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´╗┐Title: A Yacht Voyage Round England
Author: Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Yacht Voyage Round England" ***

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A Yacht Voyage Round England, by W.H.G. Kingston.

________________________________________________________________________
This is a most remarkable book, copiously illustrated with interesting
engravings.  A young boy and his brother are sent home early from their
boarding-school, because of illness among the pupils.  Their father is a
retired captain in the Royal Navy, who has had a beautiful yacht built.
He suggests that the family should spend this lengthened summer holiday
sailing round England.  This means sailing round the southern part of
Scotland, passing through the Caledonian Canal.

The boys were instructed to keep journals, in which they were to note
everything that took their interest.  This is Kingston's vehicle for
delivering to us an excellent story, full of comments on the places they
visited or passed by.  Your reviewer has sailed much of the same route,
and can vouch for the intrinsic truth of the descriptions, after making
allowance for the hundred years between our voyages.

We have tried to bring you the illustrations, though reduced in size,
and therefore you will get the best flavour of the book from the html
version.

________________________________________________________________________
A YACHT VOYAGE ROUND ENGLAND, BY W.H.G. KINGSTON.



CHAPTER ONE.

THE START.

We had come home from school much earlier than usual, on account of
illness having broken out there; but as none of the boys were
dangerously ill, and those in the infirmary were very comfortable, we
were not excessively unhappy.  I suspect that some of us wished that
fever or some other sickness would appear two or three weeks before all
the holidays.

However, as we had nothing to complain of at school, this, I confess,
was a very unreasonable wish.

The very day of our arrival home, when we were seated at dinner, and my
brother Oliver and I were discussing the important subject of how we
were to spend the next ten or twelve weeks, we heard our papa, who is a
retired captain of the Royal Navy--and who was not attending to what we
were talking about--say, as he looked across the table to mamma:

"Would you object to these boys of ours taking a cruise with me round
England this summer?"

We pricked up our ears, you may be sure, to listen eagerly to the reply.
Looking at Oliver, then at me, she said:

"I should like to know what they think of it.  As they have never before
taken so long a cruise, they may get tired, and wish themselves home
again or back at school."

"Oh no, no! we should like it amazingly.  We are sure not to get tired,
if papa will take us.  We will work our passage; will pull and haul, and
learn to reef and steer, and do everything we are told," said Oliver.

"What do you say about the matter, Harry?" asked papa.

"I say ditto to Oliver," I replied.  "We will at all events _try_ to be
of use;" for I knew from previous experience that it was only when the
weather was fine, and we were really not wanted, that we were likely to
be able to do anything.

"Then I give my consent," said mamma; on which we both jumped up and
kissed her, as we had been accustomed to do when we were little chaps;
we both felt so delighted.

"Well, we shall be sorry to be away from you so long," said Oliver, when
we again sat down, looking quite grave for a moment or two.  "But then,
you know, mamma, you will have the girls and the small boys to look
after; and we shall have lots to tell you about when we come back."

"I cannot trust to your remembering everything that happens," said
mamma.  "When I gave my leave I intended to make it provisional on your
keeping a journal of all you see and do, and everything interesting you
hear about.  I do not expect it to be very long; so you must make it
terse and graphic.  Oliver must keep notes and help you, and one
complete journal will be sufficient."

"That's just the bargain I intended to make," said papa.  "I'll look out
that Harry keeps to his intentions.  It is the most difficult matter to
accomplish.  Thousands of people intend to write journals, and break
down after the first five or six pages."

On the morning appointed for the start a little longer time than usual
was spent in prayer together, a special petition being offered that our
Heavenly Father would keep us under His protection, and bring us safely
home again.  Soon afterwards we were rattling away to Waterloo Station,
with our traps, including our still blank journals, our sketch-books,
fishing-rods, our guns, several works on natural history, bottles and
boxes for specimens, spy-glasses, and lots of other things.

Papa laughed when he saw them.  "It would not do if we were going to
join a man-of-war; but we have room to stow away a good number of things
on board the Lively, although she is little more than thirty-five tons
burden."

In a quarter of an hour the train started for Southampton; and away we
flew, the heat and the dust increasing our eagerness to feel the fresh
sea-breezes.

"Although the Lively can show a fast pair of heels, we cannot go quite
so fast as this," said papa, as he remarked the speed at which we dashed
by the telegraph posts.

On reaching the station at Southampton, we found Paul Truck, the
sailing-master of the cutter, or the captain, as he liked to be called,
waiting for us, with two of the crew, who had come up to assist in
carrying our traps down to the quay.  There was the boat, her crew in
blue shirts, and hats on which was the name of the yacht.  The men, who
had the oars upright in their hands while waiting, when we embarked let
the blades drop on the water in smart man-of-war style; and away we
pulled for the yacht, which lay some distance off the quay.

"I think I shall know her again," cried Oliver: "that's her, I'm
certain."

Paul, who was pulling the stroke oar, cast a glance over his shoulder,
and shaking his head with a knowing look, observed:

"No, no, Master Oliver; that's a good deal bigger craft than ours.
She's ninety ton at least.  You must give another guess."

"That's the Lively, though," I cried out; "I know her by her beauty and
the way she sits on the water."

"You're right, Master Harry.  Lively is her name, and lively is her
nature, and beautiful she is to look at.  I'll be bound we shall not
fall in with a prettier craft--a finer boat for her size."

Paul's encomiums were not undeserved by the yacht; she was everything he
said; we thought so, at all events.  It was with no little pride that we
stepped on deck.

Papa had the after-cabin fitted up for Oliver and me, and he himself had
a state cabin abaft the forecastle.  There were besides four open berths
in which beds could be made up on both sides of the main cabin.  The
forecastle was large and airy, with room for the men to swing their
hammocks, and it also held a brightly polished copper kitchen range.

Everything looked as neat and clean "as if the yacht had been kept in a
glass case," as Paul observed.

Papa, having looked over the stores, took us on shore to obtain a number
of things which he found we should require.  We thus had an opportunity
of seeing something of the town.

The old walls of Southampton have been pulled down, or are crumbling
away, the most perfect portion being the gateway, or Bar Gate, in the
High Street.  On either side of it stand two curious old heraldic
figures, and beside them are two blackened pictures--one representing
Sir Bevis of Hampton, and the other his companion, Ascapart.  Sir Bevis,
who lived in the reign of Edgar, had a castle in the neighbourhood.  It
is said he bestowed his love on a pagan lady, Josian, who, having been
converted to Christianity, gave him a sword called Morglay, and a horse
named Arundel.  Thus equipped he was wont to kill four or five men at
one blow.  Among his renowned deeds were those he performed against the
Saracens, and also his slaughter of an enormous dragon.

The extensive docks at the mouth of the river Itchen, to the east of the
town, have, of course, greatly increased its wealth.  We saw a
magnificent foreign-bound steamer coming out of the docks.  The West
India ships start from here, as do other lines of steamers running to
the Cape, and to various parts of the world; so that Southampton is a
bustling seaport.  There is another river to the west of the town,
called the Test; and that joining with the Itchen at the point where the
town is built, forms the beautiful Southampton Water.

But perhaps the most interesting fact about Southampton is that Isaac
Watts, the Christian poet, was born here in 1671.  The house in French
Street is still standing, and we went to look at it.  There he passed
his play-days of childhood; there the dreamy, studious boy stored up his
first spoils of knowledge; there he wrote his first hymns; and thither
he went to visit his parents, when he himself was old and famous.  We
also went to see the remains of Saint Michael's Gaol, in which Watts'
father had been confined for his nonconformity.  And as we looked on the
old prison we thanked God that nowadays, in England at least, religious
persecution is unknown.

When we returned on board, we noticed with surprise on each side of the
river what had the appearance of green fields, over which the water had
just before flowed; they were, however, in reality mud flats covered by
long sea-weed.

Soon after tea we turned into our berths, feeling very jolly and quite
at home, though Oliver did knock his head twice against the deck above,
forgetting the size of our bedroom.  We lay awake listening to the water
rippling by, and now and then hearing the step of the man on watch
overhead; but generally there was perfect silence, very different from
the noise of London.

We were both dressed and on deck some time before papa next morning, for
as the tide was still flowing, and there was no wind, he knew that we
could not make way down the river.  So we had time for a dive and a swim
round the vessel, climbing on board again by means of a short ladder
rigged over the side.

Soon after this we saw a few of the other vessels hoisting their sails;
and then Captain Truck, Oliver, and I pulled and hauled until we got our
mainsail set.  The men then washed down the decks, though really there
was no dirt to wash away, and we tried, as we had promised, to make
ourselves useful.

When papa appeared he looked pleased at our being so hard at work.  As
there was just then a ripple on the water, he ordered the anchor to be
got up; and it being now full tide, we began, almost imperceptibly, to
glide away from among the other vessels.  On the right was the edge of
the New Forest, in which William Rufus was killed; although I believe
that took place a good way off, near Lyndhurst; and very little of the
eastern side of the forest now remains.

On the left we passed Netley Abbey, a very pretty, small ruin, and near
it a large military hospital and college, where medical officers of the
army study the complaints of the troops who have been in tropical
climates.  On the opposite side, at the end of a point stretching partly
across the mouth of the water, we saw the old grey, round castle of
Calshot, which was built to defend the entrance, but would be of little
use in stopping even an enemy's gunboat at the present day.  However,
papa said there are very strong fortifications at both ends of the
Solent, as the channel here is called.  No enemy's gunboat could ever
get through, much less an enemy's fleet; at any rate, if they did, he
hoped they would never get out again.

Some way to the left of Calshot rose the tall tower of Eaglehurst among
the trees.  The wind was from the west.  We stood away towards
Portsmouth, as papa wished to visit an old friend there, and to give us
an opportunity of seeing that renowned seaport as well.  We caught a
glimpse of Cowes, and Osborne to the east of it, where the Queen
frequently resides, and the town of Ryde, rising up on a hill surrounded
by woods, and then the shipping at Spithead, with the curious
cheese-shaped forts erected to guard the eastern entrance to the Solent.

Papa told us that these curious round forts, rising out of the sea, are
built of granite; that in time of war they are to be united by a line of
torpedoes and the wires of electric batteries.  They are perfectly
impregnable to shot, and they are armed with very heavy guns, so that an
enemy attempting to come in on that side would have a very poor chance
of success.

As we were anxious to see them, we had kept more in mid-channel than we
should otherwise have done.  We now hauled up for Portsmouth Harbour.
Far off, on the summit of the green heights of Portsdown Hill, we could
see the obelisk-shaped monument to Nelson, an appropriate landmark in
sight of the last spot of English ground on which he stepped before
sailing to fight the great battle of Trafalgar, where he fell.  We could
also trace the outline of a portion of the cordon of forts--twenty miles
in length--from Langston Harbour on the east to Stokes' Bay on the west.
Along the shores, on both sides of the harbour, are two lines of
fortifications; so that even should a hostile fleet manage to get by the
cheese-like forts, they would still find it a hard matter to set fire to
the dockyard or blow up the Victory.  That noble old ship met our sight
as, passing between Point Battery and Block House Fort, we entered the
harbour.

She did not look so big as I expected, for not far off was the Duke of
Wellington, which seemed almost large enough to hoist her on board; and
nearer to us, at the entrance of Haslar Creek, was the gallant old Saint
Vincent, on board which papa once served when he was a midshipman.  We
looked at her with great respect, I can tell you.  Think how old she
must be.  She has done her duty well,--she has carried the flag of
England many a year, and now still does her duty by serving as a ship in
which boys are trained for the Royal Navy.

Further up, in dim perspective, we saw ships with enormous
yellow-painted hulls; noble ships they were, with names allied to
England's naval glory.  They were all, however, far younger than the
Saint Vincent, as we discovered by seeing the apertures in their
stern-posts formed to admit screws.  Some fought in the Black Sea,
others in the Baltic; but papa said "that their fighting days are now
done, though they are kept to be employed in a more peaceful manner,
either as hospital ships or training-schools."

Shortening sail, we came to an anchor not far from the Saint Vincent,
among several other yachts.  On the Gosport side we could see across the
harbour, away to the dockyard, off the quays of which were clustered a
number of black monsters of varied form and rig.  Papa said--though
otherwise we could not have believed it--"that there were amongst them
some of the finest ships of the present navy."  I could hardly fancy
that such ships could go to sea, for they are more like gigantic coal
barges with strong erections on their decks, than anything else afloat.

Of course I cannot tell you all our adventures consecutively, so shall
describe only some of the most interesting.  We first visited the Saint
Vincent, which, as we had just left our little yacht, looked very fine
and grand.  Papa was saying to one of the officers that he had served on
board her, when a weather-beaten petty officer came up, and with a smile
on his countenance touched his hat, asking if papa remembered Tom
Trueman.  Papa immediately exclaimed, "Of course I do," and gave him
such a hearty grip of the hand that it almost made the tears come into
the old man's eyes with pleasure, and they had a long yarn about days of
yore.  After this papa met many old shipmates.  It was pleasant to see
the way in which he greeted them and they greeted him, showing how much
he must have been beloved, which, of course, he was; and I'll venture to
say it will be a hard matter to find a kinder or better man.  I'm sure
that he is a brave sailor, from the things he has done, and the cool way
in which he manages the yacht, whatever is happening.

After we had finished with the Saint Vincent we went on board the
Victory, which looks, outside, as sound as ever she did--a fine, bluff
old ship; but when we stepped on her deck, even we were struck by her
ancient appearance, very unlike the Saint Vincent, and still more unlike
the Duke of Wellington.  There was wonderfully little ornamental or
brass work of any sort; and the stanchions, ladders, and railings were
all stout and heavy-looking.

Of course we looked with respect on the brass plate on her deck which
marks the spot where Nelson fell.  We then went far down into the
midshipmen's berth, in the cockpit.  How dark and gloomy it seemed; and
yet it was here Nelson, while the guns were thundering overhead, lay
dying.  How very different from the mess-rooms of young officers of the
present day!  Here another inscription, fixed on the ship's side,
pointed out where the hero breathed his last.  Going into the cabin on
the main deck, we saw one of the very topsails--riddled with shot--which
had been at Trafalgar.  After being shifted at Gibraltar, it had been
for more than half a century laid up in a store at Woolwich, no one
guessing what a yarn that old roll of canvas could tell.

We also saw an interesting picture of the "Death of Nelson," and another
of the battle itself.  We felt almost awe-struck while seeing these
things, and thinking of the gallant men who once served on board that
noble ship.  Papa said that he hoped, if the old ship is not wanted for
practical purposes, that she may be fitted up exactly as she was at
Trafalgar.

We afterwards called on an old lady--a friend of papa--who told us that
she clearly recollected going off from Ryde in a boat with her father
and mother, and pulling round the Victory when she arrived from
Gibraltar at Spithead, on the 4th of December, 1805, with the body of
Nelson on board.  In many places the shot were still sticking in her
sides, her decks were scarcely freed from blood, and other injuries
showed the severity of the action.

After this, the Victory was constantly employed until the year 1812,
from which time she was never recommissioned for sea; but from 1825
until within a few years ago, she bore the flags of the port-admirals of
Portsmouth.

Late in the evening we crossed the harbour to the dockyard, where papa
wanted to pay a visit.  A curious steam ferry-boat runs backwards and
forwards between Portsmouth and Gosport.  We passed a number of large
ships coated with thick plates of iron; but even the thickest cannot
withstand the shots sent from some of the guns which have been invented,
and all might be destroyed by torpedoes.  We could hardly believe that
some of the ships we saw were fit to go to sea.  The most remarkable was
the Devastation.  Her free-board--that is, the upper part of her sides--
is only a few feet above the water.  Amidships rises a round structure
supporting what is called "a hurricane-deck."  This is the only spot
where the officers and men can stand in a sea-way.  At either end is a
circular revolving turret containing two thirty-five ton guns,
constructed to throw shot of seven hundred pounds.  These guns are
worked by means of machinery.

Contrasting with the ironclads, we saw lying alongside the quays several
enormous, white-painted, richly-gilt troop-ships, also iron-built, which
run through the Suez Canal to India.  The night was calm and still; and
as we pulled up the harbour a short distance among the huge ships, I
could not help fancying that I heard them talking to each other, and
telling of the deeds they had done.  Papa laughed at my poetical fancy,
which was put to flight when he told me that scarcely any of them,
except those which were engaged in the Baltic and Black Sea, had seen
any service.

Pulling down the harbour on the Gosport side, to be out of the way of
passing vessels, we soon reached the yacht, feeling very tired, for we
had been wide awake for the last sixteen hours.  As we sat in our little
cabin, it was difficult to realise that outside of us were so many
objects and scenes of interest connected with the naval history of
England.  Papa told us a number of curious anecdotes.  Not many hundred
yards from us, about a century ago, was to be seen a gibbet on Block
House Point, at the west entrance of the harbour, on which hung the body
of a man called Jack the Painter.  Having taken it into his very silly
head that he should forward the cause of freedom by burning the
dockyard, he set fire to the rope-house, which was filled with hemp,
pitch, and tar.  Jack, having performed this noble deed, escaped from
the yard, and was making his way along the Fareham Road, when, having
asked a carter to give him a lift, he pointed out the cloud of smoke
rising in the distance, observing that he "guessed where it came from."
The carter went his way; but shortly afterwards, when a hue and cry was
raised, he recollected his passenger, who was traced, captured, tried,
and executed.

Another story we heard was about the mad pranks played by naval officers
in days of yore.  At that time, a sentry-box, having a seat within,
stood on the Hard, at Portsmouth, so that the sentry could sit down and
rest himself.  It happened that a party of young captains and
commanders, coming down from dinner to embark, found the sentry at his
post, but drunk and sound asleep in his box!  Punishment was his due.
They bethought themselves of a mode of astonishing him.  Summoning their
crews, box and sentry were carried on board one of their boats and
transported to Gosport, and then placed in an upright position facing
the water.  When the relief came to the spot where the sentry was
originally stationed, what was their astonishment and alarm to find
neither sentry nor box!  The captain of the guard reported the
circumstance to the fort-major.  "The enemy," he averred, "must be at
hand."

The garrison was aroused, the drawbridges were hauled up.  Daylight
revealed the box and the position of the sentry, who protested that,
although as sober as a judge, he had no idea how he had been conveyed
across the harbour.

Numerous "land-sharks" used to be in waiting to tempt those who were
generally too ready to be tempted into scenes of debauchery and vice.
This state of things continued until a few years ago, when it was put
into the heart of a noble lady--Miss Robinson--to found an institute for
soldiers and sailors.  There they may find a home when coming on shore,
and be warned of the dangers awaiting them.  After great exertion, and
travelling about England to obtain funds, she raised about thirteen
thousand pounds, and succeeded in purchasing the old Fountain Hotel, in
the High Street, which, greatly enlarged, was opened in 1874 as a
Soldiers' and Sailors' Institute, by General Sir James Hope Grant.

Dear me, I shall fill up my journal with the yarns we heard at
Portsmouth, and have no room for our adventures, if I write on at this
rate.  After our devotions, we turned in, and were lulled to sleep, as
we were last night, by the ripple of the water against the sides of the
yacht.



CHAPTER TWO.

IN THE SOLENT.

Next morning, soon after breakfast, we went on shore to pay a visit to
the dockyard.  On entering, papa was desired to put down his name; and
the man seeing that he was a captain in the navy, we were allowed to go
on without a policeman in attendance, and nearly lost ourselves among
the storehouses and docks.  As we walked past the lines of lofty sheds,
we heard from all directions the ringing clank of iron, instead of, as
in days of yore, the dull thud of the shipwright's mallet, and saw the
ground under each shed strewed with ribs and sheets of iron ready to be
fixed to the vast skeletons within.  Papa could not help sighing, and
saying that he wished "the days of honest sailing ships could come back
again."  However, he directly afterwards observed, "I should be sorry to
get back, at the same time, the abuses, the wild doings, and the
profligacy which then prevailed.  Things have undoubtedly greatly
improved, though they are bad enough even now."

Tramways and railways, with steam locomotives, run in all directions.
Formerly, papa said, the work was done by yellow-coated convicts with
chains on their legs.  They have happily been removed from the dockyard
itself, and free labourers only are employed.  Convicts, however, are
still employed in various extensive public works.

Of course we visited Brunel's block machinery, which shapes from the
rough mass of wood, with wonderful accuracy and speed, the polished
block fit for use.  Huge lathes were at work, with circular saws and
drills, sending the chips of wood flying round them with a whizzing and
whirring sound.  So perfect is the machinery that skilled artisans are
not required to use it.  Four men only are employed in making the
shells, and these four can make with machinery as many as fifty men
could do by hand.  On an average, nineteen men make one hundred and
fifty thousand blocks in the course of the year.

Leaving the block house, we went to the smithy, where we saw Nasmyth's
steam hammer, which does not strike like a hammer, but comes down
between two uprights.  On one side is a huge furnace for heating the
material to be subjected to the hammer.  Papa asked the manager to place
a nut under it, when down came the hammer and just cracked the shell.
He then asked for another to be placed beneath the hammer, when it
descended and made but a slight dent in the nut.

Soon afterwards a huge mass of iron, to form an anchor, was drawn out of
the furnace; then down came the hammer with thundering strokes, beating
and battering it until it was forced into the required shape, while the
sparks flying out on all sides made us retreat to a safer distance.

One of the largest buildings in the dockyard is the foundry, which is
considered the most complete in the world.  We looked into the sheds, as
they are called, where the boilers for the ships are constructed, and
could scarcely hear ourselves speak, from the noise of hammers driving
in the rivets.  Many of the boilers were large enough to form good-sized
rooms.  We walked along the edge of the steam basin.  It is nine hundred
feet long and four hundred broad.  The ships, I should have said, are
built on what are called the building slips, which are covered over with
huge roofs of corrugated iron, so that the ships and workmen are
protected while the building is going forward.

Before leaving we went into the mast-house, near the entrance to the
yard.  Here we saw the enormous pieces of timber intended to be built
into masts--for masts of large ships are not single trees, but composed
of many pieces, which are bound together with stout iron hoops.  Here
also were the masts of ships in ordinary.  They would be liable to decay
if kept on board exposed to the weather.  Each mast and yard is marked
with the name of the ship to which it belongs.  The masts of the old
Victory are kept here, the same she carried at Trafalgar.  Not far off
is the boat-house, where boats from a large launch down to the smallest
gig are kept ready for use.

We looked into the Naval College, where officers go to study a variety
of professional subjects.  When papa was a boy the Naval College was
used as the Britannia now is--as a training-school for naval cadets.
Finding an officer going on board the Excellent--gunnery ship--we
accompanied him.  We were amused to find that the Excellent consists of
three ships moored one astern of the other, and that not one of them is
the old Excellent, she having been removed.  Our friend invited us to
accompany him on board an old frigate moored a little way up the
harbour, from which we could see some interesting torpedo experiments.

As we pulled along he gave us an explanation of the fish torpedo--a
wonderful instrument of destruction which has been invented of late
years.  It is a cylinder, which carries the explosive material at one
end and the machinery for working the screw which impels it at the
other.  It can be discharged through a tube with such accuracy that it
can strike an object several hundred yards off.  On getting on board the
old frigate, we found a large party of officers assembled.  We were to
witness the explosion of two other sorts of torpedoes.  One was used by
a steam launch, the fore part of which was entirely covered over by an
iron shield.  The torpedo was fixed to the end of a long pole, carried
at the side of the launch.  At some distance from the ship a huge cask
was moored, towards which the launch rapidly made her way.  The pole,
with the torpedo at the end, was then thrust forward; the concussion
ignited it the instant it struck the cask and blew it to fragments.

Another launch then approached a large cask floating with one end out of
the water, to represent a boat.  An officer stood up with a little ball
of gun-cotton in his hand, smaller than an orange, to which was attached
a thin line of what is called lightning cotton, the other end being
fastened to a pistol.  As the launch glided on he threw the ball into
the cask.  The boat moved away as rapidly as possible, when the pistol
being fired, in an instant the cask was blown to atoms.  What a fearful
effect would have been produced had the innocent-looking little ball
been thrown into a boat full of men instead of into a cask!

Another experiment with gun-cotton was then tried.  A piece not larger
than a man's hand was fastened to an enormous iron chain fixed on the
deck of the ship.  We were all ordered to go below, out of harm's way.
Soon afterwards, the gun-cotton having been ignited by a train, we heard
a loud report; and on returning on deck we found that the chain had been
cut completely in two, the fragments having flown about in all
directions.

The chain of a boat at anchor was cut by means of a piece of gun-cotton
fixed to it, and ignited by a line of lightning cotton fired from one of
the launches.  This showed us how the chain-cable of a ship at anchor
might be cut; while a torpedo boat might dash in, as she was drifting
away with the tide and the attention of her officers was engaged, to
blow her up.

The chief experiments of the day were still to come off.  We saw a
number of buoys floating in various directions some way up the harbour.
A launch advanced towards one, when the buoy being struck by the pole,
the charge of a torpedo some twenty yards away was ignited, and the
fearful engine exploding, lifted a huge mass of water some thirty or
forty yards into the air.  How terrible must be the effects when such a
machine explodes under a ship!  As soon as the torpedoes had exploded,
the boats pulled up to the spot, and picked up a large number of fish
which had been killed or stunned by the concussion--for many did not
appear to be injured, and some even recovered when in the boats.

Papa, though very much interested, could not help saying that he was
thankful these murderous engines of war had not been discovered in his
time.  It is indeed sad to think that the ingenuity of people should be
required to invent such dreadful engines for the destruction of their
fellow-creatures.  When will the blessings of the gospel of peace be
universally spread abroad, and nations learn war no more?

We next pulled over to the Gosport side, to visit the Royal Clarence
Victualling Establishment, which papa said was once called Weovil.  Here
are stored beef and other salted meats, as well as supplies and
clothing; but what interested us most was the biscuit manufactory.  It
seemed to us as if the corn entered at one end and the biscuits came out
at the other, baked, and all ready to eat.  The corn having been ground,
the meal descends into a hollow cylinder, where it is mixed with water.
As the cylinder revolves a row of knives within cut the paste into
innumerable small pieces, kneading them into dough.  This dough is taken
out of the cylinder and spread on an iron table, over which enormous
rollers pass until they have pressed the mass into a sheet two inches
thick.  These are further divided and passed under a second pair of
rollers, when another instrument cuts the sheets into hexagonal
biscuits, not quite dividing them, however, and at the same time
stamping them with the Queen's mark and the number of the oven in which
they are baked.  Still joined together, they are passed into the ovens.
One hundredweight of biscuits can be put into one oven.

On the Gosport side we went over some of the forts, which are of great
extent.  The longest walk we took was to Portsdown Hill, for the sake of
visiting the Nelson Monument.  On it is an inscription:--

  To the Memory of
  Lord Viscount Nelson.
  By The Zealous Attachment Of All Those Who
  Fought At Trafalgar--To Perpetuate
  His Triumph And Their Regret.
  mdcccv.

We had a magnificent view from the top of the monument, looking
completely over Gosport, Portsmouth, and Southsea, with the harbour at
our feet, and taking in nearly the whole line of the Isle of Wight, with
the Solent, and away to the south-east, Saint Helen's and the English
Channel.  Later on we pulled five miles up the harbour, to Porchester
Castle, built by William the Conqueror.  For many centuries it was the
chief naval station of the kingdom, modern Portsmouth having sprung up
in the reign of Henry the First, in consequence of Porchester Harbour
filling with mud.

It was here, during the war with Napoleon, that several thousands of
French prisoners were confined, some in the castle, and others on board
the bulks.  They, of course, did not like to be shut up, and many
attempting to escape were suffocated in the mud.  They were but scantily
supplied with provisions, though they were not actually starved; but a
French colonel who broke his parole wrote a book, affirming that on one
occasion an officer who came to inspect the castle, having left his
horse in the court-yard, the famished prisoners despatched the animal,
devouring it on the spot; and, by the time the owner returned, the
stirrup-irons and bit alone remained!

Portsmouth is a very healthy place, although from its level position it
might be supposed to be otherwise.  It has a wide and handsome High
Street, leading down to the harbour.

The Fountain, at the end of the High Street, no longer exists as an inn,
but has been converted by Miss Robinson into a Soldiers' and Sailors'
Institute.  We went over the whole establishment.  At the entrance are
rooms where soldiers and sailors can see their friends; and then there
is a large bar, where, although no intoxicating drinks can be obtained,
tea, coffee, and beverages of all sorts are served.  Near it is a large
coffee-room.  Passing through the house, we entered a very nice garden,
on the right of which there is a bowling-green and a skittle-alley; and
we then came to a very handsome hall which serves for religious
meetings, lectures, concerts, teas, and other social gatherings.  There
were also rooms in which the men can fence or box.  A large reading-room
(with a good library) and Bible-classroom are on the second floor; and
at the top of the house are dormitories, making up a considerable number
of beds for soldiers, as also for their wives and families, who may be
passing through Portsmouth either to embark or have come from abroad.
There is a sewing-room for the employment of the soldiers' wives.  A
Children's Band of Hope meets every week.  There is even a smoking-room
for the men, and hot or cold baths.  Indeed, a more perfect place for
the soldier can nowhere be found.  Miss Robinson herself resides in the
house, and superintends the whole work, of which I have given but a very
slight description.  I should say that this most energetic lady has also
secured several houses for the accommodation of soldiers' families, who
would otherwise be driven into dirty or disreputable lodgings.

Another philanthropist of whom Portsmouth is justly proud is John
Pounds, who though only a poor shoemaker, originated and superintended
the first ragged school in the kingdom.  Near the Soldiers' Institute is
the John Pounds' Memorial Ragged School, where a large number of poor
children are cared for.  It is very gratifying to know that many of our
brave soldiers and sailors are also serving under the great Captain of
our salvation, and fighting the good fight of faith, helped in so doing
by good servants of God.

The town of Portsmouth was until lately surrounded by what were called
very strong fortifications; but the new works have rendered them
perfectly useless, and they are therefore being dismantled--a great
advantage to the town, as it will be thrown open to the sea-breezes.

A light breeze from the eastward enabled us to get under weigh just at
sunrise, and to stem the tide still making into the harbour.  Sometimes,
however, we scarcely seemed to go ahead, as we crept by Block House Fort
and Point Battery on the Portsmouth side.

Once upon a time, to prevent the ingress of an enemy's fleet, a chain
was stretched across the harbour's mouth.  We had got just outside the
harbour when we saw a man-of-war brig under all sail standing in.  A
beautiful sight she was, her canvas so white, her sides so polished!--on
she stood, not a brace nor tack slackened.  Papa looked at her with the
affection of an old sailor.  It was an object which reminded him of his
younger days.  "You don't see many like her now," he observed.
Presently, as she was starting by us, a shrill whistle was heard.  Like
magic the sails were clewed up, the hands, fine active lads--for she was
a training vessel--flew aloft, and lay out on the yards.  While we were
looking, the sails were furled; and it seemed scarcely a moment
afterwards when we saw her round to and come to an anchor not far from
the Saint Vincent.  "That's how I like to see things done," said papa.
"I wish we had a hundred such craft afloat; our lads would learn to be
real seamen!"

He and Paul were so interested in watching the brig, that for the moment
their attention was wholly absorbed.  As we got off the Southsea pier we
began to feel the wind coming over the common; and being able to make
better way, quickly glided by the yachts and small vessels anchored off
it, when we stood close to one of those round towers I have described,
and then on towards Spithead.

Spithead is so called because it is at the end of a spit or point of
sand which runs off from the mainland.  We passed close over the spot
where the Royal George, with nine hundred gallant men on board,
foundered in August, 1782.  She was the flag-ship of Admiral
Kempenfeldt.  He was at the time writing in his cabin, where he was last
seen by the captain of the ship, who managed to leap out of a stern port
and was saved, as was the late Sir Philip Durham, port-admiral of
Portsmouth, then one of the junior lieutenants.  The accident happened
from the gross negligence and obstinacy of one of the lieutenants.  In
order to get at a water-cock on the starboard side, the ship had been
heeled down on her larboard side, by running her guns over until the
lower deck port-sills were just level with the water.  Some casks of rum
were being hoisted on board from a lighter, bringing the ship still more
over.  The carpenter, seeing the danger, reported it to the lieutenant
of the watch, who at first obstinately refused to listen to him.  A
second time he went to the officer, who, when too late, turned the hands
up to right ship, intending to run the guns back into their former
places.  The weight of five or six hundred men, however, going over to
the larboard side completely turned the hitherto critically balanced
scale; and the ship went right over, with her masts in the water.  The
sea rushing through her ports quickly filled her, when she righted and
went down, those who had clambered through the ports on her starboard
side being swept off.  Two hundred out of nine hundred alone were saved.
Among these was a midshipman only nine years old, and a little child
found fastened on to the back of a sheep swimming from the wreck.  He
could not tell the names of his parents, who must have perished, and
only knew that his name was Jack, so he was called John Lamb.  None of
his relatives could be found, and a subscription was raised and people
took care of him, and having received a liberal education, he entered an
honourable profession.

Some years ago the remains of the ship were blown up by Sir C. Pasley,
and many of the guns recovered.  Close to the spot, in the days of bluff
King Harry, the Mary Rose, after an action with a French ship, went down
with her gallant captain, Sir George Carew, and all his men, while his
crew were attempting to get at the shot-holes she had received.

In 1701, the Edgar, 74 guns, which had just arrived from Canada, blew
up; her crew and their friends were making merry when they, to the
number of eight hundred, miserably perished.

While at anchor here also, the Boyne, of 91 guns, caught fire.  All
efforts to put out the flames were unavailing; but the greater number of
her crew escaped in boats.  As she drifted from Spithead towards
Southsea, her guns continued to go off, until touching the shore, she
blew up with a tremendous explosion.

The ships at Spithead now are of a very different appearance from those
formerly seen there.  Among them was the Minotaur, which, in consequence
of her great length, is fitted with five masts.  Just as we were passing
her she got under weigh, papa said, in very good style; and certainly,
when all her canvas was set, she looked a fine powerful sea-going craft.

The Devastation came out of the harbour, and stood on towards Saint
Helen's.  She certainly looked as unlike our notions of a man-of-war as
anything could be, though, as Paul Truck observed, "she would crumple up
the Minotaur in a few minutes with her four thirty-five ton guns,
powerful as the five-masted ship appears."

Though she looked only fit for harbour work, Paul said that she had been
out in heavy weather, and proved a fair sea-boat.  The only place that
people live on, when not below, is the hurricane-deck.  In this centre
structure are doorways which can be closed at sea.  They lead down into
the cabins below, as well as to the hurricane-deck, out of which rise
the two funnels and an iron signal-mast.  This is thick enough to enable
a person to ascend through its inside to a crow's-nest on the top, which
serves as a look-out place.  From it also projects the davits for
hoisting up the boats.  On the hurricane-deck stands the captain's
fighting-box, cased with iron.  Here also is the steering apparatus and
wheel.  When in action, all the officers and men would be sent below
except the helmsmen, who are also protected, with the captain and a
lieutenant, and the men inside the turrets working the guns.  These are
so powerful that they can penetrate armour six inches thick at the
distance of nearly three miles.

We brought-up for a short time at the end of Ryde Pier, as papa wished
to go on shore to the club.  The pier-head was crowded with people who
had come there to enjoy the sea-breeze without the inconvenience of
being tossed about in a vessel.  The town rises on a steep hill from the
shore, with woods on both sides, and looks very picturesque.  To the
west is the pretty village of Binstead, with its church peeping out
among the trees.

We were very glad, however, when papa came on board, and we got under
weigh to take a trip along the south coast of the island.  The wind and
tide suiting, we ran along the edge of the sand-flats, which extend off
from the north shore, passing a buoy which Paul Truck said was called
"No Man's Land."  Thence onwards, close by the Warner lightship.

As we wanted to see a lightship, the yacht was hove-to, and we went
alongside in the boat.  She was a stout, tub-like, Dutch-built-looking
vessel, with bow and stern much alike, and rising high out of the water,
which is very necessary, considering the heavy seas to which she is at
times exposed.  The master, who knew Paul Truck, was very glad to see
us, and at once offered to show us all over the vessel.

The light was in a sort of huge lantern, now lowered on deck; but at
night it is hoisted to the top of the mast, thirty-eight feet above the
water, so that it can be seen at a distance of eight miles.  It is what
is called a reflecting light.  I will try and describe it.

Within the lantern are a certain number of lights and reflectors, each
suspended on gimbals, so that they always maintain their perpendicular
position, notwithstanding the rolling of the vessel.  Each of these
lights consists of a copper lamp, placed in front of a saucer-shaped
reflector.  The lamp is fed by a cistern of oil at the back of the
reflector.  This being a revolving light, a number of reflectors were
fixed to the iron sides of a quadrangular frame, and the whole caused to
revolve once every minute by means of clockwork.  The reflectors on each
side of the revolving frame--eight in number--are thus successively
directed to every point in the horizon; and the combined result of their
rays form a flash of greater or less duration, according to the rapidity
of their revolution.  In the fixed lights eight lamps and reflectors are
used, and are arranged in an octagonal lantern; they do not differ much
in appearance from the others.

The master told us that the invention was discovered very curiously.  A
number of scientific gentlemen were dining together at Liverpool--a
hundred years ago--when one of the company wagered that he would read a
newspaper at the distance of two hundred feet by the light of a farthing
candle.  The rest of the party said that he would not.  He perhaps had
conceived the plan before.  Taking a wooden bowl, he lined it with
putty, and into it embedded small pieces of looking-glass, by which
means a perfect reflector was formed; he then placed his rushlight in
front of it, and won his wager.  Among the company was Mr William
Hutchinson, dock-master of Liverpool, who seizing the idea, made use of
copper lamps, and formed reflectors much in the same way as the
gentleman before mentioned.

Everything about the ship was strong, kept beautifully clean, and in the
most admirable order.  The crew consists of the captain and mate, with
twelve or fourteen men, a portion of whom are on shore off duty.  The
life is very monotonous; and the only amusement they have is fishing,
with reading and a few games, such as draughts and chess.  They had only
a small library of books, which did not appear very interesting.  Papa
left them a few interesting tracts and other small books, and gave them
a short address, urging them to trust to Christ, and follow His example
in their lives.  They listened attentively, and seemed very grateful.
They have a large roomy cabin, and an airy place to sleep in.  The
captain has his cabin aft, besides which there is a large space used as
a lamp-room, where all the extra lamps and oil and other things
pertaining to them are kept.  They seemed happy and contented; but when
a heavy gale is blowing they must be terribly tossed about.  Of course
there is a risk--although such is not likely to occur--of the vessel
being driven from her moorings.  In case this should happen, they have
small storm sails, and a rudder to steer the vessel.  When this does
happen it is a serious matter, not only to those on board, but still
more so to any ships approaching the spot, and expecting to find
guidance from the light.

Standing on, we passed close to the Bembridge or Nab Light-vessel.  This
vessel carries two bright fixed lights, one hoisted on each of her
masts, which can be seen at night ten miles off, and of course it can be
distinguished from the revolving Warner light.  Farther off to the west,
at the end of a shoal extending off Selsea Bill, is another lightship,
called the Owers.

Having rounded Bembridge Ledge, we stood towards the white Culver
cliffs, forming the north side of Sandown Bay, with lofty downs rising
above Bembridge.  Near their summits are lines of fortifications,
extending westward to where once stood Sandown Castle, near which there
is now a large town, although papa said he remembered when there was
only a small inn there, with a few cottages.  On the very top of the
downs is a monument erected to Lord Yarborough, the king of yachtsmen,
who died some years ago on board his yacht, the Kestrel, in the
Mediterranean.  He at one time had a large ship as his yacht, on board
which he maintained regular naval discipline, with a commander, and
officers who did duty as lieutenants.  It was said that he offered to
build and fit out a frigate, and maintain her at his own expense, if the
government would make him a post-captain off-hand, but this they
declined to do.

Standing across the bay, we came off a very picturesque spot, called
Shanklin Chine, a deep cut or opening in the cliffs with trees on both
sides.  Dunnose was passed, and the village of Bonchurch and Ventnor,
climbing up the cliffs from its sandy beach.  We now sailed along what
is considered the most beautiful part of the Isle of Wight,--the
Undercliff.  This is a belt of broken, nearly level ground, more or less
narrow, beyond which the cliffs rise to a considerable height, with
valleys intervening; the downs in some places appearing above them.
This belt, called the Undercliff, is covered with trees and numerous
villas.

At last we came off Rocken End Point, below Saint Catherine's Head.
This is the most southern point of the island.  On it stands a handsome
stone tower, 105 feet high, with a brilliant fixed light upon it.  The
village of Niton stands high up away from the shore.

It now came on to blow very fresh.  There was not much sea in the
offing; but, owing to the way the tide ran and met the wind, the bottom
being rocky, the water nearer the shore was tossed about in a most
curious and somewhat dangerous fashion, for several "lumps of sea," as
Truck called them, came flop down on our deck; and it was easy to see
what might be the consequences if an open boat had attempted to pass
through the Race.  Paul told us that good-sized vessels had been seen to
go down in similar places.  One off Portland is far worse than this in
heavy weather.

Farther on is a curious landslip, where a large portion of the cliff
once came down, and beyond it is Blackgang Chine, a wild, savage-looking
break in the cliffs, formed by the giving way of the lower strata.
Farther to the west, towards Freshwater Gate, the cliffs are
perpendicular, and of a great height, the smooth downs coming to their
very edge.

Some years ago a picnic party, who had come over from Lymington, had
assembled on that part of the downs, having come by different
conveyances.  Among them was a boy, like one of us--a merry fellow, I
dare say.  After the picnic the party separated in various directions.
When the time to return had arrived, so many went off in one carriage,
and so many in another.  In the same way they crossed to Lymington in
different boats.  Not until their arrival at that place was their young
companion missed, each party having supposed that he was with the other.
What could have become of him?  They hoped against hope that he had
wandered far off to the east, and had lost his way.  Then some of the
party recollected having seen him going towards the edge of the cliff.
He was a stranger, and was not aware how abruptly the downs terminated
in a fearful precipice.  It was too late to send back that night.  They
still hoped that he might have slipped down, and have lodged on some
ledge.  At daybreak boats were despatched to the island.  At length his
mangled remains were found at the foot of the highest part of the cliff,
over which he must have fallen and been dashed to pieces.  Papa said he
recollected seeing the party land, and all the circumstances of the
case.

Here, too, several sad shipwrecks have occurred, when many lives have
been lost.  A few years ago, two ladies were walking together during a
heavy gale of wind, which sent huge foaming billows rolling on towards
the shore.  One, the youngest, was nearer the water than the other, when
an immense wave suddenly broke on the beach, and surrounding her,
carried her off in its deadly embrace.  Her companion, with a courage
and nerve few ladies possess, rushed into the seething water, and
seizing her friend, dragged her back just before the hungry surge bore
her beyond her depth, Papa gave us these anecdotes as we gazed on the
shore.  We had intended going completely round the island; but the wind
changing, we ran back the way we had come, thus getting a second sight
of many places of interest.

It was dark before we reached the Nab; but steering by the lights I have
described, we easily found our way towards the anchorage off Ryde.  At
length we sighted the bright light at the end of the pier, and we kept
it on our port-bow until we saw before us a number of twinkling lights
hoisted on board the yachts at anchor.  It was necessary to keep a
_very_ sharp look-out, as we steered our way between them, until we came
to an anchorage off the western end of the pier.

The next morning, soon after daybreak, when we turned out to enjoy a
swim overboard, we saw, lying close to us, a fine sea-going little
schooner, but with no one, excepting the man on watch, on deck.  We had
had our dip, and were dressing, when we saw a boy spring up through the
companion hatch, and do just what we had done--jump overboard.

"I do declare that must be Cousin Jack!" cried Oliver.  "We will
surprise him."

In half a minute we had again slipped out of our clothes, and were in
the water on the opposite side to that on which the schooner lay.  We
then swam round together; and there, sure enough, we saw Jack's ruddy
countenance as he puffed and blew and spluttered as he came towards us.

"How do you do, Brother Grampus?" cried Oliver.

In another moment we were all treading water and shaking hands, and
laughing heartily at having thus met, like some strange fish out in the
ocean.  Greatly to our delight, we learned that the schooner we had
admired was Uncle Tom Westerton's new yacht, the Dolphin; and Jack said
he thought it was very likely that His father would accompany us, and he
hoped that he would when he knew where we were going.

This, of course, was jolly news.  We could not talk much just then, as
we found it required some exertion to prevent ourselves being drifted
away with the tide.  We therefore, having asked Jack to come and
breakfast with us, climbed on board again.  He said that he would gladly
do so, but did not wish to tell his father, as he wanted to surprise
him.

A short time afterwards, Uncle Tom Westerton poked his head (with a
nightcap on the top of it) up the companion hatchway, rubbing his eyes,
yawning and stretching out his arms, while he looked about him as if he
had just awakened out of sleep.  He was dressed in a loose pair of
trousers and a dressing-gown, with slippers on his feet.

"Good morning to you, Uncle Tom!" shouted Oliver and I.

"Hullo! where did you come from?" he exclaimed.

"From Portsmouth last.  This is papa's new yacht; and we are going to
sail round England," I answered.

Just then papa, who had no idea that the Dolphin was close to us, came
on deck.  The surprise was mutual.

Uncle Tom and Jack were soon on board; and during breakfast it was
settled that we should sail together round England, provided papa would
wait a day until uncle could get the necessary provisions and stores on
board; and in the mean time we settled to visit Beaulieu river and
Cowes, and at the latter place the Dolphin was to rejoin us next day.

We, as may be supposed, looked forward to having great fun.  We had
little doubt, although the Lively was smaller than the Dolphin, that we
could sail as fast as she could, while we should be able to get into
places where she could not venture.

As soon as breakfast was over, while the Dolphin stood for Portsmouth to
obtain what she wanted, we got under weigh, and steered for the mouth of
Beaulieu river.  On our way we passed over the Mother Bank, a shoal off
which vessels in quarantine have to bring up; and here are anchored two
large mastless ships,--one for the officers and men of the quarantine
guard, the other serving as a hospital ship.  We next came off Osborne,
where the Queen lives during the spring,--a magnificent-looking place,
with trees round three sides, and a park-like lawn descending to the
water's edge.  Before the Queen bought it, a good-sized private house
stood here, belonging to a Mr Blackford, whose widow, Lady Isabella,
sold it to Her Majesty.  A small steam yacht lay off the land, ready to
carry despatches or guests.

Bounding Old Castle Point, we opened up the harbour, and came in sight
of the West Cowes Castle, and the handsome clubhouse, and a line of
private residences, with a broad esplanade facing the sea, and wooded
heights rising above it; and beyond, looking northward, a number of
villas, with trees round them and a green lawn extending to the water.
The harbour was full of vessels of all descriptions, and a number of
fine craft were also anchored in the Roads.  We thought Cowes a very
pleasant-looking place.  It was here that the first yacht club was
established.  The vessels composing it are known _par excellence_ as the
"Royal Yacht Squadron;" and a regatta has taken place here annually for
more than half a century.  Ryde, Southampton, and Portsmouth, indeed
nearly every seaport, has now its clubhouse and regatta.  The chief are
Cowes, Ryde, Torquay, Plymouth, Cork, Kingston, and the Thames.  Each
has its respective signal flag or burgee.  That of Cowes is white, of
Ryde red, and most of the others are blue, with various devices upon
them.  At Cowes, some way up the harbour, on the west side, are some
large shipbuilding yards.  Here a number of fine yachts and other
vessels are built.  Mr White, one of the chief shipbuilders, has
constructed some fine lifeboats, which are capable of going through any
amount of sea without turning over; and even if they do so, they have
the power of righting themselves.  He has built a number also to carry
on board ships, and very useful they have proved on many occasions.
Ships from distant parts often bring up in the Roads to wait for orders;
others, outward-bound, come here to receive some of their passengers.
Very frequently, when intending to run through the Needle passage, they
wait here for a fair wind, so that the Roads are seldom without a number
of ships, besides the yachts, whose owners have their headquarters here,
many of their families living on shore.

We agreed, however, that we were better off on board our tight little
yacht, able to get under weigh and to go anywhere without having to wait
for our friends on shore.

Leaving Cowes harbour on our port quarter, we stood for Leep Buoy, off
the mouth of the Beaulieu River.  Hence we steered for the village of
Leep, on the mainland.  Truck knowing the river well, we ran on until we
came to an anchor off the village of Exbury.  Here it was thought safer
to bring up, and proceed the rest of the distance in the boat.  The
river above Exbury becomes very narrow, and we might have got becalmed,
or, what would have been worse, we might have stuck on the mud.

