while an
officer was stationed on the bridge with steam-whistle and bell ready
for an emergency; so that, in case we ran into anything, or anything
ran into us, we should at least have the satisfaction of knowing that,
so far as we were concerned, it had all been done strictly according
to Act of Parliament.

_Saturday, July 15th_.--Between midnight and 4 a.m. the fog
disappeared, as suddenly as it had come on. We must have passed
through a wide belt of it. At 5.30 a.m., when Tom called me to see a
steamer go by, it was quite clear. The vessel was the 'Roman,' and she
passed so close to us that we made our number, and exchanged
salutations with the officers on the bridge.

Towards the afternoon a nice breeze sprang up, and we were able to
bank fires and sail.




CHAPTER II.

MADEIRA, TENERIFFE, AND CAPE DE VERDE ISLANDS.

    _Full many a green isle needs must be
    In this wide sea of misery,
    Or the mariner worn and wan
    Never thus could voyage on._

[Illustration: Our First View of Madeira]


_Sunday, July 16th_.--Porto Santo being visible on the port bow, a
quarter of a mile ahead, by 3.55 a.m. this morning, our three
navigators congratulated themselves and each other on the good
land-fall they had made.

It looks a curious little island, and is situated about thirty-five
miles north-east of Madeira, with a high peak in the centre, of which
we could only see the extreme point, appearing above the clouds.

It is interesting to know that it was from his observation of the
drift-wood and debris washed on to the eastern shore that Columbus,
who had married the daughter of the Governor of Porto Santo, derived
his first impressions of the existence of the New World. Here it was
that he first realised there might possibly be a large and unknown
country to the westward; here it was that he first conceived the
project of exploring the hitherto unknown ocean and of discovering
what new countries might bound its western shores.

An hour later we saw Fora and its light, at the extreme east of
Madeira, and could soon distinguish the mountains in the centre of the
latter island. As we rapidly approached the land, the beauty of the
scenery became more fully apparent. A mass of dark purple volcanic
rocks, clothed on the top with the richest vegetation, with patches of
all sorts of colour on their sides, rises boldly from the sea. There
are several small detached rocks, and one curious pointed little
island, with an arch right through the middle of it, rather like the
Perce Rock on the coast of Nova Scotia. We steamed slowly along the
east coast, passing many pretty hamlets, nestled in bays or perched on
the side of the hills, and observing how every possible nook and
corner seemed to be terraced and cultivated. Sugar-canes, Indian corn,
vines, and many varieties of tropical and semi-tropical plants, grow
luxuriantly in this lovely climate. Nearly all the cottages in the
island are inhabited by a simple people, many of whom have never left
their native villages, even to look at the magnificent view from the
top of the surrounding mountains, or to gaze on the sea, by which they
are encompassed.

We dropped our anchor in the bay of Funchal at about twelve o'clock,
and before breakfast was over found ourselves surrounded by a perfect
flotilla of boats, though none of them dared approach very near until
the health-officer had come alongside and pronounced us free from
infection. At this moment all are complaining much of the heat, which
since yesterday has been very great, and is caused by the wind called
'Este,' blowing direct from the African deserts. It was 79 deg. in the
coolest place on board, and 84 deg. on shore in the shade, in the middle
of the day.

The African mail steamer, 'Ethiopia,' last from Bonny, West Coast of
Africa, whence she arrived the day before yesterday, was lying in the
bay, and the children went on board with some of our party to see her
cargo of monkeys, parrots, and pineapples. The result was an
importation of five parrots on board the 'Sunbeam;' but the monkeys
were too big for us. Captain Dane, who paid us a return visit, said
that the temperature here appeared quite cool to him, as for the last
few weeks his thermometer had varied from 82 deg. to 96 deg. in the shade.

We had service at 4 p.m., and at 5 p.m. went ashore in a native boat,
furnished with bilge pieces, to keep her straight when beached, and to
avoid the surf, for it was too rough for our own boats. At the water's
edge a curious sort of double sleigh, drawn by two oxen, was waiting.
Into this we stepped, setting off with considerable rapidity up the
steep shingly beach, under a beautiful row of trees, to the 'Praca,'
where the greater portion of the population were walking up and down,
or sitting under the shade of the magnolias. These plants here attain
the size of forest-trees, and their large white wax-like flowers shed
a most delightful fragrance on the evening air. There were graceful
pepper vines too, and a great variety of trees only known to us in
England in the form of small shrubs. This being a festival day, the
streets were crowded with people from town and country, in their
holiday attire. The door-posts and balconies of the houses were
wreathed with flowers, the designs in many cases being very pretty.
One arcade in particular was quite lovely, with arches made of double
red geranium, mixed with the feathery-looking pepper leaves, while the
uprights were covered with amaryllis and white arum lilies. The
streets were strewn with roses and branches of myrtle, which, bruised
by the feet of the passers-by and the runners of the bullock sleigh,
emitted a delicious aromatic odour.

The trellises in the gardens seem overgrown with stephanotis, mauve
and purple passion-flowers, and all kinds of rare creepers, the purple
and white hibiscus shoots up some fourteen to sixteen feet in height;
bananas, full of fruit and flower, strelitzias, heliotrope, geraniums,
and pelargoniums, bloom all around in large shrubs, mixed with palms
and mimosas of every variety; and the whole formed such an enchanting
picture that we were loth to tear ourselves away.

A ride of about twenty minutes in the bullock sleigh, up a steep hill,
by the side of a rocky torrent, whose banks were overgrown with
caladiums and vines, brought us to our destination, Til, whence we had
a splendid view of the town and bay stretching beneath us. During the
ascent we passed several cottages, whose inhabitants stood airing
themselves on the threshold after the great heat of the day, and
through the open doorways we occasionally got a peep into the gardens
beyond, full of bright flowers and luxuriant with vines, fig-trees,
and bananas. As we sat in the terrace garden at Til we enjoyed the
sweet scent of the flowers we could no longer see, and listened to the
cool splash of the water in the fountain below; whilst Allnutt, with
unceasing energy, searched amongst the bushes for moths, of which he
found a large number.

We jogged down the hill a great deal faster than we had come up,
stopping only for a short time in the now more than ever crowded
'Praca,' to listen to one or two airs played by the Portuguese band,
before we got back to the yacht at about half-past ten.

Next morning we were off to the fish-market by seven o'clock, but it
was not a good time for our visit, as there had been no moon on the
previous night; and, though there were fish of various kinds, saw
nothing specially worthy of notice. The picturesque costumes of the
people were, however, interesting. We afterwards went to the
fruit-market, though it was not specially worth seeing, for most of
the fruit and vegetables are brought in boats from villages on the
sea-shore; and, as it is necessary to wait until the sea-breeze
springs up, they do not arrive until midday. After our walk the
children and I went down to the beach and bathed, taking care not to
go too far out on account of the sharks, of which we had been warned.
We undressed and dressed in tents, not unlike clothes-horses, with a
bit of matting thrown over them, in which the heat was intense. The
beach is very steep; and as one gets out of one's depth immediately,
indifferent swimmers put on a couple of bladders--which stick out
behind their backs and produce a strange effect--or else take a
bathing-man into the water with them. I preferred the latter course;
and we all had a pleasant bathe.

[Illustration: Fish Carrier]

The natives seem almost amphibious in their habits, and the yacht is
surrounded all day by boats full of small boys, who will dive to any
depth for sixpence, a dozen of them spluttering and fighting for the
coin in the water at the same time. They will go down on one side of
the yacht too, and bob up on the other, almost before you have time to
run across the deck to witness their reappearance.

The Loo Rock, with its old fortress, close to our anchorage, forms a
picturesque object; and the scene from the yacht, enlivened by the
presence of numerous market-boats, laden with fruit and vegetables, is
very pretty. We lie about 150 yards from the shore, just under Mr.
Danero's quinta. The cliff just here is overhung with bougainvillaeas,
geraniums, fuchsias, aloes, prickly pears, and other flowers, which
grow luxuriantly quite down to the water's edge, wherever they can
contrive to find a root-hold.

After five o'clock tea we rode up the Mount and through the woods on
horseback, along a road gay with masses of wild geranium, hydrangea,
amaryllis, and fuchsia. We dismounted at a lovely place, which
contains a large number of rare trees and plants, brought from all
parts of the world. Here were enormous camellias, as well as purple,
red, and white azaleas, Guernsey lilies, all growing in the greatest
profusion.

Our descent of the Mount, by means of a form of conveyance commonly
used on the island, was very amusing. At the summit we found
basket-work sleighs, each constructed to hold two people, and attended
by a couple of men, lashed together. Into these we stepped, and were
immediately pushed down the hill at a tremendous pace. The gliding
motion is delightful, and was altogether a novelty to us. The men
manage the sleighs with great skill, steering them in the most
wonderful manner round the sharp angles in the zigzag road, and making
use of their bare feet as brakes when necessary. The turns were
occasionally so abrupt, that it seemed almost impossible that we could
avoid being upset; but we reached the bottom quite safely. The
children were especially delighted with the trip, and indeed we all
enjoyed it immensely. The only danger is the risk of fire from the
friction of the steel runners against the gravel road.

After paying a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Blandy, whose house is
beautifully situated, we dined at the hotel, and afterwards sat in
the lovely semi-tropical garden until it was time to go on board to
bed.

_Tuesday, July 18th_.--We were called at 4.30 a.m., and went ashore
soon after six to meet some friends, with whom we had arranged to ride
up to the Gran Corral, and to breakfast there, 5,000 feet above the
level of the sea.

It soon became evident that the time we had selected for landing was
the fashionable bathing hour. In fact, it required some skill on our
part to keep the boat clear of the crowds of people of both sexes and
all ages, who were taking their morning dip. It was most absurd to see
entire families, from the bald-headed and spectacled grandfather to
the baby who could scarcely walk, all disporting themselves in the
water together, many of them supported by the very inelegant-looking
bladders I have mentioned. There was a little delay in mounting our
horses, under the shade of the fig-trees; but when we were once off, a
party of eleven, the cavalcade became quite formidable. As we
clattered up the paved streets, between vineyard and garden walls,
'curiosity opened her lattice,' on more than one occasion, to
ascertain the cause of the unwonted commotion. The views on our way,
as we sometimes climbed a steep ascent or descended a deep ravine,
were very varied, but always beautiful. About half-way up we stopped
to rest under a delightful trellis of vines, by the side of a rushing
mountain stream, bordered with ferns; then, leaving the vineyards and
gardens behind us, we passed through forests of shady Spanish chestnut
trees, beneath which stretched the luxurious greensward.

At ten o'clock we quitted this grateful shade, and arrived at the neck
of the pass, facing the Gran Corral, where we had to make our choice
of ascending a conical hill, on our left, or the Torrinhas Peak, on
our right. The latter was chosen, as promising the better view,
although it was rather farther off, so we were accordingly seized
upon by some of the crowd of peasants who surrounded us, and who at
once proceeded to push and pull us up a steep slippery grass slope,
interspersed with large boulders. The view from the top, looking down
a sheer precipice of some 1,500 feet in depth into the valley below,
was lovely. Quite at the bottom, amid the numerous ravines and small
spurs of rocks by which the valley is intersected, we could
distinguish some small patches of cultivated ground. Above our heads
towered the jagged crests of the highest peaks, Pico Ruivo and others,
which we had already seen from the yacht, when we first sighted the
island.

A pleasant walk over some grassy slopes, and two more hard scrambles,
took us to the summit of the Torrinhas Peak; but the charming and
extensive view towards Camara de Lobos, and the bay and town of
Funchal, was an ample reward for all our trouble. It did not take us
long to get back to the welcome shade of the chestnut trees, for we
were all ravenously hungry, it being now eleven o'clock. But, alas!
breakfast had not arrived: so we had no resource but to mount our
horses again and ride down to meet it. Mr. Miles, of the hotel, had
not kept his word; he had promised that our provisions should be sent
up to us by nine o'clock, and it was midday before we met the men
carrying the hampers on their heads. There was now nothing for it but
to organise a picnic on the terrace of Mr. Veitch's deserted villa,
beneath the shade of camellia, fuchsia, myrtle, magnolia, and
pepper-trees, from whence we could also enjoy the fine view of the
fertile valley beneath us and the blue sea sparkling beyond.

_Wednesday, July 19th_.--We were so tired after our exertions of
yesterday, that it was nine o'clock before we all mustered for our
morning swim, which I think we enjoyed the more from the fact of our
having previously been prevented by the sharks, or rather by the
rumour of sharks.

We were engaged to lunch at Mr. and Mrs. Blandy's, but I was so weary
that I did not go ashore until about six o'clock in the evening, and
then I went first to the English cemetery, which is very prettily laid
out and well kept. The various paths are shaded by pepper-trees,
entwined with bougainvillaea, while in many places the railings are
completely covered by long trailing masses of stephanotis in full
bloom. Some of the inscriptions on the tombs are extremely touching,
and it is sad to see, as is almost always the case in places much
resorted to by invalids, how large a proportion of those who lie
buried here have been cut off in the very flower of their youth.
Indeed, the residents at Madeira complain that it is a melancholy
drawback to the charms of this beautiful island, that the friendship
frequently formed between them and people who come hither in search of
health, is in so many cases brought to an early and sad termination.
Having seen and admired Mrs. Foljambe's charming garden by daylight,
we returned on board to receive some friends. Unfortunately they were
not very good sailors, and, out of our party of twenty, one lady had
to go ashore at once, and another before dinner was over.

They all admired the yacht very much, particularly the various cozy
corners in the deck-house. It was a lovely night; and after the
departure of our guests, at about ten o'clock, we steamed out of the
bay, where we found a nice light breeze, which enabled us to sail.

[Illustration: A Cozy Corner.]

_Thursday, July 20th_.--All to-day has been taken up in arranging our
photographs, journals, &c. &c., and in preparing for our visit to
Teneriffe. About twelve o'clock the wind fell light and we tried
fishing, but without success, though several bonitos or flying-fish
were seen. It was very hot, and it seemed quite a relief when, at
eight o'clock in the evening, we began steaming, thus creating a
breeze for ourselves.

_Friday, July 21st_.--We all rose early, and were full of excitement
to catch the first glimpse of the famous Peak of Teneriffe. There was
a nice breeze from the north-east, the true trade wind, we hope, which
ought to carry us down nearly to the Line. The morning being rather
hazy, it was quite ten o'clock before we saw the Peak, towering above
the clouds, right ahead, about fifty-nine miles off. As we approached,
it appeared less perpendicular than we had expected, or than it is
generally represented in pictures. The other mountains too, in the
centre of the island, from the midst of which it rises, are so very
lofty that, in spite of its conical sugar-loaf top, it is difficult at
first to realise that the Peak is 12,180 feet high.

We dropped anchor under its shadow in the harbour of Orotava in
preference to the capital, Santa Cruz, both on account of its being a
healthier place, and also in order to be nearer to the Peak, which we
wished to ascend.

The heat having made the rest of our party rather lazy, Captain Lecky
and I volunteered to go on shore to see the Vice-Consul, Mr. Goodall,
and try to make arrangements for our expedition. It was only 2 p.m.,
and very hot work, walking through the deserted streets, but luckily
we had not far to go, and the house was nice and cool when we got
there. Mr. Goodall sent off at once for a carriage, despatching a
messenger also to the mountains for horses and guides, which there was
some difficulty in obtaining at such short notice.

Having organised the expedition we re-embarked to dine on board the
yacht, and I went to bed at seven, to be called again, however, at
half-past ten o'clock. After a light supper, we landed and went to the
Vice-Consul's arriving there exactly at midnight. But no horses were
forthcoming, so we lay down on our rugs in the patio, and endeavoured
to sleep, as we knew we should require all our strength for the
expedition before us.

There were sundry false alarms of a start, as the horses arrived by
ones and twos from the neighbouring villages, accompanied by their
respective owners. By two o'clock all our steeds, twelve in number,
had assembled, and in another quarter of an hour we were leaving the
town by a steep stony path, bordered by low walls. There was no moon,
and for the first two hours it was very dark. At the end of that time
we could see the first glimmer of dawn, and were shortly afterwards
able to distinguish each other and to observe the beautiful view which
lay below us as we wended our way up and up between small patches of
cultivation. Soon we climbed above the clouds, which presented a most
curious appearance as we looked down upon them. The strata through
which we had passed was so dense and so white, that it looked exactly
like an enormous glacier, covered with fresh fallen snow, extending
for miles and miles; while the projecting tops of the other Canary
Islands appeared only like great solitary rocks.

The sun had already become very oppressive, and at half-past seven we
stopped to breakfast and to water the horses. Half-past eight found us
in the saddle again, and we commenced to traverse a dreary plain of
yellowish white pumice-stone, interspersed with huge blocks of
obsidian, thrown from the mouth of the volcano. At first the monotony
of the scene was relieved by large bushes of yellow broom in full
flower, and still larger bushes of the beautiful _Retama blanca_,
quite covered with lovely white bloom, scenting the air with its
delicious fragrance, and resembling huge tufts of feathers, eight or
nine feet high. As we proceeded, however, we left all traces of
vegetation behind us. It was like the Great Sahara. On every side a
vast expanse of yellow pumice-stone sand spread around us, an
occasional block of rock sticking up here and there, and looking as if
it had indeed been fused in a mighty furnace. By half-past ten we had
reached the 'Estancia de los Ingleses,' 9,639 feet above the level of
the sea, where the baggage and some of the horses had to be left
behind, the saddles being transferred to mules for the very steep
climb before us. After a drink of water all round, we started again,
and commenced the ascent of the almost perpendicular stream of lava
and stone, which forms the only practicable route to the top. Our poor
beasts were only able to go a few paces at a time without stopping to
regain their breath. The loose ashes and lava fortunately gave them a
good foothold, or it would have been quite impossible for them to get
along at all. One was only encouraged to proceed by the sight of one's
friends above, looking like flies clinging to the face of a wall. The
road, if such it can be called, ran in zigzags, each of which was
about the length of two horses, so that we were in turns one above
another. There were a few slips and slides and tumbles, but no
important casualties; and in about an hour and a half we had reached
the 'Alta Vista,' a tiny plateau, where the horses were to be left.

The expedition so far had been such a fatiguing one, and the heat was
so great, that the children and I decided to remain here, and to let
the gentlemen proceed alone to the summit of the Peak. We tried to
find some shade, but the sun was so immediately above us that this was
almost an impossibility. However, we managed to squeeze ourselves
under some slightly overhanging rocks, and I took some photographs
while the children slept. The guides soon returned with water-barrels
full of ice, procured from a cavern above, where there is a stream of
water constantly running; and nothing could have been more grateful
and refreshing.

It was more than three hours before Tom and Captain Lecky reappeared,
to be soon followed by the rest of the party. Whilst they rested and
refreshed themselves with ice, they described the ascent as fatiguing
in the extreme, in fact, almost an impossibility for a lady. First
they had scrambled over huge blocks of rough lava to the tiny plain of
the Rambleta, 11,466 feet above the level of the sea, after which they
had to climb up the cone itself, 530 feet in height, and sloping at an
angle of 44 degrees. It is composed of ashes and calcined chalk, into
which their feet sank, while, for every two steps they made forwards
and upwards, they slipped one backwards. But those who reached the top
were rewarded for their exertions by a glorious view, and by the
wonderful appearance of the summit of the Peak. The ground beneath
their feet was hot, while sulphurous vapours and smoke issued from
various small fissures around them, though there has been no actual
eruption from this crater of the volcano since 1704. They brought down
with them a beautiful piece of calcined chalk, covered with crystals
of sulphur and arsenic, and some other specimens. Parched and dry as
the ground looked where I was resting, a few grains of barley, dropped
by mules on the occasion of a previous visit, had taken root and had
grown up into ear; and there were also a few roots of a sort of
dog-violet, showing its delicate lavender-coloured flowers 11,000 feet
above the sea, and far beyond the level of any other vegetation.

It was impossible to ride down to the spot where we had left the
baggage animals, and the descent was consequently very fatiguing, and
even painful. At every step our feet sank into a mass of loose scoriae
and ashes; and so we went slipping, sliding, and stumbling along,
sometimes running against a rock, and sometimes nearly pitching
forward on our faces. All this too beneath a blazing sun, with the
thermometer at 78 deg., and not a vestige of shade. At last Tom and I
reached the bottom, where, after partaking of luncheon and draughts of
quinine, we lay down under the shadow of a great rock to recruit our
weary frames.

Refreshed by our meal, we started at six o'clock on our return
journey, and went down a good deal faster than we came up. Before the
end of the pumice-stone or Retama plains had been reached, it was
nearly dark. Sundry small accidents occurring to stirrup-leathers,
bridles, and girths--for the saddlery was not of the best
description--delayed us slightly, and as Tom, Dr. Potter, Allnutt, and
the guide had got on ahead, we soon lost sight of them. After an
interval of uncertainty, the other guides confessed that they did not
know the way back in the dark. This was not pleasant, for the roads
were terrible, and during the whole of our journey up, from the port
to the Peak, we had met only four people in all--two goatherds with
their flocks, and two 'neveros,' bringing down ice to the town. There
was therefore not much chance of gaining information from any one on
our way down. We wandered about among low bushes, down watercourses,
and over rocks for a long time. Horns were blown, and other means of
attracting attention were tried; first one and then another of the
party meanwhile coming more or less to grief. My good little horse
fell down three times, though we did not part company, and once he
went up a steep bank by mistake, instead of going down a very nasty
watercourse, which I do not wonder at his objecting to. I managed to
jump off in time, and so no harm was done; but it was rather anxious
work.

About ten o'clock we saw a light in the distance, and with much
shouting woke up the inhabitants of the cottage whence it proceeded,
promising to reward them liberally if they would only show us our way
back. Three of them consented to do this, and provided themselves
accordingly with pine-torches, wrapped round with bracken and leaves.
One, a very fine man, dressed in white, with his arm extended above
his head, bearing the light, led the way; another walked in front of
my horse, while the third brought up the rear. They conducted us down
the most frightfully steep paths until we had descended beneath the
clouds, when the light from our torches threw our shadows in gigantic
form upon the mists above, reminding us of the legend of the 'Spectre
of the Brocken.' At last the torches began to go out, one by one, and
just as the last light was expiring we arrived at a small village,
where we of course found that everybody was asleep. After some delay,
during which Mabelle and I were so tired that we lay down in the
street to rest, more torches were procured and a fresh guide, who led
us into the comparatively good path towards Puerto Orotava. Finally,
half an hour after midnight, we arrived at the house of the
Vice-Consul, who had provided refreshments for us, and whose nephew
was still very kindly sitting up awaiting our return. But we were too
tired to do anything but go straight on board the yacht, where, after
some supper and champagne, we were indeed glad to retire to our
berths. This was at 3.30 a.m., exactly twenty-nine hours since we had
been called on Friday night.

It is certainly too long an expedition to be performed in one day.
Tents should be taken, and arrangements made for camping out for one,
if not two, nights; but, in the case of such a large party as ours,
this would have been a great business, as everything must be carried
to so great a height, up such steep places, and over such bad roads.
Still, there are so many objects and places of interest, not only on,
but around, the Peak, that it is a pity to see them only when hurried
and fatigued.

_Sunday, July 23rd_.--Orders had been given not to call us nor to wash
decks, and it was consequently half-past ten before any one awoke, and
midday before the first of our party put in an appearance on deck.

Long before this, the 'Sunbeam' had been inundated with visitors from
the shore. We had given a general invitation to the friends of the
Vice-Consul to come and see the yacht; and they accordingly arrived in
due course, accompanied in many cases by a large circle of
acquaintances. Those who came first were conducted below and all over
the vessel, but the number ultimately became so great that, in
self-defence, we were obliged to limit their wanderings to the deck,
opening the skylights wide, however, to enable them to see as much as
possible of the saloon and cabins.

From breakfast-time until prayers, at three o'clock, when the yacht
was closed for an hour, there was a constant stream of visitors from
the shore. It was a great nuisance; but still it seemed unkind to
refuse to allow them to see what they had never seen before, and might
possibly never have an opportunity of seeing again. All steamers and
sailing-ships, as a rule, go to Santa Cruz; and the fame of our vessel
having been spread abroad by our visitors of Friday, many of the poor
people had come from villages far away over the mountains. We could
not help feeling a certain respect for the determined way in which
physical infirmity was mastered by curiosity for, though many
experienced very serious inconvenience from the motion of the vessel,
they still persevered in their examination.

About five o'clock we went ashore ourselves, and drove up to Villa
Orotava. The wide road is macadamised and marked with kilometre
stones, and is planted on either side with pepper-trees, plane-trees,
and the _Eucalyptus globulus_, which has grown 35 metres, or 115 feet,
in seven years. The hedges are formed of blue plumbago, scarlet
geranium, yellow acacia, lavender-coloured heliotrope, white jasmine,
and pink and white roses.

After driving a few miles, we turned down an old paved road towards
the sea, and, by dint of a considerable amount of shaking, arrived at
the celebrated Botanical Gardens, mentioned by Humboldt and others. We
passed through a small house, with a fine dragon-tree on either side,
and entered the gardens, where we found a valuable collection of trees
and shrubs of almost every known species. The kind and courteous
Curator, Don Hermann Wildgaret, accompanied us, and explained the
peculiarities of the many interesting plants, from Europe, Asia,
Africa, America, Australia, New Zealand, and the various islands of
the North and South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The climate of
Teneriffe is so equable, that the island forms a true garden of
acclimatisation for the vegetable productions of the various countries
of the world; by the judicious expenditure of a little more money,
this establishment might be made an important means of introducing to
Europe many new and valuable plants. At present the annual income is
5,000 francs, the salary of the Curator being 1,000 francs.

A rough drive over paved roads, commanding extensive views of sea and
rocks, and of some palm-trees on a promontory in the distance, brought
us, at about seven o'clock, to the boat, which was waiting our return.
We arrived in due course on board the 'Sunbeam,' laden with bouquets
of the choicest flowers, and soon after dinner we all retired to bed,
not having yet recovered from the fatigues of yesterday.

_Monday, July 24th_.--What one gains in the beauty and abundance of
vegetable life here, one loses in its rapid and premature decay. Fruit
gathered in the morning is scarcely fit to eat at night, and the
flowers brought on board yesterday evening were dead to-day at 4.30
a.m.; whilst some of the roses we brought from Cowes lasted until we
reached Madeira, though it must be owned so many fell to pieces that
my cabin used to be daily swept with rose-leaves instead of
tea-leaves.

We went ashore soon after six, and drove straight to the garden of the
Marquis de Sonzal, where there is a beautiful palm-tree, 101 feet
high, the remains of an enormous dragon-tree, old even in the
fifteenth century, besides hedges of myrtle, jasmine, and clematis,
and flowers of every description in full bloom. The dragon-tree is a
species of dracaena, and looks rather like a gigantic candelabra,
composed of a number of yuccas, perched on the top of a gnarled and
somewhat deformed stem, half palm half cactus. Another beautiful
garden was next visited, belonging to the Marquis de la Candia, who
received us and showed us his coffee and plantains in full growth, as
well as a magnificent Spanish chestnut-tree, coeval with the
dragon-tree. Out of one of its almost decayed branches a so-called
young tree was growing, but it would have been thought very
respectable and middle-aged in any other locality.

Every one here, as in Madeira, has been more or less ruined by the
failure of the vines. Most of the large landed proprietors have left
their estates to take care of themselves; and the peasants, for the
last few years, have been emigrating by hundreds to Caraccas, in
Venezuela. Things are, however, beginning to look up a little now. The
cultivation of cochineal appears to succeed, though the price is low;
coffee answers well; and permission has been obtained from the Spanish
Government to grow tobacco, accompanied by a promise to purchase, at
a certain fixed rate, all that can be produced. Still, people talk of
the Island of Teneriffe as something very different now from what it
was twenty-five or thirty years ago, both as regards the number of its
inhabitants and the activity of its commerce, and mourn over 'the good
old times;'--a custom I have remarked in many other places!

[Illustration: A Palm-tree in a Garden, Orotava, Teneriffe.]

The Marquis de la Candia and Don Hermann Wildgaret returned on board
with us to breakfast. The anchor had been weighed, and the 'Sunbeam'
was slowly steaming up and down, waiting for us. The stream of
visitors had been as great and as constant as ever during our absence,
in spite of the heavy roll of the sea, and the deck seemed quite
covered with baskets of flowers and fruit, kindly sent on board by the
people who had been over the yacht the day before. Amongst the latest
arrivals were some very handsome Spanish ladies, beautifully dressed
in black, with mantillas, each of whom was accompanied by a young man
carrying a basin. It must, I fear, be confessed that this was rather a
trial to the gravity of all on board. It certainly was an instance of
the pursuit of knowledge, or the gratification of curiosity, under
considerable difficulties.

Immediately after breakfast, our friends bade us adieu, and went
ashore in the shore-boat, while we steamed along the north side of the
island, past the splendid cliffs of Buenavista, rising 2,000 feet
sheer from the sea, to Cape Teno, the extreme western point of
Teneriffe. In the distance we could see the Great Canary, Palma, and
Hierro, and soon passed close to the rocky island of Gomera. Here,
too, the dark cliffs, of volcanic form and origin, are magnificent,
and as we were almost becalmed by the high land whilst we sailed along
the north shore of the island, we had ample opportunities of admiring
its rugged beauty. During the night we approached Palma, another large
island of the Canary group, containing one of the most remarkable
_calderas_, or large basins, formed by volcanic action in the world.




CHAPTER III.


PALMA TO RIO DE JANEIRO.

    _A wet sheet and a flowing sea,_
    _A wind that follows fast_
    _And fills the white and rustling sail_
    _And bends the gallant mast._

_Tuesday, July 25th_.--There was not much wind during the night, and
Palma was consequently still visible when I came on deck at daybreak.
We had a light fair wind in the morning, accompanied by a heavy swell,
which caused us to roll so much that I found it very difficult to do
anything. Several shoals of flying fish skimmed past us along the
surface of the water, occasionally rising to a considerable height
above it. Their beautiful wings, glittering in the bright sunlight,
looked like delicate silver filigree-work. In the night one flew on
board, only to be preserved in spirits by Dr. Potter.

_Saturday, July 29th_.--For the last three days we have been going on
quietly with fair, warm weather, but a nice fresh breeze sprang up
to-day. At midday the sun was so exactly vertical over our heads, that
it was literally possible to stand under the shadow of one's own
hatbrim, and be sheltered all round. Our navigators experienced
considerable difficulty in taking their noon-tide observations, as the
sun appeared to dodge about in every direction.

About two o'clock we made the high land of St. Antonio, one of the
Cape de Verde Islands, and, soon afterwards, the lower land of St
Vincent. Some doubt existing as to the prevalence of fever at the
latter place, Tom decided not to stop there, for fear of having to
undergo quarantine at Rio de Janeiro. We therefore shortened sail, and
passed slowly between the islands to the anchorage beyond the Bird
Rock. This is a very small island, of perfectly conical form, covered
with thousands of sea-fowl, who live here undisturbed by any other
inhabitants. The town of Porto Grande, with its rows of white houses
on the sea-shore, at the base of the rocky crags, looked clean and
comfortable in the evening light. During the day, however, it must be
a hot and glaring place, for there are no trees to afford shade, nor,
indeed, any kind of vegetation. The water, too, is bad, and all
supplies for passing steamers are brought from the other islands, at
very uncertain intervals. It is still a great coaling-station, though
not so much used as it was formerly, before the opening of the Suez
Canal. The ships come out with coal, and go away in ballast (there is
nothing else to be had here), procured from a point near the town, to
Rio or elsewhere, where they pick up their homeward cargo of fruit,
&c.

The absence of twilight in these latitudes, both at dawn and sunset,
is certainly very remarkable. This morning, at four o'clock, the stars
were shining brightly; ten minutes later the day had commenced to
break; and at half-past four the sun had risen above the horizon, and
was gilding the surrounding mountain tops.

_Sunday, July 30th_.--About 10 a.m. we were off Tarafal Bay--a most
hopeless-looking place for supplies. High rocky mountains, sandy
slopes, and black volcanic beach, composed a scene of arid desolation,
in the midst of which was situated one small white house, with four
windows and a thatched roof, surrounded by a little green patch of
sugar-canes and cocoa-nut palms.

But the result proved the sageness of the advice contained in the old
proverb, not to trust to appearances only; for, whilst we were at
breakfast, Mr. Martinez, the son of the owner of the one whitewashed
cottage to be seen, came on board. To our surprise, he spoke English
extremely well, and promised us all sorts of supplies, if we could
wait until three o'clock in the afternoon. Having agreed to do this,
we shortly afterwards went ashore in his boat, with a crew of more
than half-naked negroes, and a hot row of about three miles brought us
to the shore, where, after some little difficulty, we succeeded in
effecting a landing. Our feet immediately sank into the hot black
sand, composed entirely of volcanic deposits and small pieces, or
rather grains, of amber, through which we had a fatiguing walk until
we reached some palm-trees, shading a little pool of water. Here we
left some of the men, with instructions to fill the breakers they had
brought with them, while we walked on along the beach, past the
remains of an English schooner that caught fire not far from this
island, and was run ashore by her captain, thirty years ago. Her iron
anchor, chain, and wheel still remained, together with two queer
little iron cannon, which I should have much liked to carry off as a
memorial of our visit. We then turned up a narrow shadeless path,
bordered by stone walls, leading away from the sea, past a sugar-mill
and a ruin. A few almond, castor-oil, and fig trees were growing
amongst the sugar-canes, and as we mounted the hill we could see some
thirty round straw huts, like beehives, on the sandy slopes beside the
little stream. An abrupt turn in the mountains, amid which, at a
distance of three leagues, this tiny river takes its rise, hides it
from the sea, so that the narrow valley which it fertilises looks like
a small oasis in the desert of rocks and sand.

Mr. Martinez's house, where we sat for some time, and beneath the
windows of which the one stream of the island runs, was comparatively
cool. Outside, the negro washerwomen were busy washing clothes in large
turtle-shell tubs, assisted, or hindered, by the 'washerwoman-bird,'
a kind of white crane, who appeared quite tame, playing about just
like a kitten, pecking at the clothes or the women's feet, and
then running away and hiding behind a tree. The stream was full of
water-cresses, while the burnt-up little garden contained an abundance
of beautiful flowers. There were scarlet and yellow mimosas, of many
kinds, combining every shade of exquisite green velvety foliage,
alpinias, with pink, waxy flowers and crimson and gold centres,
oleanders, begonias, hibiscus, allamandas, and arum and other lilies.

[Illustration: Tarafal Bay, St. Antonio.]

Mr. Bingham sketched, I took some photographs, Dr. Potter and the
children caught butterflies, and the rest of our party wandered about.
Every five minutes a negro arrived with a portion of our supplies. One
brought a sheep, another a milch-goat for baby, while the rest
contributed, severally, a couple of cocoa-nuts, a papaya, three
mangoes, a few water-cresses, a sack of sweet potatoes, a bottle of
milk, three or four quinces, a bunch of bananas, a little honey,
half-a-dozen cabbages, some veal and pork, and so on; until it
appeared as if every little garden on either side of the three leagues
of stream must have yielded up its entire produce, and we had
accumulated sacks full of cocoa-nuts and potatoes, hundreds of eggs,
and dozens of chickens and ducks. It was very amusing to see the
things arrive. They were brought in by people varying in colour from
dark yellow to the blackest ebony, and ranging in size from fine
stalwart men, over six feet in height, to tiny little blackies of
about three feet six, with curly hair, snowy teeth, and mischievous,
beady eyes. The arrival of the provision boat and the transfer of its
miscellaneous cargo to the 'Sunbeam' was quite an amusing sight. The
pretty black goat and the sheep bleated, the fowls cackled, and the
ducks quacked, while the negroes chatted and laughed as they handed
and hauled on board fish of all shapes and sizes, bunches of bananas,
piles of cocoa-nuts, sacks of potatoes, and many other things,
finishing up with a tiny black boy, about three years old, whom I
think they would rather have liked to leave behind with us, if we
would only have taken him. The fish proved excellent, though some of
them really seemed almost too pretty to eat. A brilliant gold fish,
weighing about three pounds, and something like a grey mullet in
flavour, was perhaps the best. The prices were very curious. Chickens
a shilling each, ducks five shillings, goats thirty shillings, and
sheep ten shillings. Vegetables, fruit, and flowers were extremely
cheap; but the charge for water, fetched from the spring in our own
breakers by our own crew, with but little assistance from four or five
negroes, was 3_l_. 18_s_. However, as ours is the only yacht, with one
exception, that has ever visited this island, there was nothing for it
except to pay the bill without demur.

I never in my life felt so warm as I did to-day on shore, though the
inhabitants say it will not be _really_ hot for two months yet; I
never before saw cocoa-nut palms growing; and I never tasted a mango
until this morning; so I have experienced three new sensations in one
day.

The night was fearfully close, muggy, and thundery, the temperature in
the cabins being 89 deg., in spite of open sky-lights and port-holes.
Generally speaking, it has not hitherto been as hot as we expected,
especially on board the yacht itself. On deck there is almost always a
nice breeze, but below it is certainly warm.

_Tuesday, August 1st_.--Yesterday we were still under sail, but to-day
it has been necessary to steam, for the wind has fallen too light.
There was a heavy roll from the south, and the weather continued hot
and oppressive. In the cabins the thermometer stood at 89 deg. during the
whole of the night, in spite of all our efforts to improve the
temperature. We therefore put three of the children in the deck-house
to sleep, opening the doors and windows; and some of the rest of our
party slept on deck in hammocks. In anticipation of the heavy
equatorial rains, which Captain Lecky had predicted might commence
to-day, we had had the awnings put up; a fortunate piece of foresight,
for, before midnight, the rain came down in torrents.

_Wednesday, August 2nd_.--At daybreak the sky was covered with heavy
black clouds, and the atmosphere was as hot and muggy as ever. We had
a great deal of rain during the day, and took advantage of the
opportunity to fill every available tub, bucket, and basin, to say
nothing of the awnings. It came down in such sheets that mackintoshes
were comparatively useless, and we had soon filled our seventeen
breakers, the cistern, and the boats, from which we had removed the
covers, with very good, though somewhat dirty, washing water.

_Friday, August 4th_.--We were only 289 miles off Sierra Leone in the
morning, and at noon therefore Tom decided to put about. Having done
so, we found that we went along much more easily and quite as fast on
the other tack. We maintained a good rate of speed on our new course,
which was now nearly due west, passing a large barque with every
stitch of canvas set, hand over hand.

We are still in the Guinea current, and the temperature of the water
is 82 deg., even in the early morning; but the heat of the sun does not
seem to have much effect upon it, as it does not vary to any great
extent during the day.

[Illustration: Father Neptune.]

In the evening we saw the Southern Cross for the first time, and were
much disappointed in its appearance. The fourth star is of smaller
magnitude than the others, and the whole group is only for a very
short time in a really upright position, inclining almost always
either to one side or the other, as it rises and sets.

_Tuesday, August 8th_.--We crossed the line at daylight.

This event caused much fun and excitement, both in cabin and
forecastle. The conventional hair was put across the field of the
telescope for the unsophisticated 'really to see the line,' and many
firmly believed they did see it, and discussed its appearance at some
length. Jim Allen, one of our tallest sailors, and coxswain of the
gig, dressed in blue, with long oakum wig and beard, gilt paper crown,
and trident and fish impaled in one hand, was seated on a
gun-carriage, and made a capital Father Neptune. Our somewhat portly
engineer, Mr. Rowbotham, with fur-trimmed dressing gown and cap, and
bent form, leaning on a stick, his face partially concealed by a long
grey beard, and a large band-box of pills on one arm, made an equally
good doctor to his Marine Majesty, while the part of Mrs. Trident was
ably filled by one of the youngest sailors, dressed in some of the
maids' clothes; but the accompanying pictures will give a better idea
than any description of mine.

[Illustration: His Doctor (Crossing the Line)]

Soon afterwards we saw an enormous shoal of grampuses, large black
fish, about 25 feet in length, something between a dolphin and a
whale, with the very ugliest jaws, or rather snouts, imaginable. They
are of a predatory and ferocious disposition, attacking not only
sharks, dolphins, and porpoises, but even whales, more than twice
their own size. We also passed through enormous quantities of
flying-fish, no doubt driven to the surface by dolphins and bonitos.
They were much larger and stronger in the wing than any we have
hitherto seen.

Lulu's puppies, born yesterday, have been respectively named Butterfly
(who survived her birth only an hour), Poseidon, Aphrodite,
Amphitrite, and Thetis--names suggested by their birth-place on the
ocean close to his Marine Majesty's supposed equatorial palace.

[Illustration: Lulu and her Puppies]

At noon we were 250 miles off St. Paul's Rocks.

_Thursday, August 10th_.--A very hot, showery day. Saw two large ships
in the distance. In the morning we were almost becalmed for a time,
but the breeze returned during the afternoon, and we were able to
proceed on our course. I think this has been the most lovely of the
many exquisite days we have enjoyed since we left England. It
commenced with a magnificent sunrise, and ended with an equally
gorgeous sunset, only to be succeeded by a beautiful moonlight night,
so clear and bright that we could see to read ordinary print on deck.

_Saturday, August 12th_.--At noon we were 300 miles off Bahia, a place
we have made up our minds not to visit, as it would lengthen our
voyage considerably, and there is not much to see there. We have
therefore decided to proceed direct to Rio, where we are looking
forward to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday next.

The night was showery, with a good deal of wind and sea.

_Sunday, August 13th_.--Sailing in the tropics is really very
delightful! When going to the westward, there is almost always, at
this season of the year, a favourable breeze, and the weather is
generally either quite fair or moderately so.

    Whispered to it, westward, westward,
    And with speed it darted forward.

We had service at 11.15 a.m., and again at 5.30 p.m. The choir has
considerably improved; one of our new men plays the violin very well,
and frequently accompanies the children and the nurse in their songs.
On a clear calm night, beneath a tropical sky, when the members of
this little group assemble on deck, and, by the light of a lantern,
sing some of their simple songs, the effect produced is both melodious
and picturesque.

The wind dropped at about 10 p.m., and we had an unpleasant amount of
roll during the night, sails flapping, spars creaking, and booms
swinging as if they would pull the masts out of the vessel.

[Illustration: Vespers.]

_Monday, August 14th_.--This morning we saw a small schooner ahead,
and thinking from her manoeuvres that she wished to speak us, we made
our number and ran towards her. We soon found out, however, that she
was a whaler, in chase of two large grampuses. She had two men on the
look-out in the cross-trees, in a sort of iron cage; and though she
was of much smaller tonnage than the 'Sunbeam,' she carried five big
boats, one of which, full of men, was ready to be lowered into the
water, the instant they had approached sufficiently near to the whale
or grampus. These seas used formerly to abound with whalers, but they
are now much less numerous, the seasons having been bad of late.

To-night the stars were especially brilliant, and we spent some hours
in trying to make out their names. Vega, our polar star for some time
to come, shone conspicuously bright, and the Southern Cross could be
seen to great advantage.

_Wednesday, August 16th_.--We had a fine fair breeze all day, and at 5
p.m. there was a cry from the mast-head of 'Land ahead!' Great
excitement immediately prevailed on board, and Tom and Captain Brown
rushed, for about the twelfth time, to the foretop to see if the
report was true. They were soon able to announce that Cape Frio was
visible on the port bow, about thirty-five miles distant. After even a
fortnight at sea, an indescribable sensation is produced by this cry,
and by the subsequent sight of the land itself. When we came up on
deck this evening, after dinner, we all gazed on the lighthouse on the
still distant shore as if we had never beheld such a thing in our
lives before. The colour and temperature of the water had perceptibly
changed, the former from a beautiful, clear, dark ultramarine to a
muddy green; innumerable small birds, moths, locusts, and grasshoppers
came on board; and, having given special orders that we were to be
called early the next morning, we went to bed in the fond hope that we
should be able to enter Rio harbour at daybreak.

_Thursday, August 17th_.--'L'homme propose; Dieu dispose.' Steam was
up at midnight, but by that time it was blowing half a gale of wind
from the south-west, with such a steep short sea that the screw was
scarcely ever properly immersed, but went racing round and round in
the air with tremendous velocity, as we pitched and rolled about. Our
progress was therefore at the rate of something rather under a mile
an hour, and at daybreak, instead of entering the harbour of Rio, as
we had hoped to do, we found ourselves close to Cape Frio.

About 8 a.m. matters mended, the wind moderating and changing its
direction slightly; so that, under steam and sail, we were soon going
along the coast at the rate of four or five miles an hour. The surf
was breaking with a loud roar upon the white sandy beach, while the
spray was carried by the force of the wind far inland, over the strip
of flat fertile-looking country, lying between the sea and a chain of
low sugarloaf-shaped mountains, parallel with the shore, and only a
short distance off.

Our course lay between the mainland and the islands of Maya and Payo,
where the groves of bananas and other trees looked very miserable in
the wind. The tall isolated palm-trees, whose elastic stems bowed
readily before the fury of the blast, looked, as they were twisted and
whirled hither and thither, like umbrellas turned inside out. Passing
the false Sugarloaf mountain, as it is called, we next opened out the
true one, the Gavia, and the chain of mountains beyond, the outlines
of which bear an extraordinary resemblance to the figure of a man
lying on his back, the profile of the face being very like that of the
late Duke of Wellington. As the sun sank in gorgeous splendour behind
these hills, I think I never saw a grander or more beautiful sight;
though the sky was so red and stormy-looking that our hopes of a fine
day to-morrow were but faint.

Before entering the harbour, a bar had to be crossed, which is a
dangerous operation all the world over. The skylights and hatches were
fastened down, and those of our party who did not like being shut up
below took their places on the bridge, where, for the first time since
we left England, it felt really quite cold. As we advanced, the
beautiful harbour, with its long rows of glittering gas-lights,
extending for miles on either side of the bay, and illuminating the
city and suburbs, gradually became visible. On our left lay the two
islands, Rodonda and Raza, on the latter of which is situated a
lighthouse. The wind was blowing off the land when we reached the bar,
so that, after all our preparations, there was hardly any sea to
encounter, and the moment we were over, the water on the other side
was perfectly smooth. A gun and a blue light from Fort Santa Cruz,
answered immediately by a similar signal from Fort Santa Lucia,
announced our arrival, and we shortly afterwards dropped our anchor in
the quarantine ground of Rio close to Botafogo Bay, in the noble
harbour of Nictheroy.

After dinner it rained heavily, and continued to do so during the
whole night.

[Illustration: Botafogo Bay]




CHAPTER IV.

RIO DE JANEIRO.

   _The sun is warm, the sky is clear,_
   _The waves are dancing fast and bright,_
   _Blue isles and snowy mountains wear_
   _The purple noon's transparent light._


_Friday, August 18th_.--The clouds still hung heavy on the hills, or
rather mountains, which surround the bay, occasionally descending in
the form of torrents of rain, and hiding everything from our view.

Early in the morning we weighed anchor and steamed up the bay to the
man-of-war anchorage, a much pleasanter situation than the quarantine
harbour, where we had brought up last night. About 9.30 a.m. the
health officers came on board, and half an hour later we had a visit
from the custom-house official, who required Tom to sign and seal a
declaration upon oath that he had no cargo on board, and not more coal
than we absolutely required for our own consumption.

About eleven o'clock we put on our mackintoshes and thick boots, and,
accompanied by an interpreter, who (together with several washerwomen)
had suddenly made his appearance on board, rowed ashore, pushing our
way through crowds of boats laden with fruit and vegetables. The
landing-place was close to the market, at some broken-down steps, and
was crowded with chattering negroes, of every shade of colour. The
quays seemed covered with piles of fruit and vegetables, discharged
from the boats, the principal produce being sugar-cane, bananas, and
oranges. Each side street that we came to was a little river, which
had to be crossed, or rather forded, after paddling through the mud in
the main thoroughfare.

Our first visit was to the post-office--'no letters'--then to the
British Consulate--'no letters'--and finally to the Legation, but
there was nobody at home there; so we set off for the Hotel des
Etrangers, to breakfast. Our way lay through the straggling suburbs of
the city for about two miles, and as we drove along we could see and
admire, despite the heavy rain, the magnificent groves of palm-trees,
and the brilliancy and beauty of the tropical vegetation in the
various private and public gardens that we passed.

After breakfast we returned to the Legation, where we were most kindly
received, but, much to our regret, no letters were forthcoming. We
next paid a visit to some of the shops in the Rua do Ouvidor, for the
sale of imitations of flowers, made from the undyed feathers of birds,
and a large number of the more expensive varieties of ordinary
artificial flowers, each petal consisting of the entire throat or
breast of a humming-bird, and the leaves are made from the wings of
beetles. They are very rare and beautiful, their manufacture being
quite a _specialite_ of this city. The prices asked astonished us
greatly; the cost of five sprays, which I had been commissioned to
buy, was 29_l_., and the price of all the others was proportionately
high. But then they wear for ever. I have had some for nine years, and
they are as good now as when they were bought.

_Saturday, August 19th_.--Though far from brilliant, the weather
improved, and we were able to enjoy occasional glimpses of the
beautiful scenery around us.

Mr. Gough and Mr. O'Conor breakfasted with us on board, and we
afterwards proceeded in a 'bond' to the Botanical Gardens, about seven
miles out of the city. These 'bonds,' which are a great institution
here, are large carriages, either open or closed, drawn sometimes by
one, sometimes by two, sometimes by three mules. They go at a great
pace, and run very smoothly. Ordinary carriages are dear; and as
tramways have been laid down in almost every street and road, driving
is a rather difficult affair. On our road we passed several
delightful-looking private gardens. The railings were completely
covered, some with white stephanotis and scarlet lapageria, others
with a beautiful orange-coloured creeper and lilac bougainvillaea, or
passion-flowers of many colours and variety. Inside we could see large
trees with green and yellow stripes, croton-oil plants, spotted and
veined caladiums, and dracaenas, the whole being shaded by
orange-trees.

Along the edge of Botafogo Bay there is a delightful drive, beneath a
splendid avenue of imperial palms, extending to the gates of the
Botanical Gardens. Each specimen rises straight up like the column of
an Egyptian temple, and is crowned with a feathery tuft of large shiny
dark green leaves, some thirty feet in length. The clumps of bamboos,
too, were very fine, and nearly all the trees seemed to be full of
curious orchids and parasites of every sort and kind.

We had an agreeable drive back in the cool evening to dinner at the
Hotel de l'Europe. The food was excellent, and included some delicious
tiny queer-shaped oysters, which are found on the mangrove-trees,
overhanging the water higher up the bay. We afterwards went to a
pleasant little reception, where we enjoyed the splendid singing of
some young Brazilian ladies, and the subsequent row off to the yacht,
in the moonlight, was not the least delightful part of the programme.

_Sunday, August 20th_.--At last a really fine day. We could now, for
the first time, thoroughly appreciate the beauties of the noble bay of
Nictheroy, though the distant Organ mountains were still hidden from
our view. In the morning, we went to church on board H.M.S. 'Volage,'
afterwards rowing across the bay to Icaraky, where we took the tramway
to Santa Rosa. On our way we again passed many charming villas and
gardens, similar to those we had admired yesterday, while the glorious
and ever-attractive tropical vegetation abounded everywhere. In spite
of the great heat, the children seemed untiring in the pursuit of
butterflies, of which they succeeded in catching many beautiful
specimens.

_Monday, August 21st_.--After an early breakfast, we started off to
have a look at the market. The greatest bustle and animation
prevailed, and there were people and things to see and observe in
endless variety. The fish-market was full of finny monsters of the
deep, all new and strange to us, whose odd Brazilian names would
convey to a stranger but little idea of the fish themselves. There was
an enormous rockfish, weighing about 300 pounds, with hideous face and
shiny back and fins; there were large ray, and skate, and
cuttle-fish--the _pieuvre_ of Victor Hugo's 'Travailleurs de la
Mer'--besides baskets full of the large prawns for which the coast is
famous, eight or ten inches long, and with antennae of twelve or
fourteen inches in length. They make up in size for want of quality,
for they are insipid and tasteless, though, being tender, they make
excellent curry. The oysters, on the other hand, are particularly
small, but of the most delicious flavour. They are brought from a
park, higher up the bay, where, as I have said, they grow on posts and
the branches of the mangrove-tree, which hang down into the water. We
also saw a large quantity of fine mackerel, a good many turtle and
porpoises, and a few hammer-headed sharks. The latter are very curious
creatures, not unlike an ordinary shark, but with a remarkable
hammer-shaped projection on either side of their noses for which it is
difficult to imagine a use.

In the fruit-market were many familiar bright-coloured fruits; for it
is now the depth of winter at Rio, and the various kinds that we saw
were all such as would bear transport to England. Fat, jet-black
negresses, wearing turbans on their heads, strings of coloured beads
on their necks and arms, and single long white garments, which
appeared to be continually slipping off their shoulders, here presided
over brilliant-looking heaps of oranges, bananas, pineapples,
passion-fruit, tomatoes, apples, pears, capsicums and peppers,
sugar-cane, cabbage-palms, cherimoyas, and bread-fruit.

In another part of the market all sorts of live birds were for sale,
with a few live beasts, such as deer, monkeys, pigs, guinea-pigs in
profusion, rats, cats, dogs, marmosets, and a dear little lion-monkey,
very small and rather red, with a beautiful head and mane, who roared
exactly like a real lion in miniature. We saw also cages full of small
flamingoes, snipe of various kinds, and a great many birds of smaller
size, with feathers of all shades of blue, red, and green, and
metallic hues of brilliant lustre, besides parrots, macaws, cockatoos
innumerable, and torchas, on stands. The torcha is a bright-coloured
black and yellow bird, about as big as a starling, which puts its
little head on one side and takes flies from one's fingers in the
prettiest and most enticing manner. Unfortunately, it is impossible to
introduce it into England, as it cannot stand the change of climate.
The other birds included guinea-fowls, ducks, cocks and hens, pigeons,
doves, quails, &c., and many other varieties less familiar or quite
unknown to us. Altogether the visit was an extremely interesting one,
and well repaid us for our early rising.

At eleven o'clock we started for the Petropolis steamer, which took us
alongside a wooden pier, from the end of which the train started, and
we were soon wending our way through sugar and coffee plantations,
formed in the midst of the forest of palms and other tropical trees.
An Englishman has made a large clearing here, and has established a
fine farm, which he hopes to work successfully by means of immigrant
labour.

After a journey of twenty minutes in the train, we reached the
station, at the foot of a hill, where we found several four-mule
carriages awaiting our arrival. The drive up from the station to the
town, over a pass in the Organ mountains, was superb. At each turn of
the road we had an ever-varying view of the city of Rio and its
magnificent bay. And then the banks of this tropical high-road! From
out a mass of rich verdure grew lovely scarlet begonias, and spotted
caladiums, shaded by graceful tree-ferns and overhung by trees full of
exquisite parasites and orchids. Among these, the most conspicuous,
after the palms, are the tall thin-stemmed sloth-trees, so called from
their being a favourite resort of the sloth, who with great difficulty
crawls up into one of them, remains there until he has demolished
every leaf, and then passes on to the next tree.

The pace of the mules, up the steep incline, under a broiling sun, was
really wonderful. Half-way up we stopped to change, at a buvette,
where we procured some excellent Brazilia coffee, of fine but
exceedingly bitter flavour. Our next halt, midway between the buvette
and the top of the hill, was at a spring of clear sparkling water,
where we had an opportunity of collecting some ferns and flowers; and
on reaching the summit we stopped once more, to enjoy the fine view
over the Pass and the bay of Nictheroy. The descent towards Petropolis
then commenced; it lies in the hollow of the hills, with a river
flowing through the centre of its broad streets, on either side of
which are villas and avenues of noble trees. Altogether it reminded me
of Bagneres-de-Luchon, in the Pyrenees, though the general effect is
unfortunately marred by the gay and rather too fantastic painting of
some of the houses.

_Tuesday, August 22nd_.--We were called at half-past five, and, after
a hasty breakfast, started on horseback by seven o'clock for the
Virgin Forest, about six miles from Petropolis. After leaving the town
and its suburbs, we pursued our way by rough winding paths, across
which huge moths and butterflies flitted, and humming-birds buzzed in
the almond-trees. After a ride of an hour and a half, we entered the
silence and gloom of a vast forest. On every side extended a tangled
mass of wild, luxuriant vegetation: giant-palms, and tree-ferns, and
parasites are to be seen in all directions, growing wherever they can
find root-hold. Sometimes they kill the tree which they favour with
their attentions--one creeper, in particular, being called 'Mata-pao'
or 'Kill-tree;' but, as a rule, they seem to get on very well
together, and to depend mutually upon one another for nourishment and
support. The most striking of these creepers is, perhaps, the liane,
whose tendrils grow straight downwards to the ground, twisting
themselves together in knots and bundles. Occasionally one sees,
suspended from a tree, at a height of some fifty feet, a large lump of
moss, from which scarlet orchids are growing; looking like an enormous
hanging flower-basket. All colours in Brazil, whether of birds,
insects, or flowers, are brilliant in the extreme. Blue, violet,
orange, scarlet, and yellow are found in the richest profusion, and no
pale or faint tints are to be seen. Even white seems purer, clearer,
and deeper than the white of other countries.

We had a long wet walk in the forest; the mosses and ferns being kept
moist and green by the innumerable little streams of water which
abound everywhere. Owing to the thickness of the surrounding jungle,
it was impossible to stray from our very narrow path, notwithstanding
the attractions of humming-birds, butterflies, and flowers. At last we
came to an opening in the wood, whence we had a splendid view
seawards, and where it was decided to turn round and retrace our steps
through the forest. After walking some distance we found our horses
waiting, and after a hot but pleasant ride reached Petropolis by
twelve o'clock, in time for breakfast. Letter-writing and
butterfly-catching occupied the afternoon until four o'clock, when I
was taken out for a drive in a comfortable little phaeton, with a
pretty pair of horses, while the rest of the party walked out to see a
little more of Petropolis and its environs. We drove past the
Emperor's palace--an Italian villa, standing in the middle of a large
garden--the new church, and the houses of the principal inhabitants,
most of which are shut up just now, as everybody is out of town, but
it all looked very green and pleasant. It was interesting to see a
curious breed of dogs, descended from the bloodhounds formerly used in
hunting the poor Indians.

_Wednesday, August 23rd_.--At six o'clock we assembled all on the
balcony of the hotel to wait for the coach, which arrived shortly
afterwards. There was some little delay and squabbling before we all
found ourselves safely established on the coach, but starting was
quite another matter, for the four white mules resolutely refused to
move, without a vast amount of screaming and shouting and plunging. We
had to pull up once or twice before we got clear of the town, to allow
more passengers to be somehow or other squeezed in, and at each fresh
start similar objections on the part of the mules had to be overcome.

The air felt fresh when we started, but before we had proceeded far we
came into a thick, cold, wet fog, which, after the heat of the last
few weeks, seemed to pierce us to the very marrow. Eight miles farther
on the four frisky white mules were exchanged for five steady
dun-coloured ones, which were in their turn replaced after a
seven-mile stage by four nice bays, who took us along at a tremendous
pace. The sun began by this time to penetrate the mist, and the
surrounding country became visible. We found that we were following
the course of the river, passing through an avenue of coral-trees,
loaded with the most brilliant flowers and fruit imaginable, and full
of parroquets and fluttering birds of many hues.

We stopped at several small villages, and at about 11 a.m. reached
Entre Rios, having changed mules seven times, and done the 59-1/2
miles in four hours and fifty minutes, including stoppages--pretty
good work, especially as the heat during the latter portion of the
journey had been as great as the cold was at the commencement. The
term 'cold' must here be taken only in a relative sense, for the
thermometer was never lower than 48 deg., though, having been accustomed
for a long while to 85 deg., we felt the change severely.

After a capital breakfast at the inn near the station, we got into the
train and began a very hot dusty journey over the Serra to Palmeiras,
which place was reached at 4 p.m. We were met on our arrival by Dr.
Gunning, who kindly made room for Tom and me at his house, the rest of
our party proceeding to the hotel. The view from the windows of the
house, which is situated on the very edge of a hill, over the
mountains of the Serra, glowing with the light of the setting sun, was
perfectly enchanting; and after a refreshing cold bath one was able to
appreciate it as it deserved. A short stroll into the forest adjoining
the house proved rich in treasures, for in a few minutes I had
gathered twenty-six varieties of ferns, including gold and silver
ferns, two creeping ferns, and many other kinds. The moon rose, and
the fireflies flashed about among the palm-trees, as we sat in the
verandah before dinner, while in several places on the distant hills
we could see circles of bright flames, where the forest had been set
on fire in order to make clearings.

We were up next morning in time to see the sun rise from behind the
mountains, and as it gradually became warmer the humming-birds and
butterflies came out and buzzed and flitted among the flowers in front
of our windows. We had planned to devote the day to a visit to Barra,
and it was, therefore, necessary to hurry to the station by eight
o'clock to meet the train, where we stopped twenty minutes to
breakfast at what appeared to be a capital hotel, built above the
station. The rooms were large and lofty, everything was scrupulously
clean, and the dishes most appetising-looking. Our carriage was then
shunted and hooked on to the other train, and we proceeded to the
station of Santa Anna, where Mr. Faro met us with eight mules and
horses, and a large old-fashioned carriage, which held some of us, the
rest of the party galloping on in front. We galloped also, and upset
one unfortunate horse, luckily without doing him any harm. After a
couple of miles of a rough road we arrived at the gates of the Baron's
grounds, where the old negro slave-coachman amused us very much by
_ordering_ his young master to conduct the equestrians round to the
house by another way. Beneath the avenue of palm-trees, leading from
the gates to the house, grew orange, lemon, and citron trees, trained
as espaliers, while behind them again tall rose-bushes and
pomegranates showed their bright faces. Driving through an archway we
arrived at the house, and, with much politeness and many bows, were
conducted indoors, in order that we might rest ourselves and get rid
of some of the dust of our journey.

Santa Anna is one of the largest coffee fazendas in this part of
Brazil. The house occupies three sides of a square, in the middle of
which heaps of coffee were spread out to dry in the sun. The centre
building is the dwelling-house, with a narrow strip of garden, full of
sweet-smelling flowers, in front of it; the right wing is occupied by
the slaves' shops and warehouses, and by the chapel; while the left
wing contains the stables, domestic offices, and other slave-rooms.

[Illustration: The Slave Village, Fazenda, Santa Anna.]

By law, masters are bound to give their slaves one day's rest in every
seven, and any work the slaves may choose to do on that day is paid
for at the same rate as free labour. But the day selected for this
purpose is not necessarily Sunday; and on adjoining fazendas different
days are invariably chosen, in order to prevent the slaves from
meeting and getting into mischief. Thursday (to-day) was Sunday on
this estate, and we soon saw all the slaves mustering in holiday
attire in the shade of one of the verandahs. They were first
inspected, and then ranged in order, the children being placed in
front, the young women next, then the old women, the old men, and
finally the young men. In this order they marched into the corridor
facing the chapel, to hear mass. The priest and his acolyte, in
gorgeous robes, performed the usual service, and the slaves chanted
the responses in alternate companies, so that sopranos, contraltos,
tenors, and basses, contrasted in a striking and effective manner. The
singing, indeed, was excellent; far better than in many churches at
home. After the conclusion of the mass the master shook hands with
everybody, exchanged good wishes with his slaves, and dismissed them.
While they were dawdling about, gossiping in the verandah, I had a
closer look at the babies, which had all been brought to church. They
seemed of every shade of colour, the complexions of some being quite
fair, but the youngest, a dear little woolly-headed thing, was black
as jet, and only three weeks old. The children all seemed to be on
very good terms with their master and his overseers, and not a bit
afraid of them. They are fed most liberally, and looked fat and
healthy. For breakfast they have coffee and bread; for dinner, fresh
pork alternately with dried beef, and black beans (the staple food of
the poor of this country); and for supper they have coffee, bread, and
mandioca, or tapioca.

Returning to the house, we sat down, a party of thirty, to an
elaborate breakfast, the table being covered with all sorts of
Brazilian delicacies, after which several complimentary speeches were
made, and we all started off to walk round the fazenda. Our first
visit was to the little schoolchildren, thirty-four in number, who
sang very nicely. Then to the hospital, a clean, airy building, in
which there were happily but few patients, and next we inspected the
new machinery, worked by water-power, for cleaning the coffee and
preparing it for market. The harvest lasts from May to August. The
best quality of coffee is picked before it is quite ripe, crushed to
free it from the husk, and then dried in the sun, sometimes in heaps,
and sometimes raked out flat, in order to gain the full benefit of the
heat. It is afterwards gathered up into baskets and carefully picked
over, and this, being very light work, is generally performed by young
married women with babies. There were nineteen tiny piccaninnies, in
baskets, beside their mothers, in one room we entered, and in another
there were twenty just able to run about.

Cassava is an important article of food here, and it was interesting
to watch the various processes by which it is turned into flour,
tapioca, or starch. As it is largely exported, there seems no reason
why it should not be introduced into India, for the ease with which it
is cultivated and propagated, the extremes of temperature it will
bear, and the abundance of its crop, all tend to recommend it. We went
on to look at the maize being shelled, crushed, and ground into coarse
or fine flour, for cakes and bread, and the process of crushing the
sugar-cane, turning its juice into sugar and rum, and its refuse into
potash. All the food manufactured here is used on the estate; coffee
alone is exported. I felt thoroughly exhausted by the time we returned
to the house, only to exchange adieus and step into the carriage on
our way to Barra by rail _en route_ to Rio de Janeiro. After passing
through several long tunnels at the top of the Serra, the line drops
down to Palmeiras, after which the descent became very picturesque, as
we passed, by steep inclines, through virgin forests full of creepers,
ferns, flowers, and orchids. The sunset was magnificent, and the
subsequent coolness of the atmosphere most grateful. Leaving the
Emperor's palace of Sao Christovao behind, Rio was entered from a
fresh side. It seemed a long drive through the streets to the Hotel de
l'Europe, where, after an excellent though hurried dinner, we
contrived to be in time for a private representation at the Alcazar.
As a rule, ladies do not go to this theatre, but there were a good
many there on the present occasion. Neither the play nor the actors,
however, were very interesting, and all our party were excessively
tired; so we left early, and had a delightful row off to the yacht, in
the bright moonlight.

_Monday, August 28th_.--We have all been so much interested in the
advertisements we read in the daily papers of slaves to be sold or
hired, that arrangements were made with a Brazilian gentleman for some
of our party to have an opportunity of seeing the way in which these
transactions are carried on. No Englishman is allowed to hold slaves
here, and it is part of the business of the Legation to see that this
law is strictly enforced. The secrets of their trade are accordingly
jealously guarded by the natives, especially from the English. The
gentlemen had therefore to disguise themselves as much as possible,
one pretending to be a rich Yankee, who had purchased large estates
between Santos and San Paulo, which he had determined to work with
slave instead of coolie labour. He was supposed to have come to Rio to
select some slaves, but would be obliged to see and consult his
partner before deciding on purchase. They were taken to a small shop
in the city, and, after some delay, were conducted to a room upstairs,
where they waited a quarter of an hour. Twenty-two men and eleven
women and children were then brought in for inspection. They declared
themselves suitable for a variety of occupations, in-door and out, and
all appeared to look anxiously at their possible purchaser, with a
view to ascertain what they had to hope for in the future. One couple
in particular, a brother and sister, about fourteen and fifteen years
old respectively, were most anxious not to be separated, but to be
sold together; and the tiny children seemed quite frightened at being
spoken to or touched by the white men. Eight men and five women having
been specially selected as fit subjects for further consideration, the
visit terminated.

The daily Brazilian papers are full of advertisements of slaves for
sale, and descriptions of men, pigs, children, cows, pianos, women,
houses, &c., to be disposed of, are inserted in the most
indiscriminate manner. In one short half-column of the 'Jornal do
Commercio,' published within the last day or two, the following
announcements, amongst many similar ones, appear side by side:--


VENDE-SE uma escrava, de 22 annos,
boa figura, lava, engomma e cose bem;
informa-se na rua de S. Pedro n. 97.

FOR SALE.--A female slave, 22 years of
age, a good figure, washes, irons, and
sews well; for particulars apply at No. 97
rua de S. Pedro.


VENDE-SE ou aluga-se um rico piano
forte do autor Erard, de 3 cordas, por
280$, garantido; na rua da Quitanda n. 42,
2 andar.

FOR SALE, OR TO BE LET ON
Hire.--A splendid trichord pianoforte
by Erard, for $280, guaranteed; apply at
rua da Quitanda No. 42, 2nd floor.


VENDE-SE, por 1,500$, um escravo de
20 annos, para servico de padaria; na
rua da Princeza dos Cajueiros n. 97.

TO BE SOLD FOR $1,500.--A male
slave 20 years of age, fit for a baker's
establishment; apply at rua da Princeza dos
Cajueiros No. 97.


VENDE-SE uma machina Singer, para
qualquer costura, trabalha perfeitamente,
por preco muito commodo; trata-se
na rua do Sabao n. 95.

FOR SALE.--On very reasonable terms,
a Singer's sewing-machine, adapted for
any description of work; works splendidly:
apply at No. 95 rua do Sabao.


VENDE-SE uma preta moca, boa figura e
de muito boa indole, com tres filhos,
sendo uma negrinha de 6 annos, um moleque
de 5 e uma ingenua de 3, cabenda cozinhar
bem, lavar e engommar; na mesma casa
vende-se so uma negrinha de 12 annos, de
conducta afiancada e muito propria para
servico de casa de familia, por ja ter bons
principios, tendo vindo de Santa Catharina;
na rua da Uruguayana n. 90 sobrado.

FOR SALE.--A good black woman, good
figure, good disposition, with three
children, who are a little black girl 6 years
of age, a black boy of 5, and a child 3
years of age; she is a good cook, washes and
irons well. At the same house there is likewise
for sale a little black girl 12 years of
age: her character will be guaranteed; she
is well adapted for the service of a family,
as she has had a good beginning, having
come from Santa Catharina; apply at No.
90 rua da Uruguayana, first floor.


VENDE-SE o Diccionario portuguez de
Lacerda, em dous grandes volumes, novo,
vindo pelo ultimo paquete, por 30$, custao
aqui 40$; na rua do Hospicio n. 15, 2d
andar.

FOR SALE.--Lacerda's Portuguese Dictionary,
in two large volumes, quite new,
arrived by the last mail, price $30, costs here
$40; No. 15 rua do Hospicio, 2nd floor.


VENDE-SE uma preta de meia idade,
que cozinha, lava, e engomma com perfeicao;
para tratar na rua do Viscande de
Itauna n. 12.

FOR SALE.--A middle-aged black woman,
who is a first-rate cook, washes
and irons splendidly; for particulars apply
at No. 12 rua do Viscande de Itauna No.
12.


VENDEM-SE arreios para carrocinhas
de pao; na rua do General Camara n.
86, placa.

FOR SALE.--Harnesses for small carts
for delivery of bread; apply at No. 86
rua do General Camara.


VENDEM-SE 20 moleques, de 14 a 20
annos, vindos do Maranhao no ultimo
vapor; na rua da Prainha n. 72.

FOR SALE.--20 young blacks from 14
to 20 years of age just arrived from Maranham
by the last steamer; No. 72 rua da
Prainha.

We had many visitors to breakfast to-day, and it was nearly two
o'clock before we could set off for the shore _en route_ to Tijuca. We
drove nearly as far as the Botanical Gardens, where it had been
arranged that horses should meet us; but our party was such a large
one, including children and servants, that some little difficulty
occurred at this point in making a fair start. It was therefore late
before we started, the clouds were beginning to creep down the sides
of the hills, and it had grown very dusk by the time we reached the
Chinisi river. Soon afterwards the rain began to come down in such
tropical torrents, that our thin summer clothing was soaked through
and through long before we reached the Tijuca. At last, to our great
joy, we saw ahead of us large plantations of bananas, and then some
gas-lights, which exist even in this remote locality. We followed them
for some little distance, but my horse appeared to have such a very
decided opinion as to the proper direction for us to take, that we
finally decided to let him have his own way, for it was by this time
pitch dark, and none of us had ever been this road before. As we
hoped, the horse knew his own stables, and we soon arrived at the door
of White's hotel, miserable, drenched objects, looking forward to a
complete change of clothing. Unfortunately the cart with our luggage
had not arrived, so it was in clothes borrowed from kind friends that
we at last sat down, a party of about forty, to a sort of table-d'hote
dinner, and it continued to pour with rain during the whole evening,
only clearing up just at bed-time.

_Tuesday, August 29th_.--After all the fine weather we have had
lately, it was provoking to find, on getting up this morning, that the
rain still came steadily down. Daylight enabled us to see what a
quaint-looking place this hotel is. It consists of a series of low
wooden detached buildings, mostly one story high, with verandahs on
both sides, built round a long courtyard, in the centre of which are a
garden and some large trees. It is more like a boarding-house,
however, than an hotel, as there is a fixed daily charge for visitors,
who have to be provided with a letter of introduction! The situation
and gardens are good; it contains among other luxuries a
drawing-room, with a delightful swimming-bath for ladies, and another
for gentlemen. A mountain stream is turned into two large square
reservoirs, where you can disport yourself under the shade of bananas
and palm trees, while orange trees, daturas, poinsettias, and other
plants, in full bloom, drop their fragrant flowers into the crystal
water. There is also a nice little bathing-house, with a douche
outside; and the general arrangements seem really perfect. The views
from the walks around the hotel and in the forest above are beautiful,
as, indeed, they are from every eminence in the neighbourhood of Rio.

During the morning, the weather cleared sufficiently for us to go down
to 'The Boulders,' huge masses of rock, either of the glacial period,
or else thrown out from some mighty volcano into the valley beneath.
Here they form great caverns and caves, overhung with creepers, and so
blocked up at the entrance, that it is difficult to find the way into
them. The effect of the alternate darkness and light, amid twisted
creepers, some like gigantic snakes, others neatly coiled in true
man-of-war fashion, is very striking and fantastic. Every crevice is
full of ferns and orchids and curious plants, while moths and
butterflies flit about in every direction. Imagine, if you can,
scarlet butterflies gaily spotted, yellow butterflies with orange
edgings, butterflies with dark blue velvety-looking upper wings, the
under surface studded with bright owl-like peacock eyes, grey Atlas
moths, and, crowning beauty of all, metallic blue butterflies, which
are positively dazzling, even when seen in a shop, dead. Imagine what
they must be like, as they dart hither and thither, reflecting the
bright sunshine from their wings, or enveloped in the sombre shade of
a forest. Most of them measure from two to ten inches in length from
wing to wing, and many others flit about, equally remarkable for their
beauty, though not so large. Swallow-tails, of various colours, with
tails almost as long, in proportion to their bodies, as those of their
feathered namesakes; god-parents and 'eighty-eights,' with the
figures 88 plainly marked on the reverse side of their rich blue or
crimson wings. In fact, if nature could by any possibility be gaudy,
one might almost say that she is so in this part of the world.

From 'The Boulders' we went down a kind of natural staircase in the
rock to the small cascade, which, owing to the recent rains, appeared
to the best advantage, the black rocks and thick vegetation forming a
fine background to the sheet of flowing white water and foam. Our way
lay first through some castor-oil plantations, and then along the side
of a stream, fringed with rare ferns, scarlet begonias, and grey
ageratum. We returned to the hotel, too late for the general luncheon,
and, after a short rest, went out for a gallop in the direction of the
peak of Tijuca, past the large waterfall, the 'Ladies' Mile,' and
'Grey's View.' The forest is Government property; the roads are
therefore excellent, and are in many places planted with flowers and
shrubs, rare even here. It seems a waste of money, however; for there
is hardly any one to make use of the wide roads, and the forest would
appear quite as beautiful in its pristine luxuriance. To our eyes the
addition of flowers from other countries is no improvement, though the
feeling is otherwise here. More than once I have had a bouquet of
common stocks given to me as a grand present, while orchids,
gardenias, stephanotis, large purple, pink, and white azaleas,
orange-blossom, and roses, were growing around in unheeded profusion.

_Wednesday, August 30th_.--Once more a wet morning; but as it cleared
towards noon, we ordered horses and some luncheon, and went up to
Pedro Bonito. The ride was pleasant enough at first, but as we mounted
higher and higher, we got into the clouds and lost the view. Finally,
there seemed nothing for it but to halt near the top, under a grove of
orange-trees, lunch in the pouring rain, and return without having
reached the summit.

_Friday, September 1st_.--At three o'clock this morning, when I
awoke, I saw at last a bright, clear sky, and at five, finding that
there was every prospect of a beautiful sunrise, we sent for horses,
ate our early breakfast, and set off for the peak of Tijuca. Step by
step we climbed, first through the grounds of the hotel, then through
the forest, till we reached 'The Bamboos,' a favourite halting-place,
by the side of a stream, near which grow, in waving tufts, the
graceful trees which lend their name to the spot. It was very
beautiful in the hill-side forest, with a new prospect opening out at
every step, and set in an ever-varying natural framework of foliage
and flowers. There was not sufficient time to linger, however, as we
would fain have done, in the cool and shady paths, occasionally
illumed by the bright rays of the sun, shining through the foliage of
noble palms, the fronds of tree-ferns, and the spiral stems of
many-coloured creepers.

Before reaching the top of the peak, there are twenty-nine wooden and
ninety-six stone steps to be ascended, at the foot of which we tied
our horses. An iron chain is hung by the side to assist you, without
which it would be rather giddy work, for the steps are steep, and
there is a sheer precipice on one side of them. Arrived at the top,
the scene was glorious; on every side mountains beyond mountains
stretch far away into the distance, and one can see as far north as
Cape Frio, and southwards as far as Rio Grande do Sul, while beneath
lies the bay of Rio, with its innumerable islands, islets, and
indentations. All too soon we had to scramble down again, and mount
our horses for a hurried return to the hotel, there being barely time
for lunch and a scramble to the yacht.

_Monday, September 4th_.--We were all up very early this morning,
superintending the preparations for our eldest boy's departure for
England. The yacht had been gaily dressed with flags, in honour of the
anniversary of the Emperor's wedding-day; but it must be confessed
that our own feelings were hardly in accordance with these external
symbols of joy. Breakfast was a melancholy meal, and I fear that the
visitors from the 'Volage' were not very well entertained. After
breakfast, we went ashore to the market, to get a couple of
lion-monkeys, which had been kept for us, and which Tab was to take
home with him to present to the Zoological Gardens. At one o'clock the
steam-launch from the 'Volage' came alongside and embarked the luggage
and servants. Half an hour later it returned for us; then came many
tearful farewells to the crew, and we set off. We knew the parting had
to be made, but this did not lessen our grief: for although it is at
all times hard to say good-bye for a long period to those nearest and
dearest to you, it is especially so in a foreign land, with the
prospect of a long voyage on both sides. Moreover, it is extremely
uncertain when we shall hear of our boy's safe arrival; not, I fear,
until we get to Valparaiso, and then only by telegram--a long time to
look forward to. Over the next half-hour I had better draw a veil.

At two o'clock precisely, just after we had left the steamer, the
starting bell rang, and the 'Cotopaxi' steamed away. As she passed the
yacht, all our flags were dipped and the guns fired. Then we could see
her rolling on the bar, for, calm as the water was in the bay, there
was a heavy swell outside; and then, all too soon, we lost sight of
her, as she sank,

    ' ... with all we love, below the verge.'

We heard to-day that, the Saturday before our first arrival at Rio,
the bar was quite impassable, even for a man-of-war, and that,
although she succeeded the next day, the sea was extremely rough.

On our return to the 'Sunbeam,' I went to bed to rest, and the
remainder of the party went ashore. A great many visitors came on
board in the course of the afternoon; some remained to dine with us.
At half-past nine we all went on shore again to a ball at the Casino,
the grand public room in Rio, to which we had been invited some days
ago. It seemed a splendid place, beautifully decorated in white and
gold and crimson, with frescoes and pictures let into the walls, and
surrounded by galleries. It is capable of containing fifteen hundred
persons, and I believe that there were even more than that number
present on the occasion of the ball given to the Duke of Edinburgh
some years ago. The arrangement of the large cloakrooms,
refreshment-rooms, and passages downstairs, and the balconies and
supper-rooms upstairs, is very convenient. The ball this evening being
comparatively a small affair, the lower rooms only were used, and
proved amply sufficient. There were not a great many ladies present,
but amongst those we saw some were extremely pretty, and all were
exquisitely dressed in the latest fashions from Paris. The toilettes
of the younger ones looked fresh and simple, while those of the
married ladies displayed considerable richness and taste; for although
Brazilian ladies do not go out much, and, as a rule, remain _en
peignoir_ until late in the afternoon, they never fail to exhibit
great judgment in the selection of their costumes.

The floor was excellent, but the band made rather too much noise, and
the dancing was different, both in style and arrangement, from what we
are accustomed to at home.

The time had now come when we had to say farewell to the many kind
friends whom we have met here, and who have made life so pleasant to
us during the last three weeks, in order that we might return to the
yacht, to complete our preparation for an early start. The last
leave-takings were soon over, and, with mutually expressed hopes that
we might ere long meet some of our friends in England, Tom and I drove
off, in the bright moonlight, to the quay, where our boat was waiting
for us. The other members of our party found the attractions of the
ball so irresistible that they were unable to tear themselves away
until a much later nour.

[Illustration: The Three Navigators]




CHAPTER V.


THE RIVER PLATE.

    _Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,_
    _They coiled and swam; and every track_
    _Was a flash of golden fire._

_Tuesday, September 5th_.--We got under way at 6 a.m., and soon bade
adieu to Rio, where we have spent so many happy days, and to our
friends on board H.M.S. 'Volage' and 'Ready,' with whom we
interchanged salutes in passing. It was a dull wet morning, and we
could not see much of the beauties we were leaving behind us. The peak
of Tijuca and the summit of the Corcovado were scarcely visible, and
the Sugarloaf and Gavia looked cold and grey in the early mist. It was
not long before we were rolling on the bar, and then tumbling about in
very uncomfortable fashion in the rough sea outside. One by one we all
disappeared below, where most of us remained during the greater part
of the day. As for me, I went to bed for good at six o'clock in the
evening, but was called up again at ten, to see some large bonitos
playing about the bows of the yacht. It was really worth the trouble
of getting up and climbing quite into the bows of the vessel to watch
them, as they gambolled and frisked about, brightly illumined by the
phosphorescence of the water, now swimming together steadily in pairs
or fours, now starting in sudden pursuit of one of their number, who
would make an independent rush forward in advance of his companions.

_Saturday, September 9th_.--The last three days have been showery,
with squalls which have freshened to a gale, and we are now scudding
along, under all storm canvas, followed by crowds of cape-pigeons and
cape-hens, and a few albatrosses. Towards this evening, however, the
wind fell light, and we got up steam, in order to be prepared for any
emergency, as a calm is frequently succeeded on this coast by a
_pampero_, and we are now approaching a lee shore.

_Sunday, September 10th_.--Tom has been on deck nearly all night. The
shore is very low and difficult to distinguish, and the lights are
badly kept. If the lighthouse-keeper happens to have plenty of oil,
and is not out shooting or fishing, he lights his lamp; otherwise, he
omits to perform this rather important part of his duties. The
lighthouses can therefore hardly be said to be of much use. About 5
a.m. Kindred rushed down into our cabin, and woke Tom, calling out,
'Land to leeward, sir!' and then rushed up on deck again. The first
glimmer of dawn had enabled him to see that we were running straight
on to the low sandy shore, about three miles off, a very strong
current having set us ten miles out of our course. The yacht's head
was accordingly at once put round, and steaming seaward we soon left
all danger behind. The sun rose brilliantly, and the weather during
the day was very fine. Morning service was impossible, owing to the
necessity for a constant observation of the land; but, after making
the lighthouse on Santa Maria, we had prayers at 4.30 p.m., with the
hymn, 'For those at Sea.' In the night we made the light on Flores,
burning brightly, and before morning those in the harbour of Monte
Video.

_Monday, September 11th_.--After making the Flores light we proceeded
slowly, and dropped our anchor in the outer roads of Monte Video at 4
a.m. At seven o'clock we got it up again, and by eight were anchored
close to the shore. We found that our arrival was expected, and the
health-officers' boat was soon alongside. Next came an officer from
the United States' man-of-war 'Frolic,' with polite messages and
offers of service; and then a steam-launch belonging to the Pacific
Company, and another from the Consul, Major Monro, with piles of
letters and newspapers for us.

Monte Video, as seen from the water, is not an imposing-looking place.
On the opposite side of the entrance to the harbour rises a hill,
called the Cerro, 450 feet high, from which the town derives its name,
and further inland, on the town side, is another eminence, 200 feet
high, called the Cerrito. With these exceptions the surrounding
country looks perfectly flat, without even a tree to break the
monotony.

Soon after breakfast we went ashore--in more senses of the word than
one; for they have commenced to build a mole for the protection of
small vessels, which, in its unfinished state, is not yet visible
above the water. The consequence was that, at a distance of about half
a mile from the landing-steps, we rowed straight on to the submerged
stonework, but fortunately got off again very quickly, without having
sustained any damage. On landing, we found ourselves opposite the
Custom House, a fine building, with which we afterwards made a closer
acquaintance.

There is a large and very good hotel here, l'Hotel Oriental. It is a
handsome building outside, and the interior is full of marble courts,
stone corridors, and lofty rooms, deliciously cool in the hottest
weather. Having procured a carriage, Tom and I and the children drove
through the streets, which are wide and handsome, though badly paved,
and so full of holes that it is a wonder how the springs of a carriage
can last a week. The houses seem built chiefly in the Italian style of
architecture, with fine stucco fronts, and in many cases marble floors
and facings, while the courtyards, seen through the grilles, blazed
with flowers. All the lower windows were strongly barred, a precaution
by no means unnecessary against the effects of the revolutions, which
are of such frequent occurrence in this country. To enable the
inhabitants the better to enjoy the sea-breeze, the tops of the houses
are all flat, which gives the town, from a distance, somewhat of an
eastern appearance. There are a great many Italian immigrants here,
and most of the building and plastering work is done by them.

The Paseo del Molino is the best part of the town, where all the rich
merchants reside in quintas, surrounded by pretty gardens. They are
very fantastic in their ideas of architectural style, and appear to
bestow their patronage impartially, not to say indiscriminately, upon
Gothic cathedrals, Alhambra palaces, Swiss cottages, Italian villas,
and Turkish mosques. Except for this variety, the suburb has somewhat
the appearance of the outskirts of many of the towns on the Riviera,
with the same sub-tropical surroundings. These are, however, hard
times on the River Plate, and more than half the quintas are deserted
and falling into ruins. On our way back, by the Union Road, we met a
great many of the native bullock-carts going home from market. These
huge conveyances are covered with hides, and are drawn by teams of
from two to twelve bullocks, yoked in pairs, and driven by a man on
horseback, who carries a sharp-pointed goad, with which he prods the
animals all round, at intervals. Dressed in a full white linen shirt
and trousers, with his bright poncho and curious saddle-gear, he forms
no unimportant figure in the picturesque scene. In the large
market-place there are hundreds of these carts, with their owners
encamped around them.

When we at last arrived on board the yacht again, at three o'clock, we
found that the miseries of coaling were not yet over, and that there
had been numerous visitors from the shore. Everything on deck looked
black, while below all was pitch dark and airless, every opening and
crevice having been closed and covered with tarpaulin, to keep out the
coal dust. It took seven hours to complete the work, instead of two,
as was hoped and promised, so our chance of starting to-day is over.
This seemed the more disappointing, because, had we foreseen the
delay, we might have made other arrangements for seeing more on shore.

_Tuesday, September 12th_.--The anchor was up, and we were already
beginning to steam away when I came on deck this morning, just in time
to see the first faint streaks of dawn appearing in the grey sky. The
River Plate here is over a hundred miles wide, and its banks are very
flat; so there was nothing to be seen, except the two little hills of
Cerro and Cerrito and the town of Monte Video, fast vanishing in the
distance. The channels are badly buoyed, and there are shoals and
wrecks on all sides. The lightships are simply old hulks, with no
special marks by which to distinguish them; and as they themselves
look exactly like wrecks, they are not of much assistance in the
navigation, which is very confusing, and sometimes perilous. Once we
very nearly ran aground, but discovered just in time that the vessel
we were steering for with confidence was only a wreck, on a dangerous
shoal, and that the lightship itself was further ahead. The yacht was
immediately put about, and we just skirted the bank in turning.

The weather improved during the day, and a fine sunset was followed
by a clear starlight night. At 10.30 p.m. we dropped our anchor
outside all the other vessels in the roads at Buenos Ayres, eight
miles from the shore. The lightship only carried an ordinary riding
light, like any other vessel, so that it was almost impossible, unless
you knew the port very well, to go in closer to the land at night.

_Wednesday, September 13th_.--Daylight did not enable us to
distinguish the town, for the river here is wide and the banks are
low, and we were lying a long way from the shore, outside a great many
fine-looking ships, at anchor in the roads. About nine o'clock a
German captain, in a large whale-boat, came alongside and told us we
were nearly eight miles from Buenos Ayres. Tom arranged with him to
take us ashore; and accordingly we soon started. The water was smooth
and there was a nice breeze, and we sailed gallantly along for about
two hours, until we reached the town. After anchoring, we transshipped
ourselves into a small boat, in which we were rowed to some steps, at
the end of the long rickety mole, where we landed. Some of the planks
of the pier were missing, leaving great holes, big enough to fall
through, and others were so loose that when you stepped upon one end
of them the other flew up almost into your face.

Our first business was to secure the services of a pilot, to take us
up to Rosario. The best man on the river was sent for; but when he
came he did not recommend our undertaking the voyage, as the water is
very low at present, and we might get stuck on a sandbank, and be
detained for some days, although no further harm would be likely to
occur to us. We decided, therefore, as our time is precious, to give
up the idea of making the expedition in the yacht, and to go in the
ordinary river-boat instead.

Under the guidance of some gentlemen, we then went to the Central
Railway Station to send off some telegrams, and thence to the River
Plate Bank. The treasury contains 600,000_l_. in British sovereigns,
locked up in three strong safes, besides paper-money and securities to
the amount of 2,000,000_l_. It was the Rosario branch of this bank
which was recently robbed of 15,000_l_. by an armed government force;
an unprecedented proceeding in the history of nations, and one that
might have led to the interference of foreign powers.

There was time afterwards to go round and see something of the city,
which, like many other South American towns, is built in square
blocks, all the streets running exactly at right angles one to
another. There is a fine plaza, or grand square, in which are situated
the cathedral, theatre, &c., the centre being occupied by a garden,
containing statues and fountains. The various banks, with their marble
facings, Corinthian columns, and splendid halls, are magnificent
buildings, and look more like palaces than places of business. Some of
the private houses, too, seem very handsome. Outside they are all
faced with marble, to a certain height from the ground, the interior,
consisting of courtyard within courtyard, being rather like that of a
Pompeian house.

We next went to the agricultural show, which, though not an imposing
affair to our eyes, appeared really very creditable to those who had
organised it. The horses and cattle looked small, but there were some
good specimens of sheep--specially the _rombonellis_ and _negrettis_,
whose long fine wool was, however, only to be discovered by first
turning aside a thick plaster of mud, beneath which it was concealed.
We saw also some curious animals, natives of the country, such as
vicunas, llamas, bizcachas, and various kinds of deer, a very mixed
lot of poultry and dogs, and two magnificent Persian cats. Another
department of the show was allotted to the commercial products of the
country, animal, vegetable, and mineral; the whole forming a very
interesting collection.

In re-embarking, the disagreeable process of this morning had to be
repeated--rickety pier, rotten steps, and small boat included--before
we reached the whale-boat, after which we had an eight miles' sail out
to the yacht. It was a cold, dull night, and getting on board proved
rather difficult work, owing to the rough sea.

_Thursday, September 14th_.--The pilot came on board at seven o'clock
to take us in nearer the shore, but, after all, we found ourselves
obliged to anchor again five miles off. No ship drawing more than ten
feet can get inside the sand-banks, which makes it a wretched place to
lie in, especially as the weather at this time of year is very
uncertain. You may go ashore from your ship on a fine clear morning,
and before you return a gale may have sprung up, accompanied by a
frightful sea. Open boats are therefore quite unsafe, a state of
things which has given rise to the existence of a class of fine boats,
specially built for the service, which attend all the ships lying in
the roads. They are half-decked, will sail in any weather, and can be
easily managed by two men.

About ten o'clock we went ashore again in the whale-boat, which Tom
had engaged to wait on us during our stay, and made the best of our
way to a warehouse to look at some ponchos, which are the speciality
of this part of South America. Everybody wears one, from the beggar to
the highest official. The best kind of ponchos are very expensive,
being made from a particular part of the finest hair of the vicuna,
hand-woven by women, in the province of Catamarca. The genuine article
is difficult to get, even here. In the shops the price usually varies
from 30_l_. to 80_l_.; but we were shown some at a rather lower
price--from 20_l_. to 60_l_. each. They are soft as silk, perfectly
waterproof, and will wear, it is said, for ever. We met a fine-looking
man in one of beautiful quality yesterday. He told us that it
originally cost 30_l_. in Catamarca, twenty years ago, and that he
gave 20_l_. for it, second-hand, ten years ago; and, with the
exception of a few slight tears, it is now as good as ever. Before we
came here, we were strongly advised, in case we should happen to go on
a rough expedition up country, not to be tempted to take with us any
_good_ ponchos, as the Gauchos, or half-bred Indians of the Pampas,
who are great connoisseurs of these articles, and can distinguish
their quality at a glance, would not hesitate to cut our throats in
order to obtain possession of them.

