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lot. Now I cannot but think, that the want of potatoes to a halfnaked Irishman in his turf cabin, and the deficiency of rye-bread to a poor German, who is also liable to be sold by his mercenary sovereign to fight battles in which he has no concern, are motives suffi. ciently urgent to induce them to quit their native country, upon the intelligence they might gain from common conversation, that there are countries in the world in which a poor man willing to labour is not doomed for life to a condition worse than that of his animal fellow-labourers; and without debarring them from the use of language, such a fact could not well be concealed from them. Of the real proficiency in letters of the nations above-mentioned I am unable to speak; but the German peasantry are perhaps the most steady and orderly in Europe, unless the Scotch be excepted, whose book-learning is not denied by this writer, but he supposes it is prevented from doing them much harm by the example of "" the virtuous career of their
pastor's life." To imagine that the reading and writing acquired at a charity school usually gives such a literary turn to the scholar as to make him aspire to the envied station of a book-keeper or an exciseman, is to betray great ignorance of matter of fact. It is seldom, indeed, that such a facility is acquired in either as to render the practice of them other than an irksome task; and it is more likely that the young peasants, like many of their superiors, after becoming their own masters, should totally forget what they learned at school, than that they should keep up and augment their little acquirements. There is one thing, indeed, which such instruction as that of a Sunday school is not unlikely to fix permanently upon their minds, and which the prudent calculators of worldly advantages in every moral plan ought to take into the estimate—this is, a knowledge of their duties. With their hardships they are sure to be well acquainted without the information of books.
But the writer alluded to is not content with warning the Devonian gentry against the fatal consequences of teaching their peasantry to read and write; he goes so far as to say, that " the peasant's mind should never be inspired with a desire to amend his circumstances by the quitting of his cast," I feel it difficult, in commenting upon this sentence, to restrain those expressions of indignation which my feelings would prompt. Cast! Is that odious word to be applied to any order of men in a country like this? Is not the writer aware that the proper signification of cast is a division in society constituting an absolute and unalterable distinction not only of occupations, but of rights and privileges--and that its necessary effect is to nourish in the high the most arrogant contempt for the low, as a race of inferior beings, who, on their parts, are thereby sunk into the most abject self-abasement? And would he introduce such feelings among Englishmen?
Why should not the peasant look to the same reward for his skill and industry that all the other members of the community do-an elevation in the scale of society? What is there to draw such a line of separation between him and other persons who maintain themselves in their respective callings? The laws (thanks to our constitution) make no difference between him and other subjects of the state. He is no longer a serf, chained to the soil, and the property of its owner, like the cattle that till it. He is a freeman, upon whom his country calls for her defence in the hour of danger, and whose strong arm and stout heart are her best security. If the superior utility of his employment is made the plea for binding him irrevocably to it, besides that it is a very ungrateful return for his services, that plea is readily renounced when the object is to make him a soldier or a sailor. But what is the elevation in rank to which he would naturally aspire were he qualified by a little instruction? That of the very laborious condition of a small farmer-of cultivating with his own hands a piece of ground of which the fruits are to be his and not another's. And is not this an useful as well as a reasonable ambition? Will it not stimulate him to every possible exertion, and train him to those habits of frugality and industry which are the most essential virtues in his station ?
I shall not take up your pages with a discussion of the general utility of instruction to the lower classes. So many solid arguments have been adduced in its favour by various writers, that one would hope few remain to be convinced except the incurably narrow and prejudiced. If fact be appealed to, the example of Scotland and of the northern parts of England is fully sufficient to prove that the usual concomitants of education among the poor are order, sobriety, and decency of manners. If a few whom nature has formed of “better clay" are thereby lifted into higher situations——if Cumberland produces from its peasantry curates and excisemen; and Scotland, poets, philosophers, and statesmen ; society at least loses nothing, whilst a prolific population continues to supply abundant hands for that culture of the ground which is, perhaps, justly considered as the base of all national prosperity.
JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE FROM NEW SOUTH WALES TO
By a Lady.- (Continued from page 10.) On the 10th of January we had squally weather, with strong gales, and a keenness in the air that led us to believe we were not far distant from islands of ice.
