Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Arthur Wilcox Manning - journal of a voyage from Plymouth to Sydney on the Earl Grey, 1839-1840
[Previous pages are covers and illustrations]
1. Captain Surflen
2- Miss Davies
3- Mrs Bonham
4- Mr Young
5- Captain Bonham
6- Mr George Vidal B A
7- Mr Payne
8- Mrs Vidal
9- Mr Dunn
10- Revd Francis Vidal B A
11- Mr Lunn (Surgeon)
12- Mrs Manning
13- Mrs Ross
14- Mr Manning
15- Dr Ross
16- Mrs Simpson
17- Mr Lewis Whittaker
18- Revd W. W. Simson M A
19- Mr Reeve
20- Mrs Yutting
21- Mr Frederick Whittaker
22- Mr Crawford (Yutting)
23- Chief Mate, Dale
24- Second Mate, Fairbank
3- Nurse, Children
4- Yutting, Crawford
7- Steward’s Pantry
8- G. Vidal, Reeve
9- Two Mates
10- Captain, Son.
[Key to Openings]
- Double port open only in fine weather.
Over the dinner table in the Cuddy there is a large Skylight from the Poop.
[Key to furniture]
B. Bed C. Chair - D. Drawers –
By. Boy. S. Sofa - T. Table .
Ws - Wash. hand-stand - Sx - Sextants.
CH. Chronometer. - W. Wardrobe - R. Rudder
M. Mast .- L. Ladder to lower deck Cabins
Lower Deck - Cabins
1 - Simpson’s Children –
2 - Ross’s Children.
3 - Dr Mrs Ross
4 - Mr Mrs Simson
5 - Miss Davies
6 - Mr Young, Mr Dunn
7 - Captain, Mrs Bonham.
10 - Mr Lunn.
P.L - Ladder to the Poop-deck –
CN - Cannons.
M - Main-Mast.
[Abbreviations of compass points - not transcribed]
Saw vessels on
Nov. 14th - Brig + Dec. 4th Ship + 7th Ship + 9th Ship + 13th Ship +
14th Ship +
Dec. 24th Brig + 26th Ship (whaler) + 10th Ship and Brig + 12th Ship +
Jan 16th Two ships and a schooner + 17th Two ships + 21st Ship + Feb. 3rd Three ships +
Feb. 23rd Ship + 24th Brig and a Man of War.
24 vessels during the voyage.
October 29th Sailed from Plymouth at 8 AM.
November 15th Entered the Tropic of Cancer
“ 26th Caught a shark
“ 30th Crossed the Line
December 1st Sacrament administered
“ 12th Entered the Tropic of Capricorn.
“ 24th Mills mutinous
“ 25th Sacrament administered
“ 26th Saw several whales
January 2nd Arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, at 7 PM.
“ 5th Mills mutinous.
“ 6th Left the Cape at 4 PM
“ 10th Saw whales
“ 14th Child born
“ 20th Saw whales
“ 22nd Caught a porpoise
“ 24th Saw whales
February 3rd Saw a waterspout
“ 14th Whales seen.
Nov. 10th; 23rd; Dec. 22nd; Jan. 4th; 7th; 21st; 25th; 28th; Feb. 19th; -
February 25th Anchored in Sydney Cove at 9 AM
On account of whom it may concern;
An all-important letter of
from the writer of these pages
the pages themselves.
I am told it is as necessary to have a beginning to a book as it is to have an ending to the same:- and that this beginning, (I am further told,) to deserve its epithet “Preface” or “Introduction”, should be such as to enable the reader to form some idea as to what he may expect from the work before him. Unfortunately, I cannot conform to the general practice of authors in this matter; for, although I have no doubt that I shall be able to fill this book tolerably well before I have done with it, yet, at present, I cannot imagine what are to be its contents. That they will refer to the ship and passengers, or the voyage generally, is most probable; but a subject, in itself really interesting , may, by inferior handling, be made the reverse of what it was intended to be. I fear this is likely to be the result of my first attempt at writing for another’s perusal: but, in common with all bunglers, I crave consideration for my errors of penmanship (for many, I am sure, there will be,) being conscious that my heart will be oftener called into counsel than my head; and that as the spirit moves me, so shall I write. But, to cut the matter short, as there must be an introduction, I beg leave at once to introduce the reader to the blank leaves now before me, - hoping that he may derive as much amusement from the perusal of them when filled, as I anticipate in the writing of them, for his diversion.
“Earl Gray” Nov. 4th 1839
1839. October 27th My dear wife and myself bid adieu to our friends in Exeter at half past four, PM and started for Plymouth by the Bath Mail. Arriving at the Royal Hotel at ten oclock, we found Rochfort and Richard, with Henry, waiting for us; and immediately sat down to a hot and substantial supper, over a nice fire. Having discussed this necessary meal, we retired to bed a little after eleven oclock. Dear Fanny was much depressed at the thought of the coming separation from her family for the first time, and for so indefinite a period. I am well aware how severe a struggle was going on within her breast; but, to my pride, her feelings as the wife at last gained the ascendancy and the darling devoted one became more tranquil, and we jointly committed ourselves to the protection and blessing of Him who “never slumbereth, and sleepeth not”. My meditations kept me awake a long time.
28th We assembled to breakfast at nine oclock, and enjoyed the last meal we expected to make on dear English land. Afterwards I went out with Rochfort to make a few necessary purchases. As soon as we had finished our business, Fanny, Richard and Henry joined us; and we all went on board the “Earl Grey” - sailing beautifully in a little boat, T acting as steersman. My ship was lying in the “Sound” two miles off, and close under the famous breakwater, of which we were able to get but an imperfect view, on account of the number of ships lying between us and it - there was but one vessel in the harbour bound for Australia, the “Java” of 1000 tons, with Emigrants for Port Adelaide.
While Rochfort and myself were busily arranging my cabin, and disposing of the luggage I had just brought on board, Richard was engaged in surveying every hole and corner in the ship, being the first one of so great a tonnage that he had ever boarded. He was the more desirous of gaining information on this subject, as I believe it is his intention to emigrate, and settle either at Port Phillip or Adelaide. After remaining on board a couple of hours, but unable to arrange my cabin completely to my fancy, we returned to dinner at the Hotel - while waiting for which dear Fanny wrote to her mother and I added a postscript. All the passengers
having been requested to assemble on board finally on Monday afternoon, as the ship was to sail in the evening. I had intended returning to my ship before dark, but owing to the detention of the clerks on board with the necessary papers, I could not arrange with Mr Marshall about my passage money - I knew the vessel could not leave till all had been signed by Mr Marshall, as the charterer, so waited quietly till I should be sent for, as Mr Marshall was in the same hotel and had promised to let me know when he should be ready with my bills.
It was eight oclock before I had done all that was required of
me, and we all once more walked to the Quay. The time for final
separation was now come, and I dreaded it. So bidding a very hasty but
not the less cordial, adieu to our dear relatives, I tore my wife away,
and seated myself sadly by her side in the boat that was bearing us
rapidly to the ship. Dear Fanny was sadly overcome when she reached her
cabin, and I was very little better. If ever I felt inclined to murmur at
my lot, it certainly was on seeing the misery I unavoidably entailed on
the beloved partner of my life and fortunes. Regret was worse than
useless, and I was called upon to rouse myself and be a man, so I
endeavoured to soothe the anguish I could not prevent.
The time I had so long anticipated with absolute horror was now actually present, and I shall never forget the first two hours of our seclusion from everyone we loved. Reminiscences, anticipations, hopes, and fears were all huddled together before my mind, and my heart was sadly tossed about, like a ship in a storm ignorant of any port where to find refuge and assistance in its difficulties. My only comfort was derived from attendance upon my more unhappy wife. Greater success than I had ever dared to anticipate, attended my endeavours to pacify her, and dear Fanny gradually attained a more composed frame of mind, and we talked together quietly, of the past, present, and future, till sleep came to the relief of our wearied minds and no less weary bodies. If any waking meditations were sad on the first night of our separation from most of our beloved relatives and friends, how much more so would they naturally be when “the last links were broken “ and we had parted with all, being left quite friendless among heartless strangers! The darling wife at my side was
the subject of my reflections and my prayers. I felt how much I owed her, and vowed at the time that my life should prove that my heart was not insensible to her devotedness.
29th The journal of my voyage commences with this morning, as we weighed anchor at half past eight. (We could not get away last night as it was past midnight before Mr Marshall’s dispatches had been received on board.) The wind was fair for our departure, and we gradually left the port behind us. Dear Fanny, at my request, had remained in bed, as the most convenient place in case of sea-sickness. At eleven eleven, we passed the Eddystone lighthouse, and shaped our course for sea, steering South-West. By evening, England could scarcely be discerned among the fleecy clouds on the horizon, far behind us. Fairly at sea, and severed by un unfathomable depth from all our fellow-creatures, save such as were to be our only companions for several months, we commended ourselves to the particular blessing and protection of Him who ruleth the raging of the sea. I now felt that I was a husband, and that the happiness or misery of the dear girl hanging round me, depended on me alone. The responsibility of my situation flashing across my mind, caused me to shudder, - not for myself, but for one I loved dearer than myself. Our affection for each other had undergone a severe test, and I feel confident that each day as it passes will tend to confirm and strengthen our love, and render the married life a state of happiness to each.
30th A beautiful day, with a fresh, fair wind - the ship going seven knots, or miles, an hour. Our muster round the dinner table t his afternoon was small, owing to sea-sickness. I suppose I am pleased with such of my companions as I have seen, but none of the ladies have made their appearance, except Miss Davies, a young lady who is going out to be married to a very intimate friend of mine, whose brother is a passenger in this ship, and guardian to Miss Davies. I cannot yet know much of her, but her intended husband is a worthy young man, and deserves a person of superior stamp - Dear Fanny did not get up today. She was not actually sick, but felt very giddy and suffered great pain in the head. She bids fair to be a good
sailor; and is tolerably cheerful, notwithstanding her grief at parting from her mother and friends. As for myself, I am too old a sailor to experience any ill effects from the motion of the ship, or other annoyances consequent on this change of living. It is to be hoped that I shall continue well, that I may be ready and able to act as nurse in case of need.
Novr. 1st. A beautiful day, with a fresh breeze from the South East, which, at present is a fair wind, but we shall soon want a change to the Northward, as the Captain intends changing his course as soon as we have given the land a good wide berth - and we shall then run away to the Southward as fast as our ship will carry us. Although there was considerable motion during the night, and the ship still remained unsteady, dear Fanny came out to dinner this afternoon, not having been at all sick. It is rather a good thing to be knocked about at starting as the unpleasant period of sea-sickness is sooner over, and every body is sooner seasoned. All were in real high spirits at the excellent run we have had since leaving the land’s end; and the old “Earl Grey”, although a decided radical and capable of amelioration, was declared by all hands to be a good sort of craft - and bets have already been made as to the day of arrival at Sydney! By night we were four hundred and fifty miles from Plymouth; the weather gradually and perceptibly becoming warmer. At this rate, we shall soon be in the Northern Tropic, and don our “white continuations”, instead of shivering over a blazing fire in the land behind us.
2nd. and 3rd. Fine weather and fair winds. My darling Fanny is not well, having been sick two or three times, and is still suffering greatly in her head. She is unable to leave her bed, but as this arises from sea-sickness alone, without any other attendant malady, I do not frighten myself; knowing that it is a usual occurrence on first leaving terra firma, and that a few days will, in all probability, see her quite well and comfortable. I am delighted to find that her spirits are good, but I am afraid she occasionally conceals an aching heart beneath a cheerful exterior; and can it be expected that she should never feel a pang of regret, or heave a longing sigh for the home and the dear friends of her youth? It only serves to show me how great a sacrifice she has made for me - Our
party on deck still continues small, but the young men are gradually leaving their kennels to breathe a little pure air for the first time since they inhaled an English atmosphere. In my opinion the best plan is to be on deck as much as possible, for, though sea-sickness cannot be prevented, it may be moderated, while confinement is sure to make a person suffer more when disposed to be sick, from the closeness and smell, and the constant bustle, unavoidable on board ship, especially when so terribly crammed as we are. We resemble a Slaver more than a British Emigrant ship; half our number would have been as many as the ship can conveniently accommodate.
4th. During the night the wind died away and we were tossed about the
more as there was no breeze to suppress the swell - there is generally
more motion during a calm, especially if it has been blowing pretty fresh
for two or three days previously. This was our first calm, and I care not
how long it is before we have another, but we must reckon upon having a
few more before we can make a voyage more than half round the globe. This
morning a breeze sprung up, but it was as directly contrary as we could
have it. We wished to steer South-West, to get further away from the land
and at the same time get somewhat to the Southward, but the wind came
exactly in our teeth, as the sailors term it when it comes from
the point which ought to be the ship’s course. Fortunately,
however, there was not much wind, so that we shall not lose very much
ground in the twenty-four hours. My darling little wife was quite well,
and got up to her breakfast this morning - After which we employed
herself at her needle.
At nine oclock, in the evening, the wind freshened, and we were obliged to shorten sail - that is, we fastened up all the smaller sails which were too slight for so strong a wind; and reefed or tied up a part of, our larger canvas. The wind still blows from the South-West, and we find ourselves steering toward New York instead of New South Wales! I could grumble, but I will not, as it would only make matters worse; so I shall budge quietly off to bed, whither Mrs. M(!) went an hour ago - and now, Reader, whoever you are, I shall wish you a jolly good night with pleasant dreams - I also wish you had the South West wind instead of your humble servant A.W. Manning.
12th. From the last date up to the 9th., it continued to blow fresh from the Westward, with frequent and hard gales, that obliged us occasionally to take in every stitch of canvass, and [indecipherable] under bare poles. At the same time we had rain, noise, and confusion, and many other annoyances to make our situation anything but enviable. Owing to the great swell on the Sea, the ship laboured, or heaved about, very much, and one or two slight accident occurred in consequence - the Doctor fell down the ladder leading to the Poop, and cut his head and eyes considerably, and one of the Ship’s apprentices injured his knee so as to lay him up for three or four days.
It was utterly useless attempting to write any Journal as I could not guide my pen, from the constant pitching of the vessel. On the evening of the 9th (Saturday) I was taken very ill. For some time previously I had suffered considerable pain in my head and side, and my appetite had entirely failed me. Although I felt very unwell, and wished to have the doctor sent for, I did not in the least anticipate an attack of my old illness, thinking it might be the effect of over violent exercise taken in the morning and that it would wear itself away and leave me none the worse for it. Here, however, I was mistaken; as I was seized with a fit, which remained on me (I am told) between three and four hours. From my own subsequent feelings and the remarks of those around me who had witnessed the whole, I am inclined to think that it was but a very slight attack, brought on my mere external accident, and not originating in a diseased constitution.
My poor dear wife appeared to have been very much alarmed when she saw me in the fit; and now that I am nearly recovered, and the temporary excitement of nursing me is over, she feels the effects, and is far from well. This was the first time she had ever seen me during an illness of this sort and so it is no great wonder that her nerves are somewhat disordered by the sight. A few days quiet, I hope, will restore her, and no prayer can be more fervent than this one of mine - that she may never again be called to so painful a duty, as that of attending me in such an illness. I little thought she was so good a nurse, but a better I never saw. Her delight at my rapid recovery is excessive, and this will tend to restore her to her usual health and spirits. As regards myself, I will not murmur at the dispensation of Providence; yet it grieved me to find that my tedious complaint still hangs about
me, greatly modified, but ready to show itself on the slightest provocation. The excitement and fatigue I had undergone during the last two months have shown themselves able to bring me to the brink of the grave; and I had well nigh done with this world to commence my eternity of existence in another - of happiness? or of misery? alas! I scarce dare ask myself the question, for I know too well what would be the just portion allotted to me for any sinfulness and unbelief. I am indeed a Sinner. I feel myself to be hateful in the Sight of God; and yet I cannot avert the mortal stroke when my offended Creator shall summon me to my last great account. Oh, what can I do? it may come tonight; it may perhaps seize me ere I can say “God be merciful to me a Sinner”. To Thee, my Saviour, I come in my need. Help me - Save me. Prepare me for my appearance at Thy Judgement seat, after thine own good pleasure - Lord, teach me how Thou wilt. Be it by sickness, I will cheerfully submit, and endeavour to improve the lesson to my soul’s advancement in holiness and purity. Should’st Thou deign to shew me Thy mercy by granting me health and happiness, and those good things of this world which man is ever desiring, Lord make me to know and to feel that to Thee, and Thee only, I owe it all: and, oh! let me not insult my gracious and bountiful Benefactor by abusing His goodness, or by turning a deaf ear to the call of my blessed Redeemer. May my heart respond in earnestness to my pen’s Amen! - The weather is now most delightful, and the thermometer is daily rising. In my cabin, which is the coldest part of the ship, being large and airy and well sheltered by the boats which answer the purpose of a veranda, the thermometer is now as high as 70 - So different from the climate of England in the middle of November.
All our party are well, except the Reverend Francis Vidal, who is still a great sufferer from sea-sickness, and expects to continue so for the remainder of the voyage - He has been to sea before, being a West Indian, and has never been able to enjoy himself when on board ship. We get on very pleasantly together, though as yet we are perfect strangers to everybody on board, and the usual formality and ceremony is observed in our intercourse. It seems so strange even to myself who have been so often in similar circumstances. The Emigrants
have hitherto been quiet and well-behaved. Some appear to be fine able-bodied men, and will be an acquisition to the Colony; but others, I suspect, will be rather an incumbrance to any who may chance to engage them as servants. There are a great many women and children on board, which is rather against the ship, as no man likes to be at the expense of maintaining five or six children for the sake of getting only one man’s services - Our Steward died on Sunday night, and was “slung into the deep” early on the following morning, the Reverend W.W. Simpson performing the Service over his cold remains. The poor man had long been an invalid, and always looked most wofully ill. Rheumatism and fever at lasts carried him off to that place, whence there is no returning. I was not quite recovered from my own illness when I head the splash of his body in the water near my window, and I could not help considering it as a solemn call to myself to put my house in order, and have my lamp trimmed, ready for the appearance of the Lord - I am happy to say we have had divine service regularly performed each Sunday since we have been at sea - Mr Simpson always officiating in his robes - Mr Vidal, the second clergyman of the Church of England on board, is too great an invalid to do any duty; - indeed, he has not even put himself on the establishment in Sydney, but goes abroad merely for his health. He has something the matter with his wind-pipe, which incapacitates him from officiating, as his voice is thus rendered very feeble. The Church party is rather strong on board, ‘tis well it is so as there are many who are opposed to the tenets of the Established church. Dr Ross, who is at the head of the opposition party , and is a dissenting minister, (I do not know what Sect he advocates) is an officious, vulgar man, and has rendered himself unpopular in the Cuddy, so that few of us have anything to say to him beyond what is required by the rules of perfect civility. He has been many years in Russia, and other countries equally wild, as a Missionary; and there, I suppose, he contracted his present uncouth manners and appearance - His wife, however, seems a lady-like woman, but keeps herself very much to herself. The remainder of our com-
pagnons de voyage are very tolerable - They consist of the following persons, whose order at the Cuddy table may be seen by the sketch made on the first leaf of this journal. Captain and Mrs. Bonham, married six days after myself - Bonham is an officer in the 50th. regiment, quartered in Sydney, and an acquaintance of mine prior to his leaving the colony in Decr. 1838. Dear Fanny and myself like them very much - they are exceedingly genteel in appearance as well as manners, and I dare say we shall like them more as we become better acquainted - Mrs Bonham and my little wife are great friends already - having taken to each other wonderfully on introduction. Their numbers at table are 3 and 5 - No. 2 is Miss Davies, of whom I have already spoken as going out to be married to a friend of mine - She and dear Fanny get on very well together - she sat up in my cabin all the time I was ill, as a companion to my poor wife. Her intellectual qualities, I should think, are not of the first order - but she appears to have a Kind heart, which is more than some can boast of - I cannot forget her Kindness - No. 4 is Mr Young, the brother of Miss Davies intended husband, who is going out to join his brother in business as a merchant. He has charge of his future sister-in-law. He also remained in my cabin during my illness, and assisted dear Fanny very much, who says that his kindness and attention were excessive. I owe him well for that. He is a Scotchman, of awkward manners, and apparently little acquainted with the world being rather too Simon-pureish for a man sho has been in much Society besides that of his own immediate relatives. - No. 6 is Mr George Vidal, brother of the clergyman, and a BA of Trinity College Cambridge - He intends entering the church, but wishes to look about first of all in order to invest his money advantageously. He is a man of pleasing manners, and good conversation, but seems to have too great a hankering after the good things of the laity to become a poor Minister of the Gospel in the woods of Australia - time will show how far my suspicion is founded. A great chess player, but easily beaten. - No. 7 is Mr Payne, a connection by marriage of the Vidals. He, like many other young men, found the want of employment in England make time hang heavily on his hands; and therefore takes out what little money his father would permit to
try his luck by “wool-gathering” in New South Wales. He is an exceedingly gentlemanly man, of far more pleasing manners than any of the other young men. He has left his heart and troth in England but seemed not to have such perfect confidence in the stability of his lady’s love as is requisite to the growth of real affection. This apparently often makes him sad, and he frequently wants encouragement, which Bonham and myself are able to afford, we having been under similar circumstances as himself, but without the bitterness of distrust to make our separation more intolerable. He has a fair voice, and occasionally sings. Nos. 8 and 10 are the Reverend Francis Vidal and his wife - He was for some time chaplain to the goals at Exeter, and afterwards curate of North Torrington in Devonshire: which he held up to the time of his departure for Sydney. The complaint in his wind-pipe, which caused his emigration, he says was contracted while serving the Exeter goals - from the dampness of the cells. He has been so great an invalid hitherto, that we have seen but little of him - He, like his brother, is a BA of Trinity, Cambridge, due for his degree of MA. He seems a quiet and pious man, but intends residing in the bush. His wife is the daughter of a clergyman in Bristol (Payne’s relation). She is an excellent sailor - but so inanimate that one cannot take much interest in her. Her appearance is genteel, and she often reminds me of my sister Elizabeth, Mrs. Townshend. They have three children of four, two, and half a year old - rather noisy. No. 9 is Mr Dunn, the Captain’s nephew, and son of a Commander in the Navy - The less said of him the better. No. 11 is Mr Lunn, the Surgeon Superintend of the Emigrants, paid by Marshall pound 50 and free passage for his services. He seems a sickly man, unequal to his task; but of his professional abilities I know nothing as yet - he having merely stood by my side occasionally during my illness. He has plenty to do at present, as every one of the emigrants are sick! Before he engaged with Mr. Marshall he was practising at Barnstaple, and is reported to be engaged to a young lady of that town. He intended returning to England to be married and talks of their finally settling in New South Wales. No. 12 is Mrs. Arthur Manning, whose Lord
and master sits on her right. She was married only six weeks before embarking, and is by far the prettiest and most ladylike person at our table. I should say she was not much more than quarter of a century old, and has worn very well. She is a general favourite, being the life of the party. I have seen more of her than of the other ladies, and have found her to be of most amiable and pleasing manners, of good sound sense, and genuine practical piety. But I am a married man, and must restrain myself, or my wife may be jealous of the praises bestowed by me on any young lady - suffice it to say, she and her husband, who is a great tall chap, of six feet two inches, go on very merrily, and are happy as the day is long, and infinitely more comfortable in their cabin and within themselves than any body else on board this ship. Nos. 13 and 15 are Dr. and Mrs. Ross, of whom I have spoken in a former part of my journal. He is not a Doctor in Divinity but merely an M D of Glasgow University, which is of no value in England, and may be obtained by any fool on payment of pound 28 whether he be competent or not as a physician- Lewis Whittaker addressed him once with a view to ascertain how far his knowledge of medicine extended - he spoke in technical terms and found the worthy Doctor(!) could not understand him. It is evident how his physician’s degree was obtained (if obtained at all!!). They have six children, four sons and two daughters - the eldest child being about 17 and the youngest about 2 years old - not liked. Nos. 16 and 18 are the Reverend William Woot Simpson and his lady. Mr Simpson is only a deacon in the Church of England, having been ordained for the Colonies by the Bishop of London only a fortnight before we sailed. He preached his maiden sermon on board - and a miserable one it was. Up to the time of his ordination he kept a school at Hackney, for which he seems better qualified than as a teacher of the Gospel doctrines. He is, no doubt, a worthy and pious man, and means well; but he goes the wrong way to work - is too officious and pompous, and carries the pedagogue into his manner and conversation with those around him. I rather like him, nevertheless - He is a staunch supporter of our Church - His wife is a tall coarse woman, evidently of lower origin: good natured, but very vulgar. They are very poor, and have ten children, and Mrs. Simpson being enceinte of an eleventh (perhaps even a
twelfth, judging from external appearance!). Nos. 17 and 21 are Messieurs Lewis and Frederick Whittaker, both of nearly the same age, but the former being uncle to the latter - Lewis Whittaker is a young medical practitioner, going to try his luck in New South Wales. He carries letters of introduction to my family from Mr. Gibson of Turnham Green. His nephew is an attorney, who intends filling his purse at the expense of the poor Colonists, and is to return to England in ten years, singing “Money in baith pockets”. They are not particularly genteel either in appearance or manner - and are rather noisy, and very idle - No. 19 is a Mr. Reeve, a friend of the Vidals, and partner with George Vidal in his Cabin. No one knows anything about this lad - only eighteen or nineteen - he is like dormouse - and has nothing to say to anyone. I know of no harm of him, as he does not join himself to any party on board - rather [indecipherable]-ish in his appearance, and always addresses a person with Ma’am or Sir. - Nos. 20 and 22 are Mrs. Jutting and her son Mr Crawford - She is a Dutch woman who married first a Scotchman, and had her present son - then being a widow, and finally married a countryman named Gutting. They are not at all liked - are vulgar in appearance and manners. They occupy only one cabin - rather opposed to an English man’s idea of decency, but nothing extraordinary in the eyes of a foreigner. Mrs. Gutting carries an introduction to Edye from Mr. Moens of Rotterdam - no great acquisition in the colony, but will be great customers to the Butchers, bakers and sweetmeat sellers! Crawford goes out to settle, and Mamma accompanies him to take care of his household concerns till she can get in another alliance on her own account! No 20 is Mr. Dale, the first mate of the ship - a thorough sailor and good humoured - always very obliging to the Passengers - No. 24 is Mr Fairbank, the second mate - a fat jolly fellow - not so good a sailor, but more generally liked than Mr. Dale. No. 1, whom I forgot to mention at first, is Captain Surflen, the commander of this ship - He is a very vulgar man - always put a W in the place of a V, and V in the place of a W! He has the character of an excellent sailor, and was many years in command on board different ships belonging to the East India Company. He is
a married man, having a son on board as third mate, a thick headed boy. Captain Surflen is a religious man, and very particular in his language, never allowing an oath to be used by his Officers or seamen. He and I are good friends - he has taken a strange fancy for me. Our Cuddy or General cabin is attended by one Steward and three assistants - but we are badly waited upon - Mr Marshall not having provided us with efficient servants, the Emigrants make bad waiters. Our table is tolerably well supplied, but not plentifully as the ship in which William went out to Sydney. Indeed we are rather short of some articles already, which does not say much for Marshall’s liberality. If we do not touch anywhere during the voyage, I suspect we shall have to go on short allowance. The provision of the different tables is under the management of Mr. Lunn, as Surgeon Superintendent, but I believe he intends resigning in favour of two other gentlemen, as he is so constantly engaged in his other duties - the Captain had nothing to do with it, ad only sits as the table as a guest - taking the seat of honor as Commander of the vessel - Having thus given a sketch of the different persons composing our party on board, as well as of the general arrangement of the concerns, I shall proceed with my Journal continuing my narration from page 8. Upon the whole, we are tolerably comfortable, and pass our time pleasantly enough. Cards are not allowed to appear in the cabin, of which I am very glad, as they invariably lead to gambling and very frequently to quarrelling. Chess and Backgammon are the general amusements, and in the evening a party of young men commonly sing to the ladies on deck - the ladies have not yet favoured us with their voices. We are to have “A grand Concert” tomorrow evening “under the distinguished patronage of the ladies passengers; Mr Manning having kindly acceded to the general wish that he should take the part of Primo Don!! so say the handbills of the day! Well, anything to promote harmony and amusement on board ship where so much occurs to ruffle the tempers and weary the patience of the prisoners. I doubt whether I shall be strong enough to sing much, as my illness, together with two mustard poultices and a blister, has left me rather weak. During the last four days we have passed and seen Madeira, Palma, Ferro and Teneriffe; but we are not likely to see any more land till we
get to Van Dieman’s Land, as it is the Captain’s intention to touch nowhere, and to keep well to the Southward of all, passing round Van Dieman’s Land instead of going through Bass’ Strait. If the wind should baffle us near the Line, and drive us to the Westward, we shall see two or three islands ere reaching Tristan D’Acunha. Our different latitudes & longitudes will be found at the beginning of this book, put down accurately every day at noon. The degree of heat is taken from the Thermometer in our cabin, which will be cooler than the Cuddy all the voyage; an advantage in hot weather, and no great drawback in the cooler climate through which we shall have to pass, as it is easy to shut a window and keep out the westerly wind.
14th. A beautiful day and a fair wind - the ship sailing along at the rate of seven miles an hour, with scarcely any motion. We have reached that latitude in which, at this season of the year, the North East Trade wind is usually blowing, and we have luckily caught it. There are two Trade Winds - the N.E. and the S.E. The former is to the Northward of the Line, and extends on an average from the twentyseventh degree to the fifth of North Latitude. Within these limits it blows regularly from this quarter all the year round; and thus enables vessels to make a good stretch to the Westward previously to shaping their course towards the Cape of Good Hope. The South East Trade wind blows from about the second degree of North Latitude to the twenty-third of Southern latitude - and the intervening space of three or four degrees of latitude between the limits of the two Trade winds, is called the “Variables”. When we get well to the Southward, and beyond the reach of the South-East Trades, we may expect Westerly winds, which are most prevalent: and these will enable us to run straight for the Cape of Good Hope, and thence on to Sydney. This morning a small brig was in sight of our weather Beam, bound in all probability for the West Indies - We sailed better than she did, and soon left her where the Dutchman found he had left his
anchor when he wanted it, namely, behind! She was not near enough for exchanging signals, but the Captain said she looks like an Englishman. This is the fourth vessel we have been since leaving the “Land’s End”. My dear wife employed herself with her needle on the Poop this morning, while I read and wrote in my Sanctum - After dinner all the ladies were on the poop, and Payne and myself sang several songs to them. In the evening dear Fanny wrote to her Mother, and I played two games of chess, losing both. It was the first time I had played since my illness, and I soon found that my head had not yet recovered the shock. It is painful to me to keep up my attention for any length of time. Before going to bed we read as usual from the Old and New Testaments.
15th This morning we entered the Northern Tropic of Cancer, being now about two thousand miles from England. At breakfast the thermometer had risen to 78 in the cuddy; but as the sun got ahead of the ship, and the sails shaded us, we were cooler, and at noon the heat was only 75! What would our friends in England give for a little of our Sun to cheer them in their winter? How odd it seems that we should be complaining of heat at the same time that they are shivering and uncomfortable even around a roaring fire; and so short a space between us making all the difference. It is only sixteen days since we left the land’s end, and we are now more than half way to the Equator. We left our friends at home in daily dread of a snow-storm with other prognosties of approaching winter; yet, on the ninth day after we sailed I put on white trowsers, and a smock frock, without any waistcoat! These frocks area all the fashion amongst us, and the Earl Greys look more like waggoners than gentlemen. They are ugly things but very much cooler than cloth coats. Captain Surflen bought them for the sailors, but we seized seven or eight at the market price - This morning was past in cutting out and fitting a new Vane for the Main-Mast-head - I cut it , and Fanny and Mrs Bonham sewed it. I have not yet been able to set myself regularly down to any reading, finding that a married man has many
more calls on his time and attention than a batchelor. This shall not last long, as I shall lose more by
il illness during one
voyage than I could regain in twelve months on shore. I must find out
some contrivance to read two or three hours every day. Nobody appears to
possess any books except the Vidals and ourselves; and it is a rare thing
to see a volume in any body’s hand, either on deck or in the Cuddy.
It surprizes me that people do not read & pass away the time . I
always did in former voyages - They will be preciously tired of
themselves and all around them before the voyage is half over.
18th.Today we have so little motion, the weather is so beautiful, and everything is going so quietly in the ship, that one can hardly imagine himself to be floating on the wide ocean, which so often is so furiously agitated; and, for aught we can tell, maybe in awful commotion ere this hour elapses! How wonderful and admirable are the works of our God! Truly “in wisdom and in goodness Thou hast made them all”. Our little barque has been highly favoured hitherto in the essentials, having had only three days of contrary winds, with bad weather- this was when we were off Madeira. The sailors, indeed, complain that there is not enough wind, as we are only going at the rate of four knots an hour, instead of eight or nine. How true is it that “man never is, but always to be blessed”. We are by nature prone to discontent, and when time hangs heavily on our hands, through our own inertness, we are more than ever disposed to find fault with persons and things; and we frequently fancy our lot a hard one because we cannot always have things exactly as we could desire. Man would make a poor Caterer to his happiness in this world if left to himself at all times. However I manage to employ myself pleasantly from day to day ,and never find the days so long that I cannot amuse myself. I am even comparatively careless whether we make a short or a tedious passage to Sydney. I have a good cabin and plenty of good books, but above all, I have a good wife!. This morning a meeting of the “Chief Cabin” passengers was held in my cabin, for the purpose of arguing the question
of right to the Poop deck, which in ships of passage is always retained exclusively for the Cuddy passengers. A ship may have as many grades of passengers and as many tables as her owner may please to put in her; but there is one Cuddy, and the privileges of that cabin should not be infringed. Ever since leaving Plymouth, we have all been very much annoyed by the intermediate passengers crowding on our deck and using our chairs, books etc. much to our own inconvenience. The intermediates are no companions for us generally - being composed of master-tradesmen, and people of lower classes - though some maybe of a higher stamp but too poor to be able to afford double price for their passage. Our intermediates seem to consider the Poop as their deck as well as ours, because Mr Marshall gave them the liberty. We deny any power on the part of Mr Marshall to grant such a liberty; and it was to settle this point that the Meeting was held. Some of the Intermediates are of objectionable character, but the others certainly appear respectable and quiet. After discussing the matter at length, the Captain was sent for, and requested to give his opinion as to what was the law of “use and right” in this matter. His answer was decisive -“that the Chief Cabin passengers have the whole and sole right to the use of the Poop deck.” Upon receiving this answer, we determined to exclude the Intermediate passengers, with the exception of such as we might think fit to invite to our deck. We went no further into the matter at present, having gained our point of Right. I forgot to mention that Dr Ross’s eldest son was by general consent excluded from the Poop, for improper and unseemly conduct towards Mr Vidal’s female servants. Dr Ross and Mr Simpson pay only the intermediate price for their families, who have a separate table on the lower deck; but have always been in free use of the poop deck, and are still requested to do so . Also Mr Waugh the great bookseller and publisher, and Common Councilman of the city of Edinburgh, is an Intermediate passenger in this ship, with his wife and one son and one daughter - having failed in business some time ago. He is now going to New South Wales where he has two sons in very good circumstances - one a medical man, and the other a settler.
His party are to be invited to the Poop.
19th During the last three or four days we have had nothing but light winds, and, consequently, have not made so much progress as we could have wished. Today, however , we have had a fine breeze, and the ship is now running at a rate of seven knots an hour. If this wind holds we shall have made a fine run by tomorrow at noon, but in these latitudes calms are so prevalent that no dependance can be put on the duration of a breeze. The thermometer is daily rising, and is at this moment as high as 82. This however, is chiefly owing to a meeting that has been held in my cabin this evening, at which all the cabin passengers were present. It was a continuation of the subject debated yesterday, and is considered to be final. Dr Ross’s eldest son has written an apology, and requests to be readmitted to his accustomed privileges. The matter was taken into immediate consideration, and the apology quickly accepted. The father seemed very much hurt at his son’s misconduct, and our consequent disapprobation - All is now cleared up; and I trust it will have a beneficial effect on his future conduct, and serve as a warning, not only to himself, but to others of our party who, I am sorry to say, are in the constant habit of taking too many liberties with the females on board. There certainly are many women of exceedingly doubtful character on board, and many avowedly profligate, and thus great temptation is offered to those who have not virtue sufficient to withstand it - but this makes it the more imperative on the Cuddy passengers, especially those amongst us who are married men, to check immorality or any tendency toward it. It would be an unpleasant duty to perform and lead to disagreements, but the fear of getting into hot water shall never prevent my disclosing to all any impropriety on the part of any one on board, whether passenger or emigrant. My dear and pure minded little wife has often been disgusted at the conduct of some of her shameless companions, and frequently complains to me. It is a source of constant annoyance to me in this manner, independently of the detestation I personally have for any thing of the kind. The proceedings of our Committee
will, however, have a beneficial effect upon all, as they will see that every one may consider himself a selfconstituted censor of the public morals, and that all are determined to make public examples of any who shall offend. At our meeting this evening all matters were arranged , and I was deputed to communicate, by letter, with the intermediate passengers, and inform them of our intentions. I have only just finished my unpleasant business having sent a separate circular to each of the men, desiring them to confine themselves to the Quarter deck in future; and to the females, one Circular addressed to Mrs Waugh, as Senior person requesting that they will make free use of our Poop deck - What will be the effect of this proceeding I cannot tell, but anticipate a rumpus; if so, I shall get more kicks than any one else, as the Intermediate passengers will and do naturally look upon me as the oracle of the ejecting party - my name being affixed to each letter. I can’t help it; I have felt the annoyance as much as any, and am willing to bear a little unpleasantness of another nature to get rid of the greater - I subjoin a copy of my letters that it may be seen I took nothing upon myself, but acted entirely under the direction of the Committee, composed of the Chief Cabin passengers in unison.
“Sir “Earl Grey” Nov 19th 1839.