The material of which they are made is of the closest texture, and as
the hair has never been dressed or dyed it retains all its natural oil
and original colour, the latter varying from a very pretty yellow fawn
to a pale cream-colour. The majority of the ponchos worn here are,
however, made at Manchester, of a cheap and inferior material. They
look exactly like the real thing at first sight, but are neither so
light nor so warm, nor do they wear at all well. Occasionally they are
made of silk, but more often of bright-coloured wool. In shape a
poncho is simply a square shawl with a hole in the middle for the head
of the wearer. On horseback the appearance is particularly
picturesque, and it forms also a convenient cloak, which comes well
over the saddle, before and behind, and leaves the arms, though
covered, perfectly free.

The natives, as a rule, wear a second poncho, generally of a different
colour, tucked into the waistband of their long full linen drawers
(_calzoncillos_), so as to make a pair of short baggy over-trousers. A
poor man is content with a shirt, drawers, and two ponchos. A rich man
has many rows of fringe and frills of lace at the bottom of his
_calzoncillos_, and wears a short coat, with silver buttons, and a
gorgeous silver belt, covered with dollars. His horse-fittings and
massive stirrups (to say nothing of his enormous spurs) will be of
solid silver, and his arms inlaid with the same metal. He will
sometimes give as much as from 10_l_. to 20_l_. for a pair of stirrups
alone, and the rest of his dress and equipment is proportionately
expensive. The cost of the silver articles is little more than the
value of the metal itself, which is of very pure quality, and is only
roughly worked by the Indians or Gauchos. But as Manchester provides
the ponchos, so does Birmingham the saddlery and fittings, especially
those in use in the neighbourhood of towns.

After inspecting the ponchos, we breakfasted with some friends, and
about noon started in the train for Campana. The line passes at first
through the streets of Buenos Ayres, and thence into the open country,
beautifully green, and undulating like the waves of the sea. Near the
town and the suburb of Belgrano are a great many peach-tree
plantations, the fruit of which is used for fattening pigs while the
wood serves for roasting them. There is also some scrubby brushwood,
and a few large native trees; but these are soon left behind, and are
succeeded by far-spreading rich pasture land, and occasional lagunes.

We saw for the first time the holes of the bizcachas, or prairie-dogs,
outside which the little prairie-owls keep guard. There appeared to be
always one, and generally two, of these birds, standing, like
sentinels, at the entrance to each hole, with their wise-looking heads
on one side, pictures of prudence and watchfulness. The bird and the
beast are great friends, and are seldom to be found apart. We also
passed several enormous flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, most of
them quite unattended, though some were being driven by men on
horseback. There were quantities of plovers, and a great many
partridges, of two kinds, large and small, and the numerous lagunes
were covered with and surrounded by water-fowl of all kinds--wild
swans and ducks, snipe, white storks, grey herons, black cormorants,
and scarlet flamingoes, the last-named standing at the edge of the
water, catching fish, and occasionally diving below the surface. On
the very top of some of the telegraph-posts were the nests of the
oven-bird, looking like carved round blocks of wood, placed there for
ornament. These nests are made of mud, and are perfectly spherical in
form, the interior being divided into two quite distinct chambers.

[Illustration: Prairie Dogs and Owls.]

Campana was reached by four o'clock, the train running straight on to
the pier, alongside of which the two vessels were lying, with steam
up. Passengers, baggage, and freight were immediately transferred from
the train to the boats; and we soon found ourselves steaming along in
the 'Uruguay,' between the willow-hung banks of the broad Parana. The
country, though otherwise flat and uninteresting, looks very pretty
just now, in its new spring coat of bright green.

We passed several small towns, amongst others, San Pedro and San
Nicolas, which are quite important-looking places, with a good deal of
shipping, and occasionally stopped to pick up passengers, who had come
in boats and steam-launches from far-distant villages, situated on
lagunes, which our steamer could not enter.

Just before arriving at each stopping-place, we had a race with the
'Proveedor,' and whenever she became visible at a bend in the river,
half a ton more coal was immediately heaped on to our fires by the
captain's order--a piece of reckless extravagance, for, do what they
would, they could not make us gain five minutes. The competition is,
however, very fierce, and I suppose the two companies will not be
satisfied until they have ruined one another; whereas, if each would
run a steamer on alternate days, they and the public would be equally
benefited. The fares are exceedingly reasonable, being less than 3_l_.
for the whole journey from Buenos Ayres to Rosario, including all
charges.

_Friday, September 15th_.--A violent storm of thunder and lightning,
apparently just above our heads, woke us at six o'clock this morning.
Torrents of rain followed, and continued to fall until we dropped our
anchor at Rosario, at 8.45 a.m., just as we were in the middle of
breakfast, in our cozy little stern cabin. Half an hour later we
landed, though the rain still came down in sheets, but the steamer was
now alongside the pier, and close carriages had been provided. A few
minutes' drive through ill-paved streets brought us to the Hotel
Universel, a handsome, spacious building, with marble courtyards, full
of trees, plants, and flowers, into which all the sitting-rooms open.
Above are galleries, round which the various bed-rooms are in like
manner ranged. It all looked nice and cool, and suitable for hot
weather, but it was certainly rather draughty and cheerless on such a
cold, pouring wet day, and all our efforts to make our large room, in
which there were four immense windows, at all comfortable, were vain.

Rosario, like Buenos Ayres, is built in squares. The streets are
generally well paved with black and white marble, but the roadways are
composed of little round stones, and are full of holes and
inequalities, so that, in crossing the road after heavy rain, one
steps from the _trottoir_ into a very slough of despond. The universal
tramway runs down the centre of every street.

After luncheon we made a fresh start for Carcarana by a special train,
to which were attached two goods-vans, full of horses, and a carriage
truck, containing a most comfortable American carriage, in shape not
unlike a Victoria, only much lighter and with very high wheels. After
a short journey through a rich, flat, grass country, we arrived at
Roldan, the first colony of the Central Argentine Land Company. Here
we all alighted, the horses were taken out of the vans, saddled,
bridled, and harnessed, and the gentlemen rode and I drove round the
colony, along what are generally roads, but to-day were sheets of
water. We saw many colonists, of every grade, from those still
occupying the one-roomed wooden cottages, originally supplied by the
Land Company, standing in the midst of ill-cultivated fields, to those
who had built for themselves good houses in the town, or nice
cottages, with pretty gardens, surrounded by well-tilled lands.

The drive ended at the mill belonging to a retired officer of the
British army, who has settled here with his wife and two dear little
children. Here we had tea and a pleasant chat, and then returned to
the train and proceeded to Carcarana, the next station on the line.
Now, however, instead of the rich pasture lands and flourishing crops
which we had hitherto seen on all sides, our road lay through a
desolate-looking district, bearing too evident signs of the
destructive power of the locust. People travelling with us tell us
that, less than a week ago, the pasture here was as fresh and green as
could be desired, and the various crops were a foot high; but that, in
the short space of a few hours, the care and industry of the last ten
months were rendered utterly vain and useless, and the poor colonists
found their verdant fields converted into a barren waste by these
rapacious insects.

Carcarana may be called the Richmond--one might almost say the
Brighton--of Rosario. It stands on a river, the Carcaranal, to the
banks of which an omnibus runs twice a day from the railway-station,
during the season, to take people to bathe. Near the station is also
an excellent little hotel, containing a large dining-room and a few
bed-rooms, kept by two Frenchwomen; and here the Rosarians come out
by train to dine and enjoy the fresh air. It was quite dark by the
time we arrived, so that we could not see much of the flourishing
little colony which has been formed here. We therefore paddled across
the wet road to the inn, where, despite the somewhat rough
surroundings, we enjoyed a capital dinner, cooked in the true French
style. They are specially celebrated here for their asparagus, but the
locusts had devoured all but a very few stalks, besides which they
were held responsible, on the present occasion, for the absence of
other vegetables and salad. Yesterday there was a grand wedding-party
near here, the complete success of which was, we were told, somewhat
marred by the fact, that for six hours, in the very middle of the day,
it became absolutely necessary to light candles, owing to the dense
clouds of locusts, about a league in extent, by which the air was
darkened. Trains are even stopped by these insects occasionally; for
they appear to like a hard road, and when they get on the line their
bodies make the rails so greasy that the wheels of the engines will
not bite. Moreover, they completely obscure the lights and signals, so
that the men are afraid to proceed. The only remedy, therefore, is to
go very slowly, preceded by a truck-load of sand, which is scattered
freely over the rails in front of the engine. Horses will not always
face a cloud of locusts, even to get to their stables, but turn round
and stand doggedly still, until it has passed.

After dinner we once more stepped into our special train, in which we
arrived at Rosario at about half-past nine o'clock, thoroughly tired
out.




CHAPTER VI.

LIFE ON THE PAMPAS.

    _There's tempest in yon horned moon,_
    _And lightning in yon cloud;_
    _But hark the music, mariners!_
    _The wind is piping loud._


_Saturday, September 16th_.--Waking at half-past five, we busied
ourselves until nine o'clock, when we again started in a special train
for Carcarana. After a short stop at Roldan, it was reached two hours
later, and breakfast was followed by a long ride through the Land
Company's colony, and from thence to Candelaria, a purely Spanish
settlement.

I freely confess that I had hardly believed all the stories they told
me last night about the terrible doings of the locusts, and thought
they must have been slightly exaggerated. It all seemed too dreadful
to be true--as if one of the plagues of Egypt had been revived by the
wand of an evil magician. In this somewhat incredulous mood I rashly
said that, although I was very sorry to hear of the visit of these
destructive creatures, as they _were_ unfortunately here, I should
like to see them. My wish was shortly to be gratified; for, in the
course of our ride, we saw in the distant sky what looked very much
like a heavy purple thunder-cloud, but which the experienced
pronounced to be a swarm of locusts. It seemed impossible; but as we
proceeded they met us, first singly, and then in gradually increasing
numbers, until each step became positively painful, owing to the smart
blows we received from them on our heads, faces, and hands. We
stopped for a time at Mr. Holt's large estancia, where,
notwithstanding the general appearance of prosperity, the traces of
the ravages of the locusts were only too visible. On remounting, to
proceed on our journey, we found that the cloud had approached much
nearer, the effect produced by its varying position being most
extraordinary. As the locusts passed between us and the sun they
completely obscured the light; a little later, with the sun's rays
shining directly on their wings, they looked like a golden cloud, such
as one sometimes sees in the transformation scene of a pantomime; and,
at a greater distance, when viewed from the top of a slight eminence,
they looked like a snow-storm, or a field of snow-white marguerites,
which had suddenly taken to themselves wings. When on the ground, with
their wings closed, they formed a close mass of little brown specks,
completely hiding the ground and crops, both grass and grain. In
riding over them, though not a quarter of their number could rise, for
want of space in which to spread their wings, they formed such a dense
cloud that we could see nothing else, and the horses strongly objected
to face them. They got into one's hair and clothes, and gave one the
creeps all over. I am sure I shall often dream of them for some time
to come, and I have quite made up my mind that I never wish to see
another locust as long as I live. I have, however, secured some fine
specimens for any one who is curious about them.

The land we passed through appeared to be well farmed. We spoke to
several of the colonists, especially to one Italian family, living in
a little mud rancho with a tile roof. They were all gathered together
to witness the dying agonies of one of their best cows, perishing from
the effects of the drought. The rest of the animals in the corral
looked, I am sorry to say, thin and miserable, and as if they intended
soon to follow their companion's example. The poor people,
nevertheless, seemed very cheery and contented, and hospitably gave
us each a drink of some remarkably muddy water.

After a thirty-mile ride under a hot sun, fortunately on the easiest
of horses, we were none of us sorry to stop for a short time at
Carcarana, and obtain some refreshment, before proceeding--horses,
carriage, and all--by train to Rosario, another colony on the line.
Arrived at the latter place, I thought I had had enough riding for the
first day, and therefore visited the various farms and houses in the
carriage, the rest of the party going, as before, on horseback. After
a round of about fifteen miles, we returned to the station, where we
were kindly received by the sister of the station-master. An excellent
dinner was provided for us in the refreshment-room, before we entered
our special train, and Rosario was reached at about ten o'clock.

_Sunday, September 17th_.--A kind friend sent his carriage to take us
to the English church, a brick building, built to replace the small
iron church that existed here previously, and only opened last month.
The service was well performed, and the singing of the choir
excellent. We paid a visit to the Sunday schools after luncheon, and
then drove to the quinta of Baron Alvear. The road lies through the
town, past the race-course, crowded with Gauchos, getting up scratch
races amongst themselves, and on, over undulating plains and
water-courses, into the open country. Sometimes there was a track,
sometimes none. In some places the pastures were luxuriantly green; in
others the ground was carpeted with white, lilac, and scarlet verbena,
just coming into bloom--for it is still early spring here. Here and
there came a bare patch, completely cleared by the locusts, who had
also stripped many of the fine timber trees in the garden of the
quinta. On the gate-posts, at the entrance, were the nests of two
oven-birds, like those we had already seen on the telegraph-posts, so
exactly spherical as to look like ornaments. In one of the shrubberies
a fine jaguar was shut up in a cage, who looked very like a tiger.
Though he had evidently just had his dinner, he was watching with
greedy interest the proceedings of some natives in charge of a
horse--an animal which he esteems a great delicacy, when procurable.

On our way across the camp we saw a great quantity of the seeds of the
Martynia proboscidea, mouse-burrs as they call them,--devil's claws or
toe-nails: they are curious-looking things, as the annexed woodcut
will show.

[Illustration: Devils Horns]

Frank Buckland has a theory--and very likely a correct one--that they
are created in this peculiar form for the express purpose of attaching
themselves to the long tails of the wild horses that roam about the
country in troops of hundreds. They carry them thousands of miles, and
disseminate the seed wherever they go at large in search of food and
water.

When we returned to Rosario we noticed a great crowd still on the
race-course, and were just in time to see the finish of one race,
ridden barebacked, and for a very short distance. All the races are
short; and as the natives are always engaging in these little contests
of speed, the horses get into the habit of extending themselves
directly you put them out of a walk. But the least touch is sufficient
to stop them immediately, and I never saw horses better broken than
they are here. The most fearful bits are used for the purpose; but
when once this is accomplished, the mere inclination of the body, or
the slightest pressure of the finger upon the bridle, is sufficient to
guide them. They will maintain, for almost any length of time, a quick
canter--what they call here 'a little gallop'--at the rate of three
leagues (ten miles) an hour, without showing the slightest sign of
fatigue. They don't like being mounted, and always fidget a little
then, but are quite quiet directly you are in the saddle. I rode
several horses which had never carried a lady before; but after the
first few minutes they did not seem to mind the riding-habit in the
least. They evidently dislike standing still, unless you dismount and
throw the rein on the ground, when they will remain stationary for
hours.

_Monday, September 18th_.--The early part of this morning was spent in
much the same way as on Saturday, Tom going as before to the Land
Company's Office, whilst I remained at home to write.

At nine o'clock we proceeded to the station, and started in our
comfortable railway carriage for Tortugas. We formed quite a large
party altogether, and the journey over the now familiar line, past
Roldan, Carcarana, and Canada de Gomez, was a very pleasant one. At
Tortugas we left the train, and paid a visit to one of the overseers
of the colony and his cheery little French wife, who, we found, had
been expecting us all day on Saturday. A few weeks ago this lady's
sister was carried off by Indians, with some other women and children.
After riding many leagues, she seized her opportunity, pushed the
Indian who was carrying her off his horse, turned the animal's head
round, and galloped back across the plain, hotly pursued, until within
a mile or two of the colony, by the rest of the band. It was a plucky
thing for a little bit of a woman to attempt with a great powerful
savage, and she is deservedly looked upon in the village as quite a
heroine.

The journey between Rosario and Cordova occupies twelve hours by the
ordinary train; and as Frayle Muerto is exactly half-way between the
two places, the trains going in either direction commence their
journey at the same hours (6 a.m. and 6 p.m.), by which means the
passengers meet each other here in time to breakfast and dine
together. There is a fine bridge over the river near Frayle Muerto,
but the place is principally celebrated as having been the site of the
Henleyite colony, which caused disappointment to so many young men of
family, who were induced to come out here from England and to go up
country, with no other result than the loss of all their money. The
scheme was supposed to be perfect in all its details, but proved upon
a closer acquaintance to be utterly worthless. The iron church at
Rosario is still standing, which the members of the expedition took up
there, and we have also met some of the young men themselves at
various times.

The train did not reach Cordova until 7.30 p.m., and it was therefore
too late for us to see much of the approach to the city, but to-morrow
we intend to do a good deal in that way. In the middle of the night we
were aroused by a violent thunderstorm. The lightning was most vivid,
and illuminated our room with many colours. The rain fell heavily,
flooding everything, and making the streets look like rivers, and the
courtyard of the hotel like a lake. It is one of the oldest, and, at
the same time, one of the most unhealthy, of the cities of South
America, for it is built in the hollow of the surrounding hills, where
no refreshing breezes can penetrate.

Travelling in Brazil is like passing through a vast hothouse, filled
with gorgeous tropical vegetation and forms of insect life. In the
neighbourhood of Monte Video you might imagine yourself in a perpetual
greenhouse. Here it is like being in a vast garden, in which the
greenest of turf, the brightest of bedding-out plants, and the most
fragrant flowering shrubs abound. Each country, therefore, possesses
its own particular beauty, equally attractive in its way.

Shortly after leaving Cordova we passed through an Indian village;
but, except at this point, we did not meet many natives during our
ride. One poor woman, however, whom we did unfortunately encounter,
had a fall from her horse, owing to the animal being frightened at the
umbrella I carried, yet my own horse had, after a very brief
objection, quietly submitted to the introduction of this novelty into
the equipment of his rider.

[Illustration: La Calera.]

We found that the hotel on the Caldera for which we were bound was
shut up; but one of the party had the keys, and an excellent lunch
quickly made its appearance. The view from the verandah, over the
river, to the Sierras beyond, was very fine. It had become quite hot
by this time, and I was much interested in seeing all our horses taken
down to the water to bathe. They appeared to be perfectly familiar
with the process; and, the river being shallow, they picked out all
the nice holes between the boulders, where they could lie down and be
completely covered by the water. Just as we were starting to return,
black clouds gathered from all around; the lightning flashed, the
thunder muttered, and big drops began to fall. But the storm was not
of long duration, and we escaped the worst part of it, though we had
ample evidence of its severity during our homeward ride, in the
slippery ground, the washed-away paths, and the swollen ditches. We
stopped half-way to see the drowning out of some poor little bizcachas
from their holes. The water had been turned into their dwellings by
means of trenches, and as the occupants endeavoured to make their
escape at the other end they were pounced upon by men and dogs; the
prairie-owls meanwhile hovering disconsolately overhead. Two of the
gentlemen of our party each managed to purchase a living bizcacha,
which was then wrapped up in a handkerchief and conveyed home. When
young they are pretty little creatures, and are easily tamed.

It was late when we reached Cordova; but I was anxious to visit the
Observatory before our departure, as it is one of the best, though not
by any means the largest, in the world. Professor Gould, the
astronomer, is away just at present, but we were kindly received by
Mrs. Gould, who conducted us over the building. They have a fine
collection of various instruments and some wonderful photographs of
the principal stars--Saturn, with his ring and eight moons, Jupiter,
with his four moons, Venus, Mercury, &c. If we could have stayed
longer we might have seen much more; but it was now quite dark, and we
had only just time for a short visit to the observing room itself. Our
ride down to the city in the dark would have been exceedingly risky if
our horses had been less sure-footed, for the roads had been washed
away in many places, but we reached the bottom of the Observatory hill
in safety, and shortly afterwards arrived at the hotel just in time
for dinner.

After dinner we drove to the station, where we found all our own party
assembled, and many more people, who had come to see us off. I was
given the Chilian bit used for the horse I rode to-day, as a
remembrance of my visit. It is a most formidable-looking instrument
of torture, and one which I am sure my dear little steed did not in
the least require; but I suppose the fact of having once felt it, when
being broken in, is sufficient for a lifetime, for the horses here
have certainly the very lightest mouths I ever met with. A gift of a
young puma, or small lion, was also waiting for me. It is about four
months old, and very tame; but, considering the children, I think it
will be more prudent to pass it on to the Zoo, in London.

The train started at 8.30 p.m. and took an hour to reach Rio Segundo,
where we found tea and coffee prepared. After that we proceeded to
make our arrangements for the night; some of the gentlemen sleeping in
the saloon-carriages, and some on beds made up in the luggage-van. Tom
and I turned into our two cozy little berths, and knew nothing more
until we were called at 4.30 a.m. at Canada de Gomez. The lamp had
gone out, and we found it rather difficult work dressing and packing
in the cold and dark; but it was soon done, and a cup of hot coffee in
the refreshment-room afterwards made us feel quite comfortable.

Then we all separated: Captain Dunlop to join his ship; Tom to
complete his report on the colonies of the Central Argentine Land
Company, which he is preparing in compliance with the request of the
Directors in London; while the rest of the party awaited the arrival
of the waggonette which was to take us to the estancia of Las Rosas.

_Wednesday, September 20th_.--At 6.30 a.m. the waggonette arrived, a
light but strong, unpainted vehicle, drawn by a pair of active little
well-bred horses, both of whom had been raced in their day. There were
but a few leagues of cultivated ground to be passed before we reached
the broad, undulating, solitary Pampas, where for some time the only
visible signs of life were to be found in the Teru-tero birds (a sort
of plover), who shrieked discordantly as we disturbed their repose;
the partridges, large and small, put up by the retriever who
accompanied us; some prairie fowls; a great many hawks, of all sizes;
and the pretty little wydah-birds, with their two immense tail
feathers, four times the length of their bodies. The first glimpse of
the far-spreading prairie was most striking in all its variations of
colour. The true shade of the Pampas grass, when long, is a light
dusty green; when short it is a bright fresh green. But it frequently
happens that, owing to the numerous prairie-fires, either accidental
or intentional, nothing is to be seen but a vast expanse of black
charred ground, here and there relieved by a few patches of vivid
green, where the grass is once more springing up under the influence
of the rain.

The road, or rather track, was in a bad condition, owing to the recent
wet weather, and on each side of the five _canadas_, or small rivers,
which we had to ford, there were deep morasses, through which we had
to struggle as best we could, with the mud up to our axletrees. Just
before arriving at the point where the stream had to be crossed, the
horses were well flogged and urged on at a gallop, which they
gallantly maintained until the other side was reached. Then we stopped
to breathe the horses and to repair damages, generally finding that a
trace had given way, or that some other part of the harness had shown
signs of weakness. On one occasion we were delayed for a considerable
time by the breaking of the splinter-bar, to repair which was a
troublesome matter; indeed, I don't know how we should have managed it
if we had not met a native lad, who sold us his long lasso to bind the
pieces together again. It was a lucky _rencontre_ for us, as he was
the only human being we saw during the whole of our drive of thirty
miles, except the peon who brought us a change of horses, half-way.

In the course of the journey we passed a large estancia, the road to
which was marked by the dead bodies and skeletons of the poor beasts
who had perished in the late droughts. Hundreds of them were lying
about in every stage of decay, those more recently dead being
surrounded by vultures and other carrion-birds. The next _canada_ that
we crossed was choked up with the carcases of the unfortunate
creatures who had struggled thus far for a last drink, and had then
not had sufficient strength left to extricate themselves from the
water. Herds of miserable-looking, half-starved cattle were also to be
seen, the cows very little larger than their calves, and all
apparently covered with the same rough shaggy coats. The pasture is
not fine enough in this part of the country to carry sheep, but deer
are frequently met with.

A little later we again began to approach cultivated land, and a mile
or two further brought us to a broad road, with high palings on either
side, down which we drove, and through the yard, to the door of the
estancia. The house is a one-story building, one room wide, with a
verandah in front and at the back, one side of which faces the yard,
the other a well-kept garden, full of violets and other spring
flowers, and roses just coming into bloom. There are several smaller
detached buildings, in which the sleeping apartments are situated, and
which are also provided with verandahs and barred windows. Having
visited the various rooms, in company with our hosts, we sat down to a
rough but substantial breakfast, to which full justice was done.
Travelling all night, and a ride of thirty miles in the fresh morning
air, have a tendency to produce a keen appetite; and the present
occasion proved no exception to that rule.

After breakfast I rested and wrote some letters, while the gentlemen
inspected the farm and stud. The proprietor of this estancia has the
best horses in this part of the country, and has taken great pains to
improve their breed, as well as that of the cattle and sheep, by
importing thorough-breds from England. Unlike the Arabs, neither
natives nor settlers here think of riding mares, and it is considered
quite a disgrace to do so. They are therefore either allowed to run
wild in troops, or are used to trample out corn or to make mud for
bricks. They are also frequently killed and boiled down, for the sake
of their hides and tallow, the value of which does not amount to more
than about 10_s_. per head. Large herds of them are met with at this
time of the year on the Pampas, attended by a few horses, and
accompanied by their foals.

The natives of these parts pass their lives in the saddle. Horses are
used for almost every conceivable employment, from hunting and fishing
to brick-making and butter-churning. Even the very beggars ride about
on horseback. I have seen a photograph of one, with a police
certificate of mendicancy hanging round his neck, taken from life for
Sir Woodbine Parish. Every domestic servant has his or her own horse,
as a matter of course; and the maids are all provided with habits, in
which they ride about on Sundays, from one estancia to another, to pay
visits. In fishing, the horse is ridden into the water as far as he
can go, and the net or rod is then made use of by his rider. At Buenos
Ayres I have seen the poor animals all but swimming to the shore, with
heavy carts and loads, from the ships anchored in the inner roads; for
the water is so shallow that only very small boats can go alongside
the vessels, and the cargo is therefore transferred directly to the
carts to save the trouble and expense of transshipment. In
out-of-the-way places, on the Pampas, where no churns exist, butter is
made by putting milk into a goat-skin bag, attached by a long lasso to
the saddle of a peon, who is then set to gallop a certain number of
miles, with the bag bumping and jumping along the ground after him.

About four o'clock the horses--much larger and better bred animals
than those we have been riding lately--were brought round from the
corral. Mine was a beauty; easy, gentle, and fast. We first took a
canter round the cultivated ground, about 300 acres in extent, and in
capital condition. Lucerne grows here splendidly, and can be cut seven
times a year. As we left the yard, Mr. Nield's man asked if he would
take the dogs. He replied in the negative; but I suppose he must have
referred to the greyhounds only, for we were certainly accompanied on
the present occasion by _eleven_ dogs of various sorts and sizes,
those left behind being shut up and kept without food, in anticipation
of the stag-hunt to-morrow. We rode over the race-course, where the
horses are trained, and on to the partridge ground. The larger kind of
these birds are extremely stupid, and are easily ridden down by a
horseman, or caught in a noose. They rise three times, and after the
third flight they are so exhausted and terrified that it is easy to
dismount and catch them with the hand, as they lie panting on the long
grass. Partridge-hunting is considered good sport. It is necessary to
keep your eye constantly fixed upon the bird, and to watch where he
settles, and then to gallop to the spot as hard as possible, leaving
your horse to look after himself amid the long grass; and this
manoeuvre has to be repeated until at last the unfortunate bird is
overtaken and caught.

As we were riding along, the dogs found and killed a bizcacha, in a
bank. Just as Mr. Elliott had pulled it out, and had laid it, dead, in
the field, its little companion owl arrived, and appeared to be in the
most dreadful state of mind. It shrieked and cried, as it hovered over
us, and finally selected a small white fox terrier, who, I think,
really had been principally concerned in the death, as the object of
its vengeance, pouncing down upon his head, and giving him two or
three good pecks, at the same time flapping its wings violently. The
other dogs drove it off; but more than half an hour afterwards, while
we were looking at some horses, nearly a mile from the spot, the
plucky little owl returned to the charge, and again swooped down upon
the same dog, with a dismal cry, and administered a vigorous peck to
him. Altogether it was a striking and interesting proof of the
attachment existing between these curious birds and beasts; the object
of the owl in the present instance clearly being to revenge if
possible the death of its friend.

On our return to the farm, we went all round the place, and found that
everything was being made secure for the night; after which we watched
all the servants come in one by one for their daily ration of grog,
and then retired to dress for dinner, shortly after which, being
thoroughly tired out, I retired to my bed-room, attended by a very
kind old Irishwoman, who had been deputed to look after me. My mind
was at first somewhat disturbed by the discovery of one or two
enormous toads and long-armed spiders in my apartment; but they
fortunately did not interfere with my repose, for I slept like a top.
All the rooms being on the ground-floor, it is almost impossible
entirely to exclude intruders of this description. I admired very much
what I took to be two fine ponchos, of a delicate fawn-colour, used as
tablecloths, but upon a closer examination I found that they were made
of the finest silk, and learned afterwards that they were imported
from England. I don't know why the same material should not be
employed for a similar purpose at home; but I believe that those
manufactured hitherto have been designed expressly for the South
American market, to which they are exported in considerable
quantities.

_Thursday, September 21st_.--At five o'clock, when I awoke, it was so
misty that I could only see about half-way across the yard. By six,
the hour at which we were to have started on our hunting expedition,
matters had improved a little; but it was still considered unsafe to
venture out, for fear of being lost on the vast plains which
surrounded us. An hour later, however, it was reported that the fog
was clearing off, and a little before eight o'clock we started.
Horses, riders, and dogs, all appeared to be in the highest spirits,
the former jumping and frisking about, hardly deigning to touch the
ground, the latter tearing after one another and barking at every
stray bird they met. The pack numbered seventeen, and could hardly be
called a level lot of hounds, comprising, as it did, two deerhounds,
five well-bred greyhounds, two retrievers, one setter, one spaniel,
one French poodle, two fox terriers, one black and tan terrier, and
two animals of an utterly indescribable breed; but they all did their
work well, as the event proved. Even the shaggy fat old French poodle
arrived in each case before the deer was cut up.

Two deer were soon descried in the distance, and we cantered steadily
towards them at the rate of about ten miles an hour, until the dogs
winded and sighted them. Then, directly the first short yelp was
heard, every horse extended himself in an instant, galloping away as
hard as he could go, almost literally _ventre a terre_. They were
nearly all thoroughbreds, and had been raced, so that the speed was
something delightful. But it only lasted ten minutes, at the end of
which time the dogs ran into one of the deer, and thus put a temporary
stop to our enjoyment. He proved to be a fine buck, and was soon
killed. His legs were cut off for trophies, but, his horns being like
velvet, the head was not worth having. Some of the dogs pursued the
doe, but failed to pull her down, and returned half an hour later
fatigued and panting.

It had become hot by this time, so we rode to the nearest water, to
enable the animals to drink and bathe, and then started afresh at a
sharp canter. There were plenty of bizcacha holes and boggy places to
be avoided; but we allowed the horses to take care of themselves and
us in this respect, and occupied ourselves almost exclusively in
looking for fresh deer. For some time we found nothing; then two
sprang out of the long grass close to the _canada_, which they
crossed, and, on reaching the other side, started off in different
directions. The pack pursued and divided, some going after each
animal. I, and two others of the party, followed the doe, and after
another short burst of ten minutes, at a tremendous pace, we ran into
and killed her. As soon as she had been despatched, we wanted to
follow the buck, in pursuit of which the rest of the riders had gone,
but there was now nothing to be seen of him or them. Flat as the
country looked, the slight undulations of the ground quite hid them
from our view. After riding about for two hours in various directions,
looking and listening most patiently, we abandoned the search in
despair, and returned to the house, where we found that our friends
had already arrived. They had enjoyed the best run they have had for
many months--seven miles, from point to point--but the dogs had lain
down, dead beat, at the end of the first six miles. The horsemen had
galloped on, their animals tailing off one by one, until only two
remained in it at all. Having mutually agreed to let the stag live
till another day to afford perhaps as good a run and as much pleasure
to some one else, they thereupon also abandoned the chase, and turned
their horses' heads homewards.

After a change of dress, we proceeded to pack up, preparatory to our
departure, and then had breakfast, after which we bade adieu to our
kind hosts, and started in the waggonette to retrace our steps to the
station. It was very bright and hot, and the sun and wind had already
begun to have a visible effect upon the vegetation of the Pampas. The
streams were much more passable, and we reached Canada de Gomez at
about half-past five, in a shorter time, than it had taken us to
perform the outward journey yesterday. On reaching Rosario at about
ten o'clock, we found several friends waiting to receive us, with
invitations to tea; but we felt too tired in body and too disreputable
in appearance to accept them, and preferred going straight to our
hotel and to bed.




CHAPTER VII.

MORE ABOUT THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC.

    _The twilight is sad and cloudy,_
    _The wind blows wild and free,_
    _And like the wings of sea-birds_
    _Flash the white caps of the sea._


_Friday, September 22nd_.--Mr. Fisher called for me at 8 a.m., to
drive me in his little carriage to the railway yard and workshops, and
then to pay some farewell visits. We also went to see the market, and
to get some photographs of Rosario; after which, breakfast,
packing-up, and paying the bill occupied our time until one o'clock,
when we started for the steamer, to return to Buenos Ayres. On our
arrival alongside the 'Proveedor,' I found that nearly all our Rosario
friends had come down to the landing-place to see us off, and had
brought all manner of remembrances for me and the children. Flowers in
profusion; a tame cardinal bird for Muriel; a pair of dear little
long-tailed green paroquets; the skin of a seal, shot at the
Alexandria colony; a beautiful poncho; an Argentine bit, whip, and
stirrups; a carpincha skin; two pretty little muletas--a sort of
armadillo, very tame, and often kept in the houses here as a pet; and
several other presents, all of which, when I look at them at home,
will serve to remind me of the kind donors, and of the happy days
spent in the Argentine Republic.

It was not long before we were off, and steaming slowly astern of the
'Uruguay.' This boat is not so large nor so fast as the 'Uruguay,'
though the difference in speed does not probably amount to more than
fifteen minutes in the twenty-four hours. Her saloon and deck are not
so good, but her sleeping-cabins are much larger and more comfortable.
The Italian captains are equally agreeable on both steamers, the
civility is the same, and the fares and food are precisely similar, so
that there is not much left to influence one in the choice of vessels.
We had a pleasant party at an excellent dinner in the evening, the
captain only regretting that we had not been on board two days ago,
when Mlle. P. and the opera company went down from Rosario to Buenos
Ayres. They had a very cheery evening, and some good music, which Tom
told us afterwards he thoroughly enjoyed. There were no musicians on
board to-night, and not any temptation to sit up late, which was
perhaps as well; one of the reasons for our going back this way being
that we wished to have an opportunity of seeing the River Tigre, which
we should reach in the early morning. On the upward journey we had, to
save time, embarked at Campana, which is situated above that river.

_Saturday, September 23rd_.--At 4.30 a.m. the captain called me, being
anxious that I should not miss any of the beauties of the Tigre. On my
arrival on deck he kindly had a chair placed for me right in the bows,
provided me with rugs and wraps, and sent for some hot coffee, which
was particularly acceptable, as the morning air was fresh and chilly.
The sky was flushed with rosy clouds, the forerunners of one of the
most beautiful sunrises imaginable. The river itself is narrow and
monotonous, the branches of the willow-tree on either bank almost
sweeping the sides of the steamer. The centre channel is fairly deep;
but we managed to run aground once, though we only drew nine feet, and
in turning a sharp corner it was necessary to send a boat ashore with
a rope, to pull the vessel's head round.

At half-past six we reached the port of Tigre, where we found many
fine ships waiting for the tide, to go up the river. Some delay
occurred while the passengers' luggage was being examined; but in
about half an hour we were able to land and walk to the
railway-station, through an avenue of shady trees, round the trunks of
which the wistaria, now in full bloom, was climbing, and past several
houses, whose pretty gardens were ablaze with all sorts of flowers. At
the station I found a letter from Tom, telling me we were expected to
breakfast at a quinta, not far from Buenos Ayres.

For about an hour and a half the line ran through a rich and fertile
country, quite the garden of Buenos Ayres, until we arrived at the
station where we were to alight. Here Mr. Coghlan met us and drove us
to his house, which is charmingly situated in the midst of a grove of
olive-trees, formerly surrounding the palace of the viceroys. After
breakfast the gardener cut us a fine bouquet of roses and violets, and
we walked to the tramway, and were conveyed by one of the cars,
smoothly and quickly, to the city. The contrast between this mode of
travelling and riding in an ordinary carriage through the ill-paved
streets is very striking. It is really less fatiguing to walk than to
adopt the latter mode of conveyance, and I believe that, but for the
look of the thing, most people would prefer to do so. How the vehicles
themselves stand the jolting I cannot imagine, for they are all large
and handsome, and must suffer tremendous strains.

At noon we went with Mr. Coghlan to see the market and the museum, and
to do some shopping. The market is a large open building, well
supplied with everything at moderate prices; meat, game, fruit,
vegetables, and flowers being especially cheap and good. House-rent
and fine clothes--what Muriel would call 'dandy things'--are very dear
in Buenos Ayres, but all the necessaries of life are certainly cheap.
People of the middle and lower classes live much better here than they
do at home, and the development of bone and muscle in large families
of small children, owing to the constant use of so much meat and
strong soup, is very remarkable. When once they have attained the age
at which they can run about, children get on very well; but the
climate, and the difficulty of obtaining a proper supply of milk in
hot weather, often prove fatal to infants. It is very difficult to get
good servants here, as they can easily obtain much higher pay in other
capacities, and are very soon enabled to set up in business for
themselves. Returning to the hotel, we collected our parcels and had
some luncheon, and then proceeded to the pier, where we found the
children waiting for us to embark in the gig, and we soon arrived
safely on board the 'Sunbeam.'

At about half-past six, Tom and Mabelle returned from their expedition
to the largest and most comfortable estancia in the country, where
they were received most hospitably, and enjoyed themselves very much.

After dinner, some of our party left in the whale-boat, being anxious
to be present at Madame Almazilia's benefit performance at the opera,
for which I fear they arrived too late after all. Whilst we were
waiting at the railway-station to-day, some of the bouquets, which
were to be presented at the theatre to-night, arrived by train. The
flowers were arranged in all manner of strange shapes and
devices--full-sized tables and chairs, music-stands, and musical
instruments, and many other quaint conceits, composed entirely of grey
Neapolitan violets, marked out with camellias and other coloured
flowers.

_Sunday, September 24th_.--Most of us went ashore in the whale-boat at
ten o'clock, to attend the English church, reopened to-day for the
first time for some months. After our own service we met many friends,
and walked to the Roman Catholic cathedral. The streets were full of
well-appointed carriages, and in the interior of the building we found
a great many well-dressed ladies, and a few men. Mass had not
commenced, and a constant stream of worshippers was still entering;
but we remained only for a short time, and then returned to the Mole.
By this time the wind had freshened considerably, and several of our
friends tried to persuade us to remain on shore; but as we knew Tom
was expecting us, and we wanted to get the things we required for our
next journey, we thought it better to go off.

It took us two hours and a half, beating against the wind, to reach
the yacht, sea-sick, and drenched to the skin. Directly we got outside
the bar the sea was very bad, and each wave broke more or less over
the little half-deck, under which the children had been packed away
for shelter. Seeing how rough it was out at the anchorage--far worse
than near the shore--Tom had quite given us up, for it was now
half-past three, and was preparing to come ashore, bringing our things
with him. On board the yacht we found an unfortunate French maid, and
another servant, who had come off early in the morning to spend the
day and have dinner with our people, but who were now lying prostrate
and ill in the cabin.

Champagne and luncheon revived us a little, and Tom hurried us off to
get ashore again by daylight, before the weather became worse. It was
a very pleasant twenty minutes' sail to the shore, racing along before
the wind, with two reefs in the mainsail--quite a different thing from
beating out. The tide was high, and the captain therefore steered for
the pier, where he hoped to land us. Unfortunately, however, he missed
it; and as it was impossible to make another tack out, all that could
be done was to let go the anchor to save running ashore, and wait
until they sent out a small boat to fetch us. This took some little
time during which we pitched and tossed about in a very disagreeable
fashion. When the boat did at last arrive she turned out to be a
wretched little skiff, rowed by two men, with very indifferent oars,
and only capable of taking three passengers at a time. Tom went first,
taking with him the two children, and the two poor sea-sick maids, and
the boat at once put off for the land, Tom steering. It was terrible
to watch them from the whale-boat, and when one tremendous sea came,
and the skiff broached to, I thought for a moment that all was over,
as did every one who was watching our proceedings from the pier. I
could not look any more, till I heard shouts that they were safe
ashore. Then came our turn. The boat returned for us, this time
provided with better oars, and we were soon landed in safety, if not
in comfort; and a third and last trip brought ashore the rest of the
party and the luggage, Tom remaining at the tiller.

Mr. Coghlan had come down to meet us, but, seeing the peril of the
first boat, had gone away until he heard we were all landed, and now
returned to congratulate us on our narrow escape and present safety.
After we had rested for a short time in the waiting-room, to recover
from our fright and shake our dripping garments, we went to the Hotel
de la Paix, where we dined, and at ten o'clock we walked down to the
railway-station, where a large number of people had already assembled,
some of whom were to accompany us to Azul, while others had only come
to see us off.

Everything had been most comfortably arranged for us in the special
train. The interior fittings of two second-class American carriages
had been completely taken out, and a canvas lining, divided into
compartments, each containing a cozy little bed, had been substituted.
Wash-stands, looking-glasses, &c., had been provided, and a profusion
of beautiful flowers filled in every available spot. In a third car
two tables, occupying its entire length, with seats on one side of
each table, had been placed; and here it was intended that we should
breakfast, lunch, and dine.

_Monday, September 25th_.--We slept soundly--speaking for the children
and myself--until we were aroused at six o'clock this morning by the
agreeable intelligence that we had reached our destination. Azul is
about 300 miles south of Buenos Ayres, on the Southern Railway. It is
a small and primitive place in itself, but is situated in the midst
of splendid pastures, both for rearing sheep and cattle, of which
there are large flocks and herds.

Whilst we were waiting for breakfast, we walked a little distance to
see a troop of mares treading mud for bricks. It was a curious, but
rather sad sight. Inside a circular enclosure, some fifty yards in
diameter, about fifty half-starved animals, up to their houghs in very
sloppy mud, were being driven round about, and up and down, as fast as
they could go, by a mounted peon, assisted by five or six men on foot,
outside the enclosure, armed with long heavy whips, which they used
constantly. Some of the poor creatures had foals, which were tied up a
little distance off, and which kept up a piteous whinnying, as an
accompaniment to the lashings and crackings of the whips. On our way
back to the station we saw a horse, attached to a light gig, bolt
across the Pampas at full gallop, vainly pursued by a man on
horseback. First one wheel came off and then the other; then the body
of the gig was left behind, and then the shafts and most of the
harness followed suit; until at last--as we afterwards heard--the
runaway reached his home, about five miles off, with only his bridle
remaining.

At nine o'clock the breakfast-bell rang, and we found an excellent
repast spread out for us on two long tables. An hour later we started
in seven large carriages, and proceeded first to make the tour of the
town, afterwards visiting the bank, and a fine new house in the course
of construction by a native, built entirely of white marble from
Italy. Then we paid a visit to some Indians--an old chief and his four
wives, who have settled quietly down in a toldo near the town. They
were not bad-looking, and appeared fairly comfortable, as they
squatted in the open air round the fire, above which was suspended a
large iron pot, containing, to judge by the look and smell, a most
savoury preparation. We next went to a store, where we picked up a few
curiosities, and then drove to the mill of Azul, a new establishment,
of which the inhabitants of the town are evidently very proud. There
is a pretty walk by the mill-stream, overhung with willows, and close
by is another toldo, inhabited by more Indians.

[Illustration: Indians at Azul]

Leaving the town, we now proceeded about two leagues across the Pampas
to Mr. Frer's estancia. He is a farmer, on a very extensive scale, and
possesses about 24,000 sheep and 500 horses, besides goodly herds of
cattle. The locusts have not visited this part of the country, and the
pastures are consequently in fine condition after the late rains,
while the sheep look proportionately well. We passed a large
_grasseria_, or place where sheep are killed at the rate of seven in a
minute, and are skinned, cut up, and boiled down for tallow in an
incredibly short space of time, the residue of the meat being used in
the furnace as fuel. Running about loose, outside, were four or five
curly-horned rams, between two of which a grand combat took place,
apparently conducted in strict accordance with the rules of fighting
etiquette. The two animals began by walking round and round, eyeing
each other carefully, and then retiring backwards a certain distance,
which might have been measured out for them, they stopped so exactly
simultaneously. Then, gazing steadfastly at one another for a few
moments, as if to take aim, they rushed forward with tremendous force,
dashing their foreheads together with a crash that might have been
heard a mile away. It seemed marvellous that they did not fracture
their skulls, for they repeated the operation three or four times
before Mr. Frer could get a man to help to stop the fight, when the
two combatants were led off, in a very sulky state, to be locked up
apart.

Arrangements had been made for us to see as much of station-life as
possible during our short visit. The peons' dinner had been put back,
in order that we might witness their peculiar method of roasting, or
rather baking, their food, and eating it; but we were rather later
than was expected, and the men were so hungry that we were only able
to see the end of the performance. Mr. Frer had also sent a long way
across the Pampas for some wild horses, belonging to him, in order
that we might see them lassoed; and Colonel Donovan had brought with
him one of his best domidors, or horse-breakers, that we might have an
opportunity of seeing an unbroken colt caught and backed for the first
time.

About a hundred horses were driven into a large corral, and several
gauchos and peons, some on horseback and some on foot, exhibited their
skill with the lasso, by catching certain of the animals, either by
the fore leg, the hind leg, or the neck, as they galloped round and
round at full speed. The captured animal got a tremendous fall in each
case, and if the mounted horse was not very clever and active, he and
his rider were very likely to be thrown down also. There was the risk
too of the man receiving an injury from the lasso itself, if it should
happen to get round his body, in which case he would probably be
almost cut in half by the sudden jerk.

[Illustration: Lassoing Horses.]

The next proceeding was to cast a lasso at a _potro_, or unbroken
colt, who was galloping about in the very centre of the troop, at full
speed. His fore legs were caught dexterously in the noose, which
brought him up, or rather down, instantly, head over heels. Another
lasso was then thrown over his head, and drawn quite tight round his
neck, and a bridle, composed of two or three thongs of raw hide, was
forced into his mouth by means of a slip-knot rein. A sheepskin saddle
was placed on his back, the man who was to ride him standing over him,
with one foot already in the stirrup. All this time the poor horse was
lying on the ground, with his legs tied close together, frightened
almost out of his life, trembling in every limb, and perspiring from
every pore. When the man was ready, the horse's legs were loosened
sufficiently to allow him to rise, and he was then led outside the
corral. The lassoes were suddenly withdrawn, and he dashed forwards,
springing and plunging upwards, sideways, downwards, in every
direction, in the vain effort to rid himself of his unaccustomed load.
The man remained planted, like a rock, in the saddle, pulling hard at
the bridle, while a second domidor, mounted on a tame horse, pursued
the terrified animal, striking him with a cruel whip to make him go in
the required direction. After about ten minutes of this severe
exercise, the captive returned to the corral, exhausted, and perfectly
cowed, and showing no desire to rejoin his late companions. In order
to complete the process of breaking him in, we were told that it would
be necessary to keep him tied up for two or three days, rather short
of food, and to repeat daily the operation of saddling, bridling, and
mounting, the difficulty being less on each occasion, until at last he
would become as quiet as a lamb.

We now saw our train approaching, orders having been given for it to
come as far as it could from the station to meet us. We wished
good-bye to Mr. Frer and his party, and, with many thanks to all, got
into our carriages and drove across the plains to the railway. On our
way we passed some large lagunes, full of wild fowl, and surrounded by
scarlet flamingoes and pelicans. The ground we had to traverse was
very boggy; so much so, that two of the carriages got stuck, and their
occupants had to turn out and walk. At last we reached the train, and
climbed into the cars, where we found an excellent luncheon prepared,
which we ate whilst the train dashed along at the rate of forty miles
an hour. About seven o'clock we stopped for tea and coffee, and the
children were put to bed. By nine we had reached the junction for
Buenos Ayres, where an engine met us, and took most of our party into
the city, in one of the cars, while we went on to Punta Lara, the
station for Ensenada.

On arriving we were met by several of our men, who had been allowed to
go ashore at Buenos Ayres on Sunday morning, and had not been able to
rejoin the yacht since. On Sunday night, when they were to have
returned, it was impossible for them to get off. Even the whale-boat
was nearly dashed to pieces, at anchor, near the pier. They spent the
early part of Monday morning in hunting everywhere with the pilot for
the lost steward, and at last left the shore just in time to see the
yacht steaming down the river, with only half her crew on board, and
without a pilot. It seems they had been waited for from eight o'clock
until eleven; it then became necessary to get under way, for fear of
losing the tide. As it was, the yacht had not been able to get near
the pier at Ensenada, and was now lying in the river, two miles out.
The station-master, having been informed of the state of affairs, very
kindly had steam got up in the railway tug to take us off. The
children, with their nurses, remained in bed in the car, which was
shunted into a siding until the morning, the doctor staying on shore
in charge. The rest of us then set out for the yacht, which we reached
at 1 a.m., only to be greeted with the pleasing intelligence that no
fresh provisions had arrived on board for the party of friends we were
expecting. The captain of the tug was good enough to promise to do
what he could for us on shore; but everything is brought here from
Buenos Ayres, and it is too late to telegraph for a supply. We cannot
help fearing that something must have happened to our steward, for he
has always been most steady and respectable hitherto, and I fancy
Buenos Ayres is rather a wild place. Every inquiry is to be made, and
I can only trust the morning may bring us some news.

_Tuesday, September 26th_.--The morning was fine, with a nice breeze,
but the tide was so low that we should have been unable to get
alongside the pier until ten o'clock, when Tom thought we should just
miss our guests. It was therefore decided that it would be better to
send the steam-tug to meet the special train, especially as, if we
took the yacht in, it would be impossible to get out again in the
middle of the night, when we had arranged to sail.

The steam-tug came off early, bringing two sheep, half a bullock, and
some wild ducks, much to the relief of the cook's mind; but there were
no vegetables to be had on shore, and of course it was too late to
send to Buenos Ayres for any. We had to do the best we could without
them, therefore, and I really do not think any one knew of the dilemma
we had been in, until they were told, at the end of the day. The
servants all turned to and worked with a will; but it was rather a
different matter from having a large luncheon party on board in the
Thames, with our London servants and supplies to fall back upon.

For our own part, I think we all felt that the comparative scarcity of
meat this morning was an agreeable change, after our recent
experiences. Animal food is so cheap and so good in this country that
at every meal four or five dishes of beef or mutton, dressed in
various ways, are provided. In the camp--as all the country round
Buenos Ayres is called--people eat nothing but meat, either fresh or
dried, and hardly any flour with it. Especially in the more distant
estancias, beef and mutton, poultry and eggs, form the staple food of
the inhabitants. Very little bread is eaten, and no vegetables, and an
attempt is rarely made to cultivate a garden of any sort. This year,
too, the ravages of the locusts have made vegetable food scarcer than
ever, and it must now be looked upon quite as a luxury by very many
people; for there can be little doubt that to live entirely on meat,
even of the best quality, though probably strengthening, must be
exceedingly monotonous.

About one o'clock we saw the tug coming off again, this time with her
decks crowded. We found she had brought us fifteen ladies and thirty
gentlemen--more than we had expected, on account of the shortness of
the notice we had been able to give. The luncheon was managed by
dividing our guests into three parties, the coffee and dessert being
served on deck; but I am afraid the last division got very hungry
before their time arrived. It could not, however, be helped, and it is
to be hoped that the examination of the various parts of the yacht and
her contents served to while away the time. Every one seemed to be
pleased with the appearance of the vessel, never having seen one like
her before. Indeed, the only yacht that has ever been here previously
is the 'Eothen,' which formerly belonged to us.

Mr. St. John's servant brought me a most magnificent bouquet, composed
entirely of violets, arranged in the shape of a basket, three feet in
width, full of camellias, and marked with my initials in alyssum.
Altogether it was quite a work of art, but almost overpoweringly
sweet.

It was late before our friends began the task of saying good-bye--no
light matter where, as in the present case, it is doubtful whether, or
at any rate when, we shall meet again. At last they left us, steaming
round the yacht in the tug, and giving us some hearty cheers as they
passed. The Minister's flag was run up, salutes were exchanged, and
the little steamer rapidly started off in the direction of the shore,
followed by a dense cloud of her own smoke. Through a telescope we
watched our friends disembark at the pier, and saw the train steam
away; and then we turned our thoughts to the arrangements for our own
departure.

_Wednesday, September 27th_.--A fine breeze was blowing this morning,
in a favourable direction for our start, but as ten and eleven o'clock
arrived, and there were still no signs of the expected stores, Tom was
in despair, and wanted to sail without them. I therefore volunteered
to go ashore in the gig and see what had happened to them, and
telegraph, if necessary, to Mr. Crabtree. Fortunately, we met the tug
on our way, and returned in tow of her to the yacht. Then, after
settling a few bills, and obtaining our bill of health, we got the
anchor up, and proceeded down the river under sail. Between one and
two o'clock we commenced steaming, and in the course of the evening
were clear of the River Plate and fairly on our way to the Straits of
Magellan.




CHAPTER VIII.

RIVER PLATE TO SANDY POINT, STRAITS OF MAGELLAN.

    _I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds_
    _Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen_
    _The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,_
    _To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds:_
    _But never till to-night, never till now_
    _Did I go through a tempest dropping fire._


_Thursday, September 28th_,--A fine bright morning, with a strong,
fair wind. The order to stop firing was given at noon, and we ceased
steaming shortly after. There had evidently been a gale from the
southward during the last few days, for the swell was tremendous, and
not only made us all feel very uncomfortable after our long stay in
harbour, but considerably diminished our speed. Still, we managed to
go twenty-seven knots in two hours and a half.

I was lying down, below, after breakfast, feeling very stupid, when
Mabelle rushed into the cabin, saying, 'Papa says you are to come up
on deck at once, to see the ship on fire.' I rushed up quickly, hardly
knowing whether she referred to our own or some other vessel, and on
reaching the deck I found everybody looking at a large barque, under
full sail, flying the red union-jack upside down, and with signals in
her rigging, which our signal-man read as 'Ship on fire.' These were
lowered shortly afterwards, and the signals, 'Come on board at once,'
hoisted in their place. Still we could see no appearance of smoke or
flames, but we nevertheless hauled to the wind, tacked, hove to, and
sent off a boat's crew, well armed, thinking it not impossible that a
mutiny had taken place on board and that the captain or officers,
mistaking the yacht for a gunboat, had appealed to us for assistance.
We were now near enough to the barque to make out her name through a
glass--the 'Monkshaven,' of Whitby--and we observed a puff of smoke
issue from her deck simultaneously with the arrival of our boat
alongside. In the course of a few minutes, the boat returned, bringing
the mate of the 'Monkshaven,' a fine-looking Norwegian, who spoke
English perfectly, and who reported his ship to be sixty-eight days
out from Swansea, bound for Valparaiso, with a cargo of smelting coal.
The fire had first been discovered on the previous Sunday, and by 6
a.m. on Monday the crew had got up their clothes and provisions on
deck, thrown overboard all articles of a combustible character, such
as tar, oil, paint, spare spars and sails, planks, and rope, and
battened down the hatches. Ever since then they had all been living on
deck, with no protection from the wind and sea but a canvas screen.
Tom and Captain Brown proceeded on board at once. They found the deck
more than a foot deep in water, and all a-wash; when the hatches were
opened for a moment dense clouds of hot suffocating yellow smoke
immediately poured forth, driving back all who stood near. From the
captain's cabin came volumes of poisonous gas, which had found its way
in through the crevices, and one man, who tried to enter, was rendered
insensible.

[Illustration: Monkshaven on Fire.]

It was perfectly evident that it would be impossible to save the ship,
and the captain therefore determined, after consultation with Tom and
Captain Brown, to abandon her. Some of the crew were accordingly at
once brought on board the 'Sunbeam,' in our boat, which was then sent
back to assist in removing the remainder, a portion of whom came in
their own boat. The poor fellows were almost wild with joy at getting
alongside another ship, after all the hardships they had gone through,
and in their excitement they threw overboard many things which they
might as well have kept, as they had taken the trouble to bring them.
Our boat made three trips altogether, and by half-past six we had them
all safe on board, with most of their effects, and the ship's
chronometers, charts, and papers.

The poor little dingy, belonging to the 'Monkshaven,' had been cast
away as soon as the men had disembarked from her, and there was
something melancholy in seeing her slowly drift away to leeward,
followed by her oars and various small articles, as if to rejoin the
noble ship she had so lately quitted. The latter was now hove-to,
under full sail, an occasional puff of smoke alone betraying the
presence of the demon of destruction within. The sky was dark and
lowering, the sunset red and lurid in its grandeur, the clouds
numerous and threatening, the sea high and dark, with occasional
streaks of white foam. Not a breath of wind was stirring. Everything
portended a gale. As we lay slowly rolling from side to side, both
ship and boat were sometimes plainly visible, and then again both
would disappear, for what seemed an age, in the deep trough of the
South Atlantic rollers.

For two hours we could see the smoke pouring from various portions of
the ill-fated barque. Our men, who had brought off the last of her
crew, reported that, as they left her, flames were just beginning to
burst from the fore-hatchway; and it was therefore certain that the
rescue had not taken place an hour too soon. Whilst we were at dinner,
Powell called us up on deck to look at her again, when we found that
she was blazing like a tar-barrel. The captain was anxious to stay by
and see the last of her, but Tom was unwilling to incur the delay
which this would have involved. We accordingly got up steam, and at
nine p.m. steamed round the 'Monkshaven,' as close as it was deemed
prudent to go. No flames were visible then; only dense volumes of
smoke and sparks, issuing from the hatches. The heat, however, was
intense, and could be plainly felt, even in the cold night air, as we
passed some distance to leeward. All hands were clustered in our
rigging, on the deck-house or on the bridge, to see the last of the
poor 'Monkshaven,' as she was slowly being burnt down to the water's
edge.

She was a large and nearly new (three years old) composite ship, built
and found by her owners, Messrs. Smales, of Whitby, of 657 tons
burden, and classed A 1 for ten years at Lloyd's. Her cargo, which
consisted of coal for smelting purposes, was a very dangerous one; so
much so that Messrs. Nicholas, of Sunderland, from whose mines the
coal is procured, have great difficulty in chartering vessels to carry
it, and are therefore in the habit of building and using their own
ships for the purpose. At Buenos Ayres we were told that, of every
three ships carrying this cargo round to Valparaiso or Callao, one
catches fire, though the danger is frequently discovered in time to
prevent much damage to the vessel or loss of life.

The crew of the 'Monkshaven'--Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Scotch, and
Welsh--appear to be quiet, respectable men. This is fortunate, as an
incursion of fifteen rough lawless spirits on board our little vessel
would have been rather a serious matter. In their hurry and fright,
however, they left all their provisions behind them, and it is no joke
to have to provide food for fifteen extra hungry mouths for a week or
ten days, with no shops at hand from which to replenish our stores.
The sufficiency of the water supply, too, is a matter for serious
consideration. We have all been put on half-allowance, and sea-water
only is to be used for washing purposes.

[Illustration: Shipwrecked Crew coming on Board.]

Some account of the disaster, as gathered from the lips of various
members of the crew at different times, may perhaps be interesting. It
seems that, early on Monday morning, the day following that on which
the fire was discovered, another barque, the 'Robert Hinds,' of
Liverpool, was spoken. The captain of that vessel offered to stand by
them or do anything in his power to help them; but at that time they
had a fair wind for Monte Video, only 120 miles distant, and they
therefore determined to run for that port, and do their best to save
the ship, and possibly some of the cargo. In the course of the night,
however, a terrible gale sprang up, the same, no doubt, as the one of
which we had felt the effects on first leaving the River Plate. They
were driven hither and thither, the sea constantly breaking over them
and sweeping the decks, though fortunately without washing any of them
overboard. After forty-eight hours of this rough usage the men were
all exhausted, while the fire was gradually increasing in strength
beneath their feet, and they knew not at what moment it might burst
through the decks and envelope the whole ship in flames. They were
beginning to abandon all hope of a rescue, when a sail was suddenly
discovered; and as soon as the necessary flags could be found, the
same signal which attracted us was displayed. The vessel, now quite
close to them, proved to be a large American steamer, but she merely
hoisted her own ensign and code-pennant, and then coolly steamed away
to the southward. 'I think that captain deserved tarring and
feathering, anyway,' one of the men said to me. Another observed, 'I
wonder what will become of that man; for we had put all our lives in
his hand by signalling as we did; and every seaman knows that right
well.' Another said, 'When we saw that ship go away, we all gave in
and lay down in despair to die. But our captain, who is very good to
his crew, and a religious man too, said, "There is One above who looks
after us all." That was true enough, for, about ten minutes
afterwards, as I was talking to the cook, and telling him it was all
over with us, I saw a sail to leeward, and informed the captain. We
bore down a little, but did not like to go out of our course too much,
fearing you might be a "Portuguese," and play us the same trick as the
American.' (They could not understand our white ensign; for, our
funnel being stowed, we looked like a sailing vessel, while all
gunboats of our size are steamers.) 'When we saw it was an English
vessel, and that you answered our signals and sent a boat off, we were
indeed thankful; though that was nothing to what we feel now at once
more having a really dry ship under our feet. Not that we have really
suffered anything very terrible, for we had a bit of shelter, and
plenty to eat, and the worst part was seeing our things washed
overboard, and thinking perhaps we might go next. We have not had a
dry deck since we left Swansea, and the pumps have been kept going
most of the time. Why, with this sea, ma'am, our decks would be under
water.' (This surprised me; as, though low in the water, the
'Monkshaven' did not appear to be overladen, and the Plimsoll mark was
plainly visible.) 'Our boats were all ready for launching, but we had
no sails, and only one rudder for the three; so we should have had
hard work to fetch anywhere if we had taken to them. We lashed the two
boys--apprentices, fourteen and sixteen years old--in one of the
boats, for fear they should be washed overboard. The youngest of them
is the only son of his mother, a widow; and you could see how she
loved him by the way she had made his clothes, and fitted him out all
through. He was altogether too well found for a ship like ours, but
now most of his things are lost. His chest could not be got up from
below, and though I borrowed an old bread-bag from the steward, it was
not half big enough, and his sea-boots and things his mother had given
him to keep him dry and cover his bed--not oilskins, like
ours.'--'Mackintoshes,' I suggested.--'Yes, that's the name--they were
all lost. It did seem a pity. The boy never thought there was much
danger till this morning, when I told him all hope was gone, as the
American ship had sailed away from us. He said, "Will the ship go to
the bottom?" and I replied, "I fear so; but we have good boats, so
keep up your heart, little man." He made no further remark, but laid
down gently again, and cried a little.'

This poor child was dreadfully frightened in the small boat coming
alongside, and his look of joy and relief, when once he got safely on
board, was a treat to me. Every one on board, including the captain,
seems to have been very kind to him. One of the men had his foot
broken by the sea, and the captain himself had his leg severely
injured; so the Doctor has some cases at last.

It was almost impossible to sleep during the night, owing to the heavy
rolling, by far the most violent that we have yet experienced.

_Friday, September 29th_.--Again a fine morning. A fair breeze sprang
up, and, the dreaded storm having apparently passed over, we ceased
steaming at 6 a.m.

All on board are now settling down into something like order. The
stewards are arranging matters below, and measuring out the stores, to
allowance the men for twelve days. The men belonging respectively to
the port and starboard watches of the 'Monkshaven' have been placed in
the corresponding watches on board the 'Sunbeam.' The cook and steward
are assisting ours below, and the two boys are very happy, helping in
the kitchen, and making themselves generally useful. The deck does not
look quite as neat as usual. Such of the men's sea-chests as have been
saved are lashed round the steam-chest, so that they can be got at
easily, while their bags and other odd things have been stowed on
deck, wherever they can be kept dry; for every inch of available space
below is occupied. Captain Runciman is writing, with tears in his
eyes, the account of the loss of his fine ship. He tells me that he
tried in vain to save sixty pounds' worth of his own private charts
from his cabin, but it was impossible, on account of the stifling
atmosphere, which nearly overpowered him. Fortunately, all his things
are insured. He drowned his favourite dog, a splendid Newfoundland,
just before leaving the ship; for, although a capital watch-dog, and
very faithful, he was rather large and fierce; and when it was known
that the 'Sunbeam' was a yacht, with ladies and children on board, he
feared to introduce him. Poor fellow! I wish I had known about it in
time to save his life!

The great danger of smelting coal, as a ship's cargo, besides its
special liability to spontaneous combustion, appears to be that the
fire may smoulder in the very centre of the mass for so long that,
when the smoke is at last discovered, it is impossible to know how far
the mischief has advanced. It may go on smouldering quietly for days,
or at any moment the gas that has been generated may burst up the
vessel's decks from end to end, without the slightest warning. Or it
may burn downwards, and penetrate some portion of the side of the ship
below water; so that, before any suspicion has been aroused, the water
rushes in, and the unfortunate ship and her crew go to the bottom. On
board the 'Monkshaven' the men dug down into the cargo in many places
on Sunday night, only to find that the heat became more intense the
deeper they went; and several of them had their hands or fingers burnt
in the operation.

This has been about the best day for sailing that we have had since we
left the tropics. The sea has been smooth, and a fair breeze has taken
us steadily along at the rate of nine knots an hour. The sun shone
brightly beneath a blue sky, and the temperature is delightful. The
sunset was grand, though the sky looked threatening; but the moon rose
brilliantly, and until we went to bed, at ten o'clock, the evening was
as perfect as the day had been. At midnight, however, Tom and I were
awakened by a knock at our cabin door, and the gruff voice of Powell,
saying: 'The barometer's going down very fast, please, sir, and it's
lightning awful in the sou'-west. There's a heavy storm coming up.' We
were soon on deck, where we found all hands busily engaged in
preparing for the tempest. Around us a splendid sight presented
itself. On one side a heavy bank of black clouds could be seen rapidly
approaching, while the rest of the heavens were brilliantly
illuminated by forked and sheet lightning, the thunder meanwhile
rolling and rattling without intermission. An ominous calm followed,
during which the men had barely time to lower all the sails on deck,
without waiting to stow them, the foresail and jib only being left
standing, when the squall struck us, not very severely, but with a
blast as hot as that from a furnace. We thought worse was coming, and
continued our preparations; but the storm passed rapidly away to
windward, and was succeeded by torrents of rain, so that it was
evident we could only have had quite the tail of it.

_Saturday, September 30th_.--The morning broke bright and clear, and
was followed by a calm, bright, sunny day, of which I availed myself
to take some photographs of the captain and crew of the 'Monkshaven.'
The wind failed us entirely in the afternoon, and it became necessary
to get up steam. In the ordinary course of things, we should probably
have had sufficient patience to wait for the return of the breeze; but
the recent large addition to our party made it desirable for us to
lose as little time as possible in reaching Sandy Point. Another grand
but wild-looking sunset seemed like the precursor of a storm; but we
experienced nothing worse than a sharp squall of hot wind, accompanied
by thunder and lightning.

_Sunday, October 1st_.--A fine morning, with a fair wind. At eleven we
had a short service, at four a longer one, with an excellent sermon
from Tom, specially adapted to the rescue of the crew of the burning
ship. As usual, the sunset, which was magnificent, was succeeded by a
slight storm, which passed over without doing us any harm.

I have said that it was found impossible to save any provisions from
the 'Monkshaven.' As far as the men are concerned, I think this is
hardly to be regretted, for I am told that the salt beef with which
they were supplied had lain in pickle for so many years that the
saltpetre had eaten all the nourishment out of it, and had made it so
hard that the men, instead of eating it, used to amuse themselves by
carving it into snuff-boxes, little models of ships, &c. I should
not, however, omit to mention that Captain Runciman managed to bring
away with him four excellent York hams, which he presented to us, and
one of which we had to-day at dinner.

_Wednesday, October 4th_.--At 6 a.m., on going on deck I found we were
hove-to under steam and closely-reefed sails, a heavy gale blowing
from the south-west, right ahead. The screw was racing round in the
air every time we encountered an unusually big wave; the spray was
dashing over the vessel, and the water was rushing along the
deck--altogether an uncomfortable morning. As the sun rose, the gale
abated, and in the course of the day the reefs were shaken out of the
sails, one by one, until, by sunset, we were once more under whole
canvas, beating to windward. There were several cries of 'land ahead'
during the day, but in each case a closer examination, through a
glass, proved that the fancied coast-line or mountain-top existed only
in cloud-land.

_Thursday, October 5th_.--We made the land early, and most
uninteresting it looked, consisting, as it did, of a low sandy shore,
with a background of light clay-coloured cliffs. Not a vestige of
vegetation was anywhere to be seen, and I am quite at a loss to
imagine what the guanacos and ostriches, with which the chart tells us
the country hereabouts abounds, find to live upon. About twelve
o'clock we made Cape Virgins, looking very like Berry Head to the
north of Torbay, and a long spit of low sandy land, stretching out to
the southward, appropriately called Dungeness.

Some of the charts brought on board by Captain Runciman were published
by Messrs. Imray, of London, and in one of them it is represented that
a fine fixed light has been established on Cape Virgins.[2] This we
knew to be an impossibility, not only on account of the general
character of the country, but because no indication is given of the
light in our newest Admiralty charts. Captain Runciman, however, had
more confidence in the correctness of his own chart, and could hardly
believe his eyes when he saw that the light really had no existence on
the bare bleak headland. His faith was terribly shaken, and I hope he
will not omit to call Messrs. Imray's attention to the matter on his
return home; for the mistake is most serious, and one which might lead
to the destruction of many a good ship.

[Footnote 2: I have since received a letter from Messrs. Imray
requesting me to state that the light was inserted on erroneous
information from the hydrographic office at Washington, and has since
been erased from their charts.]

About two o'clock we saw in the far distance what looked at first like
an island, and then like smoke, but gradually shaped itself into the
masts, funnel, and hull of a large steamer. From her rig we at once
guessed her to be the Pacific Company's mail boat, homeward bound.
When near enough, we accordingly hoisted our number, and signalled 'We
wish to communicate,' whereupon she bore down upon us and ceased
steaming. We then rounded up under her lee and lowered a boat, and
Tom, Mabelle, and I, with Captain Runciman and four or five of the
shipwrecked crew, went on board. Our advent caused great excitement,
and seamen and passengers all crowded into the bows to watch us. As we
approached the ladder the passengers ran aft, and directly we reached
the deck the captain took possession of Tom, the first and second
officers of Mabelle and myself, while Captain Runciman and each of his
crew were surrounded by a little audience eager to know what had
happened, and all about it. At first it was thought that we all wanted
a passage, but when we explained matters Captain Thomas, the commander
of the 'Illimani,' very kindly undertook to receive all our refugees
and convey them to England. We therefore sent the gig back for the
rest of the men and the chests of the whole party, and then availed
ourselves of the opportunity afforded by the delay to walk round the
ship. It was most amusing to see the interest with which we were
regarded by all on board. Passengers who had never been seen out of
their berths since leaving Valparaiso, and others who were indulging,
at the time of our visit, in the luxury of a 'day sleep,' between the
twelve o'clock luncheon and four o'clock dinner, suddenly made their
appearance, in dressing-gowns and wraps, with dishevelled hair and
wide-opened eyes, gazing in mute astonishment at us, quite unable to
account for our mysterious arrival on board in this out-of-the-way
spot. A mail steamer does not stop for a light cause, and it was
therefore evident to them that the present was no ordinary occurrence.
The captain told us that the last time he passed through the Straits
he picked up two boats' crews, who had escaped from a burning ship,
and who had suffered indescribable hardships before they were rescued.

Captain Runciman is convinced, after comparing notes with the chief
officer of the 'Illimani,' that the vessel which refused to notice his
signal of distress was the 'Wilmington,' sent down from New York, with
a party of forty wreckers, to try and get the steamer 'Georgia' off
the rocks near Port Famine, in the Straits of Magellan. If this be so,
it is the more surprising that no attempt was made to render
assistance to the 'Monkshaven,' provided her signals were understood,
as the 'Wilmington' had plenty of spare hands, and could not have been
in a particular hurry. Moreover, one would think that, with her
powerful engines, she might have made an attempt to tow the distressed
vessel into Monte Video, and so secure three or four thousand pounds
of salvage money.

The captain of the 'Illimani' kindly gave us half a bullock, killed
this morning, a dozen live ducks and chickens, and the latest
newspapers. Thus supplied with food for body and mind, we said
farewell, and returned to the 'Sunbeam;' our ensigns were duly dipped,
we steamed away on our respective courses, and in less than an hour we
were out of sight of each other. It is a sudden change for the
'Monkshaven' men, who were all very reluctant to leave the yacht. Many
of them broke down at the last moment, particularly when it came to
saying good-bye to Tom and me, at the gangway of the steamer. They had
seemed thoroughly to appreciate any kindnesses they received while
with us, and were anxious to show their gratitude in every possible
way. The two boys, especially, were in great grief at their departure,
and were very loth to part with their boatswain, who remains with us
to make up our complement.[3]

[Footnote 3: After our return to England the following letter reached
us from Messrs. Smales:--

                                       'Whitby, June 30th, 1877.
'THOMAS BRASSEY, Esq.

'DEAR SIR,--Observing by the newspapers that you have returned home
after your cruise, we take this opportunity of thanking you most
heartily for the valuable assistance you rendered to the crew of our
late barque "Monkshaven," in lat. 43 28 S., lon. 62 21 W., after she
proved to be on fire and beyond saving. Your kind favour of October 1
last duly reached us, and it was very satisfactory to know from an
authority like your own, that all was done under the trying
circumstances that was possible, to save the ship and cargo. The
inconvenience of having so many extra hands for the time on board your
vessel, must have tried your resources; but you will be probably aware
that the Board of Trade willingly compensate for loss sustained in
rescuing a crew, when a claim is made. You will be glad to learn that
the master and crew arrived all well, in due course, at Liverpool, by
the "Illimani," and were very grateful for your kindness to them. Our
ill-fated vessel must have sunk very soon after you took off the crew,
as nothing more has been heard of her, and it was a most fortunate
circumstance that you were so near at hand, more especially as the
captain reported to us, that a vessel carrying the American colours
took no notice of his signal of distress. As shipowners, we generally
find that our own countrymen are more heroic, and always ready to lend
a helping hand to brother mariners in distress, so that, as you say,
we do not doubt you experienced some satisfaction in rendering this
service.--Trusting that you have enjoyed your trip, we beg to remain
yours, truly obliged,

                                                'SMALES Brothers.']

About 8 p.m. we anchored for the night in Possession Bay. It was thick
at sunset, but afterwards clear and cold, with a splendid moon.

_Friday, October 6th_.--We got under way at 5.30 a.m., and steamed
past the low sandy coast of Patagonia and the rugged mountains of
Tierra del Fuego, and through the First and Second Narrows, to Cape
Negro, where the character of the scenery began to improve a little,
the vegetation gradually changing from low scrubby brushwood to
respectable-sized trees. When passing between Elizabeth Island, so
named by Sir Francis Drake, and the island of Santa Madalena, we
looked in vain for the myriads of seals, otters, and sea-lions with
which this portion of the Straits is said to abound; but we saw only
seven or eight little black spots on the shore, in the distance, which
disappeared into the sea as we approached.

At 3 p.m. we reached Sandy Point, the only civilised place in the
Straits. It is a Chilian settlement, and a large convict establishment
has been formed here by the Government. Almost before we had dropped
our anchor, the harbour-master came on board, closely followed by the
officers of the two Chilian men-of-war lying in the harbour. The rain,
which had been threatening all day, now descended in torrents, and we
landed in a perfect downpour. We thought the pier at Buenos Ayres
unsafe and rickety, but here matters were still worse, for the head of
the structure had been completely washed away by a gale, and no little
care was necessary in order to step across the broken timbers in
safety. The town, which contains between 1,200 and 1,300 inhabitants,
is composed entirely of one-storied log huts, with slate or tile
roofs, and with or without verandahs. They are all arranged in
squares, separated from each other by wide roads; and the whole
settlement is surrounded by stockades. At the further end of the town
stands the convict prison, distinguished by its tower, and the
Governor's house, which, though built of wood, is the most
pretentious-looking edifice in the place. There is a nice little
church close by, and some tidy-looking barracks.

We went straight to the house of the British Vice-Consul, who received
us very kindly, and promised to do what he could to assist us in
obtaining supplies; but the resources of the place are limited, and
eggs, ship's beef and biscuits, and water, will, I expect, be the sum
total of what we shall be able to procure. In fact, it is rather
doubtful whether we shall even be able to renew our stock of coal. In
the meantime we started off to potter about the town, finding,
however, very little to amuse us. There were some new-laid ostrich
eggs to be bought, and some queer-looking worked Patagonian
saddle-bags.

I fear we shall not see any of the Patagonians themselves, for they
come to the colony only three or four times a year, to purchase
supplies, and to sell skins and ostrich eggs. They are a mounted tribe
of Indians, living on the northern plains, and are now on their way
down here, to pay one of their periodical visits; but, being
encumbered with their families, they move very slowly, and are not
expected to arrive for another ten days. They will no doubt bring a
splendid supply of skins, just too late for us, which is rather
disappointing, particularly as we are not likely to have another
opportunity of meeting with them at any of the places we touch at.
They live so far in the interior of the country that they very seldom
visit the coast.

We went to see three Fuegian females, who are living in a house
belonging to the medical officer of the colony. They were picked up a
short time since by a passing steamer from a canoe, in which they had
evidently sought refuge from some kind of cruelty or oppression. The
biggest of them, a stout fine-looking woman, had a terrible gash in
her leg, quite recently inflicted, and the youngest was not more than
eight years old. They appeared cheerful and happy, but we were told
that they are not likely to live long. After the free life and the
exposure to which they have been accustomed, civilisation--in the
shape of clothing and hot houses--almost always kills them. Their
lungs become diseased, and they die miserably. Their skin is slightly
copper-coloured, their complexions high-coloured, their hair thick and
black; and, though certainly not handsome, they are by no means so
repulsive as I had expected from the descriptions of Cook, Dampier,
Darwin, and other more recent travellers.

[Illustration: Fuegian Weapons.]

_Saturday, October 7th_.--My birthday. Tom gave me a beautiful
guanaco-skin robe, and the children presented me with two ostrich
rugs. The guanaco is a kind of large deer, and it is said that the
robes made from its skin are the warmest in the world. People here
assure me that, with the hair turned inside, these robes have afforded
them sufficient protection to enable them to sleep in comfort in the
open air, exposed to snow, frost, and rain. They are made from the
skin of the young fawns, killed before they are thirteen days old, or,
better still, from the skins of those which have never had an
independent existence. In colour, the animals are a yellowish brown on
the back, and white underneath, and they are so small that when each
skin is split up it produces only two triangular patches, about the
size of one's hand. A number of these are then, with infinite trouble,
sewed neatly together by the Indian women, who use the fine leg-sinews
of the ostrich as thread. Those worn by the caciques, or chiefs, have
generally a pattern in the centre, a brown edging, and spots of red
and blue paint on the part which is worn outwards. Such robes are
particularly difficult to obtain, on account of the labour and time
necessary to produce them. Each cacique keeps several wives constantly
employed in making them, of the best as well as of the ordinary
description. The ostrich rugs, which are made here, are more
ornamental, though not so warm and light as the guanaco robes. They
are made of the entire skin of the ostrich, from which the long
wing-feathers have been pulled out. Mabelle has been given a beautiful
little rug composed of the skins of thirty little ostriches, all from
one nest, killed when they were a fortnight old, each skin resembling
a prettily marked ball of fluff.

At eleven o'clock we went ashore. The Governor had kindly provided
horses for all the party, and while they were being saddled I took
some photographs. There are plenty of horses here, but the only
saddles and bridles to be had are those used by the natives. The
saddles are very cumbrous and clumsy to look at, though rather
picturesque. They are formed of two bits of wood, covered with about a
dozen sheepskins and ponchos; not at all uncomfortable to ride in, and
very suitable for a night's bivouac in the open. 'Plenty of nice soft
rugs to lie upon and cover yourself with, instead of a hard English
saddle for your bed and stirrups for blankets,' as a native once said,
when asked which he preferred. About one o'clock we started,
accompanied by the officers commanding the garrison and two attendant
cavaliers, equipped in Chilian style, with enormous carved modern
stirrups, heavy bits and spurs much bigger than those whose size
struck us so much in the Argentine Republic. We had a pleasant ride,
first across a sandy plain and through one or two small rivers, to a
saw-mill, situated on the edge of an extensive forest, through which
we proceeded for some miles. The road was a difficult one, and our
progress was but slow, being often impeded by a morass or by the trunk
of a tree which had fallen right across the path, and was now rapidly
rotting into touchwood under the influence of the damp atmosphere and
incessant rain. Lichens of every colour and shape abounded, and
clothed the trunks gracefully, contrasting with the tender spring
tints of the leaves, while the long hairy tillandsia, like an old
man's beard, three or four feet long, hung down from the topmost
branches. The ground was carpeted with moss, interspersed with a few
early spring flowers, and the whole scene, though utterly unlike that
presented by any English forest, had a strange weird beauty of its
own. Not a sound could be heard; not a bird, beast, or insect was to
be seen. The larger trees were principally a peculiar sort of beech
and red cedar, but all kinds of evergreens, known to us at home as
shrubs, such as laurestine, and various firs, here attain the
proportions of forest-trees. There is also a tree called Winter's Bark
(_Drimys Winteri_), the leaves and bark of which are hot and bitter,
and form an excellent substitute for quinine. But the most striking
objects were the evergreen berberis and mahonia, and the Darwinia, the
larger sort of which was covered with brilliant orange, almost
scarlet, flowers, which hung down in bunches, of the shape and size of
small outdoor grapes.

[Illustration: Fuegian Bow and Arrows.]

On our way back we took a sharp turn leading to the sea-shore, to
which the forest extends in places, and rode along the beach towards
the town. It was low water, or this would not have been possible, and
as it was, we often had considerable difficulty in making our way
between wood and water. The day was bright and clear, with a bitterly
cold wind and occasional heavy showers of rain; a fair average day
for Sandy Point. It is further west, they say, that the weather is so
hopeless. Lieutenant Byron, in his terribly interesting account of the
wreck of the 'Wager,' says that one fine day in three months is the
most that can be expected. I wonder, not without misgivings, if we
really shall encounter all the bad weather we not only read of but
hear of from every one we meet. Though very anxious to see the
celebrated Straits, I shall not be sorry when we are safely through,
and I trust that the passage may not occupy the whole of the three
weeks which Tom has been advised to allow for it.

We saw a few sea-birds, specially some 'steamer-ducks,' so called from
their peculiar mode of progression through the water. They neither
swim nor fly, but use their wings like the paddles of a steamer, with
a great noise and splutter, and go along very fast. On reaching the
plains we had an opportunity of testing the speed of our horses, which
warmed us up a little after our slow progress by the water's edge in
the bitter wind. We rode all round the stockades, outside the town,
before dismounting; but I saw nothing of special interest. Before the
party broke up, arrangements were made for us to go to morrow to one
of the Government corrals, to see the cattle lassoed and branded--an
operation which is always performed twice a year.

We reached the yacht again at half-past five. Dr. Fenton came on board
to dinner, and from him we heard a great deal about the colony, the
Patagonians or Horse Indians, and the Fuegians or Canoe Indians. The
former inhabit, or rather roam over, a vast tract of country. They are
almost constantly on horseback, and their only shelter consists of
toldos, or tents, made of the skins of the old guanacos, stretched
across a few poles. They are tall and strong, averaging six feet in
height, and are bulky in proportion; but their size is nothing like so
great as old travellers have represented. Both men and women wear a
long flowing mantle of skins, reaching from the waist to the ankle,
with a large loose piece hanging down on one side, ready to be thrown
over their heads whenever necessary, which is fastened by a large flat
pin hammered out either from the rough silver or from a dollar. This,
their sole garment, has the effect of adding greatly in appearance to
their height. They never wash, but daub their bodies with paint and
grease, especially the women. Their only weapons are knives and bolas,
the latter of which they throw with unerring precision. During their
visits to the Sandy Point settlement their arms are always taken from
them, for they are extremely quarrelsome, particularly when drunk.
Nobody has been able to ascertain that they possess any form of sacred
belief, or that they perform any religious ceremonies. Their food
consists principally of the flesh of mares, troops of which animals
always accompany them on their excursions. They also eat
ostrich-flesh, which is considered a great delicacy, as well as the
fish the women catch, and the birds' eggs they find. Vegetable food is
almost unknown to them, and bread is never used, though they do
sometimes purchase a little flour, rice, and a few biscuits, on the
occasion of their visits to the colony.

[Illustration: Pin for fastening Cloak, made from a Dollar, beaten
out.]

The Fuegians, or Canoe Indians, as they are generally called, from
their living so much on the water, and having no settled habitations
on shore, are a much smaller race of savages, inhabiting Tierra del
Fuego--literally Land of Fire--so called from the custom the
inhabitants have of lighting fires on prominent points as signals of
assembly. The English residents here invariably call it Fireland--a
name I had never heard before, and which rather puzzled me at first.
Whenever it is observed that a ship is in distress, or that
shipwrecked mariners have been cast ashore, the signal-fires appear as
if by magic, and the natives flock together like vultures round a
carcase. On the other hand, if all goes well, vessels often pass
through the Straits without seeing a single human being, the savages
and their canoes lying concealed beneath the overhanging branches of
trees on the shore. They are cannibals, and are placed by Darwin in
the lowest scale of humanity. An old author describes them as 'magpies
in chatter, baboons in countenance, and imps in treachery.' Those
frequenting the eastern end of the Straits wear--if they wear anything
at all--a deerskin mantle, descending to the waist: those at the
western end wear cloaks made from the skin of the sea-otter. But most
of them are quite naked. Their food is of the most meagre description,
and consists mainly of shell-fish, sea-eggs, for which the women dive
with much dexterity, and fish, which they train their dogs to assist
them in catching. These dogs are sent into the water at the entrance
to a narrow creek or small bay, and they then bark and flounder about
and drive the fish before them into shallow water, where they are
caught.

[Illustration: Fuegian Boat and Oars.]

Bishop Stirling, of the Falkland Islands, has been cruising about
these parts in a small schooner, and visiting the natives, for the
last twelve years, and the Governor here tells us that he has done
much good in promoting their civilisation; while the hardships he has
endured, and the difficulties and dangers he has surmounted, have
required almost superhuman energy and fortitude on his part. The
Fuegians, as far as is known, have no religion of their own.

The 'Wilmington' came in this morning. Her captain declares that as
the 'Monkshaven' was not hove-to, he never thought that there could be
anything seriously amiss with her. His glass was not good enough to
enable him to make out the union-jack reversed, or the signal of
distress, which he therefore supposed to be merely the ship's number.
It was satisfactory to hear this explanation; and as not only the
interests of humanity, but his own, were involved, there is every
reason to believe that his account of the transaction is perfectly
true.




CHAPTER IX.

SANDY POINT TO LOTA BAY.

    _And far abroad the canvas wings extend,_
    _Along the glassy plain the vessel glides,_
    _While azure radiance trembles on her sides._
    _The lunar rays in long reflection gleam,_
    _With silver deluging the fluid stream._


_Sunday, October 8th_.--At 6 a.m. we weighed anchor, and proceeded on
our voyage. At first there was not much to admire in the way of
scenery, the shores being low and sandy, with occasional patches of
scrubby brushwood, and a background of granite rocks and mountains.

Soon after passing Port Famine we saw the bold outline of Cape
Froward, the southernmost point of South America, stretching into the
Straits. It is a fine headland, and Tom ordered the engines to be
stopped in order to enable Mr. Bingham to sketch, and me to
photograph, both it and the splendid view back through the channel we
had just traversed to the snowy range of mountains in the distance,
crowned by Mount Sarmiento, not unlike the Matterhorn in appearance.

At this point the weather generally changes, and I suppose we must
look forward to living in mackintoshes for some little time to come.

In the afternoon, when in English Reach, where many vessels have been
lost, great excitement was caused on board by the appearance of a
canoe on our port bow. She was stealing out from the Barbara Channel,
and as she appeared to be making direct for us, Tom ordered the
engines to be slowed. Her occupants thereupon redoubled their
efforts, and came paddling towards us, shouting and making the most
frantic gesticulations, one man waving a skin round his head with an
amount of energy that threatened to upset the canoe. This frail craft,
upon a nearer inspection, proved to be made only of rough planks,
rudely tied together with the sinews of animals; in fact, one of the
party had to bale constantly, in order to keep her afloat. We flung
them a rope, and they came alongside, shouting 'Tabaco, galleta'
(biscuit), a supply of which we threw down to them, in exchange for
the skins they had been waving; whereupon the two men stripped
themselves of the skin mantles they were wearing, made of eight or ten
sea-otter skins sewed together with finer sinews than those used for
the boat, and handed them up, clamouring for more tobacco, which we
gave them, together with some beads and knives.[4] Finally, the woman,
influenced by this example, parted with her sole garment, in return
for a little more tobacco, some beads, and some looking-glasses I had
thrown into the canoe.

[Illustration: Bartering with Fuegians]

[Footnote 4: These skins proved to be the very finest quality ever
plucked, and each separate skin was valued in England at from 4_l_. to
5_l_.]

The party consisted of a man, a woman, and a lad; and I think I never
saw delight more strongly depicted than it was on the faces of the two
latter, when they handled, for the first time in their lives probably,
some strings of blue, red, and green glass beads. They had two rough
pots, made of bark, in the boat, which they also sold, after which
they reluctantly departed, quite naked but very happy, shouting and
jabbering away in the most inarticulate language imaginable. It was
with great difficulty we could make them let go the rope, when we went
ahead, and I was quite afraid they would be upset. They were all fat
and healthy-looking, and, though not handsome, their appearance was by
no means repulsive; the countenance of the woman, especially, wore
quite a pleasing expression, when lighted up with smiles at the sight
of the beads and looking-glasses. The bottom of their canoe was
covered with branches, amongst which the ashes of a recent fire were
distinguishable. Their paddles were of the very roughest description,
consisting simply of split branches of trees, with wider pieces tied
on at one end with the sinews of birds or beasts.

Steaming ahead, past Port Gallant, we had a glorious view over Carlos
III. Island and Thornton Peaks, until, at about seven o clock, we
anchored in the little harbour of Borja Bay. This place is encircled
by luxuriant vegetation, overhanging the water, and is set like a gem
amid the granite rocks close at hand, and the far-distant snowy
mountains.

[Illustration: Thornton Peaks]

Our carpenter had prepared a board, on which the name of the yacht and
the date had been painted, to be fixed on shore, as a record of our
visit; and as soon as the anchor was down we all landed, the gentlemen
with their guns, and the crew fully armed with pistols and rifles, in
case of accident. The water was quite deep close to the shore, and we
had no difficulty in landing, near a small waterfall. To penetrate far
inland, however, was not so easy, owing to the denseness of the
vegetation. Large trees had fallen, and, rotting where they lay, under
the influence of the humid atmosphere, had become the birthplace of
thousands of other trees, shrubs, plants, ferns, mosses, and lichens.
In fact, in some places we might almost be said to be walking on the
tops of the trees, and first one and then another of the party found
his feet suddenly slipping through into unknown depths below. Under
these circumstances we were contented with a very short ramble, and
having filled our baskets with a varied collection of mosses and
ferns, we returned to the shore, where we found many curious shells
and some excellent mussels. While we had been thus engaged, the
carpenter and some of the crew were employed in nailing up our board
on a tree we had selected for the purpose. It was in company with the
names of many good ships, a portion of which only were still legible,
many of the boards having fallen to the ground and become quite
rotten.

Near the beach we found the remains of a recent fire, and in the
course of the night the watch on deck, which was doubled and
well-armed, heard shouts and hoots proceeding from the neighbourhood
of the shore. Towards morning, too, the fire was relighted, from which
it was evident that the natives were not far off, though they did not
actually put in an appearance. I suppose they think there is a
probability of making something out of us by fair means, and that,
unlike a sealing schooner, with only four or five hands on board, and
no motive power but her sails, we are rather too formidable to attack.

_Monday, October 9th_.--We are indeed most fortunate in having another
fine day. At 6 a.m. the anchor was weighed, and we resumed our
journey. It was very cold; but that was not to be wondered at,
surrounded as we are on every side by magnificent snow-clad mountains
and superb glaciers. First we passed Snowy Sound, in Tierra del Fuego,
at the head of which is an immense blue glacier. Then came Cape Notch,
so called from its looking as if it had had a piece chopped out of it.
Within a few yards of the surrounding glaciers, and close to the sea,
the vegetation is abundant, and in many places semi-tropical, a fact
which is due to the comparatively mild winters, the temperate summers,
the moist climate, and the rich soil of these parts. Passing up
English Reach, we now caught our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean,
between Cape Pillar on one side, and Westminster Hall, Shell Bay, and
Lecky Point, on the other. Steering to the north, and leaving these on
our left hand, we issued from the Straits of Magellan, and entered
Smyth's Channel, first passing Glacier Bay and Ice Sound, names which
speak for themselves. Mount Joy, Mount Burney, with its round
snow-covered summit, rising six thousand feet from the water, and
several unnamed peaks, were gradually left behind; until, at last,
after threading a labyrinth of small islands, we anchored for the
night in Otter Bay, a snug little cove, at the entrance to the
intricacies of the Mayne Channel.