Sunday, the 11th. Favourable breezes, which wafted us eight and nine knots an hour; the air keen and sharp; a good look out was kept in case ice should be seen. Being aware of the danger attending the vicinity of islands of ice, the desire I felt to see one was much damped. On the 13th, however, we relinquished all expectation of seeing ice, being in the latitude of 47° 36' 16" S. and the weather considerably warmer. Our distance from the Cape of Good Hope was that day reckoned to be 2804 miles.
We continued our voyage with moderate and steady breezes and some strong gales, and without any material occurrence till Friday the 30th of January (according to our reckoning) when at 4 o'clock a.m. I was awakened by the officer of the watch calling Captain K. to inform him that a strange sail was seen on the weather bow at the distance of six or seven miles. My fears would not suffer me to remain longer in bed. I hastened on deck, and saw the sail, which it was supposed was Spanish. The Buffalo stood towards her, with top-gallant-sails set, and the drum beat to quarters. It blew fresh from the eastward, and the strange sail carried a press of sail, which I secretly hoped might carry her out of our reach. After a chase of three hours we gained upon her considerably. The Buffalo, for a heavy sailing ship, did wonders; and at nine o'clock we discerned that she had a red colour flying, which was in a short time exchanged for a blue one: this strengthened the hopes of her being an enemy, supposing that she held out false colours. At length we came up with her, and brought her to by firing two shot from the forecastle. To the disappointment of our tars she proved to be the Merry Quaker, from Boston, bound to Batavia.
Meeting with this vessel, we were enabled to correct our account of time, and the next day, which, according to our reckoning, would have been Saturday the 31st, we called Friday the 30th, having gained a day by going east round the world.
On the 5th of February, early in the morning, we saw the Table land of the Cape of Good Hope, distant about five leagues; and anchored in Table Bay between 3 and 4 þ.m. Cape Town has a beautiful appearance from the bay; it is extensive and regular, with many handsome buildings. I landed the morning after our arrival, and took up my residence with a very genteel Dutch family of the name of Lesueur, whose house adjoined the Company's gardens, which are very shady and pleasant. The hedges are all of myrtle, and the lofty trees are chiefly Cape-pines and oak. The governor's house is a handsome building, and is situated in the gardens. There are a number of delightful country residences only three or four miles from Cape Town, most of which I saw. One, belonging to a Mr. Zaun, attracted peculiar attention, from its beautiful situation and extensive gardens. The most agreeable excursion I had during our stay was to Constantia. The roads were infinitely better than I had been led to expect: they are bounded on one side by a range of lofty mountains, with gardens and vineyards at their base, to which some very good buildings are attached : an extensive plain, which has a very barren appearance, lies on the other side, beyond which are the mountains, inhabited by the natives.
On the 28th of February we weighed and made sail out of Table Bay, with a fresh breeze and fine clear weather. At the time we left the bay the ships on the expedition under the command of Sir Home Popham, were under weigh.
After in This sea phrase has been generally mis-spelt under way, by authors otherAfter a run of ten days in the most delightful weather, we arrived at the island of St. Helena, where we found in the road four ships, a brig, and a schooner, waiting for convoy to England. A salute was fired from the fort, which was answered with fifteen guns from the Buffalo. Our stay at St. Helena was too short to allow me to form a correct opinion of it, farther than that its appearance is extremely romantic. The whole island is an assemblage of very lofty hills, with deep fertile vallies between them. On the summit of the highest hill, under shelter of which the town is built, stands a fortification, which, from its elevated situation amidst the clouds, I called the castle of Parnassus. From the little I saw of the island, I was highly prepossessed in its favour; and if the climate is in general as good and I was informed by the inhabitants it was) as the specimen we had of it, it must be as healthy a spot as any in the Southern hemisphere.
Tuesday, March 17th. At half past five a. m. fired a gun, and made the signal for the convoy to weigh. At six weighed, returned a salute of fifteen guns from the fort on Ladder-hill. The convoy consisted of four ships, the Highland Chief, the Minerva, the Friendship, and the Varuna, and the Hope brig.
