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Title: Life and Adventure in the South Pacific
Author: Jones, John D.
Language: English
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[Illustration: NEW BEDFORD]

                          LIFE AND ADVENTURE
                          THE SOUTH PACIFIC.

                           A ROVING PRINTER.

                               NEW YORK:
                    HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
                           FRANKLIN SQUARE.

    Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand
                      eight hundred and sixty, by

                          HARPER & BROTHERS,

  In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern District
                             of New York.


The present volume lays no claim to literary merit. Two young men,
led to engage in the whale-fisheries, and spending five years in the
employment, have compiled from their log-books and their recollection
a plain, unvarnished narrative of this period. The work is placed
before the public as an account of localities few have visited, and
the detail of an employment of which little is generally known. The
chief effort in the way of style has been to give vivid descriptions,
and make the reader the companion of the traveler. Aside from the
information of the volume, it is enlivened by “life on shipboard.”

In these days of many books, in which “voyages” have no small
representation, it may seem almost presumptuous to put forth another
tale of travel. Yet every traveler has his own experiences; and the
sailors who offer here their narrative for the landsman’s inspection
believe that their _yarn_ is not an old one, and they have some
confidence that the reader will not say it is a _dull_ one.


                             CHAPTER I.

  New Bedford.—Fitting out a Whaler.—Shipping A Crew.—Green
    Hands.—Shippers.—Outfitters.—A Sailor’s Wardrobe.—All Hands
    on board.—Good-by to Yankee Land.—The Pilot taking leave.—The
    last Farewell.—Captain’s Speech.—Choosing Watches.—The _Modus
    Operandi_ of Ships’ Watches.—Sea-sickness.                 Page 13

                             CHAPTER II.

  Sick of the Sea.—Description of the Boats and Whaling
    Apparatus.—Boat-headers.—Boat-steerers.—Mastheads.—The first
    Whale.—“There she blows!”—All hands excited.—Lowering the
    Boats.—“Pull, every man of you.”—A Fisherman’s Luck.—Whales
    again.—Cape Verd Islands.—St. Antonio.—St. Jago.—Fogo, the
    Island of Fire.—Going ashore.—A noisy Crowd.—Tom and the
    Portugee Donkey.—Manuel.—Now for Cape Horn.                     25

                            CHAPTER III.

  Our Captain.—Officers.—Boat-steerers.—Foremast Hands.—Jo Bob.—
    Sailor’s Fare.—The Cask of Pies.—Mackey.—Lawrence asleep.       35

                             CHAPTER IV.

  Crossing the Equator.—Barney looking for the “Line.”—Spoke Ship
    “Java.”—Spoke Ship “Ontario,” homeward bound.—Writing Letters
    Home “under Difficulties.”—Sperm Whales again.—A Fast Boat.—
    The Red Flag.—The Flurry.—The Fluke-chain passed.               41

                             CHAPTER V.

  Description of the Sperm Whale.—Described externally.—
    Difference between the Sperm and Right Whale.                   49

                             CHAPTER VI.

  “Cutting in”.                                                     59

                            CHAPTER VII.

  “Trying out.”—“Stowing down.”—“Cleaning up.”—Gale off the River
    De la Plata.—Thunder and Lightning.—Narrow Escape of the
    Ship.                                                           62

                            CHAPTER VIII.

  Preparing for Cape Horn.—Head Winds.—Staten Land.—Cape Horn.—
    Heavy Gale.—Porpoises and Albatross.—Mackey and the Third
    Mate.—Captured a Sperm Whale.—Preparing for Port.—The Anchor
    down.                                                           67

                             CHAPTER IX.

  Talcahuana.—Its Streets.—Public Buildings.—Market.—Calaboose.—
    The Harbor.—Churches.—Paulparees.—Inhabitants.—Manners and
    Customs.—Getting off Water.—Mackey again in Trouble.—In the
    Calaboose.—Californians.—Climate and Products of Chili.—
    Horseback Riding.—Spanish Wake.—Desertion.—American Consul.—
    Mackey’s Oration.—Swimming ashore.—Departure.                   71

                             CHAPTER X.

  Cruising.—Boat’s-crew Watches.—Deserters by wholesale.—A large
    Reward.—Public Auction.—Juan Fernandez.—Peaches.—Robinson
    Crusoe’s Cave.—Fishing.—Ship “Java.”—Masa Fuero.—St. Felix.—
    St. Ambrose.—San Lorenzo.—Callao.—A Railroad.                   78

                             CHAPTER XI.

  Payta.—Its Appearance.—Inhabitants.—Shipped three Spaniards.—
    Gamming.—Exchanged Boat-steerers.—Gloomy Forebodings.—Whales
    again.—Stove Boat.—Manuel overboard.—No Sunday off
    Soundings.—Mackey and the Mate.—Star-gazing.—Reflections.—A
    County Fair.—Lawrence in Trouble.                               86

                            CHAPTER XII.

  Marquesas Islands.—Dominica.—Its Appearance.—Visitors.—
    Tattooing.—The Chief.—His costly Dress.—Delivers his Papers.—A
    “Recommend.”—Society Islands.—Roratongo.—Its Appearance.—New
    York.—New Bedford.—Too many Friends.—The universal Remedy.—
    Fruit.—A thieving Set.—Missionaries.—Petty Tyrannies
    practiced.—Rev. John Williams.—His Death.—The staple
    Commodity.—The Desire for Sea.—Queen and Government.—
    Desertion.—General Losses.—Jo Bob’s Choice.—A merry Time.       92

                            CHAPTER XIII.

  Making Passage to King Mill Group.—Fourth of July.—Byron’s
    Island.—Perote Island.—Drummond’s Island.—Sydenham’s Island.—
    Visit from the Natives.—Their Canoes.—Themselves.—Trade.—
    “Dittoes.”—Taking of the “Triton.”—A treacherous Portuguese.—A
    bloody Massacre.—A just Retribution.—The Kanaka’s Stratagem.—
    The Natives frightened.—Prisoners ashore.—A young Hero.—
    Hostages.—The Prisoners released.—Proceed to the Sandwich
    Islands.—Henderville’s Island.—Woodle’s Island.—Natives
    again.—“Teka moi moi.”—Young Cocoanuts.—Decidedly Jewish.—
    Easily satisfied.—Description of Natives.—The Females.—A
    large Fleet.—Comparisons.—Simpson’s Island.—Ship
    “Narragansett.”—Stove Boat.—Fisherman’s Luck.—Experiments in
    Mesmerism.—Somebody “sold.”                                     99

                            CHAPTER XIV.

  Pitt’s Island.—Knox and Charlotte’s Islands.—Base Conduct.—
    Thieving.—Jack and Manuel.—Almost a “dead Nigger.”—Bark
    “Belle.”—Ship “Boy.”—Wreck of the “Flying Fox.”—Plundered by
    the Natives.—Hall’s Island.—Desertion.—My Man Friday.—A wet
    Berth again.—Ship “Hector.”—Anxiety for Letters.—A Canoe in
    distress.—A heart-rending Sight.—Gratitude of the Natives.—
    Pleasant Island.—Its Natives.—Murder of white Men.—Brig
    “Inga.”—Thieves again.—Search-warrant issued.—Property found,
    Culprit tried and punished.—A heavy Squall.—Strong’s Island.   110

                             CHAPTER XV.

  Strong’s Island.—King.—Canker.—Dress.—Chiefs.—Description of
    the Island.—Large Island.—Small Island.—Productions.—Wild
    Game.—Canals.—Stone Walls.—Who built them?—Ruins.—
    Suppositions.—A Rebellion.—Customs.—Queen.—Princes and
    Princesses.—Sekane.—Cæsar.—Natives.—Females.—“Strong’s Island
    Priests.—Rites and Ceremonies.—Funeral Ceremonies.—Rotumah
    Tom.—Food of the Natives.—Blueskin and his Procession.—
    Friday’s Opinion.—The Feast.—“Very good,” but think we won’t
    indulge.—Choose our “Hotel.”—An unpleasant Surprise.—
    “Planter.”—Mutiny and its Consequences.—Desertion.—One kind
    of Navigation.—A Stroll to Large Island.—Friday and the
    Taboo.—Incidents in Port.—Weighed Anchor.—“Mary Frazier.”—
    Death and Burial of Mr. S.—A few random Thoughts.              120

                            CHAPTER XVI.

  “A happy New-year to all.”—Rather poor Luck.—Pitt’s Island
    again.—Description.—Natives.—King.—Religious Belief.—Funeral
    Weapons of War.—Mode of Warfare.—Return to Strong’s Island.—
    Improvements.—Singing-school.—The Royal Family to Dinner.—
    Canker’s Guilt.—Poisoned Carva.—Return to our “Hotel.”—Our
    Suspicions strengthened.—“Stop Thief!”—Gas.—New Zealand
    Dance.—Grand Feast.—Tall Dancing.—“Cheers” by the Audience.—
    “Go it, Cæsar!”—Grand Boat-race.—The Boasters beaten.—Another
    great Feast.—Ball-Alley.—Narrow Escape of the Ship.—Departure
    for Guam.                                                      144

                            CHAPTER XVII.

  Guam.—Invasion of the Ladrone Islands by the Spaniards
    in 1554.—Getting off Recruits.—Fruit.—Climate.—Captain
    Anderson.—Massacre of Captain Luce and Boat’s Crew.—Proceed
    to Japan Cruising-ground.—Ship “Boy.”—Boat’s Crew taken down
    by a Whale.—Albicore and Skipjack.—“Our Luck” again.—The
    Spell broken.—Bark “Medina.”—Manuel and the Hog.—A slight
    Tap.                                                           154

                           CHAPTER XVIII.

  Food of the Sperm Whale.—Manner of Feeding.—Swimming.—
    Breathing.—Herding.                                            161

                            CHAPTER XIX.

  Nature of Sperm Whales’ Food.—“Sepia Octopus.”—Nautilus.         178

                             CHAPTER XX.

  Close of the first “Season” on Japan.—Making Passage to the
    Group.—“Land ho!”—“Breathing-places for Sailors.”—Henderville’s
    Island.—Unpleasant Prospect.—Narrow Escape from the Breakers.—A
    large Whale.—An ugly Customer.—Ocean Island Dick.—Ocean
    Island.—“Some Pumpkins.”—Bound for Strong’s Island.—Calms.—“Blow,
    ye gentle Breezes.”—At our “Hotel” once more.—Hospitality of the
    Natives.—A diabolical Scheme.—Anger of the King.—Narrow Escape
    of all Hands from Poisoning.—Wilds and the Queen.—A sudden
    Awakening.—Wild Boar.—Join in the Chase.—Brave Men.—The Boar
    presented in great State to the King.—Bravery of the “White
    Man.”—“Hog not Dog.”—At sea again.                             187

                            CHAPTER XXI.

  Blackfish.—Ship “Phocion.”—Ship “Ganges.”—Bark “Belle.”—“Chips”
    in Prison.—Friday’s Departure.—Sorrowful Leave-taking.—Ship
    “Bengal.”—Ship “Lion.”—Henderville’s Island once more.—Dick
    Simpson.—Ship “John and Elizabeth.”—Another New Year.—“Music
    by the Band.”—Variations.—An “Amateur” Concert.—Bark
    “Alfred Tyler.”—Wreck of the “Ontario.”—Ocean Island
    again.—Freshwater Cavern.—Superstitions.—Beachcombers.—
    Rascally Operations.—Convicts.—Taboo.—Natives.—Climate.—
    Houses.—Religious Belief.—Sharp Practice.—Characteristics.—
    Whaling.—Pleasant Island.—Disturbance with the Natives.—Ship
    “Mohawk.”—Pitcairn’s Island.—Mutiny of the “Bounty’s” Crew.—
    Death of Mrs. P.—“To my Husband.”—Massacre at Covill’s
    Island.—Whaling again.—A few stray Thoughts upon that
    subject.—Heavy Gale.—A “Gemman ob Color.”—His splendid
    Dress.—Passage to Guam.                                        198

                            CHAPTER XXII.

  Island of Rota.—Appearance.—Streets and Houses.—Inhabitants.—
    Governor.—Guam.—Umata Bay.—Procuring Water.—Marisa.—Its
    Appearance.—Port of Apia.—Fort.—Liberty.—A splendid Ride.—
    A cowardly Murder.—Bombardment of the Palace.—Attend Mass.—
    Seminary.—Insurrection of Prisoners.—Females.—Take a Stroll.—
    Ruins.—Reservoir.—Tobacco.—Betel Nut.—Captain Anderson.—
    Rebellion.—Jollification.—A novel Mode of choosing a
    Islanders.—Last Day on Shore.—Arguing the Point.—Disarming
    the Guard.—“Where is my Musket?”—Visit to the Fort.—Strange
    Doings.—Ready for Sea.                                         222

                           CHAPTER XXIII.

  Bailey’s Island.—Turtle.—Whaling.—Ship “James Allen.”—
    Water-spouts.—A heavy Gale.—Monotony.—A Swimming Adventure.—
    Ship “Atkins Adams.”—Spanish Jack again.—Tow-line Tea.—
    Captain’s stump Speech.—A large Whale.—Bark “Antelope.”—
    Strange Incident.—Passage to the Group.—Pitt’s Island.—Bark
    “Smyrna.”—A rummy Set.—Ship “Susan.”—Fearful Tragedy.—
    Passage to Strong’s Island.—Ship “Atlantic.”—Ship “Charles W.
    Morgan.”—“At home” once more.—Rev. Mr. Snow.—Characteristic
    Meanness.—Rotumah Dance.—Feast and Dance.—Sickness of Mr. L.—
    Divine Service on Board.—New Zealand Native.—Farewell to
    Strong’s Island.                                               240

                            CHAPTER XXIV.

  Success of the “Mohawk.”—Ship “Napoleon.”—Whaling.—Bound to the
    southward.—Sickness and Death of Mr. L.—Ship “Roscoe.”—
    Pleasant Island.—Massacre of the “Inga’s” Crew.—Narrow
    Escape.—Ship “Hannibal.”—Christmas and New-Year.—Ship
    “William Tell.”—Ship “John Wells.”—Violent Death of Captain
    Hussey.—Bound for Hong Kong.—H. B. M.’s Brig “Serpent.”—
    Island of Rota.—Wild Boar.—A general Stampede.—“All Hands and
    the Cook.”—Man the Victor.—Heavy Gales.—Gad’s Rock.—Formosa.—
    Bashee Islands.                                                255

                            CHAPTER XXV.

  Chinese Fishermen.—Pedro Blanca.—Preparing for Port.—Chinese
    Pilots.—Beating up the Passage.—Hong Kong.—“Hail Columbia.”—
    The “Susquehanna.”—Stars and Stripes.—Chinese Merchants.—
    Washerwomen.—Bumboats.—Dick Simpson and John Chinaman.—
    Chinese mode of Trading.—Sanpan.—A floating Community.—Boston
    Jack.—Victoria, its Situation, Streets, etc.—Chinese
    Barbers.—Fortune-tellers.—Policemen.—Chinese New-year.—A busy
    Time.—Firing a Salute.—Arrival of Governor BONHAM.—English
    Barracks.—Churches.—Hotels.—Dog or Horse?—Visit from
    Men-of-war’s-men.—Tom and the Lieutenant.—Commodore Perry.—
    Midshipmen.—Visit to the Barracks.—Theatre.—Fort.—Make some
    Purchases.—Counterfeit Money.—Tricks of the Chinese
    Gentlemen.—Chinese Funeral.—Marriages.—Education.—Ouang Ouci
    Yuen.—Infanticide.—Twenty-second of February.—Chinese
    Artists.—Their Powers of Imitation.—Sam Shu.—Domestic Life of
    the Chinese.—Food.—Temple, or Joss House.—Worship of Idols.—
    Joss Sticks.—Tom as a Yankee Naval Officer.—Chinese
    Men-of-war.—Pirates.—Chinese Theatre.—Masonic Temple.—The
    Bethel.—Chinaman and his Shoes.—The Arrest, Trial, and
    Acquittal.—Departure for Sea.                                  265

                            CHAPTER XXVI.

  Fishing Junks.—New Companions.—Stove Boat, yet good Luck.—Heavy
    Gales.—Bashee Islands.—Loo Choos.—The “Reaper” again.—Whaling
    Ship “Jireh Perry.”—Ship “Alabama.”—“Gamming.”—Ship
    “Roscoe.”—A Cure for “Bruisers.”—Ship “E. L. B. Jenney.”—Bark
    “Empress.”—Ormsby’s Peak.—Bonin Islands.—Turtles.—Peel’s
    Island.—A narrow Escape.—Bonin Island Inhabitants.—Japan
    Expedition.—An old Shipmate.—Another Runaway.—Fourth of July
    Celebration.—Ship “Rambler.”—Ship “Hope.”—Parting with an old
    Friend.—Fishing.—The last Lowering.—Bound for the Sandwich
    Islands.—Maui and Molokai.—Lahaina.—Anchor down.—Description
    of Lahaina.—King’s Palace.—Lahainaluna.—Rules and
    Regulations.—Sports and Pastimes.—Letters from Home.—
    Productions of Maui.—Captain M‘Culloch.—Sad News.—Death of
    Stoddard.—Voracity of the Shark.—Kanaka Church.—Small-pox.     301

                           CHAPTER XXVII.

  Legend of Kinau and Tuanoa: a Tale of the Sandwich Islands.      332

                           CHAPTER XXVIII.

  “Homeward bound” at last.—The prevailing Feeling.—Wauhoo and
    Atoowi.—“Stowaways.”—Farewell to the Sandwich Islands.—Ship
    “Uncas.”—On the Equator.—Whytootucke.—Roratongo.—Meeting of
    old Friends.—Interesting Missionary Incidents.—A good
    Reason.—Good-by to Roratongo.—Preparing for Cape Horn.—
    Christmas.—A heavy Gale.—Off Cape Horn.—New Experiences.—In
    the Atlantic again.—Ship “Betsey Williams.”—Brazilian Coast.—
    North of the Line.—Hurra for Yankee Land.—Brig “Alpha.”—
    Try-works overboard.—Scudding off Bermuda.—Gulf Stream.—
    Soundings.—Old “Hard-a-lee.”—The old Adage.—“Home at last!”—
    Conclusion.                                                    344

                       LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

  NEW BEDFORD                                          _Frontispiece._


  THE PILOT                                                         19

  THE MATE                                                          22

  DRUG                                                              26

  WHALING IMPLEMENTS                                                27

  THE MASTHEADMAN                                                   30

  “GIVE IT TO HIM!”                                                 45

  TOWING A DEAD WHALE                                               47

  SPERM WHALE                                                   49, 51

  RIGHT WHALE                                                       53

  RIGHT WHALE BONE                                                  55

  CUTTING IN                                                        58

  TRYING OUT                                                        63

  JUAN FERNANDEZ, FROM THE SEA                                      80

  PEAK OF YONKA                                                     82

  CRUSOE’S CAVE                                                     83

  SYDENHAM ISLAND CANOE                                            100

  STRONG’S ISLAND                                                  121

  STRONG’S ISLAND HOUSES                                           128

  STRONG’S ISLAND CANOE                                            129

  STOVE                                                            159

  SPOUTS OF THE SPERM AND RIGHT WHALE                              165

  HEAD OUT                                                         169

  BREACHING                                                        173

  A SCHOOL                                                         175

  USING HIS JAW                                                    208

  GOING DOWN ON A SCHOOL                                           210

  TRADING AT PLEASANT ISLAND                                       211

  A RACE FOR A WHALE                                               217

  THE “OLD MAN” TALKS                                              246

  ORMSBY’S PEAK                                                    309

  “THERE SHE BLOWS!”                                               315

  CHART OF SANDWICH ISLANDS                                        317

  LAHAINA                                                          320

  HOMEWARD BOUND                                                   346

  A LANDSHARK                                                      356

  JUST LANDED                                                      359

                         LIFE AND ADVENTURE
                         THE SOUTH PACIFIC.

                             CHAPTER I.

  New Bedford.—Fitting out a Whaler.—Shipping a Crew.—Green Hands.—
    Shippers.—Outfitters.—A Sailor’s Wardrobe.—All Hands on board.—
    Good-by to Yankee Land.—The Pilot taking leave.—The last
    Farewell.—Captain’s Speech.—Choosing Watches.—The _Modus Operandi_
    of Ships’ Watches.—Sea-sickness.

The city of New Bedford, Mass., has for many years been the principal
whaling-port of the United States. From there hundreds of young men
have annually gone to different parts of the world to battle with
the monsters of the deep, and, after a long and weary absence from
home and friends, returned with ships “laden with the spoils.” It
is not our purpose to give a description of this far-famed (among
whalemen) place, but we trust it will prove interesting to the reader
if we briefly sketch the _modus operandi_ of fitting out a whaler,
and “shipping a crew,” that if any one shall be tempted to see the
world in a whaler, he may be put upon his guard against some of the
impositions practiced upon “green hands” by the “shippers,” as they
style themselves, of whaling-ports.

In fitting out a whaler for a voyage, every thing is usually done as
cheaply as possible, and often on the “penny-wise and pound-foolish”
plan. With some owners, however, we are happy to say, it is
different. They have a regard for the health and comfort of the
ship’s company, and their ships are generally well fitted, with good
provisions, good whaling material, and every thing necessary to make
the voyage one of pleasure and comfort to the crew as well as profit
to themselves. In nine cases out of ten such ships get good crews,
and make profitable voyages. But there are others who are actuated
by a niggardly disposition in fitting and provisioning their ships,
and the result of the voyage, as far as profit is concerned, is a
corresponding one.

After a ship has her provisions, water, and every thing necessary
for the voyage on board except her crew, she is “hauled into the
stream,” ready for sea as soon as the ship’s company can be got on
board, which generally occupies a day or two, as many of them are
having their last “spree,” spending their “advance,” and often coming
on board half intoxicated. Some of them, when they ship, are in
that condition, and hardly know, until they are at sea, their true
situation and how they came there. The majority of a whaler’s crew
(foremast hands) are “greenies,” hardly any of them ever having smelt
salt water, and knowing nothing of a seaman’s life, its hardships,
its exposures, its joys, or its sorrows. But the poor fellows soon
learn, and many of them, before they have been clear of the land a
week, vainly wish themselves at home. Many of them are picked up by
“shipping agents” throughout the country, who send them on to their
respective shipping-houses in New Bedford. They are then furnished
by the shippers with second or third rate boarding-houses, the board
to be paid out of their advance. It is a common practice for the
shippers to make contracts with owners to furnish them with so many
“green hands” at so much per head; the shipper receiving his price
from the owner, and then, in addition, charging poor “greeny” ten
dollars for “getting him a ship.”


He is then, after being shipped in a vessel of whose captain,
officers, destination, etc., he is entirely ignorant, consigned
to the tender mercies of the “outfitter,” who is to furnish his
wardrobe for a five years’ voyage. The poor fellow is here sadly
taken in. The outfitter will spin him a nice yarn, and promise him
a splendid outfit, “enough to last him the whole voyage,” which he
manages to postpone giving him until the ship is just ready to sail,
when he will “fit him out” with a wooden box, made of pine boards,
which he calls a chest, size about seven by nine, with perhaps a
broken lock, and “stowed” with his five years’ clothing. As a general
thing, this clothing is made in such a manner and of such material
that it gives out before the ship gets into the Pacific, and the
“slop-chest” is resorted to for a new supply. It is a common remark
among whalemen who have been “bit,” that the cloth is “made of bull’s
wool and dog’s hair, woven together by thunder and lightning.” The
“five years’ supply” generally consists of two red or blue woolen
shirts, two under-shirts, two pairs of drawers, one pair of woolen
pants, one round-jacket, one monkey-jacket, two pairs of thin
pants, two “hickory” shirts, a sou’wester or tarpaulin, two pairs
of stockings, one pair of shoes, a jack-knife, comb, looking-glass,
paper of needles, one quarter-pound of thread, five pounds of
tobacco, a keg of oil soap, a tin cup, pan, and spoon, mattress,
pillow, and blankets. For this lot of _stuff_ the outfitter charges
the _moderate_ sum of seventy-five dollars, draws an order for that
amount upon the owners, and, just as the ship is to sail, tells the
“greeny” he must sign it, or he can’t go in the ship. Many times he
is urged to, and often does, sign an order, the amount of which is
left blank; and, after the ship sails, the outfitter fills the blank
to suit himself. The poor victim is thus completely in their power,
and they know it, and act accordingly. There are exceptions, of
course; some men are engaged in the business who would scorn to do
a mean action, but, generally, the outfitters of New Bedford are,
politely speaking, gentlemen robbers.

Our ship was to sail on the 23d of October, 18—. Accordingly, on the
morning of that day, every thing on board was in a glorious state
of confusion. Chests, bundles, bedding, etc., were strewn about the
decks until the lawful owners should take charge of them.

As soon as the crew were all on board, orders were given to “man
the windlass,” and in a few moments the anchor was on the bow, and
our last hold on American soil broken. Many an hour must pass, and
many a mile of the blue wave be plowed, ere we could again drop our
anchor in this port. The captain now came on board, accompanied by
his wife and son, the huge sails were loosed, and we left the city of
New Bedford with fine breezes and pleasant weather; many of us with
gloomy forebodings, vainly endeavoring to penetrate the dim veil of
the future and conjecture as to whether we should be spared again to
tread our native shores; again to clasp in our embrace those dear
friends we were leaving behind us sorrowing. But the future was all
shrouded in mystery, and we could but sigh farewell, and place our
trust in Him who “doeth all things well.”

As we are now at sea, the pilot takes his leave, with those who have
come off to bid adieu to their brothers, sons, friends, etc.; and
now the weather-beaten tar as well as the green hand brushes away a
tear, as they bid a long farewell to happy homes; and as their native
shores gradually sink behind the wave, all appear to be suddenly
impressed with the loneliness of their situation, and the dangers
they have to encounter and overcome ere they again behold the dear
ones at home.

[Illustration: THE PILOT.]

[Illustration: THE MATE.]

At about 6 P.M. the captain came on deck, called all hands aft,
and made a short speech, the substance of which was that, “as long
as they behaved themselves, they should receive good treatment,
should have plenty to eat and drink, and a regular watch below;
that they were to go when told, come when called, and that without
grumbling; and if any of them should act contrary to this, they would
find they had come to the wrong place; that there were some thirty of
the crew, and he but one, and it was utterly impossible for him to do
every thing to please so many different minds, yet it was perfectly
easy for them to so conduct themselves as to suit him; and,” he adds,
“let every person sweep his own door clean and mind his own affairs,
and there will be no difficulty; but if not, look out for ‘breakers:’
in fine, he hopes there will no trouble, and in forty months to be
sailing up Buzzard’s Bay with a full ship.”

The captain and chief mate then proceeded to choose watches. Of
the _modus operandi_ of ships’ “watches” we presume a great many
are conversant; but, for the benefit of those who are not, we will
here relate it. The ship’s company is first divided into two equal
portions, called the larboard, or mate’s watch, and the starboard,
or captain’s watch, which is commanded, or, technically speaking,
“headed” by the second mate. At 8 P.M. the “watch is set,” one watch
remaining on deck, and the other going below until twelve. They then
change, those on deck going below, and remaining until 4 A.M., when
they again change for four hours more, until eight. At that time
they are again changed, the watch that had “eight hours out” having
the “forenoon watch below,” from 8 till 12 M.; and in the afternoon
the watch that had but “four hours out” the night before have the
afternoon watch below, from 12 to 4 P.M. The time from 4 to 8 P.M. is
divided into two short watches, called “dog-watches,” for the purpose
of regulating or keeping them in proper succession. For instance: the
larboard watch is on deck from 8 P.M. to 12; the starboard from 12
to 4 A.M.; the larboard from 4 to 8 A.M.; the starboard from 8 A.M.
to 12 M.; the larboard from 12 to 4 P.M.; the starboard from 4 to 6
P.M., and the larboard from 6 to 8 P.M., when the watch is set. They
are thus changed every night, one having eight hours on deck and four
below one night, and the next _vice versa_, continuing thus for the

It being 8 o’clock, eight bells were struck, and one watch was sent
below. About this time the majority of us landlubbers were paying
tribute to old Father Neptune—casting up our accounts—and it mattered
very little to some of us whether the ship went up or down.

Of all the miserable beings in the world, the sea-sick “greeny” is
the most miserable. Those who have been sea-sick can appreciate
his situation when we tell them that, in addition to the feeling
produced by the sickness, he is made the butt and laughing-stock of
those around him who escape the infliction. Those who have never
experienced this sickness can not appreciate the blessing of having
escaped it, and we will not attempt, therefore, to describe it.
However, to use a homely expression, when one is really sea-sick,
good and strong, he “doesn’t care whether school keeps or not!”

                             CHAPTER II.

  Sick of the Sea.—Description of the Boats and Whaling Apparatus.—
    Boat-headers.—Boat-steerers.—Mastheads.—The first Whale.—“There
    she blows!”—All hands excited.—Lowering the Boats.—“Pull, every
    man of you.”—A Fisherman’s Luck.—Whales again.—Cape Verd Islands.—
    St. Antonio.—St. Jago.—Fogo, the Island of Fire.—Going ashore.—A
    noisy Crowd.—Tom and the Portugee Donkey.—Manuel.—Now for Cape

It blew very fresh through the night, and could the old ship have
come to an anchor about this time, we hardly think many of the “green
hands” would have remained on board. But it was of no avail now to
complain; all were in for it, and must take the evil with the good
from this time until the end of the voyage.

Nothing worthy of note transpired, with the exception of occasionally
seeing a sail, until Wednesday, November 31st, being about five weeks
out, when we saw our first sperm whale. But before we lower the boats
and capture this fellow, let us make the reader acquainted as much as
possible with our boats and whaling apparatus.

Our ship carried four boats on the cranes, besides four more spare
ones in case of accident, such as a boat being stove, etc. They are
built in a manner to enable them to stand a very heavy sea, and at
the same time very light and buoyant; about twenty-five feet in
length and four in breadth, and sharp at both ends, for motion in
either direction without turning. Near the stern of the boat is
placed a strong, upright, round piece of wood, a little one side from
the centre, which is termed the “loggerhead.” The whale-line passes
two or three times around this when running out of the boat. At the
head or bow is a groove, exactly in the centre, through which the
line passes when taken out by the whale. In each boat are two tubs,
containing each about one hundred and fifty fathoms, or eighteen
hundred feet altogether in length, of the best Manilla tow-line, very
carefully coiled, that it may run out perfectly clear and free; for
such is the velocity of its egress sometimes that, should any thing
obstruct its free passage, the boat, with all its contents, would
be immediately drawn under the surface. There are also five or six
harpoons, three lances, a keg, called the lantern-keg, containing a
lantern with candles, matches, tinder, bread, pipes, and tobacco,
that the boat’s crew may have something with which to sustain nature
in case of being off in the night-time, or losing the ship in the
day-time; a waif, which is a small flag fastened to a pole, to be
inserted in the dead whale, as a signal to the ship that it is a
“dead fish;” one or two drugs, which are pieces of plank about a foot
or eighteen inches in diameter, with a centre-post, and short line
attached, by which they are fastened to the whale-line, serving to
check the speed of the whale in sounding or running.

[Illustration: DRUG.]

Each boat is commanded by one of the officers of the ship, who is
styled “boat-header;” the captain commanding the starboard boat, the
first mate the larboard boat, the second mate the waist-boat, and
the third mate the bow boat; and they are manned each by a crew
of five, one of whom is the harpooner, or “boat-steerer.” All four
boats are used in the chase, the race often becoming exciting as to
which shall be the “first boat fast.”


  Spade and Sheath.
  Blubber Pike.
  Harpoon and Sheath.
  Oil Dipper.

[Illustration: THE MASTHEADMAN.]

From the commencement of the voyage to its close men are stationed
at each masthead, on the look-out for whales, and are relieved every
two hours. When a whale is seen by any one of the men aloft, he
immediately sings out in a peculiar voice, “There she blows!” and
repeats it as often as the whale spouts. The officer of the deck
immediately cries out, “Where away?” and the look-out replies, giving
the direction of the whale from the ship. The officer again asks,
“How far off?” The distance is given, and, in a shorter space of time
than is occupied in relating it, the captain is at masthead with his
spy-glass. As soon as he ascertains the fact that they are sperm
whales, he sings out, “Call all hands; get the boats ready, and stand
by to lower;” at the same time giving directions to the man at the
wheel to keep the ship in the proper direction.

It is impossible to describe the excitement that now prevails. All are
anxious to obtain a glimpse, many for the first time, of the monster.
The lethargy produced by the hitherto monotonous voyage is now shaken
off, and one and all partake of the excitement. All is bustle and
animation; some are at masthead, some are in the rigging, and others
flying around, getting the boats in perfect order, and ready to be
lowered at a moment’s notice. If the whale is to the leeward of the
ship, she is kept in that direction; if to windward, the boats are sent
in chase, which often proves to be an arduous task. In this instance
the whale was to the leeward. When we were within proper distance, the
captain coming down, called out, “Haul aback the mainyards; lower away
the boats,” and the respective crews follow them down. In a moment
more they are pulling for the whale. From hour to hour, and often
from sunrise to sunset, do these hardy men toil at the oar, enduring
suffering and fatigue, almost unnoticed under the eager excitement of
the chase, to be the head boat, or the “first boat fast;” and this
under a scorching tropical sun. The waist boat draws near the whale,
and all is excitement; the officer crying out, “Pull, men, _do_ pull;
now, my hearties, give way; oh! men, _do_ pull; I’ll give you any thing
I’ve got, only put me alongside that whale; there he blows; only three
seas off,” etc. The boat is close to him; it draws nearer and nearer;
the officer orders the boat-steerer to “stand up;” he rises in his
place and lifts the fatal weapon; and, when the boat is close enough,
the order is given, “Give it to him; give it to him, I tell you!” The
boat-steerer darts and misses him, and the whale is “gallied,” or
frightened, and takes French leave. Thus ended our first chase after
a whale, as did many more during the voyage, and, after having pulled
nearly all day, they returned to the ship, all hands disappointed,
but the captain cheering us with “better luck next time.” Having
thus disposed of our “first whale,” we kept on our course, steering
southeast, for the Cape Verd Islands.

On Tuesday, November 27th, we again saw sperm whales, lowered all the
boats in chase, but they were going too fast for us, and, pulling a
long time with no success, gave up and came on board.

The next day we saw the island of St. Antonio, and ran in toward
the land. The inhabitants of this island, like all others of the
Cape Verd group, are Portuguese. They subsist principally on the
yam, sweet potato, cocoanut, banana, orange, etc., and fish; live in
nearly a nude state; are, as a general thing, treacherous, thieving,
ignorant, and superstitious. The Roman Catholic religion is the only
one tolerated.

On Thursday, the 29th, we passed the island of St. Jago, another
of the same group. We were now steering for Fogo, which, on the
following morning at daybreak, we saw distant about nine miles. On
this island is a volcano, whose summit is one and a quarter miles
above the level of the sea. From this volcano the island derives
its name, “Fogo, the Island of Fire.” Some years since an eruption
took place, which destroyed most of the vegetation, and many of
the inhabitants lost their lives. Those that escaped took boats
and proceeded to the island of Bravo, a few miles distant. Our
captain sent two of our boats in to the shore, for the purpose of
trading with the natives, exchanging calico, beads, looking-glasses,
trinkets, etc., for various fruits. The opportunity now being
given us of visiting dry land once more, we accepted it joyfully.
As we drew in near to the shore, the island presented a beautiful
appearance; the mountains and hills were covered with green verdure;
the natives were seen flocking down their sides, some loaded with
baskets of fruit of various kinds, some driving a miserable-looking
donkey before them, with a basket of fruit on one side and a pig on
the other; here, too, might be seen a great strapping Portuguese
woman, with a pig over her shoulder, shouting as loud as her burden
squealed, and all hallooing to the boats; the waves breaking over the
reef in thunder tones, and all together creating one of the wildest
scenes of confusion we have ever witnessed. We finally found, after
pulling along the shore for some distance, an opening in the reef,
where we might land without danger of getting our boats stove to
pieces, and pulled in. As soon as we landed we were surrounded by
nearly two hundred Portuguese, and a scene now ensued that beggars
description. Imagine a flock of two hundred birds, all chattering,
about fifty hogs squealing, goats bleating, donkeys braying, and
sailors shouting and laughing, and you have some faint idea of the
real scene. Some of our men, too, went in for a little fun. One of
them, Tom W., a regular wag, managed to steal a Portuguese’s donkey
for a short ride up the mountain and back. When he returned, the
donkey’s master wanted the moderate sum of seven dollars for the use
of the animal. Tom told him he would give him his note for ten years;
but the Gee would not be satisfied, until, a crowd gathering around,
the matter was finally compromised by Tom’s buying his basket of
oranges, containing, perhaps, a hundred, for which he gave him about
one eighth of a pound of tobacco.

In the afternoon we returned to the ship, our boats loaded with
fruit. We also brought off with us a wild Portugee, who was
determined, in spite of the remonstrances of our officers, to “see
the elephant.” He could not speak a word of English, and seemed
to look on all the proceedings on board ship with a great deal of
comical dignity and interest. He made the captain understand by
signs that he wished to go the voyage. Accordingly they soon struck
a bargain, and Manuel became a member of the ship’s company. He was
furnished with a couple of suits of clothes, Tom W. gravely remarking
that “it was the first suit of clothes that was ever in the family,”
and sent forward. He was of noble build, being six feet three inches
high, and well proportioned. He soon, however, was obliged to “cast
up his accounts,” and we never saw a more pitiable-looking object
than sea-sick Portugee Manuel; and, while many of the crew were
passing jokes upon him, he looked as if he fully believed he had
fallen into the hands of barbarians.

From this island we shaped our course for Cape Horn.

                            CHAPTER III.

  Our Captain.—Officers.—Boat-steerers.—Foremast Hands.—Jo
    Bob.—Sailor’s Fare.—The Cask of Pies.—Mackey.—Lawrence asleep.

The ship being by this time “shipshape and Bristol fashion,” and the
crew pretty well acquainted with each other, we will give a brief
description of the officers and crew. Our captain is a man of about
fifty, and has “beat the wash” for the past twenty-six years. He is a
thorough sailor, a skillful navigator, and an impartial and decisive
judge, and one who commands the respect of both officers and crew.
His lady is an agreeable, intelligent woman, well fitted to be the
wife of such a man; his son, a lad of about ten years, a smart,
active boy, and cut out for a sailor.

Our chief mate, Mr. C., is a seaman of the first water, one
thoroughly versed in the mysteries of sailorship, prompt and
efficient, kind and obliging, and, above all, a most skillful

Our second officer, Mr. L., is also an excellent seaman, an
experienced whaleman, and one whom the whole ship’s company love, for
he is a good man, and to them all a kind friend.

Quite the contrary is our third officer, Mr. K. He is a pompous,
windy sort of a being, who knows more than the captain and all hands,
and one whom the men detest.

Our fourth officer, Mr. F., is a fine jovial fellow, as smart as
a steel trap, and perfectly at home on board ship. He is also an
excellent whaleman.

The boat-steerers are good-natured boys, always ready in the
discharge of their duties; and the cooper, a quiet, peaceable man,
who attends to his own business, which he thoroughly understands,
and does not trouble himself with other people’s.

The crew represent most of the states of the Union, England, and
France. We have with us, also, a Kanaka, a native of the island of
Roratongo, one of the Society Islands; a good-natured, lazy fellow,
with but one eye, who goes by the very expressive name of Jo Bob. He
speaks but little English, and that so broken as to make it difficult
to understand him; nevertheless, in the first watch at night, he
takes our wild Portuguese on the heel of the bowsprit, and endeavors
to teach him _English_, and rather comical work they make of it. Most
of the mechanical trades we find represented among our crew, as well
as the professions, and the “art preservative of all arts.” One or
two, from their appearance and conversation, would lead a person to
suppose they had never before been beyond the boundaries of a cow
pasture. Some have been driven to the sea to escape the consequence
of rascalities at home; others from family difficulties; some have
come to sea to repair their broken health; a few have run away from
home to escape the fancied tyrannies of parents, and still others
from an inclination to follow the sea and a love of adventure; and
all have come to a good school, in one sense of the word. Shut out
from all society; prescribed to a certain portion of the ship; to go
when told, come when called, and that without grumbling; put upon
sailor’s fare, which generally consists of coffee and tea, without
milk or sugar, and sea-bread, with cold salt pork, for breakfast,
beef and pork for dinner, with “duff” for dessert—and we will give
a brief description of this beautiful dish: Take flour, which has
previously been dug out of a cask with mallet and chisel, and then
_pounded_ fine, mix it with water to the consistency of a paste, and
then “dump” it into a canvas bag, and boil for three hours, with
about the third quality of West India molasses, well diluted with
water, for sauce, and you have the sailor’s delicacy—“duff!” This
food, with the manner of living, generally brings them to their
senses; they begin to realize the comforts and blessings of a good
home, and make the important discovery that their wisdom is not
quite so extensive as Solomon’s, and that they were sadly mistaken
in supposing they knew more than their parents. If any young men
who may chance to read this book should have a longing for the sea
and all its pleasures, we will inform them how they may obtain
a slight foretaste of those joys. Let them choose a dark, cold,
rainy night, such as we often have in the month of November, and be
roused suddenly out of a snug, cozy sleep, mount into the top of the
tallest tree they can find, and there stand and endure the pitiless
beatings of the storm for four long hours, and we think they will
get a _slight_ foretaste of the joys of a sailor’s life. But still,
whenever we have been asked the question by such, we say, “Go, by all
means, and then you will be satisfied.” The old adage proves true
here as well as elsewhere, “Experience is a dear school.”

We will here give one or two anecdotes in relation to life on
shipboard, which will serve to illustrate the tricks and games often
practiced. We had with us, by some means unaccountable, a young
fellow from Taunton, Mass., a lazy, half-foolish, soft piece of
humanity, to whom we soon gave the dignified appellation of “Barney.”
When only a few days out, and Barney was partially recovering from
his sea-sickness, the poor fellow, missing the accustomed good things
at home, and not relishing the hard fare of ship-life, complained
sadly of his want of appetite; that he could not relish the fat salt
pork and hard bread which he was obliged to eat. One of the old
seamen, who are always up to such jokes, said to him, “Why, Barney,
you fool, why don’t you go and ask the captain or mate to break out
that _cask of pies_ that they have got in the main hold, and give
you one? They were put on board expressly for the green hands when
recovering from their sea-sickness.”

“_Cask of pies!_” replied Barney, opening his eyes and mouth wide
with astonishment. “Is there a cask of pies aboard?”

“Certainly,” replied his tormentor, “and it was put aboard on purpose
for the green hands, and you’re a fool if you don’t go and tell the
old man[1] you want some.”

So off Barney posts aft to the captain and mate, who were walking
the quarter-deck together. It was not long before he returned to the
forecastle, his countenance considerably elongated, and feeling very
much crestfallen.

“What’s the matter, Barney? Didn’t you get any pies?”

“_No_, I didn’t get any pies, and there ain’t any aboard the ship
either, and you knew there was not.”

“Why, what did the old man say?”

“He said that some one was making a fool of me, and if I came to
him after any more pies he would stop my watch below for the whole

Poor Barney was obliged to submit, not only to sailor’s food, but to
be one of the butts of the ship’s company for the voyage.

We had on board a fellow from Nova Scotia by the name of Mackey. It
was the delight of some of the watch to “stuff” Mackey with all sorts
of imaginable stories on divers subjects, and to get the poor fellow,
who was very credulous withal, into some scrape. One night, when it
was blowing very hard, and the ship lying-to under easy sail, rolling
heavily, some one of the watch told Mackey to place a handspike in
one of the lee scupper-holes to prevent the ship rolling so badly.
Off posts Mackey for a handspike, but, finding none, he contented
himself with using a scrub-broom handle, which he placed in the
scupper-hole, and commenced jumping upon it, until he finally broke
it. The officer of the watch espied him, and sang out,

“What are you about there, you Mackey?”

“Stopping the old ship from rolling, sir.”

“Well, I guess you have worked at that about long enough; now point
yourself aloft, and try your hand at slushing down the masts; away
you go!”

Poor Mackey starts off, grumbling that they should give him a work-up
job for trying to stop the ship from pitching about so. He gets up
aloft, and finds rather a difficult job before him.

“How shall I hang on, sir?”

“By your eyelids.”

“But I can’t do it, sir.”

“Then let go; probably the deck will bring you up.”

As this is all the consolation Mackey gets, he goes to work,
muttering all sorts of invectives against whale-ships and mean men,
and wishing them all in Tophet, and that he was at home, down in Nova
Scotia, and guesses he would not trouble salt water again.

Our pompous third officer was very much opposed to allowing the
men to sit down in the night watches, for fear they should take a
short nap now and then. We had one fellow on board who was one of
the laziest fellows in existence, so very lazy that before we were
two weeks out he had received the appropriate sobriquet of “Lazy
Lawrence.” He possessed, in addition to the excellent trait of
character above mentioned, that of being the most inveterate liar
ever known, and at the same time the greatest sleepyhead on board.
As soon as he would come on deck in the middle, or morning watch,
he would invariably bring himself to an anchor somewhere, and
then—he was fast asleep. One night one of the crew, stationed on the
look-out, espied him, and, thinking to have a little sport, goes
aft to the binnacle lamp (which is the lamp that gives the light
to the helmsman at night), covered his hands with oily smut, and,
coming forward to the place where Lawrence was so quietly reposing,
probably dreaming of his home, “’way down East, in the State of
Maine,” and the farm, drew both hands very quietly across the poor
fellow’s face several times, giving him very much the appearance of
a molasses-colored darkey. Next morning all hands were called to go
through the usual process of washing decks, etc. Lawrence, making his
appearance with the rest, presented a comical spectacle. All hands
roared with laughter; he, not imagining what was the cause of their
merriment, joined in. At last the chief mate, who had an inkling of
the matter, sang out,

“What is the matter with you this morning, Lawrence; are you sick?”

“No, thir,” lisped Lawrence.

“I guess you got asleep during your watch last night, did you not?”

“No, thir; I never closed my eyes the whole watch!”

“Don’t lie to me; what were you doing on the windlass, just after
four bells?”

“Only thinking, thir.”

“There, that will do; go wash, and point yourself aloft, and stay
there till I call you down; and learn, when I ask you a question, to
tell the truth; away you go!”

So away goes Lawrence, imagining himself the most abused man in
existence, and says a state prison would be preferable to an old
blubber-hunter. After he had been kept aloft two or three hours, he
was called down, told to tell the truth after this, and sent about
his business.

[1] The captain.

                             CHAPTER IV.

  Crossing the Equator.—Barney looking for the “Line.”—Spoke Ship
    “Java.”—Spoke Ship “Ontario,” homeward bound.—Writing Letters Home
    “under Difficulties.”—Sperm Whales again.—A Fast Boat.—The Red
    Flag.—The Flurry.—The Fluke-chain passed.

On the 13th of December, 18—, we crossed the equator in longitude 24°
30´ west. The weather was delightful; pleasant breezes and sunshine;
the heat not uncomfortable, but just enough to make thin clothing
desirable. Old Neptune did not favor us with a visit, although rather
fearfully expected by some. This practice, we believe, has become
obsolete, and we rejoice heartily at it, for a more barbarous one
never was invented.

Barney was very anxiously and busily engaged during the middle and
morning watches, and most of the day, in looking for the “line” as
we crossed it. He had talked of nothing else for several days, and
was keeping a bright look-out for it, losing his watch below for the
purpose. But he was doomed to disappointment. No “line” was visible
when we crossed the equator, and poor Barney went below, when the
announcement was made that we were south of it, muttering to himself,
“It is certainly strange; I have often seen it on the maps, and I
can’t imagine how we crossed it without seeing it.” Barney found out
his error before the voyage was up.

The same day we saw the first whale-ship at sea, the ship “Java,” of
Fairhaven, Captain Thompson. She, like ourselves, was bound for the
Pacific. Had taken no whales as yet.

On the twentieth of the same month, while in company with the Java,
we spoke the “Ontario,” of Sag Harbor, bound home, with a full
cargo of whale oil. Paper, pens, and ink were now in great demand,
all eager to send letters home. And now a great many of those who
attempted writing for the first time found out the difficulty, we
might almost say folly, of attempting to write legibly at sea. We had
by this time, from having practiced it daily in keeping a journal,
acquired the _knack_, though at first our efforts in that line
were really astounding, to us at all events. Even now it is hard
deciphering the marks we first “entered in our log,” they having a
closer resemblance to the tracks of an old turkey who had stepped in
a pool of ink and walked over paper than any thing else we can liken
them to.

But we must hasten, as the good ship “Ontario” is waiting
anxiously for her master to return on board, that she may be
on her way “homeward bound.” Her crew were pitying us poor
fellows—outward-bounders on a long voyage—while we were vainly
endeavoring to conjecture how soon the time would arrive when we
should be homeward bound with a full ship, and could look with an eye
of pity upon poor outward-bound whalemen.

The morning of the twenty-second commences with light breezes from
the northeast; pleasant weather. Suddenly, about 9 A.M., the monotony
is broken by the welcome cry from masthead,

“T-h-e-r-e she b-l-o-w-s! T-h-e-r-e she b-l-o-w-s!”

“Where away?”

“Four points off the lee bow, sir.”

“How far off?”

“About two miles, sir.”

“What does it look like?”

“Sperm whales, sir.”

“Ay, ay; sing out every time you holler.”

By this time the captain was aloft, and, on taking a view with his
spy-glass at the “spouts,” sings out, “Sperm whales! Call all hands;
bear a hand there, and get your boats ready.”

“Ay, ay, sir,” is the reply. All hands are called, and the different
crews stand by their respective boats, “all eager for the fray,” and
expressing their determination to capture a whale before returning to
the ship, taking for their motto, “A dead whale or a stove boat.”

“Lower away the boats!” shouts the captain, as he descends to the
deck. They are instantly lowered, followed by the crews, and now
comes the tug of war. Each boat sets her sail, and the men pull in
good earnest. While they are skimming the waves the whale is still
spouting, and all are anxious to reach him before his “spoutings
are out.” It frequently happens, when in pursuit, that, just at the
moment the boat-steerer “stands up” to strike the whale, he suddenly
descends; but experienced whalemen can generally tell the direction
they take while down by the position of the “flukes” when going down.
The boats are then pulled in the direction the whale is supposed
to have taken. They also judge of the distance the whale will go
under water by the velocity of the animal when last seen. After the
boats have pulled what is judged to be the proper distance, they
“heave up,” or cease pulling. A large whale, when not “gallied,” or
frightened, generally spouts from sixty to seventy times before going
down, and remains down from fifty to seventy minutes.

The boats have now got close on. Those left on board the ship are
watching with breathless anxiety, occasionally exclaiming, “Oh pull,
boys! do pull!” Meantime the men in the boats are bending back to it,
but the bow boat has the advantage; she is the head boat. Mr. K. is
jumping up and down in the stern, crying, “Once more, my hearties;
give it to her! a few more strokes, and we have him; pull, my
children! why don’t you break your backbones, you rascals? so there
you are now; that’s the stroke for a thousand pounds; start her, but
keep cool; cucumbers is the word; easy, easy; only start her! why
don’t you snap your oars, you rascals? bite something, you dogs! easy
now, but pull; oh, you’re all asleep! stop snoring, and pull; pull,
will ye? pull, can’t ye? pull, won’t ye? pull, and start your eyes
out! that’s it; now you start her.” Thus, one moment coaxing and the
next scolding; but no one heeds him, as all are bent on taking the
whale. “Stand up!” shouted he; and the boat-steerer rose to his feet,
grasped his iron, and, as the boat neared the monster, “Give it to
him!” is the next cry, and “chock to the socket” went the first iron,
followed as quick as thought by the second. ONE DEAFENING CHEER, and
the cry resounded over the waters, “_We are fast! we are fast!_” The
sea, which but a moment before lay still and quiet, with scarcely
a ripple to break its even surface, is now lashed into foam by the
writhings of the whale. “Stern all!” shouts the officer. The boat
is immediately backed, and removed from present danger; the officer
takes the head of the boat, and the boat-steerer takes the steering
oar to manage the boat; the whale is sounding, and the line is
running through the “chocks,” or groove in the head of the boat, with
the rapidity of lightning, and as it passes round the loggerhead it
ignites from the heat produced by friction, but the tub-oarsman is
continually dashing water upon it in the line-tub. The whale sounds
deep, and the line is almost out; a signal is made to the other
boats, which are coming down. They come near enough, and bend on
their lines; but presently it ceases running out and slackens; the
whale is coming to the surface again. All hands now commence to “haul
in line” as fast as he rises, and the boat-steerer coils it away, as
fast as hauled in, in the stern sheets. He soon breaks water, and
the boat is gradually hauled up to him. Another boat now fastens,
and he again attempts to sound; but, being weakened by loss of blood,
he is soon at the surface again. The boats now draw alongside, and
the officer of the first boat fast prepares his lance. He darts it
for his vitals (just behind the fin), and the first one proves fatal,
for in a moment more he shows the “red flag;” the blood flows freely
from the spout-hole in a thick, dark stream; the sea is stained for
some distance, and the men in the boats are covered with the bloody
spray, but glory in it.

[Illustration: “GIVE IT TO HIM.”]

[Illustration: TOWING A DEAD WHALE.]

The monster now attempts to sound, but is obliged to keep to the
surface, and he soon goes in what is technically termed by whalemen
his “flurry,” but what landsmen would call his dying agonies—and
terrible they are. The sea is beaten into a perfect foam by his
writhings and contortions; and, after a short time, as if with
accelerated strength, he starts off with lightning speed, describing
in his course circles, each growing smaller than the preceding one,
and his speed slackening, until he finally gives one monster throe
and dies, rolling fin out, with his head to the sun.[2]

The battle is now ended, and the “huge leviathan lies a victim to the
superior power and mind of man.”

Now that life is extinct, a hole is cut in his head, the line made
fast, and all the boats “hook on” and tow him to the ship, where
he is made fast by means of a fluke-chain being passed around his
tail, which chain is brought to the forward part of the ship, and
passed through a “hawse-hole,” and made fast to the “bowsprit bits,”
bringing the whale with his head pointing aft, and in a proper
position to commence the operation of “cutting in.”

[2] This is stated to be a fact by old and experienced whalemen, who
assert they have never seen a sperm whale die in any other manner.
This peculiarity we have never heard accounted for.

                             CHAPTER V.

  Description of the Sperm Whale.—Described externally.—Difference
    between the Sperm and Right Whale.

Before proceeding farther, perhaps it will be interesting to the
reader if we give a brief description of the external form of the
sperm whale. The following draft represents the shape of the animal,
and the various dotted lines show the manner of dividing it, in order
to “heave it in on deck.”

[Illustration: A, the nostril, or spout-hole; B, the situation of the
case; C, the junk; D, the bunch of the neck; E, the eye; F, the fin;
G, the spiral strips, or “blanket-pieces;” H, the hump; I, the ridge;
K, the small; L, the tail, or flukes; M, the jaw.]

The head of the whale presents in front a thick, blunt appearance,
and constitutes about one third the length of the animal. At its
junction with the body is a protuberance on its back, called the
“bunch of the neck;” immediately back of this is the thickest part
of the body. It then gradually tapers for about another third of
the whole length, when the “small,” as it is called, commences; and
at this point on the back is another and larger prominence of a
pyramidal form, called the “hump,” from which a series of smaller
prominences runs half way down the small, forming the “ridge.” The
body then contracts so much as to become not larger than the body
of a man, and terminates by being expanded on the sides into the
“flukes,” or tail. The flukes resemble somewhat in shape the tail of
a fish, only being placed horizontal instead of perpendicular. In
the larger whales these flukes are from eight to ten feet in length,
and from fourteen to sixteen feet in breadth. The depth of the head
and body is greater than the width.

At the angle formed by the superior and anterior surfaces of the
head, a little on the left side, is the nostril, or “spout-hole,”
which, in the dead animal, presents the appearance of a slit, or
fissure, in form resembling an S, extending longitudinally, and
about twelve inches in length. The “case,” situated in the upper
part of the head, is a large, almost triangular-shaped cavity,
lined by a beautiful glistening membrane, and covered by a thick
layer of muscular fibres and tendons running in various directions,
and finally united by common integuments. This cavity is for the
purpose of containing and secreting an oily fluid, which after death
concretes into a granulated substance of a yellowish-white color—the
spermaceti. The quantity of fluid contained in the case depends on
the size of the whale; from that of a large whale fifteen barrels of
liquid spermaceti are often taken.

Immediately beneath the case, and projecting beyond the lower jaw,
is situated the junk, which is composed of dense cellular tissue,
strengthened by numerous strong tendons and fibres, and infiltrated
with spermaceti.

The mouth is at the base of the head, and continues nearly its
whole length. The lower jaw is pointed in front, and gradually
widens till it is received in the socket of the upper jaw. It
contains forty-two teeth, conical in shape, and, in the large whale,
formidable in appearance. There are none, however, in the upper jaw,
but indentations which receive the points of those in the lower jaw.
Sometimes a few rudimentary teeth are found in the upper jaw, never,
however, projecting beyond the gums, upon which those in the lower
jaw strike when the mouth is closed.

The tongue is of a white color, exceedingly small, and does not
appear to possess the power of very extended motion.

The mouth is lined throughout with a white membrane, which becomes
continuous at the lips, and borders with the common integument, where
it becomes of a dark brown or black color.

The eyes are small, and are furnished with eyelids. They are situated
above and behind the angle of the mouth, at the widest part of
the head. At a short distance behind the eyes are the external
openings of the ears, of sufficient size to admit a small quill, and
unprovided with any external auricular appendage.

The fins are not far from the posterior angle of the mouth, and are
analogous in their formation to the anterior extremities of other
animals. They are not much used as instruments of progression, but
probably in giving a direction to motions in balancing the body, in
sinking suddenly, and occasionally in protecting and supporting their

[Illustration: SPERM WHALE.]

In a full-grown male sperm whale of the largest size the dimensions
may be given as follows: Length, from eighty to ninety feet; depth
of head, from ten to twelve feet; breadth, from seven to ten feet;
depth of body, from sixteen to eighteen feet; swimming paws, or fins,
about eight feet long and three broad; the tail, or flukes, have been
previously mentioned.

