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way, but the more attractive families—as the Geodephaga, the Lamellicornes, the Longicornes, and the Buprestidæ among beetles, the bees and wasps among Hysuoptera, might have volumes devoted to them. As these volumes would, if compact and cheap, have a very large sale in every civilized country, they might be issued at a very low price, and would be an immense boon to all amateur collectors, travellers, and residents abroad; and if the chief genera were illustrated by a careful selection of photographic prints, now so easily and economically produced, they would constitute one of the greatest incentives to the study of nature.
The only other book of much use to me was the volume by Boisduval, describing all the known species of the two families of butterflies, the Papilionida and Pieridæ. The descriptions by this French author are so clear and precise that every species can be easily determined, and the volume, though dealing with so limited a group, was of immense interest to me. For other families of butterflies and for some of the beetles I made notes and sketches at the British Museum, which enabled me to recognize some of the larger and best known species; but I soon found that so many of the species I collected were new or very rare, that in the less known groups I could safely collect all as of equal importance.
It was, I think, in the latter part of January, 1854, that I received a notification from the Government that a passage had been granted me to Singapore in the brig Frolic, shortly sailing for that port, and that I was to communicate with the captain-Commander Nolloth—as to when I should go on board.
I think it was about the middle of February that I went to Portsmouth with all necessaries for the voyage, my heavy baggage having been sent off by a merchant ship some time previously. The Frolic was anchored at Spithead with a number of other warships. She was about seven hundred tons, and carried, I think, twelve guns. The accommodation was very scanty.
I messed with the gun-room officers, and as there was no vacant cabin or berth, the captain very kindly accommodated me in a cot slung in his cabin, which was a large one, and also provided me with a small table in one corner where I could write or read quietly.
The captain was a rather small, nervous man, but very kind and of rather scientific and literary tastes. He wished to take some deep-sea soundings during the voyage, and to bring up good samples of the bottom; and we discussed an apparatus he was having made for the purpose, in which I suggested some improvements, which he adopted. Sailing orders were expected every day, as the ship was quite ready, with the stores she was taking out to the East all on board ; but day after day and week after week passed, signals were exchanged with the admiral, but we seemed no nearer sailing than when I came on board. It was rather dull work, but I consoled myself with getting acquainted with the ship and its ways, the regular routine of which went on, and everybody seemed as fully occupied as if we were at sea. The captain had a nice little library in his cabin, among which the only book I specially remember was a fine Spanish edition of "Don Quixote.” This I intended to read through during the voyage, as my familiarity with Portuguese and the small experience of Spanish conversation while in Venezuela enabled me to understand a good deal of it. But this was not to be.
Having read almost all Marryat's novels, I was especially interested in the characters and manners of the various officers, in whom I found several of Marryat's types reproduced. The captain, as I have said, was nervous, and especially on everything connected with official etiquette. One day signals were being made from the admiral's ship, and there seemed to be some doubt as to what ships it was intended for. The first-lieutenant asked what they were to do about it, and the captain was quite excited for fear of a reprimand, and at last said, “We can only do what the others do. Watch them and repeat the signals they make." Whether it was right or not I don't remember. One officer, I think it was the purser, was the great authority on naval history. His small cabin had a complete set of the Navy List for fifty years or more, and every matter in dispute as to what ship was at a certain station in a given year, or where any particular officer was stationed, was always referred to him, and if he could not say off hand, he retired to his cabin for a few minutes, and then produced the authority, which settled the question. The others were nothing remarkable, except the doctor, who was of the jolly, talkative sort, and seemed especially to pride himself on his knowledge of seamanship. One day I remember the captain was summoned by signal to go on shore to the admiral's office. It was a cold day with a strong wind, and there was a very choppy sea on, as there often is at Spithead. When the captain's gig came alongside it was difficult to keep it clear of the ship, it was so tossed about in sudden and unexpected ways; and when the captain had got in, there was a difficulty in getting away, and for a few moments the boat seemed quite out of command and in danger of upsetting. The officers were all looking on with anxiety, and as soon as the boat had got clear away, it was the doctor that spoke, and declared that he never saw such bad seamanship. They were very near losing the captain ! They were a set of lubbers ! etc. etc.