The Chief Cabin Passengers, (having, long had it in contemplation,) have this day held a Meeting, for the purpose of taking into consideration the question of “Right to the Poop-deck”. It was unanimously resolved to abide by the decision of Captain Surflen, (as one who is well acquainted with the custom of the sea,) who was requested to state to whom, in his opinion, this deck belonged. His answer was decisive, being to this effect that the Chief Cabin Passengers have the whole and sole right to the Poop-deck. The point of exclusive right being thus ascertained, it is evident that the Intermediate Cabin passengers have not the use of that deck, but by special invitation from the Cuddy Passengers.
The number of Chief Cabin Passengers being already great, it would be very inconvenient to them to have their own deck crowded by others who have no rights to the use of it. Captain Surflen having kindly issued orders for the better regulation of the Quarter deck, the only scruple in the minds of the Chief Cabin passengers is removed; and I am desired to request, in the name of all, that you will in future confine yourself to the Quarter-deck. Where every convenience will be found proportionate to the number of Intermediate Passengers.“
“To Mr …” “I am, Sir,” etc. “A. W. Manning.”
This is the exact copy of the letter sent to each of the male intermediates; and the following is a copy of the letter sent to Mrs Waugh as Senior lady.
“Madam “Earl Grey” Nov. 19, 1839.
The Chief Cabin Passengers have much pleasure in offering to Mr Waugh Senr. yourself and daughter the use of their deck. And I have to request, in the name of all, that you will henceforward consider that you have the full and free use of the Poop-deck at all times. I shall feel obliged by your communicating immediately with Miss Callander and Mrs Shock, and informing that the same liberty is, with pleasure, accorded them.”
“I am, Madam,” etc. “A. W. Manning”
These letters, six in number, are to be given to the intermediate passengers very early in the morning, by way of a relish at breakfast! I am almost sorry I undertook the office, and it will assuredly bring thunder upon my head.
20th A terrible row! Intermediates in tremendous wrath! Letters passing backward and forwards! Private councils convened! Sage and terrific resolutions formed !!! - Mr Lunn, the Surgeon, requested a conference with me; and came, big with his own importance, into my cabin immediately after breakfast. All the passengers have been offended by his manner, he being merely a paid servant of Mr Marshall. He fancies he has the governance of the Cabin passengers as well as the Emigrants, and would fain have us do just what he
pleases. I had been generally, but privately, requested to put him; so when he fumed away in my cabin, and took me to task for having sent the letters to the Intermediate passengers, we both got warm; and I, at last, said (bluntly enough!) “Mr Lunn, who the deuce are you? Who is Mr Marshall?! We have rented this portion of the vessel from him, which is now to us as our house rented on shore; and, therefore, so long as we are obliged to remain on board, Mr Marshall has given up all right to the Poop, and can neither give permission himself, nor authorize you to permit the Emigrants or Intermediate passengers to use, or intrude upon, our deck, which is our private property, being as our house - If you were to rent a house from any one in England, would you permit that person to send any one he liked to walk in your garden which you take with the house? The Chief Cabin passengers are determined to permit no intrusion on the part of any, so don’t attempt it, lest you cause a dispute between yourself and all who sit at table with you every day. Your duty is to the Emigrants and not with us, except in case of illness. If I break my leg, it becomes your duty to mend it; or, if I have a stomach-ache, it is your duty to give me medicine to relieve it! This is all you have to do with the Chief Cabin Passengers, and it would be as well not to go beyond your tether. We are masters here; - not Mr Marshall, or yourself, as his paid servant.!!” - Having to battle with a spirit as high as his own, Master Lunn was completely silenced. When he found that we know his sphere, and are determined to keep him within it, he became more rational; and we quietly discussed the matter in dispute, and when he left the Cabin he was completely turned in his opinion; and no longer urged the “right of use of the Poop-deck” for the Intermediate passengers, whose cause he had determined to advocate so fiercely! The Captain, at my request, was present at this interview between Mr Lunn and myself, but no one else. The whole burthen seems now to be thrown upon me. Mr Lunn went to report all that had passed between us to the Intermediate passengers, who were anxiously waiting in full persuasion that they should come off more than conquerors! Rather mistaken - Lunn, however, seems to have done his
duty in the matter as fairly to his friends between decks; for, in an hour, I received the following note from Mr Waugh, Senior, in behalf of the Intermediates.
“Sir Ship “Earl Grey” 20 Novr. 1839
“I beg leave, for myself and the Intermediate passengers who have received letters from you, to request a conference with you and the other Chief Cabin Passengers, as they are extremely anxious that I, on their behalf, should have an opportunity of explaining the grounds on which they have, since embarking, taken the liberty of using the Poop, which, it now appears from your communication, it was “ultra vires” of Mr Marshall to grant.”
“A.W. Manning Esq.” “I am, Sir, etc. “John Waugh”
As soon as this letter was received, of course I handed it round to all the Cabin passengers; and it was resolved that we should assemble in Council, and Meet Mr Waugh. The Cuddy was our place of conference; and when Mr Waugh entered, he was requested to sit in an arm chair in the midst of us (out of respect to his years and personal character). He opened the conference by saying that he came not to claim anything, but to explain the reasons why the Intermediates had hitherto used the Poop. The old man made a lengthy and good speech, and all our party felt the respect they already entertained for him doubled by his bearing on the present occasion. It was left to me to answer him, so soon as he had finished, but I would rather have left it in older and better hands. Having made notes of Mr Waugh’s speech, I was able to refer to all that he had said; - assuring him that it was for no misconduct in any of his particular party that we now claimed our exclusive right to the Poop, but merely for our own convenience, as the number on the poop was already too large, amounting exactly to fifty persons - who may sometimes be there all at one time. Everything was explained; and when the meeting broke up the two parties understood better their respective rights and stations. Some of the Intermediates who were invited to the Poop have turned sulky and will not honour us with their company. I have received a terrible letter from Miss Callander, which was meant
to be very cutting to me, but failed completely in that respect - I subjoin it.
“Miss Callender feels duly sensible of the honour conferred on her by the Chief Cabin passengers in their still allowing her the liberty of walking on the Poop. She, however, feels obliged to decline the invitation, and is rather surprized that any lady or gentleman could for one moment suppose that a young lady would frequent any part of the vessel, from which her only relation on board, and natural companion is excluded.”
The cause of complain and surprize her is, that her brother, as great a lout as ever breathed the air, was not invited to the poop with his sister. It certainly, at first sight, may appear rather unkind to separate a brother and sister; but the necessity of the arrangement will be seen if we go into the matter - Mr Waugh has a son, who was not invited to join his family on the poop. If Miss Callender’s reason was to hold good, and her brother were invited, then Mr Waugh’s son must also come to the poop by invitation; otherwise we make an invidious distinction between the two young men, by excluding one while the other is invited - Then again, if Mr Waugh and Mr Callender are allowed to be on the Poop, the other men, their companions, will naturally explain “how have they deserved better than us; why should not we be invited too? It is hard to make such a distinction between us”. It must necessarily follow that these men must be invited. Mr Callender and Mr Waugh would also be taken out of their element and be like fish out of water, without any companions. The Chief Cabin Passengers were aware of this difficulty and much arguing arose upon it, but it was at length resolved to invite none of the men - thus making no invidious distinction between them and causing no jealousies. Miss Callender could be with her brother on the Quarter deck whenever she chose, and could come on the Poop whenever she wanted more wind in her face, but there is not overmuch love between the two. She was hurt in her pride by my letter, and thought to do me a good turn by the same means. Old Mr Waugh is the only Male Intermediate passenger invited - no one would think of parting husband
and wife. But independently of this, his years claimed our consideration. If Miss Callander and Mrs Shuck (who is going out as a pastry-cook) wont honour us with their company, so much the better for us, as, in a few days, we shall only have half our Poop, the other side being required by the Captain for his sail-makers for some time. This is always done at sea, and we therefore do not complain: - only, Marshall ought to be hanged for cramming so many people in such poor accommodations as the emigrants have - our number amounts to considerably more than three hundred! I am far from recommending any friend of mine from taking a passage in one of Marshall’s ships. We are very badly found in provisions. Many things are already gone; - no more porter or cheese, very little white biscuit, etc. etc. and we have only been three weeks at sea! He shall not have any good word when we arrive. I forgot to mention in my Journal for yesterday that we saw the island of “St. Antonio”, one of the Cape Verds, passing about thirty miles to the Westward of it. In the afternoon, we saw another of the Cape Verd Islands, called “Togo”, and this will probably bee the last land we shall see for a long time. This troublesome affair between the Chief Cabin passengers and the Intermediates has put everything out of my head. It is all settled now, and our deck is clear, and it is our intention to keep it so. George Vidal and myself have determined to commence our reading tomorrow - He is to read “Burnet’s Thirty-nine Articles”, which I lend him; and I shall commence with “Josephus’ history of the Jews”. Poor dear Fanny has a sever cold, but is otherwise tolerably well, and continues in good spirits. She and Mrs Bonham are great cronies, and do nothing but chatter and laugh from morning to night!!
24th. This is Sunday. I should not have thought it, judging from the general appearance of the ship and passengers. There have been frequent showers today, and the sun has not made his appearance; which is rather fortunate, as we have had scarcely any wind all day. Had the sun been bright the heat would have been excessive. We have now lost the North-East Trade wind, and are in the “variables”, as the intermediate latitudes between the two Trade winds are called.
How long we may remain here, we cannot tell - I have, on a former voyage, been becalmed for eight days, just where we are now; and it may be our lot to endure similar misery now. I hope not; I pray not, for Fever has broken out amongst the Emigrants! Yes, here we are alone, on the wide ocean, far from friends and assistance, and unable to escape, and surrounded by that most direful of all scourges “Typhus Fever”! I shudder at the thought; for if it once take firm hold of the ship, God only knows how many now on board will live to arrive in Sydney, and relate the sad fate of their companions. One man was buried yesterday, and two women are now in the hospital, dangerously ill of the Fever. It now appears that our poor Steward, who died a few days ago, was a victim of this terrible Fever; but the matter was hushed up from fear of alarming the people - I am not at all surprized that we are at last visited by this sickness on board the ship, as she is so very much crowded, and the arrangements so badly managed from the beginning to end. Mr Lunn, who has the management of these emigrants, as Surgeon, is no more fit for his station than I am, if so much so. He has no method, and spends his time in talking instead of doing. But the principal difficulty lies in his being invested with no authority to enforce whatever he may deem essential to the health and comfort of those under his care,. Every man and every woman considers himself and herself their own master or mistress, and will not obey the doctor any further than may exactly suit their private inclination, and this irregularity and disorder of every description prevail among these dirty beings. Cleanliness, we know, is a great preservative of health and preventive of contagion, and is more than ever necessary on board ship, where so many people are huddled together, two in a bed, and more than a hundred in one division of the vessel! Orders are given that every man shall attend to his own berth, or bedplace, and keep it clean - this could not be done, for nobody chose to do it, and cannot be forced to do it. No one chooses to be Sweeper-general to the Emigrants’ berths, even on Salary; and no one can be appointed to the duty. These rascals would and do live in filth and foul air, rather than take the trouble to get rid of it by assisting each other to keep their place clean and well ventilated. No wonder that fever has
made its appearance in our crowded and filthy habitation. Mr Lunn has not the confidence of any of us as a medical man, and we all dread the spreading of the contagion. I am not so alarmed on my own account, as on account of my darling wife. But the very dread of her catching the Fever makes me more liable to the attack of it, so much depends on the calmness of mind, from the great influence of the mind upon the body, through the nervous system. The heat of these latitudes is very much against us, and by making the “Tween-decks” close and sultry, fever is more likely to arise, and contagion to spread. However, we are all in the hands of the Allmighty; and if it be His good will to take many of our number out of this world and its miseries, all we can do will be of no avail. Patience must have her perfect work in our hearts and minds, and we are more than ever called upon to prepare for the day of the coming of the Lord. We may perhaps get rid of this sickness, and then by great care and cleanliness escape a repetition. May it be Thy pleasure, Lord, to rescue us of this calamity and danger; and may our gratitude be shewn forth, not only by our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to Thy service, and by walking before Thee in holiness and righteousness all our days.
26th. Nothing particular has occurred during this day, except the catching of a small shark by Lewis Whittaker. It was a very young, being not more than five feet in length, and unfurnished in his jaws - He gave good sport while in the water - was hooked once, but broke away while being hauled up - His fury was excited, and he returned to the bait with redoubled greediness, (having already had a taste of it!) The second time, he did for himself, and was taken. When brought on board, he soon cleared the Quarter deck with his tail, gnashing his teeth. The Carpenter’s axe soon quieted him, and ere half an hour had elapsed, his head and back-bone were in Whittaker’s hands, for dissection. A shark or a porpoise is always killed by chopping off the tail with an axe, separating the vertebrae, which renders him powerless, while loss of blood gradually kills him. It is an interesting sight to see a shark “the monster of the deep”, taken. We had a good view of the whole transaction from our windows, as he
was caught at the stern of the vessel. Dear little Fanny was very much interested and amused at the sight, as it was the first we have seen hitherto - in all probability we shall catch another ere long as we are coming into the latitudes honoured by the habitation of these open mouthed gentry. They like warmth and constant sunshine, and are therefore seldom seen without the Tropics or in their neighbourhood. We might have expected to have had one or two Tropical showers before this, but a few smart showers are all the wetting we have had. Today we have had a good deal of small rain, with light winds. I am delighted to say, the Fever has not spread any further than yesterday, but the same two women are still in the Hospital, and in a very dangerous state from the Fever. One of the poor creatures has, at the same time, had a miscarriage, which has rendered her case the more desperate, and has excited the sympathy of all on board.
28th. This is my birthday, and I am now 21, the age at which I escape out of infancy into manhood; and the period so long wished for by all who are to inherit at that age. My inheritance! alas, alas! I have none! So no more about it. Another year has thus rolled over my head, and I am still in existence, well and happy - possessing all I want. What changes have taken place since I entered upon my twentieth anniversary! I have travelled no less than 25,000 miles on the boisterous ocean, have seen Europe, Asia, and America, besides many islands scattered both in East and West Longitude, North and South Latitude; have formed many acquaintances, and lost others; and, though last not least, have taken a wife to myself, and become a respectable married man - and behold me now, wending my way to the transporting climate of the famous Botany Bay for the third time! - But trifling is ill-accordant with the solemnity of the occasion. Let me rather ask myself, how many mercies have I received during the twelvemonth just elapsed! From how many dangers have I been rescued! And how many sins have been permitted to pass unpunished! And still I find my heart as little sensible to the Divine goodness and mercy as it was at this time last year. How little progress have I made in goodness or any Christian virtue, and yet I am aware that each day brings me so much nearer to my end! My time,
too, how wasted! How mispent! And my talents unimproved! - I will go no further, for if I am to give a faithful account of the way in which the past year has been spent, it would only exposure more dirt and still greater neglect. I can only pray to God to pardon me, and to vouchsafe unto me His Holy Spirit that I may serve Him more acceptably during the year on which this day I have entered and that, being one day nearer to my grave, I may be every day one day nearer to eternal life beyond the grave. May the Lord hear me, and assist me, for the sake of His dear Son and my Blessed Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Amen.
30th. This day commences with beautiful weather and a fresh breeze - A public auction was held on board this morning, consisting of the property of our poor Steward, and the Emigrant Mahi who died two or three days ago. It is an old and regularly established custom at sea, that when any body died on board or deserts his ship, all the property of which he may have been possessed is sold by auction to the highest bidder - the Captain of the vessel being accountable for the proceeds of the sale to the lawful inheritors at home - A sale under such Circumstances is known by the name of “Deadman’s Sale”. Mr Dale, the chief mate was Auctioneer. The Cuddy passengers subscribed to buy the Steward’s violin and music; intending to give them to one of the Emigrants, at the end of the voyage, on the condition that he is to play to us whenever we may choose to call him. Poor Hart, the Steward, was a first rate musician; and I heard him playing on the violin most exquisitely only one or two nights before his death. The man to whom the violin is to be given is by no means a bad performer. Things sold by auction in this manner generally fetch much higher prices than would have been obtained for them had they been sold on shore. A man at sea wants an article which cannot be had till the “deadman’s sale” - and rather than go without it he will bid over another person continually, and give far more money than it is worth, as he knows that is his only chance of suiting himself. Many of the Cuddy passengers were purchasers of trifles. I bought some Eau de Cologne, a belt, and a Journal Book, for all which I paid 8/-: on shore they would not have cost five shillings. Upon the whole a very
fair price was gained for the things sold. It was an amusing sight, but I could not help remembering the event that led to it. About five oclock this afternoon we crossed the Equator. Some years ago this was an eventful period in a voyage, as it was customary to dip and shave every man who had never been in both latitudes in his life - the face was well tarred, and the man, blindfolded, was seated upon a plant placed across a large tub, filled with water. At a signal, the plank was jerked away and the unfortunate fellow floundered in the tub, a most pitiable sight! If he became restive, and attempted to speak, the tar brush was dabbed into his open mouth, by way of a Silencer! A man having once gone through this operation was considered free of the ocean, and never again molested, though he should cross the line a dozen times again. On these occasions the sailors dress one of their number in sheepskins etc] to represent Neptune, riding on the carriage of a cannon for his Car of State. Another is dressed in old canvass to represent Mr Neptune’s wife! And great respect is paid to these people who are “dressed in a little brief authority”. This practice is now generally abolished, as it invariably led to rioting and drunkenness amongst the sailors, and quarrelling amongst the passengers who were shaved. Some few ships continue the custom, but these are of inferior classes. I have never seen it, although I have crossed the line five times. Captain Surflen refused to permit it, although pressed to allot it even by some unwashed and unshaven greenhorns of our party! Neptune, however was dressed up, and paraded about the decks, attended by his “Mace-Bearer” - i.e. “Tar-and-brush carrier”! Mrs Neptune did not show herself, being highly offended at the neglect of old customs! A subscription was raised to smooth His Majesty’s temper - all gave five shillings apiece to be divided between Nep and his crew! - We are now making south Latitude fast - Several nights ago we lost sight of the “North-Star” which is only visible to a certain degree of Northern latitude.; and now we may shortly expect to get the first sight of The “Southern Cross”, which is considered by far the most brilliant and beautiful constellation in the Heavens. It is mainly composed of four large stars in the shape of a cross - hence the term “Crux Australis”. So long as the “Great Bear”
was visible to our sight at the same time that our dear friends in England could see it, we seemed to have still one link connecting us with the land we had left behind us; and it was a pleasing fancy to think that a dear friend in England might be gazing at the same object as ourselves and at the very same moment, our eyes meeting as it were at the apex of the angle. But now this gratifying fancy is done away with, and “the last links are broken “. We are in different hemispheres, and gaze on different Heavens at night. There is certainly something melancholly in the idea, although I am going to my home, where I know I shall be happy. I know not how it is, but I feel that I have no business to be where I am, and a small still voice tells me that I ought to be in England, pursuing the plans for which I went there: and frequently I cannot help wishing that I had not left it so speedily. My conscience does not accuse me of rashness or interest, for I know not how I could have acted otherwise. My situation was one of difficulty and responsibility. My own secret illness and disturbed state of mind rendered me unfit for the arduous studies of a college; and dear Fanny’s delicacy of constitution and overstretched nerves made it dangerous to delay any longer bringing our engagement to its final issue, that she might speedily settle down into a quiet undisturbed life, and bid adieu to that false state of existence in which she had been so long wrapped. These considerations are not without force or claim, and yet I sometimes feel a kind of remorse as though I had slighted my Maker by relinquishing the plans I had formed for devoting myself to His peculiar service. ‘Tis true, it is but for a season, but still I have avoided a good opportunity, and have left it now to chance of circumstances whither I be able to become a Steward of God’s Mysteries or not. These occasional twiches, however, have the effect of making me more than ever determined to enter the Church so soon as my age will permit, if God will permit me to enlist myself. My parents do not like the idea of my receiving Ordination at the hands of a Colonial Bishop; but I consider his Ordination as valid as when conferred by the Bishop of London. I dread any interference on the part of my family - some of them, at least: but I trust they will permit me to choose my own profession according to my own dis-
disposition, and leave me to the undisturbed performance of my ministerial duties.
Dec. 1st. This is Sunday. How different from our last Sabbath day! This day-week we first heard that Typhus Fever had shown itself among the Emigrants, and we were all in dread of its spreading. Our minds were in a state of feverish excitement at our alarming position; and depressed from the fear of being the next victim to this Scourge. The whole day was spent in consultations and complaints, and private speculations; and, when we retired to rest, it was without the satisfactory testimony of our hearts and consciences that the Lord’s day had been set apart peculiarly for His Service, and His alone. The case is very different now, for, by the Blessing of God, we have been enabled to serve our Creator on His own day in a manner more in accordance with His ordinances. Divine Service has always been regularly performed by Mr Simpson, but today we have, many of us, partaken of the Body and Blood of Christ in His Holy Sacrament. Our little cabin was selected for the Service, on account of its privacy and other conveniences, and the “elements” were placed upon our table. The party consisted of Mr & Mrs Vidal, Mr George Vidal, Mr & Mrs Simpson, Captain and Mrs Bonham, Mr Payne with dear Fanny and myself. The Captain had intended communicating but a squall happening to catch the ship immediately after the Sermon, he was obliged to remain on-deck and look after the ship, till the service was commenced; so he did not like to come in during the Service. Mr Vidal consecrated the elements as Mr Simpson was only in Deacons’ Orders, and therefore not authorized to officiate alone. A priest must always consecrate. I admire Mr Vidal’s mode of delivery - it is exceedingly impressive and solemn, and I regret that he does not intend placing himself on the establishment immediately on arriving at Sydney. He anticipates beneficial results from our genial climate, and perfect quiet in the country, and hopes eventually to do duty in the Colony - Mr Lunn has given a very favourable account of the two invalids - He says that the Fever has left them, and that the only danger now arises from the great exhaustion consequent on the attack, and the remedies applied for its cure. I do not hear of one else coming ill,
or even complaining, and we have every prospect of shortly getting rid of this terrible sickness. How thankful ought we to be! Such a weight is taken from my mind by the news.
2nd. This has been a beautiful day; and the weather has been much cooler, as we have had a nice breeze, though not quite fair. We have been driven considerably further to the Westward than we had intended, owing to the prevalence of Easterly and South-Easterly winds, as may be seen by my “Log” at the beginning of this book. Today, while the ship was tacking, one of the Emigrants was badly hurt by a rope, which swung with great violence against his face. The poor man’s lips and face were very much lacerated, and three or four of his teeth were actually knocked out! Mr Lunn was obliged to sow up his lip - He seemed in great pain, and his very much disfigured. He is Mr Simpson’s clerk; but the poor fellow will not be able to do his work for some length of time. This is the first accident we have had. I only wonder we have not had many cases, as the decks are so crowded - not even a child has been hurt on board. I hear there was a fracas yesterday between Mr Simpson and Doctor Ross, the dissenting Minister. It appears that Doctor Ross had been preaching between decks to the Emigrants and others who follow him. Mr Simpson very properly construed this into an infringement of his privilege. Captain Surflen had once already forbidden it on board his ship; but Mr Lunn, in his wonted officiousness, has told Dr Ross that he would give him permission to preach every Sunday. The Surgeon had no manner of right to do this, as the Captain is the only person authorized to act in the matter. He intends noticing it to Mr Lunn, I believe; and will absolutely a repetition of it. I fear we are likely to have some unpleasantness out of this affair. The two men cannot agree. Mr Simpson is “High Church” in his sentiments, newly ordained, and a busy kind of man. Dr Ross is a man who is very likely to do things of this kind merely from a desire to tease and thwart the opposite party and to gain to
himself credit as a zealous and clever missionary from his own peculiar party in England. Mr Vidal always keeps quite aloof in these matters: so shall I, although Mr Simpson seems to consider it necessary to consult me before he will venture to do anything in his clerical capacity! How he has taken such a fancy to me I cannot imagine, but a fact it most assuredly is. How this matter between himself and Dr Ross will terminate I know not. The Captain appears to me to be a conscientious and religious man, and an Episcopalian. He has declared himself in favour of Mr Simpson; and, I have no doubt, will conduct the matter properly. During the day I have been reading Dr Lang’s History of New South Wales. I must try to forget the man before I can judge the author.
4th. This afternoon a ship passed within two or three miles of us: - an Englishman, homeward bound. When one vessel meets another at sea, it is usual to hoist the national Ensign at the “Peak”, astern of the vessel - to denote what country she belongs to - this is immediately answered in a similar manner by the other vessel; otherwise great offence is given. Captain Marryatt, the great novel writer, had invented a code of signals, consisting of thirteen flags by means of which any question may be asked when vessels are too far off to speak each other. For instance, I want to ask another vessel at sea “What ship is that”? I hoist three flags, Nos.: 8,5,4 - The other vessel refers to is signal book (for it is in general use) and seas what I ask. He immediately hoists his number, by which, on reference, I discover the answer; for every ship is entered at Lloyd’s and has a particular number, which is put down in Marryatt’s code. Our number is 7689 - i.e. we hoist the flags 7,6,8,9 - By means of these signals you may hold any conversation, as every flag has a particular letter attached - you may ask the Captain of the vessel signalized to lower a boat and come to dine with us at such an hour! How many days he has been at sea - where from, and to what port he is bound. The vessel that passed us today was a Liverpool ship, and therefore could not answer our signals; for the Liverpool Traders, in true Yankee fashion, have a code of their own, and will not use Marryatt’s. Our surly friend today
hoists the “Holyhead Signals” so we wish him better manners and a pleasant voyage. Liverpool is always considered half a Yankee town. Had the weather been more calm the Captain would have lowered a boat, and taken our letter for England on board, but it was blowing too fresh, and the ships were going too fast. It is an interesting sight to see vessels recognize another by their signals when they meet on the wide ocean. Dear Fanny was much delighted. It was a fine afternoon, and the sun shone bright on the ship’s sails, which made look very pretty. In the evening I read to my little wifey.
5th. Read Dr. Lang’s “History of New South Wales” before getting up - rather a lazy mode of reading, but better than being in bed doing nothing. This is certainly a well written book; and as such does credit to the author’s talents. But I cannot help observing a great deal too much spleen and bitterness towards individuals in almost every section. Dr Lang has evidently been much disappointed in his private as well as political schemes in New South Wales; and from what I know of the man, it seems to me fortunate for the Colony, in general, that he did meet with such opposition on the part of the Government, as well as from private individuals. He would gladly make out his own case to be a most pitiable one, and tries to gain the sympathy of his reader by a recital of his alleged grievances. No one would deny that Lang has considerably benefitted the Colony by inducing many people to emigrate to it; but who has been most benefitted by that immigration? Lang has been amply remunerated in more ways than one and he cannot have such extensive claims on the Government as he sets forth. And, I am very sure, he has forfeited all claim upon the public favour and sympathy by his malevolent and ungentlemanly conduct as Proprietor and Editor of the “Colonist” (a newspaper which he started) as well as subsequently to his abandonment of the paper in favour of a man no less virulent than himself. This Lang is a Doctor in Divinity(!) and was at the head of the Presbyterian clergy in the Colony, but ha since seceded from the body
from secular motives, and drawn others with him. He is a man universally disliked - had always been in hot water from his determined political opposition to all governments - and does not maintain a character consistent with his station. He is in England at present, for the fifth time during fifteen years, on some scheme which will explode on his return to the Colony. He is most inveterate against the Episcopalians and their “Prelate” Broughton, as he ironically terms our mild and good Bishop.
6th. All this morning I was employed in drawing a plan of our ship and a compass at the beginning of this book - I did it for dear Fanny, who had intended commencing to keep a regular daily account of occurrences and reflections - At the dinner table today, Captain Surflen announced his intention of taking the ship to the Cape of Good Hope, for supplies of every kind, etc. We are all delighted at the idea of touching Terra Firma so shortly. In three weeks we may hope to be on shore, enjoying ourselves, and stretching our cramped legs. This break in the monotony of a voyage will do us all a great deal of good, as none of us are particularly healthy. Our learned doctor says we have not a single case of regular fever on board at present, although there are a great many invalids in hospital. There is, however, so much of the mysterious in Mr Lunn’s manner that we never know how far to rely on what he says. He has a particular objection to be asked how the sick are going on, and in more than one instance, he has either evaded the question or given an impertinent answer. We have reason for believing that there is fever on board, but it is impossible to come at the truth. The poor people themselves do not know what is the nature of their illness, and the only person who could tell will not. I only trust we shall be able to make affidavit to the Health Officer who will board us at the Cape that we have had no death or contagious disease among us for the last forty days: If we cannot do this, we shall be put in Quarantine, and not allowed to go on shore, although everything we may require would be sent off to us. Our live-stock is running short; and there are many other articles,
absolutely necessary, which have been lost or destroyed. Mr Marshall evidently intended this vessel to make the voyage in six weeks; and supposed that she would fall in with other ships at seas, who could, from time; supply us with food enough to support existence till we met another ship. We have been shamefully provisioned, and it ought to be made publicly known that John Marshall is as arrant a rogue as ever breathed; otherwise, he will take in many others as unfortunate as ourselves. During the day I have read my usual portion of Dr Lang’s book.
7th. A ship was in sight this morning, but so far off that we could not even exchange signals. She bore away to the Northward, and was probably an English vessel, homeward bound. We have been rather unfortunate in having had no opportunity of sending any letters home. The one seen [to]day is the seventh that might have assisted us; but we have always been prevented, by distance and weather, from boarding any of them. However, we may safely rely on finding plenty of ships at the Cape, on the point of starting for England, and they will be able to take the news of our having reached the Cape in safety. But I am not particularly anxious to have letters sent home just at this time, as it could soon be generally known that the “Earl Grey” was attacked with Fever, when only a quarter part on her voyage. This would alarm our friends should their eyes happen to fall on the account of our situation, as it would be given, in the Newspapers. Exaggeration is the common fault of Editors; and, ten to one, our case would be made out much worse than it really is. If this sickness leaves us by the time we get to the Cape, we may hope to arrive in Sydney without any more cases, as we shall have nice, cool weather all the way. A fresh supply of medicine is wanted, and all sorts of things in Mr Lunn’s list! - This morning Captain Surflen sent a letter to Mr Lunn, positively forbidding the preaching of Doctor Ross to the Emigrants. He showed me his letter before sending it, and asked my opinion. Of course I was of the same opinion as himself or Mr Simpson, being a Church.
man. I hearty wish this disagreeable business was settled, as I fear it is likely to lead to some unpleasantness between some of our party-Read a chapter in Long’s Book. The history of the Colony becomes particularly interesting as I advance.
8th Sunday. This morning Divine Service was read on deck, after which Mr Simpson gave us a very poor and meagre sermon. How much better it would be if Mr Simpson would read a printed sermon instead of annoying us with his milk-and- water compositions. He is by no means a clever or intellectually minded man; and his wife is one of the coarsest women I ever saw in the shape of a lady! Such an eater and drinker, etc etc!!! I am obliged to confess that I was glad when the service was quite finished, as I wished to retire to our quiet cabin to read to my darling wife. We took Blunts “Lectures on our Saviour”, and read a sermon we enjoyed exceedingly. The subject was “the Marriage in Cana” -it set forth the particular duties of husband and wife, and described who were “joined in Christ” and who “without Christ”. I trust my darling Fanny and myself may number ourselves amongst the former. How can we possibly expect happiness in the wedded state, if Christ be not present ( in our hearts) on the occasion as He was in person at the marriage in Cana- [indecipherable] it by His presence, and blessing it by His approval?- We have read several of these sermons, and like them very much. I wish I had all his works.- This morning the Captain, Mr Vidal, Mr Simpson, and myself met in my cabin, to take into consideration the best mode of proceeding in consequence of a letter just received from Mr Lunn the Surgeon, that he would not withdraw his permmission to Mr Ross to preach between decks to the Emigrants, and that he considered himself to be the only person on board who had any concern in the management of the Emigrants. The captain is not a first rate scholar, so he left it to his three friends to settle the matter. After various propositions, a letter was cojointly dictated to the Captain, wherein he recalled Mr Lunn’s attention to his (the Captain’s) former letter forbidding any preaching but that of the Established Church of
England on board the ship he was the absolute and sole commander ;telling Mr Lunn that the Surgeon’s instructions from Mr Marshall, or chartering party, did not authorise him to “delegate to any individual the performance of duty which, under other circumstances, would have come within the province of the Surgeon Superintendent.” Had there been no clergyman of the Episcopalian Church on board, it would have been Mr Lunn’s duty to have read the regular service, from the Common Prayer book, daily to the Emigrants and he would not have been allowed to appoint a substitute, especially a dissenter. But I fear there is too much personal feelings between Mr Simpson and Mr Lunn. The former, having undertaken the special duties of Chaplin on board this ship, has certainly been exceedingly remiss; more particularly during the prevalence of the “Fever”. While this sickness continued he never once visited the sick or dying. Almost the last words of poor Mate were “we none of us, like Mr Simpson, because he never comes near any of us at the time when we most want him,”- when on the sick-bed. One may readily account for Mr Simpson’s neglect of duty, in keeping himself aloof from the Emigrants,- the fear of carrying the contagion to his family of ten children. No doubt it is a fearful thing to meet with such a sickness, and no man likes to run the risk of giving the disease to his child. But whatever danger may be in the way, it is the duty of the conscientious minister of the Gospel boldy to face it, while in the performance of his sacred office; and he should not allow his zeal to be checked by any secondary motive,- leaving all to God, who is ever watchful over the best interests of his children. At his ordination the minister should have counted the cost-knowing what he might have to encounter during the fulfilment of his oath. He should determine to brave all hazard, or give up all idea of entering into “orders”:- and,once ordained, as private consideration should have such influence over his courage as to make him shrink from the performance of every little of his duty. Unfortunately for the credit of our cause, Mr Simpson has shrunk ,and
`thus caused sad complaints among the Emigrants, who have, many of them, drawn up a requisition to the Captain, to allow Mr Ross to officiate to them instead of Mr Simpson. Mr Lunn has consented and hence arises the present confusion. There appears to be a great many Presbyterians below, and it is natural that they should wish to have the services performed according to the rituals of their peculiar body- though, at the same time, I do not see how Doctor Ross can conscientiously gratify their desire, he having confessed himself to be an “Independent.” But that is his affair, not ours. It cannot be prevented on shore; but on board ship, where discipline is so necessary and so strictly enforced, the regulation of these matters is left to the Commander, who in the present instance, is happily of the Church, and seems determined to allow us no innovation upon her privileges, while he has the powerand right to prevent it. My darling wife was suffering dreadfully from toothache the greater part of this day, but has been much easier since going to bed. She frequently suffers in this way.
9th At six this morning I was on deck, en deshabille, because a large useful vessel was in sight She passes to leeward of us, apparently homeward bound. We hoisted our signals, with British Ensign, and expected a return compliment from the other vessel, but they did not think it proper to take the slightest notice of us, passing on without hoisting a single flag. From his trim and general appearance the Captain thinks he was a Frenchman. Read a few pages of Dr Lang’s book before getting up (for I had “turned in” again after being on deck early)- on appearing at the breakfast table this morning I heard that two of our Cabin passengers, Miss Davies and Mr Dunn, were attacked with the Typhus Fever! At last we have it in the midst of us; where will it stop! who goes next? We may now, hourly, expect to hear that a third and a fourth are laid low, and summoned away to a better world!- I dread it. The next report maybe “Mrs Manning ill” or “Mr Manning”! It is on my wife’s account that I mostly dread it. Oh! should she be snatched away from me, what would become of me? Oh, dreadful, dreadful! God spare me such a loss, or permit me to follow my beloved wife to the regions of bliss! Yet why should I anticipate evil?
Has not my Lord said ”sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.” I will endeavour to wait patiently and to hope for the best- Mr Dunn has had all his hair cut off. The doctors do not consider either his or Miss Davies’s to be a sever case, and are in hopes that all will soon be right again. No one is at all surprised at Mr. Dunn’s illness, on account of the irregular life he now leads, as well as the constant dissipation in which he has been accustomed to indulge when on shore. He has only been in bed two or three times since we left England; is continually sleeping all night in the open air, or, on a bench in the Cuddy; never takes off his clothes, except to change them, for decency sake; never to be seen without a pipe or cigar in his mouth, except when at table, where he indulges too much. Add to all this, a constitution ruined by previous folly, and one will only wonder that he has not been ill before this, especially as he mingles a great deal with the Emigrants. Should it please God to restore him to health, I trust he will be deeply impressed with a sense of his own sinfulness, and apply in a humble spirit for pardon at the throne of Grace, and for God’s assistance to be enabled to serve Him better for the time to come. Should this great change take place in his heart, he will ever have good reason for blessing the day when he was attacked with Typhus Fever. He has made himself no real friends on board, and is left to the care of the Hospital Nurse, altho’ some of us visit him from time to time - Poor Miss Davies is much to be pitied, having no female companion on board to render all those little attentions which diminish the tedium of a sick bed. She seems in great anxiety about “her Alie”, as she commonly calls Mr Young, to whom she is engaged, and will be married immediately after arriving in Sydney. She has not been well for a long time - She takes no exercise, and eats too heartily, two faults which people are very apt to run into on board ship, if not forewarned of the danger incurred, by those who have experienced the same on a former voyage, and therefore know what a sea-life is - I cannot help rejoicing that dear Fanny was never called upon to pursue the plan adopted by Miss Davies; as, in the latter, I see how miserable an alteration it is to be exposed on board
ship for four or five months without any body to care for her, or interest themselves on her behalf. Dear Fanny and myself pay her more attention than all the others put together; but I do not altogether approve of her manner in a particular way - but of that more anon - Soon after sunset a very fine waterspout was seen close to the ship’s bows; so near, that the man at the wheel (helm) was obliged to “luff-up” to avoid it. Had it come in contact with us, we should have had the benefit of several tons or water plump upon our decks at once, and perhaps should have sustained some little damage - The slightest impediment to its progress will cause a waterspout to disperse immediately - even firing a bullet through it! Dear Fanny is much better today - The pain in her face has left her. J’en suis bien aise.
