THE STAD HAARLEM FROM PLYMOUTH TO LYTTELTON
Published in Old England & New Zealand, 1879
EXTRACTS FROM THE AUTHOR'S DIARY
OF HIS VOYAGE TO NEW ZEALAND,
FIVE HUNDRED EMIGRANTS FROM KENT AND SUSSEX.
[Note: Spelling in the original text has been kept in this transcription]
[Hint: Until pagination occurs, the text is easiest read by selecting]
February 2, 1879.-The emigrants from Kent and Sussex, whom I
accompany to New Zealand, assembled at Maidstone on January 28th,
1879, and left the following morning by special train for Plymouth, the
port of embarkation, the same evening. My party numbered about 500
souls, a special correspondent of the Daily News accompanying us to
Plymouth. I shall long remember that morning's warm and spontaneous
"good-bye" at the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway station;
many persons stepping forward to shake my hand whom I had never
known as friends or sympathisers with the special work to which I have
devoted myself in Kent and Sussex. Looking back upon the past
month, that is, since the day when I first decided to take the journey to
New Zealand with the locked-out labourers, I should be more than man
were I not greatly affected by the warm-hearted solicitude expressed
from all sides. Letters have reached me, and persons have visited me,
all to assure me of their hopes for the success of my mission. I fully
realise and recognise the dangerous nature of the journey undertaken.
There are, probably, not many persons who have travelled round the
world without some mishap, slight or serious, as their good or bad
fortune may turn out to be. Nevertheless, I should indeed be a poor
leader to those I have taken by the band, were I to shrink from a journey
which presents itself, to my mind, as a matter of duty, however dangerous
that journey may be. I think, then, the first call upon my attention,
ere I leave the shores of England, comes from those friends who have
stept forward, unexpectedly to myself, to wish me a safe voyage and
speedy return. I have received from many persons small parcels in the
shape of presents. Some of these are stated to be for my own use, others
for the emigrants generally, and some for the little children. In my own
name, and in the name of the hundreds of poor people under my care,
let me offer to those good friends more than my sincere thanks. I trust
their kindly hopes may bear good fruit, and that their generous expres-
sions towards me may be so completely gratified, that I may return to
Kent recruited in health, invigorated in body and mind, and thankful
that, amid the many dangers incident to my long journey, my life has
Tuesday, February 4.-Our steamer, the "Stad Haarlem," arrived
to-day in Plymouth Sound; but rather disappointed on learning that the
Board of Trade officials have ordered certain alterations to be made
before we go on board, which will take several days to accomplish.
Saturday, February 16. - Passengers being ordered on board yester-
day, the engines were started at 6-30 a.m. to-day, and it being hazy,
we lost sight of Old England in an hour. The weather is tolerably
rough, and before the breakfast bell rang, at eight o'clock, most of us
who were hungry had managed to loose our appetites. Some began to
look blue, others yellow, and the rest "all sorts o' colours - O!"
Ten a.m. - About 150 are already down with sea-sickness. It was at
this time one of the men felt "very queer," and wanted to see Mr.
Simmons, to know if he might go back again. But that individual was
nowhere to be found. A great cry was raised, and a general search took
place - every corner of the good ship was scanned, excepting the right
one. Presently the gentleman was discovered down in his cabin, his
cheeks yellow, his hair on end, and the tip of his nose pale-blue.
"Hollo," cried our rollicking good-tempered ship captain, "sea-sick,
eh?" "Oh, dear no! wouldn't be sea-sick for the life of me." "Well,
but you're vomiting." "Yes, I know that-but-but-I don't think
it's sea-sickness. It must be something else." "Not it," dropt in the
doctor, who had just appeared upon the scene, "not it - what do you
say to some fat ham and eggs for breakfast, - with plenty of gravy, eh?"
"Now don't, doctor, pray don't - can't you see I'm not well?" "Only
sea-sick, Mr. S---, only sea-sick - spew away, old fellow, spew away,
only don't let the farmers of Kent and Sussex know anything about it,
else won't they laugh! ah! ah! What do you say to giving us a bit of
a speech from the forecastle, on political economy?" Now, wasn't this
too bad? Mr. S-- gave a shrug, devoted himself with great per-
severance to inspecting the colour of the wash-hand basin, and, like
Rachel of old, refused to be comforted.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. - Early Sunday morning a great storm
arose, and nearly every man, woman, and child are flat on their backs
with sea-sickness. During Sunday we entered the Bay of Biscay amidst
a roaring hurricane, hatches battened down, and not a soul allowed on
deck. The captain's steward ventured, but was dashed against the deck-
house, and dropt bleeding and sensless. He was hauled in, and put to
bed very much injured. The waves are tearing us along, rolling pell-
mell over us. Here comes a smasher, raising his foaming head high
above us, and surging and howling like mad, at length swoops down
upon the ship with a hideous roar, sweeping our decks from stem to
stern, then careering off for another victim, and leaving us to the tender
mercies of hundreds of his boiling and merciless successors. With a storm
raging, and a boat full of helpless ones who have never been to sea before,
tossed helplessly upon his angry bosom, Biscay is a glorious place to get
a good night's rest. Monday, and up to this (Tuesday) evening, saw us
in the same predicament, when the storm abated, and we began to look
about us, to see if we were really in possession of our faculties and our
Wednesday, February 19. - The storm has passed, but the sea remains
quite rough enough to be appreciated. Most of the people are quite
recovered, or are recovering, so also am I myself. We are now in the
North Atlantic Ocean, and the weather is warm and invigorating.
Friday, February 21. - Last evening we sighted and passed the Island
of Madeira. To-day we have passed the Canary Islands, and the
weather is beautifully fine and warm - as will be imagined when I add
that we are not a great distance from the coast of Africa. Finding
myself well recovered, like the rest, from the temporary illness, I this
morning troubled the doctor for that breakfast of ham and eggs and
"plenty of gravy" he spoke of last Saturday. It was soon forthcoming.
In less than twenty minutes the dishes were not so good-looking,
whilst the writer felt considerably more comfortable about the inner
Sunday, February 23. - Religious service was held at 10 a.m. A
singular fact, and one, withal, particularly interesting to religious deno-
minations was, that not fifty of the people possessed Prayer Books, most
of them professing to be Dissenters, and were provided with various
chapel hymn books and Bibles.
Monday, February 24. - Arrived at 10-30 a.m. at Cape de Verd, and
went on shore to the island of St. Vincent. This is a place under
Portuguese rule, containing 8,500 inhabitants, a few being of Portuguese
descent, but the majority are black half-castes, between the Portuguese
and the African negro races. The people are an ignorant, poverty-
stricken lot. Upon our ship entering the fine, natural harbour, sur-
rounded as it is by lofty cliffs and mountains reaching to the clouds, a
swarm of boats flocked around us, containing naked blacks. The
fellows dived into the sea after pence, catching them up and bringing
them to the surface in their teeth. Sharks abound here, and are
careering around the ship, but the blacks seem fearless of them;
although they are for the most part an arrant lot of cowards on land.
On going ashore we were surrounded by them, and a perfect babel of
"Please gib us one penny, sare," was raised. Men, women, and
children half naked, and the women with short, dirty clay pipes in their
mouths. Finding them coming to too close quarters for my convenience,
I ordered them off, but they took no notice. I raised my walking-stick,
and threatened to lay it about their heads unless they cleared off. The
effect was instantaneous. They skeered away, and for a short time we
were free of them. An hour or so later we were pounced upon by a
lot of girls, black and half-clad, of from fifteen to twenty years of age.
"Will de English gentleman gib us one penny?" was again the cry.
Presently I turned, and laughingly asked one of them what she would
give in return for the coin. Placing her black hand on my shoulder,
she replied, "A kish! One good kish for de English gentleman!"
Whereupon I blushed, for, for the life of me, I could not realise the
idea of being "kished" by a half-naked black woman. I respectfully
declined the honour; and was made the butt of the party for the rest of
the day, the standing joke being that I must have been mad to refuse the
"kish," because then I could have told by personal experience what
difference existed betwixt the salutation of a feminine black as compared
with a rosy pair of English lips. It is true this precious piece of
experience may be lost to me for ever; but I confess it is an item of
learning I am content to be without, howbeit that the charge was only
Tuesday, February 26. - Still at St. Vincent, our steamer taking in
coals. Have inspected some of the black people's huts. They are
clean, but well-nigh empty; the men receiving 1s. per day when at
work, and their food consisting principally of melons, cocoa-nuts,
sugar-cane, bananas, and water. Have purchased a boat-load of melons,
oranges, and other fruits. The store-keepers, as they pompously style
themselves, are, upon the surface, sufficiently civil, but try to swindle
upon every article. I purchased about £10 worth of fruit, but for
which they asked about £20, and this value cleared out the stock-in-
trade of five of the shops. I hired fifteen black fellows to carry my
goods down to the jetty, paying them 6d. each for about an hour's work.
They appeared to be much delighted at the pay, and fifty of them were
immediately very anxious to become my servants. My feelings were of
an exquisite description. Imagine me, sailing down the middle of the
roadways, stick in hand, followed by a procession in single file of fifteen
niggers, with sacks and huge baskets on their heads, and these again
followed up by forty others, chattering and capering about like a pack
of monkeys. But they were a lot of rogues. I observed one abstracting
some oranges from a sack and placing them inside his waist-covering
behind. Presently I pounced upon him, and demanded to know what
he was up to. He coolly fumbled in his "pocket," and at last found one
orange, which he lyingly said fell out of the bag. "Try again," said I,
and after another fumble out came another orange. "Go on," and he
lazily took out three, four, five oranges, which he had sneakingly got
out of my sack. "Put down the sack and be off!" said I, raising my
stick. The fellow dropt the sack, and ran off like a whipt cur, and I
put on another blackey in his place.