[Illustration: Glaciers. Snowy Sound.]

It was almost dark when we arrived, but the children, Captain Brown,
and I, went on shore for a short time, and gathered a few ferns and
mosses. We also found the embers of a fire, which showed that the
natives were not far off, and we therefore thought it prudent to hurry
on board again before nightfall. No names of ships were to be seen;
but, in our search for ferns, we may possibly have overlooked them. We
have not come across any Fuegians to-day, though in two of the places
we have passed--Shell Bay and Deep Harbour, where a few wigwams are
left standing as a sort of head-quarters--they are generally to be met
with. During the night the watch again heard the natives shouting; but
no attempt was made to re-light the fire we had noticed, until we were
steaming out of the bay the next morning.

_Tuesday, October 10th_.--In the early morning, when we resumed our
voyage, the weather was still fine; but a few light clouds were here
and there visible, and an icy wind, sweeping down from the mountains,
made it appear very cold, though the thermometer--which averages, I
think, 40 deg. to 50 deg. all the year round--was not really low. The line of
perpetual snow commences here at an elevation of from 2,500 to 3,500
feet only, which adds greatly to the beauty of the scene; and as it is
now early spring the snow is still unmelted, 500 feet, and even less,
from the shore. The stupendous glaciers run right down into the sea,
and immense masses of ice, sometimes larger than a ship, are
continually breaking off, with a noise like thunder, and falling into
the water, sending huge waves across to the opposite shore, and
sometimes completely blocking up the channels. Some of these glaciers,
composed entirely of blue and green ice and the purest snow, are
fifteen and twenty miles in length. They are by far the finest we
have, any of us, ever seen; and even those of Norway and Switzerland
sink into comparative insignificance beside them. The mountains here
are not so high as those of Europe, but they really appear more lofty,
as their entire surface, from the water's edge to the extreme summit,
is clearly visible. At this end of the Straits they terminate in
peaks, resembling Gothic spires, carved in the purest snow; truly
'virgin peaks,' on which the eye of man has but seldom rested, and
which his foot has never touched. They are generally veiled in clouds
of snow, mist, and driving rain, and it is quite the exception to see
them as distinctly as we now do.

After leaving Mayne's Channel, and passing through Union and
Collingwood Sounds, we found ourselves beneath the shadow of the
splendid Cordilleras of Sarmiento--quite distinct from Mount
Sarmiento, already referred to--along the foot of which extended the
largest glacier we have yet seen.[5] With Tarleton Pass on our right
hand, and Childer's Pass on the left, we came in sight of Owen's
Island, one extremity of which is called Mayne Head, and the other
Cape Brassey, these places having all been so named by Captain Mayne,
during his survey in the 'Nassau,' in 1869. Near the island of
Esperanza, the clouds having by that time completely cleared away, and
the sun shining brightly, we had a splendid view of another range of
snowy mountains, with Stoke's Monument towering high in their midst.
The numerous floating icebergs added greatly to the exquisite beauty
of the scene. Some loomed high as mountains, while others had melted
into the most fanciful and fairy-like shapes--huge swans, full-rigged
ships, schooners under full sail, and a hundred other fantastic forms
and devices. The children were in ecstasies at the sight of them.

[Footnote 5: I should explain that the names of places in these
Straits frequently occur in duplicate, and even triplicate, which is
rather confusing.]

As we gradually opened out our anchorage--Puerto Bueno--we found a
steamer already lying there, which proved to be the 'Dacia,' telegraph
ship, just in from the Pacific coast. Having dropped our anchor at
about 5 p.m., we all went on shore, armed as before, some of the
gentlemen hoping to find a stray duck or two, at a fresh-water lake,
a little way inland. We met several of the officers of the 'Dacia,'
who, being the first comers, did the honours of the place, and told us
all they knew about it. The vegetation was as luxuriant and beautiful
as usual--in fact, rather more so; for we are now advancing northwards
at the rate of about a hundred miles a day. There were no ducks in the
lake, but we enjoyed the scramble alongside it, to the point where it
falls over some rocks into the sea. The gig was drawn under this
waterfall, and having been loaded to her thwarts, with about three
tons and a half of excellent water, she was then towed off to the
yacht, where the water was emptied into our tanks, which were thus
filled to the brim. A small iceberg, also towed alongside, afforded us
a supply of ice; and we were thus cheaply provided with a portion of
the requisite supplies for our voyage. The 'Dacia' had an iceberg half
as big as herself lying alongside her, and all hands were at work
until late at night, aided by the light of lanterns and torches,
chopping the ice up and stowing it away.

Our boat being thus engaged, we were obliged to wait on shore until
long past dark; but as we were a large and strong party, it did not
much matter. Our men amused themselves by collecting a number of large
and excellent mussels, some of which, distinguishable by the peculiar
appearance of their shells, arising from a diseased condition of the
fish, contained from ten to thirty very small seed pearls. The captain
of the 'Dacia' came to dinner, and the officers in the evening; and
they gave us much valuable information about the anchorages further up
the Straits, and many other things. The captain kindly gave Tom all
his Chilian charts of the Darien Channel, which has not yet been fully
surveyed by the English Government, though the 'Nassau' passed through
in 1869.

_Wednesday, October 11th_.--I never in my life saw anything so
beautiful as the view when I came on deck this morning, at a quarter
to five. The moon was shining, large and golden, high in the heavens;
the rosy streaks of dawn were just tinging the virgin snow on the
highest peaks with faint but ever-deepening colour; whilst all around,
the foliage, rocks, and icebergs were still wrapped in the deepest
shade. As the sun rose, the pink summits of the mountains changed to
gold and yellow, and then to dazzling white, as the light crept down
into the valleys, illuminating all the dark places, and bringing out
the shades of olive-greens, greys, and purples, in the most wonderful
contrasts and combinations of colour. The grandeur of the scene
increased with every revolution of the screw, and when fairly in the
Guia narrows we were able to stop and admire it a little more at our
leisure, Mr. Bingham making some sketches, while I took some
photographs. To describe the prospect in detail is quite impossible.
Imagine the grandest Alpine scene you ever saw, with tall snowy peaks
and pinnacles rising from huge domed tops, and vast fields of unbroken
snow; glaciers, running down _into_ the sea, at the heads of the
various bays; each bank and promontory richly clothed with vegetation
of every shade of green; bold rocks and noble cliffs, covered with
many-hued lichens; the floating icebergs; the narrow channel itself,
blue as the sky above, dotted with small islands, each a mass of
verdure, and reflecting on its glassy surface every object with such
distinctness that it was difficult to say where the reality ended and
the image began. I have seen a photograph of the Mirror Lake, in
California, which, as far as I know, is the only thing that could
possibly give one an idea of the marvellous effect of these
reflections. Unfit Bay, on Chatham Island, looking towards the
mountains near Pill Channel, and Ladder Hill, which looks as if a
flight of steps had been cut upon its face, were perhaps two of the
most striking points amid all this loveliness.

All too soon came the inevitable order to steam ahead; and once more
resuming our course, we passed through Innocents and Conception
Channels, and entered Wide Channel, which is frequently blocked up
with ice at this time of year, though to-day we only met with a few
icebergs on their way down from Eyre Sound.

[Illustration: Unfit Bay]

I have already referred to the extraordinary shapes assumed by some of
the mountain peaks. That appropriately called Singular Peak--on
Chatham Island--and Two-peak Mountain and Cathedral Mountain--both on
Wellington Island--specially attracted our attention to-day. The
first-named presents a wonderful appearance, from whichever side you
view it; the second reminds one of the beautiful double spires at
Tours; while the last resembles the tapering spire of a cathedral,
rising from a long roof, covered with delicate towers, fret-work, and
angles. In Wide Channel we felt really compelled to stop again to
admire some of the unnamed mountains. One we christened Spire
Mountain, to distinguish it from the rest; it consisted of a single
needle-like point, piercing deep into the blue vault of heaven, and
surrounded by a cluster of less lofty but equally sharp pinnacles.
This group rose from a vast chain of exquisitely tinted snow-peaks,
that looked almost as if they rested on the vast glacier beneath,
seamed with dark blue and green crevasses and fissures.

[Illustration: Two-peaked Mountain.]

All this time the weather continued perfect. Not a cloud was to be
seen, the sun was hot and bright, and the sky was blue enough to rival
that of classic Italy. If we could but be sure that this delightful
state of things would continue, how pleasant it would be, to stop and
explore some of these places. We have, however, been so frequently
warned of the possibility of detention for days and even weeks at
anchor, owing to bad weather, that we are hurrying on as fast as we
can, expecting that every day will bring the much-dreaded deluge,
gale, or fog. In thick weather it is simply impossible to proceed; and
if it comes on suddenly, as it generally does, and finds you far from
an anchorage, there is nothing to be done but to heave-to and wait
till it clears, sending a party ashore if possible to light a fire, to
serve as a landmark, and so enable you to maintain your position. How
thankful I am that we have been hitherto able to make the passage
under such favourable circumstances! It has been a vision of beauty
and variety, the recollection of which can never be effaced.

Europe Inlet, on our right, going up Wide Channel, was full of ice.
Husband's Inlet looked as if it was frozen over at the farther end,
and Penguin Inlet seemed quite choked up with huge hummocks and blocks
of ice. Tom therefore decided not to attempt the passage of Icy Reach,
for fear of being stopped, but to go round Saumarez Island to Port
Grappler by way of Chasm Reach, rather a longer route. It was a happy
decision; for nothing could exceed the weird impressive splendour of
this portion of the Straits. We were passing through a deep gloomy
mountain gorge, with high perpendicular cliffs on either side. Below,
all was wrapped in the deepest shade. Far above, the sun gilded the
snowy peaks and many-tinted foliage with his departing light, that
slowly turned to rose-colour ere the shades of evening crept over all,
and the stars began to peep out, one by one. We could trace from the
summit to the base of a lofty mountain the course of a stupendous
avalanche, which had recently rushed down into the sea, crushing and
destroying everything in its way, and leaving a broad track of
desolation behind it. It must for a time have completely filled up the
narrow channel; and woe to any unfortunate vessel that might happen to
be there at such a moment!

Port Grappler is rather a difficult place to make in the dark; but
Tom managed it with much dexterity, and by eight o'clock we were
safely anchored for the night. We all wanted Tom to stay here
to-morrow to get some rest, which he much needs, but he has determined
to start at five o'clock in the morning as usual, for fear of being
caught by bad weather. Even I, who have of course had no anxiety as to
the navigation, felt so fatigued from having been on the bridge the
whole day since very early this morning, that I went straight to bed
before dinner, in order to be ready for to-morrow.

[Illustration: Indian Reach]

_Thursday, October 12th_.--A day as perfect as yesterday succeeded a
clear cold night. We weighed anchor at 5.15 a.m., and, retracing our
course for a few miles, passed round the end of Saumarez Island, and
entered the narrow channel leading to Indian Reach. The greatest care
is here necessary, to avoid several sunken rocks, which have already
proved fatal to many ships, a large German steamer having been wrecked
as recently as last year. The smooth but treacherous surface of the
channel reflected sharply the cliffs and foliage, and its mirror-like
stillness was only broken at rare intervals, by the sudden appearance
of a seal in search of a fresh supply of air, or by the efforts,
delayed until the very last moment, of a few steamer-ducks, gannets,
or cormorants, to get out of our way.

Having accomplished the passage of Indian Reach in safety, we were
just passing Eden Harbour, when the cry of 'Canoe ahead!' was raised.
A boat was seen paddling out towards us from behind Moreton Island,
containing about half-a-dozen people, apparently armed with bows and
arrows and spears, and provided with fishing-rods, which projected on
either side. One man was standing up and waving, in a very excited
manner, something which turned out ultimately to be a piece of
cotton-waste. Our engines having been stopped, the canoe came
alongside, and we beheld six wild-looking half-naked creatures--two
men, three women, and a very small boy, who was crouching over a fire
at the bottom of the boat. There were also four sharp, cheery-looking
little dogs, rather like Esquimaux dogs, only smaller, with prick ears
and curly tails, who were looking over the side and barking vigorously
in response to the salutations of our pugs. One man had on a square
robe of sea-otter skins, thrown over his shoulders, and laced together
in front, two of the women wore sheepskins, and the rest of the party
were absolutely naked. Their black hair was long and shaggy, and they
all clamoured loudly in harsh guttural tones, accompanied by violent
gesticulations, for 'tabaco' and 'galleta.' We got some ready for
them, and also some beads, knives, and looking-glasses, but through
some mistake they did not manage to get hold of our rope in time, and
as our way carried us ahead they were left behind. The passage was
narrow, and the current strong, and Tom was anxious to save the tide
in the dangerous English Narrows. We could not, therefore, give them
another chance of communicating with us, and accordingly we went on
our way, followed by what were, I have no doubt, the curses--not only
deep, but loud--of the whole party, who indulged at the same time in
the most furious and threatening gestures. I was quite sorry for their
disappointment at losing their hoped-for luxuries, to say nothing of
our own at missing the opportunity of bargaining for some more furs
and curiosities.

Shortly afterwards there were seen from the masthead crowds of natives
among the trees armed with long spears, bows, and arrows, busily
engaged pushing off their canoes from their hiding-places in creeks
and hollows; so perhaps it was just as well we did not stop, or we
might have been surrounded. Not far from here are the English Narrows,
a passage which is a ticklish but interesting piece of navigation. A
strong current prevails, and, to avoid a shoal, it is necessary at one
point to steer so close to the western shore that the bowsprit almost
projects over the land, the branches of the trees almost sweep the
rigging, and the rocks almost scrape the side of the vessel. Two men
were placed at the wheel, as a matter of precaution, and we appeared
to be steering straight for the shore, at full speed, till Tom
suddenly gave the order 'Hard a-port!' and the 'Sunbeam' instantly
flew round and rushed swiftly past the dangerous spot into wider
waters. It is just here that Captain Trivett was knocked off the
bridge of his vessel by the boughs--a mishap he warned Tom against
before we left England.

Whilst in the Narrows we looked back, to see everything bright and
cheerful, but ahead all was black and dismal: the sky and sun were
obscured, the tops of the mountains hidden, and the valleys filled up
with thick fog and clouds--all which seemed to indicate the approach
of a storm of rain, although the glass was still very high. We went up
South Reach and North Reach, in the Messier Channel, till, just as we
were off Liberta Bay, in lat. 48 deg. 50' S., long. 74 deg. 25' W., the
blackest of the black clouds came suddenly down upon us, and descended
upon the deck in a tremendous shower--not of rain, but of _dust_ and
_ashes_. Windows, hatches, and doors were shut as soon as we
discovered the nature of this strange visitation, and in about half
an hour we were through the worst of it: whereupon dustpans, brooms,
and dusters came into great requisition. It took us completely by
surprise, for we had no reason to expect anything of the sort.
Assuming the dust to be of volcanic origin, it must have travelled an
immense distance; the nearest volcano, as far as we know, being that
of Corcovado, in the island of Chiloe, nearly 300 miles off. We had
heard from Sir Woodbine Parish, and others at Buenos Ayres, of the
terrible blinding dust-storms which occur _there_, causing utter
darkness for a space of ten or fifteen minutes; but Buenos Ayres is on
the edge of a river, with hundreds and thousands of leagues of sandy
plains behind it, the soil of which is only kept together by the roots
of the wiry pampas grass. For this dust to reach the Messier Channel,
where we now are, it would have to surmount two chains of snowy
mountains, six or seven thousand feet in height, and in many places
hundreds of miles in width, and traverse a vast extent of country
besides.

The weather was still so fine, and the barometer so high--30.52
inches--that Tom determined to go to sea to-day, instead of stopping
at Hale Cove for the night, as we had originally intended. Directly we
got through the English Narrows, therefore, all hands were busily
engaged in once more sending up the square-yards, top-masts, &c., and
in making ready for sea. Just before sunset, as we were quitting the
narrow channels, the sun pierced through the clouds and lightened up
the lonely landscape as well as the broad waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Its surface was scarcely rippled by the gentle breeze that wafted us
on our course; the light of the setting sun rested, in soft and varied
tints, on the fast-fading mountains and peaks; and thus, under the
most favourable and encouraging circumstances, we have fairly entered
upon a new and important section of our long voyage.

Although perhaps I ought not to say so, I cannot help admiring the
manner in which Tom has piloted his yacht through the Straits, for it
would do credit, not only to any amateur, but to a professional
seaman. He has never hesitated or been at a loss for a moment, however
intricate the part or complicated the directions; but having
thoroughly studied and mastered the subject beforehand, he has been
able to go steadily on at full speed the whole way. It has, however,
been very fatiguing work for him, as he hardly ever left the bridge
whilst we were under way.

We steamed the whole distance from Cape Virgins to the Gulf of Penas,
659 knots, in 76 hours, anchoring six times. This gives seven days'
steaming, of an average length of eleven hours each; and as we stopped
two or three hours, at different times, for Fuegians, photographs, and
sketches, our average speed was nine and a half knots, though
sometimes, when going with strong currents, it was twelve or fourteen,
and, when going against them, barely six knots.

Just at dark, we passed between Wager Island and Cheape Channel, where
H.M.S. 'Wager,' commanded by Captain Cheape, was wrecked, and we spent
the night in the Gulf of Penas, almost becalmed.

_Friday, October 13th_.--We ceased steaming at 7.30 a.m., and made
every effort throughout the rest of the day, by endless changes of
sail, to catch each fleeting breath of wind. We did not, however, make
much progress, owing to the extreme lightness of the breeze.

Sorry as we are to lose the scenery of the Straits, it is pleasant to
find the weather getting gradually warmer, day by day, and to be able
to regard the morning bath once more as a luxury instead of a terror.
The change is also thoroughly appreciated by the various animals we
have on board, especially the monkeys and parrots, who may now be seen
sunning themselves in every warm corner of the deck. In the Straits,
though the sun was hot, there was always an icy feeling in the wind,
owing to the presence of enormous masses of snow and ice on every
side.

_Saturday, October 14th_.--Light winds and calms prevailed the whole
day. About 2 p.m. we were off the island of Socorro. In the afternoon
a large shoal of whales came round the yacht. I was below when they
first made their appearance, and when I came on deck they were
spouting up great jets of water in all directions, suggestive of the
fountains at the Crystal Palace. We were lying so still that they did
not seem to be in the least afraid of us, and came quite close,
swimming alongside, round us, across our bows, and even diving down
under our keel. There was a shoal of small fish about, and the whales,
most of which were about fifty or sixty feet in length, constantly
opened their huge pink whalebone-fringed mouths so wide that we could
see right down their capacious throats. The children were especially
delighted with this performance, and baby has learned quite a new
trick. When asked, 'What do the whales do?' she opens her mouth as
wide as she can, stretches out her arms to their fullest extent, then
blows, and finishes up with a look round for applause.

Soon after 8 p.m. the wind completely died away, and, fearing further
detention, we once more got up steam.

_Sunday, October 15th_.--Still calm. We had the litany and hymns at 11
a.m.; prayers and hymns and a sermon at 5 p.m. In the course of the
afternoon we were again surrounded by a shoal of whales. We passed the
island of Chiloe to-day, where it always rains, and where the
vegetation is proportionately dense and luxuriant. It is inhabited by
a tribe of peculiarly gentle Indians, who till the ground, and who are
said to be kind to strangers thrown amongst them. Darwin and Byron
speak well of the island and its inhabitants, who are probably more
civilised since their time, for a steamer now runs regularly once a
week from Valparaiso to San Carlos and back for garden produce. The
potato is indigenous to the island.

[Illustration: Catching Cape Pigeons in the Gulf of Penas]

_Tuesday, October 17th_.--At 6 a.m., there being still no wind, Tom,
in despair of ever reaching our destination under sail alone, again
ordered steam to be raised. Two hours later a nice sailing breeze
sprang up; but we had been so often disappointed that we determined to
continue steaming. Just before sunset we saw the island of Mocha in
the distance. It is said to have been inhabited at one time by herds
of wild horses and hogs, but I think they have now become extinct.

One of our principal amusements during the calm weather has been to
fish for cape-pigeons, cape-hens, gulls, and albatrosses, with a hook
and line. We have caught a good many in this way, and several
entangled themselves in the threads left floating for the purpose over
the stern. The cape-pigeons were so tame that they came almost on
board, and numbers of them were caught in butterfly-nets. Their
plumage is not unlike grebe, and I mean to have some muffs and
trimmings for the children made out of it. Allen, the coxswain of the
gig, skins them very well, having had some lessons from Ward before we
left England. I want very much to catch an albatross, in order to have
it skinned, and to make tobacco-pouches of its feet and pipe-stems of
the wing-bones, for presents.




CHAPTER X.

CHILI.

    _Sunbeam of summer, oh what is like thee,_
    _Hope of the wilderness, joy of the sea._


_Wednesday, October 18th_.--At 3.30 a.m. we were close to the land
lying south of the Bay of Lota; at 4 a.m. the engines were stopped on
account of the mist; and at 6 a.m. we began to go slowly ahead again,
though it was still not very easy to make out the distance and bearing
of the coast. The passage into the bay, between the island of Santa
Maria and Lavapie Point, is narrow and difficult, and abounds with
sunken rocks and other hidden dangers, not yet fully surveyed. Tom
said it was the most arduous piece of navigation he ever undertook on
a misty morning; but happily he accomplished it successfully. Just as
he entered the sun broke through the mist, displaying a beautiful bay,
surrounded on three sides by well-wooded hills, and sheltered from all
winds except the north. One corner is completely occupied by the huge
establishment belonging to Madame Cousino, consisting of coal-mines,
enormous smelting-works, and extensive potteries. The hill just at the
back is completely bare of vegetation, which has all been poisoned by
the sulphurous vapours from the furnaces. This spot, from its
contiguity to the works, has been selected as the site of a village
for the accommodation of the numerous labourers and their families. It
is therefore to be hoped that sulphur fumes are not as injurious to
animal as they evidently are to vegetable life. As we drew nearer to
the shore we could distinguish Madame Cousino's house, in the midst of
a park on the summit of a hill, and surrounded on all sides by
beautiful gardens. Every prominent point had a little summer-house
perched upon it, and some of the trees had circular seats built round
their trunks half-way up, approached by spiral staircases, and
thatched like wigwams. The general aspect of the coast, which is a
combination of rich red earth, granite cliffs, and trees to the
water's edge, is very like that of Cornwall and Devonshire.

We had scarcely dropped our anchor before the captain of the port came
on board, and told us we were too far from the shore to coal, which
was our special object in coming here; so up went the anchor again,
and we steamed a few hundred yards further in, and then let go close
to the shore, in deep water. Captain Moeller waited to go ashore with
us, introduced our steward to the butcher and postmaster of the place,
and then accompanied us to Madame Cousino's gardens.

It was a steep climb up the hill, but we were well rewarded for our
labour. Tended by over a hundred men, whose efforts are directed by
highly paid and thoroughly experienced Scotch gardeners, these grounds
contain a collection of plants from all the four quarters of the
globe, and from New Zealand, Polynesia, and Australia. Amid them were
scattered all kinds of fantastic grottoes, fountains, statues, and
ferneries; flights of steps, leading downwards to the beach, and
upwards to sylvan nooks; arcades, arched over with bamboos, and
containing trellis-work from Derbyshire, and Minton tiles from
Staffordshire; seats of all sorts and shapes, _under_ trees, _in_
trees, and _over_ trees; besides summer-houses and pagodas, at every
corner where there was a pretty view over land or sea.

One of the heads of the establishment, a great friend of Madame
Cousino's, was unfortunately very ill, and as she was nursing him, she
could not come out to see us; but she kindly gave orders to her
gardener to send some cut flowers and some ferns on board the yacht,
to decorate the saloon; and as she was unable to invite us to luncheon
at the big house, she sent some champagne and refreshments down to the
Casa de la Administracion, where we were most hospitably entertained.
She has had the latter place comfortably fitted up for the use of the
principal employes on the works, and has provided it with a
billiard-table, a very fair library, and several spare bed-rooms for
the accommodation of visitors.

After luncheon we went to see the copper-smelting works, which were
very interesting. The manager walked through with us, and explained
the processes very clearly. He could tell at once, on taking up a
piece of rough ore, fresh from the mine, what percentage of copper or
iron it contained, the amount varying from ten to seventy-five per
cent, of the gross weight. The furnaces are kept burning night and
day, and are worked by three gangs of men; and the quantity of copper
produced annually is enormous. In fact, three parts of the copper used
in Europe comes from here. The ore is brought from various parts of
Chili and Peru, generally in Madame Cousino's ships; and coal is found
in such abundance, and so near the surface, that the operation of
smelting is a profitable one. Our afternoon, spent amid smoke, and
heat, and dirt, and half-naked workmen, manipulating with dexterous
skill the glowing streams of molten ore, was a great contrast to our
morning ramble.

Having seen the works, and received a curious and interesting
collection of copper ore, as a remembrance of our visit, we started in
a little car, lined with crimson cloth, and drawn by a locomotive, to
visit the various coal-mines. First we went through the park, and then
along a valley near the sea, full of wild flowers and ferns, and trees
festooned with 'copigue,' the Chilian name for a creeper which is a
speciality of this country, and which imparts a character of its own
to the landscape during the month of May, when its wreaths of
scarlet, cherry, or pink flowers are in full bloom. We went to the
mouths of three coal-pits, and looked down into their grimy depths,
but did not descend, as it would have occupied too much time. They are
mostly about 1,000 yards in depth, and extend for some distance under
the sea.

We next visited a point of land whence we could see an island which
closely resembles St. Michael's Mount. It is quite uninhabited, except
by a few wild goats and rabbits. The sea-shore is lined with trees to
the water's edge, and there are many bold rocks and fine white sandy
caves in different parts of it. Some boats were drawn up high and dry
on the beach, along which several picturesque-looking groups of
shell-fish collectors were scattered. The mussels that are found here
are enormous--from five to eight inches in length--and they, together
with cockles and limpets, form a staple article of food.

A steam-launch had been sent to meet us, but it could not get near
enough to the shore for us to embark. A rickety, leaky small boat,
half full of water, was therefore, after some delay, procured, and in
this we were sculled out, two by two, till the whole party were safely
on board. Outside there was quite a swell, and a north wind and rain
are prophesied for to-morrow. Mr. Mackay returned with us to the
yacht, and stayed to dinner. Before he left, the prognostications of
bad weather were to some extent justified; for the wind changed, and
rain, the first we have felt for some time, began to fall.

_Thursday, October 19th_.--We have been persuaded by our friends here
to try and see a little more of the interior of Chili than we should
do if we were to carry out our original intention of going on to
Valparaiso in the yacht, and then merely making an excursion to
Santiago from that place. We have therefore arranged to proceed at
once overland to Santiago, by a route which will enable us to see
something of the Cordillera of the Andes, to have a peep at the
Araucanian Indians on the frontier, and to visit the baths of
Cauquenes. Tom, however, does not like to leave the yacht, and has
decided to take her up to Valparaiso, and then come on to Santiago and
meet us, in about five or six days' time. The anchor was accordingly
hove short, and the mizen hoisted, when we landed this morning, in a
drenching rain.

A coach runs daily from Lota to Concepcion, the first stage of our
journey, but a special vehicle was engaged for our accommodation, and
a curious affair it was to look at. It seemed to be simply a huge
wooden box, suspended, by means of thick leather straps, from C
springs, without windows or doors, but provided with two long, narrow
openings, through which you squeezed yourself in or out, and which
could be closed at pleasure by roll-up leather blinds. Inside, it was
roomy, well-padded, and comfortable.

The rain had made the road terribly greasy, and several times the
carriage slewed half-way round and slid four or five feet sideways
down the hill, causing us to hold on, in expectation of a spill. At
last we reached the bottom in safety, and, crossing a small river,
emerged upon the sea-shore at Playa Negra, or Black Beach, along which
we drove for some distance through the deep, loose sand, the horses
being up to their fetlocks in water most of the time. Then we forded
another little river, and, leaving the beach, proceeded up a steep
road, not more than three yards wide, with a ditch on one side and a
steep precipice on the other, to the little village of Coronel,
overlooking the bay of the same name. While the horses were being
changed, we walked down to the little wooden pier, on the sea-shore,
and saw the 'Sunbeam' just coming out of Lota Bay.

Drawn up by the side of the pier was a picturesque-looking
market-boat, full of many sorts of vegetables, and little piles of
sea-eggs, with their spines removed, and neatly tied up with rushes in
parcels of three. The people seemed to enjoy them raw, in which state
they are considered to be most nutritious; and when roasted in their
shells, or made into omelettes, they are a favourite article of food
with all classes. Coronel is a great coaling station, and the bay,
which is surrounded by tall chimneys, shafts, and piers, connected
with the mines, was full of steamers and colliers.

Our road now ran for some time through undulating pasture-land, in
which were many large trees, the scene resembling a vast park. Masses
of scarlet verbena, yellow calceolaria, and white heath, grew on all
sides, while the numerous myrtle, mimosa, and other bushes, were
entwined with orange-coloured nasturtiums, and a little scarlet
tropaeolum, with a blue edge, whose name I forget. Beneath the trees
the ground was thickly carpeted with adiantum fern. The road over
which we travelled was of the worst description, and our luncheon was
eaten with no small difficulty, but with a considerable amount of
merriment. Once, when we jolted into an unusually big hole, the whole
of our provisions, basket and all, made a sudden plunge towards one
side of the coach, and very nearly escaped us altogether.

Half-way between Coronel and Concepcion, we met the return
stage-coach, crowded with passengers, and looking as if it had just
come out of the South Kensington Museum or Madame Tussaud's, or like
the pictures of a coach of Queen Elizabeth's time. It was a long low
vehicle, with unglazed windows all round it, painted bright scarlet
decorated with brilliant devices on every panel, and suspended, like
our own, by means of innumerable leather straps, from huge C springs.
The seats on either side held three passengers, and there was a stool
in the middle, like the one in the Lord Mayor's coach, on which four
people sat, back to bask.

Soon after we drew up to rest the horses at a little posada, kept by
two Germans, called 'Half-way House,' and seven miles more brought us
to a rich and well-cultivated farm belonging to Mr. Hermann, where we
stopped to change horses.

It was six o'clock in the evening when we reached the Bio-Bio, a wide
shallow river, at the entrance of the town of Concepcion; it had to be
crossed in a ferry-boat, carriage and all, and as it was after hours,
we had some difficulty in finding any one to take us over. At last, in
consideration of a little extra pay, six men consented to undertake
the job, and having set a square-sail, to keep us from being carried
down the river by the current, they punted us over with long poles.
Sometimes there was nine feet of water beneath us, but oftener not
more than four or five. The boat could not get close to the opposite
shore, and it was a great business to get the carriage out and the
horses harnessed, in some eighteen inches of water. First the carriage
stuck in the sand, and then the horses refused to move, but after a
great deal of splashing, and an immense display of energy in the way
of pulling, jerking, shrieking, shouting--and, I am afraid,
swearing--we reached the bank, emerged from the water, struggled
through some boggy ground, and were taken at full gallop through the
streets of the town, until we reached the Hotel Comercio, where we
found comfortable rooms and a nice little dinner awaiting us.

This was all very well, as far as it went, but when we came to inquire
about our onward route we were disappointed to learn that the line to
Angol was closed, owing to the breaking down of a bridge, and would
remain so until next month, and that, with the exception of a
contractor's train, which runs only once a week, there was nothing by
which we could travel. 'To-morrow is Friday,' added Monsieur
Letellier, 'and that is so near Monday, what can Madame do better than
wait here till then?' By way of consolation, he informed us that there
were no Indians now at Angol, as the Araucanian [6] Indians had
recently all been driven further back from the frontier by the
Chilenos, but that, if we were still bent on trying to get there, we
could go by boat as far as Nacimiento, where we might, with some
difficulty, procure a carriage. The river just now, however, is so
low, that the boat frequently gets aground, and remains for two or
three days; therefore, taking everything into consideration, we have
decided to abandon this part of our programme, for otherwise we shall
not reach Santiago in time. In any case, the journey will be a much
longer one than we expected.

[Footnote 6: I have lately received a letter from a friend in Paris,
who says: 'Strange to tell, it is only a few days ago that poor Orelie
Antoine I., ex-King of Araucania, died at Bordeaux, in a hospital. He
reigned for some years, and then made war upon Chili, which gave him a
warm reception; even captured his Majesty and sent him back to his
native land. I met him here a few years ago, surrounded by a small
court, which treated him with great deference. I found him a
dignified, intelligent sovereign. He attempted to return to his
kingdom, but was captured on the high seas by a Brazilian cruiser, and
sent back to France to die a miserable death.]

_Friday, October 20th_.--We went out for a short stroll round the
Plaza before breakfast, which meal was scarcely over when Mr. Mackay
arrived in a carriage, and took us off to see what there was to see in
the town. The Plaza was full of bright-looking flower-beds, in which
were superb roses, and many English flowers, shaded by oranges,
pomegranates, and deutzias. Each plot belongs to one of the principal
families in the town, and great emulation is displayed as to whose
little garden shall be in the best order and contain the finest
collection of plants and flowers.

Concepcion has suffered, and still suffers, much from earthquakes. The
existing town is only thirty-five years old. The houses are all one
story high only, and the streets, or rather roads, between them are
wide, in order to afford the inhabitants a chance of escape, should
their dwellings be thrown down by a sudden shock. In summer everybody
rushes out into the street, no matter what hour of the day or night it
may be, as soon as the first symptoms of an earthquake are felt; but
during the winter, when the shocks are never so severe, the alarm
caused is not so great. The old town was about two miles distant from
the present site, near a place now called Penco, but after being
demolished in the ordinary way, an immense wave rolled up and
completely destroyed all traces of its existence.

We drove out to Puchacai, Mr. Mackay's hacienda, a pretty little
thatched cottage, surrounded by a verandah, in the midst of a garden,
where laburnums and lilacs bloom side by side with orange-trees and
pomegranates. Round the garden are groves of shady English oaks (the
first we have seen since leaving home) and Norfolk Island pines, the
effect of the whole scene being strangely suggestive of the idea that
a charming little bit of English rural scenery has in some mysterious
manner been transported to this out-of-the-way spot in Chili. The
interior of the house, which is simply but tastefully furnished, and
at the time of our visit was full of fresh flowers, arranged with an
artistic eye to colour, bears the same indescribable _homelike_ air.
We were kindly received and regaled with luncheon, including, amongst
other good things, fried _pejerey_ (king of fish), deservedly so
called.

In the afternoon we strolled about the garden, and looked at the farm
and stable, and were shown the probable winner of one of the prizes at
the forthcoming race-meeting. In the cottages on the estate some
specimens of _minaque_ lace were offered to us--a lace made by most of
the peasants in this part of the country. It varies considerably in
quality, from the coarse kind, used for covering furniture, to the
finest description, used for personal adornment It is very cheap,
wears for ever, and strongly resembles the _torchon_ lace, now so
fashionable in Paris and London for trimming petticoats and children's
frocks. The women also spin, dye, and weave the wool from the fleece
of their own sheep into the bright-coloured ponchos universally worn,
winter and summer, by the men in this country. These ponchos are not
made of nearly such good material as those used in the Argentine
Republic, but they are considerably gayer and more picturesque in
appearance.

After dinner, there was nothing to do except to stroll about the town
and buy photographs. They are extremely good in Chili--both views and
portraits--but proportionately dear, the price being double what would
be charged in London or Paris for the same thing.

[Illustration: Waiting for the Train, Chili.]

_Saturday, October 21st_.--Having wished good-bye to Mr. Mackay, and
taken our seats in the train for Linares, we were now fairly launched
on our own resources in a strange country, I being the only one of the
party who could speak even a little Spanish. At San Romde we stopped
half an hour to allow the train from Chilian to pass. Most of the
passengers took the opportunity of breakfasting, but as we were not
hungry we occupied the time in having a chat with the engine-driver, a
very intelligent Canadian. He told us that, as it happened, we might
have gone to Angol to-day after all, as a special car and engine were
going there to take a doctor to see a patient, returning early
to-morrow morning.

The railroad runs alongside the Bio-Bio all the way to San Romde. On
either bank are low wooded hills, on whose sides vines are cultivated
in considerable quantities. The wild flowers grow luxuriantly
everywhere: calceolarias, especially, in huge bushes of golden bloom,
two or three feet high. At San Romde we left the river, and travelled
through a pretty and well-cultivated country to Chilian, which derives
its name from an Indian word, signifying 'saddle of the sun,' and is
so called from the fact that the sun shines upon it through a
saddle-shaped pass in the chain of the Andes.

Like Concepcion, the existing town has been recently built at a
distance of about a mile from the remains of the old place of the same
name, which was overthrown by an earthquake about thirty years ago.
The destruction was, however, not so complete as in the case of
Concepcion, and some few of the better-conditioned houses are still
inhabited by very poor people, though the walls have great cracks in
them from top to bottom, and they are otherwise in a deplorable state.
A large cattle and horse market is held at Chilian every Saturday, and
it is said that, on these occasions, 100,000 dollars frequently change
hands in the course of the morning, in the open market-place. All the
business of the day was over by the time we got there, and there was
nothing to be seen but a few stray beasts and quaint bullock-carts,
and some peasants selling refreshments, _minaque_ lace, and other
trifles. In several of the old-fashioned shops on the Plaza there were
curious-looking stirrups, bits, spurs, and other horse-gear, all made
of solid silver, roughly worked by the Indians themselves.

Having had our baths, we returned to the hotel, where we found dinner
laid out in my bed-room, which happened to be the largest, for our
host did not approve of our dining at the table-d'hote, as we should
have preferred to do. He gave us an excellent dinner, with good wine,
and attended to us most assiduously himself.

While the gentlemen were smoking, I went to see a poor engine-driver
who had met with a bad accident, and who was lying at this hotel. He
is a fine healthy-looking Englishman, and he told me that, until this
misfortune, he had never known a day's illness in his life. It seems
that, at four o'clock in the afternoon of this day week, he was sent
off with a special engine to convey an important message. Something
going wrong during the journey, he slackened speed, and, in stepping
off the engine to see what was the matter, his foot slipped, and the
wheel of the tender went over it. He had no one with him who could
manage the engine alone, so he was obliged to get up again, and
endeavour to struggle on to Talca; but after going a few miles
further, the engine suddenly ran off the track, at a part of the
unfinished line that had not yet been sufficiently ballasted. They
could not get it on again unaided, and one of the men had to start off
and walk many miles before he could procure assistance. Altogether,
poor Clarke underwent forty-two hours of intense agony from the time
of the accident until he received any medical attention. In spite of
this he is now doing well; and though the foot, which is in a bath of
carbolic acid and water, looks very bad, he is in great spirits,
because the three local doctors, in consultation, have decided that
amputation will not be necessary. He spoke in the highest terms of the
kindness of our French host and his Spanish wife, the latter of whom,
he says, has nursed him like a mother. He certainly has the one large
room in the house, and when I saw him his bed was comfortably made and
arranged, flowers and fruit were on a table by his side, and
everything looked as neat and snug as possible. It was a treat to him
to see some one fresh from the old country, and to hear all the news,
and our voyage appeared to interest him greatly. While I was with him
one of his friends came in, who remembered me quite well, and who knew
one or two people with whom we are acquainted, including the manager
of Messrs. Bowdler and Chaffers' yard, where the 'Sunbeam' was built.

[Illustration: A Fellow Passenger]

_Sunday, October 22nd_.--Though it was Sunday, we had no choice but to
travel on, or we should not have been able to start until Tuesday. We
were therefore up at five o'clock, and at the station before seven.
From San Carlos, where we arrived at 8.15 a.m., we started for
Linares, which was reached a couple of hours later. It is a much
smaller town than Chilian, but is built on exactly the same
plan--Plaza, cathedral, and all. To-day the streets were crowded with
men on horseback, who had brought their wives in, seated
pillion-fashion on the crupper behind them, to attend mass.

Our road lay through a rich country, intersected by small rivers; with
the distant snowy chain of the Andes as a background, and through
thickly planted groves of poplars, growing in long shady avenues,
fragrant with perfume from the magnificent roses which blossomed
beneath their shade. In the course of our four hours' drive, we
crossed a great many streams, in some of which the water was deep
enough to come in at the bottom of the carriage, and cause us to tuck
ourselves up on the seats; there was always a little pleasing
excitement and doubt, as we approached one of these rivulets, as to
whether we were to be inundated or not. We met a good many people
riding and walking about in their holiday clothes, and at all the
cabarets groups of talkers, drinkers, and players were assembled.

The cottages we have seen by the roadside have been picturesque but
wretched-looking edifices, generally composed of the branches of trees
stuck in the ground, plastered with mud and thatched with reeds. Two
outhouses, or arbours, consisting of a few posts and sticks, fastened
together and overgrown with roses and other flowers, serve
respectively as a cool sitting-room and a kitchen, the oven being
invariably built on the ground outside the latter, for the sake of
coolness. The women, when young, are singularly good-looking, with
dark complexions, bright eyes, and luxuriant tresses, which they wear
in two plaits, hanging down their backs far below the waist. The men
are also, as a rule, fine-looking. In fact, the land is good, and
everybody and everything looks prosperous. The beasts are up to their
knees in rich pasture, are fat and sleek, and lie down to chew the cud
of contentment, instead of searching anxiously for a scanty
sustenance. The horses are well fed, and their coats are fine and
glossy, and the sheep, pigs, and other animals are in equally good
condition. It is therefore a cheery country to travel through, and at
this spring-time of the year one sees it in its highest perfection.

Before reaching Talca we had to cross the Maule, a wide, deep river,
with a swift current. The carriage was first put on board a large
flat-bottomed boat, into which the horses then jumped, one by one, the
last to embark tumbling down and rolling among the legs of the others.
With a large oar the boat was steered across the stream, down which it
drifted about 200 yards into shallow water, where the boatmen jumped
out and towed us to a convenient landing-place. Here we found several
people waiting to be ferried over. A troop of mules having been driven
into the water, which they seemed rather to enjoy, swam across safely,
though they were carried some distance down the river.

About five o'clock we arrived at Talca, and went straight to the Hotel
Colon, kept by Gassaroni. Every Italian who starts an hotel in this
part of the world calls it, as a matter of course, 'The Columbus
Hotel;' for they are very anxious to claim the great navigator as a
countryman, though the Spaniards dispute their right to do so, on the
ground that Genoa, where he was really born, was at that time an
independent State. While we were waiting for dinner we walked about
the town, which so exactly resembles Concepcion and Chilian in the
arrangement of its streets, buildings, and trees, that I doubt whether
any one familiar with the three places could tell immediately which
town he was in, if transported suddenly to the middle of the Plaza,
though I believe Talca is rather the largest. It still retains its old
Indian name, meaning 'thunder,' doubtless on account of the frequency
and violence of the thunder-storms by which it is visited.

_Monday, October 23rd_.--Soon after midnight I was aroused by a great
noise. At first I thought I was dreaming, but a very brief reflection
convinced me of the existence of an energetically played big-drum,
somewhere in the immediate neighbourhood of my bed-room. I at once got
up and, peeping through the window in the door, saw a military band of
twenty-five performers, standing on the other side of the courtyard,
blowing and hitting their hardest. It must be confessed that they
played well, and that their selection of music was good, but it was,
nevertheless, rather annoying, after a long and fatiguing day, and
with the prospect of an early start, to be kept awake until half-past
three in the morning, while they serenaded and toasted the _prima
donna_, and each of the other members of the theatrical company who
are staying here. The noise was, of course, increased by the
reverberation from the walls of the courtyard, and, finding it
impossible to sleep, I abandoned the attempt, and took to writing
instead. At last the welcome notes of the Chilian national air gave me
hope that the entertainment was over for the night--or rather
morning--and soon afterwards all was once more quiet.

We left Talca by the 7.30 train, Mr. Budge, who had business at
Curico, accompanying us. All the engines and rolling stock this side
of Santiago are of American make and pattern. Mr. Budge had secured
one of the long cars, with a passage down the centre, and a saloon at
each end, for us, so we were very comfortable, and he told us a great
deal about the country as we went along. Like all Chilenos, he is
very patriotic, and is especially proud of the financial stability of
his country. He often said,' If English people would only invest their
money here, instead of in Peru or the Argentine Republic, they would
get eight per cent, on good security.' We heard the same thing from
many other sources; and it certainly does seem that this country is
the most settled, and the least liable to be disturbed by revolutions,
of any in South America. At Curico[7] we breakfasted at a little
restaurant on Chilian dishes and the wine of the country. The latter
is excellent and of various kinds, but it is so cheap that none of the
innkeepers can be persuaded to supply it to travellers, whose only
chance of tasting it, therefore, is at some small inn.

[Footnote 7: An Indian name, signifying 'black waters,' having
reference to the mineral springs in the neighbouring mountains.]

Mr. Budge left us at Pelequen, the next station to San Fernando,
having put us in charge of the conductor, who promised to see after us
at Cauquenes, but who wofully betrayed his trust. There was no regular
station at the latter place, but as the train stopped, and we saw
'Bains de Cauquenes' on an hotel close by, we jumped out just in time
to see it go on again. Luckily the other passengers were kind enough
to interest themselves on our behalf, and shrieked and hallooed to
such good purpose that the engine was once more brought to a
standstill, and our luggage was put out. Half-a-dozen little boys
carried it to the inn, where I had to explain to the _patron_, in my
best Spanish, that we wanted a carriage to go to the baths, seven
leagues off. In a wonderfully short space of time, four good horses
were harnessed to a queer sort of vehicle, which held four inside and
one out, besides the driver, and which had to be entered by means of a
ladder. Having all packed in, and paid our fare beforehand, we were
rattled off at a merry pace towards the Andes. The road went up and
down and round about, and crossed many rivers, but was fairly good
throughout. We changed once at a large hacienda, where a man went into
a large yard, containing about sixty horses, and dexterously lassoed
the particular four required for our use. Several horsemen were
waiting about, and I looked at their saddles, which were made of a
dozen or more sheepskins, laid one on the top of the other, forming a
soft seat to ride in by day and a comfortable bed to sleep on at
night.

[Illustration: Baths of Cauquenes]

Early in the afternoon we saw some buildings in the distance, which we
rightly guessed to be the baths, and soon afterwards we passed in at
the entrance gate of the establishment, by the side of which was a
rock with the word 'Welcome' painted upon its face. The whole distance
from the station was twenty-three miles, which we had accomplished in
a little over two hours. Driving between hedgerows of roses in full
bloom, we were not long in reaching the door of the hotel, where we
were received by the proprietor. He told us he was very full, but he
managed to find us some small rooms, and then conducted us to the
luxuriously fitted bathing establishment. After this came the
table-d'hote, to which about seventy sat down, though many of the
visitors were dining in their own rooms. In the evening we walked
about the garden and chatted with several people, who all seemed to
have heard of us and our voyage, and to be anxious to know what we
thought of the Straits. We saw some English papers too, which was a
great treat, though there did not seem to be much news in them.

_Tuesday, October 24th_.--This is a wonderful place, built entirely of
wood. The centre part is a square, seventy yards in extent, surrounded
by a single row of one-storied rooms, with doors opening into the
courtyard, and windows looking over the river or up into the
mountains. In the middle of the square are a pavilion containing two
billiard-tables, a boot-blacking arbour, covered with white and yellow
jessamine and scarlet and cream-coloured honeysuckle, plenty of
flower-beds, full of roses and orange-trees, and a monkey on a pole,
who must, poor creature, have a sorry life of it, as it is his
business to afford amusement to all the visitors to the baths. He is
very good-tempered, does several tricks, and is tormented 'from early
dawn to dewy eve.' I remonstrated with our host on his behalf; but he
merely shrugged his shoulders and said, 'Mais il faut que le monde se
divertisse, Madame.' From the centre square, marble steps lead to a
large hall, with marble baths on either side, for ladies and gentlemen
respectively. A few steps further bring one to a delightful
swimming-bath, about forty feet square, filled with tepid water. The
water, as it springs from the rock, is boiling hot, and contains, I
believe, a good deal of magnesia and other salts, beneficial in cases
of rheumatism and gout; but the high temperature of the water makes
the air very muggy, and we all found the place relaxing, though
perhaps it was because we indulged too freely in the baths, which are
a great temptation.

[Illustration: Up the Valley towards the Andes.]

In the afternoon we went for a ride, to see a celebrated view of the
Andes. Unfortunately it was rather misty, but we could see enough to
enable us to imagine the rest. Some condors were soaring round the
rocky peaks, and the landscape, though well clothed with vegetation,
had a weird, dreary character of its own, partly due to the quantity
of large cacti that grew in every nook and corner, singly, or in
groups of ten or twelve, to the height of twenty or thirty feet.
Though they say it hardly ever rains in Chili, a heavy shower fell
this afternoon, and our landlord thoughtfully sent a boy on horseback
after us with umbrellas.

_Wednesday, October 25th_.--The bath was so delightful this morning,
that we felt quite sorry it was to be our last. One could very well
spend a week or two here, and find plenty to do in the way of
excursions into the valleys of the Andes, which look most inviting in
the distance.

At half-past ten, we set out on our return journey to the railway,
changing horses at the same place where we had stopped at coming up,
and which we reached half an hour before the train was due; when it
arrived we were allowed to get in with our belongings in rather a less
hurried fashion than we had alighted. Luncheon was procured at
Rancagua, and we finally reached Santiago at about 4.50 p.m. No sooner
had we got fairly into the station than the car was invaded by a crowd
of Porters touting for employment. They are all dressed in white, and
wear red caps, on which is a brass number, by means of which they are
easily recognised. The landlord from the Hotel Ingles, M. Tellier, met
us, and we at once drove off, leaving our luggage to follow, in charge
of one of the red-capped gentlemen. The drive from the station was
along the Alameda, on either side of which were many fine houses; but
the road was ill-paved and shaky as usual.

[Illustration: Cacti of the Cordillera]

The Grand Hotel, which used to be considered the best in South
America, is now shut up, the company who owned it having recently
failed; so all the smaller hotels, none of which are very good, are
crowded to overflowing. The Hotel Ingles is considered the best,
though I cannot say much in its favour. The rooms are good, but the
situation is noisy, being at the corner of two streets; the servants
are attentive, but the cuisine and arrangements are bad. Independently
of all this, we have great reason to complain of the conduct of the
landlord, for my first question, as soon as he had introduced himself,
was, of course, 'Have Mr. and Miss Brassey arrived?' 'Yes, Madame, and
went away this morning.' 'What! and left no letter?' 'No; but Monsieur
returns to-morrow.' Imagine my surprise and disappointment! But there
was nothing to be done but to go to the hotel and wait patiently. We
afterwards found that _Tom had left a long letter, and that he had
never said a word about returning_. The wretched man would not give me
the letter, because he thought he could detain us, and he never sent
the telegram I handed to him to forward to Tom at once, asking for an
answer.

[Illustration: Huasso Huts.]

Our luggage arrived just in time to enable us to dress for the second
table-d'hote at six o'clock, after which we went for a walk through
some arcades, paved with marble, and full of fine shops, past the
Grand Hotel, which was situated at the end of the Alameda, and is
built over an arcade of shops. It is a handsome building, and must
command a fine view. The cathedral and the archbishop's palace, large
but rather dull-looking brick buildings, are close by. The surrounding
gardens looked pretty by gaslight, and the scent of roses pervaded the
evening air.

[Illustration: Huasso of Chili]




CHAPTER XI.

SANTIAGO AND VALPARAISO.

    _Gems of the changing autumn, how beautiful you are,_
    _Shining from your glassy stems, like many a golden star._


_Thursday, October 26th_.--Our kind hostess at Lota had given us a
letter of introduction to her manager at Santiago, who called this
morning to inquire what arrangements he could make which would be most
agreeable to us during our stay. She had also given orders that her
carriages and horses should be placed at our disposal, and at about
ten o'clock we all started in an open break, drawn by a pair of
good-looking half-bred brown horses, bigger than any we had seen
before in this country.

[Illustration: Morning Mass at Santiago]

We went first to the Compania, a large open square, planted with
flowers, the site of the old Jesuit Church, which was burnt down on
December 8th, 1863. Well known as the story is, I may here recall the
tragic details, standing on the very spot where they took place. It
was the Feast of the Virgin, and the church was densely crowded with a
congregation composed almost entirely of women, principally young,
many of whom were servant-girls. Some of the draperies used in the
decoration of the building caught fire, the flames spread rapidly,
destroying in their course the cords by which the numerous paraffin
and oil lamps were suspended across the nave and aisles, and
precipitating their burning contents upon the people beneath. The
great doors opened inwards; the crowd, trying to press out, closed
them, and kept them hermetically sealed. The priests, anxious to save
the church properties and sacred relics, shut the large iron gates
across the chancel and kept them fastened, notwithstanding the
agonising shrieks of the unhappy victims, many of whom might otherwise
have escaped. Their conduct on this terrible occasion created at the
time a feeling of bitter and universal indignation, and caused a shock
to the popularity and authority of the priesthood in this country,
from which it will take them a long time to recover.

Mr. Long told us that, between seven and eight o'clock on the evening
of the catastrophe, he was walking with some friends on the Alameda,
when he saw smoke rising in dense volumes from the quarter of the city
where the house in which he resided was situated. He and his friends
ran quickly in the direction of the fire, giving the alarm as they
went, and on reaching the church they found the doors closely shut,
while fearful screams were issuing from the interior, and smoke and
flames pouring from the windows. They got a party of men together
accustomed to the use of the lasso--no difficult task here--and with
them climbed from the neighbouring houses to the top of the church.
Making a hole in the roof, they then dropped their lassoes over some
of the women beneath, and so dragged them out of the building; but the
number thus saved was necessarily very small, and it happened too
often that many of the poor creatures below, in their eagerness to
escape, hung on to the legs or body of the one they saw lassoed, and
by their weight literally dragged her to pieces. Sometimes even a
lasso broke, and those clinging to it, when almost within reach of
safety, were again precipitated into the burning mass below. Any one
who has seen a raw hide lasso, capable of withstanding the sudden rush
of the fiercest bull ever captured, will be able to realise the
immense strain which would be required to cause one to give way. The
next morning at daybreak, the interior of the church presented a
terrible spectacle. Mr. Long described it as being full of women,
standing up, tightly wedged together, their hands stretched out as if
in an attitude of supplication, their faces and the upper part of
their bodies charred beyond recognition, the lower part, from the
waist downwards, completely untouched.

Their remains were buried in one large grave, in the cemetery of the
Recoleta, and the spot is now marked by a square piece of ground, full
of bright flowers, enclosed by iron railings, almost hidden by the
creepers that entwine them, and shaded by willows, orange-trees,
cypresses, and pomegranates. In the centre is a large cross, and on
either side of the iron railings there is a marble tablet with the
simple but touching inscription, in Spanish--

'Incendio de la Iglesia
  de la Compania,
8 de Diciembre, 1863.
Restos de las Victimas;
  2000, mas o menos.'

(Burning of the Church of the Compania, December 8th, 1863
Remains of the victims. 2,000, more or less.)

Almost every household in Santiago had lost one of its members. One
lovely girl of seventeen was pulled out through the roof and taken to
Madame Cousino's residence, where she lay for nearly a fortnight. She
suffered the greatest agonies, but was sensible to the last, and gave
a graphic account of the whole harrowing scene. The site of the
church, hallowed by such sad memories, has never been built upon, but
is preserved as an open space, surrounded by a strip of garden, and
having in its centre a finely carved monument.

The Houses of Congress were the next thing we went to see, after which
we drove through a great part of the city and over a handsome bridge
with statues and small niches on either side. Beneath it, however,
there is little more than a dry torrent bed; and it is said that an
American, when visiting this spot with a Santiago friend, who was
showing him round, remarked, 'I guess you ought either to buy a river
or sell this here bridge.' We also went to the Church of La Recoleta.
From the church we went to the cemetery of the same name, which is
prettily laid out, and well stocked with flowers and trees.

It being now past eleven o'clock, we began to think about breakfast,
and accordingly returned to the hotel, where I was disappointed to
find no news from Tom and no answer to the telegram I sent last night.

At one o'clock we started again, and had a pleasant but rather dusty
drive of eight miles to Macul, the stud-farm established by the late
Don Luis Cousino.

We had some luncheon at Mr. Canning's house, in a room that had
recently been split from top to bottom by an earthquake, and
afterwards sat in the verandah to see the horses and some of the
cattle, which were brought round for our inspection. Amongst them were
Fanfaron, Fandango, and other beautiful thoroughbreds, three fine
Cleveland coach-horses, Suffolk cart-horses and percherons, and some
of the young stock. We saw only a few of the beasts, as at this time
they are away feeding on the hills, but I believe they are as good as
the horses. Mr. Long had arranged for us all to ride round the farm,
and I was mounted on a lovely chestnut mare, sixteen hands high,
daughter of Fanfaron, and niece to Kettledrum. I should have liked to
have bought her and sent her home, but she was not for sale, though
her value was 400_l_. English horses here are as dear, in proportion,
as native horses are cheap. The latter may be bought for from twenty
to sixty dollars apiece; and some of them make capital little hacks.

We rode all over the farm, attended by half-a-dozen peones, who drove
the young thoroughbred stock together, in the enormous fields, for us
to see, and afterwards did the same thing with some of the cattle. We
also went through the farm buildings, in one part of which we saw the
operation of making lassoes. The best are composed of neatly plaited
strips of cured hide, about a quarter of an inch wide, the commoner
sort being made from an undressed cow's hide, with the hair on, cut
from the centre in an ever-increasing circle, so that they are in one
piece, many yards in length. In another part of the farm there were a
few acres more of flower-gardens, orange-trees, and kitchen-gardens.

[Illustration: What makes Horses go in Chili]

Beautiful as the whole place is, it loses much in interest from its
vastness. You never seem to know where you are, or when you have come
to an end. I hear that Madame Cousino talks of extending the park
still further, right up into the mountains, which seems almost a pity,
as it is already too big to be kept in really perfect order, even with
a hundred and twenty men employed upon it. Everything is completely
surrounded and overgrown with flowers. Even the fields are separated
by hedges of sweet-smelling double pink roses, and these hedges are
larger than many a 'bull-finch' in the old country.

After a delightful gallop of about two hours, we returned to the
farmhouse, where we found a fresh pair of horses waiting for us in the
break, and drove back to Santiago by moonlight.

It was eight o'clock when we reached the hotel, and as the
table-d'hote dinner only lasts from five till half-past seven, I
asked for a private dinner in our own room or in the general
dining-room, for our own party and two guests in addition. But the
landlord said he was not at all sure about giving us dinner; he must
see what there was in the kitchen first. We then declared we would go
and dine at a cafe, and in less than half an hour managed to get an
excellent little dinner at the Cafe Santiago, though even Mr. Long,
who ordered it for us, could not induce them to give us native wine. I
am bound to confess, however, that we punished ourselves at least as
much as the landlord, for as we paid so much a day for board and
lodging, he was of course bound to provide us with dinner, and we had
thus to pay for our food twice over.

_Friday, October 27th_.--Still no news from Tom. Mr. Long called at
half-past eight, to take me to the market, and my first step was to
send another telegram, this time taking care to see that it really was
despatched.

We then walked through the streets to the market-hall, a handsome iron
building, commodiously arranged, which was sent out from England in
pieces, and put together here. All round it are stalls, where you can
get a capital breakfast, generally consisting of coffee, tender
beef-steak, buttered toast, and boiled beans, for a small sum. One of
our party, who had been at the market since half-past five, tried one,
and fully confirmed the report we had heard as to their excellence and
cleanliness. At the time of our visit all these refreshment stalls
were crowded, and I felt rather tempted to join one of the hungry
merry-looking groups myself. The market was well supplied with meat,
fish, vegetables, fruit, and flowers of all kinds, green peas, French
beans, and strawberries being specially abundant. There were
quantities of queer-looking baskets to be seen, and some curious
pottery, made by the nuns from a kind of cement. Outside the building
there were men and women hanging about with ponchos, of their own
manufacture, which they had brought in from the country, for sale. We
bought some bright specimens as presents for the children, but it took
some time to collect them, as each individual had only one to offer.
They are the work of the women, in the intervals of household labour,
and as soon as one is completed it is sold, in order that materials
for a fresh one may be purchased. We also bought some of the carved
wooden stirrups, made in the country, and used by all the natives.
They are rather like a small coalscuttle in shape, and must be heavy
and cumbersome.

From the market we went to hear high mass at the cathedral. This is a
fine building, though the interior seemed very dark. The high altar
was illuminated by hundreds of candles, whose light shone on a crowd
of kneeling women, all dressed in black, and with black veils over
their heads, the contrast between their sombre appearance and the
gilding and paintings on the walls--handsome at a distance, but tawdry
on a closer examination--being very striking. The organ is of splendid
tone and quality and reverberated grandly through the aisles, and the
whole scene was not without a certain impressiveness. I had not
thought of paying a visit to the cathedral when I went out this
morning, and it was not until I saw every one staring at me that I
remembered I had committed the terrible mistake of going to church in
a hat, and without any veil; but we remained in a dark corner most of
the time, and emerged into open daylight again before any of the
authorities of the place had time to observe or remonstrate with me.
My wearing a hat was, however, quite as much against all church rules
as a similar proceeding on the part of a man would have been. The
women of this city are almost always good-looking when young, and they
glide gracefully about the streets in their long black clinging gowns
and _mantos_, by which they are completely enveloped from head to
foot.

In the afternoon we went for a drive in the park, and to see Santa
Lucia, of which, as the only hill in Santiago, the inhabitants of the
city are very proud, and from thence drove to the Cousino Park, an
extensive piece of ground near the Alameda, laid out and arranged
under the direction of the late Don Luis Cousino, and presented by him
to the city of Santiago.

After a stroll round the park, Mr. Long took us to an emporium for
Panama hats, which are made in Lima, Guayaquil, and other states of
Chili, as well as in Panama, from a special kind of grass, split very
fine, and worn by almost everybody on this coast. The best made cost
340 dollars, or about sixty guineas, and fifty pounds is not at all an
uncommon price to pay, though the inferior kind may be had for two
pounds. Those ordinarily worn by the gentlemen here cost from twenty
to thirty pounds each, but they are so light, pliable, and elastic
that they will wear for ever, wash like a pocket-handkerchief, do not
get burnt by the sun, and can be rolled up and sat upon--in fact,
ill-treated in any way you like--without fear of their breaking,
tearing, or getting out of shape. For the yacht, however, where so
many hats are lost overboard, they would, I fear, prove a rather
unprofitable investment.

We now drove back to the hotel, past the Mint, a handsome building,
guarded by soldiers, and with windows protected by iron gratings. On
our return I found that one of the valuable ponchos, given to me in
the Argentine Republic, had been taken from our room. The landlord
declined to trouble himself about its recovery, as he said it was
'most unlikely that any one would take a thing of no value to him
here;' the real truth being that the guanaco ponchos are worth nearly
double as much in Chili as they are on the other side of the Andes.

After dinner we walked to the theatre, where we saw _La Sonnambula_
well put on the stage, and well sung and acted by an Italian opera
company. The _prima donna_, contralto, baritone, and bass were all
good, but the scenery was occasionally somewhat deficient. The house,
which is highly decorated--perhaps too much so for the ladies'
dresses--looked well by night, though if it had been full the effect
would have been still better. The box-tiers are not divided into
pigeon-holes, as they are with us, and everybody can therefore see
equally well. The Presidential box seemed commodious and handsome, and
had the Chilian coat of arms in front of it, making it look very much
like a Royal box.

The walk back by moonlight was delightful. Some of our party
afterwards went to the Union Club, where they met several English
gentlemen, who were most kind and pressing in their invitations to
them to stay a few days longer, and go up the mountains to see the
views and to have some guanaco shooting. About twenty-four hours from
here they say you can have your first shot, and a little further on
you meet them in herds which may be counted by thousands. There are
also wild horses and wild donkeys. Quaggas and huemuls used to be
found, but are now extinct. The last named is a rare animal, exactly
resembling a horse in every particular, except that its hoofs are
cloven. It used only to be found in the mountains of Chili, and it is
one of the supporters of the national coat of arms.

_Saturday, October 28th_.--At 5 a.m. we were called, and soon
afterwards parting gifts of flowers began to arrive, and even I was
obliged to confess that four large clothes-baskets full of rosebuds
were more than I quite knew what to do with. At seven Mr. Long came to
know if he could help us in any way, and a little later Madame
Cousino's coachman appeared with the carriage, to take us to the
station.

We had a pleasant drive down the Alameda, the sun shining brilliantly
in a bright blue sky, and the distant mountains for the first time
being clearly visible. The station was crowded with vendors of
pottery, curious things in buffalo horn, sweetmeats, &c. The rolling
stock on this line is of English manufacture, and we were therefore
put into the too familiar, close, stuffy, first-class carriage, and
duly locked up for the journey down to Valparaiso. The line, running
as it does through mountain gorges for a great portion of the way,
must have been a difficult one to make.

Just now the whole country wears a golden tint from the bloom of the
espinosa, which seems to grow everywhere, and which is now in
perfection. The branches of this shrub are so completely covered with
little yellow balls of flowers, which come before the leaves, and
which have no separate stalk, but grow along the shiny, horny
branches, that they look as if they were made of gold. It is called
the 'burning bush' here, and its wood is said to be the hardest in the
country. The flowers are often plucked off and dried, in which state
they are most fragrant and are used for scenting linen and for keeping
away moths. The thorns, however, are a terrible nuisance to the
shepherds and owners of cattle, catching their clothes and tearing
them as they gallop swiftly across over the plains. If I bore you by
saying too much about the flowers, forgive me. I want to make you all
realise, if possible, what a lovely flowery land Chili is. The whole
air is quite perfumed with roses, principally large double pink roses,
something like the old-fashioned cabbage rose, though there are a good
many of the monthly kind and a few white and deep scarlet ones. They
formed hedgerows on either side of the road, and in many places
climbed thirty or forty feet up the trees, and then threw down long
brambles laden with bloom, almost producing the effect of a wall of
pink. There were also plenty of wild flowers of other sorts, such as
scarlet and white lilies, larkspurs, eschscholtzias, evening
primroses, and many others whose names I do not know.

At Llaillai we stopped for breakfast, procured at a small restaurant
at the station. While waiting for the train for Santiago to come in,
we had plenty of time to observe the half-Indian girls selling fruit,
flowers, cakes, &c., and jabbering away in a sort of _patois_ Spanish,
in recommendation of their wares. Some of them were really pretty,
and all were picturesquely dressed in bright-coloured stuffs, their
hair neatly done up and decorated with flowers, their faces clean and
smiling. At 11.15 a.m. we reached Quillota, where the train was
literally besieged by men, women, and children, offering bouquets for
sale--two or three of which were thrust in at every carriage
window--and baskets of strawberries, cherimoyas, nisperos, melons,
oranges, sugar-cane, plantain, bananas, asparagus, green peas, French
beans, eggs, chickens, and even fish--nice little pejereyes, fresh
from the stream close by. It must evidently be the custom of the
Chilenos to visit by rail these fertile districts, for the purpose of
doing their marketing; for the occupants of the train soon absorbed
the entire stock of the vendors, who were left with empty baskets.

I never saw such a country as this is for eggs and chickens. A hen
seems never to have a smaller brood than ten, and I have often counted
from seventeen to twenty-one chickens with the mother, and, more than
once, as many as twenty-four. However well you may have breakfasted or
dined, the waiters always come at the end of the meal to ask, not
_whether_ you will have any eggs, but _how_ you will have them--fried,
boiled, poached, or in some sort of omelette. If you refuse
altogether, the chances are that two very lightly boiled eggs will be
placed by your side, with the suggestion that you should beat them up
and drink them. The inhabitants of the country always seem to finish
their meals with eggs in some form or another.

The celebrated 'Bell of Quillota,' a mountain which derives its name
from its peculiar shape, and which serves as a good landmark in
entering the harbour of Valparaiso, is well seen from the railway, a
little below Quillota Station. We stopped again at Limache, a little
village, situated in the midst of a fertile country, about twenty-five
miles from Valparaiso, where fruit, flowers, &c., were as freely
offered for sale as before, and again at Vina del Mar, the next
station to Valparaiso. There is a good hotel here, in the midst of a
pretty garden, where you can get an excellent breakfast or dinner.

From this spot the line runs close along the edge of the sea, and we
strained our eyes in vain, trying to discover the yacht. At the
station we were assailed by porters and touts of every description,
but, seeing no one to meet us, and not knowing where to go, we
contented ourselves with collecting our luggage in a little heap,
while a fight went on close by between a policeman and a coachman, who
had been too persistent in his endeavours to obtain a fare. They
knocked one another about a good deal, and broke one or two windows,
after which they appeared quite satisfied, shook hands, and were good
friends again. Tom, Mabelle, and Muriel arrived before it was over,
and we were very glad to meet again after our short absence.

A long, dusty drive brought us to the mole, and while the luggage was
being packed into the boat, Tom and I went to call on the British
Consul, where we found some letters. We were on board in time for two
o'clock luncheon, after which, amid many interruptions from visitors,
we devoured our news from home and other parts--for amongst our
letters were some from Natal, India, Japan, Canada, Teneriffe, South
American ports, St. Petersburg, Constantinople, and several other
places, besides those from dear old England.

About four o'clock Tom and I went ashore. We had intended going alone
in the 'Flash' (our lightest boat), but a strong southerly wind had
sprung up, which at once made the sea so rough that we went in the
'Gleam' (the gig) instead, with six oars. It took the men all their
time to get us ashore, though we had not far to go, for wind, tide,
and waves were all against us.

Valparaiso consists mainly of two interminable streets, running along
the edge of the sea, at the foot of the hills, which rise immediately
behind them, and on which are built all the residences and villas of
the gentlemen of the place. Very few live in the town itself, which is
composed almost entirely of large warehouses and fine shops, where you
can get almost anything you want by paying between three and four
times as much for it as you would do in England. For instance, the
charge for hair-cutting is a dollar and a half (4s.), a
three-and-sixpenny Letts's Diary costs two dollars and a half (10s.),
a tall hat costs fifty-eight shillings, you must pay sixpence each for
parchment luggage-labels, threepence apiece for quill pens, four
shillings for a quire of common notepaper, and so on in proportion.

We had, as I have said, seen the yacht leave Lota Bay, with a strong
head-wind blowing, on Thursday, the 19th instant. In a few hours the
wind fell to a calm, which then changed to a light favourable breeze,
and the 'Sunbeam' reached Valparaiso on the following Saturday
afternoon, anchoring out in the bay, not far from H.M.S. 'Opal.' Here
they rolled and tumbled about even more than if they had been at sea,
the swinging capacities of the saloon tables and lamps being tried to
the utmost. On Sunday half the men went ashore for a few hours' leave,
but neither they nor the boat returned until the next morning, as they
had not been allowed to leave the shore after nine o'clock. In the
meantime Tom had been told that small-pox was raging in the town, and
he was much annoyed at their having to pass the night on shore, owing
to proper inquiries as to the regulations of the port not having been
made by them on landing. The next day the doctor went to see some
medical _confreres_ at the hospital, and found that the reports were
much exaggerated, the reality being that small-pox is always more or
less prevalent both here and at Santiago. Three months ago it was very
bad, but at the present time it is not worse than usual. Tom and
Mabelle started for Santiago on Monday, but unfortunately left their
letters of introduction behind; and as they did not like the hotel,
they found it rather dull. We could not telegraph to them from
Cauquenes, or anywhere _en route_, for there were no wires; so on
Wednesday morning, not hearing or seeing anything of us, they returned
to Valparaiso. Tom left a long letter for me, with enclosures (which I
never received), in the innkeeper's hands, asking for a telegraphic
reply as to our plans and intentions, and, as I have already
mentioned, never said a word about coming back. Thursday was spent in
seeing what little there is to see in Valparaiso, and in visiting the
'Opal.' On Friday Tom went for a sail, moved the yacht close inshore,
had a dinner-party on board, and went to a pleasant ball afterwards,
given by the Philharmonic Society, an association of the same sort as
the one at Rio. It was not, however, called a regular ball, but a
_teriulia_, so the ladies were in _demi-toilette_. Tom described the
room as good, the floor first-rate, the music excellent, the ladies
good-looking, and the men agreeable. To-day he met us at the station
with the children; and now, therefore, one account will describe the
movements of the whole reunited party.

_Sunday, October 29th_.--We all went ashore to church, having been
told it was only five minutes' walk from the landing-place, instead of
which it took us at least a quarter of an hour, in an intensely hot
sun, to climb up a steep hill. The building itself was large, airy,
and cool, and there is a good organ and choir, but most of the
choristers had gone away to-day to a picnic in the country. During the
Litany our attention was suddenly drawn to the fact that earthquakes
are matters of frequent occurrence in this country, by a special
prayer being offered up for preservation from them and their
destructive effects.

At four o'clock we went ashore for a ride, and having climbed the
hills at the back of the town, which command extensive views over land
and sea, we galloped across the downs and through some villages on to
the old high road from Valparaiso to Santiago, along which we rode
only for a few yards, turning off into a romantic valley, where the
path was so narrow that we could barely squeeze through between the
thickly growing shrubs and trees. At last we went up a steep hill on
to another high road, and re-entered the town quite at the opposite
end to that at which we had left it, after which a ride of two miles
along the stony, ill-paved streets brought us to the landing-place.

_Monday, October 30th_.--We were to be off directly the sea-breeze
sprang up, at about eleven o'clock, and as I had many letters to
write, I was called at 4 a.m., and finished them all before breakfast
at eight. But first one visitor and then another arrived, and it was
nearly eleven o'clock when we landed to make the final preparations
for starting on our long voyage of eleven thousand miles across the
Pacific.

Our route, as at present, arranged, will be via the Society, Friendly,
and Sandwich Islands. Juan Fernandez (Robinson Crusoe's Island), which
we at first thought of visiting, we have been obliged, I am sorry to
say, to give up, not on account of its distance from Valparaiso, as it
is only 270 miles off, but because it lies too far to the southward,
and is consequently quite out of the track of the trade wind, which we
ought to pick up, according to the charts and sailing directions,
about 500 miles to the northward and westward of this place. I have
been trying to persuade Tom to steam out five or six hundred miles, so
that we may make a quick passage and economise our time as much as
possible, but he is anxious to do _the whole_ voyage under sail, and
we are therefore taking very little coal on board, in order to be in
the best trim. If we do not pick up a wind, however, there is no
knowing how long we may lollop about. I suppose till we are short of
water and fresh provisions, when the fires will be lighted and we
shall steam away to the nearest island--uninhabited, we will hope, or
at any rate peopled by friendly natives, which is rather the
exception than the rule in the south-east corner of the Low
Archipelago. There we shall fill up with fresh water, bananas,
bread-fruit, and perhaps a wild hog or two, and resume our voyage to
Tahiti. But this is the least favourable view of the matter, and we
must hope to fall in with the trades soon, and that they will blow
strong and true.

The island of Juan Fernandez now belongs to the Chilian government,
but is let on a long lease to a man who, they say here, is somewhat of
a robber. He was very desirous that we should give him a passage in
the yacht, and another man wanted to come too, with some pointers, to
show us the best spots for game, goats, turtle, crayfish, and
sea-fish, with all of which the place abounds. Some cattle have also
been introduced, and the island is much frequented by whalers, who go
there for fresh provisions and water. There is nothing particular to
be seen, however, and the scenery of the island is not remarkable; at
least, so people who have been there tell us, and the photographs I
have bought quite confirm their report. Admiral Simpson, who stayed
there once for a fortnight, told us a good deal about the place, and
strongly recommended us not to go there unless we had plenty of time
to spare, as we should not be repaid for our trouble, which would
probably only result in the dissipation of all our childish illusions.

Our first step on landing this morning was to go to the Consul's to
post our letters. By the bye, I hope people in England will appreciate
them, for they cost between nine and ten pounds to send home. For our
outward letters, although prepaid in England, we had to pay over eight
pounds before we were allowed to have them from the office.
Twenty-nine cases of stores, provisions, wine, &c., which had also
been sent out, all arrived safely, and cost comparatively little.
There are very good French hair-dressers here, a tempting hat-shop,
and a well-stocked book-shop; but everything, as I have said, is
frightfully dear.

It was half-past three when the harbour-tug arrived to tow us out of
the harbour and so save our getting up steam. There was not a breath
of air stirring, but Tom hoped we should find more outside when the
tug cast us off. As we dropped slowly out, we had a good view of the
harbour and town; and we soon found ourselves once more fairly
embarked on the bosom of the wide ocean.




CHAPTER XII.

VALPARAISO TO TAHITI.

    _The western sea was all aflame,_
    _The day was well nigh done!_
    _Almost upon the western wave_
    _Rested the broad bright sun._


_Tuesday, October 31st_.--Throughout the night a flat calm prevailed.
The morning was wet and foggy, or we might still have seen Valparaiso,
and perhaps have had a peep at Aconcagua. There was a light contrary
wind from the N.W. throughout the day. In the afternoon we saw two
whales blowing in the distance.

_Wednesday, November 1st_.--An almost calm day, with a few light
showers, and fitful but unfavourable breezes. Some thirty or forty
little birds, which the sailors called Mother Carey's chickens, but
which were smaller and more graceful than any I have seen of that
name, followed closely in our wake. I was never tired of watching the
dainty way in which they just touched the tips of the waves with their
feet, and then started off afresh, like a little maiden skipping and
hopping along, from sheer exuberance of spirit.

_Thursday, November 2nd_.--A bright sunny morning, with a heavy swell
and light contrary wind, but the sea became more tranquil towards the
evening. The sunset was superb, and the afterglow, as is often the
case in these latitudes, lighted up sky and sea with an indescribable
beauty, which attained its greatest magnificence about five minutes
after the sun had disappeared, reminding one of the glorious sunsets
of the African deserts, so often described by travellers.

_Friday, November 3rd_.--Still a blue sky, bright sunshine, smooth
sea, and light head-wind. The crew have all turned tailors, and are
making themselves new suits from some dungaree we bought at
Valparaiso, the clothes we expected for them not having met us there.

[Illustration: Juvenile Scrubbers.]

_Saturday, November 4th_.--As fine as ever. This is certainly sailing
luxuriously, if not swiftly. We have now settled down into our regular
sea-ways, and have plenty to do on board; so the delay does not much
signify. Still, our time is limited, and we all hope to fall in with
the trades shortly to carry us to Tahiti or some of the South Sea
islands. We caught half-a-dozen of the little petrels, for stuffing,
by floating lines of black cotton astern, in which they became
entangled.

To-night's sunset was more superb than ever. Each moment produced a
new and ever increasingly grand effect. I mean to try and take an
instantaneous photograph of one. It would not, of course, reproduce
all the marvellous shades of colouring, but it would perhaps give some
idea of the forms of the masses of cloud, which are finer than any I
ever saw before. This ocean seems to give one, in a strange way, a
sense of solemn vastness, which was not produced to the same extent by
the Atlantic. Whether this results from our knowledge of its size, or
whether it is only fancy, I cannot say, but it is an impression which
we all share.

_Sunday, November 5th_.--Fine, and considerably hotter, though not
unpleasantly so. We had the Litany at eleven, and evening prayers and
a sermon at four o'clock. Not a single ship has passed within sight
since we left Valparaiso, and the only living creatures we have seen
are some albatrosses, a few white boobies, a cape-hen, the little
petrels already mentioned, a shoal of porpoises, and two whales.

_Monday, November 6th_.--Passed, at 3 a.m. to-day, a large barque,
steering south, and at 8 a.m. a full-rigged ship, steering the same
course. We held--as we do with every ship we pass--a short
conversation with her through the means of the mercantile code of
signals. (This habit of exchanging signals afterwards proved to have
been a most useful practice, for when the report that the 'Sunbeam'
had gone down with all hands was widely circulated through England, I
might almost say the world,--for we found the report had preceded us
by telegram to almost all the later ports we touched at,--the anxiety
of our friends was relieved many days sooner than it would otherwise
have been by the fact of our having spoken the German steamer
'Sakhara,' in the Magellan Straits, Oct. 13, four days after we were
supposed to have gone to the bottom.) The weather continues fine, and
we have the same light baffling winds. We hoped, when we started, to
average at least 200 miles a day, but now we have been a week at sea,
and have only made good a little more than 700 miles altogether,
though we have sailed over 800 miles through the water. It is,
however, wonderful, in the opinion of the navigators, that we have
made even as much progress as this, considering the very adverse
circumstances under which the voyage has so far been performed, and we
must endeavour to console ourselves with the reflection that the
sailing qualities of the yacht have undergone another severe test in a
satisfactory manner. How the provisions and water will last out, and
what time we shall leave ourselves to see anything of Japan, are
questions which, nevertheless, occasionally present themselves to our
minds. Independently of such considerations, nothing could be more
luxurious and delightful than our present mode of existence. With
perfect weather, plenty of books to read and writing to do, no
possibility of interruptions, one can map out one's day and dispose of
one's time exactly as one pleases, until the half-past six o'clock
dressing-bell--which always seems to come long before it is
wanted--recalls one to the duties and necessities of life.

[Illustration: Conversation at Sea.]

_Wednesday, November 8th_.--A grey cloudy morning and a flat calm. At
twelve o'clock, to the great joy of everybody on board, Tom decided to
get up steam, as we have now been becalmed quite twenty-four hours,
and have made but little progress in the right direction for some
days. The alacrity with which the order to stow sails and raise the
funnel was obeyed--every one lending a hand--and the delight expressed
on every countenance, must have assured him of at least the popularity
of his decision.

Whilst we were waiting for steam to be got up, Tom took Muriel and me
for a row in the 'Flash,' his own particular little boat, with about
four inches of freeboard. The possibility of doing this will give you
a better idea of the tranquillity of this vast ocean than any
description I can write. At the same time, when we wanted to get into
the boat, we found there was a considerable roll on, and that it was
no easy matter without the aid of a gangway or ladder. We rowed a
little way from the yacht, and, considering how quiet it had seemed to
us when on board, it was wonderful to observe how she rolled in the
trough of the sea, without sails to steady her or motive power to
guide her. The Lota coals, though black and dirty beyond description,
burn up very quickly, and in about an hour we were steaming merrily
along, the Arabian horseshoe on our bowsprit's end being now pointed
direct for the island of Tahiti, instead of for wherever the wind
chose to blow us.

_Thursday, November 9th_.--A flat calm at 6 a.m.; a very light fair
wind at 9 a.m. In spite of my remonstrances, Tom determined, at
half-past nine, to cease steaming and try sailing again. About twelve
o'clock a puff came that sent us along at the rate of 10-1/2 knots for
a short time; but it soon dropped, and during the rest of the
afternoon and evening, our average speed was only three or four knots
an hour. This is very poor work for the trades, but I don't believe we
are really in them yet, in spite of the wind charts. It is possible
that they may vary in different years; besides which it is now the
height of summer, with the sun south of the line, which would
naturally make them lighter.

_Saturday, November 11th_.--At last we seem to be feeling the
influence of the trades, as the wind continues to blow from the same
direction, though it varies much in force. Sometimes we are going
along at the rate of 11-3/4 knots, sometimes barely five. In the
afternoon we had the usual Saturday singing practice.

_Sunday, November 12th_.--Another lovely day. We had the Litany and
hymns at eleven, evening service and sermon at four.

Just before morning church some one turned on the water in the nursery
bath, and forgot to turn it off again, so that when we came aft from
the saloon we had the pleasure of finding everything in the children's
cabins afloat, and that a good deal of water had got down into the
hold. It was rather annoying at the time, but, I dare say, like many
other present troubles, it was a good thing in the end. It obliged us,
at any rate, to have all the stores brought up on deck, and led to our
taking an inventory of our resources sooner than we should otherwise
have done. I am sorry to say we found that, owing to the departure of
our head steward and the illness of his successor, they have not been
husbanded as carefully as they should have been, especially those
provided for use forward. Sailors are more like children than grown-up
men, and require as much looking after. While there is water in the
tanks, for instance, they will use it in the most extravagant manner,
without thought for the morrow; and they are quite as reckless with
their other stores.

I find, however, that one of the drawbacks to taking a very close
personal interest in the housekeeping arrangements on board is the too
intimate acquaintance one makes with the various individuals composing
the live stock, the result being that the private particular history
of every chicken, duck, turkey, and joint of mutton is apt to be
remembered with a damaging effect to appetite.

In the afternoon two boobies, the first birds we have seen for some
days, paid us a visit. I suppose we are too far out to see anything
more of our pretty little friends, the petrels.

_Monday, November 13th_.--We had a regular turn-out and re-arrangement
of our stores to-day, and discovered that the waste and mismanagement
have been greater even than we at first supposed. Fortunately, we
found some spare tins of provisions stowed away under the nursery
floor and forgotten, and which will now come in very opportunely. But
I fear that, even as it is, we may be seriously inconvenienced before
getting to the end of our voyage. Of the six sheep, sixty chickens,
thirty ducks, and four dozen pigeons, brought on board alive at
Valparaiso, we have comparatively few left, and not a great deal to
give those few to eat; so we must depend mainly on our potted meats
and vegetables, which happen to be excellent. We often wonder how the
earlier navigators got on, when there were no such things as tinned
provisions, and when the facilities for carrying water were of the
poorest description, while they were often months and months at sea,
without an opportunity of replenishing their stores, and with no
steam-power to fall back upon in case they were becalmed. Still more
wonderful, in my opinion, is the successful manner in which the
Spaniards managed to convey their hordes in tiny vessels, together
with a sufficient quantity of forage for them, to the New World,
where, according to all accounts, they generally arrived in good
condition, fit to go to work or to war immediately.

The wind increased in the evening and blew dead aft. In the middle of
the night the mizen-halyards broke, and blocks and all came down with
a tremendous crash, which caused both Tom and me to rush up on deck.
About an hour and a half's work put everything straight again,
however, though it looked a sad mess at first. We had been remarking
at dinner how lucky we had been, with all this rolling about in calms
and running before the wind, not to have had anything carried away or
any of the ropes chafed. Personally, I think the accident is not to be
regretted, for now all the fore and aft canvas is stowed, and we are
running under square canvas alone, which is much steadier work, though
we still roll considerably.

_Tuesday, November 14th_.--Fine, with a strong fair wind. I have been
laid up for a few days with a touch of my old enemy, Syrian fever, but
am gradually recovering, and enjoy very much lying on deck and
reading.

Our victualling arrangements have now been satisfactorily settled, and
everybody has been put on an allowance of water, our supply of which
will last the whole ship's company of forty persons for five weeks,
leaving one tank still in reserve in case of accidents. As we expect
to reach our destination in about three weeks from the present time,
we have therefore, I hope, an ample supply for all our requirements.

_Wednesday, November 15th_.--Pleasant as we have found life at sea in
the South Pacific hitherto, it is, I fear, monotonous to read about,
and I dare say you will find it difficult to realise how quickly the
days fly past, and how sorry we are when each one comes to an end. I
am afraid they are among those things which do not repeat themselves.
At any rate, they afford a golden opportunity for reading, such as we
are not likely to have again often, if ever, in our busy lives; and
Tom and I are endeavouring to make the best use of it by getting
through as many of the seven hundred volumes we brought with us as
possible. The weather favours us in our endeavours to be industrious;
for, while it is sufficiently warm to indispose one for a very severe
course of study, it has never been so hot as to compel us to lie down
and do nothing but gasp for breath--which is what we were warned to
expect. There is indeed one slight drawback to the perfect enjoyment
of our present state of existence, and that is the incessant motion of
the vessel. When she rolls as quickly as she has done to-day, it is
difficult to settle down steadily to any occupation, and at last one
cannot help feeling aggravated at the persistent manner in which
everything, including one's self, refuses to be still for a single
instant.

_Thursday, November 16th_.--To-day it is really warm--not to say
hot--with a bright cloudless sky, which renders an awning acceptable.
We saw some 'bo's'n' birds for the first time, and more shoals of
flying-fish. I wish a few of the latter would come on board; they
would be an agreeable addition to our breakfast-table.

The rolling still continues, the wind being dead aft, and nothing but
our square canvas being set. The effect is rather wearisome, and one
longs to be able to say 'Catch hold of her head and keep her still, if
only for five minutes' peace and quietness!' Cooking is difficult, and
even eating is a hazardous occupation; and at our evening game of
cards we have to pocket our counters and markers and hold on as best
we can.

_Friday, November 17th_.--At 8 a.m. the course was altered, our
fore-and-aft canvas was set again, and we were once more gliding along
swiftly and smoothly through the water, to the great relief of every
one on board. The day was lovely, and though it was warm, a pleasant
breeze throughout the ship prevented our feeling uncomfortably hot.

_Saturday, November 18th_.--The days are so much alike that it is
difficult to find anything special to say about them. They fly so
quickly that I was surprised to be reminded by the usual
singing-practice this afternoon that another week had gone by.

The two green paroquets, 'Coco' and 'Meta,' given to me by Mr. Fisher
at Rosario, have turned out dear little pets, with the most amusing
ways. They are terrible thieves, especially of sugar, pencils, pens,
and paper, and being nearly always at liberty, they follow me about
just like dogs, and coax and caress me with great affection. They do
not care much for any one else, though they are civil to all and
good-tempered even to the children, who, I am afraid, rather bore them
with their attempts at petting. The other foreign birds, of which I
have a large collection, are doing well, and I begin to hope I shall
get them home safely after all. We had at one time about twenty
parrots, belonging to the men, on board, all running about on deck
forward, with their wings clipped, but about half of them have been
lost overboard. The dogs keep their health and spirits wonderfully.
Felise is quite young again, and she and Lulu have great games,
tearing up and down and around the decks as hard as they can go.

_Sunday, November 19th_.--I am convalescent at last, and appeared at
breakfast this morning for the first time for ten days.

The wind was very variable throughout the day. Between 6 and 7 a.m. we
were going twelve knots; between 7 and 8 only three; but as we never
stop, we manage to make up a fair average on the whole.

At eleven o'clock we had the Communion Service and two hymns. At
midday the week's work was made up, with the following result. Our
position was in lat. 15 deg. 38' S., long. 117 deg. 52' W.; we were 3,057
miles from Valparaiso,--1,335 of which had been accomplished since
last Sunday,--and 1,818 miles from Tahiti.

To-day we were not far from Easter Island, the southernmost island of
Polynesia. Here as in the Ladrones, far away in the north-west quarter
of the Pacific, most curious inscriptions are sometimes found carved
in stone. Annexed is a photograph taken from one I saw at a later
stage of the voyage.

[Illustration: Inscription from Easter Island]

The sails had been flapping, more or less, all day, and at the change
of the dog-watches, at six o'clock, Tom ordered the men aft to stow
the mizen. This they had scarcely begun to do when a light breeze
sprang up, and in a few minutes increased to a strong one, before
which we bowled along at the rate of nine knots. These sudden changes
are of constant occurrence, and, coming as they do without the
slightest warning, are quite inexplicable. If only we had our old
square sails, and our bigger yards and topmast, we should have saved a
good deal of time already; for one or two knots an hour extra amount
to from 25 to 50 miles a day, and in a month's run the difference
would not be far short of 1,500 miles. But we heard so much from
people in England, who had visited these parts, of squalls and
hurricanes, that Tom did not like to run the risk of being
over-sparred, especially with a wife and children as passengers.

_Monday, November 20th_.--The fore-and-aft sails were taken in, as
they were doing no good and the square canvas was drawing. This
allowed the mizen-awning to be spread, making a pleasant place to sit
in and a capital playground for the children, who scamper about all
day long, and do not appear to feel the heat a bit.

_Tuesday, November 21st_.--Certainly a _very_ hot day. We made steady
progress under the same canvas as yesterday.

_Wednesday, November 22nd_.--Between 2 and 3 a.m. a nice breeze sprang
up, and between 3 and 4.30 a.m. all the fore-and-aft sails were again
set. It was deliciously cool on deck at that time; but the sun rose
fierce and hot, and more or less killed the breeze as the day wore on.

_Thursday, November 23rd_.--Twenty-four days out. We had hoped to
reach Tahiti to-day, and Tom begins to regret that he did not steam
some distance out from Valparaiso, so as to pick up the trades sooner.
Still it is satisfactory to know how well the 'Sunbeam' can and does
sail against light contrary winds, and to have an opportunity of
developing some of her good points, of which we were previously hardly
aware. How she manages to slip along as she does, four or five knots
an hour, with not sufficient wind to blow a candle out, is a marvel to
every one on board. More than once, when the hand-log has shown that
we were going five knots, I have carried a naked light from one end of
the deck to the other without its being extinguished.

The sunrise was magnificent, and a splendid albatross, the largest we
have yet seen, was at the same time visible in mid-air, floating
against the rose-coloured clouds. He looked so grand, and calm, and
majestic, that one could almost fancy him the bird of Jove himself,
descending direct from the sun. Where do these birds rest? How far and
how fast do they really fly? are questions for the naturalist. We have
seen them many times at a distance of at least two thousand miles from
the nearest land.

About nine o'clock there was a slight breeze, but it fell as the sun
rose, and the day was intensely hot.

_Friday, November 24th_.--A fine breeze in the early morning, which,
however, gradually died away. Having now quitted the regular track of
the trade winds and got into the variables, we lighted fires at two
o'clock. Then another light breeze sprang up for a few minutes, only
to fall away again immediately, and at six o'clock we commenced to
steam.