We pulled up for some miles between thickly-wooded banks,--indeed, we
were now passing through a part of the New Forest.  Suddenly the river
took a bend, and we found ourselves off a village called Buckler's Hard.
The river here expands considerably, and we saw two or three vessels at
anchor.  In the last great war there was a dockyard here, where a number
of frigates and other small men-of-war were built from the wood which
the neighbouring forest produced.  Now, the dockyard turns out only a
few coasting craft.  How different must have been the place when the
sound of the shipwright's hammer was incessantly heard, to what it now
is, resting in the most perfect tranquillity, as if everybody in the
neighbourhood had gone to sleep!  No one was to be seen moving on shore,
no one even on board the little coasters.  Not a bird disturbed the calm
surface of the river.

As it was important that we should be away again before the tide fell we
pulled on, that we might land close to Beaulieu itself.  The scenery was
picturesque in the extreme, the trees in many places coming down to the
water's edge, into which they dipped their long hanging boughs.  About
six miles off, the artist Gilpin had the living of Boldre, and here he
often came to sketch views of woodland and river scenery.  We landed
near the bridge, and walked on to see Beaulieu Abbey.  Passing through a
gateway we observed the massive walls, which exist here and there almost
entire, in some places mantled with ivy, and at one time enclosing an
area of sixteen acres or more.

A short way off was a venerable stone building, now called the Palace
House, once the residence of the abbot, who being too great a man to
live with the monks, had a house to himself.  When convents were
abolished, this was turned into a residence by the Duke of Montague, to
whose family it had been granted.  He enlarged and beautified it,
enclosing it in a quadrangle with walls, having a low circular tower at
each angle, encompassed by a dry moat crossed by a bridge.  The whole
building is now fitted up as a modern residence.

A short distance to the east stands a long edifice, with lofty rooms,
which was undoubtedly the dormitory, with large cellars beneath it.  At
the south end the ancient kitchen remains entire, with its vaulted stone
roof and capacious chimney, proving that the monks were addicted to good
cheer; indeed, the remains of the fish-ponds, or stews, not far off,
show that this was the case.

They also took care to supply themselves with fresh water, from a fine
spring issuing from a cave in the forest about half a mile away, which
was conveyed to the abbey in earthen pipes.  That they were not total
abstainers, however, is proved by the remains of a building evidently
once containing the means of manufacturing wines; and close to it, in
some fields having a warm southern aspect, still called the Vineyards,
grew their grapes.

This abbey, indeed, stands on just such a spot as sagacious men,
considering how best they might enjoy this world's comforts, would
select;--a gentle stream, an ample supply of water, a warm situation,
extensive meadow and pasture land, sheltered from keen blasts by woods
and rising hills.  The monastery was built, we are told, in the time of
King John, by a number of Cistercian monks.  A monkish legend, which,
like most other monkish legends, is probably false, asserts that the
abbots of that order being summoned by the king to Lincoln, expected to
receive some benefit, instead of which the savage monarch ordered them
to be trodden to death by horses.  None of his attendants were willing,
however, to execute his cruel command.  That night the king dreamed that
he was standing before a judge, accompanied by these abbots, who were
commanded to scourge him with rods.  On awakening he still felt the pain
of his flagellation; and being advised by his father-confessor to make
amends for his intended cruelty, he immediately granted the abbots a
charter for the foundation of the abbey.

The monks, as usual, practising on the credulity of the people, grew
rich, and obtained privileges and further wealth from various
sovereigns; while the Pope conferred on their monastery the rights of a
sanctuary, exemption from tithes, and the election of its abbot without
the interference of king or bishop.  In 1539 there were within their
walls thirty-two sanctuary men for debt, felony, and murder.  Unpleasant
guests the monks must have found them, unless a thorough reformation had
taken place in their characters.

Here Margaret of Anjou took shelter after the fatal battle of Barnet;
and Perkin Warbeck fled hither, but being lured away, perished at
Tyburn.  On the abolition of monasteries, Beaulieu Abbey was granted to
the Earl of Southampton, whose heiress married the Duke of Montague,
from whom it descended to his sole heiress, who married the Duke of
Buccleuch.  The family have carefully preserved the ruins, and prevented
their further destruction.

"The abbeys have had their day; but, after all, we cannot help holding
them in affectionate remembrance for the service they rendered in their
generation," observed Oliver, in a somewhat sentimental tone, which made
me laugh.

"They may have done some good; but that good could have been obtained in
a far better way," said papa; "they were abominations from the first;
and the life led by the monks was utterly at variance with that which
Scripture teaches us is the right life to lead.  We might as well regret
that Robin Hood and Dick Turpin do not now exist, because they
occasionally behaved with generosity to the poor, and showed courtesy to
the ladies they robbed.  The monasteries were the result of the knavery
of one class and the ignorance and superstition of another.  Do not let
the glamour of romance thrown over them ever deceive or mislead you as
to their real character.  When we hear of the good they did, remember
that the monks were their own chroniclers.  We have only to see what
Chaucer says of them, and the utter detestation in which they were held
by the great mass of the people, not only in Henry the Eighth's time,
but long before, to judge them rightly.  There are weak and foolish
people, at present, urged on by designing men, who wish for their
restoration, and have actually established not a few of these abominable
institutions in our free England, where girls are incarcerated and
strictly kept from communicating with their friends, and where foolish
youths play the part of the monks of the dark ages.  I am not afraid of
your turning Romanists, my boys, but it is important to be guarded on
all points.  Just bring the monastic system to the test of Scripture,
and then you will see how utterly at variance it is from the lessons we
learn therein."

We felt very nervous going down the river, for fear we should stick on
the mud, as the tide had already begun to ebb, and we might have been
left high and dry in a few minutes; but, through Paul's pilotage and
papa's seamanship, we managed to avoid so disagreeable an occurrence,
and once more passing the beacon at the mouth of the river, we steered
for Cowes Roads, where we brought-up at dark.  Next morning we saw the
Dolphin anchored not far from us.  To save sending on board, we got out
our signals, and the instruction book which enables us to make use of
them.

We first hoisted flags to show the number of the yacht in the club, and
waited until it was answered from the Dolphin.  We next hoisted four
numbers without any distinguishing flag, which showed the part of the
book to which we referred, and meant, "Are you ready to sail?"  This was
answered by a signal flag which meant "Yes;" whereupon we ran up four
other numbers signifying, "We will sail immediately."

As the Dolphin, which was to the east of us, began to get under weigh,
we did so likewise; and she soon came close enough to enable us to carry
on a conversation as we stood together to the westward.

The shores both of the mainland and of the Isle of Wight are covered
thickly with woods, the former being portions of the New Forest, which
at one time extended over the whole of this part of Hampshire, from
Southampton Water to the borders of Dorsetshire.  On our left side we
could see high downs rising in the distance, the southern side of which
we had seen when going round the back of the island.

In a short time we came off Newton River, now almost filled up with mud.
Some way up it is a village, which, once upon a time, was a town and
returned a member to parliament.  The hull of a small man-of-war is
anchored, or rather beached, on the mud near the mouth of the river, and
serves as a coastguard station.

The wind shifting, we had to make a tack towards the mouth of Lymington
Creek, which runs down between mud-banks from the town of Lymington,
which is situated on the west side of the river.  On a height, on the
east side, we could distinguish an obelisk raised to the memory of
Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale.  He was a great favourite of George the
Third, as he was with all his family, including William the Fourth.  He
was a very excellent officer and a good, kind man, and was looked upon
as the father of his crew.  At the mouth of the river is a high post
with a basket on the top of it known as Jack-in-the-basket.  Whether or
not a sailor ever did get in there when wrecked, or whether on some
occasion a real Jack was placed there to shout out to vessels coming
into the river, I am not certain.

Passing the pleasant little town of Yarmouth, the wind once more
shifting enabled us to lay our course direct for Hurst Castle.  We
passed the village of Freshwater, with several very pretty villas
perched on the hill on the west side of it.  Here also is the
commencement of a line of batteries which extend alone: the shore
towards the Needles.  The ground is high and broken, and very
picturesque, with bays, and points, and headlands.  On our starboard, or
northern side, appeared the long spit of sand at the end of which Hurst
Castle stands, with two high red lighthouses like two giant skittles.
Besides the old castle, a line of immensely strong fortifications extend
along the beach, armed with the heaviest guns, so that from the
batteries of the two shores an enemy's ship attempting to enter would be
sunk, or would be so shattered as to be unable to cope with any vessel
of inferior force sent against her.

The old castle is a cheese-like structure of granite, and was
considered, even when it stood alone, of great strength.  Its chief
historical interest is derived from its having been the prison of
Charles the First when he was removed from Carisbrook Castle.  After the
failure of the treaty of Newport, Charles was brought from Carisbrook,
which is almost in the centre of the Isle of Wight, to a small fort
called Worsley Tower, which stood above Sconce Point, to the westward of
the village of Freshwater.  Here a vessel was in waiting, which carried
him and a few attendants over to Hurst, where he was received by the
governor, Colonel Eure, and kept under strict guard, though not treated
unkindly.  From thence he was removed to Windsor, and afterwards to
London, where his execution took place.

As we were examining with our glasses the powerful line of
fortifications, both on the Hurst beach and along the shore of the Isle
of Wight, papa remarked that he wished people would be as careful in
guarding their religious and political liberties as they are in throwing
up forts to prevent an enemy from landing on our shores.  Many appear to
be fast asleep with regard to the sacred heritage we have received from
our forefathers, and allow disturbers of our peace and faith, under
various disguises, to intrude upon and undermine the safeguards of our
sacred rights and liberties.

Presently we found ourselves in a beautiful little spot called Alum Bay.
The cliffs have not the usual glaring white hue, but are striped with
almost every imaginable colour, the various tints taking a perpendicular
form, ranging from the top of the cliff to the sea.  If we could have
transferred the colours to our pallet, I am sure we should have found
them sufficient to produce a brilliant painting.  West of the coloured
cliffs is a line of very high white cliffs, extending to the extreme
west point of the island, at the end of which appear the Needle Rocks,
rising almost perpendicularly out of the sea.  Once upon a time two of
them were joined with a hollow, or eye, between them, but that portion
gave way at the end of the last century.  On the outer rock, by scraping
the side, a platform has been formed, on which stands a high and
beautifully-built lighthouse, erected some years ago.  Formerly there
was one on the top of the cliff, but it was so high that it was
frequently obscured by mist, and was not to be seen by vessels steering
for the Needles passage.

As we stood close into the shore, and looked up at the lofty cliffs, we
agreed that it was the grandest and most picturesque scene we had yet
visited.

On the other side of the channel are the Shingles, a dangerous sandbank,
on which many vessels have been lost.  A ledge of rocks below the water
runs off from the Needles, known as the Needle Ledge.  When a strong
south-westerly wind is blowing, and the tide is running out, there is
here a very heavy sea.  Vessels have also been wrecked on the Needles;
and Paul Truck told us how a pilot he once knew well saved the crew of a
vessel which drove in during the night on one of those rocks, which they
had managed to reach by means of the top-gallant yard.  Here they
remained until the pilot brought a stout rope, which was hauled up by a
thin line to the top of the rock, and by means of it they all descended
in safety.  The pilot's name was John Long.

Years before this a transport, with a number of troops on board, was
wrecked just outside the Needles, in Scratchells Bay.  Being high-water,
she drove close in under the cliffs, and thus the sailors and crew were
able to escape; and the next morning the cliff appeared as though
covered with lady-birds, footprints of the poor fellows who had been
endeavouring to make their way up the precipitous sides.

Further round is a large cavern, in which it is said a Lord Holmes--a
very convivial noble and Governor of Yarmouth Castle--used to hold his
revels with his boon companions.  But were I to book all the stories we
heard, I should fill my journal with them.

When we were a short distance outside the Needles, a superb steam
frigate passed us with topsails and top-gallant sails set, steering down
channel.  Papa looked at her with a seaman's eye.  "Well--well, though
she is not as beautiful as an old frigate, she looks like a fine
sea-boat, and as well able to go round the world as any craft afloat,
and to hold her own against all foes."

Just at sunset, a light wind blowing, we took the bearings of the
Needles and Hurst lights, and stood for Swanage Bay, on the Dorsetshire
coast.



CHAPTER THREE.

THE SOUTH COAST.

When we turned in, the yacht was speeding along with a gentle breeze
towards Swanage.  The Needle light showed brightly astern, and the two
lights on Hurst Point were brought almost into one, rather more on our
quarter.  Oliver and I wanted to keep watch, but papa laughed at us, and
said we had much better sleep soundly at night, and be wide awake during
the day; and that if anything occurred he would have us called.

Though Oliver and I said we would get up once or twice, to show that we
were good sailors, we did not, but slept as soundly as tops until
daylight streamed through the small skylight overhead into our berths.

We had now learned not to knock our skulls against the beams; and both
of us turning out slipped into our clothes, and thanked God for having
kept us safely during the night.  On going on deck, what was our
surprise to find the Needle Rocks still in sight, with a high point of
land on our starboard beam, which Paul Truck told us was Christchurch
Head.

It was a perfect calm, not a ripple played over the surface of the
water, the sails scarcely giving even a flap.  Not far off lay the
Dolphin, equally motionless.  The sun had not yet risen, but the
atmosphere was perfectly clear, and we could see objects to a great
distance.  To the west of the head we observed a tower, which Truck told
us was that of the Priory; and from thence to Hurst we observed a line
of cliffs of considerable height, with several villages on their summit.

We got out our mackerel lines, hoping to catch some fish for breakfast;
but there was not way enough on the vessel to give the bait play, and
none would bite.  Paul walked up and down whistling for a breeze; but it
did not come a bit the faster for that, as you may suppose.  Sailors
have a notion--derived from some heathen custom--that by whistling the
spirit of the wind will be propitiated.  This is not surprising, when we
remember that people on shore have a still greater number of foolish
notions derived from the same source.

When papa came on deck, he told us that Sir Harry Burrard Neale, who
commanded the San Firenzo, was at school at Christchurch before he went
to sea, that on one occasion, when playing a game of "follow my leader,"
he, being the leader, mounted to the top of the tower, and managed to
scramble down again outside, few, if any, of the boys daring to follow
him.

The whole of the coast along which we were now sailing was in the days
of restrictive duties the scene of numberless smuggling transactions.
The smugglers were a bold, daring race--one part accomplished seamen;
the other, though accustomed to go afloat, possessors of small farms and
holdings on shore.  The goods, either spirits, tobacco, or silks, were
brought across generally in large powerful luggers, many of them in
war-time strongly armed; and when interfered with by the king's ships
they often fought desperately, and managed to get away.  The spot on
which a cargo was to be landed was fixed on beforehand.  Generally,
several were chosen, so that should the Coastguard be on the watch near
one, the smugglers, warned by signals from the shore, might run to
another.  There, a party of armed men, numbering some hundreds, would be
ready to receive them.  As soon as the goods were landed, they were
carried up the cliffs on men's shoulders, and placed in light carts and
wagons, which drove off with a mounted escort, who seldom failed to give
battle to the Revenue men if an attempt was made to stop them.  Often
severe fighting took place, and--except when a strong force of military
were brought down upon them--the smugglers generally made their escape.
The goods were either stowed away in secret places or farm-houses in the
neighbourhood, or carried off to London, where they were handed over to
the wealthy firms which supplied the means for the trade.

In later years the smuggling vessels were smaller and unarmed, the
smugglers trusting to their cunning for success.  Sometimes only large
boats or galleys were employed, which pulled across the Channel, timing
themselves so as to reach the English coast some time after dark.  If a
Revenue cutter was seen approaching, the casks of spirits were loaded
with stones, and being thrown overboard, were sunk, the smuggler having
first taken the bearings of the land, so as to be able to return to the
spot and drag for them.  Sometimes the Revenue cutter saw what was done,
and performed that operation instead of the smuggler, the officers and
crew thus obtaining a rich prize at slight cost.  So enormous was the
profit, that if two or three cargoes out of seven were run, the
smugglers were content.

Smuggling of any sort is of course illegal.  The Government puts duties
on commodities for the good of the State, which duties must be paid, and
the smuggler is cheating not only the Government but his countrymen; yet
many people formerly did not see it in its true light, and even some
gentlemen, blind to its dishonourable character, encouraged the
smugglers by buying their goods.  Papa said that he remembered in his
boyish days a person of excellent position, knowing that a cargo was to
be run near his house, having invited the Revenue officers to dinner,
made them all tipsy, and not letting them go until he was informed that
the cargo was safe on shore.  He received a portion as a reward for the
service he had rendered.  The greatest knaves, however, were the
merchants whose capital bought the goods and whose warehouses were
supplied by them.  At one time the greater portion of the population of
the sea-board of Hampshire and Dorsetshire were engaged more or less in
the trade.

While we were at breakfast we heard the mainsail give a loud flap, and
soon afterwards a pleasant rippling sound told us that the yacht was
moving through the water.  In a short time we were close in with the
shore, just off Bournemouth, a watering-place which has gained
considerable popularity during the last few years.

We clearly saw a large number of houses and villas, with two churches
standing on the side of the hill, backed by dark pine groves.  A few
years ago there were only a few cottages on a sandbank, a small stream,
and a decoy pond in the neighbourhood.  By keeping out of the tide we
made some way, and now standing to the southward on the port tack we
came off Poole Harbour, looking up which we could see the woods and a
house on Branksea Island, and the tower of what was once a castle
erected for the defence of the place.

We were told that this island was purchased several years ago by a
colonel who married a rich heiress.  The place was believed to contain
valuable clay and other productions; and a firm of bankers, having
begged the colonel to become one of their directors, allowed him to draw
whatever amount he chose.  Believing himself to be possessed of
unbounded wealth, he built a superb house and laid out the grounds in
splendid style, giving all sorts of expensive entertainments.  At length
the bank broke, the bubble burst, and the unhappy man was reduced to the
extreme of penury, while numbers of unfortunate people who had invested
their money in the bank were ruined.

We did not sail up the harbour; but Paul Truck told us that the town is
of considerable size, and that it sends out a large number of trading
vessels.

Passing two high white rocks rising out of the water, called Old Harry
and his Wife, we stood on into Swanage Bay, where we brought-up just off
the little town.  The boat was lowered, and we pulled to the end of the
wooden pier, on which we landed; although Oliver said we could not call
it landing, seeing that it was not land.  However, we soon got on to the
shore.  As we looked about we agreed that it was one of the prettiest
little places we had been in.

To the left was a bright lawn, with trees here and there, and villas
dotted about.  Some houses extend along the shore to the right, while an
old-fashioned looking street runs up the hill.  We observed large
quantities of slabs of stone, which are quarried from the hills in the
neighbourhood.  The ground beyond the town is completely burrowed, like
a huge rabbit-warren, and near the mouth of each quarry are huts and
sheds, where the stone, which is brought up in the rough, is worked into
shape.  The men, instead of being blackened like coal-miners, are
covered with white dust.

This portion of the country is called the Isle of Purbeck, although it
is in reality a peninsula.  It is bounded on the north by Poole Harbour
and the river which passes Wareham, while the sea is on the two other
sides; and a small river, called Luxford Lake, rises from some hills not
far from the south shore, so that the place is almost surrounded by
water.

About six miles off is Corfe Castle, on a hill almost in the centre of
Purbeck Island.  It is a picturesque ruin, and full of interesting
associations.  It was here that Edward, the dupe of the wily Dunstan,
was murdered in the year 979, at the instigation of Elfrida, the widow
of Edgar, and Edward's mother-in-law, who wished to have her own son,
poor "Ethelred the Unready," upon the throne.  A far more interesting
event connected with it was the defence made by Lady Bankes, the wife of
the owner, in 1643, against the Parliamentary forces.  It must have been
in those days a very strong place, for Lady Bankes, with her daughter
and her maid-servants, assisted by five soldiers, successfully defended
the middle ward against the attack of one of the storming divisions, the
whole defensive force not exceeding eighty men, unprovided with cannon.
It would probably have fallen, however, had not Lord Carnarvon raised
the siege.

Near Swanage also, in the middle of an open heath, is the celebrated
Aggie Stone, or holy stone, though it is more generally known at present
as the Devil's Nightcap.  It is a long stone poised on a single point.
We agreed that it was something like a giant mushroom.  The country
people say it was thrown from the Isle of Wight, with the intention of
destroying Corfe Castle, but that, falling short, it descended where we
found it, on the top of the hill, eighty or ninety feet high.  We could
not decide whether it was placed here by art or Nature, for similar
stones exist in other places where water and the atmosphere have cleared
away the surrounding earth.  Papa was of opinion that it was formed by
natural causes.

Getting under weigh from Swanage, we stood round Peveril Point and
Durlestone Head.  The wind being off shore, we kept close in with the
coast, which consists of high cliffs full of fossils, we were told.  As
we were passing Saint Alban's, or Saint Aldhelm's Head, we got out our
mackerel lines.  We had half a dozen each, about forty fathoms long.  To
each line were fastened eight or ten snoods: a snood is a short line
with a hook at the end.  At first we baited with pieces of white linen,
as the mackerel is a greedy fish, and will bite at any glittering object
in the water.

"Two lines overboard will be enough, or they will be fouling each
other," observed Truck.

Oliver took charge of one, I of the other.  They had not been in the
water two minutes when Oliver cried out, "Hurrah, I've hooked a fish!"
He was hauling in his line, when two more were seen skipping along on
the surface, glittering in the sunlight.  At the same time I felt
several tugs at my line, and on hauling it in I found that I had four
fish on--long, elegantly shaped fish they were, with blue grey backs and
white bellies.  In half an hour we had caught two dozen--more than
enough for all hands for supper and breakfast.

The next morning, the wind having been very light, we ran into a little
harbour of rare beauty called Lulworth Cove.  The entrance is very
narrow, with rugged abrupt cliffs rising far above the mast-head; and
when we were once in we appeared to be in a perfect basin, the sides
consisting of high white walls towering to the sky, with cottages in an
opening on one side; while the sandy bottom could almost be seen through
the tranquil water, clear as crystal.  The cliffs consist of Portland
stone.  The strata in some places have a curious appearance, resembling
huge twisted trees.  In one side are caves of various sizes, and here
also fossils in great numbers are found.  Landing, we walked about two
miles to Lulworth Castle, belonging to Mr Edward Weld, the son of the
owner of the celebrated yachts the Lulworth and Alarm.  The castle is a
square-shaped building, with a tower at each corner; it has long, narrow
windows, and is handsomely fitted up.  Both James the First and Charles
the Second at different times inhabited it, as did several later
sovereigns down to William the Fourth.  It formerly belonged to Cardinal
Weld, who left it to his brother, the late owner.

Though interested with what we saw on shore, we were always glad to get
on board and enjoy the open sea.  Sailing on, we in a short time reached
Weymouth Roads, and hove-to off the mouth of the river Wey, on both
sides of which the town is built, with a fine esplanade extending along
the shore for a considerable distance.  Good old King George the Third
used to reside here in a house built by his brother, the Duke of
Gloucester, now turned into the "Gloucester Hotel."  One object in his
coming was to sail on board a frigate commanded by his favourite
captain, Sir Harry Neale.

The king frequently wanted to go much further out to sea than was
considered prudent.  On such occasions the captain used to propose
either whist or chess.  As soon as His Majesty was observed to be
absorbed in the game, the ship was put about and headed back towards the
shore.  When the king got tired of playing, and was about to return on
deck, the ship's head was put off shore again.  He either did not find
out the trick played him, or was well aware that it was done for his
advantage, and said nothing.  The king and Sir Harry often played chess
together, when the king, who played very badly, was generally beaten.
Sometimes His Majesty played with some of the courtiers, on which
occasions he was nearly always successful; when, however, the courtiers
played with Sir Harry, they beat him.  The king observing this,
remarked, one day, with a smile:

"It does seem very odd, when I play with Sir Harry he beats me; when
Lord So-and-So plays with him, he gets the worst of it; but when Lord
So-and-So plays with me, I gain the day.  Very strange--very strange."

On one occasion the frigate was going from Portsmouth to Weymouth, when
she was hailed by a boat which had come off from the shore.  The captain
hove-to, and an old Scotch couple came up the side.  On the object of
their visit being enquired, they stated that they had come all the way
from Scotland to look for their son, who was on board a man-of-war; and
that they had been at Portsmouth, and had searched for him in vain at a
number of other seaports.

On asking the name, "David Campbell," was the answer.  Sir Harry
enquired whether such a man was on board.  "Yes," was the reply.  Davy
Campbell being called, a fine youth made his appearance, who was
immediately recognised by the old couple, and received a fond embrace.

The captain carried them to Weymouth, where the king, hearing their
story, spoke to them kindly, and made them a handsome present; while Sir
Harry promised to look after their boy; and they went home rejoicing in
the success of their efforts to see him once more.  I hope he promised
to write to them in future, and to let them know of his welfare, and
that he got back to Scotland again to see them before they died.

The king used to speak to the officers and men in the kindest way, and
frequently to call up the young midshipmen and give them fatherly
advice.  Papa's father was a midshipman on board, so that he had heard a
great deal about the king and Queen Charlotte.

One day Sir Harry, who had months before received a present of bottled
green peas, recollecting them, ordered them to be prepared for dinner.
On the queen being helped, Sir Harry, who had forgotten when green peas
were in season, observed to Her Majesty, "These peas have been in bottle
a whole year."

"So I did think," answered the queen, pressing one of them with her
fork, and sending it flying out of her plate and hitting His Majesty on
the nose.  They were almost as hard as swan-shot.  In those days the way
of preserving vegetables was not so well understood as at present.

The king was often sadly ill-treated, according to his own account, by
those in authority, and would complain amusingly about trifles.  One
grievance was that he never had the satisfaction of wearing soft linen,
for that as soon as his shirts had worn smooth they were taken away, and
their places supplied with new harsh ones.  So that, after all,
sovereigns are not more free from the discomforts of life than are other
people!

We heard these anecdotes as we were standing towards Portland Harbour,
formed by a magnificent breakwater of granite, which runs out from the
shore to the east, and then circles round with an opening about the
centre.  It was built to form a harbour of refuge, as no other exists
along the coast which can be entered at all times between the Needles
and Plymouth.

We were struck by the enormous blocks of stone of which it is
constructed.  They were all quarried from the Isle of Portland, which
forms one side of the harbour, by convicts who are confined in a large
stone prison at the top of the hill.  Both on the breakwater and on
shore are strong stone forts for the defence of the harbour, in which,
in time of war, would also be stationed some heavy ironclads; so that a
large squadron alone would venture to annoy the shipping within.

The yachts brought-up, and we went on shore to walk along the breakwater
and to inspect some of the fortifications.  Near us were two enormous
ironclads; and as we pulled by them we could not help remarking what
magnificent-looking craft they appeared, though Uncle Tom said that he
would just as soon go round the world in the Dolphin as he would in one
of those huge monsters.

A railway is laid along the top of the breakwater to carry stones and
guns to the further end.  Papa told us that some years ago, while it was
in the course of construction, he came to see it; that as he was looking
towards the end he perceived an engine coming along.  He stepped on one
side to avoid it, when, as it drew near, he observed the driver making a
signal to him.  He had just time to spring on to a wooden platform at
the edge, when another engine, coming from the opposite direction,
passed over the spot on which he had been standing.  In an instant he
would have been crushed to death.  "How grateful did I feel to God that
I had been thus mercifully preserved!" he said.

At the outer end of the breakwater there is a lighthouse, with a single
fixed red light, so that it cannot be mistaken for any other of the
neighbouring lights.  At the end of the south pier-head of Weymouth
Harbour is also a single red fixed light; but it is far away to the
northward of the breakwater light, and cannot be seen at any great
distance.

The Portland Breakwater is indeed a magnificent work.  The plans were
designed by Mr Rendel, and the estimated cost was six hundred thousand
pounds.  The first stone was laid by Prince Albert, in July, 1849.  The
whole length is nearly a mile and a half.  It first runs out from the
Isle of Portland for 1,800 feet, when it is finished by a circular head
of solid masonry.  Then, for about four hundred feet, there is an
opening through which vessels may enter or run to sea in case of
necessity.  Then comes another circular head similar to the first, from
which the principal part of the breakwater extends in the same straight
line for about three hundred feet, and then curves round to the north
for 5,400 feet.  It was formed--in the first instance--by extending
stages in the direction required, on which rails were laid down to
support the stone-wagons pushed by locomotives to the outer end.  The
wagons, on reaching their destination, were tilted up, and the stone
dropped down to the bottom.  Thus the work was continued gradually until
the outer end was reached.  The stones after they were thrown down were
placed in the required position by divers, who worked with crowbars.  A
dangerous employment it must have been.  A man employed on the
breakwater who accompanied us told us that on one occasion the air-pipe
burst, and that, although the diver immediately gave the signal, when he
was hauled up he was nearly dead.  Another poor fellow did not answer
the tug, which a man in a boat above gave every half-minute.  When he
was hauled in it was found that the water had run under the joints of
his helmet and drowned him.  There were five lines of rail laid down,
each carrying trucks pushed by locomotives.  We were told that 2,500
tons of stone were by this means dropped every day into the ocean; and
though thus actively working, it was long before the artificial rock
appeared above the surface.

Sometimes several weeks passed, load after load being dropped in, before
the mass was of sufficient size to rise above the water.  After having
been left some time to consolidate, the summit was capped by blocks of
hewn stone, rising from low-tide mark to many feet above that of
high-water, so that the sea during the fiercest gale could not force its
way over it.  The piles to support the stage were what are called screw
piles; they were ninety feet in length, and soaked in creosote to
preserve them, the weight of each being about seven tons.  One of the
most curious operations was that of forcing the creosote into the piles.
It was done by placing them in an iron cylinder one hundred feet in
length, and six feet in diameter.  Out of this the air was first pumped,
and then the creosote was pumped in.

All the stones were brought from the neighbouring hill, where they were
quarried by about eight hundred convicts.  The trucks descended from the
hill down an incline, the full trucks dragging up the empties by means
of ropes and blocks.  Upwards of five million tons of stone were thus
employed.

While visiting the prison we heard a number of anecdotes about the
convicts.  Notwithstanding all the vigilance of the warders and guards,
several have contrived to make their escape.  On a dark night, during
exceedingly thick weather, a daring fellow managed to scale the walls
and drop down outside unperceived.  He at once made his way to the
shore, where he in vain searched for a boat.  Being no sailor, had he
found one, he would have been unable to manage her.  He knew that should
he attempt to make his way overland he would, to a certainty, be
re-taken.  Finding a piece of wreck, with some broken oars, and other
drift-wood, and a coil of rope, he contrived to put together a raft, on
which seating himself, he shoved off, expecting to be picked up by some
passing vessel.  Instead of this, he was--fortunately for himself--
discovered by the active coastguardmen, and brought back to prison.  Had
he succeeded in getting to a distance, in all probability he would have
been drowned or starved to death.

Climbing to the top of the hill, we obtained a view to the northward of
the crescent-shaped line of shingle, ten miles long, called Chesil Bank,
which joins Portland to the main land.  At the Portland end the pebbles
are of the size of a hen's egg, gradually diminishing to that of a bean
at the other extremity.  This enabled smugglers to ascertain on the
darkest night the part of the shore they had reached.  The west side of
the bank is known as Dead Man's Bay, from the number of persons who have
perished there.  The most disastrous event occurred in 1794, when a
fleet of transports, under convoy of Admiral Christian, bound out for
the West Indies, stranded in the bay, and one thousand persons were
drowned.  In this century, the Abergavenny and Alexander (Indiamen) were
driven on this treacherous shore, and upwards of two hundred persons
perished; and as late as 1838, the Columbine was wrecked on the bank,
and many of her crew lost.  In those days there were no lifeboats to
hasten to the rescue of the helpless seamen.

Passing amid quarries, we observed enormous square blocks of stone hewn
out and ready to be transported to the shore by carts, with long teams
of horses harnessed--often nine together.  In the upper layer of the
quarries was discovered a fossil pine-tree, upwards of thirty feet in
length, and a foot in diameter, with two or three branches.

Next morning we and the Dolphin again got under weigh, and the wind
being off shore stood close round the Bill of Portland, having the
Shambles light-vessel, which has a single fixed light, on our port beam.
The Shambles is a large shoal, so called from the number of vessels
lost on it with all hands.  A fine Indiaman was wrecked there many years
ago, coming home full of passengers, not one of whom was saved.  In
another day they expected to be reunited to their friends, from whom
they had long been absent.  How sad it seems!  We who were sailing over
the comparatively tranquil sea could scarcely believe it possible that
so many of our fellow-creatures had thus perished within sight of land.

In former years many ships were lost in consequence of the masters not
knowing their exact position.  In the present day the coast is much
better lighted than formerly.  The character of every part of the bottom
of the Channel is well-known, so that a ship may grope her way up with
the lead going, the mud, sand, or shells, which are brought up sticking
to the grease in a little hollow at the end of the lead, showing
whereabouts she is.  Then the quadrants, chronometers, and other
nautical instruments are of superior construction, and their use better
understood; and, lastly, compasses indicate more truly the direction in
which the ship is sailing.  Not that compasses themselves are at fault,
but that--as papa explained to us--every compass of a ship is influenced
by the iron on board the vessel.  Now, before a ship sails she is swung
round in all directions, so that the exact amount of the influence
exercised by the iron is ascertained, and allowance made accordingly.
There are also a large number of careful pilots on the look-out for
ships coming up Channel.  However, after a long course of thick weather
and contrary winds, the most experienced master is unable to be certain
of his true position; and, notwithstanding all the precautions taken,
ships are sometimes carried out of their course, or caught on a lee
shore, and driven on the rocks and wrecked.  I have been speaking of
sailing vessels.  Steamers have an advantage; but even they, from the
effects of currents and tides, sometimes get out of their course, or an
accident happens to the machinery, or a gale comes on and drives them,
in spite of all efforts of paddle or screw, on shore.

We kept inside the Race, which in stormy weather, with the wind meeting
the tide, is excessively dangerous.  The seas rise up as if some power
is moving the water from beneath, and letting it suddenly fall down
again.  When it thus falls down on the deck of a small vessel, all
steerage-way being lost, she is drifted along, utterly helpless, by the
tide, and if heavily laden, possibly sent to the bottom.  Vessels,
however, when passing the Bill of Portland, keep outside the Race, or,
when the wind is off the land, close to the shore, as we were doing.
When they are caught by a current in a calm, they are drifted through
it.

The men at the lighthouses have on several occasions seen a vessel
suddenly disappear beneath the foaming water, which, leaping up, had
carried her to the bottom exactly as if she had been dragged down by the
tentacula of some marine monster.

Near the end of the Bill are two white towers, of different heights, one
thirty-two and the other eighty-six feet high.  They are the
lighthouses, and in each of them is a bright fixed light.  They stand
over fifteen hundred feet apart, and both lights can be seen at a great
distance,--the highest being visible four miles further off than the
lowest.

Close to the summit of the cliffs stand two castles, overlooking the
wide expanse of the Channel.  One, surrounded by embattled walls, is
Pennsylvania Castle.  It was built by the grandson of the great William
Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania in America, and was so called after
it.  Its large windows show that it was not intended as a fortification,
and, of course, a few shot from a modern gun would knock it to pieces.
On the further side of a dip or valley, on the summit of a point of rock
commanding a magnificent view along the coast, stands a far more ancient
edifice, a tower in the shape of a pentagon, commonly said to have been
built by William Rufus, and called Bow and Arrow Castle from the small
circular apertures pierced in the walls for shooting arrows.  There are
large brackets above them, from which were suspended planks for the
protection of the garrison when hurling their missiles at the foe.

We talked a good deal about the Quaker Penn, who, being the son of the
renowned Admiral Sir William Penn, sacrificed all the advantages which
his social position afforded him for the sake of the gospel, and with
the hope of spreading its benign truths among the heathen of the New
World, and of affording refuge to those driven forth from their native
land by persecution.

On getting round the Bill of Portland we saw ahead the sandy cliff of
Bridport, two hundred feet in height, with dark and rugged eminences
beyond, the Golden Cap of brighter hue rising above them.  We now stood
across West Bay, towards Torquay.  Finding the tide against us, we kept
close enough in shore to be able to distinguish places with our glasses.
The first harbour off which we came was Bridport, a town of
considerable size.  The port is formed by two piers, with a basin
further in.  A number of vessels for the Newfoundland fishers are fitted
out here.  About a couple of miles from the entrance is the Pollock
Shoal; but our craft drew so little water that we might have passed over
it without danger of striking.

To the west of Bridport we saw Charmouth, with its lovely wooded
heights, and next to it Lyme Regis, which has a breakwater running out
of it called the Cobb, within which there is shelter for vessels.  Once
upon a time it was a place of considerable trade.  During Cromwell's
days the town was strongly Republican, and held out gallantly against
Prince Maurice, who came to invest it, even the women putting on red
cloaks and men's hats, to look like soldiers.  It was here also that the
unfortunate Duke of Monmouth landed, to try and gain a kingdom, but ere
long to lose his head.

Still further west, we came off the white and lofty cliff known as Beer
Head.  Near to it is Beer, a fishing-village possessing "an ancient and
fish-like smell."  The inhabitants are primitive in their habits, and
were at one time as daring smugglers as any on the coast.  As the wind
fell we dropped anchor, and pulled on shore, to visit a curious cavern,
partly natural and partly a stone quarry.  We carried with us all the
lanterns we could muster from both vessels.  We could not at first see
the mouth, owing to a cloud produced by the different temperature of the
outer air and that from within.  The entrance is under a rocky archway,
over which hung in rich festoons wreaths of green foliage.  For some
distance we had to grope our way through a narrow low passage, with the
water dripping down on our heads.  At last we found ourselves in a huge
cavern supported by substantial pillars.  In the more ancient part, from
which stone was quarried by picks, the sides and roof were perfectly
smooth.  In one place there was a dome, with four well-formed arches,
not unlike the interior of a cathedral crypt.  From hence we were told
the stone was hewn for the building of Exeter Cathedral.  The modern
portions of the cavern have been excavated by gunpowder, which has of
course torn off huge masses without any regard to symmetry.

When we returned on board, Paul Truck told us that in days of yore a
smuggler bold--Jack Rattenbury by name--took possession of the cavern,
in which to store his goods after he had safely landed them from his
lugger.  For some time he carried on his trade undiscovered, for, being
a cautious man, he dug a vault, in which his cargoes of brandy and bales
of lace and silks were concealed, covering the floor over again with
heaps of stone.  The Revenue officers, however, at length got scent of
Jack's doings, and came in strong force, hoping to capture him and take
possession of his property.  But he had received timely notice, and
nothing could be found within the cavern.

Of course they did not fail to pay many a subsequent visit.  Once more
Jack--hearing that they were coming when his vault was full of goods,
and that they had an inkling of the true state of the case--managed to
carry off a considerable portion.  The remainder fell into their hands
as the reward of their perseverance.  Shortly afterwards Jack himself
was captured by the Revenue officers, who got possession of all his
contraband goods.  In the larder of his house was a fat goose, which
they were anxious to possess, in order to have a feast to commemorate
their success, but the goose not being contraband, they dared not take
possession of it, so they offered to purchase the bird at a large price.
Jack and his wife, however, were firm.  Nothing would induce them to
sell the goose, though money might be useful to Jack, who was to be
carried off to prison; and the officers were fain to be content with the
bread and cheese and cider with which he supplied them.  Jack used to
tell the story with great glee, observing that the goose was well
stuffed with point lace, every yard of which was worth ten times as much
as the bird.

The smuggler sometimes turned the tables on his pursuers.  A daring
Revenue officer having suddenly come upon him, Jack and his companions
seized the unfortunate man, and kept him fast bound until they had
removed all their merchandise.  Though supposed to be unusually
successful, and looked upon as the prince of smugglers in those parts,
Jack did not manage to save money, and ultimately died a poor man.  Papa
said that such a clever, ingenious fellow must have made his fortune in
any honest business.

We were becalmed off Sidmouth while attempting to reach Exmouth, at the
mouth of the river Exe, some way up which stands the large town of
Exeter.  Though some distance from the shore, we could hear plainly the
rumble of the trains as they passed along the railway, the water being a
great conductor of sound.  We had a lantern with a bright light hanging
from the forestay, to show our position to any passing steamer which
might otherwise have run us down.  This was the only danger to be
apprehended, for no sailing vessel could have come near us, and at the
distance we were from the land there was no risk of being drifted on the
rocks.

Uncle Tom hailed us, and we went on board the Dolphin to supper.  Of
course we heard many anecdotes about that part of the country.  Uncle
Tom, who had spent some time at Sidmouth, described it to us.  The
surrounding scenery is highly picturesque.  It was while residing here,
for the sake of his health, that the Duke of Kent died.  In the same
house the Queen spent much of her childhood.

At a village near Beer, where the women are employed in manufacturing
lace, Her Majesty's wedding dress was made.  The country people
throughout the district are employed in the manufacture of lace.

On the shore hereabouts, all sorts of marine curiosities can be picked
up, such as petrified wood, madrepores, jaspers, agates, and a variety
of shells.

Near Sidmouth is a very interesting house, which is thrown open
occasionally to public view by the proprietor.  In the garden are glass
houses, in which oranges, vines, pines, and the most beautiful orchids
grow, with pineries, and ferneries, and formerly there were aviaries,
and a menagerie of curious animals, and in the cottage are preserved a
number of rare things.

Further inland is Budleigh Salterton, so named after its buddle, or
stream, which running through the village makes its way slowly down to
the sea.  Near here is a homestead called Hayes Barton, at which Sir
Walter Raleigh was born.  The house remains much as it was in his days,
and in the parlour the wide hearth is still to be seen at which he used
to sit and smoke his pipe.  It was here that the servant, coming in--
never having before seen his master so employed--threw a tankard of
water over Sir Walter, fancying that he was on fire.

As we returned on board the Lively, we observed two white fixed lights,
which marked the entrance to Teignmouth Harbour, showing us clearly our
position.

When the morning broke we were still off the ruddy cliffs which line the
shore.  A person first seeing this part of the coast would consider that
Albion was a misnomer for England, as no walls of white chalk are to be
seen rising from the blue ocean.  As far as the eye can reach, various
tints of red prevail.

A light breeze carried us into Babbicombe Bay, and we were again
becalmed off some curiously-shaped rocks, which lie off a point called
Bob's Nose.  It was rather tantalising not to be able to get in to see
more of the scenery of that most picturesque bay.  We could, however,
distinguish the houses among the rich groves on the top of the cliffs,
in which were openings, with pretty cottages perched on projecting
ledges, while others were built close down to the water.  Two yachts
were at anchor in the bay, which we agreed must be a capital yachting
place, as a vessel can get in or out at all times, and it is sheltered
from every wind except from the east.  We had our mackerel lines out
whenever the vessel was moving through the water.  Though, as before, we
at first baited with pieces of white linen, yet as soon as a mackerel
was caught, we put a bit of it on to our hooks, at which its relatives
eagerly bit.  The ends of the lines were fastened either to the backstay
or the taffrail, allowing them to pass over our finger, so that the
moment a mackerel took the bait we could feel it.  We then hauled in,
the fish appearing at the surface skipping and jumping like a mass of
silver.  We caught a dozen fine fish before breakfast, and they were
immediately frizzing away on the fire.  As we could not move along, we
amused ourselves with our spy-glasses, observing what was going forward
on shore.

While thus employed a party came off in a couple of boats to picnic on
one of the green islands off Bob's Nose.  The first thing most of the
people did, as soon as they had deposited their baskets on a
comparatively level space at the bottom, was to try and climb up to the
summit, which is of considerable height.  The sides are steep, and
present a surface of soft green grass.  We saw one fat old lady,
evidently ambitious of vying with her younger companions, making an
attempt to reach the top with the aid of a boatman and one of the
gentlemen of the party.  Up she went some distance, when she stopped,
though not for long, and panted for breath; then on again she proceeded,
though not so quickly.  But the task was clearly beyond her power.
Again and again she stopped.  In vain her two supporters togged.  We saw
her making gestures, as if imploring to be let alone.  At length down
she plumped on the turf, signing to her friends to leave her.  For some
time she appeared to be tolerably comfortable, though we saw her fanning
herself, and puffing and blowing, while her companions quickly went on
and joined the rest of the party, who had gained the summit.  It would
have been prudent in her to remain quiet, but unwisely she moved
onwards.

"She's gathering way!" exclaimed Uncle Tom; and, sure enough, down she
began to slide, at first very slowly, but as an impetus was gained, she
went faster and faster.  In vain she screamed for help.  The soft grass
afforded no hold to the frantic grasps she made at it.  Her cries
reached us.  Her companions must have been very hard of hearing, for it
was not until she had slid two-thirds of the way down that any of them
seemed to attend to her, and then the whole party set off rushing down
the hill-side, at the bottom of which they stood ready to receive her.
Though much frightened, she was not, I think, much hurt.

Tom and Jack came on board to luncheon, and we agreed to row in to
Torquay, and to allow the yachts to follow; but just as we were shoving
off a breeze sprang up, so we jumped on board again, and, rounding Bob's
Nose, we were able with a few tacks to make our way into the harbour.
We brought-up in the inner harbour, but the Dolphin remained at anchor
outside.

Torquay is one of the prettiest seaside places in England.  From the
water we observed the houses on the hill-sides, with beautiful villas
scattered about in all directions amid groves of green trees.  The shore
along the north side of the bay is indented by numerous little bays
called coves; the water is deep and clear, so that they are much
frequented by bathers.  One is appropriated to ladies, another to
gentlemen.  At the end of the last century Torquay consisted only of a
few fishermen's cottages scattered about the beach.

We took an interesting walk on shore, which we greatly enjoyed.  We
visited a curious natural cavern called Kent's Cavern.  The scenery
round the entrance is thickly-wooded and wild in the extreme, probably
just as it has been for centuries.  We were told that it runs for
upwards of six hundred feet into the bowels of the earth, and has
numerous branches and ramifications.  We had brought a guide and lights
with us, so that we could explore it without risk.  We could see,
imbedded in the rock, bones of animals which at some remote period made
it their abode; and naturalists, who dig them out, say that they belong
to tribes which are only found in tropical climates.  Our guide showed
us that there are three distinct layers or floors of earth in the
cavern.  In the topmost are found beads and various instruments
manufactured by the Saxons, as well as the bones of foxes and badgers.
In the next strata are the bones of elephants, of rhinoceroses, of lions
and hyenas, of wolves and elks.  In the third layer are the bones of
bears, which must have been of great size, as also of a nondescript
animal said to be between a lion and a bear.  Curiously enough, judging
from the remains found in them, the branches on one side indicate the
favourite habitation of elephants, while on the other, packs of wolves
were in the habit of taking up their abode.  Probably the more savage
beasts of prey dragged in the carcases of the creatures they had killed;
and they in their turn dying, left their bones mingled with the others.
We were told that flint knives were found along with the bones of
animals which for ages have become extinct, pointing to a period when
the country must have been inhabited by races of men as uncivilised as
the South Sea Islanders.  Possibly it might have been at a period
antecedent to the flood, when our island was joined to the Continent.

The next morning we got under weigh, and stood across to Brixham, on the
south side of Torbay.  There is a wide beach all the way along the whole
sweep of the bay, except near Brixham, where the cliffs again rise, and
extend to the southern point called Bury Head.  Brixham is one of the
largest fishing-villages on the coast.  The inhabitants own a number of
vessels.  At few places is a greater quantity of shells to be picked up
of all descriptions, of which we collected a number in a few minutes,
when we pulled ashore.  Some of the shells were four or five inches
long.  The occupant has the power of working itself rapidly into the
soft sand, to get out of harm's way.  We saw some, but they suddenly
popped down, and were far out of our reach when we attempted to dig them
up.

Brixham will over be memorable as the place where the Prince of Orange
landed.  We looked at the stone on which he placed his foot when he
first stepped on shore.  It was a glorious day for liberty when his
fleet of seventy ships, carrying fourteen thousand men, stood in the
bay.  The inhabitants were inclined to look askance at the invaders when
they landed, recollecting the horrors they had endured at the hands of
Judge Jeffreys after the death of Monmouth; but when they saw the banner
of the prince unfurled, bearing the inscription of "God and the
Protestant religion," and he addressed them, saying, with a Dutch
accent, "Mein people, mein goot people!  Be not afraid!  I am come for
your goot, and for all your goots;" and when they saw the gallant array
by which he was surrounded, their courage revived, and loud acclamations
rent the air.  It was the dawn of a new era; and England owes a deep
debt of gratitude to the memory of the gallant prince by whose means our
civil and religious liberties have been secured on a basis which can
never be undermined unless by our own folly and supineness, although
treacherous enemies within are insidiously making the attempt.