Finding that I was a bad sailor, I was assured that before we got to Singapore I should be thoroughly seasoned, for the brig was what they called a Simonite, a class of ships named after the designer, which, though stable, were very uncomfortable in bad weather, having a quick jumping motion, which often made old sailors seasick. I hoped this was exaggerated, but looked forward to the ordeal with some dread. But one day the captain informed me that he had received fresh orders to carry stores to the Crimea, where the great war with Russia was about to commence. He said that he regretted the change, because he much preferred the voyage to Singapore and China, and that he also regretted the loss of my company; but as it was, I had better leave the next morning, and that no doubt the Government would provide me a passage in some other vessel. So I bade farewell to him and his officers, none of whom I ever met again.
On returning to London, I at once call on Sir Roderick Murchison, and through his representations I received in a
few days a first-class ticket overland to Singapore by the next Peninsular and Oriental steamer, which sailed in about a week, so that I did not lose much time. The voyage was a very interesting one, stopping a few hours at Gibraltar, passing within sight of the grand Sierra Nevada of Spain, staying a day at Malta, where the town and the tombs of the knights were inspected, and then on to Alexandria. But having by me a long letter I wrote to my schoolfellow, Mr. George Silk, I will here quote from it a few of the impressions of my journey as they appeared to me at the time they occurred; and first as to my fellowpassengers
“Our company consists of a few officers and about twenty cadets for India, three or four Scotch clerks for Calcutta, the same number of business men for Australia, a Government interpreter and two or three others for China; a Frenchman; a Portuguese officer for Goa, with whom I converse; three Spaniards for the Philippines, very grave; a gentleman and two ladies, Dutch, going to Batavia ; and some English officers for Alexandria. At Gibraltar we were quarantined for fear of cholera, then rather prevalent in England, and all communication with the ship was by means of tongs and a basin of water, the latter to drop the money in. We had a morning at Malta, and went on shore from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., walked through the narrow streets, visited the market to hear the Maltese language, admired the beggar boys and girls, strolled through the Cathedral of St. John, gorgeous with marbles and gold and the tombs of the knights. A clergyman came on board here going to Jerusalem, and a namesake of my own to Bombay. The latter has a neat figure, sharp face, and looks highly respectable, not at all like me! I have found no acquaintance on board who exactly suits me. One of my cabin mates is going to Australia, and reads 'How to make Money'-seems to be always thinking of it, and is very dull and unsociable. The other is one of
. the Indian cadets, very aristocratic, great in dressing-case and jewellery, takes an hour to dress, and persistently studies the Hindostanee grammar. The Frenchman, the Portuguese, and the Scotchman I find the most amusing; there is also a little fat Navy lieutenant, who is fond of practical jokes, and has started a Monté Table."
Steamer Bengal, Red Sea, March 26. “Of all the eventful days in my life (so far), my first in Alexandria was in some respects) the most exciting. Imagine my feelings when, coming out of the hotel (to which we had been conveyed in an omnibus) with the intention of taking a quiet stroll through the city, I suddenly found myself in the midst of a vast crowd of donkeys and their drivers, all thoroughly determined to appropriate my person to their own use and interest, without in the least consulting my inclinations. In vain with rapid strides and waving arms I endeavoured to clear a way and move forward, arms and legs were seized upon, and even the Christian coat-tails were not sacred from the profane hands of the Mahometan crowd. One would hold together two donkeys by their tails whilst I was struggling between them, and another, forcing their heads together, hoped to compel me to mount one or both of them. One fellow, more impudent than the rest, I laid flat upon the ground, and, sending the little donkey staggering after him, I escaped for a moment midst hideous yells and most unearthly cries. I now beckoned to a fellow more sensible-looking than the rest, and told him that I wished to walk, and would take him as a guide, and now hoped that I might be left at peace. But vain thought! I was in the hands of the Philistines, who, getting me up against a wall, formed around me an impenetrable phalanx of men and brutes, thoroughly determined that I should only escape from the spot upon the four legs of a donkey. So, bethinking myself that donkeyriding was a national institution of venerable antiquity, and seeing a fat Yankee (very like our Paris friend) already mounted, being like myself, hopeless of any other means of escape, I seized upon a bridle in hopes that I should then be left by the remainder of the crowd. But seeing that I was at last going to ride, each one was determined that he alone should profit by the transaction, and a dozen animals were