_Saturday, November 25th_.--A very wet morning, the sky clearing at
about ten, but the weather remaining dull, heavy, hot, and oppressive,
throughout the day. But we were making good progress under steam,
which rendered the state of things more endurable than it would
otherwise have been.

Whilst I was standing on deck at night a flying-fish flew against my
throat and hung there, caught in the lace of my dress. He is a pretty
specimen, but only his wings are to be preserved, for Muriel will have
his body for breakfast to-morrow.

_Sunday, November 26th_.--Our fourth consecutive Sunday at sea, and
out of sight of land. At 4 a.m. the sails were spread to a good
breeze. At 7 we stopped steaming, but at 10 the wind again fell light.
The Litany was read on deck this morning on account of the heat. The
observations at noon showed that we were in lat. 15 deg. 47' S., long.
135 deg. 20' W., the distance accomplished during the last twenty-four
hours being 181 miles. We have now made good 4,067 miles from
Valparaiso, and are 815 miles distant from Tahiti. At 5 p.m. we had
prayers and a sermon, also on deck. It was then almost calm, and at
eight o'clock we again began steaming, in order to insure our making
the island of Tatakotoroa, 200 miles off, before dark to-morrow.

_Monday, November 27th_.--I was on deck at 3.30 a.m. Everybody on
board was more or less excited at the prospect of making land, after
twenty-eight days at sea. It was a delicious morning, with a
favourable breeze, and under steam and sail we progressed at the rate
of from 10 to 11-1/2 knots an hour. Several birds flew on board,
amongst whom were two boobies, who hovered round us and appeared to
examine everything with great curiosity, especially the little
wind-vanes at the extremity of the masts. At last they settled on the
foretopmast, whereupon one of the sailors went up to try and catch
them. They observed his movements closely, and appeared to be
specially interested in his cap; but as he approached, first one and
then the other flew away for a few yards, and then returned to his
former position. At last the man, watching his opportunity, managed to
seize one of them by his legs and bring him down in triumph, despite
flapping wings and pecks from a sharp beak. He was shut up in the
fowl-pen--now, alas, empty of its proper denizens--where we had an
opportunity of examining him before he was killed. He was a fine,
handsome, grey bird, with large blue eyes, and a wild hawk-like look.

At one o'clock we were almost sailing over the spot marked by Findlay
as the situation of Tatakotopoto, or Anonymous Island; but there was
nothing whatever visible in the shape of land, even from the masthead,
where a man was stationed, and from which it was possible to see a
distance of ten or fifteen miles. Tom went up himself several times
and scanned the horizon carefully, but in vain. It is therefore
evident either that the position of the island is incorrectly stated,
or that it has become submerged. I believe that in these seas there
are many islands marked that have no existence, and that several that
do exist are not marked, which renders it necessary to keep a constant
good look-out. What a charming task it would be thoroughly to survey
these parts, and to correct the present charts where necessary, and
how much I should like to be one of the officers appointed for the
service!

[Illustration: Tatakotoroa or Clarke Island]

At 1.30 p.m. land was sighted from the mast-head, and at two o'clock I
saw from the deck what looked like plumes of dark ostrich feathers
rising from the sea. This was the island of Tatakotoroa--also known as
Narcissus, or Clarke Island--to the eastward of the Paumotu or Low
Archipelago of the South Seas. The sailing directions describe the
inhabitants as 'hostile,' and Sir Edward Belcher mentions that some of
them tried to cut off the boats sent from a man-of-war for water. We
were therefore afraid to attempt a landing, but sailed as near as we
could to the shore, which, surrounded by a rampart of snow-white
coral, and clothed almost to the water's edge with feathery palms,
cocoa-nut trees, and luxuriant vegetation of various kinds, looked
very tempting. A few canoes were drawn up on the beach near a large
hut, out of which three or four natives came, and, having looked at us
for some time, ran off into the woods. Blue smoke could be seen
curling up from several points of the forest, no doubt indicating the
presence of more natives, whose dwellings were concealed by the trees.

[Illustration: Going up the Mast in a Chair.]

[Illustration: Children looking up]

After lunch, Tom had me hoisted up to the foretopmast-head in a
'boatswain's chair,' which is simply a small plank, suspended by ropes
at the four corners, and used by the men to sit on when they scrape
the masts. I was very carefully secured with a rope tied round my
petticoats, and, knocking against the various ropes on my way, was
then gently hoisted up to what seemed at first a giddy height; but
when once I got accustomed to the smallness of the seat, the airiness
of my perch, and the increased roll of the vessel, I found my position
by no means an unpleasant one. Tom climbed up the rigging and joined
me shortly afterwards. From our elevated post we could see plainly the
formation of the island, and the lagoon in the centre, encircled by a
band of coral, in some places white, bare, and narrow, in others wide
and covered with palm-trees and rich vegetation; it was moreover
possible to understand better the theory of the formation of these
coral islands. I was so happy up aloft that I did not care to descend;
and it was almost as interesting to observe what a strange and
disproportioned appearance everything and everybody on board the yacht
presented from my novel position, as it was to examine the island we
were passing. The two younger children and the dogs took the greatest
interest in my aerial expedition, and never ceased calling to me and
barking, until I was once more let down safely into their midst. As
soon as we had seen all we could of the island, fires were banked, and
we proceeded under sail alone throughout the evening and night.




CHAPTER XIII.

THE SOUTH SEA ISLANDS.

    _And all throughout the air there reigned the sense_
    _Of waking dream with luscious thoughts o'erladen,_
    _Of joy too conscious made and too intense_
    _By the swift advent of excessive Aiden,_
    _Bewilderment of beauty's affluence._


_Tuesday, November 28th_.--We passed Anaa, or Chain Island, in the
morning watch, before daybreak. I came on deck to try and get a
glimpse of it, and was rewarded by a glorious sunrise. We had a nice
eight-knot breeze and a strong current in our favour, and just before
breakfast Tom descried from the masthead Amanu, or Moeller Island,
which we had hardly expected to make before ten or eleven o'clock.
Some one remarked that it seemed almost as if it had come out to meet
us. The reef encircling this island varies much in height and
vegetation. In some places it supports a noble grove of trees, in
others the sea breaks over the half-submerged coral-bed, the first
obstacle it has met for 4,000 miles, with a roar like thunder.

Before we had lost sight of Amanu, the island of Hao Harpe, or Bow
Island, was visible on our port bow. I wished very much to land, and
at last persuaded Tom, who was rather anxious on the score of the
natives, to allow some of us to make the attempt, us cautioning to
turn away from the shore directly, in case the islanders looked at all
doubtful in their attitude and intentions. After lunch, therefore, we
hove to, and the gig's crew were ordered to arm themselves with
revolvers and rifles, which they were not to show unless required to
do so. All the gentlemen had revolvers, and Mabelle and I were also
provided with two small ones, Phillips and Muriel being the only
unarmed members of the party. I took a bag full of beads, knives,
looking-glasses, and pictures, for barter and presents, and with these
preparations we set off to make our first personal acquaintance with
the islanders of the South Pacific. Tom gave us a tow to windward, and
we then rowed direct to a point on one side of the entrance to the
lagoon, where we saw some natives waving something white. As we
approached we could distinguish several figures standing on the point,
under the shade of some cocoa-nut trees, and on the opposite side of
the entrance some canoes were drawn up on the beach, by the side of a
hut, close to a large clump of low trees. We were by this time
surrounded by breakers, and it required no little skill to steer the
boat safely through the broken water, between the race of the tide on
one side, and the overfall from the coral reef on the other. It was
successfully done, however, and, having rounded the point, we found
ourselves at once in the waters of the tranquil lagoon. We should have
preferred to land at the point, had it been possible, as it was
doubtful whether it would be safe to go round the corner, and so lose
sight of the yacht; but the intentions of the natives seemed
peaceable, several of them running into the water up to their waists
to meet us, while others could be seen hurrying along the beach, the
women carrying what looked like bunches of fruit.

It is really impossible to describe the beauty of the scene before us.
Submarine coral forests, of every colour, studded with sea-flowers,
anemones, and echinidae, of a brilliancy only to be seen in dreamland,
shoals of the brightest and swiftest fish darting and flashing in and
out; shells, everyone of which was fit to hold the place of honour in
a conchologist's collection, moving slowly along with their living
inmates: this is what we saw when we looked down, from the side of the
boat, into the depths below. The surface of the water glittered with
every imaginable tint, from the palest aquamarine to the brightest
emerald, from the pure light blue of the turquoise to the deep dark
blue of the sapphire, and was dotted here and there with patches of
red, brown, and green coral, rising from the mass below. Before us, on
the shore, there spread the rich growth of tropical vegetation, shaded
by palms and cocoa-nuts, and enlivened by the presence of native women
in red, blue, and green garments, and men in motley costumes, bringing
fish, fowls, and bunches of cocoa-nuts, borne, like the grapes brought
back from the land of Canaan by the spies, on poles.

As soon as we touched the shore the men rushed forward to meet us, and
to shake hands, and, having left the muskets and revolvers judiciously
out of sight in the boat, we were conducted to a cluster of huts, made
of branches, or rather leaves, of the palm-tree, tied by their
foot-stalks across two poles, and hanging down to the ground. Here we
were met by the women and children, who, likewise, all went through
the ceremony of shaking hands with us, after which the head-woman, who
was very good-looking, and was dressed in a cherry-coloured calico
gown, with two long plaits of black hair hanging down her back, spread
a mat for me to sit upon just outside the hut. By this time there was
quite a little crowd of people assembled round, amongst whom I noticed
one woman with a baby, who had her hair sticking straight out all
round her head, and another who held a portion of her dress constantly
before her face. After the gentlemen had walked away she removed the
cloth, and I then saw that her nose had been cut off. Most of the
women were good-looking, with dark complexions and quantities of
well-greased, neatly-plaited black hair, but we did not see a single
young girl, though there were plenty of children and babies, and lots
of boys, the latter of whom, like some of the older women, had only a
piece of palm matting round their loins. We therefore came to the
conclusion that the girls must have been sent away intentionally when
the approach of the yacht was observed.

[Illustration: Our First Landing in the South Pacific, Hao or Bow
Island.]

As soon as I was seated, the head-woman told one of the men to knock
down some cocoa-nuts from the trees close by, and after cutting off
the ends she offered us a drink of the fresh cool milk, which was all
the sweeter and better for the fact that the nuts were not nearly
ripe. While this was going on, the natives brought piles of
cocoa-nuts, fish, and fowls, and laid them at our feet as a present.
Some of the fish were of a dark brown colour, like bream, others were
long and thin, with a pipe-like nose and four fins, somewhat
resembling the wings of a flying-fish.

Seeing smoke in the distance, rising from under some high palm-trees,
we thought we should like to go and see whence it proceeded, and
accordingly set off to walk through a sort of bush, over sharp coral
that cut one's boots terribly, the sun blazing down upon us fiercely
all the time, until we reached a little settlement, consisting of
several huts, the inhabitants of which were absent. Fine plaited mats
for beds, cocoa-nut shells for cups, mother-of-pearl shells for
plates, and coral, of various kinds and shapes, for dishes and cooking
utensils, formed their only furniture. We saw three women, one very
old, with nothing but a palm-leaf mat as a covering, the others
dressed in the apparently universal costume, consisting of a long
bright-coloured gown, put into a yoke at the shoulders, and flowing
thence loosely to the ground, which completely conceals the wearer's
form, even to the tips of her toes. I think these dresses must come
from England or America, for they are evidently machine-made, and the
cotton-stuft of which they are composed has the most extraordinary
patterns printed on it I ever saw. Cherry and white, dark blue and
yellow or white stripes, red with yellow spots, and blue with yellow
crosses, appear to be the favourite designs. The women seemed gentle
and kind, and were delighted with some beads, looking-glasses, and
knives I gave them, in return for which they brought us quantities of
beautiful shells.

We saw the large iron knee of a vessel in one spot during our walk,
and wondered how it came there. In another place we saw a canoe in
process of construction, ingeniously made of boards, sewed together
with plaited palm-leaves. The canoes in use here are very high, long,
and narrow, and are only kept from upsetting by means of a tremendous
outrigger, consisting of a log fastened to the extremity of two bent
pieces of wood, projecting sideways from each end of the boat. The
only animals we met with in our ramble were four pigs and a few
chickens, and no other live stock of any kind was visible. No attempt
seemed to be made at the cultivation of the ground; and I think, if
there had been, we must have observed it, for our party separated and
walked a good distance in various directions.

The natives made us understand that on the other side of the entrance
to the lagoon, in the better sort of house we had noticed, there
resided a white man. He did not, however, make his appearance during
our visit, and I imagine he must have been one of those individuals
called 'beach-combers,' referred to in so many of the books that treat
of the South Sea Islands,--a sort of ne'er-do-well Englishman or
American, rather afraid of meeting any of his own countrymen, but very
clever at making a bargain between a ship's crew and the natives, with
considerable profit to himself.

Among the bushes we found numbers of large hermit-crabs, crawling, or
rather running, about in whelk shells, half a dozen of them
occasionally having a grand fight amongst themselves. We picked up at
least twenty different sorts of gracefully shaped pieces of coral, and
quantities of shells of an infinite variety of form and colour;
cowries, helmet-shells, the shells from which cameos are sometimes
cut; mother-of-pearl shells, and a large spiral univalve, nearly a
foot long, with dark brown spots and stripes on a delicate
cream-coloured ground, like the skin of a tiger or leopard. On our way
back to the huts we peeped into several of the canoes drawn up on the
beach, in which were some fish-spears and a fish-hook, nearly three
inches long, made of solid mother-of-pearl, the natural curve of the
shell from which it was cut being preserved. A piece of bone was
securely fastened to it by means of some pig's hair, but there was no
bait, and it seems that the glitter of the mother-of-pearl alone
serves as a sufficient allurement to the fish.

In nearly all accounts of voyages in the South Seas much space is
devoted to the description of the purchase, or rather barter, of
hogs. We thought we could not do better than follow as far as possible
the example of our predecessors, and accordingly bought two little
pigs for two shillings each. They were evidently quite pets, lying on
the mats outside the huts, and coming when called, just like dogs. The
one I first bought appeared to be quite happy and content to be
carried under my arm. The natives seemed quite to understand the value
of money, and did not hesitate to ask for it in return for the
cocoa-nuts full of shells which they brought us. I fancy some of the
Tahiti schooners trade here for pearl, shells, and beche-de-mer.

The cocoa-nuts, fowls, fish, coral, &c., having been put into our
boat, we shook hands with the friendly islanders and embarked, and
having rounded the point we soon found ourselves again in the broken
water outside the lagoon, where the race of the tide and the overfall
were now much more violent than they had been when we landed. If we
had once been drawn into the current, we should have stood a good
chance of being knocked to pieces on the coral reefs, strong as our
boat was; but the danger was happily avoided, and we reached the yacht
safely, much to Tom's relief.

The natives did not exhibit the slightest curiosity about us during
our visit to the island, and though they received us with courtesy,
and assisted us as far as they could on our arrival and departure,
they did not follow us about while on shore, nor, with the exception
of one or two of them, did they take the trouble to walk across the
point to see us get into the open sea and join the yacht. In this
respect they might have given a lesson to many civilised people, so
gentle, genial, and graceful, yet dignified, were their manners.

The screw having been feathered and the sails set, our voyage was at
once resumed. A few miles from where we had landed, we saw, high and
dry on the coral reef skirting the island, a large square-built
schooner, of about 500 tons, her masts gone, her hull bleached white
by the sun, and a great hole in her side. She was on the inside of the
reef, and must therefore either have drifted there from the lagoon, or
else have been lifted bodily across by one of the big Pacific rollers,
in some terrible storm. No doubt the iron knee we had seen on the
island originally formed part of this vessel.

_Wednesday, November 29th_.--We seem to have got into the real
south-east trades, just as the chart tells us we ought to expect to
lose them; for there was a strong fair breeze all day, which made it
very pleasant on deck in the shade of the sails. But it was
exceedingly hot in the saloon, where some of the woodwork has been
pulled down, in order to secure better ventilation for the galley and
the berths of some of the men, who, I hope, appreciate the alteration,
for it is a source of considerable discomfort to us.

We had the bigger of our two little pigs for dinner to-day, and a
welcome change it was from the salt and potted meats. He was most
excellent, and fully corroborated Captain Cook's statement as to the
superiority of South Sea Island pork to any other--a fact which is
doubtless due to the pigs being fed entirely on cocoa-nuts and
bread-fruit. Still it seemed a pity to eat such a tame creature, and I
mean to try and preserve the other one's life, unless we are much
longer than we expect in reaching Tahiti. He is only about ten inches
long, but looks at least a hundred years old, and is altogether the
most quaint, old-fashioned little object you ever saw. He has taken a
great fancy to the dogs, and trots about after me with them
everywhere, on the tips of his little toes, even up and down the steep
cabin stairs. I call him Agag, because he walks so delicately, whilst
others accost him as Beau, not only on account of his elegant manners,
but as being the name of his former home.

The moon was more brilliant this evening than we have yet seen her
during our voyage, and we could enjoy sitting on deck reading, and
even doing some coarse needlework, without any other light. One
splendid meteor flashed across the sky. It was of a light orange
colour, with a fiery tail about two degrees in extent, and described
in its course an arc of about sixty degrees, from S.S.E. to N.N.W.,
before it disappeared into space, far above the horizon. If the night
had been darker, the spectacle would have been finer; but even as it
was, the moon seemed quite paled for a few minutes afterwards. We have
seen many meteors, falling-stars, and shooting-stars since we left
Valparaiso, but none so fine as the one this evening.

_Friday, December 1st_.--The sun rose grandly, but the heavy black and
red clouds, looking like flames and smoke from a furnace, gave promise
of more rain. The heat was greater to-day than any we have yet felt;
and it is now nearly mid-winter at home.

[Illustration: Maitea.]

At 5 a.m. we made the island of Maitea, and expected to reach it in
about an hour and a half; but the wind fell light, and it was a
quarter to ten before we got into the gig and set out for the shore.
There are not many instructions about landing, either in Captain Cook
or Findlay, but the latter mentions that houses are to be found on the
south side of the island. We thought, however, we could distinguish
from the yacht a little cove, close to some huts, at another part of
the shore, where the surf did not break so heavily. We accordingly
rowed straight for it, and as we approached we could see the natives
coming down from all parts to meet us, the women dressed in the same
sort of long, bright, flowing garments we had seen at Hao Harpe, with
the addition of garlands round their necks and heads, the men wearing
gay-coloured loin-cloths, shirts of Manchester cotton stuff, flying
loose in the wind, and sailors' hats with garlands round them, or
coloured silk handkerchiefs--red and orange evidently having the
preference--tied over their heads and jauntily knotted on one side.
Several of the men waded out into the surf to meet us, sometimes
standing on a rock two feet above the water, sometimes buried up to
their necks by a sudden wave. But the rocks were sharp, the only
available passage was narrow, and the rollers long and high; and
altogether it looked, upon a closer inspection, too unpromising a
place to attempt a landing. Much to the disappointment of the natives,
therefore, we decided to go round and try the other side of the
island. Seeing us prepare to depart, the people on shore immediately
launched a tiny canoe, with an enormous outrigger, and a man dressed
in a pale green shirt, dark blue and yellow under garment, and with a
silk handkerchief and garland on his head, came alongside and made
signs that he would take us ashore one by one in his frail-looking
craft. But the heavy Pacific rollers and the sharp rocks daunted us,
and we declined his offer with thanks, and rowed off to the southward.
Anything more enticing than the cove we were quitting can hardly be
imagined. A fringe of cocoa-nuts and bread-fruit trees, overhanging an
undergrowth of bright glossy foliage and flowers, a few half-hidden
palm-leaf covered huts, from one of which--I suppose the chief's--a
tattered Tahitian flag floated in the breeze, a small schooner drawn
up among the trees and carefully covered with mats, the steep
sugar-loaf point, at the entrance to the cove, clothed to its summit
with grass and vegetation: these were the objects which attracted our
attention in our hurried survey of the scene.

[Illustration: Our Boatman]

We had to give the island a wide berth in rowing round it, on account
of the heavy rollers, which seemed to come from every side, breaking
in surf against the dark brown cliffs, and throwing columns of white
spray, from which the brilliant sunshine was reflected in rainbow
hues, high into the air. As we proceeded matters looked worse and
worse, and the motion of the boat became so disagreeable that both
Muriel and I were very ill. At last we came to a spot where we could
see some people sitting on the shore, and several others, who had
probably come over from the other side to meet us, running swiftly
down the sides of the cliffs to the beach. The island was of a
different character from the one we had already visited, and was
evidently of volcanic origin. No coral was anywhere to be seen, but
there were big rocks jutting out at intervals into the sea all round
it, one of which seemed large enough to afford us a sort of shelter in
landing. The natives waved and pointed towards the channel beyond this
rock, and one or two swam out to meet us; but we soon found that the
channel would not be wide enough to admit our big boat, though it was
no doubt sufficient for a light canoe, drawing some two inches of
water. We therefore reluctantly turned away and resumed our uneasy
coasting voyage, in the course of which we passed some nearly leafless
trees, full of white patches, too large for flowers, which afterwards
turned out to be booby-birds, who here find a resting-place. They are
so numerous that it is hardly possible to walk beneath the trees
without treading on their eggs.

Having completed the circuit of the island, we found ourselves once
more opposite the spot where we had first thought of landing, and the
tide being by this time a little higher, we decided to make another
attempt. Some of the natives, seeing us approach, plunged into the
water as before, and seized the gunwale of the boat, while others, on
shore, brought down rollers to put beneath our keel. We went in on the
top of a big wave, and thus at last found ourselves--boat and
all--high and dry on the beach of Maitea.

The people came down to meet us, and conducted us to the house of the
chief, who, with his pretty wife, received us kindly, but with much
gravity and dignity. Mats were placed for me to sit upon, wreaths were
offered me for my head and neck, and cocoa-nut milk to drink. We
wished for some bananas, and they immediately cut down a tree in order
to obtain a bunch. Cocoa-nuts were at the same time thrown down from
the trees, and a collection of fruit, poultry, and meat--the latter
consisting of the immemorial hog--was laid at our feet, as a present
from the chief. The rest of the natives brought us pearls, shells,
mother-of-pearl, small canoes, fish-hooks, young boobies, and all
sorts of things, for barter; but the chief himself refused any return
for his gift. Perhaps the greatest curiosity they offered us was about
six fathoms of fine twine, made from human hair. Before these islands
were visited by Europeans, this was the material from which
fishing-lines were made; but it is now rarely used, and is
consequently very difficult to procure. The young boobies they brought
us looked just like a white powder-puff, and were covered with down
far thicker and softer than any swan's down I ever saw.

The natives seemed quite _au fait_ in the matter of monetary
transactions and exchanges. For an English sovereign they would give
you change at the rate of five dollars. Chilian or United States'
dollars they accepted readily, but Brazilian currency they would not
look at. They were pleased with knives, beads, looking-glasses, and
picture papers I had brought on shore, and we did a brisk trade. We
experienced great difficulty in explaining to them that we wanted some
fresh eggs, Muriel's especial fancy, and a luxury which we have been
without for some time. At last, by pointing to the fowls and picking
up some small egg-shaped stones, we managed to procure a few, though,
from the time it took to collect them, I should think the island must
have been scoured in the search for them.

Most of the natives seemed puzzled to comprehend why we had visited
the island at all. 'No sell brandy?'--'No.' 'No stealy men?'--'No.'
'No do what then?' Their knowledge of English was too limited to
enable us to make them understand that we were only making a voyage of
circumnavigation in a yacht.

It was now time to bid farewell to our amiable hosts and their
beautiful island. As we reached the landing-place, a small schooner,
which we had previously noticed in the distance, came close to the
shore, and a canoe put off from the island to meet it. We found that
the vessel was bringing back from Tahiti and other places some of the
inhabitants of the island, who had been away on a visit or in search
of work. The meeting of the reunited friends and relatives was in
some cases quite touching. Two women, in particular, sat and embraced
each other for nearly a quarter of an hour, without moving, but with
tears running down their faces.

All our gifts and purchases having been placed in the boat, and one or
two of us having embarked, she was shoved out over the wooden rollers
into the narrow channel, where she lay-to while the rest of the party
were brought alongside, one by one, in a frail canoe--an operation
which occupied some time, during which we had leisure once more to
admire the little bay I have already attempted to describe. We asked
the captain of the schooner, who spoke French, to give us a tow off to
the yacht, which he willingly consented to do, chatting cheerfully all
the time, but evidently fearful of approaching too close to the yacht,
and positively refusing our invitation to him to come on board. There
can be little doubt that he mistrusted our intentions, and feared we
might attempt to kidnap him and his crew; for the whites have, in too
many cases, behaved in a most villanous manner to the inhabitants of
these islands, who are, as a rule--to which there are of course
exceptions--a kind and gentle people. I think if the many instances of
the murder of ships' and boats' crews could be thoroughly sifted to
the bottom, it would be found that most of them were acts of reprisal
and revenge for brutal atrocities committed on the defenceless
natives, who have been kidnapped, plundered, and murdered by
unscrupulous traders and adventurers. Unfortunately, the good suffer
for the bad, and such lives as those of Captain Goodenough and Bishop
Patteson are sacrificed through the unpardonable misconduct of
others--perhaps their own countrymen. It is still quite a chance how
you may be received in some of the islands; for if the visit of the
last ship was the occasion of the murder, plunder, and ill-treatment
of the inhabitants, it is not to be wondered at that the next comers
should be received with distrust, if not with treachery and violence.

We reached the yacht at four o'clock, rather exhausted by so many
hours' exposure to the broiling sun, having had nothing to eat since
breakfast, at 7 a.m., except cocoa-nuts and bananas. The ship was put
about, the sails filled, and, continuing steadily on our course
throughout the evening, we made the smaller of the two peninsulas that
form the island of Tahiti at 10.30 p.m.

_Saturday, December 2nd_. We were dodging on and off all night, and at
daybreak the weather was thick and rainy. At 4.30 a.m. we made the
land again, and crept slowly along it, past Point Venus and the
lighthouse in Matavai Bay (Captain Cook's first anchorage), until we
were off the harbour of Papeete.[8] The rain was now descending in
torrents, and we lay-to outside the reef for a short time, until a
French pilot came on board and took us in through the narrow entrance.
It was curious, while we were tumbling about in the rough sea outside,
to see the natives placidly fishing in the tiniest of canoes on the
lagoon inside the reef, the waves beating all the time furiously on
the outer surface of the coral breakwater, as if anxious to seize and
engulf them.

[Footnote 8: 'Papiete' or 'Papeete,' _a bag of water_.]

At nine o'clock we were safely anchored in the chief port of the
island of Tahiti.

Perhaps I cannot better bring this account of our long voyage from
Valparaiso to a conclusion than by a quotation from a charming book,
given to me at Rio, which I have lately been reading Baron de Hubner's
'Promenade autour du Monde:'--'Les jours se suivent et se ressemblent.
Sauf le court episode du mauvais temps, ces trois semaines me font
l'effet d'un charmant reve, d'un conte de fee, d'une promenade
imaginaire a travers une salle immense, tout or et lapis-lazuli. Pas
un moment d'ennui ou d'impatience. Si vous voulez abreger les
longueurs d'une grande traversee, distribuez bien votre temps, et
observez le reglement que vous vous etes impose. C'est un moyen sur de
se faire promptement a la vie claustrale et meme d'en jouir.'

We have been five weeks at sea, and have enjoyed them quite as much as
the Baron did his three. We saw but two ships between Valparaiso and
Tatakotoroa: he saw only one between San Francisco and Yokohama. It is
indeed a vast and lonely ocean that we have traversed.

[Illustration: Quarantine Island, Papeete]




CHAPTER XIV.

AT TAHITI.

    _The cava feast, the yam, the cocoa's root,_
    _Which bears at once the cup, and milk, and fruit,_
    _The bread-tree which, without the ploughshare, yields_
    _The unreap'd harvest of unfurrowed fields._

           *       *       *       *       *

    _These, with the luxuries of seas and woods,_
    _The airy joys of social solitudes,_
    _Tamed each rude wanderer._


[Illustration: Under the Trees, Papeete]

_Saturday, December 2nd_.--The anchor was dropped in the harbour of
Papeete at nine o'clock, and a couple of hours later, by which time
the weather had cleared, we went ashore, and at once found ourselves
in the midst of a fairy-like scene, to describe which is almost
impossible, so bewildering is it in the brightness and variety of its
colouring. The magnolias and yellow and scarlet hibiscus,
overshadowing the water, the velvety turf, on to which one steps from
the boat, the white road running between rows of wooden houses, whose
little gardens are a mass of flowers, the men and women clad in the
gayest robes and decked with flowers, the piles of unfamiliar fruit
lying on the grass, waiting to be transported to the coasting vessels
in the harbour, the wide-spreading background of hills clad in verdure
to their summits--these are but a few of the objects which greet the
new-comer in his first contact with the shore.

We strolled about, and left our letters of introduction; but the
people to whom they were addressed were at breakfast, and we were
deliberating how best to dispose of our time, when a gentleman
accosted us, and, seeing how new it all was to us strangers, offered
to show us round the town.

The streets of Papeete, running back at right angles with the beach,
seem to have wonderfully grand names, such as the Rue de Rivoli, Rue
de Paris, &c. Every street is shaded by an avenue of high trees, whose
branches meet and interlace overhead, forming a sort of leafy tunnel,
through which the sea-breeze passes refreshingly. There is also what
is called the Chinamen's quarter, through which we walked, and which
consists of a collection of regular Chinese-built bamboo houses, whose
occupants all wore their national costume, pigtail included. The
French commandant lives in a charming residence, surrounded by
gardens, just opposite the palace of Queen Pomare, who is at present
at the island of Bola-Bola, taking care of her little grandchild, aged
five, the queen of the island. She went down in a French man-of-war,
the 'Limier,' ten days ago, and has been obliged to remain, owing to
some disturbances amongst the natives. I am rather disappointed that
she is absent, as I should like to see a person of whom I have heard
so much.

Having completed our tour, we next went to call on the British Consul,
who received us kindly, and entertained us with an interesting account
of the island and its inhabitants, its pearl-fisheries and trade, the
French policy, the missionaries, &c., on all of which subjects he is
well informed. He has just completed an exhaustive consular report on
the condition of the island, which will, no doubt, appear in due
course in the form of a blue-book.

On our return to Messrs. Brander's office, where we had left one of
our letters of introduction, we found the manager, with whom we had a
long chat before returning on board.

[Illustration: Chaetodon Tricolor.]

At 5 p.m. we went for a row in the 'Glance' and the 'Flash' to the
coral reef, now illumined by the rays of the setting sun. Who can
describe these wonderful gardens of the deep, on which we now gazed
through ten and twenty fathoms of crystal water? Who can enumerate or
describe the strange creatures moving about and darting hither and
thither, amid the masses of coral forming their submarine home? There
were shells of rare shape, brighter than if they had been polished by
the hand of the most skilful artist; crabs of all sizes, scuttling and
sidling along; sea-anemones, spreading their delicate feelers in
search of prey; and many other kinds of zoophytes, crawling slowly
over the reef; and scarlet, blue, yellow, gold, violet, spotted,
striped, and winged fish, short, long, pointed, and blunt, of the
most varied shapes, were darting about like birds among the coral
trees.

At last, after frequent stoppages, to allow time for admiration, we
reached the outer reef, hauled the boat up and made her fast, and, in
bathing shoes, started on a paddling expedition. Such a paddle it was,
too, over the coral, the surf breaking far above our heads, and the
underflow, though only a few inches deep, nearly carrying me and the
children off our legs! There were one or two native fishermen walking
along the reef, whipping the water; but they appeared to have caught
only a few small rock-fish, pretty enough to look at, but not
apparently good to eat.

The shades of night compelled us to return to the yacht, laden with
corals of many different species. After dinner the bay was illuminated
by the torches of the native fishermen, in canoes, on the reef. Tom
and I went to look at them, but did not see them catch anything. Each
canoe contained at least three people, one of whom propelled the boat,
another stood up waving about a torch dipped in some resinous
substance, which threw a strong light on the water, while the third
stood in the bows, armed with a spear, made of a bundle of wires, tied
to a long pole, not at all unlike a gigantic egg-whip, with all its
loops cut into points. This is aimed with great dexterity at the fish,
who are either transfixed or jammed between the prongs. The fine
figures of the natives, lighted up by the flickering torches, and
standing out in bold relief against the dark blue starlit sky, would
have served as models for the sculptors of ancient Greece.

_Sunday, December 3rd_.--At a quarter to five this morning some of us
landed to see the market, this being the great day when the natives
come in from the country and surrounding villages, by sea and by land,
in boats, or on horseback, to sell their produce, and buy necessaries
for the coming week. We walked through the shady streets to the two
covered market buildings, partitioned across with great bunches of
oranges, plantains, and many-coloured vegetables, hung on strings. The
mats, beds, and pillows still lying about suggested the idea that the
salesmen and women had passed the night amongst their wares. The gaily
attired, good-looking, flower-decorated crowd, of some seven or eight
hundred people, all chatting and laughing, and some staring at us--but
not rudely--looked much more like a chorus of opera-singers, dressed
for their parts in some grand spectacle, than ordinary market-going
peasants. Whichever way one turned, the prospect was an animated and
attractive one. Here, beneath the shade of large, smooth, light-green
banana leaves, was a group of earnest bargainers for mysterious-looking
fish, luscious fruit, and vegetables; there, sheltered by a drooping
mango, whose rich clusters of purple and orange fruit hung in tempting
proximity to lips and hands, another little crowd was similarly
engaged. Orange-trees were evidently favourite _rendezvous_; and a row
of flower-sellers had established themselves in front of a hedge of
scarlet hibiscus and double Cape jasmine. Every vendor carried his
stock-in-trade, however small the articles composing it might be, on a
bamboo pole, across his shoulder, occasionally with rather ludicrous
effect, as, for instance, when the thick but light pole supported only
a tiny fish six inches long at one end, and two mangoes at the other.
Everybody seemed to have brought to market just what he or she
happened to have on hand, however small the quantity. The women would
have one, two, or three new-laid eggs in a leaf basket, one crab or
lobster, three or four prawns, or one little trout. Under these
circumstances, marketing for so large a party as ours was a somewhat
lengthy operation, and I was much amused in watching our _proveedor_,
as he went about collecting things by ones and twos, until he had
piled a little cart quite full, and had had it pushed off to the shady
quay.

[Illustration: Chaetodon Plagmance]

We strolled about until six o'clock, at which hour the purchasers
began to disperse, and were just preparing to depart likewise, when an
old man, carrying half-a-dozen little fish, and followed by a small
boy laden with vegetables and fruit, introduced himself to us as the
brother-in-law of Queen Pomare IV. and chief of Papeete, and, after a
short talk, invited us to visit him at his house. We consented, and,
following him, presently reached a break in the hedge and ditch that
ran along the side of the road, beyond which was a track, bordered by
pineapples and dracaenas, leading to a superior sort of house, built in
the native style, and surrounded, as usual, by bread-fruit, cocoa-nut,
banana, mango, and guava trees. We were conducted into the one large
room, which contained two four-post bedsteads and four mattresses,
laid on the floor, two or three trunks, and a table in the corner, on
which were writing materials and a few books. The chief himself spoke
a very little English, his son an equally small amount of French; so
the conversation languished, and after a decent interval we rose to
depart. Our host asked if he might 'come and see my ship,' and
procured pen, ink, and paper--not of the best quality--for me to write
an order for him do so, 'in case lady not at home.' He also presented
me with some pictures of soldiers, drawn by his son--a boy about
eleven years old, of whom he seemed very proud, and expressed his
regret that we could not prolong our stay, at the same time placing at
our disposal the whole house and garden, including a fat sow and
eleven little pigs.

Several other visitors had arrived by this time, one of whom was on
horseback, and, as I was rather tired, he was asked if he would kindly
allow me to ride down to the landing place. He replied that he would
lend the horse to a gentleman, but not to me, as the saddle was not
suitable. I explained that this made no difference to me, and mounted,
though I did not attempt to follow the fashion of the native ladies
here, who ride like men. Our new friend was quite delighted at this,
and volunteered himself to show us something of the neighbourhood.
Accordingly, leading my--or rather his--horse, and guiding him
carefully over all the rough places, he took us through groves and
gardens to the grounds belonging to the royal family, in which were
plantations of various kinds of trees, and a thick undergrowth of
guava. After an enjoyable little expedition we returned to the yacht
at about half-past seven, accompanied by the small boy who had been
carrying our special purchases from the market all this time, and by a
little tail of followers.

At half-past eight we breakfasted, so as to be ready for the service
at the native church at ten o'clock; but several visitors arrived in
the interval, and we had rather a bustle to get off in time, after
all. We landed close to the church, under the shade of an hibiscus,
whose yellow and orange flowers dropped off into the sea and floated
away amongst the coral rocks, peeping out of the water here and there.
The building appeared to be full to overflowing. The windows and doors
were all wide open, and many members of the congregation were seated
on the steps, on the lawn, and on the grassy slope beyond, listening
to a discourse in the native language. Most of the people wore the
native costume, which, especially when made of black stuff and
surmounted by a little sailor's hat, decorated with a bandana
handkerchief or a wreath of flowers, was very becoming. Sailors' hats
are universally worn, and are generally made by the natives themselves
from plantain or palm leaves, or from the inside fibre of the
arrowroot. Some rather elderly men and women in the front rows were
taking notes of the sermon. I found afterwards that they belonged to
the Bible class, and that their great pride was to meet after the
service and repeat by heart nearly all they had heard. This seems to
show at least a desire to profit by the minister's efforts.

After the usual service there were two christenings. The babies were
held at the font by the men, who looked extremely sheepish. One baby
was grandly attired in a book-muslin dress, with flounces, a tail at
least six feet long dragging on the ground, and a lace cap with
cherry-coloured bows; the other was nearly as smart, in a white-worked
long frock and cap, trimmed with blue bows. The christenings over,
there was a hymn, somewhat monotonous as to time and tune, but sung
with much fervour, followed by the administration of the sacrament, in
which cocoa-nut milk took the place of wine, and bread-fruit that of
bread. The proper elements were originally used, but experience proved
that, although the bread went round pretty well, the cup was almost
invariably emptied by the first two or three communicants, sometimes
with unfortunate results.

After service we drove through the shady avenues of the town into the
open country, past trim little villas and sugar-cane plantations,
until we turned off the main road, and entered an avenue of mangoes,
whence a rough road, cut through a guava thicket, leads to the main
gate of Faataua[9]--a regular square Indian bungalow, with thatched
roofs, verandahs covered with creepers, windows opening to the ground,
and steps leading to the gardens on every side, ample accommodation
for stables, kitchens, servants, being provided in numerous
outbuildings.

[Footnote 9: 'Fuatawah' or 'Faataua,' _to make friends_.]

Soon after breakfast, Mrs. Brander dressed me in one of her own native
costumes, and we drove to the outskirts of a dense forest, through
which a footpath leads to the waterfall and fort of Faataua. Here we
found horses waiting for us, on which we rode, accompanied by the
gentlemen on foot, through a thick growth of palms, orange-trees,
guavas, and other tropical trees, some of which were overhung and
almost choked by luxuriant creepers. Specially noticeable among the
latter was a gorgeous purple passion-flower, with orange-coloured
fruit as big as pumpkins, that covered everything with its vigorous
growth. The path was always narrow and sometimes steep, and we had
frequently almost to creep under the overhanging boughs, or to turn
aside to avoid a more than usually dense mass of creepers. We crossed
several small rivers, and at last reached a spot that commanded a view
of the waterfall, on the other side of a deep ravine. Just below the
fort that crowns the height, a river issues from a narrow cleft in the
rock, and falls at a single bound from the edge of an almost
perpendicular cliff, 600 feet high, into the valley beneath. First one
sees the rush of blue water, gradually changing in its descent to a
cloud of white spray, which in its turn is lost in a rainbow of mist.
Imagine that from beneath the shade of feathery palms and broad-leaved
bananas through a network of ferns and creepers you are looking upon
the Staubbach, in Switzerland, magnified in height, and with a
background of verdure-clad mountains, and you will have some idea of
the fall of Faataua as we beheld it.

[Illustration: Waterfall at Faataua]

After resting a little while and taking some sketches, we climbed up
to the fort itself, a place of considerable interest, where the
natives held out to the very last against the French. On the bank
opposite the fort, the last islander killed during the struggle for
independence was shot while trying to escape. Situated in the centre
of a group of mountains, with valleys branching off in all directions,
the fort could hold communication with every part of the coast, and
there can be little doubt that it would have held out much longer than
it did, but for the treachery of one of the garrison, who led the
invaders, under cover of the night, and by devious paths, to the top
of a hill commanding the position. Now the ramparts and earthworks are
overrun and almost hidden by roses. Originally planted, I suppose, by
the new-comers, they have spread rapidly in all directions, till the
hill-sides and summits are quite a-blush with the fragrant bloom.

Having enjoyed some strawberries and some icy cold water from a
spring, and heard a long account of the war from the _gardiens_, we
found it was time to commence our return journey, as it was now
getting late. We descended much more quickly than we had come up, but
daylight had faded into the brief tropical twilight, and that again
into the shades of night, ere we reached the carriage.

Dinner and evening service brought the day to a conclusion, and I
retired, not unwillingly, to bed, to dream of the charms of Tahiti.

Sometimes I think that all I have seen must be only a long vision, and
that too soon I shall awaken to the cold reality; the flowers, the
fruit, the colours worn by every one, the whole scene and its
surroundings, seem almost too fairylike to have an actual existence. I
am in despair when I attempt to describe all these things. I feel that
I cannot do anything like justice to their merits, and yet I fear all
the time that what I say may be looked upon as an exaggeration.

    Long dreamy lawns, and birds on happy wings,
      Keeping their homes in never-rifled bowers;
    Cool fountains filling with their murmurings
      The sunny silence 'twixt the chiming hours.

At daybreak next morning, when I went on deck, it was a dead calm. The
sea-breeze had not yet come in, and there was not a ripple on the
surface of the harbour. Outside, two little white trading schooners
lay becalmed; inside, the harbour-tug was getting up steam. On shore,
a few gaily dressed natives were hurrying home with their early market
produce, and others were stretched lazily on the grass at the water's
edge or on the benches under the trees. Our stores for the day, a
picturesque-looking heap of fish, fruit, vegetables, and flowers, were
on the steps, waiting to be brought off, and guarded in the meantime
by natives in costumes of pink, blue, orange, and a delicate pale
green they specially affect. The light mists rolled gradually away
from the mountain tops, and there was every prospect of a fine day for
a projected excursion.

I went ashore to fetch some of the fresh gathered fruit, and soon we
had a feast of luscious pineapples, juicy mangoes, bananas, and
oranges, with the dew still upon them. The mango is certainly the king
of fruit. Its flavour is a combination of apricot and pineapple, with
the slightest possible suspicion of turpentine thrown in, to give a
piquancy to the whole. I dare say it sounds a strange mixture, but I
can only say that the result is delicious. To enjoy mangoes thoroughly
you ought not to eat them in company, but leaning over the side of the
ship, in the early morning, with your sleeves tucked up to your
elbows, using no knife and fork, but tearing off the skin with your
teeth, and sucking the abundant juice.

We breakfasted at half-past six, and, at a little before eight, went
ashore, where we were met by a sort of _char-a-bancs_, or American
wagon, with three seats, one behind the other, all facing the horses,
and roomy and comfortable enough for two persons. Our Transatlantic
cousins certainly understand thoroughly, and do their best to improve
everything connected with, the locomotion they love so well. A Chinese
coachman and a thin but active pair of little horses completed the
turn-out. Mabelle sat beside the coachman, and we four packed into,
the other two seats, with all our belongings.

The sun was certainly _very_ powerful when we emerged from the shady
groves of Papeete, but there was a nice breeze, and sometimes we got
under the shade of cocoa-nut trees. We reached Punauia at about
half-past nine, and changed horses there. While waiting, hot and
thirsty, under the shelter of some trees, we asked for a cocoa-nut,
whereupon a man standing by immediately tied a withy of banana leaves
round his feet and proceeded to climb, or rather hop, up the nearest
tree, raising himself with his two hands and his feet alternately,
with an exactly similar action to that of our old friend the monkey on
the stick. People who have tasted the cocoa-nut only in England can
have no idea what a delicious fruit it really is when nearly ripe and
freshly plucked. The natives remove the outer husk, just leaving a
little piece to serve as a foot for the pale brown cup to rest on.
They then smooth off the top, and you have an elegant vase, something
like a mounted ostrich egg in appearance, lined with the snowiest
ivory, and containing about three pints of cool sweet water. Why it is
called milk I cannot understand, for it is as clear as crystal, and is
always cool and refreshing, though the nut in which it is contained
has generally been exposed to the fiercest sun. In many of the coral
islands, where the water is brackish, the natives drink scarcely
anything but cocoa-nut milk; and even here, if you are thirsty and ask
for a glass of water, you are almost always presented with a cocoa-nut
instead.

From Punauia onwards the scenery increased in beauty, and the foliage
was, if possible, more luxuriant than ever. The road ran through
extensive coffee, sugar-cane, Indian corn, orange, cocoa-nut, and
cotton plantations, and vanilla, carefully trained on bamboos, growing
in the thick shade. Near Atimaono we passed the house of a great
cotton planter, and, shortly afterwards, the curious huts, raised on
platforms, built by some islanders he has imported from the Kingsmill
group to work his plantations. They are a wild, savage-looking set,
very inferior to the Tahitians in appearance. The cotton-mills, which
formerly belonged to a company, are now all falling to ruin; and in
many other parts of the island we passed cotton plantations uncleaned
and neglected, and fast running to seed and waste. So long as the
American war lasted, a slight profit could be made upon Tahitian
cotton, but now it is hopeless to attempt to cultivate it with any
prospect of adequate return.

The sun was now at its height, and we longed to stop and bathe in one
of the many fresh-water streams we crossed, and afterwards to eat our
lunch by the wayside; but our Chinese coachman always pointed onwards,
and said, 'Eatee much presently; horses eatee too.' At last we arrived
at a little house, shaded by cocoa-nut trees, and built in an
enclosure near the sea-shore, with 'Restaurant' written up over the
door. We drove in, and were met by the proprietor, with what must have
been rather an embarrassing multiplicity of women and children about
his heels. The cloth was not laid, but the rooms looked clean, and
there was a heap of tempting-looking fish and fruit in a corner. We
assured him we were starving, and begged for luncheon as soon as
possible; and, in the meantime, went for a dip in the sea. But the
water was shallow, and the sun made the temperature at least 90 deg., so
that our bath was not very refreshing. On our return we found the
table most enticingly laid out, with little scarlet crayfish, embedded
in cool green lettuce leaves, fruit of various kinds, good wine and
fair bread, all arranged on a clean though coarse tablecloth. There
was also a savoury omelette, so good that Tom asked for a second;
when, to our astonishment, there appeared a plump roast fowl, with
most artistic gravy and fried potatoes. Then came a _biftek aux
champignons_, and some excellent coffee to wind up with. On making the
host our compliments, he said, 'Je fais la cuisine moi-meme, Madame.'
In the course of our repast we again tasted the bread-fruit, but did
not much appreciate it, though it was this time cooked in the native
fashion--roasted underground by means of hot stones.

Our coachman was becoming impatient, so we bade farewell to our host,
and resumed our journey. We crossed innumerable streams on our way,
generally full not only of water, but also of bathers; for the
Tahitians are very fond of water, and always bathe once or twice a day
in the fresh streams, even after having been in the sea.

In many places along the road people were making hay from short grass,
and in others they were weighing it preparatory to sending it into
town. But they say the grass grown here is not at all nourishing for
horses, and some people import it from Valparaiso.

The road round the island is called the Broom Road. Convicts were
employed in its original formation, and now it is the punishment for
any one getting drunk in any part of the island to be set to work to
sweep, repair, and keep in order a piece of the road in the
neighbourhood of his dwelling. It is the one good road of Tahiti,
encircling the larger of the two peninsulas close to the sea-shore,
and surmounting the low mountain range in the centre of the isthmus.

Before long we found ourselves close to Taravao, the narrow strip of
land connecting the two peninsulas into which Tahiti is divided, and
commenced to ascend the hills that form the backbone of the island. We
climbed up and up, reaching the summit at last, to behold a
magnificent prospect on all sides. Then a short sharp descent, a long
drive over grass roads through a rich forest, and again a brief
ascent, brought us to our sleeping-quarters for the night, the Hotel
de l'Isthme, situated in a valley in the midst of a dense grove of
cocoa-nuts and bananas, kept by two retired French sailors, who came
out to meet us, and conducted us up a flight of steps on the side of a
mud bank to the four rooms forming the hotel. These were two sleeping
apartments, a _salon_, and a _salle a manger_, the walls of which
consisted of flat pieces of wood, their own width apart, something
like Venetian shutters, with unglazed windows and doors opening into
the garden.

We walked about four hundred yards along a grassy road to the sea,
where Mabelle and I paddled about in shallow water and amused
ourselves by picking up coral, shells, and _beche-de-mer_, and
watching the blue and yellow fish darting in and out among the rocks,
until at last we found a place in the coral which made a capital
deep-water bath. Dressing again was not such a pleasant affair, owing
to the mosquitoes biting us in the most provoking manner. Afterwards
we strolled along the shore, which was covered with cocoa-nuts and
driftwood, washed thither, I suppose, from some of the adjacent
islands, and on our way back to the hotel we gathered a handful of
choice exotics and graceful ferns, with which to decorate the table.

The dinner itself really deserves a detailed description, if only to
show that one may make the tour of Tahiti without necessarily having
to rough it in the matter of food. We had crayfish and salad as a
preliminary, and next, an excellent soup followed by delicious little
oysters, that cling to the boughs and roots of the guava and mangrove
trees overhanging the sea. Then came a large fish, name unknown, the
inevitable _bouilli_ and cabbage, _cotelettes aux pommes, biftek aux
champignons_, succeeded by crabs and other shellfish, including
_wurrali_, a delicate-flavoured kind of lobster, an _omelette aux
abricots_, and dessert of tropical fruits. We were also supplied with
good wine, both red and white, and bottled beer.

I ought, in truth, to add that the cockroaches were rather lively and
plentiful, but they did not form a serious drawback to our enjoyment.
After dinner, however, when I went to see Mabelle to bed, hundreds of
these creatures, about three inches long, and broad in proportion,
scuttled away as I lighted the candle; and while we were sitting
outside we could see troops of them marching up and down in rows
between the crevices of the walls. Then there were the mosquitoes, who
hummed and buzzed about us, and with whom, alas! we were doomed to
make a closer acquaintance. Our bed was fitted with the very thickest
calico mosquito curtains, impervious to the air, but not to the
venomous little insects, who found their way in through every tiny
opening in spite of all our efforts to exclude them.

_Tuesday, December 5th_.--The heat in the night was suffocating, and
soon after twelve o'clock we both woke up, feeling half-stifled. There
was a dim light shining into the room, and Tom said, 'Thank goodness,
it's getting daylight;' but on striking my repeater we found to our
regret that this was a mistake. In the moonlight I could see columns
of nasty brown cockroaches ascending the bedposts, crawling along the
top of the curtains, dropping with a thud on to the bed, and then
descending over the side to the ground. At last I could stand it no
longer, and opening the curtains cautiously, I seized my slippers,
knocked half-a-dozen brown beasts out of each, wrapped myself in a
poncho--previously well shaken--gathered my garments around me,
surmounted a barricade I had constructed overnight to keep the pigs
and chickens out of our doorless room, and fled to the garden. All was
still, the only sign of life being a light in a neighbouring hut, and
I sat out in the open air in comparative comfort, until driven indoors
again by torrents of rain, at about half-past two o'clock.

I plunged into bed again, taking several mosquitoes with me, which
hummed and buzzed and devoured us to their hearts' content till dawn.
Then I got up and walked down to the beach to bathe, and returned to
breakfast at six o'clock, refreshed but still disfigured.

It is now the depth of winter and the middle of the rainy season in
Tahiti; but, luckily for us, it is nearly always fine in the daytime.
At night, however, there is often a perfect deluge, which floods the
houses and gardens, turns the streams into torrents, but washes and
refreshes the vegetation, and leaves the landscape brighter and
greener than before.

At half-past seven the horses were put to, and we were just ready for
a start, when down came the rain again, more heavily than before. It
was some little time before it ceased enough to allow us to start,
driving along grassy roads and through forests, but progressing rather
slowly, owing to the soaked condition of the ground. If you can
imagine the Kew hot-houses magnified and multiplied to an indefinite
extent, and laid out as a gentleman's park, traversed by numerous
grassy roads fringed with cocoa-nut palms, and commanding occasional
glimpses of sea, and beach, and coral reefs, you will have some faint
idea of the scene through which our road lay.

Many rivers we crossed, and many we stuck in, the gentlemen having
more than once to take off their shoes and stockings, tuck up their
trousers, jump into the water, and literally put their shoulders to
the wheel. Sometimes we drove out into the shallow sea, till it seemed
doubtful when and where we should make the land again. Sometimes we
climbed up a solid road, blasted out of the face of the black cliffs,
or crept along the shore of the tranquil lagoon, frightening the
land-crabs into their holes as they felt the shake of the approaching
carriage. Palms and passiflora abounded, the latter being specially
magnificent. It seems wonderful how their thin steins can support, at
a height of thirty or forty feet from the ground, the masses of huge
orange-coloured fruit which depend in strings from their summits.

At the third river, not far from where it fell into the sea, we
thought it was time to lunch; so we stopped the carriage, gave the
horses their provender, and sat down to enjoy ourselves after our long
drive. It was early in the afternoon before we started again, and soon
after this we were met by fresh horses, sent out from Papenoo;[10] so
it was not long before we found ourselves near Point Venus, where we
once more came upon a good piece of road, down which we rattled to the
plains outside Papeete.

[Footnote 10: From 'pape,' _water_, and 'noo,' _abundance_.]

We reached the quay at about seven o'clock, and, our arrival having
been observed, several friends came to see us and to inquire how we
had fared. Before we started on our excursion, instructions had been
given that the 'Sunbeam' should be painted _white_, for the sake of
coolness, and we were all very curious to see how she would look in
her new dress; but unfortunately the wet weather has delayed the work,
and there is still a good deal to do.

_Wednesday, December 6th_.--It was raining fast at half-past four this
morning, which was rather provoking, as I wanted to take some
photographs from the yacht's deck before the sea-breeze sprang up. But
the weather cleared while I was choosing my position and fixing my
camera, and I was enabled to take what I hope may prove to be some
successful photographs.

Messrs. Brander's mail-ship, a sailing vessel of about 600 tons, was
to leave for San Francisco at eight o'clock, and at seven Tom started
in the 'Flash' to take our letters on board. The passage to San
Francisco occupies twenty-five days on an average, and is performed
with great regularity once a month each way. The vessels employed on
this line, three in number, are well built, and have good
accommodation for passengers, and they generally carry a full cargo.
In the present instance it consists of fungus and tripang
(_beche-de-mer_) for China, oranges for San Francisco, a good many
packages of sundries, and a large consignment of pearls, entrusted to
the captain at the last moment.

So brisk is the trade carried on between Tahiti and the United States,
that the cost of this vessel was more than covered by the freights the
first year after she was built. In addition to these ships, there are
those which run backwards and forwards to Valparaiso, and the little
island trading schooners; so that the Tahitians can boast of quite a
respectable fleet of vessels, not imposing perhaps in point of
tonnage, but as smart and serviceable-looking as could be desired. The
trading schooners are really beautiful little craft, and I am sure
that, if well kept and properly manned, they would show to no
discredit among our smart yachts at Cowes. Not a day passes without
one or more entering or leaving the harbour, returning from or bound
to the lonely isles with which the south-west portion of the Pacific
is studded. They are provided with a patent log, but their captains,
who are intelligent men, do not care much about a chronometer, as the
distances to be run are comparatively short and are easily judged.

Mr. Godeffroy gave us rather an amusing account of the manner in which
their negotiations with the natives are conducted. The more civilised
islanders have got beyond barter, and prefer hard cash in American
dollars for their pearls, shells, cocoa-nuts, sandal-wood, &c. When
they have received the money, they remain on deck for some time
discussing their bargains among themselves. Then they peep down
through the open skylights into the cabin below, where the most
attractive prints and the gaudiest articles of apparel are temptingly
displayed, alongside a few bottles of rum and brandy and a supply of
tobacco. It is not long before the bait is swallowed; down go the
natives, the goods are sold, and the dollars have once more found
their way back into the captain's hands.

I had a long talk with one of the natives, who arrived to-day from
Flint Island--a most picturesque-looking individual, dressed in
scarlet and orange-coloured flannel, and a mass of black, shiny, curly
hair. Flint Island is a place whose existence has been disputed, it
having been more than once searched for by ships in vain. It was,
therefore, particularly interesting to meet some one who had actually
visited, and had just returned from, the spot in question. That
islands do occasionally disappear entirely in these parts there can be
little doubt. The Tahitian schooners were formerly in the habit of
trading with a small island close to Rarotonga, whose name I forget;
but about four years ago, when proceeding thither with the usual
three-monthly cargo of provisions, prints, &c., they failed to find
the island, of which no trace has since been seen. Two missionaries
from Rarotonga are believed to have been on it at the time of its
disappearance, and to have shared its mysterious fate.

_Thursday, December 7th_.--At eight o'clock I took Mabelle and Muriel
for a drive in a pony-carriage which had been kindly lent me, but with
a hint that the horse was rather _mechant_ sometimes. He behaved well
on the present occasion, however, and we had a pleasant drive in the
outskirts of the town for a couple of hours.

Just as we returned, a gentleman came and asked me if I should like to
see some remarkably fine pearls, and on my gladly consenting, he took
me to his house, where I saw some pearls certainly worth going to look
at, but too expensive for me, one pear-shaped gem alone having been
valued at 1,000_l_. I was told they came from a neighbouring island,
and I was given two shells containing pearls in various stages of
formation.

It was now time to go on board to receive some friends whom we had
invited to breakfast, and who arrived at about half-past eleven.

[Illustration: A Tahitian Lady.]

After breakfast, and a chat, and an examination of the photograph
books, &c., we all landed, and went to see Messrs. Brander's stores,
where all sorts of requisites for fitting out ships and their crews
can be procured. It is surprising to find how plentiful are the
supplies of the necessaries and even the luxuries of civilised life in
this far-away corner of the globe. You can even get _ice_ here, for
the manufacture of which a retired English infantry officer has set up
an establishment with great success. But what interested me most were
the products of this and the neighbouring islands. There were tons of
exquisitely tinted pearl shells, six or eight inches in diameter,
formerly a valuable article of commerce, but now worth comparatively
little. The pearls that came out of them had unfortunately been sent
away to Liverpool--1,000_l_. worth by this morning's, and 5,000_l_ by
the last mail-ship. Then there was vanilla, a most precarious crop,
which needs to be carefully watered and shaded from the first moment
it is planted, and which must be gathered before it is ripe, and dried
and matured in a moist heat, between blankets and feather-beds, in
order that the pods may not crack and allow the essence to escape. We
saw also edible fungus, exported to San Francisco, and thence to Hong
Kong, solely for the use of the Chinese; tripang, or _beche-de-mer_, a
sort of sea-slug or holothuria, which, either living or dead, fresh or
dried, looks equally untempting, but is highly esteemed by the
Celestials; coprah, or dried cocoa-nut kernels, broken into small
pieces in order that they may stow better, and exported to England and
other parts, where the oil is expressed and oil-cake formed; and
various other articles of commerce. The trade of the island is fast
increasing, the average invoice value of the exports having risen from
8,400_l_ in 1845 to 98,000_l_ in 1874. These totals are exclusive of
the value of the pearls, which would increase it by at least another
3,000_l_ or 4,000_l_.

I speak from personal experience when I say that every necessary of
life on board ship, and many luxuries, can be procured at Tahiti.
American tinned fruits and vegetables beat English ones hollow.
Preserved milk is uncertain--sometimes better, sometimes worse, than
what one buys at home. Tinned salmon is much better. Australian
mutton, New Zealand beef, and South Sea pork, leave nothing to be
desired in the way of preserved meat. Fresh beef, mutton, and butter
are hardly procurable, and the latter, when preserved, is uneatable. I
can never understand why they don't take to potting and salting down
for export the _best_ butter, at some large Irish or Devonshire farm,
instead of reserving that process for butter which is just on the turn
and is already almost unfit to eat; the result being that, long before
it has reached a hot climate, it is only fit to grease carriage-wheels
with. It could be done, and I feel sure it would pay, as good butter
would fetch almost any price in many places. Some Devonshire butter,
which we brought with us from England, is as good now, after ten
thousand miles in the tropics, as it was when first put on board; but
a considerable proportion is very bad, and was evidently not in proper
condition in the first instance.

We had intended going afterwards to the coral reef with the children
to have a picnic there, and had accordingly given the servants leave
to go ashore for the evening; but it came on to rain heavily, and we
were obliged to return to the yacht instead. The servants had,
however, already availed themselves of the permission they had
received, and there was therefore no one on board in their department;
so we had to unpack our basket and have our picnic on deck, under the
awning, instead of on the reef, which I think was almost as great a
treat to the children.

We have, I am sorry to say, had a good deal of trouble with some of
our men here. One disappeared directly we arrived, and has never been
seen since. Another came off suffering from delirium tremens and
epileptic fits, brought on by drink. His cries and struggles were
horrible to hear and witness. It took four strong men to hold him, and
the doctor was up with him all last night. Nearly all the ships that
come here have been at sea for a long time, and the men are simply
wild when they get ashore. Some of the people know only too well how
to take advantage of this state of things, and the consequence is that
it is hardly safe for a sailor to drink a glass of grog, for fear that
it should be drugged. No doubt there are respectable places to which
the men could resort, but it is not easy for a stranger to find them
out, and our men seem to have been particularly unfortunate in this
respect. Tom talks of leaving two of them behind, and shipping four
fresh hands, as our number is already rather short.

_Friday, December 8th_.--I persuaded Tom to make another excursion to
the coral reef this morning, and at five o'clock he and Mabelle and I
set off in the 'Flash,' just as the sun was rising. We had a
delightful row, past the Quarantine Island[11], to the portion of the
reef on the other side of the harbour, where we had not yet been, and
where I think the coral plants and flowers and bushes showed to
greater advantage than ever, as they were less crowded, and the
occasional patches of sandy bottom enabled one to see them better. We
were so engrossed in our examination of these marvels of the deep, and
of the fish with which the water abounded, that we found ourselves
aground several times, and our return to the yacht was consequently
delayed.

[Footnote 11: The native name is 'Motu-iti,' i.e. _little island_.]

After breakfast I had another visit from a man with war-cloaks,
shell-belts, _tapa_, and _reva reva_, which he brought on board for my
inspection. It was a difficult task to make him understand what I
meant, but at last I thought I had succeeded in impressing on his mind
the fact that I wished to buy them, and that they would be paid for at
the store. The sequel unfortunately proved that I was mistaken. At
nine o'clock we set out for the shore, and after landing drove along
the same road by which we had returned from our excursion round the
island.[12] After seeing as much of the place as our limited time
would allow, we drove over to Faataua, where we found the children and
maids. The grand piano, every table, and the drawing-room floor, were
spread with the presents we were expected to take away with us. There
were bunches of scarlet feathers, two or three hundred in number, from
the tail of the tropic bird, which are only allowed to be possessed
and worn by chiefs, and which are of great value, as each bird
produces only two feathers; pearl shells, with corals growing on them,
red coral from the islands on the Equator, curious sponges and
sea-weed, _tapa_ cloth and _reva-reva_ fringe, arrowroot and palm-leaf
hats, cocoa-nut drinking vessels, fine mats plaited in many patterns,
and other specimens of the products of the island.

[Footnote 12: We paid a brief visit to Point Venus, whence Captain
Cook observed the transit of Venus on November 9th, 1769, and we saw
the lighthouse and tamarind tree, which now mark the spot. The latter,
from which we brought away some seed, was undoubtedly planted by
Captain Cook with his own hand.]

[Illustration: Tropic Feathers]

All the members of the royal family at present in Tahiti had been
invited to meet us, and arrived in due course, including the
heir-apparent and his brother and sister. All the guests were dressed
in the native costume, with wreaths on their heads and necks, and even
the servants--including our own, whom I hardly recognised--were
similarly decorated. Wreaths had also been prepared for us, three of
fragrant yellow flowers for Mabelle, Muriel, and myself, and others of
a different kind for the gentlemen.

When the feast was ready the Prince offered me his arm, and we all
walked in a procession to a grove of bananas in the garden through two
lines of native servants, who, at a given signal, saluted us with
three hearty English cheers. We then continued our walk till we
arrived at a house, built in the native style, by the side of a rocky
stream, like a Scotch burn. The uprights of the house were banana
trees, transplanted with their leaves on, so as to shade the roof,
which was formed of plaited cocoa-nut palm-leaves, each about fifteen
feet long, laid transversely across bamboo rafters. From these
light-green supports and the dark green roof depended the yellow and
brown leaves of the _theve_, woven into graceful garlands and elegant
festoons. The floor was covered with the finest mats, with black and
white borders, and the centre strewn with broad green plantain leaves,
to form the tablecloth, on which were laid baskets and dishes, made of
leaves sewed together, and containing all sorts of native delicacies.
There were oysters, lobsters, wurrali, and crawfish, stewed chicken,
boiled sucking-pig, plantains, bread-fruit, melons, bananas, oranges,
and strawberries. Before each guest was placed a half cocoa-nut full
of salt water, another full of chopped cocoa-nut, a third full of
fresh water, and another full of milk, two pieces of bamboo, a basket
of _poi_, half a bread-fruit, and a platter of green leaves, the
latter being changed with each course. We took our seats on the ground
round the green table. An address was first delivered in the native
language, grace was then said, and we commenced. The first operation
was to mix the salt water and the chopped cocoa-nut together, so as to
make an appetising sauce, into which we were supposed to dip each
morsel we ate, the empty salt-water bowl being filled up with fresh
water with which to wash our fingers and lips. We were tolerably
successful in the use of our fingers as substitutes for knives and
forks. The only drawback was that the dinner had to be eaten amid such
a scene of novelty and beauty, that our attention was continually
distracted: there was so much to admire, both in the house itself and
outside it. After we had finished, all the servants sat down to
dinner, and from a dais at one end of the room we surveyed the bright
and animated scene, the gentlemen--and some of the ladies
too--meanwhile enjoying their cigarettes.

When we got down to Papeete, at about half-past four, so many things
had to be done that it seemed impossible to accomplish a start this
evening. First of all the two Princes came on board, and were shown
round, after which there were accounts to be paid, linen to be got on
board; and various other preparations to be made. Presently it was
discovered that the cloaks I had purchased--or thought I had
purchased--this morning had not turned up, and that our saddles had
been left at Faataua on Sunday and had been forgotten. The latter were
immediately sent for, but although some one went on shore to look
after the cloaks nothing could be heard of them; so I suppose I failed
after all in making the man understand that he was to take them to the
store and be paid for them there.

[Illustration: Chaetodon Besantii]

At six o'clock the pilot sent word that it was no longer safe to go
out; but steam was already up, and Tom therefore decided to go outside
the reef and there wait for the people and goods that were still on
shore. At this moment the saddles appeared in one direction, and the
rest of the party in another. They were soon on board, the anchor was
raised, and we began to steam slowly ahead, taking a last regretful
look at Papeete as we left the harbour. By the time we were outside it
was dark, the pilot went ashore, and we steamed full speed ahead.
After dinner, and indeed until we went to bed, at half-past eleven,
the lights along the shore were clearly visible, and the form of the
high mountains behind could be distinguished.

Good-bye, lovely Tahiti! I wonder if I shall ever see you again; it
makes me quite sad to think how small is the chance of my doing so.




CHAPTER XV.

TAHITI TO SANDWICH ISLANDS.--KILAUEA BY DAY AND BY NIGHT.

    _Methinks it should have been impossible_
    _Not to love all things in a world so filled,_
    _Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air_
    _Is music, slumbering on her instrument._


_Saturday, December 9th_.--After leaving the harbour of Papeete we
passed close to the island of Eimeo, on which we have gazed so often
and with so much pleasure during the past week. It is considered the
most beautiful island of the Georgian group, and we all regretted that
we were unable to spare the time to visit it. From afar it is rather
like the dolomite mountains in the Tyrol, and it is said that the
resemblance is even more striking on a near approach. The harbour is a
long narrow gorge between high mountains, clothed with palms, oranges,
and plantains, and is one of the most remarkable features of the
place. Huahine is the island of which the Earl and the Doctor speak,
in 'South Sea Bubbles,' in terms of such enthusiasm, and Rarotonga is
the head and centre of all the missionary efforts of the present time
in these parts.

The weather to-day was fine, though we had occasional squalls of wind
and rain. We were close-hauled, and the motion of the vessel was
violent and disagreeable. I was very sea-sick, and was consoled to
find that several of the men were so too. A head sea--or nearly so--is
quite a novel experience for us of late, and we none of us like the
change.

_Sunday, December 10th_.--Another squally day. Still close-hauled,
and even then not on our course. We had a short service at eleven, but
it was as much as I could do to remain on deck.

_Monday, December 11th_.--Very like yesterday. We passed close to
Flint and Vostok Islands, at the former of which I should have much
liked to land. But it was a good deal to leeward of us; there is no
anchorage, and the landing, which is always difficult and sometimes
impossible, has to be effected in native surf-boats. It would have
been interesting to see a guano island, of which this is a perfect
specimen.

We had hoped to make the Caroline Islands before dark (not the
Caroline Islands proper, but a group of low islets, whose position is
very uncertainly indicated in the different charts and books); but the
wind fell light, and as we could see nothing of them at sunset,
although the view from the masthead extended at least fifteen miles in
every direction, it was decided at eight o'clock to put the ship
about, to insure not running on them or any of the surrounding reefs
in the night. The currents run very swiftly between these islands, and
it is impossible to tell your exact position, even a few hours after
having taken an observation.

_Tuesday, December 12th_.--The wind freshened immediately after we had
changed our course last night, and fell light directly we had put
about again this morning, so that it was fully 9 a.m. before we had
regained our position of yesterday evening.

Our compass-cards were getting worn out, and Tom gave out new ones
before leaving Tahiti. I was very much amused to-night, when, as
usual, just before going to bed, I went to have a look at the compass
and see how the yacht was lying, and asked the man at the wheel what
course he was steering. 'North and by west, half-east, ma'am,' he
replied. 'That's a funny course,' I said; 'tell me again.' He
repeated his statement; whereupon I remarked that the course was quite
a new one to me. 'Oh, yes, ma'am,' he answered, 'but them's the new
compass-cards.' This man is one of the best helmsmen in the ship, but
certainly seems to be an indifferent scholar.

_Friday, December 15th_.--We crossed the line at half-past four this
morning. Father Neptune was to have paid us another visit in the
evening, but the crew were busy, and there were some difficulties
about arranging the details of the ceremony. The children were
obliged, therefore, to be content with their usual game of drilling
every one that they were able to muster for soldiers, after the
fashion of Captain Brown's 'rifle practice,' or marching up and down
the decks to the strains of Jem Butt's fiddle playing 'Tommy make room
for your Uncle,' accompanied by the somewhat discordant noise of their
own drums. These amusements after sunset, and scrubbing decks and
working at the pumps before sunrise, give us all the much-needed
exercise it is impossible to take in the heat of the daytime.

[Illustration: Tattoo in the Tropics]

_Saturday, December 16th_.--At 1.30 a.m. I was awoke by the strains
of sweet music, and could not at first imagine where I could be, or
whence the sounds came. It proved to be the performance of some
'waits' on board. I do not know who originated the idea, but it was a
very good one, and was excellently carried out. Everybody assembled on
deck by degrees, and the songsters enjoyed a glass of grog when their
labours were finished, after which we all went to bed again.

It had fallen calm yesterday evening, and the funnel was raised at
midnight, but the breeze sprang up again to-day, and at noon the fires
were banked and the sails were set. Of course it then fell calm again,
and at six o'clock we were once more proceeding under steam. There was
one squall in the night, accompanied by the most tremendous rain I
ever saw or heard. We talk of tropical rain in England, but the real
thing is very different. It seemed just as if the bottom of an
enormous cistern overhead had suddenly been removed, allowing the
contents to fall exactly on the spot where we were. The water came
down in sheets, and was soon three or four inches deep on the deck,
though it was pouring out of the scuppers all the time as fast as
possible.

_Sunday, December 17th_.--A showery morning. We had Communion Service
and hymns at eleven. In the afternoon it was too rough for 'church,'
and Tom was unable to deliver his intended address to the men.

_Monday, December 18th_.--We were close-hauled, with a strong
north-east wind, and heavy squalls and showers at intervals. We saw
several flying-fish and a good many birds, apparently hovering over a
shoal of whales or grampuses. It is wonderful how little life we have
seen on this portion of our voyage.

_Tuesday, December 19th_.--A fine day--wind rather more fair--sea
still rough and disagreeable. I tried to work hard all day, but found
it very difficult.

_Thursday, December 21st_.--Wind variable and baffling--sometimes
calm, sometimes squally, sometimes a nice breeze. Sails were hoisted
and lowered at least a dozen times, and fires were banked more than
once.

_Friday, December 22nd_.--At 6.30 a.m. we made the island of Hawaii,
rather too much to leeward, as we had been carried by the strong
current at least eighteen miles out of our course. We were therefore
obliged to beat up to windward, in the course of which operation we
passed a large barque running before the wind--the first ship we had
seen since leaving Tahiti--and also a fine whale, blowing, close to
us. We could not see the high land in the centre of the island, owing
to the mist in which it was enveloped, and there was great excitement
and much speculation on board as to the principal points which were
visible. At noon the observations taken proved that Tom was right in
his opinion as to our exact position. The wind dropped as we
approached the coast, where we could see the heavy surf dashing
against the black lava cliffs, rushing up the little creeks, and
throwing its spray in huge fountain-like jets high above the tall
cocoa-nut trees far inland.

We sailed along close to the shore, and by two o'clock were near the
entrance to the Bay of Hilo. In answer to our signal for a pilot a
boat came off with a man who said he knew the entrance to the harbour,
but informed us that the proper pilot had gone to Honolulu on a
pleasure trip.

It was a clear afternoon. The mountains, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa,
could be plainly seen from top to bottom, their giant crests rising
nearly 14,000 feet above our heads, their tree and fern clad slopes
seamed with deep gulches or ravines, down each of which a fertilising
river ran into the sea. Inside the reef, the white coral shore, on
which the waves seemed too lazy to break, is fringed with a belt of
cocoa-nut palms, amongst which, as well as on the hill-sides, the
little white houses are prettily dotted. All are surrounded by
gardens, so full of flowers that the bright patches of colour were
plainly visible even from the deck of the yacht. The harbour is large,
and is exposed only to one bad wind, which is most prevalent during
the winter months. Still, with good ground-tackle, there is not much
to be feared, and there is one particular spot, sheltered by the
Blonde reef, which is almost always safe. Here, accordingly, we have
taken up our station, though it is rather far from the town. Sometimes
it is impossible to land at Hilo itself for days together, but there
is fortunately a little creek behind Cocoa-nut Island which is always
accessible.

This afternoon the weather was all that could be desired, and at three
o'clock we landed and went straight to Mr. Conway's store to make
arrangements for going to the volcano of Kilauea to-morrow. Mr. Conway
sent a man off at once on horseback to warn the people at the
'Half-way House' and at 'Volcano House' to make preparations to
receive our party--a necessary precaution, as visitors to the island
are not numerous, and can only arrive by the monthly steamer from
Honolulu.

Having arranged this matter, we went for a stroll, among neat houses
and pretty gardens, to the suspension-bridge over the river, followed
by a crowd of girls, all decorated with wreaths and garlands, and
wearing almost the same dress that we had seen at Tahiti--a coloured
long-sleeved loose gown reaching to the feet. The natives here appear
to affect duller colours than those we have lately been accustomed to,
lilac, drab, brown, and other dark prints being the favourite tints.
Whenever I stopped to look at a view, one of the girls would come
behind me and throw a _lei_ of flowers over my head, fasten it round
my neck, and then run away laughing, to a distance, to judge of
effect. The consequence was that, before the end of our walk, I had
about a dozen wreaths, of various colours and lengths, hanging round
me, till I felt almost as if I had a fur tippet on, they made me so
hot; and yet I did not like to take them off for fear of hurting the
poor girls' feelings.

We walked along the river bank, and crossed to the other side just
below the rapids, jumping over the narrow channels through which the
water hurried and rushed. Some of our attendant girls carried Muriel
and the dogs, and, springing barefooted from rock to rock, led us
across the stream and up the precipitous banks on the other side.
There is a sort of hotel here, kept by a Chinaman, where everything is
scrupulously clean, and the food good though plain. It is rather more
like a lodging-house than an hotel, however. You hire your rooms, and
are expected to make special arrangements for board. Before we got
back to the yacht it had become dark, the moon had risen, and we could
see the reflection in the sky of the fires in the crater of Kilauea. I
do hope the volcano will be active to-morrow. It is never two days in
the same condition, and visitors have frequently remained in the
neighbourhood of the crater for a week without seeing an eruption.

The starlit sky, the bright young moon, and the red cloud from
Kilauea, floating far above our heads, made up a most beautiful scene
from the deck of the 'Sunbeam.'

_Saturday, December 23rd_.--The boatman who brought us off last night
had told us that Saturday was market-day at Hilo, and that at five
o'clock the natives would come in from the surrounding country in
crowds to buy their Sunday and Christmas Day provisions, and to bring
their own produce for sale. We accordingly gave orders that the boat
should come for us at a quarter to five, shortly before which we got
up and went on deck. We waited patiently in the dark until half-past
five, when, no boat appearing from the shore, the dingy was manned and
we landed. The lights in the town were all out, the day had hardly
dawned, and there were no signs of life to be seen. At last we met two
men, who told us we should find the market near the river, and offered
to show us the way; but when we arrived at the spot they had indicated
we found only a large butcher's shop, and were informed that the
regular market for fish, fruit, and other things was held at five
o'clock _in the afternoon_ instead of in the morning. We had thus had
all our trouble for nothing, and the non-appearance of the boat was
fully explained.

Presently we met a friend who took us to his home. It was a pretty
walk, by the side of the river and through numerous gardens, fresh
with the morning dew. He gave us the latest news from the United
States, and presented us with oranges and flowers, with which we
returned to the yacht. We were on board again by seven, and, having
packed up our things and sent them ashore, had an early breakfast, and
landed, in readiness for our excursion to Kilauea. The baggage animals
ought already to have started, but we found they had been kept back,
in case we should happen to forget anything. Quite a crowd assembled
to see us off, and a good deal of gossip had to be got through, so
that it was half-past nine before we were all mounted and fairly off.

The first part of our way lay along the flat ground, gay with bright
scarlet Guernsey lilies, and shaded by cocoa-nut trees, between the
town and the sea. Then we struck off to the right, and soon left the
town behind us, emerging into the open country. At a distance from the
sea, Hilo looks as green as the Emerald Isle itself; but on a closer
inspection the grass turns out to be coarse and dry, and many of the
trees look scrubby and half dead. Except in the 'gulches' and the deep
holes between the hills, the island is covered with lava, in many
places of so recent a deposit that it has not yet had time to
decompose, and there is consequently only a thin layer of soil on its
surface. This soil being, however, very rich, vegetation flourishes
luxuriantly for a time; but as soon as the roots have penetrated a
certain depth, and have come into contact with the lava, the trees
wither up and perish, like the seed that fell on stony ground.

The _ohia_ trees form a handsome feature in the landscape, with their
thick tall stems, glossy foliage, and light crimson flowers. The fruit
is a small pink waxy-looking apple, slightly acid, pleasant to the
taste when you are thirsty. The candle-nut trees attain to a large
size, and their light green foliage and white flowers have a very
graceful appearance. Most of the foliage, however, is spoiled by a
deposit of black dust, not unlike what one sees on the leaves in a
London garden. I do not know whether this is caused by the fumes of
the not far-distant volcano, or whether it is some kind of mould or
fungus.

After riding about ten miles in the blazing sun we reached a forest,
where the vegetation was quite tropical, though not so varied in its
beauties as that of Brazil, or of the still more lovely South Sea
Islands. There were ferns of various descriptions in the forest, and
many fine trees, entwined, supported, or suffocated by numerous
climbing plants, amongst which were blue and lilac convolvulus, and
magnificent passion-flowers. The protection from the sun afforded by
this dense mass of foliage was extremely grateful; but the air of the
forest was close and stifling, and at the end of five miles we were
glad to emerge once more into the open. The rest of the way lay over
the hard lava, through a sort of desert of scrubby vegetation,
occasionally relieved by clumps of trees in hollows. More than once we
had a fine view of the sea, stretching away into the far distance,
though it was sometimes mistaken for the bright blue sky, until the
surf could be seen breaking upon the black rocks, amid the encircling
groves of cocoa-nut trees.

The sun shone fiercely at intervals, and the rain came down several
times in torrents. The pace was slow, the road was dull and dreary,
and many were the inquiries made for the 'Half-way House,' long before
we reached it. We had still two miles farther to go, in the course of
which we were drenched by a heavy shower. At last we came to a native
house, crowded with people, where they were making _tappa_ or
_kapa_--the cloth made from the bark of the paper-mulberry. Here we
stopped for a few minutes until our guide hurried us on, pointing out
the church and the 'Half-way House' just ahead.

We were indeed glad to dismount after our weary ride, and rest in the
comfortable rocking-chairs under the verandah. It is a small white
wooden building, overhung with orange-trees, with a pond full of ducks
and geese outside it, and a few scattered outbuildings, including a
cooking hut, close by. A good-looking man was busy broiling
beef-steaks, stewing chickens, and boiling _taro_, and we had soon a
plentiful repast set before us, with the very weakest of weak tea as a
beverage. The woman of the house, which contained some finely worked
mats and clean-looking beds, showed us some _tappa cloth_, together
with the mallets and other instruments used in its manufacture, and a
beautiful orange-coloured _lei_, or feather necklace, which she had
made herself. The cloth and mallets were for sale, but no inducement
would persuade her to part with the necklace. It was the first she had
ever made, and I was afterwards told that the natives are
superstitiously careful to preserve the first specimen of their
handiwork, of whatever kind it may be.

A woman dressed in a pink _holoku_ and a light green apron had
followed us hither from the cottages we had first stopped at, and I
noticed at the time that, though she was chatting and laughing with a
female companion, she did not seem very well. Whilst we were at lunch
a sudden increase to her family took place, and before we were ready
to start I paid her and her infant a visit. She was then sitting up,
apparently as well as ever, and seemed to look upon the recent event
as a very light matter.

Directly we had finished our meal--about three o'clock--the guide came
and tried to persuade us that, as the baggage-mules had not yet
arrived, it would be too late for us to go on to-day, and that we had
better spend the night where we were, and start early in the morning.
We did not, however, approve of this arrangement, so the horses were
saddled, and, leaving word that the baggage-mules were to follow on as
soon as possible, we mounted, and set off for the 'Volcano House.' We
had not gone far before we were again overtaken by a shower, which
once more drenched us to the skin.

The scene was certainly one of extreme beauty. The moon was hidden by
a cloud, and the prospect lighted only by the red glare of the
volcano, which hovered before and above us like the Israelites' pillar
of fire, giving us hopes of a splendid spectacle when we should at
last reach the long-wished-for crater. Presently the moon shone forth
again, and gleamed and glistened on the rain-drops and silver-grasses
till they looked like fireflies and glowworms. At last, becoming
impatient, we proceeded slowly on our way, until we met a man on
horseback, who hailed us in a cheery voice with an unmistakable
American accent. It was the landlord of the 'Volcano House,' Mr. Kane,
who, fearing from the delay that we had met with some mishap, had
started to look for us. He explained that he thought it was only his
duty to look after and help ladies visiting the volcano, and added
that he had intended going down as far as the 'Half-way House' in
search of us. It was a great relief to know that we were in the right
track, and I quite enjoyed the gallop through the dark forest, though
there was barely sufficient light to enable me to discern the horse
immediately in front of me. When we emerged from the wood, we found
ourselves at the very edge of the old crater, the bed of which, three
or four hundred feet beneath us, was surrounded by steep and in many
places overhanging sides. It looked like an enormous cauldron, four or
five miles in width, full of a mass of cooled pitch. In the centre was
the still glowing stream of dark red lava, flowing slowly towards us,
and in every direction were red-hot patches, and flames and smoke
issuing from the ground. A bit of the 'black country' at night, with
all the coal-heaps on fire, would give you some idea of the scene. Yet
the first sensation is rather one of disappointment, as one expects
greater activity on the part of the volcano; but the new crater was
still to be seen, containing the lake of fire, with steep walls rising
up in the midst of the sea of lava.

Twenty minutes' hard riding brought us to the door of the 'Volcano
House,' from which issued the comforting light of a large wood fire,
reaching halfway up the chimney. Native garments replaced Mabelle's
and my dripping habits, and we sat before the fire in luxury until the
rest of the party arrived. After some delay supper was served, cooked
by our host, and accompanied by excellent Bass's beer, no wine or
spirits being procurable on the premises. Mr. Kane made many apologies
for shortcomings, explaining that his cook had run away that morning,
and that his wife was not able to do much to assist him, as her first
baby was only a week old.

Everything at this inn is most comfortable, though the style is rough
and ready. The interior is just now decorated for Christmas, with
wreaths, and evergreens, and ferns, and bunches of white plumes, not
unlike _reva-reva_, made from the pith of the silver-grass. The beds
and bedrooms are clean, but limited in number, there being only three
of the latter altogether. The rooms are separated only by partitions
of grass, seven feet high, so that there is plenty of ventilation, and
the heat of the fire permeates the whole building. But you must not
talk secrets in these dormitories or be too restless. I was amused to
find, in the morning, that I had unconsciously poked my hand through
the wall of our room during the night.

The grandeur of the view in the direction of the volcano increased as
the evening wore on. The fiery cloud above the present crater
augmented in size and depth of colour; the extinct crater glowed red
in thirty or forty different places; and clouds of white vapour
issued from every crack and crevice in the ground, adding to the
sulphurous smell with which the atmosphere was laden. Our room faced
the volcano: there were no blinds, and I drew back the curtains and
lay watching the splendid scene until I fell asleep.

_Sunday, December 24th (Christmas Eve)_.--I was up at four o'clock, to
gaze once more on the wondrous spectacle that lay before me. The
molten lava still flowed in many places, the red cloud over the fiery
lake was bright as ever, and steam was slowly ascending in every
direction, over hill and valley, till, as the sun rose, it became
difficult to distinguish clearly the sulphurous vapours from the
morning mists. We walked down to the Sulphur Banks, about a quarter of
a mile from the 'Volcano House,' and burnt our gloves and boots in our
endeavours to procure crystals, the beauty of which generally
disappeared after a very short exposure to the air. We succeeded,
however, in finding a few good specimens, and, by wrapping them at
once in paper and cotton-wool and putting them into a bottle, hope to
bring them home uninjured.

On our return we found a gentleman who had just arrived from Kau, and
who proposed to join us in our expedition to the crater, and at three
o'clock in the afternoon we set out, a party of eight, with two
guides, and three porters to carry our wraps and provisions, and to
bring back specimens. Before leaving the inn the landlord came to us
and begged us in an earnest and confidential manner to be very
careful, to do exactly what our guides told us, and especially to
follow in their footsteps exactly when returning in the dark. He
added, 'There never has been an accident happen to anybody from my
house, and I should feel real mean if one did: but there have been a
power of narrow escapes.'

First of all we descended the precipice, 300 feet in depth, forming
the wall of the old crater, but now thickly covered with vegetation.
It is so steep in many places that flights of zig-zag wooden steps
have been inserted in the face of the cliff in some places, in order
to render the descent practicable. At the bottom we stepped straight
on to the surface of cold boiled lava, which we had seen from above
last night. Even here, in every crevice where a few grains of soil had
collected, delicate little ferns might be seen struggling for life,
and thrusting out their green fronds towards the light. It was the
most extraordinary walk imaginable over that vast plain of lava,
twisted and distorted into every conceivable shape and form, according
to the temperature it had originally attained, and the rapidity with
which it had cooled, its surface, like half-molten glass, cracking and
breaking beneath our feet. Sometimes we came to a patch that looked
like the contents of a pot, suddenly petrified in the act of boiling;
sometimes the black iridescent lava had assumed the form of waves, or
more frequently of huge masses of rope, twisted and coiled together;
sometimes it was piled up like a collection of organ-pipes, or had
gathered into mounds and cones of various dimensions. As we proceeded
the lava became hotter and hotter, and from every crack arose gaseous
fumes, affecting our noses and throats in a painful manner; till at
last, when we had to pass to leeward of the molten stream flowing from
the lake, the vapours almost choked us, and it was with difficulty we
continued to advance. The lava was more glassy and transparent-looking,
as if it had been fused at a higher temperature than usual; and the
crystals of sulphur, alum, and other minerals, with which it abounded,
reflected the light in bright prismatic colours. In places it was quite
transparent, and we could see beneath it the long streaks of a stringy
kind of lava, like brown spun glass, called 'Pele's hair.'

At last we reached the foot of the present crater, and commenced the
ascent of the outer wall. Many times the thin crust gave way beneath
our guide, and he had to retire quickly from the hot, blinding,
choking fumes that immediately burst forth. But we succeeded in
reaching the top; and then what a sight presented itself to our
astonished eyes! I could neither speak nor move at first, but could
only stand and gaze at the horrible grandeur of the scene.

We were standing on the extreme edge of a precipice, overhanging a
lake of molten fire, a hundred feet below us, and nearly a mile
across. Dashing against the cliffs on the opposite side, with a noise
like the roar of a stormy ocean, waves of blood-red, fiery, liquid
lava hurled their billows upon an iron-bound headland, and then rushed
up the face of the cliffs to toss their gory spray high in the air.
The restless, heaving lake boiled and bubbled, never remaining the
same for two minutes together. Its normal colour seemed to be a dull
dark red, covered with a thin grey scum, which every moment and in
every part swelled and cracked, and emitted fountains, cascades, and
whirlpools of yellow and red fire, while sometimes one big golden
river, sometimes four or five, flowed across it. There was an island
on one side of the lake, which the fiery waves seemed to attack
unceasingly with relentless fury, as if bent on hurling it from its
base. On the other side was a large cavern, into which the burning
mass rushed with a loud roar, breaking down in its impetuous headlong
career the gigantic stalactites that overhung the mouth of the cave,
and flinging up the liquid material for the formation of fresh ones.

It was all terribly grand, magnificently sublime; but no words could
adequately describe such a scene. The precipice on which we were
standing overhung the crater so much that it was impossible to see
what was going on immediately beneath; but from the columns of smoke
and vapour that arose, the flames and sparks that constantly drove us
back from the edge, it was easy to imagine that there must have been
two or three grand fiery fountains below. As the sun set, and darkness
enveloped the scene, it became more awful than ever. We retired a
little way from the brink, to breathe some fresh air, and to try and
eat the food we had brought with us; but this was an impossibility.
Every instant a fresh explosion or glare made us jump up to survey the
stupendous scene. The violent struggles of the lava to escape from its
fiery bed, and the loud and awful noises by which they were at times
accompanied, suggested the idea that some imprisoned monsters were
trying to release themselves from their bondage, with shrieks and
groans, and cries of agony and despair, at the futility of their
efforts.

Sometimes there were at least seven spots on the borders of the lake
where the molten lava dashed up furiously against the rocks--seven
fire-fountains playing simultaneously. With the increasing darkness
the colours emitted by the glowing mass became more and more
wonderful, varying from the deepest jet black to the palest grey, from
darkest maroon, through cherry and scarlet, to the most delicate pink,
violet, and blue; from the richest brown, through orange and yellow,
to the lightest straw-colour. And there was yet another shade, only
describable by the term 'molten-lava colour.' Even the smokes and
vapours were rendered beautiful by their borrowed lights and tints,
and the black peaks, pinnacles, and crags, which surrounded the
amphitheatre, formed a splendid and appropriate background. Sometimes
great pieces broke off and tumbled with a crash into the burning lake,
only to be remelted and thrown up anew. I had for some time been
feeling very hot and uncomfortable, and on looking round the cause was
at once apparent. Not two inches beneath the surface, the grey lava on
which we were standing and sitting was red-hot. A stick thrust through
it caught fire, a piece of paper was immediately destroyed, and the
gentlemen found the heat from the crevices so great that they could
not approach near enough to light their pipes.

One more long last look, and then we turned our faces away from the
scene that had enthralled us for so many hours. The whole of the lava
we had crossed, in the extinct crater, was now aglow in many patches,
and in all directions flames were bursting forth, fresh lava was
flowing, and steam and smoke were issuing from the surface. It was a
toilsome journey back again, walking as we did in single file, and
obeying the strict injunctions of our head guide to follow him
closely, and to tread exactly in his footsteps. On the whole it was
easier by night than by day to distinguish the route to be taken, as
we could now see the dangers that before we could only feel; and many
were the fiery crevices we stepped over or jumped across. Once I
slipped, and my foot sank through the thin crust. Sparks issued from
the ground, and the stick on which I leant caught fire before I could
fairly recover myself.