Papa made these remarks, and we all heartily agreed with him.  Torbay
affords excellent anchorage except when the wind is to the east, towards
which direction it is perfectly open; and fearful accidents have
occurred when gales have suddenly sprung up from that quarter.  Some
years ago upwards of sixty vessels--some of large size--had stood into
the bay during a strong westerly wind.  During the night it suddenly
veered round to the east, and blew a tremendous gale, the rain pouring
in torrents.  Having brought-up close to one another, they were unable
to beat out, and some breaking loose drove against others.  One large
vessel drove against the pier with a tremendous crash, which awakened
the inhabitants from their slumbers.  The brave fishermen--knowing what
had occurred--rushed out to render assistance, and were the means of
saving many of the crew.  A little boy was thrown by a seaman from the
ship, and caught in the arms of a fisherman.  Several vessels went down
at their anchors, others were cast on shore.  When morning broke many
others were seen to founder with all hands, there being no possibility
of rendering their crews any assistance.  The whole shore was strewn
with dead bodies thrown up by the foaming seas.



CHAPTER FOUR.

THE SOUTH COAST--CONTINUED.

At an early hour the next morning, the Dolphin and we got under weigh,
with a northerly breeze, and rounding Berry Head stood for Froward
Point, at the eastern side of Dartmouth Harbour.  We had to keep at a
distance from it, to avoid a reef of rocks which runs off that part of
the coast.  The entrance of Dartmouth Harbour is picturesque, with high
rocks on both sides.  It is, or rather once was, guarded by a castle on
either hand.  That on Dartmouth is still held as a military post.  The
castle on the King's Wear side is now fitted up as a private residence.
In the days of Edward the Fourth the men of Dartmouth received thirty
pounds a year on condition of their building a mighty defensive tower,
and extending a long chain to reach across to King's Wear.  Running up
the Dart, we came to an anchor opposite the town, which stands on a
level space.  Few rivers in England have so picturesque an entrance as
the Dart, the scenery of which, though less bold as we proceeded higher
up, is very pretty.

From the Dart sailed the fleet of Coeur de Lion, when he led the
Crusaders to the Holy Land.  In this neighbourhood also was born John
Davis, the Arctic explorer, whose name is given to the strait at the
entrance of Baffin's Bay, which he discovered when on his expedition in
his two small vessels, the Sunshine and the Moonshine,--the one of fifty
tons, and the other of thirty-five tons burden, carrying respectively
twenty-three and nineteen men.

A few miles up the Dart another Arctic navigator--Sir Humphrey Gilbert--
was born.  Here also Sir Walter Raleigh resided; and from the Dart he
led forth those expeditions against the Spaniards, in his ship the
Roebuck, in which the Madre de Dios and other argosies laden with
treasure, rich spices, and jewels rewarded the valour of his followers.

The most interesting person connected with Dartmouth of late years is
Newcomen, the inventor of the steam engine.  He carried on business in
the town as an ironmonger.  All honour is due to his memory, although
others perfected the work which he commenced.

Dartmouth contains many picturesque, highly ornamented old houses,
although a large number have been pulled down to make room for modern
residences.  Amongst the most interesting of the former is the curious
old Butter Row.  Some little way up the harbour, on the west side, is
King's Wear, where the Dart Yacht Club have their headquarters.  Near
the mouth of the harbour is the Britannia school and training-ship for
Royal Naval Cadets.  Here they remain until they have attained a
sufficient knowledge of navigation and seamanship to become midshipmen,
and make themselves really useful.  Their regular schooling goes on all
the time.  Officers in the navy are far more highly educated than they
used to be in days of yore, when a knowledge of navigation and
seamanship was all that was required.

Papa knew one of the officers, so we went on board the ship.  It is
fitted up with a large school-room, class-rooms, and dormitories.  She
has only the few guns necessary for exercising.  Though once a
line-of-battle ship--being built of wood--she would be unable to compete
with ironclads, and of course her fighting days are over.

The wind being fair, we stood out of the Dart in the afternoon, and
steered for the Start.  At the end of the Start is a lofty tower.  It
was visible at sunset, when the wind fell almost calm.  The tide was
favourable, however, and we made some way.  In a short time a brilliant
revolving light flashed across the waters.  It can be seen nineteen
miles off, the tower being two hundred and four feet above high-water.
In the tower is a bell, which is rung during fogs, to warn ships from
approaching too near.  The light is a dioptric or lens-light of the
first order.  The apparatus consists of a central powerful lamp; round
this is placed an arrangement of glass, so formed as to refract these
beams into parallel rays in the required directions.

Lenses were employed in lighthouses at a very early period.  When they
were first made they were used for burning instruments, by collecting
the rays of the sun.  It was seen, however, that they would equally
collect the rays of a lamp.  They have of late years been very greatly
improved by a celebrated glass manufacturer.  Great indeed has been the
improvement in lighthouses.  Once upon a time they were simply high
towers, which had on their summits open fireplaces, in which either wood
or coal fires were burned.  They were often unserviceable at the very
time their services were most required.  During a heavy gale, for
instance, when the wind was blowing towards the land, it drove the
flames of an open fire away from the direction in which they were most
wanted to be seen.  Sometimes, in fog or rain, the glare of the fire was
visible by refraction in the atmosphere, although the fire itself could
not be seen.  Such was the tower of the North Foreland.  This lighthouse
existed in 1636, and merely had a large glass lantern fixed on the top
of a timber erection, which, however, was burnt in 1683.  Towards the
end of the same century a portion of the present structure was raised,
having an iron grate on the summit.  It being found difficult to keep a
proper flame in windy or rainy weather, about 1782 it was covered in
with a roof and large sash windows, and a coal fire was kept alight by
means of enormous bellows, which the attendants worked throughout the
night.

This very primitive means of maintaining a light was exchanged in 1790
for a lantern, with lamps and other apparatus.  The Eddystone lighthouse
was from the first illuminated by means of a chandelier, containing
twenty-four wax candles, five of which weighed two pounds.  The
Liverpool lighthouses had oil lamps, with rude reflectors.  Down to the
year 1823 coal fires were used in several lighthouses.  Really good
lights have come into universal use only during the last few years; and
it is said that on the west coast of Sweden a coal fire is still used at
an important lighthouse.

The Argand lamp is generally employed in lighthouses.  It was the
greatest advance in artificial lighting until the introduction of gas.
It was discovered by Monsieur Argand, a citizen of Geneva.  He was
trying experiments with a common lamp he had invented.  A younger
brother describes its accidental discovery.  He says: "My brother had
long been trying to bring his lamp to perfection.  The neck of a broken
flask was lying on the chimney-piece.  I happened to reach across the
table, and to place it over the circular flame of the lamp.  Immediately
it rose with brilliancy.  My brother started from his seat in ecstasy,
rushed upon me in a transport of joy, and embraced me with rapture."
Thus was the new form of lamp discovered.

Various forms of cylindrical wick lamps are employed for illuminating
lighthouses.  For reflectors the wick is nearly an inch in diameter.
For the lens-light a more powerful and complicated lamp is used.  The
oil is made to flow into the burners by various means.  The most simple
is by placing the reservoir higher than the lamp, the oil thus flowing
by its own gravity to the level required.  Mineral oil is now generally
used, as being superior to rape-seed or sperm oil.  Olive oil is used in
some foreign lighthouses; and at the Cape of Good Hope oil produced from
the tails of Cape sheep is employed.  It is said to be far superior to
all other oils for its brilliancy in burning.

Attempts have been made to introduce the limelight, that being of far
greater brilliancy than any other.  We read of a curious experiment
connected with it.  A limelight was placed on the summit of a hill,
called Slievesnaught, in Ireland, which was always enveloped in haze by
day.  Between it and the observing station was a church tower, twelve
miles distant, and on this station an ordinary reflector was fixed,
while the hill itself was seventy miles distant.  Notwithstanding the
great difference in the distances, the limelight was apparently much
nearer and brighter than the light twelve miles off.

Great as are the difficulties of keeping up a continuous flame, they
have been almost overcome by an arrangement introduced by Mr Renton,
which preserves the cylinder of lime from cracking.  Gas has lately been
introduced in the lighthouse at Hartlepool.  Hopes were entertained that
electric lights might be introduced, but the great difficulty is to
maintain an equable force, as the battery gradually declines in power.
There are also other difficulties to be mastered.  The most successful
experiments have been carried on in the South Foreland lighthouse, by an
arrangement of powerful magnets.  The current thus produced passing
through the carbon pillars, produces a splendid light, entirely
eclipsing all other modes of illumination.  Years ago a limelight was so
arranged as to be used on board ship for illuminating objects at a great
distance.  By its means, an intended attack of torpedo vessels could be
detected.  It was employed also in the Abyssinian expedition, for
illuminating the advance camp when there was a possibility of it being
attacked by Theodore's troops.  Now, however, electric lights are used
on board all the first-class men-of-war, incandescent lamps being fitted
for internal use, and arc lights for signalling and searching purposes.

All this information we obtained while slowly gliding by the Start.  The
Start light, from its height and brilliancy, can be seen much further
off than the Eddystone light, which we sighted just before morning.  A
head wind springing up, and the tide being against us, we ran back past
Bolt Head into Salcombe Range.  The sun had not risen as we entered the
harbour.  The scenery of the entrance is wild and romantic.  High and
rugged rocks appeared above our mast-head.  We brought-up on the eastern
side of the harbour.  As soon as the anchor was down we piped to
breakfast.

Just beneath Bolt Head we observed the ruins of an old castle, once a
stronghold of importance, which held out bravely for the Royalists under
the governor, Sir Edward Fortescue.  For four months he and his gallant
followers withstood the numberless cannon-shot poured in from the
heights above, and at length only yielded on honourable terms to the
leader of the Parliamentary forces, who allowed them to walk out with
their arms and colours flying.

Uncle Tom and Jack came on board to breakfast, and we spent a jolly
morning, in spite of the pouring rain.  I could never fancy taking a
cruise alone in a yacht, especially without a crew, as two or three
gentlemen have done; but nothing is more pleasant than sailing in
company with another yacht, with a merry party on board each vessel, and
exchanging visits, sometimes "mealing"--as Uncle Tom called it--on board
the one, sometimes on board the other, as we always did when in harbour.
At sea this, of course, could not be done, except in calm weather.
Although Salcombe Range is rugged and wild in the extreme at its mouth,
there are some beautiful country houses higher up the harbour; one
belongs to the Earl of Devon, and another to Lord Kinsale.  So genial is
the climate, that myrtles, magnolias, oleanders, and aloes grow in
profusion, and fill the air with their fragrance.  Vines and all sorts
of fruit-trees also flourish--the apple-tree especially yielding a rich
crop.  We agreed that for a winter residence there could not be a more
delightful spot in England.

The following evening, the weather clearing, we made sail, the Dolphin
leading.  As we stood out, we passed a fine large schooner--a fruit
vessel, I believe--which had put in here.  Paul Truck hailed her as we
passed slowly by, and he found that he knew her master, who said that
she had put in to land her owner and his family, and that she was bound
up the Straits of Gibraltar.  The very next night she was driven on
shore near the Lizard--either on the Stags or some other rocks--and was
dashed to pieces, all hands perishing.

The wind, though light, was sufficiently to the southward to enable us
to stand for Plymouth; but we kept close-hauled, that we might have a
good offing, should the wind shift to the westward, when it would be in
our teeth.  Darkness was creeping over the face of the water.  The
Dolphin was about two cables length ahead of us.  We had just gone down
to tea, and Oliver was pouring out a cup for papa, when we were startled
by a loud shout uttered by Truck:

"A man overboard from the Dolphin!"

Oliver, in his agitation, let go the teapot, which was capsized.  We all
rushed on deck, papa leading, and Oliver butting me with his head
behind.

"Where is he?" asked papa, running forward to look out.  "Keep her as
she goes," he shouted.

The Dolphin was in stays, coming about, an operation she took some time
to perform.  It was evident we should be up to the spot where the man--
whoever he was--had fallen into the water before she could reach it.  We
peered through the gloom, but could perceive nothing amid the leaden
seas flecked over with snowy foam.

"Stand by to lower the boat; trice up the main tack!" cried papa.

"I see him, sir!" cried Ned and Ben, in one voice, pointing to a black
spot which appeared now in the hollow of the sea, now with the foam
curling round it.

"If it's a man, he's swimming well," cried papa.

"I do believe it's Jack!" exclaimed Oliver.

"Haul up the foresail, down with the helm, let fly the jib sheet!"
shouted papa.

At that moment a cry reached our ears, "Help! help!"  The cutter was now
hove-to.  While papa had been giving his orders he had been throwing off
his coat and waistcoat.  No sooner did he hear Jack's voice than
overboard he sprang, striking out towards our cousin, who was on the
point of sinking, being seized with cramp.  He was a good swimmer, and
but for this might have kept up until he had reached the Lively, for the
Dolphin was much further off from him than we were.  We saw papa making
his way towards Jack.  I felt inclined to jump overboard; but Truck sang
out to Oliver and me to assist in getting the boat in the water, when
the two men, Ned and Ben, jumped into her.

"Pull away in the wake of the captain," shouted Truck; "he'll hand
Master Jack to you when he gets hold of him.  Take care you don't
capsize the boat.  The captain will look after himself; but listen, and
do as he tells you."

There was a good deal of sea on, and the boat tossed about fearfully.
There seemed a great risk of her bows striking Jack, had the men
attempted to pull directly towards him.  They soon overtook papa, but
wisely kept at an oar's length on one side of him.  My heart beat as if
it would jump into my throat.  It seemed to me that at any moment papa
himself might sink.  I could barely distinguish Jack's head, and
sometimes I thought it was only a lump of sea-weed.  He had prudently
not attempted to swim, but thrown himself on his back.  The Dolphin's
boat was by this time in the water, and was also making its way towards
the spot; but papa was very much nearer.  I almost shouted with joy when
I saw that he had got hold of Jack, and was keeping his head, which I
could now more clearly distinguish, above the white foam.

"Pull round, lads," I heard him shout, "and back in towards me!"

The men obeyed the order.

"Now, one of you come aft, and catch hold of the boy."

With intense relief we saw Jack hauled on board over the stern; but papa
was still in the water.  For a moment I thought of sharks, remembering
how often those horrible monsters had carried off people just about to
get into a boat.  Then I recollected that they were seldom if ever seen
so far north.  Papa just held on to the stern until Jack had been
carried by Ben a little way forward, and then we saw him climb in, Ben
just lending him a hand, which was all he required.  Doubly thankful we
were when we saw him also safe in the stern-sheets.

"Praise God!" exclaimed old Truck.  "If the captain had gone it would
have broken my heart."

The boat, instead of returning to us, pulled on to the Dolphin, and
there was just light sufficient for us to see Jack lifted on board, both
vessels remaining hove-to.  Presently the Dolphin's boat came alongside
with a message from papa, desiring us to go back in her.  We jumped in
at once, and were quickly on board.  Papa had gone below to change his
wet clothes, when we found that Jack had been placed on a mattress on
deck, wrapped up in a blanket.  Uncle Tom was kneeling by his side,
exposing his face and chest to the breeze, while one of the men stood by
with a lantern.  Jack was as pale as death--indeed, as we watched him
with intense grief, he appeared to be dead.

"He's got too much water in his throat," said the captain of the
Dolphin; "better place him on his face, and let it run out."

This was done, with our assistance, and Uncle Tom placed one of Jack's
wrists under his forehead; but still he showed no sign of life.  While
we were attempting thus to restore him, papa came on deck.  He at once
placed Jack on his back, and putting a cloak under his shoulders,
slightly raised his chest, while he told me to hold his feet covered up
in the blanket.  He then wiped his mouth and nostrils, and drew his
tongue out, keeping it projecting beyond the lips.  By slightly raising
the lower jaw the tongue was held in the required position by his teeth.
He then raised his arms upwards by the sides of his head, and kept them
steadily but gently stretched out, moving them forwards for a few
moments.  He then turned them down, and pressed them gently and firmly
for the same period of time against the sides of the chest.  He
continued repeating these movements alternately about fifteen times in a
minute.  By papa's directions, we rubbed both his arms and his legs,
from the feet and hands towards the heart; and another blanket having
been heated at the galley, he was wrapped up in it.  In the meantime,
papa having called for a bucket of cold water, dashed it with
considerable force over Jack's face.  How thankful we felt when, after
this operation had twice been performed, we heard a slight sigh escape
our cousin's lips!

"Thank God, all is well!" exclaimed papa.  "Cheer up, Tom; Jack is
coming to."

Again the patient sighed, and we observed that he was beginning to
breathe.  Papa placed his hand on Jack's heart.  "It beats faintly," he
said; "but the pulsations are becoming stronger and stronger.  We may
carry him below now without fear," he added, in cheerful voice; "he will
soon come round."

Jack now cried out faintly, as if suffering from pain.

"That's a good sign," said papa.

All this time we had continued rubbing his feet and hands.  Papa and
Uncle Tom lifted him up, carried him below, and placed him in his berth,
having completely dried his head, and wrapped him in a warm blanket.  On
this the steward brought some broth, which he had been warming up, and a
few teaspoonfuls were poured down Jack's throat.

Papa said he had adopted Doctor Sylvester's mode of proceeding, which is
that advocated by the Royal Humane Society.  The advantages of it are
that inspiration may be made to precede expiration.  The expansion of
the throat is artificially ensured.  The patient is not likely to be
injured by the manipulation, and the contents of the stomach cannot pass
into the wind-pipe, while the tongue is prevented from obstructing
inspiration.  Both sides of the chest are thus equally inflated, and a
larger amount of air is inspired than by other methods.  Of course,
where medical men with apparatus are at hand, other plans may be
adopted; but papa said he had seen several persons treated as Jack had
been, apparently much farther gone, but who yet had completely
recovered.

We watched over our cousin for some time, when as both Uncle Tom and
papa thought he was quite out of danger, we returned on board the
cutter.  How he had fallen into the sea no one could positively say, but
we knew we should hear all about it on the following day.

The wind had greatly fallen, and the yacht had all this time remained
hove-to.  As soon as we had got on board, the boat was hoisted up.  Papa
shouted, "Let go the fore-sheet;" and the cutter moving through the
water, the yacht quickly passed the Dolphin.  She, however, immediately
followed our example, and together we sailed on towards the brilliant
light of the Eddystone.  We watched it for some time, and at length
turned in; but before getting into our berths we heartily thanked God
that by His great mercy our poor cousin had been delivered from a
terrible death.  When we went on deck again, at early dawn, the Dolphin
was astern of us.  We hove-to, and allowing her to come up with us,
enquired after Jack.

"He's going on well, and is fast asleep," was the answer.  We were by
this time near enough to the Eddystone lighthouse to distinguish its
form and colour.  At high-water, the rock on which it stands is covered
to the depth of fourteen feet, so that it then literally rises out of
the sea.  Its predecessor was erected by Smeaton in 1759, about fourteen
miles south of Plymouth Breakwater; but the rocks on which it was built
were gradually undermined by the waves, and it had to be replaced by a
new building on a firmer foundation.

We made but very little way during the night.  The sky at this time had
assumed a most extraordinary appearance.  It appeared to be sprinkled
over with flocks of wool of the most brilliant colours--red, yellow,
green, pink and gold, indeed, all the hues of the rainbow, with scarcely
any blue spaces.

"What a magnificent day we shall have!"  I exclaimed.

"I'm not so sure of that, sir," answered Truck.  "If I mistake not,
before we get into Plymouth Sound we shall have a sneeze from the
south-west.  Fortunately we've got a harbour under our lee.  We won't
rouse up the captain, though, because he is tired after his swim and his
anxiety about Master Jack, but I'll take leave to shorten sail in good
time."

"Four reefs down in the mainsail, lads," he sang out.  "Be smart about
it.  Get out the storm jib.  In with the big jib."

"Before many minutes are over the gale will be down upon us!"  Paul
shouted out to the Dolphin, making signs to show what he expected.  We
saw her immediately afterwards shortening sail.  Scarcely had we set the
storm jib than the wind struck it, and away we flew over the now
fast-rising seas.  In a few seconds the wind was howling and shrieking,
and the whole ocean was covered with foam.

A short distance off, on the starboard quarter, was the Dolphin.  In an
instant, as the squall struck her, she heeled over until the water
rushed through the lee scuppers; but the foresail was speedily brailed
up, and under a storm jib and closely-reefed mainsail she staggered on,
keeping about the same distance from us as at first.  Afar off were
numberless vessels standing for the harbour; some perhaps had sailed the
previous evening, others were standing up Channel, or had previously
been making for Plymouth.  We dashed on over the now foaming billows.
The number of vessels appeared to increase as they approached either the
east or the west end of the breakwater: we kept to the former entrance.
Some of the outward-bound vessels ran back into Cawsand Bay, on the west
side of the harbour, just abreast of the end of the breakwater on which
the lighthouse stands.  Every moment the wind increased, until it blew a
tremendous gale; and thankful we were when we had passed the Newstone
and Shagstone, two dangerous rocks at the eastern entrance of the Sound,
and had got safe inside the breakwater.  This is about a mile up the
Sound, running east and west, the two ends inclining to the northward.

We passed by so quickly that we had but little time to examine it; but
we could see what a magnificent structure it was, being composed
entirely of huge masses of granite.  Papa told us that it was commenced
in 1812, "a few years before he was born."  In the first instance
enormous blocks of stone were thrown down, such as the tides could not
move, until the foundation was formed in the required shape, and nearly
a mile in length.  When this artificial reef rose almost on a level with
the water, after it had had time to settle, blocks of hewn stone were
cemented on to it, so that it now has the appearance of a long broad
wall with a lighthouse at the western end.

It has stood so many severe gales that there is no probability of its
giving way, unless some unexpected movement of the ground below should
occur.  Until the Portland Breakwater was built, that at Plymouth was
considered the finest structure of the sort in the world.  In those days
engineering skill had not advanced as far as it has at present.  The
stones were conveyed from the quarries in boats, so contrived that they
could be dropped through the bottom, over the spot where it was desired
to place them.  The whole cost of the work was a million and a half of
money, although a third less in length than the Portland Breakwater.
Just inside this ocean barrier several large ships were at anchor,
perfectly secure from the gale raging outside it; but we continued our
course up the Sound, with the tack triced up and the peak dropped, and
even then we had as much sail as we could stagger under.  We were very
glad after rounding the Cobbler Rock to bring up in Catwater, which is
the eastern harbour of Plymouth.  Passing beneath the citadel, which
completely commands the Sound, as soon as we had stowed sails, we went
on board the Dolphin.  We found our cousin sitting up in bed.

"How are you, Jack?"  I asked.

"Somewhat weak, and very queer," he answered.  "I want to thank you,
Uncle Westerton, for saving me; for if you hadn't come when you did, I
believe that I should have gone to the bottom."

"Don't talk about it, Jack," said papa; "you are not the first fellow--
I'm thankful to say--I've picked out of the water; and for your father's
sake, as well as your own, we should have been sorry to lose you.
Praise God for His mercy that you are still alive, and are able to serve
Him in the way He desires!"

"What did it feel like when you were drowning?" asked Oliver; "I've
heard say that the sensation is very pleasant."

"I can't say that I found it so, and I doubt if anybody else does.  All
I remember is that I felt in a horrible fright, and that the water came
rushing into my mouth much faster than I liked.  I had a terrible pain
in one of my legs, which prevented me from swimming a stroke; then I
heard a loud roaring noise, while all seemed confusion, except that I
felt a most disagreeable choking sensation.  I really do not know what
else happened; but I would advise you not to follow my example if you
can help it."

"But I say, Jack, how did you manage to tumble into the water?" inquired
Oliver.

"That's a puzzle to me," answered Jack.  "I believe that I had jumped up
on the taffrail when the vessel gave a kick, and over I went.  I must
have sunk, I think, before I knew where I was; and when I came to the
surface I instinctively struck out towards the Lively, for I could not
see the schooner, as my eyes happened to be turned away from her.  I
should have been alongside you in a few minutes, had not that dreadful
cramp come on.  Beyond that I really don't know much more."

After Jack had had his breakfast he declared that he was well enough to
go on shore; but the rain coming down in torrents we remained on board
the Dolphin, and amused ourselves by forming plans for the next day,
should it clear up.  I should have said that we had brought-up among an
enormous number of coasters and small trading vessels, as Catwater is
the mercantile harbour of Plymouth; while yachts generally betake
themselves to Hamoaze, at the mouth of the Tamar, on the west side of
Devonport.

All day long the rain continued; but I got on board the cutter, and
spent some time in writing up my journal.  It was very provoking to be
kept prisoners; but such is often the fate of yachtsmen.  We might, to
be sure, have gone on shore in our waterproofs and south-westers; but we
agreed that there would be no fun in paddling about a strange place
after the fashion of young ducks; so summoning all the patience we could
muster, we made ourselves as happy as we could on board.  We had reason
to be thankful that we had got into a snug harbour.  Vessels were
continually arriving with spars carried away and otherwise damaged, and
during the night it blew a perfect hurricane.

Before the breakwater was built the sea used to come rolling right up
the Sound, and vessels have even been wrecked close under Plymouth, and
the town itself often suffered.  Even as it was, we could not get across
to Drake's Island, on which a fort is situated guarding the entrance to
the Tamar.  In the afternoon of the next day the weather became bright
and beautiful, and we walked through Plymouth to Devonport, which
contains the dockyard, and is surrounded by fortifications.  We visited
the dockyard, which is very similar to that of Portsmouth.  We were much
interested in going into the rope manufactories, where ropes and hempen
cables are spun in rooms twelve hundred feet long.  Several ships were
building on the slips, and saw-mills and forges were busily at work.  We
afterwards went to Stonehouse, where the Royal William Victualling
Establishment is situated.  It covers fourteen acres; and here beer is
brewed, wheat is ground, biscuits baked, and cattle and pigs are turned
into beef and pickled pork.

Next day was Sunday, when we went to church.

On Monday morning we pulled in the Dolphin's boat across to Mount
Edgecumbe, having a good view of the south side of Plymouth and the
green slopes of the Hoe, which extend down to the water's edge on the
west of the citadel.

From Mount Edgecumbe the noble owner of the estate takes his title.  It
is indeed a beautiful spot, the hill-side facing the water covered with
trees, and walks cut amid them.  From the hills at the north end we
enjoyed beautiful views up the Hamoaze, and looked down into Mill Bay,
and watched the fierce tide as the ebb made, rushing out of the Tamar,
past the Devil's Point, having a good view also over the whole shore,
thickly sprinkled with houses and fortifications.

The inhabitants of few towns in England have a finer place of recreation
than the Hoe affords on a summer's evening, where the people of Plymouth
can walk up and down enjoying the view of its picturesque shores, and at
the same time getting the sea-breeze, which blows up the Sound.

We were just on the point of leaving Mount Edgecumbe when we saw several
people ahead of us; and Oliver, who was in front, turned round and said,
"I do believe there's Dick Pepper;" and running on he gave him a slap on
the shoulder, when we saw that it was really Dick himself.

Dick stopped till I got up to him.

"I am staying with an old uncle and aunt at Plymouth; but they don't
know what to do with me, and, to say the truth, I don't know what to do
with myself," he said.

"Wouldn't it be fun if you could come with us?" exclaimed Oliver.

"That it would!" answered Dick; "and I'm sure Aunt Deborah will be
delighted to get rid of me."

We introduced him as our schoolfellow to papa, who, guessing what was in
our minds, invited him to come and sail with us, as he knew we should
like it.

Dick replied that if his uncle and aunt would let him he would come fast
enough; and as they were strolling on before, we three ran after them.
Dick told them of the invitation he had received.  I guessed by the
faces of the old lady and gentleman that they would not refuse.  I was
right; and it was at once settled that Dick should return home and pack
up a few traps, and come on board that very evening.

Dropping a little way behind, we were joined by Jack, when we set up a
shout, which somewhat astonished Aunt Deborah and her husband.  We saw
the latter, who was somewhat deaf, enquiring what the noise was about.
When Dick joined them he got a scolding for being so improperly
hilarious.

While he and his relatives returned across the ferry to Stonehouse, we
went to see the steam floating bridge, similar to that used between
Portsmouth and Gosport.  We much wished that we had had time to pull up
the Tamar, the scenery of which is highly picturesque.  Small steamboats
run up it a considerable distance, and carry excursionists.  We went
some distance up, to see the beautiful iron bridge which spans it, as
also to have a look at the Oreston quarries, from which the material for
forming the breakwater was principally procured.

On getting back to Catwater we found Dick and his traps waiting for us,
so we quickly transferred him and them on board the Lively; while Oliver
took up his quarters, by Uncle Tom's invitation, on board the Dolphin.
As we had still daylight, and the tide suited, we got up our anchors and
sailed down the Sound, steering for the western entrance, when we saw a
white light burst forth from the lighthouse at the end of the
breakwater.

"Why, I thought it was a red light," I observed.

"So it is when turned seaward; but by having a white light looking up
the harbour, vessels know when they are well inside," answered papa.

As we ran out we passed a large fleet of fishing-boats also coming out
of Cawsand Bay, which, before the breakwater was built, was the most
secure anchorage during south-westerly gales.  These boats were engaged
in the whiting fishery.  The fish are not only sold in Plymouth and the
neighbouring towns, but are sent up in large quantities to the London
market.

Returning on board, we stood northward, that we might obtain a view of
the coast as we sailed along.  Dick and I remained on deck all the
morning.  At last we sighted Looe, the first town we had seen on the
Cornish coast.  Looe stands at the mouth of a valley, at the bottom of
which runs a stream.  It consists of East and West Looe--romantic
foreign-looking places.  The houses are grouped together irregularly,
with whitewashed walls, stairs outside, green roofs and grey gables,
with myrtles, geraniums, and other plants of a warm climate flourishing
in their midst.  West Looe is inhabited chiefly by fishermen, their
humble cottages being scattered about without any respect to order.
However, we obtained but a distant view of it.

As the wind freshened up a little we stood on towards Fowey, passing
Looe Island and Talland Point.  Fowey is a place of far more importance
than Looe, although much of its ancient glory has departed.  The town
rises above the quay, and consists of a number of narrow, crooked
streets; and it has a quiet old market-house, a fine tower, and a
building called the _Place_ House.  The town owes much to a patriotic
gentleman, Joseph Treffry, by whose means it has of late years been
greatly improved.

Once upon a time, when Liverpool was a mere fishing-village, Fowey sent
forth a large fleet to aid King Edward--no less than forty-seven ships,
with seven hundred and seventy mariners, swelled the king's fleet.
Often, too, the men of Fowey beat back their French invaders; indeed,
the Place House was built as a fortress.

On going out of Fowey we passed a number of coasters loaded with china
clay, which is found in large quantities near this town.  Arsenic also
is found in many of the Cornish mines.  Persons employed in obtaining it
suffer greatly from its poisonous fumes.

The flashing light of Saint Anthony's Point burst forth when we were
about three miles from the entrance of Falmouth Harbour, and enabled us,
with the assistance of the green fixed light on the breakwater, to take
up a safe berth inside.  We had heard much of the beauty of Falmouth,
and expected next morning to be delighted with its appearance.

"Well, I really think I shall make a very good sailor," said Dick, as we
sat at supper, while the vessel lay at anchor in the calm harbour.  "I
feel as well as I ever did in my life."

"You must take care not to pitch head foremost overboard, as you were
nearly doing this morning," observed Jack; "you might not be as
fortunate as I was--to be picked up again."

"Why, I forgot that there was the water between you and me; and when you
shouted out I was going to run up and shake hands," was the answer.

The fact was that Dick, while we were near the Dolphin, was as nearly as
possible walking overboard, with the intention of getting on her deck,
and would have done so had not Truck hauled him back.  Dick had no
notion of which was the stem and which the stern of the vessel, or how
the wind acted on the sails; nor could he make out why we tacked; and
several times he asked how it was that we did not sail directly towards
the point to which we wished to go.

"I say, what do you call that stick in the middle of the boat?" he
asked, after he had been on board some hours; "and that other one
running out at one end; and why has your uncle's vessel got two sticks
and you only one; if one is enough, why should he have two?"

I explained that our vessel was a cutter, and that the Dolphin was a
schooner, and that the stick running out at one end was the bowsprit, on
which the jib was set to turn the head of the vessel either one way or
the other.

"Nothing like asking questions," observed papa, when we laughed at Dick.
"Stick to the custom, my boy, and you'll soon know as much as these
youngsters.  A person who is afraid of asking questions remains in
ignorance."

As may be supposed, Dick hit his head pretty hard against the beam above
him several times before he learned to roll into his berth after the
most approved fashion.

Soon after daybreak we were on deck in our shirts, intending to jump
overboard and take a swim.  Jack and Oliver made their appearance at the
same moment on board the Dolphin, and shouting to us, overboard they
went, and came swimming up.  I, pulling my shirt over my head, followed
their example.  Dick, forgetting to pull off his shirt, with wonderful
courage--which arose, however, from ignorance--plunged after me, when to
our dismay we discovered that he had no notion of swimming.  I was
already some distance from the side of the vessel.

Poor Dick began splashing about, and striking out as he had seen me do;
but, beginning to sink, he shouted out, "Help, help!"

Fortunately, Captain Truck saw him, and hove a grating close to him with
a rope attached to it.

"Hold on to this, young gentleman, until Master Harry comes to help you.
Don't be afraid, and you'll be all right."

Dick caught hold of the grating, and wisely did as he was advised.  I,
hearing his cries, had in the meantime turned round, and getting up to
him, took a rope which Truck heaved to me, and fastened it round his
waist.

"You are all right now," I said; "but before you attempt to do anything
else, learn to strike out with your feet with regular strokes.  Pull
your knees up, and then shove them out horizontally even with the
surface of the water.  There, that will do capitally; you see how fast
you shove the grating ahead."

Truck on this slackened out more rope; and Dick, delighted, soon carried
the rope out as far as it would go.  Then, turning the grating round, I
made him push it back again towards the vessel.

"Now rest a bit--just as I am doing," I said; "don't move, but let your
legs and body float up; just touch the grating with your arms stretched
out, and as much of your body as possible under the water.  There, you
see, you float like a cork.  Now you observe that, if you remain
perfectly quiet, the water will float your body.  All the grating now
does is to support your head; but if you were to turn on your back, and
let your head sink down into the water, with only your face above, the
water would support your head."

Dick did as I suggested, and was quite surprised to find how perfectly
he floated.

"Now, you see, when swimming, you require only the movement of your arms
to keep your head above water, although they also assist you to progress
and to guide yourself; but the feet make most of the onward movement.
Just try without the grating, and the rope will bring you up if you
sink."

Dick, who was quite rested again, did as I advised, and managed to get
from one end of the vessel to the other, although it must be confessed
that more water ran down his throat than he found pleasant.  I then
showed him how he could tread water, by keeping his body perfectly
upright with his arms folded; here was a still greater surprise to him,
and he was thus able to keep his chin well out of the water, and
sometimes, by striking hard, to raise his shoulders even above the
surface.

"This is capital!" he exclaimed.  "Though I had read about swimming, I
had no notion how it was done; and I could not have supposed it possible
that water could float me so easily.  I had tried several times in the
ponds, and nearly drowned myself."

"Ah, but we have got the salt-water of the Atlantic here, which is far
more buoyant than the fresh water," I observed.

Dick was so delighted that it was with difficulty we could get him to
come on board again and dress for breakfast.

"You'll make a first-rate swimmer in a few days, sir," said Paul Truck,
as he assisted him up the side.  "I'll tell you why--you have no more
fear than a Newfoundland dog.  The reason people can't swim is that they
fancy that they can't; whereas, the Newfoundland dog knows that he can,
and goes in and does it."

Having dried myself, I ran down and brought up a clean shirt for Dick,
who asked Truck to fasten his up in the rigging.

"Better souse it out with fresh water first, or you wouldn't find it
pleasant to put on again," answered the captain, laughing; "the salt
would tickle your skin, I've a notion."

"Not if it is dry, surely?" asked Dick.

"Yes; you see the salt would remain.  Why, you'd have as much salt in
that shirt as would serve you for dinner for a week if I was to, dry it
in the sun without rinsing it out.  Haven't you ever seen salt in the
holes of the rocks?"

Dick had not, but I very frequently had.

"How do you think that salt comes there?" asked Truck.

Dick could not tell.

"Why, it's just this: the sun draws up the fresh water, and doesn't draw
up the salt, but leaves that behind.  If it wasn't for that, we should
have salt rain; and a pretty go that would be; for all the trees, and
plants, and grass would be killed, and vessels, when away from land and
hard up for water, would not be able to get any."

We had been so busy dressing that we had not had time to admire the
harbour.  We now agreed that it looked a very beautiful spot, with
bright green fields and the white houses of the town, with Pendennis
Castle on the western point and Saint Mawes opposite to it.  Facing
Falmouth we could see Flushing, and church towers and villas on the
shores of the river Fal away to the northward.

On going on shore, however, the place did not appear quite so
attractive, and the streets and alleys had a Wapping look about them,
and were redolent of the odours of a seaport.  But as we got out of the
more commercial part, the town improved greatly.  One of the most
interesting buildings we visited was that of the Cornwall Sailors' Home,
though there were many other fine public buildings.

Pendennis Castle chiefly occupied our attention.  It is of considerable
size.  At one part is a round tower--the most ancient portion of the
building--erected in the time of Henry the Eighth.  The works extend
seaward, so that they guard the entrance to the harbour.  We wandered
from bastion to bastion, gazing over the ocean two hundred feet below
us.  The paved platforms, the heavy guns, and the magazines for
ammunition showed that the fortress was prepared for an enemy.  Should
one appear, may its garrison hold out as bravely as did that under the
command of old John Arundel, a partisan of the Stuarts, when besieged by
the Parliamentary army, until the defenders and their brave captain were
starved into submission.

We walked on along the shore until stopped by the Helford river--really
an arm of the sea--which we crossed in a ferry-boat.  We caught sight,
in the far distance to the southward, of the Manacles, a group of
isolated rocks, on which more than one stout ship has been knocked to
pieces.  All along were fine romantic cliffs, the views rewarding us for
our exertions.  We returned on board soon after sunset, and I employed
the rest of the evening in writing up my journal.



CHAPTER FIVE.

LAND'S END.

A fine, bright morning found us outside the harbour, with the Manacles
on our starboard bow, steering for the Lizard, which we hoped to round
before noon, so as to reach Penzance that evening.  We passed
sufficiently near the Manacles to distinguish their black heads standing
with threatening aspect high out of the water.

"It was there, sir, a few years ago, a large ship--The John--was lost
during thick weather when making for Plymouth, and upwards of one
hundred of her passengers and crew perished," observed Truck, as he
pointed out the rocks to us.  "She had no business to be so close in
shore, and that is all I can say.  It is sad to think how many stout
ships have been cast away on the rocks about here.  When we set to the
Lizard we shall see the Stags."

After passing the Lizard we kept the land close on board.  As the wind
was south-west, we sailed straight for Penzance.  We could distinguish
high and broken cliffs of a reddish hue extending the whole way to the
Lizard; when they disappeared we could perceive a low rocky point
running out towards the Stags.  On the summit of the cliffs which form
the Lizard Head stand two lighthouses, two hundred and twenty-three feet
apart.  A covered passage runs between them, in the centre of which are
the residence and offices attached to the towers, so that the keepers
can communicate without being exposed to the fierce gales of winter.
Each of the white towers is sixty-one feet high, and contains a
brilliant fixed catoptric or reflecting light.

The Lizard is the most southerly point of England, and although it is
exposed to heavy gales the climate is very healthy.  Just as we were
about to round the Stags the wind shifted, and compelled us to stand
away to the southward, by doing which we hoped, aided by the next ebb,
to be able to steer direct for Penzance.

Had we gone about at that time, we should have run the risk of being
driven on the Stags, both wind and tide setting in that direction.  The
wind became very light, and we made but slow progress.

Our hopes of reaching Penzance gradually decreased as the day wore on,
and yet, while the flood was making, it would have been folly to stand
towards the shore.  At length papa calculated that the tide had turned.
We were on the point of putting the vessel's head to the northward when
a thick mist, driving up from the chops of the Channel, completely
enveloped us, while the wind rapidly increased, as of course did the
sea.

Dick, who had been walking about with his hands in his pockets, now
suddenly found himself jerked here and there, and was compelled to pull
them out to catch hold of anything which came in his way; sometimes a
stanchion, sometimes the side of the vessel, now and then Truck, or me,
or the man at the helm.

"Take care, my lad, you don't go overboard," sang out papa.  "You'd
better turn in and keep out of harm's way."

Dick, however, was too proud to do this.  "No, thank you; I'd rather
stay on deck," he answered.  "I'll pull and haul, and help the sailors
in any way you like."

"I won't ask you to do that; only sit down on the skylight, and should a
sea strike us hold on with your eyelids."

Dick did as he was advised; at first he sat up, and looked very bold;
but gradually he became paler and paler, and yellower and yellower,
while his lip curled, and a groan every now and then escaped his breast.

"Hulloa! what's become of the Dolphin?"  I exclaimed, looking round, and
not seeing her anywhere.

"She was away to leeward of us when I went down to tea," observed Truck,
who had just then returned on deck.  "Where did you last see her?" he
asked of the man at the helm.

"Maybe a couple of hundred fathoms astern, sir; but I don't think more,"
was the answer.

We hailed the Dolphin, but there was no reply.  "She was further off
than you supposed," said papa, who had himself gone below for a few
minutes.

We could not understand why they did not answer our hail, for they must,
we thought, have heard us.  As it was important to keep as close to the
wind as possible, that we might be sure of weathering the Stags, we
could not run down to speak the Dolphin.  Papa, however, felt sure that
Uncle Tom would also keep as close to the wind as he could, with the
same object in view.

We had by this time gone about, and were heading up towards the port we
wished to reach.  Papa judged that we were already near Mount's Bay.
Dick had thrown himself down on deck, completely overcome.  I was
standing by him, urging him to get up and go below, when what was my
dismay to see towering above us the dark hull and wide-spreading canvas
of a large ship.

"Steady! keep her as she goes!" papa shouted out.  Had we attempted to
keep away, the stranger must have struck us on our quarter.  Had we
luffed up, she would have run completely over us, and we should have
been carried to the bottom.  I fully expected even then that such would
be the case.

"Run forward, my lads!" he shouted out to Dick and me and the crew,
while he himself seized the helm, making the helmsman throw himself flat
on his back.  All was the work of a moment.  In another instant I heard
a crashing and rending.  Our boat was knocked to fragments, and the
davits carried away.  I saw the bowsprit sweeping across our deck,
tearing the mainsail as it did so, and carrying away back-stays and
other rigging.

Dick was shouting out, "What has happened?  What are we going to do?"

"I hope to get rid of this craft!" cried Captain Truck, who having
seized an axe, followed by the rest of the crew, was cutting away at the
stranger's bowsprit rigging.

Happily, our gaff stood, although our topmast was carried away by her
foreyard-arm, and came down with a crash on deck, papa narrowly escaping
being struck.  The next instant we were free.

"You'll be on shore in a quarter of an hour if you steer your present
course!" shouted papa.  "Steer to the south-east."

"Ay, ay!  Thank you," came from the ship; "sorry to have run you down,
but you've returned good for evil."

"I pray that I may always do so!" answered papa; and the next instant
the stranger was lost to sight in the thick mist.

We immediately hove-to, to get in the wreck of the topmast, and to
repair damages.  A piece of planking was nailed over the side which had
been stove in, and the fragments of the boat were stowed on deck.

"I hope the Dolphin will escape that fellow," observed Captain Truck.
"If he doesn't alter his course he may run her down, and then, maybe,
wreck himself on the Stags."

"I am thankful to believe he has altered his course," observed papa.  "I
heard the order given; but I should like to fall in with the Dolphin,
for we must run back to Falmouth and repair damages.  She, probably, not
knowing what has happened to us, will stand on to Penzance.  We can
reach Falmouth, however, much sooner than we can get there, and have the
work done more rapidly."

We accordingly kept away, and in a short time the Lizard Lights appeared
through the mist at such a height that papa knew we were clear of the
Stags.  After this we steered for Saint Anthony's Light, and soon came
in sight of a green fixed light on the Prince of Wales' Breakwater,
passing which before midnight we brought-up in safety in the harbour.

"We have good reason to be thankful at having escaped the danger to
which we were exposed this evening," observed papa, as we were taking
some supper in the cabin before turning in.  "It is one to which yachts
as well as other vessels must always be exposed, especially at the
present time, when so many steamers are running up and down.  I should
have been happier had the Dolphin been with us; but I hope we may find
her the day after to-morrow, as she is sure to wait at Penzance for us."

The first thing in the morning we went on shore to get carpenters off to
repair the bulwarks and make a new topmast.  Papa found a boat exactly
the size we required, and purchased her, for it would have taken too
much time to repair the damaged one.

The carpenters made quick work.  By daybreak the next morning, having
all again ataut, we sailed for Penzance.  When we were well round the
Lizard, we fell in with a fleet of boats which had come off shore.  On
looking in the direction towards which they were pulling, we saw the
water curiously agitated.

"They are after a school of pilchards," said Captain Truck.  "See how
the water glitters with them; if you look through your glasses at the
top of the cliffs, you will see a number of people with boughs in their
hands waving them.  They have been on the look-out to give notice as
soon as they caught sight of the school.  When they see the first, they
sing out `Heva;' but what it means I don't know, except to give notice
to the men in the boats."

Meantime, the rowers were straining their muscular arms to the utmost,
until they reached the school, when they immediately united the nets
they had on board; and thus starting from the same point, quickly began
to cast them out, until they formed a circle not less than two thousand
feet in circumference, in the midst of which we could see the shining
fish leaping and struggling in a mass together.

Truck told us that the seine was about twelve fathoms deep, that it thus
formed a wall, the upper part being supported by corks, and the lower
weighted by lead.

While the circle was being formed, a third boat was employed in driving
the fish toward the centre of the enclosure, as there was a risk that
they might otherwise escape before it was completed.  The wind was very
light, and the sea calm, so that we could watch the operation at our
leisure.  The other boats, now fastened with long ropes to the seine,
began slowly dragging it towards the shore, the fish, meantime, mostly
keeping in its centre.  Now and then a few would make their escape by
leaping over it, but the greater number did not appear to have the sense
to do this.

We followed them, as we knew where there was water for the nets there
must be water for us.  At length, we saw them approach a sandy beach.
Here the rowers ceased exerting themselves; but they did not attempt to
drag the net on to the beach, for it would inevitably have been broken
through by the vast quantity of fish inside.  Several smaller boats had
put off, the men in them carrying small nets and baskets.  They now
commenced what is called "tucking."

The small nets were thrown out, each forming a circle, and the fish
caught in them were hauled on board in the ordinary way.  The other
boats ladled out the pilchards with baskets.  Each boat as she was laden
pulled back to the shore by a passage left open for her to pass through,
which was immediately closed again.

A number of women and lads, with creels on their backs, were collected
on the beach to carry the fish up to the curing-house, situated some
little way off on the top of the downs.

A considerable time was occupied in emptying the seine, for though no
fish appeared on the surface of the water, the tucking nets brought up a
considerable quantity which were swimming lower down.  The whole of the
vast net was then dragged up on the beach, when the fish which had been
caught in the meshes, or had before escaped capture, were secured.

As the calm continued, papa took us on shore in the boat to visit the
curing-house; and we heard a great deal more about the pilchard fishery
from the men on the beach.  We were surprised to find that the value of
the fish caught in that single seine was estimated at fully six hundred
pounds.  Sometimes a thousand pounds' worth of fish is caught in one
seine.  If the fishermen were always thus successful they would soon
grow rich; but they often meet with misadventures.  On one occasion a
large net full of fish was caught by the tide before it could be dragged
on shore, and carried away against the rocks, when not only did the fish
get free, but the net itself was almost destroyed.  At another time,
when a large school had been encircled, the fish making a dash together
at one point, capsized the net and got clear over the top, not a quarter
of the number remaining.  Just before this, a seine had been securely
moored, when a ground swell setting in from the westward before the fish
could be taken out, the net was rolled over and over, and every fish
escaped, while the net was utterly destroyed.