In reviewing the description of the external form and some of the
organs of the sperm whale, it will, perhaps, not be uninteresting
if some comparison is instituted between them and the corresponding
points of the right whale. One of the greatest peculiarities of the
sperm whale, which strikes, at first sight, every beholder, is the
apparently disproportionate and unwieldy bulk of the head; but this,
instead of being, as might be supposed, an impediment to the freedom
of the animal’s motion in his native element, is, on the contrary,
in some respects very conducive to his lightness and agility. A
great part of the bulk of the head is composed of a large, thin,
membraneous case, containing, during life, a thin oil of much less
specific gravity than water, below which again is the junk, which,
although heavier than the spermaceti, is still lighter than the
element in which the whale moves; consequently, the head is lighter
than any other part of the body, and will always have a tendency to
rise, at least so far above the surface as to elevate the nostril,
or “spout-hole,” sufficiently for all purposes of respiration. In
case the animal should wish to increase his speed to the utmost, the
narrow anterior and inferior surface, which bears a resemblance to
the cut-water of a ship, and which would, in fact, answer the same
purpose to the whale, would be the only part exposed to the pressure
of the water in front, enabling him thus to pass, with the greatest
ease and celerity, through the boundless track of his wide domain.

[Illustration: RIGHT WHALE.]

It is in the shape of the head that the sperm whale differs, in the
most remarkable degree, from the right whale—the shape of whose
head more resembles that of a porpoise—and in it the spout-hole is
situated much farther back, rendering it seldom or never necessary
for the nose to be elevated above the surface of the water. The
eyes, in both the sperm and right whale, are exceedingly small in
comparison with their bulk; still, they are tolerably quick-sighted.
We are not aware that the sperm whale possesses, in any respect,
any superiority. We again observe, in the formation of the mouth, a
very remarkable difference in the two animals; for, in place of the
enormous plates of whalebone which are found attached to the upper
jaw of the right whale, we only find depressions for the reception of
the teeth of the lower jaw, which plainly point out that the food of
the two animals must be very different.

[Illustration: RIGHT WHALE BONE.]

There are several prominences or humps on the back of the sperm
whale, which constitutes another difference in their external aspect.
These prominences are not altogether peculiar to the sperm whale, as
there is a species of fish, called by whalemen “humpbacks,” which
possesses a prominence on the back very similar to that of the sperm

The skin of the sperm whale is smooth, but occasionally, in old
whales, wrinkled. The color of the skin, over the greatest part of
the body, is very dark. In different whales there is considerable
variety of shade; some are even piebald. “Old bulls,” as full-grown
males are called by whalemen, have generally a portion of gray on the
nose above the fore-part of the upper jaw, and they are then said to
be “gray headed.” In young whales the “black skin,” as it is called,
is about three eighths of an inch thick, but in old ones it is not
more than one eighth.

Immediately beneath the black skin is the blubber, or fat, which is
contained in a cellular membrane, and which is much strengthened by
numerous fibres. The average thickness of the fat on the breast of a
large whale, when in good condition, is about eighteen inches. The
“hump” is generally the thickest part of the blubber, being sometimes
from twenty-two to twenty-six inches in thickness; and, in most other
parts of the body, it measures from nine to fourteen inches. The head
is not, however, supplied with this covering, or blubber, having only
the black skin, which lies close to a layer of very dense cellular
tissue, under which is seen a considerable thickness of numerous
small tendons, intermixed with muscular fibres.

This thick covering of blubber, or fat, is called the “blanket;” it
is of a yellowish color, and, when melted down, furnishes the sperm
oil. It also serves two excellent purposes to the whale: rendering it
buoyant, and furnishing it with a warm protection from the coldness
of the surrounding element—in this last respect, answering well to
the name bestowed upon it by whalemen.

[Illustration: CUTTING IN.]

                              CHAPTER VI.

                             “Cutting in.”

As we are now ready to “cut in” the whale, we will briefly explain
the _modus operandi_. In the first place the decks are cleared,
in order to have room to work. The ponderous cutting tackles are
swayed up to the lower-mast head (the main), the strongest point
any where above a ship’s deck. Large hawsers are then rove through
these blocks, then through similar ones on deck, to the windlass,
in the forward part of the ship. To the lower blocks are attached
ponderous iron hooks, weighing over one hundred pounds each. These
hooks are for the purpose of “hooking on” to the blubber, and can be
put on and taken off the blocks at pleasure. And now, suspended in
stages over the side, the first and second mates, armed with their
long spades, begin cutting a hole in the body for the insertion of
the hook just above one of the fins. This done, a broad semicircular
line is cut round the hole, the hook is inserted, and the main body
of the crew, striking up a wild chorus, now commence heaving at the
windlass. The entire ship careens over on her side; every bolt in her
starts like the nail-heads of an old house in frosty weather; she
trembles, quivers, and nods her frighted mastheads to the sky. More
and more she leans over to the whale, while every gasping heave of
the windlass is answered by a helping heave of the billows, till at
last a swift, startling snap is heard; with a great swash the ship
rolls upward and backward from the whale, and the triumphant tackle
rises into sight, dragging after it the disengaged semicircular end
of the first strip of blubber. Now, as the blubber envelops the
whale, as we described in the last chapter, precisely as the rind
does an orange, so is it stripped off the body precisely as an orange
is sometimes stripped by spiralizing it. The strain, constantly kept
up by the windlass, continually keeps the whale rolling over and over
in the water; and as the blubber in one strip uniformly peels off
along the line called the “scarf,” simultaneously cut by the spades
of the mates—the chief mate separating the head from the body while
the whale is being rolled over the first time—and just as fast as it
is thus peeled off, and indeed by that very act itself, it is all the
time being hoisted higher and higher aloft till its upper end grazes
the main-top; the men at the windlass then cease heaving, and for a
moment or two the prodigious, blood-dripping mass sways to and fro as
if let down from the sky; and every one present must take good care
to dodge it when it swings, else it may box his ears and pitch him

One of the attending boat-steerers now advances with a long, keen
weapon, called a boarding-knife, and, watching his opportunity, he
dexterously slices out a considerable hole in the lower part of the
swaying mass. Into this hole the end of the second alternating great
tackle is hooked, so as to retain a hold upon the blubber, in order
to prepare for what follows. Whereupon this accomplished swordsman,
warning all hands to stand off, once more makes a scientific dash
at the mass, and with a few sidelong, desperate, lunging slicings,
severs it completely in two; so that, while the short lower part
is still fast, the long upper strip, the “blanket piece,” swings
clear, and is all ready for lowering. The heavers forward now resume
their song and their work, and, while the one tackle is peeling and
hoisting a second strip from the whale, the other is slowly slackened
away, and down goes the first strip through the main hatchway right
beneath, into an unfurnished parlor called the “blubber-room.” Into
this twilight apartment sundry nimble hands keep coiling away the
long blanket-pieces, as if they were a great live mass of plaited
serpents. And thus the work proceeds; the two tackles hoisting and
lowering simultaneously, both whale and windlass heaving, the crew
singing, the blubber-room gentlemen coiling, the mates cutting,
the ship straining, and all hands swearing occasionally, by way of
assuaging the general friction.

And now the “body” of the whale is all in; the carcass has floated
off, food for the sharks; the head, which has been made fast
alongside the ship, is brought to the gangway, and the junk is
separated from the case, and “hove in” on deck. Now comes the bailing
of the case. It is hoisted up alongside the gangway, nearly level
with the ship’s deck; a “whip” is rigged, being simply a rope, one
end on deck, the other passing through a single block made fast to
the main-yard, to which is attached a bucket of the capacity of about
a gallon. One of the boat-steerers stands on the end of the case,
with a short spade cuts a hole in the case, and the bucket is then
sunk into it by means of a long pole, until it is filled, when it is
hoisted out and emptied, and so on until the liquid oil is all bailed
out. From the case of a hundred-barrel sperm whale from fifteen to
seventeen barrels of liquid oil is generally obtained, though a great
deal is unavoidably wasted. After the case is bailed it is cut loose,
and immediately sinks with great rapidity.

                            CHAPTER VII.

  “Trying out.”—“Stowing down.”—“Cleaning up.”—Gale off the River De
    la Plata.—Thunder and Lightning.—Narrow Escape of the Ship.

The whale is now cut in; then comes the process of “trying out.” In
the centre of the deck, somewhat forward, are the try-works for the
purpose of trying out the oil. It is a square place, built up with
bricks and iron, about four feet high and ten square. It has two
large iron pots in the centre, each one containing between three
and four barrels, with furnaces underneath. The liquid spermaceti
from the case is first put into the pots, the fires are lighted, and
the process of “trying out” commences. Here we would state that,
in a whaling voyage, the first fire in a try-works has to be fed
for a time with wood. After that no wood is used, except as the
means of quick ignition to the staple fuel. In a word, after being
tried out, the crisp, shriveled blubber, now called scraps, still
contains considerable of its unctuous properties. These scraps feed
the flames. Like a plethoric burning martyr, or a self-consuming
misanthrope, once ignited, the whale supplies his own fuel and burns
by his own body. Would that he consumed his own smoke! for his smoke
is horrible to inhale, and inhale it you must; and not only that, but
you must live in it for the time. It has an indescribable odor about
it, such as one might imagine would arise from a Hindoo funeral pile.

The blanket-pieces are cut into small pieces, varying from twelve to
twenty inches in length, and about as wide as the thickness of the
blubber, called “horse pieces.” They are then pitched on deck, and
forward to the mincing machine, where they are cut into very thin
slices, and are then ready for the pots.

[Illustration: TRYING OUT.]

As soon as the oil is extracted from the blubber, the scraps are
skimmed off, and the oil bailed out of the pots into a large copper
cooler, which stands by the side of the try-works. When it is
sufficiently cool that it will not burn the casks, it is poured into
them, and allowed to remain on deck for two or three days. It is then
“coopered,” that is, the hoops on the casks are all driven tight, to
prevent them from leaking, it having been rendered necessary by the
hot oil shrinking the casks. At length, when the last pint is casked
and coopered, and all is sufficiently cool, then the great hatchways
are unsealed, the bowels of the ship are thrown open, and down go the
casks to their rest in the hold. This done, the hatches are replaced
and hermetically sealed, like a closet walled up.

And now comes the process of cleaning up. From the ashes of the
scraps is made a powerful lye, which is used in removing the grease
from the bulwarks and decks of the ship. Hands go diligently along,
and with buckets of lye and water, and rags, restore all to its
full tidiness. The soot is brushed from the lower rigging; all the
numerous implements which have been in use are likewise faithfully
cleansed and put away. The great hatch is scrubbed and placed upon
the try-works; every cask is out of sight; all tackles are coiled
in unseen nooks; and when, by the combined and almost simultaneous
industry of the ship’s company, the whole of this duty is concluded,
then the crew themselves proceed to their own ablutions, shift
themselves from top to toe, and issue forth to the cleaned and white
decks, fresh and all aglow, as bridegrooms new leaped from out the
daintiest Holland.

We now continued our way for Cape Horn, having beautiful clear
weather with fine southeast trade-winds.

On Tuesday, January 8th, 1850, we were off the River De la Plata.
This region is notorious for its heavy gales and “pamperos,” a
species of hurricane. We had, for three days, been having a severe
gale. On this evening (the third day) the wind died away; the heavens
were shrouded with heavy black clouds; every thing so quiet, and
yet so gloomy, seemed but the forerunner of a storm of the wildest
description. Sail was taken in, and all put in readiness, awaiting
its approach. Presently the heavens were illuminated with the glare
of lightning, followed by the hoarse and deep thunder that appeared
to come from the very bottom of the great deep. It increased until
the whole heavens were one broad sheet of flame, and the reflection
upon the surface of the water gave it the resemblance of a sea of
fire; and the constant thunder, seeming to shake the earth to the
very centre, added to the sublime grandeur of the awe-inspiring
scene. On every hand, and in whatever direction the eye turned,
the same continual blaze of lightning, accompanied by the heavy
and continuous thunder, presented itself to the beholder. It was
certainly the most awful and yet sublime scene we had ever witnessed.

    “The storm howled madly on the sea,
       The clouds their thunder-anthems sang;
     And billows rolling fearfully,
       In concert with the whirlwinds rang.”

All hands were gazing upon the grand spectacle, when, suddenly, a
clap immediately over our heads—_a sudden flash_—a jar, followed by
impenetrable darkness. All hands were dumb; no one dared to speak.
THE SHIP HAD BEEN STRUCK, but none could ask where, fearful of
being told we were lost. The mate, however, soon came along, and
gave proper directions to examine the ship. He then went to the
main-top, and found the powder, which had been placed there for
safety, all right. Another descended to the hold, but discovered
no fire. It appears the lightning struck our main-royal truck, and
descended to the deck, which being wet, it passed off with but little
damage. The next morning, on unfurling the main-royal sail, we found
thirteen holes burned in it, about the size of a musket ball. The
lightning went through the “bunt,” as it was rolled on the yard, thus
accounting for the large number of holes.

As soon as it was generally known we had escaped with so little
injury, all experienced a feeling of gratitude for our truly
remarkable escape. As we before remarked, the powder, which was
contained in two “breakers,” or long, narrow barrels, each containing
four kegs, was placed in the main and mizzen tops, one breaker on
each side of the mast. The lightning had descended immediately
between the two breakers in the main-top. Had it ignited the powder
contained in one of the kegs, in all probability our voyage at sea,
and perhaps for life, would have been soon ended. We felt truly
thankful that we had so miraculously escaped. Some two or three of
the men were knocked down, and others stunned, but nothing serious.
The night slowly wore away; the constant glare of the fierce
lightning, and the never-ceasing roar of the thunder, continuing
until day dawned.

We all felt relieved when daybreak once more came over the sea. The
gale, which had increased during the night, now abated; the clouds
broke away, even the one with the “silver lining,” and “old Sol” once
more showed his cheering face, and sent his gladsome rays rejoicing
over the face of the great deep.

                            CHAPTER VIII.

  Preparing for Cape Horn.—Head Winds.—Staten Land.—Cape Horn.—Heavy
    Gale.—Porpoises and Albatross.—Mackey and the Third Mate.—Captured
    a Sperm Whale.—Preparing for Port.—The Anchor down.

We now commenced making preparations for that much-dreaded place,
Cape Horn. Took the anchors in on deck, and lashed them solid; also
the boats from off the cranes, and secured every thing generally.
We were now sailing along with fine breezes from the northward, but
the coolness of the air reminded us that we were approaching the
southernmost point of land. On the 13th of January the wind veered
round to the south, and increased to a heavy gale. We reduced the
sail to a close-reefed main-topsail, sent down top gallant yards, and
prepared for a regular “Cape Horner.” At midnight, however, the wind
abated, and sea went down; next morning it was pleasant, with fine
northerly breezes; but at night the wind again hauled to the southward,
blowing heavy, with rain, which obliged us to heave to. Thus the wind
often changes in the Atlantic in this latitude; sometimes ships are
kept here for weeks by head winds.

On the 25th we were off Staten Land. This island presents a bleak,
rocky appearance. Saw a ship trying out, which assures us that sperm
whales have been taken here lately.

On Saturday, the 26th, we were off the island of Cape Horn. This
island is said to have received its name from its conical shape. We
here saw quite a fleet of merchantmen and whalemen bound round the
Horn, no less than twenty-two ships being in sight from masthead.
About nine o’clock this morning, while sailing along with a fair,
pleasant wind, carrying studding-sails, all hands were suddenly
called to take in sail, and, before the ship was under snug canvas,
the gale broke upon us in all its fury, coming, as seamen say,
“butt-end first.” However, we soon had every thing snug, and then
“let the winds pipe.” With a good ship and plenty of sea-room, we
felt no danger. The next day great numbers of porpoises were seen,
going through the water like race-horses. Plenty of albatross and
Cape pigeons were in sight also. We caught an albatross, a beautiful
large bird, perfectly white, measuring sixteen feet from tip to tip
of its wings. They are called by seamen “Goneys,” for what reason we
know not. We also saw large numbers of “Mother Carey’s Chickens,”
that beautiful little bird so well known to all. They were flying in
the wake of the ship, skimming along its surface, apparently happy
and contented. As we sat watching them and the noble albatross, as
he went wheeling and circling in the air, we could not but think of
that great Creator who endowed them with the instinct which they
possess—an instinct that guides them over the trackless waste of
waters hundreds and thousands of miles from land, and then to land
again, day after day, and week after week. No place in the world
presents so many evidences of a great and a good God as the vast and
mighty ocean.

Spoke the ship “Henry,” of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, bound for
California. The heavy gales of wind still continued, with rain, hail,
snow, and sleet at intervals, until Friday, the 8th of February, when
we found we had passed the Horn, and were fairly in the Pacific.

About this time an occurrence transpired which shows a seaman’s love
of a good joke, even at the expense of an officer. It appears our
third mate, Mr. K., whom we have before spoken of as a very pompous,
great-I-and-little-you sort of a man, was much opposed to the men
enjoying themselves in any manner if he could prevent it, and, for
this reason, they were continually devising some plan to torment
him. He had given express orders that no one of the watch should go
below during their watch on deck. Mackey, who much preferred the warm
forecastle to the cold deck, would skulk below every opportunity
he could get. Mr. K. went forward on this occasion, and, as usual,
Mackey was enjoying a fine nap on a chest. Mr. K. ordered him on
deck, telling him “if he caught him in the forecastle again that
night he would break his head,” and then strutted aft. It was not
long after this before one of the watch sang out, in a voice just
loud enough to be heard aft, “Mackey, you had better come up on deck;
if Mr. K. catches you down in the forecastle, he will surely kill

Then another sings out, “Mackey, come up out of that; the third mate
is coming.”

Mr. K., who had been listening, rushes forward with a determined air;
“he would show that Mackey that he had got to walk chalk, or he would
break his head.” Arriving at the forecastle scuttle, he cried out, in
a voice of thunder, “Come up here, you blackguard, and bear a hand,
too.” No answer.

“Do you hear me? If I come down there, I’ll kill you deader than the
d—l.” No answer yet. Mr. K., now fairly boiling with rage, cries out,
“I’ll fetch you out of that; I’ll show you a trick or two;” and, on
turning to go down, espied some one dodging around the foremast that
bore a striking resemblance to the missing Mackey. Quickly coming up
again, he saw that it was really Mackey, who had not left the deck.
He then turned to the men, quite chopfallen, telling them he “never
wanted to hear any more such stuff,” and, cursing them until he was
satisfied, he turned and went aft, leaving the watch convulsed with

As we were now fairly in the Pacific, with pleasant weather and
fine breezes, steering to the northward, we put the boats upon the
cranes, the anchors on the bows, and cleared up generally, all hands
rejoicing that the stormy Cape had been at length passed.

On the 13th of February we saw our first sperm whale in the Pacific.
It was not long after our boats were down and pursuing him before the
starboard boat fastened, and the old man brought the “claret” the
first lance. Soon we had him alongside, his coat on deck, tried out,
and down in the hold. We were now about four months out, with one
hundred and eighty barrels of oil, which was a good foundation for a
first-rate voyage.

On the 1st day of March, 18—, the welcome news came from aft, “All
hands to bend cables,” and soon the massive chains were dragged from
their resting-places below, and fastened to the huge anchors, which
were got ready for “letting go” in the harbor of Talcahuana, Chili.
But there is “many a slip,” etc., and we experienced it here, as we
were beating about for nine days, unable to enter port on account of
boisterous head winds. At length, however, on the 9th, we got a fair
wind, and entered the harbor with every thing set, and “let go” our
anchor—the old ship at rest for the first time in four and a half

                             CHAPTER IX.

  Talcahuana.—Its Streets.—Public Buildings.—Market.—Calaboose.—The
    Harbor.—Churches.—Paulparees.—Inhabitants.—Manners and
    Customs.—Getting off Water.—Mackey again in Trouble.—In the
    Calaboose.—Californians.—Climate and Products of Chili.—Horseback
    Riding.—Spanish Wake.—Desertion.—American Consul.—Mackey’s
    Oration.—Swimming ashore.—Departure.

Talcahuana is the sea-port of the city of Conception, and is situated
at the head of a beautiful bay, protected from all winds by the high
lands inclosing it. At the entrance of the harbor is the island of
Karakina, on the north side of which is the passage, and on the south
side the false passage, as it is called, not being navigable for
ships. Abreast of the anchorage, which is immediately in front of the
town, is a small fort, with but few guns, and in a very good position
to do execution, with proper management. The houses are mostly one
story, and of stone. They are obliged to build them thus on account
of frequent earthquakes. They present a very neat appearance, being
nearly all painted white, or whitewashed. The streets are rather
narrow, but kept very clean. Talcahuana can not boast much of her
public buildings, they being “few and far between.” The market, if
it may be so called, is very large in proportion to the size of the
town, being a wide space of ground, inclosed by high brick walls,
with no roof. The church, of which the inhabitants appear very proud,
presents much the appearance of an old stone barn. The calaboose, or
jail, is an old stone building in rather a dilapidated condition; but
the “city fathers,” with a just appreciation of the wants of their
“constituents,” are engaged in the erection of a new one on a much
larger scale.

Immediately in the rear of the town is a fine eminence. On arriving
at its summit we found ourselves well repaid for our trouble by the
beautiful prospect before us. The busy multitude in the streets
below—the neat, bright appearance of the houses—the shipping lying
at anchor, with their various national colors flying—the smooth,
unruffled surface of the waters of the bay, inclosed by beautiful
green hills and mountains—in the distance the blue waters of the
Pacific—all united to bring before us one of the most beautiful
scenes our eyes ever beheld.

A number of years since the old city of Talcahuana was destroyed by
an earthquake, a large portion of which sunk. Where the most thriving
part once stood, nothing is now to be seen but a low, marshy waste.
Some remains of the old city are yet visible in the town.

The inhabitants speak the Spanish language—are hospitable,
good-natured, and, as a general thing, very indolent. They are very
loose in their morals, but warm supporters of their religion, which
is the Roman Catholic, it being the only creed tolerated. The females
are rather dark, very graceful and sprightly, beautiful singers, and
some of them are very handsome. The town is filled with “Paulparee,”
or rum-shops, which are frequented principally by Spaniards and

On Monday, March 11th, we commenced getting off water and fresh
provisions, such as potatoes, onions, turnips, etc. In getting
off water, two boat’s crews are generally dispatched to the
watering-place with a “raft of casks,” which are filled and towed
to the ship, and then hoisted on board. In this manner four or five
hundred barrels of water are obtained in about two days—a sufficient
quantity for a six months’ cruise. By some fortune or misfortune,
Mackey was one of the crew dispatched to the watering-place, and,
while there, he thought he would take an observation of the country
round about. Accordingly, he wandered some distance to the top of a
high hill, and, while much engaged in viewing the beauties of nature,
two or three “vigilantes,” or policemen, appeared, and demanded of
him “what he was doing there.” Mackey replied, “Nothing, but looking
at the country.” They then asked him if he had a pass (which is a
necessary article to every person while on shore), and Mackey was
obliged to confess he had not, when they very politely offered to
show him “the elephant.” Mackey begged to be excused, declining
their services; but the vigilantes were not to be put off. There was
no help for him; go he must; he was in a fix; so off he marched,
muttering about liberty, etc., until they arrived at the calaboose,
where he was snugly quartered.

The next day, being on shore, we thought we would give Mackey a call,
and see how the poor fellow fared. We found him in excellent spirits.
He said he “had just as lief stop there as not; for, if he was on
board the ship, he would have to work, and there he got plenty to eat
and had nothing to do.”

To-day the town was filled with Californians and sailors—some trying
their hands at riding on horseback, and rather comical work they make
of it. Others are exploring the town, chatting with pretty girls,
bantering with the Spaniards, or enjoying themselves in dancing.
Some of them require considerable sea-room, whether it is from the
effects of coming ashore after a long passage, or the _spiritual_
influence of the _aguadente_, we can not say. However, they appear to
be perfectly at home and contented.

Chili has a very mild and wholesome climate, and is very fertile.
Large quantities of fine wheat are raised, and agriculture generally
receives much attention. Apples, peaches, and pears are raised in
abundance, while grapes are cultivated to a very great extent,
principally for the purpose of making wine, which is said to be of
a very superior flavor. The face of the country presents a rolling
appearance, with occasional high hills, and in the distance are seen,
towering above the clouds, the snow-covered peaks of the Andes.

Chili is also renowned for its extensive mines of silver, gold,
and copper, which, however, are not worked so much at present as
formerly. The government is republican, and quite liberal in its

The next day, Friday, the 15th of March, we devoted to riding
through the country. The horses here are well trained, but, to one
unaccustomed to the Chilian mode of guiding them, ludicrous incidents
will sometimes occur. If you wish to turn to the left, you must pull
the right rein, and _vice versa_. They are very tender-bitted, and a
slight jerk of the reins will bring the horse to an immediate stand.
It is very common to see a rider urging his horse to a full run,
and, not understanding them, pull the reins in order to sit secure,
when, lo and behold, the horse suddenly stops, and the rider keeps on
going, measuring his length in the road some distance ahead.

While strolling about town in the evening, we heard low musical
sounds proceeding from a house near by. On presenting ourselves at
the door we were cordially invited to enter, and were immediately
ushered into a large, square room, filled with Spaniards of both
sexes. On a table at the farther end of the room was the corpse of a
beautiful child of about two years of age, in a sitting posture. Its
little arms were crossed on its breast; the sweet, heavenly smile
that still lingered on the features of clay, and the fresh, rosy
cheeks, gave it a most beautiful and angelic appearance. Our first
conjecture on entering the room was that it was wax-work. It was
dressed in white, and decorated with flowers. On the table were a
large number of wax tapers burning, while the wall around and above
was covered with paintings of the Crucifixion, Virgin Mary, etc. In
one corner of the room some seven or eight persons were chanting the
solemn death-chants of the Catholic Church, accompanied by several
guitars. The parents of the child were seated on a low bed, mourning
and sobbing in a most piteous manner, while several relatives, as we
supposed them to be, were gathered around, endeavoring to comfort
them in their affliction.

We advanced by invitation and saluted the corpse, and, as our eyes
were fixed on the lovely image, we thought we could almost perceive
it answer our gaze by a sweet smile, so fresh and life-like did it
look. It was truly a solemn, mournful, and yet beautiful sight.
Still, the appearance of the bottle disgraced the scene, as it was
passed from one to the other, although it is customary at all Spanish

On the morning of Saturday, the 16th of March, we found that five
men had deserted from the ship. The liberty of the remainder of the
crew was therefore stopped, which appeared to cause considerable
dissatisfaction. However, this was the only course left for the
captain, as most of the men on board had made up their minds to
desert in order to get to California. Stopping all communication of
the crew with the shore must put an end to the desertions.

This state of affairs continued until the following Monday, when
the crew, being so very much dissatisfied, sent a petition to the
American consul requesting to be discharged from the ship. He came
on board, and all those wishing to be discharged were ordered to
take the starboard side of the quarter-deck. The captain, by request
of the consul, inquired of each separately his reasons for wishing
to be discharged. Some gave as a reason that they did not like the
business; others, that they had been ill treated; and one, that he
was under age when he shipped, and he wanted to go home. The consul
could scarcely refrain from laughing outright at such reasons, and
finally told them he could not help them. As they had signed the
ship’s articles, he could not interfere in the matter; the captain
was the man to settle that.

Mackey, who had been intently watching every word that fell from the
lips of the consul, thought it about time for him to put in his oar,
and, speaking out, said he “had been abused at various times, and
once had been kicked while at the helm.” The officer who had taken
this liberty said that “Mackey was asleep at the helm one night, and
he gave him a slight kick, just sufficient to waken him.” The consul
replied that he could do nothing about that. Mackey now broke forth
with great earnestness: “I thought American consuls were sent to
these places to protect and defend American citizens, whether sailors
or captains; but you say you can do nothing about it. What are you
good for, then? What business have you here? You might much better be
at home about your business. Any way, you are good for nothing here
but to pamper to every captain’s wishes that will give you a cake of
hard bread and a pint of beans.”

This speech Mackey delivered with great gusto, making flourishes that
would have shamed an orator. The speech, of course, “brought down
the house,” and caused a broad grin upon the countenance of all. The
consul took it very coolly; the men were sent forward, and he, in
company with the captain, left for shore.

And here we would remark that in many cases Mackey’s words were
true. It is a shameful and lamentable fact, that in many instances
American consuls regard seamen as “having no rights that they are
bound to respect;” and it is often the case that masters of vessels
who have been ill treating their men will, on entering port, present
the consul with a small quantity of provisions, or something of that
kind, and the result is, that no “foremast hand” from that ship can
obtain justice from the consul. We make no comments on this; we
simply state the facts, and let our readers make their own.

Our crew were now heartily sick and tired of port, and longed to be
on the “open sea” again. On Wednesday, March 20th, while all hands
were at breakfast, Mackey determined to make one more effort for
his liberty. Accordingly, he made his clothes up in a nice little
bundle, fastened them on his back, slipped cautiously down the cable,
and struck boldly out for the shore. On his crossing the stern of a
ship, the captain of which had just come on deck, and espying a man
swimming, hailed him:

“Where are you going, my man?”

“Going ashore; where do you suppose?” shouted Mackey.

One of our officers, happening to come up on deck at this moment,
thought he saw something black bobbing up and down in the water
quite a distance off. On looking with the glass, it was found to be
Mackey, with his bunch of clothes on his back, and almost ashore.
A boat was immediately lowered and went in chase. Mackey espied it
coming, and struck out manfully; as for dear life he swam, but it was
of no avail. When nearly to the shore, he was taken and thrust into
the bottom of the boat, brought on board, and put in irons. A ship’s
company near us mounted their rigging and gave “three cheers for the
man who attempted to swim ashore!”

At 10 A.M. of that day we weighed anchor, and, with beautiful weather
and a fine breeze, left the port of Talcahuana.

                             CHAPTER X.

  Cruising.—Boats’-crew Watches.—Deserters by wholesale.—A large
    Reward.—Public Auction.—Juan Fernandez.—Peaches.—Robinson Crusoe’s
    Cave.—Fishing.—Ship “Java.”—Masa Fuero.—St. Felix.—St. Ambrose.—San
    Lorenzo.—Callao.—A Railroad.

We were now fairly at sea again, cruising for whales. We were now, as
is customary for whalemen alone while on cruising ground, standing
“boats’-crew watches.” It will be recollected that in a former
chapter we explained the “regular watches” of a ship’s company; but
this is something entirely different. The ship’s company are now
divided into _three_ equal portions, and each watch has only “four
hours out” each night and “eight hours in,” instead of four and eight
hours alternately, as in the regular watches. They are regulated so
as to alternate them every night, and are generally “headed” or in
charge of the boat-steerers.

It was during one of these watches, on the morning of the 25th of
March, that a boat-steerer and five foremast hands took the bow boat
from off the cranes and deserted the ship. The boat-steerer who
left was the one who headed the watch. It was blowing quite fresh
from the southeast at the time, the ship standing to the westward
under double-reefed topsails. The plot had probably been concocting
for some days, as they took with them, in addition to most of their
clothing, all the boat sails and a quantity of provisions and water,
disabling the other boats by taking the “thole-pins” and hiding them.
It was very rugged weather, and the experiment was dangerous, as the
ship was going through the water about six knots. They succeeded,
however, in getting clear.


As soon as their absence was discovered, all hands were called, sail
made, and we tacked ship and stood in for the land, which was about
one hundred and eighty miles distant. At daybreak the captain offered
a reward of _one hundred dollars_ to the person who should first
raise the boat from the masthead, but the reward was never claimed.

The man who was at the wheel at the time the boat was taken said he
knew nothing about the boat going, although the boat-steerer came to
the binnacle and took one of the ship’s compasses before his face. He
said he thought the man wished to fix the compass. The captain was
very much enraged, and could hardly keep his hands off the man.

After cruising a few days for the missing boat, and seeing nothing,
we squared away for Juan Fernandez. The remark that “we see something
new every day” is as applicable to whalers, and perhaps more so, as
to any thing else. We now had something _new_, a public auction;
the _public_, the ship’s company; the auctioneer, the captain; the
“stock,” not Central Railroad, nor yet La Crosse and Milwaukie bonds,
but the clothing and other valuables (!) left on board by deserters.
This is the usual practice on board of whalemen, and we had several
“public auctions” during the voyage.

On Tuesday, April 2d, 1850, we first sighted the island of Juan
Fernandez, and the next day sent a boat on shore for peaches. Another
boat and crew were dispatched fishing. This island looks beautiful
from the sea, being very high land, and completely covered with
verdure. Peaches and quinces grow here in great abundance. Wild
goats are also found here in large numbers. There was but one family
living on the island at this time, the head of which, we believe, was
governor! We need hardly repeat here that this island is famous for
having been the residence of Alexander Selkirk, a Scotch sailor,
who was put ashore some years since, and remained a long time on
the island, his adventures giving rise to the well-known story
of Robinson Crusoe. The cave spoken of in that work as “Robinson
Crusoe’s Cave” is still pointed out, whether the true one or not we
are unable to say.

[Illustration: PEAK OF YONKA.]

We now returned to the ship with our fish, etc., after having spent
most of the day with poor success, and lost our boat-anchor. We found
the other boat had arrived with peaches and quinces. We altered our
course and steered north.

The next day we saw the island of Masa Fuero, very similar in its
appearance to Juan; and on the 10th sighted the islands of St. Felix
and St. Ambrose. They present a rocky, barren appearance, and are
uninhabited except by sea-birds, who flock there in great numbers.

[Illustration: CRUSOE’S CAVE.]

On the 17th we saw the island of San Lorenzo, off the town of Callao;
and the next day we were “standing off and on” in the Bay of
Callao, Peru. Our captain here went ashore to obtain medical advice
and assistance for Mr. Lowe, our second officer, who has been for
some time off duty, sick, his right side being affected with palsy.

This town is well laid out, the houses mostly one story. The streets
are of good width and clean. This city was also destroyed in 1746 by
an earthquake, and remains are yet to be seen as gloomy monuments
placed over the ill-fated persons who were thus suddenly cut off.
There is a railroad building from Callao to Lima, which is but seven
miles distant. About 4 P.M. the captain and Mr. Lowe returned, and we
filled away for Payta.

                             CHAPTER XI.

  Payta.—Its Appearance.—Inhabitants.—Shipped three Spaniards.—
    Gamming.—Exchanged Boat-steerers.—Gloomy Forebodings.—Whales
    again.—Stove Boat.—Manuel overboard.—No Sunday off Soundings.—
    Mackey and the Mate.—Star-gazing.—Reflections.—A County
    Fair.—Lawrence in Trouble.

On Thursday, 25th of April, we were off the anchorage of Payta. The
land here presents a bleak, barren appearance; not a tree or shrub
in sight; nothing but sand and rocks as far as the eye can reach.
Water is furnished the inhabitants by persons who make it a business,
and bring it a long distance in skins on mules. The streets of this
town are narrow and dirty; the houses are miserable; women and men
dissipated and ugly-looking; fleas abundant, and loafers plenty.

While on shore here the captain shipped three green Peruvians, who
answered to the cognomens of Manuel Maria, Tom, and Jack; the last
two soon getting additions to their titles, making them “Spanish
Tom” and “Nigger Jack.” We now squared our yards, made sail, and bid
farewell to this outlandish hole, and also to the South American
coast. We here spoke and gammed with the “President,” of Nantucket,
and the “Marcus,” of Fairhaven, bound home. This gave us another
opportunity of sending a line to the “loved ones at home,” which we
were glad to improve. One of our boat-steerers, having been on the
sick-list nearly all the voyage, expressed a wish to return home in
the “Marcus.” Accordingly, an arrangement was soon made between the
two captains, and we took a Mr. Smith in exchange. All bid Gifford
an affectionate farewell, hoping he might be spared to reach his
native land, and be restored to the bosom of his family. Farewell,
Gifford—a long farewell. You are going to your own dear home; you
will soon be clasped in the embrace of a dear mother and affectionate
sisters. God grant that your life _may_ be spared, that you may enjoy
these blessings.

We are bound for the cruising grounds to the westward, with some
three or four years yet before us ere we can behold those that are
near and dear to us; and how many of our small company may be spared
to again tread their native shores, God alone knows. Let us yield a
cheerful compliance to the will of the Almighty, knowing that we are
safe in His hands, and _in faith_ say, “Thy will, not mine, be done,
O Lord.” With heavy hearts we squared our yards and headed for our
cruising grounds.

On Monday, May 13th, spoke ship “Rebecca Sims,” of New Bedford, with
whose ship’s company we passed a very pleasant day. How cheering to
the lone mariner while cruising, with no land in sight, and thousands
of miles from our own home, to meet a ship from the same port, and a
crew speaking the same language as ourselves! It is like meeting old

On Saturday, the 25th of May, we raised a school of sperm whales.
We immediately down boats and after them. After some pretty hard
pulling, the chief mate’s boat fastened to a cow whale, and killed
it. During the melee the boat was badly stove, and our giant Manuel,
the Portugee, knocked overboard. The whale was running with great
speed at the time, and, as a matter of course, poor Gee was soon left
a long distance astern. However, one of the other boats, seeing what
had transpired, came to the rescue, and Manuel was picked up. When
they reached him he was striking out manfully for the boat, which was
now miles ahead of him, and calling on all the saints in the calendar
for help at the top of his voice. He was an excellent swimmer, but
greatly frightened; so much so that some of the boat’s crew that
picked him up declared that he was ten shades lighter. At sundown we
had the jacket of the whale on deck.

The next day was Sunday, but not Sabbath. On all whalers, while at
sea, mast-heads are manned, whales chased and captured, cut in and
tried out on Sunday as much as any other day in the week. Nothing
else, however, except what is absolutely necessary for navigating
the ship, is done on this day, which is generally spent by the crew
in reading and writing. To-day, while all hands were busily employed
in cutting up the blubber, trying out, and clearing up the decks
generally, the mate missed our friend Mackey from his post, which
was to assist in hoisting the blubber from the blubber-room. He
accordingly went forward to the forecastle, and, calling out, asked
him what he was doing below.

Mackey replied, “Breaking out my chest to get a chaw o’ tobacco.”

“But would not any of the men on deck give you a chew?”

“No, sir, I don’t believe they would,” replied he, coolly.

“Well, just point yourself out of that, aft, to the main hatchway,
and get up on the bitts, and stand by to hoist that blubber on deck.
Now, mind, don’t let me have to look after you again, if you do there
will be trouble; stay there _till I call you down_!”

Mackey took the place, and appeared perfectly contented with his new
position, as he could sit down. Presently the mate sang out, “Come
this way, all of you, and shove this case overboard.” It had just
been bailed, and was now ready to launch into its native element,
from which it had been taken. After tugging and shoving for a long
time to no purpose, the mate looked around to see if any one was
missing, and, not seeing him, called out, “Where is that Mackey?”

“Here I am, sir,” shouted Mackey, sitting at his ease on the bitts,
looking on with perfect indifference and composure.

“What in the name of goodness are you doing there?”

“You told me to stay here till you called me, sir,” said Mackey, not
loving work well enough to offer his services until he was called on.

“Get down out of that, you blackguard, and come here where the work

Mackey left his stand amid the roars of the crew; the mate himself,
who could always appreciate a good joke, could not refrain from
joining in the general laugh.

On Tuesday, May 28th, we had most delightful weather, and the evening
was one of those beautiful, mild, calm nights so common to the
Pacific. With gentle breezes, we were slowly plowing our way to the
Marquesas Islands. The stars shone forth in all their resplendent
beauty, and not a cloud was to be seen in the whole face of the
heavens. It was truly a lovely night, and the all-pervading stillness
seemed to remind us of our own loneliness, and our thoughts naturally
reverted to other scenes—to the far-distant home; to the dear friends
and loved ones to whom we bid a hasty but sad farewell. Do these dear
friends ever bestow a thought or breathe a prayer for the welfare of
the wanderer? Were they thinking of the one far, far away? and when
they assemble around the festive board, or form the family circle
about the fireside, do they miss the absent one? Oh, what joy would
it have been to have known that there were some in the land of our
birth that missed us, and prayed for the return of the wanderer! What
joy would it have been to know that our friends were enjoying that
blessing, _health_! What a consolation to have been assured that they
were spared the ravages of disease and death! But this pleasure was
denied us. Thousands of miles of blue water rolled between us and
our homes. What recollections crowd upon the mind at the mention of
_home_! The dear old village, where we have sported with all the joys
of youth—the old school-house, where we for hours and hours have sat
trying the patience of the teacher, conning our lesson, perhaps,
or engaged in some mischief—the stream, along whose banks we have
so often strolled, listening to the merry carol of the birds, and
annoying the finny tribe—the hills, over which we have rambled with
boyish glee—the woods, in whose pleasant retreats we have passed so
many happy hours—schoolmates, the beautiful fair ones—and lastly,
though not least, dear parents, brothers and sisters—all rushed
through the brain in a tumultuous whirl, and we found ourselves
unconsciously sighing for the pleasures of home. But, alas! we awoke
to the sad reality of our situation. Thousands and tens of thousands
of miles of blue water, must be beat ere we could again clasp in our
arms those we held so dear; and we could only look up to Him who
“ruleth the waves,” and trust in His protection. What consolation to
our fainting heart these words: “Be still, and know that I am GOD.”

The men forward had aroused from their lethargy, and some were
whiling away the time singing, others telling yarns; Spanish Jack
and Portuguese Manuel were seated by themselves, thumping on an old
fiddle; Jo Bob was amusing some of the boys by giving them a specimen
of his island dancing and singing. The watch below were in about
the same condition, “lying around loose,” listening to a long yarn
spun by Lawrence about a county fair that took place down in Maine.
As usual, his stories would not “match.” He gave a full description
of the whole affair. “The table,” he said, “was about three or four
hundred feet long, and about six thousand people sat down to dinner
_at one time_!” Some of the boys inquired “what they had to drink.”
“Strong beer,” replied Lawrence; whereupon one of the watch said
“he had lied to him, as he had often stated that the people down in
Maine never indulged in strong drink.” But Lawrence was not to be
caught in this manner, and he readily replied, “Well, it was not so
_very_ strong; it was made _of spruce_!” All the watch now joined in
a hearty laugh at Lawrence’s expense.

Meanwhile the order of arrangements on deck were somewhat different.
It happened that Lawrence’s berth, which was an upper one, was chock
forward in the “eyes” of the ship, and one of the dead lights—used
for the purpose of letting air and light into the forecastle, which
opened exactly abreast his face—was left open. One of the watch on
deck, having listened to Lawrence’s yarn, and wishing to have a
little sport at his expense, stationed himself over the bows, on the
martingale guys, and, as Lawrence rolled over, gave him a bucket of
water, dash in the face, almost drowning the poor fellow. As soon
as he could speak, for he was terribly frightened, and his bed was
fairly afloat, Lawrence commenced jawing about the man at the helm
“getting the ship off her course.” It was as smooth as a mill-pond,
but he had the idea that the sea had washed in. His sleep was spoiled
for that watch below, as the whole watch were shouting and laughing,
and he growling and putting on dry clothing.

                            CHAPTER XII.

  Marquesas Islands.—Dominica.—Its Appearance.—Visitors.—Tattooing.—
    The Chief.—His costly Dress.—Delivers his Papers.—A “Recommend.”—
    Society Islands.—Roratonga.—Its Appearance.—New York.—New
    Bedford.—Too many Friends.—The universal Remedy.—Fruit.—A thieving
    Set.—Missionaries.—Petty Tyrannies practiced.—Rev. John
    Williams.—His Death.—The staple Commodity.—The Desire for
    Sea.—Queen and Government.—Desertion.—General Losses.—Jo Bob’s
    Choice.—A merry Time.

On Thursday, June 6th, we raised the island of Dominica, one of
the Marquesas group. This island presents a beautiful appearance
from the sea. The thick groves of the cocoanut, orange, lime, and
bread-fruit-trees, with the native huts occasionally peeping out from
under the foliage; the mountains in the background, thickly studded
with magnolia groves; a beautiful stream of water tickling down the
sides of large mountains, here and there inclosed by the trees, are
all plainly visible from the ship, and make us long to ramble among

A canoe was seen approaching us, and the main yard was hauled aback,
when it was soon alongside. The natives were certainly the most
singular-looking beings we had ever beheld. They are about medium
size, copper-colored, and wear no clothing except a small piece of
_tappa_—a native cloth pounded out from bark—around their loins.
Their faces and bodies were tattooed in such a manner that they look
truly frightful. Some have a broad stripe running diagonally across
the face; others had half the face tattooed; others one eye, with
a black mark abreast of it; some the lower half of the face. Their
bodies presented all the variations of the kaleidoscope.

The chief, who is quite a dignitary, was “dressed up” for the great
occasion. His dress consisted of an old overcoat that reached nearly
to his knees, with a large white button tied by a string about a foot
in length to the back part, and an old bell-crown “beaver,” about
four sizes too large, completely covering his head and ears. This
completed his wardrobe, and a truly comical appearance he presented
as he approached the captain, pulled off his beaver, pulled out his
papers, and presented them with the air of a man of business. The
papers were _recommends_ from captains who had traded with him, but
he knew nothing contained in them. One of them, of which we obtained
a sight, read in this wise: “Beware of this fellow; he is dishonest
and a villain; do not allow him to persuade you to go ashore with
him.” A nice “recommend,” truly. And here we will remark that the
tribe at this bay are cannibals of the fiercest kind, and it would
not be very safe for a boat’s crew to go among them.

As we were in haste to reach the Society Islands, we politely took
leave of our visitors and the comical-looking old chief, and braced
forward, soon leaving the beautiful island of Dominica far astern.

We, in the course of two or three days, passed several of the
Societies, and on Saturday the 22d of June, sighted the island of
Roratonga, the one to which we were bound. The island, like all those
in the tropics, especially those composing the Marquesan and Society
group, presents the most rich and beautiful appearance. The land, as
it recedes back from the sea, rises to a considerable height, and
is dressed in the brightest green foliage; the sandy beach, washed
by the never-ceasing rollers, with the neat white houses quietly
reposing beneath the thick shade of the myriads of cocoanut, orange,
and banana trees, renders it the most beautiful island we have ever
beheld. As we stood viewing it from the ship, while drawing nearer
and nearer, we could but imagine it to be some Eden of happiness,
where yet the passion of man had not stepped in to mar and spoil its
beauty. But even here we found that the “serpent” had entered and
filled it with sin.

There are three villages on this island, named New York, New
Bedford, and the one at which we stopped, Roratongo. We believe
there are about eight hundred inhabitants in this village. From
appearances, they are not very cleanly in their persons, and are
rather forbidding. Most of them, however, wear European clothing,
which they obtain from ships. They endeavor to make themselves
very _friendly_, and, as soon as you land, they throng about you
as numerous as runners in Albany on landing from a North River
steam-boat, exclaiming, in very good broken English, “How de do,
my fliend? You be my fliend? Go my house; me got plenty fruit my
house.” Each one does his best to make you understand he is your
very particular friend; very disinterestedly, of course, as we found
to our cost. We accepted the invitation of one of these, who would
have it that he was our very particular friend—in fact, he almost
claimed relationship—and accompanied him to his house. On arriving at
his “house,” we found it to be a long stone building, whitewashed,
consisting of but one apartment, with a curtain or screen in the
centre, which probably served as a partition, making two rooms. The
inmates consisted of two or three young, dirty, ugly-looking females,
one of them cross-eyed, and another that had lost an eye, and an old
lady, who kept up a constant cry, begging for tobacco. “Too much
sore, my toose; small piece bacca.” We soon found this “sore toose”
very prevalent, and “bacca” the universal remedy—the great cure-all.
After supplying their “immediate necessities,” we sat down to eat
some oranges and bananas offered to us. This island abounds with
all kinds of tropical fruit, and we soon struck a bargain for all we
wanted; and, on arising to go, found they had stolen all our tobacco
and pocket-knives. They are expert thieves and arrant rogues; no
dependence can be placed on them.

The English have a missionary station here, established several years
since. Some of the natives like the present missionary, and some do
not. The chiefs or rulers uphold him, but the “people” say he is “no
good;” he makes them “work too much.” One of them informed us—and
we afterward found it to be true—that if a Kanaka failed to attend
church on Sabbath, he had to pay the missionary one dollar, either in
money or fruit; if he smoked on the Sabbath, the same penalty; and
several other petty tyrannies are practiced, which has the effect of
causing the natives to hate the missionary and the Gospel he teaches,
and shows that unprincipled as well as good men are sent out, though
not known to be such by those who send them, to spread the Gospel
among the heathen. If a native wishes a Bible, he must pay the sum of
one dollar for it, and the same if a sailor wants one. Such things as
these tend more to cause a feeling of hatred against the missionary
and his work than of love.

On this island is the grave of the Rev. JOHN WILLIAMS, the pioneer
missionary, who was universally beloved and respected by the natives.
He was a noble as well as a good man, and was actuated by none but
the purest motives. He faithfully labored to enlighten the heathen,
and to diffuse the glorious blessings of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST
among them, and his labors were greatly blessed. After establishing
several missionary stations, he went to the island of Tanna, one of
the Hebrides, where the natives were cannibals, and groveling in the
darkest superstition. On attempting to land, with a desire to create
a friendly feeling with the natives, they rushed for him, and, as he
attempted to reach the boat, he was struck by a spear and killed.
They hauled the body clear of the beach, and refused to give it up.
However, we learn they have since delivered up the remains, which
were taken to Roratonga and buried. Thus perished this great and good
man, at the hand of those to whom he would have done naught but good.

The staple commodity here is tobacco, which is very scarce, and
readily commands a high price. For instance, half a pound of ordinary
“plug” will purchase two hundred oranges, and other fruit in the same
proportion. The natives, both male and female, are very much addicted
to its use—never chewing, but forever smoking.

Quite a number of the natives came on board, wishing to go to sea
with us, as they say “too much work ashore.” It appears they are
building a church, and they do not wish to work, as they receive no
pay. We are glad to be able to say that this missionary station is an
exception; that at no other one that we visited during our wanderings
were the natives _tyrannized_ over as they were here. We are glad,
too, for the honor of our country, that this missionary was not an

The government is administered by the queen and missionary, or, we
should rather say, the missionary and the queen, as she is merely a
nominal sovereign. She is a very dignified lady, weighing about three
hundred pounds. Next in rank come the “chiefs,” who are members of
the royal family, and, with the sovereigns above mentioned, form the
council, or law-making power. Next come the “kikos,” or constables,
who see that all laws are properly enforced, and arrest those who
are guilty of violating them. As there was a law in force preventing
any of the inhabitants leaving the island without the consent of the
missionary, those who had come on board, wishing to go to sea with
us, were compelled to return to land, which they did with sorrowful
hearts. Our captain, however, obtained the necessary consent, and
shipped three, whom he chose while ashore.

Wood and water all aboard, ship loaded down with luscious tropical
fruit, such as oranges, bananas, pine-apples, cocoanuts, limes,
lemons, plantains, etc., on Tuesday, June 25th, we were ready to
take our departure from this lovely isle. In the last boat that went
ashore this morning, one of the crew, by the name of Bob White, a
miserable specimen of a most miserable Frenchman, who had imposed
upon the captain, palming himself off as a “first-rate steward,”
and who had been shipped in that capacity in America, but kicked
forward the second day out from home, managed to steal into the boat
unobserved, and, while ashore, deserted. All hands, from captain
down, were glad to be well rid of him.

When once more at sea, the crew, on looking into chests and examining
their possessions, begin to miss different articles of clothing,
etc.: one has had his shoes stolen; another a shirt; another his
blanket; another his jacket, etc. All appear to have lost something,
and they say, if we had remained there much longer, the natives would
have stolen us poor.

    “Isle of _booty_, fare thee well.”

Perhaps, however, we were well recompensed, as, upon examination when
the watch was set, we found that we had three more Kanakas than were
shipped by the captain. The old ship had stolen _them_ in return for
the natives plundering her crew. The captain was much opposed to this
proceeding on the part of the ship, but, as the island was now out of
sight, and we were fast leaving it with a fair wind, he consented to
their going with us.

Our old Kanaka friend, Jo Bob, who had come from America with us for
the express purpose of going home and remaining, after being ashore
a day or two, came on board, and wished to “go the voyage.” We were
very much surprised at this, and at first could not account for it,
but presently he “let the cat out of the bag,” saying the “Kanakas
had got to work—build meetin’-house,” and, as he was a sailor, he
spurned the idea of _mixing mortar_ or _carrying the hod_. Jo thought
the least of the two evils was the old ship; and he might well say
that, for he was as lazy as a “Mahone soger,” and had seen easy times
on board.

In the evening all hands appeared to be in the best humor possible. The
fruit had been freely distributed, and each man had received as much as
he wanted for a month. All were busy discussing its qualities, spinning
yarns, singing and dancing; while the Kanakas, seven in number, were
having their “hula hula,” or dances, accompanied with songs, in high
glee. These performances were very interesting to us, as we never
before witnessed them. They have what they call their love dance,
missionary dance, whaling dance, and war dance. Their gestures, songs,
and dances very much resemble those of the North American Indians.

                            CHAPTER XIII.

  Making Passage to King Mill Group.—Fourth of July.—Byron’s
    Island.—Perote Island.—Drummond’s Island.—Sydenham’s Island.—Visit
    from the Natives.—Their Canoes.—Themselves.—Trade.—“Dittoes.”—
    Taking of the “Triton.”—A treacherous Portuguese.—A bloody
    Massacre.—A just Retribution.—The Kanaka’s Stratagem.—The Natives
    frightened.—Prisoners ashore.—A young Hero.—Hostages.—The
    Prisoners released.—Proceed to the Sandwich Islands.—Henderville’s
    Island.—Woodle’s Island.—Natives again.—“Teka moi moi.”—Young
    Cocoanuts.—Decidedly Jewish.—Easily satisfied.—Description of
    Natives.—The Females.—A large Fleet.—Comparisons.—Simpson’s
    Island.—Ship “Narragansett.”—Stove Boat.—Fisherman’s
    Luck.—Experiments in Mesmerism.—Somebody “sold.”

We were now making passage for the “King Mill Group,” which is a
group of small islands greatly celebrated for being a good sperm
whaling ground. Our captain had filled the same ship in which we now
were on this ground but a few years before, and it was to be our
principal place of cruising for a year or fourteen months, at least.

And now we come to Thursday, July 4th—the never-to-be-forgotten
Fourth of July—our first one at sea. While our friends at home are
celebrating the anniversary of American Independence, we are deprived
the pleasure of being with them in person, yet we are with them in
spirit, and the spark of patriotism glows as brightly in the small
company of Americans on board as if we had been within hearing of
the booming cannon, the joyful peal rung out by the merry bells,
the patriotic oration and sentiment; and, although among the wild
Isles of the Pacific, and thousands of leagues from the “home of
the free,” yet the return of this day sent a thrill of joy through
every frame, and we felt thankful to the GOD who watched over the
cradle of the infant nation, who still guides its footsteps as
it approaches manhood, and who is ever blessing it with heaven’s
choicest blessings. May no American ever fail to render thanks for
this anniversary, in whatever clime he may be situated.


On Tuesday, July 23d, we saw the most eastern island of the group,
Byron’s Island, and the next day sighted Perote Island. These islands
are all coral formations, very low, are inhabited, and thickly
covered with cocoanut-trees. On Saturday, the 27th, we passed
Drummond’s Island, and sighted Sydenham’s Island. From the latter
the natives came off in great numbers to trade. Their canoes are
constructed of narrow, thin strips of wood, the cocoanut, fastened
with small line made from the cocoanut husk; are sharp at both ends,
very narrow, and are prevented from capsizing by a long piece of
wood placed parallel with the canoe and made fast to it, called the
“outrigger.” They have a mast, with a three-cornered mat sail, made
from the leaf of the cocoanut-tree, and rigged in such a manner as to
admit of sailing in either direction without turning the canoe. They
have them of all sizes, from the small one carrying but one person,
to the large war-canoes carrying one hundred.

The natives are a wild-looking set of copper-colored beings, in a
complete state of nudity, their bodies tattooed, and covered with
cocoanut oil, which is their perfumery. They are of medium size,
but very powerful. They are all merchants, bringing with them, to
trade with ships, shells, fish, mats, cocoanuts, and a species of
fruits called “dittoes.” These grow in large bunches, very compact,
and similar to figs packed in a box. On the outside of the bunch
they are green; on breaking them apart, you find about two thirds of
the length, from the inner end, is of a bright golden color, and of
an excellent flavor. The _currency_ here, as at most of the Kanaka
Islands, is tobacco and pipes, and for this they will follow a ship
for miles. As it was near night, we made sail and motioned them

At this island a few years since, the natives, led on by a Portugee,
who was living among them at this time, attempted to take the ship
“Triton,” of New Bedford, Captain Spencer. The plot was well laid
and matured, and the natives went off to the ship and informed the
captain, by signs, they had a fine “fluke-chain” ashore, and wanted
to sell it. He asked them where they got it, when they replied,
“Kiabuka broke” (ship broke), conveying the idea that a ship had
been wrecked here some time previous. As the captain was desirous
of obtaining a chain of this description, he immediately, without
suspecting their dark and bloody designs, ordered his boat to be
lowered away and manned. On arriving on shore, and before they
suspected any treachery, they were seized and bound. The Portugee
then, with a large number of natives, went off to the ship to trade,
as they intimated. The crew, when they arrived, were mostly down
below, and the third mate was asleep in one of the boats. When the
natives had collected on deck in sufficient numbers, they made a
rush for the “spades,” which hung overhead on the quarter-deck, and,
before any one was aware of what was transpiring, had possession of
the deck. They killed the man at the helm, two or three foremast
hands, the second mate, steward, and cook, and then proceeded to the
cabin, where the mate was lying asleep. He was aroused by the noise,
but too late to offer any resistance; they, attacking him, cut and
mangled him in a horrible manner, and left him, as they supposed,

The Portugee, who led on the savages, now proceeded to the deck in
order to make a finish of the bloody job, massacre the remainder of
the crew, who were confined in the forecastle, and then work the ship
ashore into the breakers. The third mate, who had become aroused by
the noise, but wisely kept quiet until he saw the Portugee passing
abreast of him, suddenly darted a lance with such unerring aim that
it was driven completely through his body, killing him instantly.
The natives were greatly frightened at this, and attacked the third
officer, but he managed to elude them, and escaped below. They now
fired muskets, which they had taken from the cabin, already loaded,
down the skylight, until they saw it was useless, when they directed
their whole energies to getting the ship into the breakers. One of
the crew happened to be a Kanaka, and they ordered him to the helm,
and to keep the ship headed for the land, threatening him with
instant death if he failed. But he was secretly determined to thwart
their horrible purposes, and accordingly kept the ship headed nearly
in a contrary direction. As soon as the natives discovered they were
leaving the land instead of approaching it, they were about to put
their threat into execution; but he made them to understand that he
could not steer the ship, knew nothing about it, etc. One of the
chiefs then told him to go to masthead and keep a look-out, and he
would steer the ship ashore. He immediately mounted the rigging, and
with the agility of a monkey was soon aloft at masthead. Not deeming
it prudent to make known his purpose too soon, he waited; the ship
was gradually approaching the breakers, where she would soon be more
than ever in the power of these bloodthirsty cannibals. But the
time has come for relief; “SAIL HO!” is the cry from aloft; and the
rascals are jumping overboard into the water and their canoes, and
paddling for dear life to the shore, with fright depicted on every
countenance. The brave Kanaka, who had by this stratagem succeeded in
saving the ship, now came down on deck and released the men in the
forecastle, who, with the third mate, immediately headed the ship off
shore, and, supposing the captain and his boat’s crew all murdered,
made all sail. The mate, who was left for dead, recovered gradually.
After a long passage, they made the port of Honolulu, Sandwich

The captain, together with his boat’s crew, whom we left on shore
bound, were, for some unknown reason, kept still alive as prisoners.
The natives finally, at a council held, determined to murder them
all. The arrangements were all completed. The captain was first
led forth, firmly bound, and, in imitation of our North American
Indians, they laid his head upon the fatal block; the executioner,
with his massive war-club in readiness, awaits but the word from the
chief which is to send a soul into eternity. But who is this rushing
forward, and, Pocahontas-like, braving the ire of that dread chief,
and proudly, firmly demanding the life of Captain Spencer and the
white men with him? ’Tis the son of the chief, who, with fire in
his eye and determination in every line of his features, tells them
“they _must_ not murder the white men; if they do, plenty America
Fire Kiabuka come, kill all Kanaka.” The bravery and reasoning of the
brave boy-chief prevailed, and their lives were spared, though still
kept “in bonds.”