Wednesday, February 26. - Last evening we left St. Vincent, steering
straight away towards the South Atlantic Ocean. The weather is now
getting hot, the temperature being 78 in the sun, with the glass rapidly
rising. We are expecting 90 degrees of heat within the next few days,
and preparations are being made by spreading awnings above decks to
protect us from the excessive warmth. We have been doing a bit of
angling on a large scale this morning. A drove of sharks hung about
the ship. The chief engineer manufactured a formidable looking fishing
hook, and cookey supplied a few pounds of beef. Throwing a few stray
pieces overboard, they speedily disappeared between the ugly rows of
white teeth; but when after tempting them thus far we quietly threw
the line with the hook covered with a glorious piece of old English beef,
the wily villains turned tail and were off. For five hours we stuck to
the task, but even as old land sharks are not to be caught by chaff,
neither also are the sharks of St. Vincent.
Monday, March 3. - We had this evening what to the sailors was
evidently splendid fun, and what to the emigrants was at least a
novelty. An suspicious ceremony, known to seamen as "Flogging the
Dead Horse," has been performed. For the benefit of the uninitiated
I explain. When the crew for a vessel are engaged, the owners allow
them to draw the first month's wages in advance; and those who know
our sailors best will be disposed to believe that not a great amount of
the "advance" remains in hand when eventually the crew ship them-
selves for the voyage. The sailors regard this first month's work as a
sort of nightmare - the sooner it is over the better they like it. And
when the month is up, and their wages commence to accumulate, they
celebrate the occasion in the manner I am about to describe. Well, this
day completed the first month of the sailors' service; and they manu-
factured what they called, and what for courtesy's sake I will also call,
"a horse." There was no nonsence about this said gallant steed. I
cannot exactly allude to its fiery eyes, or to its dilating nostrils-for the
simple reason that it had neither. I may safely speak as to its mouth
and jaws, and will be well within the mark if I assert that never before
in my life did I witness a horse with such a magnificently concocted
pecking machine. The carcase was fearfully and wonderfully made.
Some canvas which had done service for our good ship for the past
three years, was first sewn into shape, and by dint of much intricate
work and delicate persuasion, the internal organs, in the shape of
shavings and hay, were artistically inserted. The assistance of a pseudo
veterinary surgeon was then called into requisition, the needle and
thread were applied, and the carcase stood forth a completed thing.
And it was a sight to behold. Its arched neck, the gracefully-curved
back, the handsome rise of the haunches, and the prettily-rounded turn
given to the posteriors - these, brought to a climax by a tail of flax of
magnificent proportions, were, as I have intimated, a sight to behold.
But the sight of all was the gallant charger's legs. They were none of
your thin-ankled, slimly-built, tapering legs. They were good, genuine,
stout, all-straight-down-alike, such as would have graced the most
elephantine of elephants, or even that much maligned gentleman (late of
Dartmoor) the Claimant himself. Legs, the joints of which were never
likely to get out of joint, with hoofs such as horse or effigy never pos-
sessed before, and, I am inclined to think, may never possess again.
And now you have the horse before you -
'Twas not a form that the artist calls fine;
'Twas not a form in the classical line;
But it was a decently-rounded conglomeration of hay and straw, canvas
and sailors' breeches, honestly manufactured, and a legitimate outcome
of the united intelligence of half a hundred Dutchmen and Englishmen.
My sense of admiration was so overpowering that serious thoughts
possessed me of driving a bargain for a purchase of this exquisite work
of art, with a view of presenting it as a souvenir to one of our museums;
but the idea was evanescent. A programme of other and more serious
work was chalked out for the interesting creature. The shades of
evening were approaching, and with them there came the sounds of
laughter and revelry. From the forecastle there emerged a roaring pro-
cession of Englishmen, Irishmen, Scotchmen, and Dutchmen-sailors,
cooks, stokers, engineers, and emigrants. In their midst, bound around
its neck with a stout rope, they dragged the unhappy effigy of their own
creation, and even as Macbeth's witches marched around the seething
cauldron, so even marched my heterogeneous procession round and round
the ship, chanting to a horribly flat minor key-
Poor old man, thy horse will die-
Poor old horse.
And when he dies we'll tan his hide-
Poor old horse.
Poor old horse, thy days are ended-
Poor old horse.
Having repeated the chanting of this elegant piece of poesy for half an
hour or more, the procession wended its way to the foremast, which one
of the sailors mounted, carrying with him a line attached to the "poor
old horse." Amid the united "hurrahs!" of the English, Irish, and
Scotchmen, and the deep-toned "Hoerá's!" of the Dutchmen, the effigy
was then hauled up to the yardarm. Sundry invocations to the
publican's "spirits" were offered up at this solemn juncture; and
presently, accompanied by a final roar of merriment, the line attached to
the executed "old horse" was cut, the effigy fell with a loud plunge
into the sea, and in a few moments the "horse" was lost to the sight of
mortal man for ever. It was a scene calculated to arouse a man's
moral faculties, and I fell to sentimentalising. The conclusion arrived
at was, that as the "horse" had become food for fishes, I could do little
else than pity the whale or any such other monstrosity who, mistaking
the Dutchman's Stad Haarlem "horse" for a real dead one, swallowed
it under the delusion that it would afford a wholesome meal. I will
venture to predict that that veritable whale will suffer from periodical
attacks of indigestion during the next half century.
The upshot of all this mummery was that we - the saloon passengers
- were "respectfully invited" to stand glasses of grog all round to the
crew. It was not within the power of human nature to withstand such
an appeal, so sundry bottles of whisky were subscribed for, and glasses
were ordered. It is due to the Dutchmen to add that they swallowed
the "real Dublin" with as much gusto as if it were goodly Scheidam,
while the English fraction of the crew did splendid justice to the reputa-
tion they bear of knowing how to get outside of a capital "dhrop o' the
March 5. - Ploughing ahead at about eleven knots an hour, a stiff
head wind having sprung up, which somewhat impedes our progress.
Had a concert on deck to-night, and, making certain allowances for the
men who suddenly discovered that they had coughs, and for girls who
declared themselves to be suffering (and in the tropics, too) from severe
colds, the musical portion passed of as merrily as wedding bells. Rough,
uneducated, and of various nationalities, as our emigrants are, the effect
of the singing in chorus was very delightful. An almost full moon and
the stars brilliant, a quiet sea, and the atmosphere calm and cool, none
but those who were here can fully realise the sense of pleasure, as, with
lusty voices, some seven hundreds of men, women, and children sent the
chorus of "Nancy Lee" rolling over the silver-created wavelets.
Friday, March 7. - During the past few days the sea has been
moderately calm; to-day it is much more lively, and our vessel, while
making good speed, is plunging through some heavy work. The long,
deep, and regular sweep of the South Atlantic Ocean in this part, as
compared with our first few days' journey, is very noticeable, and much
more pleasant. The steamer rides very easily, and mounts to the crests
of the waves in good form, but she has at times a heavy roll, which sets
pots, kettles, and glasses all at loggerheads with each other. This
morning at breakfast we had to hold fast to our plates and cups and
saucers, else we should have found our knees uncomfortably hot. This
afternoon some of our single men have been amusing themselves with
the boxing gloves. It's rather warm work, and, as we afterwards found,
had warmed up the tempers of more than one of them. I am not
"up" in the technicalities of the noble art of boxing, but on the
authority of one who states that he is, I am able to aver that one of the
men gave his antagonist what is styled by the fancy "a wipe over the
smeller." This did not please the said antagonist, who, in retaliating,
is reported by my boxing friend to have "let out his left and damaged
the other on his left peeper." Both men then felt their "dander" rising
(this word I also use on the same authority), and eventually some
stormy work was the result. But, as my knowing friend tells me,
before much "port wine" had escaped, the sponge was thrown up, and
those who were in charge of the gloves claimed them for another, and a
less hot-headed pair.
Monday, March 10. - Rising at daybreak, found considerable change
from the comparative calms of the past few days. A stiff easterly
breeze, dead against us, has sprung up in the night; and if it continues
we shall not make such rapid headway. The ship is doing a bit of
extremely heavy work, the rise and fall of her bows probably being from
twelve to fifteen feet, and we have to hold fast to ropes or rails to pre-
serve our equilibrium. The pleasantest position just now undoubtedly
is that adopted by most of the women and children. That is, they drop
themselves on the deck, legs stretched stiffly out, backs against the
deckhouse, and feet planted firmly upon the bulwarks. But even these
precautions are not, like his Holiness the Pope, infallible. Occasionally
Mrs. Somebody or other will shift her position, but precisely at the
wrong moment. A heavy lurch of the ship occurs, and over that lady
goes. Standing just now holding tightly on to a rope, my coat tails
fluttering in the breeze, a very stout lady came rolling bang against my
legs. Seizing them with no uncertain grasp, with each successive pitch
of the ship her hold became firmer and tighter until from positive pain
in my calves I felt bound to protest. But the louder my protest, the
harder became her grip. In an unguarded moment, I let go my rope
with a view to release my legs, when down I went on my back, and we
both took a ten foot roll until we came to the main hatchway, and,
grasping its side, our headlong course was stayed. A hearty laugh took
place at my expense, and I cannot deny that the scene was somewhat
theatrical, not to say ludicrous. I shall be careful to steer clear of my
stout lady friend in the future; and if she again gets the chance to fasten
on to my shins, I'll forgive her.