The fishing-boats we met with in Mount's Bay are not only very
picturesque, with their brown-tanned sails, but are amongst the finest
to be found anywhere; and they often ride out gales in which larger
vessels might founder.  Their plan is, when caught in a heavy sea, to
form a sort of breakwater of planks and spars, under the lee of which
they ride with sufficient scope of cable.  We were told of one, with a
crew of five men, which performed a journey to Australia, having touched
at the Cape of Good Hope for water and fresh provisions.  Since then,
several small craft, with only a couple of men on board, have crossed to
America.  On one occasion, a man, with his wife, came from the United
States to England; but they both suffered severely from the privations
to which they were exposed.

In the spring fishery the nets are shot near shore, off some sandy
inlet, at sunset; and it is curious to note that the fish thus meshed
are all on the inside of the net, but when they are meshed in the
morning they are found on the opposite side.  This proves that they come
into shallow water during daylight, and go off again into deep water at
night.

The people in this part of the country were at one time greatly addicted
to smuggling, and many of their vessels were commanded by daring
fellows, on whose heads a price had been set.  Among the most desperate
of these outlaws was Captain Wellard, who commanded the Happy-go-Lucky,
carrying fourteen guns.  For years he had carried on his trade with
impunity, and it was said he had vowed that he would never be caught.
When, however, Samuel Pellew, a brother of Lord Exmouth, became
collector of customs at Falmouth, he determined to put a stop to this
illicit traffic.  Wellard had the audacity to issue notices, promising a
reward to any one who would kill the collector.  Captain Pellew was not
to be daunted, and sent out his cruisers in every direction to look for
the smugglers.  At length two of the king's vessels, early one morning,
found the Happy-go-Lucky at anchor, not far from Saint Michael's Mount.
On seeing the royal cruisers, the outlaws cut their cables, and making
sail, stood out to sea.  Undaunted by the vastly superior odds against
them, the daring smugglers stood to their guns, and fought with a
bravery worthy of a better cause.  For a whole hour--entertaining to the
last the hope of escape--they maintained the unequal contest.  They
knew, indeed, that if taken alive, they would to a certainty be hanged.
At last Wellard fell, mortally wounded; but he held out as long as life
lasted.  His mate was then killed, and twelve of his crew wounded, when
the survivors were compelled to surrender, and the smuggling craft was
carried in triumph into Falmouth Harbour.  Here the prisoners were shut
up in Pendennis Castle; but their friends outside were not idle.  A
large body of armed smugglers soon collected, and breaking into the
castle, rescued the imprisoned outlaws, and at the same time carried off
some of the wounded who were lodged in the town.  One man was too much
hurt to be moved, so he was left behind, and eventually sent to London,
tried, and--having been captured red-handed--was hanged.  This happened
only at the end of the last century.

We walked as far as the curious hollow in the earth called "The Devil's
Frying-pan."  It is like a vast crater, two acres in extent, two hundred
feet deep, and converging to an orifice at the bottom, some sixty feet
in diameter.  Round the upper edge we observed furze, gorse, and a
variety of grasses growing in great profusion, but below was the bare
rock.  Carefully creeping down, we noticed through the hole the shine of
the water in the cavern beneath.  We were wondering how this curious
aperture could have been formed, when papa explained that the ground was
once level, but that there had been a cavern below it, which was
gradually increased by the roof crumbling away, and the _debris_ being
washed out by the sea, until the rock became too thin to bear the
superincumbent weight of earth, when the centre gave way, and sinking
down, the surrounding earth followed, until it was formed into its
present shape.  The sea continually rushing in, again cleared out the
cavern.  As we were anxious to look up it, we hurried back to the boat,
and the tide being suitable, we pulled in, and were able to look up
through the hole down which we had before gazed.

We afterwards visited two other extraordinary caverns, known as "Dolor
Hugo," and "Raven's Hugo," up one of which we pulled for a considerable
distance.  Grand and picturesque in the extreme were the cliffs above
us, which in every variety of shape extend along the whole of the Lizard
peninsula.

The curing establishment we found was much more extensive than we had
expected it to be.  It consists of a circular court, called a cellar,
inside which the fish are piled up on the slabs running round the court.
First, a layer of salt is spread, then a layer of pilchards, and so
on--layers of pilchards and salt alternating until a vast mound is
raised.  Below the slabs are gutters which convey the brine and oil
oozing out of the fish into a large pit in the centre of the court.
Upwards of three hundredweight of salt are used for each hogshead.
After the pilchards have remained about a month, they are cleansed from
the salt, and packed in hogsheads, each of which contains two thousand
four hundred fish, weighing four hundred and seventy-six pounds.
Pilchards when thus cured are called "fair maids"--a corruption of
_fumado_--the Spanish for smoked.  Originally they were cured by
smoking, but salt preserves them much better.

The fish are not always caught near the shore, for the school frequently
keep out at sea, where the fishermen go in search of them.  For this
purpose two descriptions of boats are employed; the largest measures
about thirty tons, the other is much smaller.  The fishermen use a
number of nets--about twenty in all--called a set, which are then joined
together; each is about forty feet deep, and one hundred and seventy
feet long.  When united they form a wall three quarters of a mile in
length, though sometimes they are much longer.  The fish are not caught
by being encircled, but by running their heads through the meshes, where
they are held by the gills, which open in the water like the barbs of an
arrow, and consequently cannot be withdrawn; their bodies being larger
than the meshes, they thus remain hanging, unable to extricate
themselves.

At one end of this wall of nets a boat is secured, and drifts with the
tide.  Here she remains until it is supposed that all the fish coming in
that direction have either passed by or been caught.  The fishermen then
begin hauling in the net.  The operation of hauling in nearly a mile of
net, perhaps full of fish, is no easy task, especially when there is a
"loppy" sea and the night is dark.  This is, however, the most easy way
of catching pilchards, which can be pursued at nearly all times of the
year, for the fish swim about in small schools away from the shore, from
May until winter is well advanced, when the water becoming cool, they
return westwards to a warmer climate in the depths of the Atlantic.  The
fishermen told us that the most propitious time for fishing is when
there is a loppy sea during a thick fog at night, as the pilchards do
not then perceive the nets in their way, and swimming against them, are
caught.  When the water is transparent, the fish, perceiving the
luminous meshes, swim aside and escape.  This appearance is called
brimming.  As it rarely occurs during twilight, the fishermen choose
that time for shooting their nets, and wait until dawn before hauling
them again into their boats.

We could learn nothing about the natural history of pilchards; the
fishermen did not appear to trouble their heads on the matter.  Some
said that they went away to far off regions during February, March, and
April, to deposit their spawn; others, that they went in search of food;
but where they went to, none of them could venture to suggest.

As we wished to get to Penzance before dark, should a breeze spring up,
we returned on board.  Sailing along very close to the coast, we came
off Helston, situated on the inner side of a curious lagoon, separated
from the sea by a narrow spit of sand.  Occasionally, in rainy seasons,
when the streams which run into the lagoon cause the water to rise to an
inconvenient height, so as to flood the shores, a narrow channel is cut
in the spit; and the water rushing through it at tremendous speed forms
a broad and deep passage, until the lake speedily sinks to its usual
level.

The breeze now freshening, we ran across the bay past Marazion, until we
sighted Mousehole, on the western side.  Near it was a large cavern in
the side of the cliff, from which the village is said by some to take
its name.  Mousehole, though a small place, contained some gallant men,
who, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, defended it bravely, under Sir
Francis Godolphin, against an attack of four hundred Spaniards, who came
in four galleys, and landing, did considerable damage to the
neighbouring places.  In its harbour we now saw a large fleet of boats,
engaged in the pilchard and mackerel fishery.  Not far off, on the
summit of a cliff, we observed two batteries, with guns mounted, to keep
any enemy who might venture near at bay.

Mackerel are caught much in the same manner as pilchards; but as they
will not keep, and are not so suitable for pickling, they are sent off
immediately to market.

All along this coast are caverns, which we much wished to explore.  In
this neighbourhood also, up a valley which extends from a pretty little
place called Lamorna Cove, is a place where a large amount of the finest
granite is quarried.

Tacking when off Mousehole, we stood directly for Penzance.  Approaching
the north shore, we had a fine view of Saint Michael's Mount, rising out
of the blue water washing its base, crowned by its far-famed and ancient
monastery.

Sailing on, we passed the white lighthouse at the end of the pier, and
dropped our anchor in the sheltered harbour, where, to our great
delight, we found the Dolphin.

Uncle Tom, and Jack, and Oliver at once came on board, very thankful to
find that we had escaped all dangers.  Uncle Tom said that he was on the
point of sailing to look for us.  We had just time to see the outline of
the tower, its domed hall rising in its midst, with pretty villas
surrounded by woods beyond, before the fast-gathering darkness shut them
out of our view, while the twinkling lights from the old town and a
number of stone-vessels and other coasters and fishing-boats cast their
glimmer on the surface of the water.

Penzance is a pretty and picturesque place, and is now an important
fishing-town.  It is also celebrated as being the birthplace of Sir
Humphrey Davy.  It has greatly improved since the last century, when it
is said that the people refused to allow a mail coach road to be
extended to their town, that they possessed but one carpet and one cart,
and had not heard of silver forks; while the _Sherborne Mercury_ was the
only newspaper which circulated among them.  When a stranger approached,
the boys in the town invariably armed themselves with stones to fling at
him, shouting out, "Whar do you come from?  Be off, now!"  John Wesley
did much to introduce the pure gospel among the inhabitants; and we saw
several fine churches, in addition to a number of houses in which the
floors were undoubtedly carpeted.

Next morning we put off in our two boats to visit Saint Michael's Mount,
on which we landed on a stone pier, with a few houses near it.  As we
gazed upwards at the pile of buildings which crowns the summit of the
mount, we expected to find much interest in exploring its ancient halls
and passages.  We were somewhat disappointed when, having made our way
up to the top, we found that it had been so greatly renovated as to be
deprived of much of its antique look.  But it is a grand old pile--the
tower, which rises in the centre, and is the most ancient portion,
having been built in the fifteenth century.  Although used as a
monastery, it was strongly fortified; and guns round the walls still
remain, notwithstanding that they would be of little use in the present
day.  We saw, just above the edge of a cliff, a curious and ancient
cross, richly carved.  The monks' refectory was, after the Reformation,
turned into a banqueting hall; and the cornice which runs round it
represents hunting scenes of boars, stags, wolves, and bulls.  Obtaining
a light, we descended by a flight of stairs, through a small door in the
side of the wall, down to a low, dark vault, in which it was said the
bones of a man were discovered when the vault was found, some years ago.
Whether he had been shut up there by the monks, or had been a prisoner
of war, it was difficult to determine.  The vault was evidently used for
the purpose of concealing the treasure of the monastery.

We afterwards climbed up by a narrow spiral staircase to the top of the
tower, from whence we had a fine view over the whole of the bay and the
surrounding shores.  On the summit are the remnants of a lantern which
was formerly used as a beacon for the benefit of mariners entering the
bay.  This monastic castle, for such it should be called, has frequently
been besieged.  On the last occasion it was held by Sir Francis Bassett,
for Charles the First, when it was besieged by the Parliamentary forces;
but he was at last compelled to capitulate, though as a reward for his
bravery he and his followers were allowed to retire to the Scilly
Islands.  Altogether, we agreed that it was one of the most interesting
spots we had hitherto visited during our voyage.

As we were anxious to see the Land's End, and could not approach the
point in the yachts without risk, we determined to visit the famous
promontory by land.  Engaging a carriage, we set off, making a circuit
to see several curiosities on our way.  First we stopped at a cave,
apparently part of a fortification.  Near it are two upright granite
rocks, fifty yards apart, said to form the head and foot-stones of a
Cornish giant.

"He must have been a tall fellow!" exclaimed Oliver, as he paced the
distance between the two stones.  The site is called the Giant's Grave;
and a countryman who met us declared that "Once upon a time, two giants
fought here,--for I don't know how many days,--until one had his skull
knocked in by a club formed out of an enormous oak."

Another legend assigns the name of "The Pipers" to them, because not far
off is a circle of nineteen stones, said to be the petrified bodies of a
number of damsels who spent the Sabbath in dancing instead of going to
church.  These stones were therefore called the Dancing Stones, or the
"Merry Maidens."  Some time ago a farmer, to whom the field on which
they stand belongs, wishing to get rid of them, commenced operations by
harnessing a yoke of oxen to one of the damsels; but he was warned to
desist, in consequence of one of the animals falling down dead.  Since
then they have remained unmolested, except by the hammers of amateur
geologists.

Farther on we reached a fine headland called Castle Treryn, an ancient
entrenchment having occupied the whole area.  On the summit stands the
famous Logan rocking-stone, which is said to weigh eighty tons.  Putting
our shoulders under it, by some exertion we made it rock or move.  Once
upon a time a Lieutenant Goldsmith of the Royal Navy--a nephew of the
author of the _Vicar of Wakefield_--happening to land here, took it into
his head to try to dislodge the stone; and, somewhat to his dismay,
probably, he succeeded in doing so completely.  Over it fell, but did
not go rattling down the cliffs, as I had heard asserted, for it would
then have inevitably been broken to pieces.  Still, as the stone was on
the ground, and could no longer rock, the people in the neighbourhood
were highly incensed against the lieutenant, especially as visitors were
not likely to come as heretofore to the spot.  They accordingly
memorialised the Admiralty, complaining of what had happened, and
Lieutenant Goldsmith was ordered to replace it.  He thereupon erected
over it some vast shears, and by means of tackles ingeniously contrived,
lifted back the stone on to the pivot on which it had before rested.
He, however, found it impossible to poise it as nicely as before, and
consequently it is necessary to exert more strength to make it move than
was required before it had been tumbled over.  To make some amends to
the people, the gallant lieutenant replaced another stone of a similar
character which had fallen from its position.

We passed numerous very small cottages built with enormous stones.  They
have diminutive windows, which will not open--this style of architecture
being necessary to resist cold and the fierce gales which blow across
the narrow peninsula.  As we proceeded, trees grew scarcer and scarcer.
At last we came to a tavern with a sign-board, on the east side of which
was painted "The last refreshment house in England;" and on the other,
facing the Atlantic, "The first refreshment house in England."

Among the many pretty coves we saw was one called Vellan Dreath, or the
Mill in the Sand; but not a vestige of the mill remains.  Once upon a
time it was inhabited by a bold miller and his stout son.  One morning,
as he was looking seawards, just as he was about to turn on the water to
move his mill, he observed above the sea-mists the masts of a tall ship.
What object she had in coming so near the coast he could not divine;
but it was as well to be cautious, lest she should prove an enemy.
Going down to the edge of the water, he listened, when he heard the
sound of oars, indicating the approach of a boat, and voices which
sounded strange to his ears.  Calling to his son, he summoned him back
into the mill, the door of which he closed.  A hole formed for lifting
the latch enabled him to look out, when he saw a party of Spaniards with
long guns coming towards the mill.  On this, running the muzzle of his
piece through the hole, he ordered the enemy to keep off; but as they--
regardless of his warning--still came on, he fired, and knocked one of
them over.  After he had fired, the Dons retired to a distance; but it
was pretty evident that they intended to attack the mill.  On this,
being certain that the small garrison could not hold out, and seeing the
enemy again approaching, he set fire to a rick of furze, and while the
wind blew the smoke in the faces of the Spaniards, he and his son, each
taking a sack of flour on their shoulders, issued out through a back
door and made their way up the hill.  They had got some distance up the
steep ascent before they were discovered by the Spaniards, who then
began firing at them.  The gallant millers made their escape, but the
old man received a wound of which he ultimately died.  The son declared
that his sack, from the number of bullets in it, was far heavier than
when he set out.

Near it is Sennen Cove, where there is a fishing-village and a
Coastguard station.  Some way off the shore, rising from amid the
foaming waves, is a high rock, denominated "The Irish Lady," from the
peculiarity of its form, which is that of a female figure, with a long
robe, advancing into the sea.  We were told that many years ago an Irish
vessel was driven on the rocks; but that one female alone was seen
clinging to the wreck until the waves washed her away, and that it is
her figure which now appears still surrounded by the foaming billows.

"I wonder she hasn't got tired of standing out there all by herself!"
exclaimed Dick.

Another rock in the same neighbourhood, far out in the sea, is called
"The Armed Knight."  It is a magnificent pile, two hundred feet in
height.  The summit, from the point we saw it, assumes the profile of a
man's head, while the regular way in which the blocks of granite join
each other has much the appearance of armour.  As Dick observed, he must
have been related to the giant whose grave we had visited.

Later in the day we reached what we were assured was the Land's End,
although other rocks appeared to project as far westward into the ocean.
It was a grand scene.  In all directions were headlands, crowned by
what appeared to be ruined castles and towers, rocks scattered around,
piled up into a variety of fantastic shapes; while afar off we could
distinguish the faint outline of the Scilly Islands.  Imagination might
picture them as some fairy land, likely at any moment to vanish, though
we had little doubt that they would remain to let us pay them a visit.
A few hundred yards off is a headland called "Doctor Johnson's Head,"
because the rocks at the extremity present somewhat the appearance of a
human face with massive features, like those of the great lexicographer.
The point is surmounted by an oval boulder, which is so easily poised
on one point that it rocks far more easily than the better known Logan
Rock.

Land's End itself consists of a mass of granite which extends in a lofty
ridge far into the sea, the summit crowned by rocks which have the
appearance of some vast castle.  Indeed, so curiously-shaped are the
rocks in this neighbourhood, that they have generally an artificial
appearance.

Many years ago, a party of officers had come to Land's End on a visit of
inspection.  Two of them proposed riding down the slope towards the
extreme point, which has perpendicular precipices on both sides.  A
third officer--Captain, afterwards General, Arbuthnot--dismounted, and
led his horse after his companions, considering that the place was too
dangerous to ride down.  After enjoying the view for some time, the
party proposed returning, when Captain Arbuthnot, believing that there
would be no danger in riding up, mounted to follow his companions.
Scarcely, however, was he in his saddle, than his horse, a spirited
animal, became restive, and began to kick and plunge, inclining to the
precipice on the right side.  In vain its rider tried to show the animal
her danger; to his horror, he found that her feet were close to the
precipice.  He had just time to throw himself off, and clear his feet
from the stirrups, when over she went down the cliff, and was dashed to
pieces, leaving him on the slippery sward close to the edge of the
precipice.  The spot where the accident occurred is still shown.

Two miles off Land's End, on a mass of rocks which rise some seventy
feet above the surface at low water, stands the Longships Lighthouse,
the summit of which is fifty-six feet above the rock.  The tower is
divided into three stories.  In the lower is kept provisions, with water
and coal; the second is a cooking-room and oil-store: while the third is
a sleeping-room.  The lantern consists of a brilliant catoptric fixed
light, produced by nineteen Argand lamps.  It was built in 1793 by a Mr
Smith.  Before the granite blocks of which it is composed were brought
to the rock, they were hewn out and put together at Sennen Cove.  The
stones are dovetailed one into the other, and are secured by oak
trennels strongly cemented.  Often, when a storm is raging, the waves
beat completely over the structure; indeed, when any wind is blowing, it
is surrounded by masses of foam.  Four men belong to the lighthouse,
three always remain in it, and one goes on leave every twenty-eight
days, when the weather permits; but this, during the winter season, is
very often impossible; and sometimes for weeks together the man on shore
cannot get off.

During a storm, some years ago, so furious were the waves, that the
lantern was broken in, and the keepers fully believed that the whole
structure would be washed away.  We heard of an inspector who had
visited the rock during fine weather, and who had begun to find great
fault with the large stock of provisions kept in the storehouse.  Before
the cutter which brought him could return, a heavy gale sprang up, and
he himself was kept a prisoner for nine weeks, after which the
lighthouse-keepers heard no more complaints as to the quantity of food
kept in store.

The bright light, which burst forth from the top of the white tower,
warned us to beat a retreat.

Not far from Land's End we found another inn, which looked much out of
place in that wild region.  Dick declared that it should be called "The
firster and laster inn in England," it having been built some time after
the one we had previously passed.  As it was too late to return to
Penzance that evening, we took advantage of it, and put up there for the
night, that we might visit some mines and other interesting spots in the
neighbourhood.

The first thing in the morning we set off to visit the Botallack mine,
the machinery of which we could see perched among crags that looked
almost inaccessible.  We had not time to go into the mine, which is
carried far under the ocean.  In some places there is not more than six
or eight feet between the roof of the galleries and the water.  Once the
sea broke into it; but the hole was plugged and the water pumped out.
On another occasion, a party of miners discovered a magnificent piece of
ore little more than three feet below the ocean.  The treasure tempted
them to risk their lives to obtain it.  They cut it out, and
successfully filled up the hole.  It is said that so terrific is the
noise during heavy weather, when the waves dash in on the shore, and
roll the pebbles backwards and forwards, that even the bold miners are
compelled to rush out, unable to endure the uproar.  The scene was most
extraordinary.  Vast pumps appeared amid the cliffs, unceasingly drawing
up water, which rushed in a red torrent into the sea.  Steam and smoke
were spitting out in all directions; and men, women, and boys were
employed in sorting the ore as the kibble brought it to the surface.
This was only one of many similar mines along the coast.  Having
satisfied our curiosity, we drove back to Penzance; and at once repaired
on board the yachts, as papa and Uncle Tom were unwilling to lose more
of the fine weather.

Without a moment's delay, the anchors were got up, and we made sail out
of Mount's Bay.



CHAPTER SIX.

A SHIPWRECK.

On passing Rundlestone, a hidden rock upwards of a mile from the
southern shore of the Land's End peninsula, we came in sight of the Wolf
Rock, about ten miles off the coast.  It was one of the greatest dangers
in the English Channel, for the beacon placed on it was not visible at
night or during thick weather.  Attempts were made to fix bells on the
rock, which might be rung by the waves dashing against them; but the
first gale quickly carried away the well-intentioned contrivance.

Now, however, a lighthouse has been erected of great strength and
massiveness, to endure the fierce battering it must encounter from the
angry billows.  The wind shifting against us, we had a good view of the
Wolf Rock, and afterwards of the Longships Lighthouse, the white tower
of which, rising above its black base, can be seen afar off.

It was with difficulty that we could distinguish Land's End from the
neighbouring headlands, Cape Cornwall, to the northward, apparently
approaching further into the ocean.

As we looked at that fearful Wolf Rock, we thought of the number of
vessels, out of their reckoning, homeward-bound, or coming round from
the North Sea, intending to proceed up the Irish Channel, which must
have run against it in days gone by.  But now the red and white
"flashes" which follow each other at half-minute intervals all through
the night, enable mariners to steer clear of the danger.

Papa remarked: "I wish that every Christian man would remember that he
is bound to be a lighthouse, and to warn his fellows of the peril into
which they are running.  How many human beings would thus be saved from
shipwreck, if all thus understood their duty and acted accordingly!
Remember the text--`Let your light so shine before men, that they may
see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'"

Papa told us it was the opinion of geologists that the surrounding
rocks, as well as the Scilly Isles, were once connected with England.
Indeed, of that there can be no doubt.  Tradition declares that articles
have been fished up proving that cities once stood on spots over which
the tides now ebb and flow; but then tradition is the most uncertain of
all uncertain things.  Although an iron kettle may have been fished up
from the bottom of the sea, it might only show that it had been thrown
overboard, or washed out of a sunken vessel.

As we had determined not to be defeated, we continued beating backwards
and forwards until we saw the coast of Cornwall, and the bright beams of
Saint Agnes' Lighthouse appeared on our port-bow; while those from the
light-vessel moored off the Seven Stones were seen on the other.

We hailed the Dolphin, which passed us on the opposite tack; and papa
agreed to lead in; "The sooner we are in the harbour the better," he
observed; "I don't quite like the look of the weather."

Clouds had, indeed, been thickly gathering in the south-west; and the
stars, which had hitherto shone brightly, were totally obscured.  The
wind also, which had been steady, now began to blow in strong squalls,
compelling us to shorten sail.  First, two reefs were taken down in the
mainsail; it was then closely-reefed, while the foresail was hauled
down, and the storm jib set.  Still, it was as much as the cutter could
do to look up to it.  Heavy seas now began to roll in from the Atlantic,
tumbling the cutter about.  Now she rose to the summit of a foam-crested
wave, now she sank down into the hollow.

"Will she ever come up again?" exclaimed Dick, who was clinging on to
the companion hatch.  "Oh, dear--oh, dear!  I thought the sea was always
going to remain as smooth as it has been since we sailed."

Presently, up we rose again, and Dick drew a long breath.  Papa,
however, advised him to go below.

"We will look after the craft in the meantime, my boy," he said.  "There
is nothing to fear, though it is possible that one of these seas may
break on board, and if you are not on the look-out, may carry you away."

A flash of lightning which now burst forth from a dark cloud,
accompanied by a heavy squall, causing the cutter to heel over until her
lee bulwarks were almost under water, revealed Dick's terrified
countenance.  As may be supposed, he clung on the harder to the
companion hatch; and papa had to repeat his advice and help him down the
ladder.

"You'd better go too, Harry," he said.  "I can't answer for a sea not
coming on board; and it might tear even you from your hold.  Those who
remain on deck will secure themselves with lashings; and as the craft is
as light as a cork, we shall weather out the gale, even should it come
on to blow twice as hard as it now does."

I begged to be allowed to remain.

"Well, it will be but a summer gale.  You may stay on deck; but here,
make yourself fast with this rope;" and papa secured one round my body,
which he fastened to the companion hatch.

He now gave the word to set the trysail; and the mainsail being stowed,
it was hoisted in its stead.  Still we had as much sail as the cutter
could carry.  The night had become very dark, except when the flashes of
lightning dashed from the black clouds.  Papa had resolved to heave the
vessel to, when we caught sight of a white sail a short distance ahead
of us.

"That must be the schooner," shouted Truck; "she is taking a wise
course, and is intending to run under Cape Cornwall, or maybe to get
into Saint Ives Bay, in case the gale should continue."

"We may as well do the same," observed papa; and the helm being put up,
away we ran before the wind.

Though the cutter behaved very well, still there was a chance of our
being pooped.  A strong current was setting us in the direction of the
Longships light, which now appeared broad on the starboard bow.  We ran
on, following, as we supposed, the Dolphin; but she was going faster
than we were, and we soon lost sight of her.  We knew our exact
position, for, although we had got beyond the gleam of Saint Agnes'
Lighthouse, we could still see on our port-bow the two lights on board
the light-vessel off the Seven Stones.  I own I wished that we were safe
back in port, though papa appeared so cool that I could not suppose
there was any real danger; still, as the seas came rolling up on either
quarter, high above our deck, it seemed impossible that the vessel could
escape being swamped.

At last papa peremptorily ordered me to go below, and coming to where I
was standing, lifted up the hatch and literally pushed me down, closing
it again over me.  I groped my way into the cabin, where I found Dick
holding on to one of the sofas.  The cabin lamp had not been lighted, so
that we were in perfect darkness.

"Oh! where are we?  Where are we going?  What's about to happen?" he
exclaimed, in a weak voice, which I could barely hear amid the uproar
caused by the seas dashing against the vessel's sides and deck, the
creaking of the bulk-heads, the whistling of the wind, and other sounds.

"Papa says there is no danger; so you need not be alarmed, Dick," I
observed.  At the same time I confess that I felt far from comfortable
myself.  Poor Dick was dreadfully sick.  I had to assist him as best I
could; but I need not enter into particulars.  His sickness overcame his
terror.  Every now and then, however, he cried out, "Oh, I wish I was on
shore! couldn't your papa land me?  If he cannot, please ask him to
throw me overboard.  Oh, how miserable I am!  Oh dear, oh dear!" and
then for certain reasons he could not utter a word.

Having to attend to him made me think perhaps less of our situation; but
I know that I was not at all happy.  All sorts of dreadful thoughts came
into my mind.  Every instant I expected to hear a tremendous sea come
rushing over our deck, and perhaps to find that papa or some of the men
had been washed away.  I was most anxious about papa.  If he was lost, I
believed that the vessel would be lost too; but then I remembered what a
good sailor he was; and as he had been to sea all his life, he was sure
to manage the vessel properly; and, as he had often said, she was such a
tight little sea-boat she would go through anything.  Still, we were in
a part of the ocean where the tide runs with great force, and when
meeting the wind a very awkward sea is beaten up.  This made the cutter
tumble about in a way I had never known her do before.  Everything in
the cabin had been securely lashed except a few books and charts.  First
one came flying out as the vessel rolled over, and hit poor Dick on the
head.

"What a shame of you to be heaving books at me, Harry!" he cried out.

I assured him that I was innocent of anything of the sort; and presently
another flew out, and nearly knocked me over.  I tried to reach the
books, to secure the remainder: but the whole lot came tumbling out, and
sent me sprawling on the cabin floor.  I picked myself up, and crawled
back to assist Dick, who just then greatly required my support.

I cannot describe more of that fearful night.  Finding that Dick was
tolerably quiet, advising him to hold fast to the sofa, I lay down at
the opposite end, where I clung on like grim death; and, in spite of the
tossing and tumbling the vessel was undergoing, I at length fell asleep.
I cannot say I was very fast asleep, for I was conscious all the time
that something very unpleasant was taking place.

Occasionally I fancied that I was being tossed in a blanket by my
schoolfellows, who were jeering round me as I entreated to be let down;
then that a wild bull was throwing me up in the air, and was about to
catch me on his horns.  Then that I was on a raft danced up and down by
the foaming waters.  Now, that I was on deck, and was pitched overboard,
and left to struggle alone amid the raging seas.  My voice--as I shouted
out for help--awoke me; and to my infinite satisfaction I found that the
vessel was much steadier than she had hitherto been.  In a short time
daylight gleamed through the bull's eyes on deck, and getting up, I made
my way to the companion hatch.  Just before I reached it, it was lifted
up, and papa put his head down.

"All right, my lads," he said; "we are under the lee of the land, and
the wind has greatly moderated.  In a short time, if it continues to be
fine, we shall be able to haul up and beat back to Scilly.  How is
Dick?"

"He has been very ill; but he is now fast asleep; and it would be a pity
to awaken him," I answered as I got up on deck.

I looked round, and could see the land on the starboard side bearing
south and east.  The Longships Lighthouse was no longer in view.  I
could make out a cape, which papa said was Cape Cornwall, to the
southward.  I looked out for the Dolphin, but she was nowhere to be
seen.

"I am rather puzzled about her," said papa; "she could scarcely have run
us out of sight.  Perhaps the vessel we saw last night was a stranger
bound up the Bristol Channel; still, she was closer in shore than was
advisable.  Possibly the Dolphin remained hove-to, or if not, perhaps
she bore up before we did, and is already safe at anchor in Saint Ives
Bay.  We must make the best of our way there.  Hand me the glass."

I took the telescope from the bracket on which it hung inside the
companion hatch, and gave it to him.  He looked earnestly for a minute
towards some high rocks which were at some distance from the land.

"I feared so," he observed; "there's a vessel on the rocks, with her
masts gone; but she's much too high for the Dolphin, or I should have
supposed it was that.  We will stand in closer and have a look at her;
we shall find less sea there, and the wind has gone down so much and the
weather is so evidently improving, that we shall run no unnecessary
danger.  What do you think, Truck?"

Papa had handed the glass to Truck, who was looking through it.

"If anybody is left alive, we may have a chance of taking them off,"
answered Truck.  "As the wreck lies, she is not likely to be seen from
the shore, and the people may perish before they can receive
assistance."

As soon as it was settled that we should do so, the trysail was lowered,
and the mainsail, with a couple of reefs down, was set, with a bigger
jib and foresail.  We now stood in towards the rocks.  As we drew
nearer, we saw that the wreck was that of a large vessel, and that she
so lay as to be partially sheltered from the heavier seas, which must
have been raging when she struck.  The depth of water, however, would
prevent us anchoring.  Papa proposed to heave the cutter to while the
boat pulled in under the lee side of the rock, whence he hoped to be
able to communicate by means of lines with the people on board, should
any still remain alive.

As we drew still nearer, I took the glass, and turning it towards the
wreck, I could distinguish a number of people on the fore part, which
was the least battered, from having been more protected than the stern.
I spied out a man who had climbed to the upper part of the bulwarks, and
was waving a handkerchief or towel.

"She went on shore at high-water, and the tide left her where she is.
When it returns it will wellnigh cover her; and as those poor people
will be washed off, there is no time to be lost," observed Truck.

Papa agreed with him.  We had a long way to beat back to where the wreck
was lying.  Those on board probably knew their danger.  How anxiously
must they have looked out for our coming!

It was a question whether we could get near the vessel.  Papa ordered
all the spare rope we possessed to be coiled away in the boat, and he
had one of our round life-buoys, slung by four ropes, fastened to a
block--the largest we had on board.  This formed a cradle, by which, if
necessary, we could haul the people from the wreck to the boat, could we
once get close enough to pass a rope on board.

At length, getting sufficiently near to leeward of the rock, we hove-to,
when, greatly to my satisfaction, papa allowed me to go and steer, while
he, with two hands, went in the boat, leaving Truck and Dick to manage
the vessel.  We first pulled round to where the wreck lay; but papa was
soon convinced that we could not approach her on the weather-side
without great risk of being swamped.  Papa hailed, and made signs that
we were going round on the lee side of the rock; we there found a little
cove, or bay, into which we could pull and remain without risk by
securing the boat with a grapnel.

Carrying the line and the cradle, we made our way over the rock until we
got abreast of where the vessel lay.  The distance was considerable, and
the water whirled and surged round and round in a way which would make
swimming difficult; still I had often swum much further.

"Let me carry a line," I said to papa.  "I think I can do it, if no one
on board will undertake to swim to the rock."

We shouted to the people, who, strange to say, did not hear us; nor had
they seen us come over the rock, for they had all been looking seaward.
Two or three of the men at length appeared on the side nearest us; but
when we called on them to swim on shore, they shook their heads,
evidently not liking to make the attempt.  The tide was now flowing
fast, and their position was every instant becoming more perilous.  It,
however, made the passage less dangerous, as even in a few minutes the
water became smoother than it had hitherto been.

The people on board threw an oar, with a line fastened to it, into the
water; but it was carried sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other,
and did not approach the rock.

"I am sure I can do it, papa," I said, at length.  "Just fasten a line
round me, and I shall be able to get hold of that oar.  You can soon
haul me back."

Papa no longer refused my request, and having stripped, and fastened a
rope round my waist, I plunged in, and struggled hard to make way
through the hissing water.  Sometimes I found myself carried onwards
towards the stern of the vessel, but another sea brought me back again;
and in a few minutes, greatly to my satisfaction, I clutched hold of the
oar, when, securing the end of the rope which held me round it, I sung
out to papa and the men to haul away.  In a short time I was brought
back close to the rock.  My chief danger was in landing, as the sea at
times beat violently against it; but papa, quickly seizing me, hauled me
up.

"You have acted bravely, Harry," he said.  "Now put on your clothes, and
we shall soon have a communication with the vessel."

While I was dressing, the rope with the cradle was hauled up to the side
of the vessel, and secured to a stanchion; when the crew, getting up a
stouter warp, shouted out to us to haul it in, they having secured the
cradle to it.  We thus had a safe communication established with the
wreck, and a stout line to draw the cradle backwards and forwards.

Greatly to our surprise, a female was the first person we drew ashore;
she burst into tears as we lifted her out of the cradle.  Another and
another followed; two had infants in their arms; and then came two
little boys secured to the cradle.  Three men followed, each with a
child.

"Have all the women and children landed?" asked papa.

"All who have escaped," was the answer.  "Several were washed away with
the master and two mates.--"

Six more men now came, the sole survivors of the crew.

"Are all hands out of the ship?" asked papa.

"Every soul, sir," answered one of the men.

There was no time to make inquiries as to how the vessel was wrecked.
We heard that she was a homeward-bound barque from the United States,
and that the passengers on board were returning to see their friends.
We hurried over to the leeside of the rock, and at once embarked the two
women with the infant, who seemed to be totally exhausted.

As soon as we got alongside, we lifted them on board, where papa and I
remained, he sending the boat back with our two men.  Truck had lighted
the galley fire, and we soon had some hot broth for the poor creatures,
who, having taken off their wet clothes, got into our beds.  Papa then
looked out all the blankets, and we made up as many beds as we could on
the sofa and cabin deck.

By this time the boat had returned with the remaining women and
children.  She made no less than seven trips before all were brought
off; and, as may be supposed, our little vessel was pretty well crowded.
Even the men were in a greatly exhausted state, and could not do much
for themselves.  Papa, however, seemed to think and act for everybody.

As soon as all were on board, we hoisted in the boat, and the wind being
fair, having shaken out the reefs in the mainsail, we steered for Saint
Ives.  Dick, who was not fit for much when we first left the vessel, had
now recovered, and assisted in getting off the wet clothes from our
young passengers, and in carrying round food.

The cabin presented a curious appearance, with the people stowed as
thickly as herrings in a cask, all wrapped up in blankets and peacoats.
Fortunately, the water was smooth under the lee of the land; but the
number of people on board brought the vessel much below her usual
bearings.

"I am thankful we have not a long voyage to make, or we should soon be
short of provisions," said papa, as we got out tin after tin of soup and
meat.

The soft bread and fresh beef we had taken on board at Penzance were
soon consumed by the women and children, who speedily rallied from their
exhaustion.

The wind, however, fell very light, and there appeared to be a prospect
of our not being able to get in that night.

On inquiry, papa found that the master and first mate of the wrecked
ship had been tipsy for some days, and had quarrelled desperately with
each other, and the second mate, interfering, had been nearly killed.
They had got completely out of their course, and none of them knew where
they were.  They had been bound for the Thames.  The men said that when
they saw the Longships they fancied that it was the Eddystone, and that
when they struck they supposed that they were not far off Plymouth
Breakwater, though they were wondering why they did not see the light.

"It is one of the many sad examples we have had of the effects of
drinking," observed papa.  "If I had to make a voyage, I should choose a
temperance vessel.  Though a master may appear sober enough in port
under the eyes of his owners, unless he is a temperate man, one can
never tell what he may do at sea."

On further inquiries we found that nearly half the crew were as tipsy as
their officers, and that they, with the cabin passengers who had
remained aft, had been washed away.  The people saved were steerage
passengers, with the exception of one little boy, whose parents and
friends had perished.  However, the satisfaction of having been the
means of saving the lives of these poor people was to us very great.  We
were of course greatly interested in the boy, Nat Harvey, who was about
six years old.  Poor little fellow, he had been so frightened that he
was not fully aware of what had occurred, and did not appear fully to
realise his loss.  He seemed to think that his papa and mamma, and his
Aunt Fanny and brother and sister, had gone off in a boat, and that he
should see them again before long.  He kept continually asking why they
were not with us.  When he heard that we were going to Saint Ives, he
said that he hoped we should find them there.  One of the women, with a
kind heart, had taken him under her charge, and she sat on the cabin
floor holding him in her arms with his head resting on her lap, every
now and then speaking words of comfort, and endeavouring to get him to
go to sleep.  Papa inquired from the passengers and crew if they knew
anything of his family, or where they were going.  No one could say what
part of the States Mr and Mrs Harvey, with three children and a young
lady, who was sister either to Mr or Mrs Harvey--these were their
names--had come from.

"We can't turn the poor child adrift among strangers," observed papa.
"We must take him with us, and try to find out his friends."

"Oh pray do!"  Dick and I exclaimed.  "I'll look after him, and keep him
out of mischief," added Dick.

At last papa agreed that the best thing he could do for the child was to
keep him on board, unless some kind person of influence at Saint Ives
would take charge of him, and endeavour to find out his friends.

When speaking of the way the wreck occurred, papa said he was not
surprised, as he had known an instance of the master of a vessel who
with his mate had got drunk, and who had managed to take his vessel to
the south of Jersey, while all the time he fancied that he was among the
Scilly Islands.

The wind had fallen, and we feared that a calm would come on and keep us
all night, which would have been a great trial to our poor passengers.
It was therefore with much satisfaction that, the wind holding fair, we
came in sight of the peninsula on which part of Saint Ives is situated,
the remainder being on the mainland on the south side of Saint Ives Bay.

The water was smooth, the sky bright, and as papa looked at the town he
exclaimed--"Why, I could almost fancy myself among the Greek islands, so
exactly does the place, in its form and picturesque beauty, remind me of
a Greek village."

We stood on until, running under a battery which defends the town on the
seaside, we anchored off a pier.  The view was indeed highly
picturesque.  The town has an ancient appearance, the houses being built
without any regard to order, many of them looking as if destined ere
long to tumble down.  Then our eyes wandered round the deep bay, on the
surrounding broken ground, and the commanding cliffs, lighted up by the
rays of the setting sun, which cast a dark shadow over the town itself
on the western side.

Papa, hastening on shore, immediately applied to the authorities, who
received the shipwrecked crew.  The poor people expressed their
gratitude for the service we had rendered them; and papa, to assist them
still further, healed a subscription which was raised in the town for
their relief.

We were very thankful when we got them all on shore.  We looked out on
entering the bay for the Dolphin; but among the various vessels which
had brought-up there, she was not to be seen; and on inquiring on shore
we could gain no tidings of her.  Papa now thought, or hoped, as he had
at first supposed, that she had got safely into Saint Mary's.

Of course our cabins had not been improved by being occupied by so many
passengers.  We therefore slept on shore, that our bedclothes might be
washed and the cabin cleaned; and we had also to replenish our stock of
provisions, which had been almost exhausted.  Papa's first care was to
arrange an outfit for little Nat, as he had only the garments he wore.
We soon had him rigged out in a regular sailor's suit, with a piece of
crape round his arm, for we could find no black clothes ready.  He
frequently asked for his papa and mamma, as well as for his Aunt Fanny.

"You must not expect to see them, my boy," answered papa; "but we will
take care of you; and Harry here will give you your lessons, as I dare
say you do not wish to be idle."

"Oh yes, I like lessons.  Aunt Fanny used to teach me," answered Nat;
"but if she doesn't come back soon I should like to learn of Harry."

I gladly promised to be his tutor while he remained on board, and felt
not a little proud of the position.  I at times fancied that he had a
suspicion of what had happened to his friends.  The first time we were
alone together he looked up into my face, while the tears sprang into
his eyes, as he said, "Do you know, Harry, that I am afraid that the sea
washed papa and mamma and Aunt Fanny and dear Reuben and Mary away?  I
don't like to ask, because I am afraid of anybody telling me that I
shall never see them again."

I had not the heart to say that his suspicions were correct, so I at
once got out a book and said, "Come, Nat, you shall read to me, then I
will read to you, and then we will talk about what we have read."  I did
the same whenever he again mentioned the subject.

Saint Ives itself was soon seen.  There is a church standing so close to
the sea that when there is a strong wind it is almost covered with
spray.  Most of the inhabitants are engaged in the pilchard and herring
fishery.

We made an excursion along the coast to visit the ruins of the church of
Perranzabuloe, supposed to be the most ancient in Britain.  It had for
centuries been covered up by the sand.  We had left Nat under the charge
of the landlady, and engaged a boat to carry us round to visit these
interesting ruins.  After a long pull we landed up a little creek, near
which stand two rocks, known as "The Old Man and his Wife."  Near at
hand was a small fishing-village, in the neighbourhood of which we
visited an ancient amphitheatre, still wonderfully perfect.  We here
obtained a guide to conduct us to the church.  It must be understood
that the whole shore is covered with fine sand, which is moved in a
wonderful manner by northerly winds.  It has gradually swept over the
country, destroying vegetation and covering up buildings as effectually
as has been done by ashes from burning mountains.  The progress of the
sand is sometimes gradual and almost imperceptible; at other times, in
the course of a gale, whole villages have been overwhelmed, allowing the
inhabitants scarcely time to escape.  Such was the case with this
ancient church and the surrounding habitations.  So completely had the
sand swept over it, that it had quite disappeared; and it was only,
after the lapse of centuries, discovered about forty years ago, though a
tradition existed in the neighbourhood that a church had once stood
there.  It was discovered by a Mr Mitchell, who, undeterred by
difficulties, succeeded in removing a mass of sand and exposing the
building which had so long been covered up.  The masonry is rude, but
the walls are solid and complete.  The interior was perfectly free from
the modern accompaniments of Roman Catholic places of worship.  There
was no rood-loft, no confessional, no pictures of the Virgin and saints,
nothing to indicate the unscriptural adoration of the wafer, or masses
for the dead.  The most diligent search was made for beads and pyxes,
censers and crucifixes; not a fragment of either could be discovered.
At the eastern end we saw a plain, unornamental chancel; in the nave are
stone seats attached to the walls.

Near the church were discovered three skeletons, one of gigantic
dimensions, the second of moderate size, and the third apparently that
of a female; and the wind blowing off the sand, the ground around was
found covered with human bones.

We were deeply interested with our visit to this ancient church, which
tends to prove that our ancestors worshipped God in simplicity and
truth, and that they knew nothing of the forms and ceremonies of Rome.

With regard to these sand-dunes we heard a curious circumstance, that
even a narrow stream will stop the advance of the sand, which will
accumulate on its banks, but has not the power to cross to the opposite
side.

On returning on board, we found that our stock of provisions had
arrived, that our blankets were dried, and the cabin cleaned out.  We
therefore immediately got under weigh, and stood out for the bay.

"What!" exclaimed Dick, "is this the Saint Ives I've heard of all my
life?" and he repeated--

  "As I was going to Saint Ives
  I met a man with seven wives;
  Seven wives had seven sacks,
  Seven sacks had seven cats,
  Seven cats had seven kits,
  Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
  How many were going to Saint Ives?"

Papa laughed, and said he believed that the honour was also claimed by a
little town in Huntingdonshire of the same name.  "The two," he said,
"may fight it out.  It is not very important."

The wind now blew from the northward, and in a short time we opened the
Longships, bearing due south-west.  It had hitherto been hidden by the
land, so that we knew perfectly well where we were.  We then kept away
until we came in sight of the two lights of the Seven Stones Lightship,
until we brought them on our starboard beam, when we were within the
radius of Saint Agnes Lighthouse just before daybreak.

We were hoping to get in or off Saint Mary's in the morning, when it
fell calm; and there we lay, with our sails flapping idly, and rolling
in the swell of the Atlantic, which came in from the southward.  We
could see through our glasses the Longships Lighthouse on one side and
the light-vessel on the other, while the Scilly Islands rose blue and
indistinct out of the ocean.  One tide carried us to the northward; but
in the next we regained our lost ground.  It was, however, very
tantalising, as we were anxious to ascertain what had become of the
Dolphin.

Though papa always hoped for the best, he could not help acknowledging
that he feared that she might have met with some accident.  At length a
breeze sprang up, but it was against us; still, that was better than a
calm, as we could gain ground by tacking.  Dick and Nat asked more than
once why we were sailing away from the land when we wanted to get there.

At last we came in sight of a lofty tower on the top of a hill in Saint
Martin's Island, with the long low outline of Saint Mary's beyond.
Still, we had several tacks more to make before we gained the entrance
to Crow Sound, between Saint Mary's and Saint Martin's.  By this time it
was dark.  A bright look-out was kept for rocks and shoals in the
channel.  Suddenly rounding a point, the light from Saint Agnes shone
brilliantly down on us, and further to our right we saw the little
twinkling lights from the windows of the houses in Hugh Town, the
capital of the Scilly Islands.

Having come safely to an anchor among several other vessels, we shouted
out, "Dolphin, ahoy!" hoping that she was among them, though in the dark
night we could not distinguish her.  We had shouted out several times,
and papa was on the point of putting off in the boat to make inquiries
on shore, when a hail came down from the other side of the harbour, "Is
that the Lively?"

"Ay--ay!" we answered.  "Is that the Dolphin?"

"Ay--ay!" was the reply.  "I'll be aboard you presently."

In a short time we heard the splash of oars, and, much to our relief,
Uncle Tom, followed by Oliver and Jack, sprang on deck.

Our first inquiries were as to how they had weathered the gale.
"Famously," answered Uncle Tom.  "We kept hove-to till the morning,
when, as the wind moderated, we stood in here, a pilot having boarded us
and showed us the way."

"Who have you got here?" exclaimed Oliver, as he looked into Nat's
little berth.

Great was the astonishment of all the party when we described the
adventures we had met with.  We talked over various plans for finding
out Nat's relatives, and what should be done with him, should we not
succeed.