10th. A beautiful day, with a fresh wind. The weather is becoming cooler and more pleasant every day, as we get further to the Southward. The Sun will be vertical on Thursday (the day after tomorrow) if we continue to go at our present rate - seven miles an hour. We are running after the sun as fast as we can, but as the winds become fresher every day we recede from the Equator, we do not feel the heat of a Sun nearly vertical so much as, a week ago, when the winds were lighter and the Sun more distant - This morning was passed by my worthy self, in reading “Les maximes de la Rochefoucauld” - a book lent me by Mr Crawford - I admire many of these maxims, but others of them are are very exceptionable. They are evidently the outpourings of a spirit disgusted with mankind, because it has been thwarted through life. They are characteristic of a Frenchman’s idea of :La morale”, but widely different from those of an Englishman - Miss Davies is much better today, and has been sitting in my cabin for a couple of hours this evening. The fever has left her, (being taken in hand immediately it appeared,) but her face is very much swollen from toothache. Mr Dunn is also better, but not so much improved as Miss Davies - from the great constitutional debility which makes him a bad subject for any serious illness. He is, however, considered out of immediate danger, and in a fair way to recover, if he will give himself a fair chance. May he be more prudent for the future.
11th. The invalids much better. Miss Davies in my cabin, and Mr Dunn in the Captain’s cabin. He is the Captain’s Nephew. I have been sitting with him this afternoon; and, from his conversation, I am in hopes that he is somewhat awakened, though not so much as we would desire for him. How much easier my mind has been since the recovery of these two, who were in the habit of daily intercourse with us. As danger recedes, I smile at my fears, but at the same time confess them natural. How thankful we ought all to be for this escape - Another mercy is thus added to the innumerable number already vouchsafed to me - Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life. The Lord is daily endeavouring to draw me nearer to himself by making me taste of His bounty. How little do I regard this Providence! How insensible is my heart to every instance of divine love! How dead to every feeling of gratitude! Oh, that it could be softened, and remodeled after that Holy Pattern set forth in the person of my Redeemer; who, though “very God”, yet for our sakes and our salvation “was made man” and was in all things “tempted like as we are, yet without sin”. Yes, “very God and very man” was He who became obedient unto death on the Cross, and rose again on the third day from the grave that all who have lively faith in His Atoning Blood and His Meriatorial power “should never die, but inherit everlasting life”. Oh, for that saving Faith, and heart enduring love which shall enable me and all whom I hold dear to see our Redeemer “as He is”, and transform us into the likeness of His glorious person, so soon as death shall have taken his own, and eases us from the tyranny of the Prince of this world! What are all the little pains and troubles of this mortal life, if all shall end in “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” in a life of eternity and endless bliss? How regardless of self should this make me in the advancement of another’s welfare, and yet how few there are that will make the smallest sacrifice to ensure it! I had an opportunity of doing good while poor Dunn was ill, but neglected it on remembering that I might injure myself or my wife by too close contact with one who was ill with a contagious
fever. Captain Bonham attempted to do it, but was discouraged buy the light manner in which the attendants on the sick bed treated it. I fear Dunn rises but little more of a Christian than he was before his illness, although he knows he was on the brink of the grave. How awful is his state! What would become of him should it please God to call on him to give an account of his stewardship! No justification for wilful blindness can save him, and he must inevitably go that place “their fire is never quenched, and their warm dieth not”. Here let me pause - I have written much about another, forgetting, that I also am a sinful mortal - her let me reflect on my own state; for in reality, there is but little difference between Arthur Manning and Richard Dunn - This I feel, and cannot blind myself to my own secret sins.
12th. The most remarkable occurrence of this day is our passing the Southern limit of the Tropic of Capricorn and having, the Sun vertical at nine oclock this morning. We are now, according to Captain Paddy’s demonstration, “t’other side of the Sun, sir!” and have made an excellent run since entering the Northern Tropic - A month is a good passage for the distance, and it has only taken us twenty eight days. Had we not been driven so much out of so course by contrary winds the other side of the Line for seven or eight days we should by this time have been much nearer to the Cape than we are - However we must not grumble for we know not how many difficulties and dangers we may have escaped by this very detention. At all events, we may rest assured that all has been for the best, being under the direction of a Merciful Creator who “doeth all things well”. Several porpoises have been playing about the ship today, but we are going too fast to strike any of them with the harpoon. News has been brought into the cuddy today that there is a regular combination amongst the Irish Emigrants, having various schemes and objects. The cook to the Emigrants, a great scoundrel, was turned out of office yesterday for inefficiency, and insolence, and another person was installed in his place - This man is not so much liked as Master Alic, as he is called, and they want their old Cook back again; - I suppose, it is because he was as great a thief
as any of the two hundred blackguards about his galley; and more of the Cuddy provisions found its way to the emigrants than will in future - Day after day we have been told that such and such a dish has been stolen from the cook, so we cannot have it at our table - We seem to have some most determined villains on board, amounting to about thirty, and I thoroughly expect a row with them. Mr Lunn is unable to keep them in order, having no power to punish them, and being afraid to do so had he the power. A design was laid yesterday for seizing our dinner of today, as it was being brought aft; and, no doubt, would have been put into execution had not the villains been frightened by a hint dropped amongst them by the Cuddy passengers. I, as usual, attacked the doctor, who was arguing to no purpose, and told them it was a duty he owed his country to punish anything of the kind in any way he best could, having every rascal put in irons and handed over to the authorities of the Cape - where they would be left, and the ship would proceed to Sydney without them. I further told the Doctor that if he would not do it we would; in which case he would get into difficulty; for the Law would consider him an accessory before and after the fact. if he did not endeavour to prevent any breach of the peace, and take proper means for bringing the offenders to justice, if they committed any violence. He seemed rather astonished at my plainness, (for I did not relish the idea of losing my dinner!) and said he should certainly drop a hint of our determination among the Emigrants, for the purpose of keeping them quiet by fear. I am a regular blister in his side! He is more afraid of me than of any one else on board! The idea of putting such a puny insignificant fellow on board to manage upward of two hundred men, many of whom are wild Irishmen; besides a great number of women, eight out of ten of whom are complete termagants! The doctor is afraid to say an angry word to any of them, lest they should look him in the face, and be saucy to him! This he actually said to
me this morning! - a pretty manager! and one, forsooth, who would have everybody to believe him to be the most efficient and active man in the vessel! But Ignorance is proverbially presumptive - and the adage is fully borne out in the present instance. Hardly a day passes without giving cause for new complaints against Mr Marshall. If he could hear all that is said about himself at our table, or even amongst the Emigrants, from morning to night, he would, indeed, hide his diminished head.
13th. A ship passed a long way to leeward of us this morning, but so far off that we could not make her out. - This was on the other “tack”, so, in all probability was homeward bound. Part of this morning was spent in selecting good maxims from Rochefoucauld’s book to be copied into my scrap-book - An hour before dinner I read to my darling wife from “Taylor’s Memoirs of John Howard, the Philanthropist”. A very interesting book which we purpose reading regularly, - a chapter every day. We have no invalids on board except Miss Waugh, who is afflicted with a highly nervous disease, and has been so from her birth. Poor girl I pity her. ‘Board ship is not the place for a nervous patient who requires such absolute rest and quiet, both of mind and body.
14th. Mr Lewis Whittaker, a young medical man, is laid up today by a bilious attack. He has been complaining for some time of nausea and tension about the head, but has taken no means to relieve himself. I have long expected that he would catch the prevailing fever. Nature could no longer bear up, and he is at last laid low. A strong emetic was administered this morning, by Mr Lunn, from which he has gained considerable relief - I fear another of our cabin passengers, Mr Reeve, is gradually sickening for some illness. Day after day he looks worse and worse, and seldom makes his appearance at the dinner table, never to breakfast. He is a young man of 19 or 20, and known to the Vidals, and has half of George Vidal’s cabin; where he spends the whole day, coming out in the evening like an owl, muffled up and quite silent. He
is a strange character. I can make neither head nor tale of him, and take little notice of him. We are particularly fortunate in having such beautiful weather with such a fine breeze; in latitudes where we expected a succession of calms and light winds. The heat of the Sun is very great, but the freshness of the breeze keeps the atmosphere tolerably cool and pleasant: - a fortunate thing for the poor invalids, as the cabins between the decks are insufferably close in warm weather. We are steering now directly for the Cape of Good Hope where we may expect to arrive on or before the last day of this month - This morning I read to Dear Fanny a chapter from Howard’s life, while she was lying down according to her daily custom for an hour and a half during the heat of the day. I fear she is not well. She occasionally alarms me, but I believe any great anxiety on her account is the begetter of my fears, as the medical me say there is nothing the matter with her beyond what might have been expected under existing circumstances. The complete change of living, want of exercise, and other things combined sufficiently account for her indisposition; yet I fancy I see more than this natural illness, and fully expect to see her laid up before long - However, I am daily told, I am determined to alarm myself about her, cause or no cause. Quite natural, too - seeing how inestimable a treasure she is to me - bless her. I trust the voyage will do her good, and that the climate of Sydney will agree with her. If this latter does not suit her it shall not take me very long to return to England, and gain my livelihood by my head or hands. But I leave all and trust all to the wide disposition of a merciful Providence. This afternoon Holly, the ship’s steward or Purser, while drawing out the provision for tomorrow from the “Hold” of the ship, met with a nasty accident. A cask slipped, and jammed his leg between it and another, and severely injured one of his feet. He was immediately brought aft and put under the doctor’s care. No bones were broken, fortunately, so he may soon be up again. He is a most important personage on board this ship, having charge
of everything under lock and key, so cannot well be spared. A little before sunset, a ship was visible on our lee bow, but did not come near us. We were rather surprised to see a vessel in this quarter, as we are now in what Jack would call “no man’s land” or rather “no man’s water”, being out of the ordinary track of vessels to or from any part of the globe; except such as, like ourselves, have been far to the Westwards by the prevalence of Easterly and Southerly winds. In these regions, we generally meet with Westerly winds. It was the Captain’s intention to have gone nearer to St Helena, had he been able. The wind, however, prevented it, and we were ultimately obliged to pass within sixty or seventy miles of Cape St Augustine in South America! Before going to bed, I generally go out hunting! Who would have suspected such sport on board ship, and far from the “New Forest!” Hardly a night elapses without any killing, plenty of game- It is not hare, nor fox, or stag! It is neither bird, beast or fowl! and yet it is a living creature! It is not an F [sharp] or a B [flat] (flea or bug) for we are fortunately quite free from such annoyances. What can it be? nothing, more or less than a - cockroach!! Cockroaches constitute any game and I have plenty of these in my domain, small as it is. Every ship that has ever been laden with sugar will always be over run with such vermin. The Earl Grey brought home sugar and rice from the East Indies last voyage and it is now swarming with cockroaches, which get into the boxes, boots, shoes or any hollow article they can find. Last night I killed twenty-four in my cabin, much to my wife’s amusement- for she sits up in her bed and laughs heartily at the eagerness with which I pursue the blackguards: and the wry faces and chatterings I make whenever I have succeeded in bringing down a monster with my slipper. We both have a foolish horror of a cockroach, and cannot bear to see one crawling about the cabin. They frequently come right over our heads at night, and fall plump on our noses while we are sleeping and then make a bolt under the clothes over our faces; and in the morning we commonly find one or two at the foot of the bed- completely smothered- “serves ‘em right”. When the ship arrives in Sydney, the Captain intends having the whole closed up and well cleaned, this will kill all those that are
alive, but will not injure the eggs so the vessel will be swarming again in a few months.
15th Sunday. Service on deck and a miserable sermon from Mr Simpson, on the coming festivity of Christmas and the intended celebration of the Sacrament on that day. His object was to invite and encourage all those who should be “devoutly and religiously disposed”, but he managed his subject so badly, and put things in so erroneous a light, by confusion, that instead of winning people to “draw near”, I feel that he has frightened away from the Table who would otherwise have approached and received the comfortable sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ to their edification. It is a great pity that persons so unfitted for the office, as Mr Simpson is, that be as [indecipherable] within its sacred bounds as teachers, when they themselves stand so much in need of being taught. How much mischief might then be avoided; and how great a reproach taken from the Church, if greater caution were used in the selection of her ministers. I do not, for a moment, doubt the sincerity of Mr Simpson’s professions. I believe him to be a well-meaning man, but he certainly is little fitted to be a teacher of Doctrine or Morality from the Pulpit. Neither by vocation or natural ability is he qualified for the station he now holds. He goes out with the idea that he is to be Bishop Broughton’s right hand man, but I give our Bishop credit for more discernment than would be exhibited in such a proceeding. I have doomed Mr Simpson to a Bush Life - Mr Lunn, the surgeon, is very unwell and has been supported today by Lewis Whittaker, who is nearly well again. Lunn is a delicate person and has lung complaints. In fact he told me some days ago, he only rose from his bed on shore, to which he had been confined six months, to take charge of our Emigrants, in the hope that the voyage would invigorate his constitution. He has neither strength, nerve, or nous for his situation; so instead of doing him good, his duties are much too heavy for him, and continually knock him up. From his looks I would say he was consumptive, and that his years on earth would not be many. I am afraid we are going to have a calm-the wind is gradually dying away, and the heat of the sun is terrible. Two or three dolphins have
been playing about the ship the greater part of the day. Lines were immediately lowered, and every fisherman made sure he was going to catch a Dolphin; but the fish have been too cunning and would only smell the bait, tempting as it was, and then swim away. This fish is seldom taken with a hook, and we have no harpoon or grains on board to strike them with, so we cannot have much sport in the way of fishing.
16th The first news I heard this morning, on appearing at the Breakfast table, was that Mr Armstrong, one of the better class Emigrants, and who pays for his passage out, had just been seized with an Epileptic fit, and had fallen off the “Long boat”, where he was sitting, severely cutting his head. The circumstances became the subject of conversation at breakfast time. I was quite sickened at hearing so much about a disease to which I am myself subject; and I cannot help thinking it was very inconsiderate in my companions to talk so much about it in any pretence for they must all know very well what was the nature of my illness a short time ago, and should have spared me the pain, at least, of answering questions about it which were directly put to me. I confess it is not only foolish, but wrong in me to allow this accident to depress my spirits; but it has reminded me so forcibly, of the great uncertainty of my life beyond that of many others, and of the grief and anxiety I have [indecipherable] to many dear and kind friends, that a feeling of melancholy has certainly taken hold of me today. And the reflections to which I have been naturally lead have made me more quiet than usual. Dear Fanny is uncomfortable and anxious about me, I know; and watches me narrowly whenever I move. There is no cause for her alarm for I do not feel ill , but a little upset in nerve. This morning I tried to divert my mind from its melancholy and thoughtfulness by reading a light and amusing book, and copying into my Scrap book, a few of Rochefoucauld’s “maximes”. Our poor surgeon is sadly altered ever since yesterday. His voice is about gone, and he has the deep hectic flush so indicative of consumption. His spirits seem very low. Louis Whittaker, who is also a medical man, told me this morning that Lunn was a “gone man”, the disease having taken a firm
hold of him. We do not expect he will live to see Sydney. If it be true, as I am told, that he is engaged to a young lady at Barnstable, where he has been practising, they are both to be much pitied, particularly if she is aware of Lunn’s complaint, the shock will be great to her. It being nearly a calm this afternoon, and the ship hardly moving through the water, one of the boats was lowered, and several of the passengers rowed about in her. She was so leaky, from exposure to the sun, and not being covered, that I would not trust myself in her, nor would Captain Bouham, much to the satisfaction of our respective wives. Poor Lunn sat in her, though contrary to general advice; but he thought the change and general hilarity might do him good, by cheering his spirits. It certainly has benefitted him in that respect, poor fellow- Dolphins have been swimming about the ship very cautiously today, the same as we saw yesterday, I suppose. All we could do would not induce them to tale a bit of nice boiled pork from numerous hooks dangling over the ships stern! When the boat was lowered, one of the sailors picked up two “jelly fish” commonly called “ Portuguese Man of war”. It is generally, supposed that they are the Nautilus after shedding its shell at a particular season of the year. They have several long fibres attached to the under part of the body, of a bluish colour, and some of them six feet long. Some people say they sting; but I doubt it, as I have often had them in my hands, and never felt anything injurious about them. I showed it about the decks this evening, holding one in each hand, I was glad of an opportunity of showing something new to my darling wife, who is always interested. One had numberless opportunities of becoming better acquainted with portions of the Creation when at sea. Scarcely a day passes without something new and interesting.
17th The first thing that caught my eye on ascending the Poop this morning was that the ship had turned the wrong way, and all our fair wind sails were hauled down. A glance at the compass served to show me that the wind was as foul as it could be, blowing exactly
from the direction in which we want to go. This is by no means a pleasant salutation, especially when accompanied with every prospect of its continuing stationary for two or three days, This has put a full stop to all our reckonings as to the time when we may expect to reach the Cape of Good Hope. We now all think we shall be fortunate if we arrive in three weeks from this time, as it is no uncommon thing for an Easterly wind to blow to a certain parallel after the cessation of the South East Trades. But it does continue in the same quarter many days, gradually drawing round to Westward as we get further to the Southward. It has been a very unpleasant day on deck, being very squally at intervals, and too great a “slant of wind” to have an awning overhead, although the heat of the sun has been oppressive. We have, therefore, been obliged to amuse ourselves in the Cuddy and our own cabins - I read to my dear little wife, while lying down, a chapter from the life of Howard. We become more and more interested in the book as we get deeper into it. How exemplary was the life of this benevolent man, who, like his Saviour, though in infinitely less degree,” went about doing good”. How busy in the welfare of mankind! Would that there were many Howards in the present day to visit and relieve the distressed and needy, and reclaim the insolent and wicked! But the general motto now is “Every man for himself, and God for us all:” - thus banishing Charity under a pitiable pretence that it is our duty to study our own comfort and advancement exclusively, for God will take care of the rest, - as though it were with the sanction of the Merciful Guardian of the poor as well as of the rich. The time will come, and, to some of us, ere long, when it will be discovered that the gift unto a poor man is a loan unto the Lord, who will repay with interest beyond measure - I fear some of our Cabin passengers are getting into a bad habit of an evening. A meeting takes place in Mr Payne’s Cabin under the name of a ” tea party”, at which all the young unmarried men are present. I suspect, and have ground for my suspicions, that this assembly is only an excuse for drinking and playing cards, which they know would not be allowed in the Public Cabin. Last night, after they had broken up
at ten oclock they came upon deck, very much excited, and making all sorts of noises over our heads; but while in Payne’s cabin, not a word was to be heard among them, and a towel is put up to the blinds to prevent any person from seeing them. All these circumstances make me suspect that they are all quietly engaged in gambling, talking “sotto voice” - being ashamed that any body to see or hear them. I am rather disappointed in Mr Payne, after the favourable impression made, at the commencement of the voyage, by his manner and conversation. Amongst other faults he is becoming too intimate with Mr Dunn, who is not in the least sobered by his recent illness, but seems to me, on the contrary, more than ever determined to indulge in every excess: How much he is to be pitied! I see a difference in Mr. Payne since his great intimacy with Mr. Dunn, and I regret it - In the afternoon I read a little story, called the “Young West Indian”. - Mr Lunn seems much better today, though very feeble - Lewis Whittaker is doing his duty for him, so as to enable Lunn to have perfect rest. I hear that Lunn has ruptured, more than once, a blood vessel on the lungs; and that any over-exertion may cause another rupture.
10th. The foul wind continues the same as yesterday, but has showed an inclination to begin his shift to the Westward, round by the Northward. I wish he would make up his mind to run round at once, and let us pursue or course to the Cape, or some place where we may get some fresh provisions; for we are sadly in want of them! We are now about six hundred miles from Tristan D’Acunha, and somewhat more than two thousand from the Cape - A fresh fair wind would easily carry us there in a fortnight. Mr George Surflen, the Captain’s son, and the ship’s third mate, is laid up today, from a fall he had yesterday, in the “Hold” - nothing very serious - Mr Young was also absent from dinner; and was reported, by Miss Davies, to be very unwell. He is subject to violent headaches and hysterics. No wonder, if he never takes more exercise than he has since leaving England. He does nothing but write in his Journal and read to Miss Davies from morning till night. He and
Miss Davies go on in a most extraordinary way; so much so as to cause injurious remarks from all parts of the ship. He is taking her out to be married to his brother, and, I suppose, already regards her as his sister. This could be all very well in private, between themselves; but I think, when in public, he has no business to behave towards her in a way that not even a married man would think of doing towards his own wife. They sit on deck with their arms round each other, in regular cuddling fashion, and occasionally walk up and down the deck in the same manner: keeping themselves quite aloof from all the others (to whom they appear to say “touch me not, for I am a finer person than thou”!.) and are wholly absorbed with each other alone. Even Miss Davies’s cabin is free at all times to Mr Young. Should this be reported in Sydney, it would do the young Duchess(!) great mischief in the public estimation. They are very silly; - he for doing it, and she for permitting it. Mr Payne’s “Tea Party” assembled again last night. I hope it will soon wear itself out.
20th. The wind is gradually going round to the Northward, and I hope we shall have it fair before tomorrow morning. We have had a most lovely day, but it beginning to get rather cool in the evenings. It is daylight now till nine oclock, and every body comes on deck to enjoy the cool evening breeze. Dear Fanny and myself have just witnessed the most splendid moon-rise I have ever seen. The moon should have risen at a little before eight, but thick clouds were gathered over the horizon so that they prevented the moon from being visible till she had risen some ten or twelve degrees. When first we saw her, one little spot was only visible through a break in the clouds. Gradually the edges above the thick mass, being lighter, were illuminated by the moon underneath, though still hidden bodily from our view. Suddenly these clouds dispersed, and the “Queen of the Night” appeared, as if by magic, in all the fullest brilliancy. It was full-moon, and, owing the clearness of the atmosphere, she appeared much larger to our eyes than she really was. Not a cloud was to be seen above her, and she rode majestically and rapidly into the spotless blue vault of Heaven, shedding a deep glare on our sails and decks, (which were thronged) and
being clearly reflected in the calm sea beneath. Altogether, it was the most splendid sight I have ever seen - it was truly magnificent, and my description has fallen far short of reality. Dear Fanny enjoyed it with me, and we talked about it in our little cabin, which required no lamp, as the moon was shining brightly through our side-port. During the voyage we have had many gorgeous sunsettings, particularly within the two Tropics, far surpassing anything that could be witnessed on shore, where trees and mountains intercept the view; or where, perhaps, the sun is totally obscured by smoke for fog! At sea there is nothing in the way but having always a clear horizon for rising and setting. The brilliancy is sometimes so great that the clouds will be tinged from West to East at sunset! What would our dear frozen friends in old England give for such a sight at this moment. How it would thaw their frozen blood! I can just picture certain parties to my mind’s eye, keeping the fire warm in the vain attempt to keep themselves so! While we are almost broiled by what we have gone through, and have scarcely had time to get cool again! Indeed we must not expect to do this till we get well to the Southward after leaving the Cape; and even this will only be to prepare ourselves for another warming when we arrive in Sydney! How singularly our seasons are changed! How beautifully is everything arranged in the creation!
At noon today we were, by reckoning, nineteen hundred and three miles from the Cape - I heard today that Mr Payne’s “Tea-party” was in fact nothing but an excuse for assembling to drink and play cards. I was told this by Mr Simpson, and he was informed by one of the party what was their occupation when they met. They assemble at six oclock and keep it up till eleven at night, playing sixpenny points at short whist, with no bets. So long as they confine themselves within these limits, at the end of the voyage there will not be much changing of money as no one of the party can be a great winner or loser. The danger lies in overstepping their prescribed bounds, and then proceeding, by degrees, to actual gambling. If they once begin there is no knowing where it will end. I have seen a good deal of money paid at the end of the voyage in liquidation of a card debt. I do
not like the principle of playing for money at all. It seems a monstrous piece of absurdity if people cannot amuse themselves without injuring each other. They sit down for the amusement, and if they must play at cards, why not play without stakes, as they invariably do when playing at chess or backgammon? I have long resolved never to stake a farthing at a card table, or in any way that might be injurious not only to myself, but to others who may depend upon me. This morning a Court was held in the Cuddy for the purpose of trying one of the male Emigrants, who was accused of stealing a shirt from a woman who had just finished making it for our Steward.
The examinations took two hours, but the issue was a verdict of “Guilty” against the thief, who is to be handed over to the legal authorities at the Cape, where the Dutch law prevails, and which will, in all probability sentence the fellow to a few lashes, and solitary confinement all the time the ship remains there. When Cape Town was Captured by the English, the same laws were allowed to stand valid as were in force when the Dutch had possession of the place.
This law is much more severe than the English, and does not make such nice distinctions between a free man and a bondsman. We have had many petty larcenies since at sea, but could never trace them, except in one other instance, where a woman was tried, and found guilty of stealing bread out of the oven.
The bread was the property of the Cabin passengers, who had no idea of letting the fair culprit! get fat upon their scanty allowance, and therefore sentenced her to three days solitary confinement on biscuits and water! There is a kind of prison built between decks, where we confine offenders. We have given it the name of “Coldbath Goal”, from its being in such a position that when any sea comes over the ship it must wet the “Sinner in quod”, and cool him by a lotion to his head!
21st. We have at last nearly got a fair wind, although there is not much of it; - yet that little, being fair, is infinitely better than a spanking breeze from the wrong quarter; which, the fresher it blew, would only drive us so much the more rapidly out of our proper course. I hope we are not going to have a calm today, as we are all most eager to get to the Cape,
and stretch our cramped limbs. Every time I open my pocket-book I am reminded that I am not alone; for I am stared in the face by a list, about a fathom long, of articles that must be purchased for Mrs Manning, immediately on arriving at the Cape! Oh, the bliss of matrimony! I have but a short purse, at present, but my wife must have every comfort that purse can gain her. - Poor Miss Waugh is very ill today, and the doctors entertain no hope of her recovery; she has been confined to her bed for some time past; indeed, she has hardly ever made her appearance upon deck since we left England.
I hear that several of her family have gone off in the same way she herself is likely to go! how sad must this thought be to her relatives on board. It is not Typhus fever, so we do not dread infection. How selfish is human nature! Ever thinking of number one, and regardless of another’s sufferings when taken up with its own peculiar interests! Miss Waugh has had her head shaved this morning, and a blister has been applied, as a dernier resort. This has been done once before, but with no essential benefit. The poor girl seems to be hardly conscious, and is continually muttering - and is evidently “in extremis”. Her brother, a lad of seventeen, seems to be but little better than his sister, owing to his unremitting attendance upon her - yet he still continues at her side, anxious to relieve her. The whole family seem very much distressed: which is not to be wondered at. There seems to be something additionally dreadful in losing a relative at sea, where she is cast into the deep, and no grave is left to mark the spot of her last resting place, to which the grieving friend to retire to meditate and to pray. May I be preserved from such a dreadful calamity as is likely to occur to Mr and Mrs. Waugh and their son!
While we were at dinner the cry of “Sail ho” was heard, and we discovered a vessel about six miles to leeward of us. She was a brig, “standing” the same way as ourselves; but was too far off to distinguish what Ensign she hoisted. She will probably be in sight tomorrow, as we seem to sail pretty equally, and we shall then be able to make her out.
I am sorry to say the Card party have taken up their quarters
at the Cuddy table this evening, very much to the annoyance of all others, and contrary to the Captain’s request at the commencement of the voyage. He means to desire that they will confine themselves to a private cabin if they wish to play cards. The party consists of Mr Payne, Mr George Vidal, Mr Dunn, and the two Whittakers. A fracas took place this evening between Mr Lunn and Mr Lewis Whittaker in consequence of Mr Lunn’s officiously taking upon himself to reprove the gentlemen for taking up their seats at the Cuddy table. Lewis Whittaker immediately said “I’ll tell you what, Mr Lunn; if you come jawing! here, I’ll take you by the neck, and turn you out of the Cabin” - not very gentlemanly language to say the least of it. - but Mr Lunn brought it upon himself. What will be the issue of this squabble, I cannot tell; but the two doctors, of course, do not speak to each other. This card-playing is a great nuisance to dear Fanny and myself, and, I should imagine, to all others in the Poop, as they keep it up so late, and make so much noise in the Cabin. It would not be so bad if their noises ceased with their playing; but, when they have done with the Cards, they go on deck, and make all kinds of disturbances by singing, dancing, laughing, etc. Last night it was worse than ever, and disturbed us very much. If it occurs again I shall make a point of complaining to the Captain, and shall request his interference as Commander of the ship to put a stop to the annoyance.
22nd. The little brig we saw yesterday is still in sight, and much nearer to us; she is now about three miles to leeward of us. We signalized her, and she immediately hoisted the Dutch Ensign. From her been a Mynheer we conclude she is going to the Cape of Good Hope. She is a remarkably neat craft, and sails well, but we drew ahead of her. Service was performed this morning as usual on the Poop by Mr Simpson. I am obliged again to notice his sermon, which was exceedingly bad and unintelligible. We are all heartily tired of his prosy and tedious productions. I wish he would copy a good sermon out of some book, and read it to us instead of his own: it would do infinitely more good to his congregation. Independently of their being bad, they are also lengthy, and thus
they become less bearable. When service was concluded, we discovered that poor Miss Waugh was dead! She had breathed her last during the performance of service. The young sufferer is now released from her afflictions; and her imprisoned spirit has taken its flight to regions of bliss, where it already joins in the songs of everlasting adoration and praise at the Redeemer’s feet. Death has been to her “a gain”, but to her aged parents and attached brother it must be a loss indeed. From all accounts, she seems to have been well prepared for her awful change; having long kept her “house in order”, in the full expectation of a speedy dissolution. The event has naturally cast a gloom over the whole ship. Her disease was not a contagious one, although she was, at the last, attacked and carried off by Fever; It was not Typhus. There are at present seven persons very ill, all of Fever; but, we are told, there is no immediate cause of apprehension. How true is it, “in the midst of life we are in death”! There have been three deaths on board since the ship left England; besides which, several have been sick, though “not unto death”. This would be but a small proportion to the same number on shore; but in so confined a community as our’s, where every face and name is familiar to us, we are daily reminded of the loss we have sustained, and are assured that the hand of Death cannot be arrested, or his fatal stroke avoided by mortal man, any better at sea than on dry land. It is equally necessary to be prepared for a watery grave as for an earthen one. At the Last Great Day, the Sea will yield up her dead, as well as the Earth; and the righteous and wicked from both shall meet with their just recompense. May we all be enabled to improve this event to our own edification, and the advancement of our souls’ knowledge in wisdom and piety. At six oclock this afternoon Miss Waugh was put into her coffin, which the Captain has caused to be made, as the old parents seemed to wish it. It is not usual to use anything more than a blanket and a canvass shroud at burials at sea. While at tea we were startled by a report that Miss Waugh was quite warm, and therefore could not be dead! She was immediately taken out of the coffin and the doctors were sent for. They soon discovered that there was not the slightest life in the
body; so she was then nailed down, and is now lying in the ship’s “Cutter”, covered with the “Union Jack”, ready for interment at ten oclock tomorrow morning. Doctor Ross is to read a prayer over the body and commit it to the deep, according to the Presbyterian form of sepulture. After luncheon I read one of “Blunt’s Lectures” to my darling wife, who was taking her usual rest in the middle of the day. Our text was taken from John 2: 13, 14,15, where our Saviour turned the buyers and sellers out of the Temple. We were particularly struck with one incident which exemplified His discretion and kind thought for the individual concerned. For, while our Saviour drove out the oxen, which would easily be followed and regained, - and poured out the money which could as easily be gathered up again; He did not, in a similar manner, set at liberty the doves; for these, once upon the wing, would probably, never again have been secured by their rightful owners; who would thus have sustained a severe loss, - perhaps, would have lost their all. Instead, therefore, of opening the cages and putting the doves to flight; our Lord gently, though authoritatively, spoke to “those that sold doves” saying “Take these things hence”. This is the only spirit in which any really serviceable reformation of our Temple can be conducted. There must be a steady, ardent, uncompromising “zeal for God”, which will admit of no trifling, no compromise, with regard to the real corruptions of God’s House, if any such there be; but, at the same time, this zeal must be attended by a holy prudence, a moral courage, which will sacrifice nothing to the restless desire of change, or the weakness of timid friends, or the clamour of time-serving adversaries; but, having removed those things which are really objectionable, and repaired what time and inadvertency may have injured, will take its stand upon the great and substantial excellencies of our spiritual edifice and resist, even unto the death, all destructive interference with them.
This morning I made a formal complaint to the Captain of the conduct of the Whist party last night. After keeping us awake by their noisy mirth in the Cuddy, at eleven oclock they broke up, and went on deck; where they soon began racing after each other up and down the deck immediately over our heads, shaking the ship from stem to stern. Dear Fanny had just dropped asleep, after two tedious hours, but awoke in
great alarm at the thundering overhead. I repeatedly tapped on the deck - the usual signal, at sea, for silence - but to no purpose. Being little disposed to have a repetition of this annoyance every night, I resolved to have it stopped by the strong arm. Captain Surflen has promised to talk to them about it, and is determined to have no more gambling or rioting in the ship of which he is Commander. When a vessel is at sea, more than nine leagues distant from any English land, where the English law prevails and is available, the Captain of such vessel is, by Act of Parliament, a Magistrate, and empowered to act as such so long as he is beyond the reach of the proper authorities on land. Ten or twelve whales were playing about the ship tonight, just behind our windows, spouting and jumping; pretty little dears! I was delighted to show “little wifey” something she had never seen before. I am able to do this almost every day.
23rd. The little Dutch Brig is still in sight, and not more than a mile and a half from us, on our side. She gained on us in these light winds; but we shall leave her a long way astern as soon as we get a good breeze. The wind is now quite fair; we only want a little more! “Man never is, but always to be blessed”! Two whales have been playing about the ship this morning. I wonder we do not fall in with any Whaling vessels, as this seems to be a good ground for them.
At ten oclock this morning, all the Cabin Passengers, who were dressed in black, and many of the Emigrants, mustered on the Poop to attend the funeral of Miss Waugh. Doctor Ross read a portion of Scripture emphatically; and delivered an appropriate and excellent prayer on launching the coffin from under the “Union Jack”. Mr. Waugh and his son were present; but not Mrs. Waugh, who was in Mrs. Ross’s cabin. The father and son were very much affected. Captain Bonham’s cabin is next to the Waughs’, and he says it is most heartbreaking to hear the sobs and lamentations of the afflicted family, who are continually calling on the name of their deceased relative. Who can help feeling most deeply for them? That heart must be hard indeed that would deny the fervent prayer for comfort and consolation to the mourners. When the coffin was launched overboard it did not sink,
as it was expected to do, but floated on the water, quite upright! This was owing to not putting sufficient weight inside the coffin before nailing it down. Had not the Carpenter purposely made several holes in the wood it would have taken days in sinking. Fortunately, the Waughs did not perceive the blunder, and in a few minutes the coffin disappeared, having filled with water. Mr Fairbank, our second Mate, is laid up with Fever, but not absolute Typhus. We have eight or nine invalids on the list at present. Through Typhus has not again appeared, we are afraid they will not permit us to land at the Cape, as they are particularly careful at that port. Several “Bonetoes” have been swimming close to the ship today. This fish is about twenty inches in length, and weight about thirty five pounds. It is sometimes eaten, but I cannot say I like it. Mr. Payne has severely injured his right hand by the cut of a harpoon while endeavouring to strike a fish. He has severed a large tendon, and seems to suffer a great deal of pain. I expect daily to hear of some serious accident occurring to some of the children on board, as loaded guns and pistols are constantly lying about the poop and Quarter deck. I have even seen them at full-cock! It was only this afternoon I snatched one of these dangerous weapons out of little William Simpson’s hand, who was using it as a rod to beat his sister! A moments delay on my part might have proved fatal to the child, for she might have been shot dead! This carelessness in the owners of the guns is highly culpable, and ought to be noticed. These guns are brought on deck merely for the sake of shooting Albatrosses - which is in itself a most inhuman sport, and productive of no good - Nine times out of ten the poor bird is only wounded in the wing or leg, and is then left to linger on the water where he has fallen, and to suffer torments for days. I could not help speaking my mind a few days ago. I like not such barbarous cruelty towards any of God’s creatures, sensible of pain. It would be different if the bird were shot for the sake of preserving the skin; and a boat lowered to pick it up and put it immediately out of its misery. The young men are only desirous of surpassing each other at good “shots”, utterly regardless of the suffering they enact on the poor bird. The principal actors in this affair, are Mr. Young, Mr. Ross, George Surflen, and Lewis Whittaker; and many of the Emigrants are beginning to follow the example of those who are on the Poop.
This morning the Captain spoke to the Whist-players, and desired that they would not use the Cuddy again for the purpose of gambling. He did it quietly but firmly, so not a word could be said by the party in opposition to his dictum. I trust we shall no longer have this annoyance every evening. Mr.Payne’s accident must have prevented their meeting this evening, had it been their intention previous to this unfortunate conclusion to a day’s idle amusement.
24th. Our friend, the Dutch Brig, has at last disappeared. We have left him a long way astern to catch us if he can! The whole of this morning was taken up in unpacking some of my boxes. All the luggage has been brought up on deck today, to enable the emigrants to take out more clean linen, and put away all they had used. It was most amusing to see the Cockroaches scrambling about the decks as each box was brought up out of the “Hold” of the ship. Some of the packages were full of them. I am sure I killed upwards of three hundred in my book-box. The villains had been feasting on the leather and binding for more than a month, but I have now effectively spoilt their fun! Before going to bed, I read a chapter in Howard’s Life to dear Fanny; and then she read to me a chapter from the Bible; a practice which we have steadily adhered to since we have been man and wife, and could always command an hour of privacy, before going to rest. We are apt to give too little time to the study of this all important volume. A whole life devoted to it would not unveil every mystery contained in it.