Three p.m. - Chatting with the captain this morning, I expressed my
surprise at meeting so few passing vessels. Everyone knows of the
great traffic between Europe and the Cape of Good Hope. The captain
smiled a knowing smile, and, pointing to a chart, explained. The course
marked on the chart is from St. Vincent to the starboard side of Ascen-
sion and St. Helena Islands, and so, by a gradual sweep, to the Cape.
For some time we have been watching for Napoleon's Prison House and
place of death. The captain, in the exercise of his discretion, has taken
another line. Steering to the back of the two islands he has pursued a
straight course between them and the African coast. In his opinion this
is the better pathway across the South Atlantic. That may be so; but
we would have been glad to have sighted St. Helena nevertheless.
Tuesday, March 11. - For the past three or four days great things
have been said, and. great disputings have taken place respecting the
alleged prowess of two individuals in the art of pedestrianism. Jerry
Collins and his friends have expatiated with that freedom of language
dear to the hearts of Irishmen (and with a fervour worthy of the author
of the famous legend of the Kilkenny Cats) upon the "events" won by
their champion. En passant, too, I may observe that Jerry is as loud
upon his own merits as are his verdant colleagues. On the other hand
appears an Englishman, Jack Lydster, hailing from among the Lanca-
shire lads, and who glories in the professional designation of "Young
Weston." The wordy war at length became so fast and furious that it
was determined to put the two aspirants to fame to the test. A com-
mittee was appointed to make the arrangements, and, after sundry
meetings held in secret conclave in the forecastle, great excitement was
eventually created by an official notice, posted up on the main hatchway,
of which the following is hereby declared to be a true and correct copy:--
GREAT WALKING AND RUNNING MATCH.
The "Stad Haarlem" Stakes of 5s. each side, with nothing added. Under the dis-
tinguished patronage of the officers, saloon passengers, the several members of
the "fancy," and the betting fraternity now en route for New Zealand.
A great Walking and Running Match will take place on the main deck of the good
ship "Stad Haarlem," on Tuesday, March 11th, at 11 a.m. (weather permitting,)
between the accomplished English pedestrian, Jack Lydster, alias "Young Weston,"
and the famous all-round clipper from the Emerald Isle, Jeremiah Collins, the
The race to be for fifteen minutes precisely.
These famous pedestrians will, at 11 a.m. precisely, appear on the track, clad in
their respective national and distinctive costumes. For the further amusement of
all on board, these famous athletes, in whom are embodied the hopes and aspirations
of two great nations, now represented on board the "Stad Haarlem," have also
agreed to stake the credit and the future supremacy of their respective countries
upon the result of their individual prowess upon this occasion.
Good Luck to Ould Ireland.
The mark X of JERRY COLLINS, the Great Unknown.
God save the Queen.
The mark X of JACK LYDSTER, alias Young Weston.
In the presence of, and by order of, THE SHIP'S COMPANY.
As eleven o'clock began to approach (I believe this is the orthodox style
of reporting such matters), the excitement became intense, and it was
with difficulty the ship constables kept the course open. The betting
was marvellous. In one instance, an Irish emigrant ventured to bet
2½d. to an English emigrant's 8d. that Jerry would win. Many other
equally astounding bets were made. Precisely to time the two men, in
whom were "embodied the hopes of two great nations," appeared,
accompanied by their assistants, with a liberal supply of sponges, squirts,
and pails of water. The weather was decidedly against them, as the
ship was rolling heavily, and was pitching very unpleasantly in the face
of a smart head-wind. However, amidst first a breathless silence, and
then rallied by vociferous cheering, the professionals made a good start.
Young Weston took the starboard and Jerry the larboard side of the ship,
a man being stationed at either end, around whom the pedestrians were
to swing for the return journey. The Lancashire lad started well, but
Ould Ireland soon caught him up, and before twenty laps were completed
there was no doubt who was the best man. The race was gamely
contested, as with each successive roll of the ship the runners were
respectively plunged headlong among the lines of spectators, or thrown
upon their backs upon the wet and slippery deck. In either case the
men were off again in the twinkling of an eye, an occasional breaker or
two which hurled themselves over the bows and swept the "track,"
tending not only to refresh the athletes, but to make their work more
difficult, their carcases more steamy, and the decks more slippery than
heretofore. It was fifteen minutes of rare fun, combined with pedes-
trianism extraordinary, and when time was called the decision was
announced greatly in favour of the Irishman. The "official return"
gave as a result of the quarter of an hour's work-
The Great Unknown (Ireland).............. 2 miles 288 yards.
Young Weston (England) .................. 2 miles 90 yards.
Whereupon the stakes were honourably handed over to Ould Ireland,
but I understand there is still some question as to the matter of the
supremacy of the two nationalities. The doctor generously distributed
two bottles of stout to the pedestrians, and the writer having declared
himself satisfied with, and edified by, the gorgeous spectacle, the day's
amusements were brought to a close. The only drawback to the perfect
enjoyment of the affair is, that our Irish friends cannot spend the
winners' money in a jolly good "dhrunk," and what is worse still,
they've all left their shelalebs at home.
Thursday, March 13. - After sixteen days out of sight of land, we this
morning at daybreak sighted the African coast, some seventy or eighty
miles distant. Looking through the glasses, we observed a line of hills
backing the sea coast, and these again are backed by a range of high
mountains. Thus it is we sight the land at so great a distance. A
looming mass is pointed out in the far distance, which the captain
informs me is the Cape headland - Table Mountain. 8-30. - Have
reached the Cape, and anchors are just dropped in Table Bay. The long
rows of gas lights and the lights of many vessels in the bay look very
refreshing and very tempting, but I am not intending to go on shore
until the morning.
Friday, March 14. - All on board were out of bed as soon as the sun
had risen this morning, and upon going on deck Cape Town lay stretched
out before us. A host of small boats hover around the ship, several of
them loaded with splendid grapes, others with apples and pears of poor
quality. As soon as I had swallowed breakfast, I hailed a boat, and
taking with me one of our men, started for the land, a mile and a half
away. The steamer is to take in 680 tons of coal here. As this work
will not be completed until to-morrow, I have the captain's consent to
stay on shore all night and until next evening, and intend to have a good
turn round. Arriving on land, the first thing which became noticeable
was the appearance of the streets, which are much wider than in
England, the earth being of deep red, and the roadways being kept
tolerably clean, look for all the world like long strips of red ribbon
rolled out before you. The houses and shops, many of them being
large, and having a handsome appearance, are more lightly built than
our own, but there is an unmistakable British touch about everything
before you. Hansom cabs are flying about the thoroughfares, driven by
black cabbies, who evidently have heard of the facetiousness of the
London cabmen, and take tone accordingly. The horses here are small,
thin, spare-boned animals, and the black fellows' everlasting cry of
"Heep! heep!" and the cracking of long-thonged whips, become mono-
tonous before you have been a couple of hours in their midst.
The Cape Settlement, as is well known, is under British Government,
but of the population of Cape Town, which I roughly guess at from
18,000 to 20,000, probably the larger half would be foreigners.
Foreigners, too, of every nation, and clime. The names above the shop
windows indicate this; but in the lower quarters it is strikingly obser-
vable. Africans of all descriptions, from the veritable big-lipped negro
to the more sinister-looking Kaffir, with here and there a peaceable
Zulu. The more numerous of the well-to-do foreigners are Americans,
Spaniards, Frenchmen, and Turks, the English in this respect being
predominant. A thriving trade is driven, both inland among the south
African towns and villages as well as among the myriads of vessels that
call at this half-way house for all the world.
The costumes worn by the various sections of the people here are
singular in the extreme; some of them, to the eyes of an Englishman,
being little short of ridiculous. The nigger may wear his shocking
old broad-brimmed wide-a-wake, and the Turk may wear his tight-fitting
black-tasselled red-rep smoking cap. The Spaniard may wear his high-
crowned green-felt peacock-feathered Don's hat, the Yankee may wear
his white canvas hat of splendid proportions, and the Kaffir may wear
his monument-hat, which looks like a Chinese Pagoda on a small scale.
But why, oh I why do the nigger ladies wear such stupendous crinolines ?
Here come four of them, and I'll stay to describe them. Two of them
are stout, and as black as ebony, with flat noses and full-blown lips.
The other two are elderly Kaffir women, with repulsive-looking features
- and all of them have gold rings on their fingers, and huge gold ear-
rings dangling down to their shoulders. They are blacks of the
aristocratic order; and are followed at a distance by four small woolly.
headed boys in tights, and jackets with silver buttons. One of the
aristocratic black ladies wears a flaming red silk dress and long white
head-dress trailing to her heels; the second wears a pale-blue silk dress
half-way open down the breast; the other two wear white satin dresses
looped with bright scarlet silk bows, and the last three have white gauze
head-dresses like the first. But now comes the article that so much
annoyed me. The four bewitching creatures wore beneath their dresses
crinolines of elephantine dimensions, such as I never saw in England during
the palmiest days when crinolines were in fashion. I do not exaggerate
one iota when I assert that these said crinolines were each from five to six
feet across. See them, with large white fans spread out before them, sailing
down the roadway, four abreast, and in a happy and glorious style. See
what furtive glances they cast from the corners of their yellow eyes, as
the observation of all men is centred upon their self-supposed, but very
questionable beauty. Peacocks I say you? Why each one of them
represents the pride and the ignorance of fifty peacocks rolled into one.
