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NOVELTY OF NAUTICAL ARRANGEMENTS.
the same blessed ordinance, or, like our female companions, (from sickness in their case,) providentially detained from the table of our common Master.
May 7. We proceeded to the Downs, where we anchored. This evening we enjoyed the pleasure of uniting in spirit, at a Missionary prayer-meeting, with the thousands of our Israel, who, in different parts of the earth, at the same time (on the first Monday in the month) offer their fervent supplications for the universal prevalence of that glorious gospel which brings life and immortality to light.
May 8. Yesterday and to-day we have been busily occupied in arranging our packages in our births and the cabin, so that those things which would oftenest be wanted might always be nearest at hand. Much and grievous inconvenience is frequently suffered by passengers from lack of a little foresight and good management in this respect. Being ourselves almost new to the sea, the effect of every thing on board was strange to us. The grunting of the swine, the bleating of the sheep and goats, the clamour of the ducks, the cackling and crowing of the fowls, but, above all, the appearance, activity, and language of the sailors, could not fail to
The manner of heaving the lead to sound the depth of the water (a frequent process at this commencement of our navigation,) particularly struck us. But the following incident may be more intelligible than a description of a nautical ceremony. “Cook,” says the steward, “milk the goat.” The cook proceeds to the operation. Ordering one of the boys to hold the animal's horns, and resting the under part of his own thigh on the calf of his opposite leg, he adroitly places a hind leg of the goat between these, and proceeds to discharge his duty with
inflexible composure, while the poor kid stands by, with piteous looks, beholding the beverage provided for its sustenance thus reckleszly taken away.
May 10. The wind being strong, but contrary, we have hitherto made slow progress. To-day we had fine views of Hastings and Seaford, and other places near shore. Conversing with the captain, who has been for many years engaged in the whale fishery, he related the following circumstance. Being once pursued by a whale, which he had wounded, he parried the assault for some time with a lance; but the furious monster at length rushed on the boat, and with one crash of its jaws bit it in two; himself and his comrades only being preserved by leaping into the water when they saw the onset was inevitable. They were rescued from their peril by other boats at hand. He observed, that the black whale of the North Seas discovers such affection for her young one, that when she perceives danger she takes it under one of her fins, and swims off with it. If the latter be struck, the dam never leaves it, but risks her own life to save that of her calf. On the contrary, the sperm whale of the South Seas will suffer her offspring to be taken without manifesting any concern, and providing only for her own safety; or occasionally, when escape is difficult, turning, as in the instance above mentioned, with the most savage ferocity on her pursuers. Our captain's father lost his life in attacking one of these formidable monsters.
May 12. This day we reached Portsmouth, when, the wind being contrary, we went on shore, and thence passed over to Newport, Isle of Wight, where we were cordially welcomed and entertained by Mr. Tyerman's friends, to whom his sudden re-appearance was equally unexpected and delightful.
BAY OF BISCAY_CAPE FINISTERRE.
May 19. The wind having become fair, we went on board again this morning, and proceeded with great rapidity down the English Channel, presenting a great press of sail to a powerful and prosperous breeze.
May 20. (Lord's day.) This morning we had public worship, for the first time, on deck; the captain, officers, and crew, being all in attendance. Mr. Tyerman preached from Psalm cvii. 23, 24: “ They that go down to the sea in ships, and do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep." Mr. Jones preached on deck in the afternoon.
May 22. We have this day passed into the Atlantic, crossing the mouth of the Bay of Biscay. Early in the morning we had a strong gale, and proceeded, amidst prodigious waves, at the rate of eleven knots an hour, with scarcely any sail spread. Towards noon the wind died away, and left us for several hours at the mercy of a troubled sea that could not rest, but rolled and rocked with awful agitation. In the evening the gale revived, and hurried us on in our desired course. A linnet and two swallows, taking refuge in our shrouds, were caught by the sailors; but the poor birds were so exhausted, by the violence of the wind and the length of their flight, that they soon expired.
May 23. To-day we first perceived the change of the colour of the water from green to dark blue; the former indicating comparative shallowness, the latter, unfathomable depth.
May 24. We are off Cape Finisterre, having experienced favourable weather since the 22d. The night is beautiful with stars, amidst a pure unclouded sky. The ship sails majestically over an invisible expanse of water, marked only by silver-topt breakers, accompanying and
LUMINOUS APPEARANCES IN SHIP'S TRACK.
following in its wake. The only persons on deck are the man at the helm—with his eye on the compass, and his hand on the wheel—and the mate, who silently paces the deck, listening and looking through the gloom.
May 25. Multitudes of porpoises playing round the vessel; two were harpooned, and brought on board. The blubber yielded three gallons of good lamp-oil. The liver and some of the fleshy parts were dressed and eaten by the sailors. In the evening the foam round the vessel was spangled with luminous but evanescent points; the flakes occasionally emitting their brilliant rays for several seconds. This phenomenon, not yet satisfactorily explained by philosophers, though common every night, is very striking; the track of a ship is sometimes so highly irradiated as to present the appearance of a train of fire for a considerable distance.
May 27. (Lord's day.) We had public service twice in the cabin. The deck had been cleared last night, and no work that could be avoided was done on the Sabbath. It was pleasing to see the crew, clean and in their best clothes, engaged in reading the bibles and tracts which we had given them.
May 28. This morning we had the satisfaction to see Porto Santo, one of the Madeira Islands. Our party have been fully occupied to-day in writing to friends in Old England. This is a peculiarly interesting ship-board scene, whenever an immediate opportunity of communicating with home is presented in the course of a long voyage.
May 29. We reached Madeira, and went on shore at Funchal; the captain purposing to take in a supply of various provisions. No description of this lovely, magnificent, and well-known island, by transient visitors, can be necessary here. One of the most remarkable objects of
curiosity which we visited was a room in the church of St. Francis, about fifteen feet square and the same in height, completely lined, or rather embossed, both on the side walls and the ceiling, with human skulls, set in squares composed of arms and thigh-bones, which form a separate frame for each skull. These hideous relics are said to be those of saints and eminent personages, of which the sepulchres have been defrauded to decorate this Golgotha of superstition. The whole has a horrible and ghastly appearance, which is aggravated by the filthiness of the place, and the dilapidations continually occurring—the skulls and bones from time to time falling from their fixtures, and strewing the floor with mouldering fragments. On enquiring the cause of the neglect of a sanctuary so peculiarly precious to devotees as this must have been, we were told that the funds bequeathed for the maintenance of its melancholy state had been lost; and there was not charity in the present day found to keep this charnel-house in repair.-One word may be added concerning the vines. These were planted at the fronts of the houses in gardens; lattice-works, about seven feet high, are raised and extended over the whole ground-plot. The vines, being conducted over these frames, not only repay the owners by their delicious fruits, but afford a most refreshing shade, under which the whole family may be sheltered from those fierce rays of the sun which give excellent flavour to their grapes, and make the wine of Madeira one of the choicest beverages “to gladden man's heart," not here only, but at the uttermost ends of the earth.
May 31. Having re-embarked last evening, we this day lost sight of Madeira in our progress.
June 1. We have been amused by observing luminous objects floating in the sea, at the sides and in the wake of the vessel; they were generally of a beautiful blue or green