Next morning we went on shore to inspect the town and to make the tour
of the island, which is easily done, as it is only two and a half miles
long and one and a half broad.  The town had a somewhat sombre look
until we got on shore, when the neat gardens full of flowers, and the
clean appearance of the streets, made us think better of the place.
Most of the houses are low, few of them having more than two stories.

On the hill, about one hundred feet above the town, is the castle, which
has seen a good many stirring events in its time; but its only garrison
now consists of a single individual, who, I suppose, is placed there to
prevent the rats from taking possession.  It was built in the time of
Queen Elizabeth, by Sir Francis Godolphin; but its chief interest arises
from its being the last spot on British soil which held out for the
Royalists in the days of Cromwell, when Sir John Grenville was governor.
Prince Charles fled here, and remained until he took his departure for
Jersey.  For six years the stout Sir John retained his post, and having
collected a number of vessels, fitted them out as cruisers, for the
purpose of crippling the forces of the Parliamentary party.  These
cruisers had, in truth, very much the character of pirates, and were not
particular what vessels they robbed.  Having plundered some Dutchmen,
they were very nearly being severely punished by old Van Tromp, who
appeared with a squadron.  When summoned to surrender, Sir John refused,
and Van Tromp sailed away.  At length, so urgent became the
representations of the merchants whose vessels had been captured, that
Parliament sent an expedition, under Admiral Blake and Sir George Askew,
when Sir John was compelled to surrender; and he, with the eight hundred
men forming his garrison, received honourable terms.

Though at one time the inhabitants of the Scilly Islands were noted for
their barbarous customs, they have now become as peaceably disposed and
civilised as any of Her Majesty's subjects.

Saint Mary's is divided into two parts by a narrow neck of land, on
which Hugh Town stands.  It is very possible that some day it will be
washed away.  We passed over a well-laid-out piece of ground covered
with soft turf, on which sheep and deer were feeding, called the Park;
and from it we could see the tall lighthouse and the few cottages on
Saint Agnes Island.

We then proceeded to Buzza Hill, whence we could look down on the
harbour, which had the appearance of a large lake.  Sometimes, we were
told, several hundred vessels take shelter within it.  Opposite to Hugh
Town was Tresco, the residence of Mr Smith, the lord proprietor,
surrounded by gardens containing avenues of geraniums and plantations of
the rarest exotics.

Some of the heights we reached were grand and picturesque in the
extreme--one of them, Penninis, especially so.  Rocks seemed piled on
rocks; beneath, vaults and caverns, abounding with lichens and ferns,
with crystal pools in the hollows of granite.  Climbing to the summit,
our eyes ranged over the ocean, rolling in sublime magnificence, its
voice never silent.

On Tolmen Point is a Druidical monument--a perforated stone, which we
examined.  Papa said that no one knew for what purpose this monument,
and others like it, were intended.  He told us of one especially, which
he had seen at Constantine Penryn, of which he had a photograph.  It had
lately, he said, been thrown down for the sake of getting at the granite
underneath.  I think such destruction of old monuments ought to be
forbidden by law!

Then we went to Porthhellick Cove, with wild rocks seen beyond it, on
which, in the year 1707, Sir Cloudesley Shovel, with four of his ships
and two thousand men, were cast away.  The body of the admiral, known by
a valuable ring on his finger, was buried on the shore of the cove.  It
was afterwards removed to Westminster Abbey.

Papa remarked that the strong current produced by the indraught of the
Irish Channel drifted these ships out of their course, and was the cause
of the catastrophe.

The inhabitants of the islands were once known for their smuggling and
wrecking propensities.  A fisherman whom we fell in with--a
venerable-looking man, with white hair streaming under his cap--pointed
out several spots on which ships with rich cargoes had run on shore, and
assured us that coin was still to be picked up in the sand, if people
would but take the trouble to look for it.  In former days everybody was
engaged in smuggling, or trusting to salvage from wrecks.  There was but
little farming.  No potatoes were grown, and there were no gardens,
while their huts were as low and damp as those in the Hebrides.  But
when Mr Smith came he changed all that; and now the people live in
comfortable houses, have gardens full of flowers, and the productions of
the islands afford them ample support.  Wheat and rye, and every
description of vegetable, are grown; scarlet geraniums flourish, while
fuchsias, and a variety of other magnificent flowers, not only grow in
the gardens, but form hedges several feet in height.

Next morning we got under weigh to take a cruise among the islands.
Passing round on the other side of Hugh Town, we perceived the
narrowness of the strip on which it stands, and sincerely hoped that the
sea would not again--as it once did--break across and inundate the
place.  I cannot attempt to describe the numerous rocks and islands we
sighted in our course, there being altogether upwards of three hundred,
large and small.  Steering to the south-west, we passed Gorregan and
Rosevean, where our pilot told us that many a stout ship had been lost;
some, striking on the rocks, having gone down and left no sign of their
fate, except some articles thrown up on the shore.  Coming to an anchor,
we pulled off in the boat to catch fish, with which the sea literally
swarmed.  We could see them swimming about through the clear water.  We
were amused by the way in which our pilot, who was a great fisherman,
caught them.  Throwing the bait always before their noses, and singing
out, "Come along, Dick, come along, Tom; bite, my boy;" and, sure
enough, the fish bit, and were caught.

We afterwards passed several ruins of ancient chapels, when we arrived
off Saint Agnes, on which the magnificent lighthouse stands.  On the
island were a few cottages; and here the scarlet geranium was almost a
tree.

From this point we steered for the Bishop's Lighthouse, the most western
part of Scilly.  It is a magnificent stone tower, one hundred and
forty-seven feet high, with one fixed bright light.  This can be
distinguished from that of Saint Agnes, which revolves every minute.

Passing up Broad Sound we came off a fine headland, the proper name of
which is the "Menavawr;" but our pilot called it the "Man o' war."

In our cruise we passed Bryher and Sampson, the two largest islands in
the group.  The latter island is called after a saint of that name.  It
consists of two hills, the outlines of which present the form of the
back of a camel.  Landing on the shore, we made a collection of
beautiful shells, which accumulate in large quantities on the beach.
Our pilot told us that, until lately, the isle of Sampson was thickly
peopled; but the inhabitants, being addicted to certain illegal
practices, such as wrecking and smuggling, and illicit distillation of
spirits, it was found necessary, as the only means of weaning them from
their bad habits, to disperse them, either on the mainland, or through
the other islands, where they could be better watched.

We again got out our fishing-lines, which we baited with flies formed
out of untwisted pieces of rope.  In a short time we had caught a dozen
fine whiting-pollock.  We, however, had a still greater catch shortly
afterwards.

As we were sailing along through the Sound, a herd of porpoises came
gambolling by, their black bodies and fins now appearing, now sinking
beneath the surface.  Captain Truck had a harpoon ready, and he placed
himself in the forechains, with a rope round his waist.  He stood with
his weapon high poised in the air, ready to strike.  We were all on the
watch.  In a few moments his harpoon flew from his hand.

"Pay away, lads!" he shouted out; "the fellow's fast."

The porpoise dived, and the line ran out at a rapid rate.  Truck sprang
in board, and quickly checked it.  We then got two running bowlines
ready, one in the fore part of the vessel, and the other aft.  There was
great excitement.

"Now haul away," he sang out; and the porpoise was dragged, in spite of
its struggles, close alongside, when the running bowlines were passed
one over its head, and the other round its tail; and all hands joining,
including Nat, who took the end of a rope--although, as may be supposed,
he was not of much use--we hoisted the huge fish on board.  It was at
once killed and scientifically cut up by Truck and the pilot.  So eager
was the latter, that he very nearly let us strike on a rock.  We had
some pieces of the porpoise beef for dinner, which were pronounced very
good.  We supplied the Dolphin with a portion of our catch, and our
united crews lived on it for the next two days.

Next day we had another similar cruise, during which we visited the
beautiful Sound called New Grimsby.  On one side stands the tower, known
as Cromwell's Castle--not that he was ever in the island, but he ordered
it to be built.  On the opposite side are the ruins of another fort.  It
was here that the forces under Blake and Askew landed, and attacked the
fortifications, though they met with a stout resistance from the
Royalists, who at length took to flight.

Farther on we came off vast masses of rock piled one upon another.  The
two yachts having hove-to, we pulled on shore, and, under the guidance
of the pilot, managed to land; when, climbing up some distance, we
reached a cone, from the bottom of which we could hear the sea roaring
fearfully.  We then arrived lower down at a small opening, when a guide,
who had joined us, lighted some candles, that we might find our way into
a celebrated cavern, called "Piper's Hole."  For some distance we had to
crawl along on our hands and knees.  At length we reached a narrow but
high vault; this we followed until we arrived at the head of a ladder.
"You will find a boat at the bottom, gentlemen," said the guide.

Jack and I, with Uncle Tom, descended, as we were told that the boat
could not carry a larger fare.  After looking down for a few seconds, we
distinguished a light; and going down the ladder, we stepped into a
boat, in which a man, whom we of course denominated Charon, was seated.
Instead of oars, he used a long pole to urge on the boat.  We noticed
the dark appearance of the water as we made our way through the vaulted
chambers.  We now found ourselves floating on a lake, the water black as
ink, but perfectly smooth.  Above our heads was a lofty and extensive
dome; but the sides were invisible.  Charon ferried us across, and
landed us on a smooth sandy shore, along which we proceeded for a
considerable distance through a succession of caverns, until we arrived
at a small circular chamber where they appeared to terminate.

On putting my hand into the water on my return, to my surprise I found
it perfectly fresh, although so close to the sea.  Here any number of
outlaws might take refuge, with small chance of being discovered, or
defend themselves against any force sent in pursuit, provided they had
food to hold out until their enemies had grown weary of looking for
them.  Charon--unlike his namesake--had no objection to ferry us back
across the Styx; and having made our way into the upper air, we regained
the boat.

Our next visit was to Rock Island, the resort of countless numbers of
sea-birds.  It is at the extreme northern end of the group, and consists
of a high table-land, surrounded by precipitous cliffs.  As we
approached, the gulls rose in masses so thick as positively to darken
the air, while all around the sea was speckled with the white feathers
of innumerable puffins.  On the cliffs were ranged numerous clusters of
black cormorants, who seemed to be watching us eagerly.  Their plumage
was very fine, being of a lustrous invisible green, while their eyes
were of the brightest emerald hue.  The boats which went in pursuit
brought back a number of gulls and puffins and cormorants, some of which
Oliver begged might be preserved for stuffing.

We paid a visit on the last day of our stay to the residence of Mr
Smith, in the island of Tresco.  On landing, we proceeded across a park,
and approached the large, many-gabled house, in front of which the rocky
ground was completely concealed by masses of blooming creepers.  We
passed between beautiful flower-beds, among which grew magnificent
aloes, twenty feet in height, covered with bloom.  We wellnigh lost
ourselves in the labyrinth of walks, literally shaded by scarlet
geraniums of giant growth, and shrubs, such as grow nowhere in the open
air on the mainland, many of them of extreme beauty, brought from all
parts of the world.  In the midst of the gardens we came upon the
ivy-mantled arches of the ruined abbey of Tresco, which has reared its
head in these far off islands for the last eight centuries.  We all of
us agreed that we had never before been in so perfect a garden, so rich
with a profusion of flowers.  Mr Smith, in making this "Paradise," had
an object in view--to set an example to the inhabitants of these lonely
islands, to show them what Nature will do for them, when they put their
shoulder to the wheel; and in few parts of the world are the climate and
soil so suited to the production of floral wonders.

I must not venture to give a further description of the place, but I
must say that Scilly is well worth a visit; and I am sure that any of my
friends who may go there will not be disappointed.  We were quite sorry
when papa and Uncle Tom determined to sail, reminding us that, if we
remained longer, we should have no time to see the other places of
interest it was our intention to visit on our voyage round England.



CHAPTER SEVEN.

OUT IN THE LIFEBOAT.

Once more we were steering to the north-east, intending to visit several
places on the Cornish and Devonshire coast, before standing across the
Bristol Channel.  The sea was calm, and the wind, coming off shore, was
light, as we slowly sailed past the Cow-and-Calf Rocks.

"Dear me, what a strange creature!  Why, there's a black calf!"
exclaimed little Nat, who was looking over the side of the vessel as we
glided on.

Captain Truck turned his eyes in the direction of the rocks, where, sure
enough, there was a strange-looking creature lying perfectly still, and
gazing up at us with large lustrous orbs.

"That's a seal, Master Nat.  If you could just look into one of the
caverns on this coast, you'd find lots of them creatures.  Though they
are without feet or hands, they can manage to make their way along the
beach at a pretty fast rate with their flappers and tails.  If you were
to see one, you would laugh."

"Couldn't we catch it?" asked Nat.

"Maybe if he was to come near enough I might with my harpoon; but he is
too big to be a passenger on board our small craft."

Truck got his harpoon in readiness, but, fortunately for itself, the
seal did not come within reach of his deadly weapon.

Rounding Stepper Point, we stood up the broad estuary which forms the
mouth of the river Camel, on the southern shore of which stands Padstow.
The town is situated in a valley, with pretty gardens on every side,
while in front is a lake-like expanse of water apparently surrounded by
granite cliffs, the entrance being completely shut out from view.
Vessels of considerable size were at anchor, showing that the water was
deep.  We observed many ancient-looking buildings in the old part of the
town near the quays, from which a fine pier projected.  Higher up were
more modern-looking buildings.

Having replenished our stores, which was our chief object in coming in,
though the place itself was well worth seeing, we again sailed, and the
same evening came off Tintagel Head.

Here both yachts were hove-to.  We all pulled on shore in the boats,
taking Nat with us.  The place where we landed was near the village of
Trevena.  Over an inn door was painted the name of "Charity Bray," which
we found to be the appellation of the landlady.  As we promised to take
tea at her hostelry before returning on board, she undertook to procure
us a guide, who would lead us by the shortest cut to the far-famed
ancient castle of Tintagel.  Hurrying on, for we had no time to spare,
we descended by a steep path along the side of the cliff until we
reached a lofty rock, on which one part of the castle stands, while on
the mainland another portion is built.  We were now standing at the
bottom of a chasm looking up two hundred feet or more to the castle
walls, which were originally joined by a drawbridge.  The castle was
anciently called Dunchine, or the Fort of the Chasm.  A zigzag path
enabled us to gain the summit of the cliffs.  The entrance to the castle
was through a gateway, a ruined archway which still stands.  Passing
through it, we entered a court, called King Arthur's Garden, immediately
beyond which rose a precipitous rock, crowned by a tower and wall--
evidently the keep.  At the further side the cliff descends
perpendicularly to the sea, while on the other is the chasm I have
mentioned as dividing the two portions of the castle.  The walls
altogether encircled the larger part of the promontory, and in some
places can hardly be distinguished from the cliffs, out of which they
seem, as it were, to grow.  The headland, I was told, contains about
forty acres.  We remarked that the walls were pierced with a number of
small square orifices, probably intended for the use of bowmen.  In the
rock overlooking the ocean is a recess, which our guide told us was
called "King Arthur's Chair;" and in another part is a subterranean
passage called "King Arthur's Hiding-place."  It is undoubtedly one of
the most ancient castles in the kingdom, though it was greatly enlarged
in later years, and was kept up until the reign of Elizabeth, when it
was abandoned as a stronghold, and allowed to fall into decay.  As it
was King Arthur's birthplace, so it was the spot where he lost his life.
I found some lines by the poet Wharton, describing the battle:

  "O'er Cornwall's cliffs the tempest roared;
  High the screaming sea-mew soared;
  On Tintagel's topmost tower
  Darksome fell the sleety shower,
  When Arthur ranged his red-cross ranks
  On conscious Camlan's crimson banks,
  By Modred's faithless guile decreed
  Beneath a Saxon spear to bleed."

Once upon a time the Cornish men were noted for being heartless
wreckers.  There is a story current of a wicked man, who, having tied up
a donkey by the leg, fastened a lantern round its neck and drove it
along the summit of the cliffs; the halting movement of the creature,
resembling the plunging of a ship, being calculated to tempt vessels to
their destruction, from the belief that there was ample sea room.
Happily, at the present time the Cornish men are as prompt to save as
they were in their savage days to lure hapless barques on shore.  This
part of the coast is indeed a fearful one for any unfortunate ship
driven upon it, though, by means of the rocket apparatus and the
lifeboats, the crew have a better chance of escape than formerly.

Soon after leaving Tintagel we came in sight of the higher light, which
beamed forth from Lundy Island, revolving every two minutes.  We stood
on across Bude Bay, steering for Hartland Point, at the southern side of
Barnstaple Bay.  The wind heading us, we stood off the shore until we
caught sight of the lower fixed light on Lundy Island, where, from the
distance we were from it, papa calculated that the next tack would carry
us into the bay.

I always enjoy sailing at night when finding our way by the lights, with
the chart spread out on the cabin table.  The lighthouse of Lundy
Island--which is at the very entrance of the Bristol Channel--is a great
blessing to mariners; while the island itself, which runs north and
south, and is long and narrow, affords shelter in a westerly gale to the
storm-tossed vessels bound along the coasts.

I was quite sorry when papa ordered me to turn in; but I was on deck
again before daybreak, and found that we were standing towards the two
bright fixed lights at the entrance of Bideford Harbour, while we could
still see the lights of Lundy Island astern; so that we knew where we
were as well as we should have done in broad daylight.  By keeping the
two lights in one, we knew that we were standing for the passage over
the bar into the harbour.

It was just daylight as we entered the broad estuary where the rivers
Taw and Torridge flow into the ocean.  We came off Appledore, at the
mouth of the Torridge, on which Bideford is situated.  Bideford has an
ancient school-house, where many a naval hero acquired such education as
was considered necessary to prepare him for a life on the ocean.
Another interesting object is its bridge, six hundred and seventy-seven
feet in length, supported by twenty-four small arches, and carrying iron
buttresses on its side to widen the roadway; very ugly, I thought.

From Bideford also sailed many an exploring expedition; while its
gallant mariners were well-known on the Spanish main, where they filled
their pockets with doubloons, won at the point of their swords from the
haughty Dons.  A new school has lately been established in this
neighbourhood for the sons of naval and military officers; and Dick and
I agreed that we should like to go there.

Returning down the river, we pulled up the northern arm of the estuary.
Barnstaple is a place of considerable importance, which has existed
since the reign of the Saxon kings: Athelstan, having built a castle
here, made the town into a borough.  It is a handsome-looking place, but
the harbour is much blocked up, so that only small vessels can enter.
The river is spanned by an ancient stone bridge, the width of which is
increased, as at Bideford, by iron projections for foot passengers;
there is also a railway on either side.  We saw a number of vessels
building, and passed some large woollen and lace manufactories.

As we had all read _Westward Ho_! we were anxious to see Clovelly, which
lies at the south side of the bay.  So, early the next morning, getting
under weigh, the tide being favourable, we ran out of the harbour, and
stood across to that most picturesque of villages.  Bringing up, we went
on shore.  We might almost have fancied ourselves in some Chinese place,
as we climbed up the High Street, which is built in a hollow, with
cliffs on either side, a rapid stream rushing down it towards the sea.
The streets are very narrow, running in a zigzag fashion; but the little
gardens full of flowers at the side of each doorway give it a most
attractive appearance.  It is also clean and neat in the extreme; while
the romantic scenery around, and the views over Bideford Bay, covered as
it was then by the dark red sails of numberless trawling-boats, made us
very glad that we had landed.

As we had not much time to spare, we again put off, and sailed to
Ilfracombe.  We passed on our way Morte Point, a dangerous headland, so
called on account of the number of vessels that have been shipwrecked
there.  There is a lighthouse on the cliff, to show the position of this
dangerous place, and a red buoy also floats over the sunken rocks.

We had with us a chart, showing the position of the wrecks round the
English coasts.  There were a considerable number around this headland;
but many more up the Bristol Channel, especially at the mouth of the
Severn, where the river appears crowded with black dots.  Off Plymouth,
long rows of dots show where vessels have gone down.  Between Lundy
Island and the Welsh coast they are numerous; while they are equally
dense between the Eddystone and Falmouth.  They cluster thickly in the
neighbourhood of all the headlands round Cornwall.  Though more
sprinkled, they are almost within hail of each other across Saint
George's Channel,--from the entrance, to the north of the Isle of
Anglesea,--and still thicker at the mouth of the Mersey.  There are not
a few off Portland.  Between that and Beachy Head they lie very close;
but from Dungeness to the North Foreland they almost touch each other,
every part of the Goodwin Sands being covered by them.  All along the
shore at the mouth of the Severn they can be counted by dozens; but the
sandbanks off Great Yarmouth have proved the destruction of more vessels
than the rocks of any other part of the coast.  There is scarcely twenty
miles of shore anywhere which could be passed over without those dark
spots which show that some vessel has been wrecked.

It was gratifying, however, to see painted on the map a number of little
red dots, which mark the lifeboat stations.  Where wrecks have more
frequently occurred in past years, there they appear thickest.  On the
Norfolk coast there are close upon thirty lifeboats, so that they are in
most places not more than five miles apart.

We got into the snug little harbour of Ilfracombe, and the next morning
enjoyed a ramble among the picturesque rocks of that romantic
watering-place.  In winter people come from a distance to it, for it is
one of the most attractive seaside places on the English coast, with
rocks and sands, and comfortable lodging-houses.

As the wind was from the southward and the tide favourable, we did not
stay long, but stood across to Lundy Island, a rock at the southern end
of which is called Bat Island.  We had seen the revolving light of the
island before entering Barnstaple Bay.  The east coast is bold and
precipitous, with numerous deep ravines running into the cliffs.  The
south end is even more rugged than the northern.  Near the landing-place
is a cave hollowed out of a black rock, called the Devil's Kitchen; and
beyond it is a narrow opening filled with dangerous rocks, known as
Hell's Gate.  Indeed, from their character many spots hereabouts are
called after Satan or his imps.  As papa observed, people are ready
enough to give Satan credit for the physical ills they suffer, but too
often forget the fearful moral power he exerts, and yield themselves his
willing slaves.  Curiously enough, the chief proprietor of the island,
who lives in a substantial house, rejoices in the name of "Heaven."

So narrow is the landing-place, that we had to follow each other in
single file.  We had a glorious scramble among the rocks.  On the top of
a height appeared Marisco's Castle, with low walls and four towers,
reminding us of the Tower of London.

Lundy Island has been the refuge of persons of high and low degree.  No
small number of smugglers have made it their abode, as from thence
formerly they could carry on their lawless trade with impunity.  The
most noted of them was a man named Benson, at one time a member of
Parliament, who had ultimately to escape to "foreign lands" to avoid
punishment.  The pirates also in days of yore used to make it their
headquarters; indeed, Marisco, who built the castle, may be included in
the category of outlaws.  He, with a daring band of followers, long
carried on their depredations on foreign and mercantile shipping, until
they were all captured and hanged.

We met with vast numbers of puffins, cormorants, and sea-gulls, which
inhabit the cliffs of the island; and we obtained some good specimens of
their eggs.  The most curious were those of the guillemot, which, though
little larger than the puffin, have eggs as large as those of geese.
They are white, chocolate, or verdigris green, covered with curious
figures and dashes; and it is said that, notwithstanding the number
collected, no two have ever been found exactly alike.  We took on board
a number of eggs to eat.  The yolk is a deep red, and the white
transparent.  The egg of the cormorant is but little larger than that of
a pigeon.  All these eggs are laid on ledges of the rocks.  Being small
at one end and large at the other, the wind rolls them round, but does
not blow them over the edge.

It did not take us long to inspect Lundy Island, for it is only about
two and a half miles long, and less than a mile wide.  It consists of a
mass of granite rising about two hundred feet above the sea.

We regretted being unable to visit Swansea, away to the north-east, and
Carmarthen; but the coast between them is dangerous, and the passage
would have occupied a considerable time.  We should also have liked to
look into the very pretty little seaside place of Tenby, on the west of
Carmarthen Bay.

Swansea is a town of very considerable importance.  It has a large
foreign and home trade, and contains a number of furnaces for the
smelting of copper, the ore being imported from Cornwall and Devonshire,
and even from Australia and other foreign places.  Five or six thousand
ships visit it every year.  Several canals and railways connect it with
other parts of the country.  It is not surprising that the wreck chart
should show a number of black dots off its harbour.

A fresh breeze from the south-east soon brought us in sight of Saint
Ann's lights, forming the south-west entrance of Milford Haven; and
guided by them we stood on towards the mouth of that magnificent
estuary, which we entered by the first dawn of day.  Running up it, we
steered due east until we came off the town of Milford, where we
brought-up, and sent on shore for fresh provisions.

Milford Haven is a wide estuary, in some places four and five miles
across.  We went on shore, but there was not much to see in the town.  A
naval dockyard, which once existed here, was removed in 1814 to
Pembroke, on the southern side of the estuary.  Having obtained what we
wanted, we stood across to the latter place.  We anchored off the
dockyard, which is even larger than that of Portsmouth.  We went through
it, visiting several ships of various sizes.  We saw also buildings and
manufactories similar to those at Portsmouth.  Everything is on a large
scale.  We were much interested in all we saw; but as I have already
described Portsmouth, I need not give an account of Pembroke.  From the
width of Milford Haven, and being open to the south-west gales, it does
not when they are blowing, afford secure anchorage; and the wreck chart
shows that a number of vessels have been lost within it.

Papa and Uncle Tom had a consultation on board the Lively, and agreed
that they would stand on up the Irish Channel, and touch at no other
place until we arrived at Caernarvon, at the entrance of the Menai
Straits, through which they intended to pass on our way to Liverpool.

We accordingly sailed early in the morning, and steered across for the
Smalls Lighthouse, to the westward of which they intended to keep before
standing up Saint George's Channel.  Though we had a brisk breeze, it
took us nearly three hours after we passed Saint Ann's Lighthouse, the
distance being eighteen miles, to reach the Smalls rocks.  Before the
lighthouse was erected many vessels were lost on them, or on others
between them and the coast of Wales.  To the northward are the Tuskar
rocks, on the Irish coast, on which also stands a fine lighthouse; and
the two may be considered the guardian angels of the Channel.  Those
keeping to the east can see the Smalls light, while those a short
distance off more to the west are in sight of the Tuskar light, which
revolves every two minutes.

The tides run with great fierceness between the Smalls and the mainland,
amid the dangerous reefs which extend out from the island of Skomer.  As
it was nearly slack tide when we got up to the lighthouse, and as the
water was smooth, papa and Uncle Tom agreed to land.  The yachts were
hove-to, the boats lowered, and we pulled in on the northern side, where
we had no difficulty in landing.

Two of the light-keepers, seeing us coming, descended to our
assistance,--for, as may be supposed, they are ever happy to receive
visitors, especially those bringing newspapers and periodicals.  Before
ascending, our guides took us to the site of the old tower, and a
curious store-room, which was cut into the rock to serve as a
coal-cellar to the former edifice, of which one of them gave us an
interesting account.

Centuries had passed by, and numberless wrecks had occurred on the
Smalls and neighbouring rocks, when, about a hundred years ago, a ship
belonging to Liverpool was lost on them.  She was commanded by a Captain
Phillips, who, with his crew, escaped; and from a feeling of gratitude
for his providential deliverance he determined that he would do his
utmost to get a lighthouse built on the rock.  He shortly afterwards
became a shipowner and merchant in Liverpool; and, being successful in
business, he forthwith put his intention into execution.  His first plan
was to fit long cast-iron pillars deep into the rock, and to place upon
them a circular room, as the habitation of the light-keepers, with a
lantern at the top.  He had already raised the pillars to a considerable
height, when a heavy gale came on, and they were overthrown.  Undaunted
by his failure, Captain Phillips again set to work, and engaged a Mr
Whiteside--an ingenious mechanic and a native of Liverpool.  Curiously
enough, Mr Whiteside, who was about twenty-six years of age, had
hitherto employed his talents in making musical instruments, though,
having means of his own, he did not depend upon his labour for his
subsistence.  He had never been to sea, and was ignorant of the power of
the ocean.  Accompanied by half-a-dozen Cornish miners, he arrived in
the harbour of Solva, a small town near Saint David's Head, on the north
side of Saint Bride's Bay, about twenty-two miles from the Smalls rock.
He began the work by again using iron pillars, the task of the miners
being to bore holes in the rock in which to fix them.  Before they had
been long at work a gale arose, which compelled their vessel to seek for
safety in harbour, while they were left clinging to one of the iron
pillars.  During that fearful night several of them were nearly carried
away.  The gale abating on the third day, they were rescued in a very
exhausted state by the crew of their vessel.  Still Mr Whiteside
continued the work.  After the iron pillars were fixed, and already
carried to some height, another gale so bent them as to convince him
that another material must be used.  He accordingly obtained the longest
and stoutest oak trees to be procured in the kingdom.  After undergoing
many hardships, dangers, and disappointments, he ultimately erected five
wooden and three iron pillars.  On the summit an octagonal room was
formed, with a lamp above.  Afterwards the three iron pillars were
removed, and oak placed in their stead, with another in the centre, the
whole supported by diagonal stays, the lower ends of which were fixed in
the rock.

A rope ladder leading from the rock to a trap in the floor of the room
enabled the light-keepers to ascend; and in this room was stored oil,
coal, provisions, and other necessities, with spare bunks for any
mechanics employed on the work or shipwrecked mariners who might reach
the rock.  Thus but little space was left for the regular inhabitants,
two of whom, however, generally remained at a time in the lighthouse.

During a severe gale, which lasted for many weeks, one of the men died;
and the other, fearing that he might be accused of murdering his
companion, kept the body, placed in a coffin hanging under the floor of
the room, until he was relieved.  In consequence of this event, three
keepers were always stationed at the lighthouse.  The room was only just
of sufficient height for a man of ordinary stature to stand upright;
indeed, one of the keepers, measuring six feet, was unable to do so, and
had to bend his head, lest he should strike it against the beams.

Often, during even ordinary gales of wind, the whole structure was
completely covered by the water, so that when the waves rose the light
could not be seen.  Having inspected the holes in which the towers
stood, we examined the cellar.  It was cut out of the solid rock, and is
twenty feet long by eight wide, and four feet deep, and has a covering
of granite eight inches thick, the entrance being by two gun-metal
doors, or rather man-holes, perfectly impervious to water when closed;
it was formed to hold the tools and stores of the labourers.  The rock
itself is twelve feet above the level of the sea at high-water, and the
lantern of the old lighthouse stood seventy feet above the water.

For eighty years this curious pigeon-hole of a dwelling-house towered in
mid air, surrounded by the furious waves which dashed wildly against it,
until at length the Trinity Corporation, who had purchased it from the
heirs of the original possessor, resolved on building a stone
lighthouse, similar to that of the Eddystone; and Mr James Douglas was
entrusted with its construction.  The first stone was laid in 1857; and
the light on the new tower was exhibited on the 1st of August, 1861, the
old structure being immediately afterwards removed.

We made our way to the new lighthouse, which is of granite.  Twenty-nine
feet above high-water mark, it is of solid masonry; in the next eighteen
feet there is a well-staircase seven feet in diameter, all the courses
being secured in the most perfect manner.  Having climbed up by thirteen
gun-metal steps, wedged into the solid granite, we reached the entrance
port.  As may be supposed, we had to stretch our legs to get up to it.
We ascended the staircase by twenty-eight steps to a room containing
three iron water-tanks, holding a thousand gallons, with a coal-cellar
below it.  Here a crane is fixed for hoisting in stores.  Seventeen more
steps led us to the oil room.  The arched granite floors are composed of
twelve radiating blocks of granite, dovetailed to a centre stone nine
inches thick in the centre, and one foot seven inches in circumference.
A slated floor is cemented on to the surface of the granite.  Another
seventeen steps took us up to the store-room, in which the meat and
bread casks are kept.  Ascending a third series of seventeen steps, we
arrived at the living room, the walls of which are two feet six inches
thick.  Here is a cooking-range with an oven, a bookcase, tables,
etcetera.  A fourth series took us to the bedroom, in which there are
five berths; and by a fifth staircase of seventeen steps we reach the
watch-room, immediately below the lantern; but there is no seat, as the
keeper is not allowed to sit down during his watch.  Sixteen more steps
we mounted, making altogether one hundred and twenty-nine, when we
arrived at the lantern.  The apparatus is of the first catadioptric
order, lighted by a first-class pressure lamp.  By it stands the machine
for striking the fog-bell, which weighs three hundredweight, and sounds
about every two seconds by means of a double clapper.  There is also a
flagstaff, by means of which the light-keepers can hoist signals to
passing vessels.  The total height of masonry above high-water mark is
one hundred and fifteen feet six inches; and the diameter of the tower
over the outside of the cornice is twenty-one feet.  Although not so
lofty, this magnificent lighthouse is a far stronger structure than that
of the Eddystone.

There are four light-keepers belonging to the lighthouse, one--as is
customary--being on shore.  They seemed perfectly happy and contented,
liking the regularity of their lives, feeling, as they said, fully as
safe as they would miles inland.  They were _very_ glad of a packet of
newspapers and a couple of magazines we gave them, which we obtained at
Milford; and the men begged us to give them another look in, should we
come that way again.  This we promised to do if we could.

The weather had hitherto been very fine, and we hoped to have a pleasant
run.  We were gliding smoothly on, and had got very nearly half across
Cardigan Bay, when the weather gave signs of changing.

"We shall have a dirty night of it, sir, if I don't mistake," observed
Truck to papa; "if the wind comes from the westward, it will be all we
can do to weather Bardsey Island."

"If we once round it, we shall have a clear run for Caernarvon," said
papa; "and I should be sorry to delay by making for another port."

"If you please sir," answered Truck, "to my mind it would be as well to
get into port as soon as we can."

"We will see what the glass says," observed papa.

He sent me below to look.  It had fallen greatly within the last
half-hour.  As we looked westward we saw heavy clouds banking up in that
direction, and rapidly approaching.  Papa, on this, ordered the gaff
topsail to be taken in, and the jib shifted.  Presently afterwards we
had two reefs down in the mainsail, and a still smaller jib set.  The
wind rapidly increased.  We went below and examined the chart.  The
nearest port was Aberystwyth.

"At all times there is sufficient water over the bar for small craft
like ours," observed papa.  "We will run for it, and shall be in before
dark; but if not, there are two lights to guide us into the harbour."

On going on deck, we made a signal to the Dolphin, and Uncle Tom bore
down to speak to us.  Papa told him what he proposed doing, and
immediately altering our course, we stood into the bay.  Having a good
chart, we had no difficulty in making out the landmarking.  In about an
hour we came in sight of the ruined walls of an ancient castle above the
harbour.  A number of fishing-boats were making for the harbour, to find
shelter from the expected gale; and, following them, we ran over the
bar--it being high-water--and brought-up before the old-fashioned town.

The old town has not a very attractive appearance, as the streets are
narrow, and the houses covered with black slate, which give them a
sombre look, but there are also a number of large good-looking houses,
inhabited by visitors, who come here to bathe and enjoy the sea-breezes,
and we saw several churches and other public buildings; so that
Aberystwyth may be considered a place of some importance.

We were thankful to be in harbour, for we had scarcely dropped our
anchors before the gale broke with fearful violence.  The sun had
already set, and the rain came down in torrents.  We remained on board,
hoping to be able to see something of the old town and its ruins the
following morning, before sailing.

All night long we could hear the wind howling and whistling, and the sea
dashing against the rocks outside the harbour.  When morning broke, the
storm was raging as fiercely as ever; but as the rain had ceased, as
soon as we had had breakfast we went on shore and walked down to the
beach.

We met several people, who looked eager and excited, and inquiring of
them the cause, they pointed seaward to the north-west, where, amid the
spray, we made out a large vessel on shore.

Presently we saw a carriage dragged by four horses, coming along at a
great rate, and as it came up we discovered that it contained the
lifeboat.  Reaching the shore, it was turned round, with the back of the
carriage, on which the bow of the lifeboat rested, towards the sea.  The
horses were now made to back it nearer and nearer the water.  I felt so
eager to witness the proceedings that I would have given anything to go
off with the gallant crew.

"Now, lads! on board!" cried the coxswain.

As he uttered the words, not only the crew but a number of other persons
rushed down to the side of the boat.  I found myself among them.  In one
instant the crew leapt on board, and, seized by a sudden impulse, I too
sprang up the side, and slid down into the bottom of the boat.  The
coxswain was standing up, watching the seas as they rolled in.  That
moment was a favourable one for launching the boat, and, crying out to
the men on the beach to haul away on the detaching lines, the boat, ere
two seconds had passed, began to glide towards the raging billows.  The
crew had seized their oars, and were already giving way.  Bravely the
boat rolled over the first sea she encountered; and in less than a
minute--before I was discovered--she was far from the beach, and pulling
swiftly away out to sea.  Now, for the first time, the coxswain, casting
his eyes down, beheld me.

"Where do you come from, my lad?" he exclaimed; "you have no business
here."

"I was on board before I had time to think about that," I answered.  "I
beg your pardon; but now that I am here I hope that you will let me
remain."

"Provided you are not washed out of the boat," he replied.  "Here, take
one of these cork-jackets and put it on, and then sit quiet.  Whatever
happens, hold fast,--or, stay, lash yourself down; remember your life
depends upon it."

I did as he directed, and had now time to reflect on the folly of my
proceeding--not that I feared for myself, but I knew papa and the rest
of our party would be dreadfully anxious when they missed me.

The coxswain took no further notice of me.  He had enough to do to
attend to the steerage of the boat.  I confess that before many minutes
were over I wished myself back safe on shore.  Still, I kept up my
spirits; my only regret was that I had got on board without papa's
leave, and that he, and Oliver and Uncle Tom, and the rest, would be
made unhappy on my account.

In spite of the coxswain's orders, I stood up, holding the rope with my
left hand, waving my handkerchief with the other, hoping that papa would
see it, and at once know what I was doing.

I quickly sat down again, for I heard the coxswain cry out, "Hold fast,
my lads!" and, turning my head for an instant over my shoulder, I saw a
tremendous wave come rushing on with a crest of foam curling over it as
if about to overwhelm the boat.  On the crew pulled, however; when in an
instant the sea broke, a large portion coming right down into the boat,
wetting us through fore and aft.  But the men seemed to think nothing of
it, and on they pulled.  Several other seas broke over us in the same
way, half filling the boat; but she was so constructed that the water
ran out again, and directly afterwards she was as buoyant as ever.  We
were pulling away to windward, to get a sufficient offing from the land
to set sail.  It was a long business, for although the men pulled hard,
the wind was in our teeth, and the seas seemed to be sending us back as
fast as we advanced.  Such, however, was not the case, for on looking
towards the shore I saw that we were gradually increasing our distance
from it.

Thus some hours were passed; they appeared to me the longest I had ever
known, and I again and again wished myself on shore.  Had I been one of
the crew, and felt that by my exertions I might have contributed to the
saving of the shipwrecked sailors, the case would have been very
different; but I had to sit quiet.

At last the coxswain shouted out, "Make sail!"  The mast was stepped,
and a double-reefed foresail and mizen were set.  The boat could
scarcely carry a smaller sail out; even with that she heeled over.  Her
head was now pointed towards the wreck, which seemed farther and farther
off; indeed, we could only occasionally get a glimpse of her as we rose
on the summits of the seas.  How fearful must have been the anxiety of
those on board the wreck!  They might possibly have seen the boat; but
if they did they might have feared that she would not reach them, or
that they would not be able to get on board her before their ship went
to pieces.  At length the bank was reached which must be crossed before
the wreck could be gained.  The sea here was breaking tremendously; the
waves leaping and clashing together, gave the water the appearance of a
huge boiling cauldron.  The boat seemed literally struggling for life;
now the water poured in on one side, now on the other, as she rolled to
starboard or port.

"Hold on, hold on, my lads, for your lives!" cried the coxswain; and a
tremendous sea broke bodily over her, threatening to sweep every man on
board away.  I held on, as may be supposed, like grim death.  The men,
slipping from their seats, placed their breasts on the thwart, thrust
their legs under them, and clasped them with both their arms, while the
water rushed over their backs and heads, so completely burying us that I
fully believed the boat was going down; indeed, it seemed as if we were
gone.  Suddenly regaining its buoyancy, up it sprang again, throwing out
most of the water through the side, while the rest sank to the bottom of
the boat, and once more she floated bravely.

The men looked round, as did I, expecting that some of their number
would have been washed away; but they had all instantly regained their
seats, and on she sped amid the hissing foam.

The wind, instead of lessening, appeared to increase, and the clouds
came down close above our heads, seeming almost to meet the dancing
crests of foam.  With the masses of spray which continually broke over
her and the thick clouds above us, it was almost as dark as night; and
even the coxswain, with his sharp eyes, could with difficulty
distinguish the wreck.  At last, the sands were crossed, and the boat
was once more ploughing her way through the seas, which rolled in
towards the shore with greater regularity than those we had just passed.

"I see her!  I see her!" cried the coxswain, who was standing up peering
ahead.  "She is little better than half a mile to leeward."

The direction of the boat was slightly altered, and we stood down
towards the wreck.  As we approached her we saw that her mainmast was
gone, that her foremast and yards were still standing, with their sails
fluttering wildly from them.  The lifeboat crew now looked anxiously
towards the wreck, to ascertain if any men were still left in the
rigging or on the forepart of the hull, which alone remained above the
water.

"I see one!  I see _two_!" exclaimed the men, in rapid succession.
"They are waving to us."

As we got still nearer, we could count no less than eight men in the
rigging; but how to get to them was the difficulty.

"The mainmast has not been cut adrift; it will be a dangerous task,"
said the coxswain.  "Lads, we shall have to board her on the
weather-side, I fear."

From the position we had gained we could now see to leeward; and there,
sure enough, hung the mainmast, which the sea was tossing up and down in
a way which would speedily have destroyed our boat.  The coxswain's
resolution was taken.  Running to windward, he ordered the anchor to be
let go and the sails lowered.  His object was to get sufficiently near
the wreck to receive the people on board without actually touching her.
This was a dangerous undertaking; but it had to be performed, if any of
the shipwrecked crew were to be saved.  Six hands went to the bow, and
gradually the cable was paid out, the huge rolling seas carrying us
nearer and nearer the wreck.  Several broke over us, and, rising against
the side of the vessel, concealed her and the crew hanging on to the
rigging from our sight.  I remained seated, clinging on to the thwart,
for I knew that I could do nothing.  The brave coxswain, standing up,
watched for an advantageous moment to approach the wreck.  It seemed to
me that it would never come.

"Slacken the cable," he shouted out; "three fathoms, a little more, a
little more!"

And now the stern of the boat got close up to the wreck.  With a wild
cry of "Now, lads, now!" four men sprang into the lifeboat.  They were
active seamen, or they could not have done it.  Scarcely were they on
board, than, looking forward, I saw a tremendous sea come rushing down
on the boat.  The coxswain shouted, "Haul in, lads! haul in!"  The crew,
with two of the men who had just joined us, hauled away from the wreck,
only just in time; for the sea would otherwise have carried us right up
on her deck, and either have dashed the boat to pieces or upset her, and
sent us all struggling into the water.  The huge wave having broken,
again the boat was allowed to approach, and six more of the crew, having
unlashed themselves, sprang into her one after the other.  Neither they
nor we were in safety.  "Are there any more of you?" asked the coxswain,
who was compelled to keep his eye to windward to watch the approaching
waves.

"Yes, five more," was the answer.

"Haul away! haul away, lads!" shouted the coxswain, for at that instant
he saw another huge wave rolling in.

The lifeboat crew saw it too, and knew full well that it would prove our
destruction, should we not get to a safe distance.  Still, the remainder
of the crew were not to be deserted.  Three were men, the other two
boys.  I could see the poor fellows, as I looked back, lashed to the
rigging, holding up their hands in dumb show, imploring us not to desert
them.  Neither the coxswain nor his crew were men to do that; but
already the boat was crowded, and should the sea break on board, some of
those saved might be washed out of her.  Sea after sea rolled in on the
wreck; every moment I expected to see the masts go, with the helpless
men clinging to the shrouds, when all must be lost.

"Pay out, pay out, my lads!" exclaimed the coxswain, just as a huge sea
was breaking astern of us, and three or four smaller ones of less
consequence were approaching.

Again the boat got close up to the wreck.  Two more men sprang into her.
Another made the attempt, but his foot slipped, or he let go his hold
of the rope too soon, and, falling between the boat and the vessel's
side, disappeared.  One shriek only escaped him; it reached the ears of
the two poor boys, who seemed paralysed with fear and unable to help
themselves.

The coxswain shouted to them to let go, and spring towards him.  One did
as directed, and was caught by the strong arm of one of the crew.  The
other appeared to be entangled in the rigging.  The brave man who had
saved the other lad, seeing that the boy would be lost, regardless of
the danger he himself was incurring, sprang on board, cutting the
lashings with his knife, which he then threw from him.  He seized the
boy round the waist.  At that instant I heard the cry, "Haul off, haul
off!"

"Hold fast for a moment!" shouted the gallant man who had gone to rescue
the boy.

By the delay of that moment the lives of all of us were fearfully
imperilled.  The man sprang with the rescued boy on board; but scarcely
had his feet touched the boat when the sea which had just before been
observed surrounded her and carried her right up high above the deck of
the wreck.  The crew forward were hauling away with all their might,
although the bow of the boat was pointed downwards, and must, I thought,
be dragged under water.  Every instant I expected to hear the fatal
crash.  Had our mizenmast been caught in any of the rigging, our
destruction would have been certain; but ere the boat actually struck
the wreck she was hauled off; and now the crew, labouring with all their
strength, drew her up to her anchor.  To weigh the anchor with the sea
that was running was impossible.  Should the boat drift down on the
wreck before sail could be made she must be dashed to pieces.

"Hoist away!" cried the coxswain.

A few strokes with an axe severed the cable, the foresail filled, and
away we dashed through the foaming seas, passing so close to the wreck
that I thought our mast-head must have struck her bowsprit.

Fourteen human beings had been saved; and with our rescued freight on
board we stood towards the harbour.  Scarcely had we got clear of the
wreck than the remaining mast and the bowsprit went.  Had any delay
occurred, all those fourteen of our fellow-creatures would have lost
their lives.  How long we had been away I could not tell, but it
appeared like a lifetime to me.  I saw that the day was waning, and it
would be long still before we could get back safe to land.  The gale
blew as fiercely as at first, and the seas which occasionally washed
over us seemed to threaten our destruction.  We could dimly see the
land; but the lifeboat crew knew well where they were going; and they
now did what they could to relieve the sufferings of the shipwrecked
seamen by handing them the flasks of restoratives, with which they had
come provided.

Had I gone out with papa's leave, I should have been delighted to see
the gallant deed I had witnessed.  As it was, I could not help being
secretly pleased, though now, strange to say, as the danger decreased,
and I had time to think again of my friends, I earnestly longed to be
safe on shore.

At last we caught sight of the lights at the mouth of the river, towards
which the boat was making her way, although we had to go a long distance
round to reach it.  I was, of course, wet through, and cold and faint
from want of food, though I felt no hunger.  The light grew higher and
nearer.  The wind was at last brought on the quarter, and on the
lifeboat flew.  I felt her lifted by a monster sea, then down she came,
and was the next instant in comparatively quiet water.

Loud cheers greeted us from the shore, which were heartily answered by
our crew.

We rushed on, the sails were lowered, and we were alongside the wharf.
I was so numbed and cold that I could not stand or spring out of the
boat; but I heard a voice, which I knew to be that of papa, shouting
out:

"Did you take off a boy with you?"

"Yes, sir; all right; here he is;" and the coxswain, lifting me up in
his arms, handed me to papa and Uncle Tom.

They neither of them said anything, but carried me to the boat, which
pulled off at once to the yacht.  My teeth chattered with cold, so that
I could scarcely speak.  I was very thankful that they did not ask me
questions.  I was immediately put into my berth, and Truck soon brought
a basin of hot soup, while a stone bottle of hot water was placed at my
feet.  In ten minutes I felt wonderfully better.  Hearing papa in the
cabin, I at once acknowledged that I had acted very wrongly.

"The impulse seized me, and I could not resist it," I said.

"You should not allow yourself to be influenced by a sudden impulse; but
I am too thankful that you escaped destruction to be angry with you.
Let us thank God that you are preserved."

After offering our sincere thanks to God for His merciful deliverance,
papa said no more; and a very short time afterwards I fell asleep.  The
next morning, when I awoke we were at sea with the wind off shore, the
sun shining brightly, and the water comparatively smooth.  There was
still a swell from the westward, the only signs of the recent storm.