After some weeks had passed a ship came to the island to trade, and,
through some one of the natives, the captain ascertained the fact
that Captain Spencer and his men were held prisoners. The captain
and crew of the ship trading immediately seized and bound a number
of the natives on board as hostages, telling the remainder that if
Captain S. and his men were not instantly forth-coming, unharmed,
those detained on board as hostages should swing at the yard-arm.
This threat had the desired effect. Captain Spencer and his men were
liberated from their cruel bondage, and kindly received by all on
board. The captain proceeded to the Sandwich Islands, where he now
resides; and when narrating to us the above particulars, although
an _old sea-dog_, the tear would trickle down the weather-beaten
cheek as he recalled to mind the fate of those who were so cruelly
murdered, and his own miraculous escape.

On Wednesday, July 31st, we saw Henderville’s and Woodle’s Islands.
We headed for the latter, and when two or three miles from land our
decks were crowded with natives, all bringing something to trade. A
lively scene now presented itself, equaling any of our large trading
marts, though not, perhaps, on quite as extensive a scale. Here might
be seen a native offering a hat to a sailor, and each one endeavoring
to get the best of the bargain; another was offering mats, another
shells, and so on to the end, all for “’baccy.” At this island we
found something in the shape of molasses that we had never yet seen.
It is made from the milk of the cocoanut boiled down, and called by
them “teka moi moi.” It resembles maple molasses, both in color and
flavor, more than any thing else, and was quite a treat to our ship’s
company, who purchased large quantities—five cocoanut shells filled
with it for one “plug” of tobacco.

Those who have never tasted the _young_ cocoanut may be excusable
in eating, and drinking the milk of the miserable things called
cocoanuts which are exposed for sale at our fruit-stands. But, to
enjoy it in all its delicious fullness, one must eat them when they
are green, and when the shell is so soft as to admit of a knife being
passed through the husk and shell, as one would “plug” a melon. In
this state the nut is full of the rich milk, and, on breaking them
open, some are so young that no meat has yet formed; in others it
is like jelly; and, as it advances in age, the milk loses its rich
flavor, and the meat becomes hard and oily.

The natives of this island are shrewd customers, and drive a bargain
with all the tightness of a Jew, bantering until they find they can
obtain no more, and then sell. In one respect, however, comparatively
speaking, they are easily satisfied. A “head” of tobacco goes a
great way with them; and he is considered a rich man among them who
becomes possessed of two or three “heads.” They appear, also, to be
much better natured and better looking than any we have yet seen;
have more of that noble, manly appearance than those of Sydenham’s
Island. They are much larger, also, and many of them wear the “tappa”
about the loins. The females are very fair-looking, with regular
features, small and delicate in size and structure, and appear
very graceful and sprightly. They are very cleanly, and when they
come off to ships have their heads decorated with wreaths of wild
flowers, and generally a bunch in each ear as a substitute for
ear-rings. They are merry creatures, always laughing, and showing
teeth of pearly whiteness, that any woman might be proud of, which
are not manufactured for the occasion by a dentist. Were they
white, they would create no small sensation among the belles and
beaux of America; and we have seen some who have just color enough
in the cheek to make them truly beautiful. In fact, it is rather a
dangerous affair to be placed amid such fascinating creatures after
a long cruise, and having seen none but our own ship’s company. From
the affectionate glances bestowed by some of our sailors upon the
dark-eyed beauties, we fear they will leave their hearts behind as
well as their tobacco.

The sea between the ship and the shore was completely covered by
myriads of canoes, some going ashore, and others paddling for the
ship. We were thus trading about four hours, till, having procured
all we desired “in their line,” we bid them adieu, and turned our
thoughts to whaling.

Thursday, August 8th, we again sighted Sydenham’s Island, the natives
coming off as usual to trade. One can not but notice the difference
in the appearance of the natives of this and Woodle’s Island; yet
they are only sixty miles apart. Those of the latter have a noble,
manly look, are smooth-skinned and good-natured, while those of the
former are a sullen, inferior-looking set of beings, many of them
scaly or rough-skinned. They have a regular hang-dog, villainous
expression, that plainly says “plunder and murder.” The females
are even worse than the men, being very masculine in appearance,
manners, and speech, with high cheek-bones, and mouths that would
drive a hungry man crazy. They are very indolent, and seldom bring
of any trade, a few fish or shells generally comprising the whole

The next island we saw was Simpson’s, but passed it without stopping.
On Friday, August 16th, we spoke the ship “Narragansett,” Captain
Rogers, soon bound home. We enjoyed a very pleasant “gam” with them,
they all feeling very happy, thinking they would so soon be homeward
bound. We could but wish them joy, with a safe and quick passage home.

On the 2lst, Tuesday, we lowered for whales. One of the boats
succeeded in fastening to a “cow,” and, after some running, sounding,
etc., she began to think it “boys’ play,” and about time to end the
sport, and coming up under the boat, gave it a _rap_ that knocked it
into “kindling wood,” and hoisted the boys a pretty good distance
in the air. Appearing perfectly satisfied with this part of the
performance, she departed for “parts unknown” with two irons and
about eighteen hundred feet of line attached to her. The crew were
picked up after a bath of about an hour. The next day saw whales, and
concluded to try our luck again. The waist-boat finally succeeded in
fastening to a large fat cow, and all hands were chuckling over the
idea of having outwitted this one, when lo, and behold! her majesty
turns and bites the line in two as coolly as you please, and makes
off. The boys returned on board, acknowledging that “there’s many a
slip ’twixt the cup and the lip” in whaling as well as every thing

About this time Mackey and Tom W. had quite an extensive argument on
mesmerism. Mackey was a great skeptic, but finally agreed to become a
sound believer and disciple if Tom would mesmerize him. To all this
Tom readily consented, and preparations were accordingly made with
the gravity and demeanor of a regular professor of the humbug. Strict
silence was imposed upon all hands; not a word was to be uttered, not
even in a whisper, or the spell would be broken. Two tin pans were
introduced as “mediums,” and Mackey was instructed to hold one with
the bottom toward the mesmerizer, and look him steadily in the eye,
while he took the other in the same manner. Tom now informed Mackey
that he must do exactly as he did—go through with the same motions,
etc.; to all of which he readily consented, and the manipulations
commenced. Unfortunately, it _happened_ that the bottom of Mackey’s
pan had been _smoked_ considerably, if not more, and as Tom would
draw his fingers around on the bottom of his own pan (which was
clean), and then over his face, Mackey would “follow suit,” and
by this operation his face soon began to assume the appearance of
a striped zebra. The hands were then changed, and the other side
mesmerized in the same manner. After Mackey was nicely blacked, so
that it was almost impossible to tell whether he most resembled an
Indian painted for the war-dance or the aforesaid striped zebra, Tom
said he guessed he would have to give it up; there was too much noise
on deck, and his “mediums” did not work well; but asked him if he did
not feel sleepy. Mackey stoutly denied being sleepy, and said he knew
it was all a humbug—couldn’t fool him; saying which he started aft
for a drink of water. The watch on deck were employed mending sails,
and, as Mackey rolled along, they all broke into one simultaneous
roar on beholding his comical physiognomy. The mate asked him if he
“was sick.”

“No, sir,” replied Mackey, boldly.

“Well, then, what is the matter with you? You look _very pale_!”

Mackey knew hardly what to say to this, but finally replied, “One
of the watch has been trying to mesmerize me, and it _might_ have
affected me some.”

The mate told him he had better go below and turn in instantly, as
he was sure _something_ ailed him. This frightened Mackey, and he
hastened down, got out his looking-glass, and, at the first sight,
dropped it. However, he mustered courage, and looked again; then at
the watch, who had all assembled about him in perfect silence; then
at the pan; and, after a few moments, the light broke in upon him,
and he exclaimed, “Sold, by thunder!” and rushed on deck to try the
virtues of salt water and oil soap, greeted with a perfect storm
of laughter from the watch. It is useless to add that Mackey never
after, so long as he remained with us, had any thing to say upon the
science of Mesmerism.

                            CHAPTER XIV.

  Pitt’s Island.—Knox and Charlotte’s Islands.—Base Conduct.—
    Thieving.—Jack and Manuel.—Almost a “dead Nigger.”—Bark “Belle.”—
    Ship “Boy.”—Wreck of the “Flying Fox.”—Plundered by the Natives.—
    Hall’s Island.—Desertion.—My Man Friday.—A wet Berth again.—Ship
    “Hector.”—Anxiety for Letters.—A Canoe in distress.—
    A heart-rending Sight.—Gratitude of the Natives.—Pleasant
    Island.—Its Natives.—Murder of white Men.—Brig “Inga.”—Thieves
    again.—Search-warrant issued.—Property found, Culprit tried and
    punished.—A heavy Squall.—Strong’s Island.

We were now getting down to the more westward of the group,
and on Sunday, the 25th, saw Pitt’s Island. This is one of the
finest-looking islands of the whole group; the land being higher,
with more verdure. The next day we saw Knox’s Island. The natives
of this and Charlotte’s Island are now at war, instigated, we are
sorry to learn, by the base conduct of an American whaling captain,
who has taken sides with one party, and who takes great pleasure in
slaughtering those of the other side.

Whenever the boats are off after whales, a certain number of the
ship’s company remain on board to work the ship, who are called
“ship-keepers.” One of these ship-keepers was “Nigger Jack,” whom,
the reader will recollect, we shipped at Payta. It appears he was in
the habit, at these times, of going down into the forecastle, and
pilfering whatever he saw that would strike his fancy. He also was
troubled very much with a sweet tooth, and would help himself to the
other men’s allowance of molasses, not touching his own. This kind
of work went on for some time, and, as the men could prove nothing,
they kept quiet and waited, Micawber-like, for something to “turn up.”
The opportunity soon came. The boats were all off after whales, and
our Spanish darkey was, as usual, spending his time below, when one
of the other ship-keepers, going into the forecastle, caught him in
the very act of helping himself to molasses from the allowance of
Portugee Manuel. He said nothing to him, however, but waited until
the men returned for the opportunity of “opening the ball.” It so
happened that, on this occasion, the men were down all day, from 7
A.M. to 8 P.M., with little or no food, and came on board, without
having fastened, nearly exhausted with pulling, hungry as bears,
and in none of the best of humors. Supper was sent down, and Manuel
went to his keg to get some molasses for his “duff,” but, to his
surprise, found it empty! His Gee blood was up in an instant, and he
sang out, “What man been takey my molass?” Some one replied, “Nigger
Jack;” and, before the darkey could contradict it, the heavy molasses
keg struck him, bim! full in the face. The blood flew on all sides,
and he ran for the deck, and, fully believing that he was about to
“kick the bucket,” commenced chanting the Paternoster, occasionally
interspersing it with exclamations of “Muerto! muerto!” signifying
“Killed! killed!” in a most pitiful tone. But he was suddenly
interrupted by an order from aft to present himself. He crawled off,
and, after a long time, succeeded in making the captain understand
what the difficulty was. Manuel was now sent for, who sputtered out
his side of the story, in half English and half Portugee, to the
no small amusement of the captain and officers, and appeals to the
person who saw the theft committed. The old man reprimanded Manuel
for throwing molasses kegs, and told the Spaniard that if the men
caught him stealing again, they would, in all probability, kill him
outright, and sent him off about his business. There is nothing so
much despised on board ship as these petty thefts, and he who commits
them generally leads a hard life.

We here saw the bark “Belle,” of Fairhaven, Captain Handy. This
vessel was engaged in trading at the different islands for cocoanut
oil, which was sold in Sydney, New South Wales.

On Thursday, September 26th, we picked up part of a ship’s topmast,
and, on sighting Sydenham’s Island, discovered the hull of a vessel
fast ashore on the reef, with her lower masts standing. Our captain
intended to take a boat and ascertain something in regard to this
ill-fated vessel, but the wind died away before we approached within
a proper distance, and the current soon drifted us far away.

The next day we spoke the “Boy,” of Warren, Captain Luce. From him we
ascertained the vessel ashore at Sydenham’s to be the bark “Flying
Fox,” of Hobarton, Van Diemen’s Land, Captain Brown, who, with
his lady, and several of the officers and crew, were on board the
“Boy.” It appears, by the captain’s statement, that on the morning
of the 25th they were sailing along with a fine breeze, all sail
set, when they were suddenly startled by the ship striking a reef
which projected two or three miles from the island, and was not
laid down on the charts. The topmasts were all carried away by the
shock; the ship was fast on the reef; and, had there been a heavy
swell, she would have gone to pieces immediately. As all hopes of
saving the ship were at an end, on seeing their situation they took
to their boats as soon as possible. Already were the decks crowded
with natives, who had begun the work of plunder, helping themselves
to whatever they wished. They obtained possession of the spades,
and were ready and willing to fight, if necessary. The captain had
to work very cautiously to get his wife into the boat without being
seen by the natives; and, closely veiled, she was placed in the boat,
choosing the mercy of the winds and waves rather than that of a
barbarous set of cannibals, in whose hands she would have suffered
worse than death.

The next day, the boat containing the captain and lady, with some of
the crew, were picked up by the “Boy.” The remainder of the crew, it
was supposed, had gone to Woodle’s or Simpson’s Island. The captain
of the “Boy,” on learning the particulars of the sad accident,
proceeded immediately to the wreck; but the natives had not been
idle; they had carried off every thing of value, and that which they
valued not had been destroyed by them. The water and oil casks had
been stove for the sake of the iron hoops which bound them.

On Thursday, October 3d, we traded with the natives of Hall’s Island.
Cocoanut oil is the principal trade brought off here. The natives on
the islands north of the equator look much better than those of the
same group situated south of it.

We were now getting short of water, and the captain determined to
land a raft of casks at Pitt’s Island, leave them for the natives
to fill, and return for them in a few days. Accordingly, on the
16th, we sent a raft ashore, three boats towing it. We had now been
out of port nearly seven months, and most of the crew were becoming
discontented—thought it was about time they had a run ashore, etc.;
and some of them expressed the determination to have it, if the
opportunity offered, at Pitt’s Island. The officers having charge of
the boats were ordered not to land, but to deliver the raft to the
natives and return immediately to the ship. The third mate, however,
who was one of the disaffected, instead of doing this, pulled close
in shore, and told his men, if they wished, they could go; he should
not hinder them. Two of them immediately jumped out of the boat
and went ashore; the boats returned to the ship; and the captain
and third mate had some rather plain conversation in regard to the
affair. It ended, however, in the old man’s leaving a reward for
them, and we made sail.

We took from this island a noble-looking, fine-built native, who is a
chief of some importance; but he wished to try his hand at whaling,
as near as we could understand by his signs, for he could speak but
little English. The captain bestowed upon him the name of Friday,
which suited him just as well as any other. He soon became a general
favorite with all hands, was very good-natured, quick to learn, as
spry as a cat, and as strong as a giant.

We visited the island again on Tuesday, the 22d, for our raft of
water. We there learned that the two deserters had sailed in the bark
“Belle,” for Sydney, the day previous.

An amusing little incident, common to whaling, but still enough of
interest to make it worth relating, occurred on Saturday, 16th of
November. The waist-boat had fastened to a cow whale, and were going
along very smoothly, when she suddenly sounded, and, by some means,
drew the bow of the boat down with her sufficient to “end it over,”
and spill out the whole crew very unexpectedly. It happened that
two of the men were unable to swim, and, strange as it may appear,
they were the first to scramble on to the bottom of the boat (which
was upset), and that without _wetting a hair of their head_; and so
anxious were they to _keep dry_, that they kept the boat rolling over
and over, they meanwhile scrambling in the most ludicrous manner.
After a little time, and partly by the threats of the second mate and
their own fears, they became quiet, and remained so until they were
picked up. The whale was killed by one of the other boats, and was
soon cut in and tried out.

Monday, November 18th, was a very clear and calm day, not a breath
of air stirring, and “old Jamaica” coming down with a vengeance. At
daylight the look-out from masthead raised a sail a long distance
off. About 1 P.M., “Boat ho!” was the cry, and it proved to be a
boat pulling to us from the ship in the distance. About 3 they came
alongside, and reported themselves to be from the ship “Hector,”
of New Bedford, Captain Smith. They had pulled about sixteen
miles, under the scorching sun of the equator, with not a breath
of air stirring, merely to ascertain if we had letters for them.
They were about three years out, and had heard that we were on the
cruising-ground, and on raising us that morning hoped it might prove
to be the “Emily Morgan;” and such was their anxiety for letters from
their friends at home that they gladly pulled this long distance. We
were glad that their labor met with its reward, for they received
a large package, and soon forgot their fatigue amid the excitement
incident to receiving news after so long an absence. About 5 P.M. a
light breeze sprung up, and they left us in high spirits.

As we were cruising along on Wednesday, November 19th, with no land
in sight, we saw a large canoe, which appeared at the mercy of
winds and waves. We immediately bore down to it, and found that it
contained twenty-two natives in a starving condition. We lowered
a boat, towed them to the ship, and found them so much reduced as
to be hardly able to speak, and could get them in on deck only by
slinging them in a “boatswain’s chair” and hoisting them in. The
canoe was cut adrift after taking out and sinking the dead body of
a boy, apparently about fourteen, which it contained. Some of them
presented a wretched and distressing appearance; they were nothing
but skin and bones, and scarcely that. In several cases the skin on
the joints was broken, and the bones had worked through. We went to
work and cleared out the “blubber-room,” and by spreading mats around
made it very comfortable for them. Their constant cry was “Ki ki”
(eat). We prepared some farina, and fed them cautiously; but they
acted more like a pack of ravenous wolves than like human beings. By
the aid of Friday, our Pitt’s Island native, we learned the following
particulars: They left their island (Charlotte’s) for another on
account of the war raging there, but lost their reckoning, and the
current, which sets very strongly to the northwest, swept them off.
They had been so drifting for six weeks, and during that time had no
food except a shark, which they captured. Four of their number had
died, two men and two children. Seven of them were females, two of
whom had nursing infants. The poor creatures would fall into a short
slumber, and awake crying for food. It was truly a heart-rending
sight, but we felt assured every thing that could be had been done
to render them comfortable. They endeavored, too, to express their
heartfelt gratitude to us by signs, and would cry, “Mortarkee
kiabuka” (good ship). As we were near Pleasant Island, the captain
determined to land them there.

Accordingly, we sighted it on the morning of Friday, the 21st. About
9 A.M. canoes began to flock off to us in great numbers, and the
natives whom we had picked up were sent ashore in them. They had
so far regained their strength as to be able to move about quite
briskly. The chief addressed the captain in his own language, which
was translated by Friday as far as lay in his power, to the effect
that they were very grateful to the captain and all hands for the
kind treatment they had received; and as the poor grateful beings
shook hands with us on passing over the gangway, tears of gratitude
trickled down their tawny cheeks. They were placed in the canoes,
waved their hands feebly, and started for the shore.

Pleasant Island is a very beautiful island, and well does it deserve
its name, if we say nothing of its inhabitants. It is moderately
high, and more thickly covered with verdure than any island of the
group. The natives are the most finely-built of any we have yet
seen—large, athletic, and ferocious-appearing, presenting quite a
contrast to some of the diminutive natives of the Windward Islands.
They speak a different language, also, from that of the natives
of the other islands, though but a few degrees apart. They appear
far superior to them in shrewdness and cunning, it being much
harder to drive a trade with them. The females are very small, very
good-looking, and some of them quite handsome, several shades lighter
than the men, and much lighter than those of the other islands. We
bought quite a number of fowl, and some hogs of the regular _racer_
breed, Berkshires not having been introduced here.

A white man came off from this island, and wished the captain to
ship him, as he was afraid to remain on shore. He reported that,
the day before, five white men had been murdered by the natives. A
part of them were from the ill-fated “Flying Fox.” It appears that
they had landed at this island perfectly destitute, and some of the
white men residing there, fearing the chiefs would take them under
their protection and allow them to remain, thereby diminishing their
chances of trade with ships, persuaded the leading chiefs that they
came there for the purpose of taking the island and poisoning all the
Kanakas. They are so superstitions that, no matter how absurd the
story, they believe the white man capable of doing any thing. At the
instigation of these rascally “beach-combers” residing on the island,
the poor fellows were butchered in a manner too horrible to relate.
This man informed us that his life had been repeatedly threatened,
and, had not he had the influence of one of the highest chiefs on the
island, he would have shared the same horrid fate as the others. The
captain informed him he could go with us, at which he was greatly

We spoke the brig “Inga,” of New Bedford, Captain Barnes, on Sunday,
the 24th. We had here an opportunity of sending letters home _via_
Sydney, New South Wales, as she was bound there with a cargo of
cocoanut oil. Captain B. reported that, a few days previous, his
steward and seven of his crew took a boat in the night-time and
deserted. The steward stole about three hundred dollars from the
captain’s state-room, a sextant, quadrant, and charts; the crew
took provisions and water. He supposed they had gone to some of the
Windward Islands.

Our “Spanish Jack” has got himself in trouble again. For several
weeks complaints had been made by nearly all of the crew that their
tobacco was disappearing very fast and very mysteriously. From
the fact that Jack never bought any, had but little when he came
on board, and was continually smoking, he was strongly suspected.
One fine morning the captain ordered the mate to go forward and
search the Spaniard’s chest. Accordingly, the chest was hauled out
and opened. It was well filled with clothing, all new, that he
had bought and never worn, which he was keeping, he said, to wear
ashore. On looking _deeper_, several knives were found, which were
claimed by some of the crew, and various small articles, which he
had pilfered at different times from different persons. Finally, the
mate found a large quantity of tobacco, and a tin box belonging to
the captain’s son, which he had taken from the binnacle while at the
helm. The guilty Spaniard was brought aft, seized by his wrists to
the mizzen rigging, his back bared, and a slight dose of “hemp tea”
administered, said to be a very excellent remedy for the disease
which troubled Jack so much, viz., sticky fingers. He called on all
the saints in the calendar to come to his assistance, but they very
politely refused, as it is believed they did not _strongly_ object to
the medicine being administered. It had one good effect, to say the
least; it made him _promise_ that he would never steal again while
on board the ship, no matter how small the value of the article. And,
in justice to him, we will say that he kept his promise, not from
want of a _desire_ to steal, but from _fear of punishment_.

The idea of flogging a human being is certainly shocking, and the
poor fellow who receives it generally has the pity and sympathies of
his shipmates; but in this case all hands felt that the culprit got
no more than his deserts, for the true sailor _despises_ a thief. The
sailor is proverbially charitable; he will see a shipmate want for
nothing so long as he can supply that want, even to dividing his last
crust; and it is not given grudgingly, but with his whole heart.

We were now making the passage to Strong’s Island, and, on the night
of Friday, December 6th, were struck with a severe squall, laying
the ship almost on her beam ends. All hands were called to take in
sail, but, before the men could get on deck, away went mainsail,
foretopsail, and jib. Whew! how the wind whistled and howled! It
was impossible for the captain to make himself understood amid
the deafening roar of the winds; and the waves, madly pitching
and tossing the ship to and fro, seemed to wish to ingulf her in
their bosom. It was grand, yet terrible. By dint of hard labor we
succeeded finally in reducing the sail, so that she rode easy through
the night, the gale continuing with almost unabated fury. The next
day a tremendous whirlwind passed astern of us about a mile, and
it was through the mercy of GOD alone that we escaped it. The gale
continued, with more or less rain, until Wednesday, December 11th,
when Strong’s Island hove in sight, distant about eighty miles.

                             CHAPTER XV.

  Strong’s Island.—King.—Canker.—Dress.—Chiefs.—Description of the
    Island.—Large Island.—Small Island.—Productions.—Wild Game.—
    Canals.—Stone Walls.—Who built them?—Ruins.—Suppositions.—A
    Rebellion.—Customs.—Queen.—Princes and Princesses.—Sekane.—Cæsar.—
    Natives.—Females.—“Strong’s Island Trowsers.”—Employments.—
    “Blueskin.”—Traditions.—Priests.—Rites and Ceremonies.—Funeral
    Ceremonies.—Rotumah Tom.—Food of the Natives.—Blueskin and his
    Procession.—Friday’s Opinion.—The Feast.—“Very good,” but think we
    won’t indulge.—Choose our “Hotel.”—An unpleasant Surprise.—
    “Planter.”—Mutiny and its Consequences.—Desertion.—One kind of
    Navigation.—A Stroll to Large Island.—Friday and the Taboo.—
    Incidents in Port.—Weighed Anchor.—“Mary Frazier.”—Death and
    Burial of Mr. S.—A few random Thoughts.

For nine long and weary months had the “Emily” been from port. During
this time but few of the ship’s company had put foot upon land, and
glad indeed were we when Strong’s Island hove in sight. We were
experiencing heavy weather, but on Thursday, December 12th, the wind
gradually grew less boisterous, and as we neared the land, steering
for the passage, died away, leaving us at its mouth in a dead calm;
but we down boats, and every man “pulled with a will,” and soon towed
the old ship in, and at 7 P.M. we once more dropped anchor, weary
with labor, but refreshed at the sight of the land, and the prospect
of “stretching our legs” on shore once more.

[Illustration: STRONG’S ISLAND.]

His majesty King Tocasaw, _alias_ King George, accompanied by his
eldest son, the Canker, heir-apparent to the throne, and some of
the most distinguished chiefs, came off to visit us and welcome us
to their island. King George is a fine, intelligent-looking native
of about fifty. His court dress, which is only worn on _great_
occasions like the present, consists of—a red woolen shirt! Canker
has the appearance of a shrewd, unscrupulous fellow, with a most
rascally expression of countenance. He is second in command to the
king. Cæsar, the king’s brother, is also an intelligent-looking
chief, and appears to be full and running over with fun. We were much
surprised to find them speaking such good English.

The next morning, on looking about us, we found ourselves in a most
beautiful harbor, completely shut in from the sea, lying about
fifty yards from the shore. The beach is entirely covered with
cocoanut-trees, and the mountains, rising with a gradual slope,
expose to view the brilliant foliage of the bread-fruit and mangrove

This island is entirely surrounded by a reef, varying from a few rods
to half a mile from the shore. Through the reef Nature has left an
opening of about fifty fathoms, or one hundred yards, which admits
of the passage of ships of the largest size. The main island is some
thirty miles in circumference, and on the north side the shore forms
a deep lagoon. Immediately in front of this lagoon is the “small
island,” which extends from one extreme point of the bay to the
other, being separated on the westerly side from the large island by
a few hundred feet of shallow water, of not sufficient depth to admit
the passage of a craft of any size, and this is bordered by the reef.
On the easterly side of the small island is the passage.

The highest peak of the large island is about two thousand feet
above the level of the sea. The king and most of the high chiefs
reside on the small island, with many of their tribes, forming
quite a settlement. We called at the palace to pay our respects to
his majesty. He appeared very pleasant and kind to us, and, after
presenting us to the queen and two princesses present, set before
us such fruit as the island produces. The bananas that grow here are
certainly the most delicious we ever tasted, being very small, and
are called “sugar bananas.” The productions of this island are the
cocoanut, bread-fruit, banana, mummy apples, dittoes, plantains,
layees (a coarse species of banana), oranges, yams, and tarra. The
bread-fruit serves as their principal food. It is rendered very
palatable by being split open and baked, and tasted very good to us,
after having lived on hard bread, “duff,” and “salt horse” for nine
months. From the tree they manufacture all their culinary utensils
and canoes. The island abounds in game, wild pigeons and wild hogs
forming the principal part.

After partaking heartily of the fruit the king had set before us,
we left, promising to call and see him often during our stay, as he
gave us a cordial invitation to do so. We then proceeded to call
upon some of the chiefs. On rambling over the small island we found
numerous canals cut through in all directions, which at low tide
would be nothing but small streams, but at high tide of sufficient
depth to float the largest canoes. These canals, as well as some
of the roads, are walled up from fifteen to thirty feet high. They
are well built, and range from six to nine feet in thickness. We
noticed many large stones, which would weigh several tons, placed
in the wall some distance from the ground. There is something very
mysterious about these walls and canals. As the natives know nothing
about them, they say the Evil Spirit built them; and one of the most
intelligent chiefs on the island informed us that the oldest records
or traditions they have give no account of them whatever.

We also came in contact with what appeared to be the ruins of a
large building. It was surrounded by a stone wall, six or eight feet
high, on all four sides, with but one entrance, which was by stone
steps. We then came to a second wall, somewhat smaller, but similar
to the first; and, on ascending a few more steps, came to a level
place paved with large flat stones. In the centre were two square
deep pits, from eighteen to twenty feet deep, walled up with stone.
The natives know nothing concerning this pile of ruins, and only
answer your questions with the English word “Devil.” We think there
is no doubt but that this island has once been the stronghold of a
band of pirates, as every thing about it would seem to indicate. The
admirable situation, beautiful and snug harbor, with but a small
entrance, in which a vessel might easily be completely shut out from
view at sea; the mild and salubrious climate—all these combined would
render it a desirable rendezvous. This supposition is not improbable,
as it is well known that the Pacific, years ago, was infested by
herds of Chinese and Malay pirates, and these very natives bear a
strong resemblance to the Malays.

About twenty-five or thirty years ago the island was governed by a
king, who, from the accounts given by the chiefs, must have been a
perfect tyrant; and during his reign two or three ships were taken
and plundered, and all hands massacred. This tyranny had the effect
of creating a rebellion, which was headed by Tocasaw, the present
king. After a severe struggle the rebels came off victorious, and
Tocasaw was crowned “King George.” He is very mild in his rule, and
appears to seek the welfare of his subjects, who love him much.
They are under complete subjection, however, and whenever in the
presence of the king or chiefs, whether in the roads or houses, they
immediately stoop low, and remain in this posture until he passes or
bids them go about their business. The chiefs pay the same homage to
the king as the natives. Even his own children crouch down in his
presence, and bend their heads like so many whipped spaniels.

The queen is a small, shriveled-up old lady, and looks as though
a good strong norwester would blow her away. She is a very greedy
creature, and just as vicious withal, and is thoroughly detested by
those who are so situated that they can speak their mind freely,
without fear or favor.

They have six children; the eldest son, Canker, as we have already
remarked, is next in rank to the king. He is about twenty-six years
of age, and is reported to be a perfect villain, yet is very kind to
the natives under him. He is a shrewd fellow to trade, and is always
begging from the sailors. The second son, Aleck, is a young man about
nineteen, and is a remarkably intelligent native. He is universally
beloved by all, both chiefs and natives. He speaks better English
than any native on the island, and appears to have a strong desire
to know “all ’bout ’Merick.” Although so young, he is the father of
three fine children, two noble boys and a girl; and his wife is a
very kind, good-natured creature. He resides on the north side of the
island, and has a beautiful place. The other children of the king are
young, two daughters and two sons. Even these children command the
same respect from the common natives as the chiefs, yet they play
with them in common.

The first, or war-chief; is Sekane, who is the king’s half-brother.
He also is a very intelligent native, very active, and is considered
the king’s prime minister and counselor. Next comes Cæsar, who is
also half-brother to the king—a large, noble-looking native. He is
the grand executioner, and when any poor native has violated a law,
the punishment of which is death, he officiates. There are two or
three other high chiefs, possessed of no remarkable traits.

The natives are rather diminutive in stature, but active when
occasion requires. They live in great simplicity. The females are
remarkably good-looking; but, owing to their practice of _squatting_
to their work, and remaining in that posture most of the time, are
very awkward in walking. Their ears are bored when quite young, and
the hole is made larger by inserting in it a roll of leaves, which
causes it to enlarge as they advance in years. They generally have
them fitted with a bunch of flowers, of which they are passionately
fond. Many of them have their noses pierced, and flowers inserted
therein. They are generally employed making _tappas_, or, as they
call them in English, “Strong’s Island trowsers,” for the chiefs
to whom they belong. Tappa is manufactured from the fibres of the
banana-tree, colored with different barks to suit their taste, and
woven, by means of a small but ingenious loom, into bands of four
or five feet in length, and eight or ten inches in width, with the
different colors very ingeniously and beautifully intermixed. The
body and principal part of the tappa is black, and comprises all
the dress worn by the men or women, from the king down. Sometimes,
however, the king and chiefs indulge in the luxury of a calico shirt;
but the “court dress,” the red woolen shirt, is only worn on _great_
occasions. The females, also, will sometimes sport a _gingham shirt_,
if they are lucky enough to be presented with one by the chief to
whom they belong. Their _crinoline_, however, is not very extensive.

The men are employed cutting wood for their respective chiefs,
building houses, making canoes, gathering fruit, etc. Their food
consists principally of fish, bread-fruit, fayees, cocoanuts, and
other fruit. The fish are generally eaten raw, and smell rather
_high_ before they use them.


Their houses are built of bamboo, thatched with cocoanut leaves. The
king’s house is very large, being fifty or sixty feet high, and about
forty feet square. Some of the chiefs have also very large, roomy
houses. The common ones for the natives are from thirty to forty
feet high, and about twenty feet square. They are kept very neat. In
the centre of the house is a square stone fireplace. The king and
chiefs have large cook-houses, where all the cooking of the different
tribes is done, and each family is served once a day. Each chief has
from fifty to two hundred natives under him, including men, women,
and children.

No one of the natives is allowed more than one wife, and when the
marriage ceremony is performed (which is done by the king for the
chiefs, and by the chiefs for the common natives), the girl is “given
away” by the one who officiates, and is then _tabooed_. The penalty
of breaking this taboo is death; therefore there is not much fear but
that she will remain faithful to her husband.

Each chief is allowed a certain portion of land, which is cultivated
by the natives under him. The produce is taken to the king, who
retains a portion for himself and ships, if any are in the harbor,
and the remaining portion is distributed to the chiefs for their
tribes. Their sports consist of songs, dances, and feasts. They do
not appear to be a very warlike people, as they have no weapons of
any account, and but four or five war-canoes. These are about sixty
feet long and three wide. They are supplied with large outriggers
to prevent their capsizing, and will carry from sixty to seventy
natives. They are built very true and sharp, the bow and stern
considerably elevated, and are fancifully decorated with shells and
other ornaments. The smaller canoes are generally bread-fruit-tree
logs shaped properly, and burned and dug out. They build them of all
sizes, from those that will carry but a single person to larger ones
that will carry twenty. It is indeed surprising to see with what
dexterity they manage them.

[Illustration: STRONG’S ISLAND CANOE.]

On this island is a root, which grows wild, called “carva.” They
pound this root, extract the juice by squeezing it in their hands
into cocoanut-shells, and then drink it. By taking a sufficient
quantity, it operates very similarly to opium, causing a sleepy
intoxication. It tastes very much like the extract of sarsaparilla
root. This is a great article with them, and, on calling from house
to house, you are first presented with a shell of carva. There are
those on the island who have used it so much that they resemble in
appearance the worst class of opium-eaters.

There is a tree here which is a great curiosity, being a species of
the banyan-tree of India. Its branches, bending to the ground and
taking root, make beautiful shady groves, and pleasant retreats from
the sultriness of the scorching sun.

In the matter of religion the natives have a singular belief. Their
deity, whom they call “Blueskin,” was thus described to us by Aleck:
“All the same white gal, only he got wing all the same pigeon,”
which is as near a description of an angel as we could have given
him. They say, “If man be good, he go there,” pointing to the sky;
“s’pose he no good, he stop here,” pointing to the earth. It is
certainly very singular where or from whence they received these
ideas; nevertheless, they sincerely believe them. They have no
regular places of worship, neither have they any prescribed form.
Some years since a famine visited the island, and swept off many of
the inhabitants. According to their traditions, a great quantity of
eels, which had never before been seen by them, suddenly made their
appearance, and prevented them from entirely perishing with hunger.
They have now great veneration for these eels, and they are tabooed,
as they believe Blueskin sent them; and, although the waters abound
with them, they will neither harm them nor suffer them to be harmed,
if in their power to prevent it.

They also believe in evil spirits. Once per year, or oftener, if
any thing remarkable transpires, the high-priest is followed by
his train of natives, carefully and plentifully oiled with cocoanut
oil, wreathed with flowers, and each one carrying fruit of some
description to appease the angry spirit, while the priest blows away
upon a large conch-shell, making a most hideous noise, to which is
added a continual wail by his train, which sounds truly mournful.
They go along the beach, and to each chief’s house, taking what has
been collected as an offering to Blueskin, generally consisting of
pure white tappas and the general productions of the island. These
articles are deposited by the priest in a house, tabooed to all but
himself, on the mountain, and are left there for Blueskin to take
whenever he chooses. The priest only enters this place once a year,
or when the island appears to be threatened with some dire calamity.
At such times he goes in and has a _talk_ with Blueskin.

On the death of any person, all the friends and relatives meet at
the house of the deceased, where they join in singing, wailing,
screeching, and weeping for about twenty-four hours, after which the
body is buried with much solemnity, with the head to the west. We
inquired the reason of this, and were answered, “Very good; ’nother
day’s sun he come all right.” The articles most highly prized by the
deceased while living are always buried with them. A small fence is
erected around the tomb of a native, and the friends every morning
carry fruits and flowers, and place them on the grave, for they
believe the spirits of the dead linger for a time upon the earth
before departing for the skies. If the deceased is a chief or a
member of the royal family, a house is erected over the grave, and
all the chiefs on the island remove to the place, build small houses,
and remain there for three months, the usual term of mourning, during
which time they present offerings very bountifully, and with a
great deal of state. After the ceremony of offering the fruit every
morning, the nearest related chief makes a feast, and all the chiefs
gather and eat, and drink carva. The females are excluded from these
and all other public feasts. The women belonging to the departed
chief have their heads shaved, and present a most comical appearance;
also all the relatives cut their hair short.

One Saturday evening a native from the island of Rotumah, called
Rotumah Tom, came on board with a large number of fine pigeons for
our Sunday dinner, which we found very fat, and fine eating. We
received a present of a mess of flying-fish also, on Sunday morning,
from the king, which were caught the previous night. He is very
kind to us, sending bread-fruit, smoking hot, every meal, for all
hands, and other food which the island produces. A favorite dish with
them is “poey,” and is prepared as follows: They bake a quantity of
tarra (which is something like our potato), and then pound it on a
large flat stone, mix in some roasted bananas, and, after working it
sufficiently, grate up the meat of old cocoanuts, and, inclosing the
gratings in leaves, by squeezing extract the white milky substance,
and cover the poey in such a manner as to resemble frosting. Some
of the poey is made from the banana and bread-fruit, and is truly
excellent. After it is prepared it is placed on large banana leaves,
and is then ready for consumption.

We were fortunate in being at the island at this time, as Monday,
December 16th, was the day for the annual visit of the high-priest
of Blueskin, with his train, and we had an opportunity of witnessing
the whole affair. The occasion was one of great excitement among
the natives, they looking upon the proceedings with a great deal
of solemnity and awe. Our crew were all ashore, and appeared to be
highly amused, nearly all going to the opposite side of the small
island from the harbor to meet “Blueskin” and his train as they
arrived from the large island. When we expressed to some of them
our intention of joining the procession, they exclaimed, almost
horror-stricken, “What for? ’spose you do all the same, Blueskin he
strike; kill ’em very quick!” Nevertheless, some ten or twelve of
our men did join the procession, and “howled” in the most scientific
manner possible, to assist in driving the evil spirits from the
island, without interruption from Blueskin. Yet we imagine the
high-priest thought if there were any greater “evil spirits” than
some of the “Emily Morgan’s” men, it was high time they were driven
off. After making the tour of the island, and consigning every thing
evil to the spirits of the deep, the priest proceeded to the house
of young Aleck, and, after many ceremonies, gave him a new name,
“Zegrah,” which is considered a great honor, and raises his rank a
peg or two.

Our Pitt’s Island native, Friday, could hardly suppress his
astonishment and laughter during the whole proceeding, and, on our
asking him his opinion of the show, exclaimed, “What for all the
same? All the same Kanaka pool!” We proceeded to the house of Cæsar,
where a feast was to be held after the ceremonies at Zegrah’s, as
we will now call him. We had received an invitation the day before,
so that we felt ourselves “perfectly at home” among the “nobility.”
On arriving, we found his large cook-house filled with natives, who
were waiting for the ceremonies to commence. Cæsar was seated on a
mat in one corner, with some of his petty chiefs about him. He very
kindly offered us seats at his right on the mat, and we accordingly
“squatted.” He asked us, “You been see Blueskin?” and on our replying
in the affirmative, he wished to know how we liked him. We gave him
our opinion in as few words as possible, and expressed ourselves as
being highly pleased with the performances. He laughed heartily,
and appeared to treat the whole thing as a good joke—an excellent
humbug. He now clapped his hands twice, and, speaking in his native
language, the petty chiefs passed the leaves of different articles
to him, and at the same time others helped the natives. We ate
heartily of poey, baked bananas, bread-fruit, sugar-cane (which we
had forgotten to mention grows here in great abundance), cocoanuts,
fish (which were baked for our company, as they know white men will
not eat them raw), with large shells of carva to wash it down. After
these courses had disappeared, the dessert made its appearance in the
shape of an animal of some kind, piping hot, which had been baked
whole. We supposed it to be a wild hog, and were about to partake,
when, curiosity getting the better of our appetites, we inquired if
it was “hog.” Cæsar replied, “No, dog;” at the same time urging us
to help ourselves, and saying “very good.” We did not doubt it; but,
suddenly recollecting that we had eaten very heartily, concluded that
we wouldn’t “indulge,” and excused ourselves by saying we were full,
and could eat no more. He seemed loth to let us off in this manner,
but, finding it no use to urge us, gave it up. It was evident he was
not pleased in our refusing to partake of his favorite dish, but we
could not go “dog.” After he finished his “dessert” of baked dog,
he sent several choice parcels to his wife and daughters, and women
belonging to his tribe, and after washing, which they always do at
the close of a meal, we retired to his house, and enjoyed a quiet
smoke, spinning yarns, singing songs, etc., which appeared to greatly
amuse Cæsar, and then stretching ourselves upon the large cool mats,
enjoyed a refreshing sleep.

The next day we called upon Zegrah, and, after talking with him some
little time, he urged us to take up our quarters with him as long
as the ship remained; said he had a nice, comfortable house, which
he would taboo to the natives, and give us, and we should have
every thing at our command. When we wished to go aboard the ship a
large canoe was at our service, with natives to paddle. Of course we
thanked him for his kindness, and accepted his generous proposals. We
accordingly went into our “hotel,” and arranged our beds, etc., which
consisted merely of mats spread upon the bamboo floor, with pillows
which we had brought from the ship, and soon found ourselves in
comfortable, pleasant quarters, but a short distance from the beach,
with a fine sea-breeze, and the never-ceasing roar of the breakers
sounding in our ears, as the huge rollers come combing, dashing,
breaking along over the rocks. It was, indeed, to the lover of nature
a magnificent scene.

On going _home_ the first evening we thought best to take a stroll
across the island, then take the sand-beach to the house. On arriving
at the beach, behold! it was high tide, and we must either climb
stone walls or take the water, which was some three feet in depth. We
concluded to wade it, and prepared ourselves accordingly by assuming
Strong’s Island costume, and then “pitched in.” Occasionally a roller
would come booming along, dashing over and almost taking our feet
from under us. It was just dark, and as we were plodding along,
consoling ourselves with the thoughts of a good night’s rest after we
reached our “hotel,” we suddenly perceived a large shark dart between
us toward the wall, turn himself round very easily, and then swim
away. We made all the noise possible to frighten him, and then ensued
some of the tallest “walking in the water” that we had ever seen. We
could only go ahead. There were high stone walls along shore, water
ahead, water behind, and water to our right; so we e’en made the best
of it, and “put” as fast as our legs would carry us through three
feet depth of water. We were fortunate enough to escape with whole
limbs, and arrived safely at our stopping-place, congratulating
ourselves upon our escape from “John Shark.” Friend Zegrah had
prepared for us a quantity of baked bananas, roasted fish, etc., and,
setting them before us, with plenty of fruit, we had a very sociable
and jovial time. His wife was present, and seemed to enter into the
spirit of the evening with a hearty good-will. Zegrah himself, as we
before remarked, was young and full of fun, but, living on a remote
part of the island, was very lonesome, and made us promise to spend
all the time we possibly could with him, and he would pilot us over
the island.

The next morning, Wednesday, December 18th, “Sail ho!” was the cry.
On looking, we saw a ship off the passage, and presently a boat made
its appearance and came ashore. The ship proved to be the “Planter,”
of Nantucket, full, bound home. Captain H. came ashore in the boat,
and brought his clothing and some goods. He informed the king that he
wished to reside on the island for a short time, as he did not like
to go to America at present. We learned the following particulars in
regard to Captain H. and the “Planter:” While the ship was cruising
off Pitt’s Island, a barrel of bad meat had been opened, which
created considerable dissatisfaction among the crew, and they finally
threw it overboard, and said they would do no more work until they
had good meat. The captain told them they should have no more until
the regular time, as they had no right to throw the other overboard.
Upon this, the men refused duty. The captain ordered them to work,
but they firmly refused. He then ordered them to come aft, and this
they refused to do, when he ordered the mate to go forward and bring
the ringleader aft. Upon this, one of the crew threw out a threat
that, if he came forward and laid his hands upon any of them, they
would break his head, or something to that effect. The captain,
thinking it time something decisive was done, ordered some muskets
to be loaded and brought on deck. They were accordingly brought,
and he then told the men distinctly and firmly that unless they went
below he would fire. Some one of them replied, “Fire, and be hanged
to you!” After waiting a sufficient time, and repeating his orders,
he fired, and one of the mutineers instantly fell dead, the ball
taking effect in his brain. The men instantly rushed pell-mell for
the forecastle. The mate now came forward, and ordered them up one by
one, and, being perfectly _tamed_, they came and submitted to being
placed in irons and stationed aft. The body, after a suitable time,
was buried. Upon the men promising to resume their duties and behave
themselves if liberated, the irons were taken off, and they were
allowed to go forward.

These events transpired but a few weeks before the ship visited
Strong’s Island, and the captain, thinking it better to wait a year
or two before returning home, wished to remain on this island during
the interim. The king, after some conversation with our captain,
gave his consent, and, accordingly, Captain H. had his property
transferred from the ship to the shore, leaving her in command of the
mate. The ship did not anchor, but the things were brought ashore in

When the last boat was about leaving the shore, “Smut,” _alias_ the
blacksmith, and our friend Mackey, stepped in, and, accordingly,
_stepped out_, as that was the last we heard of them. We were sorry
to lose Mackey, as in doing so we lost one great source of amusement;
but he was gone, and, before it was known on board that they had
deserted, the “Planter” was off, with square yards and a stiff breeze.

Some of the crew one day started for the shore in a small canoe, and
before they had got half way it capsized, slightly spilling them out.
They had a fine ducking, as well as a long swim for it. The same
day, we, in company with another shipmate, undertook to navigate one
of the canals in a small canoe, but, not exactly understanding the
crooks and turns of the “ditch,” had the misfortune to be capsized in
the mud, and received a good soaking before we “made the land.”

Hardly a day had passed since our arrival in port that we had not
turned our eyes large-islandward, and longed for a stroll among its
mountains, valleys, and groves, but had delayed the intended visit
from the want of a suitable guide. On Friday, the 20th, however, that
want was supplied by Zegrah offering his services for the occasion.
We accepted them with pleasure, and, in company with two other
shipmates, crossed the channel in a canoe. In low tide this channel
is fordable. We found the houses were not so large nor comfortable
as on the small island, nor so neatly kept, and are more scattering.
We encountered many ruins and walls here also, but no canals. After
rambling over hills and rocks, through woods and swamps, and finding
ourselves completely covered with mud, we made our way back, having
encountered nothing worthy of note, and our bright anticipations,
which we had long cherished, just about as near realized as thousands
of others that we have had. But we must learn wisdom by experience,
we thought, and thus consoled ourselves.

Our man Friday we find a capital fellow to stroll on shore with, he
having a perfect fund of wit and drollery to draw upon at pleasure.
Wherever we went we introduced him as the brother to the king of his
island, and he was accordingly treated with the greatest respect,
which amused him infinitely. We found him very useful in our rambles
also; for, when we were thirsty, he was always ready to ascend a
cocoanut-tree, and pass down a sufficient quantity of the rich nuts
to satisfy the thirst of all. One day, while he was thus engaged, a
native came, running and hallooing, to see who was taking cocoanuts
that were tabooed. Of course, the boys all ran; and one of the
crowd was in such haste to get over a stone wall with an armful of
cocoanuts, that he lost his balance, and wall and all fell, plunging
him almost out of sight in a mud bath. Friday, however, sat in the
tree, perfectly at his ease, laughing heartily at the mishap. The
native sang out to him, “Come down; no good; king taboo!” Friday
coolly replied, “No saba” (no understand), and again commenced
throwing down the nuts, taking particular pains, however, to hit the
poor native as often as possible, who would cry out, “Wa-a-a, wa-a,
what for all the same? No good.” He finally beat a retreat, leaving
Friday master of the field, and the boys laughing at the manner in
which he had driven the “Kanaka pool,” as he termed him, from the
ground. When he came down he found himself in a quandary. He had
got more cocoanuts than he could conveniently carry, and leave them
he would not; and, as the boys were all supplied, he was in a fix.
At last, however, his eye brightened, and exclaiming, “I fix ’em,”
he stripped off his pants, reducing himself to the costume of the
“king’s court,” and filling each leg with cocoanuts, marched along.
We took the “spoil” to our quarters at the “hotel,” and deposited
them there. We would here state, that when the king or chiefs wish
to reserve any particular place or house from the intrusion of the
natives, they place the _taboo_ upon it; and, as the penalty of
breaking this is death, they consider it sacrilege almost to disobey,
or think of molesting the place. It was thus that our quarters were
rendered perfectly safe from intrusion. Zegrah tabooed the house,
and no native dare enter it without our permission. The natives are
very kind and hospitable to those who treat them well, but inclined
to pilfer if a good opportunity presents itself. Most of them are
notorious beggars, and are constantly teasing for a “small piece

On Sunday morning, December 22d, we found that our third mate and
another man had deserted in the course of the night, taking with
them all their clothing. All hands rejoiced that the third mate, the
great bully, had left, and the captain shipped two men instead of the
deserters. These men had been on the island some months.

But we had been some time in port; all our wood, water, and fresh
provisions were on board, and we were ready for sea. Accordingly, at
five A.M. on Monday, December 23d, we weighed anchor, and left this
beautiful harbor, some with sorrowful hearts, and others rejoicing
that they were once more rolling on “the deep blue sea.” But we did
not immediately leave the island. The captain had a little more
business to transact, and we “stood off and on” the harbor for two
days, close in sight of the land.

The next day after weighing anchor, the bark “Mary Frazier,” of New
Bedford, Captain Haggerty, entered the harbor, so that our island
friends were not left alone. She was from the Arctic Ocean, where
she had taken thirteen hundred barrels whale oil in one season. We
ascertained by her that our two deserters had escaped from the island
in the bark “George Champlin,” Captain Swain, which vessel had been
lying in the lee harbor. In the place of our third mate who had
deserted, and his office become vacant thereby, the captain placed
Mr. Smith, whom we took from the ship “Marcus,” as the reader will
recollect, in exchange for the boat-steerer, who left us on account
of his ill health. All hands were much pleased with the exchange,
as Mr. S. was a noble man, and a _sailor_ every inch of him. But
scarcely had we left port, and on the next day succeeding that in
which we learned of the escape of his predecessor, before he was
taken violently ill with a burning pain in his stomach. For several
days he continued growing worse, becoming deranged, and continually
vomiting, until Tuesday, December 31st, the last day of the year, he
departed this life. He died struggling very hard.

This sudden death cast a gloom over the whole ship’s company. But a
few days since, and he was the perfect embodiment of health. Little
did he or any of his shipmates imagine that one brief week would find
him clasped in the cold arms of death. Little did poor Smith imagine
that he would so soon be called upon to obey the dread summons. Mr.
S. had followed the sea from his youth, and had arrived at the age of
about thirty, without ever experiencing sickness of any kind. He was
a most excellent and thorough seamen, understood well his business,
was peaceable and friendly to all, and while on board had conducted
himself in such a manner as to take a firm hold upon the affections
of his shipmates. He had secured the confidence and esteem of the
captain and officers, as well as the respect and good-will of the
men. He was prompt in the discharge of his duties, always performing
them in a cheerful manner. But he has gone from our midst. Suddenly
he was taken from us to that bourne from whence no traveler returns.

Little does the landsman know the sweet comforts the dying sailor
is deprived of. Separated from the home of his heart by thousands
of miles, tossed to and fro on a sick couch, with no kind father
to watch over and soothe the anguish of his pain; no loving mother
comforting and praying for the salvation of the dear son; no dear
brothers or sisters to sympathize and cheer the lonely hours with
their presence—none of these to smooth the dying sailor’s lonely
pillow, alleviate his wants, assuage his grief, and comfort his mind
by divine teachings; none of their cheerful countenances to light the
dark valley of the shadow of death. Yet every thing was done that was
possible to do for Mr. S. to alleviate his sufferings and comfort
his mind. But all was of no avail. There is little doubt but he was
poisoned at Strong’s Island. But his bodily sufferings are o’er, and
instead of departing upon the soft, downy bed, with his dear ones
hovering over him, he yielded his spirit to the God who gave it from
his rolling couch, and the last sounds that reached his ears were the
moanings of the wind, and the hoarse murmur of the waves, impatient,
as it were, to receive their victim.

At four P.M. we shortened sail, hauled aback the head yards, hoisted
the ensign half-mast, and called all hands to “bury the dead.” The
gangway board was removed, the body sewed up in a sheet, and weights
attached to the feet, and then laid upon a plank. The services
commenced by the captain reading a portion of the Holy Scriptures,
then making some excellent and touching remarks, followed by a
prayer. He then read the burial service, and when he said “we now
commit this body to the deep,” the end of the plank was raised, and
the body of poor Smith was consigned to its watery grave, there
to rest till the morn of the resurrection, when the last trump
shall sound, and the sea shall give up its dead. The body rapidly
disappeared beneath the blue wave, and, on glancing around, the tear
was seen in the eyes of all those hardy men—those men who had faced
death without a blanched cheek or a fainting heart—as they took
their last look at the body of their late shipmate. On the land, in
the city or town, a death is hardly noticed, and is not felt; but
on board a ship, with but a small circle, as in our case, of about
thirty, living together as one family, and shut out from the world,
as it were, one snatched from our small company is seriously missed,
and death serves to bind the remaining still closer together, as the
loss just experienced shows us all the uncertainty of human life, and
no one knows who will next be called upon to pay the last sad debt of
nature. May we all be prepared, that, should ALMIGHTY GOD see fit at
any time to remove us from this world of sin and sorrow, we can go
with willing hearts—that we may “render up our account with joy, and
not with grief.”

                            CHAPTER XVI.

  “A happy New-year to all.”—Rather poor Luck.—Pitt’s Island
    again.—Description.—Natives.—King.—Religious Belief.—Funeral
    of War.—Mode of Warfare.—Return to Strong’s Island.—Improvements.—
    Singing-school.—The Royal Family to Dinner.—Canker’s Guilt.—
    Poisoned Carva.—Return to our “Hotel.”—Our Suspicions
    strengthened.—“Stop Thief!”—Gas.—New Zealand Dance.—Grand
    Feast.—Tall Dancing.—“Cheers” by the Audience.—“Go it,
    Cæsar!”—Grand Boat-race.—The Boasters beaten.—Another great
    Feast.—Ball Alley.—Narrow Escape of the Ship.—Departure for Guam.

How different the “New-year” at sea from that at home, were our
thoughts this “New-year’s morning” on first awakening. But we wished
all on board a “happy New-year,” and then the good folks at home came
in for a share of our prayers, and we could not but think that, while
they were enjoying the choicest viands, our “New-year’s dinner” must
consist of hard bread and salt junk, with a “plum duff” for dessert.

We were again bound for the Group, to try our luck for whales. And we
had our “luck,” for we only saw them twice during the whole cruise of
three months, and they were then going “eyes out” to windward. We did
not even “grease an iron” that cruise.

By this time our man Friday had become somewhat civilized, and was
able to speak pretty good English. After trading at the island one
day, we managed to gain some very interesting accounts from him in
regard to it and its inhabitants. It lies in latitude 3° 02´ N.,
longitude 172° 46´ E., the northernmost island of the King Mill
Group. The natives are very friendly, and have not yet learned the
knavery of the other islands. The chief in command is called king,
and is assisted by a number of chiefs. The king is allowed as many
wives as he chooses, but the chiefs and natives but one. They have no
religion, yet they are very superstitious. They believe in ghosts,
and that the spirits of the dead visit them. Their evil spirits they
call “jentsh,” and they hold that when they do any thing wrong the
“jentsh” haunt them; and if they are afflicted in any manner, either
by sickness or otherwise, it is punishment imposed upon them by the
evil spirits, who are sent to torment them. Friday declared to us
that he had often seen and conversed with these spirits, and upon
being contradicted he flew off; and said, “S’pose me pool? s’pose
me no got eye? me no all same Strong’s Island Kanaka pool; me saba

If a native dies, they roll the body in a mat, and the relatives sit
around the corpse and wail and mourn until the body is in a state of
putrefaction. They never leave their places, their food being brought
to them. The climate is so warm that it does not require much time
for the body to decay. When it reaches this state, it is sewed up
strongly in the mat, and buried, if a male, with his war-club and
spear, to protect him in the spirit world; but if a female, nothing
is buried with it, as they believe the females need no war-like
instruments to protect them from danger. Like the inhabitants of
Strong’s Island, they believe that if the person who dies is good, he
goes “up there;” but if he was bad, he remains in the ground, and is
forever tormented by the “jentsh.”