Two of them are reputed to be the "wives" of worldly-wise blacks, who,
in the days of American slavery, collected some wealth by kidnapping
and carrying their own people as slaves into the South American planta-
tions. They strut along, the very personification of semi-savagery,
semi-civilisation run mad. A gentleman Chinaman, clad in a modest
green silk coat and pink stockings, has just turned his head to look after
these four remarkable jackanapes. John Chinaman may well open his
pair of small twinkling eyes to their utmost extent, and I fancy I per-
ceive in them a tinge of sarcastic thought as he turns on his heel, and
with a smile pursues his way beneath his white umbrella.
In the evening, in company with a party of gentlemen, I went to see
an entertainment. The walls are placarded with huge bills announcing
that a celebrated company of theatricals "from London" had reached
the Cape, and would give dramatic representations of "The Relief of
Lucknow." The hall in which the entertainment was given was the best
part of the affair. Built in oval form, and neatly decorated, it was a
pretty little place, and the surroundings gave evidence that the European
people at the Cape are not unmindful of the great ones of music and
literature. Around the walls of the hall are inscribed numerous names,
among which are prominent, Goethe, Hugo, Donizetti, Walter Scott,
Mozart, Rossini, Meyerbeer, Beethoven, and the immortal Shakspere.
No need to fear that civilisation among the European residents at the
Cape will dwindle while these splendid names are treasured in their
midst. But the entertainment itself was a wretched lot of rubbish, and
if the Cape people are swindled into the belief that the "party" were
as represented, "London stars," they are less intelligent than I take
them to be.
Saturday, March 15. - Have this morning ventured a good round all
about Cape Town and its suburbs, and to finish up with, have clambered
as far up the Table Mountain as it was convenient to do. The mountain
is said to be 4,500 feet above the level of the sea, and from the elevated
point I reached, the sea scene and the landscape were very grand.
Turning towards the South African continent the land for miles round is
rugged and broken, huge cliffs and boulders rearing themselves against
the pale-blue sky. The atmosphere is astonishingly clear, and a distant
hill is pointed out as being 75 miles from where I stand. Palms flourish
apace, but from this part little in the shape of cultivated land can be
detected. A railway runs from the Cape to a place 175 miles away;
and just now all is life and bustle, the first of the six troopships (the
"Prĉtoria") having arrived a few hours ago with the first instalment of the
reinforcements for the Zulu war. The opinion here is that the war will
be very soon over after the reinforcements reach the scene of operations
- at least they hope so, as Zululand is quite close enough to the Cape
to make the Zulus dangerous neighbours if victorious. And as the
Europeans I have met here have been as exceedingly courteous as they
should be to a travelling Englishman, I join them cordially in their hope
that the sounds of bloodshed and strife in this sunny clime may soon be
hushed for ever.
Sunday, March 16. - Still at the Cape of Good Hope. We expected
by this morning to have been a hundred miles or more away, but an
unexpected difficulty arose. The blacks engaged from the shore to put
our coals on board refused to work after a certain hour on Saturday, and
a hundred tons of coal were still required. The men were requested to
work to-day (Sunday), but they, in a body, declined, although they were
offered double pay, i.e., 10s. for the day's work. There is nothing for it
but to remain here until Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
Although the two days' delay is not a little annoying, we have this
evening witnessed a good sight, which otherwise we should have missed.
I have heretofore alluded to the Table Mountain at the end of the bay in
which we are anchored. It is called by that name from the fact that
the top is quite fat, the upper half of the sea-side of the gigantic mound
being almost perpendicular. On some evenings a singular atmospheric
phenomenon is witnessed, and it was this phenomenon that I allude to.
At about half-past five this evening the sun was brilliant and hot, but we
observed on the top of the mountain some white fog-a mere handful.
Gradually the vapour extended. In fifteen minutes the whole of the top
was covered, and the fog commenced to overflow and creep down the
sides until it reached halfway to the town below, and there it stopped.
In the scorching sun, it looked for all the world like a huge white silken
pall thrown over a gigantic coffin; but individuals who lived and
flourished long before the writer of this was born saw the same singular
appearance. They likened the mountain to a table, and the white
effervescing cloud to a table-cloth - hence it is called the Table Mountain.
The name is peculiarly appropriate, and not in the least exaggerated. A
few minutes after the "cloth" had spread itself over the huge table and
had hung its folds over the sides thereof, the sun disappeared beyond
the mountains in the west, and Table Mountain remained enveloped in
its ghostly garment, accompanied by its great pointed cloud-capt com-
panion, the Devil's Peak, as a huge craig a quarter of a mile away is
named - but why I have failed to learn.
Monday, March 17. - Finding the "coaling" not proceeding very
rapidly, I, this morning, again went on shore. Stepping from my boat
on to the jetty, I caught sight of a huge nigger, sprawling on his back,
broiling in the sun, and detected that he was one of the blacks who had
refused to work on Sunday, "Here," thought I, "is a splendid chance
for the acquisition of knowledge," and stepping up to the dark-skinned
"Good morning," said I.
"Good mornin', sare," said he.
"Not at work this morning ? " I inquired.
"No, sare, not dis mornin'."
"Why not ? "
"Well, sare," he replied, "I went to de sarvice yes'day."
"But what's that to do with your laying here to-day like a lazy
vagabond?" I demanded.
"Why, you see, sare," he coolly replied, "you see, sare, I yeard de
min'ster gib a most ex'lent surmin yes'day, and I's jest a-resting a-bit
a-digestin' ob it."
"Oh! indeed," said I; and observing, as I thought, a merry twinkle
of my sable friend's yellow eyes, I decided to open fire upon him.
"Might I ask you, sir," said I, "why you refused to work on board
the "Stad Haarlem" yesterday? Don't you know that by refusing to do
so, you and the rest have delayed the ship two days, and have occasioned
great loss and inconvenience to all on board?"
"Yes, sare, I know about dat air," he quietly replied.
"Then why did you refuse to work?"
"Neber wuks on Sundays, mas'r."
"Agin my princerpils, sare."
"Oh! that's it, is it? Will you allow me to ask what are your
principles?" I asked.
"Yes, sare-oh yes, sare-you may ask; but, sare, maybe dis chile
will not gib any answer."
"Come, come, now, you're facetious. Give me a fair and honest reply."
"Well, then, sare, I'll tell ye straight. I'm a relijus."
"A religious! And what may that be, pray? "
"Sare, you're a bustin' at me, I b'lieve; but, sare, neberdeless, I'm
a relijus - a Wesley relijus - and I'm one ob de 'suasion. We nebar wuks
on a-Sundays. Dat is de Lord's Day, sare, and de day ob rest."
"Well, my friend," I observed, "I quite agree with you there; but
do you always take a holiday on the Monday to digest the Sunday's
"No, sare, not allers; but, sare, I does wennever I ken, as it's good
for de relijus narves."
"Is it, indeed? How?"
"Why you see, sare, wen de minister gibs it out as our'n did yes'day,
de relijus narves gets strung up, becos ob de strainin'. And wen de
nerves is up, and de min'ster sees we's all a-thirstin' arter the ribber,
den says he, as de scripters say, 'Ho! ebery one as be thusty, come
ober to de waters.' And den we drinks ob de shinin' ribber till we's a
bustin' wid joy."
" So, so, my good friend," said I, "and you drank so much of 'de
ribber' yesterday that you require to lie on your back here all day to-
day to digest it. I'm inclined to think that if that is what you call
your religious principles, they're rather watery principles, sir. They
won't bear the light of day. Did you ever hear it read 'If a man will
not work, neither shall he eat?'"
" Oh, yes, sare-heerd dat many a times, and I wuks berry hard, I
'shure yer. But, sare, I gibs much hours as poss'ble to de Lord."
" Lying on your back, lolling in the sun on Monday, instead of going
to your work, and knowing as you do that our ship has already been
delayed. Strikes me, Sambo, your principles are that you be as lazy
as possible under the cloak of religion; and glibly as you chatter about
'de shinin' ribber,' you'll never see it, I promise you, unless you alter
your lazy ways. Good morning, Sambo, you're black without, but
you're more black within, for you're a lazy, skulking hypocrite."
I left the fellow on the jetty, and two hours afterwards passing the
same way, I observed the black rascal lying sound asleep under one of
the seats. I suppose he had digested yesterday's "sarmin," and had
sunk to rest by way of easing the strain on his "relijus narves."
Tuesday, March 18. - The engines were started, and we steamed
gently out of Table Bay, at daybreak, i.e., at six o'clock this morning.
It was a splendid morn, and rounding the point of the Cape a magnificent
view presented itself. The sun had just risen above the horizon to
seaward, and a circle of soft pale rays spread itself far away on all sides.
The mountainous, rugged, and barren outlines of a hundred miles of
South Afric's "coral strand" lay out-stretched before us on the larboard
side. A dozen cloud-capped hills were hastily rolling off their ghostly,
but atmospheric, night drapery, and a few dusky clouds were scampering
away at a break-neck pace before the fast brightening glare of a tropical
sunrise. The landscape was very delightful for the moment, and would
have gladdened the heart of a knight of the pencil. Flying fish and
hosts of other and larger occupants of the mysterious deep, with droves
of sea birds, followed in the wake of our vessel, as she once more
gathered way, and for a couple of hours or more I sat gazing at the
everlasting hills of South Africa, lost in a glorious reverie, until presently
a hearty-going smack on the shoulder from the captain, and a loud cry
from the doctor of "Breakfast is getting cold, Mr. S--," dragged me
to the level of the every-day world again, and I went below to test the
quality of some ham and eggs and cream and coffee, purchased the day
before at the Cape of Good Hope, which now was fast fading from our
view. This same fate, I am happy to say, awaited the good things we
found tempting us to the cabin table. Although absent from our gaze,
the world-renowned Cape still flourishes, but most assuredly I may not
write likewise of the ham and eggs, for, apart from the fact that I should
be using the vilest of grammar, the empty plates and the smacking of lips
tell quite a different story.