25th. This is Christmas Day: the day of days! By the Blessing of God we are permitted to witness a return of this holy day: a day which, in truth, “the Lord hath made.” This is the twenty first anniversary of our Redeemer’s birth which I have seen: how many more I may be permitted to witness, God only knows. This may be my last, and I may, ere this time twelvemonth, be summoned to give an account of what profit I have gained from the twenty one I have lived to be. On this day the Redeemer of the world took upon Him our sinful nature, and appeared a “God in Man”. The first enquiry that suggests itself to me is, have I been benefited by it? Oh, that I could say I have indeed received all the good that my Saviour came into the world to confer upon me!
But by my obstinacy, insolence, and wilful blindness, I have, I fear, only entailed greater condemnation upon my own head. But that God who “so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”, that God will have mercy upon me, miserable offender that I am, If I come to Him with a truly penitent heart and a lively faith, suing for pardon of the past and grace to serve Him more acceptably for the time to come. But I fear I am compelled, like Job in olden time, to say “Oh, that I knew where I might find Him.” for I know little of the holy influence of religion in the heart; and am still more ignorant in everything that concerned my spiritual welfare. What a consolation it is to me when I remember that Christ came on purpose to save sinners, to call them to repentance and not the righteous! His blood was shed that we might be thoroughly cleansed from all our sins; - in remembrance of which He did institute and appoint the Holy Sacraments: - of this Sacrament I have this morning partaken, - oh that it may be to the preservation of my body and soul unto everlasting life! I fear I came unprepared to the Lord’s Table, not having specially sought His assistance for the occasion. The preparation of the heart is from God; but I neglected to seek it. At every turn I find some new sin riding in judgement against me before my conscience. Oh, how sinful I am! Truly “in this tabernacle we groan, being burthened” by temptation and sin, weary and heavy-laden by many corruptions; - and so shall we continue until that day wherein “the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings”. But it will only be to “them that fear His Name”. Oh that this unspeakably precious promise could be wholly realized to my own soul! Lord, increase my faith; give me strength to overcome the passions and affections that war against my eternal peace and happiness; receive me into the number of Thine adopted children; in a word, Lord grant me Thy salvation.
Mr Francis Vidal, as usual, assisted Mr Simpson at the Communion today. There were about thirty communicants, passengers and emigrants. The service was performed in the Cuddy, as none of the other cabins were large enough to accommodate the number that had signified, to Mr Simpson, their intention of appearing at the Lord’s table. Immediately on appearing upon deck this morning before breakfast I heard that one of the sailors had been very mutinous
and most impudent to the Captain. This was unpleasant news to hear on a day set apart for holy peace and quiet meditation; it was but a poor commencement to the Christian’s New year. The sailor’s name was Mills. He is an Englishman, though, from his looks, we all took him to be a Swede, six feet two, strong and active. In consequence of Mr Fairbank’s illness, the Captain himself had taken his turn to keep watch last night, his son, the third mate, being too young and inexperienced, besides being an invalid. In the course of duty, the Captain had occasion to find fault with Mills for negligence, when the fellow began in a most shocking manner to abuse his Commander; finishing by saying “I have been a pirate, and caused the death of many a man. My life is forfeited to the laws of my country, and I do not value it a pin. I am ready to swing to the yard-arm as any man, but dam’mee, I’ll have life for life.” The Captain would have been justified in shooting the monster dead on the spot; but he sent him forward, intending to have him punished for all his crimes at the Cape. When Mills was once more among his companions he became almost wild, and took out of his sea-chest a long sharp knife which he flourished about, saying “There, that is as good nine inches of steel as ever man saw; and I would no more care about sticking it into a fellow than I would to run it into a pig!” He also swore that some of us in the Cuddy (to whom he has taken a strong dislike) who had eaten our Christmas dinner last year, should not taste it this year! He was backed by one or two worthless villains like himself, and we expected to hear a rush towards the Cabins to put the threats into execution. This man has been in one or two scrapes before this; and on one occasion, when quietly spoken to apart by the Captain, he declared himself to be a man without any religion. One day he said, in the hearing of some of the passengers “I never say ‘God damm you”, but only ‘Dammyou’, because I don’t believe there is any God!” and I have observed that the fellow abides by what he says. Had it not occurred almost before my eyes, I should never have thought it possible for a man to be so fearfully depraved as Mills most undoubtedly is (he has the very look of a fiend) and yet be permitted by a sin-abhoring God to live for a day. But it is past man’s power to find
out the wisdom of God who, perhaps, is reserving Mills for some public and [indecipherable] punishment, and thereby act as an example to the world, and deter others from following in his steps: Or, and oh, that it might be His good pleasure, it may be the Almighty’s gracious intention, by many and repeated acts of mercy and forgiveness, to turn the heart of this sinful man, and work a repentance in him that bringeth not to shame. Be the result what it may, we, who are in close contact with the man, may learn a lesson from what we have witnessed, knowing how hideous is sin, and to what extremes we may be brought by a denial of our God and a neglect of His commands and institutions. Sin does not decrease when no check is placed upon it, but goes on from bad to worse till, like Mills, we have forfeited our lives to the offended laws of our country, and have, through God’s wrath, cast our own souls and bodies into the everlasting fire of Hell. May the God of all mercy preserve us from such an end; and by the influence of His Holy Spirit upon our hearts enable us to have “a conscience void of offence before God”.
Owing to various threats that Mills had held out, and seeing him backed by two or three determined villains, who were ready to commit any deed, the Captain thought it provident to carry a brace of loaded pistols pistols in his pocket while he was keeping watch on deck alone; and all the passengers who have arms, have put them in readiness for immediate use. I fear we have a sad set on board. Were the seamen alone bad, we could easily manage them by punishment, and keeping them in terror. But many of the Emigrants are just as bad and side with the sailors. I only hope we may reach Sydney without being obliged to have recourse to violent measures with these graceless scoundrels. Were matters to come to issue, it would not require much consideration before making “a button-hole” in the fellows, by shooting them one after the other as they dared press a certain limit marked out to them. I should deeply regret the necessity, but would not shrink from performing any duty to my country. My conscience, under such circumstances, would acquit me of all guilt in the death of a fellow creature; but I would rather not stain my hands. I shall indeed be glad when we have got rid of Mills and another man, who are the worst in the ship. We may then go on
tolerably quietly for the remainder of the voyage, as the rest of the bad ones are not daring enough to act without a spirited leader, and could easily be kept in subjection. The Captain is well supported by his Officers and the Passengers, and we can muster a goodly array of arms and ammunition in addition to what is in the Ship’s Arm-chest. While we were at dinner today we passed close to a dead whale floating on the top of the water, which was litterally covered with birds, who were enjoying an oily repast upon the small carcase!
I forgot to mention in my Journal for yesterday, that in the morning at daylight we passed something floating on the water - white, and about six feet long. In all probability it was a corpse, sewn up in a blanket, without sufficient weight to sink it. We think there must be a ship not very far ahead of us, from which this corpse must have been thrown. This evening I had a long discussion with Mr Simpson on the Apocalypse of John. It certainly was very presumptuous in so young and ignorant a person as myself to venture on such a mysterious subject. I might have done more harm than good by my raw opinions, and am sorry that I attempted to give any. But the conversation was begun by Mr Simpson. Before going to bed, dear Fanny and myself read a sermon from “Blunt’s Lectures”, and then a couple of chapters from the “Wedding Gift”, an excellent little book, showing the particular and joint duties of husband and wife. We closed the day with a chapter from the Bible.
26th. In the morning several whales were playing about the ship, and blowing beautifully. There seem to be a great many whales in this quarter at this season of the year. The Americans have a fishing establishment at Tristan d’Acunha, and we are all surprized that we have not seem more vessels hereabouts. We have now come into a more frequented part of the globe than we were a fortnight ago, and are just in the track of all outward bound vessels round the Cape of Good Hope. At noon today, we were nearly in the longitude of Portsmouth, but many, many miles to the Southward of it. We are running due East, to make Table Bay. The wind is quite fair and very fresh. Six days of this work will bring us to an anchor at the Cape. About
eight o’clock this evening, a bright light was discovered on our larboard bow, appearing like a fine star rising. After watching it for quarter of an hour we found that it did not get higher in the heavens, but became larger and larger, and evidently nearer. We knew it could not be a star. We were fairly puzzled, till at last some one called out “A ship on fire”, and all immediately assented. The Captain called for my Telescope, which is fitted with glasses for night use; and I ran up the rigging, and lay out on the Main-yard to get a better view. The light every now and then disappeared, and after a lapse of a minute would suddenly burst out into a bright glare, but without any visible flames. For some time we were completely at a loss to account for the extraordinary appearance. Had it been a ship on fire, the light would have spread, and sparks of fire would have been seen flying about: but we did not observe anything of the kind. We at last concluded that it must be a Whaler “trying off”; or, boiling down the blubber of a whale taken during the day. These vessels have immense cauldrons on the decks with large fires underneath, and it must have been the reflection of the fires on the white sails that we saw. The vessel was not more than four or five miles distant when we first observed the light, but we soon passed her, and lost sight of the fire. This confirmed us in our opinion that it was a whaler, for these vessels do not care about going fast, as their only object is to stay cruizing over one particular quarter where they have seen whales; and this will account for our passing this vessel so quickly. It was a time of intense excitement to us all so long as we thought it was a ship on fire, for every one must shudder at the thought of “a fire at sea”. The Captain was preparing to run the ship down to the light to render assistance; but he afterwards laughed at his fears, although they were very natural, and the same as those entertained for a time by every body on board.
27th. A large whale was playing about the ship this morning from daylight till breakfast time, when, not liking the smell of our muddy coffee and greasy tea, with the rancid butter and sour bread, he thought it advisable to retire from our neighbourhood, but we should be offended at the way in which he turned up his snout at the odoriferous exhalations through the Cuddy skylight!
Hardly a day passes now without our having seen several whales - besides black fish and Porpoises - During the night there was so much motion the ship that neither dear Fanny nor myself could sleep. All vessels, when sailing right before the wind, roll very much; but we now have, in addition, a very heavy swell which knocks us about most unmercifully. However, the “Earl Grey” is the steadiest and most comfortable vessels I ever was in. Her decks are always dry, though we have passed through some nasty seas. In weather such as we have at present, nine ships out of ten would we wet from stem to stern, taking in every spray, and having water knew-deep in the lee scuppers, or water-courses. Our vessel is so light, from having very little cargo (only baggage belonging to passengers and emigrants) that we ride like a duck on the top of every wave, and ride along most smoothly. She is now running before the wind at the rate of ten knots an hour, and a heavy sea is following her, yet I am able to write my Journal in my stern cabin, where the motion is always mostly felt, from being at the greatest distance from the centre.
My dear little wife is asleep on the sofa, not being quite well. I have been reading to her for a short time out of Howard’s Life; but a cold, which makes my throat very husky, soon obliged me to leave off reading. The weather is daily becoming colder, as may be seen by my Thermometer column at the beginning of the book. It now stands rather below 60, but one day, was as high as 89 in the Cuddy. We feel the change more severely from having so lately been in the Torrid Zones, and experienced the heat of a Tropical and Vertical Sun. But we do not complain as we have most lovely weather. When the wind, in these latitudes, comes from the South-West it is invariably dry bracing weather, such as at present; but directly it gets to the Northward of West rain and squalls make their appearance, though it will not be quite as cold. We are now very near the meridian of Greenwich, and our time will correspond with the Observatory time when we pass the first meridian. Hitherto, we have always been behind Greenwich and Exeter time because we have only been to the Westward of both. But now our position is about to be reversed, as we are already to the Eastward of Exeter, and shall soon be the other side of Greenwich - and then our time will be in ad
vance of both places. For instance: - yesterday at noon, we were four minutes and forty-four seconds behind Exeter time because we were one degree and eleven miles more to the dwestward than Exeter, which lies in 3deg.34’.00” west longitude, and the ship being in 4deg;45’.00”. But today at noon, we were eleven minutes and forty seconds earlier than Exeter time, because (having passed the meridian of Exeter during the night, and continuing our Easterly course) we were two degrees and fifty-five miles to the Eastward of it. Of course our time with Greenwich will also alter when we have passed the first meridian, which we expect to do about five oclock this afternoon: and then, for the remainder we shall always be earlier than the English time. Between Sydney and Greenwich there is a difference of ten hours and about fourteen minutes.
28th. Squally with occasional and heavy rain. We were in similar
predicament last night as we were the previous night - so much disturbed
by the motion of the ship and constant noise of the sailors in pulling
the ropes, that we could get no sleep. After tossing about and growling
for seven or eight hours we abandoned our couch, and put the mattresses
on the cabin floor. In this way we slept tolerably well for a couple of
hours, though it was not a refreshing sleep. I then had to “turn
out” for breakfast: previously making dear Lilley a cup of tea
while she was sleeping - She would not drink it, not knowing it was her
husband’s brewing (by means of our Spirit-lamp) but fancying I had
obtained it from the Steward, whose tea is so bad and filthy that we
cannot touch it. The dear little thing was so sorry when I told her that
I had washed in salt water in order that I might give her a cup of warm
“tay-tay” out of our small allowance, in the hope she would
like it after her restless night: - the darling !!
I fear we are going to lose our beautiful fair wind which has carried us on so nobly during the last three days. It is gradually becoming less fair by drawing ahead. We were only 732 miles from the Cape at noon today. If the wind should still favour us, and we continue to go on as well as lately, we may hope to be at anchor next Wednesday.
It is bitterly cold today, although the thermometer would not any such intensity of cold as our broiled surfaces experience. I wish I was a thermometer! We shall not mind it so much when between the Cape and Sydney as
we shall then be more accustomed to it. When at the Cape we are likely to have it warm to our heart’s content! Captain Bonham and myself have nasty colds, much to the discomfiture of our respective “cara sposas“. Mine is unfortunately accompanied with a sore throat, which in these latitudes are often very troublesome, and frequently lead to further mischief. I must be careful of myself, for, as my wife tells me, “good people are scarce”, and what she says must be true!
29th. This is Sunday. It is still very cold, and we have had constant drizzling rain. The wind has changed its mind, and become fair again. Instead of going round by the Southward it has shifted to the North-West, and this, as I said before, always brings rain and squalls with it. The deck has been quite deserted all day in consequence. The service was read in the Cuddy, and I acted as Clerk as Armstrong, who has always acted since Saxby’s accident (Dec. 2nd.) was not well. I soon repented having taken this duty upon myself as it did my sore throat no good. My cold is decidedly better today, thanks to the dearest of nurses, who sent me to bed very early last night, supperless, (but kindly omitted the castigation applied by the old woman of “Nursery Rhyme” notoriety when she had lost her slipper!). I was deluged with piping hot Eau Sucré, and told to consider myself very fortunate in escaping so easily, as Mother M. had thought of giving me a does of Jalap!! Hei mihi, maritus! uxore domin-o (vel “a”??)! Prudence (to whom I never was wedded, soshe can’t be my wife) keeps me a prisoner today; but I long to go paddling on deck, and breathe a little fresh air. I have half determined to treat resolution bye and bye if it should become fine and the decks are quite dry. At noon today we were only five hundred and eighty miles from the Cape of Good Hope. When service was over I made by darling wife some warm lemonade, and some [indecipherable] for my dear self, after which, I read aloud one of Blunt’s lectures. Our subject was, the Interview between our Saviour and the woman of Samaria, at Jacob’s well. It was admirably handled, and the application of it to the reader was excellent. I admire these sermons very much, and only regret that I have not more of Blunt’s works. Miss Kate Preston gave this volume (two in one) to dear Fanny, when at Exmouth: therefore we owe thanks to her for many a delightful hour of profitable reading. The doctor reports that all the
invalids are getting better; and says further, that there are only two women very ill, but even they are fast improving. I dread the idea of any more sickness on board this ship, where we have so inefficient a medical man to attend to the patients. We dislike Mr Lunn more and more every day . Master Mills and his worthy abettors have been very quiet since the night of Christmas Eve. I hope they will continue so: it will be for their interest. It has been hinted to them that all the passengers are determined to support the captain with all their force if any violence is attempted - and that the first man who goes beyond his limit will be shot. The villains seem to be rather staggered at finding so strong and well-armed a party against them, and think it prudent to draw in their horns.
9 PM. It has turned out a very fine day since dinner, the rain having disappeared, and the wind become much steadier. Poor Miss Davies, I am told, has made herself ill again by eating too heartily of the preserved veal-and-green-peas which was on the dinner table today!! These things are preserved in tin cans, and when brought to table, make an excellent dish. The abovementioned young lady (or “heifer”, as the Tars call her!) is a terrible eater! So is “dear Richmond” (Mr Young)!
When I was on deck this afternoon (for, according to determination, I treated resolution) Mr Payne told me of a conversation he had just had with some of the sailors in the Forecastle about the Captain, Officers, and others. They said they had “never sailed with a more fatherly man than Captain Surflen: it was impossible to be otherwise than comfortable under him. Mr Dale, the chief mate, is a first rate sailor, and thoroughly understands his business; but we do not like him, because he is too much of a fighting man. Mr Fairbank, the Second mate, is a general favourite, although not so good a seaman as Mr Dale. He has a good heart. Everybody in the ship dislikes Mr Simpson, because he tells tales, is too busy and grand, and does not pay any attention to the sick. Mr Lunn is just as bad. We cant bear him, Sir; in fact, he is neither doctor no gentleman!” I perfectly agree with the sailor who thus quaintly addressed Mr Payne. We all have perfect confidence in the Captain and his Officers: but as for Mr Lunn, I would as soon think of having a Billy-goat attend me in a sickness!! Should it please God to lay my wife or myself upon a sick bed, I shall certainly wave all ceremony and request the attendance of
Lewis Whittaker. In a matter of life and death we must pursue the best means, without any other object than the recovery of the patient. Persons should not be thought of at such times. I would not run the risk of losing my wife through unskilful management by having Mr Lunn to attend her, merely to save him the unpleasantness and shame of seeing how low he stands in our estimation, at least as a medical man. Mr Marshall has behaved most shamefully in putting such an ignorant, puny, self-willed, fellow as Lunn in charge of so many lives. Every day creates fresh cause of complaint against one “Emigration Agent”. All our provisions are nearly gone, and the voyage is only half over - we have scarcely enough to carry us to the Cape. Strict injunctions were given to Captain Surflen that he should touch nowhere during the voyage: so, no doubt, Mr Marshall intended that the passengers should live upon water and such gulls or fish as they might chance to catch! The whole affair is a most rascally imposition - not only as regards the Cuddy Passengers and Intermediates, but also the poor Emigrants, many of whom are daily complaining that they were completely deceived by Mr Marshall’s representatives, and wish they had never left their homes; from which they were enticed by the shamefaced agents of the Charterer.
For some time past we have been eating some cheese belonging to the Captain (and which he is taking to Sydney for private sale) because the cheese put on board by Mr Marshall was all gone long ago. The ship’s cargo was broached, a month ago, to get some more Porter, because our original supply was only sufficient for a fortnight’s use, and yet it was intended to last for four months! The blackguard knew we should not come back to England after having been at sea a fortnight, so did not care how short he provisioned us: but he little thought his passengers would insist upon going into some port for a fresh supply of everything wanted! The potatoes and rice are all gone. There is not a week’s allowance of claret on board, although we only use five bottles daily, amongst twenty-five people! We have no currants to make puddings - no spice - no fine salt - only one sheep, two geese, four pigs, and a dozen fowls, to be divided amongst more than forty people, besides what may be wanted for Hospital use!! There are many other articles frequently called for, but not to be had. Nobody could accuse us of being
extravagant in the use of our stores, and yet one thing after another is failing everyday! shame, shame! did the blackguard mean to starve us, and pocket the money intrusted to him by many of his dupes? I do not now wonder at Frederick Manning’s caution to me, not to take my passage in one of Mr Marshall’s ships. He has caught me, however; and it can’t be helped now; but he will never get a helping hand from me, the smooth-mouthed imposter!
30th. The wind still continues fair and fresh, sending us along very nicely. The whole of this day we have had thick drizzling rain, which has confined every body to their private Cabins. The Cuddy is very little used as a sitting apartment, except by those who have no business to be there at all - such as Intermediate children, nurses, servants, etc. Poor, hungry Miss Davies has not yet recovered from the effects of her veal and green pea feast! still in bed, very sick! “dear Richmond” attending her most sedulously! At noon today we were four hundred miles from the Cape, and expect to be there on Thursday next, if we continue to have our present breeze - I am delighted to hear that our matter-of-fact commander has made up his mind to astonish Mr Marshall by procuring at the Cape and at any price “a good supply of all articles required for the use of the ship or passengers”. There will be no stinting after we leave the Cape, and Mr Marshall’s agent at Sydney will have to refund to the Captain all that has been laid out on his account. How savage our Birchin-Lane friend will be when he finds that his starvation scheme would not act among the gentry on board the “Earl Grey”! On turning to his Account Books he will find that this voyage will not have been quite so profitable as he had intended that it should have been - His bills from the Cape will not be very small!
1st. January. This is New Year’s day: - may it be a happy one to all whom we especially love. It would be foolish and useless to wish it may be a happy new year to all the world, as I know that to be impossible, for, according to God’s wise providence, some must always be in affliction and distress; whether it be in body or in mind that they suffer. At all events, I may wish even those who are unhappy, “May they gain this day that peace which the world can neither give nor take away, and
may their pains or sorrows be rendered more tolerable by the presence of their God in their hearts.” then these will indeed by happy, in the truest sense of the word. I would extend my prayers and good wishes still further, and to the sinful would say, “may they this day be awakened to a sense of their own depravity; receive pardon for their sins; experience the blessed influence of God’s Holy Spirit working in their hearts a renewing change, enabling them henceforward to lead a new life, trusting solely and confidently upon the merits and intercession of their insulted Saviour, whose atoning Blood has been so plentifully shed for their sins.” Should this take place, then even the sinful amongst us will indeed have good reason to bless the first day of this new year, and consider themselves happy as well as the afflicted. As regards myself I have abundant cause of gratitude. The goodness of my Heavenly Father permits me again to behold the commencement of a new year. Yet longer on this earth shall I enjoy His mercy, and possess the opportunity of preparing myself with increased care and fidelity for His celestial Kingdom. I should indeed have been unfortunate, if with yesterday, the period of my trial and probation for eternity had finished. But, to my soul’s salvation does the Lord of my days prolong my life a few hours. I have still time to reflect on the days which yesterday fled for ever - No one of them returns; but the sorrowful recollection of them will sooner or later arrive, will present to me any errors in lively colours, and occasion me unspeakable anguish. How many hours and days of this precious season of trial have I dissipated and lost either in idleness or culpable enjoyment! with what bitter remorse shall I hereafter, when my final hour is come, think of this squander’d time; and how anxiously shall I desire to have it back! But, in order to avoid this last grievous torment, I will now devote the first morning of the early year to the introspection of my past life; I will profit by the present hours in order to make a prudent use of the future term of my pilgrimage. Yet how can I speak of future days while the passing moments are so uncertain, and I dare scarcely call this immediate my own property! This minute is short, but yet long enough to display to me any negligence, any insensibility, and any unthankfulness. If I do not prize the minutes of my existence, neither shall I regard hours and days; and even on one single minute often depends the fate of all the days
that are before us. God demands as severe an account of one mis-spent minute, as of the twenty one years I have spent to no purpose. Here my soul trembles. When all the days of my existence rush into my memory; when I am summoned to a reckoning concerning them, and am obliged to stand mute; in the last hour of my life; under His strict, decisive judgement - may the Lord be gracious to me. He sees beforehand, how I shall employ this year, of which I now hail the first morning. He foreknows the sins which I shall commit, the temptations to which I shall be exposed, and the sufferings which I shall have to endure. In all these various circumstances, Lord, be Thou gracious to me. If I transgress, chastise me not in Thy wrath; when I am tempted, let me not be overcome; when I suffer, have compassion upon me, and despise not my sorrow. Be Thou my help, my comfort, my aim, and my guide. I recommend myself to Thy good guidance. Be my God in life and in death - and, oh, be also my God in eternity”.
How many changes have I witnessed since the last New Year’s day! from how many dangers have I been rescued! and how many mercies have been vouchsafed to me, though the sum of my wickedness has been so awfully augmented! I have travelled nearly round the globe since this time twelvemonths, and have seen many lands and many people. “Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life.” Three days ago I was laughing at Miss Davies for making herself sick by stuffing, little thinking I was about to be ill from a somewhat similar cause, though not quite so bad. All day yesterday I was in bed. I had not been quite well for some days previously but the boiled pork and peas-pudding at dinner on Monday finished the job, and made me so ill, that I was obliged to send for Lewis Whittaker at three in the morning. I had been very sick several times, and he put a large mustard poultice on my “estomac” - having made up my mind for a tedious bilious attack. It remained on me for two or three hours only, after which I gradually became better, though very weak. I kept myself quiet all day, and now feel better than I have for a long time. Having been rather too bold in my diet lately, I have been obliged to pay for my imprudence; and will in future be more cautious - and never laugh at
other people for making themselves ill by eating too much, till I am sure of being quite safe in my own prudence! My dear little Fanny was very unwell all yesterday, but would do everything for me. She is the best nurse I ever had: How I do love her little funny ways! In the afternoon she read to me some beautiful Scraps from Miss Smith’s “Fragments”. She is very poorly today, but better now than in the morning - busily writing to her mother, as we hope to be at the Cape tomorrow. At noon today we were only one hundred and eighty-two miles from the land. We should have reached it this evening had it not been nearly a calm all yesterday, with only an occasional “Cat’s-paw” on the water. This day commenced with a calm, but towards noon the breeze freshened, and we are now going at the rate of seven miles an hour. When we arrive we expect to be put in Quarantine for one day; but not more, as the doctors can certify that we have no contagious disease on board. All our invalids are improving. At the Cape they are more particular in guarding against small-pox, and sickness among children. We have not a single child in the hospital.
I wonder how Mr Lunn likes my sending for Lewis Whittaker instead of himself! The first thing he would have done would have been taking about a quart of blood from me. The sailors and emigrants commonly call him “the bloody doctor” because he is so fond of his lancets! If a man’s little finger aches, he must lose blood! and have a blister! whereas Whittaker, after the poultice to relieve the intense pain, only gave me a draught, from which I experienced immediate relief. Many of our passengers consult Whittaker, when they are unwell. He attends the Captain’s son, Mr Simpson’s daughter, Mr Crawford, Mr Payne; and even some of the Emigrants apply to him. I will have no other medical attendant while I am on board, or my wife either, for he appears to be a clever man, clear headed, and prompt - and does not spend all his time in shilly-shallying, and doing nothing, as is the case with Mr Lunn.
2nd. Cloudy weather, with a fair wind - but very cold. At ten oclock this morning we sighted the land of the Cape of Good Hope, about forty miles to the Southward of Cape Town. We ran along shore till e came to “Green Point” under Table Mountain, and then were
obliged to stand further out to sea, to avoid a long reef of dangerous rocks, on which many vessels are lost every year. It was on this reef that the “Columbine” with my father’s furniture was wrecked, in May 1839: on which occasion not an article had been insured! When we got “under the lee of the land”, as it is termed, we were quite becalmed, and the ship would hardly steer. I could not help fearing lest the Current and the swell should set us on to the rocks, as we were not more than half a mile from them - the “lead”, or “sounding line”, was kept going all the time and we were still drifting fast - but at the same time we had made sufficient headway to get round the corner, and open Table Bay to our view - The instant we turned the corner we had as much wind as we could manage. There was a vessel two miles ahead of us, beating in, and she served as a pilot, and a warning to us. Though we were quite becalmed, she had taken in all her small sails, and reefed her larger ones - so we knew that when our ship was where the other one was we should have the same wind. Captain Surflen, therefore, made his vessel quite snug and manageable, which enabled us to get into Table Bay without the fuss and tacking which our Warner had made. It was lucky that we saw this vessel, as we had a great press of canvass on our masts, and should have been caught, round the point, by the strong wind, which would have played “old gooseberry!” with our sails and masts.
I was the first that discovered the vessel. Every body was on deck, enjoying the scene - It had become intensely hot since nearing the land, and some of the ladies had their tea on deck - Sketch books were busily employed - telescopes pointed - new objects discovered every minute - at the same moment I could discern about twenty people following a funeral, and, close by, the same number playing at Cricket! strange contrast! but how true a picture of human life!
The Captain had intended going very near to the Town, but the wind became so strong that we were in danger of being driven out to sea again, so the anchor was dropped where we were when caught in the squall. It is intended to “trip the anchor” in the morning, and get further into the harbour. Nobody was allowed to go ashore this evening, according to the Port regulations
which oblige every body, under heavy penalty, to remain in their ships till the Health Officer has visited them and declared their ship to be free from all contagious disease, and therefore, exempt from Quarantine. This worthy Jack-in-Office did not like being disturbed after his dinner, so he has deferred his visit till the morning; so we must wait his pleasure; wishing him at Jericho for his laziness! The land about us has a most singular appearance. We are anchored in a large Bay, open to the say in the Westward, five miles deep by nine miles wide. The East and North sides are very low and sandy, backed by the “Blue Mountains”, distant about forty miles, inland. The South side is very high and grand. Here is the famous “Table Mountain”, so called from tis precipitous sides, and level top. It is about three thousand eight hundred feet above the level of the sea; and its summit is almost always enveloped in a dense white cloud, rolling down the sides, upon the shipping in the Bay. Some say that this cloud indicates a strong South Eastwind. This is not an infallible symptom, as I saw this “Table cloth”, as it is called, three years ago, without any wind at all. It is certainly a most imposing spectacle, and all were delighted with it. In the harbour we found several ships bound to Sydney. All had made longer passages than ourselves. We have been very fortunate in our winds and weather leaving England. The following rough sketch of the Bay, and land about will serve to show our position.
[Sketch of Table Bay]
We have been very busy packing, and putting away things, in our Cabin, preparatory to leaving the ship for a few days. It has set in very cold again, and the wind is blowing so strong that we are obliged to keep all our windows closed.
3rd. At five oclock this morning I heard a noise on deck, and, imagining the cause, ran on deck, where I found all hands busily engaged in “tripping” the anchor - that is, pulling at the cable, by means of the “Windlass”, till the anchor lets go its hold on the ground - the ship then moved on with the anchor dragging just clear of the bottom: Great labour is thus saved, as only a portion of the Cable has to be pulled in - just the slack part. The vessel was taken further into the Bay, and nearer to the Town. While this was going on a vessel bound for South Australia, came into the Bay and almost ran foul of us. The “Orissa” left Plymouth the day after us, and arrived at the Cape the day after us, making the passage in exactly the same time as ourselves, sixty-five days. At half past six the Health Officer came alongside, and enquired if he had “small pox” on board (the disease most dreaded at the Cape) - when told we had not had a single case, he came on board, and gave permission to us all to land, without Quarantine. Directly we saw the man put his foot on our decks, we knew it was all right - for he himself would not have been able to return to the town had he put us in Quarantine - but must have remained on board where he was. We knew the man would not be such a fool as that. The departure of the Health Officer’s boot was the signal for the numberless boats that were hovering round us and waiting for the signal, to approach; and in a few minutes our decks were crowded with men, black, white, and even red! jabber, jabber; “Massa want orange, grape, butter, bread, fish? massa want anything? black-fellow got eberting!” Their stock was soon bought up, and away they went one after the other, while other boats would immediately supply their places - a constant tide was maintained all day; and many a shilling pocketed by these niggers. At half past seven, Captain Bonham and myself went ashore, to engage lodgings, as the ladies wished to be together. We had a pull of a mile to the shore, piping hot and no wind. The first place we went to was Mrs Gunn’s, with
whom I had lodged three years ago when on my way to Sydney for the second time. After a tedious walk in the heat, and smothered by the dust, we found her, but she could not give us a private sitting room; so this would not do. She had changed her residence since my time, and conducts her house on a different plan, as I then had a private room. We cruized about the town, and found out Mrs Hughes, who keeps a boarding house. Here, however, we met with no better luck, as she would only let her rooms to a large party. Tired of walking to no purpose we determined to go to George’s Hotel, the principal one in the town, and at last engaged rooms for ourselves: - board and lodging at 10.6 a day, besides extras.
Our business was now concluded, and we were about to return to the ship; but happened to find some more of our party at the same Hotel. They asked us to stay to breakfast; which we did, as our walk and early rising had given us a good appetite. We had a famous breakfast, eggs, butter, toast ad infinitum! and the waiters were told to go on cooking till told to stop! Mirth and jolity was the order of the day. Bonham and myself then went on board for our ladies, who feasted on some oranges we had bought on our way back.
At noon we all once more returned to the Hotel, and enjoyed a luncheon of fresh provisions, and served up in a decent way. This meal was absolutely necessary, as the heat on the water and the walk from the landing place to the Hotel (smothered by dust) and the general bustle of the occasion had fatigued us very much. We have not been fortunate in our visit as it is summer, very hot and dusty, and a great scarcity of fruit. We had all looked forward to having a feast upon every description of fruit, and were much disappointed in only finding a few small grapes: - oranges, peaches, and melons were gone out of season, and those we bought in the morning were like the old woman’s apples, well polished and very old! we did not tell the ladies so, and they thought them delicious. Mrs Bonham wrote while dear Fanny rested herself on the sofa. She cannot bear much fatigue and has been far from well for some time past. I trust this break in the voyage will do her good. Bonham and myself walked about the town, making what purchases we wanted, as our stay here will be very short, - being ordered onboard
on Sunday morning. We have arranged to go to Constantia tomorrow (Saturday), so all our business must be done today. Bonham and myself share the expense of a Britscka? and four horses for the day, and we have hired one for the sum of £2. 5. 0. moderate enough.
As a ship is about to sail hence for England I put dear Fanny’s letter to her mother into the Post office, and intend writing myself tomorrow evening. Dinner was ordered at six. All those of our passengers as were at the same hotel will dine with us every day, as we cannot get a dinner cooked separately (a pretty hotel, indeed!). I would rather it had been otherwise, as we have enough of their society on board ship, and should enjoy a little privacy at our meals whilst on shore. We are not likely to see much of them during the day as they are like so many niggers escaped out of the vessel that was to bear them into slavery! full of frolic, and impatient to see all that is to be seen, and that is not over-much or over interesting. Cape-Town is a dull stupid place for a stranger to live in. I would rather have visited Saint Helena or Rio Janeiro, neither of which places I have seen as yet.
Before dinner the ladies gave us their company on a ramble about the town, being anxious to ascertain the contents of every “Vanity- Fair” shops, and desirous of taking some thing new and fashionable on board ship! Bonham and myself were in a melting mood (from the - heat) and humoured each his cara sposa by the purchase of such articles as were wished for. My wife let me off very easily, by making only a few purchases. When this important business was concluded we returned to our hotel, and enjoyed a good dinner. It was really a stylish turn-out,(or, perhaps, more correctly a “stylish turn-in!”) Meats of various kinds, made dishes, puddings, tarts, dessert - and very tolerable wines. I was installed as president for the term of our sojourn here, and performed the duties of the office very much to my own satisfaction! The dinner was followed by a comfortable tea, with plenty of fresh butter and toast. After all this eating and drinking, we took another ramble in the cool of the evening, and, finally, retired to rest at half-past-ten, very
much fatigued from the labours and excitement of the whole day.
4th. During the early part of last night I was very unwell. I had violent pains in the head, brought on, no doubt, by overexcitement and fatigue. I did not feel well when I went to bed, but at midnight Fanny was obliged to send for Lewis Whittaker, who was fortunately lodging at the same hotel, and soon at my side. He kindly went out, late as it was, and bought me a draught at the chemist’s (narrowly escaping breaking his own neck in the darkness); and this, together with a mustard poultice, soon relieved my head and I slept tolerably well during the remainder of the night.
On awaking this morning I felt so much better that I sallied out and made several purchases before dear Fanny was dressed. We had a wretchedly uncomfortable bed, and my poor wife had the additional annoyance of bugs and fleas, which were literally swarming. I was afraid dear Fanny would have been too much fatigued to have joined the excursion to Constantia. We have determined upon having our mattress put on the floor in the sitting room tonight, and try to make up for last night’s disturbance.
When on board we had looked forward to enjoying such delightfully quiet nights in a nice bedroom, but we have been sadly disappointed, and our little sofa-bed is infinitely more comfortable than the miserable thing mislabelled “bed” on which we lay last night, and I shall not be sorry to return again to my little Sanctum.- At eleven oclock, according to arrangement, our carriages were at the Hotel-door to take us to Constantia. Bonham and his wife, and I and my Fanny were in one carriage; and three or four young men of our ship with the Captain took the other. Each carriage has four horses. Ours was a nice Britscka, very light, and our horses were high blood. I was Jehu to my party and a pleasanter team I never had through my fingers: full of spirit yet perfectly tractable. We went along at a capital pace, and reached Con
stantia in somewhat less than an hour and a half, the distance being nearly twelve miles. Half way between Cape town and the Constantia’s lies a remarkably pretty village called “Wineberg” were many of the principal people have their villas and Retraits. Thus far the drive is exceedingly beautiful: the sun occasionally quite shut out by avenues of Oak trees. The Cape Oak is famous all over the world; grows to an immense size, with very thick foliage. There is a beautiful avenue of these trees leading to the Government House at Cape Town. (Colonel Sir George Napier is governor; the man who published an account of the “Peninsular War”.)