CHAPTER EIGHT.

LIVERPOOL AND GLASGOW.

After passing Aberdovey and Barmouth, in Cardigan Bay, we sighted Saint
Tudwell's Island; and then rounding Bardsey Island, on which stands a
square white tower, ninety-nine feet in height, with one bright fixed
light shining far out over Saint George's Channel, we ran north past
Porthdinlleyn, steering for Caernarvon, at the southern entrance of the
Menai Straits.

As we sailed along we had a great deal of conversation about lifeboats.
They have been in existence since 1789, when the first boat built
expressly for saving life was launched by Mr H. Greathead, a
boat-builder at South Shields; but some years before that a London
coach-builder--Mr Lionel Lukin--designed a boat which he called "an
unimmergible boat;" and, for the purpose of carrying out his
experiments, he purchased a Norway yawl, which he tried in the Thames.
His plans were entirely successful.  He soon afterwards fitted a coble,
sent from Bamborough, in Northumberland.  The Duke of Northumberland,
approving of Mr Greathead's invention, ordered him to build a boat,
which was afterwards stationed at North Shields.  For a long time his
plan was considered the best, and there are several of his lifeboats,
which are impelled exclusively by oars, still in existence.

For years after their invention, the greater part of the coast was
without lifeboats, until Sir William Hillary, who, while residing in the
Isle of Man, had seen numerous vessels cast away, and lives lost,
expressed his wishes to Mr Thomas Wilson, M.P. for the City of London;
and the two gentlemen called a meeting in 1824, the result of which was
the establishment of the "Royal National Institution for the
Preservation of Life from Shipwreck."  From that time forward great
encouragement was given to the building of lifeboats; and there are few
parts of the coast now without them.  Of course, a lifeboat must differ
greatly from a common open boat, for even the best of them is easily
filled with water, or upset.

A lifeboat must be buoyant, and firmly ballasted, self-righting,
containing plenty of space for the rescued, strength to battle with the
heavy seas, and power to resist the many strikings against rocks and
wrecks.  The buoyancy is obtained by having air chambers formed along
the sides of the boat, and a watertight deck, the space between which
and the boat's floor is filled by air chambers.  Beside this, at each
end there are air cases built across, and reaching to the high gunwales
of the bow and stern.  The power of discharging water is obtained by
forming a watertight deck at the load-water-line.  In this deck there
are several large open tubes, having their upper openings on the surface
of the deck, and the lower ones in the boat's floor, thus passing
through the space between the deck and the floor, and, of course,
hermetically closed to it.  In some boats the tubes are kept open, but
in the self-righting boats they are fitted with self-acting valves,
which open downwards only, so that they will allow any water shipped to
pass through them, whilst none can pass upwards.  Papa explained that,
as the deck is placed above the water-line, any water resting on it will
be above the outside level of the sea, and will run out through the
valves and tubes into the sea.  As fluids always gain their level by
specific gravity, the water passes through the valves until none remains
above the surface of the deck.  In the smaller lifeboats, which have no
decks, the only way to relieve the boat is by bailing.  It is important
that a lifeboat should be well ballasted, especially the larger
sailing-boats.  These are now ballasted with water, which is let in
after the boat is off the beach, and is allowed to fill every available
space to a certain height.  By being thus heavily ballasted, they can
make their way through the most tremendous seas, which would drive back
any ordinary boat.  Only once has a boat of this description been upset.

A very important feature is that of self-righting.  This is obtained by
having air chambers of large size, both at the bow and stern, placed
high above the centre of gravity.  As the boat must be well ballasted,
she must have limited breadth of beam, as also limited side buoyancy.
By being properly ballasted, a boat can pass either through or over a
sea without being driven astern.  The raised air chambers prevent the
sea breaking over her at the bow or stern; while, if she dips into the
sea, she instantly rises again.  By having a limited beam, she gains in
speed, although she loses in stability; but, at the same time, if upset,
she is much more speedily righted; while shorter oars are required, and
fewer men to work them.

Papa was strongly in favour of the self-righting principle.  The best
boats are diagonally built, and copper-fastened.  The planks are of
mahogany, two thicknesses of half-inch board, with painted calico
between them.  The keel is of American elm, and the false keel is one
piece of cast-iron, two and a half inches in width, by four and a half
in depth, weighing nine hundredweight.  The stem is of English oak, and
the gunwale of American elm.  The floors are of ash or oak.  The deck is
of mahogany, well caulked, and seven-eighths of an inch in thickness.
These boats are about thirty-three feet in length over all, eight feet
in breadth, four feet in depth.  They pull, when double-banked, ten
oars, which are made of ash, or sometimes fir; and they carry five or
six pairs of spare oars, to replace any which may be broken.  They are
fitted with life-lines outside, by which the men, if thrown out of the
boat, can hold on to her, or people swimming can haul themselves on
board.  No other boats are built so strongly.  The principle adopted for
planking--that of placing the planks diagonally--gives the greatest
possible strength and elasticity, while the mahogany used is of the
best.

The lifeboats themselves are liable to disaster.  They may be crushed by
falling masts, or driven right on board a wreck, or against rocks,
where, in spite of the efforts of their crews, they may be dashed to
pieces.  It is now very rarely the case that lifeboats are lost.  In
some places steamers are used to tow the lifeboat out to sea; but in
most instances she alone can approach a wreck sufficiently near to take
off the crew.  The cost of establishing a lifeboat on a station is
estimated at eight hundred pounds, five hundred and fifty being the
price of the boat, her stores, and carriage, and two hundred and fifty
pounds that of a substantial boat-house, while the annual cost is about
seventy pounds.

The weather was remarkably fine, and the sea smooth, as the wind was off
shore.  We were generally in sight of the cliffs, which extend along the
coast, and had occasional glimpses of blue mountains beyond, Snowdon
towering above them all, with the Isle of Anglesea on our port side, and
the county of Caernarvon on the starboard.  After passing the entrance,
the Straits widen out into a lake-like expanse; but the shores again
close in where the town of Caernarvon is situated.

Except its far-famed castle, there is nothing very, particular to see in
the town itself, which is not so picturesque as many we have visited.  A
small river, the Seiont, passes close to it.  The whole town is
surrounded by walks united to the castle.  The streets, though rather
narrow, are laid out at right angles to each other, and are well paved
and lighted.  We landed, and traversed the town.  We presently made our
way to the castle.  The external walls are ten feet thick, are nearly
entire, and enclose a space of three acres.  Within them is a gallery
running right round, with loop-holes for the discharge of arrows.  We
clambered up two or three of the towers, which had turrets on their
summits; the most important of them is called the Eagle Tower.  We were
shown a dark chamber, twelve feet by eight; and our guide declared that
it was the room in which the first Prince of Wales was born; but, as
papa observed, that could not have been the case, as the tower was not
built at the time; besides, it was not at all the sort of place the
queen would have selected as her bed-chamber; it was far more likely to
have been a prison or guard-room.  The castle was built by Edward the
First, soon after his conquest of Wales; and it was finished about the
year 1293.  We all considered it the finest ruin we had yet seen.  About
the time it was finished, the Welsh, led by Prince Madoc, attacked and
captured the castle; when, according to the customs of the times, they
put its garrison to death, and burnt the town.

Rather more than a century after, Owen Glendower attempted to take the
castle, which was so gallantly defended by the governor placed in it by
Henry the Fourth, that he was compelled to raise the siege.  During the
Civil Wars it was captured by the Parliamentary forces, under General
Mytton.  Such are the chief historical events I recollect connected with
the fine old ruin.

A considerable number of trading vessels were alongside the quays,
taking in slate and copper ore, the chief products of the district.
Enormous quantities of slate are exported from Wales.

We remained a night here, as it was too late to run through the Straits
to Bangor.  Early the following morning, however, the wind was fair, and
we continued on the same course.  The tide also favoured us.  Had it
been against us, as it runs at the rate of between five and six miles an
hour, we should have made but little progress.  The shores are high and
picturesque, with villages here and there, and some handsome residences,
the finest belonging to the Marquis of Anglesea.

We soon came in sight of the tubular bridge carrying the railway across
the Straits.  The distance between the cliffs on either shore is eleven
hundred feet.  It was curious, as we sailed under it, to look up to a
height of one hundred and four feet, and to see these two enormous tubes
above our heads.  Their total length is one thousand eight hundred and
thirty-three feet, which includes two hundred and thirty feet at either
end resting on the land.  The tubes are composed of wrought-iron plates,
three quarters of an inch thick, tightly riveted together, the one
carrying the up, and the other the down line.  The bridge is supported
by three vast piers, measuring sixty-two feet by fifty-three feet at
their base.  This wonderful work is considered to surpass that of the
Menai Bridge.  It may be asked how these tubes could ever have been got
up to their present positions.  This was accomplished by means of
hydraulic presses of the most powerful description; indeed, it is
asserted that one of them could throw a stream of water twenty thousand
feet into the air,--above five times higher than Snowdon, and five
thousand feet higher than the summit of Mont Blanc.  The bridge was
commenced in 1846 by Robert Stephenson, and the first train passed
through it on the 1st of March, 1850; since which time no accident has
happened to it.

A little further on we saw above us the celebrated Menai Bridge.  The
piers are each one hundred and fifty three feet high, and five hundred
and fifty three feet apart.  Sixteen iron chains, one thousand seven
hundred and fifteen feet in length, pass from pier to pier, and support
the bridge.  The chains have a dip in the centre of forty-four feet,
thus allowing the roadway to have a clear elevation of a hundred feet
above high-water at spring tide.  These sixteen chains are carried
through sixty feet of solid rock.  The whole length of the bridge is
about one-third of a mile, including four arches at one end, and three
at the other, which carry the road out to the two suspending piers.  The
bridge was opened in January, 1826.  It was designed by Thomas Telford,
the engineer.  The work occupied six years, and cost 120,000 pounds,--
much less than an ironclad, and infinitely more useful and durable.
Before it was built people had to cross by a dangerous ferry.  We were
surprised to hear that the compensation given to the owners of the ferry
for the surrender of their right amounted to 26,577 pounds--the annual
income of the ferry being computed at 815 pounds 18 shillings.

We sailed on to Bangor, before which we brought-up in the Bay of
Beaumaris.  There is not much to see in the town itself, except that it
is pleasantly situated.  By climbing the hill above it we obtained a
fine view over the island of Anglesea.

Our chief object in coming here was to see the slate quarries at
Penrhyn.  They are of enormous extent, and not less than three thousand
men and boys are employed in them, whose wages amount to upwards of 2000
pounds per week; and it is calculated that upwards of 11,000 people,
including wives and children, find subsistence from working these
quarries.  A railway conveys the slate about six miles, to the shores of
the Menai Straits; and upwards of 70,000 tons of slate are annually
exported, the income derived from them being 250,000 pounds per annum.
They are the property of the noble owner of the magnificent Penrhyn
Castle.

We passed through the village of Llandegai--a model of beauty and
neatness--situated at the chief entrance of the castle grounds.  We
crossed over by the ferry to Beaumaris, in the island of Anglesea.  It
is a very picturesque place, on the north-western side of the bay called
after it.  The distance across the bay is about eight miles.  From the
shore we could distinguish Penmaenmawr, Puffin Island, Great Orme's
Head, Conway Bay, and other interesting spots.  The distance round the
whole island is about eighty miles.  On the western shore lies the
island of Holyhead, joined to Anglesea by a bridge.  This little island
is made the chief port of departure for the Irish coast.

The appearance of Anglesea is not picturesque, as the country is level,
and there are few trees; but it is surrounded by rocks on the northern
shore.  The most rugged portion is Moelfre Bay, where the unfortunate
Royal Charter was wrecked, when so many people lost their lives.

Anglesea was the last part of England in which the Druids practised
their rites.  Many of the Druidical remains still exist, the most
remarkable of which are called cromlechs--flat stones resting upon
others, probably serving as altars.  Anglesea was governed by its native
princes until the reign of Edward the First, when it became subject to
England.  We made our way to the ivy-covered castle, which stands a
short distance from the town.  It is nearly square, has a round tower at
each angle, and another at each side, and is surrounded by low massive
walls.  The inner court is about one hundred and ninety feet square.  To
the north-west of it stands the banqueting hall, seventy feet long.  On
the east side is a chapel, in the Early English style of architecture.
The castle was built by Edward the First, soon after those of Conway and
Caernarvon.  It was surrounded by a deep fosse, which could be filled by
water from the sea.  It held out like that of Caernarvon, but was
captured by the Parliamentary forces under General Mytton.

We got back late, and did not sail until next morning, when we stood for
the entrance of Conway harbour, but had to pull up to the town in a
boat.

We have seen many interesting places; but as we gazed up at the great
walls of the ancient castle of Conway, we agreed it is the most
beautiful and picturesque of them all.

I can give only a brief description of the town.  It is surrounded by a
wall twelve feet thick, and a mile and a quarter in length, having
twenty-seven towers and battlements.  One of them is called Llewellyn's.
It is entered by five gates, three principal, and one postern; and
another has been formed to admit a suspension-bridge across the river,
similar to that constructed by Mr Telford across the Menai Straits.
Mr Stephenson also designed the tubular bridge through which the
Holyhead railway passes.  The town contains some very picturesque
houses, built in the time of Elizabeth.

The castle stands on the verge of a precipitous rock on the south-east
corner of the town.  Its walls are triangular in shape, being said to
resemble a Welsh harp; they are fifteen feet thick, and are strengthened
by twenty-one towers.  The most striking portion is Queen Eleanor's
Tower; the most curious is the Fragment Tower.  Two centuries ago some
of the inhabitants, searching for slate, undermined it, when a portion
fell, leaving a perfect arch, since which period not a stone has fallen
away, and it is still as firm as ever.  We wandered round and round the
castle, wondering at the massiveness of the masonry.  It would have
still been perfect--for it was spared by the Parliamentary forces who
captured it--had not a Lord Conway, in Charles the Second's reign,
stripped off the timber, lead, and other materials to sell.  The
vessels, however, conveying the materials to Ireland, were lost, and the
greedy baron gained nothing by the barbarous proceeding.

Pulling down the river, we returned on board, and immediately getting
under weigh, beat out of Beaumaris Bay.  Having taken a look at Puffin's
Island, and rounded the lofty promontory of Great Orme's Head, with a
fair wind, we stood for the mouth of the Mersey.

By keeping very close in shore for some distance we got a view of
Llandudno, now become a fashionable watering-place, and sighted
Abergele, where the fearful railway accident happened some years ago,
when so many people were crushed or burnt to death.  We also passed over
the spot where the Ocean Monarch was burnt, almost close to the land;
yet out of nearly four hundred passengers, nearly half were lost.  The
ship was so near the beach that good swimmers could easily have reached
the shore.  The survivors were rescued by the boats of various vessels
which came to their assistance.

It was getting dusk when we sighted the bright light on Ayr Point at the
mouth of the river Dee.  As the navigation of the Mersey is difficult
during the dark, we ran up the river a short distance, and came to an
anchor off the town of Mostyn.

The Dee is a most picturesque river, from its source in Merionethshire
to Chester; but its navigation at the mouth is somewhat difficult, owing
to the large deposits of sand, which have to a great extent blocked up
the channel.  Between Chester and the mouth are two nourishing towns,
Holywell and Flint.  The chief wealth of Flintshire consists in its lead
mines, which are very productive; and not only is lead dug up, but
silver, of which about ten ounces is found in every ton of ore.  Flint
has a castle; but it is not equal in picturesque beauty, we are told, to
those we had already seen.

Before daylight we were again under weigh, as we had numerous
lighthouses and lightships to guide us; indeed, no river is more
perfectly lighted than the Mersey, for numerous shoals lie at its
entrance, and few rivers have so many vessels standing in and out at all
hours.  We counted no less than eight lights as we sailed along.

Daylight broke as we came off the mouth of the river; and the wind being
fair and moderate, we stood up without fear of getting on shore.  We
followed a homeward-bound clipper fruit vessel, passing the entrance to
numerous fine docks, and shipping of all descriptions.  We picked up a
tolerably safe berth among several other yachts.  It was well we got up
when we did, for soon afterwards the whole river seemed covered with
spluttering, hissing, smoking, panting, busy little steam-vessels,
crossing to Birkenhead, on the Chester shore, or running up the river or
down the river, or visiting vessels at anchor in the stream.  The tide
also had just turned.  The wind being light and fair, numbers of
outward-bound ships got under weigh, carried on their course by steamers
lashed alongside.  As soon as we had dressed and breakfasted, we pulled
to a landing-stage outside the docks.

Giving a description of Liverpool is out of the question.  We made our
way over bridges until we reached the quays, and then through streets
with enormously high warehouses, many of them constructed entirely of
iron.  We passed the Custom House, which stands on the very site of
Lyrpul, the old pool from which Liverpool derives its name having been
long since filled up.  It is said to be one of the most magnificent
pieces of architecture that our age has produced.  Near the Custom House
is the Exchange, with a wide square in front; and further to the left
the parish church of Saint Nicholas, interesting from its antiquity.
Passing along a fine street, we reached Saint George's Hall, a sumptuous
Corinthian building, upwards of four hundred feet in length.  As within
it the judicial proceedings of Liverpool are conducted, it is known as
the Assize Court.  The most interesting place we visited near the water
was the Sailors' Home, a fine building, opened in 1850.  At each corner
is a square tower, surmounted by a dome, the summit of which is one
hundred feet from the ground.  Passing through the Canning Place
entrance, we entered a lofty hall, surrounded by galleries communicating
with rooms on the several floors.  The building contains a large
dining-hall, a lecture-room, reading-room, savings bank, and nautical
school.  Both officers and men are received, and a seaman may lodge
there a day, or for as long a time as he remains in port, during which
time he is provided with board and medical attendance at a very moderate
rate.

After walking through the streets of Liverpool, we crossed by a ferry to
Birkenhead, and made our way to a spot of high ground, from whence we
could obtain a complete panoramic view of the town and river.  Looking
to our right, we saw the Mersey flowing from the south in a northerly
direction towards the Irish Sea.  Below us, in the midst of the stream,
we could distinguish, extending in a long line from right to left, some
of the largest merchant-ships in the world.  There were also smaller
craft of every description, with the flags of nearly all nations flying
from their mast-heads, either ready to sail, waiting for orders, or
preparing to go into dock; while others, with wide-spread canvas, or
with steam tugs alongside, were coming up or down the river.  Before us
we made out a huge tobacco warehouse, and behind it, dock beyond dock,
far away to the south, and still further towards the sea and the north.
On one side was the King's Dock, the Queen's Basin and Dock, the Coburg
Dock, the Union Dock, and the Brunswick Dock--"their names showing," as
papa observed, "the periods at which they were formed."  To the north of
King's Dock we saw the Albert Dock, with the Marine Parade in front of
it; also Salthouse Dock, Canning Dock, George's Dock, with its
landing-stage towards the river; and the enormous Prince's Dock still
further to the south, and a line of basins and docks beyond.  These
docks are not small pools, but large rectangular lakes, crowded thickly
with magnificent shipping loaded with the produce of numberless
countries, their tall masts rising towards the sky in dense groves,
their yards so interlocked that it seemed impossible that they could
ever be extricated.  The sight gave us some idea of the number of
vessels which belong to Liverpool, or annually visit this port.

Beyond this double row of docks we saw the vast city rising gradually
from the water, with winding streets extending from the Custom House in
all directions, the larger running eastward, with numerous churches and
other public buildings scattered amid them; and far beyond, squares and
parks, with streets of handsome private residences.

Little more than a century ago Liverpool possessed only three small
docks, and the shipping belonging to the port amounted to only 236
vessels.  At present upwards of 10,000 vessels belong to the port; while
the ships entered outwards and inwards number upwards of 30,000, with a
burden of more than four million tons.  We went on board a training-ship
for poor boys taken from the streets, to fit them for becoming seamen in
the merchant service.  There is also another ship to prepare officers,
conducted on the same principle as that of the Worcester in the Thames.
We then pulled on board a large Australian emigrant ship about to sail.
She carried three classes of passengers.  The first had very handsome
cabins surrounding the saloon, which was fitted up in a luxurious style.
On the deck below there were the second-class passengers, whose cabins
were comfortable, but confined, and their mess-cabin was rather small
for the number of people to occupy it.  The larger part of the lower
deck was fitted with rough wooden berths, partitioned off for each
family, one sleeping-place being above the other, and a small space in
front for the people to dress in.  There was an after division occupied
by the single women, who had a matron to superintend them; while the
single men were also in a division by themselves.  They were all under
the care of a surgeon.  There was a schoolmaster, to teach those who
wished to learn during the voyage, and to act as chaplain.  Constables
were selected from amongst the most respectable of the married men,
whose duty it was to keep order, and to see that the rules and
regulations were properly observed.  Of course, with so many people
crowded together, it is highly necessary that cleanliness should be
attended to.  The ship was getting under weigh, and the people who had
come to see their relatives and friends off were ordered into their
boats.  We witnessed many pathetic scenes.  There was much fluttering of
handkerchiefs as the boats pulled away, while the women crowded the
sides, and the men climbed up into the shrouds and waved their hats.
The moorings were slipped, the tug began puffing and snorting, and the
stout ship commenced her voyage half round the world, bearing away many
who were never again to see their native shores.  Many thousands of
people thus leave Liverpool for Australia, New Zealand, or the Cape, as
well as for Canada, the United States, and South America, every year.

It took us four days to obtain even a cursory view of Liverpool and
Birkenhead.  We were very glad to be at sea again.  The weather was hot,
and running about all day was tiring work.  Leaving the river, we
steered along the Lancashire coast, but did not put into any of its
numerous harbours, contenting ourselves with looking at the chart and
reading a description of each place as we came off it.  Our course was
for the Mull of Galloway, the most southern point of Scotland; but we
could not steer directly for it, as we should have run down the Isle of
Man, "and sunk it, for what we could tell," as Dick observed.  We had
therefore to keep to the eastward of that island.  Among the places we
passed were Lytham, Blackpool, and Fleetwood; and then, crossing
Morecambe Bay, we passed Walney, to the south of the river Duddon.  From
Fleetwood a number of vessels run across to the Isle of Man.  We were
much amused on coming on deck in the morning to hear Dick Pepper remark:

"Hullo! what's become of the land?"

It was the first time that we had been actually out of sight of land.

"How shall we manage to find our way now?" he asked.

I pointed to the compass.

"That will take us there," I answered.

"Oh, yes; but suppose it made a mistake?  We should be running on to
some coast or other before we knew where we were."

"We crossed the big sea," observed Nat, "and for days and days together
we did not see any land."

I got out the chart, and showed Dick the point of Ayr, the most northern
part of the Isle of Man, towards which we were now directing our course.

"We shall see it in the course of the morning.  If you were to go to the
mast-head, you would probably make out the land to the south of it."

"Are we to touch at the Isle of Man?" asked Dick.  "I should _very_ much
like to see some of the places described by Sir Walter Scott."

"Papa says that we have no time," I replied.  "If we don't make more
speed than we have hitherto done, we shall not get round England before
the summer is over; and the east coast is not to be trifled with.
Although he says that we shall be unable to see many of the places he
would like to visit, we shall nevertheless obtain a general view of the
country."

I have not said much about Nat.  Poor little fellow!  He was quite
reconciled to his lot, and had become completely one of us.  We had as
much affection for him as if he had been our brother.  I took a special
interest in him, as he was my pupil; and I devoted a part of every day
to teaching him.  He was very obedient, and always did his best to learn
his lessons; so that it was quite a pleasure for me to instruct him.

Dick was greatly astonished when papa came on deck with the sextant in
his hand, and "shot" the sun, as it is called; that is to say, he
ascertained our exact latitude by observing through the instrument the
height of the sun at noon.  Placing it to his eye, he watched it until
it ceased to rise, the indicator showing the number of degrees it was
above the horizon.  The _Nautical Almanack_ gives the height it would be
at noon on that day along every parallel so that a few figures enabled
him to ascertain how far north we had sailed.  The way to find the
longitude, he explained to us, was by means of the chronometer.  An
observation is then taken of the sun, moon, or a star, which would
appear at a certain height above the horizon at that particular hour.

The wind fell before we reached the Isle of Man.  In the evening we saw
several bright lights burst forth--some on the Isle of Man, others on
the mainland.  On the right we saw a fixed light, which the chart showed
us was Saint Bees' Head; while another shone from the point of Ayr.
Leaving Saint Bees' Head astern, with the light on the point of Ayr on
our port beam, we came in sight of the intermittent light of the Mull of
Galloway.  Most of these lights were visible at the same time; and as we
sailed up the channel we could see those on the Irish coast, as well as
those on the coast of Scotland.

When we came on deck the next morning, we were passing along the coast
of Ayrshire, within sight of Ailsa Crag, a fine rock, which stands out
of the sea to a great height.  It is a mass of columnar trap of a grey
colour.  We steered so as to pass it on our starboard side.  We had come
in sight of the southern face, where we could distinguish a square
tower, perched on a terrace, about two hundred feet above the sea.  The
ascent to the summit must be no easy matter.  As we sailed on, we came
off the north-west side, which is almost perpendicular, and composed of
successive tiers of enormous columns.  Here we made out a cave, above
which was a grassy declivity sloping upwards towards the summit.  Though
it is at the very mouth of the Clyde, its great height causes it to be
seen at a distance, preventing it being dangerous to vessels bound to
Glasgow.  Any person inclined to solitude might take up his abode there,
and live without leaving it, as it is inhabited by numerous flocks of
sea-fowl, with goats and rabbits; while nettles, and a variety of hardy
plants, grow in the interstices of the rocks.  I asked Dick if he would
like to remain there, saying that I would get papa to put him on shore,
if he wished it; but he declined the offer, preferring rather to go back
to school at the end of the holidays.

Passing Ayr and Troon, we came off Ardrossan, then stood on to
Port-in-cross, close to Fairlie Head, which forms the south-eastern
point at the entrance of the Firth of Clyde.  Opposite, in the distance,
rose the Isle of Arran, with its lofty picturesque hills.  We brought-up
off Port-in-cross for the night, as we wished to have daylight for
ascending the Clyde, so as to enjoy the scenery.

Next morning, the wind being fair, we made good progress.  The country
on our right, though very smiling and pretty, was not so grand as we
expected; but we saw, far away over the port-bow, blue mountains rising
one beyond the other.  Directly after getting under weigh, we passed two
islands, the Lesser Cumbrae, at the entrance of the Firth, and the
Greater Cumbrae, a little higher up.

To our right we saw the village of Largs, celebrated as the scene of a
great battle, won by the Scottish army, under Alexander the Third, over
Haco, King of Norway.  To our left was the Island of Bute.  We sailed on
nearly due north, until the channel gave a sudden bend, just after we
had passed the town of Greenock, a busy-looking place, with shipbuilding
yards, and smoking chimneys, interesting to us because Watt was born
here; near it we had seen on the opposite shore the village of Dunoon, a
pretty watering-place.  The wind being from the southward, we were able,
close-hauled, to stand up the Clyde.  We passed Port Glasgow, which was
at one time really the port of Glasgow; but the river having been
deepened by dredges, vessels of large size can now run up to Glasgow
itself.

We appeared to be in quite a labyrinth of lochs, Holy Loch running up in
one direction, Loch Long in another, and Gare Loch in a third, all
joining the Clyde on the north.  We were eagerly looking out for
Dumbarton, which stands on a lofty projecting point of rock where the
river Leven runs into the Clyde.  The scenery round us was the finest we
had yet beheld.  The summit is crowned by bristling batteries pointing
down the Firth.  Bringing up, that we might pay it a visit, we at once
pulled towards the Governor's house, which stands on a platform at the
base of the rock.  We ascended a flight of steep steps to a space
between two summits, where are erected some barracks and the armoury.
The most interesting object we saw was Wallace's great double-handed
sword, which he wielded with such terrific power against his southern
foes.  Of course, as we looked at it, we sang--

  "Scots wa' hae wi' Wallace bled."

When the unfortunate Mary was Queen of Scots, in the year 1571, and the
place was in possession of her partisans, it was captured in an
extraordinary manner by Crawford, of Jordan Hill, an officer of the
Lennox.  He and a few followers, landing there during the night with
ladders, climbed the cliffs.  During the ascent one of the party was
seized with a paralytic fit.  As any sound would have aroused the
garrison, the man was lashed by his companions to the ladder.  It was
then turned round, and they all ascended, leaving him hanging there
until they had gained the fortress, when he was released.

From this eminence we obtained a magnificent view over the Vale of
Leven, with lofty Ben Lomond in the distance; while the views down and
up the Clyde were such as we had never seen surpassed in beauty.

As papa and Uncle Tom did not wish to take the yachts further, we got on
board one of the steamers running up to Glasgow.  During the passage we
passed numbers of steamers, large and small, rushing up and down the
stream at a rapid rate; and sailing vessels of all sizes outward-bound,
or returning home; the former laden with the cotton and woollen
manufactures produced in Glasgow and the neighbourhood, giving us some
idea of the vast amount of trade carried on in the city.
Curious-looking steam dredges were also at work, with wheels ever
revolving, ladling up the mud from the bottom of the river--an endless
task, for fresh mud is constantly being washed down from the upper parts
of the stream.  Clouds of smoke and increasing signs of activity showed
us that we were approaching Glasgow.

We took a hurried view of that famed city, wandered through its broad
streets, with stone-built houses and fine edifices, people bustling
about, and numberless tall factory chimneys smoking; drays and carts
carrying merchandise from the quays, and everything wearing an air of
prosperity.  We looked into the ancient sombre Cathedral, with its
beautiful modern stained-glass windows, and visited the University, with
its museum and library--the museum bequeathed by William Hunter, the
great surgeon, who gave at the same time 8,000 pounds to erect a
building for its reception.

Uncle Tom told us a story of Hunter's first lecture.  Being unknown to
fame, no one had come to hear him.  On entering the hall, he found only
Sandy McTavish, the old custos.  He was not daunted, however.  Bidding
the old man sit down, he brought a skeleton from a cupboard, and having
placed it in front of him, he began to lecture to it and Sandy.  First
one student by chance looked in, and, seeing what was going forward,
beckoned to another.  In the course of a few minutes another dropped in,
and soon discovered that no ordinary lecturer was speaking.  The whole
audience could not have amounted to a dozen; but they soon made a noise
about what they had heard, and the next day the hall was crowded.

Our next visit was to a fine cemetery across a valley above the town;
and Dick declared that it would be quite a pleasure to be buried there.
It was crowded with fine monuments to celebrated persons.

Glasgow owes much of its prosperity to its situation in the midst of a
country producing coal and minerals, and having water communication down
the Clyde towards the west into the Atlantic, and through the great
canal which connects that river with the Forth and German Ocean.  We got
back to Dumbarton, where the Dolphin's boat was on the look-out for us,
just at nightfall.

It being moonlight, we sailed down the Clyde, and enjoyed the beautiful
scenery under a different aspect.  Had we possessed steam, we could have
run through the channel of Bute, and then up Loch Fyne, passing through
the Crinan Canal into Loch Linnhe; but as that could not be done, we had
to sail round Arvan and the Mull of Cantyre, and then up the Sound of
Jura.  We thus lost the enjoyment of much magnificent scenery; but the
shorter route would probably have taken us a far longer time to perform,
as in those narrow waters we could only sail during daylight, and might
be detained by a contrary wind.



CHAPTER NINE.

THE CALEDONIAN CANAL.

The day after leaving the Clyde, we were coasting along the not very
attractive-looking island of Islay, inhabited by the Macdonalds.  It was
often the scene of forays, which one clan was wont to make on another,
in the good old days, as people delight to call them, when the ancestors
of the present race were scarcely more civilised than the South Sea
islanders.  Though rock-girt, Islay is fertile, and a large portion has
been brought under a state of cultivation.

A fair breeze, with the tide in our favour, carried us through the sound
between the islands of Islay and Jura, the broadest part of which is
about a mile in width, and is lined by abrupt but not very high cliffs.
More than a century ago, Islay received a visit from the French Admiral
Thurot; and a few years later Paul Jones made a descent on the island,
and captured a packet which had on board a Major Campbell, a native
gentleman, who had just returned with an independence from India, the
larger portion of which he unfortunately had with him in gold and
jewels, of which, as may be supposed, the American privateer relieved
him.  In later years another American privateer, "the true-blooded
Yankee," captured a considerable number of merchant vessels at anchor in
Port Charlotte.

We anchored at nightfall in a deep bay at the southern end of Colonsay,
called Toulgoram.  A narrow strait divides that little island from the
still smaller one of Oronsay.

Next morning, before sailing, we pulled across the strait, which is dry
at low water, and visited a ruined priory of considerable extent and
tolerably entire.  We saw also many other ruins of abbeys or
monasteries; indeed, the monks must have been almost as numerous as the
rabbits, which we saw running about in all directions.  The wind still
favouring us, we steered for the western end of Mull, and in a short
time came in sight of its lofty cliffs; while we could see in the
distance astern the peaked mountains of Jura and the island of Scarba,
between which lies the whirlpool of Corryvrechan, a place we had no
desire to visit.  In stormy weather, when the tides rush through the
passage, a regular whirlpool is formed, which would prove the
destruction of any vessels attempting to pass that way.  Standing on a
height above it, the waters are seen to leap, and bound, and tumble,
then whirling along as over a precipice, then dashed together with
inconceivable impetuosity, sometimes rising in a foaming mass to a
prodigious height, and then opening and forming a vast abyss, while the
roar of troubled waters as they strike against the rocky shore is heard
far and wide.

We reached Iona in ample time to take a walk around the island.  This
was the island on which the so called Saint Columba lived.  It is about
three miles long, and one wide, and the most lofty hill is not more than
four hundred feet in height.  The remains show that the nunneries and
monasteries Columba established were of a very rude kind.  It was looked
upon as a holy island, and many kings and chiefs were buried there.
Macbeth was the last king of Scotland who had that honour paid him.
Opposite the cathedral we saw a beautiful cross, carved in high relief.
It had fallen down, but had been replaced on a basement of granite.

The next place of interest before which we brought-up was the island of
Staffa.  We could see in the distance the islands of Coll and Tiree.
The latter, only about a mile and a half in circumference, rises out of
the ocean to the height of about one hundred and forty-four feet.
Before landing we sailed along the eastern shore, examining the
wonderful caves and the fine colonnades which form its sides.  One might
suppose that it was rather a work of art than thrown up by Nature.  The
yachts were hove-to, and we pulled off to examine the caves in the
boats.  One is known as the Clam Shell Cave, another as the Herdsman's
Cave, and a third is denominated the Great Colonnade and Causeway.  Then
there comes the Boat Cave, and Mackinnon's Cave, and lastly, the most
magnificent of all, Fingal's Cave.  Into this we at once rowed.  I
scarcely know how to describe it.  On either side are lofty columns,
mostly perpendicular, and remarkably regular, varying from two to four
feet in diameter.  The height of this wonderful cavern is sixty-six feet
near the entrance, but it decreases to twenty-two feet at the further
end; it is two hundred and twenty-seven feet long, and forty-two wide.
At one side is a causeway formed of the remains of broken columns, upon
which people can walk to the very end.  We next pulled into what is
called the Boat Cave, where columns are even more regular than in
Fingal's Cave, but it is much smaller.  Our last visit was to
Mackinnon's Cave; its sides are perfectly smooth, it is about fifty feet
high, and forty-eight broad, the roof being almost flat.  We pulled on
for two hundred and twenty-four feet, until we reached a beach of
pebbles at the further end, when we appeared to be in a vast hall.
Several places, where the tops of the columns crop up, have the
appearance of a tesselated pavement.

A steady breeze carried us in sight of Ardnamurchan, when, steering to
the east, standing close to the sea-coast, we passed Castle Mingary, the
battlemented walls of which presented no opening.  A few miles further
on we came to an anchor in the snug harbour of Tobermory.  It is a very
picturesque village, situated at the foot of hills which run round the
bay.  We were told that one of the ships of the Invincible Armada, the
Florida, was sunk in the bay by something resembling a torpedo,
manufactured by a renowned witch who lived in those days on Mull.  She
was instigated to the deed by the wife of Maclean of Duart.  The lady
had become jealous of a fair princess, who was voyaging on board the
Florida, and had fallen in love with her lord.  It is asserted that the
Spanish damsel was a daughter of the King of Spain; and having dreamed
that a young gentleman of engaging appearance had invited her to become
his bride, was sailing round the world in search of him, when, on seeing
Maclean, he seemed to be the creature of her fancy.

Sailing from Tobermory, bound for the western coast of Skye, we passed
the island of Muck, an unpleasant-sounding name.  To the north is the
curious island of Eig, the southern side of which is perfectly flat, but
in the north rises a lofty perpendicular rock, called the Scuir of Eig.
Within it is a large cavern, which was the scene of one of those
atrocious acts in "the good old days" when might made right.  Two
hundred Macdonalds, fugitives from a superior number of Macleods, had
taken refuge in the cavern, when, unfortunately for them, one of their
party, having left the mark of his footsteps in the snow, their place of
concealment was betrayed.  The Macleods filled up the mouth of the
cavern with wood and dried sea-weed, and setting it on fire, literally
smoked them to death.  One of the Macdonalds being connected by marriage
with the Macleods, was offered permission to crawl out on his hands and
knees, and to bring out four others along with him in safety; but having
selected a friend hated by the Macleods, who refused to spare the man's
life, he preferred to suffer death with his clansmen than to live on
without them.  Until quite a late period, the bones of the ill-fated
Macdonalds were still to be seen lying near the entrance.  Say what we
will in favour of the Highlanders, they were a fearfully savage people
in those days.

The part of the Highlands amid which we were sailing was the scene of
many of the Pretender's adventures.  Had not Prince Charles been an
excellent climber, he would not have escaped his enemies, when they were
hunting him like a hare.  They nearly entrapped him in one of the many
rock fastnesses in which he took shelter.

We passed along these coasts a continual succession of caves and wild
rocks, presenting the appearance of ruined castles, Gothic arches,
buttresses, towers, and gateways; others again having a curious
resemblance to faces, profiles, even ships under sail.

Passing the Point of Sleat, at the southern end of Skye, we sailed up
the wild and grand Loch Scavaig.  Rising up abruptly from the water are
rugged mountains of a dark and gloomy aspect,--the bare rocks alone are
seen without a particle of vegetation.  Their metallic appearance arises
from their being composed of a mineral called hypersthene.  On either
side rose sharp peaks, one called the Shouting Mountain, another the
Notched Peak; while a small island at the foot of another height, called
the Hill of Dispute, goes by the name of the Island of the
Slippery-Step.  From its appearance no one would wish to land there.
Not a tree was to be seen.

"The essence of savagedom!" cried Uncle Tom.

"Well, grand; yes, very grand!" exclaimed Oliver; "but I'd rather not
live here."

"I shouldn't like to be on shore there during an earthquake!" cried
Dick.  "A fellow would chance to have his head broken if those mountains
should begin to tumble about."

An artist who came here is said to have thrown away his pencil in
despair; but it is still more difficult to give a description of the
place in words.  Having selected a spot for anchoring, with the help of
a fisherman who acted as our pilot, we pulled on shore, and making our
way over about four hundred yards of rock by the side of a small stream,
we reached the dark fresh water Loch Coruisk, round which rose a circle
of gigantic barren mountains of purple hue.  On this side the sun was
shining brightly, lighting up the pointed crags, while the other was
thrown into the deepest shade.

"I shouldn't like to find myself here in the evening, without knowing my
way out!" exclaimed Dick.  "I wonder how the clouds manage to get over
those tall peaks."

Dick might have wondered, for several of them are nearly three thousand
feet in height; and on the topmost, called the Black Peak, probably no
human foot has ever trod.

"Just give a shout, sir," said the fisherman, who, having been on board
a man-of-war in his youth, spoke English.  As he uttered the words he
gave a loud hail, the echo coming back with wonderful distinctness.  We
all followed his example, and it seemed as if a thousand people were all
shouting together in chorus,--the sound at length dying away, apparently
many a mile off.  Dick then began to laugh, and immediately a laugh came
back, which set us all laughing, and a curious chorus we had, till our
jaws began to ache from over-exertion.

We then made our way out of this wild region, not sorry to get on board,
and to dive down into the comfortable cabin of the Dolphin, where dinner
was waiting us.  Still, although everything was familiar round us in the
confined space of the yacht's cabin, so deeply impressed on my vision
was the grand wild scene outside, that I could not help viewing it over
the sides and back of the vessel, and I never for one moment lost the
consciousness of where we were.

We remembered that it was at Coruisk that Bruce encountered Cormack
Doil.  Sir Walter Scott makes him say:

  "A scene so wild, so rude as this,
  Yet so sublime in barrenness,
  Ne'er did my wandering footsteps press,
      Where'er I happ'd to roam."

At dawn next morning we left this wild bay, not without regret, though
Dick declared that he felt much happier when he was once more on the
open sea.  We then sailed along the western coast of Skye, looking into
many other places (which, if not so wild and grand, were highly
picturesque), until we reached Dunvegan Loch; and making our way amid
several small islands, we came to an anchor a short distance from the
castle, and took to the boat.  The castle stands on a rock projecting
into the water, protected by a stream on one side and a moat on the
other, and before conical shot were invented must have been a very
strong place.  Though it retains much of its ancient and imposing
appearance, it is still in perfect repair, and is of great extent.  It
belongs to Macleod of Macleod, whose father and grandfather expended
large sums in making it one of the most comfortable residences in the
Western Highlands.  On the side next the sea is a low wall, pierced with
embrasures, while a handsome centre building is also surmounted by
battlements.  There are two towers, one of which the steward, who
politely showed us over the castle, said was built in the ninth century,
and the other was added in the thirteenth.  Doctor Johnson paid this
castle a visit, and was hospitably received by the laird.

We were shown the drinking-horn of Sir Roderick Macleod, an ancestor of
the family, and the remains of a "fairy flag," made of stout yellow
silk, which used to be unfurled when the tide of battle was turning
against the Macleods, and which always had the effect of again turning
it in their favour.

Again getting under weigh, we sailed round the northern end of Skye, up
the Sound of Raasay, between the small island of that name and Skye, to
Portree.  It stands on the end of a point of land, far up a deep
harbour, and is a picturesque-looking place.

Here we had a long discussion as to our future proceedings.  It was
finally settled that Uncle Tom should sail round the north of Scotland
in the Dolphin, while we were to go south again, and through the
Caledonian Canal, waiting for him off Fort George, at the mouth of the
Moray Firth.

Early in the morning we sailed with the Dolphin, to accompany her as far
as the Island of Rona, to the north of Raasay, where we looked into a
curious little loch, at the head of which is a farm-house.  The owner--
as is the case with most people residing on that shore--had been a
seafaring man.  He had gone away to Skye, and was expected back by his
loving wife, when a furious gale arose.  To light him on his way, she
had been accustomed to place a large lamp in the window of the cottage,
which looked down on the loch.  On that night she trimmed it with double
care.  In vain, however, she sat and watched; hour after hour passed by
as she waited, expecting to hear her husband's cheerful voice as he came
on shore, calling out to her amid the howling storm; but in vain she
watched.  Day dawned, and the little vessel had not reached her
accustomed moorings.  The next night her lamp was lighted as usual.
When the storm abated, tidings came that portions of a wrecked vessel
had been picked up on the shore; but she hoped against hope that it
might not be her husband's craft.  Still, though he came not, she
lighted the lamp.  Night after night, and month after month, that bright
light streamed forth from the solitary cottage on the beach; and many a
storm-tossed vessel owed its safety to that unpretending beacon.  At
length the Scottish Commissioners of Lighthouses heard of this volunteer
lighthouse.  An annual sum of money was voted for its support, and the
widow received a lamp with reflectors, with a supply of oil to keep her
lamp burning.  The commissioners paid her and her family a visit; and,
though years have passed, that lamp burns as brightly as ever.

As papa wished Oliver to see the Caledonian Canal, he had returned on
board the Lively.  We now parted from the Dolphin, saluting each other
with loud cheers; and while she sailed northward, with the wind on the
beam, we steered south through the broad passage which separates Raasay
from the mainland.

"I'll tell you all about the northern coast and John o' Groat's House;
and you shall give me an account of the canal, though I don't envy you,"
shouted Jack, as we parted.

The wind sometimes headed us, but we saw more of the coast until,
passing Applecross, we reached the Island of Scalpa.  We then had a fair
wind past Loch Carron to Loch Alsh, which lies between one end of Skye
and the mainland.  Steering due east, we ran through it, and then again
had to haul up to pass through the narrow channel which separates the
south end of Skye from the main.

Hauling our wind, we stood through a very narrow passage, and entered
Sleat Sound, a broad expanse, when once more we had Eig in sight on our
starboard bow, and passed the entrance to numerous lochs, many of them,
like Loch Hourn and Loch Nevish, between lofty mountains.  Passing Muck
and then Ardnamurchan on our port side, we entered Loch Sunart.  Running
by Tobermory with the wind nearly aft, we entered the Sound of Mull,
which carried us into Loch Linnhe, opposite the Island of Lismore.  Just
opposite to us, on the south end of the island, we saw Auchindown
Castle, a lofty square building on the top of a rock rising out of the
sea, which was once in possession of the Bishops of Argyle and the
Isles, but which is much more like a castle than an episcopal residence.

Standing on, with the wind on our port beam, we ran up Loch Linnhe,
passing the entrance to Loch Leven, near to which is the Pass of
Glencoe, where, as every one knows, Mac Ian, the chief of the Macdonalds
of Glencoe, with a number of his family and followers, was treacherously
murdered by Campbell of Glen Lyon, and a party of military under his
command.

It was dark when we reached Fort William, at the head of Loch Linnhe,
though the water still ran a long way, turning to the left and forming
Loch Eil.  This loch gives its name to a branch of the Camerons, to
which belonged one of the most redoubtable opponents of Cromwell in the
Highlands--Sir Ewan Cameron.  In consequence, the Protector built a fort
at Inverloch, which in King William's reign was greatly enlarged,
receiving the name of Fort William.

Beyond the fort to the eastward we saw Ben Nevis, while to the north was
the entrance to the Caledonian Canal.  Not far off from Loch Eil is Loch
Shiel, at the head of which is the spot where, on the 19th of August,
1745, Prince Charles Edward unfurled his standard, when he made the
audacious attempt to win the crown which his ancestor had forfeited.  On
that occasion the then Lord of Lochiel headed seven hundred of the clan
Camerons, who with three hundred of the Macdonnells formed the chief
part of the hapless band.  Of course, they thought themselves very fine
fellows, and were so, in one sense, though terribly mistaken; and had
they succeeded they would have brought ruin and misery on the country.
A monument was erected on the spot, some years ago, by one of the
Macdonnells, and a bronze tablet on it records what took place.

As soon as daylight broke we went on shore, and walked to the old castle
of Inverlochy.  It stands above the river, and consists of four large
round towers connected by high walls, forming an extensive quadrangle.
The greater part is entire; indeed, the walls being ten feet thick are
calculated to stand for ages.  A moat surrounds the walls.  The
principal entrance is on the south-east side, and directly opposite it
is a sally-port.  Above the gateway was a guard-room, defended by iron
gates and a heavy portcullis.

Below its frowning towers, the Marquis of Montrose defeated the Duke of
Argyle, in the year 1645.  It was just when the first rays of the sun
shot athwart Ben Nevis, that, having led his men across pathless wilds
covered deep with snow, he pounced down on the astonished Campbells, who
were driven back in confusion, when numbers were slaughtered or drowned
in the waters of Loch Eil.  Of the latter, fifteen hundred men fell;
while only three of Montrose's soldiers were killed, and one officer
wounded.

As soon as we got back we made sail; and no other vessel impeding us, we
entered the basin of Bannavie, from which a series of eight locks,
called Neptune's Staircase, raised us to the level of Loch Lochy.  It
was rather tiresome, though at the same time interesting work, to see
the yacht lifted gradually up step by step, while the water rushed down
from the lock above to raise that on which we floated to its own level.
Whoever first thought of such a contrivance deserves great credit.

As the wind was perfectly fair, we sailed along the canal for about
eight miles without any impediment.  It is deep and broad, and would
allow a very much larger vessel than our little yacht to pass through
it.  It was on the banks of the river Lochy that a body of King George's
soldiers first encountered the Macdonnells of Glengarry, who were up in
arms for Charles Edward, when the former, being greatly overpowered, had
to yield themselves prisoners.