All day long, and until five o'clock evening, we have been scudding
along at about ten miles' distance from the African shores. From five
o'clock the shadowy summits of the hills became more and more
indistinct, and at six p.m. we again lost sight of land. We now
commence a new, and the last, stage of our journey. During the after-
noon we entered within the range of the Indian Ocean, and, unless we
have the good fortune to sight either the Island of St. Paul or Tasmania,
we are not expecting to see any more land until we reach our destination.
Thursday, March 20. - A prognostication of "dirty" weather seems
likely to be verified. As we have gradually got away from the African
coast-line the sea has gradually become more uneasy, and the water is
to-day very noisy. The wind is twisting about in all directions, and
generally the elements are evidently inclined to be angry. Then, too,
that wild bird, the sure forerunner of bad weather, the Stormy Petrel,
has been flitting about the ship for the last few hours, and everything
indicates to us that we may soon expect a rough time of it. The sailors
and some of our male emigrants are very busy about the decks, making
everything snug and taut. All things moveable - boats, timber, coils of
rope - all have been securely lashed, the hatches have been seen to,
and we are ready at a moment's notice to meet the storm. The "Stad
Haarlem" has already proved herself a strong and buoyant vessel, and,
however vicious a storm in the Indian Ocean may be, we are not
without hope that our ship is tough enough to battle her way successfully
Friday, March 21. - The expected storm is upon us. Never was
there such a to-do as we had below decks all the live-long night. A
number of the married people, as well as the single girls, had failed to
make fast their plates and dishes and tin mess-utensils. At two o'clock
the ship began to roll rather heavily, and presently a great heap of tin
dishes and pannikins got loose, and, in conjunction with a hundred or
more two gallon tin water-cans, commenced capering about from one
side of the ship to the other. Then down came a box of knives and
forks to mingle in the scrimmage, and to complete the job, the corks of
several of the water-cans got out, and the water flooded the floors.
The vessel continued to roll vigorously, with an occasional variation in
the shape of a game at pitch and toss. The lower deck of the ship is
stoutly caulked, so that the water could not escape, and the knives and
forks, coupled with the lurching, making it too dangerous for any one to
leave their berths, the mass of escaped articles continued their rattling,
career for the rest of the night. Scores of plates, dishes, knives, forks,
spoons, cans, pails, boots and shoes, stools, and camp chairs, all run
mad, and mixed up into a sort of soup by the contents of the water-
cans, pursued their uninterrupted career of waltzing the ship to their
own hideous music for nearly four hours, and when daylight at last
broke, and the result of the night's merrymaking was discernible, we
at once christened the mass "the 'Stad Haarlem' Irish stew." To add
that the night's noise, both within and without the ship, was simply
hideous, is to give a very faint idea of the uproar. And although in the
morning the remains of the night's revelry among the pannikins was
more than laughable, yet we would very much have preferred a good
night's rest, considering the rough day we were promised at the hands
of old Father Neptune.
Now, I find it necessary, at this point, to call attention to what seems
to me to be a popular error. On divers occasions, and at various places
in England, I have observed paintings and prints purporting to be
portraits of King Neptune. Most of these works of art depict His
Majesty as a white-faced, placid, good-looking, kindly old gentleman,
with honourable white locks - a good old fellow, who wouldn't injure a
hair of the head of any living soul. I can only presume that there are
King Neptunes and King Neptunes - that is to say, that there are rivals
for the throne of the kingdom of the seas. The King Neptune of my
home observation must be a civilised and reasonable being - probably
his ancestors were occupants of our comparatively calm and more
respectable English seas. But however this may be, I will not hesitate
to assert that the King Neptune of these Indian seas is a very different
personage. As compared with the description of the King of the
European waters, His Majesty of the South Indian Ocean must be a
black-faced, savage, ugly-looking, blood-thirsty, old rascal, with ragged
hair standing on end, and a more villainous and crafty despot than could
be manufactured were a dozen English-going King Neptunes rolled into
one. Even as Cetewayo, the King of the Zulus, last January allowed
a possee of our brave soldiers to march into his territory, only to swoop
down upon them presently with an overwhelming force and for a general
massacre; so also towards us acted Neptune, the wily old King of
We have been permitted to roam uninterruptedly across his pale-blue
watery domain for upwards of three days, and now, after he has us, as
he thinks, securely within his grasp, he lets loose all his virulent spleen
and power. His waves, which have gradually risen into mountains, are
careering madly around us, lashing themselves into the wildest fury.
One by one, they come dashing themselves about us, now on this side
now on that; and while we are guarding our starboard and larboard
bulwarks from their unmerciful attack, over our stern comes a howling,
surging, white-headed monster, threatening to carry all before him.
But our good ship bears up nobly against them. Rolling from side to
side, plunging down the gaping valleys, and rearing her head again as
bravely as before, with an occasional shudder as her screw, borne high
out of the water, dashes hurriedly round, and then burying itself again,
hurls the water hither and thither in foaming masses, our vessel drives
her way through the opposing power. But it was a terrible battle,
maintained with unrelenting vigour for nearly four and twenty hours.
Regiment after regiment of hoary-headed, angry-crested mountains, each
succeeded by a huge yawning abyss, came hurrying to the fray, only to
find themselves divided, shattered into glistening fragments, and sent shriek-
ing away from the invincible walls of the stout-ribbed "Stad Haarlem."
All day long, and through the blackness and darkness of a moonless
night, thus raged the sea, accompanied by a keen and screaming wind ;
but with the morning the gale abated, and our good ship victoriously
pursued her way. She is none the better, however, for her tussel with
the elements. The paint and polish are cleanly gone from her weather-
side, and her rusty appearance all down the one side and round the
stern tell but too truly how hard a struggle she has had to beat down
the foaming sea-sprites of the Indian Ocean King.
Saturday, March 22. - The gale of yesterday has now entirely passed
away, and although the sea is still running very high as the result of it,
to-day is beautifully fine, the atmosphere bracing and clear, and we are
able once again to take a look about us. The people are generally
healthy and in good spirits, notwithstanding that the hatches had to be
battened down all the time that the storm continued. For my own
part, I would not willingly have missed yesterday's experience. Often
have I heard of the grandeur of a storm in this part of the watery world.
The reality far exceeded my imagination; the sight was magnificent in
the extreme, and my enjoyment of it intense. All sense of probable
danger was lost, amid the general admiration of the scene. The wild
abandonment of the immense masses of water was catching, and as
wave after wave hurled themselves above and across us, swamping us
with salt and foam, our laughter was loud and our spirits exhilarated to
the utmost extent. Our hats strapped firmly on and fastened under the
chin, our coats buttoned from top to bottom, and lashed securely round
the wrist, with a stout rail to hold by, three of us mounted to the
binnacle-stand, high above the poop deck, and one of the three, at any
rate, enjoyed the gale and the glorious battle more perfectly than his
description thereof can possibly be. I shall never forget the scene.
I remained up above long after dark, watching the glistening foam, as,
like myriads of effulgent diamonds, it lashed itself angrily hither and
thither; and when at length I left my post and retired below for the
night, I felt that we had witnessed a sight well worth the coming of
these thousands of miles to see.
Wednesday, March 26. - We are all very miserable to-day. We have
had an upset. We have grave fears for the life of the doctor. He
retired last night in his usual robust health, and arose again this morning
fairly well. He ate a most excellent breakfast - so far as quantity was
concerned - and thereafter, as is his wont, expressed himself ready to
do battle against dirt and disease, and the numerous other ills that
Dutch ships are heirs to. The steward's bell-a fearful brazen-tongued
instrument, that four times a day sends all the twelve-month olds and
under into screaming fits - had rung for lunch. We were all seated
around the table - all, did I say? All, excepting the doctor. And if
the views of the dishes had been asked, they would have replied, "A
very good all, too"; for the doctor is, or was, a splendid eating
machine. We waited for a time, and then, becoming somewhat alarmed,
were about to start half a dozen emigrants to search the ship. It was at
this juncture the doctor himself arrived. At once it became evident that
either he was very ill, or that something very serious had happened.
Throwing himself into a seat, his face very red, his eyes all a-glow, his
hands nervously clutching at nothing, we demanded information.
"Vat ish te matter wisch de toctaire?" asked our worthy Dutch captain.
"Aw, doctaw, doctaw, what - aw - is the matter - aw?" lazily
inquired a saloon passenger, with lustreless, fishy eyes; who is said to
claim kin with an English aristocratic family, and whose pride thereat
seems to be such that it is doubtful if, up to now, he has spoken one
word to those penniless wretches, the emigrants, who dare to tread the
decks of the same vessel as himself.
"Pray, doctor, tell us what ails you?" I implored.
"Oh, dear me!" was the reply. "I'm afraid I can't eat my lunch."
This was a sure indication that all was not right, and that our medical
adviser's life was in immediate danger. "If a man cannot eat, neither
can he live," is an accepted axiom of the human family.
"Oh, doctor, don't say that - try," was the universal response.