In the drive from the Town to the village of Wineberg we passed a great many fields of grapes. Had they not been pointed out to us in one instance as vines, I should certainly have set them down as flourishing Turnips! The manner of cultivating the grape in this country is so very different from the course pursued in England or France. We were also particularly pleased with the neat appearance of the poorer class of people; as well as their little cottages, which were whitewashed, without any verandah. I wonder the verandah is not in general use in this country where the heat is sometimes so intense; it gives an air of comfort and coolness beside being serviceable as a promenade in all weathers. The Dutch style of building is very prevalent which, though neat in outward appearance, is sadly void of comfort within. We waited some little time at an auberge near Wineberg in order that our second carriage might get up with us, as we had left it far behind. We then drove on together to Haut Constantia, over a miserably formed road, smothered with dust, and without the slightest shelter from a scorching sun - Not a tree was to be seen - only - low bushes that could hardly exist in the arid sand. This part of our drive reminded me strongly of the country in the neighbourhood of Sydney, towards Botany Bay. When we arrived at Haut Constantia we found a bridal party had just got there. I suppose the excursion was all the Honeymoon the “happy pair” could afford. The proprietor of the Vineyard afterwards told me that it was a common custom for a new married couple to visit the vineyards. The master of
the hotel at which we were living (an Englishman) gave me a letter of introduction to the proprietor of “High Constantia”, Mr. Van Renen, a Dutchman, but a very old and wealthy colonist. From him we received every attention. We went through the wine-making department, Van Renen explaining the whole process of sorting, pressing, fermenting, clarifying etc. We all tasted the different kinds of wines made on this estate - also pronounced them “werry nice” and had Mynheer Van Renen made us an offer of a few dozen each I have no doubt we should have mustered resolution and generosity enough to have gratified worthy Van by easing him of ten or twelve dozen of superfine Constantia! But the old gentleman was too cunning; and was unfortunately too deaf to the side hints let out. Be this as it may, we came away with no more than what we could carry within us. Everything was “to be drunk on the premises”! From the wine manufactory we sallied out, into the grounds, and saw an enormous oak-tree, in which was placed a table and seats enough for a dozen people. We ascended by a large staircase about ten feet from the ground. The foliage was so thick that, though the sun was shining fiercely, we were completely in the shade. Van Renen said he and his friends often dined in the tree. There is something like it in the Government Domain, Parramatta, New South Wales, but not so large.
Another curiosity which we saw was a large elm tree studded all over with birds’ nests. From the distance these nests appeared like very large pears. They are built by the African Finch; and always hang by a twig instead of being firmly fixed on a bough. In this way they are secure from rats or snakes. While some of our party sauntered about the grounds with Van Renen, Bonham, myself with our ladies and two more, were pilotted by Miss Renen into the garden, where we feasted upon oranges, and apricots - cramming not only our stomachs but even our pockets and handkerchiefs, for the young lassie very correctly imagined that it would be a treat to us after so long a voyage. We really enjoyed ourselves the whole day. When we returned to the house we found luncheon prepared for us, but after our feast in the garden we did not feel
particularly ravenous. Another glass of wine, however, was refreshing, after our long ramble under a burning sun. Dear little Fanny was delighted at hearing the Seraphine played by Miss Renen, who performed on it remarkably well. It was the first time Fanny had seen or heard an instrument of the kind, and it formed a pleasing variation to the constant discord and noises unavoidable on board ship. During our ramble we saw some black labourers in the vineyards, and as they did not appear to be natives of the South of Africa I asked the proprietor how he became possessed of them. From him I learnt they were taken about two months before by one of our Men-of-War out of a slaver, and landed by choice at the Cape of Good Hope. I must say they did not give me much the idea of poor men torn from their homes and country to share the miserable lot of thousands in slavery before them. They all appeared quite merry and happy, and did not wish at all to be sent back to their own country. They were Guinea blacks and made good field-labourers. At half past three we reseated ourselves in our carriages, and drove to Cape Town in about an hour and a half, highly delighted with our day’s excursion - but, perhaps, still more unwilling to return to our confinement on board ship. I do not consider that the charges were high - being only £2. 5. 0 for a very neat Britscka and a few horses together with an attendant to take charge while we were at Constantia. My own enjoyment was somewhat marred by rheumatism, from which I suffered all day in my back and chest. In the evening I could not move my head. The upright posture necessary for driving, and holding both arms forward all day, aggravated the pain, but the excitement of driving rendered me unconscious of the increasing stiffness in my joints. I suppose I caught cold, from being overheated and then suddenly checking the perspiration. A liniment procured by Lewis Whittaker gave me considerable relief. Dear Fanny too, in the evening , was very unwell - suffering considerable pain in the head. At dinner time she was obliged to leave the table. Whittaker followed us, and attended her. She recoverd somewhat before going to bed, and had a better night than the last. Our mattress was placed on the floor of the sitting room - which was much cooler than
the box which was allotted to us as a dormitory last night. I fear my darling wife is about to be laid up, as she is hardly ever free from pain; and is, at times, very much fevered. I like not these periodical attacks in the head every evening, and have requested Whittaker to watch every symptom. It is a great comfort to me that there is somebody who can be relied upon more than Mr. Lunn. I dread taking Fanny on board ship where fever and other sickness prevails. But it cannot be helped, and I must rely on the goodness of God. If it should be his will to lay my dear Fanny in the bed of sickness, may I be resigned, and enabled to contribute to her comfort in every way that my own experience in sickness or my great affection for her can suggest. - At dinner today we were told that poor Blakeley who has long been ill of the Typhus-fever, had died in the early part of the day and was buried on shore by Mr. Simpson - This is the fourth death on board our ship since leaving Plymouth. This event will hasten our departure hence, as we do not wish to have it known generally that our ship is infected.
5th. Sunday. When at sea I was in the habit of looking forward to spending one Sabbath on shore, but I find myself disappointed in my wish to attend divine service in God’s House today. I had hoped to have gone to church this morning, and to have partaken of the Sacrament with my darling wife, but she was not well enough to venture out. She seems quite out of sorts. It was more prudent to remain quietly at home; more particularly as we were all summoned on board in the early part of the afternoon, with the expectation of sailing immediately. I was not sorry to rejoin my ship, and bid adieu to all bustle and excitement - Time was beginning to hang heavily on our hands, as we had no books with us, and, consequently were unable to amuse ourselves by reading. At two oclock we all assembled at the jetty, and went on board. Sailor as I am, I did not at all relish the boating part of the business. Our ship was lying a mile and a half out in the Bay, and there was a good deal of sea on. At the time we started it blew very fresh from the South East, and several of us got a good ducking from the sprays, that came over our boat. The Table Mountain was enveloped
in a dense foggy cloud, and we knew that indicated no fine weather. However, we all got on board quite safe, and we soon busily engaged in disposing of our purchases on shore - the ship was loaded with oranges, grapes, etc - In the afternoon the breeze freshened so much that Captain Surflen gave up all idea of starting today - There was so much sea on that the ship could not be “hove ahead”, as it is termed in nautical words, that is, we could not pull the ship close up to her cable while the wind and sea were so much against us, and driving the vessel back as soon as, by dint of force, we had made her advance a few fathoms.
It is indeed very fortunate that we did not leave today, as circumstances that have since occurred would have obliged us to put into port again, and we shall now be able to get rid of the greatest scoundrel that ever breathed, that Man Mills, who threatened the lives of many of us on Christmas Eve. While we were at dinner this afternoon, word was brought that several of the men were fighting, between decks. Mr. Dale and Mr. Fairbank, the first and second mates, immediately went forward to see what was the matter. Shortly Mr. Fairbank came running back to the Cuddy, and said to the Captain, before all of us “knives are drawn among our people and Mills has stabbed Wallace”, one of the sailors. Matters having come to this pass, we knew not where it would end, but expected a general riot, as it was evident that many of the emigrants were concerned in it. Up we all jumped, provided ourselves with pistols and other arms, and sallied forward. Meanwhile Mr. Dale like a thorough game-cock, had collared Mills, and dragged him up on deck.
On investigating the matter, we discovered that several of the men had been drinking, the spirit being given by an emigrant who had purchased it on shore, contrary to strict orders. A quarrel speedily took place between Mills and Wallace, and a regular fight was got up. It appears thatno knife had been drawn, but Wallace had been hurt by a blow and was bleeding. Mr. Fairbank, who has on many occasions shown himself to be a great coward, was frightened at what he saw, and gave the alarm in the Cuddy at the moment Mr. Dale was calling him to his assistance. Amongst the sailors was a man of the name of Ingles, generally known as “Squinting Georgy” - a well
behaved man. He and Wallace were sworn friends, and he was determined to punish Mills for his maltreatment of his “chum” Wallace. A fight took place; but Mills was no man for Ingles, who is a scientific boxer, and knocked his antagonist down as often as he appeared before him. Mills owes Ingles a grudge because he had thrown his pet dagger overboard a few days ago. When Mills was brought on deck he was most abusive, and swore he would have the lives of the doctor and parson and two mates before he had done with them. He offered to fight Mr. Dale, and would no doubt have done considerable injury to some of us had he not been awed by our number and appearance. Had he ventured to lift an arm against any one he would have had a dozen bullets whistling thro’ him before he could do any mischief - this he evidently knew, so he prudently confined himself to abuse, which though punishable, does not render a sailor liable to extreme penalties.
Fearing that some of the emigrants should urge the matter too far, we deemed it advisable to make signals to a Man-of-War brig, that was lying about half a mile from us, to send assistance and take the man off. Either through negligence or wilful blindness, the man of war took no notice of our signals. Meanwhile Wallace was carried into the forecastle where the doctor examined his wound in the side. Mills paced up and down in front of the door, every now and then threatening Mr. Lunn, and asking if Wallace was going to die. If the wound should prove fatal Mills declared his intention of at once “settling the doctor”, and end his own existence - saying it was all the same to him whether he were shot or hanged! Hearing that the wound was a trifling one, he liberated the doctor whom he had kept at bay, and commenced displaying his agility by jumping about the rigging, defying us all, and mimicking the manner in which he would swing at the yard-arm, when taken on board of the man of war. He knew he had long since forfeited his life to the laws of his country, having confided himself a pirate, and having at various times, threatened the lives of many on board, - He did not care what he did - he was not drunk, but greatly
excited - even to madness: had he drunk more, he would have been comparatively harmless. Severe punishment ought to be inflicted upon the man who brought spirits on board, and Mr. Lunn ought to know that he was greatly wanting in his duty when he allowed it to come over the ship’s side. Search has since been made, and every bottle has been thrown overboard. We have had several cases of drunkenness during the voyage. It was natural that we should be somewhat alarmed, especially the ladies, on hearing such a report as was given by Mr. Fairbank at the commencement of the row. Poor dear Fanny was very much frightened when she saw me go on deck, and did not recover all the afternoon. She is a little more tranquil now, but I dread lest it should have done her harm in her present condition. It was certainly very thoughtless of Mr. Fairbank to give such an alarming account publicly, without being assured of its truth. It turned out to be a false alarm as no one had been stabbed; a few tipsy sailors had been fighting - that’s all. Mr. Fairbank, however, did it in the heat of the moment, and we cannot blame him much. Very probably any of us would have acted exactly the same way had we been in his place.
All is pretty quiet now: but the Captain is determined to get rid of Mills at any price, and intends sending a boat to the man of war brig early in the morning. I am glad matters were not carried so far as to render violent measures necessary; but it was a great pity that Mills should have been allowed to remain at large after his conduct. He ought to have been seized and put in irons and confined, apart from the other sailors and emigrants, whose minds he was most busily poisoning against the authorities on board the vessel.
6th. Early this morning, a boat was sent with intelligence to the Officer in command of the man of war brig, the “Curlew”, reporting the occurrence of yesterday, and requesting he would either bring or send a party of marines on board to secure Mills and awe the rest. At eight the Lieutenant commanding came on board the “Earl Grey”, and had a conference with Captain Surflen. He said
he was sorry he could not relieve us of the man by shipping him into his own vessel, as Mills was evidently a man of too bad character, and his instructions were to take only men of good repute: there are blackguards enough in the Navy , as seamen,, and Her Majesty would not thank him for introducing an additional one. Lieutenant Owen further said that, although there was not the least doubt of the guiltiness of Mills, he could not be punished in a Summary manner on board a Commissioned Ship of War, as there was no absolute assault with intent to kill. and no eye-witness to his former piratical life. The only way of punishing him was by giving him to the authorities on shore, who would lodge him in prison, and try him at the next assizes. I was highly amused at the manner of the naval officer towards Mills when brought before him. Mills came upon the poop with his hands in his pockets, and grinning most maliciously at us. Owen eyed him from head to foot and said “Umph! I see what sort of a fellow this is, by his coming before me with his hands in his pockets, and with his impudent laugh. Well, Sir, I suppose you know what I am come aboard for.” No answer from Mills - stubborn as a mule - “Well, Captain, I don’t intend taking such a blackguard as this on board my ship to spoil all my men - indeed, I don’t think he would relish my fare over much - for, before he had been with me many hours I would have made him taste a few turns of Her Majesty’s Cat - I have half a mind now to take him with me, and cut his liver out (!) at the gangway.” Here Mills’ countenance became white as a sheet, and considerably lengthened; his hands were slyly pulled out of his pockets, and he became as respectful in manner as he had before been impudent; he spoke not a word, but appeared considerably alarmed lest the lieutenant should carry his threat into force and give him a few dozen lashes. “I’ll teach you what it is to be insolent to your Commander, and threaten the lives of any one on board a British ship.” “Oh, Sir, I did want to do them any harm.” We interceded for Mills at this juncture, and he escaped the flogging - at which he seemed pleased. He was however ordered to prepare himself for going
on shore, as he would not be allowed to remain another hour on the ship. It would unavoidably detain the ship at the Cape several weeks, if a prosecution was entered against Mills, so the Captain had no other alternative than to take him before a magistrate and dismiss him - The Commander of a vessel is always responsible for his men, and obliged to show cause, if he returns to England without the same men as he took with him. For this reason Captain Surflen got a declaration from a magistrate, that Mills had been dismissed from the ‘Earl Grey” for mutinous conduct, and that the Captain had done his duty towards him. The certificate must be shown at the Custom House in London - or the Captain will get into trouble for the non-appearance of Mills.
All this having been done, we are now rid of the villain, and may expect to get to Sydney without any further disturbances. All the bad ones that are left are too great cowards to venture upon any riot, now that their leader is taken from them, and they see that we are determined to act promptly in support of the Captain’s authority, and maintaining the public peace. In lieu of Mills, the Captain has shipped a new hand, who came on board this afternoon gloriously drunk, as is usually the case - Sailors always get a month’s wages in advance, and regularly spent it in drinking with old comrades the last thing before parting. I like the looks of the man: there is something shipshape in his appearance. We were vastly amused at his drollery when coming over the ship’s side. Mr Fairbank was behind him, on the little rope ladder, to prevent Foster’s falling overboard in his drunkenness. Foster knew very well that Mr Fairbank could not press him, so must wait till he (Foster) chose to move. Every now and then he would turn round and look down upon Mr. Fairbank, and say “I say, Mr Leeftenant, I’ll bet you a bottle of rum I’m up before you”. So soon as he was safely aboard, he was put to bed, where the remained still - While our boat was ashore with the Captain this morning, I thought it would be a good opportunity for Captain Bonham and myself to pay a visit to a neighbouring ship, so Mr. Sale lent me the “Cutter”
but said I must find hands, as he could not spare any of the sailors. Bonham and myself would pull, but we wanted two more men - George Vidal and
indecipherable Frederick Whitton [indecipherable]
then got in the boat - I took the stroke oar, and sung out “Shove
Off”, not seeing Mr. Dunn who wanted to get into the boat. There
was a heavy sea in the Bay, and our boat was as much as we could manage.
we therefore did not want any idlers to make it heavier work to pull
against wind and sea. Without thinking it possible that Mr. Dunn would be
offended, I said “oh, no: we have’nt any room”, and
away we went. I have heard that the young man is mortally offended with
Captain Bonham and myself - he has since behaved most rudely to Fanny and
myself, clearly showing he wanted to pick a quarrell with me - He’s
a fool for his pains, and I shall not give myself the least trouble about
him. I will not aggravate, but I will not make the slightest advance. - A
hard pull took us to the “Woodbridge”. Convict ship, going to
Sydney - We wanted to see the officers of the guard, in one of whom I
found an old Sydney friend. Captain Minter of the 42nd Regiment. We had a
cozy chat about mutual friends. Minter intends quitting the army for the
Bush, metamorphasing his sword into a plough share. The
‘Woodbridge:, has as many souls on board as the “Earl
Grey”, but only one case of sickness - scurvy.
This is owing to the superior arrangement of the vessel; and being in Government employ, the Surgeon Superintendent is always a naval officer, and has absolute control over the men. Cleanliness is always insisted upon; and any man departing from the standing regulations is severely dealt with. This is not the case with vessels in private service, where the surgeon’s authority is merely nominal; consequently disorder and uncleanliness prevail, and must continue adfinem. Bidding adieu to our convict friends, we next boarded the ‘Nelson”, an English Whaler; two years and a half from home, and only half full: What a life these poor fellows must lead. The Captain told me it was three years since he had seen his family, and he could not tell when he should be able to go home, as his orders were, to remain out
till his vessel is full. Our colonial whalers are bad enough, but preserve me from a voyage in a London whale ship. Our object in boarding this vessel was to get an old harpoon for striking porpoises, but they had none to spare. Our party then pulled to the “Alto,” an American whaler, where we were readily supplied with whatever wanted, and had another “yarn” with the fishy shipper!
This vessel has been out three years and two months, and has yet room for the two hundred and fifty barrells of oil (nearly quarter of her cargo.) Another specimen of whaling bliss! As it was getting towards dinner time, we turned our boat towards the old “Grey” and reached her after a hard pull against wind and sea, which fatigued us all very much. But the feeling of fatigue on my part was speedily forgotten in the delight of a feast upon grapes in my own cabin. I have laid in a good supply of this fruit, and my cabin has more the appearance of a fruiters shop than a private sitting apartment. There is not so much in the ship now, by a great deal, as there was at starting from England. My portion of expense will amount to nearly 18pound, when all the accounts are settled. While we were at dinner, the “Woodbridge” weighed her anchor, and turned her head Sydney-ward; andat half past four we did the same. The wind was fresh; fair for us in running out of Table Bay, but against us when out at sea. Well and here we are once more upon the wide ocean, bobbing about at a terrible rate, owing to having the ship’s head against wind and sea - by no means pleasant. Should the wind continue long in this quarter (SSW) we shall be delayed very much, as it is impossible to get round Cape D’aquillar in this way. The wind must come round to the Northward or Eastward before we can make any satisfactory progress. It is on this account that the Captains prefer calling at St. Helena, or Bahia, as it is easy to get out from them with any wind - at the Cape, Southerly and South Easterly winds prevail so much that it is difficult to get away from the land. During my last voyage, in the “City of Edinburgh”, we were nine days in sight of the
Table Mountain. Captain Surflen is an old hand in these regions, and he intends standing well out to the Westward, in search of a fair wind. The “Woodbridge” is already a long way astern, owing to her attempting to go by the Northern passage round “Robben Island.” This island is the penal settlement for the Cape - what the employment of the convicts is I could not discover; nor can I imagine what good they can do on a place that is merely a large sandbank. It seems to me to be a great expense without any return in the shape of labour or produce - On mustering our emigrants this evening, we found that only one man was missing; and on enquiry, it appears that he went ashore in the morning by permission from Mr. Dunn, that he returned in the afternoon for his boxes, and immediately took his departure from the ship, bag and baggage; since which he has not made his appearance. Where was our vigilant (!) surgeon superintendent! he must have been asleep, to have allowed such a barefaced piece of roguery as this to take place in open day. He surely ought to be made to pay the man’s passage instead of the colony, who will never have the benefit of his services.
7th The wind continues as foul as it can possibly be, and the ship is not a single mile nearer to Sydney than she was when I went to bed last night. The land is full in sight on our larboard beam; and Cape Town is not far distant; houses are visible through the telescope; but we would gladly have them further from us now. I was delighted when daylight came, as I was enabled to leave a bed in which it was impossible to sleep from the constant motion of the ship. A more uncomfortable night never spent. We were close hauled; - that is, sailing as nearly as possible in the direction of the wind. No vessel can sail within six points of the wind, - except cutters and they can go sometimes within four points- My darling wife is very unwell this morning; complaining of violent pain the head, accompanied with great heat - I have called in Whittaker, who has, once or twice, talked of bleeding her. Still he
hesitates about it, being anxious to effect his cure without having recourse to that system of constant bleedings of which Mr. Dunn is so fond. Fanny has had her feet in hot water and mustard, from which she experiences much relief. She is now sleeping, and is tolerably quiet. I scarcely know what to do with myself; my heart aches, and is ready to burst. I cannot bear to see dear, dear Fanny suffering - and oh! how dreadful! should she be taken from me, a prey to that fever which is raging so fearfully among us! I could not long survive her, should it please God to make me a widower, nor do I wish to remain long without her. I wish very much to ask Whittaker if he considers her in any danger, but cannot make up my mind to put the question. - 8 PM. Dear Fanny has been suffering very much from 2 till 6 this afternoon. Whittaker tells me it is Remittant Fever, but there is not the slightest cause for apprehension, as a few days will, in all probability, see her quite well again. It is all very well to say “don’t fear” - but how difficult it is to banish the idea and fear of death from the anxious and feverish mind! I feel I am a husband - married to a pearl without price”- Her very illness shows me how dear she is to me and how necessary to my happiness; and yet that very illness may snatch her from me:-oh, God spare me!- I have been very much annoyed this afternoon by the unfeeling conduct of Mrs Gutting and her son Mr. Crawford, who has been ill. they sleep and live in the same cabin! Their cabin is next to our’s, divided only by a thin wooden partition, which does not even prevent the people in one cabin hearing a conversation in the other, unless spoken sotto voce. Any unusually loud aside of course is distinctly heard in my cabin. While dear Fanny was very unwell, but inclined to sleep, Mr. Crawford had his large Newfoundland dog in his cabin, contrary to all rules in force on board the ship. The animal was barking and jumping against our partition, as if trying to get something which Mrs. Crawford was holding beyond his reach. I was afraid lest these noises should
disturb dear Fanny and prevent her shaking off her attack in a good sleep, therefore I went on deck quietly to request the Captain that the nuisance might be removed, without making use of my name or saying that it annoyed me particularly, as I did not wish to make a breach between us. Mr. Crawford was constantly in the habit of having his dog in the cabin although many people had expressed their disapprobation Captain Surflen sent his “compliments to Mrs. Gutting and begged she would have the dog sent away, as it was not a proper place for it, independently of its being an annoyance to others”. The answer to this message was, that “Mr. Crawford did not choose to send his dog out of the cabin, and that, having paid for his passage, he would do as he pleased with him”. Captain Surflen immediately send word, “That as Mrs. Gutting had not paid a chief cabin passage for her dog, the dog had no right in the chief cabin, and that if he was not immediately sent to his Kennell, like all the other dogs he (the Captain) should be obliged to send men to take it, whether Mrs. Gutting chose or not”. This message had not the slightest effect, as the two people would persist in continuing the annoyance. After a little while, Mrs. Gutting sent for the Captain; and, first, abused him for his insolence in ordering away her dog - She said that if squalling children were allowed in the Cuddy she surely might have her dog . To this extraordinary parrallel the Captain would not agree - “Well, then” said Madame. “I have as much right to a dog in the cabin as you have to a cat.” But this had not the desired effect. The Captain said, if Mrs. Gutting’s dog was allowed to make free of the cabin belonging to all the ladies and gentlemen on board, then the owners of all the other dogs would demand the same privilege, and instead of ladies and gentlemen sitting with her at dinner Mrs. Gutting would only have dogs, as they were so numerous that no room would be left for human beings! The argument lasted some time; but the Captain would not yield an inch; and a man came for the dog,
and tied him up in his kennell. While all this was going on I was standing near the Cuddy door, looking upon deck - as soon as the dog disappeared Mrs. Gutting appeared, big with rage. She came up to me, and I was in doubt as to what might be her design. Putting a letter into my hand, she said “Mr. Manning, as it is on your account that I have received this insult, I beg to hand over to you this letter, for I do not intend making any use of it.” the letter was addressed to Edye, from Mr. Moens of Rotterdfam, introducing Mrs. Gutting and her gentlemanly son. Of course I took the letter, and here ended the scene. From first to last I had not said a word to the woman, hardly ever speaking to her, for she is universally disliked in the Cabin , as well as her son. Her conscience must have led her to suppose that I was the complainant; and so her rage was directed against me because I had complained of her dirty dog being an annoyance to my sick wife! It is matter of very little consequence to me whether Madame Gutting ever enters our doors or not, and her insult shall not prevent my complaining again, should it be necessary. I know not the reason of it, but their conduct has been pointedly rude to Fanny and myself, on which account I have hardly taken any notice of them, though studiously civil. She is a kind-hearted woman in the main, but passionate and proud, thinking that every body must yield to her “thousand and one whimsies” I attribute much of it to their being foreigners - In the evening I tried to quiet myself by hanging all my grapes to a netting nailed to the ceiling, to preserve them - I forgot to mention that an emigrant was found dead in his bed this morning - It is supposed by the doctors that he died of apoplexy, brought on by having remained with his head lower than his feet after the ship had tacked during the night. Bloomfield was subject to these fits, and had been complaining of his head for some time past. He was buried by Mr. Simpson this afternoon, at the lee gangway.
8th No improvement in the wind, and consequently no progress: indeed, we are even retrograding as our night’s work has brought us some fifty or sixty miles on a homeward course and further from the Southern Cape. This is miserable work - Many of the people are sea sick, after their trip ashore, and the ship is in a terrible mess. The motion is very unpleasant to all even the best sailor would feel rather uncomfortable after boxing about for two days as we have been. My darling wife appears much better this morning, but is not able to leave her bed, although she has a very tolerable night. I have always observed that she is sure to be unwell the next day if her nights rest is disturbed. I find, by the Captain’s list that we have taken in a good supply of everything wanted, so that we shall have no lack of provender for the remainder of the voyage. The wine purchased at the Cape is not of the very best quality. The Captain was the buyer, and he knows about as much of wine as I do of Hebrew (precious little). However, this is a matter smaller consequence to us than to the remainder of the passengers, as dear Fanny and myself are not great bibbers. We enjoy more our little comforts, and are less particular about the major luxuries, than any of the others. Mr. Marshall will not be very much pleased when he hears that the “Earl Grey” has been at the Cape of Good Hope for provisions, proving that he must have supplied us very short on starting. But what will he say when he finds that his own stingyness has brought him in a bill for nearly £300, for articles that might have been purchased for one half that sum in England! Our friend will curtail his usual vinous allowance on the day of hearing this pleasing intelligence! His profits will not be very large by this ship or these filthy emigrants - 9 P.M. At noon today the wind shifted and settled to the Northward. This is as fair a wind as we could have , and we are now bowling along at the rate of seven knots the hour. By noon tomorrow I hope we shall be fairly round the Cape, as we are not more than one hundred and thirty miles from it.
About two oclock this afternoon dear Fanny became unwell again:- the fever returned. She suffered very great pain in her head, and her skin was very hot and dry. Whittaker thought it advisable to bleed her; and as Fanny wishes it herself, he took about a tea-cupfull from the arm, (the first time she had every been bled.) After this she gradually became better; and, about eight, was well enough to enjoy a cup of chocolate which I had made for her. I am becoming very nervous and anxious about the dear partner of my lot and companion of my steps, although Whittaker, in whom I have great confidence, continually tells me he sees no reason for alarm: but that is often the way with doctors who have as natural a dislike to tell unpleasant tidings as any other persons. I may be foolish - I trust I am: but any anxiety is parent to my fear, and I cannot banish the idea from my head, or rather from my heart . Most fervently have I prayed for her recovery; and, though for a time I experience some inward consolation, yet I quickly become all in a tremor lest I should lose my all. What a dreary path would mine be through life, without her whose smiles delight me on waking and cheer me through the day, and whose constant and devoted affection towards my own unworthy self is infinitely more precious than all that the world has to bestow! I am not ready to part with her yet, but I may be called to experience such a calamity. May I be better prepared for the dire stroke, when it does come than I am at present.
9th I am delighted to say dear Fanny has had a very good night, and is much better this morning. She is up and dressed, but Whittaker will not allow her to leave her cabin yet - indeed she does not feel the least desire to do so, as the bustle and noise, as well as the great glare of the water would speedily bring on another attack in the head - 9 PM: During the early part of the day Fanny continued pretty easy; but, as usual, at two oclock, the fever returned and she was very ill for four hours. Her sufferings are intense, but she bears them beautifully - not even losing her cheerfulness, but striving to show her
weak husband a pattern of patience and resignation to the dispensations of Providence. I learn a valuable lesson from her every day. How delightful it is to the heart to be able in any way to administer relief to an affected dear one. How glad I am to be allowed to smooth her pillow, and bathe her burning forehead with Eau de Cologne and water. Her smiles repay me amply, and serve to stimulate me to fresh exertions to render her sick bed as little uncomfortable as possible. When she has recovered from the attack, Mrs Bonham sat with her a little, while I was breathing the fresh air on deck for the first and only time today. The deck has no attractions for me now, and I am only there for health. We are on the lee side, and our cabin is very close as dear Fanny cannot bear any light, and am obliged to lower the blinds. How willingly would I endure anything for her relief. The days I am a good nurse, I know what enables me to be so! We have had a lovely day, with a fair and fresh breeze; but at noon today we were not quite around the Cape, by this time I should think we had weathered it: and now our next point will be Van Dieman’s Land. We may perhaps see the islands of St Paul’s, halfway between the Cape and New Holland, but that will depend entirely on the wind; in all probability, we shall pass to the Southward of it. This morning our anchor and cables were stored away below; and the next time we see them coming on deck again we shall be within a days sail of Sydney. How I long to reach our destination, that dear Fanny may have the benefit of a comfortable home, and every other thing conducive to health and comfort. I would, so far as I am concerned, willingly give anything to place her once more on terrra firma. A ship is hardly a fit place for a man, much less so for a delicate female. I dread the voyage home to England again, as dear Fanny suffers so much from want orf exercise, and the numberless privations that one is obliged to submit to on such an occasion. A few years may, however, greatly facilitate the mode of communication between England and New South Wales, by means of steamers and shortcuts; and I shall most assuredly adopt that
method of return which will be productive of the least annoyance. So far as the ship is concerned, we could not be more comfortable. She is a very fair sailer and does not knock about as most vessels. But the domestic arrangements are miserable enough; bad management is conspicuous in every department. This I have particularly experienced since my wife’s illness. It is with difficulty that I can get anything done for her, though ordered by the doctor. Fortunately I laid a good supply of articles at Plymouth and London, and replenished my stock at the Cape; so that, with my Spirit lamp, I am able to cook many thing for my dear Fanny, which I could not get from the ship’s galley, or kitchen. We have a great many sick on board; but most of them are cases of little consequence, arising generally from eating green fruit and Crayfish, and other indigestible articles, while at the Cape. Our fever patients are better today, and, we trust, will soon recover, as we are daily getting into a cooler climate. The change of climate has been very sudden, as the thermometer stands now at sixteen degrees lower than it was on shore five days ago! We have made an excellent run to this point from the other side of the Cape; and, no doubt, have left the old “Woodbridge” far astern. I dare say we shall arrive a fortnight before her. Bets are making as to the day of anchoring in Sydney Cove. I have one of a new hat with Joshua Young that we do not land before the 4th of March, Ash Wednesday. I hope I may lose it, if it be only by one day ,which is of more value than a dozen hats.
10th Early this morning dear Fanny was better, but, as usual, as the day advanced, her fever returned with increased violence. By Whittaker’s advice, her feet are always put into hot water and mustard when the attack makes its appearance; and bottles of hot water were kept to her feet in bed. She suffers intensely for three or four hours, and afterwards gradually became easier, till at last she was left entirely free from pain, though tormented with extreme heat and thirst. Whittaker has prepared a drink for her, Cream of Tartar. I am obliged to go on deck occasionally for my own health
and to enable me to continue
my nursing, but I cannot bear leaving her for a moment, even with kind Mrs Bonham. When out of her sight I usually relieve myself by giving vent to my pent up feelings by a good cry. How painful and difficult it is to appear cheerful and contented when the heart within is so disturbed. But, for all the world, I would not let dear Fanny see my anxiety or alarm. One day I forgot myself, she saw the tears in my eyes, and that immediately upset her, but I was delighted to find no further mischief ensue. She often tells me herself, that she does not feel in the smallest degree alarmed with her illness, and tries to comfort me and keep up my spirits. Dear wife! I want your own darling smiles, and the thousand little ways in which you were wont to show your affection for your husband. How happy I used to be, but now much the reverse do I feel. My heart within me is enveloped in darkness and gloom, and must remain so till I can again press to it the idol of its love. Oh, that that happy time were arrived! How thankful and delighted shall I be! May the Almighty pardon my discontent when He shall mercifully remove the cause of it . I feel as a husband; and none but those who have been situated as I now am, can understand my grief. None others can tell what it is to be far from home and friends at a time when both are so much required. Perhaps I am wrong in saying that I feel forlorn and lonely, but I certainly do not feel as I used to feel before my wife was taken ill. I merit the reproof addressed to Kirtie White when he complained of being left “all alone”, for well I know that
“Each fluttering hope - each anxious fear
Each lonely sigh - each silent tear
To my Almighty Friend are known”
I will no longer repine; but, though God has in His infinite wisdom seen fit to afflict me, I will hope that it is but for a season, and that ere long I shall be restores to that happy and cheerful frame of mind which I believe I formerly possessed. All day
we have had a ship and a brig in sight , we fell in with them last night , and fancied one was the “Melville” man-of-war, which is cruising in these seas; but daylight undeceived us and we found her to be a homeward bound ship, deeply laden, probably with sugar from the Isle of France. This evening we had a smart shower of rain to cool the dull heavy atmosphere of the day. A large school of Blackfish chased the ship for three or four miles, and I was painfully reminded of my sorrow by not being able to have my wife at my side to enjoy the scene with me. The blackfish is a small species of whale, varying from fifteen to twenty feet in length. It is, however, of no value to the whale fishery, as the small quantity of oil it would yield would not repay the labour and trouble of catching him or boiling down his blubber.
11th My darling wife alarmed me very much this morning. She felt very unwell when she awoke; but while I was dressing, the fever symptoms came on with such violence, that I was obliged to send for Whittaker. During the night there had been more motion than was usual, and this had disturbed her rest. For two hours she was more ill than I had ever seen her, the pain in her head was most violent, accompanied with more fever. The usual remedies were resorted to; and when she became easier, a comforting draught was given her, after which she went asleep, and awoke feeling tolerably well. She has remained quiet all day. At six oclock this evening, she had a sofa mattress placed on the window seat, where she lay for an hour at the open window. It was rather imprudent although it was not at all cold. She soon felt pain coming in her face, so her bed was made and she tries to sleep. The fever came on a second time, but not so violently as before. It only lasted about an hour, and then left her easy. There has been an alteration in the course of the illness today which rather puzzles Whittaker and myself. The attack of fever has come on twice today, neither time at the usual hour, and one much less severe than the other. We do not know what to argue from this; whether ill or well.
Oh, that it may be a sign that the fever is breaking up, and that my wife will shortly be restored in health to my arms! God grant it. Time will show; but how intolerable is the suspense. She is at present very comfortable, with the exception of slight toothache. I fear she has caught cold from exposure at the open window this afternoon . A circular has been handed round to all the chief cabin passengers, requesting their assistance in favour of the widow of Arthur Blakeley, the Emigrant who died while we were at the Cape. She has two young children, and is far advanced in pregnancy with a third. Blakeley left not a single sixpence in money or goods, so this poor widow and children will be destitute of everything on arriving in Sydney. Fanny and myself have promised to do whatever shall be generally considered most prudent and beneficial. Mrs Blakeley is a most helpless body, I hear, and little calculated to work for the support of herself and children without the help of her husband. The best place for her will be the Benevolent Asylum and if she turns out to be a woman of good character and industrious habits, I shall endeavour to get her admitted to it, I feel myself almost worn out for want of sleep, anxiety, and nursing. My poor wife had been so ill as to require all my care and attention by night as well as by day. But it is not so much the exertion, as the the mental fatigue which now oppresses me. I do pray I may be able to keep up all the time dear Fanny is ill. If it should please God to lay me on a sick bed afterwards, His will be done, though it would be a bitter draught to me.
12th Dear Fanny much better in the morning, but still unable to leave her bed; in consequence of which I did not attend Service today in the Cuddy. I would have read in my cabin, but was obliged continually to change the linen on Fanny’s forehead. About noon, she complained of feeling very sick. This encreased so much that I asked Whittaker’s advice. At last she was very sick and the secret was out for she brought up a great quantity of bile - a gentle emetic was given as a comforter (!) followed by a tumbler or two of
hot water. “Miserable comforted are ye all” said poor Fanny (I dare say) as every five minutes she gave alarming indications of dissolution in a basin! However unpleasant, these remedies have a beneficial effect in relieving her stomach, and she is now much better than she has been for some time past. She has had but little pain in the head today, and the attack of fever was very slight and of short duration compared with former days. She naturally feels somewhat exhausted after the Emetic and the low diet that has enforced for some days. This will soon be repaired. Whittaker says he is glad to see the illness take this turn, as the bilious complaint may supersede, or, at all events, modify the fever that has been tormenting her so long. Would to God it might! Though it is distressing in the extreme to see my darling wife so feeble and ill, yet it is infinitely better than witnessing her agonies, or feeling her scorching head. She has had but little medicine given her as Whittaker is not fond of that system of overdosing a patient which is practised by so many medical men. This gives me the greater confidence in him, more particularly as I believe it coincides with Dr. Granger’s opinion. We are both very much pleased with Whittaker’s manner and conversation in the sick room. He is very cool and quiet, and seems thoroughly to understand what he is about: is very clear headed and attentive to the feelings of his patient. So different in every respect from Mr. Lunn, who is famous for fritting away a whole day and finding at the end of it that he has done nothing but hummed and ha’d ! He has entirely dammed his character as a medical man on board this ship. It is fortunate for him that he has no idea of remaining in New South Wales to practise, as his ill fame would surely follow him and mar his prospects. We are on very good terms with him although I didn’t employ him to attend Fanny. I have no desire to quarrel with the man, merely because he is an ass and does not believe it when told so! I have quarrelled with none but Mr. Lunn fancies himself so very much offended that he thought proper to inflict a cut toward me! much I care for that insult. We have had a ship in sight all day - supposed to be the same as seen two days ago. She is standing the same way as ourselves, and is probably bound to Sydney,
or one of the Australian colonies, as she appeared too small for an East Indiaman and this road doesn’t lead to any other part of the world! She is a very fair sailer, for, though she remains astern and cannot catch us, yet we do not run away from so fast as we have done from most of the vessels we have seen. The wind is rather light otherwise we would not allow her company so long.