Soon after entering the lake, we came off the house of Achnacarry, the
mansion of Lochiel, on the northern side.  The mountains on the south
side extended nearly the whole distance of the lake without any break,
while those on the other are rent by numerous gullies.  The ground,
though covered with heather, had few trees to ornament it.  We were
quite sorry when, in about an hour and a half, we had again to enter the
canal, which quickly carried us into the small, pretty Loch Oich.  We
passed two or three islets decked with trees, which greatly embellish
them.  On the north side the mountains of Glengarry shot up in a
succession of high and bold peaks.  Below them is the castle of
Invergarry, standing on a rock overlooking the waters of the loch.

The last Glengarry who claimed to be the Lord of the Isles, instead of
Lord Macdonald of Sleat, resided here, and did his utmost to keep up the
recollection of former days by his mode of life.  On his death his
property was bought by Lord Ward.

We passed a curious monument raised by the last Glengarry over what is
known as the "Well of the Seven Heads."  It consists of a pyramid, with
seven human heads carved in stone placed on the summit.  The story is
that two sons of Keppoch, a branch of the Macdonalds, having been sent
to be educated in France, their affairs were managed by seven brothers,
who, on the return of the young men, murdered them, in order that they
might continue in possession of their property.  The old family bard,
discovering the bloody act, applied to the Glengarry of those days for
assistance; and having been furnished with a body of men, caught the
assassins, and cut off their heads, which, after having washed in the
spring, he presented to the noble chief in Glengarry Castle.

Just before leaving Loch Oich we passed Aberchalder, an
unpretending-looking house, where the forces of Prince Charles assembled
before crossing Corryarrick.  We soon reached Fort Augustus, when we
descended by some locks into Loch Ness, where, on account of the depth
of water, we had to anchor close to the shore, with warps made fast to
some trees, to prevent our drifting away.  As there was nothing to see
at Fort Augustus, the garrison having been removed, we did not go on
shore.

At an early hour the next morning we got under weigh, and glided down
Loch Ness, which is twenty-four miles long, and about a mile and a
quarter broad, although it is narrower in some places.  The depth is
very great, in some parts one hundred and thirty fathoms.  In
consequence of this the water seldom freezes in the loch.  The rugged
and heath-covered mountains rise on either side to the height of about a
thousand feet; and frequently we saw growing on them forests of oak,
ash, elm, and other trees, with a thick underwood of hazel and holly
intermingled with a profusion of wild roses.

About midway we passed the lofty dome of Mealfourvournie, rising in
solitary grandeur to the height of upwards of four thousand feet.  Here
there were tracts of cultivated ground; and in the openings of Glen
Urquhart and Glenmoriston we came in sight of fields and
substantial-looking houses.  A few miles further we passed under a
magnificent precipice crowned by pines.  Not far distant we came to the
House of Foyers, where we landed and hurried up the glen to the falls.
We got down to the bottom of the perpendicular cliffs, over which we
could see a large volume of water rushing with headlong force and speed,
bubbling, foaming, and roaring into the channel which leads to the loch.
Above us was a bridge thrown across the chasm, while the mountain sides
were clothed with graceful birch and other trees.  We had brought a copy
of Burns, whose lines on the subject begin:

  "Among the heathy hills and ragged woods
  The roaring Foyers pours his mossy floods;
  Till full he dashes on the rocky mounds,
  Where through a shapeless breach his stream resounds."

which describe the falls far better than I can do.

Hurrying back, we continued our voyage.  We passed the mouth of the deep
denied Inverfarigaig, with the black rock resembling a ruin above it,
and further on Urquhart Castle, built on a detached rock overlooking the
loch, the most conspicuous object being a strong square keep, surmounted
by four turrets.  The banks of the loch now appeared far more cultivated
than at the other end.  Sailing through little Loch Dochfour, we again
entered the canal, which runs down into Loch Beauly; while the river
Ness, which we had on our right side, falls into the Moray Firth, close
to Inverness, which stands on a plain about a mile off.

It was curious to be looking from the deck of our yacht down on the loch
so far below us, while we could see on either side of the town the
far-famed battlefield of Culloden, where Prince Charles and his hapless
followers were so signally defeated by the Duke of Cumberland.

Descending the locks at Muirtown, we could see in the far distance,
guarding the entrance to the upper part of the mouth of the Moray Firth,
the walls of Fort George extending out into the blue water.  On reaching
the ocean level, we at once made sail, standing for Inverness.  By the
time we dropped our anchor it was dark, so that we did not go on shore
until the following morning.  We then took a ramble round the town.

It stands on both sides of the river, across which a handsome stone
bridge is thrown, but the finer portion is on the east side.  The
monasteries and churches were mostly knocked to pieces by Oliver
Cromwell; but a good many fine buildings have been erected of late
years, one of the most important of which is the Academy.

Inverness has always been a place of importance, and from its situation
has a considerable trade.  It was looked upon also as the capital of the
north of Scotland.  The inhabitants were staunch Jacobites, and very
much inclined to be lawless, though at the present day they are as
peaceably disposed as any in the country.  Expecting to encounter
stalwart Highlanders in kilts, with dirks by their sides, we were
disappointed to meet only staid-looking burghers and labouring men, in
the ordinary dress of the present day.

There was a castle, built by Cromwell to overawe the turbulent
inhabitants, but it was pulled down, and the inhabitants had erected
many of their houses with the materials.  We, however, took a walk over
the ramparts, which still remain.  Here Queen Mary had her quarters for
some time, protected by the clansmen of Frazer, Mackenzie, Munroe, and
others, who kept the garrison of the castle in awe.

Far more interesting is an account we obtained of the Caledonian Canal,
which may truly be said to make an island of Sutherland, Caithness,
Cromarty, Rosshire, and a part of Inverness.  The canal was designed by
Watt, as far back as 1773; but the present work was not commenced until
the year 1804, when Telford was directed to make a report on the
subject.  By his plan the canal was to be one hundred and ten feet wide
at the surface and fifty feet at the bottom, and the depth of water
twenty feet; so that a thirty-two gun frigate of that day, fully
equipped and laden with stores, could pass through it.  The works,
however, were carried out on more moderate proportions.  There are
twenty-eight locks, each one hundred and seventy feet long and forty
feet wide, with an average lift of eight feet.  Some of the lock gates
are of timber, and others are of cast-iron, sheathed with pine planking.
The summit level is in Loch Oich, into which pour a number of streams,
supplying an abundance of water for both sides.  It stands exactly one
hundred feet above high-water mark at Inverness.  The extreme length
from sea to sea is sixty and a half miles; and so direct is the
continuity of the lakes that a line drawn across from point to point
would only exceed the distance by rather more than three miles.  There
are twenty-two miles of canal cutting, and thirty-eight and a half miles
of lake water is made available for the canal.

We found passing through the lakes the pleasantest part of the voyage.
We might have been many days doing the distance, had we not had a
favourable breeze.  The wind changed directly after we reached
Inverness, of which we were very glad, as it gave us some hopes of soon
meeting the Dolphin, which we feared must have been detained off John o'
Groat's House.

We made several trips down to Fort George, to look out for the Dolphin.
At length one evening, having stood further down the Firth and looking
into Cromarty, made classic by having been the scene of many of Hugh
Miller's rambles, we caught sight of a small white sail, shining
brightly in the rays of the setting sun.  Papa, taking the glass, looked
steadily at her, and then, to our great satisfaction, declared his
belief that she was the Dolphin.  We immediately tacked towards her, and
in a short time heard Uncle Tom's cheerful hail across the water.  We
immediately hove-to, and the Dolphin doing the same, papa and I pulled
on board her.  They were in good spirits, although they had begun to
think that they should never get round Duncansby Head, which is close to
John o' Groat's House, until the wind drawing once more from the
westward, they had reached Wick, the great resort of fishing vessels.
After this they had a dead beat until they sighted Tarbet-ness
Lighthouse, on the northern side of the Moray Firth.  Their further
adventures they kept for another day.

"I am glad to get back again to you," exclaimed Dick; "it's dull work
sailing all alone.  I confess that I sometimes thought you would never
get through overland; for by no other way, it seems to me, could you
have come, except along those little trout ponds I saw marked on the
map."

Dick was not a little astonished when we told him the size of the canal
and its locks, and that a vessel very much larger than the Dolphin could
have got through with equal ease.

We had brought an abundance of fresh provisions for both yachts, and
were glad to find that Uncle Tom did not wish to go to Inverness; and we
accordingly shaped our course for Kinnaird's Head, not intending to
touch at any place on the Scotch coast until we reached Aberdeen.



CHAPTER TEN.

ANOTHER WRECK.

As we sailed down the Moray Firth with a northerly wind, which enabled
us to stand close in shore, the water being perfectly smooth, we passed
numerous headlands, the names of which we learned from the chart.  After
the mountainous scenery amid which we had been sailing, the shore looked
flat and uninteresting.

I had thus plenty of time to attend to little Nat, who was fast becoming
very dear to all of us.  We looked forward with regret to the time when
he might be sent away to join his friends, should they be found.  He had
learned to walk the deck in true nautical style; and in his sailor's
suit, with his broad-brimmed straw hat, he looked every inch a young
seaman.  He was generally in capital spirits, apparently forgetting his
loss; but if any allusion brought back to his remembrance his father,
mother, or Aunt Fanny, his brothers and sisters, the tears sprang to his
eyes, and he looked grave and sad.

Happily, however, a cheerful word brought him back to his usual mood,
and he became as merry as ever.

"Do you know, Harry," he said to me one day, "I intend to be a sailor.
I should like to have just such a vessel as this, and cruise about the
world that you tell me is round, though I cannot make it out; still, as
you say so, I am sure it is."

I pointed to the top-gallant sails of a vessel on which the sun was
shining brightly,--"Now, watch that sail, and in a short time you will
see her topsails, and then her courses, and then the hull.  If the world
was not round, we should see them all at once, just as clearly as we now
see the top-gallant sails."

As I spoke I took up a large ball of spun yarn, and placing a splinter
on it, I advanced the piece of wood gradually until he saw the whole of
it.  "Now, this splinter represents that ship," I said, pointing to it.
"As we also are moving towards her, we shall soon see all her sails and
her hull."

Nat kept watching the ship with intense interest; and although summoned
to luncheon, he begged that he might have something brought up to him,
so that he could watch her hull come in sight.  This in a short time
happened, when he clapped his hands and shouted--

"Now I know that the world is round; but I thought it was so very big it
could make no difference."

"Well," exclaimed Dick, who had been listening to my remark, "I never
knew before how it was people guessed that the world was round.  I saw
ships' sails popping up out of the ocean, but had not any idea how it
was, and did not like to ask."

"There you showed your want of wisdom," observed papa; "you should have
tried to think the matter out, or inquired."

The wind continued to favour us, drawing gradually to the westward.  We
sighted a red light on Kinnaird's Head, which, as we got more to the
eastward, changed to a bright colour.  Beyond it was Fraserburgh.  By
hauling our wind we were able to steer for Rathay Head.  Near it we
caught sight of Inverugie Castle.  We gave a wide berth to the head,
from which a dangerous reef of rocks run out; for though the ocean was
tolerably calm, we could see the water breaking over them.

We were now hoping, as the wind was off shore, to stand due south for
Aberdeen, which we were all anxious to see.  We had sighted Slaines
Castle, standing out solitary and grand on the very edge of the crag,
when the wind suddenly backed round to the southward, and in a short
time began to blow very hard.  Dark clouds, which had been gathering
thickly in the horizon to the south-east, came careering on over the
blue sky.  In spite of the heavy sea which was getting up, we held our
course, standing away from the land, intending to tack again when we
could to fetch Aberdeen.  By the way the Dolphin was tumbling about I
could readily understand how we must have appeared to her.  Dick began
to show signs of being far from happy, and Nat's cheerfulness entirely
left him.  Papa sent him down below, and told him to turn in.  Dick,
however, braved it out, but grew more and more yellow and woebegone.

"This won't do," observed papa; "it's fortunate that we have a port
under our lee.  Up helm, ease away the main sheet.  We'll let the
Dolphin know that we are running for Peterhead."

The Dolphin followed our example; and away we went, careering on before
the fast-rising seas.  Very glad we were that we had so fine a harbour
to run for.  The gale blew harder and harder, and the waves looked as if
every instant they would engulf us; for we were now exposed to the whole
roll of the German Ocean.  On sailing in we were struck by the
remarkable appearance of the flesh-coloured pinkish rocks, whose
needle-shaped points rose up out of the water.  We had, however, little
time to notice them, ere rushing by we brought-up in the harbour of
Peterhead.  Most thankfully we dropped our anchor and furled our sails.

Peterhead appeared to be a bustling place.  A number of merchant
vessels, coasters, and fishing-boats were at anchor.  As the days were
long, we hoped the gale would blow itself out before the next morning.
Directly we had dined we set off on foot to visit a curious cavern
called the "Bullers of Buchan."  After walking for about two hours we
found ourselves on the top of a cliff, from whence we looked down into
an immense cauldron some fifty feet in diameter, open at the bottom to
the sea, which was rushing in, and whirling round and round in foaming
masses.  We went round it, between the cauldron and the sea, where the
ledge, with the foaming whirlpool on one side and the perpendicular
cliffs on the other, was sufficiently narrow to make us feel the
necessity of keeping our eyes open.  On the west side, or the furthest
from the ocean, we observed that the water rushed under an arch.  A
person told us that in fine weather a boat could pass under this arch,
though at present one would have been immediately dashed to pieces.  The
whole cliff was completely perforated by caverns.  "Buller," I should
have said, means the "boiler."  Having watched it until our ears were
wellnigh deafened by the roar, and our eyes dizzy from gazing at the
seething whirlpool, we hastened on to get a sight of Slaines Castle,
which we had seen from the sea.  As we viewed it from a distance, the
walls appeared to be a continuation of the cliff on the summit of which
it stands.  It is a large quadrangular building, without a tree in the
neighbourhood.  It had a somewhat gloomy aspect under the dark sky when
we saw it.  The property belonged, till lately, to the Earl of Errol,
whose nearest neighbour to the eastward was, as Dick said, "Hamlet's
Ghost," or the Castle of Elsinore, which stands on the shores of the
Skagerack.

We had spent a longer time in visiting the castle than we had intended,
and had only got a short distance back when we were overtaken by the
gloom of evening.  The wind was blowing dead on shore, and a tremendous
sea running.  We were casting our eyes over the German Ocean, when we
saw what we took to be a brig, with her mainmast gone, and several of
her sails blown away, evidently steering for Peterhead.  Unable to keep
close to the wind, she was drifting every instant nearer and nearer the
shore.

"I fear she'll not weather that point," observed papa; "and if she comes
on shore, there'll be little chance for any of her people, as no
lifeboat could get near her."

We had passed a Coastguard station a little way to the northward.  Uncle
Tom volunteered to hurry on, and I accompanied him--in case the people
there should not have observed the brig--to give them notice of the
danger she was in; that, should she strike, they might be ready to
render assistance with their rocket apparatus.

It was now quite dark, and we had great difficulty in making our way;
there was a risk of finding ourselves at the edge of some chasm, down
which we might fall.  The distance seemed very long, and I thought we
must have missed the Coastguard station, which was situated at the edge
of the cliffs.  At length, however, we saw a light gleaming from a
window, and arrived at the wall which enclosed the house where the
lieutenant and his men lived.  We found them on the alert.  Two had just
gone off for some horses to drag the waggon in which the rocket
apparatus was to be carried, as one of the men stationed to the
southward had seen the brig and reported her danger.

In the waggon were already placed the rocket tube, with three rocket
lines, several rockets, three spars to form a triangle, an anchor,
lantern, spades, and pickaxes, some signal rockets, a rope ladder, and a
sling life-buoy, with what are called "petticoat breeches" fastened to
it, in which a person can be placed.

There were also a strong hawser and a whip or fine rope, by which the
sling life-buoy was to be drawn backwards and forwards from the wreck to
the shore.  By the time these were got into the waggon a couple of
horses had arrived, and a party of men immediately set off with the
waggon.

The lieutenant conducted us back by the way we had come; as he knew
every inch of the ground, we had no fear now of falling over the cliff.
We had not gone far before we saw a rocket thrown up about a mile to the
southward.

"It is as I feared," said the lieutenant; "the brig has gone ashore, and
that rocket, fired by one of my men, shows the spot where she has
struck.  There is no time to lose, for in all probability she will not
hold together long."

The signal made us hasten on even faster than before.

"There she is! there she is!" cried the lieutenant, just as we reached
the summit of a cliff.

We could see the brig about a hundred fathoms off on the rocks, the sea
making a fearful breach over her.  There was light sufficient to enable
us to see that the foremast was still standing.

We found that papa and the rest of our party had arrived at the spot,
and were watching her, but of course utterly unable to afford any
assistance.  It would have been a sad thing to watch her, had we not
known that we should soon have the means of saving the poor people.
Scarcely a minute had passed when a shout gave us notice that the waggon
had arrived.  We all instantly hurried to her to assist.  While the men
handled the heavier articles, we carried the lighter ones.  Each man
knew exactly what he was to do.  The lines, I should have said, were in
boxes, two of which were carried to the cliff; the tube was then fixed,
and the line fastened to it.  It was an anxious moment.  Would the line
pass over the vessel? would the crew be able to secure it?  I could not
help fearing that the rocket might strike the vessel, and perhaps kill
some one on board; but the lieutenant took very good care to avoid that,
by giving the tube sufficient elevation.

"Now, lads, stand by!" he sang out.

The men tilted the box in which the line was secured, so that it might
run out freely.  The officer now fired; and the rocket, rising in the
air, made a grand curve of light, which we watched with intense interest
until we saw it fall completely over the vessel.  We had now to
ascertain whether the men on board had secured it.  No signal came, and
of course we could not venture to haul in on the line, lest we might
draw it back.

"They probably have no blue light or gun on board, or any other means of
making a signal," observed the lieutenant.

Scarcely, however, had he spoken, before a faint light from a lantern
was shown in the rigging.

"All right," he exclaimed: "they have secured the line; make it fast to
the warp."

Upon this, one of the Coastguards, going a short distance from the rest
of us, exhibited a lantern with a red light, and presently we found that
the whip--or double line--with a tailed block was being hauled off by
the men on the wreck.

We had now to wait again until once more the lantern was shown on board.
This was a signal to the Coastguard to secure the end of the hawser to
one part of the double line or whip, when all hands taking hold of the
latter, we hauled off the hawser to the wreck.  The tailed block had
probably been secured to the mast; and as long as that held we had every
hope of establishing a communication.

If we felt anxious, how much more so must the poor fellows on the brig,
which might at any moment be knocked to pieces, and they be sent
struggling hopelessly in the foaming seas!  We knew from the length of
the whip that we must haul out the hawser almost to its end.  Soon after
we had done so another signal was made, which implied that the men had
secured it round the mast.  We then immediately hauled away on the
hawser until we had got it stretched and secured to the anchor, which
had been imbedded in the earth some way back from the cliff.  It was
necessary, however, not to get it too taut, as the vessel was moved by
the seas, and might either break it, or tear the anchor out of the
ground.  This done, the "buoy with the breeches" was secured to a block,
adjusted to the hawser, and was immediately hauled off.

I should have said that a triangle, formed of three small spars, over
which the hawser passed, was fixed in the ground nearest to the edge of
the cliff; and now, to our infinite satisfaction, we had a perfect
communication with the wreck.  Still we had to watch for another signal,
to give us notice that a person had been placed in it.  Again the light
appeared.  We hauled away on the warp.

"Handsomely, handsomely!" sung out the lieutenant, as the men were
hauling in rather fast on the line.

We eagerly watched; when at last through the gloom we saw the life-buoy
appear, and discovered that a person was in it.  With anxious haste the
lieutenant and two of his men stepped forward, and grasping the buoy and
its burden, gently lifted out the occupant.

"My arm is broken, sir; take care, please."

We found that it was the mate of the vessel who spoke; he was the first
sent on shore.  We carried him up to the waggon, where he could be
sheltered from the wind by the awning which covered it.  While Uncle Tom
remained with him, we hastened back to the cliff.

By this time another person had arrived--a young boy--who was also
somewhat hurt.  He was almost fainting from pain and terror; his state
was such that he could only utter the words, "Make haste! make haste!"

There was good reason for this, for we could judge by the way the hawser
was moved that the vessel was rolling more and more; and the men were
compelled to slacken it out every now and then.  It may be supposed no
time was lost.  Three men were now successfully brought on shore.

We were going to carry the boy to the waggon, but he intreated to
remain.  The first of the men who arrived told us the reason.  He was
the captain's son.  The captain himself would not leave the vessel until
the last.  Two of their number had been washed overboard, the captain
alone now remained.  We could hear the boy crying out every now and
then, "Make haste! make haste!"

Once more the life-buoy was hauled off; every possible speed was made.
I don't think I ever before felt so intensely anxious; for I could
sympathise with the poor boy whose father was still in fearful danger.
Each moment it seemed as if the hawser would be carried away.  Again the
light was shown, and seemed to be advancing towards us.  The Coastguard
hauled away with all their might, helped by two of the rescued crew,
while the lieutenant and the rest stood by ready to take hold of the
captain.  The light drew nearer and nearer.  "Make haste! make haste!"
again cried the boy.  When at length he saw his father safe, in spite of
his hurts, rising up from the ground, he rushed forward and threw his
arms round his neck.

Scarcely had the captain's feet touched the ground than the hawser
slackened, a loud rending sound was borne to our ears by the wind, and
we knew that some huge billow had dashed the brig to pieces.  Indeed, I
fancied I saw fragments tossing about in the seething waves which dashed
up against the cliffs.

All felt that they had done their duty, and that the lives of their
fellow-creatures had been saved by their promptitude, and the skill with
which the operations had been carried out.  The Coastguard men, having
hauled in the hawser until the mast was brought close under the cliff,
the rocket apparatus was returned to the waggon, in which also the mate
and the captain's son were placed, and we then all set off to the
Coastguard station.

The lieutenant invited us to remain at his cottage until the morning.
We gladly accepted his offer; and his wife, who was a very nice person,
treated us in the kindest manner, and produced a variety of garments,
which we put on while our wet clothes were drying.  Uncle Tom had a
lady's cloak over his shoulders.  Dick was dressed in an old uniform
coat, and papa got into a pea-jacket.

The shipwrecked crew were looked after by the Coastguard men, and the
lieutenant and his wife attended to the mate and the boy; while the
master of the vessel had a room to himself, being completely knocked up,
and as soon as he had had some supper went to bed, and happily was soon
fast asleep.

Papa and the lieutenant found that they had many mutual acquaintances,
and they sat spinning yarns before the fire--for, although summer, a
fire was very pleasant--until late in the night.  The lieutenant
described to us the gallant way in which the lifeboats of two
neighbouring stations had gone out on several occasions to rescue the
crews of vessels either on the rocks or sandbanks at the mouth of the
Moray Firth.

One hears but little of the wreck of coasters; but were it not for the
assistance of lifeboats, in most instances the crews, consisting of
three to six men, would be lost; as the vessels, being often old and
rotten, quickly break up, and being low, the seas wash completely over
them.  Not long ago a boat was discovered by one of the Coastguard men
on the beach; and on hurrying towards her, he found a poor fellow lying
on the sand almost exhausted.  On carrying him to a neighbouring
fisherman's cottage, he recovered; and he then stated that he belonged
to a large barque which had gone on the sands; that he and twelve other
men had taken to their boat, but that she had capsized, and that all
hands, with the exception of himself, had been drowned; that he had swum
on shore, though he could scarcely tell how he had managed to reach it.
He said that there were four men still on board.  On this the Coastguard
men hastened to the nearest lifeboat station, when the boat was
immediately manned and pushed off for the wreck, the position of which
the seaman had described, though as it was night she could not be seen.
Away the gallant crew pulled through tremendous seas, which were rolling
in on the coast.  Having gained an offing, they made sail, and steered
for the wreck, which at length was discovered with two of her masts
gone, while the crew were clinging to the rigging of the remaining mast,
which threatened every instant to follow the others.  The lifeboat,
showing a light, indicated to the poor fellows on the wreck that help
was near.  After considerable difficulty they got up under her lee, and
were able to heave a rope on board.  Getting a stronger warp, they
hauled up near enough to enable two of the men to jump on board.  The
third slipped, and fell into the water, running a fearful risk of being
crushed; but, happily, he also was got into the boat.  As is often the
case, the cabin-boy was the last left.  It was a trying thing to see the
poor little fellow clinging to the rigging, but unable to help himself.

"We can't let him perish!" cried one of the lifeboat men; and at the
risk of his own life, the boat being hauled up to the wreck, he sprang
into the rigging, and with his knife cut the lashings by which the poor
boy was held.  A crashing sound was heard, the weather shrouds and stays
were giving way.  In another instant the mast would fall, and not only
the gallant fellow and his charge, but all in the lifeboat, would
perish.

"Leap, man! leap!" shouted the crew, ready to shove off, and watching
the tottering mast with anxious gaze; but even though they all knew the
fearful risk they incurred by remaining, they would not desert their
companion or the lad he had gone to save.  The gallant boatman, seizing
the boy in his arms, slid down the rigging and sprang from the chains
into the boat, where he was caught by the outstretched arms of his
companions.  The next moment the boat was many fathoms from the wreck,
when down came the mast on the very spot where she had been floating,
the cap of her topmast almost striking her bow.  Still the crew had a
heavy struggle to reach the shore, for the gale came down with greater
force than ever, and the hungry seas seemed ready to engulf her; but the
shipwrecked men were landed in safety.  Not until they met their
companion did they learn that he and they were the sole survivors of the
crew.

The lieutenant told the tale so graphically that I have tried to put it
down in his own words.  He related many other similar anecdotes; and it
was not until the night was far spent that we dropped off to sleep in
our chairs.

At daybreak, as the rain had ceased, and the wind had somewhat gone
down, we started for Peterhead, papa promising to send a conveyance for
the mate and the boy, that they might be carried to the hospital.

Peterhead is a substantial-looking seaport town, the houses being mostly
built of granite from quarries near.  It stands on the south side of the
mouth of the river Ugie, and has two harbours, one on the north and the
other on the south side of the peninsula.  The latter, which is the
oldest, was formed in the year 1773, from plans by Mr Smeaton, the
great engineer of those days; and the north harbour in 1818, from those
by Mr Telford.  Piers run out from the shore, which is lined by fine
quays.

We had to wait the whole day before proceeding on our voyage, so we had
time to see a great deal of the town, and something of the
neighbourhood.  We paid a visit to the hospital, and were glad to find
that the poor mate and the captain's son were going on very well.

Next morning broke bright and beautiful, with a fine northerly breeze,
which raised our spirits; and sailing out of the harbour, we stood
towards Buchan Ness, on the summit of which stands a stone tower, with a
light flashing from it at night, to show the approach to Peterhead.  We
sighted Slaines Castle, from which we steered a direct course for
Aberdeen.  About ten o'clock, the distance run being about thirty miles,
we sighted the Girdlestone Lighthouse, on the southern side of the river
Don, on which Aberdeen stands.  Crossing the bar, we found ourselves in
a wide bay.  Several vessels and a number of boats were standing towards
the spacious quays, backed by the fine granite-built houses of New
Aberdeen.

On landing, we noticed the massive appearance imparted to the houses by
the granite of which they are composed.

Our first visit was to Marischal College, the great seat of learning in
the north, where Captain Dalgetty, that redoubted soldier of fortune,
according to Scott, obtained his education.  We went through the museum,
library, and observatory, saw a good collection of paintings, and were
especially struck by the handsome way in which the whole building is
furnished.

Hurrying on, however, to the old town, on the south bank of the Don, we
visited the parish church of Old Machar, a grand and venerable building.
The pillars in the transept have their capitals beautifully carved in
oak.  We then went to King's College, a large quadrangular edifice,
including the chapel, built of granite.  The examination hall contains a
collection of the portraits of the old Scottish kings and the early
principals of the college,--a Bishop Elphinstone, the founder, being
among them.  We were amused by seeing the students, of whom there were
between two and three hundred, walking about dressed in red gowns.  They
belong to all ranks of society, many labouring during the summer to
obtain the means of educating themselves in the winter.  We heard a
pleasant anecdote of the late Duke of Gordon, who used to send out a
carriage when he knew that the young men were on their way to college,
in order to give them a lift for a stage or two.  Many, we were told,
had worked at the Caledonian Canal before thus arriving in the ducal
carriage.

We saw many evidences of the prosperity of Aberdeen; and while we lay in
the harbour two or three steamers came in and out; one on its way to the
islands of Orkney and Shetland, and others to Leith and the Thames.  Our
few hours at Aberdeen were among the most interesting we spent on shore
during our voyage.

Sailing again in the afternoon, with a fine northerly breeze, we passed
the neat town of Stonehaven, about fifteen miles to the south, and soon
afterwards the grand ruins of Dunnottar Castle, a large square tower
rising from amid the ruins of other buildings on the very edge of the
cliff.  We could judge of its size by the extent of the remaining walls.
It was here that the crown and sceptre of King Charles were kept during
the Civil Wars.  The castle was besieged, and the garrison was about to
capitulate, when Mrs Ogilvie, the governor's wife, put them in charge
of Mrs Grainger, the wife of the minister of Kinneff, who had paid her
a visit by permission of the Republican General Lambert.  Mrs Ogilvie
managed, with wonderful boldness, to smuggle out the crown, fastened
under her cloak, while her servant hid the sceptre and sword in a bag of
flax which she carried on her back.  It was here, also, that many of the
Covenanters were imprisoned, and, according to an ancient chronicler,
Wallace put to death four thousand Englishmen, who had fled for safety
into the church.  The approaching night hid the gloomy walls from our
view.

As we passed the towns of Montrose and Arbroath during the night, we saw
nothing of them.  The wind fell light when off the latter place, and
then blew from the south-west, bringing up a thick fog, which shrouded
the whole surface of the water.  Papa being told of it, he went on deck,
and Dick and I followed him; when he at once hauled the yacht on the
wind, and stood off the coast.  After running on for about an hour, the
peculiar mournful sound of a bell reached us.  As we stood on, it
sounded every half-minute, louder and louder.

"Where does that come from?" inquired Dick.

"From the Bell Rock," answered Truck.  "If it wasn't for the fog we
should see a light from the tall tower which now stands on the rock,
bright and red alternately.  Once upon a time there was no tower there;
but there was a bell fixed on a buoy, and as the waves beat against it,
it tolled without ceasing; but I have heard say that there was a pirate,
who used to cruise in those seas, who cut the bell off; but not long
after, when making for Dundee, during a dark night and a heavy gale, he
ran his ship on it, and was lost with all his men--a judgment on him for
his evil deeds."

The wind dropping altogether, we lay becalmed, within the sound of the
bell, until morning broke and the fog lifted, when we saw the tower just
ahead of us.  The centre part of the building was coloured white, and
could scarcely be seen against the sky; but the lower part, which was
dark, and the lantern, which was in shadow, were perfectly visible.  We
pulled towards it; and as we approached we saw the rocks on which the
lighthouse stands rising ten feet or more above the water.  Iron ladders
were fixed for landing, and by a gun-metal ladder we were able to reach
the entrance port.  The head keeper came down and received us cordially.
As in other lighthouses, the first story is used for storing coal; the
second for water; the next for oil; and the next for bedrooms, with
berths for six persons.  Above it is the kitchen, and above that the
sitting-room, in which we saw a bust of Stevenson, the engineer.  The
light is revolving, and has five reflectors, on each of which are two
faces, one red and one white.  The red colour is produced by chimneys of
red glass.  The keeper told us that four men belonged to the lighthouse,
that they are all married, but that three only were on duty.  As at the
other lighthouses, birds are occasionally killed by flying against the
glasses.

Soon after we left the Bell Rock, the wind freshening from the
southward, we stood on for Dundee, from which it is about five and
twenty miles distant.  We passed through the narrow entrance of the
Firth of Tay, with Broughty Castle on our right, beyond which we came
off Dundee, standing on the northern shore, and rising on a gentle
declivity from the water's edge, towards a high hill called the Law.
The estuary here is nearly two miles wide.  A number of vessels were at
anchor, while the docks seen beyond the quays were full of shipping.
Dundee has a handsome appearance, with its broad streets and fine stone
houses.  About the centre of the town, we passed what looked like one
enormous church, with a lofty tower at the western end; but we found
that it consisted of four parish churches, which are built side by side,
so as to form one edifice.

"I wish that all Christian communities could thus live in unity,"
observed papa.

These churches were, as may be supposed, all Presbyterian.  There are
several others in the town.  We were told that there were nearly ninety
schools in Dundee, at which upwards of four thousand children are
educated.  One of the most interesting places which claimed our
attention was the Watt Institution, established in honour of James Watt,
for the instruction of young men in science.  There are also nearly
forty mills for spinning flax, weaving linen, sail-cloth, sacking, and
cordage.  On the quay stands a handsome arch, built after a Flemish
model.  Besides the patent slip and graving dock, there are three wet
docks and two tidal harbours, while other improvements are being carried
on; so that Dundee is a most flourishing place.

Not far off is Camperdown, once the residence of Lord Duncan, who called
it after the famous victory he won over the Dutch; and a little distance
further is Rossie Priory, belonging to the Kinnaird family.

As we were anxious to look into Saint Andrews, we sailed again next
morning, in the hope that the wind would continue in the north, or at
all events that we should be able to beat down thus far.  It is situated
on the south shore of Saint Andrew's Bay, some little way outside the
entrance to the Firth of Tay.  The wind favoured us more than we
expected; and a pilot-boat showing us the way, we stood into the
harbour, passing close under the peninsula on which the town stands.
Above us were the ruins of the cathedral and the chapel of Saint Rule,
who was supposed to have founded the place, with several other
buildings.  Saint Andrews presented a very quiet aspect, forming a great
contrast to the bustling town of Dundee; but I must say it is a far more
picturesque place.  Of course we visited the university, the most
ancient in Scotland.  It consists of the colleges of Saint Salvator,
Saint Leonard, and Saint Mary.  There is also a school called the Madras
College, founded by Dr Bell, the originator of the Madras system of
education.  By means of these colleges, at which an almost free
education can be obtained, young Scotchmen without means are able to
enjoy advantages which they could not do in England.  The town is
certainly more alive than it was when Dr Johnson visited it in the last
century; he declared that one of the streets was lost, and that in those
that remained there was "the silence and solitude of inactive indigence
and gloomy depopulation."  We thought it a very picturesque-looking
place, and should have remained there longer had the wind not changed
and induced us to put to sea.

Having passed round Fifeness, the eastern point of the peninsula, and
opened the Isle of May lights--for there are two on the summit of the
island--we stood across the Firth of Forth, intending to visit
Edinburgh.  The wind being light the whole night, we made no way.

When morning broke, we were in sight of Fenton Law, which rose beyond
North Berwick, and the Bass Rock, at no great distance off, standing
high up above the blue sea.  We passed close to it, and got a view of
the almost inaccessible castle perched on its cliffs.  It is now in
ruins, but at one time was used as a state prison, in which several of
the most distinguished Covenanters were confined.  Wild flocks of
sea-fowl rose above our heads from off the rock, and among others were
numbers of gannets or Solan geese.

As we had lost so much time, and had still the whole English coast to
run down, papa and Uncle Tom, after a consultation, agreed to give up
their visit to Edinburgh, and to continue their cruise across to the
southward.



CHAPTER ELEVEN.

THE NORTH-EAST COAST.

We got a view of North Berwick, which stands on the extreme northern
point of Haddington; and about three miles to the eastward of it we came
off the far-famed Tantallon Castle, in days of yore the stronghold of
the Douglases.  Of course, we got out _Marmion_, and read the
description of this celebrated fortress, which by the extent of its
ruins must have been of great size and strength.

"I said, Tantallon's dizzy steep Hung o'er the margin of the deep.  Many
a rude tower and rampart there Repelled the insult of the air, Which,
when the tempest vexed the sky, Half breeze, half spray, came whistling
by.  A parapet's embattled row Did seaward round the castle go.
Sometimes in dizzy steps descending, Sometimes in narrow circuit
bending, Sometimes in platform broad extending, Its varying circle did
combine Bulwark, and bartizan, and line, And bastion, tower, and
vantage-coign.  Above the booming ocean leant The far-projecting
battlement; The billows burst, in ceaseless flow, Upon the precipice
below."

We passed the mouth of the river Tyne, south of which stands Dunbar.
The next place of interest we came off was Fast Castle, of which two
tall towers remain close to the cliffs,--in former days the stronghold
of the Homes.  It is supposed to be the original of Wolfs Crag in _The
Bride of Lammermoor_.  We looked through our glasses at the spot where
the unhappy Master of Ravenswood sank with his steed into the
treacherous quicksand.

About fifteen miles farther on, we passed the bluff promontory Saint
Abb's Head, and soon afterwards arrived off Berwick, which, I need
hardly say, stands at the mouth of the Tweed, the river dividing England
from Scotland.  So close does the railway run to the cliffs, that we
could hear the trains passing as clearly as if we were on shore, and
could see them shooting by at a speed which made us jealous.  As the
wind was fair, we did not put into the Tweed, but stood close enough to
Berwick to have a cursory view of it.  As all the world knows, Berwick
is not within any county, for although really in Berwickshire, it
belongs to England.  It is a county in itself.  A portion is still
surrounded by walls erected in the time of Elizabeth; and it is defended
by several bastions, with batteries commanding the entrance to the
harbour.  We could see the remains of an ancient castle, which is now a
heap of ruins, but above it stands the Bell Tower, still almost perfect.
A number of vessels passed in and out of the harbour while we were off
it, showing that the place has a good deal of trade.  As we looked
through our glasses, we saw a number of churches and public buildings.
A long stone pier runs out on the north side of the Tweed, with a
lighthouse at its end.

We now stood on towards Holy Island, a few miles south of Berwick, off
the Northumbrian coast; and as we had still several hours of daylight,
we hove-to off the island.  Here, in the early days of Christianity, was
a college of evangelists, who went forth to preach the simple gospel
through the northern portions of the country, to its heathen kings, as
well as to the people over whom they held sway.  Ultimately, monasteries
were built here, famous for the supposed piety of their inmates.

We pulled on shore to visit the ruins of the celebrated Abbey of
Lindisfarne.  If the pilgrim visitors arrived at low water, they could
get across by following the sandbank which connects it with the
mainland; but they had to make haste, to escape being caught by the
flood.

Besides the monastery, there was a castle of great strength, which often
resisted the invader's hostile attacks; and heathen Danes had again and
again been driven back to their ships by its stalwart garrison.  Its
glories, however, are departed.  We could find only a few low walls,
over which we could leap, and the remains of a staircase of eight or ten
steps in a tower but little higher than the wall.  A board warning off
trespassers took away what little romance we had conjured up.

Returning on board, we again stood to the southward, sighting Bamborough
Castle, elevated on a green mound above the village.  Off it lies the
Longstone Rock and the Farne Islands.  The coast looked bleak and
desolate, with here and there dark rocks running into the sea.  The wind
was very light as we came off the Longstone Lighthouse.

While the yachts hove-to, the boats were lowered, and we pulled up to
it, in order to pay a visit to the scene of Grace Darling's heroism.
For upwards of fifty years the lighthouse was under the charge of
William Darling, the father of Grace.  We understood that the present
head keeper was a member of the family.  The tower stands on a rock, is
painted red, and the light revolves every half-minute.  We were much
interested with the memorials of Grace Darling which embellished the
sitting-room.  The light-keeper on duty pointed out the various
localities connected with the wreck of the Forfarshire.

Before daylight, on the 6th of September 1838, a furious gale blowing,
Grace Darling, who acted as William Darling's assistant and was on
watch, heard, as she thought, the cries of people coming from the
direction of some rocks a mile away.  She awoke her father, and together
they stood listening to the appeals for help; but in the dark, with the
furious sea there was running, it was impossible to put off to their
assistance.  When day broke, however, the old man launched his boat, and
was about to shove off, when, observing the state of the tide and
weather, he hesitated to make the attempt.  As the light increased,
Grace, who had been anxiously watching the wreck, declared that she saw
some people still clinging to it.

"We must save them!" she exclaimed; and seizing an oar, she stepped into
the boat.

The old man, aroused by her example, followed her.  Through the foaming
seas, which threatened every moment to overwhelm the little coble, they
pulled off to the wreck.  The fore part of the vessel, to which nine
people were clinging, alone remained; to reach them it was necessary to
land on the lee side of the rock.  This, after considerable difficulty,
William Darling succeeded in doing, when immediately Grace rowed off in
the coble, to prevent it being dashed to pieces.  One by one, five of
the crew and four passengers were drawn by the lighthouse-keeper off the
wreck, and placed on the rock, from whence they were transferred to the
boat, and conveyed, a few at a time, to the lighthouse.

Owing to the state of the weather, no communication could be held with
the mainland for two days, during which time the nine shipwrecked
persons were treated with the utmost kindness by Mr Darling and his
daughter.  The calm bravery of Grace, who was at that time only
twenty-two years of age, excited the admiration of all who heard it.
Testimonials and suitable presents, together with seven hundred pounds
sterling raised by subscription, showed how highly the public
appreciated her conduct.  The Forfarshire steamer, of three hundred
tons, had sailed the previous evening from Hull, bound for Dundee; but
her boilers becoming defective, the engines could no longer work, and at
three o'clock the following morning she struck on the Longstone, the
outermost of the Farne Islands, between which the master was
endeavouring to run the vessel.  The mate, with seven seamen, lowered a
boat, and were escaping, when one of the passengers leaped on board,
others in vain attempting to follow his example.  The nine occupants of
this boat were the following morning picked up by a coaster and carried
into Shields,--they, with those rescued by the Darlings, being the only
persons who escaped out of sixty souls.

Four years after this heroic deed, Grace Darling lay upon her dying bed.
The grief of the family was very great, for Grace was endeared to them
all.  "Do not mourn for me," she said; "I am only exchanging this life
for one far better.  If I remained here, I should be subject to trouble
and sickness; but in dying I go to be with Christ my Saviour."  Two
beautiful memorials of Grace have been erected: one in Bamborough
Churchyard, and the other in Saint Cuthbert's Chapel, on the Farne
Island.  Our picture represents that in Bamborough Churchyard.  Her
sleeping figure lies under a Gothic canopy, backed by the blue waves,
and within sight of the scene of her heroism.

  "She is lying and sleeping now
      Under the verdant turf.
  Ah, there were breakers she might not ride!
  And her hair grew damp in that strong, dark tide,
      But not with the briny surf.

  "And out of her lonely grave
      She bids us this lesson prove,
  That the weakest may wipe some tears that flow,
  And the strongest power for good below
      Is the might of unselfish love."

In 1860, the Iris, of Arbroath, struck on the rocks close to where the
Forfarshire was lost.  The wind was so terrific, and the sea ran so
high, that the crew were afraid to take to their boat.  They accordingly
leaped into the water, and were washed on to the rock, though it was
with the greatest difficulty that they managed to reach it.  Here they
remained twelve hours, the sea being so rough that no boat could come to
them.  Towards evening, the wind having slightly fallen, William
Darling, who was then seventy-five years of age, and had been watching
the wreck all day, put off with several hands from the lighthouse, and
rescued the poor fellows from their perilous position.

We had a scramble over a portion of the Farne Islands, on which there
are two lighthouses at a considerable distance from each other.  There
are three keepers belonging to the two, but only one remains on watch at
a time; he has to attend to both lights, and has to walk from house to
house.  The keeper showed us a curious contrivance by which he can at
once rouse the sleeping keeper without leaving his own post.  It
consists of a hand-bellows attached to a tube which rings a bell at the
ear of the sleeper.  He told us that occasionally blackbirds and
thrushes are killed by striking against the lantern.  We saw a number of
rabbits running in and out of their burrows.  There is an old chapel
which has been restored and another building, converted into a
dwelling-house for the clergyman, who at times comes across from Durham.

Nat, who had landed with us, was very anxious to keep a young cormorant
which he had picked up.  He took it under his arm, intending to carry
off his prize; but the mother bird attacked him so furiously with its
long beak, that it nearly put out one of his eyes, and succeeded in
severely biting his lip.  On this, Nat very naturally let go the
youngster, which scuttled off, determined not to be caught again, and,
taking to the water, swam away at a great rate.  The odour produced by
the birds was anything but pleasant.  We saw a number of cormorants
diving in search of prey, and they came up with eels in their mouths.
One had caught a big eel, which it battered against the rock until it
had killed it; but others gobbled down small eels without the slightest
hesitation.  The young birds were the oddest-looking creatures
imaginable.  Their covering was a hard black skin, with here and there
black woolly down upon it.  The old birds' heads and necks were black,
speckled with white feathers, while the upper part of the body was brown
mingled with black.  They had also white patches on their thighs, and
yellow pouches under the throat edged with white.  They were fully three
feet long; so that, with their strong beaks, they were formidable
antagonists.

The gulls were even more numerous than the cormorants.  Though they kept
out of our way, they did not appear otherwise to fear us.  They looked
very large on the wing, as their white feathers glanced in the rays of
the setting sun; but they are not more than half the size of the
cormorant.  They act the useful part of scavengers on the coast, and
eagerly pick up all the offal thrown on the shore.

We returned to the yachts, and once more made sail.  We got a good view
through our glasses of the old towers of Dunstanborough Castle.  As the
wind fell light, we pulled in to have a look at it, papa being anxious
to do so, as he had visited it in his younger days.  The weather-beaten
ruin stands on the summit of a black cliff, rising sheer out of the
ocean.  Three towers, one square, and the others semicircular, remain,
with the greater portion of the outer wall, enclosing several acres of
green turf, over which, instead of mail-clad warriors, peaceable sheep
now wander.  The principal tower overlooks a deep gully or gap in the
rocks, up which the sea, during easterly gales, rushes with tremendous
force and terrific noise, lashed into masses of foam, which leap high
over the crumbling walls.  This gully is known by the significant name
of the Rumble Churn.  This ocean-circled fortress was erected--so say
the chroniclers--in the fourteenth century, by Thomas, Earl of
Lancaster.  Many a tale of siege and border warfare its stones could
tell; for the Cheviot hills--the boundary between Scotland and England--
can be seen from the summit of its battlements.  Having bravely held out
for Queen Margaret of Anjou, it was completely dismantled in the reign
of Edward the Fourth, and has ever since remained like a lion deprived
of its claws, crouching over the ocean, a sad memento of its former
power.  Had it remained until gunpowder was in general use, it would
probably have been entirely overthrown.

Papa described to us Warkworth Castle, which stands further south, above
the banks of the Coquet river, on a high wood-covered hill.  The greater
portion of the ruins remain; indeed, the woodwork alone has disappeared,
and the masonry is in so good a state of preservation, that the late
Duke of Northumberland proposed to restore it, and make it his
residence, instead of Alnwick Castle.  Near it a hermit dwelt in a
cavern: he became a hermit in consequence of having killed the brother
of his betrothed, whom he mistook for a rival, after his return from the
Crusades.

We sighted Coquet Island, with its square white lighthouse, from which a
light burst forth as we approached.  Near it were the castellated
dwellings of the keepers, painted different colours.  In its
neighbourhood are dangerous rocks, and over each a red ray is shown, to
warn vessels which might otherwise run upon them.  We were now almost
constantly in sight of some light, which enabled us to know our exact
position.  Dick and I turned in while Coquet Island light still shone
brightly.

We expected the next morning to be off Hartlepool, at the mouth of the
Tees; but when day broke we found ourselves in sight of a picturesque
castle standing on a point of land, with a broad river flowing below it,
and a town at its foot.  When we asked Truck what it was, he answered:

"That's Tynemouth, at the mouth of the Tyne; and the captain says he
intends to run in there to have a look at the place.  It's as well worth
seeing as any place we have been to.  Beyond it you see North Shields,
and South Shields on the southern bank; and higher up is Newcastle,
where coals come from, as you've heard tell of."

We laughed at Truck's description.  "If they don't come from Newcastle,
I don't know where else they come from," remarked Dick.

"A good many other places, young gentleman.  There's no small quantity
shipped from Sunderland and Swansea; and also from some of the Scotch
ports.  If we go up to Newcastle, we shall see the curious way they are
put on board the colliers."

"But why haven't we got further?"  I asked, "Because we have had light
winds, and the tides have been against us most of the night," answered
Truck.

As not only the tide, but the wind also was against us, papa, on coming
on deck, agreed to run up the Tyne.  Hauling our wind, we stood in for
North Shields, passing close under the lighthouse, which stands amid the
ruins of the castle.