Either from the effects of the unaccustomed exercise after our long
voyage, or from the intense excitement of the novel scene, combined
with the gaseous exhalations from the lava, my strength began to fail,
and before reaching the side of the crater I felt quite exhausted. I
struggled on at short intervals, however, collapsing several times and
fainting away twice; but at last I had fairly to give in, and to allow
myself to be ignominiously carried up the steep precipice to the
'Volcano House' on a chair, which the guides went to fetch for me.

It was half-past eleven when we once more found ourselves beneath Mr.
Kane's hospitable roof; he had expected us to return at nine o'clock,
and was beginning to feel anxious about us.

_Monday, December 25th (Christmas Day)_.--Turning in last night was
the work of a very few minutes, and this morning I awoke perfectly
refreshed and ready to appreciate anew the wonders of the prospect
that met my eyes. The pillar of fire was still distinctly visible when
I looked out from my window, though it was not so bright as when I
had last seen it; but even as I looked it began to fade, and gradually
disappeared. At the same moment a river of glowing lava issued from
the side of the bank we had climbed with so much difficulty yesterday,
and slowly but surely overflowed the ground we had walked over. I woke
Tom, and you may imagine the feelings with which we gazed upon this
startling phenomenon, which, had it occurred a few hours earlier,
might have caused the destruction of the whole party. If our
expedition had been made to-day instead of yesterday, we should
certainly have had to proceed by a different route to the crater, and
should have looked down on the lake of fire from a different spot.

I cannot hope that in my attempt to give you some idea of Kilauea as
we beheld it, I shall be successful in conveying more than a very
faint impression of its glories. I feel that my description is so
utterly inadequate, that, were it not for the space, I should be
tempted to send you in full the experiences of previous visitors, as
narrated in Miss Bird's 'Six Months in the Sandwich Islands,' and Mr.
Bodham Whetham's 'Pearls of the Pacific.' The account contained in the
former work I had read before arriving here; the latter I enjoyed at
the 'Volcano House.' Both are well worth reading by any one who feels
an interest in the subject.

It would, I think, be difficult to imagine a more interesting and
exciting mode of spending Christmas Eve than yesterday has taught us,
or a stranger situation in which to exchange our Christmas greetings
than beneath the grass roof of an inn on the edge of a volcano in the
remote Sandwich Islands. They were certainly rendered none the less
cordial and sincere by the novelty of our position, and I think we are
all rather glad not to have in prospect the inevitable feastings and
ceremonies, without which it seems to be impossible to commemorate
this season in England. If we had seen nothing but Kilauea since we
left home, we should have been well rewarded for our long voyage.

At six o'clock we were dressed and packed. Breakfast followed at
half-past, and at seven we were prepared for a start. Our kind, active
host, and his wife and baby, all came out to see us off. The canter
over the dewy grass, in the fresh morning air, was most invigorating.
It was evident that no one had passed along the road since Saturday
night, for we picked up several waifs and strays dropped in the dark
on our way up--a whip, a stirrup, mackintosh hood, &c.

By half-past ten we had reached the 'Half-way House,' where we were
not expected so early, and where we had ample opportunity to observe
the native ways of living, while waiting for our midday meal--an
uninteresting mess of stewed fowl and _taro_, washed down with weak
tea. After it was over I made an unsuccessful attempt to induce the
woman of the house to part with her orange-coloured _lei_. I bought
some _tappa_ and mallets, however, with some of the markers used in
colouring the cloth, and a few gourds and calabashes, forming part of
the household furniture. While the horses were being saddled
preparatory to our departure, Mabelle and I went to another cottage
close by, to see the mother of the baby that had been born while we
were here on Saturday. She was not at home; but we afterwards found
her playing cards with some of her friends in a neighbouring hut.
Quite a large party of many natives were gathered together, not the
least cheerful of whom was the young mother whose case had interested
me so much.

The rest of the ride down to Hilo was as dull and monotonous as our
upward journey had been, although, in order to enable us to get over
it as quickly as possible, fresh horses had been sent to meet us. At
last we reached the pier, where we found the usual little crowd
waiting to see us off. The girls who had followed us when we first
landed came forward shyly when they thought they were unobserved, and
again encircled me with _leis_ of gay and fragrant flowers. The custom
of decorating themselves with wreaths on every possible occasion is in
my eyes a charming one, and I like the inhabitants of Polynesia for
their love of flowers. They are as necessary to them as the air they
breathe, and I think the missionaries make a mistake in endeavouring
to repress so innocent and natural a taste.

The whole town was _en fete_ to-day. Natives were riding about in
pairs, in the cleanest of bright cotton dresses and the freshest of
_leis_ and garlands. Our own men from the yacht contributed not a
little to the gaiety of the scene. They were all on shore, and the
greater part of them were galloping about on horseback, tumbling off,
scrambling on again, laughing, flirting, joking, and enjoying
themselves generally after a fashion peculiar to English sailors. As
far as we know the only evil result of all this merriment was that the
doctor received a good many applications for diachylon plaster in the
course of the evening, to repair various 'abrasions of the cuticle,'
as he expressed it.

I think at least half the population of Hilo had been on board the
yacht in the course of the day, as a Christmas treat. At last we took
a boat and went off too, accompanied by Mr. Lyman. The appearance of
the 'Sunbeam' from the shore was very gay, and as we approached it
became more festive still. All her masts were tipped with sugar-canes
in bloom. Her stern was adorned with flowers, and in the arms of the
figure-head was a large bouquet. She was surrounded with boats, the
occupants of which cheered us heartily as we rowed alongside. The
gangway was decorated with flowers, and surmounted by a triumphal
arch, on which were inscribed 'Welcome Home,' 'A Merry Christmas,' 'A
Happy New Year,' and other good wishes. The whole deck was festooned
with tropical plants and flowers, and the decorations of the cabins
were even more beautiful and elaborate. I believe all hands had been
hard at work ever since we left to produce this wonderful effect, and
every garden in Hilo had furnished a contribution to please and
surprise us on our return.

The choir from Hilo came out in boats in the evening, sang all sorts
of songs, sacred and secular, and cheered everybody till they were
hoarse. After this, having had a cold dinner, in order to save
trouble, and having duly drunk the health of our friends at home, we
all adjourned to the saloon, to assist in the distribution of some
Christmas presents, a ceremony which afforded great delight to the
children, and which was equally pleasing to the elder people and to
the crew, if one may judge from their behaviour on the occasion.

Then we sat on deck, gazing at the cloud of fire over Kilauea, and
wondering if the appearance of the crater could ever be grander than
it was last night, when we were standing on its brim.

So ended Christmas Day, 1876, at Hilo, in Hawaii. God grant that there
may be many more as pleasant for us in store in the future!




CHAPTER XVI.

HAWAIIAN SPORTS.

    _In wrestling nimble, and in running swift,_
    _In shooting steady, and in swimming strong,_
    _Well made to strike, to leap, to throw, to lift,_
    _And all the sports that shepherds are among._


_Tuesday, December 26th_.--We went ashore at eight o'clock, after an
early cup of coffee, and found Mr. Lyman already waiting for us. Two
baggage-mules were sent off with the photographic apparatus, and all
the materials for breakfast, to the Rainbow Falls, where the children
are looking forward with intense glee to boiling their own kettle,
poaching eggs, and trying other cooking experiments.

Before setting out for the Falls ourselves, we went to see the
national sport of surf-swimming, for their skill in which the
Hawaiians are so justly famed.

The natives have many other games of which they are very fond, and
which they play with great skill, including spear-throwing,
transfixing an object with a dart, _kona_, an elaborate kind of
draughts, and _talu_, which consists in hiding a small stone under one
of five pieces of cloth, placed in front of the players. One hides the
stone, and the others have to guess where it is; and it generally
happens that, however dexterously the hider may put his arm beneath
the cloth, and dodge about from one piece to another, a clever player
will be able to tell, by the movement of the muscles of the upper part
of his arm, when his fingers relax their hold of the stone. Another
game, called _parua_, is very like the Canadian sport of 'tobogging,'
only that it is carried on on the grass instead of on the snow. The
performers stand bolt upright on a narrow plank, turned up in front,
and steered with a sort of long paddle. They go to the top of a hill
or mountain, and rush down the steep, grassy, sunburnt slopes at a
tremendous pace, keeping their balance in a wonderful manner. There is
also a very popular amusement, called _pahe_, requiring a specially
prepared smooth floor, along which the javelins of the players glide
like snakes. On the same floor they also play at another game, called
_maita_, or _uru maita_. Two sticks, only a few inches apart, are
stuck into the ground, and at a distance of thirty or forty yards the
players strive to throw a stone between them. The _uru_ which they use
for the purpose is a hard circular stone, three or four inches in
diameter, and an inch in thickness at the edge, but thicker in the
middle.

Mr. Ellis, in his 'Polynesian Researches,' states that 'these stones
are finely polished, highly valued, and carefully preserved, being
always oiled or wrapped up in native cloth after having been used. The
people are, if possible, more fond of this game than of the _pahe_,
and the inhabitants of a district not unfrequently challenge the
people of the whole island, or the natives of one island those of all
the others, to bring a man who shall try his skill with some favourite
player of their own district or island. On such occasions seven or
eight thousand people, men and women, with their chiefs and
chiefesses, assemble to witness the sport, which, as well as the
_pahe_, is often continued for hours together.'

With bows and arrows they are as clever as all savages, and
wonderfully good shots, attempting many wonderful feats. They are
swift as deer, when they choose, though somewhat lazy and indolent.
All the kings and chiefs have been special adepts in the invigorating
pastime of surf-swimming, and the present king's sisters are
considered first-rate hands at it. The performers begin by swimming
out into the bay, and diving under the huge Pacific rollers, pushing
their surf-boards--flat pieces of wood, about four feet long by two
wide, pointed at each end--edgewise before them. For the return
journey they select a large wave; and then, either sitting, kneeling,
or standing on their boards, rush in shorewards with the speed of a
racehorse, on the curling crest of the monster, enveloped in foarn and
spray, and holding on, as it were, by the milk-white manes of their
furious coursers. It looked a most enjoyable amusement, and I should
think that, to a powerful swimmer, with plenty of pluck, the feat is
not difficult of accomplishment. The natives here are almost
amphibious. They played all sorts of tricks in the water, some of the
performers being quite tiny boys. Four strong rowers took a whale-boat
out into the worst surf, and then, steering her by means of a large
oar, brought her safely back to the shore on the top of a huge wave.

After the conclusion of this novel entertainment, we all proceeded on
horseback to the Falls, Baby going in front of Tom, and Muriel riding
with Mr. Freer. After a couple of miles we dismounted, and had a short
walk through grass and ferns to a pretty double waterfall, tumbling
over a cliff, about 100 feet high, into a glassy pool of the river
beneath. It fell in front of a fern-filled black lava cavern, over
which a rainbow generally hangs. As it was too wet to sit on the grass
after the rain, we took possession of the verandah of a native house,
commanding a fine view of the bay and town of Hilo. The hot coffee and
eggs were a great success eventually, though the smoke from the wood
fire nearly suffocated us in the process of cooking. Excellent also
was some grey mullet, brought to us alive, and cooked native
fashion,--wrapped up in _ti_ leaves, and put into a hole in the
ground.

After taking a few photographs it was time to return; and we next went
to a pretty garden, which we had seen on the night of our arrival,
and, tying up our horses outside, walked across it to the banks of the
river. Here we found a large party assembled, watching half the
population of Hilo disporting themselves in, upon, and beneath the
water. They climbed the almost perpendicular rocks on the opposite
side of the stream, took headers, and footers, and siders from any
height under five-and-twenty feet, dived, swam in every conceivable
attitude, and without any apparent exertion, deep under the water, or
upon its surface. But all this was only a preparation for the special
sight we had come to see. Two natives were to jump from a precipice,
100 feet high, into the river below, clearing on their way a rock
which projected some twenty feet from the face of the cliff, at about
the same distance from the summit. The two men, tall, strong, and
sinewy, suddenly appeared against the sky-line, far above our heads,
their long hair bound back by a wreath of leaves and flowers, while
another garland encircled their waists. Having measured their distance
with an eagle's glance, they disappeared from our sight, in order to
take a run and acquire the necessary impetus. Every breath was held
for a moment, till one of the men reappeared, took a bound from the
edge of the rock, turned over in mid-air, and disappeared feet
foremost into the pool beneath, to emerge almost immediately, and to
climb the sunny bank as quietly as if he had done nothing very
wonderful. His companion followed, and then the two clambered up to
the twenty-feet projection, to clear which they had had to take such a
run the first time, and once more plunged into the pool below. The
feat was of course an easier one than the first; but still a leap of
eighty feet is no light matter. A third native, who joined them in
this exploit, gave one quite a turn as he twisted in his downward
jump; but he also alighted in the water feet foremost, and bobbed up
again directly, like a cork. He was quite a young man, and we
afterwards heard that he had broken several ribs not more than a year
ago, and had been laid up for six months in the hospital.

We now moved our position a little higher up the river, to the Falls,
over which the men, gliding down the shallow rapids above, in a
sitting posture, allowed themselves to be carried. It looked a
pleasant and easy feat, and was afterwards performed by many of the
natives in all sorts of ways. Two or three of them would hold each
other's shoulders, forming a child's train, or some would get on the
backs of their companions, while others descended singly in a variety
of attitudes. At last a young girl was also persuaded to attempt the
feat. She looked very pretty as she started, in her white chemise and
bright garland, and prettier still when she emerged from the white
foam beneath the fall, and swam along far below the surface of the
clear water, with her long black hair streaming out behind her.

No description can give you any idea what an animated and
extraordinary scene it was altogether. While our accounts were being
settled, preparatory to our departure, I occupied myself in looking at
some _kahilis_ and feather _leis._ The yellow ones, either of Oo or
Mamo feathers, only found in this island, are always scarce, as the
use of them is a prerogative of royalty and nobility. Just now it is
almost impossible to obtain one, all the feathers being '_tabu_,' to
make a royal cloak for Ruth, half-sister of Kamehameha V., and
governess of Hawaii. Mamo feathers are generally worth a dollar a
piece, and a good _lei_ or loose necklace costs about five hundred
dollars. _Kahilis_ are also an emblem of rank, though many people use
them as ornaments in their houses. They are rather like
feather-brooms, two or three feet long, and three or four inches
across, made of all sorts of feathers, tastefully interwoven. I bought
one, and a couple of ordinary _leis_, which were all I could procure.
But, alas! too soon all was over, and time for us to go on board.

[Illustration: Feather Necklace]

On our way off to the yacht we met one of the large double canoes
coming in under sail from a neighbouring island. It consisted of two
canoes lashed together, with a sort of basket dropped into the water
between them, to enable them to carry their fish alive. They are not
very common now, and we were therefore fortunate in meeting with one.
Mr. Lyman made the men in charge turn her round, so as to afford us an
opportunity of thoroughly examining her. In the time of Kamehameha
there was a fleet of 10,000 of these canoes, and the king used to send
them out in the roughest weather, and make them perform all sorts of
manoeuvres.

We found the yacht in the usual state of confusion incidental to a
fresh departure, but everything was soon reduced to order, and off we
started to steam and sail round the north end of the island, but we
could not afford time to visit the place of Captain Cook's death and
burial in Keelakeakua Bay. I believe there is not a great deal to see,
however, and the spot is chiefly interesting from its associations.
For many years a copper plate, fixed to a cocoa-nut tree, marked the
spot where Cook fell, but this has now been replaced by a monument,
the cost of which was defrayed by subscriptions at Honolulu. Maui is,
I believe, a charming place, containing many fine plantations, and
several gentlemen's estates, laid out in the English style.
Unfortunately, time forbids our accepting some invitations we have
received to visit the island, where a great many interesting
excursions may be made.

At Kahoolaue there does not seem much to be seen. It was purchased
some years ago, and pays well as a sheep-run. Lauai, the next island,
is scarcely inhabited, and its scenery is not remarkable.

A sad interest attaches to the island of Molokai, which is situated
midway between Maui and Oahu. It is the leper settlement, and to it
all the victims of this terrible, loathsome, and incurable disease,
unhappily so prevalent in the Hawaiian archipelago, are sent, in order
to prevent the spread of the contagion. They are well cared for and
looked after in every way; but their life, separated as they
inevitably are from all they hold most dear, and with no prospect
before them but that of a slow and cruel death, must indeed be a
miserable one. In Molokai there are many tiny children, fatherless and
motherless, parents without children, husbands without wives, wives
without husbands, 'all condemned.' as Miss Bird says, 'to watch the
repulsive steps by which each of their doomed fellows goes down to a
loathsome death, knowing that by the same they too must pass.' A
French priest has nobly devoted himself to the religious and secular
instruction of the lepers, and up to the present time has enjoyed
complete immunity from the disease; but even if he escapes this
danger, he can _never_ return to his country and friends. When one
thinks what that implies, and to what a death in life he has condemned
himself for the sake of others, it seems impossible to doubt that he
will indeed reap a rich reward hereafter.

At two o'clock we saw Diamond Head, the easternmost headland of Oahu,
rising from the sea. By four o'clock we were abreast of it, and
steaming along the coast. The cape itself rises grandly from the midst
of a grove of cocoa-nuts, and the shore all along, with the sharp high
mountains of the Pali as a background, is fine and picturesque. A
coral reef stretches far into the sea, and outside this we lay waiting
for a pilot to take us into Honolulu Harbour.

It was a long business mooring us by hawsers, from our stem and stern,
but we were at last safely secured in a convenient place, a short
distance from the shore, and where we should be refreshed by the sea
breeze and the land breeze alternately. It was six o'clock, and nearly
dark, when we reached the shore; the town seemed entirely deserted;
all the little wooden houses were shut up, and there were no lights
visible. The post-office was closed, but it was a terrible blow to
hear there were no letters for us, though we still hoped that there
might be some at the British Consulate.

After a short time we returned on board the yacht in time for a late
dinner. The first lieutenant of H.M.S. 'Fantome' came on board to pay
us a visit during the evening, and told us all the latest English and
American news, lending us some files of English papers--a great treat,
but no compensation for our disappointment about the letters.

_Thursday, December 28th_.--Tom and I went ashore at seven o'clock to
make arrangements for repairing our mizen-sail. We soon found a
sailmaker, who promised to set all hands to work and complete the job
as quickly as possible. Being detained by a heavy shower of rain, we
occupied the time in a gossip about Honolulu and its sayings and
doings. When the shower was over, we walked through the town, which is
clean and tidy, being laid out in squares, after the American style.
The houses are all of wood, and generally have verandahs overhanging
the street. They are seldom more than one story high, and nearly all
have a little greenery about them.

We returned to the yacht for breakfast, and, having heard that no
sharks ever came into the long, narrow bay, were able to enjoy, in
perfect peace of mind, the luxury of a bath overboard. It is a great
pity that in the tropics, where bathing is such a delightful
occupation, and where one might swim and paddle about for hours
without fear of getting cold, it is often impossible even to enter the
water for fear of the sharks. The natives are such expert swimmers
that they do not seem to think much of this danger. As the shark turns
on his back to take a bite at them, they dive underneath him, and he
snaps his jaws on emptiness. In fact, sometimes the swimmer will take
advantage of the opportunity to stab his enemy as he passes beneath
him.

Scarcely was breakfast over when we were inundated with visitors, who
kindly came to see what they could do for us to make our stay
agreeable. We lunched on shore, and afterwards went to the new
Government buildings and museum. From thence we strolled to the
various shops where 'curios' and photographs are to be bought, and
collected a goodly store, returning on board the yacht to find more
visitors.

[Illustration: War Necklace[13]]

[Footnote 13: The accompanying sketch is from a necklace that belonged
to King Kamehameha I., and was given to me by one of his descendants.]

We lunched on shore, and afterwards went with Mr. Chambre,
navigating-lieutenant of the 'Fantome,' to the new Government
buildings. There we found an excellent English library, and an
interesting collection of books printed in English and Hawaiian, on
alternate pages, including alphabets, grammars, the old familiar
nursery tales, &c. There is also a good, though small museum,
containing specimens of beautiful corals, shells, seaweeds, and
fossils; all the ancient native weapons, such as bows, arrows, swords,
and spears--now, alas! no longer procurable--sling-stones, and stones
used in games, back-scratchers, hair-ornaments made of sharks' teeth,
tortoise-shell cups and spoons, calabashes and bowls. There were some
most interesting though somewhat horrible necklaces made of hundreds
of braids of human hair cut from the heads of victims slain by the
chiefs themselves; from these braids was suspended a monstrous hook
carved from a large whale's tooth, called a Paloola, regarded by the
natives as a sort of idol. There are models of ancient and modern
canoes--the difference between which is not very great,--paddles,
inlaid with mother-of-pearl, old war-masks, and dresses still in use
in the less frequented islands, anklets of human teeth, and many other
things far too numerous to mention. The most interesting of all were,
perhaps, the old feather war cloaks, like the ancient _togas_ of the
Romans. They are made of thousands of yellow, red, and black feathers,
of the _oo, niamo,_ and _eine_, taken singly and fastened into a sort
of network of string, so as to form a solid fabric, like the richest
velvet or plush, that glitters like gold in the sunlight. The helmets,
made of the same feathers, but worked on to a frame of perfect Grecian
shape, similar to those seen in the oldest statuary or on the Elgin
marbles, are even more artistic and elegant. Whence came the idea and
design? Untutored savages could scarcely have evolved them out of
their own heads. Some element of civilisation, and of highly artistic
civilisation too, must surely have existed among them at some remote
period of their history.

[Illustration: Ancient War Masks and Costumes from the Museum at
Honolulu]

_Friday, December 29th_.--We had a bathe overboard early this morning.
The children were ashore at half-past nine, to go and spend the day at
a friend's, at the top of the Nuuanu Avenue, on the road to the Pali.

The King's two sisters came to call on us in the morning with their
respective husbands. We had a great many visitors all the morning,
till it was time to go to lunch; after which we went to call on the
Princess Likelike, who drove me to Waikiki, to see her sister, the
Princess Kamakaeha, at her country residence, a very large native
grass house, with an enormous verandah. Both ladies are married to
Englishmen, and live partly in English style. Inside there is a
spacious drawing-room, well furnished, with pictures and nick-nacks,
where we spent a pleasant half-hour in the gloaming. The sunset, over
Diamond Head, and the sea, which was just visible through the
cocoa-nut trees, was splendid. Both the Princesses were as kind as
they could be. The royal family have formed quite a little colony
here. The King's house is next door, and that of the Prince Leleiohoku
is not far off. They all come here in the most unpretending way
possible, and amuse themselves by fishing and bathing.

It had been quite dark for some time, when the Princess Likelike
dropped me at the hotel at half-past seven, where I found Tom and Mr.
Freer waiting for me. We had a quiet dinner, and then went for a
stroll. It was a fine clear night, with an almost full moon. The
streets were full of equestrians, riding about in pairs, for there was
to be a great riding party up to the Pali to-night, the _rendezvous_
for which was in Emma Square. Every lady had to select and bring with
her an attendant cavalier.[14]

[Footnote 14: The event was thus announced in the 'Hawaiian
Gazette:'--'THE LAST CHANCE.--We are informed that a riding party will
come off on Friday evening, when all the young ladies who desire to
participate are expected to be on hand, each with the cavalier whom
she may invite. As leap-year is drawing to a close it is expected that
this opportunity will be extensively embraced. Place of rendezvous,
Emma Square: time, seven-thirty; Luminary for the occasion, a full
moon.']

There are no side-saddles in any of these islands; all the ladies
ride like men, and sit their horses very well. They wear long
riding-dresses, cleverly and elegantly adapted to the exigencies of
the situation, generally of some light material, and of _very_ bright
colours. The effect of a large party galloping along, with wreaths and
garlands in their hats and necks, and with their long skirts floating
in the wind, is therefore picturesque and strange in the extreme.

_Saturday, December 30th_.--Mabelle, Muriel, and I, were up early, and
went off to the coral-reef before seven in the 'Flash.' It is very
beautiful, but not so fine as those we have already seen at Tahiti and
other South Sea Islands. We collected four or the distinct varieties
of coral, and saw many marvellous creatures swimming about or sticking
to the rocks. There were several canoes full of natives fishing, who
appeared highly amused when we ran aground on a coral tree, as
happened more than once. It was a pleasant way of spending the early
morning in the bright sunshine, peering into the dark blue and light
green depths below.

Breakfast was ready by the time we returned on board, and soon
afterwards I went on shore to pay some visits and to do some shopping.
We went first to the fish-market, which presented a most animated
scene, owing not only to the abundance of the dead produce of air,
earth, and sea, which it contained, but to the large number of gaily
attired purchasers.

Saturday is a half-holiday in Oahu, and all the plantation and mill
hands came galloping into Honolulu on horseback, chattering and
laughing, dressed in the brightest colours, and covered with flowers.
The latter are not so plentiful nor so beautiful as in Tahiti, but
still, to our English eyes, they appear very choice. For fruit, too,
we have been spoilt in the South Seas. The fish-market here, however,
is unrivalled.

Fish--raw or cooked--is the staple food of the inhabitants, and almost
everybody we saw had half-a-dozen or more brilliant members of the
finny tribe, wrapped up in fresh green banana leaves, ready to carry
home. Shrimps are abundant and good. They are caught both in salt and
fresh water, and the natives generally eat them alive, putting them
into their mouths, ana either letting them hop down their throats, or
crushing them between their teeth while they are still wriggling
about. It looks a very nasty thing to do, but, after all, it is not
much worse than our eating oysters alive.

[Illustration: Chalcedon Imperator.]

From the fish-market we went to the prison, a large and apparently
admirably managed establishment, built of stone, and overlooking the
harbour. After a pleasant drive along shady fragrant roads, we
returned to Emma Square, to hear the excellent performance of the
Saturday afternoon band. There was a good assemblage of people, on
horseback, in carriages, and on foot, and crowds of children, all more
or less white, languid, and sickly-looking. Poor mites! I suppose the
climate is too hot for European constitutions. Still, they abound
among the foreigners, while the natives are gradually, but surely,
dying out. Among the whole royal family there is only one child, a
dear little girl of rather more than a year old. Princess Kauilani
('Sent from Heaven') she is always called, though she has a very long
string of additional names. She is heiress-presumptive to the throne,
and is thought a good deal of by everybody. Among twenty of the
highest chiefs' families there is only one baby. On the other hand,
all the foreign consuls, ministers, missionaries, and other white
residents, appear to have an average of at least half a dozen in each
family.

After the performance was over, we walked to the Princess Likelike's
house, where we were entertained at a _poi_ supper. The garden was
illuminated, the band played and a choir sang alternately, while
everybody sat out in the verandah, or strolled about the garden, or
did what they liked best. Prince Leleiohoku took me in to supper,
which was served in the native fashion, in calabashes and on leaves,
laid on mats on the floor, in the same manner as the feast at Tahiti.
The walls of the dining-room were made of palm-leaves and bananas, and
the roof was composed of the standards of the various members of the
royal family, gracefully draped. At one end of the long table, where
the Prince and I sat, there was his special royal standard, as
heir-apparent, and just behind us were stationed a couple of women,
with two large and handsome _kahilis_, which they waved incessantly
backwards and forwards. The viands were much the same as at
Tahiti--raw seaweed, which was eaten with each mouthful, being
substituted for the chopped cocoa-nut and salt-water. The carved _koa_
bowls, which were in constant requisition as finger-glasses, were
specially elegant and useful-looking articles. _Poi_ is generally
eaten from a bowl placed between two people, by dipping three fingers
into it, giving them a twirl round, and then sucking them. It sounds
rather nasty; but, as a matter of fact, it is so glutinous a mixture
that you really only touch the particles that stick to your fingers.
The latter you wash after each mouthful, so that there is nothing so
very dreadful about it after all. There was a quantity of raw fish,
which I did not touch, but which some of our party thought most
excellent, besides dried and cooked fish, which seemed very good,
fried candle-nuts, baked pig, and many other delicacies. We could get
however, nothing to drink. After supper, we returned to the house,
where we found an abundance of champagne and other wines, cakes, and
biscuits.

About twelve o'clock we thought it was time to say good-bye, as it was
Saturday night. Beneath a brilliant full moon the drive to the wharf
and row off in the boat were delightful.

_Sunday, December 31st_.--I was on deck at six o'clock, and saw what I
had often heard about--a team of twenty oxen, driven by a man in a
cart, drawing by means of a rope, about a quarter of a mile in length,
a large ship through the opening in the reef, the man and cattle being
upon the coral.[15]

[Footnote 15: The following notice appeared in the _Hawaiian Gazette_
recently: 'TO BE REPAIRED.--That staunch little craft the "Pele,"
which Capt. Brown has for so long a time successfully commanded, is
now being hauled up for the purpose of repairs. She will probably be
laid up for six or eight weeks, and in the meantime the antique plan
of towing vessels in and out of the harbour with teams of oxen on the
reef will be resumed.']

About half-past eight Mabelle and I were just going overboard for a
swim, when I thought I saw the upper fin of an old familiar enemy, and
directly afterwards the cry was echoed all over the ship, 'A shark, a
shark!' It was a ground shark, and very nearly aground in the shallow
water. They say this is the worst kind of all, and on making inquiry I
was told that the safest way to enjoy a dip here is to bathe with a
number of other people. The splashing and noise made by a whole ship's
company frighten the sharks away. This discovery puts an end therefore
to our hopes of enjoying an occasional peaceful bath.

We went to eleven o'clock service at the cathedral. It is a pleasant
small building, beautifully cool, and well adapted to this climate.
The Bishop was unfortunately away, but the service was well performed.

Later, Tom read the evening service to the men, and we afterwards
landed and dined late at the hotel; so late, indeed, that we could
hardly get anything to eat, and they began to shut up the room and put
out the lights before we had half done. Luckily, we were a large
party, and an indignant protest and threatened appeal to the landlord
brought the Chinese waiters to their senses, and induced them to grant
us half an hour's law. On our way back to the boat, the streets looked
much more lively than they had hitherto done, being full of people
returning from rides, drives, and excursions into the country. As a
rule, directly after dark not a creature is to be seen about the
streets, for every one disappears in the most mysterious manner.

We went on board, and sat in the calm moonlight, thinking and talking
over the events of the year, whose end was so swiftly approaching, and
wondering what its successor may have in store for us. So ends, with
all its joys and sorrows, its pleasures and pains, its hopes and
fears, for us, the now old year, 1876.




CHAPTER XVII.


HONOLULU--DEPARTURE FOR JAPAN.

    _Years following years, steal something every day;_
    _At last they steal us from ourselves away._


_Monday, January 1st, 1877_.--At midnight we were awakened by our
ship's bell, and that of the 'Fantome,' being struck violently sixteen
times. For the moment I could not imagine what it meant, and thought
it must be an alarm of fire; indeed, it was not until Tom and I
reached the deck, where we found nearly all the ship's company
assembled at the top of the companion, and were greeted with wishes
for 'A happy New Year, and many of them,' that we quite realised that
nothing serious was the matter. Soon the strains of sweet music,
proceeding from the Honolulu choirs, which had come out in boats to
serenade us, fell upon our ears The choristers remained alongside for
more than an hour, singing English and American sacred and secular
hymns and songs, and then went off to the 'Fantome,' where they
repeated the performance. The moon shone brightly; not a ripple
disturbed the surface of the water; the cocoa-trees at Waikiki, and
the distant mountains near the Pali, were all clearly defined against
the dark blue sky. It was altogether a romantic and delicious scene,
and we found it difficult to tear ourselves away from the sweet sounds
which came floating over the sea.

When I again went on deck, at half-past six, there was a large double
canoe close to the yacht, crowded with people. It was difficult to
make out what they were doing, for they appeared to be sitting on a
great heap of something, piled up between the two canoes. Our sailors
suggested that it must be 'some sort of a New Year's set out.' I
ordered the 'Flash' to be got ready, and went with the children to
make a closer investigation; and, as we approached, we could see that
the pile that had puzzled us was a huge fishing-net. The tide here is
very uncertain; but as soon as the water is low enough, they stretch
the long net right across the narrow mouth of the harbour, and so
secure an enormous quantity of fish of various kinds. It was a really
good New Year's haul, and provided a hearty meal for a great many
people.

Mabelle and I went at twelve o'clock to the Queen's New Year's
reception, held in the other wing of the palace. Having driven through
the pretty gardens, we were received at the entrance by the Governor,
and ushered through two reception rooms into the royal presence. The
Queen was dressed in a European court-dress, of blue and white
material, with the Hawaiian Order of the Garter across her breast. Two
maids of honour were also in court-dress. Of the other ladies, some
were in evening, some in morning dress, some with bonnets and some
without; but their costumes were all made according to the European
fashion, except that of her Highness Ruth, the Governess of Hawaii,
who looked wonderfully well in a rich white silk native dress, trimmed
with white satin. She had a necklace of orange-coloured _oo_ feathers
round her neck, and dark yellow alamanda flowers in her hair. This
native costume is a most becoming style of dress, especially to the
chiefs and chiefesses, who are all remarkably tall and handsome, with
a stately carriage and dignified manner. The Queen stood in front of
the throne, on which were spread the royal robes, a long mantle of
golden feathers, without speck or blemish. On each side stood two men,
dressed in black, wearing frock-coats, and capes of red, black, and
yellow feathers over their shoulders, and chimney-pot hats on their
heads. In their hands they held two enormous _kahilis_ of black _oo_
feathers, with handsome tortoise-shell and ivory handles. They were at
least eight feet high altogether, and the feathers were about six
inches across.

The Princess presented Mabelle and me to her Majesty, and we had a
short conversation through a lady interpreter. It is always an
embarrassing thing to carry on a conversation in this way, especially
when you find yourself in the midst of a square formed by a large
crowd of ladies, who you fancy are all gazing at you, the one stranger
present, and I was glad when fresh people arrived, and her Majesty's
attention was claimed elsewhere.

Queen Kapiolani is a nice-looking woman, with a very pleasing
expression of countenance. She is the granddaughter of the heroic
Princess Kapiolani, who, when the worship and fear of the goddess Pele
were at their height, walked boldly up to the crater of Kilauea, in
defiance of the warnings and threats of the high-priestess of the
idolatrous rites, proclaiming her confidence in the power of her God,
the God of the Christians, to preserve her. This act did much to
assist in the establishment of Christianity in the Island of Hawaii,
and to shake the belief of the native worshippers of Pele in the power
of the fearful goddess.

The Princess showed me round the room which contains the portraits of
the kings and queens of the Sandwich Islands for many generations, the
early ones attired in their feather capes, the later ones dressed in
European costumes. Most of them were the work of native artists, but
the portraits of Kamehameha II. and his queen were painted, during
their visit to England, by a good artist. Their Majesties are depicted
in the height of the fashion of the day, the king wearing a blue coat
and brass buttons, with many orders on his breast, the queen having on
a very short-waisted, tight-fitting white satin dress, a turban
surmounted by a tremendous plume of white feathers, and a pearl
necklace and bracelets: rather a trying costume for a handsome woman
with a dark complexion and portly figure. They both died in England,
and their remains were brought back here for burial, in H.M.S.
'Blonde,' commanded by Lord Byron. There was also a portrait of
Admiral Thomas, whose memory is highly reverenced here for the happy
way in which he succeeded in terminating the disputes arising out of
our claim to the island in 1843, and in restoring King Kamehameha III.
to his own again.

[Illustration: Feathered Cloak and Helmets.]

The collection likewise included excellent portraits of Louis Philippe
and Napoleon III. Curiously enough, each of these was sent off from
France to the Sandwich Islands, by way of Cape Horn, while the
original was in the zenith of his power and fame; and each reached its
destination after the original had been deposed and had fled to
England for refuge.

But the most interesting object of all was still to come--the real
feather cloak, cape, and girdle of the Kamehamehas, not generally to
be seen, except at a coronation or christening, but which the Princess
Kamakaeha, in her capacity of Mistress of the Robes, had kindly
ordered to be put out for my inspection. The cloak, which is now the
only one of the kind in existence, is about eleven feet long by five
broad, and is composed of the purest yellow, or rather golden,
feathers, which, in the sunlight, are perfectly gorgeous, as they have
a peculiar kind of metallic lustre, quite independent of their
brilliant colour.

[Illustration: The Pali-Oahu]

On leaving the palace I had intended to get some lunch at the hotel,
but found that establishment was closed to the general public, and was
in the possession of a native teetotal society; so I was obliged to
return to the yacht. At half-past three, however, we all went ashore
again, and set out on horseback, a large party, for an excursion to
the Pali, the children, servants, and provisions preceding us in a
light two-horse American wagon. We rode through the Nuuanu Avenue, and
then up the hills, along a moderately good road, for about seven miles
and a half. This, brought us into a narrow gorge in the midst of the
mountains, from which we emerged on the other side of the central
range of hills, forming the backbone of the island. The view from this
point was beautiful, though I think that the morning would be a better
time to enjoy it, as, with a setting sun, the landscape was all in
shadow. The change of temperature, too, after the heat of Honolulu,
was quite astonishing, considering the short distance we had
come--about eight miles only. The carriage could not go quite to the
top of the mountain, and after descending a short distance to where it
had been left, we dismounted and spread our dinner on the ground; but
darkness overtook us before we had finished. Matches and lamps had of
course been forgotten; so that the business of packing up was
performed under circumstances of great difficulty. The ride down, in
the light of the almost full moon, was delightful.

We were on board by half-past seven, and went ashore to a ball at nine
o'clock. The dance took place in the large room of the Hawaiian Hotel,
and was a great success. The Royal band played for us, and there was
neither stuffiness nor crowding, nor were there any regulations as to
dress, gentlemen and ladies coming in evening or morning dress, as it
suited them best. The Governor and most of the English present,
including our own party, wore evening dress, and the officers of the
'Fantome' were in uniform. Every door and window was open, there was a
large verandah to sit in, a garden to stroll about in between the
dances, and an abundance of delicious iced lemonade--very different
from the composition thus named which is generally met with in London
assemblies--to drink. At half-past twelve, when people were beginning
to disperse, we took our departure, Captain Long taking us off to the
yacht in his boat.

There is to be another ball on Thursday night, for which everybody is
most anxious that we should stay, as it is to be rather a large
affair. In order that you may see the Hawaiian fashion of sending out
cards, I copy the form of invitation we received:--

_The pleasure of the company of Mr. and Mrs.
Thos. Brassey is requested at a Subscription Ball,
at the Hawaiian Hotel,_

      ON THURSDAY EVENING, JANUARY 4, 1877, AT 8 O'CLOCK.

  _Respectfully,                        H.A. Widemann,_

                                      FOR THE COMMITTEE.

  _Mrs. Jas. Makee and Mrs. J.S. McGrew will kindly act as matrons
  of the evening._


_Tuesday, January 2nd_.--At eleven o'clock, the King, who was rather
better, went on board the 'Fantome,' saw the men at quarters, and
witnessed the firing of a couple of shots at a target, and shortly
before twelve paid us a visit, accompanied by the Prince Leleiohoku
and others. His Majesty is a tall, fine-looking man, with pleasant
manners, and speaks English perfectly and fluently. He and the Prince
visited and examined every corner of the yacht, and looked, I think,
at almost every object on board. The pictures, curiosities, engines,
and our various little contrivances for economising space, seemed to
interest them the most. The inspection occupied at least an hour and a
half; and when it was over, we had a long chat on deck on various
subjects. The Prince of Wales's visit to India, and the Duke of
Edinburgh's voyage round the world, were much discussed, I think the
King would like to use them as a precedent, and see a little more of
the world himself. His voyage to, and stay in America, he thoroughly
enjoyed.

It was two o'clock before our visitors left; and a quarter of an hour
later the Queen and her sister arrived. Her Majesty and her sister
made quite as minute an inspection of the yacht as her royal consort
and his brother had done before them. We had arranged to be 'at home'
to all our kind friends in Honolulu at four o'clock, at which hour
precisely the Governor sent the Royal band on board to enliven the
proceedings. Soon our other visitors began to arrive; but the Queen
appeared to be so well amused that she did not leave until five
o'clock. By-half-past six, the last of our guests (over 150 in number)
had said farewell, and there only remained the band to be shown round
and feasted after their labours. Tom went on board the 'Fantome' to
dine, and to meet the British, French, German, and American
representatives. We went to the hotel; and I must say that I never in
my life felt more thoroughly worn out than I did that night, after
standing about and receiving and entertaining all the day.

_Wednesday, January 3rd_.--This was sure to be a disagreeable day,
since it was to be the concluding one of our short stay in this
pleasant place. The final preparations for a long voyage had also to
be made; stores, water, and live stock to be got on board, bills to be
paid, and adieux to be made to kind friends.

I was on deck at six o'clock, in order to take some photographs and to
stow away the coral, shells, curiosities, and presents of various
kinds, that the King, Queen, Prince and Princess, as well as other
kind friends, had sent us. Before seven the yacht was surrounded by
boats, and the deck was quite impassable, so encumbered was it with
all sorts of lumber, waiting to be stowed away, until the boats could
be hoisted on board and secured for the voyage. The large mizen-sail,
which had just been repaired and sent on board, looked enormous as it
lay on the deck, surrounded by hen-coops, sheep, geese, sacks of coal,
and baskets and parcels of every size and shape. One really began to
wonder whether space could possibly be found on board for such a
miscellaneous collection. Several visitors, who had been unable to
come yesterday, arrived in the midst of the confusion. They must have
carried away in their minds a different impression of the yacht from
what they would have done had they seen her looking as trim and smart
as she did yesterday. It could not, however, be helped; for the
departure of a small vessel, with forty people on board, on a voyage
of a month's duration, is a matter requiring considerable preparation.

At eleven o'clock we landed and went to see the interior of the
Queen's Hospital. It is a fine and well-kept building, containing, at
the time of our visit, about ninety patients, the men occupying the
lower, the women the upper story. Each ward is tastefully decorated
with bouquets, and the name is written up in bright mauve
bougainvillea or scarlet hibiscus, tacked on to white calico. Many of
the convalescents wore wreaths and garlands of flowers, and even those
in bed had a few beside them, or in some cases a single spray laid on
the coverlet. The effect was bright and cheerful; and it seemed a kind
and sensible idea to endeavour to gratify, instead of to repress, the
instinctive love of flowers universally felt by the natives of these
and of the South Sea Islands.

From the hospital we went to pay farewell visits, to lunch at the
hotel, and to settle sundry bills. At three we were to go to the Royal
Mausoleum. This was a special privilege, and, I believe, the greatest
compliment that has been paid to us anywhere. No foreigners are
allowed to enter, except admirals on the station; and very few
inhabitants of Honolulu have ever seen the interior. The King has one
key, the Dowager Queen Emma another, and the Minister of the Interior
the third.

On our way up the hill to the Mausoleum, there was a funeral going on,
very much after the style of an Irish wake in one of the dwellings of
the poorer class. The house was decorated with flags, and was crowded
with people, all dressed in black, and generally with bright yellow
_leis_ over their heads and necks. They had evidently come from some
distance, judging by the number of carts and wagons drawn up outside
the door. Several people were sitting in an upper verandah. The corpse
was laid out in the lower room, facing the road, as we could see
through the open windows and door. It was surrounded by mourners, and
four women were waving large _kahilis_ slowly backwards and forwards
in front of it.

The Princess herself met us at the Mausoleum, which is a small but
handsome stone Gothic building, situated above the Nuuanu Avenue, on
the road to the Pali. It commands a fine view over land and sea, and
the gentle breezes waft through the open windows sweet scents from the
many fragrant trees and flowers by which it is surrounded. There lay
the coffins of all the kings of Hawaii, their consorts, and their
children, for many generations past. The greater part were of polished
_koa_ wood, though some were covered with red velvet ornamented with
gold. Many of them appeared to be of an enormous size; for, as I have
already observed, the chiefs of these islands have almost invariably
been men of large and powerful frames. The bones of Kamehameha I. were
in a square oak chest. At the foot of the coffin of Kamehameha IV.
there were two immense _kahilis_ about twelve feet high, one of
rose-coloured, the other of black feathers, with tortoise-shell
handles. The remains of King Luna'ilo are not here, having been buried
just outside the native church in the town. In the vestibule to the
tombs of the kings rests the coffin of Mr. Wylie, described as 'the
greatest European benefactor of the Hawaiian people.' A ship now in
the harbour bears his name, and one constantly meets with proofs of
the respect and reverence in which his name is held.

The Princess drove us down to the wharf, where we said good-bye to her
with feelings of the greatest regret. I cannot express the sorrow
that we all feel at leaving the many kind friends we have met with in
'dear Honolulu,' as Muriel calls it. But the farewells were at last
over, the anchor was weighed, and the yacht, which was by this time
once more in apple-pie order, began slowly to move ahead. Suddenly we
heard shouts from the shore, and saw a boat pursuing us in hot haste.
We stopped, and received on board a basket of beautiful ferns and
other parcels from different friends. A second boat was then seen
coming off to us, which contained a fine dish of delicious honey and
some flowers. The order to go ahead again was scarcely given, before a
third boat, in, if possible, hotter haste than the two previous ones,
put off after us, bringing some things the laundress had forgotten.

[Illustration: ZEUS CILIARIS]

Now we are fairly off; and now surely the last link that binds us to
the shore is broken. But no! there are farewell signals and hearty
cheers yet to come from the officers and men of the 'Fantome;' and,
still further out, on the top of the tiny lighthouse at the mouth of
the narrow passage through the reef, stand other friends, cheering and
waving their handkerchiefs. They had rowed out thither, being
determined to give us really _the_ parting cheer, and till the shades
of twilight fell we could see their white handkerchiefs fluttering,
and hear their voices borne on the evening breeze, as we meandered
slowly through the tortuous channels into deep water.

Once outside we found there was plenty of wind and a heavy roll, which
sent me quickly to bed.




CHAPTER XVIII.


HONOLULU TO YOKOHAMA.

    _As slow our ship her foamy track_
    _Against the wind was cleaving,_
    _Her trembling pennant still look'd back_
    _To that dear isle 'twas leaving._

_Thursday, January 4th_.--It was very rough, but fortunately the wind
came from a favourable quarter. Sorry as we all were to bid farewell
to these charming islands, I could not help rejoicing that we had
picked up a fresh fair wind so unexpectedly soon.

While we were at Honolulu a regular epidemic of influenza prevailed in
the place, affecting both man and beast. This is often the case during
the prevalence of the south wind, which blew, more or less, during the
whole of our stay. We none of us suffered from the malady at the time,
but now nearly everybody on board is affected, and some very severely.

_Friday, January 5th_.--The fresh fair breeze still continues. At noon
we had sailed 240 knots. The head-sea we could dispense with, as it
makes us all very uncomfortable. Muriel, Baby, the three maids, and
several of the crew, are ill to-day with influenza, and I have a
slight touch of it, so I suppose it will go right through the ship.
Towards the evening the breeze increased to a gale.

_Saturday, January 6th_.--The gale increased during the night, and the
head-sea became heavier. There was a good deal of rain in the course
of the day. The wind dropped about sunset, and was succeeded by
intervals of calm, with occasional sharp squalls. Baby was very
poorly all day, but seemed better at night. We have now regularly
settled down to our sea life again, and, if only the children recover,
I hope to get through a good deal of reading and writing between this
and Japan. At present they occupy all my time and attention, but I
think, like the weather, they have now taken a turn for the better.

_Sunday, January 7th_.--A very rough and disagreeable day, with much
rain. All the morning we rolled about, becalmed, in a heavy swell.
Steam was ordered at half-past twelve, but before it was up the fair
wind had returned, so the fires were put out. We had the Litany at
eleven, and a short service, without a sermon, at four.

Baby was _very_ ill all night. Everything was shut up on account of
the torrents of rain, so that the heat was almost insufferable, and we
tossed and tumbled about in the most miserable manner.

_Monday, January 8th_.--All the early part of the morning we were in
the greatest anxiety about Baby; she could hardly draw her breath, and
lay in her cot, or on her nurse's lap, almost insensible, and quite
blue in the face, in spite of the application of mustard, hot water,
and every remedy we could think of. The influenza with her has taken
the form of bronchitis and pleurisy. The other children are still
ailing. Heavy squalls of wind and rain, and continuous rolling,
prevailed throughout the day.

_Tuesday, January 9th_.--The wind fell light, and the weather
improved; but we tumbled about more than ever. The thermometer in the
nursery stood at 90 deg.. The children are a shade better.

_Wednesday, January 10th_.--Very hot, and a flat calm. Steam was up at
7.30 a.m. Mabelle is convalescent; Muriel not so well; Baby certainly
better. In the afternoon one of the boiler-tubes burst. It was
repaired, and we went on steaming. In the evening it burst again, and
was once more repaired, without causing a long stoppage.

(_Thursday, January 11th_, had no existence for us, as, in the
process of crossing the 180th meridian, we have lost a day.)

_Friday, January 12th_.--Wednesday morning with us was Tuesday evening
with people in England, and we were thus twelve hours in advance of
them. To-day the order of things is reversed, and we are now twelve
hours behind our friends at home. Having quitted one side of the map
of the world (according to Mercator's projection), and entered upon
the other half, we begin to feel that we are at last really 'homeward
bound.'

At four a.m. Powell woke us with the announcement that the boiler-tube
had again burst, and that we had consequently ceased steaming. Letting
off steam, and blowing out the boiler, made a tremendous noise, which
aroused everybody in the ship. It was a lovely morning, but a flat
calm, and the sun rose magnificently. The few light clouds near the
surface of the water caught and reflected the rays of light most
brilliantly before the sun itself appeared, and assumed all manner of
fanciful shapes.

About six o'clock a very light breeze sprang up, which increased
during the day; but the sea remained perfectly calm. We think we must
have got into the trade again. This weather is indeed a luxury after
all the knocking about we have lately gone through; and I feel as if I
could never rest enough. The constant effort to maintain one's
balance, whether sitting, standing, or moving about, has been most
fatiguing, and the illness of the children has made matters worse.
Baby is, I hope, now quite out of danger.

_Saturday, January 13th_.--The engineers made up their minds that we
were in the trade winds again yesterday, and that we should not want
the engines for some days. They therefore did not hurry on with the
repairs as they should have done. This morning there was a calm, and
when Tom ordered steam to be got up at once, the reply was,
'Please, sir, the engine won't be ready till night.' This was
annoying; but they worked extra hard all day, and by 4 p.m. steam was
raised. At six a nice little breeze sprang up, which freshened during
the evening, and at midnight orders were given to stop steaming.

We had another bad night of it--a head wind, the sea washing over the
decks, everything shut up, and the thermometer standing at 90 deg..

_Sunday, January 14th_.--I was on deck at 4 a.m. The Southern Cross,
the Great Bear, and the North Star, were shining with a brilliancy
that eclipsed all the other stars.

During the day the wind freshened to a squally gale. Sometimes we were
going ten, sometimes thirteen, and sometimes fifteen knots through the
water, knocking about a good deal all the while. Service was an
impossibility; cooking and eating, indeed, were matters of difficulty.
It rained heavily, and the seas came over the deck continually.

Many of the sailors and servants were ill. I was hopelessly so.
Nothing annoys me more than to find that, after having sailed tens and
tens of thousands of miles, I cannot cure myself of sea-sickness. I
can stand a good deal more rolling than I once could; but still, many
are the days when nothing but the firmest determination not to think
about it, but to find something to do, and to do it with all my might,
keeps me on my feet at all. Fewer, happily, are the days when
struggling is of no avail, when I am utterly and hopelessly
incapacitated, ignominiously and literally laid flat on my back, and
when no effort of will can enable me to do what I most wish to
accomplish. If only some physician could invent a sovereign remedy for
sea-sickness, he would deserve well of his country, and of mankind in
general.

_Monday, January 15th_.--I woke once or twice in the night, and felt
exactly as if I were being pulled backwards through the water by my
hair. We were rushing and tearing along at such a pace, against a head
sea, that it almost took one's breath away. But at noon we were
rewarded for all discomfort by finding that we had run 298 sea, or 343
land miles, in 24 hours, and that between 8.14 yesterday and 8.15
to-day we had made 302 knots, or 347 land miles--nearly 350 miles in
the 24 hours--under very snug canvas, and through a heavy sea. The
wind still continued fair and fresh, but the sea was much quieter, and
we all felt comparatively comfortable. More sails were set during the
afternoon. Some albatrosses and long-tailed tropic birds were seen
hovering about us. The moon begins to give a good light now, and we
found it very pleasant on deck this evening.

_Wednesday, January 17th_.--It was a fine warm morning, and we got the
children on deck for the first time for ten days.

_Thursday, January 18th_.--Between breakfast and lunch we sailed over
the spot where Tarquin Island is marked on the chart, and, between
lunch and dinner, over a nameless reef, also marked on the chart. A
good look-out had been kept at the masthead and in the bows, but not a
trace could be seen of either of these objects in any direction. The
weather kept clear and bright, and the sea was much calmer.

During the last five days we have covered 1,221 sea miles.

_Monday, January 22nd_.--At daylight Asuncion Island was still
visible. It is of volcanic origin, and is in the form of a perfect
sugar-loaf, 2,600 feet high, rising out of the sea, exactly as I had
expected the Peak of Teneriffe to appear. I should like to have landed
on the islands Agrigan or Tinian, so as to see the interesting remains
left by the ancient inhabitants. Some people say that they resemble
Aztec remains; others, that they are like those of the more modern
Peruvians. All authorities, however, seem to agree that they are like
those on Easter Island, the south-east extremity of Polynesia, this
being the north-west.

[Illustration: Amateur Navigation]

We were close-hauled all day; the wind was strong, and the sea rough
and disagreeable.

_Tuesday, January 23rd_.--Still close-hauled, and still a heavy swell.
I felt very ill, and could scarcely move my head for neuralgia. The
galley boiler burst to-day, so we are now dependent on the one in the
forecastle. During the night we passed the Euphrosyne rock. It looks
like a ship in full sail, and abounds with turtle, fish, and
sea-elephants.

_Wednesday, January 24th_.--Very much colder, though we are only just
outside the tropics. The wind was rather freer, and we had a beautiful
moonlight night.

_Friday, January 26th_.--During the night the breeze freshened, and in
the morning increased to a gale. Steam was therefore let off. It has
been a miserable day; so cold, wet, and rough, that it was impossible
to do anything, or to sit anywhere, except on the floor.

About 9 p.m. I was sitting in the deck-house, when I heard a
tremendous crash, and, looking out, saw that the fore gig davits had
been carried away, taking with them a piece of the rail, stanchion,
and cavil. The gig was hanging from the after davits, one might say,
by a thread, splashing and dashing in and out of the water, and
crashing and splintering against the side of the yacht. All hands were
speedily on deck; and in spite of the risk they ran, and of the
remonstrances of their comrades, two of the gig's crew jumped into her
with a rope, which they tried to pass round her. It was a difficult
task in that heavy sea, and many times they failed, and we constantly
feared that men, boat, and all were gone. Half a dozen of the crew
caught hold of the rigging outside, put their backs against the yacht,
and with legs outstretched tried to keep the gig off the ship's side,
while all the loose gear was floating away out of her. At last there
was a shout of triumph. The rope was round her, the men jumped on
board the yacht again, whilst sailors, stewards, and passengers
proceeded to hoist and drag the boat in, with all their might and
main. Alas! she was only a wreck. Her sides were stove in, her planks
were started, there was a hole in her bottom, and the moon shone
through her many cracks.

_Saturday, January 27th_.--About two o'clock this morning the yacht
plunged so heavily into a deep sea, that the jibboom, a beautiful
spar, broke short off, and the foretop-gallant mast and topgallant
yard were carried away almost at the same moment, with a terrible
noise. It took about eight hours to clear the wreck, all hands working
all night; and a very forlorn appearance the deck presented in the
morning, lumbered up with broken spars, ropes, &c. The jibboom fell
right across the forefoot of the yacht, and now looks as if it had
been cut at for weeks with some blunt tool.

The weather cleared a little to-day, but there was still a heavy sea
and nearly a head wind. The crew were busily engaged in repairing
damages. Unfortunately, two of them are ill, and so is the carpenter,
a specially important person at this juncture. No men could have
behaved better than they all did after the accident. It was frightful
to see them aloft in such weather, swinging on the ends of the broken
spars, as the yacht rolled and pitched about. When it comes to a pinch
they are all good men and true: not that they are perfection, any more
than other men are.

_Sunday, January 28th_.--It is finer, but bitterly cold. Several of my
tropical birds are already dead. The little pig from Harpe Island, and
the Hawaiian geese, look very wretched, in spite of all my
precautions.

We had the Litany at eleven, and prayer and a sermon at four; after
which Tom addressed the men, paying them some well-deserved
compliments on their behaviour on Friday night.

The decks were very slippery, and as we kept rolling about a good deal
there were some nasty falls among the passengers. We had a splendid
though stormy sunset, which did not belie its promise, for the wind
shortly afterwards became stiffer and stronger, until at last we had
two reefs down, and were tumbling about in all directions, as we
rushed through the water. The dining-tables tilted till they could go
no further, and then paused to go back again; but not quickly enough,
for the glasses began to walk uphill and go over the edge in the most
extraordinary manner. On deck the night looked brilliant but rather
terrible. The full moon made it as light as day, and illuminated the
fountains of spray blown from the waves by which we were surrounded.
Without her heavy jibboom, and with her canvas well reefed down, the
'Sunbeam' rode through it all, dipping her head into the sea,
shivering from stem to stern, and then giving herself a shake,
preparatory to a fresh start, just like a playful water-bird emerging
from a prolonged dive.

At midnight a tremendous sea struck her, and for a minute you could
not see the yacht at all, as she was completely enveloped in spray and
foam. Tom said it was just like being behind the falls of Niagara,
with the water coming over you from every quarter at once. It was only
loose stuff, however, for not a green sea did she take on board the
whole night through. Our old engineer, who has been with us so long,
made up his mind that we had struck on a rock, and woke up all the
servants and told them to go on deck. I never felt anything like it
before, and the shock sent half of us out of our beds.

_Monday, January 29th_.--At four o'clock I was called to go on deck to
see the burning mountain. The wind was still blowing hard, but we were
among the islands, and in comparatively smooth water. The full moon
still rode high in the heavens, her light being reflected in rainbow
hues from the spray and foam that drifted along the surface of the
water. On every side were islands and rocks, among which the sea
boiled, and seethed, and swirled, while the roaring breakers dashed
against the higher cliffs, casting great columns of spray into the
air, and falling back in heavy rollers and surf. Just before us rose
the island of Vries, with its cone-shaped volcano, 2,600 feet high,
emitting volumes of smoke and flame. It was overhung by a cloud of
white vapour, on the under side of which shone the lurid glare of the
fires of the crater. Sometimes this cloud simply floated over the top
of the mountain, from which it was quite detached; then there would be
a fresh eruption; and after a few moments' quiet, great tongues of
flame would shoot up and pierce through the overhanging cloud to the
heavens above, while the molten lava rose like a fountain for a short
distance, and then ran down the sides of the mountain. It was
wondrously beautiful; and, as a defence against the intense cold, we
wrapped ourselves in furs, and stayed on deck watching the scene,
until the sun rose glorious from the sea, and shone upon the
snow-covered sides of Fujiyama, called by the Japanese 'the matchless
mountain.' It is an extinct crater, of the most perfect form, rising
abruptly from a chain of very low mountains, so that it stands in
unrivalled magnificence. This morning covered with the fresh-fallen
snow, there was not a spot nor a fleck to be seen upon it, from top to
bottom. It is said to be the youngest mountain in the world, the
enormous mass having been thrown up in the course of a few days only
862 years B.C.

We reached the entrance to the Gulf of Yeddo about nine o'clock, and
passed between its shores through hundreds of junks and fishing boats.
I never saw anything like it before. The water was simply covered with
them; and at a distance it looked as though it would be impossible to
force a passage. As it was, we could not proceed very fast, so
constantly were the orders to 'slow,' 'stop,' 'port,' 'starboard,'
given; and I began at last to fear that it would be impossible to
reach Yokohama without running down at least one boat.

The shores of the gulf, on each side, consist of sharp-cut little
hills, covered with pines and cryptomerias, and dotted with temples
and villages. Every detail of the scene exactly resembled the
Japanese pictures one is accustomed to see in England; and it was easy
to imagine that we were only gazing upon a slowly moving panorama,
unrolling itself before us.

It was twelve o'clock before we found ourselves among the men-of-war
and steamers lying near the port of Yokohama, and two o'clock before
the anchor could be dropped.

[Illustration: Little Redcap.]

During this interval we were surrounded by a swarm of boats, the
occupants of which clamoured vociferously to be allowed on board, and
in many cases they succeeded in evading the vigilance of the man at
the gangway, by going round the other side and climbing over the rail.
A second man was put on guard; but it was of no use, for we were
invaded from all directions at once. We had a good many visitors also
from the men-of-war, Japanese and English, and from the reporters of
newspapers, full of curiosity, questions, and astonishment.

Having at last managed to get some lunch, Tom went to bed to rest,
after his two hard nights' work, and the rest of us went on shore.
Directly we landed at the jetty we were rushed at by a crowd of
_jinrikisha_ men, each drawing a little vehicle not unlike a Hansom
cab, without the seat for the driver--there being no horse to drive.
The man runs between the shafts, and is often preceded by a leader,
harnessed on in front, tandem fashion. Each of these vehicles holds
one person, and they go along at a tremendous pace.

We went first to the Consul's, where we got a few letters, and then to
the Post Office, where many more awaited us. We had then to go to
various places to order stores, fresh provisions, coals, and water,
all of which were urgently needed on board, and to give directions for
the repair of boats, spars, &c., with as little delay as possible. All
this business, including the inevitable search for a good laundress,
lay in the European quarter of the town, the appearance of which was
not remarkable. But the people we met in the streets were a study in
themselves. The children said they looked 'like fans walking about;'
and it was not difficult to understand their meaning. The dress of the
lower orders has remained precisely the same for hundreds of years;
and before I had been ashore five minutes I realised more fully than I
had ever done before the truthfulness of the representations of native
artists, with which the fans, screens, and vases one sees in England
are ornamented.

While we were going about, a letter was brought me, containing the sad
news (received here by telegram) of the death of Tom's mother. It was
a terrible shock, coming, too, just as we were rejoicing in the good
accounts from home which our letters contained. I went on board at
once to break the bad news to Tom. This sad intelligence realised a
certain vague dread of something, we knew not what, which has seemed
to haunt us both on our way hither.

[Illustration: Japanese Boats.]




CHAPTER XIX.

YOKOHAMA.

    _Heavily plunged the breaking wave,_
    _And foam flew up the lea,_
    _Morning and evening the drifted snow_
    _Fell into the dark grey sea._


_Tuesday, January 30th_.--When we awoke from our slumbers this
morning, it was very cold and dark, and we heard noises of a strange
kind. On going on deck to ascertain the cause of this state of things,
we discovered that the sky-lights and portholes were all covered and
blocked up with snow, and that the water froze as it came out of the
hose, forming a sheet of ice on the deck. Masses of snow and ice were
falling from the rigging, and everything betokened that our welcome to
Japan would not be a warm one.

[Illustration: Fujiyama, Japan]

After breakfast we had many visitors, and received letters from Sir
Harry and Lady Parkes, inviting us to go up to Yeddo to-morrow for a
long day, to settle our future plans.

Having landed, we went with the Consul to the native town, to see the
curio shops, which are a speciality of the place. The inhabitants are
wonderfully clever at making all sorts of curiosities, and the
manufactories of so-called 'antique bronzes' and 'old china' are two
of the most wonderful sights in Yokohama. The way in which they
scrape, crack, chip, mend, and colour the various articles, cover them
with dust, partially clean them, and imitate the marks and signatures
of celebrated makers, is more creditable to their ingenuity than to
their honesty. Still, there are a good many genuine old relics from
the temples, and from the large houses of the reduced Daimios, to be
picked up, if you go the right way to work, though the supply is
limited. Dealers are plentiful, and travellers, especially from
America, are increasing in numbers. When we first made acquaintance
with the shops we thought they seemed full of beautiful things, but
even one day's shopping, in the company of experienced people, has
educated our taste and taught us a great deal; though we have still
much to learn. There are very respectable-looking lacquer cabinets
ranging in price from 5_s_. to 20_l_. But they are only made for the
foreign market. No such things exist in a Japanese home. A really good
bit of old lacquer (the best is generally made into the form of a
small box, a portable medicine-chest, or a chow-chow box) is worth
from 20_l_. to 200_l_. We saw one box, about three inches square,
which was valued at 45_l_.; and a collection of really good lacquer
would be costly and difficult to procure even here. The best specimens
I have ever seen are at Lady Alcock's; but they are all either royal
or princely presents, not to be bought with money. The tests of good
lacquer are its exquisite finish, its satiny, oily feel, and the
impossibility of making any impression on it with your thumb-nail. It
is practically indestructible, and will wear for ever. All the poor as
well as the rich people here use it, and have used it for centuries,
instead of china and glass, for cups, saucers, dishes, bowls, which
would need to be often washed in the hottest of water. It is said that
the modern Japanese have lost the art of lacquer making; and as an
illustration I was told that many beautiful articles of lacquer, old
and new, had been sent from this country to the Vienna Exhibition in
1873, but the price put on them was so exorbitant that few were sold,
and nearly all had to be sent back to Japan. Just as the ship with
these things on board reached the Gulf of Yeddo, she struck on a rock
and sank in shallow water. A month or two ago a successful attempt was
made to raise her, and to recover the cargo, when it was found that
the new lacquer had been reduced to a state of pulp, while the old was
not in the least damaged. I tell you the tale as it was told to me.

After a long day's shopping, we went to dine, in real Japanese
fashion, at a Japanese tea-house. The establishment was kept by a very
pleasant woman, who received us at the door, and who herself removed
our exceedingly dirty boots before allowing us to step on to her clean
mats. This was all very well, as far as it went; but she might as well
have supplied us with some substitute for the objectionable articles,
for it was a bitterly cold night, and the highly polished wood
passages and steep staircase felt very cold to our shoeless feet. The
apartment we were shown into was so exact a type of a room in any
Japanese house, that I may as well describe it once for all. The
woodwork of the roof and the framework of the screens were all made of
a handsome dark polished wood, not unlike walnut. The exterior walls
under the verandah, as well as the partitions between the other rooms,
were simply wooden lattice-work screens, covered with white paper, and
sliding in grooves; so that you could walk in or out at any part of
the wall you chose, and it was, in like manner, impossible to say
whence the next comer would make his appearance. Doors and windows
are, by this arrangement, rendered unnecessary, and do not exist. You
open a little bit of your wall if you want to look out, and a bigger
bit if you want to step out. The floor was covered with several
thicknesses of very fine mats, each about six feet long by three
broad, deliciously soft to walk upon. All mats in Japan are of the
same size, and everything connected with house-building is measured by
this standard. Once you have prepared your foundations and woodwork of
the dimensions of so many mats, it is the easiest thing in the world
to go to a shop and buy a house, ready made, which you can then set up
and furnish in the scanty Japanese fashion in a couple of days.

On one side of the room was a slightly raised dais, about four inches
from the floor. This was the seat of honour. On it had been placed a
stool, a little bronze ornament, and a china vase, with a branch of
cherry-blossom and a few flag-leaves gracefully arranged. On the wall
behind hung pictures, which are changed every month, according to the
season of the year. There was no other furniture of any sort in the
room. Four nice-looking Japanese girls brought us thick cotton quilts
to sit upon, and braziers full of burning charcoal, to warm ourselves
by. In the centre of the group another brazier was placed, protected
by a square wooden grating, and over the whole they laid a large silk
eider-down quilt, to retain the heat. This is the way in which all the
rooms, even bedrooms, are warmed in Japan, and the result is that
fires are of very frequent occurrence. The brazier is kicked over by
some restless or careless person, and in a moment the whole place is
in a blaze.

Presently the eider down and brazier were removed, and our dinner was
brought in. A little lacquer table, about six inches high, on which
were arranged a pair of chop-sticks, a basin of soup, a bowl for
rice, a _saki_ cup, and a basin of hot water, was placed before each
person, whilst the four Japanese maidens sat in our midst, with fires
to keep the _saki_ hot, and to light the tiny pipes with which they
were provided, and from which they wished us to take a whiff after
each dish. _Saki_ is a sort of spirit, distilled from rice, always
drunk hot, out of small cups. In this state it is not disagreeable,
but we found it exceedingly nasty when cold.

Everything was well cooked and served, though the ingredients of some
of the dishes, as will be seen from the following bill of fare, were
rather strange to our ideas. Still they were all eatable, and most of
them really palatable.

_Soup_.

_Shrimps and Seaweed_.

_Prawns, Egg Omelette, and Preserved Grapes_.

_Fried Fish, Spinach, Young Rushes, and Young Ginger_.

_Raw Fish, Mustard and Cress, Horseradish, and Soy_.

_Thick Soup, of Eggs, Fish, Mushrooms, and Spinach; Grilled Fish_.

_Fried Chicken, and Bamboo Shoots_.

_Turnip Tops and Root Pickled_.

_Rice ad libitum in a large bowl_.

_Hot Saki, Pipes and Tea_.

The meal concluded with an enormous lacquer box of rice, from which
all our bowls were filled, the rice being thence conveyed to our
mouths by means of chop-sticks. We managed very well with these
substitutes for spoons and forks, the knack of using which, to a
certain extent, is soon acquired. The long intervals between the
dishes were beguiled with songs, music, and dancing, performed by
professional singing and dancing girls. The music was somewhat harsh
and monotonous; but the songs sounded harmonious, and the dancing was
graceful, though it was rather posturing than dancing, great use being
made of the fan and the long trailing skirts. The girls, who were
pretty, wore peculiar dresses to indicate their calling, and seemed of
an entirely different stamp from the quiet, simply dressed waitresses
whom we found so attentive to our wants. Still they all looked cheery,
light-hearted, simple creatures, and appeared to enjoy immensely the
little childish games they played amongst themselves between whiles.

After dinner we had some real Japanese tea, tasting exactly like a
little hot water poured on very fragrant new-mown hay. Then, after a
brief visit to the kitchen, which, though small, was beautifully
clean, we received our boots, and were bowed out by our pleasant
hostess and her attentive handmaidens.

On our return we had considerable difficulty in procuring a boat, our
own boats being all ashore under repair. It was a beautiful moonlight
night, but bitterly cold. The harbour being so full of shipping, our
boatmen were at first puzzled how to find the yacht, till we pointed
to the lights in the deck-house--always a good beacon at night in a
crowded harbour.

_Wednesday, January 31st_. We left the yacht soon after eight o'clock,
and started by the 9.34 a.m. train for the city formerly called Yeddo,
but latterly, since the Mikado has resided there, Tokio, or eastern
capital of Japan. The ground was covered with snow, and there were
several degrees of frost, but the sun felt hot, and all the people
were sunning themselves in the doorways or wide verandahs of their
houses.

Yokohama has been so completely Europeanised, that it was not until we
had left it that we caught our first glimpse of Japanese life; and the
whole landscape and the many villages looked very like a set of living
fans or tea-trays, though somehow the snow did not seem to harmonise
with it.

We crossed several rivers, and reached Tokio in about an hour, when we
at once emerged into the midst of a clattering, chattering crowd,
amongst whom there did not seem to be a single European. The
reverberation, under the glass roof of the station, of the hundreds of
pairs of wooden clogs, pattering along, was something extraordinary.
Giving up our tickets, and following the stream, we found ourselves
surrounded by a still more animated scene, outside the station. We
were just deliberating what to do next, when a smart little Japanese,
with a mail-bag over his shoulder, stepped forward and said something
about Sir Harry Parkes. He then popped us all into several double and
treble-manned _jinrikishas_, and started off himself ahead at a
tremendous pace, shouting and clearing the way for us.

Tokio is a genuinely Japanese town. Not a single foreigner resides
within its limits, with the exception of the foreign Ministers. There
is no hotel nor any place of the kind to stay at; so that, unless you
have friends at any of the Legations, you must return to Yokohama the
same day, which makes a visit rather a fatiguing affair.[16]

[Footnote 16: I have since heard that there are two hotels at Tokio,
such as they are.]

Our first halting-place was at the Temple of Shiba, not far from the
station, where most of the Tycoons have been buried. It is a large
enclosure, many acres in extent, in the centre of the city, with walls
overgrown with creepers, and shadowed by evergreen trees, amid whose
branches rooks caw, ravens croak, and pigeons coo, as undisturbedly as
if in the midst of the deepest woodland solitude. I had no idea there
was anything so beautiful in Japanese architecture as this temple. The
primary idea in the architecture of Japan is evidently that of a tent
among trees. The lines of the high, overhanging, richly decorated
roofs, with pointed gable ends, are not straight, but delicately
curved, like the suspended cloth of a tent. In the same way, the
pillars have neither capital nor base, but seem to run through the
building perpendicularly, without beginning or end. The principal
temple was burnt down a few years ago; but there are many smaller ones
remaining, built in exactly the same style, and all the tombs are
perfect. Some people say the bodies are enclosed in coffins, filled
with vermilion, but I need hardly say we had no opportunity of
ascertaining the correctness of this statement. We entered several of
the temples, which are perfect marvels of carving, gilding, painting,
and lacquer work. Their style of decoration may be somewhat barbaric;
but what a study they would form for an artist! Outside, where no
colour is used, the overhanging roofs and the walls are carved with a
depth and boldness, and yet a delicacy, I have seldom seen equalled;
the doors and railings being of massive bronze, brought from the
Corea. Within, a dim religious light illumines and harmonises a
dazzling mass of lacquer, gold, and painting. It is the grandest
burial-place imaginable; too good for the long line of men who have
tyrannised over Japan and its lawful sovereigns for so many centuries
past.

The streets of Tokio were crowded with a motley throng up to the very
gates of the citadel, where, within the first moat, stand all the
_yashgis_, or residences of the Daimios. Each _yashgi_ is surrounded
by a blank wall, loopholed, and with a tower at each of the four
corners. Within this outer wall is the court of the retainers, all of
them 'two-sworded' men; then comes a second wall, also loopholed,
inside which dwell distant relations of the Daimio; and then again a
third enclosure, guarding the Daimio himself, with his immediate
belongings. After crossing the third moat we reached the Mikado's
gardens and palace, the public offices, and the residences of the
foreign Ministers, all of which were formerly occupied by the Tycoon,
or Shogun, and his ministers. On the waters of the inner moat were
thousands of wild ducks and geese. Nobody is allowed to harm them, and
the birds seem to be perfectly aware of this fact, for they disport
themselves with the greatest confidence.

The English Embassy is a nice red brick house, built in the centre of
a garden, so as to be as secure as possible from fire or attack. After
a most pleasant luncheon we looked over the nucleus of a second
collection which Lady Parkes is beginning to form. Her former
beautiful collection was burnt a few years ago, a most disheartening
misfortune, especially as the opportunities for obtaining really old
and good things in Japan are diminishing day by day.

A little later we started in great force, some in carriages and some
on horseback, attended by running grooms, to see something more of the
city. These men think nothing of running by the side of a horse and
carriage some forty miles a day. They form a distinct class, and when
working on their own account wear little clothing. When in the service
of private individuals they are dressed in tight-fitting dark-blue
garments, with short capes, fastened to their arms, and large hats.

Just outside the Embassy we passed two of the finest of the still
existing _yashgis_, the larger one being used as the Home Office, the
other as the Foreign Office.

There is always a festival going on in some part of Tokio. To-day
there had been a great wrestling-match, and we met all the people
coming away. Such crowds of _jinrikiskas_, full of gaily dressed and
painted women and children, with their hair plastered into all sorts
of inconceivable shapes, and decorated with artificial flowers and
glittering pins! We met six of the wrestlers themselves, riding in
_jinrikishas_--big men, prodigiously fat, and not at all, according to
our ideas, in fighting or wrestling condition. One of their
_jinrikisha_ men stumbled and fell, just as they passed us, and the
wrestler shot out, head over heels, and lay, a helpless ball of fat,
in the middle of the road, till somebody came and picked him up. He
was not in the least hurt, and, as soon as he was set on his feet
again, began to belabour the poor _jinrikisha_ man most unmercifully.
After a long and delightful drive we arrived at the station just in
time to catch the train.

The return journey to Yokohama, in the omnibus-like railway carriages,
was very cold, and the _jinrikisha_ drive to the Grand Hotel colder
still; but a roaring fire and a capital dinner soon warmed and
comforted us.

After dinner we looked over a fine collection of photographs of
Japanese scenery and costumes, and then returned to the yacht in the
house-boat belonging to the hotel, which was prettily decorated with
bright-coloured lanterns, and which afforded welcome shelter from the
biting wind.

_Thursday, February 1st_.--Careful arrangements have been made for our
excursion to the Island of Inoshima, to see the great figure of
Daibutz. By eight o'clock we had landed, and packed ourselves into a
funny little shaky carriage, drawn by four horses. We drove quickly
through the town, past the station, along the Tokaido, or imperial
road, running from one end of the Island of Niphon to the other, and
on which so many foreigners have been murdered even within the last
ten years. Now, however, it is perfectly safe. The houses are one
story high, and their walls are made of the screens I have already
described. These screens were all thrown back, to admit the morning
air, cold as it was. We could consequently see all that was going on
within, in the sitting-room in front, and even in the bedrooms and
kitchen. At the back of the house there was invariably a little garden
to be seen, with a miniature rockery, a tree, and a lake; possibly
also a bridge and a temple. Even in the gardens of the poorest houses
an attempt at something of the sort had been made. The domestic
occupations of the inhabitants being conducted in this public manner,
a very good idea might be obtained, even at the end of a few miles'
drive, of how the lower class of Japanese wash and dress themselves
and their children, how very elaborate the process of hair-dressing
is, to say nothing of a bird's-eye view of the ground-plan of the
houses, the method of cooking food, &c.

As we emerged into the open country the landscape became very pretty,
and the numerous villages, nestling in the valleys at the foot of the
various small hills, had a most picturesque appearance. At a
stone-quarry that we passed, on the side of a mountain, there were
about seventy men at work, without any clothing, though the
thermometer was far below freezing point. The Japanese are a sensitive
nation, and finding that foreigners were astonished and shocked at the
habits of the people, in going about without clothes, and in bathing
in public and at their house doors, they passed a law prohibiting
these customs in towns. In the country, however, the more primitive
customs are still in force, and every dwelling has its half-open
bath-house, whilst the people do as they like in the matter of
clothing.

After stopping twice on the road, to drink the inevitable tea, we
changed from our carriage to _jinrikishas_, each drawn and pushed by
four strong men, bowling along at a merry pace. The sun was very warm
in the sheltered valleys, and the abundance of evergreens of all kinds
quite deluded one into the belief that it was summer time, especially
as camellias grew like forest trees, covered with red and white bloom,
amidst a dense tangle of bamboos and half-hardy palms. There were many
strange things upside down to be seen on efther hand--horses and cows
with bells on their tails instead of on their necks, the quadrupeds
well clothed, their masters without a scrap of covering, tailors
sewing from them instead of to them, a carpenter reversing the action
of his saw and plane. It looked just as if they had originally learned
the various processes in 'Alice's Looking-glass World' in some former
stage of their existence.

We had not long left the town before our men began to undress each
other; for their clothes were so tight that it required no
inconsiderable effort to remove them. Some of them were beautifully
tattooed. My wheeler had the root of a tree depicted on one foot, from
which sprang the trunk and branches, spreading gradually, until on his
back and chest they bore fruit and flowers, amongst which birds were
perched. On his other leg was a large stork, supposed, I imagine, to
be standing under the shadow of the same tree. Another man had human
figures tattooed all over him, in various attitudes.

[Illustration: A Drag across the Sand in a Jinrikisha.]

In less than an hour we reached the narrow strip of land which at low
water connects the island or peninsula of Inoshima with the mainland.
This isthmus was covered with natives gathering shells and seaweed,
casting their nets, and pushing off or dragging up their boats; whilst
an island rose fresh and green from the sea, with a background of
snowy mountains, stretching across the bay, above which Fujiyama
towered grandly. This name signifies 'not two, but one mountain,' the
Japanese thinking it impossible that there can be another like it in
the world. The lovely little island is called Inoshima, and is conical
in shape and covered with evergreens and Buddhist temples, with a few
small fishing villages scattered on its shores. We walked right across
it in about an hour; so you may imagine it is not very large. The sea
teems with curiously shaped fish and beautiful shells. The staple food
of the inhabitants seems to be those lovely 'Venus's ears,' [17] as
they are called--a flattish univalve, about as big as your hand, with
a row of holes along the edge, and a lining of brilliant black
mother-of-pearl. These were lying about in heaps mixed with white
mother-of-pearl shells, as big as your two fists, and shaped like a
snail-shell.

[Footnote 17: Haliotis.]

[Illustration: Inoshima by a Japanese Artist.]

Our _jinrikisha_ men deposited us at the bottom of the main street of
the principal village, to enter which we passed through a simple
square arch of a temple. The street was steep and dirty, and consisted
principally of shell-fish and seaweed shops.

An old priest took us in hand, and, providing us with stout sticks,
marched us up to the top of the hill to see various temples, and
splendid views in many directions. The camellias and evergreens on the
hillside made a lovely framework for each little picture, as we turned
and twisted along the narrow path. I know not how many steps on the
other side of the island had to be descended before the sea-beach was
reached. Here is a cavern stretching 500 feet straight below
high-water mark, with a shrine to Benton Sama, the Lucina of Japan;
and having been provided with candles, we proceeded a few hundred feet
through another cave, running at right angles to the first.

As it would have been a long steep walk back, and I was very tired, we
called to one of the numerous fishing boats near the shore, and were
quickly conveyed round to our original starting place. Before we said
good-bye, one of the old priests implored to be allowed to dive into
the water for half-a-dollar. His request was complied with, and he
caught the coin most successfully.

[Illustration: A Boatman]

We lunched at a tea-house, our meal consisting of fish of all kinds,
deliciously cooked, and served, fresh from the fire, in a style worthy
of Greenwich; and as we had taken the precaution to bring some bread
and wine with us, we were independent of the usual rice and _saki_.

[Illustration: Our Luncheon Bill.]

After this we proceeded on our way towards the Daibutz, or Great
Buddha, situated within the limits of what was once the large city of
Kama-kura, now only a collection of small hamlets. As all Japanese
cities are built of wood, it is not wonderful that they should in time
entirely disappear, and leave no trace behind them. But there still
remain some of the columns of the temple which once existed in the
gardens surrounding the idol. Now he is quite alone; and for centuries
has this grand old figure sat, exposed to the elements, serenely
smiling on the varying scene beneath him. The figure is of bronze, and
is supposed to have been cast about the year 1250 or 1260.

It is some 50 ft. high, with golden eyes and a silver spiral horn on
the forehead. It is possible to sit or stand on the thumb, and within
the hollow body an altar is erected, at which the priests officiate.
Sitting there, amidst a grove of enormous cryptomerias and bamboos,
there is an air of ineffable silent strength about that solitary
figure, which affords a clue to the tenacity with which the poorer
classes cling to Buddhism. The very calmness of these figures must be
more suggestive of relief and repose to the poor weary worshippers
than the glitter of the looking-glass and crystal ball to be found in
the Shintoo temples. The looking-glass is intended to remind believers
that the Supreme Being can see their innermost thoughts as clearly as
they can perceive their own reflection; while the crystal ball is an
emblem of purity. Great store is set by the latter, especially if of
large size and without flaw; but to my mind the imperfect ones are the
best, as they refract the light and do not look so much like glass.

In another village close by--also part of the ancient Kama-kura--there
is a fine temple, dedicated to the God of War; but we were pressed
for time, and hurried back to the little carriages. The homeward drive
was long and cold; but the Tokaido looked very pretty lighted up,
the shadows of the inmates being plainly visible on the paper
walls, reminding one of a scene in a pantomime. On our way down a
very steep hill we met the men carrying a _cango_. It is a most
uncomfortable-looking basket-work contrivance, in which it is
impossible to sit or lie with ease. These _cangoes_ used formerly to
be the ordinary conveyance of Japan, but they are now replaced by the
_jinrikishas_, and they are seldom met with, except in the mountains
or in out-of-the-way places.

_Friday, February 2nd_.--I was called at five o'clock, and at
half-past six Mabelle and I started for the market. It was blowing a
gale, and our four oarsmen found it as much as they could do to reach
the shore. The Shanghai mail-boat was just in, and I pitied the poor
passengers, who were in all the misery of being turned out into the
cold of the early morning, with the spray breaking over them as they
sat in the small boats.

The market at Yokohama is one of the sights of the place. There were
large quantities of birds and game of all kinds--pheasants with tails
six feet long, of a rare copper-coloured variety, ducks, pigeons,
small birds, hares, deer, rabbits. The fish-market was well supplied,
especially with cuttle-fish. They are not inviting-looking, but are
considered a delicacy here. A real octopus, in a basket, with its
hideous body in the centre, and its eight arms, covered with suckers,
arranged in the form of a star, is worth from a dollar to a dollar and
a half, according to its size. I was not tempted, however, to make any
purchases.

From the market we went to one or two small shops in back streets, and
thence over the bluffs, in the teeth of a bitterly cold wind, to a
nursery garden, to examine the results of the Japanese art of dwarfing
and distorting trees. Some of the specimens were very curious and some
beautiful, but most were simply hideous. We saw tiny old gnarled
fruit-trees, covered with blossom, and Scotch firs and other forest
trees, eight inches high, besides diminutive ferns and creepers.

It being now half-past nine o'clock, we went to the hotel to meet the
rest of the party for breakfast, and at one o'clock we returned to the
yacht. At half-past one Lady Parkes and several other friends from
Tokio came on board to luncheon. They told of three disastrous fires
that had taken place in Tokio yesterday, by which the Home Office--one
of the finest old Tartar _yashgis_--and several smaller edifices had
been destroyed.

After the departure of our guests we paid another visit to the shore,
and saw the foxhounds. They are a nice pack, and have good kennels
outside the foreign settlement. They were out this morning at 6.30,
but unfortunately we did not know of it. There are plenty of foxes,
and some very fair country not far from here; so they expect to have
good sport.

We weighed anchor at 8.30 p.m. and proceeded under steam. At 11.30,
when off Touraya-saki, we set some of the head canvas. It was a cold
night, with sleet and snow, though it was not blowing as hard as
during the day.




CHAPTER XX.

KIOTO, LATE MIACO.

    _Manners with fortunes, humours change with climes,_
    _Tenets with books, and principles with times._


_Saturday, February 3rd_.--The occasional glimpses of the coast
scenery through the sleet and snow were very fine. We passed Rocky
Island, Lady Inglis rocks, and Matoya. But Mabelle and I spent most of
the day in bed; she suffering from a blow from the boom, which had
produced slight concussion of the brain, and I having a wretched cold,
which has been gradually getting worse the last few days, and which
has quite taken away my voice.

_Sunday, February 4th_.--It was blowing hard all day, raining,
snowing, and sleeting. The scenery appeared to be pretty, and we
passed through crowds of picturesque junks.

At 4.25 we rounded Tomamgai Smia, and at 9 p.m. anchored off the town
of Kobe, or Hiogo.

These constant changes of names are very puzzling. Miaco and Yeddo,
which we did know something about, are quite cut out, and replaced by
Kioto and Tokio. Oddly enough, the same syllables, reversed, mean
capital of the Western Empire and capital of the Eastern Empire
respectively.

_Monday, February 5th_.--By seven o'clock a boat was alongside with
letters from the Consul and Sir Harry Parkes, who had kindly made all
the necessary arrangements for us to see the opening of the railway
from Kobe to Kioto, and for the presentation of the gentlemen to the
Mikado.

It certainly was a great opportunity for seeing a Japanese holiday
crowd, all dressed in their best. Thousands and thousands of people
were in the streets, who, though naturally anxious to see as much as
possible, behaved in the most quiet and orderly manner. The station
was beautifully decorated with evergreens, camellias, and red berries.
Outside there was a most marvellous pavilion, the woodwork of which
had been entirely covered with evergreens, and ornamented with
life-size dragons and phoenixes (the imperial insignia of Japan), all
made in flowers. The roof was studded with large chrysanthemums--the
private device of the Mikado, that of the Tycoon being three hollyhock
leaves. The sides of the pavilion were quite open, the roof being
simply supported on pillars; so that we could see everything that went
on, both inside and out. The floor was covered with red cloth; the
dais with an extremely ugly Brussels carpet, with a large pattern. On
this the Mikado's throne was placed, with a second canopy above it.
Tom in R.N.R. uniform, the other gentlemen in evening dress,
accompanied the Consul on to the platform to receive the Mikado; while
the children and I went with Mrs. Annesley to seats reserved for the
foreign representatives. There were not many Europeans present; but
the platform was densely crowded with Japanese, sitting on their
heels, and patiently waiting to see the extraordinary sight of their
hitherto invisible spiritual Emperor brought to them by a steam engine
on an iron road. The men had all had their heads fresh shaven, and
their funny little pigtails rearranged for the occasion. The women's
hair was elaborately and stiffly done up with light tortoiseshell
combs and a large pin, and decorated with artificial flowers. Some of
the children were gaily dressed in red and gold under garments, the
prevailing colour of the costumes being dark blue, turned up with red.
They also wore gay embroidered _obis_, or large sashes, which are put
on in a peculiar fashion. They are of great width, and are fastened
tightly round the waist, while an enormous bow behind reaches from
between the shoulders to far below the hips. The garments fit tightly
in front, while at the back they form a sort of huge bunch. On their
high-heeled clogs the women walk with precisely the same gait as
ladies in high-heeled boots. In fact, so exactly do the Japanese women
(you never see Japanese _ladies_ walking about in the streets)
caricature the present fashionable style of dress in Europe, that I
have formed a theory of my own on the subject, and this is it.

Some three or four years ago, among other proposed reforms in Japan,
the Ministers wished the Empress and her Court to be dressed in
European fashion. Accordingly a French milliner and dressmaker, with
her assistants, was sent for from Paris, and in due time arrived. The
Empress and her ladies, however, would not change their style of
dress. They knew better what suited them, and in my opinion they were
very sensible. This is what I hear. Now what I think is, that the
Parisienne, being of an enterprising turn of mind, thought that she
would not take so long a journey for nothing--that if the Japanese
ladies would not follow European fashions, at least European ladies
should adopt the Japanese style. On her return to Paris I am convinced
that she promulgated this idea, and gradually gave it effect. Hence
the fashions of the last two years.

Watching the crowd occupied the time in a most interesting manner,
till the firing of guns and the playing of bands announced the arrival
of the imperial train. The Mikado was received on the platform, and
after a very short delay he headed the procession along the covered
way on to the dais.

He is a young, not very good-looking man, with rather a sullen
expression, and legs that look as though they did not belong to
him--I suppose from using them so little, and sitting so much on his
heels; for until the last few years the Mikado has always been
considered far too sacred a being to be allowed to set foot on the
earth. He was followed by his highest Minister, the foreign Ministers,
and a crowd of Japanese dignitaries, all, with one or two exceptions,
in European official dress, glittering with gold lace. I believe it
was the first time that many of them had ever worn it. At any rate,
they certainly had never learned to put it on properly. It would have
driven to distraction the tailor who made them, to see tight-fitting
uniforms either left unbuttoned altogether, or hooked askew from top
to bottom, and to behold the trousers turned up and disfigured by the
projecting tags of immense side-spring boots, generally put on the
wrong feet. Some of the visitors had no gloves, while others wore them
with fingers at least three inches too long. Certainly a court dresser
as well as a court tailor ought to be appointed to the Mikado's
establishment, before the European costume becomes generally adopted.

I could not help thinking that the two or three old conservative
Ministers who had stuck to their native dress must have congratulated
themselves on their firmness, when they saw the effect of the
unaccustomed garments upon their _confreres_. The old court dress of
the Daimios is very handsome, consisting of rich silks and brocades,
with enormously long loose trousers trailing two or three feet on the
ground, and with sleeves, like butterfly wings, of corresponding
dimensions. A small high-peaked black cap is worn on the head, to
accommodate the curious little cut-off pigtail, set up like a cock's
comb, which appears to be one of the insignia of a Daimio's rank in
Japan.

As soon as the people had arranged themselves into three sides of a
square, Sir Harry Parkes read an address, and presented his five
compatriots to the Mikado, who replied in inaudible but no doubt
suitable terms. Then the Governor of Kobe had to read an address, and
I pitied the poor man from the bottom of my heart. His knees shook,
his hands trembled, and his whole body vibrated to such an extent,
that his cocked hat fell and rolled on the floor of the dais, and
finally hopped down the steps, while the address nearly followed its
example. How thankful he must have felt when it was over!

The proceedings in the pavilion being now at an end, the Mikado walked
down the middle of the assembly, followed by all his Ministers in
single file, on his way to the luncheon tent. After they had gone, we
inspected the imperial railway carriage, the soldiers, guns, &c., and
just as we were leaving the station yard, to look at the daylight
fireworks they were letting off in honour of the occasion, a salute
announced the departure of the Mikado for Kioto.

We lunched at the Consulate, our gentlemen changed to more comfortable
attire, and then we went to see a Buddhist temple, supposed to be
rather a fine specimen of woodwork. It is specially curious on account
of some monkeys and a white horse, each kept in a sort of side shrine.
Every worshipper at the temple stopped before these shrines, and for a
small coin bought rice or beans to feed them with, through the priest.
Whether it was an act of worship, or simply of kindness, I could not
discover, though I paid several visits to the spot during our stay at
Kobe.