"Well, I'll try, but I'm afraid I can't." He did try, but with indiffer-
ent success. Two plates of beef, and ham, and fowl; one piece of tart,
and some bread and cheese; one bottle of Bass's, three glasses of sherry,
and one cup of coffee - these were all the doctor got through for his
lunch, and our experience of his "lunches" of the past at once forced
us to the conclusion that steps must be taken, and that without delay,
for the preservation of life. When, at length, we observed that the
state of his health would really not allow of his taking a reasonable
luncheon, we affectionately invited him to tell us what had so unnerved
"Why," he presently said, after swallowing down his feelings and
the remnants of his ghost of a lunch at one mighty gulp, "why, there's
a woman on board this vessel - a woman who positively will not take
"You don't - you really don't say so, doctor," we all exclaimed in
utter astonishment. "Who is she; where is she; why won't she?"
"Won't take any medicine," proceeded the doctor, not heeding our
interruptions. "There she lies, ill from a most serious complaint. I
asked her husband why he didn't speak to me about her. 'She was
afraid you'd give her some physic, sir.' 'And suppose I did, what of
that, you great blockhead?' said I. 'Why, sir,' said he, 'she can't
take physic-never could.' 'Humbug, sir, humbug, sir; do you want
your wife to die, sir? I don't know whether to call you a knave or a
fool - you are either one or the other; go away, sir, while I see after
your wife.' Well, gentlemen, I then asked the woman why she didn't
speak to me about her illness. 'I can't take physic, sir,' she said.
'You won't take it, ma'am, is what you mean, then, of course, you'll
die.' I came away, but I've sent her some good stuff - the best I can
get under the circumstances, and she won't take it."
"Astonishing. The woman must be mad," I observed.
"I agree with you, sir, she must be mad; but then if she's mad we
ought to compel her to take the medicine - for her own good, you
"Quite right, doctor, quite right."
"But what I would point out is," continued the doctor, who had
gradually warmed up to the subject, and had apparently forgotten how
poor a lunch he had made, "what I wish to point out is, the extraordi-
nary and anomalous state of our law upon this matter. Look you,
gentlemen, a man or a woman may be taken into custody and punished
if he or she attempts suicide by cutting their own throats or by drowning
themselves. But here's a woman evidently determined to commit
suicide, refuses to take physic that will effect her cure; and her hus-
band, who probably will not be sorry to get rid of her, condones and
hushes up her offence. I maintain, gentlemen - I hold that the law
should be amended, and that a case of this nature should be punished
equally with the case where a person tries to drown herself."
"A splendid argument," I observed. "The question should at once
be brought before Parliament. Who is there we could get to 'ask a
question' in the House."
"Ask a question, be hanged," exclaimed to angry doctor. "Some-
one should bring in a Bill to remedy such an absurd state of things."
We all agreed with our medical friend that the thing ought to
be looked to. People - common people, too - should not refuse to take
physic, else what would become of them? But what is worse, what
would become of that respectable profession which supplies us with our
doctors? Shakspere did advise us to "throw physic to the dogs;"
but he didn't advise us to throw the doctors to the same interesting and
very useful animals, and this, assuredly, is what would have to be done
were there many such foolish people as this sick woman emigrant, the
subject of the doctor's comment.
"Mr. S., sir, - don't you think you could draft a Bill for presentation
to Parliament to meet this matter?" asked he.
"Hem - well - yes, I think I could do so, doctor; but I'll tell you
what my advice would be."
"I should advise you to take up politics and to cut physic - to get into
the House yourself, and to introduce the Bill to bring about this most
desirable reform. Just fancy, 'A Bill to provide for the Compulsory
Taking of Physic by all Her Majesty's loyal subjects,' &c. Why, doctor,
the thing would be a splendid hit. The simple proposal would be very
much more sensible than one-half of the pet hobbies and annual Bills
which now are brought into the House, only to be sent out again.
Then, too, we are just now favoured by having a Government who are
going in for domestic legislation. Why, doctor, the thing is palpable;
you'd have the Government immediately proclaim themselves in favour
of your measure."
The doctor became absorbed in deep contemplation.
"Well, doctor, what say you?"
"Why, sir," he replied, after a few moments of pensive gazing across
the far-stretching azure main, "Why, sir, as the candidate at election
time says, I'll give the subject my most serious consideration."
And here the matter rests for the present; but if, in the fulness of
time, a Bill such as indicated is placed before the country, the public
will remember from whom the idea has originated, and will mete out
their reward accordingly.
Friday, March 28. - A rough sea and cold wind have prevailed yester-
day and to-day. It is a truly edifying sight to notice the rig-out of the
Dutch sailors at the present time. Where, during the recent hot weather,
English sailors would throw off all clothing except their unmentionables,
and would have opened every porthole and other aperture to let in fresh
air, our Dutch sailors have been sweating in their heavy blue flannels,
and have apparently plugged up every crevice by which a whiff of pure
air could get into their berths. They seem to have a fiendish delight in
dirt and stench. And now that cold weather is upon us, the fellows
are feeling it acutely. Their "comforters" are extraordinary articles.
Long, thick, heavy, dirty greasy things, to tell the colour of which would
defy the cutest living soul. They roll them round and round and round
their throats, from the shoulders to the tips of their blue noses; and
when this circumlocutionary process is completed, they turn down the
broad brims of their huge, green, oil-saturated sou'-westers, so as to
allow it to shake hands with the dirty coil of "comforter" below. But
the Dutch sailor in cold weather is not yet complete. You should see
his boots! Huge, thick, slouching masses of brown leather, soft here,
hard as a deal board there; the soles like amateur coffin lids, and turned
up at the ends like the noses of certain individuals of my acquaintance
who are supposed to be of an aspiring temperament. Heels looking so
outrageously slovenly, being completely worn down to the welt, that one
is sorely tempted to give the wearers thereof a sound welting. The
uppers rise majestically from the ankle upwards, settling themselves into
innumerable hollows and graceful curves, in their upward march, until,
arriving at the tip-top of the thigh, the remaining portion finding it can
get no higher, laps itself into a fantastic roll, reaching again to half-way
down to the knee. Such boots as these are a triumph of the shoemaker's
art. They answer a four-fold purpose; they are everlasting, they never
wear out; being fearfully heavy they keep the Dutchman warm, by
reason of the great effort required to drag himself and them about; they
serve to completely hide the filthy condition of the Dutchman's breeches;
and, lastly, they materially aid towards keeping the Dutchman dry - a
thing I had now believed to be next door to impossible, looking firstly
to the reekingly wet condition of our ship, and secondly to the remark-
able number of mysterious stout short-necked black bottles which I have
observed thrown overboard from the forecastle, wherein the sailors reside.
March 31. - A momentous incident has just happened, the failure to
chronicle which would show on my part a marked want of courtesy to
my lady readers. For the past fifteen minutes there has been heard
a great pattering of feet; women have been whispering to each
other, as though possessed of a mysterious secret, the children have
been ordered away from a particular portion of the ship; and men are
staring at each other with eyes full of curiosity and inquiry. "What's
the matter?" is heard on every side, and from every individual pair of
lips. One old lady, who is going abroad to see her sons, hath put on a
glorious pair of tortoise-shell barnacles, and, after inspecting the sea,
the stars, and the moon, hath asked, in a state of great anxiety, whether
we are out of our road, and if the officers have lost their way, because
she had heard say that if you followed one of the stars (she could not
for certain sure say which) you'd be sure to come right. I told her I'd
heard the same, and that I believed the star she alluded to was Venus.
The captain hove in sight at this moment, and I referred the question to
him. "Oh, yez, Misther Zimmunz, you are correct; I have followed a
Wenus dis many year, and have always found her true; I sal find her
vonce more soon as possible, yah! yah!" The old lady with the
barnacles looked very wise, and said she felt sure she couldn't have
been mistaken, and the captain went his way. I thought it high time
to inquire, for my own information, what all the bustling about meant,
and my feet were quickened when I heard loud calls for "doctor!
doctor!" I was respectfully informed that "one of those little accidents
that will take place in the best regulated families" had just happened.
Now, we have a very large family on board the "Stad Haarlem," and I am
loth to confess it is not one of "the best regulated families." It is thus
not very surprising that an accident which would occur in a well regu-
lated household should occur on board our ship. But my curiosity was
aroused, I inquired to whom the "accident" had happened. "To
Mrs. David Johnson, sir," was the doctor's reply. "And what is the
nature of the accident?" I anxiously asked. "Well, sir, as I observed
before, it is an accident that will sometimes occur in the best regulated
family; and Mrs. David Johnson and little Miss Johnson are doing well."
I was rather at a loss to perceive the doctor's meaning. It is a great
nuisance that doctors will talk in such ambiguous language. They
never will speak plainly when asked what is the matter with one. I
repeated my question - "But what is Mrs. Johnson suffering from?"
'Nothing, sir, she's nearly better now. You'll know more about these
things when you get older, sir." "Confound your impudence, doctor;
I'm as old as you are, I believe." "Well, then, sir, allow me to correct
myself, and to say you'll understand matters better if ever you become
a doctor. All I will now add is, that if the same small accident had
occurred on shore my fee would be the regulation charge of one guinea
only, sir, but being on board an emigrant ship I get nothing for
the job; and that's very hard, sir." "Very hard, indeed, doctor;
extremely hard," and there I left the subject, as I found it quite impossible
to extract any more definite statement from my professional friend.
Tuesday, April 1. - Passing from my cabin towards the "hospital"
door this morning the ship gave a sudden lurch, and I almost knocked
over a very respectable female, who was carrying a basin of oatmeal
("skilly" is the proper name for it, I think). "Hallo!" I cried, "A
basin of skilly at this time of day! Somebody got a severe cold in the
head?" "Oh, no, sir, it's for Mrs. Johnson." "For Mrs. Johnson!"