Their houses are built of bamboo; are large and roomy, some of them
having two or three lofts or stories, and are kept very clean and
neat. The natives are very cleanly, but very few of the men wear
any clothing. The females wear a tappa, about two feet in width,
about the loins. They subsist principally on cocoanuts, a species
of bread-fruit called jack-fruit, tarra, wild fowl, and fish. The
king is a large, corpulent native, apparently about forty-five years
of age, and is called “King George,” which appears to be the name
of every “king” we have yet heard of in this part of the world. The
lingo (for we suppose it can not properly be called a language) in
the various islands of the group is nearly the same, so much so that
natives from the various islands can understand each other.

Their weapons of warfare are principally spears, though war-clubs
are sometimes used. The spears are made from cocoanut wood, and are
very long, and pointed at both ends. They handle them with a great
deal of skill, and will throw one from forty to fifty feet with
remarkable precision. Their mode of battle is very singular. Both
parties approach each other, and, when within proper distance, throw
their spears and then run. If one party get the advantage, and throw
their spears first, and any take effect in the opposite ranks, those
that have received the spears make great haste to get out of the way.
These battles seldom last long, though a great deal of time is spent
in manœuvring, and great preparations are made, but the contest is
soon decided.

We had now cruised three months without getting a drop of oil, and
the “old man” concluded to try his luck on Japan. Wanting wood and
water, however, more than we had on board, for a long cruise, we
steered for Strong’s Island again, and on Saturday, March 29th, we
sighted it. The next day we entered the harbor, and at 11 A.M. we
came to an anchor. To our great surprise, we found the bark “Mary
Frazier” still in port, she having been “windbound” for three months.
We also found the bark “Maria Laura,” of Hobarton, Captain Mansfield,
in port. On going ashore, we found that many improvements had been
made by Captain H. He had built three nice large houses. The king,
too, had caught the spirit, and built himself a new house; and, in
fact, a general spirit of improvement and go-aheadativeness seemed to
have taken possession of all.

In the evening of the day on which we arrived, we had the opportunity
of attending a singing-school, which the king had authorized to be
instituted for the purpose of teaching the children the native songs
of the island. As a matter of course, we could understand nothing
that was sung, but we were pleased with their voices, which were very
sweet, and they appeared to keep excellent time by clapping their

The next day, Monday, the king, in his court dress, with all the
royal family excepting Canker, came off to dinner to the ship. Canker
evidently felt his guilt, as he appeared to keep out of the way of
any of the ship’s company. We had no doubt, when Mr. Smith was first
taken, that he had been poisoned, and circumstances pointed strongly
to Canker as the guilty person. It appears that our chief mate,
with Mr. S. and Canker, had been gunning, and, on returning, the
mate and Mr. S. commenced bantering with Canker in sport. However,
he did not take it in that manner, but appeared quite offended. On
arriving at his house he seemed to have regained his good-will, and
invited them to drink some carva with him. They of course accepted,
and it was accordingly ordered, and brought in two large shells.
The mate noticed this, and asked Canker why he did not drink with
them. He replied, “Never mind; me no drink; me too much sick.” This
was something so unusual, as the general practice among them is for
the chief to drink first, that the mate refused unless Canker would
drink, suspecting all was not right. Canker refused even to taste
it, and exclaimed, in high dudgeon, “You think carva been poison?
Strong’s Island no got poison.” Mr. S. laughed at the fears of the
mate, and drank off his carva and in a few moments drank that which
had been prepared for the mate. Two days from that time poor Smith
was taken ill, as we have related, and soon died, leaving no doubt
in the minds of all on board that he had been poisoned by this
unscrupulous Canker.

His wife having died since we left the island, on our return we found
all the chiefs living on his place. They feast every day. We called
on our old friend Zegrah, who seemed very much pleased to see us,
gave us a hearty welcome, and accompanied us to our “hotel,” where
we regaled ourselves on fruit, fresh fish, etc. Upon mentioning the
circumstances of the death of Mr. S. to him, he remarked, “Canker
_bloody rascal_!”

The next day, Tuesday, April 1st, we called upon Canker. We found him
remarkably sociable, and his first question was, “Where Mr. Smith?”
We told him he was dead; whereat he raised his hands with horror, and
exclaimed, “How long ship sail, he die?” We told him “three days,”
when he replied that he was very sorry, as Mr.S. was a good man. Now
the scamp had been made acquainted with all these particulars before.
We asked him if he had not heard of his death, and he replied “no,”
but we knew he lied. After some farther conversation, he asked us,
“What make Mr. S. die?” We told him plainly that he was poisoned,
but said nothing of our suspicions as to the guilty person. He
immediately commenced denying that he had poisoned him, and said,
“Strong’s Island no got poison.” As no one had hinted or charged him
with doing it, we regarded his denials as very suspicious. After
remaining in deep thought, apparently, for some time, he again
asked, “How long he been make sick, he die?” meaning, how long after
he was taken sick before he died. We thought this suspicious also,
as we had but just informed him that he died three days after the
ship sailed, and we determined to try him on another tack, and see
what he was driving at. We replied to him, therefore, “One week.”
His countenance immediately brightened, as though a happy thought
had suggested itself, and he said, “S’pose me make poison carva he
drink, he no live _one_ day, he die too quick.” We asked him how he
made poison carva. He replied that he put in the juice of a certain
plant. We reminded him that he had said but a few moments before that
“Strong’s Island no got poison.” This seemed to completely stagger
him, and he appeared lost in deep study. We now left, well convinced
that his highness, Mr. Canker, was a consummate villain, and that he
had poisoned Mr. S.

Our fourth mate, Mr. F., concluded to try his luck gunning one
pleasant day on the large island. After climbing stone walls,
rambling over mountains, and wading marshes, he thought, as game was
scarce, he would take a short nap. He was hardly asleep before he
felt some one about his person, and sprang to his feet just in time
to see a Kanaka running off with his sheath-knife in his hand. He
instantly raised his gun and fired at the black rascal, but his shot
did not take effect; so the native only ran the faster, and got clear
with the knife.

The crew of the “Mary Frazier” were a disagreeable set of men, always
boasting and quarreling among themselves and with their officers.
Quite a number of the different ships’ companies were on shore one
evening, rolling in the ball-alley, which had been built by Captain
H., and a disturbance occurred between the mate of the “M. F.” and
one of her crew. The man, who was a large, two-fisted fellow, was
blustering about, threatening to knock the mate “into the middle
of next week;” but, as he was taken no notice of by any one, after
suffering the superabundant flow of _gas_ to escape, sneaked off,
leaving the others to enjoy their exercise.

On the evening of Thursday, April 3d, we attended a dance at the
king’s house, given by some New Zealand natives. Their faces and
bodies are tattooed in a very singular manner, and look truly
frightful. Their gestures are fierce, songs wild, and their dancing
is little more than keeping time by changing their position.

On Monday, April 7th, we attended a grand feast given by the king.
All the chief’s on the island were present. Every thing was served up
in the highest style of “Strong’s Island fashion,” and the white men
from all three ships were heartily invited to partake, which they did
of every thing except “dog.” After the feast was over the “plate” was
cleared away, and room made for a grand dance, which was led off by
the king and followed by the chief’s, the women singing, and keeping
time by clapping their hands and beating an instrument resembling
a tambourine. The old king flew around quite lively, and each one
appeared to do his utmost to excel. At the close of each dance the
white portion of the audience would _cheer_ the performers in the
most approved style, which seemed to please them greatly. The natives
appeared much amused, whether at the dancing or cheering we could not
say, but probably a little of both, as they showed a broad grin all
the time. Old Cæsar tried very hard to see how high he could kick his
heels, and, at the same time, keep his balance, but a misstep brought
his foot down on a piece of banana-skin, and his heels flew up, and
down he came with a crash that seemed as if he had gone through the
floor. Upon seeing this, the king and all the dancers stopped to
have a hearty laugh, the white men shouted and cheered, the natives
grinned, and the house was “brought down” completely. But Cæsar was
not to be frightened in that way, and he got up and went at it again
with redoubled energy. After dancing some two or three hours, “all
hands” took a shell of carva and separated.

The crew of the “Mary Frazier” had been _bragging_ and _boasting_,
since we had been in port, that they had better boats, and could
pull faster than either of the other ships’ boats. Knowing what
braggadocios they were, our men took no notice of them, nor did the
crew of the English bark for some time, until finally they challenged
the Englishmen to a race, and the challenge was accepted. The
flag-boats were stationed one mile apart, and the boat that pulled
around these stationary ones three times and came out ahead was to
win the race, making a pull of six miles. The crew of the “M. F.’s”
boat were down quite early in the morning on the day of the race, six
large brawny fellows, stripped to the skin, and “eager for the fray.”
About 9 A.M. the Englishmen lowered their boat, the same number of
men composing her crew, but with a far different appearance, being
perfectly cool, and making no boasting display. Our boys, thinking
they might as well be “counted in,” though not thinking of winning,
five of them, with the second mate, jumped into the waist-boat,
and “struck out” for the starting-place. The boats were now ranged
alongside, the signal was given, and away they flew like arrows
from the bow. The “Mary’s” boat soon left the others behind, our
“plug” being distanced by both. Each crew bent their backs to it,
sending the boats through the silvery sheet with great speed. The
Englishmen’s boat seemed to skim over the surface of the water with
the ease and grace of the swan, the crew taking it perfectly easy.
The first flag-boat was rounded, and the “Mary’s” boat was some
distance ahead. But now was “the tug of war.” The good-natured Johnny
Bulls awoke from their lethargy, and the cry rang out, “Pull, my
hearties, pull!” and every stroke lessened the distance between the
two boats, our own boat gaining on the “head boat” about as fast as
did the Englishmen. But all was excitement; the men in each host
were straining every nerve, and, at the end of the third mile, the
Englishmen passed the other boat, and, before the fourth was reached,
ours passed it also. But still on they pulled, determined not to
give up, yet dropping farther and farther astern, until, at the end
of the sixth mile, the English boat was a mile ahead of the “Mary
Frazier’s,” and our own about half a mile ahead. The Johnny Bulls now
gave three cheers for their own boat, and “three times three” for
ours, not so much for the victory as that the boasters had been so
badly beaten. Our boys were not interested in the race at all, only
pulling for the “fun of the thing,” and they were more surprised than
any one else to find that they could beat the “crack boat” of the
“M. F.;” and her crew were so mortified that they said no more about
“fast boats.” Thus were the boasters beaten.

On Saturday, April 19th, the king gave another grand feast and
dance, to which we were all invited as usual. After some time spent
in dancing by the chiefs and king, the old black “doctor”[3] of the
“Maria Laura” struck up with his violin, and all hands joined in a
regular breakdown. This pleased the king and natives very much, they
laughing heartily and exclaiming, “What for all the same ’Meriky

As we before remarked, Captain H. had built a ball-alley on the
island, and the king and chiefs spent a great part of their time
there, and had become very expert players. The king might often
be seen “rolling a string” with one of the foremast hands of the
different ships.

The “Mary Frazier” had now been in port nearly four months, the
“Maria Laura” two months, and ourselves one month. The three
ships were ready for sea, and had been for weeks, but the wind
blew constantly into the passage—a fair wind to enter port, but
impossible for a ship to leave. At length, however, on the morning
of Wednesday, April 23d, the wind died away and it fell a dead calm,
and the old man determined to make the effort to tow the ship out
of the passage. Accordingly, we “hove up” anchor and down boats,
and commenced to tow. When at the mouth of the passage a breeze
sprang up, taking us “all aback,” and swinging the ship around. We
were rapidly drifting into the breakers, when the pilot, Rotumah
Tom, immediately sprang into a boat alongside, and, pulling for the
weather side of the passage, with the end of a line in his hand,
which he had taken with him, he plunged down and made it fast around
a coral rock, came up, and made signals to “heave away” on board.
This was the work of almost a moment; the ship was within but a few
feet of the breakers, and we held our breath, expecting every instant
to see her strike. But by sharp, quick work, and the good judgment
and activity of Rotumah Tom, we soon cleared the breakers, and,
warping up to our old anchorage, “let go” again.

The other ships also dropped anchor, and congratulated us on the
narrow escape of the “Emily.” We felt thankful to GOD for the escape,
narrow as it was. To have been wrecked there and then would have been
truly lamentable.

The next morning a light breeze sprang up from the southward, and
all three ships left Strong’s Island, bidding them adieu. The breeze
increased as we dropped the land, and with a fair wind we headed
west-northwest for Guam.

[3] The cook.

                            CHAPTER XVII.

  Guam.—Invasion of the Ladrone Islands by the Spaniards
    in 1554.—Getting off Recruits.—Fruit.—Climate.—Captain
    Anderson.—Massacre of Captain Luce and Boat’s Crew.—Proceed to
    Japan Cruising-ground.—Ship “Boy.”—Boat’s Crew taken down by
    a Whale.—Albicore and Skipjack.—“Our Luck” again.—The Spell
    broken.—Bark “Medina.”—Manuel and the Hog.—A slight Tap.

Sunday, May 4th, we arrived at Guam. This is a beautiful island, of
rather high land, and resembles the American coast more than any
land we saw during our wanderings. The surface presents a rolling
appearance, the land looks fertile, and it is interspersed with dense
foliage. This island is the principal one of the group of the Ladrone

These islands were invaded in 1554 by the Spaniards, but their
conquest was not completed till the year 1592, although they had,
during the different years of their invasion, resorted to their
usual sanguinary means. It was not until they had destroyed an
immense number of the inhabitants that they could bring the warlike
Ladrones to a state of subjection. When the conquest was finished,
they compelled the subjugated people to leave all the other islands
which form the group, and reside on only two of them, Guam and
Rotta, which placed them completely under the observation of their
jealous invaders. They also forced them to receive the Roman Catholic
religion, which continues to be the only one tolerated on the
island. The Spaniards have managed ever since to keep the people
in a state of subjection, although the spirit of revolt still lies
dormant in their breast, ready to burst forth at the first favorable
opportunity. They speak the Spanish language fluently; in fact, they
can speak no other, or they have no knowledge of the one formerly
spoken on the islands.

All hands were busily engaged getting off recruits for the coming
season on Japan, which consisted of yams, sweet potatoes, melons,
shaddock, and bananas, which grow here in great abundance. The island
also produces tamarinds, oranges, limes, cocoanuts, citrons, and
papaw apples, all of the finest quality. The inhabitants here enjoy
perpetual summer; the climate is mild and salubrious, and, were they
free from Spanish oppression, might be a happy and contented people.

We found a Scotchman—Captain Anderson he called himself—who had
resided here many years, and accumulated quite a little fortune
trading with ships, etc. He informed us that Captain Luce, of the
“Boy,” of Warren, together with his boat’s crew, had been massacred
by the natives at M‘Gaskill’s Island but a short time previous. The
captain went ashore for the purpose of trading with the natives for
fruit, fowl, etc. He had visited the island before, and always found
the natives friendly and peaceable. As he did not return to the ship,
the officer in charge kept close in to the land, and fearing there
had been foul play, early in the morning he stood in, and, by the
aid of the spy-glass, discovered the natives dressed in the clothing
belonging to the boat’s crew. They saw a white man coming off in a
canoe and making signals to them. When within hailing distance, he
reported that the captain and boat’s crew had been murdered; that he
had resided on the island some time, and was not afraid they would
attack him. Upon learning this sad news, the ship proceeded to the
cruising-ground in charge of the mate.

Every thing being in readiness, on Monday, May 5th, we left Guam
for the Japan ground, to cruise over a trackless waste of waters
for five or six months in pursuit of dollars in the shape of sperm
whales. Nothing out of the usual routine of ship’s duties occurred
for nearly two months. All was monotony; the same process day after
day—not even a sail nor a _whale_ to vary the scene. At length,
however, on the morning of Sunday, June 22d, our ears were startled
by the cry of “Sail ho!” from the mast-head. It was a dead calm—not
a breath of air stirring—and the sail was just visible from aloft.
About 4 P.M. a breeze sprang up, and brought the stranger with it.
It proved to be the “Boy,” and a boat’s crew came on board. They
confirmed the report relative to the massacre of Captain Luce and
his men. They also reported that a Nantucket ship cruising on the
ground had lost a boat and crew by being taken down by a whale. It
was supposed the line became foul, and, before it could be cut, boat
and crew disappeared beneath the surface, as they were never seen or
heard from afterward.

We now found large quantities of albicore and skipjack around the
ship. These fish are very good eating, tasting much like fresh cod,
and there were thousands of them to be seen in every direction. All
that was necessary to take them was to tie a piece of white rag on a
hook, and then sit on the bulwarks and trail the line along the top
of the water, the fish jumping at it as fast as one wished to haul
them in. We have seen as much as ten barrels of them caught in one
day. They weigh from five to fifty pounds. It is singular, but they
follow a ship as long as she remains in those latitudes.

At length, on the morning of Saturday, June 28th, the welcome cry was
heard from masthead, “T-h-e-r-e she b-l-o-w-s!” All were aroused,
and it was not long before our boats were down and after him, for
it was a “lone whale.” The bow boat soon fastened, and just as all
hands were congratulating themselves that we should soon have a whale
alongside, the irons drew, and the whale left for parts unknown.
“Just our luck,” was the exclamation, and all returned to the ship
with long faces, and “slightly” discouraged. It was now eight months
since we had taken a drop of oil, and we were twenty months out,
with but three hundred barrels. The prospect of two thousand barrels
in four years looked very dark just then. However, the old man
endeavored to console us by saying, “It is a long lane that has no
turning, boys!”

And we found this adage true, for the next morning we lowered down,
and in less than an hour had a hundred-barrel sperm whale alongside,
which caused every face to brighten, and before the decks were fairly
cleared up we took another, which made us eighty barrels, making one
hundred and eighty barrels in less than one week, more than half as
much as we had been twenty months in getting. Thus it is; whaling is
more a lottery than any thing else.

While cutting in the last whale, we discovered a ship running down
to us, which soon came within hailing distance, and proved to be the
British bark “Medina,” from Hong Kong, bound to San Francisco, with a
load of Chinese emigrants.

We were now enjoying beautiful weather. During the days hardly
a cloud was to be seen, and the atmosphere as clear as a bell.
The nights were lovely, warm, and pleasant, and many of the crew
preferred bringing their mattresses on deck and sleeping in the open
air to sleeping below. One night Portugee Manuel, among the rest, was
thus quietly taking a nap, but it happened to be his watch on deck,
and he did not feel disposed to keep awake when he should. One of the
watch, thinking to have a little sport, tied him fast to a large hog
who was quietly reposing not far off, and then, taking a rope’s end,
commenced belaboring the porker, who started up and off, dragging the
“Gee” very unceremoniously with him. This somewhat surprised Manuel,
who was not accustomed to this novel mode of locomotion, and, on
being released, he swore vengeance (in Portuguese) against hogs and

We again raised whales on Monday, July 28th, and gave chase as usual.
The waist-boat soon fastened to a fine long fellow, who did not
like to be trifled with, it seemed, in such a manner, and commenced
thrashing about in a way that threatened destruction to the boats
in the vicinity. After working himself into a towering passion, he
ended the fracas by knocking the waist-boat “higher than a kite,” and
sent the crew flying in all directions. The men were soon picked up,
and, when the whale saw the mischief which he had done, repenting, we
suppose, he remained quiet, and submitted to the “killing process”
with a very good grace, and “gave up the ghost” in the usual style.
The body was towed to the ship, and the “funeral ceremonies” were
performed in short order, his beautiful coat soon converted into
sperm oil and stowed away in the hold.

[Illustration: STOVE.]

                           CHAPTER XVIII.

  Food of the Sperm Whale.—Manner of Feeding.—Swimming.—Breathing.—

In the many books which have been written of whaling voyages, we
recollect nowhere to have seen a _natural history_ of the sperm
whale, and we trust it will not be uninteresting to the reader if we
give it in the present volume. It can not but be instructive, at all
events, and, being satisfied on that point, we shall proceed; and,

_The Food of the Sperm Whale_.—This food consists almost wholly of
an animal called by whalemen “squid,” and by naturalists the “_Sepia
octopus_.” This squid forms the principal part of the sustenance of
the sperm whale when at a distance from the shore, or what is termed
“off shore ground.”

_Manner of Feeding_.—It appears from all that we could learn from
the oldest and most experienced whalemen that we met, and from the
observations we have been enabled to make upon this interesting
subject, that when the whale is inclined to feed he descends a
certain depth below the surface of the ocean, and there remains in
as quiet a state as possible, opening his long and narrow mouth
until the lower jaw hangs down almost perpendicularly. The roof of
his mouth, the tongue, and especially the teeth, being of a bright,
glistening color, must present a remarkable appearance, which seems
to be the incitement by which his prey are attracted, and when a
sufficient number are within the mouth, he rapidly closes his jaw
and swallows the contents. This is not the only instance of animals
obtaining their prey by such means, when the form of their bodies,
from unwieldiness or some other cause, prevents them from securing
their prey in any other manner, or by the common method of the chase.
The crocodile frequently employs stratagems of the like nature.
Covering himself in mud, and lying still on the bank of some stream,
he opens his enormous jaws, when hundreds of smaller reptiles,
attracted by the mucus or slime which covers his exterior, become the
easy prey of the artful machinations of their scaly deceiver.

The sperm whale is frequently subject to deformity of the lower
jaw, two instances of which we have seen, in which the deformity
was so great as to render it impossible for the animal to find the
jaw useful in catching its prey, or even, one might have supposed,
in deglutition; yet these whales possessed as much blubber, and
were as rich in oil as any of a similar size we have seen before or
since. In both these instances of crooked jaws, the nutrition of the
animal appeared to be equally perfect. In both cases the jaws were
bent on one side. It would be interesting here to inquire into the
causes of this deformity; but whether it is the effect of disease,
or the consequence of accident, would be difficult to ascertain. Old
whalemen affirm that it is caused by fighting. They state that the
sperm whale fights by rushing head first one upon the other, their
mouths, at the same time, wide open; their object appearing to be
the seizing of their opponent by the lower jaw, for which purpose
they frequently turn themselves on their side. In this manner they
become, as it were, locked together, their jaws crossing each other,
and in this method they strive vehemently for the mastery. We have
never had the fortune to witness one of these combats, but if it
be the fact that such take place, we need not wonder at seeing so
many deformed jaws among sperm whales; for we can easily suppose the
enormous force exerted on these occasions, taking into consideration,
also, the comparative slenderness of the jaw-bone in this animal.
From these facts it may at least be surmised, with a great degree
of probability, that the mode of procuring food as above stated is
the true one; for with a jaw so much deformed, the animal would seem
incapable of pursuing his prey, and would consequently gain but a
very precarious subsistence, did not its food actually throng about
its mouth and throat, invited by their appearance, and attracted in
some degree, as is supposed, by the peculiar and very strong odor of
the sperm whale.

The teeth of the sperm whale are merely organs of prehension. They
can be of no use for mastication, and consequently the fish, etc.,
which he occasionally vomits present no marks of having undergone the

The manner of the suckling of the young ones is a matter involved
in some obscurity. It is impossible, from the singular conformation
of the mouth, that the young one could seize the nipple of the
mother with the forepart of it, for there are no soft lips at this
part, but instead the jaws are edged with a smooth and very hard
cartilaginous substance; but about two feet from the angle of the
mouth they begin to be furnished with something like lips, which form
at the angle some loose folds, soft and elastic, and it is commonly
believed by the most experienced whalemen that it is by this part the
young whale seizes the nipple and performs the act of sucking, and
which is doubtless the mode of its doing so.

_Swimming_.—Notwithstanding his enormous size, we find that the
sperm whale has the power of moving through the water with the
greatest ease, and with considerable velocity. When undisturbed,
he passes tranquilly along, just below the surface of the water,
at the rate of about two to four miles per hour, which progress he
effects by a gentle oblique motion from side to side of the “flukes.”
When proceeding at his common rate, his body lies horizontally,
his “hump” projecting above the surface, with the water a little
disturbed around it, and more or less according to his velocity. This
disturbed water is called by whalemen “white water,” and from the
greater or less quantity of it an experienced whaleman can judge very
accurately of the rate at which the whale is going from the distance
of three or four miles.

In this mode of swimming the whale is able to attain a velocity of
about eight or nine miles per hour; but when desirous of proceeding
at a more rapid rate, the action of the tail is materially altered.
Instead of being moved laterally and obliquely, it strikes the water
with the broad flat surface of the flukes in a direct manner, upward
and downward, and each time the blow is made with the inferior
surface the head of the whale sinks down to the depth of eight or
ten feet, but when the blow is reversed it rises out of the water,
presenting then to it only the sharp, cutwater-like inferior portion.

The blow with the upper surface of the flukes appears to be by far
the most powerful, and as, at the same time, the resistance of the
broad anterior surface of the head is removed, it is the principal
means of progression. This mode of swimming with the head alternately
in and out of the water is called by whalemen “going head out;” and
in this way the whale can attain a speed of ten or fifteen miles an
hour, and this latter is believed to be his greatest velocity.

The tail is thus seen to be the great means of progression, and the
fins are not much used for that purpose; but occasionally, when
suddenly disturbed, the whale has the power of sinking suddenly and
directly downward in the horizontal position, which he effects by
striking upward with the fins and tail.

_Breathing_.—All the _cetacea_, as is well known, are warmblooded
animals, and possess lungs, and, consequently, require a frequent
intercourse with atmospheric air, and for this purpose it is
necessary that they should rise to the surface of the water at
certain intervals. The majority of this class of animals do not
appear to perform this function with any regularity, and it is
in this respect that the sperm whale is remarkably distinguished
among the _cetacea_; and it is from his peculiar mode of “blowing”
that he is recognized, even at a great distance, by experienced
whalemen. When at the surface for the purposes of respiration the
whale generally remains still, but occasionally continues making a
gentle progress during the whole of his breathing-time. If the water
is moderately smooth, the first part of the whale observable is a
dark-colored pyramidal mass, projecting two or three feet out of the
water, which is called the “hump.”


At very regular intervals of time, the nose, or “noddle-end,”
emerges at a distance of from forty to fifty feet from the hump in
the full-grown male. From the extremity of the nose the spout is
thrown up, which, when seen from a distance, appears thick, low, and
bushy, and of a white color. It is formed of the expired air, which
is forcibly ejected from the spout-hole, acquiring its white color
from the minute particles of water previously lodged in the chink
or fissure of the nostril, and also from the condensation of the
aqueous vapor thrown off by the lungs.

The spout is projected from the spout-hole at an angle of about
forty-five degrees, in a slow and continuous manner, for the space
of about three seconds of time. If the weather is fine and clear,
and there is a gentle breeze at the time, it may be seen from the
masthead of a moderate-sized vessel at the distance of five or six
miles. The spout of the sperm whale differs much from that of other
large _cetacea_, in which it is mostly double, and projected thin,
and like a sudden jet; and as in those animals the spout-holes
are situated nearly on the top of the head, it is thrown up to a
considerable height in almost a perpendicular direction. When,
however, a sperm whale is “gallied” or alarmed, the spout is thrown
up much higher and with great rapidity, and consequently differs much
from its usual appearance. The regularity with which every action
connected with its breathing is performed by the sperm whale is very
remarkable. The length of time he remains at the surface, the number
of spouts or expirations made at one time, the intervals between the
spouts, the time he remains invisible “in the depth of the ocean
buried,” are all, when the animal is undisturbed, as regular in
succession and duration as it is possible to imagine.

In different individuals the times consumed in performing these
several acts vary, but in each they are minutely regular, and this
well-known regularity is of much benefit to the whaleman; for, when
he has once noticed the periods of any particular sperm whale which
is not alarmed, he knows to a moment when to expect it again at the
surface, and how long it will remain there.

Immediately after each spout the nose sinks beneath the water,
scarcely a second intervening for the act of inspiration, which
must consequently be performed very quickly, the air rushing into
the chest with astonishing velocity. There is, however, no sound
caused by the expiration or spout; in this respect, also, differing
from other whales, for the “fin-back” whale and some others have
their inspirations accompanied by a loud sound, as of air forcibly
drawn into a small orifice. This sound is called by whalemen the
“drawback,” and when heard at night near the ship, convinces the
listening watch of the species to which it belongs. In a large “bull”
sperm whale, the time consumed in making one inspiration and one
expiration, or the space from the termination of one spout to that of
another, is ten seconds, during six of which the nostril is beneath
the surface of the water, the inspiration occupying one, and the
expiration three seconds; and at each breathing-time the whale makes
from sixty to seventy inspirations, and remains, therefore, at the
surface of the water eleven or twelve minutes. At the termination
of this breathing-time, or, as whalemen say, when he has had his
“spoutings out,” the head sinks slowly, the “small,” or the part
between the hump and flukes, appears above the surface of the water,
curved with the convexity upward; the flukes are then lifted high
into the air, and the animal, having assumed a straight position,
descends perpendicularly to an unknown depth. The act is performed
with regularity and slowness, and is called by whalemen “turning
flukes;” an act, too, which is always noticed by those at masthead,
who call loudly, when they disappear below the surface, “T-h-e-r-e
goes flukes!” The whale continues thus hidden beneath the surface
from sixty to seventy minutes; some will remain an hour and twenty
minutes. If we take into consideration the quantity of time that the
full-grown sperm whale consumes in respiration, and also the time
he takes in searching for food and performing other acts below the
surface of the ocean, we should find that a seventh of the time of
this huge animal is consumed in the function of respiration.

The females being found generally in large numbers and in close
company, it is difficult to fix the attention upon one individual,
so as to ascertain precisely the time consumed below the surface.
However, as all in one school generally rise at the same time, it may
be observed that they remain below the water about twenty minutes.
They make from thirty-five to forty expirations during the period
they are at the surface, which is about five minutes, and they thus
consume about a fifth of their time in respiration, a proportion
considerably greater than that of the adult males.

When disturbed or alarmed, this regularity in breathing appears
to be no longer observed. For instance: when a “bull,” which,
when undisturbed, remains at the surface until he has made fifty
expirations, is alarmed by the approach of a boat, he immediately
plunges beneath the surface, although he may not have performed more
than half the usual number of his expirations. He will soon rise
again not far distant and finish his full number of respirations; and
in this case, also, he generally sinks without having assumed the
perpendicular position before described. On the contrary, he sinks
suddenly in the horizontal position, and with remarkable rapidity,
leaving a sort of vortex in the place where his huge body lately

When urging his rapid course through the ocean in that mode of
swimming which is called “going head out,” the spout is thrown out
every time the head is raised above the surface, and under these
circumstances of violent muscular exertion, as would be expected, the
respiration is much more hurried than usual.

[Illustration: HEAD OUT.]

_Other Actions of the Sperm Whale_.—When in a state of alarm, or
gamboling in sport on the surface of the ocean, the sperm whale
has many curious modes of acting. It is difficult to conceive any
object in nature calculated to cause alarm to this leviathan;
notwithstanding which, he is remarkably timid, and is readily alarmed
at the approach of a boat.

When seriously alarmed, he is said by whalemen to be “gallied,”
and in this state he performs many actions very different from his
usual mode, as has been mentioned in speaking of his swimming and
breathing, and many also which he is never observed to perform under
any other circumstances. One of them is what is called “sweeping,”
which consists in moving the tail from side to side on the surface
of the water, as if feeling for the boat, or any other object that
may be within reach. The whale has also an extraordinary manner of
rolling over and over on the surface, and this he does when “fastened
to” from a boat. At times they place themselves in a perpendicular
posture, with the head only above water, presenting, in this
position, a most extraordinary appearance. When seen from a distance
they resemble large black rocks rising out of the midst of the ocean.
This posture they seem to assume for the purpose of surveying more
accurately or more easily the surrounding expanse. A species of
whale, called by whalemen “blackfish,” is most frequently in the
habit of assuming this position.

The eyes of the sperm whale, being placed in the widest part of the
head, of course afford the animal an extensive field of vision, and
he appears to view objects very readily that are placed laterally in
a direct line with the eye, and when they are placed at some distance
before him. His common manner of looking at a boat or a ship is to
turn over on his side, so as to cause the rays from the object to
strike directly upon the retina.

Now, when alarmed, and consequently anxious to take as rapid a glance
as possible on all sides, he can much more readily do so when in the
above-described perpendicular position. Occasionally, when lying at
the surface, the whale appears to amuse itself by violently beating
the water with its tail. This act is called “lop-tailing,” and the
water lashed in this way into foam is termed “white water,” and by it
the whale is often recognized from a great distance.

But one of the most curious and surprising of the actions of the
sperm whale is that of leaping completely out of the water, or of
“breaching,” as whalemen term it. The way in which he performs this
extraordinary motion appears to be by descending to a certain depth
below the surface, and then making some powerful strokes with his
tail, which are frequently and rapidly repeated, and thus convey a
great degree of velocity to his body before he reaches the surface,
when he darts completely out. When just emerged and at its greatest
elevation, his body forms with the surface of the water an angle of
about forty-five degrees, the flukes lying parallel with the surface
in falling. The animal rolls his body slightly, so that he always
falls on his side, and seldom breaches more than twice or thrice at
a time. In very clear weather, on the Japan ground, we have seen the
breach of a large whale at a distance of sixteen miles; but, as a
general thing, eight or ten miles is the distance that a breach may
be discovered from masthead.

[Illustration: BREACHING.]

It is probable that the sperm whale often resorts to this action of
breaching for the purpose of ridding itself of various animals which
infest its skin, such as large “sucking-fish,” and other animals
which resemble crabs. Of the former of the parasites, some fix
themselves so closely to this convenient carrier that they sometimes
adhere to the skin of the whale for several hours after its death,
and then suffer themselves to be forced off by the hands of the
whalemen. It is not improbable, also, that some of these actions may
be resorted to in the whale endeavoring to avoid the assaults of the
swordfish, by which they are sometimes attacked. There is also
an animal called a “killer,” which, in company with the swordfish,
attack the whale. The latter will goad him from below, while the
former leaps out of the water and falls upon him from above, the
attack thus intimidating the whale, and giving the swordfish an
opportunity to inflict its wounds.

_Herding_.—The sperm whale is a gregarious animal, and the herds
formed by it are of two kinds; the one consisting of females, the
other of young bulls not fully grown.

[Illustration: A SCHOOL.]

These herds are called by whalemen “schools,” and occasionally
consist of great numbers. With each school of females are always
from one to three large males, the lords of the herd. The males
are said to be extremely jealous of intrusion by strangers, and to
fight fiercely to maintain their rights. The full-grown males, or
“large whales,” almost always go alone in search of food, and,
when they are seen in company, are supposed to be migrating from
one feeding-ground to another. The large whale is generally very
incautious, and if alone, he is without difficulty attacked and
easily killed, as he frequently, after receiving the first blow from
the harpoon, appears hardly to feel it, but continues lying like a
“log of wood” on the water before he rallies or makes any attempt to
escape from his enemies.

Large whales are sometimes, but rarely, met with remarkably cunning
and full of courage, when they will commit dreadful havoc with
their jaws and tail. The jaw and head, however, appear to be their
principal offensive weapons.

The female breeds at all seasons, producing but one at a time, except
in a few instances, in which two are produced. Her time of gestation
is unknown, but is supposed to be about ten months. Their young,
when first born, are about twelve or fourteen feet in length, and
five or six in girth. The females are much smaller than the males,
being considered not more than one fourth the size of the adult large
whale. They are very remarkable for attachment to their young, which
they may frequently be seen urging and assisting to escape from
danger with the most unceasing care and fondness. They are also not
less remarkable for their strong feeling of attachment to each other;
and this is carried to so great an extent, that, should one female of
a herd be attacked and wounded, her faithful companions will remain
around her to the last moment, or until they are wounded themselves.
This act of remaining by a wounded companion is called by whalemen
“bringing to,” and whole schools have been destroyed by dexterous
management, when several ships have been in company, wholly from
these whales possessing this remarkable disposition. The attachment
appears reciprocal on the part of the young whales, which have been
seen about the ship for hours after their parents have been killed.

The young males or “young bulls” go in large schools, but differ
remarkably from the females in disposition, inasmuch as they make an
immediate and rapid retreat upon one of their number being struck,
who is left to take care of himself. They are also very cunning and
cautious, keeping at all times a good look-out for danger. It is
consequently necessary for the whaleman to be extremely cautious in
his mode of approaching them, so as, if possible, to escape being
seen or heard, for they have some mode of communication one to
another, through a whole school, in an incredibly short space of
time. They are consequently much more troublesome to attack, and
more dangerous and difficult to kill, great dexterity and dispatch
being necessary to give them no time to recover from the pain and
fright caused by the first blow. When about three fourths grown, or
sometimes only half, they separate from each other and go singly in
search of food.

All sperm whales, both large and small, have some method of
communication with each other by which they become apprised of
danger, and this they do, although the distance may be very
considerable between them, sometimes amounting to six, seven, eight,
or even ten miles. The method by which these communications are
carried on remains a curious secret.

                            CHAPTER XIX.

      Nature of Sperm Whales’ Food.—“_Sepia Octopus_.”—Nautilus.

It has been before stated that the food of the sperm whale consists
almost wholly of an animal of the cuttle-fish kind, called by
whalemen “squid,” and by naturalists “_Sepia octopus_;” and at times,
when he is near the shore, he feeds upon small fish, which are
denominated “rock cod,” and which sometimes approach the size of a
moderate salmon.

But the instances in which fish of this description have been
ejected from the stomach of the sperm whale are but rare, while
every day’s experience proves that its common food consists of that
division of _molluscous_ animals which naturalists have denominated
“_Cephalopoda_,” and of which the “_Sepia octopus_,” or “sea squid,”
appears to be the most common.

A few words on the natural history of this highly organized and
remarkable animal can not fail to be interesting to the reader, as
it has excited the attention of naturalists for many ages, from the
remarkable nature of its formation and peculiar habits.

Endowed with all the five organs of sense, it is second to no
inhabitant of the mighty waters in the complete elaboration of its
organs, which has constantly rendered it a great object of attention
to the anatomist and physiologist.

Dr. Roget, in his _Bridgewater Treatise_, under the head of
“_Cephalopoda_,” states that “we now arrive at a highly interesting
family of mollusca, denominated _Cephalopoda_, and distinguished
above all the preceding orders by being endowed with a much more
elaborate organization and a far wider range of faculties. The
_Cephalopoda_ have been so named from the position of certain organs
of progressive motion which are situated on the head, and, like
the tentacula of the polypus, surround the opening of the mouth.
These feet, or arms, or tentacula, if we choose to call them so,
are long, slender, and flexible processes, exceedingly irritable
and contractile in every part, and provided with numerous muscles,
which are capable of moving or twisting them in all directions with
extraordinary quickness and precision. They are thus capable of being
employed as instruments not only of progressive motion, but also of
prehension. For this purpose they are, in many species, peculiarly
well adapted, because, being perfectly flexible as well as highly
muscular, they twine with ease round any object of any shape, and
grasp it with prodigious force. In addition to these properties,
they derive a remarkable power of adhesion to the surfaces of bodies
from their being furnished with numerous suckers all along their
inner sides. Each of these suckers is usually supported on a narrow
neck or pedicle, and strengthened at its circumference by a ring
of cartilage. Their internal mechanism is more artificial than the
simple construction already described; for when the surface of the
disk is fully expanded, it is formed of a great number of small,
slender pieces, resembling teeth, closely set together, and extending
from the inner margin of the cartilaginous rings in the form of
converging radii to within a short distance of the centre, where they
leave a certain aperture.

“In the flattened state of the sucker, this aperture is filled by
the projecting part of a softer substance, which forms an interior
portion, capable of being detached from the flat circle of the
teeth when the sucker is in action, and of leaving an intervening
cavity. It is evident that by this mechanism, which combines the
properties of an accurate valve with an extensive cavity for
producing rarefaction, or the tendency to vacuum, the power of
adhesion is considerably augmented. So great is the force with which
the tentacula of the cuttle-fish adhere to bodies by means of this
apparatus, that, while their muscular fibres continue contracted, it
is easier to tear away the substance of the limb than to release it
from its attachment. Even in the dead animal we have found that the
suckers retain considerable powers of adhesion to any smooth surface
to which they may be applied.

“The _octopus_, which was the animal denominated polypus by
Aristotle, has eight arms of equal length, and contains in its
interior two very small rudimentary shells, formed by the inner
surface of the mantle. This shell becomes much more distinct in the
loligo, where it is cartilaginous, and shaped like the blade of a
sword. The internal shell of the common _sepia_ is large and broad,
and composed wholly of the carbonate of lime; it is well known by
the name of cuttle-fish bone. Its structure is extremely curious,
and deserves particular attention, as establishing the universality
of the principle which regulates the formation of shells, whether
external or internal, and from which structures differing much in
their outward appearance may result. It is composed of an immense
number of thin calcareous plates, arranged parallel to one another,
and connected by thousands of minute hollow pillars of the same
calcareous material, passing perpendicularly between the adjacent
surfaces. This shell is not adherent to any internal part of the
animal which has produced it, but is inclosed in a capsule, and
appears like a foreign body impacted in the midst of organs with
which, at first sight, it appears to have no relation. It no doubt
is of use in giving mechanical support to the soft substance of the
body, and especially to the surrounding muscular flesh; and this
probably contributes to the high energy which the animal displays in
all its movements. It has been regarded as an internal skeleton, but
it certainly has no pretensions to such a designation; for, although
enveloped by the mantle, it is still formed by that organ, and the
material of which it is composed still carbonate of lime. On both
these accounts it must be considered as a true shell, and classed
among the productions of the integuments. It differs, indeed, from
bony structures, which are composed of a different kind of material,
and formed on principles of growth totally dissimilar. Besides
tentacula, the _sepia_ is also provided with a pair of fleshy fins,
extending along the two sides of the body. The _loligo_ has similar
organs of a smaller size, and situated only at the extremity of the
body which is opposite to the head. They have been regarded as the
rudiments of true fins, which are organs developed in fishes, and
which are supported by slender bones; but no structure of this kind
exists in the fins of the _Cephalopoda_. In swimming, the organs
principally employed by cuttle-fish for giving an effective impulse
to the water are the tentacula. These they employ as oars, striking
with them from behind forward, so that their effort is to propel the
hinder part of the body, which is thus made to advance foremost,
the head following in the rear. They also use these organs as feet
for moving along the bottom of the sea. In their progress under
these circumstances, the head is always turned downward and the body
upward, so that the animal may be considered as literally walking on
its head!

“The necessity of this position for the feet arises probably from
the close investment of the mantle over the body; for, although the
mantle leaves an aperture in the neck for the entrance of water to
the respiratory organs, yet in other respects it forms a sack, closed
in every part except where the head, neck, and accompanying tentacula

“In the _calamary_, as well as the common _sepia_, two of the arms
are much longer than the rest, and terminate in a thick cylindrical
portion, covered with numerous suckers, which may not inaptly be
compared to a hand. These processes are employed by cuttle-fish
as anchors, for the purpose of fixing themselves firmly to rocks
during violent agitations of the sea; and accordingly we find that
it is only the extremities of these bony tentacula that are provided
with suckers, while the short ones have them also along their whole
length. The other genera of _cephalopodous mollusca_ are, like
the _sepia_, provided with tentacula attached to the head. They
comprehend animals differing exceedingly in size, some being very
large, but a great number very minute, and even microscopic.”

Other animals of this kind inhabit shells, one of which is the
nautilus, which, says Roget, “possesses a shell exceedingly thin
and almost pellucid; probably for the sake of lightness, for it is
intended to be used as a boat. For the purpose of enabling the animal
to avail itself of the impulses of the air while it is thus floating
on the water, Nature has furnished it with a thin membrane, which she
has attached to two of the tentacula, so that it can be spread out
like a sail to catch the light winds which waft the animal forward
on its course. While its diminutive bark is thus scudding over the
surface of the deep, the assiduous navigator does not neglect to
apply its tentacula as oars on either side, to direct as well as to
accelerate its motion. No sooner does the breeze freshen and the sea
become ruffled than it hastens to take down its sail, and, quickly
drawing its tentacula within its shell, renders itself specifically
heavier than the water, and sinks immediately into more tranquil
regions beneath the surface.”

Sir William Jardine, in speaking of the food of the sperm whale,[4]
ventures to suggest to those who may have frequent opportunities of
observing whether this whale may not also frequently resort to the
_medusæ_, and minute fish which in so remarkable a manner supply food
to some of the smaller, as well as the other genera of the gigantic
whales. That there is an abundant supply of this sustenance, both in
the Antarctic Ocean and the more smiling latitudes of the southern
seas, can easily be proved by a reference to _Lesson’s Statements_,
and also to the _Journal_ of Captain Colnett, who, when near the
southern point of America, observes: “During this forenoon we
passed several fields of spawn, which caused the water to bear the
appearance of barley covering the surface of a bank.”

Arbigny also remarks that “there are immense tracts off the coast
of Brazil filled with small creatures so numerous as to impart a
red color to the sea.” “Statements of this sort,” observes Sir
William, “could easily be multiplied; and hence we can not but
suppose that this kind of food, which is ascertained to afford such
rich nourishment to the other great _cetacea_, may very possibly be
appropriated by the sperm whale to the same purpose.”

This is an unaccountable error on the part of the compiler of the
_Naturalists’ Library_. The apparent banks above mentioned, and
which we have ourselves frequently seen in various parts of the
ocean, are certainly formed by myriads of _medusæ_ and other small
animals, which form the sustenance of the _Balæna mysticetus_, or
right whale’s food, which consists of animals of the shrimp kind, and
other minute creatures, which are closely congregated and swarm in
those animated “banks,” but of which the sperm whale never partakes;
as it is not “very possible,” but quite impossible that he could do
so, however inclined he might be, on account of the organization of
his feeding apparatus, which may be readily seen when its form is
referred to.

The _Sepia octopus_, or “sea squid,” sometimes reaches an enormous
size. In the _Philosophical Transactions for 1758_ (777), after
having given an interesting description of a specimen sent for
examination, the editor states that “it can, by spreading its arms
abroad like a net, so fetter and entangle the prey they inclose
when they are drawn together as to render it incapable of exerting
its strength; for, however feeble these branches or arms may be
singly, their power united becomes surprising; and we are assured
Nature is so kind to these animals that if, in a struggle, any of
their arms are broken off, after some time they will grow again.
It is evident,” he continues, “from what has been said, that the
sea polypus or _octopus_ must be terrible to the inhabitants of the
waters in proportion to its size, for the close embraces of its arms
and adhesion of its suckers must render the efforts of its prey
ineffectual either for resistance or escape, unless it be endowed
with an extraordinary degree of strength.”

A gigantic _Cephalopoda_ was discovered by Drs. Bank and Solander, in
Captain Cook’s first voyage, floating dead upon the sea, surrounded
by birds, who were feeding on its remains. From the parts of this
specimen which are still preserved in the Hunterian Collection, and
which have always excited the attention of naturalists, it must have
measured at least six feet from the end of the tail to the end of the

But this last we must imagine a mere pigmy when we consider the
enormous dimensions of the one spoken of by Doctor Swediaus,[5] whose
tentacula or limbs measured twenty-seven feet in length. But let the
doctor speak for himself: “One of the gentlemen,” says he, “who was
so kind as to communicate to me his observations on this subject
(ambergris), also, ten years ago, caught a sperm whale that had in
its mouth a tentaculum of the _Sepia octopodia_ nearly twenty-seven
feet long! This did not appear its whole length, for one end was
corroded by digestion, so that, in its natural state, it may have
been a great deal longer. When we consider the enormous bulk of the
tentacula here spoken of, we shall cease to wonder at the common
saying of the fishermen, that the cuttle-fish is the largest fish of
the ocean.”

In Todd’s _Cyclopedia of Anatomy_ (529), treating of _Cephalopoda_,
in an admirable paper by Mr. Owen, it states that “the natives of
the Polynesian Islands, who dive for shell-fish, have a well-founded
dread and abhorrence of these formidable _Cephalopods_, and one
can not but feel surprised that their fears should have, perhaps,
exaggerated their dimensions and destructive attributes.”

The same learned writer, after having beautifully described another
animal of this order, observes: “Let the reader picture to himself
the projecting margin of the horny hook developed into a long,
curved, sharp-pointed claw, and these weapons clustered at the
expanded terminations of the arms, and arranged in a double alternate
series along the whole internal surface, and he will have some idea
of the formidable nature of the carnivorous _onychotenthis_.”

This species of _Cephalopoda_ is thus armed with those kind of teeth
at the termination of the tentacles in order to secure the agile,
slippery, and mucous-clad fishes on which it preys; and there is an
instance recorded in the works of a celebrated author on _Excursions
in the Mediterranean_, by which we perceive that these terrible
creatures sometimes prey upon men. The author says: “In those shallow
waters are caught great quantities of fish, by forming curved lines
or palisades some way out to sea with palm branches, by which the
fish that come up with the high water are retained when it recedes.
The _horrid polypus_, which is, however, greedily eaten, abounds, and
some are of enormous size. They prove, at times, highly dangerous to

“An instance of this occurred a few years since. A Sardinian captain,
bathing at Jerbah, felt one of his feet grasped by one of these
animals; on this, with his other foot he tried to disengage himself,
but this limb was immediately seized by another of the monster’s
arms; he then endeavored to free himself with his hands, but these
also were firmly grasped by the polypus, and the poor man was shortly
after found drowned, with all his limbs strongly bound together by
the arms and legs of the fish; and it is extraordinary, that where
this happened the water is scarcely four feet in depth.”

Other species of these surprising animals, as the _calamaries_,
or “flying squid,” as they are termed by seamen, have the power
of propelling themselves through the atmosphere. “There is good
reason for believing,” says Mr. Owen, “that some of the small,
slender-bodied subulate species of this genus are enabled to strike
the water with such force as to raise themselves above the surface,
and dart, like the flying-fish, for a short distance through the
air.” We have seen very frequently, both in the North and South
Pacifc, tens of thousands of these animals dart simultaneously
out of the water when pursued by albicore or dolphins, and propel
themselves, head first, in a horizontal direction, for eighty or a
hundred yards, assisting their progression probably by a rotary or
_screwing_ motion of their arms or tentacles, which they have the
power of thus moving with singular velocity. This species also, as
well as the large _onychotenthis_, we are led to believe, often
serves the sperm whale for food. We have seen, on several occasions,
very large limbs of the latter species of squid floating on the
surface of the ocean, appearing as if bitten off by some animal,
most probably by the sperm whale; for, when these remains have been
seen, we always looked out most anxiously for those animals, and have
seldom been disappointed in seeing them within a few hours afterward.

[4] Naturalists’ Library, vol. vi, p. 162.

[5] Philosophical Transactions, vol. lxxiii., p. 226.

                             CHAPTER XX.

  Close of the first “Season” on Japan.—Making Passage to the
    Group.—“Land ho!”.—“Breathing-places for Sailors.”—Henderville’s
    Island.—Unpleasant Prospect.—Narrow Escape from the Breakers.—A
    large Whale.—An ugly Customer.—Ocean Island Dick.—Ocean
    Island.—“Some Pumpkins.”—Bound for Strong’s Island.—Calms.—“Blow,
    ye gentle Breezes.”—At our “Hotel” once more.—Hospitality of the
    Natives.—A diabolical Scheme.—Anger of the King.—Narrow Escape of
    all Hands from Poisoning.—Wilds and the Queen.—A sudden
    Awakening.—Wild Boar.—Join in the Chase.—Brave Men.—The Boar
    presented in great State to the King.—Bravery of the “White
    Man.”—“Hog not Dog.”—At sea again.

At the close of our first “season” on Japan, we found ourselves with
two hundred and fifty barrels more of oil than when we came on to the
ground, and we felt greater encouragement, though we were yet very
poorly off, being nearly two years from home, with but five hundred
and fifty barrels. However, the weather admonished us that we must
be leaving those regions; and accordingly, on the 10th of September,
we pointed the “Emily’s” head to the southward, and, crowding on the
“kites,” we were soon in pleasant weather, making passage to our old
ground, the Group.

On the morning of Thursday, September 18th, we were aroused by the
soul-cheering cry of “Land ho!” In a moment all hands were in the
rigging to catch a glimpse of the land. All strained their eyes with
eager excitement to once more view a _green spot_. We had now been
cruising nearly five months, and during that time we had seen nothing
that resembled land, and but two ships. Sailing in the midst of the
vast North Pacific, and cruising week after week, month after month,
nothing new, nothing to change the monotony so usual to shipboard,
all at once rose to our view a beautiful island densely covered with
dark green foliage, the tall cocoanut-trees nodding a welcome as
they waved their sweeping branches to and fro; and as we drew near
to the land, the neat huts of the natives peering through the leafy
opening, with the white sand-beach, a delightful clear atmosphere,
with a fine breeze, the old ship standing on in majesty, all combined
to make it a scene refreshing to behold—one of beauty and loveliness.
Truly have these islands been denominated “breathing-places for
sailors.” After beating about, enduring gales and storms, and meeting
with no living beings upon the trackless ocean, to be ushered into
the presence of one of these lovely “sea-girt isles” fills the
beholder with the most joyous feelings, and convinces him that
he is yet in the land of the living. We found ourselves, almost
unconsciously we might say, offering our thanks and praises to the
Giver of all good for His protecting power through the dangers and
storms of our voyage thus far, and trusting that we should ere long
be restored to those we so dearly loved.

But we were now to cruise for a few months among these islands. On
Tuesday, September 21st, we were in sight of Henderville’s Island. At
sunset, being about eight miles distant from the land, the wind died
away, leaving every thing calm, the surface of the water unruffled,
not a breath of air stirring, and the sails idly hanging or flapping
themselves to and fro. The current was rapidly setting us in-shore.
About eight o’clock we lowered a boat, and found we were drifting
toward the reef at the rate of two miles per hour. The lights of the
native fishermen along the reefs were plainly visible, and the roar
of the breakers came to our ears in thunder tones, that sent a thrill
through every heart, sounding like a death-knell, or the roaring of
some monster anxious for his prey. That land which had appeared so
beautiful to us but a few days previous was now hateful to our sight,
and oh! how we longed for “plenty of sea-room” again. That island
might truly be a “breathing-place” for us, but we feared it would be
our last “breathing-place,” for we well knew the disposition of its
natives, and were well aware that, should our ship be lost, there
was no mercy to be expected from those rapacious savages. Serious
thoughts for once filled the mind of every man on board: the visions
of those happy homes far away—were we never to visit those homes
again? The memories of the many happy days spent with friends—were
we never again to enjoy them? After battling the elements thus far,
after passing through so many dangers, were we thus to perish—to be
thus massacred by a horde of merciless savages, and no one, perhaps,
to tell our friends when and how we died? Oh! it was horrible to
think of, and caused a shudder of anguish to pass through our every
frame. And yet nothing but the interposition of a kind and merciful
Providence could avert this fate. Slowly but surely were we drifting
into those fatal breakers, and one hour more, one short hour, we felt
must decide our fate. Oh, for a breeze! in vain we look for it; in
vain we wished for it. All was calm and unruffled.

As a last resort, the boats were ordered out, and all hands sprang
into them as they never sprang before, and commenced towing the ship.
For four long hours did those noble men work at the oars, a battle
between life and death, each seemingly striving for the mastery. We
were just able, by this constant tugging at the oars, “to hold our
own,” to stem the current. About one o’clock in the morning a breeze
sprang up, and never, never was wind so welcomed. All hands gave
one simultaneous shout, “We are saved!” and returned to the ship
with joyous hearts. We could not but thank our heavenly Father for
thus preserving us from the horrible fate that at one time seemed so
certainly to await us.

Glad indeed were we to be delivered from this fate, and we now
directed our course toward Ocean Island. On the morning of Thursday,
September 25th, at daylight, the welcome shout was heard, “There she
blows! A large whale!” Instantly the boats were down, and all hands
gave chase. We discovered the whale had been fastened to by some
other ship, as he had two irons in him, with a long line trailing
behind. The larboard, or mate’s, boat soon fastened; the whale
sounding heavily, a signal was made for “more line,” and the bow
boat ran down, and passed to them their line; the whale continued
to sound, taking out nearly eight hundred fathom (4800 feet), until
the irons drew. In a short time the whale made his appearance; the
boats again renewed the chase. After some considerable manœuvring and
provoking dodging on the part of the whale, the waist-boat fastened.
Away he went again, railroad speed, and after treating the boat’s
crew to a ride that caused them to exert every muscle to hold their
hair on, the irons again “came home.”

This only served to increase the excitement, and again the several
boats gave chase with redoubled energy and ardor. About sunset
the captain’s boat drew near; he stood in the head of the boat,
determined to make the old fellow show the “red flag.” He was now
close on; all were looking with breathless anxiety. They neared him,
and the captain darted; the second iron followed the first in an
instant, and he shouted “We are fast!” and turned round to roll up
the sail of the boat. The old man was the spryest man in the ship,
and before he could roll up the sail (which usually occupies about a
minute), the last flake of line went out of the boat, and away went
the old veteran with four hundred fathom (2400 feet) of our line and
two harpoons. This was the last chance, it being near sunset, and
they gave up the chase, at the same time respecting the intelligence
and sagacity of the whale in not allowing himself to become a prey to
the frail boats. He probably felt himself insulted by being pestered
with such small trash, as well as the idea of being melted up for

The men came on board hungry, thirsty, and tired, having pulled and
worked from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M., with but a couple of cakes of hard
bread and about a quart of water each to refresh themselves with
through the day. The weather was intensely hot; they were exposed
to the equatorial sun, which was directly over them; and yet they
thought of none of these things till they came on board with no
whale. Thus ended the chase of the largest whale we had yet seen, and
which our boys christened “Ocean Island Dick.” The captain asserted
that for the many years he had followed the sea (about thirty), he
had never seen so large a whale as this one. Never mind; he has got
the ship’s mark, in the shape of two irons, that will be apt to
trouble him some before he rids himself of them.

Saturday, September 27th, we were at Ocean Island. The king himself,
with quite a number of natives, came off, bringing with them nothing
but _pumpkins_ to trade. One of the boys remarked that he “supposed
they considered themselves ‘_some pumpkins!_’” They were of an
excellent quality, but were, in reality, our _crooked-neck squash_.
They raise them in great quantities, and it is the principal article
of trade with the ships. This island is certainly the most beautiful
one of the group, the land being moderately high, and presenting a
very even surface.

On leaving here we shaped our course again for Strong’s Island, which
we saw on Wednesday, October 8th. As we neared the land the wind
died away, leaving us becalmed, which continued for four days and
nights. How provoking it was to lie there, about sixteen or eighteen
miles from the land, during all this time, and feel ourselves thus
imprisoned! During the day-time the surface of the water would
scarce be disturbed by a ripple, and presented the appearance of
a vast mirror, with a green islet by the way of decoration. After
having been shut up in the ship for six long and weary months
without setting foot on shore, to be thus kept in sight of a green
“breathing-place” for four days and nights, and feel that you could
not reach it so long as the calm continued, was tantalizing; it was
not strange that we wished for a strong breeze, one that would put us
into the harbor in two or three hours.