North Shields was evidently an active commercial place.  Shipbuilding
was going on in the yards, and vessels were loading with coals, bound to
all parts of the world, each with a number of keels, or oval boats,
alongside, which had brought down the coal from the upper part of the
river.  On board the vessels cranes were at work lifting up tubs of coal
from out of the keels, and depositing them in their holds.  Of these
keels I shall have more to say by-and-by.  Steamers emitting black
wreaths of smoke were coming and going,--some towing vessels out to sea,
others taking them up the harbour; while several were conveying
passengers.  After breakfast we went on board one of the passenger
vessels, for papa and Uncle Tom did not wish to carry the yachts higher
up.

We had clear evidence that we were in a region of coal.  The greater
number of vessels we met were colliers, their crews begrimed with coal
dust.  "Everybody," as Dick remarked, "had a coaly look."  People were
heard conversing in a broad Northumbrian accent, with a burr in most of
their words.  They were broad-shouldered men, capable of doing any
amount of hard work.  We came in sight of a fine stone bridge with nine
elliptical arches, which connects Newcastle with Gateshead, on the
opposite bank.  Above it is another magnificent bridge; it is double,
the lower roadway, ninety feet above the river, being used for carriages
and foot passengers, while the upper carries the railway.  It has two
piers at the margin of the river, and four others in the stream itself,
besides smaller piers.  It was curious to walk under it, and to hear the
trains rumbling by overhead.

Newcastle stands on the north bank of the river.  At first we thought it
a very smoky town, but on emerging from the narrow old streets we
reached some fine broad thoroughfares with large houses and magnificent
public buildings.  At the quays were a vast number of vessels, some of
considerable size.  Formerly coals used to be put on board vessels from
the oval boats I have before mentioned, called keels, of which a
considerable number are still employed.  Each keel carries about twenty
tons of coal, the larger masses being piled up in the vessel, but
smaller coal is carried in tubs, each keel having about eight tubs.  The
keels are antique-looking craft, such as were probably used in the
earliest days of our history.  They are propelled by large oars.  The
keel man, commencing at the bow, presses the oar before him, until he
reaches the after part of the boat; he then hurries back to the bow, and
again puts down his oar.  The keel men are a fine hardy race.  Formerly
they were spoken of as "bullies;" but this, among the colliers, means
"brothers," or is derived from "boolie," that is, "beloved."  Though
their manners are rough, their character is good, and they are
remarkably friendly to each other.  Being all "keel bullies" or "keel
brothers," they support an extensive establishment in Newcastle called
the "Keelmen's Hospital."  We met a whole fleet of these keels as we
came up, working their way down with their "puys" or oars.  A
considerable quantity of coal is scattered over the sides when hoisting
it on board, and this is brought back by the flood tide into shallow
water, where a number of people are seen in their little cobles dredging
for it.

The larger number of vessels are, however, loaded from the "straiths."
These are platforms placed over the river and connected with tramways,
joined to the various pits.  The waggons, each containing two and a half
tons of coal, come down for many miles until they reach the "straith,"
when they are brought to a stand.  In the "straith" is a hatchway, which
opens by machinery, through which the waggon descends with a man in it,
who, when it arrives over the hold, unfastens a catch which secures the
bottom of the waggon; this being made to turn upon hinges, like a trap
door when opened, the whole of the coal is poured into the hold.
Attached to the suspending machinery are two counterpoising weights,
which being less heavy than the waggon laden with coal, do not impede
its descent.  The moment it is discharged of its coal it is drawn up
again by these weights.

As we descended the river we were much amused by seeing these coal
waggons running swiftly on the "straith," stop a moment, then go down
with the descending men; and having got rid of their coal with a loud
rushing noise, rise up again, as if perfectly aware of what they were,
about.

We returned in the afternoon to the yachts, and stood out to sea, hoping
to obtain a slant of wind which might carry us further down the coast.

Having seen the largest coal-shipping place, we had no particular wish
to visit Sunderland, the chief port of Durham.  Beyond it is Seaham,
which has of late years sprung into existence.  The mines in the
neighbourhood belonged to the late Marquis of Londonderry, who wisely
formed a fine harbour here by constructing two piers running out from
the land; and his heir has been richly rewarded by his enterprise.

Further south is the seaport of Hartlepool, jutting out into the sea, a
short distance from the river Tees.  It was once a place of great
strength, and contained one of the most ancient monasteries in the
kingdom.  A portion of the walls which defended the old haven still
remains; and the new harbour has been formed by a pier run out from the
south side of the town.  It will not, however, hold vessels of large
tonnage.  The inhabitants are mostly engaged in fishing.

The next day we were in sight of the Yorkshire coast.  Passing Whitby
and Scarborough, after rounding Flamborough Head, opening up Bridlington
Bay, we stood for Spurn Head, on the top of which are two lighthouses.

As we had still sufficient daylight, we ran up the Humber to visit Hull,
which stands on its northern bank.  A large number of coasters were at
anchor before its extensive quays; it has also docks of great size.
Numbers of steam-vessels were gliding in and out of the harbour.  It is
properly called Kingston-upon-Hull.  It took its name when it was
purchased by Edward the First, who, seeing the great natural advantages
of its position, formed here a fortified town and port.  There is
nothing very attractive in the appearance of the place; but we were
interested by a visit to a fine column on a square pedestal, erected to
the memory of the great Wilberforce, whose statue adorns the summit.
The town contains two colleges, several hospitals, and numerous other
public institutions.  We went on board the guardship stationed here,
with some of the officers, with whom papa was acquainted, and were
interested in hearing an account of the Coastguard system.  Ships are
stationed at different ports round the coast, and are called
"Coastguard" or district ships, for Coastguard and Royal Naval Coast
Volunteer duties.  The English coast is divided into six districts;
namely, the Hull district, which extends from Berwick to Cromer; the
Harwich, from North Yarmouth to Ramsgate; the Newhaven district, from
Folkestone, including Southampton Water, the Isle of Wight, and
Lymington; the Falmouth and Weymouth district, including Bournemouth,
Land's End, and taking in Penzance and the Scilly Isles.  The rest of
the coast is divided between Milford and Liverpool.  Scotland has two
"Coastguard" districts, the east and the west coasts.  Ireland has also
two districts.  The services on which the ships are employed are
numerous.  First, for the protection of the revenue; to keep up a
reserve of seamen, and as a depot for stores and clothing.  The captain
of the ship takes the duties of the old inspecting commanders, and the
officers--of whom there are a large number appointed to each ship for
that especial purpose--have command of the different stations.  Each
ship has four or five tenders attached to her, employed in protecting
either the revenue or the fisheries.  The ships generally go to sea for
a month or so in the course of the year, and are kept ready to proceed
to any part of the world.  They do not keep up their usual complement of
men, but when required the crew are drawn from the Coastguard.  Besides
these ships, there are six in England and two in Scotland, called "drill
ships."  They, however, never go to sea.  They are employed in receiving
on board the Royal Naval Reserve Force,--seamen as well as officers,--
who go through a periodical drill.  The Royal Naval Coast Volunteers
also drill on board these ships.  These volunteers are seafaring men,
and they rank with ordinary seamen, and not, like the men of the Naval
Reserve, with able-bodied seamen.

Both the men of the Reserve and Coast Volunteers are expected to drill
twenty-eight days in the year, either on board a district ship, a drill
ship, or at the shore battery.  By these means an efficient body of men
is kept up, ready for immediate service in case of war.  The men quarrel
at times among themselves, the result frequently being a black eye; but
they will never tell upon each other; and sometimes a very curious cause
is assigned as the reason of having a black eye.  A man once said "that
he had slipped and kicked himself," though how he managed to kick his
own eye it is difficult to say!  Another reason often given is, "that
they have run up against a pump-handle," The man-of-war hats are very
unpopular, for they are particularly heavy.  Good straw hats having
lately been scarce, an armourer was found constructing one of tin; but
that must have been not only heavier, but much hotter.  The men usually
make their own hats, and as usually manage to lose them.  As soon as the
hat is found, the man is placed before it, and compelled to look
steadily at it for a certain time.

We got under weigh again in the afternoon of the next day, and stood
down the Humber, until we came in sight once more of the Spurn lights.
During the next night, while we were steering for the Dudgeon floating
light-vessel, one of the men on the look-out shouted--

"A light on the starboard bow!  Starboard the helm!  Hard a starboard!"
and I saw a screw steamer rapidly approaching us.  Had the night been
thick, and the look-out not been on the alert, we should certainly have
been run down.

It was two hours before we sighted Dudgeon light, and from thence we
steered for Cromer, which we knew by its having a bright light revolving
every minute.  Outside of it was the Hasborough floating light, and
beyond that another light-vessel.  We came off Cromer in the forenoon,
when the vessels were hove-to; and we pulled in for the shore to visit
some friends of Uncle Tom.

We landed among a number of fishing-boats, the place itself being a
large and flourishing village, though there were a number of nice
residences for people who visit it during the summer.  In the middle
rises a remarkably handsome church, its tower rising high above the
surrounding buildings.

Along the coast are several round towers, which were built during the
last war to defend the shore from invasion, though at present they would
be of very little use.  Papa was so pleased with the appearance of the
place, that he said he should come there some summer with the rest of
the family.

Leaving Cromer, we stood on for Great Yarmouth, inside a long line of
sandbanks, which are known by the light-vessels stationed at their
different ends.

Great Yarmouth is situated on the seashore, at the southern end of
Norfolk.  The river Yare follows a serpentine course, and falls into the
sea at the village of Gorleston, a short distance from Yarmouth to the
southward.

We waited until a pilot came on board to take us in, as the entrance is
very narrow, between two long wooden piers, one projecting a
considerable way into the sea.  Further along the shore to the south
rises a high sandy cliff, on the top of which we saw a good-sized vessel
building.  We asked the pilot how she could ever be launched, and he
told us that she would be eased down the cliffs by ropes at high tide,
when the water, rushing close up to the base, would float her.

We brought-up at some little distance from the entrance, opposite a line
of neat-looking cottages, forming the village of Gorleston, and
inhabited chiefly by pilots.  As it was getting late, we settled not to
go on shore until the following morning.



CHAPTER TWELVE.

YARMOUTH.

After an early breakfast, we landed on the north side of the river, and
made our way over a level sandy plain towards a tall column which rose
in the midst of it.  The plain is called the Denes, and extends from the
mouth of the river to the town.  It is scantily covered with grass and
sea plants, round which the sand collects in little hillocks.

We had to steer our way among a vast number of tanned nets spread out to
dry.  Here and there fishermen and their wives and daughters were
employed in mending those which had received damage.  There must have
been acres upon acres of these nets.  We soon reached the column, which
we found was erected by the inhabitants of the county to the memory of
Lord Nelson, who was a Norfolk man.  At the top of each side of the
pedestal were the names of the hero's chief victories.  At the summit is
a ball, on which stands the figure of Britannia holding a trident and a
laurel wreath.  The keeper invited us to enter; and we ascended by a
flight of two hundred and seventeen steps to a gallery at the top of the
column, the total height being one hundred and forty-four feet.  From
the platform we got a good bird's-eye view of the town below us, and the
country as far as Norwich, and a wide extent of ocean.

"Have you been here long?"  I asked the keeper.

"Not so long as the man who had charge before me," he answered; "he came
here when the column was first put up, and here he stayed for wellnigh
forty years."

"What was his name?"  I enquired, finding that the old _custos_ was more
inclined to speak of his predecessor than himself.

"James Sharman.  He was with Lord Nelson at Trafalgar.  It was he who
helped to carry the admiral from the upper deck to the cockpit.  He came
home in the Victory, and afterwards joined several other ships, until he
bore up for Greenwich Hospital; but not liking to be shut up there, Sir
Thomas Hardy--who, you mind, was Lord Nelson's flag-captain--got him
appointed to look after this column; and a good berth it is.  He entered
the navy as far back as 1799, and was afloat wellnigh twenty years.  He
came here, as near as I can remember, in 1819.  He was as brave a seaman
as ever stepped.  I mind hearing of a gallant act of his, after he had
been here about ten years.  It was at the end of November; and the day
was fast closing in, when the Hammond, a brig bound from Newcastle to
London, drove on shore during a heavy gale, just a little way to the
south of where we are standing.  As she was heavily laden, and the water
is shallow thereabout, she grounded more than a hundred fathoms from the
beach.  In a short time the wreck parted, and both her masts fell,
carrying away, as was supposed, the whole of the crew.  A short time
after dark, however, one of the preventive men, named Smith, brought
word to Sharman that he heard groans upon the wreck.

"`The groans must come from some poor fellow, and we will do our best to
save him,' cried Sharman; `come along, Smith.'

"Taking a long rope, they hurried back to the beach.

"`Now you hold on to the rope, and I'll make the other end fast round my
waist; and I'll see what I can do,' cried Sharman.

"Without a moment's delay he plunged unto the surf, which three times
carried him off his legs and sent him back on shore.  Again he tried,
and this time the sea drove him right against the wreck.  The night was
so dark that he had a hard matter to find out where the poor fellow was.
At length he found a man clinging to the breastwork.  The poor fellow
told him that just before three men who had clung on until then had been
washed away, and if he had come a few minutes sooner they might have
been saved.  As to swimming to shore, that he was certain was more than
he could do.  On this Sharman, taking the rope off himself, made it fast
round the seaman's waist, and shouted to Smith to haul in, while he
himself trusted to his strong arms to hold onto the rope.  They thus
mercifully got safe to shore."

A more appropriate spot than this could not have been fixed on for a
monument to Nelson, who was born at Burnham Thorpe, of which his father,
the Reverend Edmund Nelson, was rector.  His mother was Catherine,
daughter of Dr Suckling, Prebendary of Westminster, with one of whose
sons, Captain Maurice Suckling, he first went to sea, on board the
Raisonnable, of sixty-four guns.  His education was obtained, first at
the High School at Sanwich, and afterwards at North Walsham.  After the
misunderstanding with Spain had been settled, he left the Raisonnable,
and was sent in a West Indian ship, commanded by a Captain Rathbone, who
had been in the navy with his uncle.  So great a dislike for the Royal
Navy was instilled into him by the merchant seamen, that it was many
weeks after he had joined the Triumph--to which on his return he had
been appointed--before he became at all reconciled to remaining in it.
How different might have been his lot had he not got over his prejudices
though, wherever he might have been, he would have contrived to make his
name known.

On leaving Nelson's column, we proceeded along a road parallel with the
river, having on our right the new barracks and on our left the Naval
Hospital, which is placed in a fine airy situation, with the Denes in
front and the sea beyond.  It was here that Nelson, when the fleet came
into Yarmouth, visited the poor wounded seamen, and going along the
wards, spoke a kind word to each.  It was by acts such as these that the
admiral won the affection of his men, who used to say of him, "Our Nel
is as brave as a lion, and as gentle as a lamb."

We presently found ourselves on the quays, running for a mile along the
bank of the river, and which are considered equal to any in the kingdom.
Opposite to us, on the south shore, a modern town has sprung up; and we
here saw a number of vessels building, the chief of them, judging from
their size, intended for the deep-sea fishery.

We had heard that Yarmouth was likened to a gridiron, and we now saw the
reason.  Comparatively few broad streets run north and south; they are,
however, joined by one hundred and fifty or more narrow passages, called
rows, which run east and west, like the bars of a gridiron.  In many of
them the houses project beyond their foundations, so that the
inhabitants can almost shake hands with their opposite neighbours.  Most
of the rows are paved with pebbles brought up from the beach.  Uncle Tom
observed that the word "row" is probably derived from the French _rue_,
a street.  In many of them we observed curious pieces of old
architecture.  They are now numbered, but used to be called after the
names of some of the principal inhabitants.  One is called George and
Dragon Row; and in it we noticed a somewhat tumbledown cottage, built in
what is denominated the "herring-bone pattern;" the bones or frame being
of wood placed in a zigzag fashion, filled up with masonry.  Another row
is Kitty Witches Row.  One end is scarcely three feet wide.  It is
supposed that this row was inhabited by women, who used to go about at
certain seasons of the year, dressed in fantastic fashions, to collect
contributions.  Yarmouth carts are formed probably after the model of
the most ancient vehicles in the kingdom.  They are long, narrow, and
low, the wheels being placed under the seat, so as to occupy as little
space as possible.  The shafts are fastened to the axles, and two or
three perpendicular pieces of wood--the hindermost being the longest--
support the seat, on which a person can recline at his ease.  It will
thus be seen that wherever the horses can go, the cart can follow.

Passing a very fine Town Hall we reached the end of a remarkably
handsome bridge, which unites Southtown to Yarmouth.  We then turned to
our right through some narrow roads; and having crossed a broad street,
we found ourselves in an open space in front of the Church of Saint
Nicholas, one of the largest parish churches in the kingdom.  Turning
back and passing the fine Fisherman's Hospital, we entered the
market-place, which occupies nearly three acres of land.  About the
centre of the market-place there are some smooth stones in the form of a
cross, which mark the spot where the town cross once stood.  It was
formerly adorned with the pillory and stocks, but they have long
disappeared.  The freemen of the town have the right of selling here
free, with one stall.  At the north end of the market is an avenue of
lime-trees, which adds to its pleasant foreign appearance.  In the yard
of the Fisherman's Hospital we saw a figure of Charity; and the cupola
above is adorned by a statue of the Apostle Peter, who, in former days,
was looked upon as the patron of fishermen.

We went to see the Toll House and Gaol, which are the oldest buildings
in the town.  We entered a hall by an external staircase, leading to an
Early English doorway, which has the tooth ornament on the jambs.
Opposite to it is an enclosed Early English window, with cinquefoil
heads and shafts in the jambs.

We were shown an ancient iron chest, called a hatch, in which the
Corporation of Yarmouth kept their charters and valuable documents.
Among the contents are the tallies or cleft sticks upon which the
accounts were formerly kept, the stick being notched according to the
amount of money advanced, one part being given to the creditor, and the
other to the debtor.  The same plan is used in the present day by the
hop-pickers in Kent, the overseer having one stick, while the picker
keeps the other, and notches it each time a basket is emptied.  Beneath
this Toll House is the ancient Gaol or House of Correction.  Up to the
present century this gaol was as defective as that of prisons generally.
Under the ground is an apartment called the hold, with iron rings fixed
to a heavy beam of wood crossing the floor.  To this beam--in olden
times--prisoners were wont to be chained.  The sufferings of these
unfortunate persons stirred up the heart of a Christian woman, Sarah
Martin, residing in Yarmouth.  Though compelled to support herself as a
dressmaker, she devoted much of her time, as did John Howard and
Elizabeth Fry, to visiting her suffering fellow-creatures.  For
twenty-four years she thus laboured, visiting day after day the
prisoners and malefactors in the town gaol.  There was no one on earth
to reward her, no one to thank her; but she trusted in God, and gave Him
the praise that she was thus able to labour in His service.  By her
instrumentality many who were looked upon as hardened wretches by their
fellow-men were brought to the foot of the cross as penitent sinners.
When she lay dying, a friend asked, "What shall I read?" her answer was
one word, "Praise."  To the question, "Are there any clouds?" she
answered, "None: He never hides His face; it is our sins which form the
cloud between us and Him.  He is all love, all light."  And when the
hour of her departure was come, her exclamation was, "Thank God! thank
God!"

We read this account of the humble dressmaker near the spot where she
laboured, and from whence her spirit took its flight to be with Him whom
she had served on earth.

Between the old walls and the sea a new town has sprung up, with fine
terraces facing the water, and a battery at either end; running out from
it, over a narrow part of the Dene, into the ocean are three piers.  The
one known as "the Jetty," from its jutting out into the sea, is between
the others.  It is composed of strong oaken piles driven into the soil
and braced together with wooden beams, further secured by iron
fastenings.  During heavy weather, at high tide, the sea breaks
completely over the end, while at low-tide it is left almost completely
dry.  Of late it has been considerably extended.  We walked to the end,
to have a look at the town, with its towers and windmills rising from
amid the smaller houses.  Near the beach we visited the Fishermen's
Chapel, to which an Institute is attached, containing a library,
reading-room, etcetera.

Along the shore are several high wooden structures with platforms on the
top.  They are built to enable the pilots or boatmen to take a survey of
the roadstead and the sands beyond, that they may see any vessel
requiring their assistance.

Near these structures were two or more handsome boats drawn up on the
beach, which are called yawls.  They can be launched when no ordinary
boat can put to sea, and they are principally used for rendering
assistance to vessels in distress.  They are from fifty to seventy feet
in length, and each carries from ten to twenty men.

An old boatman told us of a very disastrous accident which occurred some
years ago to the Increase, to which a man named Samuel Brock belonged.
A signal of distress was seen flying on board a Spanish brig in the
offing, when the Increase, with a crew of ten men and a London pilot,
put off to her assistance.

The yawl, having reached the brig, put three hands on board to navigate
her into Yarmouth Harbour.  She stood back for the shore.  On passing
the Newarp Floating Light, a signal was made requesting them to take a
sick man on board, which they did, and then continued their cruise with
a strong breeze, under three lugs.  They were taking a snack of food,
when, having imprudently trimmed the ballast to windward--a most
dangerous practice--a tremendous squall took the sails aback, and in a
moment capsized her.  Brock being a good swimmer, struck out to get
clear of his companions, his ears assailed by their cries, mingled with
the hissing of water and the howling of the storm.  After a moment or so
he swam back to help an old man to get hold of a spar; he then himself
got on the boat, and stood upon its side; but finding that she was
gradually settling down, he again struck off.  By this time he supposed
that all his companions were lost; and he began to think of the awful
position in which he was placed, the nearest land being fully six miles
distant.  He remembered that it was half-past six just before the boat
went over, and that as it was now low water, the tide would be setting
off the shore, making to the southward, and that, therefore, he must
swim fifteen miles before the ebb would assist him.  Just then, a rush
horse-collar, which had served as a fender to the boat, floated by.  He
got hold of it, and putting his left arm through it, was supported until
he had cut the waistband of his cloth trousers, which then fell off.  He
in a similar way got rid of his frock, his waistcoat, and neckcloth; but
he dared not free himself from his oilskin trousers, fearing that his
legs might become entangled.  He now put the collar over his head, but
although it assisted him in floating, it retarded his swimming, and he
had to abandon it.  He had gone some little distance, when he discovered
one of his messmates swimming ahead of him.  The wind having gone down,
no cries were heard, and the moon shone calmly on the water.  Ere long
he beheld the last of his companions sink without struggle or cry.
Should he give in also?  Not for a moment would he yield to such a
thought; and he prepared himself for the desperate struggle.

For some time Winterton Light, to the north of Yarmouth, served to
direct his course; when the tide carried him out of sight of it, a star
served to guide him.  At length this was obscured by the clouds, from
which flashes of lightning, with crackling peals of thunder, burst
forth.  Still he swam on, until again the moon shone forth.  Having cut
off his heavy boots, he swam more easily.  And now Lowestoft Light came
in sight, and he saw the checkered buoy of Saint Nicholas Gat, opposite
his own door, but still four miles away from land.  He had been five
hours in the water.  Here was something to hold on by; but he reflected
that his limbs might become numbed from exposure to the night air, and
that it would be more prudent to swim on.  So abandoning the buoy, he
steered for the land.  Not long afterwards he heard a whizzing sound
overhead.  It was a huge gull which had made a dash at him, mistaking
him for a corpse; a number followed, but by shouting and splashing he
drove them off.  He was now approaching Corton Sands, over which the sea
was breaking, and he much doubted whether he could live through it; but
in a short time he was driven over them into smooth water, and the wind
and swell coming from the eastward, he regained his strength.  Some
distance to the southward, he saw a brig at anchor.  He was in doubt
whether he should make towards her or continue his course to the shore.
There was a great deal of surf breaking on the beach, and he might not
have strength to climb up out of its reach.  Also, if he swam to the
brig, he might fail to make himself heard by the crew.  However, on
reflection, he determined to make for the brig.  He got within two
hundred yards, but nearer it was impossible to get.  He now sang out
with all his might.  Happily, his voice was heard by the watch, a boat
was lowered, and at half-past one, having swum seven and a half hours,
he was on board the Betsey, at anchor in Corton Roads, nearly fifteen
miles from the spot where the yawl was capsized.  On being lifted on
deck he fainted; and it was not until long afterwards, by careful
attention from the captain and crew, that he was brought round.  He
suffered great pain in several parts of his body, and it was with
difficulty that he swallowed some warm beer.  He was landed at
Lowestoft, and five days afterwards was able to walk back to Yarmouth.
We were shown the knife with which he was enabled to cut off his clothes
and boots.  A piece of silver was fixed to it, on which were engraved
the names of the crew of the yawl, and the words, "Brock, aided by this
knife, was saved, after being seven and a half hours in the sea. 6th
October, 1835."

It was a remarkable thing that for some time previous he had been
without a knife, and only purchased this two days before.  Nearly half
the time he was exposed to the full sweep of the North Sea; the other
half he was partly sheltered by the Newarp and Cross Sands.

Between this and Yarmouth Roads is another long sandbank, at the south
end of which is the Nicholas Gat; then comes the Corton Sandbank, over
the end of which he was driven.  He was described to us as a
strongly-built man of five feet five.  Though Captain Webb and others
have swum far greater distances, few Englishmen have ever performed such
a feat as this under similar circumstances.

Afterwards we inspected the lifeboats, which are kept in houses built to
shelter them from the weather.  They belong to an institution called the
Norfolk Association for Saving Life from Shipwreck, and are similar in
construction to those already described.  They are fitted to carriages
to convey them along the beach or down to the harbour.

We went through a number of sheds where were some fine luggers, used for
the herring and mackerel fishery.  Their crews were getting them ready
for sea.  Each vessel is from forty to fifty tons burden, and carries a
crew of ten men.

The herring usually arrives on the Norfolk coast about the last week in
September, for the purpose of spawning, and they are then in the best
condition to become the food of man.  The name "herring" is derived from
the German _heer_, an army, to which they are likened in consequence of
the vast number which keep together.  They are mostly caught at a
considerable distance from the coast; but they do not always appear in
the same place.  Formerly it was supposed that they were migratory; but
it is now believed that they keep within the deeper parts of the ocean
until they rise nearer the surface in the autumn to deposit their eggs.
For some years they have appeared near the surface as early as the last
week in August.  A herring seldom measures more than fourteen inches in
length; but we were told that one was caught some years ago seventeen
and a half inches in length, seven and a half in girth, and that it
weighed thirteen ounces!  Each lugger carries from sixty to a hundred
nets; each net is about fifteen yards long, and is floated by corks
placed a few feet apart.  The united nets form what is called a train
fleet, or drift of nets.  The depth to which they are sunk is regulated
by ropes seven or eight yards long, called seizings, of which there are
two to each net.  They are made fast to a stout warp, running along the
whole of the train, which is upwards of a mile in length, and supported
near the surface by kegs, called "bowls."  The warp is useful in taking
the strain off the nets, and in preventing their loss, in case the nets
should be fouled, or cut by a vessel passing over them.  The meshes are
about an inch square.

Drift fishing is carried on at night.  The nets are "shot" a little
before sunset, the vessel keeping before the wind, with only enough sail
set to take her clear of the nets as they are thrown overboard.  When
all the nets are out, about fifteen more fathoms of warp are paid out;
and by this the vessel is swung round, and then rides head to the wind,
a small mizen being set to keep her in that position.

One of the masters of a lugger showed us the way the nets hang in the
water; the whole train being extended in nearly a straight line, the big
rope to which the corks are fastened being uppermost, and the body of
the net hanging perpendicularly in the water, forming a wall of netting
more than two thousand yards long and about eight yards deep.  The
strain from the vessel serves to keep the net extended, and the whole--
vessel and nets together--drifts along with the tide.

During the day the fish keep near the bottom; but as night closes in,
should the weather be fine, they swim nearer the surface, and attempting
to swim through the barriers of net on each side of them, a large number
become entangled or meshed, their gills preventing their return when
once their heads have passed through the meshes.

After waiting two or three hours, the first net is hauled on board,
when, if it is found that a number of fish have been caught, the whole
of the net is hauled in by means of a capstan and the warp to which the
nets are fastened.  The fish are then shaken out, and the vessel beats
up again to the spot from which the net was first shot, and the process
is repeated.

Mackerel nets have larger meshes, being twenty-four or twenty-five to
the yard.  They are not so deep as the herring nets, but they are twice
as long, often extending to a distance of nearly two miles and a half.
Occasionally in one night a single boat has taken from twelve to
fourteen lasts of herrings, each last numbering ten thousand fish; but
of course the catch is uncertain.  One boat, however, has been known to
bring in the enormous quantity of twenty lasts.  Some few years ago
upwards of nine thousand lasts, or nearly one hundred and twenty
millions of fish, were caught by the Yarmouth luggers.  Several vessels
bring in one hundred lasts each.

As is well-known, immediately the herring leaves the water it dies;
hence the phrase, "dead as a herring."  To preserve the fish, salt is
immediately thrown upon them in the boats; they are carried to the
fish-house in open wicker baskets, called swills, where they are
delivered over to a man called a "tower," when they are placed on the
salting floor.  If they are to be used at home, they remain for only
twenty-four hours; but if for the foreign markets, for several days.
They are afterwards washed in fresh water, and strung up by splits
passed through their gills, one tier below another, to about seven feet
from the ground.  Oak-wood fires are then kindled under them for
fourteen days, if intended for the foreign market; but if for home use,
only twenty-four hours.  The first are called red-herrings, and the
latter are known as bloaters.  When sufficiently cured, they are packed
in barrels, each containing about seven hundred fish.  Between thirty
and forty thousand barrels are sent to the Mediterranean, but a far
larger quantity is used at home.  Upwards of two hundred boats, carrying
two thousand men, are employed in the herring fishery; but many more are
engaged on shore in curing the fish.

Hearing that the deep-sea fishing was going on, papa and Uncle Tom
agreed to accompany one of the cutters which was about to rejoin the
fleet; and as we had seen more of Yarmouth than of most places we had
visited, we returned on board to get ready to sail with our friend.

Before long the cutter appeared, and we stood out of the harbour after
her.  We sailed in company for two days, when on Sunday morning, shortly
after breakfast, we made out the fleet, with most of the vessels near us
hove-to, a steamer being among them, stationary, like the rest.  In the
distance were many other vessels, some standing towards the fleet,
others sailing in different directions, and a few ships passing by.  On
getting near enough to distinguish their flags, we found that several of
them carried the "Bethel" flag, a notice that service was to be held on
board.  Both the yachts therefore hove-to, and under the guidance of our
friend we pulled on board one of the vessels.  We were gladly received
by the master, who was going to conduct the service.  The crews of
several other vessels having come on board, he invited us to join them,
which we willingly did, although the space was somewhat confined.
Several hymns were sung, the fine manly voices of the fishermen
producing a good effect.  A chapter of God's Word was read, and a gospel
address was given.  After service, the men returned on board their
vessels with books and tracts, which had been distributed among them.

We remained until the following day, that we might see the fish caught.
Our friend the skipper gave us a great deal of information about
trawlers.  The Yarmouth fleet consists of several hundred vessels,
ranging from fifty to seventy tons.  They have increased rapidly.  Fifty
years ago, there were none belonging to Great Yarmouth.  They only form
a small portion of English and Irish trawling vessels.  Many hundred
sail leave the Thames, the Humber, Scarborough, and Lowestoft, to fish
in the North Sea; while several other places send out fifty or sixty
vessels to the English or Irish Channels, manned by some thousands of
fishermen.  It is calculated that they supply the English markets daily
with three or four hundred tons of fish.

The beam trawl consists of a triangular purse-shaped net, about seventy
feet long, forty wide at the mouth, gradually diminishing to four or
five at the commencement of the cod, as the smaller end is called.  This
part of the trawl, about ten feet long, is of a uniform breadth to the
extremity, which is closed by a draw-rope, like the string of a purse.
The upper part of the mouth is made fast to a beam about forty feet in
length, which keeps the net open.  This beam is supported by two upright
iron frames, three feet in height, known as the trawl heads, or irons;
the lower being flattened, to rest on the ground.  The under side of the
net is made with a curved margin.  The outside is guarded from chafing,
when the trawl is being worked over the bottom, by pieces of old net.
The meshes vary in size according to the part of the trawl.  Near the
mouth, they are four inches square, and in the cod, an inch and a
quarter.  The trawl is hauled along by a bridle, that is to say, by two
ropes of about fifteen fathoms each, which are fastened to the ends of
the trawl heads, and unite at a warp, one hundred and fifty fathoms
long, which serves to haul the net along.  Trawling, as a rule, is
carried on in the direction of the tide, although sometimes across it,
but never against a stream.  It is usually kept down for one tide, and
its rate of progress is generally from half a mile to two miles an hour
faster than that of the stream.  The fish caught are turbot, skate,
soles, though others are occasionally taken in the net.  The trawl can
only be used with advantage on smooth ground; and, of course, a sandy
bottom is preferred, not only from that being the usual resort of
several valuable kinds of ground fish, but from the less danger there is
on such a surface of tearing the net to pieces.

Formerly, the fish as soon as they were caught, were sent to market in
fast-sailing cutters, but now steamers are generally employed; the fish,
as soon as collected, being packed in ice.  The trawlers themselves stay
out for six weeks at a time, in all seasons of the year.  They are
remarkably fine vessels, and capable of standing a great deal of rough
work; and a hardier set of men than their crews can scarcely anywhere be
found.  Steam trawlers are gradually coming into use, being independent
of wind and weather, and one boat is capable of doing the work of
several ordinary vessels.



CHAPTER THIRTEEN.

SAFE IN PORT.

Steering for Harwich after we had left the fleet, we passed, at a
distance, the handsome town of Lowestoft, from which a considerable
fishing-fleet sails, and then Aldborough, an ancient seaport, with a
number of new houses near it.  When off Orford, on the Suffolk coast,
papa told us that we were crossing the submarine telegraph line which
runs from thence to the Hague.  We had also passed another, which
extends from Cromer to Emden.

Catching sight of the pretty little village of Felixstowe--the houses
facing the sea on the north side--and of the neat watering-place of
Dovercourt on the left, we stood in between Landguard Fort, on the north
shore, and the long breakwater which runs out from the south, when we
crossed the mouth of the Orwell at the point where the Stour falls into
it, and came to an anchor off Harwich, among a considerable number of
vessels, the guardship rising like a giant in their midst.

Though the town is small, the port has long been famous.  We saw several
steamers start for different parts of the Continent.  If I was asked
what was the chief article of sale in the town, I should say, Shrimps.

We made a short excursion up the Stour, the banks of which are richly
wooded; and we also pulled up to Ipswich, where the Orwell may be said
to commence, for the river above the town is confined in a narrow
canal-like channel.  On our return, while at anchor in the harbour, an
oyster-dredging vessel brought-up close to us, and papa, who was always
on the look-out for information, invited the skipper to come on board.

He gave us a good deal of curious information about the oyster.  They
are obtained by means of a dredge, which consists of a flat bag, the
under part made of strong iron rings looped together by stout wire.  The
upper side is merely a strong netting, as it is not exposed to so much
wear as the part which is drawn along the ground.  The mouth of this bag
is fastened to an iron frame, with an opening about four inches deep,
extending the whole breadth of the bag.  The lower part of this frame is
flattened and turned forward at such an angle as to enable it to scrape
the surface of the ground.  To the ends of the scraper two stout iron
rods are firmly welded; these, after curving upwards, form the narrow
sides of the mouth, and extend forward four or five feet, when they
unite at a handle, to which a stout warp is made fast.  The free end of
the bag is secured to a stout stick, which forms a convenient hold when
the contents of the dredge are being turned out.  The weight of the
dredge keeps it at the bottom, and but little skill is required in
working it.  A good-sized boat can work two dredges at one time, one
from each quarter.

Oyster-beds are often valuable property, and they are rented by various
companies.  Rules have been made for the preservation of oysters, and to
allow of new beds being formed.  Oysters require nursing, and unless the
beds were carefully preserved and reconstructed, they would disappear.
The beds are level banks of no great depth, which are seldom or never
uncovered by the tide.  The first important business, when preparing a
bed on which the oyster may spawn, or spat, as it is called, is to
sprinkle over it broken plates and pans and tiles, with empty shells and
such like substances, to which the embryo oyster immediately attaches
itself.  This broken stuff is called "skultch."  The oyster deposits its
spawn in July; and a month afterwards the young oysters can be seen
sticking fast to the skultch in confused clusters.  Here they remain for
two or three years, until they become about the size of a shilling; they
are then taken up and spread evenly over the surface.  After another
year they are once more dredged up and scattered on the beds, where they
are to remain until full-grown.  Seven years are required to bring an
oyster to maturity; but many are dredged up and sold when only five
years old.  The muddy shores of Essex are highly favourable to the
breeding of oysters; and those are considered very fine which are
dredged from the beds at the mouth of the river Colne.

"You see, sir," said the skipper; "oysters ain't fit to eat except in
certain months.  They are only prime from October to March.  In April
they begin to sicken, they are of a milky white colour, though fit
enough to look at; then they become of a dirty grey colour, and then
change to black by July, when they cast their spawn.  After this it
takes them two months to get well again, and they ought to have another
month to fatten up, which brings us to October.  It always makes me
angry-like when I see people eating oysters in August; but there are
poachers at all times ready to fish them up; and there would be many
more if they were not sharply looked after.  It is a curious fact, that
while the beds on the coast of Kent make very good nurseries for
oysters, they do not grow as large and fat as they do on the Essex
coast.  A little fresh water don't hurt them; but snow water kills them,
as it does other fish, outright.  To most people, one oyster is just
like another; but there are many different sorts, and each sort has a
fancy for a particular place.  The oyster gives us work for most months
in the year; for when not fishing to sell, we are either dredging up the
young oysters or laying them down again."

It is calculated that one spawn oyster produces eight hundred thousand
young; and if we suppose that of every five hundred oysters, only one
hundred breed during the season, and if the spat of only one of this
latter number is shed, notwithstanding the great loss, the yield will be
ten thousand young oysters.

The oyster has many enemies besides man.  There are creatures in the sea
which are very fond of them; among these are the sea urchin, the "five
finger," and the "whelk-tingle."  This creature sticks to the shell,
through which it pierces a small hole, and sucks out the delicate
morsel.  One thing, however, is very certain--that the supply of oysters
has very greatly fallen off of late years; but whether the fishermen are
answerable for this, it is difficult to say.

Besides the numerous oyster-beds in shallow waters, there are deep-sea
beds both off the English and Irish coasts.  Upwards of three hundred
vessels, each of about twenty-five tons, and carrying six men, hail from
Colchester, Rochester, and Jersey, engaged specially on these deep-sea
beds.  One is ten or twelve miles off Great Grimsby, and others exist in
the English Channel.  Most of the owners of the beds of the shallow
estuaries have a large capital invested.  One company alone spends three
hundred pounds a month in wages, besides rent and other expenses, and
six hundred a year in watching against poachers.  It sends fourteen
hundred bushels to a single dealer in London, seven thousand to Kent,
and ten thousand to Ostend and Dunkirk.

This gave us some notion of the vast trade carried on in oysters alone.
We were told that they sell retail for the sum of twopence each.  I
wonder people can venture to eat them.

We had a look at Dovercourt, filled with visitors, and with a brand-new
aspect, contrasting with venerable Harwich.  We also managed to pull up
a narrow creek to Felixstowe, which I should describe as consisting of a
long row of Swiss-like cottages, with a few more substantial-looking
residences perched on the cliffs above.

Our stay at Harwich was short, though we had no longer any fear of not
getting round to the Isle of Wight before the equinoctial gales
commenced.  We sailed early in the morning, papa being anxious to get
across the mouth of the Thames, either as far as Ramsgate or Deal, to
avoid the risk of being run down by vessels standing up or down the
river during the night.

"But would they dare to do it?" asked Dick, when papa made the remark.

"They would not intend to do so; but should the wind fall light, we
might not be able to get out of their way.  I shall not forget the
remark made by a skipper on board a large steamer, when I was on my way
to pay a visit to some friends in Edinburgh.  We ran stem on into a
schooner, which sank immediately; and although I hurried forward I was
only in time to see her masts disappear.  `Serves them right!' exclaimed
the skipper, who was like myself a passenger.  `Serves them right; they
should have kept a brighter lookout!'  The poor fellows managed to
scramble on board and to save their lives."

A short distance further we came off Walton-on-the-Naze, the "Naze"
being a nose or promontory, with the sea on one side and a shallow
backwater on the other.  We had to keep a bright lookout while standing
across the mouth of the Thames, having nearly a dozen steamers in sight
gliding swiftly along, and sailing vessels of all sizes, from the
magnificent Indiaman, or Australian merchant-ship, of a thousand or more
tons, down to the little coaster, measuring no more than forty or fifty;
while yachts with sails white as snow were darting hither and thither.
Besides these, there were not a few barges with yellow or tanned sails,
coming out of the numerous estuaries to the north of the river, some
even bound round the North Foreland, their deep weather-boards enabling
them to beat to windward in a way which, considering their build, at
first looks surprising.  We agreed that we should not like to go to sea
on board one of them, laden almost to the gunwale, so that the water
must wash over their decks; but the fact is, they are completely
battened down, and are like casks; so that the only place the sea can
get into is the little cabin aft, or the forepeak, in which the crew,
consisting of a couple of men and a boy, are compelled to live.  The
wind holding fair, we passed the North Foreland, standing out boldly
into the sea; then sighted Broadstairs and Ramsgate.  We ran inside of
the ill-famed Goodwin Sands, and came to an anchor in the Downs off the
low sandy beach of Deal.

The town extends a considerable way along the shore, and a fine pier
runs off from it.  At the south end is a castle in a good state of
repair, although it would be more picturesque if it were a ruin.  About
a mile further to the south we saw Walmer Castle, where the Lord Warden
of the Cinque Ports resides.  It was here that the Duke of Wellington
spent the latter days of his life.  We went on shore, and had a good
deal of talk with some of those magnificent fellows, the Deal boatmen,
who are probably the most daring seamen and skilful pilots of any along
the coast of England.

Deal has a thoroughly salt-water smack about it.  "Boys and even girls
seemed to be born seamen," as Dick observed; taking their part, if not
in navigating the boats, in launching or hauling them up on the beach,
and attending to them; while the older part of the community are resting
from their labours.  We were amused at a scene we witnessed on the
beach.  Two old men, aided by a big girl and a boy, were engaged in
hauling up a lugger by means of a windlass, which they worked round and
round with wonderful energy, putting to shame a young fellow who sat on
a coil of rope idly smoking his pipe.

We were satisfied with a few hours spent at Deal.  When once more under
weigh, we passed the South Foreland, towering up high above our heads;
then rounding the cliffs on which Dover Castle stands, three hundred and
twenty feet above the sea, we stood into the harbour.

To the south of us, sheer out of the water, rose the Shakespeare Cliff,
where samphire was wont to grow; while between it and the castle
appeared the old town on either side of a steep valley, the heights, as
far as we could see them, covered with modern houses, churches, and
other public buildings.

On landing we went over the castle, which resembles, in some respects,
that of Gibraltar, as the fortifications are of an irregular form, to
suit the nature of the ground.  Excavated far below in the chalk rock
are numerous galleries, from which heavy guns would thunder forth an
unmistakeable warning to any foes attempting to enter the harbour, or to
flaunt their flags within range.  Until a few years ago both the inner
and outer harbours were dry at low water but now a fine new harbour has
been formed.

Dover, papa reminded us, is one of the original Cinque Ports, so called
from their number--five.  They consisted, in the time of William the
Conqueror, of Dover, Sandwich, Hythe, Romney, and Hastings.  To these
were afterwards added Winchelsea and Rye.  These ports had peculiar
privileges given to them, on condition that they should furnish the
shipping required for the purposes of state.  When ships were wanted,
the king issued to each of the ports a summons to provide its quota.  In
Edward the First's time, the number they were bound to supply was
fifty-seven fully equipped ships.  The period of gratuitous service was
fifteen days, after which they received payment.  The chief officer of
the Cinque Ports was called the Lord Warden.  It was considered a high
dignity, and was long held by the Duke of Wellington.

Many of their privileges have now been abrogated, as the ports have long
been relieved of their responsibilities.  It would certainly astonish
the inhabitants of Winchelsea or Dover if the Queen should inform them
that they must send half a dozen ironclads to complete the fleet off
Spithead!

Sailing as close as we could under Shakespeare's Cliff, we passed
Folkestone, standing partly in a hollow between two cliffs, and partly
up the side of that on the west.  Then we rounded the headland of
Dungeness; and sailing by Rye and Winchelsea, we passed Hastings,
renowned in history, a portion, looking old and venerable, joined to the
spic-and-span new town of Saint Leonard's.

Running past Eastbourne, we arrived off the bold, wild-looking point of
Beachy Head.  The weather becoming threatening, the wind, which had
hitherto been off shore, began to shift, and drew more and more to the
westward, the sky having anything but a pleasant appearance.  Dark
clouds gathered in dense masses on the horizon, and there was every
indication of a heavy gale.  Although so near the end of our voyage,
there appeared a probability of its being continued for several days
longer.

Papa having hailed Uncle Tom, it was agreed that we should stand
close-hauled on the starboard tack away from the land, and endeavour to
fetch Spithead.

We sighted two small places, Seaford and Newhaven, and could make out
Brighton, covering a wide extent of ground along the seashore, and
reaching the slopes of the hills and downs beyond.

"By standing on we shall have Shoreham under our lee; and we can but run
in there, if we find it impossible to beat to the westward against the
gale," observed papa.  "It is not exactly the port in which one would
choose to be weather-bound, but we may be thankful if we get there."

The bright revolving light at Beachy Head shone forth astern.  We were
gradually sinking it lower and lower; at length we lost sight of it
altogether.  It might be our last night at sea, and I begged papa to let
us remain on deck.

He laughed.  "You may, as long as you like to keep awake; but you must
take care not to topple overboard."

Dick and I for some time walked the deck, believing that we were keeping
watch, and, of course, looking out on every side.

"The wind's drawing more round to the south'ard," I heard Truck remark.
"If we go about, we shall soon catch sight of the Owers, and one more
tack will take us into Saint Helen's."

I was very anxious to see the light, because we had seen it before
starting to the westward, and it would show us really and truly that we
had gone right round England.  I continued pacing up and down, in spite
of the pitching of our little craft, for I knew if I were to stop for a
moment, I should fall asleep.  Of course we kept a sharp lookout, not
only for the light, but for any vessels which might be running up
Channel or beating down it.  At last I heard Truck say:

"There's the light, sir;" and I made out, a little on our starboard bow,
the Owers Light.

"Hurrah!"  I exclaimed; "we have been right round England!"

"I can't make it out," said Dick, in a drowsy voice.  "We've been
sailing over the plain sea all the time, except when we mounted the
locks at the Caledonian Canal.  I suppose it is all right though."

Dick could say no more.  I had to take him by the shoulders and help him
down the companion ladder.  So sleepy was he, that he could scarcely
pull off his clothes, and would have turned in fully dressed if I had
not helped him.

Next morning, when we awoke and turned out on deck, we were in sight of
many a well-known scene.  Ryde astern, Cowes on our port quarter; while
with a fresh breeze, running past Calshot Castle, we stood up the
Southampton Water, and our voyage was over.

After breakfast, Uncle Tom, Jack, and Oliver, came on board; and
together we thanked God for having preserved us from the dangers, seen
and unseen, to which we had been exposed.  We had indeed had a pleasant
time of it, and very naturally did not think of any of the anxious
moments we had occasionally gone through.

Uncle Tom and Jack had to return home at once; and they took Dick with
them, to send him to his aunt and uncle.

"The next few days won't be so pleasant," he said, making a long face.
"However, we shall meet at the end of them; and won't we spin long yarns
to the fellows at school!"

Papa, leaving us on board, went at once to his agents, to whom he had
written, requesting them to make inquiries about Nat's friends.  After
some time he returned, saying that no information had been received, and
that he would take Nat home with us.

Of this we were very glad.  It made some amends to us for having to go
on shore and quit the pleasant life we had so long been leading on
board.  We shook hands with Truck and all the crew, and in a short time
were seated in the railway-carriage rattling up to London.  We have ever
since been expecting to hear of some of our little guest's relatives
coming to look for him; but, as yet, no one has appeared; and as papa
would never think of turning him adrift, we believe that he will become
one of us; and, after he has been some years at school, perhaps go into
the navy, for which, strange to say, he has a wonderful fancy.





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