13th Last night there was so much motion, occasioned by a head swell, that dear Fanny could barely get any sleep; the consequence of which is that she has been very unwell all day. When she awoke, she felt so low and ill that I was much alarmed; and all day my heart has been aching from seeing my wife in such a depressed state - so unnatural a thing with her, for she generally retains a cheerfulness under any suffering, however acute. Whittaker tells me it is the natural result of the treatment she has undergone for so many days, together with the low diet; and I am further told that she will be better tomorrow. I suppose I must take his word for it, but it is very sad to my poor heart. I have had one or two good hearty cries today about it and at this moment the tears are in my eyes. I cannot help my weakness for my love makes me a mere child. Oh I do feel so miserable and sad that I can hardly find heart to write my journal. The only thing that enables me to do it is the hope that employment will divert me. Dear Fanny is now sleeping, and I cannot go out of the cabin lest I should miss an opportunity of ministering to her relief when she awakes: so I have taken to my journal, as being the least noisy occupation. The darling seems better, although she has been suffering considerably from face ache. Twice today she has had it fomented with a poultice of Cammomile flowers, which for the time gave relief, but the benefit has not been permanent. She certainly caught cold when lying on the window-seat the day before yesterday - very early this morning, one of the poor emigrants was delivered of a very fine child, a boy! She was removed to the hospital previously to her labour, and was there attended by Mr Lunn. The mother and child are both doing well. How wretchedly uncomfortable it must have been for the poor creature, who did not expect it to occur so soon, and had nothing prepared for her accouchement. The child has
been exerting its lungs famously all day - giving evidence of strength.
14th My darling wife was very much better this morning, and deemed to enjoy a little chicken broth and afterwards the little tit-bits from the chicken itself. She was also able to sit up for five hours today, but without going through the whole process of dressing. She went again to bed very early, and very tired. At the usual hour today her attack of fever came on; but it was so very much less severe and of so short duration that Whittaker thinks it is fast leaving her. The pain in her face was very great this morning, and the doctor on examining the inside of her mouth, declared it to be an abscess which was just beginning to form. The usual fomentations were applied and gave relief. Should this abscess be sufficiently advanced tomorrow, Whittaker intends lancing it, and getting rid of the annoyance most effectively - There has been very little wind all day, but that little has been fair, and we are going on in our course, though slowly.
15th Although there was not much rock and motion last night, dear Fanny could hardly get any sleep. The whole night she was very much disturbed, and complained of great heat in the head and all over the skin. This morning after a short nap, she awoke very feverish and unwell, with great pain in the head and side. After some time she was very sick, and relieved herself of a great deal of what she ought not to have. It is evident her stomach is out of order. When a ship touches at any port halfway during a long voyage like ours, all the people commonly return to their cabins more or less unwell. Several of our greedy emigrants are very ill; from eating too largely and of unripe fruit, I suppose; and one or two of the cabin passengers are complaining. George Vidal looks wretchedly ill, and seems perfectly miserable: his brother is just the same. Dear Fanny, I am sure, did nothing when at the Cape to put herself out of order; so her present illness must arise from some other cause, as yet unknown - aggravated and hastened by the alarm she has when Master Mills was so mutinous. How glad I am that rascal is out of the ship. I am sure we should have had no peace had he remained on board - in all probability, he would have brought
death upon himself, and some few of his more daring associates. That extremity is happily avoided by his discharge from the ship. As the day advanced, dear Fanny became better, and relished her chicken broth and occasionally some biscuits pounded as fine as oatmeal and soaked in hot water with sugar. This seems to be a favourite meal with her, and I am kept in constant employment in pounding the biscuit for her! One would almost fancy my cabin was an apothecary’s shop from the constant sound of Pestle and Mortar. We are doing nothing in the hope of sailing as the wind began to die away early this morning and since noon we have had a complete calm. There has been a longstanding proviso on the part of the Captain to lower a boat the first favourable opportunity. Of this he was clamorously reminded this afternoon by the sportsmen of our party. So the cutter was let into the water, and in jumped the two Whittakers, Joshua Young (commonly called “Popjoy”) and two or three more, with guns and ammunition enough to storm Gibraltar. They went to work most fiercely and made sad havoc among the Albatrosses, Solar Geese and Cape Hens! Of these they brought on board nearly two dozen. One very fine Albatross, shot by Lewis Whittaker, (only winged and therefore alive and very fierce) was brought into my cabin for dear little Fanny to see. She has been sitting at the window, watching the sport in the distance for sometime; and could not conceive how the large bird before her, which measured nine feet, nine inches from tip to tip, could be the same as those little ones flying around the ship. They do not look more than two or three feet when flying in the distance but when brought on board they are seen in their actual dimensions. They were so fierce when wounded that the sportsmen had great difficulty in drawing them out of the sea into the boat. Some they were obliged to dispatch with the butt of their guns. They are very strong in the leg and back. I have seen them measuring rather more than twelve feet, and they often grow beyond that even. Between New Zealand and Cape Horn (on the homeward passage) is the best place for them - about nine o’clock
this evening a large shark was said to be astern and Mr Whittaker & Co were immediately on the spot with hooks and lines and a whole mess of pork for baits! but my gentleman of the fin was not so green as he looks underwater, for all their attempts to induce him to hang himself by their hooks were unavailing - too wide awake to trust to their tender mercies. It was more likely to have been a Kingfish, as sharks have rarely been found in this sea, although they often go further south. The Kingfish had been found to measure eighteen feet. It is a singular fact that everything, of whatever colour out of waterassumes a bright green colour when a few feet under water at sea. Even a fish and the bait and the line are all of one colour if at the depth of two or three fathoms - I have been very much excited at something that occurred today between Mr Crawford and Foster, the man who was skipper at the Cape in lieu of Mills. Crawford’s dog (of notoriety on the 7th inst.) was running about the desks, contrary to rules, and suddenly caught sight of Foster. He went up to him and smelling his heels, very sagaciously discovered him to be a stranger in the ship. All day long the dog was at the man’s heels, following him wherever he went, snarling and growling, and would give the man no peace - as much as to say that Foster had no business in a ship where every face but his was familiar. Foster came and complained to Mr Crawford, saying he was sure the dog would bite him, if he was not tied up like other dogs. “Oh, never mind,” said Mr Crawford, “if he does bite you, I’ll make it up to you in Sydney.”, meaning that he would give the man a glass of grog if he would allow himself to be bitten whenever the dog might take a fancy to a piece of his flesh! a monstrously cool way of treating the matter. So Foster thought, if his answer may be taken as a criterium “You say, sir, that you will make it up to me when we get to Sydney, if the dog bites me. But I will make it up at once by putting my knife into him; so you had better keep him fastened up like the other dogs.” Crawford took the hint and his dog cannot annoy anybody now. He and his mother and the dog are general nuisances. Of course, I have nothing to say to either of them since their brutal
conduct to Fanny and myself. They will not make many friends in Sydney, unless they go upon a different plan of behaviour to those who are around them.
16th Dear Fanny complains a great deal during the night of pain in the limbs, but on the whole, she has a tolerable night, and consequently is much better this morning. Whittaker has given her permission to make the attempt, as she intends getting up presently and will go on deck for an hour or so if it continues as fine and as warm as it is at present. She feels exceedingly weak, but is otherwise pretty comfortable. I begin to flatter myself with the idea that she will now mend rapidly. Oh! how light my heart already feels! Dear, dear little wife. She had suffered severely during the last few days, but has borne all admirably, without a murmur or single expression of impatience. Her cheerfulness has continued unimpaired and by it, I have been supported beyond measure. Had dear Fanny given way to fretfulness or impatience, as too many would have done under similar circumstances, I should never have been able to bear up against the burden that weighs continually upon anyone’s heart. How thankful we ought to feel that God has manifested Himself so happily in her. 8 PM. A nice breeze has just sprung up and we are now moving fast in our proper course. How much more pleasant it is to feel yourself making rapid progress towards the port of destination than to be tossing up and down on every swell and spinning round like a [indecipherable] from want of wind to fill our sails. A calm is at all times a great nuisance, although people who have never been to sea are apt to imagine the reverse. We have been fortunate in having so few since leaving England. Last voyage home I was detained twentyfour days by calms alone - one calm lasted eight days without moving five miles in all that time! - My darling wife rose pretty early this morning, but found that the exertion of dressing [indecipherable] was too much for her strength, so she could not venture on deck, but contented herself with lying on the sofa with all the windows open, enjoying the fresh air. I was afraid it might make her face worse, but such does not appear to be the case, although she still suffers very
much from it. We have discovered a small boil on the upper gum, which will be ready for the lancet tomorrow. - A little before it became dark, the man at the mast-head discovered three vessels in sight, two ships and a schooner. One is going astern very fast - I find the “Earl Grey” is not so dull a sailer as she was represented to be in London - No vessel has beaten us yet; and, when we have been steering the same way as any other vessel in sight since leaving England, we have immediately beaten her, and seen her “hull-down” in a short time. We are likely to make a quick passage of it yet, although we lost fully ten days by going into the Cape of Good Hope. We were taken very much out of our way by touching there, but it could not be helped. We should have starved if we had not gone there. Oh that scoundrel of No. 26 Birchin Lane, London! I only wish we had him on board. Wouldn’t we duck him - Keel hauling would be too merciful a treatment for that rascal. The best place for him would be “Pinch-gut” Island in Sydney Cove, where he might get plenty of stone to eat, but not a blade of grass! However, he will have to pay nicely for his stingyness towards us, and the de’il pity him!
17th. In spite of the noise and bustle that was made in working the ship last night, dear Fanny had a very tolerable night. It is the motion that disturbs her and prevents her sleeping - she does not mind noises - After having been some time at sea every body gets accustomed to the ceaseless noises, and even the thump of a heavy coil of rope immediately overhead, fails in awakening an old sailor. We were going swimmingly all night, with scarcely any motion so that dear Fanny awoke refreshed, and much better in the morning. About half past seven there was a very heavy fall of rain, just like a tropical shower, accompanied by a strong puff of wind. As the wind was “right aft” the rain was beating against our windows very violently, thereby doing us considerable service in washing our windows outside, at which we could not get. The constant spray from the “wake” of the ship under the “counter” had made the windows so dirty as materially to darken the room. The cabin looks twice as cheerful now - It has remained very squally during the day, but otherwise fine weather; and the ship
has been running with a fair wind all day at the rate of seven “knots” an hour. Two vessels were discovered in sight at break of day. One of them was soon passed and left to speak with the next vessel it came; and the other was overtaken by dinner time. We passed within half a mile of each other, and held a long conversation by means of flags. We found her to be the “Larkins”, bound to Bombay, having on board a fellow clerk of mine in my Uncle William’s counting-house. Singular that we should meet on the wide ocean after an absence of four years! The “Larkins” left London a fortnight before the “Earl Grey”, so we have gained on her famously, for she has not touched anywhere. I know Captain Ingram, the Commander, very well, and was often on board his vessel when she was in dock. He has promised to report us well and safe when he reaches Bombay; and then the mail, overland , to England will carry the news to Lloyd’s much sooner than our letters from Sydney. It is sure to appear in some newspaper, and I hope our friends may be fortunate enough to get sight of it, and have the satisfaction of knowing that we had come thus far on our voyage, without accident. It was a beautiful sight - the whole afternoon we kept close together, purposely; and, as there was rather a heavy swell on the sea, the “Larkins” seemed to ride most majestically on the top, and then quietly lower itself to the foot of the next “heave”, preparatory to making a bound uphill again - it was indeed a noble sight - she is a large and handsome ship, and we never had so good an opportunity of watching a vessel at sea, as the one afforded this afternoon: dear Fanny enjoyed it from the cabin windows, as the “Larkins” was on our side all the time - We could see all the people most distinctly. As the evening drew on, and our telegraphing was ended, we filled our sails; and bidding farewell to our “Icara sou”, we speedily shot ahead, and left her to join her companion astern while the “old Grey” pursued her onward course - The South American Indians call a ship “Icara sou”, or, “flying demon” thereby indicating their astonishment when first they saw so large a thing moving on the sea without any visible force
urging it forward. I have often thought of the singular analogy between the Brazilian word for “flying” (Icara) and the mythological name of the man who first attempted “to fly” (Icarus) - it seems almost as though one were derived from the other, and that a connection in some way or other existed between America and the Eastern World, which is not related in any history extant. - During our tea, we were overtaken by a faster sailer than ourselves, in the shape of a strong Westerly Squall, which made us lower our crest and not go quite
quite so “cockahoop”; no damage was done;
but it remains rather boisterous still - Never mind, the more wind we
have the faster we shall go; so, as long as the wind is fair, it may blow
as hard as it likes. “What matter, for I will ride and
sleep”! - My darling wife is much better this evening and seems to
enjoy herself. She is very much amused at my constant cooking, and days I
am an excellent Cuisinier. I have pretty good practice now that she is
ill - making something for her, morning, noon, and night - Sometimes
soup, chocolate, sago, biscuit-meal, arrowroot, and even linseed tea! at
all of which I am quite aufe! a pretty fair catalogue of abilities for a
man. I am engaged as “head cook” in her menage. Early this
afternoon Whittaker lanced the little gum-boil, which gave speedy relief;
and the swelling has almost disappeared. I trust now she will have no
more annoyance from that source.
18th. My darling wife is very much better this morning, and intends getting up pretty early. I do not think she will be allowed to venture on deck today, as the wind is much too cold, and the sun does not seem inclined to show his face to cheer us. She went through the whole of yesterday without any return of the pain or Fever, and I trust she will continue equally comfortable today. I am told not to be alarmed in case she should suffer again, as, in all probability, the fever will take some little time in subsiding, and will evince its existence by occasionally attacking its victim. There is nothing more tedious and difficult to allay than a fever of this kind, - it is very tenacious. Of one thing I can assure myself, - its violence
is daily decreasing, as likewise the duration of the attack; and from these circumstances I draw the most gladdening inferences. Oh, how delightful it will be when my dear wife can put her arm within mine, and pace the deck with me, admiring one thing, and then another; or, when she can listen to me, reading while she is employed at her needle, in our own little cabin! Everybody seems altered since her cheerful, laughing face has been banished from among them, and secluded in the sick chamber. Mrs. Bonham says the deck has lost its charms, and that she only goes there when duty positively requires her to take exercise. If strangers can feel thus, how must her husband feel? He has been sad enough, but now begins to feel the cheerful influence of hope. - At present it is nearly a calm, but what little wind we have is fair, and every mile we run in this direction makes us a mile nearer to the end of our voyage. How I long for the termination of this miserable confinement - Before dear Fanny became ill, I did not much care whether we made a long or quick voyage, because we were so comfortable in ourselves, and made each other happy; - but now that my poor wife is laid low, and hourly feels the want of things not to be obtained on board, and is constantly thrown back by noises, motion, smells &c. - there is no wish more fervent in my breast, next to her recovery, than that the “Earl Grey” may prove herself a fast sailer by speedily accomplishing her voyage. 9PM. At noon today, the wind changed, and became as foul as possible, blowing rather strong at the same time - The calm of this morning was so unusual a thing in this sea and at this season, that we expected it was a Monitor. We are now making for Madagascar, instead of Sydney! The ship began to knock about so much that it was impossible for Fanny to leave her cabin: so the darling tried to deceive herself by putting on her bonnet and cloak, and walking about the cabin, with all the windows open; not so pleasant a walk as might be enjoyed in the green fields of this hemisphere, but much better than lying in bed all day. She is now busily engaged in making “vanities” for tomorrow, in the shape of a fine cap, as her old Sidmouth one is quite done up, and my lady prefers blue ribbons and
lace rather than her night cap, in the day time. I am only afraid she will fever herself, and make her head ache. I have been trying to persuade her to lie quietly in bed; but as tomorrow is Sunday, and she really wants a cap, I let her continue, but with fear and trembling. It will amuse her, and that may do her good by way of counterbalance to the evil of exertion and fatigue . For several hours after noon we had a strong wind, but at teatime, it became nearly a calm again - In these latitudes, or rather in these longitudes, in the summer time, the wind is never stationary for twentyfour hours, sometimes blowing from every point of the compass in that time. There is some consolation in this as we know that a foul wind cannot last long; and a fair wind has a great many points to vary upon before it becomes foul. During the squall last night we “carried away” our jib; that is, the wind tore away a sail on the “bowsprit” of the ship. And in the breeze of this afternoon there was such a strain upon a sail the end of which was fastened to the Poop-rail, that the wooden stanchion gave way and flew all over the poop, Miss Davies having a narrow escape, as she was sitting very near it at the time of the accident. - In fact this day has been one of accidents; for, in addition to those already mentioned, the ship “missed stays” when tacking - that is, when the wind fell light this afternoon, the Captain tried to “put about” the ship - or turn her against the wind, to another point of the compass - The wind suddenly headed us, so that the ship would not answer her helm, but got “sternway”, making her go backwards. If this is not checked immediately, it is dangerous, as the masts must be cut away, to prevent a ship from sinking stern-foremost. It took the Captain some time to put the ship to rights by shifting sails etc; but he at length succeeded, and all is going on quietly now - By way of adding interest to the events of the day, a man was nearly drowned this morning. During the calm, a man known to us as Saucy Alic, jumped overboard after his cap, thinking that he could keep up with the vessel, which was not going more than a knot and a half in the hour. The man did not calculate upon the resistance he would meet from the “heave” of the sea; but
he soon found out his mistake by seing the ship going ahead of him - He was fast dropping astern, when a rope was thrown out to him. He caught hold of this, and endeavoured to get nearer the vessel, but the recoil of the sea from the ship’s side continually beat him away again. His strength was beginning to fail, when the Carpenter took another rope and jumped down to a port called “the channels” near the water. By this means he was able to lower himself so as to put his foot under the drowning man. In this way he supported him for some time; and then Alic caught hold of the Carpenter’s leg. - Thus, with the support of a foot under him, and a leg to hold by, he was pulled on board, by the Carpenter’s being hauled up. This man Alic was cook to the Emigrants, but was ejected from his office, as he was found to be too great a rascal even for these dirty chaps. He was the great friend and abettor of Mills and all that party of desperadoes; and is always giving trouble - he has been several times in irons for misconduct, and will end his days on the gallows. I fancy he must have been tipsey when he jumped overboard, as no man in his senses would have attempted such a thing - It is to be hoped that he will learn a good lesson from this miraculous escape, for all had given him over as a lost man - but I fear he is too hardened to observe the mercy. He cannot fathom the designs of Providence - and can imagine no other cause for the rescue of such a man from death, than that he may have further time to correct his errors and work out his own salvation. It has been an instructive topic of meditation to myself.
19th. Sunday. I am happy to say that my dear little wife continues better this morning, so far as the fever is concerned, but she is very weak, and complains of constant nausea. There is at present too much motion for her to get up. She attempted it once and was immediately thrown against the “bulkheads” of the cabin, frightened but not hurt. 8PM. What changes and reverses we are subject to in this transitory life! Since writing my journal this morning, dear Fanny has been very unwell - About noon she became hot and feverish, but rallied a little before our dinner time - She Attempted to eat a
little chicken, but soon brought it all up again. She was sick several times, and suffered severe pain in the head for two hours. Whittaker gave a draught to allay the nausea, after which she slept a little, and woke very much refreshed. Towards evening she sat up for a short time on the sofa, undressed but well wrapped up. I fear she continued too long out of bed, for on lying down again at night she complained a second time of her head. This, however, did not continue long, and now she appears tolerably comfortable, and inclined to sleep. Her stomach must still be in a very irritable condition , as so delicate a thing a tender chicken could put out of order, and make her sick - I hope this sickness will not throw her back again, but Whittaker thinks it is very likely to do so. Great care must be taken in future not to discompose the stomach, as any irregularity or disorder there must necessarily affect the head and other sensitive parts. Our kind friend Whittaker has been wishing for some time past to commence upon a system of Quinine with her, but finds that her stomach will not bear it at present . He only waits for this, and says that it will entirely drive away the fever. He seems very cautious, but that inspires one with greater confidence in his abilities and treatment - During service in the morning it began to blow very hard; and the Captain was obliged to interrupt Mr. Simpson when about to commence his sermon. The ship was soon in confusion, but the squall did not last long. It was sufficiently strong, however, to break our “Mizen topmast backstay”, a rope which supports the top of the mast, and is fastened on deck. Had the ship taken it into her head to pitch heavily, we should certainly have had the gratification of seeing our Mizen-topmast go overboard. The strain must have been enormous to have snapped so thick a rope as a backstay. It made a noise just like the report of a gun. The damage was soon repaired by splicing till the weather shall admit of our putting a new stay in the place of the present one, which is evidently very old and unsafe - The weather is now more moderate, and we are sailing along easily, but not quite in our proper course. The wind will probably change before morning –
20th Dear Fanny awoke tolerably well this morning, after a very good night; and continued so till about three this afternoon, when she had a return of her fever, with the usual accompaniment of pain in the head- This attack lasted about three hours, part of which time she was asleep and awoke still unwell. It afterward left her gradually, and by the time she went to bed she was pretty comfortable. She however, still complained of great weakness, and a feeling of sinking within from want of something nourishing to support her. I made her a little Arrowroot jelly, and put a little sherrywine into it, on the sly. She was much revived after eating this, and declared herself to be “more of a man”! and is now sleeping comfortably. Whittaker attributes this attack of today to the irritable state of her stomach owing to yesterday’s sickness, and thinks she may yet go on very well. I am more disposed to hope than formerly, and feel less alarmed at this return of her illness than formerly. If we could get a find warm day, dear Fanny would go on deck, and breathe fresh air; which I am confident would do her a great deal of good. But the last two or three days have been very unfavourable for invalids, being windy, cold and cloudy with a good deal of motion in the ship. I am told that we have a great many sick between decks, and that one woman and a child are in a dying state - Sad complaints are made against Mr. Lunn of neglect. Of the truth of these I cannot vouch, although I should not at all be surprized at such being the case - He seems to be a perfectly heartless man, considering the life of a human being of no more consequence than that of a pig! How unfit a person to hold so responsible a situation. One of Mr. Simpson’s little girls has been ill for the last six weeks, of a fever; and at one time her life was despaired of. But she is now gradually recovering; and Whittaker, who has attended her all the time, says she is so much better that she may soon come on deck. Mr. Simpson would not have Mr. Lunn to attend his child; nor would Captain Surflen whose son has been ill of fever and Ericyphalus - nor does Mrs. Gatting, whose son has been laid up for three weeks with ague and a bad chest, nor would I for my wife who has been ill for more than a fortnight - All these
invalids are carefully looked after by Whittaker, and the results in every case speak favorable for him - Since six oclock this morning we have had a fair wind, and have been sailing along so quietly as hardly to be reminded that we are not on terra firma - and yet we have been going very fast. - a great many black fish were about the ship just now - about twenty of them in full chase after us - There have been one or two slight showers during the day, but nothing else has occurred worthy of remark.
21st My dear wife felt so much better this morning, and the day was so inviting, that, at one oclock ventured on deck, and remained there for about an hour and a half. She was well wrapped up as the wind was chilly, although the sun was warm. She was too weak to walk about, although she attempted two or three turns up and down the poop. When she returned to her cabin she was very much fatigued, but an hours sleep and rest soon set her to rights again; and she now appears to have derived considerable benefit from the fresh air, and change of scene. Oh, how delighted was I to see my own darling wife once more on the deck where we had been accustomed to walk together, arm in arm so happily; but where, for the last fortnight I have paced up and down occasionally for my health all alone, and so sad at heart. How thankful I ought to feel, and do feel, that God, in His mercy, has restored my only earthly treasure to comparative health and strength! Oh, that it may be His good pleasure to continue her so and to grant us many years of happiness with each other. How greatly is my love for her increased by this affliction - what a loss I should have sustained if God had taken dear dear Fanny away from me! But she is spared to me, and it now remains for me to evince my gratitude in every way that comes within my sphere; whether it regards merely myself, or my fellow creatures generally, doing everything with the view of promoting the glory of God in this world. At six oclock this morning a vessel was discovered ahead of us. It did not take us long to overtake her although she was steering in the same direction as ourselves, and had the start of us by six or seven miles. About eight oclock we signalized
her in the same way as we did the “Larkins”, and discovered her to be the “Harrison” bound to Bombay with troops. It was very singular that we should fall in with this ship, as it is the one out of which Captain Surflen exchanged into our ship, and Captain Talbert, who commanded the “Early Grey” last voyage, took Surflen’s command on board the “Harrison”. We were all highly amused at this reucontre between the two ships and their guondam commanders, on the wide ocean. The “Harrison” is reckoned a fast ship, but the “Earl Grey” must be a faster one norshe, for we soon left her astern; and by five oclock this afternoon there was no vestige of her on the horizon - so, hurrah for the old “Earl Grey” She may yet do it in style. We have had a fair wind all day, and have averaged more than seven miles an hour since noon yesterday;- at present we are going nine knots, with scarcely any motion in the ship! I should imagine this is the kind of sailing that a landsman, or as Jack would call him ” a shore going lubber”, would bargain for from first to last of the voyage. It certainly is very pleasant, but variety is pleasing, and by being knocked about for a few days occasionally we are better able to appreciate the comfort of steady sailing. Take it all in all, a voyage may be a pleasant thing for though your society is limited, and even becomes irksome after a time, yet with a little forethought and a little taste a man may make himself perfectly independent, so far as his comfort is concerned - but for a man who has no private resources a voyage must be an awful undertaking under any circumstances. On a rough calculation we are now about four thousand six hundred miles from Sydney “Heads” - this distance may be easily run in a month; or even less at our present rate - At eleven oclock this morning the little girl, who was so ill yesterday died; making the sixth death on board since leaving Plymouth. She had a cousin very ill of fever; and when she was told that the little girl had died of the same illness as that which confines herself, she became delirious, and has not spoken a sensible word since Her state is materially altered for the worse; and, in all probability, she herself will be the first to follow her cousin to a watery grave and who after her? how awful! May
the God of mercy preserve us, and carry us safely and speedily to our destination. There was very improper conduct at the interment of the poor girl this afternoon, on the part of Mr. Lunn. When little Marlean (her name) died, Mr. Lunn reported it to the Captain as in duty bound, and made arrangements for her funeral at seven oclock this evening when every noise and bustle was hushed - It is a thing generally understood that Mr.Simpson is to officiate upon all such occasions, unless special permission were given to any other person stating himself to be duly qualified. The Captain was sitting in the boat over the stern when to his astonishment he saw the shrouded corpse pass astern! on enquiry it was found that , a little while before the time appointed for the service, and while the Captain was out of the way Mr. Lunn had the corpse carried forward quietly and sent for Dr.Ross who hurried the poor girl overboard with a few words of prayer! Of course Captain Surflen questioned Dr. Ross on the subject and Dr. Ross declares that he was quite surprized at being requested to bury the girl, as no previous communication been made to him. He did not refuse, as he took it for granted that it was with the permission and knowledge of the Captain and Chaplain that he had been called upon to officiate. The blame, therefore, rests wholly upon Mr. Lunn, who could have had no other motive for this indecency than that of annoying the Church-party in the Cuddy. This matter is to be represented to the proper authorities in the Colony, and I really hope Mr. Lunn will be made to feel some token of the public indigation. I can hardly make up my mind to speak to the man - he is evidently annoyed at my sending for Whittaker instead of himself to attend dear Fanny in her illness, as he had only once asked after her, and that very slightly although I sit next to him at meals, and he hears others constantly enquiring how she gets on. He must see how much he is disliked by everybody “fore and aft” in the ship - There have been several porpoises about the ship several times today, but they did not come near enough for the harpoon - I am sorry to see the effect of example from the Cabin passengers amongst the emigrants, who have guns and are firing at every bird they see from morning
till night; killing some, but only wounding by far the greater number. This cruel sport ought not to be allowed; but the doctor seems to enjoy it, as his assistant O’Flaherty, is the principal sportsman; and can only do it by the doctors permission. I am sure some accident will one day occur, from the use and abuse of these guns among so many children, and others.
22nd When dear Fanny got up from her bed this morning, she felt very well; but after kneeling to her prayers with myself she became very giddy, and immediately the terrible pain in the head came on - followed by the ordinary attack of Fever. After some time, I made her a little warm negus, as the feverishness seemed to subside, and she complained of great chillyness - This certainly did her good, and her usual chicken dinner set her to rights. She then ventured on deck for about quarter of an hour, hoping to derive benefit from the air. She would not sit down at all, but persevered in walking up and down the deck till she was fairly tired, and returned to her cabin - She is now sleeping soundly, and I hope, will awake quite refreshed. her airing of yesterday certainly did her good, but it was not quite so favourable a time this morning for invalids, being cloudy and misty, and rather windy. Prudence made her continue but a short time on deck; and, if she has not already caught cold, I have no doubt this morning’s walk will do her as much good as yesterday’s airing. Hitherto we have kept our fine fair wind and the vessel is now going at the rate of nine knots an hour. We have run by “log” two hundred and six miles since noon yesterday till now (noon) - this is what may be called something like sailing, and I should mind bargaining for the same for four weeks longer.
10 pm There has been a nasty thick mist, just like rain all the remainder of this day, so that no one could venture outside the cabin door. Nevertheless, it did not prevent the young men, who constitute the society denominated “The fork-and-Harpoon Company”, from rushing out with their insignia of office as soon as they heard the cry of “Porpoises” under the ship’s bows. They immediately went to work, and soon struck a very fine fellow; but in hauling him aboard, the rope gave way and he escapes. Better luck attended their second
blow, for they secured the porpoise and soon dispatched him on deck. –Oh, what a spluttering and flashing about the deck! and such a noise! they squeak just like a little pig! The porpoise is one of the few warm blooded fishes - all that inhale atmospheric air are perfectly distinct from deep water fishes, whose blood is quite cold:- The Whale species, and the Shark I believe, all that respire - the dolphin never comes above water, although in old paintings it is represented as a most formidable creature, making an arch of its back above water sufficiently large for a man of war to sail under! The fact is, the “Dorado” of the ancients was the porpoise (according to some), or the shark (according to others) but I must say that, altho’ I have seen a shark make his appearance above water, I never say him bridgify himself! He certainly is a formidable creature, but he seldom shows more than his dorsal fin out of his watery element. Whittaker (Lewis) has the head of the porpoise that was caught this afternoon, and he intends making a skeleton of it. It is the same kind as the one I send to Dr. Granger by Rochfort Luke, when he came on board at Plymouth: but not so perfect in the jaw and teeth - Dear Fanny was very sick today after dinner, and lost the benefit of all she demolished previously! She soon recovered from this, and I read aloud to her for half an hour, but left off as soon as I found she was suffering in the head. This soon increased, and the fever came on her, till at last she was very unwell for more than an hour - When she was somewhat recovered she went to bed, and remained tolerably well till attached by a sick headache, from which she is still suffering - so am I! I trust she will sleep it off. She certainly is gaining strength every day but I doubt whether it was prudent in me to let her venture on deck this morning; I fear she has done herself no good by it. - A most wonderful occurrence took place this morning. One of the female Emigrants actually asked for something to do, as she wished to amuse herself, being tired at last of doing nothing! a sad lazy set we have. They lie in bed all day, and make each other ill, because the doctor would not be so hard hearted as to tell them to get up and breathe a little of God’s air; or, in case of persevered laziness, order a “cold frig” to be administered
When this prodingy in the shape of an industrious woman, applies to me, I took compassion on her, and made work for here; giving her a piece of stuff to make a waistcoat that I shall never wear. I must say of this woman that she has all along conducted herself better than the others. Her connections are particularly respectable, and known to one or two persons at the table, but a failure in business has reduced them, and obliged this woman to emigrate. This evening one of the emigrants got tipsy in some unaccountable manner, and caused great disturbance in the ship. We have been obliged to consign the fellow to the care of the officer of the watch, to make him pace the deck all night. He is one of Mr Vidal’s men. I wish him joy of the man for he is a most insolent fellow continually getting tipsy and abusive. Such a man as is likely soon to come to a bad end in a bad colony. It is a mysterious thing how so many men are enabled to get drunk, we suspect they must have the sprits given them by some of the Intermediate passengers, as it would be hardly possible for them to steal it, being out of the way of places where the sprits are kept. One or two of the Intermediates are too fond of their glasses.
24th All yesterday dear Fanny was very unwell and low spirited, and the day was so unfavourable that it was impossible for her to amuse herself by going on deck, and seeing what was going on . There was at one time rain, and at another a heavy mist (commonly called by sailors ”Newfoundland Jack” for its prevalence on that coast) together with a cold wind from morning to night. Dear Fanny suffers at times very much in her head, sometimes in her side and chest, and complained of constant nausea all day, till relieved by a draught prescribed by Whittaker. Her usual chat with Mrs Bonham after our dinner, excites her rather too much, but has the effect of raising her sprits. She complains of internal sinking from want of food, although I am continually cooking something for her. Her stomach reject any substantial meat, so she is obliged to live upon slops, which are not of the very best descriptions on board this ship. We averaged rather more than nine miles an hour during yesterdays run, having run by “observation”, two hundred and twenty miles! We
shall not cut such a good figure today; for, early in the morning, the breeze failed us, and at last became as foul as it could be, and so it remains till now (noon). The weather, however, is very fine and warm, and dear Fanny was able to go on deck this morning for nearly two hours, during which time she seemed to enjoy herself, and I explained to her the use of the Captains”sextant”, and showed her the “method of taking” “altitudes etc. She was much better for the airing and is now quietly sleeping on her sofa. All the morning she has complained of a sick headache, but is now nearly recovered. Some of our fever patients are better, and have been on deck for a short time this morning, but there are still three women very ill.
8 PM How truly applicable is the tem “fickle”, applied to the wind, for, by dinner time today it had talked what sailors term ”a round turn”, that is to say, it had gone all round the compass since it began to change, having blown from every point in his course, and has
indecipherable now become quite
fair, though there is not very much of it, so we are not going very fast.
My darling Fanny felt so well and so much stronger after her nap at noon
that she went again on deck in the afternoon, and remained there for two
good hours, enjoying herself very much. Towards sunset it became rather
chilly, some walked up and down the deck till she was quite tired, and
then descended to our little sanctuary. Dear Fanny says she feels better
today than she has felt for a very long time, oh, what delightful news to
my anxious heart! What return can I make for all God’s mercies
vowsafed to me. There is but one; and to that I have, long since vowed my
whole powers both of body and soul. While dear Fanny was on deck, we saw
a large school of black fish which appeared to chase the vessel for half
an hour. Porpoises, also, have been seen gamboling about the ship at
different times during the day . For the first time I have been onboard I
brought out my fishing line, and fished for albotresses, but I did not
get so much as a nibble to repay me for sitting like
“Patience in the bumboat!’ (not on the
monument) on a moderate calculation for about an hour! The birds were
flying in numbers in every direction, and continuallly hovered over the
they were all too cunning to dart it. They are very ravenous, and fly at anything they see floating on the water. It is very singular that not one has been caught with the hook during the voyage, although there have been so many fishermen. On my homeward voyage in the “Brothers” in 1833 I remember catching upwards of a dozen in one day, and letting some of them go again. There is a curious custom practiced at sea. When an albatross is caught, Jack likes to get a strip of white leather from some “kidded’ dandy in the cabin. On this he writes the ship’s name and commander, the date, latitude and longitude at time of writing, and the state of the ship (well or ill). The leather is then secured round the birds neck by a bit of wire; and the bird is set adrift again. As the Albatross generally keeps in the vicinity of some ship for the sake of what is thrown overboard, it is very possible that the feathered letter carrier may chance to be caught by another ship not far distant, before the leather is worn off, and that ship gains intelligence of the first one; and should she arrive home before the other she reports her at Lloyd’s as well (or ill) on such a date, in such a latitudeetcsuch things have occurred, and I believe it is now a general practise; and the “Earl Grey” has been ticketed to one bird slightly wounded from the boat; but without much chance of its being discovered.
25 Early this morning we had a smart shower of rain, immediately followed by a strong squall of wind from the Southward, which obliged to “turn all hands up” to shorten sail. The wind is fair and continues very fresh . We are off “Desolation Island “ which accounts for this puff of wind. By nightfall we expect to have passed it, and in all probability the weather will become more moderate. We are upwards of five hundred miles to the Norhtward of it, and yet we are not too far to be without the influence of its squalls. The island is very large but barren, and contains no inhabitants. It is frequented by English “Whalers” as a place of Rendezvous during winter months, when the ice prevents their cruising about with success, and the weather is more boisterous. Dear Fanny seems
tolerably well this morning with, the exception of an attack of rheumatism in her back and shoulder. It disturbed her very much during the night, On rubbing in one of the Anodyne Linniment procured at the Cape when I was troubled in a similar way, she experienced immediate temporary relief, She has caught cold, as I prognosticated, from sitting for two hours at our open window, exposed to cold wind, while chatting with Mrs Bouham. The young lady is rather careless, and requires watching; or she will surely get into mischief of some kind1 She has most saucily dubbed me “the cruel husband” because I will not let her have her own way in everything, telling me she has always been accustomed to have it, for everybody used to be so fond of her ! conceit !! Ah, she knows well how readily I would yield to her inclination if it did not sometimes militate against her own comfort. I am not disposed to be a Turk, in my exaction of submission from my wife - indeed, I’m inclined to think I am rather henpecked! - be that as it may, I Know I am very happy, and do not wish to alter my condition one jot: and I desire to be thankful that the treasure I expected to lose has been mercifully continued to me. 9 PM - At one oclock this afternoon, news was brought into the Cuddy of the death of another Emigrant, making the seventh death since leaving England. It was the cousin of Anne Maclean, mentioned in my journal of 21st. She never recovered the shock she experienced on hearing of the death of her cousin. She has lingered for four days, having been delirious all the time. She is now released, and gone to join her cousin, let us hope, in a better world of unmixed happiness. Her uncle, who was also her guardian, requested that Dr. Ross might be allowed to bury her, which was of course permitted. The funeral took place at seven oclock this evening. Dr. Ross’ manner is infinitely more impressive than Mr. Simpson’s; and this, added to his greater popularity on other accounts, made the relatives prefer Dr. Ross to Mr. Simpson. What a pity it is that Mr. Simpson does not endeavour to render himself more popular, and thereby gain a better opportunity of advancing his
Master’s Cause with advantage. I fear he is little calculated to do much good among the reprobate class who are likely to compose his charge in New South Wales. I should say he is much better fitted for his station as schoolmaster, and should never have put a gown over his back. - Dear Fanny was not quite well in the afternoon - however, she has had no return of the fever, which I hope has left her. I read to her, but was obliged to leave off very soon, as it affected her head. After our dinner she had a glass of hot negus and some pounded biscuit meal, of my manufacturing, which revived her, and she rallied sufficiently to go on deck for an hour. A fine bracing air, but the wind was not quite fair. When she came down to her cabin she was much better and enjoyed her “tay - tay” _ Mrs. Bonham taught her a new method of making watch-guards of silk - These two ladies are terrible cronies, and always have so much to say to each other when they meet every three or four hours that I generally reckon upon one hour’s leave of absence! However, I am exceedingly glad dear Fanny has found some one on board with whom to form a closer acquaintance than the ordinary run of passengers - When she dismissed Mrs. Bonham she went to bed, and is now pretty well - Her rheumatism is much better, but not quite gone - Towards evening the weather became more moderate, and the wind altered a couple of points, so that the ship could lie in her proper course.