At length our wishes were gratified; and on Sunday morning, October
12th, we again dropped anchor in our old resting-place. In the
afternoon we went on shore, and, on arriving at our “hotel,” found
Zegrah and his wife, who gave us a hearty welcome, having been
expecting us. In the evening they gave a feast in honor of our

The next two or three days we spent as usual, rambling over the
island, through canals and over walls—through swamps and ditches in
search of adventure. As we have before observed, we found the natives
very kind and hospitable, always welcoming us in a hearty manner;
and, from their actions, we should judge they were really glad to see
us again. Wherever we visited, they spread before us the numerous
fruits of the island, urging us to eat, and insisting that we should
drink a shell of carva with them. We can never forget their kind,
simple-hearted hospitality, and we have often looked back upon our
visits there as green spots in the desert of life, refreshing and

Since the death of Mr. Smith, whenever we had been at this island,
Canker would never come near the ship. This we thought strange, as
the first time we were there he was on board nearly every day. Still,
he appeared very kind to any of the ship’s company when they called
upon him, making them presents of fruit, etc., as if wishing to
reinstate himself in their good graces.

On Thursday, October 16th, the king came off to the ship to dinner.
On sitting down at the table, he happened to cast his eye upon a dish
of greens, which had been sent to the ship by Canker, and cooked
by the steward. He instantly took the dish, and then went upon
deck, examined them minutely, and threw them all overboard. He then
inquired if there were any more on board, and on being answered that
a large quantity had been cooked for the men, he ordered them to be
thrown overboard immediately. He then asked, “Who been makey send
all the same on board?” On being told “Canker,” his anger scarcely
knew bounds. He raved and appeared so excited we feared he would do
himself some injury. After a little while he became more calm, and
said, “Captain, you look out that Canker; he too much bad man; he
no good. I no like speak too much; he my son.” It was evident there
was a struggle going on in the heart of the good old king. He loved
his son notwithstanding his faults, and to thus have evidence of his
bloodthirstiness angered him, and it was some time before he fully
recovered himself.

It was, indeed, a diabolical scheme of this Canker’s. Some one of the
crew had injudiciously told him, in jest, that “a large man-of-war
was on its way to the island to inquire into the death of Mr. Smith,
and that, if the captain or any of the crew should tell them he had
poisoned Mr. S., the man-of-war would hang him.” This he believed,
and, feeling his guilt, he determined to remove all evidence of it
by putting the whole ship’s company to death by poison. He knew we
were all fond of greens, and he chose a day, also, on which none
would be on shore, all hands taking dinner on board that day. But,
through the interposition of the Almighty, he was prevented from
accomplishing his dark and bloody designs. How much had we to thank
our heavenly Father for, and how many times did he preserve our lives
from threatened dangers, seen and unseen, during those five eventful
years of our life!

One evening during our stay, one of our men, by the name of Wilds,
whom we shipped on our first visit to this island, had some little
disturbance with her Strong’s Island majesty, the queen. Wilds had
always been a great favorite with her, and was privileged to do and
say as he pleased about the house. He had lived with the king while
on the island. This evening he came in with his mats and pillow
rolled up under his arm, and commenced joking and teasing the queen;
finally, starting to leave, he asked her if he could leave them there
until he returned for them. On being answered in the affirmative, he
threw the bundle at her in a playful manner, which happened to hit
her rather solid, and knocked her down. She screamed, of course (what
woman would not?), and imagined herself nearly killed. Poor Wilds at
first knew not what to do or say; finally he undertook to apologize,
but she would not listen to a word, and ordered him to leave.

This little incident shows what a trifling circumstance will break
the friendship of some of these natives, and turn them to as bitter
enemies as they were former friends, as in the case of Mr. S. and
Canker. Wilds received orders from the queen not to come to the
palace again, as she did not like the idea of allowing her royal
person to be a target for a common sailor to fire his bundles at. The
king, however, when he heard of it, laughed at it as a good joke, and
treated Wilds with as much friendship as formerly.

We were now all ready for sea again—wood and water all on board.
Thinking, however, that we must have one more ramble before leaving,
on Saturday, October 18th, we started, in company with several of our
shipmates, for a stroll among the mountains. During our walk we came
to a fine spring running into a large stone basin. The weather being
excessively hot, we concluded to lie down in this cool, shady place,
and rest. While reclining on these beautiful mossy banks, spinning
yarns of homes far away, and of happy days, carrying ourselves, in
imagination, to those homes and pleasures, we were very suddenly and
unceremoniously aroused from our easy positions by a rushing sound,
accompanied by a hoarse roar. It can be imagined that we did not
occupy many moments in regaining our feet, and we had scarcely done
so ere a large wild boar rushed past with great velocity, deigning
not even to bestow a passing glance upon us, the spectators of his
race, whose hair stood on end, but kept on his course until he was
lost in the thicket.

Some natives, headed by Sekane, the chief soon made their appearance,
and stated that they had started the boar from his den by wounding
him, and asked us to join in the chase. This we consented to do, as
we were anxious to view the sport; but, not exactly understanding
the hooks and crooks of wild-boar hunting, took good care to keep
well in the rear, and our eyes about us. It was certainly amusing;
the slightest noise would cause our company to start for some
tree, and on finding that it was merely a false alarm, would look
immensely foolish. The natives now wished us to guard a pass that
we had arrived at while they went after him. As soon as the natives
were all out of sight, we took our stations in small trees, where we
were sure that we should be out of reach of the boar’s tushes. After
waiting some time, we heard a shouting but a short distance from us.
Each now instinctively shouted “he is coming,” and tried to ascend
still higher. We were relieved from our fears, however, by seeing
the squad of natives approaching, with the wild boar lashed in such
a manner that he could not escape. He was carried by means of poles
run through the lashings of his feet by four natives. They felt very
proud of their booty, and exclaimed, “King have big feast now!” He
was captured by means of a lasso thrown over his head by one of the
natives. Sekane now wished us to form a grand procession and march to
the king’s house, where the boar would be delivered to and received
by the king in great style, “all the same ’Meriky fashion,” as they
termed it. We accordingly did so; and on our arrival, the natives,
who had gathered in great numbers, commenced shouting, until we could
hardly “hear ourselves think.” The animal was then presented to the
king by Sekane, who made a speech, which was very intelligible to us,
as we could not understand a word of it, and replied to by the king
in the same manner. We were informed, however, by Cæsar that the king
praised highly the natives who had captured him, and that he spoke
highly of the bravery and assistance the white men had rendered, as
Sekane had given him a glowing description of our assistance. This,
of course, restored our confidence in our own courage, which had
somewhat fallen.

The animal was immediately slaughtered, and preparations were made
for a “big feast,” to which the white men were all invited, and those
of us who had so _materially assisted_ in its capture were assigned
posts of honor by the side of Sekane, who was the “lion of the day.”
We now began to think that we had some courage, and many of the boys
expressed themselves as ready to proceed on another “wild boar hunt,”
provided—the natives would go ahead. The feast passed off with great
_eclat_, and all hands enjoyed it much, dining this time on veritable
“hog,” and not “dog.”

But we were now ready for the “blue waters” again, and we must not
loiter too long amid the pleasant scenes of Strong’s Island. On
Monday, October 19th, we weighed anchor and proceeded to sea. The
king and Captain H. accompanied us outside the passage, when we took
leave of them, and, with a fair wind, shaped our course once more for
the Group. We had been treated with such uniform kindness by most of
the natives the many times that we had visited this island, and by
such marked respect by the king and chiefs, that the remembrance of
the happy hours we had there spent, and the pleasant and agreeable
scenes we had met, as well as the information we had gained, still
clings to us, and furnishes many an agreeable moment for reflection
and pleasure.

                            CHAPTER XXI.

  Blackfish.—Ship “Phocion.”—Ship “Ganges.”—Bark “Belle.”—“Chips”
    in Prison.—Friday’s Departure.—Sorrowful Leave-taking.—Ship
    “Bengal.”—Ship “Lion.”—Henderville’s Island once more.—Dick
    Simpson.—Ship “John and Elizabeth.”—Another New Year.—“Music
    by the Band.”—Variations.—An “Amateur” Concert.—Bark “Alfred
    Tyler.”—Wreck of the “Ontario.”—Ocean Island again.—Freshwater
    Cavern.—Superstitions.—Beachcombers.—Rascally Operations.—
    Convicts.—Taboo.—Natives.—Climate.—Houses.—Religious Belief.—
    Sharp Practice.—Characteristics.—Whaling.—Pleasant Island.—
    Disturbance with the Natives.—Ship “Mohawk.”—Pitcairn’s
    Island.—Mutiny of the “Bounty’s” Crew.—Death of Mrs. P.—“To my
    Husband.”—Massacre at Covill’s Island.—Whaling again.—A few stray
    Thoughts upon that subject.—Heavy Gale.—A “Gemman ob Color.”—His
    splendid Dress.—Passage to Guam.

We were again at our old business of cruising and whaling, but with
poor success. On Friday, October 31st, we captured three blackfish.
These are a species of whale yielding from one to five barrels of
oil, of an inferior quality, and almost black, from which color the
fish seems to have derived its name.

Monday, November 3d, we spoke the “Phocion,” of New Bedford, Captain
Nichols, and the day following the “Ganges,” of Nantucket, cutting in
a sperm whale, which assured us that others were fortunate if we were
not, and consoling ourselves that our turn would soon come.

Nothing of any interest transpired for a month from this time,
except occasionally lowering for whales and the capture of two,
until Wednesday, December 3d, when we again spoke the bark “Belle,”
just from Sydney. From them we learned that our carpenter, _alias_
“Chips,” who, it will be recollected, deserted at Pitt’s Island,
and left in the “Belle,” had been arrested in Sydney for stealing a
quadrant and sextant from a ship there, and thrown into prison. We
were now to lose one of our _best_ men, though a Kanaka. For some
time past it was evident that Friday had been growing homesick, and
he often told us, “I like go see my land.” The captain, being willing
to gratify him, and it being uncertain when we should again visit his
“land,” consented to his taking passage in the “Belle,” which vessel
was going there immediately. Friday was overjoyed at this prospect;
his chest was brought upon deck, ready to be lowered into the other
ship’s boat. But now came the parting with his shipmates. This was
hard for poor Friday, for all loved him, though he had a dark skin.
He had been so kind to all on board—so ever ready and willing to do
all in his power to serve others’ interests—so quick to learn, and
so grateful for any kindness shown, that all hands, from captain to
cook, loved and respected him. Many little presents had been bestowed
upon him as tokens of remembrance, and his heart almost failed him as
he looked around upon those he was leaving behind; the tears gushed
from his eyes; but, summoning resolution to his aid, he sprang into
the boat awaiting him, and sadly waving his hand to us, was soon
out of sight. We can truly say that we have parted with many white
acquaintances with less sorrow than we did with Friday, the Pitt’s
Island Kanaka.

On Tuesday, December 9th, we spoke the “Bengal,” of New London, an
Arctic whaler, who reported quite a number of whalers lost in the
Arctic the previous season by the ice. A short time after we spoke
the “Lion,” of Providence, Captain Nichols, a brother of the master
of the “Phocion,” whom we saw a few days previous.

The morning of Saturday, December 20th, broke with very squally,
thick weather, and we came very near running down Henderville’s
Island, or running well on it. It appeared almost that we were fated
to be cast away on this hated place. The “Lion” was on our weather
beam, and was running in the same direction. As the squall, which was
a severe one, passed off, and the weather became clear, we discovered
breakers just ahead. We had “tacked” ship very quick a number of
times during the voyage, but never, we venture to say, did the
“Emily” go about quicker than then. The “Lion,” being to windward,
had more room; she also went about, and we left those parts just as
fast as the breeze would drive us.

While trading at Simpson’s Island, on Monday, December 29th, a chief
came alongside in a canoe, and wished to “see the elephant”—in other
words, cast his lot with us. He was partly induced to do so by seeing
on board an old shipmate, for it seems he had been one cruise in
the “Planter.” The necessary bargain was soon made, and the captain
bestowed upon him the name of _Dick Simpson_. Dick turned to his
canoe, and ordered the natives to go ashore. They appeared loth to
part with him thus, but after some very, to us, unintelligible jargon
and extraordinary flourishes on the part of Dick, they left, with
sorrowful countenances.

The next day we spoke the “John and Elizabeth,” of New London,
Captain Chappel. We were now speaking ships day after day, and
nearly all of them later from home than we were. From most of them
we obtained papers, and many of the crew obtained letters. It was
truly pleasant to us to come so frequently in contact with ships from
our own native land, separated from it, as we were, by the diameter
of the earth—vessels that bore aloft the same stars and stripes
that we had so often beheld waving proudly at home—vessels that
contained Americans, _our_ countrymen; and, although we might not
be participants in the mighty events which were transpiring in our
native land, yet we could hear of them even in that distant clime.
These incidents truly served as bright spots in the storm-beaten
mariner’s existence.

And now we come to another New-year. Thursday, January 1st, 18—,
has come. Another page has been written in the history of man. The
thought came to us on this morning, How many hearts at home have been
made desolate, during the past year, by the loss of near and dear
friends? How many have been called from this vale of tears to meet
their GOD? Have we profited by the lessons which our heavenly Father
has endeavored to impress upon us? To us will come, before another
New-year shall roll around, the words, “This year thou shalt die.”

All hands this day held a sort of jubilee, “going in,” as far as our
limited means would allow. All appeared to think of but one thing,
“We are one year nearer home.” No work was done except attending
to the sailing of the ship; all hands regaled themselves on roast
chicken, sea pie, plum duff, etc. (which did not amount to much—etc.,
we mean), for dinner.

The sailor is proverbial for his love of music. We were gamming with
the “Phocion” on Wednesday, January 7th, and in the evening the cook
of the “Phocion” came on board, bringing with him his violin. He was
the _blackest_ man we ever saw—so black that we actually believe
charcoal would make a white mark on him. He was not only cook on
board the “P.,” but was also the “band.” He was asked down into
the cabin to entertain his listeners with his melodious strains,
and there requested to play “Hail Columbia;” and whether it was
because we were so long absent from the land of Yankee Doodle, or
whether we had no appreciation of music, we know not, yet we could
discern no track or trace of “Hail Columbia,” as we were wont to
hear it in times past. Not relishing it, we requested him to play
“Yankee Doodle,” with the “variations.” He commenced, and before
the first strain was ended the dogs left the cabin for the deck on
the full run, howling, with their paws to their ears; the crockery
in the steward’s room seemed to catch the infection, and danced
about merrily; the officers, who had retired for their watch below,
growled; the din increasing as the darkey worked into the merits
of the tune, all tended to create admirable confusion, until we
had faint ideas of being spectators and listeners in Pandemonium.
The noise increased; the darkey sawed away more lustily than ever;
the captain’s wife cried out that she was half crazy, until some
person, who had “no soul for music,” threw a large sea-boot with
such unerring aim and force, that, striking the “band” full in the
countenance, fairly drove his nose in, as it was already as flat as
possible; the claret flew, and the darkey, muttering something about
not appreciating music, pocketed the insult and started forward for
the forecastle.

Here the concert again commenced, with all the “variations.” The men
joined in, some singing, some drumming on tin-pans, some dancing, the
Kanakas yelling, and the old darkey “coming down” with a vengeance.
As these _melodious_ sounds reached the deck, we really imagined
ourselves in Bedlam; at all events, we could not but wish the fiddler
there with a hearty good-will.

Tuesday, January 20th, we spoke the bark “Alfred Tyler,” of
Edgartown, Captain Luce, who reported that a few days previous he
had lost a boat and boat’s crew by desertion. They had supplied
themselves with provisions and every thing necessary, and it was
supposed had steered for Sydenham’s Island. Captain Luce, immediately
disguising his vessel by paint, and transforming her into a ship, was
in pursuit of the deserters, and felt confident that he should yet
capture them.

On Monday, February 2d, spoke the “Hector” again, who reported the
“Ontario,” of New Bedford, ashore on the reef at Pitt’s Island, and
rapidly going to pieces at last accounts. She had on board twenty-two
hundred barrels whale oil, which was mostly stove or drifted about.
The “Phocion,” very fortunately being in the neighborhood at the
time of the accident, rendered them all the assistance in her power.
All hands were saved. The “P.” also picked up four or five hundred
barrels of oil, which, in addition to that already obtained, filled
her, and she started for home, the captain of the wrecked Ontario
taking passage. It was very fortunate that the ship went ashore at
this island, as the natives are kind and generous, and rendered
all the assistance in their power to get her off the reef, and
in obtaining several valuable articles from the ship, which they
delivered to their rightful owners. Had she been wrecked on some of
the southward islands, she would have been instantly thronged with
natives, who would have plundered her of every thing they could carry
off, if they did not massacre the entire crew.

The captain and all hands having a desire for more of the Ocean
Island “pumpkins,” and being in the immediate vicinity, we steered
for Ocean Island, arriving there on Wednesday, February 11th. Quite a
number of canoes came off to trade, but the captain, not obtaining a
sufficient quantity, sent a boat on shore to obtain a boat-load, if

On this island there is but one place where the natives can procure
fresh water, and that is a large cavern some distance below the
surface of the earth. By reason of a superstitious belief, no one but
women are allowed to descend this cavern; hence the females bring all
the water that is required by the natives in cocoanut-shells, as they
have no utensils of a larger description. At some seasons of the
year the water is very low, and the king places all on an allowance
of so much per day. At such times many suffer from the want of it. We
remember that at one time of visiting this island, it being in the
dry season, the natives came off in swarms to get water to drink, and
so numerous were they that the captain was obliged to compel them
to desist, as we had barely sufficient to last until the end of the

There were several white men living on shore here at this time,
of the class known as “beachcombers.” From their appearance we
should judge them to be of the worst class of society—strong-built,
able-bodied men, living here an indolent, lazy life; nothing to
do, their victuals brought to them by the females, and swilling a
sort of rum made from the cocoanut. The natives, believing by their
protestations that they can accomplish any thing, appear to favor
them, and each chief has a “beachcomber” to do his trading on the
ship. Yet they resort to all manner of deceit, both with natives
and with any ship’s company that will allow them to come on board.
Whenever a ship heaves in sight, they represent to the natives that
the captain is either a brother or cousin of theirs, and promise
great things. When they come on board, they generally go about
begging among the men, spinning a most pitiful yarn, and, at the same
time, taking good care not to take any thing out of their reach, but
still _reaching very far_ if occasion requires. If they can find
a disaffected person among the ship’s company, they “button-hole”
him at once, and persuade him, if possible, to desert, telling him
how easily he can live on shore; that they will take charge of and
hide him, so that neither the captain nor natives can find him; and
represent that they have unbounded influence with their chief, who
is always the highest on the island. If they succeed in persuading
the man to desert, they will promise to carry many little articles
ashore for him, with some clothing, as, they say, “You would be
suspected if they should see you with a bundle of clothes, but if
they see me with them they will readily suppose I have bought them.”
After getting all they can, they persuade the man to hide in the
bottom of a canoe alongside, throw a mat over him, and the natives,
who understand the game that is being played, paddle off to the
shore. Presently the man is missed. The captain goes ashore, and
offers a reward of ten or twenty pounds of tobacco and some pipes
for the recovery of the deserter. The poor miserable Judas then goes
to the captain, and informs him that he has discovered the runaway’s
hiding-place, and takes him immediately to the place where he has put
the man himself, and reveals him to the captain, who orders him to
the boat. The poor fellow, not daring to resist, with a feeling of
shame, and his head hung down, proceeds to the boat; the captain pays
the reward to the villain, who chuckles to think how nicely he has
deceived and betrayed both parties.

We have often wondered why it is that masters of vessels, who well
know the foregoing remarks to be true, will allow these miserable
pests and outcasts to come on board their ships. They are nearly
all escaped convicts from the penal colonies of Sydney and Norfolk
Island, and the worst class of those convicts. They contaminate all
with whom they come in contact; and no person, having the slightest
regard for himself, or possessed of the smallest degree of ambition
or honesty, would for a moment consent to reside on one of these
islands, living in the manner these _beachcombers_ generally do.
They are constantly instilling some mischief into the heads of the
natives, and teaching them treachery and deceit. Many times, we
are sorry to say, has great injustice been done to the shipwrecked
or invalid mariner by classing him with these people, but no one
despises a beachcomber more than a true sailor.

The taboo is also exercised at this island; per example: when their
products are very scarce, the king places the taboo upon all trade,
thus forbidding them to take off any thing to ships; but should a
ship arrive and wish to trade, the taboo may be broken by the captain
coming ashore and paying the king a certain amount of tobacco. As
soon as the taboo is off, canoes go in great numbers. The appearance
of three ships at any one time also breaks the taboo.

The natives here also live in a state of great subjection. The
principal authority is vested in a king; the chiefs rank next,
each chief having authority over a particular tribe, who are held
more as slaves than as free men. The climate is warm, and of an
even temperature, the island being forty-eight miles south of the
equator. They enjoy alternately the sea-breeze and land-breeze, the
thermometer ranging from seventy-five to eighty degrees.

[Illustration: USING HIS JAW.]

The inhabitants are strong, robust-looking, and wear no dress of any
description. The houses are similar to those on Strong’s Island,
built of bamboo, very large and comfortable, but not kept over and
above neat. Their ideas of good and bad are similar to those held
by the natives of the Windward Islands of the Group; they have
their evil spirits, or “Jentsh,” who, they believe, occupy the deep
cavern; but, as females are considered harmless, none but they can
descend the cavern and live. They are most expert thieves, and their
transactions in this line would shame a London pickpocket. As a
specimen: we bought some beautiful shells from one of these gentry
at a reasonable price, and very carefully, as we supposed, knowing
their weakness for _taking_ things, hid them. Presently the same
native we had purchased of came up from his canoe alongside with
another assortment, which he offered us. We bought them, at the same
time remarking the great resemblance they bore to the ones we had
just purchased, and proceeded to stow them away. On arriving at
the place, lo and behold! the shells were gone, and, on examining
closely, we found that we had purchased the same shells twice. The
rascal had watched where we put them, informed another native, who
had slyly taken them, lowered them to the former one alongside, who
then paddled around the other side of the ship, and came on board
with “more shell,” as he said. We were completely _sold_ as well as
the shells, and, feeling somewhat indignant, procured a good-sized
billet of wood, and proceeded to look for the canoe. But the rascal
was too sharp for us again; anticipating punishment, doubtless, he
wisely jumped into his canoe and paddled for the shore, leaving us
to gaze after him, and laughing probably at the fine trick he had
played us. This practice was universal; some of the men bought fowls
twice, some mats, and other articles. We came to the conclusion that
the example of the rascally beachcombers had not been without its
influence upon these natives.

[Illustration: GOING DOWN ON A SCHOOL.]

We were now having very good success in whaling, having taken
about one hundred and fifty barrels since leaving port. On Friday,
February 13th, we saw whales, and lowered all the boats. Each boat
soon fastened to a separate whale. The one to which the bow boat
fastened appeared inclined to show fight. After running a short
distance, he would turn and rush with open jaws for the boat, but
the crew were rather too quick for him, and would dodge the enraged
monster. Getting tired of this play, he finally sounded. All hands
were now watching to see where he would “break water,” and at the
same time hauling in slack line. Presently they were all startled by
the appearance of a huge jaw, well filled with teeth, coming through
the bottom of the boat. One of the crew, who sat immediately over the
spot, was thrown into the air in the shape of a spread eagle, and
came down into the water not hurt, but badly frightened. The boat
instantly filled, as a large portion of her bottom was gone, treating
the whole crew to a ducking. The whale, appearing perfectly satisfied
with what had been done, left for parts unknown, with the ship’s mark
clinging to him. Out of the general conflict we secured two whales,
which we took alongside, and soon had their jackets off and into


From here we proceeded to Pleasant Island, and sighted it on
Thursday, February 19th. The captain struck a bargain with one of the
chiefs for five thousand old cocoanuts and twenty-five large hogs,
for which he was to pay in muskets, tobacco, etc. On arriving at the
ship with the hogs and cocoanuts, they were found to be wanting both
in quality and quantity. The captain refused to receive them unless
the chief was willing to receive pay in proportion to what he had
brought. This the copper-colored rascal refused to do, and demanded
payment for the whole amount _agreed_ to be furnished; but the
captain was firm, and distinctly told him and his natives that he
would pay them for no more than they had brought. At this they became
greatly enraged, and the captain ordered them to take their property
and leave. This they refused to do, declaring they would not go until
they had received pay for every thing they had agreed to bring. We
now apprehended some disturbance; the natives were getting excited;
we knew them to be the worst and most sanguinary tribe on the island;
the captain was becoming angry, and we anticipated quite a little
time. As they appeared determined not to go, the captain ordered
hogs, natives, and cocoanuts all pitched overboard, and we commenced
with the cocoanuts first, throwing them into the water; the hogs
soon followed, and the natives, anxious to save their property, went
of their own accord, gladly saving us from a personal encounter, in
which we felt that we would have fared the worse.

The next day we spoke the “Mohawk,” of Nantucket, Captain Swain. The
wife of Captain S. being with him, and being an old friend of Mrs.
E., our captain’s lady, they enjoyed a very pleasant visit together.

The “Mohawk” was recently from Pitcairn’s Island, well known as the
residence of the descendants of the “Bounty’s” mutineers. We presume
that the circumstances of this mutiny may be known to some of our
readers, but we shall take the liberty of relating it, as related
to us by one who lived upon the island. In 1790, the “Bounty” was
sent from England to Otaheite to procure plants of the bread-fruit
to introduce into the West Indies. After leaving Otaheite, the crew,
or a majority of them, headed by Mr. Christian, the mate, mutinied.
They placed the captain, who had the reputation of being a tyrant,
with some others, in an open boat, gave them provisions and water,
and cast them adrift. The mutineers, after cruising about some time,
made Pitcairn’s Island. Here they resolved to form a settlement,
and, proceeding back to Otaheite, procured females, whom they took
with them, and then went on shore, taking all that was valuable
from the ship. After doing this they burned her. At first they had
much trouble, and murders were committed; but finally, through the
influence of one John Adams, the remainder became Christianized. He
had taken ashore with him a Bible and Prayer-book. Much attention
was paid to educating their children in the tenets of the Christian
religion, and before his death Mr. A. had the pleasure of seeing the
colony well established, and the people prosperous and happy. At his
death he resigned his charge into the hands of one John Moffet, an
enlightened Christian man who visited the island, and, being struck
with the simplicity and religious character of the inhabitants,
became so favorably impressed that he decided to remain there. “At
this time,” said our informant, “he lives there, administers the
simple code of laws framed for their government by Mr. Adams, and,
although a very aged man, is the umpire in all disputes, reads
service every Sabbath, and is regarded as a loving father by all.”

We also learned of the death of Mrs. P., wife of Captain P., at this
island. The deceased had resided on Nantucket, where she was esteemed
by all who knew her as one of those kind ministering spirits who
soothe the distressed, comfort the mourner, and alleviate the wants
of the poor as far as lies in their power; in short, one of those
few persons who are universally beloved by all. Her health being
very poor, it was thought a sea-voyage would be beneficial to her;
accordingly, she accompanied her husband, who was master of a whaler.
After some months, perceiving the health of his wife to be failing,
he steered for Pitcairn’s Island. Arriving there, she went on shore
in excellent spirits; and, after remaining some days, Captain P.,
finding that she rapidly regained her health, took an affectionate
leave for a short cruise. As soon as the excitement connected with
coming on shore had subsided, she commenced failing again, and in
a short time her soul took its flight to that better and brighter
world, where “all is joy, and peace, and love,” to receive the happy
reward which is promised to those who love GOD; leaving as a legacy
the following lines, written while on her death-bed, her form racked
with pain, but her soul calm and clear as a summer’s morn:

                           TO MY HUSBAND.

    “Farewell, my husband; the cold hand of death,
     So long extended, now arrests my breath;
     I feel the imperious mandate, and comply,
     For not to-day have I just learned to die.
     My days of suffering and my nights of pain,
     I thank my GOD, have not been sent in vain;
     My faith is strong; in Jesus I confide—
     I know that I shall live, for He hath died.
     Yes, my dear husband; though this wasted form
     Must mingle with the dust and feed the worm,
     Yet when a few short years at most are o’er,
     Then shall we meet, I trust, to part no more.
     Then moderate your grief; and though your tears
     May fall, as memory calls to mind past years,
     Yet ever in your breast this hope retain,
     ‘My transient loss is her eternal gain.’
     That you have loved me with unfailing love,
     Our wedded life most ever loudly prove;
     In health or sickness, ever still the same—
     To please, to soothe, and comfort, all your aim.
     That you will mourn my loss I feel assured,
     But let that loss with patience be endured.
     And now to GOD, my Father and my Friend,
     To Jesus, on whose merits I depend,
     I would commend thee while yet my strength remain—
     Farewell, beloved, until we meet again.”

Her body was attended to its final resting-place with great
solemnity. The wild winds chant their mournful requiem over her
grave, accompanied by the never-ceasing roar of old ocean, as she
dashes against the rocky shores of this lovely Pacific isle.

We learned farther from the “Mohawk” that the natives of Covill’s
Island (an island just to the northward of Pitt’s Island) had taken
a California schooner, and massacred the passengers and crew. It was
supposed that there were female passengers on board, as the natives
were in possession of sundry articles of ladies’ apparel. In trading
with some vessel, they gave California gold pieces for little or no
tobacco, showing that they place no intrinsic value upon gold or
silver. These natives attempted to take the “Lion” while she was
trading there, but did not succeed.

Whenever two whalemen are in company, and whales are raised by either
ship, the boats from both vessels lower, and all oil thus taken by
either is shared in common. On Monday, March 8th, while in company
with the “Mohawk,” whales were raised, and down went eight boats
in hot pursuit, each boat seemingly determined on being first boat
fast. It was blowing quite fresh at the time, and quite a heavy sea
running. The waist-boat from our ship was the first one to fasten,
and no sooner had they done so than the gentleman whale knocked the
boat into quite a number of pieces, and spilled them out, leaving
them “lying around loose.” The larboard boat, happening to be near,
took the line and held on to the whale. One of the “Mohawk’s” boats
picked up the scattered crew of the stove boat, and brought them
on board. The larboard boat was flying through the water at about
ten knots, “dead to windward,” against a heavy head sea, which flew
over and against her bows with uncommon force. She appeared actually
plowing through it, the water forming a high bank of surf each side.
The boat soon lost sight of the ship, and they were obliged to cut
the line and return, the crew completely saturated with salt water
and exhausted by their labors. During this time the bow boat had
killed a sixty-barrel whale, which was soon alongside and cut in.

[Illustration: A RACE FOR A WHALE.]

Although ancient and modern historians may abound in descriptions
of man’s daring by “flood and field,” and the many accidents and
hairbreadth escapes which accompany his voluntary exposure to a
multitude of dangers, surely the recital of his doings in the chase
and capture of that leviathan of the deep, the sperm whale, can be
second to none in the interest it must excite in every contemplative
mind. It is not in the field, jungle, or thick forest that these
hardy adventurers seek their prey, upon man’s natural element, where,
should any untoward accident occur, assistance of some kind can be
readily obtained; but on the vast ocean, at times thousands of miles
distant from any habitable land, where they are not only exposed to
the dangers which beset them in their adventures with these monsters
of the deep, but to others still more terrible, in which the dreaded
typhoon forms no inconsiderable part; or when, near lands distant and
barbarous, dangerous reefs, sunken rocks, and relentless savages may
surround them on every side, requiring all the moral and physical
energy of which our nature is possessed to escape the manifold
dangers which beset them, but which the whaleman looks upon without
dread, passing among them in his gallant bark, and bearing off in
triumph the valuable giant of the ocean.

Even in these latitudes, the equatorial, we often experience heavy,
and sometimes terrible gales of wind. On Wednesday, March 10th,
having just cleared our decks from the last “fare of oil,” a heavy
gale set in from the westward, which continued for four days, with
scarcely a moment’s interruption. The “Mohawk” lost some of her
sails, and had her bow boat swept off the cranes. We lost our
foretopsail and mainsail, which were literally blown into ribbons.
The weather was very thick, the rain descending in torrents,
accompanied with heavy thunder and lightning. On Sunday, the 14th,
the gale broke, and the clouds lifting, disclosed to our view, but
a short distance to windward, Hall’s Island, which we had drifted
past. The sun, making his appearance once more, gladdened the hearts
of all, and for the first time in four days we took an observation,
and found that we were in long. 174° 36´ E., having been drifted by
the current from long. 171° E., with but ten miles difference in
latitude, being about two hundred and sixteen miles to the eastward
of the spot where we took the gale. We very narrowly escaped going
ashore the previous night, although unconscious of it at the time.
The weather was very thick, and it would have been impossible to have
seen land any distance; but, by the safe guidance of an ever-merciful
Providence, the two ships were swept through a passage between Knox’s
and Hall’s Islands not more than ten or twelve miles in width, and
dangerous to pass through in broad daylight. The first intimation
that we were any where in the neighborhood of land was when Hall’s
Island broke upon our astonished vision to windward, and then did we
see the narrow escape we had met with.

Leaving Hall’s Island astern, with clear and pleasant weather once
more, the two ships proceeded in company to Ocean Island, where we
arrived on Monday, March 22d. Each vessel sent a boat on shore,
and procured about three hundred pumpkins. While on shore, our
attention was called to an odd figure we saw approaching us, which we
discovered to be a native fantastically decorated. It proved to be
a man who had formerly sailed in our ship when the present captain
was on his first voyage as master of her. He had been to “’Merick,”
where, as he informed us, he procured the suit of clothes which he
then wore. It consisted of pants which would have buttoned twice
round him, but about six inches too short; in lieu of suspenders,
they were held up by a piece of spun-yarn passing over his shoulder,
and again made fast. His shirt was of calico, of the largest figure
and most gaudy colors, with a collar that nearly eclipsed his head,
and a cravat of calico, with colors “to match.” His shoes were
about fourteen inches in length, and both lefts; his vest, which
was intended to be white, had probably been made for a boy, as it
was about a foot too short; his coat of blue broadcloth, with large
brass buttons, a “swallow-tail” cut, with the waist between his
shoulders, the sleeves lacking some inches in length, and the collar
nearly reaching to the top of his head, upon which was a very tall,
bell-crowned hat, with a very narrow rim. This whole walking machine
was surmounted by a huge umbrella. It is probable that some Yankee
had given the poor fellow this suit while he was in “’Merick,” and
he appeared to feel very grand and proud, but complained that it
was _very hot_. He informed the captain that he had returned to the
island a rich man, as he had a whole keg of tobacco, besides some
pipes, beads, calico, etc.; also, his _complete suit_, of which no
other native on the island could boast. The king kept very close to
the _great man_, wishing to be considered as his nearest friend, and
took quite a fancy to his dress; but of no use; the native felt his
superiority over the “niggers,” as he termed them, and scorned even
the friendship of the king.

After obtaining a sufficient quantity of pumpkins we returned to the
ship, and both vessels took their departure for Guam, preparatory to
a season on Japan.

                            CHAPTER XXII.

  Island of Rota.—Appearance.—Streets and Houses.—Inhabitants.—
    Governor.—Guam.—Umata Bay.—Procuring Water.—Marisa.—Its
    Appearance.—Port of Apia.—Fort.—Liberty.—A splendid Ride.—
    cowardly Murder.—Bombardment of the Palace.—Attend Mass.—Toddy.—
    Insurrection of Prisoners.—Females.—Take a Stroll.—Ruins.—
    Reservoir.—Tobacco.—Betel Nut.—Captain Anderson.—Rebellion.—
    Jollification.—A novel Mode of choosing a Governor.—
    Congratulations.—Parade.—Aguadente.—Caroline Islanders.—Last Day
    on Shore.—Arguing the Point.—Disarming the Guard.—“Where is my
    Musket?”—Visit to the Fort.—Strange Doings.—Ready for Sea.

With a strong breeze and all sail out, we were not long in reaching
the Ladrone Islands. Tuesday, April 6th, at daylight, saw the
island of Rota, bearing west half north, distant thirty miles. In
the afternoon, in company with a boat from the “Mohawk,” we went
on shore and procured a few hogs, yams, and fruit. This island is
one of the most magnificent in appearance from the sea that we have
yet seen. The land is moderately high, and thickly covered with
evergreen foliage, with an occasional opening, showing the marks of
cultivation. The town is built on a level spot of ground, with great
regularity and neatness; the houses are all whitewashed or painted,
and the streets kept clean. The inhabitants are very courteous and
friendly, and evince quite a degree of civilization. They have a
fine-looking church here, Roman Catholic, of course, which is built
of stone, and looks much better on the outside than the inside. The
governor received the captain, dressed in full uniform. He is a tall,
noble-looking Spaniard, but the dress appeared as if it were made for
some more bulky personage; perhaps he wore it _ex-officio_. One of
the boys exclaimed, on seeing him, “The old governor’s clothes set
like a purser’s shirt on a handspike.” His palace, as they term it,
is a very comfortable-looking stone building, the calaboose adjoining

The next morning we were close in to the island of Guam. We took a
pilot and proceeded to Umata Bay, where we dropped anchor about three
P.M. Umata Bay is the watering-place for all whalers who refit at
Guam, as it is the only point on the island where fresh water can be
readily obtained. It is called a bay, but it is merely a roadstead,
as ships anchoring here are exposed to the sea in all directions
except the eastward.

Both ships’ companies were at it next morning rafting water, and made
the old hills resound to the chorus of the merry song as they bent
back to the tugging oar.

We took the opportunity of visiting the town of Marisa, situated
three miles below Umata Bay, and found a very pretty village. The
houses are all on one street, which is very long. One peculiarity
we could not but notice: the street was swept very clean, and we
observed many Spaniards of both sexes engaged in sweeping it,
probably paying the penalty of breaking some law. The church here is
a fine edifice, and contains two large bells, which ring out merrily
for vespers. Although the governor has his permanent residence at
Guam, yet he occasionally leaves the “heat and turmoil of city
life,” and, taking his family for a visit to the “country,” spends
a week or so in this village, where he has a large palace. After
rambling around to our entire satisfaction, and spending the day
very pleasantly, we returned with a fine breeze, the boat fairly
flying through the water. We felt quite fatigued in consequence of
our jaunt, but, after a refreshing rest, awoke next morning ready for
another day’s tramp.

We improved the day in visiting the town of Umata Bay, and a short
ramble in the mountains back. The village differed but little from
that of Marisa: the same long street, swept clean; the same white
houses; and, were it not for the absence of the palace and the
difference in the country adjoining, one would almost imagine himself
in the same village.

At two P.M. on Saturday, April 10th, we took on board the last of
five hundred barrels of water, hove up the anchor with a will, and
steered for the port of Apia. We arrived here the next morning,
where we cast anchor. This is the anchorage, and the only safe one,
for ships refitting at Guam, and is situated seven miles from the
town or village of Guam, which is the capital of the group. The port
of Apia is a fine bay, situated on the west side of the island,
protected from the sea by a reef running across, with an entrance
of about half a mile in width. This island, like nearly all in the
Pacific, is surrounded by a coral reef. In the centre of the bay is a
small island, on which is a fine-looking fort, with five or six guns
mounted for the protection of the commerce of the island. We found
several ships lying at anchor here, from some of which we obtained
quite late news from home.

It is customary for ships that refit here to allow their men to go on
shore and remain a week or ten days at a time, as the distance is so
great—seven miles from town—that one day’s liberty at a time would be
worth but little. Accordingly, on Monday, April 12th, the starboard
watch were given a week’s liberty, while the other watch remained
on board to paint ship. On landing, what was our surprise to see a
large number of cows standing near, and, to our astonishment, we were
informed that they were there for our accommodation, if we chose.
For the sum of fifty cents we could enjoy a fine horseback ride on a
cow “up to town.” As there were men from four ships going in company
(nearly sixty of us), we all entered into the spirit of the affair,
and each man selected his “horned beast” and mounted.

And now ensued a scene that beggars description. Leather thongs
were made fast to the horns for the rider to hold on by, and the
Spaniard, who led off on a noble animal, seeing all was ready,
shouted “Arriva!” and away he went on the full run, the others
following; the men having no saddles, some were rolling from side to
side, some had seated themselves “wrong-end first,” and all, instead
of hanging on to the thongs, reach forward, and, grasping the horns,
hang on like _grim death_; the cows, with their heads stretched
forward to the utmost, their bells jingling, each one bellowing and
snorting, and their riders, instead of sitting upright, stretched
in a horizontal position, their legs extended, and yelling like so
many wild Indians; the old Spaniard shouting and singing in Spanish,
and the whole cavalcade upon the full run—all this produced one of
the wildest scenes imaginable. As the procession entered the town,
Spaniards of both sexes, men, women, and children, rushed to the
street, shouting and laughing at the “Americanos.” The old Spaniard
kept on, and, after having made the circuit of the town, brought up
at the “Grand Plaza” in front of the governor’s palace, the poor
riders being almost insensible from the continual and deafening din
that surrounded them.

They halted here, and all hands joyfully dismounted; the Spaniards
crowded around to congratulate them on their _good riding_, but,
paying no attention to them, they “_vamosed_” in search of a
boarding-house. By the laws of the island, every white man or
foreigner must have a boarding-house, and be within doors at eight
P.M. This is necessary, that good order may be preserved in the
night-time, and tends to prevent many disgraceful scenes that would
otherwise occur.

The police here are very vigilant. Every person who keeps a
boarding-house is compelled to report the names of his boarders,
and about eight P.M. the captain of the police goes around to see
if all are in. If any are absent from their respective houses, they
are found and marched home; and should they be saucy, or show any
belligerent spirit, off they go to the calaboose. This also tends to
prevent desertions, as the governor allows no white man to remain on
the island unless sick. There are a few old residents here who are
exceptions, they being citizens.

Loving an early morning walk, five A.M. the next day after our
arrival on shore found us “up and dressed,” and out. It was truly a
lovely morning, the sun shining brightly, birds singing sweetly, and
the church bells ringing merrily. As we walked along the banks of
a quiet stream, how did these sounds bring up in our minds similar
scenes at home—our own peaceful stream, the feathery songsters,
and the old church bells. But the roar of the surf dashing over
the breakers reminded us that many, many miles of “deep blue sea”
separated us from our homes, and that many days must pass ere we
could again live over those happy days, and our present musings be

The inhabitants of this island are of the Malay race, intermixed with
the Spaniards. They are generally very kind and hospitable to the
stranger, often inviting him to their houses, and setting before him
refreshments, fruits, etc.; but if offended, they are revengeful to
a sanguinary degree. Many of them carry short, thick swords, called
“choppers,” by their sides, which they use for clearing their small
farms and other purposes. With these choppers they frequently commit
horrible outrages, inflicting, in the heat of passion, terrible
wounds upon each other, or upon any one who may chance to give them
cause for affront, fancied or real.

It was at this island that Captain Stevens, master of an English
whaler, was murdered a few years since, in a cowardly and brutal
manner. He was set upon by a gang of desperadoes, under direction
of the then governor, with whom Captain S. had had some difficulty.
The miscreants stole into his room and took his pistols, which were
lying on the table, and, on going out to ascertain who had committed
the theft, he was attacked and fairly cut to pieces, the wretches
not desisting until they had murdered him. It is reported that the
governor was punished by his own government and removed from the

An amusing incident occurred a few years ago, illustrating the
bravery of the governor and the army. The master of an American
whaler, being ready for sea, and some of his men being imprisoned
in the calaboose for some trifling breach of the laws, went to the
governor and demanded his men, stating that he was ready for sea, and
should sail at four P.M. His excellency replied that he could not
have them unless he paid the fine imposed, which was a very large
amount. The captain, thinking, from the large amount imposed for so
slight a breach committed, it a mere plan to extort money from him,
replied that he would pay no money to the governor, whereupon the
latter replied that “he could not have his men.” The captain took his
leave, saying that if the men were not on board at four P.M., he,
the governor, must suffer the consequences. He now proceeded to his
ship, weighed anchor, left the harbor, and at four P.M. was opposite
the town. When within about a quarter of a mile of the shore, and
directly opposite the palace, he hauled aback his main-yard, ran up
the stars and stripes, and commenced to bombard the palace with one
six-pounder, which was all the cannon he had on board. Almost within
range of the palace, and situated at the water’s edge, was a stone
fort with several guns mounted. The brave commander did not see fit
to return the fire, when he might have blown the ship to atoms.
After half a dozen shots had been fired, a flag of truce was seen on
the fort. He ceased firing, and a boat was soon seen approaching the
ship containing his men and a file of soldiers, the commandant of
whom gave him the compliments of the governor, who, he said, had sent
his men, and requested him to cease firing, as one shot had taken
effect in the palace, and actually lodged in his private room. The
captain took his men and departed. The governor still preserves the
ball, and frequently exhibits it to visitors as the one the Yankee
skipper fired at him.

We had received an invitation to attend mass with some of our
Spanish friends, and, arousing ourselves at four A.M. on Wednesday,
April 14th, we proceeded to the church. It is a fine-looking stone
building, very large and massive, with a chime of bells in its tower.
On entering, we found it well lighted, and filled with Spaniards of
both sexes. It is beautifully furnished inside, many of the ornaments
and holy vessels being of gold and silver. The services were solemn
and impressive, and, although they worshiped in a different manner
from us, yet we could not but feel a devotional sentiment within
us as we listened to the beautiful chant, and witnessed the devout
worshipers at their devotions. It seemed to bring us nearer to the
land of Christianity, accustomed as we had been, for months past, to
attend no place of public worship.

On arriving at our boarding-house after mass, we found some delicious
“toddy” awaiting us. This, when fresh from the tree, is a palatable
and pleasant drink, and is highly beneficial to a person coming
ashore after a long cruise on salt water, and living mostly on salt
provisions. It is procured by a person called a “toddy-cutter,” who
ascends to the top of a cocoanut-tree in the shade of the evening,
and cuts a number of notches at the root of one of the limbs,
hanging a long piece of bamboo underneath, which in the morning
is found filled with the delicious beverage. After collecting his
several bamboo vessels, he proceeds to distribute them at the
different boarding-houses, supplying all who may wish with this
excellent beverage. It is needless to say that the “toddy-cutter” was
very liberally patronized while so many seamen were on shore. There
are no intoxicating qualities in the toddy, no more than in a glass
of soda or lemonade.

The streets of Guam are very wide and straight, and are kept clean.
The houses are built compactly of wood and stone; those built of
wood, which comprise the greater number, are elevated on frame-work
and posts four or five feet above the ground. They are mostly of one
story, painted white, and are neat and orderly in appearance. The
stone houses are built in a substantial manner, and look very solid
and comfortable. The governor’s palace is a long stone building of
two stories, with nothing remarkable about it to indicate it as the
_palace_ of the governor of the great island of Guam. The west end
of it joins the calaboose, which is a solid stone building of one
story, and they are both guarded by sentries. Immediately in front of
both buildings is the “Grand Plaza,” in the centre of which is the

The inhabitants here delight in the cruel exhibition of cock-fighting,
and manifest great interest in the combats. Not being satisfied with
seeing these noble fowls destroy each other with the weapons which
nature has given them, they place on them steel spurs shaped similar
to a scythe, which are made very sharp. Armed with these destructive
weapons, the contest is soon decided, as the first blow frequently
kills the unlucky bird. These exhibitions always take place on the
Sabbath, as that is their grand gala day. At the time appointed the
arena is opened, a ring made, and no person allowed inside the rope
but the judges and owners of the cocks. The space around is completely
thronged with old, middle-aged and young men, who enter into this
cruel sport with the greatest animation. Even the governor is always
present, witnessing the combats, and betting as freely as any one.
The fowls are large, noble-looking animals, of the Malay breed, and
upon two being brought into the ring, the betting commences with great
excitement, from a rial to a dollar, and more, according to the wealth
of the parties. One Spaniard holds up his finger, and shouts out the
name of the fowl he chooses to bet on; another, seeing him, raises his
in the same manner, and names his favorite; and so on around the ring.
The signal is given, and the cocks, being let loose, fly at each other,
and, as we before remarked, the combat is soon terminated. Those who
have lost now pay over the stakes, and two more fowls are entered.
This continues through the greater portion of the afternoon, and it is
surprising to see the large quantity of noble-looking fowls slain.

On the east side of the Plaza is a fine-looking stone building used
as a seminary, which is supported by the Church, for the purpose of
educating those who can not afford to attend private schools, and of
protecting and educating the orphan. This institution is the pride of
the island, and may well be considered as such, for it is productive
of great and lasting benefit. The scholars manifest much interest in
their studies, and their behavior and accomplishments would compare
favorably with many similar institutions in our own land, where the
opportunities of a good education are so general.

A few months since the prisoners confined in the calaboose, about one
hundred in number, attempted to take the palace. Their plans were all
laid; a part were to attack in front, the remainder in the rear. The
object was to obtain possession of the arms and ammunition contained
in the palace, and then to make an attempt to capture the island.
The plot was discovered, however, just in time to frustrate it; and,
after some severe fighting, during which about twenty-five were
killed, the remainder were secured, and sent to Manilla for trial,
and were there hung.

While walking through the town one evening, we heard the sound of
music issuing from a building near by. On presenting ourselves at the
door, we were invited in, and found the room filled with females,
with but one or two exceptions. It was the hour of vespers. At one
end of the room was the image of the Virgin Mary and the Crucifixion.
Those chanting were on their knees, with their hands crossed on
their breasts, the very picture of humility and meekness. As their
sweet voices mingled in the beautiful chant of “_Ave, Sanctissima_,”
we could not but be struck with the solemnity and sublimity of the
scene. If woman be all she is represented to be, lively, charming,
and angelic, she is certainly more than this when engaged in offering
devotion to Almighty GOD, and imploring the aid of the divine Savior.
The females of Guam are remarkably fair-looking: keen black eyes,
long, flowing black hair, smooth complexion, and possessed of a
robust and well-rounded form; their step light and elastic, and very
graceful in their movements. One of these dark-eyed beauties in
the attitude of prayer, her hands beseechingly clasped, her loose
hair flowing luxuriantly around her well-rounded shoulders, and her
countenance expressive of meekness and innocence, would form a model
for the chisel of a Powers.

After vespers we passed a very pleasant evening with these lively,
chatting beauties, from whom we learned much of interest in regard to
the island; and we must confess to a slight feeling of regret when we
heard the bells peal forth the hour of eight, compelling us to say to
them “_Adios_.”

The next day we had planned for a stroll in the country round, and
before 6 A.M. were on our way, with two Spanish lads about eighteen
years of age as guides. We passed several farms on our route, and,
from appearances, we should judge the occupants to be well skilled in
agriculture. About five miles northeast of the town we came to the
ruins of a large stone building, which, our guides informed us, were
the remains of a monastery, and built, as they said, “very many year
ago.” On examining an arch or gateway, we found the keystone marked
1636. The stones appeared regularly hewn and well fitted. It would
seem from this that the art of masonry was understood here more than
two hundred years ago, as this building must have been erected under
the supervision of a _master mason_, well-skilled in the use of the
_square, level, plumb, and trowel_.

Near this pile of ruins is a large stone reservoir, about thirty
feet in length, twenty-five in width, and thirty to forty in depth.
At this time it had about three feet depth of water in it. This
reservoir was probably built at the same time as the monastery, as
our guide said, on asking him when it was built, “_Tiempo Casa Dios_”
(at the time of the building of the house of GOD).

After walking some distance farther, nothing of interest presenting
itself, we set out on our return. When within about one mile of town,
we noticed several large sheds filled with tobacco, which is grown
here in large quantities. The inhabitants, however, do not understand
manufacturing it otherwise than into cigars. All smoke here—men,
women, and children; and we must confess that it detracts somewhat
from the beauty of a young lady to see her promenading the street
with a huge cigar in her mouth, puffing away most lustily; but this
spectacle is so common here that one soon becomes accustomed to it.

The betel-nut is chewed by “all hands,” giving a reddish cast to the
teeth, of which they all seem very proud. The young Ladrone beauty
prides herself as much on the bright-red appearance of her teeth as
the American ladies do on the pearly whiteness of theirs.

On arriving at our boarding-house we found ourselves covered with
mud, and possessed of alarming appetites. It is useless to add that
we did ample justice to the fine dish of curried chickens, with all
the “fixins to match,” which was set before us.

Not forgetting our old friend, Captain Anderson, we called upon him
next day, Friday, April 16th, and learned some very interesting and
amusing facts connected with the history of the island, one of which
we will relate as he gave it to us: Some years ago Captain A. and
a few more English residents contrived a plan to make themselves
possessors of the island. They secretly worked, step by step, at
the same time insinuating themselves into the good graces of the
governor. Their plans worked to a charm, and, when they were fully
matured, they quietly took possession of the palace, the governor
having been made, as Captain. A. expressed it, “as drunk as a boiled
owl.” As they now had possession of all the arms and ammunition, it
was an easy matter to subdue the natives, which they did in short
order, without loss of life on either side, covering themselves with
glory. As a matter of course, the new lords and masters must have a
glorious jollification over the affair, and at the same time agree on
a governor. This latter, however, proved no easy task, as all were
equally anxious to “serve their country” in being chief dignitary of
the island. After consulting and debating some hours, and finding
they were no nearer a decision than at first, they decided to have
a _spree_, and whoever should remain sober the longest, and see the
others all laid out, should be the honorable governor. Accordingly,
at it they went; bottle after bottle disappeared; one by one they
voluntarily relinquished their seats and quietly rolled under the
table. After a short time no one remained in his seat but Captain
A., and he, feeling elated at his success, drank a few bumpers to
“Captain Anderson, the future governor of the distinguished island
of Guam.” But, as he said, “he was born under an unlucky star.” So
it proved, as the bumpers he drank to his own good health keeled him
over, and he took his place among his comrades.

The Spaniards, who had been watching these proceedings with no small
degree of interest, seeing how matters stood, and the would-be
governors gloriously drunk, very adroitly bound them hand and foot.
The dethroned governor was, of course, immediately reinstated, and
the next day these _noble spirits_ were arraigned for trial. Being
convicted of treason, they were sentenced to be placed on a raft,
taken out to sea, and then cast loose, leaving them at the mercy of
the winds and waves. This was accordingly done; and, after drifting
about several days, they were safely landed on the island of Tinian
(one of the group.) Here they resided some time; finally, expressing
their sorrow for what they had done, the governor pardoned them,
and permitted them to make Guam their future residence, on swearing
allegiance to the government and promising to be true and loyal

The week was now closed which had been given to one watch from each
ship for liberty. Accordingly, they returned to their respective
ships, and the other watches came on shore—about the same number of
men. They arrived in due form and procession; and, as we could now
look on and witness the performance, we enjoyed the scene with a
hearty good-will. As soon as they dismounted, we were among the first
to offer our congratulations on their grand and imposing entrée. How
natural for men, on finding themselves taken in and done for, to
watch and enjoy seeing others victimized. Thus it was in this case;
all would speak highly of their merry ride, particularly when in the
presence of the uninitiated.

As we before remarked, Sunday is the grand gala day of the inhabitants
here. Among other things, we witnessed a parade and review of the
_army_ stationed here by the governor, numbering, officers, high
privates and all, twenty-five. They do duty as policemen as well as
soldiers. They were not a very formidable-looking body of men; some
were dressed in white, and some in blue, with fancifully decorated
cloth caps. A portion of them were armed with muskets, the remainder
with spears. However, they performed their evolutions very well,
although we do not believe their commander ever studied _Scott’s

At the close of the morning service every one appeared preparing for
the afternoon sports. At an early hour the space around the cock-pit
was crowded with young and old, anxiously awaiting the sport, as they
term it, to commence. At two o’clock the fighting began between two
noble-looking fowls. The betting ran high, but the battle was soon
decided by one of the cocks receiving a home-thrust that pierced his
heart. The fighting now continued in this manner until about thirty
were slain. In the evening nearly every house was thrown open to
receive calls from “Americanos” and others, who were entertained with
music and refreshments.

A kind of liquor called “aguadente” is distilled here, very
intoxicating in its qualities, yet the effects are not as bad as are
those of the poisonous liquors sold in this country. We expected to
see the “Americanos” nearly all drunk on this day, as we knew it
would circulate pretty freely; but to their credit be it said, not
one of them became intoxicated. They all seemed to shun it, whether
it was because it was the Sabbath, or for what reason we know not,
but “all hands” continued sober through the day.

The following morning, on strolling along the beach, we found several
“Caroline Island” canoes had arrived during the night. These canoes
are about forty feet in length and six feet beam, quite deep, and
will carry from fifteen to twenty tons. They are provided with an
extensive outrigger to prevent their capsizing, and carry a large
mat sail. When under full sail in a strong breeze, being very sharp
in their construction, they skim along over the water with amazing
velocity. The natives are large, robust fellows, with no clothing
but the _tappa_, or a fine mat worn across the shoulders in the
form of a scarf. Each canoe carries one family, and they appear to
live in a very peaceable and happy manner on board their diminutive
craft. Their island homes are about four degrees to the southward.
On inquiring of them through a Spaniard, as interpreter, how they
found the island, they replied, pointing upward, “Stars by night, sun
by day.” Their cargo consists of hats, mats, and shells. In return,
they take tobacco, pipes, calico, and aguadente. These canoes ply
regularly between the Caroline Islands and Guam.

The time had now come for all hands to return on board. Another week
had flown, and we must leave the land for the water again. But the
boys wished to have a “grand time” before leaving, and the last day
each one appeared to be determined to make the most of. Long Manuel,
our Portugee, appeared very much troubled by the _width_ of the
various streets he was attempting to explore, while our Kanakas were
singing their native songs with considerable mirth and _high_-larity.
In the evening they all assembled for a dance at one boarding-house
at an early hour. They had secured the services of four Spaniards
as fiddlers, and on their arrival at it they went. Eight o’clock
came, and with it also came the chief of police, ordering them to
cease dancing, stop their noise, and disperse. On hearing this, Tom
W., the ship’s wag, who had “imbibed” pretty freely, proceeded to
“argue the point” with the policeman, who could understand but little
English. He continued to lay it down in a very emphatic manner,
using language that seemed to completely nonplus the Spaniard, who
would occasionally refer to the boarding-house landlord, and inquire
what the man was talking so earnestly about. The landlord, who well
understood what was up, replied that Tom was praising the island and
their rules and regulations. This the Spaniard believed, as Tom would
occasionally introduce into his speech the words “Bueno Espaniolo”
(excellent Spaniards), and end it by inviting him to drink. This part
the policeman could understand without any difficulty, and, after
having drunk several times, he became as merry as the rest, and,
finding he could do nothing with them, departed.