From the temple we went to the shops in the main street of Hiogo, and
full of interest and temptation we found them. The town itself is
quite Japanese, and consists, as usual, of wooden houses, narrow
streets, and quaint shops. To-day all was _en fete_, in preparation
for the illuminations to-night.

Kobe, the foreign settlement, is, on the contrary, bran-new, spick and
span, with a handsome parade, and grass and trees, planted boulevard
fashion, along the edge of the sea. It is all remarkably clean, but
quite uninteresting. To-night, however, it looked very well,
illuminated by thousands and thousands of coloured paper lanterns,
arranged in all sorts of fanciful devices. It was dark and clear, and
there was no wind, so that everything went off well.

[Illustration: a family group]

_Tuesday, February 6th_.--My cold being still bad, Mabelle by no means
well yet, and Tom very busy, we at first thought of keeping quiet
to-day. But our time is so short, that we could not afford to waste
it; so half our party started early for Kioto, it being arranged that
Tom and Mabelle should follow us by an early train to-morrow. It was a
wet cheerless day, and the country did not look its best. Still, the
novelty of the scenes around could not fail to make them interesting.
The Japanese have an intense horror of rain, and it was ludicrous to
see the peasants walking along with scarcely any clothes on except a
pair of high clogs, a large hat, and a paper umbrella. We crossed
several large bridges, stopped at a great many stations, where heaps
of native travellers got in and out, and finally reached Kioto at
half-past two o'clock. It was still raining, and all the _jinrikisha_
men wore their large rain hats and rain cloaks, made either of reeds
or of oiled paper. Most of the _jinrikishas_, too, had oiled paper
hoods and aprons.

The drive to our hotel, through long, narrow, crowded, picturesque
streets, seemed long and wearisome. It was still a holiday, and
remains of the previous night's illuminations were to be seen on all
sides. The large paper lanterns still remained fastened to the high
poles, with an open umbrella at the top to afford protection from the
rain.

Kioto is a thoroughly Japanese town. I do not suppose it contains a
single European resident; so that the manners and customs of the
natives may be seen in perfection. Its theatres and jugglers are
famous throughout Japan. In the suburb, where the two hotels are
situated, stand numberless tea-houses and other places of
entertainment. Our hotel is situated half-way up the hill called
Maruyama.

After about three-quarters of an hour's ride in the _jinrikiska_, we
were deposited at the bottom of a flight of steps, which appeared to
lead to a temple, but by which we reached the hotel in about five
minutes. We were received by servants, who bowed to the ground, but
who did not speak a word which we could understand. The rooms looked
clean and comfortable, and the dining-room boasted a table and six
chairs, besides several screens and _hibatchis_. The bedrooms, too,
had beds, screens, and washstands; quite an unexpected luxury. Still
more so was a strip of glass about half-way up the screens, through
which we could admire the fine prospect. Anything in the shape of a
transparent window is a complete novelty in a Japanese house, where,
in winter, you feel as if you were imprisoned. The view from the
verandah of the hotel over the pretty fantastic garden, the temple
grounds, the town of Kioto, and the mountains in the distance was an
endless source of delight to me.

The servants soon produced a luncheon, excellently well cooked; and'
directly we had finished it we sallied forth again to see what we
could before dark. First we went to the temple of Gion, a fine
building, standing in extensive grounds, and surrounded by smaller
temples and houses for the priests. The Dutch envoys used to stay here
when they were brought through the country, like prisoners, to pay
their annual tribute for being allowed to trade with Japan. They were
subjected to all kinds of indignities, and used to be made to dance
and sing, pretend to be drunk, and play all sorts of pranks, for the
amusement of the whole court as well as for the Mikado and the
empress, hidden behind a grating.

From Gion we went to see other temples, and wandered about under the
large conifers of all kinds, trying to find out the quarters of the
British Legation for some time, until Sir Harry Parkes returned. The
rooms at his residence were comfortable, but cold-looking, for mats
and paper screens do not look nice in a frost. There were tables and
chairs and paraffin lamps, but no bedsteads, only about a dozen cotton
and silk quilts, some of which were supposed to serve as a couch,
while others were to be used as coverings.

Sir Harry has had, I fear, a great deal of trouble about the yacht.
She is the first vessel of the kind ever seen in Japan, with the
exception of the one sent out in 1858 as a present from the Queen to
the then Tycoon, and now used by the Mikado. The officials, it seems,
cannot make the 'Sunbeam' out. 'Is she a man-of-war? We know what that
is.' 'No.' 'Is she a merchant ship?' 'No; she is a yacht.' But what
can be the object of a vessel without guns is quite beyond their
comprehension. At last it has been settled that, in order to be like
other nations, the Japanese officials will not force us to enter at
the Custom House, or to pay a fine of sixty dollars a day for not
doing so. As a matter of precedent, it was important that the point
should be settled, though I hardly imagine that many yachts will
follow our example, and come out to Japan through the Straits of
Magellan and across the Pacific.

As it was now growing late, we returned to the hotel for dinner. The
night was cold, and _hibatchis_ and lamps alike failed to warm the
thinly walled and paper-screened room.

Sir Harry Parkes came and spent the evening with us, and taught us
more about Japan in two or three hours than we could have learned by
much study of many books. The fact is, that in this fast-changing
country guide-books get out of date in two or three years. Besides
which, Sir Harry has been one of the chief actors in many of the most
prominent events we have recently been reading about. To hear him
describe graphically the wars of 1868, and the Christian persecutions
in 1870, with the causes that led to the revolution, and the effect it
has had on the country, was indeed interesting. Still more so was his
account of his journey hither to force the newly emerged Mikado and
his Ministers to sign the treaty, which had already received the
assent (of course valueless) of the deposed Tycoon.

_Wednesday, February 7th_.--A misty but much warmer morning succeeded
a wet night. At 8.30 Sir Harry Parkes and two other gentlemen arrived,
and we all started at once in jinrikishas to see what could be seen in
the limited time at our disposal. We went first to the temple of Gion
Chiosiu, described elaborately in books by other travellers. It is
specially interesting to Europeans, as it was the temple assigned to
the foreign envoys when they paid their first visit to the Mikado in
1868. Sir Harry Parkes showed us all their apartments, and the large
though subsidiary temple once used as a hospital, and we afterwards
went to see the service performed in the temple. A dozen bonzes, or
priests, were sitting round in a circle, chanting monotonously from
ponderous volumes, with an occasional accompaniment from a gong or
drum. Incense was being burned, vestments worn, processions formed,
and prayers offered to Buddha to intercede with the Supreme Being. The
accessories and surroundings were of course different, but the
ceremonial struck me as being much the same as that in use at Roman
Catholic places of worship. Mr. Simpson, however, thinks differently.
He says:

'I was only a month in Japan, and that is far too short a time for
anything like serious study; but I was much struck by the temples, and
I find I have some notes in my book comparing them with the Jewish.
How any direct connection could possibly exist, is far beyond my
powers of conjecture; but I will state the points of resemblance, and
leave others to inquire further and collect additional information.
Wood and bronze to this day furnish the material of which temples are
constructed in Japan, with stone as a base. Such also were the
materials of Solomon's temple. There are enclosures round each court
or shrine, and sometimes these courts are three in number. Hills or
groves are usually sites for a temple, the ascent to which is by a
long flight of steps; usually two flights give access to the shrine.
One is long, straight, and steep, for the men; the other, less steep,
but curved, is for the women. It will be remembered that it was the
great stairs at Solomon's temple that so impressed the Queen of Sheba.
Small shrines or miniature temples, called Tenno Samma, or "Heaven's
Lord," are carried on staves, like the Ark of the Covenant, at their
religious ceremonies. The inner shrine, or Holy of Holies, is small,
and a cube, or nearly so, in proportion. It is usually detached behind
the other portions of the temple, the door being closed, so that it
cannot be seen into, and it generally contains, not an image, but a
tablet, or what the Japanese call a "Gohei," or piece of paper, cut so
that it hangs down in folds on each side. In the early days of
writing, a tablet was a book, a stylus the pen. The stone on which the
law was inscribed was only a form of the book, and the Chinese
ancestral tablet, or other tablet, in a temple, is only a variety of
this book form. These "Goheis" are so common in Japan, and occupy so
important a place in all their temples, that I had a great desire to
know what they originally meant; but as on many questions of this kind
I could get no information, the only suggestion which presented itself
to me was, that it might be some form of the book, for the book was a
very sacred thing in past time, and that which is yet called the
"Ark," in a Jewish synagogue, contains now nothing but a book. There
is a distinct priesthood who wear vestments, and they use incense,
music, and bells. There are two religions in Japan, Buddhism and
Shintooism; the latter being the primitive faith, and the former an
importation from China. The forms of the two have become slightly
mixed, both in the construction of their temples and in the
ceremonial; but the remarks I have just made apply particularly to the
Shintoo religion.'

One of the late acts of the government has been to declare the
Shintoo, as the old religion of the country, to be the only State
faith. This is the disestablishment of Buddhism, but it does not imply
its suppression. The Buddhist priests complain very much, saying that
their temples are not now so popular, and many are being closed.
Speculators are buying up their fine bronze bells, and sending them
home to be coined into English pennies and halfpennies. Changes in
faith present many strange aspects, and this is certainly a curious
one.

We strolled about the temple grounds, and ascended the hill to see the
famous bell, which is the second biggest in Japan. The immense beam
which strikes it was unlashed from the platform for our edification,
and the bell sent forth a magnificent sound, pealing over the city and
through the woods. At one of the gates there is a curious staircase,
leading up to the top, and there, over the gate, is seated a figure of
Buddha, surrounded by twelve disciples, all carved in wood and
coloured. They are quite worth a scramble up to see.

From Chiosiu we went right across the city to the temple of Nishni
Hongangi. On our way we were more than once stopped and turned off the
direct road, which was kept by soldiers for the passage of the Mikado
to worship at the tombstone of his innumerable ancestors, real or
imaginary. Being a spiritual Emperor, he has to be well kept up to
his religious duties, and is always being sent off to worship at some
shrine or another, in order to maintain his popularity with the
people, his Ministers meanwhile managing the affairs of state. Tanjo
and Ikawura went off in haste to-day to Tokio, as there are rumours of
a rebellion in the south.

Nishni Hongangi is one of the largest and finest temples we have yet
seen, even in spite of a large portion having been destroyed by the
disastrous fire of 1864. The gates are splendidly ornamented, with
carved chrysanthemum flowers. The centre temple is very fine, and is
surrounded by smaller rooms, all decorated by the best Japanese
artists of about two hundred years ago. Notice had been sent that the
English Minister was coming with a party of friends, and everything
had accordingly been prepared for our reception. In some places they
had even put down carpets, to obviate the necessity of our having to
take off our boots. The Abbot was out, which I much regretted, for he
belongs to the Montos, the most advanced sect of Buddhism, and has
more than once remarked to English visitors that he thought their own
principles were so enlightened that they were paving the way for a
higher form of religion, in the shape of Christianity--rather a
startling confession to come from the lips of a Buddhist priest.

After spending a long time among the paintings, wood-carvings,
lacquers, bronzes, and gardens, we left the temple, and crossed
several court-yards, before the main street was reached. Then, after a
short walk, we came to another beautiful garden, laid out like a
miniature park, with lakes, bridges, rocks, streams, canals,
pavilions, &c. All these surround a house built by the celebrated
Tycoon, Tako Sama, in the fifteenth century. Here, again, everything
was prepared for our reception. Fires were lighted, flowers arranged,
carpets laid down, and fruit and cakes placed in readiness, with
_hibatchis_ to warm each and all of us. We went all over the house,
which differs little from a Japanese house of the present day, except
that a higher style of art was employed in its construction and
decoration.

From here we went to quite another quarter of the city to see what was
formerly the Tycoon's palace, now used as a sort of police office. It
is built on the same plan of three enclosures as all the _yashgis_,
though on a very different scale from the one at Tokio. There, the
Tycoon reigns in undisturbed sovereignty. Here, he appears as a humble
servant of his rightful master--really his prisoner. The late Tycoon,
after the last battle, fought at this place, fled to his castle at
Osaka, where, though he might have held out for an indefinite period,
he preferred to surrender. Two of his Ministers came to him and
represented that he must not only think of himself, but of the party
who supported the Shogunate, and that as he had betrayed them by false
hopes he had no choice but to perform Hara-kiru. This he refused to
do, although they set him the example; and he is now living as a
private individual on an estate in the country, not far from Tokio,
where he amuses himself with hunting, shooting, and fishing. It is
said that it is possible he may one day join the ministry of the
present Mikado.

From the Tycoon's palace we drove to the 'Toshio,' or court quarter of
the town, where the Mikado and all his relatives live, in palaces,
surrounded by large gardens, enclosed in whitewashed walls. We saw the
whole of Tako Sama's household furniture and wearing apparel, the
celebrated swords of Yoritiome, called the 'knee-cutter' and the
'beard-cutter,' from their wonderful sharpness, and many other
interesting objects.

Here we said good-bye to Sir Harry Parkes, and returned across the
town by another route to our hotel to lunch, after which we made
another expedition to one or two more temples, and then to a
pawnbroker's shop, in the heart of the city, which had been strongly
recommended to us. The exterior did not look promising; the shop
itself was small and dirty; and they had to take some very filthy
garments out of the way before we could enter. Once inside, however,
it was a very different story. They showed us splendid old
embroideries, and quantities of second-hand court dresses, embroidered
in gold, silver, and colours, with exquisite designs. The Empress has
thirteen ladies of honour, who wear their best dresses only twice, and
then sell them: hence the pawnbrokers abundant stock.

Wherever we went a large but perfectly civil crowd followed us, and
people ran on before to tell others to come to their doors and look at
us, though we were under the charge of an officer and two men. It was
now getting dark, and we were very tired; so we at last turned back,
and once more climbed those weary steps to our hotel. To-night there
is some _fete_ going on in this suburb, and the whole place is alive
with lights, dancing, music, and tum-tums.

After dinner all our purchases arrived, each accompanied by at least
four or five men. Other people had heard of our visit, and had brought
more things for us to look at; so that the room soon resembled a
bazaar. At last we got rid of them, having settled that they should
pack our things and take them down to Kobe, where they would be paid
for. The Japanese shopkeepers, though difficult to deal with, are
incorruptible when once the bargain is made. They pack most carefully,
frequently adding boxes, bags, and baskets, not originally included in
the purchase, in order that the articles may travel more safely. The
smallest article is sure to be put in, and the greatest care is taken
of everything, even if they know you do not mean to open the cases for
months.

If it were only warmer, how delightful it would all be! The cold
spoils everything to a certain extent. At night we have to choose
whether to be half frozen in our beds, or stifled with the fumes of
charcoal from the _hibatchis_.

_Thursday, February 8th_.--The sunrise over the city, with the river
and mountains beyond, was superb. We breakfasted at eight; but even by
that hour the courtyard and passage were crowded with vendors of
curiosities of all sorts, and no doubt great bargains might have been
picked up. But we had no time to lose, for our train started at 9.30,
and we had a delightfully rapid drive to the station through the sunny
streets of Kioto.

Arrived at Kobe, we went first to lunch with some friends, and
immediately after hastened on board to receive the foreign Ministers
and other friends; and did not land again that evening.

_Friday, February 9th_.--We left by ten o'clock train for Osaka, which
has been called the Venice of Japan. It is intersected by innumerable
rivers and canals, and boats were continually making their appearance
at points where they were least expected, as our _jinrikisha_ men
hurried us along the narrow and not very sweet-smelling streets. We
went so fast that, more than once before we reached the Mint, I
thought we should have been tipped into one of the canals, as we
turned a sharp corner. Our men upset the baskets and stalls that
encroached on the road, in the most unceremonious manner; but their
proprietors did not seem to mind, many of them quietly moving their
wares out of the way as they heard the shouts that announced our
approach. The smell in the fish-market was disgusting, and enough to
poison the air for miles around, but the people did not seem to mind
it in the least.

At last we left the river and town, and, climbing a slight eminence,
crossed the first moat by a stone bridge, and reached the guard-house
on the other side. There was some hesitation at first about admitting
us; but it was soon overcome. This castle, the last stronghold of the
Tycoon, is built on exactly the same plan as the _yashgis_ we had
already visited, but much stronger, being composed of enormous blocks
of stone. One wonders how human labour could ever have transported
them from their quarry to this place, for some measured 40 ft. long by
20 ft. high. We crossed the three moats and the three enclosures, now
all full of barracks and soldiers. In the very centre, the old well
and a little square tower are still standing, part of the Tycoon's
original residence, which was destroyed by fire. The view from the top
over the town and surrounding country is very fine. You can see
countless streams coming from the mountains, and flowing into
Odawarra, on which Osaka is situated. The course of the river itself
could be traced to the bay; and the line of coast to Kobe, and the
far-off mountains in the Inland Sea were plainly visible.

On returning to the Mint we found luncheon awaiting us, and afterwards
spent a pleasant time looking at a wonderful collection of curios.

The Imperial Mint of Japan is a large handsome building, in great
force just now, for the whole of the old money is being called in and
replaced by the government. The contrast between the two moneys is
very great. The ancient coinage consisted of long thin oval obangs and
shobangs, worth from two dollars to eighteen pounds each, square
silver itzeboos, and square copper pieces, with a hole in the centre;
while that which is taking its place is similar to European coinage,
and is marked in English characters, and ornamented with Japanese
devices, such as the phoenix and the dragon. It did not seem worth
while to go minutely over the Mint, as it is arranged on exactly the
same principle as the one in London, and the processes are carried out
in the same manner.

Osaka used to be the emporium of all the inland commerce, and was
considered the pearl of Japanese cities. After the revolution, and
when the Mint was built, there was some intention of making it the
capital of the empire. That idea was, however, abandoned; and the
inconvenience of having the Mint so far away from the seat of
government is greatly felt, all the bullion having to be sent
backwards and forwards at great expense by sea. Commerce has now
almost deserted Osaka, owing to the difficulty experienced by large
ships in anchoring near the town, and the impossibility of their
crossing the bar. The foreign consuls and representatives have all
left the place for the newly established settlement at Kobe, where
they feel safer, with men-of-war at anchor just under their windows.

[Illustration: Wayside Travellers.]

There was just time to go round some of the old streets, and to some
of the shops, before the hour by which we were due at the station.
Osaka is famous for its waxworks and theatres. Five of the best of
these have, however, been burnt down within the last eighteen months,
with terrible loss of life. We heard that a short time ago there was
nearly being serious trouble, in consequence of one of the managers
having produced on the stage, in a most objectionable manner, a
representation of the cruel and unprovoked assassination of an officer
and two men, part of a boat's crew of a French ship. The English and
French consuls went to the governor of the town, who promised that the
piece should be stopped, and the obnoxious placards announcing the
performance removed at once. But his instructions were not complied
with, for the next day the piece was again performed, and the placards
were still there. Some French sailors, luckily accompanied by their
officers, saw the latter and wanted to tear them down; but they were
persuaded to wait while the consuls were telegraphed for. They came at
once, and again saw the governor, who sent some soldiers to stop the
play and remove the bills; and so the affair ended peaceably.

We reached Kobe about seven o'clock, and went on board at once to
dinner.

_Saturday, February 10th_.--We were to have gone early this morning to
Arrima, a village in the mountains, situated among groves of bamboos,
where there are mineral springs and a hot-water bath, in which people
bathe in the old style. But the weather was impossibly bad for our
intended expedition, with showers of snow and sleet. We waited till
half-past eleven, and then landed and talked of going to Osaka again
by train; but finally decided that even this was not practicable, and
that we had better stay and potter about at Kobe and Hiogo. The
children set out to buy toys, whilst I went with a lady to pay another
visit to the white horse and monkeys at the temple, and then walked on
to a waterfall, prettily situated in a ravine, a little way behind the
town. We afterwards visited several pawnbrokers' shops, at all of
which there was something interesting to be seen. Many are perfect
museums; but their proprietors never seem to care much to show you
what they have, unless you are accompanied by a resident or some one
they know. Then they invite you into the iron fire-proof 'godown' or
store, at the back, and out of funny little boxes and bags and parcels
produce all sorts of rare and curious things which have been sent to
them to be sold, or which they may possibly have bought themselves. It
is not of the slightest use to go to the large shops, full of things,
if you want anything really good, for you will only find there
articles specially prepared for the European and American market.

I am very glad to hear that Dr. Dresser is here, collecting,
lecturing, and trying to persuade the Japanese to adhere to their own
forms and taste in art and decoration. It is a great pity to observe
the decadence of native art, and at the same time to see how much
better the old things are than the new. A true Japanese artist never
repeats himself, and consequently never makes an exact pair of
anything. His designs agree generally, and his vases are more or less
alike, without being a precise match. He throws in a spray of flowers,
a bird, or a fan, as the fancy strikes him, and the same objects are
therefore never placed in exactly the same relative position. Modern
articles are made precisely alike, not only in pairs, but by the dozen
and the hundred.

There are beautiful bantams to be seen in some of the shops here; but
they cannot be bought, as they are private pets. They seem generally
very small, and one I saw to-day had his head far behind his tail,
which divided in the middle outwards, and fell forward on either side
of his neck in the most extraordinary way. How he picked up his food
and got through life, I am sure I don't know. There are plenty of
little Japanese dogs; but they are not seen to advantage this cold
weather, and there would be great difficulty in getting them home.

I bought some fine bantams at Yokohama, and a whole cage full of
rice-birds. They are the dearest little things, and spend most of the
day bathing and twittering, occasionally getting all together into one
nest, with their twenty-five heads peeping out. They are exactly like
a magnified grain of rice, with legs and a bill. I hope I shall take
them home alive, as they have borne the cold very well so far. We have
also some mandarin ducks on board, and some gold and silver fish with
two tails. Our sailors have over a hundred birds of their own, which
never appear on deck, except on very sunny days. I don't know where
they can keep them, unless they stow them away in their Japanese
cabinets.

We went on board about dark, and a few friends came to dinner.

_Sunday, February 11th_.--About 7 a.m., two Japanese officers came on
board with a message which nobody could understand. When we went on
deck, we saw that all the ships were dressed, and concluded that we
had been asked to do the same; but we thought it better to send ashore
to ascertain positively. The next difficulty was to get a Japanese
flag. Tom went on board the 'Thabor,' a Japanese ship, to borrow one,
and found everything was in bustle and confusion, news having arrived
from Kiusiu that the rebels were mustering in great force, and that
they had seized some ships. The 'Thabor,' 'Mihu Maru,' and three
others, are therefore to go through the Inland Sea to Nagasaki this
afternoon.

The Japanese admiral sent word early this morning that he would come
on board at two o'clock with some of his captains, and the French
admiral also expressed a hope that it would be convenient to receive
him and his captains at three. Their visits occupied nearly all the
afternoon. We afterwards landed with the French admiral, paid some
farewell visits, and went to look at a collection of old lacquer and
Satsuma china, before we returned to the yacht.




CHAPTER XXI.

THE INLAND SEA.

    _Dipped in the lines of sunset, wreathed in zones,_
    _The clouds are resting on their mountain thrones;_
    _One peak alone exalts its glacier crest,_
    _A golden paradise above the rest._
    _Thither the day with lingering steps retires,_
    _And in its own blue element expires._

_Monday, February 12th_.--Fires were lighted at 4 a.m., and by six we
were steaming slowly out of the beautiful bay of Kobe. It was a cold
bright morning, with a strong head wind, increasing every moment as we
proceeded, until, in the straits of Akashi, it became almost
impossible to make any way against it. There was not much sea, but the
wind impeded our progress so much, that it was at last reduced to one
mile instead of nine an hour. The straits are very fine, and the old
castle presents an admirable specimen of the architecture of a
Daimio's residence.

We proceeded across the Harima Nada, where we were more or less
exposed to the open sea, and where we took more water on board than we
had done in the gale before arriving at Yokohama. There were no big
waves, but we rolled tremendously, and the spray came over us, though
the mere force of the wind seemed to keep the sea down.

After struggling until twelve o'clock, and having done but little good
for the last three hours, Tom determined to run back, and in a short
time we found ourselves once more at anchor in the harbour of Kobe. It
was a work of considerable difficulty, owing to the strong wind and
tide, to steer safely among the numerous vessels, and for a few
minutes we thought we were aground, as we did not make the slightest
progress, though the engines were working ahead full speed. The
proveedor's boat came out to us as soon as we were perceived, and we
landed in her; but it was as much as the six stout oarsmen could do to
make way against the wind.

We went for a walk, or rather a scramble, to the waterfall, half-way
up to the Temple of the Moon. Much of the ground was covered with
snow, the streams were frozen at the sides, and there were hanging
icicles to be seen, six feet in length; and yet on either side were
camellias and tea-trees covered with red and white blossoms,
orange-trees, laden with fruit; gold-fish swimming about in ponds,
overhung with maidenhair fern, besides pteris and hothouse ferns,
shaded by bamboos, palms, and castor-oil plants. The order of
vegetation seems to be as much reversed as everything else in this
strange country. In England all those plants would require
conservatories, or at least sheltered spots, and the greatest care,
instead of being exposed to frost and snow.

Getting on board again was even a more difficult business than landing
had been; but we arrived at last without mishap.

_Tuesday, February 13th_.--The wind dropped at sunset, and as it
continued calm all night, Tom ordered fires to be lighted at 4 a.m. By
six o'clock, however, it was blowing harder than ever, and we
therefore decided to make an excursion to Arrima instead of attempting
another start.

We went ashore to make the necessary arrangements, and it was settled
that we should start at ten o'clock, which we did, with the Consulate
constable as our guide.

We had three men to each _jinrikisha_, and went along at a merry pace
through the long straggling towns of Kobe and Hiogo. The cold was
intense, and before we started our poor _jinrikisha_ men were
shivering until they nearly shook us out of the vehicles. Soon they
were streaming with perspiration, and at our first halting-place they
took off almost all their garments, though it was as much as we could
do to keep warm in our furs and wraps. We waited while they partook
copiously of hot tea and bowls of rice, and bought new straw shoes, or
rather sandals, for less than a farthing a pair.

To-day being the Japanese New Year's Day, all the little shrines in
the houses and along the road were prettily decorated, and had
offerings of rice, _saki_, and fruit deposited upon them. The spirits
of the departed are supposed to come down and partake, not of the
things themselves, but of the subtle invisible essence that rises from
them. The road now became very pretty, winding through the valleys,
climbing up and dipping down the various hills, and passing through
picturesque villages, where all the people, leaving their meals or
their games, came out to look at us, while some of the children
scampered on to secure a good view of the foreigners, and others ran
away frightened and screaming. They were all dressed in dark blue
clothes, turned up with red, with bright embroidered _obis_ and
flowers in their elaborately dressed hair. I have managed to get some
dolls' wigs, which give a good idea of the various styles of
hair-dressing.

In rather more than three hours we reached Arrima, a village far more
beautifully situated than any we had seen, in the very centre of the
mountains, where a dozen valleys converge into one centre. On one side
are mineral springs, on the other a river. Bamboos grow luxuriantly on
all sides, and the inhabitants of the various valleys obtain their
livelihood by manufacturing from them all sorts of articles: boxes for
every conceivable purpose; baskets, fine and coarse, large and small,
useful and ornamental, coloured and plain; brushes, pipes, battledores
and shuttlecocks, sticks, spoons, knives and forks, sauce ladles,
boats, lamps, cradles, &c.

The first glimpse of the village is lovely; that from the bridge that
crosses the river is still more so. We clambered up narrow streets,
with quaint carved houses and overhanging balconies, till we reached a
tea-house, kept by a closely shaven bonze, or priest. He seemed very
pleased to see us, and bowed and shook hands over and over again. He
placed his whole house at our disposal, and a very clean, pretty, and
well-arranged house it was, with a lovely little formal garden,
ornamented with mimic temples and bridges of ice, fashioned by the
hard frost, with but little assistance from the hand of man. Bits of
wood and stone, a few graceful fern-leaves and sprays of bamboo, and a
trickling stream of water produced the most fairy-like crystalline
effects imaginable. If only some good fairy could, with a touch of her
wand, preserve it all intact until a few months hence, what a delight
it would be in the hot summer weather!

To-day the paper house was indeed cold; but even so slight a shelter
from the bitter wind was acceptable, though we regretted the screens
could not be opened to enable us to admire the prospect on all sides.
The luncheon basket being quickly unpacked, the good priest warmed our
food and produced a bottle of port wine, which he mulled for our
benefit. Cheered and refreshed we proceeded on our way, leaving him
much delighted with what seemed to us but a small recompense for his
courtesy.

Every house and shop in those narrow picturesque streets was a study
in itself, and so were the quaint groups of people we met, and who
gazed eagerly at us. We looked into the public baths, two oblong
tanks, into which the mineral springs came bubbling up, thick and
yellow, and strongly impregnated with iron, at a temperature of 112 deg..
They are covered in, and there is a rough passage round them. Here, in
the bathing season, people of both sexes stand in rows, packed as
tight as herrings in a barrel, and there are just as many outside
waiting their turn to enter. To-day there were only two bathers,
immersed up to their chins in the steaming water. They had left all
their clothes at home, and would shortly have to pass through the
streets without any covering, notwithstanding the cold.

[Illustration: Arrima. The Village of Bamboo Basket Work]

From the baths we went to some of the best basket shops, where the
beauty and cheapness of the articles exposed for sale offered great
temptations. We had to disturb our _jinrikiska_ men, who were enjoying
their frugal meal at a separate tea-house. It was beautifully served,
and as clean and nicely cooked as possible, though consisting of
viands which we might not have fancied, such as various kinds of fish,
seaweed, sea-snails (_beche de mer_), and rice. Each man had his own
little table and eight or ten separate dishes, a bottle of _saki_,
tea-pipe, and _hibatchi_, arranged exactly as ours had been at the
tea-house at Yokohama. How well they managed their chop-sticks, how
quickly they shovelled the food down, and how clean they left each
dish! Habit is everything.

We were anxious to make the best of our way home, and starting at
four, with but a short stop at the halfway tea-house, we reached the
hotel soon after seven, having taken less than an hour to come five
miles over a very bad road, an inch deep in mud. So much for a
'man-power carriage,' the literal translation of the word
_jinrikisha_.[18] Soon after an excellent dinner we returned on board,
so as to be ready for an early start to-morrow morning.

[Footnote 18: Or 'pull-man-car,' as it is sometimes called.]

_Wednesday, February 14th_.--We were called at 4 a.m. Fires were
lighted, but before steam was up the wind had risen; so our start was
once more postponed to the afternoon. We steamed out to the buoy, from
among the shipping, in order to be able to get away more easily at
night. The wind generally goes down at sunset, and Tom hoped that, by
taking our departure then, we should get through the worst part of the
Inland Sea before the wind again rose with the sun.

After breakfast we went ashore, and dispersed in different directions,
to meet again at the hotel for luncheon. Then we all again separated,
the children going to the circus, whilst I took a drive, with a pair
of black and white Hakodadi ponies, to the foot of the hills behind
the town.

It was a pleasant circuit by pretty valleys, and brought us back to
the town by a different road. I went to pick up the children at the
circus, and found them just coming out, with delighted faces, having
most thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They went on board to tea, but
Mabelle and I went with the Consul in _jinrikishas_ to a Japanese
theatre at Hiogo. The streets were crowded with holiday-makers; for
to-day is the first of the Chinese new year, as yesterday was the
first of the Japanese new year. The floor of the theatre was crowded
with people, all squatting on their heels, each with his or her
chow-chow box and _hibatchi_ or brazier of burning charcoal to keep
themselves warm. The performance frequently goes on for ten or twelve
hours, with short intervals and whole families come and take up their
abode at the theatre for twelve hours at a time. The acting was not
at all bad, and the performers were beautifully dressed.

We did not stay very long at the theatre, but were soon tearing back
again through the streets to the Consulate. These quick rides in a
_jinrikisha_, especially at night, are very amusing. You have the
pleasure of going at a high speed, and yet, being on a level with the
people, you can see much more of them and of their manners than would
be possible in a carriage.

When we reached the Consulate we found the chief of the police of the
foreign settlement waiting for the Consul, to inform him that Japanese
soldiers were patrolling the town with fixed bayonets, alleging that
information had been sent to the Governor that some of the rebels were
in the hills at the back of the town, and might appear at any moment.
The ships-of-war were to be communicated with at once for the
protection of the inhabitants. They do not expect a general attack
here, but seem to think the rebels' plan is to creep up by degrees to
Osaka, where the Mikado is shortly expected to stay, and take
possession of his person and the imperial treasure at one blow.

When I got on board the 'Sunbeam' again, I found that steam was up and
all was ready for starting; but the wind was still strong against us,
and it was evidently necessary again to wait until four o'clock
to-morrow morning.

We were rolling a good deal, and, coming along the engine-room
passage, my foot slipped, a door banged to, and my thumb was caught in
the hinge and terribly crushed. Dressing it was a very painful affair,
as the doctor had to ascertain whether the bone was broken, and I
fainted during the operation. At last I was carried to my cabin and
put to bed, after taking a strong dose of chloral to soothe the
agonising pain.

_Thursday, February 15th_.--I wonder if anybody who has not
experienced it can realise the stupefying, helpless sensation of being
roused up from a sound sleep, in the middle of the night, on board
ship, by the cry of 'Fire!' and finding oneself enveloped in a smoke
so dense as to render everything invisible.

[Illustration: The Yacht on Fire.]

At 2.30 a.m. I was awakened by a great noise and a loud cry of 'The
ship is on fire!' followed by Mr. Bingham rushing into our cabin to
arouse us. At first I could hardly realise where we were, or what was
happening, as I was half stupid with chloral, pain, and smoke, which
was issuing from each side of the staircase in dense volumes. My first
thought was for the children, but I found they had not been forgotten.
Rolled up in blankets, they were already in transit to the deck-house.
In the meantime Mr. Bingham had drenched the flames with every
available jug of water, and Tom had roused the crew, and made them
screw the hose on to the pump. They were afraid to open the hatches,
to discover where the fire was, until the hose and _extincteurs_ were
ready to work, as they did not know whether or not the hold was on
fire, and the whole ship might burst into a blaze the moment the air
was admitted. Allen soon appeared with an _extincteur_ on his back,
and the mate with the hose. Then the cupboard in Mr. Bingham's room
was opened, and burning cloaks, dresses, boxes of curios,
portmanteaus, &c., were hauled out, and, by a chain of men, sent on
deck, where they were drenched with sea-water or thrown overboard.
Moving these things caused the flames to increase in vigour, and the
_extincteur_ was used freely, and with the greatest success. It is an
invaluable invention, especially for a yacht, where there are so many
holes and corners which it would be impossible to reach by ordinary
means. All this time the smoke was pouring in volumes from the
cupboard on the other side, and from under the nursery fireplace. The
floors were pulled up, and the partitions were pulled down, until at
last the flames were got under. The holds were next examined. No
damage had been done there; but the cabin floor was completely burnt
through, and the lead from the nursery fireplace was running about,
melted by the heat.

The explanation of the cause of the fire is very simple. Being a
bitterly cold night, a roaring fire had been made up in the nursery,
but about half-past ten the servants thought it looked rather
dangerous and raked it out. The ashpan was not large enough, however,
to hold the hot embers, which soon made the tiles red-hot. The
woodwork caught fire, and had been smouldering for hours, when the
nurse fortunately woke and discovered the state of affairs. She tried
to rouse the other maids, but they were stupefied with the smoke, and
so she rushed off at once to the doctor and Mr. Bingham. The former
seized a child under each arm, wrapped them in blankets, and carried
them off to the deck-house, Mabelle and the maids following, with more
blankets and rugs, hastily snatched up. The children were as good as
possible. They never cried nor made the least fuss, but composed
themselves in the deck-house to sleep for the remainder of the night,
as if it were all a matter of course. When I went to see them, little
Muriel remarked: 'If the yacht is on fire, mamma, had not baby and I
better get our ulsters, and go with Emma in the boat to the hotel, to
be out of the way?' It is the third time in their short lives that
they have been picked out of bed in the middle of the night and
carried off in blankets away from a fire, so I suppose they are
getting quite used to it.

There can be no doubt that the preservation of the yacht from very
serious damage, if not from complete destruction, was due to the
prompt and efficient manner in which the _extincteurs_ were used. It
was not our first experience of the value of this invention; for, not
very long before we undertook our present expedition, a fire broke out
in our house in London, on which occasion the _extincteurs_ we
fortunately had at hand rendered most excellent service in subduing
the flames.

By half-past three all danger was past, and we began to settle down
again, though it took a long time to get rid of the smoke.

At four o'clock we weighed anchor, and once more made a start from
Kobe, and passed through the Straits of Akashi. The wind was dead
ahead, but not so strong as when we made our previous attempts. It was
bitterly cold, the thermometer, in a sheltered place, being only one
degree above freezing, and the breeze from the snowy mountains cutting
like a knife.

We were all disappointed with our sail to-day; perhaps because we had
heard so much of the extreme beauty of the scenery, and this is not
the best time of year for seeing it. The hills are all brown, instead
of being covered with luxuriant vegetation, and all looked bleak and
barren, though the outlines of the mountain ranges were very fine. We
were reminded of the west coast of Scotland, the Lofoden Islands in
the Arctic Circle, and the tamer portions of the scenery of the
Straits of Magellan.

After passing through the Straits, we crossed the Harima Nada--rather
a wider portion of the sea--and then entered the intricate channels
among the islands once more. There are three thousand of them
altogether, so one may take it for granted that the navigation is by
no means easy. The currents and tides are strong, sunken rocks are
frequent, and the greatest care is requisite. Indeed, many people at
Yokohama urged Tom to take a pilot.

[Illustration: Yoken San or Sacred Mountain, Inland Sea]

We had one lovely view in the afternoon of the island of Yoken San,
with its snowy mountain at the back, and a pretty little village, with
a few picturesque junks in the foreground. The yacht passed between
Oki Sama and Le Sama, steering straight for the cone-shaped little
island of Odutsi. Towards dusk we made the light of Nabae Sinaon Yo
Sina, and, steering past it, had to take several sharp and awkward
turns, to avoid two reefs off Siyako and Usi Suria. Thus we threaded
the St. Vincent's Channel, and, avoiding the Conqueror bank by another
sharp turn, dropped anchor at Imo Ura, in Hurusima, precisely at 8.30
p.m. Tom had been on the look-out since 5 a.m., and we were all more
or less worn out with the fatigue and excitement of last night.

_Friday, February 16th_.--Off again at 4 a.m. The scenery was much
finer than yesterday, and the wind not quite so bitterly cold.

About 11 a.m. I heard a hurrying to and fro, and once more the cry of
'Fire!' This time it was in the store-room that it broke out. The iron
plates on which the saloon and galley grates are fixed had become
red-hot, and the wooden deck below had consequently caught fire. The
boxes on both sides, containing the stores, were in flames; but they
were quickly removed, water was poured down, and the second and third
fires were thus soon extinguished.

[Illustration: Hurusima, Inland Sea.]

_Saturday, February 17th_.--At 3.15 a.m. we began to slow; at 3.45 the
anchor was dropped near the lighthouse of Isaki, and we waited until
daylight before proceeding through the Straits of Simono-seki. About
nine o'clock a fresh start was made, under steam, but before long the
wind freshened, and as soon as the anchorage near the town was reached
we let go once more, near two men-of-war, who had preceded us from
Kobe, but who were now wind-bound, like ourselves.

To our astonishment, we also saw a large ship from Nova Scotia at
anchor, the 'Mary Fraser,' although this is not a free port, nor
within treaty limits. The gig was lowered at once, and we rowed
alongside to gain what intelligence could be learned, as well as to
ascertain what likelihood there might be of our obtaining fresh
supplies here. The captain was very civil and kind, and volunteered to
go on shore with us and act as our interpreter. We landed opposite a
large teahouse, where we were immediately surrounded by a crowd of
Japanese, who stared at us eagerly and even touched us, only through
curiosity. They pursued us wherever we went, and when we entered a
tea-house or shop the whole crowd immediately stopped, and if we
retired to the back they surged all over the front premises, and
penetrated into the interior as far as they could. A most amusing
scene took place at one of the tea-houses, where we went to order some
provisions for the yacht. It was rather a tedious process, and when we
came out of the back room we found the whole of the front of the place
filled by a gaping, curious crowd. The proprietor suggested that they
should retire at once, and an abrupt retreat immediately took place,
the difficulties of which were greatly augmented by the fact that
every one had left his high wooden shoes outside, along the front of
the house. The street was ankle deep in mud and half-melted snow, into
which they did not like to venture in their stockings; but how the
owners of two or three hundred pairs of clogs, almost exactly alike,
ever found their own property again I do not understand, though they
managed to clear out very quickly. I believe Muriel and I were the
chief objects of attraction. They told us that no European lady or
child had ever been at Simono-seki before. It is not a treaty port, so
no one is allowed to land, except from a man-of-war, without special
permission, which is not often given; it is, besides, the key to the
Inland Sea, and the authorities are very jealous about any one seeing
the forts. There is only one European resident here, connected with
the telegraph; and a dull time he must have of it. The wire crosses
the Straits a few miles higher up.

The streets appeared to be full of soldiers, patrolling singly and in
pairs, with fixed bayonets. The temples were being used as barracks,
and the principal buildings seemed to be strongly guarded; but
otherwise everything appeared to go on as usual.

We waded through the mud and snow to the proverbial end of all things,
always followed by the same crowd, and stared at by all the
inhabitants of the houses we passed. They seemed very timid, and
inclined to run away directly we turned round. Still, their curiosity,
especially respecting my sealskin jacket and serge dress, was
insatiable, and I constantly felt myself being gently stroked and
touched.

We returned to the yacht, and whilst we were at lunch some officers
came on board to say that, this not being a treaty port, we could not
purchase any provisions, except through them, and with special
permission. This was soon arranged, and our visitors were rewarded for
their trouble by being shown over the yacht.

_Sunday, February 18th_.--We were awakened in the night by a heavy
gale, with snow and sleet beating furiously on the deck. In the
morning the land was covered with snow, the water froze as it was
pumped on deck, and the bitter wind howled and whistled through the
rigging. In the afternoon the wind even increased in violence, the
snowstorms became more frequent, and the sky was dark and overcast.

We had service at eleven and again at four. The sun set cold and
stormy, promising a wild night. At times the shore was quite hidden by
the snowstorms, though only a few cables' lengths off.

_Monday, February 19th_.--The wind and weather became worse than ever,
and, as time was precious, Tom decided to retrace our steps for a
short distance and go through the Bungo Channel, between the islands
of Sikok and Kiusiu, instead of going out to sea through the
Simono-seki Straits, as, in the latter case, the gale would be right
in our teeth, and we should make but little progress. Now we shall be
under the shelter of Kiusiu and the Linschoten and Luchu islands for
at least two days, and so make a fair wind of it. Steering due south,
too, we may hope to be soon out of this horrid weather. The only
drawback to this plan is that we shall miss seeing Nagasaki, which I
much regret. There are no great sights there, but the scenery is
pretty, and the place is interesting owing to the fact that it was the
first and for many years the only, port open to foreigners, and also
the scene of the cruel murders of Christians and the site of the
beautiful island of Pappenberg. Shanghai I do not think I regret so
much, though Tom would have been interested to talk with the merchants
about their commerce, and to see their houses, many of which are, I am
told, perfect palaces. It would be very cold there, too, at this time
of year; and I do so long to lose my cough and feel warm once more.

At 8.30 p.m. we weighed and proceeded under steam. The views of the
mountains, between the snowstorms, were lovely, with the fresh-fallen
snow shining in an occasional gleam of sunshine. We soon passed the
Isaki light, with wind and tide in our favour, and at sunset found
ourselves in the open waters of the North Pacific.

_Tuesday, February 20th_.--A lovely day; the thermometer already
twenty degrees higher than it was yesterday. The wind had dropped, and
at 10 a.m. it had become so calm that fires were lighted.

It was delightful to see everybody and everything on board--people,
children, animals, and birds, all and each sunning themselves, and
trying to get thawed after the freezing they have had. We have
unfortunately lost one of the Hawaiian geese, which I much regret, as
it is irreplaceable. None have, I believe, ever been exported before.
The pig from Harpe Island is very well. We have not seen him all the
cold weather, as he has been buried in straw in a box, but they say
that the cold has stopped his growth.

We were continually passing islands throughout the day, sometimes six
or seven being in sight at one time, some with active and more with
extinct volcanoes. We saw smoke issuing from three of the cones, but
by night we were too far off to notice the flames.

_Wednesday, February 21st_.--The calm still continues. The sun is
bright, the sky blue, and the atmosphere warm. During the night we
passed Suwa Sima, Akuisi Sima, and Yoko Sima.

In the afternoon a light breeze sprang up; we stopped steaming, and
before nightfall were bowling along smoothly at the rate of ten knots.

_Thursday, February 22nd_.--The same delightful breeze continued
throughout the night and most of the day. By noon we had done 220
miles. Everybody had on summer clothes, and we all felt ourselves
gradually expanding after being shrivelled up by the cold of the last
month.

I should never recommend anybody to come to Japan in the winter. You
do not see it at its best, I am sure, and the scanty protection
afforded by houses and carriages makes travelling a penance rather
than a pleasure. Travellers, however, who wish to see Japan should do
so at once; for the country is changing every day, and in three years
more will be so Europeanised that little will be left worth seeing; or
a violent anti-foreign revulsion of feeling may have taken place, and
then the ports will be closed more strictly than they were even before
the execution of the first treaty. Nothing that we can give them do
they really want; their exports are not large; and they have learned
nearly all they care to know from the foreigner. We have seen many of
the European engineers of Japanese vessels, and they all agree in
declaring that the natives learn to imitate anything they see done
with wonderful quickness. These men also averred that in a few years
there will not be a single foreigner employed in Japan, as the
Japanese will be quite in a position to dispense with such aid; and
although the Government pay foreigners in a high position exceedingly
well, their service offers no career to a young man. His engagement is
for so many years, and when his subordinates have learned to do the
work he may go where he likes. I am bound to add that I have heard the
contrary opinion equally strongly expressed; but the facts I have
mentioned make me lean rather to the former than to the latter side of
the story.

_Friday, February 23rd_.--Another pleasant day. The wind dropped,
fires were lighted, and at 4.30 p.m. we proceeded under steam. Soon
after seven, whilst we were at dinner, the table gave a sudden lurch,
which was followed by the sound of rain on the deck above. We found
that a breeze had sprung up all at once, and had carried away some of
our head-sails before they could possibly be taken in. Even under
close-reefed canvas we had a most uneasy night, racing along at from
ten to twelve knots an hour.

_Saturday, February 24th_.--We were rushing along, literally _through_
the water all day, for there was plenty of it on deck--not really any
great quantity, but sufficient to make everything wet and
uncomfortable.

At 1.35 we made the island of Ockseu, a capital land-fall, and very
satisfactory in every way; for the sky was too much overcast to get an
observation, and the currents hereabouts are strong and variable.
During the night the wind fell light, but we maintained a speed of
from nine to ten knots.

_Sunday, February 25th_.--A much finer day. At 8 a.m. we had run 299
knots since the same time yesterday. We met a large steamer and passed
a brigantine; also several Chinese junks. About twelve o'clock we saw
a flag being waved frantically from a junk not far from us. At first
we thought something was wrong with them; but soon a small boat put
off with three men, and we found, on its arrival alongside, that it
contained a pilot anxious for a job. He was very disappointed that we
would not let him come on board; but Tom always likes doing the
pilotage himself. The boat was a rough wash-tub kind of affair, not
much better than those used by the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego and
Patagonia.

About two o'clock we entered the tropics; but the weather is now
colder again, and not nearly so pleasant as it was two days ago. I
suppose it is owing to the north-east monsoon.

In the course of the afternoon we received several more offers of
pilotage, all of which were declined; and at 7.45 we got up steam and
lay to all night, ready to go into Hongkong harbour at daylight.

_Monday, February 26th_.--At 4 a.m. we found ourselves close under the
light on the eastern end of the island of Hongkong. We were surrounded
by islands, and the morning was dark and thick; so we waited till
5.30, and then steamed on through the Kowloon passage up to the city
of Victoria, as it is really named, though it is generally called
Hongkong. The channel is long, and in some places so narrow that it is
like going through a mountain pass, with barren hills and rocks on
either hand; but the combined effect of the blue waters, and red,
brown, and yellow hills, is very fine.

Off the town of Victoria the crowd of shipping is immense, and it
became a difficult task to thread our way between the fleets of
sampans and junks. The latter are the most extraordinary-looking craft
I ever saw, with high, overhanging sterns and roll, or rather draw, up
sails, sometimes actually made of silk, and puffed like a lady's net
ball-dress. Then their decks are so crowded with lumber, live and
dead, that you wonder how the boats can be navigated at all. But still
they are much more picturesque than the Japanese junks, and better sea
boats. The sampans are long boats, pointed at both ends, and provided
with a small awning. They have deep keels; and underneath the floor
there is one place for a cooking fire, another for an altar, and a
third where the children are stowed to be out of the way. In these
sampans whole families, sometimes five generations, live and move and
have their being. I never shall forget my astonishment when, going
ashore very early one morning in one of these strange craft, the
proprietor lifted up what I had thought was the bottom of the boat,
and disclosed three or four children, packed away as tight as
herrings, while under the seats were half-a-dozen people of larger
growth. The young mother of the small family generally rows with the
smallest baby strapped on to her back, and the next-sized one in her
arms, whom she is also teaching to row. The children begin to row by
themselves when they are about two years old. The boys have a gourd,
intended for a life-preserver, tied round their necks as soon as they
are born. The girls are left to their fate, a Chinaman thinking it
rather an advantage to lose a daughter or two occasionally.

Many of these sampan people have never set foot on shore in their
lives, and this water-life of China is one of the most extraordinary
features of the country. It is what strikes all travellers, and so has
tempted me to a digression.

A lieutenant from the flag-ship came on board and piloted us into a
snug berth, among the men-of-war, and close to the shore, where we
were immediately surrounded by sampans, and pestered by pertinacious
Chinese clambering on board. The donkey-engine, with well-rigged hose,
soon, however, cleared the decks, bulwarks, and gangways, and we were
not bothered any more.

[Illustration: How we were boarded by Chinese and dispersed them.]

After breakfast we landed on the Praya, a fine quay, extending the
whole length of the town. On it are situated many of the large stores,
offices, and markets of the city. The streets are wide and handsome,
and the buildings in European style, with deep verandahs and arcades,
all built of stone. The town is built on the side of a hill, with
ferny, moss-covered banks, overhung by tropical trees, close to some
of the principal offices. At the back are the mountains, the peak
overhead, with the signal station on the top, always busily at work,
making and answering signals with flags as ships and junks enter or
leave the harbour. Soldiers and sailors abound in the streets; and if
it were not for the sedan-chairs and palanquins, in which everybody is
carried about by Chinese coolies with enormous hats, one might easily
fancy oneself at dear old Gib., so much do these dependencies of the
Crown in foreign countries resemble one another, even in such
opposite quarters of the globe.

We were very anxious to leave the yacht here and to go up to Canton;
but we find there is no possible hotel at the latter place. This is
rather unfortunate, as, after our long residence on board, and all the
knocking about at sea, the yacht requires repairing and refitting. She
looks very well painted white, and the change is a great comfort in
hot weather; but white paint does not wear well, and in order to
maintain her good looks she ought to receive a fresh coat at every
port. We can only go up the Pearl River at the very top of the tide,
for in several places there are not fourteen feet of water over the
shoals. It will, therefore, take us two or three days to accomplish
what the steamers do in six hours, and a great waste of time will be
involved.

To-day, for the first time, we have heard 'pidgin English' seriously
spoken. It is very trying to one's composure to hear grave merchants,
in their counting-houses, giving important orders to clerks and
compradors in what sounds, until one gets accustomed to it, like the
silliest of baby-talk. The term really means 'business English;' and
certain it is that most Chinamen you meet understand it perfectly,
though you might just as well talk Greek as ordinary English to them.
'Take piecey missisy one piecey bag topside,' seems quite as difficult
to understand as 'Take the lady's bag upstairs' would be; but it is
easier to a Chinaman's intellect.

From the Praya we went up the hill to write our names in the
Governor's book. It was a beautiful road all the way, running between
lovely gardens and beneath shady trees. Government House is a fine
building, situated on a high point of land, commanding extensive views
in every direction. After a pleasant chat we descended the hill again,
and proceeded to the Hongkong hotel for tiffin. It does not seem a
very desirable abode, being large, dirty, and ill-kept. At one
o'clock a bell rang, and the visitors all rushed in and took their
places at various little tables, and were served with a 'scrambly'
sort of meal by Chinese boys.

After this, a carriage was sent for us, and we drove to the
race-course. This is the fourth and last day of the races, and there
is to be a ball to-night to wind up with, to which everybody seems to
be going. The drive was a very pleasant one, the road presenting a
most animated appearance, with crowds of soldiers, sailors, Chinamen,
Parsees, Jews, all hurrying along by the side of the numerous
sedan-chairs and carriages. We were puzzled to imagine where, on this
rocky, hilly island, there could possibly be found a piece of ground
flat enough for a race-course. But the mystery was solved when we
reached a lovely little valley, about two miles from the town, where
we found a very fair course, about the size of that at Chester, but
not so dangerous. The grand stand is a picturesque object, with its
thatched roof, verandahs, and sun-blinds. The interior, too, looks
comfortably arranged, and certainly contains the most luxurious
basket-chairs one could possibly desire. There are a lawn and a
paddock attached, and very good temporary stables, over many of which
are private stands and tiffin-rooms.

Hongkong races are a great event, and people come down from Canton,
Shanghai, Macao, and all sorts of places for them. Everybody knows
everybody, and it seems to be altogether a most pleasant social
meeting. Many ladies were present. Some of the races were capital, the
little Chinese ponies scuttling along at a great pace under their big
riders, whose feet seemed almost to touch the ground. There was also a
race for Australian horses. But the most amusing event of all was the
last scramble for Chinese ponies ridden by Chinese boys, in which
horses and riders seemed to be exactly suited to one another.

The sun went down, and it grew cold and dark before all was over. The
gentlemen walked back to the town, and I went down to the
landing-place in solitary state, in a carriage driven by an Indian
coachman, attended by a Chinese footman. I was immediately surrounded
by a vociferating crowd, each individual member of which was anxious
to extol the merits of his own sampan. The carriage having driven off,
I was quite alone, and had some difficulty in dispersing them, and
being allowed to enter the sampan I had selected. However, I did
succeed at last, and making my boatmen understand that they were to
take me to 'the white ship,' as the yacht is generally called,
returned on board to rest.




CHAPTER XXII.

TO CANTON UP THE PEARL RIVER.

    _Sails of silk and ropes of sandal_
    _Such as gleam in ancient lore,_
    _And the singing of the sailors,_
    _And the answer from the shore._

_Tuesday, February 27th_.--Until half-past ten we were occupied in the
pleasant task of reading news from home--all good this time, I am
happy to say. At 10.30 we landed and went up the hill to breakfast
with Sir Arthur and Miss Kennedy, and heard a good deal about the
colony. It is wonderful to think that thirty years ago it scarcely
existed, and now it is a large and flourishing place, with splendid
houses, institutions, roads, and gardens. We were also most agreeably
surprised by the beauty of the scenery. It is really lovely, and,
though the hills around are barren, wherever cultivation has been
attempted, vegetation appears to flourish luxuriantly. The climate
cannot be very bad, judging by the healthy look of the residents and
troops. Typhoons seem to be the greatest drawback. They come without
any warning, and it is impossible to guard against them and their
disastrous effects. Thousands of lives, and millions of pounds' worth
of property, are destroyed in a few hours. We have been shown some of
the effects of a very severe typhoon that occurred in 1874. It seems
almost incredible that the mere force of the wind can snap iron posts
in two, break granite columns, and blow off heavy roofs.

After breakfast the ceremony of presenting the departing Governor with
a State umbrella took place. It was a token of respect from ten
thousand Chinese inhabitants of Hongkong, and is the greatest
compliment that can be paid to any official. It arrived in a large
camphor-wood box, and the address, beautifully embroidered in gold
thread and silk, was enclosed in a magnificent sandal-wood box about
four feet long, covered with the richest carving. Precisely at twelve
some forty vermilion-coloured visiting cards were handed in, with the
name of each member of the deputation written in Chinese and English
characters. The visitors were all received in a large drawing-room,
whilst we ladies observed the proceedings through the doors leading
from a smaller room. It is not considered etiquette by the Chinese for
ladies to appear at these public ceremonies.

[Illustration: Chinese Visiting Cards]

After it was all over, a stroll through the town, and a look at the
shops, filled up the rest of the time in the morning, until we went on
board to fetch the children for an expedition up the Peak to the
signal station. As usual many visitors came on board the yacht, and it
was later than we had intended before we could make a start. I had to
be carried up the steep ascent in a chair, but the children and dogs
thoroughly enjoyed themselves scampering about. The little ones picked
heaps of flowers and ferns. The dogs had not been allowed to land
before, as everybody told me they would be sure to be stolen directly.
We returned on board before sunset, and had time for a little rest
before some friends arrived to dinner. We have shipped two Chinese
boys here to work in the pantry and kitchen. They are excellent
servants as a rule, but how they will get on with the others, and how
they will like the sea-life, remains to be proved.

_Wednesday, February 28th_.--I was up and off at half-past six to the
market, and returned to a late breakfast on board; after which a large
party of China merchants came as a deputation to invite Tom to fix a
day to dine with them. I think they proposed to pay him what is for
them an unusual compliment, partly because they were pleased with some
remarks he made yesterday at Government House, and partly because they
think so much of his enterprise in making a voyage round the world in
a yacht with his wife and family. They examined everything on board,
and seemed to be specially interested in Tom's Board of Trade
certificate, which one of their number translated in full for the
benefit of the rest.

The Chinese part of the town stands quite away from the foreign
settlement. It is dirty and crowded in spite of its wide streets, and
the large, gaily coloured houses have the names and advertisements of
their proprietors painted all across them. The theatre is in the
middle of the city, and was densely crowded. A box had been reserved
for us, for the ordinary seats are like a carpenter's bench. On the
floor of the house men and women sat together, but in the galleries
the men sat apart, and there were separate boxes for the women. The
acting was rough, and accompanied by the most discordant music. The
scenery seemed of an excessively rudimentary description, as you may
imagine when I tell you that a steep hill up which the hero and
heroine climbed with great difficulty was composed of five kitchen
chairs arranged in a pyramid on the top of three kitchen tables, held
in position by men in their ordinary dress. The fugitives were
supposed to be a Tartar general and his wife, escaping from their
enemies after a great battle. The fighting was renewed at intervals
with great noise and spirit. Some of the costumes were very fine, and
cost from 30_l_. to 40_l_. apiece.

[Illustration: On the Pearl River.]

From the theatre we drove to the Chinese hospital, and thence to the
Chinese recreation ground, where we saw sundry itinerant quacks and
vendors of all sorts of rubbish. As we were walking along, having left
our chairs for a few minutes to look at the Chinese shops, a man
picked my pocket of a one-dollar note. Mr. Freer and the Doctor saw,
pursued, and caught him. He vehemently protested his innocence, but to
no avail. They proceeded to strip him, found the note, gave him a good
shaking, and told him to go.

_Thursday, March 1st_.--A most lovely morning ushered in the new
month, which having come in like the most peaceable of lambs, will, we
hope, not end like a roaring lion just as we expect to be in the
middle of the Bay of Bengal. We left the yacht at 7.30, and went on
board the 'Kin-Shan,' which is a regular American river steamer with
beam engines and many deck-houses, which are painted white. The lower
deck is crowded with the most inferior class of Chinese, some eight
hundred of them being on board. It gave us rather a turn to see them
all padlocked in under the hatchways and iron gratings. At each
opening is posted an armed sentinel, ready to fire among the crowd in
case of any disturbance. In the saloon, also, is a stand of pistols,
and rifles with fixed bayonets, ready for the European passengers to
defend themselves with, in case of emergency. These are very necessary
precautions, on account of the numerous pirates who occasionally ship
in disguise among the crowd, murder the passengers and crew, and take
possession of the steamer. Not quite two years ago a vessel belonging
to this same company was assailed in that way. Every one on board was
murdered, and the ship taken to Macao.[19] But this voyage was more
prosperous, the captain was most kind and polite, and the boat clean
and comfortable. An excellent breakfast and an elaborate tiffin were
served at noon, all for the sum of four dollars a head, including
wine, beer, and spirits _ad libitum_.

[Footnote 19: I have since been told that only the captain and one or
two passengers were killed, and the vessel run ashore near, not at
Macao.]

On first leaving Hankow the course lies between islands and through
fine mountain passes. Later on the country becomes flat and
uninteresting till the Bogue Forts are reached. Here are to be seen
the remains of the old forts knocked down by the French and English
guns.

[Illustration: Bogue Forts.]

About one o'clock we reached Whampoa, the leading port of Canton. The
Pearl River is too shallow for large steamers to go up any higher; so
we stopped here only a few minutes to disembark some of the Chinese
passengers, and from this point the interesting part of the voyage
began. The river, as well as all the little supplementary creeks, was
alive with junks and sampans--masts and sails stuck up in every
direction, gliding about among the flat paddy-fields. Such masts and
sails as they are! The mandarins' boats, especially, are so
beautifully carved, painted, and decorated, that they look more as if
they were floating about for ornament than for use. Just about two
o'clock our large steamer was brought up close alongside the wooden
pier as easily as a skiff, but it must require some skill to navigate
this crowded river without accident. On the shore was an excited,
vociferating crowd, but no one came to meet us; and we had begun to
wonder what was to become of us--what we should do, and whither we
should go in a strange city, where we did not know a soul--when we
were relieved from our embarrassment by the appearance of the
Vice-Consul, who came on board to meet a friend. He told us that,
owing to an expected ball, all the houses were unusually full, and
that not one of the people who had been written to could take us in.
This was rather bad news, but we felt sure that something would turn
up.

[Illustration: Chinese Pagoda and Boats.]

We landed, and, after proceeding a short distance along the dirty
street, came to a bridge with iron gates, which were thrown open by
the sentry. After crossing a dirty stream we found ourselves in the
foreign settlement--Shameen it is called--walking on nice turf, under
the shade of fine trees. The houses of the merchants which line this
promenade are all fine, handsome stone buildings, with deep verandahs.
At the back there are compounds with kitchen gardens, and under the
trees dairy cows are grazing. Every household appears to supply itself
with garden and farm produce, and the whole scene has a most English,
home-like appearance. We went first to the Vice-Consul, and then to
the Jardine Hong. All the business houses retain the names of the
firms to which they originally belonged, even when they have passed
into entirely different hands. After a little chat we went on to the
Deacon Hong, where we found they had just done tiffin, and where we
met some old friends.

By the kindness of various people, to whom we were introduced, we all
found ourselves gradually installed in luxurious quarters. As for us,
we had a large room comfortably furnished in English fashion, with a
bath-room attached. All the houses are very much alike, and are fitted
up in an equally comfortable style.

About three o'clock we started in five chairs, with Man-look-Chin for
our guide. Tom vigorously protested against not being allowed to use
his own legs, but everybody assured him that it was impossible in the
crowded streets of the city, so he had to submit to being carried. No
Chinaman, except those employed by foreigners, is allowed to cross any
of the bridges over the stream, which completely surrounds the foreign
settlement, and makes the suburb of Shameen a perfect island. There
are iron gates on each bridge, guarded by sentries. The contrast in
the state of things presented by the two sides of the bridge is most
marvellous. From the quiet country park, full of large villas and
pretty gardens, you emerge into a filthy city, full of a seething,
dirty population, and where smells and sights of the most disgusting
description meet you at every turn. People who have seen many Chinese
cities say that Canton is the cleanest of them all. What the dirtiest
must be like is therefore beyond my imagination. The suburbs of the
city, where all sorts of cheap eating-shops abound--where the butchers
and fishmongers expose the most untempting-looking morsels for sale,
and where there are hampers of all sorts of nasty-looking compounds,
done up ready for the buyer of the smallest portion to take home--are
especially revolting. The Chinese, however poor, like several courses
to their meals, which are served in little bowls on a small table to
each person, and eaten with chop-sticks, as in Japan. It is to gratify
this taste that what we should think a very minute fish, or a tiny
chicken, is cut up into half-a-dozen pieces and sold to several
purchasers.

The Chinese are very fond of fish, and are most ingenious in
propagating, rearing, and keeping them. The dried-fish and seaweed
shops are not at all picturesque or sweet-smelling, especially as all
the refuse is thrown into the streets in front. Men go about the
streets carrying pails of manure, suspended on bamboo poles across
their shoulders, and clear away the rubbish as they go. I was very
glad when we got through all this to the better part of the town, and
found ourselves in a large shop, where it was cool, and dark, and
quiet.

The streets of the city are so narrow, that two chairs can scarcely
pass one another, except at certain points. The roofs of the houses
nearly meet across the roadway, and, in addition, the inhabitants
frequently spread mats overhead, rendering the light below dim and
mysterious. Every shop has a large vermilion-coloured board, with the
name of its occupant written in Chinese characters, together with a
list of the articles which he sells, hung out in front of it, so that
the view down the narrow streets is very bright and peculiar. These
highways and byways are not unlike the bazaars at Constantinople and
Cairo, and different wares are also sold in different localities after
the Eastern fashion. This is, in some respects, a great advantage, as,
if you are in search of any particular article, you have almost an
unlimited choice of whatever the town has to offer. But, on the other
hand, if you want a variety of articles, it is an inconvenient
arrangement, as you have to go all over the place to find them, and
probably have to visit the most opposite quarters. We saw thousands of
china vases, and bowls, and tea and dinner services, some very
handsome, but many extremely poor. There were a few specially made for
the French Exhibition next year, which were exceedingly handsome. We
visited an ivory shop, and saw some splendid specimens of carving. One
man had been for fifteen months employed in carving on one side of an
enormous elephant's tusk the representation of a battle scene, and on
the other that of a thanksgiving procession. It will take him at least
another year to finish the job. It is for the Paris Exhibition. It
will be quite interesting to look for our old Japanese and Chinese
friends and their products on that occasion.

From ivory carving, we went to a black-wood furniture shop, where we
saw some very handsome things, by no means dear considering the amount
of time and labour bestowed upon them. We finished up with the Temple
of the Five Hundred Genii, whose five hundred carved wooden statues,
thickly gilt, all very ugly, and all in different attitudes, stand
round the statue of a European in sailor's costume, said to be meant
for Marco Polo, but, whoever it may be, evidently considered an object
at least of veneration, if not of worship.

We now returned through the dirty city to Shameen, and the relief,
after crossing the bridge into an open space where one could breathe
freely and see the blue sky, was indescribable.

_Friday, March 2nd_.--Before we had finished breakfast the other
gentlemen strolled in from their various quarters, and the drivers and
guides arrived from the Vice-Consul's. A long morning's work had been
mapped out for us--thirteen sights before luncheon, then a visit to
the French Consulate, followed by eight more objects of interest to be
seen before we finally crossed the Pearl River to visit the Honan
Temple. Quitting the pretty cool suburb by another bridge, we passed
through streets quite as dirty as those of yesterday, until the heart
of the city had been reached. We went first to the wedding-chair shop,
where they keep sedan-chairs, of four qualities, for hire whenever a
wedding occurs. Even the commonest are made gorgeous by silver gilding
and lacquer, while the best are really marvels of decorative art,
completely covered with the blue lustrous feathers of a kind of
kingfisher. In shape they are like a square pagoda, and round each
tier are groups of figures. The dresses are also made of expensive
feathers, but then they last for generations. There are no windows to
these strange conveyances, in which the bride is carried to her future
home, closely shut up, with joss-sticks burning in front of her.
Recently there have been two sad accidents. In one case the journey
was long, there was no outlet for the smoke of the joss-sticks, and
when they arrived and opened the chair, the bride was found dead from
suffocation. The other accident occurred through the chair catching
fire while it was passing through some narrow street under an archway.
The bearers became frightened, put down their burden, and ran away,
leaving the poor bride locked up inside to be burnt to death.

From the chair shop we went to the embroiderers, to see them at work.
Their productions are exquisite, and it is a pity that better
specimens are not seen in England. The process of lacquer-making, too,
is very interesting. We had, however, to go from house to house to
witness it, as only one portion of the process is carried on at
each--from the gradual coating of the roughest wood with three
coatings of varnish, until it is finally ornamented with delicate
designs, and polished ready for sale. In appearance, price, and length
of wear there is a vast difference.

The next thing to see was the weaving of silk, which is done in the
most primitive manner. One man throws the shuttle, while another forms
the pattern by jumping on the top of the loom and raising a certain
number of threads, in order to allow the shuttle to pass beneath them.

Then came a visit to the Temple of Longevity, a large Buddhist temple,
with a monastic establishment of about ninety priests attached to it.
It contains three shrines with large figures, but nothing specially
interesting. There is a large pond in the midst of the garden, covered
with duckweed, and full of beautiful gold and silver fish of many
kinds. The Chinese certainly excel in producing gold and silver and
red fish; they are the pets of every household, and are of all
colours, some being striped and spotted, and boasting any number of
tails from one to five.

Outside the temple stands the Jadestone Market, where incredible
quantities of this valuable stone change hands before ten o'clock
every morning, both in its rough and its polished state. The stalls
are the simplest wooden stands, and the appearance of the vendors is
poor in the extreme. The contents of the stalls, however, are worth
from 500_l_. to l,000_l_. (not dollars), and there are hundreds of
these stalls, besides an entire jadestone street which we afterwards
visited. We saw several of the shops, and asked the prices, as we
wished to take home a small specimen; but they had no good carved
cups, which were what we wanted, and for what they had they asked an
enormous price. Jadestone is a material very difficult to work, and in
many cases the result attained is not worth the labour expended upon
it. It is more a _tour de force_ than a work of art. For a good stone,
green as grass (as it ought to be), they ask from 2,500 to 3,000
dollars; for a necklace of beads, 5,000 dollars; a set of mandarin's
buttons, one large and one small, 50 to 150 dollars.

After looking in at the goldbeaters at work, we next made our way to
the temple of the Five Genii who are supposed to have founded the city
of Canton. Being a Tartar temple, all the gods have a totally
different cast of features, and are represented as Tartars with long
beards. It is much frequented by women of all classes, and up and down
the numerous flights of steps leading from one shrine to another, poor
little women tottered and tumbled on their crippled feet, holding on
to one another, or leaning on a stick. This temple is interesting as
having been the head-quarters of the allied forces during their
occupation of Canton from 1858 to 1861. The great bell in front of its
principal shrine has been broken by a shot.

We then went to see the Flowery Pagoda, built A.D. 512, but now
deprived of many of its decorations. The Brilliant Pagoda too, so
called from having once been covered with snow-white porcelain, is now
only a tall brick-pointed tower nine stories high.

By this time we all felt hungry, and began to wend our way towards the
_yamun_. On the outskirts may be seen prisoners in chains, or wearing
the _cangue_, imprisoned in a cage, or else suffering one of the
numerous tortures inflicted in this country. I did not go to see any
of these horrors, neither did I visit the execution ground; but some
of the party did, and described it as a most horrible sight. Skulls
were lying about in all directions, one of which had been quite
recently severed from its trunk, the ground being still moist and red.

Whilst luncheon was being prepared we were taken over many of the
rooms and through several of the enclosures within the fortified gate.
The meal was excellently served by Chinese servants in a charmingly
picturesque Tartar room, and after it we wandered about the park,
looked at the deer, and admired the Nagasaki bantams. Then it was time
to start on a fresh sight-seeing expedition, armed with fresh
directions. We set out first to the Temple of the Sleeping Buddha,
where there is a large, fat, reclining figure; then to the Temple of
Horrors--most rightly named, for in a suite of rooms built round three
sides of a large yard are represented all the tortures of the Buddhist
faith, such as boiling in oil, sawing in pieces, and other horrible
devices. The yard itself is crowded with fortune-tellers,
charm-sellers, deputy prayer-sayers, beggars, and all sorts of natural
horrors, exhibiting various deformities. Altogether it is a most
unpleasant place, but still it is one of the characteristic sights of
Canton.

We saw the hotel to-day for the first time. It certainly looks very
hopeless. We were anxious to get in there if possible, as we were such
a large party, but everybody assured us it was quite out of the
question. One gentleman told me he never could fancy using his
portmanteau again after even laying it down on the floor for a few
minutes. The absence of a decent hotel renders Canton an inconvenient
place to visit. The European inhabitants are so very kind, however,
that you are sure to find somebody who knows somebody else who will
hospitably take you in.

[Illustration: The French Consulate, Canton.]

From the Temple of the Sleeping Buddha we went up the height to
breathe a little fresh air, and to see the five-storied pagoda at the
spot where the allied forces had encamped, the Chinese groves in the
White Cloud Mountains beyond, and to gain a general view of the
densely crowded city beneath. It is all too flat, however, to be
picturesque. The three _yamuns_ at our feet, with their quaint towers,
grand old trees, flags, and the broad Pearl River on the other side of
the city, are the only elements of positive beauty in the landscape.

We soon descended the heights again, and, passing the Cantonese
Viceroy's _yamuns_ paid our promised visit to the French Consul. His
residence is, if possible, more quaint and beautiful than that of the
English representative. The trees are finer, especially one grand
avenue leading from the outer gates to the private apartments. We were
most kindly received, and shown a wonderful collection of embroideries
and china. It was a delightful visit, but we could not remain so long
as we wished, for we had to see the water clock. The tower in which it
stands is approached by a flight of steps, and was built between the
years A.D. 624 and 907; but it has been repaired, destroyed, and
repaired again, several times, having suffered in the bombardment of
the town by the allied fleets in 1857.

In the next street, Treasury Street (said to be the finest in Canton),
you can buy burning-sticks measured to mark the time. They are
extremely cheap, but perfectly accurate, and there seems little doubt
that they have been used by the Chinese for thousands of years before
the Christian era. Here, too, were the large spectacles so much worn;
opium pipes, with all the paraphernalia for cleaning and smoking them;
water pipes in pretty little shagreen cases, and many other curious
articles in common use, of which we purchased specimens.

In the Feather Street are innumerable shops containing nothing but
feathers of all kinds for mandarins, actors, and ordinary mortals; but
the great ambition of every Chinaman is to have a feather from the
Emperor. They are all called peacocks' feathers, one-eyed, two-eyed,
or three-eyed; but, in reality, many are pheasants' feathers. Some of
these are from six to eight feet in length, beautifully marked. I
bought two pairs over seven feet long. They are rather rare, as each
bird has only two long feathers, and these are in perfection for but
one month in the year. In this part of the town stands a Chinese
restaurant where only cats' and dogs' flesh is served.

We passed through innumerable streets, and at last reached the site of
the old factories, now only occupied by a large and comfortable
house. We were to have embarked in the Consul's boat to visit the
Temple of Honan across the river, but it was getting late, and every
one felt tired; so we went back through more crowded streets to rest
awhile, before dressing to go out to dinner at eight o'clock. The
dinner was quite English in its style, and the table looked bright
with tea roses, heliotrope, and mignonette. The tables had been
charmingly decorated by the Chinese servants, and even the _menu_ had
been arranged by them. They seem to save their employer all trouble,
even that of thinking, provided the services of really good ones can
be secured. We have had one for only a few days, and he does
everything for Tom and me. He appears to know exactly what we want to
do or to wear, and to foresee all our requirements.

But to return to this famous repast. It began with mandarin
bird's-nest soup, with plover's eggs floating about in it. This is a
most delicious and dainty dish, and is invariably given to strangers
on their first arrival. I had no idea how expensive the nests were--54
dollars a 'pice,' weighing something under a pound, and it takes two
or three ounces to make enough soup for ten people. We had a very
pleasant evening, talking over our experiences, and exchanging news as
to our mutual friends.




CHAPTER XXIII.

CANTON AND MACAO TO SINGAPORE.

    _I remember the black wharves and the slips,_
      _And the sea-tides tossing free;_
    _And Spanish sailors with bearded lips,_
    _And the beauty and mystery of the ship_
      _And the magic of the sea._

_Saturday, March 3rd_.--After our long day yesterday, I did not feel
capable of acceding to our guide's proposition of being ready at
half-past six for further explorations before breakfast; besides, I
wanted to see Tom off by the nine o'clock boat to Hongkong, whither he
is obliged to return in order to keep various engagements. The rest of
our party have been persuaded to stay and see a little more of Canton
and to go with some friends to a picnic in the White Cloud Mountains.
A man brought home to-day some carved tortoiseshell brushes Tom has
given me, with my name carved on them in Chinese. It was no good
writing it down for the engraver's guidance, and after hearing it
several times he wrote down two characters; but, as the 'r' is always
a great difficulty with the Chinese, I much doubt whether the name is
really spelt rightly.

It was a most lovely day, and after some little delay we started about
eleven o'clock, a party of seventeen in chairs. There were five ladies
and twelve gentlemen--a most unusual proportion for Canton. A few
weeks ago they wanted to get up a fancy ball, but there were only five
available ladies to be found in the city. At present one or two more
are staying here on a visit, and it is hoped that another ball may be
arranged during this week, which may boast of at least ten ladies. We
made quite a procession, with all the servants, bearers, &c., and
excited much commotion in the narrow streets, where everybody had to
make room and squeeze up to the side as best they could. Men ran
before to clear the way for us, shouting, yet we were more than an
hour going right across the city. On our way we passed through the egg
market, saw the pork fat market, and the poulterers' and fowlers'
shops.

We managed to visit several shops for the sale of real Chinese
furniture. It is very handsome, but curious in form, and, unless it is
specially ordered, is made only for native use. Every Chinese
reception-room is furnished in precisely the same manner, with very
stiff high arm-chairs, arranged in two rows. A small four-legged
square table stands between every two chairs, a larger table in the
centre, and at the end an enormous sofa, big enough for six or eight
people to lie full length across. The sofa and all the chairs have
marble seats and backs, and the tops of the tables are also made of
marble, or a sort of soapstone, on which may be distinguished natural
landscapes slightly assisted by art.

In the bird market I saw numbers of little birds for sale, for the
Chinese are very fond of pets, and often take their birds out in a
cage with them when they go for a walk, just as we should be
accompanied by a dog. They manage to tame them thoroughly, and when
they meet a friend they will put the cage down, let the bird out, and
give him something to eat while they have their chat. I saw this done
several times.

Our road next led us through part of the butchers' quarter, where rats
were hung up by their tails, and what looked very like skinned cats
and dogs dangled beside them. Whole cages full of these animals were
exposed for sale alive. Some travellers deny that the Chinese eat cats
and dogs and rats, but there can be no question that they do so,
though they may be the food only of the lower classes. Nor do 'puppy
dogs' appear on the tables of the rich, except on one particular day
in the year, when to eat them is supposed to bring good luck. We
passed a restaurant where I was shown the bill of fare in Chinese of
which this is a translation:--

BILL OF FARE FOR THE DAY.

One tael of black dog's flesh          eight cash.
One tael weight of black dog's fat     three kandareems of silver.
One large basin of black cat's flesh   one hundred cash.
One small basin of black cat's flesh   fifty cash.
One large bottle of common wine        thirty-two cash.
One small bottle of common wine        sixteen cash.
One large bottle of dark rice wine     sixty-eight cash.
One small basin of cat's flesh         thirty-four cash.
One large bottle of plum wine          sixty-eight cash.
One small bottle of plum wine          thirty-four cash.
One large basin of dog's flesh         sixty-eight cash.
One small bottle of pear wine          thirty-four cash.
One large bottle of timtsin wine       ninety-six cash.
One small bottle of timtsin wine       forty-eight cash.
One basin of congee                    three cash.
One small plate of pickles             three cash.
One small saucer of ketchup or vinegar three cash.
One pair of black cat's eyes           three kandareems of silver.

The fish here, as at Hongkong, are almost always kept alive in large
tubs of water, with a fountain playing over them. They even keep some
sea-fish alive in salt water. But it is in the north of China that
they excel in rearing fish in large quantities. At Foo-chow cormorant
fishing may be seen to great perfection, and it is said to be a very
amusing sight.

At last the city gates were reached, and we once more found ourselves
outside the walls, and able to breathe again. Here a halt was made,
and several of the party got out of their chairs and walked, and we
were able to chat, whilst we wended our way by a narrow path through
nursery gardens and graveyards. In fact the whole of the White Cloud
Mountain is one vast cemetery--it is the Chinese Holy of Holies,
whither their bodies are sent, not only from all parts of China, but
from all parts of the world. Frequently a shipload of 1,500 or 1,600
bodies arrives in one day. The Steamboat Company charges 40 dollars
for the passage of a really live Chinaman, as against 160 dollars for
the carriage of a dead celestial. The friends of the deceased often
keep the bodies in coffins above ground for several years, until the
priests announce that they have discovered a lucky day and a lucky
spot for the interment. This does not generally happen until he--the
priest--finds he can extract no more money by divination, and that no
more funeral feasts will be given by the friends. We passed through
what they call the city of the dead, where thousands of coffins
waiting for interment were lying above ground. The coffins are large
and massive, but very plain, resembling the hollowed-out trunk of a
tree. The greatest compliment a Chinese can pay his older relatives is
to make them a present of four handsome longevity boards for their
coffins. Outside the city of the dead were the usual adjuncts of a
large burying-place--coffin-makers and stone-carvers, all living in
dirty little cottages, surrounded by pigs, ducks, and young children.

Leaving the cemetery and cottages behind, a too short drive brought us
to a lovely valley, where we were to lunch at the temple of San Chew,
in one of its fairest gorges. The meal was spread in a large hall in a
most luxurious manner, and as the wind changed almost immediately, and
it came on to rain, we felt ourselves fortunate indeed in having
reached shelter. We had plenty of wraps, and the bearers ran us down
the hill again very quickly, so that we suffered no discomfort.

By the time the city walls were reached, the rain had ceased, and a
glorious red sunset glowed over the roofs, glinting through the holes
in the mats, and lighting up all the vermilion boards and gold
characters with which the houses and shops are decorated. The shadowy
streets were now full of incense or rather joss-stick smoke, for
every house and every shop has a large altar inside, and a small one
without, before which joss-sticks are burnt more or less all day long.

The streets seemed more crowded even than usual. Each of our bearers
struck out a line of his own, and it was not until we reached Shameen
that we all met again. Some of the ladies had been rather frightened
at finding themselves alone in the dark, crowded city. We were only
just in time to dress and go to dinner, after which we examined an
interesting collection, chiefly of coins, in process of formation for
the French Exhibition. They are carefully arranged, and will be most
valuable and interesting when complete. The knife-and-fork coins are
particularly curious and rare, some of them being worth as much as
5,000 dollars each, as curiosities. All the coins have holes in the
centre for convenience of carriage.

_Sunday, March 4th_.--There is a fine cathedral at Shameen, in which
the services are beautifully performed. A lady kindly lent us her
house-boat, and after service we rowed across to Fa-ti, to see the
gardens of Canton. They are laid out on an island a very short way up
the river. The gardens are very wonderful, and contain plants cut into
all sorts of shapes, such as men, birds, beasts, fishes, boats,
houses, furniture, &c. Some are full-sized, others only in miniature.
But almost all must have required considerable time and patience to
reach their present growth, for their ages vary from 10 to 150 years.
There are other plants not so elaborately trained, but the effect of
the whole is rather too formal to be pretty. I managed to bring home
some euphorbias, cut into the form of junks, and some banyan trees,
one 100 and one 50 years old. I believe they are the first that have
ever reached England alive and have flourished. Not far from Fa-ti are
the duck-hatching establishments, and still further up the river are
the duck-sampans, where the crowds of ducks are reared. They are sent
out every morning to get their own living and return at night. Until
they learn to obey their keeper's call quickly the last duck is always
whipped. I am told it is most ridiculous to see the hurry of the last
half-dozen birds of a flock of some thousands of ducks. I was most
anxious to see them, but it is not the right time of year now. The
young ducks are only just beginning to hatch, and the old ones are not
numerous, and are mostly laying.

There was no time to go and see the temple of Honan, for we were more
anxious to avail ourselves of a chance of visiting some interesting
places in the Chinese city. We went through a street, consisting
entirely of fruiterers' shops, to which the name of Kwohlaorn, or
fruit-market, is applied. In this market, which is of great extent,
there is for sale at all seasons of the year an almost countless
variety of fruit.

A silkworm establishment was pointed out to us in the distance, but we
did not go over it, as we had seen many before, and it is not the best
season of the year. The silkworms are most carefully tended, the
people who look after them being obliged to change their clothes
before entering the rooms where they are kept, and to perform all
sorts of superstitious ceremonies at every stage of the insect's
growth. No one at all ailing or deformed is allowed to approach a
building where they are kept. The worms are supposed to be very
nervous, and are guarded from everything that can possibly frighten
them, as well as from all changes of temperature or disturbances of
the atmosphere. Thunder and lightning they are supposed specially to
dread, and great pains are taken to shelter them by artificial means,
and keep them from all knowledge of the storm.

The next place we visited was a bird's-nest-soup-shop street, where we
went into one of the best and most extensive establishments. There
were three or four well-dressed assistants behind the counter, all
busily occupied in sorting and packing birds' nests. Some of the best
were as white as snow, and were worth two dollars each, while a light
brown one was worth only one dollar, and the black dirty ones, full of
feathers and moss, could be purchased at the rate of a quarter dollar.

Certainly the Chinese seem an exception to the rule laid down by some
writers, that no people can flourish who do not rest every seventh
day. In many ways they are an abnormal people, one striking point in
their condition being the state of dirt and filth in which they not
only exist, but increase and multiply. The children look healthy and
happy too, in spite of these apparent drawbacks, and notwithstanding
the fact that in many cases their poor little feet must be cruelly
tortured by the practice of bandaging them tightly to make them small.

When we got back to Shameen there was time for a stroll along the
Bund. It is very pleasant, for the river runs close under the parapet,
and its surface is always covered with junks, sampans, and boats and
ships, going swiftly up or down with the strong tide. The walk is
shaded with trees, and seats stand at intervals all along it.

An agreeable saunter was followed by a quiet, pleasant little dinner,
and though we have been here only a few days we feel quite sorry that
this is to be our last night in Canton, so kind has everybody been to
us.

[Illustration: Chinese Foot and boot.]

_Monday, March 5th_.--I was awake and writing from half-past four this
morning, but before I got up, a woman who comes here every day to work
brought me some small ordinary shoes which I had purchased as
curiosities, and took the opportunity of showing me her feet. It
really made me shudder to look at them, so deformed and cramped up
were they, and, as far as I could make out, she must have suffered
greatly in the process of reducing them to their present diminutive
size. She took off her own shoes and tottered about the room in those
she had brought, and then asked me to show her one of mine. Having
most minutely examined it, she observed, with a melancholy shake of
the head, 'Missisy foot much more good, do much walky, walky; mine
much bad, no good for walky.'

Having said farewell to our kind hostess, we went off in the
house-boat to the steamer. There was a great crowd on the lower
deck--at least 900 Chinamen--to struggle through in order to reach the
European quarters. We found other friends on board, who had come to
see us off.

A few minutes before nine o'clock the bell rang as a signal for our
friends' departure, and we steamed ahead, among such a crowd of
sampans and junks that it was more like moving through a town than
along a river. No accident, however, occurred, though one junk and one
sampan had the very narrowest escape.

The voyage down took much longer than our voyage up, on account of the
tide being against us, and in consequence we did not reach Hongkong
until 3.30 p.m., when the gig with the children was soon alongside. We
got off as soon as we could, for we expected some friends to afternoon
tea on board the yacht. There was just time to dress before the first
visitors arrived, and by half-past six at least two hundred had come.
At one time quite a flotilla of boats lay around us, looking very
pretty with all their flags flying. I think the people enjoyed it very
much as something new, and we only wanted a band to enliven the
proceedings.

_Tuesday, March 6th_.--The little girls and I went ashore at 7.30, to
collect all our purchases with the help of a friend. We glanced at the
museum too, which contains some curious specimens of Chinese and
Japanese arms and armour, and the various productions of the two
countries, besides many strange things from the Philippine and other
islands. I was specially interested in the corals and shells. There
were splendid conch shells from Manilla, and a magnificent group of
Venus flower-baskets, dredged from some enormous depth near Manilla.
There were also good specimens of reptiles of all sorts, and of the
carved birds' heads for which Canton is famous. They look very like
amber, and are quite as transparent, being carved to a great depth. I
believe the bird is a kind of toucan or hornbill, but the people here
call it a crane.

It was now time to say good-bye to Hongkong and to our kind friends,
for we had to go on board the 'Flying Cloud,' which starts for Macao
at two o'clock precisely, and our passages had been taken in her. Tom
could not go with us, as he had fixed to-night for the dinner at which
the Chinese gentlemen proposed to entertain him; but he came to see us
off. We went out of the harbour by a different way, and passed along a
different side of the island of Hongkong, but the scenery was not
particularly interesting. Off Choolong a heavy ground-swell, called
'Pon choughai,' made us roll about most unpleasantly. In bad weather,
or with a top-heavy ship, this passage could not be attempted.
Sometimes there are very heavy fogs, and always strong currents, so
that the short voyage of forty-two miles is not absolutely free from
danger.

The town of Macao is situated on a peninsula at the end of the island
of the same name. It was the first foreign settlement in China
belonging to the Portuguese, and was once a fine, handsome town, with
splendid buildings. Unfortunately Macao lies in the track of the
typhoons, which at times sweep over it with a resistless force,
shattering and smashing everything in their career. These constantly
recurring storms, and the establishment of other ports, have resulted
in driving many people away from the place, and the abolition of the
coolie traffic has also tended to diminish the number of traders. Now
the town has a desolate, deserted appearance, and the principal
revenue of the government is derived from the numerous
gambling-houses.

We landed at the pier soon after five o'clock, and were carried
across the peninsula through the town to the Praya on the other side.
Here we found a large unoccupied mansion, situated in a garden
overlooking the sea, and, having delivered our Chinese letters, were
received with the greatest civility and attention by the comprador and
the servants who had been left in charge of our friend's house. The
rooms upstairs, to which we were at once shown, were lofty and
spacious, opening into a big verandah. Each room had a mosquito room
inside it, made of wire gauze and wood, like a gigantic meat-safe, and
capable of containing, besides a large double bed, a chair and a
table, so that its occupant is in a position to read and write in
peace, even after dark. This was the first time we had seen one of
these contrivances. By the direction of the comprador the house chairs
were prepared, and coolies were provided to take us for an expedition
round the town, while our things were being unpacked, and the
necessary arrangements made for our comfort. Macao is a thoroughly
Portuguese-looking town, the houses being painted blue, green, red,
yellow, and all sorts of colours. It is well garrisoned, and one meets
soldiers in every direction. We passed the fort, and went up to the
lighthouse, which commands a fine view over land and sea; returning
home by a different way through the town again, which we entered just
as the cathedral bell and the bells of all the churches were pealing
the Ave Maria. On our return we found a fire lighted and everything
illuminated, and by half-past eight we had a capital impromptu dinner
served. Chinese Tommy, who waited on us, had decorated the table most
tastefully with flowers. Macao is a favourite resort for the European
residents of Hongkong who are addicted to gambling. The gentlemen of
our party went to observe the proceedings, but to-night there were
only a few natives playing at fan-tan--a game which, though a great
favourite with the natives, appears very stupid to a European. The
croupier takes a handful of copper cash and throws it upon the table;
he then with chop-sticks counts the coins by fours, the betting being
upon the possible number of the remainder. It takes a long time to
count a big handful, and you have only one, two, three, or four to
back--no colours or combinations, as at _rouge-et-noir_, or
_trente-et-quarante_.

At Macao the sleep-disturbing watchmen, unlike those of Canton, come
round every hour and beat two sharp taps on a drum at intervals of
half a minute, compelling you to listen against your will, until the
sound dies away in the distance for a brief interval.

_Wednesday, March 7th_.--We started soon after ten o'clock on another
exploring expedition, going first in chairs through the town, and
across the peninsula to where we left the steamer yesterday. Here we
embarked--chairs, bearers, and all, in a junk, evidently cleaned up
for the occasion, for it was in beautiful order, and mats were spread
under an awning upon deck.

All along beneath the deck was a cabin, between two and three feet
high, which contained the altar, the kitchen, and the sleeping and
living apartments of the family. There was also a dear little baby,
two months old, which seemed to take life very quietly, while its
mother assisted its grandfather to row.

We soon reached the island of Chock-Sing-Toon, and disembarked at a
small pier near a village, which looked more like sampans pulled up on
the shore than huts or cottages. The children and I rode in chairs,
while the gentlemen walked, first over a plain covered with scrubby
palms, then through miles of well-cultivated plots of vegetable
ground, till we reached a temple, built at the entrance to the valley
for which we were bound. Thence the path wound beside the stream
flowing from the mountains above, and the vegetation became extremely
luxuriant and beautiful. Presently we came to a spot where a stone
bridge spanned the torrent, with a temple on one side and a
joss-house on the other. It was apparently a particularly holy place,
for our men had all brought quantities of joss-sticks and sacred paper
with them to burn. There was a sort of eating-house close by, where
they remained whilst we climbed higher up to get a view. The path was
well made, and evidently much used, judging from the large number of
natural temples we found adapted and decorated among the rocks. As
usual, our descent was a comparatively quick affair, and we soon found
ourselves on board the junk on our way back to Macao, beating across
the harbour.