26th. We are now in the doldrums: - a complete calm, and the vessel turned into a teetotum making a complete circle in the water every five minutes! it must have a most ridiculous appearance from the distance. I wonder it does not make every body on board quite giddy! Dear Fanny is tolerably well this morning; but the exertion of washing and making her toilette has fatigued her so much that she has been obliged to remain in bed, and is now fast asleep. Several albatrosses have been caught this morning by the Cuddy Passengers. In light winds these birds are more easily caught; but when a calm succeeds a strong breeze of two or three days duration, they are so hungry, and ravenously
devour whatever is offered them without thinking of the consequences, that they may be taken by the dozens. If the sea is boisterous they seldom settle on the water, except to sleep, and cannot discover any little thing that may be floating. In a day or two, and in the common course of nature, these feathered gentry find their stomach more light than is agreeable to them, and the natural anxiety of each bird to seize first any prize makes them so hasty in their movements that they swallow hook and bait all at one gulp; and flying off to avoid being made to disgorge by any more powerful hunger-stricken brother, they find themselves unavoidably urged to take shelter on the deck of the ship. The squally weather of the past week accounts for their being so numerous today. I have caught one for the sake of the down which is very fine, and highly prized by the ladies who convert it into a certain article that is usually worn over the “quarters”, and vulgarly called “a bustle”. Of such an article my wife has declared herself very much in want, and my only incentive to engage in the sport of the morning was the desire of gratifying her. 9 P.M. Poor dear Fanny has been very unwell since writing the above - a very sever attack of fever with the attendant pain in her head. Her feet were immediately put into hot water and mustard, which gave speedy relief to the head - But as soon as she took her feet out of the water, and was again on the sofa, the paroxysm returned and she suffered intensely. The room was necessarily kept so dark that I could not see across it, though it was nearly mid-day. I am always obliged to do this when my poor dear wife is ill as the light distracts her, and only aggravates the pain. The gloom of the cabin gives a most melancholy aspect, and seems almost to forebode a darkness more intense - the darkness of death! How apt is one to give importance and reality to the chimeras and fictions of fancy: and, though aware of their nonentity, to be influenced by them! As the evening came on and the bustle on deck and around her began to lessen, my dear Fanny got better, and the pain entirely left the head. She is now tolerably comfortable, although there are some vestiges of the attack yet remaining, in the shape of great heaviness, and apprehension in the
head. I read to her for about half an hour this evening, which amused her mind and diverted her thoughts from “home”, without doing any apparent mischief by distracting the head. I read a part of the story of “The blind man and his son”. Dear Fanny always makes herself sad and unwell if she is allowed to dwell long on the remembrance of byegone days, and the friends she has left behind her. Her anxiety about her mother is very great, and she frequently says to me “I feel it would relieve me materially if I could but hear how my dear little mother is, and whether she is happy and comfortable.” her affection for her only parent seemed to increase daily, - and it requires constant watching on my part to see that she does not make herself miserable by regret for what she has lost. Occasionally we have a good chat about our friends, and wonder all sorts of things - talk of times gone bye - and wind up with a dip into the future. These chats have a beneficial effect; but the silent meditation invariably does mischief. - The attack from which dear Fanny suffered this afternoon, though severe and painful, was not so distressing as they used to be. She was not tormented as formerly with intolerable thirst - Lewis Whittaker, in consequence of this attack, has commenced his system of Quinise, as he considers his patient is now able to bear it without inconvenience. I am glad the experiment is now making, as I have great faith in this medicine as a febrifuge; and I long for the lapse of two or three days to be able to witness the effect I anticipate, and to ardently pray for - Oh , when will this tedious fever leave my darling? How I long to be safely on shore, where everything desirable could be obtained, and where we might hope to see the patient restored in a few days! How harassing to the mind is this constant dread and anxiety! one day I am full of hope, and buoyed up by the idea of having dear Fanny comfortable and strong ere long: but the next day, aye, and sometimes the next hour, sees me as I am at present, downcast and miserable. I fear my impatience frequently inclines me to murmur; but how difficult it is to reconcile one’s self to the sight of a beloved wife on the bed of pain and sickness day after day, week after week, out of the reach of all friends whose attendance might help, or whose presence might comfort; de-
deprived of everything but the absolute medical remedy for the complaint; with so little comforts or enticing luxuries for the palate. But a relief from this imprisonment, I hope, will shortly arrive, as we may expect to reach our destination in about three weeks, if all goes on well. The ship is lying in her proper course, and we are now going at the rate of nine “knots” an hour. It is now rather squally from the North-East, and occasionally comes down in hard puffs upon us. - Mr. Simpson has now another of his daughters ill in bed, Jane, the eldest. She was first taken ill two days ago; but nothing of importance appeared till last night, when she suddenly became delirious - It is a matter of surprise that she has not been ill before, for I never saw a more unhealthy looking creature - enormously and increasingly stout, and naturally of a bad habit, taking little or no exercise, but eternally stewing between decks. She is about seventeen. The poor parents seem very much alarmed about her. Mrs. Simpson is now in that delicate state that makes any additional trouble in the shape of anxiety and hurting doubly dangerous - more particularly on board ship where all is confusion and distraction from morning until night. The Simpsons have all their children, ten in number, in one cabin! too much for any constitution to bear, however robust. I trust Jane Simpson may be permitted to recover, in the same way as her younger sister has, who has been ill of Intermittent fever for more than two months, and whose life for several days was despaired of, but who is now able to run about her cabin, and will soon appear on deck. - This evening we were obliged to put the Ex-cook to the Emigrants in handcuffs - his offence was insubordination, and an attempted assault upon Mr. Dale, the chief officer. This is the man who was nearly drowned on the 18th inst.: and does not appear to be bettered by his experience. He is a great villain, who loses no opportunity of embroiling himself and inciting such of the emigrants who are discontented to side with him in “getting up a regular shindy” as he termed it. He will meet with his deserts ere long. He was the great ally and inspirer of Mills. This alone will condemn him. - We have a precious set of rascals on board.
27th. It was so rough last night that we could not sleep much; and, on enquiry, we found every body was similarly unfortunate. I fully expected dear Fanny would have been unwell today in consequence, but she has not; indeed she has gone through the whole day without a complaint, feeling remarkably well and cheerful. She enjoyed her chicken broth and the chicken itself at noon, and, at our dinner, she demolished by permission, a moderate helping of fruit from a pie. The young lady generally manages to stow away a whole chicken every other day! They are small, it is true, but a chicken whole is a whole chicken for all that; and it sounds just as well to hear that a delicate young lady eats a whole chicken, be it great or small! She takes her bark every day three times, but I suppose we must not yet give it the credit of having worked a miracle. Oh, if every day could be passed as free from pain or illness as today! During one of the squalls last night we “shipped a sea” in our cabin: or rather, the wind was so strong that it blew the top of a wave in at our port, which was partly open. This wetted our bed for us; but fortunately the curtain was partly closed, so that it guarded us at the head of the bed, and easily dried the blanket. This is the first wetting we have had although those between decks frequently get a washing in their beds without their own consent thereto. The sea of last night flew all over the poop, drenching the officer of the “watch”. When a vessel is running before a strong wind she generally gets a little spray on her decks, but we have been very fortunate hitherto. The danger of “scudding” consists in being caught by a long following sea, which on meeting with resistance from the stern of the ship, immediately breaks, and will either carry away the poop and mizzen mast, or give the ship such an impetus forward that her bows go so deep under water that the vessel cannot right herself again quickly enough, and the next wave swamps her, making her go down head foremost - rather pleasant! ”Scudding” is seldom resorted to now - vessels “lie to” instead, and float on top of every wave without making the least headway. The weather has been more moderate all day, and the wind still continued fair, The sun has been shining brightly, and dear Fanny was able to sit on
deck for upwards of an hour, without any detriment. We are drawing near to the islands of “Saint Paul” and “Amsterdam”. We expect to pass “St Pauls” eighty miles to windward of us, about ten oclock this evening. The proximity of this land will account for the frequent squalls of last night. It is uninhabited, and sterile, but abounds in excellent cod-fish, and has a remarkably hot spring. No vessel can enter, as there only a few feet of water over the bar at the entrance of the only anchorage. Whalers sometimes send the boats for the fish, and it is sometimes an article of trade in the Mauritius and Madagascar. Poor Jane Simpson continues very unwell, and Whittaker who attended her, fears she will not recover. It is quite melancholy to see Mr. Simpson on deck, dejected and deep in meditation. His younger daughter is sufficiently recovered to sit for an hour in the Cuddy this morning; and if the day is fine, I daresay she will be allowed to go on deck tomorrow. Whittaker is very careful. The poor little thing, who is only five years old, is sadly worn away by her illness. Alex, the cook in irons, was tried in the cuddy this morning, and was liberated on his promising to be quiet for the remainder of the voyage. He will not, however, escape h is merited punishment as soon as we arrive in Sydney. I have been occupied nearly all day in pulling the down off one albatross, and have got a great quantity of the softest and thickest I ever saw. It has been baked in the oven to drive away all the fishy odours, and is now perfectly sweet and dry. Cooky and I are excellent friends. He seems to have taken a liking but, and will do anything for me - often coming up to me on deck, and asking if he shall make such or such a thing for Fanny, as he has the materials, and knows that she would like it. He is a thorough good cook, but has only lately gone to his work, having been an invalid all the former part of the voyage.
28th. I rose at half past six this morning being tired of my bed, where I was unable to sleep. We have had a wretched night. It was not boisterous, but the wind being “right aft” or astern, the ship rolled incessantly and we could not lie quietly in the bed. A ship going before the wind will always roll, from want of support - when the wind comes on the side
the ship lies over in the water, on one side, and remains steady, as the wind continually presses her down: this pressure is wanting when the vessel is running - On going on deck this morning I heard that Jane Simpson was no more, having died at three in the morning! how awfully sudden has her summons been! Five days ago she was on deck, apparently as well as usual. How can man reckon for an hour, nay, a minute, after so convincing a proof that we hold our existence merely at the will of an Almighty Disposer, who, in a second, can turn us to dust, whence we originally sprung? The word is but spoken, and we are no more! All our wealth, honours, or earthly power cannot help us in that hour: and we must leave all that we have toiled for to be enjoyed by those who come behind us. Heaven is not to be purchased, and man must then yield himself wholly to the mercy of the only Redeemer, Mediator and Judge. The intercession is only made for those who with hearty repentance have turned unto God, and sought Him entirely, living in obedience, and dying in faithful reliance on the sure promises of Him who “is not a man that He should lie”. How important it is that all should prepare themselves for their last great change: but how few do we see making any preparation. Here a few, and there a few, while the great bulk of mankind are wholly abandoned in speculations for happiness in an earthly future, without giving a thought to their happiness in the eternity shall quickly come upon them - when “as the tree falleth, so it lieth”. Lord, let me together with the wife of Thy gift be amongst the number of those who have stood, with lamps trimmed and [?] filled, waiting for Thy coming; and oh, may we receive the same blessed reward as that Thou gavest to the five wise virgins of Thy parable. Teach us so to live that we may dread the grave as little as our bed; teach us so to die, that so we may rise glorious at that awful day when Thou shalt call every one to account, and apportion to each his merited reward - Miss Simpson’s death was not caused by the fever which is still so prevalent in the ship - it was occasioned by a complaint purely feminine. This deranged her whole system, and her bad habit of body aggravating the original mischief, congestion of the brain took place, and carried her
off. The poor parents, I am told, are in a terrible state, this being the first child they have lost, and this under such circumstances, and in such a place! A coffin is being made; though the usual means of burying is merely to sew up the body in a blanket - it was the wish of the parents. Mr Francis Vidal has been requested to officiate, and it would be too bitter a trial to poor Mr Simpson to commit his own child to the deep. This is the eighth death that has occurred on board since leaving Plymouth. 9 P.M. Jane Simpson has been buried; the funeral took place at a quarter past two this afternoon. All the passengers assembled on the poop, in black clothes, and Mr Dale held the grating. Mr Vidal read the service in a most impressive manner, so infinitely superior to Mr Simpson’s style. I trust a favourable impression has been made among the Emigrants in favour of our Church Service by hearing a portion of it read in the way it ought always to be. The coffin sank immediately as there was a very great weight attached to it - and in that respect, was better managed than Miss Waugh’s. After dinner dear Fanny and myself went on deck in order the Mr and Mrs Simpson might sit quietly in our cabin, and indulge their grief by a free vent to their feelings unobserved and unchecked. Their own cabin was undergoing fumigation, which is a practice always maintained on board ship after a death, be the death contagious or otherwise - a very necessary precaution in a place where so many people are huddled together without the possibility of avoiding contagion, when it exists. A little before tea we returned to our cabin, and had a quiet but serious chat with the parents. Mr Simpson was particularly fond of his eldest daughter, and feels her loss most bitterly; more so, apparently, than the mother. Lewis Whittaker, our friend, is very unwell this evening having caught cold. He has symptoms of the Fever about him, but hopes to get rid of them by taking them brightly in hand. He was in the Simpson’s cabin the greater part of the night, and seems to be very much fatigued. He evidently is much disappointed at the sudden death of h is patient; but it is what every medical man must occasionally expect. It is no proof of incapacity, at all times, when the patient dies. Dear Fanny has not been quite well today.
She had a slight attack of her old complaint at one oclock; but recovered and went on deck till dinner time. She felt much better and stronger after having some nourishment, and again went on deck till nearly tea time. It is quite impossible to get her chicken broth and a chicken every day, and this morning she felt quite unwell from the want of her accustomed meal. A ship’s stock is never sufficiently large to allow of constant additional supplies for invalids, and the “Earl Grey” is remarkably deficient in everything at all conducive to comfort or health, thanks to Mr Marshall. Hardly a day is passed without our feeling the want of something which cannot be obtained in the ship, and we daily long for the land more and more ardently. The wind today has been very light, and the ship has in consequence, been rolling very much, greatly to our annoyance, till about an hour ago, when a fine fresh breeze sprung up, and we are now sailing steadily along at the rate of nine knots the hour. I hope to have a good night’s rest, for I am beginning to feel the want of it. I find it rather hard work to be the constant and only nurse for three weeks, independently of the anxiety which is entailed on me as the husband of the invalid. A cough has been harassing me for some time, and I am anxious to get rid of it before it takes a firm hold of me. The winds now are exceedingly cold, but the sun enables us to enjoy the open air during the day.
29th. Mr Whittaker is much better this morning. He says that had he not taken active measures immediately on feeling himself unwell, he should, in all probability, have been in a very dangerous state in two or three hours. He is not up yet, but intends resting in the afternoon. Mr Simpson and h is family seem more composed this morning; but the poor man told me he should not easily get over this stroke, and confessed he was not prepared to yield up his daughter so suddenly. Dear Fanny has not be quite well this morning, and is still in bed. I am almost afraid to take her on deck today - it is very cold. The wind is from the South West and we are bowling along famously - About a fortnight hence we hope to see Van Dieman’s Land, and then we shall not be more than five or six days sail from Sydney. 9 P.M. My darling wife has been in great pain in the head today. She went on deck between twelve and one oclock, and walked till she was tired. When
she returned to the cabin, she was in such pain as to be unable to speak; this lasted about two hours. After dinner she was much better, but continued flushed and feverish all the evening. I fear she did herself no good by talking to our servant, Marianne, in whom she has taken a lively interest. This girl is very giddy and thoughtless, but well disposed, and seems willing to learn of her little mistress, who often talks seriously to her. Dear Fanny becomes so interested in her subject, that she is not aware of the harm she is doing to herself; but I find it out the moment I enter my cabin. We have some thoughts of taking Marianne as our servant when we get to Sydney. Miss Davies also wants her, and tried all ways to induce the girl to live with her: I am sure she uses unfair means in her attempts to gain Marianne. The brother and sister of Marianne, who are also her guardians, do not wish her to be in Miss Davies’ service, but would very much like to see her living with us - the poor girl herself wishes it, and tells Fanny she hopes we will take her. There is not quite so much cordiality or intimacy between Miss Davies and ourselves as formerly. There has been no actual breach, but a mutual reserve has crept in since the young lady has thought proper to show some airs, and act in defiance of public opinion, with regard to her intimacy with Joshua Young, which is daily the cause of [?]. She will rue her folly some future day. Mrs Bonham and my dear wife continue on excellent terms, and are likely to remain so, as their tastes and pursuits are very similar, and each is gifted with no small share of good sense.
30th. This morning I rose at half past six and walked on deck till nearly eight. I then wrote for half an hour, previously to making my dear little wife’s breakfast. Dear Fanny was very well, and has continued so all day with the exception of about quarter of an hour in the early part of the afternoon, when she suffered considerable pain in the back of the head. However, she managed to eat a hearty dinner, and has been remarkably well since. The Quinine most now be beginning to affects her, and I am now in great hopes that she will soon entirely throw off every symptom of the fever. Although in pain today, she was not hot or feverish as usual during her attacks. The wind today has been rather contrary and is driving us too far to the Northward - fortunately
it is not likely to continue long in the present quarter. Dr Ross was reported to be very ill this morning of Typhus Fever, but towards the middle of the day, the truth was ascertained from Mrs Ross, who said he had only caught cold, and was very feverish all night, so he took himself into hand and administered an emetic for his own relief, and he is now fast recovering. He was complaining all yesterday, and certainly was far from well. Whittaker says he had at one time strong symptoms of approaching illness - Poor Mr Simpson is again in distress, having three more children laid up. His youngest boy has intermittent fever, and his two older daughters are confined to their beds by severe colds. The eldest, I am told, is pining sadly after her departed sister. The weather has been too bad today for dear Fanny to venture on deck. How fortunate it is that we have such a large and airy cabin. It is well worth the additional charge; and I have often congratulated myself that I did not stick at Marshall’s demands; for during my wife’s illness, I have had constant cause of thankfulness in enjoying such advantages over those who have smaller cabins. An attack of fever in a small and close cabin, with the impure air that always finds it abode between decks, must prove fatal, in nine cases out of ten.
31st. A fair wind and a beautiful day; but bearing too great a resemblance to a calm to be at all pleasant. The weather today has been very changeable; at one time rather cold, but at noon quite warm. Indeed, it has been hotter today than we have felt it since leaving the Cape. Dear Fanny has been on deck today, and is tolerably well, only very weak. Last night she rather alarmed me by complaining of a swollen and sore throat, and being very feverish and restless. I applied flannell and hartshorn to it, and this morning she says it is quite well. Many of our worst fever cases have commenced exactly in this way. Poor Miss Davies has been laid up for more than a week from a violent cold and cough. Mr Lunn has blistered her chest. She is continually ailing, and appears to be of a very bad constitution. Mr Lunn himself is laid up today with cold and fever. Whittaker has done the duty for him, and says that the doctor will be all right again in a day or so - also that there are no very bad colds among
the Emigrants. Old Burton is the worst, but his is from a broken constitution, and having no strength to bear up against the weakening effects of a large tumour under the armpit, which has been as violent as ever for more than a fortnight - he cannot live long. Whittaker is making a beautiful skeleton of an albatross, quite perfect. How wonderfully the bird is made - every part so admirably adapted to the bird’s mode of existence! The stern of the ship is sometimes lined with the heads of these birds as specimens! Much to my annoyance, for at times the odour is not exactly such as to make me think I am passing Hendrie’s shop! It is now past midnight and I am seated at my desk to amuse myself with my Journal while dear Fanny is dosing. She has been very ill again. All the day she has been remarkably well and cheerful, and came out to her dinner in the Cuddy for the first time since leaving the Cape. She was rather fatigued by sitting up so long, but was well enough to go on deck a second time, after resting herself on her sofa. She remained on deck rather longer than usual, but still felt quite well. At eight oclock, however, she began to complain of violent pain in her right side. This pain afterwards flew all over, and at times was particularly severe. Whittaker gave her a powder, but it made her very sick and seemed otherwise to discompose her. At twelve oclock I was obliged to turn the poor doctor out of his bed to se my dear wife who was in such pain that Whittaker
that immediately applied a mustard poultice.
This gave relief for a time, but the pain afterwards returned as
violently as ever. Dear Fanny, however, has dropped asleep in the midst
of her suffering, and I trust, will feel more comfortable when she
awakes. Her dinner has disagreed with her, although it was very light and
simple; and I suspect she became chilled before leaving the deck. I have
been in great anxiety about her tonight, but am relieved at seeing her
sleep so soundly. I am delighted to say that she has not had the
slightest pain in her head or any other feverish symptoms, which
strengthens my belief that her old and tedious complaint is at last
subdued - how delightful is this! We have had a calm nearly the whole day
and so have made but little progress - indeed our good ship has been
playing at her old game of Teetotum!
After dinner all the gentlemen had a game at “Egg-hat”, after the fashion of our school-days! It must have been very amusing to see a lot of whickered bodies pelting each other with balls with as much glee as if only ten years old! the balls of course continually flying overboard, but speedily replaced by others made for the purpose. The ladies were highly amused! It is singular to what shifts we are put for amusement on board ship! I shall now go to bed, as dear little Fanny is still sleeping soundly and it is past two oclock!
February 1st. “Dear Fanny” generally commences my
day’s journal, and generally closes it! She was very sick last
night, and in great pain. The being sick, however, seems to relieve her,
and she went to sleep again. This morning she is much better, though
complaining of constant nausea. We have a fresh breeze from the right
quarter, and are rattling along at the rate of nine “knots”
an hour for Sydney! In a little more than a fortnight hence, I hope to be
safely housed at Ultimo, where my dear little wife will find the kindest
of mothers and an excellent nurse - and at the same time will be able to
get anything she may fancy (what strange fancies they are sometimes!) All
will then soon be right, and I shall see her blooming and healthy as in
days of yore. Dr Ross is better this morning; so is Mr Simpson’s
little boy, who, it now appears has no fever,
wh but a
simple influenza, which is rapidly yielding under prompt treatment. On
board ship every little ailment is magnified into fever. Dear Fanny has
not been out of bed today, except to have it made, being too sick and
weak. Besides which it has been very cold, and there has been so much
motion all day, that she could not have gone on deck - Some time ago,
some persons unknown got up a newspaper, entitled “The Ocean
Magazine”, which was admitted to the Cuddy table to be read after
dinner, once a week. I and some few more were strongly opposed to
its appearance. I have frequently seen it attempted on board ship but it
was always attended by the same ill fortune, namely, setting the
passengers at variance. It stands to reason, that when materials for
amusement, such as events, are so scanty, the editors must talk of
persons, and those persons must be from among the community
present. Remarks, at first trivial and
harmless, but always unedifying, gradually become more and more personal, till at last all bounds are exceeded, and offence is given. It was evident from the style of the first number of the “Ocean Magazine” that it was in the hands of some person of little wisdom, low wit, and sarcastic temper: and I argued therefrom that it would shortly create a disturbance - so I kept my self perfectly unconnected with it. My prognostics have been verified; for, after dinner today, the third number of this paltry paper made its appearance, and was read publicly. Several articles were imprudent and offensive; but one headed “Aesculapius and Diabolus” was taken up by Lewis Whittaker, a medical man, who considered (I think justly) that he was the person meant in the character of “Aesculapius”. The author was unknown, and Whittaker, becoming very warm, uttered some threats of a serious nature towards the writer, whom he called out to declare himself. After some time George Vidal declared himself the writer of the offensive piece, and considered himself highly insulted by Whittaker’s words and manner. Matters have come to a great pitch; and the word “duel” has more than once been heard to pass between the two “friends” of the principals. However, I do not fear its coming to such a conclusion; at all events, not on board this ship. The paper has been branded “disgusting” and is expelled from the cabin, to appear no more there. Several letters have passed; to what purpose, I know not. Lewis Whittaker has put the matter into his nephew’s hands, and he is an attorney! It appears to me to be a most foolish affair from beginning to end; and if I am asked my opinion by either party, I shall candidly tell them they are two simpletons for fighting about a trifle - all originating in a mistake on Whittaker’s part, but persisted in - while Vidal is highly incensed at the other’s manner, and will not yield to persuasion.
2nd. Dear Fanny was better this morning but did not get up till twelve. I read the whole of the Church service and lessons of the day to her; and, after she was dressed, I read aloud one of Blunt’s sermons - the nobleman of [indecipherable], whose sone was sick, and whose faith in our Saviour’s power caused the restoration of his child to health. In the afternoon, I had a long chat
with Mr Vidal, the clergyman, about the affair between his brother and Lewis Whittaker. It appeared to me that Mr Vidal’s view of the matter is equally as silly as his brother’s, and is still less becoming in him as a clergyman. He seems to coincide entirely with his brother; and only foments (by talking of insult, provocation, and bullying) instead of quietly reasoning on Christian principles against the Sin and absurdity of the matter. Since I have been better able to judged of their characters, through constant and unavoidable intercourse, I have discovered more of worldly mindedness and pride than is consistent with the professions they have publicly made - The one as a clergyman and the other as a Candidate of Holy Orders. They are Creoles, and have a monstrous opinion of their own talents, dignity, and importance; and in the matter now at issue, George Vidal was equally as overbearing in his manner as Lewis Whittaker, only he does not think so, nor does his brother and they would therefore persuade us that they are the aggrieved party, not Whittaker! Dear Fanny went on deck a short time before dinner, but found it too cold to remain long. She is, however, much better and stronger, but occasionally [indecipherable] - yet I can generally find a cause for any relapse. Dr Ross is still ill, and not so well as yesterday. Mr Lunn says he has the fever in a very mild way, and will soon get over it. 10 P.M. After tea tonight, I was requested by the Whittakers to assist them in any counsel in this dispute with George Vidal, and therefore went into their cabin - I read all the letters that had passed, and found that their cleverness and coolness had left matters just where they were at starting! With the additional folly of waste of pen, ink and paper, on both sides! Frederick Whittaker was only exciting Lewis, and Lewis was only puzzling Frederick - they were at a stand still, as George Vidal had refused to answer any more questions. I told them my opinion, and tried for two hours to make them see their mistake. They were so convinced that they were intentionally insulted, that it required all my nerve and faculty of argument to make them listen to me. I showed Lewis Whittaker that there was nothing in the article, of which he complained, which could be construed into an attack upon him personally - that it was all imaginary, because he happens to be a medical man - that the language used by h im at table, (though not
designed for Vidal, as he had not at that time avowed himself) was too violent, and not such as one gentleman should use towards any others. By degrees they began to see the matter in its proper bearing, and were more willing to pursue pacific measures. Mr Vidal had declined further correspondence, but I dictated a letter for Whittaker to send to Vidal, urging his answer to one simple question “whether he designedly referred to Lewis Whittaker when he introduced Aesculapius in colloquy with the Devil?” the result was a message, that George Vidal wished to see Lewis Whittaker’s “friend”, and everything was immediately cleared up, and they are to go on as though nothing had happened. Never was I more pleased than on seeing this nonsensical business thus quashed by both parties seeing and confessing their errors. The two Whittakers thanked me sincerely, and so I left them. I heartily rejoice that no more “Ocean Magazines” are to appear at our table, as no further mischief can ensue from its trash.
ow greatly is my love for her increased by this affliction - what a loss should have sustained 3rd. Good news to commence with; and, oh, may I be able to conclude this day’s journal with equally joyful tidings. My dear, dear wife is so much better - indeed, I may say she is quite well, for she never complains now of pain in her head, or that intense burning which always indicated the presence of the fever. She seems at last to have thrown that tiresome complaint quite off, and is now only a little weakened by the low diet and confinement of the last month. In a short time I hope she will have recovered her strength and good looks; she is somewhat pulled down, but not so much as I had anticipated. Her cheerfulness is as great as ever, never leaving her even when suffering the greatest pain. She is quite contented to try to make herself happy on board for three weeks longer; but hopes, at the expiration of that period, to be freed from this confinement, which it is very evident is beginning to be very irksome to all parties. I can plainly see that we have been together long enough; and the sooner we can arrive and separate the better. We have had but one actual breach, but there have been several “cuts” etc. among our party. Mr Dunn and myself have not spoken since we were at the Cape. He had quarrelled with me on a most trivial occasion: I meant no harm in what I said, nor did Bonham, with whom Dunn was offended on the
same occasion. Bonham, however, after a week’s punishment pro terrore, was again taken into favour, but poor, luckless Manning has been in high disgrace ever since! And intends to remain so evermore! Mr Dunn has been ripe for a quarrel with me for a long time: and I can easily imagine his reason for disliking me. I have not taken much notice of him because his conduct has always been shamefully insulting to every one who possesses one grain of modesty or purity in his composition. I have always been civil. He evidently finds me in his way; form so sure as he is about to take a liberty with some of the females in the cuddy, I come out and interrupt him, and he skulks away to his cabin. Mr Vidal’s maids are his object, but I have put the Master on his guard. Mr Dunn’s slight is of no importance to me. People may see that I am a very independent sort of fellow, and care not a farthing either for their favours or hate, so long as any conscience acquits me of any breach of courtesy or civility, or any neglect of higher and nobler duties. It is my wish, “as far as in me lies to live peaceably with all men”; but if some choose to quarrel with me, I can’t help it, I am sorry for it, but do not trouble my head about it. It is best to leave them to themselves till they shall take wit in their anger. This morning a vessel was in sight, showing English colours - she looked like a “Whaler”. As usual, we left her astern, and we are now bowling along quite regardless of any vessel we may see. The Whaler evidently wanted to speak to us, as she bore down upon us, but we were too selfish to wait for him. Dr Ross is much better today, and hopes to come on deck in a couple of days. There is no one dangerously ill in the ship - five in hospital - Old Burton is gradually recovering - the doctors say he is made of wire, and that they could not kill him if they were to try! J’en doute! Mr Lunn has been ailing for two or three days, but nothing serious. Miss Davies intends appearing at table today. There was a fine waterspout on weather bow this morning. It was soon followed by a squall of wind and rain - I have just had a long chat with Mr Francis Vidal about the silly quarrel. He tells me that his brother’s party had made all arrangements for a duel, which was to have taken place on the poop!! I was thunderstruck, but immediately said that “as a party concerned, nothing could take place without my knowledge: and that I should have
come on the Poop with the determination forcibly to eject the first man (whether Vidal or Whittaker) who should venture to come on our public deck with a pistol in his hand for the purpose of shedding the blood of a murdered man, over which ourselves and wives are to talk and to sicken at. Depend on it, Sir, it would never have been allowed; and a greater insult has been offered to the Cabin passengers by this intended display than any that has caused the dispute between your brother and Mr Whittaker.” Mr Vidal’s conduct in this matter has been anything but proper, in my opinion; he talks too much about “honour”, and “disagreeable necessity” (disagreeable fiddlesticks!) - 9 P.M. At two p.m. another vessel was seen on our starboard beam, steering the same way as ourselves. He tried to come up to speak to us, and we favoured him a good deal, but, like the Whaler, he failed and dropped astern. He showed his signals, but we could not make them out, as the wind blew them away from us. The Captain thinks it was the “Adelaide” bound to New Zealand. She is out of sight by this time. A little before dusk a third vessel was discovered down to leeward, but so distant that we could not make her out - she appeared to be standing the same way as ourselves. We are now coming to a part where all Sydney ships converge from every quarter, before entering Bass’ straits. We may expect to see more every day. After tea this evening, I went into George Vidal’s cabin, and had a conversation with him, as he seemed to think that I had not acted a proper part in the “Aesculapius” affair. I soon convinced him that I had counselled the Whittaker’s without nay personal feeling towards himself, and that I should have been just as willing to have assisted him had he requested any interference before Whittaker applied to me. I gave my advice without taking any part or interest in the quarrel, and the first who desired my opinion received it. George Vidal and myself have always been on very good terms, and I should be sorry that a misunderstanding should arise from an erroneous inference drawn from the mere fact of my counselling his adversary. All is clear enough now, and I hope we shall have no more quarrelling. Dear little “Bunchy” has been busily employed at her needle this evening - and also during the morning.
No vessel in sight this morning; all three are left far astern! During the night we had a very heavy squall; but the wind was fair, and the ship rattled through the water ten miles an hour! That’s the way to get to Sydney quickly. I rose at six, and have had a nice walk to give me an appetite for my breakfast. Dear Fanny does not seem quite comfortable, but nothing particular ails her; she is now fast asleep, after taking a cup of hot chocolate, made by her “head cook”, your humble servant. 10pm At noon today by “dead reckoning” about 2650 miles from Sydney- it is more likely to take us three weeks than a fortnight. We have been out 98 days- I am likely to lose my bet with Mr Young- with all my heart! Dear Fanny is more comfortable this evening and has been twice on deck during the day. The sick are generally better- the weather is favourable for them.
15th Dr Ross has had a bad night, and is not so well today; but there is nothing alarming in his case. My own Fanny is much better today. She is daily gaining strength. She appears at the dinner table today for the second time since leaving the Cape. A fair wind, but cloudy weather. Dear Fanny and myself generally have the Poop to ourselves when we walk in the middle of the day. There is nothing to entice one on deck, which is consequently deserted- so much the better as we are thus uninterrupted in our constitution walk.
6th Dear Fanny quite well and comfortable. She enjoys her “stir-about’ breakfast to which she has lately taken a fancy, and which is made by Marianne- Dr Ross is much better this morning. There is only one little girl very ill in all the ship, and she is not yet declared in much danger. The other invalids are daily being discharged from the hospital. If we reach Sydney without any more deaths from the Fever we shall escape Quarantine. It would not be very agreeable to be confined to a limited space, and denied intercourse with any body from the town, while your home would almost be in sight - The wind continues fair, There is a little more Northing in it which makes the air warmer than when it blows from the South. At present the ship has as much canvass on as she can carry, and we are running in smooth
water with hardly any motion, seven miles an hour. There is a long westerly swell which pushes us along- which is generally the case when the wind has been long in one quarter. Mother Bunch is busily writing to her mother, and does not hear me calling her “a little rascal” and “ a great blackguard “(fie) as in times of old- 9pm A heavy fall of rain this evening, and consequently trend of a shift of wind- but we are still fortunate and are now spinning along famously. Dear Fanny was at dinner in the Cuddy today. Nine days out of ten I am obliged to “do Vice” as Mr Lunn seldom dines with us.
7th A complete English winters day; cold and damp, with a mist that prevents our seeing quarter of a mile from the ship. The wind being fair reconciles us to the weather. In the night we were caught in a squall, and “carried away” a studdingsail boom- this is only a fair weather sail, so it was quite quickly torn. Dear Fanny complained of a violent headache in the morning but is now better. She did not appear at dinner today. When we were on deck we could not walk as the sailors were shifting a sail on the poop, which was covered with ropes, blocks etc that would either knock us down, or give us a gentle lift overboard! It was too cold to sit long, so we deemed it more prudent to return to our cabin. I am most heartily tired of the voyage, and long to get ashore.
8th This is my darling wife’s birthday, and most heartily have I wished her many happy returns of this anniversary. May she be happy, and continue to grow in favour with God and with man. In her is all my happiness centred; I may almost say on her my very existence depends; and I can pray for no greater boon than that we may never be less happy than we are at the moment. Dear Fanny is very well this morning in spite of a sleepless night. She appears almost as strong as ever, and does not mind the numberless inconviences of a voyage. Last night we had two or three sharp squalls, which only drove us so much the further towards Sydney. At this rate we shall be off Van Dieman’s Land in a week but we may not reckon too confidently on keeping this wind all the way. It has already lasted four
days, so let us be thankful for what we have gained by it, and wait the issue.
9pm It has been a fine day on the whole; but at noon it became rather squally, and we were obliged to shorten sail. Dear Fanny was on deck at the time, and witnessed the process of “reefing” for the first time. She was highly amused at the “little dots” as she called the sailors, running up the rigging like so many cats, and flying about in different directions. The sea was high; and, from time to time, appeared as though going to roll over our puny barque, which rode like a duck over everyway without taking in a teaspoon of water! Her decks have been perfectly dry all day, except during occasional showers. She is by far the most comfortable vessel I ever sailed in. From noon yesterday till noon today we ran about 197 miles. Our dinner today was a time of general terror and merriment dishes dancing, joints of meat disappearing, glasses flying, children squalling, mothers crying, pigs squeaking, cries for “steward, steward”, and a hundred other unnameable disturbances, which saluted our ears right and left! Pigs always make more noise in bad weather.