In a short time a file of soldiers made their appearance. The
sergeant, who could neither speak English nor understand it, informed
the landlord that he must disperse the sailors and shut up his house.
The landlord, however, shut the door in his face, and told Tom what
was going on, who, instantly seizing a bottle, ran out and offered it
to the officer; but of no avail; he was not to be bribed in so easy a
manner. Tom now turned his attention to the soldiers, and passed the
bottle so freely among them that the sergeant ordered them to cease
drinking. However, another bottle was soon produced, and a more merry
lot of soldiers was never seen. In vain the officer endeavored to put
a stop to the proceedings; they were now all in the house, and had
entered into the spirit of the evening; and while all hands, sailors
and soldiers, were dancing, Tom very carefully took all their
muskets and hid them in a quiet place.

Thus matters moved along, the noise and fun increasing, until
the hour of twelve, at which time the guard were to return to
head-quarters, make their report, and be relieved. As the bell tolled
forth the hour, they seemed to regain possession of their senses;
visions of the guard-house floated across their minds, and they well
knew it was their doom unless they immediately departed. But now
all was confusion: “Where is my musket?” was the general cry; but
no muskets were to be found. They raved and swore, but all to no
purpose; no one could tell what had become of them. On hearing the
sound of the first relief bell, they rushed for the door pell-mell,
and found their officer had already taken his departure. They waited
no longer, but ran down the streets at full speed. As soon as
they were out of sight, Tom took the muskets, carried them to the
river, and, wading to a considerable depth, _safely deposited_ the
“government arms,” and then returned to the house, where the dance
was kept up without farther interruption.

The next morning all hands took leave of the goodly city of Guam, and
returned to their respective ships.

One evening before our departure a delegation from each ship in port
visited the fort near the anchorage. We found it a solid piece of
masonry, mounting six guns of eighteen pounds calibre. It is entirely
surrounded by water, and guarded by a few soldiers. About 2 A.M. the
several delegations returned, and at daylight a _small army_ was seen
approaching. Wondering what could be the cause of this, we were all
on the _qui vive_ for news. We soon learned that they had come to
_retake the fort_! It appears that the whalemen had gone for a lark,
and had driven the soldiers ashore from the fort, taken possession
of it, unshipped the guns, and turned things around to their own
liking—spilling things generally. The conquering army approached
the premises very cautiously, and, after considerable manœuvring,
entered, but found the premises vacant, thus obtaining a great and
bloodless victory. No doubt they considered it a great achievement,
and had it proclaimed as such among their countrymen.

Every thing being now “shipshape and Bristol fashion,” we took our
departure for the Japan ground, determined to give battle to the
sperm whale _this_ season as we had never before done, knowing that
every whale that we now captured shortened our voyage materially.

                           CHAPTER XXIII.

  Bailey’s Island.—Turtle.—Whaling.—Ship “James Allen.”—Water-spouts.—
    A heavy Gale.—Monotony.—A Swimming Adventure.—Ship “Atkins
    Adams.”—Spanish Jack again.—Tow-line Tea.—Captain’s stump
    Speech.—A large Whale.—Bark “Antelope.”—Strange Incident.—Passage
    to the Group.—Pitt’s Island.—Bark “Smyrna.”—A rummy Set.—Ship
    “Susan.”—Fearful Tragedy.—Passage to Strong’s Island.—Ship
    “Atlantic.”—Ship “Charles W. Morgan.”—“At home” once more.—Rev.
    Mr. Snow.—Characteristic Meanness.—Rotumah Dance.—Feast and
    Dance.—Sickness of Mr. L.—Divine Service on Board.—New Zealand
    Native.—Farewell to Strong’s Island.

Nothing of interest transpired on the passage, unless we may speak
of continued boisterous weather, until Wednesday, May 4th, when we
sighted Bailey’s Island, one of the Bonin Group. Here we sent a boat
on shore, and procured a load of sweet potatoes, watermelons, green
corn, etc., and about twenty large turtle, which abound here in great
numbers. We need not say that “turtle soup” soon became _no luxury_
with us.

We cruised around these islands about a month, taking two large
whales in the mean time, which cheered us considerably, although we
were far from doing as well as we had expected. The usual course of
Japan whalemen is to cruise in the vicinity of the Bonin Islands
during the month of May and the early part of June, and then work
gradually to the eastward until the close of the season in September,
when they are compelled to leave from the severity of the weather.

On Wednesday, June 2d, we saw another whaleman from “Yankee Land,”
the “James Allen,” Captain Newcomb, of New Bedford. He bore down to
us with the ever-beautiful “stars and stripes” waving proudly from
the mizzen-peak, and passed our stern in gallant style. We had a
very interesting _gam_ with them, although hard at work putting the
dollars in our ship’s hold in the shape of sperm oil.

The next day we saw several large water-spouts, which are very common
in these latitudes. They passed some distance from us, and we were
very careful to give them a wide berth, as several ships had lately
suffered from them, having their spars and rigging severely injured.

These latitudes are also very often visited by fearful hurricanes,
called “typhoons.” On the 18th of June we experienced the “tail-end”
of one, as seamen call it. As we had received warning from the
barometer, sail was taken in, and every thing secured in a
substantial manner. The violence of the wind seemed to sweep every
thing before it, forcing the old ship almost on her beam ends. The
sea appeared like moving mountains; occasionally it would dash
against her sides, giving her a shock that would cause her to tremble
in every part. The heavy and labored rolling of the ship—the creaking
of the timbers—the wind shrieking through the rigging—clouds of
spray flying with almost the rapidity of lightning—clashing of the
backstays—dashing of the waves, intermingled with the hoarse shouting
of the sailors, made night hideous, and rendered the scene altogether
indescribable. All longed for morning, and when daylight appeared
a most awful yet grand sight presented itself. The gale was still
howling in all its fury; a lull for a few moments would ensue, then
heavy and sudden blasts would follow in quick succession, striking
the ship with such force as to make every plank in her shake and
tremble. She would plunge headlong into an immense abyss, and then
rise rapidly to the top of a mountain wave, showing a fearful chasm
on either side, which threatened to ingulf her and finish the scene.
Every thing conspired to render our situation an awful one; and yet
it was a grand, glorious sight. At noon the gale broke, and its fury
soon abated, leaving us once more with pleasant weather.

We recollect reading, during our wanderings, in a newspaper which we
procured from the _States_, in some ship, a letter written by some
European tourist, in which he complained sadly of the “monotony of a
voyage across the Atlantic,” which occupied _ten long weary_ days. We
thought, at the time, we would like very much to have the writer take
_one cruise_ in a whaler of seven or eight months, where he would
see nothing but blue water for six of those months. We hardly think
he would complain of the “monotony of a voyage across the Atlantic”
again. We were now cruising where, day after day, week after week,
nothing but blue water was visible around us; the same dull round of
duties; not even a brother whaleman hove in sight with whom we could
enjoy a friendly _gam_. To add to all this, we could see no whales;
the captain and all hands were getting discouraged, and feared we
should have to leave the ground in September with but little more oil
than when we came upon it. At last the captain appeared to wake up,
and offered a bounty of twenty dollars to the man who should first
raise a whale.

At length a laughable incident occurred, which served to enliven our
dull life somewhat, and keep us from sinking entirely into a state
of nonentity. Several of the crew, one calm day, were out on the
jib-boom, endeavoring to hook some fish which were around the ship
in great numbers, that they might indulge in the luxury of a mess
of fresh fish for dinner. One of the number, in hauling up a large
albicore, lost his hat overboard. Spanish Jack being on deck, sang

“What you give me get your hat?”

“Two heads of tobacco,” shouted the man.

In a moment Jack was overboard, and in a few seconds had the hat.
Placing it on his head, he started for the ship. Although it was
nearly calm, yet the ship was going slowly through the water, and the
breeze _happened_ to be freshening. At every stroke Jack would make
he would lose the hat off, and, stopping to pick it up, he found he
was losing ground. He now tried a new experiment—throwing it ahead
of him, and then swimming to it; then throwing it again, and so on;
but even this would not work, as every time he would throw the hat
he would go _under_ himself, and come up snorting and blowing like
a porpoise. The darkey now began to be frightened. He was all the
time losing ground; the ship was leaving him astern; and the captain
finally sang out to him, “Never mind the hat; come aboard!” but to
no purpose; Jack stuck to the hat, fearing he should lose the reward
if he did not get it. At last, however, after repeated threats from
the captain, he was under the necessity of abandoning it, and struck
out boldly for the ship, shouting, “_Santa Maria! Santa Maria! Madre
de Dios!_” at every stroke. A rope was thrown him, but he was so
exhausted he could not hold fast of it; finally one of the ship’s
company went down the side and made it fast round his body. Jack was
now hauled in on deck more frightened than hurt, and as _pale_ as
possible for a darkey to be. On recovering so as to speak, his first
words were for the promised reward of tobacco, which were given him,
although he had not recovered the hat. All hands had a hearty laugh
over this incident, and it seemed to infuse new spirits into every

Thursday, July 8th, we spoke the ship “Atkins Adams,” a vessel that
left Guam in company with us. She had taken but forty barrels since
coming upon the ground.

At length, on Saturday, July 24th, at daylight, was once more heard
the welcome cry, “T-h-e-r-e she b-l-o-w-s!” In the shortest possible
space of time four boats were down and gave chase. The boat-steerer
of the waist-boat darted and missed his aim. This “gallied” the
whale, and off he went at railroad speed, the boats returning to
the ship. About nine A.M., however, the chase was renewed, and, by
skillful management, the bow-boat fastened both irons solid. As the
whale was sounding, Spanish Jack, who was one of the crew, from
some unknown cause became badly frightened, and managed to throw
his paddle into the line-tub. Of course the line, which was running
out with great rapidity, became foul, and carried the paddle to the
loggerhead, which frightened Jack still more, and his next move was
to _jump into the tub himself_. The boat-steerer, seeing how matters
stood, as quick as thought seized the boat-hatchet and cut the line,
which alone saved Jack and all hands from certain death. Away went
the whale; and, after reflecting upon their situation a moment,
the crew commenced berating poor Jack for his carelessness in thus
endangering his and their lives, and losing them the whale. As all
hopes of capturing him were now at an end, the boats returned to the

On learning the particulars, the captain administered to Jack a
slight dose of _tow-line tea_ to prevent any serious consequences
arising from his late carelessness. He did not relish the medicine
much, but was obliged to take it, nevertheless. It was really
provoking; we had been cruising so long without seeing whales, and
when we did see them under such favorable circumstances, to lose them
from such carelessness was not only provoking, but discouraging.

[Illustration: THE “OLD MAN” TALKS.]

The old man, after giving Jack his medicine, proceeded to make a
stump speech to all hands, to the effect that “they were now some
thirty-three months from home, with only about seven hundred barrels
of oil; that the voyage was rapidly drawing to a close; it would
soon be time for the ‘Emily Morgan’ to be ‘homeward-bound;’ yet, if
they went on at this rate, what would they go home with? A broken
voyage; nothing coming to them, and their time worse than thrown
away. He hoped the crew would wake up and take some interest in the
voyage. If they were only determined to succeed, succeed they would,
and they would soon be in ‘Yankee land’ with a good voyage.” At the
close of this speech three hearty cheers were given; the men went
forward in excellent spirits, threatening the sperm whales on Japan
with complete annihilation.

An opportunity soon presented itself; and proved they were in
earnest. On Tuesday, July 27th, we raised a “lone” whale, and in less
than an hour from the time he was first seen he was lying alongside
the ship, dead. On cutting him in, we found him an old veteran
covered with scars, and two harpoons in him marked “S. M. N.” By
this we knew he had been struck by the “Milton,” who was cruising on
the ground. The following day, while cutting in the whale, a sail
hove in sight to windward. Some hints were thrown out by the captain
that this was the “Milton;” on hearing which, “all hands” struck up
a lively tune, and the windlass went round cheerily; blanket-piece
after blanket-piece came in on deck, and, just as the last piece
swung in clear of the plankshire, the stranger rounded our stern.
Instead of the “Milton” she proved to be the “Antelope,” of Newport,
Captain Potter. Had it been the former vessel, and any part of the
whale remaining in the water, the self-constituted laws of whalemen
would have compelled us to have given up the whole of the whale,
and this accounted for the hurry we were in to secure the fish ere
the stranger came down to us. The result proved our fears to be
groundless; nevertheless, the blubber was all on deck, and no one
regretted it.

A few days after this we again spoke the “Atkins Adams,” and found
that she was about leaving the ground. On inquiring the cause of this
resolve, Captain Fish said “that he had seen whales but twice since
he had been on the ground, and both times they had steam-engines
inside them, and were going like lightning, bound for the ‘Emily
Morgan.’” Our skipper encouraged him to remain a while longer,
telling him what success we had had, and that the best of the season
was yet to come. The following morning, while in company with them,
we raised a whale off our lee beam which had the appearance of having
been wounded. Seeing us manœuvring, they ran down, but before they
reached us we had a dead whale alongside. Without exchanging a word
with us, they continued on their course to the southward, no doubt
disheartened, and determined to try their luck elsewhere.

We must now mention a very strange incident, and one that but very
seldom occurs among whalemen. On cutting in this whale, we found
two irons in it marked “S. E. M.” It being our own ship’s mark, and
the irons belonging to the bow-boat, and recognized as such by all
hands, proved conclusively that it was the same whale which had got
our friend Jack into a scrape, and which we had lost nineteen days
previous, and about 360 miles to the westward of where we were then

Such instances are very rare. The only one we ever heard was that of
the ship “John and Edward.” While on her outward-bound passage in the
Atlantic she struck a large sperm whale, and was compelled to cut
from him. She was absent three years, and on her home passage, off
the coast of Peru, in the Pacific, captured the same whale. The irons
had a _peculiar_ mark, such as no other ship carried, and from this
they knew the whale. Nothing but the head of the harpoon and about
a foot of the shank remained, the other part having rusted off. This
proves conclusively that sperm whales do migrate from one ocean to
the other _via_ Cape Horn, notwithstanding several learned authors
have asserted to the contrary.

On the 15th of September we pointed the ship’s head to the southward
with cheerful hearts. This was the best cruise we had yet made,
having taken about four hundred barrels of oil. The next season on
Japan was to be our last; from thence we were “homeward-bound.”
Although it was a long time ahead, yet we felt that every day made it
one the less, and every mile of blue water plowed was one the less.
Just before reaching the group we lowered and captured a twenty-five
barrel whale: this helped to cheer us along our way very much.

Monday, October 11th, we made Pitt’s Island; sent a boat ashore,
and found the bark “S.,” of New Bedford, at anchor. The crew of
this vessel, including the captain and officers, with ten or twelve
beachcombers, were engaged in making cocoanut rum, and all hands,
natives included, were as drunk as rum could make them.

The following day we spoke the “Susan,” of Nantucket, Captain Smith.
From this vessel we learned that during the past season a fearful
tragedy had been enacted at the group. Twenty-five beachcombers
residing on Henderville’s and Woodell’s Islands, which are separated
by a channel of only a few miles, were murdered by the natives. It
appears, from what we could learn, that they had some difficulty with
the natives—attempting to do as they pleased—threatening to take the
islands, etc. They had also succeeded in effecting a division among
the natives, one party espousing their cause, the other opposed
to them. Some of the more cunning, however, saw through the whole
plot, and called a private council of both parties. After much
deliberation, it was resolved to put to death all the white men,
which was accordingly done. This removed the cause of their quarrels,
and they lived at peace again.

We were now steering for Strong’s Island, with fine breezes,
beautiful weather, and cheerful hearts. Sunday, October 19th, we
spoke the “Atlantic,” of Nantucket, Captain Coleman.

At daylight on Tuesday, the 26th, we were within a few miles of the
land. Saw a ship coming out, which proved to be the “Charles W.
Morgan,” of New Bedford, Captain Sampson, bound home. Paper, pens,
and ink were now in great demand, and, as we wrote a few lines to the
dear ones at home, the thought that in one year more we too would
be “homeward-bound,” cheered us, and caused us to fancy almost that
the time had arrived. But no, not yet could we sing “Huzza, we’re
homeward bound!”

At noon we came to anchor in our old resting-place. All hands
hastened ashore to see our old friends and exchange greetings. We
received a hearty welcome from Zegrah and his wife, who remarked to
us that we all belonged to Strong’s Island, we had been there so
much. We learned that Rev. Mr. Snow, an American missionary, with
his wife, had taken up his residence here; also that Captain Hussey
had left the island as master of the whaling brig “Wm. Penn,” of San

On visiting among the natives, we discovered a feeling of antipathy
to Mr. Snow had arisen among them. We soon ascertained the cause
to be what we had at first anticipated. A miserable beachcomber
had been telling them that “if the king allowed the missionary to
remain, in a short time he would become possessor of the island; that
they would have to give every thing they obtained to him,” etc. We
were surprised that such reports should be so circulated among the
natives, as not the least cause had arisen for them, and could only
account for it from the fact that it was characteristic of the class.
What made the matter still worse was that, when Mr. Snow came to the
island, he found this fellow friendless and homeless; his means of
subsistence all gone, and begging from house to house. Taking pity
upon him, he invited him to take up his abode at his house. Here he
found excellent fare, and nothing to do but to eat, drink, and sleep;
and, although Mr. S. was very much occupied in making improvements
upon his dwelling and land attached, yet he was the last one to offer
him any assistance, but, on the contrary, was repaying his kindness
by endeavoring to prejudice the natives against him.

Several natives from the Island of Rotumah were residing on Strong’s
Island at this time. We attended one of their dances, given by them
in honor of our ship’s company. Their singing and dancing excelled
any thing of the kind we had yet witnessed. They moved in exact time
with the music, and went through the exercises with great precision.
During all their dances they use the musket, which they handle with
the greatest expertness. The war-dance, in particular, was one of
wild and thrilling movements; their hair long, and standing in
all directions from their head, even to the perpendicular; their
bodies tattooed and besmeared with cocoanut oil, with nothing but a
tappa about the loins and a musket by the side, they looked really
frightful and war-like. The dance is performed by forming in two
lines, and as they sing they perform their evolutions of advancing,
discovering and attacking the enemy, wheeling to load their pieces,
fronting again, the front rank dropping upon one knee to allow those
in the rear to fire over them, while both lines fire in the direction
of the supposed enemy, and retreat to reload. After performing these
evolutions several times, they appear to come off victorious, and
start off into a noisy song and dance. We remained until quite a late
hour witnessing their performances, and, after all hands had given
them three hearty cheers, the assemblage dispersed very peaceably.
We returned to our quarters very much pleased with our evening’s
entertainment, wishing it were in our power to place the band in
Barnum’s hands.

We also attended, a few days after this, a feast and dance given
by King George, at which a large wild hog was served up, and every
thing “got up” in grand style. To this feast the Rotumah Kanakers
were invited, and in the evening they again entertained us with
their dances. The king and chiefs appeared highly pleased with their
performances, continually exclaiming “very good fashion, that dance.”

Our second officer, Mr. L., had been sick for a number of months, yet
he possessed such remarkable energy and perseverance that he would
not succumb to it, but did his duty regularly up to the time of our
arriving in port; and even then he appeared to feel that when we
once more got to sea he should recover; but we all felt and thought
differently. We could see that he was wasting away, little by little,
and we felt that his days were numbered—that he would never see his
home again.

On Sunday, October 31st, divine service was performed on board by
Rev. Mr. Snow. For three long years we had not listened to such
sounds as came to our ears on that day. It was, to say the least, a
pleasing sight to see the weather-beaten tar with a hymn-book in his
hand, and to hear all unite in singing the praises of God. The sermon
was very plain, yet forcible, reminding us of the short tenure of our
lives, and admonishing all to prepare for death. The feeling manner
in which Mr. S. spoke of death on shipboard brought tears to the eyes
of many, as we had not forgotten such a scene among our own small
company. King George and the royal family were on board, and appeared
to listen to the exercises with a great deal of interest; and when
they were concluded, he wished to know of us what the good man had
been talking about so long. His majesty appeared to have taken quite
an interest in the missionary. He gave him a large piece of good
land, built him a nice substantial house, and assisted him all in his
power. He was also building a house for himself in the same vicinity.

In conversation with Mr. Snow, he informed us that it was his
intention to take the children in charge, teach them the English
language, and endeavor to bring them up in the right way. He, of
course, anticipated trials and difficulties in his efforts. He did
not intend to interfere with any of the old customs of the natives,
but show to the rising generation the folly of these customs, that
when they came upon the stage of action they would abolish their
heathenish rites. We wished him God speed, for we believed him to be
a true Christian—one who was actuated by no selfish motive, but by
a desire to “do his Master’s will.” We felt, too, that great praise
was due to his excellent lady, who had voluntarily surrendered the
comforts and luxuries of a home among enlightened people to spend her
life on one of the heathen islands of the vast Pacific, to add her
mite toward civilizing and Christianizing the poor native. “Verily
they will receive their reward.”

We found on shore a native of the New Zealand Islands, who had
been left here sick. We visited him several times, once or twice
in company with Mr. Snow. He was very sick, and did not expect to
recover. The “good missionary,” as he called Mr. S., was doing all
in his power to alleviate his sufferings, nursing him with all the
love and sympathy of a brother; and Mrs. S. often visited the poor
man. He expressed to Mr. Snow his confidence and belief in a dying
Savior, trusting in his love and merits; and we doubt not that when
his spirit took its flight, it went to those mansions above, where
the poor New Zealander is welcomed by Christ and his angels as warmly
as the favored Christian of American lands.

The time had now arrived when we were to bid adieu to Strong’s Island
and its pleasures, some of us forever. Need we say that we had become
somewhat attached to our friends here, who had ever treated us with
such kindness? Never shall we forget them; and in future years, when
memory shall recall former happy scenes and pleasures enjoyed while
_roving_, Strong’s Island and its simple, kind-hearted natives will
stand forth bold and prominent.

    “Isle of beauty, fare thee well!”

                            CHAPTER XXIV.

  Success of the “Mohawk.”—Ship “Napoleon.”—Whaling.—Bound to the
    southward.—Sickness and Death of Mr. L.—Ship “Roscoe.”—Pleasant
    Island.—Massacre of the “Inga’s” Crew.—Narrow Escape.—Ship
    “Hannibal.”—Christmas and New-Year.—Ship “William Tell.”—Ship
    “John Wells.”—Violent Death of Captain Hussey.—Bound for Hong
    Kong.—H. B. M.’s Brig “Serpent.”—Island of Rota.—Wild Boar.—A
    general Stampede.—“All Hands and the Cook.”—Man the Victor.—Heavy
    Gales.—Gad’s Rock.—Formosa.—Bashee Islands.

On Friday, November 12th, soon after leaving Strong’s Island, we
gammed with the “Mohawk,” our old friends, and learned that they had
taken eight hundred barrels of oil the previous season on Japan. We
could not but envy them, as we were one year from home when they
sailed. But we felt that if we could but _see_ the whales, we would
soon add to the one thousand barrels we had in our hold.

A few days afterward, at Ocean Island, we spoke the ship “Napoleon,”
of New Bedford. The following day we raised whales, and, determined
to give them battle, lowered four boats. In less than two hours we
had three alongside, and at sundown “started the works” with merry
hearts. A few more such lowerings would point the old ship’s head

But for the present we must steer for a southern port. Our second
officer, Mr. Lowe, had been failing in health for many months, and
our captain determined to make Sydney, New South Wales, that medical
advice and treatment might be procured for him. Accordingly, about
the 1st of December, we left the Group, bound for Sydney. But a short
time elapsed, however, ere we saw that it was of no use; Mr. L.
could not live more than a day or two at the farthest. On Saturday,
December 4th, he appeared sinking very fast. At his own request we
placed him in an arm-chair, that he might, as he said, breathe more
freely. With great calmness he described his feelings and symptoms,
“gradually growing more chilly, and losing his life by degrees,”
as he said. At about 10 P.M. he departed without a struggle. Never
did we witness the death-scene where the sufferer was so perfectly
composed and resigned. So quietly did his spirit take its flight that
it appeared as if he had fallen asleep. Sail was at once reduced, the
body laid out, wrapped in a sheet, covered by the American ensign,
and placed on the quarter-deck.

The next day, no work, no masthead, no noise; a melancholy stillness
pervaded the whole ship. All on board appeared to realize the
dispensation that had a second time visited us. We had lost a
shipmate that was kind and obliging; an officer that was prompt in
the discharge of his duties; a thorough sailor, and a kind, good
man—one that was beloved by all his shipmates. At 1 P.M. all hands
were called to perform a mournful duty—bury their friend and brother.
Our national flag was mournfully waving at half-mast, all sail in,
and the ship hove-to. The body was placed upon a plank, with weights
attached to its feet. The services were commenced by the captain, who
read the one hundred and seventh Psalm, delivered a few excellent
remarks, followed by a prayer; and as he repeated the solemn words of
the service, “we commit this body to the deep,” the plank was raised,
and the body was soon fathoms beneath the “dark blue wave.”

    “But when the last great trump shall thrill the grave,
       And earth’s unnumbered myriads reappear,
     He, too, shall hear the summons ’neath the wave
       That now, in silence wraps his sunless bier.
     And coming forth, in trembling reverence bowed,
     Unfold the tongueless secrets of his shroud.”

As the necessity for our making a southern port no longer existed,
we turned our attention to sperm whales, one of which we captured a
few days subsequent to the burial of Mr. L. On Monday, December 13th,
we spoke the “Roscoe,” of New Bedford, Captain Hayden, who, being an
old chum of our captain, sailed in company with us for several days.
This event proved very fortunate for us, as the sequel will show; and
afterward, in meditating upon our narrow escape, we could but think
that a divine Providence was continually watching over and guarding

In company with the “Roscoe,” we made Pleasant Island on Wednesday,
December 15th. About 11 A.M., when two or three miles from the land,
the “Roscoe” about half a mile ahead of us, we perceived her suddenly
heave-to and hoist her ensign half-mast, and union down. This we
knew to be a signal of distress, and, fearing they were having some
difficulty with the natives and needed our immediate assistance, we
cracked on all sail and shortly rounded her stern. Captain Hayden
informed us that the brig “Inga,” of New Bedford, Captain Barnes, had
been taken here a few days previous by the natives, and all of the
crew massacred save two; at the same time bidding us beware of the
“copper-skinned rascals,” as he termed them. But his warning came too
late, for already were our decks crowded with them. We had noticed,
as something remarkable, that, after the “Roscoe” had hoisted her
signal of distress, all the canoes left her and made for our ship.
Not suspecting any danger, we had allowed them to come on board
to the number of about four hundred. We were now in a position of
extreme danger. As we afterward learned, it was their fixed intention
to take our ship the first opportunity, as they owed us an old grudge
for throwing their hogs and cocoanuts overboard when on a previous
visit to them. That opportunity now presented itself. We must confess
that things began to wear rather an unpleasant appearance, and we
felt satisfied that nothing hardly short of a miracle could save
us. Seeing and knowing our situation, Captain Hayden promptly came
on board, himself and boat’s crew well armed, bringing with him a
white man who had resided on the island many years, and who possessed
much influence over the natives. It appears he succeeded in reaching
the “Roscoe” prior to any of the natives, and informed Captain H.
of the taking of the “Inga;” consequently, no natives were allowed
to come on board, and they all pulled for our ship. This white man
now informed our captain that he had better get all his weapons of
defense in order, lead his muskets, etc., and take them into his
cabin, “for,” said he, “these natives are determined to take your
ship, if possible; they only await the arrival of one of their
chiefs, who fancies you insulted him, and who has sworn to kill you
with his own hands, to commence their murderous attack. I have some
influence with them, and if I can keep them quiet, and get them away
before he comes, I will do so; but if he comes to the ship, nothing
can save you.”

The reader may rest assured that this news did not tend to allay our
fears in the least, yet each one seemed determined to sell his life
as dearly as possible. No undue excitement was exhibited; each one
was calm, cool, collected, for we knew the first symptom of fear
betrayed would be the signal for the work of destruction to commence.
Quietly were all the muskets loaded, and our harpoons, lances,
boat-hatchets, and other weapons made ready, so that they could be
seized should occasion require. Fifteen or twenty minutes of the
most intense anxiety to all hands passed, each one hoping something
would transpire to cause the natives to leave. The ships were headed
off the land, and sail made; still they did not appear inclined to
leave, but sat in groups around the deck, intently watching every
movement that was made, and earnestly conversing with each other,
eying the cutting-spades which hung over the quarter-deck, and
evidently longing for some one to commence the fracas. At length a
happy thought suggested itself to one of our men. Mounting aloft,
he remained a few moments at masthead. Gazing, with great interest
apparently, at some object in the far distance, he sang out, with a
loud, ringing, joyous voice, “_Sail ho!_ A LARGE MAN-OF-WAR COMING

This was sufficient. The natives waited not to hear this repeated,
but clambered over the side in the greatest hurry and confusion. Each
one seemingly endeavored to be first, and in a few moments our decks
were perfectly free from them. As the last native left the ship,
one thrilling, deafening hurrah went up from all on board. This was
caught up on board the “Roscoe,” and returned with a hearty “three
times three.”

We congratulated ourselves on our narrow escape from these merciless
savages, and could not but feel thankful to Almighty God for his
providence in thus rescuing us. It would have been but a short battle
had it commenced. As we have before remarked, the natives of this
island are very powerful and robust; and their mode of warfare would
have been to have seized the crew and thrown them overboard, while
those in the canoes would have held the victims under the surface
till they were drowned. Although the man who sang out “Sail ho!” from
the masthead did not expect to see one when he started to go aloft,
yet he did see a sail, which soon came down to us; and, although not
a man-of-war, yet we were none the less pleased to see her. It proved
to be the whale-ship “Hannibal,” of New London, Captain Lester.

We related to him all the circumstances connected with our late
adventures, and he congratulated us heartily upon our narrow escape.
The circumstances connected with the taking of the “Inga” were,
as nearly as we could learn, as follows: The vessel was near the
island, and crowded with natives. While trading with them, Captain
Barnes, whether wisely or not we can not say, kept a cutlass in his
hand; and, during the transaction of some petty trade, had some high
words with a notorious chief; who, fancying himself insulted, seized
the cutlass, cut Captain B. through the body, and then tossed him
overboard. This was the signal for a general massacre. After killing
all but one white man and a native of the Sandwich Islands, whom
they took prisoners, they rifled the ship of all they considered
valuable, and then attempted to run her ashore. Not succeeding very
well themselves, they ordered their prisoners to work the brig to
the land, or they would kill them. This they secretly determined not
to do; and, bracing the head-yards one way and the after-yards in a
contrary direction, caused the brig to remain in nearly a stationary
condition. This puzzled them exceedingly; and, fearing a ship might
heave in sight, they determined to scuttle her. Accordingly, a chief
commenced cutting a hole in her side with an axe, which he let fall
overboard after a few strokes. They then determined to set her on
fire, which they did, and left for the shore. She probably burned to
the water’s edge, as she was never heard from afterward.

We learned that the two prisoners were kept in close confinement on
shore, yet kindly treated. We never learned what became of them,
yet we trust they were released from the grasp of these murderous
villains, as several ships visited the island after having heard of
the destruction of the brig, and we know that no whaling captain
would leave a thing undone to rescue them.

We took from Pleasant Island two men, one a native of the Azores, or
Western Islands, and the other a New Yorker. These men begged the
captain to take them with him, as they were afraid to remain on the
island since the late massacre.

Christmas-day came round in due season, and, although it did not
bring us roast turkey, yet it did sperm whales. We captured two fine
ones on that day; and, as we finished stowing them down in the hold,
New-Year’s-day came upon us, bringing “more of the same sort,” which
proved very acceptable.

On Tuesday, January 4th, we spoke the “William Tell,” of Sag Harbor,
Captain Taber, who reported that the “Mohawk” had visited Pleasant
Island, and purchased several articles belonging to the ill-fated
“Inga.” The natives had taken the chronometer apart, and were wearing
the wheels and other parts of it around their necks as ornaments.
They also reported that, had we been alone at the time of our late
visit to Pleasant Island, we would certainly have lost our ship and
our lives; nothing prevented it but our being in company with the
“Roscoe.” When we heard this, we could but feel that

    “There is a divinity that shapes our ends,
     Rough hew them how we will.”

The following day we spoke the “John Wells,” of New Bedford, Captain
Cross. He reported that a mutiny had occurred on board the “William
Penn,” by which Captain Hussey had been murdered by a Kanaka. The
murder was committed about 4 A.M. Captain H. was in the vicinity of
some of the islands of the Group, and, while engaged in looking over
the “weather rail” for land, a Kanaka boat-steerer seized a spade
and darted it through him, killing him almost instantly. The body
was immediately thrown overboard, and the gang (seven or eight of
the crew), led by the Kanaka, commenced their murderous work. They
killed the steward and cook, severely wounded the mate and second
mate, and then, seemingly actuated by some merciful freak, stopped
their bloody performances, and promised to leave the vessel quietly
if the officers would allow them to take what they wanted. This
request was readily granted, as the peaceable portion of the crew and
officers were but too willing to have them leave. They accordingly
took a boat, and steered for Sydenham’s Island, where the ringleader
belonged. The Kanaka took with him a large sum of money belonging to
Captain Hussey, and he had not been on shore twenty-four hours ere he
was shot by a beachcomber to obtain possession of it. Thus we see the
scoundrel met with his deserts.

Captain Hussey also met with the same fate that he consigned one of
his own crew to. He murdered his fellow-man in cold blood, and he, in
his turn, died a violent death.

The reader must not think, from reading these scenes of violence and
murder, that they were continually occurring in this part of our
globe. On the contrary, the natives there are generally well-disposed
and peaceable; but at this time the islands were thronged with
miserable beachcombers—men whose only object and desire appeared to
be blood and plunder. The majority of them were escaped convicts from
New South Wales, and a more bloodthirsty set of villains never went

We were now nearly forty months from home, and we found it necessary
to prolong the voyage another season. To do this, however, we must
have more provisions (bread, meat, and flour) than we now had on
board. These could be obtained more advantageously at Hong Kong
than at any other port, and our captain accordingly determined to
steer for that port. On Sunday, January 16th, spoke her majesty’s
brig of war “Serpent,” S. W. Hammett, acting commander. Captain
H. inquired very particularly concerning the late transactions at
Pleasant Island. On taking his leave, he expressed his determination
to proceed to the Group, visit all the islands, and rid them of the
rascally beachcombers that infested them.

We touched at the island of Rota, one of the Ladrones, on Tuesday,
January 25th, and procured a quantity of fruit, hogs, etc. Among the
_animals_ was a ferocious wild boar, which the natives had captured
on the mountains. He was securely fastened when brought on board,
but, as no one knew he was wild, the thongs were cut, and he was set
at liberty. This was no sooner done than he made a rush at some of
the men, who fled in double-quick time. Turning, he played the same
game on another group, until he had complete possession of the deck,
all hands taking to their heels, clambering into the rigging, on to
the rail, water-butt, and any place that was the most convenient,
without stopping to _ask questions_. Here was a fix—a wild boar
had succeeded in taking the ship! His swinish majesty appeared to
enjoy the fun hugely, going about the decks making such observations
as suited him best, and driving the other porkers around at his
pleasure. Once, however, he over-shot his mark. The cook, ensconced
in his galley, with both doors closed, felt secure, and would
occasionally push one of them ajar and take a look. Porkey finally
discovered this move, and, thinking it an unwarrantable intrusion
upon his rights, raised his bristles, showed his teeth, and made for
the old doctor. Seeing him coming, the old darkey seized a dipper of
scalding-water from his copper, and, as Mr. Hog approached within
proper distance, _bristling_ for the fight, gave it to him between
the eyes. This was too much for his lordship, and a mode of warfare
which he least expected. He did not pay the doctor a second visit
alive. A number of plans were now devised for his capture—among the
rest, that of _lassoing_ him. Portuguese Manuel, _who knew all about
managing wild hogs_, as he said, volunteered to go down upon deck
and slip a running bowline over his head. No sooner, however, did his
feet touch the deck, than the boar, seemingly mistrusting his evil
designs, rushed after him. Away went Manuel, yelling for dear life,
with the boar close at his heels. He finally succeeded in mounting
the rail, and, thinking the boar still in close pursuit, kept on
ascending the rigging with all possible speed, until the mate cried
out, and asked him “where he was going?” On hearing this, Manuel
looked about him, and, seeing the boar still on deck, descended to
the rail, his hair erect, countenance pale (for a Portuguese)—in
fact, frightened out of his wits. The crew, scattered about on the
rail and in the rigging, presented a truly laughable sight: one or
two with their countenances exhibiting the strongest emotions of
fear; others with their faces expanded by a broad grin; some cursing
the Spaniards for bringing off a “wild boar;” others looking at it as
an excellent joke, and laughing heartily at the whole affair. After
some time spent in manœuvring, a bowline was slipped over his head,
when he was soon choked down, dispatched, and placed in the hands of
the cook.

About the 1st of February we experienced a very heavy gale. We were
obliged to take our boats in on deck, heave-to, and secure things
generally. The steward, not having taken this precaution in regard
to his crockery, etc., found it suddenly coming through the pantry
door as the ship gave a sudden lurch. The floor was finely strewed
with broken dishes, tea, coffee, molasses, and sundry other articles,
gloriously mixed in one heterogeneous mass.

On Sunday, February 6th, we sighted Gad’s Rock; also the southern
point of the island of Formosa. The next morning the northern Bashee
Islands were in sight, bearing W.N.W. Found our reckoning to be
latitude 21° 27´ N., longitude 121° 31´ E.

                            CHAPTER XXV.

  Chinese Fishermen.—Pedro Blanca.—Preparing for Port.—Chinese
    Pilots.—Beating up the Passage.—Hong Kong.—“Hail Columbia.”—The
    “Susquehanna.”—Stars and Stripes.—Chinese Merchants.—Washerwomen.—
    Bumboats.—Dick Simpson and John Chinaman.—Chinese mode of
    Trading.—Sanpan.—A floating Community.—Boston Jack.—Victoria, its
    Situation, Streets, etc.—Chinese Barbers.—Fortune-tellers.—
    Policemen.—Chinese New-year.—A busy Time.—Firing a Salute.—Arrival
    of Governor BONHAM.—English Barracks.—Churches.—Hotels.—Dog or
    Horse?—Visit from Men-of-war’s-men.—Tom and the Lieutenant.—
    Commodore Perry.—Midshipmen.—Visit to the Barracks.—Theatre.—
    Fort.—Make some Purchases.—Counterfeit Money.—Tricks of the
    Chinese Merchants.—Females.—Gambling.—Cut-throats.—Short-tailed
    Gentlemen.—Chinese Funeral.—Marriages.—Education.—Ouang Ouci
    Yuen.—Infanticide.—Twenty-second of February.—Chinese Artists.—
    Their Powers of Imitation.—Sam Shu.—Domestic Life of the Chinese.—
    Food.—Temple, or Joss House.—Worship of Idols.—Joss Sticks.—Tom as
    a Yankee Naval Officer.—Chinese Men-of-war.—Pirates.—Chinese
    Theatre.—Masonic Temple.—The Bethel.—Chinaman and his Shoes.—The
    Arrest, Trial, and Acquittal.—Departure for Sea.

Wednesday, February 9th, brought us in close proximity to the land
of the Celestials, as the numerous fishing-junks bore testimony.
The same day we sighted Pedro Blanca, which is an island lying near
Hong Kong. At 10 A.M. commenced bending the cables, and making other
preparations for coming to an anchor. As we neared the land we saw
great numbers of pilot-boats steering for us, one of which soon
reached us; the pilot came on board, with his long tail, or queu,
hanging behind him, and presenting a comical contrast to an old
Yankee “Hard-a-lee.” He wanted the moderate sum of forty dollars for
taking us into port. Captain Ewer was not so easily gulled as that,
and soon gave the old fellow to understand that if he wished to pilot
us in for twenty dollars he could do so, and if not he could leave
immediately. This brought him to his senses, and he very quickly
accepted the offer, as numerous other pilot-boats were in sight, and
he knew that he would be underbid if they had an opportunity to do so.

The next day found us beating up through the lee passage. At 1 P.M.
the wind died away, and the tide commencing to set out, we dropped
anchor. At 7 P.M. we weighed anchor, and with a fine breeze beat
up to the anchorage. At 8 P.M. we “brought up” in the harbor of
Victoria, Hong Kong.

We were aroused from our slumbers the following morning by the
familiar strains of “Hail Columbia,” and our first thought was that
we were again at home. But this pleasant illusion was soon dispelled;
for, going on deck, we found that the music proceeded from the steam
frigate Susquehanna, which was lying close to. What joyous feelings
did we experience while listening to that soul-stirring air, and
beholding our national flag, the glorious “stars and stripes,”
floating proudly from the mizzen-peak of such a grand and stately
vessel! We could but feel a great national pride to see our beloved
country so nobly represented in a foreign clime. On looking about
us, we saw the United States sloops of war Plymouth, Portsmouth, and
Saratoga; also the Supply store-ship, together forming quite a fleet.
Nothing is so cheering to the rover, while in foreign lands, as to
see familiar faces, persons speaking the same tongue and claiming
the same land of birth, “the land of the free and the home of the
brave.” A feeling of patriotism naturally animated us as we beheld
our country’s floating batteries, “the right arm of our defense,” and
for a moment we forgot that there was any country but “happy, free
America!” The harbor was well filled by merchantmen from nearly all
nations; also we observed several English naval vessels in port, as
this is one of their rendezvous. Among the shipping the “stars and
stripes” were conspicuous, and we could but notice that they floated
from more than half the vessels in port.

Before 9 A.M. the deck of our vessel was crowded with Chinamen of all
descriptions. In one corner might be seen the tailor spreading out
his fancy clothing; then the shoemaker with his shoes, taking the
measures of such of the crew as might want. In another part of the
ship might be seen a complete variety store, with all descriptions
of lacquered ware, artificial flowers, silk handkerchiefs, etc., all
selling for a mere song. Washerwomen running about, engaging the
washing while the ship remains in port; bumboats alongside with fruit
and confectionery; carpenters, riggers, sail-makers, blacksmiths,
etc., each with recommends, looking after and soliciting employment.

The decks now presented a comical spectacle. The bald head of the
Chinaman stood out prominent; the honorable tail, neatly dressed,
the end tipped with ribbon, was conspicuous in all. Each was dressed
according to his calling; the merchant in the finest silks, and the
common laborer in the coarsest garments. Our Kanakas had their own
sport with them, never having seen a Chinaman before, and regarded
them as objects of the greatest curiosity. This was especially the
case with Dick Simpson, our King Mills’ native. Not being satisfied
with viewing them at a distance, he walked up to one, took hold of
the long, braided tail of hair, and cried out, laughing heartily,
“Look here! what for all the same? hey? All same big fool. By golly!
I no been see all same that, my land!” He then laughed till he could
laugh no more, seemingly splitting his sides. The poor Chinaman
looked at him in perfect amazement, and, not appearing to relish the
joke, jabbered away in his own language. This appeared to astonish
Dick still more, and he again broke forth: “What this fellow talking
about? see that! By golly! say, long-tail, what you talk about? You
no saba noting; more better you go ashore; bimeby me eat you—look
out!” Dick had to stop again to laugh heartily, the Chinaman stared
so earnestly at him.

By this time the trading had commenced quite briskly, and we
overheard the following bargain between one of our boys and a
Chinaman. The article was a pair of silk pants, for which the
merchant wanted the sum of one dollar and fifty cents:

“No you don’t,” says Jack; “I’ll give you three quarters of a dollar.”

“No can do; no proper,” said the Celestial.

“Well, that’s all I’ll give you; you mustn’t come aboard here to come
any of your gouge games; if you do, overboard you go.”

“Three quarters no can catch. S’pose one dollar one quarter, very
good, proper.”

“Not a bit of it; three quarters, no more.”

“You no see; pant very good; No. 1; three quarters no can catch
plofit; s’pose you like one dollar, very good.”

“Three quarters is all I’ll give you; what do you say, old Chinaman?
bear a hand.”

“No; no can do; must catch one dollar.”

“Shiver my timbers! old buggerlugs, if you don’t come to terms pretty
soon, I’ll treat you to a salt-water bath; three quarters, or away
you go.”

“Well, s’pose must catch three quarters; no good, no proper;” and
then, turning to another of the men, said, “S’pose you like catch one
three quarters, very good, proper.”

This is a peculiar characteristic of the Chinese merchants. They
charge about twice as much as they expect to get for an article;
and the only way to trade with them is to make them an offer, and
not vary one cent from it; they will not let a person go without

The mate now came along, and started them all for the shore. They
were very loth to go, but after a while we rid the ship of them. As a
general thing, they are expert thieves, and will carry off any thing
they can lay hold of if not very closely watched.

The captain hired a boat (which is the usual custom), called a
“sanpan,” to attend on the ship. These boats are _manned_ by a whole
family, as a general thing, it constituting house and home with them.
They are generally about thirty feet in length and six in width,
with two mat sails. They have a sort of cabin for the accommodation
of passengers, which is amidships, or in the centre of the boat.
This cabin also serves as parlor, kitchen, sleeping-room, and
dressing-room for its occupants. The Chinaman who owned the “sanpan”
hired by our captain had a family consisting of himself, wife, wife’s
sister, and brother. He had also three fine-looking, bright children,
who appeared perfectly contented on board their floating-home.

It is a singular fact that the lowest class of Chinese are not
allowed to live on land, but spend most of their lives upon the
water. When they possess a certain sum of money they are allowed
a residence upon the land, and not until then; but this sum is so
large that very few of them ever accumulate it. They are born, live,
and die upon the water, never going on shore except to purchase
the necessaries of life. One may see floating markets, shoe-shops,
tailor-shops, and, in fact, all kinds of mechanical business. We
noticed some boats, not exceeding ten feet in length, containing a
family of five or six, with all their “household gods,” etc., on

But to return to our own “sanpan.” The captain appeared active and
intelligent, the females rather good-looking and sociable, the crew
(consisting of one man) lazy and indolent. These first class sanpans
are hired by ships while lying at anchor for the purpose of conveying
the ship’s company to and from the shore, doing the ship’s errands,
bringing off provisions, etc., a kind of “man-of-all-work,” for which
services they receive from ten to fifteen dollars per month. From
this amount, say fifteen dollars, a Chinaman will save ten, which
makes it quite a profitable job. It is an excellent plan also for
the ship concerned, as it obviates the necessity of lowering her own
boats while in port. They sail like the wind, and are quicker in
motion than any other boat we ever saw upon the water. One can not
look about the harbor but he will see them on every hand, gliding
about with the swiftness of an arrow, yet collisions seldom if ever
occur. It is surprising to see the ease with which they manage
them—two coming from opposite directions with great swiftness,
apparently steering for each other’s bows, yet, at the moment when
a collision appears inevitable, down goes the helm of one, and they
shoot past each other free from harm.

The morning following our arrival a boat came alongside loaded with
fresh meat, vegetables, etc. The proprietor of the “market” soon made
his appearance, and introduced himself to the captain as “Boston
Jack,” a comprador (one who furnishes ships with fresh provisions).
He informed Captain E. that he was comprador to the American ships
in port, and wished to engage himself as “comprador to the Emily
Morgan.” A bargain was soon struck, and he was duly installed in
the office. In appearance Boston Jack is about forty years of age,
medium height, very quick and active, with a sharp, keen eye, and
very polite. The bows he bestowed upon all who honored themselves
by speaking to him would have become the most complete and polished
French gentleman.

Dr. BALL, in his “_Rambles in Eastern Asia_,” thus speaks of him:
“About a mile above Whampoa we called at ‘Boston Jack’s’. This is
a Chinaman, an acquaintance that my companions had made in passing
before. ‘Boston Jack’ is familiarly known to the European population
of Hong Kong as a kind of interpreter and furnisher of provisions
for vessels, and a commissioner to provide servants, coolies, and to
make purchases of various Chinese articles. He was formerly a pilot,
and is still connected with that business, furnishing pilots, etc.,
and is ready to do any kind of business between the foreigners and
Chinese. He is said to be worth a hundred thousand dollars; treated
us to beer, and gave us some to take on our way. He had much to say
of his son, who lives in New York, and was very polite, inviting us
to call again,” etc.

Hong Kong is an island, and not, as is the general impression, a
Chinese city. It is a British colony, within a few miles of the
Chinese coast. It was Chinese until the treaty after the celebrated
opium war ceded it to the English. At that time it was inhabited
only by a few fishermen and pirates. It is an elevation of barren
mountains, with scarcely any vegetation, and is about twenty-five
miles in circumference, and eight in diameter. Its shores are
generally bold, and the water deep near the coast. There are,
however, several spots with declivities sufficiently gradual for the
location of cities. The English government has taken possession of
these, and erected fortifications and barracks, where they keep small
garrisons of troops. Victoria is the name of the city, yet it is
hardly known by any name but Hong Kong.

Victoria is on the north side of the island, built on the base and
on the inclination of a conspicuous mountain which overlooks the
harbor. It extends about two and a half miles along the edge of the
water, and back on the side of the mountain half a mile. It has
only one principal street, called Queen’s Road, which is near the
water, and encircles the island. There are several others parallel
with it, and from twenty to forty feet one above the other. The
small cross streets uniting them are steep, and at some places have
flights of steps by which to ascend and descend. Taking the zigzag
streets in their proper order, the highest houses may be reached
with a carriage. The houses are generally of two or three stories,
though many at the outer part of the city, called bungaloes, are of
one story, and look like cottages. Open to the country on the west
of the city you will see the steep side of the mountains, with only
here and there a poverty-stricken Chinaman’s cabin. The ground is
covered with rocks, a little grass, and, higher up, with brush. The
white buildings conspicuous here and there are the police stations.
Following the road to the east, you enter the part of the city known
as Typen-shang, where the lower order of the Chinese reside.

Following the road as it winds round and ascends upon higher ground,
we come to the European part—the central portion of Victoria. On
the left is a row of Chinamen’s shops, beyond which, along the edge
of the harbor, are occasionally the large houses of Europeans.
On the right are blocks of European buildings, rising one above
another, and as we passed them we could but imagine ourselves once
more in a civilized land. Behind these, a little distance up the
inclined plane, the mountain rises abruptly, and to the eye nearly
perpendicular, and terminating in a peak near three thousand feet
high. A scanty vegetation of grass and brambles there appears, but
there is little else than rocks, some of which seem to hang by
nothing, and may eventually, becoming loosened, roll down and cut
their way through the settlements to the water.

Passing along, we come to the principal business part of the city.
On the right is a hotel, with blocks of houses occupied mostly by
English and Americans, auctioneers, apothecaries, the club-house of
the merchants, etc., and back, short streets of Chinese mechanics.
Continuing along the water toward the east, after a short interval
we see the military quarters, which inclose within a quarter of a
mile the showy stone barracks, parade-ground, officers’ residences,
in elevated positions, the church, and other buildings. Half a mile
farther is another fine block of buildings; then comes the hospital,
ship-yard, and a large ship-chandlery establishment. Thus the town or
city of Victoria is strung out for two or three miles along the shore.

The population, including Chinese, is about twenty-five thousand.
But a small portion are European. Almost every nation is represented
here, though there are only a few of each. Besides the English,
American, and Chinese, we find the French, Spanish, Portuguese,
Persians, Bengalese, Javanese, Manillamen, German, Italian, Russian,
Danish, Swiss, Dutch, Belgian, Pole, Arab, Turk, Armenian, Tartar,
Siamese, African, and South American.

The streets are filled with Chinese, and you continually see the
traveling barber, carrying his barber-shop with him—cobblers,
tinkers, pastrymen, men carrying hogs, rabbits, ducks, rats, puppies,
etc, already cooked; and along the principal streets you find the
brokers, or money-changers, with piles of cash. These cash are a
small coin, about one half the size of a cent, of a base metal,
and a square hole in the centre, twenty-four of which are equal in
value to one of the cents of United States coin. The fortune-teller
or conjurer may also be seen, with his charts, covered with
hieroglyphics, spread before him, and busily engaged in penetrating
the future for some inquisitive Chinaman.

The police force here is composed mostly of English, Americans, and
Lascars. They are very effective in preserving order among the
Chinese, and a Chinaman stands more in awe of a policeman than any
thing else in Hong Kong.

From the ship the town looks beautiful at night. It was New-year’s
week with the Chinese at this time, and their part of the town
was brilliantly illuminated every evening. The thousand brilliant
lamps, with an occasional rocket piercing its way into the clouds
above, presented to the beholder a scene of beauty scarcely equaled,
reminding him of old legends of enchanted cities. The evening gun of
the frigate booms forth, answered from the fort; the bugle call from
the barracks sounds sweetly on the calm evening air, and as its soft,
gentle tones strike our ear, we almost forget that we are in the land
of strangers, and remain musing until we are aroused by the striking
of the frigate’s bell, and the hoarse cry echoed over the waters of
“All’s well!”

The day after our arrival our ship presented rather a busy
appearance. The cooper, with his gang, was preparing casks for
water and provisions; others were engaged breaking out the hold and
restowing oil, and all hands busy about something; outside a gang of
Chinese calkers were busily engaged, and following them were another
gang with scrapers and brooms, preparing the ship for an extra coat
of paint.

The United States sloop of war “Plymouth” fired a salute on this day,
in honor of a visit from the American consul. The report of her heavy
guns almost deafened us, and caused our Kanakas to open wide their
eyes with astonishment, and exclaim, “I g-o-lly; I never been hear
all the same that fore!”

On Sunday, February 13th, the British mail steamer “Wildfire”
arrived, having on board Governor BONHAM, who had been home to
England on a visit. He was received by a salute from the men-of-war
and the fort, and escorted to his residence by the military
stationed here. In the eastern part of the town are situated the
barracks; the buildings, which are of stone, are fine, large, and
comfortable, and the grounds ample for military evolutions. The
59th regiment of infantry, a company of sappers and miners, and
one artillery company, were stationed here at this time. They were
composed of fine, healthy-appearing men, and when on parade presented
a brilliant appearance.

We found three churches here—one a fine, large Episcopal church,
built of stone; a Roman Catholic, and a third a “Union” church, as it
was called, attended by persons of all creeds and denominations.

There are also several very fine hotels here, the principal of which
is “Brooks’ Hotel.” This is generally the head-quarters of the naval
officers. The house is kept on the European plan, is very commodious,
and, above all, very neat and clean. Their charges are in proportion,
as they intend their guests shall pay for what they have in good
round sums.

While on shore shortly after our arrival, Dick Simpson, our “Group”
native, saw a man pass on horseback. The poor fellow appeared dumb
with astonishment; at length he exclaimed, “What for man, he on _big
dog_! I g-o-lly; I no been see all same that my place; all the same
that ’Merica?” On being answered in the affirmative his wonder still
increased, if possible, and it proved a hard task to convince him
that it was not a _dog_, but a _horse_. “Yes, he big dog; ’spose me
no saby; he all the same dog,” he would say. In order to satisfy
his curiosity, we took him to a horse, and told him to examine for
himself. After having expressed himself as satisfied, he wished to
know “where he came from.” We explained this as far as lay in our
power to do, and after we ceased he chuckled, and told what yarns he
would spin when he arrived at his “land.” “Kanaka my place all same
fool; he no been see nothing!”

As we were the only sperm whaler in port, we attracted considerable
attention, especially from the Yankee men-of-war’s-men, as they all
lay in close proximity to us, many of whom paid us visits, some to
purchase shells, whale’s teeth, and other curiosities, others to
learn the _modus operandi_ of the capture of the sperm whale. The
particulars of the chase appeared greatly to interest them, as they
never before had the opportunity of listening to such narrations, or
of inspecting the different apparatus for fastening and killing the
whale, hoisting in the blubber, trying out, etc.

During one of these visits from the captain and one of the
lieutenants of the store-ship “Supply,” Tom W——, of whom we have
before spoken, being full of the old Nick, as usual, “button-holed”
the lieutenant at once, and proceeded to show him the ship and
whaling craft. He soon had the officer down in the hold, among the
greasy oil casks, to show him the manner of _stowing down the oil_.
He kept on a straight countenance, and told his guest he supposed
he wished to see the whole show! The lieutenant did not appear to
relish the sport, as he had already finely besmeared his coat and
pants with dirty grease; and on remarking it, Tom coolly replied,
“Oh! that is nothing; you should try a voyage whaling; you would not
mind the grease much!” After piloting him through all the dirtiest
parts of the ship, he at last brought up in the _cook’s galley_.
The mate, who had been entertaining the captain of the “Supply,”
now came in search of the lieutenant, and what was his surprise to
see him cozily seated in the “galley” with Tom, who had him by the
button-hole, very earnestly explaining how nicely our cooking was
done, and the excellent virtues of the stove. The mate now came to
the relief of the pestered officer, and was walking off with him,
when Tom marched after, called him, extended his hand, and bade him
good-by with much warmth, inviting him very cordially to call again.
The lieutenant could not refuse his hand, and, returning a slight
shake, turned away, looking daggers. However, we believe, on learning
the particulars, being too much a gentleman to show anger, he laughed
heartily at the joke, and before leaving the ship invited Tom to pay
him a visit. Tom thanked him, and promised to avail himself of the
honor and pleasure.

On Wednesday, February 16th, Sir WILLIAM BONHAM, the English
governor, visited the steam frigate “Susquehanna,” and on leaving was
honored by a salute, the cross of St. George at the fore royal-mast
head. This vessel is the flag-ship of Commodore AULICK, who was daily
expecting the arrival of Commodore PERRY to relieve him and take
command of the squadron.

The officers on board the several naval vessels in port appeared very
courteous and gentlemanly, and possessing a dignity that fully became
their position. We felt proud of them as American naval officers, and
willing that our navy and our country should be judged by them. There
were, however, with them, as with every thing, a few exceptions.
The lowest class of naval commissioned officers, familiarly known
as “middies,” appeared altogether too large and nice for even the
company of the commodore, and would strut about the decks of their
ship, or the streets of the city, deeming any one who could not sport
an _officer’s uniform_ entirely beneath their notice. We are glad,
for the honor of our navy and country, that this class is small, and
we would that it were less.

Wishing to visit the barracks of the soldiers and see them in their
every-day life, we embraced the opportunity of an invitation from
one of the officers, whose acquaintance we had previously formed,
and paid them a visit. We must confess to a surprise in finding the
excellent order and extreme cleanliness that every where prevailed.
The rooms were large and well ventilated, and the cots placed in
rows along the walls. From all appearances, the soldiers must have
easy times and comfortable quarters. They are compelled to drill one
hour each day, which usually takes place in the forenoon; from that
time until 3 P.M. they are occupied in taking care of and cleaning
their arms and accoutrements. From that time until 8 P.M. they are
at liberty to go where they please. The evening gun is then fired,
and all are required to be within the gates at half past 8, at which
time each room is visited, and those absent after 9 P.M. are put
under guard as soon as they return, and are punished according to the
circumstances of the case.

For their amusement, a very good theatre is connected with the
barracks, the actors belonging to the regiment. We learn that this
is beneficial, inasmuch as it prevents many of them from seeking
pleasure in the numerous drinking-houses which infest certain
portions of the city; a pleasure that many of them appeared disposed
to seek, but which is generally dear bought, as it is sure to be
followed by a punishment proportionate to the offense.