Just before tiffin the yacht made her appearance, causing great
excitement in the minds of the natives. The gig was soon lowered and
came as close as she could. There was not water enough for her to come
within four miles of the shore, but we went out to meet her occupants.
Tom, who was one of them, looked so ill and miserable that I felt
quite alarmed for a few minutes, till the doctor comforted me by
assurances that it was only the effect of the Chinese dinner last
night--an explanation I had no difficulty in accepting as the correct
one after perusing the bill of fare. In their desire to do him honour,
and to give him pleasure, his hosts had provided the rarest
delicacies, and of course he felt obliged to taste them all. Some of
the dishes were excellent, but many of them were rather trying to a
European digestion, especially the fungus and lichen. One sort had
been grown on ice in the Antarctic Sea, the whale's sinews came from
the Arctic Ocean, the shark's fins from the South Sea Islands, and the
birds' nests were of a quality to be found only in one particular cave
in one particular island. To drink, they had champagne in English
glasses, and arrack in Chinese glasses. The whole dinner was eaten
with chop-sticks, though spoons were allowed for the soup. After
dinner there were some good speeches, the chief host expressing his
deep regret that their manners and customs did not permit them to ask
ladies, as they were particularly anxious to invite me, and had only
abandoned the idea of doing so after considerable discussion. I append
the bill of fare:--


_March_ 6, 1877.

BILL OF FARE.

4 _courses of small bowls, one to each guest, viz_.--

   Bird's-nest Soup
   Pigeon's Eggs
   Ice Fungus (said to grow in ice)
   Shark's Fins (chopped)

8 _large bowls, viz_.--

   Stewed Shark's Fins
   Fine Shell Fish
   Mandarin Bird's Nest
   Canton Fish Maw
   Fish Brain
   Meat Balls with Rock Fungus
   Pigeons stewed with Wai Shan (a strengthening herb)
   Stewed Mushroom

4 _dishes, viz_.--

   Sliced Ham
   Roast Mutton
   Fowls
   Roast Sucking Pig

1 _large dish, viz_.--

   Boiled Rock Fish

8 _small bowls, viz_.--

   Stewed Pig's Palate
   Minced Quails
   Stewed Fungus (another description)
   Sinews of the Whale Fish
   Rolled Roast Fowl
   Sliced Teals
   Stewed Duck's Paw
   Peas stewed

We went all round the town, and then to see the ruins of the
cathedral, and the traces of the destruction caused by the typhoon in
1874. Next we paid a visit to the garden of Camoens, where he wrote
his poems in exile.[20] The garden now belongs to a most courteous old
Portuguese, with whom I managed, by the aid of a mixture of Spanish
and French, to hold a conversation. The place where Camoens' monument
is erected commands, however, an extensive prospect, but we had
already seen it, and as Tom was anxious to get clear of the islands
before dark we were obliged to hasten away.

[Footnote 20: Luiz de Camoens, a celebrated Portuguese poet, born
about 1520; fought against the Moors, and in India; but was often in
trouble, and was frequently banished or imprisoned. During his exile
in Macao he wrote his great poem 'The Lusiads,' in which he celebrates
the principal events in Portuguese history.]

On reaching the yacht, after some delay in embarking, we slipped our
anchor as quickly as possible, and soon found ourselves in a nasty
rolling sea, which sent me to bed at once. Poor Tom, though he felt so
ill that he could hardly hold his head up, was, however, obliged to
remain on deck watching until nearly daylight; for rocks and islands
abound in these seas, and no one on board could undertake the pilotage
except himself.

_Thursday, March 8th_.--When I went on deck at half-past six o'clock
there was nothing to be seen but a leaden sky, a cold grey rolling
sea, and two fishing junks in the far distance, nor did the weather
improve all day.

_Friday, March 9th_.--Everybody began to settle down to the usual sea
occupations. There was a general hair-cutting all round, one of the
sailors being a capital barber, and there is never time to attend to
this matter when ashore. The wind was high and baffling all day. At
night the Great Bear and the Southern Cross shone out with rivalling
brilliancy: 'On either hand an old friend and a new.'

_Saturday, March 10th_.--A fine day, with a light fair breeze. Passed
the island of Hainan, belonging to China, situated at the entrance of
the Gulf of Tonquin, which, though very barren-looking, supports a
population of 150,000.

Repacked the curiosities and purchases from Canton and Hongkong, and
made up our accounts.

About noon we passed a tall bamboo sticking straight up out of the
water, and wondered if it were the topmast of some unfortunate junk
sunk on the Paranella Shoal. There were many flying-fish about, and
the sunset was lovely.

_Sunday, March 11th_.--We feel that we are going south rapidly, for
the heat increases day by day. The services were held on deck at
eleven and four.

About five o'clock I heard cries of 'A turtle on the starboard bow,'
'A wreck on the starboard bow.' I rushed out to see what it was, and
the men climbed into the rigging to obtain a better view of the
object. It proved to be a large piece of wood, partially submerged,
apparently about twenty or thirty feet long. The exposed part was
covered with barnacles and seaweed, and there was a large iron ring
attached to one end. We were sailing too fast to stop, or I should
have liked to have sent a boat to examine this 'relic of the sea' more
closely. These waifs and strays always set me thinking and wondering,
and speculating as to what they were originally, whence they came, and
all about them, till Tom declares I weave a complete legend for every
bit of wood we meet floating about.

_Tuesday, March 13th_.--About 2.30 a.m. the main peak halyards were
carried away. Soon after we gybed, and for two or three hours knocked
about in the most unpleasant manner. At daybreak we made the island of
Pulu Lapata, or Shoe Island, situated on the coast of Cochin China,
looking snowy white in the early morning light.

The day was certainly warm, though we were gliding on steadily and
pleasantly before the north-east monsoon.

_Wednesday, March 14th_.--The monsoon sends us along at the rate of
from six to seven knots an hour, without the slightest trouble or
inconvenience. There is an unexpected current, though, which sets us
about twenty-five miles daily to the westward, notwithstanding the
fact that a 'southerly current' is marked on the chart.

_March 16th_.--There was a general scribble going on all over the
ship, in preparation for the post to-morrow, as we hope to make
Singapore to-night, or very early in the morning. About noon Pulo Aor
was seen on our starboard bow. In the afternoon, being so near the
Straits, the funnel was raised and steam got up. At midnight we made
the Homburgh Light, and shortly afterwards passed a large steamer
steering north. It was a glorious night, though very hot below, and I
spent most of it on deck with Tom, observing the land as we slowly
steamed ahead half speed.




CHAPTER XXIV.


SINGAPORE.

    _Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks_
    _Grazing the tender herb, were interpos'd,_
    _Or palmy hillock, or the flow'ry lap_
    _Of some irriguous valley spread her store,_
    _Flowers of all hues, and without thorn the rose._

_Saturday, March 17th_.--We were off Singapore during the night. At 5
a.m. the pilot came on board and took us into Tangong Pagar to coal
alongside the wharf. We left the ship as soon as possible, and in
about an hour we had taken forty-three tons of coal on board and
nearly twenty tons of water. The work was rapidly performed by
coolies. It was a great disappointment to be told by the
harbour-master that the Governor of the Straits Settlement and Lady
Jervoise were to leave at eleven o'clock for Johore. We determined to
go straight to the Government House and make a morning call at the
unearthly hour of 8 a.m. The drive from the wharf was full of beauty,
novelty, and interest. We had not landed so near the line before, and
the most tropical of tropical plants, trees, flowers, and ferns, were
here to be seen, growing by the roadside on every bank and dust-heap.

The natives, Malays, are a fine-looking, copper-coloured race, wearing
bright-coloured sarongs and turbans. There are many Indians, too, from
Madras, almost black, and swathed in the most graceful white muslin
garments, when they are not too hard at work to wear anything at all.
The young women are very good-looking. They wear not only one but
several rings, and metal ornaments in their noses, and a profusion of
metal bangles on their arms and legs, which jingle and jangle as they
move.

The town of Singapore itself is not imposing, its streets, or rather
roads of wooden huts and stone houses, being mixed together
indiscriminately. Government House is on the outskirts of the city in
the midst of a beautiful park which is kept in excellent order, the
green turf being closely mown and dotted with tropical trees and
bushes. The House itself is large and handsome, and contains splendid
suites of lofty rooms, shaded by wide verandahs, full of ferns and
palms, looking deliciously green and cool. We found the Governor and
his family did not start until 11.30, and they kindly begged us to
return to breakfast at half-past nine, which we did. Before finally
leaving, Sir William Jervoise sent for the Colonial Secretary, and
asked him to look after us in his absence. He turned out to be an old
schoolfellow and college friend of Tom's at Rugby and Oxford; so the
meeting was a very pleasant one. As soon as the Governor and his suite
had set off for Johore we went down into the hot dusty town to get our
letters, parcels, and papers, and to look at the shops. There are not
many Malay specialities to be bought here; most of the curiosities
come from India, China, and Japan, with the exception of birds of
Paradise from New Guinea, and beautiful bright birds of all colours
and sizes from the various islands in the Malay Archipelago.

The north-east monsoon still blows fresh and strong, but it was
nevertheless terribly hot in the streets, and we were very glad to
return to the cool, shady rooms at Government House, where we
thoroughly appreciated the delights of the punkah.

There are very few European servants here, and they all have their own
peons to wait on them, and carry an umbrella over them when they drive
the carriage or go for a walk on their own account. Even the private
soldier in Singapore has a punkah pulled over his bed at night. It is
quite a sight to meet all the coolies leaving barracks at 5 a.m., when
they have done punkah-pulling.

At four o'clock Mr. Douglas called to take us for a drive. We went
first to the Botanical Gardens, and saw sago-palms and all sorts of
tropical produce flourishing in perfection. There were many beautiful
birds and beasts, Argus pheasants, Lyre birds, cuckoos, doves, and
pigeons, more like parrots than doves in the gorgeous metallic lustre
of their plumage. The cages were large, and the enclosures in front
full of Cape jasmine bushes (covered with buds) for the birds to peck
at and eat.

From the gardens we went for a drive through the pretty villas that
surround Singapore in every direction. Every house outside the town is
built on a separate little hill in order to catch every breath of
fresh air. There is generally rather a long drive up to the houses,
and the public roads run along the valleys between them.

It was now dark, and we returned to dine at Government House.

_Sunday, March 18th_.--At six o'clock this morning Mabelle and I went
ashore with the steward and the comprador to the market. It is a nice,
clean, octagonal building, well supplied with vegetables and curious
fruits. The latter are mostly brought from the other islands, as this
is the worst season of the year in Singapore for fruit. I do not quite
understand why this should be, for, as it is only a degree above the
line, there is very little variation in the seasons here. The sun
always rises and sets at six o'clock all the year round; for months
they have a north-east monsoon, and then for months together a
south-west monsoon.

We tasted many fruits new to us--delicious mangosteens, lacas, and
other fruits whose names I could not ascertain. Lastly, we tried a
durian, _the_ fruit of the East, as it is called by people who live
here, and having got over the first horror of the onion-like odour we
found it by no means bad.

The fish market is the cleanest, and best arranged, and sweetest
smelling that I ever went through. It is situated on a sort of open
platform, under a thick thatched roof, built out over the sea, so that
all the refuse is easily disposed of and washed away by the tide. From
the platform on which it stands, two long jetties run some distance
out into the sea, so that large fishing boats can come alongside and
discharge their cargoes from the deep at the door of the market with
scarcely any exposure to the rays of the tropical sun.

The poultry market is a curious place. On account of the intense heat
everything is brought alive to the market, and the quacking, cackling,
gobbling, and crowing that go on are really marvellous. The whole
street is alive with birds in baskets, cages, and coops, or tied by
the leg and thrown down anyhow. There were curious pheasants and
jungle-fowl from Perak, doves, pigeons, quails, besides cockatoos,
parrots, parrakeets, and lories. They are all very tame and very
cheap; and some of the scarlet lories, looking like a flame of fire,
chatter in the most amusing way. I have a cage full of tiny parrots
not bigger than bullfinches, of a dark green colour, with dark red
throats and blue heads, yellow marks on the back, and red and yellow
tails. Having bought these, everybody seemed to think that I wanted an
unlimited supply of birds, and soon we were surrounded by a chattering
crowd, all with parrots in their hands and on their shoulders. It was
a very amusing sight, though rather noisy, and the competition reduced
the prices very much. Parrakeets ranged from twelve to thirty cents
apiece, talking parrots and cockatoos from one to five dollars. At
last the vendors became so energetic that I was glad to get into the
gharry again, and drive away to a flower shop, where we bought some
gardenias for one penny a dozen, beautifully fresh and fragrant, but
with painfully short stalks.

Towards the end of the south-west monsoon, little native open boats
arrive from the islands 1,500 to 3,000 miles to the southward of
Singapore. Each has one little tripod mast. The whole family live on
board. The sides of the boat cannot be seen for the multitudes of
cockatoos, parrots, parrakeets, and birds of all sorts, fastened on
little perches, with very short strings attached to them. The decks
are covered with sandal-wood. The holds are full of spice, shells,
feathers, and South Sea pearl shells. With this cargo they creep from
island to island, and from creek to creek, before the monsoon, till
they reach their destination. They stay a month or six weeks, change
their goods for iron, nails, a certain amount of pale green or Indian
red thread for weaving, and some pieces of Manchester cotton. They
then go back with the north-east monsoon, selling their goods at the
various islands on their homeward route. There are many Dutch ports
nearer than Singapore, but they are over-regulated, and preference is
given to the free English port, where the simple natives can do as
they like so long as they do not transgress the laws.

As we were going on board, we met the Maharajah of Johore's servant,
just going off with invitations to dinner, lunch, and breakfast for
the next two days for all our party, and with all sorts of kind
propositions for shooting and other amusements.

Some of our friends came off before luncheon to see the yacht, and we
returned with them to tiffin at Government House. At four o'clock the
carriage came round to take us to Johore. We wished good-bye to
Singapore and all our kind friends, and started on a lovely drive
through the tropical scenery. There is a capital road, fifteen miles
in length, across the island, and our little ponies rattled along at a
good pace. There was a pleasant breeze and not much dust, no sun, and
a stream ran the whole way by the side of the road. The acacia
flamboyante--that splendid tree which came originally from Rangoon and
Sumatra--was planted alongside the road, and produced a most charming
effect. It is a large tree, with large leaves of the most delicate
green; on its topmost boughs grow gorgeous clusters of scarlet flowers
with yellow centres, and the effect of these scarlet plumes tossing in
the air is truly beautiful. As we were driving along we espied a
splendid butterfly, with wings about ten inches long. Mr. Bingham
jumped out of the carriage and knocked it down with his hat; but it
was so like the colour of leaves in grass that in the twilight nobody
could distinguish it, and, to our great disappointment, we could not
find it. We were equally unsuccessful in our attempted capture of a
water-snake a couple of feet long. We threw sticks and stones and our
syce waded into the stream, but all to no purpose; it glided away into
some safe little hole under the bank.

We reached the sea-shore about six o'clock, and found the Maharajah's
steam-launch waiting to convey us across the Straits to the mainland.
These Straits used to be the old route to Singapore, and are somewhat
intricate. Tom engaged a very good pilot to bring the yacht round, but
at the last moment thought that he should like to bring her himself;
the result being that he arrived rather late for dinner. The Maharajah
and most of the party were out shooting when we arrived; but Sir
William Jervoise met us and showed us round the place, and also
arranged about rooms for us to dress in. Johore is a charming place;
the Straits are so narrow and full of bends that they look more like a
peaceful river or inland lake in the heart of a tropical forest than
an arm of the mighty ocean. As we approached we had observed a good
deal of smoke rising from the jungle, and, as the shades of evening
closed over the scene, we could see the lurid glare of two extensive
fires.

We sat down thirty to dinner at eight o'clock. There were the
Maharajah's brothers, the Prime Minister, Harkim or judge, and several
other Malay chiefs, the Governor of the Straits Settlements, his
family and suite, and one or two people from Singapore. The dinner was
cooked and served in European style; the table decorated with gold and
silver epergnes full of flowers, on velvet stands, and with heaps of
small cut-flower glasses full of jasmine. We were waited on by the
Malay servants of the establishment, dressed in grey and yellow, and
by the Governor's Madras servants, in white and scarlet. The Maharajah
and his native guests were all in English evening dress, with white
waistcoats, bright turbans, and sarongs. The room was large and open
on all sides, and the fresh evening breeze, in addition to the
numerous punkahs, made it delightfully cool. The Maharajah is a strict
Mohammedan himself, and drinks nothing but water. I spent the three
hours during which the dinner lasted in very pleasant conversation
with my two neighbours. We returned on board soon after eleven
o'clock.

[Illustration: Maharajah of Johore's House.]

_Monday, March 19th_.--Mabelle and I went ashore at six o'clock for a
drive. It was a glorious morning, with a delightfully cool breeze,
and the excursion was most enjoyable. We drove first through the old
town of Johore, once of considerable importance, and still a place of
trade for opium, indigo, pepper, and other tropical products. Nutmeg
and maize used to be the great articles of export, but latterly the
growth has failed, and, instead of the groves we had expected to see,
there were only solitary trees. After leaving the town we went along a
good road for some distance, with cottages and clearings on either
side, until we came to a pepper and gambir plantation. The two crops
are cultivated together, and both are grown on the edge of the jungle,
for the sake of the wood, which is burned in the preparation of the
gambir. I confess that I had never heard of the latter substance
before, but I find that it is largely exported to Europe, where it is
occasionally employed for giving weight to silks, and for tanning
purposes.

The pepper garden we saw was many acres in extent. Some of the trees
in the forest close by are very fine, especially the camphor-wood, and
the great red, purple, and copper-coloured oleanders, which grow in
clumps twenty and thirty feet in height. The orchids with which all
the trees were covered, hanging down in long tassels of lovely
colours, or spread out like great spotted butterflies and insects,
were most lovely of all. By far the most abundant was the white
phalaenopsis, with great drooping sprays of pure white waxy blossoms,
some delicately streaked with crimson, others with yellow. It was a
genuine jungle, and we were told that it is the resort of numerous
tigers and elephants, and that snakes abound.

On our way back through the town we stopped to see the process of
opium making. This drug is brought from India in an almost raw state,
rolled up in balls, about the size of billiard balls, and wrapped in
its own leaves. Here it is boiled down, several times refined, and
prepared for smoking. The traffic in it forms a very profitable
monopoly, which is shared in Singapore between the English Government
and the Maharajah of Johore.

We also saw indigo growing; the dye is prepared very much in the same
way as the gambir. That grown here is not so good as that which comes
from India, and it is therefore not much exported, though it is used
by the innumerable Chinese in the Malay peninsula to dye all their
clothes, which are invariably of some deep shade of blue. We saw
sago-palms growing, but the mill was not working, so that we could not
see the process of manufacture; but it seems to be very similar to the
preparation of tapioca, which we had seen in Brazil.

On our passage through the town we went to look at a large gambling
establishment; of course no one was playing so early in the morning,
but in the evening it is always densely crowded, and is a great source
of profit to the proprietor. I could not manage to make out exactly
from the description what the game they play is like, but it was not
fan-tan. We now left the carriage, and strolled to see the people, the
shops, and the market. I bought all sorts of common curiosities,
little articles of everyday life, some of which will be sure to amuse
and interest my English friends. Among my purchases were a wooden
pillow, some joss candles, a two-stringed fiddle, and a few preserved
eggs, which they say are over a hundred years old. The eggs are
certainly nasty enough for anything; still it seems strange that so
thrifty a people as the Chinese should allow so much capital to lie
dormant--literally buried in the earth.

At half-past nine o'clock the Maharajah, with the Governor and all his
guests, came on board. His Highness inspected the yacht with the
utmost minuteness and interest, though his Mohammedan ideas about
women were considerably troubled when he was told that I had had a
great deal to do with the designing and arrangement of the interior.
At half-past eleven the party left, and an hour afterwards we went to
make our adieux to the Maharajah.

On our departure the Maharajah ordered twenty coolies to accompany
us, laden with fragrant tropical plants. He also gave me some splendid
Malay silk sarongs, grown, made, and woven in his kingdom, a pair of
tusks of an elephant shot within a mile of the house, besides a live
little beast, not an alligator, and not an armadillo or a lizard; in
fact I do not know what it is; it clings round my arm just like a
bracelet, and it was sent as a present by the ex-Sultan of Johore.
Having said farewell to our kind host and other friends, we pushed off
from the shore, and embarked on board the yacht; the anchor was up,
and by five o'clock a bend in the Straits hid hospitable and pleasant
Johore from our view, and all we could see was the special steamer on
her way back to Singapore with the Maharajah's guests on board. At
Tanjore we dropped our funny little pilot, and proceeded on our course
towards Penang. The Straits are quite lovely, and fully repaid the
trouble and time involved in the detour made to visit them. The sun
set and the young moon arose over as lovely a tropical scene as you
can possibly imagine.

[Illustration: The pet Manis.]

_Tuesday, March 20th_.--At 5.30, when we were called, the Doctor came
and announced that he had something very important to communicate to
us. This proved to be that one of our men was suffering from
small-pox, and not from rheumatic fever, as had been supposed. My
first thought was that Muriel had been with the Doctor to see him
yesterday evening; my next, that many men had been sleeping in the
same part of the vessel with him; my third, that for his greater
comfort he had been each day in our part of the ship; and my fourth,
what was to be done now? After a short consultation, Tom decided to
alter our course for Malacca, where we arrived at half-past nine; the
Doctor at once went on shore in a native prahu to make the best
arrangements he could under the circumstances. He was fortunate enough
to find Dr. Simon, nephew of the celebrated surgeon of the same name,
installed as head physician at the civil hospital here. He came off at
once with the hospital boat, and, having visited the invalid, declared
his illness to be a very mild case of small-pox. He had brought off
some lymph with him, and recommended us all to be re-vaccinated. He
had also brought sundry disinfectants, and gave instructions about
fumigating and disinfecting the yacht. All the men were called upon
the quarter-deck, and addressed by Tom, and we were surprised to find
what a large proportion of them objected to the operation of
vaccination. At last, however, the prejudices of all of them, except
two, were overcome. One of the latter had promised his grandfather
that he never would be vaccinated under any circumstances, while
another would consent to be inoculated, but would not be vaccinated.
We had consulted our own medical man before leaving England, and knew
that for ourselves the operation was not necessary, but we
nevertheless underwent it _pour encourager les autres_. While the
Doctor was on shore we had been surrounded by boats bringing monkeys,
birds, ratan and Malacca canes, fruit, rice, &c., to sell, and as I
did not care to go ashore, thinking there might be some bother about
quarantine, we made bargains over the side of the yacht with the
traders, the result being that seven monkeys, about fifty birds of
sorts, and innumerable bundles of canes, were added to the stock on
board. In the meantime Dr. Simon had removed our invalid to the
hospital.

Malacca looks exceedingly pretty from the sea. It is a regular Malay
village, consisting of huts, built on piles close to the water,
overshadowed by cocoa palms and other forms of tropical vegetation.
Mount Ofia rises in the distance behind; there are many green islands,
too, in the harbour. By one o'clock we were again under way, and once
more _en route_ for Penang.

[Illustration: MALACCA]

_Wednesday, March 21st_.--During the night we had heavy thunder
storms. About 11 a.m. we passed a piece of drift-wood with a bird
perched on the top, presenting a most curious effect. Several of the
men on board mistook it for the back fin of a large shark. About 5
p.m. we made the island of Penang. After sunset it became very hazy,
and we crept slowly up, afraid of injuring the numerous stake nets
that are set about the Straits most promiscuously, and without any
lights to mark their position. Before midnight we had dropped our
anchor.

_Thursday, March 22nd_.--At 5 a.m., when we were called, the whole sky
was overcast with a lurid glare, and the atmosphere was thick, as if
with the fumes of some vast conflagration. As the sun rose in raging
fierceness, the sky cleared, and became of a deep, clear, transparent
blue. The island of Penang is very beautiful, especially in the early
morning light. It was fortunate we did not try to come in last night,
as we could now see that we must inevitably have run through some of
the innumerable stake nets I mentioned. As we approached Georgetown,
the capital of the province, we passed many steamers and sailing ships
at anchor in the roads. A pilot offered his services, but Tom declined
them with thanks, and soon afterwards skilfully brought us up close in
shore in the crowded roadstead. The harbour-master sent off, as did
also the mail-master, but no Board of Health officials appeared; so,
after some delay, the Doctor went on shore to find the local medical
man, promising shortly to return. He did not, however, reappear, and,
after waiting a couple of hours, we landed without opposition. We
packed off all the servants for a run on shore, and had all the fires
put out in order to cool the ship. Our first inquiry was for an hotel
where we could breakfast, and we were recommended to go to the Hotel
de l'Europe.

Our demands for breakfast were met at first with the reply that it was
too late, and that we must wait till one o'clock tiffin; but a little
persuasion induced the manager to find some cold meat, eggs, and
lemonade. We afterwards drove out to one or two shops, but anything so
hopeless as the stores here I never saw. Not a single curiosity could
we find, not even a bird. We drove round the town, and out to the
Governor's house; he was away, but we were most kindly received by
Mrs. Anson and his daughter, and strongly recommended by them to make
an expedition to the bungalow at the top of the hill. In about an hour
and a half, always ascending, we reached the Governor's bungalow,
situated in a charming spot, where the difference of 10 deg. in the
temperature, caused by being 1,500 feet higher up, is a great boon.
After tiffin and a rest at the hotel, a carriage came to take us to
the foot of the hill, about four miles from the town. We went first
to a large Jesuit establishment, where some most benevolent old
priests were teaching a large number of Malay boys reading, writing,
and geography. Then we went a little further, and, in a small wooden
house, under the cocoa trees, at last found some of the little humming
birds for which the Malay Archipelago is famous. They glisten with a
marvellous metallic lustre all over their bodies, instead of only in
patches, as one sees upon those in South America and the West Indies.
The drive was intensely tropical in character, until we reached the
waterfall, where we left the carriage and got into chairs, each
carried by six coolies. The scenery all about the waterfall is lovely,
and a large stream of sparkling, cool, clear water tumbling over the
rocks was most refreshing to look at. Many people who have business in
Penang live up here, riding up and down morning and evening, for the
sake of the cool, refreshing night air. One of the most curious things
in vegetation which strikes our English eyes is the extraordinary
abundance of the sensitive plant. It is interwoven with all the grass,
and grows thickly in all the hedgerows. In the neatly kept turf, round
the Government bungalow, its long, creeping, prickly stems,
acacia-like leaves, and little fluffy mauve balls of flowers are so
numerous, that, walking up and down the croquet lawn, it appears to be
bowing before you, for the delicate plants are sensible of even an
approaching footstep, and shut up and hide their tiny leaves among the
grass long before you really reach them.

From the top of the hill you can see ninety miles in the clear
atmosphere, far away across the Straits of Perak to the mainland. We
could not stay long, and were carried down the hill backwards, as our
bearers were afraid of our tumbling out of the chairs if we travelled
forwards. The tropical vegetation is even more striking here, but,
alas! it is already losing its novelty to us. Those were indeed
pleasant days when everything was new and strange; it seems now
almost as if years, not months, had gone past since we first entered
these latitudes. We found the carriage waiting for us when we arrived
at the bottom of the hill about seven o'clock, and it was not long
before we reached the town.

The glowworms and fireflies were numerous. The natives were cooking
their evening meal on the ground beneath the tall palm-trees as we
passed, with the glare of the fires lighting up the picturesque huts,
their dark figures relieved by their white and scarlet turbans and
waist-cloth. The whole scene put us very much in mind of the old
familiar pictures of India, the lithe figures of the natives looking
like beautiful bronze statues, the rough country carts, drawn by
buffaloes without harness, but dragging by their hump, and driven by
black-skinned natives armed with a long goad. We went straight to the
jetty, and found to our surprise that in the roads there was quite a
breeze blowing, and a very strong tide running against it, which made
the sea almost rough.

Mrs. and Miss Anson, Mr. Talbot, and other friends, dined with us. At
eleven they landed, and we weighed anchor, and were soon gliding
through the Straits of Malacca, shaping for Acheen Head, _en route_ to
Galle.

It seems strange that an important English settlement like Penang,
where so many large steamers and ships are constantly calling, should
be without lights or quarantine laws. We afterwards learned on shore
that the local government had already surveyed and fixed a place for
two leading lights. The reason why no health officers came off to us
this morning was probably that, small-pox and cholera both being
prevalent in the town, they thought that the fewer questions they
asked, and the less they saw of incoming vessels, the better.

_Friday, March 23rd_.--A broiling day, everybody panting, parrots and
parrakeets dying. We passed a large barque with every sail set,
although it was a flat calm, which made us rejoice in the possession
of steam-power. Several people on board are very unwell, and the
engineer is really ill. It is depressing to speculate what would
become of us if anything went wrong in the engine-room department, and
if we should be reduced to sail-power alone in this region of
calmness. At last even I know what it is to be too hot, and am quite
knocked up with my short experience.

[Illustration: How the Journal was written]

_Saturday, March 24th_.--Another flat calm. The after-forecastle,
having been battened down and fumigated for the last seventy-two
hours, was to-day opened, and its contents brought up on deck, some to
be thrown overboard, and others to be washed with carbolic acid. I
never saw such quantities of things as were turned out; they covered
the whole deck, and it seemed as if their cubic capacity must be far
greater than that of the place in which they had been stowed. Besides
the beds and tables of eight men, there were forty-eight birds, four
monkeys, two cockatoos, and a tortoise, besides Japanese cabinets and
boxes of clothes, books, china, coral, shells, and all sorts of
imaginable and unimaginable things. One poor tortoise had been killed
and bleached white by the chlorine gas.

_Sunday, March 25th_.--Hotter than ever. It was quite impossible to
have service either on deck or below. We always observe Sunday by
showing a little extra attention to dress, and, as far as the
gentlemen are concerned, a little more care in the matter of shaving.
On other days I fear our toilets would hardly pass muster in civilised
society. Tom set the example of leaving off collars, coats, and
waistcoats; so shirts and trousers are now the order of the day. The
children wear grass-cloth pinafores and very little else, no shoes or
stockings, Manilla or Chinese slippers being worn by those who dislike
bare feet. I find my Tahitian and Hawaiian dresses invaluable: they
are really cool, loose, and comfortable, and I scarcely ever wear
anything else.

We passed a large steamer about 7.30 a.m., and in the afternoon
altered our course to speak the 'Middlesex,' of London, bound to the
Channel for orders. We had quite a long conversation with the captain,
and parted with mutual good wishes for a pleasant voyage. It was a
lovely moonlight night, but very hot, though we found a delightful
sleeping-place beneath the awning on deck.

_Monday, March 26th_.--The sun appeared to rise even fiercer and
hotter than ever this morning. I have been very anxious for the last
few days about Baby, who has been cutting some teeth and has suffered
from a rash. Muriel has been bitten all over by mosquitoes, and
Mabelle has also suffered from heat-rash. Just now every little
ailment suggests small-pox to our minds.

About noon, when in latitude 6.25 North, and in longitude 88.25 East,
we began to encounter a great deal of drift wood, many large trees,
branches, plants, leaves, nautilus shells, back-bones of cuttlefish,
and, in addition, large quantities of yellow spawn, evidently
deposited by some fish of large size. The spawn appeared to be of a
very solid, consistent character, like large yellow grapes, connected
together in a sort of gelatinous mass. It formed a continuous wide
yellow streak perhaps half a mile in length, and with the bits of wood
and branches sticking up in its midst at intervals, it would not have
required a very lively imagination to fashion it at a little distance
into a sea serpent. Where does all this _debris_ come from? was the
question asked by everybody. Out of the Bay of Bengal probably,
judging from the direction of the current. We wondered if it could
possibly be the remains of some of the trees uprooted by the last
great cyclone.

At 1.30 p.m. a man cried out from the rigging, 'Boat on the starboard
bow!' a cry that produced great excitement immediately; our course was
altered and telescopes and glasses brought to bear upon the object in
question. Every one on board, except our old sailing master, said it
was a native boat. Some even said that they could see a man on board
waving something. Powell alone declared it to be the root of a palm
from the Bay of Bengal, and he proved right. A very large root it was,
with one single stem and a few leaves hanging down, which had exactly
the appearance of broken masts, tattered sails, and torn rigging. We
went close alongside to have a good look at it; the water was as clear
as crystal, and beneath the surface were hundreds of beautifully
coloured fish, greedily devouring something--I suppose small insects,
or fish entangled among the roots.

_Tuesday, March 27th_.--It requires a great effort to do anything,
except before sunrise or after sunset, owing to the intense heat; and
when one is not feeling well it makes exertion still more difficult.
At night the heat below is simply unbearable; the cabins are deserted,
and all mattresses are brought up on deck.




CHAPTER XXV.

CEYLON.

    _Thus was this place
    _A happy rural seat of various views,_
    _Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm,_
    _Others, whose fruit, burnish'd with golden rind,_
    _Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true._

_Wednesday, March 28th_.--At midnight the wind was slightly ahead, and
we could distinctly smell the fragrant breezes and spicy odours of
Ceylon. We made the eastern side of the island at daylight, and
coasted along its palm-fringed shores all day. I had been very unwell
for some days past, but this delightful indication of our near
approach to the land seemed to do me good at once. If only the
interior is as beautiful as what we can see from the deck of the
yacht, my expectations will be fully realised, brilliant as they are.

As the sun set, the beauty of the scene from the deck of the yacht
seemed to increase. We proceeded slowly, and at about nine o'clock
were in the roads of Galle and could see the ships at anchor. Tom did
not like to venture further in the dark without a pilot, and
accordingly told the signal-man to make signals for one, but being
impatient he sent up a rocket, besides burning blue lights, a mistake
which had the effect of bringing the first officer of the P. and O.
steamship 'Poonah' on board, who thought perhaps we had got aground or
were in trouble of some sort. He also informed us that pilots never
came off after dark, and kindly offered to show us a good anchorage
for the night.

_Thursday, March 29th_.--The pilot came off early, and soon after six
we dropped anchor in Galle harbour. The entrance is fine, and the bay
one of the most beautiful in the world. The picturesque town, with its
old buildings, and the white surf dashing in among the splendid
cocoa-trees which grow down to the water's edge, combined to make up a
charming picture. We went on board the 'Poonah' to breakfast as
arranged, and afterwards all over the ship, which is in splendid
order. Thence we went ashore to the Oriental Company's Hotel, a most
comfortable building, with a large, shady verandah, which to-day was
crowded by passengers from the 'Poonah.' At tiffin there was a great
crowd, and we met some old friends. At three o'clock we returned to
the yacht, to show her to the captain of the 'Poonah' and some of his
friends, and an hour later we started in two carriages for a drive to
Wockwalla, a hill commanding a splendid view. The drive was
delightful, and the vegetation more beautiful than any we have seen
since leaving Tahiti, but it would have been more enjoyable if we had
not been so pestered by boys selling flowers and bunches of mace in
various stages of development. It certainly is very pretty when the
peach-like fruit is half open and shows the network of scarlet
mace surrounding the brown nutmeg within. From Wockwalla the view
is lovely, over paddy-fields, jungle, and virgin forest, up to
the hills close by and to the mountains beyond. There is a small
refreshment-room at the top of the hill, kept by a nice little mulatto
woman and her husband. Here we drank lemonade, ate mangoes, and
watched the sun gradually declining, but we were obliged to leave
before it had set, as we wanted to visit the cinnamon gardens on our
way back. The prettiest thing in the whole scene was the river running
through the middle of the landscape, and the white-winged,
scarlet-bodied cranes, disporting themselves along the banks among the
dark green foliage and light green shoots of the crimson-tipped
cinnamon-trees. We had a glorious drive home along the sea-shore
under cocoa-nut trees, amongst which the fireflies flitted, and
through which we could see the red and purple afterglow of the sunset.
Ceylon is, as every one knows, celebrated for its real gems, and
almost as much for the wonderful imitations offered for sale by the
natives. Some are made in Birmingham and exported, but many are made
here and in India, and are far better in appearance than ours, or even
those of Paris. More than once in the course of our drive, half-naked
Indians produced from their waist-cloths rubies, sapphires, and
emeralds for which they asked from one to four thousand rupees, and
gratefully took fourpence, after a long run with the carriage, and
much vociferation and gesticulation. After _table-d'hote_ dinner at
the hotel we went off to the yacht in a pilot boat; the buoys were all
illuminated, and boats with four or five men in them, provided with
torches, were in readiness to show us the right way out. By ten
o'clock we were outside the harbour and on our way to Colombo.

_Friday, March 30th_.--It rained heavily during the night, and we were
obliged to sleep in the deck-house instead of on deck. At daylight all
was again bright and beautiful, and the cocoanut-clad coast of Ceylon
looked most fascinating in the early morning light. About ten o'clock
we dropped our anchor in the harbour at Colombo, which was crowded
with shipping. 175,000 coolies have been landed here within the last
two or three months; consequently labour is very cheap this year in
the coffee plantations.

The instant we anchored we were of course surrounded by boats selling
every possible commodity and curiosity, carved ebony, ivory,
sandal-wood, and models of the curious boats in use here. These boats
are very long and narrow, with an enormous outrigger and large sail,
and when it is very rough, nearly the whole of the crew of the boat go
out one by one, and sit on the outrigger to keep it in the water, from
which springs the Cingalese saying, 'One man, two men, four men
breeze.' The heat was intense, though there was a pleasant breeze
under the awning on deck; we therefore amused ourselves by looking
over the side and bargaining with the natives, until our letters,
which we had sent for, arrived. About one o'clock we went ashore,
encountering on our way some exceedingly dreadful smells, wafted from
ships laden with guano, bones, and other odoriferous cargoes. The
inner boat harbour is unsavoury and unwholesome to the last degree,
and is just now crowded with many natives of various castes from the
south of India.

Colombo is rather a European-looking town, with fine buildings and
many open green spaces, where there were actually soldiers playing
cricket, with great energy, under the fierce rays of the midday sun.
We went at once to an hotel and rested; loitering after tiffin in the
verandah, which was as usual crowded with sellers of all sorts of
Indian things. Most of the day was spent in driving about, and having
made our arrangements for an early start to-morrow, we then walked
down to the harbour, getting drenched on our way by a tremendous
thunderstorm.

_Saturday, March 31st_.--Up early, and after rather a scramble we went
ashore at seven o'clock, just in time to start by the first train to
Kandy. There was not much time to spare, and we therefore had to pay
sovereigns for our tickets instead of changing them for rupees,
thereby receiving only ten instead of eleven and a half, the current
rate of exchange that day. It seemed rather sharp practice on the part
of the railway company (_alias_ the Government) to take sovereigns in
at the window at ten rupees, and sell them at the door for eleven and
a half, to speculators waiting ready and eager to clutch and sell them
again at an infinitesimally small profit.

The line to Kandy is always described as one of the most beautiful
railways in the world, and it certainly deserves the character. The
first part of the journey is across jungle and through plains; then
one goes climbing up and up, looking down on all the beauties of
tropical vegetation, to distant mountains shimmering in the glare and
haze of the burning sun. The carriages were well ventilated and
provided with double roofs, and were really tolerably cool.

About nine o'clock we reached Ambepussa, and the scenery increased in
beauty from this point. A couple of hours later we reached Peradeniya,
the junction for Gampola. Here most of the passengers got out, bound
for Neuera-ellia, the sanatorium of Ceylon, 7,000 feet above the sea.
Soon after leaving the station, we passed the Satinwood Bridge. Here
we had a glimpse of the botanical garden at Kandy, and soon afterwards
reached the station. We were at once rushed at by two telegraph boys,
each with a telegram of hospitable invitation, whilst a third friend
met us with his carriage, and asked us to go at once to his house, a
few miles out of Kandy. We hesitated to avail ourselves of his kind
offer, as we were such a large party; but he insisted, and at once set
off to make things ready for us, whilst we went to breakfast and rest
at a noisy, dirty, and uncomfortable hotel. It was too hot to do
anything except to sit in the verandah and watch planter after planter
come in for an iced drink at the bar. The town is quite full for
Easter, partly for the amusements and partly for the Church services;
for on many of the coffee estates there is no church within a
reasonable distance.

About four o'clock the carriage came round for us, and having
despatched the luggage in a gharry, we drove round the lovely lake,
and so out to Peradeniya, where our friend lives, close to the Botanic
Gardens. Many of the huts and cottages by the roadside have
'small-pox' written upon them in large letters, in three languages,
English, Sanscrit, and Cingalese, a very sensible precaution, for the
natives are seldom vaccinated, and this terrible disease is a real
scourge amongst them. Having reached the charming bungalow, it was a
real luxury to lounge in a comfortable easy chair in a deep cool
verandah, and to inhale the fragrance of the flowers, whilst lazily
watching the setting of the sun. Directly it dipped below the horizon,
glowworms and fireflies came out, bright and numerous as though the
stars had come down to tread, or rather fly, a fairy dance among the
branches of the tall palm-trees high overhead. Our rooms were most
comfortable, and the baths delicious. After dinner we all adjourned
once more to the verandah to watch the dancing fireflies, the
lightning, and the heavy thunderclouds, and enjoy the cool evening
breeze. You in England who have never been in the tropics cannot
appreciate the intense delight of that sensation. Then we went to bed,
and passed a most luxurious night of cool and comfortable sleep, not
tossing restlessly about, as we had been doing for some time past.

_Sunday, April 1st_.--I awoke before daylight. Our bed faced the
windows, which were wide open, without blinds, curtains, or shutters,
and I lay and watched the light gradually creeping over the trees,
landscape, and garden, and the sun rising glorious from behind the
distant mountains, shining brightly into the garden, drawing out a
thousand fresh fragrances from every leaf and flower.

By seven o'clock we found ourselves enjoying an early tea within the
pretty bungalow in the centre of the Botanic Gardens, and thoroughly
appreciating delicious fresh butter and cream, the first we have
tasted for ages. We went for the most delightful stroll afterwards,
and saw for the first time many botanical curiosities, and several
familiar old friends growing in greater luxuriance than our eyes are
even yet accustomed to. The groups of palms were most beautiful. I
never saw anything finer than the tallipot-palm, and the areca, with
the beetle-vine climbing round it; besides splendid specimens of the
kitool or jaggery-palm. Then there was the palmyra, which to the
inhabitant of the North of Ceylon is what the cocoa-nut is to the
inhabitant of the South--food, clothing, and lodging. The
pitcher-plants and the rare scarlet amherstia looked lovely, as did
also the great groups of yellow and green stemmed bamboos. There were
magnolias, shaddocks, hibiscus, the almost too fragrant
yellow-flowered champac, sacred to Hindoo mythology; nutmeg and
cinnamon trees, tea and coffee, and every other conceivable plant and
tree, growing in the wildest luxuriance. Through the centre of the
gardens flows the river Ambang Ganga, and the whole 140 acres are laid
out so like an English park that, were it not for the unfamiliar
foliage, you might fancy yourself at home.

We drove back to our host's to breakfast, and directly afterwards
started in two carriages to go to church at Kandy. The church is a
fine large building, lofty, and cool, and well ventilated. This being
Easter Sunday, the building was lavishly decorated with palms and
flowers. The service was well performed, and the singing was
excellent. The sparrows flew in and out by the open doors and windows.
One of the birds was building a nest in a corner, and during the
service she added to it a marabout feather, a scrap of lace, and an
end of pink riband. It will be a curious nest when finished, if she
adds at this rate to her miscellaneous collection.

After church we walked to the Government House. Sir William Gregory
is, unfortunately for us, away in Australia, and will not return till
just after our departure. The entrance to it was gay with gorgeous
scarlet lilies, brought over by some former Governor from South
America. It is a very fine house, but unfinished. We wandered through
the 'banquet halls deserted,' and then sat a little while in the broad
cool airy verandah looking into the beautiful garden and on to the
mountain beyond.

At half-past eleven it was time to leave this delightfully cool
retired spot, and to drive to a very pleasant luncheon, served on a
polished round walnut-wood table, without any tablecloth, a novel and
pretty plan in so hot a climate. As soon as it became sufficiently
cool we went on round the upper lake and to the hills above, whence we
looked down upon Kandy, one of the most charmingly placed cities in
the world. As we came back we stopped for a few minutes at the Court,
a very fair specimen of florid Hindoo architecture, where the judges
sit, and justice of all kinds is administered, and where the Prince of
Wales held the installation of the Order of St. Michael and St. George
during his visit. We also looked in at some of the bazaars, to examine
the brass chatties and straw-work. Then came another delicious rest in
the verandah among the flowers until it was time for dinner. Such
flowers as they are! The Cape jessamines are in full beauty just now,
and our host breaks off for us great branches laden with the fragrant
bloom.

_Monday, April 2nd_.--Before breakfast I took a stroll all round the
place, with our host, to look at his numerous pets, which include
spotted deer, monkeys, and all sorts of other creatures. We also went
to the stables, and saw first the horses, and the horsekeepers with
their pretty Indian wives and children. Then we wandered down to the
bamboo-fringed shores of the river, which rises in the mountains here,
and flows right through the island to Trincomalee.

At eleven o'clock Tom and I said 'good-bye' to the rest of the party,
and went by train to Gampola, to take the coach to Neuera-ellia, where
we were to stay with an old friend. We went only a dozen miles in the
train, and then were turned out into what is called a coach, but is
really a very small rough wagonnette, capable of holding six people
with tolerable comfort, but into which seven, eight, and even nine
were crammed. By the time the vehicle was fully laden, we found there
was positively no room for even the one box into which Tom's things
and my own had all been packed; so we had to take out indispensable
necessaries, and tie them up in a bundle like true sailors out for a
holiday, leaving our box behind, in charge of the station-master,
until our return. The first part of the drive was not very
interesting, the road passing only through paddy-fields and endless
tea and coffee plantations. We reached Pusillawa about two o'clock,
where we found a rough and ready sort of breakfast awaiting us. Thence
we had a steep climb through some of the finest coffee estates in
Ceylon, belonging to the Rothschilds, until we reached Rangbodde. Here
there was another delay of half an hour; but although we were anxious
to get on, to arrive in time for dinner, it was impossible to regret
stopping amidst this lovely scenery. The house which serves as a
resting-place is a wretched affair, but the view from the verandah in
front is superb. A large river falls headlong over the steep wall of
rock, forming three splendid waterfalls, which, uniting and rushing
under a fine one-arched bridge, complete this scene of beauty and
grandeur.

We were due at Neuera-ellia at six, but we had only one pair of horses
to drag our heavy load up the steep mountain road, and the poor
creatures jibbed, kicked over the traces, broke them three times, and
more than once were so near going over the edge of the precipice that
I jumped out, and the other passengers, all gentlemen, walked the
whole of that stage. The next was no better, the fresh pair of horses
jibbing and kicking worse than ever. At last one kicked himself free
of all the harness, and fell on his back in a deep ditch. If it had
not been so tiresome, it really would have been very laughable,
especially as everybody was more or less afraid of the poor horse's
heels, and did not in the least know how to extricate him.

In this dilemma our hunting experiences came in usefully, for with the
aid of a trace, instead of a stirrup leather, passed round his neck,
half-a-dozen men managed to haul the horse on to his legs again; but
the pitchy darkness rendered the repair of damages an exceedingly
difficult task. The horses, moreover, even when once more in their
proper position, declined to move, but the gentlemen pushed and the
drivers flogged and shouted, and very slowly and with many stops we
ultimately reached the end of that stage. Here we found a young horse,
who had no idea at all of harness; so after a vain attempt to utilise
his services, another was sent for, thus causing further delay.

It was now nine o'clock, and we were all utterly exhausted. We managed
to procure from a cottage some new-laid eggs and cold spring water,
and these eaten raw, with a little brandy from a hunting-flask, seemed
to refresh us all. There was again a difficulty in starting, but, once
fairly under way, the road was not so steep and the horses went
better. I was now so tired, and had grown so accustomed to hairbreadth
escapes, that, however near we went to the edge of the precipice, I
did not feel capable of jumping out, but sat still and watched
listlessly, wondering whether we should really go over or not. After
many delays we reached Head-quarter House, where the warmth of the
welcome our old friend gave us soon made us forget how tired we were.
They had waited dinner until half-past seven, and had then given us
up. There were blazing wood fires both in the drawing-room and in our
bedroom, and in five minutes a most welcome dinner was put before us.
Afterwards we could have stayed and chatted till midnight, but we were
promptly sent off to bed, and desired to reserve the rest of our news
until morning.

_Tuesday, April 3rd_.--A ten o'clock breakfast afforded us ample
opportunity for a delicious rest and letter-writing beforehand.
Afterwards we strolled round the garden, full of English flowers,
roses, carnations, mignonette, and sweet peas. Tom and the gentlemen
went for a walk, whilst we ladies rested and chatted and wrote
letters.

After lunch we all started--a large party--to go to the athletic
sports on the racecourse, where an impromptu sort of grand stand had
been erected--literally a stand, for there were no seats. There were a
great many people, and the regimental band played very well. To us it
appeared a warm damp day, although the weather was much cooler than
any we have felt lately. This is _the_ week of the year, and everybody
is here from all parts of the island. People who have been long
resident in the tropics seem to find it very cold; for the men wore
great-coats and ulsters, and many of the ladies velvet and sables, or
sealskin jackets. On the way back from the sports we drove round to
see something of the settlement; it cannot be called a town, for
though there are a good many people and houses, no two are within half
a mile of one another. There are two packs of hounds kept here, one to
hunt the big elk, the other a pack of harriers. The land-leeches,
which abound in this neighbourhood, are a great plague to horses, men,
and hounds. It rained last night, and I was specially cautioned not to
go on the grass or to pick flowers, as these horrid creatures fix on
one's ankle or arm without the slightest warning. I have only seen
one, I am thankful to say, and have escaped a bite; but everybody
seems to dread and dislike them.

After dinner we went to a very pleasant ball, given by the Jinkhana
Club, at the barracks. The room was prettily decorated with the racing
jackets and caps of the riders in the races, and with scarlet wreaths
of geranium and hibiscus mingled with lycopodium ferns and
selaginella. We did not remain very late at the ball, as we had to
make an early start next morning; but the drive home in the moonlight
was almost as pleasant as any part of the entertainment.

_Wednesday, April 4th_.--We were called at four o'clock, and
breakfasted at five, everybody appearing either in dressing-gowns or
in habits to see us set off. They all tried to persuade us to stay for
the meet of the hounds at the house to-day. Another ball to-night, and
more races, and another ball to-morrow; but we are homeward bound, and
must hurry on. It was a lovely morning, and we waited with great
patience at the post-house for at least an hour and a half, and
watched the hounds come out, meet, find, and hunt a hare up and down,
and across the valley, with merry ringing notes that made us long to
be on horseback.

We saw all the racehorses returning from their morning gallop, and
were enlightened by the syces as to their names and respective owners.
There were several people, a great deal of luggage, and, though last
not least, Her Majesty's mails, all waiting, like us, for the coach.
About a quarter to seven a message arrived, to the effect that the
horses would _not_ come up the hill, they had been jibbing for more
than an hour, so would we kindly go down to the coach. A swarm of
coolies immediately appeared from some mysterious hiding-place, and
conveyed us all, bag and baggage, down the hill, and packed us into
the coach. Even this concession on our part did not induce the horses
to make up their minds to move for at least another quarter of an
hour. Then we had to stop at the hotel to pick up somebody else; but
at last we had fairly started, eleven people in all, some inside and
some perched on a box behind. The horses were worse than ever, tired
to death, poor things; and as one lady passenger was very nervous and
insisted on walking up all the acclivities, we were obliged to make up
our pace down the hills. The Pass looked lovely by daylight, and the
wild flowers were splendid, especially the white datura and scarlet
rhododendron trees, which were literally covered with bloom.

By daylight, the appearance of the horses was really pitiable in the
extreme--worn-out, half-starved wretches, covered with wounds and
sores from collars and harness, and with traces of injuries they
inflict on themselves in their struggles to get free. When once we had
seen their shoulders, we no longer wondered at their reluctance to
start; it really made one quite sick to think even of the state they
were in.

If some of the permanent officials were to devote a portion of their
time to endeavours to introduce American coaches, and to ameliorate
the condition of the horses on this road, they would indeed confer a
boon on their countrymen. The coachman, who was as black as jet, and
who wore very little clothing, was a curious specimen of his class,
and appeared by no means skilled in his craft. He drove the whole way
down the steep zigzag road with a loose rein; at every turn the horses
went close to the precipice, but were turned in the very nick of time
by a little black boy who jumped down from behind and pulled them
round by their traces without touching the bridle. We stopped at
Rangbodde to breakfast, and again at Pusillawa. This seemed a bad
arrangement, for we were already late; it resulted in the poor horses
having to be unmercifully flogged in order to enable us to catch the
train at Gampola, failing which, the coach proprietors would have had
to pay a very heavy penalty.

From Gampola we soon arrived at Peradeniya, where we met Mr. Freer,
who was going down to Colombo. Tom had decided previously to go
straight on, so as to have the yacht quite ready for an early start
to-morrow. I in the meantime went to our former hosts for one night to
pick up Mabelle and the waifs and strays of luggage.

On my way from the station to the house, going over the Satinwood
Bridge, from which there is a lovely view of the Peacock Mountain, I
saw an Englishman whom we had observed before, washing stones in the
bed of the river for gems. He has obtained some rubies and sapphires,
though only of small size, and I suppose he will go on washing for
ever, hoping to find something larger and more valuable. On one part
of the coast of the island near Managgan the sands on the side of one
of the rivers are formed of rubies, sapphires, garnets, and other
precious stones washed down by the current, but they are all ground to
pieces in the process, not one being left as big as a pin's head. The
effect in the sunlight, when this sand is wet with the waves, is
something dazzling, and proves that the accounts of my favourite
Sindbad are not so fabulous as we prosaic mortals try to make out. The
island must be rich in gems, for they seem to be picked up with hardly
any trouble. At Neuera-ellia it is a favourite amusement for picnic
parties to go out gem-hunting, and frequently they meet with very
large and valuable stones by the riverside or near deserted pits,
large garnets, cinnamon-stone, splendid cat's-eyes, amethysts, matura
diamonds, moonstone, aquamarine, tourmaline rubies, and sapphires.

[Illustration: Peacock Mountain, Ceylon.]

On my arrival at the house I found that Mabelle had just returned
with some friends, who had kindly taken charge of her during our
absence, and that a very old friend had arrived almost directly we
left on Monday, and had departed early this morning to climb Adam's
Peak, the ascent of which is a long and tedious affair, but it cannot
be difficult, as thousands of aged and infirm pilgrims go every year
to worship at the Buddhist or Mohammedan temples at the summit. The
giant footprint has been reverenced alike by both religions from the
earliest ages. Its existence is differently accounted for, however, by
the two sects. The Buddhists say it is the footprint of Buddha, and
that an account of its origin was written 300 or 400 years B.C. The
Mohammedans say that it is the first step Adam took when driven out of
Paradise. They do not quarrel about it, however, but live very happily
close beside one another in their respective temples on the very small
summit of the mountain. The iron chains, still used by the pilgrims
and visitors to assist them up the last weary flight of steps, are
said to have been placed there in the time of Alexander the Great, and
are mentioned by successive historians.

After lunch I went to rest, thoroughly tired out with the hard work of
the last two days, whilst the gentlemen went into Kandy, to see
Buddha's tooth and a Brahmin temple.

Just before sunset we went to have a last look at those lovely
Botanical Gardens. They were more beautiful than ever in the afternoon
light, and I saw many things which had escaped my notice before. I
have made acquaintance with the taste of all sorts of new fruits while
here, more than in our former journey; but this is to be explained by
the proximity of the Botanical Gardens. I expected to revel in fruit
all through the tropics, but, except at Tahiti, we have not done so at
all. There is one great merit in tropical fruit, which is, that
however hot the sun may be, when plucked from the tree it is always
icy cold; if left for a few minutes, however, it becomes as hot as
the surrounding atmosphere, and the charm is gone.

On my return, when I went to dress for dinner, I found on my table a
nasty-looking black beast about six inches long. It looked very
formidable in the half-light, like a scorpion or centipede. It turned
out, however, to be quite harmless, and a sort of millipede, and
rather handsome, with jet-black rings, and hundreds of orange-coloured
legs. There are a great many venomous snakes in Ceylon, but they
always get out of the way as fast as they can, and never bite
Europeans. All the roofs of the thatched bungalows swarm with rats,
and in every house is kept a rat-snake, which kills and eats these
rats. I more than once heard a great scuffle going on over my bedroom,
which generally ended in a little squeak, indicating that the snake
had killed, and was about to eat, his prey. One of the snakes came out
one day in front of my window, and hung down two or three feet from
the roof. If I had not been previously assured that he was perfectly
harmless, it would have been rather an alarming apparition in the
dark, and, even as it was, I must confess that for a moment I did feel
rather frightened as I watched him spying about, darting his forked
tongue in and out, and looking quite ready for a spring at my face.

_Thursday, April 5th_.--Another early start by the seven o'clock train
to Colombo. We were very sorry to say good-bye to our kind host, and
when we took our departure, we were quite laden with flowers, good
wishes, and messages for mutual friends in England. It was rather a
hot journey down, and the train seemed full, but the scenery was
lovely. As we approached Colombo the heat became greater, and in the
town itself it was almost insupportable.

We breakfasted at the hotel in the fort, where we were joined by Tom.
There is one very curious thing about the hotels here. The
sitting-rooms are all two stories high, with pointed raftered roofs.
The bedrooms are only screened off from each other, and from the
central room, by partitions eight or ten feet high, so that you can
hear everything going on from end to end of the building. I am not at
all sure that the larger amount of ventilation secured by this plan
compensates for the extra amount of noise and want of privacy,
especially when, as was the case to-day, there is a crying baby who
refuses to be pacified in one of the rooms, a poor little girl ill
with whooping cough in another, and some very noisy people, who are
making themselves both unhappy and cross over some lost keys, in a
third.

While we were at breakfast the crows were most amusing and
impertinent. Every door and window was open, and they were perched on
the top of the punkah, or on the iron crossbars supporting the roof,
watching their opportunity to pounce down and carry off the bits left
on our plates. They did not seem to mind the waiters a bit, and, with
their heads cocked on one side, looked as droll and saucy as possible.
People tell you all sorts of funny stories about them; but though they
are very entertaining to watch, and apparently perfectly tame, it
appears to be impossible to capture one alive.

By the time breakfast was over, we found that the 'Sunbeam' was
already under way, and steaming about the anchorage; so it was not
long before we were once more on board. Going out of harbour we passed
a large steamer whose passengers and crew cheered us and waved their
handkerchiefs until we were out of sight, and with that pleasant
homely sound ringing in our ears we bade a last farewell to Colombo,
and started on another stage of our homeward voyage. The heat was
intense, and there was a roll outside which at once made me feel very
uncomfortable. There was no wind all the afternoon, and the sun sank
into the sea, glorious and golden, as we took our last look at the
lovely island of Ceylon, the land of spice and fragrance and beauty.




CHAPTER XXVI.


TO ADEN.

    _Heaven speed the canvas, gallantly unfurled_
    _To furnish and accommodate a world,_
    _To give the Pole the produce of the sun,_
    _And knit the unsocial climates into one._

_Friday, April 6th_.--Our visit to Ceylon has been so delightful that
I wish it could have been prolonged for a month, instead of lasting
only a week; but in that case I should have preferred to select a
cooler season of the year, when travelling is more practicable. A most
interesting journey could be made through the centre of the island to
see the ancient cities, temples, and tanks, over the road from Matelle
to Nalandi Senadoora, to the curious rock temple at Dambool, near
which is the fortified rock of Sigiri, and a few miles further are the
vast ruins of Topari, or Ponamira, the mediaeval capital of Ceylon. It
is full of wonderful ruins, some of them among the oldest in the
world. The Ranhol Dagoba, the Jayti Wana Rama, and the Galle Wihara
and rock temple, carved out of the living rock, are alone worth a long
journey to see. Then think of visiting Anajapoora, the city of rubies,
the sacred capital of the kingdom of ruins, on whose splendours even
the Chinese travellers of the early ages used to expatiate with
fervour. From this point it would be easy to reach the peninsula of
Jaffna, which has been peopled with Tammils for more than two thousand
years. It is the country _par excellence_ of gardens exquisitely kept,
and skilfully irrigated on the old Moorish system. Here are grown all
the ingredients for the making of curry, which are sent to all parts
of this island and to Southern India. The most important crop of all,
however, is tobacco, whose excellence is famed throughout India, and
of which the Rajah of Travancore holds the monopoly.

Then one might go southward from Jaffna, past Aripo, and the Gulf of
Calpentyn, until the curious reef of Adam's Bridge was reached, which
almost connects Ceylon with India. People say it has been separated by
some convulsion of nature in former days, and that the passage is
gradually deepening; but recent examinations have shown that instead
of being a remnant of the original rock by which Ceylon is supposed to
have been once connected with the Indian continent, it is in reality a
comparatively recent ridge of conglomerate and ironstone, covered with
alluvial deposits carried by the current and heaped up at this
particular point; whilst the gradual rising of the coast has
contributed to give the reef its present altitude.

Balchus tells a most improbable story of fifteen Portuguese frigates
escaping through the passage of Panupam, when pursued by some Dutch
cruisers in 1557. Formerly the Straits were only thirty-five yards
wide, with a maximum depth of six feet of water, but lately they have
been widened and deepened by ten feet, and a little Government steamer
frequently passes through on a tour round the island. At present a
sailing ship going from Bombay to Madras has to make a curve of five
thousand miles in order to weather the Maldives and Ceylon. It seems a
long course for any vessel drawing over ten feet of water to be
obliged to take.

In the centre of the channel there is a little island where a Dutch
establishment for horse-breeding formerly stood, the original stud
having been imported from Arabia. The horses were all turned into
corrals and caught by means of lassos, and then conquered by
domidores, exactly as they are at the present day in South America.
Now the stud is dispersed, the buildings are in ruins, and all that
remains is the Indian pagoda, where religious ceremonies, curious
processions, and dances of nautch-girls occasionally take place and
are attended by great crowds. To the southward again of Adam's Bridge
is the celebrated Gulf of Manaar, from which the best pearls come.

This is an exceptionally good year for pearls, and the price of the
shells went up many rupees per thousand in the first week. The pearl
fishery can be reached in about eight hours by steam from Colombo, and
it would have been delightful to have visited it, had time permitted.
We were shown an oyster with some beautiful pearls in it, all found in
the one shell. When a boat with pearls reaches the shore, the shells
are divided into equal heaps, one-fourth going to the boat's crew, and
three-fourths to the Government Inspector. They keep whichever heap he
chooses to kick; so that, being uncertain which they will get for
themselves, the boat's crew are sure to make a fair division. These
heaps are then divided and sold by auction in thousands, and then
subdivided again and again. Of course it is always a matter of
speculation as to whether you get good pearls, bad pearls, or no
pearls at all, though this last misfortune seldom happens.

The love of gambling is inherent in every Oriental mind, and the
merest beggar with but a few pice in his wallet to buy his daily food
will invest them in a small number of oyster-shells, hoping to find a
pearl of great value; and, should he fail to do so, he contents
himself with eating the oyster and hoping for better luck next time.
The shells are generally left on the sand in carefully guarded heaps
till they die and open, when the pearls are extracted, and the fish
left to decay. Some of the oysters are taken in sealed-up sacks to
Colombo, Kandy, and other inland places, in order to enable people to
indulge their love of gambling and speculation, without the trouble of
a journey to Manaar. Though called oysters, they are not the proper
oyster, but a sort of avicula (_Meleagrina margaritifera_ being the
name given by Samarik), very different from the large mother-of-pearl
shells in which the South Sea pearls are found.

I have not been able to keep my mind from running incessantly on Sir
Emerson Tennent's delightful book on Ceylon, which describes places we
have not ourselves visited, but which I wanted very much to see, and I
have been so interested reading about them that I cannot help thinking
other people will share my feelings. It seems wonderful that so much
which is strange, beautiful, and interesting should be so easy of
access from England, and yet that so few English travellers know
comparatively anything of Ceylon, except Galle and Colombo, and
perhaps Kandy and Trincomalee.

_Saturday, April 7th_.--To-day we passed close to the island of
Minnikoy, between the groups of islands called the Laccadives and
Maldives, some of which we saw dotting the horizon; and still further
to the south stretches the Chagos Archipelago. It was very hot all
day, with hardly a breath of air, and we have all returned to our
former light and airy costumes: the gentlemen to their shirts and
trousers, the children to their pinafores and nothing else, and I to
my beloved Tahitian dresses.

Before we left England we could not make ourselves believe what we
were told about heat in the tropics; so we started with very few
windsails and without any punkahs or double awnings. It was all very
well in the Atlantic or Pacific, but between Hongkong and Singapore
the state of things became simply unbearable. The carpenter has rigged
up a punkah, and the men have improvised some double awnings. At
Colombo they made some windsails, so we are now better off than on our
last hot voyage. It has been really hotter than ever to-day, but a
pleasant breeze sprang up in the afternoon.

_Sunday, April 8th_.--A delightful fresh morning after a cool night.
Everybody looks quite different, and we begin to hope we shall carry
the north-east monsoon right across, which would be an exceptional
piece of good fortune. We had service in the saloon at eleven o'clock
and at four, and though there was an unusually full attendance it was
cool and pleasant even without the punkah. The thermometer registers
nearly the same as it did on Friday, when we were all dead with the
heat. The apparently nice cool breeze that refreshes our heated bodies
does not produce any corresponding effect on the glassy surface of the
ocean; for we find to-day, as on previous occasions, that the
temperature, both of the water and of the air, registered by the
thermometer, does not by any means correspond with the effect on the
human frame.

The two Chinese servants we shipped at Hongkong are a great success,
as every one on board agrees. Even the old sailing master is obliged
to confess that the two 'heathen Chinee' keep the mess rooms, ships'
officers' and servants' berths much cleaner and more comfortable than
his own sailors ever succeeded in doing. At Galle we shipped three
black firemen, two from Bombay and one from Mozambique, a regular
nigger, with his black woolly hair clipped into the shape of Prince of
Wales feathers. Their names are Mahomet, Abraham, and Tom Dollar. They
live in a little tent we have had pitched for them on deck, cook their
own food, and do their work in the engine-room exceedingly well. In
the intervals they are highly amused with the children's picture
books. The picture of the durbar at Delhi delighted them, especially
as they recognised the figures, and learned a little English through
them. They can say a few words already, and have told me all about
their wives and children at Mozambique and Bombay, and have shown me
the presents they are taking home to them. They have been nearly a
year on board the P. and O. steamship 'Poonah,' and appear to have
saved nearly all their earnings. I do not suppose our own men could
have stood the fearful heat below in the engine-room for many days
together, so it was fortunate we met with these amiable salamanders.

_Monday, April, 9th_.--No wind. We passed through a large shoal of
porpoises, and at dusk we saw the light of a distant ship. At all the
places we have recently visited we have found excellent ice-making
machines, and have been able to get a sufficient supply to last us
from port to port, which has been a great comfort. The machine at
Colombo unfortunately broke down the day before we left, so that in
the very hottest part of our voyage we have had to do without our
accustomed luxury; and very much we miss it, not only for cooling our
drinks, but for keeping provisions, &c. As it is, a sheep killed
overnight is not good for dinner next day; butter is just like oil,
and to-day in opening a drawer my fingers touched a sticky mess; I
looked and discovered six sticks of sealing wax running slowly about
in a state resembling treacle.

_Wednesday, April 11th_.--Hotter than ever. We could see a steamer in
the far distance. About sunset we passed through a shoal of
flying-fish; the night was intensely hot, and everybody slept on deck.

_Friday, April 13th_.--At 6 a.m. we made the island of Sokotra, and
about seven o'clock saw 'The Brothers,' two islands where large
quantities of turtle and ambergris are found. Though generally
uninhabited, they are sometimes visited by the natives for the purpose
of collecting articles of commerce.

One of our large pigs took it into his head to jump overboard to-day.
The helm was put round as quickly as possible, but the most anxious
spying could not discover any trace of poor piggy's whereabouts; so we
proceeded on our original course for a few minutes, when suddenly, to
our great astonishment, we saw him alongside, having been nearly run
down, but still gallantly swimming along. The dingy was lowered and
two men sent in pursuit. They had, however, no easy task before them,
for as soon as they approached, piggy swam away faster than they could
row, and bit and fought most furiously when they tried to get him into
the boat. It was a good half-hour's work before he was secured, yet
when he arrived he did not appear to be in the least exhausted by his
long swim, but bit and barked at everybody so furiously that he was
condemned to death, to prevent the possibility of further accidents.
It is quite clear from the foregoing incident that some pigs can swim,
and swim very well too, without cutting their own throats in the
process.

All the afternoon a large steamer had been gradually gaining on us. We
exchanged signals and made out that she was the 'Calypso' (?) of
Glasgow. About half-past five she altered her course and came
alongside to speak us. The fore-deck was crowded with the crew. On the
bridge were many of the officers; and sitting bolt upright on a stool,
'looking out forward' in the most amusing manner, was the captain's
little Skye terrier. The stern was crowded with passengers, of every
shade of colour. To our surprise a voice from among them shouted out
'Three cheers for Mr. Brassey!' which was responded to by ringing
shouts from all on board, and taken up again by some of our own men.
It was a very pleasant and unexpected greeting to hear in the middle
of the Indian Ocean. The ship soon drew ahead again, but handkerchiefs
and caps were waved till their owners faded away into the distance.
Meeting and passing thousands of people as you at home do daily, you
can hardly understand the excitement a little incident like this
causes on board ship, where even a distant sail in these lonely oceans
makes everybody leave his occupation and crowd to look at her. Soon
after sunset we saw the island of Abd-al-Kuri, with its fantastic
peaks, melting into orange, gold, and purple tints, beneath the
gorgeous Arabian afterglow.

_Saturday, April 14th_.--We made Cape Rasalhir, formerly called
Guardafui, about nine o'clock yesterday evening, and passing it during
the night entered the Gulf of Aden.[21] All to-day we have been going
along the Soumali coast. There is a good deal of trade carried on in
native boats. Passing all these strange and comparatively unknown and
little-visited islands and coasts, from which all sorts of things in
daily use at home are brought, one dimly realises what commerce means
and how necessary one part of the world is to the other.

[Footnote 21: We found considerable difficulty in making the light,
and since our return there have been several wrecks, and many lives
lost, on this dangerous point.]

_Sunday, April 15th_.--Still intensely hot. The usual services were
held on deck at eleven and four o'clock. The land, both in Arabia and
in Africa, could be seen the whole day, with precipitous mountains. In
the afternoon we could make out the rock of Aden, and at sunset it
stood grandly forth, looming in purple darkness against the crimson
and blood-red sky, which gradually faded to tenderest tints of yellow
and green, before it finally blazed forth into a radiant afterglow. At
half-past eight a gun from the fort at Aden summoned us to show our
colours, or rather lights. At nine o'clock we dropped our anchor in
the roads; a boat came off with a bag of newspapers and to ask for
orders in the morning. It was sent by the great Parsee merchants here,
who undertake to supply us with coals, provisions, water, and
everything we want, and spare us all trouble. For the last three or
four days we have had a nice little breeze astern, and if we had not
been in a hurry to cross the Indian Ocean before the south-west
monsoon set in, we should certainly have been contented with four or
five knots an hour under sail instead of eight and a half under steam.
We have averaged over 200 miles a day under steam alone, ever since we
left Penang, and have burnt only four tons of coal for every fifty
miles.

_Monday, April 16th_.--At 1.30 a.m. I heard the signal gun fired, and
shortly afterwards a great splash of boats and oars, and a vast
chattering and shouting of tongues announced the arrival of a P. and
O. steamer. She dropped her anchor just outside us, so we had the
benefit of the noise all night. I got up at daylight and found the
pilot just coming off. He took us to a buoy, a little closer in, and
soon the business of coaling and watering commenced.

[Illustration: Soumali Indian, Aden.]

We reached the shore about 7.30, and, landing at the pier, had our
first near view of the natives, who are most curious-looking
creatures. They have very black complexions, and long woolly hair,
setting out like a mop all round, and generally dyed bright red, or
yellow by the application of lime. Mr. Cowajee had sent his own
private carriage to meet us. It was a comfortable open barouche, with
a pair of nice horses, and two servants in Eastern liveries, green
vests and full trousers, and red and orange turbans. We went first to
his store, which seemed to be an emporium for every conceivable
article. There was carved sandal-wood, and embroidered shawls from
China, Surat, and Gujerat, work from India, English medicines, French
lamps, Swiss clocks, German toys, Russian caviare, Greek lace,
Havannah cigars, American hides and canned fruits, besides many other
things. The feathers did not look very tempting; there was a great
deal of feather and very little stem about most of them, and only a
few were white, the majority being a pretty sort of brown and drab.
But this general store is only a very small part of their business,
for about 60,000 tons of coal pass through their hands every year.

We went on to the Hotel de l'Europe, which was by no means in
first-rate order, but allowances must be made for a new house. A
delightful breeze was blowing in through the open windows, and
although the thermometer registered 85 deg. in the dining-room, it did not
seem at all hot. The view over the bay is very pretty, and the scene
on shore thoroughly Arabian, with the donkeys and camels patiently
carrying their heavy loads, guided by the true Bedaween of the desert,
and people of all tinges of complexion, from jet black to pale copper
colour. A pair of tame ostriches, at least seven feet high, were
strolling about the roadway, and a gazelle, some monkeys, parrots, and
birds lived happily together beneath a broad verandah. After a little
while we went for a drive to see the camp and town of Aden, which is
four or five miles from the Point where everybody lands. On the way we
met trains of heavily laden camels bringing in wood, water, grain, and
fodder, for garrison consumption, and coffee and spices for
exportation. After driving for about four miles we reached a gallery
pierced through the rock, which admits you into the precincts of the
fort. The entrance is very narrow, the sides precipitous, and the
place apparently impregnable. We went all through the town, or rather
towns, past the Arab village, the Sepoy barracks, and the European
barracks, to the water tanks, stupendous works carved out of the solid
rock, but until lately comparatively neglected, the residents
depending entirely on distillation for their supply of water. There is
a pretty little garden at the foot of the lowest tank, but the heat
was intense in the bottom of the deep valley amongst the rocks, where
every sun-ray seemed to be collected and reflected from the white
glaring limestone, and every breath of air to be excluded. We saw a
little more of the town and the market crowded with camels, the shops
full of lion, leopard, and hyaena skins. We went to the officers'
mess-house, visited the Protestant and Roman Catholic churches and
the Mohammedan mosque, and then passing through two long tunnels,
bored and blasted in the solid rock, we looked over the
fortifications. Finally, we returned to the Point again by way of the
Isthmus, and went to Government House, which gets a fresh breeze from
every quarter. They say that to-day is hotter than usual, but it is
never really very oppressive here unless there is an exceptionally hot
wind blowing from the desert, but even that is partially cooled before
it arrives. To us it appears delightful after our sultry voyage and
the heat at Penang and Singapore.

We are all agreeably disappointed with Aden, and find that it is by no
means the oven we expected; it is prettier too than I thought, the
mountains and rocks are so peaked and pointed, and although the
general effect is one of barrenness, still, if you look closely, every
crack and crevice is full of something green. The soil, being of
volcanic origin, is readily fertilised by moisture, and at once
produces some kind of vegetation. This adds of course greatly to the
effect of colour, which in the rocks themselves is extremely
beautiful, especially at sunrise and sunset. The sea, too, is
delightfully blue on one side of the peninsula, and pale green on the
other, according to the wind, and the white surf curls and breaks on
the sandy shore beyond the crisp waves.

We went back to the hotel a little before one, and found many friends
had called during our absence. After superintending the children's
dinner, I went with Tom to luncheon at Government House. It was very
pleasant; General and Mrs. Schneider were more than kind, and the
house felt deliciously cool and airy.

We are told that thirty miles inland the country is sometimes very
beautiful. There are exquisitely green valleys, with a stream running
through them, amongst peaks, and rocky mountains, which one rarely
sees in the desert. Here the natives cultivate their crops of
corn--such corn as it is too, reaching six feet above a man's head!
All sorts of useful vegetables grow abundantly, besides roses, fruits,
and fragrant flowers, large supplies of which are brought daily into
Aden. About ten miles from the town there are acres of the most
fertile garden ground, which is cultivated to supply the garrison with
vegetables. Sometimes a party of seventy or eighty men, and ten or
twenty Arab guides, goes out for three weeks or a month at a time
surveying. The natives are much more friendly than they used to be a
few years ago, when people were afraid even to ride outside the town.
Now pleasant excursions lasting a few days may be made, especially as
there is very fair shooting to be got. After luncheon I was shown some
lovely feathers. The contrast between these and the steamer-feathers
is ludicrous; the price, too, is proportionately cheaper, for the
feathers are infinitely better. Long, white, full, and curly feathers
can be bought for much less than you give for them in England. We drove
down to the town, finished our business transactions, and then went in
the 'Vestal's' steam launch on board the 'Gamma,' one of the new
Chinese gunboats on her way out to China.

After afternoon tea we all adjourned to the 'Sunbeam,' where we found
many other friends already arrived or arriving. We had only just time
to look round before the sun set, and the short twilight was succeeded
by the swift tropical darkness. All too soon good-bye had to be said;
the anchor was raised, and we were actually drifting slowly along
under our head canvas before our friends took their departure. It was
a lovely evening, with a light fair breeze, and although there
appeared hardly any wind, it was wonderful how swiftly we crept out of
the harbour, and, as sail after sail was spread, how rapidly we glided
past the land.

Our visit to Aden has been short but very agreeable; it is not by any
means such a dreadful place as we had always fancied. Most of the
people we have seen to-day seem rather to like it; there is good
boating, excellent sea fishing, moderate shooting, and many rides and
excursions. A vehicle of some sort is an absolute necessity, however,
if you want to see anything of your friends, for the three divisions
of the settlement are at least four miles apart, and the heat is far
too great for driving or riding in the middle of the day, except on
business. I cannot say, however, that we ourselves found it
intolerably hot to-day.




CHAPTER XXVII.

TO SUEZ.

                               _Round the decay_
    _Of that colossal wreck; boundless and bare_
    _The lone and level sands stretch far away._

_Tuesday, April 17th_.--The breeze still continued and freshened, and
we sailed along pleasantly before it, finding it a great relief to be
rid of the thud and beat of the engine. There is no vibration, but the
noise is unpleasant. About eleven o'clock we passed the island of
Perim, a most desolate-looking place. I do not wonder that officers so
much dislike being quartered there. It is an important position
though, and is shortly to be strengthened, when water-tanks will be
built, and attempts made to cultivate the soil. At present there does
not appear to be a blade of vegetation, and on the side we passed,
between the island and the coast of Arabia, nothing is to be seen but
the little white lighthouse and the path leading up to it. On the
southern side there is a very fair harbour and a moderate town. On the
shore all round the island turtles are caught at the season when they
land to deposit their eggs. To pass the island of Perim we sailed
through the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, or 'Gate of Tears,' thus called
on account of the numerous wrecks which took place there in former
years. Once through the straits, we were fairly in the Red Sea. The
colour of the Red Sea is certainly the bluest of ultramarines. In the
afternoon the town of Mocha Yamen, celebrated alike for its breed of
Arab horses and its coffee, was visible from the masthead. It is a
large white town, full of cupolas and minarets, surrounded with green
as far as irrigation extends, and looking like a pearl set in emeralds
on the margin of the deep blue sea against a background of red and
yellow sand-mountains. Later in the afternoon we passed Great and
Little Hamish, where the P. and O. boat, 'Alma,' was wrecked some
fifteen years ago, and during the night sailed by Jebel Zibayar and
Tukar.

[Illustration: Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.]

_Wednesday, April 18th_.--In the morning, at daylight, we were off
Jebel Teir, Mussawa Island, Annesley Bay lying 60 miles to the west.
Our position was about 60 miles to the south-west of Mussawa Zoulia,
where the expedition under Lord Napier of Magdala landed in 1867. At
noon we had sailed 221 miles, a most unexpected run in the Red Sea. In
the afternoon it fell calm, but the wind freshened again, and we went
on sailing until after midnight.

_Thursday, April 19th_.--We commenced steaming at 1 a.m., stopped,
however, at 5 a.m., and sailed all day. Yesterday we were surrounded
by some beautiful blue birds, who hovered about us and settled at
intervals on the masts and yards. During the night two were caught
napping by the men, and in the course of to-day two more, hotly
pursued by a hawk, took refuge on board and were also captured. One
was given to me. It appears to be a very beautiful kind of jay, with
feathers of the most brilliant shades of blue. The men have killed
their birds for the sake of the skins, but I mean to try and keep mine
alive. At Colombo several birds and two curiously starred tortoises
were added to our collection; and we took on board at Aden a gazelle,
a black cockatoo, and a green monkey.

We passed Souakim to-day, the port of Nubia. It is about 275 miles, or
25 days' camel-journey, from thence to Berber on the Nile. The road
passes through Korib, and among fine red granite and black basalt
mountains, 4,000 feet high. We left one of the firemen, Tom Dollar,
behind at Aden by mistake, and only found out yesterday that we had
done so. It appears that he has a brother living there, whom he was
most anxious to go and see directly the anchor was let go, in the
morning. Unfortunately, he did not speak to us on the subject. He had
never been in anything but a regular steamer before, and could not
believe it possible that the 'Sunbeam' could spread her wings and be
off without any preliminary 'fire-worshipping,' I am very sorry for
the poor man, as he has left all his clothes and the wages he had
earned on board the P. and O. steamer behind him. We must send them
back from Suez, and telegraph to some one to look out for him. The
heat is intense, and we all sleep on deck at night; the sunrises and
sunsets are magnificent.

_Friday, April 20th_.--A little hotter still; there is no wind at all,
and we are obliged to steam. In the morning we passed to the southward
of Jeddo, the port of Mecca. Unfortunately it was so hazy that we
could not distinguish anything whatever of the town or country, only a
line of mountains rearing their heads above the clouds. We had hoped
to be at Suez early on Sunday, but now I fear we shall not arrive
until Monday.

_Saturday, April 21st_.--Hotter and still hotter every day, says the
thermometer, and so we say also. Everybody told us these would be our
two hottest days, and certainly the prediction has been verified. We
did not see a single ship all day, but in the afternoon passed Zambo,
the port of Medina. A little before midnight we made the light on the
Daedalus shoal on the starboard bow.

This being Muriel's fifth birthday, Mabelle and the doctor and the men
have been arranging a surprise for her all day, and none of us were
allowed to go on the port side of the deck, but after dinner we were
taken to a hastily fitted-up theatre, very prettily decorated with
flags and Japanese lanterns. On a throne covered with the Union Jack,
Muriel was seated, the two pugs being on footstools on either side of
her to represent lions _couchant_. Some of the men had blackened their
faces, and gave us a really very excellent Christy Minstrel
entertainment, in which undreamed-of talent came to light. It is very
odd and interesting how one is perpetually finding out something new
about the men. Some of the crew we thought the most unpromising when
we started, have turned out among our best men, always ready and
willing for everything, while others, who at first appeared the best,
have not proved so good. Many we knew well beforehand. On the whole,
however, we have very little cause to complain of our crew; all pull
well together when they are kept up to their work and have plenty to
do.

_Sunday, April 22nd_.--Clouds veiled the sunrise this morning, which
was a welcome relief; still it was too hot for service in the saloon,
and it was therefore held on deck. A light breeze sprang up ahead
during its performance, which cooled and refreshed us immensely. About
twelve o'clock we passed another pair of 'Brothers,' a couple of
odd-looking rocks or islands, like tables, rising straight out of the
sea; there is a beacon on the northernmost one. While we were at
lunch, the breeze freshened so much that we were all glad to add some
wraps to our light and airy costumes. A little later, a summer gale
was blowing ahead, making some of us feel very uncomfortable and long
for the halcyon days of the past, even with the accompaniment of the
inevitable heat. Such is mankind, and womankind too for that matter,
'never blessed but always to be blessed.' The gale freshened, the
screw was raised, the yacht pitched and rolled, and we were obliged to
put her off her course and under sail before night fell. The spray
came over the decks, and there was a strong wind dead ahead. We all
felt cold and miserable, though the thermometer still registered 75 deg..
The poor monkeys and parrots looked most wretched and unhappy, and had
to be packed away as speedily as possible. Nine monkeys in an empty
wine case seemed very happy and cuddled together for warmth, but the
two larger and more aristocratic members of the party required a box
to themselves. The gazelle had a little tent pitched for him specially
in a sheltered corner, and the birds were all stowed away and battened
over in the smoking fiddle. Dinner was rather a lame pretence, and it
was not long before we all retired, and certainly no one wished to
take his or her mattress on deck to-night. It is the first night I
have slept in a bed on board the yacht for many weeks, and a very
disturbed night it was, for the waves ran high, and we have lately
been sailing so steadily over smooth seas, that we did not know what
to make of this.

_Monday, April 23rd_.--The gale blew as hard as ever, and quite as
dead ahead. About noon we made the island of Shaduan, or isle of
Seals, so named by the ancients, when the sea and gulf abounded with
seals. There are still a few occasionally to be seen to the northward
by the fishermen, and their skins are brought to Suez for sale. We are
making tacks backwards and forwards across the narrow sea, an exciting
amusement for a yachtsman, as it requires constant attention. The
sailing directions say that this sea is ill surveyed, except in the
direct channel. There are many coral reefs and sunken rocks, and on
whichever side you may happen to be wrecked, the natives are ready to
rob, ill-treat, and kill you, or sell you as slaves in the interior.
It was on two projecting coral reefs from the island of Shaduan, that
the 'Carnatic' was wrecked in 1869. She ran ashore at four o'clock in
the morning of the 13th of September, soon after having made the light
on Rhas Garril. We were at Suez in October of the same year, and
everybody was then full of the sad particulars of the wreck, the
soldiers being especially useful in bringing in the passengers'
luggage, which had been recovered from the Arabs. One of our firemen,
Abraham, was on board the 'Carnatic' at the time of the disaster, and
lost all his worldly goods (not many, I should think, judging by what
he has brought on board here).

The sea was very rough and disagreeable all day. To us the temperature
appears quite cool, indeed cold, though the thermometer still remains
at 75 deg.. Our friends at Aden, who prophesied that I should want my
sealskin jacket before leaving the Gulf of Suez, were not so far wrong
in their prognostications as I imagined at the time.

_Tuesday, April 24th_.--We are still beating to windward against a
head gale, and by noon had made sixty-five miles to the good, right in
the wind's eye--not a bad performance, considering that the gale was
blowing with a force of nine or ten. It has the merit of novelty too,
for I suppose that for years no sailing ships have been seen in the
Gulf of Suez. The winds blow so steadily for months together, that for
six months in the year you cannot get into the Red Sea, and for the
other six months you cannot get out of it.

We passed the island of Rhas Garril, and soon afterwards a steamer
went by, altering her course a good deal to inspect us. She evidently
thought we were a broken-down steamer, and intended to come to our
rescue. All yesterday and to-day we have been making flannel coats for
the monkey, and covers for birdcages, and improvising shelters and
snug corners for our pets. At night especially the wind is quite
crisp. If this gale continues, it will be Thursday or Friday before we
reach Suez; but it may possibly change to-night, and it looks now as
if it were breaking.

[Illustration: Beating up the Red Sea.]

_Wednesday, April 25th_.--At last the gale _has_ broken. There was not
much wind when I went on deck at 4 a.m., and by seven o'clock it was
so nearly calm, that the funnel could be raised and fires lighted, and
we were soon steaming straight for our destination. We could not see
Mount Sinai on account of the mist, but made out the place where the
Israelites are said to have crossed the Red Sea, and by four o'clock
the town of Suez lay right ahead. The shores are very barren, not a
blade of grass nor a scrap of vegetation being visible. Nothing is to
be seen save mountain peaks, rocks, stones, and sand. But even this
barren scene has a special beauty of its own, particularly at sunrise
and sunset. The shapes of mountain and rock are alike striking, the
sharp shadows are lovely, and the contrast of reds, yellows, and
browns, with the bright blue sea and crisp white waves, is very
beautiful. Even when the sun has set, and the rich tints have faded
away, the full moon adds another charm to the landscape.

This afternoon, as we were steaming up towards Suez, I had a chat with
Mahomet, one of our Indian firemen, who was fringing a piece of muslin
for a turban. I asked him if it was English. 'No, Missy; no
English--Switzerland; English no good; all gum and sticky stuff; make
fingers dirty; all wash out; leave nothing.' In the South Sea and
Sandwich Islands, and in the Malay Peninsula, the natives make the
same complaints as to the Manchester cottons. At Hongkong some of the
large shops had fifty expensive English ships' compasses on hand; they
were all quite unsaleable owing to the liquid having gone bad, in
consequence of its not having been properly prepared. Some American
compasses of the same quality were in good order and not in the least
affected by the climate. It will be a bad day when the confidence in
England's honesty as a nation throughout the world, and consequently
her well-earned supremacy in commerce, have passed away. The burden,
unfortunately, will not fall on the heads of the offenders alone, but,
as usual, the innocent will suffer with and for the guilty.

After four o'clock we came near two steamers lying at anchor, and were
shortly afterwards boarded by the captain of the port, the health
officer, and sundry other functionaries. After a short delay we
dropped anchor, and just as the sun was setting in 'purple and gold'
behind the mountains of Arabia, we went ashore in the steam launch. We
landed at the Canal Company's Office, in front of which there is a
bust of Lieutenant Waghorn, the inaugurator of the overland route.

At the office, the 'Sunbeam' was entered on the Company's books, and
arrangements were made with the chief pilot for to-morrow, while the
children amused themselves by riding a pony up and down, and jumping
over the little brooks, and I strolled about admiring the enormous
growth of the vegetation since we were here last in 1869. We next
steamed five miles further on to the town of Suez, and landed opposite
the big hotel, which is more uncomfortable than ever. The rooms are
dirty, and the cooking execrable.

There is nothing to see at Suez, but still we went for a ramble to see
that nothing. We cleared our boxes and our letters, and then went on
ankle deep in sand to the one European house, the railway station, the
Arab quarter and the bazaars, where it is occasionally possible to
pick up rather interesting little curiosities brought by the pilgrims
from Mecca and Medina.

_Thursday, April 26th_.--Such a sunrise as this morning's you could
only see in Arabia or Egypt. There is a peculiarity about desert
colouring at sunrise and sunset that can never be seen anywhere else.
We had sundry visitors during the early morning, and before ten
o'clock we were in the Canal and steaming on at regulation speed. As
the sun rose the heat became intense, 96 deg. in the shade under double
awnings. So far from there being a cool breeze to temper it, a hot
wind blew from the desert, like the blast from a furnace. I stood on
the bridge as long as I could bear the heat, to look at the strange
desert view, which could be seen to great advantage in going through
at the top of high water. Sand, sand everywhere; here a train of
camels, there a few Arab tents, now a whole party shifting their place
of abode; a group of women washing, or a drove of buffaloes in a small
tributary stream. After going about eight miles we stopped at a _gare_
(as the stopping-places are called) to allow three vessels to pass.
One was a fine steamer belonging to the Ducal Line; the others were a
Dutch and a German boat (one, the Friesland, has been since wrecked
off Cape Finisterre, in December 1877). The cleanliness and general
smartness of the former presented a great contrast to her companions,
on which the passengers looked very hot and uncomfortable. The centre
part of each vessel was crowded with a large number of Dutch or German
boys, going out as soldiers to Acheen, who certainly did not appear to
be enjoying their voyage.

We passed Chaloux and reached Ismailia just at nine o'clock, not
without considerable effort on the part of the pilot. A steam launch
came off from the shore, and we (children and all) landed at once;
and, after a moonlight donkey ride, dined at the excellent Hotel de
Paris, kept by an old Frenchman. _Table-d'hote_ was over, but they
gave us a capital little dinner by ourselves. The children and I, and
some of the gentlemen, start to-morrow, overland _via_ Cairo, to join
the yacht at Alexandria, in order that they may see the Pyramids. It
was a glorious night as we rowed off to the yacht under the bright
beams of the full moon, and the air, too, was quite fresh and cool--a
most refreshing change from the noontide heat.

The traffic on the Canal has increased during the last few years, and
especially during the last few months; on an average four or five
ships passed through every day. To-day they took 6,000_l_. at the Suez
Office alone. They have an excellent plan of the Canal there, and
little models of ships, which are arranged according to the telegrams
constantly received, so that the chief officers at each end of the
Canal know exactly where every ship is. Instant information is of
course sent of any stoppage or any accident, but these occur
comparatively seldom. Some time ago M. Lesseps bought a small canal
partially stopped up leading from the Nile at Cairo to Ismailia. It
has been widened and deepened, and was opened a few weeks ago with
great ceremony and grand doings. Now any vessel not drawing more than
fourteen feet can go direct from Suez or Port Said to Cairo. If we had
had time, we might have done it in the yacht, and lain at anchor
almost under the shadow of the Pyramids of Cheops. The special object
of the new canal is to make Cairo and Ismailia Egyptian ports as well
as Alexandria, thereby saving much land carriage and labour of
shifting. Already several ships laden with grain, from Upper Egypt,
have availed themselves of this new means of communication.

_Friday, April 27th_.--Another glorious sunrise. The pilot was on
board at 5 a.m., and the Dhebash with fish, strawberries, and fresh
vegetables. This is a beautiful climate, though there is scarcely any
rain; only one very slight shower has occurred during the last three
years at Suez, but the soil of the desert after the Nile overflow
brings forth tenfold.