9th One of the blessed effects of a good “lurch” in the night was the crushing of my bed, and putting me plump upon the deck without a moment’s warning! There I lay; and finding that my situation was not altogether void of comfort (for that which on the ground doth lie, Can’t go further were it to try) and not relishing the idea of turning carpenter in the middle of the night, I voluntarily remained where I involuntarily fell. My sleep was so unrefreshing that I could not make up my mind to “turn out” for breakfast. Dear Fanny was just as miserable as myself, though she was not disturbed by my accident. She enjoyed her oatmeal breakfast. It was twelve o’clock before I was dressed, and my wife is only now “showing a leg” (and a well made one too!!) at half past two. She is pretty well - only tired and rather sick- mais cela ne fait rien-. We have had a succession of squalls with rain- at which periods it blows very hard, and a tremendous sea gets up, foaming to the horizon. There was too much motion to permit of service being read even in the Cuddy today. The day has little resemblance to the “day of rest”- cold and dreary, great motion, wet decks and constant squalls and bustle. No one is inclined to write or read quietly.
It must be tremendous weather when I cannot write or read, or do anything I like (except keep my temper!) The latter is blown away to regions far ahead whenever a lurch overtakes me when employed! But,I believe I soon regain the lost treasure, and keep it till “it maketh wings unto itself” again! I will confess no more sins, but get ready for dinner, for I am hungry. At noon today we were only 1730 miles from Sydney- ten days’ easy run!
10th Another bad night . The motion of the vessel was sometimes terrific, just as we though she were going to capsize. We could get no sleep. I placed my bed on the ground, as it fell the night before, and managed to get a little rest in this way; but dear Fanny is nearly worn out, and is far from well this morning. She has been very sick. The wine disagrees with her. We have nothing but sour claret and thick black port! All the sherry was expended more than a week ago, as well as the lighter white wine. There certainly has been no waste, and no extravagant use of stores, yet we shall run short of everything if we do not make a splendid run to Sydney! How shamefully Mr Marshall has treated us. Everyday we feel more and more exasperated with the man, and I have almost resolved to let my name appear with those of all the other Cabin Passengers who intend writing him a private letter as well as undertaking a public complaint in the newspapers in Sydney and at home. Hitherto I have been restrained by the recollection of the man’s hospitality towards myself: but I strongly suspect he has interested motives in showing civility to a Manning . There is no conceit in this, as my father’s name and my father’s influence have done Mr Marshall more good than anyone else in the colony. This he knows, and he would be glad to secure the good word of the whole family, particularly if it can be gained at so cheap a rate . He is a great humbug, but to a stranger he would appear a most plausible, conscientious man. How sadly would such a stranger be deceived if he were to take for gospel all that Mr Marshall says. Let him put foot on any of Mr Marshall’s ships and he would soon have cause to know and regret that what Mr Marshall says and what Mr Marshall does are totally different things- neither depending on the other. He will bamboozle a man with fair promises
till he secures him and gets his passage money, and then will laugh as soon as his victim is at sea! This must not last long. There are plenty of men, more honest and quite as capable, in London as Mr Marshall, who would be glad of our Agency, and would serve us better. This morning we have shipped several seas - some tremendous ones, wetting to the skin, everybody on deck. I narrowly escaped a ducking, by crouching under the bulwarks, and so letting the sea go over my head on to the next man’s shoulder! For which I got a black look! The ship has been completely deluged by these “fair weather seas” as they are termed. The weather is becoming more moderate and there is less wind to break a wave directly it raises its head. From noon yesterday till noon today we have run 210 miles, and Sydney is only 1564 miles from us - Van Diemen’s Land (SE corner) being 914, or thereabouts.
9PM. My poor dear wife has been very unwell all the rest of the day. She came out to dinner, but suffered all the time from toothache. After dinner we went on deck for half an hour, but the rain drove us in again. After tea she was very sick a second time and suffered pain n the head and tooth. I was afraid she was going to have a relapse of her fever as she became very hot and thirsty. Whittaker sat some time with her and gave her a draught, which relieved her, and she soon dropped asleep. She feels the cold weather very much and cannot keep herself warm, especially in the feet, however much she may be wrapped up. We have not had it so very cold, but, being unwell, dear Fanny feels it more than she otherwise would. She will not have to complain of cold in ten days; her complaint will be quite the reverse - Dr Ross is much better, but still unable to get up. He finds it very irksome, as this is the first time in his life that he has been confined to his bed by sickness. How queer he must look - nothing can possibly look more ridiculous than a great fat man lying in bed, with a topknot nightcap (somewhat similar to the one that used to cover the sapient crown of our ancient “Jesters”.) However, I am glad he is recovering - poor Mrs Ross seems very anxious.
11th We have had a much steadier night and have slept much better than latterly. Dear Fanny is better; but still unwell. Her head aches violently, so does her tooth. She does
not appear to have any cold about her, so I imagine the toothache must be a nervous pain. The weather is more moderate and the wind continues fair - I daresay we shall have run two hundred miles from noon yesterday to noon today - a famous lift towards Sydney. During the last week we have gone upwards of 1300 miles! Miss Davies has quite recovered from her illness, but not from her sulky fit! She is very bitter against me, and tries to spite me in every way she can. I cannot account for this sudden alteration in her manner towards us, unless it be, because Marianne, our servant, preferred hiring herself to us rather than to Miss Davies, who has endeavoured to sin the girl by talking very grandly about her large establishment, as is to be when she is married! and had been holding out every inducement to her maid to engage herself to her before we could secure her. She’s a fool for her pains, and I shall not trouble my head about her. She will learn her proper station in the Colony as Mrs Young, and find that the penniless wife of a poor merchant is a Dutchess, nor is the brother (and clerk) of this poor merchant necessarily the cleverest and most gentlemanly person on board the vessel that has the honor of taking him to Sydney (qui Cosarem vehit fortunatque!) nor are they to be yielded to, without question, on all occasions, or humoured in every whim. I wish Alexander Young joy of his wife, who will lead him a precious life.
Since dinner we have had nothing but rain. I hope it has reached Sydney to moisten the ground parched by a summer sun. Dear Fanny has been much better since dinner (which she has had in her own cabin) and has been employing herself at her needle. During the voyage there has been but very little work done, as I anticipated. It is rather singular that people seldom do much on board ship - the very place where they most require employment, and where they have the greatest opportunities, being free from interruption.
We have been going on very well all day, averaging nine knots an hour. The sun was obscured at noon, so we could get no observation, and were obliged to rely upon “dead reckoning” or imaginary positions.
12th Dear Fanny has had a tolerable night, and is better this morning - free from all pain. As for myself, I am but in poor condition. I have not been quite well for a fortnight. I cannot sleep, and, this morning, was dressed by five oclock because I was tired of my bed. I wrote till breakfast
time - it being too wet to go on deck. It has not ceased raining yet (noon). The wind has shifted back again to its old quarter WS’W, having gone round to the NW yesterday morning. During the night we have been going very fast, but it has fallen light now, and we are not doing very much. The rain has beaten down the wind, but we may expect to have it again in an hour or two. We shall not be more than 500 miles from Van Diemen’s Land, and a little more than 1100 from Sydney at noon. It may very easily be done in eight days, but, to make sure, I have settled upon arriving on Friday week.
It was reported that one of the male Emigrants is very ill today; in fact, he was said to be absolutely “in articulo mortis”. This alarmed me, as I had been led to suppose that there was no one very ill on board. So I had made up my mind for a fortnight’s Quarantine near Sydney. On enquiring of Mr Lunn, however, he assured me that the report was unfounded; and he afterwards told Lewis Whittaker that the case referred to was one which he hoped to cure in two or three days - He could get no meridional observation today, as the sun was obscured; so we are again obliged to imagine our direction and distance from the “minutes” entered in the Logbook. This is rather unfortunate as we wish to be exact in our reckoning now that we are so near the land; otherwise we may come upon it before we are aware or prepared.
Although the morning was so wet and dismal, the afternoon has been most lovely and cheerful. The sun was bright and the sea smooth, and we have been gliding through the water at a good rate. Dear Fanny was on deck and enjoyed her walk exceedingly. She now seems tolerably well, and has disposed of a tumbler of hot spiced negus with astonishing gout! The night is very fine, and the moon is shining very brightly in through our two stern windows. How much more pleasant this kind of weather is than that which we have experienced lately - rain is a mighty pleasant thing to a farmer in Australia, but it is quite the reverse to us miserable prisoners on board ship in a climate so cold as to require frequent and brisk walking, to keep the blood in circulation. I have just had several games at backgammon with poor Mr Simpson who seems never to know what to do with himself. He is the [indecipherable] man I ever met with. Dear Fanny has been busy at her needle today, and since
she has been in bed. I am sadly in want of the services of Mr Ridge or Master Brunskill!
13th. A beautiful morning, with a fresh fair breeze. We shall not make one hundred and fifty miles today as the wind has been light occasionally but even at this rate we could easily reach Sydney in seven days. Dear Fanny is not quite well this morning, she has been sick twice, and is now going to get up. -
9PM Dear Fanny twice on deck, before and after dinner. She is much better than she was in the morning, but complains of great coldness. She was so cold before tea that she was obliged to put her feet into hot salt water and mustard and then go to bed. By this remedy she has become tolerably comfortable. She has been working busily for me this afternoon, in putting a lining and topknot to my Malay hat - which is a great finish to the comical thing. Dr Ross has been gradually improving; and today he sat for two hours in our cabin, where he had his dinner. We invited him to change the air in his cabin by coming into our’s, and he seemed to like the change. He does not appear to be much pulled down by his illness, but he says he feels dreadfully weak. We had a very agreeable chat before dinner, and I begin to like him much more than I do at first. He has two sons ill - one very ill of Typhus Fever - but they are mending. Mr Vidal’s eldest boy has been unwell for some time past - feverish and nervous. He certainly looks a delicate child, but I imagine his parents make out his case to be much worse than it really is. I wonder we have not had more sickness among the children - for, in Emigrant ships, they have generally been the first attacked. We have not very many - rather fortunate. Some ships have arrived in the Colony with a proportion of 5 children to every married couple! One ship had 78 deaths at sea, and landed 80 patients at the Quarantine Lazarette - This evening after tea, the Emigrants, as usual, began to amuse themselves in various ways. Among other modes of skylarking was the following test of strength. Two men sat on the deck, and placed the soles of their feet against each other’s at the full length of their legs. A broomstick is then placed on the four feet, which the two men take in hand fairly and evenly - they then pulled with all their strength (still sitting with their four soles together) and he who should first pull the other on his
feet, or throw him over his head, was declared the conqueror. There is a tall stout Irishman on board, of the name of Macguire, who is considered the strongest man in the ship - He was the victor in every trial, pulling the men over his head directly they faced him. He’s a kind of Donnybrook-fair man, whom you would rather meet when with a companion than when alone. I was standing by, and said to one of the vanquished heroes “Is it hard work?” “Oh, not at all at all “ said Paddy “just have a pull with him, your honour!” The fellow said this in the hope that I should try, and he would see the flash gentleman floundering in the “lee scuppers”. However nothing daunted by the fate of some dozens who were standing round, and not missing much if I should be beaten (as the fun would be all the same) I went down on my hocks, planted my feet against Macguire’s, whose toothless phiz, widened by a grin of anticipated triumph, was enough to frighten a man into beating him - I next took the stick; we pulled steadily for some time, then - to the astonishment of all - I sent my gentleman flying over my head! This I didthree times following, and then the man gave it up - I next tackled the carpenter, and beat him also. I was well cheered, and walked away with no further injury than a hole in my breeches from the straining! According to the schoolboy’s demonstration I must be the strongest man in the ship - for this boy could thrash the boy that could thrash every one else, and therefore declares himself the Cock of the School - so, thus, it is infallibly true that, as I can beat the man that beat everybody else on board, I must be the strongest man in the ship - qood erst demonstrardum!! I know I can exert enormous power for a short time, but I could never keep up a struggle for any length of time; not having the “wind” or muscle to support me in the tug.
14th. Having had a very good night I got up very early this morning, and had a good walk on deck with the Captain. There were upward of fifty black fish swimming about the ship, and playing all sorts of antics. It was very amusing to see some of these hulking chaps run aboard of one another, and flatten in each others glistening snouts! Many of them had
“calves”, or young fish at their sides; whose mothers, with a laudatory zeal for the development of their faculties, were evidently teaching the young idea how to shoot! At four in the morning the wind fell very light and has continued so all day; but now
(9PM) it has freshened a little, and we are running six knots an hour. At seven oclock I had a cup of nice hot coffee, and then wrote in my cabin till breakfast time. Dear Fanny was very sick four times this morning, but did not feel at all ill otherwise. She has been remarkably well all day. and has been tailoring for me this evening. The whole of this day I have been suffering great pain in my back, and have been contemplating a huge sheet of “poor man’s plaster” which was given for my relief, as I thought it was Lumbago. I should certainly have unplastered myself had a kind friend not hinted that the pain was more likely to proceed from a strain, caused by hugging with Macguire. It is most devoutly to be hoped that it will shortly wear off as it is by no means pleasant to find yourself made to regain the “posture erect” if you are so unfortunate as to bend the back. It was not likely to be Rheumatism , as the day has been particularly warm and beautiful. I think it has been the most cheerful and brilliant day we have had since we have been at sea; we only wanted a little more wind to send us to Sydney more speedily: man never is but always to be blessed! At noon today we were 150 miles, or thereabouts, from Van Dieman’s Land(South-West corner) and 830 miles from Sydney - the distance is shortening, beautifully. Dr Ross has been on deck today for the first time, but afterward preferred going to his own cabin than to our’s. His two children are also better. I saw one of our fever patients on deck today for a short time today - a most miserable object - I recollect the young man, a month ago, as one of the stoutest lads on board, but now he appears a mere skeleton, hardly able to move. He has permission from the doctor to use his legs today for the first time - The sick generally are much better, and we may expect to get to Sydney without any more deaths from fever. There are evident symptoms of our approaching to our destination, as every lady is preparing her best clothes, and the ship and boats are being painted. The smell is very unpleasant, but we would willingly submit to the annoyance for the sake of landing once
more, and for good, on terra firma. I look forward, however, to making one voyage more, and then will bid adieu to the sea, and spend my days in peace and quietness, at home.
15th. On looking out at my side port early this morning, I discovered land right abreast of us. Hastily dressing and shewing it to dear lilly whom I awoke, I went on deck, and heard that it was the long desired South West Cape of Van Dieman’s Land. Joyful news! The wind was fresh and fair, and has continued so all day. Running along the Coast, we made and passed one point after another. At 10 AM we saw the “Mewstone Rock” - at three in the afternoon we saw “Pedra Blanca” - and shortly afterwards the “Eddystone” came within view. At 8 PM the land on the Eastern side of Storm Bay was discovered; and just as it was becoming dark, “Cape Pillar”, the South Eastern corner of the island, appears just above the horizon - Thus, during the day, we have run along the whole South Coast of Van Dieman’s Land, and ere morning arrives we hope to be a long way the other side of it. But we must not make too much of this as the wind is now beginning to slacken. When we get on the other side of this “Cape Pillar” we shall change our course and steer about North East, spinning along towards Sydney. We have been going at the rate of nine Knots an hour for the greater portion of the day, and have also had a current in our favour of one mile hourly, so that we have been running by the land at the rate of ten miles an hour! We shall be lucky if we do not find a foul wind staring us in the face as soon as the ship’s [indecipherable] is round the corner. I dread the chance as I know that Northerly and North Easterly winds are very prevalent on the coast of New Holland at this season of the year. I never like the idea of going round Van Dieman’s Land instead of the usual track through Bass’s Straits. The Captain was afraid of being baffled by Easterly winds, which might be attended with danger among the numerous rocks and islands that [indecipherable] the higher passage. Our Chronometer must have gone very well, and we were only ten miles out of our reckoning when we made the land. Everybody now expects to land in Sydney on Thursday next. I am not quite so sanguine, and give the ship till tomorrow week - All laugh at my folly in supposing it at all likely that we shall be detained by contrary winds when we get round the point. Mr Francis Vidal is continually at me about it - nous verrous. If we
are fortunate, no one will be more rejoiced than myself, for I am sadly tired of the ship and all its contents beyond my own cabin door. Our provisions are nearly expended; there is no wine in the ship except our claret (that has made everybody ill) and six bottles of Champagne. No port or sherry, no sheep or poultry (except an old Cock) no this no that. I would require much less space and time to enumerate the articles that are to be had than those which are not , although they might be in abundance. Dear Fanny feels it very much. I can get her nothing that she can eat or drink. If she attempts meat she is sure to bring it up again, she has been very sick three times today. This has now become a daily occurrence, and she is getting very weak. She is no condition to bear this and I am in constant alarm. Oh but if I could but get her onshore, and give her the nourishing things she so much wants! How glad I shall be when I can put her under the care of my dear mother. Once on shore and I have every hope of her doing well; but this is terrible work. When on deck today she could hardly walk. Matters are not likely to mend until the voyage is completed. This afternoon I had Mr Crispe in my cabin, and made arrangements with him, as the brother and guardian of Marianne , to take her as our servant when we arrive at Sydney. She is to be bound for six months, and will receive $16 a year, just double the rate of wages in England. We have both been satisfied with her conduct during the voyage, and have no doubt she will suit us exactly. She appears to like dear Fanny very much, and is herself delighted that we intend taking her with us. The plan is much better than bringing a servant out from England. Marianne has attended us all the voyage at a trifling expense (half a crown per week), and we have narrowly watched her, so we know her character well enough. I have been very busy this afternoon in printing the signals on the other side of this leaf for the purpose of explaining the mode of communication between vessels at sea. The job is now completed very much to [indecipherable] wife’s satisfaction, who talks of sending this book to her family; but I am not quite sure that I shall permit her!
16th Sunday. The land is still in sight; and is likely to remain so, for we are completely becalmed. The wind failed about two oclock this morning, having gradually lessened as we became more
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under the influence of the land. I have just returned from the deck, disheartened, for the land we saw last night is still visible. Fortunately, the current favours us a little, and we creep imperceptibly along the shore. There are these chaps in the Cuddy eating away as though they had a fair wind- how willing would I go without my breakfast to get a good breeze! But as starving will do you no good to them, to me I shall go out and eat, while there is any left in the ship, and thus fortify myself against the chance of three or four days empty stomach!
Noon. I am sorry today my prognostication is become true; an hour ago a breeze sprang up, and has now become fresh, but it is as foul as it can be! It comes exactly from the quarter in which we wish to steer! I thought we should have it ere long- for when a wind has been blowing in one quarter sometime, and calm suddenly comes, it is a pretty sure sign of a change in the wind. Here we are completely jammed whichever way we go we can do little good- on one “tack” we could run the ship to “Maria Island”, Van Diemans Land, and consider ourselves lucky in not losing more ground;- while on the other “tack”, we might perchance get the ship to New Zealand, or the “Antipodes”! but if we were desirous of making a fair wind of this foul one , we should turn tail on Sydney and make a dash at the South Pole. Tis unfortunate all are very sad about it; and, by their glance, I can easily perceive that they look upon me as the Jonah- were they to serve me as was the Prophet of old, I might possibly get to
Sydney before them! Mr Francis Vidal studiously avoids me lest I should remind him that it is quite possible to lose a fair wind and get a foul one in its stead although we are so near Sydney! how nicely I might laugh at him were I disposed! But I am in no humour for joking, for the disappointment is not more severely felt by any on board than myself. However as grumbling cannot possibly be of any service, although some seem to expect a change all the sooner for it, I put the best face on the matter that I can make, but, though I am not cross about it Miss Davies’s bitter and malicious remark is quite false- she tells the people that “Mr Manning is quite in high spirits about it”! She is without exception the verriest little b…ch (!) I ever met with, and does all she can to annoy me. Par example - a few mornings ago dear Fanny as usual, was very sick, and I sent for Marianne, who was in Miss Davies cabin. She did all she could to delay her, and told her “it is no wonder Mrs Manning is sick as she eats so much”!
The lying cub! I have lost all patience with her and do not consider her worthy even of my abuse! I have cut her, and requested my wife not to address a word to her beyond common and most distant civility. She had made a bad selection in the object of her malice as I am perfectly indifferent about it, and only laugh at her would be fineness. If I had my own way I would whip the whelp, and show her in her real character. The latter is pretty well known by all on board, and will be speedily rumoured in Sydney. I pity Alexander Young who is a good fellow. But enough about the worthless baggage! Dear Fanny was sick two or three times today, but revived after she had taken her broth and staid on deck until diner time. She is the only cause of anxiety to me, as I can get her nothing. The Captain says that if we could fall in with a vessel from Sydney he would board her, and get wine and fresh provisions as all ours are expended! We are exactly in the track of all vessels coming to Hobart Town from Sydney, and we may reckon upon seeing two or three if the wind does not drive us too far from the land- out to sea. We shall keep “off and on” and try to screw ourselves up to Sydney; which after a fashion would take us about a month!
9pm At eight oclock this evening we were not more than seven miles
from the land, and could plainly see the trees and grass, but no house is
visible - indeed there are none to be seen as the eastern side of the
Island is almost desolate. The ship was then “put about” and
we are now running away from the land, due East! I have had enough
of this work, and shall now “turn in” with the hope of
forgetting my care, and rising under more favourable prospect!
17th The wind continues as foul as ever, and we have consequently made little progress, although sailing very fast during the whole night. A little before breakfast time, we tacked, and are now retracing our steps to “Maria Island”. The motion is so unpleasant, from the ship’s being “close hauled” that I can hardly sit at my table to write. When dear Fanny was on deck she could not manage to walk at all, but sat for an hour and a half. She was very well this morning and rose much earlier than usual; but since noon she has been very sick. This daily sickness almost as bad as her late fever. She rejects everything she eats or drinks, which must naturally weaken her, even if it does no greater mischief. I would willingly give a good round sum to put her
on board some kindly steamer, if such a thing were to be had, and lodge her in safety under Ultimo roof tomorrow night. It is dreadfully harassing, and I have annoyances enough outside my cabin door without the additional one of seeing my wife daily sinking, from want of nourishment. Oh for a fair wind, and I will be cheerful: but as matters stand it is impossible to feel at all comfortable. All the passengers are tired of themselves and each other it is high time that we should separate; for it is only the absence of the match that restrains the fire of dispute; everyone is ripe to quarrel with anyone; and a chance word might set the whole ship agog! The Bonhams and the Simpsons are very friendly with dear Fanny still; and we like the Captain very well. Lewis Whittaker is very kind and attentive; but all the others are so taken up with themselves that they forget everything else. A more uninteresting assemblage of humanity I never saw.
9pm At seven oclock this evening we tacked again and are now running away once more from the land . This is most tedious work. During the last four and twenty hours , the ship has actually sailed through the water more than one hundred and forty miles, but only forty six miles have benefitted us, as we have only been going backwards and forwards over the same ground (edging up a little each tack) Even these forty six miles are not quite in our proper course. We are creeping to the northward by tacking first to one side then the other; but the angle must be so great that a run of two hundred miles often on a course of E.N.E. or W.N.W. would hardly give fifty miles of Northing. At this rate it would take us about three weeks to get to Sydney although we are only three days’ sail from it. Our last pig was killed today - and the last sheep was devoured a week ago. Poultry are the only fresh provisions in the ship, and they will not hold out more than four or five days. We must then content ourselves with salt meat, ladies as well as gentlemen, during the remainder of our confinement. That Scoundrell Marshall! How I would like to have him on board just now - we all look upon him as little better than a murderer and he will find himself pretty well shown up in all the newspapers. Even the Emigrants are short of provisions. If this wind lasts we must run into the first port we can make. Fortunately we are on a lee shore, and have Hobart Town, Launceston, Adelaide, and Port Phillip within our reach if the worst come of it.
It has every appearance of being a regular sticker, a hard hearted wind, that will have its blow, and cares not for the misery it entails. Dear Fanny has been very unwell this evening again - so sick that it quite alarmed me. Would to God we could escape from this imprisonment, for she would soon recover if the damage already done be not too great.
18th. The same time as yesterday - even more melancholy. Constant rain and squalls, with the wind as foul as possible. Our provisions are running very short. I do not much care for myself as I can rough it as well as any, but on darling Fanny’s account I am really apprehensive. The only thing she has been able to relish since she has been on board has been the Chicken. Of this she can have no more as there are only three tough old cocks left, and they were condemned as unfit for service two weeks ago! I know not what to do. She is tolerably well today, but has not attempted to get up, as there has been too much motion. I had a fall before dinner from the Poop on to the quarter deck, which has shaken me very much, but done no other damage. I have not felt very well for several days, but I endeavour to conceal it from my wife. There is one man in hospital very ill of fever, and not expected to recover. Mr Lunn says this is the only case in the ship now.
19th. No change! The wind exactly the same as the last three days. The weather, however, is fine; and this gives us hope that this wind will not last much longer. We are lucky in being able to keep every inch we make and we are thereby in a favourable position to take advantage of the least change in the wind. Dear Fanny was on deck today while the ship was being “put about”. There was a slight shower which drove us down, and I have not felt well enough to venture on deck again. Another death has taken place; the man who was so ill yesterday. He was one of the quietest and most respectable men on board; and was only married two months before embarking. His widow is in a terrible state. They were always remarked as being most attached; so her grief is not likely soon to subside. It has now appeared that Tutt’s death was not occasioned by fever alone. Some months ago he fractured his scull; and a fortnight before his death he fell down one of the “hatchways” and had never been right since - he became very ill before he was
taken into the hospital. Mr Lunn and Lewis Whittaker are of opinion that he must have fractured his scull. They were not told the accident till after the man’s death; and, therefore, naturally attributing the delirium to fever, though there was something in the case that puzzled them, being different from all who had died of Typhus fever. How silly on the part of the wife not to have mentioned the circumstances of the fall to the doctor as the man’s life might have been saved.
21st. When talking of poor Tutt’s death I little thought that I myself was about to have as narrow escape as that yesterday. All yesterday I was in bed. On Wednesday I was taken very unwell. At the dinner table I felt as though I were dying. Whittaker ordered me to bed, and took me well in hand at once. To his promptness I believe I owe my life; for, as he has since told me . he expected that I was going to be very ill, and was in fear about me. I had my own suspicions. I felt myself becoming very ill, till at last I lay myself down with the full persuasion that Typhus Fever had taken hold of me. I had all the symptoms severely. Poor Fanny was not aware of it at the time, as Whittaker would not alarm her till he had tried to allay my fever. I remained very ill for three or four hours, when the remedies began to relieve my head and stomach. (I still smart from the effects of the mustard blister.) By degrees I came round to myself; but Whittaker did not leave me till twelve at night when he saw me bidding fair for recovery. That night I had but little sleep, being very feverish. In the morning I was better, and continued mending all day. I am inclined to attribute my rapid improvement, after all the fever was allayed, to the simple circumstance of the wind changing, and becoming beautifully fair! This took place soon after Whittaker left my cabin on Wednesday night, and we have been favoured ever since. I was very much excited about the foul wind during my illness, and shall never forget my feelings on hearing the sailors trimming the sails for a fair wind. The blood seemed to recommence circulation and reanimate me. From gloomy despondency (to my sorrow I confess it) I became cheerfull and full of hope: my spirits rose, and had a beneficial effect upon my body by tranquilizing my mind. How delightful is this wind after buffeting about so
long with a foul one! We may now hope to reach Sydney on Sunday next. Yesterday we were only four hundred and twenty five miles from Sydney, and today at noon, Sydney lighthouse was only two hundred and eighty nine miles distant. The wind continues fair and we have been averaging eight nots. There is a long sea in our favour and helps us along. Frequent wet squalls have also benefited us today. Upon the whole we have fine weather, and it is becoming much warmer as we are running due North. I felt so much better this afternoon that Whittaker allowed me to go on deck for a little - being muffled up, on account of a bad sore throat. I am much refreshed by the air , and so is dear Fanny, who has not been well. There have been several accidents in the ship lately. The night before last (when the wind was about to become fair) during a heavy squall with rain, the man who was steering , was flung with great force over the wheel, and severely hurt in the hip and shoulder: he is completely disabled. Yesterday afternoon when the ship rolled heavily, the boilers in the fire gave way and fell over a man, and a woman, and a little child, scalding them severely. They are now in the hospital. Soon afterwards two women fell down the hatchway - but were only very much bruised. I wonder more accidents do not occur among so many people unaccustomed to the labouring of a ship in a heavy sea. One of Mr Francis Vidal’s servants is very ill of fever but is rather better today. This is the only case on board. Yesterday was Henry’s birthday, and I heartily wished him many happy returns of it, and could not help also wishing that I too was in England.
22nd. Early this morning a ship passed close to us, steering to the Southward. She was probably bound to England from Sydney, having left port yesterday afternoon. We signalled her, but she could not understand us, not having the usual code of Signals. Dear Fanny has been very well all day, and got up very early, as I wanted Mr Crisp, who is a carpenter, to take down the cupboard and shelves in our cabin for the purpose of converting them into a boat box. He has been busy all day at it, and I have now packed it, as we all expect to arrive during the night. At noon today we were only one hundred and two miles from the Light-house, and we have averaged seven knots
till eight oclock this evening; when it began to fall lighter. At three oclock this afternoon we sighted the “Pigeon house” hills; and at seven found ourselves abreast of “Hat hill”. Everybody is delighted at the prospect of reaching our destination by the morning; and some of our party have even arranged what they will have for breakfast! It is indeed delightful, and none feel it so more than I do. Words cannot express what I feel. I would only pray that we may still be favoured with a fair wind to avoid disappointment; but I like not this light and fickle breeze.
23rd. At daylight this morning no land was in sight! We were becalmed nearly the whole of the night and expected to find ourselves, at all events, where sunset left us. At ten oclock a breeze sprung up, but the ship would not steer! This explained the mystery of the non-appearance of the land, as it was evident we were under the influence of a strong current coming down the land. At noon we found ourselves only thirty miles nearer Sydney, than at noon yesterday! The current has carried us away at the rate of three knots an hour, although we made good way in the afternoon yesterday. We lost in the calm what we had gained in the breeze. This is not the way to reach Sydney. The breeze that sprung up at ten was not quite fair, but we should be able to “work up” to Sydney with it in two or three days, As soon as the ship would answer her helm we tacked, and stood towards the land, which soon became visible. From the appearance of the land we were induced to believe that it was the Sydney “Heads”. The Captain and the chief mate were of this opinion, so was I at first; but as we approached, there were land marks here and there which I did not remember as being in the neighbourhood of Sydney, and gradually I was convinced we were much further to the Southward than I imagined. The observation at noon proved the fact; and here we are with a foul wind and a strong current against us; with the comfortable certainty that unless winds and currents change we shall never reach Sydney though we were to try till Doomsday! We have no more fresh meat of any kind on board, and the ladies must live on salt beef or biscuit! I care not for myself, but I cannot bear the idea of my darling wife being stinted in her food, or obliged to eat what she
cannot relish. I have been very unfortunate in all my voyages as regards provisions. How fervently do I pray that we may reach our destination speedily, and avoid the disagreables that now threaten us. We stood in for the land till we were no more than five miles from it. It was a fine open bay, Jervis’s Bay. It has been very hot during the day, and we have had a most splendid sunset. I do not recollect ever seeing one so gorgeous. The mountains in the distance, and the low land in the neighbourhood of the Coast were completely coloured by the reflection from the sky; and appeared in a great variety of hues: all which gradually disappeared as the shades of evening came on; and at eight oclock the land behind us, though not far distant, appeared like a thick black cloud. At seven we tacked, and stood out to sea again, retracing our steps and sailing toward New Zealand instead of Sydney! How tantalizing! but we have no right to complain of winds and weather as we have been so particularly favoured all the voyage. I should not mind at all if our provisions were not so exhausted. “Fear not but trust in Providence.”
24th. Joyful news on going on deck at seven this morning; a fair wind! There was barely enough to fill the sails, but that little was fair, and remained so to the present time. It is only those who have been to sea that can understand how “there’s magic in the word” fair - About two oclock in the night a brig passed us, apparently from Sydney to Hobart Town. Her people were so careless that they nearly came in contact with us, and would have done so had not our mate run the ship off her course, and just missed the brig. They must have been asleep. The wind at that time was foul to us but fair for the brig. At four in the morning we tacked again and stood in for the land in the hope that the current would not be so strong, or would perhaps run in a different direction, assisting us instead of drifting us bodily to the Southward three miles every hour. The night was very hot and close, and I got up early. The cockroaches swarmed more than ever and I killed an [indecipherable] number in our cabin. At six, when we were not more than twenty miles from the land (but sufficiently near to be under the influence of what is termed the “land breeze”) the wind changed, and blew from the
South West. At half past ten it freshened, and the ship ran along seven miles an hour as if she knew that her labours would be over the faster if she put her best leg foremost. All were in hourly expectation of sighting the Light-House on the Sydney “Heads”, but a disappointment such as yesterday’s awaited us, for at noon we discovered by our “observation” that were still sixty six miles to the Southward of the “Heads” proving that the current must still be very strong against us. While the ship was nearly becalmed in the morning, the current had entire control over her, and we lost, in this way, as much as we had gained by hard work previously. This was a disappointment, but we did not regard it so much as there was every probability of our getting in tonight. for the same reason we did not grumble at our salt-meat dinner. There was not a particle of fresh meat or vegetables on the table; and the ladies as well as gentlemen were obliged to partake of this sorry fare or go without any dinner. We have not had any pies or puddings for a long time, nor wine of any sort. Gin and water has been the common beverage. The ale has lasted very well because it is not over and above good. Some of the young men are in a sad way about it, but I tell them they would not think themselves so badly off if they had been to sea two and three times before. This they cannot believe, and they are determined to consider themselves perfect martyrs, through Mr Marshall’s stingyness. They make it very unpleasant sometimes by this grumbling - as if that would restock our empty coops or fill our stores. There has been a ship in sight all day. At dinnertime she was sufficiently near to signalise and she hoisted a “blue ensign” from which we knew she must be a man of war, as none but “King’s ships” are allowed to have any other than the red ensign. We came up with her very quickly, although she was sailing eight knots an hour. At six this evening she “hove to” to speak us, and we found her to be the “Buffalo” store ship carrying the Canadian rebels to New South Wales. She is not exactly a man of war, but is and always has been in Government employ, being commanded by a naval officer who has midshipmen and marines under him. He is under the control of the Admiral of the Station, Sir Frederick Maitland, who is admiral of the “blue”, so all men of war hoist blue ensigns when on his station. After
she had spoken us the “Buffalo” bore away to the Eastward, not wishing to enter Sydney in the night . This determined our Captain to do the same as soon as he could once sight the lighthouse. This we did at nine oclock this evening. Everybody was on deck, and all were rejoiced to think that we had only to arrive at that Lighthouse and then our voyage would be completed- none more than dear Fanny and myself. Indeed I cannot express what my feelings were at seeing the well known lighthouse at which I had gazed so often when last in Sydney, wishing that I could be on the other side of it on my way to England. I did pass on the other side of it , and behold are here even once more but how changed! My heart has thanked God for all His mercies vouchsafed to me since then, and which I shall enjoy; and, oh, may I never forget that to Him I owe all my present happiness.- As soon as we got hold of the Light, we stood away to the Eastward, and shall remain all night in the vicinity off and on, never losing sight of the Light which really serves us as a beacon.
25th I was on deck at four this morning, eager to catch the first glimpse of the land. The weather was very thick; but at five it cleared off very suddenly, and we found ourselves not far from the land. As we approached we could distinguish every object more and more clearly. A gun was fired as a signal for the pilot [indecipherable] off to us. He kept us waiting for sometime, but at last made his appearance. It rained very hard, but this did not prevent my being on deck. I was wet through twice before I got to Ultimo. I was able to gain a good deal of information about my family from the pilot, as he had been Captain in one of Edye’s steamers, and knew them all. All well and living at Ultimo. This was enough for me, and I went into my cabin to prepare for the first opportunity of going ashore. Dear Fanny was not dressed. It took us a long time to work up the harbour as the river runs in a serpentine and the ship is obliged to tack continually to avoid the numerous projecting points. When we came near Sydney the Health Officer Dr Savage came alongside and enquired into the state of the ship and the nature of the illness. he seemed to be
in doubt for awhile, and we expected to be put in Quarantine, but he at last came up to the ships side, and declared us free from the “yellow flag” and all were allowed to go on shore. With Doctor Savage came George Wise to see me, and Alexander Young to meet Mrs Davies! I cannot fancy what kind of meeting these two had! After George Wise had had a chat with Fanny, I went ashore with him in the “Health boat”. We went immediately to Edye’s, where I saw Emily and Mrs Edye Manning. I did not wait long there, but returned immediately with a close carriage which had been sent from Ultimo for us, and brought home my dear wife and Mrs Davies who is to spend the first three or four days at Edye’s. It was eleven oclock before we were rid of Mrs Davies, and we then went to Ultimo where we found my mother, dear mother, who gave us a most affectionate welcome- such as I had always told Fanny she would have. My mother was looking remarkably well, and so was Emily. My father I did not see till the afternoon as he was engaged at the Court. None of my sisters were in Sydney-all in the country, but quite well. They were expected to come to town shortly; till then I must wait. Leaving dear Fanny with my mother in the afternoon I went on horseback into Sydney to see my father at his office. He was very well, and glad to see me. William, too is well, James is gone to Port Philip on speculation with cattle, so I shall not see him for two or three months. And we are here at last, safe, well, and happy- thank God.
I do not intend to write any further, as the Journal of my voyage is now complete, and it is not my intention to make a parade of my feelings as they were on the completion of my troubles. When I look back upon the past I see nought but goodness;- in the present I enjoy nought but happiness;- and for the future I will hope all things;- knowing that He who has the guidance of all things earthly as well as spiritual, knoweth what is best for man in his life, and will do all things well. To Him I commend myself, by prayer, and entreat His blessing for myself and the dear wife who has accompanied me so far and beared so many hardships for my sake- without a murmur!
Arthur W Manning
[Transcribed for the State Library of New South Wales by Ray King, Trish Barrett, Margaret Conlon, Allanah Jarman, Paula Hand]