Near the Episcopal church stands the fort, which, from its elevated
position, commands the town. The battery is immediately on the
beach, and has a fair sweep at the shipping. The authorities find
it necessary to keep a strict watch over the Chinese population to
prevent an insurrection. They only lack the courage; their hatred
of the English is complete, and the will to rise and murder every
“outside barbarian” in the city is not wanting in them.

One can scarcely pass through the streets but he is saluted with the
cry of “Kum my shop; can sell much too chipp; no wanchee buy sum
littley ting?” In fact, the Chinese portion of Hong Kong is a perfect
Chatham Street. Going into a shop one morning, we began looking at
various articles, the shopkeeper pulling down all his wares to show
us. After selecting several articles, and inquiring the sum total of
the bill, we were informed it was fourteen and a half dollars. We
indignantly turned to leave, when he accosted us with,

“How much can catchee them tings?”

We told him “six dollars.”

“No can do; no can catch plofit, s’pose six dollar.”

“Very good,” we informed him, and again turned to leave, when he
called to us the second time, and, after some bantering, told us we
might have them for six dollars. Had we not have known the price of
such articles previous to this, we might have paid him more than we
did, but we knew they were all _Jews_ in trading, and were determined
not to allow the rascal to cheat us.

They are great rascals, these Chinese merchants. The currency here is
gold, silver, and copper, and they are very cautious in regard to it,
being continually on the alert for spurious coin; yet, if they have
the opportunity, will put off any quantity of it, and then lie out
of it in the most barefaced, impudent manner imaginable. Spanish and
Mexican dollars command a premium of from four to six cents; other
silver they will not take for its full value. An American half dollar
passes for but twenty-five cents among them. On receiving a piece of
money, they inspect it very minutely, and if they discover the least
flaw or defect in it, they refuse it as bad; or, as they say, “chop
dollar—no proper;” yet, if they have the opportunity, will pass the
same kind on the purchaser in giving change. If one of them refuse to
take such money, it is only necessary to whisper the word “policeman”
in his ear, and all is immediately right.

A seaman, who had recently come on shore to live from a California
ship, received a bad dollar from one of these merchants. On
discovering it, he proceeded to the shop and called for a
backgammon-board. Choosing a beautiful one, finished with rich gilt
work, he inquired the price. The Chinaman said “three dollars.”

“No, no, John Chinaman; s’pose me no saby you? me live too long Hong
Kong; me no fool.”

“Well, s’pose can catchee two dollar, he very good?”

“No, I give you one dollar; proper.”

“Hiyah! how can do! no proper!”

“S’pose you like one dollar, very good; s’pose you no like, very

“Me likey one dollar; two dollar more good; proper; you no see;
number one, this fellow; alla same ’nother pigeon (merchant) sell
five dollar.”

“Me no give more one dollar; plenty Chinaman speak one dollar proper.”

“Hiyah! Chinaman bloody liar! no speak good; too much lie. S’pose you
like catchee one dollar half, proper; s’pose one dollar, no can do.”

“Well, s’pose you no like one dollar, me go ’nother shop.”

“No proper; s’pose you cum my shop, buy plenty, you catchee him one

“Oh, certainly. I shall buy you out before I leave.”

Accordingly, he picked up the board, and threw down the same piece he
had received from this merchant the day previous. On seeing this the
Chinaman flew into a great passion, and called for his board to be
returned to him; but it was too late; the purchaser had departed with
it under his arm. However, he was not to be got rid of so easily;
after the sailor he went, shouting after him to give up his board.
The sailor heeded him not, but proceeded to his boarding-house,
threw the board into his chest, closed it, and sat down on the
lid. Presently in came the Chinaman in a hot rage, and demanded his
backgammon-board. Upon this the sailor jumped up, seized the Chinaman
by the collar, who commenced turning pale, and, shaking him rather
roughly, demanded why he gave him “that bad dollar.” The poor fellow
protested his innocence, denying the charge. This dodge would not
do; so, shouting to a landlord to bring in a policeman, the Chinaman
darted for the door, and retraced his steps with all possible speed.

The females are kept under great subjection, being looked upon as
little better than slaves. They are not allowed to be educated,
but are kept in ignorance. The higher classes dress very richly,
wearing many ornaments of gold. In some things we think they show
much more good sense than our American ladies. Fashion, with them,
does not change every month, yet they all dress in good taste. Their
manner of dressing the hair is decidedly superior to that of our own
fair countrywomen. On their wrists they wear heavy gold bracelets,
generally placed there when quite young, and, were it not for their
small feet, they would make a good appearance. This deformity, for
we can call it nothing less, causes them to walk as though they were
crippled. Many of them are obliged to use the cane to assist them,
and they always appear as if it caused them pain to walk. The small
feet, we were credibly informed, are confined to the aristocracy.
They appear more like club-feet than natural ones, the ankle and foot
having both become one. The females are much better-looking than the
men. We seldom noticed the high cheek-bones, or eyes so wide apart;
and, moreover, their heads are covered by _nature’s covering_—fine
black hair. In complexion they resemble the brunette.

We noticed one very singular fact. As many times as we visited the
shops of the merchants, we never saw any females in them, not even
belonging to the merchant’s family, who generally reside in the
same building. We often wondered at this, so different from our own
customs; but then we recollected that we were “outside barbarians,”
and could not, of course, be expected to know what was right. On
inquiring of “Acowo,” a merchant of high standing, the reason of this
custom, his only answer was, “No proper alla same that pigeon; no
good.” Very satisfactory, truly!

On Sunday the stores and shops of the Chinese are kept open as
usual. They regard no day as a Sabbath. Gambling is carried on to a
very great extent among all classes. On entering a shop at almost
any time, you will see a number of persons engaged in gambling in
the rear portion of the room. The cards are long, narrow slips of
pasteboard, with numerous Chinese characters or devices inscribed
upon them. The countenances of the players betrayed all the varieties
of expression, from that of the fortunate to the unlucky gamester.
One may behold the happy and contented look of the winner; again may
be seen the countenance livid, lips compressed, eyes glaring, and the
whole face betraying the intense excitement of the loser.

It was unsafe at this time to walk the streets of Hong Kong at night,
particularly in Typen-shang, or the Chinese portion, or among the
boatmen who congregate on the wharves. Although the police were
extremely vigilant, very frequently was the pedestrian waylaid,
knocked down, and robbed. The boatmen were not to be trusted, as
many cases occurred where seamen, returning from the shore to their
respective ships at night, were either drugged or knocked in the
head, their pockets rifled, and bodies thrown overboard. An officer
attached to the steam frigate Susquehanna, while returning to the
ship, was thus treated. His body was stripped of its clothing, and
then thrown overboard, his murderers supposing him dead. However,
the water revived him, and, being an excellent swimmer, he gained the
nearest vessel in a weak and nearly exhausted state. Another instance
came to our notice while there. The master of one of the American
merchantmen in port, while walking through the streets of the Chinese
portion of the town in broad daylight, was seized from behind, and
his gold watch taken from him. As soon as possible he gave the alarm,
and the rascal attempted flight. He was soon captured; not, however,
until, seeing escape impossible, he dashed the watch against a stone
building, thus destroying it. The punishment for theft, we were
informed, is cutting off the hair of the culprit. As this is their
greatest pride, they are disgraced forever when they lose their
“tails;” and some of them have been known, feeling the disgrace so
keenly, to proceed to the grave of a recently-interred Chinaman, rob
the dead of its ornamental appendage, and splice or fasten it upon
their own in such a manner as to escape detection; then remove to
some place where they were not known. Many are seen, however, with no
tails, and, like the fox in the fable, are shunned even by their own
companions, who have the same desire for plunder, yet lack the
courage to carry it out.

While walking through the streets of the city in search of adventure
one day, we were startled by a most horrid din, and, looking up,
saw approaching a band of musicians, blowing and beating their
instruments for dear life. Following this were the bearers of a
coffin, which was placed upon a bier, the coffin resembling very
much in shape the trunk of a tree, with the larger or spreading
part for the head of the deceased, who, we were informed, was the
“head” of a family. Next came the mourners—the wife and children
of the deceased—dressed in pure white, which is their color for
mourning. A number of the friends of the deceased, with about twenty
American sailors, “slightly elevated,” brought up the rear. The
whole procession was going on “a run”—music, mourners, and all
hands—“running away from Josh,” as Boston Jack informed us. “Josh” is
their evil spirit, and they believe that if they can get the deceased
into the ground “in a hurry,” Josh will not trouble him, especially
if music is used to frighten him; and we could not but think that
the “music by the band,” together with the shouts and yells of the
drunken sailors, was enough to frighten his Satanic majesty himself,
and drive him out of the city. We stood viewing the procession until
they passed from sight, and then came to the sage conclusion that “it
takes all kinds of people to form a world.”

They are very strict in their laws about marriage in one sense, and
rather loose in another. A Chinaman can have but one wife, who, in
marrying, assumes his name; but he is allowed as many _handmaids_
as he chooses to have. Thus they avoid polygamy, and still practice
it. Marriage, also, between those bearing the same name is unlawful.
The grounds of divorce are seven, some of which are rather amusing.
The first is barrenness; the others are adultery, disobedience to
the husband’s parents, talkativeness, thieving, ill-temper, and
inveterate infirmities. Any of these, however, may be set aside
by three circumstances: the wife having mourned for the husband’s
parents; the family, since marriage, having acquired wealth; and
the wife having no parent to receive her back. It is, in all cases,
disreputable for a widow to marry again, and in some instances,
especially those of a particular rank, it is illegal.

From the age of ten the females are kept very secluded, and have no
opportunity of intercourse with the other sex until they are married.
In fact, they never see their intended until the time of marriage.
Some of them, we should judge, would be sadly disappointed when they
come to look at each other for the first time. All that they know
of each other before marriage is through their fathers, mothers,
or aunts, which, we should think, would be rather unsatisfactory.
Yet we are inclined to the belief that they do, by some hook or
crook, manage sometimes to get a glimpse of each other’s faces
before marriage, else how could the following lines have come into
existence, especially the third line of the third verse? It is said
to be Chinese, though we rather incline to the contrary:

    “Oh, daughter of the great Ching-Chum,
       Whose eyes like Kasian diamonds glow,
     And wilt thou love thy Fa-fe-Fum,
       My sweet, my lovely Ho-ang Ho?

    “The swans their downy plumage lave
       Where Lano’s wandering waters flow;
     But can the swans of Lano’s wave
       Compare with thee, my Ho-ang Ho?

    “Six moons have traveled through the skies,
       And softly gleamed on Kifing-O,
     Since first thy beauty met my eyes,
       Light of my soul, my Ho-ang Ho.

    “Oh! when I clasp thee to my breast,
       Chang-fee, to whom the nations bow,
     Shall not be half so truly bless’d
       As Fa-fe-Fum and Ho-ang Ho!”

The birth of a son is an occasion of great rejoicing; the family, or
surname, is first given, and then the “milk name,” which is generally
some diminutive endearment. A month after the event, the relatives
and friends jointly send the child a silver plate, on which are
engraven, “Long life, honors, and felicity.” The boys are trained in
behavior and ceremonies from their earliest childhood; and at four
or five they commence reading. The importance of general education
was felt so long since in China, that a work, written before the
Christian era, speaks of the _ancient_ system of instruction, which
required that every town and village, down to only a few families,
should have a common school. The wealthy Chinese employ private
teachers, and others send their sons to day-schools, which are so
well attended that the fees paid by each boy are extremely small. In
large towns evening schools are held, that those who are compelled to
labor through the day may not be without the advantages of education.

A Chinese school is a great curiosity to an American. They all study
aloud, and it appears to cause no confusion with either teachers or
scholars, though it would in a Yankee school. But their appearance
is the greatest curiosity. Such a set of bald heads with young
bodies, their only hair a braided queue hanging down the back—such
young faces in the dress of old men, in frocks, leggins, and large
shoes, with boys’ motions and actions, and the medley of voices—such
a variety of grotesque sounds and tones, is a very novel sight, and
would make a laughable picture; but it would be necessary to produce
the sounds to give a correct idea of a Chinese school.

Of all the objects of the care of the Chinese, there are none to
which they so religiously attend as the _tombs of their ancestors_,
for they believe that any neglect is sure to be followed by worldly
misfortune. It is here that they manifest a religious zeal which is
hardly shown toward their gods. Their ceremonies connected with the
treatment of the dead are of a striking character. Aside from the
burial service, of which we have already spoken, there are others
commanded by their ritual to be performed. The original and strict
period of mourning is for a parent three years, but this is commonly
reduced in practice to twenty-seven months. Full three years must
elapse from the death of a parent before a child can marry.

A pleasing anecdote in relation to filial piety is related of a youth
named Ouang-Ouci-Yuen. Having lost his mother, who was all that
was dear to him, he passed the three years of mourning in a hut,
employing himself in his retirement composing verses in honor of his
parent. These are quoted by the Chinese as models of sentiment and
tenderness. The period of his mourning having elapsed, he returned to
his former residence, but did not forget his filial affection. His
mother had always expressed great fears of thunder, and, when it was
stormy, would request her son not to leave her. Therefore, as soon as
he heard a storm coming on, he would hasten to his mother’s grave,
saying softly to her, “_I am here, mother._”

The disposal of parental property by will is restricted to the legal
heirs. The eldest son has a double portion, or, more correctly
speaking, the property may be said to descend to the eldest son in
trust for all the younger brothers. Over them he has considerable
authority. They generally live together, and club their shares, by
which means families in this over-peopled country are more easily
supported than they otherwise would be. The constant exhortations in
the “Book of Sacred Edicts” point to this usage, and the necessity
for it, as they relate to the preservation of union and concord among
kindred and their families.

We are informed that the crime of infanticide prevails here to a
great extent, especially as regards female infants. They consider it
a great tax to bring them up and support them, as they think they
receive no particular benefit from so doing. This crime is more
common among the poorer classes, who, from their poverty, feel unable
to support them. To male children they appear much attached.

We were awakened one morning by the heavy guns of the “Susquehanna,”
and at first could not imagine the cause. But on gaining the deck
and looking around we saw all our national vessels with their
gayest colors flying, and smoke issuing from their sides. We then
recollected it was the ever-to-be-remembered 22d of February, the
anniversary birthday of our dearly-loved WASHINGTON, the best and
greatest man that ever lived. With great pride did we reflect that,
so far from our own dear land even, his name and memory were revered,
not only by his own countrymen, but by the descendants of those who
would once have gloried in his defeat and death. The English naval
vessels also dressed themselves in gay flags, the ever-beautiful
stars and stripes flying at the foremast head, and following our own
vessels in a national salute of thirty-one guns. Determined not to be
outdone by _foreigners_, after all the men-of-war in port had ceased
firing, the “Emily Morgan” hoisted the stars and stripes at the
mizzen peak, and other colors at the fore, main, and mizzen trucks,
brought her “six-pounder” to the gangway, and belched forth. This
proceeding created great astonishment among the government vessels,
who little expected to see a whaler saluting the anniversary-day.
But why not? we thought, and fired our thirty-one guns, ending with
a hearty “three times three,” which made the old harbor ring again.
The band from the “Susquehanna” now struck up “Hail Columbia,” which
seemed at once to transport us to the home of our beloved WASHINGTON,
our _own_ dearly-loved home. The house of the American consul was
thrown open to visitors, and we embraced the opportunity of calling
and paying our respects. We there met many of our countrymen, who
appeared to us like old friends, meeting at such a place and on such
an occasion.

While rambling through the city, we called at the rooms of a Chinese
artist, and there saw some beautiful paintings, mostly landscapes.
The portraits were not as well executed, the majority being mere
daubs. They appear greatly defective in painting the human figure,
not having correct ideas of proportion, or arrangement of lights
and shades. Some of the paintings representing groups looked really
ridiculous; but still, if they have a picture to copy, they do it
very finely.

Their powers of imitation, it is said, are not excelled by any
people, but they seemingly have no inventive faculties. Yet we saw
some things that would go to contradict this theory; and there is an
anecdote which was told us by a citizen of Hong Kong, who vouched
for its accuracy, that tends rather to disprove it, although the
idea carried out was not, perhaps, strictly an original one. At
the close of the celebrated “opium war,” some manufacturers at
Sheffield, England, hearing of the celebrated imitative powers of the
Chinese, sent to Hong Kong a quantity of the finest cambric needles,
requesting their agent to ascertain if they could be imitated by
the Chinese. The agent, accordingly, took some of them to a Chinese
cutler, and, telling him what was wanted, left them. In a few days
the needles were returned, with another package precisely similar,
except that the needles manufactured by the Chinaman _all had eyes
nicely drilled and finished in the points of them_! The Chinaman
called the next day after he had sent the package, and requested the
Englishman to send his needles to England, and ascertain if _they_
could be imitated. It is _needle_-ss to say that Johnny Bull never
sent John Chinaman any more cambric needles to imitate.

Still, if you wish an article made, they must have a copy, and that
copy will be _strictly followed_. An anecdote illustrating this is
related—the truth of which we do not vouch for, however—of an English
midshipman, who wished half a dozen pairs of pants made, of blue
cloth. Accordingly, he selected his tailor, gave him the order, and
left a pair as a pattern. It so happened that this pair had a small
patch on the seat, and was minus several buttons; and when the new
pants came on board, very neatly made, each had a similar patch,
and the same number of buttons missing—the Chinaman charging for the
extra sewing. As may be supposed, the middy was in a great rage; but
all the satisfaction he could get was that they were made _exactly_
like the pattern left.

The Chinese manufacture a liquor which they call “sam shu,” which
is very intoxicating, and of which they drink large quantities. It
often happens that they entice our naval seamen to partake of this
liquor, and they are as surely robbed as they _do_ partake of it,
for it is almost always drugged by them for the purpose, that they
may the easier rob poor Jack of his liberty money, or any thing else
they can carry off. On awaking, finding himself stripped of every
thing by the rascals, there is no resource for him but to return to
his ship, which is done. One would think that this treatment _once_
would be sufficient; yet it is practiced upon some many times.
Forgetting their former follies, they rush again into the embrace of
the soul-destroying, maddening cup.

Having a desire to see something of the domestic life of the
Chinese, and possessing a moderate share of what is sometimes termed
“impudence,” we, in company with two of our shipmates, invited
ourselves to _call_ upon a Chinese family. Selecting a house which
had the appearance of having a wealthy owner, we marched to the
door, and one of our number rapped. The door was opened by the lady
of the house, and in we marched. She immediately motioned us to
seats, looking at us, and evidently wondering to what she owed the
honor of this visit. The house had a very neat, tidy appearance,
as had also the hostess, who, though the mother of eight children,
appeared scarcely thirty years of age. They were boys, all but two,
and were romping about the room, raising “Ned” at a great rate. It
being their dinner-hour, she went about her business, leaving her
_polite_ visitors to make observations and amuse themselves as they
pleased. She soon returned, and placed on the centre of the floor
a large dish of boiled rice, another with vegetables, called the
children, and seated them on the floor around the “wittles.” After
passing us some tea, she took her station with the children, placed
a portion of the rice and vegetables on the plate of each one, gave
them their “chop-sticks” and told them, as we supposed, to commence.
And commence they did. These _chop-sticks_ are two round, slim pieces
of ivory, about eight inches in length, which supply the place of
both fork and spoon. With the _chop-sticks_ in the right hand and the
dish in the left, with its edge close to the mouth, the velocity with
which they “fork” down the rice is certainly surprising. They handle
these singular sticks with the greatest ease, picking up whatever
they wish, and conveying it to the mouth.

The principal food of the Chinese consists of rice, vegetables, and
fruit—eating little or no meat. The tea which our hostess had the
kindness to pass us was of a most excellent flavor. They drink no tea
but black, that being their favorite. It is very different from any
we ever drank in America, having a much better flavor. After thanking
the lady for her kindness, we took our leave, strolling into the
“Josh house,” or temple of worship.

This building is of one story, but covers a large area of ground.
It is very fancifully decorated on the outside; and on each side of
the entrance is a large sculptured dragon, about twelve or fifteen
feet in height. On coming to the gateway, we found the entrance paved
with smoothly-hewn stone, and, ascending a few steps, we entered
the building. Near the centre of the first room stands, or rather
sits, cross-legged, a great, disagreeable-looking bronze idol. It
is from twenty to thirty feet high; is represented as very fat,
with an immense belly, and laughing, as if very happy. Before him is
suspended a lantern, and in it a dim red light is burning, which is
never permitted to go out. On a table-like altar in front Josh-sticks
were smoking. In front of this table is a large metallic urn for
containing the ashes of the Josh-sticks and offerings. Before the
altar, in a line, are three stools, covered with little mats, for
the worshipers to kneel upon. Above, near the roof, is a Chinese
inscription in gilt letters; and each side of a post, extending from
the roof to the floor, is lined with the same kind of characters.

On the right were two other gods, facing toward the left, also in a
sitting posture, the legs being turned out, and the right foot of
each resting on the back of a tortoise. They were about twenty-five
or thirty feet high, and eighteen feet in circumference around
their middle. They were ornamented with bright and various colors,
and gilded and decorated in a profuse manner, appearing more like
theatrical characters than gods. Many smaller figures of the human
form are about the feet of the larger ones, as if paying them
homage. These, also, are richly and handsomely painted, and gilded
in a similar manner. All the gods have shrines, kneeling-stools,
and Josh-sticks placed before them. The first of these gods, on the
right of this room, is represented as a black man, with a huge beard,
wearing a crown, and holding a sword in one hand. This is the god
of war. The other is the god of music, with a complexion light and
delicate, animated features, and regularly trimmed mustaches. He is
playing a guitar, and smaller Chinese figures are playing at his feet.

On the left of the room, facing toward and corresponding with those
on the right, were two other gods of the same size and style, and
seated in the same manner as those on the opposite side of the hall.
One of them had in one hand a dragon’s egg, with the young dragon
just presenting itself, while in its other hand was held, writhing
about the arm, a serpent which he was crushing. The other god held a
flag, and had a very self-conceited expression of countenance, as if
he was a very great character in his own estimation. These are the
gods of vengeance and justice.

We passed through a door in the back part of the room into a second
apartment. This room contains the greatest number of idols, and is
where the principal religious ceremonies are performed. Idols are
arranged all round the room, and there are several in the centre. As
you enter the door, three huge gods, twenty-five feet high, appear,
looking very demurely, with eyes cast downward. Two goddesses, one
on each side, stand facing at right angles. They are all very richly
dressed—the goddesses particularly so, having crowns on their heads.
The others have nothing on their heads but a sort of skull-cap,
without a front-piece. The usual amount of vases, Josh-sticks, etc.,
were standing around, besides various other things, the use of which
we did not learn. On the left of the altar was a large iron kettle,
used for a drum; and there was also a hollow instrument, made from
a peculiar kind of wood, and in the shape of a large sleigh-bell,
for drumming purposes. Back of all these idols is a goddess mounted
upon an ass, the head of the animal being turned up toward her, as if
braying. The gods around the outside of this room were in two rows,
and were about the size of men, of various patterns and designs,
probably that each worshiper might choose a god for himself.

While examining matters and things in this room, a female approached,
and, going to a desk or counter that stood in one part of the room,
held a short conversation with a priest who stood there. She then
purchased a bunch of fire-crackers (such as Young America delights
in on Independence days); then advanced to one of the large idols,
kneeled down, bowing her head so that it touched the stone floor,
three times in succession. She then took two sticks or pieces of
wood, resembling oyster-shells, which she held above her head and
let fall. This she repeated, bowing her head to the stone floor two
or three times, taking particular care, however, not to strike the
floor _hard_ enough to break any of the stones, or her head either.
Appearing not to be satisfied, she arose, her countenance betraying
great anguish. Leaving her angry god, she turned to the goddess, who,
she thought, would better understand her feelings, being a woman like
herself, and, with her head bowed again, went through the same forms.
This time, on arising, she appeared more pleased, and, lighting
Josh-sticks, she again commenced, holding the burning sticks in her
hand, advancing to the goddess, then receding from it, then bowing to
the floor, striking the head, etc., besides much more that was about
as foolish. She then lighted the crackers, and threw them around in
all directions. At last she took a bamboo box of tablets in her hand,
shook it till one fell out, with some Chinese motto on it, which she
carried to the priest, who interpreted it, giving her a corresponding
slip of paper, which, we suppose, after being burned, entitles her to
some thousands of cash in their spirit-world, or admits her to some
great honors and privileges. Any person, by paying a few cash, can
shake the box and obtain a similar receipt. After chin-chinning the
principal god in the room, she departed.

In all the Chinese houses which we visited Josh-sticks are kept
continually burning, to drive away the evil spirits, and keep them
from harm.

While a part of the ship’s company were on shore enjoying themselves,
the remainder, on board ship, were continually devising means to
“kill time.” On one occasion, Tom W., our old joker, made his
appearance on deck, presenting a most comical figure. He had on a
pair of pants that came within six inches of his ankles, with a
narrow piece of leather passing around the bottom of his feet for
straps; a coat with the waist between his shoulders, and the skirts
trailing the decks; the whole surmounted by a tall, bell-crowned
hat, with narrow rim. About his neck was suspended a boatswain’s
whistle. Rigged out in this style, he mounted the “hurricane deck,”
and commenced pacing to and fro with great dignity. On board the
“Susquehanna” they were exercising the men in loosing and furling
the sails, and every time the whistle of the boatswain sounded on
board, Tom replied, imitating them as nearly as possible, and turning
“full front” to the frigate, over whose sides were seen sundry heads,
peering at the whaler to see what could be the matter. To all this,
however, Tom paid no attention, but continued his dignified strut,
interspersing his walk with all manner of “calls” on his boatswain’s
whistle. The quarter-master of the frigate now leveled his glass
at the whaler’s “boatswain,” and took a long squint. Perceiving
this, Tom called for his glass, and one of the boys passed him a
_handspike_. Bringing it to bear, he “squinted” in return at the
quarter-master; then would take a turn or two fore and aft the
deck, give a shrill whistle, and again level his “glass.” By this
time most of the officers of the “Susquehanna” were gathered on the
quarter-deck of that vessel, staring at us, and probably thinking all
hands drunk or crazy. Tom, who knew how far to carry the joke, now
came down from his elevated position.

The sails having been loosed to dry during the day, toward evening
the watch were sent up to furl them. Every thing in readiness, Tom’s
whistle sounded, all hands sprang into the rigging, and mounted
aloft. The sail was rolled on the yard at the sound of the whistle;
the men descended from aloft, and mounted, furled a second, then a
third sail, and so on through the whole programme: all was done at
the sound of the boatswain’s whistle. This proceeding “astonished
the natives;” the officers and crews of the several men-of-war and
other vessels gazing at the new “wrinkle,” and systematic style of
performing work on board a _Yankee sperm whaler_!

Notwithstanding the fact that numerous naval vessels belonging to
the United States, England, and France are nearly all the time on
this station, yet the coast and Canton River swarm with Chinese
pirates. The government of China, also, has an armed junk, mounting
twelve guns, stationed on the coast, for the ostensible purpose of
protecting commerce; but it is pretty strongly believed that this
Chinese man-of-war not only winks at the piracies committed, but
is not backward about running up the black flag herself on certain
occasions. About the time we arrived at Hong Kong, a brig bound to
some part of the East Indies was overhauled, before she was clear
of the bay, by a number of fishing-junks, as they professed to call
themselves, and, after massacring nearly all the crew, and wounding
the remainder—leaving them dead, as they supposed—they rifled the
brig, taking away every thing they found of any value. The next
morning she was found in this disabled condition by the Chinese
man-of-war, who took her in tow, and brought her into port. One
of the English men-of-war immediately got under weigh, and, after
cruising among the various islands a few days, overhauled some of
the junks and brought them in. The prisoners were immediately taken
ashore and tried; several were hung, and the remainder imprisoned at
hard labor for the remainder of their lives.

We had heard much of the Chinese theatre, or Sing Song, as they term
it, and concluded we would pay it a visit. The building, which is a
temporary erection, is very large, built of bamboo, and capable of
containing four or five thousand persons. The gallery is large and
commodious, it being built for the accommodation of the “fan-qui-loo”
(foreign devils). The Celestials occupy the pit, and, there being no
seats, they are compelled to stand. To see such a mass of heads, “all
shaven and shorn,” in one compact space, swaying to and fro, and hear
the continual buzz of their voices, is really amusing. And then to
watch them as a policeman goes through the crowd, semi-occasionally
bringing his short club down upon the bare heads of the Chinese,
just heavy enough to make them sing out “Hi-yar-r-h! how can do?
no proper.” Still, they make room for him, not caring to receive a
second whack. After looking at the crowd below us, and wondering
where they all came from, until we became somewhat restless, we were
fairly startled by a most frightful, horrible din. Gongs, bells,
and sundry other equally harmonious instruments were made visible,
and the “orchestra” were beating and playing them as if each were
paid according to the amount of noise he made, and was determined
to win. This horrible _music_, as they termed it, appeared to
increase, until we were obliged to stop our ears with our fingers, to
prevent being entirely deafened. However, it ceased as suddenly as
it commenced, and the performers made their appearance, dressed in
the richest Chinese style. Alter going through a sort of pantomime,
which lasted about half an hour, a couple of them, who appeared to
be leaders of the different parties, jabbered away at each other in
Chinese, and finally commenced a regular fight, which soon became
general, all hands “pitching in” in the most scientific Chinese
manner. Fire-crackers were burned, gongs sounded, and other warlike
demonstrations generally were gone through with, until one of the
parties, having killed their opponents, now dragged them from the
stage. This was followed by other scenes equally interesting to those
who could understand nothing that was said. The performances closed
by acrobatic feats, which were equal, if not superior, to any we ever
saw. We can only sum up the whole by saying the crowd was immense,
the performance nonsensical, and the music horrible.

The Chinese method of erecting stone buildings is very singular; and,
although it shows the inferiority of the Celestials to the “outside
barbarians,” still it is very ingenious. A perpendicular bamboo wall
is first built as a guide, and the stones are then laid inside and
against it till the walls are complete. One would naturally think
that they could lay the stone wall as perpendicular as they could
build the bamboo, yet we were assured they could not. We noticed a
fine building in process of erection—a masonic temple. This building
was for the use of a lodge working under a charter from England, and
composed of English and American residents.

We were rejoiced to learn that a “Bethel” had been established
in Hong Kong, and we gladly accepted the opportunity given us of
attending it. It is a floating “Bethel,” and seems especially
adapted to the wants of seamen, who feel much more “at home” there
than inside brick walls. The chaplain appeared to be an excellent,
earnest, kind man, devoted to the cause in which he was engaged. We
were pleased to notice the quiet deportment and strict attention paid
to the remarks by the seamen in attendance.

We had now been in Hong Kong several weeks, and it was time for the
“old man” to think of deep water again. Accordingly, on Tuesday,
February 28th, we commenced preparations for sea—for our _last_
cruise. Our provisions, water and all, were on board, and all that
was wanting was the word, and the anchor would soon be apeak. A
little incident transpired, however, which served to detain us a
day longer. Several Chinese merchants were on board, showing their
goods and doing their best endeavors to effect sales. They knew,
from seeing the “Blue Peter” at the fore, that we were to sail on
that day, and they were off in great numbers in consequence. Among
the rest were several shoemakers, who appeared _determined_ to sell.
After a good deal of bargaining and bantering, the chief mate ordered
all to leave _instanter_. In collecting their shoes preparatory to
leaving, one of them discovered, or supposed he discovered, a pair
missing, for which he had received no pay. This put him in a great
rage, and he left muttering vengeance on the “’parme whaler,” as he
termed it. He soon returned, however, accompanied by a policeman,
who explained what he came for. The Chinaman charged one of the
crew with stealing them, whose chest was immediately searched, but
no shoes were found. There was now no remedy but the man must go on
shore before a magistrate. In company with the chief mate, the man
proceeded to the magistrate’s office, where the Chinaman was called
upon to make his statement. After having sworn him as to the truth of
it, the _prisoner_ was put upon the _witness’_ stand and sworn. On
being asked if he saw the Chinaman on board the ship with shoes for
sale, he answered “yes.”

“Did you take any of those shoes unlawfully?” was the next question.

“No, sir,” was the answer.

“Did you _see_ any person take any shoes unlawfully from the

“No, sir.”

The magistrate now turned to the Celestial, and sternly remarked:
“Look here, John Chinaman, if you ever come before me again with such
a story, I will send you to the ‘lock-up’ for two years,” and then
dismissed the case.

The following day, March 1st, we took our anchor from China soil,
bade adieu to Hong Kong, and with light hearts made sail for Japan.
The pilot remained with us until the day following, when we took
leave of him with three hearty cheers, with three more for a “lucky

                            CHAPTER XXVI.

  Fishing Junks.—New Companions.—Stove Boat, yet good Luck.—Heavy
    Gales.—Bashee Islands.—Loo Choos.—The “Reaper” again.—Whaling Ship
    “Jireh Perry.”—Ship “Alabama.”—“Gamming.”—Ship “Roscoe.”—A Cure
    for “Bruisers.”—Ship “E. L. B. Jenney.”—Bark “Empress.”—Ormsby’s
    Peak.—Bonin Islands.—Turtles.—Peel’s Island.—A narrow Escape.—
    Bonin Island Inhabitants.—Japan Expedition.—An old Shipmate.—
    Another Runaway.—Fourth of July Celebration.—Ship “Rambler.”—Ship
    “Hope.”—Parting with an old Friend.—Fishing.—The last Lowering.—
    Bound for the Sandwich Islands.—Maui and Molokai.—Lahaina.—Anchor
    down.—Description of Lahaina.—King’s Palace.—Lahainaluna.—Rules
    and Regulations.—Sports and Pastimes.—Letters from Home.—
    Productions of Maui.—Captain M‘Culloch.—Sad News.—Death of
    Stoddard.—Voracity of the Shark.—Kanaka Church.—Small-pox.

Thursday morning, March 3d, saw us clear of the land, with no wind,
and enveloped in a thick fog. At noon the fog commenced rising, and
as it continued slowly, exposed to our view a swarm of fishing junks.
This did not create a very pleasant feeling in our midst, as we well
knew that many of the so-called fishing junks were only pirates in
disguise. One of them sent a boat with some fish, which we purchased,
and then sent him off, as we did not like his appearance. It was
still calm, and all hands were “whistling for a breeze,” which soon
came, and before evening we were bowling it off at the rate of nine

We had forgotten to mention that while in port we shipped two men,
an officer and a boat-steerer. The officer, Mr. M., was a _windy_,
braggadocio fellow, not over-stocked with common sense, whom all
hands learned soon to hate and despise. The other, Davy, the
boat-steerer, was a Frenchman, a very quiet, easy fellow, not at all
inclined to kill himself with hard work.

We had been but a few days from port, and while yet in the China Sea,
when the glad cry was heard, “T-h-e-r-e she b-l-o-w-s.” As this was
our _last cruise_, it can be easily imagined how “eager for the fray”
we were. Down went the boats, the men following, feeling decidedly
_fishy_. The larboard and starboard boats soon fastened, and killed
their whales with but little trouble; but not so with the bow boat.
Our new officer must needs “show off” his skill, and, after fastening
to his whale, drove the boat completely on to him, when he turned,
and commenced very coolly chewing the boat to pieces. This was very
unfortunate, as the waist boat, which was nearly up to a fourth
whale, was necessarily obliged to go to the relief of the stove boat.
The wounded whale fortunately received the harpoon in a vital part,
and soon “turned up,” so that we got three whales, which was not a
bad commencement for the cruise.

We now experienced very heavy gales of wind—what seamen call the
“tail end” of a typhoon. It came upon us at first unawares, and we
were near losing all our sails and spars, which would have rendered
us a complete wreck. For an hour or two the wind would blow with
_tremendous_ force—it appeared that every thing must give way; and
then a calm of an hour or two would occur, the sea now rolling and
pitching in great fury. This weather lasted for two or three days;
and when pleasant weather again broke upon us, never was it more
welcome. We now sighted the northern islands of the Bashee group, and
it was with difficulty that we kept clear of them.

On Thursday, March 24th, we sighted the southernmost island of the
Loo Choo group, belonging to the Japan government. These islands
possessed a peculiar interest to us at this time, as Commodore Perry
was then on his celebrated expedition to Japan, and it was expected
he would visit the Loo Choos about this time.

Twice during our voyage had death visited us, and taken from us
officers and shipmates. Again he came, and on this occasion visited
the forecastle, taking with him one of our Roratongo natives. He
died on Monday, April 12th, of consumption. When he left his native
island he was troubled with a severe cough, which grew worse rather
than better, until his condition was one past all hope. While in
Hong Kong he was placed in the hospital, and every thing that
medical skill could do to effect a cure was resorted to, but all
in vain. The captain endeavored to persuade him to remain there,
promising to leave him so situated that he would be as comfortable as
possible while he lived; but this he would not consent to. He said
he did not wish to remain there and die among strangers, but would
rather be with those with whom he had lately lived—those who were
his acquaintances, and among his native friends. Every thing that
could be done by captain, officers, and crew to make his last days
comfortable and happy, was done. But the time drew near when he was
to depart. Death already stood at his bedside, awaiting the summons
to convey him over the dark river. Calling his Kanaka friends about
him, whose tears flowed fast and full, he gave them sundry messages
to his parents, brothers, and sisters; told them to say to all he
died a Christian, firm in the faith of a redeeming Savior; and that,
although his body might be buried in the depths of the dark blue sea,
yet his soul would ascend to that glorious home above, which his
Savior had “prepared for all those who love him.” He exhorted us all,
in as strong a voice as his weak nature would permit, to prepare for
death, for death would as surely come to us as to him. Requesting his
native friends to sing, in their language, his favorite “missionary
hymn,” as he termed it, “Oh! that will be joyful, joyful, joyful,”
etc., he quietly dropped asleep in death.

What a lesson was here taught us nominal Christians by this poor
native! An inhabitant of an island but a few years since barbarous,
dying strong in the faith of a blessed immortality beyond the grave.
If all the missionaries who have left their homes to labor for the
spread of the Gospel among the heathen had accomplished no more,
through Christ, than the salvation of this one native, yet were they
well repaid. “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world
and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his

At four P.M. all sail was taken in, the ensign half-mast, and again
were all hands called to “witness burial service.” After the usual
ceremonies, which were very affecting, the plank was raised, and the
body committed to the deep.

Reader, when you die, it will be, we trust, in the Sabbath calm
of your hushed chamber; but the poor sailor dies at sea, between
the narrow decks of his rolling home. The last accents that reach
your ear will be those of love and affection, such as alone flow
from a mother’s heart and a sister dear; the last sounds that reach
the dying sailor’s ear are the hoarse murmur of that wave which
seems impatient to grasp its victim. You will be buried beneath the
green tree, where love and grief may go to strew their flowers and
cherish your virtues; but the poor sailor is hearsed in the dark
depths of the ocean, there to drift about in its under-currents
till the great judgment day. Alas! for the poor sailor, often the
child of misfortune, impulse, and error, his brief life fraught with
privations, hardship, and peril, his grave, at last, the foaming
deep! Though man pity him not, may God, in his great mercy, remember
his weaknesses and trials, and save him through his Son!

From this time until about the 15th of April we were very successful,
obtaining, in three weeks’ time, about three hundred barrels of
oil. This, with the whales we captured in the China Sea, increased
our store nearly four hundred barrels since leaving Hong Kong. As a
matter of course, all hands, from captain to cook, were in the best
possible humor. This was our last cruise, and “every whale counted.”
We were now steering for the Bonin Islands, to procure turtle, sweet
potatoes, watermelons, etc.

Saturday, April 30th, brought to view a sail on our weather beam, the
clipper whaler “Jireh Perry,” of New Bedford, Captain Lawrence. This
man was a perfect tyrant on board ship, and no crew had ever sailed
with him from home and returned. It was stated, and pretty generally
believed, that he had killed no less than three men since he had
become master of a ship; yet, because he always was fortunate enough
to obtain large quantities of oil, and mean enough to treat his crew
so that they would all desert at the last port touched at before
leaving for home rather than go home in the ship, thereby leaving
_all_ the profits to the owners, he could obtain a ship of whom he

A few days later we spoke the “Alabama,” Captain Coggeshall, who
reported that the day before Captain L., of the “Jireh Perry,” had
shot his cook for some trifling cause.

On Saturday, May 21st, we “gammed” with our old friends of the
“Mohawk.” Probably the reader is unacquainted with the meaning of
the term “gam,” which is peculiar to whalemen alone. It is simply
_visiting_ from one ship to another. When two ships meet, one captain
invites the other to come on board and pass the day. On his arrival
with a boat’s crew, the chief mate of the vessel that has given
the invitation returns with a boat’s crew from his own ship to the
stranger, thus leaving the two captains on one ship, and the two
mates on the other, and exchanging boat’s crews. The first salute
generally is, “How are you, shipmate? how long are you out? how
much oil have you got? what part of the States are you from?” But a
short time elapses before all hands are acquainted; the visitors are
invited into the forecastle, where some time is spent in spinning
yarns. After a short general conversation, the song is called for,
and some one, generally _the_ singer of the ship, leads off, singing
some love-ditty, pirate, or sailor song, all hands joining in the
chorus, and making the welkin ring. The song goes round, and he who
can not sing must spin a yarn; all must contribute to the general
amusement. The day passes pleasantly away, all labor being suspended
except the look-out for whales and sailing the ship. These “gams”
are to the sailor moments of recreation, and serve to create general
satisfaction among all hands. During these “gams” whales are often
raised, and the oil secured on the occasion is equally divided
between the two ships, “be the same more or less.”

A queer genius was Captain Hayden, of the “Roscoe.” Meeting him about
the 1st of June, Captain Ewer invited him on board. On crossing
the “Roscoe’s” stern, we observed that Captain H. had his right
arm in a sling. Fears were expressed that he had injured himself
in some manner. His head also was bound up in a handkerchief.
Coming alongside, the man-rope was swung to him, and he came up the
ship’s side with one hand, keeping the other in the sling. After
congratulations had been exchanged, Captain E. anxiously inquired
what was the matter with his arm, “hoping he had not injured it
severely, or broken any bones.” Captain H. replied, his countenance
as grave as a judge, that “he had been at work very hard during the
day, and his arm being somewhat tired, he was merely resting it!”
Captain E. replied that he might have suspected some trick of that
kind, and asked him “what was the matter with his head; if that had
been hard at work also?” He pulled off the handkerchief which bound
it, and exposed a completely bald head; making the remark that “he
had not seen a whale for two months, and he had shaved his head, and
should keep it so, until he took one hundred barrels of oil.” After
passing a very pleasant day and evening they departed. We now shaped
our course for the Bonin Islands.

It is sometimes the case that disputes arise among the foremast
hands, and, instead of settling the matter in an amicable manner,
resort is often had to blows. An instance of this kind occurring
about this time, and reaching the captain’s ears, the disputants were
called aft, and each were furnished with a rope, and ordered to flog
one another until he told them to stop. This novel mode of settling
the affair they did not relish, yet obey they must, and at it they
went. After belaboring each other to their hearts’ content, they were
ordered to cease, and went forward rather ashamed of themselves.

We saw the “E. L. B. Jenny,” of Fairhaven, Captain Marsh, on Friday,
June 10th. They had taken, a few days previous, a whale which “stowed
down” upward of one hundred and thirty barrels. Such whales are very
“few and far between.”

On Wednesday, June 15th, we raised a strange sail to leeward. Running
down to her, we found it to be the bark “Empress,” a Peruvian
merchantman, from Cumsingmoon, China, to Callao, with four hundred
Chinese coolies on board, bound to the mines in Peru. This system of
deception is equaled only by the African slave-trade. The Chinese
(who are generally of the lower classes) are allured, by flattering
inducements, to go to California, or some other equally rich country,
where, they are told, they will become rich in a few years, and can
return to their own country. As soon as they get them on shipboard, a
guard is stationed over them, with orders to shoot down the first one
that shows any signs of resistance. Being kept such close prisoners,
and on the coarsest food, they are naturally joyous at the sight
of land, and leave the vessel with glad hearts, only to enter the
slavery of the Peruvian mines. This species of slave-trade is, like
the African slave-trade in our own land, forbidden by the laws of the
country, but secretly connived and winked at.

“Ormsby’s Peak,” of which we give a sketch taken on shipboard, we saw
on Saturday, June 18th. It rises about two hundred feet above the
level of the ocean, and has no shallow shores around it. Soundings
can not be obtained close to the rock. It is one of nature’s great

On Thursday, June 23d, we first raised the Bonin Islands, consisting
of Perry’s Group, Peel’s and Bailey’s Islands. We here caught a
green turtle, who was asleep upon the water. We soon had him in our
coppers, making turtle-soup for all hands.

The morning of Monday, June 27th, saw us close in to Peel’s Island.
This island presents a fine appearance from the sea, the land being
moderately high, and thickly covered with verdure. On the west side
is a fine harbor with good anchorage, and very convenient for ships
wishing to water. About 9 A.M. the wind died away, leaving it a dead,
dull calm, and the current slowly drifted us toward the northern
point of the island. As we neared the land destruction appeared
almost inevitable, and we feared that the voyage of the “Emily
Morgan” was about being brought to a sudden termination, leaving her
bones to bleach upon the rocks. But an overruling Providence held
all in His hands, and, when within a stone’s throw of the shore, we
struck a westerly current, which swept us clear of the point.

[Illustration: ORMSBY’S PEAK.]

It still continued calm until Wednesday the 29th. During that day a
breeze sprang up, and we again made the land. Captain E. and a boat’s
crew had been on shore two days, in consequence of our drifting
away from the land. They came off on this day, bringing with them
some sweet potatoes and two fine large turtle. But very few persons
reside on these islands—some twelve or fifteen. Mr. Savory, the
oldest inhabitant, came to Peel’s Island in 1812, and has never left
it. All living on the island are English or American. Irish and sweet
potatoes, corn, melons, onions, and nearly all kinds of vegetables,
are raised with the greatest ease. Oranges and pine-apples are of
spontaneous growth, and abundant. Green turtle, also, are found here
in great numbers, and easily procured.

The expedition to Japan, under Commodore Perry, paid this island
a visit, and the commodore was very strongly impressed with the
idea of making it a naval and coal dépôt for vessels plying between
San Francisco, Australia, and Hong Kong; so much so that he took
possession of a portion of it (with the consent and approbation of
the inhabitants), and sent on shore three men, with agricultural
implements, seeds, live-stock, etc., to experiment, while he
proceeded to the Loo Choos, and to await his return.

The reader will doubtless recollect one “John Wilds,” who sailed with
us a short time during the first part of the voyage, and who left to
go to the gold mines in Australia. What was our surprise to find him
living on Peel’s Island. He informed us that, finding it rather hard
digging in Australia, he shipped for Hong Kong, where he joined a
whaler. Serving a short season in her, he left, and had since resided
on Peel’s Island, raising vegetables, and catching turtle for ships.
He had thrown aside the _profession_ of sailor, and had become a

While all hands were busily engaged, from ship to shore, and shore
to ship, laying in a stock of vegetables and turtle for our last
cruise, one of our men became so enamored with Peel’s Island that he
concluded to take French leave. Accordingly, while on shore, he took
to his heels and made off. The officer in charge of the boat gave
chase, but the man was too nimble for him, and he was soon out of
sight. Foolish fellow! he was the loser some four hundred dollars by
the operation, and in a few months later lost his life, having been
capsized in a boat and drowned.

We now come to the last anniversary of our nation’s birthday that we
were destined to spend together in our ocean home, and we resolved
that it should be a merry one. All unnecessary work was suspended;
the doctor was ordered to serve up his best dishes for the occasion,
and all hands went in for a merry time—a celebration on our own hook.
During the morning a national salute was fired, the glorious stars
and stripes floating proudly at our mizzen peak the mean while. At
twelve dinner was announced. The bill of fare, as presented by the
doctor, was turtle soup, boiled turtle, fried turtle, and turtle in
every conceivable way; sweet potatoes; cakes; pies; custards; turtle
eggs, fried and boiled; plum duff, etc., etc.—the whole forming a
repast that Jack seldom sits down to. All hands did ample justice to
the dinner, which the old darkey cook received as a great compliment.
“I tought,” said he, “I fix dinner for you dis foufh July just suit
you, and I been gone done it.” We now postponed further proceedings
until evening. Among other good things, the steward had brewed a
barrel of excellent small beer for the occasion from sweet potatoes
and hops. And now the watch had been set; none on deck save the man
at the wheel and the officer pacing his rounds. Forward were all
hands in the forecastle, which was brilliantly illuminated by the
real spermaceti—the spoils of our own hard-fought battles—each one
seated with his pot of beer before him. The song was called for;
and “Hail Columbia!” was sung by Yankees, Englishmen, Frenchmen,
Spaniards, Portuguese, and Kanakas, as never sung before. Patriotic
speeches followed, and the sentiment of devotion to our country was
toasted: “three times three,” with a will, was given for the “land
of the free and the home of the brave.” The Kanakas and Portuguese,
although not understanding the “merits of the case,” entered into
the sport with a hearty good-will, drinking their small-beer,
occasionally exclaiming, “Hurra Fourth July! very good; I like s’pose
he come every day.” And thus our last Fourth of July in a whaler
passed. Although not making as much of a “splurge” as did many
_patriots_ on that day, yet our hearts beat as true, and expressed as
much devotion to our country.

From this time our good fortune, that had followed us during the
cruise so far, appeared to gain. During the next thirty days we
captured nearly three hundred barrels of oil, which was in itself
a good season’s work. Fortune had at last crowned our efforts with
success, and each day, as it passed, would hear some one exclaim,
“One day less on board the old hooker!”

Nothing of peculiar interest transpired further during the cruise
except an occasional meeting with a brother whaleman. We were all
the time working our way to the eastward, preparatory to leaving the
ground in September. On Tuesday, August 4th, spoke the “Rambler,” of
Nantucket, Captain Potter. Soon after parting company, we lowered
our boats and captured two large whales, they yielding us about one
hundred and sixty barrels of oil. On the 25th of the same month we
gammed with the “Hope,” of New Bedford, Captain Gifford. We found him
quite ill, and hardly able to walk the deck; yet in this same feeble
condition, a few days previous, when whales were raised, he had been
placed in his boat, bolstered up with pillows, and actually captured
a large whale. Nothing, he said, but his anxiety to get a good
voyage induced him to do so.

The following day we again gammed with our old friends of the
“Roscoe.” It will be remembered that we had with us a Kanaka from
Simpson’s Island, whom we called “Dick Simpson.” As he did not
wish to go to America, the captain told him that he might go into
the first ship that we met that would take him to his island. An
opportunity now presented itself in the “Roscoe,” and Dick availed
himself of it. The captain gave him his discharge, and paid him in
tobacco, pipes, calico, trinkets, etc.—the currency of “his land”—and
Dick prepared to leave us. Nearly every one of the crew made him
some present as a token of affection, for we all loved good-natured,
obliging Dick Simpson. What if his skin was of a dingy hue, he had
a brave, good heart, as we all could testify, and we could see that
heart was heavy as he bade us each an adieu. The “pumps” of more
than one warm-hearted sailor were “set going” on that occasion, but
none were ashamed of them. Neither was he soon forgotten, but long
remembered by us all.

We now, for a few days, turned our attention to fishing on a somewhat
different scale than we had been. It is a peculiarity of the Japan
sperm-whale fishing-ground that ships are surrounded nearly the
whole season by albicore and bonita. These fish are easily caught in
the following manner: the fisherman seats himself upon the weather
rail, first provided with a line and hook, the _bait_ consisting of
a small piece of white rag. This is fastened to the back of the hook
in a peculiar manner, so as to resemble a pair of wings as much as
possible. Then skimming the hook thus baited along the surface of the
water as the ship goes through it, the foolish albicore or bonita
sees it, and, thinking to make a meal off some unlucky flying-fish,
makes a leap for it, and finds himself immediately landed upon deck.
Often have we sat thus, and hauled them in as fast as we could drop
the line and disengage the hook. As we before remarked, all hands,
for two or three days, turned our attention to this kind of fishing,
and we soon had about fifty barrels of them cleaned and salted for
“liberty money” in the Sandwich Islands: they there command the
highest price.


As there must be a “_first time_ for every thing,” so, we suppose,
there must be a “last time” also. We had had our “first lowering,”
and the time had now arrived when, we hoped, we were to have our
“last.” The captain had informed us that, “just as soon as we
got one hundred and fifty barrels more, we could sing ‘Homeward
Bound.’” No one was dull now at masthead; all eyes were open; and
the mastheads were double manned with volunteers every day. Not long
was it to be before our wishes were gratified. On the morning of
Friday, September 2, at about 8 o’clock, the old cry—never before
so welcome—“T-h-e-r-e s-h-e b-l-o-w-s!” broke forth. The excitement
that ensued beggars description. The day was beautiful; the whales
were to leeward; and a nice breeze was sending us slowly through
the water. Every circumstance was in our favor. The men knew the
conditions of our being able to soon point our ship’s head homeward.
We were now nearly four years from home. Many of us had heard no
word—not even a _word_—from the dear friends we left behind. Every
man looked “whale” as he stepped into the boat, and our young fourth
mate—a boy in years, but a _man_ in soul—said to his crew as he left
the ship, “Boys, you need not expect to put foot upon the Emily’s
decks again till we have drawn the claret from one of those fellows.”
And they did not. In less than two hours after lowering, two more
of the leviathans of the deep had ceased to live. They were brought
alongside and secured. The captain now called all hands aft, and
complimented them upon the day’s success, proposed three cheers,
which were given, and which made the old ship ring again: “And now,”
said he, “let us have their jackets in on deck as soon as possible.”

The following Wednesday we stowed down the oil, and found we had one
hundred and sixty barrels, ten more than we asked for, but which
was “good for leeway.” The ship’s head was now pointed toward the
Sandwich Islands, with all sail, every stitch we could carry, crowded
upon her. Joy now reigned throughout the ship.

On Monday, October 10th, we sighted the islands of Maui and Molokai.
The weather was thick and squally, and we stood off and on the
land that night, and the following day steered down the passage
between the two islands. At noon we came in sight of the anchorage
and shipping, but, the wind dying away to a calm, we were not able
to come to an anchor until 4 P.M. of the next day, Wednesday. It
was hard to bear, lying in a calm, in sight of the anchorage, for
twenty-four hours; but we had to submit. But we finally dropped our
anchor, for the last time on foreign soil, in the harbor of Lahaina,
island of Maui.

[Illustration: HAWAIIAN ISLANDS]

[Illustration: LAHAINA.]

Strictly speaking, there is no harbor at this island. The anchorage
is merely a roadstead, which is on the south side of it, and
protects the shipping from the northerly gales, which are the most
prevalent. In case of a sou’easter, however, ships must put to sea or
be driven on the reef. We found about seventy sail at anchor, about
sixty-five of them American whalemen.

As soon as the anchor was down we were visited by the harbor-master,
accompanied by the seamen’s chaplain, Rev. Mr. Bishop. After the
former had transacted his business, the latter addressed to us some
very excellent remarks, distributed several copies of the “Seamen’s
Friend,” and concluded by cordially inviting all to come and see
him; also to attend Bethel on the Sabbath. The “Seamen’s Friend” is
a sheet published at Honolulu, Wauhoo, by Father Damon, as he is
familiarly called, and is devoted to the spiritual and temporal good
of the sailor.

The town of Lahaina (pronounced _Lahena_) is beautifully situated
on the level land skirting the sea, and extends along the shore a
distance of two miles. Back from the shore it reaches to the foot of
the mountains, thus lying hemmed in, as it were, by the sea in front
and the mountains in the rear. The streets are lined with beautiful
shade-trees on either side, which, in the hot weather, afford a cool
and delicious retreat. The reef extends the whole length of the town,
about forty rods from shore, and, but for a small opening or break
in it, boats would be unable to land. In times of a southerly gale
the breakers extend across this passage, and then it is extremely
difficult and dangerous to go through. Many seamen have lost their
lives in attempting to go through the passage at such times.

Immediately in front of the landing is a large fort, built of coral
rock, yet not very formidable in its appearance. The black guns which
peer over the dingy walls are of small calibre, and not capable
of doing much execution. The site is a most excellent one, as the
whole shipping lies within its range. It is guarded by a portion
of the Hawaiian army, who look _malicious_ enough, though not much
like _militia_. They have very little of the air and appearance of

The main or principal street runs nearly east and west, and on it are
situated the public stores, and most of the residences of the foreign
population. We found, also, a large and commodious hotel on the north
side of this street, the front commanding a view of the shipping,
and the sides and back surrounded by a beautiful grove, altogether
one of the most beautiful and lovely spots imaginable. This hotel is
frequented by captains and officers of the various ships in port.

On the first street in the rear of the one above mentioned stands a
native church. It is under the direction of American missionaries.
Rambling about in search of something new, we accidentally came to
a “Seamen’s Reading-room,” in the basement of the Bethel Church.
Here we found late papers from all parts of the Union, and were
soon lost to every thing but them. As evening drew nigh, it warned
us that we must depart, but with more of a _home_ feeling than
we had experienced for years. This reading-room is supported by
voluntary contributions from seamen visiting Lahaina, and is under
the direction and charge of Rev. Mr. Bishop, its founder. It is open
from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., and is situated in a delightfully cool and
shady spot. It forms an excellent retreat from the scorching rays
of the sun, and too much praise can not be awarded to Mr. B. for
his kindness and liberality in establishing so useful and pleasant
a place of resort for the sailor to pass his hours in instructive

The form of government of the Sandwich Islands is too well known
to need even a passing notice here. The king resides at Honolulu,
which is the capital of the kingdom, but he has a palace in the
eastern portion of this village, which is his residence while on
this island, attending to matters of government. It is a large stone
building, two stories, with a piazza at either end. It resembled a
prison, we thought, more than a palace.

It is well known that the missionaries of the cross have been the
humble instruments in the hands of God of doing much good at these
islands. We were informed that nearly all the natives of influence
throughout the kingdom had united with the Church of Christ, and were
earnest in their efforts to promote the happiness and prosperity of
the whole population. Yet many of them (the lower classes) cling
to the superstitions of their ancestors, and, so long as they do,
they must remain rude and ignorant. The climate appears to agree
with foreign residents remarkably well. Although situated within
the tropics, the northeast trade-winds, which almost constantly
blow here, cool the atmosphere, and make it exceedingly genial and
pleasant. Being situated nearly in the centre of the North Pacific,
the temperature of the atmosphere is very regular, seldom varying
more than five degrees for months; and we were informed by an old
resident that he had not known the thermometer to vary ten degrees in
years. It generally is about eighty in the shade.