On the 22d at six a.m. saw the island of Ascension; the east end bearing W.N.W. six or seven leagues. At 12, dropped anchor with the convoy in fourteen fathoms. In the evening I attempted landing at Ascension, but it was found impracticable for ladies, owing to the surf, which had nearly swamped the boat. A party of gentlemen, with some seamen from each ship, stayed on shore all night to turn turtle. At eight o'clock on the following morning the boats returned. Four fine turtles, supposed to weigh each about 400 lbs. were brought on board our ship, and about the same number fell to the lot of each ship. At 10 made the signal, and weighed anchor in company with the convoy. Two days afterwards we killed the first of our turtles, which contained upwards of 600 eggs.
Monday, the 30th. On crossing the line this day we received a visit from Neptune, accompanied by his wife and child, and his customary attendants and constables. Some of his suite were sent on board by Neptune, to announce his intended visit, and to enquire " What ship a-hoy,” and the name of her commander. These enquiries being answered from the quarter-deck through a speakingtrumpet, and an invitation being sent to Neptune, he and his retinue came over the bows of the ship with his trident in his hand, and in dress suited to the occasion. His godship, with Mrs. and Master Neptune, were placed in a car made out of an old cask, which was drawn in great state from the forecastle to the quarter-deck. After a well-delivered speech to the commander, and the bestowal of his good
wise correct, who are not acquainted with its origin. When the anchor is weighed, that is, its weight suspended from the bows, the ship is said to be under weigh. The similarity of sound has induced a supposition that the ex. pression related to the progress or way the vessel makes.
wishes in a bumper of wine, Neptune cast his eyes around, and seeing a number of children, who, he observed, had never crossed the line before, he claimed the usual privilege, and upon their shrinking and endeavouring to conceal themselves, he gave orders to his constables to seize them; upon which nothing was to be heard but shrieks and cries, till, on their parents making him an offering, he politely withdrew. A most ludicrous scene then commenced, for Neptune having discovered that many of the ship’s company, and most of the passengers, though they had crossed the line before, had never paid him the customary tribute, insisted on their being shaved, the whole apparatus for which was prepared on the main-deck. Some of the passengers being a little refractory, had buckets of water poured on them from the maintop, down the windsails, from the awning over the quarter-deck, and from every other part whence aim could be taken; at last they were obliged to snatch up buckets, and began sluicing in their own defence. Though I was merely a spectator, I came in for a pretty large share, and before I made a retreat had
got so complete a soaking, that I was under the necessity of changing every part of my dress. A great many submitted quietly to the operation of shaving, which is truly laughable. The patients are seated on sticks laid across deep tubs full of water, a bandage is placed over
their eyes, and a lather compounded of all sorts of filth smeared over - their chins, which are dexterously scraped by an iron razor a foot in
length, and with notches of an inch deep in it; the stick is then drawn from under them, and they are soused into the tub of water; at the same time buckets full are thrown upon them from all directions, so that they are well washed, and nearly drowned as well as shaved. This fun lasted for some hours, and was at last terminated by Neptune's getting ducked himself.
April 1st. Squally with heavy showers of rain. 2d. Light airs ; spoke the Friendship, all well on board. 30. Killed the last of the four turtles brought from Ascension; they all proved to be females, containing an immense number of eggs. On the 4th we got into the N.W. trade wind. Fine clear weather. Sunday, the 5th, steady breezes. Ship’s company mustered; all in perfect health.
We continued our voyage, with fresh and moderate breezes, till the 25th, when the winds became contrary and we had boisterous weather. During the interval the following are the only circumstances I found worthy of recording in my journal. On the 9th, in the evening, I missed my favourite little dog Flirt; search was instantly made all over the ship, but not being able to learn any tidings of her, I concluded she had fallen overboard, unseen by any person, and was drowned. On the 20th, in the forenoon, William Field, one of the seamen, fell overboard, and would have been drowned, but for the efforts of another seaman (Gasper Sadou, a Frenchman) who, by jumping overboard, and swimming to him with a large grating, to which he clung till a boat got to him, saved his life. On the 24th, Mary Breeze, one of the passengers, was brought to bed of a boy.