I exclaimed, as a dim recollection of my last night's conversation with
the doctor flitted through my memory. "For Mrs. Johnson! Why it's
nothing but Mrs. Johnson this last few hours! What's the matter with
the lady?" Before the reply was given, a youngster of my acquaint-
ance came clinging hold of my legs, "Oh, sir, have you seen the baby?"
"Seen the baby! Oh, dear, yes, my child - lots of 'em, - there are nearly
fifty babies on board the ship." "But have you seen the new one - the
one the doctor brought in his pocket last night?" "Well; no; I haven't
seen that one," I replied, as a sudden light began to dawn upon me, "I
haven't seen a new baby for some time - since I left home, in fact."
"Oh! come and see it, then." And away I was dragged, and presently
a roll of new flannel, said to contain a baby somewhere about the
interior thereof, was placed in my arms. I made a careful search
among the folds of the flannel, and at length alighted upon a very small
human being, whose face was very hot and red, and whose mischievous
tendencies were at once perceivable from the attempt made to catch hold
of my whiskers. "Isn't it a dear?" "What a sweet little thing!"
"Isn't it like its father?" "Poor little mite!" These, and a host
of other observations were addressed to me as I stood, admiringly
inspecting the flannel and its interesting contents, and to all of which I
gave a general consent, although it is only fair to myself to intimate
that, as far as remembrance goes, I believe that I never in my life saw
its father. I was about to make a few pertinent inquiries as to the
doctor's report of the "accident," but the vessel giving a startling lurch
to starboard, the roll of flannel, with the several respectable females and
myself, were suddenly pitched in a heap to the other side of the place.
I held tight to the baby, and nearly got my head broken in doing so.
There was a general scream, the baby, flannel and all, was snatched
from my arms, and amid the general chorus of "See if the poor little
dear is hurt anywhere," I escaped. For the next half hour I paced the
upper deck, to secure a few whiffs of fresh air and to collect my
Monday, April 7. - The captain just brings us the news that we are
running along off the coast of Australia, which sounds very like getting
near to our destination. Anyone referring to the map will perceive that
some few hundred miles higher up the coast than Melbourne is a large
indentation forming a huge bay. It is called the Great Australian Bite,
and it is of this piece of water we are now progressiug in a southerly
direction. It is a noteworthy fact that ever since leaving England our
days - that is to say the times of daylight - have remained almost of
the same length. Leaving Plymouth on February 14th, we were then
having from twelve and a half to thirteen hours of light. With a few
minutes' variation, now backwards, now forwards, the daylight has
remained of the same duration during the whole time of our voyage.
The only difference has been that at some points it has become dark
very rapidly. For instance, when five days away from the Cape of Good
Hope we had a gorgeous sunset, lasting about ten minutes, and we
passed from bright daylight into a very dark night in less than twenty-
five minutes. I fancy that up to now I have not alluded to the magnifi-
cent sunsets of this part of the world. I cannot hope to give the
faintest idea of their gorgeous nature. To-day the scene will be
massive and wildly grand; to-morrow, calm, quietly resplendent,
and peacefully sublime. Yesterday, immense masses of white and
silvery, intermixed with mountainous rolls of dull leaden clouds,
piled themselves upwards, and when the great fiery sun gradually
sunk down in their rear, they become glowingly transparent, their edges
tipped with a mighty golden fringe; the gigantic glaring masses reflect-
ing themselves deep down into the raging waves of an angry sea, which
seemed to have been suddenly transmogrified into an immense seething
cauldron of boiling liquid gold. The sight was one that positively defies
description. To-day the scene was beautifully different, and as far
removed from the appearances of yesterday as can well be imagined.
The sea is almost as quiet as a sedately rippling stream, and there is not
a breath of wind. The horizon is as clear and the sky as pure as an
exquisitely manufactured sheet of pale blue tissue paper. See, now!
The sun, apparently growing larger and larger, sinks down to the verge
of the distant sea, and the sky for hundreds of miles undergoes a com-
plete and ravishing change, breaking into far-stretching streaks of pale
pea-green, interspersed with luxuriant lines of light guinea-gold and
silver-white. Then in a few seconds the golden streaks become a little
more refulgent, and their lines more marked, and the silver gives place
to ribbons of sky-blue, intermingled with a mixed line of purple and
crimson tints. Then the sun disappears, and the heavens almost instan-
taneously subside into a dull and monotonous grey, which in turn grows
into a black canopy, spangled with myriads of stars, clustered in
thousands, and twinkling with such vehemence that the eyes are well-
nigh dazzled in regarding them. Truly, the changes of the firmament
are more than magnificent in these regions.
Tuesday, April 8. - Approaching the completion of our lengthy voyage,
our thoughts are, and not unnaturally, centering themselves upon the
break-up of our pretty little family party. Numberless debates - all,
you may be certain, well worthy of being reported verbatim, have taken
place over the dinner and tea tables; and these said debates culminated
to-day in grandiloquent fashion. It being a conceded point that within
a week or more our life on board the "Stad Haarlem" will have become a
thing of the past, the one remaining duty to the memory of that past
seems to be, to make the "breaking-up" as jovial an one as circum-
stances will allow. We therefore decided to go in for an evening's
jollification. There is no necessity for our steward (who is the ship's
publican) to apply to a bench of magistrates for an "extra hour," for
we are still a great number of miles from the nearest residence of a
member of "the great unpaid." But then, that matters very little, as
there's not the ghost of a chance of any of the emigrants having an
opportunity of partaking too freely of the "cup that cheers as well as
inebriates." All intoxicating beverages intended for the edification of
the emigrants are under the doctor's charge, and I believe I may safely
declare that the chances of any man or woman obtaining sufficient to
intoxicate are peculiarly remote. The next step is to commence to make
the necessary preparations.
"I think we'd better begin by practising our farewell speeches,"
observed the doctor.
"The very thing," responded the writer, inwardly determining to
make a few shorthand notes upon his memory, for the use to which they
are now to be put.
"Well, we had better have the matter in proper form," said one of
the officers. "How shall we begin?"
"Why, I'll soon put the thing into full swing. Please to suppose the
journey ended, and all our people gathered on the deck. Moreover,
please to imagine your humble servant stepping forward on behalf of
the emigrants; and so, here goes for the start. Hem! ah! hem!
Doctor, sir, as we are presently about to leave the - hem! - the good
ship ('The dirty ship, sir,' whispered the doctor), well, yes, the good
and dirty ship - the 'Stad Haarlem,' I am desired by the emigrants to
tender to you their heartiest acknowledgments for your kindness, &c.,
&c., &c., during the voyage, &c. Accept from me, doctor, on their
behalf, their best thanks, with their good wishes for your future health
and prosperity, &c., &c., &c." (Loud and prolonged applause.)
The doctor, in rising to respond, at once impressed us with the idea
that he was a profound speaker. He rose with much dignity and
solemnity, and after benignly looking around him with an expression in
his eye which, interpreted, seemed to say - "Bless you, my children,
but I'd like to give you all a parting dose of physic," he placed his two
thumbs in the corners of his waistcoat pockets, and spreading forth his
fingers like eight points of the compass over his corporation (which, at
some future time, promises to become a respectably capacious one), he
"Sir, and my friends the emigrants - I have very much pleasure in
rising to acknowledge the compliment--"
"But, doctor, doctor," I interrupted, "that's very commonplace,
everyone begins like that."
"Now, don't interrupt, if you please," he replied; "I shall manage
very nicely, I dare say." He then commenced again--
"Sir, and my friends, - As I was about to observe, when interrupted
"Stop, doctor, stop. You can't go on in that fashion. I shall not
interrupt you when the real time comes; so what's the use of practising
that little bit."
"You are quite right, Misther Zimmuns," laughed the captain.
"Begin vonce again, toctaire."
"Very well, then." And our professional friend again proceeded with
"Sir, and my friends - with very much pleasure I rise to acknowledge
the compliment ('That's better,' said I) - which you have just paid me.
We have always been taught that England expects every man to do his
duty ('But you're not an Englishman, doctor'). Well, sir, I am aware
of that, but Irishmen, sir, appropriate that splendid sentiment to them-
selves. (Hear, hear.) In accepting your thanks, permit me to say-
that is, permit me to assert - that I have attended to you ('Physic'd,
doctor,' I suggested, 'physic'd is a better word.') Very good, then,-
that I have physic'd you to the best of my ability. ('Hear, hear', from
the woman who refused to take any medicine.) I feel that I have done
my duty. (Cheers.) No man, woman, or child, who has asked for my
professional assistance, but hath received it at my bands. ('In the shape
of pills and Epsom salts,' I suggested.) Yes, sir, and pills and Epsom
salts are two very good things. (Here there was supposed to be a great
uproar, occasioned by a number of children who warmly disputed the
doctor's statement.) But, although I submit that, generally speaking,
medicines - especially a liberal use of pills, salts, or castor oil - are
useful; yet I feel that some of my friends may assert that my medicines
have been administered ad nauseum -"
"Come, come, doctor, no Latin. How can you expect emigrants to
understand Latin ? "
" Yeer! yeer!" said the captain.
"He-aw! he-aw!" observed the passenger with the fishy eyes.
"All right, all right," said the doctor, continuing, "I'll use another
expression when the proper time comes. Well, then, I would only add
respecting medicine that I trust Mrs. Jones there will never be so
vicious again as to refuse to take physic, because if she does, the
consequences may be - but as my friend here is preparing a Bill upon
that matter, to be introduced into our House of Commons, I will say no
more upon it - only I hope that for your sake, Mrs. Jones, the New
Zealand Government will also adopt that Bill. Now, my friends, let
me turn to another subject. I see around us many of those to whom I
have become attached. There's that little girl there - ma belle Heléne -"
"The doctor's talking Latin again, sir," observed one of the inferior
"It's not Latin, you ignorant jackall, you," pettishly exclaimed the
doctor, "Please do not interrupt me, sir."