Back from the village, upon a fine eminence, is a missionary
settlement, called Lahainaluna, with schools for the education of
the young. It is a beautiful location. In front may be seen the
village of Lahaina and the shipping, with the island of Molokai in
the distance; to the right, Wauhoo and Ranai present themselves to
the eye of the beholder; on the left, Tahoorowa; and on a clear day
the volcanic heights of Mount Roa, on the island of Owyhee, loom up
in the far-off sky like a huge bank of black clouds threatening a
tempest. Fresh breezes sweep down the gulleys of the mountains, laden
with the perfumes of the orange, the banana, pine-apple, and mountain
apple trees; the beautiful grounds laid out with taste: all these
combined render Lahainaluna what its native name indicates—the Lovely
Mountain Home.

The principal authority on the island of Maui (pronounced _Mowee_) is
vested in a governor. He is assisted, however, by petty chiefs, or
captains, who hold their office by his appointment. Subordinate to
these are the _kikos_, or Kanaka policemen, who patrol the streets
day and night. They are hated and despised by natives and foreigners,
and frequently take advantage of Jack Tar by allowing him to do as he
pleases for a time, and then, for some _trifling_ breach of the laws,
arresting him, and taking him to the calaboose or lock-up.

Seamen are obliged to be clear of the beach at drum-beat—eight
o’clock in the evening. No person is allowed to remain on shore over
night, unless furnished with a proper pass by the captain of the
port; and any one found on the beach, or in the town, with no pass,
after the proper time, is marched to the calaboose, where he is kept
in confinement till morning, and then mulcted in a pretty round sum
for breaking the laws. This is generally paid by the captain, and
afterward, with pretty good interest, deducted from Jack’s pay.

Saturday is a holiday with all hands in Lahaina. Every body and
their wives procure horses on that day, great numbers of which are
found here, and pass the whole day in horseback riding. Go where you
will, in whatever street you like, you will see a gay cavalcade of
equestrians approaching, male and female. The latter dress in the
gayest of gay calico, the “yaller” being the predominant color, and,
seating themselves astride a horse in the same manner as the men,
with six or eight feet of the calico swinging on each side, galloping
through the streets, they present a rather novel appearance.

The Hawaiians appear to have queer ideas of justice. What is crime
when committed by a foreigner, can be done with impunity by a
native. For instance: a native is allowed to gallop through the
streets at the highest rate of speed to which he can urge his horse,
while a foreigner must content himself with riding on a slow walk,
except in the outskirts of town. We were witness to an occurrence
of this kind one day. An officer belonging to one of the ships in
port was mounted upon a fractious horse, and, while passing near
the grand square, the animal became frightened, and commenced his
antics, endeavoring to run. It was with difficulty that the rider was
enabled to retain his seat; and several kikos, perceiving what was
the matter, ran and caught the horse by the bridle, and ordered the
officer to dismount, telling him he had broken the laws against fast
riding, and must go to jail or calaboose. This he refused to do, but
offered to give bail for his appearance before the police magistrate
the next morning to answer to the charge. This was accordingly done;
and on the trial the following morning, he was fined. Not a day
passed while we were on shore that we did not see natives riding at a
high rate of speed through the principal streets of Lahaina.

On Sunday morning, October 16th, the packet, with the mail from
Honolulu, arrived. We hastened on shore, and were met by the
captain, who reached forth a letter—_the first in four years_—which
was immediately recognized by the superscription. It is useless
to attempt describing our feelings. They who have been “in like
circumstances” can understand them—no others can. As the boat was
passing from shore to ship, thousands of thoughts rushed through our
mind, coming one upon another like a hurricane. Break the seal there
and then we durst not. No; we would wait till we got in some quiet
corner on board, and there, undisturbed by any thing, first learn
the good or bad news. We felt that during the long interval of four
years many changes must necessarily have taken place; perhaps some
of those we most loved had been taken away, and we would never more
behold their face this side heaven. But we remembered that all things
were in the hands of a good and wise GOD, and in Him we could trust.
Arriving on board, we hastened to a quiet nook, and there, with
trembling hand, broke the seal. What was our happiness to read “all
are well,” and that the rover was not forgotten, but that prayers
daily ascended to a Throne of Grace that he might be returned in
safety to his home. We read and reread the precious words, and our
heart went out in thanksgiving to that Almighty Power who had thus
far brought us on our dangerous voyage. In the afternoon we attended
Bethel, but fear that the sermon did not profit us much, as our
thoughts would wander, in spite of us, to that home “far over the
deep blue sea.”

The productions of these islands are similar to those of most
tropical climes. Grapes are raised in great abundance and of a
superior flavor. The wine made from them is said to be excellent,
especially for medicinal purposes, in comparison with other wines.
Melons of all descriptions are raised here in great abundance,
and are not equaled, we think, by any raised on Yankee soil. The
attention of the more enterprising natives and half-breeds has of
late been turned to the cultivation of sugar and cotton, and we
predict the time to be not far distant when they will be the staple
productions of the islands.

While at Lahaina we formed the acquaintance of Captain M‘Culloch,
then master of the clipper whaler “Niagara,” of Fairhaven. He related
to us an incident in which he figured somewhat conspicuously, and we
take the liberty of giving it here for the benefit of the reader.
It will serve to show that the whaleman has dangers with which to
contend aside from those connected with killing the monster of the

While the “Sharon,” of New Bedford, Captain Morris, was cruising
near the King Mill Group, whales were raised, and the boats sent in
pursuit. Captain M., two Kanakas, and a boy remained on board. For
some time after the boats left the captain remained at masthead,
watching the boats and whales. The boy then went to masthead, leaving
the two natives on deck, and soon after the captain came down. He
was immediately attacked by the natives, murdered, and his body cut
in small pieces, and _thrown to the hogs_. On seeing this, the boy
immediately went to work and cut all the running rigging, thereby
disabling the ship, and preventing her from being run ashore, as
the natives wished to do, being near to land. Those in the boats,
seeing the condition of things, and rightly judging something to
be wrong, immediately gave up the chase and returned. When within
hailing distance, the natives cried out to them that, if they came
on board, they were dead men, at the same time holding up to their
view portions of the captain’s dead body. The boats retired a short
distance to consult as to the best manner of retaking the ship. Mr.
M‘C., at that time third officer of the vessel, offered to board her
if six men would volunteer to accompany him; but, among twenty-four,
none appeared willing to make the attempt. In justice to them,
however, it is proper to state that it was more a want of presence
of mind than of bravery that deterred them. He persuaded, advised,
coaxed, and threatened, but all to no purpose. He then offered to go
if one could be found willing to accompany him, but a panic appeared
to have seized hold upon them, and not one would venture. Knowing
that something must be done, and that speedily, he said, “It was as
well to die on board the ship, fighting in her defense, as to fall
into the hands of the natives on shore, and be butchered by them.”
Divesting himself of his clothing, he took a large boat-knife, and,
as it was nearly dark, plunged overboard, and cautiously swam for
the stern of the vessel. This he reached undiscovered. Fortunately,
a rope was towing over the stern, which he seized, and by almost
superhuman efforts, succeeded in swinging himself into the cabin
windows. Groping about, he found a pair of heavy horse-pistols, and,
while examining one of them, accidentally dropped it. The natives
heard the noise, and rushed into the cabin. Mr. M‘C. knocked the
foremost one down with the remaining pistol; the other being armed
with a cutlass, a fierce and savage fight ensued in the dark. It
ended in the Kanaka being slain, Mr. M‘C. receiving a severe wound in
the thigh. After having securely bound the one stunned by the blow
from the pistol, he went on deck, and made signals for the boats to
come alongside. It was some time, however, before they ventured to
do so, as they thought that Mr. M‘C. was murdered, and the natives
were endeavoring to allure them to a similar fate; but on hearing his
well-known voice they immediately came on board. All sail was now
made upon the ship, and she was soon clear of the land. The prisoner
was handed over to the authorities of the next port they visited,
tried, and executed for piracy on the high seas.

We accidentally learned that a fellow-townsman was lying sick at the
hospital, and hastened to visit him. On arriving, we inquired for
him, and were led to his bedside. It proved to be a Mr. Stoddard,
who had, like ourself, been trying life in a whaler. He went one
season in the “Arctic,” and, on his return to Lahaina, finding
his health completely shattered, procured his discharge, and was
placed in the hospital, there to die, away from home and friends.
We found his case to be one demanding great sympathy. For one year
had he been there with that deceitful disease, consumption. During
this time he had heard no word from the loved ones at home, nor
met with any one from that locality. How eagerly did he grasp our
hands, and, although we had never been acquainted with each other
at home, yet we felt like brothers. He said this meeting was to him
the brightest spot of his life; that never before had he so longed
to see any one from home as while he had been in the hospital. He
was very pale and thin, and fast wasting away, yet very patient and
resigned. Trusting in the blessed Jesus for a home beyond the grave,
where shall be “no more sorrow, sickness, or death,” he cheerfully
submitted to his sufferings, believing they would “work out for him a
far more exceeding weight of glory.” He spoke of his physician, Dr.
Dow, in terms of the highest praise; also of the Rev. Mr. Bishop—of
the words of comfort and consolation he had poured into his wretched
and distracted heart—of the feeling and beautiful manner in which he
had pointed him to the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of
the world”—of his daily visits, always bringing consolation. Handing
us a Bible, well worn, he said, “Take this book, and give it to my
parents. Tell them that, although I shall never more see them on
earth, yet I trust and pray that I may meet them in heaven. Tell them
I die firm in the Christian faith; that I have gone to Jesus with
my sins, and he has taken them all from me, and blessed me; that my
whole trust is in Him; that my peace is made with GOD, and I long
to be released from this world of sin and death to dwell with Jesus
evermore.” His voice appeared to fail him; and, as we extended to him
our hand, with tearful eyes, we felt that we were clasping his for
the last time. As we turned to depart, our ears caught these words
issuing from his lips:

    “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
     In a believer’s ear.”

We bade him farewell, and returned to the ship with a sad and heavy
heart. We felt to thank GOD that we were yet in health and strength,
and to ask Him to return us to our friends at home safely. On
reaching the hospital the following morning, we found that Stoddard
had peacefully departed during the preceding night. He “fell sweetly
asleep in Jesus.”

Much has been written and said about the shark, and, to speak
plainly, many falsehoods told. It has become a common idea that
_all_ sharks will devour a man as soon as look at him, if they get a
chance; but a more delusive one was never entertained. Of the many
different varieties of sharks, there are but two that will attack a
man in the water. These are the _blue_ shark, and the _ground_, or
_shovel-nosed_ shark. No more danger need be apprehended from the
common brown shark than from a porpoise. We have often seen a Kanaka
jump overboard in a perfectly calm day, and swim after them with
a sheath-knife, endeavoring to stab them, but Johnny Shark would
keep out of his reach. And whenever we had a whale alongside, the
sharks would be around in great numbers, and yet never touch the
boat-steerer, who was overboard on the whale. But of the blue and
ground sharks, the farther one keeps from them the better for his
safety. On the night of Sunday, October 23d, one of the officers of
the “South Boston,” while walking the deck, made a misstep and fell
overboard. Hearing the splash, some of the crew jumped into the boat
alongside, and hauled under the stern, where the man had fallen;
but no sign or trace was to be seen of him. He was an excellent
swimmer, but, in all probability, was seized by one of the numerous
ground-sharks that prowl round the shipping in port. The water
in Lahaina is very clear, the bottom being distinctly visible at
the depth of twenty fathoms, or one hundred and twenty feet; and,
although every search was made the next morning at daylight, the body
could nowhere be found. No doubt now remained but he had fallen a
victim to the rapacity of the voracious ground-shark.

On the afternoon of this Sabbath we attended service in the Kanaka
church. It was filled with natives of both sexes, intermingled with
whites, of whom here and there might be seen one. The interior of the
church is fashioned similar to our American ones—very tasty and neat,
without being gaudy. In the morning the sermon is delivered in the
native tongue; in the afternoon, in English.

The natives of these islands, like all others who have been visited
by Europeans, have suffered from the dreadful ravages of diseases
brought by the latter. During our stay at Lahaina, the small-pox
raged with great violence there and at Honolulu. Hundreds of the
natives were swept off, and, what appeared very singular, scarcely a
white man was attacked, and none died from it, although hundreds of
seamen were daily exposed.

In the following chapter we give a “legend,” as related to us by
an old native whose acquaintance we formed, probably the “oldest
inhabitant;” and then, with the reader, we will be “homeward bound.”

                           CHAPTER XXVII.

      Legend of Kinau and Tuanoa: a Tale of the Sandwich Islands.

A heavy gloom was upon the minds of the people of Wauhoo in
consequence of the recent death of their king, Hoapili. Melancholy
filled their hearts; wailings and lamentations of various kinds
were heard over all parts of the island. Every grade mourned for
the regal victim of death; and men, women, and children were seen
tearing their hair, wounding themselves with sharp-pointed weapons,
tearing their flesh with sharks’ teeth, and breaking their own front
teeth with stones, to convince each other of the acuteness of their
sorrows; and, above all, they prepared, as was their usual custom on
such events, to offer up to the Great Spirit five human beings as a
sacrifice. Many a loving maiden, when she heard of the king’s death,
felt a pang rush through her heart and a whirling through her brain
as she thought of the youth who had won her affections.

On such occasions, it was customary for the eric, or chief of each
district, to select a young man from that part of the country over
which he had control, and to send him to the proper place as one of
the victims to be immolated at the shrine of the deceased king. Thus
there was a dreadful uncertainty in the minds of the whole people
until the unfortunates were chosen; and there was no appeal from the
will of the eric; so that, when the summons was made, there remained
no hope for the unhappy chosen one.

In the village of Waikukii, of which Nahi was the eric, or chieftain,
lived Tuanoa, a young man, and Kinau, his betrothed bride. They
had resided near each other from their infancy, and, even in the
early dawning of the mind and the affections, they were observed
constantly together; and no doubt, at that time, there was interwoven
with their young heartstrings the tender passion of love, that
“grew with their growth and strengthened with their strength.”
Tuanoa was a fine young man, much beloved by his neighbors. He was
active and brave in the extreme, and he had performed many acts of
prowess, which gave him a standing-place within the circle of the
conquerors at a feast, or “hoola hoola;” and he was, withal, of a
most kind and affectionate disposition, of which his friends and
neighbors were well aware. Kinau, his beloved maiden, was the most
beautiful girl in the village, and of good family and estate; besides
which, she was the most esteemed tappa-maker in the whole island.
None of her competitors could approach her genius, which was so
frequently displayed in designing figures and ornaments to adorn her
productions, so that her tappas (native cloths) exceeded in beauty
and strength those of all others, and they were worn by the king and
queen. Her disposition was of that rare and delightful description
which finds pleasure in searching after the sorrows of others in
order to relieve them, and blessing itself that it had the power
to do so. With such a person, disposition, and possessions, we can
not wonder that Kinau was much beloved, and that Tuanoa was so much
envied by the spirited young men of the village. But they enjoyed no
hope of gaining the object of their admiration, for she took every
opportunity of expressing her undying love for Tuanoa, and he to her.

Notwithstanding all this, there had been an eye fixed long and
ardently upon Kinau, and she was well aware of the fact, much to her
sorrow; and many a burning tear, as it rolled over her beautiful
cheek, awakened in Tuanoa’s breast a powerful feeling of regret,
mingled with surprise at the unhappy change which had come over the
mind of his beloved. How often did he entreat, in tenderest words,
for the avowal of the cause, which never was fully given. Kinau
full well knew that if Tuanoa were to be made aware of the fact, he
would commit some rash act that would most probably hurl them both
to destruction; and she left the whole to chance, hoping that soon a
day would come when the dark cloud of anticipated misfortune would be
dispelled, and the sunshine of her love again break forth strong and

It was the eye of the powerful eric Nahi which had fallen on Kinau,
and he had even sought a private interview with her, and declared
his love; but she resolutely refused to listen to his advances a
moment. “What!” said the haughty eric, “do you refuse to listen to
the voice of Nahi, your chief? Daughter of my neighbor, tremble! Let
tears as salt as the waters of the ocean fall quick and fast from
thy earth-bound eye! Refuse to listen to the voice of Nahi, and the
volcano of Waikukii shall consume the blood of Tuanoa, as the shark
of the ocean devours the newly-hatched turtle.”

“Oh great Nahi,” answered Kinau, “suffer your neighbor’s daughter to
return the love of Tuanoa, whose love, like mine, burns as the fire
of the volcano, which the waters of the ocean can not quench.”

“Tremble!” exclaimed the eric, “daughter of Kuakini, and the beloved
of Tuanoa. Go from the presence of Nahi, and let there be no more

Kinau went from his presence with trembling limbs and a palpitating
heart. She knew the disposition of Nahi; cruel and vindictive in the
extreme, he spared nothing to obtain the object of his wishes. He had
committed many crimes, for which he had often been reproved by the
late king and his fellow erics. The people, also, were disgusted with
his tyrannical conduct, and these things combined caused him to be
more careful than he had been in the earlier part of his government.
Kinau was well aware of this, and she therefore trusted that he would
cease his importunities; but she dreaded his revenge, as she well
knew that if an opportunity should ever present itself whereby he
might injure her or Tuanoa, and escape the observation of the people
from the apparent injustice of the act, he would seize upon it with
avidity; and this was the cause of her dejection.

The king, Hoapili, had been dangerously ill for some days, and the
active mind of Kinau saw the dreadful chasm which might be opened
to receive her in the event of the king’s death. She knew that Nahi
had the power of choosing one of the victims for the sacrifice, and
the thought almost bereft her of her senses. She well knew that
Tuanoa, the brave and beloved Tuanoa, would be sacrificed to the
revenge of the cruel eric; and, under these trying circumstances, the
constitution of Kinau evidently began to decline, much to the grief
of her lover, who perceived his beautiful companion, like a lovely
flower beset by the canker-worm, silently robbed of her beauty. He
saw the devastation it committed, but could not discover its retreat.
Kinau still kept the secret within her own breast.

One evening, as, to their minds, the sun was once more going to rest
in the deep bosom of the ocean, the lovers reclined on the shelving
and moss-covered rocks which were near to the habitation of Kinau,
in the beautiful valley of Menoa. The broad-leaved banana waved
around them, and fanned their cheeks with the sweet-scented evening
air, when, just as the Pelé of Nuanu cast its deep shadow across the
valley of her fathers, a distant cry of sorrow fell upon the ears
of the unhappy pair. To Kinau’s mind the cause was revealed in an
instant. “The king is gone!” shrieked the unhappy maid. “Oh, Tuanoa,
let us fly; let us bury ourselves in the depths of the ocean, for
death is for us also!” The extreme agitation of her mind robbed her
of her senses; and as she lay, apparently without life, in the arms
of her beloved and thunder-stricken Tuanoa, a number of their friends
quickly approached the scene to render assistance, and to inquire the
cause of the outcry.

“Neighbors,” exclaimed the bewildered Tuanoa, “my peace is broken;
my beloved is no longer herself; the spirit of darkness has been
here and stolen the light of her soul!” While they were using means
to restore Kinau to her senses and to comfort Tuanoa, a band of
persons approached, and proclaimed, amid loud wailings, that Hoapili
the Good had given his last breath to the winds; and from out this
mass of phrensied human beings rushed three men, with disordered
dress and disheveled hair, with red streams of blood gushing from
self-inflicted wounds, and approached Tuanoa. They immediately
produced from under their torn tappas the fatal summons from the
eric Nahi, which consisted merely of three dark-colored poisonous
nuts, delineated with certain inscriptions and figures. Too well the
brave Tuanoa knew their import, but he was helpless before them. They
presented them to him with certain forms and ceremonies, and then,
as if impatient for his heart’s best blood, leaped upon and bound
him securely. Astonishment filled the minds of all his neighbors,
who stood around Kinau, their hearts ready to burst with grief. They
knew not the revengeful feelings which had actuated the hated eric to
the choice of the best person in the village instead of the worst,
as was the usual custom; for there was even a by-word among them,
which was addressed to persons of bad repute, “Ah! you will serve for
the fire—you will serve for the fire,” meaning that they would serve
for the purpose for which Tuanoa had been taken. When the sounds of
the phrensied multitude had passed away, and had left the valley of
Menoa again to its solemn quietude, and there was only heard at
intervals from out the group which still surrounded the bereft and
senseless maiden the low murmur or the sorrowful exclamation for the
departed king and the sorrows of the divided lovers, Kinau opened her
discolored eyes, and shot them around the group, but saw not Tuanoa.

“Ah!” she exclaimed, “half of my soul has expired. Friends and
neighbors, go; stay not with Kinau; the sun no longer shines upon
her tarro-patches;[6] the water of the mountain has also turned from
their roots, and has fallen into the hands of Nahi.”

Her kind neighbors did all in their power to comfort her in her great
affliction, and then left her to the care of her aged parents. Nature
soon overcame the infirm pair with sleep, and Kinau left her home,
never more to return except with her beloved Tuanoa.

The past few months had altered the lovely Kinau very much. Her
features were shrunken and distorted; her hair torn and loose; her
dark eyes, rolling and flashing, betokened the storm within; her
heaving bosom gave proof of the agitated heart; but her step was
firm, and she stood erect, as if, with the last effort of a shattered
frame, she had determined to devote all her remaining strength to
one great purpose. She was convinced that there remained no hope
from human means for the restoration of her beloved Tuanoa, and she
therefore determined to visit the enchanter Kelkuewa, a thing seldom
or scarcely ever attempted before, even by the bravest of the erics.
But Kinau, feeling strong in her virtuous cause, feared not, and
dared destruction in its wildest forms. Kelkuewa, the enchanter,
resided in a glen at the bottom of the Pelé of Nuanu, and near the
entrance of which the enchanted waterfall of two thousand feet in
descent finished its perpendicular career. Here was the supposed
habitation of a lizard as large as a man, which the tradition of the
islanders claims as having resided there since the Flood.

Kinau, with firm determination, commenced her task. Passing alone,
away from her friends and neighbors, over the dark plains in the
valley of Menoa, she soon began to ascend the steep and rugged
mountain of Nuanu, and, after excessive exertion, reached its
summit. She cast her wild eyes around, and saw the dark ocean which
encompasses Wauhoo; she could hear its distant roar as it broke with
violence on the weather side of the island; the chilly and unruly
blast of the night-wind almost forced her slender figure from the
pointed rock on which she, for a moment, rested; her loose hair
lashed her burning forehead with its violence. Behind her was the
valley of Menoa, in which she had met the last look of her beloved
Tuanoa; before her was the valley of Nuanu, four thousand feet in
depth. Midway dashing its white foam, she could just observe the
enchanted stream gushing out of a small division in the rocks, and
falling two thousand feet into the valley below, at the bottom of
which the enchanter resided. Still determined to visit him or die
in the attempt, she began the fearful descent of the Pelé of Nuanu,
and after great difficulties—now clinging to the branches of some
friendly tree, and now sliding in various positions—she succeeded
in reaching the source of the waterfall. Almost overcome with
fatigue and contending emotions, she here rested. A torrent of tears
relieved her aching heart, and she again commenced the arduous task
of descending, by the side of the foaming stream, over slippery
rocks and sharp craggy points, her feet torn and bleeding, her heart
almost broken, and her weary frame nearly exhausted. Her disordered
imagination, blinded by her tears, saw visions of darkness and
despair hanging from every rock; and the murmuring of the trees, as
they were moved by the wind, appeared like the voices of her foes
imploring for her destruction. But still Kinau wended her way—yes,
the tender yet powerful passion of love supported her—the passion
of love in woman, invincible love, which has caused the “change of
empires and the loss of worlds,” has “inspired heroism and subdued
avarice.” She succeeded in reaching the glen, where she bathed her
bleeding feet for a moment in the waters of the cascade. The moon,
which had before been hidden behind dark clouds, now peeped through
an opening in them, as if anxious to look upon the devoted girl
and admire her fortitude. The large gray owl, which inhabits the
valleys, flapped his broad wings over her head as he moused among
the rocks; and the quick-flying bat darted in and out of his caves,
as if disturbed by the intruder. Lifting up her eyes, Kinau beheld a
tall old man descending the Pelé. Quickly he took advantage of each
jutting point of rock to secure his footsteps, and he descended with
apparent ease to the spot where Kinau rested. Long gray hair fell
over his shoulders, and he thus addressed the maiden:

“Daughter of Kuakini, and the beloved of Tuanoa, I am he whom you
seek. I have followed you from the valley of Menoa; I have watched
and feel astonished at your strength, fortitude, and love. I know
the spirit of darkness has come over you when the gladness of your
heart was taken from you. Your love for the brave Tuanoa is like the
mountain of Nuanu, fixed forever, and can not change; it is clear and
bright as the water that falls from the Pelé; it is like the fire of
the volcano of Waikukii, which is unquenchable. Daughter of Kuakini,
arise! go to the valley of thy fathers, and rest in the bosom of thy
neighbors; for I have seen a Great Spirit, who, before to-morrow’s
sun reacheth the valley of Nuanu, shall come and save thy Tuanoa from
the blood-consuming fire.”

“Oh great Kelkuewa,” said Kinau, “your words are like water to the
parched tarro; they are like the waters of the ocean to the expiring
fish, which the fisherman returns to its element. I feel my heart
lightened; the cold hand of the spirit of darkness has moved from my
heart. Oh Kelkuewa,” continued the enraptured girl, “they say you
have no daughter. I will be your daughter; I will make your tappas;
I will water your tarro-patches, though I bring the water from the
other side of the mountain of Nuanu.” The enchanter seized the hand
of Kinau, assisted her over the Pelé, and saw her descend to the
valley of her fathers.

The morn of the day on which the tragedy was to be ended appeared.
Before the sun had risen, thousands of the islanders were moving
toward the plains of Whyteetee, on which the immolation of the
victims was to take place. Lamentations were heard over the whole
island. The plains of Whyteetee were soon covered with countless
multitudes, and five immense fires were lighted. As the sun rose, the
odor from the burning sandal-wood perfumed the whole of Wauhoo. In an
inclosure about one hundred feet long and fifty from front to back,
the front wall of which was about six feet high, and the back about
twelve, formed of loose stones or masses of lava piled upon each
other, and situated upon a rise of ground at the end of the plain,
facing the sea, the five victims were placed.

On a mass of rocks about one hundred feet high, which rise abruptly
out of the plains, and command a view for a considerable distance
around, sat the princes and chiefs, with all the great men of the
island. Among them Nahi was observed in a conspicuous situation,
watching the proceedings with great earnestness, for he had heard
that Kinau had visited the enchanted glen, and he had heard also of
the prophecy of Kelkuewa. Indeed, it was upon the lips of every one,
and many hoped that the prophecy would be fulfilled. The more noble
of the erics and people began to look upon these cruel exhibitions
with disgust, and to long for a pretext for abolishing them. They saw
the abuse, if we may so call it, to which it was liable, from the
base conduct of Nahi, and yet, being a national custom, it was hard
to abolish.

The proceedings of the assembly soon commenced. The first victim,
who happened to be an abandoned wretch, was led out of the inclosure
by the priests, and thrust among the multitude. There were plenty of
the wild and infuriated to commence the attack, by hurling stones and
beating the unfortunate victim with any weapon with which they might
have provided themselves for the occasion, and he was hunted to and
fro like a wild beast, until the spark of life was nearly extinct;
then he was hurled upon the funeral pile, amid the wild exclamations
of the savage throng, while “liquid fire curled round his limbs, and
to his hissing bones and marrow clung.”

Kinau, surrounded by her kindred, was seen in an agitated state,
frequently looking toward the Pelé of Nuanu, and wondering how the
Great Spirit would interpose to save her beloved Tuanoa. Sometimes,
full of hope, her countenance would brighten, and she appeared to
possess new life; then again she would doubt the enchanter’s successful
interference, and her spirits would sink. Thus was her gentle bosom
torn with a thousand conflicting emotions. Despair for a moment
shadowed her invincible spirit with his dark and death-hovering wings,
and the beloved Kinau felt that she would willingly sacrifice her
own life to save that of her lover. Tuanoa observed his adored girl
with those acute feelings which the pencil can not paint nor the pen
justly describe. He was bound to the insensate stake, which heard
not the heart’s flutter or the despairing sigh—which felt not the
tremulous shake of the confined but powerful limb that strove in vain
to break from its moveless grasp. At last, despairing, he hung from his
confinement, apparently a lifeless being.

Another unfortunate but criminal victim was now given to the
infuriated multitude and sacrificed; and the next was to be Tuanoa,
the beloved and innocent Tuanoa, who was insensible now from the
mental anguish he had suffered. To die so young, and such a horrid
death—to go and leave his Kinau behind—this was more than he
could bear, and he fainted from misery. The brave maiden could no
longer bear this uncertainty. She rushed through the crowd of her
kindred—scaled the walls of the inclosure—glided between the guards
with a supernatural quickness, and encircled with her devoted arms
her beloved. But the guards and the priests quickly proceeded to
separate them; and now they unbound, and were about to thrust the
bewildered Tuanoa among the savage group who thirsted for his blood.
The gate of the inclosure was thrown open; already the savage hand
was raised to smite with deadly violence; already the maddened and
phrensied eyes of fanatic men were gleaming with murderous excitement
to grace the royal death; the impatient, loyal crowd, heap upon heap,
swayed to and fro in their eagerness to slay one of themselves—one,
too, who had been formerly beloved by them, and for whom they would
have made great sacrifices, but now hated and condemned; and they
impatiently thirsted for his blood.

But the enchanter at this moment appeared among the people. In a loud
voice he commanded their attention, and pointed to an object which
was seen upon the ocean at a great distance. All eyes were instantly
directed, in great wonder, toward it. During the confusion, a stone
was hurled by an unseen hand, which struck Nahi, and killed him in
an instant; but the event scarcely received attention. The object
to which the enchanter still pointed approached the island rapidly.
It appeared larger every moment, and in a short time its color was
distinguishable. Fear and curiosity increased, for never had the
people witnessed such a sight before. At times it appeared of an
immense breadth, with wide-spreading wings, and in a moment or two
would appear quite narrow, but of great height. Occasionally its
apparent wings shook; then anon the whole mass appeared to stoop to
the surface of the ocean. Swayed by an irresistible impulse, princes,
erics, and people went down to the edge of the sea. The liberated
victims, surrounded by their kindred, followed. The prophecy was
fulfilled. They were liberated by common consent. Never can poet or
painter describe or represent the two enraptured lovers, as they
appeared walking together on the beach, having but “one soul in a
divided body.”

Reader! the “Great Spirit” which so rapidly approached, and was
bringing to those islanders light to disperse their darkness,
humanity and religion to abolish their cruelties, the arts and
sciences to banish their ignorance, was the _great spirit_ of the
immortal navigator COOK, who had just discovered those fertile
islands, and whose ship had been observed by the enchanter on the
previous evening from the heights of the Pelé of Nuanu.

[6] Shallow ponds of water, in which the _tarro_ is cultivated with
great care, similar to those in which rice is grown.

                           CHAPTER XXVIII.

  “Homeward bound” at last.—The prevailing Feeling.—Wauhoo and
    Atoowi.—“Stowaways.”—Farewell to the Sandwich Islands.—Ship
    “Uncas.”—On the Equator.—Whytootucke.—Roratongo.—Meeting of old
    Friends.—Interesting Missionary Incidents.—A good Reason.—Good-by
    to Roratongo.—Preparing for Cape Horn.—Christmas.—A heavy Gale.—
    Off Cape Horn.—New Experiences.—In the Atlantic again.—Ship
    “Betsey Williams.”—Brazilian Coast.—North of the Line.—Hurra for
    Yankee Land.—Brig “Alpha.”—Try-works overboard.—Scudding off
    Bermuda.—Gulf Stream.—Soundings.—Old “Hard-a-lee.”—The old Adage.—
    “Home at last!”—Conclusion.

To the reader who has followed us through the wanderings of more than
four years, we tender our thanks, and beg his indulgence through our
“homeward bound” passage, where we will take leave of him, with the
kindest wishes for his prosperity and happiness.

On Monday, October 31st, we commenced our preparations for sea. All
were anxiously longing for the time to come when we should see the
ship’s head pointed toward home.

[Illustration: HOMEWARD BOUND.]

We had discharged several men who shipped with us at different times
during the voyage “for the last port,” and it became necessary to
procure more for “the passage home.” These were now all on board, and
we only waited the arrival of the captain and lady to take up our
anchor, loose our sails, and be under way. The day came. Tuesday,
November 1st, the joyful command was given to “heave away.” The old
windlass brakes rattled merrily, and

    “Huzza! we’re homeward bound!”

rang out in full clear chorus from every voice on board, till the
hills and mountains of Maui echoed back the sound. We could see the
faces of our brother whalemen around us as they looked, no doubt,
enviously at our craft, thinking of the long season yet on the
“nor’west” to be gone through before they could sing as we did. But
we felt that we had a _right_ to be happy. For more than four long
and weary years had the ship been our floating home. We had labored,
toiled incessantly, in storm and in calm—in the boats and on board
ship—beneath the scorching heat of the tropical sun, and the freezing
cold of rigid climes—been exposed to all dangers both on sea and
land—and now, we hoped, we were going home to enjoy the fruit of
our hard-earned savings. Going home! None but they who have been
separated from near and dear friends, as we had been, for years, can
fully realize the joy which these words produced.

The ponderous anchor was soon raised from its coral bed and snugly
stowed away upon the bows; all sail was set, and we gladly left the
anchorage of Lahaina with strong northeast trades. We shaped our
course west-northwest for the island of Atoowi. The following day we
passed to the southward of Wauhoo, which was plainly in sight, and
“stood off and on” Atoowi. We procured several boat-loads of sweet
potatoes, yams, and other recruits, and then shaped our course for
the Society Islands. About an hour after leaving Atoowi a stranger
made his appearance on deck. This took the captain rather by
surprise, and he inquired of him “who he was and whence he came.” The
man replied that “he belonged to the ‘——,’ and did not wish to try
another season in the Arctic, and _did_ want to get home; was willing
to work his passage, and hoped the captain would allow him to go
home in the ship.” After giving him a long lecture upon the evils of
desertion, the old man consented that he should remain, and he went
forward with a happy heart.

On Friday, November 11th, we spoke the “Uncas,” of New Bedford,
Captain James, like ourselves, bound home. We had a very pleasant
“gam” with them, talking of the pleasures we were to enjoy, and
anticipating with them great happiness. Our captain threw down the
gauntlet to Captain J. for a race to New Bedford, which he gallantly
accepted, and, we must confess, as gallantly won.

Nothing of great interest to us occurred, except crossing the equator
for the last time in the Pacific, until we reached the Societies. We
felt, at the time we crossed the line, that another goal was reached
and passed—that another “milestone” in our journey was gone by. We
sighted the island of Whytootucke, one of the Society Islands, on
Friday, December 9th. We passed it, and on the following day raised
Roratongo, distant fifty miles. Language is inadequate to describe
the feeling of our Kanakas at once more seeing “my land,” as they
called it. They were half frantic with joy. But when boat-loads
of the natives came off to us the next day (having “beat” up to
the island during the night), and they found their own relatives
among them, we actually thought they would become crazy. We can not
describe the scene. We can only give the reader an idea of their mode
of salutation, which is to grasp each other by the right hand, place
the other over the back, and rub noses very affectionately! With all
our _pathetic_ feeling, we could but laugh at the ludicrous method.
But this meeting almost brought tears to our eyes as we thought of
those whom we soon hoped to meet.

On Monday, December 12th, the boats went ashore to bring off fruit.
Wishing to have one more run on one of “the Pacific Isles,” we
jumped into one of the boats, and were soon on shore. On inquiry,
we learned that the missionary who was there at our former visit
had been recalled, and that Rev. Mr. BUYACOTT, from England, who
had been stationed there many years before, was again among them.
The natives appeared greatly attached to him; and we must relate a
simple incident of this attachment. They had received information
of his coming, and when the boat arrived which brought him from the
ship to the shore, it was instantly seized by the natives ere he had
time to land, and triumphantly borne, with great rejoicings, upon
their shoulders to the market-place, where he was received by the
authorities and his old friends with a warmth of feeling that bespoke
how universally he was beloved, and how rejoiced all were to see him
returned to them again.

They had lately erected a fine church edifice under his supervision,
which was certainly a credit to him as an architect, and to the
islanders. Great preparations were making for its dedication, which
was to take place in a few weeks. Under his care and example, the
natives appeared cheerful and happy; their little farms well tilled,
and themselves well dressed, neat, and contented. All united in
saying that Mr. BUYACOTT was a most excellent man; and the interest
he manifested in them, both temporally and spiritually, went far
to prove it. Under his supervision we found a printing-office in
operation, where tracts, papers, and hymns were printed in the native
language, and distributed, not only in Roratongo, but in every island
of the group. We found also blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, and
nearly all kinds of mechanics, who had received their knowledge from
him. His residence was a fine stone house of two stories, situated on
a gentle rise of ground, surrounded by a beautiful yard interspersed
with shrubbery and flowers. A fine graveled walk led from the gate
to the house. We found it a cool, shady retreat, refreshed by the
sea-breeze, and shaded by beautiful orange groves.

But it was time for us to leave all this beauty of nature behind, and
plow our way homeward. We discharged all our Kanakas save one, who
wished to remain in the ship and go to America. On asking him what
particular reason he had for wishing to see “’Merick,” as he termed
it, he replied, “I like see all; and get my sister three fathom (six
yards) red ribbon!” We thought him going a long distance for “three
fathom red ribbon,” but, as he said “plenty time,” we gave up the

We here shipped three white men who were anxious to go to America,
and, having loaded the old ship with tropical fruit for the last
time, we bade our Kanaka friends adieu, and were soon on our way home
again, steering to the southward for a westerly wind that would send
us to the coast.

On Friday, December 16th, we commenced our preparations for doubling
the Cape. First, we gave the old ship a new suit of sails throughout,
from flying jib to spanker, good and strong ones, that would stand
many a heavy storm. Anchors were taken in on deck; also the bow and
waist boats, and every thing made snug generally. This was rendered
necessary also from the fact that we had commenced leaking so much as
to require pumping every four hours; and, these precautions taken, we
knew that she would not strain so much in heavy weather.

Sunday, December 25th, was Christmas with us as well as with those
at home. And, although we had no visits from Santa Claus, we felt
very happy, and knew that when another Christmas-day came round, if
living, we should be enjoying it with loved ones at home. The best on
board ship was served up for dinner, and all hands enjoyed it with a
keen relish, sharpened by the anticipation of the good things yet to
come. We were now about eighty degrees to the westward, and twenty to
the northward of Cape Horn.

From this time until Tuesday, January 24th, we bowled it along
merrily with a southwest wind, every thing set that would draw, and
every hour lessening the distance between us and the Cape. On that
day the gale increased to almost a hurricane, and hauled to the west.
We were “scudding” before it, with close-reefed topsails, a heavy
sea running, and threatening to ingulf us every moment. The wind
increasing and sea still rising, it was deemed prudent to “heave-to.”
This was a dangerous proceeding in such a gale, but, with careful
management at the helm, it could be done. All hands were called, and
placed at their stations. The second and third officers took the
helm, the men stationed at the braces, and the ship’s head slowly
brought to the wind. She gallantly came up; but a wave—an _avalanche_
of water—struck her on the quarter, dashed in on deck, sweeping every
thing before it. “Hold on for your lives!” was the cry from the
captain’s lips, and each man grasped the rigging, expecting every
moment to be swept overboard. It was a fearful moment. The brave men
at the helm were up to their waists in water, but bravely they clung
to the wheel, knowing that if they left it death and destruction
awaited us all. The body of water on deck was immense, being filled
to the rail; and as the noble old ship would roll fearfully from
side to side, it would seem as if she never would recover herself.
By dint of great exertion, boards were knocked off the bulwarks, and
the water began to pour out. This rendered her laboring more easy,
and she was soon “luffed-to,” and rode comparatively easy. We all
breathed more freely when this was done, and felt that we had had a
narrow escape.

As we remained on deck watching the scene, we could not but
contemplate its grandeur. As the ship would rise on the top of a
gigantic wave, it seemed as if we were placed on the summit of a high
mountain, with a yawning gulf at our feet, into which the ship would
rapidly plunge as if she would bury herself. A feeling of awe and
terror would involuntarily creep over us as she alternately rose
to the crest of the mountain waves, and again plunged downward with
fearful velocity, as if every plunge would be her last.

As soon as the gale moderated sufficiently sail was again made, and
the noble old craft plowed her way onward through the briny wave,
bearing her freight of humanity nearer, nearer to that home they so
longed to see, and to those friends whose embrace they so longed to
clasp. By our reckoning we now found ourselves “off Cape Horn,” and,
with a fair wind, hoped soon to leave the Pacific far behind us.

The weather now became very cold, and our Portuguese and Kanaka found
some rather tough experiences of it. In fact, they were about froze
up. Amo, the Kanaka, would come on deck, and, the cold soon taking
hold, exclaim, “What for all the same? Ah! too much bite you no see
’em! What make all the same this?” On asking him if he ever saw cold
weather before, he replied, “Golly! no. I no been see all same this
my land. Cape Horn, he no good.” He constantly wore three or four
coats, and, in fact, all the clothes he could get on. It appeared
almost impossible that the cold should penetrate so many thicknesses,
yet he complained that it did. Manuel and Amo both came on deck one
morning, and found it covered with snow. We never saw two persons
more astonished than they. They made all sorts of inquiries, asking
where it came from, what it was for, and questions innumerable.
Seeing some of the men engaged in snowballing, they thought they
would “take a hand,” especially as they occasionally received a
quantity in the face. On picking it up, however, and attempting to
pack it, they very soon let it fall, exclaiming, “Golly! he hot all
the same fire!” and ran off, slapping their hands together, and
blowing their fingers.

By our reckoning we found that on Thursday, January 26th, we had
fairly passed Cape Horn, and were once more in the Atlantic. When
this fact was announced, a feeling of great joy seemed to pervade the
whole ship. We had all dreaded the passage round, and, now that it
was passed, all felt a great relief. And we felt that we were so much
nearer home. In fact, it appeared as though we were almost home; and
as we had before counted the months, and then the weeks that would
elapse ere we should tread our native soil, we felt that we could now
begin to count the _days_.

On Saturday, February 3d, we spoke the “Betsey Williams,” of New
London, Captain Pendleton. She was, like ourselves, homeward bound,
with a full cargo of whale oil. We passed a very pleasant day with
them, and at evening wished each other a safe and speedy passage, and
parted company.

We had the usual amount of calms and head winds, which brought out
the usual quantity of _grumbling_ from all hands, until we sighted
the Brazilian coast. We then took a southeast wind, which merrily
bowled us onward toward the line, which we were soon to cross for the
last time. And cross it we did on Friday, March 10th, but with far
different feelings than when we crossed it the _first_ time, nearly
five years previous. Then we felt the future to be all uncertainty;
now we looked forward to the happy time when we should meet those
we so much longed to see. Then we had the prospect of four years’
absence from our native land; now we felt that that time had passed
away, and we were soon to reap the fruit of our labor. At evening all
hands gathered upon the forecastle, spinning yarns, singing songs,
etc., in joyful anticipation, and, with three hearty cheers for
“Yankee land,” adjourned.

It was now time for us to begin to paint ship, slick up things
generally, and make every thing “shipshape and Bristol fashion.” This
must be done in pleasant tropical weather, and we soon had a new coat
on the old ship, making her look “e’enamost as good as new.” We were
on the watch for outward-bound vessels, as we wished to obtain late
news from home, and naturally felt anxious to know what was going on,
and news of any kind was welcome. On Saturday, March 25th, we spoke
the brig “Alpha,” of Halifax, and sent a boat on board to obtain,
if possible, some news, and a few vegetables of some kind, as ours
had long since, to use a somewhat homely expression, “gi’n out.” The
boat soon returned, however, with neither, and we bid our Blue-nose
friends good-by, and went on our way.

As we stated in a previous chapter, we obtained our last whales
on Japan. It is customary for whalers to man mastheads during the
passage home as well as on cruising-grounds, although not as vigilant
a watch, we think, is kept. The try-works, also, are kept standing
until they arrive near Bermuda. On Saturday, April 1st, the order was
given, “Overboard try-works,” and at it we went with a will. Bricks
and mortar soon flew into the ocean, and the large try-pots were
released from their places and lashed to the deck. “No more whales
this voyage,” cried the mate, as the last brick disappeared over the
side. Yet we felt a regret at this too, for we would have loved the
excitement, just then, of fastening to an eighty barreler, and having
a nice run. But it was not to be, and we were not _very_ sorry.

All seamen know the weather which is most common “off the Bermudas.”
We had our share of the gales so prevalent there. From this time
for a week or more, we experienced all sorts of weather and winds.
One day a fair wind, and the next “dead ahead,” as seamen term it,
blowing a gale.

[Illustration: A LAND-SHARK.]

At last we took a breeze from the southwest, which increased to
a heavy gale, but held on until we entered the Gulf Stream. This
we knew by the temperature of the water, which is there always
blood-warm. On Saturday, April 8th, we ascertained that we were to
the northward of the Gulf Stream, and on soundings, the water being a
bright green color.

On Monday, April 10th, all hands were ordered to “bend the cables.”
It is unnecessary to say that we rejoiced greatly at this order.
The chains were dragged from their resting-place in the hold in
double-quick time, and every thing got ready for “letting go” the
anchor on soil that had not been touched by it for nearly five years.
Although not yet in sight of land, we all were anxious, excited,
nervous. If the reader asks why, we reply we had been years separated
from our native land, and were now returning to it.

The morning of Tuesday, April 11th, broke upon us thick, rainy, cold,
and disagreeable. As the fog gradually rose, we discovered around and
about us on every side a great number of vessels, probably a majority
of them coasters. Bringing the old gun to the gangway, we fired it
several times, in hopes it would bring us a pilot. The effort was
successful. In a short time, the New Bedford pilot-boat “George
Steers” ran alongside, and furnished us with an old gray-headed
veteran, a regular old sea-dog, to take charge of the ship, and bring
her to an anchor off New Bedford. It is useless to attempt describing
the joy, the enthusiasm of all hands, now that the long-looked-for
moment had come when “old Hard-a-lee” should put his foot on deck.
And when he informed us that he intended to have the ship at anchor
in New Bedford harbor at 10 P.M. that night, one simultaneous shout
arose, and every man sprang to his post.

We never heard that the adage “There’s many a slip ’twixt the cup
and the lip” failed because it is old, and we realized it during
that night and the following day. Instead of being in the city of
New Bedford, as we anticipated, we found ourselves, on the following
morning, in the midst of as severe a gale as we had experienced
during the voyage. A short time after the sun went down, the wind
rose from the northeast, and we were soon stripped to the bare poles.
Add to this furious storms of hail and snow pelting us continually,
and one can judge of our situation. The gale continued during the
whole of Wednesday and Wednesday night, furious as a hurricane, and
directly in our teeth. This was tantalizing; but bear it we must, and
wait for a fair wind.

The next morning, about eight o’clock, the wind moderated and hauled
to the south. It was not many minutes before every stitch of canvas
that would draw was set, and we were rapidly approaching the land.
Block Island hove in sight, then Montauk Point, and thus one point
of land after another rose to view. “That ’Merick?” exclaimed Amo,
the Kanaka, as the land loomed up in the distance. “Yes,” we replied,
with a feeling of joy and pride, “yes, _that is America!_”

Bright and beautiful shone the full moon as we sailed up Buzzard’s
Bay that evening, steering for Clarke’s Point. Sail was gradually
reduced, and furled for the last time. At midnight we dropped anchor
off the point, about two miles below the city, and when it struck the
bottom, three hearty, enthusiastic cheers were given, that made the
welkin ring. The remaining sails were soon furled, and we started
for the shore, where we found our friends waiting to receive us with
open arms. We breathed a prayer of gratitude to Almighty GOD, who had
spared and shielded us through all the vicissitudes and dangers to
which we had been exposed, and permitted us to return in safety to
our native land.

[Illustration: JUST LANDED.]

And what shall we say in conclusion? We thank the reader who has
followed us through the wanderings of five years, and, if he has been
instructed or amused, we are content. As is remarked in the Preface,
we have told our “yarn” in a plain, unvarnished style, laying no
claim to literary merit, or wishing to be considered an _author_,
but merely seeking to lay before the public a _truthful_ statement of
what we saw. With this conclusion, we wish all our readers long life
and happiness, and bid them an affectionate farewell.


                              THE END.

                  *       *       *       *       *

   _Mr. Motley, the American historian of the United Netherlands—we
                owe him English homage._—LONDON TIMES.

  “_As interesting as a romance, and as reliable as a proposition of

                              History of
                        The United Netherlands.


                BY JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY, LL.D., D.C.L.,
    Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, Author of “The
                     Rise of the Dutch Republic.”

                        With Portraits and Map.

      2 vols. 8vo, Muslin, $4 00; Sheep, $4 50; Half Calf, $6 00.

                          _Critical Notices._

His living and truthful picture of events.—_Quarterly Review_
(London), Jan., 1861.

Fertile as the present age has been in historical works of the
highest merit, none of them can be ranked above these volumes in
the grand qualities of interest, accuracy, and truth.—_Edinburgh
Quarterly Review_, Jan, 1861.

This noble work.—_Westminster Review_ (London).

One of the most fascinating as well as important histories of the
century.—_Cor. N. Y. Evening Post._

The careful study of these volumes will infallibly afford a feast
both rich and rare.—_Baltimore Republican._

Already takes a rank among standard works of history.—_London Critic._

Mr. Motley’s prose epic.—_London Spectator._

Its pages are pregnant with instruction.—_London Literary Gazette._

We may profit by almost every page of his narrative. All the topics
which agitate us now are more or less vividly presented in the
History of the United Netherlands.—_New York Times._

Bears on every page marks of the same vigorous mind that produced
“The Rise of the Dutch Republic;” but the new work is riper,
mellower, and though equally racy of the soil, softer flavored.
The inspiring idea which breathes through Mr. Motley’s histories
and colors the whole texture of his narrative, is the grandeur of
that memorable struggle in the 16th century by which the human
mind broke the thraldom of religious intolerance and achieved its
independence.—_The World, N. Y._

The name of Motley now stands in the very front rank of living
historians. His _Dutch Republic_ took the world by surprise; but
the favorable verdict then given is now only the more deliberately
confirmed on the publication of the continued story under the title
of the _History of the United Netherlands_. All the nerve, and power,
and substance of juicy life are there, lending a charm to every
page.—_Church Journal, N. Y._

Motley, indeed, has produced a prose epic, and his fighting
scenes are as real, spirited, and life-like as the combats in the
Iliad.—_The Press_ (Phila.).

His history is as interesting as a romance, and as reliable as a
proposition of Euclid. Clio never had a more faithful disciple. We
advise every reader whose means will permit to become the owner of
these fascinating volumes, assuring him that he will never regret the
investment.—_Christian Intelligencer, N. Y._

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    “They do honor to America Literature, and would do honor to the
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                             THE RISE OF
                         THE DUTCH REPUBLIC.

                             A History.

                       BY JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY.

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We regard this work as the best contribution to modern history that
has yet been made by an American.—_Methodist Quarterly Review._

The “History of the Dutch Republic” is a great gift to us: but the
heart and earnestness that beat through all its pages are greater,
for they give us most timely inspiration to vindicate the true ideas
of our country, and to compose an able history of our own.—_Christian
Examiner_ (Boston).

This work bears on its face the evidences of scholarship and
research. The arrangement is clear end effective: the style
energetic, lively, and often brilliant. *** Mr. Motley’s instructive
volumes will, we trust, have a circulation commensurate with their
interest and value.—_Protestant Episcopal Quarterly Review._

To the illustration of this most interesting period Mr. Motley has
brought the matured powers of a vigorous and brilliant mind, and the
abundant fruits of patient and judicious study and deep reflection.
The result is, one of the most important contributions to historical
literature that have been made in this country.—_North American

We would conclude this notice by earnestly recommending our readers
to procure for themselves this truly great and admirable work, by
the production of which the author has conferred no less honor upon
his country than he has won praise and fame for himself, and than
which, we can assure them, they can find nothing more attractive or
interesting within the compass of modern literature.—_Evangelical

It is not often that we have the pleasure of commending to the
attention of the lover of books a work of such extraordinary and
unexceptionable excellence as this one.—_Univeralist Quarterly

There are an elevation and a classic polish in these volumes, and a
felicity of grouping and of portraiture, which invest the subject
with the attractions of a living and stirring episode in the grand
historic drama.—_Southern Methodist Quarterly Review._

The author writes with a genial glow and love of his subject.—
_Presbyterian Quarterly Review._

Mr. Motley is a sturdy Republican and a hearty Protestant. His style
is lively and picturesque, and his work is an honor and an important
accession to our national literature.—_Church Review._

Mr. Motley’s work is an important one, the result of profound
research, sincere convictions, sound principles, and manly
sentiments; and even those who are most familiar with the history
of the period will find in it a fresh and vivid addition to their
previous knowledge. It does honor to American literature, and would
do honor to the literature of any country in the world.—_Edinburgh

A serious chasm in English historical literature has been (by this
book) very remarkably filled. *** A history as complete as industry
and genius can make it now lies before us, of the first twenty years
of the revolt of the United Provinces. *** All the essentials of
a great writer Mr. Motley eminently possesses. His mind is broad,
his industry unwearied. In power a dramatic description no modern
historian, except, perhaps, Mr. Carlyle, surpasses him, and in
analysis of character he is elaborate and distinct.—_Westminster

It is a work of real historical value, the result of accurate
criticism, written in a liberal spirit, and from first to last deeply

The style is excellent, clear vivid, eloquent; and the industry with
which original sources have been investigated, and through which new
light has been shed over perplexed incidents and characters, entitles
Mr. Motley to a high rank in the literature of an age peculiarly rich
in history.—_North British Review._

It abounds in new information, and as a first work, commands a very
cordial recognition, not merely of the promise it gives, but of the
extent and importance of the labor actually performed on it.—_London

Mr. Motley’s “History” is a work of which any country might be
proud.—_Press_ (London).

Mr. Motley’s History will be a standard book of reference in
historical literature.—_London Literary Gazette._

Mr. Motley has searched the whole range of historical documents
necessary to the composition of his work.—_London Leader._

This is really a great work. It belongs to the class of books in
which we range our Grotes, Milmans, Merivales, and Macaulays, as
the glories of English literature in the department of history. ***
Mr. Motley’s gifts as a historical writer are among the highest and
rarest.—_Nonconformist_ (London).

Mr. Motley’s volumes will well repay perusal. *** For his learning,
his liberal tone, and his generous enthusiasm, we heartily commend
him, and bid him good speed for the remainder of his interesting and
heroic narrative.—_Saturday Review._

The story is a noble one, and is worthily treated. *** Mr. Motley has
had the patience to unravel, with unfailing perseverance the thousand
intricate plots of the adversaries of the Prince of Orange; but the
details and the literal extracts which he has derived from original
documents, and transferred to his pages, give a truthful color and
a picturesque effect, which are especially charming.—_London Daily

M. Lothrop Motley dans son magnifique tableau de la formation de
notre République.—G. GROEN VAN PRINSTERER.

Our accomplished countryman, Mr. J. Lothrop Motley, who, during
the last five years, for the better prosecution of his labors, has
established his residence in the neighborhood of the scenes of his
narrative. No one acquainted with the fine powers of mind possessed
by this scholar, and the earnestness with which he has devoted
himself to the task can doubt that he will do full justice to his
important but difficult subject.—W. H. PRESCOTT.

The production of such a work as this astonishes, while it gratifies
the pride of the American reader.—_N. Y. Observer._

The “Rise of the Dutch Republic” at once and by acclamation, takes
its place by the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” as a work
which, whether for research, substance or style, will never be
superseded.—_N. Y. Albion._

A work upon which all who read the English language may congratulate
themselves.—_New Yorker Handels Zeitung._

Mr. Motley’s place is now (alluding to this book) with Hallam
and Lord Mahon, Alison and Macaulay in the Old Country, and with
Washington Irving, Prescott, and Bancroft in this.—_N. Y. Times._

THE authority, in the English tongue, for the history of the period
and people to which it refers.—_N. Y. Courier and Enquirer._

This work at once places the author on the list of American
historians which has been so signally illustrated by the names of
Irving, Prescott, Bancroft, and Hildreth.—_Boston Times._

The work is a noble one, and a most desirable acquisition to our
historical literature.—_Mobile Advertiser._

Such a work is an honor to its author, to his country, and to the age
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                         A HISTORY OF GREECE,

                        BY GEORGE GROTE, ESQ.

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history of humanity, which he, perhaps, thinks the most splendid
that has been, and which all allow to have been very splendid. He
has made great Greeks live again before us, and has enabled us to
realize Greek modes of thinking. He has added a great historical work
to the language, taking its place with other great histories, and yet
not like any of them in the special combination of merits which it
exhibits: scholarship and learning such as we have been accustomed to
demand only in Germans; an art of grouping and narration different
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interest in events of the political order, and a wide knowledge of
the business of politics; and, finally, harmonizing all, a spirit
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will here also find the element which harmonises these, and without
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A work second to that of Gibbon alone in English historical
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of history, and it would be difficult to find an author combining
in the same degree the accurate learning or the scholar with the
experience of a practical statesman. The completion of this great
work may well be hailed with some degree of national pride and
satisfaction.—_Literary Gazette, March 8, 1856._

The better acquainted any one is with Grecian history, and with
the manner in which that history has heretofore been written, the
higher will be his estimation of this work. Mr. Grote’s familiarity
both with the great highways and the obscurest by-paths of Grecian
literature and antiquity has seldom been equaled, and not often
approached; in unlearned England; while those Germans who have
rivaled it have seldom possessed the quality which eminently
characterizes Mr. Grote, of keeping historical imagination severely
under the restraints of evidence. The great charm of Mr. Grote’s
history has been throughout the cordial admiration he feels for
the people whose acts and fortunes he has to relate. ** We bid
Mr. Grote farewell; heartily congratulating him on the conclusion
of a work which is a monument of English learning, of English
clear-sightedness, and of English love of freedom and the characters
it produces.—_Spectator._

Endeavor to become acquainted with Mr. Grote, who is engaged on a
Greek History. I expect a great deal from this production.—NIEBUHR,
_the Historian, to Professor_ LIEBER.

The author has now incontestably won for himself the title, not
merely of a historian, but of the historian of Greece.—_Quarterly

Mr. Grote is, beyond all question, _the_ historian of Greece,
unrivaled, so far as we know, in the erudition and genius with which
he has revived the picture of a distant past, and brought home
every part and feature of its history to our intellects and our
hearts.—_London Times._

For becoming dignity of style, unforced adaptation of results to
principles, careful verification of theory by fact, and impregnation
of fact by theory—for extensive and well-weighed learning, employed
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                  *       *       *       *       *

                         Harper’s Catalogue.

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  Transcriber’s Notes:

    - Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).
    - Blank pages have been removed.
    - Silently corrected a few punctuation errors.
    - “remainer” corrected to “remainder”, otherwise spelling and
      hyphenation variations were left as is.

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