The 'Sunbeam' was to start at eight o'clock, as soon as a large vessel
had passed up from Port Said. There are only certain places in the
Canal where vessels can pass one another, so one ship is always
obliged to wait for another. We landed at half-past seven. The sun was
already blazing with a burning fury, and we found it very hot riding
up to the hotel on donkeys. We had an excellent breakfast at the same
comfortable hotel, paid a very moderate bill, and left by the eleven
o'clock train for Cairo. We stopped at Zag-a-zig for an hour for
luncheon in a nice cool dark room, and started again about three
o'clock. The change in the face of the country since we were here
eight years ago is something extraordinary. A vast desert of sand has
been transformed into one large oasis of undulating fields of waving
corn, where there used to be nothing but whirlwinds of sand. All this
has been effected by irrigation. The wealth of Egypt ought greatly to
increase. How the people managed to live before is a mystery. Now
every field is full of labourers reaping and stacking the corn, women
gleaning, and in some places the patient, ugly black buffaloes
ploughing the stubble for fresh crops.

At half-past six we reached Cairo, and were conveyed in a large
_char-a-bancs_ to what was formerly Shepherd's Hotel, now partly
rebuilt and much altered for the better. Even in that short drive we
could see that the face of the capital of Egypt had altered as much
as the country, though I am not sure that it is so greatly improved.
After a refreshing dip in cool marble baths and a change of garments,
we went down to the large _table-d'hote_. Then we sat in the verandah
looking on the street until we became tired of doing nothing, after
which we started for a stroll in the Ezkebieh gardens close by. They
are beautifully laid out for evening promenade; but although the
flowers are lovely, and the turf, thanks to constant waterings, is
deliciously green, all the large trees have been cut down. There is no
seclusion, no shade, which seems a pity in a country where the
greatest desire of life is shelter from the noonday heat. To-night
both Arab and French bands were playing within the enclosure, and it
was pleasant enough listening to Offenbach's music under the beams of
the full moonlight. Few people appeared to appreciate it, however, for
the gardens were nearly empty; but then the season is over, and every
one has fled before the coming heat.

_Saturday, April 28th_.--We had settled to start at six o'clock this
morning to visit the Pyramids, an excursion which had been for some
little time eagerly looked forward to and talked about by the younger
members of our party. The morning was cold and grey, a strong
northerly wind was blowing, and the change from the weather which had
prevailed but a few hours previously was altogether most striking and
unexpected. We drove rapidly through the streets and the outskirts of
the town, where old houses are being pulled down and new ones rapidly
built up, and where a general air of new bricks and old rubbish
pervades the scene. Then we crossed the Nile by a handsome iron
bridge, and saw the Palace of Gezireh, where the Prince of Wales and
his suite were lodged. We passed the railway extension works, and, to
the great delight of the children, saw two elephants busily employed,
one of which was being made to lie down to enable his mahout to
dismount. Soon the little ones gave a shout of 'The Pyramids!' and
there before us stood those grand monuments of a nameless founder,
which for centuries have stood out in the sands of the desert, while
the burning African sun and the glorious African moon have risen and
set on their heavenward-pointing summits for countless days and
nights. Even the earth has changed her position so much since they
were erected that the pole star no longer sheds its light in a direct
line through the central passages, as it did when first they were
designed.

We drove along under avenues of now leafless trees to the foot of the
hill on which the Pyramids are situated. Here everybody was turned out
to walk except Muriel and me, and a tremendous tug the horses had to
drag even us two up to the real foot of the Pyramids. On arriving we
were at once surrounded by a crowd of Arabs. They are certainly a
fine-looking lot of men, rather clamorous for backshish, and anxious
to sell their curiosities, real or imitation. They were, however,
good-natured, civil, and obliging, and amused me much during the hour
I spent alone with them while the rest of the party were ascending and
descending the Pyramids. Many could speak several languages quite
fluently, and almost all of them took a good deal of interest in the
war, and the prospects of success on either side; while many had a
fair knowledge of the geography of Europe. While all the rest were on
the top of the one large Pyramid, a man ran down from the summit and
up to the top of the next smaller one (which is, however, more
difficult to ascend) in 'eight minutes for a franc' This feat was
repeated several times by different men, but it really occupied nearer
ten minutes.

We ate some bread and wine, bought a few curiosities, and then drove
back to the city, feeling very cold and shivery and regretting the
wraps we had left behind. We reached the hotel just in time for twelve
o'clock _table-d'hote_ breakfast, and, after an acceptable rest,
sallied forth again, this time on donkeys, to see the bazaars and the
sunset from the citadel. We went across squares and gardens and
through wide streets, for, alas! Cairo is being rapidly Haussmannised.
For the capitalist or resident, Cairo may be improved, but for the
traveller, the artist, the lover of the picturesque, the quaint, and
the beautiful, the place is ruined. Cairo as a beautiful and ancient
oriental city has ceased to exist, and is being rapidly transformed
into a bad imitation of modern Paris, only with bluer skies, a more
brilliant sun, and a more serene climate than it is possible to find
in Europe. Only a few narrow streets and old houses are still left,
with carved wooden lattices, where you can yet dream that the 'Arabian
Nights' are true.

We went to the gold and silver bazaar, and bought some quaint silver
jewellery from Assouan, Soudan, and Abyssinia; then through the
Turkish bazaar, the saddlery bazaars, past mosques and old houses,
till at length we emerged into new squares and new streets, before
climbing the hill to the citadel, the Viceroy's palace, and the
splendid Mosque of Mehemet Ali, built of Egyptian alabaster. The view
from the terrace is superb, over city, desert, river, palm-trees, and
Pyramids. The sunset this evening was a disappointment; yellow, cold,
and watery, a strong north wind bringing up all the sand from the
desert. We returned to the hotel for dinner, and were all glad to go
early to bed.

_Sunday, April 29th_.--The children and I went to the English church,
a semi-Gothic building, without a single window which could open.
Though the church was nearly empty, the air felt like that of an
exhausted receiver, and made one gasp. In the cool of the afternoon we
drove through Roulai, where the museum stands, in a beautiful garden
close by the riverside, amid flowers in full bloom.

After an early meal (hardly to be called dinner) we went to the
station, just as all the people were going for a drive to Shoubrah in
the smartest carriages and the prettiest toilets.

Our journey to Alexandria in the evening was cool and pleasant. A
huge break met us, and we drove to Abbat's Hotel--considerably
improved since our last visit in 1869.

_Monday, April 30th_.--Got up at 5 a.m. After a deliciously soft but
very muddy bath, I went for a donkey ride before breakfast with
Mabelle. Tom arrived from the yacht in time for twelve o'clock
breakfast, and announced the voyage from Port Said to have been rough
and unpleasant.

We called on the Consul, the Vice-Consul, and our old friend, Consul
Burton of Trieste, Haj Abdullah. He has just returned from a journey
through the ancient land of Midian, undertaken at the special request
of the Viceroy. He describes the expedition as having been most
successful; the climate is almost perfect from September to May; the
land is well watered by little streams flowing through fertile
valleys, and full of fragrant flowers and luscious fruits. The corn
reaches above the camel-men's heads, which means a height of fourteen
or fifteen feet. But the mineral wealth of the country is its most
extraordinary feature. He found traces of gold in the sand of the
river-beds, in spots pointed out to him by his fellow-pilgrims on the
way to Mecca twenty years ago, to say nothing of tin, iron, &c.
Perhaps the most interesting part of his discovery was the remains of
eight ruined cities with traces in the dry river-beds of
stone-crushing and gold-seeking apparatus, which must have been used
centuries ago. He is writing a book on the subject, which you may
perhaps see before you read this.

The Consul kindly sent a janissary with us to show us the Sultan's
palace. It is large and bare of furniture; and the general style of
decoration is like that of the palaces at Cherniga and Dolma Batscher.
Thence we went to see Pompey's Pillar and Cleopatra's Needle, the
dahabeas ready to go up the Nile, &c.; and returned to the hotel in
time for dinner and a chat afterwards in the cool courtyard.

_Tuesday, May 1st_.--I wrote from 3 a.m. to 6.30 a.m., in order to
send letters off by the French mail, and at seven Mabelle and I
sallied forth on donkeys to visit the market. There was not much to
see, however, everything being so crowded and jammed up, meat, fish,
vegetables, and fruit, all close together. The crowd was amusing, as
all the European householders had negroes or Arabs following them,
laden with their purchases. We found some lovely flowers in a street
near the market, and then we went on to the big gold and silver
bazaar, and to the Turkish and Syrian bazaars, where we saw all the
specialities of Constantinople, and Broussa, Damascus, and Jerusalem
laid out before us. After breakfast, the antics of two enormous apes,
who came round on a donkey, accompanied by a showman and a boy, amused
the children much. They were hideously ugly, but the cleverest monkeys
I ever saw. They went through a regular little play, quarrelled with
one another; the man and the boy rode the ape, and made him kick; at
last the ape was hurt, and lay fainting in the man's arms, limp and
languid, just able to sip a little water; then he died, and dropped
down stiff, with his eyes shut. His tail was pulled, his lips and
eyelids were forced open, but he never winked an eyelid or moved a
hair of his whiskers. He was thrown about from side to side, remaining
perfectly motionless till, at a sign from his master, he jumped up as
well as ever, shouldered his gun, and mounted his ass to take his
departure. He was promptly ordered to dismount and ask for backshish,
which he did, cap in hand. Some of the crowd round about not
contributing to his master's satisfaction, the ape took a nasty
venomous-looking little snake out of a bag which he carried over his
shoulder, and threw it among the bystanders, to their great
consternation.

At two o'clock we went to lunch with the Consul, and what a pleasant
lunch it was, prepared by a French cook, and eaten in a cool, airy,
and shady room free from flies, which were kept out by fine wire
gauze placed in front of each well-shaded door and window! The table
was one mass of the roses for which Alexandria is so famous. Everybody
had wandered about the world more or less, everybody was in good
spirits, and we laughed and chatted and talked sense or nonsense as
the fancy took us, till it was time to go on board the yacht _en
masse_, and receive some visitors at tea. A few had arrived before us,
but the children and some others of the party were on board and had
been doing the honours and showing them round. About 5.30 p.m. our
last guests departed, and all was ready for a start; but, alas! we had
to wait for an absent steward, who had gone in search of the always
late linen, that plague of the poor yachtsman's life when he has a
large party on board. The sun was sinking fast, the wind was blowing
fresh and fair, and if we did not start soon it would be impossible to
do so at all, and a night's work of more than 120 miles would be lost.
At last the welcome boat was seen coming from the shore; we unmoored,
and went ahead for about an hour. But the light gradually faded away;
it became impossible to distinguish the beacon; the sand banks are
numerous, and there are no lights. It was only endangering the ship
and the lives of all on board to proceed; so the order was reluctantly
given, 'Hard a-port.' Round she went in her own length almost, and
very soon we let go the anchor just outside our old moorings, and
spent the night, after all, in the harbour of Alexandria.




CHAPTER XXVIII.

'HOME.'

    _She comes, majestic with her swelling sails,_
    _The gallant bark along her watery way,_
    _Homeward she drives before the favouring gales._
    _Now flitting at their length the streamers fly,_
    _And now they ripple with the ruffling breeze._


_Wednesday, May 2nd_.--Steam was up at five o'clock, the wind being
still fair but light. Soon it dropped to a calm, and then went round
and blew with great force exactly in the opposite direction, dead
ahead. The fires had to be put out, for it was so rough we could do no
good steaming against the gale. The screw kept racing round and
shaking the vessel terribly. Of course I was very ill; but the maids
did not mind, and the children rather enjoyed the tumbling about and
the water on deck. We continued scudding along through the water, but
not making much progress on our course.

[Illustration: HOMEWARD BOUND.]

_Thursday, May 3rd_.--The wind kept on increasing, and at last blew
quite a gale. We have gone a long way out of our course to the
northward, ready for a favourable change, but we can scarcely make any
way to the westward.

_Friday, May 4th_.--A repetition of yesterday--,

    Beating, beating all the day,
    But never a bit ahead.

_Saturday, May 5th_.--A lull at last, and we are able to have the
fires lighted and to steam on our course. We made the Island of
Scarpanto in the morning. All the afternoon and evening we have been
steaming along ten miles to the southward of Crete. Its outline was
very beautiful, surmounted by the snow-capped mountains. I was up on
deck just in time to behold the most lovely sunset, with exquisite
rosy, purple, and crimson tints on sea and sky.

I have not quite got over my attack in Cairo yet, and for the last
three days have been completely laid up with a various mixture of land
illness and sea sickness. We stopped steaming late in the day, but
fires were lighted again in the middle of the night, as the wind was
still ahead. There was a discussion whether or not to go round the
north side of the Island of Kandia, so as to have a glimpse of the
British Fleet at anchor in Suda Bay, if they have already arrived
there.

_Sunday, May 6th, and Monday, May 7th_.--Early in the morning the
snowy mountains of Crete were still in sight. Service was held as
usual at eleven, but it was too rough in the afternoon for it to be
repeated.

Sail and steam, wind and calm, alternated with one another all day.
Tom is anxious to sail every mile he can, and yet not to lose any
unnecessary time, and finds it exceedingly difficult to combine these
two objects.

_Tuesday, May 8th_.--A fine morning, with a cold strong head breeze.
At noon we rejoiced to think that Malta was not more than a few miles
ahead, or we should assuredly have failed to reach our port before
nightfall. About three we closed in with the land about Marsa
Scirocco and Delamara Point, and, after one or two tacks, rounded the
Point of Ricasole, and leaving Port St. Elmo on our right, we swiftly
glided into the grand harbour of Valetta. We have been here so often
that it feels quite like reaching home. We soon found ourselves in our
old quarters in the Dockyard Creek, and had scarcely moored before one
of the officers came on board with the usual complimentary offers of
assistance, whilst directly afterwards came an invitation to a
farewell ball at the Palace, given to the Duke of Edinburgh. Our old
boatman, Bubbly Joe, took us ashore to dinner, and we found everything
looking as bright and cheerful and steep as it always does and always
will do; not the least bit altered or modernised. The landlord of the
Hotel d'Angleterre was delighted to see us again, and so were his
servants, who came flocking from all parts of the house, nearly
pulling the children to pieces, and plying our own servants with
questions in their anxiety to know all about us.

[Illustration: Faldetta, Malta.]

We had to go back on board the yacht to dress, and then return for the
ball, by which time I was so thoroughly tired, and had so bad a
headache, that I could not enjoy it much, pleasant as it was. Very
soon after supper we came away and had a charming row across the
harbour to our snug quarters on board the 'Sunbeam.' These sudden
bursts of dissipation on shore are a delightful change after days and
weeks at sea.

_Wednesday, May 9th_.--I was up soon after sunrise and admired this
often-abused creek as much as I always do. The stone houses, the
carved and coloured verandahs of bright flowers, the water lapping the
very door-steps, the gaily painted boats with their high prows at
either end, the women in their black dresses and faldettas, and
black-robed priests, all helped to carry the imagination over the
Mediterranean and up the Adriatic to lovely Venice. At this hour in
the morning there were not many English soldiers or sailors to spoil
the illusion.

Malta is essentially a border-land--African by geographical
configuration, European politically, and assuredly Asiatic in its
language, its buildings, and in the manners and customs of the
natives. We gave everybody on board a holiday, and the chance of a run
ashore to-day to stretch their legs after their long sea voyage. Tom
went on board the 'Sultan' to see the Duke of Edinburgh and his
splendid ship. Whilst at breakfast I received an intimation that the
Duke of Edinburgh wished to come and examine the yacht. His Royal
Highness arrived soon afterwards, quite unattended, in a beautiful
ten-oared barge, and paid us a long, visit, inspecting the yacht
minutely and looking at all the pets. He took a great interest in our
voyage and courses, as well as in the numerous curiosities, knowing at
once from what place each had been procured. The Duke, who had taken
very nearly the same cruise himself in the 'Galatea' a few years ago,
inquired very kindly after all his old friends at Tahiti, Hilo,
Honolulu, and many other places. The Duke is very kind to everybody
here. He is much liked by his brother officers in the squadron, and
both H.R.H. and the Duchess seem to have made themselves most popular
here during the winter. The officers of the 'Sultan,' several of whom
are old friends of ours, appear to think themselves fortunate indeed
in having such a commanding officer, whilst on shore his approaching
departure is universally regretted. Everybody seems full of their
Royal Highnesses' winter ball, which must have been a most brilliant
affair.

[Illustration: Armoury in the Governor's Palace, Valetta]

After the Duke's departure we went ashore again, called on various
friends before luncheon, and went over the palace and through the
armoury. Then we took a walk down the Strada Reale, the shopping
street of Valetta, until it was time to go on board to receive some
friends to tea. The shops are full of coral, lace, gold and silver
filigree work, and a new sort of lace they make in Gozo, of white
silk, in beautiful patterns. It has been manufactured only during the
last few years, and varies much in quality and design. Some forty or
fifty friends came on board and amused themselves looking at our
curiosities and photographs until long past the dinner hour. We had to
hurry on shore to dine, and go afterwards to the Opera Manoel. The new
Grand Opera House is not to be opened until next October. It had been
blowing fresh and strong from the westward all day, but to-night, as
we rowed across the harbour, the breeze had dropped to a flat calm,
and Tom is most anxious to be off at daybreak.

_Thursday, May 10th_.--I was up before sunrise. A fresh fair wind was
blowing, and as soon as the children could be got ready we all went
ashore to the market, which was crowded with people, and full of fish,
meat, and all spring vegetables and fruit. We were to start at 6.30,
so there was no time to lose, and laden with lovely bouquets of
flowers we hastened on board; but it was nine o'clock, after all our
haste, before we were fairly off, through some mistake about the bill
of health.

Malta is certainly the most delightful place for yachting winter
quarters, with its fine healthy harbour, charming society, very cheap
living, and abundance of everything good. It is in proximity to many
pleasant places, and most interesting excursions can easily be made to
Sicily and Italy, or the coast of Africa. To-day we glided along the
coast, past the strongly fortified little island of Consino, standing
boldly out in mid-channel between Malta and Gozo. The Mediterranean
appears to us a highway after the lonely oceans and seas we have been
sailing over. Within one hour this morning, we saw more ships than in
the whole of our passage from Valparaiso to Tahiti and Yokohama.
Towards the evening we could see the island of Pantellaria in the
distance. We retain a lively remembrance of it from having been
becalmed just off it in the 'Albatross' for three weary days and
nights. It was after this and a long series of other vexations and
delays that Tom and I registered a vow never to go a long voyage again
in a yacht without at least auxiliary steam power.

_Friday, May 11th_.--At 2.30 a.m. Pantellaria was abeam. At five the
homeward-bound P. and O. steamer passed us quite close, and at six we
met the outward-bound P. and O. steamer. At eight we passed Cape Bon
and sailed across the mouth of the Bay of Tunis, in the centre of
which is Goletta, the port of Tunis, the site of the ancient city of
Carthage. Once we anchored close by that place for two or three days,
and on that occasion I collected enough varieties of marble and mosaic
from the old palaces to make some beautiful tables when we got home.
In the afternoon and evening we made the Fratelli and the Sorelle
Rocks, and still later the little Island of Galita. There were many
steamers going in all directions, and it struck one very forcibly how
much this little islet in mid-channel stands in need of a light.

_Sunday, May 13th_.--The wind was dead ahead, and the sea of that
remarkably confused character for which the Mediterranean is famous.
It seemed as if the wind of yesterday, the wind of to-morrow, and the
wind of to-day, had all met and were bent on making a night of it. We
had service at eleven and four. The chart, now a good old friend, for
it has been used by us on so many Mediterranean voyages, showed that
this is the fourth noontide we have spent within a radius of thirty
miles of this particular spot; within a radius of sixty miles we have
spent at least three weeks of our lives at various periods. This does
not of course include voyages in steamers which are not recorded in
the chart.

_Monday, May 14th_.--About breakfast time to-day we crossed the
meridian of Greenwich; and this virtually completed our voyage round
the world, our original point of departure having really been
Rochester, which is a few minutes to the east of Greenwich. The wind
changed in the middle of the day, and we passed through a large fleet
of merchantmen hove-to under shelter of Cape de Gat, where they had
collected, I suppose, from various ports in Spain and Italy.

_Tuesday, May 15th_.--This was a somewhat sad day, many of our pets
dying from the effects of the cold wind or from accidents. The
steward's mocking-bird from Siam, which talked like a Christian and
followed him about like a dog, died of acute bronchitis early this
morning; and his monkey, the most weird little creature, with the
affectionate ways of a human friend, died in the afternoon, of
inflammation and congestion of the lungs. Two other monkeys and
several birds also expired in the course of the day.

This evening 'Beau Brummel,' the little pig I brought from Bow Island,
in the South Pacific, died of a broken spine, as the doctor, who made
a post-mortem examination in each case, discovered. A spar must have
dropped upon poor piggy accidentally whilst he was running about on
deck, though of course no one knew anything about it. I am very sorry;
for though I must confess he was somewhat greedy and pig-like in his
habits, he was extremely amusing in his ways. He ran about and went to
sleep with the pugs, just like one of themselves. Besides, I do not
think any one else in England could have boasted of a pig given to
them by a South-Sea-Island chief. Probably 'Beau Brummel' was a lineal
descendant of the pigs Captain Cook took out in the 'Endeavour.'

The bodies were all placed together in a neat little box and committed
to the deep at sunset, a few tears being shed over the departed pets,
especially by the children.

_Tuesday, May 15th_.--Cape de Gat was abeam early this morning. The
wind fell light, but Tom hoped it would freshen again; otherwise, with
steam we might easily have got into Gibraltar to-night. As it was,
fires were not lighted until ten o'clock.

_Wednesday, May 16th_.--At 3 a.m. I was called to see the light on
Europa Point, and stayed on deck to watch the day dawn and the rising
of the sun. It was not, however, a very agreeable morning; the
Levanter was blowing, the signal station was enveloped in mist, the
tops of the mountains of Africa were scarcely discernible above the
clouds, and Ceuta and Ape's Hill were invisible. Algeciras and San
Roque gleamed white on the opposite shore of the bay, while the dear
old Rock itself looked fresher and cleaner than usual, exhaling a
most delicious perfume of flowers. As the sun rose, the twitterings of
the birds in the Alameda sounded most homelike and delightful.

We had dropped our anchor inside the New Mole about 4.30, and before
six the familiar sounds of English martial music could be heard from
all the different barracks, as the regiments came marching down the
hill and along the Alameda to the north front with all their baggage,
military trains, tents, and ambulances, for a day's camping out. We
were anxious to get on shore to see about coals, water, and
provisions, but no health-boat came near us. About seven o'clock we
started in despair, first to hail a policeman on shore (at a most
respectful distance), to inquire where we could get _pratique_; then
we procured it, and sent word back to the 'Sunbeam' that she was out
of quarantine, and might hoist the yellow flag. We landed, went to the
market, bought some lovely carnations stuck in a prickly-pear leaf to
keep them fresh, and then went to the Hotel Royal--kept by the
landlord of the old Club House Hotel, where we had so often stayed--to
order breakfast. Our old friends the servants greeted us at every step
from the house-door to the coffee-room, and we were taken special care
of by a waiter who remembered us. After breakfast we went to pay some
visits. We thought we ought to go and look at the galleries and Signal
Station, as one or two of our party had never been here before; so we
started, some on foot and some on donkeys. All the way up the steep
streets to the Moorish castle, girls met us, selling lovely scarlet
carnations and yellow roses. The galleries have not changed in the
least since our last visit, but our soldier-guide told us they were
daily expecting some big guns to come out, and he gave us a minute
explanation how they were to be mounted. It was a pleasant ride,
neither too hot nor too cold. Every crevice and interstice between the
rocks was full of wild flowers, looking bright and pretty, though
somewhat insignificant after the gorgeous tropical blossoms our eyes
have been lately accustomed to. The fog had cleared off, and the view
was beautiful; ships lay in the bay below us from all parts, including
a Portuguese gunboat. We saw also one of the two old eagles sitting
near her nest in the accustomed place; this year she has only one
young one. We did not see the monkeys, on account of the Levanter, but
their number has increased to twenty-four, so that there is no
immediate fear of their becoming extinct.

[Illustration: Tangier.]

At half-past six p.m. we weighed anchor and steamed out of the
anchorage inside the New Mole. In the straits the wind was fair, so
the funnel was soon lowered, and the screw feathered, and we were
racing along under sail alone. Off Tarifa we found quite a gale
blowing, and the wind continued fresh and fair throughout the night.

_Thursday, May 17th_.--The strong fair wind dropped, and then came
dead ahead, and off Cadiz we had to get up steam. There was a strong
wind off the mountains near Cape Sagres, and while Tom was below and
the men were busy reefing the sails, we nearly ran ashore. Luckily I
noticed our danger and called Tom, who came up just in time to alter
the helm, when the yacht went round like a top, though the shore was
too close to be pleasant. It only shows how easily an accident may
occur. Both our fishermen-mates could not bear to be idle, and always
considered looking out an insignificant occupation, and so neglected
that important duty to assist with the sails.

Off Cape St. Vincent it blew so hard that we were afraid we should be
obliged to bring up in the bay of Sagres; but we found that it was
only a land breeze, and that it was much smoother outside than we had
expected.

_Friday, May 18th_.--Fresh breeze. We met many steamers going down the
coast with all sail set. After passing Cape Espichel the wind
increased to a northerly gale, against which it was impossible to
proceed. We therefore put into Lisbon. The mountains at the mouth of
the Tagus, the tower and church of Belem, and the noble river itself
looked even more beautiful in the sunset than my recollection led me
to expect. We soon landed and had an excellent dinner at the Hotel
Braganza, where we had stayed before, and where we were at once
recognised and cordially received by the same landlord and landlady we
remembered in 1861.

After dinner we went for a walk. One of the things we saw during our
stroll was the fine statue of Luiz de Camoens, specially interesting
to us, as we had so recently seen the place where he passed many of
the weary years of his exile. Rolling Motion Square was as giddy as
ever. It was a curious fancy to pave it in such a way as to make it
look like the waves of the sea, perpetually moving; and it must be a
severe trial to the peripatetic powers of those who have not quite
recovered their sea legs.

_Saturday, May 19th_.--We were off early; it was a lovely day, and we
had a pleasant drive to Cintra. On our arrival we mounted donkeys and
went to Pena, the beautiful palace of the ex-King Ferdinand, situated
at the top of the mountains. It is an extraordinary-looking place,
the different parts being built in every imaginable style of
architecture, with exquisite carving and old tiles that would delight
the heart of a connoisseur. One of the most prominent objects near the
Palace of Pena is the statue of Vasco da Gama, nobly placed on a
pedestal of natural rocks, piled on the summit of a mountain peak, and
worthy of the adventurous traveller it is erected to commemorate. The
gardens are full of camellias, roses, bougainvillea, &c. We lunched at
the excellent hotel, and came to the conclusion that Cintra is the
place, not only 'to spend a happy day,' but many happy months. It is
always pleasant to revisit places of which you have agreeable
reminiscences, and to find your expectations surpassed instead of
disappointed.

[Illustration: Vasco da Gama]

We had a hot drive back to Lisbon, and then went by tram to Belem,
where we spent some time in the church and in wandering through its
exquisite cloisters. The first stone was laid in 1500, and the name
changed from Bairro de Restello to Belem or Bethlehem by Prince Henry
of Portugal, the great promoter of maritime discovery in that century.
It was built specially to commemorate the successful voyage of Vasco
da Gama, who returned from the discovery of India in 1499.

[Illustration: Belem Cloister Gardens]

Tom met us with the yacht, and, we went on board with the intention of
proceeding straight to sea. But after passing through the Canal del
Norte a heavy gale obliged us to anchor in Cascaes Bay for the night,
not far from a small schooner yacht with three ladies on board. It was
rather rough, and we were very tired, or I think we should have
ventured to pay them a visit, even at that late hour. It is absurd to
stand upon ceremony when travelling; but I scarcely know what the
strict etiquette would be on such an occasion--whether they, as first
anchored in the bay, should call on us, or we on them, as probably the
greater travellers and out longer at sea.

_Sunday, May 20th_.--Weighed at 5 a.m. There was a dense fog off Cape
del Roca, and the steam-whistle, foghorns, and bell were constantly
kept going, with lugubrious effect. We had service at eleven and 4.30.
Passed the Burlings at 1.30. Heavy swell all day.

_Monday, May 21st_.--Rough and disagreeable. Off Viana at noon. Passed
Oporto and Vigo in the course of the afternoon.

_Tuesday, May 22nd_.--If yesterday was bad, to-day was worse. We hove
to for some time under the shelter of Cape Finisterre, then went on
again for a short distance; but at 1.30 a.m. on the 23rd we were
obliged to put round and wait for daylight.

_Wednesday, 23rd, and Thursday, 24th_.--In the course of the day the
weather mended, though the sea still continued rough, and our course
was really in the direction of America rather than England. In the
evening of the 24th we were able to light fires, and, with the
assistance of steam, to keep nearly on our proper course.

_Saturday, May 26th_.--Saw the first English land, the Start, at 2.30
a.m. Wind continued fresh and fair, but at noon dropped calm, and we
had to steam through the Needles instead of sailing, as we had done on
our way out. We reached Cowes about 3 p.m., and were immediately
welcomed by several yachts, who dipped their ensigns and fired their
guns. We landed, and were warmly greeted by many friends, and, after
sending off telegrams and letters, re-embarked and proceeded towards
Hastings. We were anxious to land by daylight, but this was not to be.
So it turned out to be midnight before we reached Beachy Head and
could discern the lights of Hastings shining in the distance. As we
drew near to our anchorage we could see two boats coming swiftly
towards us from the shore. The crews were members of the Royal Naval
Artillery Volunteers, and as they came alongside they raised a shout
of welcome. Hastings had been expecting us all the afternoon, and late
as was the hour, 1.30 a.m., we were immediately surrounded by a fleet
of boats, and many willing hands seized our heterogeneous cargo and
multitudinous packages, and before daylight all had been safely landed
on the pier. We committed ourselves to the care of the R.N.A.V., and
landed in their boats, and at 4.30, proceeding to the Queen's Hotel,
we had a joyous meeting with T.A.B. and Maud.

[Illustration: Our Welcome back off Hastings.]

How can I describe the warm greetings that met us everywhere, or the
crowd that surrounded us, not only when we landed, but as we came out
of church; how, along the whole ten miles from Hastings to Battle,
people were standing by the roadside and at their cottage doors to
welcome us; how the Battle bell-ringers never stopped ringing except
during service time; or how the warmest of welcomes ended our
delightful year of travel and made us feel we were home at last, with
thankful hearts for the providential care which had watched over us
whithersoever we roamed?

    I travell'd among unknown men,
      In lands beyond the sea,
    Nor, England! did I know till then
      What love I bore to thee.

[Illustration: Home at Last.]




APPENDIX.

SUMMARY OF THE ENTIRE VOYAGE.

COMPILED FROM THE LOG-BOOK.


JULY 1876.

--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+-------------------------------
 J|             |     |      |        |         |     Since previous noon
 u|   Remarks   |Temp | Temp |Latitude|Longitude+---------+-----------+---------
 l|             | of  |  of  |        |         | Course  |  Distance | Wind and
 y|             |water|  air |        |         |         |Steam |Sail|  weather
--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+---------+------+----+---------
  |             | F  deg. | F   deg. |  deg.   '  |  deg.   '   |         |      |    |
 6|Left Cowes,  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |I. of W.     | ... | ...  |   ...  |   ...   | Various |  ... | ...| ...
 7|Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Torbay at    |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |8.30 a.m.    | ... | ...  |   ...  |   ...   |     "   |  ... | 113| ...
 8|Left Torbay  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at noon      | ... | ...  |   ...  |   ...   |    "    |  ... |   8| ...
 9|  ...   ...  | ... | ...  | 48 45 N|  4 46 W |    "    |    8 | 107| ...
10|  ...   ...  | ... | ...  | 46 27 N|  6 50 W |    "    |   99 |  62| ...
11|Cape Villano,|     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |69 miles,    |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at noon      | ... | ...  | 44 16 N|  9 10 W |SW, 3/4 deg.W|  ... | 164| ...
12|Madeira, 513;|     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Torbay,      |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |672 miles    | ... | ...  | 40 29 N| 11  1 W |SW by S  |  ... | 227| ...
13|Madeira, 375 |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |miles        | ... | ...  | 38 24 N| 12 21 W |   SW    |   98 |  36|NNE 26 c.
14|Madeira, 246 |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |miles        | ... | ...  | 36 36 N| 13 58 W |SW, 1/4 deg.W|   40 |  90|SE 2
15|Porto Santo, |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |NNE 2.
  |90 miles     | ... | ...  | 34 25 N| 15 35 W |S, 33 deg. W |   29 | 123|Foggy
16|Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Madeira      |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |(Funchal) at |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |noon         | ... | ...  |   ...  |    ...  |S, 31 deg. W |   79 |  57|NE 3
19|Left Madeira |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at 9.25 p.m. | 72  | ...  |   ...  |    ...  |   ...   |  ... | ...| ...
20|Tenerife, 163|     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |miles        | 73  | 67   | 31 11 N| 16 45 W |S, 30 deg. E |   20 |  67|NE 3 to 5
21|Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Puerto       |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Orotava at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |2.30 p.m.    | 70  | 69   | 28 38 N| 16 42 W |S, 2 deg. E  |  144 |  15| ...
24|Left Puerto  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Orotava,     |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Tenerife, at |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |noon         | ... | ...  |   ...  |    ...  |   ...   |  ... | ...| ...
25| ...   ...   | 72  | 70   | 26 53 N| 19 11 W |   ...   |   20 | 173| ...
26| ...   ...   | 72  | 75   | 24 45 N| 21  0 W |S, 37 deg. W |  ... | 161| ...
27| ...   ...   | 72  | 74   | 22 27 N| 23  4 W |S, 39 deg. W |  ... | 180| ...
28| ...   ...   | 73  | 71   | 19 48 N| 24 14 W |S, 22 deg. W |  ... | 172| ...
29| ...   ...   | 75  | 77   | 17 26 N| 24 55 W |S, 16 deg. W |  ... | 148| ...
30|Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Tarafal Bay, |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |St. Antonio, |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |9a.m.; left  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |6 p.m.       | 75  | 75   |   ...  |    ...  | Various |   15 |  52| ...
31| ...   ...   | 78  | 73   | 14 45 N| 25 26 W |   ...   |  120 |  12|NE 3
  |             |-----|------|        |         |         |      |    |
  |Average      |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |temperature  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |for the month|73.2 deg.|72.33 deg.|        |         |         |      |    |
--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+---------+------+----+---------


AUGUST 1876.

--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+-------------------------------
 A|             |     |      |        |         |     Since previous noon
 u|   Remarks   |Temp | Temp |Latitude|Longitude+---------+-----------+---------
 g|             | of  |  of  |        |         | Course  |  Distance | Wind and
 .|             |water|  air |        |         |         |Steam |Sail| weather
--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+---------+------+----+---------
  |             | F  deg. | F   deg. |  deg.   '  |  deg.   '   |         |      |    |
 1| ...   ...   | 79  | 74   | 11 59 N| 25  9 W |S, 5 deg. E  |  159 |  13|Calm
 2| ...   ...   | 78  | 74   |  9 10 N| 24 46 W |S, 7 deg. E  |  163 | ...|SW by W 2
 3| ...   ...   | 79  | 75   |  7 42 N| 21 38 W |S, 57 deg. E |  160 |  27|SSW 7
 4|Sierra Leone,|     |      |        |         |         |      |    |S to SSE
  |289 miles    | 79  | 74   |  7 16 N| 18 34 W |S, 84 deg. E |  ... | 241|6-7
 5| ...   ...   | 79  | 75   |  5 48 N| 20 30 W |S, 53 deg. W |  ... | 139|S4
 6|The warm     |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Guinea and   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Equatorial   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |currents     |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |extend to    |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |about 7 deg. N,  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |and the      |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |latter to    |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |about 5 deg. S,  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |of the       |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |S by E 5
  |Equator      | 79  | 74   |  3 58 N| 22  6 W |S, 42 deg. W |  ... | 156|to 6
 7| ...   ...   | 74  | 71   |  1 52 N| 24  5 W |S, 43 deg. W |  ... | 179|S 4 to 5
 8|St. Paul's   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Rock, 250    |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |miles.       |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Crossed      |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Equator at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |10.30 a.m.   | 75  | 72.3 |  0 56 S| 26 34 W |S, 42 deg. W |  ... | 225|SE 6 to 7
 9| ...   ...   | 78  | 74   |  4 23 S| 28 42 W |S, 32 deg. W |  ... | 243|SSE,
  |             |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |ESE 7
10|Pernambuco,  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |270 miles    | 78  | 73.8 |  7 35 S| 30 19 W |S, 24 deg. W |  ... | 211|SE 6
11| ...   ...   | 77  | 71.5 | 10 11 S| 32 26 W |S, 39 deg. W |  ... | 200|SE 4 to 5
12|Bahia, 300   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |miles        | 74  | 71.3 | 13  1 S| 33 51 W |S, 28 deg. W |  ... | 196|SE 5
13| ...   ...   | 74  | 71   | 15 42 S| 35 51 W |S, 37 deg. W |  ... | 202|SE by S 5
14| ...   ...   | 74.3| 70.7 | 17 25 S| 37 31 W |S, 43 deg. W |  ... | 141|NNE 4
15| ...   ...   | 73  | 69.5 | 19 58 S| 38  1 W |S, 11 deg. W |  ... | 155|NEly 5
16| ...   ...   | 66  | 67   | 22 37 S| 40 39 W |S, 45 deg. W |  ... | 225|NE 5
17|Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Rio de       |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Janeiro at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |WSW
  |6.15 p.m     | 64.5| 65   | 23 53 S| 42 50 W |   ...   |   87 |  82|6 to 9
  |             |-----|------|        |         |         |      |    |
  |Average      |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |temperature  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |for the month|75.3 deg.|71.94 deg.|        |         |         |      |    |
--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+---------+------+----+---------


SEPTEMBER 1876.

--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+-------------------------------
 S|             |     |      |        |         |     Since previous noon
 e|   Remarks   |Temp | Temp |Latitude|Longitude+---------+-----------+---------
 p|             | of  |  of  |        |         | Course  |  Distance | Wind and
 t|             |water|  air |        |         |         |Steam |Sail| weather
--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+---------+------+----+---------
  |             | F  deg. | F   deg. |  deg.   '  |  deg.   '   |         |      |    |
 5|Left Rio de  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Janeiro at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |SSW
  |6 a.m.       | ... | ...  |   ...  |   ...   |   ...   |   36 | ...|2 to 3
 6|             | 70  | 64   | 24 56 S| 45 40 W |   ...   |  120 |  32|NE 5
 7|             | 67  | 65   | 26 50 S| 47 34 W |   ...   |  ... | 136|NE 8
 8|             | 68  | 67   | 30 30 S| 49  4 W |S, 16 deg. W |  ... | 243|NE 8 to 9
 9|Lobos, WSW,  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |160 miles    | 57  | 57.5 | 34 18 S| 51 43 W |S, 31 deg. W |  ... | 270|SW 4
10|             | 57  | 58   | 31 48 S| 54 13 W |S, 72 deg. W |  119 |  31|S by E 6
  |             |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |to 7
11|Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Monte Video  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at 4.30 a.m. | 60.3| 60   |   ...  |   ...   |    ...  |  115 | ...| ...
12|Left Monte   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Video at     |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |6 a.m.       | ... | ...  |   ...  |   ...   |   ...   |  119 | ...|NE 2 to 3
13|Arrived off  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Buenos Ayres |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at 10 p.m.   | ... | ...  |   ...  |   ...   |    ...  |  ... | ...| ...
27|Left Buenos  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  | Ayres at    |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |11.30 a.m.   | 62  | 60.3 |   ...  |   ...   |    ...  |  ... | ...| ...
28|Rescued crew |     |      |        |         |Various  |      |    |WSW to NW
  |of           |     |      |        |         |down R.  |      |    |3, WNW 7
  |'Monkshaven' | 53  | 57.5 | 36 57 S| 55 44 W |Plate    |  119 |  50|to 8
29|             | 51.3| 57   | 38 50 S| 57  5 W |   ...   |   83 |  53| ...
30|             | 52  | 51.5 | 41 00 S| 59 50 W |S, 40 deg. W |  ... | 196|NW by W 6
  |             |-----|------|        |         |         |      |    |
  |Average      |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |temperature  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |for the month|59.7 deg.|59.78 deg.|        |         |         |      |    |
--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+---------+------+----+---------


OCTOBER 1876.

--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+-------------------------------
 O|             |     |      |        |         |     Since previous noon
 c|   Remarks   |Temp | Temp |Latitude|Longitude+---------+-----------+---------
 t|             | of  |  of  |        |         | Course  |  Distance | Wind and
 .|             |water|  air |        |         |         |Steam |Sail| weather
--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+---------+------+----+---------
  |             | F  deg. | F   deg. |  deg.   '  |  deg.   '   |         |      |    |
 1| ...   ...   | 50.7| 53   | 43 10 S| 62 28 W |S, 45 deg. W |  103 |  64|NW by W 6
 2| ...   ...   | 49  | 51   | 45 33 S| 64  0 W |S, 39 deg. W |  139 |  31|SW 7 to 8
 3| ...   ...   | 46  | 49   | 48 31 S| 65  9 W |S, 15 deg. W |   65 | 116|W by S 6
 4| ...   ...   | 43.5| 42.5 | 49 25 S| 67 17 S |   ...   |  122 |  14|SE by S 6
 5|Off Cape     |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Virgin at    |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |noon. Arrived|     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at Possession|     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Bay at       |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |7.45 p.m.    | 43.5| 44   | 52 20 S| 68 17 W |   ...   |  185 | ...|N by E4
 6|Left         |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Possesion Bay|     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at 6 a.m.    |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |Light
  |Sandy Point  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |airs,
  |at 2.30 p.m. | ... | ...  | 52 45 S| 70 20 W |    ...  |  95  | ...|SW6
 8|Left Sandy   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Point at 6   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |a.m. Arrived |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at Borja Bay |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Straits of   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Magellan, at |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |SE and E
  |6.30 p.m.    | 46  | 46.2 | 53 53 S| 71 17 W | Various | 105  | ...|3 to 4
 9|Left Borja   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Bay at 6.30  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |a.m. Arrived |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at Otter Bay |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at 6.55 p.m. | 45.8| 45.8 | 52 22 S| 73 40 W |   "     | 105  | ...| ...
10|Left Otter   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Bay at 5 a.m.|     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Puerto Bueno |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at 5.30 p.m. | 49  | 48.7 | 51  0 S| 74 12 W |   "     |   95 | ...| ...
11|Left Puerto  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Bueno at 5   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |a.m. Arrived |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at Port      |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Grappler at  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |7 p.m.       | 49  | 50   | 49 26 S| 74 20 W |   "     |  105 | ...| ...
12|Left         |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |Calm and
  |Port         |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |light
  |Grappler at  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |southerly
  |5 a.m.       | 51  | 51   |  ...   |   ...   |   "     |   60 | ...|winds
13| ...  ...    | 52  | 51.8 | 46  0 S| 76 23 W |   "     |  150 |  25|NEly
  |             |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |5 to 3
14| ...  ...    | 53.7| 52.8 | 44 55 S| 76 46 W |N, 14 deg. W |  ... |  67|SW 2 to 3
15| ...  ...    | 56  | 55   | 42 47 S| 76  3 W |N, 14 deg. E |  100 |  32|Calm, S
  |             |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |by E 1-2
16| ...  ...    | 57.8| 57.5 | 39 52 S| 74 42 W |N, 20 deg. E |  152 |  37|S by E 2
  |             |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |to 3
17| ...  ...    | 59  | 58.2 | 39  0 S| 74 38 W |N, 52 deg. E |   28 |  63|NW by W
  |             |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |4 to 5
18|Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |Calm &
  |Lota, Chilli,|     |      |        |         |         |      |    |light
  |at 9 a.m.    | ... | ...  |   ...  |   ...   | Various |  144 | ...|airs
19|Left Lota at |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |NW by
  |2 p.m.       | 57  | ...  |   ...  |   ...   |  ...    |  ... | ...|W 6
20|Valparaiso,  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |S by W
  |195 miles    | 60.2| 57.9 | 36  5 S| 72 59 W |  ...    |  ... |  65|5 to 6
21|Arrived at   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |Valparaiso   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |at 4 p.m.    | ... | ...  | 33 18 S| 72 19 W |  ...    |  ... | 211|S by W 6
30|Left         |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |Light
  |Valparaiso   |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |airs
  |at 3 p.m.    | ... | ...  |   ...  |   ...   |  ...    |  ... | ...|and calms
31| ...   ...   | 62.1| 61   | 32 34 S| 72 58 W |N, 73 deg. W |  ... |  81|NW by N 5
  |             |-----|------|        |         |         |      |    |
  |Average      |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |temperature  |     |      |        |         |         |      |    |
  |for the month|51.7 deg.| 51.5 deg.|        |         |         |      |    |
--+-------------+-----+------+--------+---------+---------+------+----+---------


NOVEMBER 1876.

--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------------------------------
  |            |  Temp.  |  Temp.  |       |        |
 N|            | of water|  of air |       |        |      Since previous noon
 o|  Remarks   +----+----+----+----+ Lat.  | Long.  +--------+----------+------------
 v|            |Noon|6   |Noon|6   |       |        | Course | Distance | Wind and
 .|            |    |p.m.|    |p.m.|       |        |        |Steam|Sail| weather
--+------------+----+----+----+----+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------
  |            |F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|   deg.  ' |   deg.  '  |        |     |    |
 1|In S.       |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Pacific     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |W by N 3
  |Ocean       |63.3|... |61.2|... |31 30 S| 72 55 W|N, 64 deg. W| ... | 112|to 4
 2|Ditto Ditto |65.6|... |62.3|... |30 54 S| 74  9 W|N, 61 deg. W| ... | 111|S 3
 3|Ditto Ditto |67.3|... |63.5|... |29 11 S| 76 15 W|N, 46 deg. W| ... | 151|SSE 6
 4|Ditto Ditto |68.3|68.2|64.2|64  |27 45 S| 78 55 W|N, 59 deg. W| ... | 167|SE 3
 5|Ditto Ditto |71.8|69.3|66  |65.3|26 54 S| 80 48 W|N, 63 deg. W| ... | 113|SE 3
 6|Ditto Ditto |71.5|69.7|68  |66  |25 52 S| 83 10 W|N, 64 deg. W| ... | 140|ESE 3
 7|Ditto Ditto |71  |70  |68.8|66.3|24 47 S| 85 51 W|N, 66 deg. W| ... | 163|NE by E 3
 8|Ditto Ditto |... |... |... |... |23 47 S| 86 58 W|N, 46 deg. W| ... | 107|NNW 2.
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |Calms
 9|Ditto Ditto |72  |72.3|68  |68.2|21 28 S| 88 27 W|N, 31 deg. W| 144 |  18|ESE 4
10|Ditto Ditto |72.3|72  |74  |69  |19 12 S| 89 48 W|N, 29 deg. W| ... | 166|E by S 6
11|Ditto Ditto |73  |71.3|69.5|68.8|17 19 S| 91 42 W|N, 44 deg. W| ... | 156|ESE 6
12|Ditto Ditto |73  |72.3|71  |70  |16 53 S| 94 43 W|S, 82 deg. W| ... | 178|ESE 4 to 6
13|Ditto Ditto |74.3|73.2|71  |70.5|16 56 S| 98 17 W|S, 89 deg. W| ... | 215|ESE 7
14|Ditto Ditto |73.5|73.8|71.3|71  |17  6 S|102 11 W|S, 87 deg. W| ... | 217|E 6
15|Ditto Ditto |76  |76  |72.8|71.7|16 44 S|105 57 W|N, 86 deg. W| ... | 217|ENE 6
16|Ditto Ditto |77  |75.8|73  |73  |17  0 S|109 16 W|S, 85 deg. W| ... | 199|ENE
17|Ditto Ditto |77.8|77.5|76.2|75.0|17 16 S|112  0 W|S, 84 deg. W| ... | 159|E to N 5
18|Ditto Ditto |79  |77.8|75.2|73.5|16 18 S|114 52 W|N, 70 deg. W| ... | 173|E 5
19|Ditto Ditto |79  |78.2|78  |76  |15 38 S|117 52 W|N, 77 deg. W| ... | 180| ...
20|Ditto Ditto |80.2|79.3|77  |76.5|15 19 S|120 17 W|N, 82 deg. W| ... | 139|ENE 3
21|Ditto Ditto |80  |79  |78  |76.3|15 25 S|122 18 W|S, 87 deg. W| ... | 121|ENE 3 to 4
22|Ditto Ditto |81  |79.8|78.2|77  |15 21 S|124 20 W|N, 88 deg. W| ... | 123|NE by E
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |3 to 4
23|Ditto Ditto |81.2|80.2|78  |77  |15  4 S|126 40 W|N, 83 deg. W| ... | 141|NE 3
24|Ditto Ditto |81  |81  |79.2|77  |15 18 S|129 12 W|S, 85 deg. W| ... | 153|NNE 3
25|Ditto Ditto |81  |80.2|78  |77.8|15 27 S|132 12 W|S, 86 deg. W| 160 |  21|E 2
26|Ditto Ditto |82.2|81.5|80.7|78.3|15 47 S|135 20 W|  ...   | 142 |  35|ESE 4
27|Ditto Ditto |81  |80.5|79  |78  |16 54 S|138  9 W|  ...   | 156 |  32| ...
28|Stopped at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Bow Island  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Low         |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Archipelago,|    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |for 3 hours |81.8|81.6|80  |79.6|17 55 S|140 43 W|S, 56 deg. W|  20 | 148|ESE 4 to 5
29| ...        |81.7|81  |79.5|77  |18 41 S|143  7 W|  ...   |  10 | 152|SE 4 to 5
30| ...        |81.3|81  |80  |79.3|18 20 S|145 57 W|N, 79 deg. W| ... | 162|NE 4 to 5
  |            |---------|---------|       |        |        |     |    |
  |Average     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |temperature |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |for the     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |month       |  76.3 deg.  |   73.3 deg. |       |        |        |     |    |
--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------


DECEMBER 1876.

--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------------------------------
  |            |  Temp.  |  Temp.  |       |        |
 D|            | of water|  of air |       |        |      Since previous noon
 e|  Remarks   +----+----+----+----+ Lat.  | Long.  +--------+----------+------------
 c|            |Noon|6   |Noon|6   |       |        | Course | Distance |  Wind and
 .|            |    |p.m.|    |p.m.|       |        |        |Steam|Sail|  weather
--+------------+----+----+----+----+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------
  |            |F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|   deg.  ' |   deg.  '  |        |     |    |
 1|Landed at   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Maitea at   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |10 a.m.     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Left at     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |3:30 p.m.   |... |... |... |... |17 53 S|147 55 W|W, 1/4 deg.N| ... | 139|NE 4 to 3
 2|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Tahiti      |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |NE to NW,
  |at 8 a.m.   |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  17 |  98|5 to a calm
 8|Left        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Tahiti at   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |6 p.m.      |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   | ... | ...| ...
 9| ...  ...   |82.3|82  |80  |79  |15 28 S|149 24 W|  ...   | 101 |  24|ENE and E 5
10| ...  ...   |82.5|82  |80.3|79  |13 31 S|149 45 W|N, 10 deg. W| ... | 124|NE by
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |E 3 to 7
11| ...  ...   |83.3|82.5|81  |79.2|11  0 S|150  3 W|  ...   | ... | 155|NE and NE 5
12| ...  ...   |83.6|81  |79.4|79  | 9 10 S|149 48 W|N,  8 deg. W| ... | 151|NE 4 to 5
13| ...  ...   |83  |82  |80.2|78.5| 5 34 S|150 45 W|N, 15 deg. W| ... | 224|NE 5
14|Crossed     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Equator at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |4.30 a.m.   |81.5|80  |80  |77.8| 2 12 S|152 18 W|N, 24 deg. W| ... | 221|NE 5
15| ...  ...   |81.5|81  |80.7|79  | 1 10 N|152  3 W|N,  4 deg. E| ... | 203|NE by E 5,
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |SE 6
16| ...  ...   |81.2|81  |78.3|78  | 3 15 N|151 26 W|N, 17 deg. E|  22 | 109|SE 5
17|To Hilo,    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |885 Miles   |81.5|82.3|79.8|78.2| 5 28 N|150 16 W|N, 58 deg. E| 136 |  15|In Doldrums
18| ...  ...   |83  |82  |79.7|78  | 7 54 N|150 36 W| , 11 deg. W|  48 | 105|NE 5 to 7
19| ...  ...   |81  |80  |77.5|77  |10 22 N|152 37 W| , 22 deg. W| ... | 160| ...
20| ...  ...   |79.5|79  |77.3|77  |13 43 N|152 43 W|N, 18 deg. W| ... | 212|NE 7
21| ...  ...   |78.2|78  |74  |73.8|16 28 N|153 28 W|N,  5 deg. W|  26 | 145|Lost NE
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |Trades in
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |heavy
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |showers
22|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Hilo, Hawaii|    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 3.30 p.m.|77.2| ...|74.5|... |19 44 N|155  4 W|N, 25 deg. W| 202 |  38| ...
26|Left Hilo   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 5.15 p.m.|... |77.8|... |74.3|  ...  |  ...   |  ...   | ... | ...| ...
27|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Honolulu,   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Oahu, at    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |5.15 p.m.   |78  |... |76  |... |20 42 N|157 20 W|Various | 200 | ...| ...
  |            |---------|---------|       |        |        |     |    |
  |Average     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |temperature |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |for         |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |the month   |  80.1 deg.  |  78.4 deg.  |       |        |        |     |    |
--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------


JANUARY 1877.

--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------------------------------
  |            |  Temp.  |  Temp.  |       |        |
 J|            | of water|  of air |       |        |      Since previous noon
 a|  Remarks   +----+----+----+----+ Lat.  | Long.  +--------+----------+------------
 n|            |Noon|6   |Noon|6   |       |        | Course | Distance |  Wind and
 .|            |    |p.m.|    |p.m.|       |        |        |Steam|Sail|  weather
--+------------+----+----+----+----+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------
  |            |F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|   deg.  ' |   deg.  '  |        |     |    |
 3|Left        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Honolulu at |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |5 p.m.      |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   | ... | ...|ENE 4
 4| ...  ...   |78.2|77.8|78.1|76  |20 10 N|159 50 W|S, 59 deg. W|  65 |  70|E by S 6
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |to 8
 5| ...  ...   |78  |77.7|76.8|76.6|20  4 N|164  5 W|W       | ... | 240|SE by S 8
 6| ...  ...   |79.3|78.1|78.5|77.8|20  3 N|168 53 W|W       | ... | 253|S by E 7
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |to 9
 7| ...  ...   |79  |77  |74.2|74  |19 31 N|169 35 W|S, 60 deg. W| ... | 120|N 1/2, W 9
 8| ...  ...   |78.2|77.8|73.2|71.5|17 15 N|173  8 W|S, 59 deg. W| ... | 244|N by E 9
 9| ...  ...   |79.8|78  |74  |71.7|16 44 N|177 15 W|S, 82 deg. W| ... | 240|E by S 2
10| ...  ...   |79.8|79.5|76  |74.2|17 15 N|179  6 W|N, 74 deg. W|  20 |  92|Calms
11|180 deg.        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |longitude   |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   | ... | ...| ...
12| ...  ...   |80.2|80  |77.8|75.5|17 16 N|178 28 E|W       | 102 |  38|S by E 4
13| ...  ...   |80.3|79.8|78.2|75.2|17 19 N|176 29 E|W       | ... | 115|NE 3
14|To Yokohama,|    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |2,700 miles |80  |79.8|75.2|75  |16  1 N|173 25 E|S, 66 deg. W|  98 |  96|NNE 10
15| ...  ...   |80.2|80  |73.8|73.5|16  2 N|168 15 E|W       | ... | 298|NE 9
16| ...  ...   |80.1|79.7|75  |74.2|16 38 N|163 47 E|N, 82 deg. W| ... | 260|ENE 7
17| ...  ...   |79  |78.2|76  |75  |17  3 N|159 37 E|N, 84 deg. W| ... | 240|ENE 6
18| ...  ...   |79.8|79  |76  |75.2|17 36 N|155 40 E|N, 82 deg. W| ... | 229|ENE 4
19| ...  ...   |79  |78.4|77  |75.2|18 16 N|153 11 E|N, 74 deg. W| ... | 148|NNE 2
20| ...  ...   |79.2|78  |76  |75  |18 57 N|150 23 E|N, 75 deg. W| 151 |  13|N by W 3
21| ...  ...   |78.2|77.2|73.5|72.3|19 36 N|147 19 E|N, 77 deg. W| 128 |  50|N by W to
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |NNW 4 to 5
22| ...  ...   |77.5|76.3|67.5|66  |20  7 N|144  5 E|N, 81 deg. W| ... | 185|NNE 8 to 7
23| ...  ...   |71  |70  |62.5|61.5|21 52 N|141 39 E|N, 52 deg. W| ... | 172|NNE 5 to 3
24| ...  ...   |68.5|68  |61.5|59.2|23 33 N|139 29 E|N, 50 deg. W| ... | 158|NE 7 to 6
25| ...  ...   |68  |67.8|59  |59  |26 12 N|138 10 E|N, 24 deg. W| ... | 174|ESE 3
26| ...  ...   |65.5|64.5|61  |59.5|29 23 N|137 33 E|N, 10 deg. W| 100 |  94|W 9 to 10
27| ...  ...   |63.5|64.2|51.5|51  |30 59 N|137 49 E|N,  8  E| ... |  94|NWly 3 to 4
28| ...  ...   |64  |63.2|48.2|46  |32 40 N|138 35 E|N, 21 deg. E| ... | 108|W by N 7
29|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Yokohama at |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |3.30 p.m.   |63  |52  |... |41.2|  ...  |  ...   |Various |  60 | 121|Gale
  |            |---------|---------|       |        |        |     |    |
  |Average     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |temperature |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |for the     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |month       |  76.8 deg.  |  69.7 deg.  |       |        |        |     |    |
--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------


FEBRUARY 1877.

--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------------------------------
  |            |  Temp.  |  Temp.  |       |        |
 F|            | of water|  of air |       |        |      Since previous noon
 e|  Remarks   +----+----+----+----+ Lat.  | Long.  +--------+----------+------------
 b|            |Noon|6   |Noon|6   |       |        | Course | Distance |  Wind and
 .|            |    |p.m.|    |p.m.|       |        |        |Steam|Sail|  weather
--+------------+----+----+----+----+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------
  |            |F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|   deg.  ' |   deg.  '  |        |     |    |
 2|Left        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Yokohama    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 6.30     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |p.m.        |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |Various | ... | ...| ...
 3| ...  ...   |53  |52  |41.2|41  |  ...  |  ...   |        | 122 | ...|NW 3
 4|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |Steering|     |    |
  |Kobe at     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |7 p.m.      |58  |46  |40  |35.5|  ...  |  ...   |        | 178 | ...|NNE 9
12|Left Kobe at|    |    |    |    |       |        |along   |     |    |
  |6 a.m. and  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |returned at |    |    |    |    |       |        |the     |     |    |
  |2 p.m.      |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |        |  40 | ...| ...
15|Left Kobe   |    |    |    |    |       |        |South   |     |    |
  |at 4.30     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  | a.m. and   |    |    |    |    |       |        |Coast   |     |    |
  |anchored at |    |    |    |    |       |        |of      |     |    |
  |Ino Ura at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |8.30 p.m.   |46.1|45  |33  |32.5|  ...  |  ...   |Japan   |  90 | ...|W 9
16|Left Ino Ura|    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 5 a.m.   |49.5|50  |39  |37.5|  ...  |  ...   |        | 110 | ...| ...
17|Anchored    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |off Isaki   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |lighthouse  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 4 a.m.   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Left the    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |anchorage   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 8.30     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |a.m. and    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Simoneseki  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 11 a.m.  |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  50 | ...| ...
19|Left        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Simoneseki  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 8.30 a.m.|44.2|58  |34  |41.3|  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  40 | ...| ...
20| ...  ...   |64  |61  |51  |46.5|31 16 N|131 54 E|  ...   |  64 | 127|NW by W 9
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |to 6
21| ...  ...   |69  |67  |60  |59.5|29  7 N|129 49 E|SW      | 183 | ...|Calm
22| ...  ...   |68.2|62  |67  |62  |28 13 N|125 53 E|WSW     |  13 | 208|ESE
23| ...  ...   |67.3|65.5|65.2|64.2|27 14 N|123  3 E|S, 63 deg. W| ... | 178|SE
24| ...  ...   |55  |55  |51.8|49  |25  0 N|119 35 E|  ...   |  34 | 183|NE 7 to 10
25| ...  ...   |61  |... |56.5|... |22 35 N|115 38 E|  ...   | ... | 288|NE 10 to 6
26|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Hongkong    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 8 a.m.   |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  61 |  29| ...
  |            |---------|---------|       |        |        |     |    |
  |Average     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |temperature |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |for the     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |month       |  56.5 deg.  |  48 deg.    |       |        |        |     |    |
--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------


MARCH 1877.

--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------------------------------
  |            |  Temp.  |  Temp.  |       |        |
 M|            | of water|  of air |       |        |      Since previous noon
 a|  Remarks   +----+----+----+----+ Lat.  | Long.  +------ -+----------+------------
 r|            |Noon|6   |Noon|6   |       |        | Course | Distance | Wind and
 .|            |    |p.m.|    |p.m.|       |        |        |Steam|Sail| weather
--+------------+----+----+----+----+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------
  |            |F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|   deg.  ' |   deg.  '  |        |     |    |
 7|Left        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Hongkong at |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |7 a.m.      |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Macao at    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |1.30 p.m.   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Left at     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |6.30 p.m.   |... |64.5|... |64.3|  ...  |   ...  |  ...   |  45 | ...| ...
8 | ...  ...   |72.5|72.2|72.3|70  |20  5 N|113 28 E|  ...   | 136 | ...| ...
9 | ...  ...   |73.8|72  |72  |68  |18  0 N|113  6 E|S       |  48 |  79|E 3
10| ...  ...   |78  |76.8|73  |71.8|15 40 N|113 48 E|SSE     |  20 | 128|NE 3
11| ...  ...   |78  |78.2|75.5|74.3|13 45 N|112  1 E|SW by  W| ... | 155|NE 4
12| ...  ...   |79  |78  |76.4|76  |11 29 N|110 32 E|S, 35 deg. W| ... | 170|NE 4
13| ...  ...   |77.7|77.5|78  |75.7| 9 34 N|108 33 E|S, 46 deg. W| ... | 171|NE 4
14| ...  ...   |78  |77.7|77.6|76.3| 7 34 N|107  3 E|SW by  S| ... | 150|NE 3 to 4
15| ...  ...   |79.5|79  |78  |77  | 4 46 N|106 16 E|S by W, | ... | 176|NE 4
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |1/2 deg. W  |     |    |
16| ...  ...   |80  |80  |78  |76.3| 2 51 N|104 43 E|SW,     | ... | 150|NE 3 to 4
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |1/2 deg. S  |     |    |
17|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Singapore   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 8 a.m.   |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  63 |  72|NE 3 to 4
18|Left        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Singapore   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 3 p.m.   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |and arrived |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at Johore   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 8 p.m.   |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   | ... | ...| ...
19|Left Johore |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 4 a.m.   |... |83.2|... |79.7|  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  36 | ...|Calms
20|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |and
  |at Malacca  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 8 a.m.;  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |light
  |left at     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |airs
  |11.30a.m.   |... |83.2|... |79.5|  ...  |  ...   |  ...   | 130 | ...|from
21| ...  ...   |88  |... |80.5|... | 4  4 N|100 30 E|  ...   | 170 | ...|NE
22|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Penang at   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |8 a.m. left |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 10 p.m.  |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  99 | ...|
23| ...  ...   |83.8|84.5|88.2|81  | 5 55 N| 98 39 E|  ...   | 109 | ...| ...
24| ...  ...   |84.2|84  |82  |79  | 6 10 N| 95  5 E|  ...   | 212 | ...| ...
25| ...  ...   |85  |84  |84.2|80  | 6 26 N| 91 41 E|  ...   | 208 | ...| ...
26| ...  ...   |85.2|84  |86  |81.5| 6 25 N| 88 25 E|  ...   | 198 | ...| ...
27| ...  ...   |86  |84.2|87  |79  | 6  4 N| 85  3 E|  ...   | 203 | ...| ...
28| ...  ...   |85.2|... |83  |... | 5 33 N| 81 29 E|  ...   | 218 | ...| ...
29|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Point de    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Galle at 7  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |a.m. left   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 9.30 p.m.|... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  85 | ...| ...
30|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Colombo at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |11 a.m.     |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  90 | ...| ...
  |            |---------|---------|       |        |        |     |    |
  |Average     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |temperature |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |for the     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |month       |  79.4 deg.  | 78.2 deg.   |       |        |        |     |    |
--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------

APRIL 1877.

--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------------------------------
 A|            |  Temp.  |  Temp.  |       |        |
 p|            | of water|  of air |       |        |      Since previous noon
 r|  Remarks   +----+----+----+----+ Lat.  | Long.  +--------+----------+------------
 i|            |Noon|6   |Noon|6   |       |        | Course | Distance |  Wind and
 l|            |    |p.m.|    |p.m.|       |        |        |Steam|Sail|  weather
--+------------+----+----+----+----+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------
  |            |F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|   deg.  ' |   deg.  '  |        |     |    |
 5|Left Colombo|    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Ceylon, at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |1.30 p.m.   |... |85.5|... |80.8|  ...  |  ...   |  ...   | ... | ...| ...
 6| ...  ...   |85.8|85  |83  |80.6| 7 26 N|77 10 E |N, 81 deg. W| 165 | ...|W 1
 7| ...  ...   |86  |85  |81  |78.3| 7 31 N|74  7 E |N, 88 deg. W| 190 | ...|N 2
 8| ...  ...   |85.8|84.5|81.3|79  | 8 16 N|70 31 E |W       | 216 | ...|N 4 to 3
 9| ...  ...   |86  |85  |79  |78  | 8 50 N|66 59 E |W by N  | 213 | ...|Calm
10| ...  ...   |85  |83.5|81  |78.5| 9 38 N|63 32 E |N, 77 deg. W| 210 | ...|NE 1 to 2
11| ...  ...   |83.6|82.5|83  |79  |10 27 N|60  1 E |  ...   | 214 | ...|ENE 2
12| ...  ...   |83.8|82.6|82.2|79  |11 14 N|56 30 E |  ...   | 213 | ...|ENE 3 to 4
13| ...  ...   |83.5|82.3|82.5|80  |11 38 N|52 57 E |N, 83 deg. W| 210 | ...| ...
14| ...  ...   |83.2|82  |82.8|80  |12 33 N|49 43 E |  ...   | 198 | ...|E 4
15|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Aden at     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |10 p.m.     |82.8|82  |81  |79  |12 55 N|46 17 E |N, 84 deg. W| 203 | ...| ...
16|Left Aden   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 7 p.m.   |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  80 | ...| ...
17|Off Island  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |of Perim    |82.8|82  |83  |81.7|  ...  |  ...   |  ...   | ... | 105| ...
18| ...  ...   |82  |82.2|83.4|81.5|16 13 N|41 27 E |  ...   | ... | 230|S 5
19| ...  ...   |82.5|82  |84  |83  |18 13 N|40  7 E |  ...   |  29 | 116| ...
20| ...  ...   |83.5|82  |84  |83.6|20 39 N|38 30 E |N, 33 deg. W| 149 |  22|Calms
21| ...  ...   |86.2|82.3|83.5|82.8|23 33 N|36 50 E |N, 30 deg. W| 190 | ...| ...
22| ...  ...   |78.3|75  |82  |76  |26 18 N|34 55 E |  ...   | 200 | ...| ...
23| ...  ...   |75.5|74  |71.5|74.5|27 13 N|34  5 E |NNW     |  80 | ...| ...
24| ...  ...   |71.3|70.2|71.5|74  |28 16 N|33 16 E |  ...   |  89 |  27| ...
25|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Suez at     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |6 p.m.      |70  |... |71.5|... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  22 |  51| ...
26|Left Suez   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 9 a.m.   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Ismailia at |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |7.15 p.m.   |76.5|70  |88  |83.6|  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  50 | ...| ...
27|Left        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Ismailia at |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |8 a.m.      |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Port Said   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 5:30 p.m.|    |    |    |    |       |        |Working |     |    |
  |5.30 p.m.   |    |    |    |    |       |        |to      |     |    |
  |left at     |    |    |    |    |       |        |windward|     |    |
  |9.30 p.m.   |76.7|... |90  |... |  ...  |  ...   |        |  50 | ...| ...
28| ...  ...   |66.3|64.2|66  |64  |  ...  |  ...   |under   | 174 | ...|WNW 5
29|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |steam   |     |    |
  |Alexandria  |    |    |    |    |       |        |and     |     |    |
  |at 4.30 a.m.|... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |sail    | 117 | ...|WNW 9 to 7
  |            |---------|---------|       |        |        |     |    |
  |Average     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |temperature |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |for the     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |month       |  82.3   |  78     |       |        |        |     |    |
--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------


MAY 1877.

--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------------------------------
  |            |  Temp.  |  Temp.  |       |        |
 M|            | of water|  of air |       |        |      Since previous noon
 a|  Remarks   +----+----+----+----+ Lat.  | Long.  +--------+----------+------------
 y|            |Noon|6   |Noon|6   |       |        | Course | Distance |  Wind and
  |            |    |p.m.|    |p.m.|       |        |        |Steam|Sail|  weather
--+------------+----+----+----+----+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------
  |            |F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|F   deg.|   deg.  ' |   deg.  '  |        |     |    |
 2|Left        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Alexandria  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 4.30 a.m |68  |65.2|70  |64.5|  ...  |  ...   |WNW     |  28 |   2|Calm a.m.
 3| ...  ...   |64  |64  |65.2|64.3|32 30 N|28 39 E |N, 30 deg. W|  32 |  80|Fresh to
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |strong
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |NW winds
 4| ...  ...   |63.8|63.5|64.2|64  |34 35 N|28 48 E |N,  3 deg. E| ... | 146|NW 7
 5| ...  ...   |65  |64  |66  |64.2|34 48 N|27 13 E |W, 1/2 deg.S|  63 |  61|NW 7 & calms
 6| ...  ...   |63  |62.2|66.2|64  |34 54 N|23 11 E |W       | 125 |  75|ESE 7
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |& calms
 7| ...  ...   |63.6|63  |64.3|63.6|35 51 N|19 48 E |N, 82 deg. W|  46 | 130|ESE 2
 8|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Malta at    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |6 p.m.      |64  |63  |64.5|66.2|35 57 N|15 12 E |W       | 199 |  16|N 4 to 7
10|Left Malta  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 8.15 a.m.|64  |63  |67  |66.5|  ...  |  ...   |Various |  20 |   5|S 2 to 1
11| ...  ...   |67  |64  |70  |66  |37 20 N|10 24 E |  ...   | 186 |   7|SE & calm
12| ...  ...   |64.5|64  |69  |68.5|37 32 N| 6 32 E |WNW     | 192 | ...| ...
13| ...  ...   |63  |63  |67  |66  |37  7 N| 3  3 E |S, 82 deg. E| 173 | ...|SW by W 5
  |            |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |to 6
14| ...  ...   |64  |63.2|66.3|65  |36 50 N| 0 20 E |W, 1/2 deg.S| 163 | ...| ...
15| ...  ...   |62  |62.3|66.2|66  |36 31 N| 3 43 W |W, 1/2 deg.N| 128 |  35|SE 5
16|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Gibraltar   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 6:30 a.m.|    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |left at     |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |7.30 p.m.   |... |... |... |... |  ...  |   ...  |  ...   |  48 |  26| ...
17| ...  ...   |67  |67  |68.2|69  |36 27 N| 7 58 W |Various |  10 | 130|E 8; calm
18|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Lisbon at   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |6.30 p.m.   |64  |... |63.8|... |38 27 N| 9 26 W |  ...   | 144 |   6|NNE 5
19|Left Lisbon |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 5 p.m.,  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |and anchored|    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |off Fort St.|    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Julien at   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |9.15 p.m.   |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   |  40 | ...|NNE 7
20|Left        |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |anchorage   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |at 5 a.m.   |61.5|64  |64  |65  |39 13 N| 9 32 W |  ...   |  60 | ...|N 6
21| ...  ...   |60.8|59  |61  |63.5|41 36 N| 9  7 W |  ...   | 145 | ...| ...
22| ...  ...   |56.5|57  |55.5|56.3|43 13 N|10  8 W |N, 22 deg. W|  54 |  86|NE 9
23| ...  ...   |58  |57  |57  |56  |45  5 N|11  0 W |N, 16 deg. W| ... | 120|NE 7 to 5
24| ...  ...   |56  |55  |55  |54.3|46 40 N| 8 41 W |  ...   | 149 |   9|NE 3 to 5
25| ...  ...   |55  |... |54  |... |48 42 N| 6  5 W |  ...   | 160 | ...|NE 3 to 4
26|Arrived at  |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |Cowes at    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |1 p.m.      |... |... |... |... |  ...  |  ...   |  ...   | 230 | ...| ...
27|Hastings    |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |1.30 a.m.   |    |    |    |    |       |        |        |     |    |
  |            |---------|---------|       |        |        |     |    |
  |Average     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |temperature |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |for the     |         |         |       |        |        |     |    |
  |month       |  65 deg.    |  65.1 deg.  |       |        |        |     |    |
--+------------+---------+---------+-------+--------+--------+-----+----+------------




When we finally sailed from Cowes, on July 6, 1876, the list of
persons on board the yacht was as follows:--

THOMAS BRASSEY, ESQ., M.P. (Owner)
MRS. BRASSEY
THOMAS ALLNUTT BRASSEY
MABELLE ANNIE BRASSEY
MURIEL AGNES BRASSEY
MARIE ADELAIDE BRASSEY
HON. A.Y. BINGHAM
F. HUBERT FREER, ESQ.
COMMANDER JAMES BROWN, R.N.
CAPTAIN SQUIRE T.S. LECKY, R.N.R.
HENRY PERCY POTTER, ESQ. (Surgeon)

       *       *       *       *       *

ISAIAH POWELL, Sailing Master
HENRY KINDRED, Boatswain
JOHN RIDGE TEMPLEMAN, Carpenter
CHARLES COOK, Signalman and Gunner
JAMES ALLEN, Coxswain of the Gig
JAMES WALFORD, Captain of the Hold
JOHN FALE, Coxswain of the Cutter
HENRY PARKER, Second Coxswain of the Gig
WILLIAM SEBBORN, A.B.
WALTER SEBBORN    "
TURNER ENNEW      "
WILLIAM MOULTON, A.B.
ALBERT WISEMAN,  "
JOHN GREEN,      "
THOMAS TAYLOR    "
FREDERICK BUTT   "
HENRY TICHENER   "
THOMAS POWELL, Forecastle Cook
WILLIAM COLE, Boy

       *       *       *       *       *

ROBERT ROWBOTTOM, Engineer
CHARLES McKECHNIE, 2nd ditto
THOMAS KIRKHAM, Leading Fireman
GEORGE BURREDGE, Fireman

       *       *       *       *       *

GEORGE LESLIE, Steward
WILLIAM AINSWORTH, Bedroom Steward
FREDERICK PARSONS, Saloon Steward
GEORGE BASSETT, 2nd ditto

       *       *       *       *       *

WILLIAM PRYDE, Cook
JOSEPH SOUTHGATE, Cook's Mate

       *       *       *       *       *

EMMA ADAMS, Nurse
HARRIET HOWE, Lady's Maid
MARY PHILLIPS, Stewardess




The list of those who were temporarily on board the yacht during the
voyage comprised the following persons:--

ARRIVALS.

CREW OF 'MONKSHAVEN' (15) came on board the 'Sunbeam' Sept. 28.
ARTHUR TURNER, one of the crew, remained on board the 'Sunbeam '
  as an A.B.
JOHN SEBBORN, from U.S. 'Ashuelot,' Hongkong.
JOHN SHAW (Under-Cook), Hongkong.
ISAAC AYAK, Hongkong.
JOHN AHANG, Hongkong.
MAHOMET. Fireman, Galle.
ABRAHAM, Fireman. Galle.
TOM DOLLAR, Fireman, Galle.
MR. and MRS. WOODROFFE, Ismailia,
(Total, 24.)

DEPARTURES.

T. ALLNUTT BRASSEY, Rio.
CREW OF 'MONKSHAVEN' (14) placed on board the 'Ultimand', Oct. 5.
CAPTAIN LECKY, Buenos Ayres.
GEO. LESLIE, Ensenada.
CAPTAIN BROWN, Honolulu.
WM. PRYDE, Honolulu.
JOHN FALE, Malacca.
MAHOMET, Fireman, Suez.
ABRAHAM, Fireman, Suez.
TOM DOLLAR, Fireman, Aden.
MR. and MRS. WOODROFFE, Port Said.
(Total, 25.)




Note.--Many were the preparations to be made before starting on our
voyage; the crew had to be selected, we had to decide whether all,
any, or none of the children should be taken, what friends we should
invite to accompany us, what stores and provisions we should take, and
to select from our little fleet of boats those which seemed best
suited for the various requirements of the voyage. The whole number
comprised

     The 'Gleam,' lifeboat cutter;
     The 'Glance,' large gig;
     The 'Ray,' light gig;
     The 'Trap' (to catch a sunbeam), steam launch;
     The 'Mote,' dingy;
     The 'Flash,' light outrigger.

Of these the 'Trap' and the 'Ray' had to be left behind.




_LETTER_

(From the _Times_ of June 2, 1877).

To the Editor of the 'Times.'--Sir,--Believing it possible that some
interest may attach to the voyage completed on May 27 by the arrival
of the 'Sunbeam' at Cowes, I venture to offer to your readers a short
narrative of our proceedings. The expedition is in some respects
unprecedented; a circumnavigation of 35,400 miles has never before
been made in the short period of 46 weeks, from which must be deducted
112 days of well-earned repose in harbour. We had, it is true, the
advantage of steam, without which such a performance would have been
an impossibility; but we travelled 20,517 miles under sail alone, and
the consumption of coal has not exceeded 350 tons. The 'Sunbeam'
sailed from Cowes on July 6, called at Torbay, Madeira, Teneriffe, and
the Cape Verde, crossed the Line on August 8, and, carrying a
favourable breeze in the south-east trades, without even a momentary
lull, a distance of 2,500 miles, arrived at Rio Janeiro on August 17.
Following the coasts of South America, we visited Montevideo, Buenos
Ayres, and Ensenada, steamed through the Straits of Magellan and
Smyth's Channel, and reached Valparaiso on October 21.

While on the coast of Patagonia it was our privilege to rescue a crew
of 15 hands from the bark 'Monkshaven,' laden with an inflammable
cargo of smelting coals, which had been on fire six days when we most
providentially descried her signals of distress.

On October 30 we commenced our long and lonely voyage of 12,330 miles
across the Pacific. We touched at Bow Island in the Low Archipelago,
Maitea and Tahiti in the Society Islands, and Hawaii and Oahu in the
Sandwich group. On January 21 we sighted Assumption in the Ladrones,
and on the 29th arrived at Yokohama. While in Japan we were present at
the opening of the railway from Osaka to Kioto by the Mikado, and
subsequently cruised in the Inland Sea in severe winterly weather. At
Simonoseki we found the people much agitated by the recent outbreak of
the Satsuma clan. On February 19 we bade a reluctant farewell to
Japan, and following the most direct route to England, visited in
succession Hongkong, Canton, Macao, Singapore, Johore, Malacca,
Penang, Galle, Colombo, Aden, Alexandria, Malta, Gibraltar, and
Lisbon.

Having given the principal dates, the story of the voyage will be most
rapidly completed by entering our successive passages in a tabular
statement:

                                                      Miles

                                               Steam   Sail  Total

Thames and English Channel                       193    205    398

Torbay to Madeira                                353    874  1,227

Madeira to Orotava (Teneriffe)                   164     72    236

Orotava to Tarafal Bay (San Antonio, Cape Verde)  35    886    921

Tarafal Bay to Rio Janeiro                       689  2,647  3,336

Rio to Monte Video and Buenos Ayres              509    712  1,221

Buenos Ayres to Possession Bay
(Straits of Magellan).                           816    524  1,340

In Straits of Magellan and Smyth's Channel       565     --    565

To Lota and Valparaiso                           634    500  1,134

Valparaiso to Yokohama, calling at Hao in
the Paumotu Group, Maitea and Tahiti in
the Society Islands, and Hawaii and Oahu
in the Sandwich Group                          2,108 10,225 12,333

Yokohama to Kobe and Simonoseki, through
the Inland Sea                                   653     --    653

Simonoseki to Hongkong                           395  1,015  1,410

Hongkong to Singapore                            312  1,251  1,563

Singapore to Point de Galle, calling at the
Straits Settlements                            1,668     --  1,668

Galle to Colombo and Aden                      2,202     --  2,202

Aden to Suez                                     807    551  1,358

Suez to Alexandria                               436     --    436

Alexandria to Cowes, touching at Malta,
Gibraltar, and Lisbon                          2,440    934  3,374

             Total . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14,979 20,396 35,375


Having sketched the voyage in outline, the following details may not
be devoid of interest to readers with nautical tastes.

Every yachtsman should be a lover of sailing. In the cruise of the
'Sunbeam,' although expedition was an essential consideration, steam
has been used almost exclusively in calms or in narrow waters, or
when, as it has often happened, we have sailed at sunset after a hard
day's work on board, intending to make an offing during the night and
set sails in the morning.

Of the total distance of 15,000 knots under steam, 12,000 were
traversed under those special circumstances which seem to justify even
a yachtsman in availing himself of the unromantic but invaluable
engine.

The best run under steam alone was 230 knots, and the most successful
continuous performance was on the passage from Penang to Galle, in the
week ending April 15, when the 'Sunbeam' steamed 1,451 knots, with a
daily consumption of 4-1/4 tons of coal.

The best runs under sail from noon to noon were 298 and 299 knots
respectively. The first was on the passage from Honolulu to Yokohama,
sailing along the 16th parallel of north latitude, and between 163
deg. and 168 deg. 15 min. east. The second was in the Formosa Channel.

The highest speed ever attained under sail was 15 knots in a squall in
the North Pacific.

On 28 days the distance under sail alone has exceeded, and often
considerably exceeded, 200 knots.

The best consecutive runs under sail only were:--

I. Week ending August 13, South Atlantic. In the south-east trades,
wind a-beam, force 5--1,456 knots.

II. Week ending November 19, South Pacific, south-east trades, wind
aft, force 5--1,360 knots.

III. Four days, January 15 to 18, North Pacific, north-east trades,
wind on the quarter, force 5 to 9--1,027 knots. The average speed in
this case was 107 knots an hour.

The following were the average speeds of the longer passages:--

                             Days     Total     Distance     Daily
                              at     Distance     under     Average
                              Sea                 Steam

1  Cape Verde to Rio          18      3,336        689        185

2  Valparaiso and Yokohama    72     12,333      2,108        171

3  Simonoseki and Aden        37      6,931      4,577        187

The vessel which has carried us so rapidly and safely round the globe
claims a brief description. She was designed by Mr. St. Clare Byrne,
of Liverpool, and may be technically defined as a composite
three-masted topsail-yard screw schooner. The engines, by Messrs.
Laird, are of 70 nominal or 350 indicated horse-power, and developed a
speed of 10.13 knots on the measured mile. The bunkers contain 80 tons
of coal. The average daily consumption is four tons, and the speed
eight knots in fine weather. The principal dimensions of the hull
are;--Length for tonnage, 157 ft.; beam, extreme, 27 ft. 6 in.;
displacement tonnage, 531 tons; area of midship section, 202 square
feet.

With an addition of 20 ft. to the length, and more engine power, the
'Sunbeam' presents a type which might be found efficient for naval
services in distant waters, where good sailing qualities are
essential, and large ships are not required.

On looking back, and contrasting the anticipated difficulties with the
actual experiences of the voyage, the ease and certainty with which
every passage has been made are truly surprising. Our track has been
for the most part within the Tropics. The storms off the Cape of Good
Hope and Cape Horn have been avoided in the inland passages of the
Straits of Magellan and the Suez Canal. We have encountered no
continuous stormy weather, except during the four days preceding our
arrival at Yokohama. We have suffered discomfort from heat and
detention in calms, but storms have disturbed us seldom, and they have
not lasted long.

Our experience of gales include a north-east gale off Cape Finisterre,
on the outward voyage; a northerly gale between Rio and the River
Plate, a westerly gale off the east coast of Patagonia, short but
severe gales on each of the four days preceding our arrival at
Yokohama, a severe gale from the north-west in the Inland Sea, a
north-east gale in the Formosa Channel, a northerly gale in the
Straits of Jubal, a westerly gale off Port Said, and an easterly gale
on the south coast of Candia. On the passage homewards from Gibraltar
we met strong northerly winds on the coast of Portugal, and a
north-east gale off Cape Finisterre.

The navigation has presented few difficulties. All the coasts that we
have visited have been surveyed. Lighthouses are now as numerous and
efficient on the coasts of China and Japan as on the shores of Europe.
Such is the perfection of the modern chronometer, that lunar
observations, the only difficult work in ocean navigation, are no
longer necessary; and the wind charts published by the Admiralty
supply to the amateur navigator accumulated information and valuable
hints for every stage of his voyage.

How infinitely easy is the task of the modern circumnavigator compared
with the hazardous explorations of Magelhaens and Captain Cook, when
the chronometer was an instrument of rude and untrustworthy quality,
when there were no charts, and the roaring of the breakers in the dead
of night was the mariner's first warning that a coral reef was near!

Our comprehensive and varied cruise has strengthened my former
convictions that the disasters due to negligence bear a large
proportion to the number of inevitable losses. Every coast is
dangerous to the careless commander; but there are no frequented seas
where, with the exercise of caution and reasonable skill, the dangers
cannot be avoided. These remarks do not, of course, apply to cases of
disaster from stress of weather. In fogs there must be delay, though
not necessarily danger.

In these days of lamentation over the degeneracy of the British
seaman, my experience may be accepted as a contribution to the mass of
evidence on this vexed question. I have not been surrounded by such
smart seamen as can only be found on a man-of-war, but I have no
ground for general or serious complaint. Many of my crew have done
their duty most faithfully. In emergencies everybody has risen to the
occasion, and has done best when his skill or endurance was most
severely tried--

   'My mariners,
    Souls that have toiled and wrought and thought with me,
    That ever with a frolic welcome took
    The thunder and the sunshine.'

It is always in stormy weather that the good qualities of the British
seaman are displayed to the greatest advantage. The difficulty is to
keep up his interest and energies in long intervals of fine weather,
when nothing occurs to rouse him to an effort, and the faculties of
the seaman before the mast, no less than those of his officer, are
benumbed by the monotony and isolation from mankind, which are the
gravest drawbacks of a sailor's life. It is in these dull moments that
men are tempted to drink and quarrel, that officers become tyrannical,
and their crews insubordinate, or even mutinous. Lest it should be
thought that my impressions of the average sailor are derived from an
exceptional crew or picked men, I have only to add that the manning of
the 'Sunbeam' was a family job. The sailing master was related by
blood or marriage to the majority of his subordinates--fishermen from
the coast of Essex, who had received their early training among the
banks and shoals at the mouth of the Thames.

In this connection I tender my sincere tribute of praise to the
officers of the Navy for their success in maintaining the efficiency
and spirit of their crews through long commissions on foreign
stations, much time being necessarily spent in harbour, in many cases
in the most enervating climates. The discipline of the service seems
to be admirable, and the seamen are reconciled to it by tradition, by
early training, and perhaps by an instinctive perception of its
necessity.

I am equally bound to commend the efficiency of our consular service
in the remotest outposts of civilisation which we have visited; and
evidences of good colonial administration are abundantly manifest in
Hongkong, Singapore, Penang, Ceylon, and Aden, in the prosperity and
contentment of the people.

It is scarcely necessary to observe, in conclusion, that experiences
may be gathered in a voyage of circumnavigation which are not to be
gleaned from Blue-books or from shorter cruises in European waters. A
more vivid impression is formed of the sailor's daily life, of his
privations at sea, and his temptations on shore. The services required
of the Navy are more clearly appreciated after a visit to distant
foreign stations.

Such a voyage is, indeed, a serious effort. It demands many laborious
days and anxious nights of watching. For my safe return to 'those
pale, those white-faced shores,' so welcome to the homeward-bound,
accompanied, happily, by the adventurous little family who have taken
part in the expedition, I am truly thankful.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

THOMAS BRASSEY.

COWES

actual experiences of the voyage, the ease and certainty with which
every passage has been made are truly surprising. Our track has been
for the most part within the Tropics. The storms off the Cape of Good
Hope and Cape Horn have been avoided in the inland passages of the
Straits of Magellan and the Suez Canal. We have encountered no
continuous stormy weather, except during the four days preceding our
arrival at Yokohama. We have suffered discomfort from heat and
detention in calms, but storms have disturbed us seldom, and they have
not lasted long.

Our experience of gales include a north-east gale off Cape Finisterre,
on the outward voyage; a northerly gale between Rio and the River
Plate, a westerly gale off the east coast of Patagonia, short but
severe gales on each of the four days preceding our arrival at
Yokohama, a severe gale from the north-west in the Inland Sea, a
north-east gale in the Formosa Channel, a northerly gale in the
Straits of Jubal, a westerly gale off Port Said, and an easterly gale
on the south coast of Candia. On the passage homewards from Gibraltar
we met strong northerly winds on the coast of Portugal, and a
north-east gale off Cape Finisterre.

The navigation has presented few difficulties. All the coasts that we
have visited have been surveyed. Lighthouses are now as numerous and
efficient on the coasts of China and Japan as on the shores of Europe.
Such is the perfection of the modern chronometer, that lunar
observations, the only difficult work in ocean navigation, are no
longer necessary; and the wind charts published by the Admiralty
supply to the amateur navigator accumulated information and valuable
hints for every stage of his voyage.

How infinitely easy is the task of the modern circumnavigator compared
with the hazardous explorations of Magelhaens and Captain Cook, when
the chronometer was an instrument of rude and untrustworthy quality,
when there were no charts, and the roaring of the breakers in the dead
of night was the mariner's first warning that a coral reef was near!

Our comprehensive and varied cruise has strengthened my former
convictions that the disasters due to negligence bear a large
proportion to the number of inevitable losses. Every coast is
dangerous to the careless commander; but there are no frequented seas
where, with the exercise of caution and reasonable skill, the dangers
cannot be avoided. These remarks do not, of course, apply to cases of
disaster from stress of weather. In fogs there must be delay, though
not necessarily danger.

In these days of lamentation over the degeneracy of the British
seaman, my experience may be accepted as a contribution to the mass of
evidence on this vexed question. I have not been surrounded by such
smart seamen as can only be found on a man-of-war, but I have no
ground for general or serious complaint. Many of my crew have done
their duty most faithfully. In emergencies everybody has risen to the
occasion, and has done best when his skill or endurance was most
severely tried--

   'My mariners,
    Souls that have toiled and wrought and thought with me,
    That ever with a frolic welcome took
    The thunder and the sunshine.'

It is always in stormy weather that the good qualities of the British
seaman are displayed to the greatest advantage. The difficulty is to
keep up his interest and energies in long intervals of fine weather,
when nothing occurs to rouse him to an effort, and the faculties of
the seaman before the mast, no less than those of his officer, are
benumbed by the monotony and isolation from mankind, which are the
gravest drawbacks of a sailor's life. It is in these dull moments that
men are tempted to drink and quarrel, that officers become tyrannical,
and their crews insubordinate, or even mutinous. Lest it should be
thought that my impressions of the average sailor are derived from an
exceptional crew or picked men, I have only to add that the manning of
the 'Sunbeam' was a family job. The sailing master was related by
blood or marriage to the majority of his subordinates--fishermen from
the coast of Essex, who had received their early training among the
banks and shoals at the mouth of the Thames.

In this connection I tender my sincere tribute of praise to the
officers of the Navy for their success in maintaining the efficiency
and spirit of their crews through long commissions on foreign
stations, much time being necessarily spent in harbour, in many cases
in the most enervating climates. The discipline of the service seems
to be admirable, and the seamen are reconciled to it by tradition, by
early training, and perhaps by an instinctive perception of its
necessity.

I am equally bound to commend the efficiency of our consular service
in the remotest outposts of civilisation which we have visited; and
evidences of good colonial administration are abundantly manifest in
Hongkong, Singapore, Penang, Ceylon, and Aden, in the prosperity and
contentment of the people.

It is scarcely necessary to observe, in conclusion, that experiences
may be gathered in a voyage of circumnavigation which are not to be
gleaned from Blue-books or from shorter cruises in European waters. A
more vivid impression is formed of the sailor's daily life, of his
privations at sea, and his temptations on shore. The services required
of the Navy are more clearly appreciated after a visit to distant
foreign stations.

Such a voyage is, indeed, a serious effort. It demands many laborious
days and anxious nights of watching. For my safe return to 'those
pale, those white-faced shores,' so welcome to the homeward-bound,
accompanied, happily, by the adventurous little family who have taken
part in the expedition, I am truly thankful.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

THOMAS BRASSEY.

COWES



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