"Whoa, doctor! whoa!" I shouted, "if it isn't Latin, it's French;
and if one of these Dutch officers cannot understand it, and mistakes
French for Latin, what think you the emigrants will make of it?"
"Well, I think you're correct for once, sir." ("Thank you," I
humbly observed.) "So now, my friends, we're about to part
company. You have nearly reached the coast of New Zealand, the land
of your adoption - the land which - which - as I was about to observe, which
is - hem - a very good land; and where, after your arrival, I hope you'll
all do well. (Loud cheers.) Yes, my friends, I hope you'll all do well;
and may every one of you take 'Excelsior' for your motto, that is
to say, may you be prosperous - ('and happy,' I suggested). Thank
you, sir, may you be prosperous and happy; and may your lives ('and
careers,' I hinted.) Thank you again, sir; may your lives and careers
be - be ('successful,' I prompted.) Yes, thanks; may your lives and
careers be successful, and - and - ('your pathway,' I ventured). Yes,
may your pathway be - be - ('upward and onward,' I again whispered).
May your careers through life be successful, and your pathway ever
upward and onward and happy." (" Hear, hear," and prolonged cheering.)
"A capital speech - a very good speech for you, doctor."
"For me! Eh? And may I ask, sir, if you can make a better?"
"Oh, dear me! no. I call it a noteworthy, characteristic, and
eloquent address. What more shall I say?"
"Nothing, sir, nothing," dryly observed the doctor; so I subsided.
"But how about the captain?" I presently remarked. "The
captain will accept a vote of thanks, and must reply. Won't you
practise your speech, captain?"
"Vell, I tink I vill, a leetle."
"That's capital, captain. And having once acted for the emigrants;
as towards the doctor, permit me to do so again, and to offer to yourself,
captain, their great gratitude for the careful manner in which you have
navigated your vessel, for your gentlemanly bearing towards the emi-
grants and the rest of us, and for--"
"The beautifully clean condition in which the ship has been kept,"
facetiously responded the doctor.
"Now, none of your ill-humoured raps, doctor. We all feel sure that
the captain has done his best for us, and if his fellow-Dutchmen, the
sailors, are dirty and lazy, I've no doubt he will see the wisdom of their
washing themselves and their flannel shirts at least once a month in days
to come. (Ironical cheers.) So, captain, please accept our best
thanks for your attention during the voyage."
The captain rose to respond. "Emeegrants and Mishter Zimmunz," he
commenced, "I tink I vill shank you for te shanks of you to me. (Hear,
hear.) I am ver much obleege. (Cheers.) You hash been long time
on my sheep. You hash trayvilled von half vay into te-te-(' circum-
locution,' I suggested). Te vat? ('Circumlocution - that is, round -
round the world,' I explained.) Ay, yesh, I shee, shank you. Ve hash
trayvilled von half vay round te - te - shirshumlocushiong. (Immense
cheering.) Ve hash got no tishease and none ackshi-dents, and only von
leetle babie, and te toctaire cot ver leetle vork to do. (The doctor:
'Quite right, sir captain, so let's have the chorus - now then, "We've
got no work to do-oo-oo!"') Now, mishter toctaire, vill you be quiet?
Vell, gentlehomme, I vill be ver much glad to say to de owners of te
sheep - datish, te Koninklijke Nederlandsche Steamboot Maakschappij - "
"Come, come, captain, you must talk la Anglice, you know, else the
emigrants will not comprehendevoo," interrupted one of the passengers,
who says he has learned to talk French.
"Ou! ay! I beg von tousand pardongs!" exclaimed the captain,
"I vas forgoting. Vat I vas saying vas te Dutch for Te Royal Neder-
land Steamboot Companish, vich ish te owner of dish vesh-el - dish ver
"Eh! What's that, captain?" fairly screamed the doctor; "what
did you call the vessel?"
"I call de vesh-el dish ver clean sheep, zur," retorted the captain.
"Very goot, captain, very goot; call it vat you please. The only
thing is that Dutch and English notions vary as to what cleanliness
means. Fire away, captain!"
"Vell, zurz, I vill say to dish people I bash peen ver glad vish dish
people. Te shingle gals is ver nysche gals. I hash ver mush 'fecshon for
dem. (Hear, hear.) I likes dem ver much. (Load cheers.) Dey
schips, and dey schwings, and dey tweetles, and dey schings te Moodees -
and Schankees ver nice. I much love dem. (Immense applause.) I
vish dey all get - get -"
"Married," I suggested.
"No, no, sare; no marry!" the captain continued. "I vish dey all
"Husbands," I again returned.
"No, sare I no, I zay!" declared the worthy captain, his hands
uplifted and his eyes beaming with the warmth of his feelings; "I vish
dey all get lots of monish. Den dey afterwards vill get te good hus-
bands; den dey gets lots leetle children; den dey be ver happy; den
dey die; den dey go to de heaven; den dey be more and more happy
to de end of dere lives."
With this touching peroration, the captain resumed his seat amidst
several rounds of applause.
"Bravo! captain, bravo!" we all cried. "A most exquisite address."
"Don't you consider the English a very neat language, captain?"
"I tink it ver much nice," he replied.
"Especially when it is spoken purely, captain; and I am glad to hear
how correctly you've caught the accent; the 's's,' and the 't's,' and the
'd's,' for instance."
But the captain became suddenly suspicious. He looked round the
table, and - as I fear - catching sight of the merry pairs of twinkling
eyes, he made a sudden dash.
"I will bunch you head," he cried, as I removed my seat to a more
And as at this juncture there was a cry of "A ship in sight!" we all
hurried on deck to spy out the said ship. It turned out to be an
Australian emigrant ship, which left Plymouth three weeks before us.
Friday, April 11. - All to-day we have been carrying out a final
programme of "sports," and rare sport we made of it. Afterwards we
had a concert, and, under the instructions of the people, I sent a
messenger into the reserved seats to request the captain and the doctor
to step forward. When they did so, I had the satisfaction of tendering
to them the unanimous thanks of the emigrants. Both gentlemen
having done their work well, I paid them the warmest compliment the
language of my tongue would allow, and, after doing so, the great body
of emigrants, joined by the other passengers and the crew, in all nearly
800 people, gave round after round of cheers. The gentlemen then
responded, and, I am bound to add, they adhered tolerably well to their
texts, as practised when we were at lunch a day or two since.
Saturday, April 12, Six p.m. - "Land ahoy!" "Where?" "Over
there." "Oh! so it is; I see it." These and a thousand other
exclamations are bursting on the air, as the signal is just given from the
captain's bridge that they have sighted the coast. I was down below at
the time, but, at the first cry, ran up on to the forecastle, followed by
200 men, with wives and children crowding on behind them. Yes;
there sure enough is land, and, to our great delight, we can now see the
shores of New Zealand. Ringing cheers were sent forth, and every eye
was turned landward.
Sunday, April 13. - Every soul was up betimes this morning, and at
daybreak the decks were crowded. The vessel had during the night
kept creeping ahead, and had passed through the channel at the south
of the coast separating Stewart's Island from the main land. Port Bluff
and Invercargill had just been passed. This was 5-15 a.m., and as we
quietly continue skimming slowly along about three miles from the coast,
we have an excellent view of the country. Hills and dales, mountains
and valleys, woods and forests, farmhouses and broad fields of cultivated
lands. All these met our gaze, and our first impression of the country
as we passed along was certainly a favourable one. All day we have
been proceeding thus slowly, until five o'clock in the afternoon, when
we at length arrived off Port Chalmers, for Dunedin, our first place of
stoppage. At a glance we saw that the sea was too rough to allow of us
entering the port, and the captain signalled for a pilot. The reply came
back from the signal station that the sea was running too high to admit
the vessel over the bar, and that we were to "lay of" until the morning.
Monday, April 14. - The captain has been cruising about all night,
and at six this morning a steamer came of to us with some officers.
The vessel is to go on to Canterbury. The engines were immediately
put on at full steam again, and we are now once more bounding along
the coast. The waters are literally loaded with small red fish, very like
tiny lobsters. There are millions and millions of them, and the sea is
quite red-tinted with them. The statement is that the whales, with
which the sea abounds, eat them for food. We have caught a great
number by throwing buckets over the side of the ship, but they die
immediately they are out of the water.
Five p.m. - Just arrived at Port Lyttleton, a splendid natural harbour,
surrounded by mossy hills. This is the port of disembarkation for the
city of Christchurch and the province of Canterbury.
Tuesday, April 15. - The officers have come on board, and the ship
having been declared healthy, we are now informed that we are at liberty
to go on shore. As soon as this was decided I hailed a boat, and,
leaping from the vessel, five more minutes found me on land, I was
immediately surrounded by a crowd of about thirty men, whom I at first
took to be strangers, but was soon undeceived. They were men from
Kent, who had formerly left for New Zealand, and who had come up
from the country, with their wives, to bid me welcome. I spent my
first hour in New Zealand with them very pleasantly, and then, taking
train to Christchurch, the chief city of Canterbury Province, six miles
from Lyttleton, I hunted up an old friend, and thus, after our two
months' voyage, we at last found a cordial reception from Kentish
friends 14,000 miles away from home. A.S.
Source: Old England & New Zealand by Alfred Simmons, 1879.
Transcribed by Corey Woodw@rd
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